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Richard Mellor / The Communist Manifesto. Have You Read It?
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Today at 06:00:38 AM »
The Communist Manifesto. Have You Read It?

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired
The Capitalist Pyramid

"The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere."

This short excerpt from the Communist Manifesto is important in that it explains the madness we are witnessing around us. The school shootings, the wars, the starvation. We are animals, and animals are conditioned by our environment. What this passage describes is an environment that is unhealthy, insecure and savage. Chickens on the range are chickens of one type. In the industrial farms they are chickens of another. Change the environment and you change the chicken. The same with humans. We are just chickens with an advanced consciousness. This is why Marx is demonized.

Workers can plough through pages upon pages of religious texts written millennia ago, (Millennia is not the name of Trump?s trophy wife) the Judeo Christian bible, the koran, themselves connected to older texts, the Sumerian, the Epic of Gilgamesh and who knows what else. Humans have attempted since our beginnings to explain the world around us and ancient texts are interesting, but tales nevertheless. But mention the Communist Manifesto and most will never have read it, particularly in the US.

But what of this passage above that has its roots firmly planted in reality, the material world. It is a description some 160 years ago of historical development and the human organization. Unlike religious mythology it is hated, demonized, savaged and most importantly feared by the ruling classes.

I was taught that a supernatural creature impregnated a Jewish woman without physical sex and she gave birth to its son and that's why were here.  Some time before that, this supernatural being had spoken to another man and made some sort of deal with him that promised him a territory and special favors if he did some nasty stuff to his male children. It?s a nice story but it?s not real. I know people that accept it don?t like this, but I cannot with all honesty say otherwise. I believe people have a right to believe this, and I have a right not to.  It is not that individuals accept this doctrine, it is that the state and its institutions give it credibility. Marx wrote very little about religion and for Marxists believing in a supreme being is a personal and very private matter.

I have a friend who is somewhat religious. She had broken from some of its worst trappings but we are taught that message from the minute we leave the womb so it?s hard for sure. We are terrorized with threats of retribution, pain  and suffering if we don?t toe the line. God is always watching you.  And the state and all its institutions back it up.  She has never read the passage above or the book from which it is taken, the Communist Manifesto, she cannot entirely caste off the hold the religious doctrine has over her and the prospect of being ostracized from this community in some way. Most importantly, she cannot overcome the stop in her mind, her own consciousness; she cannot liberate herself from it. 

It is a short book, not much more than a pamphlet really that attempts to explain how human society developed and each era is part of a connected process, a historical materialist view of the real world. It is not a perfect piece, but it strikingly prophetic when you look at where we are today. And what beautiful use of language. I should add that it was reading this little book that made me realize Stalinsm was not communism and Marx would not have fared well in Stalin's Soviet Union.

It doesn?t promise a heaven for good behavior and a hell for bad behavior but explains how human society develops and most importantly that things are not predestined, governed by some supernatural forces. It explains the forces at work in society gives a general outline as to how a conscious intervention in events can shape the future and how humanity organizes itself. ?Philosophers have only interpreted the world?? wrote Marx, ??.the point is to change it.? Heresy.

The struggle between classes based on their role in the production of the necessities of life is key. Which social grouping (class) owns the means of producing and distributing these necessities and which class, through its life activity and labor power actually makes them.

For the capitalist class (the bourgeois-- from the old term for urban communities----burghs) this little book is very dangerous. It is a key to the emancipation of humanity and a road to us developing our true human potential. We are not born sinners, evil people as Christian mythology teaches. There is not such a thing as a fixed ?human nature? and a greedy one at that as we are taught.

"It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness." Marx wrote.

Every class-conscious worker should read the Communist Manifesto.


Source: The Communist Manifesto. Have You Read It?
2
Sorry, You Can't Have Fries With That: 12 Foods That May Disappear Thanks to Climate Change


Climate change is affecting the world in many ways, including what we eat and drink.


 

Climate change is making the world a different place. There are more floods, droughts, wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Animal species around the world are either shifting habitats or worse, dying off. Even humans are migrating due to a warmer world.

But there's one effect that will hit many of us right in the gut: Certain foods could disappear thanks to our changing climate. Brace yourself: Here are 12 foods you might be sad to see go.

(image: Foodio/Shutterstock)

1. Guacamole

Around 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed during the Super Bowl, but football fans might eventually have to find something else to dip their tortilla chips into. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predict as much as a 40 percent decrease in avocado production over the next 30 years due to increasing temperatures brought on by climate change.

As a result, the fast-food chain Chipotle, which goes through 97,000 pounds of avocados a day (that's 35 million pounds every year) has warned that if climate change worsens, it may be forced to stop serving guacamole. The company says it "may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients."

(image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

2. Apples

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces," the German theologian Martin Luther said, "I would still plant my apple tree." He didn?t figure that there might be a tomorrow in which apple trees can?t properly grow. In 2011, an international team of scientists published a study which found just that: Temperate fruit and nut trees like the apple tree, which need a certain period of winter chill to produce economically practical yields, could be affected by global warming as winter temperatures rise. They said farmers should prepare for a warmer future by breeding cultivars with lower chilling requirements.

Such apples will likely taste different from the ones we have today, according to a Japanese study which found that rising temperatures are causing apple trees to bear fruit sooner, making them softer and sweeter. "If you could eat an average apple harvested 30 years before and an average apple harvested recently at the same time, you would really taste the difference," said the study's lead author Toshihiko Sugiura, a fruit tree specialist at the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Tsukuba, Japan.

 

 

 

(image: Pexels)

3. Walnuts

California is no stranger to climate-related weather events, and farmers will have to contend with an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves and droughts. Global greenhouse gas emissions are having "serious consequences" on California, according to a report released by the Public Policy Institute of California in January. "The state has recently experienced record-high temperatures, and warming is expected to continue over the century ... and the frequency of extreme events such as droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and floods is expected to increase."

This hotter future is set to have a serious impact on the American diet, as the Golden State produces about two-thirds of the nation's produce. With apples set to decline, we can say goodbye to Waldorf salads, since according to a new report on the impact of climate change on California agriculture published in the journal Agronomy, walnuts would be the hardest-hit crop. The authors say that's because walnut trees "require the highest number of chill hours, implying a future decline in walnut acreage within the valley." California grows almost 99 percent of the walnuts eaten by Americans, and supports around 75 percent of worldwide supply.

(image: specialagentkate/Flickr)

4. Corn

Few things say summer is here than a cob of corn grilled to perfection at a backyard barbecue. But this staple food is in for some tough times ahead due to climate change, and that spells trouble for food security and global health: Corn is one of the four largest sources of caloric energy for humans, along with rice, wheat and soybeans. 

Corn is the most valuable crop in the U.S., which produces 41 percent of the world's supply. And that value is set to decrease significantly. A 2009 study conducted by researchers from Columbia University and North Carolina State University found that temperatures exceeding 29°C/84°F are "very harmful" for corn yields. According to current projections, farmers could experience a decrease in corn production anywhere between 30 to 82 percent.

(image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

5. Beer

Climate change is sad, and soon you may no longer be able to cry about it into your beer?already a victim of a changing climate as brewers are finding it harder to secure stable water supplies. About a third of counties in the United States will endure "higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming," according to a 2010 report commissioned by the National Resources Defense Council. The authors warn that between 2030 and 2050, the difficulty in accessing freshwater will be "significant in the major agricultural and urban areas throughout the nation.?

Some specialty hops used by craft brewers have already become harder to source, since warming winters are producing earlier and smaller yields. "This is not a problem that's going to happen someday," said Jenn Orgolini of Colorado's New Belgium Brewery. "If you drink beer now, the issue of climate change is impacting you right now." She said that in 2011, the hops her brewery normally uses weren't available due to Pacific Northwest weather conditions.

(image: Mi.Ti./Shutterstock)

6. Rice and Beans

"The American dream is a crock," opined Bill Hicks. "Stop wanting everything. Everyone should wear jeans and have three T-shirts, eat rice and beans." The late comedian didn't live long enough to find out that climate change could threaten the ability to follow his wise suggestion. It's hard to overstate the importance of rice, a food staple for almost half of the world's population. But climate change is on target to significantly impact yields of this critical grain in the coming decades.

"Temperature increases, rising seas and changes in rainfall patterns and distribution expected as a result of global climate change could lead to substantial modifications in land and water resources for rice production as well as in the productivity of rice crops grown in different parts of the world," according to a 2005 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. A report that same year by the United States Department of Agriculture found that the viability of rice-growing land in tropical areas could decline by more than 50 percent during the next century.

Beans, a perfect complement to rice, feed the majority of the human population in Latin America and much of Africa?and are a part of the daily diet of more than 400 million people across the developing world. But beans may also experience declines due to a warming world. Higher temperatures could reduce bean yields by as much as 25 percent, according to a report the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). "Beans are highly sensitive to heat, and the varieties that farmers currently grow do not yield well under night temperatures over 18 or 19 degrees Centigrade," says Nathan Russell of CIAT. "Higher temperatures drastically reduce seed fertility, leading to lower grain yields and quality." Thankfully, CIAT scientists have identified about 30 "elite" bean lines that have demonstrated tolerance to temperatures 4°C higher than the crop's normal comfort zone.

(image: Kayo/Shutterstock)

7. Seafood

One of the most dramatic effects of climate change is ocean acidification, a decrease in the pH (or increase in the hydrogen ion concentration), of the Earth's oceans, making the water more acidic. This is caused by the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?carbon we're releasing by burning fossil fuels and mowing down forests. This decrease in pH makes it harder for organisms like corals, crustaceans and molluscs to form the calcium-based shells and exoskeletons they need to survive. Scientists at the Ocean Acidification Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks have warned that shellfish farmers off the Alaska coast may need to start modifying the sea water in their hatcheries as they expect "significant effects" from acidification by 2040.

Scientists also believe that pink salmon, the most abundant of the Pacific salmon species, will be one of the primary victims of climate change, since the fish cannot survive the increasingly acidic waters. In a 2015 study, scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and MacEwan University in Edmonton reared pink salmon in the lab under water acidity levels expected at the end of this century. They found that when the fish reached the age at which they would migrate to the sea, their ability to use oxygen in their muscles was significantly decreased. This means their future wild brethren will face difficulties locating food and evading predators.

Ocean acidification isn't the only climate-related threat to fish. According to a study conducted by a team of Australian scientists, higher temperatures will increase the toxicity of common pesticides and industrial contaminants such as endosulfan, an insecticide, and phenol, an organic compound used to produce plastics and a variety of pharmaceuticals, which threatens the survival of a wide array of freshwater species such as trout, perch and carp.

(image: avs/Shutterstock.com)

8. Chocolate

"Everywhere in the world there are tensions?economic, political, religious," said French chef Alain Ducasse in a 2013 interview with the Wall Street Journal. "So we need chocolate." Who among us can disagree? An estimated one billion people around the world eat chocolate every day. The average American consumes 12 pounds of the sweet stuff every year. But the topography of Ghana and Ivory Coast, where more than half of the world's chocolate is sourced in the form of the cocoa bean, will be so different by 2050 that production will be seriously impacted. 

The current optimum altitude for cocoa production is 100 to 250 meters above sea level (MASL). But according to a worrisome 2011 CIAT study, that figure will increase to between 450 and 500 MASL by 2050. The report's authors warn that farmers might begin to see declines in cocoa production by 2030. Beyond impacting our chocolate consumption is the effect that this will have on cocoa farmers, many of whom rely on cocoa for their livelihoods. "Many of these farmers use their cocoa trees like ATM machines," said Dr. Peter Laderach, the report's lead author. "They pick some pods and sell them to quickly raise cash for school fees or medical expenses. The trees play an absolutely critical role in rural life."

(image: menic181/Shutterstock.com)

9. Coffee

Actor Jim Carrey once said, "I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, 'Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.'" He probably wasn't referring to climate change, but he might as well have been.

Coffee is ubiquitous. Around 8.5 million metric tons of coffee are grown in 60 countries on nearly every continent. Half a trillion tons of java are consumed every year. But people around the globe may have to find another stimulating beverage to start their day. In recent years, a deadly plant fungus called coffee rust has swept across Central America, cutting coffee production and seriously impacting local economies. Experts believe that the spread of the disease has been driven by higher temperatures brought on by climate change. 

Coffee plantations around the world are dealing with increased incidences of fungi and invasive species due to higher temperatures. Coffee bean farms on the Kona coast of the Big Island in Hawaii are being ravaged by an insect called the coffee berry borer, which scientists say is "expected to become an even greater threat" due to climate change.

And in Africa, scientists predict that the number of coffee-growing regions will decrease between 65 to 100 percent as the surface temperature increases.

(image: inewsfoto/Shutterstock.com)

10. Peanut Butter

Billy Joel once quipped, "A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex." Indeed, there are few things as immediately satisfying as a good PB&J. If you grew up in the U.S., you probably ate your share as a kid. But this simple and classic sammy could become a museum piece with climate change on track to push a number of wild relatives of plants, including the peanut, to extinction, according to a 2007 study.

Andy Jarvis, an agricultural geographer who led the study, said that flora like the peanut are more threatened by global warming since they grow mainly in flat areas; farmers would need to migrate significant distances to find cooler climates and that is not always possible. He points out the importance of maintaining seed banks to guard against the effects of climate change. "There is an urgent need to collect and store the seeds of wild relatives in crop diversity collections before they disappear," he said. His call to action could be summed up neatly: Save the PB&J!

(image: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock.com)

11. Wine

If we don't keep the increase of the global surface temperature to a maximum of 2°C (some say 1.5°C) to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, fermented grape juice from traditional winemaking regions could one day become a thing of the past. Grapevines are extremely sensitive to their surrounding environment: The variation in yield from season to season is more than 32 percent. And with temperatures steadily increasing, viniculture around the world is changing. Changes are already afoot in France, one of the largest wine producers in the world.

"Extreme weather is becoming more common in all of France's wine-growing regions," writes Ullrich Fichtner in Der Spiegel. "Heavy rains and hailstorms frequently come on the heels of summer heat waves and dry periods. Winters and nighttime temperatures are so mild that the plants are never able to rest. Few winegrowers continue to deny these tangible phenomena."

The famous wine appellation Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a striking example. As temperatures rise in the southern Rhône region, the harvest dates for this heavy wine have moved from October to early September. Philippe Guigal, one of the leading winemakers in the Rhône Valley, said that in the area where Châteauneuf-du-Pape grapes are grown, "the problems are getting really serious."

But as climate change disrupts traditional winemaking regions worldwide, it will also create new ones, like Montana and China.

(image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

12. French Fries

Who doesn't like french fries? Scratch that. Who doesn?t love french fries? But we may need to think about a different side to go with basically everything.

In terms of human consumption, the potato is the world's third most important food crop after rice and wheat. More than a billion people worldwide eat potato, and global total potato production exceeds 300 million metric tons. But bad news looks to be on the spud's horizon. In 2015, Vice News published a story with a very disturbing headline: "Climate Change Might Be the Greatest Threat to Potato Cultivation in 8,000 Years."

In Peru, home to thousands of potato species as well as the International Potato Center (CIP), based in Lima, potato farmers are being forced to move to higher altitudes due to rising surface temperatures. But even the Andes don?t rise forever. "I estimate that in 40 years there will be nowhere left to plant potatoes [in Peru's highlands]," said Rene Gómez, curator of the CIP germplasm bank.

Of course, french fries aren't the only thing the potato has given to the world. We could also lose such starchy staples as potato chips, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad, home fries and hash browns. Many cultures across the globe would lose popular potato-based regional dishes, such as aloo gobi (India), boxty (Ireland), cottage pie (United Kingdom), gamjajeon (South Korea), gnocchi (Italy), gratin (France), knishes (Eastern Europe), patatas bravas (Spain), kroppkaka (Sweden) and massaman curry (Thailand), to name a few. 

Food may be one of the most apparent and immediate ways many of us will feel the impact of climate change. "The general story is that agriculture is sensitive," said David Lobell, deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University. "It's not the end of the world, but it will be a big enough deal to be worth our concern."

We certainly don't need another reason to fight climate change. But a good one would be to save some of our favorite?and the world's most important?foods from extinction.

An earlier version of this article was published on December 27, 2015.

 

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Source: Sorry, You Can't Have Fries With That: 12 Foods That May Disappear Thanks to Climate Change
3
Inter Press Service - Labour / Agricultural Trade Liberalization Undermined Food Security
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Today at 06:00:32 AM »
Agricultural Trade Liberalization Undermined Food Security

Agriculture is critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes, ?From ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food and agriculture lies at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.? For many, the answer to poverty and hunger is to accelerate […]

The post Agricultural Trade Liberalization Undermined Food Security appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Agricultural Trade Liberalization Undermined Food Security
4
Richard Mellor / Gaza: Let Me Tell You About Them
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Yesterday at 06:00:57 PM »
Gaza: Let Me Tell You About Them

                Saturday, 19 May 2018 16:59                               

                  Let Me Tell You About Them                             
                                                                             
Let Me Tell You About Them
by Kevin Higgins

The teenagers we shot yesterday
were shot responsibly through the eye
with plain-speaking dum-dum bullets,
manufactured in Fife, or taken down
with SR 25 sniper rifles flown
heroically in from Orange County.
Many of these so-called protestors
specifically arranged to be shot in the back,
just to make us look bad.

The gas canisters our people threw
were entirely rational, and legal,
like the Boer firestorm the kaffirs
brought down on themselves at Sharpeville,
or the best-of-British ambush
that rubbish walked into at Derry.
The one rogue canister which lost
its mind and finished up in a tent
beside an eight month old baby,
who, sadly, also expired, is currently under investigation
and expects to be cleared of all wrong doing,
unlike the baby who we?ve already found guilty.

There is no such thing as Palestinians.
Just some Arabs who used to live here
and think they still do.
The keys they wave in the air
no longer open any doors.
They are a rumour you foolishly believed,
now we?ve moved our eternal capital
to what used to be
their front room.

Reprinted from Culture Matters

                     

Kevin Higgins is a Galway-based poet, essayist and reviewer, and  satirist-in-residence at the alternative literature site The Bogman's  Cannon, www.bogmanscannon.com.
 

Source: Gaza: Let Me Tell You About Them
5
AlterNet / Texas Lt. Governor Blames Doors for the Santa Fe Shooting
« Last post by AlterNet on Yesterday at 06:00:53 PM »
Texas Lt. Governor Blames Doors for the Santa Fe Shooting



 
 
 



The bizarre comment points to an unwillingness to address the fundamental problem.


 

As officials struggled to respond to the Santa Fe shooting in Texas on Friday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made comments that struck many as bizarre. While discussing ways to address the problem of gun violence going forward, Patrick focused extensively on the idea the schools' many entrances may make them too unsafe. 

"We may have to look at the design of our schools," he said. "And retrofitting schools that are already built. What I mean by that is that there are too many entrances and too many exits to our over 8,000 campuses in Texas. ... There aren't enough people to put a guard at every entrance and exit."

Patrick did also acknowledge the fact that parents need to lock up any guns they own so that their children don't have access to them. The shooter in Santa Fe reportedly used his mother's gun in the attack. However, many gun safety advocates argue that the large number of guns owned by the American people, not how they're stored, in the primary reason for elevated levels of gun violence. 

And as activist Michael Skolnik pointed out on Twitter, shootings can happen anywhere in the country ? concerts, schools, offices, homes. The problem isn't, in other words, the architectural design of our public spaces. The problem is the ubiquity of firearms.

Watch the clip below:






 

Related Stories


Source: Texas Lt. Governor Blames Doors for the Santa Fe Shooting
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Inter Press Service - Labour / Child Slavery Refuses to Disappear in Latin America
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Yesterday at 06:00:52 PM »
Child Slavery Refuses to Disappear in Latin America

Child labour has been substantially reduced in Latin America, but 5.7 million children below the legal minimum age are still working and a large proportion of them work in precarious, high-risk conditions or are unpaid, which constitute new forms of slave labour. For the International Labor Organisation (ILO) child labour includes children working before they […]

The post Child Slavery Refuses to Disappear in Latin America appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Child Slavery Refuses to Disappear in Latin America
7
French Students Protest Macron's Attacks on Education. Occupy Campuses



Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Students throughout France have been occupying their campuses to protest attacks on education.  This video is interesting for those that are not familiar with the events of 1968 when the largest general strike in history took place in France.

The French General Strike did not take place in a vacuum of course. The colonial revolution was in full swing as they fought to expel direct control by the British French and colonial regimes. In the US we had the Civil Rights movement that shocked US capitalism to its core. Two of the greatest leaders on the 20th century Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were assassinated by the US state machine in this decade.

In Northern Ireland as well, the movement was in full swing as students and workers fought against the discrimination against Catholics and for unity. Ireland's events were very much influenced by the Civil Rights movement in the US and its most militant sections by the Black Panthers, Malcolm X and other socialist and left elements of the black revolt.

But in France the student movement ignited a General Strike that threatened to topple the state and capitalism itself. Some of the gains under attack today were won in 1968 as the video explains.

In 1968 the state was brought in and viciously attacked the students. Clare Doyle in her pamphlet on the French General Strike* describes it: "At the beginning of May some students from Nanterre including Daniel Cohn Bendit were to be tried in the university courts for 'disruptive behavior'. A battle between students and fascists loomed. On May 2nd  Roche, the Director, closed Nanterre University" 

"The next day students gathering peacefully with those fo the Sorbonne, were viciously attacked by the hated riot police----the CRS---and hundreds of students were arrested..."

As the state increased its repression the University teachers' union called a strike. The government banned demonstrations but the strikes spread to the secondary schools. The more repression, the more anger resulted and the working class, particularly young workers began to join the fray. There were mass demonstrations in Paris of more than one million and at its height ten million workers struck and occupied their workplaces.

The movement shocked not only the French ruling class and French President Charles De Gaulle but the ruling classes throughout the world including the Stalinist regimes that were also facing revolt in Czechoslovakia in 1968 12 years after a revolt in Hungary. In the US the student movement was fighting against the Vietnam war as were many French students. The post World War Two economic boom was coming to an end.

Contrary to the views expressed in the video, the 1968 French General Strike which was "detonated" by the student movement to be joined by the heavy battalions of the working class, threatened to overthrow capitalism itself. It was not, as the commentator in the video says, a battle between liberalism and conservatism. It became a movement to eliminate capitalism, to change the economic and political nature of society.  The workers and youth were betrayed by both the Communist and Socialist leadership that headed the French workers'' movement and things eventually returned to normal with some reforms.

That the strike was kicked off by the student demonstrations and the violent response from the state is to be expected. Workers are more conservative when it comes to moving in to struggle in a major way, have a lot more to lose. The bosses' and their politicians are aware of these dangers which is why movements are nipped in the bud using both the carrot and the stick. In the US during the Civil Rights movement they had to get the movement off the streets and in to the courts that they control introducing what we know now as Affirmative Action measures that have failed the US black population as a whole miserably. These measures were part of a conscious effort to build up a black petit bourgeois, a buffer against the revolutionary potential of the black working class holding them back, telling them that change can only come from limiting protests to within the confines of accepted norms, "look at us. The system works" .

This is just a short commentary to accompany this video but I am certain with some research the reader will see that the rise of the black middle class after the Civil Rights movement runs counter to the deepening crisis and violence affecting black working class communities. There are more black millionaires, and a few billionaires and more black politicians that has not resulted in significant changes in the conditions of life for the black working class.

The teachers strikes in the US have so far been dealt with mildly in the hope they will subside. The Democratic Party representing the liberal wing of the ruling class and the "official" trade union leadership will do their best to ensure the movement doesn't get out of hand as things did in France in 1969 and the movement of teachers doesn't spread to other protest movements that have arisen over the past period against racism, sexism, the environmental crisis etc. It took a month in France 1968 for a protest movement that was dominated by student and education reform that involved 10 million workers and a real threat to capitalism itself.

* France 1968: Month of Revolution: Lessons of the General Strike by  Clare Doyle

Note: I think Ms Doyle's brief account of the events of 1968 is an excellent introduction to this issue for workers. It is well written and easy to read giving a real feel of the explosive nature and mood in France at the time as well as the world situation as a whole. It is also available in Spanish at the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) website.   Correction: A previous posting mistakenly said that Ms Doyle was an expelled member of the CWI.

I am  a former expelled member of the CWI. One regrettable but all too common trait of  the author of this pamphlet and the self styled revolutionary groups like the CWI, is the claim that they and only they predicted any of these events and only they have the answers. Richard Mellor
Source: French Students Protest Macron's Attacks on Education. Occupy Campuses
8
Infoshop News / New Class Composition, New Struggles
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:01:21 AM »
New Class Composition, New Struggles

After years of falling wages and worsening working conditions are we now seeing a new shape to the working class?
Source: New Class Composition, New Struggles
9
AlterNet / CNN's Anderson Cooper Explains Why He Won't Air the Santa Fe Shooter's Name or Face
« Last post by AlterNet on Yesterday at 06:01:17 AM »
CNN's Anderson Cooper Explains Why He Won't Air the Santa Fe Shooter's Name or Face



 
 
 



"His victims deserve far better."


 

CNN's Anderson Cooper explained in the wake of the deadly shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday that his program, "Anderson Cooper 360," makes an effort to reduce the attention and glory that such killers receive.

"As always on this program, it will be [the survivors'] stories we tell, theirs and lives of those who did not make it," Cooper said. "The name of the alleged killer will not be said nor will his face be shown. The only thing he deserves is justice. His victims deserve far better."

An increasing number of media outlets have adopted this policy or others like it in an attempt to reduce the notoriety that killers receive after committing atrocities. Since these types of killers are often motivated by the desire for attention and recognition, many fear that delivering this kind of coverage perpetuates the problem.

?There?s hard evidence that says, well, a mass killer got more attention than Kim Kardashian this month, and you know how many people are influenced by Kim Kardashian," said Adam Lankford, an associate professor in criminology at the University of Alabama, in an interview with WBUR in 2017. "So it?s not surprising that a tiny, tiny percentage of people with significant problems would be influenced by that mass killer.?

Last year, Lankford and 149 other researchers and experts signed a letter asking outlets to stop naming the alleged killers in these crimes and showing their pictures.

Watch the clip below:






 

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10
French Students Protest Macron's Attacks on Education. Occupy Campuses



Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Students throughout France have been occupying their campuses to protest attacks on education.  This video is interesting for those that are not familiar with the events of 1968 when the largest general strike in history took place in France.

The French General Strike did not take place in a vacuum of course. The colonial revolution was in full swing as they fought to expel direct control by the British French and colonial regimes. In the US we had the Civil Rights movement that shocked US capitalism to its core. Two of the greatest leaders on the 20th century Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were assassinated by the US state machine in this decade.

In Northern Ireland as well, the movement was in full swing as students and workers fought against the discrimination against Catholics and for unity. Ireland's events were very much influenced by the Civil Rights movement in the US and its most militant sections by the Black Panthers, Malcolm X and other socialist and left elements of the black revolt.

But in France the student movement ignited a General Strike that threatened to topple the state and capitalism itself. Some of the gains under attack today were won in 1968 as the video explains.

In 1968 the state was brought in and viciously attacked the students. Clare Doyle in her pamphlet describes it: "At the beginning of May some students from Nanterre including Daniel Cohn Bendit were to be tried in the university courts for 'disruptive behavior'. A battle between students and fascists loomed. On May 2nd  Roche, the Director, closed Nanterre University"  *

"The next day students gathering peacefully with those fo the Sorbonne, were viciously attacked by the hated riot police----the CRS---and hundreds of students were arrested..."

As the state increased its repression the University teachers' union called a strike. The government banned demonstrations but the strikes spread to the secondary schools. The more repression, the more anger resulted and the working class, particularly young workers began to join the fray. There were mass demonstrations in Paris of more than one million and at its height ten million workers struck and occupied their workplaces.

The movement shocked not only the French ruling class and French President Charles De Gaulle but the ruling classes throughout the world including the Stalinist regimes that were also facing revolt in Czechoslovakia in 1968 12 years after a revolt in Hungary. In the US the student movement was fighting against the Vietnam war as were many French students. The post World War Two economic boom was coming to an end.

Contrary to the views expressed in the video, the 1968 French General Strike which was "detonated" by the student movement to be joined by the heavy battalions of the working class, threatened to overthrow capitalism itself. It was not, as the commentator in the video says, a battle between liberalism and conservatism. It became a movement to eliminate capitalism, to change the economic and political nature of society.  The workers and youth were betrayed by both the Communist and Socialist leadership that headed the French workers'' movement and things eventually returned to normal with some reforms.

That the strike was kicked off by the student demonstrations and the violent response from the state is to be expected. Workers are more conservative when it comes to moving in to struggle in a major way, have a lot more to lose. The bosses' and their politicians are aware of these dangers which is why movements are nipped in the bud using both the carrot and the stick. In the US during the Civil Rights movement they had to get the movement off the streets and in to the courts that they control introducing what we know now as Affirmative Action measures that have failed the US black population as a whole miserably. These measures were part of a conscious effort to build up a black petit bourgeois, a buffer against the revolutionary potential of the black working class holding them back, telling them that change can only come from limiting protests to within the confines of accepted norms, "look at us. The system works" .

This is just a short commentary to accompany this video but I am certain with some research the reader will see that the rise of the black middle class after the Civil Rights movement runs counter to the deepening crisis and violence affecting black working class communities. There are more black millionaires, and a few billionaires and more black politicians that has not resulted in significant changes in the conditions of life for the black working class.

The teachers strikes in the US have so far been dealt with mildly in the hope they will subside. The Democratic Party representing the liberal wing of the ruling class and the "official" trade union leadership will do their best to ensure the movement doesn't get out of hand as things did in France in 1969 and the movement of teachers doesn't spread to other protest movements that have arisen over the past period against racism, sexism, the environmental crisis etc. It took a month in France 1968 for a protest movement that was dominated by student and education reform that involved 10 million workers and a real threat to capitalism itself.

* France 1968: Month of Revolution: Lessons of the General Strike by  Clare Doyle

I think this brief account of the events of 1968 is an excellent introduction to this issue for workers. It is well written and easy to read giving a real feel of the explosive nature and mood in France at the time as well as the world situation as a whole. It is also available in Spanish at the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) website.  The writer is a former, expelled member of the CWI and one regrettable but all too common trait of the author of this pamphlet and the self styled revolutionary groups like the CWI, is the claim that they and only they predicated any of these events and only they have the answers.
Source: French Students Protest Macron's Attacks on Education. Occupy Campuses
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