Afghanistan – Between Two Cold Wars – September 19 10:30 AM Pacific Time – Dr. Bahman AzadRead More
It is almost taken for granted, if not an article of faith, in the progressive milieu that the US empire is in decline. Does this hold up or is it comfort food for the frustrated hoping for the revolution?
Our speaker, Stan Smith, will explore these questions based on a manuscript that he and Roger Harris have been researching, followed by a Q&A in which both will participate.Read More
Sunday June 6 – Israel/Palestine: A Historical Perspective from a Palestinian Communist – Wadi’h Halabi
What were the main motives behind the Balfour Declaration, imperialism’s November 1917 commitment to carve up Palestine? What was Lenin and the Comintern’s position on Zionism and partition of Palestine? Why did Soviet leaders support US imperialism in creating the Israeli state? Why did they arrange to arm Zionist bands, crucial to their 1948 victory? This is the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. Why do so few in the workers’ movement know about the Beirut Commune of 1976, and how its defeat contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union? These and other questions are taken up by Wadi’h Halabi of the CPUSA and the Center for Marxist Education.
A wandering Palestinian, Halabi was born in Jaffa in 1946. He and his family were forced out in May 1948, on to Gaza, then to Egypt, forced out of Egypt to Lebanon in time for civil war. In recent years, his focus has been on identifying and addressing weaknesses that have caused so many defeats since the mid-1970s, and the material basis for revolutionary optimism.Read More
Biden’s Foreign Policy – Hope or Horror?
Sun., May 16, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm PDT
Biden bellicosely proclaimed, “American is back,” in his major foreign policy priorities speech, reaffirming the bipartisan consensus of regime change, forever wars, and the NATO alliance.
Republican neo-cons now shelter in the Democrat’s big tent, today’s party of war. Regardless of the changing of the guard in Washington, the Biden’s policies will follow his predecessor, but will more effectively target official enemies such as Venezuela and Iran and will double down on Russia and China.
The US empire is the main beneficiary, proponent, and enforcer of a global political economy that increasingly is seen as failing to meet people’s needs. Class disparities during an economic recession, exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, are ever more evident in the US and internationally leading to an impending crisis of legitimacy.
Our speaker is Roger D. Harris, a member of the ICSS program committee. He is active with the human rights organization, the Task Force on the Americas, and is on the executive committee of the US Peace Council. His political writings may be found at Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Mint Press News, Popular Resistance, and the Orinoco Tribune. Roger recently wrote:
Also recommended is Alan MacLeod, “Humanitarian Imperialism: How corporate media sell regime change, intervention and war to progressive audiences”:
Quo Vadis Turkey? A crumbling fascism in the Middle East under imperialism – Mehmet Bayram – Sun, Oct 24, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time
Turkey is a neo-colonial NATO member country. It is tied through its umbilical cord to imperialism. Changing the name from Ottoman Empire to Republic of Turkey did not change much from what Ottomans stood for. An attempt at a bourgeois revolution was too late and had started during the Ottomans but was cut short, crushed, due to occurring in the age of imperialism. The bourgeoisie had changed character in this age and was no longer what used to be called a “national bourgeoisie.” A better term for the leaders of this crippled revolution would be “local bourgeoise” and its character as “comprador bourgeoisie” due to its relationship with imperialism.
Fascism passes through dormant and active phases, but never leaves Turkey. It is impossible to speak of a “bourgeois democracy” in the age of imperialism in the neo-colonial countries. This is tied to the crippled bourgeois revolution. Any and all, even very peaceful, demonstrations are brutally attacked and participants get long prison sentences. Hundreds of journalists are in jail, opposition party MPs are beaten, silenced and thrown into prisons, even without a charge for more than 4 years. The National Assembly is powerless and is irrelevant but stays for the show, typical of a regime that is defined by neo-colonial fascism. Unions are silenced and are under brutal attack. Media is suppressed and internet access is controlled. Government media spews unbelievable and outright ridiculous lies and repeats these 24 hours around the clock. Corporations work hand in glove with the government while raking in billions of dollars.
Corruption, as expected in the capitalist world is no longer secret but has become the norm. It is illegal to report corruption. Turkey uses Europe’s regulations against surveillance capitalism to protect the citizens against corporations like Google and Facebook to protect the capitalists and the corrupt government officials. It invokes the “right to be forgotten” against any news that exposes corruption, theft, bribery or murder and puts a media ban on news that exposes a corruption. Meritocracy has long vanished and the only qualification to get a job is loyalty to the government.
Erdoğan was brought to power by the US and he knows not to bite the hand that feeds him. As imperialism seems to lose its grip due to its seeming decline, neo-colonials do look around for a new boss to take its orders. Fascism is the only way to rule in a country that also has a rich history of socialist and left opposition. However, as new elections approach in a year and a half, the main topic that the country discusses is whether the government will even have the elections or respect the results. The answer seems to lie in the parallel, paramilitary, armed, terrorist organizations the AKP government is preparing, very similar to the illegal, semi-secret structures that were used for the Armenian Genocide.
Economic collapse has only exacerbated the fascism and repression has increased even in the last few days.
These and similar issues on foreign affairs involving Syria, Russia, China, Greece, but mostly European Union and the US will be discussed. However, Turkey never did, does not, and will not decide independently its internal or external affairs. Imperialism is an internal affair in Turkey due to the class structure under imperialism. What seems to be bold moves that could be read as challenging the US are only the slave asking for the leash to be extended a bit while Turkey picks up doing more dirty work for US imperialism in the world and the Middle East.
Even many on the left who opposed the analysis of fascism in the past are pronouncing this terminology to define Turkey these days.
What are the alternatives? What is the left to do?
Our speaker, Mehmet Bayram, is visiting his native land Turkey and will be reporting from there. He is a long time journalist, reporter, photographer and translator. Currently he writes and translates for the Sendika.org in Turkey, a site shut down 62 times by the government. Please follow Turkey’s news in English at: https://sendika.org/kategori/english/