Sunday, February 19, 2017

Climate Change: It is real and it can end life as we know it.

The greatest catastrophe humanity faces is climate change. We have been a short time on this floating orb. There is no guarantee that humans will not go the way of the dinosaurs. There is no heaven, no hell, just what we have. We are not "sinners. There are no "battles" between good and evil. No struggles between gods and Satan, there is just organic life. 

Human society has gone through phases, different ways of organizing our means of extracting from nature our necessities of life. We have talked of conquering nature, but we can't and why would we want to? We are but a small part of it and we have reached a level of development where we have a choice. We can function in harmony with nature and without hostility to it. Just like keeping a clean house. We have in the past, when society was organized differently and we were closer to the land. There are still remnants of this social organization left today. If anything, these cultures are in the forefront of the struggle against the social suicide the human race is presently heading toward if the production of the necessities of life does not return to a collective social function, in cooperation with each other and with respect for our environment.  Capitalism is poisoning Mother Earth and human life with it. It cannot advance humanity, only destroy it. Nature will always be here.

You can read more about this event here

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Interfering In Elections: Staggering Hypocrisy Of US Capitalism.

Sean O'Torain.


Putin: Shrewd Russian Imperialist. Trump: Stupid, ignorant, arrogant US President.
The hypocrisy of the US ruling class is staggering. The non Trump wing, which includes the US spy networks, the US dirty tricks departments, the tops of the US military, the US state and legal system and most of the more sane sections of the capitalist class itself, are screaming blue murder about Putin's intervention in the US elections in general and intervening to help Trump in particular. Of course Putin intervened in the US elections, either directly in communication with Trump, Flynn or others or by some other means of communication. And of course he did it to help Trump. And of course also the US working class should expose and oppose this intervention. But let us go back a little and in doing so look at the bigger picture.

Who is Putin and why should the US working class oppose his intervention in the US elections and in fact in any elections. After the Russian revolution in 1917, because that revolution was isolated, because it had taken place in an economically and culturally backward country and with a weak working class, that working class was not able to take hold and control society after the revolution. It was not able to build a democratic socialist society which would be run by the working class. Instead it lost control of the post revolutionary society to a dictatorial caste under the leadership of the brutal dictator Stalin.

However, the economy which had been taken out of the hands of the capitalist class and landlord class by the 1917 revolution remained nationalized, but the society as a whole fell under the control of this Stalinist caste, this Stalinist dictatorship. Amongst other things this meant that the resources, natural, territorial, economic, including the labor power of these societies, remained out of the ownership and control of the capitalist class in the West. This was the fundamental basis for the decades long conflict known as the Cold War. Capitalism wanted to get its hands on the wealth and resources including the labor power and markets of the Stalinist countries. It also wanted to make sure that no other countries moved in the direction of a nationalized non capitalist society and economy and it wanted if at all possible to bring down the Stalinist regimes that existed and rule the world unchallenged once again.

At the end of the 1980's the Stalinist regimes began to crack under their own weight. The bureaucratic castes were unable to take them forward. Nationalized economies, collectively owned economies, could only last and prosper for any length of time if they existed on an international scale and if they had the democratic input and were under the democratic control of the working class, that is if they were run by the democratic collective brain of the international working class. This was not the case in the Stalinist regimes. The fall of these regimes was also assisted by the rise of new technology and communications which made it much more difficult for all dictatorships to maintain power.

There were two possibilities for the former Soviet Union after its collapse. It could have gone forward to democratic socialist societies. Or it could have gone back to the restoration of capitalism. The latter road was taken. And it was taken with the help of US capitalism and all the other capitalist and imperialist countries and their allies such as the Catholic church. Talk about intervening in elections. It would be fair to say that there was never a greater interference in elections in history than that by imperialism, led by US imperialism in the elections that took place in the countries of the former Soviet Union after the collapse of that society. Put that in your pipe and smoke it US imperialism.

After a period of enormous turmoil and with the blatant interference of US imperialism and the rest of the world's capitalist classes and the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches, new extremely brutal capitalist classes emerged in the former Soviet Union countries. They privatized and looted the wealth of these countries and became players in the world capitalist economy. This new capitalist class had a time of it consolidating itself. In Russia after bumbling buffoons like Yeltsin and co, Putin the ex KGB man came to the top. He has begun to give some cohesion to this new brutal ruling class. This is where the answer to the question of who is this Putin can be found. Putin is the new brutal representative of the new brutal Russian capitalist class, that is, of Russian imperialism. He sees his task as two fold. One is too keep the Russian working class down. And two, increase the power and influence of the new Russian capitalist class on a world scale, that is strengthen and expand Russian imperialism. This is who he is. This is what he is up to. He is no friend of any working class, either in Russia or any part of the world.

Putin intervened in the US elections to further the interests of the new Russian capitalist class, that is Russian imperialism. This has to be exposed and opposed by all workers and anti capitalist forces. The idiot Trump of course influenced by the possibility that he and his cronies could make a lot of money, have been making a lot of money out of the Russian economy and looking forward to possibly making even more out of new deals on oil and gas if sanctions are lifted, have been cozying up to Putin, and in the process have been led by the nose by Putin. The more sane wing of the US capitalist class are increasingly seeing this and going after Trump. The spy networks are hitting him with what are now called "weaponized leaks", the mass media are after him, Mattis his own so called Secretary of Defense is contradicting him on NATO and Putin and Russia.

The people he wants to replace Flynn the now disgraced former so called National Security Advisor are backing away as they see what the Trump regime is up to and see that if he continues as he is he will be a wrecking ball for US imperialism. Even the Wall Street Journal has the odd criticism. Trump and co are making a mistake, both from their own point of view and the point of view of of US imperialism. They are weakening themselves as a regime. And while doing so they are strengthening Putin and Russian imperialism. This is not in the interest of US imperialism. If Trump does allow himself to be instructed and tamed, does not get himself in order then it is very very possible that one way or another he will be removed.  

As Trump tries to defend himself and his relationship and shenanigans with Putin, he gets himself into deeper and deeper water.  In a TV interview he admits that Putin is a killer but so he says is the US. In this of course he is correct. But this horrifies the tops of the US military and spy networks who have conned themselves or been conned into thinking they are in some way more moral that Stalinism and now the new Russian capitalist class. It also horrifies the more conscious sections of the US capitalist class who understand that while they are no better (Hiroshima - Nagasaki) than Stalinism,  they need to be able to pose as kind hearted well meaning democrats if they are to continue in their world wide role with their hundreds of military bases internationally which are in reality there to allow US imperialism to look after its interests.

Just consider the following points for a moment and think about them in the context of the hysterical campaign in the media of the US capitalist class about Putin intervening in the US elections. Just think about these points and what they show about the staggering hypocrisy of US imperialism.

The American historian William Blum recently published an updated summary of US foreign policy from 1945 to the present. He showed that since that year the US tried "to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used biological and chemical weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders." Talk about interfering in other countries elections. In terms of interfering in other countries the US is number 1. And these interferences are not confined to using computers and high tech communications and tapping communications. Again and again they are through armed coups, invasions and occupations (Afghanistan and Iraq!) and killings.

Just think about Chile and Kissinger. Just think about Iran and Mossadeq. Just think about Kissinger the longest serving National Security Advisor ( national security advisor? More like the Dominate the rest of the world advisor). To this day Kissinger cannot travel to many countries of the world because he would be arrested and tried as a war criminal. His war crimes were interfering in the internal affairs of other countries on behalf of US imperialism and presiding over the slaughter of people soldiers and civilians, Americans and non Americans, especially in South East Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, etc. And he is fawned over by the US capitalist class: the crowd that are now  screaming about Putin interfering in the US elections!!  

Of course the US working class must oppose Putin's and Russian imperialism's interference in the US elections. Putin is the enemy of the working class whether in the US or Russia or internationally. But in doing so it must recognize the hypocrisy of US imperialism. It must also recognize that US capitalism, US imperialism interferes in all US elections, dominates all US elections with its ownership and control of the capitalist mass media and its domination of the electoral system through its monopoly of the political system by its two capitalist parties the Republicans and the Democrats, and the undemocratic corrupt electoral college and the legalized bribing (lobbying by corporations) of politicians. US capitalism, US imperialism, the US capitalist class interferes in all US elections to dominate the consciousness of the US working class and convince them that there is no alternative to capitalism. There is a lot of interfering going around. The US working class must build its own mass party and "interfere" in elections in its own class interests.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Undocumented Workers Are Not The Enemy Of Labor

Immigrant labor, the backbone of California's agriculture economy
Before I retired there was much to do about undocumented workers getting drivers licenses in California.  One of my own co-workers was going around with a petition that supported denying "illegals" the right to a license.  We had a bit of a disagreement about it, especially as he was a well paid, very fortunate worker who had pretty much had one very good public sector job all his life.  So I made a bit of an issue of why we should refuse to sign his nasty anti-worker petition and distributed these comments to get it out of my system.I wrote this piece and distributed it.

With the vicious attacks the Predator in Chief has waged on immigrants I thought I'd share this again. One thing that I want to mention in another commentary on this subject is why this immigration occurs and history behind it, this is never discussed in the mainstream. The other issue is the failure of the labor leadership to raise this correctly and to build real, lasting and powerful links between US and Mexican/Central American workers.

I would make some minor additions if I were to write it today but this issue doesn't go away so I am republishing it in response to the increasing efforts to blame immigrant for the crisis of capitalism. I am being a little lazy here but many of the points made in it are still relevant. Richard Mellor

**********
Undocumented Workers Are Not The Enemy Of Labor

It’s hard for me not to feel anger at the eagerness with which some working people join multi millionaires like Arnold Schwarzenegger and corporate politicians like Gray Davis in denying undocumented workers driving licenses.

These brothers and sisters are among the most abused and brutalized sections of the working class in this country. They are the butt of racist jokes and humor and are terrorized by contractors who hire them to exploit their precarious position and rich people who want cheap servants. After working excessive hours at low pay doing jobs most Americans avoid, they are set upon by the landlords who rarely fail to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I hate to admit that some working people join this bandwagon out of sheer meanness, the opportunity to step on someone when they’re down, someone weaker and less fortunate than themselves. But underlying most opposition among workers is the question of economics, of the job market. Due to their situation, undocumented workers work for lower wages, are less able to organize and are seen as a real threat to good paying jobs. The employers, despite their phony patriotism and hysterical xenophobia spread through the airwaves by their mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, profit handsomely from the undocumented among us.

While allowing an undocumented worker a drivers’ license does me no harm whatsoever, denying them one serves to increase the misery and terror that many of these brothers and sisters face daily. It is almost impossible to have a job in California and no vehicle to take you to work. The undocumented will be forced to drive whether they have legal licenses or not. A legal license would merely remove some pressure on these people. Supporting this move would be an act of solidarity between those of us that are so-called legal and those of us that aren’t. What would be important to them would come at no cost to us and would strengthen our (Labor’s) ties with them.

So when we are confronted with this issue it is important for us to look at it two ways as far as I am concerned. Firstly, the employers will always use one section of the working class against the other in their efforts to maximize profits and keep wages low and unions out. This is a given regardless of their public statements about aliens and immigrants ruining America. It is in our interests to support unions organizing the undocumented and strengthening their rights so that when the employers try to use them against us we will have built a solid base of support among them and them us.

Secondly we do have to deal with the issue of “illegal” immigration. Obviously a huge influx of workers whether skilled or unskilled does tend to depress wages and, like any other commodity, Labor plays by the law of supply and demand, increased labor without corresponding job increases favors the buyer of Labor not the seller of it. So I think while we support immigrant rights domestically it is important to address the issue of increased immigration through our southern borders. But let’s look at some of the contributing factors to South/North migration.

Let's look at El Salvador for instance. In 1932, shortly after seizing power, Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez slaughtered some 30,000 Pipil Indians who had revolted against the giant landowners. With U.S. support he banned all Unions and ruled in the interests of the ruling elite until 1944. The coffee magnates that he and subsequent regimes supported with U.S. help took over so many small farms that the number of landless peasants in El Salvador quadrupled between 1961 and 1975. Hundreds of thousands left the country looking for work. Where do you think many of them went?

Supported by El Salvadore's Catholic Church a movement toward democracy developed in the late 60's and 70's that gave El Salvadorians some hope for a better future. But the more this movement developed the more repressive the oligarchy and its military dictatorship became. A civil war erupted in 1979 after an army coup aborted the results of a democratic election. During the next two years right wing death squads supported by the U.S. hunted down any dissidents; more than 8,000 trade unionists were murdered or abducted during this period.

Siding with the El Salvadorian oligarchy, the U.S. government provided them with $3.7bn in aid from 1981-89, 70% of this money was for weapons and war assistance. Such was the terror in El Salvador that thousands of people fled north to the U.S. to escape death or torture. Incidentally, up until 1999, every Taleban official was on the payroll of the U.S. government as well; another U.S. foreign policy measure the majority if not all of the heads of organized Labor supported.

Guatemala is similar. In 1954 a CIA sponsored coup overthrew the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz on behalf of the United Fruit Co. and other big landowners. Arbenz had introduced land reforms that threatened the domination of the United Fruit Company over Guatemalan society. Only 2% of landowners owned 72% of the arable land, much of it unused. United fruit alone held 600,000 acres of mostly unused land. The Guatemalan colonel that the CIA selected to replace Arbenz immediately outlawed hundreds of trade unions and returned more than 1.5 million acres to United fruit Co.

Instrumental in planning the coup were the Dulles brothers, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen Dulles who was director of the CIA. These two also helped orchestrate the CIA coup that overthrew the secular democratic government of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 and replaced him with the murderous Shah. They were former partners of United Fruit’s main law firm in Washington. By 1985 some 75,000 people were dead or had disappeared at the hands of the Guatemalan dictatorship; a huge amount in this tiny country. Some 150,000 Indians fled to Mexico and beyond. Many of the brothers and sisters we see on the streets as day laborers are from this area.

Similar situations occurred throughout Central and South America as rebellions against the domination of U.S. corporations over society were suppressed by the U.S. government and its stooges. It is important for us to understand this aspect of the migration north of working class people, particularly the indigenous population that was viciously persecuted by U.S. sponsored regimes. Tragically, the U.S. Labor movement through the AFL-CIO and its departments blindly supported these policies and coups.

Economic policy has also contributed to the uprooting of workers forcing them north in search of a living. NAFTA has had negative effects north and south of the border. Many good union jobs have been lost in the U.S. and in Mexico 1.3 million farm jobs have been lost since 1993, due to subsidized U.S. food imports. It is no wonder that during that period Mexicans working illegally in the U.S. more than doubled; people have to eat. NAFTA is not good for U.S. or Mexican workers.

So the Labor movement must develop its own response to these issues rather than allowing big business, through the two political parties that it controls, set the ground rules. We must support immigrant rights domestically and not fall in to the skapegoating trap while at the same time assisting the growth and development of Labor organizations in other counties where poverty is rife. Most people emigrate because they can’t feed their families.

But even if these workers and peasants don't come here to the US, staying in their home countries will have basically the same effect. It will increase the supply of Labor, further driving down wages (Labor’s price) and increasing the rate at which capital invests since there would be even greater profits to be made there. Obviously this would mean further job losses here in the U.S. Thus, we cannot escape the affects of the conditions of those workers and peasants, no matter if they come here or stay in their home countries. The only real difference is that if they come here, the effects of this forced competition are more visible to us. We can bury our heads in the sand and ignore the conditions in such countries as El Salvador, Mexico, etc., but that in no way means that those conditions don't affect us just as much. Therefore, our only choice is to join with them, wherever they are, in a united struggle to improve wages and conditions, as well as democratic rights, whether they be here or there.

Of course, this means opposing U.S. foreign policy, which has actively suppressed democracy and trade union rights in these countries in the interests of the giant multi-nationals. It also means a struggle within the AFL-CIO whose leadership has blindly supported U.S. foreign policy that has installed and/or supported one ruthless dictator after another in these countries.

Richard Mellor
South Area Service Center
January 04

Sources: Harvest or Empire: Juan Gonzalez
Business Week: Is NAFTA Worth It? (12-22-03)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The rapidly deepening crisis of the Trump regime.


A Statement from Facts For Working People

And then there were two. Image source Salon.com

We live in a period in which US and world capitalism is in extreme economic and political crisis. A new economic event like 2008 only worse lies ahead and continuing wars in the Middle East, Ukraine, Africa, and elsewhere, and the new arms build up threaten more wars including possible nuclear conflict. On top of this, the political shambles that is the Trump White house reverberates worldwide.

The speed of events is unprecedented. A few months ago it looked like Clinton would win the US election. Then the FBI director Comey intervened and tipped the scales just enough to let in Trump. There was great weeping and gnashing of teeth amongst just about all decent people in the country. Also some despair.

But some of us said that things were not all bleak. We at Facts For Working People said that Trump was the whip of the counterrevolution that would force a new movement to its feet. And this is exactly what has happened. We never thought it would come as quickly as it did but we are very pleasantly surprised that it has. The Women’s Marches, the Resistance movement, the welcoming of immigrants at airports and now talk of “days without immigrants” which would in reality be strikes of immigrant workers and supporters against Trumps immigration policies. These are all examples of the new movement that is arising. This crisis is up and at it and it is going to run and run.    
And now with the forcing of Flynn out of his position as national Security Adviser it has gotten dramatically worse. He only lasted 24 days. Kissinger the war criminal lasted in that position over 2,478 days. 

US capitalism rules through its ownership and domination of the economy. Through this it has created a system of rule based on a political arm which it monopolizes with its two capitalist parties, the Republicans and the Democrats and a military,  legal, police and spy network and dirty tricks wing.

In spite of differences amongst all these over the centuries, US capitalism because of its economic wealth, some of it looted from the rest of the planet, and with which it so far been able to placate a section of its own working class, has been able to keep its often competing agencies of repression and control on the same page.

Nixon tested this system but it stood the test at the cost of Nixon’s Presidency. They kicked him out to save their system. What we are seeing now is US capitalism’s system of rule once again coming under extreme pressure. This is what accounts for the near panic stricken tones in most of the serious media of US capitalism. As this is going on US capitalism is considering what to do with Trump. 

The authors of this Blog have always said that the most conscious and powerful section of US capitalism wanted Clinton to be President. She was more reliable, predictable, experienced etc. But again, in a sign of their crisis, the US capitalist class was not able to get their preferred candidate into the White House. Instead they got Trump. What is Trump this creature who sits in the White House with the nuclear buttons, when he is not staying at one of his palaces to increase its value and the value of his brand?

He is a number of things. One is that he is stupid. This is shown by his continual attacks on the different wings of the capitalist class to which he also belongs. It is shown by his attacks on the capitalist media. It is shown by his attacks on the judges and judicial system. But perhaps most of all it is shown by his attacks on the spy networks and agencies and dirty tricks departments of US capitalism. 

Attacking these forces is particularly stupid in this period of the Internet and high technology when just about every computer and every phone call can be accessed by the US state spy agencies. It is clear they had records of Flynn talking to Putin’s man before and after the elections and assuring them all would be okay when Trump got in if he did get in and so it would be good if Putin helped trump. According to US law this is treason. There is no way that Trump did not know about this. This is what accounts for the recent statement from the anonymous member of one of the US spy networks that Trump would spend the end of his life in prison.  

The decisive wing of US capitalism is trying to get together to rescue the situation and this means so far to prop up and control Trump. But it is by no means certain that they can do so. This is part of his stupidity also. It is also part of his arrogance. He thinks he can bully and defy the other wings of his own class like he has done workers and women with which he interacted over his years. It is also part of his lack of any knowledge of history and also how US capitalism rules. The reason he does not take many so called intelligence briefings is that he thinks he knows everything and also that his ignorance and stupidity would be shown up to all. To rule a country the size of the USA with its powerful global influence it is necessary to have some understanding of how the world works, the balance of forces at any given time and of history. Trump has no knowledge of these things.

Then there is, and this is part of his stupidity and arrogance also, the information or rather the lack of information about his businesses.  He still will not show his tax returns. These would show his business dealings over the past years. It is practically certain they would also show why he is such a good friend to Putin. In 2008 Donald Trump Jr., his son, said the following: “We see a lot of money passing in from Russia.” His Tax returns could be a death blow to him. 

So will Trump last? It is impossible to say for sure. But what it is possible to say is that he is dramatically weaker today than he was a few days ago and getting weaker by the day. Losing his nominee for Labor Secretary was no help to him. It brought up  the memory of his own abuse of women given what came up was the extreme physical violence his labor secretary nominee had carried against his former partner.  

Trump remains in power because the more conscious and powerful section of the US capitalist class thinks their system of rule and their rule would be more weakened by bringing him down than keeping him in and surrounding him by more people of their own way of thinking and working. But it is not at all sure they can do this, or that Trump will listen to or cooperate with such people. If this is shown to be the case, Trump will be brought down one way or another. Not only US spy agencies but other country’s spy agencies must have computers full of information on his dealings and conversations.  There is plenty of dirt on him out there. 

But there are factors that allow Trump to stay in power for the moment. One is the monopoly that capitalism has over the country’s political system. There is no mass workers’ party that could build and lead a movement to bring him down.  The Democrats want to weaken him but not weaken the political system. They want to get back into power and rule through that system again themselves. So they rant and rave about Trump but do not act decisively.

The Republicans are in a real bind. Their establishment wing never thought he would be President but when he was they all jumped on what they thought was the bandwagon of a Trump led total domination of US politics. Now as he sinks and the whole show looks like running off the road, they are still propping him up because they are afraid they might all go down with him. But if things go on as they do, it will not be long before the Republican leaders begin to defect. You can see this in the developing anger in people like Republican Senator John McCain. You can see it also in statements from lower level Republicans. 

A life long Republican who was 30 years a judge just made the following statement: “We must admit we have elected a President who has proved himself to be a grifter, a pathological liar, a mean spirited bully and dangerous to American values.” This from a life long Republican. And he went on to call for the “drafting of letters of impeachment.” 

If the dominant sectors of the capitalist class conclude that he has to go he will go-----one way or another. The serious and influential mass media are now beginning to turn their fire on him. The spy agencies and legal system are turning on him. Not even sharing with him some of the information they get from their spying. It is most likely that if he cannot adjust he will be removed one way or another. US capitalism also it should be remembered has a history and tradition of assassination of unwanted leaders.  

At present they are trying to tame him by increasing the numbers of top, more sane  military brass and top military industrial complex people in his regime. Mattis, former military top man is secretary of defense. It now seems he is to be joined by Harward the former deputy commander of the US central command which has overseen the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and that region.

He is also a top executive of Lockheed Martin and oversees arms sales and its  business to the United Arab Emirates. If Harward, who has lived in Iran and speaks Farsi, gets appointed, this will strengthen the military industrial complex in the Trump regime relative to the oil and gas wing around the secretary of state and Trump, both of whom have been cozying up to Putin, seemingly for the money they can make with oil and gas deals in Russia and business in Russia. Mattis has just put out a statement much more aggressive towards Putin and much more supportive of Nato. So there are signs of a strengthening of the somewhat saner wing in the White House. This could prolong the life of the regime for a time. 

However it will also increase tensions in the White House as the cranks and lightweights like Bannon, Conway and Preibus fight amongst themselves. This will not help the regime. 

Would it be possible if Trump felt the Presidency slipping from his hands that he could launch a new war or even some kind of partial nuclear war or event? This is unlikely as the dominant sectors of the capitalist class and the state apparatus have probably thought of this and taken measures to see that he does not get his fingers on the nuclear buttons or that if the weapons would incapacitated in advance in case he did lose it. This shows the serious nature of this situation. It would not at all be good for US capitalism if other nations knew that the US nuclear arsenal was hobbled in this way. This is how serious this crisis is.  

Then there are the other possibilities. Could the unprecedented movement from below see him backtrack on some of his campaign insanities and threats and promises. He is already doing this marginally in some cases. He might decide to try and back away from abolishing the Affordable Care Act. (ACA.) But can he do this given the right wing nuts who control congress. There is also the increasing support for ACA. And this will probably increase as people see that the Republicans have no alternative except one that is worse.  Every day we read about new movements springing up. About movements and organizations seeking to work together or merge. Trump will come under greater and greater pressure from below. 

However there is one major factor that will give him a little room for maneuver. That is the role of the trade union leaders. They will not mobilize their 14 million members. Instead they met with that degenerate in the White House laughing and sharing drinks together. Some of them are even supporting him in his struggle against the fight at Standing Rock. The Resistance Movement must seek to organize and build in the rank and file of the trade unions and workplaces.

There are many union members in the Resistance Movement. They must organize in their union among the rank and file and in their workplaces workplaces and have the future Resistance events awash with union members marching with their union banners and heads held high. This would not only transform the unions but it would transform the Resistance Movement.

Of course the Trade union leaders will not do this precisely because it would transform the unions and threaten their own position.

This is a statement from Facts For Working people. We are a small group of working people and youth who organize against capitalism and for international democratic socialism. We ask all who agree with this article and the statement we recently put out in which we advocate the Resistance Movement build, to contact us and join us. 

Download pdf Build The Resistance

Boeing workers reject union. Whose fault is that? Not theirs.


By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

The IAMAW (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) suffered a stunning defeat at the Boeing factory in Charleston South Carolina as workers voted against joining a union.  The turnout was strong with 2,828 of approximately 3000 workers eligible to vote doing so and 2,097 voting against according to The Post and Courier.

The defeat comes after a unionization drives failed at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga Tennessee in 2014 (see UAW leadership responsible for the defeat at VW) and production and maintenance workers at R. J. Reynolds Tobacco in North Carolina in 2011. South Carolina is also a Right-To Work state which is undoubtedly a hurdle but by no means an insurmountable one. 

One of the so-called labor experts, more often than not academics that give an intellectual legitimacy to the labor hierarchy’s disastrous policies, pointed out that this was an opportunity for the union as favoritism was prominent at the plant and talks of layoffs and cutbacks, “…had given the IAM its best shot at gaining a foothold.”.

The IAMAW’s goals were addressing favoritism and inconsistency, “…fairer evaluations, more consistent work instructions, and higher wages for production and maintenance workers in South Carolina…” according to the New York Times

Why would these workers vote against a union, against their own self- interest some might say?

Perhaps the most anti-worker answer to that question comes from Dave Macaray, a former union staffer who writes regularly for the liberal online magazine, Counterpunch.  As is usually the case with former staffers and other liberal types who write on labor issues, the role of the labor hierarchy, not only their refusal to fight in any serious way but their outright class collaboration, is completely missing in Macaray’s report on the election today. Instead he blames the rank and file:

“So before these non-union South Carolinian Boeing workers congratulate themselves on their self-reliance and old-fashioned American “individualism,” they need to realize that without the presence of organized labor acting as their de facto accomplice, they would be one step away from “respectable poverty.”  Big Union Vote at South Carolina’s Boeing Plant

How enlightened he is. How condescending. This is the view of a union bureaucrat---blame the members, blame the worker. He basically puts them in the “free rider” status which is what workers at unionized workplaces who opt to not pay dues are called. But why would these workers vote to join a union in such a hostile climate?

And according to the New York Times article quoted above, production and maintenance workers in South Carolina. “….
make about $23 per hour on average, versus about $31 per hour for comparable workers in Washington State.”. The cost of housing, a huge percentage of a workers’ income, is probably significantly lower in SC and from what I can tell, the median wage for a cashier in SC is $8.16, a customer rep, $12.09, a Licensed Practical nurse, $18.35 so wages may not be the most important issue, it is also a question of union power on the job.

Macaray is wrong. It has little or nothing to do with “old fashioned American individualism” why the vote went in Boeing's favor. It is the bosses’ and their politicians’ aggression and the refusal of the labor hierarchy to combat it. We know by experience that management and the right wing politicians in SC waged a massive anti-union campaign.
Boeing and the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance bought hundreds of spots for anti-union TV ads. They wage a media war of terror against workers in these situations.

I do not know all the details yet but it’s not uncommon to sign neutrality agreements with employers in unionizing drives as the UAW at Volkswagen did. It seems unlikely given the media blitz, but we know that the employer is never neutral. In the Volkswagen defeat, the union leadership even gave up the right to visit members in their own homes in exchange for access to them on the job.


The heads of organized labor are wedded to the Team Concept, the view that workers and bosses have the same interests and approach these disputes, which are really the class struggle over the share of wealth that workers create, as spats between teammates. The bosses’ use the term team members when they refer to their employees. But workers know differently.


In this case, in response to the ideological assault from Boeing in the media, claiming that the union would create a hostile labor/management environment at the workplace and likely lead to the loss of jobs if Boeing cut costs or left the state, IAMAW organizers replied in part saying that, “workers could seek the help of a union steward if they had a problem on the job but that they would otherwise be free to deal with managers on their own.”


That instills confidence does it?  “Nice unions finish last” Micah Uetricht's article about the UAW’s failure to organized Volkswagen in Tennessee is right on. He too was a former union organizer but at least he criticized the leadership’s strategy in that fiasco.


T
hese fears are real for the rank and file worker. Macaray warns workers at Boeing that they will be one step away from “respectable poverty” if they refuse to accept organized labor as their “their de facto accomplice” Workers are not stupid, we do pay some attention to these issues. The UAW leadership, for example, like all of them,  has cooperated with the auto bosses in driving its members wages and conditions drastically lower. They sabotaged a strike in Cleveland North Carolina some years ago and cooperated with the company in terminating militant local leaders that dared to fight against concessions. These betrayals are the norm. And unionized workers are ending up in poverty all the time.

The IAMAW leadership played a disastrous role in the Boeing contract dispute in Washington State in 2013, forcing a concessionary contract on the workers. This occurs throughout organized labor, concessionary contracts forced down workers’ throats.

These Boeing workers would be well aware that unions don’t prevent layoffs; the strategy of the leadership is generally to file lawsuits and generally lose them, or bring workers out on strike for weeks, walking ineffective picket lines in order to end up with fewer concessions than the boss demanded----if they’re lucky. And these picket lines are not really strike picket lines. They are 24-hour protests that cost the dues payer a lot of time and money for no gain. In the hotel and restaurant strikes in San Francisco some years ago, the officials placed tape on the sidewalk and had the strikers stay within the tape. The tape stopped at the entrance to the struck business in order to allow those crossing, free, undisturbed access. This was agreed to in a deal with the union leadership the police and the hotel bosses. It was bizarre.


South Carolina may be in the South with all its history but it is obvious to anyone with a brain that unions are not preventing the continued downward spiral that is undermining our living standards and working conditions that were the result of decades of struggle and sacrifice and that the Union officialdom is supporting this.


These workers do not see the potential power of organized labor, the mobilizing of the membership and our communities brought to the table. They have no confidence that the union can protect them against the bosses’ aggression and they are right. Yes, the bosses might make certain concessions to keep unions out. But why pay union dues when ones working conditions and living standards continue to decline? Workers built unions to advance our material interests, it is not an exercise in civics. If conditions continue to deteriorate and wages decline as union dues increase; why pay them.


The IAMAW at its international conference last year passed a resolution or amendment that is intended to give the rank and file more power. This comes after the leaderships’ sabotage during the contract dispute a few years earlier. But this doesn’t really guarantee much.

The entire leadership of organized labor supports the Team Concept and we cannot win under those conditions. We witnessed the disgusting spectacle of the building trades leaders meeting with Trump and praising him. Hoffa, the lawyer that heads the Teamsters lavished Trump with praise and the public sector leaders have said next to nothing but whine about how unfair it is; they are a disgrace. How does this make women members or people of color feel seeing these people suck up to the predator in chief like that? Any thinking worker is sickened by it.


No one union, local or national union can win alone. We cannot win with the present leadership that has the same world-view as the employers. It is crucial that rank and file workers build fighting opposition caucuses based in the workplaces and the locals. Any group or those claiming to reform the unions must start form a position of openly campaigning against the Team Concept and openly challenging the present leadership’s concessionary approach. We must break the unwritten code that leaders don't criticize each other.


Building strong links with the community, demanding what we need as workers and members of the community as opposed to what is acceptable to the labor officialdom and their friends in the Democratic Party is the starting point.  To ignore the role of the leadership as Macaray does is common among the left as well. Members and former members of socialist organizations often have positions in the left bureaucracy, some as officials. Too often, socialists make concessions to the left wing of the labor bureaucracy at the expense of the members and building a wider opposition in the unions, our communities and society as a whole.


Those wanting to change the unions cannot avoid a conflict with the present clique that controls them; they won’t allow it.The members know it too, that this is serious business and they will not be drawn en masse to an opposition movement than avoids this inevitable struggle.

If we want the members to step forward, to accept the risks that joining a union and being active in it poses on the job, then we have to show them that when the bosses attack them, there are repercussions. As things stand with the present leadership of the trade unions, the bosses’ don’t fear them, they are their allies, their team members
.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Oroville Dam: Another market driven disaster. Profits before People


Oroville Dam and spillway
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

As is always the case, it is after terrible accidents happen that the public finds out details about what caused them.  Most of the worst disasters, Katrina for example, are not freaks of nature but market driven disasters.

It appears we might have dodged a bullet here in California as the tallest dam in the US, the 770 foot Oroville dam, was in danger of rupture due to heavy rains. The lake behind the dam was overflowing and the water began to erode a part of the hillside that was a natural (unpaved) spillway.  The danger is that if the erosion spread it could cause a rupture in the dam itself spilling billions of gallons of water in a 30-foot high wave downstream.  Over the past weekend, evacuation orders were issued to 200,000 residents.

Now it comes to light that as far back as 2005, under Republican Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, environmental groups and some local government officials warned that the dam’s integrity could be jeopardized and “catastrophic flooding” could result if the natural hillside spillway wasn’t reinforced with concrete or huge boulders that we sometime see at these dam sites. This would help protect against erosion when the dam overflowed which is what we are witnessing now.

So were this catastrophe to have occurred (and the dam could still burst) and people killed, what would have been described as an accident is in actuality, a market driven disaster.  I say this because what is happening here is nothing new-----it’s about money, the allocation of capital. The only time the working class gets to make a decision about allocation is when they let us vote on bonds and we vote yes to borrow back our own money (with interest) to build a hospital.

The BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 that cost 11 workers their lives has caused untold damage to the environment. We will never fully know how much damage, we might get a glimpse as Bluefin Tuna and other marine life are washing ashore with two sets of genitals and other deformities.  We can be sure the ocean floor is covered with oil and whatever chemicals that they use to help the oil dissipate but this likelihood will not be in a public service announcement during a playoff game.

This BP spill was man made. We found out afterwards, that not only was the oil industry allowed to write their own rules for deep water drilling, but the extent of the environmental damage was hidden from us. I wrote back then:
The New York Times pointed out earlier in 2010 that an Interior Dept. investigation revealed that “Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil — and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general’s report to be released this week. The report said that investigators "could not discern if any fraudulent alterations were present on these forms."

West, Texas. Who stores volatile fertilizer next to a school?
Two days after the Boston bombing that was covered extensively in the mainstream media and to this day a reminder as to why we should keep Muslims out, and constantly worry about the hundreds of thousands of people that die every year from terrorist attacks (oops, sorry, that is opoid addiction) there was an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. I wrote at the time:
“…..this was no an accident but also an act of terror.  So far no one had been arrested or imprisoned for this crime.  But there are plenty of culprits.  As Peter Dreier and Donald Cohen pointed out:“The chemical industry has been one of the most effective lobby groups in this regard. In the 1970s, for example, the industry lobbied Congress to prohibit OSHA from regularly inspecting workplaces with fewer than 10 employees in industries with low reported injury rates. Fertilizer plants are included on the list of exempted industries. This may be why OSHA hadn't inspected the West Fertilizer plant since 1985. If they put profit before people, and allow greed or indifference to put lives at risk, they should be punished.

Business Week once described the infrastructure problem in the US as the “Third Deficit”, I assume after the trade and federal deficits. An Associated Press review of Records from the National Bridge Inventory discovered that 7,795 bridges across the US have been classified as “fracture critical” and "structurally deficient," Readers will remember the bridge that collapsed in Milwaukee with fatalities. Since then, “Wisconisn  State transportation officials have placed about 60 Wisconsin bridges in danger categories that indicate the structures have designs that make them more vulnerable to failure and are deteriorating.”  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 9-15-13

There was the chemical spill in the Sacramento River that killed everything in the river for 45 miles in the early 1990’s. I once read in the WSJ I believe how workers had complained about the way the cars were loaded but who listens to those that do the work? Profits, the bottom line, is paramount. Of course, after the fact the truth, or some of it, comes out.  The New York Times reported afterwards that these deadly chemicals were, “….being hauled in a tank car that the National Transportation Safety Board has repeatedly said is too flimsy to haul hazardous materials.” Ah, the NYT. A worker’s word before the fact worthless. The NYT after----priceless. That’s why whistlebowers should be protected. Thank you Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and others.

There was the chemical spill in the river in West Virginia that poisoned people's water supply in nine counties, and as I write, the children of Flint Michigan have been poisoned because the politicians, serving the interests of the 1% chose to save money, not by cutting defense spending and ending predatory corporate wars, taxing the rich etc., but by providing inadequate drinking water for an entire town.

There are simply too many of these catastrophes to mention but we all understand that this goes on and it will not stop as long as there is no political voice for workers and middle class people and that voice is not backed up by a united direct action movement that can stop this economy from functioning. It is only when profit and capital accumulation is halted, that the ruling class listens. 

I don’t have a fetish about workers,; we can be brutal and hateful. But we can also show great solidarity and compassion, we are just like other animals in that way. The ideology of capitalism is dominant in society, and what does that ideology consist of? It consists of selfishness, individualism, competition for the necessities of life despite the fact that there is enough labor power and natural wealth to ensure that no human being goes hungry, is poor and can develop to their full potential. Capitalism encourages this thinking but it is against our better instincts which is what makes us sick, causes,  depression, alienation and isolation, not to mention wars and devastation as capitalists fight to “our” death for control over the world’s resources and wealth.

Human society has advanced through collective struggle and cooperation, not individualism in the sense that we are in never ending competition with each other for the basics of life.

I saw a headline about Bill Gates and how he might become the world’s first trillionaire. This was reported in a favorable way. This is success in their world.  No one ever got rich working. They get rich getting others to work and plundering both human and natural resources. No one “pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps” no one. No billionaire is “self made”. This is propaganda of language. We all get a little help from somewhere, and the richest get the most.

Workers care about the world in which we live. We care about the natural beauty we have in California as much as an Afghani or an Egyptian or any other inhabitant of the world cares about theirs. But it’s hard to pay much attention to it when you or your children are dying of starvation.

American workers have to not close our minds to the propaganda even if we feel at any point in time that we cannot do anything about it.; anger is good, and organized anger is even better. We shouldn’t glorify the idea that one human being can accumulate $80 billion like Gates, he never worked for that. It came from exploitation. We should be disgusted by it. We should question the society we live in and condemn it. The Oroville Dam is just the tip of the iceberg. Human beings made conscious decisions that led to that, that led to the West Texas explosion, the California spill, the destruction that Katrina caused that was far greater than September 11th but not as useful as it was a crisis made possible by domestic failures, political choices again. And it is not workers that make these choices. It is member of the 1%, the capitalist class and its elected representatives in their two parties. They make these choices consciously and the bottom line above all else is money, money in their bank accounts. The most devastating choices they make for humanity are their wars.

It is up to us to rid ourselves of the clique that govern society, we certainly don’t govern it, but we can. Society needs new managers.

Life On Earth As We Know It. Or Life on Earth.

Sean O'Torain.

I have written an number of articles on this Blog and elsewhere which deal with how capitalism is destroying the planet. I always use the term that capitalism if it is not ended "will destroy life on earth as we know it." I have been using this qualification "as we know it" deliberately. As I feel that some insects will survive and some creatures at the very depths of the oceans. Now I am not so sure. Nuclear war, massive overheating, pollution piled on pollution, could these perhaps wipe out all life. Could the planet be left a lifeless rock. Lifeless even in the oceans. Maybe even no oceans.

I was thinking of this today after reading a short article in the bosses main daily paper The Wall Street Journal. It is entitled: "Pollutants are found in deep-sea animals." The author is Ellie Kincaid. The scientists who conducted the research on which this article is based deployed research probes to trap living creatures dwelling in deep-sea tranches as far down as four to five miles. Capitalist apologists for the destruction that their system is doing to the environment through pollution have been arguing that chemicals which were produced in the past and were very poisonous but which are no longer produced would disperse in the environment and not cause a problem. Well it seems that is not so.

The experiment referred to here found levels of polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, an extremely destructive and life damaging chemical historically used in electrical equipment, to be as much as fifty times greater at the ocean depths than measurements for this chemical in crabs living in a highly polluted river in China. Researchers believe that the chemical most likely originated from land fill leaks and other sources and reached the ocean depths by sticking to particles of organic matter and sinking down to the depths where scavenging crustaceans ate them.   So I am rethink my position on this issue. Capitalism might not just destroy life on earth as we know it. It might destroy all life on earth. The urgency of the international socialist revolution grows by the day.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ireland: Magdalene Laundries, rape and forced labor



I just watched this again since I posted it four years ago. I am sharing it again. It is a very powerful story from three women who were victims of the Catholic Church and its vicious misogynistic policies.  To think that atheists are condemned by the holy as lost people, people who can have no morals. I have no ill will toward  Catholics, I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools. But the institution, once the religion of the feudal aristocracy, now the dominant religion of capitalism is rotten to the core. Aren't they all? And like the Catholic Church, most of them are dominated by men and brutal towards women. The issue of creation or god is a personal once and has no place in public life. We are in a situation here in the US where foreign policy with regard to Israel and the Middle East is based on ancient texts, stories from thousands of years ago about creation from people who thought the world was flat.

In relation to this, I urge readers interested in this subject of the special oppression of women as we all should be to read , The Donegal Woman a story of an Irish peasant woman's survival and growth against the odds. The author, John Throne (Sean O'Torain) writes here also. The book was a best seller in Ireland is seen by many as a platform for women's rights. Both the video above and the Donegal Woman are appropriate reminders in the light of the Women's March on Washington, of the role women have played and will play in the struggle against oppression in general. You can also read about the book and order it by clicking on the image to the right.

Please take the time to watch this and read the text below. I was in Dublin at the time I first say this and read the story below. RM

We reprint the piece below from the Irish Journal as a compliment to the video above documenting the Magdalen laundries where young Irish girls and women were imprisoned and forced to do slave labor.  The tragic story of the woman in the piece who died there at the age of 49 and was raped while a prisoner there is not an isolated incident. The story is told by her child.  The Irish state and the Catholic Church are responsible for this atrocity and the crimes committed under their care.  Compensation is also due all the women whose unpaid labor brought considerable income to the Church coffers. The Irish government has still not apologized for its collusion with the Catholic Church in these slave labor schemes. If you haven't seen the Magdalen Sisters, it's a movie worth seeing.  

A Magdalene daughter shares her story

   
‘Margaret died of her slave-related injuries’:

“Margaret was committed to industrial school in 1954. She was 2 yrs 4 mths old. She left 49 years later in a coffin.” HER FIRST TWEET simply said: “My mother was Magdalene No. 322. Real name Margaret.” It was met by a number of reactions, including disbelief that Magdalenes were given numbers. “Yes,” replied Samantha Long. “I was looking over her records today and thought I’d share that. Awful.” The Twitter user was talking about her late mother, Margaret Bullen, a woman taken into the Magdalene Laundries system when she was just two years old. Just days ahead of the publication of a report into the level of State involvement at the now-infamous institutions, Long decided to share her family’s story.

There had been a campaign to get the hashtag #justiceformagdalenesNOW trending on Twitter to raise awareness last night and the Dublin woman’s provocative, powerful and heartbreaking tweets achieved that aim. READ: ‘A life unlived’: Margaret Bullen’s story With her kind permission, we have reproduced her timeline here: My mother was Magdalene No. 322. Real name Margaret Margaret was committed to industrial school in 1954. She was 2 yrs 4 mths old. She left 49 years later in a coffin. By the age of 5, Margaret was preparing breakfast for 70 children including herself from 4am. Child labour Margaret was noted in her records as “nervous, timid, fretful, a bed-wetter”. No wonder, she was never toilet trained Margaret didn’t know where she was from or when her birthday was. We told her when she was 42 At age 13, Margaret had her IQ measured. She was “certified” as fit for work, unfit for education. Labour camps.

Margaret never lived in the outside world, although she lived just off O’Connell Street in our capital city Margaret didn’t know how to handle money. She had none, and no posessions Margaret never went on a date, Never had a boyfriend. Never fell in love. But she was impregnated in care Margaret’s twin daughters were taken from her 7 weeks after she gave birth.When she saw us again we were 23 When we reunited at the Gresham, Margaret was 42. Not that you’d think it At The Gresham in 1995, Margaret was excited. Not just to meet us,but it was the first time she ever tasted coffee When I became a mother in 2004, it was the first time I allowed myself to grieve for Margaret’s life unlived, denials Margaret and my family enjoyed each other for a few years, hard to recreate deep love after so long Margaret died in July 2003, one day before her 51st birthday.

She died of her slave related injuries Six months after her death, her first grandchild was born. She would have loved her four grandchildren I hope for justice for Margaret and her friends on Tuesday. Thank you all so much for the support. I think she knows I am astounded at the reaction to my tweets about Margaret.Impossible to reply to all.Thank you,I am humbled Goodnight all,finally. Míle buíochas #justiceformagdalenesNOW Senator Martin McAleese’s report has been sent to Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who will publish it in full on Tuesday afternoon, following a Cabinet meeting. The long-awaited report has been delayed multiple times since the inter-departmental committee was established in response to a recommendation from the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT). That body said it was “gravely concerned” at the failure of the State to protect girls and women who were involuntarily confined between 1922 and 1996. Advocacy groups have called for a full State apology, as well as a proper, transparent compensation scheme for survivors. About 30,000 women were incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries between 1922 and 1996. TheJournal.ie has previously told Margaret’s story and that piece can be found here. Samantha Long has also written about both her mothers in this touching blog post.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Trump and the Judges: The enemy divided


JFK: New Yorker's Protest Trumps ban on Muslims (Not Saudis)
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444,retired

The system of checks and balances set up by the US bourgeois all those years ago may save them yet as the Predator in Chief is backing down on some of his earlier statements. He has reassured China that he will abide by the “One China” policy that recognizes Beijing and not Taipei as the “sole legal government of China”. And he has played a game of golf with Japan’s Abe assuring the Japanese leaders that Japan’s security is still paramount.

That being a head of state is somewhat different to being a real estate speculator seems to be dawning on him although there is no doubt he is coming under intense pressure from the US bourgeois, at times different sections of them, to curb his wild and unstable behavior. 

The tech bourgeois are strongly opposed to his immigration policies as foreign workers and entrepreneurs are heavily represented in this sector. Many Indians are involved in the tech industry as investors in start-ups and as engineers and all things computer. Trump’s immigration laws, walls and nationalist rhetoric has many skilled immigrants and millions of others, on edge. Japan seems to be taking advantage of Trumps nationalist threats loosening its Green card requirements. It will now take just one to two years for skilled foreigners to get permanent residency in Japan as opposed to five years. Other changes are on the table as well to make it easier for foreign workers, companies and investors to come to Japan. US capitalism's global role and the credibility of its government is threatened by Trump.

G.E CEO Jeff Immelt, points out in the latest issue of Business Week that GE is, "….a $22 billion exporter from the US. And we import $5 billion or $6 billion. "  Immelt adds that, “We believe in trade, in the free flow of goods,. Inherently, we don’t think things like walls are good ideas.” The more sober US bourgeois is well aware of the damage to the economy and profits that increased protectionism will bring as well as a potential for violence that can arise if it goes too far and as others retaliate.  We live in a world economy like it or not.

The credit agency Fitch, released a report claiming that, “The Trump administration represents a risk to the international economy and global government creditworthiness….”, the Financial Times writes this weekend.*

Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater, world's largest hedge fund, is unnerved by the dangers of "nationalism, protectionism and militarism."  Seth Klarman, another hedge fund manager warns investors that markets are “overly optimistic” and he is concerned about Trump’s “high volatility” pointing out, “…investors generally abhor volatility and shun uncertainty.  “ “Not only is Trump shockingly unpredictable…” says Klarman, "...he’s apparently deliberately so; he says it’s part of his plan.” Capitalists like stability and won’t invest, or will certainly curb investment in unstable conditions threatening the global economy with a dangerous slump. Ignoring the real dangers that Trump’s approach brings to the fore could lead to, “a lengthy decline in dollar hegemony, a rapid rise in interest rates and inflation, and global angst.”  Klarman adds. Not a very pretty picture.

It remains to be seen how far Trump will go in his battle with the Judiciary. So far they seem to uniting in opposition to his assault. Even his choice to fill the US Supreme Court vacancy, Neil Gorsuch has publicly commented saying Trump’s comments about the judiciary were “disheartening” and “demoralizing”. One Republican Senator has even claimed Gorsuch said that any attack on the “…..brothers and sisters of the robe is an attack on all Judges.”** Class solidarity in action.

And this is the crux of the matter. The US bourgeois set up the checks and balances to protect their interests as a class, a sort of way of maintaining some honor among thieves. It is the capitalist system of production and the political superstructure on which it rests that the checks and balances seek to maintain by having these different branches of government, legislative (law making) executive (law enforcing) and judicial (interpreting the laws they make) have a level of independence from each other.  History taught them something. James Madison wrote:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judicia[l] in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self–appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny” (James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788).

There is no difference in the class nature of these branches of course, the ruling class (in our case, capitalists) make the laws, enforce the laws and their judges, the judicial system, interprets them.  The government and the state, “checks and balances” or not, is a capitalist state and the ruling class, capitalists.  We live in what is technically a bourgeois (or capitalist) democracy. Just because a system is called a democracy doesn’t mean it is a democratic system for all its citizens. Athenian democracy is often championed as the bedrock of western civilization but in that democracy slaves could not vote---it was a slave owners’ democracy.

The opposition to Trump is mounting among the US bourgeois and former supporters are beginning to turn on him, not because he’s a misogynist a racist or because he will savage unions and workers in general---that’s not a real problem for them as long as it is well thought out---- but because he is threatening, and did so during his campaign, to undermine the integrity of the system, to undermine the legitimacy of their rule.

Lawrence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard had this to say:  "Were dealing with a president who has no respect for the basic institutions of our society, including an independent judiciary and the Fourth Estate"

Readers will remember the shock after he suggested during the debates with Clinton that he might not accept the result of their “democratic” election process. This is very dangerous as if he can reject the result of their so-called “democratic” elections, so can any other force in society, most notably, the working class. This is why, all the partisan bickering aside, “reaching across the aisle” is so crucial to maintaining power. This is why Gore never challenged Bush and why Hillary Clinton, despite being called nasty names and treated in the most unprofessional way by the predator, accepted the result, undemocratic as it is.

It is why she turned up at the Inauguration as did most of them.  For others, the pressure form their constituents was too great, the hatred of the racist Trump too pronounced, to allow them any room to reach out a hand to Trump or give him any credibility. But even Obama, as he always has, gave the election result credibility. He learned much at Harvard on how to defend the capitalist system.

Trump has brought in to the Executive Branch, a number of characters that threaten the stability of US capitalism, Nazi’s, white nationalists, Klan elements and other out and out racists. It is unquestionable that the big bourgeois, sections of them at least, are meeting and talking privately about what to do about this crisis as Trump is somewhat of a fool.  In response to O’Reilly’s reference to Putin being a killer, Trump blurts out, "There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?"  Trump is absolutely correct on that. I will not give him credit for it however, as a broken clock is right twice a day, but that is dangerous talk from the top representative of US capitalism that presents itself to the world as the champion of democracy and justice, (or more accurately to its own citizenry as the rest of the world doesn’t believe it).

As we point out in our After the Women's March: A Statement From Facts For Working People, we are in an historic turning point in the US. We saw an unprecedented three million or more people demonstrating against Trump on January 21st.  People, especially women, who had never taken any political action in their lives other than at the ballot box, went on marches in hundreds of locations throughout the US.  There were huge protests at numerous airports against Trump’s ban on mostly Muslim people entering the US.

The present gang in Congress will continue their racist agenda and their attacks on women, workers rights, immigrants, LBGQT and all those that oppose their policies. What we witnessed on January 21st will not go away. Trump is the representative of a decaying system and US capitalism is driven by the laws of the system to wage an aggressive war against its own working class.  Sometimes the working class needs the whip of a counter-revolution to force it to its feet and Trump and his gang is that whip.

The resistance will not go away, it will suffer setbacks, steps back but also leaps forward. The trajectory is determined to a great degree by leadership.   But we learn through struggle. As workers move to change our conditions for the better we are met by the force of the state in all its forms, the police, the media, and at times the military, a more dangerous option for them as they are not as reliable when used domestically.  We draw conclusions about the world around us and the system in which we live.

Trump was correct with his statement about US capitalism not being “innocent”, having plenty of killers in its midst. He needs to be careful, US capitalism is a violent machine and will resort to any means to protect the system. The Kennedy brothers and others are proof of this; they will remove recalcitrant members of their class if they have to.

Workers must see these developments in this way. What we are witnessing is a both a political and economic crisis of capitalism---a squabble between our enemies. There is opportunity for us and we can be optimistic. It is inevitable that as a movement develops there will be all sorts of confusion, that there will be opportunism and other elements. In the women’s march we saw the influence of the liberal middle and upper middle classes, film stars, performers, Hollywood lefties and such. We should not be pessimistic simply because they are present, if we have the right approach and help build the movement correctly this will separate the wheat from the chaff and also, allies can come form unexpected places. The absence of the trade unions in any major way allowed the liberal middle class types to play a larger role than they should.  The trade union leaders that met with Trump are a disgrace as is the leadership of the public sector unions.

In the source of this struggle people will become more open to socialist ideas if we explain them in a non-sectarian way as we build a revolutionary current in movement and do not make the mistakes that the left does of placing the building of a small group ahead of building the movement as a whole.

Revolutionary activity is being able to understand the period we find ourselves in and develop perspectives based on this analysis. I do not describe myself as a Leninist but recognize Lenin as one of the great leaders of the working class in history. We have to be on our guard, and Lenin pointed out during the summer of 1917, ‘We must be especially attentive and careful, so as not to be drawn into a provocation...one wrong move on our part can wreck everything...’ Perhaps the Black Bloc can benefit from that advice.

No ruling class commits itself to the garbage can of history and the capitalist class is no exception. But capitalism will destroy life as we know it if it is not overthrown and replaced by a democratic socialist world, a global federation of democratic socialists states.

We appeal to our readers that if you agree with our ideas in general, join Facts For Working People, help build our blog which is very successful so far having over 1 million views, a following on FB and other outlets and weekly phone conferences where we discuss events and perspectives for the movement. We want to contribute, as our statement above says, to the strengthening and building of the Resistance Movement that Trump has unleashed.

We can be contacted at: we_know_whats_up@yahoo.com or on Facebook at:

* US President’s  Aggressive Tone Poses Global Risks: FY 11-2-17
** ibid