Latest News and Comment

After thirteen years in their low-income townhouse in Regents Park, Toronto, a woman and her children have been forced to move by The Toronto Community Housing Corporation who sold the property to developers who intend to build condominium apartments. The youngest daughter wrote on the wall, " I love this house" and the children have known no other house. Like many of the 7,500 TCHC Tenants who live in the development, they have had to move to a place the agency found for them in a lottery system. There is nothing new in this, it's been going on for centuries – money will win out in the end because profit is the crux of the system, not security. John Ayers.

?alt=rss
20 sec ago
A great deal of nonsense is spoken about war. During the 1914-18 war they spoke about "a war to end all wars." Some hope. The second world war was supposed to be a war to end fascism or at least  extreme right-wing politics. Today though in Greece, France and elsewhere in Europe we have the re-birth of such political ideas. France recently displayed such tendencies. "If the elections were held now. Ms Le Pen would lead the field with about 30 per cent  of the vote in the first round of the two-stage  presidential election, according to the Ifop and CSA polls for Marianne magazine and RTL radio." (Times, 31 January RD?alt=rss
20 sec ago
Capitalism is a society based on competition and rivalry so it is no surprise to learn that even a simple thing like a home to live in is looked upon as a near impossibility for many workers. 'At the beginning of January 2015, the United Nations said that in the middle of last year, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees registered 46.3 million people who had been forced to abandon their homes. The figure showed a 3.4-million increase since the end of 2013.' (Tass, 15 January)   RD?alt=rss
20 sec ago
Two American European-based units that operate in Africa have merged in an effort to streamline the US Marine Corps missions on the vast continent. The Corps has combined SPMAGTF-Africa, a unit based in Italy that conducts training with military partners in African countries like Uganda and Senegal, with its Spain-based unit that responds to crises across Africa. The two units now fall under SPMAGTF-Crisis Response-Africa. Merging the two SPMAGTFs operating in Africa puts the two missions under more direction of one colonel.Detachment B, which will be based in Romania but support SPMAGTF-Crisis Response-Africa will serve as a force protection company that is prepared to reinforce embassies or recover downed pilots and personnel. Detachment A will fill the mission previously held by SPMAGTF-Africa. Those troops, which include infantry, aviation and support Marines, will regularly deploy to Africa for theater security cooperation operations.
About 265 Marines and sailors will be based at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, where SPMAGTF-Africa was previously based. About 850 Marines and sailors will be based in Morón, Spain, where the crisis response force for Africa has been based since it was created in 2013.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/01/31/marin...
9 hours 10 min ago
                                         
There has been an upsurge in movies and TV series that depict the decay of society and the end of civilisation. Today’s capitalist society reflects the scenarios portrayed; war; crumbling infrastructure; hunger; social strife; lack of resources; and disease, all characteristics of today. It is no wonder that there is such a fascination with dystopian apocalyptic futures. Art does not exist in a vacuum but in some way resemble the real world. Goya captured the horror and terror of war on canvas from the experience of the Napoleonic Wars. The music of punk reverberated and resonated with the alienation of consumer society. The Hunger Games tells the story of repression and rebellion. Zombies show a mirror of our own mindless, aimless, flesh-rotting disintegration.

It is unfortunate that many people regard history as dry and dusty disconnection of dates and supposed famous personages. In fact, the study of history sheds an indispensable light on the present and lights the beacons for the future. Once we begin to understand history it no longer appears as a more or less irrelevant collection of useless trivia. Instead, the experiences of past struggles of the working class come alive, offering lessons for our own struggle to change the world today, and providing a path to our destiny.  The fight for socialism is the fight of the future against the foreboding dark shadows of capitalism with its wage slavery and exploitation. History is a history of class struggle as one famous political commentator once said.
The class struggle is surprisingly simple to explain. It is the struggle over the wealth created by the producing classes. Will it go towards enriching the minority that controls society? Or will it go towards improving the quality of life of the people who actually produced the wealth? It is the struggle for a society that democratically determines what is to be done with the wealth that we all collectively produce. The ruling capitalist class controls the state and owns the means of production of society—the land and natural resources, the workshops and factories. The actual producers of wealth are those who own nothing but their ability to work which they sell to employers for a wage as a means of survival. That is the simplified essence of the class struggle, a conflict of interests between the working class and the capitalist class. Wage-workers are the overwhelming majority of society and they create the wealth of the world. Yet, members of the working class themselves are rarely taught the truth about their own history, for the very obvious reason. If workers were to understand their true power and their class’s repeated attempts to change society, they might be tempted to engage in open class struggle again and again—and this represents a mortal threat to the continuation of the capitalist system. The methods of organisation and struggle of the working masses may have changed but the class struggle is always taking place, sometimes just simmering beneath the ground, other times bursting forth.  Society is torn apart by tremendous class contradictions, and sooner or later, the militant revolutionary traditions of the past will return at an even higher level. The present isolated eddies of the class struggle are swirling more and more but will merge into a great current sweeping away capitalism. The bitter experience of life under capitalism is the greatest teacher, and the workers and youth are learning quickly. There need not be actual immiseration to lead to a revival of revolutionary struggle but the constant insecurity caused by the continual instability of the economic system which will produce a profound effect on consciousness.

Despite the many attacks on the workers, the decline in the unions, and the present insignificance of any socialist party, the potential power of the working class to bring society to a grinding halt—and therefore to change society—remains and is as great as ever. Capitalism creates the gravediggers for its own system. The material conditions for the socialist transformation of society are still as ripe as ever. In spite of what we are told by the media the labour movement’s most heroic days still lie ahead. History tells us that!

?alt=rss
9 hours 10 min ago