Russian Young Pioneers meeting Fidel Castro
"The Defense of Sevastopol", 1942. Alexander Deyneka.
On 22 June 1941 the Axis invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Axis land forces reached the Crimea in the autumn of 1941 and overran most of the area. The only objective not in Axis hands was Sevastopol.
After the failure of their first assault on Sevastopol, the Axis opted to conduct siege warfare until the middle of 1942, at which point they attacked the encircled Soviet forces by land, sea, and air.
Finally, on 4 July 1942, the remaining Soviet forces surrendered and the Axis seized the port. Both sides had suffered considerable losses during the siege and attack.
Soviet accounts claim that there were very few Soviet troops who survived the German onslaught; Von Manstein himself records that the Soviets preferred to blow themselves up along with the German soldiers closing in on their positions rather than surrender. Von Manstein ascribed this behavior to the ruthlessness of the “commissars” and to the basic “contempt for human life of this Asiatic power”. Another explanation for the Soviet unwillingness to surrender was the understandable fear Soviet servicemen had for their treatment if they were taken as prisoners of war by the Wehrmacht.
Mao Zedong Thought is the magic weapon to victoriously combat all enemies at home and abroad! ☭
Comrades! I have my radio show right now! Radio Internationale, begins 2-4pm PST (Every Monday). You can listen in on KUCI.ORG, and click on “listen now” on the top right hand corner. I shall remain on Tumblr&facebook while on air, so shoot me a message, call in, or request a song and I shall give your blog or just you yourself a shout-out on the radio! The number to the station is 949-824-5824, and you’ll only be talking to me on the station phone, not going over the air, so do not be afraid!
Soviet poster, circa 1954. Reads, “Happy International Women’s Day! Our friendship is strong and durable!.
Against the exploiting class
Workers of the World, Unite! ☭
Black Panthers holding up Mao’s “Little Red Book”. Oakland, US. 1969.
Poster from Red China, c. 1960’s. ‘US IMPERIALISM OUT OF AFRICA!’
Most of the world’s exploited labor comes from women. Women work in the sweatshops and the giant factories. Women sow and tend and harvest the world’s crops. Women carry and birth and raise children. Women wash and clean and shop and cook. Women care for the sick and the elderly. All of this—layer upon layer of labor—is what makes human society possible. Ripping it off is what makes capitalism possible.
The primacy of women’s labor is normally edited out of political discourse, but it’s a fact beyond dispute. More than half of the world’s women have formal jobs. (In some countries in Asia and Latin America, the percentage is well over 60%.) On top of this, women predominate in millions of illegal and semi-legal “off the books” jobs, where they are normally heavily exploited. Meanwhile, some 70% of women’s labor, worth tens of trillions of dollars a year, is unpaid altogether. Most of the world’s women average 31-42 hours per week on family housework alone. Women “do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the means of production.”
Throughout history, groups and classes of men have fought over the precious resource of women’s labor. All women, but especially working-class women, who constitute the world’s most valuable source of wealth. Hundreds of millions of these women, the core and majority of the working class, lack any private property or social privilege. They have no ownership, claim or control over the means of production. This sets them apart from the upper stratum of wage workers—labor aristocrats and privileged sectors subsidized from capitalist profits.
Instead, they belong to the “lower and deeper” layers of the working class, compelled to offer their labor up for exploitation within capitalism for sheer survival. This part of the working class stands as capitalism’s main labor force and, historically, its direct antagonist.
Many of these working-class women are paid wages; many are not. Few are paid for all their labor. Most are destitute or economically vulnerable. They labor under extreme duress—facing not only the threat of hunger, but also dependency, slavery and male violence backed up by tradition, family structure and law. Their labor and life experience—and their class position—is often substantially different from that of even the men in their own families.
The multi-sided struggle to own, control and exploit this fantastically profitable labor force is expressed on many levels and in many forms: migrations, wars, genocide, cultural movements, populist rebellions, changes in family structure, colonialism, shifting geopolitical alliances, the rise and fall of governments.
Today, the women at the center of the world working class are experiencing dramatic and fundamental changes in their work lives and their social lives. Capitalism, entering a new phase of development, is remaking the working class. This is where a new revolutionary politics must start."