Saturday, 31 March 2012


On Lynching And The Ku Klux Klan 
By Ho Chi Minh (1924)

It is well known that the Black race is the most oppressed and the most exploited of the human family.  It is well known that the spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery, which was for centuries a scourge for the Negroes and a bitter disgrace for mankind. What everyone does not perhaps know is that after sixty-five years of so-called emancipation, American Negroes still endure atrocious moral and material sufferings, of which the most cruel and horrible is the custom of lynching.

The word "lynching" comes from Lynch.  Lynch was the name of a planter in Virginia, a landlord and judge. Availing himself of the troubles of the War of Independence, he took the control of the whole district into his hands. He inflicted the most savage punishment, without trial or process of law, on Loyalists and Tories.  Thanks to the slave traders, the Ku Klux Klan, and other secret societies, the illegal and barbarous practice of lynching is spreading and continuing widely in the States of the American Union. It has become more inhuman since the emancipation of the Blacks, and is especially directed at the latter....

From 1899 to 1919, 2,600 Blacks were lynched, including 51 women and girls and ten former Great War soldiers.

Among 78 Blacks lynched in 1919, 11 were burned alive, three burned after having been killed, 31 shot, three tortured to death, one cut into pieces, one drowned, and 11 put to death by various means.

Georgia heads the list with 22 victims, Mississippi follows with 12. Both have also three lynched soldiers to their credit.  Of the 11 burned alive, the first State has four and the second two.  Out of 34 cases of systematic, premeditated and organized lynching, it is still Georgia that holds first place with five.  Mississippi comes second with three.

Among the charges brought against the victims of 1919, we note:  one of having been a member of the League of Non-Partisans (independent farmers); one of having distributed revolutionary publications; one of expressing his opinion on lynchings too freely; one of having criticized the clashes between Whites and Blacks in Chicago; one of having been known as a leader of the cause of the Blacks; one for not getting out of the way and thus frightening a white child who was in a motorcar. In 1920, there were fifty lynchings, and in 1922 there were twenty-eight.

These crimes were all motivated by economic jealousy.  Either the Negroes in the area were more prosperous than the Whites, or the Black workers would not let themselves be exploited thoroughly.  In all cases, the principle culprits were never troubled, for the simple reason that they were always incited, encouraged, spurred on, then protected by politicians, financiers, and authorities, and above all, by the reactionary press....

The place of origin of the Ku Klux Klan is the Southern United States. In May, 1866 , after the Civil War, young people gathered together in a small locality of the State of Tennessee to set up a club.  A question of whiling away the time.  This organization was given the name "kuklos", a Greek word meaning "club".  To Americanize the word, it was changed into Ku Klux. Hence, for more originality, Ku Klux Klan.

After big social upheavals, the public mind is naturally unsettled. It becomes avid for new stimuli and inclined to mysticism.  The KKK, with its strange garb, its bizarre rituals, its mysteries, and its secrecy, irresistibly attracted the curiosity of the Whites in the Southern States and became very popular.

It consisted at first of only a group of snobs and idlers, without political or social purpose.  Cunning elements discovered in it a force able to serve their political ambitions.

The victory of the Federal Government had just freed the Negroes and made them citizens.  The agriculture of the South - deprived of its Black labor, was short of hands.  Former landlords were exposed to ruin.  The Klansmen proclaimed the principle of the supremacy of the white race. Anti-Negro was their only policy.  The agrarian and slaveholding bourgeoisie saw in the Klan a useful agent, almost a savior.  They gave it all the help in their power.  The Klan's methods ranged from intimidation to murder....

The Klan is for many reasons doomed to disappear.  The Negroes, having learned during the war that they are a force if united, are no longer allowing their kinsmen to be beaten or murdered with impunity.  They are replying to each attempt at violence by the Klan.  In July 1919, in Washington, they stood up to the Klan and a wild mob.  The battle raged in the capital for four days.  In August, they fought for five days against the Klan and the mob in Chicago.  Seven regiments were mobilized to restore order.  In September the government was obliged to send federal troops to Omaha to put down similar strife.  In various other States the Negroes defend themselves no less energetically.

(Ho Chi Minh, 1924)


On Ho Chi Minh
Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm

This is documentary-film on the life of revolutionary nationalist and socialist leader of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, is well worth a watch. It is usa-made and interviews many western journalists and other figures who had met Ho.

The documentary also has footage that I had not seen where Ho meets Chinese revolutionary leader Mao tse tung, Kruschev of the USSR and Tito of Yugoslavia.

Ho is one of the greatest revolutionary leaders on the twentieth century, and a lot more focus should be put on the historical and continued anti-imperialist and socialist experience of Vietnam. Rather, lefties in the west like it when our people die in their tens of thousands in our wars of liberation against empire, but when our people build up our countries after the resistance, the western lefties aren't interested any more and usually denounce that which we have successfully built.

It was in reality the radicalisation in usa society borne out of the Black Liberation Movement, especially the Panthers and other radicalising groups like the Young Lords, Brown Berets, Weather Underground, White Panthers, that disturbed the usa ruling class. All organisations which most of the western left at best patronise or more usually denounce as being too this or too that for their liking.

Ho Chi Minh, as the documentary states, spent over thirty years living in the west, including in London and Paris, he was also a founding member of the Communist Party of France in 1920 but was constantly frustrated by the way French colonialism infected the French CP particularly as the CP at times was in the French government and as Vietnam was a French colony at the tie, Ho felt the party could have played a better anti-imperialist role.

He saw in the usa that the blacks were the most oppressed section of the population and supported their militant resistance against white supremacist terror.

Ho Chi Minh was a firm believer of the unity of the socialist camp, and was disturbed and upset when the Communist China fell out with the USSR in the early 1960s, and even in his last words desired the two countries to reunite:

"Being a man who has devoted his whole life to the revolution, the more proud I am of the growth of the international communist and workers' movement, the more pained I am by the current discord among the fraternal Parties.

I hope that our Party will do its best to contribute effectively to the restoration of unity among the fraternal Parties on the basis of Marxism - Leninism and proletarian internationalism, in a way which conforms to both reason and sentiment.

I am firmly confident that the fraternal Parties and countries will have to unite again."

This process of rapprochement between the two socialist giants started in the mid 1980s, but never was completed due to the collapse of the USSR due to internal sell-outs like Gorbachev.

Today we can see the Russian state being led by Putin who is the personification of the continuing power of the old Red Army and KGB intelligence services unite again strategically in international politics with China in support of the Global South, most profoundly of late with the veto at the UN security council in favour of supporting Syrian independence which has given the Global South a little breathing space.

Ho Chi Minh's writings and speeches and as well the military-political leader of the Vietnamese resistance General Giap, a modern master of mass-based socialist guerilla warfare, are important texts for revolutionaries to get their heads around.

The documentary states that Ho believed in outright victory of the liberation forces against the French occupation of the country, and then the usa occupation. On both accounts the Vietnamese defeated them outright. This was a major inspiration to the militancy of the international struggle as with the support of the USSR and China, Vietnam could take on such a strategy vis-a-vis imperialism and win. In so doing, they inspired militancy across the world (listen to the Chilean revolutionary's and singer's - Victor Jara's ode to Ho Chi Minh below), including Che Guevara who concluded in his most famous speech that the world needs one, two three many Vietnams to defeat imperialism across the world.

The victory in 1954 of the Vietnamese resistance of the French occupiers at Dien Bien Phu (so much of the struggle of Vietnam is truly awesome, with this battle just an incredible chapter in world anti-imperialist history) was also a direct inspiration to the world anti-colonial struggle, was one of the first military victories over imperialism in the post Second World War period, and also directly inspired the Algerian revolutionaries in the National Liberation Front to escalate their struggle against French imperialism.

Lets us ensure the sacrifice of millions of Vietnamese lives doesn't remain a means to drop a shallow quote to the Vietnamese war and resistance, but informs our living revolutionary conciousness and soul for the continued struggle against empire and white supremacy.

I was lucky enough to have visited the country for three weeks in the summer of 2002 hosted by the Communist Party and the Youth League there, its an impressive country and as a person from Asia, it was wonderful to see an Asian country that delivers an increasing standard of living to its people and takes a generally good position in international affairs.

Every student in the world should visit Vietnam and learn about that country's struggles. I remember seeing young white students from north america at the museum of the war in Ho Chi Ming city (formerly known as 'Saigon' before liberation) who were all in tears at seeing in the exhibition what their country had done to the Vietnamese people and the dauntless revolutionary spirit for independence of the Vietnamese people in their resistance.

Vietnam sacrificed for its own liberation and on behalf of the international liberation movement against imperialism. Today Vietnam continues to stand as a socialist and independent nation. They deserve our respect.

"My ultimate wish is that our entire Party and people, closely joining their efforts, will build a peaceful, reunified, independent, democratic and prosperous Vietnam, and make a worthy contribution to the world revolution." (Ho Chi Minh - last testament)

Friday, 30 March 2012


A Vote for Ken Livingstone for London Mayor: 
A vote in favour of the Global South and London's working class and black communities

Sukant Chandan,
Sons of Malcolm
30 March 2012

The historic election victory of George Galloway and his Respect party in Bradford West is the first real sign of a socialist-oriented and anti-imperialist resurgence in England in a context of a generally right-wing trajectory.

Wales, Ireland and Scotland however are seeing a progressive and leftward national trajectory, indicative of the many decades and centuries of English colonialism resulting in a right-wing England comparatively to more the progressive politics and struggles in the other nations of these islands.

Galloway's election win will only be the start of a resurgence if it is followed by other considerable victories of anti-imperialist socialism in England, whose immediate manifestation should be the victory of Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone.

My political life started several years before New Labour came to power in 1997. My education as to imperialist and white supremacist policies was those by the labour party in government. When I was detained and arrested many times for anti-war activity (or just looking like a Muslim), and when my closest friends and comrades were arrested and beaten up for by police for opposing the wars Britain, the labour party was the political elite in charge of the wars, and they disgusted me then, and they disgust me today. This is part of the reason why I am so happy with Galloway giving them a historically big bloody nose in Bradford.

With the coming to power of the Lib-Dem Tory coalition, I couldn't help but be over the moon that the party of war, the party which had killed and injured so many of my people were finally thrown out. But having had discussions with a close brother who whose own political development happened under the tory government, and coupled with the trenchant attacks on the most vulnerable and poor in society by this present government, I was forced to reflect on my previous position and now understand that a tory government is in general worse than a labour government. Trust me, that's very hard for me to admit, but it's the truth as I see it.

I am loyal to the peoples and nations of the Global South fighting for full independence and progressive development. I a world democrat, I am on side with the majority of the oppressed of the world who are non-white, and in the 'third world'. Therefore I will always side with the Global South over the west, even if under a labour government they throw a few crumbs like the minimum wage to make us forget they are making war plans on all the nations of the Global South.

So it was a pleasant development to witness a Mayor of London  - Ken Livingstone - someone who is essentially a labour party animal, albeit to its left-wing but someone who was not only making moves to develop positive and mutually respectful and beneficial relations with the rising Global South, but also making progressive social reforms as best he could within his remit, and taking progressive political positions on many other issues.

Mayor Ken was opening essentially diplomatic offices for London in Delhi and Beijing, again signalling that Mayor Ken was in step with the world changes in favour of the Global South, and trying to develop politics in a real and professional manner that unites the west in a respectful relationship with the rising South.

At every bus stop in London under Mayor Ken there were signs informing us that the Venezuelan Bolivarian Republic was helping to finance the London transport system and make it affordable, so that children under 18 could ride buses free. Having worked with young people professionally and taking a keen interest in the rights of young people throughout much of my adult life, I know this was important to many working class youth. For it to have been developed with one of the vanguard countries of the struggle of the Global South was a real and meaningful act of internationalism by Mayor Ken's administration. Ken Livingstone has also stated that he is committed to keeping public transport down in London and maintain the Freedom Pass for the elderly.

The Education Maintenance Allowance, a weekly allowance made a real difference to working class people from the age of 16-19. The current government scrapped it, and Ken Livingstone has promised to reintroduce it if he is elected, receiving general support of young people across London.

Looking back on Ken's mayorship, an ugly moment was when Brother Jean Charles DeMenezes was killed in an extra-judicial execution by British police following the London terror attacks in July 2005. Mayor Ken defended the police action, some argue he couldn't have done otherwise, but even President Obama criticised the police when they harassed a black academic in his home, Obama dealt well with the fall out from his comments. Why couldn't have Ken done the same, at least some kind of criticism?

Nevertheless, this was an unpleasant moment in an otherwise progressive and competent administration run by Ken. Perhaps the De Menezes issue rankled that much more because Mayor Ken took very progressive positions being anti-war, pro-Palestine and generally anti-racist, engaging with many of London's diverse communities and encouraging that they celebrate their presence in the capital in part by holding many a festival.

Mayor Ken also took a clear stand against another form of racism - Islamophobia - that has been the vogue form of open racism in the media for many years now.

For all these moves, he inspired the wrath of the right-wing media and parts of the establishment. This is why you see a clear bias in the media for tory-boy-toff Boris Johnson, who as soon as he got into office started to roll back those progressive policies of Ken that actually made a positive difference to London, especially to working class communities.

Therefore its important that communities of the Global South and working class people in London come out in support of Ken Livingstone. We all can feel the depressed atmosphere in our communities as a result of the growing unemployment, housing problems and other stresses as a result of the government policies which are making our peoples suffer for a crisis created  not by us, but by the political and financial elites.

I will never 'like' labour, but Ken has a definite pass. Also, I know that a tory victory in London would be a continuing disaster for working class people, it will take us into greater confrontation with the Global South as this government is doing, and in contrast a win for Ken will assist in lifting us to a possible political turn around in England for our interests.

George Galloway's election wing shows that radical black and working class youth can make all the difference. No doubt many young people, especially South Asian Muslims will be looking at their counterparts in Bradford and thinking that it is possible to make a progressive change in London.

The message from Bradford is also that pro-working class and anti-imperialist politics can win. An election victory for Ken after Galloway's in Bradford will be a good start and important ingredient to a possible anti-imperialist and socialist political resistance and resurgence in England.

Vote Ken Livingstone for Mayor: For developing respectful and positive relations with the Global South, for the social rights of working class people.


'You have read a thousand books, 
but have you read your own self?'

If God were to be found by bathing and washing,
then God would be found by fish and frogs.

If God were to be found by roaming in jungle,
then God would be found by cows and buffaloes.

O Mian Bulleh
God is found by hearts righteous and pure.

You have read a thousand books
but have you read your 'self'?

You rush to mosques and temples
in indecent haste,
have you tried to enter your 'self'?

You are enagged in
needless battle with Shaitan
have you ever fought with your 'nafs'?

You have reached the sky
But have failed to reach
what's in your heart!

Come to my abode, My friend
morning, noon and night!

Destroy the mosque,
destroy the temple
do as you please;
do not break the human heart
for God dwells therein!

I search for You in jungle and wilderness
I have searched far and wide.
Do not torment me thus My Love
morning, noon and night!

Come to my abode, My Love
morning, noon and night!




George Galloway has been and remains one of the most important anti-imperialist and socialist political figures in the west, and by far the most important anti-imperialist political figure in England.

His election victory last night in Bradford West (Manningham) is impressive as it has broken the Labour hold in that area, and has done so by attaining 10,000 more votes than the Labour candidate. Beating Labour in such an area is no easy task as Galloway found out when he tried to beat Labour in East London a few years ago, and is indicative of the alienation from Labour that many mostly working class Muslims feel in the area.

It must be kept in mind that Bradford is a divided city, divided especially between working class Muslim and working class white. The reasons for this division are complex and multifaceted, and both communities need to take responsibility for these divisions, but growing unemployment, bad housing and generally left in the dump by all status quo political parties are main factors which fuel these divisions compounded with non-stop racist propaganda from the media and politicians.

Galloway is well aware of of these issues, and one cannot blame him and his team for reaching out to the more anti-imperialist section of the community - mostly Pakistani Kashiri Muslims - in his campaign. Nevertheless, one hopes that Galloway can build some bridges between the communities his progressive platform of opposing the cuts agenda of the government.

This election win is significant for England due to the general right-wing trajectory of politics, and Galloway's victory is the first concrete political sign of a possible shift to the left, this is of course on the assumption that things will continue to shift in this direction, which is not a sure bet.

There is very little to nothing in the general political atmosphere in England that shows that things will shift to the left, and the media, state and government are doing everything possible to ensure this such as keeping an unofficial media ban on the electricians struggle which has won some small victories. The next concrete development that working class and oppressed people need in England is an election victory of Ken Livingstone for the Mayor of London. More on this in an article later today.

In the meantime, congratulations to Galloway and his team in Respect.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm


Thursday, 29 March 2012


The struggle in China: Capitalist crisis versus planning


The following is Part 2 of a series on the leadership struggle in China.

As contradictions mount in the global capitalist economy, they are reflected in China. The factional struggle in the Chinese leadership can only be understood as a struggle over which way to go forward and how to contain and resolve the mounting economic and social contradictions arising out of capitalist development.

The Chinese economy has been growing on a dual basis. First, it is based on centrally planned guidance designed to develop the productive forces and the material foundations for a society encompassing 1.3 billion people. However, since the victory of Deng Xiaoping and the “capitalist road” faction in 1978, planning has been increasingly based on the central government fostering and attempting to manage capitalism and the capitalist market as the means for national development.

The central government, through control of interest rates, credit, taxation and vast state-owned enterprises, both guides the economy toward broad economic and social goals and fosters capitalist development. The latter means class exploitation, inequality and corruption. The present political struggle is over which side of this contradiction to strengthen.

This complex subject will be discussed at length in subsequent articles. But suffice it to say that the so-called “reform” groupings in China — with the enthusiastic support of world imperialism and global finance capital — want to move away from state intervention, planning and central guidance and go further toward turning the fate of China over to the capitalist market, both internally and externally.

In our last article we covered the fact that Bo Xilai was summarily ousted from his post as Chinese Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing. This was a blow against the growing forces in the CCP and throughout China who want to combine the use of the capitalist market with social and economic planning and state intervention in order to deal with growing inequality and who emphasize the needs of the masses. In Bo’s case, this economic orientation was combined with a popular attempt to revive Maoist culture and socialist values.

In China today, the concept of planned guidance of the broad direction of the economy and its various sectors is a drastic modification from the direct economic planning initiated after the triumph of the great Chinese Revolution in 1949. At the same time, it is an attempt to retain the planning principle as the fundamental framework guiding the overall development of the Chinese economy.

Consider just some of the goals and objectives outlined by the 12th Five Year Plan for 2011-2015, and the antagonism between planning and the anarchy of the capitalist market becomes utterly transparent. This plan was developed beginning in October 2010 and was approved by the National People’s Congress in March 2011.

The government is planning to devote 4 trillion renminbi ($158.7 billion) to the development of seven Strategic Emerging Industries: biotechnology, new energy, high-end manufacturing equipment, energy conservation and environmental protection, clean-energy vehicles and next-generation internet technology. (APCO worldwide, Dec. 10, 2010)

An article in the March 4, 2011, New York Times detailed the plan’s goals, including:

* A 19.1 percent cut in the amount of energy used per unit of economic growth and a rapid expansion of the service economy.

* Building a national nanotechnology research center, 50 engineering centers, 32 national engineering laboratories and 56 other labs focusing on technologies like digital television and high-speed internet.

* Laying 621,000 miles of new fiber-optic cable and adding 35 million new broadband ports for a total of 223 million.

* A cap on total energy use, especially limiting the burning of coal.

* The development of well-equipped statistical and monitoring systems to gauge greenhouse gas emissions.

* Accelerated construction of sewage treatment plants, the retrofitting of coal-fired power plants with pollution controls, and the continuation of a pilot project to develop low-carbon cities.

In the previous period the state had opened 3,100 miles of new railroads and 74,600 miles of highways, completed 230,000 sports and fitness projects for rural residents, and built or renovated 891 hospitals and 1,228 health clinics.

In the realm of social welfare, the broad goals are to increase consumption from 35 percent of the gross domestic product to between 50 percent and 55 percent by increasing minimum wages, health care services and social welfare payments of various kinds.

Of course, it goes without saying that under a genuinely socialist government, workers would have their fundamental economic rights guaranteed as political rights. But those rights were largely overturned by the reforms that developed in China after 1978. Instead, in the environment of the capitalist market — with its mountains of corruption of government and party officials — the welfare of the workers and peasants has to be built up slowly and painfully through an uphill battle, which happens only through the intervention of the state. (More on this in future articles.)

Whether or not the government achieves the precise goals set out is not the issue. The point is that such sweeping social and economic goals could not possibly be handed over to profit-driven capitalists and the anarchy of the commodity market. The bosses would seek the highest rate of profit. They would never voluntarily raise wages, improve working conditions, build hospitals, clinics, rural fitness centers or anything that did not bring a profit.

China’s response to 2008-09 world capitalist crisis

To grasp the seriousness of the proposals to further limit planning and intervention by the state, it is only necessary to consider what happened during the world capitalist financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, when the global crisis of capitalist overproduction and the financial collapse invaded China.

More than 20 million workers lost their jobs, mainly in manufacturing and predominantly in coastal provinces such as Guangdong, where special economic zones had been set up so imperialist corporations, companies from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, and other exploiters could take advantage of low-wage migrant labor flooding in from the rural interior.

During this period production of world capitalism dropped more than it had in 70 years. Tens of millions of workers worldwide were thrown onto unemployment lines. Most of them are still there. Bankruptcy followed bankruptcy, and the capitalist system has still not recovered.

What happened in China? When the crisis hit, China’s central planners went into motion. Plans drafted as far back as 2003 to go into effect in future years were pushed forward and implemented.

Nicholas Lardy, a bourgeois China expert from the prestigious Peterson Institute for International Economics, describes how consumption in China actually grew during the crisis of 2008-09, wages went up, and the government created enough jobs to compensate for the layoffs caused by the global crisis:

“In a year in which GDP expansion [in China] was the slowest in almost a decade, how could consumption growth in 2009 have been so strong in relative terms? How could this happen at a time when employment in export-oriented industries was collapsing, with a survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture reporting the loss of 20 million jobs in export manufacturing centers along the southeast coast, notably in Guangdong Province? The relatively strong growth of consumption in 2009 is explained by several factors. First, the boom in investment, particularly in construction activities, appears to have generated additional employment sufficient to offset a very large portion of the job losses in the export sector. For the year as a whole the Chinese economy created 11.02 million jobs in urban areas, very nearly matching the 11.13 million urban jobs created in 2008.

“Second, while the growth of employment slowed slightly, wages continued to rise. In nominal terms wages in the formal sector rose 12 percent, a few percentage points below the average of the previous five years (National Bureau of Statistics of China 2010f, 131). In real terms the increase was almost 13 percent. Third, the government continued its programs of increasing payments to those drawing pensions and raising transfer payments to China's lowest-income residents. Monthly pension payments for enterprise retirees increased by RMB120, or 10 percent, in January 2009, substantially more than the 5.9 percent increase in consumer prices in 2008. This raised the total payments to retirees by about RMB75 billion. The Ministry of Civil Affairs raised transfer payments to about 70 million of China's lowest-income citizens by a third, for an increase of RMB20 billion in 2009 (Ministry of Civil Affairs 2010).” (“Sustaining China's Economic Growth after the Global Financial Crisis,” Kindle Locations 664-666, Peterson Institute for International Economics)

The Ministry of Railroads introduced eight specific plans, to be completed in 2020, to be implemented in the crisis. The World Bank called it “perhaps the biggest single planned program of passenger rail investment there has ever been in one country.” In addition, ultra-high-voltage grid projects were undertaken, among other advances.

The lesson is that while the anarchy of production of world capitalism invaded China, the rational and meticulously developed plans drawn up for social use overcame the anarchy of the capitalist market. This not only protected the masses from a protracted, massive unemployment crisis, but it actually continued the process of raising the standard of living during a time when hundreds of millions of workers throughout the entire capitalist world were left helpless and traumatized by the crisis of capitalist overproduction.

In Marxist terms the principle of planning, established by the Chinese socialist revolution of 1949 — even though it has been watered down to the practice of “guidance” — overcame what Marx called the law of labor value, the very law that governs the operation of capitalism itself. The Chinese leaders were compelled, and had the capability, to use rational planning based on satisfying human need to overcome the disaster brought about by their own policy of relying on the world capitalist market.

To be continued.

Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” (2008) and “Capitalism at a Dead End” (2012) published by World View Forum. Both books as well as his articles and speeches can be found at


'Chinese loans are funding many of the infrastructure projects changing the face of the continent'

This is an article from the left-liberal Guardian newspaper in Britain. It is an article about the economic developments in Mozambique, and is quite lengthy, I have produced just a clip of it below. For some reason the word 'basket-case' is often used by the west when they are talking about African states.

It's just a shame that writers like this don't also admit that the negative aspects of African states are in overwhelming large part to do with how the west has ensured that Africa does not unite, and does not develop itself for its people, and the most violent and obvious example of this attitude is their destruction through last year of the African state which has the highest human development index - Libya.

The writer sees rather reluctant to state in the article that it is thanks to the nature of relations with China that has resulted in Mozambique seeing some positive indicators to its economic development. What the article doesn't explore is the issue that if it is relations with China that is giving Africa a massive boost, why hasn't the same been the case with Africa's relations with the west? Going into that just wouldn't wash with the white man's burden types who run the newspaper.

A uniting and economically rising Africa is what the west fears, and the west will and is doing all it can to ensure this does not happen, and it is definitely alarmed that this is developing with a increasingly close partnership with China.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrkhan said in his latest speech that the usa is planning a war with China, but is already involved in a war on China, and cited the case of nato's war on Libya being also a war on China with the resultant departure of Chinese involvement in Libya and the 130,000 Chinese workers there.

Sukant Chandan, Friends of China / Sons of Malcolm

Boom time for Mozambique, once the basket case of Africa

The shells of stylish colonial-era buildings, like shipwrecks on the ocean floor, still give Maputo a distinct character. But the capital of Mozambique no longer feels like an urban museum. Amid the crumbling grandeur rumble cranes and mechanical diggers, carving out a different skyline.

A construction boom is under way here, concrete proof of the economic revolution in Mozambique. Growth hit 7.1% last year, accelerating to 8.1% in the final quarter. The country, riven by civil war for 15 years, is poised to become the world's biggest coal exporter within the next decade, while the recent discovery of two massive gas fields in its waters has turned the region into an energy hotspot, promising a £250bn bonanza.

The national currency was the best performing in the world against the dollar. Investment is pouring in on an unprecedented scale; as if to prove that history has a sense of irony, Portuguese feeling Europe's economic pain are flocking back to the former colony, scenting better prospects than at home. Increasingly this is the rule, not the exception in Africa, which has boasted six of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies in the past decade. The first oil discovery in Kenya was confirmed on Monday, while the British firm BG Group announced that one of its gas fields off the Tanzanian coast was bigger than expected and could lead to billions of pounds of investment. Bankers, analysts and politicians have never been so bullish about the continent, which barely 10 years ago was regarded as a basket case.

From Cape Town to Cairo, there are signs of a continent on the move: giant infrastructure projects, an expanding middle class, foreign equity scrambling for opportunities in telecoms, financial services and products aimed at a billion consumers. Growth is no magic bullet for reducing inequality or fostering democracy, but the stubborn truth that it is still the world's poorest continent has done little to dull the confidence and hype about the African renaissance.

Africa has 16 billionaires, topped by Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote with an estimated fortune of $10.1bn (£6.5bn), according to Forbes magazine. Economic growth across the continent will be 5.3% this year and 5.6% in 2013, the World Bank predicts, with some countries hitting double digits. "Africa could be on the brink of an economic take-off, much like China was 30 years ago and India 20 years ago," the bank says. Many of the African lions are already outpacing the Asian tigers.

Africa exports its natural resources with the price and demand for them determined by growth in China, whose bilateral trade with Africa has grown tenfold in a decade, eclipsing that of the United States.

In return, Chinese loans are funding many of the infrastructure projects changing the face of the continent.

There are an estimated 1 million Chinese in Africa: trading, investing, building, labouring, running micro-businesses and, critics say, exploiting its wealth of natural resources.

On a recent afternoon at the Southern Sun hotel in Maputo, overlooking the Indian Ocean, the arrival of a delegation of Chinese businessmen in smart suits surprised no one. Mozambique is now an immensely attractive prospect as it emerges from a traumatic past of colonialism and civil war.



The title of the article is rather misleading, but the article makes very clear, from the publication of the financial elite in britain, that the zionist leadership is in support of the counterrevolution in Syria.

There's little to add to this article. It says it all really. But just a quick few lines to say that the the pro-regime crowd on Syria across the world have tried to make out that Assad is somehow the zionist state's preferred option, and would not like the nato/Turkey/GCC-backed armed gangs in power in Syria. This is obviously been a total nonsense, and the quotes from leading persons of the zionist state below makes clear that although the zionist state might be a tad worried about a post-Assad Syria, they know it will be manageable and preferred to Assad in power.

The zionist state also knows very well that for it to come out in vocal and loud support for regime change in Syria wont help their allies in Syria for regime change. Nevertheless, the zionist state as well as the most aggressive sections of the usa political class have made it clear that they do support the regime-change forces in Syria.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Israel feels mixed emotions over Syria

(Financial Times, March 22 2012)

As the bloodshed and violence rages on in Syria, Israeli leaders are watching events across the border with a blend of worry, hope and frustration.

One fear is that the regime of Bashar al-Assad will try to draw Israel into the struggle, possibly as part of a last-ditch manoeuvre to divide and confuse the opposition. An obvious flashpoint is the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory occupied by Israel and one of the main points of contention between the two countries.

There is also profound concern that parts of Syria’s vast stockpile of arms, including long-range missiles as well as chemical and biological weapons, will end up in the hands of militant groups in Lebanon or elsewhere.

Speaking to the Israeli parliament this week, Ehud Barak, the defence minister, emphasised the short-term dangers posed by turmoil in Syria.

“We are monitoring events in Syria, with an eye on any efforts to transfer weapons that would alter the balance?.?.?.?Events in Syria increase the uncertainty and the need to prepare for any scenario,” he warned.

Looking further ahead, however, Israeli officials sound more confident. From their own intelligence assessments they have believed for some time that the current Syrian regime is ultimately heading for collapse, even if few dare to predict how long Mr Assad can still hang on.

What is more, there appears to be growing consensus among Israeli policy makers that regime change in Damascus will be good for the Jewish state – almost regardless of who takes over from the Syrian dictator.

“If you look at the balance, his departure is still preferable to all alternative scenarios,” says Itamar Rabinovich, Israel’s former chief negotiator with Syria and a former Israeli ambassador to Washington.

“A few years ago, the Israeli outlook would have been different. There was a feeling that this is the devil-we-know and it is better that he stays. But this changed in 2006 and 2007, under the impact of the war in Lebanon and the realisation that Syria was building up Hizbollah.”

According to Mr Rabinovich, a second crucial factor in Israel’s shifting opinion against the status quo in Syria was the 2007 discovery – and subsequent bombardment – of a Syrian nuclear facility, apparently supplied by North Korea.

The most important reason, however, is Iran: Tehran and Damascus are not only close allies, but Syria acts as a vital conduit for money, weapons and training for Iranian-backed militant groups operating against Israel.

Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, argues that the collapse of the Assad regime “would be a severe blow to Iran’s subversive activities in the region, given that Assad’s Syria serves as a forward base for [the] latter”. Writing on the opinion pages of the Jerusalem Post last week, Mr Lieberman added: “Such a development would also constitute a signal to the states in the region, which fear the strengthening and penetration of Iran.”

As his comments made clear, removing Syria from the Iranian axis is seen as an overwhelming Israeli interest – even if analysts and officials caution that Mr Assad’s successor is unlikely to seek warmer ties with Israel in the near term.

According to western officials familiar with Israeli government thinking, the preference for regime change in Syria extends all the way up to Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.

Mixed into this blend of hope and concern, however, is a third Israeli sentiment: frustration at the country’s impotency in the face of wrenching change affecting the region. “Significant things are happening – and all we can do is sit and observe,” says one Israeli diplomat.

He points out that Israel remains deeply unpopular in most of the Arab world, making any kind of intervention – even mere statements of support – fraught with risk. As Mr Rabinovich, currently a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says: “The last thing the Syrian opposition needs is encouragement from Israel.”

Lurking at the back of Israeli minds is the issue of the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory captured by Israeli forces in 1967 that was later annexed to the state. Previous attempts at forging a peace deal between Israel and Syria have all revolved around – and frequently foundered on – the demand to hand back the occupied land.

It is a demand, however, that the current Israeli government seems unwilling to meet no matter who occupies the presidential palace in Damascus.

“Even in the event that a democratic Syria emerges from the current turmoil, Syria’s new regime would have to understand that any realistic option for a peace settlement [with Israel] would have to provide for a continuation in Israel’s effective control of the Golan”, Mr Lieberman said.



Western governments and NATO have issued the usual formal reprimands, but Touré clearly was no longer considered as a reliable ally by NATO. On November 24, L’Express quoted a highly placed anonymous French official familiar with the region, who complained: “We are very furious with the Malians. Whether it concerns the al-Qaeda cells in the Islamic Maghreb operating in the extreme north of the country, their links with the Tuaregs or the Latin American cocaine traffic in transit to Europe, it is no longer a question of passivity on their part but complicity. We have irrefutable proof. [al-Qaeda] is stronger today than before the launch in 2008 of the Sahel Plan, an anti-terrorist arrangement in which Paris invested enormous resources.”

Last month, Touré had granted an interview to L’Express, stating: “concerning the local Arabo-Tuareg rebellions, Gaddafi engaged in mediation, the disarmament and reintegration. His overthrow has left a vacuum….very early, we alerted NATO and others about the collateral effects of the Libyan crisis. To no avail.”

In fact, Touré maintained close ties to Gaddafi, for which he claimed he had “no regrets. Libya made substantial investments with us in tourism, hotels, agriculture and banking, contributing to our development.”



Some people who oppose nato in Libya are stating that the coup in Mali is somehow some pro-Jamahirya, anti-imperialist development there. This article is a good balance to that notion. Reading through empire's risk analysts and their media and newspapers, it seems rather clear that imperialism is not only not bothered with the coup, but sees it as something that goes in their interests. 
Like some other struggles of the Global South, the Libyan resistance community online is stuffed full of odd balls and spies, and there is non-stop un-sourced un-cited claims and no doubt western intelligence service false news that is constantly spread about. If there isnt a solid source to a claim, if a video cannot be solidly verified, dont believe it and it is probably a good idea not the spread that news.
If there really was an anti-imperialist coup in Mali, it would be the perfect event for the imperialism's propaganda machine to go into overdrive and justify the further re-colonisation of Africa. As the article states, there has been some minimal and meek protests from the west which costs them very little, and actually this coup may serve or even have been as a result of a wink and a nudge from empire. 

Sukant Chanda, Sons of Malcolm

Mali Coup Has US Interventionism Written All Over It
The military coup that took place last week in Mali is a monument to the consequences of U.S. interventionism, and the military junta now vying for control of the West African country threatens to roll back democracy and human rights for the 15 million people living there.

Rebel troops seized power and toppled the government in a bid to oust President Amadou Toumani Toure who they claim insufficiently supported the military in a fight against Tuareg militants waging an insurgency in the north. Toure himself came to power in a 1991 coup, but surprised many when he handed power to a civilian government and was elected president in 2002.

The mutinous troops that led the coup have imposed a national curfew, announced the temporary suspension of the constitution,arrested their political opponents, and taken control of the state television broadcast. Already their reign is starkly contrasted with the widely acknowledged democratic record of the government they overthrew.

While Mali seems geopolitically insignificant compared to many other countries in Washington’s purview, U.S. foreign policy helped lay the groundwork for this coup.

The aftereffects of the U.S.-led NATO war in Libya which ousted Muammar Gadhafi had a strong hand in fomenting the coup and the coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo, received extensive training in the U.S. from 2004-2010.

Gadhafi had hired and armed many Tuareg fighters to defend him against the NATO-backed rebellion in Libya, and they returned to Mali at the Libyan war’s end stronger and more determined than ever. The Malian army’s frustration with President Toure for not arming them sufficiently to fight the Tuaregs reached a boiling point.

“The Libyan crisis didn’t cause this coup but certainly revealed the malaise felt within the army,” the Malian newspaper columnist Adam Thiam told the BBC News.

UN report released in February assessing ”the Libyan crisis” claimed that the impact of the NATO-backed rebel victory over Gadhafi “reverberated across the world” as “such neighboring countries as…Mali,” among many others, “bore the brunt of the challenges that emerged as a result of the crisis.”

“The Governments of these countries, especially those in the Sahel region, had to contend with the influx of hundreds of thousands of traumatized and impoverished returnees as well as the inflow of unspecified and unquantifiable numbers of arms and ammunition from the Libyan arsenal,” the report said.

The Malian government under President Toure has received millions of dollars in economic and military aid from Washington, especially since he started claiming the Tuaregs were aligned with al-Qaeda. The U.S. government “provided almost $138 million dollars in foreign assistance for Mali,” State Department African affairs spokeswoman Hilary Renner told McClatchy News. The aid was expected to rise in 2012 to over $170 million.

Sanogo, the coup leader, ”participated in several U.S.-funded International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs in the United States, including basic officer training,” Renner said. Trainees are handpicked for the program by U.S. embassies.

In addition to the International Military Education and Training program, Mali has also participated in the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership, which bolsters U.S. military dominance throughout the region under the rubric of counterterrorism.

Mali also recently hosted U.S. troops in a military exercise named Atlas Accord 12. ”We have regularly had small teams traveling in and out of Mali to conduct specific training that has been requested by the Malian government and military,” Nicole Dalrymple, a spokeswoman for the Africa Command, told McClatchy.

Washington has attempted to paint the coup in Mali as undesirable, urging a return to civilian rule and threatening to cut off aid. But the alleged motivation of the rebel troops – that tougher counterterrorism measures are needed to fight the Tuareg insurgents – seems to overlap with Washington’s “national security” demands for the Sahel region.

Whether the coup was an intended U.S. plot is not known for sure at this point (although secret coups are a common tool in the established historical record of U.S. foreign policy). Either way Washington’s interventionist foreign policy undoubtedly had a hand in the events in Mali, and to the detriment of the Malian people, it seems.


[Black Panther newspaper front page, supporting the struggles and leadership of the Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese people. Ki Il Sung, Ho Chi Minh and Mao tse tung were important political examples for the Panthers]

Black Panthter's Direct Militant Internationalism to Vietnam

What is anti-imperialism? Who is promoting anti-imperialist internationalism today? What is the historical experience of internationalism and how can struggles across the world apply this creatively to their conditions today? These are questions that need thorough investigation and answering in a time where frankly living internationalism is seemingly near dead. Why is internationalism so important? Without it, the struggle to end the single greatest source of poverty war and cultural oppression - white settler imperialism led by the usa - will never be defeated.

Therefore the below historical statement by Black Panther leader Huey Newton is so important. It is one form of concrete internationalism, but it is also a courageous and direct manifestation of internationalism in the context of international support to the Vietnamese in their resistance against the third successive imperialist occupation in so many decades by the usa.

The Black Panthers offered "an undetermined number of troops", troops meaning Black Panther members, who would have been on average very young Black sisters and brothers in the very early twenties.

The short letter offering volunteers to the Vietnamese resistance outlines the basic position of internationalism that drove the offer: "your struggle is also our struggle, for we recognize that our common enemy is the American imperialist who is the leader of international bourgeois domination. There is not one fascist or reactionary government in the world today that could stand without the support of United States imperialism. Therefore our problem is international, and we offer these troops in recognition of the necessity for inter-national alliances to deal with this problem."

This is the minimum theoretical approach of people who follow the legacy and teachings of of the Panthers, or Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, Che Guevara, Ngugi wa Thiong'o and others.

Huey Newton was a thoughtful revolutionary leader, sometimes to the detriment of his ability to actually lead the 10,000 strong Panther movement at its height. He was trying to grapple with the place of the Black revolution in the usa with the general socialist movement there and also how this relates to the international struggle. Working these things out is no easy task, and Huey Newton being one of the greatest revolutionaries to have emerged in the 1960s and 70s is easily forgiven for some of his shortcomings. Newton's concepts of inter-communalism and his reflections on the concept of nationality of the usa are interesting reflections, even if one doesn't wholly adhere to them.

Like for so many people and revolutionary movements and leaders, Vietnam was a defining struggle for socialism and against imperialism. The same goes for the Black Panthers. Many Panthers joined the party and movement after actually serving for the usa army of occupation in Vietnam and through their experiences there. The phenomenon of Black soldiers joining the Panthers was also due in some part to Vietnamese propaganda which kept reminding the Black soldiers that there fight was not against the Vietnamese one and the same with the Vietnamese against their common oppressors.

One well-known Panther from the New York branch - Geronimo 'Ji-Jaga' Pratt - served two tours in Vietnam for the usa army, was awarded two bronze stars, a silver star, and two purple hearts for his service, but then went on to play a senior role in the Panthers. On an aside, he was also the Godfather to Tupac Amaru Shakur (2Pac), and also spent 27 years in prison on a typical frame up against so many ex-Panthers. He passed away in June 2011 in Tanzania.

The Black Panthers have become a revolutionary legacy, like any others, that have become watered down by western capitalist consumerism and shallowness. Many people will adopt the personalities and symbolism of the Panthers as a fashion statement nearly, as radical chic, but know very little of what they were actually about.

The Black Panthers were dedicated to their communities and pioneered many community programs, 'Serve the People Programs' or 'Survival Programs pending revolution', but they were also dedicated  militant Black and socialist revolutionaries with their hearts and souls serving the people and the international struggle.

They were the veritable daughters and sons of Malcolm X.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

PS: The Vietnamese greatly appreciated the offer of volunteers from Huey Newton and the Panthers, and respectfully declined stating that their two struggles were one and the same and that they would like the Panthers to focus on building a resistance to the war against Vietnam in the usa itself.

[Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver on an anti-imperialist delegation to the Vietnamese resistance, standing in the middle to the left of General Giap, one of the greatest revolutionary leaders of all time] 

Letter to the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam 
Huey P. Newton
August 29, 1970


In the spirit of international revolutionary solidarity the Black Panther Party hereby offers to the National Liberation Front and Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam an undetermined number of troops to assist you in your fight against American imperialism. It is appropriate for the Black Panther Party to take this action at this time in recognition of the fact that your struggle is also our struggle, for we recognize that our common enemy is the American imperialist who is the leader of international bourgeois domination. There is not one fascist or reactionary government in the world today that could stand without the support of United States imperialism. Therefore our problem is international, and we offer these troops in recognition of the necessity for inter-national alliances to deal with this problem.

Such alliances will advance the struggle toward the final act of dealing with American imperialism. The Black Panther Party views the United States as the "city" of the world, while we view the nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America as the"countryside" of the world. The developing countries are like the Sierra Maestra in Cuba and the United States is like Havana. We note that in Cuba the people's army set up bases in the Sierra Maestra and choked off Havana because it was dependent upon the raw materials of the countryside. After they won all the battles in this countryside the last and final act was for the people to march upon Havana.

The Black Panther Party believes that the revolutionary process will operate in a similar fashion on an international level. A small ruling circle of seventy-six major companies controls the American economy. This elite not only exploits and oppresses Black people within the United States; they are exploiting and oppressing everyone in the world because of the overdeveloped nature of capitalism. Having expanded industry within the United States until it can grow no more, and depleting the raw materials of this nation, they have run amuck abroad in their attempts to extend their economic domination. To end this oppression we must liberate the developing nation-the countryside of the world- and then our final act will be the strike against the "city".  As one nation is liberated elsewhere it gives us a better chance to be free here.

The Black Panther Party recognizes that we have certain national problems confined to the continental United States, but we are also aware that while our oppressor has domestic problems these do not stop him from oppressing people all over the world. Therefore we will keep fighting and resisting within the "city" so as to cause as much turmoil as possible and aid our brothers by dividing the troops of the ruling circle.

The Black Panther Party offers these troops because we are the vanguard party of revolutionary internationalists who give up all claim to nationalism. We take this position because the United States has acted in a very chauvinistic manner and lost its claim to nationalism. The United States is an empire which  has raped the world to build its wealth here. Therefore the United States is not a nation. It is a government of international capitalists and inasmuch as they have exploited the world to accumulate wealth this country belongs to the world. The Black Panther Party contends that the United States lost its right to claim nation-hood when it used its nationalism as a chauvinistic base to become an empire.

On the other hand, the developing countries have every right to claim nation-hood, because they have not exploited anyone. The nationalism of which they speak is simply their rightful claim to autonomy, self-determination and a liberated base from which to fight the international bourgeoisie.

The Black Panther Party supports the claim to nationhood of the developing countries and we embrace their struggle from our position as revolutionary inter-nationalists. We cannot be nationalists when our country is not a nation but an empire. We contend that it is time to open the gates of this country and share the technological knowledge and wealth with the peoples of the world.

History has bestowed upon the Black Panther Party the obligation to take these steps and thereby advance Marxism-Leninism to an even higher level along the path to a socialist state, and then a non-state. This obligation springs both from the dialectical forces in operation at this time and our history as an oppressed Black colony. The fact that our ancestors were kidnapped and forced to come to the United States has destroyed our feeling of nationhood. Because our long cultural heritage was broken we have come to rely less on our history for guidance, and seek our guidance from the future. Everything we do is based upon functionalism and pragmatism, and because we look to the future for salvation we are in a position to become the most progressive and dynamic people on the earth. constantly in motion and progressing, rather than becoming stagnated by the bonds of the past.

Taking these things under consideration, it is no accident that the vanguard party-without chauvinism or a sense of nationhood-should be the Black Panther Party. Our struggle for liberation is based upon justice and equality for all men. Thus we are interested in the people of any territory where the crack of the oppressor's whip may be heard. We have the historical obligation to take the concept of internationalism to its final conclusion-the destruction of statehood itself. This will lead us into the era where the withering away of the state will occur and men will extend their hand in friendship throughout the world.

This is the world view of the Black Panther Party and in the spirit of revolutionary internationalism, solidarity and friendship we offer these troops to the National Liberation Front and Provisional Government of South Vietnam and to the people of the world.

[Source: To Die for the People by Huey P. Newton. (1970) pp.90-93]

Wednesday, 28 March 2012



No one can say that Hip-Hop torch bearers like KRS-One (above, and below) didnt resist the calamity that has belfallen Hip-Hop as a result of the White Power Structure's manipulation of the culture. 

There was a resistance, and it produced countless amazing tunes critiquing what was taking place. We lost that battle, the war looks like far from being won by us, but the resistance continues. 

Hip-Hop has been colonised, and its waiting to be liberated and returned to its former owners. 

How this colonisation occurred, is a long story which itself has produced many a documentary and book analysing and charting this historical shift.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm


In the above interview conducted by Russia Today Arabic in January 2012, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says the following in relation to a questions asking, "Do you think current events in the Arab world could strengthen your position in the peace talks and help to resolve the Palestinian issue internationally?"

This is a very important question, as the zionist state is imperialism's main presence and bridgehead into the region, and as this is the case the freedom struggle in the region has always had its focus and primary objective for the liberation of Palestine. This is no longer the case. Due to the demise of pro-people and progressive revolutionary movements and politics in general, the Arab scene has been taken over by chauvunist Sunni forces allied to their big brother - usa imperialism foremostly, and the rest of the imperialist world, especially the eu in secondary position.

This is Abbas' response the the question: "There is still no clear position common to all Arab countries. Yes, there are revolutionary changes taking place, but it will take time to figure out what results they have brought about. The countries we want to work with in order to strengthen our position still need time to get back on their feet and build their states under the new conditions. However, the general Arab stance on the Palestinian issue has not changed. The people who lead these revolutions are the same people who supported the Palestinians in their pursuit of independence, and these people have not changed. What has changed is their attitude towards their leaders and their governments, but that is their internal matter and we don’t get involved. The Arab stance on the Palestinian issue has remained the same."

A typically diplomatic answer from Abbas. However, while Abbas seems to be playing up the fact that many of the political forces coming to power or in the ascdendance in the region (albeit on the wings of nato), talked a good deal about Palestine in the previous years, but now they have some more power that this has not translated into anything which is strategically or in real politic helping the Palestinian freedom struggle.

Many people who claim to support the Palestinians would deride Abbas and the current Palestinian Authority leadership, but Abbas is making a very important if obvious point, but obvious points are not always recognised by partisans of the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring has not only not done anything for Palestine, and seeks to do nothing in reality for Palestine apart from some hollow bombastic slogans, speeches and conferences, but has actually served the imperialist and zionist cause in the region by helping their big brothers to clean up the old enemies of the zionist state and the west: Libya, Syria, attempts on Algeria and Lebanese Hizbullah and of course the big prize in the region: Iran.

To those who would like to rubbish anything that comes out of the mouth of Abbas, its important to remember that the Palestinian Authority and PLO may yet historically prove to be the lesser of two problems when compared to Hamas. Whereas the PA/PLO have generally kept out of interfering in the affairs of their Arab neighbours while the pro-empire Arab Spring has gone on, Hamas on the other hand have been a lot more open about their political views by championing the counterrevolutionary changes in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. One hopes that Hamas prove everyone wrong and return to the struggle against imperialism and zionism, but all indicators point in the direction that Hamas is content in supporting the agenda of the west and its junior partners in the region.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm


The ouster of Bo
A critical moment in China


It is now world news that Bo Xilai, a high-ranking member of the 25-member Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, has been removed from his key post as Party Secretary of the important Chongqing branch of the CCP.

This move comes as the CCP is preparing to choose a new leadership this fall. Bo had been widely regarded as a clear candidate for the nine-member standing committee of the Politburo. That is now out. This is the first open breach in the Chinese CCP leadership in two decades.

Bo was known for trying to revive the culture of Mao Zedong through many public programs. He emphasized state intervention in the economy and advocated planning for massive low-income housing projects for migrant workers and others, as well as fighting to reduce inequality in general.

Bo has also been known for a fierce anti-corruption campaign in which the masses were encouraged to point out corrupt officials and gangsters. Several thousand people were arrested, among them business people, and many were sent to jail. The highest police official in Chongqing was executed during the anti-corruption campaign.

Bo was removed after an incident in which the subsequent police chief of Chongqing, Wang Lijun, who worked with Bo in a widely celebrated anti-corruption campaign, fled Chongqing on Feb. 6 to the U.S. Consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu and asked for political asylum.

According to Chinese government and party sources, Wang claimed to have documents incriminating Bo. Wang was taken from the consulate, and is now being held in Beijing.

There has been much speculation about Bo and Wang and what happened. Much has been alleged about Bo’s flamboyant personal style, his ambition, a factional struggle within the leadership for position and so on. Perhaps all these factors played some role in his ouster.

But one thing is clear. The imperialists have all taken a position against Bo, and are overjoyed to see his downfall.

To be sure, there is no evidence that Bo was trying to abandon the reliance on capitalism in China’s development that followed the death of Mao. On the contrary, his outlook is fully within the general framework of using capitalism and foreign investment to grow the economy in Chongqing. But within that framework, he emphasized the so-called “third hand,” the need for the state to play a significant role in the economy, to ensure the well-being of the masses and to reduce inequality as a matter of priority.

Effect of global capitalist crisis

It is important to put this struggle in the broader context of the global capitalist crisis and its effect on the Chinese economy and on the political and factional struggle inside China.

The economic crisis in the capitalist world has undermined in a very fundamental way the argument that China should bank its fate and future on capitalist development and the capitalist world market as a foundational strategy.

The collapse in 2007-2009 of the world capitalist financial system and the global market, the ensuing mass unemployment, the wild speculation, the overproduction, the economic dislocation, the flood of bankruptcies, the gyrations of the stock markets and the continuing threats on the horizon must haunt all of China’s leaders and give ammunition to all those who oppose the further unleashing of capitalism in China.

The imperialists and the more pro-capitalist forces in the CCP and the state know this. So they have rushed to fortify their position in the face of the monumental evidence of the failure of capitalism and its dangerous effects in China during 2008 and 2009.

They made their moves just as China’s legislative body was preparing to consider and approve various plans and when the subject of future leadership was under private discussion.

It is significant that the World Bank presented a 448-page document just in time for the 18th National People’s Congress last month, entitled “China 2030.” What makes the public presentation of this document so ominous is that it was co-authored by the Development Research Center of the State Council, the top executive body in China. Liu He, who worked on the document and who meets regularly with U.S. officials, is an adviser to the standing committee of the Politburo who has argued publicly that foreign pressure should be used to push capitalist reforms in China.

To underscore the collaborative nature of the document, the subtitle is “Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society.” The term “Harmonious Society” is the slogan of China’s present leaders, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

The world was treated to a video circulated online in February that showed Du Jianguo, editor of an environmental magazine in China, disrupting a press conference by World Bank President Robert Zoellick as Zoellick was unveiling his document. In front of the world press, Du stood up and denounced the document as “unconstitutional,” saying it would “subvert the basic economic system of socialism.” Before he was pushed off the platform by security, Du called the bankers’ document “poison” aimed at capturing China’s markets for international capitalists. (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 23)

World Bank’s attempt
to promote counterrevolution

This document is part of the background to the factional struggle in China. It represents a firmer and more dangerous nexus between imperialism and the so-called “reform” faction, the more aggressive pro-capitalist faction, in China.

The Executive Summary of the document reads:

“First, implement structural reforms to strengthen the foundations for a market based economy by redefining the role of government, reforming and restructuring state enterprises and banks, developing the private sector, promoting competition, and deepening reforms in the land, labor, and financial markets. As an economy approaches the technology frontier and exhausts the potential for acquiring and applying technology from abroad, the role of government and its relationship to markets and the private sector needs to change fundamentally. While providing relatively fewer ‘tangible’ public goods and services directly, the government will need to provide more intangible public goods and services like systems, rules, and policies, which increase production efficiency, promote competition, facilitate specialization, enhance the efficiency of resource allocation, protect the environment, and reduce risks and uncertainties.

“In the enterprise sector, the focus will need to be further reforms of state enterprises (including measures to recalibrate the role of public resources, introduce modern corporate governance practices including separating ownership from management, and implement gradual ownership diversification where necessary), private sector development and fewer barriers to entry and exit, and increased competition in all sectors, including in strategic and pillar industries. In the financial sector, it would require commercializing the banking system, gradually allowing interest rates to be set by market forces, deepening the capital market, and developing the legal and supervisory infrastructure to ensure financial stability and build the credible foundations for the internationalization of China’s financial sector.”

In other words, the World Bank, with the collaboration of the Development Research Center of the State Council, is recommending that state enterprises be reduced to dispensers of state services and advice, withdraw from the production of infrastructure, steel, energy and other “tangible goods,” and leave that to private capitalists. They further recommend that the banking system be integrated with world imperialist finance capital and that state planning be reduced to a nullity.

In short, they advocate the destruction of the very socialist structures that hold Chinese society together and that have enabled it to withstand the most severe capitalist crisis since World War II.

For a representative of the highest state body to help draft such a counterrevolutionary document, publicly associate his name with it and urge its adoption shows the degeneration of key sections of the highest leadership and, within the broader state apparatus, highlights the pernicious influence of unleashed capitalism in China.

This explains the urgent disruption of Zoellick’s press conference and the push-back that is coming from various quarters in China. This is not to say that the viewpoint represented by the World Bank document will be victorious. There are many forces in China, including the workers and peasants, who would strongly resist any attempt to fully implement this program.

Christine LaGarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, also chose the moment of the National People’s Congress to issue a statement in high praise of China’s economy. This was undoubtedly coordinated with the World Bank presentation of “China 2030.”

The severity of the struggle over the future of China also broke out in the open at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January.

“A group of Chinese speakers warned in stringent tones on Friday morning [Jan. 27] in Davos that the country’s free-market reform is stalled, and China is sliding backwards towards greater state control of the economy.

“Hu Shuli, editor of Caixin Magazine and widely recognized leader of China’s ‘reform’ faction, launched a breakfast forum by identifying delayed economic reform as one of the two key risks for the Chinese economy going forward, alongside the weakening exports in the wake of the euro-zone crisis.” (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 27) Other Chinese participants agreed.

The world capitalist crisis has brought this struggle on at a crucial time of change in the Chinese leadership. The ouster and public humiliation of Bo, which brought this struggle to light, can best be understood in terms of a struggle over dangerously deepening capitalist reforms. With or without Bo, this serious struggle will continue.

For those who believe that there has been a complete restoration of capitalism in China, this whole matter may seem to be of little importance. But to the workers and peasants of China and to the rest of the world, the question of stopping the further advance of the counterrevolution is of supreme importance.

To be continued.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Above is a picture taken by a good friend of Sons of Malcolm in Bloemfontein, South Africa. It's a poster from the centenary celebrations in SA some weeks ago.

The revolutionary forces of South Africa have always had a close relationship to the liberation movement turned progressive anti-imperialist socialist government ZANU-PF and its leader and president of the country, Robert Mugabe for many decades now. 

These days the Communist Party in South Africa has little good to say about Mugabe, but I have in my possession an old SACP journal from the early 1980s with a full front page portrait lauding Mugabe as a revolutionary leader.

Zimbabwe's defence of the DR Congo in the late 1990s, the land seizures and reforms of the similar time, and Mugabe's and Zimbabwe's vanguard position in defending Africa and promoting a pro-people, socialist outlook has all contributed in continuing to make Mugabe and the ZANU-PF wildly popular amongst revolutionaries in SA.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Hana Shalabi's Sister Speaks from ListenIn Pictures on Vimeo.

Opinion: Hana Shalabi refuses to play by Israeli rules


Hana Shalabi has been on hunger strike for over a month. Her condition has been deteriorating so badly that prison officials had to transfer her to a Haifa hospital.

Shalabi is protesting being held in administrative detention. This is a quasi-legal action through which Israel incarcerates individuals without charge or proper trial. Israel inherited this undemocratic procedure from the British mandate, which enacted it as part of the 1945 emergency regulations.

International humanitarian law considers this procedure illegal and Israel was asked by the international community on numerous occasions to end this practice.

Over 300 Palestinians are presently held without charge. Administrative detention orders are usually six months long; they are made by an Israeli military commander and presented in front of a military committee for renewal or cancellation.

Typically, individuals are detained by such an order when the military prosecutors do not have strong enough evidence to charge them, but have a strong feeling that they are guilty of some security crime and prefer to keep them behind bars. However, many times administrative detention are used as punishment, revenge or as part of a system that the Israeli intelligence service (Shin Bet) uses to control the Palestinian population.

This seems to be the case against Shalabi, who was released last year as part of an Israeli-Hamas prisoner exchange. Released Palestinians are given a pardon recommended by the minister of defense and signed by the Israeli president. The very meaning of a pardon is that all the previous charges and sentencing are erased from all legal books.

While some might attempt to try Shalabi in the court of public opinion, she is considered innocent in the eyes of the law. Basic juridical concepts prevent governments from punishing a person twice for the same crime or from using a pardoned crime as justification for further punishment.

Shalabi’s previous record, regardless of what she did, cannot be used against her.

The state of Israel has no new evidence of wrongdoing against Shalabi, otherwise they would have charged her. In fact, the Israeli commander who signed the order against her chose the unusual step of ordering her incarceration for four months, rather than the usual six months. This is a sign of lack of any "secret" evidence against her.

In an attempt to get out of the quagmire they find themselves in, and to prevent setting a precedent, the Israeli military prosecutors offered to free Shalabi on condition that she is transferred to Gaza.

A similar offer was made to her lawyers to have her sent to Jordan. It is unclear whether the offer is for the duration of the administrative detention and what guarantees, if any, were offered for her return. Both offers were rejected by Shalabi through her lawyer.

The idea of deportation, temporary or permanent, touches a nerve with the Palestinians. Since its establishment in 1948, the state of Israel has prevented Palestinians who left to avoid the violence from returning to their homes.

While any Jewish citizen, from anywhere in the world, is allowed to come to Israel and receive immediate citizenship, Palestinians continue to suffer from what is called "transfer" policy, which uses administrative means to deny individuals residency, sometimes when they are away for schooling or work.

Even inside areas that Israel controls there is a policy of internal displacement and exile. Twenty-six Palestinians who took refuge in the Church of the Nativity in May 2002 were expelled to Gaza, and 13 to various European locations. They have been denied the right to return to their homes since.

Israel, which always boasts of being the only democracy in the Middle East, uses various emergency laws and administrative orders to control the Palestinian population under its military rule. The rule of law is converted by the Israelis into a rule by law — military law, that is — by which the Israeli army decides how millions of Palestinians are controlled.

Most Palestinians have learned the hard way to acquiesce to this unjust rule and play the game by obeying the rules of the military dictators.

Shalabi refuses to play by these unjust rules. She is using a centuries-old nonviolent technique to show her protest. She suffers to make the world see injustice. Will anyone see and react?