Tag Archives: Republicans

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

Advertisements

“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!

No support to James Comey or the FBI – Mortal Enemies of the US Working Class!

This week’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey by President Donald Trump has aroused the indignation of conservatives and liberals alike, who decry the Trump Administration’s alleged attempt at “politicization” of the FBI by interfering with the “work” of the agency as it investigated alleged collusion between members of the Trump for President campaign and the Russian Government of Vladimir Putin in order to “rig” the US Presidential election of 2016 in favor of Trump.

As revolutionary Trotskyists, we take as the fundamental basis of any analysis of any capitalist government and its agencies that the working class and its organizations must oppose all of the police agencies of the capitalist state and recognize that they are NOT designed “to protect and serve the people” nor are they “neutral arbiters” of the law – as the liberals and the fake-socialists would have you believe – but are in fact highly politicized and partisan in favor of the capitalist class and against the working class, its organizations and their supporters.  As revolutionary Trotskyists, though we do defend the very real gains of the bourgeois revolutions of 1776 and 1865 and though we defend and seek to extend the limited rights enjoyed by the workers which are enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, we do not defend or support the capitalist state, its police agencies, its military or its courts, as they are all weapons in the hands of the capitalist class which are used to suppress and destroy the workers movement as the working class struggles to emancipate itself from the capitalist system of wage slavery, racism, unemployment, poverty and war.

The FBI is nothing less than a US version of the same secret police agencies in every nation-state in the capitalist era that have terrorized and sought to “disrupt, discredit and destroy” every organization the working class has created to fight to defend workers rights against the depredations of the capitalist class and its greed-based economic system of capitalism. The FBI was designed, from its very inception, to be the federal police agency that would be responsible for crushing the militant and revolutionary socialist workers movement of the United States. Shamelessly propagandistic US television shows and movies portray the FBI as some kind of squeaky-clean utterly non-political honest and trustworthy police agency – nothing could be further from the truth! If “the truth is out there” – you can be sure that the FBI and its hordes of agents, informers, provocateurs and apologists are doing their best to find it, kill it and bury it where it will never be found! To hell with the FBI!

The FBI traces its origins to the Red Scare run by US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who organized the notorious “Palmer Raids” to round up suspected US radicals and labor militants who sympathised with or openly supported the Bolshevik Revolution of October, 1917, which was the very first successful revolution in world history that made the workers and peasants the ruling class of what was formerly Tsarist Russia. The militant labor movement in the US at the time was led largely by the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, which had, along with the Bolsheviks and a handful of other revolutionary socialist parties, steadfastly refused to support the United States Government’s intervention in WWI; they were joined by the powerful anarcho-syndicalist trade union movement organized by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW); both organizations had opposed the war and many members of both came out in favor of the Bolshevik Revolution.  Debs was thrown into prison for giving anti-war speeches against the recruitment of US workers into the US military in WWI.

Fearing that the Russian Revolution was the beginning of a world-wide movement to overthrow the capitalist system, which had been massively discredited by the horrific mass slaughter of WWI caused by the inter-imperialist rivalries of the leading capitalist nation-states of the time, the US capitalist class , like its fellow capitalist ruling classes worldwide, was thrown into a state of panic at the prospect that here in the USA there would be a similar uprising of the working class to overthrow the capitalist class that had been responsible for the slaughter of millions of workers in WWI. To prevent this from happening, the US Attorney General Palmer unleashed the US Justice Department’s “Bureau of Investigation” to hunt down, brutalize and imprison – and even deport – “radicals” who sympathised with the Russian Revolution. Casting the widest net possible, the cops arrested, brutalized and murdered workers in every part of the US labor movement, from the AFL-CIO to the IWW. Union halls were destroyed; pro-union newspapers had their presses smashed. One of the things the US capitalist class hated the most about the socialists was that they welcomed into their organizations workers of every nationality and race, including immigrant workers. The socialists and IWWs (or Wobblies”) fought against racism and sought to organize all workers together in the same unions – black and white, native-born and immigrant. For all these reasons the infant Communist Party of the US as well as the pro-Soviet Socialist Party and the IWW were the main targets of the Palmer Raids and suffered the most from the attacks. It was an onslaught was so brutally “successful” (in the eyes of the US capitalist class) that it wasn’t until the 1930s that the trade union movement was able to get back on its feet once again with a militant communist and communist-sympathising leadership that built the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) and led the greatest rise in trade union membership and increase in the standard of living for workers that the US has ever seen (~1935-1948).

The forerunner organization that would later become the FBI was created by Palmer in August of 1919; it was organized as the Bureau of Investigation’s “General Intelligence Division”: its first leader was the notorious J. Edgar Hoover.

Palmer charged Hoover “with the responsibility of gathering and coordinating all information concerning domestic radical activities… through the unstinting zeal of Hoover, this unit rapidly became the nerve center of the entire Justice Department… by 1920 [it had] made its war on radicalism the department’s primary occupation.” (Source: “Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920” by Robert K. Murray; McGraw-Hill, 1964).

Hoover, who had learned about organizing huge collections of files from his work at the Library of Congress, organized a file system in which he placed the names of over 200,000 US citizens and immigrant workers who were classified as “radicals”. This was the rotten foundation upon which the FBI was built.

From 1919 to the present day, every US citizen or resident who ever supported the Civil Rights Movement, the socialist movement or the Communist Party or any event organized by the various US revolutionary socialist parties thereby came under the scrutiny of the FBI.  From E.B. White to John Lennon every singer, artist, writer or political activist that ever opposed the US Government in any way or who criticised the FBI was added to the FBI’s voluminous files of “subversives”.  (See, for example “Dangerous Dossiers” by Herbert Mitgang, Ballantine, 1988)

Since its inception the FBI has been at the forefront of every attempt by the US capitalist class to infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the workers movement of the USA. The FBI attacked unions; it attacked socialist and communist parties; it attacked the Civil Rights Movement; it set up the infamous COINTELPRO conspiracy against those elements of the US working class it fears most: the communists and the black working class.

The FBI has sent its agents and placed informers in fascist and Ku Klux Klan organizations and then stood by and watched as those Klan and Nazi scum beat and murdered workers, including men, women and children. It has conspired to assassinate young leaders of the workers movement, like Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party.  In the 1960’s the NAACP’s Robert F. Williams was set up for summary execution by local, state and federal police agencies by the FBI’s lying slander that he was an “armed and dangerous” “kidnapper”.

The FBI was also instrumental in the frame-up and 20-year-plus imprisonments of class-war prisoners Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier – as well as the still-running persecution of such heroic US political activists as  Assata Shakur – and many others.

In 1993, the FBI, through its paid informer Emad Salem, organized and carried out the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, in which 6 people were killed and a thousand injured.

It has organized mass murder of dissident workers like the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; it has most recently been involved in the planning of attacks against antigovernment protestors, one of which resulted in the murder of LaVoy Finicum during the 2015-16 protest at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The FBI’s infamous “crime lab” was caught red-handed grossly exaggerating and falsifying evidence, tailoring it to suit state and federal prosecutors’ cases! FBI crime lab technicians and FBI agents have a long, long history of consciously committing perjury in US courtrooms. The FBI has framed up environmentalists and sent them to prison for decades; it has framed up anarchists and antifascistss and sent them to prison. The FBI has taken organized crime hitmen, put them on its payroll and helped them take over leadership of organized crime networks… and then looked the other way while they committed murders! The FBI has proven again and again to be the mortal enemy of the US working class and of anyone who dares to stand up to the continuous attacks on workers rights and the environment launched endlessly by the money-worshipping US capitalist class and its corporations. There is literally no crime which the FBI and its agents have not committed during its far-too-long malignant existence! Only a child, fool or a congenital liar can look you in the eye and call the FBI a pillar of impartial justice.

In short: we don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to the FBI – so long as it weakens that cesspool of reactionary intrigue and conspiracy against the working class! When the workers of the USA finally overthrow the capitalist class and take power, the FBI will be immediately dismantled, root and branch and its leaders – past and present – will be brought before the courts of the new workers republic to answer for their many, many crimes.

Two of the most disgusting developments of this Trump vs. FBI dog-and-pony show have been the statements made in support of the FBI by courageous whistleblower Edward Snowden and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks!

Snowden – who still imagines that he will one day be welcomed back to the NSA and CIA as a hero for exposing the “excesses” of the US domestic and international spying operations he revealed to the world – took the bizarre step of writing a series of Tweets in support of now-deposed former FBI head James Comey!

Snowden’s most recent “expose” is of his vast ignorance of how the political system of the United States works – and how the US capitalist class and its government views “traitors” like himself. It is likely that the only way Edward Snowden will ever be able to return to the US as a free man is in the wake of a workers socialist revolution in the USA. But if he keeps expressing his love for the FBI and keeps pining to get his old security clearance and desk back at Langley, he’ll still be “persona non grata” then as well!

Julian Assange went a step further, offering Comey a job working for WikiLeaks’ non-existent bureau in Washington D.C.!

He’d better be kidding.

Assange – whose politics are a somewhat milder version of repulsive pro-capitalist and reactionary libertarianism – also would do well to take a few months of his sequestration in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London to study the basics of Marxism. If nothing else, it would help to clarify what side of the class line he wishes to take his stand upon: that of the working class or of the capitalist class. We created the “Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago” organization to defend WikiLeaks from attacks launched against it by the US Government. In the event that Julkian Assange and WikiLeaks begin to hire “former” FBI agents to work for WikiLeaks, the days of our support for them will be over. Once they start hiring agents of US imperialism to work for them, WikiLeaks will quickly be transformed into another pro-US NGO like Human Rights Watch, that will be just another brick in the wall of US imperialism.

The Democrats are now posing as the great defenders of the FBI’s “independence” as a law enforcement agency against the alleged attacks being made against the FBI by the Trump administration. First of all, anyone who thinks that US billionaire real-estate swindler has ever given a moment’s thought to dismantling the FBI can just do everyone a favor and give up political analysis now and forever and get back to doing word-search puzzles or something. James Comey’s half-witted interference in the 2016 US Presidential election was enough to get him fired right then and there. He did more damage to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton than all the hackers and Russian agents combined. If anything needs to be investigated it is the interference of the CIA and the rest of the US “deep state” into the US presidential elections, both before and after the election proper. The machinations of Comey and of the Pentagon and its agents who are the focus of the alleged connections between the Russian Government and the Trump campaign need investigation; as well as the CIA-Pentagon takeover of “Trump’s” National Security Council!

Unfortunately, since the US working class has not one elected official in the Congress to call for such an investigation, it will not happen. The Democrats – supposedly the “friends of the working class” – have proven time and time again their incapacity to carry out their oversight responsibilities over the US “Deep State”, as the various satraps of the NSA, CIA and Pentagon routinely “testify” falsely to Congress, get caught doing it and… nothing is done to them!

The US “Deep State” proved it actually runs the USA when the CIA was caught red-handed spying on US Senate staffers as they attempted to investigate the CIA’s secret torture camps set up to brutalize suspected “terrorists” into “confessing” their “sins” past and present.  (See: NY Times, “Inquiry by C.I.A. Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel”, 31 July 2014)  That was a clear-cut case of the CIA placing itself illegally and monstrously above and outside the purview of the highest legislative body in the land. What did the Democrats do about it? Absolutely nothing! The CIA’s director at the time as well as everyone involved in the spying operation against the Congressional investigators should be cooling their heels in prison cells these days – but they weren’t even disciplined! Having abdicated their responsibility to the public to bring the CIA leadership up on charges of illegally spying on Congress, the Democrats surrendered the last line of defense the nation had against the “Deep State” this side of workers revolution. Now the Democrats can be seen running around frantically trying to pass the hat to anyone who is willing to commit political suicide by launching an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the allegations of Russian meddling in the US Presidential election and the Trump campaign’s alleged involvement in that scheme. When Comey made his damning presentation to Congress regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, stopping just short of issuing indictments for her criminal acts just weeks before the election, the Democrats were furious and many were screaming for Comey’s head to be placed on a platter and sent to the House of Repesentatives: now, when Comey is fired by Trump for his inability to testify before Congress without, essentially, committing perjury, the Democrats are ready to begin the process for impeaching Trump! The US Congress has become such a banal comedy act that it has become a national embarrassment – to the US’ allies. Here in the USA, the bourgeois press has become so insipid and the working class (for the most part) has become so sick of the political games being played there, that the prospects for anything other than a continuation of the long-term dysfunction of the federal government look bleak to say the least.

It is absolutely imperative that the US working class organize its own revolutionary Trotskyist workers party immediately, to begin the work necessary to eventually kick this sad capitalist political fraud to the curb and in its place to build a workers government that will take the responsibility to guarantee all the necessities of human life in the 21st century for every woman, man and child in this country and around the world. This phony “democracy” is a conspiracy against the working class designed to squeeze every penny of profit possible from each and every one of us, leaving us without the money to provide ourselves with decent housing, clothing, food and everything else we need. These capitalist cretins and their politicians promise us a “future” of endless wars against endless enemies who they will constantly be creating via their endless wars – until they finally set off the chain of events that leads to the next world war – a nuclear world war – in which, this time, many if not all of the US’ major cities will be totally destroyed! If this is your idea of the kind of future you want for you, your kids, and your grandkids then just keep on doing what you’re doing now – supporting the capitalist class and capitalism by voting for its bought-and-paid-for political parties – and your “American Dream(TM)” will undoubtedly come true (in a brief blaze of fascist “glory”)… and then it’ll be Berlin, 1945 for the fascist USA!  (Trust us: you don’t want to go there).

Unter den Linden, Berlin, 1945.  If the USA keeps heading in the direction of fascism, it will end up like Nazi Germany…. except with far more people dead and far fewer buildings left standing after a nuclear WWIII.

If you want to create a long-term future of peace and prosperity for future generations, then you must realize that capitalism is barring the door to that future, and until we overthrow it, the human race can not go one step further! To overthrow capitalism we must create a revolutionary Trotskyist workers party that will lead that revolution to success and to the establishment of an egalitarian socialist workers republic where we won’t just have the right merely “to PURSUE happiness” but for everyone to actually achieve it. Join us!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

US “Intel” Report on “Putin-Ordered” “Hacking of US Election”: Same Lies, Shouted Louder This Time

Last week the badly misnamed United States “Intelligence Community”, whose repeated massive failures to do their “jobs” have resulted in (to name just the two most infamous) the attack on 9/11 and the monstrous war against Iraq, released a pathetic evidence-free 25-page report attempting once again to link the Russian government of Vladimir Putin directly to alleged attempts by his government to interfere and even to “hack” the US electoral process in the 2016 US Presidential election.  Not surprisingly, once again they failed to produce even the slightest evidence to back their outrageous claims against Russia – an extremely dangerous attempt to essentially assert that an act of war has been committed by the Russian Government against the USA.  In their mad determination to maintain their military and economic hegemony over the entire world, the US capitalist class and their government – who can’t even run a medium-sized city like Detroit without fucking it up – think that they have the “right” to run the entire planet as their very own combination slave plantation and personal piggy bank.  Angered at their inability to add Syria to the long list of Middle Eastern nation-states they have turned into free-fire zones (thanks largely to Russia’s military support for the brutal Assad regime), the United States capitalist class seems to have given their bought-and-paid-for Senators and Congressmen and the lame-duck Obama Administration the green light to launch a propaganda war against Russia that seems intended to start WWIII!  Fortunately for the world, Vladimir Putin’s government has not responded to the “lesser evil” Democrat Obama’s attacks in kind.

Having just had their asses handed to them in the recent US Presidential elections (in spite of their spending a couple of billion dollars to make their pet Hillary the first female President) the US capitalist class is in a rage.  Rodham Clinton – the heavy favorite to win the latest phony presidential “election” in the USA – had her coronation rudely canceled, not by WikiLeaks, not by the “evil empire”of Putin, but by the Libertarian and Green Parties, who, by securing over 5% of the vote in key states handed Donald Trump the electoral votes he needed to win.  But this reality can not be acknowledged by the US capitalist class because to admit that it was the poorly-funded third parties right here in the USA that annulled their supposedly magical money-power to elect whomever they choose to the highest office in the land means that they must admit that the days of dead-end two-party politics, controlled entirely by the wealthiest 10% of US citizens is OVER.  So, to cover up the fact that the suposedly invincible US capitalist class is losing control over its own fake “democracy” in the US, they have promulgated the Big Lie that it was the evil Russian Putin who “stole the election” which the US greedhead class thought they had once again bought for themselves “fair and square”.

The Obama Administration and their Republican allies in Congress are shouting in unison that WikiLeaks and Putin conspired to “hack” the US electoral process.  This ridiculous assertion falls on its face at the very first hurdle.  There is not the tiniest bit of evidence that WikiLeaks has colluded with the Russians in any way, and the US “Intelligence Community” reports have not provided a shred of actual evidence proving this assertion.  Likewise, they have not been able to find any kind of “smoking gun” evidence proving that the Russians did anything other than publicly avow their preference for a Trump victory over Clinton, for a vast number of very good reasons.  Hillary Clinton’s brutal record of destabilizing the entire Middle East and their sinister support for the Nazi-ridden, anti-Russian government of the Ukraine while she was Secretary of State alone provide enough plainly justifyable reasons why the Russians would prefer Anyone But Clinton.  But Trump’s wholly unsolicited public statements of admiration for the autocrat Putin gave the Russians plenty of reasons to prefer a Trump win.  Politicians, governments and media pundits all over the world picked their favorite candidates and publicly stated their preferences.  What makes Putin and his nation’s propagandists doing the same thing so special?  When the United States wants to make its preferences known in foreign elections it finds many ways to do it – publicly and privately – and makes no bones about it, unless the US “Intelligence Community” decides an assassination or two are in order, of course.

Did the Russians hack Hillary Clinton’s illegal, secret and poorly defended email server and those of her campaign manager John Podesta and others and turn over the docs to WikiLeaks  to use against Hillary Clinton as the US Government claims? According to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, the answer is an emphatic “no”.

(Watch the full interview below:)

During an interview with right-wing blowhard Sean Hannity broadcast on Hannity’s TV show last week, Assange repeatedly denied that WikiLeaks received the Podesta or Clinton emails “from any state party”.  Hannity pounded away on this point, asking Assange several times from several different angles during the interview to deny that there was any Russian Government link to the WikiLeaks revelations that proved so damaging to Clinton’s Presidential cakewalk; and every time he did, Assange firmly stated that there was no Russian government involvement in the leaks.

So, who should we believe: the US Government or Julian Assange?  Assange has a long record for telling the truth; the US Government “Intelligence” agencies have a much longer record of systematically lying to the public and even lying under oath during Congressional testimony!  Not surprisingly, current polls show that in spite of years of a massive US Government-orchestrated propaganda campaign to discredit WikiLeaks as an organization and Assange personally, a large percentage of the US population trusts Assange and WikiLeaks more than they trust the US Government officialdom!  This, too is another sign that the ability of the US capitalist class to fool the US working class with their endless pro-capitalist propaganda and lies is wearing thin.  The Internet in general, and courageous hackers, whistleblowers and information outlets like WikiLeaks have made it very difficult for any government to successfully lie to its own citizens for any length of time.  The exposes of their lies occur almost immediately as soon as the words trill off their lying tongues, entirely bypassing what has been for more than a century the carefully constructed and fraudulent “impartial” bourgeois press’ self-imposed pro-government censorship.  The top bourgeois press mouthpieces of the US capitalist class – the New York Times and the Washington Post – have in recent weeks been repeatedly caught spreading lying pro-government propaganda within 24 hours of the attempt.  The US capitalist class (less than 10% of the US’ ~4.5% of the world population) which thinks it can run the world in its own greedy self-interest – in the name of “Democracy”(TM), of course! – is rapidly losing control of its home wage-slave plantation.  And so the capitalists, always living in mortal fear that their long-exploited worker-victims will finally wise up to their tricks are losing their minds, lashing out at the Russians in a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that the “all-powerful” US capitalist class can’t even rig their own domestic elections any more!

The new “Intelligence” report is based upon alleged “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections developed by three US intelligence agencies: the US Government’s political police (the Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI); the foreign intelligence, propaganda and assassinations branch of the US Government (the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency – CIA); and the communications spy agency known as the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).  In spite of this the report is supposed to be evidence of openness and transparency in the US Government (try not to laugh).  In fact, the only thing about it that is “open and transparent” is that it is an open and transparent attempt to lie once again to the world – and especially to the workers of the USA – that the Russians essentially made Donald Trump President of the United States!  If you believe that whopper, we have a small herd of unicorns we’d like to sell you!  (They lay golden eggs!)

The Intel report (link available at end of article) is supposed to be identical to the “top secret” report given to US Assassin-in-Chief Obama… but with all the actual alleged “evidence” stripped out of it.  So, once again, the US working class and the entire world is supposed to “take the US Government’s word for it” that the evidence actually exists.  The problem is that these scumbags have lied to the UN, their NATO allies, the entire world to justify their massive crimes against humanity, like the murderous and unprovoked war against Iraq which cost that nation the lives of well over a million of its citizens and reduced it to a state of barbarism – all so the US capitalist class and their British co-conspirators could stuff their pockets with profits stolen from the Iraqi oil fields.  No one in their right mind would believe a thing the US Government says after the debacle over their fraudulent claims of Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of “mobile bioweapon labs” and an arsenal of “weapons of mass destruction” that turned out to be entirely imaginary.

What the new. slightly less-censored report DOES demonstrate is that the one branch of the US’ so-called “intelligence community” that would have been able to obtain bona fide “smoking gun evidence” of Putin having ordered the hacking of the US elections – the US National Security Agency – HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE SUCH EVIDENCE!  In fact, out of the three major US intel agencies whose assessments of the results of the entirety of their agencies’ collective massive spying operations being waged against Russia 24/7/365 led to the “overall” conclusion that the Russian Government was involved in “hacking the US elections”, it is the NSA that has the lowest level of confidence in the “evidence”!

It is typical in these types of validity assessments of “intelligence community” research on a subject that each agency report the level of confidence it has in its own assessment.  There are huge internal fights over these characterizations of the validity of the ‘evidence” presented.  In the run-up to the Iraq War, a significant number of CIA analysts fought to have their low opinion of the quality of the “evidence” for the existence of Saddam’s “WMD” arsenal and his attempts to obtain nuclear-weapons-grade materials brought to the attention of then-President Bush via the multi-intel-agency assessments of the Iraq WMD evidence.  Their criticisms were censored out of the report given to President Bush at the insistence of their own agency heads and key Administration officials hell-bent on war.  So any time we see, especially in a “declassified” document like this latest one an assertion from one of the key intel agencies that their level of confidence in the validity of the conclusions of the report differ from that of the other agencies, we take notice of that.  In this latest report, it is the agency that would most likely be the one whose intrusive spying operations would produce such evidence (involving the precise type of hacking of government agencies and politicians emails that the US Government is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them!) asserts that in at least one key conclusion of the report, the NSA has only “moderate confidence” in the “evidence”!

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: "Intelligence Community Assessment - Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections", 6 January 2017 (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: “Intelligence Community Assessment – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”, 6 January 2017, p. ii (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

The report gives us a helpful graphic which shows how to interpret the meaning of what a SpySpeak “moderate level of confidence” actually means in common English:

ODNI report defines "levels of confidence" - Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

ODNI report defines “levels of confidence” – Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

So now we can see that a “moderate level of confidence” in the evidence – as asserted by the NSA’s analysts regarding one of the central claims of the report – means “even odds” that the information is either a) true or b) pure horseshit.  The brain trust at NSA were unable to decide which.

So we know from this supposedly “unanimous” intel assessment that in at least one key aspect of the conclusions there was a significant difference of opinion so great that the less-confident section of the NSA analysts insisted that their lack of confidence be openly stated in the report.  This was probably not something that was very easy to have included in a declassified report that was being used as propaganda to demonstrate complete confidence in the allegations against the Russians; and was almost certainly insisted upon as a condition of the NSA agreeing to put their stamp of approval of the US Intel collective’s “high confidence” in the assertions made in the report.  The claim that all three agencies were “unanimous” in their “high confidence” of the assertions made based on the “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections… was itself a lie!

Quel surprise!: the US Government continues to lie to the world and especially to the working class of the USA, who must be kept in a state of fear and confusion at all times regardless of how stupid it makes the population of the USA look to the rest of the world and how venal and ruthless it makes the US government look.  What else is new?

The fact is that the US capitalist class and its “intelligence agencies” are engaged in funneling money to military leaders and politicians and buying journalists in every nation in the world 24/7/365.  Everything the US is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them the US  Government has done in every country in the world, from the Dominican Republic to Germany.  The CIA doesn’t stop at merely disseminating pro-US propaganda to bolster the foreign dictators the US supports; hires thugs to beat up communist and socialist political party workers; it trains death squads to kill union leaders and political activists of the working class;  and it does not to hesitate to ‘interfere” in foreign elections using every tool from slander to assassination to “eliminate” political leaders it does not like in a continuous effort to “defend American interests” (read: foreign investments by the US capitalist class) in every country on Earth.  The revelation by Edward Snowden of the US’ massive spying operations being waged by the US Government against its own allies, which include hacking into the cell phones of leaders and even of collecting DNA specimens from UN representatives shows that all of this reckless anti-Russian propaganda is nothing but a case of “the pot calling the kettle ‘black'”.  Only here in the USA, where the slavish US wage/debt/credit slaves keep themselves safely uninformed about what their own ruling class’ government is up to, does this thoroughly hypocritical campaign of lies carry any weight.  The workers all over the rest of the world laugh out loud in the face of the US Government’s massive shedding of crocodile’s tears over “poor little USA” merely having its own elections tampered with by the preferred news media outlet of Russia, when what the United Styates routinely does to interfere in foreign elections is far worse – by several orders of magnitude!  The wailing of US Government officials over “Russian tampering” in the 2016 US election is really too ridiculous for words!

The US “intel community” report also expresses the US capitalist class’ fury at the fact that it no longer can control the news being presented to the US working class via their wholly-owned-and-operated de facto government propaganda outlets of the domestic US bourgeois press.  They are particularly furious that the Russians have created a TV station that is popular in the USA and which boldly dares to disseminate pro-Russian propaganda – just as the US and the UK capitalist class governments do via Radio Free Europe, the Voice of America, the BBC, CNN and a host of other propaganda outlets!  It is quite amusing to hear the United States Government bleat about how “Russia Today”‘s US-focused “RT” network is spreading pernicious lies (actually mostly the truth) about the US Government to US workers when the US has been doing the opposite thing (spreading mostly lies) to the Russians since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917!  It is hilarious to hear the Big Criminals of the US capitalist class crying about how the Little Criminals in the Russian Government have “stolen” what they have always believed to be the US’ proprietary propaganda methods and are now using them to undermine US workers’ alleged “confidence in the US Government” precisely the same way that the US propaganda outlets have done and continue to do to Russia, Syria, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and every other regime they do not like!  Poor babies!

The fact is that the coronation of the US capitalist class candidate of choice the bought-and-paid-for shill of Wall St., Hillary Rodham Clinton was torpedoed not because too many US voters were brainwashed by watching (mostly truthful) RT exposes – based on the WikiLeaks and other revelations – of the undemocratic methods Hillary Rodham Clinton was using against the Bernie Sanders campaign to secure her nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.  Hillary Rodham Clinton was defeated because enough voters were convinced of her corruption and venality, her bloodthirstiness, her unsuitability to hold the nation’s highest office that a couple million of them in key states voted for third-party candidates because they found her simply to be repulsive!  Clinton had her candidacy torpedoed not by “Russian spies” or by Julian Assange but by the exposing of her coquettish courting of Wall St. speculators and bankers and other corporate criminals.  The US citizens who are so fed up with the same old bullshit from the Democrats and the Republicans that enough of them voted for Libertarian and Green Party candidates to shoot Clinton’s Presidential hopes to tatters – hopefully once and for all time!

This election, we believe, signals the beginning of the end of the two-party system in the USA and the advent of the rise of third parties capable of winning enough votes from the thoroughly discredited twin parties owned and operated by the US capitalist class to throw every future US election up for grabs.  This is the second time in 20 years that third parties garnered enough votes in key states to completely overthrow the carefully-laid-and-paid-for fraud of a US Presidential election.  Finally, US citizens are starting to vote their conscience rather than just voting for whoever they think will win.  But this passive strategy of voting for whatever half-bright third-party candidate shows up in an election who is not a Democrat or Republican will not magically produce candidates that truly represent the interests of the working class.  The Libertarian Party, for example, is not a pro-working-class party but is in fact a right-wing pro-capitalist party whose ideological ancestry can be traced back to that idiot tool of the capitalist class Ayn Rand – a “philosophy” that seriously asserts that selfishness is among the greatest of all human virtues!  Disgusting!

The Green Party, though espousing a reasonably rational environmental policy (its one “minor” flaw being that it is totally unrealizable under the capitalist system) is itself also a pro-capitalist political party, which means it defends the syatematic exploitation of the vast majority of the population by the numerically tiny capitalist class.  What the working class needs is a REAL workers party, not a vaguely “progressive” party that makes a lot of timid “progressive” noises but which, in the final analysis, defends the capitalist system that ruthlessly robs the working class day-in and day-out.   When the working class of the USA finally realizes that it must create a party of its own, completely independent of the US capitalist class, funded 100% by the working class, staffed by revolutionary Trotskyist workers and dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system of racism, war, poverty and unemployment, the days of the rule of the exploiters over the exploited will finally come to its long-awaited end.  We’re ready to get this party started when you are, sister and brother workers!  Join us!  If we work hard enough over the next three years we will be able to start replacing the bought-and-paid-for politicians representing the greedy 10%ers with real workers representatives who don’t just want to “speak truth to power” but who want to take power into the hands of the working class directly.  The working class can not have its rights successfully fought for and defended by politicians who owe their political offices to bribes paid them by the capitalists to secure their election.  We must have our own party, our own leaders, answerable only to you the workers and to you alone.  We will take over all local, state and national offices and then we will finally get rid of the capitalist system that enslaves the workers of the entire capitalist world by overthrowing the capitalists’ rotten and corrupt government and replacing it with an egalitarian socialist workers republic.  Only then can we have a government that guarantees our inalienable right to housing, food, clothing, education and health care once and for all time.

–IWPCHI

25-page ODNI Report:  odni_-intel-community-assessment-assessing-russian-activities-and-intentions-in-recent-us-elections-6jan17

U.S.A. Has Always Been a Phony ‘Democracy’: Ferdinand Lundberg’s “Sixty Families” (1937)

We are pleased to be able to offer our readers the long out-of-print and legendary expose of the oligarchical nature of the US capitalist ruling class: Ferdinand Lundberg’s “Sixty Families”, published during the Great Depression in 1937.

Lundberg’s very well-researched book revealed how few people actually control the political and economic life of the United States, in complete contradiction to the widespread belief – held principally by the poorly self-educated and therefore pathetically slavish U.S. working class – that the US is an egalitarian, democratic meritocracy, just as the “Founding Fathers” designed it to be.

Of course, the “Founding Fathers” of the USA never designed their government to be anything even remotely resembling a true democracy: they created a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in which over 70% of the population was disenfranchised because they were either female, black, Native American or simply because they owned no – or not enough – property.

We obtained this copy of the book from the Internet Archive, where it is, as we write, being made available to the world for free.  If anyone wishes to object to our republishing it we suggest that they take up their complaint with the Archive.

We will be publishing each chapter of the book separately and not necessarily in chronological order.  We are reading it ourselves for the first time and will try to bring you the juiciest chapters first.

Enjoy!

[Update, 2 September 2016:  We apologise for the inconvenience – we should have uploaded the Index and the Reference Notes for the book earlier.  That oversight has been corrected. – IWPCHI]

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

Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Title page, Acknowledgments, Foreword and Contents

lundberg_am_60_fam_forewordlundberg_am_60_fam_contents-p1lundberg_am_60_fam_contents-p2

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

Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter I – Golden Dynasties and Their Treasures

lundberg_am_60_fam_ch1-p1

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

Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter II – The Sixty Families

lundberg_am_60_fam_ch2-p1

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

Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter III – The Politics of Pecuniary Aggrandizement: 1896-1912

lundberg_am-60-fam_ch-3-p-1

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

Lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-iv-the-politics-of-pecuniary-aggrandizement-1912-1920

lundberg_am_60_fam_ch-4-p1***********************

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-v-the-politics-of-finance-capital-1920-1932

chapter-v-first-page***********************

undberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-vi-intrigue-and-scandalchapter-vi-intrigue-and-scandal-page-one

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

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-vii-the-press-of-the-plutocracy

chapter-vii-the-press-of-the-plutocracy-page-one

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

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-viii-the-journalism-of-pecuniary-inhibition

chapter-viii-page-one

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

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-ix-philanthropy-or-noncommercial-investment

chapter-ix-page-one

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

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-x-education-for-profit-and-tax-exemption

chapter-x-page-one

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

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-chapter-xi-danse-macabre_-extravagance-amid-poverty

chapter-xi-page-one

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

Lundberg_America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter XII – The ‘New Deal’ – And After

lundberg_am_60_fam_ch-12-p-1

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

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-appendix-a-the-public-utilities-background-of-wilsons-backers

appendix-a-page-one

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

lundberg-americas-sixty-families-1937-appendix-b-war-profits-and-appendix-c

appendix-b-and-c-page-one

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

Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Bibliography

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

Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Reference Notes

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

Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Index

 

 

 

“To A Certain Class of Citizens” (with apologies to Walt Whitman)

[This is a slightly edited version of Walt Whitman’s poem “To a Certain Civilian”, which we would address to all those who denigrate the idea of workers socialist revolution and our project, however modest, to create revolutionary socialist Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist vanguard parties of the working class from Chicago to Kolkata.  We read this today and thought it perfectly captured our attitude to those who sneer at the efforts of those who seek to emancipate the working class from capitalist wage- and debt-slavery worldwide, and also our attitude towards those who attempt to trick the workers into adopting every half-assed form of struggle they can imagine, all the while denigrating and slandering the only method that has ever led to a successful seizure of power and lasting victory by the working class: the Leninist vanguard party.  –  IWPCHI]

“To a Certain Class of Citizens”

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from us?

Did you seek the citizen’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?

Did you find what we sang erewhile so hard to follow?

We were not singing erewhile for you to follow, to

understand – nor are we now;

What to such as you anyhow, such poets as us?  therefore leave

our works,

And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with

pop-tunes,

For we lull nobody, and you will never understand us.

— (With apologies to and deep respect for Walt Whitman),

IWPCHI

Get your copy! Redacted “Executive Summary” of Senate Select Committee’s CIA Torture Report

Well we waited long enough for this Torture Report, didn’t we?  But the most corrupt, depraved, murderous and barbaric government in the world – the United States Government – has deigned only to release a 528-page “Executive Summary” of the horribly misnamed Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Torture Report.  The 6700-page magnum opus of the repulsive Obama Administration remains completely censored and unavailable to the citizens of the United States who put this criminal US Government in power and kept it there election after election in spite of all the massive revelations of the vast corruption, criminality and mass murder taking place at the command of those hirelings of the US capitalist class who inhabit the highest elected offices in the “Land of the Free(TM)”!

The full text of the Senate’s report is going to be kept hidden from the US citizenry by “our own government” which answers not to “We, the People” but to the handful of filthy rich capitalists who bought nearly every election for the cretins who hold office in the thoroughly prostituted  democracy of the United States.  Believe us: if Warren Buffet or Donald Trump wants a full copy of the 6700-page report, they’ll get one: but we the sheeple of the United States must be protected from the proof that the US government is a gang of criminals who will throw out our Constitution and Bill of Rights at the wiggle of a mullah’s beard.

The way that the Summary Report’s pages are censored, it appears that the secret squirrels (a.k.a. the intelligence operatives) of the “Five Eyes”  nations have access to the full report, while we, the sheeple of the USA do not.  This is because we live in a phony democracy, which, (thanks to the conspiracy of the Democrats and Republicans who pretend to represent us), though never an actual democracy at any time in its entire history to begin with, was completely eviscerated after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.  The bipartisan nature of the shredding of the Constitutional rights of the citizens of the US is all too apparent from the Senate “Intelligence Committee’s” Torture Report.  We’ll have much more to say about this monument to the cowardice and treachery of the “lesser evil” Democrats and their co-conspirators in the Republican Party later.  For now, we present to our readers the 528-page summary as released by the Washington Post on December 9, 2014.

Notice that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report was released through the Washington Post entitled “nothing.pdf”.  That must be a remnant example of the Senate “Intelligence” Committee’s robust security precautions to misdirect anyone who hacked into their computer networks – as the CIA – probably assisted by the NSA – admitted it did earlier this year – from discovering the text of the summary before it was released.  If this document proves anything, it is this: the longer that the workers of the United States allow the US capitalist class to rape the nation and the world in their mad quest for more and more money, the deeper into barbarism they capitalists will lead the entire world.  It is imperative that the working class of the United States begin now to organize revolutionary socialist workers parties to overthrow the blood-drenched US capitalist class and its government before they unleash more atrocities onto the world in the name of the citizens of the US.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

nothing.pdf

Movie Review – CITIZENFOUR: “Speaking Truth to Power” is not What Needs to Be Done (* out of 5)

[Note: this review is being simultaneously published by the Independent Workers Party of Chicago and the Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago on the respective websites of both groups.]

CITIZENFOUR – a film by Laura Poitras  https://citizenfourfilm.com/

We expected a lot from Laura Poitras’ new film CITIZENFOUR; we were massively disappointed.  With ex- CIA/NSA contract worker Edward Snowden still stuck in exile in Russia and the citizenry of the United States far more interested in the latest shiny objects for sale at the Apple Store than in fighting for their rapidly disappearing Constitutional rights, we had hoped that this film would be a clarion call to the workers of the United States to take action in their own self-defense by standing up in support of Snowden and his fellow heroic whistle-blowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Jeremy Hammond and others.  Instead what we get is a very tepid and shallow overview of “the story so far” of the world-shaking revelations made by Snowden exposing the US Government’s global espionage network that monitors and stores for future use every cellphone call, email message and the wealth of information derivable from our daily movements as recorded by our cellphones every day.  CITIZENFOUR should be like a nuclear howitzer blasting chunks out of the edifice of US and British imperialism; instead its effect is like that of a dozen pies thrown in the faces of a gang of war criminals.  You could say that CITIZENFOUR pulled all its punches… except for the fact that it never even attempts to throw any.  This is, by the way, the primary reason why it’s getting such great reviews from the bourgeois press.

So far as we can tell, the reason that Poitras doesn’t engage in aggressive political “agitprop” – a fact that nearly every reviewer from the bourgeois press extols as one of her film’s strengths – is apparently that she has no political axe to grind – or more accurately, she is a liberal bourgeois democratic reformist whose political aspirations rise no higher than to being one who “speaks truth to power”.  What this means in practice is that she and others like her – including Assange and Snowden – willingly self-limit the extent of their political activities to begging the “legitimate powers that be” to behave themselves and to urging the paid employees of the US capitalist ruling class that have set up the global espionage network – the bourgeois politicians in the “Five Eyes” nations – to start taking their alleged “responsibilities” to the citizens of their respective nations seriously by curbing the “excesses” that they themselves signed off on!

This kind of “inside the box” thinking may seem strange coming from the likes of Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald; but if we analyze their political philosophies in more detail it doesn’t seem strange at all.  Unless a person has consciously broken away from the worthless, selfish, greedy corporatist ideology of the capitalist system and has become a conscious Marxist revolutionary dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist class and its economic system, one’s politics are going to be by definition REFORMIST at best; and so how can a non-revolutionary do anything else but simply beg the bourgeoisie to straighten up and fly right?  If you believe that the capitalist economic system is “the best of all possible economic systems”, and that only the capitalist class and its favored institutions of higher learning are capable of producing “legitimate” political leaders – where does that leave you politically?  It leaves you “speaking truth to power” like a good, loyal (if somewhat uppity) wage-slave!

Is CITIZENFOUR worth seeing?  For us, it was worth the price of admission just to see the “Dream Team” of Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras in the same room preparing to launch one of the world’s most impressive exposes of massive governmental abuses of power affecting everyone on the planet who has access to a telephone and/or a computer connected to the Internet.  This NSA spy scandal makes Watergate look like a pillow fight!  But the cursory overview made by the film of the extent of the revelations can’t be very compelling to anyone who hasn’t been following the story over the past year or so.  The movie barely describes the NSA and GCHQ-run “Five Eyes” espionage juggernaut; nor does it clearly show the threats of assassination and worse levied against Snowden, Assange and Greenwald by various US Government scumbags through the news media for daring to bring all this criminality into the light of day.  And, having not even really covered any of these issues, the film fails to even attempt to engage the audience in the critically important work of what is to be done: building new political parties to take down those that have erected the Big Brother spy apparatus that is intended to be used primarily to rapidly identify political opponents of the US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Governments INSIDE  THEIR RESPECTIVE NATION-STATES!  This is, after all, the real purpose of all this espionage: to create a database of the day-to-day activities of every citizen of the world’s leading capitalist states in order to identify and neutralize them if they should ever seek to organize seriously threatening political opposition to the neo-fascist police states being set up in the US and its partners in the “Five Eyes” nations.  The primary target of all this espionage isn’t foreign terrorism: the target is the domestic working-class political opposition that – if it turns in a revolutionary socialist direction – potentially threatens the continued class rule of the capitalist classes of the world.  The capitalist classes of the US and UK in particular have absolutely no intention of sharing political power with the numerically and economically vastly superior working class that creates all the wealth under capitalism.  Any attempt by the domestic working classes of the US or UK to throw off the yoke of capitalist exploitation through political or economic strike action will immediately be placed under the microscope of the global espionage network, where the movement’s leaders will be quickly identified, isolated and “neutralized” – physically if the capitalists deem it to be necessary.  This is precisely what makes so extremely dangerous  the Obama Administration’s precedent-setting legal findings asserting that a sitting US President has the “right” to order the assassination of any US citizen whose writings or friends and associates he – or more accurately his employers in the US capitalist class – do not like.

This is not crazy commie paranoia speaking here: the Obama Administration has openly admitted that it has murdered four US citizens in drone strikes overseas – that we know of; and the US government maintains a “watch list” of its perceived opponents that already had a million people listed on it in 2009 – and it is being constantly updated. In 2013 it was reported that an additional 450,000 people were “nominated” to be added to the list – with few of the nominees escaping that dubious honor.

The faith in the hired political lackeys of the bourgeoisie implicitly espoused by Poitras, Greenwald, Snowden and Assange; their placid belief that steady pressure applied to the so-called liberal “left-wing” and Libertarian sections of the political class will ultimately win the day and allow the necessary political reforms to be enacted is, quite frankly, absurd – and evidence of a political immaturity in all of them that is quite shocking, especially considering what they have learned since Snowden came forward with his revelations.  Those actual members of the US or UK capitalist classes who go to see CITIZENFOUR will undoubtedly feel a tremendous relief in their discovery that these potentially dangerous opponents of the capitalist class are, in fact, posing no serious threat to the status quo at all.  The capitalists and their spies and hired guns can sleep a bit easier knowing that Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald – for all their genuine courage and excellent work in exposing the crimes of the ruling class – have set for themselves only the pathetic task of “speaking truth to power”.   That is something that the ruling class can listen to from Assange, Snowden – or anyone else, for that matter – for ever, condescendingly acknowledging and even thanking them profusely for their heroic selflessness in bringing to the world’s attention these “serious issues” – while doing absolutely nothing substantial to change the workings of the national security state at all.  Viewed in this way, CITIZENFOUR becomes just another pointless pantomime rebellion in the long, bloody history of capitalism.  The capitalists will, first of all, breathe a deep sigh of relief now that it’s clear that the film isn’t presenting an indictment of the capitalist class or their system; then, having been let largely off the hook by the film’s protagonists, we expect the capitalist class to continue to do what they have in fact been doing: applauding the film.   Perhaps Poitras and Greenwald will be invited to  testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee to speak “truth to power” on CSPAN; or at the Council on Foreign Relations… or at the United Nations or one of the capitalist soirees like the annual hand-wringing exercise at Davos, Switzerland.   Finally, perhaps, the capitalist class will direct the editors of their news media conglomerates to heap praise on the film and even to heartily recommend that it be awarded the Palme ‘d’Or, or even an Oscar or two!  This is how activist filmmakers like Poitras and investigative journalists like Greenwald are co-opted by the capitalist class and transformed from courageous opponents of the capitalist system to prominent pro-regime songbirds publicly displayed in golden cages. Ask Barbara Kopple or Bob Woodward how it’s done.

Poitras, Greenwald et al are, we believe, decent, courageous and apparently honest bourgeois reformist journalists.  But we ask our readers to imagine how much further along in investigating, exposing and successfully fighting this impending global police state we’d be if the documents unleashed by Snowden had been placed not in the hands of “responsible journalists” but in the hands of worker-revolutionaries who weren’t so loyally censoring the documents in order to “protect the agents and assets” of the racist, bloodthirsty and greed-obsessed US capitalist class and its spy organizations!  Snowden makes clear in the movie that his motivation for placing the blockbuster documents he purloined from the NSA into the hands of trustworthy representatives of the bourgeois press was that he wanted to be sure that there would be no reckless release of information that would seriously damage the “legitimate” goals of the shadow government of the US!  Greenwald et al have scrupulously respected the “sacred trust” placed in them by Snowden to protect the “family jewels” of the espionage agencies of US and British imperialism.  This is disgusting!  Instead of placing the interests of the 7.2 billion workers of the world above all else, Snowden and his team are protecting the “legitimate rights” of the microscopically small capitalist class against those of the multi-billion strong international working class!  Snowden and his collaborators are doing a tremendous service for the US and British capitalist classes, which are, by the way, going to repay them and all of us by imposing their will on the world – both internationally and domestically – through increasingly brutal military and police-state force.  To throw the US and British capitalist classes such a huge life-preserver when they should instead be having ANCHORS tied to their necks is to betray the entire human race in order to maintain the tenuous and despotic rule of a class of criminals responsible for the perpetuation of the horrors of a capitalist world in which – to name just one major example – the world does little or nothing while 17,000 children die of starvation every single day!  There is nothing “legitimate” about the capitalist class or their “interests”!  Every effort should be made to destroy the NSA, the CIA and the US military and the cretinous ruling class that spawned them – not to save them!

Nothing short of workers revolution can change the increasingly deranged plans of the US capitalist class.  They have plans of global military domination of the entire planet that go far beyond what even Adolf Hitler envisioned; so long as their political opponents refuse to form working class revolutionary parties to overthrow the capitalist class and system, the ruling capitalists have nothing to fear.

The working class, however, DOES have something to fear from the fact that most of their erstwhile leaders are so completely dedicated to the continuation of the brutal capitalist system that they are prepared to follow the capitalist class all the way down the road to hell, where the fascists and eventually World War Three will put an end to this historical epoch – and perhaps throw the human race back into a pre-industrial stage of development.  Apparently, these folks think that they have more to gain from clinging to the coat-tails of the capitalist class than they can gain by fighting for the emancipation of the workers of the world.  If they insist on taking the capitalist road, that’s fine; but let’s not imagine that because THEY are heading down that road, that we, too, must take that well-worn path to political oblivion.  We’re not followers – we aspire to be revolutionary workers leaders. We warn the Poitrases and Greenwalds of the world of the dangers that lie ahead; we try to point out the reasons why we disagree with them; we urge them to take the high rather than the low road; but we can’t force them to lead a workers revolution.  They are simply not revolutionaries; perhaps it’s just not in their nature to be revolutionaries.  It’s a pity, but that is, in the end, their problem – we don’t need to make it ours.

The working class must look elsewhere than to Poitras, Snowden, Assange and Greenwald for the political leadership necessary to lead the workers of the world out of the dead end of the capitalist stage of development and into the next stage: that of socialism.  It’s “socialism or barbarism” brothers and sisters, just like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Trotsky explained to us so many years ago!  Now –  as then – to ignore the warnings of those great, selfless and honest internationalist leaders of the working class is to help the capitalist class pave the road leading to the hell of the next – and possibly this time, the last – world war.

Workers of the World, Unite!

IWPCHI and Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago