The revolutionary implications of the decline of American capitalism Part 1

Dandelion Salad

By Barry Grey
http://www.wsws.org
13 October 2008

WSWS National Editor Barry Grey delivered the following report to the Founding Congress of the Socialist Equality Party on August 9, 2008. (See “Socialist Equality Party holds founding Congress”) We are posting the first part of the report today and the second part will be posted on October 14.

The WSWS had published two documents adopted by the Congress: “The Socialist Equality Party Statement of Principles” and the “Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party.”

To find out more about how to join the SEP, contact us here.

This congress represents an historic advance for the world Trotskyist movement. It expresses at the most fundamental level the development of the political consciousness of the working class itself. The Socialist Equality Party is being founded on the firmest and most principled theoretical and political foundations. The documents adopted by the congress—“The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party” and the SEP “Statement of Principles,” establish the continuity of the SEP and the International Committee of the Fourth International with the entire historical struggle for Marxism. These statements sum up all of the basic political and theoretical lessons extracted from the strategic experiences of the international working class and the socialist movement over more than a century.

Such a milestone in the development of the revolutionary socialist movement must have deep objective roots in the crisis of American and world capitalism.

[…]

via The revolutionary implications of the decline of American capitalism–Part 1

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see

Anatomy of the American Financial Crisis: How It is Turning into a Worldwide Crisis

The Birth of the Global Dictatorship

The Capitalist Shakedown By William Bowles

Capitalism Hits the Fan

The panic of 2008 by Lee Sustar

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

Dandelion Salad

By Barry Grey
http://www.wsws.org
16 September 2008

The end of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the largest Wall Street investment banks, one week after the government takeover of the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, marks a new stage in the convulsive crisis of American capitalism.

On Monday, global markets fell sharply in a sign of mounting panic and doubt over the stability of the entire US banking system. Throughout Europe stock markets plunged by as much as 4 percent.

The fall on Wall Street was even steeper, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 504 points, or 4.42 percent. There is every indication that the sell-off will intensify, with the full implications of the collapse of the two Wall Street banks as yet far from clear.

The immediate concern is the fate of American International Group (AIG), the world’s largest insurance company, and Washington Mutual, the largest savings and loan bank in the US, both of which are teetering on bankruptcy.

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism.

***

More US corporate bailouts on the way

By Barry Grey
http://www.wsws.org
16 September 2008

The US government, brushing aside its constant invocations of “private enterprise,” has dispensed hundreds of billions of dollars in cheap loans to prop up the banks. Last March, the Federal Reserve Board paid JP Morgan Chase $29 billion to take over the investment bank Bear Stearns when Bear was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

Only a week ago, the US Treasury committed at least $200 billion in taxpayer funds in the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—a move that makes the government responsible for the two companies’ combined $5.3 trillion in mortgage liabilities.

The claims that the government, in allowing Lehman Brothers to collapse, has “drawn the line” on further taxpayer bailouts of failing corporations are false. The government decided to let Lehman fail, in part, to conserve the dwindling funds at the disposal of the Federal Reserve and calibrate hand-outs from the Treasury—which faces record budget and trade deficits and a soaring national debt—to be used to rescue more strategic companies.

More US corporate bailouts on the way.

see

Lehman, Bear, Freddie, Fannie: What Does It All Mean??? by Josh Sidman

Capital Punishment: Lehman on its way to the Gallows? By Mike Whitney

Marc Faber about Lehman Brothers bankruptcy

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close + Nouriel Roubini: If Lehman collapses expect a run

Merrill now in shorts’ sights as Lehman crumbles

“Change” Part I: Has the West Reached Its Limits? by Richard C. Cook

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Senate report on Bush war lies: Another cover-up of war crimes

Dandelion Salad

By Barry Grey
http://www.wsws.org
7 June 2008

The Senate Intelligence Committee report issued Thursday on the Bush administration’s use of phony intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq is yet another exercise in damage control, aimed at concealing the full scope of the criminal conspiracy to drag the American people into a war of aggression.

The 170-page report was released a full five years after the Senate committee began its investigation into prewar intelligence claims. While acknowledging the well-established fact that Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, then-National Security Adviser and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and other top aides knowingly misled American and world public opinion, it minimizes the scale of this deception and draws no conclusions about its implications for democratic rights in the United States.

The Senate report, endorsed by all eight Democrats on the committee and two Republicans, proposes no follow-up investigations or sanctions against Bush and company. Even before the Democrats took control of Congress following the Republican rout in the 2006 midterm elections, Democratic congressional leaders ruled out any effort to impeach Bush, Cheney, or any of the other officials involved in the war plot.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Neocons Perle, Feith, Libby and others pushed for Iraq War

Bill Moyers Journal: The Media, Mcclellan And The War

War Crime Sold By Neocon Deception, IMPEACH NOW!

US Issues Threat to Iraq’s $50bn Foreign Reserves in Military Deal

Amnesty International denounces war crimes by US-backed forces in Somalia

Dandelion Salad

By Barry Grey
http://www.wsws.org
8 May 2008

Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organization, issued a report Tuesday documenting widespread atrocities against Somali civilians by Ethiopian occupation forces and troops of the US-backed Somali government.

The report, entitled “Routinely Targeted: Attacks on Civilians in Somalia,” presents a harrowing picture of a humanitarian disaster compounded by terror against the civilian population in the form of summary executions, torture, rape and arbitrary detention.

While the report says all sides in the civil war have carried out crimes against civilians, it places greatest emphasis on the actions of forces armed, financed and backed militarily and politically by the United States—the Ethiopian military and the Transitional Federal Government. (TFG).

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Willing Executioners: America’s Bipartisan Atrocity Deepens in Somalia by Chris Floyd

I know no one cares about Somalia by Chris Floyd

Riz Khan: Somalia: Forgotten war? (vids)

Somalia: a victim of Bush’s recklessness

90,000 child refugees could die in Somalia (video)

In Texas debate, Obama counters Clinton attack by asserting his readiness to use military force

Dandelion Salad

by Barry Grey
Global Research, February 22, 2008
WSWS.org

Thursday’s televised debate in Texas between the Democratic presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, like all such events, was directed at two basic audiences—the voting public and the corporate-financial elite that controls both major US parties.

The debates are part of the process by which the ruling elite sizes up and vets the top personnel who are to administer its affairs for the next four or eight years.

While both candidates indulged in populist rhetoric aimed at winning votes in the crucial March 4 primary elections in Texas and Ohio, they sought to reassure the corporate and military establishment of their readiness to defend, by both diplomacy and military force, the global interests of American imperialism.

The debate, held at the University of Texas in Austin and broadcast by CNN, took place in the context of a foundering Clinton campaign that desperately needs victories in Texas and Ohio, following eleven straight Obama primary wins since the “Super Tuesday” contests on February 5. The latest Obama victory came the day of the debate, when he won the primary for Americans living abroad with 65 percent of the vote.

According to some estimates, Obama currently has a lead of 150 delegates over Clinton, a margin that could be overcome only by Clinton securing decisive victories in the major remaining primaries and winning most of the unelected superdelegates to this August’s Democratic National Convention.

Polls released on Thursday reported that Clinton’s lead in Texas had evaporated to the point of a statistical dead heat (48 percent for Clinton to 47 percent for Obama), while her double-digit advantage in Ohio had shrunk to a 7-point lead (50 percent to 43 percent).

There are indications that the Clinton campaign is considering conceding the race to Obama should the New York senator fail to win both states, with 334 delegates between them, on March 4. On Wednesday, Bill Clinton, campaigning for his wife in Texas, told his audience that she could not win the nomination if she failed to win the two major primaries next month. Vermont and Rhode Island also hold primary contests on March 4.

When asked in Thursday’s debate whether she thought the nomination should be decided by the superdelegates, Clinton said, “I think that will sort itself out… We will have a nominee, and we will have a unified Democratic Party…”

Since Obama’s 17-point victory over Clinton in the Wisconsin primary last Tuesday, Clinton has sought to challenge the readiness of the first-term senator from Illinois to assume the role of “commander in chief,” suggesting that he lacks both the experience and the toughness to pursue US interests internationally with sufficient ruthlessness.

In what was billed as a major policy speech, given at New York’s Hunter College on Wednesday, Clinton declared that the American people “need a president ready on Day One to be the commander in chief of the United States military.”

She continued: “One of us is ready to be commander in chief in a dangerous world. Everyday around the world, situations arise that present new threats and new opportunities—situations like the change of leadership in Cuba and the elections in Pakistan. I’ve served on the Senate Armed Services Committee; I’ve represented you and our country in more than 80 countries around the world. I’ve worked with leaders. I’ve stood up to the Chinese government on women’s rights and human rights.”

The crucial point in Thursday’s Texas debate came when one of the moderators, Jorge Ramos, asked Clinton directly whether she was suggesting that Obama lacked the experience to be commander in chief.

Clinton dodged a direct reply, but reiterated her Hunter College remarks, adding that she was “one of the leaders in the Congress on behalf of homeland security” and including in her list of international crises Kosovo’s declaration of independence and the attack by Serbian protesters on the US embassy in Belgrade. In relation to the latter, she issued an implicit threat, saying she “would be moving very aggressively to hold the Serbian government responsible with their security forces to protect our embassy.”

Obama seized the opportunity to assert his credentials as the future commander in chief and leader of American imperialism. “I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I was prepared to be commander in chief,” he declared. “And my number one job as president will be to keep the American people safe. And I will do whatever is required to accomplish that, and I will not hesitate to act against those that would do America harm. Now, that involves maintaining the strongest military on earth…”

This response, no doubt prepared in advance, was calculated to reassure the ruling elite that his opposition to the US invasion of Iraq and his call for more flexible diplomacy are entirely from the standpoint of the defense of the interests of American imperialism. He underscored this point by attacking Clinton’s vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq as a blunder on “the single most important foreign policy decision of this generation,” mainly because it “diverted attention from Afghanistan” and resulted in the strengthening of Al Qaeda.

To emphasize his support for the so-called “war on terror,” Obama began his opening remarks by declaring that “our nation is at war.”

Both candidates continued to pose as opponents of the war in Iraq, and were not challenged by the questioners on their repeated votes to fund the US occupation and their earlier pledges to keep thousands of “non-combat” troops in Iraq for an indefinite period.

On another foreign policy issue, the US response to Castro’s retirement, Obama reiterated his earlier statements that he would be willing to meet as president with the leaders of countries with which the US is at odds. He said he would be prepared to meet with the putative new Cuban leader, Raoul Castro, without preconditions, while Clinton insisted that the Cuban regime would first have to meet certain benchmarks, including releasing political prisoners and “opening up the economy.”

Defending his tactical difference with Clinton, Obama said, “I do think this is important, precisely because the Bush administration has done so much damage to American foreign relations that the president should take a more active role in diplomacy than might have been true 20 or 30 years ago.”

Here Obama was speaking for those forces within the US foreign policy establishment who have swung behind his campaign because they see him as a figure who could help change the image of the United States around the world, badly damaged by the policies of the Bush administration, reverse Washington’s isolation and declining political and diplomatic influence, and promote US interests with a more judicious mixture of diplomacy and military force.

On domestic issues, both candidates engaged in demagogic appeals to the deep-seated social grievances of working people, with particular emphasis on immigrants. Texas has a large Mexican-American population that could provide the decisive margin in the upcoming primary election.

When it came to specific proposals, however, neither went beyond health care proposals that left untouched the domination of the insurance and pharmaceutical giants, pledges to roll back Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and modest tax cuts and rebates for working people. Obama, for example, boasted of his plan to offset payroll taxes for people earning less than $75,000, which would mean “a thousand extra dollars in the pockets of ordinary Americans.”

Clinton repeated her call for a 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures and a five-year freeze on mortgage interest rate increases.

None of these proposals, even assuming the highly unlikely eventuality of their being enacted into law, would begin to address the social crisis engulfing tens of millions of American families or reverse the immense growth of economic inequality in the US.

Clinton made a point of pledging to close the massive US budget deficit and impose a regime of “fiscal responsibility,” without explaining how such austerity policies could be reconciled with her supposed commitment to progressive social change.

Obama insisted at one and the same time that “lobbyists and special interests have a stranglehold on the agenda in Washington,” and that the solution is to end partisan bickering by “bridging differences” and “bringing the country together.” How the American people can end the grip of corporate interests by uniting with their political representatives, he did not say.

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For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Barry Grey, WSWS.org, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8150

see
Hillary Clinton vs Barack Obama Texas Debate

Keith Olbermann Hillary vs Obama Debate Recap Quickie

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White House rebuffs congressional subpoenas, escalating confrontation over attorney purge and domestic spying by Barry Grey

Dandelion Salad

by Barry Grey

Global Research, July 1, 2007

World Socialist Web Site

Developments over the past two days have intensified the confrontation between the Bush White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress over the administration’s domestic spying operations and its politically motivated ouster of nine US attorneys.

On Thursday, the White House refused to comply with subpoenas issued June 13 by the House and Senate judiciary committees demanding that it turn over documents concerning its involvement in the 2006 purge of federal prosecutors.

Invoking executive privilege, White House Counsel Fred Fielding sent letters to the Democratic chairmen of the two committees that have been investigating the firings for the past five months, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, saying the documents would not be furnished, and that two former senior White House aides ordered to testify before the committees would not appear.

Conyers had called on Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on July 12. Leahy had ordered Sara Taylor, until recently Bush’s political director and deputy to White House political strategist Karl Rove, to appear before the Senate committee on July 11. Thursday was the deadline set by the subpoenas for the White House to turn over the requested documents.

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