CYM Solidarity with Cuban 5, Sep 2013

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The Connolly Youth Movement calls for an immediate release of Cuban heroes: Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Rene González Sehwerert, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernando González Llort. Five men are held as political prisoners by the US, after unfair trial convicted and sentenced to four life terms and one 75 years. Cuban 5 were gathering information on violent Miami exile gangs, who planned terrorist attacks on Cuban soil.
CYM expresses the full solidarity with Cuban patriots and demands the review of the case and immediate release of Cuban 5.
Photo: Vigil for Cuban 5, The Spire, Dublin (Sep. 12, 2013)

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40th Anniversary of Fascist Coup in Chile, Sep 2013

On 11 September 2013 was the fortieth anniversary of the fascist coup in Chile, when the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup that was planned, organized and directed from Washington.
The fascist coup resulted in more than 3,000 dead, 30,000 tortured, tens of thousands held in concentration camps, thousands driven into exile around the world, and political parties and trade unions banned.
Chile became an experimental ground for neo-liberal economic polices imposed by the “Chicago Boys,” led by Milton Friedman—economic polices that have subsequently been imposed throughout Latin America. The same policies are now being imposed on the Irish people to make them pay a debt that does not belong to them.
As the drums of war beat louder for an attack on Syria that could engulf the whole of the Middle East, we need to remember the past in order to understand the present. American presidents have declared war on terrorism, but they actively support Islamic terrorists who are driven by a medieval world view. The faces of American presidents may change, and even their colour, but the policies remain the same.
Note: Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon at the time of the Chilean coup, stated: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” (Three months later Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.)

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CPI Press Statement. Photo: Picket at US Embassy, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

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WFDY Hands Off Syria! Sep 2013

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CYM Statement on Imperialist threats to ‘intervene’ in Syria, Aug 2013

The Connolly Youth Movement is extremely concerned about the imperialist threats to ‘intervene’ in Syria. The CYM calls for the UN weapons inspectors to be given time to verify the origins of the recent chemical attack. While it is possible the attack was carried out by forces loyal to the Assad regime, it is also very possible the attack was carried out by the insurgents for the purpose of drawing in NATO military intervention.

While the imperialists and their lapdogs in the media seem sure that the Assad regime carried out this atrocity, we must remember they have a track record of spreading lies to justify American and NATO aggression. They lied about WMDs in Iraq and lied about the situation in Libya.

Likewise, the insurgents in Syria are not trustworthy. Many of them are international jihadists loyal to Al Qaeda. These insurgents are funded by brutal theocracies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These insurgents should go back to wherever they came from.

We also call for peace talks in Syria to commence and for national reconciliation to begin. More imperialist intervention in Syria will only escalate the conflict and lead to the deaths of more innocent civilians.

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Flyer for CYM table quiz, Aug 2013

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The Arrests, Why Now?

The Arrests, Why Now?
CYM Statement:

When people woke up on Monday morning to the news that 4 people had been arrested – AAA/SP TD Paul Murphy, AAA Cllr Kieran Mahon, AAA Cllr Mick Murphy and the now airbrushed Scott Masterson of Éirigí, there was an initial state of bemusement. Since then more arrests have taken place and more will come in for questioning over the alleged ‘imprisonment’ of Joan Bruton. These events are without a doubt hugely politically motivated.

The question that people need to be asking is why now? The CYM recognise and agree that this has the hallmarks of a maneuver to discredit the R2W and anti-water charges protesters. Tensions will begin to mount among those families, residents and protest groups of the detainees, while the wider movement will rightly condemn these arrests.

It is quite clear that the government’s tactics of trying to appease the public by making changes to the Irish water package have failed, with wide-scale refusal to sign up to Irish water now a reality. These arrests in this context are clearly then a new tactic to try and raise tensions, with the possibility of violence breaking out among the water protesters. These arrests therefore are a new attempt at trying to draw out anti-social behaviors so as to be able to generate headlines, in order to demonise the R2W and anti-water charges movement.

However there is another element to the arrests which the CYM believe has to be raised – the next general election. It is quite clear that the arrests were a very well thought out and orchestrated political stunt, devised by the government, carried out by the Gardai and played out in the media, with the immediate goal of trying to discredit the water campaign among those that are sitting on the fence about it.

CYM pose the question, in whose interests then do these arrests serve? Who is to gain and who will lose? The one thing that is for certain is that Paul Murphy and the Anti Austerity Alliance/Socialist Party have just been gifted a national platform and could not have asked for much more, as their public profile will have skyrocketed from all the media attention.

People may believe that this was a stupid and strange move by the government but actually when you look at who is likely to be hurt the most by a rise in AAA/SP support you have to conclude that it will be Sinn Féin. This episode has been a political exercise in vote splitting in the anti-water charges camp, which in turn will weaken the overall chance for a Sinn Féin led government at the next general election.

There can be no questioning that the Irish state is looking both at the immediate water mobilisation and at the next general election. In both cases they are looking to divide and conquer. In both cases they see a very real threat to their party votes and in terms of the international context they have every reason to fear a mobilisation of people away from the Troika parties.

On this basis the CYM urge those that are engaged and work with R2W, not be tempted to fall into their trap. We urge that R2W protests remain peaceful and that those that try to instigate violence be condemned. Discipline and solidarity is needed by all groups within R2W at this time. The propaganda war will be in full swing and it wont take much to create sensationalist headlines that will look to isolate the protesters from the general public.

The CYM would have hoped that AAA/SP would have extended their solidarity to Éirigí member Scott Masterson, but it seems that by omitting him in their official statements they are taking a narrow party line to advance their position politically. It seems the seeds of division have sprouted stems.

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Explaining Economics Part 2- Labour Theory of Value and Commodities

The labour theory of value

The labour theory of value is the very basis and foundation upon which economics can be understood. It is the key that Marx and Engels found through their studies and is the basis of understanding exploitation in capitalist society.

The scientific method of studying economics begins with the manner in which all things are created. Marx and Engels continued the study of classical economists by starting their analysis at the beginning, how we produce everything.
What creates everything around us? What gives value to otherwise useless matter? Labour, work, creates all value. The apple on the tree comes from nature but as a valuable object it is useless until picked from the tree by someone’s labour. Labour alone creates value. It is the application of our strength, tools, know how to material that creates food, objects, art, culture, etc. etc.

What is the common social substance of all commodities? It is labour. To produce a commodity a certain amount of labour must be bestowed upon it, or worked upon on it.    —Karl Marx, “Value, Price and Profit” (1865)                                                                                             
If labour produces all value, then it is only those who labour that create worth. It is those who work that create what we need. It is workers who grow the food we eat, it is bus drivers who provide the service we need, etc. Those bosses, capitalists, who employ us, who pay for our labour through wages, don’t actually create value themselves. They just own us who do.
. . . The working class alone produce all values.    -F. Engels, “Introduction to Wage-Labour and Capital” (1891)

Commodities and labour

We have said above that labour creates all value. It is only through labour that we can create commodities. What, then, are commodities? Commodities are anything that can be bought and sold to create more wealth, more capital. Commodities, as such, have not always existed, just as capital as we know it has not always existed. It is the capitalist method of ownership, production and exchange that creates commodities, and the production and sale of commodities expands the system.

The labour theory of value not only says that labour creates value, it also shows how labour is the measure of value. That is when we ask the question, how much does something cost, we could be asking how much labour went into the production. The more labour that goes into creating something the more it costs.

The value of a commodity is determined by the total quantity of labour contained in it.-K. Marx, “Value, Price and Profit” (1865)

Compare that of an apple and gold. Which one is more expensive, which one requires more labour? In forthcoming editions we will have to look at “prices” of commodities, because other factors of course play a role too. But labour is the dominant determining factor in the cost of commodities. It is the comparison of labour time spent in the creation of commodities that is reflected in their differing prices.

A commodity has a value, because it is a crystallisation of social labour. The greatness of its value, or its relative value, depends upon the greater or less amount of that social substance contained in it . . . The relative values of commodities are, therefore, determined by their respective quantities or amounts of labour, worked up, realised, fixed in them. -K. Marx, “Value, Price and Profit” (1865)

Labour too, however, is a commodity. It is the vital ingredient in the production of goods and services, and ultimately capital. Labour is the vital commodity.

Labour-power, then, is a commodity, no more, no less so than is the sugar. The first is measured by the clock, the other by the scales.-K. Marx, “Wage-Labour and Capital” (1847)

Labour is used by those who own capital to create more capital. Those who do not have the resources to buy and pay for the factory or office, the material resources, the training and education and most importantly the labour have only their labour to sell. They are forced by circumstances to sell their labour-power to the boss.

What they [workers] actually sell to the capitalist for money is their labour-power.-K. Marx, “Wage-Labour and Capital” (1847) …Precisely from the fact that labour depends on nature it follows that the man who possesses no other property than his labour power must, in all conditions of society and culture, be the slave of other men who have made themselves the owners of the objective conditions of labour. He can work only with their permission, hence live only with their permission.-K. Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Programme” (1875)

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