Из искры возгорится пламя – From a spark the fire will flare up, Alexander Odoevsky

Only one thing to do, say NO!

Wolfgang Borchert
Then There’s Only One Thing To Do! (1947)
Translated by Ryan Wilcox

You. Man at the machine and man in the workshop. If they order you
tomorrow to stop making water pipes and cook pots and start
making helmets and machine guns, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Girl behind the counter and girl at the office. If they order
you tomorrow to fill hand grenades and mount scopes on sniper rifles,
then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Factory owner. If they order you tomorrow, to sell gun powder
instead of talcum powder and cocoa, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Researcher in the laboratory. If they order you tomorrow, to
invent a new death to do away with old life, then there’s only one
thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Poet in your room. If they order you tomorrow not to sing
love songs, but songs of hate, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Doctor at the sick bed. If they order you tomorrow to certify
men as fit for war, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Minister in the pulpit. If they order you tomorrow to bless
murder and praise war as holy, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Captain on the steamer. If they order you tomorrow not to
transport wheat but cannons and tanks, then there’s only one
thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Pilot at the airfield. If they order you tomorrow to carry
bombs and incineraries over cities, then there’s only one thing to
do:
Say NO!
You. Tailor at your table. If they order you tomorrow to start
sewing uniforms, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Judge in your robe. If they order you tomorrow to report to
the military court, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Man at the train station. If tomorrow they order you to
give the signal for the ammunition and the troop trains to
depart, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO!
You. Man in the village and man in the city. If they come for
you tomorrow and with your induction papers, then there’s
only one thing to do:
Say NO!

You. Mother in Normandy and mother in the Ukraine, you, mother
in Frisco and London, you, on the banks of the Huang Ho and the
Mississippi, you, mother in Nepal and Hamburg and Cairo and Oslo –
mothers in all regions on earth, mothers all over the world, if
they order you tomorrow to bear children – nurses for military
hospitals and new soldiers for new battles, mothers all over the
world, then there’s only one thing to do:
Say NO! Mothers, say NO!

Because if you don’t say NO, if YOU don’t say no, mothers, then;

then:

In the noisy port cities, hazy with steam, the large groaning ships
will grow silent, and like titanic, mammoth corpses, filled with
water, they will lethargically totter against the lifeless, lonely,
algae-, seaweed-, and shell-covered walls of the docks, the body
that previously appeared so gleaming and threatening now reaking
like a foul fish cemetery, rotten, sickly and dead –

the streetcars will be senselessly bent and dented like dull,
glass-eyed birdcages and lie like petals beside the confused, steel
skeletons of the wires and tracks, behind rotten sheds with holes
in their roofs, in lost, crater-strewn streets –

a mud-gray, heavy, leaden silence will roll in, voracious
and growing in size, will establish itself in the schools and
universities and theaters, on sport fields and children’s playgrounds,
horrible and greedy and unstoppable –

the sunny, juicy grapes will spoil on the neglected slopes, the rice
will dry up in the desolate earth, the potatoes will freeze in the
plowed fields and the cows will stretch their dead, rigid legs into
the sky like upturned milking stools –

in the institutions, the ingenious inventions of the great physicians
will become sour, rot, mold into fungus –

the last sacks of flour, the last jars of strawberries, the pumpkins
and the cherry juice will spoil in the kitchens, chambers and cellars,
in the cold storage lockers and storage areas – the bread under the
upturned tables and on splintered plates will become green and the
melted butter will smell like soft soap, the grain on the fields will
have bent down to the earth alongside rusty plows like a defeated army,
and the smoking, brick chimneys, the food and smokestacks of the stamping
factories, covered by eternal grass, will crumble, crumble, crumble –

then the last human being, clueless with slashed intestines and
polluted lungs, will wander alone under the poisonous, glowing sun and
vacillating constellations, wander lonely among immense mass graves and
cold idols of the gigantic, concrete-block, deserted cities, the
last human being, scrawny, mad, blasphemous, complaining – and his
terrible complaint: WHY? will trickle away unheard into
the steppe, waft through the burst ruins and die out in the rubble of
churches, slap against inpenetratable bunkers, fall into pools of blood,
unheard, answerless, the last animal-like cry of the last animal human being –

all of this will come about, tomorrow, tomorrow perhaps, perhaps
already tonight, if – if – if – you don’t
say NO.

Poem was taken from WP blog, Antiwar literary and philosophical selections

 

 

“Clinton and Trump have only tactical differences”

Socialists are participating in the U.S elections as well: Only a complete overturning of capitalism can realize the tremendous potential of humanity

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Tulga Bugra Işik’s news,  from SoL international

Due to the choices of monopolistic system, imperialist-militarist state structure and anti-communism, only two parties and two candidates are visible in the so-called “fortress of democracy”.

But today in the U.S. elections, there are other candidates such as the candidate of Greens Jill Stein, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and the candidate of Party of Socialism and Liberation, which continues its socialist struggle without concessions, Gloria La Riva.

We talked with the candidate of PSL on the policies of presidential candidates, electoral system of U.S., U.S. economy and the Middle East policy of U.S.

“ELECTIONS IN U.S. ARE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC”

Why is the Party for Socialism and Liberation running in the elections, in a political system designed for two parties? What does PSL think about two-party system and U.S. democracy?

The U.S. electoral and political system is the system of the ruling imperialist class. As such, it is one of the most important mechanisms to maintain its rule. The elections in the United States are one of the most anti-democratic in the capitalist world. For example, even though the presidential election is national, a candidate or party is required to apply for ballot status, state to state, and the requirements vary widely. It takes literally about a billion dollars for one of the two bourgeois candidates to run a campaign, so of course, that makes it necessary for those parties to be wholly responsible to the corporate donors. Then is the problem of access to the large-scale media, which engages in a fierce censorship of other candidates.

And yet, with this inaccessible scenario, our Party has participated in every presidential election since shortly after our founding. We do this because as Leninists, we believe it is essential to be where the masses are, to speak in the name of socialism and struggle as the only way that the crises of the working class and society as a whole can be overcome and resolved. If we were just to criticize from the outside without intervening in the electoral arena, we would not have meaningful access to the people, who still see the elections as the means for political participation.

We have had this year a tremendous experience, with our members and supporters in city after city, reaching out to so many communities, joining in the struggles and helping lead some, with our political program, which has received a positive response and interest from many. We also encourage those who are more interested than in just voting for an alternative candidate and party, to join our Party, which many have done.

We have helped give visibility and popular support to key struggles this year, for instance, when I and other members have traveled to North Dakota to support the great Native resistance struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Our vice-presidential candidate in several states, Dennis Banks, is a well-known Native leader, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, who has been a continual presence there. This struggle is the most important environmental movement in the United States in years, and largest, most united movement of Native people in more than 100 years, with more than 450 Native tribes and nations who have joined together.

We have been part of dozens of protests and manifestations against the brutal police killings of Black and Latino people, defending people against evictions, marching against the US-Saudi bombing of Yemen, organizing protests against the U.S. proxy war against Syria.

“CLINTON AND TRUMP HAVE ONLY TACTICAL DIFFERENCES”

What do you think about differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Are there significant differences between them?

By the time you are able to publish this, perhaps the new president will be elected. It looks like it may be Hillary Clinton, since her close numbers seem to be improving in the last hours, due to the intense media push for her, and the fact that Republican and Democratic leaders alike are behind her. But we see that there would be little difference, perhaps small tactical differences, and certainly in their images. The public perception is different, although both candidates are greatly disliked. I can attest to the exhaustion that the mass of people feel, by us talking to so many thousands in the streets, in public events. There is a great feeling of distrust, anger at their justified perception that one, Trump, is a disgusting racist, anti-woman and overall bigot, and billionaire who has gotten away with huge tax breaks; While Clinton is seen by many as being in the pockets of the biggest banks, as a proven warmonger, and not trustworthy. Yet, there is definitely more fear of Trump. And that is the reason that Clinton will likely win, purely out of fear of Trump, and of course for many because she is a woman.

It is virtually a smooth transition from one president to another in terms of neoliberal policies that have intensified, whether it was NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement of President Clinton, to President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership, or the growing militarism, from the Gulf War of George H.W. Bush, to Clinton’s continuation of the genocidal sanctions against Iraq, to his bombing of Yugoslavia, to Obama’s support of the Honduras coup and the destruction of the Libyan state, notably with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. The fact that most Republican leaders have all given their support to Clinton is because they fear the potential instability and perceived illegitimacy of a Trump presidency.

The U.S. president is simply the CEO of U.S. imperialism, and whomever is elected will pursue those objectives. Of course, history has shown us that when a truly mass movement arises, such as the great civil rights struggle of the African American population, especially in the South, even reactionary politicians can be forced to change their position and make concessions. We see the potential for mass movements developing in this coming period, as some are already on the march.

“SECULAR GOVERNMENTS IN MIDDLE EAST ARE PARTICULARLY TARGETED BY US”

What do you think about U.S. policies in the Middle East?

The U.S. has undertaken a highly-destructive, genocidal offensive for more than 25 years now since the Gulf War, in the Middle East and nearby regions. But of course, since U.S. imperialism’s emergence as the dominant world power after 1945, generally unscathed by World War II, it has continually waged one aggression after another on each continent. There are too many to mention here. With respect to the Middle East, we have been determined opponents to the U.S. wars and occupations, which of course includes its funding and backing of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people. Many of us — even before our Party’s formation — were involved in defying the U.S. blockade of Iraq, taking massive shipments of medicines into Iraq. We are very active in the ANSWER Coalition, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. Every independent state, especially secular government, have been particular targets of the United States, because they are seen as obstacles to full U.S. domination of the region.

We never fail to warn of Hillary Clinton’s openly stated intentions, starting with a U.S.-imposed no-fly zone that would lead to war. It is stunning, the recklessness of Clinton and her hostilities against Russia. We have often pointed out that her foreign policy advisers and future team, if she wins, will be the most hardened neoconservatives, like Rogert Kagan and Victoria Nuland. Clinton’s doctrine draft, one of whose architects is Michelle Flourney (who may become the next Secretary of Defense), the “Campaign for a New American Strategy,” spells out the objective of expanded American dominance in the Middle East, Africa and Europe (directed against Russia), as well as eliminating the “military budget cap,” as if there were any kind of restrictions to the Pentagon’s unlimited budget!

“REVOLUTIONARIES SHOULD BE PREPARED”

What is the current economic status of U.S.? What is the solution of PSL for the economic problems of U.S.?

In addition to the fact that, according to U.S. government statistics, half of the population is poor or near poor, there are millions more who are economically insecure, who lack medical care, or who are a paycheck away from poverty. This happens at a time when the wealth of the “1%” has grown astronomically. Of course the wealth at the top is because of the capitalists’ increased exploitation over the last 30 years while wages have been stagnant for many years. The 2007-2008 financial meltdown hit the working class and poor very hard, bringing many national pensions to the brink of collapse, and 3 million families lost their homes due to bank foreclosures, and student debt grew to $1.3 trillion dollars! Yet it was the banks that were bailed out by more than $700 billion, which taxpayers had to pay for ultimately. The same speculative actions of the bankers to maximize their profits, plus the cyclical crisis of capitalism, the drop in world commodity prices of oil, minerals and other key resources, overproduction in many other industries, all this points to an inevitable new economic collapse.

Each crisis leaves capitalism and the working class worldwide in a more precarious position, while the environment suffers intensifying degradation. It is critical for revolutionaries to be prepared, to build our organizations, to deepen our roots in the working class and fight the reactionaries’ and ruling class’s solution, which is war on the workers and repression. We believe, in spite of the growing economic crisis, that there is reason for optimism, because more and more people are becoming consciously anti-capitalism, and more are open to the ideas of socialism.

We believe that only a radical transformation of society, a complete overturning of capitalism, can realize the tremendous potential of humanity, on a socialist, sustainable basis.

That was the purpose of our socialist intervention in the U.S. elections, to educate, agitate, and grow the movement on a revolutionary basis, to join in unity with all popular movements and people wanting to work and struggle for real and lasting change.

We thank you comrades for your invitation once again and opportunity to express our views. We are in full solidarity with you in your struggle in Turkey.

For full reading, the quotes were taken from the link ‘Clinton and Trump have only tactical differences’