Archive for Financial Crisis

Capitalism: A Love Story

Posted in International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , on August 22, 2009 by Umer

TRAILER: Michael Moore’s ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’

“It’s a crime story. But it’s also a war story about class warfare. And a vampire movie, with the upper 1 percent feeding off the rest of us. And, of course, it’s also a love story. Only it’s about an abusive relationship.

“It’s not about an individual, like Roger Smith, or a corporation, or even an issue, like health care. This is the big enchilada. This is about the thing that dominates all our lives — the economy. I made this movie as if it was going to be the last movie I was allowed to make.

“It’s a comedy.” — Michael Moore

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In Theaters October 2nd

No health-care right under capitalism

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Umer

Danish Khan

Capitalist system is completely incapable of providing the basic health care to the people. We all know how miserable and terrible the lives of the people of third world countries are. But even in the USA, the most powerful and wealthiest Empire of the human history, many people still don’t have a right to basic health care. This shows the bleak reality of the capitalist system at its supposed best. According to US government’s statistics, 45.7 million people in US have no access to health care. While US Empire is building its strength to dominate all over the globe, its domestic heath care system has completely crippled. US loudly proclaim its commitments towards “peace” and “stability” in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Empire has forgotten that more than 22,000 deaths each year are caused by the lack of health care in its home. Empire says that health care is too expensive, we can not afford it. On other hand, they are spending $255million per day in Iraq! Iraq is more important than health care because the neo-conservative lobby sees oil there. They are willing to spend money there, but in health care dollars will be used for the welfare of the people which is against the spirit of capitalism. US have the most advanced military weapons and aircrafts for wars. When it comes to health care, the story is little different. There are only 26 doctors per 10,000 people, and the worst is that there are only 31 beds for 10,000 people. Cuba, a very small island with very limited resources, has outshined US in health care only because their priority is the welfare of their people rather than more profit for big corporations. In US health insurance companies’ profits have reached more than 320%, while people have lost all their health overages. It a drastic picture of a most advanced capitalist society, the level of oppression and exploitation is infinite.

In US health care has been traditionally provided by the private employers. However, due to recent economic crisis, many jobs have been lost which resulted in the loss of all the health care services for working people. The degree of exploitation of labor, the appropriation of surplus labor and surplus value are raised notably by intensifying the labor. Marx explained these phenomenon years ago in Das Kapital. But its importance and relevancy is invaluable in today’s world. The accumulation of wealth is increasing every day by the labor of workers, but the only beneficiary of this wealth is the one who owns means of production (the capitalist class). The living standard and quality of life of working men is going vertically down, workers have no health care, and they can’t afford to send their children to go to colleges and universities. In US, 2.6 million jobs have been lost in year 2008 according to U.S Labor department. Is it surprising? Yes, only for those who never had a chance to read Marx’s Das Kapital. Those who have read it and understood it are the least surprised because they know it is a usual case under capitalism. In volume III of Das Kapital, Marx devoted a lot of time in explaining the conflict between expansion of production and production of surplus value. As the rate of surplus value rises, the number of laborers falls relatively or absolutely. In US from January 2008 to September 2008, 1.7 million jobs have been lost while in last four months 1.9 million jobs have disappeared. It is just another tactic of increase the exploitation by lowering the demand of labor as relative to people who are willing to sell their labor.

What we are seeing today is a new chapter in the history of capitalism. We need to educate the masses of the Pakistan about the material realities of the most advanced capitalist country. The bourgeois class of Pakistan, submissive followers of US Imperialism, can not portray this picture of capitalism. Capitalism in its prime form in US is unable to serve its own people. How can they play any role in the betterment and welfare of the people of the Pakistan? In every part of the world people are demanding their rights and they can see that present economic system has no ability to perform effectively. Thus the only alternative system which can provide people proper health care and all their rights and needs is the socialism. In working class circles, socialism and its advantages is a hot topic these days. As the material conditions of the society are becoming more and more favorable for the socialism, a need of a mass based movement is very crucial.

Danish Khan is a student in USA.

Japanese turn to communists in downturn

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , on July 14, 2009 by Umer

Millions of Japanese salarymen, whose fathers and grandfathers initiated this nation’s economic miracle, are fully aware that the chaff has already been winnowed out of the domestic workforce.

They have seen the part-time employees clock out one last time and the foreign labourers’ contracts not renewed. They know there is no staffing fat left to trim and have seen the axes beginning to fall in companies where previously the dark-suited salaryman has been untouchable.

“It’s very hard right now,” says Keisuke Obata, a 42-year-old employee of a major manufacturing company based in Tokyo. “I’ve never seen things so bad, and all we hear from the company and the politicians is that we have to try a little harder and endure for a little longer.”

Obata has been on a reduced working week since January, has seen his pay cut and his summer bonus similarly shrivel. The company is appealing for people to take voluntary redundancy.
“It makes you think,” he admits. “But there are not many other jobs out there and I have commitments.”

Men like Obata, who has given two decades of service to his company yet is on the verge of being summarily dismissed, are finding their previously unswerving commitment to their employers eclipsed by the instinct for self-preservation.

With a mortgage and three young children to provide for, Obata has heard the message that has gradually spread across the shop floor and entered the domain of the white-collar workers. Communism, they say, might just have the answer.

“Companies are only interested in their profits and protecting their management,” says Tatsuya Yoshida, an employee of a Tokyo-based transport company. “They do not care about their staff. They see us as disposable.”

The last time 42-year-old Yoshida voted, he backed the New Komeito Party.

The junior member of the two-party coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party, it draws its support mainly from the ranks of the Sokka Gakkai Buddhist organisation and is presently the third largest party in the Japanese Diet.

According to the latest opinion polls, however, it has been overtaken by the Japanese Communist Party. And workers like Yoshida are doing all they can to spread the word.

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The Investor’s Prayer

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , on October 9, 2008 by Umer

by Paul Lafargue

My father, CAPITAL, who are on earth, Almighty God, who changest the course of rivers, tunnelest mountains, separatest contiguous shores, and meltest into one distant nations. Creator of Merchandise, and Source of Life, oh, Thou, who rulest Kings and subjects, laborers and employers, may Thy Kingdom be for evermore on earth. Give us plentiful purchasers to take our goods off our hands, without looking too closely whether these be genuine or shoddy, pure or adulterated. Give us needy working people, who will accept the hardest work and the lowest pay without grumbling. Send us gudgeons who may be allured by the tempting bait of our prospectuses, and ensnared in the network of our fair promises. Cause our debtors to pay us their debts in full. Lead us not into the penitentiary, but deliver us from bankruptcy, and grant us never ceasing dividends. Amen.

Paul Lafargue (16 June 1842 – 26 November 1911), a French Marxist, was Karl Marx’s son-in-law.  This prayer is excerpted from his satire The Religion of Capital.

CMKP: US Financial Crisis Mocks at Regulation-Free Economy

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Law with tags , , , , , on October 3, 2008 by Umer

The following statement has been issued by the Central Secretariat of the Communist Mazdoor Kissaan Party Pakistan (Communist Workers Peasants Party – CMKP) on the US Financial Crisis.

The post-Cold War’s much trumpeted force of deregulated economy that was made an article of faith in monopoly-dominated new breed of capitalism has virtually fallen flat on its nose to the surprise of many chanting the mantra of this hue of economy. More amazing is its reversal of gear requesting the government’s intervention to rescue the financial and mortgage markets at the Wall Street through the government’s monetary assistance. The federal government led by President George W. Bush of the Republican Party, which strongly believes in free market economy immune from government’s regulation has, changed its clout and is busy in providing 700 billion US dollars to the collapsed giant financial companies.

This is the second major financial meltdown of the United States after the Great Economic Depression of 1933, despite being a wealthiest capitalist nation in the imperialist bloc. Commentators and analysts are discussing and focusing on the technical aspects of the financial institutions, but they ignore the fact that the higher stage of capitalist economy turns into bubble thanks to speculation, manipulation and deception in the hub of economic activities both in commercial and financial trading. Such economic bubble has once again burst with a big bang making the concerned traders paralyzed.
Since immoral deceit is the rule of the game prompted by the greed to pile up profit, uncertainty in the market remains a regular feature in the market, especially in the Stock as well as financial and mortgage markets, . It is no wonder that the America has been hit hard by the present serious crisis, as such nightmare is an inherent part of the fabulous dream of capitalism for the profit of some individuals at the cost of people directly or indirectly. But the main thing of this situation is to underline the dark aspect of the gospel of miracle of deregulated and competitive market economy. It causes circasm on the part of “Holy Warriors” of the deregulated economy. It is an irony that they and their supporters find no option other than the bailout through the financial help of the government.

The Bush administration, the strong protagonist of the deregulated economy, has all of a sudden made a new shift in its stance like the lizard that goes on changing its colours to deceive others. It has come out to salvage sank financial and mortgage markets, with the magic of $ 700 billion which, according to American economists, would not work. Even one trillion (one thousand billion) dollars are insufficient to revive the collapsed financial and mortgage companies. If one trillion dollars are provided to them, every citizen, including children, will have to bear the brunt for paying 3000 dollars each. Where from the Bush administration would generate this amount to help the bankrupt companies? 700 billion or one trillion US dollars are the tax money earned from the people. The burdens of commercial, industrial and service sector taxes are put on the shoulders of consumers indirectly by raising the prices of consumer goods and services.

Where is the magic of free economy that was projected as the Messiah of all ills. This unfolds the element of American state, the prime duty of which is to ensure and look after the supreme interests of private ownership, particularly the cartels which actually dominate, dictate politics and economy. .
The mother of all evils is essentially the devilish character of individual property in any form and manifestation. The current crisis what the United States of America, at the zenith of its economic power, actually encompasses the fallout of capitalism which is breathing in intensive care unit (ICU), getting oxygen from the massive neo-colonial loot and plunder of the developing nations in Third World. Capitalism’s clinical death already took place more than a century ago. Wars, recession, inflation and severe economic crisis all over the globe are related to this phenomenon. And it will continue to haunt the mankind until the monster of capitalist economy is eliminated through the collective wisdom and power of the working class of the world at large.

Meanwhile, the myth of the Democratic Party’s claim for good governance and welfare of the American people, rejecting the only interests of the business, has exploded when a slight numerical majority of the Democrats in the US House of Representatives voted for bailing out financial markets through the $700 billon package. As it is said the taste of pudding is in eating, the Democrats have unmasked themselves before the American people that they (Democrats) have nothing against supreme interests of the American monopolies and their (Democrats’) clout for the “people’s cause” is a misnomer.

According to reports, there is a move in the United States to nationalize a or two private commercial banks which have become bankrupt due to unfair banking practices. This negates the US ”solemn pledge” to preserve the sanctity of private ownership. Another American hypocrisy is its intense pressure on the developing countries, including Pakistan, to privatise the industrial, commercial, service units in the public sector.

Incoherent, incompetent capitalist system, jumping to and fro, could be gauged from the fact that when in 1933 crash shattered the financial market, the US had no option other than enacting the Glass-Steagall Act to overcome the malaise. This Act was put into action to separate the functioning of commercial rules from Stock brokerage companies, thus regulating the trading of the financial leverage, including banks and brokers for mortgage trading similar to Stocks and bonds. But this regulated economy was reversed during the Carter administration, giving free hand to the economy for its unilateral goal, with the contempt against government regulation. In the 1990 the American banks maneuvered for hedging their loan risks. The devise was called Credit Default Swap (CDS), through which insurance contract for protection between buyer and seller was brought in. Now, the free American economy wheels find roadblock, needing the government’s intervention and monetary support through legislation after about three decades. Capitalism is based on the hallucination of its best system for ever contrary to the law of development and its ugly fact of brutality and uncertainty.

A lot of so-called liberal economists and new converts of capitalism from yesteryears’ socialism, who have been immune from having the rationale of law of socio-economic development in the backdrop of contradictions, are beating the drum that capitalism, especially American economy, has the resilience to overcome the odds. They also lack the grasp what price the developing countries pay to energise the imperialist economy. Reduction in the prices of the farmer’s raw materials, semi and even their value-added goods for exports, and on the contrary, the enhanced prices of industrial raw materials and manufactured goods of the imperialist countries are the temporary remedy of their decease-ridden economy causing one financial crisis after another nature. Fluctuation in international oil prices, rise in the export of food commodities of the Western countries, side by side with the reduced values of the currencies of the developing widening deficit on their balance of payment in foreign trade help overcome the former’ economy. This partakes of the nature of resilience of the imperialist economies at micro level, while other details bring the facts to the fore at macro level. Their business interests even have crossed the national boundaries and are operating globally by hoodwinking the overseas ruling oligarchy elite and finally making them subservient to their (cartels’), ploy through carrot and stick policy.