Category Archives: US

239th Anniversary of US Declaration of Independence: US Working Class Has Little to Celebrate

Even in the relatively affluent suburbs of the USA, like Glenview, IL - located just outside Democratic Party-run and financially tottering Chicago - if you want to have a Fourth of July celebration you have to cough up some dough, because the greedy capitalist class won't foot the bill any more. [Photo by IWPCHI]

Even in the relatively affluent suburbs of the USA – like Glenview, IL, located just outside Democratic Party-run and financially tottering Chicago – if you want to have a Fourth of July celebration you’d better dig deep into your own pockets, because the greedy capitalist class won’t foot the bill any more. [Photo by IWPCHI]

Today on the Fourth of July we honor the revolutionary worker- and farmer- heroes of 1776 by honoring the revolutionary workers of 2015 who suffer in prison and exile for daring to fight for the rights of every working man and woman on this planet.

There are two kinds of workers in the world: wage-slaves and revolutionaries. In 2015, as in every era of human history, the mass of working people is composed of the wage-slaves, who sullenly bear their burdens like the downtrodden slaves they are, lashing out at anyone who tries to organize a slave rebellion and who slavishly place themselves at the service of their capitalist masters no matter how humiliating or savage the requests may be. Only at times of actual revolutionary struggle do these people attempt to finally cast off their chains and join in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the ruling class – and then only if the odds of success are heavily on the side of the revolutionaries. It has ever been thus and it will ever be this way. This article is addressed to the revolutionary-minded workers of the United States and throughout the world who hate the capitalist status quo and who will NOT be mindlessly waving the flag on this 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. They will be mindful of the vast and widening gulf that exists between the largely empty promises of 1776 and the current realities of a US government run by a greed-drunk capitalist class whose regime grows more and more monstrously oppressive with each passing hour.

The annual celebrations in honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 are being conducted in their usual senseless manner this year – but with an ironic twist. The ruling capitalist class, which sees no point in spending their hard-stolen money on such frivolities as education for the nation’s children, has apparently lost interest even in providing the ‘bread and circuses’ they once deemed essential for the maintenance of class peace between the millions of exploited wage- and debt-slaves and their exploiters. Today the once sacred budget appropriations for celebrations of the 4th of July have been placed on the chopping block; if you want to have a big 4th of July fireworks display, forget it – there’s not enough tax revenue left in the coffers of our cities and towns to be able to afford such an extravagance – the capitalists’ hired politicians and their co-conspirators have stolen it all. Increasingly, workers – even in the more affluent towns like Glenview, IL are going around hat-in-hand begging the citizens to donate money if they want to see any fireworks on the nation’s birthday!

Parades roll on full of fresh-faced military “heroes” the most recently-minted of which have only achieved the destruction of several small and poorly-defended nation-states, having left nothing but corpses, chaos and hatred for the United States in their wake. Many of these young men and women will not be marching in today’s parades – because it is no longer possible for them to do so; they have been horribly maimed while fighting in US imperialism’s endless and unwinnable “War on Terror”(TM). Now they have a new fight ahead of them: the struggle to survive, to obtain the health care and family services they desperately need, and which a money-grubbing US government doles out to them with an eye-dropper – if they can “qualify” for any assistance at all. Once a soldier is no longer able to physically defend the overseas investments of the US capitalist class, the capitalists discard them like an old pair of army boots. Yet every major sporting event and every Fourth of July parade, every newscast you’ll see today and millions of fatuously “patriotic” advertisements include a bombastic and idiotic salute to the nation’s military “heroes” freshly returned from one-sided “battlefields” where the only sacrifices being made are on the side of those wantonly attacked by the United States Government.  Crowds of stupefied American wage-slaves cheer as these veterans are trotted out for the national photo ops all over the nation, and then sent back home to figure out how the hell they are going to find a job so they can keep a roof over the heads of their families.   Almost completely ignored are the tens of thousands of homeless US veterans  who will be out there panhandling at these very parades that pretend to honor them; for these homeless veterans of America’s many, many wars, these Fourth of July celebration’s of America’s hometown military heroes must seem like deliberate mockery.

Military jets fly over baseball parks from coast to coast, prompting “oohs and ahhs” from the throng of stupid American wage-slaves idiotically applauding machines designed to do nothing but blast human beings into tiny pieces – bought and paid for with the workers own hard-earned tax money. Meanwhile, our cities are mismanaged,  looted by the politician-hirelings of capital and driven into bankruptcy;

US citizens across the nation are being denied access to a basic human need – water –  because they can’t afford to pay the water bill; racist cops shoot down citizens for no reason and get away with it and the US president declares to the world that he has a “right” to order the assassination of anyone who he deems to be a “terrorist” – even if they are a U.S. citizen! Happy Fourth of July! Wave a flag, dummies!

Meanwhile, more and more of the actual heroes who have risked their lives and fortunes trying to expose the horrendous crimes being committed by an increasingly deranged US capitalist class and its hirelings are being framed up on bogus criminal charges, convicted – by juries composed of cowards who will never rise to the level of the women and men they are sitting in judgment of, and thrown into the notoriously overcrowded and violent hellhole prison system for years or even decades. Brave men and women like Jason and Jeremy Hammond and  Chelsea Manning languish in prison; courageous people like Julian Assange of WikiLeaks have their lives turned upside down for exposing the crimes and endless lies of the US Government; true working-class heroes like Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal have been brutalized, imprisoned and live under a sentence of death issued by the ruthless and bloodthirsty US capitalist class that seeks to destroy all who dare to oppose it. These are a mere handful of the cases we could cite; what about the millions like Tim Tyler who languish in US prisons, victims of the idiotic “War on Drugs”(TM)? And still tens of millions of US worker-slaves stand dumbly by waving their flags and doing nothing to stop these outrages! Wage-slaves who refuse to come to the defense of those who risk their lives in our behalf do not deserve to breathe the same air as these imprisoned and exiled worker-heroes!

Millions of US workers are unemployed – some for so long that they are no longer even being counted by the government as “unemployed” any more ; more than half of all US public school children live in poverty; the world’s largest prison population languishes in some of the most brutal prisons in the “civilized” world; immigrant workers are being brutalized in prison camps where small children are imprisoned along with their mothers

the children beg visiting US politicians – whose colleagues wrote the laws under which they are imprisoned – to help free them; US citizens – particularly those who “happen to be black” are being shot to death by the nation’s police on a daily basis and never prosecuted for their crimes; US politicians, in the wake of the latest racist atrocity – this time in Charleston, S.C. – proclaim to the world that their love for their “southern heritage” demands that the racist Confederate flag of the southern slavocracy should be flown proudly across the USA, inspiring more members of the deranged racist lunatic fringe of the United States to commit more atrocities – it is hard to understand what it is that we have reason to celebrate on this July 4, 2015.

An 8-year-old Mexican girl handed this drawing to a US Congressman inspecting a detention center housing "illegal" immigrant mothers and their children.

An 8-year-old Mexican girl named “Helen” handed this drawing to a US politician inspecting a detention center in California housing “illegal” immigrant mothers and their children. It reads: “I want to be free”. Source: ilw.com, “House Democrats Recap Trip to Family Detention Facilities”, 24 June 2015 (see link above)

It has been 239 years since this nation’s founders declared independence from Great Britain and launched their revolution to “free” the oppressed white, male property-owners of colonial America from their British overlords. It was indeed a bold move and inadvertently set in motion the global chain of events that would almost completely wipe out feudalism in the world within 100 years – a major step forward for the human race and one the revolutionary socialist movement has always honored. In 2015 it is easy to see that, then and now, that group of courageous yet fatally flawed bourgeois revolutionaries made promises they never intended to make good on for anyone but themselves and their friends. To celebrate their revolution 238 years after the fact takes no courage at all; and it requires that we ignore a mountain of evidence proving that the progressive aspects of the US capitalist class were discarded by the ancestors of those revolutionists more than a century ago. This generation of capitalists don’t even want to shell out money for the fireworks displays and parades held in honor of their own ancestors! It really is a sad spectacle for a revolutionary worker to behold!

The success of the “American Experiment” that has been celebrated every Fourth of July since 1776 – in spite of the fact that the “freedom” gained by the US Revolution was only really gained by a tiny minority of rich, white men – has long since lost its golden halo. The United States capitalist class hasn’t done anything “revolutionary” or hugely progressive since the Reconstruction period unless a gun was being held to its collective head in the form of an enraged and fighting working class that wasn’t going to take anything but “yes” for an answer. Immediately after the American Revolution, women, slaves and the rest of the toiling classes were all left essentially right where they were before the revolution began! Every political gain made by blacks, women and the working class since then was gained only after prolonged and bloody struggle against the cabal of rich, white men by and for whose sole benefit the revolution was fought. Every major social gain since Reconstruction has been made on the initiative of the working class itself – the ruling capitalist class has fought us tooth and nail and all along the line. The struggle for the 8-hour day; the right of women to vote; the right of unions to organize; the right to withhold our labor-power in order to win better wages and working conditions (the right to strike); civil rights for blacks and LBGT people were all opposed by the capitalist class and their political parties and cops and courts. Workers blood has been shed in every one of these struggles before the capitalist class finally gave in and grudgingly made the necessary concessions – and then only in order to prevent the workers impulse towards revolution from reaching the boiling point. The plans of the ruling capitalist class are well-laid and made with their long-term objectives always in mind. The entrenched bourgeoisie of the United States consists of those who made their family fortunes stealing land from the Native Americans and selling it to the immigrants streaming in from all over the globe; their wealth is hereditary and they have been part of the US ruling class in some cases since their ancestors landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620! They have a lot of experience in these matters and know full well that any concessions they make to the workers today can eventually be clawed back once the temperature of the working class eventually cools off – as it inevitably does unless kept red hot via the work of a revolutionary vanguard party.

The American Revolution of 1776 was not as wildly popular as we have been led to believe. Every flag-waving moron in the USA who defends the racist, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-worker status quo in the USA today wants you to believe that if he or she was alive in 1776, they’d not have hesitated to attack the status quo under British rule! It’s so easy for them to say now, isn’t it? Defense of the American Revolution in 2015 risks not a hair on the head of anyone wrapping themselves in the Stars and Stripes. But that was NOT the case in 1776. Then, to take up arms against the “legitimate forces of law and order” – the British – was an act of treason punishable by death! So only about a third of the workers and farmers of 1776 actually had the guts to take up arms and join the army of Washington. And he had a hell of a time keeping an army in the field because the war was so unpopular. At Valley Forge, as the Americans were unable to procure food or decent clothing or bedding for the revolutionary troops, the local farmers of Pennsylvania were smuggling cattle, and all kinds of foodstuffs and homemade goods – to the British in Philadelphia! Washington had to send out detachments of troops to intercept the steady stream of vitally needed food and other goods that were being sold by Americans to the British, who paid them in good English money instead of the worthless money issued by the Continental Congress! These flag-waving patriots who bellow their love for the revolutionaries of 1776 while threatening to murder worker-revolutionaries of 2015 are cowards who would have been waving the British flag in 1776 just as these shameless American neo-fascists wave the US flag now! Who are they kidding? If they are such valiant defenders of our “freedoms” why do they refuse to lift a finger or donate a penny to the defense of people like  Edward Snowden, whose “crime” in the eyes of the capitalist class – exposing the fact that the US’ National Security Agency is spying on every human being on the planet, including US citizens –  is no crime at all in the eyes of worker-revolutionaries? These people who wrap themselves in the flag today will NEVER fight for even the rights of their own children against their capitalist masters – they are too craven and cowardly to ever fight the “powers that be” – and if they were around back in 1776 you can be sure that, just as they do today, they would have taken up their position in defense of the strongest party – the British – and would have been counted among the Tories, hated by all the revolutionaries of the 1770s!

Historians tell us that the American Revolution was not wildly popular at all and that only about a third of the population in 1776 actually supported the Revolution in ways that mattered – in 1775-1781 – and even those weak numbers rose and fell parallel to the successes and failures of the revolutionary struggle. I has never been easy to take a stand against the powerful monied interests that rule over us – the work we do is not for the faint of heart or for the flag-waving coward! Those courageous women and men who took up arms to overthrow the British monarchy did so selflessly – and because they mistakenly believed that those ringing words, those freedom-promising principles announced to the world in the heroic language of the Declaration of Independence were meant for THEM and not just for the handful of rich white men leading the revolution. Like the confused women and men in the US military today, the worker-heroes of the American Revolution risked their lives and their meager fortunes in order to defend the glorious ideals that the government leaders pretended would be available to all should their side emerge victorious from the war. It was only after the revolution, when the American revolutionary leaders “forgot” to add a Bill of Rights to the US Constitution that the workers discovered with horror that they had been robbed of the fruits of the years of labor in the service of the Revolution. Then, as the new nascent capitalist masters proved to be every bit as arrogant and oppressive to the working class and yeomanry as the British had been, a new wave of revolutionary struggles broke out – first, Shays’ Rebellion, then the Whiskey Rebellion and, later, Fries’ Rebellion all reflected the anger of the workers and farmers of the new nation who felt that their rights were being trampled on by the new rulers of the young United States of America just as they had been by the British. Their working class aspirations were crushed by the infant US capitalist class and their leaders were hunted down like dogs, tried and hanged or imprisoned. And thus began the long struggle for worker rights under the then-emerging capitalist dictatorship that continues to this day.

At the top of the political and economic pyramid of the United States in 2015 sits a small cabal of primarily rich, white men whose ancestors, in many cases, led the Revolution and made their fortunes thereby. What a clever gang of lawyers those original founders were! Somehow they managed to lead a successful bourgeois revolution whose stated aim was to bring into existence a “free nation” dedicated to the principle “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – but which “somehow” ended up only creating “freedom” for less than a tenth of the population, while making chattel slavery the law of the land! Only a gang of very clever lawyers could pull off such a scam! All of us who were not born rich or white or male have been fighting for OUR freedom without cessation since 1776 and we still haven’t reached our goal! Our ancestors worked as slaves, as indentured servants as brutally exploited factory workers, fought in all the wars waged under the Stars and Stripes, yet we still must struggle to keep a roof over our heads while the tiny gang of rich white men live lives of unbelievable luxury – and every year on the 4th of July, all of us, worker and capitalist, rich and poor, are supposed to join hands and sing hosannas to the glorious revolution of 1776! A revolution our worker and farmer ancestors fought in over two hundred years ago and which millions of us to this day have have only barely been able to enjoy a fraction of the fruits of! It’s taken us two hundred years of constant class warfare to force our rich masters to bestow upon us third-rate rat-infested public housing housing, health care on the installment plan and food stamps. “Hooray for the Fourth of July!”

In Chicago, it was announced this week that yet another round of savage budget cuts will be made to the already vastly underfunded Chicago Public Schools. The filthy rich capitalist class has decided that it makes no sense to spend “their” money (which they stole from us) to educate our children whom they never intend to employ, ever! So every year they cut back on education – to them it’s nothing but a bad investment! “Where” – the dull-witted among us ask “is their patriotism?” The fact is that the only thing the capitalists pledge allegiance to is their bank accounts! All they care about is: “how much money is in my bank accounts?” and “is the pile growing or shrinking”? All that wealth was derived from the labor of workers somewhere – either in the United States or somewhere else in the world – and they have no intention of allocating any more of it than is absolutely necessary in order to make those piles of cash of theirs keep on growing. They couldn’t care less about the future of us, or our kids!

So where is the outrage of the working class of the United States? We would think that when the capitalists start attacking your CHILDREN you’d start paying attention and get off your fat asses and start fighting for your kids’ futures! Yet that is simply not happening. Apparently, American workers have become so fat, lazy, apathetic and cowardly that even when the capitalist class and their government attack your CHILDREN you just mumble “oh well, you can’t fight City Hall” and go to the fridge for another beer! What the hell is wrong with you? Your hard-earned money has been taken from you in the form of taxes and spent – not to educate your children or to make your lives and theirs better – it has been taken and used to create a vast war machine which has as its primary purpose the defense of the overseas investments of the tiny U.S. capitalist class! Your sons and daughters have been sent overseas to butcher your fellow workers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere; many of them have come back physically and/or mentally maimed, unable to function as complete human beings and lead normal lives. Your sons and daughters in the US military have left a trail of destruction of whole nations, where the conditions of life now are far worse than they were under the dictators whose regimes our children were sent to overthrow! By the work of your military “heroes” the name of “American” has become a sort of curse in the mouths of decent human beings all over the world! Cities, towns and villages lie in ruins – destroyed by your sons and daughters; parents have had to bury their infant children by the tens of thousands; other children have been left orphaned thanks to the work of the US military – and for what? For whose benefit? For the benefit of that tiny gang of greedheads on Wall St. whose investments around the world are threatened by any kind of opposition, whether it comes from the heads of competing nation-states or individual U.S. citizens!

What is there to celebrate? The working class of the United States has not ONE representative in the US Senate or House of Representatives! Not one! Each and every politician in the national government of BOTH political parties is owned and operated by that same tiny cabal of capitalists who run the banks, insurance, pharmaceutical, energy and telecommunications companies and the defense contractors who make the weapons being used by OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS to butcher our working-class sisters and brothers around the world! This is the true state of things in the “free” “democratic” United States of America on the 4th of July 2015!

The police forces of the United States – paid for, as everything else is paid for in this country, by taxes squeezed from the working class – seem to have been given orders to shoot to kill any worker who dares to stand up for her or his rights. Even little children are gunned down as if they were a nuisance animal by police forces that are looking more and more like occupying troops in a foreign country. The US citizens are their “enemy”! Hardly a day goes by without another disgusting murder of an unarmed citizen by a police officer somewhere in the USA. Black people, as usual, are their favorite “prey”. These racist cops in the US major cities are all being run by a political party that styles itself as “the party of labor”! Our so-called trade union “leaders” take our union dues and lavish it on this “party of labor” – the Democratic Party – telling us that we must go to the polls and vote for the Democrats because they are the “lesser of two evils” – as if the purpose of a modern “democracy” is to provide the working class with a choice between “firing squad” or “lethal injection”! And you are so stupid, dear brother and sister workers, that you actually BELIEVE this to be ‘the best of all possible worlds” and act as if you – all 300 million of you! – were “powerless to do anything” to change the way this country is run!

The fact of the matter is that the United States of America has always been a hellhole for black and minority workers, for immigrants and for the poor of all “races” from 1776 to today! And yet here you are, in 2015, with the Internet at your fingertips and cell phones in your pockets, cars in your driveways and credit cards in your hands, sitting around telling yourselves that you are powerless to do anything!

In order to fight racism we need to have a political party of by and for the working class that has as one of its fundamental principles the idea that racism must be driven out of existence permanently. We need a government that fights racism, not a government that defends it and uses it to divide and conquer us! In every capitalist country in the world we see racist capitalist governments attacking minority workers, scapegoating scapegoating immigrants for the joblessness created by the capitalist system itself to hold down wages; attacking striking workers and students protesting austerity programs imposed on them by the capitalists; using racist ideology to divide the working class against itself! This is not just happening in the United States! We must come to understand that it is the capitalist system itself and the capitalist class of the United States that are our enemies; not the Muslim or Mexican immigrants; not the Chinese or Indian workers but the greedy scumbags on Wall St. are the common enemy of the workers! This is not and will never be the program of the so-called “friends of labor”:Democratic Party, whose politicians are now going around defending “southern heritage” and the Confederate flag as merely expressions of the “free speech rights” of racist rats like Dylann Roof and his kind!   A workers government will not allow mentally ill people like Dylann Roof to walk the streets seeking people to attack; a workers government will FINISH THE CIVIL WAR by overthrowing the racist capitalist class of the United States and by throughly cleaning up every nest of Ku Klux Klan and Nazis we can find, so that never again will there be another atrocity like that which took place in Charleston, S.C. Under capitalism, these racists are protected and even given police badges and allowed to run police departments in our major cities! This will be IMPOSSIBLE under a workers government! The “free speech rights” of the Klan and nazis will be abolished under a workers government! The Democrats and the capitalist mouthpieces in the bourgeois press claim that if we smash the Nazis and Klan and outlaw their organizations and their “right” to spread racist lies we will somehow be destroying civilized society! This is just their back-door way of defending the racists whom they keep in reserve to attack the workers movement whenever we try to organize ourselves across racial lines. The Klan and Nazis are the attack dogs of the capitalist class – and the “friends of Labor” – the Democrats – use the code words of “southern heritage” and “free speech rights” to DEFEND the fascists like Dylann Roof. Under a workers government, people like Roof will be placed in insane asylums and taken out of circulation so they can’t poison the minds of any other young people.

The Democratic Party – Enemies of Labor

The Democrats put on a fine dog-and-pony show over the anti-worker “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) agreement, first pretending to vote against it in a fake “rebellion” “opposing” Obama and then turning around and passing it in a flurry of activity that took all the US union misleaders totally by surprise!  The AFL-CIO’s own website has still not recovered from their embarrassment to issue a statement on the vicious bitch-slapping they received from the Democrats on TPP!  But what can they say?

30 June 2015: Obama signs "Fast Track" into law, surrounded by his criminal co-cospirators and cracks "This is so much fun we should do it again!" Source: AFP-JIJI via japan Times

30 June 2015: Obama signs “Fast Track” into law surrounded by his criminal co-conspirators and cracks “This is so much fun, we should do it again!” Source: AFP-JIJI via japan Times

The Japan Times described the scene as “friend of labor” Obama was signing the “Fast Track” legislation surrounded by a joyful gang of capitalist criminals whose capitalist masters will undoubtedly reward them richly for this magnificent gift:

“As Obama signed the legislation, using a set of 20 commemorative pens set out for the ceremony, he remarked: “This is so much fun, we should do it again!”

Source: Reuters via the Japan Times, “Obama inks ‘fast-track’ trade bills but says tough talks lie ahead before TPP is reality”, 30 June 2015]

You have to stop believing the lies of the fake worker-leaders who tell you that the Democrats are the party of labor.  No “party of labor” would even attempt to pull off a robbery of the working class like the one the Democrats just committed on TPP. Expecting the Democratic Party politicians – who owe their seats in Congress to the rich people who financed their campaigns – to fight against the interests of the capitalists who own them is like expecting the small lampreys that live by attaching themselves to the bodies of enormous Whale Sharks to swallow the shark whole!  It ain’t gonna happen!  The working class needs its OWN party, its OWN political leaders who owe their positions only to the workers and owe the capitalists not one thin dime!  Until we have such a party, the working class of the United States will continue to see its standard of living decimated by the capitalists who are “running the tables” of the world unopposed with the help of the bribed officials at the AFL-CIO and their employees in the Democratic Party!

Another big lie that you must stop believing is that the rich people are sooo powerful and we workers are so weak! The opposite is true: the working class creates ALL the wealth in a capitalist country – and we make up the vast majority of the population! We have the power to shut down the US economy completely simply by refusing to work; our sons and daughters essentially run the US war machine as well!  A workers government would by its very nature be a really democratic government, a real case of “majority rule”. Right now the US Government is essentially owned and operated by a cabal of filthy rich capitalists who make up less than a tenth of the population; this isn’t a democracy, it’s an autocracy! Its the dictatorship of the capitalist class! The capitalist class owns and operates BOTH the Republican and the Democratic Parties. They pre-select who we will get to vote for by allocating their campaign donations only to those candidates who are most willing to carry out the orders of the capitalists. There is absolutely nothing democratic about how the presidential, senatorial or Congressional candidates are chosen: they must pass the test of the capitalist class first – only then will their campaigns be funded.

How do we get from here to there? First we must build ourselves a revolutionary workers party that refuses to take even a penny in funding from the capitalist class. A party completely funded by the workers and beholden only to the working class! The Democratic Party is entirely owned and operated by the capitalist class. Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, like all the others are EMPLOYEES of the capitalist class – these politicians go around begging for campaign donations from the capitalists who own this planet and they offer their services to the capitalists in exchange for those campaign donations. A revolutionary workers party would raise its funds from membership dues and donations from the workers who make up the vast majority of the population. The active working class in the US is about 170,000,000 strong! If only half of that number sent in a dollar a month, our party could run candidates in all 50 states in its first year! This is what we must do!

This means, sisters and brothers that until we create a revolutionary workers party that represents only the interests of the working class, THE CAPITALIST CLASS WILL CONTINUE TO WIN EVERY ELECTION as they have been doing since 1776!

Capitalism Must Die so that the Working Class May Live!  Break with the Democrats – Build a Revolutionary Workers Party to Fight for a Workers Government!

– IWPCHI

Advertisements

Why Socialism? Part One

Q: Why does the Trotskyist Independent Workers Party of Chicago call for a workers socialist revolution to overthrow the capitalist class and its capitalist system and to replace it with an egalitarian workers socialist republic?

A: At the root of all social ills and evils is the capitalist class and its anarchic economic system, which is designed to exploit the many (theworking class) for the benefit of the few (the capitalist class).

Poverty; war; homelessness; police brutality; racial and sexual discrimination; all of these are caused by the normal workings of the capitalist system, an economic and political system designed to facilitate the systematic exploitation of the world’s natural resources and the labor power of its’ human population.

Capitalist economies are designed to funnel the profits created by the exploitation of human beings and natural resources into the hands of a tiny minority of people who run the world’s economic and political systems for their own selfish ends.  Only about 170,000 people on planet Earth are the richest people, capable of spending $150 million on a single painting and still having more than enough money left over to live like kings and queens.  ALL of their wealth is derived from the exploitation and superexploitation of workers, who make up the vast majority of the world’s population.

The capitalist system is based firmly on the “nuclear family”: one male and one female (or, now, two female or two male) wage- and debt-slaves raise the next generation of wage- and debt-slaves for future exploitation by future generations of capitalists.  The wage-slave parents carry out their responsibilities of inculcating in the heads of their children respect for the capitalist system and its police and military forces, and a robust belief that “our country” is better than all the other countries and must be defended at all costs.  Hatred of various despised races and religions is handed down, generation after generation, all to the benefit of the capitalist class, which can thereby organize the workers into military units to go anywhere in the world to defend the domestic and foreign investments of the capitalist masters.  The work of feeding, clothing, sheltering and health care of the young wage-slaves is financed using the wages and debt incurred by the parents, which is another huge gift to the capitalist class, as it means that the wages paid out by capitalists on the one hand are almost entirely returned to the capitalists through the economic activity of the wage- and debt-slave parents.  In the modern era, the capitalists have found that it is a far more effective method of social control to “pay” workers by extending them credit, rather than by actually paying wages.  This keeps the wage slaves drowning in debt, which forces them to work harder and longer every year to keep their heads from going deeper under water than they already are.  The proof that this system works effectively at brainwashing the wage- and debt- slaves into defending their own exploitation can perhaps best be seen here in the United States, where the vast majority of the heavily indebted wage- and debt-slaves are convinced that they are enjoying a “freedom” not to be surpassed anywhere in the world.

To call countries like the United States “democracies” is the capitalist class’ idea of a good joke.  They have successfully conned millions of wage- and debt-slaves (collectively known as “the working class”) into believing that they actually have a role to play in deciding which gang of politicians hired by the capitalists will get to “run the country” over a set period of time.  In fact, in “bourgeois democracies” like the USA and Great Britain, the working class plays almost no role at all in making such decisions.  It is the tiny minority of the capitalist class who finance every major political campaign and who decide well in advance of any election which party politician will be hired to do the bidding of the capitalist class.  Any politician deemed to be insufficiently loyal to the capitalist class, insufficiently dedicated to the continued existence of the capitalist system, will find him or herself unable to raise the funds necessary to get their name on the ballot.

The current US presidential campaign is a perfect case in point:  Hillary Clinton has raised over $1,000,000,000.00 for her Presidential run already.  She did not get the vast majority of that money from the working class: she was given it by the richest 1% of US citizens – the capitalist class.  And that money comes with a lot of strings attached: Ms. Clinton has made binding promises to each and every major donor to her campaign that whatever it is that they want done under  Clinton presidency will get done whether it is politically popular among the workers or not.

In every capitalist country in the world the capitalist class wields its massive wealth to sabotage any attempt made by the workers to fight for their rights, even to the extent of creating phony “political activism” NGOs and other organizations that pretend to defend worker rights but which invariably actually are financed by and therefore beholden to the capitalist class.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, 360.org and the Tor Project – to name but a few – are all firmly in the pockets of the big capitalists.  They will never, ever do either of two things: 1) oppose the “right” of capitalists to exploit workers and to amass tremendous private fortunes and 2) during times of “class peace” they will NEVER form any political party in opposition to the political parties of the capitalist class or to oppose the fundamental class interests of the capitalists.

Even this near-total control of the political and economic systems is not enough for the top capitalists, whose massive wealth alienates them more and more from the working classes of the world: they are not surprisingly terrified of the workers someday organizing themselves to topple the capitalist class from its increasingly precarious position atop the social pyramid.  This is why the capitalist class of the US, for example – in spite of decades of statistics showing a long-term decrease in violent crimes – has demanded that its hired politicians allocate more and more money to the military and police forces whose real role is not “to protect and serve” ALL classes of people, but, in the final analysis, to protect and serve the 1% of the wealthiest from the justified rage of the oppressed workers.

This is why, as more and more wealth has been squeezed out of the blood, bone and sinew of the working class and transferred to a smaller and smaller percentage of the capitalist class we have seen a concomitant increase in police and military brutality across the capitalist world.  The United States Government – wholly owned and under the direction of the US capitalist class – has even re-legalized torture and the right of the principal political representative of the capitalist class – the President of the United States – to order the extralegal assassination of US citizens who dare to oppose the class interests of the leaders of the US capitalist class.  Police brutality is not an aberration under the capitalist system, as the reformists dutifully and continually teach the workers; it is the norm and the necessary corollary of an economic and political system which ruthlessly exploits the many for the benefit of fewer and fewer.

Also in contradiction to what the reformists preach, environmental degradation and war are also symptoms of “normal” conditions of life under the throughly irrational capitalist system.  In their mad, global quest for more and more wealth, the capitalists must search in nation-states not their own for opportunities to enrich themselves, which brings them face-to-face with three sources of opposition: the raw materials they seek are in the possession and under the control of another nation’s capitalist class, and those raw materials are being worked by that nation’s workers.  The capitalist class of major imperialist countries first attempts to arrange a business deal with their competitor capitalists in that foreign nation-state under which the imperialist power gets the majority of the profits.  If the capitalist class of that minor nation-state proves to be unwilling to allow this to happen, then the imperialist power unleashes its secret police forces as well as its banking power to try to engineer a political change inside the target country that benefits the US capitalist class.  They will attempt to purchase politicians and capitalists; if that fails to work, the CIA will assassinate the obstreperous opponent of the US capitalist class.  If that fails, then they send in the Marines and overthrow the government under some phony pretext.

The military forces of a capitalist state do not defend the “national interests”, as the bourgeois press owned by the capitalist class would have us believe: they defend the foreign investments of the US capitalist class, making it “safe” for US capitalists to risk their stolen wealth by opening mines, oil fields and agricultural lands to their untrammelled exploitation.  If workers in these targeted countries rise up in revolt against the oppressive governments forced upon them and supported by US political and military intervention, the US capitalist class, through its secret police agencies and its military discover who the uppity slaves are among the workers and order their hirelings in that targeted country to arrest, torture and imprison those rebels – or they just have them murdered, or have the CIA/Navy Seals/Special Forces do it for them.

Lastly, the capitalist system is an ad-hoc system, under which, since every billionaire is free to invest his or her stolen wealth as he or she sees fit, no one is in control of the economy.  It lurches forward, propelled only by the blind lust for personal wealth of the capitalists.  Occasionally, opportunities arise to obtain superprofits in one or another economic sphere: it might be the spice trade in one era, oil production and distribution in another or even real estate.  Once it becomes clear to the smaller capitalists that the big capitalists have created a “bull market” in a certain economic area (let’s say real estate), hundreds of billions of dollars are rerouted from other spheres of exploitation and into the “booming” real estate sphere – and an economic crisis is precipitated.  As more and more investors seek to enrich themselves in this one area of the economic “boom”, prices begin to rise far beyond the intrinsic value of the property in demand, until the economic bubble bursts, causing extensive damage to the national or even the global economy.  Since no government in any capitalist state actually has anything like real “control” of the economy, the politicians and bankers find themselves unable to repair the damage they themselves created due to their unquenchable greed.  In the end it is the working class that is made to pay for the damage: social spending is cut and taxes are raised to plug up the financial holes created by the blowout of the speculative bubble.  And then the cycle begins anew.

To Be Continued – IWPCHI

 

Reply to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Lame Foreword to Senate Torture Report

Dianne Feinstein’s foreword to the newly released Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s CIA Torture Report is a masterpiece of evasion, excuse-mongering and all-around Democratic Party political fuckery. In this essay we are going to attempt a point-by-point refutation of the lame alibis offered up by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to justify the shredding of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights by herself and her co-conspirators in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It’s unpleasant work – but it has to be attempted because her pathetic rationalizations in her foreword are apt to be swallowed whole,  accepted uncritically and regurgitated in print and on air by most of the hack journalists of the bourgeois press ad nauseam. None of the excuses she retails in her foreword make any sense at all to anyone who isn’t a naked apologist for the crimes of US imperialism. Since the US working class has not one single representative in Congress we have no way to launch the campaign to release the full, uncensored Torture Report; the working class of the US – at least 175 million strong – can only make appeals from the sidelines like fans shouting disapproval of a bad call made by referees in a football game. It’s a shameful state of affairs for the workers of the US to have created for themselves by supporting the pro-capitalist Democrats instead of building revolutionary workers parties and electing real worker-representatives to Congress!

**************

The full Committee Study, which totals more than 6,700 pages, remains classified but is now an official Senate Report. The full report has been provided to the White House, the CIA, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the hopes that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices and inform the management of other covert action programs.”

The Study “remains classified”? This is absolutely unacceptable. Everyone can read it except the workers of the United States and the world, apparently. We demand that the full, uncensored 6,700 page magnum opus of the Obama Administration, along with all the videos, audio recordings and documentary addenda be released in full to the world so we can see it with our own eyes and judge it for ourselves. We simply do not and can not trust the lying US Government to tell us the truth. Releasing only a 500-page heavily-censored summary of a 6,700-page report is an obvious attempt by the Senate Intelligence Committee to deceive the citizens of the US and the world.

The full report has been provided…”. This is a ruse to make it appear as if “all the responsible people” in the government have access to the full report. In fact only the very top criminals in all the named organizations – many of whom were themselves deeply involved in approving and directing the CIA’s kidnapping and torture programs – are allowed to read it. Again, this is unacceptable. By authorizing the kidnapping, torture and murder of our working class brothers and sisters all over the world, the US Government gave official sanction to their criminal acts and carried them out in the name of each and every one of us who are citizens of the USA. By dragging the entire nation into their murderous conspiracy, the criminals in the US Government who sponsored the re-legalization of torture and, later, the assassination of US citizens have drawn every US citizen into their conspiracy. We demand full access to these documents and the uncensored report so that we can determine who must be held to account for these disgusting crimes carried out in our names!

The full report has been provided [to the criminals leading the organizations that carried out the kidnapping, torture and murder conspiracy] in the hopes [sic] [!!] that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices [still in denial, won’t say “torture”] and inform the management of other covert action programs.”

This is a prayer for the Lord’s forgiveness rather than what it should be: the prelude to a series of criminal indictments of and long prison terms for Bush and Obama Administration officials and their agents who ordered and carried out an illegal and immoral program under which men and women were seized, kidnapped, tortured and in several cases, murdered.

In the United States we witnessed Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her Democratic Party friends in California enacting the notorious “Three Strikes” laws under which people convicted of such heinous crimes as stealing $150 worth of videotapes from a KMart as their “third strike” were given multiple LIFE SENTENCES! Yet the working class is supposed to accept the proposal made by none other than Feinstein herself that top government officials who ordered people to be tortured and murdered be allowed to decide what the penalty should be for their own far more heinous crimes! This is a monstrous proposal made by the “lesser evil” Democrat Feinstein, who thinks nothing of sending a worker to jail for decades for stealing a bag of cookies, but who not only conspired to allow torture to be re-legalized but who conspires today to let the perpetrators of torture she worked hand-in-glove with to avoid even the slightest wrist-slap to be imposed upon them!

Feinstein treats us to a pathetic apologia in which she seeks to be absolved from responsibility for signing off on the CIA’s torture program because she was in shock from the carnage of 9/11/2001! Poor woman! But it is your JOB to NOT be driven to commit outrages against the rights of the citizens by a mere terrorist attack! You and your co-conspirators have the authority to launch the US’ massive nuclear arsenal, capable of turning Earth into an irradiated human-free zone – and you tell us that a mere handful of criminals seizing a few civilian airliners and smashing them into skyscrapers is enough to derange your professed commitment to the rule of law to the degree that you will shred the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? If this is the case, then you are confessing to the world that you are utterly unqualified to hold the position you have held at the top of the cesspool of corruption that is the US Government! When did you realize that you were so far out of your depth? And why didn’t you resign when that realization dawned on you, years ago?

We are supposed to believe that all the savagery unleashed by the US Government against the world in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was the result of the temporary derangement of the intellectual faculties of the entire top leadership of the US Government! Is there any better proof that these bought-and-paid-for cretins running the US Government should be thrown out of office immediately – and permanently replaced by a workers government?

Reading [this Executive Summary and Findings and Conclusions of the report] it is easy to forget the context in which the program began – not that the context should serve as an excuse” [our emphasis – IWPCHI] But that is precisely why you bring up the context: to provide an excuse for why you personally and the entire leadership of the US Government, Republican and Democratic parties alike, authorized the dismemberment of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights!

It is worth remembering the pervasive fear in late 2001 and how immediate the threat felt”.

WE remember feeling no such fear at all! We do, however, remember the overwhelming revulsion we felt knowing that a chain of events that had been initiated by Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1979 (when he authorized the CIA’s provision of weapons and training to Al Qaeda’s precursors in the holy war against the USSR’s intervention in Afghanistan) had finally come full circle to visit pain and suffering on the citizens of the US. We remember not being the least bit afraid of the pathetic criminal gangs of Al Qaeda, who possessed not a single warplane, aircraft carrier, nuclear submarine, missile or other form of modern weaponry capable of launching serious attacks on the US. We remember being very aware that it was out of their complete incapacity to launch any serious military assault on the US that Al Qaeda chose to sacrifice its best-trained operatives in suicide attacks using civilian airliners; and that, having done so, and as the weeks and months passed and nothing more happened, we recall being acutely aware that Al Qaeda had already “blown their wad” on 9/11. But you, Sen. Feinstein, and your co-conspirators in Washington, you want us to believe that, in spite of all your deep knowledge of the vast military superiority of the US military in comparison with the puny, impotent (then and now) sub-military forces of Al Qaeda, were living in constant fear of another massive attack? Based on what, exactly? You are either a liar or a shameless incompetent – which is it, Sen. Feinstein? No one with an ounce of intelligence could consider Al Qaeda to be anything other than what they were and are: a gang of reactionary, woman-hating serial killers. The Wehrmacht, the Red Army they most decidedly are not! If this tiny cabal of killer cretins could derange the entire US Government into shredding the Bill of Rights, what would you do if the nation was at war with a full-fledged industrialized nation-state of the caliber of Germany or Russia? The US working class had damned well better do all it can to see to it that you and your co-conspirators never get the chance again to showcase your utter inability to keep your wits about you in such an eventuality!

The major lesson of this report is that regardless of the pressures and the need to act, the Intelligence Community’s actions must always reflect who we are as a nation, and adhere to our laws and standards”. But, Sen. Feinstein: you have just explained to us how a mere series of terrorist attacks in which 0.000009% of the US population was murdered and a handful of buildings destroyed is enough to send the so-called “leadership” of that very poorly named “Intelligence Community” running around like a flock of chickens with their heads cut off! How can we expect you to perform better in the future, especially if actual military forces using modern weaponry were attacking the US?

CIA personnel, aided by two outside contractors, decided to initiate a program of indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques [still in denial, Sen. Feinstein, but you’re almost there! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e!] Here the Democrats try to throw all the blame for the torture campaign on the CIA and two subcontractors when in fact the top leadership of the Democratic Party was kept appraised of all these developments as they happened – and did nothing to oppose them.

The Committee Study documents the abuses and countless mistakes [our emphasis – IWPCHI] made between 2001 and early 2009.” Ah yes; there were not CRIMES committed but mere “abuses” and “mistakes”! You can’t prosecute people for making mistakes now, can you? The CIA, with the full knowledge of the Democratic and Republican leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee made “countless” “mistakes” – like waterboarding a man over 180 times! Like beating and freezing prisoners to death! “Oops! Naughty boys! Don’t do that again!” says Sen. Feinstein!

The full Committee Study… provides substantially more detail than what is included in the Executive Summary…” YET: “I chose”… [“I chose” she says!] “not to seek declassification of the full Committee Study at this time. I believe that the Executive Summary includes enough information to adequately describe the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program [ah, you’re backsliding again, Senator! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e…]”

Well Sen. Feinstein, we are not impressed with your ability to judge these matters intelligently, as you have just described to the world your and your co-conspirators’ inability to keep your wits about you when you feel threatened. The release of the full report will undoubtedly provide far more proof that something more than a series of cynical hand-wringing apologies are in order to even begin to redress the horrendous crimes you and your co-conspirators committed in the name of “protecting the homeland”!

Decisions will be made later on the declassification and release of the full 6,700 page study”. That is also quite unacceptable. We demand the release of the full, UNCENSORED text of the summary, the report and the immediate release of ALL the addenda, including audio and video recordings, photographs, documents and depositions – EVERYTHING! We’re not going to be made to wait 25 years for this festering boil to be lanced!

Sen. Feinstein, who should recuse herself from proposing what punishments she and her co-conspirators deserve (since she is a likely co-defendant in any war crimes or crimes-against-humanity trial), instead proposes to the world the following non-recommendations:

It is my sincere and deep hope [hope?] that through the release of these Findings and Conclusions and Executive Summary [through their release alone!] that U.S. policy will never again allow for secret indefinite detention and the use of coercive interrogations [Still in denial! Say it: t-o-r-t-u-r-e…!]… we cannot again allow… grievous past mistakes [mistakes!] to be repeated.”

Executive Order 13491 prohibiting “the CIA from holding detainees other than on a ‘short-term, transitory basis’” as well as the limitation of interrogation techniques to those included in the Army Field Manual “should be enshrined in legislation”. But, dear Sen. Feinstein: the prohibitions against the use of torture are already “enshrined in legislation”, aren’t they? They are “enshrined” in both US legislation and international law! Of course, that never has and never will prevent the use of torture whenever the bloodthirsty US capitalist class feels that its class rule is seriously threatened by workers or governments anywhere oppose their endless quest for more and more money – especially if the opposition is led by the US working class.

While the Committee did not make specific recommendations, several emerge from the Committee’s review. The CIA… has already made and begun to implement its own recommendations.” So, not only do the “lesser evil” Democrats cop out on making specific recommendations to “enshrine in legislation” prohibitions against torture and murder of prisoners (which were prohibited by legislation long ago); they are more than happy to let the criminals at the CIA responsible for initiating the campaign of systematic torture and murder of prisoners “correct” their own “mistakes”! What could be more outrageous?

The Committee Study, including the now-declassified Executive Summary and Findings and Conclusions, as updated is now final… [t]his and future Administrations should use this Study to guide future programs, correct past mistakes [“mistakes” again!] increase oversight of CIA representations to policymakers [merely increase oversight of the CIA’s representations to policymakers!] and ensure coercive interrogation practices are not used by our government again”. This is all far beneath what needs to be done – it barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done! And mark the careful phrasing of the end of the last sentence: torture is not to be used “by our government” again! But we have seen how the CIA repeatedly “outsourced” torture to other nations – including those that were alleged to be “rogue nations” like Qaddafi’s Libya! Sen. Feinstein provides the US Government with a loophole large enough to fly a B-1 bomber through: the CIA mustn’t detain prisoners for anything more than a “short-term, transitory basis” at which time they remain as before free to turn over their victims to criminals in another country who can carry out the torture for them! Sen. Feinstein, this non-proposal proposal of your Committee’s will not stand.

Ms. Feinstein’s foreword says absolutely NOTHING on the subject of the imperialist President Obama’s declaration that he has the “right” to order the assassination of US citizens! Undoubtedly this tyrannical declaration of the nation’s top Democrat is not considered to be one of the “mistakes” made by Ms. Feinstein and her cabal of co-conspirators in their project to eviscerate the Constitution and Bill of Rights! She also makes no mention of the major Constitutional crisis that SHOULD have occurred when it was revealed that the CIA spied on members of the Senate Committee as it researched and deliberated during the production of the Torture Report! That the CIA spied on the very governmental body that is responsible for overseeing the CIA’s activities is just another innocent “mistake” in the eyes of Senator Feinstein! This pantomime CIA watchdog refuses to bark – or even to yelp when its tail is rudely stomped on!

The fact that the US capitalist class has become so deranged that it would give its bought-and-paid-for employees in Congress the green light to bring legalized torture back into existence from the dungeons of the Dark Ages proves to us beyond a doubt the need for the US working class to determinedly struggle to create the revolutionary socialist workers parties necessary to lead the nation forward to overthrow the capitalist system – a system which threatens to drag world civilization back in time to the days of the torture chambers of the Holy Inquisition. As we have repeatedly warned: time is not on our side, sister and brother workers! Leaving this savage US ruling class in power allows a standing threat to the workers of the entire world to remain at large, armed to the teeth and ready to unleash its massive military force against our fellow workers all over the world. If the workers of the United States fail to disarm the savage ruling class of the US, the carrying out of that historically necessary task will pass to the rest of the world’s workers, who make up over 95% of the world’s population. By abdicating our responsibility to overthrow the US capitalist class the US working class will force the rest of the world to organize armies to crush the US government in the same manner that Hitler’s Nazi regime was crushed by the Red Army in WWII. WWIII is avoidable only if the US working class acts in time to organize itself into revolutionary vanguard parties in order to overthrow its main enemy – the US capitalist class thereby launching the final revolutionary struggle to liberate the world’s workers from capitalist wage-slavery.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

The US Has a Vicious, Murderous Government Because Most US Citizens are Vicious, Murderous People Who Don’t Care About the Rest of the World

You like to “think outside the box” do you?   So do we: in fact, we have lived “outside the box” for so long we have forgotten what it’s like to think “inside the box”.  So here’s some “outside the box” thinking for you.  You’re welcome in advance!

As a public service to our working-class sisters and brothers around the world, we would like to take a moment to explain what, to the 95.5% of the world’s population living outside the United States apparently appears to be an unsolvable riddle: “Why is it that the seemingly nice, friendly people of the United States have such a vicious, murderous, warmongering government?”

The answer, brothers and sisters, is simple: the vast majority of the citizens of the United States are vicious, selfish, ignorant cretins who don’t give a shit how many of you are murdered by the US military so long as the standard of living in the US enables them to barely survive.  We like to tell people that so long as the price of gasoline remains below $5.00/gallon, the vast majority of the citizens of the United States will continue to not give a shit how many innocent women and children are butchered annually by a raping, murdering, torturing US military that the majority of US citizens consider to be “heroes” to the last man.   So long as the price of gasoline keeps falling, you can expect these scum to continue to give the US military a blank check to go ahead and kill as many people as the US capitalist class feels is necessary to maintain the economic status quo here in the United States.  And the rest of you – the 95.5% of the world’s non-US citizens – can all go fuck yourselves.

No one else is going to be honest enough to tell you that that is really what the vast majority of the shitty “American people” of 2014 think.  They’re so stupid that not 1 in a thousand of them even KNOW that the US only makes up 4.4% (and falling) of the world’s population.Fuck the rest of the world!is a common statement we hear from US workers all the time.  Living here in the United States is like living in an insane asylum full of chronological adults barely functioning at a grade-school level.

No one here in the United States – or in the rest of the world except ourselves – wants to address the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people of the United States have become so corrupted morally by the utter degeneracy of the US capitalist class that they simply do not give a rat’s ass how many men, women and children are murdered every year by “their” government in its endless and phony war on “terrorists” – terrorists who have largely been recruited, organized, trained and armed by “their” US Government.  So long as the stupid and selfish citizenry of the USA can barely afford to feed, clothe, shelter and amuse themselves they will continue to not give a shit about anything being done to their fellow human beings all over the world. by the execrable US capitalist class and its bought-and-paid-for government and its military war machine.

The US working class has been so completely brainwashed into believing the disgusting US corporate philosophy that “greed is good” and that every human being is responsible for their own welfare and owes absolutely nothing to any of their fellow human beings.   This philosophy is extremely popular in the US among its workers – a philosophy, by the way fully embraced by what large numbers of the stupid US working class sees as an “alternative” to the Republican and Democratic parties – the inane and inhumane “free-markets-for-free people” “philosophy” of  Libertarianism.   It is for this reason that we warn our working class sisters and brothers around the world that US workers in 2014 have come to resemble their closest historical precursors – the “good German citizens of Hitler’s Germany.

In fact, the citizens of the United States are almost exactly like the citizens of Nazi Germany in their self-imposed faux-ignorance of the realities of what their government is doing to the rest of the world – with one major exception, which only serves to make the viciousness of today’s US citizen all the more repulsive: in Nazi Germany, there was pervasive censorship of the news media far more comprehensive than what we see in the US today.  Though the German people in Hitler’s era were able to listen to shortwave radio broadcasts from around the world, they were subject to severe penalties for doing so.  In the United States today, though there is vast but usually subtle self-censorship of the news media and television, there is the Internet – and no criminal penalties for utilizing it to inform oneself about how the rest of the world perceives the USA.  But Americans are so apathetic and, frankly, stupid that they don’t want to be bothered using the Internet to read the vast amount of first-hand reports of US military atrocities being daily committed all over the world.  Instead, US citizens use their computers to entertain themselves and to keep themselves distracted from what is going on in the world… because when it comes right down to it, they simply don’t give a shit.

Like the vast majority of German workers under the Hitler regime, the vast majority of the US workers under the bloodthirsty Obama regime delude themselves into believing that things aren’t really all that bad; or if they are, that “there is nothing that we (meaning the US working class of 175,000,000 or so people) can do about it”.   That facile excuse for not giving a shit is utilized by almost every “nice” US citizen you ask about it.  Think we’re lying?  Give it a try!  If you know a native-born American citizen – black, white, Hispanic, Asian – it don’t matter – ask them about any important issue regarding the US government’s vicious policies being carried out in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria or Israel.  We’ll wager that you will quickly elicit either a blank stare accompanied by the sound of crickets chirping… and then a savage reaction when you challenge them on their offhand attitude to the monstrous brutalities being carried out all over the world in the THEIR NAME, utilizing weapons systems paid for with THEIR TAX DOLLARS to murder innocent women, men and children all over the Middle East, western Asia.

A typical reaction from a US citizen might be: “the US military is being used to fight terrorism – and that’s a good thing”.  They will get very defensive and start to get agitated – so press them a bit harder and you will finally get: “I don’t care about what’s going on in the rest of the world!  I care about what’s going on here!”

The one thing that American citizens hate more than anything is people who remind them and inform them of the crimes being committed by “their” government all over the world.  They resent being told by us about these things and they hate us for bringing this information to their attention because it strips away their ability to continue to pretend that they don’t know what’s going on.  They don’t want to read about US military atrocities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq or anywhere else because once they do then they are forced to openly admit that they aren’t going to do anything about it – because they just don’t care.  And they hate that!  US citizens want to be seen as being nice people who love everyone and who want to like others and be liked in return.  So they try to hide their inner viciousness with a veneer of benign ignorance.  They are so selfish that they wouldn’t try to change things even if they believed that they could, because that might make their lives a bit less comfortable than they are – and dull, conformist middle-class comfortability is, after all, the birthright of every US citizen, right?  (Well, every “white” US citizen anyway…).

You still believe that we exaggerate?  Try this: ask your American friends about “Fallujah”.  See if they even know what that word means.

Ask them if they heard about the four boys who were blown to pieces by an Israeli naval vessel in Gaza this year.  Ask them if they know how many women and children were murdered by their “hero” sons and daughters in the US military this year.   Ask them what they know about “Abu Ghraib” and see if they even have a vague recollection of what that name means.  And then challenge them on their callous indifference to the suffering of their fellow human beings at the hands of their own sons and daughters in the US military and see what kind of reaction you get!  Americans hate to be forced to reveal their inner hideousness!

Their historical memories of world-infamous atrocities committed by the US government are no better.  Ask ANY American how many people were killed in the Vietnam War:  their answer (if they can answer the question at all) will most likely be: “53,000”.  Of course, that’s only the number of Americans who were killed in the war.  They don’t know, because they prefer not to know and/or don’t care, how many Vietnamese were butchered by the US during the Vietnam War.  They have been brainwashed into believing that US veterans of the Vietnam War were “heroes” rather than “war criminals”.  “Don’t forget” they will remind you: “the people the US killed in Vietnam were all communists, so killing them was a good thing”!

Ask any US citizen about the US-imposed war against Korea in the 1950s and you will get a blank stare.  That war is unknown to most Americans because they don’t give a shit – except when they fatuously heap praises on veterans of that utterly senseless and savage war because, in their tiny minds, ALL veterans of US wars are “heroes”.  They have no idea that in the Korean War an estimated 3,000,000 Koreans were savagely butchered by the US military.  They don’t know or care that these “heroes” were ordered to, and did shoot down thousands of unarmed Korean civilians in war crime after war crime.   They don’t care enough to look into it – but they “know for sure” that the North Koreans are crazy, that their communist government is a threat to something that they call “world peace” which is under constant attack from crazy people all over the world and which is why they support the mission of the US military – which they idiotically believe to be “the defense of world peace”.

“But we Americans always give generously to charity; and the United States gives more money in foreign aid to poor countries than any other country in the world!” they will exclaim.  They believe these lies but they’ve never bothered to check the facts because they really don’t care.  They are satisfied with the APPEARANCE of their generosity, not with the reality or unreality of it.  They don’t give money to charity because they are good decent human beings: they give it because they are rotten, corrupt and vicious human beings – but they don’t want anyone to KNOW that!  So they pinch a few pennies and attempt to purchase absolution for their callous indifference to human suffering by making a token donation of a ten-thousandth of their income to charity every year – then they order their town or city council to drive the homeless out of their midst and demand that organizations like “Food Not Bombs” be prevented from feeding starving street people.  They don’t care that two of their favorite and largest so-called “charitable organizations” – the United Way and the American Red Cross – have been busted  for wasting tens of millions of dollars of donations on lavish salaries, offices and banquets for their wealthiest donors, or that they simply don’t even try to provide any kind of accounting at all for what they do with the hundreds of millions of dollars they rake in every year.  The indifference of the US citizenry is necessary in order for these vast charitable frauds to be perpetrated decade after decade.

So, what is to be done about this, sisters and brothers?  Especially by you, our working-class sisters and brothers who make up the 95.5% of the world’s population?

First of all: stop thinking that the United States is composed of really nice, compassionate human beings who are simply not aware of the monstrous crimes being perpetrated by the US capitalist class and its military all over the globe: the citizens of the United States don’t know about what’s going on because they don’t want to know and they don’t give a damn.  They are willfully ignorant, hoping that by remaining aloof to the suffering imposed on millions of their fellow human beings by the US Government they can continue to be perceived as being merely unaware of the suffering they are solely responsible for as citizens of the United States who have the unique responsibility for imposing their will on “their” national government.  The citizens of the US believe in their corrupted, amoral hearts that they are benefiting economically from the brutalities inflicted by the US military around the world and so they refuse to do anything to stop the atrocities.

Secondly: do not expect the situation to change any time soon in the United States.  There is not an inkling of any motion among US workers to start fighting even for their own rights, let alone for yours (the uprising in Ferguson, MO is very tiny and has set for itself political goals so feeble as to be utterly useless even in the narrow realm of fighting police brutality in Ferguson itself).  It is possible that things could change, and that’s why we continue to agitate for a socialist workers revolution here in the US: it would be the best thing for the whole planet if the US capitalist class and their state was overthrown by the workers of the US and replaced by a revolutionary socialist government – but it does not look very likely to happen any time soon, if ever.  The citizens of the USA, like their predecessors in Nazi Germany, are literally fat, dumb and grudgingly satisfied enough with the racist capitalist status quo to allow the US Government a free hand to brutalize and colonize the whole planet for the foreseeable future.  Do not expect the stupid assholes of the 2014 US working class to help you drive the US military and US corporations out of your countries in any way, shape or form.

The bottom line:  unless a major sea change takes place in the minds of the workers of the United States – and soon – it is going to be up to YOU – our working-class sisters and brothers OUTSIDE THE US – to band together worldwide and organize yourselves to do the same thing to the United States that the international working class was compelled to do when the Red Army of the no longer extant USSR smashed Nazi Germany in 1945.  There is no other way forward.  If the people of the United States continue to act like “good Germans” they are doomed to suffer the fate of the “good Germans” in 1945.  The world simply can not afford to wait for the relatively pampered, spoiled, over-entertained, over-amused, selfish, pro-capitalist, socialism-hating proto-Nazi US working class to start acting like civilized human beings.  Time is not on our side:  the US government is preparing to unleash a series of massive pre-emptive military assaults on any nation that dares to stand up to the lust of the US capitalist class for global domination of the world’s political and economic future – and the workers of the US are giving them a free pass to do whatever it takes to maintain the current economic status quo inside the US.  Declining gas prices are just going to increase the indifference of the US workers as they find a bit more change in their pockets every time they fill up their gas-guzzling cars at the service stations of America.

The future of the entire planet is at stake.   If 4.5% of the world’s population, due to its callous heartlessness, selfishness and untrammelled greed, must be wiped out so that the planet can survive, then so be it.  It’s a small price to pay!  No one will miss the United States when it’s gone – except brutal dictators and criminal bankers and capitalists who depend on the US military to drown every manifestation of revolutionary socialist working-class leadership in blood wherever and whenever it raises its heroic and noble presence among us.

It is high time that the working class of the United States stood up on its hind legs and started fighting against the encroaching fascism here in the USA and organized itself into revolutionary socialist workers parties dedicated to overthrowing the US capitalist class and its capitalist state and its hideous war machine and building a socialist workers republic!  The slogan “Either socialism or barbarism” has never been more sharply posed as it is today right here in the United States of America!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Why Revolution? Why Socialism?

Why Socialism? Why revolution?

Imagine a world where murderous, racist cops don’t exist.

Imagine a world where wars just don’t happen anymore.

Imagine a world where housing is a RIGHT, not a privilege granted by the rich landlords to the workers, and no one can be evicted from their home because they don’t have the money to pay for rent or a mortgage.

Imagine a world where food is a RIGHT and where no one can be denied access to food regardless of their ability to pay; just go to the supermarket and get what you and your family need.

Imagine a world where if you lose your job, you get paid 100% of your old salary until you get a new one.

Imagine a world where health care is free for everyone.

Imagine a world where a college education is not only free but where you get paid to go to college.

Imagine a world where women’s rights are fundamentally protected by the Constitution, not just an asterisk of an Amendment.

Imagine a world where the rights of black workers are not just an asterisk/amendment added to a slave-owner’s Constitution but incorporated into its very foundation.

Imagine a world where all the nation-states have been transformed from competitors into co-operative societies.

Imagine a world where poverty no longer exists.

Imagine a world unified into an organic whole, where cooperation instead of competition is the rule of the day – every day.

If you can imagine all this, then you are imagining a socialist world. A world without the greed factor; where profitability is no longer the sine qua non of human existence. A world dedicated to the eradication of inequality; a true meritocracy where the vast talents of the human race are finally given the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter if you were born in Bangladesh or Berlin.

This is the future we fight for: a socialist future where the working class rules and poverty, homelessness, starvation, racism and war have become hideous exhibits in the history museums of the monstrous capitalist era.

The capitalist world is not “the best of all possible worlds”: we can and must do better if we want to live in a world that is worthy of our children and grandchildren.

Capitalism promises us a future of wars, endless wars, over food, water, land and even air.

We can build any kind of socialism we want. What kind of socialism do you want? If you, the workers of the world are willing to join forces as the sisters and brothers that you truly are, and if you are ready

to fight for a socialist future of global prosperity rather than a capitalist future of poverty, starvation and endless wars, you will surely reach that goal, because workers make up the vast majority of the world’s population and so you should call the shots – right?

Why revolution? Because it will take a revolution to overthrow the current selfish, greed-based capitalist system and replace it with an egalitarian federation of socialist workers republics.

Think about it. And then join us!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Solidarity With The Citizens of Ferguson, MO Protesting the Police Murder of Michael Brown!

Thoughts on Ferguson, MO and the Murder of Michael Brown by the Police State

[As we publish this tonight (14 August 2014) we learn that the rebellion of the citizens of Ferguson, MO is continuing amid police assaults against the right of the citizens there to assemble and address their just grievances against the government. Tear gas has been deployed against the workers and many people have been reported injured and arrested. – IWPCHI]

Why do we call for workers revolution? Why should we not just settle for reforms of this decaying, murderous capitalist system?

Another day, another US citizen gunned down by those trigger-happy thugs – the police – allegedly hired by the citizens “to protect and serve” the citizenry. This time it is young Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri; a town whose racist history was nicely outlined for us yesterday by the New York Times. In an editorial entitled “The Racial History Behind the Ferguson Protests” the Times delivers the following indictment of the degree of racism that still exists here in the “post-racial” U.S. Presided over the the nation’s first black President:

“It doesn’t take a federal investigation to understand the history of racial segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement that produced so much of the tension now evident on the streets. St. Louis has long been one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas […]. Until the late 1940s, blacks weren’t allowed to live in most suburban St. Louis County towns, kept out by restrictive covenants that the Supreme Court prohibited in 1948. As whites began to flee the city for the county in the 1950s and ’60s, they used exclusionary zoning tactics — including large, single-family lot requirements that prohibited apartment buildings — to prevent blacks from moving in. Within the city, poverty and unrest grew […] By the 1970s, many blacks started leaving the City of St. Louis as well […] attracted to older, inner-ring suburbs like Ferguson […] because they were built before restrictive zoning tactics and, therefore, allowed apartments […] As black families moved into Ferguson, the whites fled. In 1980, the town was 85 percent white and 14 percent black; by 2010, it was 29 percent white and 69 percent black. But blacks did not gain political power as their numbers grew. The mayor and the police chief are white, as are five of the six City Council members. The school board consists of six white members and one Hispanic […] The disparity is most evident in the Ferguson Police Department, of which only three of 53 officers are black. The largely white force stops black residents far out of proportion to their population […] [b]lacks account for 86 percent of the traffic stops in the city, and 93 percent of the arrests after those stops. Similar problems exist around St. Louis County, where earlier this year the state chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. filed a federal civil rights complaint alleging widespread racial profiling by police departments.”

[Source: New York Times, Editorial Board, “Racial History Behind the Ferguson Protests”, 13 August 2014]

Such is the state of affairs throughout the United States, from New Jersey to California: black and Hispanic workers in the “post-racial” era supposedly ushered in by the election of Democrat Barack Obama continue to suffer brutality and murder at the hands of the police forces of the US.

Michael Brown was shot down by the cops, as have been so many other black and Hispanic youth, while he was unarmed and – according to witnesses – had his hands in the air in a gesture of surrender. It availed him nothing – he was shot down like a dog by a rabid member of the United States’ burgeoning paramilitary police state, which has increasingly taken the attitude that the citizens exist to serve the police, and not the other way around. In response, the citizens of Ferguson organized a protest and demonstrated their long-pent-up frustration with their continued abuse at the hands of the Ferguson police department. That some in the crowd saw an opportunity to loot and acquire a few valuables does not impugn the motives of the vast majority of the peaceably assembled and angry citizens one iota. All in all, the degree of looting and destruction was quite minor compared to what might have been expected given the enormity of the crime committed by an “officer of the law”.  Yet the reaction by the Ferguson cops and the slander heaped upon the righteously protesting majority of the citizens of Ferguson by the capitalist news media attempts to make it appear as though Mike Brown and his fellow citizens are all criminals out to create “chaos”, which can only be averted by the forces of law and order, i.e. the same racist police department whose gunman murdered Brown in cold blood!

This shameless slandering of the citizens of Ferguson and their murdered brother is to be expected of those disgusting “knights of the pen” – the hired propagandists of the capitalist press who never tire of licking the soles of the feet of their capitalist masters.  But surely we could expect much better from the first black President of the United States!  So what did that paragon of the “lesser evil” Democratic Party have to say about this latest wanton murder of a fellow U.S. citizen of color?

The President of the United States was on vacation in the capitalist class’ summer playground on Martha’s Vineyard – an idyllic former whaling community on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. He somehow found time to break away from a round of partying with his filthy rich Hollywood friends and billionaire political donors on the island to issue the following official statement:

“The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

August 12, 2014

Statement by the President on the Passing of Michael Brown

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

[Source: whitehouse.gov, “Statement by the President on the Passing of Michael Brown, 12 August 2014]

So, according to the alleged top representative of the black working class of the United States, the first black President in U.S. history, Michael Brown wasn’t murdered by a racist cop; he has merely “passed” into the great beyond, by some undetermined means! It’s as if he died of natural causes! How far removed from the reality of the day-to-day lives of African-Americans is this tinhorn alleged representative of his fellow black citizens, the paragon of that phony “party of the working class”, the Democratic Party!

But should we be at all surprised at Barack Obama’s indifference to the murder of Michael Brown? After all, he has recently approved of the conduct of the insane Zionist leaders of israel and their wanton slaughtering of civilian men women and children in Gaza , witnessed and condemned by the entire civilized world! And this is, after all, the same Democratic Party commander-in-chief who has requested and obtained from his own Justice Department a legal opinion that declares  that it is eminently legal and in conformance with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that the President of the United States has the “right” to order the assassination of a U.S. citizen for his spoken and written declarations of support for and friendship with a group labeled as “terrorist” by the United States Government! Why should we be surprised that such a man as Barack Obama would denigrate the outright murder of a U.S. citizen by a police officer as the mere “passing” into the next world of the victim of that police murder? A man who thinks nothing of approving the slaughter of hundreds of women and children by a nation he considers to be led by his personal friends and who routinely authorizes the murder of suspected terrorists – and who brags about it! – and who is principally responsible for the continued torture of 149 people at the US torture center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and who has ordered his “Justice Department” to imprison heroic citizen-whistleblowers who have courageously exposed massive domestic and international spy operations targeting law-abiding citizens of the entire planet can not be expected to possess the capacity to characterize the murder of Michael Brown as anything other than the mere “passing” of Mike Brown into the Great Beyond.

The pro-capitalist bourgeois press has characterized the minor looting in Ferguson as “chaos” that must be vigorously opposed by the very same racist forces of “law and order’ that committed the murder in the first place. We see it as an eminently justified expression of the boundless outrage felt by the citizens of Ferguson at the murder by “their own” police department of a law abiding citizen – and perhaps, hopefully, as the beginning of a civil war of the long abused and downtrodden victims of the United States capitalist class against their intolerable oppression at the hands of the “lawful authorities”!

And by the way: what “right” does the Ferguson, MO police department – or ANY police department in the United States! – have to deny the citizens their Constitutional right to peaceably assemble in the center of their – not the police department’s – town at any time or at any place of the citizens’ choosing?

To the police of Ferguson, and to the members of the US Police State across the nation: ever hear of the Bill of Rights? It’s a fascinating document that you are all allegedly sworn to uphold – not that your oaths are worth a damn, since you are so used to lying in court immediately after swearing to tell the truth “so help me God”.  Still, you should read the Bill of Rights some time – you’ll undoubtedly find it to be shocking.  Example:

“Amendment I

Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Clue: since Congress can make no law abridging a US citizen’s right to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, that means that YOU the police can’t pretend that you are “defending the Constitutional rights of citizens” by REFUSING to allow the citizenry the free exercise of their right to assemble whenever and where ever they choose to assemble to protest!

The fact is that the US capitalist class has no use for the millions of poor workers who struggle to survive in America’s hellhole poverty-stricken communities. The capitalists see no reason to spend money feeding, clothing and sheltering what they consider to be a surplus population of workers who the capitalists have no intention of ever hiring in order to squeeze profits from their labor-power. And so, if the poor workers and unemployed will not either join the military and assist the US capitalist class in stealing the raw materials of and murdering the many enemies of the US capitalist class all over the planet for sole purpose of the enrichment of the US capitalist class, or if these excess human beings will not consent to be beaten into submission by the police forces of the nation and submit to being forced to live poverty-stricken, attenuated lives, then the US capitalist class has a “final solution” for them: life in prison or death in the streets at the hands of the racist cops! THIS IS THE FUTURE FOR BLACK, HISPANIC AND POOR WHITE WORKERS IN THE 21ST CENTURY CAPITALIST WORLD!

We say: FUCK THAT! We seek to organize the multi-racial US working class into a revolutionary army to sweep away the US capitalist class and their racist, oppressive, murderous capitalist system once and for all – and to replace it with a civilized, egalitarian socialist workers government, which will guarantee food, clothing, shelter, a first-class education and comprehensive cradle-to-grave health care for everyone! The greed-based system of capitalism, which annually steals trillions of dollars of wealth created by the labor of the working class and places it in the bank accounts of a few hundred billionaires and multi-millionaires has got to go! And their racist cops, courts and heartless, bought-and-paid-for politicians must be swept into the dustbin of history as well! Only then can the Michael Browns of the nation be safe from random murder by the police! Only then can we look forward to a post-racial future of full equality for all working class people: men, women, black, white, immigrant and citizen!

We need to organize revolutionary socialist political parties to achieve this goal.  Workers must organize themselves in self defense against the murderous US police state and fight not for the empty and temporary reforms being begged for by the likes of Democrat Al Sharpton and the sellouts of all the other black members of the racist, pro-capitalist Democratic Party, from Barack Obama on down – all of whom can be counted upon to defend the racist US police state and the the racist, exploitative capitalist system!

We stand in defense of the black working class of Ferguson, Missouri! Workers of Ferguson, Missouri, Unite! Workers of the World, Unite! For a workers socialist revolution in the United States of America and throughout the capitalist world!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Why does the U.S. have such a corrupt, vicious government? Because the people of the U.S. like it this way.

We are told that people all over the world ask themselves: “Why is the United States Government so vicious when the people of the United States seem so nice when you meet them?”

The perception of the people of the United States is that they are generous and friendly, open and welcoming to people from all over the world.  This is the perception; the truth is far from the perception.  In fact, the people of the United States don’t give a shit how many people the US Government murders all over the world, so long as the price of gasoline doesn’t rise above $5.00 a gallon.

We saw more than a hint of this national selfishness in the endless, prating U.S. side of the discussion about the National Security Agency’s spy operations targeting people all over the world.  Here in the United States, those workers who did complain about the spying (actually very few seem to care very much about anything at all) focused their anger on the fact that the NSA was spying on AMERICANS.  They couldn’t care less about the US Government’s rampant violations of the rights of the inhabitants of the rest of the planet.

This vicious nationalism is quite reminiscent of the mentality of workers in Germany during the reign of Hitler’s Nazis.  There, too, the citizens did not care what the government was doing, so long as there were jobs for everyone and life was improving after the long nightmare of the economic collapse that followed Germany’s defeat in WWI.  In Germany in 1941, no one cared about the fate of the Jews, just as in the United States in 2014, no one seems to care about the growing number of victims of the US military’s drone strikes, or the mass murder of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, or anything else that is caused by the US capitalist class’ unbridled greed, which drives them to commit atrocity after atrocity, decade after decade, while the citizens of the United States pretend that there is nothing they can do to change government policy.  The citizens of the United States act as if they have tried very hard to change the government, but have found out after decades of trying that “you just can’t fight Washington”.  In fact, they have not even attempted to oppose the US Government’s brutal raping of the Middle East and western Asia ‘lo these many years.  Because they just don’t care.  The vast majority of the citizens of the United States aren’t “nice, friendly, generous” people any more than the citizens of Hitler’s Germany were “nice friendly, generous people”.

So what do Americans care about?  What kinds of causes are they willing to support with their hard-earned dollars?  What are the important issues and grass-roots efforts that are rousing Americans out of their vast apathy/malevolence towards their fellow men and women and causing them to open up their checkbooks and donate money to a worthy cause?

Indiegogo is the most successful crowdfunding organization in the United States today.  It provides an online platform for those seeking to raise money for any kind of cause imaginable, from funding the development of worthless junk to funding political parties like ours.  So, perhaps if we take a look at the most popular campaigns on Indiegogo we will get a good look into the “hearts and minds” of those “happy, friendly and generous” 2014 U.S. versions of the citizens of Hitler’s Germany!  After all, Indiegogo’s mantra is “Fund what matters to you”. Let’s take a look.

This is what the Indiegogo website looks like, in case you’ve never had the pleasure:

Indiegogo homepage: "Fund what matters to you"

Indiegogo homepage: “Fund what matters to you”

So, what “matters” to our lovely American fellow citizens in 2014?  Here are the top ten most funded campaigns on Indiegogo as of today, 20 March 2014:

#10: RESTORE THE SHORE!

Restoring the New Jersey Shore, devastated by Hurricane Sandy, doesn't register with Americans any more in 2014

Restoring the New Jersey Shore, devastated by Hurricane Sandy, doesn’t register with Americans any more in 2014

#9: ROBOT DRAGONFLY!

Are Americans worried about drones? Damn right! They're worried that their neighbors will get one before they do.

Are Americans worried about drones? Damn right! They’re worried that their neighbors will get one before they do.

#8: GEEK PULSE DIGITAL AUDIO AWESOMIFIER!

This is so incredibly stupid it beggars belief. What do these people have to produce in order for this not to be a first-class case of fraud?

This is so incredibly stupid it beggars belief. What do these people have to produce in order for this not to be a first-class case of fraud?

#7: PANONO THROWABLE PANORAMIC BALL CAMERA!

This would be a ridiculous waste of money if it weren't for the fact that it's THROWABLE! WHEEE!

This would be a ridiculous waste of money if it weren’t for the fact that it’s THROWABLE! WHEEE!

#6: AIRTAME WIRELESS HDMI FOR EVERYONE!

Wireless HDMI for everyone!  Well, everyone who owns a computer, anyway. Are there any people who don't own a computer?  Ewwwwww!

Wireless HDMI for everyone! Well, everyone who owns a computer, anyway. Are there really people who don’t own a computer? Ewwwwww!

#5: BUILD A GODDAMN TESLA MUSEUM ALREADY!

Someone call Rotary International and see if they can spend some time on something important for once.

Someone call Rotary International and see if they can spend some time on something important for once.

#4:  KREYOS: THE ONLY SMARTWATCH WITH VOICE AND GESTURE CONTROL!

We can think of only one gesture we'd like to make after seeing this.

We can think of only one gesture we’d like to make after seeing this.

#3: SCANADU SCOUT WIRELESS VITAL SIGNS TRANSMITTER!

Brain functions below normal; apathy levels extremely high;  morality at undetectable levels: a typical American wage/debt slave!

Brain functions below normal; apathy levels extremely high; morality at undetectable levels: a typical American wage/debt slave!

#2: CANARY SMART HOME SECURITY SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE!

It will even keep your conscience from troubling you over trivial things like the burgeoning US police state and NSA spying!

It will even keep your conscience from troubling you over trivial things like the burgeoning US police state and NSA spying!

We bet that after finally having the chance to appreciate all these wonderfully frivolous (and mostly wildly successful) fundraising campaigns that have captivated the imaginations of today’s American version of the Hitler Youth, you’re just dying to see what has been the number one fundraising boondoggle of the year so far! Right?  Right?  We’ll get ready to be disgusted/disappointed:

#1: UBUNTU EDGE COMBINATION SMARTPHONE/DESKTOP PC!

It's a smartphone!  No, it's a desktop PC!  No... it's a SMARTPHONE!  No... it's BOTH IN ONE DEVICE!  OMFG!

It’s a smartphone! No, it’s a desktop PC! No… it’s a SMARTPHONE! No… it’s BOTH IN ONE DEVICE! OMFG!

Well, look on the bright side: sure, they managed to raise over $12 million for the development of a device no one wants, but at least they fell far short of the $32 MILLION these fuckwads WANTED to raise for their “revolutionary” P.O.S..

Now, we know what all our stupid fellow American citizens are gonna say to this: “Wait a minute!  There are a lot of great campaigns being funded on Indiegogo that PROVE how selfless and generous we Americans really are!  You’re not showing the world how much we care at all!”  OK, we’ll show some examples of your overweening generosity:

CAMPAIGN TO HELP VANDALIZED ABORTION CLINIC IN KALISPELL, MONTANA

300 million Americans have managed to raise just $60,000 to repair an abortion clinic vandalized by anti-abortion fanatics

300 million Americans have managed to raise just $60,000 to repair an abortion clinic vandalized by anti-abortion fanatics

300 million compassionate Americans have raised $1300 to help a man's mom fight to free her son from prison

300 million compassionate Americans have raised $1300 to help a man’s mom fight to free her son from prison

300 million Americans care enough about the horrendous conditions in US prisons to donate $5,400.00 to end solitary confinement in Pennsylvania

300 million Americans care enough about the horrendous conditions in US prisons to donate $5,400.00 to end solitary confinement in Pennsylvania

300 million Americans care enough about the fight to defend our right to be free from the US Government's warrantless surveillance programs  that they raised $2,000 for the cause.

300 million Americans care enough about the fight to defend our right to be free from the US Government’s warrantless surveillance programs that they raised $2,000 for the cause.

So the next time you hear an American worker complaining about how bad things are getting in the United States and winding up the complaint with “but what can we do about it?” remember:  Americans aren’t even trying to change things for the better.  Because, as of March, 2014, they really don’t give a shit.

IWPCHI

Full Text of Chinese Report: “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013”

We republish below China’s response to the U.S. Department of State’s “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013”.  China is the only country we know of that actually attempts to catalog all the human rights violations committed by the United States Government every year; given that the US loudly trumpets its own self-serving “Human Rights” report – which conveniently neglects to mention any of the US’ own human rights violations – we believe that this will provide our readers with a rare opportunity to see the United States hypocrisy through the eyes of, in this case, the Chinese government.

The document makes a lot of very incisive criticisms of the US human rights record in regard to the treatment of minorities in the US as well as the sheer numbers of number and conditions under which the US prison population suffers.  But the report is also full of strange references: not surprisingly, the Chinese Maoist government is aghast at the vast number of guns in the possession of the citizens of the United States.  We at the Independent Workers Party of Chicago defend the “right to bear arms”; the Chinese Maoists reveal their utter hostility to basic Marxism when they rail AGAINST the right to bear arms.  If they were actually revolutionaries, they would easily understand the revolutionary nature of the fact that the US working class is armed to the teeth: but the Maoists are NOT revolutionaries, and they, like their former counterparts in the now-defunct USSR, seek rapprochement with the US capitalist class – “peaceful coexistence” – and thus decry the US workers’ ownership of weapons that can be (and hopefully someday will be) used to overthrow the capitalist US Government.  We couldn’t ask for a clearer confirmation of the reactionary, anti-Marxist nature of the Maoist ruling caste in China.

The Chinese report also inexplicably attempts to place the blame for the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon on the US Government itself – without giving any reason as to why this should be done.  Overall, the document reveals as much about the class-collaborationist philosophy behind the Chinese fake-communist government as it does about the hideous human rights record of the US capitalist class.

We do not pretend that China does not routinely deny the Chinese working class the right to speak out and organize opposition to the counter-revolutionary and proto-capitalist Chinese Communist Party leadership – even if that opposition is itself anti-capitalist.  The Chinese fake-communist bureaucracy is busy restoring capitalism to China – and stuffing their pockets with cash as they go along.  As Trotskyists, we call for a workers political revolution in China to seize power from the reactionary, nationalist and  pro-capitalist bureaucrats and to establish in their place an internationalist revolutionary socialist workers republic.

  —- IWPCHI

***********************************

Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Updated: 2014-03-01 08:22

( China Daily)

Editor’s Note: The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a report titled “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013” on Friday. Following is the report’s full text.

Foreword

The State Department of the United States, which posed as “the world judge of human rights,” made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems. In fact, there were still serious human rights problems in the U.S. in 2013, with the situation in many fields even deteriorating.

— In 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings, which caused four or more deaths each, in the U.S.. A shooting rampage in the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. left 12 people dead.

— The U.S. engaged in a tapping program, code-named PRISM, exercising long-term and vast surveillance both at home and abroad. The program is a blatant violation of international law and seriously infringes on human rights.

— The use of solitary confinement is prevalent in the U.S.. About 80,000 U.S. prisoners are in solitary confinement in the country. Some have even been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years.

— The U.S. still faces grave employment situation with its unemployment rate remaining high. Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families have topped 21 percent. The homeless population in the U.S. kept swelling and it had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013.

— There are a large amount of child laborers in the agricultural sector in the U.S. and their physical and mental health was seriously harmed.

— Frequent drone strikes by the U.S. in countries including Pakistan and Yemen have caused heavy civilian casualties. The U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, causing deaths of up to 926 civilians.

— The U.S. remains a country which has not ratified or participated in a series of core UN conventions on human rights, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I.

On Life and Personal Security

The U.S. was haunted by an increasing number of violent crimes in 2013 with frequent occurrence of firearms-related criminal cases, public information shows. American citizens’ lives and personal safety are threatened by an increasingly dangerous environment.

The number of violent crimes has risen sharply. According to the Uniform Crime Reports, released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013, the U.S. registered 1,214,464 violent crimes in 2012, of which 14,827 are murders and nonnegligent manslaughters, 84,376 forcible rapes, 354,522 robberies and 760,739 aggravated assaults. According to statistics revealed by the Bureau of Justice on October 24, 2013, the rate of violent victimization increased from 22.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2011 to 26.1 in 2012.

On April 15, 2013, twin bombings ripped through Boston Marathon, leaving three dead and 264 injured. Among the killed was an 8-year-old. U.S. authorities called the bombings a terrorist attack (USA Today, December 6, 2013).

The Washington Post reported on January 1, 2014, that Robert Senquan Spencer, 21, was dead from a shotgun blast on a Southwest Washington street, becoming the District’s 80th homicide victim of 2013. The District had 103 homicides in 2013 – a sharp increase from 88 in 2012.

American citizens keep the world’s largest number of privately owned guns. According to figures released by the FBI in 2013, the total number of background checks conducted for gun sales in 2013 add up to 21,093,273, beating the previous 2012 record of 19,592,303 by 1,500,970 (www.townhall.com, January 7, 2014). As of 2013, there were about 300 million guns in the U.S.. On average, more than 100,000 Americans are being shot each year, and 30,000 deaths are caused by the use of guns. Victims are either killed in gun-related crimes or died in suicide or nonnegligent manslaughter. The U.S. government failed to take effective measures to control guns. (www.gunfaq.org, http://www.guncrimestatistics.com).

After the mass shootings in Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, there were strong calls in the United States for stricter controls on firearms. On April 17, a bipartisan bill to support expanded background checks on firearms was blocked in the Senate. Previously, plans for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines had already been removed from the gun-control bill (www.bbc.co.uk, April 17, 2013). At the same time, states in the U.S. continue to loosen their gun laws. On January 5, Illinois became the last state in the U.S. to allow average citizens to carry around concealed firearms. Anyone with firearm owner’s identification card in the U.S. is allowed to pack heat in places except the no-go zones including schools, parks and restaurants (www.usatoday.com, January 8, 2014).

 Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Demonstrators hold up their signs during the “Stop Watching Us: A Rally Against Mass Surveillance” march near the U.S.Capitol in Washington, October 26,2013. Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

Gun violence is rampant in the U.S.. There are 11,000 Americans killed by gun violence every year (www.telegraph.co.uk, December 17, 2013). Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation’s murders, 41 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults, according to the Uniform Crime Reports released by the FBI in 2013. Every year, there is serious gun violence in the U.S.. On October 21, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said the average number of mass shooting incidents has tripled in recent years. According to Justice Department figures on mass shootings, 404 people were shot and 207 people were killed from 2009 to 2012 (www.huffingtonpost.com, October 21, 2013). According to a report published on the USA Today on December 16, 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings – four or more people killed, not including the killer – in 2013.

On September 16, 2013, civilian contractor and military veteran Aaron Alexis, a resident of Texas, went on a shooting rampage after he entered the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. in the morning, killing 12 people and injuring several others. An eye witness said the gunman began shooting from a fourth-floor overlook in the hallway and was aiming down at people in the building’s cafeteria on the first floor. Aaron Alexis was shot dead in a 30 minutes’ exchange of gunfire with authorities (www.usatoday.com, September 17, 2013).

II.

On Civil and Political Rights

The U.S. government took liberty in monitoring its citizens, which shocked the world. Tortures in the U.S. prisons raised concerns. Elections and the checks-and-balances systems were plagued by malpractices and inefficiency, impairing civil interests.

The U.S. government exercises massive and unrestrained information tapping on its own citizens. Edward Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, revealed a tapping program carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA), code-named PRISM. Under the program, the U.S. intelligence, by virtue of data provided by nine Internet companies, including the Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo, and other major telecom providers, tracked citizens’ private contacts and social activities recklessly (www.washingtonpost.com, June 7, 2013).

The website of The Washington Post revealed on June 7, 2013, that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were tapping directly into the central servers of some Internet companies, and users’ data, extracting their emails, chats, audio and video data, documents and photos in real time, and putting certain targets and their contacts under full surveillance. According to a government document disclosed by The New York Times on September 29, 2013, the NSA, since November 2010, had been exploiting its huge collections of U.S. citizens’ data to identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions, and other personal information. The scrutiny program, which links U.S. citizens’ phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain”, exposed large amount of citizens’ privacy to the government. The website of the Guardian, a British newspaper, revealed on June 6, 2013, that one of the largest U.S. telecommunications providers, the Verizon Business Network Services Inc, was required to provide to the NSA all the telephony metadata within its system, including telephone numbers, locations and call durations. Germany’s Spiegel Online reported on September 7, 2013, that internal NSA documents showed that the U.S. intelligence has the capability of tapping user data from the iphone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The NSA developed cracking programs and tapped users’ data held on the three major smart phone operating systems, including contact lists, SMS traffic, and location information about where a user has been. The NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iphone, and the script programs enable additional access to at least 38 iphone features.

The journal.ie reported on June 14, 2013, nine major international civil liberties groups issued joint declaration that the U.S. federal government’s secretive scrutiny program, PRISM, is a breach of international conventions on human rights. The joint declaration said, “Such vast and pervasive state surveillance violates two of the most fundamental human rights: the right to privacy and to freedom of expression.”

The U.S. federal narcotics officers and other agents, in cooperation with American Telephone & Telegraph, can not only gain access to all the clients’ phone records, but also all the phone calls made through the company’s telephone exchangers (The Huffington Post, December 20, 2013). The Los Angeles Times’ website, http://www.latimes.com, reported on September 26, 2013, the FBI has long used drone aircraft in domestic investigations, exercising clandestine surveillance over the public. The website also reported, the U.S. federal prosecutors secretly obtained records of telephone calls from more than 20 telephone lines belonging to The Associated Press and its journalists in a two-month period in early 2012 (www.latimes.com, May 13, 2013).

Inmates are treated inhumanely in prisons. The use of solitary confinement is prevalent. According to news reports, in U.S. prisons, inmates in solitary confinements are enclosed in cramped cells with poor ventilation and natural lights, isolated from other prisoners, a situation that will take tolls on inmates’ physical and mental health (www.bbc.com, June 12, 2013). About 80,000 U.S. prisoners are in solitary confinement, including nearly 12,000 in California. The California’s Pelican Bay prison has more than 400 prisoners who have been in isolation for over a decade. In many cases, the inmates are isolated for up to 23 hours per day in cells measuring 3.5 by 2.5 meters (www.reuters.com, August 23, 2013). Some have even been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years (www.cbc.ca, October 4, 2013). In the prison system of the New York state, about 3,800 prisoners are in solitary confinement every day (online.wsj.com, Feb. 19, 2014). The then 49-year-old prisoner, William Blake, had been held in solitary confinement for 26 years, locked in a cell furnished with only one iron bed (www.dailymail.com, March 15, 2013). In 2013, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez repeatedly urged the U.S. government to abolish the use of solitary confinement. He argued, even short-term solitary confinement can be counted as torture (www.bayview.com, October 14, 2013). In California state prisons, 30,000 inmates began hunger strikes on July 8, 2013 in protest of the use of solitary confinement. The hunger strikes lasted two months (www.latimes.com. September 15, 2013).

On January 29, 2014, the British Daily Mail’s web edition published New York photographer Scott Houston’s photos featuring working and living conditions of inmates in Arizona State’s prisons. The images show, inmates are shackled together while working and eating, five on one chain, with just nine feet between them. Houston said, he was left with the impression that the chain gangs working together were similar to the days of slavery. “You could go back 200 years.”

Election becomes the game of a few. A great number of researches showed that the Americans’ influence on policy is proportional to their wealth. About 70 percent of the population, who are on the lower wealth and income scale, have virtually no influence on policy whatsoever. They are effectively disenfranchised. Only a tenth of one percent essentially get what they want, i.e. they effectively influence policies (www.salon.com. August 17, 2013). The U.S. citizens get less and less enthusiastic about election. The mayoral election of Los Angeles in May 2013 only had 23.3 percent of the city’s registered voters cast a ballot. And the winner got 222,300 votes, just 12.4 percent of the registered voters (www.latimes.com, June 11. 2013).

The checks-and-balances system has become an impediment to actions. On October 1, 2013, the U.S. federal government, except for its core functions, entered a shutdown, after Congress failed to pass the budget bill as the Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Francis Fukuyama, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, wrote in an article published on October 4, 2013, on The Washington Post’s website, the American system of checks and balances gradually becomes a “vetocracy”. “It empowers a wide variety of political players representing minority position to block action by the majority and prevent the government from doing anything.” The U.S. government shutdown is the very result of such vicious checks and balances.

A new poll found “Americans entered 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that the government can or will solve the nation’s biggest problems.” According to the poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, half respondents said American system of democracy needed either “a lot of changes” or a complete overhaul (www.huffingtonpost.com, January 2, 2014). The U.S. president, in his State of the Union Address in January 2014, also criticized the U.S. democratic system full of bickering and debates. “When that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy – when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the United States – then we are not doing right by the American people.”

III.

On Economic and Social Rights

Despite the fact that the economy is recovering, the U.S. citizens’ economic and social rights are still under challenge.

Unemployment rates are high in the US. Employment rates for 25-to 54-year-olds were lower in 35 states in fiscal 2013 than in 2007. In 2007, nearly 80 of every 100 people aged 25 to 54 in the United States had a job. In the 12 months ending June 2013, only about 76 of every 100 people in that age group were working (www.pewstates.org, November 27, 2013). According to a report by the CNBC on September 16, 2013, in 2012, the average length of unemployment for U.S. workers reached 39.5 weeks, the highest level since World War II. Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families topped 21 percent, nearly matching the rate for all workers during the 1930s Great Depression. The overall unemployment rate for U.S. veterans stood at 6.9 percent in October 2013. A total of 246,000 post-9/11 vets are looking for jobs (www.edition.cnn.com, November 11, 2013). According to the 2014 State of the Union, “even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by… And too many still aren’t working at all.”

Wealth gap in the US is widening. Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2013 showed more than 47 million U.S. people living in poverty in 2012, and that the poverty rate reached 15 percent. The data also indicated about 6.4 million people aged 65 and older were poor (www.reuters.com, November 6, 2013). New research using the U.S. Internal Revenue Service data from 2012 all the way back to 1913 found that the current gap between America’s rich and poor is the widest in history. The richest 1 percent’s share of total household income was a record 19.3 percent in 2012. The top 10 percent of U.S. households controlled 50.4 percent of total income in 2012, the highest figures seen since 1917. In the U.S., the top 1 percent saw their incomes recover by 31.4 percent during 2009 and 2012, accounting for 95 percent of the total gain recognized in the U.S., whereas the bottom 99 percent had to content themselves with growth of only 0.4 percent (www.globalpost.com, September 10, 2013). The U.S. 2014 State of the Union noted that average wages in the U.S. have barely budged, and inequality has deepened.

Labor unions see eroding leverage. According to data released by the PEW on April 15, 2013, in 2012, unions lost 400,000 members, and states like Indiana and Wisconsin have clipped the organizing rights of state employees and others. Labor leaders see the largest growth potential in the private sector, however, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, only 6.6 percent of private-sector workers belong to a union. On July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Despite the objections from unions including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the United Auto Workers as well as local retiree associations, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection. Representatives of the unions and retirees argued that the decision turned a blind eye to the appeals of the unions. Local citizens took to the streets to protest with anger (www.usatoday.com, December 3, 2013).

Working conditions and pay are declining. On April 18, 2013, a deadly blast at a fertilizer plant in Texas killed 14 people, left 200 others with injuries and caused some toxic gas concern. It was reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, being chronically underfunded, has never inspected the plant since 1985 (www.huffingtonpost.com, June 4, 2013; http://www.salon.com, May 17, 2013). A report titled “Farm Worker Conditions Likened to Modern Slavery” and carried by the Huffington Post on February 1, 2013 quoted a migrant worker as saying that the piece rate has not changed in over 30 years. The report also said that one farm worker dies on the job every day and hundreds more are injured, noting that relevant authorities have failed to exercise effective monitoring and law enforcement regarding the working conditions for farm workers. The USA Today reported on December 5, 2013 that fast-food workers planned one-day labor walkouts at fast-food restaurants in 100 cities, claiming that they can not survive on a minimum wage of 7.25 dollars per hour, or about 15,000 dollars a year. The campaign was called “Fight for 15” – pressing for a minimum wage of 15 dollars per hour (www.usatoday.com, December 5, 2013).

Homeless population is growing. A report by the Los Angeles Times on November 22, 2013 said the homeless population in the U.S. had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013. Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 15 percent from 2011 to 2013, to 57,737 people. According to data released by the U.S. Coalition for the Homeless in November 2013, the number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters had risen by more than 71 percent since 2002, and each night more than 60,000 people, including over 22,000 children, experience homelessness.

Social security in the US is problematic. A U.S. Census Bureau report released on September 17, 2013 said that in 2012, a total of 15.4 percent, or some 48 million people in the U.S. were uninsured. The share of people relying on the government for health insurance edged up slightly to 32.6 percent, from 32.2 percent a year ago. Whether they have insurance or not, people spent more on health care in 2012 than in 2011 (www.edition.cnn.com, September 17, 2013).

According to the U.S. Federal Funds Information for States, some major programs, including most K-12 educational-support programs; the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the poor; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; Funds to administer the Unemployment Insurance program; Child nutrition programs and other programs starting on or after October 1 could be affected by the federal government shutdown in 2013 (www.pewstates.org, September 26, 2013). When the funds run out on December 28, 2013 for a program created during the recession to supplement the federal emergency benefits for jobless people and efforts to renew the benefits stalled in the U.S. Senate, about 1.3 million jobless Americans who were receiving the benefits averaging about 300 dollars a week had been affected (www.usatoday.com, December 27, 2013).

IV.

On Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination systematically exists in the U.S society. The situation of ethnic minorities’ human rights is grim.

Racial discrimination is prevalent in the field of law enforcement and justice. According to a survey carried out in 2012, at least 136 unarmed African-Americans were killed by policemen or security guards in the year (www.un.org, September 3, 2013). Unarmed black youth Jonathan Ferrell, 24, sought help after a car accident, but was shot multiple times and killed by police (New York Daily News, September 16, 2013). Black lady Diggles, 25, was handcuffed and brutally beaten by two white cops for an unpaid fine (www.dailymail.co.uk, June 4, 2013). Racially biased stops and interrogations often occur at streets. The U.S. district judge declared that at least 200,000 stops were made by New York police without reasonable suspicion (www.usatoday.com, August 18, 2013).

A latest report released by the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that despite the fact that marijuana use was about the same for both black and white Americans, blacks were four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. One primary reason is that racial bias prevalently exists in the field of justice (www.usatoday.com, June 24, 2013). Similarly, even though data collected have shown that white women use drugs at roughly the same rate as minority women, two-thirds of women in state prisons incarcerated for drug offenses are Hispanic or black (www.humaneexposures.com, December 12, 2013).

In July 2013, protests took place in several cities in the U.S. after a white neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was not found guilty of murdering black youth Trayvon Martin by gun shot (www.abc.net.au, July 15, 2013). The U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said that “the American legal system has once again failed justice” (www.bbc.co.uk, July 14, 2013). On September 3, 2013, the Working Group of Experts on Peoples of African Descent with the United Nations Human Rights Council and Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism lodged a joint appeal, asking the American government to reinvestigate into the Martin case as soon as possible and review the laws that may lead to racial discrimination against African-Americans (www.un.org, September 3, 2013).

Racial discrimination is rampant in public places. The Los Angeles Times reported on December 2, 2013, racial and sex discrimination exists in the employment and daily workplaces of the Los Angeles Fire Department. From 2006 to 2010, payouts in Los Angeles Fire Department discrimination and harassment cases cost more than 17 million U.S. dollars. New York Daily News reported on October 26, 2013, black star Rob Brown bought his mom a 1,350 U.S. dollars watch at Macy’s, but was suspected of using a fake credit card after being racially profiled by the store. The police handcuffed and detained him for an hour. According to a report by huffingtonpost.com on October 23, 2013, black college student Trayon Christian was buying a 350 U.S. dollars belt at Barneys, but a Barneys sales clerk believed the transaction was fraudulent and called police. Despite showing the officers the receipt for the belt and his ID, he was still handcuffed and taken to a local precinct. Christian’s attorney said that “His only crime was being a young black man.”

 Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Protester Keisha Martin-Hall holds a bag of Skittles as she participates in a rally in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial in Times Square in New York, July 14,2013.U.S.President Barack Obama called for calm after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, as thousands of civil rights demonstrators turned out at rallies to condemn racial profiling. Zimmerman, cleared by a Florida jury of six women, still faces public outrage, a possible civil suit and demands for a federal investigation. Reuters / Keith Bedford

Some mainstream media, social organizations and politicians publicize racist comments. On October 16, 2013, American Broadcasting Company’s Jimmy Kimmel Show aired a segment saying “kill everyone in China” and promoted racial hatred. It aroused unease and protests from Asian Americans especially Chinese Americans (www.washingtonpost.com, November 8, 2013). The American Family Association, one of the leading religious right groups, claimed that “Latino voters are greedy and lazy socialist, and that’s why they don’t vote for Republicans” (www.voiceofrussia.com, March 30, 2013). A white women Colorado lawmaker insinuated, via mentioning barbecue and chicken, poor habits and diets should be considered factors to the life expectancy and diseases of blacks. Her remarks were regarded as having a tendency to racism (www.usatoday.com, August 22, 2013).

Encroachment on indigenous peoples’ rights prevalently exists. On February 13, 2013, Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples highlighted high rates of violence against American indigenous women by non-indigenous men. On September 10, Anaya reiterated the obstacles to implementing the law on ensuring Indian children’s wellbeing and called on the U.S. government to take all necessary measures to safeguard the human rights of Indian children (www.unsr.jamesanaya.org, February 13, 2013). On September 10, 2013, the Minority Rights Group International accused the U.S. Capital Energy Belize, Ltd of oil exploration in Belize’s Maya communities without consent of indigenous peoples (www.minorityrights.org, September 10, 2013).

V.

On Women and Children’s Rights

Sex discrimination is still serious, and children’s rights are not well protected in the United States.

Women are facing serious employment discrimination. According to a report carried by the Los Angeles Times on December 2, 2013, the ratio of women firefighters in the uniformed ranks remains at just under 3 percent – the same as in 1995. Women’s salary is far lower than men’s. On average in 2012, women made about 81 percent of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 20, 2013 (www.bls.gov, October 2013). Women’s average annual income is 11,500 U.S. dollars less that that of men’s. African American women are paid 69 cents for every dollar paid to all men, and Latinas are paid just 58 cents for every dollar paid to all men, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual survey (www.nationalpartnershipforwomen &families.org, September 17, 2013).

Women and children experienced frequent violent attacks and sexual assaults. In 2013, lawsuits on female suspects being strip-searched were frequently reported. According to a report from the Chicago Tribune on October 10, 2013, several bones were shattered in a woman’s face after she was arrested for drunk-driving. She was shoved, beaten and strip-searched by police. Domestic violence is still serious in the U.S.. According to a report by the National Network to End Domestic Violence in 2013, a survey conducted in September 2012 showed in just one 24-hour period, local domestic violence programs across the country provided help and safety to 64,324 domestic violence victims. Sadly, 10,471 requests of domestic violence victims went unmet on that same day due to lack of funds (www.nnedv.org).

U.S. female soldiers experienced frequent sexual harassment and assault. According to the website of the Military Times, 6.1 percent of active duty women say they experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012 (www.militarytimes.com, May 7, 2013). From 2010 to 2012, there was a 35 percent increase in sexual assault and harassment cases in the military. Fourteen percent of military victims report their assaults and 64 percent of convicted sexual perpetrators were discharged from the military (www.airforcetimes.com, July 23, 2013). Cases of children sexual abuse and exploitation occurred frequently. According to a report on the website of Los Angeles Times on July 29, 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a three-day sex-trafficking sweep in 76 cities in July 2013. Some 105 sexually exploited teenagers, some as young as 13, were rescued during the nationwide campaign. Nearly all of them are girls.

Children’s security can not be effectively protected. Children’s security in family is a prominent problem. According to a report carried by the Chicago Tribune on November 16, 2013, 111 children lost their lives from abuse or neglect in Illinois in 2012, a year of record child deaths from abuse and neglect. The majority died before they were one year old. Nationally, the number of child deaths from abuse and neglect was 1,545. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times on December 18, 2013, child abuse is serious under California’s privatized foster care system. The system is so poorly monitored that foster care agencies with a history of abuse can continue caring for children for years. In Los Angeles County, at least four children died as a result of abuse or neglect over the last five years in homes overseen by private agencies. Children have become frequent victims of violent crimes. According to a report carried by the Chicago Tribune on September 15, 2013, all summer long, wounded little children arrived in Chicago’s emergency rooms at a pace of about one a week. Victims’ parents had this revelation: “We’re not safe anywhere!”

Large amount of child labors in agriculture. According to the 2012 childhood agricultural injury survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 41,310 youth under the age of 16 were hired on farms. But a representative from the Children in the Fields Campaign believed there were about 400,000 to 500,000 kids who were working in the fields in 2012. Some types of chores, such as agricultural machine operation and pesticide spraying, have directly threatened children’s health, security, or even life (www.usatoday.com, October 25, 2013). Statistics released by the National Children’s Center For Rural And Agricultural Health and Safety in December 2013 showed that 38 children were injured in agriculture-related accidents each day in the U.S.. In March, 2013, the National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System broadcast in-depth stories about a 14-year-old child who was engulfed by grain and killed while working in a silo in Illinois. And 20 percent of the victims of grain engulfment are young workers (stopchildlabor.org, March 29, 2013).

VI.

On Violations of Human Rights against Other Nations

The Untied States is the world’s biggest violator of human rights of non-American persons and has been strongly denounced by the international community in cases of the PRISM program, drone strikes, Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and prisoner torture around the globe.

A large number of overseas surveillance projects conducted by the U.S. violated other countries’ sovereignty and the civil rights of their people. State heads and other leaders, diplomatic agencies and citizens of other countries have long been under surveillance of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). According to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 leaders of other countries and collected five billion pieces of information every day through tracking cell phone movements around the world (www.theguardian.com, October 25, 2013; swampland.time.com, December 4, 2013). In April 2013, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression Frank La Rue noted in a report that “the United States renewed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment Act of 2008 extending the Government’s power to conduct surveillance of non-American persons located outside the United States, including any foreign individual whose communications are hosted by cloud services located in the United States” (UN document A/HRC/23/40).

On September 9, 2013, the UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay expressed concern about the impact of the U.S. surveillance on the individuals’ right to privacy and other human rights during the opening of the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (www.ohchr.org, September 9, 2013). The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution of protecting the right to privacy in the digital age at its 68th session on December 19, 2013, stressing that unlawful, arbitrary surveillance, interception, and data collection are a breach of the right to privacy and freedom of expression. Some countries condemned the U.S. as a violator of human rights, as well as the UN Charter principles of respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs (www.un.org, December 19, 2013).

Frequent drone strikes by the U.S. have caused a large amount of non-American civilian casualties. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent not-for-profit organization in the UK, the U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, and up to 926 civilians were reported dead (www.reuters.com, October 22, 2013). On May 9, 2013, the Peshawar High Court in Pakistan ruled that the U.S. drone strikes on targets in Pakistan illegally breached national sovereignty and were in “blatant violation of Basic Human Rights” and provisions of the Geneva Conventions, according to the New York-based Open Society Foundations (www.opensocietyfoundations.org, May 28, 2013). On December 12, 2013, a U.S. drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy in Yemen’s al-Baitha province after intelligence reports identified the vehicles as carrying al Qaeda militants, with 14 people killed and 22 others injured, two Yemeni national security officials told CNN (www.edition.cnn.com, December 13, 2013). In October, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism Ben Emmerson, urged the U.S. to disclose more information about its drone programs (www.un.org, October 31, 2013). The UN special rapporteurs on extrajudicial executions and on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism focused on the issue of civilian casualties caused by drone strikes in their reports to the third committee of the UN General Assembly. The U.S. refused to account for those strikes and take measures to reduce civilian casualties as requested by the UN or other government organizations (www.un.org, October 31, 2013).

The U.S. tortures prisoners in other countries and regions. In March 2013, the special rapporteur Ben Emmerson noted in a report that on September 17, 2001, the former U.S. President Bush authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to operate a secret detention program which involved the establishment of clandestine detention facilities known as “black sites” on the territory of other states, and allegedly authorized the CIA to carry out “extraordinary renditions.” Despite wide criticism against the CIA’s illegal action, no American official has so far been brought to justice (UN document A/HRC/22/52). The program saw terror suspects spirited to secret prisons around the globe without legal process, interrogated and sometimes tortured (www.independent.co.uk, February 18, 2013). The Open Society Foundation said at least 136 individuals were reportedly extraordinarily rendered or secretly detained by the CIA (www.opensocietyfoundations.org, February 5, 2013).

Guantanamo Bay detainees’ human rights were severely damaged with many of them held there indefinitely without trial. On October 3 2013, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on its official website the continuing indefinite incarceration of the detainees amounts to arbitrary detention and is in clear breach of international law (www.un.org, October 3, 2013). A total of 92 Guantanamo military prisoners joined in the hunger strike that began in February 2013, to protest indefinite incarceration and bad treatment (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013). Force feedings were carried out. Inmates were chained to chairs by Army guars, tubes were inserted through their noses by Navy medical workers (www.upi.com, April 24, 2013). The UN human rights office announced that the force feedings of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility is a breach of international law (www.commondreams.org, May 1, 2013). On October 3, 2013, the special rapporteur on torture noted indefinite incarceration, solitary confinement, force feeding are a breach of international law (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013). The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in May 2013 that the Guantanamo Bay camp is a typical case of violating human rights while countering terrorism (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013).

The U.S. denies the right to subsistence and development of people in developing countries. On October 29, 2013, the 68th session of the UN General Assembly adopted its twenty-second consecutive resolution calling for an end to the U.S. decades-long economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba, with a recorded vote of 188 in favor to 2 (the U.S. and Israel) against with 3 abstentions. The General Assembly criticized the U.S. for violating the Cubans’ right to subsistence and development (www.ohchr.org, October 29, 2013). The U.S. is indifferent to the right of development of people in developing countries. In September 2013, the twenty-fourth session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution reaffirming the declaration on the right to development, with a recorded vote of 46 to 1 (the U.S.), with no abstentions (UN document A/68/53/Add.1).

Xinhua News Agency

(China Daily 03/01/2014 page5)

[SOURCE: China Daily at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2014-03/01/content_17314424.htm ]