Basics of Political Economy – A talk by Harpal Brar, Birmingham 1996

Red Youth reproduce on Proletarian Radio this short but informative talk given by comrade Harpal Brar at a meeting of British workers and communists in 1996 on the topic of political economy. We do so to aid the study of political economy which is ongoing around the country in red youth and CPGB-ML study groups at the moment.

The crises of 1997 and 2001 brought untold misery to millions of people who suffer in the ‘real’ capitalist economy – the economy of factory closures, foreclosed mortgages and pension fund losses. There is no doubt that the present crisis is the most acute and destructive in the history of capitalism.

One need but consider the fate of young working-class couples who have just scrambled onto the bottom rung of the housing ladder, only to have their feet kicked out from under them by negative equity. Or consider those workers who have seen their final salary pensions melt before their eyes, after the two previous outbreaks of market turmoil convinced the bourgeoisie that this was yet another aspect of ‘welfare capitalism’ that needed ditching in the battle to protect their profits.

If capitalism cannot resurrect demand through building the debt mountain higher, it must instead try to tackle the other end of the overproduction crisis: it must trash the very productive forces it has brought into being in the first place, thus revealing itself as the real enemy of all social progress.

However, making people homeless, stealing their jobs, robbing their pensions and imposing below-inflation wage deals, whilst perhaps saving the bourgeois hide for a while, can in the long run only stoke up yet worse crises of overproduction, as effective demand is further undermined by the further impoverishment of the masses.

Whether the lords of high finance can postpone for a few more years the decisive crash of the world financial system is beyond scientific prediction. What is clear however is that every ‘smart’ move capitalism makes to save itself from its own insoluble contradictions only succeeds in further tightening the noose of history around its throat.

Even in the midst of the miseries such crises inflict, let the proletariat rejoice in this knowledge and organise to overthrow this decadent, parasitic system once and for all!

Stalin and the USSR – myth and reality

“We have faced almost a century of all-out ideological war from the bourgeois camp and their petty-bourgeois agents. they are determined to neuter the revolutionary potential of the working-class, to erase the achievements of the people struggling and working for the benefit of the majority, and to obfuscate the path to socialism.”
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Britain’s Road to Revisionism

Below we publish a letter from a young comrade who had the opportunity to witness revisionism in action, as Rob Griffiths of the Communist Party of Britain was invited to speak at his school.

While it is disappointing that such a rank opportunist and arch revisionist was given the opportunity to speak, it is not surprising given that the decaying husk of the CPB simultaneously presents itself as the revolutionary party of the working class while also being devoid of any revolutionary content, effectively serving the ruling class.

Bob Griffiths
Bob Griffiths misleading the youth of Britain about what communism means

 

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Stalin’s significance today – Red Youth Corinne

Corinne from Red Youth and the CPGB-ML talks at the Februray 2016 annual general meeting of the Stalin Society in London. She asks – who was Stalin?

What role did he play in the formation of the world’s fist socialist country – the USSR – and the building and defence of socialism?

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Palestine Solidarity Campaign AGM 2016

Comrades from the CPGB-ML and Red Youth attended the Palestine Solidarity Campaign AGM 2016 on Saturday 23 January, joining hundreds of members from branches, affiliated trade unions, and other organisations.

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The annual report largely focused on the acheivements of the wider Palestine movement, including the impact of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement and lobbying MPs & Parliament. There was frustration that the British government is not seriously tackling the issue, but excitement that it had been raised frequently by members of the public and the PSC at hustings, and contacting MPs and candidates directly, and that they had been able to organise fringe meetings at the Labour, Conservative, and SNP conferences.

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North Korean Ambassador Sings Russian Song on 98th Anniversary of the October Revolution!

Comrade Yongho Thae, from the Embassy of the DPRK (North Korea), speaks about the significance of the Great Socialist October Revolution, at the CPGB-ML’s meeting to celebrate its 98th Anniversary, held on Noveber 7th 2015 in Saklatvala Hall, Southall.

Comrade Thae talks about the significance of the October Revolution to all people who suffered colonial oppression and fought for national liberation. He recall’s the effect that the October Revolution, and the real practice of Socailsim in Russia, had on the leaders of the Chinese and Korean poeple, fighting for their countries’ national liberation.

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No Pasaran in Wigan!

On 19 September the National Front held a demonstration in Wigan against immigration and the recent refugee crisis. Prior to this demonstration their local organiser, Daniel Lewis, called for homosexuals to be gassed in response to the Manchester gay pride festival.

The National Front was met by counter-protesters from parties such as the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), Left Unity, SWP, and other organisations were present such as Hope Not Hate.

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Wigan Diggers Festival 2015: Revolutionary British History!

Wigan Diggers Festival March
Wigan Diggers Festival March

Red Youth and CPGB-ML attended the Wigan Diggers festival on Saturday, remembering another aspect of the people’s British history, rather than the bourgeois narratives that seek to erase the rich heritage of workers in this country and abroad.

"The Earth was made a common treasury for all"It is vital to revive the knowledge of our rebellious history and traditions in order to inform and enthuse our current working class struggle. Throughout the ages oppressed peoples have fought valiantly against their oppressors, and in victory or defeat they have left us a legacy we must continue!

The Wigan festival celebrates Gerrard Winstanley, from Wigan, and the True Levellers (known as the Diggers), a radical Protestant movement that sought to utilise common land for the benefit of the poorest elements of society, who could not survive without subsistence farming, at a time when food prices were exceptionally high. They arose during the civil war in the 17th century and presented perhaps the most radical ideology of their time.

Winstanley and the Diggers based their ideology on certain passages in the bible,  which is best summarised in one of their most memorable quotes: “the Earth was made a common treasury for all”. While it was not possible for them to have developed a socialist theory on the exploitation of the peasantry and labourers at the time, as neither the material conditions nor the schools of philosophy resulting from them existed at the time, it was a noble and notable diggers1proto-socialist movement based on a philosophy of primitive agrarian communism.

Ultimately, the Diggers drew the aggression of landowners and the government, with their communities and communal property coming under violent attack from landlords before being ordered off the land by the courts, with the threat of armed reprisal if they did not comply. While the rest of British society adapted to parliamentarianism and the development of the bourgeoisie, the True Leveller movement dissipated.

The Wigan Diggers festival is a fantastic celebration of working people’s history, and Red Youth and the CPGB-ML are proud to continue to support it.

Who Created the Refugee Crisis?

This Saturday a huge demonstration swept through the streets of London, with around 300,000 people marching from Marble Arch to Parliament Square to show solidarity with refugees, and to demand better treatment for asylum seekers in Britain and across the EU. The protesters were addressed at Parliament Square by Jeremy Corbyn, as his first official act as the newly elected Labour Party leader, proclaiming his support for the plight of the refugees.

Aylan Kurdi
The image of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi that sparked fiercer support for refugees trying to find safety in Europe

The conscience of the British people has been moved by the picture of the tragically drowned 3 year old Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, lying on a Turkish beach, along with his mother and brother, while the family was fleeing from the horrors being inflicted in Kobane by the terrorist ISIS organisation – spawned by Anglo-American imperialism in its attempts to overthrow Syria’s legitimate elected government headed by President Assad.

As the British people came to realise that these deaths were only the tip of an iceberg of death and suffering visited upon fleeing refugees, they petitioned the government in huge numbers to welcome refugees, and the British government has responded by promising to take in some 5,000 a year, though it was soon made clear that this grudging minimalist concession is to be curtailed in every way possible, with those admitted under the age of 18 to be deported as soon as they reach that age.

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Labour’s leadership election – #JezWeCan – Voting Corbyn without illusions? Nothing can make Labour a party of the working class.

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Ballots for the Labour Party leadership election were sent out on 14 August by post and voting ends on 10 September. An estimated 120,000 people have paid £3 in order to become ‘affiliated members’, and vote in the election, substantially increasing the party’s membership figures, which had been steadily eroding over the preceding years.

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Trade unions have been running concerted campaigns to register their members as voters, and to campaign among their membership for the election of Jeremy Corbyn, who announced his leadership bid after Milliband’s electoral rout, in the run-up to the substantial anti-austerity demonstrations held in London and across the country in June 2015.

All of which begs the question: if Jeremy Corbyn is elected to the leadership of the Labour Party, can he make it a party of the working class? If he becomes Prime minister, can his Labour Party lead Britain towards socialism and a fairer, more just and equitable society for British workers and help to shape a fairer and more peaceful world?

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