[Marxism] Treason, stratagems and spoils
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Mar 13 08:08:17 MDT 2009
Treason, Stratagems and Spoils
by Stephen Fleischman | March 9, 2009 - 2:26pm Share
Capitalism has hit the wall.
We're facing a world-wide economic collapse. Where is Trotsky now that
we really need him!
It was Leon Trotsky, an original Bolshevik, who said that socialism (or
communism) couldn't succeed in one country. There had to be world
"Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains."
There was a deep disagreement between Trotsky and V. I. Lenin, a fellow
Bolshevik, on this point. Lenin believed that socialism (or communism)
could be achieved in one country, Russia, which was in a shambles at the
end of World War I.
Lenin prevailed. Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown. The Bolsheviks
(majority) defeated the Mensheviks (minority) and Alexander Kerensky
(Labour Party) and the Soviet Union was born. But socialism didn't last
long. After Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin seized power. He made himself
dictator and all the "old Bolsheviks" were tried, convicted and
"eliminated" resulting from the rigged treason trials held in the
mid-1930s. Trotsky fled. He was found in Mexico with an ax in his head
So much for socialism (or communism) in one country.
Now we're confronting a new situation. The entire world is in economic
Obama now has a stimulus package of $787 billion with which he is trying
to re-inflate the economic bubble that just burst. He's trying to put
into effect a faux New Deal with a faux WPA, with government taking the
reins and repairing the infrastructure with shovel-ready projects to
Vladimir Putin, former KGB agent in the Soviet Union, now Prime Minister
of a capitalist Russia, warned Obama not to go socialist. That's like
telling the Pope not to go Catholic.
Don't listen to Putin, Mr. Obama!
The contradictions of capitalism have come home to roost.
Stop throwing money at all those financial institutions big enough to
fail. It's only paper. It will do no good.
Nationalize the banks and keep the banksters from ripping off the taxpayers.
Contradiction Number One, you can't make money with money. You can only
create wealth by producing something of real value like food, clothing
Money is a medium of exchange, defined in Wikipedia as "an intermediary
used in trade to avoid the inconveniences of a pure barter system."
Only God's gifts of nature (the land and everything beneath it and above
it) and man's labor can create value or wealth. The gifts of nature
should belong to everyone--not a privileged few.
The economic system of the US has been left with paper while the real
value and the wealth of this country have taken flight. The captains of
industry have off-shored a good part of our manufacturing base, our
wealth, to other nations. They are outsourcing skilled labor and they
are also using the H-1B visa to allow US employers to bring foreign
workers into the United States and employ them at wages US workers
couldn't live on.
So our country is hollowed out.
Why have they done this?
The answer is simple. Profits. Move your plants to where labor is cheapest.
But there is always a hitch. Contradiction Number Two. Profits are
derived from the surplus value extracted from the worker in the process
of production. You need a working class to exploit and the working class
must be able to reproduce itself. Yes, you capitalists hate'em but you
Just about everybody knows about this Marxist theory--certainly workers
who are the victims of it and economists who have studied it and
societies who live under it. At this late stage in its development, the
contradictions of capitalism are bringing the system to the beginning of
its end. Marx's analysis got it right.
But you never hear the "M" word spoken in polite capitalist society or
in its impolite punditocracy. Stark Verboten!
So where does that leave us?
With Barack Obama and his $787 billion stimulus package.
There are a number of things that Obama can do to jolt the US and the
world economies back into some kind of life.
Everybody knows that Bush's wars, now Obama's wars, are unmitigated
catastrophes. So why are they still going on? Save the $40 billion or
more a month going down the rat hole for something more rational like
single-payer universal health insurance.
Take the costs of providing health care to workers off the backs of
business and industry.
Take Cindy Sheehan's advice and end the Iraq and Afghan wars now. Not in
sixteen months or nineteen months but now! Get all of our troops out of
there. Leave no forces behind as back-up support for the Iraqi
government and to prevent a return of al-Qaida. Those are just poor
excuses to keep a foot in the door of empire.
Four thousand plus American soldier deaths and more than 31 thousand
wounded should never have happened. Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey, should
be alive today.
Furthermore, Obama should cut the defense (war) budget in half and close
down most of those 700 plus military bases around the world. We can no
longer afford to be an imperialist power. We could use that money to
rebuild the wrecks we now call public schools.
Still dreaming? Well, let's get real.
Ending the wars? Cutting the defense budget?
"Barack Obama's election campaign pocketed $870,165 from
defense-contractor sources, 34% more than the $647,313 in contributions
McCain's campaign received from the same sector."
Single-payer universal health insurance?
"Obama's campaign collected $18.7 million from the health insurance
industry sector, compared to the $7.3 million that his opponent,
Republican Sen. John McCain, got."
The Wall Street Journal reported last week (3-5-09) that Physicians for
a National Health Program, a group of doctors that claim 15,000 members
who support a single-payer system, had planned to demonstrate outside
the White House over what they said was the exclusion of single-payer
advocates from Obama's Forum on Health Reform held that day.
More than a hundred participants including members of Congress, health
insurance lobbyists and representatives of other special interest groups
related to health issues attended.
The demonstration was called off, when, at the last minute, the Forum
admitted two advocates of the single-payer plan, the head of the
physicians group and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) who backs a
Medicare-for-All bill in Congress, H.R. 676. A spokesman for the
physician's group called it a "small but important victory."
"Health-care reform is no longer just a moral imperative--it's a fiscal
imperative," Obama said, master of the cliche and the platitude. He was
for a single-payer plan before he was against it.
No way would he now allow single-payer through the gate. He has hinted
at other plans for Medicare, like squeezing what he can out of it. So
geezers beware before you get busted.
"The man who has no music in himself
Nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds is fit for treason,
stratagems and spoils:
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted."
It seems that we are all merchants of Venice now.
Stephen Fleischman, writer-producer-director of documentaries, spent
thirty years in Network News at CBS and ABC. His memoir is now in print.
See www.amahchewahwah.com, e-mail stevefl at ca.rr.com.
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