KOE: Ideological and political issues arising with the development of the movements on an international level (2006)

KOE: Ideological and political issues arising with the development of the movements on an international level (2006)

[From the Communist Organization of Greece]

The two “camps”

During the past five years a series of ideological and political issues arose, relating to choices, orientations, experiences, dilemmas and hardships faced by the multiform resistance and action of millions of people against neo-liberalism, war and imperialism. It could not have been otherwise, since different opinions, lines and ideological currents always co-existed and fought each other within the mass movements. Consequently, the revival of movements at the dawn of the 21st century brought about or refueled a series of political and ideological issues:

Is the concept of imperialism valid in modern times, or does it belong to the 20th century?

The war; with which line shall we fight against it?

Is Europe a pole opposing the US arrogance? What is “Europe” today?

Are we for or against violence? What is our stance towards terrorism and “war against terrorism”?

Shall we struggle to conquer the political power, or it is possible to change the world without conquering it?

Which can be the better and possible “another world”?

Let what follows be considered as a comment on these issues.

Facts are stubborn

Mass movements and resistances, uprisings, revolutionary processes are the products of the need and of the huge oppression experienced everyday on a worldwide scale by those “underneath”. They never are the result of planning on paper, nor are they ordered by ideological currents. The latter rather preexist (even in the form of small circles), meeting with movements on their course (especially when movements develop).

If we were to make a basic distinction within the mass movements on a worldwide scale, we would have to distinguish two great “camps”. On the one, stand those who do not believe that great, radical and serious changes can take place, those who believe that things will basically remain as they are. On the other, stand those who consider necessary the transcendence of the actual system of social relations and its replacement by another one, even if they do not know clearly what that system is and what its basic characteristics are.

These two big camps are present in almost all movements and their procedures. If we wish to study a little more this level (of “camps”), we shall remark that the first, the conservative one, is more composed, more organized, disposes of more staff and has better footholds. The radical “camp” is more diffused, less organized, and has very little support. Nevertheless, the second one appeared to be stronger during these five years. For two reasons: First, because it could express, and really did so, the rage, the despair and the discontent of popular masses, because it was not concerned by electoralist or other calculations, and because the all-sided development of resistance, movements, uprisings etc. is in its nature and constitutes an essential element of its line. Secondly, because during these five years a “necessary” and inevitable acceleration of the aggressiveness of the system’s basic forces took place. These forces, facing an immense economic crisis, had no other choice but the intensification of the attack against working people through the generalization of the neo-liberal holocaust and the recourse to “infinite” war. Therefore, by aggravating the brutality and the oppression, they left no ground to the ideas and the program of the conservative “camp”. In life the “weak” radical camp won.

Continue reading “KOE: Ideological and political issues arising with the development of the movements on an international level (2006)”

Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism

Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism

[From Intercontinental Cry]

A vision of the future? If there is no organized protest and resistance to the Harper government’s termination plan, than yes.

By • Nov 9, 2012

The following editorial was originally featured in the First Nations Strategic Bulletin (FNSB), June-October 2012. You can view/download this latest edition of the FNSB by clicking the following link: FNSB June-October 2012

On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to:

1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada;

2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations.

Termination in this context means the ending of First Nations pre-existing sovereign status through federal coercion of First Nations into Land Claims and Self-Government Final Agreements that convert First Nations into municipalities, their reserves into fee simple lands and extinguishment of their Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

To do this the Harper government announced three new policy measures:

  • A “results based” approach to negotiating Modern Treaties and Self-Government Agreements. This is an assessment process of 93 negotiation tables across Canada to determine who will and who won’t agree to terminate Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights under the terms of Canada’s Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government policies. For those tables who won’t agree, negotiations will end as the federal government withdraws from the table and takes funding with them.
  • First Nation regional and national political organizations will have their core funding cut and capped. For regional First Nation political organizations the core funding will be capped at $500,000 annually. For some regional organizations this will result in a funding cut of $1 million or more annually. This will restrict the ability of Chiefs and Executives of Provincial Territorial  organization’s to organize and/or advocate for First Nations rights and interests.
  • First Nation Band and Tribal Council funding for advisory services will be eliminated over the next two years further crippling the ability of Chiefs and Councils and Tribal Council executives to analyze and assess the impacts of federal and provincial policies and legislation on Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

Continue reading “Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism”

Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism

Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism

[From Venezuelanalysis.com. See also the response from Atenea Jiménez Lemon of The National Network of Communards here.]

By RACHAEL BOOTHROYD

Chavez held the cabinet meeting on Saturday (agencies).

Caracas, October 23rd 2012 – In a cabinet meeting with his top ministers on Saturday, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez strongly criticised his political team for failing to show commitment to the participatory democratic model currently being proposed by his government and urged them to undertake serious “self-criticism”.

The meeting was the first cabinet meeting to have taken place since the Venezuelan national elections were held on 7 October, in which Chavez won a third presidential term with over 54% of the vote.

During the televised meeting, Chavez made many criticisms of his party, especially with regards to the construction of the country’s communes, which group together communal councils in a given region.

“Where are the communes?” he asked newly appointed Vice-president Nicolas Maduro.

“In (socialist city) Belen, we keep giving houses to people, but you can’t see a commune anywhere. Not even the spirit of the commune, which right now is more important than the commune itself; a communal culture… this is a matter for all of us, this (the communes) are part of the soul of this project,” he said.

Although the Law of the Communes was passed in 2010 and a Ministry of the Communes established, many of the local self-government bodies have not made it past the initial stages of registration. Continue reading “Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism”

Turkey faces the unintended consequences of its regional meddling

Turkey faces the unintended consequences of its regional meddling

[From A World To Win News Service.]

24 September 2012. A World to Win News Service. Turkey is playing a central role in the U.S.-led campaign to bring down Bashar al-Assad. Now it is being confronted with the possibility that instead of strengthening Turkey’s influence in the region, the weakening of the Syrian regime may create the most serious challenge the Turkish government headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has faced so far.

 Until only recently the two regimes were close allies. One of the points of unity between Assad’s Baathist Party and Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) was their opposition to the Kurdish movement in both countries. Not only do Kurds in the two countries have strong historical ties, a significant number of Kurds in Syria are from families that fled repression in Turkey, and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), though based in Turkey, includes many Kurds born in Syria. Now  Assad is “playing the Kurdish card”,  trying to use the Kurds to threaten Turkey.

 Following are excerpts from a lengthy article in issue 60 of Haghighat, the publication of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) entitled “The development of Syria’s civil war and the possibility of its spread to neighbouring countries, and the perspective of the formation of a state of Kurdistan”.

Women fighters from a Kurdish militia at a roadblock in North-East Syria.

The civil war between the two reactionary sides in Syria has gone through another turning point. The Bashar al-Assad regime has pulled back its troops from five Kurdish cities in northern Syria and largely left control of this region to Kurdish forces, especially the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) based in Turkey. 

 Turkey has threatened to attack Syria militarily in response to PKK attacks launched from Kurdish areas in Syria. In mid-August U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Turkey to review possible scenarios for regime change in Syria. U.S. officials reaffirmed Turkey’s importance as a “strategic partner in the region”. One of the most important agreements is to leave the key institutions and military apparatus of the Syrian state intact. Continue reading “Turkey faces the unintended consequences of its regional meddling”

The “Anarcho-Liberal”

The “Anarcho-Liberal”

[From Dissent Magazine.]

“Its representatives had the modest ambitions of the social liberals of the center Left, but the flair for the dramatic associated with the most militant anarchists of the far Left.”

by Bhaskar Sunkara

Mark Engler’s commentary on my symposium entry and the “legacy of anti-globalization” more generally is appreciated. I don’t disagree with him on the specifics. “Anti-globalization” had its genesis before Seattle, rattled on after 9/11, and left behind a tangible legacy. But was this legacy an unambiguously positive one? The diversity of the global justice movement is undeniable, but to the extent its prominent intellectual voices represented broader trends, we can see the crystallization of a new type of radical that would come to prominence on the Left. The reconfiguration of the Left at the end of the twentieth century created a void. The “anarcho-liberal” filled it. Continue reading “The “Anarcho-Liberal””

The Communist Horizon by Jodi Dean

The Communist Horizon by Jodi Dean

[This text comes from a talk given by Jodi Dean at the Brecht Forum in New York.  A video of the talk is available here.  Reposted from Kasama Project.]

The term “horizon” marks a division.

Understood spatially, the horizon is the line dividing the visible, separating earth from sky. Understood temporally, the horizon converges with loss in a metaphor for privation and depletion. The “lost horizon” suggests abandoned projects, prior hopes that have now passed away. Astrophysics offers a thrilling, even uncanny, horizon: the “event horizon” surrounding a black hole. The event horizon is the boundary beyond which events cannot escape. Although “event horizon” denotes the curvature in space/time effected by a singularity, it’s not much different from the spatial horizon. Both evoke a fundamental division, that we experience as impossible to reach, and that we can neither escape nor cross.

I use “horizon” not to recall a forgotten future but to designate a dimension of experience that we can never lose, even if, lost in a fog or focused on our feet, we fail to see it. Continue reading “The Communist Horizon by Jodi Dean”

Internationalism and the Revolution of the Masses in India

Internationalism and the Revolution of the Masses in India

[From Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle]

On 14th of April 2012, the  “Jan Myrdal great award, the Lenin award” was presented in a theatre in Varberg, Sweden. Individuals from different countries and from different parts of of Sweden came for the celebration. Many of participants stayed at Hotell Gästis in central Varberg, where Indiensolidaritet interviewed the secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of IndiaG.N.Saibaba.

Interview with G.N.Saibaba in Varberg Sweden, 14-15th April 2012

IndiensolidaritetCan you say something about the political work you do in India?

G. N. Saibaba

Saibaba: I work for an organization called Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). It is a federation of revolutionary mass organizations working among different oppressed classes and sections of Indian society.  Revolutionary students and youth organisations, revolutionary peasants’ organisations, revolutionary workers’ organisations, revolutionary cultural organisations as well revolutionary womens’ organisations from different regions across India are constituents of RDF. Thus RDF is a large network of revolutionary organisations reaching out to all sections and strata of the society.

From the year 2009 onwards Operation Green Hunt began, the Indian state’s genocidal war on the poorest of the poor in India. All of us in our organization RDF work with other parties, groups, democratic organisations and individuals to raise our voice collectively and unitedly against the present military onslaught on the people and the extermination campaign against the people of India. We see this massive military operation as a continuation and the latest addition in the war waged by India’s ruling classes against the people of the subcontinent for last many decades be it in Kashmir, North East, Punjab, and now in central and eastern India. So we are at one level involved in the basic struggles of the people and at another we are working along with a large network of political forces and carrying out a countrywide campaign against Indian state’s anti-people policies, particularly Operation Green Hunt.

Indiensolidaritet: The way we see it, there are two lines regarding solidarity work in Europe. One line is trying to unite people on an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal basis and another one focuses more on Maoism. What do you think about this? Continue reading “Internationalism and the Revolution of the Masses in India”