[One of the outcomes of the most recent acute crisis in imperialism is just how naked the functioning of the … Continue reading Litte Atoms Podcast: John Lanchester – Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay
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CALL FOR A NEW CLASS STRUGGLE IN CANADA
The proletarian movement we need
The following call is an invitation to all revolutionaries, activists, proletarians and all collectives or groups of the extreme-left in Canada who aspire to build a genuine proletarian movement. A movement that will oppose the bourgeoisie, the capitalists and their power; a movement that will push forward the class struggle on completely new foundations. It is an invitation to debate and discuss
the proposals contained in this declaration and establish some common perspectives for the purpose of unifying and mobilizing in Canada in the coming year. The call, initiated by the Revolutionary Communist Party (PCRRCP
Canada), will be discussed at the Canadian Revolutionary Congress to be held in Toronto on December 11th. All those interested in participating can register by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CRISIS IS THAT OF CAPITALISM…AND IT WILL CONTINUE!
Capitalism is exploitation and misery. This simple truth reveals and highlights the instability of the whole system: the crisis gave way to new crises, sharp declines in expansions that seem limitless, short-term progressions followed by
Inside the Millbank Tower riots
“This is scary but not as scary as what’s happening to our future.”
It’s a bright, cold November afternoon, and inside 30 Millbank, the headquarters of the Conservative Party, a line of riot police with shields and truncheons are facing down a groaning crowd of young people with sticks and smoke bombs.
Screams and the smash of trodden glass cram the foyer as the ceiling-high windows, entirely broken through, fill with some of the 52,000 angry students and schoolchildren who have marched through the heart of London today to voice their dissent to the government’s savage attack on public education and public services. Ministers are cowering on the third floor, and through the smoke and shouting a young man in a college hoodie crouches on top of the rubble that was once the front desk of the building, his red hair tumbling into his flushed, frightened face.
He meets my eyes, just for a second. The boy, clearly not a seasoned anarchist, has allowed rage and the crowd to carry him through the boundaries of what was once considered good behaviour, and found no one there to stop him. The grown-ups didn’t stop him. The police didn’t stop him. Even the walls didn’t stop him. His twisted expression is one I recognise in my own face, reflected in the screen as I type. It’s the terrified exhilaration of a generation that’s finally waking up to its own frantic power.
Over the past few months, the government has poured tens of thousands of heavily armed paramilitary troops into the forest. The Maoists responded with a series of aggressive attacks and ambushes. More than 200 policemen have been killed. The bodies keep coming out of the forest. Slain policemen wrapped in the national flag, slain Maoists, displayed like hunter’s trophies, their wrists and ankles lashed to bamboo poles; bullet-ridden bodies, bodies that don’t look human any more, mutilated in ambushes, beheadings and summary executions. Of the bodies being buried in the forest, we have no news. The theatre of war has been cordoned off, closed to activists and journalists. So there are no body counts.On 6 April 2010, in its biggest strike ever, in Dantewada the Maoists’ People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) ambushed a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) company and killed 76 policemen. The party issued a coldly triumphant statement. Television milked the tragedy for everything it was worth. The nation was called upon to condemn the killing. Many of us were not prepared to – not because we celebrate killing, nor because we are all Maoists, but because we have thorny, knotty views about Operation Green Hunt. For refusing to buy shares in the rapidly growing condemnation industry, we were branded “terrorist sympathisers” and had our photographs flashed repeatedly on TV like wanted criminals. What was a CRPF contingent doing, patrolling tribal villages with 21 AK-47 rifles, 38 INSAS rifles, seven self-loading rifles, six light machine-guns, one Sten gun and one two-inch mortar? To ask that question almost amounted to an act of treason.
Days after the ambush, I ran into two paramilitary commandos chatting to a bunch of drivers in a Delhi car park. They were waiting for their VIP to emerge from some restaurant or health club or hotel. Their view on what is going on involved neither grief nor patriotism. It was simple accounting. A balance sheet. They were talking about how many lakhs of rupees in bribes it takes for a man to get a job in the paramilitary forces, and how most families incur huge debts to pay that bribe. That debt can never be repaid by the pathetic wages paid to a jawan, for example. The only way to repay it is to do what policemen in India do – blackmail and threaten people, run protection rackets, demand payoffs, do dirty deals. (In the case of Dantewada, loot villagers, steal cash and jewellery.) But if the man dies an untimely death, it leaves the families hugely in debt. The anger of the men in the car park was directed at the government and senior police officers who make fortunes from bribes and then so casually send young men to their death. They knew that the handsome compensation that was announced for the dead in the 6 April attack was just to blunt the impact of the scandal. It was never going to be standard practice for every policeman who dies in this sordid war. Continue reading “Arundhati Roy: The crisis of Indian democracy (part 2)”
6 September 2010. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts from an article that appeared in issue 13 (1989) of A World to Win magazine. It was originally published in the Revolutionary Worker (now called Revolution), voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, 10 June 1985.
For hundreds of years, floods and droughts had been the “twin scourges” of China. A major flood or drought hit large parts of the land at a pace of almost once a year, destroying crops or making it impossible to plant and thus leading to terrible famines that took the lives of hundreds of thousands at a time.
With the defeat of the U.S.-backed Koumintang (KMT) reactionaries in October 1949, the revolutionary regime led by Mao and the Communist Party of China faced an immensely difficult situation. U.S. imperialism and its reactionary allies surrounded and blockaded New China in an attempt to smother it to death. The land and the people had been ravaged by the decades of Japanese imperialist invasion and occupation and the rampages of the KMT army, which compounded the devastation from flood, drought and famine.
As a 1974 Peking Review article titled “Harnessing China’s Rivers” recalled, “What did the Koumintang reactionaries leave behind 25 years ago when New China was born? With all the waterways, dykes and embankments long out of repair, the peasants were completely at the mercy of nature. Flood and drought were common occurrences, wreaking havoc alternately or concurrently and taking a heavy toll on millions of people, with tens of millions more rendered homeless. Such being the plight of old China, certain imperialist prophets gleefully awaited the collapse of New China in the grip of these twin disasters which all past governments had failed to cope with.”
For the infant revolutionary
regime, the task of taming the great rivers – the Yangtze, the Yellow, the Huai (flowing in the central coastal plains between the Yangtze and the Yellow), and others – was a crucial aspect of transforming China from a dependent neocolony into an independent socialist country. Without protection from floods and new irrigation systems to fight droughts and open up new farmland, the peasantry – making up the overwhelming majority of the population – would continue to suffer. The worker-peasant alliance would be adversely affected and the ability of China to withstand the attacks of the imperialists and contribute to world revolution would be weakened.
In 1951 and ’52, Mao declared that the Huai River and the Yellow River “must be harnessed”. These calls were made amidst, and were very much a part of, the fierce two-line struggles within the Communist Party itself over China’s direction after liberation. Continue reading “Flood control and social transformation in revolutionary China – “Teaching water to climb mountains””