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lenin86

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    lenin86 reacted to Fodla32 in Aiding Venezuela - Michael Albert   
    Aiding Venezuela
     
    By Michael Albert     Once we stop Shunning Venezuela and we start broadly Understanding Venezuela, what can we do to aid Venezuela?
     
    You live in France, Mexico, Thailand, Spain, India, South Africa, Brazil – the U.S. – where I live – or perhaps even in a sleepy London town – or wherever else. What can you/we do about events in Venezuela, and, more pointedly, regarding the whole Bolivarian project?
     
    That we should want to help the Bolivarian project, at least within our means and circumstances, should be evident to serious anti capitalists, socialists, anarchists, feminists, and anti racists. First, there is the morality of the immediate situation. Second, there are the broader and longer term implications for where the current situation might lead.
     
    To my eyes there is no large scale experiment in social change that warrants more hope and, currently, more worry, than Venezuela. So, what might we do?
     
    We should try to prevent outside interference, as usual. We should try to correct the lies flowing through media, as usual. Yet, before proceeding to less obvious ways we might engage, even those two self evident steps are not occurring at nearly the level needed.
     
    Some analysts suggest that people who might otherwise be doing such work have reservations about aspects of the Bolivarian project. That is certainly true, and it applies to me, too. But so what? Even ignoring that in many cases people’s reservations might be ill conceived outgrowths of lies and silences – why should even totally warranted concerns about Venezuela’s project preclude trying to correct lies and silences and even working/marching to prevent outside interference? It shouldn’t. There should be rallies and marches supporting Bolivarian progress. There should be an outpouring of articles, interviews, blogs, and comments correcting prevalent lies and silences. And, indeed, proactive communications have indeed been picking up, though they are still well shy of what is needed. The marching, however has lagged.
     
    Maybe one problem is that many Venezuelans in countries outside Venezuela favor the opposition. They even rally and march against Venezuela’s Bolivarian project. Who am I, the reasoning may go, to express supportive views about the Bolivarian agenda when Venezuelans in my city urge the opposite? Answer – you are a thinking person, able to arrive at your own conclusions, which should cause you to realize that you do not share either the interests or the biases of the oppositionist Venezuelan “exile” communities.
     
    But still, and now we come to the main point of this article, what about the “critical” part of “critical support”? To voice criticism, or not to voice criticism, that is the question.
     
    Consider the Vietnam war. “One side’s right, one side’s wrong, Victory to the Vietcong,” was one attitude. And, indeed, it is easy to slide into an uncritical stance when one pours oneself into supporting a population. An advocate typically denies problems with their favored side. Yet there were certainly anti war activists who saw that the Vietnamese project was very far from the anti authoritarian effort one would unreservedly celebrate. Yet, most who saw that it had problems, chose not to talk about them. The logic was, if we say anything critical now – particularly those of us inside the U.S., but elsewhere too – it will abet the horrible violence against the Vietnamese by providing rationales to critics and sowing doubt in defenders. Beyond that, Vietnam era anti warriors also felt there was no reason to think our words could have a positive effect inside Vietnam. We chose to focus on ending the war while setting aside even constructive criticism as being counter productive, however well motivated and insightful it might have been. And I do believe that at that time, during that war, that hands-off approach made considerable sense.
    Some people would go to Vietnam and literally be so polarized by the violence and vileness of U.S. war-making and by the hypocrisy of U.S. and international media coverage that they could not even see, much less accurately register, very obvious serious problems with the Vietnamese project. Their hatred for the wickedly huge injustice of the war blinded them to even seeing, much less admitting, disturbing truths about “our side.” That “ostrich effect” was not good.
     
    Other people kept their eyes open and internally registered flaws they saw, but kept quiet about them, and unreservedly poured themselves into opposing the imperial violence. That was, in that context, exemplary, I think.
     
    I believe Venezuela’s situation is, however, quite different. While Venezuela is in considerable turmoil, it is not being carpet bombed into the stone age by a merciless and near totally unrestrained America. Merciless we are, yes, but near totally unrestrained, no. Also, the Venezuelan project, perhaps shockingly to the perceptions of some, has been far closer to what a serious internationalist and anti authoritarian left ought to gleefully and nearly unreservedly celebrate, than was Vietnam’s project. This includes, as well, there being a far greater likelihood that observations from outside Venezuela might have positive impact inside Venezuela than that observations from outside could have had positive effects inside in Vietnam. Even more important, whereas avoiding discussing the flaws of the Vietnamese did them no damage and avoided enlarging damage done by others, avoiding discussing the flaws in the Bolivarian project has, I think, an opposite effect. It not only misses opportunities to be heard in Venezuela and perhaps positively impact events there in ways that would strengthen and otherwise aid Bolivarian aims, it misses opportunities to learn lessons that can be valuable elsewhere, in turn extending the benefits that ultimately flow from the Veneuzuelan endeavor. And finally, and ironically and perhaps counter intuitively, in the case of Venezuela, being quiet about its problems doesn’t help to reduce dismissiveness toward Venezuela, but instead tends to fuel it.
     
    If one accepts those claims, what might one say about Venezuela that is critical, but also helpful?
    A bit about hopes, first. The perhaps surprising truth is that I hope the Venezuelan government bears great blame for what is occurring. That might sound strange, but consider the alternative. Suppose the most scrupulous, objective, and insightful survey would reveal that the Chavistas have done everything right. Suppose it would show that they have done as well as could be hoped for. After well over a decade of their holding the federal government, they face the situation now unfolding. Assuming they have been operating brilliantly, that would say that you can courageously seek a wonderful outcome virtually perfectly, and nonetheless have chaos unfolding and pain being endured, even after having so long to make things better. The irony is, therefore, that those who find no fault in the Venezuelan project and who blame all the turmoil on the U.S. and on Venezuelan elites are telling a far more depressing story than those who admit to Bolivarian faults.
     
    And, most sadly, I think those saying the faults don’t extend to the government may be nearly true – though I hope they aren’t. Indeed, I hope that instead of all the turmoil, opposition, and, most important, the limited margins of support the Chavistas still hold being attributable to forces of internal and external opposition, the turmoil owes considerably to bad choices by an imperfect government so that after over a decade in office, if there had instead been a nearly optimal project at work, it would now have far greater support and be far less vulnerable to elite machinations.
    More, I believe that in the relatively near future people on the left are going to have to decide where the answer lies. If what the Chavistas have done has been everything that a non violent project, utilizing elections, abiding laws, and seeking participation and grass roots structures of democracy and self management could have done, then the implication many will quite reasonably take from Venezuela’s plight is that fully successful change is going to require a very different approach. They will say that this type project, even done perfectly, as is assumed in this line of thought, suffers far too many problems to be a model for elsewhere.
     
    But since I think a project that seeks to avoid violent confrontation, that seeks participation, that seeks to build new institutions, that abides laws, that uses elections and also grass roots activism and institution building, and so on, is the best hope for escaping oppressive structures without devolving into erecting new ones, here are my nominations for mistakes by the government – which is to say my nominations for policies that accomplished less for change than different policies, undertaken instead, could have accomplished.
     
    And I am not asking about proximate issues, such as behavior over the past month, but rather about long term choices. And, again, I am not there, and I have no doubt that many who are there, including folks who I know and think brilliant and committed, and other folks who I don’t know but would feel the same about if I did – will say: no, Michael, you overlooked reasons why what you propose couldn’t be done, or wouldn’t have worked if it had been done, or would even have been harmful had it been done. Maybe so, but I hope not. And I hope they hope not too. I hope they realize that instead of themselves thinking they have no fault for what is happening, and being happy about their “innocense” – and instead of their spending all their time opposing elite opposition from within and without (they must do that, but not exclusively that) – they should assume they have made real and substantial errors and should not glory in denying them, but rather glory in finding them and working to correct them. Revolutionaries shouldn’t be in the business of finding no fault with themselves. They should, instead, hope to find fault, lots of fault, and to then improve, and proceed.
     
    So what might the faults be?
     
    This gets tricky. First, one could rightly claim that deciding to shift power and wealth from its traditional holders to the previously poor and weak led to both internal and external opposition. That is true, but then again, that is the whole point, so while backtracking in that agenda could have forestalled dissent until now, or could even now reduce dissent and disruption, it is not something I or any leftist or anyone with human dignity and concern for populations and not just for the rich, should welcome. So that isn’t a fault to correct – that is the key virtue to preserve and enlarge.
    What about so many years with Chavez as President and lynchpin of the process? Was that a big fault, weakening support, provoking needless opposition, blocking development of other talents? Maybe, but honestly, though it certainly had its ill effects, on balance, I doubt it. This is a case where an abstractly less than optimal choice – since one should of course ideally prefer a steady emergence of great new talent and a steady broadening of participants and especially of the range of influential voices at every level – was arguably sensibly trumped by the need for wide popular support and the benefit of Chavez’s special relation not only to the poor but also to the military (neutralizing it as a potential opposition force). Was Chavez so uniquely suited to leading and so uniquely able to galvanize desires that on that basis alone he had to be elevated and retained? Maybe not. But were his ties to the military plus his special talents sufficient to warrant his elevation and duration as President – and longer had he not died? I suspect, probably yes. So maybe this was an error, maybe not, but it was certainly not definitive.
     
    So what should we consider as possible problem areas that might be definitive? I would focus on communications with the base of supporters; communications with the opposition base; development of highly trained, committed, self aware, well informed advocates; media policy; and attitudes toward residual owners and other “oligarchs.”
     
    Why these issues?
     
    Because for me the deep problem for the Bolivarian project isn’t today’s riots per se. It is, instead, that after well over a decade of anti capitalists holding the national government, support for the government and more pointedly for Chavismo is still only a bit over 50%, or perhaps at the outside, 60%, rather than being, say, 75% or 80%. And it is because international support from leftists is incredibly low and ill informed. And it is because there are too many instances of people inside the project who are taking advantage of opportunities for personal gain.
     
    Of course thugs from Colombia, plus U.S. funding and guidance for the opposition, plus homegrown capitalist sabotage and media machinations, are implicated in the current turmoil. And of course that is important to realize and reveal. But that these dynamics exist is unavoidable. They are part and parcel of change. How could they not arise to try to obstruct such an effort at change in our world? What troubles me is rather the considerable success these reactionary agendas have had. Rather than being problems largely dealt with by now, their impact is growing. Which is why I focus on the areas of concern mentioned above.
     
    Okay, let’s take the areas one by one.
     
     
    Communications with Supporters
     
    Of course there have been the TV shows by Chavez and now Maduro, plus public policy discussions, and new schools and the Bolivarian university approach, and perhaps more importantly at least in intent, the Bolivarian Circles of earlier years, and so on. But I have in mind something more.
     
    Consider that the government discerned a serious problem of consciousness: illiteracy. The government embarked on a massive campaign to overcome that problem: literacy training undertaken all over the country. This project entailed getting people ready to help the illiterate and also generating space, time, and desire to undertake the effort – organizationally – as well as attracting those in need of the training to accept and participate in it.
     
    By analogy, suppose the government thought: we are trying to build a new society and we want people to control their own lives in an informed and solidaritous manner. We know this entails that people are confident of their understanding of social relations and aims – both society’s and their own. We know the old society did not give people the needed knowledge, skill, and confidence. Therefore, we decide that we must embark on a massive campaign, even larger than the literacy program, of political and social discussion, education, and sharing. We know we have to spread known talents and insights, but also, in concert with the population, develop new ones.
     
    To my knowledge while thoughts like that may well have spurred the campaign for Bolivarian Circles, which were to be study groups throughout the country, the follow through was insufficient and no campaign on the needed scale occurred. Why not? Resources? I don’t buy that. Lack of motivation of the base of people who would be learning? I think that is very real, but overcoming that is, of course, a large part of the task, not a reason to forego trying. Motivation of the Bolivarians/Chavistas in government? Perhaps, but I suspect there were more than enough who would have eagerly embraced such a project, had it been really pushed and persisted in by Chavez, say. The opposition stigmatizing such efforts by branding them indoctrination, as happened with the Bolivarian Circles? Sure, that is a factor, but again, that is the Opposition’s job and the relevant issue is not having overcome such stigmatization. What about not realizing to a sufficient degree that this was a task that needed doing, and not feeling there was a curriculum, so to speak, to convey? I suspect this was a big part of the reason. And I think it has been a big factor in the population having support that only goes so deep.
     
    Little clarity among leaders in government and serving in institutions throughout society, about where Bolivarian struggle is trying to go, and thus little spreading of that understanding throughout the population, plus little refining of it and improving it in light of insights that that larger population would generate, is, to me, a very serious problem. I know everyone points to things like crime, or mishandling the exchange rate, and so on. And all that is most certainly very real. But the way the population regards circumstances and owns policies, adapts policies, sees and acknowledges and understands mistakes, and acts to correct them, is the key. And a population that is not confidently involved, and that lacks relevant knowledge, cannot play such a role. Yes, it can vote. Yes, it can go into the streets to rally in support, or to complain, or to celebrate, or even to defend or dissent – but that is a far cry from the public seriously participating, knowledgeably, and wisely. More, uninvolved involvement doesn’t last.
     
    Each new election in Venezuela that has occurred, the Chavistas have celebrated their new victory. I always thought this was horribly ill conceived. It seemed to me, and it still seems to me, that “if you aren’t busy being born, you are busy dying,” and to have your margin of victory steadily decline – or even just not climb – is not a reason for celebration, but a reason for very aggressive correction. The above would have been one such choice for correction.
     
     
    Communications with Dissenters
     
    What about communications with the opposition’s base? Here too it certainly has happened, to a degree. But, I suspect, very little. Rather, it seems that for years in neighborhoods and among students, there has been little sustained and serious effort to communicate across constituencies. Partly this owes to the absence of shared clarity and confidence mentioned above. How do the Chavistas in a neighborhood engage with those in their neighborhood who dissent, if the Chavistas lack the confidence and knowledge to make a full and compelling case? It is very difficult to communicate convincingly, through extreme tensions, unless one is very confident and well informed. And yet even beyond spreading the needed skills, noted above, there were other possibilities.
     
    Why not have meeting days across campuses? Why not have athletic events, local teams, across neighborhoods? Why not have such “meetings” and gathering and events occur in ways that allow real exchanges of experiences and concerns?
     
    Admirably, the Chavistas didn’t build councils and communes with the intent of having them serve only their supporters. Quite the contrary, councils and communes have been sought in all neighborhoods – opposition and Chavista – but, what wasn’t done, at least that I know of, was to constantly and quite steadfastly and intently, address the opposition. I could be completely crazy about this – but while I understand that students wanting to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and even CEOS have understandable pressures from families, from many faculty, and from their own narrow material interests pushing them into opposition – we also know that students are young, energetic, and at some level likely feel considerable social concern. I bet if those who have become the bulwark of violent dissent had been experiencing first hand, from direct testimony – the views of students with different backgrounds, as well as the views of barrio residents and the like, things might now be different.
     
    If the now opposition students had been hearing the implications of the Bolivarian changes on people’s lives from the people affected, and especially hearing clear discussion of where it is all headed – as compared to having convinced themselves that they live in a country that is occupied by Cuba – many, and perhaps even most of them, would, by now, be unreceptive to opposition machinations. It doesn’t suffice to say they have backgrounds that dispose them to dissent, which is true. It doesn’t suffice to say that they have been lied to, which is also true. That is just reality. That comes with the territory of trying to revamp society in the interests of the poor and excluded. It is unavoidable in such an undertaking. The locus of “blame” and main focus of discussion and action always has to be, instead, what could the movement have done differently.
     
    Even with those background realities, why weren’t these young people better informed, better educated about events, by personal engagement, and perhaps even made into allies rather than enemies? We are talking about people who were not even teenagers when the Bolivarian process began. Could they not have been treated differently? I am not saying the Chavistas could have won over the owners. No. But many owner’s kids, yes. And many professionals and also kids seeking to be professionals, yes. And not by pandering to them at the expense of the poor, but based on unleashing real knowledge and solidarity into their midst, while honestly hearing their feelings and addressing them. If a vote goes roughly 50-50, or even 60-40 for the Chavistas, it doesn’tt mainly mean they won again – though that is true. It mainly means the reactionary side has support that extends way too deep into places where it ought not be welcome.
     
    There is another issue relating to elections. They have been a kind of distraction disease. There are so many, so often, and with such contested campaigns – all really leading nowhere, when you think about it – yet taking so much time and energy and attention. I am not sure the what might have been done in this regard. Certainly the answer wouldn’t be to have no elections. But perhaps a refinement of the electoral process to reduce its duration, eliminate aspects of substance-less engagement and expense, and prioritize contrasts of actual program and debate of real differences.
     
     
    Creating Effective Agents of Change
     
    What about developing really effective activists among those who are working to create change as their main involvement? This is a related issue to what is discussed above, clearly, but also adds another dimension. Sure, again, it happened somewhat. There were education efforts, for example, in the PSUV. But has there been the kind of internal education, debate, discussion, distillation of shared views, exploration of those views, refinement of those views, and finally carefully cultivated, nurtured, and tested ability on the part of all folks heavily involved in political and social work to further spread the views? Not in what little and admittedly quite modest experience I have had with the situation. And again, I suspect the biggest factor may be the absence of a curriculum, so to speak, as well as not recognizing the importance of this task – which was paramount – but which for the most part did not happen, at least to my knowledge.
     
    I have been told by quite a few folks that for the most part – of course with some exceptions – Chavistas who went through years of opposition struggle are typically far less susceptible to pressures to lie and steal. They are far less likely to be among the corrupt. On the other hand, Chavistas with a short tenure – folks who have come on board without the longer background and without the social ties and relations and understanding those ties brought, are far more susceptible to corruption. What is it about being in struggle for a long duration that generated greater loyalty, insight, and commitment? One might answer that question many ways, but the point is, the new folks didn’t experience those dynamics. So they needed to experience something in the less conflict ridden years of their growing involvement, that would have a similar effect. I think very serious and in depth training, learning, and participation at every level, plus cresting and acting in even larger grassroots activist campaigns, are likely the only compelling answer for what that should have been done. So that too was needed, and was largely absent.
     
     
    Dealing with Media
     
    The Bolivarian approach to media has had two driving priorities, I think. Commitment to freedom of speech, and fear of provoking dissent at home and international criticism that would abet opposition activity or even lead to intervention.
     
    The government has abided a private media that has been and remains incredibly skewed toward the agendas of its rich and powerful owners. Perhaps some will disagree, but I don’t think that has anything to do with respecting freedom of speech. Rather, freedom of speech should mean that there are venues and means for citizens throughout society, no matter their views, to express their views, offer their insights, debate and criticize policies and events and whole agendas, and to also have access to information of all sorts. Freedom of speech can’t mean simply that one isn’t beat upside the head by the state for things one says. It must include people having a means to say things, and access to information needed to have things to say.
     
    If you have a private media in which a few people decide what is conveyed, and they even do so with blatantly obvious agendas governing their actions – not a concern for truth, but instead pursuit of private power and wealth – then that is not a free speech setting. That is true if the few people overseeing communications are government elites but it is also true if the few people overseeing communications are corporate elites. So, to face the problem, what could the Chavistas have done differently?
     
    My inclination is to think that as with many issues the Chavistas should have proposed for media a very public and transparent positive set of intermediate aims, and also a long term vision. They then should have begun not only building new media (and they have done a lot of this, very admirably, though more and more support are needed) but also altered the media which exists right up to nationalizing, and, much more to the point, for all media including the currently very narrowly conceived statist media, steadily transferred editorial power to public and grassroots oversight and control, plus establishing workers self management.
     
    Would steps of that sort have unleashed howls of (hypocritical) protest? Of course. But the issue has to be broached at some point, and to allow privately held media to distort communications year after year or to settle for state media that is uncreative and restrictively narrow each in hopes of reaching a point where moving to a better system would be less disruptive because the media sway would have already been diminished due to on the ground gains in constructing new grassroots media by the movement, was, I think, an error.
     
    Rather, media matters more than that approach suggests – and more thorough steps should have been initiated and pursued when Chavista strength was greatest, not after the opposition managed to tear away some of that strength – but better late than never. It needs doing now, too.
     
     
    Dealing with Residual Oligarchs
     
    And then there are the residual owners and other highly elite reactionary elements. This is the media issue writ larger. The reason to allow owners to persist in having grotesquely disproportionate power and influence, as well as massive income by way of control over their businesses, was to avoid overly provoking them and overly provoking forces outside of Venezuela, on the one hand, and to avoid a slip side toward authoritarian structures due to the spread of the kinds of coercive behaviors that would be needed to remove them – to other inappropriate domains than that single action. But this, like with media, is a delicate dance. Because the other implication of going slow is that the owners persist in their power and use it to try to subvert the Bolivarian agenda, and do so quite effectively, over time.
     
    My own inclination would be that the government could have and should have been far more explicit about aims for the economy, not just about particular polices for addressing excess imports, reforming destructive exchange rates, combating inflation, etc., as important as those steps are, but far more basic in the sense of institutional aims for the organization of work and allocation. The government could perhaps have made absolutely binding that any sabotage, any price gouging, and any resistance to worker programs seeking greater workplace well being, equity, and openness, would be cause for expropriation of productive property from owners to workers. There were elements of this mindset. A Supreme Court Judge told me how in the courts there was a new mentality – legal contracts were binding on employers, but not on employees when they were contrary to the interests of employees. Why? Because the imbalanced situation between owners and workers meant that employees agreed to contracts lacking information and more so, lacking alternatives. It was understood that justice isn’t just abiding formal agreements. Justice includes moving toward equitable remuneration and real self management. That attitude, writ larger to the whole economy, and implemented, would have mattered greatly, I believe.
     
    In a struggle to change society there is a kind of contest or race regarding both media and private ownership of other businesses as well. On the opposition side, the idea was to retain control of as much “high ground” conveying power and outreach capacity as they could, and to use it to steadily subvert Bolivarian agendas, influence, and popularity, hoping to reach a point where the opposition could win an election, or, if need be, welcome in external forces to help them reclaim power. On the Bolivarian side, the idea was to avoid a head on clash, violence, and civil war, and even to avoid just getting into a situation of having to be coercive, even with owners, lest the habits of coercion become permanent and subvert more participatory aims – all while building up alternative institutions that would strengthen support, so that at some time in the future full transition might occur with only ineffectual resistance.
     
    I do believe that was an exemplary desire. But I am inclined to think that a better course would have been a major investment of time, energy, and especially edification and creation of new structures that could offset any pressures and tendencies toward centralization – so as to be able to take on private owners far more forthrightly, and early, while guarding against centralization.
    If the above suggestions, or any part of them, are correct, it is of course too late to have done things perfectly all along, but it is certainly not too late to take up needed tasks now. And if that is the case, then one hopes that this is the kind of thing we will soon see.
  2. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Leftist wins presidency in El Salvador   
    Leftist wins presidency in El Salvador   Echoes of Venezuela, right wing cries fraud, vows to destabilize country   By Cherrene Horazuk   San Salvador, El Salvador - Salvador Sanchez Ceren, Marxist leader, former guerrilla commander, teacher and trade unionist, won the March 9 presidential run-off elections by a narrow 6634 votes of the nearly 3 million cast, over the right-wing candidate, Norman Quijano.   Voters turned out in record numbers. 63% of the eligible population voted, and though the margin was narrow, Ceren’s 1.4 million votes were greater than any other president received in the history of the country. Sanchez Ceren is a leader of the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), while Quijano is the candidate of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party. El Salvador is still deeply polarized 22 years after the end of the country’s civil war that pitted FMLN rebels against ARENA’s right-wing military rule.   As the Salvadoran National Electoral Authority (TSE) worked to verify the final vote count that showed the FMLN winning, members of ARENA took a slew of actions to delay the process and ultimately tried to nullify the process as a whole. Charging the TSE with fraud on election day but not publicizing any evidence, ARENA walked out halfway through the final count, only returning after the TSE said they would continue the count with or without ARENA’s participation. This followed inflammatory remarks issued by ARENA candidate Norman Quijano late on election day, in which he declared victory before the initial vote count was even completed, implored his party faithful to not “allow this victory to be stolen from us like it was in Venezuela” and to “prepare for war.” He further called upon the Salvadoran army to intervene in the nation’s politics and impose him as victor in spite of the official vote count showing him losing. This would have basically amounted to a coup.   Quijano’s call for the military to intervene and impose his victory resulted in a tense situation for a country still recovering from the ravages of a bloody civil war that ended in 1992, in which the army was used as a brutal repressive force against popular movements and the left. Given the history of military repression in the country, many breathed a sigh of relief when the defense minister and military leaders held a press conference midweek to affirm their chain of command and to denounce efforts to manipulate the armed forces.   Reports from thousands of national and international observers contradicted ARENA’s claims of fraud and instead congratulated Salvadoran voters and electoral authorities for conducting a transparent and efficient process. The United Nations, the Organization of American States and the U.S. State Department all echoed observers’ assessment of the elections as clean and fair. Many organizations that have observed all the Salvadoran elections since the 1992 peace accords stated that this was the most transparent election they have seen here, with several new anti-fraud and transparency measures implemented for the first time. Late on Sunday, March 16, the TSE certified the elections and officially declared Salvador Sanchez Ceren the president-elect.   On Saturday, March 15, a week after the election, hundreds of thousands of FMLN supporters rallied to celebrate and defend the FMLN election victory. Meanwhile ARENA party faithful continue to protest the election results and call for the elections to be annulled. Their actions appear to be taking a page out of the Venezuelan right wing’s destabilization playbook. It comes as no surprise that JJ Rendon, former campaign manager for Venezuelan right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, was hired by ARENA to run their flagging electoral campaign last year. The cries of fraud in El Salvador echoed Capriles’s cries of fraud when he lost last year’s election in Venezuela against leftist Nicolas Maduro, despite international observers certifying the election as clean in both cases.   ARENA’s campaign focused on fomenting fear that if the FMLN won, El Salvador would become the “next Venezuela.” This drumbeat of fear was ramped up to a fevered pitch in the last few weeks before the March 9 runoff election. The right wing used their control of mass media to bombard people with the message that Venezuela means “chaos and violence.” They saturated the media with ads from the Nationalist Republican Youth playing ominous music over footage of snipers and street violence. This has an impact in a country like El Salvador with a recent civil war and high rates of ongoing street violence.   Fear mongering and a massive infusion of campaign funds from ANEP, the National Association of Private Enterprise, raised the turnout for ARENA in the second round runoff election, but it was not enough to deliver the victory that the right wing hoped for. Instead. the Salvadoran people elected a left-wing former guerrilla commander who is openly allied with Venezuela, Cuba and socialists around the world, to be the commander in chief of El Salvador.   The close results in the March 9 runoff election were a surprise for many, as Sanchez Ceren beat Quijano by 10 points in the first round election in February, but fell just short of the 50%-plus-1 needed to win without a runoff between the top two parties. In polls right before the March 9 runoff election, Sanchez Ceren held a commanding 10 to 15% lead over Quijano. However, in the first round, the right wing was divided between two candidates, ARENA’s Quijano and the Grand Alliance for National Unity’s (GANA) Tony Saca. GANA was formed in a recent acrimonious split from ARENA. Their candidate Tony Saca was president of El Salvador for ARENA from 2004-2009. GANA received nearly 10% of the vote in the first round election in February.   Some assumed, incorrectly, that because GANA split so recently from ARENA that their supporters may lean toward the FMLN in the runoff election. But El Salvador is a country deeply polarized between left and right with virtually no political center. It seems likely that people who voted for GANA in the first round shifted their vote to the other right-wing party, ARENA, in the second round, contributing to the runoff election being closer than most had predicted.   ARENA ruled El Salvador from 1989 to 2009, and its roots are in the right-wing death squads during El Salvador’s civil war. Its founder was Roberto D’Aubuisson, responsible for ordering Archbishop Romero’s assassination in 1980, and founder of the notorious right-wing death squads. In 20 years of governance, they implemented devastating neoliberal programs, including privatization of key services and the conversion of the economy to the U.S. dollar, which leaves the country tied to the ebbs and flows of the U.S. economy. During their terms in office, ARENA was also wracked with multiple corruption scandals. For example Francisco Flores, El Salvador’s president from 1999-2004 is being investigated by numerous agencies, including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for the disappearance of over $10 million of Taiwanese development funds during his administration.   The FMLN, on the other hand, voices their commitment to a socialist vision for El Salvador, though their ability to implement that vision has been and will continue to be limited by severe resistance from the rich and the right wing of the country, the lack of productive and natural resources, and pressure from international funding sources.   The FMLN has held the presidency of El Salvador since 2009, but the current president, Mauricio Funes, is not a party member and the FMLN has had to govern in a sort of coalition, dividing up positions with Funes’s more moderate forces. So since 2009 the FMLN has focused their efforts on smaller social reforms that have been widely popular, and were largely responsible for the FMLN winning the rural vote that had been voting for ARENA for the past decade. They brought free health care to neglected areas of the countryside; eliminated the ‘voluntary’ fees for health care and schools; and issued land titles to small farmers that were first promised during the 1992 peace accords.   FMLN President-elect Sanchez Ceren served as the Minister of Education in the Funes administration and oversaw the most popular of the programs, the Paquete Escolar, or School Packet, program that provides every public school student with supplies, uniforms and a daily meal, all for free. The health and education programs have had a particularly profound impact on women and girls, who are often left behind when families are forced to pay for education. The FMLN also instituted a number of significant labor policies, including full legal recognition of public sector unions and granting full protection to domestic workers, which benefits upwards of 80,000 women housekeepers, nannies and cooks who have often been working in slave-like conditions.   Polarization and the belligerence of the Salvadoran right wing will be a challenge for the FMLN as they work to deepen their modest social and economic programs and further their vision for Salvadoran society. As Roger Blandino Nerio, Social Movement Secretary for the FMLN, stated, “We can only implement as much socialism as the population will allow.”   The Salvadoran right-wing is hell-bent on preventing even modest reforms from being instituted and will continue its destabilization efforts. The U.S. government has stated that they will work with an FMLN government, but history has shown that they will work to undermine and prevent real reforms that alter existing relations of power from moving forward. The need for solidarity with the FMLN, the labor and social movement and the Salvadoran people will be great in the coming period as they build an alternative vision – one that isn’t based on capitalism – for their country.   Cherrene Horazuk is the president of AFSCME Local 3800, the union of clerical workers at the University of Minnesota, and the former Executive Director of CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. She was an accredited observer of the March 9 presidential elections, and has been observing El Salvador’s elections since 1994.   Read more News and Views from the Peoples Struggle at http://www.fightbacknews.org. You can write to us at info@fightbacknews.org  
  3. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Leftist wins presidency in El Salvador   
    Leftist wins presidency in El Salvador   Echoes of Venezuela, right wing cries fraud, vows to destabilize country   By Cherrene Horazuk   San Salvador, El Salvador - Salvador Sanchez Ceren, Marxist leader, former guerrilla commander, teacher and trade unionist, won the March 9 presidential run-off elections by a narrow 6634 votes of the nearly 3 million cast, over the right-wing candidate, Norman Quijano.   Voters turned out in record numbers. 63% of the eligible population voted, and though the margin was narrow, Ceren’s 1.4 million votes were greater than any other president received in the history of the country. Sanchez Ceren is a leader of the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), while Quijano is the candidate of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party. El Salvador is still deeply polarized 22 years after the end of the country’s civil war that pitted FMLN rebels against ARENA’s right-wing military rule.   As the Salvadoran National Electoral Authority (TSE) worked to verify the final vote count that showed the FMLN winning, members of ARENA took a slew of actions to delay the process and ultimately tried to nullify the process as a whole. Charging the TSE with fraud on election day but not publicizing any evidence, ARENA walked out halfway through the final count, only returning after the TSE said they would continue the count with or without ARENA’s participation. This followed inflammatory remarks issued by ARENA candidate Norman Quijano late on election day, in which he declared victory before the initial vote count was even completed, implored his party faithful to not “allow this victory to be stolen from us like it was in Venezuela” and to “prepare for war.” He further called upon the Salvadoran army to intervene in the nation’s politics and impose him as victor in spite of the official vote count showing him losing. This would have basically amounted to a coup.   Quijano’s call for the military to intervene and impose his victory resulted in a tense situation for a country still recovering from the ravages of a bloody civil war that ended in 1992, in which the army was used as a brutal repressive force against popular movements and the left. Given the history of military repression in the country, many breathed a sigh of relief when the defense minister and military leaders held a press conference midweek to affirm their chain of command and to denounce efforts to manipulate the armed forces.   Reports from thousands of national and international observers contradicted ARENA’s claims of fraud and instead congratulated Salvadoran voters and electoral authorities for conducting a transparent and efficient process. The United Nations, the Organization of American States and the U.S. State Department all echoed observers’ assessment of the elections as clean and fair. Many organizations that have observed all the Salvadoran elections since the 1992 peace accords stated that this was the most transparent election they have seen here, with several new anti-fraud and transparency measures implemented for the first time. Late on Sunday, March 16, the TSE certified the elections and officially declared Salvador Sanchez Ceren the president-elect.   On Saturday, March 15, a week after the election, hundreds of thousands of FMLN supporters rallied to celebrate and defend the FMLN election victory. Meanwhile ARENA party faithful continue to protest the election results and call for the elections to be annulled. Their actions appear to be taking a page out of the Venezuelan right wing’s destabilization playbook. It comes as no surprise that JJ Rendon, former campaign manager for Venezuelan right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, was hired by ARENA to run their flagging electoral campaign last year. The cries of fraud in El Salvador echoed Capriles’s cries of fraud when he lost last year’s election in Venezuela against leftist Nicolas Maduro, despite international observers certifying the election as clean in both cases.   ARENA’s campaign focused on fomenting fear that if the FMLN won, El Salvador would become the “next Venezuela.” This drumbeat of fear was ramped up to a fevered pitch in the last few weeks before the March 9 runoff election. The right wing used their control of mass media to bombard people with the message that Venezuela means “chaos and violence.” They saturated the media with ads from the Nationalist Republican Youth playing ominous music over footage of snipers and street violence. This has an impact in a country like El Salvador with a recent civil war and high rates of ongoing street violence.   Fear mongering and a massive infusion of campaign funds from ANEP, the National Association of Private Enterprise, raised the turnout for ARENA in the second round runoff election, but it was not enough to deliver the victory that the right wing hoped for. Instead. the Salvadoran people elected a left-wing former guerrilla commander who is openly allied with Venezuela, Cuba and socialists around the world, to be the commander in chief of El Salvador.   The close results in the March 9 runoff election were a surprise for many, as Sanchez Ceren beat Quijano by 10 points in the first round election in February, but fell just short of the 50%-plus-1 needed to win without a runoff between the top two parties. In polls right before the March 9 runoff election, Sanchez Ceren held a commanding 10 to 15% lead over Quijano. However, in the first round, the right wing was divided between two candidates, ARENA’s Quijano and the Grand Alliance for National Unity’s (GANA) Tony Saca. GANA was formed in a recent acrimonious split from ARENA. Their candidate Tony Saca was president of El Salvador for ARENA from 2004-2009. GANA received nearly 10% of the vote in the first round election in February.   Some assumed, incorrectly, that because GANA split so recently from ARENA that their supporters may lean toward the FMLN in the runoff election. But El Salvador is a country deeply polarized between left and right with virtually no political center. It seems likely that people who voted for GANA in the first round shifted their vote to the other right-wing party, ARENA, in the second round, contributing to the runoff election being closer than most had predicted.   ARENA ruled El Salvador from 1989 to 2009, and its roots are in the right-wing death squads during El Salvador’s civil war. Its founder was Roberto D’Aubuisson, responsible for ordering Archbishop Romero’s assassination in 1980, and founder of the notorious right-wing death squads. In 20 years of governance, they implemented devastating neoliberal programs, including privatization of key services and the conversion of the economy to the U.S. dollar, which leaves the country tied to the ebbs and flows of the U.S. economy. During their terms in office, ARENA was also wracked with multiple corruption scandals. For example Francisco Flores, El Salvador’s president from 1999-2004 is being investigated by numerous agencies, including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for the disappearance of over $10 million of Taiwanese development funds during his administration.   The FMLN, on the other hand, voices their commitment to a socialist vision for El Salvador, though their ability to implement that vision has been and will continue to be limited by severe resistance from the rich and the right wing of the country, the lack of productive and natural resources, and pressure from international funding sources.   The FMLN has held the presidency of El Salvador since 2009, but the current president, Mauricio Funes, is not a party member and the FMLN has had to govern in a sort of coalition, dividing up positions with Funes’s more moderate forces. So since 2009 the FMLN has focused their efforts on smaller social reforms that have been widely popular, and were largely responsible for the FMLN winning the rural vote that had been voting for ARENA for the past decade. They brought free health care to neglected areas of the countryside; eliminated the ‘voluntary’ fees for health care and schools; and issued land titles to small farmers that were first promised during the 1992 peace accords.   FMLN President-elect Sanchez Ceren served as the Minister of Education in the Funes administration and oversaw the most popular of the programs, the Paquete Escolar, or School Packet, program that provides every public school student with supplies, uniforms and a daily meal, all for free. The health and education programs have had a particularly profound impact on women and girls, who are often left behind when families are forced to pay for education. The FMLN also instituted a number of significant labor policies, including full legal recognition of public sector unions and granting full protection to domestic workers, which benefits upwards of 80,000 women housekeepers, nannies and cooks who have often been working in slave-like conditions.   Polarization and the belligerence of the Salvadoran right wing will be a challenge for the FMLN as they work to deepen their modest social and economic programs and further their vision for Salvadoran society. As Roger Blandino Nerio, Social Movement Secretary for the FMLN, stated, “We can only implement as much socialism as the population will allow.”   The Salvadoran right-wing is hell-bent on preventing even modest reforms from being instituted and will continue its destabilization efforts. The U.S. government has stated that they will work with an FMLN government, but history has shown that they will work to undermine and prevent real reforms that alter existing relations of power from moving forward. The need for solidarity with the FMLN, the labor and social movement and the Salvadoran people will be great in the coming period as they build an alternative vision – one that isn’t based on capitalism – for their country.   Cherrene Horazuk is the president of AFSCME Local 3800, the union of clerical workers at the University of Minnesota, and the former Executive Director of CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. She was an accredited observer of the March 9 presidential elections, and has been observing El Salvador’s elections since 1994.   Read more News and Views from the Peoples Struggle at http://www.fightbacknews.org. You can write to us at info@fightbacknews.org  
  4. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Cuba continues to decentralize agriculture   
    I know its very worrying, I hope these reforms don't go to far
  5. Like
    lenin86 reacted to Fodla32 in Cuba continues to decentralize agriculture   
    I'd be concerned about Cuba allowing in Canadian NGOs, who have a particularly bad record for promoting neo-liberalism and undermining native states.
  6. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Cuba continues to decentralize agriculture   
    http://www.theguardian.com/global-de...lution-farmers   Viva la revolución: Cuban farmers re-gain control over land As the state loosens its grip on food production, Cuban farmers and independent co-operatives will need support to help solve the country's agriculture crisis  
     
    Last year, Cuba spent over $1.6bn (£1bn) on food imports, an unsustainable amount for an economy that has been struggling since the end of the cold war and the collapse of its trading partner, the Soviet Union, through which it also lost 80% of its pesticide and fertiliser imports.   Today, Cuba still imports about 60% of its domestic food requirement, making it highly vulnerable to price increases, changes in food supply and the impacts of natural disasters.   Since 2007, President Raul Castro, noting its connection with national security, has made food security a priority. State farms hold over 70% of Cuba's agricultural land; about 6.7m hectares. In 2007, 45% of this land was sitting idle. In 2008 Castro allowed private farmers and co-operatives to lease unused land with decentralised decision-making, and loosened regulations on farmers selling directly to consumers. Since 2010, Cubans with small garden plots, and small farmers, have been allowed to sell produce directly to consumers.   However, agriculture in Cuba remains in crisis. A government report issued in July 2013 showed that productivity had not increased. But there have been some successes and valuable lessons in the past few years that can help foreign aid organisations target resources and support.   Learning from successful co-operatives or farming initiatives is key, according to Christina Polzot, Cuban country representative for Care International.   "I think the greatest contribution is capacity building, especially as it relates to building management capacity at the local level," she said.   One successful example comes from Cuba's 'urban' agriculture. Urban farms are now thought to supply around 70% of fruits and vegetables consumed in cities such as Havana and Santa Clara. Vivero Alamar is an urban co-op just outside Havana that has sustained growth for 15 years. Co-op president Miguel Angel Salcines believes that the key to achieving food security in Cuba is to train agricultural workers with a 'vocation' for farming, and continuous upgrading of equipment.   The Cuban agricultural sector remains highly de-capitalised, but aid organisations can to some degree support it with agricultural materials and appropriate technologies. They can also boost the capacity of private farmers by training local farmers in sustainable agricultural practices, and helping co-ops develop modern business practices.   Canada, one of Cuba's biggest donors, provides technical training in planning, environmental sustainability, and also gender equality for effective management of farming. It also helped increase Cuba's forest cover by 1%, by planting 106,000 hectares of new seedlings.   Researchers can identify inefficiencies in the supply chain and where possible make recommendations.   Care in Canada also helped improve dairy production (pdf) – which has been a huge challenge for the country – by building and furnishing milk collection and conservation centres in co-ops, and advising on the supply chain. They also made infrastructure improvements for individual farms and created an exchange programme for Canadian and Cuban farmers.   In 2007, Castro had called the milk collection and distribution system "absurd" after finding that in Mantua in the west of Cuba, a few bottles of locally produced milk would make a long journey, but then return and be delivered to the house next door.   But Cuba has other challenges beyond the production system; it suffers from salinity, erosion, poor drainage, low fertility, acidity, low organic material content, poor retention of humidity, and desertification. One obstacle to increasing productivity has been a lack of knowledge among farmers about improving and conserving agricultural resources.   A pilot progamme implemented by Cuba's Soil Institute and supported by the United Nations Development Programme, to improve the conservation of soil, water and forest land, gives 35 agricultural units training, technical assistance, and supplies – targeted at their own specific challenges. It includes planting forest trees on farms, searching new sources of water; no-till farming; live barriers to erosion made of plants and rocks, and using organic fertilisers.   Aid organisations in the country should also support agricultural initiatives in Cuba's easternmost – and poorest – provinces, which are most vulnerable to coastal flooding.   Although the reform in agriculture has gone further than in many other sections of economic life, it may still be too early to gauge the effects. Polzot says it is possible that the reforms will increase autonomy because, for example, the more recent reforms have allowed private co-operatives to handle their own commercialisation.   But as yet, farmers are not allowed to import supplies or purchase produce at will. Armando Nova, a Cuban economist, suggested in a paper last year that the system would be more efficient if farmers did not have to wait for supplies to be assigned and delivered by the state; there are still delays in transport and a lot of spoilage.   There is concern among farmers that the government will at some point change its mind, scale back the reforms, and seize the land leased to farmers – and that it is unwilling to cede all control of the process.   In November 2013, the government issued a decree placing the management of food production entirely in non-state hands, to run experimentally in selected districts before going nationwide in 2015. For the moment, it seems the Cuban government is committed to its goal of putting Cuba on the road to food security. Aid organisations can help ensure that these initiatives are successful.  
  7. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Indian Maoist Document URBAN PERSPECTIVE OUR WORK IN URBAN AREAS   
    http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/maoist/documents/papers/Urbanperspective.htm
     
  8. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Lugh Ildánach in FARC–EP Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — Ejército del Pueblo   
    Colombian Army Murdered Civilians To Boost “FARC” Body Count
    BOGOTA – These were the words allegedly uttered by a former commander of the Colombian Army, General Mario Montoya: ”Take them down, take them down. Don’t bring me prisoners. And if there is nobody down [sic], just find a way.”
    Such is the testimony of jailed former captain Enrique Guevara Cantillo who has been making allegations about the complicity of senior military figures in the affair of “False Positives,” the extra-judicial killings of civilians that have tarnished the Colombian Army’s reputation.
    The statements made by Guevara, a soldier until 2004 but also a member of a paramilitary gang beginning in 1998, were published last month on the website Las2Orillas (hacked that day to prevent their diffusion).
    The words contain assertions that confirm what many of us have long suspected: that the early successes of President Uribe’s Democratic Security policies, which dramatically curbed violence and crime in Colombia, were the fruit of an alliance between the Armed Forces and right-wing paramilitaries. It seems the unresolved scandal of False Positives – hapless civilians murdered and later “counted” as guerrillas shot in combat - was a policy of the Colombian state.
    Guevara was the face of this alliance, simultaneously belonging to two armed groups, with full knowledge of his commanding officers and of paramilitaries, he says. Among paramilitaries, the captain was known as 101, and considered a very close associate of Jorge 40, a paramilitary chief and trafficker extradited to the United States in 2008. Jorge 40 is suspected of taking part in or ordering several massacres, and has confessed to at least one – in that case, of 40 fishermen.
    “Rogues,” really?
    The former captain spoke about his activities in those years in an interview with the journalist Gonzalo Guillén given in a prison in the port of Barranquilla in September 2013, but revealed only now. These he said, included implementing General Montoya’s direct orders to execute “false positives.”
    Let’s look at some of Guevara’s revelations. The former captain firstly describes a meeting from 2002 held in the Sierra Nevada national park in northern Colombia, at a time when FARC kidnappings were one of the country’s main problems. The Army and paramilitaries decided to divide that area and coordinate their operations, and by 2004, kidnappings had dropped substantially. The agreement made then included Captain Guevara leading paramilitaries dressed as professional soldiers during operations.
    Any description of the Democratic Security policy must recognize that the alliance between the military and paramiltaries was neither anomalous nor exceptional, but an integral part of the strategy to fight the guerrillas in Colombia. The successes attained in reducing crimes such as kidnapping were the result of that illegal alliance.
    Secondly, “false positive” killings followed pressures from the Presidential office, which wantedquantifiable results in the fight against FARC. What Guevara Cantillo has said is that General Montoya was constantly asking for casualties, even if they were not guerrillas killed in combat. 
    The former captain describes the system as follows: Senior officials or commanders demanded deaths, and officers sometimes coordinated with paramilitaries who should be killed, then legalized their victims as “false positives,”through written orders to carry out fictitious operations. Those executing “false positives” were junior officers and the rank-and-file troops.
    Explanations given about “rogue elements” killing to claim promised rewards do not take into account the scale of this problem. State institutions would be shaken in their entirety if there were a public showdown over this issue – which is why it is merely picked at on its peripheries.
    General Montoya and Colonel Édgar Iván Quiñones Cárdenas (a major when Guevara was captain, and today the deputy-head of the Army’s Ninth Brigade) are the officers most damaged by Guevara’s allegations.
    At one point, we find out that the State ordered a halt to the practice of “false positives.” If there had not been complicity at all levels, that order would not have been followed so quickly by different levels of the military hierarchy. Those so-called “rogue elements” would have merrily continued their killing spree.
     
    MORE…
    http://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/did-colombia-murder-innocents-to-boost-the-farc-body-count-/farc-murder-accomplice-government/c1s15134/#.UyR1Oc5Wuf4
     
  9. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in ON PATIENT SOLIDARITY: TOWARD A NEW PATIENT’S FRONT   
    Oppression under capitalism takes many forms. It would be entirely incorrect and class reductionist to claim the only exercise of oppression in class society is that between the worker and capitalist. In fact, capitalism reproduces a host of repressive social relations including that of patriarchy, racism, homophobia, transphobia, national oppression etc. One generally under-examined oppressive apparatus is that of the ableist variety: encompassing all of the exclusionary, repressive, discriminatory, and detestable relations which those who are not physically-typical or neuro-typical often find themselves.
    What we need is an organization of solidarity for all those who find themselves in such conditions so that we might direct this struggle against ableism within capitalism towards the general aim of social revolution and the construction of socialism.
    The following was written by Elisa Lorde, and was originally postedhere. All work is that of the original author and has been re-posted for education and discussion with the expressed consent of said person.
    The social class system and inter-twinement of patriarchy embedded deeply with class contradictions need to be reanalyzed from the intersection of physical and mental health. Such an analysis requires the nascent analytical tools of proletarian feminism within Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. As proletarian feminism is being developed through intensive analysis of the various aspects of patriarchy within the history of class society founded in primitive accumulation, it is such that every known intersection of oppression must be addressed in order to develop the higher synthesis capable of emancipating every oppressed social grouping. A simple summary of proletarian feminism, which contains in itself contentious argument to several historic feminist and marxist trends, is that patriarchy is itself a base issue reified in the superstructure. Patriarchal oppression, under its concrete form in capitalism as it’s grown through each epoch of societal development, is exploitative in the base: reproductive labor being unpayable according to lacking surplus value production in the capital circuit, marital rape only recently recognizable due to marriage property contract, sexuality remains transactional in marriage’s complement of sex work and a globalized sex industry, the development of nations accorded national oppression under imperialism. This piece will tease out the manifestations of these systems of oppression on mental health without falling into the trap of bourgeois behavioral psychology, taking on an organic intellectualizing from within these intersections.
    It is observable that the exploitative scheme of society leads to health issues when ones social behavior is outside the normative, and we also know as students of revolutionary science that these issues cannot come out of the superstructure alone – the productive forces behind ableist oppression are base issues. At the base we have the composition of the permanently unemployed and longterm residents of the reserve army of labor which reflects in the superstructure, on the job, through ableist discrimination damaging worker solidarity. Plain proletarian exploitation and theft of surplus value, as Marx has shown in his earlier writings on political economy in the Manuscripts, renders proletarians into animalistic creatures subsisting for shelter, food, and human comfort – workers experience traumas at the basic social level. With capitalism dominating the world political economy since at least 1848 through WWI, an environmental core of subsistence limited the creative potential of working peoples’ social formations. It’s no wonder we have the abusive bourgeoisie assigning disorders on personalities, on moods, on minds and sexuality. Deviations from a willing employability in the army of workers acts as detriment on the profit motive of private capitalist enterprises lending to the long term unemployed. Inability to function in legal subsistence leads easily to the subsistence schemes in the dangerous class of the lumpen. When every worker is judged on these abilities by the bourgeoisie, and effectively blacklisted through the state assignment of disability and “anti-discrimination,” where such workers wear the Scarlet Letter of Insane, the party must discontinue viewing social ailments as individual issues and instead as something affecting collectivity.
    Physical limitations according to health affects practice and organizational approach for the party of the new type to handle correctly. It may be a safe assumption that every person in the masses handles a manifestation of patriarchy induced illness, physical and mental, which affects their ability to actualize as revolutionaries. The party, and so far in the US, pre party formations, must struggle to not side step these issues. It is easier to fall into a pattern of organizational gaslighting of mental illness and the other “hidden disabilities.” This is tailing the masses and their own individualized wellness programs which will weaken the party and ultimately we cannot serve the masses in this way. On the flip side of these contradictions, the party cannot act as psychologist or doctor on the masses – this is commandism which ultimates in cultism and personality driven politics. Our conduct must reflect an understanding of the problematics and liability these illnesses interject in organizing.
    In order to serve the masses to the fullest, to concentrate their ideas and strengthen the intermediate, the party must keep anti patriarchy politics in command in the cadre. The party must show compassion for well-being while keeping current with bourgeois medical practice, with bourgeois Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as the advanced practice, informing the party’s role and education among the masses and especially as the nationally oppressed have limited access to mental health care. The party must also limit liability that weakens it, working with the ill and consciously deciding with the unwell their limit of performing partisanship on behalf of the masses. To develop these institutions a Patient’s Front within the greater collectivity must be sanctioned and allowed a decision shaping potentiality. This task falls to proletarian feminism as the institution capable of analyzing how and responding to the primary contradiction of patriarchy manifested through synthesis of materialist intersectionality.
    http://anti-imperialism.com/2014/03/14/on-patient-solidarity-toward-a-new-patients-front/
     
  10. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in New Peoples Army \ Communist Party of the Philippines   
    NPA rebels own up deadly attacks in Philippines; vow to strike at plantations, mining firms
     
    DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 11, 2014) – Communist rebels have owned up to daring and deadly attacks on police and military targets in the southern Philippines that killed at least a dozen people.

    Dencio Madrigal, a spokesman for the New People's Army-Valentine Palamine Command, said the attacks on a police base and military forces in Davao del Sur’s Matanao town were punishment for their “reign of terror” against indigenous tribes and other communities opposing mining operations in the province.

    “The March 10 police headquarters raid and ambush demonstrated the NPA’s determination to punish the fascist AFP and PNP units operating in Davao del Sur and its boundaries. The 39th Infantry Battalion remains as security forces and fascist thugs of Glencore Xstrata - a mining giant poised to continue to exploit the nearly 100,000 hectares of mining-rich ancestral lands of Lumad Blaans and peasants in the region.”

    “The AFP and PNP units in Matanao and other towns in Davao del Sur deserved to be disarmed and punished because in their defense of Xstrata mining, they have killed, injured, discharged aerial bombs, all part of their reign of terror against the Lumad and settlers communities who have fiercely battled against mining since 1992 when the project was still under the Western Mining Corporation,” Madrigal said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

    Madrigal said rebel forces seized seven M16 automatic rifles and several ammunition vests, two 9 mm pistols, one .45-caliber pistol, and a radio communication set from the police headquarters. He said the raid left 3 policemen and two other lawmen were killed in the fighting that also left two rebels dead.

    He also accused the police of coddling drug pushers and other criminal syndicates in the province. “They are, thus, legitimate targets of the people’s army at any time of the year,” he said.

    Madrigal also condemned the arrest of 9 innocent civilians on suspicion they were part of the NPA forces that attacked in Matanao town. “Their failure at intelligence work, notwithstanding, the Matanao PNP trained its eyes against nine hapless civilians, namely, Renante Urot, Joey Alberca, Rufoboy Gama, Laudemer Gama, Noel Morangit, Roger Natonton, Julio Sales, John Rey Pabillo and Christopher Sales.”

    “The police tagged them as NPA members and arrested the group after the raid, at 7 in the morning. The civilians were on their way to attend a fiesta at Barangay Savoy in Matanao when they were illegitimately arrested,” he said.

    Madrigal said 9 soldiers were also killed, including Lt. Ludevico Alejo; and 7 more wounded after rebels remotely detonated a military truck carrying reinforcements in the village of Asbang. He also dismissed allegations by the Eastern Mindanao Command that the NPA has been using landmines. 

    “It is hypocritical for the Philippine government and the AFP to condemn the NPA’s continued use of command detonated explosives as the latter's main weapon of choice for guerrilla warfare. The country’s mining laws and the state’s counter-insurgency policy, the Oplan Bayanihan, have resulted in the massive and indiscriminate pillage of resources, killings, and displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilian communities,” he said, adding mining companies are legitimate target of the NPA.

    NPA targets

    Jorge Madlos, a regional rebel spokesman, has previously warned mining firms and fruit plantations in the southern Philippines.

    “Military operations in Mindanao have escalated and have become more extensive with the aim to thwart the ever growing and widespread people’s protest against destructive mining operations and plantations owned by imperialists, the big comprador bourgeois and big landlords. “

    “After having ravaged the environment by way of wanton logging, imperialists and the local ruling clique insidiously intend to inflict even greater devastation to the environment; and, to deprive, oppress and exploit further the Lumads, Moro, peasants and workers in order to satiate their greed for super profit,” he said.

    Madlos said among their targets are Russell Mines and Minerals, Apex Mining Corp. and Philco in southern Mindanao; Dolefil, Del Monte and Sumifru plantations in northern Mindanao; TVI Resource Development Philippines whose operations in ancestral domain of indigenous Subanen and Moro tribes are being opposed by the rebel group.

    “If one recalls, more than 400 families were forced to evacuate their ancestral lands because of TVI and the ruthless military operations that ensued to protect it in Buug, Zamboanga del Sur. In order to defend the people’s human rights and general wellbeing, the NPA launched tactical offensives against TVI as well as against units of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU protecting it, such as the ambush on February 2012 that hit elements of the army intelligence group operating on the behest of TVI and the imposition of the local government to allow TVI mining operations on Subanen ancestral lands is one of the bases the NPA raided on April 9, 2012 the PNP station in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur,” Madlos said.

    NPA rebels also intercepted a group of army soldiers who were using a borrowed truck from TVI and disarmed them in Diplahan town in Zamboanga Sibugay province two years ago. The rebels also burned the truck before releasing the soldiers.

    “In view of these events, the NDFP in Mindanao calls upon the Lumad and Moro peoples, peasants and workers, religious and other sectors to further strengthen their unity and their courage to oppose the interests of imperialist mines and plantations, which are exceedingly damaging to Mindanao, to its people and to the environment. We call upon the units of the NPA in Mindanao to be ever more daring in their defense of people’s interests against the greed and rapacity of the local ruling classes and their imperialist master,” Madlos said. 

    TVI Resource Development Philippines has repeatedly denied all accusations against them. It recently ended its gold mining operation in Mount Canatuan in Zamboanga del Norte’s Siocon town after several years of operations and now has a gold-silver project in the town of Bayog in Zamboanga del Sur province and a nickel plant in Agusan del Norte province.

    It is among mining companies operating in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte that had been attacked in the past by Muslim and communist rebels. (Mindanao Examiner)
     
    http://www.mindanaoexaminer.com/news.php?news_id=20140311105212
  11. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in New Peoples Army \ Communist Party of the Philippines   
    Block the US-Aquino regime's cha-cha schemto watch clip click link below
     

  12. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in New Peoples Army \ Communist Party of the Philippines   
    Report from Ka Maria a formidable Philippines fighter and thinker
     

  13. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in New Peoples Army \ Communist Party of the Philippines   
    CPP denounces Aquino regime for offering US access to military bases
     
    The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the Aquino regime for selling out Philippine sovereignty in forging a new military agreement with the US government that is set to bolster the presence of US troops in the Philippines by officially granting them the privilege of setting up military facilities in the country.
     
    Negotiations between security and military officials of the Obama and Aquino regimes are being rushed to prepare the treaty tentatively known as the Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation in order to have it ready for presentation during the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama in April.
     
    “The new military treaty is bound to be as perfidious and violative of Philippine sovereignty as all previous agreements such as the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Military Bases Agreement and the Visiting Forces Agreement,” said the CPP.
     
    “For over three years now, the Aquino regime has displayed out and out puppetry to the US military and government that so-called negotiations with its imperialist master can only turn out to be farce.”
     
    In news reports today, negotiators of the Aquino regime said the most recent draft of the military agreement will allow the US military to set up facilities within AFP military camps or bases.
     
    “This agreement is a throwback to the era of US military bases, where thousands of US combat troops, their warships, jetfighters, communication facilities, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction were stationed within the country, and where the bases were used as launching pads for aggression in defense of US interests,” said the CPP.
     
    “The so-called enhanced cooperation will be bringing back the Military Bases Agreement and worse, allow the US military access to facilities practically all over the country,” pointed out the CPP. “Wherever the AFP is, the US military can be also. Wherever the AFP is not, the US military can finance the AFP to set up or expand its military camps.”
     
    The CPP cited the Aquino regime’s rush to construct and expand facilities within and around the AFP’s naval bases in Oyster and Ulugan Bays, both in Palawan, in order to address the demand for larger and more modern ports to accomodate the increasing number of US warships docking in the Philippines. “Thus, the funds of the AFP modernization program are essentially being used to upgrade facilities to be used by the US military.”
     
    “Aquino’s Amboy officials are fooling the people when they claim that the servant who prepares the best room for his master can and will demand his master to let him enter the room to look around to make sure that the master will follow his house rules,” said the CPP. “The pretentious master can allow his servant to look around to make him feel as if he actually owns his home, but will not actually allow the servant to scrutinize his luggage.”
     
    “How can the Filipino people ever trust the Philippine military and the puppet Philippine government to defend national sovereignty in the face of its obsequiousness to the US military which supplies its weaponry and provides for its “modernization,” training and indoctrination,” said the CPP.
     
    “Negotiations between the US military and the Aquino regime have been going on for close to two years now, yet very scant information as to the details of the draft agreement has been made public. Aquino’s defense and military negotiators must be held responsible for keeping the Filipino people in the dark on a matter of crucial importance as one involving the country’s sovereignty.”
     
    CPP Information Bureau
     
     
     
    MORE…
     
    http://www.ndfp.net/web2014/index.ph...military-bases
  14. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Lugh Ildánach in FARC–EP Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — Ejército del Pueblo   
    Colombian Army Murdered Civilians To Boost “FARC” Body Count
    BOGOTA – These were the words allegedly uttered by a former commander of the Colombian Army, General Mario Montoya: ”Take them down, take them down. Don’t bring me prisoners. And if there is nobody down [sic], just find a way.”
    Such is the testimony of jailed former captain Enrique Guevara Cantillo who has been making allegations about the complicity of senior military figures in the affair of “False Positives,” the extra-judicial killings of civilians that have tarnished the Colombian Army’s reputation.
    The statements made by Guevara, a soldier until 2004 but also a member of a paramilitary gang beginning in 1998, were published last month on the website Las2Orillas (hacked that day to prevent their diffusion).
    The words contain assertions that confirm what many of us have long suspected: that the early successes of President Uribe’s Democratic Security policies, which dramatically curbed violence and crime in Colombia, were the fruit of an alliance between the Armed Forces and right-wing paramilitaries. It seems the unresolved scandal of False Positives – hapless civilians murdered and later “counted” as guerrillas shot in combat - was a policy of the Colombian state.
    Guevara was the face of this alliance, simultaneously belonging to two armed groups, with full knowledge of his commanding officers and of paramilitaries, he says. Among paramilitaries, the captain was known as 101, and considered a very close associate of Jorge 40, a paramilitary chief and trafficker extradited to the United States in 2008. Jorge 40 is suspected of taking part in or ordering several massacres, and has confessed to at least one – in that case, of 40 fishermen.
    “Rogues,” really?
    The former captain spoke about his activities in those years in an interview with the journalist Gonzalo Guillén given in a prison in the port of Barranquilla in September 2013, but revealed only now. These he said, included implementing General Montoya’s direct orders to execute “false positives.”
    Let’s look at some of Guevara’s revelations. The former captain firstly describes a meeting from 2002 held in the Sierra Nevada national park in northern Colombia, at a time when FARC kidnappings were one of the country’s main problems. The Army and paramilitaries decided to divide that area and coordinate their operations, and by 2004, kidnappings had dropped substantially. The agreement made then included Captain Guevara leading paramilitaries dressed as professional soldiers during operations.
    Any description of the Democratic Security policy must recognize that the alliance between the military and paramiltaries was neither anomalous nor exceptional, but an integral part of the strategy to fight the guerrillas in Colombia. The successes attained in reducing crimes such as kidnapping were the result of that illegal alliance.
    Secondly, “false positive” killings followed pressures from the Presidential office, which wantedquantifiable results in the fight against FARC. What Guevara Cantillo has said is that General Montoya was constantly asking for casualties, even if they were not guerrillas killed in combat. 
    The former captain describes the system as follows: Senior officials or commanders demanded deaths, and officers sometimes coordinated with paramilitaries who should be killed, then legalized their victims as “false positives,”through written orders to carry out fictitious operations. Those executing “false positives” were junior officers and the rank-and-file troops.
    Explanations given about “rogue elements” killing to claim promised rewards do not take into account the scale of this problem. State institutions would be shaken in their entirety if there were a public showdown over this issue – which is why it is merely picked at on its peripheries.
    General Montoya and Colonel Édgar Iván Quiñones Cárdenas (a major when Guevara was captain, and today the deputy-head of the Army’s Ninth Brigade) are the officers most damaged by Guevara’s allegations.
    At one point, we find out that the State ordered a halt to the practice of “false positives.” If there had not been complicity at all levels, that order would not have been followed so quickly by different levels of the military hierarchy. Those so-called “rogue elements” would have merrily continued their killing spree.
     
    MORE…
    http://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/did-colombia-murder-innocents-to-boost-the-farc-body-count-/farc-murder-accomplice-government/c1s15134/#.UyR1Oc5Wuf4
     
  15. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Nando: History's Cruelty towards Trotskyism   
    I feel i need to start with a dozen caveats. History has not exactly been kind toward revolution in general -- and the disappearance of socialist countries and movements generally is a large problems.
    But I'm referring to a particular problem with the "record" of trotskyism as a political theory since it was codified by the fourth international during Trotsky's last years.
    Radical Eyes wrote that he/she wanted,
    "....bit more on how and why you find the core trotskyist concepts that you mention (”permanent revolution, program of transitional demands, emphasis on working class trade unionism, the theory of bureucratic degeneration of the Russian revolution”) are in your view “not correct.”
    "I doubt that I am the only one out here who could benefit from some–principled and non-sectarian–back and forth about any of these concepts.
    "Any takers? Or defenders of these concepts for that matter?"
     
     
    Ok, i'll give it a try. But with an additional caveat: That I also think there is very limited value toward engaging these issues in this way. I worry that the thread that emerges from a post like this might prove that. But, then, if we confine it to just one thread, no great harm done.... right?
    For those seeking a detailed Maoist critique of the historic issues around Trotskyism, I suggest “On Trotskyism: Problems of theory and history” by Kostas Mavrakis (luckily available online thanks to Marx2Mao!)– which explores those issues with substance and integrity. And which I have found quite convincing (as opposed to the far more dogmatic, Stalin-era mythology, “Trotskyism: Counterevolution in Disguise,” by M.J. Ogrin — a work and a history which would be embarassing for communists if it was not so tragic and damaging.
    As I argued in an accompanying post ("On Engagement and Audience"): I think we need to engage on the terrain of today, not the terrain of 1924 or 1936 or....
     
    But with that as a warning, I'd like to poke at questions Radical Eyes is interested in....
    Just a Few Examples of History's Cruelty 
    1) It was said (by Trotskyists in the 1940s), that the Comintern had beocme a counterrevolutionary force, and so any revolutions after world war 2 would only arrive from non-stalinist movements.
    In fact Mao (breaking with stalin’s directives) led the worlds second great socialist revolution in 1949. Trotskyists, facing this dilemma had two “logical” ways to go: some simply said that china had not had a socialist revolution, others (associated with the Forurth International leader Pablo) announced that it was possible to have revolution “with a blunt instrument” — i.e. without a trotskyist vanguard leading. (It was a verdict with obvious liquidationist implications for Trotskyism as a trend, and led to an effort to "enter" the socalled "stalinist parties" around the world). 
    2) Trotskyism’s theory of permanent revolution including a continuation of previous European socialist thought on the peasantry (which saw them as largely conservative, and only capable of revolutionary activity in close conjuncture with an urban working class uprising leading the way.) It had a particularly rigid view of what "working class leadership" meant in our epoch -- seeing it often in terms requiring literally leadership by urban industrial workers (a uncreative set of assumptions, sometimes shared by Stalin's comintern, that proved limiting, even devastating,  in the colonial world).
    In fact (again especially after World War 2) the vast anti-colonial upsurge (spearheaded by China, and rippling through Indochina, Korea, India, Latin America, the Middle East and africa) showed that reality was quite a bit more complex: in many places anti-feudal agrarian revolution of peasants (especially under communist leadership) played a far more dynamic role than allowed in “classic” trotskyist theory (or in the politics of the trotskyists of those times).
    The theory of permanent revolution viewed Mao's New Democracy as a form of "class collaboration" (because Mao saw a progressive anti-feudal role for sections of the relatively small, weak national bourgeoisie in China). But, there too, the development of the Chinese revolution, the transition from New Democracy to socialism, the development of class struggle, the emergence of a class of capitalist roaders as the basis of restoration (not the national bourgeoisie which was fairly peacefully absorbed into the socialist economy)... all of these things ended that debate (in practice if not always in theory) for those who cared to look.
    3) A core trotskyist theory was that it was impossible to have “socialism in one country” — in fact, over the sweep of the twentieth century, it was revealed that it was quite possible to establish and deepen a socialist mode of production (at least in one or two large socialist countries), but (as Mao said) it was not possible to “fully consolidate socialism” or move onto communism itself, without the overthrow of imperialism on a world scale.
    The early Trotskyist assumption (that socialist revolution could not succeed in stabilizing itself in the Soviet Union, much less in a country like china, without revolution in the “advanced countries” providing the most advanced forces of production) proved to be mistaken.
    Clearly, the fact that revolution has (so far) taken place one country at a time has been a problem of socialist transition, filled with real and frustrating difficulties for communists. But it would be hard to argue today (after the experience of a century) that it is impossible to “take the socialist road” in one country, while supporting the advance of socialist revolution worldwide.
    4) the Trotskyist theory of a degenerated workers state — holds that the Soviet Union (after 1924) became a new form of society led by a new kind of social stratum (i.e. that it was neither capitalist, nor truly socialist, neither led by the capitallists, nor by the revolutionary proletariat). It was held (by trotkyists) that it was a “workers state” but one that had degenerated (by being usurped by political representatives of a bureaucratic stratum.)
    This was already a problem by the time Trotsky was assassinated -- because his assumption was (understandably) that a bureaucratic stratum could not rule in a stable way, and the society would fall into crisis and inevitably career one way or another -- i.e. toward capitalism or socialism, toward rule by the bourgeoisie or the proletariat.
    As time went on, (first years, then decades) and as the Soviet Union went through major changes, invasion and political struggles (from 1924 to 1992) — it became more and more incredible to think that you had a society where the nature of its economic base (i.e. the non-capitalist economic forms emerging from the October revolution) were being administered (and even defended) by a ruling stratum that was neither capitalist nor socialist.
    (How long can a society hang in a “bonapartist” limbo, with neither capitaist nor proletarian class exercising dictatorship in the modern world?)
    In short: This was not a correct theory. The whole idea of a "workers state" going through "degeneration" has a whiff of platonic idealism (as if there is some ideal "workers state" and the reality we experience is its tarnished, degenerated manifestation. Second, Stalin proved, over the 1930s, to be a quite ferocious overseer of the bureaucracy, hardly their gray protector! And third, there was a conceptual problem with insisting that a large country was neither fish nor fowl, and its state not ruled by any specific class. I suppose such theories can exist, but it is hard to reconcile with Marxist views on the nature of the state. And finally, this "bureaucratic" schema proved very sterile when it came to understanding the major leaps and changes actually happening (in the real politics) of the Soviet Union, or in China, or Eastern Europe or Cuba (each of which were, in my opinion, radically different from each other in nature and development). it was a cookie cutter approach (with the SU being the degenerate one, and the others being "deformed workers states" etc.)
    In any case, some trotskyists (the Shachtmanites of the "Third Camp" -- between "Stalinism" and imperialism) changed their minds, saying that the rise of Stalin had represented the rise of a new capitalist class (and so, by logical extension, if not particularly materialist analysis, they also concluded that the great Chinese revolution was jut another capitalist, nationalist power grab, not a socialist revolution.)
    History gave another blow to this theory of a “degenerated workers state” as the Gorbachev years gave over to openly capitlaist forms. For Maoists this was “state monopoly capitalism becoming more openly private-traditional monopoly capitalism” — i.e. the change was largely in “form” (juridical form) of ownership (the socalled “enfranchisement of the nomenclatura”). But for trotskyists, this represented the destructions of the long-standing non-capitalist base (which had remained, in their opinion for seventy years fixed in its nature) without the civil wars and massive struggles that they predicted (and insisted) HAD to accompany a restoration of capitalism. Caught in this logical cunundrum (i.e. it CAN'T become capitalist without some civil war upheaval) some schools of Trotskyists STILL insist that Russia and China can't yet  be  capitalist….facts be damned. hmmmm.
    My point here again is that history has not been kind to the three or four main theoretical postulates of “classic” trotskyism.
    * * * * * * * *
    All these views have been fairly well and systematically critiqued (from many sides), over the years (including by opposing schools of  trotskyism, or those departing trotskyism).
    And the outcome of all these events themselves (the victory of china, the exprience of socialist road in USSR and china, the process of restoration, the experience of peasants in the world’s anti-colonial and antifeudal upsurges) all point strongly away from the assumptions, predictions and proposals of the Trotskyist framework.
    Put another way: trotskyism was aimed (in many ways) at creating a politics for the European trade union movements (that had their heyday in the early twentieth century). but the world revolution moved farther and farther away from those movements, and the development of imperialism cemented those movements more and more firmly to social democratic politics. Trotskyism mainly survives today where some remaining  trade unionist hope flickers amid the debris surrounding British Labor “traditions” or (even more fragile)  in a few caucuses in the few unionised industries of the U.S.
    I realize that these few paragraphs are, just that, a few paragraphs. They are not a serious disputation of trotskyist theories — but a sketch of why communists view trotskyism was a false start, and a mistaken direction, for any revolutionary aspirations. (Leaving aside here the important historical disputes within the Soviet Union, where, i believe, Trotsky also took basically the wrong stand on a wide range of issues.)
    Trotskyism has found itself in a serious, terminal dead end — dissipating as a movement. It regularly attracts people who want radical change, but who are attracted to a socialism with major strains of bourgeois democratic and social democratic thinking.
    But as a serious movement, it has made little progress anywhere. It has the dubious distinction of being a movement whose heyday was 1919 when Trotsky was head of the Red Army -- a generation before it came into being as an organized trend through the stillborn fourth international of the late 1930s. And if anything Trotskyism's “health” as a political contender has gotten steadily worse because of the objective conundrums mentioned above — that became splitting points, famously shattering trotskyism into countless warring factions with very little uniting them. (Even Trotskyists joke that "what do you fall two trotskyists in a room? The ideal making for three trotskyist groups." and so on.)
    All that said, the experience of Trotskyists (including in the U.S.) is hardly confined to their crisis of theory. There is clearly much to learn from some of the scholarly work done by various trotskyists (including Tariq Ali, or Mike Davis or ), and there are probably things to sum up from the attempts by some trotskyists to give mouth-to-mouth to American rank-and-file trade unionism over the last forty years. And that probably doesn't even start the list of things worth knowing about.
    http://kasamaproject.org/history/981-13nando-history-s-cruelty-towards-trotskyism
  16. Like
    lenin86 reacted to Fodla32 in Nepal Communist Party (Maoist)   
    Seems to be a quite rational assessment. If the base cannot support a successful armed struggle, then the priority is to strengthen the base.
  17. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Nepal Communist Party (Maoist)   
    Nepal’s Communist Party-Maoist Will Not Take Up Arms
     
    NEW DELHI: Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist will not take up arms and focus more on issues of livelihood, health and education of the people. It has also decided to mobilize people to put pressure on the lawmakers to write a pro-people constitution. The immediate focus of its leaders is to put the party structure in order, which had shattered during the election boycott programme.
     
    A senior politburo member said, “although our boycott programme was successful, nevertheless, we have also learnt about our weaknesses. One of those is that our party has become like an umbrella. It has a weak base which cannot hold the ‘top’. We have more leaders than cadres. Post election, the party is focused on giving it a shape of a pyramid.”
     
    The party, which is led by Mohan Baidya aka ‘Kiran’, is gearing up for its General Convention which is scheduled in May this year. The Convention is called to chalk out a framework for its activities in current situation. The leader, who was in India to review the party’s functioning here said, “our party still thinks that an all party round table conference is the best way to move forward in the direction of constitution writing.”
     
    Refuting the claim that more than 70 per cent people voted in the election Mohan Baidya said, the Election Commission changed its facts thrice in a matter of hours and has still not come up with the exact figure. There was not more than 45 per cent voting across Nepal.
     
    He said, “those who claim that the election to the second Constituent Assembly was a success should consider the facts that there were more than four thousand incidents of bomb blasts during elections and the government was not able to stop or arrest anybody. Ambassadors and High Commissioners of 20 countries warned all the boycotting parties with dire consequences but we carried on with our programmes. Even the Supreme Court intervened and called the boycott unlawful but we didn’t abide.”
     
    FrontPage
    Claiming that the Prachanda led Maoist has no future in Nepal the leader said that after the election the ‘two Maoist parties’ situation has ended and his party has emerged as the real pro people force. “We have led the 10 year long People’s War in Nepal to uproot the Monarchy and establish Socialism. The second task remains unfinished due to the betrayal of Prachanda and Baburam clique however now that we have ousted them the party leadership is committed to complete the left task”, he said.
     
    The leader claimed that post 2008 Nepal has lost its strategic importance. It has become an Indian Colony. Previously, the party had viewed Nepal as a semi-feudal semi-colonial country but now it sees Nepal as a semi-feudal and neo-colonial country. “Hence, we have also changed our political strategy.”
     
    He said that there was no question of taking up arms as situation had thoroughly changed inside and outside Nepal. The world has become multi- polar and the situation is favourable for peaceful struggle.
     
    Calling the news of differences in his party ‘rumour’, he said, “we are the only party in Nepal which is united politically and ideologically. Soon we will emerge as the biggest power centre in Nepal”.
     
    http://thecitizen.in/city/nepals-communist-party-maoist-will-not-take-up-arms
  18. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Reports from the Indian Maoist Insurgency   
    Lookout circular for ‘Maoists’

    Cases registered against them in various police stations in Wayanad

    Wayanad police chief Putta Vimaladitya on Saturday issued a lookout circular (LOC) against 10 suspected Maoists in connection with cases registered against them in various police stations in the district. The police identified the Maoists as Vikram Gowda; Latha; Kanya, alias Kanyakumari; Sundari; Roopesh; Sinoj; Jayanna; Ravi alias Raveendra; Jagadeesha; and Velmurugan. The first sighting of the Maoists was reported at Karimkanni Kattunayakka colony in the Padinharethara police station limits on August 14, 2013. The tribespeople of the colony reported that Maoist activists under the Western Ghat special zone committee had disbursed pamphlets, and organised a class for them nearly three days ago.

    Though nearly seven such instances were reported at various places under the Vythiri, Meppadi, Padinharethara, and Vellamunda police station limits in seven months, the police were yet to find any evidence of the Maoists presence. The last incident in the series was at Kodampara colony at Kunhome in the Vellamunda police station limits on February 5 this year. Mr. Vimaladitya said the Maoists were wanted in many cases registered in police stations in the district. They had been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and Section 25 of the Arms Act.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/lookout-circular-for-maoists/article5764879.ece

    Tight security in Malkangiri before polls

    Following the recent release of an audio tape by top Maoist leader Poonam Chand urging the people to boycott the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in April, security has been beefed up in the entire Malkangiri district. According to Malkangiri SP Akhileswar Singh, the District Voluntary Force (DVF), Special Operation Group (SOG), Armed Police Reserve (APR) units and the district police have been kept on high alert. Besides, four BSF battalions have been deployed at the sensitive areas of Gobindapalli, Mathili, Katameta, Pandripani, Malkangiri Sadar, MV-79, Padia, Chitrakonda and Motu where they have set up camps, the SP said, adding the security personnel have also kept a tight vigil in the areas bordering Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

    http://odishasuntimes.com/36570/tight-security-malkangiri-polls/
  19. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Reports from the Indian Maoist Insurgency   
    Six phase polling in Bihar for better force availability
    With an aim to guard Naxal-hit areas, Bihar’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ajay V Nayak said on Wednesday that polling will be spread over six phases so that the central paramilitary forces could be made available on “d-day” in these areas. “The number of phases had to be increased to six in Bihar because we do not have adequate Central Paramilitary Forces as demanded and this could be made available from other areas for smooth conduct of elections particularly in the Maoists infested areas,” Nayak told reporters.
    “Naxal-affected areas of Bihar contiguous to Jharkhand will have polls together on April 10 to facilitate better security availability,” he said explaining the reasons for expanding polling to six days in Bihar.
    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/six-phase-polling-in-bihar-for-better-force-availability/
    Cache of explosives recovered in MP
    Balaghat (MP), Mar 5 (PTI) A cache of explosives was recovered from Mandai forest area in naxal-infested Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh, police said today. Acting on a tip-off, police searched Mandai forest area on Chilpi road bordering Chhattisgarh yesterday and recovered an iron container, two batteries (12 volt), an electronic detonator, TNT 18.700 kg, 1 kg glass pieces, six kg urea, 22 feet electric wire and naxal pamphlets, Balaghat Superintendent of Police (SP) Gaurav Tiwari told reporters here.
    http://www.ptinews.com/news/4470118_Cache-of-explosives-recovered-in-MP.html
    Odisha seeks more forces for LS, assembly polls on April 10, 17
    Bhubaneswar: Odisha has sought additional security forces to ensure free and fair Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on April 10 and April 17, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said on Wednesday. “We have already 89 companies of central para-military force in the state. We have sought additional force to conduct free and fair elections in both the Naxal hit areas and other parts of the state,” Mona Sharma, the CEO, Odisha, told reporters.
    http://zeenews.india.com/news/odisha/odisha-seeks-more-forces-for-ls-assembly-polls-on-april-10-17_915912.html
    RPF/PLA cadre nabbed, explosives seized
    Imphal, March 04 2014 : A team of Imphal West District Police commandos arrested one active member of RPF/PLA identified as Huimi Ningshen (38) s/o Dickson Ningshen of Kangpat Khunou, Ukhrul district but presently staying in a rented house of Tabitha Ningshen of Chingmeirong Mamang Leikai on March 2, said a press release issued by SP/NAB, Manipur cum PRO, Police Department. Following his revelation, one IED weighing about 1.5 kg, seven battery sets, five detonators, one receiver and one remote control device were seized from the rented house of Sukumaya Chithung (46) w/o Ngayaomi Cithung of Tangkhul Avenue.
    http://e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=Snipp12..050314.mar14
    http://www.signalfire.org/
     
  20. Like
    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Reports from the Indian Maoist Insurgency   
    Undertrial Naxal serving life sentence escapes from court

    Two prisoners, including a hardcore Maoist serving life sentence, escaped from court premises at Ghatsila, around 45 km from Jamshedpur on Monday, a senior police officer said.
    CPI (Maoist)'s Phogra Munda, serving life sentence in a murder case as well as facing trial in several other cases in Ghorabandha, Shyamsunderpur and other police stations in Maoist-affected Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum, managed to escape soon after production in court, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Shailendra Kumar Sinha said.
    An undertrial Hopna Baske also managed to hoodwink the guards, he said. Sinha said that the duo escaped from the court cell. The adjoining police stations have been alerted and patrolling was intensified, he said.
     
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    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Reports from the Indian Maoist Insurgency   
    Security forces get special training to keep Maoists in check
    Jharkhand Police started special training sessions for security forces to handle improvised explosive devices (IEDs) after Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) warned the state police regarding the nefarious plans of the CPI-Maoists to disrupt Lok Sabha elections. According to the guidelines provided by the MHA, the training is being provided to all security personnel. In the first phase of training session, the security forces will be trained to maintain law and order during elections. “I have a deadline to complete the training before the election process is initiated,” said Anurag Gupta, inspector general of police and Jharkhand Police spokesperson.
    Before the beginning training session, state police have also imparted training to the appointed trainers. Under the supervision of IG training Umesh Kumar Singh, the trainers were taught on IED safety protocols. The elite anti-Naxal force Jharkhand Jaguar (JJ) is being provided special training to detect and defuse IEDs. MHA wrote to the state police and informed that the banned outfit was ready to disrupt the peaceful elections in the state and they named their mission ‘Chunao Bahiskar’. Maoists were planning to ambush security forces, polling centres, police stations and polling parties in the state, the letter said. MHA has directed the state police to sensitise security forces and polling parties to strictly comply with the security drill and standard operation procedure. It also instructed road opening parties to remain alert to avoid any untoward incident.
    Since 14 years, around 450 security personnel have lost their lives in various anti-insurgency operations. Maximum of them were killed in IED balsts.
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ranchi/security-forces-get-special-training-to-keep-maoists-in-check/article1-1190354.aspx
    Centre tells forces to remain alert in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand
    The Centre has directed security forces deployed in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to tighten vigil in the three states in view of intelligence reports which suggested that Naxals would try to carry out subversive attacks in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. Worried over the plans of Maoists who may target political rallies and prominent political personalities, the Home Ministry has asked the paramilitary forces deployed in the three states to take maximum precautions and work inclose coordination with the state police to foil any attempt by the rebels to disturb peace, official sources said today.
    The intelligence inputs suggested that the Naxals may carry out spectacular attacks similar to the strike on a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh before the state assembly polls in May 2013 which eliminated several top state leaders of the party. Nearly 30 people, including Chhattisgarh PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel and former Union Minister V C Shukla, were killed in that attack. Besides, in 2013, there were 383 incidents of violence in Jharkhand in which 150 civilians and security personnel were killed and there were 353 such cases in Chhattisgarh where 110 people lost their lives. In Bihar, 69 people, including security personnel, lost their lives in 176 incidents of violence in 2013.
    The Home Ministry has already identified 13 worst Naxal- affected districts in Jharkhand as highly sensitive. There are eight highly sensitive districts in Chhattisgarh and five highly sensitive districts in Bihar. Concerned over high incidents of violence by Naxals, the government has asked the Election Commission to conduct the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in these 26 districts, besides seven other districts, in the first phase to ensure maximum security and minimum casualties. However, it is the EC which will take a final call on the poll schedule. More than 1.20 lakh central paramilitary personnel, in addition to state police forces, are expected to be deployed for the multi-phased Lok Sabha polls which are likely to be held in April-May.
    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-centre-tells-forces-to-remain-alert-in-bihar-chhattisgarh-jharkhand-1966497
    http://www.signalfire.org/
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    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Reports from the Indian Maoist Insurgency   
    Naxal conduit providing medical aid to cadres arrested in Raipur
    Continuing its drive to weaken the urban network of Maoists, Chhattisgarh police have arrested from Raipur another naxal conduit who was providing medical aid to the cadres as a registered medical practitioner. Shatrughan Manilal Vaishnav alias Bhola Doctor (40), a native of Bande police station area of Kanker district in North Bastar, was nabbed from Pachpedi Naka area in the state capital last evening, a senior police official said. The accused had been associated with hardcore naxals since 2000, the official added.
    After his interrogation, it came to light that he has connection with top Maoist cadres of Bastar and Gadchiroli. According to the official, the conduit, working as a doctor, was allegedly ensuring medical facilities to Maoists, and also involved in arranging treatment facilities for the injured cadres at the hospitals in urban areas. Vaishnav was also engaged in procuring explosives, arms, medicines, uniforms and other items of daily use.
    Moreover, he also played a vital role in arranging meetings of contractors, businessmen, transporters with Maoists in restive pockets of Bastar region. Vaishnav was also associated with Babulal Sharma and Tarak Kundu, who were arrested few months back in Raipur, and extorted money from Tendu leaves contractors for Maoists. Notably, Sharma and Kundu were arrested in Raipur’s Shankar Nagar area alongwith detonators and material used to prepare explosives in August last year. Around 17 naxal conduits had been arrested from different locations of the state in the past two months, he said.
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/naxal-conduit-providing-medical-aid-to-cadres-arrested-in-raipur/455274-3-235.html
    50 kg IEDs recovered, defused in Rayagada
    Two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) weighing 25 kg each, 32 gelatin sticks, as many electric detonators and other bomb making items were recovered from a Naxal hideout in the Tikarhamsa-Seshkal area of Rayagada district during combing operations by CRPF forces and state police personnel in the early hours today, the sources said.
    http://odishasuntimes.com/35044/50-kg-ieds-recovered-diffused-rayagada/
    Splinter group kills Latehar Maoist commander
    RANCHI: A Maoist subzonal commander was killed on the border of Latehar and Garhwa district, around 194km from here late on Friday. The body of Kameshwar Singh alias Brajeshji, 35, was found from a forest under Chiniya police station area of Garhwa on Saturday. He had several bullet injuries in his chest. Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad, a Maoist splinter group has claimed responsibility for the murder. Villagers spotted the body and informed police immediately.
    Garhwa SP Sudhir Kumar Jha said, “Villagers informed us about the body following which we sent our patrolling parties to the site. The victim is reportedly a subzonal-level Maoist commander, who was active in the areas bordering Latehar. It appears to be a case of gang rivalry,” said Jha. Police have recovered a note from the pocket of the deceased. “In the note, JJMP claimed that the man was killed because he was trying to create trouble for them,” said Jha.
    No weapons were found from the site, which indicates that they could have been snatched away by the assailants. “Our sources from Latehar identified him as Kameshwar Singh,” added Jha. Maoists, JJMP and Tritiya Prastuti Committee are locked in a war of supremacy in areas bordering Garhwa and Latehar. They collect money from tendu leaf dealers, contractors and businessmen in the area. A police officer said the body was found in Chiniya area, which is dominated by JJMP. “It is likely that the JJMP rebels kidnapped him from Latehar (where Maoists enjoy a dominance) and dragged him across the border before killing him,” he said. Jha said, “An investigation has been launched into the incident.”
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/Splinter-group-kills-Latehar-Maoist-commander/articleshow/31264200.cms
    http://www.signalfire.org/
     
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    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Reports from the Indian Maoist Insurgency   
    Get jailed comrades out, legally or illegally
    September 17, 2013
    By jeffrey dean

    All routes, legal and illegal, must be explored to get jailed Maoist leaders out, CPI(Maoist) top gun Muppalla Lakshmana Rao aka Ganapathy has written in a secret letter to his comrades.
    This is critical to fill the leadership crisis in the outfit, the CPI(Maoist) general secretary has made clear in his 17-page letter.
    The task of the outfit’s leaders outside jail is to help the jailed comrades come out, either by obtaining bail or by jailbreak.
    As an example of the ‘illegal’ means, he has mentioned the Chaibasa jailbreak on January 17, 2011, when three senior rebel leaders of the Jharkhand unit — Motilal Soren, Raghunath Hembram and Mangru Mahato — escaped by cutting the ventilators of their cells and jail godown.
    On page 11, Ganapathy writes, “A few comrades have broken jails, ridiculing the enemy’s stern vigilance and surveillance system that are becoming stricter and more rigid day by day and joined the revolutionary movement again.”
    Over the past three years, the CPI(Maoist) has suffered severe loss of leadership with senior leaders Kishenji and Azad being killed in police encounters, and Kobad Ghandy, Amitabh Bagchi, Saheb Chatterjee ending up in jail.
    Except three, all central committee leaders of the outfit who worked outside the guerilla zones have been arrested or killed, leading to a leadership crisis, Ganapathy admits.
    The shadowy Ganapathy’s call to his cadre is likely to create a flutter. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has termed Maoist insurgency, which began in the late 1960s, the country’s “greatest internal security challenge”.
    Ganapathy also asked jailed comrades to keep their “revolutionary spirit” intact.
    “Jails must be turned into centres of political training and struggle… we hope that all comrades will try to carry on studies with a long term view, to improve physical fitness, to preserve health, to write and send articles in various forms to the party magazines, to do literary work, to write experiences and send to the party and to well utilise the time in several ways.”
    Ganapathy’s letter has also analysed in detail the condition of the Maoist movement across the country, dissecting the reasons for the setbacks it has faced between 2010 and 2013.
    The CPI(Maoist) boss is believed to be in a hideout in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.

    MORE…
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-...1-1122870.aspx
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    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in Nepal Communist Party (Maoist)   
    CPN-Maoist building base for protests

    KATHMANDU, MAR 09 – The CPN-Maoist has begun a nationwide campaign to train its cadres on a fresh protest against the Constituent Assembly. The party leadership is currently holding district-level meetings and restructuring its organisation to strengthen local committees across the country. The campaign follows the decisions of the party’s central committee and other subsequent meetings that stressed a need for stronger structure at the lower level.

    The party believes that its plans to foil the November 19 CA election failed due to its ‘weak organisation’ at the lower level. CPN-Maoist top leaders including Chairman Mohan Baidya, Vice-chairman CP Gajurel, General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa and Secretaries Dev Gurung and Netra Bikram Chand have been visiting districts to train cadres in the recent weeks. Baidya and Chand are currently in the western region to orient cadres in districts and restructure committees. Addressing an inaugural session of the Rupandehi district committee meeting on Friday, Baidya slammed PM Sushil Koirala for giving controversial remarks on Tanakpur. He said his party will collaborate with other parties to struggle for “national integrity and sovereignty”.

    CPN-Maoist leaders said they will kick-start protests across the country as soon as the constitution writing process begins. The party demands that the government and major parties hold an all-party round-table for drafting a new constitution. Members of the CPN-Maoist-led 33-party alliance said they are preparing for a stern protest as the major parties “are reluctant to incorporate us in the CA ”. The parties say they are ready to participate in constitution-writing if they are given proper space. “The government must seek an alternative to the CA for us to participate in statue writing. If that happens, we are eager to engage with them,” said Mani Thapa of CPN-Revolutionary.

    http://www.ekantipur.com/2014/03/09/capital/cpn-maoist-building-base-for-protests/386434.html
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    lenin86 got a reaction from Fodla32 in PKK sympathizers clash with police in southeastern Turkey   
    PKK sympathizers clash with police in southeastern Turkey
    A group of sympathizers of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) clashed with police on Saturday night in the Silopi district of the southeastern Turkish province of Şırnak. The group first blocked the İpek Yolu Highway connecting Silopi to Habur, building barricades out of stones and barrels and conducting identity checks. When police attempted to disperse the crowd and re-open the road to traffic, the protesters proceeded to İstiklal Avenue and continued their demonstration there. The protest turned violent after demonstrators hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at the riot police and police vehicles.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-341561-pkk-sympathizers-clash-with-police-in-southeastern-turkey.html
     
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