Archive for the ‘Country’ Category
Monday, January 2nd, 2017
When the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land.
They said: “Let us pray”. We closed our eyes.
When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.1
Africa is a seething cauldron of desperation. Hunger, disease, plunder and tyranny are generating wars and perpetual flows of refugees. But the wars are no longer between different nation-states. In the 1990s, people in many countries have had to rely on armed gangs to ‘protect’ them against other armed gangs. The central machinery of state has crumbled and lost control. In practice, many governments have become gangs just like any other.
Friday, December 30th, 2016
In his previous article Jamil has shown that, far from standing for a unified secular democratic India, the bourgeois leaders of the independence movement based themselves on communalist appeals to the Muslims (Muslim League) and Hindus (Congress). This led directly to the catastrophe of partition.
Could the Communist Party of India (CPI) have made a decisive difference? Here Jamil shows they had their own organisational weaknesses. Above all they were prisoners of the policies imposed by Stalin on the international communist movement. In backward and colonial countries, Stalin decreed, the movement had to go through two stages – democracy, then socialism. In Russia this had actually been the policy of the Mensheviks, successfully overcome by the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. Jamil has demonstrated that, in India as everywhere else, the ‘progressive national bourgeoisie’ was a myth. Yet this was the non-existent class the CPI proposed to march behind in a ‘Popular Front’.
The policies imposed on the international communist movement by Stalin were normally reformist, indeed counter-revolutionary. But occasionally he lurched into an ultra-left phase as in 1947-48, called the ‘Zhdanov offensive.’ In lurching from right to left, a drunk will at one point be found upright. That is the significance of the correct perception of what was happening in India by the Moscow commentators Dyakov and Zhukov.In the 1940s the Communist Party of India (CPI) was a prisoner of the policies imposed by Stalin on the international communist movement. In backward and colonial countries, Stalin decreed, the movement had to go through two stages – democracy, then socialism. This proved disastrous for the workers of the whole of the Indian subcontinent.
Monday, December 26th, 2016
The Great Depression: then and now
The 1920s were good years for the world economy. They were years of boom. Boom and speculation go together like strawberries and cream, and there was speculation aplenty as well. In such a period of ‘irrational exuberance’ the illusion spreads that the good times will go on for ever. Sound familiar? On the eve of the great 1929 stock exchange collapse, a journalist asked a speculator how so much money was being made on the market. This was the reply: “One investor buys General Motors at $100″ (he meant a GM share) “sells to another at $150, who sells it to a third at $200. Everyone makes money”. This seems pure magic, but for a while it can work. In a ‘bull market’ as in 1925-29 nearly all share prices go up and up. Over those years US industrial shares trebled in price! We all know what happened next.
Saturday, December 24th, 2016
God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.1
George W. Bush, June 2003
In March 2003, the United States and the ”Coalition of the Willing” invaded Iraq. Five years later, at least one hundred thousand people, but maybe up to a million, had died and many more had been injured.2 Over four million people had become refugees, half of them in Iraq and half outside. Little remains of what was once one of the most prosperous and developed countries of the Middle East. Those parts of Iraq that are not controlled by the US army are run by sectarian gangs.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
Our Congress took place in the biggest hall in Rawalpindi, the Liaquat auditorium. This is located exactly at the place where Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s ex-prime minister and chairperson of the Peoples Party, was assassinated. 700 Comrades registered for both days.
The comrades came from all over the country, from Karachi to Kashmir, Pakhtoonkhwa to Baluchistan and from the Gilgit and Baltistan. The workers who participated in the conference came from all walks of life including the Steel Mills, Port Qasim, Pakistan International Airlines, Paramedical, Railways, Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Capital Development Authority, Banking and various other private sector areas. Also represented at the Conference were youth, students and lawyers organizations: Peoples Students’ Federation, the Pakhtoonkhwa Students’ Federation, JKNSF, JKPSF, the Peoples Lawyers’ Forum and the Peoples Youth Organization.
Saturday, December 10th, 2016
The imposition of a no fly zone over Libya, backed primarily by France, Britain and the United States, and the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi Armed forces, mark a new stage in the tumultuous revolutionary events in the Arab world. The joyous revolutionary victories secured by mass protests on the streets and squares of Egypt and Tunisia have given way to bloody and ferocious conflict drawing in national and international military forces.
In the past the Imperialist powers were happy to see dictators in power throughout the region, provided they appeared to serve the economic, political, military and strategic interests of European and US capitalist states. It was European powers that colonised, plundered and divided the peoples of the region; leaving a legacy of artificial lines from which nations were carved out of the sand.