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Same shit, different day

General elections worldwide, whether 'fair' or foul, past and present, have one result in common: they won, we lost. You will not hear socialists today talking about the USA being on the brink of revolution or that 'the capitalist class is on its last legs' as the Marxist Daniel DeLeon did in 1896 and 1902 respectively. Elections can serve as a barometer of socialist consciousness and ultimately as a way of making capitalism history. In the US Sanders' reformism was no threat to the status quo, and President s Trump means business as usual just as much as President Clinton would have. Depressing enough without considering the recent coronation of King and Queen Ortega in Sandinista Nicaragua.

An old opiate

'Schools across Egypt are forcing Christian children and those of other religions to wear the Muslim headscarf and quote the Koran by heart, or they will be punished and kicked out of school. Muslims are also getting punished if they do not wear their hijabs. One 12 year-old Muslim girl named Rahman Salem was forced to leave her school lesson after taking off her hijab, and was banned from participating in any activities at her school, located in the Northern part of Egypt' (cbn.com, 5 November). Religion 101: Islam means submission, so such news should not be surprising. Socialism 101: banish gods from our minds and capitalists from the Earth! Socialists unlike professional atheists recognise that capitalism is the main source of irrationality and exploitation in the modern world. Religion then will not end until we the 99 percent understand and act to end the vale of woe that is capitalism.

From the horse's mouth

'Indonesian President Joko Widodo said there will be "no compromise" to his country's sovereignty in the contested South China Sea, ahead of a visit to staunch US ally Australia. The comments come after Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, on Tuesday said the two countries were considering joint naval patrols in the contested waters. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia also claim part of the sea...Indonesian warplanes staged a large-scale exercise last month in the waters around the Natuna Islands archipelago, following a spate of face-offs between the country's navy and Chinese fishing boats in the gas-rich southern end of the South China Sea' (reuters.com, 4 November). Here we have it black and white: wars are fought over trade routes, areas of domination and resources.

Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov

Valery Raskin, a so-called Communist MP, wants to see the dead dictator feature on coins and notes as a way of marking the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917: 'Lenin’s return to Russian rubles will confirm the fact that our society has finished its formation and entered the phase of maturity. This will also be good because the majority of Russian citizens have warm feelings towards Vladimir Iliych [Lenin] and the Soviet era in general, as it allowed us to become one of the world’s leading countries. We should pay tribute to Lenin, who laid the foundation of a social state in Russia' (rt.com, 2 November). This is a fitting tribute as Lenin and the Bolsheviks hastened the development of capitalism in Russia. He also distorted Marxism and thereby severely damaged the development of a socialist movement. That members of the 99 percent in Russia are wage slaves like us and have need to reflect positively on life under past dictators says much about the struggle to live under  Putin.

Imagine no countries

We hear daily reports of the horrors of war in places such as Syria. Imagine then, if possible, all the accumulated indignities and suffering which led to one resident of a refugee camp in Greece to state recently: 'Give me the money to pay a smuggler and I’ll go back to Syria right now. There the death is quick. Here we are dying slowly'(pri.org, 2 November).