Tag Archives: Democrats

The Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020 Proves The World Is Incapable of Dealing With Even a “Limited” Nuclear War

Since the onset of The Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020 the shameless apologists for the money-lusting US capitalist class have been busily proclaiming the “impossibility” of comparing this outbreak of #COVID19 – a very nasty flu virus – to any other epidemic in world history (unless it was an even worse and more deadly one). In order to justify the insane shutting down of the global economy over what is and remains to the day of my writing this merely a nasty flu epidemic, we are shouted down by our pro-capitalist opponents every time we attempt to make the obvious comparison between the current COVID-19 “pandemic” and the annual flu “epidemics” which kill between 20-70,000 US workers each and every year. It’s OK, apparently, to compare this COVID-19 epidemic to the far worse 1918 flu pandemic, since that global crisis led to the most deaths ever from the flu. These propagandists for the covering-up of every monstrous failing and murderous crime of the US and other capitalist classes of the world seek in this way to defend the indefensible – the mass-murdering and exploitative capitalist system itself – and to attempt to portray the only truly pro-human-life people on Earth – the revolutionary socialists – as the mortal enemies of mankind.  This kind of naked and perpetual gaslighting of the workers of the entire world whenever the subject of socialism comes up has long become de rigueur for the lying propagandists of the capitalist class.

These repulsive defenders of the capitalist system of the USA – a nation whose principal “great families” amassed most if not all of their wealth via the “primitive methods of accumulation of capital” known as genocide and slavery – have all long opposed every attempt made by the US socialist movement to agitate for a socialized national health care system. There is only one party they all support, “progressives” and “conservatives” alike (properly known as “the Republicrat Party”) – because in their infinite wisdom they never cease to explain that “the creation of a ‘viable’ third party in the United States is impossible”;  this, they falsely claim,  is due to a magical (and nonexistent) “American Exceptionalism”.  These defenders of “civilized capitalism” have utilized all their most vicious methods, from character assassination to actual assassination since the 1870s, to crush any attempt to create not just revolutionary socialist workers parties but even the type of comprehensive free health care system that is enjoyed by the workers throughout the rest of the industrialized world.  In this way they attempt to “prove” to the workers the moral superiority of capitalism over socialism!

The only nation in the world so far that has demonstrated its ability to harness the monumental human power of the entire nation’s working class to smash down any barrier that stood in the way of successfully shutting down the COVID-19 epidemic is socialist China; yet still we see the lying propagandists of the capitalist class attempting to portray the world-historic and successful Chinese response to the COVID-19 outbreak as some kind of “proof” that “socialism does not work”.  And they are even so bold as to make these outrageous and patently false denunciations of the “Communist Chinese” response to COVID-19 at the very moment when the entire capitalist world and its economic system have been laid completely prostrate by this merely nasty flu epidemic! How any honest worker can fail to see right straight through their lies about the rapid and comprehensive Chinese response to their COVID-19 outbreak is beyond us!

Even in those capitalist nation-states that have what they pretend to be “socialized medicine” (but which is in fact merely a nationalized health care system administered – poorly – by the capitalist class) we see that these nations are totally unprepared to handle this mere flu epidemic!  Their health care systems – long derided by and underfunded by the right-wing of the capitalist class as unwarranted “state intervention” in the “capitalist marketplace” of the health care industries – have almost completely collapsed precisely in those capitalist countries where the epidemic has been most intense and the budget cuts to their “socialized” health care systems the most vicious. Che sorpresa!

But in the neo-fascist, anti-communist United States of America, where the US capitalist class has “succeeded” in preventing socialized medicine from becoming one of the crown jewels of their so-called capitalist “civilization”, the disarray and utter failure of the massively understaffed and underfunded privatized health care system to adequately handle this flu epidemic is nakedly exposed for all the world to be shocked – but not at all surprised at. The response to the COVID-19 epidemic by the US capitalist class and their Janus-faced Republicrat party has been absolutely – and typically – disgraceful; yet still there is no discernible push for a third political party – one led by and in the interests of the still-enthralled-by-capitalism US working class!

The COVID-19 Epidemic Was Long Foreseen by the US Capitalist Class

This type of an epidemic has not only been long foreseen by social scientists and epidemiologists; it has supposedly been the subject of a series of “war games” like October, 2019’s “Event 201”: simulations in which top capitalists like Bill Gates and government health and medical science agencies, military and political leaders and policy planners – and even the US Central Intelligence agency – have created these seminars that examine how the US health care system and governmental agencies would respond to a “worst-case scenario” eerily similar to the COVID-19 epidemic.  They used sophisticated computer simulations and the best mathematical modeling to predict how many would be infected, hospitalized – and how many would die – if a virulent and deadly strain of a highly contagious coronavirus suddenly appeared in the USA.

I do not believe – as the craziest conspiracists of the left and the right do – that “Event 201” was not a simulation, but the real deal.  I believe that the reason why the simulation was so close to the COVID-19 outbreak is that, after the SARS and MERS outbreaks, which were also very similar to CODID-19 (only much smaller), it has become readily apparent that these outbreaks are going to occur and reoccur on occasion, perhaps as often as every 5-10 years.  But it’s not absolutely beyond the US capitalist class and their military and killer “intelligence agencies” to commit such a crime; it’s a well-known fact (to those who pay attention to the long, sordid historical record of the crimes of the US capitalist system they have done far worse things before!

It’s possible, in my personal estimation, that the COVID-19 outbreak was as much a surprise to the US Government as it was to the Chinese Government; but the vastly disproportionate response now being undertaken in the US and throughout the capitalist world which has deliberately knocked out most of the global capitalist economy over a global “pandemic” that has at this writing killed only as many people as die in a typical US “flu season” may well be a global social experiment being led by the US Government to see how workers will react under this kind of economic and social stress.  There is simply NO JUSTIFICATION for shutting down the entire economy and for “locking down” the entire population over this merely nasty flu virus!

Much of this wildly out-of-proportion response to COVID-19 is of course phony posturing intended for propaganda purposes: the US capitalist class needs to keep the US working class deluded into believing that the capitalists have everything under control and that there is no need to worry about the US not having a socialized health care system because (in their greed-warped minds) our prohibitively expensive privatized health care system is somehow “better” than the far less expensive and universal socialized health care systems in the rest of the industrialized capitalist and socialist nation-states. By running these largely phony simulations and publicizing their mostly reassuring findings they intend to be able to keep on kicking the “Medicare-for-All” can down the tollway for ever, just as they have been doing since the end of WWII.  And STILL when the crisis they’ve foreseen and even “war-gamed” hits… they fall flat on their face!

Capitalism Sucks! A revolutionary workers socialist government can do far, far better!  US workers need to Dump The #Republicrats and Build A Workers Party, NOW!  It is a matter of life and death for the workers of the world and our families’ futures!

All this should be obvious to even a dog; but somehow, the US working class just doesn’t get it. You just keep on supporting the politicians who have been playing “chicken” with your lives for the past 230+ years and continue to believe what your capitalist masters have long beaten into your thick skulls – that “capitalism” is better than “socialism” and that “it’s better to be dead than Red”.  Well, now you’re finding out that your allegiance to the enemy capitalist class and their murderous system is going to make those of you who have long believed that “it’s better to be dead than Red” really “put your money where your mouth is”!

If The Capitalists Can’t Handle the Medical Response to a Mere Flu Outbreak How Can They Continue to Pretend They Can Deal With a Nuclear War?

If one thing should have become crystal-clear from the complete and total collapse of the capitalist world’s health care and economic systems due to the “strain” of a mere flu pandemic it is this: there is NO WAY we can any longer justify spending hundreds of billions of dollars on nuclear weapons systems. If these health care systems can’t handle a mere flu epidemic, how could they possibly handle even a “limited” nuclear attack? If the capitalists can’t even provide us with enough ventilators for all the critically ill patients in a flu pandemic that spares almost everyone under 50 and kills only the very sick and the very old and very sick, how could they possibly even begin to cope with the massive casualties of a “limited” exchange of nuclear weapons? It’s absolutely absurd to pretend that they could. Yet as I write this, the United States Government is preparing to spend $494 billion dollars over the next decade; not on a “Medicare for All” program – no, that would be “communistic”! – but on the “upgrading” and “modernization” of its nuclear arsenal!

If this is not the very definition of insanity, then certainly the continuation of working-class support to the capitalist classes of the world certainly is. If, in the face of the twin self-inflicted disasters of the collapse of the health care systems of the capitalist world and – far, far worse – the entire capitalist world economy – due to a mere flu epidemic isn’t enough to convince the working classes of the USA and the world that it’s time to replace capitalism with socialism – then there is really no hope for the future of the human race.  If we workers continue to allow the rich super-minority to run the world and call it “Democracy(TM)” then, obviously the working classes of the world – 7 ¼ billion strong – are simply too stupid to evolve beyond our present, pathetic state of subservience to the numerically miniscule capitalist classes of the world. Like happy dogs, we love our masters so much we’ll still lick their hand and crawl at their feet no matter how many beatings they give us, because we know that if we don’t remain subservient they’ll cut off our food and water supply.

Well, our food, yes, but we can always get our water from the toilet bowl, can’t we?

Capitalism Kills! Dump the Republicrats; Build A Workers Party; Fight For A Workers Government; Fight For A Socialist Future! Because there is literally NO FUTURE FOR THE WORKING CLASS UNDER CAPITALISM!

—- IWPCHI

How A Propaganda War Between the USA and China Precipitated the Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020 and the Worst Economic Crisis in the History of Capitalism

It was every bureaucrat’s nightmare: you are responsible for the well-being of tens of millions of workers in one of the most densely populated major metropolitan areas in the world: Wuhan, China. It’s just weeks before the entire nation goes on its annual New Years Festival holiday: the Chinese equivalent of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year rolled up into one of the world’s great cultural festivals. And now, on 29 December 2019, a small group of scientists is telling you that there is a new virus circulating in the city and unless you shut down the New Years celebrations immediately, and the entire city transportation system – planes, trains and automobiles – perhaps millions of people will die.

Like all bureaucrats everywhere, your immediate first concern is… for your career. Are you being set up by one of your political rivals? Why do YOU have to be the one to make this decision? What if you screw it up? Your career will be ruined and you and your family will be instantly turned into social pariahs. How do you get out from under this monumental responsibility with your career intact? Wait a minute: the scientists are probably wrong! How do they know how many people will die from this new virus?

“How many people have this virus right now?” you ask.

“Forty, maybe fifty people. But we’re still tracing their closest contacts and testing them, too, to see if they have it.”

You want me to shut down this whole city over 50 people sick with the flu? The New Year’s festival is only two weeks from now! You’re crazy! Go back and double check your research and make sure you know what you’re talking about.”

This was the most likely origin of the “cover-up” of the Chinese Communist Party’s early response to the COVID-19 outbreak. As soon as the existence of the “novel coronavirus” was announced to the world, the capitalist world’s anti-communist propaganda operations swung into action, denouncing the Chinese Communist Party for “covering up” knowledge of the virus for weeks and of “silencing critics who tried to warn” the world. Immediately the emergence of the new virus became part of the New Cold War between the USA and China and their respective propaganda operations. The leaders of the Chinese Communist Party had been down this road before with the SARS virus, in which they had been caught trying to cover up the seriousness of that outbreak. This time they were not going to hand the Americans and the rest of the capitalist world another propaganda coup against them.

Within days, the existence of the virus and of the fact that it was a new coronavirus was confirmed. By December 31 Chinese health authorities began to transfer patients to a special hospital in Wuhan used to treat people with highly contagious diseases. They tracked down all the close social contacts of the 50 or so people who had tested positive for the new virus and had begun to focus on a popular live animal market in Wuhan city where most of the first patients had either worked or shopped frequently.

The Chinese Communist Party decided early on that they were going to be as open as possible in making timely announcements to the world as their knowledge of the seriousness of the outbreak grew. They immediately informed the World Health Organization of the existence of the virus and within two weeks had isolated it and published the first scientific report describing the virus and the early knowledge of its origin and its virulence and dangerousness in detail.

All over the world, from every anti-communist media outlet to propaganda agents working Twitter and Facebook for the US government, brutal criticism of the Chinese response to the virus outbreak was launched in a 24/7 barrage combining some truth with lies, including faked photographs and videos. “China Is the Sick Man in Asia” screamed a headline in the Wall St. Journal; Chinese diplomats and government officials denounced what they called a vicious, racist attack on their country and its people.

Under tremendous pressure from a profoundly negative “world public opinion” which had been orchestrated by US and other western capitalist nations’ propaganda operations, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party decided to throw all caution to the wind and take the most drastic steps possible in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of the virus. They shut down the live animal market and its surroundings in Wuhan; and then as the number of people infected continued to climb, and the first deaths began to occur, they steadily expanded the shutdown of Wuhan’s economy to the entire surrounding province of Hubei, comprising some 58 million people. Soon it was announced that all large public gatherings in Hubei province were canceled and the New Years festivities were shut down. Schools and universities were closed and then workplaces. The huge regional airport – a transportation hub comparable in national importance to Atlanta’s or Chicago’s in the USA – was closed, and then the railways and the roads. The entire province was placed under lockdown; no one could enter or leave the area. Workers were told that the nation was “at war” with the COVID-19 virus and that it was a matter of national pride that everyone accede to the strict quarantine rules without fail. People who were caught trying to drive out of town were arrested and their vehicles were impounded. It was one of the most rapid and comprehensive efforts in world history of any government to stop the spread of a contagious disease. And for the people of China it had become a national crusade and a patriotic duty to do all possible to stop the spread of the virus and to help their sisters and brothers in Wuhan. It showed how quickly a socialist planned economy in a one-party state can respond to a national health crisis.

What had started off as a golden opportunity for the US and the rest of the world’s capitalist governments to “prove” the superiority of the capitalist system over socialism was turning into quite the opposite. The stunning, rapid response and the drastic measures immediately taken and imposed with a minimum of opposition from the Chinese workers of the Communist Party’s health initiative was proving the superiority of the socialist system! As the World Health Organization and scientists and politicians around the world praised the Chinese Government’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the anti-communist propaganda operations reeled in stunned shock as their initially successful efforts to control the “spin” on the story lost traction and were hurled back by the power of the Chinese response.

Beyond the exchange of heated words between the US Government of Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping, little was being done outside of China to stop the inevitable spread of COVID-19 to the rest of the world. Modern transportation networks accelerate the spread of contagious diseases: what took months to occur during the bubonic plague in the 14th century – a world where the fastest mode of transportation was a sailing ship powered by prevailing winds – now takes only days. It’s quite likely that by the time Chinese doctors had even started to realize what was going on, the virus had already been carried from Wuhan to other countries by infected airline passengers. By the time that western airlines finally stopped all flights to and from China – weeks after the outbreak had been announced – the viral cat was well out of the bag. There was no stopping the global spread of COVID-19 now; and it was just a matter of time before new outbreaks began in major cities all over the world.

In the western capitalist world, anti-communist political leaders chortled at the way the Chinese Communist Party had been forced to shut down the world’s second largest economy because of the falsely-alleged Chinese affinity for exotic foods like “bat wing soup”. They wasted weeks of time in which they could have been preparing their own national response to the inevitable arrival of COVID-19 by spending their days spreading false and malicious rumors as to how the virus originated in wild animal markets in China and from restaurants serving exotic animals for food. Meanwhile, the virus was reaching their own nations – and their national health systems – “socialized” or not – were about to face one of their severest tests in their history.

Instead of using the nearly two months of advance notice of the impending spread of the COVID-19 epidemic from China to the the rest of Asia, then to the USA, Europe and the rest of the world to stockpile the medical equipment that would be necessary in order to slow the spread of the illness in their own nations, the capitalist world’s politicians did… nothing. They ridiculed China for “bungling” the initial response to the COVID-19 outbreak and allowed their national propaganda networks to redouble their efforts to portray the COVID-19 outbreak as a signal “failure” of the “inferior” socialist economic system, and portrayed the very same Chinese police-state actions that the western nations themselves would soon be forced to impose on their workers as “communist totalitarianism”.

This shopworn, lying anti-communist propaganda, disinterred from its “Cold War” “end of history” grave for the purposes of a “New Cold War” had been made necessary by socialist China’s amazing economic performance of the past 40 years, in which it has steadily risen above every capitalist nation on the planet except for the USA (which it is due to surpass within the next 5 years). Increasingly struggling to maintain its “capitalism is better than socialism” narrative in the face of China’s historically unsurpassed economic growth and massive destruction of domestic poverty rates, the US and the rest of the stagnant and even retrograde capitalist world is forced to grasp at ever thinner and thinner straws.

What’s a capitalist politician to do in the face of this challenge from “Communist” China? Well, in the case of the COVID-19 epidemic it appears that their “solution” is to run around like headless chickens for a while, then copy everything China did to bring its COVID-19 epidemic under control. Thanks to events having proven that the initial slant of western propaganda vilifying China’s draconian (perhaps unnecessarily so) but successful efforts to contain the spread of the virus, it has now become politically impossible in the West for politicians to adopt measures any less draconian.

This is particularly ironic since the death toll from China’s and the rest of Asia’s COVID-19 epidemics proved to be comparable to the “mere” common flu, which killed as many or more people in every nation on Earth during the 2019-2020 flu season – as it usually does. “You can’t compare COVID-19 to the ‘common flu’!” screamed the “scientific experts” of the capitalist world, who have spent decades pretending that the annual death toll from the common flu (tens of thousands a year in the USA) was ignorable because it was, apparently, an act of god or something. “COVID-19 is different!” they howled in unison at anyone who dared to point out the obvious contradiction between their perpetually laissez-faire attitude to the massive death toll from the “common flu” compared to their raving lunatic response to this new one. The massive over-reaction was the predictable political response of the rabid anti-communists of the western capitalist bourgeois “democracies” who found themselves compelled, in the wake of “Communist” China’s overwhelming public success at fighting COVID-19, to attempt to “show those commies” up by adopting even more stringent measures that would quickly shut down the world economy – in spite of the daily receipt of data from the global COVID-19 outbreak that clearly showed that it was nothing more than a very nasty flu.

Marxists have always pointed out that one of the greatest areas of superiority of revolutionary Marxist philosophy is our adherence to the “dialectical method” of reasoning, a comprehensive way of looking at every phenomenon in its ever-changing totality rather than using the antique preferred bourgeois methodology of Aristotelian logic, which sees everything as a series of static episodes which can be extracted from an ongoing event and looked at as something finite rather than as a mere snapshot of a dynamic and evolving process of evolution. This narrow-minded approach was evident in almost every “scientific expert”’s wild and crazy public pronouncements on the subject of COVID-19. People who spend their entire professional lives examining life processes through a microscope should not be expected to take the lead on issues involving public policy, where macroeconomic effects of public policy have the potential to kill not just tens of thousands but tens or even hundreds of millions. But they irresponsibly rushed to the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis, brandishing their unpublished theses on the virus, terrifying the world with Cassandra-like predictions of millions of deaths if the global economy was not shut down immediately.

In the USA, scientific cretins like Dr. Anthony Fauci, “a consummate politician” as the New York Times described him, who, as arch-anti-communist US President Ronald Reagan’s point man on AIDS stayed infamously asleep while the “gay plague” raged through the gay communities of the USA in the early ‘80s, was placed in charge of the US Government response to COVID-19. He and his colleagues, apparently utterly blind and ignorant of any subject outside of their chosen specialties of virology and epidemiology, but rising to the occasion of the propaganda imperatives of the “New Cold War” went before the news cameras and breathlessly informed the scientifically illiterate US public that, unless the US economy was shut down immediately, perhaps millions of US workers would die from the “deadly” COVID-19 virus. “Only if these measures – far more outrageous than anything done by those commies in China are taken and taken right away without any hesitation or even a pause for thoughtful consideration” their message seemed to say, “will we avoid a death toll comparable to that of the 1918 flu pandemic”.

That flu pandemic, which occurred in the wake of what was at that time the bloodiest world war in human history, killed “anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million” people. In other words we have no idea how many people it actually killed. If it killed “17 million” out of an “estimated 500 millions” who were infected with it globally, then the case-fatality rate would only be around 3.4% If it killed 100 millions, then the CFR would be 20%. That’s quite an error bar, indicative of the fact that no one knows how many people actually died from it. But it doesn’t take a genius of the level of an Einstein to notice that medical science has come quite a long way in the past 102 years. Virology was in its infancy back then; and the terrible trauma of WWI to millions of people all over Europe – trauma that simply DOES NOT EXIST in the USA or Europe or in China in 2020 – must have increased that death toll tremendously.

It is indeed depressing to see the “scientific experts” of the capitalist world brandishing their vapid non-dialectical Aristotelian reasoning, vituperatively screaming at us in one breath that “you can’t compare the ‘common flu’ to COVID-19!” and then in their very next breath to hear them blithely compare the COVID-19 virus to the virus that caused the 1918 pandemic! And yet they did this and continue to do it to this day, despite the fact that the epidemic in China has apparently ended with a death toll of merely 3200 people and that it has signs of having reached its peak in Italy, where 95% of the approximately 8000 deaths so far were of people over 65 and in extremely poor health! That 8,000 figure is also important to remember, by the way: it’s the number of deaths that occur on average every flu season in Italy from… you guessed it! The “common flu”!

In the UK another scientific cretin named Dr. Neil Ferguson and a team of thick-headed microscope-gazers were able to bum’s rush the British Government into abandoning their very reasonable limited quarantine proposals in favor of shutting down the entire UK economy by pushing their non-peer-reviewed study of the possible death toll from COVID-19 rising to 510,000 in the UK and over 2,000,000 in the USA if their complete shutdown of the UK economy was not immediately adopted without any public discussion at all – AFTER it had become apparent that the death tolls in the densely-populated area around the megametropolis of Wuhan, China were not even going to reach 5,000! Yet somehow these scientific cretins – who, if they could only pry their eyes away from their calculators and microscopes long enough, might see that the real-world COVID-19 pandemic was shaping up to be far less apocalyptic than their “calculations” had predicted! So we had yet another example of why “scientific experts” should remain in an “advisory” capacity as part of a governmental panel studying the effectiveness of various options to be taken in response to an epidemic rather than the ONLY VOICE THAT IS HEARD when these situations arise!

This is because shutting down the world economy has the potential to lead to the deaths of many millions of workers all over the world. It is inexcusable to allow the virologists and epidemiologists to take the lead in the response to an epidemic for the sole reason that their proposals will be narrowly tailored to the end result of the stopping of the spread of the virus – and that’s all! The knock-on human impact of the “side effects” of a global economic shutdown are entirely invisible to these people as it is completely outside of their narrow focus of their studies! They literally can’t see the human race for all the virus particles! They are utterly blind to the macroeconomic impact of their proposals. To them, “stopping the virus” is the be-all and end-all of their work. If the virus is stopped before it infects “x” number of people then it will save “x” number of lives, period! They will declare victory and return to their microscopes! But outside their labs in the ivory towers in which they reside, there will be massive human suffering caused not by COVID-19 but by the draconian and absolutely UN-NECESSARY response to what has turned out to be “just a nasty flu virus” with a case-fatality rate comparable to that of the “common flu”!

But it’s almost too late to turn back now. All the anti-communist politicians, most of whom are themselves nothing but Wall St. crooks and swindlers or the partners of such are THEMSELVES scientifically illiterate and completely happy to pass on the responsibility for the response to the COVID-19 epidemic to the scientists! If they turn out to be wrong, these bureaucrats – capitalist “kleptocrats” is a better description of them – can wash their hands of the whole disaster and say “we were grievously misinformed by the scientific community as to how we should have responded”. In the meantime, they have “shown the commies” how tough they are by… launching torpedo after torpedo into the world economy. Thus the propaganda war between the capitalist world and the “Communist” Chinese has completely made it impossible for the politicians of the capitalist west to do anything other than to destroy the world economy in order to “win” what has become a “New Cold War” political pissing contest – from which “Communist China” will almost certainly emerge victorious because socialism works!

The Real Disaster in the Capitalist World Begins Now

As the Chinese economy quickly returns to normal – something that can be done quickly in a socialist “command economy” run by the Communist Party of China, which has finally, after decades of bumbling, stumbled onto a successful method of organizing and running a mixed socialist planned economy – the economies of the capitalist world are in complete crisis mode. The idiotic wholesale shutting down of the capitalist world economy (merely to prolong for a few months the end-of-lives of a few thousand very ill octogenarians) has already led to unemployment levels far higher than were seen in the Great Depression. The longer the global capitalist economy is shut down, the more massive and lasting damage will be done to the working class and the small businesspeople. A one-month shutdown of the US economy will lead to the wiping out of hundreds of thousands of marginal small business operations, in turn leading to the permanent elimination of a couple of million jobs. Larger retail operations like Sears and so many others which had been hanging on by a thread will likely also receive their death-blow, wiping out hundreds of thousands of more jobs. Long-term unemployment and the suffering caused by it in terms of lives and marriages ruined, people made homeless, suicides and domestic violence will take a massive toll not just in the US but throughout the capitalist world. Tens of millions of workers are suffering already due to unemployment and the sudden elimination of their incomes. This economic crisis is going to kill far more people than COVID-19 did.

The economists seem to have lost their minds as well. They seem to believe that they can simply print trillions of dollars and distribute them to the businesses and workers without harming the value of the dollar. The extremely experimental “Modern Monetary Theory” (MMT) is leaping from the printed page to reality with no drug test and no background check involved! These crazy bastards are launching a macroeconomic experiment the likes of which has never been seen before. Where it will lead is anyone’s guess: but I’m guessing that, as with many “new paradigms” we’ve seen since the dot-com-bust where it was asserted that the alarms rung by “old school” economists could be safely ignored – this time around as well, the “old school” economic “dogma” of what happens when you print dollars by the trillions and dump them into the money supply all at once will reassert themselves with a quickness. And all this wild-eyed economic and social experimentation is being done over a virus which as we see with every new report of the mortality statistics right up to the moment I’m writing this – appears to be literally “nothing more than a nasty flu”!

The revolutionary socialists of the world have been warning workers since the 1840s that there is no future for the working class under the capitalist system, and that continuing to support capitalist politicians and the rotten capitalist economic system will cost the working classes their lives. Since that time we have seen two world wars in which tens of millions of workers were butchered, and still the working classes of most countries have resumed their places as exploited cogs in the capitalist machine. Instead of building revolutionary socialist workers parties to lead us out of the dead end of late capitalism and into a promising socialist future, the working class has, time and again, returned to the voting booths to pull the lever for the lying capitalist politicians. In the 2020 elections in the USA we see the workers doing it yet again. Stupid is as stupid does, as the saying goes. The longer you allow the capitalists to remain in power the closer you are bringing yourselves and all those you love to the brink of total destruction. Either the working class will rise up and fight for its rightful place as the organizers of a new socialist world or we will be annihilated in yet another World War. The decision rests in the hands of each and every worker on this planet. We hope you’ll join us in building an egalitarian socialist world where the endless crises and wars of the late capitalist period will be brought to a permanent end.

Dump the Republicrats! Build A Workers Party! Fight For A Workers Government! Fight For A Socialist Future!

—IWPCHI

The Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020: A Comedy in One Act

[Scene: a typical working-class home in the US in 2025, three years after the US workers socialist revolution establishes the United Socialist States of America – from Canada to Chile]

Grampaaaaa!

Hi sweet pea! How was school today? Learn anything interesting?

Uhhh… ummmm… no. Oh, yeah! Today in history class Mrs. Schofield taught us about the Great Coronavirus Scare of 2020! I’m glad I wasn’t born when that happened. The anniversary of it is today! Were you in the Great Coronavirus Scare, grampa?

Oh yes! Those were awful times! I was just about your age when the Coronavirus hit back in ‘20.

Mrs. Schofield said the whole city of Chicago was shut down for almost a month!

The whole COUNTRY was shut down for almost a month! It was terrible! People were out of work, everything shut down. Couldn’t even go out for a cup of coffee or to a restaurant for breakfast. Folks started hoarding toilet paper…

Ha ha ha! That was funny! Boy people sure were stupid back then weren’t they? No one would do that today!

Watch it there, girl! I was alive back then and so was your grandma, and Uncle John and Aunt Mary! WE weren’t ALL stupid as that!

You and Uncle John and Aunt Mary didn’t hoard toilet paper, did you, Grampa?

[Long pause.]

No! Of course we didn’t! But lots of other people did! And they weren’t all stupid! They hoarded water, too. And frozen waffles!

Frozen waffles! Hahahahahahahahaaaaa! That’s stupid!

[Long pause]

That’s not a nice thing to say! That was way back before the Revolution when 75% of the country still believed in angels! We weren’t stupid, we were just ignorant back then. Heck, that was even before we figured out that we could have more than two political parties at a time! We were still stuck voting for the Republicans, then the Democrats, then the Republicans again… heh heh! [Shakes his head sadly]

I’m glad I didn’t live way back then. It must have been terrible! So grampa, how did the Coronavirus Scare finally end?

Well most everyone was scared to death of the virus. All the newspapers back then could print all the lies they could fit on a webpage. There were rumors that 2 million people would die in the USA alone…

TWO MILLION PEOPLE? But grampa, only 25 thousand died in the whole WORLD! And they were mostly really old and really sick before they got the virus! Mrs. Schofield said everyone was sick all the time back then… before we even had Medicare for everyone!

Yes but we didn’t get Medicare for All until after the Revolution. You asked how the Coronavirus Scare ended. That was way before the Revolution.

Oh yeah, right. So how did it end?

Well, we were all so confused by the lies that were being told by the politicians and this gang of thick-headed health-care “experts” scaring us with the idea that if we didn’t shut down the whole world economy we’d lose 500,000 or even 2 million people! They had us running around like chickens with our heads cut off!

So then what happened?

Well the President had just gone on TV to tell us that we were all going to have to stay out of work for as much as four months, and that the unemployment rate was going to be higher than in the Great Depression, and the doctor who was the head of the Centers for Disease Control came on and said if we didn’t all stay in our homes for the next three months straight, two million of us were gonna die!

No way!

Yes, that’s what they told us! And the news kept on telling us every day how many people had died the past 24 hours and the numbers kept on getting higher and higher every day…

But that wasn’t true!

But we didn’t know that at the time, honey! We still trusted the old government! We believed what they told us and didn’t question anything back then. Well, most of us didn’t…

So how did it end then?

Well the news kept saying that hundreds of people were dying in every state and on and on… but then some folks on social media noticed…

You mean on Twitter, don’t you grampa?

Yes on Twitter and some of the others that aren’t around anymore. They noticed that the funeral home parking lots were empty all over the place! If there were all these people dying, why were the funeral homes not running 24 hours a day? So they started asking questions…

Mrs. Schofield said they started to pay attention to the… base fatality rate I think?

Case fatality rates. Yes. We’d just been listening to the “experts” all the time and we hadn’t even tried to question their scary stories. We were so scared that we just believed them and did what they told us to do! But once we started asking questions their whole story started to unravel. Turned out they had been full of beans the whole time! They scared the country so bad the economy was shut down for three weeks and it started a recession that lasted 3 years! And until the debts were repudiated ten years later – at the time of the Revolution – we were still paying them loans off to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year!

Then what happened grampa?

Well the word started getting around that the politicians in both parties had been telling us a bunch of nonsense the whole time, and at first a few people started breaking the quarantines and then more and more and then the whole world rose up and told all the politicians to go to Hell!

That was the beginning of the Revolution! I wish I could have been there that day! That must have been fun!

It was fun at first. But then folks got so carried away with themselves that they took their guns out and started shooting them in the air in celebration…

Oh no! What happened?

Well, they killed more people in just a few hours that night than the coronavirus and the flu combined killed that entire year. Killed even more people than died in the Revolution, as it turned out. It was a mess…

That was stupid! You didn’t shoot anyone that night did you grampa?

[Long pause]

No… no… I don’t think so. [Pause] Well, I told you we were ignorant back then! We didn’t know any better! But we finally woke up and a bunch of folks formed some revolutionary socialist workers parties and we ended up kicking all those worthless old capitalist parties to the curb. But that’s an even longer story and it’s time for dinner pretty soon…

That’s when comrades Britney Spears and Russell Brand joined forces and led the Revolution to victory, right, Grampa?

Who told you that?

Mrs. Schofield!

Well that’s the craziest thing I ever… it wasn’t like that at all! Your teacher must be a DemSocialist!

No, she’s with Socialist Alternative… I think. Or maybe Worker’s World. [Looks at the newspaper on the coffee table.]  Grampa… what does “Ip Chee” mean?

IWPCHI? That’s the party that really led the Revolution! Your grandma and I joined back in ‘21. Well, like I said, it’s a long story. I’ll tell you about all that after dinner! We’re having microwave waffles and bottled water and tater tots in celebration of The Day of the Great Awakening!

I love tater tots! Will we have lots of fried baloney too?

It’s The Day of the Great Awakening! Of course there’ll be lots of fried bologna!

And Corn Dogs? Hot Pockets, too? Frozen pizza and Ramen noodles?

Ha ha ha! All you can eat! Last one to the dining room is a rotten old Democrat!

[They run to the dining room, laughing. The End.]

Police Corruption in the USA: New York City – 1894 Lexow Committee and 1972 Knapp Commission Reports

The Lexow Committee and the Knapp Commission: two massive investigations into police corruption in the New York City Police Department, almost 100 years apart.  Results: in spite of continuous scandals, exposés, investigations and promises from the New York City and state officials that things would change – they never did.  If we were to launch a new investigation into police corruption in the NYPD – or any other big-city police force in the USA, we’d find the same thing: massive corruption.  The truth is that the police forces in the USA have ALWAYS been corrupt, from Day One.  And it’s not just “a few bad apples” (as the police chiefs and Mayors always reassure us); no, the entire orchard is rotten. (Oh, and by the way: the “lesser evil” Democratic Party has been running most big-city police departments since the 1930s).

These reports have been often quoted but rarely have they seen the light of day; they have existed in the dusty archives of public and collegiate libraries, available only to those who knew where to look.  Now, thanks to the Internet, these mind-blowing reports can be yours with the click of a button. So download away and prove to yourself how endemic total police corruption is to the capitalist system.

The only sure way to put an end to police corruption once and for all is to get rid of the capitalist system that spawns it through workers socialist revolution.

— IWPCHI

1894 NYPD Lexow Committee Report Vol I_

1894 NYPD Lexow Committee Report Vol II_

1894 NYPD Lexow Committee Report Vol III_

1894 NYPD Lexow Committee Report Vol IV_

1894 NYPD Lexow Committee Report Vol V_

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

[Note: The Knapp Commission Report is in the process of being archived.  Only this first section is available at this time.  We’ll be making the rest of it available (hopefully) before the holidays. – IWPCHI]

Knapp Commission Report Part 1 – Introductory Material, Table of Contents, Summary and Principal Recommendations

Knapp Commission Report Section One – Chapter One – History of Commission – Chapter Two Methods and Sources

Knapp Commission Report Section Two – Chapter Three – Patterns of Police Corruption

Knapp Commission Report Section Two – Chapter Four – Gambling

Knapp Commission Report Section Two – Chapter Five – Narcotics

Knapp Commission Report Section Two – Chapter Six – Prostitution

Knapp Commission Report Section Two – Chapter Seven – Construction

Knapp Commission Report Section Two – Chapter Eight – Bars

 

The Science of Human Memory: Why Christine Blasey Ford’s 40-Year-Old Accusations Are No Longer Credible

When it comes to human memory, scientists speak not of its “reliability” but of its “fallibility”.  Under capitalism, which embraces superstitious belief and “common sense” while denigrating scientific knowledge, the generally scientifically illiterate working class is left to fend for itself when it comes to seemingly “deeply controversial” issues – like whether or not the 40-year-old memories of a person can be relied upon as an accurate record of their early-life traumas. In fact, as we clearly establish in this article, there is no scientific “controversy” in regard to the fallibility of human memory over time: human memory is nothing like a documentary record by which events in a person’s life can be recalled precisely as they happened – even by the very person who lived the experience.  Even worse, the passage of time and the acquisition of new life experiences cause human memories to be continuously revised and reconstructed. 
We oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court due to his well-documented extreme conservatism and hostility to women’s rights; but neither he nor anyone else should be compelled to submit to a public interrogation regarding unsubstantiated sexual assault allegations from almost 40 years ago that were never brought to trial in a court of law.  We have nothing against Christine Blasey Ford, but unfortunately for her the time for her to bring her assault allegations forward was 36 years ago; the passage of nearly four decades has rendered her accusations, in our opinion, inadmissible in a court of law due to the scientifically proven fact that human memories – even of traumatic events like sexual assault – degenerate over time.  This underscores the vital importance of sexual assault victims coming forward to report the crimes committed against them at the earliest possible opportunity. – IWPCHI

The nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court of Brett Kavanaugh was brought to a screaming halt this past month by the sudden emergence of one Christine Blasey Ford, who came forward with an accusation that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her some 36 years ago.  This explosive accusation – coming as it has against a prospective Supreme Court Justice in the wake of the #MeToo hysteria – has brought his confirmation hearings to a halt. Kavanaugh’s political and judicial record is that of a consistently right-wing, anti-worker and anti-woman conservative bent.  The battle lines for and against his confirmation for the Supreme Court have been drawn on strict partisan lines, with the Republicans and Democrats engaging in a shit-slinging contest like two troops of caged monkeys, with both sides cynically using the issue of women’s rights like a crude weapon in their political knife fight. The process of nominating a Supreme Court Justice has become not a careful assessment of the nominee’s qualifications as a jurist but a brutal running of a political gauntlet where as much salacious dirt as possible is either dug up from the youthful indiscretions the nominee may have engaged in – or the Congressional Inquisition just makes up as much damaging slander as they can and then hurls it in the face of the nominee, hoping that he or she will withdraw their candidacy for the Court rather than continue to be publicly humiliated by the Congressional cretins of both parties.  The nomination process has become so vicious that it is hard to imagine why any decent, qualified candidate for a Supreme Court nomination would put themselves and their families through the character assassination and humiliation of the process. Into the hellish partisan maelstrom of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings sailed one Christine Blasey Ford this past month, with top Democratic Party sponsorship and an explosive story to tell.  Revealed to the nation at the 11-th hour of the confirmation hearings by the Democrats, Blasey Ford launched her broadside of 40-year-old sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh using the too-credulous bourgeois press to leak out at least two different versions of her tale of “abuse” allegedly at the hands of a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh and (depending on the version leaked out) either one or four co-conspirators.  Her accusations – which were not reported to the police at the time of the alleged assault, and were reportedly not told to anyone at all until she revealed them to a marriage-counselling therapist in 2012, immediately were taken up by the bourgeois feminist #MeToo lynch mob which shrieked in unison that they believed every word Blasey Ford said – even before she actually published a coherent full version of her story.  The Congressional Democrats, who have been steadily destroying womens’ rights by degree for decades now, and terrified by the threat posed by the loose cannons of the #MeToo movement, who have been destroying the careers of the guilty and the innocent with glee, cynically supported Blasey Ford in a bid to pose as “the defenders of womens’ rights” as opposed to the Kavanaugh-backing Republicans who seem to be just as cynically utilizing the #MeToo phenomenon to pose as the defenders of the rights of the accused to a presumption of innocence – a fundamental principle of U.S. law won at the time of the American Revolution which they have been busy heaping contempt upon for decades.  It is a sorry spectacle symptomatic of the long degeneration of the political consciousness of the US capitalist class reflected in their bought-and-paid-for political parties, which have all grown steadily more and more depraved since the last dying gasp of the revolutionary bourgeoisie was breathed during the brief Reconstruction period immediately after the U.S. Civil War. With the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings brought to a screaming halt by the accusations leveled by Blasey Ford, and a large percentage of the populace finding her last-minute allegations more than a little bit suspicious politically, the Democrats and Republicans hunkered down and started digging up “evidence” to refute the “evidence” being put forward by Blasey Ford. The Republicans behind Kavanaugh produced a signed petition of hundreds of women friends of Kavanaugh who vouched for his deep love of children, women, apple pie and all things good; the Democrats came forward with a signed petition from the Friends of Blasey Ford vouching for her teenaged chastity and her all-around honesty, love of truth and all things good.  Kavanaugh denied Blasey Ford’s accusations; a few of Blasey Ford’s friends came forward to claim that they now remembered her telling them of the alleged sexual assault way back 40 years ago while howling partisan mobs vented their respective spleens across social media.  The Democrats called for an FBI investigation of the allegations and/or for the allegations to be probed publicly by the Congressional committee overseeing the Supreme Court nomination process. Calls for a full-on public spectacle in which Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford would testify before Congress on national television as to their respective 40-year-old memories of the incident (or non-incident) in lieu of an actual trial before a jury of Kavanaugh’s peers came shrieking down from the Democratic Party side, with the rabid “Start By Believing” forces of the crazed #MeToo legions in battle formation.  Anyone daring to publicly doubt the actual probative value that could be expected from such a pointless “he said/she said” trial by public opinion was declared to be “obviously” a woman-hating apologist for the rapists.  Such is the level of political discourse in the “Land of the Free(TM)” these days. Yet we did dare to ask: what is the value of 40-year old accusations in a court of law?  Is it possible for someone’s 40-year-old memories to be credible enough to destroy a person’s career or even to be used to convict that person and send them to prison for decades?  Most importantly: what does science teach us about the reliability of human memory over time? We had read over the past several decades many scientific articles on the fallibility of human memory in relation to “eyewitness testimony” – which was once believed to be the most reliable evidence that could be admitted in a legal proceeding, but which now has been scientifically proven to be highly malleable and utterly unreliable.  Irked by a Tweet posted by a Democratic Senator throwing shade on anyone who would express skepticism about the timing and inherent value of 40-year-old anecdotes of sexual impropriety seemingly very conveniently recalled just in time to derail a highly contested nomination to the Supreme Court, we responded by performing a simple Internet Search for the terms “reliability of human memory” – and we immediately found, on an Internet portal linked to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a half-dozen scientific studies and reviews of recent scientific research on human memory.  The results are not good for Blasey Ford and her shrill #MeToo friends. Human memory is not just fallible, it is highly unreliable even in the short-term, and becomes more and more unreliable over time.  The human memory is not, as many people believe, like a digital security camera video recording that can be rewound and replayed over and over again without any loss of detail at all; it is more like a very sketchy and incomplete series of snapshots that are modified by human life experiences that preceded and which occurred after any event we can “remember”.  In marked contrast to what “common sense” beliefs exist in the minds of most people, science has learned over the past 40 years that human memory is nothing like computer memory AT ALL.  There is simply no justification for the #MeToo crowd’s mantra that, especially in sexual assault cases, we should always “Start By Believing” – especially when the accusations were not reported until years or decades afterwards.  Even a delay of as little as a few hours can lead to profound modifications of human “memories”. We were initially driven to look for the science behind human memory thanks to this annoying Tweet by U.S. Senator Mark Warner:

The problem is, of course – as former Virginia Governor and now-Senator Warner, a Harvard-educated lawyer should know – that if Christine Blasey Ford were to take her 40-year-old allegations to any prosecutor in the country it is highly unlikely that they would spend five minutes investigating the case, precisely because the allegations are 40 years old!  There is no physical evidence that is known to exist in the case; it highly unlikely that any new and credible evidence could be collected after the passage of nearly 40 years; the witnesses (if any are still alive and still sentient) would be difficult and perhaps very expensive to find; and if they were found, their 40-year-old memories of the event would be completely useless in a court of law anyway due to current scientific knowledge about the profound fallibility of human memory over time.  Sen. Warner and his many lawyer-colleagues in the Senate and in Congress should know this; and many undoubtedly do know it.  But instead of acting like leaders who will take this as a “teachable moment” and use it to educate the public as to why 40-year-old memories of an alleged sexual assault victim shouldn’t be used in a court of law except as a weak buttress for physical evidence that a crime was committed; instead of educating the public that this case reaffirms the absolute necessity for victims of sexual assaults to report the crime as soon as possible after it occurs while their memory of the details are as valid as they’ll ever be, the Democrats and Republicans are consciously refusing to do any such thing.  They clearly prefer to make their cheap political attacks against their opponents in an effort to jockey for some imaginary “moral high ground” they can stand on when they run for re-election. In Warner’s case it is certain that he knows all about how profoundly the growing body of scientific evidence on the fallibility of human memory has forced major changes in the admissibility of eyewitness and other forms of human memory evidence in the law courts of the nation.  While Governor of Virginia he commuted the death sentence of Robin Lovitt in a highly controversial case in which the credibility of eyewitness testimony was a central issue (Warner – according to his Wikipedia entry – also “denied clemency in 11 other death penalty cases that came before him as governor”).  Yet instead of utilizing his own personal knowledge of the science of the fallibility of human memories or of the many U.S. Government-funded scientific studies available to educate people about the importance of timely reporting of sexual assaults and other crimes due to the increasing fallibility of human memory over time, Warner chose to remain silent and let the lynch mobs gather up their stocks of torches and pitchforks.  What could be more contemptible than to withhold such information from an increasingly frenzied populace? Then again, Virginia Democrats know a thing or two about how to direct a lynch mob from behind the scenes so that they cannot be held personally responsible for the work of the madmen – and women – they set in motion.  Virginia is, after all, the historical home of “Lynch’s Law”, named after slave owner Charles Lynch, a former member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses, Revolutionary War officer and later a State Senator. We sent Sen. Warner a dozen Tweets featuring lengthy excerpts from two or three of these scientific studies we found on a US-Government-run science website; of course neither he nor anyone on his staff bothered to respond to any of our messages.  Why haven’t any Senators or Congressmen been spreading this important, often taxpayer-funded research on the fallibility of human memory in order to educate the public as to why it’s not a good idea to allow 40-year-old undocumented accusations based upon the 40-year-old memories of a single human being to derail the nomination of someone with a well-documented legal history and no criminal record to the Supreme Court?  It’s undoubtedly because they feel that they can make more money and further their careers more effectively by lies and disinformation to be spread far and wide. Here is the first scientific study we sent to Sen. Warner. As with all of the studies we cite below, the most surprising thing that comes across is how diametrically opposed the scientific understanding of the nature of human memory is to the widely held (including by us, originally) “common sense” notion of the fundamental long-term reliability of memory, especially of traumatic experiences:

The link to the study we cited is here:  “The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom” Here are a couple of excerpts from this study:

Introduction: “The Neuroscience of Memory – Implications for the Courtroom” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci
. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

There really is no dispute among scientists when it comes to the reliability of human memory; in fact, there is so much consensus that scientists tend to speak not in terms of the “reliability” of human memory but in terms of its “fallibility”.

“The Neuroscience of Memory – Implications for the Courtroom_Common misunderstandings about memory” Introduction: “The Neuroscience of Memory – Implications for the Courtroom” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci
. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

Here is the second scientific paper we sent to Sen. Warner:

Memory development: implications for adults recalling childhood experiences in the courtroom (Abstract) by M.L. Howe, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Dec;14(12):869-76. doi: 10.1038/nrn3627. Epub 2013 Oct 30.
Unfortunatley, like most scientific papers, this one is behind a paywall (reminding us of Aaron Swartz’ fight to make all scientific publications available for free to the public, for  which he was threatened with prosecution and driven to suicide). Presumably, Sen. Warner has access to all of these databases and could, if he cared to, provide this information to the public.

We kept searching until we could find a scientific paper that wasn’t being embargoed from public view by the capitalists’ greed.  Right away we found this:

The paper is available in full here: “The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: lessons from the past and their modern consequences.” Here are some excerpts, which we also Tweeted to Sen. Warner:

“The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: lessons from the past and their modern consequences” (Abstract) by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott                                      Memory. 2015;23(5):633-56. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709. Epub 2015 Feb 23

“The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences” (Excerpt 1) by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

This paper, by the way, is not an assertion of the two authors’ own personal prejudices regarding human memory; it’s a review of many decades of published scientific research on the subject:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 2 by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, Memory, 2015 Vol. 23, No. 5, 633 – 656, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

“The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences” Excerpt 3 – “Children as Eyewitnesses” by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

This section on the false testimony of very young children is somewhat off-topic but has broad implications as to the gullibility of adults, including cops, judges and the press when it comes to the irrational “Start By Believing” paradigm being pushed by the bourgeois feminists of the #MeToo movement; it also goes a long way towards combatting the widespread and faulty “common sense” notion that “children would never lie about something as serious as sexual assault”:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 4 – Children as Eyewitnesses (cont’d) by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott,  Memory, 2015 Vol. 23, No. 5, 633–656, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

Here the authors make mention of one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice ever to occur in the US since the Salem Witch Trials (which also featured outrageous accusations that had no evidence to back them up except for the “eyewitness testimony” of children): the McMartin Preschool Case:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 5 – Children as Eyewitnesses – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

This section of the study gets into the subject matter of the Blasey Ford vs. Kavanaugh controversy:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 6 – Historic Sexual Abuse – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 7 – Historic Sexual Abuse (cont’d) – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 8 – Historic Sexual Abuse (cont’d) – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

But what about the widely-touted concept of “repressed memories” that can be “recovered” through therapy?  Does that concept have any scientific validity?  It does not:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 9 – Is there a special case for repressed memories? – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

Yet another scientific article we found sheds more light on how easily adult memories can be modified and false ideas easily implanted – especially by those whom we tend to trust implicitly, like doctors, therapists and scientists:

“The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom – Introduction” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

“The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom – How Memory Distortions Occur” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

Clearly, there exists a massive amount of scientific research indicating that the longer a person waits to report a crime, the more unreliable their testimony will be, regardless of the intensity of the lived experience of the traumatic event.  To suggest that the public should simply “Start By Believing” a 40-year-old recollection of an event as if it was akin to a dashboard camera recording of an event – as the #MeToo crowd wishes us to do – is to commit a major error of judgement that flies in the face of the current state of our scientific knowledge of the fallibility of human memory.  It is in our opinion a highly suspicious aspect of the way the Democrats wish to conduct the Kavanaugh hearings that they will seek to do away with Kavanaugh’s right to a fair trial in a court of law with a highly prejudicial kangaroo court proceeding in which the public’s willingness to believe the charges brought against him will hinge solely on the quality of the live performance of Blasey Ford as she details her ancient, sensationalized charges of serious sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh; charges that in a court of law he would not even be required to personally refute but which in this rigged forum he will be forced to attempt to convincingly sway “public opinion”.  By ignoring the science, the Democrats are consciously stacking the deck against Kavanaugh in a vicious manner reminiscent of the proceedings of the Holy Inquisition. As much as we oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, we must vehemently protest against the use of such medieval methods of character assassination as are about to be used in these hearings.  Blasey Ford, by waiting 40 years to bring her charges against Kavanaugh, and by choosing not to pursue them in a court of law where there are rules of evidence to follow has chosen to pursue an avenue of attack for which there is no possible defense that can be effectively utilized by Kavanaugh.  We say she should not be allowed to testify at all, as her method of attack was outlawed long ago when we jettisoned medieval methods of legal procedure in favor of the far more rational evidence-based system of justice, in which innocence is presumed until an accused person is proven guilty in a trial before a jury of one’s peers, which was one of the great gains of the American Revolution.  These rights of the accused must not be allowed to be abandoned for the purpose of winning a political battle – even one as important as the appointment of a Supreme Court justice.

To us as revolutionary Trotskyists the entire sordid episode illustrates our long-held saying that the choice that confronts the workers of the world is: socialism or barbarism.  The US capitalist class, hanging onto power by a toenail, with the youth of the USA clamoring for “socialism”, and unable to rig national elections anymore (as the victory of Trump over their bought-and-paid-for preferred candidate Clinton shows)  is becoming more and more deranged and unhappy with their pretended fealty to democratic process and the rule of law; and now their wholly-owned political pawns are throwing out such “outdated junk” of the American Revolution as the presumption of innocence of the accused and the entire idea of majority rule.  But then that is nothing new; from the time of the American Revolution, it was never the intention of the US ruling class to allow (in slave-rapist Jefferson’s memorable phrase) the “swinish multitude” to rule.  Only a workers socialist revolution can bring about a more democratic society than the burgeoning police state we have now; and to achieve a more democratic, egalitarian society will require a workers socialist revolution led by a Leninist vanguard party of professional socialist revolutionaries.  Those of you who want to create a positive future for the workers of the USA and the world should get in touch with us so we can begin building such a party, without which the working class can’t move one inch forward.

— IWPCHI

“Fight for $15” “Speaks Truth to Power”; “Power” Says: “Go to Hell!”

The capitalists who run this country – and who own and operate both of the political parties – the Democrats and the Republicans – and who also own and operate the Green Party and the Libertarian Party as well – tell you that you should not expect to make a decent living wage while working at a typical service economy job. It was this same capitalist class – or their parents – the capitalists of the last generation – who systematically dismantled the large industries of this country in the 1970s and 1980s – the steel mills – they shut them down; the factories – they shut them down and moved them overseas where the unions were weak and the wages were low. The US capitalist class deliberately destroyed millions of high-paying union jobs here in the USA – and told the workers “oh don’t worry; the economy is just evolving into a service economy – there will be plenty of jobs for everyone.” What they didn’t tell you is that these new jobs would be low-paying and unskilled and that they would be non-union jobs. And now when you demand that you be paid a decent living wage in this new “service economy – they tell you that your demands are unreasonable; that raising the minimum wage will hurt the economy! When you play by the rules that the capitalist class creates to make themselves rich and drive you into poverty you will lose every time. Is $15/hour “unreasonable”? No! In fact, $15 an hour is far too low to be a living wage.

Economists have told us that in order for a person or a family to live decently, to be able to afford to pay for housing, food, clothing, daycare and all the other expenses of life – and now they have added the burden of paying for health care too, something that no workers in any other industrialized country have to pay for – in order for us to live well we should not have to pay more than 25% of our monthly income for housing. Originally, back in the 1970s, the limit was 25% – in the 1980s, when it first became clear even to the government economists that very few people in the US actually paid just 25% of their income on housing – they were paying much more – they raised the limit to 30%. So now they go by this new limit that you should never have to pay more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. And so they took that 30% number and they used it to create what they call a “living wage”: that is: how much money does a worker have to make to be able to pay no more than 30% of his or her given monthly income in any city in the USA? And for Chicago – and this was ten years ago! – they came up with the figure of $20 an hour or something like that. That was 10 years ago – and it was confirmed again in a new study published in 2015! This is true!

In 2015 the “National Low Income Housing Coalition” published a study called “Out of Reach – Low Wages and High Rents Lock Renters Out”.  Now you know that this study’s conclusions must be very reasonable because the study was funded by the banking firm of J.P. Morgan and Chase! In this study, the average housing costs are calculated for every state and every county in every state, and then they determine from what the rent costs for an average two-bedroom apartment in every county and use that figure to determine what the mimimum wage must be in order for workers to not have to pay more than 30% of their income on rent. For Cook County, IL – this was a study published in 2015, so the figures at the time of publication were most likely a year old – they determined that a fair minimum wage for a worker with a small family who needed a two bedroom apartment had to be at least $21.02/hr or $43,720 a year! This is why we in the Independent Workers party of Chicago don’t understand why your leaders are “Fighting for $15” when even J.P. Morgan Chase’s own study says that in order to live like a human being here in Chicago you need to make at least $21/hour! Obviously, the leaders of the “Fight for $15” movement are overly concerned that if they ask for $21 – which is what is actually necessary – they will seem unreasonable to the capitalists. So they are limiting the demand to just $15/hour. Very reasonable, right? They are more concerned about looking reasonable to the billionaires than they are about fighting for you and your families!

The Democrats ho run “Fight for $15” are doing what the US billionaire class hired them to do: keep wages low and profits high. $15/hr minwage is $6 BELOW what J.P. Morgan study said – in 2015 – was minimum wage necessary to live decently in Cook County.   Source: “Out of Reach” p 69.

So the organizers of “Fight for $15” go and bring their very, overly reasonable demand for a statewide $15/hour minimum wage to Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois. Now as we all know, Bruce Rauner is a very wealthy man. He’s not just a millionaire – he’s not even a “hundred-millionaire”! He’s a BILLIONAIRE! He has spent his life robbing the workers of this nation blind so he could have all that money – that is a fact – no one gets to be a billionaire without ripping off a whole lot of people!

And what does Billionaire Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner say to you when you ask him for the very, overly reasonable minimum wage of $15/hour? He tells you to go to hell! Why? Because in his opinion – and in the opinion of the US capitalist class – which makes up less than 5 percent of the US population – it will “ruin the Illinois economy” if millions of Illinoisans get paid just $15/hr. ! “$15/hr is UNREASONABLE” says billionaire Bruce Rauner!

Well that is bullshit! But do you want to know what is really unreasonable and what is really ruining the US and the world economy? What is REALLY unreasonable is that capitalist billionaire Bruce Rauner and his billionaire friends – who together make up only 3% of the US population – own over 50% of the wealth of the USA! The billionaires of the US – and that includes that racist pig president we have now, the friend of the Nazis and enemy of the workers Donald Trump – these billionaires who make up just 3% of the population own over 50% of the national wealth! And does Bruce Rauner think that THAT is unreasonable? NO HE DOESN’T! He thinks that it is fair for 3% to own 50% of the wealth – to him and his capitalist friends, they’re splitting the wealth evenly 50-50: 50% for the 3% who are billionaires and 50% for the other 97% of the US population! And he has the nerve to tell you that your very reasonable demand for just $15/hr is UNREASONABLE and that if it is adopted it will ruin the economy!

The life of a capitalist 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.

Bruce Rauner is a liar! When the minimum wage is increased all of that money that gets paid to the workers gets put right back into the economy and makes the economy grow. The more the workers make the better the economy is. For the workers all that money is going to get spent on the necessities of life for ourselves and our families. So when Bruce Rauner or anyone tells you that raising the minimum wage is going to ruin the economy, they are lying! What these lies about raising the minimum wage mean is that these billionaires who own this country and who own and operate both of the political parties in this phony democracy of ours would rather see you all drop dead than give you a living wage so you and your families can live like human beings! And this 3% of filthy rich greedheads will impoverish the entire nation and get away with it because they own and operate the political parties in this country! The fact is that in this phony democracy of ours, the minority rules! The 3% can tell 97% to go to hell and get away with it every time because they own the politicians in all of the major political parties – and then they turn around and call this a democratic system of government!

How is it that just 3% of the population gets to own 50% of the national wealth and gets to deny the vast majority of the population – you, the working class – the right to raise the minimum wage to a reasonable level for survival? They get to do this because YOU the workers – who make up at least 70% of the population – do not have even ONE representative at the state or national levels of government! Every single state rep and state senator – every single representative and senator in Washington – is owned by the billionaires of this country. The billionaires have bought every important politician in the statehouses and in the national government – and you the workers, who make up the vast majority of the population – do not have even ONE representative fighting for your rights! How did this happen and what can you do about it?

It has happened because you have not created your own workers party that is owned and operated by you – instead you have remained loyal to the two parties of big business – the Republicans and especially the Democrats. So when they tell you that you don’t need your own political party, all you need to do is “speak truth to power” power can ignore you, because you do not have even one representative in the state or national governments of this country. Because you the workers have not understood the importance of having your own political party owned and operated by you – a workers party that has the power – because you are the vast majority of the population of this country – to run this nation in YOUR interest – “power” can just ignore you and can continue to run the government in the interests of the 3%.

They tell you that the Democratic Party is “the party of the working class”. Well everyone knows that is a huge lie. If the Democratic Party was “the party of the working class”… when Barack Obama was first elected and came into office in 2009 the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. The Republican Party had been completely discredited in the corrupt swindle of the housing crash of 2008. The Democrats, who controlled the White House, the House and the Senate in Washington could have passed any kind of legislation they wanted to! If they wanted to make the minimum wage $15/hr they could have done it right then and there. But they didn’t: instead, they took out a loan for $1.7 trillion dollars to bail out the banks that had created the housing crash in the first place – and then they stood by and did nothing as millions of people lost their homes. They didn’t even send one banker responsible for this biggest-ever swindle in the history of the world to jail! And they didn’t do a damned thing for the workers in the entire 8 years of Obama’s presidency. The Democratic Party runs most of the major cities in the USA – which means that they run the racist police departments of the USA! It is the racist police run by the Democrats who have been murdering black workers with impunity and getting away with it because Democratic States Attorneys refuse to prosecute the cops even for the most savage crimes against the workers. Anyone who thinks that the Democratic Party is “the party of the workers” should have their head examined! The Democrats do not now and they never have been “the party of the working class”. Almost every single Democrat and every single Republican in the last analysis is a bought-and-paid-for servant of the billionaire class – the capitalist class of the US.

What can you do about this? It is absolutely necessary – if you want to be able to exercise your rights as the vast majority of the population as workers – you absolutely MUST dump the Democrats and the Republicans and build yourselves a workers party that is 100% funded by you, run by you and operated solely in YOUR class interests. You need a workers party that will lead the fight for a workers government – those who labor should and must rule! That is the kind of party we in the Independent Workers Party of Chicago want to build. It will be a party that is owned and operated by you the working class. It will not represent the capitalist class at all – it will only represent you the workers. But how will we fund this party? It will be funded through your donations and for those who want to be members of the party through your membership dues – just like a trade union. All of the money will be spent on organizing this party and getting as many worker-representatives elected as possible to the local, state and national legislative bodies of this nation. This party will be an actual political party – not just a lame NGO that relegates itself to “speaking truth to power”. The working class will BE the power! We will no longer go around begging the politicians owned and operated by the working class to “do for us”: we will do for ourselves! We will be in a position not to just BEG for a raise in the minimum wage, we will have a majority in the house and senate and we will be able to pass whatever legislation we want. In other words, a workers party will demand that the majority – the working class – must decide how this country is run and will take the power out of the hands of the 3% of greedy billionaires like Bruce Rauner and place it in the hands of the vast majority – you, the working class! We need to throw out of power – permanently – that gang of greedy billionaires that is right now using their Democratic and Republican parties to run this country like a slave plantation!

The revolutionary Trotskyist Independent Workers Party of Chicago says: the organizers of the fight for $15 are being far too reasonable: it costs more than $15/hr to live decently in Chicago. The capitalist system is a system by which the vast majority of the population is robbed blind so a handful of billionaires can live like kings! We do not want to be “reasonable” we want to get rid of the capitalist system before it gets rid of us and our families! In Illinois we need a $25/hr minimum wage – and that minimum wage should be strictly indexed to inflation – and it should be automatically raised each and every year at least 1% above the rate of inflation! Workers should not be made to pay with their lives so that a handful of millionaires and billionaires can steal half of the wealth of the nation and use it to purchase total control of the political system of the nation! We need to make the billionaires pay for the suffering caused by their crumbling capitalist system which robs the poor and gives to the rich; which makes a handful of people obscenely rich and leaves a constantly growing number of millions of workers in poverty!

We’re the Independent Workers Party of Chicago and we say: Dump the Democrats and Build A Workers Party!  Dump the Capitalist System before it dumps you!  Build A Workers Party to fight for a revolutionary Trotskyist workers government!  You can find us at iwpchi.wordpress.com and on Twitter @IWPCHI.   Happy Labor Day Everyone!

“Speaking Truth To Power”: Why It Sucks as a Political Program

In this essay we will attempt to explain why the working class needs to have its own, independent, revolutionary socialist workers party, by comparing what we would have if we had our own workers party as opposed to what we have if we just “speak truth to power”.

We don’t like to “talk down” to people.  We ourselves are not so “high up” that we could “talk down” to people even if we wanted to!  But we have to face the reality that the US working class is by far the most backward working class in the industrialized world, politically.  The US is the only major industrialized nation that does not have a mass “socialist” or “communist” party.  This means that the US working class has never risen to the level of complete working-class-consciousness; it has been stuck at the “trade-union-consciousness” stage of development since the early 1900s.  The main reason for this is that the workers of the USA have been brainwashed by the capitalist class and their bought-and-paid-for servants in the Democratic Party and in the trade unions to believe that “socialism is bad” and “capitalism is good” – and that the class interests of workers and capitalists are one and the same!  This widely-held belief among US workers  in the identity of interests of capitalists and workers would make workers in every other industrialized country – and many so-called “third world” countries – shake their heads in disbelief.   This decades-long brainwashing of the working class has made it impossible for even intelligent people like Edward Snowden to simply  tell the difference between a communist and a fascist!

Brilliant whistleblower Edward Snowden displays the typical crippled political consciousness of the working class in the USA.

If Edward Snowden can’t tell the difference between Mao – a lifelong member of the Communist Party – and Hitler – who was never a member of any socialist organization ever and who incinerated tens of thousands of communists and socialists in his death camps (and Snowden’s a relatively educated US worker) you get a good basic idea of just how ignorant US workers are when it comes to politics.  This state of political ignorance among the US working class bore its most malignant fruit ever when the workers of the USA voted for a worker-hating billionaire for President – thinking that, somehow, a disgusting greedhead racist pig like Donald Trump would fight for the rights of workers! But that is getting off the track of our basic lesson plan on PoliSci101 as taught by a revolutionary worker!  Our subject today is not Donald Trump but one of the big political swindles going on in the so-called workers movement of the US, namely the “need” to “speak truth to power”.  What in hell does this political phrase “Speak Truth To Power” really mean?  And if it seems to you like we are “talking down” to you maybe it only seems that way because you, worker of the USA, have a vastly exaggerated sense of your own political wisdom, which, in fact, you do not possess AT ALL!  This is why you keep on voting this year for the Democrats and next year for the Republicans and still can’t understand why your lives aren’t getting better.    So please read on and see if you learn something.

“Speaking Truth to Power!” Sounds good, doesn’t it? Or maybe it should be like this: “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” Even better, right? It’s like a demand now. Or how about: “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!”. Now THAT is a revolutionary slogan! But let’s go all out and say we are “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” Take THAT, “powers that be”!

No matter how you write it; no matter how you say it, it means just one thing: “we accept the status quo; we know that there is a power up there somewhere and it is often against us; but if we just let those rightful “powers that be” hear our demands, they will become afraid of us and will do what we demand of them.”

As revolutionary Trotskyists, we study political speech scientifically. Everyone knows that all words have specific meanings; and that political words have special political meanings. But what most workers are only dimly aware of is that when political words are combined into political phrases by the enemies of the working class, those meanings are distorted, falsified and turned into lies. A clever phrase like “speak truth to power” is made to sound militant and revolutionary when in fact it is servile and cowardly – anything but revolutionary. Yet so-called “revolutionaries” seem to *love* the phrase “speak truth to power”. This is just one of the signs that they are fake-revolutionaries.

When political words are combined into phrases their meanings become (usually) more complex. It is our job as Trotskyist political scientists to deconstruct these slippery phrases used by fake-revolutionaries and other defenders of the capitalist system and to clearly show to the working class how these clever phrases are used to rip the working class off. And today’s lesson will show that the seemingly radical and revolutionary phrase “speak truth to power” contains a complete reformist political program that completely disarms the working class politically and hands it over to its mortal enemy, the capitalist class, bound and gagged!

So let’s analyze this political formula: “speak” “truth” “to” “power”. Break it down into its component parts. “Speak”: means of course to address something to someone else. We speak to communicate ideas. That part is straightforward.

The next word describes what we should say: “truth”. The working class is basically honest; when it addresses individuals or groups of individuals we as workers like to have the truth on our side and we also like our leaders to speak the truth to us and to whomever we ask them to address on our behalf. “Speak truth”. Very nice, nothing to oppose there. So far this phrase seems to be OK. And so is “Speak truth to”. Obviously if we are going to speak truth we must speak it to… someone.

“Speak truth” to whom? To whom will we address our speech? To “power”. What is “power”? Obviously, if we are going to “speak truth to” power, then “power must be a thing, some kind of material entity. You do not “speak truth to” the dog or to the birds in the trees, or to the sky; you speak truth to a person or persons. So this word “power” must be a noun, correct? Who constitutes this “power” we wish to address?

The Merriam-Webster English dictionary defines the word “power” in this way:

1 power

noun, often attributive pow·er \ˈpau̇(-ə)r\

1. a : (1) ability to act or produce an effect (2) : ability to get extra-base hits (3) : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect
b: legal or official authority, capacity, or right
2. a : possession of control, authority, or influence over others b : one having such power; specifically a sovereign state c : a controlling group; establishment —often used in the phrase the powers that be
d archaic: a force of armed men; e: chiefly dialectal; a large number or quantity
3. a : physical might b : mental or moral efficacy c : political control or influence
4. powers plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
5. a : the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product 5 to the third power is 125; also : the product itself 8 is a power of 2 b : cardinal number 2
6. a : a source or means of supplying energy; especially : electricity b : motive power c : the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred
7 : magnification
8. scope
9 : the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a statistical test when a particular alternative hypothesis happens to be true
Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/power

Looking at this list of the many definitions of the word “power”, we see that we can immediately eliminate several of these: 1a; 2a and e; 3; and the mathematical and parametrical references of 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. That leaves us with these:

1. b: legal or official authority, capacity, or right
2. b : one having such power [over others – refers to definition 2a – IWPCHI]; specifically a sovereign state c : a controlling group; establishment —often used in the phrase the powers that be
d archaic: a force of armed men
Now in the case of “speaking truth to power” as it relates to the “archaic” definition of “a force of armed men”; it is interesting that in the dictionaries of the capitalist period this is considered to be no longer valid. But of course the “forces of armed men” are not the “power” we are addressing when we use the phrase “speaking truth to power”. Everyone knows that the police are the armed fist of “power” but not “power” itself. The police are merely the pawns of those “in power” and are ordered to do their dirty work by “power”.
That leaves us with “legal or official authority”; “one having such power over others”; a “controlling group or establishment”. This must be the “power” we are “speaking truth to”.
The first thing that strikes a revolutionary Trotskyist when analyzing this term “power” as it applies to the “establishment” that runs the city, state or nation is that it is a very vague term that does not correctly describe the true nature of this “power”. As revolutionary Marxists, we understand that the real “power” in any capitalist country like the United States is held in the hands of the “capitalist class”. So why, we ask, did the people who came up with the phrase “speak truth to power” deliberately choose the vague term “power” instead of the more scientifically precise and correct term “capitalist class”?
The reason is simple: they do not want to use the more precise and scientific term because if they did then they would be revealed to be revolutionary Marxists and not the simple reformists that they actually are. If you use the precise, scientific Marxist language, you will be labeled by the “powerful” capitalist class as a “commie”; and the reformists who created this wonderfully vague demand to “speak truth to power” DON’T WANT THEIR CAPITALIST MASTERS TO MISIDENTIFY THEM AS MARXIST REVOLUTIONARIES! At the same time these reformists wish to trick YOU the workers into believing that they are “radical” and adventurous by “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!”
Let’s look a bit closer at this tricky bit of verbal posturing encompassed by the seemingly innocuous phrase “speak truth to power”, designed to make the reformist mice look like LIONS to the uninitiated (though at the same time providing a wink and a nod to the “powerful” that says “don’t worry, we’re not going to go beyond merely “speaking truth to power!”).
Every revolutionary Trotskyist “speaks truth” to every worker she or he talks to; it is our tradition, it is our job, it is our promise to you and it has always been the #1 rule of revolutionary Marxism: to never lie to the working class. But to “power”? Well, there are certainly times when it is NOT wise to “speak truth to power”; like when you are organizing a union in a non-union shop; or when a capitalist asks you how you like working for his company.
Only cowering slaves take the position that they must always “speak truth to power”. They rat out their fellow workers in order to ingratiate themselves with the capitalists. They always tend to lie to their fellow workers and to tell the truth as they understand it to their masters.
So why do the reformists try to inculcate in the minds of the working class that they must always “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER”? Whose side are they on: the side of the workers or the side of the capitalists?
But isn’t it OK in a demonstration, say, in Washington, D.C. to come right out and make our demands, to honestly and openly address our grievances to “the powers that be”? Of course it is. BUT FOR REVOLUTIONARY TROTSKYISTS, “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER” IS NOT AN END IN ITSELF! We don’t just “speak truth to power” and then go home, grinning like idiots because “we really told them off this time, didn’t we”? IF ALL WE DO IS “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER” WE HAVEN’T DONE A DAMNED THING AT ALL! We are still “power”-less workers who have merely addressed our pitiful grievances to “the powers that be” (who, in the case of the vast majority of mass demonstrations in Washington, D.C. make certain to leave town well in advance of the Big Demo)! If all we do is “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!” … and then the “power” tells us to go fuck ourselves…? What do we do when this “power” answers our honest appeal with rubber bullets, tear gas and even live ammunition? Do we keep on crawling and begging the “legitimate powers that be” to accept our humble petitions like the peasants did in Tsarist Russia, crawling on their knees to the Tsar’s palaces to present their petitions, hats-in-hands – only to be shot down like dogs by the Tsarist military? Are we workers today more or less cowardly than our peasant ancestors?
As for the reformists like Cornel West and Bernie Sanders who love to look tough in front of the workers by “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” – that is all they intend to do! They “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!” morning, noon and night – and “power” ignores them and even laughs in their faces! Why can “power” do this? Because so long as the working class idiotically contents itself with merely “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” and does not go on to organize a revolutionary workers party that will lead the fight to actually “TAKE POWER OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE CAPITALIST CLASS AND PLACE IT IN THE HANDS OF THE WORKING CLASS THROUGH WORKERS SOCIALIST REVOLUTION”, the “power” will keep right on enjoying its rights and privileges and its massive wealth – stolen from us! – and will never lose even one night’s sleep! So long as the working class keep following the reformist cowards and political idiots who will NEVER go beyond “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” – nothing… absolutely NOTHING will change unless the “power”-ful capitalist class “feels” like it’s a good idea.
We just had a great example of this with the “Fight For $15” campaign in Illinois. These reformists – completely tied to the apron strings of the Democratic Party – adopted a slogan that is so lame that it is amazing and it proves that they are 100% in favor of the capitalist system. For the better part of two decades now, every scientific study of the minimum wage in Illinois has stated that in order for the workers in Chicago to live like human beings, they must make at least $25/hour. This has been studied for EVER! So why do these reformist cowards who organized the “Fight For $15” (there is a misuse of the word “fight” if we ever saw one!) crawl on their knees begging the “powers that be” for a mere $15 – ten dollars an hour LESS than what is necessary for workers to live decently in this Democratic Party-run death trap for the working class?
The answer is simple: these people who are running the “Fight for $15” are more interested in trying to look “reasonable” to the “powers that be” among the Illinois capitalist class than they are in honestly and courageously demanding that the working class of Illinois get PAID ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE ON! These reformist cowards who run the misnamed “Fight For $15” (which should be called “Get Down On Your Knees And Beg For $15”) are trying to show how loyal and responsible they are as defenders of the capitalist system by not making the – to the capitalist class – unreasonable demand (!) that Illinois workers get paid enough money to actually barely keep their heads above water! By making their demand so low, they tried to “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!” – but not so as to alarm anyone in the filthy rich capitalist class! The leaders of “Fight For $15” hope that if they behave themselves and can prove to the capitalist class that they can keep the “demands” of the workers well under what the capitalist class deems to be “reasonable” then they might some day be rewarded with a state senator’s job or a well-paid spot in the House of Representatives or Senate! They are interested in furthering their POLITICAL CAREERS AS LIBERAL DEMOCRATS – not in fighting for actual living wages for workers!
So they crawled through Chicago and crawled to Springfield and crawled back through Chicago again and even went to Washington D.C. and crawled there as well – always “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” but never backing that up by ORGANIZING A REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY!
So what did the “powers that be” do with the all-too-“reasonable” “demand” of the “Fight For $15”?
Billionaire Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used their petition for toilet paper and he vetoed the legislation “demanding” the starvation minimum wage of $15/hour!
So NOW what will the apostles of “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” do? They “SPOKE TRUTH TO POWER!” – and “power” told them to go get fucked! Will the “Fight for $15” people now raise their demand to “Fight for $16” or to “Fight for $25” (which is the MINIMUM of what the minimum wage MUST BE in Illinois if we want workers to live like human beings and not from paycheck-to-paycheck)? Will they continue to hide under the skirts of the Democrats, who, when they ran the State House in Springfield worked overtime to keep their piddling minimum wage always well below the rate of inflation? Or will the reformist cowards who run “Fight For $15” finally stop their phony charade and just go work for the Democrats or go get real jobs?
Who cares what they do? A reformist is as a reformist does; and these dyed-in-the-wool reformist Democrats will never amount to anything! All they can do is lead workers into the dead-end of voting for the Democrats – that is their role in this life.
Lastly we ask you, young (or old) worker: when will YOU finally realize that merely “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” has never and will never change anything and start to organize a revolutionary socialist party that seeks to get rid of a capitalist “power” that doesn’t care if you live or die and to replace that “power” with a revolutionary socialist workers government?
The working class does not need pro-capitalist intermediaries in the Democratic or Republican parties to represent us – FALSELY! – in the local, state and national governmental bodies! We need OUR OWN party 100% financed by, organized by and led by WORKERS that represents the political and economic interests of the WORKING CLASS only! Once we have such a party, we will be able to stop merely “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER”; we will be on our way to WORKERS POWER IN A WORKERS GOVERNMENT where we the workers – who make up the vast majority of the population in EVERY country – will decide how the wealth WE CREATE gets distributed! We will no longer have to endlessly beg our wealthy capitalist masters for a few crumbs!

Workers of the World Unite! Dump the Republicrats and Build A Revolutionary Trotskyist Workers Party and Fight For A Workers’ Government!

–IWPCHI

 

 

 

Chicago’s Democratic Party-Controlled Union “Leadership”: No-shows at Huge #FightFor15 Union Rally in Chicago

Huge Midwest Rally for the #FightFor15 Kicks Off – 23 May 2017. Of course no one gave a moment’s thought to picketing the huge building in the background that houses the racist, capitalist Democratic Party criminals who run Chicago like a slave plantation.  (Photo by IWPCHI)

(23 May 2017) –  There was a large and very spirited rally of thousands of union workers from across the Midwest held in Chicago today in support of the #FightFor15 movement.  Unions from Kansas City, Cleveland, and Detroit all showed up in large numbers; but there was one group conspicuously missing: the unions from Chicago itself!  They were M.I.A.  And not one Chicago politician or Chicago AFL-CIO union piecard dared to mount the speakers’ platform at the end of the rally, either.  Frankly, we don’t think anyone missed them; but their absence was an insult to the thousands of mostly black (and Hispanic) workers from throughout the Midwest who spent hours on buses traveling to Chicago to attend the rally, who probably expected to be welcomed by their union sisters and brothers here in Chicago.  Sadly, almost certainly due to Chicago Democratic Party machinations, it was not going to happen.  The so-called “friends of labor” Democrats are scared to death of any manifestation of class solidarity among workers from across the region; and they’ll do anything to prevent “their” Chicago unions from meeting union militants from other Democratic Party-controlled cities in the Midwest.  To the Democrats, union solidarity spells “big trouble down the line.”

Kansas City, Presente! (Photo by IWPCHI)

Detroit union workers brought a large contingent of the pride of black Detroit and their fine banner. (Photo by IWPCHI)

This is a small part of the large group of trade unionists from Cleveland. (Photo by IWPCHI)

The rally was directed by the Democrats leading the AFL-CIO unions that participated (particularly the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU); the main targets of their anger were (of course) Donald Trump and the McDonald’s Corporation, which has been fighting against #FightFor15 ever since the campaign was launched.  But for whatever reason the Democratic Party-controlled Chicago unions were complete no-shows at the march and on the podium at the end of the rally.  We attended the march and rally and did not see a single Chicago union banner!  What a disgrace!

Hispanic workers from Chicago and throughout the Midwest were well represented – as usual! (Photo by IWPCHI)

The rally assembles at Daley Plaza, 23 May 2017. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Our very modest abilities to intervene politically in the rally were limited by our organization’s small size;  our slogans were: “Dump the Democrats and Build A Workers Party” and “$15 an HR?  NOT ENOUGH!  We Need a $25 an HR Min. Wage in Chicago!”

Why “dump the Democrats”?  Because the Democrats are one of the two political parties owned and operated by the US big business interests – the capitalist class – who create their wealth by robbing workers of the product of workers’ labor.  In the capitalist system, all profits are squeezed from the labor of the workers; the capitalists are always trying to devise new ways to increase their profits by cutting wages and benefits  and by eliminating as many workers as possible and making the remaining workers do their own  jobs as well as the jobs of those who were fired.

“Get up! Get Down! Chicago Is a Union Town!” Yes it is but thanks to the Democrat-controlled union “leadership” you’ll rarely see Chicago union workers hitting the streets – especially when union sisters and brothers from throughout the Midwest are in town. (Photo by IWPCHI)

March assembly point: ready to hit the streets of Chicago. (Photo by IWPCHI)

The Democratic Party politicians are essentially hired directly by the capitalists through campaign contributions to those politicians.  All Democratic Party politicians get the majority of their campaign funding from the capitalist bosses.  This means that the loyalty of the Democratic party politicians – just like the Republican politicians – it to the capitalist class, not the working class.  The Democrats are the bought-and-paid-for representatives of the capitalist class just as the Republican Party politicians are.

As workers, members of the working class, we can not expect to have our  interests represented by politicians who are in the pay of the capitalists who exploit us!  That is why we place so much importance on the slogan “build a workers party”.  In order for the workers to have honest political representation at city hall, the state house, and in Congress, we have to create workers parties of, by and for the working class that are completely independent of the capitalist class in every way.  If we want to have control of the direction taken by local, state and national government, we must build workers parties based on the trade union membership and fully funded by the workers through donations and party dues payments (just like union dues).  The US working class is 175 million strong; if each worker gave just one dollar a month to an independent workers party, we’d have enough money to run candidates for every local, state and national representative body and soon WE would be deciding what legislation gets passed and what legislation gets dumped in the trash where it belongs!  Until the working class builds its own fully independent workers parties, working people will continue to have to beg the bought-and-paid-for politicians owned by our class enemies – the capitalists – to toss us a few crumbs every once in a while!

Communities United contingent gets ready to march. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Ready to roll! “Whose streets? OUR STREETS!” (Photo by IWPCHI)

“There is power in a union”. Yes but not when the union is on a leash held by the capitalist class through the agency of the Democratic Party. Dump the Democrats and Build a Workers Party! (Photo by IWPCHI)

That is why we have created the Independent Workers Party; we want to be YOUR party.  It is 100% independent of the capitalist class and is fully funded by workers.  As it grows, it will train its members in working-class history and prepare rank-and-file workers to become the honest political leaders the working class desperately needs in order to fight for workers’ rights until we become the majority party in the US and then we can give the entire capitalist system the funeral it has deserved for more than a century and create a revolutionary socialist workers government!  A workers government would pass a modern workers Constitution and Bill of Rights that would “outlaw” racism, sexism, homelessness, poverty and war.  Food, clothing, housing, education and medical care would become permanent “inalienable rights”.  No one could ever be evicted from their home for inability to pay the rent; no one could be denied medical treatment or food because they couldn’t afford it.  College education would be free.  Workers who lost their jobs would get 100% of their pay as unemployment benefits until they got back to work.  Daycare services would be free and available 24/7/365.  This is what 21st century socialism looks like!

Heading north on Michigan Avenue towards the Chicago River – and Trump Tower. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Trump Tower. Chicago home of the new Killer Clown in the White House. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Why do we say “$15 an HR? NOT ENOUGH”?  Because $15/hr is not enough money to live on in any major US city!  Economists say that in order for anyone to be making enough money to live comfortably, their rent should not be more than roughly 1/3 of their monthly take-home pay.  In Chicago, a decent 3-bedroom apartment (for a family with 2 kids) in one of the better neighborhoods costs $1500/mo or more (not including utilities!).  This means that a worker needs to make approximately $4500/mo or $1125/wk., which amounts to approximately $28.25 an hour!  So how can anyone pretend that a $15 minimum wage is going to be anywhere near enough to provide a decent standard of living for a person supporting a spouse and 2 kids?

A few years ago, a group of researchers calculated the minimum wages necessary for workers to live decently in every state in the US.  Here are their results:

Wages necessary to afford just a 2-bedroom apartment in the USA; these figures are several years old. The figures are statewide averages and do not show the much higher “housing wages” necessary to live decently in big cities like Chicago, New York City or Los Angeles.

With the rate of inflation running at around 2% a year, real wages are steadily declining unless workers receive at least the same percentage in a pay raise.  We say that not only is $15/hr not enough for Chicago; but unless the minimum wage is backed up by a full cost-of-living increase indexed to inflation annually, any increase in the minimum wage will quickly be eroded as inflation eats away at the new wage.

The goal of the Democrats and Republicans, working together to represent the best interests of the capitalists who paid them to run for office, is to take their sweeeet time before they raise the minimum wage.  By the time they finally pass the $15 minwage for the country (if they ever do that) it have depreciated so much that it will not be enough to sustain a small family at all.  When the greedheads like McDonald’s Corporation claim that workers are being “too greedy” asking for $15/hr, they are consciously lying.  They know that in fact $15/hr is easily doable – which is why the Democratic Party-affiliated #FightFor15 organization is supporting the inadequate demand of a mere $15/hr.  But they intend to draw out the implementation of this badly needed minimum wage increase for as long as they can, so their wealthy benefactors can rake in their megaprofits for as long as possible before the minwage increase hits them in their pockets!

Heading up N. LaSalle Dr. towards the Rock and Roll McDonald’s for the rally. Taken from the back end of the march, showing the huge numbers of workers who participated.  The cross-street closest to us in this photo is Kinzie; obviously the march stretches down four to six city blocks.  (Photo by IWPCHI)

Arriving at the “Rock and Roll McDonald’s” in Chicago. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Workers were only allowed to stand on two sides of the McDonald’s building, and were not allowed to block the entrances or exits.  The McDonald’s was closed during the rally. Oh, yeah: did we mention that it rained like hell for most of the march?  No? Well it rained like hell for most of the march – but like good union workers everywhere, these Midwestern trade unionists were prepared for any eventuality.  (Photo by IWPCHI)

Chicago Police blocked the exits… (Photo by IWPCHI)

…and entrances to the McDonald’s building – this car appeared to be an employee leaving the site. (Photo by IWPCHI)

Speakers addressed the rally from the back of a flatbed truck. (Photo by IWPCHI)

It appeared that this speaker read a statement from “Patriotic Millionaires” in “support” of the #FightFor15 campaign! Workers, who make up around 75% of the US population, do not need the “help” of millionaires – “patriotic” or otherwise – who represent less than 7% of the population.  (All we must ask of the millionaires is that they please don’t try to stand in the road in front of the workers movement lol)  (Photo by IWPCHI)

Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry was the only top trade union official who addressed the crowd. All of the Chicago union “leaders” seemed to have boycotted the event. A disgrace for them and “their” unions! (Photo by IWPCHI)

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry gave a rousing speech in which she denounced McDonalds’ corporate greed and pledged that her union, at least, would stand up to defend US workers and also staunchly defend immigrant and refugee rights.  Immigrant and refugee rights are indeed under severe attack from the Trump administration – just as they were under the Obama administration.  This too proves that the differences between the Democrats and Republicans are far outweighed by the similarities.  In the final analysis, the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same capitalist coin.  Workers must never allow our enemies in the capitalist class (and their government stooges) to divide the working class aginst itself.  We say: “Full citizenship rights for all immigrants and refugees – NOW!”  Immigrants and refugees are the allies of the US working class, not our enemies.  Our enemies are the in the US capitalist class which exploits all workers and attempts to create divisions amongst workers in every way they can: along religious, ethnic, sexual and every other line.  Unions are our first line of defense against this crap.  “An injury to one is an injury to all!  Workers of the World, Unite!”

— Independent Workers Party – Chicago