Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New CPI TV Facebook Page

Check out the new facebook page for CPI TV!!!/pages/CPI-TV/179778298717210

Joint CPB and CPI Statement on EU


The Communist Party of Ireland and the Communist Party of Britain condemn the decision of the December 17 EU summit to seek to amend the European Union Constitutional Treaty without holding national referendums. This represents a blatant disregard of any form of democracy and confirms what those who opposed to the Lisbon Treaty said would happen. It is a further erosion of democracy.

The amendment, which requires ‘strict conditionality’ for any form of bailout, will still further strengthen the pro-monopoly, anti-democratic character of the EU. It empowers the EU Commission to take direct control of a member state’s economic and social policy and to use that power to drive down wages and pensions, take control of tax policy and to privatise public assets.

In the case of Ireland strict time frames have been imposed, locking the Irish people into a very specific neo-liberal economic model dominated by policies which impose suffering on the less well off in Irish society. The imposed conditions are driven by deficit level targets, as evidenced by the strong emphasis on deadlines for policy and legislative changes. They are coercive, as cash disbursements will depend on the implementation of the agreement, and there is virtually no political flexibility to allow for changes to the content of the agreement imposed upon the Irish people by both the EU and IMF. Vast arbitrary powers have been given to the lenders and savage obligations have been placed upon the people. Capital has rights and labour has obligations.

The proposed amendment will now embed in Treaty law the practice of forcing working people to pay for deficits caused by the very rich and finance capital, worsening the underlying problems of inequality and poverty. Across the EU it will strengthen the position of the giant monopolies, enable them to buy up privatised assets and smaller firms and increase still further the problems of uneven development. It will intensify the EU Treaty’s deflationary character and deepen recession.

We call for the broadest possible campaign to demand that referendums be held and for this Treaty change to be rejected. The action of the December 2010 EU Summit underlines the inherently anti-democratic of the EU and the need for working people to consider alternative forms of international economic cooperation that can protect our democratic rights and open the way to popular sovereignty.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Check out CPI TV

New CP videos of recent public meeting up on CPITV

check them out if you missed out on the meeting

Sunday, December 12, 2010

CPI Public Meeting

Tuesday 14 December, 8 p.m.

Public meeting

After the budget—What to do now?

Speakers: John Douglas (general secretary, Mandate), Éamon Devoy (general secretary, TEEU), Michael Taft (research officer, Unite), Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD (Sinn Féin), Eugene McCarten (general secretary, CPI)

▶Liberty Hall (Beresford Place)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The budget delivered as ordered


James Connolly House, 43 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

7th December 2010

Press release:

The budget delivered as ordered

The much-hyped budget has finally been delivered, much of it leaked over the last number of weeks in a sordid orgy by “informed sources” and the serried ranks of commentators and tame academics, vying with each other to present their interpretation of what each and every leak meant—all contributing to the general strategy of manufacturing the people’s passive consent to the draconian measures finally presented to them.

This budget was designed and manufactured in Brussels, gift-wrapped for the Irish people by this discredited Government, and quietly consented to by Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

The savage cuts in public spending, the cuts in social welfare, childrens allowance, and public sector workers pensions and all the other measures are designed to make working people and the poor pay. The increases in indirect taxes will take more money out of the pockets of working people, small businesses, and the self-employed.

The imposition of new service charges, in the form of water charges, is nothing but a further additional tax on working people. While the the politicians have thrown a bone in the form of cuts in the salaries and pensions of TDs and ministers to placate the growing anger of the people, the homeless and the hungry will remain homeless and hungry. The massed ranks of the unemployed will grow, diminishing only by mass emigration, not by job creation at home.

The central thrust of this budget will not be reversed by whatever combination of parties makes up any future government. The case for a prolonged campaign of civil disobedience and opposition to the new charges has to be the central focus for the trade union movement and all those committed to a socially just Ireland.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

People's Movement Protest

Dear Colleagues,

We are about to suffer the most draconian budget in the history of the Irish state; a budget largely dictated from Brussels, the objective of which is supported by the three main political parties in the state, the only difference being the possible nature of the cuts.

The People’s Movement pre - budget protest will be on December 6th – the day before the budget. Opposition to the current developments is growing by the day and now influential commentators are beginning to write about the responsibility of the EU/Euro for the Irish crisis. Our demonstration – which will be proceeded by a press conference, will seek to highlight this role and the fact that we have completely lost our independence to a troika of EU/ECB/IMF accountants.

The punitive interest rate of 5.8 per cent will inflict enormous hardship on the Irish people but particularly on the old, the sick and the vulnerable. There is only one solution and that is to default on this enormous debt which is not of our making. The outcome is a clear indication that the Irish political elite put up little if any resistance to the demands imposed by our so called “partners” in the European Union.

Our protest will commence at the EU Commission Offices in Molesworth St at 1:00 on Monday December 6th and proceed to the Dail. It is hoped that those participating will wear black for the occasion. The plan is for Merkel and Sarkozy accompanied by their minions to carry the ‘Irish Budget’ from the EU Commission Offices to the Dail.

We are now asking you to make every effort to be there at lunchtime on the 6th. Drop a line to if you are sure that you can make it. If you have any ideas that might add more interest to the protest, please include them – nothing incendiary!!!!

The demonstration will last around 40 minutes. Please alert anybody you think might be interested in joining us.

Cartoon on Irish Economic Crisis

cartoon robots explain the irish economic crisis.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Demonstration in Dublin, Ireland

Huge demonstration against the new regime

Over 50,000 demonstrate!!

In Dublin on Saturday 27 November more than fifty thousand workers and their families took part in a massive show of opposition to the takeover of the Government by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Trade unionists, pensioners’ organisations and community organisations took part in the demonstration, which was organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Monday, November 29, 2010

CPI Statement - 29th November 2010

IMF, ECB and EU sacrificing Irish people to save the euro

The imposed “solution” to the Irish state’s growing and deepening crisis is to make every person an indentured servant to the needs and interests of EU finance houses, in particular to German banks. The National Pension Fund is now to be squandered to bail out banks that should have been allowed to go to the wall from the beginning.

The punitive interest rate of 5.8 per cent is unpayable without enormous hardship being inflicted on the people. There is no other solution than to repudiate this unpayable debt.

It is clear that the Irish establishment put up little if any resistance to the demands being imposed by our so-called “partners” in the European Union. These are the same people who negotiated the Lisbon Treaty while admitting that they had not even read it.

The dependent relationship with the EU that all three main parties have pushed our country into over the last four decades is now being laid bare. They have now put the interests of saving the euro and German bond-holders before those of the Irish people.

Working people will pay a very heavy price over the coming decades for the deal being imposed by the EU and ECB and the IMF. Thousands of jobs will be lost, hospitals will close, class sizes will grow even worse. Those who still harbour the illusion that the European Union is somehow good for working people, either here in Ireland or in the members-states in general, need to think again.

It is the first duty of the state to protect all its citizens. We need to break whatever EU rules and treaties are necessary in order to protect the interests of the Irish people, and to set about a fundamental change in economic policy and direction. Statement ends

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CPI Makes Demands!


Chickens coming home to roost

The Communist Party of Ireland calls upon working people, and in the first place the organisation that claims to represent them, the trade union movement, to resist the policies that both the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are imposing and will impose in the coming period.

It would be laughable if it was not so serious for working people of this country to hear the three main establishment parties outdoing each other in their pretence of defending our national sovereignty. All of them, together with the mass media, railed against those who raised the question of the loss of sovereignty that would result if we passed the Lisbon Treaty, as well as previous EU Treaties. Did we not constantly hear the common refrain, that sovereignty was an “outmoded concept”?

The Irish people will have to shoulder a further burden of corporate debt piled upon corporate debt. The sovereign debt now being placed on the backs of the people is unsustainable and unpayable. This is a massive transfer of wealth from working people to global finance corporations through a revolving door whereby money is borrowed from institutions and is then being given back to them.

The IMF “medicine,” like that now being imposed by the European Union, will only lead to the devastation of public services. Older people will die on trolleys waiting for a bed, more children will have to forgo operations and other treatment, and many more will go to bed hungry. Schools and hospitals will close; thousands of pensioners will be driven deeper into poverty.

Their “medicine” is for making the poor, the sick, our children, working people, small businesses, the self-employed, family farmers and those receiving social welfare benefits pay for the crisis of the system itself.

This debt belongs to the speculators, the finance houses, the German and French banks. It is not the people’s debt; it is not the people’s responsibility.

The deep structural weakness, north and south, can be overcome only by taking a strategic all-Ireland approach to economic and social development, a strategy that is politically, economically and socially transformative. Only the development of a socially planned use of capital and resources can overcome the anarchy and chaos of capitalism.

Central to any such alternative must be:

• repudiating the debt; it is their debt, not ours;

• the return of fiscal powers from Brussels to the Irish people;

• the establishment of a state investment bank;

• the establishment of an all-Ireland economic development agency under democratic control;

• the social control of all natural and marine resources, to be developed in a sustainable manner by the people.

Taking advantage of the crisis

Political Statement of the CPI

The deepening crisis of the monopoly capitalist system—imperialism—has exposed the deep structural crisis lying at its very heart. The crisis has also shown that the system is incapable of resolving its deep contradictions without resorting to a massive assault on the working conditions and living standards of working people and on the gains made by working people over decades of mass class struggle.

The system itself is incapable of resolving and finding solutions to the many and growing problems facing humanity, including mass poverty, starvation, and food shortages, and the urgent need to counter global warming.

The policy being pursued is to inflict mass unemployment, greater inequality, greater concentration of wealth, more monopolisation, greater exploitation of workers and the poor, the destruction of communities, increased militarisation, and wars.

The Irish people, both north and south, are now being forced to pay a heavy price for the failed policies of both the Irish and the British government. These attacks are on a qualitatively new level, building in to budget policies a deliberate reduction in public spending, structured attacks on public services, attacks on social welfare, increases in both direct and indirect taxes on working people and the poor, and the socialisation of corporate debt while leaving wealth untouched.

The imposition by international finance capital and the European Union of a four-year budgetary strategy is designed to circumvent and undermine the democratic will of the people. Their approach is to build structural readjustment programmes in to all economic and social policies that any possible future Irish Government may wish to implement.

The crisis has also exposed the damage done, both north and south, to economic and social development by over-reliance on finance, insurance, real estate, and transnational capitalism.

The European Union is taking full advantage of the crisis to push its strategic approach of establishing greater control over the national budgetary strategies and the social and economic priorities of member-states. Throughout Europe, workers, small businesses, the self-employed, family farmers and those dependent on social welfare are being forced to pay a heavy price for this crisis. In the peripheral countries within the European Union these social strata are being asked to carry an even greater burden to save German, French and British finance capital—in fact to save the euro itself.

Resistance to these policies is growing throughout Europe. In Ireland, as elsewhere, the labour movement is central to this opposition. The promotion of a clear alternative within and by the trade union movement, based on the interests of the mass of the people, not the employers and the banks, is essential. This means the rejection at every level of the labour movement of the flawed and now clearly failed strategy of “social partnership.” The employers are already making it clear that they have no intention of protecting jobs or restraining wage cuts. It is also clear that the trade union movement and public-sector workers were sold a pup in the Croke Park agreement.

The Government and employers no longer require “social partnership” to secure their strategic interests. The trade union leadership must make it equally clear that they too have no lingering illusions about it.

What is required now is a vigorous, sustained campaign to oppose not just the forthcoming budget but the whole Government economic strategy, which is broadly supported by the main opposition parties, and total opposition to the further privatisation of public services and the selling off of public companies.

The trade union movement in Northern Ireland showed in the recent mobilisation of thousands of working people that people will resist when clear leadership and demands are presented. This is the lesson that the labour movement throughout Ireland has to build upon. The Communist Party of Ireland calls upon workers, small businesses, the self-employed and the unemployed to support the mobilisation on 27 November being organised by the ICTU.

It is not too late to assert the absolute necessity for the independent mobilisation of workers. Workers need to present their own view of the economic and social development needed. A necessary first step is to reject the manufacturing of ideological consent, that we must all “share the pain.” As the crisis has presented state monopoly capitalism with the opportunity to launch deeper and more sustained attacks on workers, the labour movement must respond with its own demands and alternative economic strategy.

The deep structural weakness, north and south, can be overcome only by taking a strategic all-Ireland approach to economic and social development, a strategy that is politically, economically and socially transformative. Only the development of a socially planned use of capital and resources can overcome the anarchy and chaos of capitalism.

Central to any such alternative must be:

• repudiating the debt; it is their debt, not ours;
• the return of fiscal powers from Brussels to the Irish people;
• the devolution of full economic and fiscal powers to the Northern Ireland Executive;
• the establishment of a state investment bank;
• the establishment of an all-Ireland economic development agency under democratic control;
• the social control of all natural and marine resources, to be developed in a sustainable manner by the people.

Irish Bailout Is a Backdoor Bailout of European Banking System

This is an article that was blogged by Larry Doyle a Wall Street veteran.

What is going on in Ireland? Those forty shades of green look so inviting. How could it be that the Emerald Isle is the center of the current financial turmoil? Well it is…and it isn’t.

How is it that a variety of Irish officials can claim that they neither need nor want a bailout from the EU but a bailout is assuredly on the way? Are we witnessing a sovereign nation losing the ability to control its own affairs? There is no doubt the Irish are a proud people but are they also being overly stubborn at this juncture (believe me, I know proud and stubborn…!!)? Are the Irish failing to accept the inevitable? Hadn’t the Irish attempted a Swedish style approach in terms of aggressively recognizing losses within their financial sector?

While the answer to all of these questions is a varying degree of the affirmative (especially the proud and stubborn..!!), to truly understand what is happening in Ireland, we actually need to shift our focus to the European mainland. Really? Why’s that? Let’s navigate the tangled web and interconnectedness of the global banking system circa 2010.

The ‘bailout’ structured as a loan that the European Union is close to forcing the Irish government to swallow has as much to do with banking on the continent as it does with the banks in Ireland. While I have yet to see any major media outlets fully explore and expose this reality, on October 19th The Economist Intelligence Unit did just that in writing, France/Europe Economy: Feeling Exposed?:

Two recent reports have highlighted the extent of French banks’ exposure to the sovereign debt of risky peripheral euro area countries, which is far larger than implied by the European stress tests conducted earlier this year. French banks are the most heavily invested in Greek sovereign debt, and also have considerable holdings of Irish, Portuguese and Spanish public- and private-sector debt. Regional bailout facilities in place to support struggling euro area countries have reduced the risk of another near-term financial shock, but the interconnectedness of the larger European banks and their exposure to the weaker member states suggest that liquidity, and possibly solvency, concerns could emerge should the sovereign debt crisis take a sudden turn for the worse.

Lot of good those European bank stress tests did us, heh? Yes, those were a joke. In regard to a sovereign debt crisis, well it took not even a month from the time of The Economist’s report for that ‘turn for the worse’ to be upon us. Let’s navigate further into this web.

Market participants will be aware, however, that the unfolding sovereign debt crisis across the euro area still has a long way to run.
You think? Understatement of the year!!

Despite substantial official bailouts (and the prospect of additional support in the future), sovereign borrowing in peripheral euro area countries remains under enormous strain, as international investors balk at a combination of unsustainably large fiscal deficits, highly indebted private sectors, significant crossborder banking exposures, and structural competitiveness issues that will weigh on economic activity for years to come.

This statement is also known as ‘the new normal.’ If the author inserted California for ‘peripheral euro area countries,’ the author may have just defined the economic reality here in the United States as well.

This, in turn, explains investors’ continued focus on the perceived health of the euro area banking sector, which remains under close scrutiny despite most of the region’s financial institutions receiving an apparent clean bill of health in Europe-wide bank stress tests conducted by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) in July. Since then, the rigour of the stress tests has been called into question on a number of occasions, most recently by an Irish MEP (member of the Europe Parliament), Alan Kelly, who has requested an explanation from officials as to how Allied Irish Bank was deemed to be sufficiently robust to pass the tests only a few months before Irish taxpayers were forced to step in with a €3bn capital injection.

My, oh my! Once again, investors get fed a healthy dose of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ in terms of the rigor of bank stress tests. (I highlighted as much in a Bloomberg Businessweek debate this past June 17th, Sense on Cents Enters The Debate Room).
A closer examination of institutions’ balance sheets would suggest that the underlying fragility of the European banking sector continues to harbour a number of risks to the cohesion of the euro area. One such risk reflects the significant share of sovereign debt of peripheral “deficit” countries that is held by banks in the “core” countries, primarily France and Germany. Indeed, the need to limit damage to the France-German banking sectors was one of the driving factors in establishing the EFSF (European Financial Stability Fund).

BINGO!!! There is your answer as to why the French and Germans are force feeding this loan down the Irish throat.

Given the regional rescue facilities now in place, another major financial shock appears unlikely in the near term.

The Economist Intelligence Unit report is fabulous, but they missed this call.
….given the substantial exposure of core EU countries’ banks to the struggling euro area periphery, the complex web of crossborder linkages, and the uncertain outlook for many developed economies as fiscal austerity starts to bite, policymakers would be wise not to downplay the risks to the region’s banking sector should the sovereign debt crisis take a sudden turn for the worse.

Like now. But what happens when the dominoes wobbling in the other PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) start to topple even further?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

McWilliams on economic sovereignty

It is very rare that I would take something from the Irish Indepdent (a right-wing rag of a newspaper) however the below article by critical economist (but pro-capitalist) David Mc Williams does well in highlighting our contiuing loss of any semblance of economic sovereignty as rhis crisis deepens.

David McWilliams: Elite is preparing to sell country down the river
By David McWilliams
Wednesday October 06 2010

The last time I checked there was a harp on the front of my passport, not a picture of Michael Fingleton

The other day I met a German radio presenter from ARD, the German public radio station. I've known her for quite a while -- since a brief spell
working on the German economy in the 1990s for an investment bank. She, like many other foreign correspondents, has been sent to Ireland to see
what is going on here.

After a while, I wondered why she hadn't asked me anything about the Government, or the prospect of an election or what new political
constellation might emerge here. She joked and in an exaggerated German accent laughed: "David, it doesn't matter who your next prime minister is,
he will have no power -- we own you now, and he will do what we tell him."

The problem is that the joke is on us. She touched on the nub of the issue: the Irish elite is prepared to sell the sovereignty of this country to
protect the likes of Roman Abramovich and other vulture investors who bought up third-rate Irish banking debt at a discount and are hoping to get
paid in full.

In the world of debt, these people are referred to as 'rogue creditors'. Typically, they are treated as rogues. They are nothing to us and should be
treated as nothing. As the clever economist Karl Whelan observed, if we are happy that our tax is used to pay Frank Lampard's wages, then that's more
of a reflection on us.

People such as Abramovich, like the other creditors, can be told to line up in an orderly queue and wait for the liquidator to give them the morsels
that might remain from the broken Irish banking system. The crud Abramovich owns -- an IOU from Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) -- is not the
same thing as Irish government debt.

The last time I checked there was a harp on the front of my passport, not a picture of Michael Fingleton.

Any political party that fights the election on that premise of protecting the Irish taxpayer from vulture investors will get my vote. Not only will
that party be doing the right thing, but it will begin the process of giving back to the people the country that we built. This country and our
future income needs to be ripped from the grip of the 'political elite' (a group the governor of the Central Bank identified the other day) who are
selling us to the lowest, not highest, bidder.

My German friend was amazed when she saw Abramovich's caper and she observed that the Irish parliament kept genuflecting to some crowd called
bondholders. She asked me one of the most insightful questions I have heard throughout this long saga: "Do you Irish need to be loved so much that you
will stand up for nothing?"

With Germanic precision and with the benefit of distance, she touched a nerve. The Irish weakness for not causing any trouble (bar a few
theatrically drunken songs for the audience late at night) has led us to a situation where we are embarrassed to admit that we messed up. We don't
want to stand out. We don't want to draw attention to ourselves for serious reasons. Is it because we want to impress the foreigner and above all make
life easy for him?

Is it fair to say that over the years the language of resistance has been replaced by the language of compliance?

What is clear is that some countries fight, some make nuisances of themselves, but the default position of Ireland, or at least the Irish
elite, is to comply -- no matter what the cost.

So take the example of euro membership. Denmark and Sweden -- two great European countries whose bona fides as EU members was never in doubt --
decided to keep their own currencies because they were perfectly happy with them and the euro's case wasn't compelling enough.

Meanwhile, what did our elite do? They went along for the ride -- one which the evidence would suggest was an extremely ill-advised ride. Ireland had
much greater cause for concern about joining the euro, but we hardly made a noise. Why?

Could it be -- to follow my German friend's line of enquiry -- that we didn't have the self-confidence to stand on our own two feet and do some
hard analysis about the consequences of this currency or any other decision?

Did we just want to be a mute member of the club -- unlike the pesky Danes, Swedes or, God forbid, Brits?

It is difficult to answer these questions. They are fraught and can lead to lots of heat and sometimes not too much light, but you don't have to be a
conspiracy theorist to see a pattern.

Take, for example, Abramovich owning a huge amount of INBS debt. How did he get his hands on it? Who sold it to him? Would it be too much to conclude
that whoever -- whichever broker -- sold the debt to him, also sold it to some other mega-rich clients elsewhere?

That would stand to reason. If so, could it be that the mega-rich who are closer to home find themselves in the same position as Abramovich?

Could it be that the only people benefiting from the Government's blind rush to impale the small guy with the debts of Fingleton et al are our own
"high net worth" individuals? Could they be pulling the strings?

In all this haze, allegation and counter-allegation, can the "cui bono" question help us at all?

A clear domestic banking resolution law would clear all this up. But we have no such law. So the people are left in the lurch wondering who to

We do know that, for example, the EU Commission gave its opinion on Friday at the wind-up of a Danish bank where it enthusiastically supported the
principle of burden sharing.

Here's the quotation from the EU Commission regarding bust Danish banks: "Moreover, burden sharing is ensured by excluding shareholders and
subordinated debt holders of the failed bank from any benefit from the aid."

There you have it in black and white. This is what the EU has advised Denmark to do. It clearly states that they won't give any state money to
the troubled bank until the subordinated debt holders are burnt.

So let's get back to my German friend's observation: is it because we need to be loved or are we protecting someone big?

The EU says burn them and move on. Logic says don't sacrifice your sovereignty to bail out the hyper-rich, democracy says it is unfair to
penalise the poor for the mistakes of the rich. What do you think?

David McWilliams will teach an economics diploma called 'Economics without boundaries', enrolling now; see

- David McWilliams

Does Social Democracy have a future?

"Does Social-Democracy Have a Future?"

This past month, two important events marked the world of Social-Democratic parties. In Sweden, on September 19, the party lost the election badly. It received 30.9% of the vote, its worst showing since 1914. Since 1932, it has governed the country 80% of the time, and this is the first time since then that a center-right party won re-election. And to compound the bad showing, a far right, anti-immigrant party entered the Swedish parliament for the first time.

Why is this so dramatic? In 1936, Marquis Childs wrote a famous book, entitled Sweden: The Middle Way. Childs presented Sweden under its Social-Democratic regime as the virtuous middle way between the two extremes represented by the United States and the Soviet Union. Sweden was a country that effectively combined egalitarian redistribution with internal democratic politics. Sweden has been, at least since the 1930s, the world poster child of Social-Democracy, its true success story. And so it seemed to remain until rather recently. It is a poster child no more.

Meanwhile, in Great Britain on Sept. 25, Ed Miliband came from far behind to win the leadership of the Labour Party.

The Labour Party under Tony Blair had engaged in a radical remaking of the party under the label "the new Labour." Blair had argued that the party should also be a middle way - one not between capitalism and communism but between what used to be the social-democratic program of nationalization of the key sectors of the economy and the unbridled dominance of the market. This was quite a different middle way than that of Sweden in the 1930s and afterwards.

The choice by the Labour Party of Ed Miliband over his older brother David Miliband, a key associate of Tony Blair, was interpreted in Great Britain and elsewhere as a repudiation of Blair and a return to a somewhat more "social-democratic" (more Swedish?) Labour Party. Still, in his first speech to the Labour conference a few days later, Ed Miliband went out of his way to reassert a "centrist" position. He did however lace his statements with allusions to the importance of "fairness" and "solidarity." And he said: "We must shed old thinking and stand up for those who believe there is more to life than the bottom line."

What do these two elections tell us about the future of social-democracy? Social-democracy - as a movement and an ideology - is conventionally (and probably correctly) traced to the "revisionism" of Eduard Bernstein in late nineteenth-century Germany. Bernstein argued essentially that, once they obtained universal suffrage (by which he meant male suffrage), the "workers" could use elections to win office for their party, the Social-Democratic Party (SPD), and take over the government. Once they won parliamentary power, the SPD could then "enact" socialism. And therefore, he concluded, talk of insurrection as the road to power was unnecessary and indeed foolish.

What Bernstein was defining as socialism was in many ways unclear but still seemed at the time to include the nationalization of the key sectors of the economy. The history of Social-Democracy as a movement since then has been that of a slow but continuous shift away from a radical politics to a very centrist orientation.

The parties repudiated their theoretical internationalism in 1914 by lining up to support their governments during the First World War. After the Second World War, the parties algined themselves with the United States in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. And in 1959, at its Bad Godesburg conference, the German SPD officially repudiated Marxism entirely. It stated that "from a party of the working class, the Social-Democratic Party has become a party of the people."

What the German SPD and other social-democratic parties came to stand for at that time was the social compromise called the "welfare state." In this objective, in the period of the great expansion of the world-economy during the 1950s and 1960s, it was quite successful. And at that time, it remained a "movement" in the sense that these parties commanded the active support and allegiance of very large numbers of persons in their country.

When, however, the world-economy entered into its long stagnation beginning in the 1970s, and the world entered the period dominated by neo-liberal "globalization," the social-democratic parties began to go further. They dropped the emphasis on the welfare state to become the advocates merely of a softer version of the primacy of the market. This was what Blair's "new Labour" was all about. The Swedish party resisted this shift longer than others, but it too finally succumbed.

The consequence of this, however, was that Social-Democracy ceased to be a "movement" that could rally the strong allegiance and support of large numbers of persons. It became an electoral machine that lacked the passion of yesteryear.

If however social-democracy is no longer a movement, it is still a cultural preference. Voters still want the fading benefits of a welfare state. They regularly protest when they lose still another of these benefits, which is happening with some regularity today.

Finally a word about the entry of the far right, anti-immigrant party into the Swedish parliament. Social-democrats have never been very strong on the rights of ethnic or other "minorities" - still less on the rights of immigrants.

Social-democratic parties have tended to be parties of the ethnic majority in each country, defending their turf against other workers whom they saw as undercutting their wages and employment. Solidarity and internationalism were slogans that were useful when there was no competition in sight. Sweden didn't have to face this issue seriously until recently. And when it did,a segment of social-democratic voters simply moved to the far right.

Does social-democracy have a future? As cultural preference, yes; as movement, no.

by Immanuel Wallerstein

[Copyright by Immanuel Wallerstein, distributed by Agence Global. For rights and permissions, including translations and posting to non-commercial sites, and contact:, 1.336.686.9002 or 1.336.286.6606. Permission is granted to download, forward electronically, or e-mail to others, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To contact author, write:

Protests in Greece - More News

24 hour strike of PAME in the public sector

“No more games, capitalism cannot become humane” and “Education, Health, Work for everyone, the plutocracy must pay for the crisis.”!

These were the slogans that striking workers in the public sector shouted at the massive demonstrations which the class-oriented forces organized in dozens of cities allover Greece. The workers demonstrated that in order to repel the anti-worker assault they need to rally militantly and organize with PAME. They came together with the generation of their children, students and school students who were demonstrating under the banners of the students´ militant front and the students’ coordination board of Athens. Their aim was to show altogether that joint struggles against the policies which attack workers and the popular strata on the one hand and on the other utilize the schools to educate the workers of tomorrow to be submissive, are absolutely necessary.

It should be noted that the strike took place at a time when the government is preparing a new budget, new cuts and new taxes for the people, as well as tax-exemptions for capital (while hypocritically claiming that there will be no new measures). A characteristic example of this is that the taxation of business consortia will be reduced from 24% to 20%, with even greater privileges for direct foreign investors (e.g. for Chinese and Arab capital, recently) to ensure their profitability. And of course the social democrat D Strauss Kahn , head of the IMF, has stated that new measures might have to be taken.

Lamprini Christogianni, a public sector worker and PAME cadre in her speech at the rally stressed that it is not enough “ to talk about the effects of these policies and not go beyond a description of the situation … What is most important is for us to understand that we can find a way out of this anti-worker nightmare… In order to confront this generalized and wholesale assault on the part of capital we must reject not only the memorandum but capitalist production itself, which gives birth to these crises.” In this direction,it is necessary “that the government of PASOK, as well as ND and LAOS who consent to and support these policies be politically condemned, as well as all the parties of the “EU one-way road” who sow illusions.” This condemnation must be expressed in the upcoming local elections. In addition she noted that it is also necessary that the compromised trade union leaderships in GSEE and ADEDY be condemned (who at an international level take their lead from the equally compromised ITUC) who support these policies, but were compelled by the pressure of the class-oriented forces to call this strike.

There followed speeches on behalf of the students´ militant front, the General Federation of the Parents of Schools Students of Greece, the students’ coordination board of Athens.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Raymond Crotty Lecture

People's Movement

Public Lecture

Ireland in Crisis: Radical Alternatives

Professor Lars Mjoset, University of Oslo

Saturday, 16 October 2010, 3.00pm

The Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Professor Lars Mjøset of the University of Oslo will deliver the Inaugural Raymond Crotty Lecture, 'Ireland in crisis, radical alternatives' in Butler House, 16 Patrick Street, Kilkenny on Friday 15th October at 7.30 p.m.
He will also speak the next day 16th October in the Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin at 3.00 p.m..
Both events are organised by the National Committee of the People's Movement.
For further information contact Kevin McCorry - 086 3150301

Notes for Editors on Raymond Crotty and Lars Mjøset

Raymond Crotty. Farmer, economist, development theorist, historian, and political activist, Raymond Crotty (1925-94) was one of the most original thinkers to come out of modern Ireland.

He made history with his successful constitutional action in 1987 against the Government's attempt to ratify the EU's Single European Act Treaty by simple Dail majority vote instead of by popular referendum.

Holding strong radical views, his advocacy of a land tax as a means of putting pressure on Irish landowners to use their land more productively pitted him against powerful vested interests.

In 1974 he wrote, “Recent developments highlight the remarkable contrast which has existed for almost a century-and-a-half between the fortunes of the Irish banking system and of Irish society. Few banking systems in the world have enjoyed such protracted, unbroken prosperity as the Irish banking system. By contrast no country in the world can match Ireland’s record of political and social decay-with its population less than half what it was 130 years ago, and its workforce 30% less than it was when the State was founded fifty years ago. The Irish banking system has grown rich and powerful as Irish society has shrunk and decayed” (Crotty, The cattle crisis and the small farmer 1974)

Irish Agricultural Production (1962), his first book, was described by Professor Joe Lee as 'a monument of the Irish intellect.'.

His posthumously published book, When Histories Collide: the Development and Impact of Individualistic Capitalism explored the role of Indo-European pastoralist peoples in the creation of the modern world.

All through his active life, he highlighted the fact that his study of the Third World had brought home to him that Ireland's traditional economic problem of high unemployment and emigration had analogies in most former colonies of the European powers.

Professor Lars Mjøset, who will deliver the Inaugural Raymond Crotty Lecture is Professor of Sociology at The Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway.

He is no stranger to Ireland and both knew and respected Raymond Crotty and his work.

His 1992 Report for the National Economic and Social Council, The Irish Economy in a Comparative Institutional Perspective, compared Ireland’s socio-economic development with that of five European similar sized contrast countries.

The Report showed that Ireland’s model of development was not only different from that of five contrast countries but the country had the dubious distinction of being one of the few countries in the world whose population was in decline.

Population decline through emigration, together with a weak national system of innovation form what the Report calls the “vicious circle” of Irish development.

Emigration is on the rise again.

Ignored during the so-called Celtic Tiger, the lack of an Irish culture of entrepreneurship continues to be very evident and the historic failure to develop indigenous industry capable of providing work for most of the labour force, is central to the obvious shortcomings of the Irish model of socio-economic development.

Professor Mjøset was born in 1954. He works mainly on comparisons of economic development and economic policies in small and large Western European countries.

Banks will be paud no matter what!

The Irish Government has and continues to recapitalise a number of Banks in the process creating billions of Irish Government Debt.

This debt is sold in the form of Government Bonds thatr mature at a particular date and with a particular interest rate attached to them. Investors by the debt and upon maturity receive payment for it.

In the case of two of Ireland's biggest banks, AIB and BOI, who have received millions in state aid they have gone off and purchased the debt they have created so that when it matures they will receive even more money from the State!

At best Lenihan believes of the 50 billion we spend bailing out the banks we will get back 16 billion. But how much will we have to pay out to the Bank

Below are the biggest Bank holder of Irish Government Debt.

Royal bank of Scotland £4.3 billion
Allied Irish banks €4.1 billion
Bank of Ireland €1.2 billion
Credit Agricole €929 million
HSBC €816 million
Danske Bank €655 million
BNP Paribas €571 million
Groupe BPCE €491 million
Societe Generale €453 million
Banco BP1 €408 million

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Interesting article on changes in Cuba

Cuba is to lay off huge numbers of state employees, in the biggest shift to the private sector since the revolution in 1959. But this is not the end of communism in the country, writes Stephen Wilkinson of the Centre for Caribbean and Latin American Research and Consultancy.

The media frenzy that has followed the announcement that Cuba is to reduce its state workforce by 500,000 by the middle of 2011, is similar to that which followed Fidel Castro's throwaway remark last week that the Cuban model isn't working - it has largely missed the point.

This is not the end of communism or socialism in Cuba.

Workers at the ministries of sugar, public health, tourism and agriculture will go first
Many workers will be urged to form private cooperatives
Ideas for cooperatives include raising animals and growing vegetables, construction jobs, driving a taxi and repairing automobiles
Source: Associated Press

The announcement yesterday by the Cuban Workers Confederation is highly significant and it does spell the final death knell of the old Soviet model of centrally planned socialism in Cuba, but it would be very wrong to interpret it, as some have, as the harbinger of free market capitalism and liberal democracy.

Far from it. The changes are couched in the rhetoric of revolution and the discourse is very much one of deepening the socialist character of the system rather than one of shifting towards capitalism.

Unlike the prospect of suddenly being left without work that faces many in the UK, as the present government's budget cuts loom, these cuts in Cuba are being undertaken after a long period of consultation with the trade unions and other organisations.

Workers know what is going to happen to them. The programme is to be undertaken in stages, the effect on people's livelihoods is to be mitigated and it is important to understand that the announcement does not mean that all the 500,000 workers mentioned are to become unemployed.

A large number of them will be offered alternative employment opportunities and a good many will continue in their jobs but will cease to be employed by the state anymore.

"This is a far cry from the egalitarian days when workers were expected to labour for no recompense other than their own moral good and of the country and fellow Cubans”

In many cases it means that they will become self-employed or become part of a workers' cooperative.

Taxi drivers for example, or shop workers and workers in small manufacturing enterprises, all of whom are currently state employees, will essentially take over the administration of their own workplaces and earn their salaries directly from their takings or revenues rather than being a salaried state employee.

They will essentially be doing what they have always done - but they will no longer be on the state's payroll.

In cases where workers are made redundant they will be encouraged to set up new business or transfer to other sectors.

This does of course imply a huge change towards a system in which the market dictates the distribution of goods and services and this in turn also implies other significant changes.

As one Cuban economist put it to me recently, the role of the state is to be transformed from being the administrator of economic activity to the regulator.

The state is therefore withdrawing a good deal of its paternalistic character. Workers will not be guaranteed employment or the indefinite payment of their salary while out of work any more - they will be expected to look for and find work for themselves.

Workers will have to provide their own lunches instead of having a subsidised canteen and they will have to find their own way to work instead of being picked up by the company bus.

However, at the same time, the incentive to work will be enlarged through bonuses and pay based upon productivity. There is no longer an upper limit on what one may earn.

Workers will be encouraged therefore to move into unpopular jobs such as construction and agriculture by the possibility of earning more in those sectors.

Other sectors that the government says it is going to expand in the coming months are in oil, tourism, biotech and pharmaceuticals where it says there will be new job opportunities.

All of this is a far cry from the egalitarian days when workers were expected to labour for no recompense other than their own moral good and that of the country and fellow Cubans.

The statement on Monday therefore also implies a significant shift in the ideological underpinning of the system.

There is by implication a shift towards greater individualism and self reliance and the acceptance that there will be differential incomes and therefore different living standards among the population.

Welfare is to be directed by means testing to where it is needed rather being applied universally regardless of individual income.

All this sounds very familiar to people in Britain, who have witnessed debates on these matters recently, but how this will play out in the longer term in Cuba will be interesting to see.

Another interesting area to watch will be how the changes may increase the pressure in the US for the administration there to change its policy towards the island.

As the market increases in Cuba and more people become self-employed and low level enterprises are freed to run themselves, those who are arguing for the US to engage with island in order leverage this process and move it further down the free market route will have a stronger basis for their case.

This news, following the recent release of political prisoners, makes change on the other side of the Florida Straits more likely than ever.

Economic reform
April 2010: Cuba begins turning over hundreds of state-run barber shops and beauty salons to employees
August 2010: President Raul Castro says the role of the state is to be reduced in some areas, with more workers allowed to be self-employed or to set up small businesses
September 2010: Cuba announces radical plans to lay off huge numbers of state employees to help revive the economy
However, it would be wrong in the short term to see the reforms as leading inevitably to a change in the political organisation inside Cuba.

Cuba is to remain a one-party communist state for the foreseeable future.

This leads some to suggest that the Cubans are following a Chinese or Vietnamese model. True, there are similarities between the two Asian tigers and what was announced yesterday.

The Cubans have certainly studied both models closely. But my sources tell me that at a very high level, while the economic progress of the pair impressed, neither met with approval in their entirety.

Cuba, they say, wishes to avoid the negative social consequences of the Chinese experience.

A more laudable direction of travel is towards Latin America where Cuba recently announced that it was seeking to eventually form an economic union with Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez is leading Venezuela away from the free-market capitalist model towards what he calls "21st Century Socialism". Interestingly this includes encouraging workers' co-operative enterprises. Might this be Cuba's first step towards meeting Chavez half way?

As with all things Cuban, we can only wait and see, but this is certainly a carefully planned change that has been four years in the making - since Raul Castro took over in 2006 - and will certainly not be as traumatic as commentators in the media have suggested.

Stephen Wilkinson is at the Centre for Caribbean and Latin American Research and Consultancy, London Metropolitan University

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Free the 5!

Free the Miami Five Campaign Calls for Your Support

Free the Miami Five Campaign Ireland is holding a vigil outside the American Embassy from 6.00 - 7.00pm on Wednesday 15th September 2010 to mark the start of the Miami Five's thirteenth year as political prisoners of the USA.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Lisbon Strikes Again!

New EU directive would allow Irish people to be prosecuted for acts that are legal in
Ireland: Lisbon strikes again!

Check out August Edition of People's News, newsletter of the People's Movement.

Czech Republic a US satelite state

The Communist Youth Union (KSM) sharply rejects the intention of the Czech Republic’s government to place on our territory a US early-warning system component – a centre collecting and processing information data of the system.

After approximately 70% of the citizens rejected the governmental intention to place another component of the mentioned system – a US military radar - in the Czech Republic and after 200 000 of them expressed their resistance with their signatures under the petition of the KSM and with dozens of thousands of signatures under the petitions of other initiatives, it comes up to day that the governments of the Czech Republic behind the public’s back continued the secret negotiations on the placement of the US military facility on our territory. The ruling forces have an intention to carry out this important act without any expression of the will by the people and without discussion in the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Any cover-up considerations on the eventually possible interconnection with NATO are completely without merits and misleading. It should be based on a bilateral agreement between the US and Czech governments. Arguing with possible formal interconnection of the facility with the NATO that acts as an instrument of the US aggressive policies changes absolutely nothing in the whole affair and is designed to cover its essence.

The right-wing parties as well as the Czech social democratic party demonstrate with their pro-US servile and yea-saying attitudes whom they serve. They perform as a gearing-lever implementing the interests of the imperialist structures – of the government of the USA, of its criminal instrument NATO as well as of the EU. It is the domestic and foreign capital and not the working people who posses a real power in our country and who during the capitalist economic crisis on one hand further sharpens the class struggle against the working and unemployed people through the painful cutting of their social and legal position and who simultaneously bears its deal of responsibility for the policy of aggressions and occupations with deployment of the Czech army mercenaries and military equipment especially in the occupied Kosovo and Afghanistan on the other hand.

The Communist Youth Union (KSM) carries on its struggle against the placement of the US military facility on our territory and for leading out our country from the imperialist horse-collar of USA, NATO and EU.

Communist Youth Union (KSM)

Prague, 3rd August 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Update on Cuban 5 - Thanks for support

Gerardo Hernández is out of "the hole"!

Gerardo Hernández, Cuban Five hero, has just been released this morning from isolation after an intense campaign by his attorneys and thousands of supporters around the world, including nearly a thousand emails to the Bureau of Prisons generated by the National Committee's appeal. 

Leonard Weinglass, one of Gerardo's attorneys, visited Gerardo this weekend along with fellow attorney Peter Schey. This morning to Gloria La Riva of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five he described the abysmal and cruel conditions that Gerardo was placed in.

"Gerardo is in great spirits but he's really suffering. In 100+ degree weather, the air was so stifling that Gerardo was laying on the floor sucking in air from the bottom of the door. He couldn't take his blood pressure medicine as his doctor advised him because the weather was too hot. He couldn't use the shower because it was scalding hot water. He was given dirty bedsheets, and he had to resort to washing them in the toilet." 

Weinglass noted that "we sent a five-page letter to the prison containing all the errors that they made in putting him in isolation. The letter outlined their own regulations that they violated."

Gerardo is released! 

Moments later this morning, in a new phone call, Weinglass announced "they've just released him to the general [prison] population!" 

It's thanks to the great efforts of the attorneys and the national and international solidarity movement with the Cuban Five that this punitive and unwarranted prison action against Gerardo has been ended.

Thanks to everyone who responded so quickly to this emergency situation. 

Clearly, the struggle must intensify to free Gerardo and all the Cuban Five from prison. One thing you can do right now is to send a letter to Gerardo, letting him know you and all of us are with him in the continuing struggle.

Also, if you are not already receiving emails from the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, please visit this link ( to add your name to this low-volume list, so that we'll be able to notify you if another emergency arises.

From CubaNews

August 3, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010



Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Miami 5 imprisoned in the US for fighting
terrorism, is suffering under another punishment from the US government.

Since 21 July, Gerardo has been held in the ‘hole’ – a windowless cell of
7x3 feet which he shares with another prisoner, with little ventilation
and reaching temperatures of 95 degrees.

He is unable to take a shower and is taken outside in a cage for just one
hour every other day.

Not only is this cruel punishment being imposed without explanation, and
preventing Gerardo from seeing his lawyers at a crucial stage in his
preparation for Habeas Corpus, but it has also been imposed while Gerardo
is experiencing health problems.

In April Gerardo requested a medical appointment for medical conditions
developed while in prison, including high blood pressure. Three months
later, on 20 July 2010 he was seen by a doctor. The doctor prescribed a blood
test for a bacterium which is circulating throughout the prison, but instead, the
following day, 21 July 2010, Gerardo was put in the hole.

This is the third time in Gerardo’s twelve years in prison that he has
been placed in the hole while preparing for an appeal. He is currently unable
to see or have any contact with this legal team while under this inhumane

This inhumane punishment is another in the repeated violations of his
human rights while in USP Victorville in California. For twelve years, the US
government has denied him the basic right to receive visits from his wife

Please take urgent action on behalf of Gerardo today. Please, write, email
or fax the three contacts below today and demand that Gerardo be:

• Returned immediately to the general population
• Receive urgent medical attention
• Allowed visits by his wife Adriana Perez
• Given space and respect as he prepares for his appeals

US State Department
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Fax Number: 1-202-647-2283

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Director Harley G. Lappin
320 First St., NW,
Washington, DC 20534


US Justice Department
Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001


Please feel free to write in your own words or use the sample letter

Dear [insert relevant name]

I am writing to you with urgent concern for Gerardo Hernandez who is > serving a
double life sentence in USP Victorville. I understand that he has been
confined to the hole since 21 July 2010 and I am deeply concerned that he has not
received adequate medical care for his health problems or the blood test
prescribed by the prison doctor on 20 July 2010.

Gerardo is also currently preparing for Habeas Corpus with his lawyers and
while held under these conditions he has been denied contact with them
during this vital stage in his appeal.

I urge the authories to ensure that Gerardo Hernandez be:

• Returned immediately to the general prison population
• Receive urgent medical attention
• Allowed visits by his wife Adriana Perez
• Given space and respect as he prepares for his appeals

I believe the US government and prison authorities hold responsibility for
the life and physical wellbeing of Gerardo Hernandez and I sincerely hope
wift action will be taken.

Thank you for giving this matter your urgent attention, I look forward to
your response.

Yours sincerely

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cuba: Absolved by history!

On July 26, 1953, a small band of Cuban revolutionaries launched an armed attack on the Moncada Barracks in the city of Santiago. The attack was intended to start a revolution against the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, and was led by a young man named Fidel Castro, who had been an activist student at the University of Havana.

The rebels did not succeed on that day. Some were killed and many others became prisoners, some of whom were murdered by Batista's goons. But eventually a mass campaign led to the amnesty of Castro and other remaining prisoners.

But the 26th of July was the beginning, not the end. Moncada led to the formation of the 26th of July Movement, which became the central organizing force of the Cuban Revolution. The seeds sown on July 26, 1952, germinated on January 1, 1959, as the victorious July 26th movement marched into Havana as the last of Batista's top cronies fled for Miami.

On trial, Fidel Castro famously said "history will absolve me." That turned out to be an understatement. Not only has the Cuban Revolution survived 10 hostile U.S. presidencies, it has been a beacon of hope to the oppressed worldwide.

Besides transforming Cuba, it has contributed mightily to ending colonialism in many parts of the world, and especially to putting an end to the odious apartheid regime in South Africa.

Today, the Cuban Revolution, through its medical and other aid projects, has extended a hand of help to earthquake victims in Haiti, people with hearing and vision problems in the Andes, and many thousands more around the globe. Cuba's leaders, including Fidel, continue to speak out fearlessly on every topic, from peace to global warming.

It's in the American and Cuban people's interests for us to fight harder than ever to abolish the 50 year trade blockade against the island. We can start by getting our congressional representatives to support HR 4645, a bill to end the restrictions on travel to Cuba, which will also loosen restrictions on food sales to Cuba.

And let us not forget that five dedicated Cuban patriots are serving outrageously unjust jail sentences in U.S. prisons for the "crime" of working to stop terrorist attacks on Cuba. Let us resolve to celebrate July 26 by intensifying our work for the freedom of the Cuban Five!


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

G8, G20 and capitalist crisis - Portugese CP

"Avante!" Article by Albano Nunes, member of the Secretariat of the CC

The G8 and G20 summits, took place recently, in Canada, within a framework of the capitalist crisis deepening and great instability and uncertainty concerning international relations.

Whoever thought the crisis had buried the G8 ( in fact the G7 with the most powerful capitalist countries of the world, with Russia in an subaltern status) and the G20 had become the major instance in the international articulation at the imperialism service, was categorically mistaken. Just as the IMF and the World Bank, although both deeply discredited, they carry on delivering dogmatic opinions in the capitalist system’s “administration” and urge the most aggressive macroeconomic guidelines against workers and peoples, and therefore, the G8 stands putt for the current moment, as an agreement instance within the imperialism core, attempting to mitigate and solve contradictions and proceed according to the great capital’s general interests. This happened, once again, during the Muskoka summit, in June 25/ 26th last, a rather discrete summit, hesitant and poor, concerning the economic crisis, but launched ahead in militarism and aggressive interventionism matters. The escalade against Iran and the DPR of Korea was a topic of threatening resolutions, which is moreover more disturbing when it coincided with the great USA’s ( and Israel’s) air and naval forces’ movements, heading for the Persian Gulf.

On the G20 summit, in June 27th last – a multilateral articulation space, expressing is the unequal capitalism development and the forces in progress rearrangement process within the world arena, and where China and other “BRIC’ hold a crescendo role -, and what stands out, are the deep divergences on the method of facing the crisis and the contradictions’ aggravation both among the so-called emergent countries and the great imperialist powers. United by the same class interests and sharing the same strategic purposes – workers exploitation intensifying, planetarium recolonization, the attack to freedom and fundamental rights – and having decided to impose them by military force and police repression, diverge and strife in the struggle for markets, raw materials sources, spheres of influence. That happened with the priority definition and the manner of dealing with the gigantic state deficits, generated by billionaire capital injections amid the financial system. Germany counts on the budget consolidation and the defence of its position as a great exporting power. Above all, the USA aim at the widening and opening of its home market and is opposed to measures which expose the lies on the North-American economy “recuperation”: the USA, where unemployment is above 10%, and continues to live at the expenditure of a gigantic external debt and the dollar privileges, is running towards a GIP’s strong fall, in the second semester. Obama’s letter, addressed to his G20 partners, on the summit’s eve, is, on this issue, is of a great significance.

The Central Committee meeting, held on the 27/28th June, on analysing the international situation, considered, that together with the capitalist crisis deepening and the great capital violent offensive, resistance and the struggle in numerous countries grows, and considering Europe, although very far from the necessary, trade-union and popular actions, of a great dimension, take place. Intensifying and converging, in a equal line such actions is the necessary path to hinder the workers to pay the crisis and defend rights and the achieved conquests, of many decades of hard struggles. The PCP delegation’s visit to Greece, headed by Comrade Jeronimo de Sousa, besides the always enriching exchange of information and experiences, is inserted in this cooperation reinforcement and internationalist solidarity of the communists and all the anti-imperialist forces.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Birthday note to Mandela

Dear Comrades and Friends

Warm greetings from the Headquarters of WFDY in Budapest, Hungary!!!

On behalf of member and friendly organizations from around the globe, the World Federation of Democratic Youth joins the Mandela family, South Africa, Africa and the World in celebrating the 92nd birthday of Cde Nelson Mandela on Sunday 18 July 2010.

We also do believe that Cde Mandela has played a critical role in unifying the people for peace, democracy, freedom and further deepening the spirit of patriotism. The spirit shown by such icons have greatly taught the youth of the world that a revolution is neither invitation to dinner, nor a stroll in the park, in fact such leaders
passed through very difficult and nefarious times.

The 92nd birthday for the great icon of the world comes barely five months before the world once again gathers in South Africa for the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students in December. The Festival will once again give a score to South Africa to dismiss the racist fears of the apartheid era and it will definitely leave a
legacy that if ever united we can defeat imperialism.

The World Federation of Democratic Youth therefore encourages the youth and students of the world to join the appeal of the Nelson Mandela foundation which is asking people to give 67 minutes of their time to volunteer – one minute for every year that he spent in the struggle for equality and fighting the apartheid regime.

We therefore wish Cde Nelson Mandela a happy birthday and many more years.

Budapest, Hungary
18 July 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cuban Film Festival - Dublin

Festival of Cuban Films

Sunday 25 July, from 11 a.m.

Festival of Cuban Films

To celebrate Cuban national day (26 July), a number of films made in or about Cuba.

Admission free.

New Theatre (43 East Essex Street)

Organised by the Progressive Film Club, in association with the Cuba Support Group.

July Edition of Socialist Voice Out Now

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CPI Statement

Bank of Ireland job losses

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
16 July 2010

The announcement today by Bank of Ireland that it would be cutting its work force by 750 jobs over the next two years is clearly just the beginning. These job losses come in the wake of the thousands of jobs already gone from the financial services sector and at a time when Ireland is reporting record levels of unemployment—even though the experts tell us we are out of the recession!

What is clearly missing from the mainstream media and the establishment debate is a historical economic perspective that questions the role played by finance in the economic system of capitalism today. The same so-called economic experts (usually working for financial institutions) who informed public opinion before the collapse are brought out to propose solutions. Rarely, with a few notable exceptions, do they ask serious questions about the fundamentals that drive the economic system.

This critically necessary debate is being ignored or silenced by compliant media, media largely owned by the same people who profit from the present system.

Capitalism is a cyclical boom-and-bust system. The days of competitive capitalism are long over. Today a number of transnational monopolies operate, invest and create profits within all industries. This has a profound effect on the accumulation process and has led to the spectre of over-production and over-accumulation haunting the capitalist system.

The productive real economy has been in deep stagnation for some time. Profits globally from manufacturing and non-finance-related activities have been on the decline since the 1960s. Despite the increase in military manufacturing and spending, this deep-rooted stagnation (caused by the capacity of the system to over-produce and its failure to increase market demand) exists and will continue to exist, subject to no technological innovations on the scale of the railways or the automobile, which transformed society.

It is in this context that the system turned to finance to become the primary source of investment, capital creation and expenditure for working people and the basis of necessary growth in capitalism. It is important to note that this was not a conspiratorial coup by a number of bankers, nor was it an policy choice by governments: it was the only manner in which the system could avoid its dreaded and unavoidable problem of stagnation.

It is hard to pin down an exact date, but it is safe to say that for the last twenty years debt and speculative finance, with consequential bubbles in various sectors, have been the primary avenue for existing capital to be invested and the primary avenue of profit creation for the system. Wages have dramatically declined, with working people increasingly reliant on debt to survive or to enhance their quality of life. This process, often called the financialisation of the economy, is the key to understanding the actions of the Irish Government and the European Union.

The function of the so-called bail-outs is not the saving of personal friends of Fianna Fáil or politicians and shouldn’t be seen in that light, as it is far more systemic than that. For capitalism to function—to continue to exist—there must be a profitable avenue through which accumulated capital can invest. Finance, financial instruments and debt are that avenue. The bail-out is a required attempt at stabilising the system to enable the accumulation process to continue—to enable capitalism to survive.

This is an absolute necessity if one’s starting point and primary desire is the maintenance of capitalism, regardless of its human or environmental cost. However, if you are more concerned with jobs, families, quality of life, democracy, justice, and equality, then there is an alternative route to take. It is not reform of the system, because no reform can abolish the fundamental necessity of capital to re-create and accumulate and consequently its need for debt and financial instruments as this avenue—not reform but transformative.

By “transformative” we mean economic and social demands that challenge politically the economic system, that challenge the owners of capital and the control they possess over people and society, that mobilise working people to view an economic system as only a means by which society produces and distributes for all, and to judge the success of a system on this basis.

We believe that such an economic system can be built from the struggle of working people for dignity and respect under the present system. No blueprint can be provided, but the struggle against the massive redistribution of wealth from working people to capital is the starting point.

We propose as some demands for working people:

• the creation of a State Development Bank,
• planned investment to meet the needs of working people,
• control over our island’s natural resources,
• the utilisation of wind and wave energy, and
• the development of an all-Ireland economy, utilising local resources and talents.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Protest at Rovers Game

Communist Party of Ireland

Call for support

15th July 2010

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), supported by Eirigi, the Palestinian Right Institute & Irish Anti War Movement, will hold a peaceful protest at the Shamrock Rovers vs Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv game in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday (tonight) July 15th. The protest starts at 7pm and will take place outside the stadium.
Outside the stadium banners reading, ‘Love Football, Hate Apartheid’, ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ and ‘Unity against Occupation' will be displayed peacefully alongside Palestinian flags. We certainly don't want to hijack Rovers first European game in years and are asking our supporters not to interrupt the game under any circumstances. The protest will take place outside, but if Rovers supporters want to take Palestinian flags into the game we would be happy to see them in the stands.

Friday, June 18, 2010

AKEL (Cyprus) Statement

AKEL expresses its deep concern regarding the developments in Hungary where the governmental majority in the Parliament voted in favor of modifications in the penal code which identify the “crimes of communism” with the crimes of the German fascists and the Holocaust of the Jews. In particular, according to the recent changes in the criminal law, whoever attempts to doubt the “crimes of communism” in public, could possibly face imprisonment from 1 to 3 years. We shall remind that the law that bans the use of the communist symbols is issued in Hungary since years ago.

We consider the attempt of equalizing the Holocaust of the Jews with the supposed crimes of communism as evocable and condemnable since it was the Red Army and the Soviet Union that gave an end to the worst crimes of the history of humanity, as the Holocaust of the Jews, and played a catalytic role in the Antifascist Victory of the Peoples.

Unfortunately this development consists a continuation of the wider effort of equalizing communism with fascism, the counterfeiting of history and the disappearance of whatever reminds the socialist period. These actions are constantly increased, especially in the countries of the Eastern Europe as well within the European Union and the Council of Europe.

These actions, from whoever are arising, consist a blow for democracy and the freedom of expression. They also appoint the declarations for democracy and acceptance of the different opinion, words without meaning.

Furthermore, we consider that this action consists an effort of disorientating the public opinion from the huge deadlocks that capitalism and neoliberalism have created, as these are expressed through the ongoing global capitalist crisis.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

25 years of the EU! - PCP

Statement by the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the PCP

1 – The political and ideological aims of the celebrations of the 25 years of Portugal’s signing of the Treaty of Accession to the EEC/EU do not erase, but rather confirm, PCP’s warnings on the consequences of this act to the Portuguese people and to the country. The harsh reality encountered by the Portuguese, inseparable from the consequences of the European capitalist integration and the policies associated with it, confirm, 25 years later, the correctness of PCP’s position concerning Portugal’s accession to the EEC and the reasons then stated.

Today, Portugal is not only more unfair and more unequal on the social level and in terms of development of its territory, but also a country which is more dependent, more indebted, more deficitary and more vulnerable. 25 years later, the severe crisis the country faces, although resulting from the right-wing policies at the national level, cannot be separated from the crisis of the bases of the European Union. The record levels of unemployment, Portugal’s stagnation and economic dependence, the destruction of the national productive apparatus, the worsening of exploitation, of social inequalities and injustices are a consequence of the exploitative nature associated to the present process of “European integration”.

2 – The question that should be raised after the 25 years of the signing by Portugal of the Treaty of Accession to the EEC/EU is: what did it serve for and who benefitted from Portugal joining the EEC? The question should be: what serves and who benefitted from the Treaties from Maastricht to Lisbon, the Stability Pact, the Economic and Monetary Union, the Euro, the ECB and the so-called foreign and security policy of the European Union. The truth is, in an increasingly clearer way, that the interests the neoliberal, militarist and federalist European Union serves are those of big capital, namely big financial capital, of the great powers like Germany, of the defenders of militarism and NATO’s aggressive policy and not the interests of Europe’s workers and peoples, of cooperation and peace.

The measures taken by the European Union and the governments of several countries, including Portugal, in the name of a supposed “combat against the crisis” clearly reveal the falsehood of the discourses of “solidarity”, “cohesion” and “social Europe”, highlighting for what, in fact, serve the instruments written down in the treaties, in the common policies and in the Strategies like “Europe 2020”. In the name of the so-called “combat against the crisis” the peoples of Europe are increasingly victims of a policy of concentration and centralization of economic and political power which, feeding from the dependency and economic frailty of some countries like Portugal, strikes new and very serious blows against labour and social rights, the sovereignty and democracy itself and puts at stake the future of millions of people and the future of their countries.

3 – But, 25 years later, the PCP affirms with conviction that another Europe of the workers and the peoples is possible. With their struggle it will be possible to create a rupture with EU’s neoliberal, militarist and federalist course. A rupture based upon the respect for democracy and labour and social rights, to open the way for a true convergence and cooperation founded on social progress, support for national production, public investment, strengthening of public services, jobs with rights, the end of “free” circulation of capital, combat against finantialization and economic dependency.

Affirming its unwavering commitment to defend the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic - which set down many democratic advances, accomplishments and achievements of the April Revolution, namely concerning national independence and sovereignty – The PCP reiterates its rejection of an European integration characterized by submission and conditioning of Portugal’s development and renews its pledge to fight for an independent and sovereign Portugal, for a project of cooperation among sovereign and equal States, to promote the improvement of the living conditions of the workers and the people and the progress of the country, peace and international solidarity, in line with the project of democratic, patriotic and internationalist development set down in the April Constitution.

The present course of European integration is not an inevitability, as is not inevitable the brutal civilizational regression that the dominating classes try to impose on the peoples of Europe. The answer of the workers and the peoples of several European countries to the violent anti-social attack under way in the European Union – an important example of which was the demonstration in Lisbon last 29th. May – together with the changes in the international scene, namely in Latin America, prove that a different world and a different Europe are possible, based upon solidarity, mutual respect and reciprocity, respecting the sovereign right of the peoples to make their choice regarding economic, social and political organisation, in defense of peace and cooperation with all the peoples of the world.

Monday, June 14, 2010

KNE support KPP

Communist Youth in Greece support polish comrades.

Communist Party of Poland Statement

Protest against anti-communist law in Poland

On 8th of June – on the day new anti-communist law, that bans the communist symbols (art. 256 of penal code) came into effect, an international protest campaign took place in Poland.

In Warsaw there were a conference and a demonstration with participation of delegations of communist parties – Communist Party of Greece, Portuguese Communist Party, Communist Party of Ireland and youth organizations – World Federation of Democratic Youth and Communist Youth Union of Czech Republic.

During press conference comrades: Georgios Toussas – MEP, Communist Party of Greece, João Ferreira – MEP, Portuguese Communist Party, Yogendra Shahi – vice president of World Federation of Democratic Youth, condemned the new law and expressed their support for the Communist Party of Poland. After the conference in the centre of Warsaw a demonstration took place.

Polish internet portals and news channel informing about this event underline absurdity of the new repressive article of penal code.

Also in several other countries demonstrations took place in front of Embassies of Poland and letters of protest were delivered to the Polish Ambassadors. Until now we were informed that such protests were organized in Athens, Budapest, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Mexico, Moscow and Nicosia. Communist Party of Poland has also received letters of support from many communist parties.

We would like to thank all participants of this campaign and ask for continuing it. We must make our fight stronger, as far as problem of discrimination of communist symbols and another kind of reprisals are taking place in Poland and some other Eastern European countries. Yesterday the new anti-communist law was also adopted in Hungary.

Communist Party of Poland

CPI Letter to Polish Embassy

Communist Party of Ireland

James Connolly House, 43 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2:

8th June 2010

Ambassador dr Tadeusz Szumowski

Embassy of the Republic of Poland
5 Ailesbury Road
Dublin 4

Statement on the banning of Communist symbols in Poland.

The new Polish law banning the display of Communist symbols is an extraordinary attempt to rewrite Polish history. Even though the capitalist system is in its greatest crisis since the Second World War, it is not allowed to propose the only way out of the crisis, which is to take the road towards socialism. It is not allowed to acknowledge the achievements of socialism in Poland, - the reconstruction after the war, which had left hardly one brick on top of another in the country, this depending entirely on its own resources, without the benefit of the Marshall Plan which aided the recovery of Western Europe - the achievement of full employment, - the provision of health and education services, free to all. It is not allowed to say that the living standards of working people are worse now than in 1989.

The restoration of capitalism in Poland has been a dismal failure. Millions of Polish workers have lost their jobs and are forced to emigrate. Successive governments have failed to tackle the economic and social problems that confront working people. Just as their political bankruptcy is becoming clearer, the politicans seek to obscure their own incompetence, putting all the blame for Poland's problems on the attempt to build Socialism. No doubt their actions are well supervised by the European Union which has usurped the democracy of the Polish people.

The problems and difficulties involved in building socialism should not be denied, nor the mistakes involved, but the Polish Communists and their allies who undertook that monumental task deserve respect. Those who put forward the aim of reconstructing socialism in Poland are entitled to the democratic right to present their policies and symbols to the people. Denial of this right exposes the “democratic” pretensions of the right-wing, of those who claim to be fighting for "democracy".

The Communist Party of Ireland is proud to associate itself with the campaign of the Communist Party of Poland against this unjust, undemocratic and reactionary law.

Yours sincerely
Eugene Mc Cartan

General Secretary

Komunistyczna Partia Irlandii

Oświadczenie w sprawie delegalizacji symboli komunistycznych w Polsce

Nowe prawo zabraniające użycia symboli komunistycznych jest nadzwyczajną próba napisania na owo historii Polski. Pomimo tego, że system kapitalistyczny znalazł się w najgłębszym kryzysie od czasów Drugiej Wojny Światowej, nie pozwala się przedstawić jedynego wyjścia z kryzysu, jakim jest droga w kierunku socjalizmu. Nie pozwala się również na wyrażenie uznania dla osiągnięć socjalizmu w Polsce – odbudowy kraju ze straszliwych zniszczeń wojennych, gdzie nie pozostał niemal kamień na kamieniu, całkowicie o własnych siłach, bez pomocy planu Marshalla, który pomógł stanąć na nogi Europie Zachodniej – oraz innych osiągnięć socjalizmu jak - pełne zatrudnienie, darmowa i dostępna dla wszystkich służba zdrowia oraz powszechne szkolnictwo. Nie pozwala się mówić o tym, że poziom życia robotników dziś jest znacznie gorszy aniżeli w 1989 roku.

Przywrócenie w Polsce kapitalizmu zakończyło się ponurą klęską. Miliony polskich robotników straciło pracę i zostało zmuszonych do emigracji. Wszystkie kolejne rządy nie potrafiły rozwiązać ekonomicznych i społecznych problemów, przed którymi stanęli w Polsce ludzie pracy. Podczas gdy ich bankructwo polityczne staje się coraz wyraźniejsze, politycy starają się ukryć swoją niekompetencję poprzez zrzucenie odpowiedzialności za problemy Polski na próbę budowy socjalizmu. Nie ma wątpliwości co do tego, że działania te są nadzorowane przez Unię Europejską, która uzurpuje sobie prawo do polskiej demokracji.

Nie zaprzeczamy temu, że istniały problemy i trudności związane z budową socjalizmu i że popełniano również błędy, ale polscy komuniści i ich sprzymierzeńcy, którzy podjęli się tego olbrzymiego zadania zasługują na szacunek. Ci, którzy wysuwają dziś postulaty odbudowy socjalizmu w Polsce mają demokratyczne prawo do prezentowania swoich poglądów i symboli publicznie. Odebranie im tego prawa odbiera rządzącej prawicy przydomek „demokratycznej”, tym bardziej że powoływała się ona na hasło „walki o demokrację”.

Komunistyczna Partia Irlandii z dumą przyłącza się do kampanii protestu Komunistycznej Partii Polski przeciwko temu niesprawiedliwemu, niedemokratycznemu i reakcyjnemu prawu.

KC Komunistycznej Partii Irlandii

05.06.2010 Dublin

30th May CP Press Statement

Stop the appeasement of Israel 30th May
Expel the Israeli Ambassador

The Communist Party of Ireland offers its deepest sympathy to the Families and friends of those murdered on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. To the remaining international humanitarian volunteers on the flotilla we express our admiration for your courage and honour, which is in stark contrast with the appeasement policy of the Irish Government and the Western powers.

The tragic events now unfolding in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea have once again focused world attention on the savage and brutal policies that are inflicted daily on thePalestinian people by the Israeli government. That same brutality is now being inflicted on international human rights campaigners and has resulted in at least ten deaths.

Israel continues to impose its illegal blockade on Gaza, both on land and sea, in its policy of collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
The appeasement policies of the Western powers, in the first place the United States and the European Union, must end. They have stood by and allowed the Israel government to act with impunity in murdering thousands of Palestinians and starving a million people in its
four-year illegal blockade of Gaza.

The Irish Government must break off diplomatic relations with Israel and expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland.

The recent invitation to Israeli to join the OECD should be rescinded.

The Irish Government must ensure that no materials or components manufactured here in Ireland are sold to or allowed to end up in Israel.

The Government should call for an international boycott—economic, political, military, and cultural—with this aggressive nuclear-armed rogue state.

Our Government should also call on the United Nations to organise an international flotilla of ships, protected by the necessary naval peace-enforcement vessels, to completely break the illegal blockade and lift the siege of Gaza.

It is time to lift the silence, break the blockade, and end the policy of appeasement of this dangerous rogue state.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Anniversary of the defeat of fascism - WFDY

On the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the Peoples’ Victory over Nazifascism

On the morning of May 9 of 1945, 65 years ago, mankind woke up free from nazifascism after the brave Soviet soldiers finally entered Berlin and defeated the hideous Nazi regime. Nevertheless, this victory could only be achieved after a war of suffering for all mankind and destruction of most of Europe, particularly the Eastern side, in which the troops of Nazi and Fascist regimes destroyed and killed all in its way until they were stopped.

On this 65th anniversary of the peoples’ victory against Nazifascism we remind the main actor of this victory that freed mankind: the people. It was the popular resistance organized against fascist imperialist offense that defeated fascism.

We remind particularly the contribution of the Soviet people, who had to face more than 2/3 of the battlefronts. It is upon that victory, essentially conquered by youngsters, that WFDY was built to ensure that the youth would never again live under fascism and would never have to face war again.

However, 65 years after the peoples’ victory over fascism the total freedom is still not here. As 65 years ago also today the dominant classes are using the crisis of capitalism to directly attack the workers’ rights, to promote xenophobia and racism against immigrants and to attack the freedom and democratic rights attempting to criminalize all those who struggle for an alternative to this obsolete capitalist system. It is remarkable how now, as in that period, the communists, anti-imperialist and progressive forces are always the firsts to be chased.

Nowadays the people of Palestine suffer the same slaughter, persecution and humiliation that Jews faced from the fascist regimes that chased them, enslaved them and killed them in their concentration camps that were not that different from the authentic ghettos that the blockade policy of Israel is spreading throughout the West Bank, as the siege done together with Egypt and USA to the Palestinian land of Gaza.

Even 65 years after the use of the nuclear bombs against people, following the limitless ambition of power of USA against a already surrendered Japan, the race for massive destruction, high technology and nuclear weapons continues and is lead by the USA, whose leading position as detainer of the biggest amount of nuclear weapons states for itself as a fact against all sorts of hypocrisies made by its administration.

On this occasion, WFDY calls upon all its member and friendly organizations to rally their efforts and spread throughout the world the criminal nature of the fascist regimes as upper stages of the not less criminal nature of imperialism and
capitalism. For the full recognition of the historical facts and its inclusion in school books, for the end of all sorts of discriminations and xenophobia, for freedom, democracy, social justice and peace, let us join our voices as one and stand up to conquer this world forever free of injustice, war, destruction, hunger and illness.

Never again fascism, never again war – let’s defeat imperialism!