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Capitalism and Class Struggle

April 26th, 2011

James Petras

Introduction

The class struggle continues to play a central role in the process of capitalist accumulation, albeit it takes different forms depending on the socio-economic context. In order to map out the unfolding of the class struggle it is necessary to specify key concepts related to the (a) varied conditions and dominant sectors of capital in the global economy (b) nature of the class struggle (c) the principle protagonists of class struggles (d) character of the demands (e) mass struggles.

Capitalist accumulation is unfolding in a very uneven pattern with important consequences for the nature and intensity of the class struggle. Moreover, the particular responses by workers and especially the capitalist state to the general condition of the economy has shaped the degree to which class struggle intensifies and which of the two major “poles’ (capital or labor) has taken the offensive.

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Politics -- Spinning Out of Control

April 26th, 2011

By Sheila Samples

"The two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a 'gentleman's agreement' of non-recognition, no matter how we vote ... May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic Parties."~~W.E.B. DuBois (1922)

In January, after the mid-term election blowout dumped the House of Representatives into the corporate lap, the Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin opened the 112th Congress with the standard prayer, asking the Lord's Spirit to "descend upon this Chamber; that from here may come forth good news for the poor and healing for the broken-hearted of this nation."

The good Reverend then demanded of the Lord -- "Let there go forth a proclamation to the people that captivity is ended. And the action of true politics will set this nation free."(emphasis added)

There was immediate news for the poor and broken-hearted, but it was hardly good. House Speaker John Boehner, awash in tears and incoherently mumbling over and over "the American people...the American people," set about blocking all Democratic legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the "single most important" issue for the Republicans is to make "President Obama a one-term president."

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Satisfying the Zionists: Obama's first priority

April 26th, 2011

Kourosh Ziabari

When Barack Obama entered the oval office with his luminous and glowing slogan of "change" which appealed to millions of frustrated Americans who couldn't tolerate the hawkish and warmongering policies of George Bush anymore, it was hardly predictable that he would be going to simply present a moderated example of his aggressive predecessor who owed his legitimacy and power to the Zionist lobby in the United States.

Barack Obama had deceitfully convinced the world that the United States under his presidency would start a new era of dialogue and friendship with the oppressed nations, refrain from intervening in the internal affairs of other countries, take care of its black human rights record, pull out its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and hand over the administration of these countries to their people, draw an end to the atrocities of the Zionist regime, bring about wellbeing and peace for the Palestinian nation and engage in peaceful diplomacy with Iran; that was why more than 130 political leaders from around the world jubilantly sent him congratulatory messages upon his election as the president of the United States. However, all of these politicians recognized that they were shrewdly tricked by the "snowman of change" as soon as he made his first trip to Israel and announced his sincerest commitment to the security of Israel and implicitly made us understand that pleasing his Zionist bosses is his first priority. That was where all of us realized that Obama is another Israel agent put in the place of the executive administrator of the United States to satisfy the needs and demands of the Zionist lobby.

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Among Ciphers, Barn Burners and Confidence Artists: a comb-over treatment for declining empire

April 26th, 2011

by Phil Rockstroh

Like postmodernist architecture, in which the aesthetic criteria of a structure's exterior often possesses little correlation to its interior function, media age journalistic and political style exhibits a similar disparity between facade and content: The political content aired by mass media institutions and the cant of the governmental class are the political equivalent of the useless ornamental pediments, context-devoid cupolas, and empty atriums of postmodernist architecture.

It is not a coincidence that Donald Trump has been responsible for having erected some of the gaudiest, emptiest, architecturally dishonest structures, blotting the landscape, east of the Atlantic Ocean, west of the sands of Dubai.

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The “Bradley Manning Exception to the Bill of Rights” Devastates the Credibility of the Military Justice System

April 26th, 2011

By Kevin Zeese

The credibility of the military justice system is being undermined by the prosecution of Bradley Manning. His abusive punishment without trial violates his due process rights; his harsh treatment in solitary confinement-torture conditions violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment; and now the commander-in-chief has announced his guilt before trial making a fair trial impossible. A Bradley Manning exception to the Bill of Rights is developing as the Obama administration seeks Manning’s punished no matter what constitutional protections they violate.

On Thursday April 21, 2011 in San Francisco a group of Bradley Manning supporters protested the prosecution of Manning at a Barack Obama fundraising event. One of Manning’s supporters was able to question the president directly afterwards and during the conversation, Obama said on videotape that Manning was guilty.

Can you imagine if the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamene’i, pronounced an Iranian military whistle blower “guilty” before any trial was held? Khamene’i is the commander-in-chief of all armed forces in Iran, just as President Obama is the commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed services. Would anyone in the United States think that a trial before Iranian military officers that followed such a pronouncement could be fair? The U.S. government would use the situation to make propaganda points about the phony justice system in Iran.

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BP Stonewalling Compensation to Gulf Residents

April 26th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman

On April 23, a New York Times editorial headlined, "Quick Help for the Gulf," mocking grave environmental damage as well as affected communities and residents in typical Times cavalier fashion, saying:

BP's April 21 announced "$1 billion down payment on its obligation to restore the Gulf of Mexico to good health is such welcome news that it seems almost churlish to offer caveats" or question its motives.

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Systematic Injustice Against Sundiata Acoli

April 26th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman


Sundiata Acoli

In her book titled "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," Michelle Alexander cites Martin Luther King in 1968 highlighting the need to shift from civil to human rights advocacy, saying initiatives for it just began. In fact, it's truer now than then with Blacks and Hispanics comprising two-thirds of America's prison population, by far the world's largest at around 2.4 million, most incarcerated for nonviolent or political reasons.

Focusing on the war on drugs, Alexander characterizes the New Jim Crow as a modern-day racial caste system designed by elitists who embrace colorblindness. Believing poor Blacks are dangerous and economically superfluous, America's gulag became an instrument of control. According to Alexander:

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