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The world pledge of the 99%

As I mentioned earlier, I just returned from the Eighth Congress of the Worker-communist Party of Iran. Here’s one of the documents that was adopted there – the world pledge of the 99% and what a good pledge it is! Here it is:

The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and then the revolutionary risings against the dictators in the Middle East and North Africa showed that the unfinished 2009 revolution in Iran was not an isolated event. As our last congress had stated, that revolution spoke of the end of the dark period in which the New Right, the New World Order and the War of the Terrorists had been on the offensive. It spoke “from the people’s hearts”. However, the anti-capitalist movements in the West in 2011, from the revolts of the have-nots in British cities to the strikes and protests in Spain, Greece, Israel, Italy, France, etc., and the Occupy Movement in the USA and Europe, showed that this new period of revolutions and mass uprisings was not limited to the Middle East. It is indeed a new and universal situation, one where, against the backdrop of world capitalism’s economic crisis and dead end, the rank of the 99% is everywhere rising against the system of profit, market and wages; against the state, bureaucracy and its corresponding democracy, as well as against the system’s sanctities and values such as religion, nationalism and obliteration of universal human identity. The stormy 2011 will be recorded in human history as the start of a global wave of revolutions of the 21st century for the emancipation of humanity. On one end of this immense movement stands Cairo’s Al-Tahrir Square and the revolution for Bread, Freedom and Human Dignity; and on the other, New York’s Occupy Wall Street with its will of the People’s Assembly and the practical critique of the democracy of the 1%. This global revolutionary wave has already overturned the old dominant perceptions of the last few decades and changed the political and ideological balance to the advantage of revolution, with far greater changes still to come.

The Eighth Congress asserts that the Worker-communist Party of Iran, hand in hand with the workers of Athens, Auckland, Suez and the petrochemical workers of Mahshahr in Iran, as well as the youth of Gaza, Homs, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Moscow and Tehran and the brave women everywhere who stand at the forefront of this global struggle, belongs to the rank of the ongoing revolutions and the movement of the 99% for liberation. The Congress declares that the requirement for the victory of this global movement for human liberation is the political and economic expropriation of the bourgeoisie around the world. As the experience of the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya shows, removing the dictators from the scene while keeping the dictatorship of capital by the generals, Islamists and nationalists is a threadbare project for defeating the revolution. The first condition of people’s victory is the total destruction of the bourgeoisie’s state machinery, from its army to its bureaucracy, and the establishment of the rule of councils and other organs of people’s direct power. Furthermore, the experience of Greece, Italy, France, Britain and USA clearly shows that global capital in order to deal with its incurable crisis is sucking the very life out of humanity. They are now telling us we have to labour from our teens till we die, and ask for less, so their rotten system of wage slavery may survive. In the West too there is no other road to liberation than in the first step expropriating the dictatorship of capital and the rule of the banks and the 1%, which is exercised in the name of democracy and parliament, and by leaving people’s lives in their own hands, to their own direct rule.

Committed to this global pledge of the 99%, the Worker-communist Party of Iran once again states that, along with the workers, women and youth in Iran, it is fighting for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the expropriation of the bourgeoisie and establishment freedom, equality and socialism in Iran. Every step of progress towards a free communist society in Iran will be an important contribution towards the ongoing global movement of the 99%, and which can only last with the support of the workers and people of the world.

The Eighth Congress of the Worker-communist Party of Iran
25-26 February 2012

Comments

  1. says

    The optimism expressed by you and your comrades is unrealistic. To overthrow the Iranian govt., a wide movement under the leadership of bourgeois democratic forces with active co-operation of communists for establishing bourgeois democracy is the only immediate solution. Any sectarian slogan or propaganda will only help the present regime. A cultural change encompassing various segments of Iranian population is a pre-condition for any structural change. The slogans have to be: Democracy, Secularism and Rationalism. There are no short cuts at all. Until left intellectuals are convinced of this simple truth, the masses esp. women will have to suffer longer. Communists have less to be afraid of imperialism or capitalism at this period of crisis. In stead of dogmatic assertion of economic foundation and cultural super structure, you are requested to think of the dialectical influence cultural work may have on the super structure and in turn on the economic foundation.

    • says

      I think it’s actually dogmatic to insist on capitalism when it has *proven* to be such a miserable failure. Also democracy is the political structure for the ruling class – you vote whoever in to then go ahead and make cuts in your services, schools, health care and put profit first and not people. Why is it not possible to have a system like the Paris commune where people can have a direct influence and say in their lives? It’s not optimism to objectively recognise a change in conditions which will make it easier for people to have their say.

      • says

        Who insists on Capitalsm? Good that you brought up the example of Paris commune.In stead of showering curses, one has to understand that it crushed because of its own folly. Iran needs a broad based mass movement now.Overthrow of the present regime may not bring about structural change.My insistence is : the first priority is for breathing time to educate the people. Communist parties will have to remain under ground even at that juncture. without yourself becoming bourgeois, you will have to raise bourgeois slogans. it needs thorough soul searching. am i dogmatic?

        • says

          A lot of brilliant movements have been crushed – this doesn’t necessarily mean they were wrong. the Iranian revolution was left-leaning, it was crushed by the Islamic movement. But that does not negate its importance or the fact that it continues to affect a new generation trying to get rid of Islamism in Iran.

          • says

            It was only the Iranian communist party that blundered. Even people like me from afar knew it was going to be a mullah affair.Do you believe your party has the required mass basis to sustain a leftist government?

        • ... says

          Who insists on Capitalsm?

          I do. Notice how every single wretched tyrannical movement has hated capitalism. The communists, the monarchists, the nationalists, the fascists, the socialists, the theocrats. Every killer, every hater of mankind, every single jumped-up little thug who has switched from pulling stick ups to slaughtering entire nations, has hated Capitalism.

          That’s not an accident. If you want to enslave mankind, Capitalism is your number one enemy.

          • says

            Insisting on capitalism is like insisting on homelessness, hunger and poverty. How ironic that a system that has been created to defend a 1% against a majority is seen to be the liberator of humankind.

  2. piero says

    I’m afraid I must agree with Abdul. Maryam, you are certainly one of my heroes: I admire your courage and determination (not to mention your nude pictures!), and I will support your efforts to rid the world of Islamism to the end of my days. But this pledge reads like something found in a time capsule left behind by Lenin.

    I wish Communists could abandon such turns of phrase as the following:

    The stormy 2011 will be recorded in human history as the start of a global wave of revolutions of the 21st century for the emancipation of humanity.”

    Why the trite rhetoric? Why not something like “2011 will probably be recorded in history as the start of a significant wave of discontent, with no clear objectives and no recognizable leadership.” Why throw the word “stormy” in? It serves no purpose, other than make Communists appear as apocalyptic prophets.

    Furthermore, the experience of Greece, Italy, France, Britain and USA clearly shows that global capital in order to deal with its incurable crisis is sucking the very life out of humanity.

    Why not “a solution to the crises in Greece, etc. has been sought, as expected, in financial mechanism that will further impoverish the population, to the benefit of financial capital and corporations.”

    The first condition of people’s victory is the total destruction of the bourgeoisie’s state machinery, from its army to its bureaucracy, and the establishment of the rule of councils and other organs of people’s direct power.

    This language scares people off. It is associated with Stalinism and every other failure of communism in the world. People’s victory is meaningless or even scary to the very people who are supposed to be victorious.

    Communists should attune their language to the current world or resign themselves to be a mere footnote.

    • says

      I think part of the problem is that this is a translation and given that Persian is such a ‘flowery’ language, it shows itself in this way though I know we could still adjust it more to suit an English-speaking audience.

      • piero says

        Perhaps you are right. But Chilean communists use that kind of flowery language too, and it sounds pompous even to Chileans. When translated (badly) into English, it sounds positively baroque.

        I would also suggest avoiding technical expressions and terms such as the bourgeoisie, which has a specific meaning in Marx’s analysis of the capitalist mode of production, but which is incomprehensible to the vast majority of people.

        Most people are discontent with the current global system because they realize are getting poorer, while a few are getting richer and can even profit from their own failures. Most people know nothing about surplus value and such, so by sticking to technical jargon the communists are estranging themselves from those who most need to understand the message.

        You don’t write like that. Before an official statement is published, it should be proof-read by you.

    • says

      Dear piero,

      I too confess:
      “Maryam, you are certainly one of my heroes: I admire your courage and determination (not to mention your nude pictures!), and I will support your efforts to rid the world of Islamism to the end of my days.”
      The will to change and a romantic inspiration are part of revolution.But there has to be a synthesis of reason and Romanticism.Iran has the cultural legacy and resources for that.and we see brave fighters like Maryam and Mina Ahadi.How can one mince one’s words?

    • says

      Dear piero,

      I too confess:
      “Maryam, you are certainly one of my heroes: I admire your courage and determination (not to mention your nude pictures!), and I will support your efforts to rid the world of Islamism to the end of my days.”
      The will to change and a romantic inspiration are part of revolution.But there has to be a synthesis of reason and Romanticism.Iran has the cultural legacy and resources for that.and we see brave fighters like Maryam and Mina Ahadi.How can one mince one’s words?
      Majeed.

  3. NichtNahme says

    Hi Maryam, Glad that you’re back and posting things again. Though this is unrelated to your post, being a relatively new former muslim, I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me:

    -How did you manage to come out to your friends and family about being an ex-muslim?

    -Did you ever worry about loosing good friendships over it?

    -Does everybody in your social circle know about this? If not, how do you convey to them that you’re no longer part of their group?

    -Do you have any advice about the best way of coming out?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi, I actually never had any problems telling my immediate family and friends. I think being part of a political movement and not being on ‘my own’ helped a lot and still does. But I know for many it has been very difficult to tell their families and friends. I know quite a few – even independent adult women and men – who still tell their relatives they are Muslims and still attend Islamic rituals and events and even wear the hejab. I would suggest you speaking to other people on the ex-Muslim’s forum. It’s a good place to share ideas and find out how people did it. I suppose the only advice I can give you is the make sure it is safe for you to do so. Otherwise you will have to do it the way you choose and when you are ready. good luck! By the way, have you joined CEMB? The forum is accessible here: http://www.ex-muslim.org.uk

      • NichtNahme says

        Thanks for replying back! I am familiar with CEMB but just wanted to know about your personal experiences relating to this.

  4. ... says

    In the West too there is no other road to liberation than in the first step expropriating the dictatorship of capital and the rule of the banks and the 1%, which is exercised in the name of democracy and parliament, and by leaving people’s lives in their own hands, to their own direct rule.

    Haven’t we seen this sort of thing before? Remember how well that went?

    Here we have Namazie explicitly calling for tyranny. For yet another hecatomb. How much more needless misery do you think mankind really needs?

    Refresh my memory why this is so much better than what Hizb ut-Tahrir calls for? Commies vs. fascists – who cares?

    Piero,

    I wish Communists could abandon such turns of phrase as the following:</blockquote?

    They won't. Have you never wondered why those who profess to be moved by love of mankind are not stopped by sight of mountains of corpses? It's because the truth is worse than that obscene excuse that they are "noble idealists" whose purpose blinds them to the corpses. The truth is that those mountains of murdered are the purpose.

    • piero says

      …:

      They won’t. Have you never wondered why those who profess to be moved by love of mankind are not stopped by sight of mountains of corpses? It’s because the truth is worse than that obscene excuse that they are “noble idealists” whose purpose blinds them to the corpses. The truth is that those mountains of murdered are the purpose.

      I used to be to the left of the Communist Party, as I’ve said. At the time, Chile had a democratically elected socialist government, and the Communist Party was part of the coalition in power. My motivation was the outrage at the sight of starving children. I thought that was a crime against humanity, and realized that the rich and powerful would never relinquish their privileges unless forced to. The Communists favoured a gradual approach, with the establishment of three areas within the economy: private, mixed and State-owned. With hindsight, I realize it was a sensible and democratic policy. But that didn’t stop Nixon and Kissinger from toppling president Allende.

      So I strongly disagree with you. The purpose of Allende’s government was never to heap corpses. On the contrary, his economic policies would have stimulated the private sector if the bastards hadn’t chosen to boycott the government instead. The only political crimes committed during those three years were carried out by the CIA.

      Communists are not monsters. They are mostly people who know that every minute a child dies of starvation, and find that unacceptable. Besides, being people, they have brains, and understand the lessons from the past.

      Did Stalin carry out massacres on a horrific scale? Yes. But at least the dead were killed with a bullet; the current globalization scheme, on the other hand, condemns many more millions to die slowly of starvation and disease. Do we have to allow a silent massacre on a heart-wrenching scale because 70 years ago Stalin behaved like a bastard? What is the alternative? Should we do nothing and let “the market forces” keep two thirds of the world population in abject poverty?

  5. Adam Felton says

    Hi Maryam,

    I really enjoy your posts, but to be honest this one left me somewhat dumbfounded.

    What exactly are you and your fellow communists advocating that democracy should be replaced with?

    Thanks for any clarification,

    Adam

      • Adam Felton says

        That’s just it, whatever the ebbing and flowing failures of democracy and capitalism, they pale into insignificance in relation to the failures of totalitarian rule, communist or otherwise.

        So I’m having some trouble here trying to gel advocacy for human rights with advocacy for communism (at least as I understand it).

        • says

          Yes but the Soviet Union was not communist; it was a state capitalist system. Communism is about not just liberty and equality before the law but real equality without which there can be no real freedom.

          • ... says

            Tell it to the murdered. No, the exact, literal embodiment of Communist doctrine was Soviet Russia. The exact words of Marx, of Lenin, of Trotsky – and I might add, of Namazie hereself here – were put into practice by Stalin. State control of the means of production. State control of everything. They wanted it, they begged for it, they fought for it, and they got it.

            And now Namazie wants us all to plunge into the same abyss. No. thank. you.

        • ... says

          Felton,

          I suspect you’re as much of an anti-theist as I am. So let me direct you to a very interesting commentary by the greatest anti-theist in history; in Zarathustra, Nietzsche warns the heroic freethinkers that they have beaten the old gods. But while they are resting from their hard struggle, a new god has risen in their place. The god of the State. Far more dangerous than his predecessors.

          That was before the horrors of the twentieth century.

          That’s what this is about; it’s not a case of freedom-vs-slavery here, it’s a power struggle between two believers who are fighting over whose god gets to rule and enslave us all.

          Some of us tick the “none of the above” box.

          • Adam Felton says

            Hard not to quote Churchill “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

            Yeap. I’m anti-tyranny. Theocratic, communistic, fascist, corporatist..whatever. All of which put too much power into the hands of the few.

  6. ... says

    I think it’s actually dogmatic to insist on capitalism when it has *proven* to be such a miserable failur

    Really? As opposed the lovely record of communism

    A little preview of the Namzie-style Iran – and world if I’m reading this right:

    http://fellowshipofminds.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/cambodia-killing-fields-08.jpg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag

    http://www.gulag.eu/default.htm

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,483023,00.html

    And so on. Something to look forward to, eh? Right now the Iranian theocracy doesn’t look half bad in comparison.

    Those of us who are critical of Islam spend a great deal of time, quite rightly in my view, making sure that our views aren’t misused or adapted by racists or fascists. Yet here we have an open advocate of the bloodiest movement in human history, the single greatest ideological killer the world has ever seen, calling for a return to tyranny, and people think this is okay.

    • says

      I don’t want to seem to be repeating myself but I have never supported any of the gulags and killing fields you quote. If you look at Marx’s Communist Manifesto it is a document for the liberation of humanity. Anyway, just because Bush invaded Iraq for women’s rights doesn’t make women’s rights bad or wrong now does it? If you want to criticise communism you’ll need to do it by showing how class struggle and getting rid of a system that puts profit first is ‘tyrannical’ not by bringing up examples which are not communism. If I want to cricise democracy, it’s not enough for me to show how Islamic democracy doesn’t work but how even in its best form – e.g. in Europe – it represents the 1%.

      • says

        Dear Comrade Maryam,
        You refuse to grow. your scripture is obsolete. Try to apply Marxism creatively.Update communism. China had an entirely different approach to comm. revolution. yet, is china, a communist country now?

  7. Adam Felton says

    Okay. Perhaps it’s selfish of me to ask you to spend your time on this, but would you mind explaining what democracy is being replaced with in your model?

    • Adam Felton says

      My comment was in response to this statement from Maryam “Communism is about not just liberty and equality before the law but real equality without which there can be no real freedom.”

      • Adam Felton says

        I’m and Australian living in Sweden. In my views social democracy is as close as we’ve come to a reasonable system of governance, as repeatedly demonstrated by inequality adjusted HDI comparisons.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_inequality-adjusted_HDI

        These are not idealized hypothetical democracies. They are everyday working examples with probably the best standards of living and human rights in human history.

        Are you really calling for the destruction of such societies, to be replaced with some non-democractic alternative?

        • says

          Destruction of poverty doesn’t mean killing the poor; destruction of inequality and a system that puts profits before people doesn’t mean destroying society! I’m not sure why the discussion is reduced to this. Also even if something is the best – it is still not enough for me. I am outraged that people still die of hunger and poverty when mountains of food are dumped in the sea to ensure profits; that we fund medical reseacrh but then cannot afford the medicines because of profit; that some don’t receive the care they deserve because it is too costly – but it is never too costly to fight a war or bail out banks… I want something better for myself and for all people. I don’t see why that is so hard to understand…

          • Adam Felton says

            First, thanks for taking the time to respond to some of my posts.

            That said…Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

            But being outraged because injustice and poverty continues to occurs under the present system, and in fact is aided by the international banking system, and the willingness of first world countries and the international trade organizations they support to recognize, and trade, and give loans, and miltiary aid, to corrupt tyrannical third world leaders, and thus reinforces poverty…. doesn’t provide one iota of support for such problems disappearing under communism.

            I shouldn’t have to say it, but I don’t think for one second that when you envisage communism, that gulags are part of the picture. Your work is too consistently full of empathy to make such an insulting presumption.

            But I also don’t think that communists sufficiently address the failures of the past. Now maybe that’s my own ignorance. Perhaps there are modern versions of communism that have tweeked the idea sufficiently to put in reasonable safeguards against the evils of the past. Maybe, maybe not.

            But any system that reassigns wealth needs reassigners. Any system that advocates the overturning of the current, has to take charge of power structures (police, military) to ensure compliance. Any system that has a set ideology, needs to ensure that proponents of that ideology are provided with sufficient power to ensure the ideology is taken up by the masses. In other words, it requires nondemocratic assignment of power to prevent a return to current forms of democracy. And that’s the problem as I see it.

            So although your clarification about councils being democratic means that you aren’t against democracy per se, I can’t help but be skeptical with respect to this being a form of constrained democracy, where people can vote for their chosen representative…but only representatives who embrace the communist system.

            I’m happy to be wrong on this. I hope I am.

  8. ... says

    I don’t want to seem to be repeating myself but I have never supported any of the gulags and killing fields you quote.

    Save it for someone suitably dumb. I do not take it from neo-fascists that they aren’t leading the way back to the gas chambers, I don’t take it from the Islamists that the Taliban is not their logical end, and I don’t take it from you that this is not what you are leading us towards.

    You openly and directly call for the expropriation of capital to be vested in – what? A tyranny. Run – by you presumably. To hell with that.

    The first condition of people’s victory is the total destruction of the bourgeoisie’s state machinery, from its army to its bureaucracy, and the establishment of the rule of councils and other organs of people’s direct powe

    Some of us actually mean it when we say NEVER AGAIN! And not just about the killings done by the national socialists.

    The comforting thing is that, like the idiots who attend things like the “white aryan resistance”, you don’t have a hope in hell in establishing your tyranny.

  9. ... says

    Maryam,

    This is about politics. Yours are those of tyranny, slavery, starvation and mass death. Be honest about it – much more respectable!

    • Adam Felton says

      I just re-read that passage “the total destruction of the bourgeoisie’s state machinery”.

      Does this include the destruction of the people who ran such machinery?

      What about the public school teachers? Do they have to be “re-educated” so they don’t pass on bourgeoisie views to the children?

      What happens to those who don’t agree with communism? To those who want a return to democracy?

      How does a communist system once implemented turn around if it does in fact fail? Why would those who were willing to destroy what was before, acknowledge if such a failure occurred, or relinquish their power once acquired?

      Who decides the membership of the “councils”?

      How can freedom of speech and other human rights be advocated while concurrently advocating the destruction of democractically established institution?

      How does one prevent the return of the old system without active suppression of free speech?

      I find this deeply disturbing.

      • says

        Don’t be silly – if you want the destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran state machinery doesn’t mean you want people dead. We were the first people opposed to the death penalty in Iran – now as a result of years of work, being anti-death penalty has become the norm in Iran as a result. By the way councils are forms of real democracy as opposed to the impression of democracy where only the ruling elite has a say in how things are done. Everyone is a member of a council – e.g. neighbourhood council, workplace council, and so on. I’ll try and find something to link to for further reading. By the way people call for the overthrow of things all the time – e.g. the revolution in Egypt or Iran. It is in fact the revolutionaries that are often suppressed not the other way around. Also direct intervention allows power to be distributed amongst everyone rather than a select few which further prevents suppressions like we see today. Also it prevents governments going to war on Iraq or cutting benefits when most are opposed to it. I find that disturbing and am surprised how easily people accept the intolerable as something to their advantage. I’ll try and post more on council rule soon.

        • Adam Felton says

          My questions are legitimate ones for proponents of communism as outlined in that document, they are not meant to be taken as personal accusations, nor were they meant to be limited to the situation in Iran. My apologies if that wasn’t clear.

          Look, I think if communism is really to have a future (ignoring for a second whether that is a good thing or not), it has to acknowledge how most others in the first world see it. The concerns I list above advertise my perception of communism, and I am not alone. I provide them to give communists an opportunity to point out what I’m missing. At the same time I have a hard time believing that communists aren’t aware of their own image problem. But if so, it’s then hard to comprehend how such an awareness of past failures can be hand in hand with statements about “the total destruction of the bourgeoisie’s state machinery.” Not exactly reassuring to say the least.

          Once again, thanks for taking the time to respond, and with the offer of further literature. I am more than happy to learn more.

          All the best,

          Adam

    • says

      Look you can judge people by what they say and do, their position on things and the effect they have on their surroundings. I don’t think you could ever find even one sad example of how I have ever supported any of the above so maybe less silly namecalling and more rational discussion. Yes this is politics so let’s hear your political position on things – that is if you have any!

      • ... says

        Look you can judge people by what they say and do, their position on things and the effect they have on their surroundings

        And we do. Commies kill people. Commies kill lots of people. They are therefore not to be trusted. They are, indeed, to be despised. They are to be laughed at when they do not have a hope in hell of succeeding – such as now – and fought to the death when they do.

        Look you can judge people by what they say and do, their position on things and the effect they have on their surroundings

        Oooh, I’ll take that bet!

        “The Congress declares that the requirement for the victory of this global movement for human liberation is the political and economic expropriation of the bourgeoisie around the world.”

        Yes, calling for the total seizure – theft – of all property, and taking of all political rights from people you don’t like and having the economy totally run by… yourself.

        And this:

        “The first condition of people’s victory is the total destruction of the bourgeoisie’s state machinery, from its army to its bureaucracy, and the establishment of the rule of councils and other organs of people’s direct power”

        We’ve had those – they were called “the Soviets”. So, you want total control of the economy, total control over politics, and total control of the army, too.

        Yeah, heard this before. Not on my watch, girl. I’ll make this simple: I will never, ever allow such a tyranny to be formed. And there are millions and tens of millions like me. What’cha gonna do about us? Well? What’re you going to do about those of us who will never ever submit to rule by your councils? I throw down the gauntlet: What will you do with those of us who refuse the rule of your stupid “council”?

        Well, we know what your kind always have in store:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward
        http://thecasualtruth.com/files/images/Cambodia%20Killing%20Fields.jpg
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag

  10. ... says

    Felton,

    Yeap. I’m anti-tyranny. Theocratic, communistic, fascist, corporatist..whatever. All of which put too much power into the hands of the few.

    Then you will always find 100% support from me and mine.

    • ... says

      Ain’t it the truth. You’ll be amazed how many people are part of “the total destruction of the bourgeoisie’s state machinery”. In China eighty million peasants were found to be part of it. Who knew?

  11. ... says

    Adam,

    Think again about those numbers. Think of the unspeakable tyranny unleashed, the one that almost enslaved all mankind. Think of the fact that there has never, ever been a non-tyrannical form of communism. Do you seriously want to gamble with it again? And even if you do, by what right do you gamble with the lives of millions of others?

    Can you think of any scenario, any scenario at all of someone who is concerned with the wellbeing of human beings, but is not bothered by mountains of corpses?

    Which of these two are more likely:

    1. That Maryam is in possession of a hitherto unknown secret that will make everything wonderful, and in complete contradiction to every single Communist revolutionary and thinker before her – mark this well, out of all of those hundred of thousands and millions, she is the only one who has figured this thing out – that will make everything work well, despite the fact that all the evidence is on the other side?

    or

    2. That Mayam is simply unbothered by the prospect of tyranny and mass death?

    Which of these is more likely?

    • Adam Felton says

      Your concerns with communism, are my concerns.

      I’m just trying to fathom how someone I respect and admire for her stance on many other issues, is so keen on communism.

      It doesn’t make sense to me, and I’m trying to make sense of it…not communism, but Maryam’s reasoning.

      • ... says

        I’m just trying to fathom how someone I respect and admire for her stance on many other issues, is so keen on communism.

        As you may have gathered, I dislike Namazie, but I respect her courage on those issue. The trouble is that one can apply the same reasoning to, say, Tommy Robinson, the head of the EDL. Someone who actively seeks out and fights racists, defends gay rights, and endures constant death threats is certainly courageous; it doesn’t change the fascist nature of his movement.

        There were communists who played a heroic role in the struggle against Apartheid. That doesn’t change the fact that, had they taken power, they’d have instituted something that would have made Apartheid seem heaven in comparison.

        Mutatis mutandis, the Catholic Church played an equally heroic role in destroying the communist tyranny in Poland, but that does not change or excuse their collaboration with fascism.

        Humanity is something of a contradictory thing, and I’ve often found myself side by side with people I do not particularly care for because the issue in question is of paramount importance. It’s sometimes necessary, but never let someone’s virtuous stand on one issue let you believe that they cannot have a wicked stand on another.

  12. ... says

    Yes this is politics so let’s hear your political position on things – that is if you have any!

    I will take that challenge straight up.

    As regards this discussion, I believe that the grotesque spectacle of human poverty and deprivation and oppression can be eliminated in one generation, and the answer to it – which has worked in every single instance it has been tried – is economic liberty. Compare Hong Kong under Copperwaith with China under your comrade Mao. Compare East and West Germany in the old days. And I believe that all examples of anti-capitalist rhetoric are always the covers for the most grotesque exploitation. Whether it is the scummy corporations who make deals to erect trade barriers and immiserate the third world under the cover of anti-globalizaiton, or the racketeering in Bhopal and Burma defended under the rubric of the national interest or national sovereignty, or people like you who are simply thirsty for pure power. The patterns is always the same: as much as all tyrants and killers fight and squabble with each other, they are united against capitalism because they are united against freedom.

        • piero says

          Deeper than yours, at any rate.

          Defining your political position does not mean to exclaim “I’m against tyranny!” You have to explain what, in your view, would be a societal structure that, while ensuring freedom, can eliminate the outrageous inequality we see all around us. Clearly, liberal capitalism has failed in that respect, as evidenced by the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor.

          • ... says

            Clearly, liberal capitalism has failed in that respect, as evidenced by the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor.

            Yes, yes, yes – the problem isn’t the poverty, it’s the inequality! Look back at some of those links I posted – nice and equal. Dead, but equal! And leave it aside that the growth of social inequality has marched in lockstep with the growth of the state.

            That’s not an accident. The power of the state always exists to create a class society.

            Look at the bloody fiasco with the bank bailouts. I think we’re in agreement about those. But in the days of private banking, J.P. Morgan had a rule that the richest employee could not earn more than 20x the poorest. Compare that with today, where the difference is closer to 1000x. And the banks get away with this because they know that they can stick it to the taxpayer.

          • piero says

            I agree, of course, with your take on the banks plundering the economy. But the reason is not too much state control, but too little. The housing bubble should never have happened under a responsible government.

            To make my position clear:

            I’m not a communist. I ceased to be one a long time ago, much before the fall of the Berlin wall.

            I favour a mixed system where strategic sectors (water, electricity, fuel, health, social security, etc.) are controlled by the government. Not necessarily owned by the government, mind you, but with a strict set of regulations that are effectively imposed.

            I believe the Scandinavian democracies have reached the best compromise we can hope for given the current world situation.

            I do not expect nor want a system where complete equality reigns supreme. People are born with different genetic heritages, different cultural contexts, different abilities, different personalities. I do not advocate that a sociopath should be treated just as anybody else. What I do claim, however, is that nobody deserves to be deprived of the basic stuff needed to lead a meaningful life. Yes, even sociopaths can ascribe some meaning to their lives.

            But I cannot accept wage differentials of 1 to 10,000. Nothing can account for that. No human being can possibly claim to be worth 10,000 times as much as another. Besides, the top earners are mostly CEOs, not those who actually push technology forward. Much has been written about Steve Jobs recently; but without a team of talented designers, marketing specialists and engineers, Job’s ideas would have remained forever at the stage of a pipe dream. Yet they probably earned 1/100 of what Jobs made.

            I hope we agree on this: the current system allows for egregious injustice. The poor guy who owes $1,000 to K-Mart is basically fucked; the obscenely rich guy who manages a bank that owes a trillion dollars gets scot-free, and may even get a substantial bonus. This is the result of a system that, in order to facilitate the accumulation of capital, gave corporations the same status as persons, so that none of its employees is actually responsible for anything. I hope you’d agree with me that that’s just not fair: a corporation does not have a family to feed, kids to send to school or college, etc. To me, having a debt is a huge problem; to a corporation, it’s just a matter of writing numbers on a balance sheet.

            There must be something better. Probably the “destruction of the bourgeois system” is not it, but then what is? This is not a rhetorical question; I’m genuinely looking for an answer.

  13. ... says

    Ah, Piero, it appears I owe you an apology for my earlier tone. I know exactly where you’re coming from.

    I used to be to the left of the Communist Party, as I’ve said. At the time, Chile had a democratically elected socialist government, and the Communist Party was part of the coalition in power. My motivation was the outrage at the sight of starving children. I thought that was a crime against humanity, and realized that the rich and powerful would never relinquish their privileges unless forced to.

    I come from the same background. I grew up in Africa and saw the most grotesque poverty imaginable, and was a Marxist in those days. I would not take back any of the reasons I took that position, and I still believe in a better world; I think that we could eliminate the ancient scourges of poverty and disease in a generation, if we would only get serious.

    Yet I am Communism’s passionate foe, and I was unconvinced in the following manner. I looked at Hong Kong under Copperwaith and compared it to China under Mao. And at North Korea versus South Korea. And, in the closest thing that social science has ever seen to a controlled experiment, the states of East and West Berlin.

    Everywhere I looked, I found the same thing. Economic liberty means wealth. Economic repression means poverty.

    And then I thought of another thing. The number of genuinely wicked people in the world is miniscule. You know that from your own experience, I’m sure. Yet – why does it look like they keep winning? How is it that a tiny minority of exploiters and tyrants keeps winning against mankind when they are outnumberd a thousand to one?

    The answer is trickery. The reason we keep having Maos, Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots is not because of human wickedness – the disgusting and contemptible attitude of communists that man is too depraved to make their system work – but because they succeed in using our best emotions. They rely on our hatred of oppression and suffering, and on our sense of benevolence and justice, and twist them.

    Let me give you a practical, solid example. How did bastards like Kissinger and Nixon get away with what they pulled on Chile? Under the rubric of anti-communism – and remember, that’s not an ignoble motive. People’s natural hatred of slavery, of the horror-states built by the Communists was used by men like Kissinger to give cover to their own evil.

    By the by, how anti-Communist was Kissinger? Well, he greenlighted Yahya Khan’s genocide in Bangladesh so that Nixon could have a photo-op with Mao.

    To be continued…

    • piero says

      Also, Nixon had a strategic interest in establishing links with China. At the time, China was not a threat to the US, but its relationship withe URSS were strained. By supporting China, Nixon effectively opened another front in the cold war, and forced the Soviets to waste a lot of military personnel and materiel guarding the Chinese border.

      The US has never really had an ideologically-driven government; their main preoccupations have always been pragmatic. Otherwise, how could you explain their current love affair with Saudi Arabia, one of the most despicably Islamist regimes, and homeland to most of the 9/11 terrorists? How can you explain their support for fascist regimes in Latin America, after they had fought a war on Mussolini and Hitler? How can you explain that Werner Von Braun, the scientist behind the V2 that bombarded London, instead of being tried as a war criminal and hanged, was brought to the US and put in charge of the US space programme? Convenience trumps convictions everytime.

      • ... says

        Piero,

        I’m afraid I don’t have that much time to reply in full at the moment; I would just like to note at this point that I am in no sense, shape, or form, a defender of American foreign policy. I’ve written extensively on this, about how it has been a betrayal of both those struggling for freedom abroad and of the principles of the US founding.

        I’m very glad that we’re basically on the same page.

  14. ... says

    This pattern repeats itself everywhere. Think of the Russian revolution – hatred of the feudal and brutal regime of the Tsars lead to the institution of something much, much worse. And a hatred of that tyranny lead people to endorse things such as the vicious and anti-semitic Russian orthodox church.

    On and on it goes. Let me take an example very dear to my heart, the bloody and lousy racket of foreign aid. Now, I’m sure you think “How can one be against that? Have you seen the poverty and misery of people in the poor parts of the world?” Oh, indeed I have. Yet, most of the money given doesn’t get to them, does it? It’s sluiced into tyrants’ bank accounts, or used to underwrite political oppression, or pay for killers. That’s even true about the most basic and you would think, beneficial things. Trucks sent with food aid have been seized and the food dumped in order to use the trucks to forcibly “resettle” people.

    That’s one side. Now here comes the way worse one: anti-globilized exploitation. Many parts of the poor world are very good indeed at growing food. They’ve got an agrarian economy. But things like the US farmers lobby – and, remember, we’re talking massive agribusiness concerns here – shovel political money to the government to get big, fat bailout packages and subsidies and to make sure that there are import barriers that prevent “unfair foreign competition”. What chance do, say, Tanzanian farmers have against something like that?

    Oh, and did I mention this mess goes so far as the US government buying and burning wheat to keep prices high?

    So think of what this is: a system by which the workers, the producers in both the rich and the poor world are drained and exploited for the benefit of corrupt megacorporations, slimy politicos in government, and third world despots. Brecht couldn’t have written something this grotesque.

    And it’s all done by counting on your – and my – sense of decency and justice.

    That is one thing I would abolish tomorrow if I could.

    To be continued below

  15. ... says

    Why can’t the US have decent healthcare? Well, what happened was that Hillary Clinton ran this big campaing against “insurance companies” and wanted a system of “fair and managed competition” – managed by her, of course. What she didn’t bother mention is that her campaign was bankrolled by the five biggest US giants who used it as a stick to wipe out all the smaller providers who were better at catering to local communities.

    Why the hell did we have all those sub-prime loans? Just from a sheer economic perspective, what benefit is there in forcing loans on people who cannot ever repay them? Look up the “Clinton Community Reinvestment Act” – the banks were mandated to do so, they then sold this bullshit off as quick as they could, and got their bailouts when it all blew sky high.

    Or what about the destruction of the grammar schools in the UK? Every study on this has shown that it has gutted social mobility, and no one asks why the Tories have never reinstated them. It’s the real class issue; the advance of state power mandates the creation of a status system.

    Have you ever noticed that, very often, long established businesses, and second and third generation heirs are happy to push for higher taxes and controls? They do this because they know that they can soak the cost, while the young and poor and ambitious will be kept down, crushed under those burdens.

    On and on and on it goes.

    I could reel off example after example. But you should see the basic pattern. Look more closely at the situation whenever you hear someone talking about “sacrifice” or “the greater good” or whatever it is. You will see something evil and ugly hiding under the words.

  16. ... says

    Penultimate post,

    This is where I disagree with you:

    But I cannot accept wage differentials of 1 to 10,000.

    Look, let us return to the case of the farmers in Tanzania. The average wage there is something like thirty US cents a day. Are they better off if their bosses only earn 3 dollars a day than they would be if they could make thirty dollars a day working for someone who made three thousand? Wouldn’t they be much, much better off if they earned three hundred a day, even if it meant working for someone who make three hundred thousand a day?

    In the difference between poverty and wealth, the problem is the poverty, not the difference.

    Imagine you got really, seriously rich. It’d be great, wouldn’t it? It’d be good for you, good for your family and friends. You do amazing stuff and donate to worthwhile causes and have options you never had before.

    So if your wealth is good, why would mine be bad? Or the guy down the street? Wealth is good. Money is the principle way that most people on this earth can get freedom. Exploitation can be fought, education pursued, communities defended and enriched. Even if some get richer, even much richer, than others, it’s a worthwhile price to pay for the abolition of poverty.

    Yet the point is moot. The divide between rich and poor – as measured by things such as infant mortality, average life expectancy and so on – closes the more free an economy is. In the nineteenth century in America there used to be this slogan: Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. They don’t say that so much anymore, and the reason is the one I’ve already outlined. Compare this with the state of the world in the controlled economies, where you have a few people like Namazie living high on the hog, and the rest reduced to abysmal misery.

  17. ... says

    Final post:

    There must be something better. Probably the “destruction of the bourgeois system” is not it, but then what is? This is not a rhetorical question; I’m genuinely looking for an answer.

    Here is mine: Capitalist Internationalism

    Let me go back to the racket I mentioned earlier. Whom do I have more in common with? The guy in Tanzania who works sunup to sundown to grow food that I can buy in my supermarket to eat, or the bastard who demands that farmer pay him for the privilege of not having his crops destroyed? Or the bastard in my government who uses my money to pay the other bastard to exploit that producer?

    Capitalist internationalism. Recognize that we live in a globalized economy and that means we will damn well stick up for the rights of our productive brothers and sisters no matter where they are. Make it clear that, when they fight for their freedom, they have allies around the world who will stand with them. And not only is that moral, it’s also profitable. Think back to the farm-subsidies fiasco: kill that, and you and I get cheaper food, and the producers around the world get paid better and can move up in life. Who gets screwed? Heads of the corrupt agribusinesses and the parasites in our governments.

    That’d make your morning cereal taste a bit better, don’t you think?

    To slightly adapt a good, old-left slogan “Nothing is going to change until white people and black people realize they have more in common with each other than with ruling people”.

    I only ever buy the fairtrade option. If I buy some jewelry for my beloved, I make damn sure it’s non-conflict. And I do my level best to boycott any company that is engaged in funny business with any government. And you know what the funny thing is? Many, many people I know do the same thing and they didn’t even need to be asked or told!

    Remember what I said at the start? The evil and wicked are an incompetent minority, less than a thousandth of mankind.

    We really do have a chance, this century, to wipe out the scourge of gross, material deprivation and political oppression. All that’s necessary is to discard the lies and deceptions that have trapped humanity for so long.

    • piero says

      Thank you for your thorough and courteous reply.

      There’s quite a lot in it to reflect upon, but I must say I agree with the gist of your argument. I do, however, disagree with you on the following:

      Compare this with the state of the world in the controlled economies, where you have a few people like Namazie living high on the hog, and the rest reduced to abysmal misery

      I don’t think you have any grounds to accuse Maryam of being thirsty for power and privilege. In my opinion, if ever there was a communist government in Iran, Maryam would be one of the first guests of their gulags.

      In the difference between poverty and wealth, the problem is the poverty, not the difference.

      Probably true in a certain restricted range; but when corporations enter the billion dollar zone, it’s a whole new game. Now we are talking about power, not merely living standards. Corporations such as Goldman-Sachs, General Motors, BP, etc. can hold a country ransom. Their annual income is greater that several countries’ GDP, including mine. It’s the same situation we face with the war on drugs: it cannot be won, because the cartels have enormous sums of money at their disposal. If you are a cop, and you are faced with the choice of accepting a bribe and close an eye or have your family murdered, what would you choose? Drugs will never be legalized, either, not because of medical or moral reasons, but because representatives have a business interest in keeping them illegal.

      So you see, the accumulation of capital to such extremes makes a mockery of democracy.

      Concerning capital internationalism, it could work, I suppose, but it won’t happen, for the reasons already mentioned: the agribusiness lobby is just too powerful. Remember that they managed to get subsidies in order to produce ethanol from corn, one of the most stupid and wasteful schemes ever devised.

      Anyway, whatever our disagreements may be, I’m glad we agree on the substance: this state of affairs cannot continue, because it is immoral and downright evil, if the word means anything. We need different points of view in order to propose a workable strategy, and I thank you for giving me food for thought. Just don’t aim your darts at Maryam, who is surely on our side.

  18. ... says

    I shall have to do this piecemeal, due to workload at the moment:

    Re:Namazie and whether or not she is “on our side”, vide the side advocating liberty, let the record state that I have gone to the bat time and again for hard leftists and pointed out to many other advocates of capitalism that they have played a heroic role in, e.g., tossing out Apartheid.

    However, the above crosses my line. It is an explicit and outright call for tyranny. If Namazie doesn’t want me to draw the obvious conclusions, it is up to her to give an answer that is a lot better than the evasive nonsense we have seen so far. Also, Namazie is not above casting around aspersions and making accusations on minimal evidence. So I’m not above exposing her to a little of the same.

    I could make the same argument about the EDL – in fact, I’ve had such arguments with members thereof.

    • piero says

      I’m not so sure. I made a comment about the unnecessarily messianic rhetoric of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran, and Maryam semmed to accept at least some of my criticisms.

      Look, when the Bible says “kill everything that breathes”, some Christians choose to interpret it metaphorically, and some Christians choose to interpret it literally. Similarly, some Communists will interpret “the destruction of the bourgeoisie” as an abstract concept, meaning the replacement of the current power system by something else; some will interpret it as putting as many members of the bourgeoisie against the wall as possible. I cannot imagine Maryam condoning wholesale massacres. I do, however, think she might be instrumental in bringing about a thoroughly tyrannical regime, and she will probably be one of its first victims.

      In summary, I think Maryam is wrong, but she is certainly not evil. Besides, what are the chances of a communist revolution happening in Iran? Indistinguishable from zero, I should think. Meanwhile, Maryam will continue to fight the Islamists, which seems to me a worthwhile endeavour.

      • frankboyd says

        Final point, quickly, to make sure that I am not misunderstood. I may be deeply suspicious of Namazie’s aims, and I don’t particularly like her. But I respect her. She’s certainly the bravest poster on these communities, and one of the few with a real fight in her.

        In the struggle for women’s emancipation, I will support Namazie to the hilt. If anyone tries to shut her up, they will have to face me first.

        That does not mean that I am blind to the endpoint of her professed beliefs.

  19. frankboyd says

    Piero,

    I think that we shall have to agree to disagree about Namazie. If she wishes me and many like me to think differently of her, she will have to disavow those comments and put a lot of clear blue water between herself and that tyrannical side. And, as I have said, she is not the habit of granting that presumption of innocence to others, and is very quick to cast aspersions against people who are genuinely on our side.

    But I should like to turn to something more cheerful, namely this:

    Concerning capital internationalism, it could work, I suppose, but it won’t happen, for the reasons already mentioned: the agribusiness lobby is just too powerful. Remember that they managed to get subsidies in order to produce ethanol from corn, one of the most stupid and wasteful schemes ever devised.

    Perhaps – but the truth is that it has never really been tried before now. When was the last time you heard someone stand up and say “If we do not dismantle this system of subsidies and trade barriers we are guilty of the most grotesque exploitation of the poor of the world, and of the common man in our own country”? Doesn’t get said much, does it? That is because people, broadly speaking, think they have a choice between the left and its fondness for tyranny and power worship, and the right and its willingness to go along with exploitation and pragmatism.

    What if people are presented with a genuine alternative?

    And what if that alternative provably and demonstrably helps them? Think of this: unlike the socialists and communists who demanded ever greater sacrifice, while dragging man ever further into hell, each step along this path yields direct, provable, bankable, demonstrable improvements for everyone? And yields those right away, in the form of more cash in the bank, and a better living standard?

    Think about how many would rally to that.

    The agribusiness lobby is not that powerful; that is why it needs deceit. The ethanol racket was driven by the damn environmentalists. Remember, there will be many, many businesses who have a vested interest in seeing the lobby’s power broken. They will support such a movement. They might not be too happy when it’s time for their protections to be dismantled, but that’s their problem. It’ll be too late for that by then.

    It can be done. A worthwhile future can be won. All that is necessary is for enough people to wake up and see through the lies.

  20. ... says

    Oh, for crying out loud…

    Urk, sorry about this Piero, I was looking up another poster here, and I accidentally copied the name into the “Name” field. I didn’t notice that until it was too late. I am sorry about that.

  21. piero says

    …:

    I agree with your intentions. It should be possible to contruct a system where the private sector and the state collaborate in an efficient way in order to eliminate the most egregious injustices. That scheme was tried one in Chile: the economy was separated into three areas: private, state-owned and social, which effectively meant private enterprises under state regulation (mostly strategic sectors such as energy and transport).

    Guess what? That was too far left for Nixon. And you know the rest.

    I don’t know how many people would support your proposal. People usually support schemes that directly benefit them through lower prices, and don’t give a damn about anything else. They are happy if they can get a Chinese dishwasher for a third of the price of an American one. Never mind that Chinese labourers get paid 1/20 of their American counterparts.

    • ... says

      Piero,

      Maybe so, maybe so. But it’s worth trying, no? And even if it has only partial success, it’ll be worth it. It’ll be worth it for you and me and for those who are helped. Isn’t it worth at least a try?

      I don’t know how many people would support your proposal. People usually support schemes that directly benefit them through lower prices, and don’t give a damn about anything else.

      That’s what I said; and that is what will win this, in the long run.

      As regards the low wages of the Chinese immigrant, they are roughly equivalent to that American ones would have paid not that long ago. The answer to that is industrialisation; and that can be done much faster nowadays. In the meantime, the best thing you and I can do is to insist on decent immigration laws – I have written extensively on the disgraceful exploitation of Asylum seekers in the UK – and both support Union rights when they are proper and stand against any sort of racketeering against the poor by unions also (something that makes me sick is to see unions in Britain railing against “immigrants taking our jobs” – that’s not proletarian internationalism, that’s rich workers ganging up on poor workers).

      There are many problems which cannot be solved. But we can solve the spectacle of grotesque, abject poverty.

      • piero says

        I wasn’t referring to Chinese immigrants, but to Chinese workers in China who get paid a pittance for the goods they manufacture.

        But I must say I actually agree with your views. Maybe I’m just too cynical, or maybe I’m committing the error of thinking that a amall improvement is no improvement at all.

        However, we both know that even moderate change won’t come from the major parties. Where from, then?

        • ... says

          Well, the first thing I would say is: do not look to political leadership. There isn’t any future there. We have to do this ourselves.

          Now what you and I can do, there are a number of things. To use a phrase I absolutely detest, one thing that each of us can do is “raise awareness”. That is, since I’m an unashamed defender of capitalism, I can talk to a lot of rightists and conservatives. I typically say to them, “Look, if we’re serious about the free market, then we have to insist on holding corrupt corporations to account. And we have to be serious about doing the same with nations; there are a great many people around the world who deserve to have their rights protected, and they’re naturally on our side”. I can make the case calling for prosecutions of men like Kissinger and so on, and, when I’m talking with American conservatives, I can point out that there are many, many who admire the American system while despising what has been done by men in charge of it. Mandela, for one. Since you speak with lefties – I’m assuming from previous stuff – you could try to point out that the main reason for poverty isn’t a lack of welfare or aid, but the crony-statist system. And that the right cannot really protest when one demands that. I mean, if one is calling for a dismantling of the trade barriers and subsidy system, what’s the right going to say? “No, we still need to have french bread lines”.

          The point is to get to a cultural consensus that drags the main political idiots in the right direction, whether they like it or not. A parallel would be women’s suffrage. There’s a joke about women getting the vote: “What did they think they were missing out on?” But the point is that, even when the choice at election time is meagre, the existence of women’s suffrage redefined the debate.

          Then there’s the matter of what people can do alone. I mean, Norman Borlaug managed to save one billion lives just using established technology. Most of us will be unable to meet that level, but so what? There’s always something we can do.

          It’s really been a pleasure having this chat. :-)

  22. ... says

    If you can drop me a contact email address, we might continue this at various intervals. In the meantime, the book that well repays study is Isbaell Paterson’s The God of the Machine, in particular in its discussion of the difference between status societies and contract societies, and of the economy as energy circuit. For a more humorous look at matters, P.J. O’Rourke (the man’s something of a clown generally, but in this book he’s very good) Eat the Rich, especially the final chapter.

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