We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Debtcropper Society

by Matt Stoller from New Deal 2.0

This brief piece hits on the powerful strategy of financial elites to enslave all the world's working people to feed their addictions to wealth and power. (Read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man)

Giving money to people and nations in the form of debt is so seductive and so effective at bringing people under the control of the creditors. The creditors use the legal system which they constructed, and then use sheriff and police departments which they control, sometimes even armies, to enforce their laws. 

Instead of raising taxes on the rich, the rich much prefer issuing debt to their own governments in the forms of bonds, loans, etc. Instead of paying decent wages to workers, they encourage workers to use credit cards to purchase items that the advertising world insists they should have in order to be an acceptable human being.
Today, the debts do not involve liens against crops. People in modern America carry student loans, credit card debt, and mortgages. All of these are hard to pay back, often bringing with them impenetrable contracts and illegal fees. Credit card debt is difficult to discharge in bankruptcy and a default on a home loan can leave you homeless. A student loan debt is literally a claim against a life — you cannot discharge it in bankruptcy, and if you die, your parents are obligated to pay it. If the banks have their way, mortgages and deficiency judgments will follow you around forever....

Grand Delusions: The Regressive Results of Progressive Markets

by Chris Floyd from Empire Burlesque

The author does an excellent job of busting the myths of liberal capitalists who engage in make-believe good works while padding their pockets.
You cannot fruitfully address social problems with a mechanism designed to create private profit -- just as you cannot build a peaceful, stable society with an organization designed to kill people and blow things up. Yet multitudes are suffering and dying all over the world from these delusions. And because they augment the wealth and dominance of the powerful, these corrosive myths will continue to be propagated with evangelical fervor by those same elites and their sycophants -- to the detriment of social needs, of national security, of the common good and the daily lives of countless individuals.

Rich People Don't Watch Football

by Jamie Johnson from Vanity Fair.  

Jamie is our Saturday morning guide into the lives of the rich who we seldom encounter in our everyday lives, except of course on TV. But these latter are mainly celebrities, people who are newly rich who are not really accepted among "The One Percent" as one of them. 

We rarely, if ever, meet rich people in the flesh who spend much of their time at their various homes and playgrounds in such places as Aspen, The Hamptons, Nantucket, Davos, Dubai, and Monte Carlo. And when they travel between these places they don't fly coach, probably not even 1st class, because they often use or charter private jets. Nevertheless, they are our fellow Americans and we need to keep in touch with them as best we can.

Theirs is a rather insular world free of the obstacles and much of the everyday frustrations that the rest of us put up with. For example, I doubt that any of them would ever endure the humiliation of going through security checkpoints at airports and being scanned or patted down by TSA's gestapo. 

Today we learn from Jamie that this crowd doesn't really go in for football (American football). He doesn't really know why, but I surmise that they are much too genteel to appreciate the sweaty roughness of tackling somebody or swilling down "Buds" while watching this on TV.
...indoor games like bridge provide the kind of competition rich people like to engage in during leisurely weekend hours. In certain circles, a fabled bridge player enjoys far more cachet than a Heisman Trophy winner. And if the card champion happens to speak beautiful French, then you are finally talking about the kind of consummate sportsman polite society can truly embrace.
By the way, if you haven't seen Jamie's excellent film, "The One Percent", you simply must do so. As a member of this set, he has access to them and their world which can shed so much light on their perspectives and values.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Building community: an economic approach

An interview with David Korten from Yes! Magazine.

Yes! Magazine is essentially David's magazine. This interview illustrates the general thrust of his magazine which is, I believe, to romanticize the various projects going on at the community level which include networking of small business enterprises, cooperatives, Transition Towns projects, community created money, etc. These projects are all fine. They help, to a limited extent, to build cohesiveness at the local level. But by themselves they will have little effect on the lives of the vast majority of working people. 

So, I ask, why does Korten makes such an emotional display of support for these projects? I can't get inside of his head, but I can look at what his efforts are likely to lead to if they succeed. They will at best provide some micro-niches for a few small scale projects that will moderately enhance the lives of a relatively few people. But what concerns me is that support for such projects will divert attention away from the overwhelming system that is ruining all of our lives--capitalism. We cannot ignore it and hope it will go away. We must learn how to understand it and how to fight it. 

Because such efforts serve to distract from more militant projects, I believe that this is why Korten is given access to PBS--another instrument of the ruling class that serves to "manufacture consent". 

By the way, I live in Bellingham.

Low-Wage Capitalism: Colossus with Feet of Clay [a book review]

by Gregory Elich from Global Research (orig. from Science & Society). 

This book appears to offer some excellent insights to enable an understanding of the gradual degradation of the lives of working people caused by neo-liberal policies.
The first section of the book addresses economic globalization, in which "transnational corporations are able to pit workers in the rich, developed imperialist countries in a direct job-for-job wage competition with workers in poor, underdeveloped, low-wage countries on an ever-widening scale."

In the second section of the book, Goldstein outlines the thirty-year assault on the American workforce. The net effect has been more deleterious than is often realized. "Over three decades of outsourcing, offshoring, and immigration, the pressure has become more insidious than a market crash. The confidence of workers has been slowly and imperceptibly undermined by the bosses' gradualist piecemeal tactics: layoffs in one plant or a group of plants, staggered over time and in different industries and regions. Production is shifted to low-wage areas behind the backs of the workers. Over time, concessions have been made to the bosses in increments. It all adds up to a massive attack on the entire class, but in slow motion. The workers are influenced by what has become known as the 'fear factor' and their leadership has shown no way out."

What Kind of Palestinian State in 2011? Neoliberalism and World Bank Diktats

by Rafeef Ziadah from CADTM

The article reports on the recent activities spearheaded by the World Bank and the IMF to promote neo-liberal plans for the integration of Palestinian territories into Israel and the Empire. Their actions illustrate some of the common tools of ruling classes that are used to impose their will on a people, whose labor and resources they want to control, such as divide and conquer and co-optation. See if you can spot the current use of these methods in this article.
Understanding the logic of the Fayyad Plan is critical to assessing the current state of the Palestinian struggle. Often the analytical emphasis is placed on Israeli action, while internal Palestinian politics are ignored. However, the shifts taking place within the Palestinian Occupied Territories such as the increased power of a Palestinian elite class, and the hand-picking of Fayyad to implement neoliberal reforms, are vital to understand because they pose significant obstacles to Palestinian prospects for self-determination. 

Historian takes aim at powerful climate doubters

by Margot O'Neill from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  

The reporter provides this transcript of her interview with Prof. Oreskes who essentially argues the main thesis of the excellent book entitled, Merchants of Doubt, which she co-authored.
American science historian Professor Naomi Oreskes believes political uncertainty about climate change comes from a small handful of distinguished scientists who also denied the link between tobacco smoke and cancer.
In the interview, and much more in detail in the book, she explains how some scientists were essentially co-opted into serving ruling class interests by being given access to some of the highest levels of power. 

I believe that it is a similar story to how they managed to co-opt many leaders of labor unions. Co-optation is a major tool in the arsenal of capitalists to deal with opposition from working people.

India faces warming climate, study says

from UPI.

Before I found this article, I looked at about eight media sources to learn more about this report after seeing a news article in the NY Times. All failed to satisfy me in some way. I found the following weaknesses: too brief such as the BBC report, too dry by merely listing some findings without any implications for the effects on humans (link), distorting the effects of dramatic climate changes by implying that they are a mixed blessing (Indian Express), or as in the NY Times article which merely cites a "report" issued from India without clarification as to the qualifications of the people issuing the report and no links which might provide this important information. 

Through a circuitous route I managed to find this report from UPI which I believe is the best. Do you think I am being a bit paranoid when I start wondering that the poor coverage is motivated by capitalist interests in suppressing news reports about climate change?
Conducted by 220 Indian scientists and 120 research institutions for the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment, a governmental organization, the study predicts an increase in rainfall, particularly in the Himalayas, with extreme precipitation to increase by up to 10 days in all regions of India.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who are the bond holders we are bailing out?

by David Malone from Golem XIV
The IMF and the European Central Bank want to "rescue" Irish banks by having the Irish government take on more of their loans in order to bail out the banks. Such loans always result in more pressure from the IMF and the ECB to raise more taxes, cut public spending, sell off government property, etc. in order to pay off the loans.

This author from the UK has delved into who the creditors are that own the current debts of the Irish banks that are in danger of defaulting. 
It is worth knowing who they are because the Irish government has said more than once that one of the reasons the bond holders had to be protected and could not, must not, be made to suffer any losses, even though it would be PERFECTLY legal to do so, is because the bond holders are pension funds for poor Irish widows and cooperative savings funds for orphans and 'ordinary folk'.  A little poetic exaggeration there, but only a little.
It is rare that anyone has looked into who the creditors are that own all the debts that is owed by US citizens for the various levels of governments consisting of cities, States, and the US government. For the latter I've found an interesting chart from 2008 data that shows that about half is owed to the Federal Reserve which is owned by private banks who, in turn, are owned mostly by the wealthy 1% of Americans.

The Delusional People Who Want to Frack This Country Up

by James Howard Kunstler from AlterNet.
On Sunday night CBS hauled Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, on board their flagship Sunday infotainment vehicle, 60 Minutes, to blow a mighty wind up America's ass (as they say in professional PR circles). America is lately addicted to lying to itself, and 60 Minutes has become the "go-to" patsy for funneling disinformation into an already hopelessly confused, wishful, delusional, US public.
Following this opening paragraph the author continues on to reveal the real story that corporate media carefully omitted. 

The problem with mainstream media is that they disseminate so much disinformation that it is impossible to correct all of it. The only solution that I see is for people to establish their own media and to wean ordinary Americans off corporate media.  The remaining huge question is how to accomplish this.   

I think that it is inevitable that people will eventually tire of being lied to as they see their living standards plummet and more extreme weather caused by capitalist growth. However this "eventual" time might be too late to save the planet for humans to live on.

Peddling War to Children

by Robert C. Koehler from Common Dreams.

About preparing children to go to war for the Empire:
...nobody in the gaming industry, or the media that covers it, evinced a concern about that, or noted that Six Days in Fallujah and all the other war games that children and adults play are merely sophisticated e-versions of cowboys and Indians: the dance of good and evil played out in a consequence-free context. The good guys are always “us” and the bad guys of the moment are often merely our victims.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The cutback commission

by Petrino DiLeo from Socialist Worker
What's most striking about the Bowles-Simpson outline for the commission's final deliberations is who is being asked to tighten their belts. The co-chairs call for sacrifices from workers, the elderly, college students and veterans--while corporations and the wealthy are promised lower taxes.
Students as well as workers all over the world are fighting back against cutbacks and fee increases. From United for Education and Democratizing Education Network:


The liberals’ lament: “Why won’t Obama fight?”

by David Walsh from World Socialist Web site

This writer provides a lot of valuable insights to understand how US liberals serve to maintain the capitalism system.
They delude themselves and others with the notion that, subjected to the right arguments, the proper amount of pressure, Obama and his administration can emerge as the champion of the people.

That miracle will never happen before the Day of Judgment, and those who perpetuate such illusions play a reactionary role. This sort of complacent petty-bourgeois politics has disastrous consequences for the working class. Insofar as it reinforces the hold of the big business Democrats over workers, it confuses and paralyzes them politically, and makes inevitable the advance of the ultra-right and ever deeper attacks on social conditions, living standards and democratic rights.

Rich, Krugman, Reich and Greider are at one on this: they seek to prevent an understanding of the class character and history of the Democratic Party and of the need for the working population to break with it, once and for all.
Until ordinary working people understand this, they will continue to suffer the "slings and arrows of [capitalist] misfortune".

Social democrats win Greek regional elections amid mass abstention

by Robert Stevens from World Socialist Web Site.  
This means that nearly two in three Greek voters did not vote for a candidate in the second round.
This mass abstention is a particularly clear sign of growing discontent with “official” politics, as it is illegal not to vote in Greece. Such levels of abstention reveal a pronounced level of disgust with both PASOK and ND, who are equally reviled and viewed as proponents of austerity and social misery.
The Greeks know how to cope with the election circuses that their ruling class use to create political legitimacy for a capitalist party, whichever one they are allowed to vote for.

When Fascism Masquerades as Populism

by Richard Posner from Dissident Voice

This is an excellent essay on the devolution of American capitalism, under the influence of neo-liberalist theology, into fascism. 
Capitalism does not empower people; it gives primacy to capital. Like the corporation, money is a legal fiction that allows bankers and financial institutions to create phantom wealth from nothing. It gives rise to privatized banking cartels and to the Federal Reserve which controls the money supply and loans it at interest to the government and to people. In effect, this gives bankers control of the government and our cultural institutions. 
My only quibble is that he seems to have a positive regard for traditional American liberalism. 
This is the agenda of the right-wing extremists of the two major political parties who have ascended to power by adhering to, and promulgating, the theocracy of free market fundamentalism. Traditional liberalism has always acted as a bulwark against this and other regressive ideologies. But now it is politically extinct. Traditional liberalism has given way to the ultra-conservative philosophy of neoliberalism.
Traditional liberalism functioned only to protect the system that laid the golden eggs of wealth and power for the capitalist ruling class. It only offered promises of better economic times for working people, and only delivered on these promises when it felt threatened and needed working people to keep their rule intact. As capitalists increasingly bump up against the limits of resource exhaustion and the threats of an unstable climate, they have only working people left to exploit.

Mortgaging Your Children's Future

Kabul gets its own stimulus package

by Tom Engelhardt from Asia Times Online

The Empire has its own stimulus plans that don't require any debate. Read about an example of this going on now in Afghanistan. Meanwhile the ruling class at the Empire's home base are currently planning on cuts to Social Security while local jurisdictions are already slashing public services that result in layoffs of teachers, police, fireman, librarians, social workers, etc. 
While Americans fight bitterly over whether the stimulus package for the domestic economy was too large or too small, few in the US even notice that the American stimulus package in Kabul, Islamabad, Baghdad, and elsewhere in our embattled Raj is going great guns. Embassies the size of pyramids are still being built; military bases to stagger the imagination continue to be constructed; and nowhere, not even in Iraq, is it clear that Washington is committed to packing up its tents, abandoning its billion-dollar monuments, and coming home.
See also an article on the same subject by Nick Turse from TomDispatch.

Corporate Flimflammers in Our Communities and Congress

by Jim Hightower from Common Dreams

Great read from the expert on flim-flam artists.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Does the Justice System Actually Dispense Justice ... Or Does It Just Serve the Powers-That-Be, Like the Other Branches of Government?

from Washington's Blog.
You know that Congress and the White House are acting like lapdogs to the powers-that-be. The question is whether the judiciary is really that different.
This brilliant liberal blogger has amassed considerable evidence in this article to support his thesis that the US legal system is another tool of the ruling class. Of course, one doesn't use the term "ruling class" in polite company in the US. You see, this term is associated with Marxism and we all know--especially in the US--that Marxism is evil. US thought control program also bans the  word "capitalism"; instead we are permitted to use terms like "market economy", "private enterprise", "free markets", etc. Thus liberals use euphemisms which like fig-leaves hide the obscenities of capitalism. 

It appears that he regards this phenomenon as recent and confined to institutions of government. He apparently doesn't know, or is unwilling to admit, that the "powers-that-be" have always dominated all institutions--education, mass media, Hollywood films, other mass produced entertainment, etc as well as government.

COICA Could Be Voted Out of Committee This Week--Scary Stuff

by Chris Pratt from Dissident Voice.
If Leahy’s Law becomes law, freedom of expression on the Internet could well become an endangered species. ...This law is being fast tracked, flying under the radar and almost in total darkness. When money is involved it is amazing how fast bipartisan support can be found. This legislation could be out of committee and headed for a full vote in Congress, with almost no input from the public, in just a few weeks. Amazing.
I have only sampled the author's film (which can be viewed from the links supplied in the article), but it looks outstanding.

US scheming to extend Iraq adventure

by Gareth Porter from Asia Times Online

The US ruling class is currently trying to plan how it will fool the American public into believing that they are withdrawing completely from Iraq next year. 

The Empire's intentions of staying indefinitely in Iraq and Afghanistan have been known for years by honest journalists after witnessing the expensive, huge military and embassy constructions occurring in these countries. See this (you may need to scroll down to "Security Lies in Securing Bases").
A special envoy from President Barack Obama raised the possibility in a secret meeting with senior Iraqi military and civilian officials in Baghdad on September 23 that his administration would leave more than 15,000 combat troops in Iraq after the 2011 deadline for US withdrawal, according to a senior Iraqi intelligence official familiar with the details of the meeting. 

Mr. Obama's Most Recent "2%" Sellout is his Worst Yet

by Michael Hudson from Credit Writedowns.

The author explains the latest ruling class ploys that their hired pickpocket, Obama, will be using to steal more from working people without their knowing it.
One would not realize that the financial End Time is here from today’s non-confrontational White House happy-talk. Charles Baudelaire quipped that the devil wins at the point where he manages [to] convince the world that he doesn’t exist. We might paraphrase this today by saying that the financial elites win the class war at the point where voters believe it doesn’t exist – and believe that Mr. Obama is trying to help the middle class, not reduce it to debt peonage and a generation of victimhood as the economy settles into debt deflation.

Riot Photos From Greece

from The Daily Bail

See photos of the Greek people fighting back against the enforcers of the Greek ruling class. These are photos that US mainstream media such as CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc will not allow you to see. 

See also: "Greek debt position worse than feared" from The Telegraph.

And: "Europe Fears That Debt Crisis Is Ready to Spread" from The NY Times.

Worker-Run Factories in Argentina Continue to Thrive, Boosting the Economy and Influencing Workers in Other Countries

by Marcela Valente from IPS via AlterNet

You may have wondered about what happened to the Argentine worker cooperatives that was of so much interest to left-thinking people after the economy collapsed in that country in 2001. This report brings you up to date.
After the late 2001 financial and political meltdown in Argentina, thousands of companies were abandoned by their owners in a sea of debt. But some of them were taken over and reopened by their employees. Today, as the economy continues to grow, these worker-run factories are still going strong.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meeting decline face-to-face

by Juan Cole from Asia Times Online

The author has an excellent grasp of the realpolitik of international capitalist rivalries and the strategies of the US ruling class. Here is a good example of the latter:
Bush and former vice president Dick Cheney thought in terms of expanding American conventional military weapons stockpiles and bases, occupying countries when necessary, and so ensuring that the US would dominate key planetary resources for decades to come. Their world view, however, was mired in mid-20th century power politics.

If they thought they were placing a marker down on another American century, they were actually gambling away the very houses we live in and reducing us to a debtor nation struggling to retain its once commanding superiority in the world economy. In the meantime, the multi-millionaires and billionaires created by neo-liberal policies and tax cuts in the West will be as happy to invest in (and perhaps live in) Asia as in the United States.
Cole's analysis of recent events suggests that that the post-WWII US hegemony is definitely on the decline. To me this is not reassuring. I recall that the inter-capitalist rivalries of the 20th century resulted in the horrors of two world wars followed by numerous small proxy wars between the US and Soviet Union.

Thus, it is now more urgent than ever to prevent a repeat of this scenario and to save our planetary habitat from climate change and resource exhaustion. To do this working people all over the world must take control of their societies away from these sociopathic capitalist elites.

De-legitimizing public education

by Valerie Strauss from The Washington Post.

The writer provides a good service by foreseeing further attacks on public education and the continuing dumbing-down of the American public. But what she offers in addition to this are some valuable hints on how the ruling class controls education through top-down layers of control. She inadvertently provides these hints in steps 3, 4, and 5. This, in outline form, is precisely how the ruling class controls all public service institutions in a capitalist "democracy". 

What would be of greater interest would be to fill in that outline with more details, not only in education, but in all other institutions. That would be the most valuable service to all working people so that they could really understand how their society works in contrast with the rubbish that they are taught in schools, by mass media and Hollywood. But, of course, she wouldn't dare do that because she would be fired and her career in journalism in mainstream media would be finished.

As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas

by Justin Gillis from The NY Times

Of course, registration is required, but you should be registered to this important source--and it's free.
Melting ice is by no means the only sign that the earth is warming. Thermometers on land, in the sea and aboard satellites show warming. Heat waves, flash floods and other extreme weather events are increasing. Plants are blooming earlier, coral reefs are dying and many other changes are afoot that most climate scientists attribute to global warming. 

Growing signs of renewed debt crisis in Europe

by Stefan Steinberg from World Socialist Web Site
The rapidly developing European economic crisis is the consequence of a deliberate policy on the part of the European political elite to ensure that the broad masses of the population pay the price for the massive bail-out of the banks following the crash of 2008. Having poured hundreds of billions of euros into the vaults of the banks, European governments are now in the process of imposing vicious austerity policies across the continent, plunging millions into unemployment and poverty.
See also this for latest coverage on the European debt crisis.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save it [a book review]

by Jeff Vail from The Oil Drum

Because I have not read this book, I cannot comment on the book itself. But what struck me about this review is the use of euphemisms such as "our economic and finance structure", "modern industrial civilization", and "global political economy" in place of a key concept.

VIEWER OFFER: I will send a DVD of an excellent documentary by Jamie Johnson (heir of the founders of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Corp.) entitled, "The One Percent" to anyone who can supply me by 12 noon (Pacific Standard Time) tomorrow (Nov. 15) the key concept that, in my opinion, is missing from this review. 

A much better review is supplied on Amazon's website written by Norman Dyer.

Western media frightened of the “F” word in its Israeli context

by Alan Hart from Redress

This article provides some interesting background on the terrorist origins of Israel's Zionist character which according to many inside Israel is taking on the qualities of fascism.
There is a debate in Israel about whether the Zionist state is on the slippery slope to fascism or is already fascist. As far as I am aware the mainstream Western media has not drawn any attention to this.

It was Albert Einstein, the father of modern physics, who, along with 27 other most influential Jews, first warned of the danger of the rise of fascism in Israel.

US diplomatic offensive tightens strategic encirclement of China

by John Chan from World Socialist Web Site

This excellent article provides the context that is missing from mainstream media reports of the recent visits by Obama and Hillary Clinton to various countries in the Far East.
President Barack Obama’s visits to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, and Clinton’s trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, sought to either strengthen existing alliances or create new partnerships for a US-led strategic encirclement of China.

Lessons in QE2 (the 2nd round of flooding the world with US dollars)

The Not So Gradual Degradation Of A Nation

by Sibel Edmonds from Boiling Frogs

This whistle-blower extraordinaire describes the growing trend by government officials to subject citizens to humiliating treatment. She is focusing on the intrusive security inspections by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) at airports.
Every single day millions of us are being subjected to the shameful processes of being searched, screened and viewed naked, patted, groped, fondled, poked and stroked by badge-wearing strangers- police under a different name. Every single day. Millions of us, Americans. Being violated. Being degraded. You know exactly what I am talking about. I am taking about me, you, your mother, her brother, his brother’s wife and toddler son, their grandmothers. I am talking about the systematic degradation of our people. I am talking about being raped of our dignity, privacy, and decency. I am talking about a daily systematic rape we actually pay to be subjected to. I am talking about severe violations we elect people to bring upon us. Yes, I am talking about traveling, TSA police, and being reduced to naked and helpless subjects of government police practices.

Venezuelan Workers March for More Participation and More Rights

by Juan Reardon from Venezuelan Analysis

Working people in Venezuela are increasingly demanding that the Chavez government push through many needed measures to advance socialism in their country. Many feel that the government's bureaucracy is hampering their efforts and that Chavez too often makes compromises with them and the private sector. Working people feel that more pressure is needed on Chavez to promote more worker control of enterprises in Venezuela. One union leader's statement typifies this sentiment:
“President Chávez, in the last two years especially, has tried to change the economy, the mode of production, and the form of the state. But the problem is if these objectives are not taken up with force, passion, and intelligence by the workers themselves, the bureaucracy within the public administration – the petty bourgeoisie that has control over the important parts of the Venezuelan state – will prevent these objectives from going forward,” affirmed Pedro Eusse in a July 2010 interview.

Our only choice is stand and fight

by John Pilger from Green Left.

This noted journalist of the left reviews post WWII history, the co-opting of labor leaders, and the current dismantling of social democracy in Britain. He writes:
What is happening in Britain is the seizure of an opportunity to destroy the tenuous humanity of the modern state.

It is a coup, a “shock doctrine” as applied to Pinochet’s Chile in the 1970s and Boris Yeltsin’s Russia in the 1990s.
He concludes with a call to action by all working people to fight back as they have been doing in France.
The BA workers, the firefighters, the council workers, the post office workers, the National Health Service workers, the London Underground staff, the teachers, the lecturers, the students can more than match the French if they are resolute and imaginative, forging, with the wider social justice movement — potentially the greatest popular resistance ever.