Welcome... / FRFI 173 Jun / Jul 2003

FRFI 173 June / July 2003

‘The politician is the cement in this crazy house… We rationalize the irrational. We convince the people that the greater fulfilment of life is to die for the rich. We convince the rich that they must part with some of their riches to keep the rest. We are magicians. We cast an illusion, and the illusion is foolproof. We say to the people – you are the power. Your vote is the source of Rome’s strength and glory. You are the only free people in the world. There is nothing more precious than your freedom, nothing more admirable than your civilisation. And you control it; you are the power. And then they vote for our candidates. They weep at our defeats. They laugh with joy at our victories. And they feel proud and superior because they are not slaves. No matter how low they sink, if they sleep in the gutter, if they sit in the public seats at the races and the arena all day, if they strangle their infants at birth, if they live on the public dole and never lift a hand to do a day’s work from birth to death, nevertheless they are not slaves. They are dirt, but every time they see a slave, their ego rises and they feel full of pride and power. Then they know that they are Roman citizens and all the world envies them.’ (Howard Fast – Spartacus)

This is the kind of ‘democracy’ and civilisation in whose name the British and US warmongers used their military might to smash the infrastructure and environment of Iraq, reducing its people to slavery. This is the democracy that gave fraudulently-elected President Bush and the pro-Zionist right-wing extremists, the Neo-Conservatives, the reins of power in the strongest empire the world has ever known. Their doctrine of US domination was developed into the National Security Strategy in 2002. The ‘pre-emptive’ strike on Iraq saw the realisation of its military aspect (see pages 4 and 6).

The parcelling out of Iraq’s natural resources to US and British corporations sees its economic aspect. Even before the bombing had started, contracts were being handed out to firms directly linked to the Bush administration. The British Labour government anticipates one-fifth of the contracts being awarded to its corporate friends. Labour has its own Working Group, as part of the Development Fund for Iraq, which includes Marconi, Balfour Beatty and the CBI (see page 7).

The massive mobilisations against the war gave hope that the British people had woken up to the mockery of parliamentary politics and militarism under capitalism. Shamefully, it was the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) itself which sung them the lullaby and sent them back into a blissful sleep. They achieved this historic con by making a respectable and ‘parliamentary opposition’ to the war their key strategy. The mobilisation of the public was simply a means to pressure Labour MPs to heed their constituents and speak out against the war – well, at least a war without UN approval – whilst promising ‘total support’ to British forces once invasion began. There was to be no effective opposition to the warmongering Labour government and no risk of breaking with the racist and imperialist Labour Party (see page 5).

In 1907 Ramsey Macdonald, the Labour Party’s first Prime Minister in 1924, justified British imperialism as a ‘duty imposed upon it to spread the blessings of its civilisation over the Earth.’ Bush and Blair’s terminology, the references to ‘good’ versus ‘evil’, ‘civilisation’, ‘democracy’ and ‘moral duty’, are present-day echoes of British Labour Party ideologues since the party’s foundation. There is no ‘new’ and ‘old’ party, there is just the Labour Party.

While the ‘war on terrorism’ terrorises the oppressed nations, political parties and the media have reached a consensus that asylum-seekers and immigrants are to blame for crime, terrorism and disease in Britain. And with no hint of irony they are also blamed for the rising popularity of fascist politics (see page 16). The mainstream parties react to the electoral success of the BNP by reassuring the white electorate that they can also respond to racist fears about immigrants whom they blame for their own poverty and neglect, really the product of corrupt councils. Many STWC members supported this effort by canvassing for candidates of the racist Labour Party, to keep the BNP out (see page 10). To stop the rise of the BNP we must also oppose the racism of the state which fertilises it.

In Argentina, the people who have lost everything to the ‘democracy’ of the IMF and the World Bank have rejected the parliamentary farce. In May, a new president was sworn into office with the lowest vote ever, while the people, forced by necessity, create their own grassroots forms of democracy and collective resistance (see page 12). In Palestine the US, with British support, imposes its shameless ‘democracy’ through the roadmap to (Zionist) peace via puppet Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, which means more brutality and more slavery for the Palestinian people (pages 1-3). Like Spartacus’ army of liberated slaves, however, they continue to resist and rock the empire.

For the imperialists, socialist Cuba represents an island of slaves who broke free from the empire, creating its own form of democracy which places social responsibility and social reward in the hands of the people, at the grassroots level. The mass political participation, the collective ownership of wealth and universal provision of social welfare in such a poor country is a powerful ideological threat to the capitalist world. The US is preparing to attack Cuba. It faces an army of 11 million, an entire population ready to defend its revolution (see pages 8 and 9).

Wake up and join the resistance in Britain: ‘Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but our chains!’

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