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Archive for June, 2011

House rejects GOP bill to cut-off funding for Obama’s war against Libya

Friday, June 24th, 2011

A Republican bill that would have cut off funding for US aggression in Libya failed today (238 “no” to 180 “yes”) – with the majority of Democrat Congressmembers (149) voting for continued military presence in the North African country, which has been under attack by US forces since March 19, 2011.

In a quote to CBS News, Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison defended his vote against the Republican bill, which would have ended funding for President Barack Obama’s efforts to initiate regime change in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, by invoking America’s alleged ‘moral obligation’ for taking military action in Libya”

“The most powerful nation in the world shouldn’t stand by while innocent women and children are being mowed down.” (Source).

In an interesting turn of events, House Speaker John Boehner directly questioned Obama’s policy of seeking regime change in Libya:

“Why is removing Qaddafi a part of this mission? What if he doesn’t leave? Who are the rebels that we’re there helping to fight? How long is this going to last and at what cost and what does success look like?”

While Republican Congressmember Ted Poe of Texas (the former Houston Judge famous for issuing creative sentences to offenders in his court) questioned the very same tactics employed by the Bush administration (not to mention the majority of previous US presidents before) of using military aggression to coerce foreign governments deemed hostile to US interests:

“There are a lot of bad guys in the world, and if we start picking them off one at a time we will be at war with most of the world,” contended Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

The most interesting thing about all of this is the fact that, approximately 8 years ago, these very same Republican quotes could easily have been attributed to the minority of Democratic Members of Congress dissenting against the decision to wage war and occupy the independent state of Iraq under then President Saddam Hussein.

The seemingly “progressive” tone of the above quoted Republicans betrays the fact that this is nothing more than a political maneuver to send a message to President Obama. If this was a Republican president waging war against the people of Libya, you can rest assure that Boehner, Poe, and the others would be toeing the party line.

But behind the public façade and the meaningless quotes – both Democrats and Republicans remain spineless puppets of the decadent bourgeoisie, and the ongoing war against the Libyan people is yet another example of America’s destructive and imperialistic presence in the world.

US Imperialism, Islam and Class Consciousness

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

US imperialism harms the movement against Islam.

Americans have created the image, among both Islamic sympathizers and those who oppose them, that those who oppose Islam should support American foreign policy. American foreign policy includes the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War and support for the “war” between Zionists and Palestinians.

US imperialism (as well domestic capitalism) takes advantage of modern technology and discredits it by association! When technology and modernization become associated with these goons in power, the popularity of Islam increases. Technology just isn’t “cool” when capitalist warmongers use it.

A class conscious analysis combined with modern technology on its own will get rid of Islam. The same factors will destroy US imperialism as well.

Kill two birds with one stone!

edit:
I apologize for not making the case as well as I should have earlier. I always opposed the Iraq War and opposed the prolonged characteristics of the Afghanistan War, but I never said it enough to sink it through people’s thick skulls. People misinterpreted my opposition to Islam as support for the US policies. People also misinterpreted my opposition to stupid antisemitism as support for these policies. When you are dealing with people of below average intelligence, you have to be extra articulate.

Competition and Socialism

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Planning and market forces are not the essential difference between socialism and capitalism. A planned economy is not the definition of socialism, because there is planning under capitalism; the market economy happens under socialism, too. Planning and market forces are both ways of controlling economic activity.
- Deng Xiaoping

People who are aware of the history of USSR and perhaps Maoist China may come under the impression that the definition of socialism is a command economy. The definition of socialism is actually the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and not specifically a command economy. The definition of Communism is “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” and this may imply some degree of commanding but nothing is explicitly defined as planning. Bailing out major banks as Obama did is a form of planning but it is not a form of socialism. The idea of socialism is that the working class truly “owns” the means of production and that no “human right” gives a particular business leader ultimate authority to use the means in a way that contravenes the interests of the working class or the country.

Those who consider themselves to be fans of Stalin may believe that Stalinist economics are a tenant of socialism. No, Stalinist economics are an adaption to the material conditions at the time. It is a fact that in Marx’s hierarchy, feudalism is considered less progressive than capitalism. Stalin applied a Marxist “pro-worker” leadership to feudal conditions. He had to take what was not industrialized and industrialize it. This does not change the fact that capitalism is more progressive than feudalism. Being a Marxist is not solely being against capitalism.

Socialism implemented in a capitalist country would contain characteristics of capitalism. Socialism created in a feudal economy would have to develop those forces. The key is that under socialism the market is not seen as sovereign but controlled. The Chinese economy works such that market forces exist, but communist party members also manage corporations. It is pragmatic in that the profit motive is allowable except when it violates the interests of workers, in which case the Government steps in.

When competition provides something that is good for society, it can be utilized. In fact sometimes capitalists do away with competition through monopolization. The essential difference between socialism and capitalism is “who is in charge.” Are the business leaders in charge or is the revolutionary party in charge? The difference is not that one plans and the other competes. A business leader can succeed, but a revolutionary party leader will determine how this success should be used to benefit the working class and country.

Competent Exploitation

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

What some people who are not yet Marxists do not realize is that the problems that feudalism and capitalism cause are not solely a result of incompetent management but also a result of intent. A classical Italian fascist believes that having a bit more authority without a shift against the structures of society is sufficient to rectify these problems. Perhaps blame somebody and then talk about “morality” and “ethics.” A fascist does not understand that capitalists exploit people not solely out of misunderstanding (though self-delusion plays a role) but more specifically for their own profit. “Making the trains run on time” as Mussolini did may improve society but society is still bottlenecked by an inferior system of economics.

Just because an exploitative leader becomes aware of his/her exploitation does not mean that he/she will cease to exploit.

This is why the transition from feudalism to capitalism did not remove exploitation from society. It only decentralized it. Rather than organizing workers to end exploitation, the bourgeoisie which was raised under feudal conditions wanted to live a lifestyle more similar to that of their previous exploiters. Sure, it may have been more meritocratic, in that the ability to rise to the top of society is now based on the ability to exploit people, but competent exploitation is still exploitation.

U.S. debt to exceed size of economy (Chicago Tribune)

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

The link
The country which wants to spread “freedom and capitalism” cannot manage its own finances!

A recent Treasury report noted that national debt will exceed the size of the economy this year — a first since World War II. A year ago, the Treasury had estimated that notorious record wouldn’t be hit until 2014.

Now the expectation is that total debt to GDP will top 102 percet this year, up from the earlier estimate of 96.4 percent.

Why the change?

Two factors are likely the biggest cause.

First, the White House’s 2011 GDP estimate is $219 billion lower today than it was a year ago. So debt as percentage of a lower number will always look higher.

Second, the debt grew larger because of a tax cut deal brokered by President Obama and Republicans last December. That deal will add an estimated $858 billion to the deficits over a decade — $410 billion of it in 2011 alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The tax cut package extended all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for another two years, enacted a one-year Social Security tax holiday and reduced the estate tax.

Democrats and Republicans disagree on a lot, but both sides have indicated a desire to make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent for at least the majority of Americans — a costly proposition.

And the GOP publicly says it will not consider tax increases as part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Republican Dave Camp, the lead tax writer in the House, said Monday that the latest Treasury numbers are a clear indication “why any increase in the debt limit must be paired with significant spending reductions and real entitlement reforms.“

But while Republicans criticize Obama for spending too much, in fact tax cuts would drive most of the debt under Obama’s 2012 budget proposal, according to CBO.

That’s why deficit hawks on the left and the right advocate letting the tax cuts expire or paying for any further extension. Better yet, replace them with something superior, said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who noted that this month marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2001 cuts.

“Given that our current tax code is so crummy and our fiscal situation so dire, on this 10-year anniversary, a perfect gift would be a plan to reform the tax code and bring down our debt,“ MacGuineas said.

At this point, the debt is so big, whether it is just below or just above GDP isn’t really a huge distinction.

After examining data from dozens of countries over two centuries, economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart found that when a nation’s gross debt reaches 90 percent of its economy, it often loses about one percentage point of growth a year.

Problematic Lines on Israel/Palsetine

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Cited Post from “admin” of socialist phalanx forum in Editorial

In separating between those who institute colonialist policy (respected Zionists and American spokesmen) and those who may not institute it but still tolerate it while going along with it, important points are made in the cited post. It is not that the people who go along with the agenda of leaders are innocent, but the people who compose the top of society are guiltier than those at the bottom. Pragmatically, is it not worth appealing to people who tolerate a bad idea but do not create the idea? Would one not appeal to a capitalist to drop his/her capitalism? Then one should also appeal to Israelis to drop their imperialism in favor of progressive nationalism and to address the grievances of Palestinians adequately without conceding to either Islam or America. These appeals will be less effective when Israelis have a sort of external enemy to rally against, even though Israeli policies and Zionist leadership before Israel have played a role (along with material conditions and cultural clash) in making Israel’s own enemies.

Even though Israel has successfully oppressed Palestinians and many crimes have been committed, truly radical Muslims who may desire leadership by no means have a proletarian mentality. They would prefer to appeal to theology and identity based arguments to unify Muslims than to actually appeal to secular reasons which could divide the oppressor. They may appeal against Zionism, but not as a theoretical appeal against imperialism and capitalism. They appeal against American imperialism but they use the wrong precepts. Why? Because a true class conscious approach would also lead to the end of Islamic Fundamentalism. While they attack American imperialism, they dream of their own imperialism.

As for more secular Palestinian leaders, if they are of the bourgeoisie, then they merely give lip service to anti-Zionist rhetoric. Let us not forget that Arafat had chances to form a state, but did not go capitalize. Why? If he did, then people would no longer rally around him. The job would be finished. Which brings me to a great realization: supposed radicals in the Palestinian community depend on Zionism just like Republicans depend on talking about abortion. Do Republicans really get rid of abortion when they are the majority, or do they leave it in place so they can campaign against it again?

As noted in the post which is cited, many people are unwilling to adopt a viewpoint which separates between those who promote an ideology and those who go along with it. Bourgeois leaders have a vested interest in keeping Israel as an enemy. The proletariat class of Palestinians could potentially fall into the arms of its own bourgeois class, and if so, the ruling Palestinian class will continue to throw the dog a bone, but it will make sure the bone stays outside of the cage so the dog cannot actually grasp the bone. In other words, the cynical secular bourgeois community within Palestine (as opposed to the Islamic bourgeoisie) will continue to use anti-Zionism as a rallying cry, as opposed to actually making the issue no longer an issue. The end result will not aggravate a struggle against imperialism, but merely give lip service to it. The issue will be used and replayed like a song at a rock concert is played each time a band tours.

A thorough understanding of issues similar to Marx’s analysis is the only real solution. The more people become class conscious, the more people will know how to find solutions to the problems, as opposed to digging them deeper.

Traffic for May

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Just an update. We broke over 10,000 unique views for the first time we know of.

Month Unique visitors Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
May 2011 10602 38301 223372 358402 5.19 GB

Day Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
01 May 2011 1033 5306 8748 112.81 MB
02 May 2011 1028 3761 6868 100.10 MB
03 May 2011 1125 3899 7994 97.63 MB
04 May 2011 1036 4741 8436 100.02 MB
05 May 2011 1088 6031 8968 127.22 MB
06 May 2011 1023 6718 9355 137.31 MB
07 May 2011 1012 7528 9834 150.05 MB
08 May 2011 1005 7811 9932 160.82 MB
09 May 2011 1114 8285 10834 177.40 MB
10 May 2011 1127 7940 11449 158.48 MB
11 May 2011 1437 12462 18714 257.39 MB
12 May 2011 1537 7476 14496 148.35 MB
13 May 2011 1902 11790 16940 466.96 MB
14 May 2011 1832 13674 19338 486.34 MB
15 May 2011 1638 10518 18316 359.89 MB
16 May 2011 1611 8557 15218 207.58 MB
17 May 2011 1151 6051 9861 160.38 MB
18 May 2011 1275 7780 13607 165.72 MB
19 May 2011 1248 6651 11633 144.44 MB
20 May 2011 1151 6675 9984 161.26 MB
21 May 2011 1205 7641 12949 160.68 MB
22 May 2011 1188 7276 13241 127.79 MB
23 May 2011 1183 6727 12827 122.72 MB
24 May 2011 1266 5751 9896 116.20 MB
25 May 2011 1236 6640 11245 142.91 MB
26 May 2011 1141 5373 8950 112.43 MB
27 May 2011 1114 5336 8798 110.46 MB
28 May 2011 985 4686 7386 99.37 MB
29 May 2011 1164 5234 8513 123.84 MB
30 May 2011 1159 6360 9522 131.47 MB
31 May 2011 1287 8694 14550 184.00 MB
Average 1235.52 7205.55 11561.35 171.36 MB
Total 38301 223372 358402 5.19 GB


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