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Commentary :: Politics
MAY DAY 2007 ROUNDUP
04 May 2007
ON THE DOINGS OF THE DAY
MAY DAY 2007 ROUNDUP

COMMENTARY

FORGET REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS AND GREENS! BUILD A WORKERS PARTY THAT FIGHTS FOR SOCIALISM!

A SMALL GLIMMER OF LIGHT IN TURKEY

On Sunday April 29, 2007 hundreds of thousands of mainly Moslem Turks, importantly many of them women, demonstrated against the selection of a well-known Islamist as a candidate for the presidency of Turkey. Even hardened communists must recognize this development as one of the few glimmers of light in the fight against international religious obscurantism. At least since 1979 in Iran the religious fundamentalists in the Middle East (and elsewhere) have been in the ascendancy in places as diverse as Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine etc. and it is heartening, even momentarily, to realize that people will fight in the streets of behalf of their democratic secular traditions, as they see them. This development requires support by leftist militants internationally. Let us be clear, against right-wing religious or secular reaction we support such efforts while noting the necessary for the completion of the still unfinished democratic tasks in Turkey by the creation of a workers state. We call for the military defense of democratic secular states against efforts to topple such structures, including, in the case of Turkey, the not infrequent case of military coups. More on this as the situation develops.

BUT….

As if to mock the above political development in Turkey on May Day the ‘democratic secular’ state of Turkey showed its fangs as those who demonstrated for workers rights and other issues on this international workers holiday faced brutal repression of their actions by the police. These two news items are an almost chemically pure example of what Bolshevik revolutionary Leon Trotsky meant by his famous Theory of Permanent Revolution. In former colonial and neo-capitalist states like Turkey the classic tasks of the democratic revolutions in the West, of desperate necessity, must be carried out and completed in the process of creating a workers state. The bruised and battered Turkish May Day demonstrators bear mute testimony to the failure to have learned that necessity by now.


KEEP YOUR EYES ON IRAQ BUT DO NOT FORGET
AFGHANISTAN

Between the Bush/Congress ‘fight’ over how much to fund the United States Iraq war budget and the increasingly apparent failure of the ‘surge’ strategy militarily to derail the civil war there the war in Afghanistan has been below the newspaper fold. However, this week brought news for the nth time that the true role of the United States there is as the sole owner of the Karzai government. Once again Afghanis are raising a furor against the latest United States killing of innocent people in their ‘crusade’ to wipe out the Taliban. When increasing numbers of Afghanis are calling “Death to Bush”, their supposed ‘liberator’ then one knows for sure that the situation there is getting very, very dicey. YES, UNITED STATES OUT OF IRAQ NOW BUT ALSO GET THE HELL OUT OF AFGHANISTAN AS WELL


NO TEARS IN MOSCOW

When the history of our times gets truly written the name of one Boris Yeltsin, high Stalinist official in the former Soviet Union and latter first President of capitalist- restorationist Russia will get the place he truly deserves. And that will not be in the revolutionary pantheon. Indeed, this man almost single-handedly delivered up the former Soviet Union to Western imperialism and for virtually no cost, except the little problem of immiseration of the vast Russian population and looting of the state treasury. In one of the most classic crony capitalist exercises of all time, one that would have warmed the hearts of the American ‘robber barons’, he delivered up the Soviet industrial, technological and natural resources apparatuses to a few of his buddies. And now, as if to cap off his career as a counter-revolutionary, he has been buried with full Russian Orthodox Christians rites. Not even the denizens of the old Western Sovietology think tanks, grateful as they were for his aid to Western imperialism, saw him as anything but a very slippery and treacherous agent. History will not be kind to Mister Yeltsin, especially if victorious leftist militants get a chance to write that history.


DEATH WATCH IN HAVANA

No, they are not dancing in the streets of Miami today. But, that does not mean that they are not closely watching the health of old Fidel Castro. He was a no show for the May Day celebration in Havana. On that basis everyone and their brother or sister has begun to speculate again on whether he will return to power. On more than one occasion in this space I have noted my political differences with the Castro regime and its Stalinist practices. However, know this, no militant leftist will be dancing in the streets anywhere if capitalist counter-revolution is successful in Cuba. And one need look no further that the above paragraph about Mr. Yeltsin to see the fate in store for the Cuban people if the counter-revolutionaries in Miami are successful. As has been our internationalist obligation for over forty years- Imperialists Hands off Cuba- Defend the Cuban Revolution- End the Embargoes.


FULL CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS FOR ALL THAT HAVE MAKE IT HERE


This year’s pro-immigration May Day demonstrations apparently were less spectacular
than those of last year. Immigrants have cited many reasons for this mainly around their personal security. When they are rounding up your campaneros by the hundred in places like New Bedford, Massachusetts the beginning of wisdom is to keep your head down. Especially when the so–called “friends” of immigrants, particularly Democratic Party politicians, have proposed legislation that, at best, creates second-class indentured servants. With “friends” like that you do not need much imagination to think what the enemy’s plans are like. Moreover, one only has to look at the Congressional action of those “friends” around the Iraqi war budget funding to realize that whatever they propose will be very, very ugly indeed. But, let us cut to the chase. The proper fight today is the call for full amnesty for all that have made it here. To give that amnesty meaning full citizenship rights for all who make it here is the beginning of wisdom. For an nation made up almost totally of immigrants who got here one way or another, not all of them legal, that is simple. Right?


ON OIL NATIONALIZATIONS IN VENESUZUELA

Word comes this week that Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has ordered the nationalization, or at least a dramatic increase in the state’s percentage of the oil revenues. The situation is a little murky because the international oil cartel that runs the Venezuelan oil industry still retains a shares of revenue. Although there have been no lack of nationalizations by capitalist states over the last century usually done to either placate a restless working class or, more frequently, to bail out a bankrupt industry such as the coal industry in Britain after World War II nationalizations, per se, are not the road to socialism. Nevertheless militant leftists defend such actions, particularly by colonial and semi- colonial nations trying to assert their rights over their own natural resources. Thus any attempt by the imperialist powers, particularly in this case the United States, or their agents, must be opposed. One should also note that in the case of Venezuela such a defense may become operative more quickly than one might expect as many indigenous capitalists have either fled, taken there money out of the country or are hoarding in order to create some kind of crisis situation. The imperialists have stopped investing, as well. More, probably much more on this later. Meanwhile HANDS OFF VENESZUELA. DEFEND THE OIL NATIONALIZATIONS

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