Tag Archives: capitalism sucks

Zika Virus: Capitalist Press Spreads Inaccurate, Fear-Mongering Unscientific Information [UPDATED 17 Apr 2016]

Countries with reported cases of Zika virus as of December 2015.

Countries with reported cases of Zika virus as of 4 December 2015.  Source: ECDC, “Rapid Risk Assessment: Zika virus epidemic in the Americas: potential association with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome -10 December 2015”

[UPDATE (17 April, 2016): The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have now BOTH announced that they believe that the latest scientific evidence DOES IMPLY THAT A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION AND BIRTH DEFECTS EXISTS.  We agree with this statement made by World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan: “Though the association [between Zika virus infection and birth defects] is not yet scientifically proven, [researchers have] concluded that there is now scientific consensus that Zika virus is implicated in these neurological disorders. The kind of urgent action called for by this public health emergency should not wait for definitive proof.” We plan to write a new article incorporating this latest information; in the meantime you can review the latest announcements here:

World Health Organization (WHO): (22 March 2016)  http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/zika-update-3-16/en/

WHO:  Zika Virus – Questions and Answers  http://www.who.int/features/qa/zika/en/

CDC:  (April 13, 2016)  http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0414-zika-update.html

New England Journal of Medicine:  (April 13, 2016)  http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMsr1604338

—IWPCHI]

[Author’s note: this article, though slightly revised today, Mar 15th was originally written on 3 February 2015.  In a fit of uncharacteristic timidity we hesitated in publishing it due to the rather broad declarations made by the author, who is not a medical professional.  Having seen very little to date in the scientific literature that contradicts the gist of the author’s arguments we have decided to “let this bird fly”. We have appended links to latest peer-reviewed preliminary studies on Zika virus released this past week by the New England Journal of Medicine.  – IWPCHI]

As usual, the bourgeois press are eagerly trumpeting the latest health scare news in order to increase their profits, with little or no regard for the accuracy of their statements about the disease or the impact their horror stories will have on the public.

We were doubtful about the first scare stories we heard late last year (2015) as they were big on spreading fear and contained little useful information – as usual. It seems that it is beyond the ability of the capitalist press to report any science story without gross distortion of the facts or, in the case of “emerging diseases”, scare-mongering. But after all, the purpose of the capitalist press is not to educate but to make money. And so we are being bombarded by a flood of absurd and inaccurate fear-inducing articles about Zika virus and its possible effects.  We hope that this article will shed some light on the subject.

Our research into this topic took us to the websites of the New York Times, the Guardian (UK), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as a number of scientific papers on the subject. The links you’ll find throughout the article will take you to many of the sources we used to compile this review of the current status of the Zika virus epidemic.

No scientific evidence exists at this time proving a link between Zika virus and microcephaly

We are happy to report that our investigation of the Zika virus reveals little that should terrify anyone. A Zika virus infection almost never leads to death; in Brazil, where somewhere between 440,000 and 1,300,000 cases of Zika virus infection are belived to have occurred in 2015, fewer than a dozen people had died as of 30 November 2015.  [Source: ECDC – Zika virus epidemic in the Americas 10 December 2015 (see pages 3 and 8)]  Only an estimated 1 in 5 people who are exposed to the virus will even develop any noticeable symptoms! The Zika infection itself usually causes either no symptoms at all or mild illness (such as fever, rash and sometimes vomiting) and is over without any lasting complications usually in less than 2 weeks after onset of symptoms. In other words: Ebola it ain’t!

The loudly and irresponsibly spread stories comparing Zika virus to AIDS and linking Zika virus infections in Brazil to birth defects including microcephaly are – so far as we can determine at this time – utterly without foundation.

A note about how science suffers in the hands of the capitalists

All of these organizations are products of capitalist society and bourgeois science. They exhibit all the weaknesses inherent in all governmental and corporate endeavors in the “for-profit” capitalist world. The governmental and quasi-governmental scientific organizations of the capitalists are forced to justify their existence and the expenditures made in their support to a capitalist ruling class that would much prefer to keep the money in their own pockets rather than spend it on scientific inquiry. In order to keep the government channeling money into their bureaucracies, even “scientists” running organizations like the World Health Organization must remind the world from time to time just how important it is to keep the funding flowing in their direction. Epidemics like Ebola and Zika virus can be expected to be exploited for this purpose by national and international health organizations as well as by the for-profit news media. This is why we often see the supposedly “impartial” scientific bodies of the capitalist world exaggerating or understating the dangers of emerging diseases – depending on which way the political winds are blowing in the capitalist nation-states in which these scientific organizations are based.

The World Health Organization was severely criticised for its slow response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa. That is a major reason why we think they may be “bending the stick too far” in the opposite direction, overreacting to an alleged microcephaly “epidemic” which is in fact merely coincident to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil. As with everything else, greed-based capitalism poisons scientific inquiry and the news media reportage on scientific topics. The scientific truth is buried under political and economic imperatives of a profit-mongering ruling class that places its own petty self-interest above all else. Political appointees to important governmental posts responsible for the health of millions or even billions of people have proven over and over again to have placed their careers ahead of the public welfare. We’ve seen this with the AIDS epidemic, the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, the Ebola outbreak, the Flint, Michigan (USA) water scandal, the “debate” over global warming and now once again with the Zika virus.

Added to this weakness inherent in bourgeois press reportage on scientific subjects in general and the motivations behind the sensationalist claims made by national and international medical organizations we must add the current hatred of the United States Government and its proxies for the government of Brazil, which is partner to a new economic union of the nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (known collectively as the “BRICS” nations) which represent a serious threat to the current domination of the world’s economy by the United States.  Elements of the Zika virus hysteria appear to be motivated by the US desire to do anything it can do to weaken the government of Brazil economically (Brazil of course being the “B” in “BRICS”).  By exaggerating the impact of Zika virus the US hopes to reduce tourism to Brazil, in particular during the upcoming Olympic Games to be held there this year, thereby putting severe economic pressure on the increasingly unstable current left-reformist capitalist government of Dilma Rousseff of the corruption plagued and grossly misnamed “Partido dos Trabalhadores” (“PT”: in English: “Workers Party”).  This campaign by the US and European press is already bearing its malignant effects; sales of tickets to this summer’s Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro are reportedly going very poorly, and tourism is generally down as well.

The longer the working class allows the capitalist greedheads to run the world, with each passing day the more serious become the environmental and economic problems we all have to face. It is just a matter of time before these idiots destroy the planet through a combination of wars, epidemics and environmental destruction.  While workers pretend that there is nothing they can do to change the world, the capitalists, constantly focusing on satisfying their mad lust for money, will make our lives more and more difficult to bear.  With their new, idiotic campaign against Zika virus, they have undertaken to pointlessly scare the crap out of the world’s expectant mothers over something which has been demontrated for decades to be relatively harmless.

As a revolutionary Trotskyist political party we are not here to make money selling newspapers – we are here to tell the working class the truth about what is going on in the world as best as we can. We don’t benefit by spreading scare-stories like the bourgeois press does; that is one of the benefits of having a political party like ours solely dedicated to defending the rights and interests of the working class.  Sensationalizing such an important story would only bring discredit upon our political party – we have nothing to gain from such chicanery.  So here’s what we’ve been able to discover so far about Zika virus and its alleged link to microcephaly.

Brief historical background on Zika virus

Millions of people have been infected by Zika virus since 1947 and NEVER had there been a related outbreak of microcephaly reported anywhere – until late last year. Is there any reason to believe that something new is happening with Zika virus all of a sudden?  We think it is unlikely.  We could be wrong – we’re not doctors or virologists, and viruses can undergo evolutionary changes that transform harmless viruses into very dangerous forms.  Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often – if it did, the human race would have been wiped out long ago. 

The Zika virus was first detected in Uganda in 1947; starting in 1951 the virus was detected in humans throughout Africa and, later on, in Asia. In Nigeria in the late ’60s – early ’70s it was found that antibodies produced in response to Zika virus infection were present in the blood samples of 40% of the people tested – meaning that human exposure to the virus was extremely common and that chances of long-term survival after exposure were very high. [Source: Edward B Hayes – Zika Virus Outside Africa]  During all this time that the virus was causing illness in human beings in many countries on two continents NO ONE reported cases of birth defects caused by the virus, nor were there any accompanying epidemics of microcephaly reported anywhere until in the recent Brazilian outbreak of 2015.  In a Zika virus epidemic in French Polynesia during 2013-14 there were reports of Zika virus illness accompanied by the development of Guillain-Barre syndrome  but those reports have not yet been confirmed as it is quite difficult to diagnose accurately.

News reports from Brazil, where an apparent epidemic of cases of microcephaly is now occurring, have screamed that the Zika virus is responsible for these microcephaly cases. BUT AS OF THIS WRITING, THERE IS NOT A SHRED OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION CAUSES BIRTH DEFECTS IN HUMANS!  Something very unusual appears to be happening in Brazil… but it’s so very new that scientists simply don’t yet know what exactly is going on with the apparent birth defect outbreak there.  A closer look at the evidence indicates that the reported microcephaly outbreak may be greatly overstated.

Distribution of microcephaly cases in Brazil as of 28 November 2015. Source: ECDC

Distribution of microcephaly cases in Brazil as of 28 November 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC

Notified - NOT confirmed - cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil, 2010 - 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC

Notified – NOT confirmed – cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil, 2010 – 2015. Source: ibid., ECDC  Scary-looking graph – but over half (66%) of the reported cases of microcephaly examined so far turned out to have been falsely diagnosed, according to Brazilian health authorities quoted in the New York Times (see story below).

Over half of reported microcephaly cases in Brazil proven to have been wrongly diagnosed so far

The hysteria generated in Brazil by the idiot bourgeois press in their lust for profits has led to overstating of the number of actual cases of microcephaly in newborn Brazilian babies. The New York Times reported this past week that in well over half (462 out of 700 cases, or 66%) of the reported cases of microcephaly either no microcephaly was found, or it was equally likely to have been caused by something other than an infection like alcohol or drug abuse by the mother during pregnancy” according to the Brazilian Health Ministry.

Microcephaly is not always easy to diagnose in newborns, as many children are born with slightly smaller heads; in some cases, the parents themselves simply have slightly smaller skull sizes in comparison to the “average” – which is, by itself, not indicative of any brain abnormality at all. The “average” human skull is the median size between the largest and smallest – there is variation in human beings’ “normal” skull sizes. Except in extreme cases it is often necessary to wait for some time – months – before it becomes clear that a baby’s growth rate is not progressing normally.  Since many of the people whose babies are suspected of suffering from microcephaly are poor, their ability to obtain the proper medical care necessary to provide an early and accurate diagnosis is lacking – thanks to the crappy capitalist system which only provides quality health care to those who can pay for it.

Microcephaly cases in Brazil concentrated in northeastern provinces

The current hysteria over Zika and the perceived increase in Microcephaly cases in Brazil may well be leading to overdiagnosis of microcephaly by overly cautions medical personnel. It would be more accurate to say that what we are seeing in Brazil is not necessarily an increase in microcephaly, but an increase in the number of cases diagnosed as microcephaly.   Only time will tell how many actual cases there are.  As these suspected cases of microcephaly are studied over the next few months, it is highly likely that many of the babies will turn out to be developing normally.  It is crucially important at this stage of the investigation into this apparent unaccountable increase in microcephaly cases that all potential causes are looked into, not just Zika virus.  The distribution of microcephaly cases may be indicative of regional exposure to environmental toxins, contaminated food or milk or water or any number of other things.   Focusing solely on Zika could prove to be a costly mistake if it turns out that something else is causing the alarming rise in microcephaly cases.

SOMETHING is going on in northeastern Brazil which is causing a significant number of babies to be born with measurably smaller skulls.  The fact that never before have there been reports of increased incidence of microcephaly accompanying Zika infection – even after hundreds of millions of people having been exposed to it – is very good news and hopefully this long-term trend of no Zika virus-microcephaly link will continue.

 The Brazilian government seems to be focusing on eradication of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. This may turn out to be a waste of time and money as well as a wild goose chase that may have deleterious impacts on the environment. A very broad investigation encompassing all possible ways that pregnant women whose babies are confirmed to have microcephaly may have been exposed to chemicals or toxins known to cause such birth defects must be undertaken. It appears to us to be doubtful that Zika virus is in fact the cause of any actual microcephaly outbreak taking place in Brazil.

Adding to our suspicions that the world is going off on a wild goose chase is the latest data coming in from an even more recent outbreak of Zika infection in Brazil’s next-door neighbor, Colombia. There, additional thousands of people have come down with Zika virus illness – but as yet, thankfully! – no increase in the number of microcephaly cases has been reported there so far (as of 3 February 2016).  That is very good news!

Since the virus and its infection run their course so quickly it is impossible to say for certain whether or not a woman was infected with the Zika virus during her pregnancy unless blood and perhaps even spinal fluid samples were taken from her during the time she was suffering from a Zika infection. Reports that Brazilian women had been infected with Zika virus during their pregnancies were often based on surveys conducted with the women after they have given birth – months after their alleged Zika-related illness may or may not have occurred. It’s quite possible that many of these women whose babies have been born with severe birth defects and who THINK they may have been exposed to Zika virus during their pregnancy were not in fact exposed to the virus while they were pregnant. The media-induced hysteria could be creating create “false memories” in people who are only now, retrospectively “remembering” experiencing symptoms of the disease that were caused by other things.

Intensive studies of the apparrent microcephaly epidemic are underway now and we expect that the scientists investigating this mysterious outbreak of birth defects will be able to determine its cause over the next year.  At this time there is no reason for pregnant women to fear for the health of their babies due to the spread of the Zika virus. Health agencies are urging women living in or traveling to countries where the Zika virus outbreak is ongoing to take basic precautions to prevent exposure to the mosquitoes that carry the virus.  Since the mosquitoes that carry the virus are active in the daytime as well as night, pregnant women are urged to use insect repellent all day as well as mosquito netting while sleeping or resting.   

Based on our survey of the available literature from the WHO, PAHO, and the CDC and ECDC there is no solid scientific evidence at this time indicating that Zika virus definitely causes microcephaly or Guillain-Barre syndrome. The Zika virus has infected millions of people all over the world since the late 1940s and has proven so far to be as harmless as the common cold for the vast majority of people who are exposed to it. Zika is nowhere near as dangerous as “Ebola”.  There is at this time absolutely no reason for people to panic over the spread of this relatively innocuous virus.  We advise people to continue to monitor the situation as it develops over the next year.  Panicking does no one any good – unless you happen to be an owner of a print or broadcast media empire – or the head of state of a declining imperialist power like the United States.

—IWPCHI

[UPDATE 15 Mar 2016:  The latest information on the developments in Brazil relating to the Zika virus and its possible links to microcephaly cases that we have found was published over the past two weeks in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The titles and links are available below.  — IWPCHI

“Zika Virus Associated with Microcephaly” (reporting on ONE confirmed case);  New England Journal of Medicine, 10 Mar 2016

“Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro – Preliminary Report” NEJM 4 Mar 2016.  This article relates the findings of the first 88 pregnant women who have been enrolled in a study of the effect of Zika virus in them and their babies.  While prenatal ultrasound exams indicated microcephaly in 4 of the 88 babies examined so far, those results were only confirmed in just one case; two predicted cases of microcephaly based on ultrasound proved UNFOUNDED at birth.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, "Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro - Preliminary Report", 4 March 2016 NEJM (4 Mar 2016) at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1602412#t=article

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, “Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro – Preliminary Report”, 4 March 2016
NEJM (4 Mar 2016) at
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1602412#t=article

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#FeeltheBern: Sanders Does The Old Democratic Party “Bait-and-Switch”

So much of what socialists write seems to be about “negatives”; we’re against this injustice, we’re against that outrage; and it’s true that we do tend to focus on the major crises facing the human race in the world today. By any measure, the capitalist world is a world that continually brings about conflict between nation-states over resources and for political control of strategically important economic assets. Our revolutionary socialist websites and newspapers seem reduced to a highly-condensed and intense account of everything that is wrong in the world today! From the perspective of a worker who just happens to come across a socialist selling their party’s newspaper, it appears that everything we have to say is negative.  What is wrong with us?

Socialist newspapers, thanks to the fact that so few workers support them financially, must be small; and there are in fact so many serious injustices in the capitalist world that it would be irresponsible for us to fill the few pages we have in our newspapers (which come out only two to four times a month) that it is very rare that we can devote the limited space to the little truly “good news” that’s out there. We end up highlighting the many evil workings of the capitalists and their crisis-ridden system all over the planet; we spend perhaps too little time on explaining the “positive” side of things – how socialism has the very real potential to make life much easier and more enjoyable for the vast majority of people on this planet. “What will socialism do to make *my* life better?” people wonder.

Whether or not socialism will make your life better depends on what social class you were born into. If you were born into the working class, a socialist revolution would create a far more democratic political system than the one we know now; and you would no longer have to fear the loss of your job and the resulting poverty and homelessness that would likely ensue. That’s because, under socialism, housing, food, clothing and access to health care would be guaranteed rights, not privileges granted you (or not) by the landlord/capitalist class.

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you're getting screwed by your capitalist "friends". Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you’re getting screwed by your capitalist “friends”. Recent Trends in Wealth Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

There is indeed a group of people who will not benefit at all, and whose standard of living would decline precipitously under socialism: the wealthy capitalist class; this is why their media and politicians never tire of telling you that socialism is “worse than slavery” and more evil than Hitler times ten. At the very pinnacle of the world’s economy sits the wealthy – and proportionately tiny – capitalist class. These people, who live lives more luxurious than those of the Biblical kings and queens, are the ones who really run the world economy – in their selfish, helter-skelter capitalist way.  Systematically exploiting billions of workers and peasants, they amass a hugely disproportionate percentage of the planet’s wealth. In the United States, the wealthiest 10% seize for themselves 75% of the national income annually, while the “bottom 90%” are forced to fight among themselves for the remaining 25%.  As if to make the whole disgusting state of affairs, they cap it all off by calling their political system “democracy”. What kind of a democratic system is it that allows the systematic plundering of the vast majority of the citizenry by so few people? To call this capitalist world “democratic” is to slander the very idea of democracy.

This is Bernie Sanders' pro-capitalist reformist program, not a revolutionary socialist redistribution of wealth. Source: sanders.senate.gov/budget

This is Bernie Sanders’ lame, pro-capitalist reformist program, not a revolutionary socialist redistribution of wealth. Sanders’ tepid tax reforms would not even begin to redistribute wealth in anything like an egalitarian fashion.  Source: sanders.senate.gov/budget

People like the fake-socialist Bernie Sanders propose to make an adjustment to this hideously unequal distribution of wealth by merely raising the taxes on the wealthy by a few percentage points. Anyone who can do basic math can see that such a “redistribution of wealth” would not make much of a difference in the lives of the vast majority of the workers in this country, who make up approximately 75% of the population. Raising the taxes on the wealthy by 2, 3 or 5% is not a solution to this problem; it is just a phony scheme to make workers THINK that something is being done to tip the scales in the favor of the majority.  Sanders’ phony-socialist plan to raise the percentage of national wealth distributed to the “bottom 90%” from the current 25% to 27% is not a program of wealth redistribution of any serious kind. It maintains the economic status quo, leaving the capitalist class in power and merely requires that the capitalists spend a bit more money to bribe a few more politicians to rescind the tax increases as soon as Sanders is no longer sitting in the Oval Office.

Of course, the bankruptcy of the Sanders electoral program goes far deeper than this: Bernie Sanders has almost NO support for his fake-socialist programs in Congress – even among his fellow Democrats.  Never mind the fact that the Republicans will never support the changes he proposes; if Bernie Sanders was elected President, he’d be a lame-duck president from day 1. Having absolutely no support even among the members of his own party in the national or state legislatures, he would reveal to the world the fact that the US Presidency is largely a symbolic office, which can only effectively wield power if it is backed by the support of the US Congress.

This is why we have founded the Independent Workers Party of Chicago – to bring home to the US working class the realization that, until the working class has its own political party, owned and operated by worker-revolutionaries and dedicated solely to fighting for the rights of the working class, it will remain impossible for the workers to exercise their tremendous power to obtain any control over the nation’s political system. In 2016, the US working class does not have ONE representative dedicated to fighting for its own political and economic interests at the state or national level! The US’ phony democracy is laid bare by this simple statement of fact. Only when the working class –  roughly 75% of the US population – has its proper proportion of representatives in government at the state and national levels can we even BEGIN to call the United States a “democracy”.  This is an irrefutable fact.

The office of the President of the United States is an executive position as CEO of “Capitalism, USA”. It is not an office that any worker should aspire to.  The President is the figurehead political representative of the US capitalist class; his job is to make sure that, domestically and internationally, the interests of the US capitalist class are solidly defended from all competitors.  The office of President was created for this purpose and this purpose only; it can’t be transformed into something else simply by voting for a socialist president.  Only if the US working class had the kind of proportional representation in Congress that reflected its actual vast predominance population-wise would it make sense that we should seriously run a candidate for President. Even the most revolutionary socialist in the US – like ourselves! – would be utterly useless as head of government without that President’s own party holding the majority of seats in the national legislature.  It is far more important for the working class to capture control of the House of Representatives than it is to elect a lone socialist to the presidency.

In Bernie Sanders’ case, his political program is so completely out of touch with the ideology of the vast majority of Democrats holding Congressional office that even if he won the election – something that the US Constitution itself is rigged up via the Electoral College precisely to prevent – he would be as useless to the realization of a working class program for the USA as the election of a photograph of Lenin to the Presidency would be (although even the photo of Lenin would be far more revolutionary than is the flesh-and-blood pro-capitalist Democrat Sanders).

We receive so much criticism from Bernie Sanders supporters when we make this kind of plain statement of fact that it is amazing. The working class of the US – particularly the “politically active” youth – are in a state of such profound ignorance in 2016 that they refuse to see that the Sanders campaign is nothing but a pink herring being used to draw them in to a trap in which they will find themselves forced to vote for Hillary Clinton.* But who is spreading the pernicious lie that voting a “socialist” into the Oval Office will produce a “political revolution” in the USA, anyway?

Democratic-Party-run MoveOn tries quite unsuccessfully to hide fact that their members really aren't excited - at all - about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton administartion.

Democratic-Party-run MoveOn tries quite unsuccessfully to hide fact that their members really aren’t excited – at all – about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton administration.

Primarily, this lie is being spread by Democratic-Party organizations like MoveOn and the “left wing” of the pro-capitalist (and pro-Hillary) AFL-CIO. This is not something they are doing out of ignorance of how the US government works – they know full well that if Sanders, running as Democrat, won the presidential election it would produce a “lame duck” presidency; they know that none of the already bought-and-paid-for Democratic Congressmen or Senators (who owe their jobs to the capitalists who financed their campaigns) would support any program that their capitalist masters opposed – never mind a “socialist” program! MoveOn and the “leftists” in the AFL-CIO are spreading illusions in a Sanders presidency because they KNOW that Sanders is not going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party; and they also KNOW that trying to sell the hugely unpalatable Hillary Clinton to the youth of the US is an impossibility. Their backing of Sanders is a conscious, cynical ploy to raise illusions in the minds of the youth that the Democrats really do represent the “lesser evil” party; they intend to get you to vote for Hillary by first getting you to vote for Sanders.*

These organizations – especially the AFL-CIO – have played this game effectively many times before – most notably in the 1980s with the phony primary campaigns of Jesse Jackson,  whose success at running the old Democratic Party “bait-and-switch” scam is the political template for the 2016 Bernie Sanders version. The Democrats have long known that their party program – designed by and paid for by the allegedly more “moderate” wing of the US capitalist class – is so repulsive to the majority of workers that it is necessary to slather copious amounts of political Vaseline all over their intended candidate in the form of a Jesse Jackson or Bernie Sanders campaign – in order to get the working class to accept the enormous, rigid, diseased capitalist phallus they intend to shove up our asses eventually in the form of a Walter Mondale or Hillary Clinton campaign.

This electoral method of getting the workers to vote for someone they intensely dislike is a form of psychological warfare used to break down the intense instinctive antipathy towards the capitalists’ program found in the hearts – if not yet consciously in the minds – of the working class of the USA. Using tried-and-true capitalist advertising gimmicks, the Democrats run a, frankly, not very sophisticated bait-and-switch using a more palatable group of candidates in the primaries to draw workers into actively campaigning for one or another pretend-candidate, all the while knowing that this person will never obtain the nomination no matter how popular he or she is. Psychologically, once people have invested themselves in support of a candidate, going among their friends stumping for Sanders, say, they have risked their credibility among their friends thereby and must defend their choice more and more strenuously as the primaries drag on.  When the inevitable finally comes to pass and the fake-candidate concedes defeat – and even worse, urges his or her supporters to transfer their support to the hated “real” candidate… it has become psychologically very difficult for the fake-candidate’s supporters to refuse to do this. The Democrats know that many of the more intelligent among the fake-candidate’s supporters will refuse to go along – but they don’t need them anyway. The trick is to present a “fake candidate” who will lead the workers into making such a deep emotional committment to that pantomime candidate that a large MAJORITY of them will follow his advice when he inevitably urges them to support “the next best thing” – this is what matters. As the Jesse Jackson campaigns showed, this works like a charm on worker-consumers long inured to accepting the “bait-and-switch” in every aspect of their lives, from phony sales at the supermarket to jobs that turn out to be the opposite of what was advertised.  Most of the Jackson supporters dutifully pulled the levers for the chosen nominee of what had now become “their” party candidate.  Once a person has been emotionally drawn in to committing to a party via the “fake”, the psychological distance that must be traveled to switching one’s support to the previously hated “real” candidate is not that far at all. This is where the sharp hook of the “lesser evil” scheme actually is hidden.

Putting it another way: The Sanders campaign is like a bridge that is built by the Democratic Party machine to draw voters across the canyon separating them from the intended nominee of the Party – in this case, the undesirable Hillary Clinton. The Sanders campaign cleverly conceals the construction of this bridge during the primaries; all along as the bridge is being built under the feet of the workers, Sanders is luring these naive folks across the canyon, closer and closer to the goal of getting them to support the despised Hillary.  Once the bridge is completed and Sanders has drawn his supporters, completely unknowing, step by step, month by month all the way across the gorge to the Hillary side; only once as many of the Bernie supporters as possible – except the few perceptive ones who see what’s happening – are across, the bridge is summarily burned behind the crowd.  Now everyone can #FeeltheBern! Bernie sadly announces with deep regret and tears in his eyes that he realizes that there is no way for him to win the nomination. “We have fought the good fight; and our glorious ideals may someday in the far future come to pass; but now it is our duty as loyal Democrats to gracefully accept defeat and nobly give all our support and delegates to Hillary Clinton”. Horrified, many of Sanders’ supporters will head for the bridge they just crossed; but it will no longer be there for them; even if it was, there would be nowhere to go, psychologically.  They must now stand up to their friends who are laughing at their folly, doubling-down in their support of the Democratic Party as being at least far better than the Republicans.   They have been trapped in the Hillary camp and now they must give in to the Sanders-salesman who pulled this vicious scam upon them – and buy this broken-down Hillary-jalopy as “the best deal that we could get” in 2016.

The trick of course is to get as many Sanders supporters as possible to go for this ripoff. The Democratic Party machine has pulled this scam innumerable times and knows that not everyone is dumb enough to fall for it. They don’t care; they just need to get enough stupid people to sullenly accept the myth that “at least she’s better than ___________ (fill in the Republican nominee’s name here)” and go to the polls and dutifully vote for the person the Democrats intended to run in the first place.  They need every vote they can get in these days when the electorate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.  This is why they are so terrified of the emergence of a third party – and why it is so very necessary.  A viable working-class third-party candidate would only need to poll about 35% of the national vote to win in the typically bogus US “landslide” fashion!*

It is the vast and largely self-imposed ignorance and political backwardness of the US working class that results in their being caught by the same Democratic Party bait on the same capitalist hook over and over and over again. The 4-year passage of time between presidential elections helps to break down the deep voter’s remorse the working-class electorate feels immediately after EVERY election – when the victorious “lesser evil” candidate traditionally repudiates every promise made during the election campaign.  Now, when they finally reveal the fact that the distance between their “lesser evil” program and that of the “bigger evil” party is so small as to not even admit the passage of light between the two, it’s too late for the workers to do anything about it.  (Well, that’s not really true, but so long as the vast majority of US workers can be fooled over and over again by these cheap “three-card-monte” games played against them by the Democrats, they can hardly be expected to rise up in revolt against the fraud after it is accomplished).

Fake-socialists of "Socialist Alternative" back even faker socialist, pro-capitalist Democrat Bernir Sanders.

Fake-socialists of “Socialist Alternative” back even faker socialist: pro-capitalist Democrat Bernie Sanders.

The other group of political bandits spreading the lie of the political viability of the Sanders campaign are the various fake-socialist parties, most notably Socialist Alternative, who are selling the pro-capitalist Democratic Party candidacy of Sanders as a “political revolution” in the making. This bald-faced lie tells us far more about Socialist Alternative than it does about Sanders. Trotskyists called for “political revolution” in the USSR (as we do today in China, Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea).  These are countries that are economically socialist but dominated politically by a repressive and reactionary fake-Marxist Stalinist, Maoist or Il-Sungist bureaucracy that has usurped political power from the working class. It is only in socialist countries like these that it is possible for the workers to launch a “political revolution” only, defending the socialized property forms while seeking to oust the bureaucrats and establish revolutionary socialist workers democracy.

To call for a “political revolution” in the United States is to say – in complete contradiction to basic Marxist ideology – that by simply electing a socialist to take over the Oval Office the capitalist political system can be made to work in behalf of the working class. This is absolutely not true! In capitalist countries, the workers must overthrow the capitalist class and their political AND economic systems in order to even begin to transform the class nature of the government. We can see how bankrupt a program it is to propose that socialists eschew leading an actual revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and merely seize the reins of government instead by looking at the recent electoral collapse of the Chavista government in Venezuela.  The Chavistas – who have tried to demonstrate to the ruling capitalist class their touching loyalty to bourgeois democratic norms by NOT overthrowing the capitalist system – recently lost the Venezuelan elections and who now must turn the reins of government back over to the capitalist parties – who intend to rescind every pro-working-class reform the Chavistas have enacted in the past decade!  This “peaceful, legal” “path to socialism” never has worked even once in history; usually it ends with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of workers being rounded up and executed by the vengeance-seeking capitalist class and their military – as happened  in Chile in 1973.

The Socialist Alternative fake-socialist hucksters also assert that if Sanders does not win the nomination as the presidential candidate of the Democratic party, he should then strike out on his own, abandon the Democratic Party and run as an “independent”.   In an article in the SA newspaper shown above, Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant, Seattle, WA City Council member writes: “If you are electrified by Bernie’s message, you should not support Hillary if Bernie loses the primary.  Endorsing Hillary would be a sure-fire way to demoralize, demobilize,  and wreck the movement building up behind Bernie.  I would instead urge Sanders to continue running as an independent all the way to November, for
example on the Green Party ticket with Jill Stein.”   This idea is even more politically bankrupt than the idea that Sanders could be an effective president over a hostile Congress, which we outlined above.  Besides the fact that it is doubtful that the Green Party would accept having the Democrat Sanders foist upon them, effectively summarily kicking their own presidential candidate “to the curb”… If Sanders would undoubtedly be a “lame duck” president if he “won” the election running as a Democrat, with a Congress that did not support his program, what would he be if he ran and won as an “independent” – or Green Party candidate? He would be not just a “lame duck” but a “dead duck” president! it is doubtful that he would be able to even obtain a single vote for any legislation he would propose; any Democrat who voted for him against the dictates of the Democratic Party machine would essentially be committing political and professional suicide!

Source: NBC News, Meet the Press, 11 October 2015

Source: NBC News, Meet the Press, 11 October 2015

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So how can we, as revolutionary socialists, drive the working class off the political Mobius strip they so stupidly tread year after year and decade after decade… and onto the straight road of socialist revolution? If exposure of the crimes of the capitalist class were all that was necessary, we’d have had a revolution long ago. The revolutionary socialist parties in the US – and in Europe, too – have proven incapable of breaking through the hard shell of the consumerist mindset that encases the minds of far too many workers in the advanced capitalist world. If just telling people the truth worked to win them to a revolutionary program… our party and the few other truly revolutionary socialist parties in the US and Europe would each have millions of members already!  The capitalist world spreads so many lies that when naked truth shows up in a political debate is it howled down as being “utopian” and “extreme”!   We’re not about to stop telling workers the truth as best as we can discern it.  Telling the unvarnished truth to the working class, no matter how painful, is one of the greatest principles of Trotskyism.  We must find a way to use the truth to smash through this psychological barrier set up in the minds of the working class – a barrier which, though often quite difficult to penetrate, is in fact a very brittle construct. We must find its weak points and hammer away at it until we can consistently break it down.   As the capitalist world continues to careen towards World War III, we must realize that time is NOT on the side of the socialist movement;  and we must redouble our efforts and welcome the subjection of our current efforts to merciless criticism, both internal and external, by those honest workers who deeply desire that the socialist revolution be successful. Only in this way can we turn the trajectory of world evolution from its current course towards global disaster and towards a long and glorious truly democratic, egalitarian and prosperous socialist future for the human race.

— IWPCHI

* Emphasis added July 26 2016 by IWPCHI

How a Former “Stupid Worker-sheep” (the author) Became a Revolutionary Socialist Worker

US Household Debt to GDP, 1952-2015. Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Household Debt to GDP, 1952-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

We expect to receive quite a bit of criticism for our recent article’s characterization – honest and, we believe, truthful as it is – of the US working class as an enormous herd of stupid-ass wage-slaves. Yet we strongly believe that there is really no other way to describe this cowardly U.S. herd of worker-sheep, 200 million weak, that has allowed one of the most despotic and murderous ruling classes in the history of the world to rule over them, shearing them at will, while simultaneously robbing, torturing and murdering the rest of the human race.

We must point out that we always admit that – apart from those of us in the Trotskyist movement (and the revolutionary socialist movement in general) who were lucky enough to have had parents who were themselves revolutionary workers – all of us were dumbass wage-slaves in our political youth. That includes the writer of this article! No worker who was not born into a family of revolutionary socialists can be said to have been a revolutionary from day one. And all of us who were not “red-diaper babies” started off as dumb wage-slaves, but at some point in our lives, we either realized or had some revolutionary socialist point out to us just how goddamned ignorant and stupid we were. Unlike the herds of worker sheep, we decided that we did not want to remain an ignorant worker-sheep, we wanted an education in the history of the long struggle of our worker-ancestors to free our class from the chains of exploitation.

US Personal Income, 1959-2015. Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Personal Income, 1959-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

Wisdom begins when a person first acknowledges his or her own vast ignorance and then determines to do all she or he can to eradicate that condition through a determined study of history, science, and politics. No one can even begin to become wise until he or she admits honestly to themselves just how ignorant they truly are. Ignorance, fortunately, is 100% curable through education. This is why we take the time to write articles about modern revolutionary socialism – Trotskyism. We have tremendous faith in the potential of the now-slavish US working class to snap itself out of its self-imposed state of apathy and ignorance, throw off its chains of servitude and begin to tread the road to becoming revolutionary socialist worker-heroes. If we didn’t believe that this transformation was possible, we wouldn’t be Trotskyists.

Communist revolutionaries do not come down to Earth in spaceships or miraculously descend from heaven riding rainbow-colored unicorns. We were – most of us – born to working-class parents who worked all their lives as stupid wage-slaves, inculcating in us faith in the capitalist system and the phony democracy of the United States. We, like you, were brainwashed to salute the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance and respect the police and the government as our protectors – all the bullshit that is driven into the skulls of the children in every capitalist nation-state by every wage-slave parent in the capitalist world.

US Wage and Salary Growth, 1960-2015 Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Wage and Salary “Growth”, 1960-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

Going into high school we were completely ignorant of even the simple fact that we lived in a capitalist world! We knew nothing of what capitalism was, and had no idea that we were members of a “working class” fated to spend our lives as wage-slaves working to make a tiny, ruling capitalist class wealthier every hour we worked. No one is more stupid than we were in those days; no one more ignorant. But having never met a revolutionary socialist worker, how could we have been anything but stupid?

It wasn’t until we started meeting well-educated professionals of the middle class – college professors at Harvard Business School; physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project, for example, and well-educated communist youth our own age – that we came to fully realize how bad our own public-school education was compared to what these people had experienced. They knew all about subjects of vital importance to the survival of the human race of which we knew almost nothing! It was only then, by realizing how very dumb WE were that we were able to begin our lifelong effort to remove what we now realized was our own shameful and embarassing state of ignorance. That sudden self-consciousness of our own vast ignorance was our first step on the road to enlightenment; our education has never ceased from that day to this and it never will. No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we read, we will never know everything there is to know about the world. That acute consciousness of our own ignorance continually impels us to keep studying and working to obtain an education comprehensive enough to be of value to you, our working-class sisters and brothers, in the struggle to free us all from the horrors of the capitalist system: its endemic poverty, homelessness, racism and endless war that profits the few at the expense of billions of workers.

US Personal Savings Rate, 1959-2015 Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Personal Savings Rate, 1959-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

The political and economic system which we all live under here in the US – capitalist bourgeois democracy – can best be described as a perfected system for robbing the huge US working class blind for the benefit of the tiny US capitalist class. We came to this understanding through the study of Marxism, which alone teaches workers not only that they can fight successfuly against this brutal wage-slavery system, but can overthrow it and replace it with a far more fair and democratic society under a scientifically planned socialist economy.

Wage-slaves who have never studied Marxism spend their entire lives fighting to survive in a world they only dimly understand. Economic crises leading to unemployment, wars, crime – all these things seem to them to be acts of a cruel fate that no one understands and that no one has – or can have – control over. But the ruling capitalist class has been taught to think differently, because they and their families have been, in most cases, the power behind the US presidency since the end of the American Revolution. The capitalist ruling class IS largely in control of their own fate and have learned precisely what they have to do, through centuries of trial and error, to keep the worker-sheep just barely happy enough to not rise up in revolt against their systematic exploitation by the capitalists. By carefully mis-educating “their” worker-sheep through the school system and mass media, the capitalist class teaches their victims to believe that the capitalist system is “the best of all possible worlds” and that resistance to it is futile.

The communists on the other hand, teach us the opposite: that capitalism is a fundamentally exploitative system designed to continually rob the workers from cradle to grave for the benefit of – in the case of the “egalitarian” USA – 3% of the population. Capitalism is NOT “the best of all possible worlds” – it is merely the latest stage of development in the long history of class struggle between workers and their exploiters. The communists point out the absurdity of the capitalists lie that they preside over a democracy. What kind of democracy is it that diverts 90% of the nation’s wealth to just 10% of the citizenry and forces what the capitalist class so charmingly calls “the bottom 90%” to divide among themselves a mere 25% of the national wealth? There is absolutely nothing even remotely “democratic” about such a system!

When we were still stupid wage-slaves, the Trotskyists confronted us with the fact that the world was on the brink of a nuclear WWIII. If this war was to occur it was possible, the “commies” told us, that the global destruction of the nation states of the world would be so comprehensive that the human race would be driven back into the stone age! Understandably, this got even our attention; and when we began to look into the issue we found that not only were the “reds” telling us the truth, but we found that the Pentagon believed that it could “win” a nuclear war! On a radio station one day we heard an interview with the then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The interviewer, discussing the Reagan Administration’s belligerent talk about military confrontation with the USSR, made the then-common remark to him that “of course, nuclear war is unthinkable”. The general replied: “I get paid to think otherwise”. This made a deep impression; up to that point we had been taught to believe that our wise political and military leaders would NEVER dream of leading us into a nuclear war. It was subsequently revealed that US military planners during the Reagan era believed that the US could “bounce back” from a full-scale nuclear war with the USSR so long as no more than around 60% of the US population was killed! This information led to the realization that it was literally a matter of life and death to start studying world politics as soon as possible. This kind of “revelation” – so plentiful in those years of Reaganite insanity is what spurred on our transition from stupid wage-slaves to revolutionary socialist workers.

The transition we experienced from stupid wage-slaves to revolutionary workers was on the level of the famous scene in “Wizard of Oz” where the film changes from black and white to Technicolor. Suddenly we were made aware of our working class place in the world; that having been born into working-class families we were literally born one one side of a class line; on the other side of that line were the greedy, tiny capitalist class and their cops, courts, jails, news media and military, prepared to break us down as soon as we were old enough to enter the workforce from rebellious youth to obedient worker-sheep. The study of Marxist dialectics provided us with the tools we needed to analyze the world we lived in and to measure, quite accurately, the class orientation of any political party or carefully disguised messages in capitalist propaganda; it enabled us to see clearly who were the true allies of the working class and who were our mortal enemies. That Marxist toobox we were given by our revolutionary socialist teachers alone is a gift so powerful that we would not part with it for anything; it cuts through all the capitalists’ bullshit that constantly baffles, confuses and misleads every worker-sheep who believes he or she has no “need” for Marxism. Without Marxism a worker-sheep is just a lamb unknowingly making a journey through the slaughterhouse of capitalism.

Marxism is not a philosophy based on lies; it is a philosophy based on political science in which the “science” part is taken very seriously. Marxism is based on a careful study of the long history of the struggles of the workers and peasants of the world to free themselves of a system of slavery and exploitation. Marxism, you are told – by the capitalists who hate it because it would take away their money and power and give it to you – is a load of lies and propaganda. In fact the opposite is true; revolutionary Marxism is the honest study of how the working class can free itself from a future of racism, war, exploitation and misery at the hands of the capitalist class and its state. The most honest people who ever lived were the best Marxist theoreticians: Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky; yet the capitalists tell you that their writings are full of lies and deceit. In fact, we can confidently tell you in all honesty that you will search in vain in the writings of Marx, Engels Lenin and Trotsky for any hint of an attempt to decieve the workers. Their chief principle was: “NEVER LIE TO THE WORKERS”. They kept that promise; after 30 years of reading their works we have been unable to find even one instance of them ever consciously attempting to “trick” or lie to anyone. There is absolutely nothing for you to fear from studying the works of these great working-class leaders; neglecting to read their most important works robs you of any chance you have of ever fully understanding the world you live in.

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you're getting screwed by your capitalist "friends". Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you’re getting screwed by your capitalist “friends”.   Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

Ignorance may be bliss; but its results are anything but blissful. To blindly fight against forces you don’t understand; to count your mortal enemies (like the police, or the Democrats) as your friends; to believe the lies taught to you by those who are systematically robbing you; this is the fate of the uneducated worker-sheep who thinks that Marxism is a waste of his or her time. An ignorant worker-sheep won’t even know how fucked it is until it is in the slaughterhouse chute heading towards the capitalist at the end of the line wielding a stun gun and a razor-sharp knife.

Until we came to realize how ignorant we were and took steps to do something to cure our ignorance we remained stupid wage-slaves. You will not obtain a revolutionary Marxist education by watching the entertainment products produced by your capitalist masters which are designed to confuse and mislead you. You will not find trustworthy political leaders in the parties that are owned and operated by your capitalist masters, either. If you want to know how to avoid your inevitable date with the capitalist with the stun gun and knife, young sheep, you have only one way to go: start studying revolutionary Marxism today! It will open your eyes to the reality of the life of a worker-sheep in a capitalist nation-state. The writings of the great revolutionary Marxists are some of the greatest achievements of human thought ever produced, and we’re not just saying that because we’re socialists; these were brilliant men and women who dedicated their lives to fighting for the rights of the working class. Their writings are of such inestimable valuable to any worker who wants to not just understand the world but to change it for the better that it is impossible to exaggerate their worth.

How ignorant is the average worker-sheep of the USA? So ignorant that the vast majority don’t even consider themselves to be members of the “working class”; they all think that because they have signed up to be whores for a banker-pimp through the mortgage loans they’ve taken on, that makes them “middle class”! They think that the police are here to “serve and protect” the worker-sheep! They think that the capitalist state is a “neutral arbiter” of disputes between the worker-sheep and the capitalists with sledgehammers! They think that the Democratic or Republican parties – both of which are owned and operated by the capitalist class – are their political allies! They think that they “don’t need” to create a true working class party to represent them at the local, state, and national level – the parties bought-and-paid-for by their capitalist enemies are good enough for them! They think that the US military is “defending” them by murdering their working-class brothers and sisters all over the world! THAT’S how dumb the average US worker-sheep is! The revolutionary socialist workers – thanks to their Marxist education – KNOW all of these things are monstrous lies.

Only a truly stupid person would choose for themselves and their children lives as “worker-sheep” instead of a life as a revolutionary socialist worker who fights to free the working class from a life of wage-slavery. That is what we mean when we say that there are two kinds of workers in the world: stupid worker-sheep and revolutionary socialist workers. Which do you want to be?

US Corporate Profits, 1950-2015 Source:TradingEconomics.com

US Corporate Profits, 1950-2015.   Source:TradingEconomics.com

Here is a short list of articles and pamphlets by some of the greatest working-class leaders in world history that you NEED to read if you want to no longer count yourself among the ignorant and/or stupid wage-slave worker-sheep.

Don’t be embarassed if you have to read this stuff a couple of times before you “get it”. This is so far from the lying capitalist propaganda you’ve been accustomed to reading that it may prove to be difficult to fully grasp the first time around. We’ve read these things multiple times and have found that we learn some new detail every time we re-read them. Revolutionary Marxism is a scientific discipline which, like all scientific disciplines, requires study; it’s a combination of work and pleasure. It’s thoroughly rational but, like algebra or physics, it’s not “common sense”; some of it is quite counter-intuitive. A determined slow-to-average reader can read all of these pamphlets, at their leisure, in no more than a couple of weeks. These links will take you to the Marxists.org website where you can read them all – for free!

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto

Leon Trotsky:  Ninety Years of the Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx:   Value, Price and Profit

Vladimir Lenin:  The State

Lenin:  The State and Revolution

Rosa Luxemburg:  Reform or Revolution

Engels:  The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

Conversation with a Young US Student Considering Becoming a Wage-slaving “Whore” for a Banker-pimp

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you're getting screwed by your capitalist "friends". Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you’re getting screwed by your capitalist “friends”.   Having difficulty understanding this graph, young wage slave?  If so you are indeed stupid.  Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Source: Federal Reserve Bulletin – Changes in US Family Finances 2010 -2013:_Survey of Consumer Finances_scf14

There are two kinds of workers in the working class in the capitalist world: wage-slaves and communist revolutionaries. Which are you?

This question is of some importance to the future – if there is to be a future – of the United States of America.  Unless the wage-slaves of the United States pull their heads out of their asses, become worker-revolutionaries and overthrow the US capitalist class that is hell-bent on murdering workers all over the world in pursuit of profits, the world will soon be forced to do to the United States what the world did to Hitler’s Germany in 1945. When we say “Capitalism Must Die so the Working Class May Live” we mean it. There is – literally – NO FUTURE for the working class under the capitalist system! We either overthrow capitalism or we’re all going to be shadows on a wall someday – sooner than most people think.

In case you forgot what the world had to do to kick the ass of the last gang of capitalist criminals that tried to rule the world by force, here’s a photo of just one city in Germany at the end of World War II: Cologne.

Cologne's cathedral stands undamaged in a sea of total destruction, 24 April 1945. This is what USA's big cities will look like if US capitalist class force world to put an end to its reign of terror. Source: U.S. Signal Corps; U.S. National Archives.

Cologne’s cathedral stands undamaged in a sea of total destruction, 24 April 1945. This is what USA’s big cities will look like – except that not even the cathedrals will be spared –  if US capitalist class forces the world to put an end to the US’ reign of terror the way Hitler’s Nazi capitalist regime was finally put down. Source: U.S. Signal Corps; U.S. National Archives.

Beautiful, isn’t it? If you think this can’t happen to the United States of America(TM), “The World’s Only Superpower(TM)”, we’re here to tell you: you’re wrong. If you think that the US capitalist class – your masters, representing less than 0.45% of the world’s population – have the “right” to run the entire planet as if it was their own lemonade stand… in the name of “Freedom(TM)” and “Democracy(TM)”, of course! – and can pull that off for any length of time – you’re even dumber than we think.  Fortunately for you and for the whole world, your ignorance is 100% curable. You’d better get started on your cure before it’s too late. Time is not on the side of the working class. You’ve let the capitalists run the tables for far too long, and the window of opportunity for you to take power out of their hands is rapidly closing.

In the interest of waking you, the US working class from your self-perpetuated ignorance and capitalist mass-media-induced apathy, we present the following political equivalent of a slap upside the head. Enjoy! And show it to your fellow dumb-ass wage-slaves!

*********

Freedom. Hah! “The Land of the Free(TM)”! Ha ha! This capitalist USA isn’t the “land of the free” it’s the land of the stupid-ass wage-slaves.

You don’t think you’re stupid, young wage-slave? That figures! You’re so dumb you don’t even KNOW you’re a wage slave living in a capitalist country! There’s a 50% chance that you believe that shameless Wall St. sock puppet Barack Obama is a socialist! You think you’re “free”, too, don’t you? Well here’s a news flash for you: you ARE stupid; you live in a capitalist country; Obama’s NOT a socialist; and you’re not free. Got that? The hell you do!

The stupid wage-slave workers of the USA don’t have any idea what “freedom” is, and there is more than a little bit of evidence proving that if there is such a thing as “freedom”, the vast majority of the 200 million active US wage-slaves don’t want to have anything to do with it. As soon as they leave high school – in many cases even before – the vast majority of them do everything possible to strip themselves of what little “freedom” they will ever possess, gleefully wrapping themselves in chains they’ll have to drag for the rest of their lives by taking on college tuition loans, home and car loans and by starting families at a young age. Doing even just one of these things – not to mention doing all of them at once as so many stupid young US wage-slaves do in this horrendous capitalist nation-state of the USA – is fatal to the pursuit of individual freedom. Apparently, for most workers, this is the easiest route and one they feel most comfortable taking, because it relieves them of any ability or necessity of making any real choices as to how they will live out their lives. Like their wage-slave, slave and peasant ancestors going back thousands of generations, they prefer the chains of slavery to the frightening unpredictability and terrifying responsibility of actual freedom. That’s why wage-slaves are so common, and communist revolutionaries are so few.

Calling the United States of America the “Land of the Free(TM)” is one of the sickest jokes ever played on a dull-witted public. And here’s another news flash for you stupid wage-slaves of the United Snakes of America: there is no nation of Earth with wage-slaves as dumb as you are!  Every other major industrialized nation in the world has a working class that has organized revolutionary workers parties that represent the interests of the working class in their state and national governments.  You are so stupid you think you don’t need to do the same; you’re all convinced that you can just settle for the political impotence of “speaking truth to power”.   You literally have no clue what you’re up against under capitalism – and what’s more – many of you just don’t care. If that’s not dangerously stupid, what is?

Going to college, young slave? Great idea! No doubt your high-school counselor showed you a list of the most sought-after job skills here in the “Land of the Free”. Let’s just put aside the fact that the list you were shown was probably out of date by at least a half-decade by the time your counselor showed it to you. If you are a “smart” wage-slave, you picked a “career” for yourself by selecting from the top of the list of the most highly desirable college degrees sought by the major corporations running this “free country” of ours. What a smart young wage-slave you are! Ha! You didn’t know it but you were fucked from that moment on! Your stupid-ass wage-slave parents couldn’t warn you because they don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground either. They fell for every lie they were ever told by the US capitalist class, and they are so far in debt they’ll never break even if they work 3 jobs for the rest of their lives. They haven’t read a non-fiction book since they left school and they think they know all they need to know – in other words, they are complete and utter dumbfuck wage-slaves, at the mercy of the greedheads that own the companies they work for and a government that is out to crush them. They – and you – will struggle your whole lives for a tiny piece of the 25% of the national wealth being fought over by 90% of the population. That is all of the national wealth not owned by those at the top 10% of the upside-down US income pyramid – the US capitalist class.

The problem is: in every high school in the land, smart young wage slaves are being shown that very same “pick-a-career” list; and a huge number of your fellow proto-wage-slaves are making the same decision you just made. So by the time you come out of college in 4 or 6 or 8 years, there’ll be so many people holding that same degree that the supply of newly trained wage slaves in your specialty will have outstripped the demand. It could take you months or even years to get a good-paying job in your chosen field – if ever. And if you think that’s sickening, realize this: the sick thing about it is that over-supplying the demand for every job is PRECISELY one of the top goals of the capitalist class – because that’s how they keep wages down and profits up! Like we said: you were fucked from the time you laid eyes on that “pick-a-career” list!

But why worry? You’re going to be a “free” citizen of the “free” world! A young, bright-eyed college grad with all the world open to you to conquer! Right? Wrong.

But here’s another little problem: thanks to the fact that you live in “The Land of the Free(TM)” – perhaps the MOST unapologetically, viciously, heartlessly “capitalist” country in the world – the education you just received here in the “land of the free” wasn’t “free” at all. You owe the university – or the bank you borrowed the money for your college tuition from – tens of thousands of dollars right now.  And that money you owe isn’t just going to sit there doing nothing while you look for a job that will enable you to pay off your huge debt. It’s growing like a cancer. In the capitalist world, loans – as you may now be dimly aware – are “interest-bearing”. Not for you, but for your banker-pimp! Oh, we forgot to tell you: did you know that you’re now a wage-slaving whore for a banker-pimp? You are, young wage-slave! Freedom? Ha! And the longer you are forced to wait to get a job, the larger your debt to your new banker-pimp becomes! Wow! Imagine that! You haven’t even started your career yet and already you are no longer “free” at all! From the moment you signed the papers on that loan, you became a whore for your banker-pimp – and, bitch, you’d better get your ass out on the street and start paying off your pimp or your credit rating is going to get shot to hell. What’s a “credit rating”? It’s how your capitalist bosses and banker-pimps keep you on your knees sucking corporate cock for the rest of your life! More on that another time.

You didn’t go to college? Aren’t you clever! Actually you’re probably actually NOT very clever or you’d have been channeled into the college-track by your school counselors long ago. For some reason, it was decided that you were not “college material” – probably because you were either dumb or a shitty student or you happened to be not white-skinned – or some combination of these things. So you are going to get your “freedom” 4, or 6 or 8 years before your fellow wage-slaves who went to college! Lucky you! Ha ha ha!

You get to immediately sell your labor-power in the capitalist marketplace. Problem is, the only thing you know how to do is read and do basic math! So you’re only qualified to work at low-wage jobs – and there are literally millions of dumb High School dropouts or barely-graduateds just like you looking for jobs too. It’s a “free market” for labor! Isn’t that fun? Actually, it isn’t at all fun, as you will soon find out. You will be working for whatever wages your future series of greedy capitalist-pimps feel like paying you, for the rest of your “life”.

Unless you join a union, that is. You don’t like unions? Ha ha! Well we hope you like poverty, dumbass! Because that’s what you’re gonna face – for the rest of your long, stupid life as a wage-slave if you can’t land a decent-paying job in a non-union factory of some kind. And those jobs are scarce and getting scarcer every day – and there are millions of stupid people like you fighting over those few jobs.

You had better re-think your opinion of unions. First of all, you could sign up for an apprenticeship program at a number of unions. There, you’ll get paid to go to school for four years, learning a trade.

“Wha- wha- whaaat? Did you say I would get PAID to go to school?”

Yes, little wage-slave! Union apprenticeships aren’t like those criminal “internships” many of your fellow wage-slaves got suckered into where they work their asses off for free. The union apprenticeships PAY YOU to go to school. And once you graduate, you will be making the most money it is possible to make in a regular job for the vast majority of wage-slaves. It’s a great deal, and beats the shit out of the “Great Capitalist College Swindle(TM)”!

“Great! Thanks for telling me about that – I’d never heard of such a thing! I’m joining a union apprenticeship program! I’m going to be making excellent money and have a good job guaranteed when I’m done with my apprenticeship, while those stupid college students are stuck with their huge debt and no job!”

Uh, wait a minute young wage-slave. No one is going to guarantee you a job under capitalism. Ever. They call this the “free world” but, as you are about to find out – nothing in it is “free” – especially wage-slaves like you. Your ability to get a full-time job at the end of your apprenticeship will depend on the vicissitudes of the capitalist economy – and your willingness to kiss your bosses ass like a good wage-slave. If you’re in a construction trade, it’s a “boom-or-bust” situation. Sometimes you’re going to work 60 hours a week for years on end; other times you’ll be out of work for years on end. But look on the “bright side”: at least you won’t have to pay off an enormous debt like the college wage-slaves.

“Great! The economy is strong right now and it probably will be when I complete my apprenticeship in 5 years. I’m going to have it made! I’m so happy I’m not going to wait 5 years – I’m going to marry my high-school sweetheart right now, buy a house, have a couple of kids and start enjoying my freedom here in the “land of the free” right away!”

Uhhhh… hold on there now, dumbass! How are you going to enjoy your “freedom” by getting married and buying a house and having kids? Every one of those things is going to increase the amount of money you’re going to have to make in order to keep your family alive. Especially buying a house! And kids! Forget about it! “Freedom” that ain’t! Under the capitalist system it’s a ball and chain for life!

“What do you mean? Buying a house is part of the “American Dream”! It’s what living in a free country is all about. You own your own house, instead of just paying rent to a landlord! Homeowners have more freedom than renters! And having kids isn’t that expensive; we’ll find a way to make it work. Everyone tells me this, so it must be true!”

Well, we must say, in the defense of honesty: nearly every worker in the United States is a stupid-ass streetwalking pimped-off wage-slave.  They believe everything their banker-pimp masters tell them to believe. The fact is that it has always – in most places and historical periods in the US – been cheaper in the long run to rent than to buy a house. And if you care at all about protecting what little “freedom” a wage-slave actually has in a “free” capitalist country, you might consider the ramifications of becoming owned by a bank through a mortgage on a house. If you rent and have to move to another town or state for a new job, you can pretty much just pack up and go; if you are “owned” by a banker-pimp through a house, you have to sell it before you move or you’ll end up paying for two homes. Selling your house could take months or even years and will quickly eat up any savings you were somehow able to accumulate – if you had any. And having kids! Did you know that for every kid you have you and your spouse will have to make approximately an additional $12,000 to $15,000 a year per child – precisely at a time when your family’s income will be cut in half because your wife is pregnant? And even if your wife doesn’t permanently lose her job when she takes her pregnancy leave and gets back to work quickly, you will now have to pay thousands of dollars a year for child care. Under the capitalist system, having kids is a great way to say “goodbye” to “freedom” for the next 20 years.

“Gee! No one ever told me that! I wonder why?”

Oh, you have much to learn, young wage-slave. But that doesn’t make you special. All of us worker-revolutionaries were dumbass wage-slaves too, once; we’d all been fed a bunch of lies by our stupid wage-slave families who all had been pimped out for decades by their banker-pimps; they all claimed that they were “free” people living in a “free” country, too. Living in a capitalist country is the opposite of “freedom” for a worker-wage-slave. You can only survive under capitalism if you have a job; and NO ONE can or ever will guarantee you that you WILL have a job. Even the most fortunate and shamelessly docile wage slaves get laid off at least once in their lives during the inevitable periodic economic crises that shake the capitalist world to its foundations.

“Yikes!  That’s scary!  I had no idea how unstable the capitalist system has been!  But how is owning a house giving up your freedom? I’ve always been told the opposite. Everyone says that you must own a car to enjoy your freedom, and that renting is slavery compared to owning your own house. You mean to tell me that those are lies?”

Yes, those are indeed lies – monstrous lies – not made any less monstrous by the fact that so many stupid-ass wage-slaves believe them to be true.
The capitalist system is a form of economic exploitation of workers for the benefit of the wealthy people who own factories and other businesses. All wealth is based upon the extraction of profits from the wage-labor of wage-slave workers like you. In order to force workers to spend their lives making the rich people richer, they dangle things like new cars and houses in front of stupid-ass wage-slaves and tell the slaves that they can only have true “freedom” if they own these things. In order to own these things they must be obedient wage-slaves willing to give the best years of their lives over to slaving in a capitalist enterprise for as many hours as the capitalist wishes to force them to work. The gullible wage-slaves are trained to believe that by working hard, they will acquire their freedom. The Nazis had this slogan over the entrance to Auschwitz: “Arbeit Mach Frei” – “Work will make you free”. It is a lie. Work under capitalism is a form of slavery in which workers are given the choice of either pimping themselves out to the highest capitalist bidder or of being homeless.

“You’re talking philosophy; how does this relate to owning a home or a car?”

When you take out a loan to buy a car, you sign a portion of your working life over to your banker-pimp, who then forces you to keep on working and turning over a large portion of your paycheck to him so his capitalist bosses can live like kings while you struggle to buy your “freedom” – something which you will never achieve in a capitalist country no matter how hard you work. Buying a new or used car with a loan makes you a whore for a banker-pimp for a few years. Buying a HOUSE, on the other hand, makes you a whore to a banker-pimp for a number of DECADES! Until you completely pay off your loans, you don’t own that car or house at all – YOUR BANKER-PIMP OWNS YOU THROUGH THAT CAR OR HOUSE! And if you don’t keep working and keep kissing your capitalist-pimp’s ass at the place where you work, you’ll be fired or laid off and, being unable to make the car payment or mortgage, the banker-pimp will take away your car or house and use them to enslave another sucker. And you’ll be homeless and as propertyless as those renters you laughed at who decided not to give up their tiny amount of “freedom” by becoming a whore for a banker-pimp like you did.

“Wow! My dad always said that “his banker” was a great guy who got him a great deal on his mortgage!”

Your dad is a typical dumb wage-slave who has been tricked into thinking that he “got a great deal” from his banker-pimp. In fact, here’s what your dad’s delusion is based on. The banker-pimp knows from dealing with your dumbass wage-slave dad that he’s such a completely housebroken, obedient and hard-working wage-slave that if the banker-pimp cuts the interest by a mere 1/4% on his home mortgage, your dad – out of slavish gratitude – will probably also come back to the banker-pimp whenever he thinks he needs to buy a new car or if he needs to take out a second mortgage on his house for some guaranteed-to-eventually-happen, unavoidable reason – like if he or your mom gets sick and needs expensive medical treatment. Plus, the banker-pimp knows your dad is taking good care of the banker-pimp’s house, keeping it in excellent physical shape with the money being lent to him at interest by the banker-pimp. So if the day ever comes that your dad can no longer make payments on the house, the banker-pimp or his successors will swoop in and take the house back and sell it to another stupid-ass wage-slave who thinks he will obtain “freedom” by “owning” a house. There are so many ways that people can get screwed out of their homes that it would take me a year to describe them all to you. The home “ownership” scam run by the banker-pimps of the capitalist world is one of the principal swindles employed by the capitalists to keep their wage-slaves docile, obedient and hard-working.

“Ow! My brain is starting to hurt! You commies are liars who try to make all the good things in life look awful!”

Well why don’t you go home and think about it in your “free time” – if you have any! Ha ha ha! We haven’t told you about the many, many lies of the capitalists who are enslaving you, young wage-slave! If you ever get sick of being a wage-slave, feel free to stop by and learn more about the phony “land of the free” bullshit sold to all wage slaves by the bought-and-paid-for propagandists of the capitalist class. And here: read this.

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

The Communist Manifesto?  I don’t know… I’ve always been told that was nothing but commie propaganda.  Frankly I’m frightened by the prospect of reading it!  And it’s so old – this is 2016! What good is something written way back in 1848?”

Well, yes it is of course “communist propaganda”.  You’re frightened to read a book?  How absurd!  Old?  The basic writings of the capitalist ideologue Adam Smith – which is “capitalist propaganda”– were written 75 years BEFORE the Manifesto!  And yet every communist has read Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”…

Read the introduction by Trotsky as well; he explains that, of course, some of the Manifesto is outdated, but most of it remains remarkably informative and useful even today.  It’s still one of the best introductions to the nature of the capitalist system and basic socialist ideas available, and it’s only about 50 pages. It’s like “Google Maps” for orienting yourself in the capitalist world you live in, young wage-slave.

“OK thanks. I’ll take a look at it. What a conversation! Next thing you know you’ll be telling me that the police are not here to “protect and serve” the workers!”

They’re not here to “protect and serve” the workers! The police were organized to protect the private property and property rights of the capitalists and to “serve” as the armed force to be used to keep the workers from rising up AGAINST their banker-pimp and capitalist masters…

“That’s enough of your propaganda! Let me go read the Manifesto and we’ll talk about that another time! This is too much for me to take in at once!”

Ha ha! We felt the same way when we first heard all this years ago when WE were young, dumbass wage slaves! Nearly everyone starts off in the same way. Almost everyone in our party – except those lucky ones whose parents had cast off their chains to become revolutionary workers – grew up as dumb wage-slaves who believed that wage-slavery was “freedom”, too. Our political education only really began when we first read the “Communist Manifesto”. We had heard all kinds of horrible lies about what the “Manifesto” contained. We were shocked to find that what it actually contained was some excellent information that exposed the reality of the place in capitalist class society that we were born into as sons and daughters of working-class parents. It shocked and awakened us to the reality of life as a wage-slave in capitalist class society and it will do the same for you. Before we read it, we felt like one of the famous blind men encountering the elephant of capitalism – we didn’t even know its name WAS “capitalism”! That’s how dumb WE were! The Manifesto made it possible for us to see the capitalist world as it truly is for the first time in our lives. It’s been great talking with you. By reading the Manifesto you are taking the first step in throwing off your chains and in becoming a revolutionary worker instead of a dumb wage-slave. We hope you enjoy the book!  When you’re done with it, we’ll talk again!

—IWPCHI

Pew Research Touts “Racial Disparities” in US Wealth Distribution; Hides Fact That “Bottom” 90% Split Just 24.7% of US National Wealth

This week we were presented (via a correspondent on Twitter) with some interesting but confusing data from Pew Research Center on “Racial and Ethnic Wage Gaps” in the USA.  This is the chart we were sent:

“Racial, Ethnic Wealth Gaps Have Grown Since Great Recession”,  Pew Research Center, 12 December 2014

It comes from this article on the Pew Research Center website:   “Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession”

published December 12, 2014.

2014?  Yes!

Hey this isn’t even news! So why are they just now shoving this nonsense in our faces?

While we know fully well that there are indeed disparities between wealth of black, Hispanic and white workers due to racial discrimination and the legacy of slavery in the US, these numbers seemed a bit overblown; we simply don’t know many “white” workers whose net worth is $141,000.  And we know a lot of black and Hispanic workers whose net worth is well over $11- or $13K.

The numbers seem to be shorthand for showing white workers how well they are doing compared with blacks and Hispanics, with an eye towards driving jealousy among workers over who’s getting the most “tar-tar sauce” from the US’ greedhead capitalist class, busily ripping ALL OF US off 24/7/365.

Obviously, if this data includes all the US billionaires (who are mostly white) among the calculation of “white wealth” then the data is skewed to make it look like white workers are doing great while black and Hispanic workers are surviving on air.

Also, a closer look at the data shows that there is something else weird going on here: it indicates that between 1983 and 1989, the wealth gap between white and black workers expanded from 8% to 17%!  Now, we were working then; and we’re unable to recall our incomes jumping nearly 10% over that period.  Nor can we recall that time when black workers’ incomes magically rose by something like 14% over a 3-4 year period, as the chart indicates happened between 1989 and 1992.

The whole thing seems a bit much… and designed to piss off workers and inflame racism between us; all based on some questionable data interpretation by the august Pew Research Center – a thoroughly pro-capitalist think tank.

So we asked the world (via Twitter) what the sources were for the claims made in these charts; Pew Research nicely tweeted us a link to the article again (which we had already seen).  But this time we spotted the link to the data upon which their article and the accompanying charts were based:  it was hidden under the words “Federal Reserve notes” in a link:

FRB – Changes in US Family Finances 2010 -2013_Survey of Consumer Finances_scf14

Reading this we saw that there were some large apparent discrepancies between what the Pew Research Center’s researchers were presenting to the public as “racial disparities” and what the source for their data actually said.

Point #1:  Nowhere in this document is the data broken out into 3 separate “racial” categories.  In this source document, there are only TWO racial groups delineated:  “Nonwhite or Hispanic” and “White non-Hispanic”:

Where'd all the black workers go to?

Where’d all the “black” workers go?  Detail, Federal Reserve Bulletin, page 12.

Also, if we read the “methodology” section which describes how the survey was done, we see that “[f]or greater comparability with earlier SCF data, the data reported in this article ignore the information on ethnic identification available in the surveys since 2004, but respondents reporting multiple racial identifications in the surveys starting with 1998 are classified as ‘non-white or Hispanic.'”  (p. 37).  So there may be more detailed racial data that breaks down the categories into more than two, or even more than three categories, but it’s not here in this document cited as their source by the Pew researchers in their own article.

Even more “amusingly”,  in digging for all this info we found something far more interesting: the data on the distribution of wealth and income in the US between the top 10% and the “bottom” 90%.

[It’s a bit strange talking about the VAST MAJORITY of the US citizenry as being “the bottom”, isn’t it?  But when it comes to the distribution of wealth in ANY capitalist society, this is really how things shake out in the final analysis. And it’s not OUR terminology, anyway: it’s how the banksters at the Federal Reserve – themselves all well up in the “top” 10% – who look down on the REST OF US as being the “bottom 90 percent”!]

The view from the top: 90% of the US population are at the

The view from the top: 90% of the US population are at the “bottom”! Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 10 (highlighted by us).

Well now at least we all know where we stand in the eyes of the US bourgeoisie!

But let’s take a closer look at the findings here.  What ARE the “Recent Trends in the Distribution of Income and Wealth” here in the “Land of the Free”(TM)?

Recent Trends in INCOME Distribution in US 1989-2013 (detail). Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 10. Read it and weep, but save some tissues for the next slide...

Recent Trends in INCOME Distribution in US 1989-2013 (detail). Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 10.   Note that this is for INCOME, not WEALTH.

Got that?  The top 3% receive nearly 1/3 of the INCOME of the entire USA annually!  It’s good to be a capitalist king!

But now when we look at WEALTH – overall WEALTH… lol!  The numbers get really disgusting!

Well fellow workers: you have not been dreaming when you have perceived that you've been falling further and further behind while the rich get richer. Recent Trends in the Distribution of WEALTH in USA, 1989-2013, Federal Reserve Bulletin, page 10 (detail).

Well fellow workers: you have not been dreaming when you have perceived that you’ve been falling further and further behind while the rich get richer. Recent Trends in the Distribution of WEALTH in USA, 1989-2013, Federal Reserve Bulletin, page 10 (detail).

Here’s the view of the accompanying chart:

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you're getting screwed by your capitalist

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you’re getting screwed by your capitalist “friends”.  Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

That black line trending steadily downward for the last 25 years is YOU, dear working-class brothers and sisters.  That solid green line moving just as steadily upward represents the trillions of dollars you’ve handed over to your capitalist class masters ‘lo these many years.

So the 3% own 54.4%  of the nation’s wealth.  Let that sink in a minute.  Add to that the wealth of the next 7% – “the middle class”, if you will – (whose “share” of the national wealth was 20.9% in 2013) and you see that the “top” 10% of the population owns over 75% of the nation’s wealth!  And in this great, free “democracy” of ours… the “bottom 90%” (i.e. we, the wage slaves) get to “share” 25% of the nation’s wealth!  Ah, freedom!  Ah, democracy!  What a joke.

Unwilling to bring THIS to our attention a year after they did their “study”, the Pew Research Center chose instead to highlight a cranked-up, phony distortion of the income distribution in the USA which pretended that white workers  possess 10 times the wealth that black and Hispanic workers do, when in FACT it is the top 3% of whites who own the VAST MAJORITY of that wealth attributed to “whites”!

Now why do you suppose the Pew Research Center would want to do such a mean thing to us?

It’s called DIVIDE AND CONQUER, brothers and sisters.  It’s one of the capitalist class’ oldest tricks – in fact, they learned it from the landed aristocracy and the monarchists the nascent capitalists overthrew because they stood in the way of the bourgeoisie obtaining the kind of wealth once only enjoyed by… kings and queens and their courtiers!  But after 400 years of the evolution of the capitalist system, which promised that “a rising tide” of economic wealth created by capitalism would “lift all boats” we see instead that only a very few yachts are being lifted to heights unimagined by the kings and queens of old, while the VAST MAJORITY of humanity is left in their canoes… at the bottom of the ocean!

Moral of the story: don’t take the racist bait when it’s offered to you by the apologists for the capitalist system!

We’ll say it yet again: THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR YOU, WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNDER CAPITALISM!  The capitalist system must be overthrown and replaced with a revolutionary socialist workers government which distributes the wealth of the world equally among all the workers of the world who create that wealth through our labor-power.  We need a society in which jobs, food, clothing, housing, health care and education are GUARANTEED to all as rights, not as favors bestowed upon us (or not) by the 3%.  The capitalist revolutions promised us the right to merely PURSUE happiness; the SOCIALIST revolution will GUARANTEE that we will ACTUALLY OBTAIN that promised happiness by providing the actual means of existence to ALL, instead of the dreams and empty promises of the capitalist system.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

US Rips Off Its Own Workers – Ranks 12th in Minimum Wage, Probably Far Lower

American workers react with skepticism when we say that abolishing capitalism and adopting a rationally planned socialist economic system would be an excellent way to guarantee future generations a future – period.  Having been constantly told that the United States has the highest standard of living in the world, American workers have come to believe this.  The problem is: it isn’t true, and it hasn’t been true for decades.  The fact is, the standard of living for American workers has been in steady decline since the late 1960s.

Just a month ago, we met some folks from Australia who were vacationing here in Chicago.  The woman was from the US originally; she comes back to the US occasionally to visit family.  We asked here if she has ever thought of coming back to the US permanently. “Oh, no”, she replied.  “I could never enjoy the standard of living I’ve become accustomed to in Australia if I moved back to the US.  I’d probably be living with my parents if I moved back here”.

This surprised even us – so we asked for more details.  This woman and her husband have access to much cheaper medical care in Australia than they would have if they lived in the US, she told us.  And the pay in Australia is so much higher than in the US, she said, that though she would like to return to the US to stay close to her elderly parents, she can’t afford to come back.  And then she dropped a bomb on us: “Oh, the wages are much higher in Australia.  The minimum wage is over $16.00 an hour.”

WHAT?  We believed that the Aussie dollar and the US dollar were pretty close in value: that turns out to be absolutely correct.  As of this hour, the exchange rates for the Australian dollar and the U.S.  dollar are:

Australia’s current exchange rate:  1 AUD = 1.0319 USD
1 USD = 0.9691 AUD
Rates updated on Tuesday 02nd of October 2012

[Source: http://www.rateslist.com/exchange-rates/australian-dollar.html%5D

“Crikey!  We ought to head on over to the Australian Embassy and apply for asylum as economic refugees!” we thought!

Imagine how much better life would be for the average worker if the minimum wage here was doubled!  As it should be!

The truth is, life for the average worker in the U.S. is, well… below average.  But how far below average are we when it comes to the minimum wage?

We immediately began looking at the minimum wage rates of the world (well, not exactly immediately… we had a few beers, thought about it, read a couple of books on the Korean War and life in North Korea [not that bad until the USSR collapsed, it turns out]; strolled through the Forest Preserve enjoying the fall foliage, THEN we began looking at minimum wage rates) to see how the US compares with other major industrialized nations.  And just as we expected, the US sucks compared to other countries in its’ “class” when it comes to paying a competitive minimum wage.

Wikipedia!  The first resort of the lazy (and under-employed and paid) journalist once again came to our rescue!   It has a list – a quite incomplete list, but a list – of the minimum wage rates being paid around the world.  Germany is not on the list for some reason – they claim it’s because it’s difficult to calculate, given that every union has its own contract, in which annual wage increases are probably locked in – and the Scandinavian countries aren’t fully represented either.  And even with these shortcomings of the Wikilist of world minimum wages (which should make the US look much better than it is) the U.S. comes in a lousy 12th out of about 150 countries listed.  Wikipedia used a fictional currency called the “international dollar” to compile this list: “For the sake of comparison, an ‘annual wage’ column is provided in International dollars, a hypothetical unit of currency that has the same purchasing power that the U.S. dollar had in the United States in 2009. For calculating the annual wage, the lowest general minimum wage was used.” – [Source: Wikipedia, “List of minimum wages by country”]

Whatever.   Here are the results for the top 14 whose data were available to whomever Wikicompiled the Wikilist:

“Minimum wage rates of the world, annually, in International Dollars [Note: No data are available for Germany, Sweden, Norway, or many other advanced capitalist countries.- IWPCHI]:

1) Netherlands     €1,446.60 per month, €333.85 per week or €66.77 per day for persons 23 and older; between 30-85% of this amount for persons aged 15–22                                                                                                                                                23,029/yr

2) United Kingdom     £6.08 per hour (aged 21 and older), £4.98 per hour (aged 18–20) or £3.68 per hour (under 18 and finished compulsory education)                                                                                                                                                  22,597 /yr

3) [Crikey! Oz came in bleedin’ 3d! -IWPCHI] Australia     606.40 Australian dollars per week; set federally by the Fair Work Australia                                                                                                                                                20,027/yr

4) Luxembourg     €1,801.49 per month for unqualified workers over 18; increased by 20% for a qualified employee; decreased by 20% to 25% in the case of an adolescent worker.                                                                                    19,426/yr

5) Ireland     €8.65 per hour  [That’s  equal to $11.17 an hour in US dollars! – We’re going back to the home country! – IWPCHI]                                                                                                                                                  18,965/yr

6) Belgium     €1,472.40 a month for workers 21 years of age and over; €1,511.48 a month for workers 21 and a half years of age, with six months of service; €1,528.84 a month for workers 22 years of age, with 12 months of service; coupled with extensive social benefits.                                               18,813/yr
7) France     €9.22 per hour [$11.91/hour US – Ooh la la! – IWPCHI]  €1,398.37 per month for 151.67 hours worked (or 7 hours every weekday of the month)   [And don’t forget the free health care program compared to the US’ crappy rip-off of Obamacare – whatever that is – IWPCHI]                                                                                                                                                17,701/yr

8) Canada     set by each province and territory; ranges from C$9.27 to C$11.00 per hour                                                                                                                            16,710/yr

9) New Zealand     NZ$13.50 per hour for workers 18 years old or older, and NZ$10.80 per hour for those aged 16 or 17 or in training; there is no statutory minimum wage for employees who are under 16 years old                                                                                                                                               16,462/yr

10) San Marino  [Who?  Where?  How much does it cost to move there? – IWPCHI]   €7.04 per hour                                                                                       15,707/yr

11) Switzerland     none; however, a majority of the voluntary collective bargaining agreements contain clauses on minimum compensation, ranging from 2,200 to 4,200 francs per month for unskilled workers and from 2,800 to
5,300 francs per month for skilled employees                                                 15,457/yr

12)  United States  [We’re number one!  We’re number one!  USA! USA! US… oh, crap! – IWPCHI]    The federal minimum wage is US$7.25 per hour; states may also set a minimum, in which case the higher of the two is controlling                                                                                                                      15,080/yr

13)  Israel [Just for the hell of it, we thought we’d throw Israel in here so everyone could see how crappy the pay is in Israel.  They rank with the poorest countries in Europe, and have one of the worst, craziest, war-mongering governments in the world on top of it – IWPCHI]     approx. 47.5 pct. of the avg. wage, or 4,100 Israeli new sheqel per month                                                                                                                                                12,493/yr

14) Spain     €744.92 in 12 payments, €638.50 in 14 payments [62]                                                                                                                                                 11,426/yr

?) Mexico     daily minimum wages set annually by law and determined by zone; 57.46 Mexican pesos in Zona A (Baja California, Federal District, State of Mexico, and large cities), 55.84 pesos in Zone B (Sonora, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Jalisco), and 54.47 pesos in Zone C (all other states)                                                                                                                                                1,753/yr

Those stats on Mexico provide a most eloquent explanation for why so many Mexican workers risk their lives every year to come to the US looking for a job – any kind of job.   Wouldn’t you, if you could make almost 10 times as much money a year just by crossing an imaginary line in the sand?

So, fellow American workers:  the next time that some US flag-waving idiot is out on the street chanting “We’re number one!” – leave him alone.  He is to be pitied.   He has no idea what’s going on in the world and how badly “his” government and “his” capitalist class is ripping him and his family off – and it’s probably just as well that it stays that way.   He might come to his senses someday; but, thankfully, the future of the world does not depend on that ever happening.

We haven’t even begun to analyze the horrendously low minimum wages of the poorest countries in the capitalist world.  Suffice it to say that hundreds of millions of our working-class brothers and sisters – and, of course, their families – around the world are living in dire poverty thanks to the greed-based capitalist system.

[Source:  Wikipedia, “List of Minimum Wages by Country” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country%5D

IWPCHI

World Capitalists Brace for Extended Period of Continued Recession

In the wake of a series of downbeat economic reports, many economic analysts are warning their clients that the world economy is in for a prolonged period of economic stagnation and possibly another downturn.

In a series of articles in the Financial Times of London, the leaders of several key industries have made it clear that they expect the world’s economy to go sideways or downwards over the next 18 months.  Industrial demand has declined significantly due not only to the economic crisis in Europe, but also due to declining demand from “emerging economies” like China and Brazil, whose relative economic strength over the past several years has been basically the only economic force keeping the world’s economy from plunging even deeper into the current depression.  Yes, that’s “depression” with a “d”.  The capitalist press has long pretended that the economic malaise that has spread across the globe since 2008 is “just” a “severe recession”.  But for all intents and purposes, this is a depression – not, perhaps, as bad as the Great Depression of the 1930s, but it is the worst economic crisis since that time.  So let’s just stop the faking and call it a plain old depression.

The bellwether steel industry is busy preparing to reduce capacity in the face of the economic slowdown in China.

“Rod Beddows, chief executive of Hatch Corporate Finance, which specialises in metals, says there is ‘massive pessimism’ in the steel industry about current conditions and future prospects, with the worries being most intense in Europe.   ‘A lot of companies are floundering and not sure about how to alleviate the problems linked to overcapacity.
New thinking is required but seems absent.’  [Source: Financial Times (London); “Bleak outlook from ‘peak steel’ “, 8 July 2012]

The article goes on to say that just two months ago a “shock announcement” was made by one of the world’s leading steelmakers, ThyssenKrupp, that it was looking to sell two huge steel plants it had been in the process of building in the US and Brazil.  These plants had been intended to satisfy what was, just a few years ago, a dramatic rise in demand for steel that was predicated on the continuing building boom in China, which had outstripped the steelmaking capacity in that socialist country.   However, over the past two years, the Chinese economy has begun to stagnate due to the steep decline in demand from the twin disaster zones of world capitalism: the US and Europe.

In a separate article in the same uber-bourgeois business newspaper, Boeing, Inc., the US’ biggest exporter, is reported to have made public the results of their corporate economic wizards’ most recent examination of the innards of their very expensive crystal ball and concluded thusly: ” ‘We’re looking at a world economy where … we slog through the situation here in Europe and then once you get into the 2014 timeframe and beyond, you see more normal economic growth,’ said Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice-president of marketing. ‘What we are experiencing now will be normal for the next one to two years.’ ” [Source: Financial Times (London): “US set for earnings roadblock as growth falters”, 8 July, 2012.

So it looks like there is no end in sight to the economic crisis being faced by the capitalist system, which is rapidly driving down wages and living standards for workers all over the world.

So long as we stick with the capitalist system, this is the kind of “future” we can expect: boom-and-bust-and-boom-and-bust again, where the rich keep getting richer and the poor get whipsawed over and over again.

Have you had enough of this crap, fellow worker?  Then let’s get to work putting an end to this insane economic thrill ride once and for all by abolishing the capitalist system and replacing it with a rationally planned workers democracy!

By the way: when we say “let’s get to work” we’re not talking to the guy next to you on the bus, we’re talking to you!  YOU have to get involved building the Independent Workers Party; YOU have to dedicate the best part of your life to this work or it AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!  And we can all enjoy riding the big capitalist rollercoaster until the whole disaster ends with another Big Bang: World War Three!  And that won’t be any fun at all, children.

 

IWPCHI