Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nueva Cancion and The Eternal City- Poetry by Matt

Nueva cancion

I don’t sing I spit
But if I did
I would like to think
I would sing neuva cancions
Like that peoples singer
The martyr Victor Hara
Aqui mi quedo
“Yo no quiero la patria dividida
ni por siete cuchillos desangrada”
I don’t want to see the country divided
Or stabbed to death by seven knives
I would sing
Aqui mi quedo
And if that didn’t work
If something was lost in translation
If I forgot my Spanish
If I just couldn’t sing la neuva cancion
I think I would like to
Change directions
Shift my tone
Twist my tongue
Maybe try my hand
At some Irish fight songs
And sing out
“This land was always ours
Twas the proud land of our fathers
It belongs to us and them
And not to any of the others
Let them go boys
Let them go boys
Let them all go to where the rivers all dry”
Cause I
Like Victor Jara or Shane Mcgowan
Aqui mi quedo
Here I stand
Speak of me as I am
Cause like that
Great people’s singer
Old man river
Paul Robson
I just keep rolling along
Cause while I don’t sing I spit
I too “was born by the river
In a little old tent
And just like that river
I have been running ever since”
But I am “bringing it on home”
And reaching back into the annals of history
Into the thirties to prophecies
Wandering folk singers
Because like Woody Guthrie
I am on a path bound for glory
“and in this life you’ll ramble
and in this life you’ll roam
I’ve never seen an outlaw
take a family from his home”
Because Bank of America’s
First born didn’t take their first steps
In that kitchen
Washington Mutual didn’t
Bring home from college
Their first really serious girlfriend
And neither did American general
Or Chase Manhattan
That home is yours
Because we are the public
Private interests are the enemy
And “we gotta fight the power
We gotta fight the powers that be”
And rage against the machine
And let them know
“Fuck you I wont do what you told me
No Fuck you I wont do what you told me”
And create new pathways to new days
Being blazed in new ways
And in more ways than one
So when the revolution comes
I will step away from the mic
And bear whatever burden
Carry whatever banner
And be wherever and whatever it needs me to be
But till that day
I am gonna say what I say
Preach what I preach
Teach what I teach
And if you say I am wasting my time
I say watch what you say because
I don’t debate with liars
And I don’t suffer any fools
And like an angry Iraqi journalist
I be throwing my shoes
“So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face”
Cause this is the nueva cancion
Breathing music and poetry into that new day

The eternal city

So they televise the rise
Right before your very eyes
Of a new black bourgeoisie
And even if you’re not black
You think hey that could be me
Hey he did it we did it
Times are changing in the eternal city
Little by little increment by increment
You don’t want to get carried away
But you imagine this must be how the sun first rose
Before the onset of that cruel and tragic history
We are going back to the beginning
Getting it right this time forging new histories
It’s a new beginning
Even the sun sheds light differently
These days in the eternal city
And you don’t want to get carried away
But you think today
Is your day built by your involvement
You made this happened
You not only lived it
You gave it birth you gave it breath
Change began with you
But I think you are getting a little carried away
On these winds of change
And these wings of hope
Change the name change the time
Ride the wave of history
Its bound to trickle down right
I hear the church bells ringing about change and progress
And they draw from a supposed rich history
Of overcoming boundaries and tests
But while watching the glow on faces
And listening to others speak
I have set my mind to reference checks
Fingering through all the primary texts
And I have come to see
That progress and new prospects in the eternal city
Means nothing but the opportunity
To line pockets with white supremacists
And leave everyone else in the dust
In the streets, in a prison cell
Because even without the color line
There is still only so much room behind
The velvet rope, on the first floor
In first classes
Through the corridors of power
In that class
And the walls are closing in
The waiting list to be VP
That VIP room is actually shrinking not expanding
And no amount of contracts
Paper stacks
Or police forces that enforce them both
Will ever convince me
That private property has divine right
To anything or to anyone and certainly not to me
And with all this talk of hope
I remain unconvinced
And I want to believe
I want to believe
I want belief
But I know
Hope is something offered
When facts are absent
Proof is scarce
And something else is really happening
And something is happening to be sure
But I have read enough history to know
That capes of good hope
Lead only often to looting of hope diamonds
Leaving those desperate for hope
Hoping for a better tomorrow
Betting bottom dollars
On days that never come
For suns that will never shine
Praying for the next boom
The next bubble
Hoping it wont burst
Leave you singing
“Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?”
And I can hear the march just as well
As anyone
I can hear that sound
That is the sound of one thing being said
And everyone hearing something else
And I can see the news where the money is being accrued
And I can see the streets and know where it is not
And I can see the news and hear of the dead
And know where the borrowed money is being spent
And in the long run we are all dead
But in the here and now
Only the dishonest lie to themselves
And not a damn thing changes in the eternal city
Lets burn this mother down

Monday, December 8, 2008

Even if the Truong Son Mountains Burn-Revolutionary Poetry

Here is the first piece of working class revolutionary poetry contributed by my good comrade Matt for a section of the blog dedicated entirely to his artwork.
Enjoy art with revolutionary proletarian character!

Even if the truong son mountains burn

Some people say there is no such thing as a stupid question

That’s a lie

People come up to me and ask me stupid shit

All the time

Heres an example

Say you know you’re political

Do you think Iraq is our generations Vietnam

You stupid arrogant presumptuous prick

Vietnam was never ours to begin with

You know people always running their mouths

About something called the Vietnam era

Also something known as the sixties

Which evokes memories

Of marching in the street

Free sex, protests FREE SEX

Electric acid kool aid tests

Flower children hippies

And who could forget

The grateful dead

Jamming on Haight Ashbury

I wonder how the Vietnamese

Look back on the sixties

A decade which brought them carpet

Bombing of their countryside

And various acts of genocide

Such as landmines that the us government

Still will not offer the locations of

But no words could do justice to the inhumanity unleashed

Nor would they even bring a modicum of justice to the Vietnamese

So instead sit back and get comfy

Because I am gonna tell you all a little could be story

To all potential and for all would be revolutionaries

And while I can teach you certain facts

And certain principles

I cannot teach you courage

And I cannot teach you balls

Tonight’s lesson


Around Ho Chi Minh

Whose balls were so big

They could not fit

In North Vietnam alone

That’s why they had to unify the country

In nineteen nineteen a Vietnamese waiter

Sometimes cook sometimes gardener

Stormed the treaty of Versailles

And demanded independence for Vietnam

His name was Ngyuen tat thanh

But the world would come to know him

As Ho Chi Minh

Who before he ever picked up the works of Marx or Lenin

Knew first hand of imperial humiliation

And subjugation

You see two thirds of world is ocean

And most of that remaining third

Are broken up into chunks of land called third world countries

They used to just be called colonies

That is until just about the nineteen fifties

The Vanguards at smashing the past five centuries of history

Without a doubt have been the Cubans and Vietnamese

In nineteen forty five

With the first abdication Bao Dai

The French slash Japanese slash French again

Later still American puppet

(Where do they find these guys)

Ho Chi Minh

Would declare Vietnam independent

But that was just the beginning

But the story begins a little earlier

You see before he read the works of Marx and Lenin

He saw the humiliation and subjugation of his people

All done in the name of humanism

And he knew it was bullshit

Because these conclusions are quite natural

When they argue you that you are less than human

You see French imperialists argued they were Annam

Not to be confused with a man and certainly not a Frenchmen

But the French would come to know this man

As ho chi Minh

Who closed the first Indochina war

In nineteen fifty four

With what maybe come to be seen

As the most significant military victory

Of the past five centuries

Dien Bien Phu

Then the Americans came in

Sending in the poorest of the poor

To fight the war

Against Vietnamese independence

In that first wave they sent the harlem black

The bordertown spic

Midwestern quote end quote trailer trash

In the name of freedom and democracy

If it weren’t so tragic

The Vietnamese might have seen it as funny

You see for centuries

The French tried the same thing

Instead they called it

Fraternity equality and liberty

The Japanese called it spheres of co prosperity

And while playing with words and dirty tricks

Might work with

In name and flag alone nationalists

Fighting for flag independence

Ho chi minh was a

Anti imperialist

I realize an imperialist is an imperialist

Vietnam must know independence even if the truong son mountains burn

I said it I meant it

Just give me the facts and statistics

For every one we kill of you

You can kill ten of us

And even at those odds

We will still win

Marxist Leninist

And the moral of the story is this

We all have the opportunity

To shape and change

The course of history

In 1919 a Vietnamese waiter

Sometimes cook sometimes gardener

Stormed the treaty of Versailles

His name was Ngyuen Tat Thanh

But the world would come to know him

As Ho Chi Minh

Monday, November 3, 2008

Socialism Won't Come from Wall Street

In the wake of one of the most extreme (although characteristic of a capitalist system) economic crisis in American history many pundits, angry Right-wing bloggers, and coffee shop liberals are dropping the "S" bomb more than usual. One cannot turn on the news or open up a newspaper without someone crying "socialist" in regards to the Wall Street bailout or the Obama campaign. In reality, giving extremely wealthy CEOs several billions of dollars (over 700 billion to be exact) of working class tax payer money for their screw ups in a wildly fluctuating capitalist market is the furthest from socialism that one could get. This sort of bourgeois fear-baiting misinformation is frustrating to say the least for sincere, honest, and true Marxist-Leninists who are out in the fold fighting for working class power and socialism. Even more upsetting is the claims of certain self-proclaimed "socialists" that this bailout is a great idea. I have had enough with the blatant lies, so I will set the record straight on exactly what socialism is and isn't from a Marxist-Leninist perspective.

In essence, socialism is a transitional stage of human development between capitalism and communism. In the current capitalist stage of development, the means of production (land, factories, machines, capital, etc.) are privately owned by a very small number of individuals who extract profit from the unpaid labor of their workers. The workers make up the class of what Marx called the proletariat who own no real wealth, property, or capital. The only thing they have of worth is the labor they sell to the capitalist. Capitalism itself has become increasingly imperialistic over it's development, as Lenin pointed out. This is due to the inherent contradictions of the capitalist mode of production, the anarchy of market forces, and competition between private firms leading to domination by a few cartels. As these contradictions become more acute, the working class (the creators of the very germ of all value and subsequently wealth) becomes more exploited and seeks to eradicate capitalism by means of revolution. What capitalism is replaced with is socialism, a system in which the means of production come under common ownership by the proletariat. The proletariat then reorganizes and assumes control of the state itself, making it a uniquely working class power mechanism fighting solely for its interests against that of the toppled bourgeois (and their ideology). During the socialist stage of development, state owned enterprises are used to redistribute wealth equally among the working class regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religious preference. Out of such a relation, private profit at the expense of the working class is impossible. After the old capitalist ruling class, their bourgeois ideology, mode and relations of production are destroyed and replaced by working class rule, exploitative class relations would also have been rendered an anachronism. Only then would society have reached a communist stage of development free of classes, exploitation, and poverty.

I know what you're asking: "Well you said socialists nationalize enterprises and that's just what this bailout is doing. How can this not be socialist?" Well, mere nationalization is not socialism, it is just nationalization. Socialist governments may nationalize certain enterprises to fight exploitative capitalist practices, neo-colonialism, and class domination. Nationalization in this sense is done with the ultimate aim of building socialism and redistributing wealth among the working class (I cannot stress this enough, as I bold the hell out of these statements). Nationalization of private debts and/or enterprises set in place by state monopoly capitalist societies such as our own, however, do so only temporarily for the sole purpose of saving capitalism from itself and subsequent destruction. In the former example of nationalization, the working class is the ultimate benefactor. In the latter, however, big capitalists are protected at the cost of already struggling working class families. This is not socialism in any way, shape, or form. What we have here with the Wall Street bailout is and example the bourgeois government utilizing state power to defend the ruling class status and wealth at the expense of the proletariat. This, my friends, is the ugly face of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

H.G. Wells, a famous socialist English author, interviewed Stalin in the wake of the Great Depression and following New Deal Era. These were extremely trying times for the working class of the United States. Capitalism was floundering and the free market was accountable for such a fall. In order to prevent the ultimate collapse of the market system, many government regulations were being implemented. Much like today, these regulation policies were being dubbed socialist. Wells brought up the developments in the United States and incorrectly stated that the American capitalists were striving to become socialist. Stalin responded by saying:

" The aim which the Americans are pursuing, arose out of the economic troubles, out of the economic crisis. The Americans want to rid themselves of the crisis on the basis of private capitalist activity, without changing the economic basis. They are trying to reduce to a minimum the ruin, the losses caused by the existing economic system. Here, however, as you know, in place of the old, destroyed economic basis, an entirely different, a new economic basis has been created. Even if the Americans you mention partly achieve their aim, i.e., reduce these losses to a minimum, they will not destroy the roots of the anarchy which is inherent in the existing capitalist system. They are preserving the economic system which must inevitably lead, and cannot but lead, to anarchy in production. Thus, at best, it will be a matter, not of the reorganisation of society, not of abolishing the old social system which gives rise to anarchy and crises, but of restricting certain of its excesses. Subjectively, perhaps, these Americans think they are reorganising society; objectively, however, they are preserving the present basis of society. " (Marxism Versus Liberalism, J.V. Stalin, 1934).

Stalin was very correct in his assessment of government regulation of the market economy.
There was, as is the same for today's situation, no intention of reorganizing society along a working class line. This state monopoly tactic was devised only as a way to preserve the power and dictatorship of the capitalist, the absolute ruler of our era.

I find the claims of the Right calling presidential candidate Barack Obama a Marxist less than amusing. These jackasseries are a mere part of the fear-baiting campaign that the McCain camp has used in the most horrid means imaginable. One thing should be clear, Obama is no socialist. His interests are clearly bourgeois as he supports the imperialist war on terror to the fullest extent. Obama has defamed the Cuban revolution and defended the privilege of the capitalist ruling class on national T.V. Barack's economic policies are in lock-step with the typical regulated market capitalist line of the Democratic Party. It is simply a case of misrepresentation, Obama is not radical or as Left as he is portrayed. Anyone who does not believe this simple fact should visit projectvotesmart.com and check his voting record and speeches for yourselves, you will not find him quoting Marx, Engels, or Lenin.

With that said, one can only conclude that this Wall Street bailout plan and Obama's campaign are about as socialist as Ronald Reagan's greasy f**ked up hair-do. When you are faced with such lies as these, just disregard them as quickly as you would yesterday's trash. Those who own the means of production also own the means in which information is conveyed, fight their lies with truth and reason. Socialism is for the working class and against Wall Street tyranny.

Friday, October 31, 2008

John McCain: Leader of the Corporate Manifest Destiny

This video, produced by yours truly, briefly describes John McCain’s fight against the indigenous Navajo-Di’neh people of Arizona. He authored a bill back in 2006 that would forcibly relocate the indigenous by 2008 from their ancestral land in order for capitalist mining giants such as Peabody Coal to suck the land dry. It is of no surprise that John McCain and the bourgeois ruling elite do not allow such injustices to reach the eyes and ears of the American and global working class. The capitalists own the means of production, and subsequently own the means of which information is dispersed. Stand against such crimes perpetrated by the worst of ruling circles, vote against McCain.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Soviet Union: Where Workers Had Power

This article was written by my good friend and comrade Micheal Wood of the Gus Hall Action Club, based out of Minnesota.
Thank you so much for your contribution, companero!

Written especially for the Central Valley Communists blog by Michael of the Gus Hall Action Club:

Gus Hall, the former Marxist-Leninist leader of the Communist Party USA, said that the former Soviet Union was a society where workers had power. Gus Hall considered the Soviet Union as "the most powerful, successful and influential socialist society. " He explained the Russian Socialist Revolution in a few words. "In 1917," Hall writes, "the working class of the Soviet Union decided they didn't need the owners who were getting richer while the people got poorer. In fact it was just this class of leeches that held back all social advances for working people. So the working people took over. " (Gus Hall, "Where Workers Have Power," Working Class USA, 1987, International Publishers)
William Z. Foster, the Marxist-Leninist leader of the Communist Party USA preceding Hall, pointed out that "the Communist Party (was) the brain and heart and nerves of the Russian Revolution, and so it must be in any proletarian revolution. " (William Z. Foster, Toward Soviet America, 1932, International Publishers)
And the ruling capitalist classes of the world freaked out! V.I. Lenin, great Communist leader of the Russian 1917 Socialist Revolution, answered their capitalist slanders of the Soviet Union eloquently. V.I. Lenin said: "for every hundred mistakes which we commit and which the bourgeoisie and their lackeys are dinning into the ears of the world, ten thousand great and heroic deeds are performed. " (Lenin, Letter to American Workers, 1918)
In his book, Working Class USA, the American Communist Gus Hall exposes the capitalist lies about the Soviet Union. The former USSR was a society where, Gus Hall stated, "workers (had) power. " John Eaton, in Political Economy, notes that: "Socialism is planned production for use on the basis of public ownership of the means of production. " Leontyev said that "the building of socialism begins only after state power passes from the hands of the bourgeoisie into the hands of the working class. " And socialism in the former USSR, Gus Hall wrote in an essay entitled "Where Workers (Had) Power," brought free education, medical and dental care. Employment was guaranteed and workers were the majority on all government bodies. The socialist economy guaranteed that there was no economic crisis or corporate capitalist profit. Racism and discrimination were outlawed as criminal offenses. Unions were a valued part of socialist society. There had been no unemployment in the Soviet Union since 1930. And all profits from production went to funds to provide for the mass welfare, paid vacations and housing for the Soviet people. (Gus Hall, "Where Workers Have Power," Working Class USA, 1987, International Publishers)

(V.I. Lenin: 'for every hundred mistakes which we commit and which the bourgeoisie and their lackeys are dinning into the ears of the world, ten thousand great and heroic deeds are performed. ')
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels taught that communist society had two phases. Socialism, which Karl Marx referred to as "the first phase of communist society" is a transitional stage to highly developed communism, "a higher phase of communist society," where there is a classless social system and full social equality of all members of society. (Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, 1875)
And socialism, "the first phase of communist society," in the former Soviet Union brought enormous gains to the working class. Gus Hall explained that the working class and unions, not the capitalists, called the shots in the former Soviet Union and socialist countries. "In the socialist countries," Gus Hall said, "workers are their own bosses. They are the real economic and political power. There is no drive for maximum private profits, there are no privately-owned corporations, and no tax shelters inducing companies to close plants and move to more profitable locations leaving human devastation in their wake...
"The basic truth is that it is only in a socialist society that trade unions acquire real political and economic power because they work, speak and act for the class in power--the working class...Under socialism people come first and profits are made to serve them. " (Gus Hall, "Where Workers Have Power," Working Class USA, 1987, International Publishers)
William Z. Foster correctly said that "In a world thrown into deepening disorder and demoralization caused by the growing general crisis (of capitalism), the superiority of the system of planned socialist economy stands out like a great mountain!" (William Z. Foster, Toward Soviet America, 1932, International Publishers)
And V.I. Lenin was absolutely right that, with the birth of the Soviet Union, "a new era in world history has begun!" (Lenin, The Third International and It's Place In History, 1919)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Nazi-Bush Connection: CEOs of the World Have No Countries

As Marx said, theexchange of commodities is one of the most common place and crucial activities to occur within a capitalist society. Profit, extracted from surplus value of unpaid labor of workers, is passed along from ruling class circles internationally by means of trade. This drive for profit is the fire which compels the bourgeois entrepreneur to invest and engage in relations with his foreign counterparts (concurrently increasing levels of exploitation of the working class), who also share the same goal of expansion. Politicians, most of whom come from the ranks of these individuals, support such relationships by passing legislation that opens up new international markets and pools of labor to be exploited. These transactions now have full legal sway, legitimized by the sanctity of private property and enforced by the militaries and police from each respective nation doing business. From looking at this reality, it is self-evident that the power of capital has negated any national boundaries, notions of sovereignty, and the natural rights of working people who create the wealth that the capitalists enjoy. This ever expanding growth and blinding speed by which capital moves, coupled with the advances in communications technology that helped make this speed possible (and vice versa), created what we know today as globalization. What does this mean for the accountability of multinational corporations? If capital can move so easily across the globe, then where does the true loyalty of a company lie when their country of origin is at war with another they simultaneously engage in trade and help to make profit with? What does this quandary say about nature of capitalism?

Let's examine a certain scandal within the Bush family. That's right, none other than the latest political dynasty of the United States, from which we have the pleasure to call two of it's members commander-in-chief. President Dubya's grandfather, the late Prescott Bush, was placed on the directing board of the Union Bank Corporation prior to World War II. This bank was set up in order to provide a place within the U.S. for one of Germany's most powerful and rich industrial families, the Thyssens. Patriarch August Thyssen set up an international connection of banks with which they would stow away assets overseas if their operations were ever threatened, as such was the case in World War I. His son Fritz inherited the corporate empire just as the German economy was collapsing under the weight of various sanctions placed upon it by the victorious nations of the first World War. Looking for the best investment with which he could save his fortune, Fritz became enthralled with Adolf Hitler, who was agitating for power. The Thyssens threw their financial lot in with the Nazi party, Fritz even became a member. At this time UBC, directed by Prescott Bush, sold eight million dollars worth of U.S. treasury bonds, gold, steel, and other materials to Germany. This arrangement continued and coincided with Hitler's rise to power and the invasion of Poland in 1939, which was in part financed by Prescott Bush's company. An even more surprising discovery was made with the relations UBC had with another private banking firm "Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC)," which was "based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border" (Campbell 2004). This company was known for profiting from slave labor in concentration camps, most notably from the infamous Auschwitz. Prescott Bush sat on the boards of three companies confiscated by the Office of Alien Property after World War II for operating in benefit of the German Nazi government and war effort, trading with the enemy. Not surprisingly, Prescott Bush would go on to become senator and found the Bush political and financial dynasty. His son George H.W. Bush would go on to Yale, join Skull and Crossbones, and become president of the United States, as his son would after him.

There you have it. The identical interests of the bourgeois, i.e. maximum profit, had transcended national barriers and even the devotion to one's nation that was trumpeted and preached to the working class of the U.S., the U.K, etc. These very same people that had harangued the proletariat to pick up a rifle and run blindly into machine gun fire in the name of their country were helping their capitalist counterparts in Nazi Germany build the same tanks that lobbed shells at our countrymen. This just goes to show that capitalist drive for profit knows no boundaries or allegiance to any flag, only that for new opportunities to accumulate wealth, including war. Instances such as this are not isolated cases, nor are they mere anomalies. Rather, this is an exposure of the very nature of capitalism. The same was true of revolutionary Russia during World War I. The Russian bourgeoisie, while sparing no effort in trying to keep the proletariat and peasants fighting on the front line with no food, simultaneously began talk of allowing the German army in to prevent any democratic worker's uprising. What patriotism! This is why the working class of all the world must realize petty nationalism is a tool of the ruling class to extract maximum profit, to instigate meaningless war against peoples who have never met to make more money. It must be true what Marx said then, that workingmen of the world have no country, considering the same is correct of international capitalists.