Monday, 31 August 2009
By Franz J. T. Lee
Who conform and are the executioners of the global exploitative Empire? ¿Who are the 500 giant corporations in whose hands the totality of global capital accumulation is presently concentrated and who are the executioners of the global, exploitative Empire?
These corporations are the ones that form the Empire of the real world, which control and defend by all means available the imperialist, capitalist world system. It is this corporatist concentration, expression of the monopolization and concentration of capital, against which socialism or radical anti-capitalism has to be directed. A socialism that does not negate this world order in which small elites personally possess practically all of the world's extraction of natural resources as well as the production of goods and services on a global scale, while millions of wage slaves vegetate in misery and extreme poverty, is simply no socialism.
Looking at the exorbitant profits made by the big oil corporations and considering that almost daily we hear of new discoveries of big oil reserves all over the world, we may pose the question: What about the energy crisis? Where has it gone?
We have to identify and know the true "empire" which does not limit itself to the United States of America, in order to take effective measures against it. This is a global Empire! Any Bolivarian, revolutionary, socialist and emancipatory praxis and theory that does not take into account these realities when elaborating its strategies, must fail.
See: Visiones Alternativas
Sunday, 30 August 2009
By Franz J. T. Lee
In a previous commentary we indicated that United States President Barack Obama, like his predecessor George W. Bush, in all probability is steering his corporate ship of State, his 'Titanic,' towards turbulent waters, to a programmed, protracted world "war of necessity," towards Afghanistan and Pakistan; a fact which could generate an ill-fated 'Eurasian' world war, that is, making the wildest dream of corporate imperialism come true.
In reality this "New American Century," this new Conquest is called Big Business; backed by the 'Life Sciences,' the World Trade Organization, the pharmaceutical, military and industrial complexes. They all play a central role in this global drama, in ideological lingo euphemistically it is called "world peace," alternatively, the 'war against terrorism'; of course, to crown it all, as our text books say: in capitalism, if the Obama administration wants 'peace' it better prepares itself for war! Also, we should not forget what Clausewitz taught us: War is the continuation of politics by other means. The Necessity of War in Afghanistan is the continuation of Democratic and Republican United States politics at home.
Furthermore, as Halliburton has taught us, Big Business is a Big War in Iraq; this tradition has to be kept alive by the White House, by the Pentagon, NASA, UNO and NATO.
Let us try to get a somewhat clearer picture of what really is going on around us, let us recall a famous declaration of President Obama: "This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaida would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting; this is a -- this is fundamental to the defense of our people."
As such Obama is perpetuating a hoax of Corporate America, a myth, a fictitious horror story in which he himself surely does not believe.
We know that over the last decades no "historic" event ever took place without the previous knowledge, mostly with the very authorization, planning and carrying out of Uncle Sam. The 'Project for a New American Century' is the blue print of the current policy of "full spectrum dominance,' of the 'rainbow revolutions' and of the belligerent conflicts in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. It is also the guide for the second conquest of Central and Latin America.
So far, so good. The ruling classes are not saints, humanitarians or pacifists, they are capitalists, imperialists. Let us not mix up realities! Their historic aim is to exploit, dominate, discriminate, militarize and alienate. If some of us did not yet comprehend all this, well, soon we will have to learn to know the truth the hard way. Living in tent cities and under the bridges of the USA, the once so proud middle classes of yesterday are now learning pretty fast that 'War is Peace' and 'Liberty is Slavery' (Orwell).
What else could we expect from capitalism, colonialism, imperialism and corporatism? The above mentioned is their essence, existence, historic role and quo vadis. Concerning international class struggle and emancipation, Frantz Omar Fanon taught us: A master is not a slave and vice versa; there exists no master without a slave, and vice versa; to get rid of any one of the two is getting rid of both. Some of us are still too near to the lighthouse, we cannot yet see its warning lights, the overt and covert rocks of the advent of global fascism. The current fleeting events of a systemic collapse are darkened by lies, hoaxes and ideology, by all belligerent genres of psychological operations. The daily isolated news bullets and bulletins coming from the Murdoch empire simply kill the intellectuality of our already severely damaged neurones, destroy their capacity to abstract, communicate, interlink, contradict and think. Here we are being 'un-abled' to interlink events and news into an understandable whole; we are not being informed, rather we are being uniformed, conformed and deformed.
In recent history typical examples of corporate bellicose maneuvers were the support given to the luckily failed coup against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela in 2002 and the ousting of Presidents Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Manuel Zelaya of Haiti and Honduras respectively. In all these cases the USA actively and materially supported destabilization plans against progressive, legitimate and democratically elected presidents.
Here in Venezuela, the destabilization 'war of ideas' ... more precisely, the 'war of ideologies' or 'ideological warfare' ... and 'psychological operations' have long begun. USAID and scores of similar institutions, some of them disguised as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), have their offices in Caracas and are financing the anti-Chavez campaigns of the 'opposition' right here in the country. The battle is declared against some of them, but many are still freely engaged in clandestine operations.
In subversion, in illegal anti-democratic operations against the working masses, against socialist attempts, the USA and Europe are superb, simply masters. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, as the well-known German banker (of the Deutsche Bank) Herman Josef Abs (1901-1994) revealed, the Orwellian Big Brother, aided by his European companions, by means of the launching of a strategic arms race, economically practically strangled the ex-Soviet Union and therewith politically strangulated any real possibility of realizing a truly global anti-capitalist socialism in the twentieth century.
Now, does Obama indirectly have similar 'Colombian Plans' to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution? Is he also promoting militarization of this region in order to oust the 'unfriendly' governments in the hemisphere, to destroy Mercosur, Caricom and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA)?
Is this also part of the plans for a "New American Century"?
Consequently, what is our commentary all about?
We will briefly try to comment ad hoc on the following urgent issues of our epoch:
* Why is Obama also war-mongering in Afghanistan?
* Any basic difference between the war policies of Bush and Obama?
* Over the last century did the Big Chasm between rich and poor in the USA decrease? Under capitalism will it ever diminish?
* At last, has Europe stopped the recession? Is the depression over? For whom?
* Are the big powers on their way to everlasting 'world peace,' to perpetual, global 'democracy'?
Finally, we will briefly comment on the quintessential issue:
Are we living in the epoch of the collapse of the capitalist system?
Against whom will it be more brutal than ever?
For the sake of saving mankind from annihilation, who have the historic duty to get rid of this global pestilence?
Now, without telling the real 'corporate truth' to the taxpayers, as spokesman of the military and industrial complex, President Barack Obama wants to wind down the Iraq war, but at the same time he is pledging intensification of the war mongering in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which he calls a "war of necessity." We may ask: necessary for whom, for what? The answer is very simple: Not for the poor of the USA, of the globe. Not for the inhabitants of tent cities, not for the toiling laboring classes at the bottom of the social pyramid, who carry the whole weight of opulent, corporate America on their exploited shoulders.
According to Tom Eley, in a speech to the annual convention of the 'Veterans of Foreign Wars' (VFW) "the president warned that the war in Afghanistan would be long and bloody, predicting 'more difficult days ahead.' The insurgency in Afghanistan 'didn't just happen overnight,' Obama said. 'And we won't defeat it overnight. This will not be quick. This will not be easy.' "
Well, as eloquent and clear very few leaders can talk about 'bloody wars' and "collateral damage." How many Arab peoples, innocent mothers and babies would today still be alive, if the United States did not invade the region? For what did the foreign soldiers die as 'cannon fodder' in Iraq and Afghanistan?
To know what the USA is doing in Afghanistan, what the Obama administration hides from the public, we just need to study the excellent writings of Michel Chossudovsky in 'Global Research,' especially 'The Global Crisis: Food, Water and Fuel. Three Fundamental Necessities of Life in Jeopardy.'
Just like in the case of the ex-President Bush, but also of downright authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, to get political and electoral support, the Obama administration also uses psychological operations, psycho-warfare, friend-enemy mechanisms, 'scape-goat' indoctrination technology (Bin Laden and Chavez) to instil fear and awe into the exploited, dominated and discriminated classes.
Concerning this body, mind and thought control, this 'Newspeak' and mental holocaust, Tom Eley wrote: " To defend the intensification of the war in Afghanistan, Obama used fear-mongering language that could just as easily have been uttered by his predecessor, George W. Bush."
In fact, there is no big difference between the United States Democrats and Republicans ... both are chips of the same block, of the global war economy, of the corporate military and industrial complex. It is not a matter of personalities, of a white or black great man or woman making history. Whether we know it or not, what gains top priority at this moment is the construction of a United States "high-tech army ready to deploy quickly all over the world." As we said, Obama, ... like his predecessor George W. Bush, or Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, or his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld, or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or her successor Hillary Clinton ... is just another 'chip of the same imperialist block,' is a pawn on the global chessboard of Corporate America. Who has placed him there as president to protect ruling class interests by all means necessary also can remove him any time. This is also valid for all leaders of capitalist states.
Meanwhile, crossing the Atlantic we notice that in Paris and Berlin euphorically leading authorities and mass media boast that they have halted the recession and that the European Union is on the road towards green economic pastures and still political waters. The German politicians and economists either never have heard about political economy or Adam Smith or even Karl Marx. Probably they suffer from amnesia, forgot all about Marx's 'Capital' or they simply cannot find any positive substitute for arrogance and ignorance.
In the German 'Handelsblatt,' Torsten Riecke declared: "The harshest downturn since the Second World War is over. The nightmare is at an end."
Let us clarify the above myth with reality. At random, what about essential characteristics of recession, about layoffs or unemployment in Germany?
"Unemployment in Berlin is also well over the federal average. In July 2009 unemployment rose to a rate of 14.2% compared to the federal average of 8.2%. Altogether nearly 240,000 persons are officially registered as unemployed in Berlin and over 80% of them (192,000) are reliant on Hartz IV payments. The number of the unemployed persons between the ages of 15 and 25 has also risen to 26,646."
Ulrich Rippert comments: "What is the underlying economic reality? Compared to one year ago, the German economy has declined by no less than 7%. In a few months, the German "cash for clunkers" scheme will expire, accelerating the decline of the country's auto and auto-supply industry."
What will be the consequences in the near future? He explains further: "The consequences for the German steel, engineering and chemical industries have already been felt. Up to now, mass redundancies in Germany have been avoided by means of a reduced work-hours scheme, which has been renewed several times. When the 1.4 million employees on short-time work eventually join the ranks of the unemployed, the official unemployment level will rise to 5 million."
Hence, all the big talk in Germany about the end of the recession is just ideological rhetoric aimed at "confusing workers and forestalling social protests, while behind the scenes unparalleled attacks are been prepared on living standards and social benefits."
Finally, crossing the Atlantic again and returning to the USA, we are witnessing one of the greatest robberies of all times: pauperization wage slaves vegetating next to an opulent Herrenvolk, a super rich master race. Marx, in 'Capital' predicted precisely this Big Gap: the perverse concentration and monopolization of capital accompanied by a geometric explosion of millions of impoverished working masses.
Are we exaggerating? Perhaps, but look at the statistics cited below!
According to Bill Van Auken, quoting the latest data from the United 'States Internal Revenue Service' (IRS), "the income gap between the top 10% and the bottom 90% has reached "a level higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of the stock market bubble in the ‘roaring' 1920s," according to an analysis of the data published earlier this month by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez." The updated report of August 5, 2009, especially with data of 2007, Prof. Emmanuel Saez clearly shows the gigantic degree of the economic exploitation of the United States working classes.
As 'salary,' as part of the United States national income, of the shameless 'Surplus Value Robbery' only 1%, the creme de la creme ... the political secretaries, top bureaucrats and technocrats, 'think tanks,' 'CEOs,' 'VIPs,' etc ... officially is earning an annual incomes of $400,000 and above.
Prof. Emmanuel Saez convincingly shows what Marx, Engels and Lenin have predicted long ago, that when the merciless accumulation of capital would reach its inexorable global zenith, then the real increase in the accumulation of perverse wealth, of private property of the global means of production and energetic resources would be concentrated at the top of the pinnacle of the global social pyramid. In the USA, while the homeless middle classes are being doomed to live in tent cities, this sharpening of the social contradictions, the renaissance of class struggles is taking place right now.
In figures, in terms of salaries and revenues, of the reproduction of labor or capital forces, the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) elaborates: "The figures released by the IRS are from 2007. They indicate that for most of the top 10% (families with incomes of $110,000 or more), there was little change in terms of income growth and share, but the top 1% increased their share of the national income to 23.5%, compared with 22.8% in 2006."
The depressive global recession is grabbing all living things and persons with its ravenous capitalist claws. Who does not wake up now is already mesmerized into a deep peaceful sleep, into a docile a state of total intellectual capitulation and physical subjugation. No blue eyed prince, no snow white princess will come to kiss us tenderly awake. On the contrary, while enjoying our slumber our Medicare, social benefits and human rights have vanished into thin air. One of the side effects of corporate imperialism is that 49 million people in the USA, among them the poorest of the poor, have no access to health care. How healthy is Obama's ship of state? In the USA, many do not even care about health anymore, to get out of the depressive vale of tears, they just take their miserable lives.
Thanatos, self-destruction, human bombs have invaded the very working places of the exploited United States laborers on a global scale. Agence France Press (AFP) reports that in the USA suicide cases at the working places have increased dramatically by 25%. Annually more than 30 000 people out of sole desperation, depression and alienation take their lives. The victims are mostly men 'who did not make it,' between the ages of 25 and 34 years of age.
As explained in previous commentaries, all these are not just expressions of a singular event, of a bank and financial crisis, it is the epoch, the progressive collapse of the whole current world order, of capital accumulation, of capitalism in its totality. The original accumulation of capital began over 2500 years ago. Humanity already suffered millennia of barbarism. The system is older than Metusalem, it is obsolete, it merits to pass away into galactic oblivion.
What next? Per aspera ad astra! Only the stars will tell.
Here and now, we note that the world system, capitalism, is mortally threatened, its deadly weapons and its violent reactions show its mortal fear, its coming fearful death, its lethal labor agony. The following decades will be more violent than ever before.
Obama promised us long bloody wars in Asia ... measured by its arsenals of arms of mass destruction, capitalism is not saying good bye with a white flag, with smiling 'world peace.'
However, capitalism cannot darken the coming aurora of human emancipation and creation with the tip of a thumb, it cannot stop the coming of galactic spring, of 'what comes into existence merits to pass away" (Hegel).
As Marx, Engels and Rosa Luxemburg underlined: we have the choice, barbarism or socialism. We may add: we have no choice anymore, it is human creation and emancipation.