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Communist Party of Ukraine HQ Attacked February 23, 2014

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism.
16 comments

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation has distributed the following statement.

*Urgent! Communication from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – The office of the Communist Party of Ukraine has been attacked and
damaged.*

“The developments in Ukraine take the most dramatic character. The CPRF
International department has got the recent news that in Kiev, the capital
of Ukraine, an outrageously behaving gang of well-prepared militants
attacked the head-quarters of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Unknown
bandits attacked the premises of the CPU, broke the windows and damaged
the furniture inside. According to what our comrades told us there are yet
no victims among the communists in the building.

The Central Committee of the CPRF calls upon all the communist and workers’ parties of the world to express their protest against the orange-brown intervention aimed at
breaking the integrity of Ukraine and seizing power by a military coup. We
follow the events in the country and as soon as we get the fresh news from
our comrades we shall inform the world community and place it on our site
and in solidnet.org

Article on the Portuguese CP from El Pais October 9, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism.
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A short but interesting article from El Pais on the success of the Portuguese CP and its allies in the recent local elections.

Communist Manifesto 165 years old today February 21, 2013

Posted by doctorfive in Communism.
5 comments

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

and Hobsbawm,

How will the Manifesto strike the reader who comes to it today for the first time? The new reader can hardly fail to be swept away by the passionate conviction, the concentrated brevity, the intellectual and stylistic force, of this astonishing pamphlet. It is written, as though in a single creative burst, in lapidary sentences almost naturally transforming themselves into the memorable aphorisms which have become known far beyond the world of political debate: from the opening ‘A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of Communism’ to the final ‘The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.’ Equally uncommon in nineteenth-century German writing: it is written in short, apodictic paragraphs, mainly of one to five lines — in only five cases, out of more than two hundred, of fifteen or more lines. Whatever else it is, The Communist Manifesto as political rhetoric has an almost biblical force. In short, it is impossible to deny its compelling power as literature.

[…]

But then, the Manifesto — and this is not the least of its remarkable qualities — is a document which envisaged failure. It hoped that the outcome of capitalist development would be ‘A revolutionary reconstitution of society at large’ but, as we have already seen, it did not exclude the alternative: ‘common ruin’. Many years later, another Marxian rephrased this as the choice between socialism and barbarity. Which of these will prevail is a question which the twenty-first century must be left to answer.

70th Anniversary of the Soviet Victory at Stalingrad February 2, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, History.
15 comments

Victorious Soviet Soldier at Stalingrad

Economic systems December 28, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Capitalism, Communism, Economics.
28 comments

If you liked Red Plenty, then you may find an essay in the latest Jacobin Magazine of interest.

Around the time of the Soviet collapse, the economist Peter Murrell published an article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives reviewing empirical studies of efficiency in the socialist planned economies. These studies consistently failed to support the neoclassical analysis: virtually all of them found that by standard neoclassical measures of efficiency, the planned economies performed as well or better than market economies.
[...]
First he reviewed eighteen studies of technical efficiency: the degree to which a firm produces at its own maximum technological level. Matching studies of centrally planned firms with studies that examined capitalist firms using the same methodologies, he compared the results. One paper, for example, found a 90% level of technical efficiency in capitalist firms; another using the same method found a 93% level in Soviet firms. The results continued in the same way: 84% versus 86%, 87% versus 95%, and so on.

In 1989, the dissident Polish reform economists Włodzimierz Brus and Kazimierz Łaski — both convinced socialists and disciples of the distinguished Marxist-Keynesian Michał Kalecki — published a book examining the prospects for East European reform. Both had been influential proponents of democratic reforms and socialist market mechanisms since the 1950s.

Their conclusion now was that in order to have a rational market socialism, publicly-owned firms would have to be made autonomous — and this would require a socialized capital market. The authors made it clear that this would entail a fundamental reordering of the political economy of East European systems – and indeed of traditional notions of socialism. Writing on the eve of the upheavals that would bring down Communism, they set out their vision: “the role of the owner-state should be separated from the state as an authority in charge of administration….[E]nterprises…have to become separated not only from the state in its wider role but also from each other.”

Parties of the working class, acutely vulnerable to pressure from below, were in government more than 40% of the time in the postwar decades – compared to about 10% in the interwar years, and almost never before that – and “contagion from the Left” forced parties of the right into defensive acquiescence. Schooling, medical treatment, housing, retirement, leisure, child care, subsistence itself, but most importantly, wage-labor: these were to be gradually removed from the sphere of market pressure, transformed from goods requiring money, or articles bought and sold on the basis of supply and demand, into social rights and objects of democratic decision.

This, at least, was the maximal social-democratic program — and in certain times and places in the postwar era its achievements were dramatic.

But the social democratic solution is unstable — and this is where the Marxist conception comes in, with its stress on pursuit of profit as the motor of the capitalist system.

Fascist Barbarians October 28, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, Film and Television, History.
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So I’m using part of the extra hour to watch a fantastic documentary narrated by Alexei Sayle called Fascist Barbarians about Soviet propaganda cartoons I spotted yesterday on Sky Arts. There’s another one that I haven’t watched yet called American Imperialists. I don’t know if there are more. I suspect but I’m not sure that they come from the DVD collection Animated Soviet Propaganda, of which there seems to be a lot on Youtube. Here’s a couple of examples picked at random (both of which are in the documentary)

The visual imagery is stunning, and you can’t beat a title like Fascist Jackboots Shall Not Trample Our Motherland. The cartoon images showing Moscow after the victory over the Nazis are particularly good, with the air defences turned into instruments of celebration. All in all great stuff.

Gramsci: Everything that Concerns People July 24, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Communism, International Politics, The Left.
9 comments

Thought this might be of interest, a documentary on Antonio Gramsci that I came across on Twitter.
“Gramsci: Everything that Concerns People” (1987), made for Channel4 (Scotland) by Mike Alexander and Douglas Eadie, with Tom Nairn as script consultant.

Important Article from the KKE on the Situation in Greece July 2, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, European Politics, KKE.
40 comments

The KKE has published in English an important article by Giorgos Marinos, a member of the Political Bureau of its Central Committee. The article is addressed in part to those who expressed their solidarity with the KKE in advance of the recent elections (see the statement signed by many Communist and Workers’ parties here and the WP message here for examples), in part it seeks to respond to the attitude adopted towards the KKE by forces at home and abroad, and in part it seeks to inform those who have questions caused by the debate internationally before the June election. The article is a very clear restatement of the principles and positions of the KKE, in terms of what is needed in Greece now, in terms of what social democracy represents, and in terms of broader ideological and organisational questions facing Communist and Workers’ parties worldwide.

In other words, it’s a clear restatement of the fundamentals, and how they should be applied in today’s world in Greece.

It’s a fairly long article, so I’m extracting a few key quotes, and then pasting the whole thing after the break.

We call on the communist men and women, the workers who follow the developments in Greece and are interested in the course of the class struggle to come to a better understanding regarding the strategy and tactics of the KKE, its history and struggles. They should judge its positions based on specific ideological-political criteria and not on rumours and baseless slander. They will then be able to discern that the attack on the strategy of the KKE and its alliance policy and the various laughable claims regarding sectarianism and isolationism have been initiated by bourgeois forces or forces which have in reality rejected Marxist-Leninist principles, the need for socialism, the essence of the class struggle which is meaningful when it is linked to working class-popular power.

They will be able to discern that these forces follow a political line of bourgeois management which is concealed behind talk of a “left solution”, sowing illusions about the “humanization of capitalism”, with very negative consequences for the struggle of the workers.

The conclusion is that the election result as a whole reflects the tendency of the containment of the class oriented radicalism that developed during the period of crisis, under the pressure of the current of the rising petty-bourgeois radicalism, guided by the bourgeois ideology and propaganda.

The strategy that promises a better future for the working people and the unemployed through a so-called left or progressive government, while the power of capital and the capitalist ownership of the means of production remain intact, is dangerous. This strategy has been tested and been proven to be bankrupt. It led Communist parties into assimilation and even dissolution.

This strategy conceals the fundamental issue. It conceals that the problem of unemployment, which is sharpening in an uncontrolled fashion, cannot be solved as long as the power and the wealth that the working class produces remain in the hands of capitalists, as long as capitalist anarchy and the profit motive exist.

The principled stance of the KKE stresses that a revolutionary party cannot have two faces, cannot not negate its strategy, its struggle for working class-people’s power, for socialism in order to snatch votes in parliamentary elections by supporting “management” formations which facilitate the system.

The reduction of the electoral strength of the KKE does not negate the decisive advantages that our party has achieved with a great effort. It does not negate the power it has within the trade unions, the mass organizations, the workers’ and people’s movement its prestige in the working class, the confidence that the people have in it in the every day struggles regardless of whether it was expressed in the elections.

There are more than enough forces to manage the system. What the people need are real communist parties that will not manage the capitalist barbarity in the name of the “governmental left” and in the name of “realistically” accepting the negative correlation of forces. In this way you pave the way for the forces of capital and precious time is wasted, for which the working class and the popular strata will pay a high price.

(more…)

Iraqi CP Statement on Recent Murders of Several Members June 22, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, Iraq.
2 comments

Iraq has slipped way down the media’s list of priorities, and we don’t hear a lot of what’s going on there. So posting this statement from the Iraqi Communist Party via the Iraqi Letter blog as a reminder.

“The Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party strongly condemned yet another heinous crime committed by terrorists, the enemies of the Iraqi people, targeting a gathering of mourners at a funeral in the town of Shufta, east of the city of Baqouba, in Diyala province, on 18th June 2012.

The cowardly bombing killed 22 people and left more than 35 injured. The victims included several members and supporters of the Iraqi Communist Party.

A statement issued by the Political Bureau said: “We have stressed repeatedly that narrow partisan and selfish conflicts among the dominant political blocs, and the state of impasse in the political situation, that have nothing to do with the interests of the people and the country, will have a negative impact on the already fragile security situation. This situation results in significant and serious loopholes through which terrorists and militia thugs would easily penetrate, leading to the loss of more victims and innocent lives. It is as if Iraqi blood has become cheap, not only to the terrorist murderers, but also to those who are supposed to protect the lives of people and maintain their security and property.”

“We strongly condemn this barbaric criminal act. And once again we call upon the ruling forces and parties to put an end to their unprincipled conflicts, and demand that the government and its military and security organs assume their responsibilities fully and strike hard at the criminals, the enemies of life and humanity, regardless of whatever cover they have! Full protection must be provided to the Iraqi people, of all social strata, religions, sects and ethnicities.”

The Political Bureau statement expressed deepest condolences to the families of martyrs, and wished the wounded speedy recovery.

“Words” and “Fail” and “Me” June 19, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Art, Business, Communism, Imagery, Uncategorized.
10 comments

MasterCard issued by Sparkasse Chemnitz using image of Karl Marx

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