Wednesday, October 30, 2013


You either have it or you don’t.  Class that is.  ‘Classy’ actually means knowing what class or part of a class you are in, or were in, or are going to be in, or want to be in.  ‘Classy’ means that you understand how class affects everything.  That is the best version of classy, not the one that alleges you are close to some wealthy ‘taste-makers.’  

CHINA HEADS FURTHER TOWARDS CAPITALISM reports that there are further moves towards more capitalist mechanisms in China by the new leadership under Xi Jinping.  Bo Xilai has been sentenced to life in prison, so the threat of a new ‘cultural revolution’ has been slapped down again.  The cultural revolution was a deformed attempt at introducing democracy and working-class power into the Chinese state, but it haunts the new aristocracy like a nightmare.  Members of the Politburo said they were considering ‘unprecedented’ economic reforms next month.  “Reforms’ in the mouth of these bureaucrats means a weakening of working-class protections.  The most egregious is the proposed taking away of the social ownership of the land, and its convertibility into complete private property that can be bought and sold by anyone.  The possession of the land by millions of agricultural worker/farmers is one of the remaining gains of the Chinese revolution of 1949. 

Proposed ‘reforms’ also include “reducing administrative approvals, breaking monopolies, lowering barriers to entry in the financial industry…” And, “making the yuan an international reserve currency in some markets, setting up funds to invest and manage state assets, adjusting the system of transfer payments for local governments and reducing government stakes in financial institutions.”  The Guardian reports that other reforms up for debate are 'making China's currency, the renminbi, convertible' and 'allowing full private ownership of banks, facilitating the development of the corporate bond market and loosening curbs on cross-border capital flows..' This would mean the currency's value would be set by world market forces, and lead to increasing privatization of the banking sector and the movement of capital in and out of China.  Premier Li Keqiang has ‘pledged to cut the state’s role in the economy.’ 

China has the largest working-class in the world.  It is also the largest country in which some modicum of mass Marxism still exists.  It is also the place where environmental concerns and a drastic response are necessary, and even possible, due to the commitment of the government to environmental actions far above what is proposed in the U.S. Chinese workers and farmers have been resisting the neo-liberal policies of the bureaucracy for years.  They will one day form revolutionary labor organizations and then workers councils and permanent organs of direct proletarian power and take this society back from the rich capitalists and the rightist leadership of the Chinese CP – who are sometimes  the same people.

P.S. - Further reforms have been announced, one of which is at least beneficial to workers because they won't be subject to legal harassment - that of ending residence permits in small cities and towns.  However, this allows a more free flow of labor in those areas, a rule of capital, which also benefits businessmen.  There have been noises that state money will be legally redirected to aid to cities - also a positive sign, as well as the abolition of labor camps, a tradition inherited from Stalin.  The rule on allowing a few more couples to have two children is getting the most press, but is relatively inconsequential. 


The Soviet workers’ insurrection started on November 7, but it was October 25th in the old Julian calendar.  Mao declared the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.  Fortuitous months.  Celebrate these two revolutions by coming to Mayday for a film showing, food and booze on November 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM.  From Tsar to Lenin,’ film, 45 minutes, narrated by Max Eastman.  Sponsored by May Day Books and the Lenin Study Group.

CLASS and the 9th WARD

Let’s apply class to the 9th Ward council race in Minneapolis, covering the ‘People’s Republic of South Minneapolis.’  The corporate Democratic Party has put up a Latina politician in the Ward who has been endorsed by the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”).  The NAR sent a mailer to those living in the Ward advocating they vote for her.  A NAR-connected PAC donated $8,000 to her campaign.   The NAR has fought efforts by cities and organizations that were trying to relieve people who were underwater with their mortgages, or anyone that calls for a moratorium on foreclosures.  Which is why they have intervened in this council election, as Ty Moore, the socialist/ Green/ SEIU backed candidate in the 9th Ward, advocates a moratorium on foreclosures in the city.  The NAR is the national association for the advancement of speculation in housing, and the useless occupation called ‘realtor.’  So … vote your class or vote based on ethnicity – that is the choice of Latino voters, and even some liberal whites or blacks. Many Latino activists are supporting Ty.  As any supporter of Emiliano Zapata knows, it is your policy and actions, not your ethnicity, that make the difference. 

Will the Democratic Party shut down the center of foreclosures, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office in the basement of City Hall?  They would not even think of it.  They support the Sheriff, who deports people, evicts people, cooperates with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, participates in racial profiling, arrests people for marijuana possession, arrested political activists during the RNC and on and on.  Not one elected Democratic can think of a way to get outside the repressive box their Party supports. Not one. Which is why the Democratic Party leadership is at one with drones and the NSA.  Which is why there is not even an organized left wing in the Democrats of any reality.  Even locally, the sad ‘revolution’ in the DFL sponsored by Eddie Feilen here in town falls far short, and always will.


Robert Reich has pointed out that the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) (or perhaps, for some, the Unaffordable Care Act) was initially suggested by Richard Nixon in February 1974.  Nixon was a moderate Republican who passed the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, signed the EPA and OSHA into law and instituted wage-price controls in the face of raging inflation.  Of course, then there is his dark side, which most know.  Stuart Butler of the Republican think-tank Heritage Foundation fleshed Nixon's version of corporatized ‘universal health care’ out in 1989.  In 1994 the billionaire Mitt Romney instituted it in Massachusetts.  It was then voted into being on a national level by Republican moderate Barack Obama in 2010.  After all, the actual text of the act was many times written by the HMO industry.  Wellpoint, a massive health insurer, has raised its earnings predictions because of it. UnitedHealth Group’s CEO is very excited by the ACA.  And so they should be.  Health organizations in our city are starting to hire, all because of this massive expansion of their health ‘business.’


In 2010, Henry Paulsen, former Secretary of the Treasurer, admitted in his book, “On the Brink” that many of the executives at Lehman Brothers and Bank of America were criminals or had materially fabricated information.  Dick Fuld, head of Lehman, was basically guilty of criminal fraud and racketeering.  However, no criminal prosecutions by Holder, even to this day.  Wall Street walks, while Wall Street’s government talks.

Red Frog
October 30, 2013

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