A majority of Russians support restoring the name of the
country’s twelfth-largest city back to ‘Stalingrad,’ 60
years after it was renamed Volgograd, in the Soviet
program of de-Stalinization, a poll has revealed.
The survey, commissioned by the centre-left political party
‘A Fair Russia’, and made public on Thursday, revealed
that 68% of Russians are in favour of returning to the
title it bore from 1925 to 1961, with just 28% wanting to keep the current name.
Interestingly, in Volgograd itself, the poll discovered that
local residents are somewhat less supportive of a name
change, with 48% backing a return to Stalingrad.
The last time Federov’s pollsters conducted a study on
this topic was in 2005, and just 23.4% in Russia said
then, that they supported a renaming.
However, most interestingly, the faction is now coming
under attack from the Communist Party (CPRF), which
has accused A Fair Russia of stealing one of its flag-
ship proposals. Speaking to the Moscow daily,
Kommersant, Communist Party Secretary
for Elections, Sergey Obukhov, accused
''right-wing forces'' of using his party’s
ideas to draw away voters. In 2013
-- on the 70th anniversary of the
Battle of Stalingrad -- the CPRF
collected more than 100,000
signatures in favour of
...What do YOU think?
Slovenian PM:EU’s ‘imaginary values’
could trigger ‘collapse’ of bloc,
amid Hungary LGBT row
July 4th, 2:09pm (RT)
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has condemned
the EU’s western states, for imposing “imaginary
European values”, without respecting local
cultures. Jansa supports Hungary, in its
fight against LGBT content in schools and TV.
Sandwiched between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia,
Slovenia is a tiny country of 2.1 million people. However,
for the next six months, it will set the agenda of the
Speaking after his country assumed the council’s rotating
presidency, last week, Jansa made it clear, that his
priorities might not line up with those of the
bloc’s western powers.
Railing at the Slovenian “mainstream media” and its alleged
allies in the country’s judiciary, Jansa also spoke out
against the EU’s promotion of its liberal values in
eastern and central Europe, LGBT causes
Imposing “imaginary European values,” he argued,
would be the “fastest road to collapse” for the bloc.
“The European Union brings together countries with
different traditions, with different cultures, there are differences... that need to be taken into account and respected,” he stated.
European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen,
openly disagreed with Jansa during the press briefing,
saying that “freedom of expression, diversity and
equality” are fundamental “European values”
that need to be upheld.
The clash between Jansa and von der Leyen is just one
more battle in a growing cultural conflict between the
western swathe of the EU, and the centre and east.
In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has led the charge
against Brussels in this conflict, angering the liberal West
by passing a law forbidding the portrayal of
homosexuality to children.
The EU in return has threatened legal action against Hungary,
and 17 western European leaders signed a letter last month
condemning “discrimination towards the LGBTI community”
and their “fundamental rights.”
Orban has insisted that the law does not discriminate against
the LGBT community, but allows parents to decide what to
teach their children, about matters of gender
Jansa has taken a similar line. Responding to von der Leyen
on Friday, he said that the pair had “a sincere discussion on
what human rights are,” but that he defended “the right of
parents to educate their children” as they see fit. Von der
Leyen responded that “the right of parents to educate
their children was not at all disputed,” but “the
question was … whether the amendments
of existing laws discriminate against
Jansa also proclaimed that Slovenia is not “a colony” of the EU
to be dictated to, much like Orban last week decried the Dutch
“colonial” mentality, after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
declared earlier that Hungary “has no business being in
the European Union any more” if it doesn’t submit to
the bloc’s position on LGBT rights.
What do YOU think?
Think your friends would be interested?
Share this story!
Save the Children has been captured
by transgender ideology. It isn't
protecting youngsters, it’s
by Debbie Hayton
July 2nd, (RT)
Debbie Hayton is a high school teacher and trade union
officer. She teaches science to 11-18-year-olds, at a
school in central England. As a transgender person,
she has written extensively about what it means to
be trans, and how trans people can be included in
society without compromising the rights of other
vulnerable groups. Her work can be read in
publications from across the political
spectrum, where rational scientific
debate is allowed and encouraged.
Follow her on Twitter @DebbieHayton
The charity is supposed to help vulnerable children, which is
why it rightly opposes FGM. So why is it promoting the idea
that it’s OK for girls as young as seven to go down a path
that leads to gender reassignment surgery?
Save the Children was established in the aftermath of the First
World War by Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton, two sisters
from England who had been appalled by the impact of British
government policy on children across Europe. The war may
have been over, but the Royal Navy maintained a blockade
of Germany until it signed the Treaty of Versailles. In cities
like Berlin and Vienna, children were starving.
In 1919, Jebb was arrested and convicted --- for distributing
leaflets bearing shocking images of malnourished children.
A hundred years later, their campaign has grown into a
massive NGO with an annual turnover approaching
£300 million. Enjoying royal patronage, it is now
part of the British establishment. In the 2020
annual report, Princess Anne wrote, “I
thank you for everything you have
done for children this year.”
Maybe Princess Anne should ask them about their
campaign for Pride Month? Earlier this week, they
shared some tips about how to raise a
Judging by the video clip, Save the Children has been captured
by transgender ideology – the idea that men and women are
defined not by their sex but by some soul-like gender identity.
With reckless abandon, they extend this idea to children.
The lack of critical analysis is breathtaking. Each
slide could and should have been pulled apart.
There is no need to pigeonhole children as ‘transgender’.
We should let them be. Gender is not assigned at birth;
sex is observed and recorded sometimes before birth.
Identifying as the opposite sex does not mean we are
the opposite sex.Girls can have short hair; it’s fine!
Why do we need to validate feelings? What does it
even mean to validate feelings? We are all
vulnerable to the reactions of others, and
all parents can help their children to
But behind the slogans, the cartoons, and the enchanting
music, this campaign focuses on a real nine-year-old girl
whose parents think she is a boy. They claim their
daughter was “assigned a female gender at birth,”
something she was questioning by the time she
was five. Two years later, she apparently
identified as a boy. In response, her
parents cut her hair short and
changed her name. In
“As we move forwards and puberty looms, there
will be problems to solve and decisions to take.”
These are problems of the parents’ making. The decision
they should be making for their child is to return to reality.
Despite their professed “moments of grief,” they still have
a daughter. She never left. Girls can be masculine – they
can cut their hair short, they can take a preferred name
usually adopted by boys, they can climb trees and play
football – and that is fine. But they are still female.
But rather than celebrate the diversity of humanity within
each sex, Save the Children uses this family’s story to
perpetuate the lie that girls can become boys. Worse,
gender non-conforming children, and their parents,
may get the impression that girls need to become
boys to express their masculinity. The video ends
with a link to Mermaids UK, an organisation that
promotes puberty blockers, drugs that stunt
natural development and lead to profound
and irreversible damage.
This is the same organisation that – rightly – condemns
female genital mutilation. Their country director for
Sudan said, “FGM is not only a violation of girl’s
rights, it has serious consequences for a girl’s
physical and mental health.”
Why is the mutilation that results from puberty blockers,
cross-sex-hormones, double mastectomies – for girls
whose breasts developed before they started treat-
ment – and gender reassignment surgery any
different? Abuse is abuse.
Who told Save the Children that seven-year-olds have a
gender identity that trumps their biological sex, and –
more importantly – why did the charity believe them?
Gender identity can be neither proved nor falsified,
and it is not needed to explain transsexualism.
I know that... as a trans person who
transitioned as an adult.
The fact that I am unhappy with my sex does not mean
I am the opposite sex; I am simply unhappy with it.
Further, I know that it is possible to be reconciled
to my sex. That delivered peace and contentment
within my own skin that I never experienced when
I thought I was some sort of woman. These
children’s lives are being built on folly, and
that is no way for anyone to start out in life.
Lies can never satisfy in the same way.
A hundred years ago, Eglantyne Jebb campaigned
against policies that harmed children. Her modern
successors are actively promoting harm.
Think your friends would be interested?
Share this story!
...what do YOU think?
Did the Soviet Union collapse because of a lack of love?
Or because it foolishly trusted and looked up to the West?
OR, PERHAPS, both.
What do YOU think?
Boris Yeltsin had entourage of
‘hundreds’ of CIA agents, who
instructed him on how to run
Russia, claims the former
by Jonny Tickle
June 12th, 8:20am (RT)
The first Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, was surrounded
by “hundreds” of CIA agents, who told him what to do
throughout his tenure as leader. That’s according to
Ruslan Khasbulatov, the former chairman of
Speaking to radio station Govorit Moskva, Khasbulatov
claimed Yeltsin’s entourage was full of Americans. In
1991, he was elected to his leadership post, with
Washington’s ''help'', it has been alleged, and it is still not yet known, to what extent the US
remained the voice in his ear, through-
out his presidency.
“There must have been a hundred [CIA employees],”
Khasbulatov said. “They determined everything.”
He added that, after ''winning'' the presidential
election, Yeltsin would send security officials
and heads of departments to the US, so the
Americans could “examine them” and
Khasbulatov’s statement comes after former Russian vice
president Alexander Rutskoy told online outlet Lenta that
12 full-time employees of the CIA helped carry out the
landmark Yeltsin-Gaidar market reforms, system-
atically dismantling the centrally planned
economic system --- and leading the country into shock capitalism.
However, according to Khasbulatov, everyone knew about
Rutskoy’s links to the US, and American officials even
influenced the former president to replace a
considerable number of his appointees.
“On the whole, Rutskoy is absolutely right – Yeltsin was
advised by foreigners,” he continued. “There is no
secret here... and a great number of people know
about it. I don’t have any detective stories about
eavesdropping, but, in general, it’s well known.
Yeltsin used to confer very closely, on all
personnel matters, with foreign
Yeltsin left office in 1999, but not before creating a hyper-
presidential system, taking power away from a hostile
parliament, and removing almost all the checks and
balances. This move was supported by Washington, which hoped to keep the Communist Party out of power in the newly formed Russian state.
Now, Yeltsin has a mixed legacy, with many Russians
believing he was a drunkard, who sold the country to
Western capitalists. However... in ''the West'', he is
compared to revolutionaries such as South Africa's
Nelson Mandela, Poland’s Lech Walensa... and
Czechoslovakia’s Václav Havel, with former
US president, Bill Clinton, even having
likened him to Abraham Lincoln.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Interview: ''Love for people''
makes Chinese communists
source of strength, says
French party chief
May 24th, 10:14am (Xinhua)
Chinese communists... have accomplished great
achievements in the country's development, by
living up to their all-for-the-people commitment
Jacques Cheminade, chairman of the French
political party, Solidarity and Progress,
recently told Xinhua, via video link.
For the Communist Party of China (CPC), loving people
is not only a political commitment, but also its source
of strength, said Cheminade.
In his view, a political party must know well about, and
be linked to, the history of its own country, which is
exactly what the CPC has been doing.
"In China, there is a vision of the future nourished by
the past, by Chinese history," said the party leader, referring to the Belt and Road Initiative,
as a case in point.
In 2019, Cheminade visited China for the first time, and
participated in the Euro-Asia Economic Forum in Xi'an,
capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
During the trip, he noticed that people's living standards
in this country, had been growing incredibly fast, and
that local people were more optimistic about their
future, compared with people in the West.
Talking about relations between France & China
Cheminade expressed his hope: that the two
countries could forge... a more rational and
active link in safeguarding multilateralism.
"It is by building multilateralism through
different ways, that we will achieve the
same commitment to the development
of all," he said.
In March, Cheminade co-signed a declaration with
experts from different countries, calling on the
West to face up to China's development
achievements - and to strengthen
cooperation with the
Denouncing the anti-China propaganda organized
by some Western countries, Cheminade stressed
that China has never imposed its own political
system on other countries.
In dealing with adverse situations created by the West,
China has, also, been showing patience and good
political will, he added, expressing appreciation
for "the sense of common welfare" of the CPC and the Chinese people.
Siege of Russia by US and its Allies
Offers a Lesson for China
April 20th, 12:04pm
The US has rallied its European allies, to launch a new
diplomatic expulsion campaign, and a public opinion
crackdown against Russia.
In addition to the situation in eastern Ukraine, Alexei Navalny's hunger strike in prison - and reports that he's "dying" - have now become the latest focus of pressure on Russia.
It is noteworthy... that countries including the Czech
Republic, Poland, Ukraine, and Bulgaria have joined
the US in expelling Russian diplomats, mostly
claiming that these Russian diplomats have
conducted "activities incompatible with
This is a highly ambiguous reason for expulsion. Once members of the Warsaw Pact, or part of the Soviet
Union, these countries are now often the first to respond to the US' calls to confront Russia.
There are complex historical reasons for the Central &
Eastern European countries tilting toward the US, and
becoming "anti-Russia", that are difficult for outsiders
to comment on. It is a pity that internal disintegration
- rather than coercion from the US - had directly led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Russian Federation was one of the main promoters
of this disintegration.. and the original agreement to
replace the Soviet Union with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), was signed by Russia,
Ukraine and Belarus. The Russian leaders who
destroyed the Soviet Union, had no idea what
would happen to their country afterwards.
The collapse of the Soviet Union has brought about
geopolitical changes globally, and the evaluation of the event is destined to vary from country to
country, and from time to time. But it has
become increasingly clear, that Russia
has been the biggest loser from
Many Russians once believed that when the Communist
Party stepped down and the Soviet Union collapsed, the
US and the West would embrace Russia and respect
them, for taking the initiative to end the Cold War. The reality, however, is harsh. Moscow has received no gratitude or kindness, from the West.
From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed, the US has
arrogantly treated Russia as a defeated country in the
Cold War, engaging in all possible moves to suppress
Russia, at will.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical disaster
for Russia. As the dominant power in the Soviet Union, if it
had chosen to support reforms to solve problems in the
beginning, Russia could have paid a much smaller
geopolitical price, than it would pay, over the
following 30 years. Back then, Moscow had
a broad sphere of influence and powerful
capabilities; it could act independently
and defiantly against Washington. But
it has ceded those geopolitical
resources, giving up its
The US' vicious attitude toward Russia offers a glimpse into
the brutality of great power competition and helps people
see through Washington's geopolitical manipulation
measures. The US portrayed its Cold War with the
Soviet Union as an ideological confrontation -- to conceal its intention -- to dominate the
Many people, including Russians, believed a political
change of course, would fundamentally change their
relationship with the US, and that Russia could thus
integrate into the West, and become a dignified
member of the Group of Eight.
Yet Russia is too large, with a nuclear arsenal on par
with that of the US. It spans the Eurasian continent
and advocates multi-polarity, with no possibility to
becoming a new member of the West, that is
submissive to Washington.
The US then took advantage of its "victory" - promoted the
eastward expansion of NATO, squeezed Russia's strategic
space at the fastest speed, and completely abandoned its
verbal commitment that, after Germany was unified and
remained a NATO member, the bloc would recruit no
former Warsaw Pact countries, or former Soviet
republics, as new members.
The US is extremely untrustworthy. Its method of great power
competition fully mobilises the ideological resources of its
own, and in the West, and it is very good at infiltrating into
other countries, which makes it very deceptive. Since the
collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has witnessed
other "colour revolutions" supported by the US. The
destinies of countries that experienced subversion
of state power, have proven tragic, as the US has
neither the intention nor the ability to provide
substantial assistance to those countries.
China, as a newly targeted "strategic competitor" of the US,
is fortunate that we've witnessed all the colour revolutions
in the world in the past 30 years. This is equivalent to
having gotten politically vaccinated and receiving
a boost shot to enhance the effectiveness.
The Chinese people must protect the fruitful achievements
of the People's Republic of China, & remain sober-minded
about the US's repeated deceptive clamour that the
strategic ''game'' between the US and China, is a
battle between "democracies and autocracies".
China must continue to grow its national strength and weaken
the ability of the US to pressure it "from a position of strength".
China can only be a friend with whom the US has to coexist,
because it cannot crush it. We must not bear any illusion
that the US would embrace China, due to its changes.
China is so big that we cannot try to get rid of the natural
burden that comes with it. Since China is big, it should
live with great courage and advantages.
This article originally appeared
on the Global Times website.
What do YOU think?
Is the US a friend to the world ?
Or a psychopathic racist empire?
Justice or Hegemony... what do you think?
China's Xi says world needs justice,
not hegemony, in veiled reference
April 20th, 9:14 am (PressTV)
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a fairer
world order in the face of the West’s unilateralism,
warning hegemonic countries against “bossing
Speaking at the annual Boao Forum for Asia on
Tuesday, Xi said that “the future destiny of the
world should be decided by all countries.”
“One or a few countries shouldn’t impose their rules
on others, and the world shouldn’t be led on by the
unilateralism of a few countries,” Xi said.
Without singling out the US, the Chinese president
warned against building barriers that are against
“Attempts to erect walls or decouple run counter to
the law of economics and market principles. They
would hurt others’ interests without benefiting
oneself,” Xi stated, in a ''veiled'' reference to
Washington’s efforts to reduce dependence
on Chinese supply chains and scrub the
export of products such as advanced
computer chips to China.
“What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony...
Bossing others around, or meddling in others’ internal
affairs, will not get one any support,” Xi said, while
giving assurances that China will never engage
in an arms race.
“A big country should look like a big country by showing
that it is shouldering more responsibility," he added.
China has repeatedly criticized US hegemony and
its projection of power in trade and geopolitics.
China and the US have been engaged in an intense
trade war, kicked off under the Donald Trump
The two world powers are also increasingly at odds over
a range of issues, including alleged human rights abuse
in the Xinjiang region, protests in Hong Kong, China’s
territorial claims on the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
and most of the South China Sea, as well as
the COVID-19 origin.
Beijing hoped for an improvement in relations under
President Joe Biden's administration. But the new
president has, so far, shown no sign of backing
down on hardline policies toward Beijing.
The Democratic president has even urged
his allies, to harden their stance on China.
In the latest anti-Beijing move, Biden sought
to present a united front with Japan, to
counter “challenges” by China.
On Friday, he hosted Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide
Suga in a meeting, in which China topped the agenda.
In a display of economic cooperation to the exclusion of
China, Biden said Washington and Tokyo will jointly
invest in areas such as 5G technology, artificial
intelligence, quantum computing, genomics
and semiconductor supply chains.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson censured the
US-Japan alliance and said the 2 were in fact ganging
up to form cliques & fanning bloc confrontation, while
talking about a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.
"It will only enable the world to see with increasing clarity
the detrimental nature of the US-Japan alliance, which
attempts to undermine regional peace and stability,"
the spokesperson said.
In Quest of a Multi-Polar World
March 28th, 2021
Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar resume their
conversation about a global monetary system
that appears headed for divorce.
Michael Hudson: Fifty ago, I wrote Super Imperialism about
basically how America dominates the world financially and
gets the free ride.
I wrote it right after America went off gold in 1971, when the
Vietnam War, which was responsible for the entire balance
of payments deficit, forced the country to go off gold. And
everybody at that time worried the dollar was going to go
down. There’d be hyperinflation. And what happened
was something entirely different.
Once there was no gold, America strong-armed its allies to
invest in U.S. Treasury bonds because their central banks
don’t buy companies. They don’t buy raw materials. All
they could buy is other central bank’s treasury bonds.
So, all of a sudden, the only thing that other people
could buy with all the dollars coming in were U.S.
And the securities they bought essentially were to finance
yet more war making and the balance of payments deficit
from war, and the 800 military bases America has around
the world. And the largest customer, I think we discussed
it before, are the Defense Department and the CIA that
looked at it [Super Imperialism] as a how-to-do it
book. Well, that was 50 years ago.
And what I’ve done is not only re-edit the book and add more
information that’s come out, but I’ve picked up the last 50
years and how it’s absolutely transformed the whole
world. And it’s a new kind of imperialism.
There was still a view 50 years ago that imperialism was
[essentially] economic. And this is the view that there’s
still a rivalry for instance, between America and China
or America and Europe and other countries.
But I think the whole world has changed so much in the last
50 years that what we have now is not really so much a
conflict between America and China or America and
Russia, but between a financial system economy
run by finance and an economy run by
governments — democratic or less
democratic, but certainly a mixed
Well, everything that made industrial capitalism rich, every-
thing that made the USA so strong in the 19th century,
through its protective tariffs & through its public infra-
structure investment, all the way down through World
War II & the aftermath. We had a mixed economy in
America, and that was very balanced. Europe had a
mixed economy. Every economy since Babylon and
Rome, has been a mixed economy, but in America
you’ve had, since 1980, something entirely different.
That was not foreseen by anybody because it seemed to be so disruptive.
And what that was, was the financial sector saying we need liberty and by liberty, meaning we have to take planning and
subsidy & economic policy and tax policy, out of the hands
of government. And put it in the hands of Wall Street.
So libertarianism & a free market is a centralized economy
which is centralized in the hands of the financial centres, Wall St, the City of London, the Paris Bourse. And what you have today is the attempt of the financial sector to take the role the landlord class had in Europe, from feudal times through the 19th century. It’s a kind of resurgence.
If you look at the whole last 200 years of economic theory -
from Adam Smith and, Henry George and Marx, onward -
the whole idea was that everybody expected a mixed
economy to become more and more productive and
to free itself from the landlords, to free itself from
banking - to make land a public utility.
That was the tax base to make finance basically something
public, and government would decide who gets the funding
and thus, the idea of finance in the public sector was going
to be pretty much what it is in China. You create bank credit
in order to finance capital investment in factories. It means
the production of machinery, agricultural modernization, of
transport, infrastructure of high-speed trains of ports and
all of that.
But in the US & UK, you have finance becoming something completely different. Banks don’t lend money to factories. They don’t want money to make the means of production. They make money to take over other assets. 80% of bank loans are mortgage loans to transfer the ownership of real estate. And of course that’s what created a middle class in the US.
The middle class was able to buy its own housing, it didn’t
have to pay rent to landlords or absentee owners or war-
lords and their descendants in England and Europe.
They could buy their own. What nobody realized is
that if you borrow the money to take a mortgage,
there’s still an economic rental value that is not
paid to the landlords. It’s paid to the banks.
And so, in the Western civilizations in
America and Europe, the banks have
played the role that the landlords
played a hundred years ago.
And just as the landlord is trying to do everything they can
through the House of Lords in England & the upper houses
of government in Europe, they’re trying to block any kind of
democratic government. And the fight really, is against
governments that will do anything that isn't controlled
by the 1 percent, by the banks. Essentially the merger
between finance insurance and real estate; the FIRE
sector. So, you have almost a relapse of capitalism
in the West back into feudalism, but feudalism with
a financialized twist, much more than it was in
The fight against China, the fear of China is that you can’t do
to China, what you did to Russia. America would love for
there to be a [former Russian President Boris] Yeltsin
figure in China to say, just give all the railroads that
you’ve built, the high-speed rail, the wealth, all the
factories to individuals. And let the individuals run
everything and, then we’ll lend them the money, or we’ll buy them out and then we can control them financially.
And China’s not letting that happen. & Russia stopped that
from happening. And the fury in the West is that somehow, the American financial system is unable to take over foreign resources, foreign agriculture. It is left only with military means of grabbing them, as we are seeing in the near East. And you’re it seeing in the Ukraine, right now.
Pepe Escobar: Well, as an introduction, Michael that was
perfect because now we have the overall framework -
geo-economic and historically - at least for the past
I have a series of questions for you. I was saving one of these
for the end, but I think I should start really the Metallica way.
Let’s go heavy metal for a start, right?
So considering what you describe as a new kind of imperialism
and the fact that this sort of extended free lunch cannot apply
anymore because sovereigns around the world, especially
Russia and China, I tried to formulate the idea that there are
only three real sovereign powers on the planet, apart from
the hegemon; Russia, China, and Iran, these three, which
happen to be the main hub and the main focus of not only
the New Silk Roads but of the Eurasia integration process,
they are actively working for some sort of change of the
rules that predominated for the past 70 years.
So my first question to you would be, do you see any realistic
possibility of a, sort of a Bretton Woods 2.0, which would
imply the end of the dollar hegemony as we know it, and
petrodollar recycling on and on and on, with the very
important presence of that oily hacienda in the lands
of Arabia. Do you think this is possible considering
President [Vladimir] Putin himself - only a few days
ago reiterated once again that the US is no longer
agreement-capable? So that destroys already the
possibility of the emergence of the new rules of
the game. But do you think this is still
Michael: I certainly do not see any repetition of a Bretton Woods
because as I described in Super Imperialism, the whole of
Bretton Woods was designed to make American control
over Britain, over Europe total. Bretton Woods was a U.S.
-centered system to prevent England from maintaining
its empire. That’s okay. To prevent France from maint-
aining its empire --- and for America to take over the
sterling area and, essentially, with the World Bank,
stop other countries from becoming independent
and feeding themselves --- to make sure that they
supported plantation agriculture, not land reform.
The one single fight of the World Bank was to
prevent land reform and to make sure that
America and foreign investors, would take
over the agriculture of these countries.
And often, people think of capitalism, certainly in the sense
that Marx described in Volume One, is exploitation of wage
labour by employers. But capitalism also is appropriation
of land rent, agricultural rent, natural resource rent, oil
and mineral rent. And the idea of Bretton Woods was to
make sure that other countries couldn't impose capital
controls or prevent US finance from coming in and
appropriating their resources, of making loans to
foreign governments so that governments would
not create their own money to promote their own
social development, but would have to borrow
from the World Bank & IMF, that essentially
meant from the Pentagon and the State
Department, in U.S. dollars.
And they would dollarize their economies and the economies
would all be sucked. The economic rents from oil, agriculture,
mining would all be sucked into the United States. That kind
of Bretton Woods cannot be done again. And since Bretton
Woods was an idea of centralizing the world’s economic
surplus in a single country, the United States, no, that
can never be done again.
What is happening? You mentioned the world of free lunch,
and that’s what was a theme of Super Imperialism, when
America issues dollars, for these all end up in central
banks and they hold the dollars as a surplus. That
means what can they do? All they can do is really
lend them to the US. The US got a free lunch. It
could spend and spend on its military, on
bumping up corporate takeovers of other
countries. The dollars have come in, and
foreign countries couldn’t cash them in
for gold. They had nothing to cash them
into. All they could do, is finance the US
budget deficit, by buying Treasury bills.
That’s the irony now, what has happened in the last few years
in the fight against Russia and China is America has killed the
free lunch because it said, okay, now we’re going to have
sanctions against Russia and China. We’re going to all of
a sudden grab whatever money you have in foreign banks
like we grabbed Venezuela’s money. Let’s go, we’re going
to excommunicate you from the bank clearing system. So
you can’t use banking. We’re going to put sanctions
against banks that deal with you.
So obviously Russia and China said, okay, we can’t deal with
the dollar anymore, because the US just creamed them. And
if we do have dollars, we’re just going to hold everything in
reserves * lending to the US, the dollars that it’s going to
spend building more military bases around us to make us
waste our money on monetary spending. And so America
itself by the way, in fighting against China and Russia, has ended the free lunch.
“In America you’ve had since 1980 something entirely different.
That was not foreseen by anybody because it seemed to be
And now, Russia and China as you pointed out, are de-dollarizing,
they’re trading in each other’s currency. They’re being the exact
opposite of everything that Bretton Woods tried to create. They
are trying to create independence from the United States.
If Bretton Woods is this dependence on the US, a centralized
system dependent ultimately on Wall Street financial planners
then, what China & Russia are trying to create is an economy
that’s not run by the financial sector, but it is run by, let’s say,
industrial and economic engineering and saying, what kind
of an economy do we need in order to raise living standards
& wages and self-sufficiency and preserve the environment,
what is needed for the ideal world that we want?
Well, in order to do that, you’re going to have to have a lot of
infrastructure. And in America, infrastructure is all privatized.
You have to make a profit. And once you have infrastructure,
a railroad or electric utility, like you see in Texas recently, it’s
a monopoly. Infrastructure, for 5,000 years, Europe, the near
East, Asia was always kept in the public domain that goes, if
you give it to private owners, they’ll charge a monopoly rent.
Well, the idea that China has is, “OK, we’re going to provide
the educational system freely and let everybody try to get
an education.” In America if you have an education, you
have to go into debt for the banks for between $50,000
and $200,000. And whatever you make you’re going to
end up paying the bank while in China, if you give free
education, the money that they earned from education
will be spent into the economy, buying the goods and
services that they produce, and the economy will be
expanding, not shrinking, not having it all sucked out
into the financial banks financing your education,
same thing with railroads, same things with
If you provide healthcare freely then the employers do not
have to pay for the healthcare because that’s provided free.
In the United States, if the corporation and the employees
have to pay for healthcare, that means that the employees
have to be paid a much higher wage in order to afford the
healthcare, in order to afford the transportation that gets
him to work, in order to afford the auto loans, in order to
drive to work, all of this is free, or subsidized in other
countries, who create their own credit.
In the United States and Europe, governments feel that they
have to borrow from the wealthy people in a bond and pay
interest. In China they say, “we don’t have to borrow from
a wealthy class. We can simply print the money.” That’s
Modern Monetary Theory. As Donald Trump explained in
the United States, we can print whatever we want. Dick
Cheney said, deficits don’t matter. We can just print it.
And of course, Stephanie Kelton and my colleagues
in MMT at Kansas City, for many years, have
“The economy has been saturated & Reaganized and
the result is, a fight of economic systems against China and Russia.”
The banks fear this because they say, “Wait a minute, Modern
Monetary Theory means it’s not feudal monetary theory. We
want feudal monetary theory. We want the rich people to be
able to have a choke point on the economy that you can’t
survive unless you borrow from us and pay us interest.
We want the choke points.” That’s called economic rent.
So, you have the West turning into a rent-extractive economy,
a rent-seeking economy. And you’ll have the whole ideal of
Russia, China, and other countries, being the ideal of not
only Marx, but Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Ricardo. The
whole of classical economics was to free economies from
economic rent. & the US economy is all about extracting
rent through the real estate sector, the financial sector, the health insurance sector, the monopolies and the
The economy has been saturated and Reaganized and the
result is a fight of economic systems against China and
Russia. So, it’s not simply that, there’s a fight between
who makes the best computer chips and iPhones. It’s:
are we going to have a fallback of civilization back to
feudalism, back into control by a narrow class at the
top of the economy, that 1 percent? Or are we going
to have the ideal of democratic industrialization that
used to be called socialism - but it was also called
capitalism. Industrial capitalism was socialism; it
was socialized medicine, it was socialized infra-
structure, it was socialized schooling. And so,
the fight against socialism is a fight against
industrial capitalism, a fight against
democracy, a fight against
That’s why what you’re seeing now is a fight for what
direction civilization will go into. And you can’t have a Bretton Woods for a single kind of organization...
because the US would never join that civilization.
The US calls a country trying to make its labour
force prosperous, educated and healthy, instead of sick with shorter lifespans, they call it communism or socialism.
Well, it can call it whatever it wants, but
that’s the dynamic we are talking about.
Pepe: Well, you put it very, I would say starkly. Opposition
between 2 completely different systems, what the Chinese
are proposing, including, from productive capitalism to
trade and investment all across Eurasia and beyond,
including Africa, parts of Latin America as well. And
the rentier obsession of the 0.01 percent that
controls the U.S. financial system. In terms of
facts on the ground, are we going slowly but
surely and ominously, towards an absolute
divorce --- by a system based on rentier,
ultra-financialization, which is the US's
system and not productive capitalism
I was going through a small list of what the U.S. exports, it’s
not much as you know, better than I do. Agricultural products
but always privileging U.S. farmers. Hollywood, we are all
hostages of Hollywood all over the world. Pop culture?
That’s not the pop culture that used to be absolutely
impregnable and omniscient during the ‘60s, the 70s,
during the Madonna, Michael Jackson era in the ‘80s,
right? Infotech. And that’s where a big bet comes in.
And this is maybe the most important US export at
the moment because American Big Tech controls
social networks all over the planet. Big Pharma.
Now we see the power of Big Pharma with the
whole Covid operations, right? But Boeing
prefers to invest in financial engineering
instead of building decent products.
So, in terms of a major superpower, the hyperpower, that’s
not much, and obviously buyers all over the world already
noticed that. So, China is proposing the New Silk Roads,
which is a foreign-policy strategy, & a trade, investment
and sustainable development strategy. [It’s] applied not
only to the whole of Eurasia, but Eurasia and beyond to
grow a great deal of the Global South and that’s why we
have Global South partners to the New Silk Roads —
130-and-counting as we speak.
So, the dichotomy could not be clearer. What will the 0.001
percent do? Because they don’t have anything seductive
to sell. To all those nations in the Global South to start
with; the new version of the Non-Aligned Movement,
NAM, the countries that are already part of New Silk
Road projects, not even to Europe and this, we
could see by the end of last year when the
China-European Union agreement... was
more or less sealed. It’s probably going
to be sealed in 2021 for good.
And at the same time, we had the Regional Economic
Comprehensive Partnership, RCEP, with the ASEAN
10, my neighbours here, the Association of South
East Asian Nations, China, Japan, South Korea,
Australia, and New Zealand. So, when you have
the China-EU deal, and when you have RCEP,
you have China as the number one trade
partner on the planet, no competition
And obviously every one of these players wants to do
business with China. And they’re privileging doing
business with China to doing business with the
U.S., especially with a country that once again,
according to President Putin, is non-agreement
capable. So, Michael, what is your key geo-
economic view of the next steps? Are we
going towards a divorce of the American
financialization system and the Eurasia-
and-beyond integration system?
Michael: Well, you have made the whole point clear.
There is incompatibility between a rentier society
controlled by the finance and real estate interests
& military interests - and an industrial democracy.
Industry in England and Europe in the 19th century — the
whole fight for democratic reform to increase the role of
the House of Commons against the House of Lords in
England and the lower house in Europe — was a fight
to get labour on the side of industry [and] to get rid of the landlord class. And it was expected that …
capitalism [would then be] free of the landlord
class, free of something that wasn’t really
capitalism at all, it was a carry-over from
feudalism. Once you free capitalism, you
wouldn’t have this overhead of the idle
1 percent, only consuming resources
and going to war, anymore.
And then World War I changed all of that . … Already, in the
late 19th century, the landlords and the banks fought back,
and they fought back largely through the Austrian School
of individualism and the English marginalists and they
called it freedom. They call it free markets. Free market meant giving power to monopolists, to oppressors, to violence. A free market was where armies can come, take your
country, impose client dictatorships like
[Gen. Augusto] Pinochet in Chile or the
neo-Nazis in the Ukraine. And you call
that, a free market.
The free world was a world centrally planned by the US
military & finance, together. So, it’s Orwellian, and the
dynamic of this world is shrinking since it’s polarizing
- and you’ve seen with the Covid pandemic in the US -
the economy has polarized much more sharply than
ever before between the 1%, the 10% and the rest of the economy.
Well, as opposed to that here, you have economies that are
not run by a rentier class, that don't have a banking class
and the landlord class controlling the economy, but a
partnership. The kind of thing you had in Germany in
the late 19th century, government industry & labour
all working together to design how we provide the
financing for industry, so that it can provide, not
only industrial capital formation, but public
funding for us to build infrastructure and
uplift the population.
What China is doing is what made America rich in the 19th
century, what made Germany rich. It’s exactly the same
logical engineering plan. Now, this plan, because it’s
based on economic expansion, and environmental
preservation and economic balance instead of on
concentration, this is going to be a growing
economy. So, you are having a growing
economy outside of the USt - and a shrinking economy in the States
and its satellites in Europe.
Europe had a choice; either it could shrink, and be American,
or it could join the growth. Europe has decided unanimously,
we don’t want to grow. We want to be constant. We want our
banks to take over just like in America. That’s a free market
because Americans have found out, and I’m told by US
officials we just buy the European politicians, they’re
bribable. That’s why when president Putin says,
America and Europe are not agreement capable,
it means they’re just in it for the money. There
is no ideology there. There is no idea of the
overall social benefit. The system is “how
can I get rich, and you can get rich, by
being bribed?” That’s why you go into
politics. As you can tell in the US with
the Supreme Court's law saying that politics can be personally financed.
So, you’re having two incompatible systems and, they’re
on different trajectories & if you have a system that is
shrinking, like the West, and growing in the East, you
have resentment. People who obtain their wealth in
crooked ways, or without working - by inheritance,
by crime, by exploitation - they will fight like any-
thing to keep that. Whereas people who actually
create wealth, labour, capital, they, they’re not
willing to fight, they just want to be creative.
So you have a destructive military force, in
the West... And a productive, economic
growth force. And in Eurasia, the clash
now is occurring largely in Ukraine.
You’re having the US back the
Pepe: The old Nazi movement!
Michael: It’s the same swastika-carrying group that threatened
Russia in World War II. And this is like waving a red flag before
a bull. Putin continues to remind the Russians. We know what
happened with the 22 million Russians that died in World War II
with Europe coming in. We’re not going to let it happen again.
And you can be certain Russia is not going to be sucked into
invading the Ukraine. The US has its military advisers in the
Ukraine. Now, the Vineyard of the Saker has a very good
report on that. America’s trying to needle Russia into
fighting back against the terrorist groups and Russia
has no desire at all to. There’s nothing that Russia
has to gain by taking it over. It’s essentially a
The US is trying to provoke a response so it can say Russia is attacking the West. The result will probably be, that
Russia will simply provide arms to the E. Ukrainians
to fight back the invasion. And you’re going to have a waste-land in Western Ukraine and Poland. And this wasteland will be a new buffer state with Europe. Already you have, maybe, 10% of the Ukrainians having moved to Russia and the east. 10% are now plumbers in England and Europe, working.
They are beginning to look like Latvia, and all the other
neo-liberalized countries. Neo-liberalized countries? If
you want to see the future, look at Latvia and Estonia.
Look at Greece. That’s the American plan. Essentially,
an emigration of skilled labour, a sharp reduction of
living standards, a 20 percent decline in population.
And although it may appear to have more income,
all of this income and GDP is essentially interest
collection and rents to the FIRE sector.
All US GDP growth is essentially payment to the bank, to the landlords and the monopolist, it’s not the population -
employees aren't sharing in the GDP. It’s all concentrated at the top. They make a desert, and they call it growth.
It hasn’t changed. Rome was a predatory economy held by
military force that ultimately collapsed and the US is on the
same trajectory as Rome. And it knows this, I have spoken
to US policymakers & they say, “you know, we’re going to be dead by then. It doesn’t matter if the West loses.
I’m going to be rich. I’m going to buy a farm in New Zealand, and make a big bomb shelter there, and live underground, you know, like a cave dweller.”
The financial time frame * the predatory rentier time frame
is short term. The Eurasian time frame, is long-term. So,
you’ve got to have the short-term burning what wealth
it has, as opposed to the longer-term building up.
[Consider the Biden Covid relief measure.] They call it a stimulus
bill, but if you’re starving, if you haven’t been able to pay your
rent, if you’re six months behind in your rent and you get
enough money to pay the landlord, at least one month
back rent, that’s not a stimulus, that’s a survival. And
it’s a one-time payment. This kind of stimulus checks
that America’s sending out are sent out every month
in Germany and parts of Europe.
The whole idea in Europe is: OK, you have a pandemic, you
have business interrupted. What we’re going to do is we’re
going to have a pause. You don’t pay the rent, but the land-
lords are not going to pay the banks. And the banks are
not going to be in arrears. We’re just going to have a
pause so that when it’s all over people will go back
to normal. Well... China and Russia are already
pretty much there and where you are [in Asia],
and especially in Thailand, are already back
But in America anybody who’s renting or who’s bought a
house on mortgage credit or who has credit card debt or
personal debt or automobile debt they’re way behind.
And all of these stimulus checks are just being used
to pay the banks and the landlords - not to buy more
goods and services.
All they’re trying to do is, is get out of the hole they’ve dug
in the last 12 months. That’s not a stimulus that’s a partial,
desperation payment. This problem never existed in other
civilizations. You have the whole tradition of Greece and
Babylonia --- that’s what my book Forgiving the Debt is
all about. The whole idea is, when there's an economic
interruption, you have an interruption, you don’t have
people going into debt. You wipe out all the arrears
that have mounted up. You wipe out the tax arrears,
the rent arrears, the debt of payment arrears. So,
once the crisis is over, you can start from a
normal position again.
There’s no normalization in the US, there’s no normal position
to start. You’re starting from a position, even more behind the
financial problems than you were when you went in. The
foreign economies of China and Russia don’t have that
kind of problem, they don’t have any kind of deficit. So,
the West is beginning with 99% of the population
deeper and deeper into debt to the 1 percent.
Where is that whole polarization between the 1% and the
99 %? It doesn’t exist, certainly in China and in Russia,
Putin is trying to minimize it, given the legacy of kleptocracy
that the neo-liberals put in, he’s still trying to deal with that,
but you really have that. It’s a difference in economic
systems, and the direction in which these systems
are moving in.
Pepe: I’m really glad that you brought up Ukraine, Michael,
because this, let’s say U.S. foreign policy, even before
Trump and now with the Biden-Harris administration,
basically more or less what it boils down to, is
sanctions, sanctions, sanctions, as we know,
and provocations --- which is what they’re
doing, certainly, in Syria with that
In the case of Ukraine & Donbass, it’s absolutely crazy
because NATO so-called strategists, when you talk to them in Brussels, they know very, very well, about each state or whatever they weaponize and financialize, to profit Kiev to mount some sort of offensive against the Donbass:
and even if they would have l,300,000 soldiers against 30,000 in Donbass.
If the Russians see that this is going to get really heavy if they
intervene directly with their bombing, with their super missiles,
they could finish this story in one day. And if they want it, they
could finish the whole story, including invading Ukraine, in
three days, like they did in 2008 with Georgia, and still they
keep the provocations, loosely acted on by people from
inside the Pentagon.
And so, we have sanctions, we have nonstop provocations, and
we have also a sort of introducing a Fifth Column — elements
inside or at the top of government — which brings me to, and
I would love to have your personal analysis on the role of
Mario (Goldman Sachs) Draghi now in Italy, which is
something I had been discussing with my Italian
friends. And, there’s more or less a consensus,
among very well informed, independent Italian
analysts that Draghi may be a perfect Trojan
horse to accelerate the destruction of the
Italian state, which will accelerate the
globalist project of the European
Union, which is absolutely non-
Let’s put it this way, which is also part of the Great Reset,
so, if you could briefly talk to us about the role of Super
Mario at the moment.
Michael: Well, Italy is a very good example to look at. It had
strings for a long time. When you have a country that needs
infrastructure, plus public, social democratic spending...
you need a government to create the credit. But when the
US and specifically the University of Chicago free market
lobbyists created the the Eurozone financial system, their
premise was that governments cannot create money. Only
banks can create money. Only banks owned by the bond
holders can create money for the benefit of their owners
and bond holders. So, no European government, first of
all, can run a budget deficit sufficient to cope with the
coronavirus or with the problems that have been
plaguing Italy for a decade.
They can’t create their money to revive employment, to revive
infrastructure, to revive the economy. The European Central
Bank only lends to other central banks.
It’s created trillions of euros just to buy stocks and bonds, not
to spend into the economy, not to hire labor, not to build infra-
structure, but just for the holders of the stocks and bonds.
The 1% or 5% of the population gets richer. The function of
the European Central Bank is to create money, to save the
wealthiest 5% from losing a single penny on their stocks
And the cost is to impoverish the economy and to basically
make the economy end up looking like Greece, which was
sort of, the dress rehearsal for how the Eurozone was
going to just essentially reduce Europe to debt
dependency, just like in feudalism, everybody
had to have access to the land by becoming
Well now you’re in debt peonage. It’s the modern, finance
capital’s version of serfdom. And so, in Italy we’re going
to need government spending. We are going to need to
do in our way what China’s doing in its way and what
Russia is doing in its way. We’re going to have some
kind of government program. And we can’t have the
economy being impoverished, just because the
University of Chicago has designed a plan for
Europe to prevent the euro ever from being
a rival to the U.S. dollar.
If there’s no European central bank to borrow,
to pump euros into the world economy, then, only dollars will be left for central bank
The United States doesn’t ever want a rival. It wants satellites
and so that’s what it’s basically turned Europe into. And I do
not see any response outside of Italy for an attempt to say
we can’t be a part of this system. Let’s withdraw from
I know that the Greeks, when I was in Greece years ago, we all
thought can’t we join with Italy and Portugal and Ireland and
say look, the system isn’t working. Everybody else no, no,
the Americans will just simply get us out of office one way
And in Italy, of course, if you look at what happened after World
War II, the great threat was Italian communism. You had the
Americans essentially say well, we know the answer to
communism, it’s fascism, and, you saw where they put
the money. They essentially did every dirty trick in the
book in order to fight any left- wing group in Italy, just
as they did in Yugoslavia, just as they did in Greece,
wiping out the partisans, all the leading anti-Nazi
groups from Greece to Italy to elsewhere. All of
a sudden, they were all either assassinated or
moved out of office and replaced by the very
people that the US had been fighting against
during World War II.
Well, now Italy is finally coming to terms with this and trying
to fight back and you’re having what’s happening there,
between Northern Italy and Southern Italy. You’re
having the same splits occur in other countries.
Pepe: Yeah. Well, I’m going to bring up, perhaps an even more
extreme case now Michael, which is the case of Brazil, which
at the moment is in the middle of an absolutely out of this
world mix of telenovela and Kabuki theater that even for
most Brazilians is absolutely incomprehensible. It’s like
a fragmentation bomb exploding over and over again,
a Groundhog Day of fragmentation bombs.
In fact, it’s completely crazy. Lula [former President Luiz Inácio
Lula da Silva] is back in the picture as well. We still don’t know
under which terms, we still don’t know how the guys who run
the show, which are the Brazilian military, are going to deal
with him or instrumentalize him, et cetera.
I bring up this case because …essentially it has convulsed
Brazil completely and large parts of Latin America. It is a
telenovela with one cliffhanger after another, sometimes
in a matter of minutes, but it encompasses all the basic
themes of what really interests the 0.01 percent, which
we can identify as a class war against labour which is
what the system in Brazil, since the coup against the
Former President Dilma Rousseff has been waging.
A war on mixed economies, economic sovereignty,
which is something that the Masters of the Universe
of the 0.01 percent cannot wage against Russia and
China. But that was very successfully waged against
Brazil and implemented in Brazil. In fact, in a matter
of 2 years, they completely devastated the country
in every possible sense, industrially,
sociologically, you name it…
And of course, because the main objective is something that
you keep stressing over and over again, unipolar rentier
dominance, in fact.
Brazil, I would say is the extreme case in the world not only in
the Global South, but in planetary terms of let’s say the last
frontier of the rentier economy, when you manage to capture
a country that was slowly emerging as a leader in the Global
South, as an economic leader. Don’t forget that a few years
ago, Brazil was the sixth-largest economy in the world and
on the way to become the fifth. Now it’s the 12th and falling
down nonstop and controlled by a mafia that includes not
by accident, a Chicago Boy Pinochetista, Minister Paulo
Guedes, who is implementing, in the 21st century,
something that was implemented in Chile in the
‘70s and ‘80s. And they were successful.
Apparently, at least so far.
Brazil is so disorganized as a nation, so shattered, so fragmented
& atomized as a nation that it depends on the re-emergence of a
single political leader, in this case Lula to try to rebuild the nation
from scratch. And even in a position where he cannot control the
game he can interfere in the game, which is what happened, like
you know, … when he gave a larger-than-life press conference,
mixed with a representation of himself as a statesman and said,
“Look the whole thing is shattered, but there is some light at
the end of the tunnel.”
But still, he cannot confront the real Masters of the Universe that
have allowed this to happen in the first place. So just to give an
example to many of you who are not familiar with some details
of the Brazilian case, and it involves directly the Obama-Biden
scheme or the Obama-Biden larger operation. When Biden was
vice president in 2013, in May 2013, he visited Brazil for three
days and he met with President Dilma.
They discussed very touchy subjects, including the most important
one, the absolutely enormous, pre-salt oil reserves, which obviously,
the Americans wanted to be part of the whole thing, not by accident.
You know what happened one week later? The start of the Brazilian
colour revolution, and this thing kept rolling and rolling and rolling.
We got the coup against Dilma in 2016, we got to the Car Wash
operation landing Lula in jail. And we got to the election of
[President Jair] Bolsanaro. And now we are in a place where
even if the military controls this whole process, even if
Bolsanaro is becoming bad for business will he become
bad for the rentier class business, for the 0.01 percent in
the U.S. that has all the connections in their new, large
neo-colony in the tropics, which has enormous
strategic value, not to mention, unforeseen
resources, wealth resources, right?
So, this is an extreme case - and I know you follow Brazil
relatively closely. So, your geo-economic and geopolitical
input on the running telenovela I think would be priceless
for all of us.
Michael: Well, this problem goes back 60 years. In 1965, the
former president of Brazil came to New York and we met. He
explained to me how the United States essentially got rid of
him because he wasn’t representing the banking class. And
he said that they built Brasilia because it’s apart from the big
industrial cities, they wanted to prevent industry and
democracy and the population from controlling
So, they built Brasilia. He said maybe they’ll use it as an atom
bomb site. It certainly doesn’t have an economic thing. Well,
fast forward, in 1980, after Mexico defaulted on its foreign
debt in 1972, nobody would invest in Latin America. And
by 1990, Brazil was paying 45 % interest per year to
borrow the dollars to be able to finance its deficit,
which is mainly flight capital by the wealthy.
Well I think I’d mentioned before, I was hired by Scudder,
Stevens and Clark for the Third World bond fund. 45%:
I mean, just imagine that. It’s a fortune every year. No
American would buy it, no European would buy it. Who
bought it? The Brazilians and Argentineans bought it,
& I get it, they’re the government, they’re the central
bankers. They’re the president’s family. They’re the
1 percent, they’re the only people that are holding
Brazil’s dollar debt.
So when Brazil pays its foreign dollar debt, it’s paying to its own
1 percent who are holding, who are saying well, we’re holding it
off shore in the Dutch West Indies where the fund was located
for tax-exempt purposes and pretending to be American
imperialists, but actually being local imperialists.
Well then, just towards the end of Lula’s reign, the Council of
Economic Advisors brought Jamie Galbraith and Randy Wray
and me down for a discussion. How do we, you know, we’re,
we’re really worried because, Lula in order to get elected,
had to meet with the banks and agree to give them what
They said, look, we can see that, you know, you have the power
to be elected. We don’t want to have to fight you in dirty ways,
but will let you be elected, but you’re going to have to do the
policies and certainly the financial policies that we want and
Lula made a kind of a devil’s agreement with them because
he didn’t want to be killed and he wanted to do some
So, he was sort of like a Bernie Sanders-type character. Okay,
you have to go along with a really bad system in order to get
something good done, because Brazil really needs something
good done. Well, the fact is that even the little bit he did the
finance couldn’t take because one of the characteristics of
financial wealth is it’s addictive. It’s not like diminishing
marginal utility. If you give more food to an employee or
to a worker you know, at the end of the meal, you’re
satiated, you don’t want much more. If you give
enough money you know, OK, they buy a few
luxuries and then, OK, they save it. But if you
give more money to a billionaire they want
even more... and they grow... even more
desperate. It’s like a cocaine-addicted
person and the Brazilian ruling class
wanted it so desperately that they
framed up and controlled the
utterly corrupt judiciary.
The judiciary in Brazil is almost as
corrupt as it is in New York City.
Pepe: More, even more.
Michael: They framed them up and they want totalitarian control.
And that sort of is what free market is. Totalitarian control by the
financial class. That’s freedom for the financial class, if the
freedom to do what they want to do to the rest of the
economy, that’s libertarianism, it’s a free market,
it’s Austrian economics.
It’s the right wing’s fight against government, it’s a fight against
any governments for long enough who resist the financial and
real estate interests. That’s what the free market is. And Brazil
is merely the most devastating example of this because it
takes such a racial term there. Not only does Brazil want
to make a fortune, tearing down the Amazon, cutting up
the Amazon, selling the lumber to China, turning the
Amazon into soy production to sell to China. But for
that, you have to kill off the domestic population, the indigenous population that wants to use land to feed itself. So you see the kind of race war &
ethnic war that you have, not to mention the
war against blacks in the Brazilian slums -
that Lula tried so much to overcome.
So you have a resumption of the ethnic war there, and on Wall
Street, I had discussions with money managers back in 1990.
Well I wonder whether that’s going to be a model for what’s
happening in the United States with the ethnic war here.
Essentially, it’s a tragedy what’s happening in Brazil, but it’s
pretty much what happened in Chile under Pinochet which
is why they have the Pinochetistas and the Chicago boys
that you mentioned.
Pepe: Absolutely. Coming back to China, Michael, and the
[recent] approval of the 5-Year Plan, which isn't actually the 5-year plan. It’s actually three 5-year plans in one
because they are already planning 2035, which is
something absolutely unimaginable anywhere
in the West. Right?
So, it’s a different strategy of productive investment, of the
expansion of social welfare and solidifying social welfare,
technological improvements. I would say by 2025 China
will be very close to the same infotech level of the U.S.,
This is part of “Made in China 2025,” which is fantastic.
They stopped talking about it, but they're still implement-
ing it, the technological drive in all those standard areas
that they had codified a few years ago. And of course,
this notion, which I found particularly fascinating
because it is, in one sense, socialism with some
Confucianist elements, but is also very Taoist:
The dual development strategy, which is
inversions and expansion of domestic
investment and consumption and the
balancing all the time with projects
across Eurasia, not only affiliated
with the Belt and Road, with the
New Silk Road, but all other
projects as well.
So, when you have a leadership that is capable of planning
with this scope, amplitude breadth and reach, and when we
compare it to the money managers in the West, which
basically their planning goes, not even quarterly in
many cases, it’s 24 hours.
So our dichotomy between rentier capitalism, financialization,
or whatever we want to define it, and state planning with the
view of social benefit is even starker in fact, and I’m not
saying that the Chinese system can be exported to the
rest of the world, but I’m sure that, all across the Global
South, when people look at Chinese policies, long-term,
how they are planning, how they are developed and how they are always fine tuning what they developed and
discuss…. As you said in the beginning, this is a
frontal shock of two systems and sooner or later
we’re going to have the bulk of the Global South
including nations which nowadays are still
American vassals or satrapies or puppets
or poodles, et cetera.
They’re going to see which way the wind is blowing. Right?
Michael: Why can’t the Chinese system be exported to the West?
That’s a good question…. How would you make US industry able
to follow the same productive path that China did? Well for one
thing the biggest element in workers’ budget today is housing,
40 percent. There was one way to get rid of it, get rid of the
high housing prices that essentially, or whatever a bank
would lend. And the banks lend essentially the economic
rent. There’s a very simple way to keep housing prices
down. You tax the land rent, you use your tax system,
not on taxing labor, that increases the cost of labor,
not increasing capital, that leaves less, industrial
capital, but your tax of the land and the real
estate and the banks.
Well, suppose you were to lower the price of housing in
America from 40% to 10% like China has, and this is the
big element in the cost structure difference. Well, if all
of a sudden, people only had to pay 10% of their
income for housing, then all the banks would go under, because 80% of the bank loans,
are mortgage loans.
The whole idea is that the purpose of housing is to force how
many buyers and renters go into debt to the banks so that the
banks end up with all of the lend rent that the landlord class
used to get. This is what’s preventing America from being like
China. What if America would try to develop a high-speed
railroad like China?
Well, then you need the right of way. You’d need to have the
railroads go in a straight line. … They need a right of way
and it doesn’t have a right of way because that conflicts
with private property and most of the right of way is a
very expensive real estate.
So, you can’t have high-speed rail in the United States, like in
China. Suppose you would have a low-cost education. Well
then, you get rid of the whole means of siphoning off labor’s
income to pay for education loans. You could go, suppose
you had private healthcare and prevent Americans from
getting sick like they do in China and Thailand, where
Well, then the health insurance companies and pharmaceutical
companies wouldn’t be able to make their rent. So you could
not have America adopt a China type industrial program
without what would be really a revolution against the
legacy of the monopoly of private banking, of finance
and all of the fortunes that have been built up
financially really in the last 40 years
Pepe: So, what’s going to happen in the, let’s say, short to
mid-term in the U.S.? Michael, we are seeing the corrosion
of the whole system, not only externally in terms of foreign
policy & the end of the free lunch, but internally with those
70-million-plus “deplorables” being, literally, canceled from
public debate, the impoverishment of the middle classes,
with over 50 million people in the US who are practically
becoming literally poor. Obviously the American dream
ended a few decades ago, maybe, but now there’s not even a glimpse of it, that there could be a renewal of the American dream.
So, we have a larval civil war situation, degrading on a daily basis. What’sthe end game in fact? And what exactly does Wall Street, the US ruling class - guys who have those lunches at the Harvard club -
what do they, ultimately, want?
Michael: Well, what you call a disaster for the economy, isn’t it
a bonanza for the 1%? This is a victory of finance. You look at
it as a collapse of industrial capitalism. I look at it as the
victory of rentier finance capitalism. You’re having
probably 10 million Americans that are going to be
thrown out of their apartments and their homes in
June when the moratorium on rents & mortgages
ends. You’re going to have a vast increase in the
homeless population. It will probably represent
an increase in people who use the subways.
Where else are they going to live?
And all of this, there’s an immense amount of private capital
firms that have all been created in the last year of just wealth
accumulations and they’re saying there are going to be such
great opportunities to pick up real estate at bargain prices,
all of this for the commercial real estate, that’s broken, all
the buildings and the restaurants that have to be sold...
because they can’t meet their mortgage payments and
their rents, all the houses that are going to be under,
private capital can come in and do what was done
after the Obama evictions.
We can do what Blackstone did. We can buy them all out for
pennies on the dollar. So, for them, they’re looking at their
own 20-year plan. And their 20-year plan, is to grab
The views of individual contributors
do not necessarily represent those
of Strategic Culture Foundation.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Recently, the British Board of Film Classification
(BBFC), the body tasked with censoring and
classifying the films released in the UK,
announced that it has decided to get
involved in educating parents:- on
how to deal with one of the most
controversial issues they face.
It has compiled a list of five movies that “explore
transgender experiences” which it believes are
fit for family discussions. It hopes that, as a
result of this initiative, it can prompt a
discussion on this rather sensitive topic, between parents and their children.
Although on its website the BBFC presents the initiative as an educational one, its real aim, however, is not so much to educate, as to advocate.
In this instance, the objective is to get families to
educate themselves about “trans rights & trans
people’s journeys”. It uses the term “educate”,
in the sense that advocacy campaigners use it
- which means encouraging families to accept
and embrace the gender ideology promoted
by the trans activists also involved in
The BBFC’s ''partner'', is All About Trans, a project
backed by charity On Road Media, which aims to
“change how the media understands & portrays
transgender people”. It clearly also wants to
influence parents and children, so their
outlook falls into line with its views.
In principle, there is nothing objectionable about groups
of private individuals organising and launching an
advocacy campaign. In a free and democratic
society, advocating for different points of
view is an important feature of public life.
But matters are very different when supposedly neutral
official institutions take it on themselves to serve as
conduits for the agenda and ideology of
There is a problem when the official authority of the BBFC
is used to promote the views of one section of the
community --- particularly on a sensitive and
contentious subject such as trans culture.
(Part of an article by Frank Furedi, author and
social commentator. He's emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, Canterbury.
Author of How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear
in the 21st Century. Follow him on Twitter
@Furedibyte The full article first appeared In RT)
This news item appeared in Fort Russ
4 months ago & was missed by many:
Belarusian President Lukashenko Says IMF Offered A Billion USD Bribe
To Impose Covid-19 Lockdown
by Joaquin Flores
September 10th, 2020 (Fort Russ)
Now we see another dimension to the German
push to remove Belarus President Lukashenko!
Armstrong Economics –
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said
last month, via Belarusian Telegraph Agency, BelTA., that the World Bank and IMF offered him a bribe of $940 million USD, in the form of “Covid Relief Aid.”
In exchange for $940 million USD, the World
Bank and IMF demanded that the President
• impose an “extreme lockdown on his people”
• force them to wear face masks
• impose very strict curfews
• impose a police state
• crash the economy
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko refused the offer and stated that he could not accept such an offer and would put his people above the needs of the IMF and World Bank. This fact can be verified using most search engines.
Now the IMF and World Bank are bailing out failing airlines
with billions of dollars, and in exchange, they are forcing
airline CEOs to implement very strict policies such as
forced face mask covers on everyone, including
small children, whose health will suffer as a
result of these policies.
And if it is true for Belarus, then it is true for the rest of the
world. The IMF and World Bank want to crash every major
economy, with the intention of buying over every nation’s
infrastructure, at cents on the dollar.
What do you think, gentle reader?
Chinese court orders man to
pay ex-wife for housework
in landmark ruling
February 24th (PressTV)
A Chinese man has been ordered to pay his ex-wife
almost $8,000 for years of unpaid housework, in a
landmark divorce case that has sparked furious
debate in China.
Under the country's new civil code, which came into
effect this year, divorcing spouses have the right
for the first time to request compensation if
they bore more responsibilities at home.
Ex-wife Wang told the Beijing court that during five years
of marriage she "looked after the child and managed
household chores, while (her husband) Chen did
not care about, or participate in, any other
household affairs besides going to work."
She filed a claim for extra compensation for housework
and childcare duties, according to a February 4th
The court ruled that Wang had, indeed, taken on more
household responsibilities and should receive 50,000
yuan ($7,700) plus sole child custody and an
additional 2,000 yuan in alimony per month.
But after local media reported this week that Wang had
appealed — having originally requested 160,000 yuan
compensation — the ruling sparked widespread
online debate over the value of women's unpaid domestic labour.
The trending hashtag "stay-at-home wife receives 50,000
yuan housework compensation" gained over 570 million
views on the Twitter-like platform Weibo by Wednesday.
The amount reflected the length of time the couple were
married plus "the effort Wang put into housework,
Chen's income and the local cost of living,"
according to one of the judges quoted
on Monday in local media.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) has estimated that Chinese women spend nearly four
hours doing unpaid labour daily — 2.5 times that of men and
higher than the average.
Marriage breakups have surged over the last two decades in
China as divorce laws were liberalized and women became
more financially independent — to the concern of Beijing,
which is trying to boost birth rates, in an
What do you think?
Imam Khamenei:Enemies Can’t
Do a Damn Thing against Iran
February 3rd (al Manar)
Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Sayyed
Ali Khamenei, stressed that the enemies of the
Islamic Republic are incapable of adopting
“Be aware, that enemies cannot do a damn thing against
the Islamic Republic. Islam’s and the Islamic Republic’s
power and authority is growing,” the Leader said on
Wednesday during a videoconference with a group
of Iranian eulogists in an annual ceremony marking
the birth anniversary of Sayyeda Fatima Zahra (a.s.).
“Of course, there have been ups and downs, some individuals
serve the country and some others lose this opportunity but
all in all the movement is towards development,” Imam
Khamenei said, as quoted by Mehr news agency.
His eminence congratulated Muslims on the birthday
anniversary of Sayyeda Fatima Zahra (a.s.), as he
pointed to some of her distinctive characteristics.
The Leader referred to the fundamental difference of Islam and
the West towards women. “Islam’s and the Islamic Republic’s
view towards women is based on respect, while the West
views woman as a commodity and instrument,” he noted.
''Islam knows no difference between men and women with
regards to divine and human values'', Imam Khamenei said.
“We are proud of the view of Islam and we protest
over the Western view of women and lifestyle.”
Referring to the Western propaganda - that claims Islam and the
Islamic hijab hinder the growth of women, Imam Khamenei said
“This is a clear lie and the obvious proof is the situation of
women in the Islamic Republic.”
“Iran has not seen in its history this great a portion of educated
women and women that are active in different social, cultural,
artistic, scientific, political, and economic fields and this is a result of the Islamic Republic,” the Leader highlighted.
Source: Iranian media
WHAT DO you THINK?
The quantum leap forward: On birthing
the world’s fastest, most advanced
internet network, China claims
supremacy over the US
January 14th, 2021 (RT)
by Brian McGleenon,
A journalist who has worked for Fuji Television,
The Daily Express, The Independent, KBS and
Beijing’s new quantum computer can solve mathematical
problems in 200 seconds that it would take current super-
computers millions of years to solve – and the network
around it, will revolutionise how we live and work.
China achieved “quantum supremacy” with the development
of its Jiuzhang quantum computer, which last month surpassed
Google’s Sycamore quantum device with its ability to calculate
100 trillion times faster than the fastest classical supercomputer.
The development sent shock waves around the world. But before
this news could be fully digested by rival players in the quantum
race, Beijing announced it had also built the world’s first fully
integrated quantum network. Earlier this month, a network of
satellite relays and fiber optic cables between Shanghai and
Beijing, was able to “teleport” huge amounts of data.
The world is now witnessing the birth of a Chinese quantum
internet that will revolutionize society by allowing unhackable
transfers of data and optimizing machine learning for the
‘internet of things’, and possibly leading to instantaneous
communication when developed further. Quantum
computing allows the evaluating of multiple
possibilities at once and the performing of complex calculations not possible on normal computers.
“Quantum computers aren’t just about doing things faster or
more efficiently,” a Wired article explained last year. “They’ll
let us do things that we couldn’t even have dreamed of
without them. Things that even the best super-
computer just isn’t capable of.”
As the writer described it: “If you ask a normal computer to
figure its way out of a maze, it will try every single branch
in turn, ruling them all out individually until it finds the
right one. A quantum computer can go down every
path of the maze at once. It can hold uncertainty
in its head.”
The Chinese scientists teleported quantum information 1,400km
(870 miles) to two satellites then back to earth via receiver
stations – a first step in creating a global-scale quantum
internet. Together with the development of Jiuzhang,
the recent developments have pushed the country
to the forefront in the race to win the ‘quantum age’
– a development that will unnerve Washington
and Silicon Valley.
According to Professor Lo Hoi-kwong, of the University of
Hong Kong, China is now playing the leading role in the
application of quantum communications. He predicted that the technology would have advanced applications
for the Chinese military, its finance sector, and for
the country’s overall communications.
One of the key architects of Jiuzhang, Professor Chao-Yang
Lu, of the University of Science and Technology of China,
told RT.com that the computer gained “quantum
advantage” over the most advanced classic
supercomputer through the use of photons
of light to solve calculations, instead of the
classical use of electrical binary signals
He claimed the revolutionary design would allow computations
that would take conventional supercomputers hundreds of
millions of years to solve to be executed in seconds.
Speaking to RT.com from his office in Beijing, Professor Lu
said the applications of the new technology would transform
“the field of quantum chemistry and optimization, which can
be helpful in designing new materials and machine learning”.
He explained how Jiuzhang could be deployed in China’s quantum
internet development, “because it can be used as a node,” able to
program and store information being communicated through the
quantum network. The professor added that the Chinese device
had an advantage over its competitors, such as Sycamore,as
“it uses photons that are naturally compatible with the
internet because obviously flying photons are the
fastest and only sensible way to transfer
information over long distances”.
He added that “quantum computation and quantum communication
using photons share a lot of techniques in common”. Sycamore
relies on super-cold, superconducting metal, whereas the
Chinese alternative can operate at room temperature.
One promising application for quantum computers is their ability
to solve machine-learning optimization problems and quickly
read huge data sets. This speeding up of machine-learning
algorithms will allow much more advanced autonomous
devices. The development of the internet of things will
see vast scales of data gathered every second by
devices, sensors and machines. Quantum
computers would be ideal information-
Professor Lu emphasized that the phrase “quantum supremacy”
was not about political domination, but based on such devices
outperforming classical supercomputers. He stressed:
“Building quantum computer machines is a race between
nature and humans, not between countries... The whole
international community should closely collaborate.
We should encourage more open scientific
exchange, in both knowledge and people.”
Since 2016, China's president Xi Jinping has been aggressively
pushing the advancement of the nation’s research into quantum
technology. The move is a key part of his blueprint to make
China technologically self-reliant and a global leader in
scientific research and development. He has set the
nation a goal of achieving dominance in the area
of quantum computing by 2030.
Billions of dollars have been poured into the quest, and a new
institute created: the Chinese National Laboratory for Quantum
Information Sciences. The institute was behind the creation of
the integrated quantum network, consisting of two satellites
and thousands of kilometers of optical fiber cables linking
key government facilities, power grids, military posts, and
banks between Beijing and Shanghai. The whole system
is claimed to be immune from disruptive cyber-attacks.
According to the Global Times, president Xi announced at a CCP
group study session in October 2020 that he wanted to strengthen
“top-level design” in the field of quantum science and encouraged
the acceleration of “breakthroughs in basic research”. Referring
to the nation’s dedication to becoming dominant in the field, the
state-run tabloid also reported that “China had nearly twice as
many patent filings as the US for quantum technology overall
The US has responded testily to China's ambitions in quantum
computing, particularly fearing its military applications. In 2018,
President Donald Trump placed his signature to the National
Quantum Initiative Act, which pledged $1.2 billion for research
in the field over five years. In the same year, the US military
implicitly referred to China’s quantum advancements as a
national security threat in a statement titled ‘Technologies
for Threat Military Applications’. It read: “A global race has
ensued to exploit and operationalize quantum technologies
for the use of military effects. The race to conquer the
quantum domain is among the most fiercely
competitive in today’s world of technology.”
Quantum computing can utilize two fundamental properties
of quantum mechanics: superposition and entanglement.
Superposition means the information held in ‘qubits’ can
exist in two different states simultaneously. This could
allow vast amounts of information to be stored in
sections of code.
The infinite variables allow the quantum computer vast
amounts of processing power, because each qubit can
perform multiple calculations at once. Superposition
also greatly increases the speed by which a quantum
computer can solve certain problems that would take
classical computers millions of years. For instance,
the computational advantage of China’s quantum
computer can solve mathematical problems in
seconds that the world’s fastest conventional
computer, Japan’s Fugaku, would take an
estimated 600 million years to solve.
Entanglement is another advantage of the quantum and is
one of the strangest phenomena of quantum mechanics.
Einstein called entanglement “spooky action at a distance”,
in which subatomic particles that are nearby each other
influence each other in some way, such as the direction
they spin in. However, the strange effects of entangle-
ment mean that when these two particles are separated,
no matter at how vast a distance, if one is changed,
the other goes through the same changes at exactly
the same time, meaning these two particles are
intimately and forever connected.
The principle of entanglement could be used by quantum
devices for the exponentially faster communication of
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Share this story!
Since our youngsters accept the line that its all a con...
This article on RT seems to get it right... what do you think?
Covid-19 was present in Italy as early as
SEPTEMBER 2019, study of lung cancer
November 15th, 2020 (RT)
The Covid-19 virus had been active in Italy months before it was
first officially detected, new research has found, raising further
questions about the true origins, extent and actual duration of
the ongoing pandemic.
The new groundbreaking study, conducted by scientists
with Milan Institute of Cancer & the University of Siena,
was published this week, by the Tumori Journal. The
research is based on the analysis of blood samples
from 959 people, collected during lung cancer
screening tests conducted between
September 2019 and March 2020.
More than 11 percent of the tested – 111 people – turned out to
have had coronavirus-specific antibodies. All the tested people
were asymptomatic and were not showing any signs of the
disease. Some 23 of the positive results date back to
September 2019, suggesting that the virus was
actually present in the country as early as
during last summer – some six months
before the pandemic ‘began’ and
The new research is poking new holes in the already well-battered
belief that the novel coronavirus emerged from the Chinese city of
Wuhan around December 2019 and that it turned into pandemic in
January 2020. The data from Italian researchers is particularly
valuable, as it’s based on actual blood samples, as compared
to the earlier, less conclusive findings that also suggested
that the established pandemic timeline could be wrong.
The study’s conclusions appear to be consistent with the reports
of severe respiratory symptoms and “atypical flu” rampant among
Italy’s elderly late in 2019. Another study, published by Italian
scientists back in June, showed that traces of the
coronavirus were found in sewage water
analyzed as early as last December.
Similar findings have been made by scientists from other countries
as well. Spanish researchers have claimed they have traced corona
- virus in sewage samples taken as early as March 2019.
Analysis of hospital records from late 2019 in the US has also
suggested the unusual amount of ‘flu’ patients, many of whom
experienced heavy “coughing” ... and other severe
Globally, the number of registered Covid-19 cases has gone past the
54-million mark, while more than 1.3 million people have perished,
the latest figures by the Johns Hopkins University show. With the
mounting evidence that the outbreak began well before its
‘official’ start, it’s becoming more likely that the true
extent of the pandemic will, one day, be revised.
At a time when the ''pink tide'' in Latin America has receded, and most see the US pivoting to re-enact a Monroe Doctrine 2, this new article from Fort Russ, is refresshing!
What do you think?
‘BEIJING CONSENSUS’: China-Latin America Cooperation Signals New Era by Paul Antonopoulos August 1st, 2018
A Chinese space research base located in central Patagonia, Argentina, has sparked interest in The New York Times, which labeled it “one of the most striking symbols” of Beijing’s transformative role in the region.
The US newspaper highlighted the story on the front cover of its July 29 issue and dedicated an extensive report, analyzing the reasons behind the colossal facility in the province of Neuquén. Under Chinese control, the site is part of the ambitious project under- taken by Beijing to land on the hidden side of the moon.
According to The New York Times, this facility is only one of many pieces of evidence of China’s growing influence -- not only in Argentina but in other countries in the region where it has invested in construction, or to which it has lent, in exchange for holdings in hydrocarbon reserves.
“The base has a geographical position very close to the Argentine submarine platform facing the Atlantic and a strategic monitoring station in Antarctica, where China has the largest scientific base in the world,” Gustav Cardozo, an analyst at Argentine Centre for International Studies (CAEI), explained.
The construction of the Chinese space complex on Argentine soil, which covers about 200 hectares, is the result of negotiations between the government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015), and the administration of Xi Jinping and is intended to be a space for “astronomical research.”
In Cardozo’s opinion, the base “has an objective of military monitoring” in a privileged space. In recent years, with projects like this, China has demonstrated a policy of “space race” with a very strong investment and improved technology from Russia and the former Soviet Union, to consolidate itself as a leading player in the industry.
In fact, the base in question is part of the Deep Space Network, a set of communication resources to support Chinese operations beyond Earth.
“China has a strong intention of exploring space and competing strategically with the US. This military base not only allows us to monitor space, since Argentine Patagonia and southern Chile are geographically very good regions because of the visibility they offer, China’s fundamental interest has to do with Antarctica,” said the expert.
The white continent is “very strategic” area in the eyes of Beijing due to the abundance of natural resources, in addition to hydrocarbons and mining. China is moving in to take advantage of the US’ fragile imperial reform period in which Washington is reassessing its commitments around the world, such as in Antarctica and Latin America, which have, until the Trump presidency, seemed to have taken a back seat to the European theatre of Atlanticism.
“With Donald Trump, that gap between Washington and the rest of the Latin American countries has increased and China, with a strong investment, is occupying the space that the US is leaving behind,” Cardozo said.
In this way, “through scientific and technological means,” the military presence of China is consolidating, because in facilities like Neuquén, “the work of Argentine scientists is minimal.” Officials who control the perimeter are Chinese and “people living in the area can not enter the perimeter.”
In any case, the Neuquén Space Station is a symbol of the power of the Asian giant in Latin America. In the opinion of CAEI’s expert, “in a decade, China will play an extremely important role in the region”, a preponderant place that is already observed, he says, due to the strategic importance of Latin America, which is a supplier of food, raw materials and hydrocarbons.
The examples cited by the analyst include control over the Panama Canal and investments in broadening it, as well as the incentive to create new bi-oceanic corridors to improve trade. This is part of the Chinese project to include Latin America in the New Silk Road, the ambitious infra- structure investment project in the corridor that runs from South Asia to Eastern Europe and Africa.
The New York Times points to this Asian country’s strategy and mentions that the bond that formed during the era of progressive governments in Latin America (2005-2015) has lasted even after the shift to the right in several countries, as in the case of Argentina itself.
“China is taking a leading role, which will increase in the future because it has sovereign funds to invest, and because it has an interest in Latin America, an interest that no other extra- continental power shows. I believe that, in a few years, in a decade, this will be something totally visible,” said Gustavo Cardozo.
However, there is a difference between China and other powers that once were present in Latin America: the policy of treating countries as partners, since, for Beijing, “self-determination of peoples is of great importance”, as is “respect for internal sovereignty.” This is a policy of cooperation with “non- interference in others’ domestic affairs” which, according to Cardozo, might be explained by “China’s past suffering of unequal treatment” from the colonial powers.
According to Cardozo, at a time when the so-called “Washington Consensus” dictated a package of rules to be followed by countries receiving assistance from institutions under the US umbrella, “today we could say that there is a ‘Beijing Consensus’ based on non-interference in internal affairs.”
This consensus “manifests itself in regions such as Africa and Latin America, where there are young countries that attach much importance to the issues of sovereignty and self-determination,” said the expert.
As an example, he cited the case of Venezuela, a country with which, China has maintained close ties, even when other countries have imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions. Beijing reiterated --- that the crisis of the Caribbean nation “is something that its people have to solve”.
War Crimes in Korea - Guilty as Charged
With the world's press spending a great deal of its energy on the rather fractious relationship between the United States and North Korea, a look back in time gives us some fascinating insight regarding the geopolitical stresses that rule the region, particularly the stresses that occurred during the Korean War.
Thanks to the International Action Centre and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a Non-Governmental Organization which was founded in 1946 and acts as a consultative group to UNESCO, we have an interesting document that outlines some of America's actions on the Korean Peninsula during the early 1950s.
In March 1952, the IADL issued a Report on U.S. Crimes in Korea during the Korean War.
In the early 1950s, the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea repeatedly asked the United Nations to protest violations of international law by their enemies, the United States-led international coalition. These requests were ignored by the United Nations &, as such, the Council of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers set up a Commission... consisting of lawyers from several nations, to investigate these allegations with a "boots on the ground" trip to Korea, which took place from March 3rd to March 19th, 1952, visiting the provinces of North and South Piengan, Hwang Hai, Kang Wan, including the towns of Pyongyang, Nampo, Kaichen, Pek Dong, Amju, Sinchon, Anak, Sariwon and Wonsan among others.
The IADL notes that, under United Nations rules, the U.S. intervention on the Korean Peninsula was unlawful and that President Truman's orders to the American Navy and Air Force should be considered an "aggressive act" that went against the United Nations Charter.
Here are some of the more interesting findings of the IADL Commission:
1.) Bacteriological Warfare: The Commission investigated the allegations that American forces in Korea were using bacteriological weapons against both the DPRK armed forces and the nation's civilian population. Between the 28th of January and the 12th of March (i.e. during the dead of winter), 1952, the Commission found... insects which carried bacteria, in many different locations:
The Commission noted that many of the insect species had not been found in Korea, prior to the arrival of American forces and that many of them were found in mixed groups or clusters that would not normally be found together, for example, flies and spiders. It also noted that the January temperature was 1 degree Celsius (just above freezing) to 5 degrees Celsius in February but that the prevailing average temperature was far below the freezing level, temperatures that are extremely hostile to insect life.
The insects were infected with the following bacteria which include plague, cholera and typhus:
1.) Eberthella typhus
2.) Bacillus paratyphi A and B
3.) Shigella dysenteriae
4.) Vibrio cholera
5.) Pasturella pestis
In addition, a great quantity of fish of a species which live in regions between fresh water and salt water, were found; these fish were found in a half rotten state and were infected with cholera.
2.) Chemical Weapons: On various occasions since May 6th, 1951, American planes used asphyxiating and other gases or chemical weapons as follows:
In the first attack on Nampo City, there were 1,379 casualties of which 480 died of suffocation and 647 others were affected by gas.
3.) Mass Massacres: According to witnesses, the commander of the U.S. Forces in the region of Sinchon by the name of Harrison ordered the mass killing of 35,383 civilians (19,149 men and 16,234 women) during the period between October 17th and December 7th, 1950. The civilians were pushed into a deep open grave, doused with fuel oil and set on fire. Those who tried to escape were shot. In another case, on October 20th, 2015, 500 men women and children were forced into an air raid cave shelter, located in the city of Sinchon. Harrison ordered American soldiers to put explosives into the shelter and seal it with sacks of earth, prior to the fuse being lit.
Here are other examples of mass murders:
4.) Attacks on Civilians:
Prior to the Korean War, the capital city of North Korea, Pyongyang, had a population of 464,000. As a result of the war, the population had fallen to 181,000 by December 31, 1951. In the period between June 27, 1950 and the Commission's visit, more than 30,000 incendiary and explosive devices were dropped on the city, destroying 64,000 out of 80,000 houses, 32 hospitals and dispensaries (despite the fact that they were marked with a red cross), 64 churches, 99 schools and university buildings.
Here is the conclusion of the Commission:
The IADL Commission unanimously found that the United States was guilty of crimes against humanity during the Korean War and that there was a pattern of behaviour which constitutes genocide.
Let's close this posting with the conclusion of the 2001 Korea International War Crimes Tribunal, which examined the testimony of civilians from both North Korea and South Korea, over the period from 1945 to 2001:
The Members of the International War Crimes Tribunal find the accused Guilty, on the basis of the evidence against them: each of the nineteen separate crimes alleged in the Initial Complaint has been established to have been committed beyond a reasonable doubt. The Members find these crimes to have occurred during three main periods in the U.S. intervention in and occupation of, Korea.
1. The best-known period is from June 25, 1950, until July 27, 1953, the Korean War, when over 4.6 million Koreans perished, according to conservative Western estimates, including 3 million civilians in the north and 500,000 civilians in the south. The evidence of US war crimes presented to this Tribunal, included eyewitness testimony & documentary accounts of massacres of thousands of civilians in southern Korea by U.S. military forces during the war. Abundant evidence was also presented, concerning criminal and even genocidal U.S. conduct in northern Korea, including the systematic leveling of most buildings and dwellings by U.S. artillery and aerial bombardment; wide- spread atrocities committed by U.S. & R.O.K. forces against civilians and prisoners of war; the deliberate destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic production; and the use of illegal weapons and biological and chemical warfare by the U.S. against the people and the environment of northern Korea. Documentary and eyewitness evidence was also presented showing gross and systematic violence committed against women in northern and southern Korea, characterized by mass rapes, sexual assaults and murders.
2. Less known but of crucial importance in understanding the war period, is the preceding five years, from the landing of U.S. troops in Korea on September 8, 1945, to the outbreak of the war. The Tribunal Members examined extensive evidence of US crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity, in this period.
The Members conclude that the U.S. government acted to divide Korea against the will of the vast majority of the people, limit its sovereignty, create a police state in southern Korea using many former collaborators with Japanese rule, and provoke tension and threats between southern and northern Korea, opposing and disrupting any plans for peaceful reunification. In this period the U.S. trained, directed and supported the ROK in systematic murder, imprisonment, torture, surveillance, harassment and violations of human rights, of hundreds of thousands of people, especially of those individuals or groups considered nationalists, leftists, peasants seeking land reform, union organizers and/or those sympathetic to the north.
3. The Members find that, in the period from July 1953, to the present, the U.S. has continued to maintain a powerful military force in southern Korea, backed by nuclear weapons, in violation of international law and intended to obstruct the will of the Korean people for reunification. Military occupation has been accompanied by the organized sexual exploitation of Korean women, frequently leading to violence and even murder of women, by U.S. soldiers, who have felt above the law. U.S.- imposed economic sanctions have impoverished and debilitated the people of northern Korea, leading to a reduction of life expectancy, widespread malnutrition and even starvation, in a country that once exported food. The refusal of the US government to grant visas to a delegation from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, who planned to attend this Tribunal, only confirms the criminal intent of the defendants - to isolate those whom they have abused, to prevent them from telling their story to the world.
In all these 55 years, the U.S. government has systematically manipulated, controlled, directed, misinformed and restricted press and media coverage, to obtain consistent support for its military intervention, occupation and crimes against the people of Korea. It has also inculcated racist attitudes within the US troops and general population, that prepared them to commit and/or accept atrocities and genocidal policies against the Korean people.
It has violated the Constitution of the United States, the delegation of powers over war and the military, the Bill of Rights, the UN Charter, international law and the laws of the ROK, DPRK, Peoples Republic of China, Japan and many others, in its lawless determination to exercise its will over the Korean peninsula.
The Members of the Korea International War Crimes Tribunal hold the United States government and its leaders accountable for these criminal acts and condemn those found guilty, in the strongest possible terms."
And Washington wonders why the North Koreans are so hostile toward the United States! The irony of Washington's criticism of other nations (i.e Syria) and their use of chemical weapons is stunningly hypocritical.
Posted by A Political Junkie
If any validity at all exists to the claims made in the 1952 IADL and the 2001 Korea International War Crimes Tribunal reports, some of North Korea's fear and distrust of America, becomes very understandable. More about these claims in the article below.
I'm so grateful for this information. Now how to get it to every US and UK citizen? My country, UK, was involved in this war too. I already knew Korea's population was reduced by 20% but that's just a number. Reading how the US managed it, is vivid and sickening. They're not the good guys handing out the Chocolate, are they? Would be nice to think UK wasn't involved with US in War Crimes/Genocide, but who knows.
(Source - Viable Opposition)
Few noted the essence of Putin's inauguration speech and its implications. What do YOU think?
We welcome your thoughts: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
TALL ORDER? Russia aims to be world’s 5th largest economy by Paul Antonopoulos May 11th, 2018
The inauguration ceremony of Putin to the presidency took place on Monday, in which he also signed a decree of instructions for the objectives on the development of the country for the next few years.
Putin has instructed the government to make the country one of the five most powerful economies by 2024 . The news was released by the Kremlin press service on Monday.
“The Russian government was instructed to ensure the following national goals for the development of Russia in the period up to 2024 … Russia must become one of the five largest economies, ensuring rates of economic growth above global standards, maintaining macro- economic stability as well as inflation not exceeding 4%,” the decree explains.
In addition, Putin instructed the government to create at least 15 global science and education centres, through the integration of universities and companies, by 2024.
Re-elected for a new six-year term as the Russian president, Vladimir Putin took office as head of state on Monday. It was the fourth presidential inauguration ceremony in his political career.
Putin was re-elected as Russia’s president in 2018 with record support, receiving a vote of more than 56.4 million from people.
It must be noted though, that in 2007, Putin said it would happen in 2017, and then, in 2008, he said it would be achieved by 2020. Russia’s economy is currently ranked 12th, behind the likes of Canada and South Korea.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday, that he was ready to do everything for Russia’s development if the parliament approved his candidacy as PM.
“I would like to thank President Vladimir Putin for the trust placed in me and for the proposal to become the head of the government. This is not only trust, but also a huge responsibility, and in the case that the corresponding decisions are made, I am ready to do everything for the development of our country Russia,” Medvedev told a plenary session of the State Duma.
Whether or not Russia is capable of growing to become one of the world’s top five economies in the next decade, is not simply a technical one - it is an ideological & philosophical one. There is an active debate within Russia, about the uses and utilities of market vs. planned economic structures, and secondly – though not entirely separately – the utility and value of Russia integrating into Western economies, and how the costs vs. benefits of that, will play out, in the middle to long term.
(Source - Fort Russ)
Don't Trust Putin's Kleptocrats – Russia Needs Socialism November, 2017.
Veteran Russian communist DR SLAVA TETEKIN talks to John Foster, about how Russians today view the former Soviet Union and attitudes towards Vladimir Putin.
Asked about current support for communism in Russia, Dr Slava Tetekin, veteran member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, puts the figure at around 30 per cent.
Tetekin, recently in London for the celebration of the October Socialist Revolution, explained --- “our parliamentary representation fell significantly in the most recent Duma elections, to just over 12 per cent — largely as a result of a rigged electoral system.
“But the daily sale of the communist-supporting Pravda is 80,000 and of Sovetskaya Rossiya 120,000. Particularly among the young and the better-educated, interest in our party’s policies and the achievements of the Soviet Union, is increasing.
“This is because life,” says Tetekin, “is becoming increasingly difficult for all in Russia, except the very rich. Real incomes have been declining for three straight years. Twenty-two million people are classified as living in absolute poverty — struggling to get enough to eat. Half the populationis classified as poor.
“Yet people still remember that things were not always like this. Less than 30 years ago there was universal free healthcare.
“Education was free, right through to university, and so was childcare. There were full pensions. There was no unemployment. Housing, energy, transport and basic foods, were all heavily subsidised.
“There is also a growing awareness - of the degradation of Russia’s economy. Russia’s manufacturing industries are virtually dead. The economy is almost entirely dependent on extractive industries that sell to the West: oil, minerals, natural gas.
“In 1990, the Soviet Union produced 1,000 aircraft. Last year... we produced 50. Our airlines lease from the West. Our motor industry is entirely dependent on imported technology and components. The same applies even more to IT and computing. The technological base for independent economic development, has all but disappeared.
“These are some of the reasons why a new generation of Russians are looking again at their own history and particularly at the period following the revolution. In 1917 Russia had a backward, largely agrarian economy. Within just 25 years the Soviet Union was outperforming Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, both in output and the quality of its technology. It was in large part for this reason that the Soviet Union was able to defeat Hitler fascism.”
Asked how he would describe Russia’s current government under Vladimir Putin, Tetekin denied that it should be seen as at all progressive.
“It is embedded in a layer of kleptocratic comprador oligarchs - who are dependent on the West for the sale of their raw materials, for the banking of their money and for the technology needed for their operations in Russia. Immediately below Putin virtually all ministers are of this character.
“The government depends on the oligarchs and the oligarchs depend on the West.
“Putin,” he says, “has now been in power for a very long time. His 18 years exceed those of Brezhnev. It is remarkable how little challenge he offered to Nato and the US, for the great bulk of that time: years, that saw Nato’s eastward expansion into central Europe, the Balkans and the Black Sea. Russia even failed to oppose the invasion of Libya.
“It is only recently, in Crimea and in Syria, that Russia has set down markers against further US advances. This may reflect the directness with which the US was challenging Russia’s interests.”
But, says Tetekin, “there may well be other factors, which we need to consider.
“These might include: perceptions of a decline in the global power of the US, of a shift towards China, and economic rivalries between the US and the EU.
“Russia sells seven times as much to Germany as it does to the US — and buys from Germany in the same proportion.
“In turn, Germany’s own energy costs and international competitiveness against the US depend very significantly on Russian oil and gas. US diplomatic action to impede the construction of new gas pipelines from Russia to Germany & banking sanctions on oligarch companies -- match the increasing conflict between the EU and the US, over steel quotas and corporate taxation.”
Joking, Tetekin says he would be all in favour of US sanctions against Russia --- if they covered technology and spare parts.
“It would force the Russian government to invest in the redevelopment of our productive economy.”
However, he adds, these rivalries also underlie attempts to promote a “democratic opposition“ in Russia similar to that funded by the US in Ukraine, prior to the 2014 coup.
“It has a smaller potential base. It is impeded by its neoliberal ideology. Unlike the time of Yeltsin’s 1991 coup, there are no illusions about free markets. Russians have seen them, and know the consequences. But regime change is increasingly becoming a goal of the US administration.”
This, he says, makes it all the more important to redevelop working-class mobilisation and to ensure that the current reawakening of enthusiasm for the October Revolution is converted into a wider political movement for socialist change.
The young are already leading the way.
Dr Tetekin is currently chief policy adviser to the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, was a communist member of the Duma and previously played an active role in support for the anti-apartheid movement in southern Africa.
(Source - Morning Star)
North Korea: Standing proud for Korea! 30/8/2017 Few foreigners know this but here it is: most South Koreans admire their brothers and sisters in the North, the DPR Korea. The US does not know this, because such feelings are shared in private but then again what can you do if you have a foreign power on your soil controling your policy? Some react, others lie in bed with their master.
After all, the Japanese did it increasingly from 1876, then de facto from 1910 until 1945, by which time the founder of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim il-Sung, had made a name for himself as an anti-Japanese guerrilla fighter and commander. And hero. After all, the Japanese took five hundred thousand Korean girls and ladies and turned them into "comfort women" to receive the dirty water from tired Japanese imperial invaders. After all, the Koreans provided half a million male slaves to the Japanese invader. It is this that Kim il-Sung was fighting against and the South Koreans know this.
The South Koreans, or the citizens of the Republic of Korea, know that South Koreans took part in the Sinchon Massacre which shows the torture and murder of civilians by mainly South Korean military personnel but also US soldiers, acting under the auspices of Washington. The South Koreans know that the USA deployed 32,557 tons of chemical weapons on North Korean civilians. The South Koreans know that the US and its South Korean puppet planned to invade the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1950. They know that these plans were seized by North Korean agents, and they know that these documents counter the lies used by the US State Department claiming that the war started when the North invaded the South. As was its right under international law, the DPRK defended itself. And so ensued the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. The South Koreans know that in this war, the Americans dropped more bombs on North Korea than it used in the entire Pacific arena in the Second World War. They know that in this war, the United States of America dropped 635,000 tons of explosives as opposed to 503,000 in the Pacific conflict. They know that in this war, the United States of America deployed 32,557 tons of Napalm, a chemical weapon, on N. Korean citizens.
In this war, 3.5 million Koreans were killed.
In this war, Pyongyang was bombed, it was carpet bombed and after three years of day-and-night humiliation, two buildings were left standing.
The South Koreans know that in this war, 20 per cent of the North Korean population was murdered by the United States of America and they know that American soldiers carried out the most barbaric atrocities, strafing air-raid shelters full of women and children, laughing as their screams filled the air as they burned to death. They know that in this war, US soldiers poured gasoline on civilians and stood back watching as they died a horrific death. The South Koreans know that in this war, US military personnel decapitated political prisoners with Samurai swords and they know that in one shelter, nine hundred women and children were incinerated. Korean children. Incinerated. As US soldiers looked on and giggled. Some say a few masturbated.
The South Koreans know that in one massacre of Koreans, 500 civilians were forced into a ditch and doused in gasoline before someone tossed in a match. The South Koreans know that American soldiers were seen pouring fuel down the air vents and that they were seen setting fire to the civilians sheltering below.
The South Koreans know that the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) bans nuclear tests in the atmosphere, outer space and under water. However, the DPR Korea is not a party to this treaty. Neither is underground testing banned under the treaty, unless radiation is released into the atmosphere. The South Koreans know that the CTBT, or Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (1996) is not in force and the DPR Korea is not a party to this treaty.
The South Koreans know that the DPR Korea did sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1985. This treaty expressly bans the manufacture and testing of nuclear devices, under Article II. However, the DPR Korea with- drew from the treaty in 2003, having given notice to the UNSC, as per Article X (I) which allows member states to withdraw from the treaty. The S. Koreans know this.
The South Koreans know that the Nuclear Disarmanent Declaration made by the DPR Korea is taken by some to be legally binding. This statement was made under the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks on the DPRK nuclear weapons program (PR China, Japan, DPR Korea, Russia, Rep. Korea, USA) in 2005. The declaration by Pyongyang was not a public declaration, but rather, an affirmation, made in private negotiations with five other nations and secondly, where is the evidence that Pyongyang intended to be bound by circumstances, especially after Iraq and Libya spelled a clear lesson: that if you destroy your weapons, then you are invaded.
And here we get to the crux of the matter. If you destroy your weapons, Washington invades you. Ask Iraq. Ask Libya. Ask Syria (proxy invasion by western-backed terrorists).
And if someone tries to use the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) as a legal entity or legal source, then let us ask Washington under which UN law did it invade Iraq? Or did the USA breach the UN Charter and breach international law with its invasion?
And regarding nukes, if the DPR Korea cannot have them, has anyone investigated Israel and found out whether the number of nukes it has is really 80 & with fissile material for a further 200 nuclear missiles?
The point is that the DPR Korea stands up against all these monumental injustices and these attempts to humiliate Koreans. The DPR Korea wants foreign troops off Korean soil and wants peace and reconciliation with the South.
That is all they ask for. From a position of pride & dignity. The South Koreans know this and they also know, in whose bed they lie.
by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey
(Source - Pravda.Ru)
TURNING THE LIGHT ON...
In this year of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, and twenty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it seems that no media in Russia, or anywhere else, ever quotes any serious news or analysis, from or about, the second most powerful political party in Russia, after Putin's United Russia party!
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), is mentioned less than the Russian Communist Party, a fake party, in RT news and other Russian media outlets...
So here's the latest report from the CPRF itself, well worth ploughing through, for what it reveals.
I wonder what you will think about it!
Please drop me a line, at email@example.com
Political Report of the Central Committee to the XVII Congress of the CPRF
Delegates and guests of the Congress,
We have left behind us the report period, for which the start was made by the XV Congress. This stage was full of highly important, sometimes dramatic events. The time has come to review the results of the work over the past four years and set new benchmarks.
We are holding our XVII Congress in the year of the centenary of the Great October Revolution. The party started preparing for the jubilee in March 2015 at a special plenary session of the Central Committee.
Human history has seen many great events, but only some of them change the course of development of the whole world. Proletarian revolution in our country, dramatically changed the face of the planet. It set Russia on the path to socialism. It solved the national crisis, and saved the country from destruction.
The 'Great October Revolution' rid Russia of capitalist and national oppression. For the people of the Earth it became the lode star and the clarion call --- for the search for a future, worthy of Mankind.
The era of the building of socialism, is written into the biography of our country in golden letters. The unique experience of Lenin- Stalin modernization enabled the country to increase its industrial potential seventy-fold within two decades, a rate of development unprecedented in world history. That experience is still an example of the successful creation of a society of social justice.
The Jubilee of the Great October Revolution is an excellent opportunity to remind the world of its significance and high- light the achievements of socialism. To show an alternative to the omnipotence of capital. To mobilize all the forces, to struggle for the triumph of the bright ideas of working people.
The crisis of capitalism: a sign of decay
The world is immersed in a profound systemic crisis which engenders instability and threatens a new world war. This is the essence of the present stage of capitalism. The inherent contradictions of this system have not gone away: the contradictions between Labour and Capital, between the social character of production and the private form of appropriation of the results of labour. On the contrary, the inborn flaws of this system, have assumed a worldwide character. There is no corner on Earth where the tentacles of the rapacious octopus have not reached. As Marx noted in his time, its very nature, forces it to scour the world in search of maximum profits. Therefore the miasma of over-ripe and decaying capitalism, is poisoning practically all countries and continents.
Crises are an inseparable part of the capitalist economy. Throughout its history capitalism has engendered several major and tens of smaller crises. The current crisis is now into its tenth year. It is the biggest crisis since the Great Depression in the USA and the Second World War. The crisis has affected, not just one individual sector, not one tentacle of the octopus, but the entire system.
The current crisis is a direct consequence of neoliberalism. The US Marxist, David Harvey, came to the conclusion that in the 1970s, speculative financial capital had finally gained an upper hand over industrial capital, so that not production, but the market value of shares of stock, became the aim of economic activity. Financial interests, “the power of the accountants rather than the engineers”, prevailed among the ruling classes and the ruling elites. Indeed, capitalism is drifting further & further away from material production. The imploding financial bubbles, form a characteristic feature of modern capitalism. You will remember that the CPRF has described this phenomenon as financial imperialism, and has provided its extended analysis.
Neoliberalism has led to a revision of the idea of a “social state.” It has cast aside all the vestiges of democracy and human rights. It is relentlessly asserting its class & even caste supremacy. According to Oxfam, the international association of NGOs, 1% of the planet’s population owns more wealth, than the remaining 99 percent. The combined wealth of 62 of the richest people, is comparable to what the poorest half of humankind owns, and that, is 3.5 billion people.
It is impossible to challenge the English philosopher Terry Eagleton, who predicted in his book Why Marx Was Right, that “Capitalism will behave anti-socially, if it is profitable for it to do so, & that can now mean human devastation on an unimaginable scale.”
The number of billionaires increased six times - to 1,810 - between 2000 and 2016. At the same time, more than a billion Earth people live in abject poverty. Nearly 400 million children suffer from malnutrition. This is not a coincidence. There is a direct link between the enrichment of the rich, & the impoverishment of the poor.
During the last crisis, the lower strata were ruined, lost their jobs and dwellings, while banks and corporations drew billions in assistance from governments. This isn't surprising, considering that government institutions have become no more than managers hired by Big Business. While Apple pays, in Europe, a profit tax equal to five- thousandths of a percentage point, ordinary people are choked by high taxes, prices and credits, low wages, and the dismantling of social rights.
The parasitic essence of world capitalism will not disappear - unless capitalism is destroyed. In its quest for maximum profits, the oligarchy stops at nothing: stepping up their exploitation and financial speculation, the unleashing of wars, and the destruction of whole states.
Our XV Congress thus defined the main features of the present-day capitalist system:
First, globalism is the highest form of imperialism.
Second, the world economic crisis is deepening.
Third, capitalism is mounting an attack against human rights everywhere.
Fourth, imperialism is increasingly aggressive in the world arena, and the threat of a new, major war, is growing.
Fifth, financial-oligarchic capital ever more openly puts its stake, on the most vicious and reactionary forces.
Life has vindicated our analysis. During the past four years the beastly snarl of capitalism has manifested itself in all its ugly cynicism. World capital does not tolerate competitors, let alone rivals: it strangles and destroys political regimes that think along national lines.
Over a hundred years ago Lenin drew attention to the crises connected with the transition from the “peaceful” to the non- peaceful stage of the functioning of the bourgeois system. The destruction of the Soviet Union, ushered in another “peaceful” period. Not encountering any serious obstacles, capitalism pursued a policy of globalization. The workers’ and communist movement was weakened. There was an upsurge of opportunism. Absolute impoverishment of the working people was taking place, even in economically developed countries.
That period is now over. New trends have emerged.
First, imperialism is actively provoking internal conflicts in various countries and is using military force to redraw the world map. Examples are Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Second, a tilt to the right is encouraged in the centres of world capitalism. Even the European social-democrats have given up their pacifism and embraced aggressive imperialistic attitudes. Seeing Russia as a competitor, the West is fomenting anti-Sovietism and Russophobia.
Third, right-wing forces, including Fascism, have moved to the forefront of the capitalist world.
We believe it is wrong to assert that Russia has immunity to Fascism. The historical experience of Italy & Germany has shown that in the “weak links” of the capitalist chain, imperialism uses Fascization as an “antidote” to socialist revolutions. That is why Russia is also vulnerable. We communists have to be vigilant.
The scenario of the extreme right coming to power has already been acted out in Ukraine. The Banderovites, backed by the US and the European Union, staged a government coup to establish a terrorist, reactionary nationalist regime that cracks down on communists and all dissenters. The proclamation of the Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics was a logical reaction of millions of honest and courageous people. In spite of the Minsk Agreements, the situation in Donbass is extremely tense. Today the CPRF reaffirms: “Donbass, we are by your side.” We come out for the recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and for their further rapprochement with Russia.
The decision of the people of Crimea on reunification with Russia, was a landmark event. At the same time, it has shown that world capitalism won't tolerate attempts by our country, to protect its borders and interests. The Western countries are turning Ukraine into an anti- Russian bulwark. In July 2016, the NATO summit in Warsaw declared Russia to be the main threat -- and “containing Moscow”, to be the key goal.
Having accused Russia of aggression, the North Atlantic Alliance has stepped up the militarization of Eastern Europe. NATO has deployed its military units in Poland, Romania and the Baltic states. NATO is strengthening its presence on the Black Sea. Montenegro has been drawn into the Alliance.
The new US Administration has not renounced its aggressive foreign policy. One of Trump’s early directives was to increase the defense budget by more than 50 billion dollars.
The USA has unleashed expansion in the Middle East under the guise of fighting ISIL. Its aim is hegemony over the key region rich in hydrocarbon resources. The US strike on Shayrat air base on April the 7th shattered the myth of Trump’s “love of peace.” This put paid to Zhirinovsky’s Trumpomania.
While tirelessly instructing the world in democracy, US imperialism is taking part in crimes against humanity. Hundreds of civilians died, during the bombings of Mosul in Iraq, the air strike on a hospital in Kunduz, in Afghanistan, claimed tens of lives. The barbaric operation in Yemen, in which Saudi Arabia has the direct support of Washington, is into its third year. The death toll has topped 10,000, two-thirds of the country’s population are on the brink of starvation.
The process of the decay of imperialism, predicted by Lenin, is unfolding. The link between world capital and religious extremism has grown stronger. The USA and its satellites support such brutal groups as Jabhat al- Nusra and ISIL. Uigur separatist and Islamic groups whose chieftains are based in the US and Western Europe are being used to destabilize China. It isn't surprising, that China is one of the main targets. Acting now by threats & now by cajolery, global capital seeks to weaken the Celestial Kingdom. It is clearly scared of the successes of the new world power. To “neutralize the Chinese threat” the US is cobbling together an alliance against the PRC, trying to drag into it, not only Japan & South Korea, but also the Philippines, India and some other countries. In April, the US military came close to unleashing war on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang is denied the right to strengthen its national defense.
In Latin America capital continues to oppose “XXI-century Socialism.” When it was embraced by Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua this put hope into the hearts of millions of disfranchised citizens. In response, every trick in the book has been used: sanctions, threats of invasion, and the financing of subversive actions of the right-wing opposition. The globalists have managed to bring about an impeachment of Dilma Russeff in Brazil. They have put Mauricio Macri, as the head of Argentina. Now, these countries open the door to US corporations and the rights of workers are under attack.
However “the right-wing revenge” has stalled. In Venezuela, attempts to depose Nicolas Maduro, the successor to the legendary Hugo Chavez, are failing, although Washington has invested huge resources in it. In Ecuador the left-wing candidate, Lenin Moreno, scored a victory. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega comfortably won another term. Late last year the world suffered a heavy loss. Fidel Castro, the symbol and banner of anti-imperialist struggle, died. His like-minded fellow fighters, carry on his courageous cause.
Thus, the international situation is determined by the clash of two trends. The first is the offensive of the forces of capitalism. It is doing all it can to shore up its global dominance. But there is also the second trend, and that is the growing resistance to capitalist hegemony, and the commitment to uphold the right to independent and sovereign existence.
We are for a better world
Opposition to the forces of capital takes various forms.
First, a number of states reject the course imposed by the ideologues of liberalism. The Communist Party of China will hold its XIX Congress in the autumn. The Chinese communists are moving steadily toward achieving their two main goals: to build a middle-level wealth society by the time of the Party’s centenary in 2021 and to create “a powerful, affluent, democratic, civilized, harmonious and modernized socialist state” by the PRC's centenary in 2049. In the international arena Beijing comes out for peace & economic integration and is promoting the One Belt, One Road, project.
Vietnam, Cuba, Laos and the DPRK are developing confidently. Belarus is setting an example to the post-Soviet space. Leftist governments in Latin America, united in the ALBA alliance, are demonstrating staunchness. Their social programs have given millions of people housing, jobs, medial care and education. All these countries prove, that there is an alternative to globalism.
Second, millions of working people are struggling for their rights. In France last year the reform of labour laws involved hundreds of thousands of citizens in protests. Millions of people regularly go on strike against liberal reforms in India. The people of Brazil and Argentina, are actively opposing the offensive of capitalism.
It has to be admitted that the crisis of capitalism tends to increase the influence both of the left and of the right parties. The ideas of euroscepticism are gaining popularity in Europe, as manifested by Brexit, and the electoral success in France of Marine le Pen and Jean-Luc Melanchon. In the heart of world capitalism, the USA, socialist-leaning candidate Bernie Sanders, won active support before the presidential vote and Donald Trump also campaigned on criticism of the dominance of Wall Street.
It is very important for the left to prevent a “right-wing march” on the planet. Possibilities for that do exist. It is clear that after the treacherous destruction of the Soviet Union no “end of history” and no “collapse of communism” have occurred. The influence of the left could not have disappeared, if only because poverty, inequality and injustice did not go away. They force people to fight for a better life. The world communist movement, has not been destroyed. It is building up its strength.
Communists today form part of the ruling coalitions in Nepal, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, and some other countries. In recent years our comrades in Belarus & the Czech Republic have scored successes. The Labour Party in Belgium, has a chance to win more seats in parliament. Communists have nearly trebled their presence in the parliament of Japan. These are just some examples.
The program of our party determines that the CPRF is part of the international communist and workers’ movement. We are actively promoting cooperation with fraternal parties, pooling our efforts in the struggle against imperialism, and for the interests of the working people.
Socialism is the strategic goal of communists. In their struggle for it, the communist parties are called upon to strengthen their position in the grassroots with due account of the specificities of each country. This task should be solved, through opposing both social-reformism and left-wing sectarianism.
The CPRF is actively involved in the analysis of the modern stage of class struggle, & in developing its forms and methods. During the report period, we initiated a number of academic-practical conferences & round tables, including: International Communist Movement Today & Tomorrow, The Image of Socialism We Are Struggling For, The Party Press, & the Struggle of Communists under Current Conditions.
In May 2015 the CPRF organized in Moscow, a meeting of international democratic organizations, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Victory Over Fascism. Taking part were...
The World Federation of Trade Unions, The World Peace Council, The Women’s International Democratic Federation, The World Federation of Democratic Youth, The International Federation of Democratic Lawyers, The International Federation of Anti- Fascists and Resistance Fighters. All of them have a corresponding status at UNESCO, the International Labour Organization, and other UN agencies.
This year the activities of the world’s communist parties are dominated by the 100th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. Resolutions have been passed, stressing its significance.
Our party takes an active part in International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties. Since 1998, these have been held annually, at the initiative of the Communist Party of Greece. The last one, held in Vietnam last year, brought together 60 parties. In the year of the October Revolution jubilee, we will host the 19th International Meeting of Communist & Workers’ Parties. It will be held in early November in the City of Lenin (St. Petersburg). The participants will set the agenda of the communist movement, in the struggle for socialism. Great responsibility devolves on us, to hold this forum in a worthy manner.
The CPRF takes part in international meetings, seminars & conferences and interacts with left-wing parties on a bilateral basis. We took part in the congresses of the communist parties of the Czech Republic & Moravia, Portugal, Finland, Bangladesh & other countries, & in events staged by left-wing parties. Cooperation agreements have been signed with the communist parties of China and Vietnam. An agreement has been signed with the Workers’ Party of Korea.
These agreements are being successfully implemented, thanks to the efforts of L.I.Kalashnikov, K.K.Taisiyev, V.M.Tetyokin and other Russian comrades.
A Russia-China meeting, '70 Years of Common Victory' was held in Khabarovsk in September 2015. Delegations of young CPRF activists go to China every year to study the experience of reforms conducted in the PRC. Our comrades regularly take part in the festivals of the Portuguese Communist newspaper, Avante (Awake). A joint Russia-Korea photo exhibition, 'A History of Friendship' was held in three stages, in Pyongyang, Moscow and Minsk.
At all the international events the CPRF briefs fraternal parties on its activities. Solidnet posts documents, and other information, about our party.
A great amount of work is being done in the framework of the UCP-CPSU. The Union brings together 17 parties. The high- lights in the report period were: the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Union in Kiev before the Maidan coup, the XXXV Congress of the UCP-CPSU in Minsk, plenums of the Union Council in Moscow, the opening of the Union’s internet site, and so on.
Coordination of activities takes on an added importance, considering that the authorities in some republics of the former USSR, persecute communists. At various times, pressure was brought to bear on the communists in Georgia, Moldavia & Kazakhstan. In the Baltic States, Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan communist parties have to work practically underground. The UCP-CPSU parties, repeatedly come out in support of the Ukrainian communists led by P.N.Simonenko. Some of our Ukrainian comrades had to be rescued from the hands of pro-fascist elements.
On 29 May 2014 a headquarters for humanitarian aid to the citizens of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics was set up. Their population is exposed to severe trials. Within three years the CPRF has sent 60 convoys with humanitarian aid to these republics. This work goes on. Over three thousand children from Donbass, went to the Snegiri complex outside Moscow, to rest and improve their health.
International work is covered in the Vestnik SKP-KPSS. The newspaper Pravda carries a monthly feature devoted to the Union of Communist Parties. The newly opened rubric “Communist Brotherhood” has already carried out talks with the leaders of the communist parties of Portugal, Lebanon, Cyprus, Britain and India.
The CPRF takes an active part in solidarity actions, with peoples that have become the victims of imperialism's aggressive actions. The voice of our party was heard in joint statements against the persecution of communist parties, manifestations of fascism and nationalism, and the offensive on the rights and freedoms of working people. We have come out in defense of Libya and Syria, and against the US blockade of Cuba..
The cohesion of communist &workers’ parties is the guarantee of their success. It is an uphill struggle. Capitalism will never resolve its inherent contradictions on its own. Imperialism is becoming more and more aggressive in the time of crisis. Analyzing the ideas of Marx and Lenin, modern US academic James Petras, writes that capitalism has proved convincingly and indisputably that it prospers thanks to the degradation of tens of millions of workers, & is absolutely deaf to the endless pleas for reform & regulation. The capitalism that really exists cannot, and does not want to, raise the living standards of ordinary people, guarantee their employment, or provide a decent life without fear and humiliation. Capitalism… is diametrically opposed to freedom, equality, democratic decision-making and the common good.
There are only two paths for humanity: either socialism or further decay, wars, instability, the moral degradation of society and the destruction of the environment. Only the power of working people, public ownership of the means of production, & rational planning in the economy, can set humankind on the path of all-round development. It is the duty of our party to actively promote these ideas among the grassroots.
Comrades, after 1991 our country became part of world capitalism. The liberal traitors who came to power cherished the hope of joining the “golden billion.” They obediently followed the instructions of the International Monetary Fund and other global capitalist institutions. Even in the West, they considered the team of Yeltsin’s foreign advisers to be ''economic murderers''.
The Russian bourgeoisie was accorded the dubious honour of supplying the West with raw materials and fulfilling its whims. Many upstart oligarchs raised on Gaidar’s “yeast” were quite comfortable with such a role. They treated Russia as “this country,” in which they were “cowboy builders,” Russia was a place for business, while their safe landing sites were their mansions and hefty foreign bank accounts.
A regressive, parasitic, oligarchic, comprador capitalism established itself in the country. Its basis is the export of commodities and the banking sectors. This proves that Russia is becoming a raw materials appendage, and a market for foreign goods.
However, part of the Russian bourgeoisie wants greater independence. Experessing the aspirations of this part of “the newest Russians” government has ratcheted up patriotic rhetoric and taken some independent steps. The Crimea was brought back to where it belongs. Support was rendered to the legitimate government of Syria. The people of Russia, tired of self-abasement, welcomed these steps. This state of affairs was not to the West’s liking. Sanctions were introduced, and a massive information campaign, leavened with Russophobia and anti-Sovietism, were launched against Russia. If Russia's leadership does not want to repeat the fate of Milosevic, Hussein and Gaddafi, it has no other option, but to strengthen the country’s sovereignty.
However, the Russian oligarchy has neither the strength nor the desire, to break with the system of global capitalism. It has still not recognized the DPR and LPR. “The pivot to the East” policy is clearly marking time. Attacks continue on Belarus, which undermine the process of a closer union between our peoples. The process of integration of the post-Soviet space, which the CPRF has always welcomed, is meeting with serious difficulties.
After the devastating Serdyukov “reforms” many, but not all the problems of the Armed Forces combat ability have been solved. The cuts in the defense budget which have started, run counter to the need to restore military education and science. Our precision weapons still need imported components, while the software built into them, may be set in motion at any moment. It is not possible to effectively protect the country’s sovereignty, without a powerful defense industry independent of foreign suppliers.
On the whole, the quarter century of liberal reforms in Russia has produced an extremely cruel socio-economic model. A peripheral oligarchic-bureaucratic regime has taken shape in the country.
Russia’s joining the World Trade Organization, was a major concession to global capital. Only the CPRF has consistently opposed it. Restrictions on production, reduction of customs duties and other novelties gave an edge to foreign “partners.” During five years of WTO membership, the Russian budget lost about 800 billion roubles due to lower customs duties. Indirect losses topped 4 trillion.
Big owners have been given a free hand in plundering Russia. The economy is being deprived of vitally needed investments. Today they account for a mere 18% of GDP, only half of what they were in the RSFSR in 1990. But the authorities calmly look on as the oligarchs transfer capital to offshore zones and foreign banks. In the last 2 years alone, capital flight exceeded 70 billion dollars. And we are constantly being called to make “civil peace” with those who are simply robbing Russia.
Dependence on foreign capital is beginning to threaten the country’s sovereignty. Companies with foreign capital account for 75% of the communications sphere, 56% of the extractive industries and 49% of the processing industries.
This is highly reminiscent of the situation in the early XX century when Western capital dominated the industry and banking sector in the Russian Empire. That dependence cost Russia dearly: it was drawn into the First World War defending the interests of the Entente capitalists. Russia's GDP has been shrinking for over two years. Since 2014, it has dropped by 8%. The state budget is losing trillions of roubles. Modernization and diversification of the economy have failed. The Government ministries in charge of the economy and finances are unable to cope with the crisis. They are misleading the country. The Ministry of Economic Development reported a 0.4% growth of GDP at the end of the first quarter. However, this data was promptly challenged by Vneshekonombank analysts, who proved that the GDP continues to fall.
The socio-economnic course followed by the government has turned the country into a society of mass poverty. According to official data, real income in Russia dropped by nearly 13%, and consumption has gone down by 15%. The number of paupers has increased by 3 million. Twenty million, one in every seven citizens, live below the poverty line. The CPRF points out that the official living minimum, is 2-2.5 times lower, than the actual level.
Sociology confirms the picture of mass impoverishment. Last year three quarters of citizens significantly cut consumption. Forty percent say they don't have enough money to buy food and clothing. Almost 30% need food stamps to survive.
Russia has become a country of appalling inequality. Dollar millionaires own 62% of Russia’s wealth, and billionaires own 29%. A handful of moneybags own nine tenths of the national wealth. The international research organization The New World of Welfare has concluded that Russia ranks first in the world, in terms of wealth inequality.
During the past year alone the aggregate wealth of 200 of Russia’s richest businessmen increased by 100 billion dollars. ”Income champions” own 460 billion dollars, which is twice the annual budget of a country of 150 million people.
These then are the main problems of the Russian economy:
— its reliance on commodity production,
—the destruction of its industrial potential,
— poverty and the low purchasing power of its citizens,
— a flawed monetary policy,
— inefficient governance.
The sanctions compounded the situation.
The government’s regional policy is extremely ineffective. Receiving only 30 percent of the total national income, the regions are struggling to maintain the social sphere. There are only nine donor regions left. The debt of regional budgets, has already reached 2.5 trillion roubles, of which, over 50% are commercial credits. The budgets are overburdened with commitments.
The CPRF is ready to change the situation drastically. We maintain that the crisis in Russia is man-made. It is created by the government which has no coherent development program. Spinoza said that He who knows not where he is sailing, will never have a fair wind.” So, our government is either full of bad navigators, or they are deliberately leading us into a dead end.
The Russian crisis is, at the same time, part of the global crisis of capitalism. In the framework of this system, our country has no favorable prospect. There is no room for such a Russia in the modern world: it will be torn to pieces and simply swallowed by the sharks of world capital. Our country lived through such an experience before. The brief period when a Provisional Government was in power, in 1917, nearly brought about the demise of Russia. It was rescued by the Red Project of the Great October Revolution. The Bolsheviks restored the country’s sovereignty, and prevented it being “digested” in the insatiable stomach of world capitalism. This lesson is still relevant to Russia today.
One of the main contradictions, is that between the interests of the country and the interests of Russian capital. This can only be resolved by a cardinal change of the socio-economic system. Only a renewed socialism will be able to cope with social inequality, economic disarray and create an effective governance system.
The working majority and false “class peace.”
The question arises, what are the driving forces of socialist change? We turned to this question more than once over the past years. The destruction of socialism and the Shock Therapy of the 1990s, had a negative impact on the social class structure of society. The situation continued to worsen after 2000. The number of workers in industry, dropped by more than 2 million. The past few years alone have seen the closure of the Likhachev Plant in Moscow, the Nickel Plant in Norilsk, the Khimprom chemical plant in Volgograd and other giants. Many enterprises dramatically cut production. The share of the processing industry, fell to a pitiful 13%.
The main change that occurred in the life of the working class and the peasantry is their proletarization. Under the Soviet government the worker and the peasant were co-owners of the means of production and the national wealth. Now, almost two-thirds of the gainfully employed population (64.6 percent), work for the benefit of private capital.
Workers have fewer and fewer chances to rise up the social “lifts.” The degree of class polarization in this country is among the highest on the planet. It is impossible to achieve class peace under such conditions. The exploiters and the exploited have diametrically opposite opportunities and interests.
“The masters of the world” behave like time-servers. It is no accident that capital flight increases. High-ranking officials increasingly behave in a criminal way. More and more governors are charged with corruption. The elite’s inability to “rule in the old way” causes it to swing from liberalism to conservatism, from nationalism to a token crackdown on Russian nationalists, etc.
The past quarter century has seen a sharp growth in the number of those engaged in petty commodity production and speculative-usury sectors. A sizable stratum has emerged of people who live by “gigs.” In the European Middle Ages these people were referred to as “free- lancers.” Most of them are young people in the 20 to 45 age bracket. Their instrument of production is the computer. What they want out of life, is, above all, independence. These new phenomena merit a very close study.
For all that, there are no grounds for saying that the working class in Russia is disappearing. It numbers about 30 million. Does it mean many or few? Much fewer than in the RSFSR, but many times more, than in Russia in 1917.
“The proletariat of workers by brain,” as Engels called it, is being exploited too. It has to get hired by the bourgeoisie for meager pay. There are almost 20 million such people in modern Russia. To this, you have to add small business- men and small farmers. The crisis ruins tens of thousands of small owners, which makes it easier for us to promote our ideology to them.
CPRF is for the working people
Esteemed delegates and guests of the Congress,
To achieve its goals the proletariat needs a political vanguard. Only a modern communist party can rise to this task. In turn, the communists ”have no interests separate from the interests of the proletariat as a whole,” as Marx and Engels wrote.
It is the duty of the CPRF to staunchly adhere to the position of defending the interests of the working class. We have to regularly revisit the decisions of the October 2014 Plenum which was devoted entirely to our goal of increasing our influence in the proletarian milieu. The decisions taken then, are highly concrete and are easily verifiable.
Two and a half years have passed since then. It is high time to ask ourselves, what has been accomplished? Have we strengthened our positions in the midst of the working class? Can we report to the Congress an influx of workers into the CPRF? Let us answer this question looking the truth straight in the face. For the workers’ issue is the key issue in our political struggle for power.
The share of workers in the CPRF's ranks, has risen to 14 percent during the report period. Yet no dramatic change has taken place. Overall, the party influence on the working class is, obviously, insufficient. We have to admit that on that issue, we are still at the start of the road.
Thus, our tasks are directly linked with strengthening the party’s influence on the workers’ and trade union movement, the youth and non-governmental groups.
We have to be more active in seeking freedom of political activity in the street. However, we should breathe new life into various forms of protest even within the existing framework. We value all those who form the nucleus of our actions. We are grateful to them. But we must broaden our ranks if we are to be reckoned with. Big politics is where the millions are. The topics of our slogans should be relevant and specific. We should “strike at the nerve” of the social atmosphere, use the whole arsenal of technologies, to arouse citizens in their struggle for their rights.
About 60% of Russians prefer a “society of social equality” to a “society of individual freedom.” So the ideological component of protest sentiments is growing, turning such actions into class struggle.
The communists must prevent mass protests from being hijacked by pro-Western anti-national forces. Under these conditions it is vital for the CPRF to formulate a clear-cut class position.
The party and the young communist league must pay particular attention to the youth. The youth has shown its readiness for street action. It is not only that the liberals use inexperienced young people while keeping them in the dark. Today, young people are the most vulnerable social stratum. Even pensioners are in a more secure situation, because of what remains of the Soviet system of social guarantees.
Today’s young people are the first to have grown up after the dismantling of the system of Soviet social guarantees. They are defenseless in the face of capitalist society. These young people have no chance to study, work and raise families normally. Housing becomes an insuperable problem for many of them. Feeling like outsiders, they are not ready to reconcile themselves to such a position and plunge into street protests without always understanding the slogans. In Ukraine, the bourgeoisie used popular wrath ...to establish a dictatorial regime. Russia faces a similar danger. It is the task for the CPRF to go to the youth, to help it transform the demand for social justice into massive and resolute protest.
The prerequisites for success are there. According to the Public Opinion Fund, less than 20% of young people are infected with the ideas of liberalism. 73% come out for state ownership of enterprises and natural resources. 28% think of themselves as staunch supporters of socialism. The share of those who support capitalism, is even less among other age groups.
We need to mobilize CPRF supporters to struggle to bring the country back to the socialist path. Each of us must contribute to strengthening the party’s authority, as the only force fighting to assert the people’s rule
Along with the development of the workers’, protest and youth movements, we have often stressed the importance of work with the trade unions, & non-governmental groups.
The nucleus of a new life
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that “stability” in Russia does not have a solid basis. The number of poor people has doubled compared to the pre-crisis period. The dynamic of social inequality has intensified. The gap between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% has reached 30 times. The inequality of access to quality healthcare and education, has deepened. Russian society is in an anxious state, not knowing what the future holds in store for it.
The liberals in government continue to tighten the financial noose around the people’s neck. The only alternative to this disastrous course is consolidation of the healthy forces on the basis of socialism and genuine patriotism. This nucleus will be able to counter the destructive energy of any Maidan, and the ruinous experiments of the “monetarists” in government.
People are having less and less hope that this power will come up with a creative development project. Such a project was proposed by our party at the Oryol Economic Forum in February of last year. Here is our program: Ten Steps toward a Decent Life for a Government of Popular Trust.
1. Russia’s wealth must serve the people. It is high time to rein in the oligarchs, to bring back to the state the oil and gas industry, key banks, the power industry, railways, and defense industries. A powerful state sector will protect the economy from foreign capital pressure. The draft law on nationalization, is ready. It will bring several trillion roubles to the treasury every year. Planning will make the economy more competitive in the world.
2. To guarantee economic sovereignty. The CPRF wants Russia to leave the WTO. We will create an independent financial system, rid the country of the diktat of the dollar, and free the Central Bank from the influence of the US Federal Reserve System. State control over the banking system and currency transactions, will stem the staggering flight of capital. Small and medium-sized businesses and people’s and collective enterprises, will get active support.
3. To develop industry, science and technologies. Russia needs a new industrialization driven by micro-electronics, robotics, and machine tool building. Today the processing industry accounts for 14% of the GDP. It is necessary to double that share within a short space of time. The decimation of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a crime against the future. Financing of science must be increased several times over. We will be able to do away with unemployment.
4. A new life for rural Russia. Russia is not secure in terms of food. It imports half of its food from abroad. A third of arable land is overgrown with weeds. The task of the Government of Popular Trust is to revive large-scale agricultural production and the rural social infrastructure. At least 10% of budget spending should go into agriculture. We are ready to adopt new Land, Forestry & Water Codes, and improve the environmental situation.
5. Credits must be used to revive the country. Russia is in 48th place in terms of transport infrastructure, and in 87th place in terms of air transport. The regions are heavily in debt. The Government complains about a shortage of resources, while at the same time, crediting the US economy. We should direct investments into the development of the Russian economy. To help the regions, the Popular Trust Government will replace commercial loans with subsidies and subventions out of the federal budget.
6. State control of prices and tariffs. As for living standards, Russia has dropped to 90th place in the world, which puts it in the same company with Guatemala and Namibia. The state must control prices. Housing and utilities rates should not exceed 10% of a family's income. The government must regulate the tariffs for electricity, fuel and transportation.
7. The country must have fair and effective taxes. Russia has a distorted tax system. The CPRF proposes to abolish VAT, which will make domestic products cheaper. We are ready to scrap the PLATON system and raise taxes on property and settlement land. Budget losses will be compensated for, by a progressive tax on the incomes of physical persons. It will add an annual 3-4 trillion roubles to the treasury. State monopoly on the production of alcohol will yield another 2-5 trillion. Russia will have a budget of development, not degradation.
8. People are the nation’s main value. The CPRF guarantees an accessible and high-quality education and health service. A law on “war children” will be passed without delay. Youth, children and mothers, disabled people and old folks will receive particular attention. Science, education and health- care will get 7% of the budget each. The CPRF has the corresponding package of laws. The state will build social housing and will be responsible for the state of domestic infrastructure. Levies for the capital repair of housing, will be scrapped.
9. Strong power, secure life. Russia needs a strong defense. It should go hand-in-hand with information and technological security and defense against cyber-weapons. The CPRF is in favour of stronger EAEU, SCO, and BRICS, of integration in the post-Soviet space and protection of fellow-countrymen abroad. We have to make governance more effective, tighten oversight over the activities of government officials, and curb corruption and crime.
10. A country of high culture. We will protect the people from anti-Sovietism, nationalism and Russophobia, from immorality, vulgarity and cynicism. Culture will be reigned by talent, not money. Writers and composers, the cinema and television, can multiply our cultural heritage. Our government will surround us with care museums and theatres, Houses of Culture and philharmonics, libraries and archives. Russian talents, the creativity of young people, physical culture and sport, will be supported.
Seeking to implement this program, the CPRF is engaged in a constant dialog with the country’s citizens. Our proposals have been approved during the course of many election campaigns, over the past year. We held an All-Russia Council of Work Collectives, attended by more than 600 representatives of factories, farms and trade unions, from 82 regions. A program of rural development was presented at the Congress of Russian Agro-Industrial Complex Workers, held at Zvenigovsky centre. The All-Russia Congress of Public-Sector Workers, has approved proposals on how to preserve and develop social institutions.
Concrete steps to implement our programmatic ideas and proposals are critical. Our Duma deputies have a special role to play. In the previous Duma the CPRF deputies secured the adoption of laws On Strategic Planning, On State Defense, Order, and On Industrial Policy, in the RF. The Medvedev government is obviously dragging its feet over fulfilling them. In the meantime we are pressing for the next step; the creation of a State Committee for Strategic Planning.
Practice shows that the anti-crisis measures proposed by the CPRF are highly effective. The key task is to go to the grass- roots and explain this. It is our duty to demonstrate that the results of the party’s work indicate that it has proved to be a credible nucleus of genuine power of the people.
To Struggle for Power
Comrades. The presidential election is fast approaching. It will be held in an atmosphere of growing public discontent and alienation from power. The ruling circles will have to press into service administrative resources and resort to other gimmicks. The regime may exhibit growing Bonapartist traits. Such a regime is a dictatorship of big bourgeoisie, steering its course between opposing classes. Its internal contradictions are mitigated, by foreign policy confrontations.
Russia today is a super-presidential republic. The number one person has more powers than the Tsar and General Secretary combined. Power in the country has not changed hands for more than seventeen years. In fact, a whole generation has grown up under one president and one governing party. During this period the US & France had 4 presidents each.
What are the key features of the political regime in Russia?
First, monopolization of power in the hands of the president and the narrow circle around him. Secrecy in taking key decisions. The political process has turned into a succession of special operations.
Second, the ruling United Russia party has merged with the bureaucratic apparatus. The party is merely the ”driving belt” and not the subject of making key decisions.
Third, opposition exists in and outside parliament, but on an ever smaller limited scale. There is simulation of democratic institutions and procedures, in order to legitimize the ruling group.
Fourth, monopolization of the main media outlets and the introduction of political censorship and “self-censorship.”
Fifth, the absence of truly independent justice coupled with pervasive corruption & political control over the law courts.
Sixth, liberal fundamentalism in the economy remains the bedrock foundation of the current regime. The ruling elite dreads the prospect of being isolated from the Western world, and openly woos the centres of capitalism.
Seventh, the regime is not bound by any ideological principles, its postulates changing, depending on the exigencies of the day. Personal safety calls for a more patriotic policy, which we have been witnessing recently.
The figure of the president is at the centre of the political regime. Official propaganda is at pains to convince the masses of the danger of his departure. However, elections remain as the trappings of democracy. For us taking part in the elections is like wrestling on a small patch of legal opposition activities, and that opportunity should be effectively used.
But, to repeat a well-known idea, it is naïve to put the stake on elections. They may only be crowned with victory when revolutionary sentiments grow. Only then would the party be able to hold on to its electoral victory with the support of millions of activists. An electoral victory is only possible in the event of a major change in the balance of political forces and the active support of the street.
On the face of it, the protest potential among the population is low and the president’s approval rating is high. But the stability of a regime of personal power is not a given that is eternal. The situation may change quickly. The CPRF is duty-bound to use its participation in elections to promote its ideas, to strengthen its structures and attract new cadres and supporters.
In December you read my appeal “Time demands a new policy.” We agreed to thoroughly discuss all candidates for election, in the coming years. This work must continue. At the Central Committee level it is coordinated by the CPRF Headquarters, headed by I.I.Melnikov.
In the report period the CPRF has preserved its status of the main opposition force. The party scored some high-profile victories but also faced some difficulties in the elections. The setback in 2016 is due to the fact that the elections had been turned into a special operation against Russian society. They were not a free expression of the citizens’ will, but a criminal mechanism of delivering the pre- determined result. This is witnessed, among other things, by several dozen criminal cases opened thanks to our activists.
When we brought our voters to the polling stations our candidates won by a comfortable margin. A.Lokot was elected Mayor of Novosibirsk, V.Potomsky Mayor of the Oryol Region, S.Levchenko Governor of the Irkutsk Region.
Seven of our comrades won seats in the State Duma in single- mandate constituencies. They are V.Bortko (St.Petersburg), S.Kazankov (Mariy El), A.Kurinniy (Ulyanovsk Region), D.Parfyonov (Moscow), O.Smolin (Omsk Region), N.Kharitonov (Krasnodar Territory) and M.Shchapov (Irkutsk Region).
In the elections to the Moscow City Duma in 2014, communists won five single-mandate constituencies. One of the highlights was the election of A.Klychkov, who defeated the prefect of the South-Western Electoral District, Zotov.
On the whole, the party’s average result in elections in recent years is 15%. The CPRF never drops below 20-25% in Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Oryol regions and in North Ossetia where we are contesting first place with the governing party, like in Mariy El and the Omsk Region where our result is just shy of 30%. So, it is possible to fight and win. On the other hand, there has emerged a stable zone of election rigging in the Volga Area, and in the North Caucasus.
Our party comes out for democratization of the political system and for fair elections. The tactic of the ruling regime consists in constantly changing the rules of the game in the political field in order to falsify results. Changing the election date to September, greatly affected the turnout. In general, trust in the institution of elections has diminished. Turnout is plummeting. All the parties are losing votes, in absolute terms. The institution of debates has been discredited. Neither the president, nor governors, take part in them. On the whole, the low turnout is the citizens’ indictment of the unfair electoral system.
Power deliberately adjusts the political system in favour of the governing party. We for our part will insist on direct and free elections of the heads of regions. On electing municipal deputies by party lists. On debarring from elections governors who ''retire'', in order to be able to take part in fresh elections.
Battling in parliament
Letters of citizens to the CPRF faction in the State Duma and to the Central Committee, are symptomatic of Russia's problems. They criticize government policy, complain about the plight of the people and about court rulings. Many complaints have to do with the impossibility of getting housing, the unreasonable utilities rates & soliciting financial help for medical treatment.
Protecting the rights of working people is at the focus of our deputies attention. At present, we have 42 deputies at the State Duma and two members of the Federation Council (V.Markhayev and V.Ikonnikov). The CPRF has 81 factions (a total of 342 deputies) in regional legislatures. There are 9,360 communist deputies in local government bodies.
Although the CPRF lost some seats in the State Duma it still spearheads the struggle for the interests of the common people in parliament. I.Melnikov is first deputy speaker of the Duma. Five communist deputies – V.Kashin, N.Kharitonov, L.Kalashnikov, T.Pletneva and S. Gavrilov— head the key Duma committees. S.Reshulsky, N.Kolomeitsev and V.Shurchanov coordinate the work of the Duma deputies, on a day-to-day basis.
Communist deputies did not support the draft federal budgets. Even with amendments, they lead to the degradation of the country and the impoverishment of working people. The oligarchy relentlessly shifts the burden of the economic crisis onto the ordinary working people & onto those who need social help: children, pensioners & disabled people.
For the CPRF, education policy is the key to building up human potential. Without it, modernization in the XXI century, is impossible. At the initiative of deputy O.Smolin the CPRF faction prepared a draft law On Education for Everyone. Although the draft was rejected, in recent years, we managed to bring about a partial reform of the Unified State Examination, the retention of preferential treatment when entering higher education institutions for disabled people, orphaned children and people who saw combat action, an adjustment of pay for places in student dormitories, official fixing of teachers’ salaries at a level not below the average pay in the region; although 75 regions are known to have ignored these regulations.
The CPRF is categorically against raising the retirement age, against dropping the indexation of the pensions of working pensioners and the cut in monthly payments towards accumulative pensions. A pro-government majority stubbornly blocks our draft law On War Children, but we have again submitted it to parliament.
Communists’ work in the regional legislatures is exceedingly important.
The CPRF has increased the number of local deputies by 15.5% to nearly ten thousand. Almost 200 heads of local governments have been elected with the party’s support.
As part of strengthening the body of deputies, the CPRF CC held two All-Russia Congresses of Communist Deputies and Heads of Executive Power Bodies in June 2013 & May 2016. Mandates of the deputies, and their duties to the citizens of Russia, have been adopted.
Of all the parliamentary parties, the CPRF commands the highest level of popular trust. United Russia is unable to hide its face of the party of oligarchs and bureaucrats. The Just Russia party has never managed to shed its role of an appendage to the “governing party.” The LDPR plays a similar function, at the other end of the spectrum
One of the CPRF’s tasks is protecting citizens against arbitrary rule and lawlessness. The profound crisis caused a degradation of the social environment, a criminalization of society, and diminished the level of people’s safety. Key human rights – to life, work and healthcare – are not guaranteed. Over 2 million crimes were registered in Russia, in the past year, and by no means, were all crimes registered.
100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution and our struggle
Esteemed participants in the Congress,
The 100th anniversary of the biggest event in human history, the Great October Socialist Revolution, is drawing closer and closer. The Bolshevik victory in 1917 saved Russia from a disastrous liberal experiment. It pulled our country away from the edge of a precipice, paved the way for progress in the economy, the social sphere, culture and education.
The anniversary is less than months away. It is our duty to celebrate it in a dignified, substantive and spectacular way. Much has already been done. Enrolment of new members to mark the revolution jubilee continues. Mass actions on April 12 and 22, May 1 and 9 were major political events. A Lenin evening has been organized at the Gubenko Theatre. A working group for the preparation of the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties has had its meeting. The Lenin Prize has been brought back, in tribute to those who are faithful to the working people.
A series of conferences and round tables has been held. Important discussions took place, on Lenin’s theory of imperialism and his April Theses, on the theme “From February to October” and on the experience of building the Soviet Armed Forces. Some interesting films have been released on the CPRF’s Red Line TV channel. To give but some examples, they include The Stalin Model, The World Cabal, To Live without Lying, By Hook or by Crook, Blind Leaders of the Blind, The Soviet Man, Master of the Russian Land. They should be used more actively in our propaganda work. Party media outlets regularly publish materials devoted to the events of 1917, Lenin and Soviet history. Internet projects specifically devoted to the 100th Anniversary of the October Revolution have been launched.
The topic of the socialist revolution must be reflected at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi. The LCYU of the RF is taking part in the preparations for the Festival.
The best proof of loyalty to the ideas of the October Revolution is constant struggle for the interests of the working people, and for a socialist transformation of Russia. However, practical work can only be effective if it rests on a strong, sound theoretical foundation. We have such a foundation in the shape of the Marxist-Leninist ideology, the dialectical materialist method of cognition and the class analysis and assessment of, social facts and phenomena.
The programmatic goal of the CPRF is socialism. It can only be achieved by introducing advanced socialist consciousness into the ranks of the working people.
The crisis in Russia opens the eyes of the masses to the fact that bourgeois recipes for development do not work. This tends to increase the activities of those who would like to “improve capitalism,” to replace “savage” capitalism with a “civilized” market, to combine the best features of capitalism and socialism. We resolutely reject these attempts to gloss over the flaws of globalism.
I would like to remind you of Lenin’s succinct formula, from his book What Is to Be Done: ”It is either bourgeois or socialist ideology. There is no middle road here… Therefore any belittling of socialist ideology, any alienation from it, signifies the strengthening of the bourgeois ideology.”
The CPRF is convinced that socialism alone will save Russia and the world from a catastrophe, a catastrophe that capitalism is preparing by each new step it takes. Therefore a revision of communist ideas cannot be tolerated. As history shows, this path leads to total capitulation to the bourgeoisie. It is not by chance, that many leaders of the Second International, ended up by viciously condemning the October Revolution. Indeed, ineffectual representatives at the top of the leadership of the CPSU, gave up the communist ideology and went on to destroy the party and the state. Some of them openly defected to the anti-communist camp. French writer & philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, was categorical: ”Every anti-communist, is a rascal.”
Ideological struggle never stops. Seeking to bolster its positions the oligarchy fosters anti-communism, anti-S ovietism and Russophobia. This reveals the genetic link of the liberal bureaucrats with Gorbachev and Yeltsin on the one hand and with the “orange’ opposition, the Navalnys and others. Shying away from socialism, they all play the role of anti-national, anti-people forces.
Russophobia and anti-Sovietism are close relatives, as the CC CPRF proved convincingly at its latest Plenum. The October Revolution and the Soviet system are inseparable from the historical destiny of the Russian people. A fierce campaign is being waged against our history, against our communist ideas. The Svanidzes, Gozmans & Zhirinovskys never tire of pouring venomous lies on the pages and images of our past that we hold sacred. The celebration of the jubilee of Solzhenitsyn, the man who called for aggression against his own country and actively backed the Banderovites, promises to be wider and wider. The building of the Yeltsin Centre in Yekaterinburg did not only “consume” 7 billion roubles of budget money.
It openly calls for the rehabilitation of Vlasov. Is it not because of this, that the Centre has been awarded the 'Best European Museum of 2017' prize?
Here and there, monuments and memorial plaques are put up to Kolchak, Krasnov, Mannerheim and the White Czechs. At the same time Soviet monuments are pulled down or moved. Streets and even cities, are being renamed.
Take the nationwide dictation test. This year the participants were offered a text by the writer Yuzefovich, in which a White general makes scathing remarks about a monument to Lenin. How does that square with condemnation of the illegal Kiev rulers, for vandalism and for dismantling Lenin monuments?.
The authorities cannot afford to ignore mass sentiments. Sociologists have found that there are more supporters of the Soviet political system in this country than there are admirers of the current political system and Western democracy combined. The Immortal Regiment action sent a very clear political and cultural message. The prevailing sentiment of this impressive march was the victorious Soviet spirit. It remains to lament the fact that the Immortal Regiment, unlike the regiments that marched straight to the front in 1941, is marching past the Lenin Mausoleum, that has been covered in drapes.
While resorting to patriotic slogans, the authorities seek to erase the positive perception of socialism from people’s consciousness. We, for our part, should confidently uphold truth and justice, protect the historical memory and make active use of our experience of combating anti-Sovietism, anti-Communism & Russophobia and distortions of history.
Nationalism is another evil for which an antidote is needed. Only the CPRF has a clear-cut program on the nationalities issue. It stresses the value of the friendship of the peoples and the multinational character of our country. Our position was accurately expressed by the October 2013 Plenary Session of the Central Committee which stressed that the main cause of the aggravation of inter-ethnic relations, is the deepening of social & economic problems. Big Capital uses the nationality card, to distract people’s attention, from the widening social schism.
We maintain that socialism alone can make the working people masters of their land and of their destiny. Only then will inter-ethnic conflicts vanish like a nightmare.
Mass events staged by the CPRF help to promote the party’s ideas. A year ago Ufa hosted the All-Russia Forum Friendship and Brotherhood of the Peoples: Guarantee of Russia’s Resurgence in which guests from Belarus, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics took part. Every year in June the party holds Pushkin Days & Days of Russian Language and Culture. The tradition was initiated by North Ossetia's Republican Committee of the CPRF. A big contribution to official recognition of Russian Language Days, was made by the communists in the State Duma and the Russky Lad movement. The CPRF’s proposal to outlaw calls for the dismemberment of Russia, has met with public approval.
The entire edifice of party propaganda should be built on a solid ideological foundation. People under the age of 40 did not study the basics of Marxism-Leninism, at school or university. This is the generation that is joining the party and its consciousness is often littered with pseudo-socialist rubbish. The party education system is called on, to address this.
The CPRF Political Education Centre set up after the Ð¥V party Congress to train our activists has already had 21 enrolments. More than 700 young communists from all the Russian regions as well as Transdniestria, Georgia, South Ossetia, Kyrgyzstan, the DPR & LPR, attended. Many of the Centre’s graduates have been elected as secretaries of the regional and local CPRF branches and head up Young Communist League organizations. The journal Politicheskoye prosveshcheniye, helps the party members to build up their theoretical luggage & train party activists in the provinces.
Lenin never tired of stressing the importance of the party's press and believed that the newspaper should not merely ‘disseminate ideas” but also act as a collective organizer. Important information outlets today are the newspapers Pravda and Sovetskaya Rossiya. Oblast, region and city party branches put out more than a hundred periodicals. Some good experience has been accumulated by the editorial offices of many party newspapers, including Podmoskovnaya Pravda, Krasniy Put’ (Omsk Oblast), KPRF v Nizhnem Novgorode, Leviy marsh (Ulyanovsk Oblast), Priangarye (Irkutsk Oblast), Donskaya iskra (Rostov Oblast), Za narodnuyu vlast’ (Novosibirsk oblast) and Rodina (Stavropol Territory).
Party life is regularly reported on the Central Committee site, politpros.com, regional and local party sites. KPRF.RU has launched such internet projects as Narodnaya initsiativa, Storonniki KPRF, Antikorruptsionniy komitet imeni Stalina. At the end of 2016 the Central Committee site competed convincingly with the United Russia resource. Even so, we are still seriously losing out to the liberals in terms of volume and presentation. That situation should be urgently rectified.
The opening of the Krasnaya Liniya TV channel in the wake of the XV CPRF Congress was a big step forward. Since 2015 it has been broadcast via satellite. This round-the-clock channel is beamed to an audience of nearly 7 million. Krasnaya Liniya has an internet site and accounts in social networks. It puts out daily news bulletins. Among its more popular programs are Special Report, Viewpoint, Soviet-Era Brands, and Politpros, to mention just some.
The Agitpunkt section of Political Education site carries video, audio and photo materials and samples of printed copy. This is particularly important in election campaigns.
To strengthen the party at all levels
Comrades, we must strengthen all the party links. The past four years have seen a growth of the number of primary and local CPRF branches. Today the party has 162,173 members. During the report period, it enrolled over 60,000 new members.
The biggest regional branches are: Moscow oblast — 7528 members, Volgograd oblast — 6536 members, Krasnoyarsk Territory — 6153 members, Moscow City — 5712 members, Dagestan Republic — 5547 members, Stavropol Territory— 5510 members. Last year, we had no regional branches where the rate of admission of new members did not exceed 5 percent of the total membership.
Contrary to the allegations of our opponents, more than half of Russian communists are people of active working age. They include14 percent — workers; 13 percent — salary earners; almost 7 percent — unemployed people; 6.6% — farmers; 4.3 percent — students; 4.2 percent — engineers and technicians; 4 percent — members of the creative intelligentsia; 3 percent — entrepreneurs; 1.2percent — enterprise managers.
The percentage of workers who joined the party increased somewhat. The average age of CPRF members is 55.6, slightly less than the 2013 indicator. Thus the party has both experienced and young members. Still, the share of older members is high. Our distinguished veterans form the party’s “golden fund.” There are 70,000 of them, or 42.5 percent.
Many young people joined the party during the enrolment campaigns to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory and the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. In the period between the XV and XVII party congresses, almost two thousand people under 30 joined the CPRF to bring their total number to 11.6 percent. Women account for 33 percent.
Our party operates in a society divided by class. Power in Russia is in the hands of oligarchic capital and the top bureaucrats. This sets high demands on the ideological and moral character of its members.
The latest report-and-election campaign makes it possible to formulate the main challenges facing the CPRF organization.
1. Annual admission of 10 percent of the total membership barely keeps the size of membership constant. The figure must definitely increase if the CPRF is to increase its influence in society.
2. Party branches should be more active among workers, there should be more workers, professionals and farmers in the CPRF.
3. Full-scale training of party activists for participation in election campaigns needs to be improved.
4. Our priorities must include work with potential allies and supporters of the CPRF, the creation of a data base of supporters in each regional party branch.
5. The quality of the training of the reserve cadres, especially at the local and primary level, is still a challenge.
On the whole, much remains to be done to improve the style and methods of party work. All these tasks need to be addressed now.
The material base of our work
Esteemed participants in the Congress,
Shortly after the 100th anniversary of the socialist revolution we shall be marking the 25th anniversary of the re-creation of our party. The architects and stewards of national betrayal were aware that our people would still be drawn to the ideals of socialism. That is why they tried to leave the CPRF without its material and technical base and thus limit its influence at a grassroots level. At the time the party was re-created, we were deprived of the basic conditions for daily work, for agitation, communications, and cadre training. And all the while, we were in the authorities’ gunsights and under fire from the left and the right.
In fact, we had to rebuild the economic base of the CPRF from scratch, twice, the first time after the Gorbachev- Yeltsin betrayal and the second time after attempts to privatize the party’s property by the supporters of the “wet congress.”
Today we have not only revived our party, but have provided it with considerable assets. In 2004 the party owned only two buildings in Moscow and some built-in space in Cherkessk. Since then we have acquired 109 offices for regional and local branches. Only 10 regional committees still have to rent space. I think we will be able to solve the problem within two years.
The main sources for replenishing the party budget are: party dues, donations to the party fund, budget financing and 'other'. On the whole, more than 80% of the money goes to regional party branches. This enables them to work more effectively and meaningfully.
The country’s future is the future of the party
One of our key tasks is work with the youth. Only one-third of the people aged 18 to 22 are interested in politics. The blows sustained by the education system, the decline of young people’s educational levels, makes them easy prey for political manipulation.
The state goes through the motions of pursuing a youth policy. Youth councils and parliaments create an illusion of social lift. 64% of university graduates are unsure of their future. One in every two of them cannot find a job for which he/she has been trained. More than 50% of unemployed people in Russia, are citizens between 18 and 35.
For the CPRF the youth is not only the target of electoral battles. It is the future of our country. The party pays particular attention to its youth policy.
The share of young people in the party is growing. Our opponents can no longer claim that the CPRF is a party of elderly people. Leading positions are more and more often occupied by people of young and under middle age. Party cadres are becoming younger due to new members who have gone through serious schooling as members of the Komsomol. D.Novikov, Yu.Afonin and K.Taysyev established themselves as politicians in the past report periods. After the XV CPRF Congress, important jobs at the Central Committee were entrusted to our young workers, A.Klychkov,A.Korniyenko, M.Kostrikov & I.Makarov.
We have many young people who are willing and able to work. Thanks to them we can safely say that the CPRF is a XXI- century party, a party of the future. Let us recall that in 1917, more than half of the Bolshevik party members were under 35.
The LKSM (Leninist Communist Youth Union) is a youth organization that preserves the Soviet traditions. Its track record includes the protection of education institutions from being closed, preventing a rise in payment for student dormitories and transport fares, and the fight against the curtailment of social benefits.
The Leninist Komsomol is the reserve cadre of the party
The nationwide Komsomol action The Banner of Our Victory, is an example of the patriotic upbringing of young people. It included more than 18,000 school lessons where students were told about the heroic exploits of the Soviet people. The project has a follow-up under the title, The October Banner is the Banner of Victory.
Every year hundreds of children are enrolled in the Young Pioneers at a ceremony in Red Square. Today more than 250,000 children and teenagers wear the Young Pioneer red scarves.
On the agenda is the issue of uniting all the Young Pioneers in a single Lenin Union of Young Pioneer Organizations. This end is to be served by the Second All-Russia Meeting of Young Pioneer Guides in which the Party and the Komsomol will take part.
The Komsomol faces the challenging task of increasing our ranks and attracting new supporters. Party and Komsomol members must conduct the difficult but very necessary educational work with the young generation. Strong links with the working class youth, are particularly important.
Next year sees the 100th anniversary of the Lenin Komsomol. The organizing committee “Komsomol is 100” is already active. This date is not only an occasion for remembering the accomplishments of Soviet Power, the outstanding role of the youth in developing and defending the country, but also for encouraging the new generations to uphold their rights and a worthy future.
Keep in mind the main thing
Esteemed delegates and guests of the Congress,
A new stage of history began 100 years ago. The world’s first state of workers and peasants was formed. In the year of the 100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution we recall more and more often the name of Lenin, the revolutionary and statesman, a genuine romantic & an outstanding scholar. It was the great idea of social justice that enabled him to translate a great theory into the practice of great accomplishments.
Lenin constantly stressed that at the end of the day the central issue of all politics is the economic issue. And today Russia is faced with challenges that stem directly from its economic lag and its reliance on commodity production, from technological degradation and a mass impoverishment of its citizens. This is the system that was established in this country ,after the collapse of the USSR.
The authorities are unable to meet these challenges. The incomes of big Russian businessmen are growing at a f antastic rate, even today. This means that the oligarchy has no economic incentives to overcome the crisis. The anti-national essence of such an “elite”, is obvious.
At the beginning of the last century Lenin came to the conclusion that Russia was the weak link in the chain of capitalist states. This fact set the stage for a revolution. Otherwise, Russia would have remained a raw materials appendage of more developed countries. This conviction was reaffirmed by Stalin at the XV Congress of the AUCP(B):
”We must make our country economically self-reliant, independent, based on the internal market. We must build our economy in such a way as to prevent our country from becoming an appendage of the capitalist system.”
The supreme meaning of the socialist revolution was the embodiment of the ideal of social justice. This was achieved through the building of a truly independent state based on new economic relations. As Stalin said, “Soviet power did not have to replace one form of exploitation with another, as did the old revolutions, but to liquidate all exploitation.”
A revolution is genuine only if it leads to a large-scale class restructuring of society. Otherwise it is a “colour” simulation of one, which brings to power liberal “fighters against the regime” guided by foreign principals.
This was the kind of threat that hung over Russia in February 1917. But Lenin came forward with convincing calls: Peace to the peoples, Bread to the hungry,” “Factories to the workers” and “Land to the peasants.” These slogans arose from the deepest convictions of a romantic and politician, a fighter and a scholar. The simplicity and clarity of Lenin’s slogans disguises deep insight into the problems.
Reread Lenin’s works “The Immediate Tasks of Soviet Power,” “On Cooperation,” and “On the Food Tax.” You will find there a massive scientific basis on which Lenin based his practice. Those who run the country today are incapable of such vision. Russia is reaping the bitter fruits of their economic illiteracy and irresponsibility.
Myth has it that by introducing the New Economic Policy, Lenin admitted the need to return to the capitalist market. Some even say that Gorbachev’s line was a successor to the NEP. Only his perestroika led to a dismantling of socialism and the collapse of Russia, while the Soviet State grew stronger under the NEP.
After the First World War and the Civil War and foreign Intervention, production had shrunk by nearly five times and agriculture by half. Crop failures and famine compounded the situation. The NEP saved the country. As for foreign companies, they were allowed at enterprises that accounted for less than 1% of the total industrial output.
The decisions taken then strengthened the state system of controlling the socialist economy. In 1921 the State Central Bank was founded in the country. It issued up to 70 percent of all the credits. The state invested in the economy. During the first five years of the NEP, agricultural output doubled and industrial output trebled. The economy grew by 13% in 1927 and by 19% in 1928. National revenue increased at an annual rate of 18%. Between 1922 and 1929, the USSR built more than 200 big industrial enterprises. Prices were going down rapidly. The world had not ever known, such economic success.
This was Lenin’s New Economic Policy. It is a brilliant example of an anti-crisis program capable of rescuing the country from economic collapse. The CPRF program has echoes of Lenin’s approach. It is becoming more relevant every day. The Moscow Economic Forum confirmed that more and more experts, are proposing measures consonant with our approach.
Russia today needs a financial system that serves the interests of the country and not of transnational capital. The banking system must be put under state control. Only then will it be able to provide effective loans to the national industry and to small businesses. The country needs to replace the flat income tax rate with a progressive one and to exempt the poor from all taxes. Without a fair distribution of national wealth the Soviet State could not have overcome mass poverty and provide the economy with investments. The same is true of today.
Lenin passed away in 1924, but his economic policy lived on. The foundation had been laid for a staggering breakthrough that was Stalin’s industrialization. Think of Stalin’s then amazingly bold words: “We are 50-100 years behind the advanced countries. We must run this distance within ten years. Either we do it or we shall be crushed.”
This appeal was imbued with the Lenin spirit. The titanic task was fulfilled. In January 1932 the French newspaper Le Temps wrote: “The USSR has won the first round, it industrialized without the aid of foreign capital.” This was recognition of the Soviet economic achievements, recognition of the success of Lenin’s ideas and accomplishments.
Lenin’s economic policy is behind the colossal success of Stalin’s industrialization and total liquidation of unemployment by the beginning of the 1930s. The great Victory over Fascism is also the result of Lenin’s policy. So was the Soviet conquest of outer space. So was the level of social guarantees, that one can only dream of, today.
Vladimir Lenin won the Great Socialist Victory which long survived him. Today the country is suffering a crushing capitalist defeat. It may turn out to be a catastrophe. Today the experience of Lenin and Stalin stands in contrast to the Yeltsin-Gaidar legacy of the 1990s. We communists will do all we can to make sure that the creative forces prevail. The number one task is to help the people to become aware of the need to restructure along socialist lines.
* * *
The October 1917 Revolution lit the dawn of a new life. Our legacy is grandiose. Next year sees the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. Great is the power of Lenin’s ideas. The Bolsheviks have colossal experience of opposing capital.
The greatest achievement of Lenin and his comrades- in-arms was the creation of the Bolshevik Party, a party of a new type. Bolshevism linked the proletarian movement in Russia with scientific socialism. It consistently implemented the teaching on the class struggle of the proletariat, on the socialist revolution, on the building of socialism in one country surrounded by capitalism. The party of Lenin put the Russian revolutionary movement in the vanguard of the struggle against capitalism and its leading force, the financial oligarchy.
The Bolshevik Party is the party of socialist revolution, of socialist creative endeavour and the communist perspective.
Bolshevism combines loyalty to principle and flexible tactics, the romanticism of lofty dreams, and pragmatic actions.
Proletarian internationalism is a characteristic of Bolshevism. However, it skillfully combined the general laws of the struggle for socialism with national-historical specificities.
Bolshevism rejects opportunism and revisionism. It upholds the purity of the Marxist-Leninist theory and opposes the falsification of this theory. At the same time it rejects sectarianism and seeks to unite left- wing forces in the struggle against the dictatorship of capital.
In October of 1917 the Russian Bolsheviks aroused the masses and won. They took up the slogan of Marx and Engels Proletarians of all lands, unite” and put it into practice. After the victory Lenin said: “Our socialist republic of the Soviets will stand firm as the torch of international socialism and as an example to all the working masses. There they have fighting, war and bloodshed, here we have a genuine policy of peace and the socialist republic of the Soviets.” That was indeed the case. The Soviet country became a bulwark and a beacon of hope for the working people of the whole planet.
The Soviet Union presented mankind with a unique experience of socialist construction. Its Red Banner became the main symbol of the fighters for justice in all the corners of the world. During the clash with Fascism this red flag called the Soviet warriors into battle and their heroism inspired the Resistance fighters of Europe. The banner with a hammer and sickle was the main symbol of the Great Victory.
Russian communists are proud of their history. Our path draws on the brilliant experience of many units of the international left movement. The wealth of this experience is our great heritage. The heritage of Soviet socialism inspired the members of the Comintern .It found its continuation in the Chinese and Cuban revolutions, in the struggle of Korea and Vietnam against the US military, in the daring exploits of Ernesto Che Guevara and the Ð¥Ð¥I-century socialism of Hugo Chavez.
The achievements of the Soviet era are our lode star in the whirlpool of events. Building on the path covered, we have to go further in upholding social justice. Remembering past victories the CPRF has to intensify its struggle against capitalist savagery and degradation. The Party must establish itself as the vanguard of the workers’ movement. It must help hired laborers to become aware of their basic interests, to acquire socialist consciousness, to master the methods of class struggle –this is our task and this is our political and civic duty.
Russia is living through an exceedingly complicated period. To protect the working people, our party has to prove itself day after day by its teamwork and convincing results.
The centuries-old dream of humanity about a better future gives us faith in the triumph of good over evil, the triumph of the values of peace and creative endeavour, justice and progress.
Let us be faithful to the cause of the October Revolution.
The race is won by the running.
Onward toward new heights.
This entry was posted in CPRF Congress, Statements on June 2nd, 2017, by admin.
Please watch the video to the end. This is why the world hates the US.
THE US IS LISTING & DEMONISING NEWS SERVICES OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM PRESSTITUTES, NOW
So we thought you'd like this list of good news services...
Newsbud, Counterpunch, Doni 21st Century Wire Moon of Alabama.org The Saker Dmitry Orlov's blogsite cluborlove Dances with Bears The Duran Strategic Culture.org, globalresearch.ca, drudgereport.com, wikileaks.com, wikileaks.org, wikispooks.com. zerohedge.com, truthdig.com. RT.com Sputniknews.com USSLIBERTYVETERANS.org, infowars.com, intrepidreport.com, intellihub.com, informationclearinghouse.info, corbettreport.com, floridasunpost.com, opednews.com, oilgeopolitics.com, gatesofvienna.net, blackagendareport.com, mintpressnews.com, ahtribune.com, thefreethoughtproject.com, consortiumnews.com, washingtonsblog.com, asia-pacificresearch.com, filmsforaction.com (Native Americans), thirdworldtraveler.com, activistpost.com. Prensa Latina The Morning Star paulcraigroberts.org Truthdig.com Naked Capitalism.com
Jeremy Corbyn just announced a plan to end one of the biggest scams in modern history by James Wright
As part of his ‘Digital Democracy‘ manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled plans to end one of the biggest scams in modern history.
At present, the British people are paying twice for education and information. Once, to create research (for example, through Research Council funding) and then again to buy back the research through online journal subscriptions, university fees and public library costs. Despite funding the research, the taxpayer must pay again for access.
An ‘Open Knowledge Library’, proposed in the manifesto, would stop us being charged twice for academic research:
The Open Knowledge Library will be the digital repository of lessons, lectures, curricula and student work from Britain’s nurseries, schools, colleges and universities. We will require the findings of all state- funded research to be made available without charge to the general public through this learning portal.
In a move that will anger private digital libraries like JSTOR, Corbyn’s Labour has vowed to end their sneaky profiteering on the back of the taxpayer. Publicly funded research would, accordingly, become publicly available.
Without such access, we are currently paying extortionate fees to expand our knowledge through research we have already funded. Single journals on JSTOR can cost up to $50 to access without a university affiliation. If they are available at all.
If you happen to be a student at university, then you may sidestep the online paywalls, but not the scam. Research funded publicly and by universities themselves is then sold back to universities at inflated prices. As Laura Mckenna writes in The Atlantic:
Step back and think about this picture. Universities that created this academic content for free must pay to read it. Step back even further. The public — which has indirectly funded this research with federal and state taxes that support our higher education system — has virtually no access to this material, since neighbourhood libraries cannot afford to pay those subscription costs.
Each UK university loses up to £3.38m (PDF, page 6) per year buying back research they themselves have funded. Meanwhile, access to digital libraries for students costs universities an annual fortune. Students therefore join the general people in forking out once again for publicly funded research, but through tuition fees rather than paywalls.
Like students, if you happen to be at a public library then you may sidestep the online paywalls, but not the scam. In 2008, access to journals and subscriptions cost UK libraries £235m (PDF, page 1) of taxpayer money. Hence, even if you are at a library, the library has paid a second time for publicly funded research.
Open access to information saves lives
The injustice of paying twice for research is not the only reason we should adopt an open access model. All of us benefit from having doctors, teachers, academics & other well educated people in society.
Case in point: Jack Andraka, who was 15 years old when he identified a revolutionary tool in recognising pancreatic cancer, would never have made his discovery without access to online journals.
Open source information is a no-brainer. As the rights to the research are bought by digital libraries like JSTOR, removing these companies and their paywalls does not mean that the researchers and writers do not get paid. It only means huge profits are not siphoned off by these unnecessary gatekeepers. It means we are not paying twice for information.
And crucially, the more people who have access to research, the higher the chance we have of scientific, philosophical and artistic breakthroughs. 150 million attempts to read JSTOR content are denied every year. This is not including the other private digital library giants. Imagine the expansion of human knowledge and progress should these attempts have been granted.
Watch the documentary on Aaron Swartz, one of the greatest pioneers of internet freedom and open source information. He was the co-founder of Reddit, architect of Creative Commons, political activist, and a key contributor to the first RSS feeds at 14.
These are just a few examples of his incredible achievements before he committed suicide in the face of persecution by the US government - aged just 26.
Sick to Death of the BBC and MainStream Media Bias?
Try these alternative media outlets in the UK (They deserve our support)
The Canary Media Diversified
Novara Media Corporate Watch
Common Space Media Lens
Bella Caledonia Vox Political
Evolve Politics Real Media
Reel News STRIKE! magazine
The Bristol Cable Manchester Mule
Salford Star Scisco Media
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by some of being disconnected from the North of England. Watch this amateur video ! (Where he mentions - briefly -the Work Capability Assessment, damned below:)
Courtesy of Liza Van Zyl on Facebook.
Liza is the lady who received a visit from police who claimed she had committed a criminal act against the Department for Work & Pensions, just before midnight on October 26th, 2012 --- being that she'd been highlighting the deaths of sick & disabled people after reassessment by Atos and the DWP for Employment and Support Allowance.
Fortunately for those who still have to undergo these assessments, she was not discouraged and has continued to fight for those who can not stand up for themselves. However, she is currently suffering severe disenchantment with the Labour Party, as she says, below:
“We heard from Owen Smith MP today [Saturday, March 7] (a member of the left wing of the Labour Party leadership) that it is important for disabled people to continue to die, lest any commitment by Labour to scrap the Work Capability Assessment generate a negative response in the press and affect Labour’s general election chances.
“He said, while he, personally, doesn’t like the WCA, his Labour colleagues will not support scrapping it because of fears it will play badly with the right wing press & damage Labour’s electoral chances… I’ve since been contacted by other disabled people who’ve raised the issue with their Labour MPs, & the response has been:
Yes, the WCA isn’t nice but if Labour commits to scrapping it, it would appear to be ‘soft on welfare’.
“The similarities of these responses (and given that Owen Smith is a frontbench shadow sec of state and therefore presumably is up to date on party strategy) indicates that this is an agreed line or represents an actual decision. This is profoundly disturbing, given that a great many Labour MPs know in detail exactly what suffering and deaths the WCA is responsible for among their own constituents: Tom Greatrex organised a powerful meeting of Labour MPs with Chris Grayling two years ago. Dame Anne Begg is herself a disabled person, as are other MPs.
“So: When was the decision taken by Labour MPs that the opinion of the right wing press matters more than the suffering and deaths of disabled people? How was this decision made, and why didn’t the likes of John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner, Jeremy Corbyn etc kick up a holy fuss? I have put the WCA question to parliamentary candidates Jo Stevens, Mari Williams, Chris Elmore and Elizabeth Evans and got the strong impression from them that they were committed to scrapping the WCA… What is going on?”
What do you think -- is it right that people have their disability benefits cut and -- die as a result?
Write now to:
Follow up by the brilliant Voxpolitical
We know that the Work Capability Assessment has been a catastrophe for people all over the UK. It is based on a system evolved by the criminal US insurance firm Unum, designed to be hugely difficult and stressful.
The stress of having to prepare for an assessment kills many, as does that of taking it. Some commit suicide when they are refused benefit, some die from the stress of having to appeal. Some who are granted it, then die from its requirements – like trying to become ready for work in a year if they’re in the work-related activity group of ESA.
Some who are granted benefit die from the strain of being re-assessed, sometimes at short notice.
Death surrounds the process. When Mr Smith said Labour would not oppose the WCA because of the right-wing press, he was tacitly saying Labour is willing to let these fatalities continue – even if he wasn’t actually saying it.
It’s something that some people have found hard to accept, but that is the message being put out to people across the UK by Labour’s unwillingness to denounce the process and Liza just happened to be the one who stood up and said it.
As a result, it seems she has been hounded off the Internet. She wrote: “Folks, if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry I’m ok. I’ve given my phone and all means of Internet access to a friend, so that I don’t have to see all the horrible messages I’m being bombarded with.”
If Mr Smith’s answer was a “fudge”, then he has no right to be scandalised by Liza’s response. On Twitter he claimed it was a “lie”. Perhaps he could apologise for creating misunder- standing, and clarify what he really was saying about Labour’s position, instead.
The last WCA data published – Nov. 2011 – showed around 4 deaths every 3 hours, or 220 a week. That’s a monstrous figure.
It's possible that the DWP may provide new figures soon, & we can hope the average will be lower ---- but the sheer weight of punitive measures enacted since 2011 suggests otherwise.
Just as shocking is Labour’s apparent disinterest in changing it. The sheer number of people who have contacted *Vox Political – via the comment column, Twitter or Facebook – to say they have tried, repeatedly, to engage Labour luminaries on the subject, only to get cold-shouldered, is a scandal in itself.
We’ve already got enough political parties whose leaders are only interested in what they can get for themselves – they’re called Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
Labour needs to be better; Labour needs to stand up and do what’s right for everybody.
And that's a big reason why this is so important. Labour is the only party with a hope of kicking the Conservatives back into Opposition. People all over the country want to support Labour – but can’t, because they don’t believe Labour will support them. That’s the ultimate reason the WCA has to go; it doesn’t help people – it kills them.
If the alternative to being “soft on welfare” is causing the deaths of thousands of people who only asked for the benefits their tax money is supposed to have funded, then ‘One Nation’ Labour cannot afford to have anything to do with it.
*Vox Political - the excellent site that produced this wonderful piece of expose journalism.
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Michael Hudson argues that military interventions in the Middle East created refugee streams to Europe that were in turn used by the anti-immigrant right to stir up xenophobia
GREGORY WILPERT, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Gregory Wilpert, coming to you from Quito, Ecuador.
Britain’s referendum in favor of leaving, or exiting, the European Union, the Brexit referendum, as the results are known, won with 52 percent of the vote on Thursday, June 23, stunning Europe’s political establishment. One of the issues that has raised concern for many is ...what does the Brexit mean for Britain’s and Europe’s economy & politics. This was one of the main topics leading up to the referendum, but a lot of disinformation [reigned] in the discussion.
With us to discuss the economic and political context of the Brexit is Michael Hudson. He is a research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and author of Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy. Also, he is an economics adviser to several governments, including Greece, Iceland, Latvia, and China. He joins us right now from New York City.
Thanks, Michael, for joining us.
MICHAEL HUDSON: Good to be here again.
WILPERT: So let’s begin with the political context in which the Brexit vote took place. Aside from the right-wing arguments about immigrants, economic concerns, and about Britain’s ability to control its own economy, what would you say–what do you see as being the main kind of political back- ground, in which this vote took place?
HUDSON: Well, almost all the Europeans know where the immigrants are coming from. And the ones that they’re talking about are from the near East. And they’re aware of the fact that most immigrants are coming, as a result of NATO policies promoted by Hillary and by the Obama administration.
The problem began in Libya. Once Hillary pushed Obama to destroy Libya and wipe out the stable government there, she wiped out the arms–& Libya was a very heavily armed country. She turned over the arms to ISIS, to Al-Nusra, and Al-Qaeda. And Al- Qaeda used these arms under U.S. organization, to attack Syria and Iraq. Now, the Syrian population, the Iraqi population, have no choice but to either emigrate or get killed.
So when people talk about immigration to Europe, the Europeans, the French, the Dutch, the English, they’re all aware of the fact that this is the fact that Brussels is really NATO, and NATO is really run by Washington, and that it’s America’s new Cold War against Russia that’s been spurring all of this demographic dislocation that’s spreading into England, spreading into Europe, and is destabilizing things.
So what you’re seeing with the Brexit is the result of Obama's administration’s pro-war, new Cold War policy.
WILPERT: So are you saying that people voted for Brexit because they are really–that they were concerned about the influence of the USA? Or are you saying that it’s because of the backlash, because of the immigration that happened, and the fact that the right wing took advantage of that [crosstalk].
HUDSON: It’s a combination. The right wing was, indeed, pushing the immigrant issue, saying wait a minute, they’re threatening our jobs. But the left wing was just as vocal, and the left wing was saying, why are these immigrants coming here? They’re coming here because of Europe’s support of NATO, and NATOs war that’s bombing the near East, that is destabilizing the whole Near East, and causing a flight of refugees not only from Syria, but also from Ukraine. In England, many of the so-called Polish plumbers that came years ago have now gone back to Poland, because that country’s recovered.
But now the worry is that a whole new wave of Ukrainians–and basically the US policy is one of destabilization–so even the right-wing, while they have talked about immigrants, they have also denounced the [inaudible] fact that the European policy is run by the United States, and that you have both Marine Le Pen in France saying, we want to withdraw from NATO; we don’t want confrontation with Russia. You have the left wing in England saying, we don’t want troop concentrations to attack Russia. And last week when I was in Germany you had the Social Democratic Party leaders saying that Russia should be invited back into the G8, that NATO was taking a warlike position and was hurting the European economy by breaking its ties with Russia and by forcing other sanctions against Russia.
So you have a convergence between the left and the right, and the question is, who is going to determine the terms on which Europe is broken up and put back together? Will it simply be the right wing that’s anti- immigrants? Or will it simply be the left saying we want to restructure the economy in a way that essentially avoids the austerity that is coming from Brussels, on the one hand, and from the UK Conservative Party, on the other.
And again, you have Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch nationalists, saying, we want Holland to have its own central bank. We want to be in charge of our own money. And under Brussels, we cannot be in charge of our own money. That means we cannot run a budget deficit and spend money into the economy & recover with a Keynesian-type policy.
So the whole withdrawal from Europe means withdrawing from austerity. If you look at the voting pattern in London, in England, you had London to stay in. You had the university centres, Oxford and Cambridge, voting to stay in. You had the working class, the old industrial areas of the north and the south. You had the middle class and the industrial class saying, we’re getting a really bad deal from Europe. We want to oppose austerity. And we don’t want Brussels to give us not only the anti-labor, pro- bank policies, but also the trade policy that Brussels was trying to push onto Europe, the Obama trade agreement, which essentially would take national economic policy out of the hands of government & put it into the hands of corporate bureaucracy, corporation courts.The bureaucracy in Brussels, then, is largely pro-bank, pro-corporate, and anti-labour.
WILPERT: That actually brings up the issue of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or the TTIP. It was one of the things that the Cameron government was really pushing for, this relationship between the European Union and the United States. Now that Britain is presumably going to be leaving the European Union, don’t you think that this might open the possibility of just a TTIP between Britain and the United States? In other words, that it will–it has been one of the arguments, actually, of those who were opposed to Britain leaving the EU, that it will tie Britain even closer to the United States than it was before, and by virtue of the fact that it’s leaving Europe.
HUDSON: I think just the opposite. I’ve gotten 'phone calls today from Britain, and I’ve been on radio with Britain. The whole feeling is that this makes the TTIP impossible, because you can’t do a TTIP just with Britain. You have to do it with all of Europe. & this prevents Europe - and I think Britain, too - from making this kind of trade policy. The rejection of eurozone austerity is, essentially, a rejection of the neoliberal plan that the TTIP is supposed to be the capstone of.
WILPERT: And what do you think this means, then, in general for Europe’s future? One of the things that–one of the dangers that many perceive, is precisely that Europe, as a European Union, is going to fall apart. Do you think that’s the likely scenario here? Or–.
HUDSON: I watched Marine Le Pen today in France, and you could see from her face that she was overjoyed. She thinks all of a sudden, almost every European interview where the people–there was such unleashing of a feeling of freedom, a feeling of yes, we can do it. When Ireland voted not to join the European Union people just ignored the popular vote. But now it can’t be ignored anymore.
And I think that the British vote is a catalyst for moves in Spain, Italy, the Five Star movement in Italy, the Podemos in Spain, to say, we are–we have an alternative to Europe. Europe is sort of like the Soviet Union in the ’30s and ’40s. There was an argument, is it reformable or not? There is a feeling, and I think it’s correct, that the European Union, the eurozone, and the euro, is not reformable, as a result of the Lisbon treaties and the other treaties that have created the euro. Europe has to be taken apart in order to be put together not on a right-wing, neoliberal basis, but on a more social basis.
Now, ironically, the parties who call themselves socialists are now moved to the ultra-right, to the neoliberal. The French socialists, the German social democrats. But you’re having real radical parties arise in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and potentially in Greece, again, that are going to say, well, the key of any government - of any national government - has to be the ability to issue our own money, to run a deficit, spending into the economy to make the economy recover. We cannot recover under the Lisbon agreements, under the eurozone, where the central bank will only create money to give to banks, not money to spend into the economy, to actually finance new investment and new employment. And we cannot be part of a eurozone that insists that pensions have to be cut back in order to make the banks whole and save the 1 percent losing money.
So for the first time you’re having the real left wing in Europe talking about financial issues, not about political philosophy, or the fact that countries are not going to go to war again. Nobody ever believes that France, Germany, & other countries in Europe are going to go to military war again. There is a fear that the countries in Europe may go to war against Russia, pushed there by NATO, pushed by the adventurism of the US stance towards Russia.
And so, all of a sudden, the eurozone that was supposed to be a bulwark of military peace has become belligerent, and even more so if Hillary would win in the United States. And there’s a feeling we do want peace. That means we have to withdraw from the eurozone. And essentially , withdrawing from Brussels means withdrawing from NATO & withdrawing from the United States.
So you could say that the vote to withdraw from Europe is, it’s really a vote of the British middle class, the working class, to withdraw from the U.S. neoliberalism that has been running Europe for the last ten years.
WILPERT: Okay. Unfortunately we’ve run out of time, but thanks so much, Michael, for your insight on this. I’m sure we’ll come back to you again, as we always do. So thanks again for joining us.
HUDSON: Good to be here.
WILPERT: And thank you for watching the Real News Network.
UN’s condemnation of austerity UK - is a national disgrace
by Charlotte Hughes
The United Nations committee on economic and cultural rights recently published a highly damning report.
It confirmed that the UK government’s austerity measures are in breach of its obligations to the human rights of citizens living in Britain.
Although mentioned in the mainstream press, it hasn’t been given enough attention. It’s an important issue that should not be swept under the carpet.
The report considers a number of areas, all of which are drastically important to our every- day lives and the lives of the poorest.
It covers foodbanks, unemployment rates, the housing crisis, mental health care and discrimination against the vulnerable.
In its report the committee reminds the UK government of its obligations and actively calls upon it to make the changes required.
Sadly I fear this has fallen upon deaf ears, as no official acknowledgement has been made, let alone a rush to tackle the issues.
The UN committee is “seriously concerned” about the disproportionately adverse impact that UK austerity measures have forced upon the poorest, who are already disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups. To put it simply, people are suffering, and it is completely unnecessary.
These are people who already had a bad deal in life and now can see no way of getting out of the situation that they are in.
Many are ill or disabled, some have children and some are single parents. These people are being targeted time and time again. It’s an endless circle of suffering and poverty.
The committee also emphasised problems with welfare reform. It said it was “deeply concerned” about the various entitlement changes & cuts in social security benefits that are constantly being made.
These include the reduction of the household benefit cap, the four-year freeze on certain benefits and a reduction in child tax credits.
The committee goes on to say that this will deeply affect “women, children, persons with disabilities, low-income families and families with two or more children.”
Despite constant demonisation by the press, which labels these people as scroungers, the fact is, they're suffering and their children are suffering. So much so, that their schools are "concerned". This used to be unheard of.
The report goes on to tackle other issues, such as the unemployment rate, the high incidence of part-time, zero-hours contract work, people forced into precarious self-employment, the “persistent discrimination” against migrant workers, the low national minimum wage, the new Trade Union Act, the limited availability of affordable childcare, the increased risk of poverty for disabled people, ethnic minorities and single parents, families with children, the lack of affordable, accessible housing, the significant rise in homelessness, and ever-increasing university tuition fees.
However, I would like to focus on one issue, the issue of sanctions relating to benefits and the absence of due process or access to justice --- for those affected by a benefit sanction.
Sanctions are handed out far too freely by the government’s DWP workers. They are given to mostly innocent people who are trying their best and are quite often