Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle http://www.fightbacknews.org/ This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. en A Victory at Standing Rock http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/4/victory-standing-rock <p>Canon Ball, ND - A roar of celebration spread through Camp Oceti Sakawin at Standing Rock as the water protectors and their supporters learned that the Dakota Access Pipeline had been stopped in its tracks. </p> <p>The Army Corp of Army Engineers denied the pipeline company an easement permit and will begin a new environmental impact study. An alternative route will be considered. This occurred a day before the threatened eviction of the camp and the day that thousands of veterans from around the country<br /> answered the call to stand with Standing Rock.</p> <p> Barry Riesch, of Vets for Peace Chapter 27 who organized the Twin Cities veterans’ contingent that traveled to Standing Rock, said, "This is true service to the American people."</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/4/victory-standing-rock#comments People's Struggles DAPL Indigenous Peoples NoDAPL North Dakota North Dakota Access Pipeline Standing Rock Water is Life Water Protectors Oppressed Nationalities Mon, 05 Dec 2016 03:30:31 +0000 Fight Back 5800 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Trump picks corporate war criminal 'Mad Dog' Mattis for Secretary of Defense http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/4/trump-picks-corporate-war-criminal-mad-dog-mattis-secretary-defense <p>Jacksonville, FL - On Dec. 1, president-elect Donald Trump announced that he plans to appoint retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Trump made the announcement at a ‘victory rally’ in Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrating his election last month.</p> <p>If confirmed by the Senate, Mattis will lead the Department of Defense, which is headquartered at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Second only to the president, the secretary of defense commands the entire U.S. military and its operations.</p> <p>Sharp aggression and enthusiasm for violent combat marks Mattis' 47-year military career. After leading an assault battalion during the 1991 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Mattis became head of the Marines under George W. Bush. He led the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and later the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which killed an estimated 1 million Iraqis and over 4000 U.S. soldiers.</p> <p>During the 2004 siege of the Iraqi city of Fallujah - the bloodiest battle of the war on Iraq - Mattis received the nickname “Mad Dog” by troops and reporters for his relentless and unhinged style of war. The siege left an estimated 1500 Iraqis and 95 U.S. soldiers dead. Mattis boasted in a 2005 interview that "it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot" people in Afghanistan, adding that if Iraqis "fuck with me, I'll kill you all." Former soldiers serving under Mattis have also noted his enthusiasm for brutality.</p> <p>Mattis encouraged a general tolerance of war crimes in the Marines, and he insulated killers from scrutiny or prosecution. In 2007, a group of U.S. Marines massacred 24 unarmed Iraqi women, men and children in the city of Haditha. The incident, which drew comparisons to the My Lai massacre by U.S. troops during the Vietnam War, promoted an investigation by military authorities. Mattis, head of the Marines' parent unit, cleared most of the accused soldiers and dismissed charges on several others. The only soldier to face consequences, Sergeant Frank Wuterich, received a small fine and no jail time after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of "dereliction of duty."</p> <p>Picking Mattis signals Trump's intent to escalate military aggression towards Iran. During his tenure as head of Central Command from 2010 to 2013, Mattis pushed for the U.S. to take a more belligerent stance towards Iran. He proposed greater covert operations against the Iranian government and vocally opposed diplomatic efforts. When the Obama administration began negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program in 2013, they removed Mattis, an outspoken critic of the negotiations, from Central Command.</p> <p>During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly called for overturning the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, which received approval from all five members of the UN Security Council in 2015. While the billionaire real estate mogul occasionally spoke against U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, Trump's selection of Mattis for Defense Secretary shows where his actual priorities lie: moves toward war with Iran and more U.S. involvement in the region.</p> <p>Like the rest of Trump's cabinet picks, Mattis also possesses deep ties to corporate America. Theranos, a giant biotech company worth an estimated $9 billion, picked up multimillion dollar contracts with the U.S. military under Mattis. They still face federal investigations into their questionable blood testing technology, which caused health problems in soldiers and produced wildly inaccurate results. Mattis joined their board of directors in 2013 after being relieved of his post at Central Command. Far from the populist rhetoric he used on the campaign trail, Trump's cabinet picks give the green light for the 1% to essentially raid the public treasury for their own profit.</p> <p>Beyond the Senate appointment vote, Mattis faces another obstacle to taking the top spot at the Pentagon. U.S. law requires Defense Secretary appointees with prior military experience to spend a minimum of seven years as civilians. Mattis only retired from the military a little over three years ago, meaning the Senate must vote to exempt him from this legal requirement prior to confirmation.</p> <p>Trump paid lip service to anti-war sentiment during the election because he knows how unpopular war is with most Americans. A Quinnipiac University poll from 2015 found that only 13% of people support military action against Iran, with 77% preferring diplomacy between the two countries. For years, a majority of people in the U.S. have opposed war with Iran and the disastrous occupation of Afghanistan. The vast majority of working people in the U.S. will suffer from another war in the Middle East and have no interest in the military aggression pushed by Trump and Mattis.</p> <p>Anti-war activists and all people opposed to U.S. wars need to mobilize against Mattis. All of Trump's cabinet appointments thus far point to a far right-wing government for the 1% on the horizon. Now is the time for organizers, activists, revolutionaries and freedom fighters to mobilize against Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20 and his anti-people policies to come.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/4/trump-picks-corporate-war-criminal-mad-dog-mattis-secretary-defense#comments Antiwar Movement Donald Trump General James “Mad Dog” Mattis Sun, 04 Dec 2016 21:20:10 +0000 Fight Back 5799 at http://www.fightbacknews.org New York event blasts ongoing U.S. war on Syria http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/3/new-york-event-blasts-ongoing-us-war-syria <p>New York, NY - Around 65 people attended the Hands Off Syria Coalition panel discussion called, “What’s Ahead for the War on Syria?” on Dec. 2. </p> <p>Eva Bartlett, an independent journalist who just came back from a month-long trip in Aleppo, and cofounder of the Syria Solidarity Movement, spoke about various aspects of the conflict. Bartlett talked about how Syrians view the Western-backed ‘revolutionaries’ as terrorists and how they feel safe when the Syrian army enters a district. </p> <p>Bartlett also spoke of her experience during Syria’s 2014 election, stating "On election day, I saw Syrians line up to vote. And when I spoke to them, the majority were for Assad. No matter what you think of him, they voted for him. This whole thing is not about Assad and it's never been about him. It's about imperial forces fighting for a regime change in Syria. And I hope we can stand against this disgusting agenda."</p> <p>Sara Flounders, from the International Action Center and a member of the steering committee for the Hands Off Syria Coalition, spoke about the how a Trump presidency will affect the war, stating "Donald Trump says he won't expand the war on Syria. But we should pay close attention to the people who he is appointing to office. This doesn't bode well for the war in Syria." Flounders added, "It's the people in the streets who are the solution to this problem."</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/3/new-york-event-blasts-ongoing-us-war-syria#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Donald Trump Hands Off Syria Syria Syria Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:15:11 +0000 Fight Back 5798 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King speaks out in Minneapolis against police brutality http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/2/black-lives-matter-activist-shaun-king-speaks-out-minneapolis-against-police-brutality <p>Minneapolis, MN - An audience of over 500 people gathered at North Community High School in Minneapolis, Nov. 30, to hear Shaun King speak on the rise of police killings of African Americans.</p> <p>Throughout his presentation, King focused on providing historical context and reflected into how “we are in a dip in the quality of our humanity.”</p> <p>“In the scheme of human history, if it's true that humans are steadily evolving, how do we explain the horrible injustices that we see in relatively modern history?”</p> <p>To further illustrate this context, King provided facts pertaining to the vast amount of police killings stemming in 2015. “The 1208 people killed by police last year is the highest recorded in history.” 102 of those killed by police were unarmed African Americans.</p> <p>King went on to provide numerous examples like Philando Castile and the events in Ferguson, Missouri in evidence of a system targeting and criminalizing Black Americans. “Ferguson issued over 32,000 arrest warrants for a city of 24,000 residents.”</p> <p>Present in the audience was John Thompson, a friend of Philando Castile, who spoke for the family of Castile and to whom the audience gave a warm welcome of applause in solidarity with the family.</p> <p><strong>Shaun King breaks down the rise of mass incarceration</strong></p> <p>Shaun King is a senior justice writer for the <em>New York Daily News</em> who has been a prominent voice within the Black Lives Matter Movement. He spoke at two other locations on the day, including Macalester college in Saint Paul.</p> <p>Speaking to a crowd filled with students and activists, King concluded by providing encouragement to organize against the “historic level of oppression we are experiencing. The organization needs to match our outrage.”</p> <p>During the event, mobilization was urged for members in the audience to turn out at the trial of the white supremacists who shot five protesters at the Fourth Precinct occupation. North Community High School is only two blocks from where an unarmed Jamar Clark was killed by police on Plymouth Avenue in North Minneapolis in November 2015.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/2/black-lives-matter-activist-shaun-king-speaks-out-minneapolis-against-police-brutality#comments Police Brutality African-American North Minneapolis police killings Shaun King Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:53:02 +0000 Fight Back 5797 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Militant Teamster reformers come close to beating Hoffa, make historic gains http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/2/militant-teamster-reformers-come-close-beating-hoffa-make-historic-gains <p>Jacksonville, FL - On Nov. 18, Teamsters in the U.S. and Canada awoke to find that Jim Hoffa had won re-election as president of the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters after 17 years in office. Instead of the overwhelming electoral victory that Hoffa usually experiences, the Teamsters old guard lost in the Southern Region, the Central Region, the U.S. as a whole, and only barely squeaked by in the International vote.</p> <p>Teamsters United, the reform slate running against Hoffa, won six vice president spots to split the executive board for the first time since Hoffa has taken office. Led by Louisville Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman, Teamsters United faced an uphill battle from the jump. The vast majority of local leaders around the country urged their members to vote Hoffa. This was demonstrated in the National Teamsters Convention last June where Hoffa's delegates numbered over 90%. These delegates are almost always local union officers. When the vote went to the members, however, he only won 51.5%.</p> <p>On the other hand, Teamsters United had a committed group of enthusiastic activists and a union full of “pissed off Teamsters.” Members who had enough of Hoffa's concessions during his time as general president found a way to put their frustrations into action. Uniting the two opposition slates from the previous election, the reform slate entered the election with commitments to stop the wave of concessions, put a firm stop to corruption, and organize new workers in the core industries.</p> <p>While local union officers used their steward structures and Hoffa's top lieutenants did 20-minute photo ops, Teamster United's army of campaigners set up a strong organizations in traditional Hoffa strongholds like Chicago, New York, Florida, Ohio, Los Angeles, and countless other areas. These campaigners used vacations, personal days, break periods and weekends to inform members that they had an opportunity to elect Teamster leaders who wanted to fight the employers just as much as they did.</p> <p>As the ballot count came in, it was anybody's race, with Hoffa taking an early lead by winning the Eastern Region and Teamsters United taking back the lead until the last few hours. Although Hoffa remains in power for now, this was a massive victory for militants in the Teamsters in particular as well as all who believe the labor movement needs to return to real class struggle instead of constant concessions to employers.</p> <p>John Palmer, one the vice presidents elected from the Southern Region said, “Teamsters in the South sent a clear message that they want change. As a vice president, I'll make sure their demand for a stronger union is heard.”</p> <p>Both Teamster employers and old guard officials are becoming terrified of an increasingly strong rank-and-file militant movement that has now split up the rubber-stamp executive board. On top of that, both Fred Zuckerman and Teamsters for a Democratic Union have made public commitments to stay united going forward into future elections and contract campaigns, especially the upcoming 2018 UPS contract. Local activists have followed suit and formed local organizations where none existed before.</p> <p>Several top Hoffa vice presidents and officials are looking forward to corruption charges from the federal government. Two of the most high-profile cases involve Western Region Vice President Rome Aloise, who is accused of taking gifts from employers in exchange for contract concessions and Secretary Treasurer Ken Hall, who is accused of withholding information from the government's investigation. The future of many old-guard Teamster officials is looking more and more uncertain.</p> <p>One thing's for sure, it's that the Hoffa machine is dead and Teamsters United killed it.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/12/2/militant-teamster-reformers-come-close-beating-hoffa-make-historic-gains#comments Fred Zuckerman Jimmy Hoffa Jr. Teamsters Teamsters Teamsters United Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:42:44 +0000 Fight Back 5796 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Tampa rallies for Rasmea Odeh http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/30/tampa-rallies-rasmea-odeh <p>Tampa, FL – The Tampa Anti-War Committee (TAWC) held a sign-waving for Rasmea Odeh on the day of her scheduled hearing, Nov. 29. The Daubert hearing, which would have been to discuss the use of expert testimony regarding the torture of Odeh during her time in an Israeli prison, was canceled the day before , but TAWC followed through with the action to demand #Justice4Rasmea on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.</p> <p>Community and student activists held signs and chanted in solidarity with Odeh. Chants included “Hey, hey, let’s be clear: Rasmea is welcome here!” “FBI, off our backs! We have had enough attacks!” and “When Rasmea is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” </p> <p>Sam Alex of TAWC spoke about Odeh’s case and why anti-war activists should support and defend her. “Rasmea is on trial for ridiculous, trumped-up charges due to her work as a Palestinian civil rights leader and activist,” said Alex. “We must always fight for Rasmea Odeh and the Palestinian people, especially on today. TAWC supports all of this because we always support the oppressed, not the oppressor.” </p> <p>TAWC will also be holding a General Body Meeting Wednesday, Nov. 30 to discuss Odeh’s case, as well as other cases of political repression. For more information regarding upcoming events, you can find TAWC on Facebook, or e-mail <a href="mailto:tampaantiwar@gmail.com">tampaantiwar@gmail.com</a>.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/30/tampa-rallies-rasmea-odeh#comments Florida Palestine Political Repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Tampa Tampa Anti-War Committee Wed, 30 Nov 2016 22:31:56 +0000 Fight Back 5795 at http://www.fightbacknews.org New York stands in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh! http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/28/new-york-stands-solidarity-rasmea-odeh <p>New York, NY -On Nov. 28, several dozen activists gathered at Zuccotti Park behind a Palestinian flag and a banner reading “Justice for Rasmea Odeh” to rally and march in solidarity with the Chicago Palestinian American leader. </p> <p>Despite the news that her Detroit federal court hearing scheduled for Nov. 29 was canceled, organizers felt it was important to continue to demand justice for Rasmea Odeh and call out the unjust legal system.</p> <p>The rally and march was called by The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. </p> <p>Activists started out by chanting, “We want justice, you say how? Free Rasmea Odeh Now!” and “FBI get off our backs! We have had enough attacks!” </p> <p>The march went from Zuccotti Park to Federal Plaza. Throughout the walk activists chanted, “Donald Trump let’s be clear - Rasmea is welcome here!” </p> <p>Once at the Federal Plaza, endorsing groups gave speeches in support of Rasmea Odeh. </p> <p>Nina Macapinlac from BAYAN USA Northeast spoke of the importance of international solidarity from Palestine to the Philippines. She mentioned how freedom fighters in the Philippines also face extreme government repression and said, “These trumped up charges don't exist because she [Rasmea] is an immigrant but because she fought for her the liberation of her homeland, Palestine!" </p> <p>Bill Doars from the International League of People’s Struggle gave a powerful speech where he spoke about the U.S./Israel relationship. He talked about the continued struggle that we will be waging with this upcoming presidency by saying, “A new bigot in chief has been elected and this only means more repression for community organizers like Rasmea. Our fight continues on Jan. 20 where we take the streets against this oppressive state."</p> <p>Michela Martinazzi, from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and Freedom Road Socialist Organization, closed the rally by saying, “The case has had its ups and downs from the beginning. ‘Democracy’ in this country is skewed to one side and justice is only for those that support U.S. imperialism. The only way Rasmea has gotten justice is because for every court date we packed the room, took the streets and demanded her justice. The fight doesn't end today, and it doesn't end on Jan. 20, but we'll keep raising hell until this goddamned state is torn down.”</p> <p>The activists left in high spirits are will be ready to take the streets at the next step in Rasmea Odeh’s case.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/28/new-york-stands-solidarity-rasmea-odeh#comments People's Struggles Israel New York City Palestine Political Repression political repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Tue, 29 Nov 2016 03:29:08 +0000 Fight Back 5794 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Read some Engels on Engels’ birthday http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/28/read-some-engels-engels-birthday <p>To mark the Nov. 28, 1820 birthday of the revolutionary Frederick Engels, Fight Back News Service is circulating the one of his writings – the third chapter of his work <em>Socialism: Utopian and Scientific</em>.</p> <p>Chapter 3</p> <p>The materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production of the means to support human life and, next to production, the exchange of things produced, is the basis of all social structure; that in every society that has appeared in history, the manner in which wealth is distributed and society divided into classes or orders is dependent upon what is produced, how it is produced, and how the products are exchanged. From this point of view, the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in men's better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange. They are to be sought, not in the philosophy, but in the economics of each particular epoch. The growing perception that existing social institutions are unreasonable and unjust, that reason has become unreason, and right wrong [1], is only proof that in the modes of production and exchange changes have silently taken place with which the social order, adapted to earlier economic conditions, is no longer in keeping. From this it also follows that the means of getting rid of the incongruities that have been brought to light must also be present, in a more or less developed condition, within the changed modes of production themselves. These means are not to be invented by deduction from fundamental principles, but are to be discovered in the stubborn facts of the existing system of production.</p> <p>What is, then, the position of modern Socialism in this connection?</p> <p>The present situation of society — this is now pretty generally conceded — is the creation of the ruling class of today, of the bourgeoisie. The mode of production peculiar to the bourgeoisie, known, since Marx, as the capitalist mode of production, was incompatible with the feudal system, with the privileges it conferred upon individuals, entire social ranks and local corporations, as well as with the hereditary ties of subordination which constituted the framework of its social organization. The bourgeoisie broke up the feudal system and built upon its ruins the capitalist order of society, the kingdom of free competition, of personal liberty, of the equality, before the law, of all commodity owners, of all the rest of the capitalist blessings. Thenceforward, the capitalist mode of production could develop in freedom. Since steam, machinery, and the making of machines by machinery transformed the older manufacture into modern industry, the productive forces, evolved under the guidance of the bourgeoisie, developed with a rapidity and in a degree unheard of before. But just as the older manufacture, in its time, and handicraft, becoming more developed under its influence, had come into collision with the feudal trammels of the guilds, so now modern industry, in its complete development, comes into collision with the bounds within which the capitalist mode of production holds it confined. The new productive forces have already outgrown the capitalistic mode of using them. And this conflict between productive forces and modes of production is not a conflict engendered in the mind of man, like that between original sin and divine justice. It exists, in fact, objectively, outside us, independently of the will and actions even of the men that have brought it on. Modern Socialism is nothing but the reflex, in thought, of this conflict in fact; its ideal reflection in the minds, first, of the class directly suffering under it, the working class.</p> <p>Now, in what does this conflict consist?</p> <p>Before capitalist production — i.e., in the Middle Ages — the system of petty industry obtained generally, based upon the private property of the laborers in their means of production; in the country, the agriculture of the small peasant, freeman, or serf; in the towns, the handicrafts organized in guilds. The instruments of labor — land, agricultural implements, the workshop, the tool — were the instruments of labor of single individuals, adapted for the use of one worker, and, therefore, of necessity, small, dwarfish, circumscribed. But, for this very reason, they belonged as a rule to the producer himself. To concentrate these scattered, limited means of production, to enlarge them, to turn them into the powerful levers of production of the present day — this was precisely the historic role of capitalist production and of its upholder, the bourgeoisie. In the fourth section of Capital, Marx has explained in detail how since the 15th century this has been historically worked out through the three phases of simple co-operation, manufacture, and modern industry. But the bourgeoisie, as is shown there, could not transform these puny means of production into mighty productive forces without transforming them, at the same time, from means of production of the individual into social means of production only workable by a collectivity of men. The spinning wheel, the handloom, the blacksmith's hammer, were replaced by the spinning-machine, the power-loom, the steam-hammer; the individual workshop, by the factory implying the co-operation of hundreds and thousands of workmen. In like manner, production itself changed from a series of individual into a series of social acts, and the production from individual to social products. The yarn, the cloth, the metal articles that now come out of the factory were the joint product of many workers, through whose hands they had successively to pass before they were ready. No one person could say of them: "I made that; this is my product."</p> <p>But where, in a given society, the fundamental form of production is that spontaneous division of labor which creeps in gradually and not upon any preconceived plan, there the products take on the form of commodities, whose mutual exchange, buying and selling, enable the individual producers to satisfy their manifold wants. And this was the case in the Middle Ages. The peasant, e.g., sold to the artisan agricultural products and bought from him the products of handicraft. Into this society of individual producers, of commodity producers, the new mode of production thrust itself. In the midst of the old division of labor, grown up spontaneously and upon no definite plan, which had governed the whole of society, now arose division of labor upon a definite plan, as organized in the factory; side by side with individual production appeared social production. The products of both were sold in the same market, and, therefore, at prices at least approximately equal. But organization upon a definite plan was stronger than spontaneous division of labor. The factories working with the combined social forces of a collectivity of individuals produced their commodities far more cheaply than the individual small producers. Individual producers succumbed in one department after another. Socialized production revolutionized all the old methods of production. But its revolutionary character was, at the same time, so little recognized that it was, on the contrary, introduced as a means of increasing and developing the production of commodities. When it arose, it found ready-made, and made liberal use of, certain machinery for the production and exchange of commodities: merchants' capital, handicraft, wage-labor. Socialized production thus introducing itself as a new form of the production of commodities, it was a matter of course that under it the old forms of appropriation remained in full swing, and were applied to its products as well.</p> <p>In the medieval stage of evolution of the production of commodities, the question as to the owner of the product of labor could not arise. The individual producer, as a rule, had, from raw material belonging to himself, and generally his own handiwork, produced it with his own tools, by the labor of his own hands or of his family. There was no need for him to appropriate the new product. It belonged wholly to him, as a matter of course. His property in the product was, therefore, based upon his own labor. Even where external help was used, this was, as a rule, of little importance, and very generally was compensated by something other than wages. The apprentices and journeymen of the guilds worked less for board and wages than for education, in order that they might become master craftsmen themselves.</p> <p>Then came the concentration of the means of production and of the producers in large workshops and manufactories, their transformation into actual socialized means of production and socialized producers. But the socialized producers and means of production and their products were still treated, after this change, just as they had been before — i.e., as the means of production and the products of individuals. Hitherto, the owner of the instruments of labor had himself appropriated the product, because, as a rule, it was his own product and the assistance of others was the exception. Now, the owner of the instruments of labor always appropriated to himself the product, although it was no longer his product but exclusively the product of the labor of others. Thus, the products now produced socially were not appropriated by those who had actually set in motion the means of production and actually produced the commodities, but by the capitalists. The means of production, and production itself, had become in essence socialized. But they were subjected to a form of appropriation which presupposes the private production of individuals, under which, therefore, every one owns his own product and brings it to market. The mode of production is subjected to this form of appropriation, although it abolishes the conditions upon which the latter rests. [2]</p> <p>This contradiction, which gives to the new mode of production its capitalistic character, contains the germ of the whole of the social antagonisms of today. The greater the mastery obtained by the new mode of production over all important fields of production and in all manufacturing countries, the more it reduced individual production to an insignificant residuum, the more clearly was brought out the incompatibility of socialized production with capitalistic appropriation.</p> <p>The first capitalists found, as we have said, alongside of other forms of labor, wage-labor ready-made for them on the market. But it was exceptional, complementary, accessory, transitory wage-labor. The agricultural laborer, though, upon occasion, he hired himself out by the day, had a few acres of his own land on which he could at all events live at a pinch. The guilds were so organized that the journeyman of today became the master of tomorrow. But all this changed, as soon as the means of production became socialized and concentrated in the hands of capitalists. The means of production, as well as the product, of the individual producer became more and more worthless; there was nothing left for him but to turn wage-worker under the capitalist. Wage-labor, aforetime the exception and accessory, now became the rule and basis of all production; aforetime complementary, it now became the sole remaining function of the worker. The wage-worker for a time became a wage-worker for life. The number of these permanent was further enormously increased by the breaking-up of the feudal system that occurred at the same time, by the disbanding of the retainers of the feudal lords, the eviction of the peasants from their homesteads, etc. The separation was made complete between the means of production concentrated in the hands of the capitalists, on the one side, and the producers, possessing nothing but their labor-power, on the other. The contradiction between socialized production and capitalistic appropriation manifested itself as the antagonism of proletariat and bourgeoisie.</p> <p>We have seen that the capitalistic mode of production thrust its way into a society of commodity-producers, of individual producers, whose social bond was the exchange of their products. But every society based upon the production of commodities has this peculiarity: that the producers have lost control over their own social inter-relations. Each man produces for himself with such means of production as he may happen to have, and for such exchange as he may require to satisfy his remaining wants. No one knows how much of his particular article is coming on the market, nor how much of it will be wanted. No one knows whether his individual product will meet an actual demand, whether he will be able to make good his costs of production or even to sell his commodity at all. Anarchy reigns in socialized production.</p> <p>But the production of commodities, like every other form of production, has it peculiar, inherent laws inseparable from it; and these laws work, despite anarchy, in and through anarchy. They reveal themselves in the only persistent form of social inter-relations — i.e., in exchange — and here they affect the individual producers as compulsory laws of competition. They are, at first, unknown to these producers themselves, and have to be discovered by them gradually and as the result of experience. They work themselves out, therefore, independently of the producers, and in antagonism to them, as inexorable natural laws of their particular form of production. The product governs the producers.</p> <p>In mediaeval society, especially in the earlier centuries, production was essentially directed toward satisfying the wants of the individual. It satisfied, in the main, only the wants of the producer and his family. Where relations of personal dependence existed, as in the country, it also helped to satisfy the wants of the feudal lord. In all this there was, therefore, no exchange; the products, consequently, did not assume the character of commodities. The family of the peasant produced almost everything they wanted: clothes and furniture, as well as the means of subsistence. Only when it began to produce more than was sufficient to supply its own wants and the payments in kind to the feudal lords, only then did it also produce commodities. This surplus, thrown into socialized exchange and offered for sale, became commodities.</p> <p>The artisan in the towns, it is true, had from the first to produce for exchange. But they, also, themselves supplied the greatest part of their individual wants. They had gardens and plots of land. They turned their cattle out into the communal forest, which, also, yielded them timber and firing. The women spun flax, wool, and so forth. Production for the purpose of exchange, production of commodities, was only in its infancy. Hence, exchange was restricted, the market narrow, the methods of production stable; there was local exclusiveness without, local unity within; the mark in the country; in the town, the guild.</p> <p>But with the extension of the production of commodities, and especially with the introduction of the capitalist mode of production, the laws of commodity-production, hitherto latent, came into action more openly and with greater force. The old bonds were loosened, the old exclusive limits broken through, the producers were more and more turned into independent, isolated producers of commodities. It became apparent that the production of society at large was ruled by absence of plan, by accident, by anarchy; and this anarchy grew to greater and greater height. But the chief means by aid of which the capitalist mode of production intensified this anarchy of socialized production was the exact opposite of anarchy. It was the increasing organization of production, upon a social basis, in every individual productive establishment. By this, the old, peaceful, stable condition of things was ended. Wherever this organization of production was introduced into a branch of industry, it brooked no other method of production by its side. The field of labor became a battle-ground. The great geographical discoveries, and the colonization following them, multiplied markets and quickened the transformation of handicraft into manufacture. The war did not simply break out between the individual producers of particular localities. The local struggles begat, in their turn, national conflicts, the commercial wars of the 17th and 18th centuries.</p> <p>Finally, modern industry and the opening of the world-market made the struggle universal, and at the same time gave it an unheard-of virulence. Advantages in natural or artificial conditions of production now decide the existence or non-existence of individual capitalists, as well as of whole industries and countries. He that falls is remorselessly cast aside. It is the Darwinian struggle of the individual for existence transferred from Nature to society with intensified violence. The conditions of existence natural to the animal appear as the final term of human development. The contradiction between socialized production and capitalistic appropriation now presents itself as an antagonism between the organization of production in the individual workshop and the anarchy of production in society generally.</p> <p>The capitalistic mode of production moves in these two forms of the antagonism immanent to it from its very origin. It is never able to get out of that "vicious circle" which Fourier had already discovered. What Fourier could not, indeed, see in his time is that this circle is gradually narrowing; that the movement becomes more and more a spiral, and must come to an end, like the movement of planets, by collision with the center. It is the compelling force of anarchy in the production of society at large that more and more completely turns the great majority of men into proletarians; and it is the masses of the proletariat again who will finally put an end to anarchy in production. It is the compelling force of anarchy in social production that turns the limitless perfectibility of machinery under modern industry into a compulsory law by which every individual industrial capitalist must perfect his machinery more and more, under penalty of ruin.</p> <p>But the perfecting of machinery is making human labor superfluous. If the introduction and increase of machinery means the displacement of millions of manual by a few machine-workers, improvement in machinery means the displacement of more and more of the machine-workers themselves. It means, in the last instance, the production of a number of available wage workers in excess of the average needs of capital, the formation of a complete industrial reserve army, as I called it in 1845 [3], available at the times when industry is working at high pressure, to be cast out upon the street when the inevitable crash comes, a constant dead weight upon the limbs of the working-class in its struggle for existence with capital, a regulator for keeping of wages down to the low level that suits the interests of capital.</p> <p>Thus it comes about, to quote Marx, that machinery becomes the most powerful weapon in the war of capital against the working-class; that the instruments of labor constantly tear the means of subsistence out of the hands of the laborer; that they very product of the worker is turned into an instrument for his subjugation.</p> <p>Thus it comes about that the economizing of the instruments of labor becomes at the same time, from the outset, the most reckless waste of labor-power, and robbery based upon the normal conditions under which labor functions; that machinery,</p> <p>"the most powerful instrument for shortening labor time, becomes the most unfailing means for placing every moment of the laborer's time and that of his family at the disposal of the capitalist for the purpose of expanding the value of his capital." (Capital, English edition, p. 406)</p> <p>Thus it comes about that the overwork of some becomes the preliminary condition for the idleness of others, and that modern industry, which hunts after new consumers over the whole world, forces the consumption of the masses at home down to a starvation minimum, and in doing thus destroys its own home market.</p> <p>"The law that always equilibrates the relative surplus- population, or industrial reserve army, to the extent and energy of accumulation, this law rivets the laborer to capital more firmly than the wedges of Vulcan did Prometheus to the rock. It establishes an accumulation of misery, corresponding with the accumulation of capital. Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole, i.e., on the side of the class that produces its own product in the form of capital (Marx's Capital, p. 661)</p> <p>And to expect any other division of the products from the capitalist mode of production is the same as expecting the electrodes of a battery not to decompose acidulated water, not to liberate oxygen at the positive, hydrogen at the negative pole, so long as they are connected with the battery.</p> <p>We have seen that the ever-increasing perfectibility of modern machinery is, by the anarchy of social production, turned into a compulsory law that forces the individual industrial capitalist always to improve his machinery, always to increase its productive force. The bare possibility of extending the field of production is transformed for him into a similarly compulsory law. The enormous expansive force of modern industry, compared with which that of gases is mere child's play, appears to us now as a necessity for expansion, both qualitative and quantative, that laughs at all resistance. Such resistance is offered by consumption, by sales, by the markets for the products of modern industry. But the capacity for extension, extensive and intensive, of the markets is primarily governed by quite different laws that work much less energetically. The extension of the markets cannot keep pace with the extension of production. The collision becomes inevitable, and as this cannot produce any real solution so long as it does not break in pieces the capitalist mode of production, the collisions become periodic. Capitalist production has begotten another "vicious circle".</p> <p>As a matter of fact, since 1825, when the first general crisis broke out, the whole industrial and commercial world, production and exchange among all civilized peoples and their more or less barbaric hangers-on, are thrown out of joint about once every 10 years. Commerce is at a stand-still, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution. The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filter off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. Little by little, the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit, and speculation, which finally, after breakneck leaps, ends where it began — in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again. We have now, since the year 1825, gone through this five times, and at the present moment (1877), we are going through it for the sixth time. And the character of these crises is so clearly defined that Fourier hit all of them off when he described the first "crise plethorique", a crisis from plethora.</p> <p>In these crises, the contradiction between socialized production and capitalist appropriation ends in a violent explosion. The circulation of commodities is, for the time being, stopped. Money, the means of circulation, becomes a hindrance to circulation. All the laws of production and circulation of commodities are turned upside down. The economic collision has reached its apogee. The mode of production is in rebellion against the mode of exchange.</p> <p>The fact that the socialized organization of production within the factory has developed so far that it has become incompatible with the anarchy of production in society, which exists side by side with and dominates it, is brought home to the capitalist themselves by the violent concentration of capital that occurs during crises, through the ruin of many large, and a still greater number of small, capitalists. The whole mechanism of the capitalist mode of production breaks down under the pressure of the productive forces, its own creations. It is no longer able to turn all this mass of means of production into capital. They lie fallow, and for that very reason the industrial reserve army must also lie fallow. Means of production, means of subsistence, available laborers, all the elements of production and of general wealth, are present in abundance. But "abundance becomes the source of distress and want" (Fourier), because it is the very thing that prevents the transformation of the means of production and subsistence into capital. For in capitalistic society, the means of production can only function when they have undergone a preliminary transformation into capital, into the means of exploiting human labor-power. The necessity of this transformation into capital of the means of production and subsistence stands like a ghost between these and the workers. It alone prevents the coming together of the material and personal levers of production; it alone forbids the means of production to function, the workers to work and live. On the one hand, therefore, the capitalistic mode of production stands convicted of its own incapacity to further direct these productive forces. On the other, these productive forces themselves, with increasing energy, press forward to the removal of the existing contradiction, to the abolition of their quality as capital, to the practical recognition of their character as social production forces.</p> <p>This rebellion of the productive forces, as they grow more and more powerful, against their quality as capital, this stronger and stronger command that their social character shall be recognized, forces the capital class itself to treat them more and more as social productive forces, so far as this is possible under capitalist conditions. The period of industrial high pressure, with its unbounded inflation of credit, not less than the crash itself, by the collapse of great capitalist establishments, tends to bring about that form of the socialization of great masses of the means of production which we meet with in the different kinds of joint-stock companies. Many of these means of production and of distribution are, from the outset, so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalistic expansion. At a further stage of evolution, this form also becomes insufficient. The producers on a large scale in a particular branch of an industry in a particular country unite in a "Trust", a union for the purpose of regulating production. They determine the total amount to be produced, parcel it out among themselves, and thus enforce the selling price fixed beforehand. But trusts of this kind, as soon as business becomes bad, are generally liable to break up, and on this very account compel a yet greater concentration of association. The whole of a particular industry is turned into one gigantic joint-stock company; internal competition gives place to the internal monopoly of this one company. This has happened in 1890 with the English alkali production, which is now, after the fusion of 48 large works, in the hands of one company, conducted upon a single plan, and with a capital of 6,000,000 pounds.</p> <p>In the trusts, freedom of competition changes into its very opposite — into monopoly; and the production without any definite plan of capitalistic society capitulates to the production upon a definite plan of the invading socialistic society. Certainly, this is so far still to the benefit and advantage of the capitalists. But, in this case, the exploitation is so palpable, that it must break down. No nation will put up with production conducted by trusts, with so barefaced an exploitation of the community by a small band of dividend-mongers.</p> <p>In any case, with trusts or without, the official representative of capitalist society — the state — will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production. [4] This necessity for conversion into State property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and communication — the post office, the telegraphs, the railways.</p> <p>If the crises demonstrate the incapacity of the bourgeoisie for managing any longer modern productive forces, the transformation of the great establishments for production and distribution into joint-stock companies, trusts, and State property, show how unnecessary the bourgeoisie are for that purpose. All the social functions of the capitalist has no further social function than that of pocketing dividends, tearing off coupons, and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists despoil one another of their capital. At first, the capitalistic mode of production forces out the workers. Now, it forces out the capitalists, and reduces them, just as it reduced the workers, to the ranks of the surplus-population, although not immediately into those of the industrial reserve army.</p> <p>But, the transformation — either into joint-stock companies and trusts, or into State-ownership — does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies and trusts, this is obvious. And the modern State, again, is only the organization that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine — the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is, rather, brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State-ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution.</p> <p>This solution can only consist in the practical recognition of the social nature of the modern forces of production, and therefore in the harmonizing with the socialized character of the means of production. And this can only come about by society openly and directly taking possession of the productive forces which have outgrown all control, except that of society as a whole. The social character of the means of production and of the products today reacts against the producers, periodically disrupts all production and exchange, acts only like a law of Nature working blindly, forcibly, destructively. But,with the taking over by society of the productive forces, the social character of the means of production and of the products will be utilized by the producers with a perfect understanding of its nature, and instead of being a source of disturbance and periodical collapse, will become the most powerful lever of production itself.</p> <p>Active social forces work exactly like natural forces: blindly, forcibly, destructively, so long as we do not understand, and reckon with, them. But, when once we understand them, when once we grasp their action, their direction, their effects, it depends only upon ourselves to subject them more and more to our own will, and, by means of them, to reach our own ends. And this holds quite especially of the mighty productive forces of today. As long as we obstinately refuse to understand the nature and the character of these social means of action — and this understanding goes against the grain of the capitalist mode of production, and its defenders — so long these forces are at work in spite of us, in opposition to us, so long they master us, as we have shown above in detail.</p> <p>But when once their nature is understood, they can, in the hand working together, be transformed from master demons into willing servants. The difference is as that between the destructive force of electricity in the lightning in the storm, and electricity under command in the telegraph and the voltaic arc; the difference between a conflagration, and fire working in the service of man. With this recognition, at last, of the real nature of the productive forces of today, the social anarchy of production gives place to a social regulation of production upon a definite plan, according to the needs of the community and of each individual. Then the capitalist mode of appropriation, in which the product enslaves first the producer, and then the appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the products that is based upon the nature of the modern means of production; upon the one hand, direct social appropriation, as means to the maintenance and extension of production — on the other, direct individual appropriation, as means of subsistence and of enjoyment.</p> <p>Whilst the capitalist mode of production more and more completely transforms the great majority of the population into proletarians, it creates the power which, under penalty of its own destruction, is forced to accomplish this revolution. Whilst it forces on more and more of the transformation of the vast means of production, already socialized, into State property, it shows itself the way to accomplishing this revolution. The proletariat seizes political power and turns the means of production into State property.</p> <p>But, in doing this, it abolishes itself as proletariat, abolishes all class distinction and class antagonisms, abolishes also the State as State. Society, thus far, based upon class antagonisms, had need of the State. That is, of an organization of the particular class which was, pro tempore, the exploiting class, an organization for the purpose of preventing any interference from without with the existing conditions of production, and, therefore, especially, for the purpose of forcibly keeping the exploited classes in the condition of oppression corresponding with the given mode of production (slavery, serfdom, wage-labor). The State was the official representative of society as a whole; the gathering of it together into a visible embodiment. But, it was this only in so far as it was the State of that class which itself represented, for the time being, society as a whole:</p> <p>in ancient times, the State of slaveowning citizens;</p> <p>in the Middle Ages, the feudal lords;</p> <p>in our own times, the bourgeoisie.</p> <p>When, at last, it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society — the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society — this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not "abolished". It dies out. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase: "a free State", both as to its justifiable use at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the demands of the so-called anarchists for the abolition of the State out of hand.</p> <p>Since the historical appearance of the capitalist mode of production, the appropriation by society of all the means of production has often been dreamed of, more or less vaguely, by individuals, as well as by sects, as the ideal of the future. But it could become possible, could become a historical necessity, only when the actual conditions for its realization were there. Like every other social advance, it becomes practicable, not by men understanding that the existence of classes is in contradiction to justice, equality, etc., not by the mere willingness to abolish these classes, but by virtue of certain new economic conditions. The separation of society into an exploiting and an exploited class, a ruling and an oppressed class, was the necessary consequences of the deficient and restricted development of production in former times. So long as the total social labor only yields a produce which but slightly exceeds that barely necessary for the existence of all; so long, therefore, as labor engages all or almost all the time of the great majority of the members of society — so long, of necessity, this society is divided into classes. Side by side with the great majority, exclusively bond slaves to labor, arises a class freed from directly productive labor, which looks after the general affairs of society: the direction of labor, State business, law, science, art, etc. It is, therefore, the law of division of labor that lies at the basis of the division into classes. But this does not prevent this division into classes from being carried out by means of violence and robbery, trickery and fraud. it does not prevent the ruling class, once having the upper hand, from consolidating its power at the expense of the working-class, from turning its social leadership into an intensified exploitation of the masses.</p> <p>But if, upon this showing, division into classes has a certain historical justification, it has this only for a given period, only under given social conditions. It was based upon the insufficiency of production. It will be swept away by the complete development of modern productive forces. And, in fact, the abolition of classes in society presupposes a degree of historical evolution at which the existence, not simply of this or that particular ruling class, but of any ruling class at all, and, therefore, the existence of class distinction itself, has become a obsolete anachronism. It presupposes, therefore, the development of production carried out to a degree at which appropriation of the means of production and of the products, and, with this, of political domination, of the monopoly of culture, and of intellectual leadership by a particular class of society, has become not only superfluous but economically, politically, intellectually, a hindrance to development.</p> <p>This point is now reached. Their political and intellectual bankruptcy is scarcely any longer a secret to the bourgeoisie themselves. Their economic bankruptcy recurs regularly every 10 years. In every crisis, society is suffocated beneath the weight of its own productive forces and products, which it cannot use, and stands helpless, face-to-face with the absurd contradiction that the producers have nothing to consume, because consumers are wanting. The expansive force of the means of production burst the bonds that the capitalist mode of production had imposed upon them. Their deliverance from these bonds is the one precondition for an unbroken, constantly-accelerated development of the productive forces, and therewith for a practically unlimited increase of production itself. Nor is this all. The socialized appropriation of the means of production does away, not only with the present artificial restrictions upon production, but also with the positive waste and devastation of productive forces and products that are at the present time the inevitable concomitants of production, and that reach their height in the crises. Further, it sets free for the community at large a mass of means of production and of products, by doing away with the senseless extravagance of the ruling classes of today, and their political representatives. The possibility of securing for every member of society, by means of socialized production, an existence not only fully sufficient materially, and becoming day-by-day more full, but an existence guaranteeing to all the free development and exercise of their physical and mental faculties — this possibility is now, for the first time, here, but it is here. [5]</p> <p>With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organization. The struggle for individual existence disappears. Then, for the first time, man, in a certain sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and emerges from mere animal conditions of existence into really human ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, and which have hitherto ruled man, now comes under the dominion and control of man, who for the first time becomes the real, conscious lord of nature, because he has now become master of his own social organization. The laws of his own social action, hitherto standing face-to-face with man as laws of Nature foreign to, and dominating him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by him. Man's own social organization, hitherto confronting him as a necessity imposed by Nature and history, now becomes the result of his own free action. The extraneous objective forces that have, hitherto, governed history,pass under the control of man himself. Only from that time will man himself, more and more consciously, make his own history — only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom.</p> <p>Let us briefly sum up our sketch of historical evolution.</p> <p>I. Mediaeval Society — Individual production on a small scale. Means of production adapted for individual use; hence primitive, ungainly, petty, dwarfed in action. Production for immediate consumption, either of the producer himself or his feudal lord. Only where an excess of production over this consumption occurs is such excess offered for sale, enters into exchange. Production of commodities, therefore, only in its infancy. But already it contains within itself, in embryo, anarchy in the production of society at large.</p> <p>II. Capitalist Revolution — transformation of industry, at first be means of simple cooperation and manufacture. Concentration of the means of production, hitherto scattered, into great workshops. As a consequence, their transformation from individual to social means of production — a transformation which does not, on the whole, affect the form of exchange. The old forms of appropriation remain in force. The capitalist appears. In his capacity as owner of the means of production, he also appropriates the products and turns them into commodities. Production has become a social act. Exchange and appropriation continue to be individual acts, the acts of individuals. The social product is appropriated by the individual capitalist. Fundamental contradiction, whence arise all the contradictions in which our present-day society moves, and which modern industry brings to light.</p> <p>A. Severance of the producer from the means of production. Condemnation of the worker to wage-labor for life. Antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.</p> <p>B. Growing predominance and increasing effectiveness of the laws governing the production of commodities. Unbridled competition. Contradiction between socialized organization in the individual factory and social anarchy in the production as a whole.</p> <p>C. On the one hand, perfecting of machinery, made by competition compulsory for each individual manufacturer, and complemented by a constantly growing displacement of laborers. Industrial reserve-army. On the other hand, unlimited extension of production, also compulsory under competition, for every manufacturer. On both sides, unheard-of development of productive forces, excess of supply over demand, over-production and products — excess there, of laborers, without employment and without means of existence. But these two levers of production and of social well-being are unable to work together, because the capitalist form of production prevents the productive forces from working and the products from circulating, unless they are first turned into capital — which their very superabundance prevents. The contradiction has grown into an absurdity. The mode of production rises in rebellion against the form of exchange.</p> <p>D. Partial recognition of the social character of the productive forces forced upon the capitalists themselves. Taking over of the great institutions for production and communication, first by joint-stock companies, later in by trusts, then by the State. The bourgeoisie demonstrated to be a superfluous class. All its social functions are now performed by salaried employees.</p> <p>III. Proletarian Revolution — Solution of the contradictions. The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialized character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialized production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the State dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master — free.</p> <p>To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and this the very nature of this act, to impart to the now oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific Socialism.</p> <p>Notes</p> <p>1. Mephistopheles in Goethe's Faust</p> <p>2. It is hardly necessary in this connection to point out that, even if the form of appropriation remains the same, the character of the appropriation is just as much revolutionized as production is by the changes described above. It is, of course, a very different matter whether I appropriate to myself my own product or that of another. Note in passing that wage-labor, which contains the whole capitalist mode of production in embryo, is very ancient; in a sporadic, scattered form, it existed for centuries alongside slave-labor. But the embryo could duly develop into the capitalistic mode of production only when the necessary historical pre-conditions had been furnished.</p> <p>3. "The Conditions of the Working-Class in England" — Sonnenschein &amp; Co., p.84.</p> <p>4. I say "have to". For only when the means of production and distribution have actually outgrown the form of management by joint-stock companies, and when, therefore, the taking them over by the State has become economically inevitable, only then — even if it is the State of today that effects this — is there an economic advance, the attainment of another step preliminary to the taking over of all productive forces by society itself. But of late, since Bismarck went in for State-ownership of industrial establishments, a kind of spurious Socialism has arisen, degenerating, now and again, into something of flunkyism, that without more ado declares all State-ownership, even of the Bismarkian sort, to be socialistic. Certainly, if the taking over by the State of the tobacco industry is socialistic, then Napoleon and Metternich must be numbered among the founders of Socialism.</p> <p>If the Belgian State, for quite ordinary political and financial reasons, itself constructed its chief railway lines; if Bismarck, not under any economic compulsion, took over for the State the chief Prussian lines, simply to be the better able to have them in hand in case of war, to bring up the railway employees as voting cattle for the Government, and especially to create for himself a new source of income independent of parliamentary votes — this was, in no sense, a socialistic measure, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. Otherwise, the Royal Maritime Company, the Royal porcelain manufacture, and even the regimental tailor of the army would also be socialistic institutions, or even, as was seriously proposed by a sly dog in Frederick William III's reign, the taking over by the State of the brothels.</p> <p>5. A few figures may serve to give an approximate idea of the enormous expansive force of the modern means of production, even under capitalist pressure. According to Mr. Giffen, the total wealth of Great Britain and Ireland amounted, in round numbers in</p> <p>1814 to £ 2,200,000,000,</p> <p>1865 to £ 6,100,000,000,</p> <p>1875 to £ 8,500,000,000.</p> <p>As an instance of the squandering of means of production and of products during a crisis, the total loss in the German iron industry alone, in the crisis of 1873-78, was given at the second German Industrial Congress (Berlin, February 21, 1878), as 22,750,000 pounds.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/28/read-some-engels-engels-birthday#comments Communism Frederick Engels Socialism: Utopian and Scientific Theory Remembrances Tue, 29 Nov 2016 02:22:27 +0000 Fight Back 5793 at http://www.fightbacknews.org ¡Fidel Castro presente! http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/5792 <p>El 25 de noviembre del 2016 los trabajadores y pueblos oprimidos de todo el mundo perdieron a un gigante con el fallecimiento de Fidel Castro Ruz. La vida de Fidel debe ser honrada, estudiada y emulada. Fidel fue un líder crucial tanto para la Revolución Cubana de 1959, como para la construcción del socialismo en Cuba en las últimas cinco décadas y sus ejemplares actos de solidaridad internacional.</p> <p>La Organización Socialista Camino de la Libertad (FRSO) expresa sus condolencias a la familia, amigos y camaradas de Fidel Castro, como por igual a todo el pueblo cubano frente a esta gigantesca perdida.</p> <p>Fidel Castro fue un revolucionario que luchó y venció las probabilidades más adversas. Lideró un movimiento de guerrillas contra la despiadada dictadura de Fulgencio Batista, que gobernaba a favor de los intereses imperialistas de los EE.UU., oprimiendo brutalmente a los trabajadores y campesinos cubanos. A pesar de algunas derrotas iniciales, el movimiento revolucionario aprendió de sus errores y pudo conquistar la liberación nacional. Fidel desempeño el liderazgo que llevó al movimiento revolucionario a la victoria. </p> <p>La victoria de la revolución cubana en 1959 inspiró a los pueblos de América y del mundo a luchar por la liberación de sus países. A pesar de ser un país pobre, la revolución cubana creo las condiciones para que el pueblo cubano alcanzara increíbles conquistas sociales. La revolución cubana pudo resolver problemas que el capitalismo no puede. Cuba eliminó el analfabetismo y la hambruna, creando los mejores sistemas de educación y salud de toda América. Estas conquistas de la Cuba socialista aún continúan y se pueden contrastar abiertamente contra los otros países de la región dominados por el imperialismo. </p> <p>La revolución cubana, bajo el liderazgo de Fidel Castro y sus camaradas, también desencadenó un inagotable internacionalismo y sacrificio en apoyo a los movimientos revolucionarios y necesidades humanitarias a través de África, Asia, América Latina y el Medio Oriente. El ejemplar y desinteresado internacionalismo que ha demostrado por décadas el pueblo cubano, hace que el mundo admire apasionadamente a la Cuba socialista y a sus líderes como Fidel Castro y Che Guevara. </p> <p>El imperialismo de los EE.UU. no tenía intenciones de permanecer pasivo y permitir que una revolución sobreviviera en una isla que había tenido como colonia a tan solo 90 millas de sus costas. Apenas en su infancia, la revolución cubana se enfrentó a las fuerzas imperialistas de los EE.UU. en la invasión de Playa Girón de 1961. Bajo el liderazgo de Fidel, esta invasión militar fue derrotada, y la reacción del gobierno de los EE.UU. fue la imposición de un brutal embargo económico que continua vigente hasta el día de hoy. Aunque el imperialismo estadounidense ha llevado a cabo incontables actos de sabotaje contra la revolución cubana y cientos de atentados contra la persona de Fidel Castro, no han podido vencer a la revolución. </p> <p>Han fracasado debido al liderazgo colectivo del Partido Comunista de Cuba, del cual Fidel fue uno de sus más importantes líderes. Fidel Castro fue un comunista que adoptó la ideología del Marxismo-Leninismo a través de las enseñanzas y experiencias del proceso revolucionario. A medida que el proceso de la revolución cubana se enfrentaba con problemas concretos, Fidel pudo ver que solo el socialismo podría solucionar los problemas del pueblo cubano, y que el Marxismo-Leninismo proporcionaba la teoría y práctica para guiar el proceso revolucionario hacia adelante. Una vez que adoptó el Marxismo-Leninismo, Fidel nunca vaciló.</p> <p>En la década de los noventa, después de haber quedado política y económicamente aislada, la revolución cubana se enfrentó al periodo más difícil de su historia. A pesar de las inmensas dificultades a las que se enfrentaría el pueblo cubano, Fidel Castro señaló el camino para continuar defendiendo el Marxismo-Leninismo, el anti-imperialismo e internacionalismo proletario. El pueblo cubano supo cómo afrontar y superar las dificultades, a pesar de que muchos lo creían imposible. Durante esta época, Cuba se encontraba aislada tanto en América como en el escenario mundial. El gobierno de los EE.UU. intensificó el bloqueo intentando de esta forma acabar con la revolución cubana. Sin embargo, aferrados a sus principios y a la digna causa de su lucha, Cuba pudo derrotar el aislamiento.</p> <p>Para el 2014 la situación ya había cambiado. Cuba había restablecido relaciones en la región y los EE.UU. se encontraban aislados en América. En la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, casi todos los países del mundo votaron repetidamente en contra del bloqueo económico de EE.UU. contra Cuba. Finalmente, frente a este aislamiento, los EE.UU. tuvo que admitir que sus esfuerzos para derrotar a la revolución cubana habían fracasado e iniciaron un proceso de normalización de las relaciones con Cuba. Sin embargo, el injusto embargo todavía permanece y la lucha contra este continua.</p> <p>El líder de la revolución China Mao Zedong dijo “Todos los hombres han de morir, pero la muerte puede tener distintos significados… puede tener más peso que la montaña Tai o menos que una pluma. Morir por los intereses del pueblo tiene más peso que la montaña Tai, pero servir a los fascistas y morir por los que explotan y oprimen al pueblo tiene, menos peso que una pluma”.</p> <p>Está claro que la muerte del camarada Fidel Castro pesa más que la montaña Tai. Fidel vivió y murió por el pueblo cubano, por la clase trabajadora y por los pueblos oprimidos de todo el mundo. Fue un revolucionario, un comunista y un Marxista-Leninista.</p> <p>Debido al ejemplo de Fidel Castro y la revolución cubana hoy sabemos que un mundo socialista es posible. El ejemplo de Fidel nos inspira a continuar apoyando la revolución socialista cubana y seguir luchando contra el imperialismo y por el socialismo en nuestro país.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/5792#comments Socialism Cuba Fidel Castro frso Socialism Remembrances Tue, 29 Nov 2016 02:14:38 +0000 Fight Back 5792 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Trump’s tax plan just another Republican tax cut for the rich and big business http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/28/trump-s-tax-plan-just-another-republican-tax-cut-rich-and-big-business <p>While Donald Trump claims to be for the working man, his tax proposal is just another Republican tax cut for the rich and big business. The biggest single tax break would be for corporations, whose tax rate would be cut from 35% to 15%. This and other tax cuts for corporations and other businesses would cut federal tax revenue by about $4.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years, or about $450 billion dollars a year. This would mainly benefit the top 1%, who own about half of corporate and business wealth and other high-income individuals who could change their tax status to be a business.</p> <p>Trump’s tax plan would also cut personal income taxes for the well-to-do and rich. By cutting the top tax rate from 39.6% to 33%, eliminating estate and gift taxes, and ending the Alternative Minimum Tax or AMT, it would mean that almost half (47.3%) of the individual tax cut dollars would go to the top one percent of tax payers, and almost a quarter (24.2%) would go to the top one-tenth of one percent of taxpayers. While the top one-tenth of one percent of tax payers would each get more than a million-dollar tax cut per year, the poorest fifth of taxpayers would only save $110 each!</p> <p>Even worse, almost 8 million families that have single parents or a large number of children would actually pay more under Trump’s tax proposal. This is because the Trump plan would eliminate the head of household category used by many single parents, and also eliminate the tax deduction for dependent children. These families could face tax increases in the thousands of dollars, despite Trump’s claim that he would protect the middle class and working class.</p> <p>The Trump tax plan would cut federal government tax revenues by more than $6 trillion over the next decade and cause an even larger growth in the federal debt because of interest costs. The Trump campaign claims that his tax cuts would stimulate economic growth and lead to more tax revenue to make up for the cuts. Most tax experts disagree with this idea. </p> <p>In addition, the experience of the tax cut under former President Ronald Reagan is important. The 1981 Reagan tax cuts slashed business taxes, cut the top tax rate from 70% to 50%, cut the estate taxes, which benefited businesses and the rich. Reagan and his supporters claimed that this would stimulate economic growth, but in fact the annual rate of growth of Gross Domestic Product or GDP (a measure of value of goods and services made in the U.S.) fell from 3.4% in the 1970s to 3.1% in the 1980s. Slower economic growth and less tax revenue meant the federal debt almost tripled from $900 billion when Reagan took office to $2.6 trillion when he left. </p> <p>Many economists would argue that with interest rates so low, it would be good for the federal government to borrow and spend more on roads, bridges and education. This could both create more jobs now, and be an investment for the future. But to borrow more, so that corporations that are sitting on trillions of dollars of profits and the rich who have their biggest share of income since 1929 can have even more, would be of little benefit to the economy, but it would be a gift to the billionaire class to which Trump belongs.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2016/11/28/trump-s-tax-plan-just-another-republican-tax-cut-rich-and-big-business#comments People's Struggles Capitalism and Economy 2016 elections Donald Trump Donald Trump Elections U.S. Mon, 28 Nov 2016 22:41:59 +0000 Fight Back 5791 at http://www.fightbacknews.org