Sunday, October 30, 2011

Repudiate the debt protest

The Repudiate the Debt Campaign will be holding a lunchtime protest, 12:45 to 2 p.m., on Tuesday 1 November outside the Department of Finance in Upper Merrion Street to protest against the handing over of €700,000,000 of the Irish people’s money to unguaranteed and unsecured bond-holders.

We consider this a transfer of wealth from the pockets and wage packets of Irish working people, the sick, unemployed, pensioners, and children.

This demonstration will be part of a national day of protest around the country to highlight this robbery of the people’s wealth. Organise your own event: mount your own protest in the main street of your village,town, or city. Contact your local radio stations to draw attention to
this affront to democracy.

Don't leave it up to others, or just sit back and complain. Every voice counts; every placard raised is an act of saying No to this robbery of our people.

No party-political banners or flags.

Tuesday 1 November
Department of Finance (Merrion Street, Upper)
12:45 to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



On November 2nd 2011, next Wednesday, a $1,000,000,000 bond comes due at Anglo Irish Bank. This bond is unsecured, unguaranteed, a bond we have absolutely no obligation to pay, from a bank described by Minister Michael Noonan in an RTE interview only last June in the following terms: “Look, it's no longer a bank. Anglo is now merged with Irish Nationwide. It's a warehouse for impaired assets. Its deposit base has been moved out into the pillar banks. And it doesn't work as a bank anymore. You can't put your money on deposit in Anglo Irish. You can't get a loan from Anglo Irish. So the only thing that gives it the name of a bank is because it has a banking license. It needs the banking license to access the monies from the Central Bank. So I said that as far as I am concerned, this is not a real bank. This is a warehouse, and we need your assistance in dealing with the senior bond holders because we don't think the Irish taxpayer should have to redeem what has become speculative investment.” (Thanks to the Namawinelake blog - the most reliable source of otherwise hidden information - for this quote).

On November 1st, 2011, next Tuesday, at 12 noon, I am asking for a nationwide protest against the payment of this bond. 34 weeks we’ve been marching in Ballyhea and now in Charleville against the payment of these bonds, bonds that come due on an almost weekly basis, 34 weeks in which we’ve been almost on our own in protest against this massive injustice being visited on the Irish people. This one time, at noon on this one day and for just half an hour of your time, can you join us? Wherever you are, at work or at play, can you just stop, down tools, get together with your workmates, your family, your friends, your fellow parishioners, and protest this new order, where bondholders are bailed out while people are burned?

It used to be that at noon the bells tolled throughout this land and called people to prayer, to reflection; those days are gone, long gone. This once, however, can we again come together at that hour, and reflect; reflect on what’s being done in our name, reflect on whether or not it’s right that the institutions whose billions fuelled the fire that engulfed our economy should themselves escape even being scorched; reflect on whether or not it was right that we should have been saddled with this debt without even a hint of consultation, a debt that will be passed on to our children, and perhaps to their children; reflect on whether we belong in a community where, far from everyone looking out for each other, the strongest – the Germans and the French – are forcing billions from us, among the smallest and the weakest, to bail out the German and French banks who recklessly lent those billions to our banks.

Most of all, we should reflect on this: already we’ve poured billions into the various Irish banks, but next year (2012) another €20 falls due in bank bonds, in 2013 it’s €17bn, in 2014 it’s €25bn – where do you think that money will come from? From the banks themselves? No, my friends; over the next three years our six banks will be back to us again cap-in-hand, the ECB at their shoulder guns-to-our-heads, and this government will pour yet more billions in to those banks, billions our ‘friends’ in the ECB will willingly lend to us, so all those major financial institutions get their money – ‘Every last cent’, according to our own government.

Next Tuesday, stand with us, a nation united, a united nation, and let Europe know, let Leinster House know – we’ve had enough of this outrage, we’ve had enough of this national humiliation, we’ve had enough of being told first, what bad people we were to squander all that money when the reality was that it was our banks and the banks from which they borrowed who were the reckless ones, and now, what good people we are to ‘honour’ all those bank bonds.

November 1st, Tuesday, noon, let the bells again toll and let us again commune, but this time let them toll time on those bank bondholders. Gather, protest, take a stand. All this is happening to us ONLY because we’re allowing it to happen. Enough.

Yours sincerely,

Diarmuid O'Flynn.



Co. Cork

Mobile: 086 2752664



TWITTER: @ballyhea14

FACEBOOK PAGES: Bondwatch; Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest

Monday, October 24, 2011

Systemic Change Please - Michael Hudson

Michael discusses the growing Occupy Wall St movement and the opportunities for banking reform.

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Washington. And in Washington, Occupy Washington has started. Occupy New York continues. And occupy many cities across the United States and Canada and other parts of the world is spreading. Now joining us to talk about the significance of this movement is Michael Hudson. Michael is a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Thanks for joining us again, Michael.


JAY: So what do you think of what started in New York and the sort of significance of it and sort of–. There’s been a critique that there’s no demands. There’s been a critique there’s too many demands. What’s your sense of it?

HUDSON: I think it’s a very strong point that they haven’t made specific demands. There’s been a lot of discussion over what to do, and their worry is, if you make specific demands, then the media and the other people are going to go and make these particular demands the issue. That’s not the issue. The sense is that the financial system is dysfunctional as a system. Now, that means you can’t make a technocratic demand like fix this or give a consumer protection law or appoint Elizabeth Warren to the commission. It’s much bigger than that. There’s an awareness that the whole financial system has been dysfunctional. And the other similar demonstrations that are occurring abroad, from Iceland to Greece, are that the government is in the hands of the financial lobbyists. That’s why it’s called Occupy Wall Street, because Wall Street is what essentially has bought the electoral campaigns and bought the Obama administration. And I can tell you that there was an absolute disgust yesterday and today after Mr. Obama’s attempts to hijack the Occupy Wall Street demonstration by saying, here’s what I’m trying to do to help, and then he gave a couple of lobbying statements written by his Wall Street financial lobbies, as if these guys are lobbyists for Wall Street trying to make more profits for the banks. They’re disgusted with the Obama administration. They’re disgusted with the Bush administration and the Republicans. They’re disgusted with politics being for sale to the highest lobbyist. And they’re disgusted with the debt overhead. They’re disgusted with the administrators. The system doesn’t work. And they don’t want to reduce this to a set of technocratic little fix-its and paste-its, and if you do just one or two or three or four [incompr.]

JAY: Right. Well, in Europe the protests are quite specific, in the sense that there’s a real attempt to shift the crisis onto workers, especially public sector workers, and people are fighting the austerity measures. And you had this, certainly, in Wisconsin, a fight over some very specific issues–again, layoffs or pushing things, in terms of cost, onto public sector workers. I mean, at some point, doesn’t this have to get concrete, even if some of the demands are more systemic?

HUDSON: Yes. But at the current point, they’re trying to say to focus on the system. They don’t want to prematurely focus. Of course they’re developing a set of demands that are common principles, but they’re a little concerned about the fact that a number of different people have all come out with ostensible lists of their demands saying, here’s a list they want, and then somebody else will come out with a different list they want, and they don’t want to be hijacked.

JAY: Now, there’s a lot of–by focusing on Wall Street and the finance system, certainly the financial system and Wall Street are, you know, one of the dominant players in the American economy and politics, but they’re not the only one. And it kind of leads to, like, you know, policy fixes which are to do with–and a lot of the people being interviewed at the occupation are talking about this–financial transaction taxes, sort of more regulation, maybe things you would suggest are tinkering. One of the demands that some people have raised there is the idea of actually a kind of public bank or a nationalizing bank as a way–some banks, as a way to deal with the finance sector, which is more of a structural demand. What do you make of that?

HUDSON: I think the demand isn’t simply to make a public bank. It’s to treat the banks generally as a public utility, just as you’d treat electric companies as a public utility. The key about public utilities is their rate of return is guaranteed and the rules in which they operate under are guaranteed. Just as there was pressure for a public option in health care, there should be a public option in banking. There should be a government bank that offers credit card rates without punitive 30 percent interest rates, without penalties, without raising the rate if you don’t pay your electric bill. This is how America got strong in the 19th and early 20th century, by essentially [incompr.] public infrastructure, just like you’d have roads and bridges. And essentially the idea of public infrastructure was to lower the cost of living and lower the cost of doing business. You’re not going to do that if you let Citibank write the rules and to use bailout money from TARP to bribe congressmen to write the rules to give Citibank even more money, and abolishing the regulation, to let Citibank charge whatever it wants. You need a real public option. That’s what they meant, not simply that the government’ll start a bank going along and following the lead of Citibank and being just as exploitative but in the public interests. They want a public option.

JAY: So are you see this, if you imagine this twofold, which is a bank as a public option with a public interest mandate? [sic] But do you see other sections of private banking also treated like a public utility, in other words, with far more regulatory authority, as you said?

HUDSON: [incompr.] the rate of return, you should never–you should regulate the terms of their lending. You should never have let them get into derivatives, period. You should let never let them give zero interest loans, period. You should enforce a fraudulent conveyance act, where if a bank makes a loan without any idea of how the debtor can pay, as you have on the books in New York, the loan is simply wiped off the books. It’s nullified as a fraudulent conveyance. You have the leading banking sectors in America–Bank of America is a fraudulent enterprise. It’s a gang. Let’s be straight about it. It’s a crime gang. Citibank, a crime gang. Wells Fargo, a crime gang. None of these guys are put in jail. Now, the fact that they’re not put in jail, and the fact that today the former securities and exchange regulatory commission was told by the judge, you’re not allowed to fine violators who you have said committed crimes, you’ve said are criminal organizations, you’re not allowed to regulate them, this just shows that what essentially the Obama administration is backing is a long-term Republican and Democratic decriminalization of fraud. Now, how are you going to recriminalize fraud like you used to do? You used to throw these guys in jail. You don’t anymore. That’s why I say the problem goes so deep and is so corrupt–. One of the demands on Wall Street, for instance, that everybody agreed in the Occupy Wall Street is that Tim Geithner, who’s a bank lobbyist, should not be in charge of the Treasury. You have the US Treasury run by a bank lobbyist whose job is to give away free lunches to bank and say the government can give all the money it wants to the banks but it can’t give [a penny] to the workers, it can’t give a penny to increased jobs for the workers. And then you have, today, Mr. Obama going on television saying, I want to create jobs. He doesn’t want to create jobs. His intention is to reduce wages by 30 percent. He knows that this is going to happen. He knows that he’s giving a public relations speech, just as the Republican [incompr.] said. I hate to support the Republicans in this, because I’m certainly not, but this was a speech where Obama knows that the Senate and House will not go along with his law. And then there’s an automatic reflux to the commission that he appointed, the commission of about 13, where he stuffed with opponents of Social Security, opponents of Medicare. And the idea is that if they can’t come to an agreement, then his own commission is going to cut back Social Security, cut back social spending, and give the money to Wall Street. That’s why these people are so angry, because of–the hypocrisy that you’re having in Washington now rivals that that you’re having Greece, rivals that of Iceland, England, and the other countries where the situation is exactly the same.

JAY: Thanks very much for joining us, Michael.

HUDSON: Thanks

taken from

The Marxist left's politics of alliances at the beginning of the 21st century

The Marxist left's politics of alliances at the beginning of the 21st century

Jose Ramon Balaguer Cabrera

José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera is a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba and is now Minister for Health in Cuba. This article first appeared in Cuba Socialista, the theoretical and political magazine of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba back in 2007.

On the basis of their own experiences and of the analysis of the victories and setbacks that make up the history of popular struggles, the Communist Party of Cuba considers that a series of premises exist for the formulation of the politics of alliances, applicable not only to the communist parties, but to all contemporary Marxist organisations as well: How do we characterise the situation and perspectives of the capitalist system of production at the beginning of the twenty-first century?

Based on that definition, what objectives do we propose for ourselves? What social class sector or sectors make up the subject or fundamental bloc of the struggle for the achievement of such objectives? What other sectors constitute the spectrum of their potential allies? And what are the conditions and foundations for the establishment of alliances between the subject or fundamental bloc of the struggles and the rest of the sectors susceptible to participate in them?

To read the whole article check out the below link:

The silent revolution...

“What is going on is a silent revolution—a silent revolution in terms of stronger economic governance by small steps”

President of the EU Commission, José Manuel Barroso

To read more about this silent revolution check out:

Be afraid, be very afraid!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Anarcho-faschists murder militant trade unionist

On this occasion organized groups with specific orders and anarcho-fascists unleashed an attack with Molotov cocktails, teargas, stun grenades and stones, in attempt to disperse the majestic rally of workers and people in Syntagma Square and especially in the area where PAME was concentrated. A result of this attack is the death of the trade unionist of PAME, Dimitris Kotzaridis, 53 years old, secretary of the Viron branch of the Construction Workers’ Union. Dozens more PAME demonstrators were injured.

The hatred of the hooded ones against the labour and popular movement and PAME expresses the fury of the forces which serve the system and bourgeois power. The government has massive responsibilities for this. The operation to intimidate, slander and suppress the labour and people’s movement is rooted in state structures, centres and services. History demonstrates this, today’s barbaric and murderous assault also proves this. The hooded ones, anarcho-autonomists, fascists or whatever they call themselves tried to achieve what the forces of repression, the blackmail and threats failed to do: to intimidate the people so that they submit. It objectively arises that the very same centres executed the provocateur murderous burning down of Marfin the day the Memorandum was voted on, 5 May 2010.

Their goal to disperse the rally of PAME failed. Likewise, the plans of the government, the mechanisms of the system, the parties of the plutocracy which seek to intimidate and suppress the torrent of the people’s counterattack which came onto the streets with the 48-hour strike must also fail.

The KKE expresses its sorrow and its condolences to the family of Dimitris Kotzaridis who fell in the struggle for the just cause of the working class and the people. It expresses its solidarity with the injured demonstrators, with all those who defended the workers’ and people’s demonstration from the provocateur groups. It calls on the people to stand up decisively; to struggle together with the KKE, to rally in the trade unions, in PAME and the other radical organizations which fight against the anti-people policies, the power of the monopolies. This is the opposition force to the parties of plutocracy, the EU and the IMF. This is the strength of the people in order to repel the barbaric measures, the violence and the intimidation of all the repressive mechanisms. The people can overthrow the anti-people policies and power.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The 2nd day of the nationwide general strike

The “heart” of the 2nd day of the enormous 48 hr strike mobilization was beating in the central square of the Greek capital, Syntagma Square, where the All-workers Militant Front (PAME) organized a huge rally-encirclement of the Greek Parliament. And the second day greatly surpassed the precedents of the previous strikes. The volume and militancy constituted a worthy continuation of the 1st day of the 48 hr strike. At the same time inside the Parliament, after the request of the KKE, a roll call vote was held on the articles of the government’s draft law, through which the new anti-worker measures will be implemented.

It should be noted that the attempts of provocateur mechanisms, with the toleration of the police, to strike at the edges of the people’s rally received a combative and organized response from the well-organized protection of PAME which drove back the hooded provocateurs. It is indicative that demonstrators of PAME received murderous attacks, with one demonstrator seriously injured by the attack of the anarcho-fascists. The well-organized protection of PAME effectively repelled the provocateurs and gave a combative answer to the efforts of the mechanisms of the bourgeois class to disperse the rally.

It should be noted that on Wednesday (19/10) on the 1st day of the strike the government with the majority of 154 MPs which it possesses initially passed the draft law in principle. At the same time hundreds of thousands of people(120,000 according to the police who attempted to downplay the participation) were demonstrating outside the parliament, with the forces of the class-oriented trade unions, which are rallied in PAME having, which was generally admitted even by the bourgeois media, the upper hand in terms of mass participation and militancy of the demonstrators who filled the centre of Athens, in comparison with the forces mobilised by the leaderships of the compromised trade union confederations of GSEE and ADEDY. There was a similar situation in the 70 cities throughout the country, where the forces of PAME mobilised tens of thousands of workers and carried out huge demonstrations and occupations of public buildings.
The Executive Secretariat of PAME saluted “the millions of workers, everywhere, in the private and public sector who participated in the strike, overcoming threats, blackmail, intimidation by employers and government.”

Of course, certain Greek and foreign media, seeking to hide the size of the popular anger, focused on the provocateur activity of small groups- in Greece it is well known that these groups are in excellent cooperation with the security services with the aim of dispersing the mass mobilizations. But their plans did not succeed! The protection forces of PAME once again safeguarded the mass protest of thousands of strikers and only when PAME’s demonstrators left the street in front of the Parliament did the incidents occur, on which some of the media misleadingly focused.

Also on the second day of the strike, the forces of PAME sent a message for an overall conflict with the policy of the government, the EU, the IMF. Together with the forces of the trade unions and the federations which rally in PAME, there was a large participation of students, the next generation of the working class, who demonstrated under the banners of the Students’ Front of Struggle (MAS), the Athens Coordinating Committee of the School students as well as of the self-employed and women with the banners of the Nationwide Antimonopoly Rally of the Self-employed and the small Tradesman (PASEVE) and The Greek Women’s Federation (OGE).

These forces demonstrated the opposition of the working people, the youth and the popular strata to the adoption of the new anti-people measures. They declared the opposition of the people to the new sacrifices for the plutocracy that the social democrat government calls for. They demanded: “down with the government and the parties of capital”, “disengagement from the EU-Working class-People’s power”.

The General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, stated from the strike rally outside of the parliament: “the struggle doesn’t stop today, it is being continued. This torrent must be more turbulent, more radical, more subversive. It can sweep everything away under one condition: that they won’t steal the victory in the nick of time as has happened many times before and a big part of the people is finally trapped in illusions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

48hr General Strike

An unprecedented sea of hundreds of thousands of people participated in the majestic strike rally of PAME, which filled Athens, the like of which has not been seen in recent decades, on the first day of the 48 hr nationwide general strike. All the central roads of Athens had been filled to a suffocating level by the enormous crowds of workers for many hours.

Massive rallies unprecedented in size and militancy took place in all the cities throughout Greece.

These forces were rallied so that the draft legislation with new anti-people measures will not be voted through, with the following line: Down with the government and the parties of the plutocracy, working class-popular organization and alliance everywhere, a solution concerning the question of power. The slogan which resounded in the rally was “Worker, without you no cog can turn, you can do without the bosses”, “Disobedience to the plutocracy, People, a front for power”.

The huge success of the strike was based on the paralysis of countless factories, big production units and other workplaces by workers and employees who experience poverty, destitution, and the dead-end of unemployment. Its huge size and militancy was also based on the closure of numerous small shops and businesses which face the danger of closing down permanently. Many new forces of workers participated for the first time in the strike giving a special dynamic to the struggle against the barbarity of the measures of the government, the plutocracy, the IMF, the EU.

From dawn the forces of PAME with their picket lines supported decisively the workers in “ghetto” workplaces who decided to go on strike for the first time, defying employer intimidation and even civil mobilization, which the government had imposed on the striking garbage collectors of the municipalities, and the other mechanisms of strike breakers used by the government.

The provocateur groups who jumped out of the contingents of the compromised trade union organizations of GSEE and ADEDY sought once again to create staged incidents. Nevertheless, they did not manage to conceal the huge size and the demands of the immense strike rally, the organized and protected participation of the working people in the demonstrations of PAME where not a single incident occurred.

Giorgos Perros, member of the Executive Secretariat of PAME, stated amongst other things from the podium of the strike rally: “there is no pro-people PASOK. There is no pro-people government no matter if it is called “centre-left”, or “left”, if it does not come into conflict with the monopolies, if its programme does not include the overthrow of the monopolies or in other words their socialization. Either with the people or with the monopolies. Workers’- people’s power or monopolies’ power. There is no other way! Don’t waste any moment. Counterattack all together! Tomorrow, on Thursday everyone must come to the encirclement of the Parliament by PAME from all sides and streets.

Processes in the bourgeois parties to inhibit the people’s torrent of rage

The very big success of the first day of the strike exerts pressure on the parties of plutocracy and its government. Thus, at these moments there is an intensification of the processes for the reformation of the political system by PASOK and ND and the other bourgeois parties, with scenarios of a “big coalition of PASOK-ND” as well as efforts to ensure the consensus for the passing of the anti-people measures against the torrent of the strike that flooded Athens and other cities today.

The GS of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, mentioned the following in relation to these processes in her statements to the media : “ I don’t think that Mr Papandreou expects our toleration and consensus. Maybe for reasons to do with publicity abroad he is meeting with the parties in order to demonstrate that he has their support. He has no support from us. None whatsoever. What he has from us is our radical, total, real and substantial confrontation.”

After her departure from the meeting which she had with the Prime Minister, who has carried out a series of meetings with all the party leaders, the GS of the CC of the KKE, stated :

“From now on things will literally be decided by the mighty people and not by the negotiations which the government will carry out or by the councils and caucuses with the other parties.” Aleka Papariga called on the people to go forward without fear, with out illusions until the final victory and she added: “There is one solution: the wealth which exists is this country must become the people’s. We must disengage from the bonds of the EU and unilaterally cancel the debt. There is no intermediate solution.”

It should be noted that all the forces of the class-oriented forces will rally for the second strike battle on Thursday and for the encirclement of the Parliament which will constitute a new landmark in the struggle against the anti-worker measures, in conflict with the monopolies and their power.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Public Bad Private Good??

Good article on the sale of state assets and the ignorant economics and journalism that surrounds it on the below blog:

Michael Moore at Occupy Wall Street

Michael Moore addresses the crowds at Occupy Wall Street

Check it out...

The great oil and gas rip-off

The great oil and gas rip-off

The decision by Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy, and Natural
Resources, to issue thirteen new exploration licences for oil and gas in Irish
territorial waters is nothing more than the complete abandonment by this state
of any control of these resources that belong to the Irish people or the right
to derive any significant benefit from them for our people.

The Government department responsible estimates reserves to be 10 billion barrels
of oil off the west coast. Geological and seismic surveys and drilling results
have estimated reserves of 6½ billion barrels of oil and 20 trillion cubic feet
of gas. This would be enough to meet Ireland’s energy demands for a hundred years,
based on current usage.

Despite his telling Dáil Éireann on 19 April that he accepted that the present
licensing terms should be reviewed, Rabbitte has handed over our natural
resources, estimated to be worth more than €500 billion, to transnational oil
and gas companies. He is continuing the same same policies as previous ministers
who were responsible for the great oil and gas rip-off by transnational companies.

The Labour Party minister gives as the reason for the state not developing these
resources that it has not got the money, yet his party, with the other party in
government, stands over the socialisation of corporate debt at a cost of about €271
billion. Billions of euros will leave the country every year just to service this
odious debt. The Irish establishment are pauperising our people and our country,
leaving our people to super-exploitation and rip-off.

These valuable resources could be the foundation for developing a more sustainable,
planned economic and social development, lessening the dependence on transnational
corporations and building a new industrial base, using existing state companies
throughout Ireland, north and south.


Eugene McCartan
General secretary
087 9733414



The Economist is running an online poll asking if the Miami 5 received fair jail sentences.
Please vote no now. The vote closes today 17 October.

Click on the link below to vote:

Simon McGuinness,

National Coordinator,

Cuba Support Group Ireland,

15 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Ph: 087 6785842

Txt: 087 2360234

The Citizen online


Just to let you know, issue 4 of The Citizen is now online. It can be accessed through the Ireland Institute website at or directly on its own home page at

Sunday, October 16, 2011

90th anniversary of the Party

Rally to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the first CPI in 1921.

Saturday 5th November 2.30pm
The New Theatre, Temple Bar.

We have invited Charlie McGuire from Scotland who recently had two important biographies published. The first one was on Roddy Connolly (son of James Connolly) and the second on Sean McLaughlin who was second in command in the GPO. Both individuals where central figures in the founding the first CPI. It will be a tribute to the forgotten role played by communists in the Civil War and after.

There will also be music - song - poetry included in the event.

Communist Party of Ireland

Wall Street Public Enemy No. 1

Wall Street as Public Enemy #1

Written by Glen Ford, Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report

There’s some talk in veteran left circles about the need to politically “educate” the adamantly leaderless, mostly white young people who have made Zuccotti Park in Manhattan’s financial district the center of the U.S. lefty world since September 17.

Although there’s a large portion of Yippie-like mush in the Zuccotti mix – the kind of activism that seems more like aroma than substance – the core is clearly comprised of serious people determined to end the rule of the “One Percent.” The 99% versus 1% formula is quite powerful, directing the people’s anger towards the class that conducts its oppressive business on Wall Street: finance capitalists.

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crew has identified the beast in his lair – which is a very big deal in the United States, a nation that is the most politically backward and confused in the industrial world due to the endemic racism that is its birthright and that has always thwarted the growth of a strong Left.

The Zuccotti Park campers are eons ahead of the faux radicals and “progressives” who, in terror of the Tea Party and Republican presidential clown candidates, will soon return to the Obamite fold in their eternal search for lesser evils.

Given that so many of the “old heads” of the Left only a few years ago put themselves at the service of Wall Street’s presidential candidate – a talented and attractive Black man who would become the far more effective evil in facilitating the dismantling of the New Deal – it may be best that they keep their political education classes to themselves.

In identifying finance capital as the common enemy, the supposedly “apolitical” park occupiers are in some ways more advanced than a lot of folks that call themselves scientific socialists but have not come fully to grips with what it means when finance capital achieves absolute political hegemony – the reality that is central to how U.S. imperialism ultimately collapses.

It is a class that produces nothing; that exists solely through rigging and armed coercion of markets and the destruction of all that cannot be monetized; that actively suppresses and makes war against human productive potential, worldwide; and that has now turned, like piranhas, against the state structures they themselves helped build in Europe and North America.

The political rule of finance capital is the end game. In the early stages of the Great Depression, banking baron Andrew Mellon urged President Herbert Hoover to "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate” in order to solve the crisis. Mellon didn’t get his wish because, even then, the finance capitalist class did not wield hegemonic power in U.S. society. They do now.

With all the other capitalist sectors totally subservient to Wall Street – including mass communications – they are financializing the State, seeking to convert many of its components (Social Security, health care, public education, and much more) into profit centers, and discarding much of the rest. This is of necessity, because finance capital can no longer preserve itself in any other way.

Nothing is left standing in the capitalist sector to resist them. For that reason, there is no Hoover, much less a Roosevelt, to articulate an alternative capitalist vision, a new compact, an accommodating “reform.” Finance capital rushes forward, creating conditions in which its own imminent destruction can only be temporarily averted by frenzied predation on the real economy and the State, itself.

Obama Democrats and the Republicans, alike, facilitate the pillaging, captives of the hegemon.

To live in the age of finance capitalist hegemony is different than when Vladimir Lenin said “the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with.” Wall Street daily invents and plays fire with its own form of money: derivatives that are notionally valued at $600 trillion to $1,000 trillion (no one really knows!), many times the yearly Gross Planetary Product of Earth.

The finance hegemon is disconnected from, yet a parasite on, the real economy. He is not in the business of selling or making ropes, or anything else. He is about transforming the world into capital, to feed capital, for the reproduction of capital. He can no longer coexist with human life.

Therefore, the righteous demonization of Wall Street, the symbolic and literal headquarters of the class that is the primary threat to human existence, is a great place begin a mass movement. 99% to 1% is encouraging odds, and an accurate reflection of reality.

The occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, starting Oct 6, should showcase the national government as the domestic and international superpower servant of finance capital – and Barack Obama as Servant-in-Chief. The United National Anti-War Coalition’s (UNAC) October 15 rally at the OWS encampment marking the tenth anniversary of the U.S. war on Afghanistan, proclaims that “Wall Street is War Street.”

And the November 5 national conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace, and Reparations, in Philadelphia, will remind us that the European war against the rest of the world that began more than five hundred years ago is till being waged for the benefit of a predatory class whose primary address is right next to Zuccotti Park.

October 5, 2011
Glen Ford is executive editor of Black Agenda Report

A barrage of strikes in Greece


A barrage of strikes in Greece and escalation with a 48 hοurs general strike on the 18-19 of October

The response of the workers is strengthening against the unending anti-people offensive

The workers’ income in the private and public sector will receive a savage blow with the new measures. The goal of the government, plutocracy and Troika is the dramatic reduction of salaries. The new measures will further cut the salaries of public sector employees, who have already lost 5 months’ worth of salaries, at the same time on the basis of the plan for the new salary structure, the salary of workers in the public sector will be reduced by amounts ranging from 20% to 50% or more! While modeled on the wretched contract in the Telecommunications Enterprise OTE, the salaries in the private sector will be cut even further. They abolish the Collective Bargaining Agreements so that they will press down wages in the private sector well below the shameful National Pay Agreement, which together with the cuts in benefits imposes poverty wages.

The need for the immediate escalation of the struggle not only with the strike on the 19th of October but with a 48 hour nationwide general strike on the 19th and 20th of October was decided on by PAME for the country’s working class to give a decisive response to the government measures which bury their rights and lives.

Strikes have been in full swing all week against the measures of the government, plutocracy-Troika, in the entire public urban transport system, paralysing the public transportation within Athens. The municipal workers are on strike, which is exerting pressure through the non-collection of rubbish in many municipalities including Athens for a week. Workers in DEH (electricity board) have occupied for two days already the building where the machines which print the electricity bills are housed, so in practice blocking the printing and sending to the workers of yet another head tax, a property tax which the government announced would be sent with the electricity bill. The situation in the health sector is explosive, where the government apart from the merger of hospitals announced the closure of 50% of the beds in public hospitals and the handing over of hundreds of hospital beds to private companies. Occupations and work stoppages have taken place in the biggest central hospitals such as the General State Hospital, Ag. Savvas against these plans of the government. The seamen are organizing a 48-hour strike on Monday and Tuesday. The employees in the tax offices as in most ministries and public bodies are also on strike and they have occupied the buildings of various ministries. Various sections of the self-employed like taxi drivers and lawyers are also on strike. School students, students and teachers have been carrying out demonstrations and occupations for the last month and a half due to the unacceptable situation that parents, teachers (the teachers were on strike this week) face as schools have no books and the ministry has handed out photocopies instead of books. At the same the recent laws for schools and universities promote and reinforce the business activity in schools and faculties and force the parents to pay even more.

A significant example of the activity of PAME in this period was the reinstatement of a dismissed worker in one of the three biggest dairy industries. The dismissal of the worker by the bosses of the dairy industry MEVGAL met for three days the response of the workers who went on strike in the two main factories in Athens and Thessalonica. In this way the workers exposed the plans of the employers not merely concerning this dismissal but concerning hundreds of dismissals through the merging of the company with another dairy industry group. The reinstatement of the worker shows the way, it shows that the decisive struggle can prevent the anti-people plans in the workplaces where everything is determined.

This activity that faces the intimidation of the government and the employers, the declaration of strikes as illegal and abusive, will be escalated through the strike demonstrations of PAME on 19-20 October, in the general strike.

International Section of the CC of KKE

Debt or democracy? Free Public Event

Debt or Democracy?

with David Malone (aka Golem XIV)

Friday, October 21st, 6 - 8pm

Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre, National College of Art and Design, Dublin 8

Author and documentary filmmaker David Malone's BBC documentary High Anxieties - The Mathematics of Chaos (2008) was the first film to be made about the financial crisis, accurately anticipating the problems that were to unfold in the economy. In 2008 Malone began commenting on the financial pages of the Guardian's website about the credit-crunch and the ensuing financial crisis under the pseudonym Golem XIV, the name of a military supercomputer in a novel by the same name by Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem. Malone became a fierce critic of the bank bailouts, arguing that they would lead to huge cuts in public spending. In November 2010 his highly acclaimed book about the crisis The Debt Generation was published in the UK by Lever Press. "In The Debt Generation, David Malone comes to a similar conclusion as I came to making Inside Job: that the financial system, as presently constituted, isn't just a danger to our economy, but to our very democracy." - Charles ferguson, directer of Inside Job (2010) On October 21st, Malone will be joined by a diverse panel at NCAD, including members from IDIP (Irish Debt Info-graphic Project), to analyse the current economic situation, focussing on the question: what is worth knowing? This discussion is part of the IDIP research programme, which is developing an online graphic history of the debt crisis in Ireland.

This is a free public event, however, places are limited, and booking is strongly recommended. Please send an email to: to reserve your place.

For more information visit or

Who Speaks for Palestinian Refugees?

Premiere: Who Speaks for Palestinian Refugees? (THE RETURN OF TALK + Q&A with director Adam Shapiro)

TUESDAY 18th OCT @ 7:15PM
The Pearse Centre
27 Pearse Street
Dublin 2


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CPI solidarity with Greek workers and comrades


The following resolution was adopted at a meeting of the National Executive Committee of our party on Saturday 8th October

Resolution of solidarity

12th October 2011

The National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland, meeting on 8 October, confirmed its solidarity with the people of Greece at this time and in particular with its working class. The Greek working class is in the front line of resistance to the policies of austerity imposed by the alliance of the Greek ruling class with the European Union and IMF.
Monopoly capitalism is a system in deep crisis. It is attempting to overcome the crisis with an all-embracing assault on the people, in particular on the hard-won rights and conditions that Greek workers have secured over many decades.

The EU/IMF in co-operation with the ruling classes of the member states continue to emphasis  that it is not a crisis of the system but rather that the individual countries are separate and experiencing different crises, yet they are attempting to impose the same solution on all, replicating their polices and strategies across the member states but most intensely in the peripheral countries.

We express our solidarity with the Communist Party of Greece and with the All-Workers Militant Front, PAME, which has shown great courage and determination in resisting the onslaught of capital both at the national level and in the political institutions that represent capital at the European level: the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the IMF.
The Greek working class needs the active support and solidarity not just of Irish workers but of all workers throughout Europe. Their fight is our fight. The struggle against monopoly capitalism requires closer co-operation and actions of solidarity by the Communist Parties and other working-class forces to move on from an economic crisis to a political and ideological crisis within the system itself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CPI Statement

9th October 2011

The National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland met on 8 October to discuss and evaluate the political and economic conditions in the country.

The economic crisis of the system continues to inflict great damage and hardship on the people, north and south. Poverty and unemployment continue to grow and spread, while emigration has now become a significant factor, with thousands of talented workers and young people leaving the country seeking a future for themselves and their families. These policies are being pursued both by the Irish Government in the Republic and by the British Government in the North, where the local administration has followed blindly the diktat from London.

In the Republic, economic growth has slowed—one of the central planks of the establishment’s policies for overcoming the crisis and the selling point that the massive socialised corporate debt was payable through economic growth. This is a similar situation to the position in Britain.

While the people are angry, they have not yet reached the point of open public resistance to the policies adopted and eagerly pursued by the Irish Government in alliance with the the external EU-ECB-IMF troika. The strategy of further cuts in public spending of €3 to 5 billion, in addition to further charges, taxes, and levies, hits hardest working people, the unemployed, the sick, and pensioners. Women will pay a greater price because of the part-time nature of much female employment and the high number of households headed by woman and in receipt of state supports.

It is clear that the Irish ruling class and their political representatives are prepared to sacrifice our people to the interests of monopoly capital. They will sell off valuable state companies built up over many generations of hard work and sacrifice by the workers in these public industries to pay off their debt to the ECB and to German, French and other European and global finance houses.

They do not care, nor is it in their class interests, that these vital strategic assets remain in public ownership, that they are essential strategic elements in building and securing a more independent economic, social and political development.

The trade union movement has not only a central role to play in defending the rights, terms and conditions of their members in these companies but needs to place these crucial public assets in a wider social context, to win the workers in these companies to the realisation that sectional interests must be challenged and overcome for the greater good and that the wider community needs to be brought into the struggle to maintain them in public ownership.

The party calls on workers in Northern Ireland to come out and support the day of action on 30th November called by the trade union movement. This will be an opportunity to let both the local political parties and institutions and the British Government realise the extent of anger and opposition.

The forthcoming presidential election has been a wasted opportunity. It could have provided an opportunity for rallying the people in a broad democratic struggle to resist the austerity policies of the EU-ECB-IMF and the Irish establishment, to raise the demand for greater political and economic sovereignty from the EU and to establish that no further sovereignty should be ceded.

Instead it has been reduced to a bland series of banal sound-bites and set pieces, where mediocrity has triumphed over substance. Given the difficult conditions in which people find themselves, and the narrow mandate that secures the candidates’ name on the ballot paper, the choice before the people is very limited.

When people vote they should consider both the position of the individual and the party that they belong to: they cannot be separated. Where do they stand on the austerity programme? Where do they stand on the debt question? Where do they stand on ceding further political and economic sovereignty to the EU? They should be urged to vote for the candidate that takes a stand in opposition to these policies.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

CPI Meeting - Greek Resistance

YCL USA Occupy!!!!!

YCL USA calls on all young people in the States to get involved in the Occupy movement.

This is an exciting time! As many of you know, young people have been occupying Wall Street for three weeks already, and the “Occupy Movement” has spread to more than 200 other cities.

Check here to see how you can get linked up to the action, and to see an hour-by-hour schedule of the events happening in New York:

Occupy Wall Street!

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

September 30, 2011 by NYCGA
This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on september 29, 2011
Translations: French , Slovak , Spanish , German , Italian

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Protect Rene - Miami 5

Miami 5 Campaign

On October 7th 2011, René González, one of the Miami Five, will be released from prison in Florida after serving out his full 13 year sentence. But rather than being allowed to return to his family in Cuba, due to a recklessly vindictive decision of the US courts, he has been ordered to remain in the United States for a further three years of "supervised release". He is required to spend this time within the jurisdiction of the Miami Court which sentenced him in a legal process condemned by all international experts, including the United Nations and Amnesty International, as unjust.

But that is not the half of it: René's life is now very much in danger.

Forced to stay in Miami, he is a sitting target for the ultra right-wing terrorist groups he was sent to infiltrate, terrorist groups the US government has been harbouring for decades, in spite of its so called "war on terror". All of these groups would be only too delighted to add another death to their bloody toll of 3,478 innocent Cubans they have killed through terrorists acts, not one of which has brought them to the attention of the global US counter-terrorist apparatus. The judge who sentenced him to this additional punishment has deliberately and purposefully put his life in danger, a criminal act of reckless endangerment in most jurisdictions. She has done this with the tacit, at least, support of the White House. There is only one conclusion to be drawn: President Obama wants René killed.

We say NO!

We say René is a hero who worked undercover and without violence to protect his country from terrorist crimes launched with impunity from US territory. He does not deserve either to have spent 13 years in jail, let alone to spend the next three years as a human target for wild-west gunslingers with US government protection.

You, men and women of Ireland, are now his shield. You must act now to protect his life. It is time to stand up to the real terrorists and demand they release their hostage. It is time to demand that the US President acts as a champion of human rights, not an apologist for injustice or a defender of terrorists. It is time for him to release René unconditionally.

Come to the US Embassy at 6.30pm on Monday armed with whistles, banners and bin lids to call the US President to account for his role in this supreme injustice.

If you are unable to attend our demonstration at such short notice, please make sure to register your protest by contacting the White house and demanding the immediate return of René Gonzalez to his homeland:

By phone from Ireland: 001 202 456 1111

By Fax from Ireland: 001 202 456 2461


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Socialist Voice Out Now

Check out October Socialist Voice at:

TU Conference Build Resistance and Develop Alternatives


Saturday 15th October, 9:30am - 1:00pm

UNISON Offices, Galway House, Belfast

Speakers will include:

Patricia McKeown
Unison, Regional Secretary

Andrew Murray
Unite, Chief of Staff

John Douglas
Mandate, General Secretary

And speakers from the:

Community Sector,


Greek Trade Union Federation


Please Note:

Due to limitations on numbers we must ask people to register by email to:

or via post to:

Belfast Trades Council, Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre

45-47 Donegal Street, Belfast. BT1 2FG

Latin America - James Petras

Latin America: Growth, Stability and Inequalities: Lessons for the US and EU

By Prof. James Petras

Global Research, October 2, 2011

Introduction: Images of the Past

The image of Latin America portrayed by the mass media and held by the educated public is a region of frequent coups, periodical revolutions, perpetual military dictatorships, alternating boom and bust economies and an ever-present International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictating economic policy.

In contrast the same opinion makers plus their academic counterparts project images of the United States and the European Union as stable societies, with steady economic growth, incremental expansion of social welfare programs, resolving issues via consensual compromises and practicing sound fiscal policies.

In recent times, the better part of the current decade, these images have taken on the character of ideological dogmas – they no longer correspond to reality. In fact a good argument can be made that the roles have been reversed: the US and EU are in perpetual crises and Latin America, at least most of the major countries, have experienced stability and growth which is the envy (or should be) of Washington pundits and financial commentators. This ‘role reversal’ has been recognized by many US, EU and Asian investors and multinationals, even as respectable journalistic hacks for the Financial Times, NY Times and Wall Street Journal still write about vulnerabilities, imbalances and other weaknesses while grudgingly acknowledging the dynamic growth of the region.

Progressive opinion is equally at fault, focusing on the ‘advances’ of the left regimes but overlooking the underlying dynamics affecting most of the region and thus losing sight of the new points of conflict and contention.

We will proceed to outline the contrasting realities between the crises ridden “North” (US/EU) and the sustained growth of the “South” ( South America ). The analysis will raise questions of whether the South American experience is transferable to the North and what ‘structural adjustments’ would be necessary to pull the US and EU out of the downward spiral of stagnation and violent conflicts which have characterized these regions for the better part of the past decade.

The Lost Decade, US and EU Style

The Latin American countries during the 1980’s experienced a deep and persistent crises, manifested in negative growth, increased poverty levels and heavy indebtedness, which allowed creditors (like the IMF) to impose harsh and regressive austerity measures and “structural adjustment” policies which came to be known as ‘neo-liberalization’. These included the privatization of most strategic, lucrative public enterprises, and the ending of any semblance of state directed industrial strategies. For the peasants and the working and middle class the short-lived neo-liberal “boom” of the 1990’s was a continuation of the ‘lost decade’ of the 1980’s. The neo-liberal policies of the 1990’s were based on fundamentally flawed structural foundations and polarizing income and public expenditures involving huge transfers of income to capital and downward pressures on wages and welfare. The neo-liberal regimes

went into a deep crisis early in 2000 provoking major popular upheavals. The outcome resulted in a new set of political configurations and social power equations, which evolved into new post-neoliberal regimes, at least in most of the major countries in Latin America .

In contrast and in part thanks to the profitable opportunities opened by the debt crises and neo-liberalization of Latin America in the 1990’s (and in the ex-Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Baltic/Balkan states) the US and EU prospered. In Latin America over 5,000 lucrative extractive resource based industries, banks, telecommunications and other industries passed into the hands of foreign private MNC and local capital .High returns on bonds and loans and rents from technology transfers enriched the Northern capitalists even as poverty multiplied in the South. The 1990’s was the “golden age” of Western capital as profits rose and leftist parties and the traditional urban trade unions appeared unable to withstand the ‘wave’ of predatory capitalism capturing the commanding heights of the economy.

The very successes of the US and EU countries, the enormous easy gains from pillage, speculation, and exploitation led to the dominance of financial capital and the belief in an irrevocable “new world order”. The dominance of the US and EU was built on their military superiority backed by pliant, collaborative, neo-liberal client regimes. The ‘new order’ lasted less than a decade: the economic crises of 1999/2000 smashed the illusions of a century of imperial grandeur. As markets collapsed so too did the Latin American oligarchic electoral regimes (dubbed “democracies”) which along with the financial elite and the military formed the triple alliance that defined Western supremacy. The final blow was the economic crises of 2001-2002 in the US and EU which steeply eroded their capacity to intervene and prop up their collapsing Latin clients ousted by rebellious masses.

The first decade of the new millennia has been the ‘lost decade’ of the North. Over the course of the past eleven years the North has witnessed stagnation and recessions which have not given way to recoveries. The capitalist states temporarily saved the bankers but were powerless to set in motion economic growth.

The credit rating of the US economy was downgraded by the risk agencies. Unemployment and underemployment hovers close to one-fifth of the labor force, figures comparable to stagnant Third World countries. Social programs are severely slashed in the US and throughout the European Union, reversing decades of incremental gains. Trade and budget deficits in the US have become chronic, while private and public lenders are becoming increasingly reticent to lend in the face of deep-seated recessionary tendencies. The financial sector in the US and EU is rife with large scale fraud, swindles, mismanagement and falsified balance sheets, conditions previously prevalent among Latin economies. Wars proliferate. Military spending far exceeds productive investments, draining the US economy in a fashion reminiscent of the weapons spending during the reign of the warlords of Africa and the military dictators of Latin America . In the EU faced with brutal cuts in wages, pensions and jobs millions of workers and unemployed youth in Greece , Portugal , Spain and Italy have taken to the streets. General strikes threaten the stability of increasingly isolated regimes, reminiscent of the popular rebellions which resulted in regime changes in Latin America in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. In the US , public protests reflect deepening private discontent: over 75% of the population expresses negative views of the Congress and 60% of the White House. Deepening political alienation of the US electorate is comparable to the loss of popular faith in Latin governments during the “lost decades”, 1980-2000.

Both the US and the EU have been radically transformed for the worse during the ‘lost decade’ of the current century. Economically, politically and socially the ‘North’ has been “Latin Americanized’: Social instability, economic stagnation, political alienation, growing class inequalities and poverty is presided over by corrupt political elites.

Signs of the Better Times: Latin America :

Recently the finance minister of Brazil raised the possibility that the BRICs ( Brazil , Russia , India and China ) might take a hand in a “rescue plan” to prop up the crises ridden economies of Europe . While the statement had greater symbolic rather substantive consequences, it does reflect a certain reality: while the North plunges into deeper, unending crises, the Latin economies are doing reasonably well.

Except for the Latin countries still under US dominance, especially Mexico and most of Central America, the rest of Latin America has not only avoided the crises afflicting the North but have been growing at a healthy rate, three times that of the US over the decade. The new millennium, especially between 2003-2011 (except for a brief interlude in 2009) has been a period of high growth, general prosperity, booming exports, rising imports, greater inter-regional co-operation, and large scale poverty reduction.

Brazil alone has reduced the number of poor by 30 million. Regular elections, relatively honest and competitive, result in stable legitimate transfers of political power. Except for US backed coups in Honduras and intervention in Haiti and Venezuela , violent seizures of power have disappeared, over the past decade. Regional institution – building has prospered with the advent of UNASUR and a Latin American regional bank.

Because of fiscal controls and banking regulations, both results of the lessons learned from the crisis of the lost decades (1980-2000), Latin America was only slightly affected by the US-EU financial crash of 2008-2011. Latin American trade has doubled, especially with Asia, aided by China ’s double digit growth. Demand for agro-mineral commodities has tripled. The key to this new export powered growth is Latin America ’s growing economic independence. This has led to the diversification of its markets, taking advantage of new opportunities and reducing their dependence on the US . Latin America’s emphasis on economic growth, new markets and investments, has led it to avoid entanglements in the proliferating and costly colonial wars which engage the US and EU.

While the US and EU print more money and increase indebtedness to cover trade deficits, Latin America has quadrupled its foreign reserves. These cushion any downturns and avoid any dependence on the IMF, architect of the lost decades of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Within Latin America , the issue of poverty reduction has been tackled with varying degrees of effectiveness. With Venezuela under President Chavez leading the way the general direction has been toward increasing social payments, by increments in most cases, but with greater efforts in others. Except for Mexico , nothing resembling the social cuts of the US-EU has taken place in Latin America . The most striking structural advances have occurred in Venezuela and to a lesser degree in Argentina . They have significantly increased the minimum wage and pensions and increased welfare payments to the most vulnerable (single mothers, the disabled, those in extreme poverty).

With the exception of Colombia (the US ’s principle military ally in the region) which is still the murder capital of the world for human rights advocates, trade unionists and peasant activists, human rights violations have declined. While the US-EU have vastly increased their human rights violations geometrically via multiple colonial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and clandestine death squad ‘operations’, Latin America’s overseas human rights violations are largely limited to its occupation forces in Haiti – at the behest of the US and EU. Nevertheless repression of popular movements, especially indigenous peoples and peasant movements and students has increased in Bolivia , Chile , Brazil and elsewhere as the high growth policies on community rights and social expenditures.

Because of Latin America ’s current political stability and dynamic growth, institutional and corporate investment is pouring into the region. In contrast the US and EU are suffering from disinvestment and declining rates of private investment. In other words, the development of Latin America is the other side of the coin of the US-EU underdevelopment.

Latin America: New Contradictions

The class struggle is still the motor force in the social progress of Latin America . But unlike EU-US, Latin America’s class struggle is directed at increasing social and monitory wages, even if incrementally, as part of an offensive strategy to capture a greater shares of rising income. In the US and EU the class struggle is ‘defensive’: an effort to stop declining income shares, limit job losses and cuts in pensions.

While militant class action including land occupations, street demonstrations and strikes are still part of the repertory of working class social weapons, they take place within the political parameters of democratic institutions. In Europe the elites have increasingly ignored mass street protests and strikes, largely pursuing austerity policies dictated by non-elected domestic and foreign bankers and creditors.

The limitations and ‘contradictions’ affecting all Latin America countries are located in the internal class inequalities. As national income has increased and exports boom, the inequalities between the ruling investor class and the mass of wage earners has increased. While initially the problem of class inequality was papered over by the general rise in living standards and employment, over time the employed and productive classes are no longer satisfied with incremental gains which barely surpass inflation rates. The rising standards of living have raised expectations. The percentage of poor may have declined but subsisting just above $4 dollars a day is increasingly unacceptable. Growth brings forth its own set of contradictions and a new set of demands. Formerly excluded classes included in the system, but exploited, have only their class organizations as their weapons to advance their socio-economic interests.

This is clearly the case in contemporary Chile where long term growth is accompanied by deeply entrenched inequalities comparable to the worse in the OECD. Beginning in July 2011 massive student protests over the high cost of public and private education and low levels of social expenditures have detonated mass activity from trade unions covering the gamut of economic sectors from teachers to copper miners.

The new and explosive issue confronting rulers and ruled in most of high growth Latin America is raising incomes for whom? The class issues are front and foremost in the current period and immediate future.

Growth, stability and democratic class struggles characterize most of the major countries, but not all. In several countries, the authoritarian and violent legacy of the dictatorial regimes continues robust. Colombia ’s practice of murdering trade unionists, peasant leaders, journalists and human rights activists continues unabated: over 30 trade unionists were murdered during the first 8 months of 2011.

Honduras ’ ruling regime, product of a US backed coup and its allies among the paramilitary private armies of landowners, have killed scores of peasants and dozens of pro-democracy political and social activists.

Mexico ’s killing fields are notorious: over 40,000 people have been killed by the police, military and drug gangs in a ‘war on drugs’ promoted by Obama and implemented by President Calderon.

What these three retro-regimes have in common is that they continue to follow the dictates of Washington , remain highly militarized states, with a strong US military and police presence in the form of bases, overseas advisers, and an intrusive role in setting policy. All three have failed to diversify markets and continue with a high degree of dependence on the stagnant US market. All have secured or are in the process of signing bi-lateral free trade agreements at the expense of exploring greater links with the dynamic Asian markets.

The 3 retro-regimes have never experienced the kind of popular rebellions and resultant center-left regimes which have emerged in most of Latin America . In Mexico pro-democracy candidates were twice defrauded of electoral victories, first in 1988 and later in 2006. In Honduras , a progressive liberal democratic President seeking to diversify markets was ousted by a military coup backed by the Obama regime in 2010. In Colombia , the murder of 5,000 activists and leaders of the pro-democracy Patriotic Union between 1984-86, the subsequent assassination of several thousand social activists, blocked a democratic opening. The abrupt termination of peace negotiations in 2002 and the total militarization of the country (2002-2011) funded by $6 billion in US military aid precluded the emergence of the political and social changes, which have dynamized the rest of Latin America’s sustained growth and opened the door for ‘democratic class struggle’.

While most of Latin America has forged ahead, thus far largely avoiding the instability and economic crises of the US and EU, past legacies and present inequities present a new set of structural impediments to the consolidation of long-term growth and political and social stability. The biggest structural contradiction is found in the high growth/increasing inequalities, socio-economic model based on the “3 ½ alliance”: foreign capital-national capital-the developmental state and the co-opted trade union/peasant leaders. The profits and investments of this power configuration has been driven by the growth of agro-mineral exports, rising commodity prices, easy consumer credit and state regulation of financial markets. The economic returns on growth have been disproportionately appropriated by the “big three” with incremental payoffs to a minority of better paid organized workers. The ‘residuals’ are used to “lift the poor” from abject poverty to subsistence. These growing inequalities have been “papered over” by the general rise of income, easy credit and improved public services. But rising incomes have set in motion a new set of class conflicts which will be exacerbated when the prices of commodities decline and the governments can no longer fund incremental improvements. Even today, severe conflicts have emerged between predator mining and timber, multi nationals and Indian/peasants in Peru , Ecuador , Bolivia , Brazil , Colombia and Chile . These sometimes violent struggles between the state/ MNC and peasants in the “periphery of the countryside” can detonate a larger conflict in the central cities, if export revenues decline.

The second contradiction is between the “marginalized working poor” and a new class of local middle and business class investors who have invested their “savings” in shares of the foreign and locally owned mining companies. Conservative and closely aligned with the rapacious multi-nationals, these new middle class investors have enriched themselves on the bases of unregulated plunder of natural resources and contamination of the adjoining rural communities. If and when commodity prices nose dive, the regimes will face a bankrupt hysterical middle class looking for a political savior where none exist, at least among the existing civilian parties.

The rightward drift of the center-left regimes and their opportune links to big business especially in Brazil , Uruguay , Bolivia , Ecuador and Paraguay has led to corruption in high places. Liberalization and exorbitant executive salaries has been accompanied by “unofficial payoffs” to public officials. Corruptions has eroded the social ethic of center-left politicians and replaced it with the ethos of “bringing in new and bigger investments”, whatever shortcuts and payoffs it requires. Corruption at the top spreads downwards greasing the wheels for foreign investors, but certainly lowering the trust and loyalties of employees and formal and informal workers not in the ‘magic circle’ a bribe takers and givers. “Patronage” and poverty reduction payouts can limit the fallout from corruption in high places among poverty funded recipients. However, in time of economic downturn, it can turn social protests toward political regime change.

The third contradiction is found between the high level of dependency on commodity exports (which heretofore have been the dynamic element of growth) and the relative and absolute decline of manufacturing exports and production. The growth of income from commodities has led to the appreciation of the currency which has lessened the competitiveness of nationally produced manufactured products, leading to a sharp decline in profits and even bankruptcy.

Asian manufacturer-exporters – especially in China and to a lesser extent India and Korea - are increasingly penetrating Latin markets with lower cost finished products “de-industrializing” the Latin economies. In some cases, Latin American capitalists are looking to investing in Asia to lower costs and exporting back to their “home markets”. Brazilian industry which has been hardest hit, has initiated “protectionist” measures including tariffs, 65% local content rules and state subsidies to counter the de-diversification of the economy.

The fourth contradiction is found precisely in the successful economic growth and high returns, which has attracted both speculative and “takeover” capital as well as productive

investments. Speculative capital will flee and destabilize the financial system at the first sign of slowdown. Foreign ownership will lessen the government’s ability to leverage investment decisions in time of crises. Productive investments respond to expanding markets they do not create them.

In summary, Latin America’s decade long dynamic growth has certainly out-performed the US and EU on a whole series of important economic, social and political dimensions. Yet, out of this growth have emerged a new set of contradictions and the need to correct increasingly grave “imbalances”: popular demands for a shift in income distribution, industrialists pressure for a rebalancing of the economy from dependence on finance and commodities to manufacturing and the urban poor demand improved social services especially in public health care and crowded classrooms. These changes require a structural adjustment in the power structure. The economic imbalances reflect the growing concentration of political power among the extractive capitalists, bankers and local middle class investors of the major cities. Public employees, labor, the urban poor, the peasants and environmentally concerned Indians and ecologists, are marginalized from the key economic posts. They need to once again take to the streets with new independent movements which raise two basic questions: What kind of growth and growth for whom?

Lessons Latin America : Listen Yankees and Eurocrats

Can the positive lessons of the dynamic Latin American experience provide a ‘model’ for the US and Europe ? Is the “model”, in whole or part, transferable to the North or are the two regions so different that the lessons are not applicable?

Granted there are vast historical, cultural, economic and political differences between the regions yet some lessons from the Latin America’s decade of dynamic growth, provides new ideas to counter the negative, self-defeating economic formulas put forth and practiced by US and EU experts, economists and policymakers.

Let us start from the beginning. The rise of Latin America was precipitated by a deep economic crisis, the breakdown of the economy, large scale unemployment and the impoverishment of the middle class. The crises led to the total discrediting of what has been called alternately the “free market”, “neo-liberal” and “de-regulated” capitalist model. So far so good: the US and EU likewise are experiencing a prolonged and deepening economic crises which has bankrupted Southern Europe, plunged the US into a double dip recession and led to a 20% un and underemployment rate. The entire “political class” in the US and Europe is largely discredited. From there forward the regions diverge.

In Latin America , the crises led to mass protests, popular uprisings and regime changes. Post neo-liberal center-left regimes, under mass pressure, subsequently launched employment generating investments and aid poverty reducing public works programs. Argentina facing a financial crisis similar to Greece , Portugal and Spain today, defaulted on its foreign debt – channeling public revenues into reviving the economy. Because financial speculation linked to Wall Street and the City of London precipitated the crises, the Latin regimes instituted financial controls and regulations which limited financial volatility. The new regimes, influenced by the commodity boom, diversified their trading partners, entering dynamic Asian markets, reaping high returns and stimulating local consumption and public investments. What lessons can the crises ridden US and EU learn from the Latin America ’s successful recovery and expansion?

First, the beginning of a successful response depends on a political transformation. Regime change a complete break with the ‘neo-liberal’ free market, and the political leaders and parties who are totally embedded in failed institutions and policies. Regime change presupposes the eruption of dynamic mass organizations, new, old, improvised and organized, capably of moving from protest and resistance to political power.

The object is to rebalance the US and EU economies from ‘financialization’ and “militarism” to large scale, long term investments in manufacturing, applied technology, civilian infrastructure and social services. Direct public investments and loans applied to concrete employment generating projects; total rejection of trickle down, monetary policies which never move from private banks to public works.

The entire militarist- Zionist-permanent war mentality is entirely vulnerable to change: doing so, will create jobs, the top priority for over two-thirds of the US public. The “war on terrorism”, the banner of the warlords in office, is considered a priority by only 3% of Americans. Once again the shift from ‘militarism’ to the civilian economy in Latin America was a result of popular civilian upheavals, via the street and the ballot box.

Of course the Latin American republics had an easier time in rebalancing their economic priorities from failed military rulers and discredited neo-liberal policies. Citizen movements in the US and EU imperial states will have a harder time in closing down hundreds of military bases, ousting militarist politicians backed by powerful domestic and foreign lobbies and converting the empires to productive republics. Yet, Latin American exporters have prospered by avoiding entanglement in overseas imperial wars. They continue to pursue new markets in the Middle East and elsewhere instead of destroying adversaries of Israel as the EU and US have done through colonial wars in Iraq and Libya and sanctions against Iran , Syria and Venezuela .

The contrasting performance between Latin republics and Euro-American empire builders is striking. The US and EU should shed their self-centered images of “successful” developed countries and outdated stereotype of Latin America as a collection of “volatile”, coup prone underdeveloped countries. The US is in deep trouble and it is heading into a deeper, less manageable economic crisis with few resources to counter it. Internationally it is increasingly isolated and in conflict with potential economic partners. Washington sides with Israel, alienating over 1.5 billion rich and poor Islamic peoples, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and all points east, west and south. It antagonizes Brazil via financial pump priming, overpricing the real (Brazilian currency) without helping US recovery.

Domestic and international failures multiply as the crisis deepens and nothing proposed by the blighted incumbents and besotted opposition offers any programmatic solution.

As in Latin America during the first years of this decade we need a popular rebellion: we need a profound regime change; we need to think of productive public investments not monumental loss of capital via Wall Street speculation and the waste of public resources via expenditures in weapons of destruction.

James Petras, taken from