The capitalist system, aware of its decline, knowing that even the most apathetic are losing confidence in its false promises, is growing fearful behind its façade of humanitarianism. The workers, employed and unemployed, are more and more grasping the fact that it is the bourgeois system responsible for the poverty, the misery, and wars that ravage the world. They understand too that all the wars in the world today are the consequence of the capitalists’ greed.
For five days and counting….
Ten thousand workers in the Philippines are expected to be among the dead in just one city, with hundreds of thousands left homeless by a fierce typhoon bringing winds of over 200 miles per hour. NGOs are flooding the affected region, but if this is a repeat of the recent experience in Haiti — after the devastating 2010 earthquake — most of the aid promised by the big imperialist countries will not be delivered, and what is delivered will mostly be spent in the donor countries.
Young soldiers carrying M-16 assault rifles were sent by the government to “restore order,” accusing angry hungry people of “highjacking” relief vehicles. Food and water are slow to be distributed and dead bodies are piling up, endangering public health.
The “super typhoon” was known to be coming, but evacuation was mismanaged because the government was calling it a “storm warning” instead of a “tsunami” — a word which carries much more significance in the area.
Capitalist greed is solely responsible for this unnatural disaster. Storms are increasing in intensity due to global warning, with an 11 percent upsurge expected by the end of this century, causing sea levels to rise. Capitalists don’t want to eat into their profits by limiting carbon emissions and other protection for the environment. (Full analysis next issue)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH, November 11 — Another one of capitalism’s unnatural disasters — extreme poverty and exploitation — drove 30,000 angry garment workers into the streets here in a mass strike that shut over 100 factories. The workers who produce clothing for billion-dollar corporations like Walmart, the Gap and Sears are demanding a 260 percent increase of the $38 monthly minimum wage to $100. The government offered $67 which the bosses rejected as “too high,” which government official admit hardly meets a basic diet.
The cops used tear gas and rubber bullets against the workers but the latter fought back, stoning the cops, blocking key highways and roads, smashing vehicles and factory windows.
NEWARK, NJ, November 1 — As capitalism’s economic crisis deepens, sparks of working-class resistance continue to flare up internationally. More workers search for leadership for this fightback. Some see the capitalist system behind the attacks. They’re eager to learn how our class can shape our collective future. PLP needs to be in these struggles, where these fighters will see the truth of our politics.
BOSTON, November 6 — “Bloomberg is NO Public Health Hero” was the rallying cry of activists at this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). APHA leadership was giving New York City Mayor Bloomberg the “Legislator of the Year” award, down playing the NYC mayor’s racist stop-and-frisk program targeting hundreds of thousands of young black and Latino men was unimportant, given his anti-smoking, anti-gun and anti-soda stances.
PLP members and friends organized several anti-racist campaigns at this year’s public health meeting, along with the Medical Care Section of APHA, and Radical Public Health students from Chicago informed the 13,000 attendees. They worked with fighters in several APHA Sections to write a formal protest letter to the Executive Board, and distributed over 2,000 leaflets exposing the Board’s decision. Many thanked us and could not believe racist Bloomberg would be given a public health award.
NEW YORK CITY, October 29 — The retiree association of District Council 37 voted today to support the activities of the Committee for Justice for Kyam Livingston who died in a Brooklyn holding cell on July 21. The association, which represents 50,000 retired NYC government workers, will help circulate the petition seeking Justice for Kyam and will accept contributions for activities backing the aims of that committee.
The retirees voted this support out of an understanding that what happened to Kyam could have happened to many of our members, their children or grandchildren. Our collective experience in the union movement taught us well the lesson that unity of black, Latino and white workers, men and women, is the only way we can move forward. Also, many of us understand that the principled fight against racist police violence is an important way to build real unity.
BROOKLYN, NY, October 21 — “Justice for Kyam Livingston — killed in a Brooklyn cell” echoed down the cold, darkening, windswept street outside 120 Schermerhorn St. here today. This is the courthouse that holds the local Central Booking, backing on to the Brooklyn House of Detention. The gathering of more than 120 chanting people was multi-racial, young and old, men and women. Although the street was dark and cold, the fire of the words burned against the walls of Central Booking.
SOUTH TEL-AVIV, October 13 — Hundreds of workers of various ethnicities — Jews, Palestinians and African refugees — marched in the south of the city against the horrible neglect of their neighborhoods by the racist, capitalist city hall. They called for the dissolution of the “ghettos,” for an end to racial segregation and for power for the local residents. This working-class rally came a mere week after a racist march by fascists, also in south Tel-Aviv, against the “infiltrator problem” (what racists call the African refugees, who escaped genocide in Darfur or murderous tyranny in Eritrea.)
PARIS, November 6 — A new wave of layoffs has hit France, where official unemployment is 5,473,000 (19.3 percent). Some are due to companies going under in the continuing Great Recession, while others come at profitable companies that want to boost their profits even more. It all underscores the anarchy of capitalism, where capitalists produce goods and services to make a profit — not to satisfy the needs of the working class — while millions suffer from joblessness and privation.
Competition for maximum profits is a law of capitalism. Capitalists fight to gain a profit advantage over their rivals, both within a country and between countries. Ultimately the fight between the two antagonistic classes — workers and bosses — is the main determinant of world events. However, currently — as CHALLENGE has correctly pointed out — due to the weakness of workers’ class struggle, and especially the absence of a mass communist-led working class, inter-imperialist rivalry has governed world affairs.
Inevitably the capitalists settle their differences by going to war, which occurred on a world scale twice between 1914 and 1945. What drives them to war is the competition in the economic sphere, for markets, resources and masses of cheap labor. Economic wars lead inevitably to shooting wars.
BROOKLYN, November 9 — In 1968, guitar virtuoso and songwriter Jimi Hendrix wrote the line, “Look at the sky turn hellfire red…” He was referring to the rising flames of black workers’ rebellions in major U.S. cities after nonviolent struggle seemed futile.
In 2013, his words could easily describe the revolutionary excitement felt at the two-day Progressive Labor Party College Conference to Smash Imperialism. Some participants came from the rally against the repression of student fighters [see front page] and greeted communist ideas and practices as a welcome alternative to the fascism we experience daily on campus.