Wednesday, June 23, 2010

People First!

--- En date de : Mer, 23.6.10, Communist Party of Canada a écrit :

De : Communist Party of Canada
Objet : CP of Canada Statement on the G8/G20 Summits
À : "Recipient List"
Date: mercredi 23 juin 2010 12 h 06
Re: G8/G20 Summits to be Held in Toronto

Dear comrades and Friends,

As you are well aware, the G8/G20 Meetings are being held in Toronto this week. We are enclosing the statement issued by the Central Executive of our Party with respect to these imperialist-dominated ‘Summits”. For those of you who plan to be in the Toronto area during the G20, we also enclose a mail-out regarding the June 26th People First!” march and rally.

Comradely yours,

Central Office,
Communist Party of Canada


G8/G20: Fight for a Real Alternative
to the new Capitalist “Consensus”

On the eve of the G8/G20 meetings, mass labour and democratic mobilizations are building in Southern Ontario and across Canada to protest this wasteful, security obsessed extravaganza. The Communist Party of Canada salutes this resistance and takes its rightful place alongside workers, students, women, Aboriginal peoples and social activists in denouncing these summits which aim to hammer out a strategic line among the ruling imperialist states and international finance capital on how best to advance their shared interests, and then present their agenda as a fait accompli to the world’s peoples.

This set of G summits is particularly important because global capitalism continues to be mired in a profound economic and structural crisis, notwithstanding the soothing media reports that the ‘worst is behind us’ and that recovery is well under way. Saving capitalism and restoring profit margins are the main concerns of these ‘leaders’, rather than solving the burning problems afflicting the world today. That is why issues like climate change, the world food crisis, ending wars of occupation and rampaging military spending, and the worsening problem of “under development”, especially in Africa, have all be swept off the agenda of the G8/G20 meetings.

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney admitted as much this June when he declared that the Summits must focus attention on the continuing crisis, especially in Europe , which has had a serious “impact on financial conditions ... [and] it’s not over.” He then parroted the World Bank which earlier raised the possibility of a “second recession affecting most of the industrialized world if governments don’t deal successfully with the unfolding European debt crisis.”

In fact, the leading imperialist countries, including Canada , want to use the Summits to showcase their determination to impose further social and economic austerity on all states and peoples, as the only viable solution to overcome the crisis. But this is a false ‘international consensus” one that serves the interests of finance capital, but which consigns the vast majority of the world’s working class and oppressed peoples to even more hardship and suffering.
In Europe , the Austerity agenda pushed by the European Union brass and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is already having a devastating effect, especially on public sector workers, youth, and pensioners. Minimum wages are being slashed, social programs cut, and the retirement age extended for workers.
But this savage attack is being met by heroic resistance across the European continent, especially in Greece and Portugal where the left, Communist led unions and popular movements are mounting escalating general strikes and other forms of mass resistance to fightback against this anti social onslaught of Big Capital and its governments.

In Canada , we need to replicate the kind of militancy building in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere around the world. The right wing Harper government and their pro corporate provincial counterparts (both Conservative and Liberal) are also moving to deepen the assault on workers’ conditions, social programs, and democratic and equity rights. And they will succeed in pushing through these reactionary ‘reforms’, unless the labour and people’s forces move quickly to mount a militant, coordinated, Canada wide counter attack.

There is such a progressive alternative to this reactionary, pro capitalist ‘solution’, but it must go beyond, palliative demands to soften the impact. It must include sweeping measures which challenge the dominance of monopoly capital, such as the nationalization of the banks, the big energy monopolies, and other key sectors of our economy. These steps need to be combined with social measures like expanding access to healthcare, public and post secondary education, raising the minimum wage to $16/hour, reducing the workweek with no loss in take home pay, and improving public pensions. And with sweeping tax reform which would shift the burden from working people onto the corporations and the wealthy, and with an immediate withdrawal from the disastrous war of occupation in Afghanistan , along with a 50% cut in military spending which would save another $10 billion every year.

As we state in our May Day 2010 statement, “the big monopolies and banks want to make working people pay for the economic recovery through lower wages, higher unemployment, and huge cuts in social spending. We say: those who reap billions in profits must pay! Unite and fight for a fundamentally new direction, placing the needs of working people and our environment before corporate greed, [and for policies] based on peace and disarmament!”

Issued by the Central Executive Committee
Communist Party of Canada
June 2010

Protest the G20
this Saturday!

Dear friends and comrades,

Protests against the pro-corporate agenda of the G8/G20 Summits are already building, despite Harper’s attempt to ‘lock down’ Toronto and ‘lock out’ dissent. Whatever the diversity of these actions, they reflect various aspects of popular anger and the people’s demands for change – for peace, for protection of our environment, for jobs and living standards, for healthcare, education, pensions and social programs, and not least, for equality and democratic rights.

Of all the myriad events making place around Toronto leading up to and during the G20 meetings this coming weekend, the most important will be the “People First!” march and rally to be held on Saturday, June 26 at 1:00 pm, starting at Queen’s Park. This is because Saturday’s “People First!” march & rally will be the one event which brings together all the streams of protest into one united action – workers, environmentalists, Aboriginal peoples, anti-imperialist and anti-racism groups, youth & students, women’s, GLBT and equality activists, and other social movements.

A massive outpouring of opposition to the reactionary agenda of the imperialist world order is the worst nightmare for Harper, Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Sarkozy, Berlusconi and co. That is why the G20 organizers have unleashed a campaign of intimidation and fear-mongering to keep working people away from the streets, especially for the big rally on Saturday.

The best response or antidote to this anti-democratic campaign is for all of us – each one of us individually and collectively – to redouble our efforts to bring as many people as possible out for the big march and rally this Saturday!

The Communist Party of Canada , the Young Communist League, and all of our friends and comrades will be marching together in a contingent during the march and we cordially invite you to join and march with us! We will be assembling at 12:30 p.m. on the south side of Queen’s Park, close to College St where University Ave. turns into an oval road (see photo).

Bring your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers; your flags, placards (although we will have some on hand as well!) and noisemakers. See you there!

A Word About Tactics

As many of you have already heard, some groups have announced their intention to join the “People First!” march, but will attempt to split the march on route, taking some participants directly to the security perimeter, and possible confrontation with the police.

Even if well-intended, this is a wrong and divisive tactic in our opinion. The main political value and impact of the “People First!” action is to demonstrate the ‘all-in unity’ of the labour and people’s movements, notwithstanding whatever differences around specific policies our tactics exist within our ranks. To attempt to divide the people’s forces during this critical action would create confusion and acrimony, would send the wrong message, and would play into the hands of those who stand to benefit from such an overt display of division within the ranks of the labour/people’s resistance to the G20. For this reason, the Communist Party will abide by the route approved by the “People First!” organizers.

All Out for the “People First!” March and Rally!

See you Saturday!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The facts of Marxist thought remain

The facts of Marxist thought remain
Monday 17 May 2010
Jean Turner
Two works vital for understanding the development of the human race and the origin of life on Earth were published in the mid-19th century - The Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848 and Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859.
Both works were ground-breaking in that, by empirical methods, they produced a scientific analysis that refuted previous religious and philosophical concepts of the world in which we live.
They linked the dialectics of nature - representing the continual struggle of all species on Earth for survival and development - with historical and dialectical materialism, which sees the human race developing from primitive tribal societies, holding land in common ownership, to class societies in which the struggles of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter, result in new social organisations and formations. These have had a lasting effect on subsequent international events and universal education.
Because of the challenge to orthodox religion and politics which these works represent, they are still under attack from fundamentalists and the ruling capitalist class. But more than 160 years have passed without any serious refutation of the scientific facts which these publications contain.
In our epoch, the rise of a capitalist class owning advanced industrial machinery, manufacturing solely for profit and seeking control of resources, including human resources, throughout the world, has produced a form of slavery, wage slavery, which has displaced the peasantry and the craft guilds responsible for small scale production and led to the creation of a class of industrial workers - men, women and children - driven to the expanding cities by a lack of land and poverty.
Thus a new class, the proletariat, has been formed. To this new class Marx and Engels attribute the historical role of combining its forces to replace the capitalist system with a new form of society; one in which the mass of the people - workers by hand and brain, men and women - develop alternative means of production for use and not for profit, and create new forms of social organisation to suit their needs, including the necessity to preserve the ecology and sustainable balance of the Earth on which they, the majority of the human race, live. Marx and Engels called this communism.
The first attempt in the history of the world to form such a society took place in Russia in 1917, paradoxically a backward, semi-feudal country with only a small proletariat but a large peasantry demanding land.
Lenin understood the implications of the Communist Manifesto and combined with it a study of the new form of capitalism - finance-capital or "imperialism" - which produced nothing, but sought to control the world simply by the export of money.
His party, the Bolsheviks, took advantage of the chaos and misery brought about by the imperialist first world war and led the Russian people to overthrow both feudalism and capitalism in one fell swoop. Their slogan was "Bread, land and peace."
Despite every attempt to undermine the victory of the Bolsheviks, by isolation, starvation and direct intervention by 14 countries in support of the White counter-revolutionary forces, the first socialist state in the world was formed - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Marx and Engels had envisaged that the most advanced proletariat would create this new society, which they called the dictatorship of the proletariat, but the lot fell to a vast country with only a small manufacturing base.
Isolated in a hostile world, Joseph Stalin, who became leader after the death of Lenin, pursued the line that socialism could be built in one country.
This was a new idea in the development of communist ideology. Socialism, which is public ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, was always seen as an interim phase before stateless, classless communism.
Pursuing the necessity to rapidly develop industry and agriculture - sometimes with harsh effects on individuals and communities - a powerful state arose which was able to withstand the onslaught of fascism from 1941 in a way that no other country in mainland Europe could.
The Soviet Union was largely responsible for the defeat of nazi Germany in World War II, but suffered terrible losses in terms of people and infrastructure. It rebuilt itself and took on a powerful role in world politics.
The demise in 1991 of this first socialist state - a bulwark against imperialism but driven to compete with it in the real world of armaments and capitalist consumerism - has affected peace and stability throughout the world.
However, the Soviet Union created an example for revolutionary forces everywhere, one which must be studied and understood, criticised and improved upon but respected and admired for its truly great achievements.
At this time, when all the peoples of the former Soviet Union and Europe have been celebrating the 65th anniversary of the defeat of the racist, sexist, genocidal ideology of fascism, we in Britain must examine our own weaknesses.
Lenin once famously wrote that "one step forward, two steps back" happens in the history of nations and in the development of parties. This is the nature of dialectics.
Juggling with arrangements among bourgeois parties as to who will rule the country, all of them solely representing the interests of international finance capital, will not solve the problems of the working class.
As was described in the Communist Manifesto, capitalism, at various times, alienates not only the working class, which consists of the majority of people, but also the petty bourgeoisie - the small business people and small farmers - and at times even sections of the bourgeoisie and state machine. This is the case in Britain now.
The danger lies in where this discontent will be led. It is the duty of Communists and all progressive people to ensure that - through socialist leadership and constant resistance to pressure to solve capitalism's problems by impoverishing and destroying the power of the working class and its organisations - this discontent does not lead to fascism, as it did in pre-war Germany.
Defeating a new generation of fascists is a political priority and the price of this is eternal vigilance.
Finally, we must end imperialism's mad rush to war to control the resources it needs for its continued existence. These wars are not supported by the majority of people and their connection with environmental damage to the fragile ecology of the planet is now being understood.
A nation which expends so much of its budget on weapons of mass destruction is not only causing untold suffering and destruction throughout the world, but is also destroying the social welfare on which its masses depend.
It is time to return to the vision of a better world as described in the Communist Manifesto and to charge the human race - a very recent late-comer to the amazing, beautiful Earth depicted by Darwin in The Origin of Species - with preserving it from mindless, careless destruction.
I should like to end with one thought. There are voices which wish to erase the name of Communism in favour of some alternative which is considered to be more palatable to the public.
To be a Communist is to carry a heavy responsibility. It is to constantly apply Marxist-Leninist theory to every current situation and to act as the heart, mind and advanced leader of the masses.
At the same time, one must never divorce oneself from grass roots and popular life in all its cultural diversity. Marx and Engels led a rich cultural life while remaining close to the trade unions and all political movements which represented the working class, the struggle for women's rights and national sovereignty.
They never divorced theory from practice, nor encouraged dogmatism. Communists in many places in the world are struggling, suffering and dying for their convictions. I salute them and wish them every success. They represent the best and highest aspirations of the human race for peace, justice, equality and a good and happy life.
Jean Turner is honorary secretary of the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies. This is an edited version of her speech at the Annual Karl Marx Oration at Highgate cemetery.

Great socialist’s birth commemorated in London

LONDON - Recently, on a rainy day in London, a group of people assembled at Highgate cemetery at Karl Marx' gravesite to commemorate the 192nd anniversary of his birth. It was also a commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the people's victory over fascism.  Present were representatives and Communist Party members from around the world.  Among them were  Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, UK and USA.

A number of years ago a BBC poll conducted in the UK found that a majority of Britons think that Marx was the "greatest philosopher" of all time.

Gerrard Sables, Secretary North Devon branch, CPB, and recent candidate for parliament in Britain told the World after the event, "For me Marx's message is still true. Workers of all countries unite! The first and most essential job we as communists have is persuading our fellow workers that we as workers do not have the same interests as big capitalists and that for a few people to insist on their 'right' to be fabulously wealthy is bad for humanity."

An excellent oration was delivered by Jean Turner, Honorary Secretary, Society for Cooperation in Russian and Soviet Studies. The text of the speech can be found  here. [speech is above]
Turner maintains that Marx and Engels recognized the formation of the working class and " To this new class Marx and Engels attribute the historical role of combining its forces to replace the capitalist system with a new form of society; one in which the mass of the people... create new forms of social organization to suit their needs, including the necessity to preserve the ecology and sustainable balance of the earth on which they, the majority of the human race, live. Marx and Engels called this communism."

She talked of the danger of fascism and maintains, "Defeating a new generation of fascists is a political priority and the price of this is eternal vigilance."

She told the World, "We need to lift our spirits and see our goal, as Marx and Engels did. It is easy to get bogged down in the disappointments and setbacks of the present political situation."

Christine Lindey, Art Critic, Morning Star, commented about Ms. Turner's remarks, "For myself I was impressed by the clarity of her thinking and her use of jargon-free language with which to explain complex ideas. She took an overview of history and linked the achievements of the past to the current situation."

A number of wreaths were placed at Marx' headstone after the oration,. Representatives from many countries including Greece, Iran, Iraq,  UK, and Venezuela placed wreaths and it was moving to watch them.

The commemoration was concluded by singing the Internationale in many different languages. Robert Griffiths, Secretary General, Communist Party Britain, encouraged the "cacophony" of different voices and languages to express the power of this great working-class song.

London was alive with activism and protests were everywhere drawing attention to the devastating wars. Banners calling for the return of the British troops alive were visible by the Parliament and other government buildings. I visited the pub where Lenin first met Stalin which is right next door to the Marx Memorial Library. The Marx Memorial Library houses the tiny room where Lenin worked while he lived in London. It was truly inspiring to be present in this city with such a great working-class history.

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