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following articles are from the May 1-15, 2017, issue of People's
May Day 2017 Greetings from the
Communist Party of
We celebrate May Day 2017 in the shadow of the Trump war machine which has
moved the whole planet into extreme danger of extinction due to nuclear war
and/or climate change. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, it
took just 100 days in office for the Trump administration to move the Doomsday
Clock to 2 and a half minutes to midnight. The world hasn’t been this
close to Doomsday since 1953, at the height of the Cold War when the
For the last 25 years, capitalism has had the upper hand, and the ability to
demonstrate its self-proclaimed ‘superiority’. Its enormous wealth and capacity
could have been put to the service of the world’s exploited and impoverished
billions with health care, education, jobs, development, peace and disarmament,
and action to reduce the effects of climate change. In fact this is socialist
But capitalism did what capitalism always does – seek out new places and new ways to exploit and to profit from the misery of the many, for the benefit of the richest corporations and the wealthiest few. This is the nature and the purpose of capitalism: the exploitation of one human being and one class by another, for the private profit and benefit of the ruling class at the expense of the working people, the youth, women, immigrants, Indigenous Peoples. It is incapable of addressing the needs of the people, or the needs of the planet, because its purpose is to ruthlessly exploit both.
As a result austerity has been introduced across the capitalist world, and
wages, pensions and living standards have fallen in all the advanced capitalist
countries, including in Europe and
We see the outcome of this dictatorship of the most powerful corporations in
This is an agenda of global destruction that the Canadian government should strongly oppose.
But the Liberals have tiptoed around the Trump administration, supporting
And, instead of pulling out of NAFTA and exposing the
NO TO NAFTA – NO TO WAR
It’s deeply regrettable that the NDP and Greens both support US airstrikes on
It’s also disturbing that the outgoing CLC leadership has taken the same position, when NAFTA was widely panned and opposed as the corporate agenda on steroids.
In 1988, just a few months of campaigning by a broad-based coalition of labour
and the democratic people’s movements nearly derailed the first free trade deal
Similarly, massive anti-war and anti-globalization protests took place around the globe during the same period, mobilizing public opinion against nuclear weapons, and for political solutions to global problems.
The Women’s March of 5 million women globally including 200,000 women in
The struggle of the youth and minimum wage workers to win $15 and Fairness, and
the response of the labour movement in
The fight to pull out of NAFTA and adopt a trade policy that’s multi-lateral and mutually beneficial, creating value-added jobs, building sustainable primary and secondary industry and manufacturing, will need the CLC to bring the labour movement and its allies into the streets, to oppose capitalist corporate globalization supported by both Trump and the Big Business parties in Canada.
Mass mobilizations are also needed to get
Working people, youth, women, the unemployed and labour must use their united might to oppose compromise with US war-mongers and the reactionary, fascist-supported administration of Trump’s government of oilmen, generals and bankers.
A PEOPLE’S AGENDA FOR
Labour and its partners must unite and fight for a People’s Agenda for Canada, organizing mass mobilizations to campaign for:
Fair trade, not NAFTA – multi-lateral trade with all countries that is beneficial to all parties, and includes long term credits for developing and socialist countries;
A foreign policy of peace and disarmament – Get out of NATO and NORAD, Cut military spending by 75%, bring home Canadian troops involved in foreign wars;
Fight Climate Change – nationalize natural and energy resources; close the tar sands and guarantee jobs in public development of new energy sources such as solar, wind, thermal, and renewable energy;
Create Jobs – invest in a national housing program to build affordable social housing across Canada; invest in value-added manufacturing, including a Canadian car and urban and inter-urban mass rapid transit; agricultural implements industry; machine tool industry; ship-building; expand social programs;
Raise wages and incomes – raise the minimum wage to $20; substantially increase pensions and drop the age for a full pension and OAS to 60; introduce a guaranteed annual income at a living wage; increase EI to 90% of former earnings and expand to cover all job seekers including part-time and first-time job seekers Enact universal pay and employment equity; repeal the Temporary Foreign Workers Act;
Expand immigration and refugee acceptance and re-settlement; scrap the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement;
Expand universal social programs and Medicare, and introduce a system of universally accessible, affordable, quality public childcare;
Eliminate tuition fees and make post-secondary education accessible to all;
Protect and expand civil, social, labour and democratic rights. Enforce and enact anti-hate laws.
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE! AND URGENT!
In this centenary year of the victory of the Great October Revolution, which
opened the door to socialism and workers’ power around the world, we recall the
historic struggle of the working class in Russia to create a society free of
exploitation and oppression, a society of equality and justice, where working
people were in the driver’s seat and corporations, greedy landowners and
landlords were put out of business, and war-mongers and profiteers sent
packing. With 100 years of both heroic and painful experience of war and
fascism, and the overthrow of the socialist states in
In the struggles ahead, working people will build socialism anew, learning from the experiences of the past and building for the future. The struggle continues, more urgent than ever.
PV Vancouver Bureau
Another of BC Premier Christy Clark’s pet projects has taken a serious credibility hit, just three weeks before the May 9th provincial election.
First it was the premier’s wildly exaggerated claims during the 2013 election campaign that proceeds from liquid natural gas (LNG) projects would bring billions of dollars into the provincial treasury. Clark projected that several LNG plants would be up and running by 2017, creating thousands of new jobs and generating enough revenues to expand economic infrastructure and pay down B.C.’s debts.
That scenario was panned as a pipe-dream by some observers at the time, and
four years later, it appears the critics were right. The drastic fall in global
energy prices and other factors have combined to shut the door on any
significant new international investments in LNG projects on the west coast.
Just as embarrassing for the premier, her allocation of non-existent LNG
revenues in the most recent provincial budget was scooped up by the NDP to help
that party present a “fully-costed” election platform. That move made it
The other Liberal megaproject has been the Site C dam on the Peace River in
Now, a new report by researchers at the
Released on April 19, the devastating report examines three options from a “business standpoint: cancelling, suspending or completing Site C. It concludes that the project should be put on hold and reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission, because changes since the initial approval mean the dam is no longer the most cost-efficient option for producing power.
The experts found that wind power and energy conservation have become cheaper options for generating electricity, and that BC Hydro's predicted demand for electricity has dropped significantly. Electricity from Site C won't be fully needed for nearly 10 years after the project's expected completion date in 2024, and the surplus energy would have to be exported at prices far below cost, leading to losses of at least $1 billion. Under BC Hydro's forecast demand, the analysis says, cumulative losses would be nearing $2.7 billion by 2036.
"The business case for Site C is far weaker now than when the project was launched, to the point that the project is now uneconomic," said UBC's Karen Bakker, who co-authored the report.
But the researchers also point to some good news: the point of no return has not been reached. They calculate that suspending the project would save ratepayers up to $870 million, and that outright cancellation by the end of June would save just over $1.6 billion.
Grasping at straws, Premier Clark told the media that Site C is still the right option for B.C., given the growing provincial population. She admitted she had not seen the UBC study, but said the project is about “meeting the province's energy needs in the future.”
The dam has been strongly opposed by local farms, environmentalists and many First Nations people. But last January, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a lawsuit from two B.C. First Nations that were trying to block the project. By the end of June, BC Hydro will have spent over $1.8 billion on the hydroelectric station.
Communist Party of BC leader George Gidora, who is a candidate in the riding of Surrey-Whalley, welcomed the UBC report as scientific confirmation of the views of Site C opponents. The CPBC has spoken out against the project from the beginning, sharply criticizing the short-sighted view that any temporary job creation resulting from building the dam would justify the long-term economic losses and environmental destruction.
“Site C has always been about the Premier’s political ambitions, not about the
needs of British Columbians,” said Gidora. “The First Nations of northern BC
need to have their traditional territories protected from devastation, the
farmers of the
The Communist Party of BC has called on all political parties in this campaign to take seriously the findings of the UBC study, and to pledge to scrap this wasteful white elephant immediately, before more economic and environmental damage is committed.
People’s Voice Editorial
As this issue goes to press, the Liberal government of BC faces the verdict of
west coast voters within days. Public opinion surveys give the NDP a narrow
lead, and the Greens are reported to be making big gains on
Once again, when this campaign began the corporate media dropped any real criticism of Premier Christy Clark, despite her government’s appalling record: happily taking huge payoffs from energy monopolies and big developers, callous public statements, attacks on working people and the poor, and cruel cuts to social programs. Media backing may help the Liberals win re-election, but if that happens, the NDP can blame its own decision to put forward a platform with only minimal progressive content. The NDP’s support for a $15/hour minimum wage and for the proposed $10/day child care program are important, but too timid to energize their own working class base in large parts of the province’s interior.
Only the Communist Party of BC candidates have put forward a truly radical platform, including a rollback of the Liberal tax cuts for the wealthy (which would bring in at least $2.5 billion annual revenue), a $20 minimum wage, 100,000 low-income and social housing units, an end to funding for elite private and religious schools, rejection of Big Energy’s fossil fuel extraction and export projects, a truly universal child care system, a 100% increase in social assistance and disability rates, and much more.
It’s time to drive the Liberals out of office in
People’s Voice Editorial
The war in
One detail was little noticed in North America: the attack targetted
Just as noteworthy, the assault came just days after the giant “
The truth is that the war in
By Paul Bentley,
It is the strength of teachers as an irreplaceable mass of workers concentrated in factory-like working conditions that has turned them into a post-modern proletariat. In many cases this flies against their own inclinations, for the teacher is by nature wedded to orderly conditions in the classroom; and prefers creativity over political conflict.
But teachers are now compelled by circumstances to overcome their inhibitions. Their very strength has made them the prime target of the corporate assault on socialized institutions.
And teachers must feed their families like everyone else. They cannot turn a
blind eye to inflation rates of over 40% when confronted with salary increases
of only 19%, as offered today by the government of
That is why in ongoing protests Argentinian teachers are blocking traffic,
setting up a free “tent school” in front of the Congress building, and pushing
school start dates later. Similarly, in
Early this past month in the United States, Teachers unions from Seattle to Chicago have held votes on whether or not to hold a one-day strike on May Day in order to, as the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has put it, “Resist Racism, Rebuild Community”. Though the voting went against a strike, the CTU are going ahead with mass action on May Day, and insist on their members rights to “use one of their Personal Business Days or an authorized unpaid ‘0 Day’”, to join the May Day activities.
Meanwhile, here in
On the other hand, this comes at the cost of subtle measures attached to the Bill that undermine union democracy by imposing centralized bargaining, and unreasonable early notification requirements before any strike action can be taken in the future.
Also, the short 2-year time period for the new “extension” contract with Ontario teachers sets them up for a dangerous clash with a newly elected, likely Conservative, government that, so early in its term, will not be inclined to be nearly so generous.
Still, the settlement with
Let us hope that teachers, and other workers, in
Resolution adopted unanimously by
delegates to the
Because allegations of chemical weapons use have been levelled against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Armed Forces; and
Because these allegations have been denied by the Syrian government, and its Russian allies, who place the blame on rebel forces; and
Because United States President Donald Trump unilaterally ordered the launch of fifty-nine missiles into Syrian territory in response to these allegations, and days later the USA used its largest non-nuclear weapon, an 11-ton Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, against an ISIS-held area in Afghanistan, and
Because this action has led to a dangerous deterioration of diplomatic relations in the Middle East, which could easily and rapidly develop into a full-scale international conflagration; and
Because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged "full support" to
The Vancouver and District Labour Council will reaffirm its policy, adopted in September of 2016, in support of welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada; and
The Vancouver and District Labour Council will condemn both the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the consequential U.S. bombings of Syria and Afghanistan, in violation of international law including the United Nations Charter; and
The Vancouver and District Labour Council will call upon the Liberal government and Prime Minister Trudeau to reverse its decision to support illegal aggressive actions of the U.S., remove Canada from participation in the U.S.-led coalition in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, and call for a political solution to the conflicts in the Middle East.
People’s Voice Letter to the Editor
Ukrainian and Russian - We are children of the same country
Most people in
So I want to ask what happened in our country? Why did we begin to hate each other just because of national-ethnic origin? Who benefits from fomenting nationalism in such a form and at such a price?
The Ukrainian government should answer why the civil war, which has led to the
deaths of thousands of innocent people, and millions of refugees, is called an
'anti-terrorism' operation, and not a fratricidal war. This operation is
against its own people. Residents of eastern
I want to ask the Ukrainian people, who benefits from this war? Maybe someone knows the answer? I know it... I call to unite all those who want peace in our country: West and East, Russians and Ukrainians, unite! We are all citizens of one country.
I was beaten by ultranationalists only because of the fact that the
Why are ultranationalists ready to kill me? Because I honor the memory of people who lost their lives during the Great Patriotic War?
(The author is a young Ukrainian now
May Day 2017 statement, issued by the Secretariat of the World Federation of Trade Unions
“But, if you think that by hanging us, you can
stamp out the labor movement – the movement from which the downtrodden millions,
the millions who toil and live in want and misery – the wage slaves – expect
salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a
spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and
everywhere, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it
out.” - August Spies, 31, on August 20, 1886, one of the leaders hanged in
The World Federation of Trade Unions on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day on May 1st conveys its militant greetings to all the workers of the planet who struggle for the fulfillment of their contemporary needs through their trade union organizations.
May Day is a landmark in the workers’ struggles all over the world, since 1886
the demands of migrant workers in
This year is marked by the sharpening of the intra-imperialist antagonisms which cause even greater intensification of the exploitation of the peoples, as well as the danger of a generalized war. The developments in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe prove the aggressiveness of the capital against the workers’ movement, make thousands of people turn to immigration to escape the war zones, while the EU and the European governments pretend that they want to help the refugees to survive.
The workers all over the world are worried about the aggressiveness of the USA government, of NATO and their allies who in order to gain new markets and rob the natural resources of the countries, are bombarding the peoples of Syria, are killing children in Palestine, are pushing the Venezuelan people to civil conflict, are threatening with the use of nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula region. They are those who dropped the largest conventional bomb in Afghanistan, they are the same imperialists who support and collaborate with the government of Ukraine which is also supported by fascists, they are the same who support and tolerate the Israeli policies in the Middle East.
These intra-imperialist antagonisms are deteriorating even more the financial situation of the workers and the pensioners. There is a generalized cut in salaries and pensions, privatizations in social security, public health and education, increase of unemployment, “black” work and restrictions of trade union freedoms. In this general picture the working class and the peoples are being prepared for the militant celebration of the May Day 2017.
The WFTU calls its affiliates and friends in every corner of the world to honor the International Workers’ Day with every means and in any way possible, to unite their voices and shout: “We organize our struggle against the Imperialistic Barbarity, for the contemporary needs of the people and the youth, for a world without exploitation and wars”
The WFTU representing 92 million workers in every continent of the world
conveys its internationalist solidarity to the heroic people of
In 2017, after the 17th World Trade Union Congress, the WFTU is stronger, with new forces, new affiliates, but above all with its resolutions.
We are organizing even more widely and strongly our common actions in every country, in every continent, for the emancipation of the working class, for the struggle for our rights and needs. Against the exploitation system that provokes poverty, wars and refugees.
The peoples’ enemies are not invincible; invincible are the struggling peoples.
Canada, following the lead of the U.S. in the OAS, is arbitrarily manipulating
“democracy”, “human rights” and “political prisoners” to subvert the Bolivarian
Revolution and the constitutionally-elected President Nicolás Maduro. On March
Nonetheless, while the declaration was not posted on the OAS web site because it could not have been considered an officially approved document, sponsoring counties such as the U.S. and Canada posted it on their respective government web sites. Thus, it remains the political platform of these 14 countries and unofficially of the OAS itself whose Secretary-General Luis Almagro is a servile instrument of the U.S.
The declaration cites “democracy”, “human rights” and political prisoners. Let us take each one of these issues to illustrate how they are their arbitrarily wielded in the OAS.
Would all these flagrant violations of democracy not be worth of consideration
by the OAS? Furthermore, the
The inconsistent Canadian policy with regards to political prisoners is
as cynical as its stance on democracy and human rights. The
The Canadian government’s servile attitude toward the
By Nino Pagliccia, April 19, 2017
Chemical weapons kill by causing a terrible death mostly to innocent people not involved in the conflict, but just by being nearby. That inevitably includes children. Those who do not die immediately will live scarred for life physically and mentally.
There is a reason why the use of chemical weapons is banned. They kill and maim indiscriminately. Considering that nuclear weapons have a more long-lasting and wider lethal effect should make them the primary target of a total ban. Why nuclear weapons are not banned for the same reason is beyond rationale.
But, beware. Chemical weapons can also have long term and broader effects.
Nowadays our main concern is about the use of chemical weapons because they
have recently caused the death of a reported 80 people including many children
near the city of
* And finally, we have all seen
over and over how the
Why would this time be different?
But let me suggest how the danger of this
Since last April 4, right-wing opposition protesters in
Venezuelan police have largely been on the defensive, using shields and water cannons to protect themselves from protesters, and tear gas to disperse uncontrolled crowds committing vandalism against public and private property.
On Saturday, April 8, however, when protesters intensified their attacks on police, opposition leaders claimed President Nicolas Maduro’s administration used “toxic weapons” to shut down anti-government demonstrations.
El Hatillo Mayor David Smolansky, a leading figure of the opposition Popular
Will party, alleged on Twitter that “Nicolas
Maduro is beginning to use chemical weapons as they are using in
But Smolansky wasn’t the only opposition leader spreading this unsubstantiated allegation.
Venezuelan National Assembly member Armando Armas also claimed Maduro “attacked the population with red toxic gas,” calling him a “dictator” on Twitter. And Popular Will coordinator Marcela Maspero said “police are using a red gas to repress us,” adding that “it can be neutralized with soda and lemon.”
These allegations are fake news intended to discredit the government by raising
the protests to the level of the occurrences in
They are fake first and perhaps most obviously, because hundreds of people would have instantly died if the alleged “red toxic gas” was a chemical weapon.
Second, because the Venezuelan government does not possess chemical weapons, nor has it ever possessed them, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Finally, because the right-wing opposition has no proof whatsoever of the alleged chemical weapons used against them.
Maduro has remarked on how violent opposition forces will stop at nothing to
provoke war, including an open treasonous call to foreign intervention in
We fully share Maduro’s concern about
In order to stop this mad race to more wars, we need a multipolar world. I
cannot see any other possibility. We need a multipolar world that can challenge
the imbalanced expansion of the
Russia and China are strong forces that can play a good role in Syria and the
rest of the world, including
But ultimately I want to emphasize the message that we – the anti-war movement - must also have an active role in the new multipolar world. We must position ourselves to be part of it. For that we must be strong and united.
The Communist Party of
Formed in 1931, the PCV was the first party in the country to support Hugo Chavez in his 1998 campaign to be elected President. Now, it faces the possibility of being made illegal for the fourth time during its 86 years of struggle.
A new set of “Rules for the Renewal of Enrollment Lists of Members of Organizations for National Political Purposes” was issued on March 4, 2016, by the National Elections Council (CNE). The PCV says the rules “contain some terms and conditions which had never been applied before, which are unacceptable to the dignity and safety of a revolutionary organization and its members, and which overstep the current legal framework.”
It is now mandatory for the membership of all parties to register directly with CNE, “distorting the legally and historically established relationship between the electoral authorities and the political parties, and between these and their respective members.” The PCV argues that these rules violate the organizational principles of the party, by potentially erasing distinctions between full members and supporters.
The personal data of those who register as members of each party will now be posted on the CNE website. This PCV argues that this weakens the “secret vote” principle, and violates the privacy rights of citizens, risking the personal security and employment of Communists and other left militants, since neo-fascists and employers could access this information to identify and attack revolutionaries. The new Rules drastically reduce the period for registration of enrollment lists, and establish equal procedures and requirements for the parties that did not take part in the previous two elections, and those, like the PCV, which did participate.
The PCV leadership immediately objected to these changed rules, and proposed amendments, but the electoral authorities never replied.
For more than fourteen months, the Venezuelan Communists have held bilateral
meetings and exchanges with senior Government officials. They have also raised
these matters at broader meetings of the parties that make up the “Simón
Bolívar Great Patriotic Pole” coalition which drives the Bolivarian process,
including the United Socialist Party of
Faced with this situation, on February 16, 2017, the PCV filed at the Constitutional Court of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) an appeal for the annulment of Article 25 of the Law on Political Parties, on the grounds that the new requirements are unconstitutional.
For its part, the CNE has announced that any party that is not “renewed” by July 19 will lose its legal status and entity.
The PCV says “This would outlaw the main, oldest and most persistent instrument for the struggle of the Venezuelan working class and people against imperialist domination and capitalist exploitation. Such a threat takes place in the midst of a severe crisis of the extractionist and dependent capitalist model of our country; an increase in the interventionist policies of imperialism against the moral reference that the Bolivarian process still represents; and a sharpening of class contradictions and of the struggle for power between the pro-imperialist right-wing bloc and the forces that support the Government, and even within each of these blocs.”
In this context, the PCV has called upon the Communist, Workers and revolutionary parties to join a campaign for “No to the illegalization of PCV!”, and to protect the rights and constitutional guarantees of the Venezuelan Communists and to use this campaign also to denounce the ongoing imperialist interference against the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people.
The letter from the PCV was issued by General Secretary Oscar Figuera G., and Carolus Wimmer, Secretary for International Relations.
By Mohammed Daraghmeh, People’s World
RAMALLAH, West Bank: Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli prisons have launched a hunger strike in what their leader behind bars called a new step in the Palestinians’ “long walk to freedom.”
Activists said more than 1,500 of about 6,500 Palestinians held by Israel as
so-called security prisoners joined the open-ended protest and that it was the
largest such strike in five years. The hunger strikers’ immediate demands
included better conditions, including more contact with relatives, and an end
In the West Bank and
Barghouti was arrested in 2002 during the Palestinian uprising and convicted on
multiple counts of murder.
In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Barghouti wrote that Israeli prisons have become the “cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination.”
“This new hunger strike will demonstrate once more that the prisoners’ movement is the compass that guides our struggle, the struggle for Freedom and Dignity, the name we have chosen for this new step in our long walk to freedom,” he wrote.
The hunger strike was launched as the approaching half-century mark of Israeli rule over Palestinians appeared to generate renewed interest in the long-running conflict, which in recent years was often overshadowed by war and turmoil elsewhere in the region.
Abbas and his supporters seek a Palestinian state, in the pre-invasion 1967
Qadoura Fares, who runs the Prisoners’ Club advocacy group, said over 1,500 prisoners joined the strike and that more were expected to follow.
In 2012, hundreds participated in a large-scale strike that lasted 28 days, said Fares. In 2014, dozens of detainees who were being held without trial or charges staged a two-month-long hunger strike to demand their release.
Bill & Joel Plaskett: 'Solidarity'
Joel Plaskett, the popular
singer-songwriter and guitarist from
Brian Williams slanders Leonard Cohen
Celebrity news host Brian
Williams demonstrated the cynical opportunism and moral vacuousness of
corporate media when, on the April 6 edition of his MSNBC show The 11th Hour,
he misrepresented Leonard Cohen to glorify war. Williams was reacting to images
of 59 'Tomahawk' missiles launched earlier that evening by the
Russia has withdrawn from the
62nd annual Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) after its representative was banned
by the host country, Ukraine, for having travelled to
The return of Joan Baez
By Rob Gowland, from The Guardian, weekly newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia
The capitalist media is at great pains always to portray itself as “free”, independent and definitely not a tool of the government. This state of affairs is constantly paraded before us as not only desirable but as an essential prerequisite for the smooth functioning of democracy, good and efficient governance and just about anything else that could be regarded as socially desirable.
It’s a load of baloney, of course. The capitalist mass media is big business, and whether it supports or opposes a specific government it will always support the interests of the capitalist ruling class. Different sectors of the ruling class have varying priorities, however, and this is reflected in the mass media each sector controls. Priorities aside, however, all the capitalist mass media have a fundamental commitment to sustaining capitalist class rule, so they will not support anything that actually threatens the dominance of capital or which might weaken its hold on government.
The effect of this is that, for all their talk of “independence” in the media, in reality capitalism tolerates only a narrow variation of viewpoints in the media, basically ranging from mild right-wing to extreme right-wing. They don’t usually go so far as to ban left wing publications (unless they feel their class rule is actually threatened). Instead, they tolerate them but ensure that they do not have the funds to compete with the capitalist media.
In this way, they are able to puff their chests out about the “freedom” of the media under capitalism, safe in the knowledge that the working class cannot hope to acquire the means to effectively inform, agitate and organise the masses with an alternative message.
The result, of course, is that the “news” is invariably biased: no matter what it is about, it is some form of ruling class presentation. Journalists working for capitalist media soon learn what their editors and owners will accept, and tailor their reporting accordingly. Or they find another job. The result is a uniformity of viewpoint on the “news” regardless of the particular mass media platform.
This uniformity of viewpoint should be an indication to the mass of the people that this source of information is suspect, at least. Instead, capitalism has cleverly turned it into a propaganda virtue: if every news outlet is saying the same thing, it must be true. Right?
Hardly. On March 22, Russia Today
published a piece comparing the approach taken by the capitalist media covering
the fighting in and around the city of
British journalist Michael Raddie, co-Editor of BSNews, made the pertinent comment: “In the West, the media have an ideology and it all boils down to worthy victims and unworthy victims. The victims of US bombs and British air-strikes are not worthy, because ‘we don’t do that kind of thing’. Our killing of civilians is ‘a mistake, collateral damage’. The Syrian air force’s killing of civilians – if it happens – even if it is alleged to have happened without evidence – or the Russian air strikes: that is ‘atrocities’. And that is the ideology that Western media portray all the time.
“You only have to look at the coverage of
“They were suffering not because of Syrian Arab Army or Russian air-strikes.
They were suffering because they were held captive by Al-Qaeda effectively –
Al-Nusra Front and other armed groups – who were actually firing missiles [and]
hell-fire cannon into
Max Abrahms, Professor at
The carnage in
Hurrah for a “free press” indeed.