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A Bangladeshi woman survivor is lifted out of the rubble by rescuers at the site of a building that collapsed on Wednesday 24 April in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
In Greece, where unemployment has hit 27 percent, the fascist Golden Dawn party is helping to divert popular anger against capitalism into divisive xenophobic hatred of ‘foreigners stealing our jobs’.
When some 200 migrant agricultural labourers, mostly from Bangladesh, came to demand unpaid wages going back six months or more, at least 28 of them were shot and injured by gun-wielding thugs. Three of the foremen at the strawberry plantation in Nea Manolada where they worked are being blamed for the murderous assault.
This racist violence is the most recent in a string of similar attacks against Asian and African workers in Greece.
And as if to clarify what might drive Bangladeshis to leave their homes and expose themselves to such racist poison in the first place, the true face of imperialist superexploitation has been on shameful display in Bangladesh itself, with the death of over 1,000 textile workers, mostly women, when the Rana Plaza complex in which they worked collapsed.
Some 3,000 people were estimated to be working there at the time of collapse, despite the fact that only days earlier large cracks had been detected and reported. Workers in the building were told to continue coming in to work on pain of dismissal.
Back in November, similar disregard by factory owners for the lives of their workers had been shown in the Tazreen factory fire. On that occasion workers were told it was a false alarm and ordered back to work. When they tried to escape, they were blocked by a locked fire door. That fire claimed 112 lives.
The grim conclusion is that whether Bangladeshi workers stay at home or travel abroad, the end result is the same: superexploitation at best, and at worst an early grave. The immediate owners of the collapsed factory may be justly pilloried, as may the thugs in Greece who shot the strawberry-pickers, but in neither case will the real criminal be called to account – capitalism itself.
Whatever happens to the local factory bosses, we can be sure that the monopoly capitalists running Primark and Matalan will not be required to answer for the lives of those who died stitching their garments. At least, not yet.
Guantanamo is the new Dachao - and the US imperialists are the true inheritors of Nazi fascism
When Obama covered himself in glory by promising to close down the Guantánamo concentration camp by the end of 2009, many on the petty-bourgeois left crowed loudly. The neo-cons were dead, long live the new age!
Yet, four years on, the camp not only maintains its illegal squat on Cuban soil, but, on 7 March, the president issued an executive order, at a stroke ‘legalising’ indefinite incarceration without trial within its walls.
Now it was the turn of the Republican chair of the House Homeland Security Committee to crow, saying: “I commend the Obama administration for issuing this executive order. The bottom line is that it affirms the Bush administration policy that our government has the right to detain dangerous terrorists until the cessation of hostilities.”
Quite so. Let all who hailed the rise of Obama the peace-prize winner now take heed.
The majority of the men illegally detained in the camp have been thrust into a limbo aptly described by Cuban paper Granma: “They have not been accused of any crime which would require a trial, but neither have they been acknowledged as belonging to an enemy force, which would have guaranteed them recognition and rights reserved for prisoners of war.” (‘Guantánamo: endurance and shame’, 11 April 2013)
Of the 166 inmates held captive within ‘Gitmo’, under conditions which UN human-rights chief Navi Piallay felt obliged to denounce as being in “clear breach of international law”, only nine have been convicted or even charged with any crime. According to justice department lawyers, 48 of the men “could not be prosecuted in military commissions or in federal court because evidentiary problems would hamper a trial”, or, to put it in plain English: there’s no proof other than ‘confessions’ extorted through torture that they have ever done anything wrong.
Sooner than follow the principle of innocent till proven guilty, however, these kidnap victims of US imperialism have been summarily branded as a threat and told they can’t go home. As one of the defence team, Lt Col Barry Wingard, summed it up: “Forty-eight men will be condemned to die never being given a trial or given an opportunity to defend themselves. They are essentially dead men who just happen to breathe.” (‘Men live in Guantánamo animal cages, will never get trial,’ RT.com, 24 March 2013)
Half the inmates have in theory been cleared for transfer or resettlement, but wait in vain for this to translate into reality.
The ‘lucky few’ who have the dubious privilege of actually facing prosecution by a kangaroo court are in reality faring no better. Cases are getting bogged down as numerous documents arguing the defence case are snooped on or deleted in an obvious sabotage of even this travesty of legal process.
As RT.com reported recently: “Pre-trial hearings in the Guantánamo Bay war-crimes tribunals have been delayed to address the disappearance of defence legal documents from Pentagon computers, military officials said …
“Defence lawyers representing inmates at the prison camp were ordered Wednesday to halt all computer transmission of sensitive material because of a security risk. The problem reportedly stems from a Pentagon-provided computer server that was supposed to transmit information from Washington to Guantánamo. Instead of transmitting files effectively, however, the system has been deleting documents since January of this year.” (‘Guantánamo Bay hearing delayed after mysterious disappearance of legal files’, 11 April 2013)
The lawyer for one defendant noted that officials had mishandled over half a million defence emails and were even trawling through the defence team’s internet searches.
Stripped of even the hope of a trial, let alone repatriation or justice, a growing number of the men have resorted to their sole remaining avenue of protest. In a last-ditch attempt to force their plight before the world’s attention, more than a hundred of them have now joined a hunger strike that was initiated in the first week of February.
The response has been brutal, including an assault with rubber bullets, ‘justified’ by the pretence that inmates had equipped themselves with improvised weapons. A lawyer for one of the defendants pointed out the extreme improbability of this assertion, given that the sharpest object prisoners are permitted are the refills from ballpoint pens, stripped of their plastic casing.
In a vain effort to break the hunger strike, the men have been cruelly separated into isolation cells. But these victims of imperialist brutality are made of sterner stuff, as is clear from the words of one such, Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel.
This brave man was able to tell his story via a phone call to the legal charity Reprieve. His account, which has been printed under the headline ‘Gitmo is killing me’, is in its essentials common to that of many of his fellow prisoners.
“One man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago. I’ve been on a hunger strike since 10 February and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.
“I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. I could have been home years ago – no one seriously thinks I am a threat – but still I am here.
“Years ago the military said I was a ‘guard’ for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either.
“When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a childhood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do better than the $50 a month I earned in a factory, and support my family. I’d never really travelled, and knew nothing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try.
“I was wrong to trust him. There was no work. I wanted to leave, but had no money to fly home. After the American invasion in 2001, I fled to Pakistan like everyone else. The Pakistanis arrested me when I asked to see someone from the Yemeni embassy. I was then sent to Kandahar, and put on the first plane to Gitmo.”
After Samir joined the hunger strike, he was force-fed, a supposedly humanitarian procedure which in reality is a particularly nasty form of torture.
“A team from the ERF (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.
“I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.
“I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11.00pm, when I’m sleeping.
“There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.
“During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily. I called the interpreter to ask the doctor if the procedure was being done correctly or not. It was so painful that I begged them to stop feeding me. The nurse refused to stop feeding me.”
He concluded: “The situation is desperate now. All of the detainees here are suffering deeply. At least 40 people here are on a hunger strike. People are fainting with exhaustion every day. I have vomited blood. And there is no end in sight to our imprisonment.
“Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made. I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.” (Printed in the New York Times, 15 April 2013)
These hunger strikers are resisting imperialism with the only means they possess – their bodies. Even as their religious faith is abused; even as they are locked away in isolation cells, beaten up and subjected to all the horrors of force feeding; even as they are routinely exposed to the thuggery of their captors and the chicanery of their prosecutors, they continue to resist and stand tall in the ranks of all those who struggle against imperialist oppression.
In their resolute stand they will serve as an inspiration to all who fight against oppression, broadening the axis of resistance ever wider. In particular their dignity and courage should inspire all workers in Britain who are struggling within the belly of the beast itself.
Let us take courage from their example and sever the social-democratic ties that cripple our unions and drag the workers’ movement along behind the imperialist war chariot.
No cooperation with imperialist oppression!
Shut down Guantánamo; free the captives!
Return Guantánamo to Cuban sovereignty; Yankees go home!
Margaret Thatcher and the Wicked Witch
So the first fruits of the Leveson Inquiry’s push for press censorship turn out to be a BBC ban on playing ‘Ding Dong! the Witch is Dead’.
How successful this belated attempt to starve Judy Garland of the oxygen of publicity will be in suppressing unseemly public glee at the passing of Baroness Thatcher is doubtful.
But if Sunday’s unlikely victim of nervous self-censorship is just a musical theatre child prodigy from the thirties, we can be sure that future victims will include those with the ‘bad taste’ to speak out against the criminal wars and domestic repression engineered by our ‘democratic’ rulers.
With the NUJ busy patting Leveson on the back and the BBC jumping into self-censorship without waiting to be pushed, only journalists of unusual courage can be expected to resist the big freeze that’s coming.
Who can doubt now the urgent need to build a movement of collective non-cooperation with the war plans of our masters, at home as well as abroad?
Even comrades can take time out to watch TV and catch up on the propaganda given out not on the news or in documentaries, but in regular drama or comedy programmes. On Sunday 31 March there were three high-budget dramas on offer. Foyle’s War (ITV), The Village (BBC1) and The Labyrinth (Channel 4).
Foyle’s War, which makes a hero of a detective turned MI5 agent in the immediate post-war period, lends itself to propaganda, but it is cleverish and nuanced and avoids the obvious howlers by having what it presents as a ‘balance’ of Labour and Tory supporters among the secondary characters.
That does not mean that Foyle’s War is not poisonous, though. It most certainly is. One of the murder victims on the night in question turned out to be an NVKD agent and, for the benefit of the young and/or ignorant in the TV audience, the NVKD was described as the “Russian Gestapo” and all references to Stalin bracketed him with Hitler.
There is no doubt at all that Foyle’s War is being used as yet another vehicle to merge Stalin and Hitler in the public mind.
There were also more domestic bits of propaganda in the show. One of the characters was standing as the Labour candidate in a by-election. He was presented as high-minded and principled, while his election agent, who wanted to use (wait for it) information received about the Tory candidate having been a black-market profiteer, is painted as unprincipled for wanting to use ‘dirty tricks’ and talk about ‘personalities’ rather than policies.
Put aside what we all think about the Labour party (now and in the 1940s) and think of the propaganda agenda behind this condemnation of the election agent for revealing that the opposing candidate was a black marketeer. Foyle’s War presents the revelation in the press as ‘dirty tricks’, while the actual crime of black marketeering is sidelined as irrelevant.
This is exactly the thinking the ruling elite want us to have in the post-Leveson world. Doubles all round for Foyle’s War for toeing the bourgeois line.
As to the other two Sunday night offerings, The Labyrinth was an overblown costume drama which presented the cathars as a wonderful bunch of people unfairly persecuted by catholic villains, the catholics in question being presented as so stage-evil the show could have been written by a bunch of UDA men.
The cathars were all so long ago, it might not seem to matter, but nothing is too remote to be used for bourgeois propaganda. The cathars actually make unpleasant heroes: cack-handed Malthusians before their time, they believed the world was ruled by the devil and that it was wrong to have children as birth trapped a wonderful free-roaming soul in an evil material body.
Last, but certainly not least, the cathars thought suicide was not only acceptable but desirable as it purified the soul.
Arguably, the Catholic Church did the world a favour (for once) by getting rid of these miserable negative lunatics, but here in 2013, when the bourgeoisie wants us to think ‘There is no alternative’ to the capitalism-devil that rules the world (and those of us who don’t like it can go top ourselves), we find the demented cathars glorified on mainstream TV.
Co-incidence? Not on your nelly/telly.
Lastly there was The Village, trailed as the thinking person’s Downton Abbey. Over endless episodes, beginning in 1914, it is supposed to show a hundred years of English history through the life of one Derbyshire village in general and through the life of one working-class man in particular.
About 8 years old when the story begins, ‘Bert’ has a mad drunk violent father whose behaviour would be considered extreme and unacceptable among the very worst of the urban criminal lumpenproletariat, and would just not have been tolerated in a small village where people and families had not only all known each other for generations but were quite often related.
This confusing of the working class with a savage and drunken lumpenproletariat is now a cultural commonplace, and reinforcing this deliberate conflation is the essential propaganda message of The Village. But there are other pernicious messages, too.
As we approach Cameron’s great First World War Commemoration Bonanza, perhaps the most important (in the first episode and presumably beyond) was the presentation of the reaction of the village population to the first world war. Not one dissident voice was raised on The Village. Instead, the very moment war was declared, all the young men marched off happily.
In reality, there were many immediate volunteers, cock-sure they would be home by Christmas, but to present the entire working-class population as willing volunteers is a travesty of the truth.
Two days before war was declared (on 4 August 1914), there was a massive anti-war demonstration in Trafalgar Square. Much like the massive demonstration against the Iraq war, the protest was ignored by the ruling elite (then fronted by the Liberals), who went to war anyway to protect their masters’ profits.
No doubt in years to come the bourgeoisie will try to present support for the Iraq war as universal too, but we know that was not so, and we must also remind a new generation (who will inevitably get caught up in the coming propaganda-fest) that the millions who endured or died in the great working-class massacre of WW1 were the victims of capitalism – and most of them had the nous to know it.
Click on the image to see the full-sized pdf version
The true spirit of '45: A Soviet soldier hoists the red flag over the Reichstag in Berlin, marking the complete defeat of Nazi fascism.
There are some good bits in Spirit of ’45, the new film from Ken Loach. Some of the interviews and archive footage about working-class life in the 1930s are a poignant and timely reminder of the social horrors inflicted by capitalism in the throes of a global overproduction crisis – right down to the vermin-infested blankets and deadly absence of health care.
And the juxtaposition of such cruel personal reminiscence with the end-of-war scenes of jubilation and hope from 1945 could have set the context for a much more interesting film, taking a fresh look at the birth (and premature death) of the welfare state.
Instead, we are offered yet another panegyric on the supposed achievements of ‘old’ Labour ‘heroes’ like Clement Attlee and Herbert Morrison.
Not a word is said about the imperialist superprofits upon which the ruling class crucially depended to subsidise these temporary and partial concessions to the working class.
Not a word is said about the poisonous pro-imperialist policy of the Labour government, hell-bent on preserving those same superprofits, no matter what the cost to the hundreds of millions of people locked in colonial bondage around the world.
Most glaring omission of all: not a word is said about the popular levels of enthusiasm aroused by the heroic exploits of the Red Army in putting fascism to the sword and in defending its own, infinitely superior version of a state that put the welfare of workers at the top of every agenda.
It was that threat of a good revolutionary example set by the Soviet Union that emboldened workers to demand “no return to the ’30s”. And it was the special role of Labour imperialism to help deliver a ‘welfare state’ – a pale capitalist imitation of the Soviet original – in such a way as would simultaneously tie the working class to the colonial agenda of monopoly capital and clear the way for the post-war reversion to anti-communist red-baiting (on a script written by Orwell, another of Loach’s ‘heroes’).
All of this is a closed book for the filmmaker.
Starved of any international context, the film stumbles on impressionistically, locked always behind the little-British narrowness that remains the trademark everywhere of ‘left’ social democracy.
After airing some woolly criticisms of the earlier shortcomings of the reforms (same old managers at the National Coal Board, failure to nationalise all transport), the film hastens on to the sudden arrival of the Bad Fairy, Thatcher, and her (unexplained and apparently personal) crusade to smash everything up.
Just one of the film’s talking heads makes a single brief reference to the overproduction crisis, but beyond that there is no attempt to explain what was fuelling the assault upon workers’ conditions and rights. In fact, having finished its history-hopping journey from the ’30s through ’45 to the advent of Thatcherism, nothing remains but to open the screen to a few soundbites from some pale anti-communist ‘left’ luminaries like Tony Benn, John Rees and Alex Gordon, before the film finally runs out of steam and the credits roll.
As the deepest ever overproduction crisis is pushing Britain’s ruling class to accelerate its dismantlement of the welfare state, Spirit of ’45 is an opportunity missed to examine not only what brought Britain’s hard-bitten imperialist rulers to make such serious concessions to workers in the first place, but also why those concessions were only ever going to be temporary while the capitalist system remained in place.
These are questions whose answers are urgently needed to permeate the workers’ movement if we are going to be successful in breaking out of the downward spiral of imperialist poverty, crisis and war. Lasting rights for workers will not be won by going back to the ‘good old’ reformist dreams of ’45 – days that inevitably led to where we are today – but by smashing the capitalist system and going forward to build socialism.
Yvonne (Cuba Solidarity Campaign) and Giles (CPGB-ML)
Another successful meeting was held in Bristol, in a series of such meetings hosted by CPGB-ML across the country to mark the great contribution Comrade Chavez has made to the progressive movement. The meeting, held on Thursday 14 March, attracted a range of people including some from Poland and Spain as well as local Bristol residents.
The local organiser of Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Yvonne, spoke first recounting the solidarity and camaraderie between Cuba and Venezuela and also personally between Fidel and Chavez. Yvonne echoed the sadness that had been felt in Cuba at the loss of Chavez at such a young age and remarked that it had only been a couple of years ago that Fidel was fighting illness and Chavez had been the one to visit his hospital bedside.
She also highlighted the benefits that had been brought to the region through the creation of ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean, and CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Following Yvonne’s contribution, Comrade Giles of the CPGB-ML gave a well-informed speech explaining the context that lead to Chavez getting elected in 1998, the attempted coup against him in 2002 and the development and achievements of the Bolivarian revolution, with statistics and commentary about how the lives of the majority of Venezuelans have been positively affected.
Giles also showed Chavez’s international solidarity and his courage in standing firm in support of the countries who are defending their sovereignty against the might of imperialism. Giles spoke of Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad in Iran, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Al Assad in Syria, and Gaddafi in Libya, all of which typified his determination to stand on the side of the oppressed.
A lively discussion followed the presentation with additional comments made about how the media is used to create a false impression of these leaders. An example from Spain was of the paper El Pais constantly referring to Chavez as a dictator and carrying misinformation about the advances made in Venezuela. It was agreed that this the same as happens in the newspapers in Britain and is done deliberately to try and deflect peoples’ attention away from the idea that there is an alternative to capitalism.
The conclusion of the meeting gave its full support to Venezuelan government as it stands firm to defends the gains that have been made over the last 14 years. Imperialism will no doubt be working hard to attempt to roll back these achievements and will use any trick it can to get back control of the wealth of Venezuela. It is therefore our internationalist duty to stand strong and vigilant in opposing any such attempts by imperialism.
Just as Comrade Hugo Chavez was a staunch defender of those who stood on the axis of resistance in the face of imperialist hegemony, we must learn from this great example and also stand firm in solidarity with our comrades, brothers and sisters in Venezuela.
A final red salute to our comrade Hugo Chavez.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Bristol CPGB-ML will be hosting another public meeting Fighting for communism: the future that works! on Thursday 4 April, 7.30pm at Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY. The meeting will be a short film showing followed by discussion. All are welcome, we hope to see some more new faces.
For more details click here: http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=events
To: Comrade Nicolás Maduro
To: The leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)
To: The people of Venezuela
It was with feelings of deep and inconsolable grief that we learned the news that Comrade Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, the respected and beloved leader of the Venezuelan revolution and the Venezuelan people and the true friend and comrade-in-arms of working and oppressed people everywhere, passed away after a long and tenacious battle against illness.
Please accept our most heartfelt condolences, which we offer to Comrade Chávez’s comrades, his family and loved ones and to all the Venezuelan people who are standing in their place, defending the gains of the revolution that Commandante Chávez has led with such distinction.
Comrade Chávez will be remembered forever as a towering figure in humanity’s fight for liberation. Thanks to him, millions of his compatriots were lifted out of poverty and were accorded their human dignity for the first time in history. Moreover, he proclaimed the goal of building a socialist society and set out on the road to achieve that.
Comrade Chávez was also a thoroughgoing internationalist. He stood in the vanguard of the struggle to win national liberation and social progress for the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean and through his leadership of such bodies as ALBA and Petrocaribe turned what had long been the strategic backyard of US imperialism into a beacon of hope for a new world free of imperialism.
A tireless fighter, he extended his utmost support to every country and every people fighting against US imperialism and its lackeys and for national liberation, social progress and socialism.
Comrade Chávez was a supremely brave individual. Imprisonment or the threat of death could not deter him. Indeed, he turned them into political weapons to advance the struggle. From the time when he was first diagnosed with cancer, he waged that final battle with the same bravery, determination and resilience with which he lived his entire life.
Comrade Chávez has left us too soon. He had so much more to give. But like all great revolutionary leaders he is more than an individual. As Comrade Evo Morales has said, at this moment Hugo Chávez is more alive than ever and he will always be with us.
The revolutionary people of Venezuela are the great people brought up by Commandante Chávez! We are confident that they will continue the struggle he led and will march forward towards the bright socialist future.
Comrades, at this moment in particular, we want to assure of our full support and solidarity for the Venezuelan revolution and your anti-imperialist struggle for socialism. All our sympathies are with you.
ETERNAL GLORY TO COMRADE HUGO RAFAEL CHÁVEZ FRIAS!
CPGB-ML, 7 March 2013
President Hugo Chavez
Statement of the PCMLV on the death of Commandante Chávez
The Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Venezuela, PCMLV, expresses its grief and solidarity at the physical loss of Commandante President Hugo Chávez Frias to all the workers, peasants, students, women’s organisations, revolutionary, anti-imperialist, socialist and Bolivarian parties and organisations of the masses.
We also express our condolences to all his family, friends and to the national government for the loss of a great humanist, a patriotic, progressive and consistent revolutionary statesman, as President Hugo Chávez proved to be until the last days of his existence.
We call on the working class, which knows how to rise to the challenge in the revolutionary struggle in the most pressing moments of history, to prepare to resist and defeat the reactionaries who will not hesitate to take advantage of this difficult time to thwart through violent means the gains and demands that we have achieved under the leadership of President Chávez. Imperialism will set stronger traps at this sorrowful moment that the national-revolutionary movement is going through.
The call is to not renounce the struggle to build socialism, the banner that President Hugo Chávez raised in all circumstances; this banner needs to be taken up rigorously and courageously by all the workers of this nation in this difficult moment in history. We, as party of the working class in Venezuela, make the call for the struggle and building of socialism and communism from the scientific conception of
The acts of sabotage, of hired killers, the terrorism, food shortages, the propaganda of disinformation, anxiety and manipulation will intensify. The national and international reactionaries feel victorious at this time, but the national and world working class will go forward with the necessary and strategic battles to continue the path of victory and the accumulation of forces to confront the fascists and imperialists.
The death of the President of the Republic must not mean the decline in popular organisation, but rather it must serve as an impetus for future struggles against the class enemy. We must not believe in the phony condolences of the local right wing, which on dozens of occasions tried to assassinate the commandante. These sectors are moved by a single impulse: profit at any cost whatever.
The right wing is evaluating what actions to take in the coming days. It is no coincidence that the Venezuelan government expelled two US military attaches for conspiratorial work.
We strongly call on all the revolutionary elements to close ranks against the capitalist and imperialist enemy. The working class must be prepared for a possible difficult situation; it must not trust the bourgeois enemy that has historically proven to be traitorous. If the pro-imperialist bourgeoisie tries to take advantage of this hard time of grief of the humble and exploited masses, the masses should respond forcefully and applying revolutionary violence.
Socialism can only be built with the worker-peasant alliance in power and the people in arms!
Caracas, 5 March 2013
Corporations pay scientists to perfect recipes that are focused on addiction rather than nutrition.
“What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.“
If there’s one thing the horse meat scandal shows, it’s that we can’t trust capitalists to produce our food. The food industry is just that – an industry. Under conditions of capitalism, every food company will look for market advantage and ways to cut corners and gain consumers.
The fact that our food is what keeps us alive, and is also what determines to a large extent the quality and length of our lives, is and always has been totally irrelevant to the corporate executives who direct the majority of the world’s food production.
Food contamination was rife in the 19th century (chalk in the flour; dust in the tea; cat and rat in the beef mince) – the poorer you were, the more likely it was that your food was contaminated. Modern marketing and packaging has given us the impression that all that was in the past, when in fact it has been raised to a fine art and made more endemic and systematic.
Business is business, and MAXIMISING PROFIT is what determines all practice – in food production as in any other industry.
But surely it is obvious to anyone who cares to think about it that food is too important to be produced according to such motivations. Health and vitality, mood and perception, even clarity of thought can be affected by the general state of your physical health – which is fundamentally determined by the fuel you put into your body.
To take a single example: if you consistently consume hydrogenated fats instead of the omega oils your brain needs to build cells, your body will try to build a brain out of those instead. But don’t expect it to be a brain that functions well!
Many diseases and conditions that we used to think of as ‘mental’ are turning out to have physical and dietary roots. Alzheimer’s is now being referred to by some scientists as ‘type 3 diabetes‘. ADHD, which affects a growing number of children, is most likely a result of exposure to a cocktail of environmental and food-related toxins, as is much unexplained infertility and any number of other complaints.
That old saying ‘you are what you eat‘ is turning out to be far more true than we ever realised.
Meanwhile, the food companies are employing scientists whose job it is to make sure we are addicted to the crap that is destroying our brains and our bodies - encouraging us to ‘treat’ ourselves and our children to their poisonous rubbish.
As usual, it’s the working class that suffers the most. No amount of ‘education’ about food and health will change the fact that the cheapest and easiest way to feed your family is on this rubbish.
Decent food will not arrive as a result of consumer choices by the few who are lucky enough to make them, but as a result of workers kicking out the capitalists and taking charge of food production in the interests of all.