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Year 2009 No. 25, April 6, 2009 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

There Is A Way Out of the Crisis!

Mass Actions Denounce Finance Capital, War and Environmental Destruction

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

There Is A Way Out of the Crisis!
Mass Actions Denounce Finance Capital, War and Environmental Destruction

G-20 Summit Refuses to Face Reality and Take Measures to Defend the Well-Being of the Peoples of the World

Global Economic Crisis and Disequilibrium within the Imperialist System of States

The G20 Meetings: The European Union Is in Tatters

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There Is A Way Out of the Crisis!

Mass Actions Denounce Finance Capital, War and Environmental Destruction

Actions and demonstrations took place throughout London on April 1 to denounce the G-20 and its agenda for further impoverishment of the peoples of the world, war and destruction of the environment.

A 40,000-strong march to Put People First had taken place on Saturday, March 28 from the Embankment to Hyde Park, as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20. Thousands of copies of Workers’ Daily Internet Edition were distributed to demonstrators, who ranged from the young to the old, from the environmental protesters to contingents of militant trade unions, from communist parties to individuals who had pledged that they must come on the demonstration and take a stand against the dictate of finance capital and for an end to war and destruction.

The April 1 actions were centred at the US Embassy and in the City. Thousands gathered at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square at a demonstration called by the Stop the War Coalition, CND, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Muslim Initiative. After vigorously shouting slogans denouncing US imperialism and demanding justice for the world’s people, the people marched militantly to Trafalgar Square, with much support from people of all backgrounds along the route. In Trafalgar Square, an Alternative Summit was held, the University of East London having barred its doors to this event. Speakers included Tony Benn; Arthur Scargill; Bruce Kent, CND; Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition; Daud Abduallah, Muslim Council of Britain; Jeremy Corbyn MP; Keith Sonnet, Unison; and Victoria Brittain and others. The serious speeches were listened to attentively by the whole of the demonstration packed into the Square.

In the City, around 5,000 people took part in actions, including a Climate Change Camp, and had to face vicious police repression, the denial of the right to peacefully protest and the outright criminalisation of dissent. The police tactics of overwhelming force and penning in and splitting up the demonstrators were evident right from the very beginning. Such were the brutal tactics of the police, who indiscriminately attacked and baton-charged whom they pleased, that one man, Ian Tomlinson, died. Photos taken show him knocked to the ground, though original reports were intent on saying that his death was simply coincidental. Two convergence spaces set up by activists had also been raided by police brandishing Taser stun guns, with several people beaten and arrested in brutal police attacks.

An emergency protest march against the police brutality against the G20 demonstrations was held on April 4, assembling at the Bank of England and marching to Bethnal Green police station. The protest march also expressed compassion with the family of Ian Tomlinson and called for an independent public inquiry into the instances of police violence that occurred through the week and to establish the full circumstances of Ian Tomlinson's death.

John O'Connor, a former officer with the Metropolitan police, said of the police brutality: "It is a retrograde step, an infringement of civil liberties." Martin Horwood, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, said dogs were used on protesters in Bishopsgate and James Lloyd, a legal adviser, said riot police used batons to clear people, including a woman in a wheelchair. Indymedia stated: "This footage must be seen by the justice committee on 'policing protests'. Almost every one of their recommendations are broken. Reports have come in of wide use of anti-terror legislation and also intimidation of photographers."

Demonstrations continued on April 2 at the Excel Centre, and then at the NATO Summit which was held in Strasbourg on April 4-5 which was condemned by the peoples of the entire world in a No to NATO international demonstration on April 4.

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Article Index

G-20 Summit Refuses to Face Reality and Take Measures to Defend the Well-Being of the Peoples of the World

The people are suffering the effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s yet the imperialist states led by the US refuse to lift a finger to help them. Not only that. The leaders of the US and Britain refuse to even acknowledge that the problems people face are serious and emergency measures must be taken to help them weather the crisis. Nothing. Not even an admission of the failure of capitalism or neo-liberal globalisation. No statement of regret that people have been put into this difficult situation because of a system whose essential kernel is greed, privilege and domination, a system built on the blind exploitation of the working class, weaker countries and nature. Nothing. No admission of failure of any sort but rather extraordinarily and against all conscience, pats on the back for using trillions of dollars of public funds to save the private for-profit banks and other monopolies.

The final G-20 communiqué and leader's declarations emphasise strengthening the very global institutions and practices responsible for the crisis and robbing the people of their social wealth. Those institutions and practices that are the backbone of neo-liberal globalisation and the imperialist system of states under US hegemony were supported in the following manner:

- more billions for the hated International Monetary Fund and World Bank;

- more emphasis on neo-liberal free trade, privatising of public assets and attacks on any nation-building project anywhere that holds high self-reliance, independence and guarantees the people's well-being in opposition to big-power empire-building;

- a vow to push to completion the anti-people Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organisation and rejection of any pro-social restructuring of international terms of trade;

- strengthening the OECD;

- the creation of a Financial Stability Board to replace the Financial Stability Forum to continue the global assault on currencies, especially those other than the US dollar, Euro and Yen;

- continued promotion of global speculative trading of all types of commodities including the absurd trading of pollution credits among other measures.

They did not touch one hair on the barbarian head of neo-liberal globalisation that has been responsible for the economic crisis. They did not adopt one measure to restrict monopoly right and the pillaging of the people's social wealth by the rich and privileged of the most powerful imperialists led by the United States and Britain. Two measures that speak of naming and shaming tax havens and controlling executive compensation are window dressing and ignore the essence of the current problem of a world divided into rich and poor, between powerful imperialist countries and weaker oppressed countries, between owners of capital and workers, and where the most powerful imperialist states fight amongst themselves. The crisis arose within a globalised system where owners of monopoly capital from the most powerful countries exploit their own working class and weaker countries and are leading the world to crises that are even more destructive and down the slippery slope to inter-imperialist World War III.

The disequilibrium and growing dissatisfaction with US hegemony within the imperialist system of states and the threats against those few countries struggling to survive in opposition to imperialism were not even discussed in the communiqué much less resolved with a new equilibrium that favours the people. The continuing disequilibrium was sharply evident in the speech by Russian President Medvedev to the other G-20 leaders as reported by the New York Times, where he reiterated Russia and China's demand for an alternative to US dollar hegemony.

The leaders of the most powerful countries, especially Obama, engaged in disgusting bourgeois politics, which is the promotion of themselves and their careers within the context of defending their own ruling elite and their positions of privilege and power. Obama used his wife as an ornament to tickle the fancy of a fawning mass media in a manner that the women's movement has long rightly denounced as demeaning to women.

In their press conferences upon the conclusion of the summit, the leaders of the Anglo/US Empire hailed its success. The peoples of the world are perplexed at this assessment as nothing has been done to alleviate their suffering and insecurity; nothing has been done to direct the world towards an alternative that opposes war, restricts monopoly right and empire-building and favours the working class, middle strata, peasantry, oppressed countries and nation-building. The institutions of neo-liberal globalisation were strengthened and a new leader of the US Empire was installed in the international arena. That new leader, President Barack Obama called the summit "a turning point" and said that "by any measure", the summit was historic.

The words of Obama bear no resemblance to the reality facing the peoples of the world and along with his celebrity cult engineered by the mass media are reminiscent in many ways to the Hitlerite propaganda cults that arose during the 1930s' depression, which were used to demonise the "enemy", marginalise the working class, militarise the economy and prepare the German people for "total war".

Joseph Goebbels, the head of Hitler's Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, introduced many of the modern propaganda techniques now used by today's imperialist politicians such as Obama to manipulate and prepare the people psychologically for aggressive war and the annihilation of civilian populations, including members of their own society. This propaganda dismisses objective reality and replaces it with mental constructs blaming and accusing the victims of imperialist aggression, economic crises and state-organised racist and political violence (in Goebbels case the German working class, communists, Poles, the Jews, the French, the Roma) of causing the crisis with strikes for higher wages and the demand for economic security for all, and for trying through struggles for working class empowerment to destroy the hereditary and natural leadership of the German ruling elite and their idealised "Greater Germany" and its national security. This is similar in many ways to Obama's demands for concessions from US workers to solve the crisis and that the US belligerent war and occupation of Afghanistan is in self-defence. This propaganda infects the minds of the leaders to the point they cannot distinguish facts from mental constructs. In Goebbels case, even as Soviet troops entered Berlin he gave impassioned speeches for "total war and mobilisation" and after Hitler's suicide declared himself Chancellor of the Third Reich until his suicide the following day.

To soberly assess the objective situation and how the world presents itself, it is important for working people to get together with others away from the noise and mental constructs of the mass media and discuss their own circumstances and that of their collectives and the country and determine how they can contribute to defending the rights of all and opening a path out of the crisis that favours the people.

Let us prepare ourselves and working people organisationally, ideologically and politically for an alternative, a new equilibrium in political, economic, military, social and cultural affairs that favours the peoples of the world!

Source: , The Marxist-Leninist Daily Online Newspaper of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

Article Index

Global Economic Crisis and Disequilibrium within the Imperialist System of States

From The The Marxist-Leninist, Daily Online Newspaper of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), April 1, 2009

The G-20 Summit April 2 is the second one for this particular grouping within the imperialist system of states. The first summit took place last November as the economic crisis began to extend its destruction globally.

The economic crisis has its reflection in a global political disequilibrium. The United States has launched a new president on the international stage to rebuild its image and assert its leadership in fashioning a new equilibrium that favours its empire building and hegemony. The US ruling elite are busy fabricating an anti-conscious celebrity cult around President Obama using emotive words and phrases for change, and symbols and images of a past "Great America". The aim is to camouflage the ugly deeds and reality of those in political, economic and military control in the here and now, to keep people marginalised and disempowered and to maintain US hegemony over its rivals. If the people, especially in the US and Europe do not expose and oppose the ugly deeds of US imperialism on the political, economic, military and cultural fronts, the words, symbols and fanciful images of the Obama cult recreating an idealised "Great America" of a distant past will block the human factor/social consciousness from developing and leave an opening for fascism to regain its pre-WWII influence and control. To fall under the spell of the words, symbols and images of an idealised "Great America" allows the war president and ruling elite to reassert US hegemony and intensify US wars of aggression and interference in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine and elsewhere, continue the Bush/Paulson obscene bailouts of the rich and their monopolies, and to pass the burden of the economic crisis onto the backs of the US working class and middle strata and those of other countries.

Following the unmasking of war criminal George W Bush, the Obama celebrity cult movement is attempting to establish a new equilibrium that favours US empire-building at home and abroad. In the US, the Obama cult is being used to block the growth of the independent politics of the working class and the forging of workers and their allies into an effective political force. Internationally the Obama cult is trying to negate any attempt at nation building on the part of the peoples of the world, especially from the oppressed countries, and to reassert US hegemony over its imperialist rivals, especially in Europe.

Many in the world are not easily fooled by the Obama cult of an idealised "Great America" and refuse to remain quiet or inactive within the present disequilibrium. They are fighting for new arrangements and equilibrium that favour the people. They are standing up to challenge the authority of US imperialism within the conditions of the global economic crisis and its unending wars of aggression and occupation.

Rumblings of discontent with US hegemony and its flaunting of international law are heard more loudly and frequently, not only from the oppressed peoples and countries but also from imperialist rivals. Voices organising and calling for change to the unquestioned political, economic, cultural and military authority of the US Empire are growing bolder and louder amongst all sections of the peoples of the world. Resistance to war and oppression and opposition to the passing of the burden of the crisis onto the working class and oppressed countries are becoming more frequent and better organised and are shedding any lingering illusions that celebrities from the ruling classes will change the world in favour of the people. Progressive social, economic and political change and empowerment are arrangements the people have to bring about themselves in combat against the forces of reaction and the status quo. Increasingly, words and deeds are seen and heard that raise the banner and conception of self-reliance and independence - independence of nations from US hegemony and the imperialist system of states, and independence of the workers' movement from the negative influence of the ruling class. Workers and their allies are beginning to base their activities and resistance on their own initiative and skills. They are organising and fighting for an alternative and developing themselves and their organisations into an effective opposition movement that can force governments to bring in emergency legislation to deal with the crisis in a manner that favours the people, not the rich, and put an end to wars of aggression and occupation. Many are taking up the challenge to prepare themselves organisationally and consciously as worker politicians to lead the people in the fight to empower themselves politically through democratic renewal.

Contradictions with US Hegemony

In the days leading up to the G-20 Summit in Britain, the world has witnessed both a powerful people's movement organising to demonstrate its demand for an alternative to imperialism and a growing disquiet over US hegemony amongst leaders within the imperialist system of states, expressed through angry words of the President of the European Union, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, and concrete proposals from the Governor of the People's Bank of China supported by the government of Russia to rid the world of US dollar hegemony. Many in the world do not want and refuse to accept a new equilibrium under the dictate of US imperialism and refuse to allow the G-20 to be used as a US bully pulpit. Opposition to Anglo/US dictate is being heard both outside the G-20 Summit and from participants inside.

Workers and their allies in all countries must learn how to wage politics in their favour and use the very real sense of outrage against the US Empire to occupy the space for progressive and communist politics. Worker politicians have to learn the art of politics, which means using all the political contradictions that exist to their advantage, to occupy the space for change and broaden the scope of their politics and concretely advance the fight for an alternative. An aspect of politics is grasping and using the contradictions within the imperialist system of states to weaken that system overall and block the capacity of the big powers, especially US imperialism, to forge military alliances to wage war against the people through aggressive organisations such as NATO, the US/Japan military alliance, NORAD and the US-controlled International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) waging war in Afghanistan.

Working class politics means in part not falling under the spell of imperialist politics and becoming swept up behind this or that big power or combination of powers. It means fighting for an anti-war government that becomes a block both to aggressive wars against the weaker oppressed countries and to wars amongst the big powers themselves.

As the ruling elite in country after country watch their economies disintegrate before their very eyes, their emotion is real and palpable and they quite understandably point their fingers at the main culprit, the dominant power and its unbridled greed and hubris. When the European President denounced the US pay the rich bailouts as a "way to hell", he graphically expressed the sentiment of many around the world. People, even within the US are not blinded by the TV and Internet charm offensive of the Obama cult; they are acutely aware that the US bailouts, deficits and debt, financed in large measure by flooding the world with US dollars, are meant to strengthen US monopolies in their global competition with others and pass the burden of the crisis onto the working class and middle strata and other countries.

The angry words of the European president suggest what those in the anti-imperialist movement are saying more directly: US unilateral action and wars under President Bush have been a disaster for the world and President Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan and his pouring of trillions of dollars of public and borrowed money down the gaping snouts of US monopolies, if not restricted by the people's movement, will make the situation worse for the US working class and peoples of the world and set the stage for more intense crises and wars.

Raw sentiment declaring US policy a "way to hell" is an indication of the depth of resentment of the world's peoples towards US hegemony even among the European elite. It reflects how much the people blame US and British reckless actions under neo-liberal globalisation for the current economic difficulties. The workers' movement must turn that raw sentiment into action with analysis, to grow and become a powerful effective independent political force, to unite everyone in a movement to defend the rights of all, to bring to power an anti-war government that opposes the warmongers of the US, Europe and Japan and which weakens the entire imperialist system of states and makes possible a genuine alternative and new equilibrium that favours the people.

US Dollar Hegemony

For years, the US and Britain have financed their wars of aggression and exploitation of the oppressed countries through plunder, unequal terms of trade and manipulation of the global realm of circulation of capital and the international financial system. US dollar hegemony, the Anglo/US creation of London as an international financial capital and the Ponzi-like financing of US wars and its budget and current account deficits have led to an unsustainable situation for the global economy. The United States and Britain have extorted global tribute through direct ownership of other people's production and service facilities, theft of raw materials and other social product at low prices, control over international and national markets, unequal terms of trade, parasitic schemes for big scores within the realm of circulation, and wars and illegal occupations. In addition, the Anglo/US alliance has borrowed and printed vast quantities of money to finance their empire-building projects. Their actions have led the world to the brink of economic, social and natural disaster. The peoples of Mother Earth are fed up and want change and new arrangements.

The United States is the most indebted country and the UK the second by far. The existing international financial architecture allows them endlessly to borrow or issue new fiat currency to finance wars and other projects or pay off whatever comes due on public sector debt similar in many ways to a never-ending official Ponzi scheme.

The peoples of the world want an alternative to current international relations based on US hegemony and the medieval dictum that Might Makes Right. In Canada, it means reversing annexation into the US Empire; it means bringing into being an anti-war government that takes Canada out of NATO, NORAD, US Northern Command and the US-led war in Afghanistan. It means resolving the contradiction between authority and conditions on a world scale. US authority over the world is in contradiction with the necessity for an alternative where hegemony is no longer tolerated, force is not used to settle disputes and terms of trade are for mutual benefit and based on righting the wrongs of the past and assisting the development of those countries that have been oppressed under slavery, colonialism and imperialism. An alternative demands a new international financial architecture that treats all countries with respect and justice eradicating finally the scourge of dominant fiat currencies and the IMF/World Bank dictatorship of compound interest anti-social loans.

US Schemes to Maintain the Status Quo with a New Face

President Obama thumbs his nose at the world with his bailouts of the rich, military surge in Afghanistan and infantile hysteria over the launch of a Korean satellite. He underscores the US agenda of continued domination by constantly giving speeches as the war president and Commander-in-Chief of the 1,000 US military bases strategically placed throughout the globe, its constantly roving naval armadas spoiling for a fight, its active wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, its threats against all who resist, its economic blockades against Cuba, Zimbabwe, DPRK and others, its use of the US dollar as a weapon against the rest of the world, its poisoning of Mother Earth through war and unbridled greed without regard for consequences, its US culture overwhelming and destroying all other global cultures, especially languages, and all its other nefarious deeds of Empire-building.

The US is coming to the G-20 Summit determined to maintain its global hegemony in military, political, economic and cultural affairs. It has made it clear through threats of pre-emptive strikes, blockades and aggression that it will not allow the oppressed or competitors on any front to challenge US imperialism. But this illegal US international authority is in contradiction with the present conditions. From demonstrators in the streets demanding an alternative to imperialist plunder and war, to the Chinese and Russian delegations coming with an agenda of their own, to the demands of the European powers and the needs of other European powers, the US dismisses all with contempt but that is not so easy in practice when the peoples are angry, aroused and yearning for an alternative.

US global authority is in sharp contradiction with the existing international conditions and the needs of the peoples of the world for an alternative. Such an alternative is necessary and the social responsibility for bringing it into being lies on the shoulders of the organised working class and its allies.

There Is an Alternative! Stop Paying the Rich; Increase Investments in Social Programmes! It Can Be Done! It Must Be Done!

Article Index

The G20 Meetings: The European Union Is in Tatters

Eric Walberg*, Global Research, April 1, 2009

The only voices expressing the will of Europeans and showing a way out of the current crises are in the madding crowds outside the G20,

Recall the self-satisfied EU celebrations of recent years -- the inauguration of the euro and the famous blue Euro passport, the accession of all the Eastern European and ex-Soviet statelets, the gloating as the euro steadily revalued. Fortress Europe was strong and united at last. The 21st century belonged to the new Old World.

But then a few cracks began to appear in the shiny façade. The Poles, especially, carped about just about everything -- the thought of giving up their precious zloty (boy, are they sorry now), the EU farming rules, the lack of Euro-support for US wars, and the Euro-cowardice in facing down the Russian bear. They and the Czechs revealed Fortress Europe for what it was by welcoming US missile bases, provoking the Russians into threatening to make Europe once again the world's nuclear battlefield. Kosovo managed to divide even the big boys, with Spain refusing to recognise this latest US-German plaything, and ratcheting up the tensions between Serbs, Croats -- even the Slovenes. The Balkan cauldron is as hot as ever.

The world financial meltdown was the proverbial straw that has left the Euro-camel paralysed. The collapse of the government of the Czech prime minister -- the Euro-president himself -- was a fitting symbol for the collapsing house of cards. No doubt someday there will be a musical about this Euro-Camelot, this once-and-never-land.

The comeuppance of Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek was not the result of his recent snub of US President Barack Obama (he called Obama's stimulus spending "a way to hell" that will "undermine the stability of the global financial market"). Rather it was the modest but unflagging campaigning by the Czech Nonviolent Movement (CNM), which has been fighting the installation of the US missile base outside Prague for two years now. They mounted an ongoing series of nonviolent actions -- petitions, hunger strikes, rallies, protests, electioneering -- building a grassroots campaign uniting the 70 per cent of the Czech population who oppose the base, nibbling away at the right-centre majority till it finally fell.

CNM organiser Jan Tomas called for "all invading armies to withdraw from all occupied territories" (you can fill in the blanks), and for nuclear disarmament. "Now in the Czech Republic a new chapter of our struggle begins."

Topolanek is welcoming Obama to the G20 meeting in London as the European president and hosting Obama a few days later at a US-EU summit in Prague. Obama will then go to Strasbourg for NATO celebrations. Topolanek's undiplomatic remark actually represents the EU consensus and is surely not so far from the mark. Obama's ad hoc measures to deal with the crisis have been praised by almost no one but the bankers, who are being treated to trillions of dollars with no assurance that this massive bill will do any good whatsoever -- except of course for the bankers. One-third of his stimulus package is in the form of tax cuts and is unlikely to have any long-term effect.

Not that the Eurocrats are coming up with anything more likely to succeed. The EU is a hodge-podge of very different states with radically different governments and economies, with no parallel Europe-wide budget to allow for fast and broad stimulus measures. The US budget deficit will be 10 per cent of GDP this year and the next and the next. This is impossible for the EU, which has a 3 per cent limit per country and which, unlike the US, cannot print its currency as if there was no tomorrow.

Much of the trillions that Obama is spending is in fact seeping into Europe, adding to the steady US dollar inflow over the past half century, leaving Europe awash in dollars. For Europe to notch up the euro-printing press would be foolhardy in the extreme. The EU counts on exports as a stimulus to the economy, like Asia, something the US abandoned long ago. Though the subprime craze infected Europe too, its financial woes stem primarily from the US with its unbridled consumerism and wars, and will never be solved until the US puts its own house in order, balancing its budget and its trade, something that Obama has made no hint of doing.

Adding the eastern non-economies to the EU merely compounded its problems. European institutions invested very heavily in these "emerging markets" and the financial crisis has led to a withdrawal of capital from such regions back to the centre, exposing investors to large losses. It's no coincidence that the US dollar rose over the past six months, despite the terrible shape the US economy is in, or that the European leaders are unwilling and unable to commit to major stimulus measures for the EU as a whole. What was touted even a year ago as a joyous community, a big happy family, is now a dysfunctional one, complete with sibling rivalry, spoiled brats and marital strife. [...]

The Swiss foreign minister called German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck a "Nazi henchman," and the Sunday Times revealed that Lord Myners, the minister in charge of the British government's "assault" on tax havens, has 250,000 pound sterling in an offshore shelter in Jersey. Myners recently met Jersey officials who now say they have "nothing to fear" from any tax haven crackdown. Past attempts to take on the tax havens failed, and it is far from certain that this one will succeed. [...]

* Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly. You can reach him at www.geocities.com/walberg2002/. To read this item in its entirety, go to: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12989

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