Monday, 28 February 2011

Could Venezuela see her future in the oily crystal ball of Libya?

Could Venezuela  see her future in the oily crystal ball of Libya?

By Franz J. T. Lee

The Twilight of the 'Wretched of the Earth'

What is behind the series of popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East? What or who triggered them off? The CIA or hunger, or both? And 'Cui bono?' - whose interests do they really serve? Is Venezuela next? Can she see her future in the oily crystal ball of Libya, of Gaddafi?

The capitalist system globally has reproduced itself in all walks of life; it has internalized itself in the very psyche of the 'wretched of the earth'. By sacrificing their very lives millions defend and save their future butchers, the new ruling classes. Hunger, famine and poverty have been magnified ever since the original accumulation of capital, they are root causes of many popular revolts. What is special, new about the current uprisings? Are we making revolution and/or human emancipation, the New?

These and many other questions have seriously to be studied in Venezuela. Like in the 1960s very easily the African sparks could set the American prairie on fire. The common factors of Venezuela and Libya are dangerously similar: 'dictators' who are producing bloodbaths for their peaceful, poor citizens. Apart from these, they have oil, gas, water (under the Sahara Desert and in the Orinoco Delta), oxygen,  strategic metals and minerals but also exotic hot weather and blue skies, still  void of toxic 'chemtrails' and HAARP geophysical terrorism.

Just to possess the greatest oil reserves of the world is reason enough to receive bellicose royal treatment from the Fourth Fleet or NATO.

Hence, Venezuela, beware!

Let us look at some aspects of the current uprisings in Africa.

Foremost, in the current epoch of the post-Orwellian global disaster, what should be studied and debated urgently before we, the 'wretched of the earth', as international working classes, could get down concretely to emancipate ourselves as still breathing and fighting humanity? It is pertinent to identify the real global syndicates of organized war crimes and not to be fooled by bourgeois ruling class ideology and practices; in modern terms, by the Murdoch Empire, which preaches that 'Great Men', ... that is, 'dictators', like 'Muammar Gaddafi' or 'Hugo Chavez Frias', or 'saints' like 'Bush I and II, ... who were both losers but they 'took it all' ..., that is, that these 'great heroes' of the 'fatherland' all alone could make or break history. The problem is that most of us, but also the billions of the 'wretched of the earth' believe in such ideological, messianic, political grandeur. Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Frantz Fanon, Bertolt Brecht and Ernst Bloch have taught us, as a result of rigorous, stringent, theoretical analysis, that emancipated 'Man' should not strive to be 'great', not become a 'great dictator', but rather a homo novum, a New Man, the New per se. In the current corporate vandalism in Africa, especially in the land-grabbing, we could perceive that nowhere the new, the hopeful, the emancipatory, are on the agenda of the African Union, NEPAD, Africom or the 'African Standby Force' (ASF).

The latter is opening a new market for a flourishing arms sales industry in Africa, to serve the belligerent necessities of United Nations' 'peace-keeping' forces on the continent, but also violently to keep a macro-migratory exodus in search for food at bay.

Yes, corporate imperialism is not interested in the millions of starving children, in the spreading of pestilence, illness and AIDS, the new black elites just talk about business, about Great Business, about arms production in South Africa, corruption, about preparing for Great Wars.

Neither on the placards nor in the political speeches of the revolting, starving masses in North Africa and the Middle East, could be detected traces of the radical anti-capitalist New. It seems that the quo vadis, the whither, the future of whole Africa is truncated by world fascism. It seems that twilight is darkening the 'Cradle of Humanity'.

The major demand of all uprisings was that a dictatorial great man must step down from decades of autocratic power.

For pharisaic reasons, even Berlin and Washington D.C. favored and defended this 'human right'; all over the army and the State continued to serve the metropolitan interests of their corporate masters.

Venezuela and Libya, we should recall that
there exists no revolution without 'violent' class struggles. If the latter are absent in any region, or if we try to annihilate workers' class struggles on a continental scale, then this is the best proof that no social revolution is taking place there. Class reconciliation is not revolution, it is capitulation.

With emancipatory transhistoric processes the situation is more transcendental. There is no human emancipation possible when anywhere still exist labor and capital, master and slave relations, that is, exploitation, domination, racism. genocide and alienation. At the end of the first millennium, early North African and Arab materialist philosophers like Avicenna and Averroes, were already expressing the creative quintessence of human emancipation as natura naturans and natura naturata, namely, as that what is created, creative and creating, that is, Mother Nature, Mother Africa, Pacha Mama, Gaia and Isis. Creation signifies theoretical Praxis, the emancipation of Mother Nature, Mother Africa, the New, of the Woman.

The Novum is the emancipatory specter that is haunting the contemporary world order, it could be setting North America also ablaze. Since centuries capitalism brutally suppressed all possible emancipatory endeavors. Corporatism  launched an avalanche of physical and mental holocausts to control the toiling masses. Since yore, the masters called these authoritarian and totalitarian machinations and mechanisms humanism, peace, education, transition, democracy, 'one world government', culture, faith, good manners, etiquette, civilization, customs, credos, commandments, laws, morals, ideology and religion.

The low degree of class consciousness and the high level of inculcated ignorance about socialism by no means belittle the courage, optimism and heroic resistance of all the contemporary workers' struggles. However, it is important to note why corporate imperialism could silence these brave fighters again, can 'nip them in the bud'. This occurred in all the social democratic revolutions of the 20th century. Today, where are the novel, creative fruits of the heroic social revolutions of Vietnam, China, Yugoslavia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Eritrea, Djibouti, Mauritania, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa?

Is the current state of affairs in Africa the freedom for which we fought ... for which many millions 'peacefully' were maimed, mutilated and massacred? In Africa, are we confronting a new maafa (Swahili: disaster), a new type of Conquest, a modern Transatlantic Wage Slave Trade, a new Bermuda Triangle? What is Africom doing on the soil of Mother Africa, and why did we, a billion African human beings, allow it to settle there to kill us 'softly' one by one?

If our autocratic, theocratic, technocratic and bureaucratic 'great leaders', especially those in Humania South, could be accepted by corporate America, then by the grace of the 'great gods', who own 'great ideas' ... and by the 'superiority of the great master races' ... they would be ordained as the loyal guardians, the fascist 'storm troopers' of the apocalypse', as the Chief Executive Officers of the oil, gas, gold, metal and mineral supply and shipment to the USA, to the metropolitan opulent tycoons.

However, the danger is that we see all over colorful 'revolutions', hundreds, millions of them. We do not realize that there is only one single revolution: the capitalist, bourgeois, democratic revolution, the father of all reformist  vipers.

In his writing, 'The Jewish Question', as early as 1843, Marx himself informed us that our objective is to topple bourgeois revolution by means of proletarian human emancipation.

In the epoch of globalization where systemic revolutions are already becoming obsolete, we should seriously reflect and think about our basic liberatory concepts, about their corresponding anti-capitalist praxis.

As far as we could reflect, publicly, nowhere in the recent popular uprisings, the capitalist mode of destruction has been negated radically, is being transcended towards the real, true New, towards planetary emancipation.

On the 'Dark Continent' the Twilight of the 'Wretched of the Earth' is casting an obscure anticipatory awakening on the northern part of the continent; soon dusk will set in and remind us of how black, how mysterious, the natural nights could still be.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

audi Arabia: First Signs of Uprising in World’s Top Oil Exporter, by Finian Cunningham

Saudi Arabia: First Signs of Uprising in World’s Top Oil Exporter 

By Finian Cunningham

The popular uprisings across the Middle East are sparking similar unrest in the 
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with youth groups and workers in that country now 
calling for a “Day of Rage” demonstration in the capital, Riyadh, on March 11.

Already there have been protests last week in the city of Qatif and other towns 
in the country’s oil-rich Eastern Province demanding, among things, the release 
of political prisoners and a raft of social reforms. There are also reports of 
prominent Shia clerics being detained by the Saudi Sunni authorities, and 
security forces mobilizing in anticipation of further protests.

Sadek al-Ramadan, a human rights activist in Al Asha, Eastern Province, said: 
“People here are watching closely the protest movements across the region, which 
are tapping into long-held demands for reforms in Saudi Arabia.”

Al-Ramadan said that there are “deep frustrations” in Saudi society over high 
levels of poverty, unemployment, poor housing and perceived widespread 
corruption among the rulers of the world’s top oil exporter whose Gross Domestic 
Product last year is estimated at $622 billion.

An indication of the concern among the Saudi monarchy about growing unrest in 
the country was a closed meeting this week between King Abdullah and King Hamad 
al-Khalifa of Bahrain. The latter travelled to Riyadh to greet his 87-year-old 
Saudi counterpart on his return from the US and Morocco, where the ailing ruler 
had been receiving medical treatment. On the same day, Wednesday, the Saudi 
government unveiled a $37 billion social fund aimed at tackling youth 
unemployment and chronic shortages in affordable housing. A 15 per cent hike in 
salaries for government employees was also announced.

Al-Ramadan said that while the country’s minority Shia communities have “felt 
discrimination and repression most keenly over many decades, their grievances 
are also being shared increasingly by the majority of Sunni people”. Saudi 
Arabia’s population is estimated at around 19 million, with an expatriate 
workforce of some eight million.

“Unemployment is as high as 50 per cent among Saudi youth, whether Shia or 
Sunni, and there is a serious shortfall in housing and education facilities,” 
said Al-Ramadan. “People want more transparent governance, an end to corruption, 
and better distribution of wealth and welfare.”

He said that there was widespread recognition that reform in Saudi Arabia is 
badly needed. “The question is: how far will the call for reforms go?”

The Saudi authorities are undoubtedly mindful of the rapid escalation of 
anti-government protests in the neighbouring Persian Gulf island state of 
Bahrain, which is only an hour’s drive away from the Eastern Province across a 
25-kilometre causeway. Noticeably, the last two weeks have seen a big fall in 
the numbers of Saudis who usually come to Bahrain for a weekend getaway, with 
reports that Saudi officials have been turning away would-be visitors trying to 
cross the causeway.

Before the recent rallies began in Bahrain on February 14, small groups of 
Bahraini protesters were calling for relatively mild constitutional reforms. But 
after a week of heavy-handed repression resulting in seven civilian deaths and 
hundreds of injured, the protest movement in Bahrain is now bringing up to 
200,000 people on to the streets every night demanding the overthrow of the 
al-Khalifa monarchy.

In the coming weeks, the Saudi rulers face a difficult balancing act. Too little 
reform or too much repression by the authorities could set off the kind of 
full-blown uprisings sweeping the Middle East. And there is a lot at stake for 
the kingdom’s rulers. Up to 90 of the country’s oil production and processing is 
located in its restive Eastern Province, where the state-owned oil company Saudi 
Aramco has its headquarters in Dhahran. Some 80 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s 
national income is due to its oil and gas sectors.

Middle East analyst Ralph Schoenman said: The oil wealth of Saudi Arabia is 
concentrated almost entirely in the Shia-dominated Eastern Province - that 
sector of Arabia where popular disaffection is as profound and political 
alienation as explosive as it is in Bahrain.”

Schoenman added: “Beneath the appearance of calm, the Saudi royal family and 
King Abdullah have been consulting frantically with the other Gulf Sunni feudal 
sheikhdoms - from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates to Qatar and Oman.” 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Wisconsin Unions Preparing a General Strike - Written by David

Wisconsin Unions Preparing a General Strike       Print
Written by David May 
Thursday, 24 February 2011 14:30

After more than a week, demonstrations by public sector workers defending their pay, benefits and their right to union representation continue to grow. The struggle in Wisconsin is rapidly becoming a nation-wide struggle, a kind of American "Tahrir Square," a point of reference for workers under attack around the country. Demonstrations against similar cuts have spread to Ohio and Indiana, both states where unions have traditionally been very strong. Dozens, if not hundreds, of solidarity actions have taken place around the country. In a development that would have seemed unthinkable just 2 weeks ago, Wisconsin unions are now preparing for a state-wide general strike if Governor Walker’s bill is passed by the state legislature. While this struggle has only just begun and is far from finished, it marks an important turning point in the U.S. -- the class struggle is back!

Wisconsin workers have also received solidarity from a place where the workers' mass struggle recently led to the overthrow of an unpopular leader: Egypt. On Monday, Kamal Abbas of Egypt's Center for Trade Unions and Workers Services, a participant in the 1989 strike at the Helwan Steel works, which was brutally repressed by the now-defunct Hosni Mubarak regime, wrote:

"We want you to know that we stand on your side. Stand firm and don't waiver. Don't give up on your rights. Victory always belongs to the people who stand firm and demand their just rights...Today is the day of the American workers. We salute you American workers! You will be victorious. Victory belongs to all the people of the world, who are fighting against exploitation, and for their just Rights.”

The revolutionary events in the Middle East have clearly had a big impact on the consciousness of workers and youth everywhere. The capitalist system connects every country into the world market, but it also creates a world working class that shares the same interests. The victories of workers in one country are an inspiration to workers everywhere! The main lesson to be drawn from the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions is that mass action, with the working class at the head of the movement is the way forward. This is the way forward here too!

On Thursday, 3,800 union members and supporters filled the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus as hearings began on a bill which if passed, would deprive all state workers of collective bargaining rights. Following Wisconsin's lead it is possible that other public sector struggles will erupt in Indiana, New Jersey, Missouri and Iowa in the coming weeks. A call has gone out for a national day of action on March 2nd to defend the public sector, which is sure to be taken up around the country.

The Indiana legislature is due to begin discussing a bill that would deprive teachers of union rights. New Jersey Governor Christie has for weeks been telling public workers that they “have to face reality” and prepare for cuts. Iowa Republicans have said that the state’s collective bargaining agreements with public sector unions are “too expensive.” Missouri, which has a Democratic Governor, may soon see a referendum on a “right to work” law, which if approved would mean that both public and private sector workers employed at a union organized workplace would not be required to pay dues, which would hamper unions’ ability to struggle against the bosses by taking away their economic base.

Meanwhile, the crowds outside the Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin grew from 40,000 on Friday to 60,000 or more on Saturday. Despite the largest outpouring of the working class in the US for decades, Walker and the Republicans have refused to back down and continue the push to break the public sector unions.On Tuesday, February 21st, the South Central Federation of Labor (SCFL), the umbrella organization of southern Wisconsin unions, voted to prepare a general strike if the state legislature approves Walker's bill. This is the resolution they passed:

"Motion 1: The SCFL endorses a general strike, possibly for the day Walker signs his 'budget repair bill,' and requests the Education Committee immediately begin educating affiliates and members on the organization and function of a general strike.

"Motion 2:  The SCFL goes on record as opposing all provisions contained in Walker’s 'budget repair bill,' including but not limited to, curtailed bargaining rights and reduced wages, benefits, pensions, funding for public education, changes to medical assistance programs, and politicization of state government agencies."

The mass demonstrations in Wisconsin are inspiring millions of other workers to fight against the barrage of cuts. Without thousands and millions of working people standing up and saying “enough is enough!” things will never change. But as important as these mobilizations are, they are only one component part. The experience of the class struggle in the US and around the world shows that it is not enough for masses of ordinary working people and youth to hit the streets; it is also necessary that the movement have a leadership that is willing to fight the bosses and their political representatives "no-holds-barred."

SCFL’s call for a general strike is a huge step forward. Walker is single-mindedly intent on breaking the public sector unions, not working with them, and a general strike is the only way to defeat “Hosni” Walker. Victory in Wisconsin would set the tone for other public sector struggles getting ready to erupt across the country.

The Democrats’ Role

However, it must be said that the call for a general strike wasn’t made by the union leaders as a recognition of the movement’s strength, but rather as a last resort. On Friday, the day before the SCFL’s announcement of preparations for a general strike, the leaders of two of the largest public sector unions, Mary Bell of WEAC and Marty Beil of AFSCME Council 24, announced that they were willing to accept all of Walker’s demands for pay and benefit cuts (totaling $30 million), if only he would withdraw his demand to dismantle collective bargaining. True to form, and fully supported by the billionaire Tea Party-backers the Koch brothers, Walker rejected their offer.

AFSCME's Beil said afterwards that this position was “not a compromise,” but the union’s original bargaining position. With tens of thousands of workers and supporters surrounding the Capitol, why bargain for concessions in the first place? With meetings, marches and other events taking place all day, Beil and Bell should have instead organized a mass meeting of workers and supporters to discuss the terms to present to Walker and point the way forward, including the preparation of a state-wide general strike. Instead, it seems their concession-laden "compromise" was proposed without seriously consulting the thousands of workers who would be affected.

Unfortunately, Beil and Bell‘s concessions offer shows that if public sector workers are called out on a general strike, these leaders cannot be counted on to take the struggle to the end. It is therefore absolutely necessary that the strikers have complete, direct and democratic control over the struggle. SCFL must urgently organize a mass “town hall” meeting of Madison public and private sector workers, students, and community suporters, to begin planning how the general strike will be carried out, and make a call for the formation of coordination and action committees in every factory, workplace, and school, linked up centrally and governed by democratically elected representatives.

The union leaders are under tremendous pressure, not just from below, by the thousands of rank and file union members at the Capitol who are ready to struggle and are pushing the leadership forward, but also from above, specifically from the Democratic National Committee (DNC,) which has sent dozens of its members and operatives to Madison. Their intervention is being backed up in the media, with Obama speaking against Walker’s assault on the unions. Beil and Bell’s line is the same as the line of the Democrats in the state legislature, who returned from a four day boycott to move amendments to the bill which would keep Walker’s pay and benefit cuts but maintain the right to collective bargaining.

Neither the Democrats or Republicans represent the working class majority; they represent the interests of the big banks, the Fortune 500, and the wealthiest in society. Unlike the working class in many countries, US workers lack a mass Labor party that can represent our class interests. In such a situation, two parties representing the same tiny minority in society have to lean on the vast majority of the population to maintain the status quo. Both the Republican and Democratic parties engage in different forms of populism to do this, with the Republicans leaning on conservative churches, the Tea Party, etc., and the Democrats leaning above all on the unions for support, not in the unions’ interest but in their own.

The two parties, while representing the same capitalist class, defend this tiny minority in very different ways. The Republicans are using the budget crisis as a cover to attack the unions directly, hoping to weaken them in both the public and private sector. The Democrats, on the other hand, jump to “support” the unions by pushing a “compromise” in the "middle." The Democrats would like not just to lead the movement in Madison, but to more importantly to use it. The Republican and Democratic proposals in the state legislature have one thing in common: cuts. This is because the crisis of the system demands it. The difference is that the Democrats are seeking a roundabout way of pushing them through.

This has been their strategy for decades, and was seen most recently in the auto industry bailouts where the Obama administration offered GM and Chrysler a financial rescue package, leaning on former UAW President Ron Gettlefinger to force concessions on the membership in exchange. But this old relationship between the unions and Democrats will be increasingly difficult to maintain, as evidenced by events unfolding in Wisconsin, with SCFL being pushed to call a general strike.

Make the rich pay for the crisis!

Across the country, Republican public officials and the media have been howling after public sector workers, pointing to their pay and benefits as the cause of state budget deficits. After almost four years of recession and a "jobless recovery," with millions still unemployed, this does not fool many people. Instead, it justifiably angers most working people. As one sigen held by a protester said: "Attacking Workers Doesn't Create Jobs!" It is insult added to the injury of the economic dislocation, uncertainty and hardship of the vast majority since the “Great Recession” began in 2008. An article on the first demonstration inside the Ohio Statehouse from Bloomberg Online gives a glimpse of what many public sector workers think of the Republican attacks:

"Joe Rugola, the former president of the Ohio AFL-CIO who also is executive director of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, said he represents bus drivers and janitors who earn about $24,000 a year. 'I’m still looking for this privileged class of workers,’ Rugola said in an interview while waiting to testify.’ This is just part of a national attack on working people.'"

Almost every state in the US is either in debt or will be soon. State Governors and legislatures are presenting the situation as an "open and shut" case. They say that the only choice is between layoffs and job cuts or massive concessions. But the leaders of public sector unions would not be good "lawyers" if they simply accepted the other side’s argument (even if they do call for demonstrations and even strikes)! The union leaders have to answer all the lies of Big Business.

The budget crisis is the result of the weakened economy, massive military spending, and the huge tax breaks and give-aways to big corporations and the wealthy, not the salaries and benefits of public workers. For the past 30 years there has been a colossal transfer of the division of national income in the United States, from the working class to the capitalist class. In 2010, a Duke University study found that the top 20% of earners controlled more than 84% of the nation’s wealth. From 1979 to 2005, the after-taxes earnings of the top 1% of earners increased by 175%. Between 1998 and 2009, 57% of all US corporations did not pay any Federal taxes for at least one year. At the same time, state and city governments have for years been sucked into a downward spiral of tax incentives and breaks to get these same large corporations to move businesses to their areas, which then proceeed to lay off workers and shutter operations once the tax and other incentives run out. At the same time, average inflation-adjusted wage levels for workers have not risen since 1975!

Despite growing profits and massive cash reserves of the largest corporations during the recent "recovery," these same capitalists are not investing and creating jobs, but are instead squeezing more productivity from fewer workers. These corporations have more than $2 trillion in funds and assets, but they still refuse to invest. Librarians, teachers, and firefighters did not cause the economic crisis -- the slump is a result of the inherent problems of the capitalist system. If the union leaders are to address the root causes of the public sector struggle, they cannot ignore this fact.

The resources exist to maintain public sector workers' jobs, pay and benefits, and to continue to provide much-needed public services. The resources are also there to provide quality union wages and conditions for workers in the private sector. There is also more than enough to go around to provide jobs for the millions of unemployed, and to provide free, quality education for students, who will be tomorrow's workers. The problem is that both major political parties are firmly wedded to the big banks and corporations and they refuse to make real inroads against the wealth and privileges of the tiny handful of capitalists -- the top 1% -- who really "call the shots" in US society. The Labor movement will always be fighting with one hand tied behind its back as long as the leaders of the unions continue to support the Democratic Party, which is just as tied to the big banks and corporations as the Republicans.

So let's be clear: the capitalists, not the workers are to blame for the crisis. Instead of supporting the Democrats and hoping for better times, the unions should break with the Democrats and form a Labor party. Instead of parceling out the scraps left over from the table of the 1%, a Labor party should demand that the rich pay for the crisis. A Labor party would be able to fight in Congress and in the state legislatures alongside the unions in the streets and in the workplace for a massive program of public works, to build schools, universities, and repair the country’s aging infrastructure, all of which could provide millions of jobs. Last but not least, these jobs should be 100% unionized and pay a living wage.

The cost of such a program should not come in the form of higher taxes or reduced public services for working people but should come from the top 1%, the big banks and the Fortune 500 companies, not just in the form of higher taxes but also by instituting an “open book” policy to make the banks’ and corporations’ finances public knowledge. Then much of the colossal wealth that has been siphoned off by this tiny minority at the expense of the overwhelming majority could be put in public hands, to be democratically administered in the interests of all. This is a critical fight for labor movement, both in the public and private sector. The victory of the public sector workers will strengthen the unions in the private sector, while the defeat of the public sector workers will weaken the position of these unions.

    * An injury to one is an injury to all! Full solidarity with Wisconsin's public workers!
    * No to concessions! For an all-out one-day general strike in Wisconsin to stop the cuts!
    * Break with the parties of Big Business! For a mass party of labor based on the unions!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

World Socialist Website - Popular uprisings spread across Middle East despite brutal crackdowns

World Socialist Website 
- Popular uprisings spread across Middle East despite brutal crackdowns

By Mike Head
19 February 2011

Mass demonstrations and pitched battles with the military and police continued 
across the Middle East and North Africa yesterday, despite brutal massacres of 
protesters by autocratic-Western backed regimes. As well as Bahrain, Libya and 
Yemen—where there was fierce street fighting and many deaths—anti-government 
protests and strikes spread to other US client states in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait 
and Jordan.

The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have triggered protests across the region, 
from Algeria to Iraq, causing consternation in the Obama administration and 
among the major European powers, which have long relied upon the regional 
dictatorships to suppress their respective populations and maintain order 
throughout a strategically crucial, oil-rich part of the world.

For the fifth day in a row, there were bloody clashes in the tiny island 
monarchy of Bahrain, where the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based. At least three 
people were killed when the army opened fire on demonstrators. Some 25,000 
people, a huge crowd for a country of less than a million adults, had turned out 
for a funeral march for protestors killed the day before.

It was the first protest in the centre of the capital, Manama, since the police 
stormed the Pearl Roundabout before dawn on Thursday, killing four people and 
wounding around 200.

A Salmaniya hospital doctor told Al Jazeera that the hospital was full of 
severely injured people: “We need help! Our staff is entirely overwhelmed. They 
are shooting at people’s heads. Not at the legs. People are having their brains 
blown out!”

A protester told the news agency: “They had machine guns, not rifles or hand 
weapons, and they shot people who ran away.” Another demonstrator, Hussein Ali, 
said: “They started firing from the bridge without any warning, then they 
started firing from their cars ... It was terrifying, a nightmare. Small 
children and women were falling over.”

Bahrain’s monarchy, no doubt acting in close collaboration with Washington, is 
trying to stabilise itself. Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa appealed 
for a “national dialogue” once order was restored. Any such “dialogue” would be 
aimed at salvaging the regime—even if in a slightly modified form, with the help 
of officially-tolerated opposition groups, as the Egyptian military has tried do 
since the fall of Hosni Mubarak a week ago.

Bahrain, located in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran, is also home 
to the US Naval Forces Central Command. It is of vital importance to Washington 
because some 40 percent of the world’s oil passes through the Gulf. The US has 
been an ardent supporter of the wealthy royal family and elite that controls the 

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday made 
statements of “deep concern” about the violence in Bahrain, as well as Libya and 
Yemen. “The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against 
peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur,” Obama said.

Just last December, however, Clinton visited Bahrain, praising it as a “model 
partner” in the region. “I see the glass as half full,” she said when asked 
about the arrests of prominent opposition politicians and reports of torture. 
She said she was “impressed by the commitment that the government has to the 
democratic path that Bahrain is walking on”.

The responsibility of the US and its allies for the repression in Bahrain was 
underscored by reports that the security forces used UK-supplied weapons against 
demonstrators. A British government business department report, cited by the 
/Independent/ newspaper, said London had given approval for British arms 
manufacturers to sell “CS hand grenades, demolition charges, smoke canisters and 
thunderflashes” to Bahrain.

Not least of “concern” to Washington are the implications for the neighbouring 
monarchy in Saudi Arabia, the third largest recipient of US military aid for the 
past three decades after the Israeli and Egyptian governments. A former US 
ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, told Al Jazeera that the “Saudis will 
not tolerate excessive unrest” in Bahrain because of its proximity to their main 
oilfields in eastern Saudi Arabia.

Similarly, the global oil companies are closely following the possible collapse 
of their local crowned heads. Platts, an industry site, reported: “Saudi Arabia, 
the oil Goliath which holds in its hands the only significant spare production 
capacity that can meet any potential global supply disruption, has been besieged 
by bloody riots in neighboring Bahrain and a growing anti-government protest 
south of its border in Yemen.”


Intense battles raged across Libya for the fifth day yesterday as protestors 
demanded the removal of the 41-year-old regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who 
has also become a close ally of the West and the oil giants in recent years. 
Media access to Libya is tightly controlled, but reports from various sources 
described insurrectionary scenes in the wake of Thursday’s “day of rage” in 
which at least 25 protestors were killed.

Security forces were deployed around the eastern city of Al-Baida, a source 
close to the authorities told AFP, following a Reuters report that anti-regime 
protesters had seized control of the city with the aid of local police.

YouTube videos showed demonstrators marching through the streets of Benghazi, 
the country’s second largest city, chanting anti-government slogans. Protesters 
had set fire to the headquarters of a local radio station in Benghazi, after the 
building’s guards withdrew, witnesses and a security source told AFP. Residents 
also reported that police there had been replaced with military troops. Mohamed 
el-Berqawy, an engineer in Benghazi, told Al Jazeera a “massacre” was occurring 
in the city.

According to a toll compiled by AFP from different local sources, at least 41 
people have lost their lives since demonstrations first erupted on Tuesday. 
Libyan authorities claimed that the west of the country was quiet. But 
demonstrations were reported in other cities, including the capital, Tripoli.


Yemen, another US ally, also resorted to lethal force yesterday against mounting 
protests, bringing the death toll since the unrest erupted on Sunday to 10. 
Anti-regime protesters in the volatile city of Taez were blasted in a hand 
grenade attack on Friday, leaving two dead, as fierce clashes in several areas 
of the southern city of Aden killed four and wounded at least 27. Clashes also 
broke out in the capital Sana’a in which four anti-regime demonstrators were 
injured, according to witnesses and journalists, who were also beaten.

The grenade attack came as hundreds of protesters took to central Taez after the 
weekly Muslim prayers to demand President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ouster. A local 
official told AFP the grenade was lobbed at protesters from a speeding car with 
government number plates.

In Sana’a, several journalists were severely beaten by supporters of the ruling 
General Peoples Congress (GPC) who attacked the demonstration using batons and 
axes, an AFP correspondent reported. Thousands of demonstrators, mostly 
students, had gathered following the weekly Muslim prayers. “People want to 
overthrow the regime,” they chanted.

*Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan*

* *

Significantly, unrest has spread to both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and re-emerged 
in another key US-backed state, Jordan. In Saudi Arabia, foreign construction 
workers went on strike at the King Abdullah Financial District and the King Saud 
University in the capital Riyadh. The /Arab News/ reported that workers had 
stopped work either because their salaries or overtime pay were not paid.

In Kuwait, at least 1,000 stateless Arabs demonstrated in Jahra, northwest of 
Kuwait City, demanding citizenship, leading to dozens being arrested by police. 
Ambulances rushed an unspecified number of wounded protesters and security 
forces away from the scene. Security forces dispersed the demonstration, using 
smoke bombs and water cannon. The government insists that Kuwait’s roughly 
100,000 stateless Arabs are not entitled to nationality.

In Jordan, thugs wielding batons turned on anti-government marchers in the 
capital Amman. Protesters claimed they were attacked as they started to disperse 
after a march calling for an elected government and an end to official 
corruption. Demonstrators have been calling for economic and political reform 
since mid-January. King Abdullah II sacked his entire cabinet last month, in an 
effort to head off the protests, but many were dismayed by his appointment of 
Marouf Bakhit, one of the king’s henchmen, as the new premier. Bakhit, a retired 
army major-general, served as Jordan’s prime minister from 2005 until he was 
forced to resign in 2007 after blatantly rigged elections.

The situation in Jordan exemplifies the intractable social crisis driving the 
protests. It has a high unemployment rate among its population of six million, 
the majority of whom are under 25, and is suffering from the rising world prices 
of food and fuel. None of the region’s regimes, all of which preside over 
ever-more glaring inequality—as do governments around the world—in any way seek 
to address the economic and social needs of their populations.

Friday, 11 February 2011

James Petras: Washington Faces the Arab Revolts - Tom Eley: Egyptian military tortured, “disappeared” thousands of demonstrators

Washington Faces the Arab Revolts
For the US there are no strategic relationships only permanent interests.

By James Petras

To understand the Obama regime's policy toward Egypt, the Mubarak dictatorship and the popular uprising it is essential to locate it in an historical context. The essential point is that Washington, after several decades of being deeply embedded in the state structures of the Arab dictatorships, from Tunisia through Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, is attempting to re-orient its policies to incorporate and/or graft liberal-electoral politicians onto the existing power configurations.

While most commentators and journalists spill tons of ink about the “dilemmas” of US power, the novelty of the Egyptian events and Washington’s day to day policy pronouncements, there are ample historical precedents which are essential to understand the strategic direction of Obama’s policies.

Historical Background

US foreign policy has a long history of installing, financing, arming and backing dictatorial regimes which back its imperial policies and interests as long as they retain control over their people.

In the past, Republican and Democratic presidents worked closely for over 30 years with the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic; installed the autocratic Diem regime in pre-revolutionary Vietnam in the 1950’s; collaborated with two generations of Somoza family terror regimes in Nicaragua; financed and promoted the military coup in Cuba 1952, Brazil 1964, Chile in 1973, and in Argentina in 1976 and the subsequent repressive regimes. When popular upheavals challenged these US backed dictatorships, and a social as well as political revolution appeared likely to succeed, Washington responded with a three track policy: publically criticizing the human rights violations and advocating democratic reforms; privately signaling continued support to the ruler; and thirdly, seeking an elite alternative which could substitute for the incumbent and preserve the state apparatus, the economic system and support US strategic imperial interests.

For the US there are no strategic relationships only permanent imperial interests, name preservation of the client state. The dictatorships assume that their relationship with Washington is strategic: hence the shock and dismay when they are sacrificed to save the state apparatus. Fearing revolution, Washington has had reluctant client despots, unwilling to move on, assassinated (Trujillo and Diem). Some are provided sanctuaries abroad (Somoza, Batista),others are pressured  into power-sharing (Pinochet) or appointed as visiting scholars to Harvard, Georgetown or some other “prestigious” academic posting.

The Washington calculus on when to reshuffle the regime is based on an estimate of the capacity of the dictator to weather the political uprising, the strength and loyalty of the armed forces and the availability of a pliable replacement. The risk of waiting too long, of sticking with the dictator, is that the uprising radicalizes: the ensuing change sweeps away both the regime and the state apparatus, turning a political uprising into a social revolution. Just such a ‘miscalculation’ occurred in 1959 in the run-up to the Cuban revolution, when Washing stood by Batista and was not able to present a viable pro US alternative coalition linked to the old state apparatus. A similar miscalculation occurred in Nicaragua, when President Carter, while criticizing Somoza, stayed the course, and stood passively by as the regime was overthrown and the revolutionary forces destroyed the US and Israeli trained military, secret police and intelligence apparatus, and went on to nationalize US property and develop an independent foreign policy.

Washington moved with greater initiative, in Latin America in the 1980’s. It promoted negotiated electoral transitions which replaced dictators with pliable neo-liberal electoral politicians, who pledged to preserve the existing state apparatus, defend the privileged foreign and domestic elites and back US regional and international policies.

Past Lessons and Present Policies

Obama has been extremely hesitant to oust Mubarak for several reasons, even as the movement grows in number and anti-Washington sentiment deepens. The White House has many clients around the world – including Honduras, Mexico, Indonesia, Jordan and Algeria – who believe they have a strategic relationship with Washington and would lose confidence in their future if Mubarak was dumped.

Secondly, the highly influential leading pro-Israel organizations in the US (AIPAC, the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations) and their army of scribes have mobilized congressional leaders to pressure the White House to continue backing Mubarak, as Israel is the prime beneficiary of a dictator who is at the throat of the Egyptians (and Palestinians) and at the feet of the Jewish state.

As a result the Obama regime has moved slowly, under fear and pressure of the growing Egyptian popular movement. It searches for an alternative political formula that removes Mubarak, retains and strengthens the political power of the state apparatus and incorporates a civilian electoral alternative as a means of demobilizing and de-radicalizing the vast popular movement.

The major obstacle to ousting Mubarak is that a major sector of the state apparatus, especially the 325,000 Central Security Forces and the 60,000 National Guard are directly under the Interior Ministry and Mubarak. Secondly, top Generals in the Army (468,500 members) have buttressed Mubarak for 30 years and have been enriched by their control over very lucrative companies in a wide range of fields. They will not support any civilian ‘coalition’ that calls into question their economic privileges and power to set the political parameters of any electoral system. The supreme commander of the Egyptian military is a longtime client of the US and a willing collaborator with Israel.

Obama is resolutely in favor of collaborating with and ensuring the preservation of these coercive bodies. But he also needs to convince them to replace Mubarak and allow for a new regime which can defuse the mass movement which is increasingly opposed to US hegemony and subservience to Israel. Obama will do everything necessary to retain the cohesion of the state and avoid any splits which might lead to a mass movement – soldier alliance which could convert the uprising into a revolution.

Washington has opened talks with the most conservative liberal and clerical sectors of the anti-Mubarak movement. At first it tried to convince them to negotiate with Mubarak – a dead end position which was rejected by all sectors of the opposition, top and bottom. Then Obama tried to sell a phony “promise” from Mubarak that he would not run in the elections, nine months later.

The movement and its leaders rejected that proposal also. So Obama raised the rhetoric for ‘immediate changes’ but without any substantive measures backing it up. To convince Obama of his continued power base, Mubarak sent his formidable thug-lumpen secret police to violently seize the streets from the movement. A test of strength: the Army stood by; the assault raised the ante of a civil war, with radical consequences.  Washington and the E.U. pressured the Mubarak regime to back off – for now. But the image of a pro-democracy military was tarnished, as killings and injuries multiplied in the thousands.

As the pressure of the movement intensifies, Obama cross pressured by the pro Mubarak Israel Lobby and its Congressional entourage on the one hand, and on the other by knowledgeable advisors who call on him to follow past practices and move decisively to sacrifice the regime to save the state while the liberal-clerical electoral option is still on the table.

But Obama hesitates and like a wary crustacean, he moves sideways and backwards, believing his own grandiloquent rhetoric is a substitute for action … hoping that sooner or later, the uprising will end with Mubarakism without Mubarak: a regime able to demobilize the popular movements and willing to promote elections which result in elected officials following the general line of their predecessor.

Nevertheless, there are many uncertainties in a political reshuffle: a democratic citizenry, 83% unfavorable to Washington, will possess the experience of struggle and freedom to call for a realignment of policy, especially to cease being a policeman enforcing the Israeli blockage of Gaza, and providing support  for US puppets in North Africa, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Secondly free elections will open debate and increase pressure for greater social spending, the expropriation of the seventy billion dollar empire of the Mubarek clan and the crony capitalists who pillage the economy. The masses will demand a reallocation of public expenditure from the overblown coercive apparatus to productive, job generating employment. A limited political opening may lead to a second round, in which new social and political conflicts will divide the anti-Mubarak forces, a conflict between the advocates of social democracy and elite backers of neo-liberal electoralism. The anti-dictatorial moment is only the first phase of a prolonged struggle toward definitive emancipation not only in Egypt but throughout the Arab world. The outcome depends on the degree to which the masses develop their own independent organization and leaders.

- James Petras' most recent books are: What's Left in Latin America?, coauthored with Henry Veltmeyer (Ashgate Press, 2009), and Global Depression and Regional Wars (Clarity Press, 2009). He contributed this article to
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Egyptian military tortured, “disappeared” thousands of demonstrators
By Tom Eley
11 February 2011

Since demonstrations and strikes erupted against the Mubarak regime on January 25, the Egyptian military has arrested, tortured and “disappeared” thousands, according to reports from the Guardian newspaper and human rights organizations.

The revelations explode the claim advanced by the Obama administration that Egypt’s army is a neutral arbiter in the crisis and can lead a “transition” to human rights and democracy. They also give the lie to the claim that the military can be relied upon to protect the population from the hated state security forces, an argument advanced by both Mohammed ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood. The military has, in fact, assumed the brutal role of the police and security forces, which have, at least in part, dissolved in the face of the revolution.

According to Human Rights Watch, at least 302 Egyptians have been killed in the protests, the vast majority of these at the hands of the security forces, pro-government thugs and the military. Heba Morayef, a researcher for Human Rights Watch in Cairo who participated in the count, said that the ultimate number will likely be far higher.

The number of the disappeared—those arrested by the military with no record or official acknowledgement of their fate—runs into the hundreds, possibly thousands, Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in Cairo, told the Guardian. Their “crimes” include carrying political leaflets, attending demonstrations, “or even the way they look,” the newspaper reports.

“Their range is very wide, from people who were at the protests or detained for breaking curfew, to those who talked back at an army officer or were handed over to the army for looking suspicious or for looking like foreigners even if they were not,” Bahgat said. “It’s unusual and to the best of our knowledge it’s also unprecedented for the army to be doing this.”

He continued, “Detentions either go completely unreported or they are unable to inform their family members or any lawyer of their detention so they are much more difficult to assist or look for. Those held by the military police are not receiving any due process either because they are unaccounted for and they are unable to inform anyone of their detention.”

One person who has vanished after being detained by the military near Tahrir Square is Kareem Amer, a blogger and opponent of the Mubarak regime who had only recently been released from a four-year prison sentence for criticizing the regime.

As is the usual practice for the police and security forces, the military is subjecting those arrested to torture. The Guardian spoke “to detainees who say they have suffered extensive beatings and other abuses at the hands of the military in what appears to be an organised campaign of intimidation.” Among the documented forms of torture the newspaper uncovered is the use of electrical shocks on prisoners.

Human Rights Watch reported the military abuse of one anonymous activist who was stopped at a military checkpoint where a pro-democracy flier was found in his bag.

“They started beating me up in the street [with] their rubber batons and an electric Taser gun, shocking me,” the activist said. “Then they took me to Abdin police station. By the time I arrived, the soldiers and officers there had been informed that a ‘spy’ was coming, and so when I arrived they gave me a ‘welcome beating’ that lasted some 30 minutes.”

He was then forced to undress, at which point cables from an “electric shock machine” were attached to his body.

“He shocked me all over my body, leaving no place untouched. It wasn’t a real interrogation; he didn’t ask that many questions. He tortured me twice like this on Friday, and one more time on Saturday,” the man said.

The Guardian spoke with a 23-year-old man, Ashraf, who was detained by the military on Friday for attempting to bring medical supplies to the demonstrators in Tahrir Square in Cairo. He described his ordeal in a makeshift prison at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities on the edge of Tahrir Square.

“I was on a sidestreet and a soldier stopped me and asked me where I was going. I told him and he accused me of working for foreign enemies and other soldiers rushed over and they all started hitting me with their guns.

“They put me in a room. An officer came and asked me who was paying me to be against the government. When I said I wanted a better government he hit me across the head and I fell to the floor. Then soldiers started kicking me. One of them kept kicking me between my legs.

“They got a bayonet and threatened to rape me with it. Then they waved it between my legs. They said I could die there or I could disappear into prison and no one would ever know. The torture was painful but the idea of disappearing in a military prison was really frightening.”

Ashraf, who did not give his last name for fear of reprisals, said that he was beaten off and on for hours, before being placed in a room with about a dozen other men who had been badly tortured.

Last week the military allowed pro-Mubarak thugs, many of them plainclothes security forces, to attack demonstrators over the space of three days with Molotov cocktails, iron rods, vehicles, horses, and even guns. An unknown number were killed and scores were injured in these assaults.

Human rights organizations say that the military did not generally detain the pro-Mubarak fighters, and when they did they have not been subject to the same abuses as the demonstrators. Instead, they have been turned over to the police and security forces—very likely their employers.


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Concerning the Bolivarian Revolution and the Arab Revolution in Africa

Concerning the contemporary Bolivarian Revolution and the current Arab
Revolution in Africa

By Franz J. T. Lee

By recalling what has happened here in Venezuela nearly nine years ago (a failed
military coup and an oil sabotage orchestrated by the USA against Venezuela) and
by focusing on the latest political developments in North Africa and the Middle
East, we could note two interesting factors which both events have in common.
Both occur in the epoch of globalization, and by surpassing normal spatial and
temporal parameters, both appear as surprise, are unique, New. They appear at
dusk on the global horizon, at a time when it seems that the experiment man,
socialist man is becoming an earthly failure.

But, in the epoch of the total collapse of the capitalist world order:

* Are these sparks sufficient to set the whole global prairie on emancipatory fire?

Corporate destructive reality is progressively diminishing the chances of
emancipatory creative possibility.

* What could be still possible for the future of humanity, for future humanity
itself? The permanent world revolution?

Concerning the species man, this is a very serious philosophical question which
merits profound thinking, thought and action. In a brief commentary this is not
possible. Nonetheless, talking about the category 'possibility' its philosophic
roots we encounter in the works of the 'Aristotelian Left', for example, in the
materialist philosophy of Avicenna and Averroes, who lived during the 'Dark
Ages' in North Africa, the Mideast and Persia.

* Like the October Revolution, like the Algerian Revolution, could the Arab and
Latin American emancipatory endeavors also fail?

* Could they lose their creating and creative sparks, their sparkling, twinkling
novelty, the anti-capitalist New?

* Could they degenerate into corrupt practice and oppotunist ideology?

Both historical events never happened before anywhere and they will never repeat
themselves again anywhere, as such, they are unique, are emancipatory.

Surely, very often we indulge in wishful thinking or are carried away by
political daydreams, by emotional masses in motion, as such, generally we are
tempted to see 'revolutions' everywhere, here an African revolution, there an
Arab Revolution, all over a Christian revolution, without ever having thought
about the possibility of emancipatory reality and about real human emancipation.
Let us just comment on a few aspects of this crucial social problem.

* Theoretically, philosophically, what is the difference between possibility and
reality? Let us say it lovingly, in ancient Greek.

Often desired things, beautiful relations or loving people that we daydream
about, that we are desperately looking for across continents, do not appear on
the spur of the moment, because they are still in the Aristotelian "process of
ta symbebekóta to kata to dynatón to dynamei on. In other words, what we look
for, the loved one, the revolution, are not born as yet.

What does this mean? It simply describes the arduous materialist process of
being, of becoming and of becoming being, the process from possibility to
reality in all walks of terrestrial life.

According to Aristotle, the materialist, cosmic process encompasses the
political process from the village to the polis, to the State. Of course, then
the State was the ideal ancient slave-owning State; once it had materialized
itself, it ended up to be the most perfect form of 'human communism'. However,
only the slave owning middle class, the ruling elite, had the social privilege
of administrating this perfect polis. (1)

In globalization, the perfect State, the most evil state ever constructed would
be the 'One World Government'.

As indicated, across the Aristotelian 'Left', across North Africa, the Mideast
and Persia, Arab and African philosophers like Avicenna, Averroes and Avicebron
were disseminating a dynamic natural materialism based on natura naturata and
natura naturans, created, creating and creative hylozoism in medieval Antiquity.

This transillumination eventually entered bourgeois philosophy in the epoch of
the Renaissance and was developed further by philosophers like Giordano Bruno.
Ironically, Africa and the Middle East did not only 'discover' America long
before Christopher Columbus, they hade a decisive contribution to bourgeois
materialist philosophy.

Later Hegel will claim that Africans do not exist within the framework of
history. Montesquieu was convinced that Africans do not possess a 'soul', not
even a 'black' one and Voltaire, who was involved in the African slave maafa,
(Swahili, concept for a great disaster, for the African Holocaust), pejoratively
will state that 'negroes' have no intellectual capacity and that they serve
neither for 'the use nor for the abuse of philosophy'. If philosophy really
should be the love (filia) for wisdom (sophia), well, then the afri peoples of
the North African region already over ten millennia ago very wisely and vividly
were in love with Mother Nature, that is, Africans were 'civilized' long before
Europe had reached the barbarous stage of accumulative, capitalist ta
symbebekóta (Aristotle), that is, had entered the state of coming-into-possibility.

What is happening currently in North Africa is that the emancipatory spirit of
the Afri peoples who had lived there ten millennia ago are now claiming their
historic truth, human dignity and emancipation.

On our minute planet Earth, on our one and only natural, cosmic space-ship en
route towards new, unknown realms of creative, living emancipation, in our
struggles, in our class struggles, scientifically and philosophically we, as
strangers to the New, have to give it welcome that "there are more things in
heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Shakespeare,
Hamlet) (2) This is the tird factor which the Bolivarian and the Arab
anticipatory processes have in common.

Philosophically expressed, In Africa, in daily life, in our perpetual 'praxical'
and theoretical class struggles, there exist a myriad of simple objective levels
and exist countless complex subjective degrees, however, these are just the
anticipatory preconditions that should enable us to pass and surpass
unimaginable, vague 'transjective mensions' of human being, human existence and
human transcendence. Only as human trinity could we ban capitalism forever.

This simply means that Mother Africa, the creator and womb of human life, has to
recapture her erotic and exotic human trinity which capitalist colonial
barbarism has wrested apart and has replaced it with divine patriarchal
monotheism. With the brutal construction of the imperialist world market, for
Africa life itself was converted into an earthly hell, into the greatest maafa
of all times.

Nonetheless, it is pertinent to note that in severe times like the current one,
the 'future' of mankind becomes truncated, opaque and vague, everywhere all
kinds of 'solutions' appear in dispersed forms; none of them seem to be able to
change the mortal route of the global, fascist Titanic. However, once upon a
time, ten million years ago, ... after three natural climatic maafa and the
destruction of 90 percent of planetary life, for example, of the dinosaurs, ...
Mother Africa gave birth to Proconsul africanus, the root stock of contemporary
women, men and primates.

So often did Mother Africa preserve her very own cosmic creations, hence, why
can Africa and Africa in Venezuela not resolve or halt the coming super maafa
caused by Lilliputian, myopic, patriarchal megalomania?

When shall we ever learn what is anti-capitalism?

After the Neanderthal Man, after Homo sapiens, who or what will come next?

Also this is 'evolution', is 'progress' towards higher forms, as explained by
Charles Darwin or Michail Bakunin. Only Rousseau warned that we are going
precisely the other way, towards involution.

Continuing with the anticipatory sublime, surely, also in Africa, emancipatory
forces permanently are being created, as a result of the sharp ongoing planetary
contradictions and relations, -- but also of the corresponding social
antagonistic forces, of material affirmations, social negations and
transvolutionary 'superations'. Internationally, in globalization, in the
collapse of the mode of destruction of capitalism, in potentiality and potency,
in latency and tendency, in embryo, the parasitic days of capitalism are
numbered. We are in the era of barbarism already. We just have Hobson's choice,
as could be witnessed by the current heinous capital and cardinal crimes against
nature and humanity, committed by the governments of the United States and the
European Union.

Apart from the current valiant African freedom struggles against global
imperialism, our emancipatory dawn, uhuru (Odinga Oginga), that is, freedom, is
not born as yet. In fact, currently for Africa it is the darkest before dawn.

Historically, determined by the tendential and latent laws of the anarchic,
productive development of world capitalism, very early appeared phantasmagorias
of the best possible State to safe-guard and foster the 'peaceful' accumulation
of capital, profits, privileges, hegemony and power. Centuries later a
transhistoric fata morgana became a concrete, cruel reality.

In Europe, for example, such was the case of Maquiavelli's 'Prince', of Thomas
Hobbes' 'Leviathan' and of George Orwell's 'Big Brother' -- these past
nightmares, these possible State monstrosities of yesterday progressively are
becoming realities in the post-Orwellian epoch of globalization or global
fascism. Now the ruling power elites are dreaming about their 'one world
government', about total control.

The tables are turning in Africa. The theocratic, feudal and neocolonial elites
are trembling, they sense their inexorable demise. It is high time to transcend
the slave maafa with liberatory ujamaa, with familyhood; to annihilate apartheid
with socialist ubuntu, with communalism, to transform 'not yet uhuru' into real
'menschliche Emanzipation', into real 'human emancipation' (Marx). Concerning
Venezuela, our comrades, to whom this commentary is dedicated, urgently we have
to accelerate our transcendence from theology to philosophy, from pro-capitalism
to anti-imperialism, practice to praxis, from ideology to theory, from
revolution to emancipation.

(1) See: Aristotle, Politeia, IV, 11, 1295 b 1ff.
(2) See: Acto I, Escena 5.