Monday, June 30, 2008

Goonight John, Goodnight Vic...

Marathon Resources founding Directors Dr John Santich and Dr Vic Bogacz “have elected to retire to pursue new business interests” according to a just-released statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

Santich and Bogacz profess to be explorers rather than miners, and are known to have interests in other companies and other sites, notably the Warburton Ranges in Western Australia and in Poland’s Silesia.

Their departure from the Marathon Board, where they were seen as political liabilities in the wake of the scandal that erupted over the unlawful disposal of waste at Mt Gee, prepares the way for a renewed Marathon push to get approval for a license to mine uranium within the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

In an effort to push the Marathon Board as now having cleaner and greener credentials, it has also been announced that Dr John (Shad) Linley has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director.

Linley’s claim to fame rests on his position as CEO of the Korean-owned multinational Sun Metals Corporation, owner of Townsville’s zinc refinery.

The ASX announcement states, “Dr Linley brings a wealth of experience to the Board which will support the company in fully addressing the challenges ahead.”

No prize for guessing what those “challenges” are!

It continues, “Dr Linley was CEO at Sun Metals in Townsville, the world’s most efficient and environmentally sensitive zinc refinery successfully built and operated on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef’.

I bet Marathon shareholder, now Director and Labor Party identity Chris Schacht, has waved that little line under the noses of his erstwhile colleagues Premier “Miner Mike” Rann, State Treasurer Foley and Primary Industries Minister Holloway.

And I’ll equally bet that Tourism Minister Lomax-Smith is overlooked; after all, she’s done nothing to defend South Australia’s major tourism icon, Arkaroola, to date and is conveniently missing in action in her other portfolio area, education, where there is currently a major industrial campaign being waged by the Education Union.

We’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see how the share market reacts to this latest little piece of spin from Marathon, but with shares currently trading at a low $1.43 it’ll take a major buyer to inject any optimism into MTN on the Exchange.

Perhaps there’ll be some big bundles of shares being offloaded soon…..

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An infestation of grubs


Lenin coined the deca-syllabic term "parliamentary cretinism" to describe the practices characteristic of bourgeois political institutions.

However, South Australian Liberal Party leader Martin ("Major Marty") Hamilton-Smith wanted something easier to say this morning, opting to describe State Treasurer Foley as a "grub" for raising the issue of the 26 company share portfolio that he holds whilst serving as Leader of the Opposition.

Foley had the temerity to suggest that serving politicians, who can vote for and against legislation in the parliament, and who sometimes even in Opposition receive confidential business and other briefings, might be compromised by continuing to hold shares in publicly listed companies.

It was a fair point, and Marty has a case to answer that should extend to more than a single syllable outburst.

But is it also a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

We have already raised the issue of Premier Mike Rann's connections with wilderness sanctuary despoiler Marathon Resources through another company established by its CEO John Santich (see here).

In brief, Rann's private home in the Adelaide suburb of Norwood sports a rooftop of solar panels installed by the Solar Shop, owned by Stellar Energy P/L established by Santich.

There is no suggestion of graft involved, although the Solar Shop website prominently displays the Premier's home and the fact that he has given them his custom.

What is intriguing is that Santich has recently gone in with Uranium SA, a prime shareholder of which is Rann favourite Tom Phillips, former CEO of Mitsubishi which recently closed down its Adelaide manufacturing plant.

And State Labor Party heavyweight Chris Schacht, who lobbied successfully with Rann to overturn the Party's "no new uranium mines" policy, was elevated from shareholder to Executive Director of Santich's Marathon mob when the latter ran into trouble for violating the terms of its Arkaroola/Mt Gee exploration licence.

It's a cosy set of relationships, and one in which Santich could feel comfortable enough to say, in March 2007, that "we have essentially the approval of the state government - it's supported it (the Mt. Gee project - ed.) in every possible way".

It also explains why Marathon is still in the running for approval to rip uranium out of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary following the rap over the knuckles it got from Rann's government with a short-tailed grass wren feather in the form of a suspension of its exploration licence, issued on the same day that it announced the completion of its exploration program!

The drought may have knocked the wildlife around at Arkaroola, but there's an infestation of grubs all round in the coward's castle of state parliament.

Arroyo deserts people for company of US masters


Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) has incensed the Filipino people by leading a junket to the US whilst the nation recovers from a lashing by wild storms.

Whilst the people grieve for their dead and the prices of food and oil skyrocket, Arroyo’s priority has been to get to the US for further orders from her masters.

However, Filipino-American RATs or "Rapid Action Teams" will scour the streets of the cities she visits to harass her “garbage regime”.

Arroyo and her entourage, which included at least 59 loyal congressmen, left for the US on Saturday even as Typhoon Fengshen was battering a large area of the Philippines.

Heidi Laurel, 21, whose parents and five brothers and sisters were among the missing in the sunken Princess of the Stars (right), was screaming the name of Arroyo as she desperately pleaded for information about her family.

'Where is President Arroyo? We need you here now. Where are you?' she screamed after security guards at Sulpicio Lines, the shipping company that owns of the ill-fated ferry, prevented her from entering the office.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, lambasted the visit for its insensitivity to the plight of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Fengshen.

'In the face of the exaggerated and expensive trip of more than 60 of our national leadership to the United States for more than a week, how can we talk of austerity and frugality in spending the people's taxes, knowing for whom they must be urgently applied in times of great calamity,' he said.

'The insensitivity of Gloria shows much too much,' the opposition newspaper the Daily Tribune said in its editorial.

'Not even a typhoon that lashed the Philippines, with thousands rendered homeless ... causing the rapid sinking of a ship where hundreds went missing, with many dead, were enough reasons for Gloria Arroyo to cut off her working trip to the United States to meet for a few minutes an American lame duck president,' it added.




(The actions of a US puppet like Arroyo stand in stark contrast to the actions of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao who immediately travelled to the earthquake-devestated Sichuan Province to personally console victims and to deal with problems as they arose.)
BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth denounced Arroyo’s visit. Chito Quijano, Chairperson of BAYAN USA said, ”The US-Arroyo administration is the Bubonic plague of the Filipino people, and we must rid ourselves of this pestilence. Our families in the Philippines are suffering because of this US-Arroyo administration that is rotten to the core.". BAYAN USA first launched RAT actions against Arroyo during her 2005 visit to the United Nations in New York.

"The pinnacle of Arroyo's US visit will be her meeting at the White House with Bush and members of his Cabinet on June 24th, where she will further undermine Philippine sovereignty in exchange for US military-backing," said Quijano. US military presence in the Philippines will be a key agenda in the Bush-Arroyo meeting not just because of the "War on Terror," but also because of US economic interests in the region.

This past February, US military were involved in the massacre of innocent civilians in Sulu. Just recently the US oil company, Exxon-Mobil, announced that it would be doing oil exploration off Sulu.

Quijano also stated, "Arroyo's appalling record of human rights violations continues to worsen as people are still being extra-judicially killed or disappeared and Arroyo's death squads and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are still the main suspects at large." Based on data from Karapatan, there have been a total of 903 extrajudicial killings and 193 enforced disappearances since Arroyo came to power in 2001. "This White House meeting between Bush, the world's number-one war criminal, and his number-one puppet, Arroyo, can lead only to plans of more human rights violations and attacks on civil liberties and democracy," concluded Quijano.

RAT actions are planned for Washington, with follow-up RAT attacks in New York on June 26 and in Los Angeles

Washington, DC-based group Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice, and Human Rights in the Philippines, will be doing an action themed "Airing the President's Dirty Laundry" on June 25 at 6pm in front of the Willard Hotel. Participants in the action will be holding a ten foot puppet of GMA whose arms will act as clotheslines bearing symbols of some of the President's most unpopular and not so secret legacies—extrajudical killings, rampant corruption, rice shortage and rising cost of very basic needs.

RATs and their supporters will be uniting behind these demands:


Control the Prices of Rice, Gas, and Basic Necessities!

Stop the Killings & Enforced Abductions in the Philippines!

No to U.S. Military Aid to the Philippines!

No to Labor Export Policy!

End Political Corruption!

OUST GLORIA!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Democratic Socialism is Capitalism Pt. 9

This is the ninth instalment of Wu Bin's refutation of Mr Xie Tao's advocacy of the restoration of capitalism in China. Links to the earlier chapters are appended to the end of this post. Once again, I must apologise for the delay in the translation, but I'm not an expert and I have a full-time job so I work at the pace I can manage. Only three more sections after this one!





9. Misrepresenting “The Three Big Transformations”, Negating Mao Zedong Thought

While misrepresenting and negating Marxism-Leninism, Mr Xie Tao has not forgotten to attack and slander Comrade Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought.

(1) His attack on Mao Zedong is for “’left’-leaning revisionism”, saying things like “the collapse of the Soviet Union, the great changes in Eastern Europe, China taking the path of reform and opening up, all these are the defeat of ‘left’-leaning revisionism and the victory of Marxism.”

He also shamelessly cooks up rumours about Mao Zedong. He says things like: “After Mao Zedong had completed his somewhat arrogant ”Three Great Transformations” in December 1956, he rapidly realised that he had made a mistake and put forward his new economic policy. He said: ‘The Shanghai underground factories and the state enterprises are in opposition. Because society needs it, start to develop it. It should be brought above ground and legitimized and allowed to hire labour. At the moment it takes three months to make clothing, the sleeves from cooperative factories have one long and one short, buttons don’t have buttonholes, and the quality is poor. It’s best to open privately run factories and have them compete with those above ground, and open some family run businesses. Advertising for labour should also be allowed. This is called the new economic policy. I suspect the Russian New Economic Policy ended too early. It was only carried out for two years, and turned a retreat into an attack; there have been insufficient social commodities up till the present time. We have retained 2.5 million people in privately run enterprises (1.6 million in industry and 900,000 in commerce) whereas the Russians only retained eighty or ninety thousand people. We can also give consideration, so long as society needs it, to increasing the numbers of underground factories and opening big private factories and arrange a treaty that for ten or twenty years they will not be confiscated. If the overseas Chinese invest for twenty years, we won’t confiscate for 100 years. We can also open investment companies and repay the capital with interest. We can promote state control and private control. We can abolish capitalism and we can promote capitalism” (“Compilation of documents on the road taken since the founding of the Republic” [1953-1956] p. 308). This is a policy that Mao Zedong came to recognize, but which he didn’t have the courage to implement. These ideas in opposition to his own mistakes merely stuck to his lips, they were a single spark of a correct policy which was quickly put out. Now we need to put right the mistakes recognised by Mao Zedong but which he lacked the courage to correct, and to implement his new economic policy.”

Mr Xie Tao cites this passage from Chairman Mao, the original source of which is p. 107 of Vol 7 of the Collected Works of Mao Zedong, and the title of which is “Discussions with Responsible Cadres in Civil Construction and the Association of Industry and Commerce”, dated December 7, 1956. In this article, Chairman Mao emphasizes how, in the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce, to better carry out our Party’s guiding principles and policy questions. In this discussion, Chairman Mao said: “I’ll explain the basic accomplishments of the approximately three years of industrial and commercial transformation. My report, and Comrade Liu Shaoqi’s report, to the Eighth National Congress were different, talking about the basic achievements of the first half of this year. Who was correct? The report from the Eighth National Congress was correct. The basic accomplishment spoken of was joint state-private ownership, not nationalisation, for nationalisation is a complete accomplishment. This was approximately three years. In relation to this sentence of mine, some people had a misunderstanding and thought there was no need to cancel the fixed interest (an annual rate of interest paid by the state to the national bourgeoisie on the money value of their assets for a given period of time after the 1956 conversion of capitalist industry and commerce into joint state-private enterprises – Trans.). The cancellation of fixed interest is a complete accomplishment, not a basic accomplishment.” On the second day of these talks, in “Discussions with Personages in Industrial and Commercial Circles” (December 8, 1956), Chairman Mao pointed out: “We have a two-stage revolution. We have already passed through the bourgeois democratic revolution and solved its problems. The socialist revolution is now also already basically completed. However, it is still not yet finally completed. There are still many problems in the cooperative transformation of agriculture, the cooperative transformation of handicraft industry, in joint state-private ownership and in other matters. After the complete achievement of socialist transformation in the future, there will also be many problems.” “In relation to the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce, this is carried out by everyone. The bourgeoisie as a class must be abolished, however everyone will carry this out.” “Why do we need to carry out state-private ownership, why do we need to carry out socialism? This if for making it easy to begin the development of the nation, for socialism has more advantages than the system of private ownership in the development of the nation’s economy and culture, and in bringing about national independence.” We must bring together these two talks of Chairman Mao’s over two days, for obviously the position of Chairman Mao and the Party is to develop the socialist economy as quickly as possible in the transition from new democracy to socialism, because “socialism has more advantages than the system of private ownership in the development of the nation’s economy and culture, and in bringing about national independence.” The things said by Mr Xie Tao about Mao Zedong having “rapidly realised that he had made a mistake…after the ‘Three Great Transformations’”, and having “a policy that Mao Zedong came to recognize, but which he didn’t have the courage to implement. These ideas in opposition to his own mistakes merely stuck to his lips, they were a single spark of a correct policy which was quickly put out,” this sort of analysis and inference is entirely his own fabrication.

In our country, the shift to socialism was made in a timely way after the victory of the new democratic revolution, and this was the greatest aspiration and best choice of the Chinese working class and the Chinese people, and an inevitable trend of the development of the Chinese revolution, as well as the only road to national prosperity and people’s well-being.

After the founding of New China, our country embarked on the socialist road, not taking the road back to capitalism and this was decided by the nature of the Chinese Communist Party and the revolution, and by Chinese circumstances. During the Liberation, more than 80% of the fixed assets of bureaucratic capital comprising industry, mining and transport had already been confiscated by the Government and transformed within a state-owned economy which was socialist in nature. At that time, the People’s Government already controlled the lifeline of the national economy and rapidly realized national financial and economic unity, with the absolute authority to regulate and control the national economy and had a strong foundation for planning national economic development. In the process of restoring the national economy, whilst capitalist industry and commerce played a positive role, at the same time it increasingly became evident that there was also a negative side. Thus, after the restoration of the national economy, along with large-scale economic development, an agenda for the socialist transformation of individual farming, handicraft industry and capitalist industry and commerce was inevitably put forward, and through the conscientious efforts of the whole nation and whole people, it must be said that this profound social change was implemented relatively smoothly. For a large country of hundreds of millions of people to smoothly embark on the socialist road was of great significance and impact not only for China, but was also profound and far-reaching for the whole world.

(2) Mr Xie Tao continues his attacks, saying “Mao Zedong had not read ‘Capital’, nor did he read works by Engels written in the last years of his life (Engels’ most important work from his declining years ‘An Introduction to the Class Struggles in France’)…what he read most of was works by Lenin and Stalin.” As mentioned previously, he also attacks Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong as “the greatest revisionists”; and attacks Mao Zedong for “taking the ‘methods of struggle of 1848’ abandoned by Engels as a banner to wave, revising Marxism from the ‘left’”.

As long as they have a clear conscience and aren’t prejudiced about it, anyone will acknowledge that Comrade Mao Zedong throughout his whole life was diligent in study and was a model for the entire Party and the people of the whole nation. Not only was he assiduous in his studies and in his research on the works of Marxism and Leninism, he was exceptionally proficient in the basic theories of Marxism and Leninism; not only was he serious in his studies of the works of Marxism-Leninism, he also encouraged the whole Party and the people of the whole country to study the works of Marxism-Leninism and armed the people of the whole nation with Marxism-Leninism.

As early as 1938, during the holding of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixth Congress of the CCP, Mao Zedong pointed out: “Ours is the task of leading a great nation of several hundred million in a great and unprecedented struggle. For us, therefore, the spreading and deepening of the study of Marxism-Leninism present a big problem demanding an early solution which is possible only through concentrated effort,” he pointed out. “So far as shouldering the main responsibility of leadership is concerned, our Party's fighting capacity will be much greater and our task of defeating Japanese imperialism will be more quickly accomplished if there are one or two hundred comrades with a grasp of Marxism-Leninism which is systematic and not fragmentary, genuine and not hollow.” (Selected Works of Mao Zedong Vol 2 p 533 Chinese ed.) After the founding of New China, in order to get the whole Party to adapt to the new requirements of socialist revolution and construction, Mao Zedong and the Central Committee repeatedly issued calls for the entire Party to study Marxist-Leninist theory. On the 20th March, 1951, he issued “Decision of the central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on Strengthening Theoretical Education [Draft]”. In August 1956, in his “Talks with Music Workers”, Mao Zedong pointed out: “…not to accept Marxism would be bad for us. It would be unreasonable not to accept it” (“Collected Works of Mao Zedong” Vol 7, p 78 Chinese ed.) “These works by the forefather Marx must be read and we must observe their basic principles” (“Collected Works of Mao Zedong” Vol 8, p. 109 Chinese ed.)

After the 20th Congress of the CPSU, in order to oppose and prevent revisionism and wage struggle against these fake Marxist demagogues and identify their conspiracies, and to prevent the restoration of capitalism in China, Mao Zedong repeatedly stressed that in order to study the basic theories of Marxism we had to study the original works. He personally set out the works of Marx and Lenin to be studied and personally made the arrangements for their study. He said we must study several, more than a dozen, or several scores of Marxist-Leninist works. In a planned manner, and within a few years, we must have read several dozens of Marxist-Leninist books. For this reason he proposed to write a series of Notes for the classics of Marxism-Leninism, with the possibility that the Notes would exceed the original texts in length. On February 15, 1964, when organizing the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin for high cadres to study, included 8 works by Marx, 3 by Engels, 11 by Lenin, 5 by Stalin and 3 by Plekhanov. On June 16 of the same year, he proposed at a workshop of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, in view of the lessons from the practice of revisionism by the Krushchov clique in the Soviet Union, that we had to pay attention to raising successors to the proletarian revolution. How should they be raised? The first thing is that they “they must have some knowledge of Marxism-Leninism; it would be best if they have a bit more knowledge of Marxism-Leninism.” On November 6, 1970 the Central Committee issued “Notice on Questions of Study for Senior Cadres” that had been carefully checked by Mao Zedong, and transmitted the instructions by Mao Zedong at the Second Plenary Session of the Ninth Party Congress about senior cadres finding the time for the study of Marxist-Leninist works, and suggesting that the cadres in each unit study 6 works by Marx, Lenin and Stalin and 5 by Mao Zedong. From 1971 until his death in 1976, Mao Zedong many times emphasized paying attention to the propagation of Marx and Lenin, and the study of books by Marx and Lenin. He requested that members of the Central Committee and the high and middle-level Party cadres should earnestly read and study and get a good grasp of Marxism. Looking over Mao Zedong’s whole life, no matter whether it is the revolutionary era or the period of peaceful construction, he never forgot to study and demanded that the cadres of the entire Party studied the works of Marxism-Leninism.

Comrade Mao Zedong was a great proletarian revolutionary statesman, military strategist and revolutionary, a wise teacher and leader loved by the Chinese people and also an outstanding Marxist. Comrade Mao Zedong combined the universal principles of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution, creatively developed Marxism, developed it to a new stage and shaped the guidance of the Chinese revolution from its victory to the victory of Mao Zedong Thought. Mao Zedong Thought is a new milestone in the development of Marxism-Leninism. Mao Zedong Thought not only belongs to the Chinese people, but also to the revolutionary people of the whole world. Even though the international communist movement has moved to a low ebb over the last couple of decades, the banner of Mao Zedong Thought, together with the banner of Marxism-Leninism, still flutters high all over the globe, and Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought is still the strong ideological weapon of the international proletariat and revolutionary people in their life and death struggle against imperialism and the bourgeoisie. The name of Mao Zedong is inscribed on the banner of the Marxist parties of the Third World leading the national democratic liberation movement.


(Comrade Prachanda, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal [Maoist] in front of portraits of the great leaders of the proletariat)


For example, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), holding high the banner of Mao Zedong’s ideology of people’s war, has gained a great victory in the development of their military struggle. Venezuelan President Chavez, a highly respected opponent of US imperialism, has the Works of Mao Zedong on his office desk; he has meticulously studied Mao Zedong Thought and quoted from Mao Zedong many times in his speeches. He said, “I have worshipped Chairman Mao all my life”. Studying the experiences of the Chinese and Cuban revolutions, and carrying out a resolute struggle against US imperialism, he is determined to build Venezuela into a “21st Century socialism”. Examples like this are too numerous to mention.

Mr Xie Tao, in slandering Mao Zedong like this, is connecting with the forces of bourgeois liberalisation in our country and their ideological trend of “de-Maoification” that is said to have taken off. After the death of Chairman Mao, in order to bring China under the influence of capitalism, those traitors to the Communist Party and running dogs of imperialism, worked themselves into a simple frenzy of throwing filth all over Chairman Mao and Mao Zedong Thought. Not long ago, wasn’t that Mr Mao Yushi writing an article condemning Mao Zedong Thought as “an extremely destructive Thought” and the “main opponent of a harmonious society”? These people, they just want to cut down the flag, they just want to restore the old! There is a great feeling of “the wind sweeping through the tower heralds a rising storm in the mountains”. Clearly the current class struggle is sharp and fierce! However, like ants trying to shake a tree, this is easier said than done! Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought have already firmly taken root in the hearts of the people of China and of the world.

(My photo of a not uncommon scene in rural China - in this case in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region - of a poster of Chairman Mao alongside the "ten great Marshalls" of the PLA in a peasant's house. Taken May 2008.)

Within our country, although the “de-Maoification” has strengthened in the last couple of years, it still cannot stop wave after wave of “Mao crazes”! Not only in our country, but also internationally, the prestige of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought continues to rise. A few years ago, the US Time Inc. selected the 100 most influential persons and things over the last thousand years, amply demonstrating and affirming the giant status of Mao Zedong in the eyes of the people of the world. As a result of this selection, there was neither Roosevelt nor Washington, worshipped by Xie Tao and Xin Ziling, although Mao Zedong whom they attack and slander appeared twice. Amongst these 100 people, there was the sole selection of Mao Zedong’s famous quote “Where there is oppression, there is resistance”. American scholar Michael Hart said with emotion, “The reason why Mao Zedong’s status is slightly higher than Washington’s is that the changes he brought to China are even more important than the changes Washington brought to the US. The reason his ranking is higher than that of Napoleon and many others is that his influence in the future will probably be greater than theirs”. Many foreigners place Mao Zedong alongside Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin as the teachers of the revolution. Japanese Member of Parliament Okada Haruo said: “Mao Zedong and Lenin are the same – they changed world history and are the greatest persons of the Twentieth Century”. US China expert Trier said: “The experience of Mao Zedong is enough to make him the embodiment of Marx, Lenin and Stalin for the Chinese revolution” (“Around the World”, 2001, No. 11).

This is the logic of the people and of the revolution, that no matter who he is, no matter how great his reputation, it is just wishful thinking to try and uproot Mao Zedong from the hearts of the people, it just cannot be done! All anti-Mao people will come to no good end, and will surely bring shame and ruin upon themselves, and they will become as filthy and contemptible as a pile of dog droppings!


(The poster reads: Chairman Mao is the red sun that will never set in our hearts)


(3) Mr Xie Tao fabricating a wild tale, says, “’The salvoes of the October Revolution’ were sent by Leninism, not by Marxism”, and attacks Mao Zedong for “after the founding of the nation, and in spite of the backward condition of China’s productive forces, giving up new democracy and the capitalist path of development and persisting with communism, relying solely on having a powerful state apparatus at hand and not fearing the rebellion of the national bourgeoisie. From this we can see the influence of Blanquism and Leninism on him. It is not accidental that Mao Zedong embarked on the road of violent socialism.” He slanders Mao Zedong as “a hundred times fiercer than Qin Shihuang, as an emperor without the dragon robes”. He attacks the “power structure and political system designed by Mao Zedong” for “turning into the greatest tyranny of all times and of all places”. He says, “A revolution that results in the elimination of private ownership, a social system characterised by rejection of the advanced productive forces, no matter in whose majestic name, can have no future at all”.

As a member of the Communist Party, Mr Xie Tao is able to come out with such filthy language! It can be seen that he’s not qualified to be a Party member at all! These sorts of people like him and Xin Ziling, Li Rui etc who wear the label of a Communist, insult the sacred name of Communism, insult the Chinese working class, insult the Chinese people, and insult the countless martyrs to the revolution!

In his “Preface”, Mr Xie Tao uses a very insidious “strategy” and trick, that of pitting Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought against Marxism, of setting them against each other; he separates the five revolutionary leaders – Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong - and sets them against each other. On the one hand, they use the gimmick of distorting Marxism to negate Marxism. Just as Lenin once pointed out: “attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it….They omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie” (State and Revolution, Ch. Ed. p. 6). As we have often said, this is flaunting the banner of Marxism in order to oppose Marxism. On the other hand, they use the banner of Marxism (already revised) to attack and slander Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, to attack and slander Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong. They hate Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong precisely because Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong didn’t “revise” Marxism, but held high the banner of Marxism and followed Marxist theory and led the proletariat and the revolutionary people in rebellion against the bourgeoisie, in rebellion against imperialism, overthrew the rule of the bourgeoisie in the Soviet Union and in China, and put into practice socialism minus the exploitation and oppression of the bourgeoisie. Thus, in the opinion of Mr Xie Tao and his associates, in order to overthrow socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, it is first necessary to strike down the leaders of the proletariat and the revolutionary people, to negate their revolutionary theory – this is the “strategy”, the trickery and the reactionary logic of Mr Xie Tao and his ilk!

..........................

Links to earlier sections:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Support Pakistan Food Workers

In 2004, Unilever Pakistan sold its Dalda brand plant manufacturing edible oils and fats in Karachi to a group of former company managers, who incorporated as Dalda Foods (Pvt.) Limited.

With competition growing in the edible oil sector, Dalda management has been busily applying the lessons it learned at Unilever: buy out the competition, and reduce permanent employment and potential union influence to an absolute minimum.

Earlier this year, Dalda acquired a majority stake in rival Wazir Ali Industries. But workers are now challenging the denial of rights to agency workers by fighting back through a newly formed union. Encouraged by a successful challenge to casualization at Coca-Cola Pakistan, Dalda workers contacted the Coca-Cola union and the IUF. Over 430 workers have signed up as members in the Dalda Food Employees Union, which applied for official registration with the authorities on May 13. Fearing a backlash - like Unilever's savage reprisals against temporary workers at the company's Rahim Yar Khan factory - the union successfully applied for a "stay order" which prohibits the company from terminating workers or closing the plant. Management violated the order and terminated 266 workers on May 24.

On June 2, the union received its official registration from the labour department, and, with support from the IUF-affiliated National Federation of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Workers applied for collective bargaining status. Management challenged this procedure in the court, arguing that the agency workers are not employed by Dalda Food, but by….the labour hire agency.

The Court then stopped the application status for collective bargaining, and fixed June 23 as the date for a further hearing.

The workers have set up a permanent camp in front of the company (right), with support from the Federation. With daily visits from trade unions and representatives of political and civil society organizations, the camp has become a living symbol of the struggle against Pakistan's brutal regime of outsourced and casualized labour.

You can support the union's struggle for union rights for all workers by sending a message of solidarity to the workers through the through the IUF Pakistan office and the National Federation of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Workers. The message below can serve as a sample. Please send copies of any messages you might send to the IUF secretariat. We thank you in advance for your solidarity and support.

Sample Message to the Dalda Food Employees Union (cut and paste into emails through links in the paragraph above).


Dear Sisters and Brothers

I have learned of your struggle from the IUF. I fully support your struggle for union rights and recognition at Dalda Foods. I am outraged to learn that management has sought to prevent your union from obtaining collective bargaining status by contending that employees hired through a labour agency should be denied trade union rights because they are not technically employed by Dalda Foods. You work for Dalda Foods, and Dalda management has fired 266 workers simply because they joined the union.

Trade union rights are universal human rights, and by denying those rights Dalda management is violating international Conventions which the government of Pakistan is obliged to defend and uphold.

Your have my full support - may your struggle end in a victory which will be a victory for workers everywhere!

Yours sincerely

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Anniversary of NT Land Grab


The first anniversary of the Howard Government’s so-called Northern Territory “intervention” falls on June 21.

We condemned the intervention at the time for professing to be motivated by the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children whilst in reality being an attempt to roll back the Northern Territory Land Rights Act and open Aboriginal lands up to the mining industry.

According to a weekly progress report on the Northern Territory Intervention leaked to an independent news source yesterday, only 63% of children in remote communities have received health checks promised under the “intervention”, and despite Howard's promise that all government funded computers would be audited for pornography, no computer audits have been carried out as yet.

The document also reveals that Centrelink has received approximately 40 Ombudsman's complaints, mostly around problems concerning the IM (income management) process. Under the IM scheme, welfare payments to Aboriginal Territorians were to be transferred to controlled accounts and substituted for food and clothing vouchers. Sources in the NT state that the cost of income management alone is currently running at $3000 per person per annum — to manage average welfare payments of around $10,000 per recipient. The documents point out that there are around 10,500 people under income management.

According to Mitch, an Eastern Arrernte/Luritja representative from Alice Springs, “Kevin Rudd has said his apology will contain an affirmation never to repeat past wrongs, but this is precisely what his government is doing rolling out Howard’s intervention. He is continuing the genocidal policy of the Stolen Generations and the Howard years.“We are back to ’flour, tea and tobacco days’, being forced to work and jump through hoops for ration vouchers. Centrelink is not providing proper services for remote communities so there has been a mass exodus of our young people. My brothers have been forced into town to look for work.”

Being “forced into town” in the context of the vast Australian outback means leaving the traditional lands for which one’s community acts as custodian and travelling sometimes many hundreds of kilometres into Alice Springs or other NT towns.

Lyle Cooper, a Health clinic worker and President of Bagot Town Camp adds in reference to the new Federal government’s apology to the Aboriginal stolen generations: “I thank you Prime Minister Rudd for your apology…(but) it's an invasion all over again. We are being told where to shop, what to eat, how to act and how to live.”

People of goodwill, progressive organisations, unions and churches have come together with Aboriginal organisations form the NT to call for the repeal of the NT “intervention”, and for real action in consultation with Aboriginal communities to implement the recommendations of the Little Children are Sacred report behind which the previous government disguised its land grab.

The following motion was endorsed unanimously by all divisions of theConstruction Forestry Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU) at their NationalBi-annual Conference at Brighton Beach Sydney, 22/2/08:

"That the CFMEU demand the immediate repeal of the Northern Territory Emergency Response Legislation; we further demand that Federal, State and Territory Governments sit down and enter into respectful dialogue with Aboriginal people in their communities and then act alongside and in support of Aboriginal people in keeping with the "Little Children are Sacred" report."

The Northern Synod of the Anglican Church called on the Australian Government to enter into a real partnership with indigenous people in the Northern Territory by enacting legislation that upholds human rights, affirms self-determination and enhances the capacity of individuals and communities to contribute to solving issues of concern within their own lives. Part of a motion carried by the Synod reads:

“Therefore we believe that the Government shoulda) repeal the NT Emergency Response Act 2007; andb) start afresh through consultative processes to develop a range of responses that directly address the recommendations of the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ Report.”

This Saturday, thousands of people around the continent will gather in support of indigenous sovereignty, self-determination and justice, demanding an end to the NT Intervention. They will demand:
- Repeal all "NT intervention" legislation
- Restore the Racial Discrimination Act
- Fund infrastructure and community controlled services
- Sign and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Aboriginal Control of Aboriginal Affairs

To the shame of the social-democratic Australian Labor Government, it is continuing to carry out the wishes of the imperialists in dismantling Land Rights in the Northern Territory.

Only a genuinely independent Australian nation, led by the working class in a republic based on a new Eureka-inspired Constitution, through a Treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, can properly defend Aboriginal rights and give effect to genuine reconciliation and hope for the future.

In the meantime, we rally and march and continue to fight!

Teachers strike a huge success




South Australian members of the Australian Education Union have vented their anger at the state’s Labor government by holding a 24-hour strike.

The AEU covers Technical and Further Education (TAFE) lecturers, pre-school and school teachers, principals, school services officers (SSOs), early childhood workers (ECWs) and Aboriginal education workers (AEWs) in the public education sector.

Frustrated by months of stubborn rejection of their wage claim (21% over three years) and faced with the loss of protection for class sizes and working conditions, members voted by 85 percent in Electoral Commission-conducted secret ballots, to strike.

More than 500 worksites throughout the state were closed, despite the Education Department (DECS) doing its best to keep some sites open with the few scabs prepared to report for work, and claims that “modified programs” would be available.

With more than 11,000 AEU members on strike, the scene was set for a large turn-out at a mid-morning rally and march on Parliament House.

However, the preferred route, marching from Victoria Square where the State Administration Office housing the Premier’s Department is located, down the city’s main thoroughfare, King William Street to Parliament, was denied to the AEU on the grounds that a recent tram extension made the route unsafe. Also, and shades of Mussolini, the trams had to be allowed to run on time!

This meant that the march had to start from a distant and less accessible corner of the city.

If the government thought that this would minimize the impact of the march, they were soon to be proven wrong.

More than 8000 education workers, parents and students gathered and marched off to chants of “2-4-6-8 Mike Rann negotiate!” and “What do we want? A fair offer? When do we want it? NOW!”

The size of the rally became apparent as police hastily replaced safety cones, designed to keep traffic lanes and the tram line open for traffic in front of Parliament House, back across the street. Despite their best efforts, the crowd quickly spilled out to the tram line, and then across the tram line until the entire six-lane North Terrace was a sea of red.

Speakers including a primary school principal and a parent in her capacity as a school Governing Council chairperson, spoke before AEU President Correna Haythorpe proposed a series of motions calling for continued industrial and community actions. These were passed unanimously.

Smaller marches and rallies occurred in a number of country towns (above), and out on the APY (Aboriginal communities) Lands in the far north-west of the state (below).


According to the AEU, if there is no breakthrough in discussions with the government, a campaign of rolling stoppages will begin and may include another 24-hour stoppage.

By keeping the focus on the issues at stake to schools and their communities, and by maintaining the momentum through carefully planned and timed further action, education workers will be able to persevere in a protracted struggle, and win the majority of their demands.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Marathon in a spin

Uranium explorer and wilderness despoiler Marathon Resources is a bit too clever by half.

On June 10, the company released an upbeat announcement of a resources upgrade for the Mt Gee project.

The announcement claimed that drilling carried out in late 2007 and early 2008 had established “significant improvements in the understanding of the mineralization.” (The state Government suspended their drilling license at the end of February following investigations into the dumping of domestic rubbish and tailings in shallow graves at Mt Gee in violation of their exploration permit).

On the basis of this new information, Marathon upgraded its resource estimate by 11.5 percent.

Actually, Marathon’s resource estimates go up and down faster than a yo-yo on a short string.

A bit of shuffling between “indicated” and “inferred” status can work wonders on a resource estimate’s apparent value. As can a “reinterpretation of geology”.

And an upbeat announcement can deflect attention from less desirable publicity – such as the announcement, on the same day, of an update on the company’s submission of its rectification plan for the damage done to various sites around Mt Gee.

The plan is yet to be approved by the SA government (PIRSA) and the Environmental Protection Authority and there is no indication of cost to Marathon shareholders.

According to today's news, PIRSA and the EPA seem to be in no great hurry to accommodate Marathon.

They have requested a range of information from Marathon Resources before a clean-up of its drilling site in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary can begin.

The Government bodies asked Marathon to supply information about the contractors they will use for the clean-up, to ensure they are independent from the company and that they have permission to drive dump trucks through the sanctuary in South Australia's Flinders Ranges.

The plan does incorporate the engagement of Papari Radiation Consultants “to advise on radiation protection throughout the process,” which presumably involves sifting through 22,800 bags and sixteen 200 litre drums to determine what is radioactive and what is not.

According to PIRSA recommendations, all general waste, including the bags and drums, must be transported to a licensed waste disposal site and appropriately disposed of; where that site is was not specified.

Mineral samples, including those that are radioactive, are to be safely removed from bags and drums and reburied within the same or similar geological and soil formations. It is assumed that this will be at, or around the three sites spoiled by Marathon, although again, this is not specified.
Environmental consultants Parsons Brinkerhoff and Futureye have also been engaged to “commit to a set of policies and principles that are in line with international leading practice guidelines on sustainable exploration and mining.”

Consultants are known to charge like wounded bulls, and using them to respin Marathon’s tattered credibility is going to cost shareholders.

Of course, Marathon is doing a fair bit of its own spinning, claiming that “potential for further mineralization is likely in the NE quadrant of the Mt Gee area but this is yet to be tested with drilling.”

This is a carrot for Premier “Miner” Mike (left) and Resources Minister Holloway to move quickly on lifting the suspension of Marathon’s exploration license. Who among the rest of us would ever want to let these bastards back in to further honeycomb this pristine and fragile wilderness area?

And despite the frequently-stated opposition to Marathon’s past, and proposed, activities in the area by the owners of the Arkaroola Wildlife Sanctuary, Marathon chairman Peter Williams is leaving no piece of radio-active rock unturned in an effort to win over owners, the Sprigg family. On a number of occasions he has let it be known that mining development would be “good” for Arkaroola’s infrastructure, and that Marathon needs to “demonstrate to the owners and the rest of the world that there can be coexistence between mining and eco-tourism.” Rather than fanning the flames of shareholder contempt for “greenies” and yellow-footed rock wallabies, Marathon claims that it “respects the important conservation work of the operators of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary…”

The best thing, however, would be for Marathon to clean up the mess it has made, restoring Mt Gee as near as possible to its original state, and then get the hell out of there.

That is the only respect that they are asked to show!

And as for the kiddies in the shareholder chatrooms, well their patience is running thin too. Recent comments include:

ooOOOoo

Recently I was evaluating some of the worst company failures and surprise, surprise, MTN is down there with the worst of them.Let me list some of the MTN management landmarks. Failing and Falling!!!!!

1 Decision to announce high prospectivity of Mt Gee knowing all the while that the area had been previously explored thoroughly for uranium and abandoned.

2 Deciding to explore when knowing the obstacles of working in one of the most valuable environmental zones on earth. clearly this strategy was designed to excite and deceive unaware investors

3 Employment of incompetents to run field operations led by an incompetent and deceitful board.

4 Burying uranium waste on site at one of the most sensitive areas within the lease. This is one way to grab the headlines. A reasonable person is entitled to ask "Hello is anybody home!"

5 Ignoring increasing evidence of environmental damage caused by their operations and failing to address issues such as impacts on the rare Short-tailed Grasswren, opposition of the pastoral lease holders, growing public concerns and other management issues caused by their presence.

And now we learn MTN is suing and counter suing.

Yep this is one successful story. Mount Gee is a spectacular Geological Monument but for MTN, it is a monument of failure. It surprises me that they still exist. I apologize if i have overlooked any MTN brilliant decisions.

12/06/08 18:01

HeinzKizzvelvet

oo000oo, what about the Purple Spotted Gudgeon?

can I ask a stupid question - shouldn't the point after point 5 be made available to shareholders in an ASX news release? This will send the price plummeting! Makes you wonder not IF but WHEN this company will fold.

I bet stevenj is happy he got out now.
Disclaimer: I''m not a financial adviser; do your own research. You accept all risks and responsibility for losses, damages, costs and other consequences resulting directly or indirectly from using this site and any information or material available from it.

12/06/08 18:16

stevenjd

yeah, i am, time money investmemt.
I'm being more cut throat now.
Always said i was a work in progress.
When they get approvals to mine, i'll be back in on the open.
If that doesn't eventuate, other stocks are performing for me in their stead.
If there is a stampede to exit and it falls to 50c, i'll be interested on market phsycology technical bounce, but only for that, and out again.thats my play book for this one.
There has to be light at the end of the tunnel, there has to be a production schedule that can they can be accountable to.

If not, good luck finding your way through the forest at midnight.

Happy hunting.cheers

12/06/08 18:23

Tibbs

This individual has their own agenda!I HATE greenies ... Somehow, they always seem to get up my nose!;)
A Hotcopper Addict

stevejd

fair enough tibbs,and above posters may have agenda on the green side,but that doesnt change the fact that while MTN are gagged and bound, they aren't going to run the four minute mile for us.

cut em loose, and i'll hand em a drink and wave them on with cheers.

cheers

13/06/08 12:29

Taurisk

Hi Tibbs, StevenjI agree to a certain extent on your views, but I feel the greenies are doing an important job that all the rest of us are too busy ignoring. Sure, they get it wrong at times, but if you had seen what miners were able to get away with years ago, you'd have a different view. My husband worked in titanium mines down south from Perth in the seventies; people died due to the quick-profit motive (no workplace safety), and the place was a huge mess; and if you'd seen the carelessness, the environmental damage and the bleeding gaps in the landscape they were allowed to get away with, you would say it's a good thing we have better legislation in place.

This is to a great extent due to people who take a long-term view on this beautiful world (some of them known as 'Greenies'). They have their own ignorant or 'blind' spots, agreed, but I hope I never get so greedy that I want it all.

It is obvious that you don't try to establish a mine in an environmentally sensitive area. I guess it's another one of those factors investors have to be aware of.

Do your research before investing. I did hold MTN, but sold out with a small profit some time ago.

Sorry, I didn't mean to 'preach' - I just believe that everyone has an important role to play for the good of us all.

Taurisk

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nepal leader eager to visit Shaoshan

2008-06-13 07:36:42.0
Jiao Xiaoyang
(China Daily)

KATHMANDU: Nepal's Maoist leader Prachanda said Thursday he hopes to visit China soon and seek inspiration in Chairman Mao's hometown Shaoshan (right).

"I am very eager to visit China," the chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) told China Daily at his residence.

"When our communication minister was there (in China) he was instructed to prepare for my visit. I hope I will soon be in Beijing," Prachanda said, referring to Maoist senior leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara's low-profile visit to Beijing earlier this month.
"I want to go to Chairman Mao's village and home to get some more inspiration by seeing and feeling."
The CPN (Maoist), which waged a decade-long armed struggle before signing a peace deal in 2006, emerged as the largest party in the April elections for the Constituent Assembly. The assembly declared an end to Nepal's 240-year-old Shah dynasty a fortnight ago, and is working on a new constitution and the formation of the government.

Prachanda is widely tipped to be prime minister in the new government.

He said his country will maintain "equidistance" between China and India - the Himalayan country's only two neighbors - while seeking rapprochement with Washington, making it clear the new Nepal will not be driven by ideology in foreign relations.

"Equidistance means not siding with one country against another. My exact meaning of equidistance is to have good relations with both the neighbors," he said.

India's new ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood, recently had high-profile parleys with top leaders in Kathmandu and discussed thorny issues such as power sharing among political parties in Nepal. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last month that New Delhi supports Nepal's "democratic experiment".

When it comes to foreign relations, ideology will "not be a barrier", said Prachanda. "We are eager to have diplomatic relations with countries which do not share our ideology."

He expressed cautious optimism on relations with the US, which still has the Maoist group on its terrorist blacklist.

"Some discussions are going on with the ambassador of the US and the last time I met one of the ministers of the United States they said that they are going to change the previous policy but it will take some time," said Prachanda.

"They said that they will continue with joint projects in Nepal, other economic aid will continue. There will not be any change even when we lead the government."

Tibetan secessionists

Prachanda said the new government will take "strong measures" against anti-China activities in his country.

Over the past few weeks, Tibetan secessionists have protested almost daily in front of the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. They are usually detained by police and soon released, only to repeat the story the next day.

"When we lead the government, we will change the situation," said Prachanda.

He said Nepal's new government will discuss with India the open border, which enables Tibetan demonstrators to come to Kathmandu from Dharmashala, the Dalai Lama's base in India.

"We will not tolerate anti-China activities on our soil and we will take strong administrative measures to control these activities," he said.
..........................
(Cultural Revolution-era booklet below. The large black characters read "A red sun has risen at Shaoshan". The smaller red characters read: "Sailing seas depends upon the helmsman" and "Making revolution depends upon Mao Zedong Thought", lines from a popular CR-era song.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Eyes on the Maobadi: 4 Reasons Nepal’s Revolution Matters


(I like the clarity of this thoughtful piece by Mike Ely, and hope you like it too. Mike's details are at the bottom.)

By Mike Ely

Something remarkable is happening. A whole generation of people has never seen a radical, secular, revolutionary movement rise with popular support. And yet here it is – in Nepal today.
This movement has overthrown Nepal’s hated King Gyanendra and abolished the medieval monarchy. It has created a revolutionary army that now squares off with the old King’s army. It has built parallel political power in remote rural areas over a decade of guerrilla war – undermining feudal traditions like the caste system. It has gathered broad popular support and emerged as the leading force of an unprecedented Constituent Assembly (CA). And it has done all this under the radical banner of Maoist communism — advocating a fresh attempt at socialism and a classless society around the world.

People in Nepal call these revolutionaries the Maobadi.

Another remarkable thing is the silence surrounding all this. There has been very little reporting about the intense moments now unfolding in Nepal, or about the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) that stand at their center. Meanwhile, the nearby Tibetan uprisings against abuses by China’s government got non-stop coverage.

There are obvious reasons for this silence. The Western media isn’t thrilled when people in one of the world’s poorest countries throw their support behind one of the world’s most radical movements.

But clearly many alternative news sources don’t quite know what to make of the Nepali revolution. The Maobadi’s mix of communist goals and non-dogmatic methods disturb a lot of leftist assumptions too. When the CPN(Maoist) launched an armed uprising in 1996, some people thought these were outdated tactics. When the CPN(Maoist) suspended armed combat in 2006 and entered an anti-monarchist coalition government, some people assumed they would lose their identity to a corrupt cabal. When the Maoists press their current anti-feudal program, some people think they are forgetting about socialism.

But silent skepticism is a wrong approach. The world needs to be watching Nepal. The stunning Maoist victory in the April elections was not, yet, the decisive victory over conservative forces. The Maobadi are at the center of the political staqe but they have not yet defeated or dismantled the old government’s army. New tests of strength lie ahead.

The Maoists of Nepal aren’t just a opposition movement any more – they are tackling the very different problems of leading a society through a process of radical change. They are maneuvering hard to avoid a sudden crushing defeat at the hands of powerful armies. As a result, the Maobadi of Nepal are carrying out tactics for isolating their internal rivals, broadening their appeal, and neutralizing external enemies.

All this looks bewildering seen up close. This world has been through a long, heartless stretch without much radicalism or revolution. Most people have never seen what it looks like when a popular communist revolution reaches for power.

Let’s break the silence by listing four reasons for looking closely at Nepal.

Reason #1: Here are communists who have discarded rigid thinking, but not their radicalism.

Leaders of the CPN(Maoist) say they protect the living revolution “from the revolutionary phrases we used to memorize.”

The Maobadi took a fresh and painstakingly detailed look at their society. They identified which conditions and forces imposed the horrific poverty on the people. They developed creative methods for connecting deeply with the discontent and highest hopes of people. They have generated great and growing influence over the last fifteen years.

To get to the brink of power, this movement fused and alternated different forms of struggle. They started with a great organizing drive, followed by launching a guerrilla war in 1996, and then entering negotiations in 2006. They created new revolutionary governments in remote base areas over ten years, and followed up with a political offensive to win over new urban support. They have won victory in the special election in April, and challenged their foot-dragging opponents by threatening to launching mass mobilizations in the period ahead. They reached out broadly, without abandoning their armed forces or their independent course.
The Maobadi say they have the courage “to climb the unexplored mountain.” They insist that communism needs to be reconceived. They believe popular accountability may prevent the emergence of arrogant new elites. They reject the one-party state and call for a socialist process with multi-party elections. They question whether a standing army will serve a new Nepal well, and advocate a system of popular militias. And they want to avoid concentrating their hopes in one or two leaders-for-life, but instead will empower a rising new generation of revolutionary successors.

Nepal is in that bottom tier of countries called the “fourth world” – most people there suffer in utter poverty. It is a world away from the developed West, and naturally the political solutions of the Nepali Maoists’ may not apply directly to countries like the U.S. or Britain. But can’t we learn from the freshness they bring to this changing world?

Will their reconception of communism succeed? It is still impossible to know. But their attempt itself already has much to teach.

Reason #2: Imagine Nepal as a Fuse Igniting India

Nepal is such a marginalized backwater that it is hard to imagine its politics having impact outside its own borders. The country is poor, landlocked, remote and only the size of Arkansas. Its 30 million people live pressed between the world’s most populous giants, China and India.
But then consider what Nepal’s revolution might mean for a billion people in nearby India.
A new Nepal would have a long open border with some of India’s most impoverished areas. Maoist armed struggle has smoldered in those northern Indian states for decades – with roots among Indian dirt farmers. Conservative analysts sometimes speak of a “red corridor” of Maoist-Naxalite guerrilla zones running through central India, north to south, from the Nepali border toward the southern tip.

Understanding the possibilities, Nepal’s Maobadi made a bold proposal: that the revolutionary movements across South Asia should consider merging their countries after overthrowing their governments and creating a common regional federation. The Maobadi helped form the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) in 2001, which brought together ten different revolutionary groupings from throughout the region.
A future revolutionary government in Nepal will have a hard time surviving alongside a hostile India. It could face demands, crippling embargos and perhaps even invasion. But at the very same time, such a revolution could serve as an inspiration and a base area for revolution in that whole region. It could impact the world.

Reason #3: Nepal shows that a new, radically better world is possible.

Marx once remarked that the revolution burrows unseen underground and then bursts into view to cheers of “Well dug, old mole!”

We have all been told that radical social change is impossible. Rebellion against this dominant world order has often seemed marked by backward-looking politics, xenophobia, lowered sights and Jihadism. And yet, here comes that old mole popping up in Nepal — offering a startling glimpse of how people can transform themselves and their world.

Some of the world’s poorest and most oppressed people have set out in the Nepali highlands to remake everything around them — through armed struggle, political power, and collective labor. Farming people, who are often half-starved and illiterate have formed peoples courts and early agricultural communes. Wife beating and child marriage are being challenged. Young men and women have joined the revolutionary army to defeat their oppressors. There is defiance of arranged marriage and a blossoming of “love matches,” even between people of different castes. There is a rejection of religious bigotry and the traditions of a Hindu monarchy. The 40 ethnic groups of Nepal are negotiating new relations based on equality and a sharing of political power.
All this is like a wonderful scent upon the wind. You are afraid to turn away, unless it might suddenly disappear.

Reason #4: When people dare to make revolution – they must not stand alone.

These changes would have been unthinkable, if the CPN(Maoist) had not dared to launch a revolutionary war in 1996. And their political plan became reality because growing numbers of people dared to throw their lives into the effort. It is hard to exaggerate the hope and courage that has gripped people.

Events may ultimately roll against those hopes. This revolution in Nepal may yet be crushed or even betrayed from within. Such dangers are inherent and inevitable in living revolutions.
If the Maobadi pursue new leaps in their revolutionary process, they will likely face continuing attacks from India, backed by the U.S. The CPN(Maoist) has long been (falsely!) labeled “terrorists” by the U.S. government. They are portrayed as village bullies and exploiters of child-soldiers by some human rights organizations. Western powers have armed Nepal’s pro-royal National army with modern weapons. A conservative mass movement in Nepal’s fertile Terai agricultural area has been encouraged by India and Hindu fundamentalists.

Someone needs to spread the word of what is actually going on. It would be intolerable if U.S.-backed destabilization and suppression went unopposed in the U.S. itself.

Here it is: A little-known revolution in Nepal.

Who will we tell about it? What will we learn from it? What will we do about it?
* * * * *
Mike Ely is part of the Kasama Project (http://mikeely.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/) and has helped create the new Revolution in South Asia (http://southasiarev.wordpress.com/ ) resource. Mike’s email is m1keely (at) yahoo.com

Friday, June 06, 2008

CFMEU official faces jail for serving members


NOEL WASHINGTON FACES JAIL…HIS CRIME?

STICKING TO THE UNION!

Noel Washington has been in the Australian construction industry all his life…first as a construction worker, then as a building union official. Noel wears his Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) jacket with pride and is the Senior Vice President of his union in Victoria. In his time he’s seen the ups and downs of a tough game. As he says, “We’re no angels but we’re not terrorists or drug-runners either.” Yet is seems that is how he is to be treated.

He points to an industry where the employers play for keeps. Like the firm in Melbourne where he went to a lunchtime meeting off site just before the Federal election, a firm which had ruthlessly enforced Howard’s laws against the union and sacked its shop stewards in a recent downturn. Restrictions on union right of entry meant that the union meeting could not be held on site or during working time…so the CFMEU put on a BBQ lunch in a nearby park.

Little did Noel know that when he attended that meeting of more than 500 members that he would be called in by the Federal government’s Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to inform on those who spoke at the meeting; to tell them what was said, to name who said it and to undergo hours of interrogation. Or that if he told anybody about the interview (which he did not attend), even his wife, he could be jailed.

Noel Washington now faces 6 months jail for refusing to obey written directions to attend an interview to “dob in his mates.” To the ABCC this is a crime. One of the few areas of the recent Federal budget which was not cut was the ABCC, which received $33 million to continue its work of intimidating construction workers on behalf of the construction bosses. The new “Labor” government recently announced an enquiry into how the work can be taken over by Fair Work Australia after 2010. The Australian Labor Party policy calls for its abolition.

Despite the capacity of Federal Minister Julia Gillard to intervene on how the ABCC’s powers are used, Noel’s prosecution is going ahead. His case has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Repressive Laws

Repeated decisions of the ILO condemn the laws empowering the ABCC, yet they continue because the Minister promised employers she would maintain them. Prosecutions and charges in the building industry have increased by 60% under the ABCC, and 85 workers have been questioned under its powers. The ABCC was created by the Howard government following the Cole Royal Commission which spent $66 million investigating the industry, only to fail to find one case to prosecute.

Building unions recently met in Brisbane to unite to give full support to the campaign against the ABCC and to support any worker victimised by it. Noel is likely to be the first. Building unions are preparing a TV ad campaign to bring the issues to the public.

These laws threaten all legitimate union activity and the ALP should repeal them. The building unions ask supportive union members to email Federal politicians and to join rallies, sign petitions etc as they come around. Watch this space…union and community support for the rights of the Maritime Union of Australia was decisive. We may well need to rally again for the rights of building and construction workers, and for Noel Washington in particular.



Send your views to your local ALP member and to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister Gillard, demanding that they drop the charges against Noel Washington and disband the gang of thugs known as the ABCC:

Kevin.Rudd.MP@aph.gov.au;

Julia.Gillard.MP@aph.gov.au






Thursday, June 05, 2008

Marathon counter-sues former Chief Executive


Arkaroola Wildlife Sanctuary despoiler Marathon Resources is in close competition with the legendary “woman scorned” for the title of “most vindictive fury” inside or outside of Hell.

Utilising the old strategy of “attack is the best form of defense”, the embattled uranium explorer has launched a counter-suit against sacked former CEO Stuart Hall claiming he was “incompetent” and laying the blame for licence-violating dumping of drilling samples and other general garbage at Mt Gee and other sites squarely at his door.

Where the Sanctuary operators are at pains to eliminate feral goats, Marathon, it would seem, is frantically trying to create a scapegoat on which to lay the blame for their own feral behaviour.

There is certainly no love lost between Hall and his former Marathon colleagues.

He is suing them for wrongful dismissal and hoping for a large compensation payment. They are trying to deny him compensation and have gone one step further in seeking damages and the cost of remediation work that they are required by law to undertake in the areas they have despoiled. Those costs are as yet unknown, as are the details of the remediation plan Marathon was required to submit to SA’s Department of Primary Industries and Resources on Friday May 30.

Success with the Marathon counter-suit would certainly suit some people in the governing Labor Party and see a more active role for Marathon Director and former ALP national secretary Chris Schacht.

It would make it politically feasible for an absolved Marathon to be given the green light to proceed from exploration to mining and well-reward Schacht’s long policy with respect to his share portfolio.


But before we get to that point, some more of that dirt held in 22,800 illegally buried waste bags can be expected to be thrown around the courtrooms of Adelaide as Hall and Marathon pursue their respective agendas

Nepalese advance despite obstacles

Each day poses new challenges for the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Having stunned the world with its runaway success in the Nepalese elections, it has already secured the removal of the King and delivered on its promise to create a democratic, multi-party federal republic.

Although it did not win an outright majority of seats in the new parliament, the CPN (M) is by far the largest party, and is claiming the right to hold the two top posts of President and Prime Minister.

While the King agreed, with some encouragement, to vacate the Palace and to begin life anew as an ordinary citizen, former Prime Minister Koirala is clinging to his position and frustrating attempts to form a new government.


Maoist leader Prachanda sees a role for Koirala as the leader of an alliance of parties invited by the Maoists to join them in a Coalition Government, but quite correctly maintains that the Maoists, as the largest party in the new parliament, should occupy the two leading positions in the government and state.

Koirala’s Nepal Congress Party and the much-weakened Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) are currently engaged in talks with the Maoists about the composition of the new government.

Prachanda’s ace is the strength of the Nepalese masses, and he has threatened to take his party out of the government and wage a street movement in support of the Maoist position if the deadlock is not broken in the next few days.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Where will they put the waste?


Well, my dear old (sorry, but at eighty, you qualify!) Mum is up at Arkaroola this week doing the fabled ridge-top tour! Click here for a look at photos of this stunning region, and read the latest news from Friends of Arkaroola on the crimes of Marathon Resources.

Under a directive from the SA Government’s Department of Primary Industry and Resources (PIRSA), Marathon had until Friday May 30 to submit a remediation plan for the mess that they have created at Mt Gee and other sites within the Arkaroola Wilderness Society.

There’s been no news on this to date. But it will be interesting to see what sort of time frame Marathon have set for themselves, and to learn whose backyard they are planning to use as a low-level nuclear dump.

Not in my backyard!

Meanwhile, Marathon have been doing a bit of stream sampling – a couple of blokes have been seen walking up creeks collecting bags of dirt basically - to trace back elements from upstream. This was a couple of weeks ago. Despite the SA Government banning any further exploration, it seems that if the exploring doesn’t require using Declared Equipment and is low impact, then the practice doesn’t contravene their licence or the ban.

It would appear from this that their plans for mining in the Sanctuary are very much alive, and that they are just biding their time.

However, opposition continues to mount (gee…!) and credit goes to independent journalist Des Ryan for securing a centre-page spread in the widely read Sunday Mail of May 18, 2008. It was a superb piece with an aerial shot of Arkaroola captioned with Marg Sprigg’s observation that “I don’t know how you could possibly get uranium out of this country without having a massive impact”.

That was followed up with the Sunday Mail identifying a letter of support for Arkaroola from John and Kaye Cameron of Hawthorndene as their “Letter of the Week”, complemented by a colour photo captioned “Arkaroola: ‘inspirational’ landscape must be preserved.”

Shut the door on the way out Marathon men….but first tell us, whose backyard for your 22,800 bags of waste???

Aussie troops withdraw from Iraq

Five years after they were sent to Iraq to support the US imperialist invasion, Australian combat troops are being withdrawn.

This has been made possible by the widespread and continuing opposition to the Iraq invasion by the people of Australia. In the prelude to the illegal actions of the US imperialists and their Australian puppet, now former Prime Minister, John Howard the largest ever anti-war demonstrations took place, eclipsing even those of the Vietnam war period. However, Howard rode roughshod over the feelings of the Australian people in order to serve his imperialist masters.

Australia’s contribution to the Coalition of the Killing was never significant in numerical terms, amounting to around one per cent of all coalition troops. However, Howard’s commitment of Australian support for the aggressive Bush regime was politically significant.

The process of withdrawing the 550 Australian combat troops was marked with a ceremony in Camp Terendak in the southern Iraqi city of Talil, including the lowering of the Australian flag and a handover to the US military.

Whilst the withdrawal of the combat troops ends a shameful period in Australian foreign policy, the new Labor Government has decided that at least 300 Australian troops mostly doing logistical and air surveillance duties, will remain in Iraq.

These, together with combat troops currently serving to prop up the feudal warlord regime in Afghanistan, indicate that Labor is incapable of taking a decisive stand against imperialism and for a genuinely independent Australian voice in foreign policy.

To celebrate the withdrawal of Australian combat troops from Iraq, however, and to lament the fate of those US and other troops left to prop up the US occupation, here is British singer and guitarist Richard Thompson’s “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” video. (“Dad” is US army slang for Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. The lyrics can be found at http://www.richardthompson-music.com/song_o_matic.asp?id=596 )


Sunday, June 01, 2008

WorkCover and the crimes of the social democrats

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) belongs to that tradition of parliamentary parties that describe themselves as "social democratic".

That term has a particular meaning in the European context where most of these parties began as Marxist parties that later surrendered their working class credentials in the pursuit of reforms within the economic system of capitalism and effected through Parliament as the political institution of capitalism.

The ALP had no such "Marxist" beginnings. It has always sought to use the electoral support of the working class to make capitalism function more smoothly compared to the aggressive and confrontational policies of the openly conservative parties.

When in Opposition, it is forced to adopt a mildly more progressive stance than its conservative opponents. When it office as the governing party it consistently drops its pretence to progressivism and carries out those attacks that the conservatives cannot get away with.

A case in point is the South Australian scheme for the protection of injured workers, WorkCover.

When he was in Opposition, State ALP leader Mike Rann was vehement in his opposition to the then governing Liberal Party of Dean Brown and Graham Ingerson on the issue of changes to WorkCover.

Thirteen years later, Rann now seeks to implement attacks to WorkCover that are more far-ranging than those he railed against as Opposition leader at a rally on the steps of the State Parliament.

In the speech he delivers a commitment that every Labor member of Parliament will vote against the Liberals' WorkCover amendments.

Today, as premier, he uses bully boy tactics to intimidate Labor members of Parliament into supporting his WorkCover amendments.

As Greens Member Mark Parnell says, "No one asks to be injured at work, and no one in their right mind would want to put up with the bullying behaviour of WorkCover and it claims managers longer than is necessary. The tragedy is that for injured workers it's about to get much worse....Mr Rann and Mr Foley have chosen a remedy that will devestate working families, while at the same time delivering a windfall profit to employers."

The Youtube video below shows the militant, fist-shaking Opposition leader making a speech that could well be directed against the smarmy ruling class toady that he has since become:



(See also: http://mike-servethepeople.blogspot.com/2008/04/construction-workers-rally-to-fight.html )