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!

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Successful pickets of RBS and NatWest

#BankXitComrades from Red Youth helped to organise CPGB-ML pickets in London and Birmingham yesterday in protest of attempts by NatWest bank to shut the account of broadcaster Russia Today. Such a move is not only a serious infringement on the limited press freedoms which exist in bourgeois society, it is also part and parcel of the propaganda war being waged against Russia in preparation of further armed conflict.

The wars that have been waged around the world by British and US imperialism are not justifable wars – they are wars for domination, for profit, and for oil. The growing popularity of RT poses a threat to the continued campaign to paint Russia as a threat to peace. The BBC and the corporate media are constantly attempting to prepare British people for a military confrontation with Russia, which would be catastrophic for British workers. We must not allow such blatant bias and propaganda to go unchallenged, and we must fight the interference of NatWest in the affairs of Russia Today which operates legally and fairly in the UK.

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Korea: no game! Tensions escalate as USA and South Korea threaten war with the North

USA-ROK joint exercises
The USA and South Korea stage regular military exercises on the DPRK’s border

In the wake of joint military exercises (Foal Eagle and Ulchi Freedom-Guardian) staged by the United States of America and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) on the border of the DPR Korea (North Korea), clearly designed to threaten and sabotage any peace talks, the South has resumed broadcasting propaganda across the demilitarised zone.

Park Geun-hye
South Korean President Park Geun-hye (daughter of Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a military coup)

Understandably this bizarre approach to “building trust” between the Koreas by President Park Geun-hye has not been taken lightly in the North.

South Korean demands that the DPRK disarm, anti-DPRK propaganda, and ‘defensive’ military drills with the USA (whose nearest border is some 7400km away) mirrors common tactics of provocation and psychological military operations that prelude the invasion of sovereign nations – and show who is really the aggressor in the current ‘stand-off’.

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J. V. Stalin’s Foundations of Leninism republished and on sale for May 1st!

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Having republished J. V. Stalin’s classic pamphlet Foundations of Leninism the CPGB-ML has organised a print run of The History of the CPSU(b) – Short Course. These books are now on sale via the party ebay account. Candidate and full-members of the CPGB-ML and Red Youth are requested to order their copies through sales@cpgb-ml.org where they will be due a discount. All others who wish to purchase the books may do so via ebay. Prices:

History of the CPSU(b) – £10 (£5 to members) + p&p

Foundations of Leninism – £5 (£3 to members) + p&p

Copies will also be on sale from the CPGB-ML contingent at this years May Day demonstration which assembles in Clerkenwell, London at 12noon. Check out http://www.londonmayday.org/ for more details. And comrades can also pick up a copy from the party school on May 2nd in Southall.

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Lets learn the true history of the GDR!

The CPGB-ML encourages all it’s branches and groups to engage in study and to learn from the study each  one of us undertakes in the spirit of the Red Youth motto each one, teach one! Across the country our members make presentations to modest sized meetings of Party comrades, Proletarian subscribers and friends to open up discussion about the history of our movement and the lessons for today. Unlike the Troto-revisionist parties, we have no “big-guns” on full time salaries who tour the country promoting their latest academic work on some obscure philosophical issue. Our comrades are all encouraged to be free-thinkers, enquring and studious and to work together to come to a Marxist understanding on important issues which have practical implications for our work today. Many comrades are enrolled on a cadre development programme which guides their study in the basics of Marxism-Leninism and gives them practical support in learning to make presentations and lead study circles.

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