Discussion: What would be the nature, and structure of ownership of an institution such as Facebook in a socialist world ?

  • What is the political economy of Facebook?

  • How could such an institution be nationalized?

  • Could it be made a global social property?

Please respond in any media format, WordPress FB or Twitter.

Posted in Analysis of Mature Capitalism, Art, Democratic tasks of the Workers Struggle, Freedom of Speach, Freedom of Worship, Knowledge-Commodities, opinion/current affairs, Political Economy, Political Program, Primitive accumulation, Revolutionary Tactics and Strategy, Social-Media, The Social Right to Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Martin Luther King Jr. on the consequences of violence and war

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says “Love your enemies,” he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies– or else? The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Quoted from page 53 of the 1963 book The Strength to Love in the chapter entitled “Loving Your Enemies”


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The Democrat and Republican parties are not classical model parties in the European tradition. They are better understood as institutions of the state.

Thoughts for conversation

A correct understanding of the Democrat and Republican parties and their function in the mechanism of the “two party system” is to see them as structural institutions of the state.
In part because much political theory is viewed through the lens of the European experience especially that of France, Russia and the British Parliamentary model, the understanding of the evolution of two party system in the United States has been flawed.
20th century movements and political organizations operating outside of the two party system found themselves locked in a trap. They remained small fractured organizations with little honest hope of gaining mass influence.
Progressive, libertarian, Stalinist, democratic-socialist and grass roots conservative factions operating on the inside typically choose which of the twin traps in which to be lost. Their activists are co-opted systematically. Their messages are lost in the factional clash called “partisanship.”
The ruling class and the political caste that serves them are not so naive about this system. It is common knowledge that the major corporations and big ruling class donors play between these two institutions funding them each intermittently–quite often concurrently–and that their armies of lobbyists and professional influencers are enmeshed within both institutions.
The tactical options are presented as a sort of triage of bad choices: operate outside of the two parties in a system structured to marginalize non-conformity and challenges to power, choose to work within the Democratic structure, choose to work within the Republican structure.
The apolitical partisanship that is fostered by these institutions serves a function not so different from that of racism and xenophobia in terms of the insidious way in which it divides the mass of the society pitting working people against one another and setting up cultural litmus tests as barriers to common understanding and human solidarity. We are recruited by social media and other interventions to play the role of pawns in the factional conflicts and electoral gamesmanship between elements of the American plutocracy.

So, why not call the bluff of this whole system? Why would it not be possible to consider an all of the above approach to the triage? Why not form an electoral front with sufficient cohesion to run independently where possible and enter the primary system and legislative races of either party formation without at any point sacrificing principles or political identity. Why could an organization composed primarily of working class persons not operate as a cohesive third party both outside and inside each of the two halves of the electoral institutions of the American State?

Posted in Analysis of Mature Capitalism, Bernie Sanders, Bourgeois Socialism, Civil Rights, Electoral Politics, Labor Movement, Marxist Politics, political rights of the US working class, Revolutionary Tactics and Strategy, Social Democracy, Socialist Workers election campaigns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Article Describes SWP intervention into opposing pro/anti Trump Rallies in Portland Oregon

This article describes first hand the interactions of the working class socialist political party, The Socialist Workers’ Party, (SWP) with attendees at the well publicized and well documented contending rallies in Portland Oregon in recent weeks.

The Militant (logo)

Vol. 81/No. 24      June 19, 2017

 SWP opposes moves to ban Trump rally in Portland, campaigns there

Militant/John Naubert
Mary Martin, SWP candidate for Seattle mayor, right, discusses party’s working-class program with Trump supporters, others, during protests in Portland June 4.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Socialist Workers Party members spoke out against efforts by liberal Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler to cancel a June 4 rally scheduled to support President Donald Trump as well as oppose the frenzied liberals’ campaign to drive him out of office. When Wheeler failed, Trump supporters faced anti-Trump protesters, including an anarchist “Black Bloc”-style group determined to come after them. And local cops, reinforced by state police, were out in force.

Wheeler had urged the federal government to ban the event after two people were killed on a train here by Jeremy Christian, an ultra-rightist bigot, shouting anti-Muslim slurs. The two men who were killed, and another who was injured, had come to the defense of two young women targeted by Christian, one of whom was wearing a headscarf. Christian has been charged with murder.

Joe Gibson, organizer of the pro-Trump rally, told participants he would eject any white supremacists. He and other speakers said Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, the two men who were killed on the train, were heroes. Gibson had thrown Christian out of a prior pro-Trump event.

After a relatively peaceful hour of contending protests, some anarchists in black masks threw bricks at police. The cops responded by detonating flash-bang grenades, arresting 14 people and shoving people from one end of the park to the other. The cops kept up a barrage of announcements amplified to a deafening level, ordering protest participants to disperse.

A team of Socialist Workers Party members, including myself, the SWP candidate for mayor of Seattle, set up a campaign table and introduced the party and its working-class perspective to people from both events, as well as passers-by, for over two hours.

One woman who introduced herself as Ardith told SWP member John Naubert that she was a Trump supporter and had come to the rally from south Oregon, mainly because she wanted to talk to the anti-Trump people. She said while some were open to discussion, one man told her insistently, “Why don’t you just go over there across the street where the fascists are?”

Naubert said the SWP explains that the working class is the true target of the hysteria about Trump in the liberal bourgeois media, late night “talk” shows and radical anti-Trump protests. These forces all see the working class as stupid, reactionary and dangerous. Ardith said she enjoyed the discussion and bought a copy of The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record: Why Washington Fears Working People by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes.

There were a number of others like Ardith. “William Jones, wearing camouflage pants, a bulletproof vest, a T-shirt and carrying an American flag on a pole, sat along a concrete barrier in front of City Hall,” the Portland Oregonian reported, “conversing with anti-Trump protesters about whether socialism can exist in a capitalist society and whether Trump will make life better for anyone not wealthy.

“Jones said he likes to keep an open mind and debate people, trying to change opinions or let others change his,” the paper reported.

David Servillo, a hospital worker in Portland who is originally from France, told us he thought it would have been wrong to shut down the Trump rally as the mayor demanded. “It’s a democracy, right?” He was delighted to see the titles on revolutionary politics in French displayed on the party table. He decided to buy a subscription to the Militant and a French edition of Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters.

There were some anti-Trump demonstrators who didn’t appreciate the SWP. At the end of the protests, SWP members packed up their materials and prepared to leave. A group of anarchists tried to get into it with Trump supporters, stacking newspaper boxes in the streets to block police. The cops started sweeping the streets and ordered people to disperse.

One anarchist seeking to attack Trump people, and not looking too kindly at the SWP, grabbed our table and threw it, along with our bookrack, into the street to obstruct a cop car.

Participants from the Trump rally stopped to help us recover our table and rack from the street and carry them and our literature to our car.

“I’m glad to see your paper says that ‘workers are the target of the liberals’ fury,’” Miles, one of the men helping us, told me, looking at one of the headlines in the Militant. “I didn’t start out as a Trump supporter, but I couldn’t stand Clinton. Now I have friends who are liberal who won’t talk to me.

“What’s your party’s name again?” he asked. “Thank you for being here.”

Related articles:
SWP protests assaults on political rights in Washington

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Diamond Reynolds immediate witness to the murder of Philando Castile, tells her story clearly and directly.

Diamond Reynolds Speaks directly

Philando Castile’s fiancée Diamond Reynolds speaks her mind. “I just ask that we get justice”

Posted in African American nationalist movement and struggle for human rights, Civil Rights, Death Penalty, Democratic tasks of the Workers Struggle, Dr. Martin Luther King jr., Labor Movement, Malcolm X, political rights of the US working class, The Right of Nations to Self Determination | Leave a comment

“Bonapartism is after all the real religion of the modern bourgeoisie.”

Comments of Friedrich Engels in a letter 1866

Marx-Engels Correspondence 1866

Friedrich Engels to Karl Marx in Margate, 13 April 1866

Source: Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Correspondence (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975). Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.

… So Bismarck has brought off his universal suffrage stroke even though without his Lassalle. It looks as if the German bourgeois will agree to it after some resistance, for Bonapartism is after all the real religion of the modern bourgeoisie. It is becoming more and more clear to me that the bourgeoisie has not the stuff in it to rule directly itself, and that therefore unless there is an oligarchy, as here in England, capable of taking over, for good pay, the management of state and society in the interests of the bourgeoisie, a Bonapartist semi-dictatorship is the normal form. [Emphasis added] It upholds the big material interests of the bourgeoisie even against the will of the bourgeoisie, but allows the bourgeoisie no share in the government. The dictatorship in its turn is forced against its will to adopt these material interests of the bourgeoisie as its own. So we now get Monsieur Bismarck adopting the programme of the National Association. [1] To carry it out is something quite different, of course, but Bismarck is hardly likely to come to grief through the German middle class. A German who has just returned relates that he has already found many who swallowed this bait; according to Reuter the Karlsruhe people have accepted the business and the profound embarrassment which this affair has caused the Kölnische Zeitung [2] clearly indicates the forthcoming turn of events…


1. The National Association was set up on 15-16 September 1859, at a conference held in Frankfurt on the Main of bourgeois liberals from the German states. Its purpose was the unification of all German states except Austria under Prussian hegemony. After the Austro-Prussian war and the creation of the North German Confederation on 11 November 1867, it disbanded itself – Progress Publishers.

2. Kölnische Zeitung – German daily newspaper published in Cologne since 1802; it was the organ of the big Rhenish bourgeoisie and the National Liberal Party; in the 1870s it was regarded as Bismarck’s mouthpiece – Progress Publishers.

Posted in Bonapartism, Marxist Politics, Political Program, political rights of the US working class | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Countermobilizations stop Trump Rally in Chicago

March 11, 2016

Reuters reports that counter-demonstrations forced the closure and rescheduling of a Chicago rally by supporters of proto-Bonapartist Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump

Trump’s Chicago rally called off for safety reasons amid chaos

U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled a rally scheduled for Friday night in Chicago after the event turned into a chaotic scene with thousands of attendees split into opposing camps of supporters of the Republican front-runner and protesters inflamed by his candidacy.

A Trump campaign staffer took the stage nearly a half hour after the rally was slated to begin and said it would be postponed for safety reasons. A campaign statement issued slightly later said the event would be held on another unnamed day.

text links to full article.

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Statistics on Incarceration: US holds 22% of all the world’s prisoners

Reprinted from:
The Militant (logo)

Vol. 80/No. 10      March 14, 2016


US capitalist ‘justice’ …some facts

World’s jailer-in-chief
• World’s highest incarceration rate: US has 4.4% of world population but 22% of world’s prisoners.
• Some 7 million people (1 in 35 adults) are today in federal or state prison, local jails, or on parole or probation. • 5 percent of adult males and 17 percent of adult males who are Black are or have been behind bars.

‘Plea bargains’ and the right to a trial
• 97% of federal and 94% of state convictions in criminal cases result from the accused pleading guilty to charges horse traded by prosecutors and defendants’ lawyers.
• In federal cases in 2003, defendants insisting on their right to a trial got sentences averaging nearly three times longer than those taking a “plea bargain” (12.5 years vs. 4.5 years).

Life sentences, death row, and the ‘hole’
• More than 10 percent of US prisoners are serving life sentences, nearly a third life without parole.
• Some 1 in 20 state and federal inmates are in the “hole,” solitary confinement, or other punishment cells (2005).
• 2,984 people are on death row (2015).

Class, race, and incarceration
• The vast majority of those behind bars are from the working class. Some 40% are Black.
• 1 in 10 men in their 30s who are Black is in jail or prison any given day.

From The Cuban Five Talk About Their Lives Within the US Working Class

Related articles:
Class struggle in US and the Cuban Revolution today are focus of new books on the Cuban Five
‘A powerful indictment of capitalism: how prisons grind up human beings, serve rulers’ class interests’
Students in Matanzas, Cuba, eager to learn about class politics in US

Posted in African American nationalist movement and struggle for human rights, Analysis of Mature Capitalism, Cuba, Death Penalty, Militant Articles with Links, political rights of the US working class, U.S. Civil Rights | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bourgeois Socialism

. Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism

From MIA: Marxists: Marx & Engels: Library: 1848: Manifesto of the Communist Party: Chapter 3:

A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.

To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organisers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. This form of socialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems.

We may cite Proudhon’s Philosophie de la Misère as an example of this form.

The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. They desire the existing state of society, minus its revolutionary and disintegrating elements. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best; and bourgeois Socialism develops this comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system, and thereby to march straightway into the social New Jerusalem, it but requires in reality, that the proletariat should remain within the bounds of existing society, but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie.

A second, and more practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class by showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions of existence, in economical relations, could be of any advantage to them. By changes in the material conditions of existence, this form of Socialism, however, by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be affected only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued existence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labour, but, at the best, lessen the cost, and simplify the administrative work, of bourgeois government. {emphasis added}

Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression when, and only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.

Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for the benefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working class. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois socialism.

It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois — for the benefit of the working class.

Posted in Bernie Sanders, Bourgeois Socialism, Marxist Politics, Political Program, Revolutionary Tactics and Strategy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Must Read

Lenin: The Right of Nations to Self Determination



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