Treatment of Official Minority Groups in China

SHI: They are forcing the Uyghurs, what remains of the Tibetans and the Mongols in Inner Mongolia to intermarry with the Han population so that the country’s Sinicization is complete. They’re already 95% Han Chinese in that country. It’s not good enough for them, so now they want to push it to 100%.

I haven’t heard about that. Perhaps that is because those ethnicities are in rebellion.

There are ~80 officially recognized ethnic groups in China. They represent millions of people. They have full cultural rights. They all also have a right to native tongue education in school – that’s right, most Chinese minorities get to take their education in their native language.

For the larger ethnicities like the Uyghurs and Tibetans, I believe they even have universities in their languages. They are allowed to have TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines in their native languages. I’m not aware of any efforts to wipe out any other ethnicities by marrying them into the Han. Mostly they just live in their ethnic areas (which are often autonomous zones), and everyone just leaves them alone to do what they want.

All of those ethnicities were in terrible shape before the Communists took over. The CCP improved things dramatically for all of those groups. A lot of them were living in feudalism or near-slavery. Also the CCP dramatically improved all of these groups in terms of economics. There was a webpage up for a while from the Chinese government that over in great deal how the  Chinese government had improved matters for each ethnic group. It was very convincing.

China has long been at the forefront of good treatment for its minorities. The USSR was too.

The thing is that a Kashmir-type episode probably would never happen in China. Kashmiris would have been given full cultural rights and right to education in their native tongue in China. Also they would have given them an autonomous zone. It doesn’t sound like India has done anything like this to Kashmir, right?

Are you aware the current fascist leadership of India is planning to send 2 million people in Assam to detention camps?

2 million Assamese to camps? Wow.

SHI: I just feel a large nation state like PRC is too powerful for its own good.

The problem is that the enemies of China are the ones who want to break it up. They want to do this in order to weaken it. See how that works? Why break up your country to make it weaker when that’s nothing but a plot via your enemies?

India and China: A Comparison

SHI: The Rapeublic of India is taking a leaf out of the PRC book when it detains Kashmiri politicians and opposition leaders. So every time I read about the Uyghurs in China, it rings close because the Indian fascist regime is engaged in closely similar tactics.

They’re different countries. China is a Communist dictatorship. Commies don’t mess around. They kill people, put lots of people in prisons, etc. It’s just what they do.

India is theoretically a democracy. They should not be acting like a totalitarian state. That’s way out of line.

To me, China runs on the Maoist principle of serve the people. They are also one of the countries on Earth (unlike us) who believe in the greatest good for the greatest number. They really are out to help everyone, with a special emphasis on the poor. Does India (or the US for that matter) work on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number? Of course not.

India has utterly failed its poor. India and China were approximately equal on most social figures in 1949. Since then, China has leaped far ahead of India.

And the Indian capitalist system has resulted in 200 million excess deaths compared to China since 1949. That is, if they had followed the Chinese model, 200 million lives would have been saved. There are still 4 million excess deaths in India every year compared to China. Check out Amartya Sen’s work. That’s where I got most of these figures.

Further, at least 30 years ago, 14 million people died of malnutrition and hunger-related illnesses every year in the world. Most of those deaths were in South Asia. In my opinion, most of those deaths are tied into the private ownership of land (I am talking farmland here).

Neither India nor Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Nepal ever did a proper land reform. The issue comes up from time to time in India, but the Indian state is ruled by large landowners (instead of  corporations), so it never gets implemented. India’s going to have terrible problems until they do a proper land reform.

for Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Pakistan still has semi-feudal land relations with debt bondage and sharecropping, and it also has always been ruled by large semi-feudal landowners.

China Is Not a Democracy, But It’s Not a Full-blown Dictatorship Either

SHI: I slightly disagree.

I was really rooting for the Hong Kongers. But the might of People’s Republic of China proved simply too much for them. The PRC leaders are uncompromising jerks: they would have gone all Tiananmen on Hong Kong protesters if needed.

Come on, all they were demanding was to be left alone to run their autonomous island and no interference from Beijing on certain issues. They already have the Chinese flag and wear Chinese symbols. What more should they be asked to give up?

I mean if they could pull that tank stunt in 1989, what would have prevented them from doing it all over again thirty years later? Look at the way the Chinese superstate is detaining Uyghur minorities and brainwashing them in reeducation camps.

They’re not autonomous. Hong Kong is part of China. China’s not a democratic country. It’s a communist dictatorship. These Hong Kongers are living in a communist dictatorship just like all the rest of China. They have to live under the same system everybody else does.

They’ve got no support in the rest of China. 86% of the people like the system. A few of these guys, less than 15%, don’t. Why do they get some special system that everybody else doesn’t get? I don’t understand.

The extradition treaty was a good thing. China wants to go in there and arrest a lot of those corrupt politicians in that lousy place. They can’t do that because of the stupid extradition treaty.

Do you realize the case that set this off? Some jerk in China murdered his wife and then fled to Hong Kong. China tried to extradite him, but no dice. So they’re rioting for a wife murderer.

I have some different opinions on the Tianmen Square riots. I hope to write about this soon. By the way, those former Tiananmen rioters are still walking around in broad daylight saying the exact same stuff they said back then, spouting their mouths off, if not too publicly. Nobody bothers them as long as they are not too public about their views.

I had a friend who lived in China in the Northern Min region. He was a hardcore Christian and he absolutely hated the Chinese government with an extreme passion. I talked to him for a long time, and I never heard that he got arrested. He’s probably still walking around free.

There are probably ~150 million dissidents in China who are opposed to the regime. They walk around freely all through the day. The party is not stupid. You going to arrest 150 million people? How bout killing them? You going to kill 150 million people?

The problem with the Uyghurs in Xinjiang is most unfortunate. I can’t say that I support what China is doing over there.

I’m for the Chinese regime in general, but they also do things that I don’t like. They violate human rights a lot, and arrest a lot of harmless dissidents who aren’t particularly doing anything wrong.

But it’s false to see China as some brutal Stalinist regime like North Korea. Do you realize that there are fully 1,000 different political demonstrations in China every single day? It’s true. You don’t have 1,000 different dissident rallies every day in a pure hardcore dictatorship.

In China they let you disagree quite a bit, especially if you are the “loyal opposition,” but at some certain point, you’ve gone too far. They probably warn you first. A lot of dissidents just get a few weeks in jail and then go free.

The people who get arrested publish newspaper and magazine articles, issue political statements and pamphlets, form anti-government organizations, things like that. Just being against the government about this or that is no big deal.

Party officials respond to the needs of a lot of demonstrators and dissidents. If you put enough pressure on some state official somewhere about some particular local issue, a lot of times, the party just caves.

The party wants to stay in power. They read the tea leaves of 1989 well. They want majority support, popular support. They want to give the people what they want, within reason. They realize that an unpopular government will go the way of the USSR.

“Some in Hong Kong Feel Frustrated as Their City Loses to Mainland China,” by Andre Vltchek

I am sure most of you have heard of the riots convulsing Hong Kong. The Western media is only providing one point of view about these riots – heroic rioters fighting evil Communist dictatorship for freedom and democracy and sugar and spice and everything nice.

I urge you to think again. I don’t support these rioters. There’s really nothing to support. Further, as I hope to show in future pieces, the rioters absolutely do not have majority support. If you go against them, they beat you with clubs, fists and boots. They are destroying public property all over Hong Kong for no particularly good reason.

These are the children of the rich and the upper middle classes. The working class of Hong Kong, the poor, and older people are nowhere to be seen. Go talk to some of them and they will all tell you that they oppose these destructive riots.

If there was a referendum tomorrow on what the rioters want, it would lose. The rioters represent a significant group, but they are not a majority. They only have 35-40% support, and 60-65% of the people are against them.

Your average working class, poor, or older Hong Konger is a fairly conservative person. These silly riots go against traditional Chinese values. Sure, China is revolutionary, and that involves chaos and destruction, but since when are contras revolutionaries? Contras are never revolutionaries.

The young rioters think they are citizens of something called Hong Kong that is not a part of China. The silent majority with their more conservative values are proud to be what they have always considered themselves to be: citizens of China and heirs to its great civilization.

The rioters don’t get it. Hong Kong is not some separate thing. Hong Kong is part of China. It always was part of China. Sure, the British stole it for a while (during the Opium Wars to boot), but it was still part of China even then.

Hong Kong is now back to China where it has always been. The rioters are citizens of China, not some fake thing called Hong Kong. They obviously lack majority support in China proper, where recent polls show ~86% support for the Communist Party.

The CP runs China. Almost everyone in China supports the CP. I hate to tell people to love it or leave it, but if these kids don’t want to be part of China, perhaps they might wish to leave. Macao is right next door. And then there’s Taiwan. Or just calm down and quit being tools of the West.

I would like to add that a century of extreme anti-Communist propaganda is also driving these riots. Most Hong Kongers are extremely anti-Communist. Except now they live in a Communist country. Maybe it’s time they made some adjustments. You can only push a rock uphill for so long. At some point, even Sisyphus wears out and becomes just one more victim of the Law of Gravity. Maybe some causes are doomed from the start.

Some in Hong Kong Feel Frustrated, as Their City Is Losing to Mainland China

Hong Kong is losing to Mainland China. Its poverty rates are high; it suffers from corruption and savage capitalism. It is now the most expensive city on earth. People are frustrated, but paradoxically, they are blaming socialist Beijing for their problems instead of the legacy of British colonialism. ‘Across the line’, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Xiang and other cities are leaving Hong Kong behind in almost all fields.

When my dear friend and great concert pianist from Beijing, Yuan Sheng, used to live in New York, recording, giving concerts, and teaching at prestigious Manhattan School of Music, he told me that he used to cry at night:

“In the United States, they smear China. I felt hurt, defenseless.”

He returned to Beijing, gave back his Green Card and began teaching at Beijing Conservatory. He never regretted his decision. “Beijing is much more exciting than New York these days”, he told me.

It is obvious that Beijing is booming: intellectually, artistically; in fact, in all fields of life.

Yuan’s friend, who returned from London and became a curator at the iconic “Big Egg” (the biggest opera house on earth), shared her thoughts with me:

“I used to sit in London, frustrated, dreaming about all those great musicians all over the world. Now they come to me. All of them want to perform in Beijing. This city can make you or break you. Without being hyperbolic, this is now one of the most important places on earth.

Just under one roof, in one single night, we can have a Russian opera company performing in our big halls, in another there is a Chinese opera, and there is a Bolivian folklore ensemble in the recital hall. And ours is only one of Beijing’s theatres.”

When Chinese artists and thinkers are fighting for the prime venues with their Western counterparts, it is usually Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen ‘against’ London, Paris, and New York. Hong Kong is ‘somewhere there’, behind, suddenly a backwater.

While Hong Kong University and the City University of Hong Kong used to be the best in China, many mainland institutions of higher learning, including Peking University and Tsinghua, are now producing many more cutting-edge creative thinkers.

I spoke at all of these schools and can confirm that the young people in Beijing and Shanghai are extremely hardworking and endlessly curious, while in Hong Kong, there is always that mildly arrogant air of exceptionalism and a lack of discipline.

It used to be that the so-called “Sea Turtles” (students who went abroad or to Hong Kong and then returned to Mainland China), were treated like celebrities, but now, it is much easier to get a job with Mainland China’s diplomas.

Recently, while filming the riots in Hong Kong, I was told by a receptionist at one of the major shopping plazas:

“We do not treat visitors from Mainland China well. And they lost interest in Hong Kong. Before, they used to come here to admire out wealth. Now, most of them are avoiding this place. What we have, they have too, and often better. If they travel, they’d rather go to Bangkok or Paris.”

These days, the contrast between Xiang, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong is shocking. Mainland infrastructure is incomparably better. Public areas are vast, and cultural life much more advanced than in the former British colony.

While the Mainland Chinese cities have almost no extreme poverty (and by the end of 2020 will have zero), in Hong Kong, at least 20% are poor, and many simply cannot afford to live in their own city.

Hong Kong is the most expensive place on earth. Just to park a car in the city could easily cost over US $700 per month, and that’s just for working hours. Tiny apartments cost over a $1 million. Yet Salaries in Hong Kong are not higher than those in London, Paris, or Tokyo.

The city is run by an extreme capitalist system ‘planned’ by corrupt tycoons/developers. The obsolete British legal system here is clearly geared to protect the rich, not the majority. That was essentially why the “Extradition Bill” was proposed: to protect Hong Kong inhabitants from the unbridled, untouchable, as well as unelected de facto rulers. But after months of riots sponsored by the West, the Hong Kong administration scrambled the bill.

But there is also this ‘deal’ negotiated before Hong Kong was returned where it belongs – to China: “One Country, Two Systems”. It is an excellent contract for the turbo-capitalist magnates and for the pro-Western “activists”. And it is an extremely bad one for the average people of Hong Kong.

Young hooligans know very little about their city. I talked to them extensively during their first anti-Beijing riots in 2014, the so-called “Umbrella Revolution”.

Correctly, then and now, they have been frustrated about the declining standard of living and the difficulties of getting well-paid jobs and finding affordable housing. They told me there was no future for them and that their lives were going nowhere.

But quickly, their logic would collapse. While realizing what tremendous progress, optimism, and zeal could be observed in the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of the Communist Party, they still demanded more capitalism, the very thing which was actually ruining their territory. In 2014 and now, they are readily smeared the Communist Party.

Being raised on the shallow values of selfishness and egotism, they have now betrayed their own country, and have begun treasonous campaigns, urging foreign powers, including US and UK, to “liberate them”. All for a fleeting moment of fame, for a “selfie uprising”.

To liberate them from whom? China does not (unfortunately for Hong Kong) interfere in Hong Kong’s economic and social affairs. If anything, it builds new infrastructure, like the enormous bridge now connecting Hong Kong with Macau (a former Portuguese colony) and a high-speed train system linking Hong Kong with several cities in Mainland China.

Huanzhou high-speed train station, one of the biggest in the world

The more restraint Beijing shows, the more it gets condemned by the rioters and Western media for ‘brutality’. As more subway stations and public property get destroyed by rioters, more sympathy flows for them from the German, US, and British right-wing politicians.

For decades, the British colonialists humiliated  the people of Hong Kong while simultaneously turning their city into a brutal and by the Asian standards ruthless and fully business-oriented megalopolis. Now people are confused and frustrated. Many are asking, “Who am I?”

For Hong Kong, this is a difficult moment of soul-searching.

Even those who want to “go back to the UK” can hardly speak English. When asked why they were rioting, they mumble something about the democracy and freedom of the West, plus the evilness of Beijing. Brochures from obscure, extremist Japanese religious cults are distributed amongst the rioters.

It’s pure intellectual chaos. Rioters know nothing about Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and other countries which are being ruined by the West.

Leaders like Joshua Wong proudly collude with the Western embassies. To praise Chinese socialism publicly is now dangerous – people get beaten by the “pro-democracy” rioters, for such “crimes”.

Highly educated and overly-polite Singapore is literally sucking out hundreds of foreign companies from Hong Kong. Its people speak both English and Mandarin. In Hong Kong, the great majority speaks only Cantonese.

Many foreigners in Hong Kong are also relocating to Shanghai. Not only big businessmen: Shanghai is now full of European waiters.

Even tourism is down in Hong Kong, by 40%, according to the recent data.

Absurdly, the rioters want precisely what the Communist Party of China is providing: a real struggle against corruption, a determined attempt to solve housing crises, the creation of new jobs, and the provision of more public services. They want better education and generally a better life. They want “Shanghai or Beijing”, but they also say that they want to be a colony of the UK or a dependency of the USA.

They loosely define communist goals, and then they shout that they are against Communism. In short, politically speaking, they are very confused.

HNKChina is now ready to celebrate its 70th Anniversary of the Founding of The People’s Republic of China.

Clearly, the West is using Hong Kong to spoil this great moment.

After leaving Hong Kong, in Shanghai, I visited a brilliant socialist realism exhibition at the iconic, monumental China Art Museum. The country under the leadership of President Xi is once again confident, revolutionary, and increasingly socialist, to horror of declining West.

It is a proud nation with great, elegant cities constructed by the people, for the people, and with a progressively ecological countryside. Its scientific, intellectual ,and social achievements speak louder than words.

China Art Museum, Shanghai.

The contrast between Hong Kong and Shanghai is tremendous and growing.

But do not get me wrong: I like Hong Kong. I have  more than 20 years of history with that old, neurotic, and spoiled lady. I can feel her pulse. I love old trams and ferries and out-of-the-way islands.

But Hong Kong’s charm lies in its decay.

Mainland China’s beauty is fresh. China is one of the oldest cultures on earth and one of the deepest. But it feels crisp, full of hope, and positive energy. Together with its closest ally, Russia, it is now working and fighting for the entire world; it is not selfish.

Hong Kong is fighting only for its vaguely defined uniqueness. Actually, it is not Hong Kong that is fighting, as most of people there want to be where they truly belong – in their beloved nation – China. It is a gang of kids with their face masks that is fighting. In brief: a relatively big group of pro-Western extremists whose leaders are putting their fame above the interests of the people.

Hong Kong has no “Big Egg”: no famous theatre where the greatest musicians are stunning the world. Its only art museum has been closed for reconstruction for years and will re-open only at the end of 2019. Its cultural life is shallow, even laughable, especially pathetic for the place that is branding itself “Asia’s World City”. There are no great discoveries made here. It is all business. Big, big business. And creeping decay.

Beijing could ‘liberate’ Hong Kong easily to give it purpose, pride, and future.

But young hooligans want to be liberated by Washington instead. They want to be recolonized by London. And they have not consulted their fellow citizens. That clearly reflects their idea about ‘democracy’. Not the “rule of the people” but the “rule of the West”.

Not only do they feel spite for their country, but they also scorn and intimidate their fellow citizens who only want to live meaningful lives based on Chinese values.

Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including China and Ecological Civilization. He writes especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook where this article was originally published. 

Probable Reason for the Bolivian Fascist Coup: Bolivia Has Huge Lithium Deposits

I am thinking that the fascist coup in Bolivia was due to lithium deposits, and I am really starting to think that Elon Musk was in on this coup. China and Bolivia are two countries that have significant lithium deposits. I believe that Afghanistan has some too, and some say that that is one of the main reasons we are over there with our damned army.

China’s are locked up and the US wants Bolivia’s lithium. A month ago, Morales nationalized the lithium deposits and said they were for the Bolivian people only. This was around the time that big foreign corporations were badgering him to let them develop the lithium deposits.

Lithium makes the batteries that all those cellphones run on. Maybe electric cars too. It’s a must-have element and the US wants to lock up a lot of the market for it. There was no way we were going to tolerate Morales keeping control over the lithium deposits for the Bolivian people.

Elon Musk is the US corporate leader who wants to get his mitts on that lithium more than anyone else. I always suspected he was a piece of crap but I could never quite prove it (though stories about how he forbids unions and grossly abuses his workers were suggestive), and if this is true, then I was right.

I’m starting to think that just about all corporate capitalist types are pure ratfucks. It’s like they can’t possibly be anything other than scumbags. If they try to act decent, they will get destroyed by the pond scum.

This is making me even more of a socialist. I’m also starting to think that capitalists will always support fascism and will always go fascist if it comes down to that. I now believe that capitalists will always hate democracy and try to destroy any Left government that gets anywhere near power.

I am thinking that capitalists will start wars over money and kill huge numbers of human beings just so they can make a sleazy buck. I mean how low of a person is that? Capitalists literally kill completely innocent people for money. They do it all the time, habitually, without a thought in their minds. That’s pretty low, like Ted Bundy low.

And if capitalists are doomed to be this way, then capitalism cannot be reformed, sorry. You can manage it like the Chinese and Russians are doing and use it as a carefully controlled tool to develop the productive forces, but you can’t let it take over and become a form  of Politics, like it is in most of the world. It doesn’t work. It’s never worked in the past, it doesn’t now, and it will never work in the future. Capitalism is doomed.

The Secret to China’s Success – The Capitalists Are Kept out of Politics

China isn’t really a capitalist country. Why not? Because the capitalists are not in politics. They don’t run the country. The market or the capitalists are a tool to develop the forces of production instead of a form of Politics as they are most everywhere else, where they manage to conveniently screw up most everything for the masses.

The Communist Party rules China and the Hell if they are going to let the capitalists take over their country and run it into the ground like they do everywhere else. Instead the market is simply a tool, and the capitalists are barred from politics as they ought to be.

Capitalists should just make stuff. They’re pretty good at that. Once they gain political power, they seem to blow up everything and turn it all to Hell. Want some evidence? Open your eyes and look around at the capitalist world. See?

In China the capitalists have to go along with the Communist Party’s plans. New labor laws? Suck it up, capitalists. New pollution controls? Better fix those smokestacks, capitalists. The capitalists don’t have any say in this because if you let them take over, they always vote to ruin labor and destroy all the environmental laws because that’s what the profit motive demands.

Capitalists in China have to follow the Party’s five year plans. They have to do what the government says, or orders, for that matter. If the capitalists defy the party and don’t do as they’re told, the Party will just go in and confiscate all their property.  They’ll steal all your stuff. So that’s good motivation to get along and go along. Then they will either nationalize it or turn it over to one of their friends who is a bit more obedient.

There is a Party committee that sits on the board of directors of all large corporations. Large corporations are frequently bought out and nationalized. The state must own a proportion of all foreign corporations that set up shop in China. Apple wants to set up a factory? Fine, but the government gets a piece of that.

The banking is almost all controlled by the state. This is how China among a few other countries weathered the bankster economic crash of 2008. The state owned the banks so China was not plugged into world capitalist finance.

Japan is similar. There are a few very large banks at the top of the economic pyramid, and they are owned by the state.

Like in Korea, economic decisions about the development of the country are made by teams made up of the government and corporations. Korea’s giant conglomerates are nearly state-owned in part.

The Russian government is similar. It either owns outright or owns 50% of almost every large corporation in Russia.

A number of China’s state corporations are among the largest companies on Earth. They are right there in the Forbes 100 or even in the Forbes 50. They are immensely profitable and they generate a tremendous amount of money for the state, which is then used to develop the country or distributed to the people in one way or another. What’s wrong with that?

The Chinese state spends a staggering amount of money developing their country.  They do things quite easily, quickly, and even cheaply there – such as developing deep water ports or high speed rail systems – that either take forever and cost a fortune in the US or are simply not done, as they are economically unfeasible.

For instance, the US has decided that high-speed rail is not economically feasible in the US. How is it economically feasible in China, Japan, and Europe then? That argument is senseless.

China is presently pouring vast amounts of money into the rural areas, as they have been neglected. A lot of rural people move to the cities to seek their fortune. A lot of them don’t make it. China allows them to keep their farms as insurance when they do this, so rural folks who don’t make it in the cities always have the fallback of moving back to their farms. Hey, at least they can eat and survive.

This is where having the state own all the land in China comes in. Since the state owns all the land, the rural farms can remain as a backup insurance policy for rural workers who migrate to the cities and don’t make it.

If land in China was privately owned, that backup would not be available, and Chinese cities would be teeming with awful slums made up of rural dwellers migrated to the city. This sad scene is typical all over the capitalist world. But maybe it’s not necessary.

As noted, all land in China is owned by the state. Every inch of it. This is important as the private ownership of land is one of the main reasons that the India – Pakistan – Nepal – Bangladesh South Asian region is such a shithole. The best single thing India could do would be to abolish the private ownership of land.

In China, you get to own your house but not the land it’s built on. Sure you can lease out state land, even for a long time, but you can’t own it. In Netherlands, similarly all land is owned by the state. It’s not a bad idea.

A vast amount of the Chinese economy – 45% and growing – is publicly owned at some level or other, often at the municipal or even village level.

The state owns the vast irrigation system that underpins the entire rural economy. If that were privatized, all Hell would break loose. Think about it. You can’t have private corporations running the irrigation networks. Hell, we don’t even have that in the US.

The state used to run small schools and even medical centers in most rural villages, although they are getting away from that. Education is free through the graduate level. This also helps free graduates from being mired in poverty in debt for years or decades after they graduate. They keep their money to spend in the economy instead having most of their money go via debt bondage to parasitical bankers who don’t create anything of real value anyway.

Most capitalist banks in the West are giant loan-sharking institutions or casinos in the sky. Speculation isn’t real investment. It’s like going to the casino. If everyone just goes to the casino, this is good for the economy how? This is what happens when all that’s left of your economy is the economic mirage called “finance.”

Similarly, China now covers almost all typical medical care that people need. The state pays 85% and people pick up the rest. It’s easily affordable for most anything other than a very serious injury or illness such as cancer, which, unfortunately, the state won’t pay for.

This is a black mark to me, but it’s still better than our for-profit medicine system that wastes incredible amounts of the productive forces on overhead and executive payouts.

Medicare’s overhead is 2%. All the rest goes to medical treatment of patients, as it ought to. The overhead and profit of private insurance companies comes to 20%. So with Medicare, 98 cents of every dollar goes to actual health care, and with private insurance, only 80 cents of every dollar goes towards patient care. That’s obviously a grossly inefficient waste of economic resources. What’s this about the state being inefficient and the private sector being so efficient?

Once again, when the state covers your medical care, workers can not only relax, but they also don’t have to go into debt, bankruptcy, and poverty to  pay their medical bills. All of which helps whom? The vultures called for profit hospitals and insurance companies?

Why should sick people be financially ruined and living on the streets because they were so sick that they had to give every time they owned to some human shark in a corporate suit? In what possible world is this a just or even acceptable outcome?

Instead of being ruined, losing everything they own, and going homeless due to medical bills, with state health care, workers can keep working at their jobs and keep their money and their wealth as the state foots the doctor bills. So these workers remain productive and continue to spend money in the real economy. Win-win.

Alt Left: It Was 70 Years Ago, or It Was Yesterday

Too bad there’s no translation.

People who are unapologetically completely critical of this Revolution have a lot to answer for. Why was it so popular? What did they propose instead? Do they realize that China had a life expectancy of 32 years in 1949? Do they realize that famines had rampaged through the countryside for decades if not centuries at this time? Do they realize that almost all of China was still in a semi-feudal if not fully feudal society in 1949?

Do they realize that India and China had the exact same level of development in 1949? Do they realize that the Nationalists had never done one damned decent thing for the vast majority of the Chinese people? Do they realize that the leaders of the past century had done nothing but sell out China to exploiting foreigners, resulting in the century of humiliation?

Do they realize that most Chinese people were peasants, not knowing where their next meal was coming from, having no shoes on their feet, working for a feudal landlord who stole from them, raped their wives, beat them up anytime he wanted with no recourse under law and held the power of life and death over them at all times?

Do they realize that after the Chinese Revolution, China grew faster than at any time in its history? Do they realize that China now has less poverty than it has ever had? Do they realize that Chinese people now have medical care and education for the first time ever? Do they realize that all Chinese have a home or a farm or a job for the first time in history?

A colleague of mine is a Sinologist. Since I am so controversial, I cannot tell you his name. He has an article about he and his wife climbing a famous mountain in Southern China. His wife can’t understand most of the dialects they hear and she comes from that region. Turns out that these are dialects from right around the mountain, of which she knows nothing. And they say there is but one Chinese language!

On the way down, they see an old man trudging up the mountainside with another man on his shoulders. My friend writes, “The Old China seems to be coming back…”

You see, this was the old China, the China of centuries of millennia. An old poor man being hired to carry a rich man on his shoulders up a mountain. This is the China of a century ago or of a millennia ago. The Revolution had overwhelming mass support. No one wanted the Nationalist warlords, the party of the Rich. Everyone wanted the Communists, the party of the Poor.

The haters of Communist China still need to respond: What would they have done differently? What did they propose in the alternative? As usual, their answer is nothing.

The CCP has mass popular support. 87% support the party, and those polls are good. There is plenty of dissent in China. There are 1,000 protests every single day in China. Sound like any dictatorship you ever heard of? China’s a lot more complicated than that.

Alt Left: The “Bannon Policy” on China and Its Likely Effects

Found on the Net:

The US maximum pressure campaign on Iran’s real success seems to be further dividing the world economy into a US Empire vs a Sino-Russo coalition. I suspect Trump was sold on this idea by Steve Bannon, as a way of cutting Chinese manufacturers out of the US economy so the US can rebuild it’s industrial base while putting the screws to the US vassals in South American and Europe. However, the flaw in Bannon’s thinking is the following:

    1. 1) US capitalism is now parasitic, not productive; it is aimed at financializing transactions and existing products, not investing in new material production. Cut off from cheap Russian & Chinese raw materials and labor, Western parasitic capitalists will simply move their exploitative interests to Pro-US puppets, thereby denying the US the promised resurgent production.

2) European vassalage to the US Empire is based on the promise of a high standard of living and a US-funded security architecture, severing European access to both cheap Russian & Iranian oil/gas and low cost Chinese production, while forcing them to pay higher security/NATO costs and subjecting them to constant refugee influx from US wars in the Middle East and Africa. This is not really a good arrangement from the point of view of the European vassals, let’s face it. This will trigger a political crisis in the European states. It will also eventually lead to a harsh anti-American response among the populations of the vassals, as it will be impossible to conceal the obvious negative effects of the US actions on their nations.

3) Lastly, as the US empire reorganizes itself away from Chinese production it will, for at least a few years, weaken as new production centers are located and brought online to replace China. However, the parasitic capitalist class has shown that it will not accept even a temporary slowdown in economic growth. Therefore it will respond by expanding its financialization of the US economy, thereby making the country more vulnerable to economic disruption. Strong political leadership could manage this transition and restrain the worst impulses of the parasitic capitalist class. But the US has shown that for the past 30 years it has neither strong nor unified leadership in US domestic policy matters, so so we’ll get more gridlock and political paralysis. Strong unified leadership in the US state exists only in foreign policy, where a bipartisan consensus yet reigns

All in all I feel that the US empire is entering a lost decade period (let’s say from 2016 to 2028) where the US empire lists and sways from crisis to crisis in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Hopefully the US won’t start that many wars, but again the last 40 years has shown that the US always starts at least one new war in every President’s first term.

I really like this comment.

The US maximum pressure campaign on Iran’s real success seems to be further dividing the world economy into a US Empire vs a Sino-Russo coalition. I suspect Trump was sold on this idea by Steve Bannon, as a way of cutting Chinese manufacturers out of the US economy so the US can rebuild it’s industrial base while putting the screws to the US vassals in South American and Europe.

What a great concept! Well of course. Trump isn’t blindly careening from one boneheaded crisis to another. On the contrary, there’s a method to the madness of this seemingly chaotic and unintelligible Trump foreign policy. Probably this whole mess was planned by Bannon et al from the very start. They’re not incompetent at all. All of this drama and chaos has been part of a well-thought out plan.

Alt Left: We Humans Have Always Been Terrorists from the Very Start

Of course Wars on Terrorism are retarded wars packaged for idiots and dunces. So why do people keep falling for it? Why is the other side always made up of terrorists? Why is your side never made up of terrorists? The word terrorism belongs in a trash can. It literally has no meaning anymore.

This idiot word terrorism is new to us. Before we had other dumb words, not that any come off the top of my head at the moment.

Any non-state guerrilla actor who has taken up arms against you is automatically a terrorist. All armed groups that the US doesn’t like are terrorists. A few countries have been put on the supporters of terrorism list for no conceivable reason at all, as they don’t support any actual terrorists. They might support a few non-state armed groups, but so what? People actually believe that all armed non-state actors are terrorists?

And now even countries are “terrorists.” The IRGC, which is a branch of the Iranian military, has been listed as a terrorist organization by this idiot administration. IRGC is the Iranian government itself, so apparently the Iranian government itself is a terrorist organization!

The groups we don’t like all get called terrorists and the ones we don’t like don’t get the designation and often get guns instead. Everything surrounding this crap word is nothing but political bullshit.

First let’s think up a sane definition for this bullshit word that ought to be put in the grave. How about terrorism is any targeting and killing of unarmed civilians of the opposing group for any reason, ethnic, religious, racial, or due to the fact that they are giving support to the opposing side.

You don’t get to deliberately kill the civilians of the other side. We did a Hell of a lot of it in World War 2 and it was a very bad thing. The Axis was obviously terrorist from Day One. The British engaged in a lot of terrorism. And the Soviets committed a lot of terrorism in their drive to Berlin from the East.

Furthermore, going back in time, apparently most if not all groups of humans were actually terrorists! The US practiced terrorism in most of its wars, certainly in WW2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Panama. We also practiced terrorism in the 2003 Gulf War and in the 2001 Afghanistan War.

And almost all governments are far worse then the US. We at least pretend to follow the rules. No one else even bothers. The Ukrainian rebellion of the early 30’s was put down by terrorism. The anti-Soviet guerrillas after the war were defeated by abject terrorism. In the Russian Civil War, both sides were horribly terroristic.

Thinking back to the armed conflicts of recent years, one side of the other has been practicing terrorism, and most of the states fighting armed groups have used terrorism to fight them.

The horrible conflicts in Europe from 1910-1925 were almost all terrorist. Most attempts by colonists to put down anti-colonial rebellions were heavily terroristic. On the other hand the independence fighters often committed a lot of terrorism themselves.

I don’t know much about how war was fought in Europe in the 1800’s and before, but it sounds like an awful lot of it was pretty terroristic. Most Roman conquests appear to have been seriously terroristic.

The Philippines insurgency was pure terrorism on the part of the US. Going back to the Indian Wars it seems clear that in at least some of the Indian Wars, we practiced terrorism against the Indians. The rest of the time we simply allowed non-Indian settlers to commit terrorism against. And the Indians were terrorists from Day One, as the Founders noted in their documents. Sherman’s March to the Sea was clearly sheer terrorism. Going back to the 1700’s and before it seems that a lot of wars were pretty terroristic. Maybe not all of them. China has been having horrible terrorist wars for centuries. Most settler-colonist invasions and occupations were accompanied by quite a bit of terrorism on the part of the settler-colonists.
That’s a fact by the way.

I do not know a lot about wars among primitive peoples but what we do know is not hopeful. For instance if you look at the list on uncontacted people in the world in Wikipedia, you will see that they are almost all in Brazil. A number of groups have vanished with a note saying “genocided in Year X”. These groups often had 50-100 people. They were genocided by some other Amazonian Indians in some tribal war.

But look at the word. Genocided. The tribe that won the tribal war went in and murdered every single one of the opposing tribe, including presumably children, old people and other noncombatants. This leads me to believe that primitive wars were typically viciously terroristic if not outright genocidal. And it also leads me to believe that we humans are basically not only a terrorist species but we are also a genocidal species.

Furthermore, captured rebels are very frequently tortured by state armies.

Nowadays almost all states treat guerrillas as terrorists and try them in civil or military courts under terrorism statutes, mostly because they do not want to abide by the rules of war and treat them as POW’s. That’s if they don’t just out and out execute them. For instance, Syria may have executed 40-50,000 Syrian rebels at military prisons around Syria. And I say that as a supported of Assad.

Even the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are for the most part POW’s. If they’re not, then charge them with terrorism and try them in civilian courts.

The Bush Administration didn’t want to do that because they thought that civilian courts would let the jihadists go free. Bush also wanted to torture those in Guantanamo, probably to get more information out of them in order to prevent future attacks.

Hence a completely fake bullshit category called “illegal combatants” was created in order to accomplish this goal. I spoke to one of the country’s top experts on this, and he laughed and told me that there is no such thing as an illegal combatant under international law, and it was just some fake category the Bush people made up.

Alt Left: The US Is Trying to Destroy a Foreign Company for Having the Gall to Out-compete Our Companies

It’s appalling that the US has even enlisted the Justice Department and the FBI in geopolitics and its disgusting squabbles with foreign countries in pursuit of our wicked and malign foreign policy. But it won’t be the first time.

For instance, the FBI has been enlisted in a war against Huawei. Huawei’s crime is that it is beating the crap out of our similar technology companies. Why is it beating our companies?  Because our companies are crap? I have no idea but they are. They’re beating us. Badly. Very badly. So badly that it’s pathetic.

Because a foreign company is badly outcompeting one of our industries, we have appallingly decided that this company is an enemy of the United States! I knew the government worked for the corporations, but I had no idea it was that bad.

We placed sanctions on this company for no damned reason at all and also put sanctions on any of our allies should they do business with this company. And we arrested one of their executives on utterly fake charges of violating sanctions against Iran. I had no idea that US law extended to Canada and China!  We have banned the use and sale of this company’s products in the US in spite of the fact that its products are the best in the field, far better than our garbage.

The fake news lie that’s been put out there by the lying US government and the lying media is that Huawei is a security risk because it is tied in with the Chinese government. And there might be security holes in Huawei’s software and hardware, just as there might be security holes in everything, especially our very own lives if you think about. Nothing’s secure in this world or life.

Yeah. There might be security holes in their stuff, but no one’s ever found any, but one might show up any day just the same. And a unicorn might show up any day too. So what? Absence of evidence isn’t proof of jack. So because their stuff might have security holes and because if these mysterious holes exist, the Chinese government might use them to spy on us, we have to ban our entire nation and all of our allies from using their technology.

A sick joke, right? Well, Americans are so retarded that everyone fell for this bullshit, especially 100% of the lying “experts” in the media and government, who you shouldn’t be listening to anyway.

Hauwei’s technology is insecure (actually it might be insecure)! The evil ChiComs might use it to spy on us! Right. And tomorrow the sky might fall. I might not even be typing this. Perhaps this is all a dream. Perhaps this isn’t even real; it’s just a simulation in some matrix. Perhaps I am really dead but someone typing this anyway. Perhaps this. Perhaps that. Maybe anything. We can play this game forever.

And never mind that all Microsoft software has a huge back door in it for the National Security Agency super-spooks to come spying on your computer anytime they fancy, no matter what folly reason they may dream up.

Because some spook decided you were an “enemy combatant”, except no one even knows what an enemy combatant even is, and there’s no such definition as “enemy combatant” in international law. It’s an illegal term for an illegal offense for an illegal category you can be charge under by the state illegally. Not that any of that law stuff matters anyway. The state does what it wants. Leviathan never sleeps.

Because some fed decided you provided material support to a terrorist group”except no one even knows what that even means. How do I not provide material support to a terrorist group. I haven’t the faintest idea.

This sordid Huawei saga is pathetic and sickening. It’s like if I am losing a footrace to some guy and in order to stop him from beating me fair and square, I arrange to have his knees broken as he approaches the finish line so I can claim my fake title. That’s not how honest sportsmen, or fair, decent, or honorable men operate.  That’s how thugs, gangsters, criminals, psychopaths and dictators operate.

“He’s beating  me, so I am going  to break his legs!”

Alt Left: 53 Admitted False Flag Attacks

It’s disgusting how the minute you say the phrase false flag, people grab their foreheads and start groaning. All false flags are automatically conspiracy theories and they’re all pathetic nonsense made up by the tinfoil hat crowd. Granted a lot of so-called false flags never happened and instead were actual attacks carried out by whoever claimed responsibility for them. This is particularly true with Islamist terrorist groups.

Their attacks often terribly brutal and aimed directly at civilians. Many of their attacks in the West have been called false flags, but none of them were. It has also been common for a long time to ascribe most of the worst Palestinian terrorist attacks to Israeli false flags.

The truth is that the Palestinians, like the Islamists, are quite depraved enough to do their own horrific terrorist attacks. Their attacks are depraved enough that Israel has no need to fake depraved attacks to frame the Palestinians.

But as you can see, false flags definitely occur. I never thought that the US government did these attacks very much, but we and the rest of the West (NATO) have been going on a wild false flag spree ever since NATO’s war on Russia started heating up.

It’s been one false flag after another and one attempt to blame Russia and pro-Russians for atrocities willfully committed by the other side. This is different from a false flag. In this case, Party A attacks the enemy, typically enemy civilians, or a shell goes astray and there’s an atrocity. 

Instead of admitting that they did it, they blame the enemy who they are fighting, usually for committing an atrocity against their own supporters, which of course makes no sense.

There were many such attacks like this in the Syrian Civil War when the Free Syrian Army committed massacre after massacre of villagers who supported Assad and then turned around and blamed Assad for each and every one of these crimes. 

As it turns out, Assad did not commit any of these civilian massacres because that’s just not his style. His forces don’t rampage into villages, even of rebel supporters, and slaughter civilians in brutal fashion one by one.

If they think a civilian needs to be dealt with, Assad’s forces simply arrest them and may well put them in a military prison, where they could well be tortured and mistreated until death or executed. I’m not saying Assad is a nice guy; it’s more that his style simply does not include savage massacres of entire villages or chemical weapons attacks for that matter.  When it comes to depravity, Assad has his own style.

I can’t believe that number of attacks falsely blamed on the enemy and out and out false flag and fake attacks that the US did in Ukraine and Syria. We seem to be entering into a new era of warfare where false flags are the normal ways to fight wars.

It’s appalling and terrifying because foolish Americans insist that these attacks never happen. By believing that they give their own government carte blanche to do as many false flags and false blaming of the enemy of allied attacks as they wish. And the government knows that in any fake blames or false flags the US or its allies pull off, they know that they can count on the support of every corporate media outlet in the US to go right along.

In fact, every mainstream media outlet in the West period is on board with any false blaming or false flags the West wishes to pull off. In that sense the entire media of the West is completely controlled by the states of the West, their militaries, state departments and intelligence services. It’s downright terrifying.

53 Admitted False Flag Attacks

Relevant article selected from the GR archive, first published in February 2015.

Not Theory … Admitted Fact

There are many documented false flag attacks where a government carries out a terror attack … and then falsely blames its enemy for political purposes.

In the following 53 instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admitted to it, either orally or in writing:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931 and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident.”

The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that under orders from the chief of the Gestapo, he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles to justify the invasion of Poland.

(3) Nazi General Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933 and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.

(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 while blaming the attack on Finland as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.

(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian President Putin, and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940 and falsely blame it on the Nazis.

(6) The British government admits that between 1946 and 1948 it bombed five ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the pseudo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see thisthis and this).

(7) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).

(8) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.

(9) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece, also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.

(10) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.

(11-21) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO with the help of the Pentagon and CIA carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism.

As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this).

Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred. And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries.

False flag attacks carried out pursuant to this program include by way of example only the murder of the Turkish Prime Minister (1960), bombings in Portugal (1966), the Piazza Fontana massacre in Italy (1969), terror attacks in Turkey (1971), the Peteano bombing in Italy (1972), shootings in Brescia, Italy and a bombing on an Italian train (1974), shootings in Istanbul, Turkey (1977), the Atocha massacre in Madrid, Spain (1977), the abduction and murder of the Italian Prime Minister (1978), the bombing of the Bologna railway station in Italy (1980), and shooting and killing 28 shoppers in Brabant county, Belgium (1985).

(22) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro].”

(23) Official State Department documents show that in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.

(24) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes) and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba.

See the following ABC news reportthe official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

(25) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.

(26) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”

(27) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964… manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.

(28) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign, the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.

(29) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look, the general said, “I am giving an example.”

(30) The German government admitted (and see this) that in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.

(31) A Mossad agent admits that in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya, which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.

(32) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force), approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident,” thus framing the ANC for the bombing.

(33) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, “French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit against Author”).

(34)    The United States Army’s 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces  updated in 2004 recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA’s “Dirty Wars.” And see this.

(35) An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998 and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked.”

(36) Senior Russian military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).

(37) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

(38) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(39) As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered seven innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police in order to join the “War on Terror.”

(40) Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that in July 2001 at the G8 summit in Genoa they planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(41) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks as shown by a memo from the defense secretary as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq War.

Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties.

Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq War was really launched for oil…not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government.  

(42) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the White House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country.

(43) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

(44) United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers.

Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

(45) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

(46) Quebec police admitted that in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).

(47) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plainclothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.

(48) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(49) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.

(50) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, says that the head of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.

(51) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government, and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.

(52) The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others.

(53) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.

So Common…There’s a Name for It

“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.

The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s Strategy of Tension.

The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago. The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for navalair and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war… But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.”
– Josef Stalin


Peak Oil and Peak Coal

Looks like we just hit Peak Coal in 2012 and Peak Oil in Summer 2018. That means that the world’s coal and oil production hit its ultimate peak in those years, and every year after that, production is going to drop. Production could peak for a lot of reasons.

One reason would be that the resource is becoming exhausted. However, in the case of coal, it is possibly just that coal has hit peak demand and the world is weaning itself off the stuff.

Although we did hit peak oil, I suppose it’s possible to hit it again as many producers have reduced their output to drive up prices. Venezuela and Iran have seen output plunge due to crippling sanctions the US put on both of them. Many oil fields are not even fully exploited and there is always the argument that you can find new fields.

More importantly, no more than 10% of the oil can be extracted from any underground oil basin. The rest is simply not reachable for some reason.  However, new technology is enabling us to get up to 25% of the oil from a basin. This could also ramp up production.

The fact that we are resorting to the awful, and deadly polluting process of fracking of oil shale seems to show that humanity is nearing  the limits of the oil it can scrape out of the ground. Shale oil fracking looks like a desperate attempt to grab even the haziest and most dubious extractable oil in a desperate attempt to head off Peak Oil. And even that’s not working.

After Peak Oil, oil production is supposed to decline every year after that. Quite a few folks think this will be a catastrophe but that may not be so. One thing is that oil demand will drop for a lot of uses in the coming decades. A lot of enterprises that burn fossil fuel and move off it onto renewables, with the generation of electricity leading the way so far.

Cars are another matter. Demand for oil for cars rose every year in the last decade. That is because the world continues to add more and more cars, especially in emerging markets like China.  And 97% of cars run on oil. Ethanol never panned out and it has to be mixed with oil to work anyway.

Oil is used for other things. 10% of oil is used to produce plastics. I don’t understand why we should not continue to pump oil to make plastic. I mean oil and coal are only problems when you burn them to create energy. Oil is simply transformed as a raw material in the production of plastic so this use of oil does affect Global Warming at all. Actually even coal has other uses besides burning. It is also used in the production of various manufactured products.

The nonsense about “clean coal” has been a mantra for over a decade now. Obama was fond of that one. Apparently it’s a big fat lie. My research has found that there is no such thing as clean coal. So-called clean coal is dirty as Hell. If anyone has any contrary information about clean coal, I’d like to hear it.

The thing is is that demand for oil, as for coal, may decline in coming years at least for certain uses such as electricity. And if the price does go up, oil producers usually respond to increased demand by increasing supply. When the price drops or demand falls, producers simply reduce production.

All of these factors make it so that skyrocketing oil prices are not necessarily going to happen with Peak Oil, or at least not for some years if ever. There’s a lot more to prices, supply, and demand of products than production of the commodity peaking out.

Alt Left: What Is the Foreign Policy of the White Nationalists?

White nationalists are isolationists. They see our continuous fighting, killing, dying, and destroying in the Middle East as nothing more than what they call “wars for the Jews.” Which, frankly, is exactly what they are. Wars for the Jews in Israel and their wealthy Jewish supporters in the US.

Most like Russia and want to make peace with that country. Most are hostile to picking fights with China. Most want to pull out of NATO. And they seem to be against our adventurism and coup-mongering in Venezuela. From what I can tell, they want to get rid of US imperialism all together in all its forms.

They hate the IMF and the World Bank as much as they hate the UN. They hate most trade agreements. They utterly despise neoconservatives or neocons, who they say are all Jews even though that is not quite the case.

They also hate US jingoists, who they scornfully call “patriotards.” I will say that their foreign policy is one thing I like about the White nationalists, although in general, they are pretty lousy people for hating whole races of humans the way they do.

Alt Left: Labour Isn’t Working: A Radical Program for the Party to Reacquaint Itself with Victory

A most interesting text out of the UK but a group calling itself Alt Left. Though I don’t agree with them on everything, in a broad sense what they are arguing for is more or less within the broad scope of what I had in mind when I founded the Alt Left. This group calls itself Alt Left Publishing.

I had to cringe at some of the more rightwing things this group wants Labour to do, but the fact is that Labour needs to win elections, and if they have to be a bit more conservative to do that, well so be it. As long as we are not electing Blairites, Labour will always be much better than the Conservatives, and UKIP doesn’t look very good either (sort of neoliberal Trump Republicans-lite).

As usual with the Democratic Party here, the Left is shooting itself in the foot with massive overreach by being wildly SJW in ways that the majority of people do not support, and by being fantatically anti-immigration when 70% of the British public want a slow-down on immigration.

Labour is getting massacred on this issue, as many working class folks are anti-immigrant and feel that immigrants are taking their jobs and in addition, these people feel that they are losing a sense of their country.

Working class Labour voters are left on economics while being rather socially conservative, and that’s the Alt Left right there. What’s the point of alienating working class voters, screaming racist at them, shoving hundreds of thousands of unwanted immigrants down their throat, and bombarding them with SJW extremism that most of them reject as too radical?

As the piece points out all this is doing is making more and more of these socially conservative working class Labour voters defect to UKIP, mostly over the immigration issue.

Labour is also alienating people by being openly unpatriotic. I’m not a patriotard myself, but I do want the best for my country, so I suppose I love my country more than a corporate types who deliberately harm our country. I certainly don’t want to do my country any harm! I may disagree with domestic and especially foreign policy, but I’m not so angry about it that I want to screw the country over. I mean I have to live here too you know.

At any rate, the people around Corbyn are openly unpatriotic and do not pay proper deference to national symbols and institutions. Most British people are patriots, particularly socially conservative working class folks.

While I love Hezbollah myself and even have a soft spot for Irish Republicans, most British people despise both Hezbollah and in particular the IRA. The latter is heavily due to anti-Catholic sentiment in mostly Protestant UK, a tendency that goes back to at least the 19th Century to “anti-papist” and “anti-Romist” sentiment at that time. At any rate it does no good when Corbyn lauds these groups. All it does is create more UKIP voters.

What’s the point? Politics is after all the art of the possible.

While I love Jeremy Corbyn of course, most British people dislike him, and Labour has been shedding votes since he took over. It doesn’t matter whether I love Corbyn or not. What matters is that most British people hate him. And a leader hated by most of the population should definitely go in favor of someone more popular.

There are other good suggestions here about being tough on crime and the causes of crime. This is an issue near and dear to socially conservative working class voters, and Labour, like the Democratic Party, suffers from a soft on crime problem. That’s not necessary and anyway, crime hurts the working class.

This is a very long document, 12,000 words and 25 pages. I edited it quite heavily. The Alt Left Publishing website can be reached by clicking on the title below.

Happy reading!

Labour Isn’t Working: A Radical Program for the Party to Reacquaint Itself with Victory

Labour Isn’t Working in many ways lays the foundations for the Alt-Left. It establishes fundamental principles like the importance of group identity, the need to restrain the free market, and rejection of radical social justice.

It’s my view that whether your interest in politics is keen or fair-weather, you’ll be intrigued by the book, though I do recommend it particularly strongly to Labour party members and to those interested in the Alt Left and what it stands for.

The transcript can be read in full below, or alternatively downloaded for free here.

If you’d like to purchase the text in E-book format you can do so here.

T. James

Cover JPEG

Preface

The modern Labour party is out of touch with the working class whom it exists to represent, and many of whom turn increasingly to the Tories and UKIP for answers. Labour has been too scared to address immigration, too complacent to address jobs and too divided to address Europe.

The working class is dead. Long gone are the days of the Welsh miners’ choir and the workplace union meetings. The flat cap is worn now by avant-garde members of the rural middle class, men too old to shake a habit, and metropolitan hipsters.

Blackface isn’t the inevitable consequence of a day spent hewing coal from the center of the earth, but is now a racial faux pas. Where once a hard day’s work involved forging world-class steel, for many it’s now manning a call center in order to best resolve Mrs Smith’s broadband issues.

The modern economy necessitates that even the bricklayer has his own local advertising, Facebook page, and website. He doesn’t consider himself part of a homogeneous working class, but instead an entrepreneur, and rightly so.

The production and harvesting of real resources has been shamelessly outsourced to third-world countries. We allow the rest of the world to grow our food, forge our steel, and sew our shirts, and in doing so, we not only deprive our own people of work, but we impose it on others without the benefit of health and safety, a minimum wage, regulations, or any semblance of automation.

Britain’s economy is overly reliant on the financial sector, leaving us vulnerable to the next U.S.-born crash. Where people once took pride in their work as builders, now they are resigned to employment in this coffee chain or that.

Nationalism now rises in tandem with uncontrolled migration leading to names like Le Pen, Wilders, and Farage taking the establishment by storm. What appeared to be a consistently declining level of global violence has begun to reverse itself in recent years, as the wildfire of extremism continues to ravage the Middle East, prompting the worst migrant crisis yet seen in human history.

Humanity is on the precipice of upheaval, there are new questions, and few answers. Left-wing parties across the West are struggling to rally support, caught between the relentless march of globalization and the toll it takes on workers the world over.

The British Labour party is no exception to this trend, and its inability to mount a competent opposition to the government is enabling a period of unchecked Conservative rule. Exerting scrutiny on the executive is essential to ensure that its policies reflect national needs and not self-serving ends. Thus it is in the interests of both Conservative and Labour supporters that the Labour party resurface as a government in waiting and not persist as a party of protest.

In the wake of the 2015 shock general election defeat, long-time backbencher and maverick Jeremy Corbyn, assumed power in the Labour party. Propelled by an anti-establishment appeal and left-wing policies thought to have been consigned to history, he easily defeated his three opponents.

His unprecedented victory prompted a surge in party membership, from some 200,000 to over 500,000, making it notable for being the largest left-wing party in Europe. It appeared that the man to reverse Labour’s fortune had made himself known.

Yet at the time of writing, far from arresting the party’s decline, the Corbyn administration has only exacerbated it. Polling shows Labour now trail the Conservatives by as much as 18%. The 23rd of February 2017 marked a historic by-election defeat for Labour, not just because they had held the seat of Copeland since 1935, but also because it was lost to the governing party.

Owing to resignations, the shadow cabinet is more of a skeleton crew, much of it manned by newly elected and inexperienced MPs.  The vast membership, which was seen as the formation of a campaigning vanguard, has since been shown to be in large part idle, indicative of a niche opinion in the country, and a thorn in the side of the parliamentary party.

That’s not to say that Jeremy Corbyn killed the Labour party. He merely sits atop its coffin. The party has been in a state of managed decline since de-industrialization stripped it of a clear reason to exist. The program detailed herein will therefore not lay blame exclusively at Corbyn’s door, though it will do so where appropriate, but instead will lay blame where deserved, and offer remedies where needed.

It’s not enough to insist that the electorate are deficient or suffering from a false consciousness when they reject you time after time. Nor is it good enough to abandon the values upon which the party was founded in order to pursue public opinion at the expense of all else.

Instead the party must align its core principles with the will of the people, conceding ground on either side where necessary. It’s essential that in order to recover, the party enter a period of reflection, and in doing so it must produce a meaningful answer to the question so many are asking: “Just what is the Labour party for?”.

If it’s to defend the NHS, then that’s an insufficient reason for the electorate to eject a sitting government. No doubt the creation of the NHS was Labour’s finest hour, but to relentlessly invoke its name at every public rally like a war cry is to cement in the mind of the public the idea of Labour as a one-trick pony.

If it’s to be a nicer version of the Tories, this too is inadequate. Aside from the fact that the Liberal Democrats already occupy that ground, the public at large will always opt for competency over compassion.

It’s vital that should Labour ever seek to win again, it must first rediscover its identity. It should reforge its raison d’être from an anti-Tory think tank to a government in waiting, able to steady the nation through what promises to be a turbulent future. Drawing from various tendencies within the party, significant research, personal experience, and observable reality, what follows is a detailed roadmap for Labour’s return to government.

Chapter I – The New Working Class

Labour once had a core demographic on which they could rely: the working class – a monolithic block who worked almost entirely in heavy industry. Commonly united in tight-knit communities centered on a factory or pit, they were class conscious and proudly so.

To inherit one’s father’s job was not just an expectation but a de facto right. The membership of the Labour party and consequently its leadership still holds to these antiquated views of what it means to be a worker. So long as they fail to recognize the nature and needs of modern workers, they will fail to produce policies that appeal to them.

This isn’t a failure exclusive to the left of the party. After all, Blair did once assert that, “We’re all middle class now”, a view still manifest among those of his ilk who exist in substantial number within the parliamentary party.

It’s not so much that this view denies the existence of the poverty-stricken or the manual worker but that it sidelines them. It relies on those people to vote for Labour consistently and is unconcerned when they stay at home, since most such people live within Labour safe seats won on a minimal turnout.

This leads us to a divergence in approach: one that caters to a romanticized and now largely deceased working class and the other which overlooks it entirely. To portray the party as these two schools of thought and nothing but would be disingenuous, but they do have the most to say on the subject. The so-called ‘soft left’ offers little thought on the matter, and the Kendallites have been too preoccupied with plots in recent times to set out any clear views at all.

In order to identify those whom Labour must bring into the fold, we must first establish those who vote for it currently:

Old Labourites. Blue-collar chaps for whom the memories of Thatcherism are still all too vivid. Formerly miners and manufacturers, many now live in the deprived post-industrial communities of Wales, the Midlands, the North, and Scotland. Increasingly, their inherent social conservatism and skepticism regarding immigration has led them to vote Conservative and UKIP in increasing numbers.

Londoners. Labour enjoys ever-growing support within London, a crowd often misidentified as being part of the ‘metropolitan elite’. While much of this demographic could be characterized by the sort of person who hangs a picture of Marx in their parents’ Kensington 4-bed, such people are a minority. Labour’s London support base can be differentiated by its social liberalism, particularly in its concern for LGBT rights, feminism, and police practices.

Public sector workers. Over 56.5% are unionized and the Tories have been slashing their wages for 7 years. They vote Labour consistently, although they do so in worryingly declining numbers. Guarantee a wage rise above inflation and increased expenditure on our public services, and these voters are locked down.

Ethnic minorities. This demographic can be more or less divided between those of African and Asian descent. The black British demographic is concentrated predominantly in London and Birmingham, the product of a generation who were invited to the UK to rebuild in the wake of the Second World War.

Now living in overwhelmingly deprived communities, over 70% vote Labour. Similarly, Asians of both Islamic and Sikh denominations vote by a substantial margin in favor of Labour[i],  despite having (in common with the Black British community) a deep social conservatism and entrepreneurial spirit that would perhaps more naturally put them in the Conservative camp.

As these groups continue to move out into the suburbs and expand their businesses, it’s likely their transition from being staunch Labourites to reliably Conservative will only accelerate.

Entryists. Often hailing from Trotskyist outfits, their influence is at a peak within the Labour party since the days of militant expulsions. Such people are self-professed associates of groups such as the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party. Though not great in number, it seems Tom Watson had it right when he suggested there are some “old hands twisting young wrists”.

This coalition cannot win elections; it lost in 2010, 2015, and it will do so again in 2020, if not before. Where previously Labour had a clear platform that spoke directly to workers the country over, they have so far failed to adapt to the new nature of work in the 21st century.

Talk of workers’ rights to the 4.6 million self-employed[ii] means precisely nothing. When Jeremy Corbyn gives speeches about Keir Hardy, he might as well be reading from Istanbul’s phonebook for all the relevance it has to the voters he’s attempting to reach.

This sort of rhetoric would suggest that Labour now stands on a platform of reviving heavy industry when in fact no such plans exist. It’s evident that such populist polices are not incompatible with electoral success in modern times.

We can look to Donald Trump’s rise to power as evidence of this. A campaign punctuated with the cry – “We’re gonna put the miners back to work!” – roars which carried the rust belt states and Trump himself to an electoral college victory.

While such an agenda should never constitute the headline of a Labour campaign, there is room for it to form a fractional element of a wider economic plan. With the benefits of automation and clean coal, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t create new jobs in coal, steel and manufacturing: industries whose revival would be predicated on a new regime of tariffs and public infrastructure spending.

Though Labour are often happy to ingratiate themselves with the attendees of events like the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival and the Durham Miners’ Gala, they have nothing substantial to offer on the issue of heavy industry yet are content to bask in the romanticism of it.

While the decline of the British steel industry predates recent governments, it now faces a crisis that threatens to end its very existence. The proximate cause of this crisis is China dumping its own steel at below cost price on the world market. This is comparable to a supermarket opening next to a corner shop and offering loaves of bread for 10p.

Inevitably, the former will put the latter out of business, and then, when it’s free of competition, it is able to raise its prices with impunity. Similarly, if we surrender ourselves to a reliance on Chinese steel, we’ll face higher prices in the long run. Failing to protect them would deliver a coup de grâce to the last bastions of our national manufacturing industries, prompting the decline of communities and our capacity for self-sufficiency.

It’s for these reasons Labour would do well to adopt policies to the effect of the following:

  • Introduce tariffs on Chinese steel to such a point that it becomes unaffordable in the UK.
  • Lobby other European nations to form a steel block, not dissimilar from the Common Agricultural Policy, which will allow for free trade in steel amongst nations with comparable wage levels and health and safety standards.
  • Legislate that all public works must use British steel with appropriate caveats (e.g. certain types of steel are not produced in the UK).
  • Cut the disproportionately large foreign aid budget from 0.7% and put some of that money into retraining post-steel communities and investing in new technology for existing plants

As the supply of steel drops, the free market will necessitate investment leading to the construction of new steel plants, not only in the UK but across Europe. It’s an excellent example of triangulating socialism with capitalism and reaping the rewards of the free market in the 21st century.

Now, I don’t suggest that such policies should be the focal point of a Labour manifesto by any means, on the contrary, they should be towards the bottom of the list, but they most certainly should be on that list.

Such a policy, though necessary, is not an election winner, and speaks only to a specific group of people. It should be brought about in tandem with policies that resonate with the 4.6 million self-employed individuals who are in dire need of strong representation.

These people are more inclined to identify as entrepreneurs than as part of the working class. Mechanics and carpenters are now business people not proles. They don’t care about the history of struggle, or talk of how the EU is essential because it ‘protects workers’ rights’ which is nonsense in its own right, but they do want to have constant work with good pay and little else.

Indeed, until pressure from the Tory-supporting press prompted a u-turn, the Chancellor meant to levy upon self-employed people an even higher tax rate. In the wake of such a clear display of contempt towards the self-employed by the Conservatives, no better opportunity exists for Labour to launch an appeal to white van men the country over.

So, what problems do self-employed people face, and what policy platforms can appeal to them?

By definition they don’t have an employer from whom they can claim sick, maternity, or paternity pay, their work can be inconsistent, and they must continually reinvest their earnings to facilitate the survival of their trade or business.

Such policies should include:

  • Cutting taxes for the self-employed, allowing them to free up income they can use to cover the cost of sick pay and other work-related benefits (alternatively, introduce self-employment working tax credits where feasible).
  • Lowering VAT so that consumer spending increases, thus pushing up demand for new wardrobes, landscaped gardens, vehicle modifications, and so on.
  • Forcing the banks that we taxpayers bailed out to provide loans where feasible to self-employed individuals at a special low interest rate for the purpose of buying tools, refurbishing workshops, or taking on trainees.
  • Sending apprentices to work with the self-employed rather than with huge multinational chains, where they exist as little more than wage slaves.

Again, such policies won’t provoke a landslide electoral victory, but they are essential to attract to the Labour cause the sort of voters who are not only needed to win an election but whose interests lie in the Labour camp; the clue is in the name, after all.

But policy isn’t enough. We can’t expect people who work two jobs and maintain other responsibilities besides to read complex manifestos and pay attention to policy documents – to do so would be an unreasonable burden. Instead we need to talk in a language that ordinary people understand. That is to say: we should speak like normal people.

In 1917 the Bolsheviks condensed a complex economic program into three simple words: ‘PEACE, LAND, BREAD’. It was a message that was understood by every echelon of Russian society without exception. This is no means to advocate Bolshevism, but it serves to demonstrate that exactly 100 years ago, without the benefit of social media, YouTube, spin doctors, and hashtags, it was possible to create easily digestible slogans that summarize a policy platform.

Yet somehow the modern Labour party is entirely incapable of developing a slogan, sentence, paragraph, or message of any length or format that appeals even remotely to its core vote or to those it needs to incorporate into it.

In 2015 Labour produced “A Better Plan for a Better Future” as its campaign slogan. This inspired precisely nobody and means exactly nothing. Given that unemployment in 2015 was 1.9 million[iii], how about this: “Labour Will Give You a High-paying Job”. Or with a little more finesse “Higher Pay, More Jobs”.

At the end of the day, despite the Twitterati’s various obsessions, jobs are the primary concern of most voters, and they have been and should continue to be at the forefront of any Labour campaign. Moreover, nobody speaks the language of the 60’s union bosses or the Marxist Politburo; talk of ‘comrades’ and ‘struggle’ should be consigned to the dustbin of history unless in the context of a historical discussion.

This chapter has thus far dealt with the need for and the avenue by which the traditional northern post-industrial vote can be shored up, and how best the 4.6 million self-employed can begin to be brought across to Labour in greater numbers, as well as a brief mention of language and communication which will be dealt with in greater depth in a subsequent chapter.

With all that said, there remains one ever-growing and crucial voting block who cannot bring themselves to vote Labour for reasons easily condensed into one word.: Immigration.

Blue-collar blokes are sick of being called racists for daring to criticize immigration. There is nothing left wing or liberal about the free movement of people; to the contrary it’s a right–wing, neoliberal idea that disproportionately favors employers.

The Labour party has no need to become radically nationalist, but by God it should be patriotic. It should fly the Union Flag and St. George’s Cross at every speech and every office, and the same for the Welsh and Scottish flags. But above all, Labour should call for a points-based immigration system that guarantees people the world over get a fair shake at entering the country on the basis of having the skills we need in the economy.

Let’s take India’s best scientists and China’s best students and do so on the understanding that they will commit themselves to the country for a specific amount of time. Let’s not feel obliged to take unskilled workers, of which we already have a surplus, in order to further drive down the wages of construction site laborers, baristas, and private hire drivers.

So, here’s a ‘radical’ suggestion for a slogan “British Jobs for British Workers” the words of one Gordon Brown as recently as 2007. This is the sort of slogan that should be plastered so thickly on the walls that they begin to be structurally integral to the building they occupy. Like communication, immigration will be dealt with in detail in a subsequent chapter, but in relation to appealing to the forgotten working class, it must be a cornerstone.

Over 900,000 people are apprentices[iv], mostly young women – an  ideal demographic for Labour voters. Since an apprentice in their first year is entitled to a below-subsistence wage of £3.40 an hour, and those most likely to enroll in an apprenticeship are poorer to begin with, it’s a total no-brainer: Labour should be promising every apprentice in the country a pay rise.

To those who suggest this would be irresponsible spending, we’ll be enjoying the benefit within two years of not having to send the EU hundreds of millions of pounds a year, of which a fraction could be spent on improving apprentices’ pay.

Here’s another groundbreaking slogan “A Pay Rise for Apprentices”. It’s time the unions with their multi-million bound budgets and 6-figure wage packets stopped resting on their laurels and actively began unionizing young apprentices the nation over. An offer of free membership for a year would be hard to refuse.

Others talk of an ‘anti-boss’ brand of populism, but as well as being counterproductive, since we absolutely want bosses to vote for Labour, time has rendered it irrelevant. We now live in an age where peoples’ bosses are oftentimes a relative or a friend, where this isn’t the case, it’s rare that employees don’t know their manager or supervisor outside of the workplace on a casual basis, at the very least as acquaintances.

Any anti-business or anti-boss talk cannot be part of a modern Labour party’s rhetoric or policy. Where there is room for populism, it’s anti-corporate populism.

Let’s make sure Google, Starbucks, and Facebook pay the taxes they’re duty bound to, given that without a taxpayer-funded education system they would have no employees, without the NHS they would have to provide insurance, without public roads they would have no means of haulage, and without internet and phone-line infrastructure they would have no means to even exist.

From the gains made by appropriating the correct levels of tax owed by such corporations, let’s move these profits into delivering tax cuts for small business owners, incentivize them to take on new employees, and expand their trades. It’s by means such as these that Labour can successfully convert traditional Conservative voters simply by offering them a better deal.

We can also reach the middle classes. For the first time in their history, junior doctors went out on strike, and did so on several occasions in the wake of Jeremy Hunt’s punishing reform proposals. Legal professionals are in the process of a mass exodus from the legal aid program, with Scottish wages having dropped over 20% from 2007/8-2013/2014 and trainee barristers earning salaries as low as £12,000 per anum (with training costs of £17,000)[v].

While an opportunity clearly presents itself to launch an appeal to traditional middle class Conservative voters, the Labour party is too embroiled with internal affairs to mount any effective effort.

On this point of traditional Conservative voters, it’s time to speak to farmers once again. We will soon have control over farming subsidies, let’s outbid the Tories on this issue and in addition offer an innovative rural apprenticeship program in order to train future generations in the ways of agriculture, while also aiding overworked and beleaguered farmers.

Furthermore, let’s force supermarkets to pay a fair price for dairy, meat, and vegetables, while subsidizing the cost to the consumer, paid for by an equivalent tax on sugary foods in order to ensure farms thrive while still protecting consumers and simultaneously improving the health of the nation.

Once free from the Common Fisheries Policy, let’s put our fisherman back to work and become the fishing capital of Europe. It makes no sense to subsidize corporations through working tax credits. Labour should promise an increase in the minimum wage and use the welfare savings to fund new infrastructure in our now-decrepit seaside towns.

Through this dual approach, we can not only increase the quality of life of those left behind by globalism while once again making British seaside towns worthy tourist attractions, but also bring back into the fold voters who have long since deserted Labour for UKIP.

Through these methods, we can expand our ever-shrinking coalition to include people from all walks of life, while still staying true to Labour values in a modern and relevant way. Let’s go forward in lockstep with farmers, fishermen, carpenters, shopkeepers, laborers, dockers, lorry drivers, and lawyers.

Some may ponder, then, might this not alienate the metropolitan middle classes, who as of this moment form the last bastion of the Labour bloc vote? Well, the biggest genuine issue for such people is the absurdly high house prices which keep people off the property ladder to middle age, and some of the highest rents in the world.

All the while we spend £25 billion every single year on housing benefit[vi], money which goes straight into landlords’ pockets, (not that we don’t want landlords to prosper).

It’s time to announce a national house building program that takes the money straight out of the housing benefit budget and puts it into building 250,000 homes a year until the housing shortage becomes a surplus, at which point the free market will dictate rents, house prices will return to affordable levels, and the UK will once again become a home-owning democracy.

This is how we can offer concrete solutions to clear issues that will resonate with the 8 million people who live in London. Such a program would also lead to the employment of hundreds of thousands of people, prompting a higher tax revenue and increased spending in local economies throughout the country.

In summary, in order for Labour to properly construct policy that appeals to the working class, it must first understand how the working class has evolved over the past century. It should adopt a dual approach that halts the decline of traditional manufacturing and shores up our export market, while simultaneously engendering job growth in emerging markets, with an eye to appealing to those whose new nature of work leaves them without a natural party to vote for.

This program should incorporate the good work done by Ed Miliband in formulating policies to re-introduce security into the workplace, particularly in dealing with ‘zero-hour’ contracts, while also acknowledging that such policies do not have a broad enough appeal amongst swing voters. Labour must push for full, proud, and secure employment. By these means, Labour will rally all elements of the modern working class to their cause. 

Chapter II Foreign Policy and the Military

Foreign policy is not an election winner. Even when Blair’s hated decision to invade Iraq prompted the largest marches ever seen in the UK, the Labour government comfortably held on to power in the 2005 elections.

However, it’s important to remain principled and strive always to do what is right and best, both for the people of our nation and for those abroad but never at the expense of either. Moreover, Labour faces challenges from the left, notably the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, whenever it assumes an overtly pro-war posture.

There is scarcely a sentient being on earth who still believes Iraq, Libya, or Afghanistan were successful interventions, and for all the times it’s been said, it’s clear we haven’t learnt the lessons of the past. The Labour party should make it clear that they will not involve themselves in foreign military entanglements that do not directly concern the security of the United Kingdom and its allies.

British blood should not be expended to remove a foreign dictator only for that nation’s people to find liberation give way to an unimaginably worse kind of tyranny as has happened when ISIS filled the vacuum that Western bombs created.

Having said that, it is crucial that Labour demonstrate that it does not take security lightly, and its commitment to having first-class armed forces should be clear to everyone.

We have a Conservative government that has sacked soldiers before they could claim their full pensions, moved hundreds of thousands of positions into the reserve army, has aircraft carriers that we can’t land aircraft on, and now, most bizarrely, is offering troops the option of not serving in combat zones in return for a pay cut.

In uncertain global times, Labour should put itself forward as a patriotic party committed to the primary duty of the state: the protection of its own people. It’s essential that a commitment to at least 2% of GDP on defense be made in line with NATO requirements as well as a commitment to nuclear weaponry.

The latter is contentious, particularly within Labour circles, but there are some universal truths on this matter. Firstly, Trident has been commissioned, and should Labour win power, they will inherit the system no matter what their policy is. Secondly, the majority of the population are in favor of nuclear weapons, and confusion on the issue only allows the Tories to portray Labour as a threat to national security, philosophical arguments about MAD aside.

It’s also right that we reverse the horrible mistreatment suffered by our veterans. No individual who has laid their life on the line for the nation should be allowed to sleep on the streets, and as part of the aforementioned house building program, there should be guaranteed homes for veterans with subsidized mortgages, a cost to be taken from the 2% of GDP mentioned earlier.

There should also be jobs in the public sector reserved for them, particularly in the police and border forces. It’s my view that the treatment of veterans is a legitimate use of the term ‘military spending’.

Our foreign aid spending is disproportionate, badly allocated, and unsustainable. We are running a budget deficit of £40 billion, and continue to borrow more money to spend abroad, often sponsoring foreign militaries in proxy wars, or putting money into the pocket of despots to secure exploitative trade deals.

After the United States of America, we are the second biggest foreign aid donor on the planet in real terms. We spend $18 billion compared to the U.S. spending of $31 billion[vii]. That is over half of their expenditure despite being significantly less than half the size of their economy.

There are many cases in which it is not only right but morally incumbent upon us as a nation to send funds and resources abroad, to combat Ebola as a recent example.

But setting an annual target of 0.7% of GDP and dispersing that money across the globe, borrowed money in the first place, only exacerbates the economic conditions this country currently faces, and in the long run will prevent us as a nation aiding other countries to our fullest capacity, since our economic growth is constantly hampered by this gross cost.

Foreign aid does a lot of good, and where it does so it should continue to do so, but where reasonable savings can be made, this is exactly the course of action that should be pursued. The liberal, Guardian–reading, mocha-sipping elites will tweet furiously in response to such a suggestion, as if there’s something essential about the budget being set at 0.7% rather than 0.6%.

It’s important to ignore these people, whose numbers appear  more significant online, as they represent a minority as has been shown time and time again, with only 1 in 4 supporting the current foreign aid policy[viii].

For those who suggest that giving money to space-program-pushing India will somehow engender good relations with developing countries, I’d suggest we could better build relations by ceasing to hinder their economic growth through climate regulation (with caveats) and ending the practice of Western and Chinese companies exploiting the developing countries’ natural resources.

We currently face the worst refugee crisis the world has yet known, and as a party, people, and species, we have a duty to help those in need. In the immediate future, we should accept lone child refugees and house them with willing volunteers in the UK.

Subsequent to this, we should quiz every local council in the country and see what facilities they can spare to house other refugees, prioritizing families. However, there are 60 million displaced people globally and counting. The UK cannot effectively double its population by accepting every single individual – even 5% of that number would bring the country’s infrastructure to its knees.

Thus, longer-term solutions must be found, and they begin with rich Middle Eastern countries which have so far allowed the burden to be shouldered by their neighbors like Lebanon as well as Western nations, namely Germany.

It is time we lobbied Saudi Arabia, to whom we sell jets and whose pilots we train in order to better fly them, we gave a free ride when they invaded Bahrain, and continue to do so as they fight in Yemen killing civilians with British bombs, and whose disgusting head-chopping record gives ISIS a run for their money.

This is not a suggestion to cut ties with the Saudis or the UAE, but given the support both militarily and diplomatically that we provide for them, it’s reasonable to assume we can make demands of them: and if ever there was a need to, it is now. These countries should be taking in great numbers of refugees. They have the infrastructure; they just lack the will.

Further to this, the foreign aid budget should be used to contribute to a wider transnational program to build U.N.-protected safe zones across the Middle East, to prevent refugees making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean, which in itself will save thousands of lives but also to keep them safe from terrorism and keep them fed, watered, and sheltered until such time that they can return to their country or region of origin.

The geopolitical landscape has suffered a seismic shift in the past year alone, and upcoming European elections look to continue that trend. The long and short of the matter is that we have distanced ourselves from our European neighbors so long as their current rulers last anyway, and thus we must move closer to our historic allies in the U.S.

However, Jeremy Corbyn (perhaps out of some need for the adoration of the echo chamber of his cult of no personality) is making a frequent habit of attacking President Trump vocally, viciously and publicly. He’s joined in such attacks by other high-profile liberals, notably the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

When the Cameron government shamelessly courted the Chinese into buying out our public infrastructure, John Bercow was front and center in welcoming Xi Jinping to address both houses of Parliament.

Yet in a stunningly hypocritical fashion which must require Olympic levels of mental gymnastics to justify, Bercow has come out against Trump addressing Parliament and intends to block him from doing so, all the while being supported in these efforts by the leader of the Labour party. Part of the problem is the disingenuous hysteria around Trump that you’ll find in the Guardian, Mirror or indy100.

But putting that aside, even a blind man can see that it’s absolutely within British interests to foster closer cooperation and trade with the U.S.A., the biggest economy in the world, which also has in common with us in language, culture, and history.  In fact, for anybody who considers themselves on the left, a closer relationship with Trump can only be a good thing for world peace, given his thus-far successful moves towards détente with Russia.

On this point, there’s no need to paint Putin as the eternal bogeyman. There are elements of his governance which we can all criticize from one angle or another, but to invoke the words of a separate J. C. for a moment, “Those without sin should cast the first stone”.

The domestic policies of Russia are entirely an issue for the Russian people, and continuing to burden Russia with ever worsening sanctions not only destroys diplomatic relations but is mutually harmful for both our economies. Let’s work with Trump and Putin to defeat ISIS, and in doing so we will position ourselves closer to their ears to best influence them on any human rights issues we find significant.

We claim ownership of an island over 7,000 miles away from our shores on the basis that its citizens voted in a referendum to remain British. This is no bad thing and we should continue to respect the right to self-determination.

However, when those in Crimea, who are 65% Russian by ethnicity[ix], vote overwhelmingly to join the Russian state, the Western political class sees this as grounds for a proxy war in Ukraine.

This is made even more bizarre by the fact Crimea was part of Russia as recently as 1954, when Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine, and now over 60 years on, it’s reasonable that its inhabitants would rather unite themselves to a superpower rather than a failed state.

Some will surely cry ‘appeasement’ to the idea that we should improve relations with Russia. To those people, I say: compromise is essential in international relations, we can’t preach to the world how they should live and operate, and it’s arrogant and pseudo-supremacist to try and push our liberal democratic model on every culture and people of the earth.

That’s not to mention that Putin did little when we invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, supported French action in Mali, and imposed sanctions against their Iranian allies, yet liberals appear indignant at any suggestion that the Russians be allowed the same freedom in their international actions.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t assume a strong posture – we absolutely should – which is one of the reasons this text has hitherto advocated the maintenance of Trident and spending of 2% of GDP on defense.

Working closely with our American allies, we should aim to maintain peace through strength, but this is by no means mutually exclusive with closer cooperation with Russia, with whom we should be seeking to strike trade deals, closer ties, and better relations. In short, we should make allies, not enemies, wherever possible.

Most people aren’t concerned with international relations. They want food on their table, a roof over their heads, and enough disposable income to live a good life. However, it will never be the case that Jeremy Corbyn could be elected Prime Minister on an anti-American ticket.

It’s a simple truism that the U.S. is a crucial ally, and to worsen our relations in the context of Brexit would leave the UK essentially isolated. Trump’s lewd comments about women are not a hill Labour should be dying on, nor a hill they should have even assumed a position atop in the first instance.

Instead Labour should have a foreign policy that doesn’t indulge in 3-dimensional chess and virtue signalling but instead sends a very clear message. Labour will be second to none in defense of the nation, second to none in rebuilding relations, and unwilling to expend British blood or treasure in foreign wars that do not concern us.

In Europe, let’s form bilateral trade agreements and maintain the same standard of intelligence sharing as exists today, both of which are perfectly possible without power sharing in a technocratic bureaucracy.

The upshot of this in messaging terms is that Labour should state loud and clear that Labour will keep you safe, prioritize our own citizens, and maintain a humanitarian outlook on global affairs. Little else is necessary, and Corbyn’s famous hand-holding with the IRA and Hamas are enough to set him up for a decisive defeat in any British election.

Chapter III – Immigration

Immigration became a taboo subject in the realm of political discourse with the dawn of the Blair Age. Conversation on the matter was shut down, and dissidents were branded racists, outcasts, and forced into silence. A mixture of concern and outrage boiled up amongst those left behind by New Labour, leading to the return of two British National Party candidates in the European Elections of 2009.

Fortunately, both of those vile individuals have since lost their seats and faded into obscurity, with those voters now opting to side with the far more moderate UKIP. Nigel Farage single-handedly put immigration at the center of British politics, and his influence led to a vote to leave the European Union, within which the primary concern amongst Out voters was immigration.

This had been a sleeping giant for some time, and Farage was able to awaken it. However, even now in a post-Brexit world, the issue of immigration is still taboo for many, particularly in the mainstream media. It’s rare that anyone advocating a merit-based immigration system as opposed to no controls at all isn’t branded a racist by a ‘Question Time’ panelist or political opponent.

It’s an issue that’s particularly pernicious on university campuses and in inner cities. In the former, anyone to the right of Chairman Mao on the issue is considered Hitler’s earthly avatar, and in the latter, it’s a common occurrence to find your trip through Central London punctuated with stalls of the Socialist Workers Party distributing leaflets that read along of the lines of ‘Let all refugees in now! Stop racism!’.

Speaking of the SWP, whilst Labour seems curious about its own credibility gap, meanwhile its own shadow chancellor is giving interviews to the SWP[x], so whoever is running the Labour PR machine should enjoy the ‘benefit’ of instant dismissal.

The fact that the views of a tiny vocal minority are over-represented on television and online media makes people scared to air their true opinions, only taking action within the security and anonymity of the ballot box. Over 70% of the country believe immigration controls are not tough enough[xi], and this is a figure Labour leaders should be more concerned with than the number of retweets a platitude about multiculturalism can receive online.

Overwhelmingly, the country is dissatisfied with current levels of immigration. This includes Black and minority ethnic voters of all stripes who believe the number of immigrants should be reduced, and they do so by sizeable majorities[xii].

It’s pertinent to mention that immigration is disproportionately a concern for the working classes, and many of them have fled Labour, leading UKIP to be the main challenger to Labour in a great many constituencies in the 2015 election. Although it’s proven difficult for UKIP to directly take seats from Labour, there are two problems that this bleeding of voters poses.

The first is that it will lead the Labour vote in northern communities to be split with UKIP, thus allowing a Tory candidate to take a seat with as little as 30% of the vote. The second problem is that these UKIP voters distance themselves so far from Labour when they look at its middle class-centric tone that they jump ship to the Conservatives, and if that happened in large enough numbers, a Labour general election victory would be inconceivable for a generation.

We are in the process of leaving the European Union, and thus we will no longer be shackled to the free movement of labor which has given every citizen of the EU the right to live and work in the UK. However, neither the Conservatives nor Labour have made clear the path ahead.

What better opportunity then for Labour to appeal to its forgotten voters, take back the defectors, and win over Conservatives by proposing a strict points–based,Australian-style immigration system. Let’s legislate in order to ensure that only immigrants who possess the skills and resources we need have the ability to settle and work in this country.

Let’s mandate that immigrants should have an excellent grasp of the English language, not just because such a skill is essential (particularly in the medical profession) but also because it will ensure universally beneficial integration.

At the same time, we should make it clear that this country already has enough unskilled workers, unemployed, and disabled people who are struggling to cope as it is, and it should not be incumbent on the country to take more such people in.

It’s here the points-based system comes into its own: for example, if there is a shortage of unskilled labor, we can adjust the requisite points for entry and mandate that people who enter under such circumstances have jobs waiting for them.

Some suggest a migration system based on merit is xenophobic, and to those people it’s worth mentioning that we’ve applied a points-based system to non-EU citizens for years, and as members of the EU, we were giving preference to European migrants who were predominantly White over Indian and African migrants.

A points-based system is totally equitable and accepts people based on ability, irrespective of skin color, creed, or nationality. This is entirely in keeping with the sort of values that led to Labour’s foundation and should remain at the forefront of any respectable leftwing movement.

There is a myth that there is something ‘left wing’ or ‘progressive’ about uncontrolled migration, or that it would be desirable to have an unlimited number of unknown individuals entering the country every year.

Let’s be clear: the free movement of labor is a rightwing, neoliberal, capitalist policy, not dissimilar to the free movement of capital. It’s a symptom of an anarchic free market system that serves the elites extremely well; it drives down the price of labor for corporations, affords the middle classes cheap gardeners and nannies, and perpetually rigs the job market in the employers’ favor.

It’s a fundamental leftist belief that the free market is not infallible, requires regulation, and this regulation should pertain not just to levels of taxation and regulation but also to the distribution of workers.

This is not advocacy of immigration control on the basis of electoral populism, or economic philosophy, though it would indeed be popular, and it does follow philosophically; instead it’s an advocacy on the grounds of basic math.

Plainly, the UK cannot sustain the number of immigrants coming into the country every year. 300,000 is the rough annual net migration figure to the UK per annum. Many point out rightly that a large number of these people are students, and they’re right to do so.

However, whether student or worker, they still take the same toll on transport, health, and social infrastructure.  As a nation, we are building around half the number of houses we need every single year, at around 135,000[xiii], creating a clear deficit in housing availability. That’s not to mention that our own domestic birth rate is over 800,000 per year[xiv].

We already have a dangerous housing bubble which threatens to collapse at any moment, pulling our entire economy down with it, and it’s only exacerbated by such migrant numbers. Of course, part of this problem is that we don’t build enough houses, and issues pertaining to that were detailed in the first chapter.

However, the costs of building such enormous numbers of houses and providing the associated infrastructure would be to say the least prohibitive, and even if it were feasible, it would not be desirable.

Aside from housing there are huge costs associated with the NHS, when people who have never contributed arrive able to take full advantage of it without question. This is one of the factors that has led to a record NHS deficit of £1.85 billion[xv]; although of course underfunding remains the direct cause of this crisis, immigration serves to aggravate it.

You’ll hear from Labour politicians and often to the thunderous applause of their echo chambers, the following platitude: “You’re more likely to see an immigrant working in the NHS than using it”.

Aside from being disingenuous, since it’s entirely determined by happenstance and geography, the point they are trying to make is that because immigrants work in the NHS, we should allow an unlimited number of immigrants to enter the country, as if the former warrants the latter, which is a total non-sequitur.

Yes, we have a large number of migrants working in the NHS, and that’s a good thing to. Let’s keep them there and continue to allow medical professionals into the country in line with demand. Having controlled immigration and having Indian doctors are not mutually exclusive; in actuality an equitable points-based system will incentivize and drive up the number of highly qualified migrant workers relative to unskilled workers.

The people are crying out for a credible party to come out strongly on immigration, and if Labour did so, they would take the country by storm.

Chapter IV – And the Rest

Regarding inertia

As of this writing the most commonly seen Labour slogan is “Working together for real change”. The problem is the party is not working together, and presents no change. The conflict within and between the constituency and parliamentary Labour parties is wreaking havoc on Labour’s public image, and as the well-known adage tells us, voters don’t vote for divided parties.

However, this text will not attempt to dissect the intricacies that have led to this point; instead suffice it to mention a couple of key issues.

Jeremy Corbyn will never receive the support of the current MPs and therefore must go. The only alternative would be to begin a process of deselection across the country –  a sort of Trotskyist Night of the Long Knives, which would only leave the party’s reputation in tatters and replace experienced MPs with amateurs.

There is a divide within the parliamentary party between those representing constituents who are socially conservative working class and middle class social liberals. While Labour has always been a broad church that has incorporated numerous factions, the divisions now seem to be intensifying like never before.

Party loyalty is at record low rates, and people are now more likely than ever to throw out of office the candidate of their forefather’s choice and often on the basis of a single issue. This is more contentious than ever post-Brexit, given that some Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted overwhelmingly to Remain and others the reverse. Inevitably MPs jostle with one another to represent their diverse constituents.

The remedies are imperfect for both issues. For the first, Corbyn must go, which is easier said than done; and secondly the Labour party must support the will of the people and push for a real Brexit that rejects freedom of movement. Neither solution is ideal, but both are necessary, not least because the majority of the country hate Corbyn, and the majority of the country voted for Brexit.

On to the second, and more important, element of the slogan: “Real Change.” The most obvious change that has taken place in the last couple of years is the transformation of the Labour party from a party of government to one that wallows in political oblivion. Change is an important message to transmit, but the kind of change needs to be clear, and Corbyn’s Labour has thus far advocated very few changes indeed.

In fact, in my research for this work, I wanted to see exactly what policies Jeremy Corbyn had promoted in order to deal with them individually. However, when I tried to access Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘priorities’ on his website, it returned an error page reading “Unfortunately the page you were looking for was not found”, which is so patently ironic that no explanation is needed.

Further hunting will lead you to an article in the Mirror listing several flagship policies, which range from unpopular and bizarre like abolishing the monarchy to leftist clichés like ‘tax the rich’, and standard Labour talking points like re-nationalizing rail.

An eager hunter will find a more exhaustive list in a Telegraph article, which is pretty damming for the Labour party PR machine when the right-wing pro-Tory paper gives more policy detail than Labour themselves do. Eventually, one will stumble upon the ‘Jeremy for Labour’ page detailing ten broad policy positions. A brief glance is enough to know it’s a slight rewording of Ed Miliband’s 2015 manifesto combined with some broad meaningless jargon.

“We will build a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest earners are fairly taxed, act against executive pay excess, and shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid – FTSE 100 CEOs are now paid 183 times the wage of the average UK worker, and Britain’s wages are the most unequal in Europe. We will act to create a more equal society, boost the incomes of the poorest, and close the gender pay gap.”[xvi]

Do we not already have a progressive tax system? What rate should the highest earners pay? Will you cap executive bonuses? How will you boost the incomes of the poorest? How will you close the gender pay gap?

Such questions could be the only reasonable response to reading such general non-offensive meaningless milk-and-honey talking points. Anyone who feels the media hasn’t given Corbyn’s Labour a fair shake and has undertaken to do their own research will only be doubly disappointed when they discover that in the two years of his leadership, there’s scarcely a new policy to speak of.

For those who seek out concrete information, they should be rewarded with definitive and detailed policy proposals signed off by renowned economists, think tanks, and financial organizations.

Such policies should include pledges to build huge tidal power stations taking advantage of the fact that our nation is surrounded by water, to build offshore wind farms (including specifications on how many of them, at what cost and where the money is coming from), and to build new motorways, detailing how many people such a project would employ and projecting the economic benefits it would bring to this city or that. Alas, nothing of the sort exists.

Not to harp on about political antiquity, but Harold Wilson talked of the ‘white heat of the technological revolution.’ It’s not something that was ever truly delivered on, but it’s a phrase that stuck. What better time than now is there to renew the scientific and technological revolution? In the age of drones, self-driving cars, nanotechnology, and interstellar rovers, the modern Labour party has very little or nothing to say about it.

As a people we have the potential and as a country we have the need to host research and development facilities for the world’s leading technology firms and to have factories producing technology for the modern age. Labour Shadow Ministers should be meeting with Tesla and Microsoft, putting out press releases and winning support amongst the firms of the future, letting them know Britain is open for business.

In tandem with this we need new and forward-looking training schemes. The youth vote is overwhelmingly Labour but also the least likely to turn out.

Labour councilors, MPs and its half million members (Where are they?) should be knocking on every door of every council estate, meeting the unemployed, disenfranchised youth, and giving them a clear, concise piece of paper offering them a world-class training program that Labour guarantees to introduce if it wins the election.

Give these people something to aspire to and something to vote for outside of the Blue and Red tribal dichotomy which means very little to most people.

AddendumI have returned to this section to note that shortly after the time of writing, the Conservative government has unveiled so called ‘T-levels’, which promise to train youngsters in the practical and technical fields of the future. Once again, Labour has been too slow on the draw and attempts to do so now would appear to be a derivative imitation.

Put before people a plan that they can understand and offer them a future: through training programs, scientific advancement, industrialization, automation, pay rises, and tax breaks. Talking points must give way to the tangible.

What matters to most people when all is said and done is the food on their table, the money in their pockets and the roof over their head. Naturally, a sense of community drives many voters, but elections cannot be won through street marches in aid of the NHS. It’s an established truism that Labour will best serve the NHS, and people understand that all too well, but it cannot rely on this one-trick pony to carry it through to government.

Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime

Possibly the best thing to come out of the Blair era was the acknowledgment that the great mass of Labour voters were not ultra-liberal, as the Westminster establishment would have you believe but are in fact deeply socially conservative. As such, it’s crucial not only for the execution of justice, but for the electability of the party that Labour are seen to come down hard on criminals and serve justice to victims.

This should come in tandem with core Labour values about alleviating poverty, which we know to be the leading cause of crime since the devil will find work for idle hands to do. Any attempt to crack down on crime must do so heavily and stringently on perpetrators, while simultaneously delivering a revolutionary jobs program to put those idle hands to work.

As a consequence, such people will be able to sustain a family and home, thus giving people a stake in society they would be unwilling to discard with wanton criminality. The Tories have shamelessly cut back the numbers of police to levels last seen in 2003[xvii]. Prisons are being sold to private companies and the conditions that occur within them as a result is nothing short of disgraceful.

Prison guards are striking, and criminals are forcibly taking control of their own prisons, if such a thing could be believed to be true in 21st century Britain. Not only is this a national crisis that warrants an urgent response, but it’s a political opportunity Labour has thus far made no move to exploit.

It should call for and develop credible plans to introduce an increase in police numbers, prison reform, and higher wages for those on the frontline keeping our streets safe. Labour should be tough on crime because it’s the working class who suffer disproportionately at the hands of criminals without the benefits of gated drives and suburbia to protect them.

The Labour party has thus far failed to make political capital from any of these issues. It should go forth hand in hand with the police unions and declare that Labour will be second to none in its commitment and strength of purpose to cut down crime and clean up our prisons. Labour will serve the interests of victims and not criminals once again.

Corbyn’s irreparably damaging comments that he was ‘unhappy’ with the shoot-to-kill policy have done nothing to reduce the idea that Labour are soft on crime. The party needs to push the message night and day until it’s accepted as a truism that under Labour the streets will be safe again. 

Speaking to the People

Many in the Labour party have become totally removed from the voters they serve. Famously, Emily Thornberry poured scorn on a white van man for daring to hang the English flag on his own home. She was roundly attacked by people living outside the ultra-liberal Westminster bubble and was forced to resign from her then position as Shadow Attorney General, though since then Corbyn has secured her promotion to even greater heights.

It’s no surprise that working-class people continue to turn to UKIP in such numbers, when Labour’s North London elite mocks anyone patriotic or traditional in outlook. The voters of Rochester and Strood where the comments were made had nothing in common with Emily Thornberry and the beliefs she manifests, yet she felt perfectly entitled to go there and belittle the very people whose support she should have been trying to secure.

Unsurprisingly, Labour came 3rd in the constituency, losing over 10% of their vote share on the 2010 election. Seats like these are essential to take in order for Labour to have any hope of winning a general election.

Such events are symptomatic of a wider problem, which at the moment is embodied within the Labour leadership. The public watched in outrage as Jeremy Corbyn failed to sing the national anthem during a Battle of Britain commemoration. The papers made hay when Corbyn made a half-hearted bow at the Cenotaph, and did so, by the way, in a tatty suit. When the Red Flag is sung, it brings a smile to activists’ faces but confusion to the country at large.

Corbyn is known to be a republican. There is no problem with that. But he must understand that the vast majority of the country are in favor of the British monarchy because it speaks to their patriotism, is synonymous with their British identity, and is associated with the wars from times gone by and those lost in them.

Any leader of any party should sing the national anthem with gusto, and do so in the finest black suit with the boldest red tie. A refusal or failure to engage in the traditions that venerate the nation and honor our war dead sends a clear signal to the working class of this country that Labour is not the party for them. Indeed, many in the country view Corbyn as directly ‘anti-British’ given his close ties to IRA figures and his now infamous comments calling Hezbollah his ‘friends’.

Some will suggest that the aforementioned are merely superficial issues. In many ways, they are an issue of presentation, but the image the Labour party and its present leadership is not a secondary or tertiary concern, it should be the primary concern for any party seeking to win power.

It’s all well and good having an excellent manifesto, but if no one reads it or gives it credence because they believe its authors are intrinsically unpatriotic, then the manifesto is entirely useless.

Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as leader is essentially a job interview with the British people at large. He must win their approval in order for them to grant him power. Yet he can’t be bothered to wear a decent suit, which in the opening days of his leadership campaign was endearing and charming, but at this point marks him as an unprepared amateur.

The Labour party has a war coffer of funds at its disposal, including membership subscriptions of over 500,000 individuals, a long list of big private donors, and a great deal more cash donated by trade unions. Yet for all these resources, there isn’t a single advisor who can tell Corbyn not to wear black suit trousers with a blue suit jacket during Prime Minister’s question time. When members of the public go for a job interview, they dress to impress, and they expect their leaders to do the same.

We need a leader of the Labour party flanked by the Union Flag, bellowing the national anthem, and embracing patriotism the same way the people do. Sadly, it appears the liberal elite feels shame and embarrassment at any suggestion of national pride.

There are people who understand this. Andy Burnham makes a particularly good example. A working-class lad who graduated from Cambridge, he returned to his home town to represent Leigh as a member of parliament, where he notably worked to secure justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster cover-up.

From a cold reception in a speech at the Anfield Football Grounds in 2009, he returned after five tireless years of fighting for justice to a well-earned hero’s reception. He wasn’t afraid to speak about that which for so long Labour had considered taboo, namely immigration, and during his bid for the leadership in 2015, he did just that.

Burnham rightly acknowledged all the good that immigration brings, from economic growth to cultural enrichment, while at the same time talking about those left behind by uncontrolled immigration. He talked of a factory worker in his constituency who sat alone during lunch times as he was the only English-speaking worker.

He rightly identified that immigration had disproportionately taken a toll on Labour’s industrial and post-industrial heartlands, and since his failed campaign, he has become even more vocal on this issue.

Alas, for some reason he lacked a certain spark during the campaign, though that aside, he spoke directly to the country, but yet it was the niche Labour party membership who had for the first time the total say on the new leader. Consequently Corbyn won. Burnham has moved out of the front line of national politics towards a campaign to be the mayor of Manchester. Let’s hope that he and his fellows plan a return in the near future.

Chapter V – Conclusions

There absolutely is a place for social liberals within the modern Labour party. The Labour party has a history of pushing through excellent liberal reforms from Barbra Castle legislating equal pay for equal work between the genders to the introduction of civil partnerships under Blair.

Throughout its history, Labour has been at the forefront of liberal reforms that have liberated people of all stripes, and it’s a good thing too. It’s also right that the Labour party platform deals with discrimination against transgender, gay, and black and minority ethnic individuals, but it should not do so at the expense of all else.

Too often, Labour party circles have discussion dominated by issues that (while important) effect .01% of the population or less. The cry of ‘racist’ or ‘transphobe’ is too often an excuse to shut down freedom of speech, particularly on university campuses and by individuals associated with Labour at a student level.

How can it be that lifelong gay activist Peter Tatchell, feminist icon Germaine Greer, and the left-of-Labour George Galloway have all been no-platformed or attacked on our university campuses. The attitudes that lead to such absurd action are rife among Labour party members and less often to be seen amongst the general populace, for whom these individuals would be considered far left, not something-or-other-ophobic.

There’s a false equivalence between parties like UKIP, a liberal isolationist organization, on the one hand, and fascism or racism on the other, and the comparison between them is consistently pushed by groups like Momentum, the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Socialist Workers Party, all of which are groups operating with or within the Labour party.

Here’s an excerpt from the SWP publication the Socialist Worker, which I have seen distributed by Labour party members outside meetings and talks:

“And in Stoke Central the racist UKIP party, which came second there at the last general election, wants to whip up racism to take the seat from Labour. Socialist Worker is calling for a vote for Labour in both elections. They will be seen as referendums on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour—and Corbyn could be forced to resign as leader if Labour does badly.

The racist right will feel ecstatic if UKIP leader Paul Nuttall wins in Stoke. Labour has rightly attacked Nuttall for his previous statements supporting privatization of the NHS. But Labour’s official campaign has not challenged UKIP over its racism. Labour will be most effective if it both attacks the cuts and also confronts UKIP divisive racism.”[xviii]

It’s simply not enough to shout ‘racist’ and expect to win an argument. In fact, at this point it’s no longer even a case of diminishing returns, but it’s actually backfiring, making people more inclined to vote for UKIP when their concerns about migration are met with insult by leftists. We on the left should be trying to win debates, not shut them down.

This isn’t an appeal to the SWP to change their tactics. They are free agents and can do as they please. But the fact that the Labour party leadership meets with them, gives them interviews and is commonly seen marching alongside them is indicative of the sort of attitudes that fester in Labour and also appears to be a soft endorsement of such views.

It’s part of a wider problem where certain social liberals are going so far in their anti-racism campaigns that they shut down free speech within the media, on university campuses, and on the streets, more often than not targeting people who were never racist in the first place.

In short, these liberals have become the very illiberal people they believe they’re fighting against. Such people are fooled into believing the rest of the country is on their wavelength, buoyed up by thousands of retweets and Facebook likes, yet they do not appear to understand that their online presence is an echo chamber. The more their preaching is welcomed by the converted, the more steadfast they become in their initial beliefs.

Most people in the country are not anything close to this level of ultra-liberal, and such attitudes do not resonate with them. The great mass of people are patriotic and socially conservative, and their concern with politics extends to ensuring the system provides them with a safety net and the opportunity for employment.

That doesn’t mean the country at large doesn’t have a sense of and desire for social justice. Of course it does. But the best way to ensure it is to first establish economic justice. When Labour party figures engage in extended diatribes about intersectional feminism, which to most people of both genders means nothing, it turns the public off.

Liberalism is a welcome element of the Labour coalition, but it cannot continue in such an extreme form, nor can it override concern for the economy and for jobs. Labour need to talk less about rules surrounding transgender usage of bathrooms in North Carolina, and more, much more, about jobs.

Corbyn’s position is untenable. He has had second chance upon second chance and failed to rehabilitate his image or reform his party. His name is toxic and his leadership destructive, and for these reasons, he must go.

In his place, we need a strong man or woman who understands the patriotism that stirs within Labour’s core vote, who understands the nation’s deep social conservatism, and who is prepared to meet the electorate’s demands for homes and jobs. Perhaps an Andy Burnham, a Gisela Stewart, a Dan Jarvis, a Richard Burgeon, or someone else entirely.

Labour must overcome its misconceptions about the people’s wants by breaking free of both Westminster and its online echo chambers.

The public are not shocked or angered about cuts to the benefits bill, in fact it’s a popular position[xix]. On this, let’s deliver the biggest benefits cut yet seen, and let them fall on the corporate welfare that now costs over £50 billion a year between working tax credits and housing benefit alone.

Let’s force corporations to pay a living wage, and put the working tax credit savings into a jobs program that will mop up any collateral unemployment. Let’s build houses until prices fall and housing benefit drops to record lows. Let’s cut old-age benefits for the very richest pensioners who have no need of them, and distribute that money to the needy elderly according to their ability and means.

Over a million food parcels were distributed by food banks to hungry citizens throughout the country in 2015[xx], evidence if any more were needed that our infrastructure, welfare, and employment programs are totally failing the British people.

Unfortunately, the people accessing these food banks are the least likely to turn out in a general election. Let’s take Labour’s mass membership and send it to deprived communities to knock on doors and win support from those who have never voted before. Such an effort should be supported by its hundreds of MPs, thousands of councilors, and hundreds of thousands of trade union affiliated members.

Labour’s war coffers are full enough to help out its members when they sacrifice their time for the party. Travel and other associated costs should be subsidized in such campaigns.

Let’s take a strong message into the heart of the country, into Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and the North, that Labour will deliver British jobs for British workers.  It will carry through to the agricultural areas which the Tories presume to sit upon since time immemorial and deliver a program to get British farms working again.

Let’s go into London and make clear that Labour is the party for social justice, and that begins with housing. Guarantee the construction of at least 250,000 homes every year and provide credible plans on how it will be done because whether you’re Black, White, trans, gay, straight, male or female, your primary concern is shelter, of which there is currently a dire shortage.

Let’s spark off a renaissance in 21st century manufacturing, now with the benefits of automation and renewable energy. Take to the public a message that cuts in the foreign aid budget will deliver a program of nuclear, tidal, wind, and solar energy expansion that will not just create innumerable high-paying jobs but will have the added advantage of saving the climate.

Let’s wade into the realm of the intelligentsia and say loud and clear that Labour is the party for true liberals, those who believe in rationalism, freedom of speech, and tolerance. Let’s talk to those who face the prospect of a life behind bars and deliver to them a place behind a college desk, a workbench or the wheel of a JCB.

Let us go to the people and promise them; Jobs, Homes and Health.

[i] Khan, O. (2015 May 15) Race and the 2015 General Election Part 1: Black and Minority Ethnic Voters. Retrieved from http://www.runnymedetrust.org/blog/race-and-the-2015-general-election-black-and-minority-ethnic-voters

[ii] Monegan, A. (2014 August 20) Self-employment in UK at Highest Level Since Records Began. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/aug/20/self-employment-uk-highest-level

[iii] BBC Business. (2015 March 18) Economy Tracker: Unemployment. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10604117

[iv] Mirza-Davies J. (2016 November 21) Apprenticeship Statistics: England. Retrieved from http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06113/SN06113.pdf

[v] Blacking, D. (2014 July) So You Want to Be a Legal Aid Lawyer? Retrieved from http://lacuna.org.uk/justice/so-you-want-to-be-a-legal-aid-lawyer/

[vi] BBC Business (2015 September 21) Why Is the UK’s Housing Benefit Bill so High? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34290727

[vii] OECD. (2016 April 13) Development Aid in 2015 Continues to Grow despite Costs for In-donor Refugees. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/ODA-2015-detailed-summary.pdf

[viii] Leach, B. (2012 December 19) One in Four Support Britain’s Foreign Aid Policies. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9770644/One-in-four-support-Britains-foreign-aid-policies.html

[ix] Lubin, G. (2014 March 16) How Russians Became Crimea’s Largest Ethnic Group, in One Haunting Chart. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/crimea-demographics-chart-2014-3?IR=T

[x] Socialist Worker (2017 February 28) Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell Spoke to Socialist Worker on the Recent By-election Results. Retrieved from https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44161/Shadow+chancellor+John+McDonnell+spoke+to+Socialist+Worker+on+the+recent+by+election+results

[xi] Migration Watch UK (2014 November 18) Opinion Poll Results on Immigration. Retrieved from https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefingPaper/document/249

[xii] Migration Watch UK (2015 March 25) Immigration Policy and Black and Minority Ethnic Voters. Retrieved from https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/11.37

[xiii] Castella, T. (2015 January 13) Why Can’t the UK Build 240,000 Houses a Year? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30776306

[xiv] BBC News (2013 August 8) More UK births Than any Year Since 1972, Says ONS. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23618487

[xv] Dunne, P. Mckenna, H. and Murray, R. (2016 July) Deficits in the NHS 2016. Retrieved from https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/Deficits_in_the_NHS_Kings_Fund_July_2016_1.pdf

[xvi] Our Ten Pledges to Rebuild and Transform Britain. Retrieved from http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/pledges

[xvii] Newburn, T. (2015 November 24) What’s Happening to Police Numbers? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34899060

[xviii] Clark, N. (2017 February 14) Clive Lewis Backs off, but the Labour Right is out for Corbyn’s Blood. Retrieved from https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44091/Clive+Lewis+backs+off%2C+but+the+Labour+right+is+out+for+Corbyns+blood

[xix] Wells, A. (2011 May 16) Strong Public Support for Benefit Cuts. Retrieved from https://yougov.co.uk/news/2011/05/16/strong-public-support-benefit-cuts/

[xx] BBC News. (2015 April 22) Record Numbers Use Food Banks – Trussell Trust. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32406120

Alt Left: All That Glitters Is Not Capitalist: Various Types of Non-Capitalist Forms of Production That Work Well

Rahul:

I would argue that being pragmatic while being a communist is almost impossible. Communism doesn’t work, because humans are too greedy.

A mixture of a bunch of ideologies is probably the way to go.

If you are talking about hardcore Communism with the state running everything and no market or private enterprise as in the USSR, nobody wants to go back to that anyway. Even most Communists don’t want to go back to that.

But otherwise, you are just wrong. Most Communists nowadays see some sort of a role for a market. There are lots of ways to do this.

For instance, in Venezuela, various neighborhood groups and communities operate bread factories, farms, on and on. They sell the bread at a small reasonable profit to the community. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the enterprise and used to pay the salaries of the employees.

The farms and animal husbandry industries work along the same lines. A community will be organized as a commune. They will raise chickens for eggs or pigs or they will grow various crops.

They then sell the eggs, pigs, or crops to other communities for a reasonable profit. The proceeds and profits are invested back into the company, used to pay the salaries of the workers, and if there is anything left over, they are invested in the community itself – new sidewalks, new roads, a new health facility, water treatment, a community center, on and on.

The Venezuelan communes are considered to be a non-capitalist form of development.

Communists all around the world have supported this model. The Chinese Communists are operating a form of market socialism that utilizes a market mechanism. The Vietnamese Communists are doing the same. The Cuban Communists are doing something similar.

Most Communists also support the cooperative movement, where workers own the enterprise and compete against other firms, including capitalist firms. The enterprise either sinks or swims.

The proceeds and profits are best collected by a regional bank, which reinvests them in the enterprise, uses them to pay salaries, or even gives bonuses to the workers. So a very successful enterprise that made a lot of profits could end up having some workers who were making some good money if they were pocketing some of the profits.

When you give the workers the control over what to do with the money – whether to sink it back into the enterprise or to take it home as increased paychecks, workers tend to choose to take home the bigger checks. This is what happened with Yugoslavia’s otherwise very successful worker self-managed Communism.

The workers would not put enough money back into the firms to keep them going, and the firms would start to deteriorate to the point where they were no longer operative. So everyone was out of a job. But no worries as everyone got a bigger paycheck!

In the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Country in Spain, a similar system has unfolded and has been successful for a long time now. There, the workers elect their own management, which is a great idea in my opinion. You would think that workers would elect management that let them slide and screw off, but they elect very good managers.

The decisions about what to do with the proceeds and profits – whether to sink them back into the enterprise or to take them home in higher worker wages – is left up to management and ultimately large regional banks.

These large regional banks are the ultimate owners of all of the Mondragon cooperatives. These are public banks so they are not run on the typical profit motive. They resemble more the customer-owned credit unions in the US which give much better customer service than the capitalist banks do.

I’m not even entirely sure that credit unions are a capitalist enterprise. How can you have a capitalist enterprise that is owned by the consumers of its service? That does not seem possible.

The banks tend to make the best decisions for the firm. Keep in mind that Mondragon cooperatives utilize a non-capitalist form of development.

The problem with Mondragon is that they have to compete against capitalist firms. So all of the cutthroat behaviors that capitalists engage in to reduce costs and maximize profits – exploitation of labor, shafting consumers, investors and the public at large – means that Mondragon is forced to some extent to lower their own costs however they can to keep pace with these firms.

So Mondragon is a non-capitalist system that is still privy to the logic of capitalism in which they are ensnared.

In North Korea in the far north of the country there is a lot of private gold mining going on now in new-found reserves. They are often just one man enterprises of small groups of men working together.

The state’s footprint up there is small, and the state has stepped aside and simply lets these miners mine whatever they want. They only ask for a 25% tax cut on all mining proceeds. As long as you give them your cut, it’s all good. Most of these miners would not be described as capitalists.

In North Korea and Cuba there are now farmer’s markets where farmers can bring their produce directly to farmer’s markets to sell to the public. These are generally not capitalist enterprises. These are just farmers selling the product of their labor to consumers (other workers) buying their crops. There’s no tendency to maximize profits, as the prices are set by the market.

The entire cooperative sector all around the world is a non-capitalist form of development. The workers actually own the firm so there is no exploitation of labor, which is the definition of capitalism. No exploitation, no capitalism.

In this way these cooperatives have gotten rid of the division between Labor and Capital which is the backbone of any capitalist system because capitalist systems work by marking up the products of workers’ labor and then adding onto it something called surplus value when is then pocketed by the capitalist as a profit.

So a worker producing a product that is paid say $20 in labor has his product taken by the owner of the firm, which then proceeds to mark up the worker’s labor cost to $25-30, and thereby make a profit. This is called the Labor Law of Value, and it has been proven to be the backbone of the capitalist system.

As you can see here, the worker is not getting the full value of the product he produced. He produced a product worth $25-30, and he only received $20 for it, with his owner taking the $5-10 surplus value and pocketing it as profit.

Independent contractors such as electricians, plumbers, painters, attorneys, physicians, accountants, etc. are not usually capitalists at all. Instead these are just workers – albeit highly paid workers – who are simply selling their labor time to  others, mostly workers, who purchase their labor time when they hire them or use their services.

Middlemen and traders who simply intervene between the producer and walnuts and the seller of say walnuts, adding on their profit, are not capitalists. Those are simply traders or merchants. They are not exploiting anyone. They can be thought of as a form of workers who act as go-betweens vis a vis producers and sellers, adding their small amount on as a fee for helping to get the two together.

Finance capital or people who buy and sell stocks are not usually capitalists. These are like people who trade in rare books, stamps, coins, precious metals, or anything else.

The stocks and bonds are like rare coins or precious metals. They simply try to buy them at a lower rate and sell them at a higher rate, which merchants have been doing forever even long before capitalism. They have no employees so they are not exploiting anyone.

Music groups and other performers, authors, artists, sculptors, etc. are mostly just workers who sell their labor time as performers or the product of their labor as books, paintings, sculpture, DVD’s, etc. Most of these people, even bands, do not hire employees.

Now granted the book publishers, record companies, galleries, etc. are marking up the labor time and labor products of these entertainment workers and taking the surplus value, hence they are capitalists.

A big rock music band can be thought of simply as performers (workers) who make a musical product and sell it to fans, mostly other workers, who enjoy their entertainment product so much they are willing to pay good money for it. So most bands, artists, authors, sculptors, etc. are not capitalists. They’re just workers for the most part marketing their labor time or the products of their labor time.

Now granted finance capital and speculative capital, while generally not capitalist, are nevertheless regarded as “parasitic” industries because they don’t produce anything.

They can be thought of as gigantic casinos in the sky (the stock market in particular can be seen this way). Speculative capital produces nothing and often has bad effects on society. Look at the wildly inflated housing markets on the US West Coast and in New York and Paris for example.

In China under what they call market socialism or socialism with Chinese characteristics, a Communist party cell sits on the board of directors of every large corporation. When corporations get a certain size the state usually takes them over in a sense. However, the managers have large leeway how to operate their company.

All private enterprises are underneath the state or the Communist Party. The CP sees the market or the private sector as a tool for the development of the productive forces. However, the capitalists are underneath the state. They have to do what the state says.

They have to adhere to 5-year plans. Yes, the 5-year plans that were said to be so devastating to the USSR and other Communist countries are working great in China.

The government, the party, and the private sector all work together on economic goals. In this way it is similar to the state capitalism of South Korea and Japan or even Nazi Germany.

That state capitalism is a non-capitalist form of development because the state works closely with the capitalists on economic goals which are supposed to serve the nation and not just the petty temporal demands of capital for maximal profits come Hell or high water, forget about consumers, workers, society, the environment or the nation.

Under state capitalism, the state controls the commanding heights of the economy. In Japan this boils down to a several huge banks which effectively run all economic development in Japan.

Nazi Germany was similar. Yes, you could have your corporation but you had to do what the state said, or they would just take you over and confiscate your firm. So the firms in Nazi Germany in effect all worked for the state.

In China, if firms do not follow guidelines and do as they are told, the state will simply go in and seize the firm, confiscating all of its assets. The state will then take over the firm or hand it over to  a more obedient capitalist. You see here that the state rules capital. Capital has to do what the state says.

Here in the US, the market is not a tool for the development of productive forces. Instead it is a form of politics. In other words, the market or the corporations basically run society. The market is over the state. The state has to do what the corporations demand, or the corporations will get rid of the state and put in a new state.

The state obeys the demands of capital and not the other way around. Capital, the market, and the corporations are our true rulers in the US. The government simply acts as if they are employees of capital. The state does not rule us except to the extent that it carries out ruling directives that Capital gives to the state to enforce on the people.

In China state firms are often run by local municipalities. So if we had their system,  say Los Angeles and San Fransisco might both have steel mills. These mills would then compete against each other and against private firms both domestic and foreign. It’s sink or swim for all public firms in China.

Firms that are more successful see their incomes rise and more workers move to those cities to be part of those enterprises.

The workers still officially own the enterprises, but the city takes 95% of the income that the enterprise brings in in the form of a paycheck for every worker. 95% of each workers paycheck is taken by the city and reinvested in the firm or in the city itself (similar to the Venezuelan model). The workers get 5% of their check to take home as pay.

Keep in mind that this can be a good paycheck, as cities running successful firms pay their workers more.

There are large cities in Southern China with 700,000 workers where 1/3 of the population works for one of the many enterprises that the city runs. The residents of the city, who are also workers for the city, have a say in how these firms are run.

For instance, they try to fight corruption, since it hurts the firms, which hurts the city, which hurts them in the end. So the firms of the city in a sense are under the control of the people who live and work in there in the sense that their input is used to make decisions about how to run the firms.

From Le Bon to Mussolini to Trump, a Single Unbroken Strand

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Le Bon -> Mussolini -> Trump.

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Le Bon -> Mussolini -> Trump.

And those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, of course.

The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.
– William Faulkner

And…There’s something to be admired about the way the Chinese always take the long view of history and reality itself for that matter.

Interviewer: What do you as Chinese premier, think of the French Revolution [that took place 200 years ago]?
Chou en Lai, Premier of the People’ Republic of China: It’s too soon to tell.
– Interview with Chinese premier Chou en Lai, 1970’s

Alt Left: Is US Immigration Dysgenic?

Sami: Very good points, Thinking Mouse.
The majority of our immigration comes from Latin American, average present IQ 90-95, and from East Asia, average present IQ 100-107. This averages out to close to 100 as it is, if you look at those two groups in combination. And this doesn’t take into account the Flynn Effect (though, unfortunately, I doubt Mexican American Barrio culture, as it presently is, at least, is something that would do much to accelerate the Flynn Effect, sorry to say.
And we get smaller input from places like the Middle East, present average IQ 84-90, if Richard Lynn’s methods for assessing this are valid (highly questionable, at best). However, Arab Americans and Iranian Americans both have average incomes and average levels of educational attainment — both considered to be rough proxies for average IQ — than the White American average. So, it is clear, that within American culture (in stark contrast to the case with Europe) those groups seem to be Flynn-effected upward.
In short, I am unconvinced that our present immigration policy is dysgenic.

Instead of simply not being Flynn-effected, I would argue that barrio culture is actually IQ-impairing. I don’t have any evidence for that, but I can hardly think of a more aggressively, belligerently, arrogantly ignorant culture in the US. Even US Black culture is more educated and intellectual than US barrio culture. Isn’t that pitiful?
Latin America does NOT have an average IQ of 90-95. Most of the immigration is from Mexico, IQ 90. The rest is from Central America, IQ 85-90. Average IQ of Hispanics in the US is ~90. We don’t get that much immigration from East Asia. China is where most of it comes from, IQ 105. Combined together, you get IQ 96, but there are many more Hispanics, so that lowers it to ~93. At the end of the day we don’t know what the IQ of immigrants, legal and illegal, is in the US.
Hispanic IQ in the US is not undergoing any Flynn rises compared to Whites. It just stays at 90. Arab and Iranian IQ is not high, but in the US, they may be selected. Anyway, they appear much smarter than Hispanics here in the US, whatever their IQ’s are.
You have only to look at large Hispanic communities to see that the IQ is not the same as a nearby White town. This Hispanic city here may have an IQ of 93. I came from a nearby White town which probably had IQ of 100. The differences were so stark it was shocking. So you can see that even seven IQ points at a macro scale like that has a huge effect on the intelligence of a city. You can really see IQ differences when you look at whole cities full of people of different IQ’s.
US IQ has always been 100. In recent years it has fallen to 98. How did that happen?

A Look at the Chinese Model of Communism – Market Socialism

You are starting to see a lot of articles in the capitalist press bashing China now, saying their economy is not as good as they say, that it cannot be sustained, and that it is headed for crash. They base this on a comparison to other Communist countries, but those economies fell behind far before China’s did.
China has sustained Communism under various forms, including presently under market socialism, for 70 years now. That’s as long as the Soviet Union, and the Soviets started stagnating a long time before that. China is an example of a smashing success for a Communist country, and the capitalist press is freaking out because that shows that their anti-Communist propaganda has been crap for all of these years.
Incidentally, Deng Xiaoping emphatically stated that he was a Communist. Deng’s idea was to create “a rich Communist country.”. In an interview in 2005, a top party official was asked if China was still committed to spreading Communism all over the world.
“Of course,” the minister beamed. “That is the purpose of the Communist party (CCP).”
Incidentally, China still has 5-year plans and the whole economy is planned. The business sector has to go along with the plan, and if you do not go along with it, they can confiscate your business. A party committee sits on the board of all large corporations. The government owns every inch of land in China. The state invests an incredible amount in the economy and also overseas where it makes vast investments. This is because some Chinese government companies are very profitable. A number of Chinese government companies are on the list of largest companies in the world.
Capitalists in the US openly complain that they cannot compete with Communist Chinese government  corporations, crying that they get subsidies so it’s not fair. So here we have US corporations openly admitting that they can’t compete with Chinese government Communist state-owned companies.
45% of the economy is state owned and it is very profitable. 87% of all investment in the economy is made by the state. This figure includes all Chinese private investment and all foreign investment.
Much of the state sector is owned by small municipalities, and this works very well. Further, cities compete against each other. For instance, City A’s steel mill will compete against City B’s steel mill, and both will compete against a private sector steel mill, if there is one. Successful enterprises bring in a lot of money to the city, which it uses to upgrade the city, which results in more workers moving there, which grows the economy more with more workers and more demand.
There are also still a number of pure Maoist villages in China that are run completely on a Maoist line. Everything is done as it was right out of the Mao era. I understand that they do very well, and there is a huge waiting list to move to those villages.
I did a lot of research on China recently, and the party is literally everywhere you look every time you turn around. The party itself still runs many enterprises all over the country, especially in the rural areas. There are party officials in every village and city, and they take a very active role in developing the municipality in every way, including culturally. They have an ear to the ground and are typically very popular in the villages and cities.
Party officials lobby the state to try to solve any urgent problem in the area. The government is always spending a lot of money all over China on public works, on fixing various environmental problems, or on really any societal problem or issue you can think of. This of course includes economic development, which tends to be state-led. I read synopses of many dissertations coming out of Chinese universities, and most were on how to deal with some particular societal problem or issue. Many others dealt with technology and industry. So a lot of the research on technology and industry that is driving economic development is coming straight out of state universities.
Instead of leaving it up to the private sector to deal with the problems in society, create public works, and even plan the economy, the government does all of that. Incidentally, the way the US leaves the planning of the economy, such as it is, up to the private sector is insane. All sensible economic planning in any nation will always be done by the state with a view towards allowing the country to prosper. Capitalists have no interest in whether the country profits or not, so they engage in no economic planning at all. Leaving economic planning up to the whims of the capitalists is economic malpractice.
There are 1,000 protests every day in China. Yes, there is corruption and there are government abuses, but if protests last long enough, the party usually gets alarmed and tries to do something about the problem because they don’t want serious unrest. This is party that does everything it can to serve the people and try to remain popular with citizens by giving them as much as they can and doing as much for them as possible. The party spends every single day of its rule literally trying to buy off unrest and keep its citizens satisfied.
It’s illegal to be homeless in China. If you end up homeless in China, they will try to put you in a homeless shelter, or if they cannot do that, they will send you back to your village because most homeless are rural migrants who moved to the city. The state is now investing a vast amount of money in the rural areas because these places have been neglected for a long time. The state still wants to own all the land because they want to keep the rural areas as a secure base where rural migrants to the city can always return if they fail in the city.
How can a government in which 45% of the economy is publicly owned, 87% of investment is done by the state, and every inch of land is owned by the state possibly be called as capitalist country? No serious political economist anywhere on Earth considers China to be a capitalist country. The only people who say that are ideologues and liars, which includes almost all political conservatives and most businessmen.
The state spends an unbelievable amount of money on public works all over the country all the time. Many projects that in the US have “conclusively proven” to be too costly to be implemented have been done in China quickly and easily. And China’s per capita income in less than 10% of ours.
Most ethnic minorities are still allowed to support their culture, and in most cases they are allowed to have education in their native language. In these areas, the native language is co-official with Mandarin.
In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to support a lot of the Chinese dialects, of which there are over 2,000 main ones, many of which are actually separate languages. Cantonese is still an official language in Hong Kong, and it is widely used in Guangdong. The other major Chinese languages or macrolanguages still have millions of tens of millions of speakers. Lately the Chinese government is telling people they can preserve their dialect as long as they also speak Mandarin. Many schools now have classes in the local dialect.
Cheap medical insurance is available and it covers 85% of costs. State medical centers are still very good. However, if you have a serious medical condition in China, you will quickly run out of money with no recourse.
This is a serious problem but it is much better than earlier in the Deng Era when millions were dying from lack of health care. However, the state still need to cover everyone. They got away from universal coverage  when they moved away from Maoism early in the Deng era. In addition, tens of thousands of schools, many of which were built during the Cultural Revolution, were closed early in the Deng era.
The introduction of a market had a lot of problems in the early days. The capitalist press was cheering wildly as thousands of schools were closed all over China, medical care was cut off from or reduced for hundreds of millions of people, while millions of Chinese died from lack of medical care. This was all cause for celebration! Isn’t capitalism wonderful? What’s millions of humans dying from lack of health care as long as a few rich people can buy ridiculously expensive, useless items that they don’t even need?
A recent good survey done by a Western polling firm found that 87% of the population supported the Communist Party.  The excesses of the Mao era, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, have been widely discussed and the party has admitted that many errors were made and resolved not to do this again. These excesses are being blamed by the party on what they call “ultra-Leftism.”
The economic model of China is called Market Socialism and a lot of modern day Leftists and even Communists support it and agree that this is the way forward for the left and Communist movement. Like all words, the word Communism has no inherent meaning. It means whatever people who use it say it means. So the definition of Communism can clearly change with the times as Communists update their definitions of what the word means.
China cannot be called capitalist in any way. Their model is far more socialist than anything in any European social democracy. It also goes far beyond the US in the New Deal and of course beyond beyond the social liberalism and its more left analogue in Canada, not to mention beyond social democracy in Australia or New Zealand.
Interestingly, Japan is not a capitalist country. They don’t have neoliberalism. That country does not operate on the capitalist mode of development. Instead the resemblance is, I hate to say, to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany also did not have a capitalist mode of development. I’m not sure what you call it, but it’s not capitalism. For instance, in Japan, the commanding heights of the economy, including almost all of the banks, is owned by the state.
The state still plans the economy. They plan the economy together with the business community and the state allocates a lot of funds and loans to areas of the economy it wishes to develop. There is probably a similar model in South Korea, which also is not capitalist and instead operates on a series of monopolies that are owned currently by large corporations and the government. The South Korean economy is also planned, and the plan is worked out by the government and the business sector working together.

Is China Faking Its Crime and Economic Figures?

While i agree that the Chinese are doing a good job, i think they fake some of their data, inst there an large discrepancy between Chinese GDP per capita and energy consumption? Crime stats are also exaggerated, china probably has an homicide rate of around 4-8 per 100K.
I don’t think that anyone has made a good case that China is faking its economic figures. They never did under Mao, why would they now? And they never faked crime figures under Mao, why would they now? Most people who go to China say that it is far safer than say in the US as far as street crime goes. This implies that the homicide rate is not ~6/100,000, which is near the US rate.
The crime rate in China went through the roof after the added a lot of capitalism to the economy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, capitalist fanboys!
 

NATO, the WTO, and the Prospects for Resistance to US-EU Militarized Economic Hegemony (the Axis of Resistance)

Interesting comment from a reader.

Thinking Mouse: But the enemies of NATO are corrupt crooks at worst and non-pragmatic idealists at worst.
I think historical materialism influences morality too, we don’t posses our beliefs, but our beliefs posses us, and beliefs live upon the technology of an certain mode of production. On a positive note, the world does seem to become more multipolar with the emergence of China, Turkey, Japan, Russia, India and large parts of Africa. I don’t think these nations will get Independence, but just more fair deals with America thanks to their ability to defend themselves.
Eventually when technology and infrastructure spread across the world, will the proletariat take their fare share from the petit and normal bourgeoisie!
Africa might have large riots about tax evasion and the WTO´s forced laissez faire in 20-40 years, or maybe anti corruption will be more gradual.

First of all, I would like to thank the comrade for his excellent comment. It is smart and informed comments like these that make this site so great.
Who are the enemies of NATO? Venezuela, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Syria, Iran? Anybody else? Who cares if they are corrupt? Nations have a right to self-determination. Anyway, a lot of NATO allies and even members are corrupt and even murderous or genocidal.

“China, Turkey, Japan, Russia, India and large parts of Africa”

Exactly. This is why Russia is so important. China is not allied with NATO at all. Isn’t Japan a de facto NATO ally or member? And isn’t India a NATO ally? Turkey is a NATO member that is now on the outs with the rest of the alliance. It’s still the Sick Man of Europe after all these centuries. I agree a lot of Europe seems to be not actively allied with NATO. What about Egypt and Sudan? Haven’t they signed on to the anti-Iran bullshit?

“Eventually when technology and infrastructure spread across the world, will the proletariat take their fare share from the petit and normal bourgeoisie!”

We can only hope, comrade! Or barring that, at least dream. Instead of ruling society, I think proletarians should aim for something a lot lower – simply getting something more like their fair share in society.

Africa might have large riots about tax evasion and the WTO´s forced laissez faire in 20-40 years, or maybe anti corruption will be more gradual.

Corruption is endemic in all of Black Africa, is it not? Tax evasion? You mean African elites do not pay their fair share? How long has the WTO been enforcing neoliberalism in Africa? I thought only the IMF could do that. Why would the riots be 30 years off instead of sooner?

China is a Communist Country, Not a Capitalist Country

US rightwingers keep saying that China is a capitalist country or it is the most capitalist country on Earth.
China is one of the most Communist or socialist states on Earth today. Fully 45% of the Chinese economy is publicly owned, and it does extremely well. Much of the very high economic growth has come from the public sector. How on Earth can China be capitalist when 45% of the economy is state-owned?
But realize that all public firms in China operate on the profit model. They all compete with each other, so you have a steel mill run by one city competing with a steel mill run by another city. Many of the fastest growing industries are run at the municipality level. Also, China’s fully state-owned firms do very well. In fact, Republicans say that China’s public firms are “not fair” because American capitalist corporations can’t compete against them. The reason is that China’s firms get subsidies from the state. Poor capitalist corporations! They’re too inefficient to compete against Communist state owned firms. Poor babies.
You realize that the state owns every single inch of land in China? How is that possible in a capitalist country? Capitalism is primarily based on the private ownership of land. No private ownership of land, no capitalism. Real simple.
I would also point out that the Chinese state spends a tremendous amount of money on its people. Since 45% of the whole economy goes directly to the state, they have a lot of money to spend. And they spend it very wisely too. They mostly spend it on their own people in one way or another.
As I understand it, US capitalists believe in a minimal state, and there is nothing they hate more than state spending. Huge state spending is seen as wasteful tax and spend policies by all capitalists everywhere. Wherever you have massive state spending, you do not have a capitalist system.
But I would like to thank US rightwingers for praising China, the finest example of modern Communism.

Mao Was Right

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

I dunno. There are some North Koreans worth up to $100,000. The party doesn’t seem to care much. There are many rich Chavistas and the Ortegas have plenty of money. There are some Cubans who are living quite well now – marble counter-tops and floors, etc. The state doesn’t care.
I suppose a good CP would just argue that moneyed people can be kept around as long as they support the party and the basic socialist nature of the system. Progressive rich people are not unknown. The father of the famous terrorist Carlos was a life member of the Venezuelan Communist Party and a millionaire.
Do the Chinese Communists (Chicoms) believe that the rich are inherently oppressive? I doubt it as the party is full of millionaires. There is even a billionaire in the party now pushing the rightwing politics of all billionaires everywhere. I think they ought to throw him out of the party.
Mao said reactionary and capitalist elements would be springing up in the party all the time, and you to wage more or less constant cultural revolution to keep the rightwingers from taking over the party. That’s one of the pillars of Maoism that distinguishes it from other Marxisms.
Then Deng came along, aaand…
Mao was right.

Hardline or Fanatical Anti-Communism Is Nearly Always Reactionary

Sisera: I guess he would say you believe the philosophy but just not how it is being applied.

You should know by now that fanatical anti-Communists are almost always wildly irrational, typically pathological liars and usually reactionary shits. You should know by now that fanatical anti-Communists are almost always wildly irrational, typically pathological liars and usually reactionary shits.
Not that Communism is great or that there is no rational reason to oppose Communism of course. There is a rational way to oppose Communism, but most anti-Commies don’t seem to abide by it much.
I mean there ought to be space for pro-free speech, pro civil liberties liberals and progressives who are anti-Communists, but they never seem to pop up much.
I mean, Communists do violate a lot of civil rights and there are some serious problems with democracy in Communist states.
Witness the recent violent demonstrations in Vietnam for instance. Those demos are arguably leftwing or at least nationalist demonstrations protesting against objectively rightwing policy by the Vietnamese Communist government to set up more free enterprise zones with 99 year leases. The protesters fear that these will quickly be bought up by rich Chinese and Vietnam will just become a Chinese colony again as it was for centuries. I would support the protesters in this case, but here you see a Communist government enacting rightwing policy in the face of a Leftist opposition by the people. There’s a serious lack of democracy there.
Those of us who oppose police state tactics, support freedom of speech and assembly, extensive civil liberties, etc. would find that these values of ours are not supported by Communists at all.
But there are not a lot of good liberal or progressive rights-based people among the anti-Communists for whatever reason.
Hardline anti-Commies almost always tend to be conservatives or reactionaries, and I include the Democratic Party in the conservatives here.
Typically as you get further left, a lot of social democratic parties don’t really care about Communism. They are not going to implement it of course, but a lot of them think if you do, that’s your business. A lot of social democratic governments in Europe supported Cuba, the USSR and the Sandinistas and a lot even supported the FARC. The social democratic revolutionary PRI government of Mexico had warm relations with Cuba and Nicaragua. They even supported the FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador. They were headquartered in Mexico City. But the modern PRI is not even social democratic anymore, or its gone over the European garbage of rightwing social democracy.
Of course all the real left social democrats are gone now, and the only “social democrats” left are rightwing jerkoffs. Many of the parties in the Socialist International now would be characterized by this new rightwing social democracy. The fact that social democrats around the world have all become rightwingers and more or less neoliberals shows me that the Marxists were correct about social democracy. They always said it was bankrupt and unworkable. I think it worked fine for a while, but it probably always had the rightwing seeds of its own destruction planted within it somehow, and now they are bearing fruit.
Perhaps some of my commenters can elucidate the rightwing trend in social democracy, the reasons for it, and whether social democracy was doomed from the very starts, as I suspect, weighted down with its own contradictions.

Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.
The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.
The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.
Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.
Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?
Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.
I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.
In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.
A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.
The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.
Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?
Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.
The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.
I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.
In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.
A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?
The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.
She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?
The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.
Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.
The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.
Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

Whites Are Only Decent and Progressive When They Are a Majority

Answered on Quora.

Jason: Anyway, what I meant to say is that SA whites being richer were jerks out of fear of safety – and also the richer behave that way everywhere else – regardless of whatever race they’re in.
But South African whites, to be honest, got on the bad side of the liberal community – especially, cause their social system was race based. In other words, they could have done the same thing by just hiding into rich neighborhoods, like California people do now. In other words, California is just as racist as South Africa – in a sense – cause the poor are kept out of richer areas “unofficially” via crime laws.

I agree with you that the middle classes and rich act like shits pretty much everywhere on Earth, but here in California, we do have some decent middle class and rich people, at least in some areas, particularly on the coast. I am thinking of the Bay Area in particular. Those are probably some of the best-behaved middle and upper class Whites outside of Europe.
Also rich and middle class Whites act pretty good in all of Europe (except the UK), Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
The problem is that in most places on Earth where Whites become a minority, they turn into the worst fascist fucks on Earth. A process that is presently unfolding here in the US.
Face facts. White people only act decent when they are in the majority. When they are a minority, get ready for fascism, genocide, death squads, etc.
Show me anywhere on Earth where a White minority acts decently at all, except California and Hawaii.
Honestly though, the Chinese do not act much differently. Chinese in China and Taiwan act pretty good, but the Chinese minorities in the Philippines and Indonesia are complete monsters, especially the ones in the Philippines.

A Chinese Man Looks at Africa


How many times have we heard this before? This video is being condemned in the comments as racist. It’s not. Anyway, how many times have you heard similar things about Africans? There’s no end to anecdotes like this.
That said, I think the Chinese will be very good for Africa. People do not understand the Chinese Communist Party. They really are Communists. I know this. There’s no need to argue about it.
This notion that they have all turned into radical neoliberal laissez faire capitalists is wishful thinking on the part of the capitalists. Their system is called Market Socialism or the Social Market, and that is exactly what it is. 88% of investment in China comes from the state. 45% of the economy is publicly owned. All of the banks are publicly owned. The private sector is severely regulated. They still have a planned economy all the way down to actually existing five-year plans. And they have admitted that they are still committed to the goal of spreading Communism around the world. They are spending a lot of money at US educational institutions to promote socialism.
The Chinese effort in Africa is not neocolonialism or imperialism. China is not an imperialist country. It can’t be. They work on the basis of solidarity, not neocolonialism and imperialism. A Communist country can’t be imperialist anyway. Social imperialism was a made up thing that never existed. Soviet imperialism was a notion invented by the Cold War.
The Chinese do and will operate in Africa on a win-win basis. We win, you win. Exactly the opposite of the way the US and other imperialist countries operate – my way or the high way, do as we say or else, we exploit you while you lie back and enjoy it, etc.

Defend Your People

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMX3yZIf0qk
An African immigrant attacks a Chinese beggar. It goes on for 10 seconds before a patriotic young Chinese man jumps in to defend his people.
Everyone, please, always defend your people. It’s the honorable thing to do. A people who will not defend themselves are doomed to destruction.

Corpse Landmarks on Mount Everest

I don’t care about all the fools who died climbing Mt. Everest or K2. Actually K2 has killed quite a few more people than Everest. The people who got killed climbing Everest are still sitting there on that mountain, frozen human hot dogs on an icebox mountain. I’m not sure what it means that they are still there. Maybe there is no way to go get the body. Those bodies are actually marked on maps and are used as landmarks by people climbing the mountain!
Can you believe it? You are looking at a map climbing Everest and your friend points in the distance at this darker colored object on the mountain. That’s Climber #74 over there. We call him Human Frozen Burrito for short. It’s on the map. Find Human Burrito on the map, and you can figure out where we are on this infernal mountain.

Repost: The Classification of the Vietnamese Language

This ran first a long time ago, but I just sold an ad on this post, so I decided to repost it. Rereading it, it’s a great Historical Linguistics post.
One of the reasons that I am doing this post is that one of my commenters asked me a while back to do a post on the theories of long-range comparison like Joseph Greenberg’s and how well they hold up. That will have to wait for another day, but for now, I can  at least show you how some principles of Historical Linguistics, a subfield that I know a thing or two about. I will keep this post pretty non-technical, so most of you ought to be able to figure out what is going on.
Let us begin by looking at some proposals about the classification of Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese language has been subject to a great deal of speculation regarding its classification. At the moment, it is in the Mon-Khmer or Austroasiatic family with Khmer, Mon, Muong, Wa, Palaung, Nicobarese, Khmu, Munda, Santali, Pnar, Khasi, Temiar, and some others. The family ranges through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, China, and over into Northeastern India.
It is traditionally divided into Mon-Khmer and Munda branches. Here is Ethnologue’s split, and here are some other ways of dividing up the family.
The homeland of the Austroasiatics was probably in China, in Yunnan, Southwest China. They moved down from China probably around 5,000 years ago. Some of the most ancient Austroasiatics are probably the Senoi people, who came down from China into Malaysia about 4,000 years ago. Others put the time frame at about 4-8,000 YBP (years before present).
A major fraud has been perpetrated lately based on Senoi Dream Therapy. I discussed it on the old blog, and you can Google it if you are interested. In Anthropology classes we learned all about these fascinating Senoi people, who based their lives around their dreams. Turns out most of the fieldwork was poor to fraudulent like Margaret Mead’s unfortunate sojourn in the South Pacific.
The Senoi resemble Veddas of India, so it is probably true that they are ancient people.  Also, their skulls have Australoid features. In hair, they mostly have wavy hair (like Veddoids), a few have straight hair (like Mongoloids) and a scattering have woolly hair (like Negritos). Bottom line is that ancient Austroasiatics were probably Australoid types who resembled what the Senoi look like today.
There has long been a line arguing that the Vietnamese language is related to Sino-Tibetan (the family that Chinese is a part of). Even those who deny this acknowledge that there is a tremendous amount of borrowing from Chinese (especially Cantonese) to Vietnamese. This level of borrowing so long ago makes historical linguistics a difficult field.
Here is an excellent piece by a man who has done a tremendous amount of work detailing his case for Vietnamese as a Sino-Tibetan language. It’s not for the amateur, but if you want to dip into it, go ahead. I spent some time there, and after a while, I was convinced that Vietnamese was indeed a Sino-Tibetan language. One of the things that convinced me is that if borrowing was involved, seldom have I seen such a case for such a huge amount of borrowing, in particular of basic vocabulary. I figured the  case was sealed.
Not so fast now.
Looking again, and reading some of Joseph Greenberg’s work on the subject, I am now convinced otherwise. There is a serious problem with the cognates between Vietnamese and Chinese, of which there are a tremendous number.
This problem is somewhat complex, but I will try to simplify it. Briefly, if Vietnamese is indeed related to Sino-Tibetan, its cognates should be not only with Chinese, but with other members of Sino-Tibetan also. In other words, we should find cognates with Tibetan, Naga, Naxi, Tujia, Karen, Lolo, Kuki, Nung, Jingpho, Chin, Lepcha, etc. We should also find cognates with those languages, where we do not find them in Chinese. That’s a little complicated, so I will let you think about it a bit.
Further, the comparisons between Chinese and Vietnamese should be variable. Some should look quite close, while others should look much more distant.
So there’s a problem with the Vietnamese as ST theory.
The cognates look like Chinese.
Problem is, they look too much like Chinese. They look more like Chinese than they should in a genetic relationship. Further, they look like Chinese and only Chinese. Looking for relationships in S-T outside of Chinese, and we find few if any.
That’s a dead ringer for borrowing from Chinese to Vietnamese. If it’s not clear to you how that is, think about it a bit.
Looking at Mon-Khmer, the case is not so open and shut. There seem to be more cognates with Chinese than with Mon-Khmer. So many more that the case for Vietnamese as AA looks almost silly, and you wonder how anyone came up with it.
But let us look again. The cognates with AA and Vietnamese are not just with its immediate neighbors like Cambodian and Khmu but with languages far off in far Eastern India like Munda and Santali. There are words that are found only in the Munda branch in one or two obscure languages that somehow show up again as cognates in Vietnamese.
Now tell me how Vietnamese borrowed ancient basic vocabulary from some obscure Munda tongue way over in Northeast India? It did not. How did those words end up in some unheard of NE Indian tongue and also in Vietnamese? Simple. They both descended long ago from a common ancestor. This is Historical Linguistics.
The concepts I have dealt with here are not easy for the non-specialist to figure out, but most smart people can probably get a grasp on them.
A different subject is the deep relationships of AA. Is AA related to any other languages? I leave that as an open question now,  though there does appear to be a good case for AA being related to Austronesian.
One good piece of evidence is the obscure AA languages found in the Nicobar Islands off the coast of Thailand. Somehow, we see quite a few cognates in Nicobarese with Austronesian. We do not see them in any other branches of AA, only in Nicobarese. This seems odd,  and it’s hard to make a case for borrowing. On the other hand, why cognates in Nicobarese and only in Nicobarese?
Truth is there are some cognates outside of Nicobarese but not a whole lot. In historical linguistics, one thing we look at is morphology. Those are parts of words, like the -s plural ending in English.
In both AA and Austronesian, we have funny particles called infixes. Those are what in English we might call prefixes or suffixes, except they are stuck in the middle of the word instead of at the end or the beginning. So, in English, we have pre- as a prefix meaning “before” and -er meaning “object that does X verb”. So pre-destination means that our lives are figured out before we are even born.  Comput-er and print-er are two objects, one that computes and the other that prints.
If we had infixes instead, pre-destination would look something like destin-pre-ation and comput-er and print-er would look something like com-er-pute and prin-er-t.
Anyway, there are some fairly obscure infixes that show up not only in some isolated languages in AA but also in far-flung Austronesian languages in, say, the Philippines. Ever heard of the borrowing of an infix? Neither have I? So were those infixes borrowed,  and what are they doing in languages as far away as Thailand and the Philippines, and none in between? Because they  got borrowed? When? How? Forget it.
Bottom line is that said borrowing did not happen. So what are those infix cognates doing there? Probably ancient particles left over from a common language that derived both Austronesian and AA, probably spoken somewhere in SW China maybe 9,000 years ago or more.
Why is this sort of long-range comparison so hard? For one thing, because after 9,000 years or more, there are hardly any cognates left anymore, due to the fact of language change. Languages change and tend to change at a certain rate.
After 1000X years, so much change has taken place that even if two languages were once “sprung from a common source,” in the famous words of Sir William Jones in his epochal lecture to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta on February 2, 1786, there is almost nothing, or actually nothing, left to show of that relationship. Any common words have become so mangled by time that they don’t look much or anything alike anymore.
So are AA and Austronesian related? I think so, but I suppose it’s best to say that it has not been proven yet. This thesis is part of a larger long-range concept known as “Austric.” Paul Benedict, a great scholar, was one of the champions of this. Austric is normally made up of AA, Austronesian, Tai-Kadai (the Thai language and its relatives) and Hmong-Mien (the Hmong and Mien languages). Based on genetics, the depth of Austric may be as deep as 30,000 years, so proving it is going to be a tall order indeed.
What do I think?
I think Tai-Kadai and Austronesian are proven to be related (more on that later). AA and Austronesian seem to be related also, with a lesser depth of proof. Hmong-Mien seems to be related to Sino-Tibetan, not Austric.
The case for Vietnamese being related to S-T is still very interesting, and I still have an open mind about it.
All of these discussions are hotly controversial, and mentioning it in linguistics circles is likely to set tempers flaring.

References

Author and date unknown, What Makes Vietnamese So Chinese? An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies.

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, "This Land Is Our Land"

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
And I went walking that ribbon of highway
And saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me the golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me, a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing
This land was made for you and me

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of a steeple
By the Relief Office, I’d seen my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me
When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

Written by Woody Guthrie. Sung by Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger (age 80).
From the great inauguration of Barack Obama in 2008. I was in a doctor’s office and the news came on that Obama had won. I saw the crowds mobbing the streets, all marching towards the main park of Chicago. The volatile Spike Lee was there. “This changes everything!” He effused. There was a little Black girl sitting next to me, maybe seven years old. I asked her if she liked Obama. She nodded her head shyly. I had tears in my eyes. How dare these idiots call me racist! What sort of racist cries tears of joy when he hears that America just elected its first Black president?
The three bolded sections above are the “forbidden lyrics.” Although Guthrie included them when he wrote the song in 1940, they are seldom performed in modern versions as they were considered subversive as promoting socialism or Communism. The song is actually a great socialist anthem. Woody Guthrie was definitely a leftwinger.
Given the choice, I would rather have the land owned by me (the state) than owned by some private individual. What’s so great about private ownership of land? What’s better for me, land that I can walk on or land that I can’t walk on? How bout the land that I can walk on?
One of the reasons for China’s great success is that the state owns all the land. Everybody just leases the land where their home or farm is. In The Netherlands also, the state owns all the land. Everybody just leases out whatever land they use. Same thing in Cuba, but in Cuba now, almost everyone owns their own residence. And a great argument for China’s success against India’s failure is that much of the poverty, malnutrition, etc. in India is caused by the private ownership of land, especially in the rural areas. India said they were going to do land reforms and they claimed to do them over and over but the truth is that no real land reform has ever been done in India, and semi-feudal relations still prevail in the countryside. Hence the horrific poverty, starvation, etc.
One of the all-time great folk songs ever written. A purely American song like virtually no other. I believe we should replace that horrible Star Spangled Banner with this much better song. This song also captures the true American spirit. The land does indeed belong to all of us, you and me. All that land the government owns, it doesn’t belong to the government. It belongs to me! It’s my land, dammit! How dare the rich give away my land to malign corporations and the 1%! Forget that. You take my land, and you give it all away to the corporations and the rich to abuse and destroy. What sort of democracy is that?
Plutocratic rule is never democracy. How can it be? The plutocrats are what? 1% 5%? Where do idiot Americans get it in their heads that rule by the rich or the ruling class is somehow democracy. Aristocratic rule is never democracy at any time or in any place. It can’t be. You either have conservatism, which is rule by the rich or the aristocrats, or you have democracy, which is rule by the people. That’s your only two choices. One or the other? Which one do you want? The rich will never rule in favor of the people. They can’t. They literally cannot. They must rule in their class interests. It’s nearly a law of social science as hard and fast as a hard science rule.
Written by Woody Guthrie! One of the best working class folk singer-songwriters who ever lived. He was also a tough, macho guy, a redneck, a worker, a blue collar roughneck with a cigarette dangling from his mouth James Dean style. This is what the Left used to be before it was taken over by effeminate men, butch women, man-hating feminists, White-hating minorities who idolize common street thugs, anti-nationalists advocating to turn all of America into a teeming Third World Calcutta, all manner of sexual identity and sexual orientation freakazoids with so many weird subgroups that they are almost beyond classification, and in general idiots, fools, deviants and dumbasses.
Woody Guthrie is what the Left used to be. He’s what the Left is supposed to be. He was born too soon. He was Alt Left before there was an Alt Left!
This guitar kills fascists!