By Fred Goldstein
April 18 — As of this writing, the maneuver by U.S. and European imperialism at the Geneva “reconciliation” talks to disarm and disperse the anti-Western resistance in southeast Ukraine has been rebuffed by the masses there.
It is clear that Washington had no intention of compromise. On the contrary, the U.S. escalated the crisis even while talks were in progress in Geneva.
The agreement specified that “buildings illegally seized” must be vacated and “groups illegally armed” must disarm. But the Right Sector fascists camped out in Maidan Square in Kiev did not make one move to turn in their arms or vacate their encampment, nor did the puppet government do anything to enforce the agreement in the capital.
This language is general and ambiguous in its application. No matter what happens on the ground, or what interpretation either side gives to the language, it can have the effect of undercutting the struggle of the resistance.
According to the April 18 Wall Street Journal: “Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement Friday evening saying it was disappointed with U.S. official responses to the Geneva deal. … The Foreign Ministry said the Geneva agreement’s call on protesters to give up weapons and occupied buildings should apply first to those in Kiev, ‘who participated in the February coup.’”
If this is what the Russian government intended, then Moscow should have made absolutely clear from the outset that by signing the agreement they were not equating the coup regime with resisters in the East, as the language of the agreement did. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov could have stated this position explicitly at the post-agreement press conference and/or have it written clearly in the agreement, for the resistance, and the whole world, to see. This would not leave the resistance fighters, who were not consulted, to struggle with an interpretation.
Fortunately, the resistance movements in eastern Ukraine have declared their determination not to move until the fascists are disarmed and the illegal coup regime resigns. But the imperialists now have language that they can use against the movement.
Sara Flounders: People’s power against fascist coup in Ukraine
International Action Center co-director Sara Flounders at the Workers World Party forum in New York City, April 18, 2014.
Someone or something is coming at you. What do you do? You make a fist.
You have four fingers and a thumb — if you’re lucky and haven’t lost one of them on the job. Hanging loose, they’re vulnerable. One at a time, they could easily be broken. But clenched tight, your fist becomes a hammer — a tool or a weapon.
By Fred Goldstein
Two scholars at Oxford University have made an exhaustive study of 702 U.S. occupations and new techniques in automation. They concluded that 47 percent of existing jobs are at high risk of being automated in the next decade or so. …
The workers and the unions must get control over the introduction of technology and not leave it to the will of the bosses. Any introduction of labor-saving technology must be accompanied by demands to shorten hours without loss in pay, covering as many jobs as possible. …
But it is not robots that endanger jobs. It is capitalism and the bosses that are the threat. That must be clearly understood by the working class.
This study shows more than ever that the amount of labor time necessary for the production of the wealth that society needs to live on is diminishing with each advance in technology. The problem under capitalism and the profit system is that the reduction in necessary labor time results in an increase in unemployment.
By Lamont Lilly
In commemoration of Lenin’s death 90 years ago. Excerpted from a talk given at the March 29, 2014, “Hard Times are Fighting Times” conference in Durham, N.C.
Just as Vladimir Lenin did in October of 1917, it is time that freedom fighters once again revisit the importance of the National Question. As thinkers and revolutionaries today, it is time that we face the reality of our constantly changing conditions. It is time we re-evaluate the ways in which imperialism and capitalist rule continue to tweak the oppression of various groups, global regions and nationalities.
I just so happen to belong to a very special but highly oppressed nation right here in the U.S. — the African American. My ancestors were forcibly brought to North, South and Central America to work for free. They were brought here in steel chains to toil the soil. They experienced the most brutal and sadistic conditions known to modern times, resulting in social conditions today throughout the Western Hemisphere of extreme institutionalized racism.
In the United States, African Americans are still kept as hostages in mass pockets of poverty. Our families and communities are being dismantled by the Prison-Industrial Complex. Our children are being stolen every day by the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Valuable members of our community are being murdered by local police departments and vigilantes with impunity. Regarding our right to work, African Americans are the last ones hired and first ones fired while Black workers are still primary subjects of racial discrimination in the workplace. In reference to the National Question and Black Liberation, African Americans are still frustrated, angry and deservedly so. As revolutionaries, we have to be honest with these conditions. We must learn about them as much as we can.
By Greg Butterfield
April 15 — A coordinated military attack has begun against the anti-fascist resistance in Southeastern Ukraine.
The attack began hours after the U.S. confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan had visited Kiev on the weekend of April 12-13 for secret meetings with coup leaders. In other words, Washington gave its approval for the impending attack.
Photo: Kharkov protest against U.S.-backed military attack on Ukraine anti-fascists, April 15, 2014.
By Bill Dores
The Soviet Union no longer exists. The Russian Federation is not socialist. But the U.S. military and political establishment is deliberately provoking confrontation with the largest former Soviet republic. The corporate-owned media are egging it on.
What drives this seemingly irrational course of action is the same thing that drove the President George W. Bush regime to invade Iraq in 2003: financial need. And cold economic calculation.
Not the financial need of the hungry and homeless, of the millions who need jobs at living wages, of those who can’t pay their rent or mortgage or must choose between heating and eating.
It’s the financial need of giant banks and corporations to pump up their profits, stock prices and the value of their invested capital amid a global economic slowdown caused by capitalist overproduction.