Category Archives: My Articles

June 4: A look into the Tiananmen Square counter-revolution, 23 years later

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The following article below was originally written last year in response to the ultra-leftist approach by the Kasama Project news blog toward the Tiananmen Square counter-revolution. It also was written during a time of heated struggle between NATO-backed counter-revolutionary rebels and the Gaddafi-backed Libyan armed forces. With Kasama siding with the rebels during that conflict, and seeing the results of said conflict a year later, it is obvious at how wrong they were in their analysis of the Libyan conflict, just as they were equally wrong about the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

I re-publish this article of mine a year later to continue providing a balance in the story of counter-revolution against the Chinese Communist Party, which continues today to provide socialist development toward the country and its people:

From China to Libya: A Critique to Kasama’s “Remembering the Rebels of Tiananmen”

“The elimination of counter-revolutionaries is a struggle of opposites as between ourselves and the enemy. Among the people, there are some who see this question in a somewhat different light. Two kinds of people hold views differing from ours. Those with a Right deviation in their thinking make no distinction between ourselves and the enemy and take the enemy for our own people. They regard as friends the very persons whom the masses regard as enemies. Those with a “Left” deviation in their thinking magnify contradictions between ourselves and the enemy to such an extent that they take certain contradictions among the people for contradictions with the enemy and regard as counter-revolutionary persons who are actually not. Both these views are wrong. Neither makes possible the correct handling of the problem of eliminating counter-revolutionaries or a correct assessment of this work.

“To form a correct evaluation of our work in eliminating counter-revolutionaries, let us see what repercussions the Hungarian incident has had in China. After its occurrence there was some unrest among a section of our intellectuals, but there were no squalls. Why? One reason, it must be said, was our success in eliminating counter-revolutionaries fairly thoroughly.”

-Mao Zedong (On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People)

by BJ Murphy

Here on June 4th, around the world, people will be celebrating honor to the “pro-democracy” students of the so-called Tiananmen Square “massacre”. Just as the media did so 22 years ago, the media will again paint the very elaborate portrait of Communist “suppression” against what were labeled as Chinese students seeking “democracy” and “freedom”.

Though, this very mindset over the 1989 event isn’t just attained by that of various bourgeois media, but is also shared by a wide selection of revolutionary leftists, particularly that of ultra-leftist western Maoists, like that of who run the news blog Kasama Project.

In fact, this very article is a response to another, written by the blog’s founder Mike Ely.

According to Ely, “the regime in China suppressed a powerful movement of rebellion, using the Peoples Liberation Army against the students and workers gathered in the heart of Beijing.” (Ely, Kasama) In other words, as the media paints this portrait as well, the PLA were the bad guys – the capitalist oppressors – and the students were of course the good guys – the socialist “vanguard of liberation” (Ely, Kasama).

The only problem with this very nice painting is that it’s a complete sham!

This is, of course, not being said as a means of “opportunism”, nor to be controversial. The point of this article is to defend the truth of that very event: a counter-revolution led by that of pro-western “democracy” students in the objective goal of the Communist Party’s destabilization.

A revolution out of the sky?

Hundreds of Chinese citizens gathering in front of “Democracy Wall”.

As member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization – Fight Back! (FRSO) Mick Kelly once said of the event, “the so-called “democracy” movement did not fall from the sky one day,” (Kelly, FRSO) as is the very picture Ely seems to be painting throughout his short article. In Ely’s mindset, the 1989 set of protests was an event that erupted out of thin air; a response to Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng’s economic reforms.

This is an absolute lie! A misleading one at that, as Ely seems to conveniently leave out certain important historical events leading up to the Tiananmen protests. One of which starts with what was known as “Democracy Wall”.

As Mick Kelly points out, “it was probably the only place in China where a person could hear Mao denounced as a ‘fascist.'” (Kelly, FRSO) Though, “Democracy Wall” acted out as a gathering spot by several ideologically differing citizens. Some of which who were suffering through the Cultural Revolution. Though, to others, it was the breading ground for counter-revolutionary activities. And because of such growing activities, what was known as “Democracy Wall” was eventually shut down.

From then on, a split between the CPC – and amongst the people as well as to who they aligned themselves with – began to increase.

An ongoing counter-revolutionary tendency

To now introduce the other topic at-hand, Ely had also held a recent position, similar to that of what we see here on the Tiananmen Square event, towards Libya. Although I cannot link you to this conversation between myself and Ely, it was a debate held between us on the internal conflict (now NATO-led imperialism) in Libya, where rebels presided in Benghazi are waging a (counter)revolution against forces loyal to Col. Gaddafi.

Despite my attempts of trying to show that the rebels were clearly reactionary and deserved no support by that of the revolutionary left, Ely inclined that the rebels were “a democratic force for the good.”

But what does this have to do with the Tiananmen Square protests? Well despite the fact that, in both events, Ely has a clear tendency of throwing his support towards counter-revolutionary rebels, it was the fact he conveniently decided to leave out any mention of the Libyan rebels’ anti-African migrant stance throughout all his articles written on the Libyan event.

That’s right, a stance not just in words, but in action as well. Horrific actions at that, ranging from imprisonment, execution, and even resorting to lynching them.

The correlation here is the fact that, like on the Libyan subject, in 1988, just a year before the “pro-democracy” protesters make their final move on Tiananmen Square, there was an anti-African student demonstration held in China. Led by right-wing students, it became an organized event with objections to what they deemed as “African privileges” amongst China’s universities. Although this was not as large of an event as Tiananmen Square’s, and came nowhere near the violent repression against Africans like that in Libya, it was still an event which characterized the right-wing’s growing strength amongst Chinese university students.

In remembrance of Hu Yaobang, Tiananmen emerges

April 18: Students hold aloft a banner calling for “Freedom & Democracy Enlightenment” on the Martyr’s Monument in Tiananmen Square festooned with a large portrait of Hu Yaobang, surrounded with wreaths dedicated to him by people from many universities.

Another interesting point to be made, one that Ely seems to have conveniently left out as well, was the fact that the Tiananmen Square protests erupted in honor to that of CPC General Secretary Hu Yaobang’s death. And I’m sure there’s a reason for Ely’s silence of Hu Yaobang’s role in the protests.

As pointed out in China: Revolution and Counterrevolution by the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), “China’s version of Boris Yeltsin was Secretary General Hu Yaobang, who was widely seen as a proponent of pushing the reforms ahead at a faster pace until his resignation in 1987.” (PSL, China p.73) Boris Yeltsin was the spokesperson of Soviet leader Gorbachev’s perestroika economic reforms. Unlike Gorbachev’s failed wish of sustaining socialism, all while allowing market privatization under the command of the Soviet state, Yeltsin instead wished to see socialism ended altogether.

The storyline is the same during China’s “perestroika” period, when Deng Xiaoping laid forth economic reforms, used as a means of modernizing China from it’s unfortunate massive underdeveloped economic state left after Mao’s death. Though, the outcome of the storyline is very much different. Unlike Yeltsin’s success in hijacking Russia’s period of reforms, thus putting an end to Soviet socialism, Hu Yaobang was left with no victory in destroying China’s socialist struggle.

To make a long story short, it was Hu Yaobang’s death that transitioned the right-wing’s ideals to practice:

“The period of mourning which followed his death provided the opening that the “pro-democracy” movement was waiting for. Huge funeral wreaths began to appear on the martyrs’ monument in Tiananmen Square. On many of these wreaths inscriptions were written, attacking the Party leadership and demanding that the criticisms of Hu’s rightist errors be dropped from the historical record.

[...]

“On April 18, 4000 students from Beijing University and People’s University held campus rallies. Later that day about 2000 students marched to Tiananmen Square, carrying a banner with the slogan “Forever cherish the memory of Yaobang, the soul of China.” That night about 200 students stayed in the square. The Washington Post reported the six demands that were put forward. The demands were: public disclosure of the income of national leaders; repudiation of the struggles against bourgeois liberalization and spiritual pollution along with rehabilitation for those who were criticized; increased funding for education; no restrictions on street demonstrations; freedom of speech and the press; and a reassessment of Hu Yaobang.” (Kelly, FRSO)

Soon after, throughout the entire month of April, thousands gathered in Tiananmen Square, continuing their demands, which also led to some protesters attempt to storm Zhongnanhai, the CPC’s headquarters. Although unsuccessful, it marked the beginning of an ever-increasing violent presence amongst the “pro-democracy” protesters.

This isn’t to say that every protester in Tiananmen Square were right-wing counter-revolutionaries. A good portion of them in the beginning were legitimate protesters seeking both answers and action to that of the reforms, which allowed privatization over a third of the economy, including health care.

“On April 26, the line of the politburo was run out in a People’s Daily editorial. The editorial made note of the good intentions of many of the demonstration’s participants and pointed out several areas where the desires of the student movement overlapped with those of the Party. However, what really grabbed people’s attention was the charge that the protests were being manipulated by forces that wanted to do away with socialism and negate the leading role of the Party.” (Kelly, FRSO)

This was further clarified by that of the Yenica Cortes, member of the PSL, stating:

“There were a large number of students involved in the demonstrations [...] And while there were many political trends within the student movement, there was a dominant leadership group. The goals of this group had nothing to do with democracy for China’s vast majority of poor and working people.” (PSL, China p.76)

Fact of the matter is that, from April to May, a large section of the student protesters left the Square and returned to school. Despite what the media may try and paint, before the June 3-4 riots by that of “pro-democracy” students, the CPC had continuously laid out peaceful negotiations with thousands of the protesters. Some of which became successful almost immediately.

In a speech by that of Chen Xitong, then-mayor of Beijing, to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, he stated:

“Compared with the demonstration of April 27, the number of students taking part on May 4 dropped from over 30,000 to less than 20,000, and the on-lookers decreased by a big margin. After the May 4 demonstration, 80% of the students returned to class as a result of the work of the Party and administrative leaders of the various universities and colleges. After the publication of the People’s Daily April 26 editorial, the situation in other parts of the country became stabilized quickly. It was evident, with some more work, the turmoil instigated by a small handful of people making use of the student unrest, was likely to calm down…” (Kelly, FRSO)

Although the mayor’s analysis was overall correct, his conclusions to that of the analysis was not.

The symbol of their “democracy”

“Pro-democracy” students carrying a large statue of the Goddess of Liberty in Tiananmen Square.

To symbolize their demands for “democracy” and “freedom”, unlike the original protesters who waved portraits of Mao, carried the Little Red Book, and called for the end of reforms, the right-wing students, who’s goal was to hijack the reforms and overthrow the CPC, carried something else: a large statue of the Goddess of Liberty. The Goddess of Liberty stood as their symbol for “democracy” and “freedom”, eerily depicting that of the U.S.’s Statue of Liberty.

The statue was constructed by Federation of College Students as a stunt to help push the protests forward. This was then deemed as the “Statue of Liberty in Tiananmen Square”, although not officially on paper, due to the sculpture’s objections:

“The federation suggested that the sculpture be a replica of the Statue of Liberty, like the smaller one that had been carried in a procession by demonstrations in Shanghai two days earlier. But the sculpture students rejected that idea: It might be seen as too openly pro-American and copying an existing work was contrary to their principles as creative artists.

[...]

“The place on the Square had been chosen carefully. It was on the great axis heavy with symbolism, that extended from the main entrance of the Forbidden City, with the huge portrait of Mao Zedong, through the monument of People’s Heroes, which had become the students’ headquarters. The statue was to be set up just across the broad avenue from Mao so that it would confront him.” [emphasis added](Kelly, FRSO)

April 25: An American Revolution slogan hung at Peking University on someone’s bed sheet.

Further clarification of the students’ true intentions were subsequently made after the construction of the statue:

“Their signs were in English. Their symbol, the so-called “Goddess of Democracy,” bore a striking resemblance to the Statue of Liberty. Many expressed their hope of founding a new student organization on July 4 – Independence Day in the United States.” (PSL, China p.76)

Though, despite both their support in Hu Yaobang and their symbol of “democracy”, another high-rank figure was recognized by the “pro-democracy” students: Zhao Ziyang, right-wing Premier of the PRC and was an open advocate to free-enterprise expansion.

Among those of the hunger strike waged in Tiananmen Square, one of them was a Liu Xiaobo. In which Liu had stated that, “We must organize an armed force among the people to materialize Zhao Ziyang’s comeback.” (Kelly, FRSO) Today, Liu Xiaobo is currently imprisoned for his various calls of overthrowing the CPC and to expand privatization over China’s majority State-run economy.

Another well known leader of the student demonstrations was Liu Gang. Through Liu, alone, one was able to understand the class character of that of the “pro-democracy” students: an anti-Communist class character, as stated by Liu himself:

“There was a disproportionate number of physicists among the dissidents. As I mentioned earlier, almost all the student movements in Beijing were started by physics students. Six of the 21 most-wanted student leaders are physicists. This phenomenon can be explained. Under Communist rule, education has been controlled by Marxist, Leninist and Maoist doctrines, especially in the social sciences. Even mathematics had to be learned according to Marx’s notes.

“Among all the disciplines, physics is least controllable by Communist ideology. People with an inquiring mind naturally take up physics as their major in the universities. Human creativity in the search for truth requires freedom.”

The Tiananmen Square massacre: myth or reality?

Before we’re to go into the “massacre” itself, it’s best to first find out what really took place weeks before. Understanding the following events is crucial in the overall understanding over the PLA’s position as victims, rather than executioners, contrary to what was claimed by that of the international bourgeois press.

May 4: Over 100,000 “pro-democracy” students surround a group of unarmed policemen, demanding for “democracy” and “freedom”.

Despite the CPC’s long weeks of pressing forward negotiations with that of the protesters, on May 20, they then decided to declare martial law. This was, of course, not an act of violence by that of the PLA who were dispatched to Tiananmen Square long before martial law was ever declared. Instead, violence was waged against the unarmed PLA, with the open goal of provoking violence by that of the PLA themselves, as was admitted on May 28 by one the student leaders Chai Ling:

“I feel so sad. [...] How can I tell [the students in the Square] that what we are actually hoping for is bloodshed, the moment when the government is ready to butcher the people brazenly? Only when the Square is awash in blood will the people of China open their eyes. Only then will they be really united.” (PSL, China p.74)

June 3: A group of Chinese troops taken hostage by the “pro-democracy” students as they read their demands.

Despite early warnings to the protesters encamped in Tiananmen Square to leave peacefully before violence was to ensue, many remained unresponsive and held their ground (thankfully, some of those protesting actually listened to the warnings and eventually left before violence broke out). In response, an unarmed group of PLA were dispatched to Tiananmen Square, though were then subsequently blocked by the protesters, left only to feel their wrath as the students set “army trucks and armoured personnel carriers ablaze, their crews incinerated.” Many of which were taken hostage:

“On June 2, unarmed People’s Liberation Army troops were called in to regain control of the square. Students left the square to confront the troops in the streets leading to the square. Some of the unarmed troops were taken hostage.

“On June 3, the soldiers were issued arms – “though under orders to avoid violence” as reported in a June 5 article in the Wall Street Journal. On June 4, however, demonstrators resorted to violent attacks on soldiers as protesters grabbed hold of army equipment and seized weapons.” (PSL, China p.75)

Jay Matthews, who was a reporter for The Washington Post, was sent to Beijing to cover the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. What he discovered wasn’t a “massacre” of any sort, rather a violent rebellion against the CPC and PLA, leading to a reported death count of around 300 outside of Tiananmen Square, despite the media misleadingly reporting of deaths amongst the Tiananmen Square protesters:

“A few people may have been killed by random shooting on streets near the square, but all verified eyewitness accounts say that the students who remained in the square when troops arrived were allowed to leave peacefully. Hundreds of people, most of them workers and passersby, did die that night, but in a different place and under different circumstances.

“The Chinese government estimates more than 300 fatalities. Western estimates are somewhat higher. Many victims were shot by soldiers on stretches of Changan Jie, the Avenue of Eternal Peace, about a mile west of the square, and in scattered confrontations in other parts of the city, where, it should be added, a few soldiers were beaten or burned to death by angry workers.”

June 3: Unarmed PLA soldiers, outside of the Great Hall of People, showing maximum restraint as they try to blockade the protesters from advancing forward.

As soon as the student demonstrators made it very clear of their violent counter-revolutionary objectives, the CPC knew then what they had to do:

“There was no massacre in Beijing, at least in any normal sense of the word’s usage. There was in fact a rebellion, which was counter-revolutionary in nature, that was eventually put down by military force. The myth that tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square one evening and proceeded to shoot down peaceful students would be laughable, if people, including some who profess to be revolutionaries, did not happen to believe it.

“The actual situation was very different. Between June 1st and June 4th there was a rising tide of violence in Beijing. Although the “democracy movement” had lost some of its steam, there was still a situation of dual power within the city. While the Party did everything possible to resolve the conflict peacefully, they had no intention of handing over the city to the forces of liberalization or Zhao. Nor did the Party intend to allow the crisis to drag on until the scheduled opening of the National People’s Congress on June 20, which the students had voted to continue their occupation of the square until.” (Kelly, FRSO)

It was because of both the CPC and PLA’s actions that Chinese socialism was protected and a bourgeois counter-revolution averted. Despite both the western media and various groups of ultra-leftists’ wishes of painting a beautiful story of “David versus Goliath”, like that of Ely’s account of the events, the truth of what really happened on that heroic, yet tragic day remains unhindered.

**UPDATE** Thanks to Wikileaks, secret cables have now been released showing once and for all that there was no bloodshed inside the Tiananmen Square during the 1989 protests.

Notes:

“China & Market Socialism: A Question of State & Revolution”, Return to the Source, May 20, 2011.

“Chinese Counter-Revolution Crushed”, Lalkar, August 1989.

Ely, M., “June 4: Remembering the Rebels of Tiananmen”, Kasama Project, June 3, 20011.

Gowans, S., “Liu’s Nobel Prize for Capitalism”, what’s left, October 12, 2010.

“In His Own Words: Liu Gang: A Story of Physics and Freedom in China”, APS Physics, October 1996.

Kelly, M., “Continuing the Revolution is Not a Dinner Party”, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, 1989.

Matthews, J., “The Myth of Tiananmen: And the price of a passive press”, Columbia Journalism Review, June 4, 2010.

Mclnerney, Andy, ed. China: Revolution and Counterrevolution. San Francisco, CA: PSL Publications, 2008. Print.

Murphy, B., “From socialist Afghanistan to socialist Libya: al-CIAda are back in business!”, Red Ant Liberation Army News, March 31, 2011.

Professor Toad, “The Chinese Economy in 1978″, The Marxist-Leninist, June 14, 2010.

Common sense needed to understand the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case

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By B.J. Murphy

Since the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, on 26 February 2012, a nationwide movement has erupted in response, calling for the arrest and prosecution of Martin’s murderer.

After over a month gone by since the killing of Trayvon Martin, no arrest has been made of George Zimmerman, leaving a lot of speculation on what exactly happened that day. Zimmerman, himself, has fled into hiding, which only raises even more suspicion on his guilt over the crime he committed. And while the majority of U.S. citizens support the arrest of Zimmerman, the mainstream press are not as united regarding what the official story really is.

For example, both a friend of Zimmerman’s and the police are claiming that the screams heard in various 9-1-1 calls made by nearby neighbors were that of Zimmerman, not Trayvon Martin as originally alleged. The police had also claimed that Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin’s father, admitted in the screams not being his son’s. In response, the “family claims the police are lying, and pointed out that once the audio quality was cleaned up the father said that the voice did indeed belong to his son.”

Another story coming out of the woodwork is that Trayvon Martin had “knocked [Zimmerman] down with a punch to the nose, repeatedly slammed his head on the ground and tried to take his gun.” Eyewitnesses are also coming forward and confirming that Zimmerman and Martin did, indeed, start fighting.

And then there’s the recent revelation of Trayvon Martin being suspended from school, not long before being murdered by George Zimmerman, because of marijuana possession. Though, lacking any relevancy to the case itself, it’s also noted that Martin didn’t have any past criminal record, despite his recent suspension. On the other hand, Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, does have a criminal record from 2005: “battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.” But that’s not all! Also in 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiancée had “filed a petition accusing Zimmerman of pushing her during an argument at her Orlando home.”

So let’s apply the facts in the case as well:

So when we apply these facts alongside all the stories popping up in the media since the killing of Trayvon Martin, you get a common sense case of self-defense. Though, despite what Zimmerman claims to be self-defense against whom he murdered, common sense should tell us that it was Martin who fought in self-defense, not Zimmerman.

As the provided link above of Zimmerman’s call to the police shows, Trayvon Martin had noticed Zimmerman following him around in the rain, keeping in mind also that Zimmerman was armed with a 9mm handgun. Phone records also showed that Martin was on the phone with his 16-year-old girlfriend, telling her that he noticed someone following him. The police told Zimmerman not to continue following Martin, but clearly didn’t heed to their warning. Thus resulting in a violent confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman.

Common sense, alone, should beg you to ask the vital question of why Martin attacked Zimmerman in the first place. The answer clearly being quite simple: self-defense!

Eyewitnesses report seeing Martin hitting Zimmerman in the face and back of the head, trying to reach for his gun. Though, I’d like for everyone reading this to put yourself in Trayvon Martin’s shoes. Imagine yourself being Martin, walking in the rain, and you notice a 250lb man with a gun following you around. It doesn’t matter if Martin was taller than Zimmerman, Martin was still unarmed and cannot logically be considered the “aggressor” in this scenario.  I, myself, am 6’1″, but if I saw someone following me around with a gun, I wouldn’t care if the person was 3’8″, I’d still attempt to disarm him by beating the shit out of him. Anyone who says otherwise is either a liar or a coward.

You also have to keep in mind Zimmerman’s past criminal record, where he violently attacked a police officer and tried resisting arrest. Clearly Zimmerman was very strong and more than likely fought just as hard with Martin, thus reasoning why Martin was unable to successfully disarm Zimmerman, resulting in his eventual death.

On April 10, George Zimmerman will have to face a grand jury and be tried for the crime he committed. Whether or not the jury will find him guilty is hard to say, given the history of phony jury convictions in the U.S. whenever a Black man or woman’s life is the main topic of each case. Though, whatever the result may be, one thing is for sure: Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman, fighting for his life which led to his unfortunate death.

Justice for Trayvon Martin! 
Arrest and Convict George Zimmerman!  

A Question on Prostitution and the Revolutionary Left: My response to Meghan Murphy’s analysis

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By B.J. Murphy

The question of prostitution has been a matter of debate throughout the progressive and revolutionary left for many years. To engage this topic as unbiased as possible, I must first admit that, as a white male, I cannot say that I am the best subject to take on this particular question under the personal perspective of the oppressed: that of women, who are predominantly not white.

They are the victims of a racist, capitalist system. And it was Karl Marx who correctly stated, “…the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.” Though, Marx had only addressed the question of prostitution through the understanding of overthrowing capitalism and the Bourgeois State, not what is to be done by that of the revolutionary left while capitalism is still the current socio-economic system.

And that is where I and Meghan Murphy differ on the question of prostitution. She had written a brilliant article, “Why Does the Left Want Prostitution to be ‘a Job Like Any Other’?“, which was published by the People of Color Organize! blog. And I say brilliant, despite my objections, because she made a definitive argument by furthering the question of prostitution under a class analysis.

Having said that, there is a question within the question of prostitution that I do not believe Meghan had answered, at least not openly. That question is: what are we, of the revolutionary left, to do in regards to prostitution while under the capitalist system? She presents a slight, alternative idea known as the “Nordic Model,” in which correctly points out that women usually fall victim to prostitution due to poverty, racism, and sexism. As a result, legal assistance is provided to that of prostituted women instead of locking them up.

The problem with this, though, as the article states quite clearly in the very first paragraph, is that the question doesn’t directly address capitalism as being the reason for said social problems. Instead, the “Nordic Model” wishes to address this problem without addressing capitalism at the same time; it doesn’t want to address the fact that, even as you may provide services for women, under capitalism the problems will continue, regardless of there being safety nets.

What the “Nordic Model” essentially tells women is that, ‘while we’re not going to necessarily end the very system in which inflicts these very problems on you, nor are we going to try and end the system of exploitative and oppressive pimping, we will be there for you when you fall victim to prostitution.’

Is this what we really want for women, whether they be Black, Brown, or white? As someone of the revolutionary left living under this capitalist system, I cannot come to terms with this ideal in which doesn’t address, nor provide solutions to, the question of prostitution. The long-term solution to prostitution is the overall solution to capitalism: socialism! But when it comes to the short-term solution – a temporary solution as the capitalist system remains – the “Nordic Model” only partially answers the question.

Yes, we should provide services for women who suffer from poverty, racism, and sexism. Though, we also must prevent Pimps from harming our women as well through the exploitative and oppressive nature of criminalized prostitution. In fact, the question of prostitution is in correlation with that of the question of drugs under a class analysis.

While we can say that drug use will more than likely decrease exponentially, and quite possibly diminish completely, after the overthrowing of capitalism, to keep drug use criminalized would be to continue oppressing the victim, regardless if you provide services or throw them into prison. It still doesn’t address the questions of poverty or racism, in which drug use directly relates to that of prostitution.

Instead, as is for drug use as well, the temporary solution to prostitution under the capitalist system is this: legalization! It’ll be the only way in which to, 1) end the exploitative and oppressive work of Pimping, and 2) get women off the streets and into a regulated, protected environment of sex work – at least for those who wish to continue selling sex as their means of earning wages. The “Nordic Model” should also be applied to the extent in which we provide services to all women,  addressing the questions of poverty, racism, and sexism.

Those who are not in the business of providing sex for work tend to assert that it’s nothing more than, “about providing pleasure for one party (the male party) without any regard for the woman with whom you are engaging in this supposed ‘sex’ with,” as was so claimed by Meghan Murphy in her article. And while it may seem as simple as this for those of us who are not in the line of work that provides sex for wages, I believe it to be far more complex.

An ex-sex worker had addressed this question, herself, in which she stated:

“Anna van Heeswijk states that prostitution is not a job like any other, but why should it not be? Why should I be condemned by society and left unprotected just because I wish to work with my genitals rather than my hands or my brain? They are my genitals and I should be free to choose to do whatever I wish with them. There is a serious problem in society of negative attitudes towards sexual women, whether they charge for sex or not. Women as chattels may not be written in the legislature any longer, but we are still not free to own our own sexuality. The recent slut walks were a reminder that women are still judged as somehow deserving of attack if they fail to conform to the sugar-and-spice-and-all-things-nice straight jacket imposed by some men and so-called feminists alike.”

She had also addressed the problems with the “Nordic Model”, or as she called it the “Swedish Model”, stating that it’s incorrect to conclude the model in being a “success”, and that the model is wrong in claiming all acts of sex work is violent, in which is, “unsupported piece of propaganda which seeks to encourage patronisation and infantalisation of the many sex-workers who voluntarily choose to earn their living through sex work.”

The violence of sex work isn’t that of the mere act of having sex for money, per se, but the violence in which Pimps inflict upon women and the violence of the Bourgeois State as they release their attack dogs – cops – to raid union-protected establishments in which allow women to have sex for money.

And so, if we are to truly end the violence of sex work, then we must target the violent predators – pimps and police – and not the victims of racist pimp- and state-orchestrated violence! We must legalize prostitution, get women off the streets, end the business of pimping, and end the racist business of state-orchestrated aggression toward women, who are predominantly that of color, and instead toward that of the pimps themselves. Only then will we, of the revolutionary left, be able to address the question within the question of prostitution as we continue our struggles against the capitalist system.

Indonesian Translation: A Marxist-Leninist analysis on the Russian State Duma elections

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The following article was presented to me via email by Dasar Kita, in which is an Indonesian translation of my recently published article “A Marxist-Leninist analysis on the Russian State Duma elections and the “Orange” opposition“. I’d like to thank comrade Dasar Kita for making this available to others around the world! 

Sebuah analisis Marxis-Leninis atas Pemilu Duma Negara Rusia dan Oposisi “Jingga”

Oleh BJ Murphy

Diindonesiakan oleh Redaksi Dasar Kita

Sumber: Blog BJ Murphy The prison gates are open …http://redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com/

Salah satu kegalauan terbesar sejak penumbangan Uni Soviet dua dasawarsa lalu, adalah ribuan warga Rusia yang turun ke jalan untuk menentang apa yang diyakini, pemilu (pemilihan umum—Red) Duma Negara dilakukan dengan curang, terjadi pada 4 Desember. Adalah Rusia Bersatu yang berhasil keluar sebagai pemenang, mengklaim 49 % suara. Partai Komunis Federasi Rusia (PKFR)—partai terbesar kedua di Rusia—mencapai hampir 20 %, dua kali lipat persentase mereka dari pemilu 20071. Sejak 4 Desember pemilu Duma Negara, tiga faktor utama tersajikan atas pemerintahan Rusia Bersatu yang tetap-berkuasa:

  1. Sejak 2007, persentase pendukung Rusia Bersatu turun dari 64,3 % ke 49,3 % (sesuai gambaran arus utama), berarti berkurang 15 %.
  2. Persentase pendukung PKFR naik dari 11,6 % pada 2007 ke 19,2 %, berarti hampir dua kali lipat pendukung secara nasional; dan
  3. Beberapa agresor asing—saya akan memberikan gambaran: bermula dengan U (maksudnya U dari United Russia—Red) dan berakhir dengan A (maksudnya A dari America—Red)—telah memutuskan bukan saja mengunci pada ketidakpuasan populer  di Rusia, tapi juga telah tampil berkomitmen bertindak lebih curang melawan pemerintahan Rusia Bersatu.

Tanpa memerhatikan apakah pemilu Duma Negara telah, faktanya, terjadi kecurangan yang menguntungkan kaum borjuis partai Rusia Bersatu, dua faktor pertama tersajikan di atas itu menandai sebuah isyarat bayan (gamblang—Red) peningkatan oposisi terhadap partai berkuasa tersebut, dan justru merupakan tatapan ke depan PKFR dalam cita-cita membangun sosialisme di Rusia sekali lagi, sebagaimana terjadi sebelum kontra-revolusi Gorbachev-Yeltsin.

Mayoritas ketidakpuasan tampil mendukung PKFR, di mana dinyatakan bahwa kaum Komunis justru mencapai persentase mayoritas dalam pemungutan suara, dibanding Rusia Bersatu. Keyakinan populer tampaknya mengklaim bahwa PKFR mencapai persentase pemungutan suara 35, sementara Rusia Bersatu hanya mencapai 32 %.2

(RB Rusia Bersatu [versi Inggris UR The United Russia]; KR Keadilan Rusia [FR The Fair Russia Party]; PKFR Partai Komunis Federasi Rusia [CPRF The Communist Party of the Russian Federation]; PLDR Partai Liberal Demokrasi Rusia [LDPR The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia]—Red)

Meskipun, artikel ini bukan untuk menganalisis hasil-hasil pemilu Duma Negara, juga tidak untuk menyatakan PKFR telah, secara fakta, merebut kemenangan dalam kekuasaan parlementer. Alasan dari artikel ini adalah justru menganalisis beberapa reaksi terhadap dugaan kuat kecurangan Duma Negara, hal di mana faktor # 3 mengarah seperti tersajikan di atas.

Amerika Serikat menargetkan Rusia Bersatu

Adalah Perdana Menteri Vladimir Putin yang mengambil langkah pertama dalam mendeklarasikan oposisi terhadap apa yang tampil sebagai isyarat propaganda kaum imperialis—entah betul atau tidak—oleh Menteri Luar Negeri AS Hillary Clinton, dengan menyatakan, “Hal pertama yang dikatakan menteri luar negeri bahwa mereka (RB maksudnya—Red) tidak jujur dan tidak adil, namun beliau bahkan belum menerima bahan dari para pengamat.”3

Memang, hal itu akan memaksa kita memertanyakan mengapa AS mau memikul garis yang sama seperti diambil oposisi Rusia. Hal yang kemudian akan menuntun kita pada kesimpulan bahwa kepentingan-kepentingan AS tidak berkorelasi dengan kepentingan-kepentingan dari, katakanlah, PKFR terkait alasan menentang hasil-hasil pemilu Duma Negara. Sementara PKFR berdiri pada oposisi terhadap hasil-hasil pemilu di bawah kepentingan-kepentingan kelas pekerja dan kemiskinan, AS justru bekerja di bawah kepentingan-kepentingan kapitalisme-imperialisme.

Saat ini di AS sedang berlangsung demonstrasi nasional besar-besaran dikenal sebagai Gerakan Menduduki (Occupy Movement—Red), yang menemui penindasan sengit oleh polisi, mulai dari penyemprotan merica para demonstran damai, memukuli para mahasiswa dengan pentungan dan tameng polisi, malahan menggrebek menduduki tempat perkemahan selagi para demonstran sedang tidur. Dan sampai sekarang, pemerintah AS tidak berbuat apa-apa untuk berupaya dan menghentikan penindasan itu. Maka kemudian menimbulkan pertanyaan mengapa AS menempuh garis munafik mengutuk partai berkuasa Rusia untuk melaksanakan taktik serupa, ketika AS sendiri bahkan tidak dapat mengontrol aksi kekerasan-negara oleh mereka sendiri.4

Media outlet arus utama Fox News milik AS, dikenal untuk pewartaan mereka yang telah menyesatkan, peliputan atas Gerakan Menduduki yang tertangkap basah ketika mereka mencoba menyebarkan peliputan foto maupun video kerusuhan yang terjadi di Yunani, dan kemudian malah mengklaim peliputan itu terjadi di Rusia sebagai hasil pemilu Duma Negara yang dilakukan dengan curang.5

Meskipun, saat menyimak lebih dekat, orang kemudian dapat mengambil kesimpulan bahwa kepentingan-kepentingan PKFR tidak mencerminkan kekuatan-kekuatan oposisi lainnya di dalam Rusia. Ketika isu pemilu Duma Negara ditekankan oleh pewarta Rusia Andrei Sitov, adalah Sekretaris Pers AS Jay Carney yang mengkonfirmasi terkuaknya rahasia bahwa AS tidak hanya menentang Rusia Bersatu lewat kata saja:

“T (Tanya—Red) … Amerika terus mencoba untuk memengaruhi politik internal kami, terus menghabiskan uang untuk itu—sesuatu yang benar, karena waktu saya bertanya kepada Mark Toner pada hari lainnya di Departemen Luar Negeri. Ia memberikan kepada saya sebuah gambaran atas $ 9 juta yang Amerika habiskan untuk mendukung proses pemilu di Rusia.”

“PAK CARNEY: Kami mendukung demokrasi.”6

Tidak banyak klarifikasi dibuat waktu itu lewat apa yang Pak Carney maksudkan dengan “Kita mendukung demokrasi,” tetapi segera setelah klarifikasi itu, pada hari berikutnya ketika anggota kongres AS Chris Smith menekankan kembali isu tersebut:

“T … Dalam relasi AS-Rusia, kemarin Anda dan Andrei mendiskusikan bantuan yang Putin sebut ‘campur tangan’ dalam urusan internal negaranya—bantuan untuk pemilu demokrasi. Apa yang kita belikan dengan $ 9 juta kita itu?

“PAK CARNEY: … Saya tahu bahwa, secara luas, Amerika Serikat, melalui Departemen Luar Negeri, mendukung upaya-upaya untuk membantu organisasi-organisasi demokratis dan demokrasi di seluruh dunia, hal yang kami harus lakukan sesuai administrasi yang dimiliki kedua belah pihak. Dan saya akan—kembali ke poin tadi, saya ingin katakan sama sekali afirmatif bahwa jumlah yang Departemen Luar Negeri sudah kemukakan itu adalah angka yang benar, dalam hal uang yang dibelanjakan. Dan lagi, tak seorang pun harus terkejut bahwa kami berbicara dan bekerja untuk demokrasi di seluruh dunia. Kami kira itu hal yang benar.

“T Apakah itu berarti pemberian bantuan kepada kelompok-kelompok oposisi di Rusia?

“PAK CARNEY: Sekali lagi, saya akan merujuk Anda pada Departemen Luar Negeri untuk hal-hal spesifik dari program tersebut di sini. Kita semua di sini […] mendukung demokrasi dan memegang mereka yang berpartisipasi dalam proses demokratis di seluruh dunia untuk aksi yang baku dalam menentang retorika […] karena kita percaya demokrasi adalah hal yang baik.” 7

Tentu saja, pengertian “demokrasi” AS adalah pasar-bebas profiteering/dengan pengambilan untung berlebih-lebihan (market-free profiteering—Red) melalui ekstraksi sumber daya dari tanah, baik dalam maupun luar negeri. Meski, itu bukan sumber daya Rusia yang AS harapkan diperoleh, melainkan justru dari sumber daya Suriah, khususnya dari produksi minyak. Saat ini mereka (Suriah—Red) mampu memproduksi 400.000 bph (barrel per hari; barrel per day atau bbl/day—Red) dan ekspor lebih dari 250.000 bph. 8 Tak ada yang sampai ke tangan korporasi minyak AS. Emas adalah sumber daya lainnya yang bernilai di wilayah Suriah, mencapai hingga senilai $ 20,5 milyar.

Jadi mengapa Rusia ikut terlibat dalam konflik? Sebab, adalah Rusia yang berdiri di antara Suriah dan AS yang akan menyerang negara itu. Segera setelah menjadi bayan bagi Rusia bahwa Suriah dalam ancaman yang memungkinkan diserang kekuatan AS/NATO, dikirimlah kapal-kapal perang Rusia ke perairan Suriah untuk memertahankan negara itu dari intervensi militer “gaya-Libia”9.

Oposisi “Jingga”?

Jadi oposisi mana yang kita bicarakan di sini? Sejujurnya, tidak seorang pun yang kini tahu fraksi mana dari oposisi di Rusia yang didanai AS. Siapa pun mereka, pers Barat arus utama menggembar-gemborkan berbagai protes damai yang menjadikannya disebut “revolusi jingga”.

“Revolusi warna selalu dikobarkan di bawah kepentingan-kepentingan kapitalisme-imperialisme, seperti menurut Eva Golinger, pengacara Venezuela-Amerika:

“Revolusi warna selalu terjadi di sebuah negara yang strategis, sumber-sumber daya alam: gas, minyak, kepentingan-kepentingan pangkalan militer dan geopolitik. […]  Gerakan-gerakan yang dipromosikan oleh agen-agen AS di negara-negara tersebut secara umum adalah anti-komunis, anti-sosialis, pro-kapitalis dan pro-imperialis.”10

Untuk mencapai pemahaman ini, sebagai Marxis-Leninis di AS, adalah terpulang pada kita untuk berdiri di pihak oposisi yang melawan setiap agresi imperialis terhadap Negara Rusia yang entah berupa media propaganda, sanksi-sanksi ekonomi, atau konfrontasi militer langsung. Kita harus selalu menempatkan kontradiksi primer—berupa pembebasan nasional—sebelum kontradiksi kedua—berupa revolusi sosial.

Sebagai Marxis-Leninis di Rusia, PKFR mengetahui dengan sangat baik fakta penting ini, hal yang membuat mereka baru-baru ini menyatakan respons terhadap keduanya kecurangan pemilu Duma Negara dan apa yang disebut “revolusi jingga”:

“Kami menghimbau kepada partai-partai oposisi, serikat-serikat buruh, pemuda, organisasi-organisasi komunitas, dan para aktivis sipil, tanpa memandang afiliasi politik mereka, agar bersatu dalam memertahankan demokrasi, keadilan, dan hak-hak asasi manusia; untuk melawan kemahakuasaan para pejabat korup, yang akhir-akhir ini merambah ke kepemilikan yang dirampok dari rakyat—hak suara mereka.

“Namun, kami tidak bisa menerima upaya-upaya oleh pro-NATO, kekuatan-kekuatan ultra-liberal yang menggunakan kebencian populer  dalam rangka mendorong negara ke dalam kerancuan dan kekhaosan ‘jingga’.” 11

Tetapi, saya pun, menemukan sangatlah tidak mungkin bahwa AS sesungguhnya akan menyerang Rusia lantaran mereka melindungi Suriah, juga saya tidak percaya mereka mengambil jalan sanksi ekonomi. Justru, sebagaimana yang mencagun (muncul—Red), saya percaya mereka akan mengandalkan pada pendanaan sabotase internal lewat “revolusi warna”. Faktanya, mereka telah mengambil langkah pertama dengan memberikan $ 9 juta kepada sebuah fraksi dari oposisi Rusia.

Upaya-upaya gagal serupa dibuat pada tahun lalu baik di Iran12, 13  maupun Belarus14 dengan mengklaim bahwa pemilu mereka curang. Bedanya hanya bahwa keduanya Iran dan Belarus, tak satu pun dari para pemimpin mereka mengalami penurunan dukungan di antara rakyatnya, dan tidak ada ketidakpuasaan populer yang dikobarkan menentang pemilu. Justru bagian-bagian terkantongkan (pocketed; berhasil menjadi ‘kantong’ imperialis Barat—Red) dari minoritas yang menerima pendanaan LSM (lembaga swadaya masyarakat—Red) pro-imperialis Barat itu. Sedangkan di Rusia partai berkuasa Rusia Bersatu kehilangan jumlah dukungan cukup besar di antara rakyatnya serta sebagian besar dari oposisi yang terdiri dari baik para pendukung maupun para anggota PKFR.

Yang kemudian tertinggal bagi kami sebuah kesimpulan yang mungkin bahwa AS mengirim dana kepada, sekali lagi, bagian-bagian terkantongkan dari minoritas, oposisi sayap-kanan yang berdiri melawan baik Partai Komunis maupun partai Rusia Bersatu. Mengapa? Sebab kedua partai itu, walaupun berlawanan satu sama lain, bekerja di bawah kepentingan-kepentingan terpisah dari kepentingan-kepentingan AS, apakah berupa kepentingan-kepentingan sosialis pada kelas pekerja dan kemiskinan dari PKFR atau berupa kepentingan-kepentingan kaum borjuis nasionalis dari Rusia Bersatu yang berkonflik dengan kebijakan luar negeri AS profiteering.

Jangan Menggapil* Rusia!
Ganyang Kapitalisme-Imperialisme Barat!
Dirgahayu Partai Komunis Federasi Rusia!

1. “Preliminary outcome of the State Duma elections”, RIA Novosti, December 5, 2011.

2. Shamir, I., “What Really Happened in the Russian Elections”, CounterPunch, December 7, 2011.

3. Herszenhorn, D. and Barry, E., “Putin Contends Clinton Incited Unrest Over Vote”, The New York Times, December 8, 2011.

4. “Irony alert: U.S. calls on Russia to respect peaceful protests”, The Raw Story, December 9, 2011.

5. “FOX, lies & the wrong videotape: What’s NOT happening in Moscow”, Russia Today, December 8, 2011.

6. “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 12/8/2011″, The White House, December 8, 2011.

7. ”Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 12/9/2011″, The White House, December 9, 2011.

8. ”Middle East : Syria”, CIA World Factbook, November 29, 2011.

9. ”Russia sends warships to Syrian waters”, Press Tv, November 19, 2011.

10. Golinger, E., “OPINION: Colored Revolutions Made in USA”, Geopolitical Monitor, October 14, 2011.

11. “Заявление Президиума ЦК КПРФ. Прошедшие выборы в Государственную Думу были нечестными и несвободными. Мы считаем их нелегитимными, как с моральной, так и с политической точек зрения”, Communist Party of the Russian Federation, December 10, 2011.

12. Murphy, B., “Protests in Iran called for: A people’s revolution or “color revolution”?”, The Prison Gates Are Open…, February 14, 2011.

13. Murphy, B., “U.S. media playing with numbers in Iran”, The Prison Gates Are Open…, February 19, 2011.

14. Majidi, M., “Imperialists claim fraud in Belarus election”, Party for Socialism and Liberation, December 28, 2010.

(Daftar acuan sengaja tidak dindonesiakan—Red)

*Menggapil tesaurusnya bisa juga: mencampuri, mengurusi (perkara orang lain); Eko Endarmoko, Tesaurus Bahasa Indonesia, 2006—Red.

A Marxist-Leninist analysis on the Russian State Duma elections and the “Orange” opposition

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English | Indonesian

By B.J. Murphy
December 11, 2011

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) leading over 5,000 in Novosibirsk against the State Duma election results, Dec. 10.

What has come to be one of the greatest upsets in Russia since the overthrowing of the Soviet Union two decades ago, thousands of Russian citizens have taken to the streets in opposition to what is believed to be rigged State Duma elections, which had occurred on Dec. 4. It was United Russia who came out victorious as a result, claiming 49% of the votes. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) – the second largest party in Russia – reached almost 20%, which was double that of their percentage from the 2007 elections.1

Since the Dec. 4 State Duma elections, three major factors were presented to the still-ruling United Russia govt:

  1. Since 2007, United Russia’s percentage of support decreased from 64.3% to 49.3% (according to mainstream figures), which is a 15% downfall;
  2. The KPRF’s percentage of support increased from 11.6% in 2007 to 19.2%, which is an almost doubling in nationwide support; and
  3. Certain foreign aggressors – I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a U and ends with an A – have decided to not only latch onto popular discontent in Russia, but appear to have committed far more shady actions against the United Russia govt.

Regardless of whether or not the State Duma elections had, in fact, been rigged in favor of the bourgeois United Russia party, the first two factors presented above marks a very clear sign of increasing opposition to that of the ruling party, and instead are looking towards the KPRF in the hopes of establishing socialism in Russia once again, as it had been before the Gorbachev-Yeltsin counter-revolution.

The majority of discontent appears to be in favor of that of the KPRF, in which is being stated that the Communists had instead achieved the majority percentage in voting, rather than that of United Russia. Popular belief seems to claim that the KPRF achieved a voting percentage of 35, while United Russia had only achieved 32%2:

Though, this article isn’t to analyze the results of the State Duma elections, nor to state that the KPRF had, in fact, won themselves into parliamentary power. The reason for this article is to instead analyze a certain response to the alleged State Duma fraud, in which factor #3 goes into as presented above.

United States targets United Russia 

It was Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who took the first step in declaring opposition to what appeared to be signs of imperialist propaganda – whether true or not – by that of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by stating, “The first thing that the secretary of state did was say that they were not honest and not fair, but she had not even yet received the material from the observers.”3

Indeed, it would then force us to question why the U.S. would be toting the same line taken on by that of the Russian opposition. In which would then lead us to the conclusion that the interests of the U.S. do not correlate with that of the interests of, say, the KPRF in regards to the reasoning of opposing the State Duma election results. While the KPRF stand in opposition to the election results under the interests of the Russian working class and poor, the U.S. instead are operating under the interests of capitalism-imperialism.

Currently in the U.S. there have been a set of large nationwide demonstrations known as the Occupy Movement, in which has met fierce suppression by that of police, ranging between pepper spraying peaceful protesters, beating students with batons and shields, and even raiding occupied encampment sites while the protesters were sleeping. And yet, the U.S. govt. does nothing to try and stop the oppression. So it would then call into question why the U.S. is taking on the hypocritical line of demonizing the Russian ruling party for conducting in similar tactics, when the U.S. itself cannot even control their own acts of state-violence.4

The U.S.’s own mainstream media outlet Fox News, known for their already misleading news coverage over the Occupy Movement, were caught in the act when they tried spreading both photos and video coverage of a riot taking place in Greece, and then instead claim it was occurring in Russia as a result of the rigged State Duma elections.5

Though, when given a closer look, one could then conclude that the interests of the KPRF do not reflect that of other opposition forces inside Russia. When pressed on the issue of the State Duma elections by Russian journalist Andrei Sitov, it was the U.S. Press Secretary Jay Carney who confirmed the revelation that the U.S. weren’t just opposing United Russia by word only:

“Q … Americans keep trying to influence our internal politics, keep spending money on it — which is true, because I asked Mark Toner the other day at the State Department. He gave me a figure of $9 million that the U.S. spent on supporting the process of elections in Russia.

“MR. CARNEY: We support democracy.”6

Not much clarification was made at that time in what Mr. Carney meant by “We support democracy,” but was soon then clarified the next day when pressed on the issue again by U.S. congressman Chris Smith:

“Q … On U.S.-Russia relations, you and Andrei discussed yesterday aid that Putin calls “meddling” in his country’s internal affairs — aid for democratic elections. What does our $9 million buy us?

“MR. CARNEY: … I know that, broadly, the United States, through the State Department, supports efforts to help democratic organizations and democracy around the world, as we should, as administrations of both parties have. And I would — going back to that point, I will say quite affirmatively that the number here that the State Department has put forward is the correct number, in terms of money spent. And again, no one should be surprised that we speak out for and work for democracy around the world. We think it’s the right thing.

“Q Does that mean providing aid to opposition groups in Russia?

“MR. CARNEY: Again, I would refer you to the State Department for the specifics of the programs here. All we’re about here [...] is support for democracy and holding those who participate in the democratic process around the world to standards of action as opposed to rhetoric [...] because we believe that democracy is a good thing.”7

Of course, the U.S. sense of “democracy” is that of free-market profiteering via resource extraction from both domestic and foreign soil. Though, it isn’t Russia’s resources in which the U.S. is hoping to reap from, but rather that of Syria’s resources instead, particularly that of oil production. Today they’re still able to produce over 400,000 bbl/day and export over 250,000 bbl/day.8 None of which is reaching the hands of U.S. oil corporations. Gold is another valuable resource inside Syria, consisting up to $20.5 billion worth.

So why is Russia getting mixed into the conflict? Because it is Russia who stands in the way between Syria and the U.S. invading the country. As soon as it became clear to Russia that Syria was in threat of being possibly invaded by U.S./NATO forces, it had then sent a Russian warship into Syrian waters to defend the country from a “Libya-styled” military intervention.9

The “Orange” opposition?

So which opposition are we talking about here? To be quite honest, no one seems to know yet which fraction of the opposition the U.S. is funding from within Russia. Whomever they may be, Western mainstream press are now touting the various peaceful protests in being a so-called “orange revolution”.

A “color revolution” is always waged under the interests of capitalism-imperialism, as according to Eva Golinger, Venezuela-American attorney:

“Colored revolutions always occur in a nation with strategic, natural resources: gas, oil, military bases and geopolitical interests. [...] The movements promoted by US agencies in those countries are generally anti-communist, anti-socialist, pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist.”10

To reach this understanding, as Marxist-Leninists in the U.S., it is up to us to stand in opposition against any imperialist aggression against the Russian State, whether it be media propaganda, economic sanctions, or outright military confrontation. We must always place the primary contradictions – that being national liberation – before secondary contradictions – that being social revolution.

As Marxist-Leninists in Russia, the KPRF know this vital fact very well, in which they had recently stated in response to both the rigging of State Duma elections and the so-called “orange revolution”:

‎”We appeal to the opposition parties, trade unions, youth, community organizations, and civic activists, regardless of their political affiliation, to unite in defense of democracy, justice, and human rights; to counter the omnipotence of corrupt officials, encroached on the property recently robbed from the people – their right to vote.

“However, we do not accept attempts by pro-NATO, ultra-liberal forces using popular resentment in order to push the country into “orange” confusion and chaos.”11

I do, however, find it highly unlikely that the U.S. will ever invade Russia as a result of their protecting Syria, nor do I believe they’d resort in economic sanctions. Instead, as it appears, I believe they’ll rely on funding internal sabotage via “color revolution”. In fact, they’d already taken their first steps by providing $9 million to a fraction of the Russian opposition.

Similar failed attempts were made in the last year in both Iran12, 13 and Belarus14 by claiming their elections were a fraud. The only difference is that in both Iran and Belarus, neither of their leaders had faced a decline in support among their people, and no popular discontent was waged against the elections. Instead there were pocketed sections of the minority receiving funds by that of pro-Western imperialist NGOs. Whereas in Russia the United Russia ruling party have lost a considerable amount of support among its people and a great portion of the opposition consists of both supporters and members of the KPRF.

Which then leaves us to a possible conclusion that the U.S. are sending funds to that of the, again pocketed sections of the minority, right-wing opposition who stand against both the Communist Party and the United Russia party. Why? Because both parties, although opposed to one another, operate under the interests separate from that of U.S. interests, whether it be the KPRF’s socialist interests to that of the Russian working class and poor or United Russia’s bourgeois nationalist interests which conflict with that of the U.S.’s foreign policy of profiteering.

Hands Off Russia! 
Down with Western Capitalism-Imperialism!
Long Live the Communist Party of the Russian Federation!  

1. “Preliminary outcome of the State Duma elections”, RIA Novosti, December 5, 2011.

2. Shamir, I., “What Really Happened in the Russian Elections”, CounterPunch, December 7, 2011.

3. Herszenhorn, D. and Barry, E., “Putin Contends Clinton Incited Unrest Over Vote”, The New York Times, December 8, 2011.

4. “Irony alert: U.S. calls on Russia to respect peaceful protests”, The Raw Story, December 9, 2011.

5. “FOX, lies & the wrong videotape: What’s NOT happening in Moscow”, Russia Today, December 8, 2011.

6. “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 12/8/2011″, The White House, December 8, 2011.

7. “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 12/9/2011″, The White House, December 9, 2011.

8. “Middle East : Syria”, CIA World Factbook, November 29, 2011.

9. “Russia sends warships to Syrian waters”, Press Tv, November 19, 2011.

10. Golinger, E., “OPINION: Colored Revolutions Made in USA”, Geopolitical Monitor, October 14, 2011.

11. “Заявление Президиума ЦК КПРФ. Прошедшие выборы в Государственную Думу были нечестными и несвободными. Мы считаем их нелегитимными, как с моральной, так и с политической точек зрения”, Communist Party of the Russian Federation, December 10, 2011.

12. Murphy, B., “Protests in Iran called for: A people’s revolution or “color revolution”?”, The Prison Gates Are Open…, February 14, 2011.

13. Murphy, B., “U.S. media playing with numbers in Iran”, The Prison Gates Are Open…, February 19, 2011.

14. Majidi, M., “Imperialists claim fraud in Belarus election”, Party for Socialism and Liberation, December 28, 2010.

Occupy Winston-Salem joins Occupy Charlotte in solidarity march

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By B.J. Murphy
November 8, 2011

Charlotte occupiers rallying towards the street between Wells Fargo and Bank of America (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Charlotte, NC – An energetic crowd of almost 300 came together at Marshall Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 5. Protesters marched to Bank of America and Wells Fargo, as Occupy Winston-Salem joined in solidarity with Occupy Charlotte in support of Bank Transfer Day.

The protest urged people to transfer their money from big corporate, for-profit banks to local non-profit banks. Local protesters also held signs against the U.S. war and occupation in Afghanistan and the Middle East and in support of public education and teachers. As the activists made their way between Wells Fargo and Bank of America, a dozen police officers met them outside Wells Fargo Bank.

The protest built upon the mass opposition to big banks introducing ‘account fees’ in the last few months and the growing awareness of these very same banks’ hand in the economic financial crisis since 2008. Everyone cheered the news that 650,000 people transferred their money from Bank of America to non-profit credit unions as a result of the Bank Transfer Day effort by Occupy Wall Street. It is estimated that there is a loss of $4.5 billion for the 1% and a gain for the 99%.

Ghali Hasan of Occupy Winston-Salem stated, “Today was a great day for Occupy Winston-Salem, coming down and joining forces with Occupy Charlotte to show real solidarity to the cause. And I believe, overall, we’re going to be making a difference in Winston-Salem and the state as a whole, with today being proof of that.”

Occupy Winston-Salem marching in solidarity with those of Occupy Charlotte.

At Bank of America and Wells Fargo, chants were heard many blocks away in every direction, ranging from “Stop the wars and corporate greed! Give the people what they need!” and “Money for books and education, not for banks and corporations!” When the bosses and managers at Wells Fargo started staring out their glass door and windows, everyone pointed towards them and chanted, “Tell me what hypocrisy looks like. This is what hypocrisy looks like!”

After the two-hour event ended, everyone marched back to Marshall Park and held a General Assembly. When asked of the possible eviction from the park by police, Yen, an activist in Occupy Charlotte responded, “I believe, like every other Occupy movement throughout the nation, the powers that be are starting to see the true essence of this movement; the true power that it can have. So they’re now beginning to threaten those who participate in true democracy. Whatever may happen, nothing will stop this occupation.”

Source

Students join Occupy Winston-Salem, target Wells Fargo racism

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By B.J. Murphy
October 24, 2011

Andrew Hobbs, a leading coordinator of Occupy Winston-Salem, holding a sign saying "People Want Action" on the front, and "Put Teachers Back Into The Classrooms" on the back. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Winston-Salem, NC – Over 100 Occupy Winston-Salem activists protested Oct. 22 in front of the local Wells Fargo branch to expose the bank’s racist policies against African-American and Latino communities.

Wells Fargo Bank’s discrimination in lending was the issue of the day. Protesters highlighted the fact that over 37% of all Wells Fargo loans to African Americans are high-cost loans, compared to only 12% to white borrowers. The inequality is due to the banks’ racist predatory lendingpractices during the boom years. With the bust in the housing market and steady and rising unemployment, many people are losing their savings and then their houses are foreclosed on. Overall, African-Americans are being punished worse by the economic crisis than others. Latinos are suffering too, especially the undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

Activists exposed another ugly side of Wells Fargo profit making and their repressive role in American society. According to Andrew Hobbs, one of the leading coordinators for Occupy Winston-Salem, “Wells Fargomutual funds provide millions of dollars in funding to the Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, which are two of the largest corporations running for-profit immigrant detention centers.” The abuses of immigrants at U.S. detention centers are well documented – including physical and abuse of children, illegal strip searches, rapes of women and people dying due to lack of basic medical attention.

Student activists of Winston-Salem State University join up with Occupy Winston-Salem to demand that education being a higher priority over profit.

Students from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) called for putting education before profit and shined a light on Wells Fargo’s hand in the ongoing financial crisis. Janae Williams, who led the students from WSSU stated, “Behind the protests, we’re trying to reach to the 99% who are being disenfranchised by this 1% that owns a majority of the wealth. I feel that, as young Black college students for the most part, we are most affected and we are also disproportionately uninformed about the surrounding issues. So next week we plan on coordinating a meeting on Friday and include all the colleges of Forsyth County to try and reach representation and support for the Occupy Movement.”

The collective spirit was high as all the activists chanted, “We are the 99%,” and “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” One activist, armed with an acoustic guitar, gathered everyone to sing historic protest anthems, such as John Lennon’s Imagine, Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land, and the famous African American Civil Rights song We Shall Overcome.

After the demonstration, the group held a General Assembly to go over what is next for Occupy Winston-Salem. A consensus was reached for a solidarity march with Occupy Charlotte and other groups on Nov. 5.

Source

Occupy Winston-Salem targets Bank of America

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By B.J. Murphy
October 17, 2011

Hundreds of protesters turned out to "Occupy Winston-Salem" Sunday

Winston-Salem, NC – 200 people demonstrated on the sidewalk in front of the Bank of America branch in Winston-Salem on Oct. 15. For three hours the protesters rallied against Wall Street and the big banks, exposing the Bank of America’s misuse of bailout money, as well as the ongoing loss of jobs in Winston-Salem and the rest of North Carolina, where unemployment is over 10%.

The protest received enormous support from those passing by, with drivers honking their horns and holding clenched fists out their windows and sunroofs. Local firefighters waved fists and honked in solidarity as they drove past.

A.J. Bridgeman, who traveled almost an hour to stand in support of Occupy Winston-Salem stated, “This event is amazing. For the first time in my life I’ve finally felt that North Carolina is fighting back against all these injustices that have been taking place these last years. There’s great potential here and I can’t wait for the next demonstration.”

Despite the hot sun beaming down, for the entire three hours, all 200 activists chanted as one, “The people united, we’ll never be defeated,” “We are the 99%,” and “Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like!” Organizers of Occupy Winston-Salem handed out free water and donated food to help keep people going.

After the demonstration ended, several activists met at Miller Park to evaluate the demonstration and plan for a general assembly. The next Occupy Winston-Salem demonstration will be held in Miller Park.

Source

My Journey Towards Atheism…

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Originally, this article was presented to and published by the We Are Atheism campaign blog. To further my story of how I eventually found myself becoming an atheist, I’ve decided to re-publish it here on my news blog:

By BJ Murphy

My journey towards atheism was certainly one that I wouldn’t recommend to every child in doing, nor experiencing. But it’s certainly one that I feel should be inspiring enough to really understand where I came from and why I chose to not believe in God in the end.

It all started off when I was around 6 or 7 years old, and I was visiting family in Virginia – staying with my biological father for Christmas – and I distinctively remember hearing on Christmas night a bunch of noises coming from the direction of where the tree was located. So, naturally, as any curious young child would do, I sneaked my way out of the room and tip-toed towards the den where the tree was. And, as surprising as it was at the time, instead of seeing Santa Claus, I noticed both my father and grandmother (attempting to!) quietly placing presents of all sizes under the Christmas tree.

Now, despite the usual cliché of a child’s heart being broken over the finding out of Santa Claus not being real, I actually found it to be humorous. All my life, for what I remember of it, I’ve been labeled a “smart ass,” because of the dark humor I somehow grasped. So when I saw my family thinking they’re getting away with this harmless lie, I couldn’t help but find it hilarious that they’re going through all this trouble, and yet now I know their dirty little secret! Unfortunately for them, I kept up the act of “believing in good ole’ Saint Nick” for another few years.

Reason why I’m telling you this story first is because it was my first step towards atheism. That night, not only did I come to learn that there wasn’t, in fact, a fat guy in a red suit sneaking into people’s homes every Christmas night, I also learned a neat new trick: the act of questioning all that I was told. And you won’t believe who my next victim was after Santa Claus – the Tooth Fairy? No; the Easter Bunny? Wrong again; was it God? Close, but a few years shy. My next victim came to be Heaven and Hell!

Yes, that’s right. I somehow went from Santa Claus to Heaven and Hell. How it went like that, I couldn’t really explain to you. But I can explain the relation between the two. Every night since learning of Santa Claus being a myth, I then started wondering what all else was a myth as well, but was led on to believe that originally gave me such happiness and joy. And, for some reason that I lack in understanding myself, Heaven and Hell became the next topic. I thought to myself: “If a man really isn’t flying around all night, giving the entire world presents that are being good all year, then maybe there isn’t a Heaven for me to be rewarded for being so good all my life.” Naturally, Hell came with the skeptic package. So the relation was, to some extent, me questioning the reasoning behind such rewards being promised to me – my mindset: presents = heaven.

Needless to say, it only took a few weeks of contemplating these questions in my head to finally come to grips with what I knew all along: Heaven and Hell doesn’t exist. And I will admit, unlike the revelation of Santa Claus being a myth, I actually found myself very sad, each night, thinking about Heaven and Hell being the same. Though, my reasons were strictly on my fear of death and the fact that I won’t ever see my parents and those who I came to know and love ever again once I finally “pass on.” Though, as one could logically guess, I eventually got over it and adapted to the marvelous quote by Mark Twain: “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

From there, it was just a gradual ride towards atheism. With most of my family being devout Christians, I was naturally forced to go to church with them, no matter how boring it seemed (even when I was a Christian!). So whenever the preacher started talking about Heaven and Hell, I couldn’t tell you how many ‘facepalm’ expressions I gave him. It just became this silly lie that, for some reason, many believed in. Similar to that of every Christmas year I’d struggle in refraining myself from telling my parents that I knew there wasn’t really a Santa Claus. Come to think of it, I may have believed they would stop giving me presents if I exposed their secrets.

To make a long story short, I eventually took on what is known as agnosticism. My questioning of Heaven and Hell finally reached the Big Man himself, and it was certainly a question I had stuck in my head all the way towards my early teens. And to be completely honest, I was actually an atheist for the last year or so as a self-proclaimed agnostic. How? Because I stopped believing in God. Simple as that! But the term ‘atheism’ was still this “dirty word” to me for some reason, who I can thank my family and church for conditioning me into this mindset in the first place!

It wasn’t until I came across this compiled list off the internet of famous atheists in history that I really started thinking: maybe atheism isn’t so bad after all!

I know many would like to think that it was the overwhelming amount of evidence (or lack thereof) towards the non-existence of a Creator of any kind, but in all actuality, I felt alone as an atheist. Thus what kept me in the closet, per se. So for me to finally find out that I wasn’t, in fact, alone at all, and that many famous people in history, ranging from the great minds, to politicians, to political revolutionaries , to famous actors/actresses, etc. etc., there was this sense of somewhat finding my “long-lost family” and that I finally found my way home. It’s perhaps one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever experienced in life…well, not the greatest, but that’s a different topic altogether!

So, from then on, I’ve continued and advanced my level of skepticism towards the illogicality of all the various age-old myths. Today, I’m extremely happy in being an atheist. Thanks to my experiences in life over this topic, I’ve come to use it productively by trying to make it a lot less lonely for those who’re going through their phase in doubting what rightfully needs to be doubted. And this essay is one of those attempts that I hope people will come to read and feel as I felt when I realized that, hey, I’m not really alone after all!

So don’t allow those who look down upon you make you think that atheism is “evil,” or naturally a “phase” that we get over with in time. Being an atheist is nothing more than disbelieving in God. Whether you choose to be a good person or not, or wish to help those around you in a “Christian-like” fashion is up to you, not that of the church or the “big man upstairs.” Love, happiness, freedom, friends, and family are all made up of what you do in life for yourself and for others.

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

-Albert Einstein

A “72 Virgins” Myth: Islam, Militant Atheism, and Anti-Imperialism

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by BJ Murphy

Even as an atheist myself, I can’t help but cringe every time I hear a militant atheist demonize those Muslims who choose to commit suicide as a tactical anti-imperialist strategy against the oppressors, with claims that they’re only doing so to be rewarded with so-called “72 virgins” – which is really an overly used misleading claim that is only upheld by that of Western Islamophobia it seems.

Militant atheists reject the idea of Muslims giving up their lives for a revolutionary cause, and instead claim they’re only doing so because of their faith in Islam, in which tells them to do so in order for them to be rewarded with 72 virgins. This isn’t true whatsoever.

Let’s first look at the claim that a Muslim’s faith in Islam grants them to be rewarded if they were to commit suicide. What does the Qur’an have to say about this:

“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. And whoever does that in aggression and injustice – then We will drive him into a Fire. And that, for Allah , is [always] easy.” (Qur’an 4:29 – 4:30)

And so, instead of the Qur’an granting them any kind of rewardance to those who kill themselves, for whatever purpose, the Qur’an clearly states that any follower of Allah who commit acts such as suicide will be forever burned. Some reward!

But what about the 72 virgins? Let’s just say that a Muslim doesn’t die from suicide, but was killed in battle. Does he then become granted with that of 72 virgins? Despite where ever the claim originated from, Islamic text says something a wee-bit different:

“The Prophet Muhammad was heard saying: “The smallest reward for the people of Paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine, and ruby, as wide as the distance from Al-Jabiyyah to Sana’a.” (Tirmidhi Hadith 2562)

So no 72 virgins? Well, no, not exactly. I mean, they could all be virgins, or maybe not. Maybe they’re a mixed bunch! Whatever these wives may be, no text by that of either Qur’an or Hadith is there any claim of Muslims being awarded 72 virgins after death, let alone any claim of being rewarded after committing suicide!

So then why are Muslims giving up their lives, when they know they’re not going to be granted 72 virgins, or even rewarded anything, but rather spend eternity burning up? This question, and the answer that follows, is that of which all militant atheists (it seems) wants to disregard and instead continue narrating the false ideal of these Muslims, in which they have nothing left to live for, committing suicide in order to be granted eternal grandeur with that of their Allah.

Whatever reason it may be to continue such lies, one must come to understand it as a lie and must stand up for our Muslim brothers and sisters against the propaganda, against their oppressors, and against imperialism altogether!

Red Love & Salutes!