The working class in power must completely re-adjust and transform production, not just take it over from the capitalists. This is the conclusion that needs to be derived from the current political and ecological threats to both humanity and the planet. Of course the revolution must defeat fascism, feed the world, and produce for peoples’ needs; but the question of HOW this is to be accomplished is ignored by too many Trotskyist and other Marxist groups. Agri-business mono-cropping, mountain top removal, shale oil extraction and fracking—continued use of fossil fuels or toxic nuclear energy just doesn’t cut it.
Current environmental news, such as the draining of the aquifers in California, causing land subsidence (which means the aquifers can’t be restored;) the rapid demise of glacier-fed rivers all over Asia; and the looming death of the oceans—not to mention an expected sea level rise of five to ten feet this century alone—points to not just a climate catastrophe, but to an imminent collapse of civilization. Add to that the limitless mounds of spent fuel rods and other nuclear waste material, which no one now knows what to do with, and which will be dangerously radioactive for tens-of-thousands of years! Who is going to take care of that? These problems are not solvable under the present exploitative, profit-driven system. How are the capitalist/imperialist governments going to be able to handle the relocation of hundreds-of-millions of people from coastal areas, the starvation of hundreds-of-millions more who are deprived of water for their fields, as well as moving people out of desert cites such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles (which likely will be required as water supplies dwindle,) when they can’t even handle the mass of refugees now from all the wars, exploitation and devastation they’ve caused in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America?
This system of rule by the bourgeoisie will come down, one way or the other. Will it be through a mass die-off of humans (as well as animals,) followed by a stone-age existence for those few who survive; or will the working people make a revolution? A worldwide planned economy, including all industries and agriculture, run democratically by a revolutionary workers government, and based on the abolition of capitalism is the only real hope for humanity. Such an international confluence across all borders will assure that humanity enjoys a worldwide “commons,” through which it can remake and transform the economy, and so facilitate saving both itself and the planet. The article, “Ecological Crisis and the Tragedy of the Commodity,” by Stefano B. Longo and Brett Clark, that appeared in Volume 15, Number 5 of Socialist Viewpoint (the September/October 2015 issue) contributes an important point, namely that the elimination of the commons through individual privatization is only one small aspect of the emergence and maturation of a much larger phenomenon: the capitalist social system with its commodification of everything. The subordination of the use value of a product to its exchange value on the international market can be seen lurking behind every problem today, large and small, including the total domination of finance capital over the world economy.1
1 The two authors, Stefano Longo and Brett Clark, are the authors, with Rebecca Clausen, of a new book, The Tragedy of the Commodity: Oceans Fisheries and Aquaculture, published by Rutgers University Press (2015), on the decline and imminent death of the oceans. See article: “Ecological Crisis and the Tragedy of the Commodity,” By Stefano B. Longo and Brett Clark in the September/October 2015 issue, Vol. 15, No. 5, of Socialist Viewpoint at: http://www.socialistviewpoint.org/sepoct_15/sepoct_15_31.html
I hope that recent events in the Israeli occupied West Bank have awakened more people to what’s really going on in Palestine and has helped them to clearly see who are the oppressors and who are the oppressed in this situation. And that this will embolden more people to speak up and do something to help and support the Palestinian people. Because Palestinians have already suffered far too much, for far too long, the loss of their homeland, displacement, ethnic cleansing, dispossession, cruel abuses, atrocities and hundreds of thousands of deaths. The west cannot remain indifferent to the plight of the Palestinian people and be silent because Jews were persecuted by others during the Second World War. Why must Palestinians continue to pay the terrible price for this past tragedy, which was nothing to do with them. An injustice committed against one people does not justify an injustice inflicted against another people. Without justice, respect and the restoration of Palestinian rights there will be no real peace in Palestine. Let’s not ignore cruel repression or allow the maiming and deaths of thousands more Palestinian children, women and men to go unnoticed and without doing something to stop this ongoing gross mistreatment. The Palestinians deserve the utmost empathy and solidarity of all people of conscience and for all those concerned about righteousness to act and show support. To witness such Israeli human rights abuses and other brutal crimes and not speak out is blatantly morally wrong. Our voices and actions can make a positive difference in ending this heartbreaking catastrophe.
—Steven Katsineris, October 11, 2015
Dear supporters and future supporters,
I hope and pray all is well with everyone and your families. Your continued support of my cause and innocence is highly appreciated. My journey has been long and has taken a serious toll on my family, friends and myself. I’ve watched from afar as my kids turned into adults. I still recall my oldest daughter sending me pictures she had drawn in elementary school of stick figures and the words: I miss and love you.” Fast-forward two decades later—she has gone to college, lives in her own house and now is a mother…
The wall that injustice has placed between family, friends and supporters of the innocent is literally indescribable. Our constant nightmare is relived every time we open our eyes still in prison. Wrongful convictions do not only affect innocent prisoners, it tears family structures apart. One thing we can NEVER get back is the lost time. I have a brother and two sisters that have never came to see me during these 20 years. I’ve had no contact with my biological father in over 20 years. No choice of my own. Before my wrongful conviction was reinstated, I forgave them and let them know how much I needed them. I’m known to smile a lot and even through these tough times, my smile remains. Am I angry, bitter, frustrated and disappointed due to my situation? Without a doubt. I take this constant pain and anguish and direct it towards my fight to prove my innocence, at the same time educate society first hand on the struggle of innocent prisoners. There is no idea in regards to what it’s like to walk in the shoes of us innocent prisoners—there’s no ifs or buts about that.
I now have a new judge and I’m awaiting court dates, which should be very soon. In a lot of situations, the truth can help, hurt or change someone. For Lorenzo Johnson, the truth will eventually set me free. The sad thing is, the people society rely on to make sure justice is served are personally responsible for false arrest and conviction. They knew I was innocent from day one. Meanwhile, for 20 years an innocent man is in prison while a murderer walks the streets… A lot of times innocent prisoners get a backlash from speaking out in concerns with their wrongful convictions. I totally disagree with the notion that you don’t want to make noise about our innocence. As if innocent prisoners and our families are supposed to be silent while we are steadily being tortured for being innocent. If our rolls were reversed, they also would want everyone to scream at the top of their lungs to whoever would listen. I’m a firm believer that by being silent, that helps wrongful convictions continue to be swept under the rug until necessary action is taken—that’s if that action is ever taken.
I’m human and at times I fall into mental slumps. I’ve been blessed to have exoneree Jeffrey Deskovic as a best friend. Just recently, I was falling into a mental slump, I called Jeff and after speaking to him for a half-hour, I was good. Innocent prisoners may have family, friends or supporters—but, no one can relate to our pain like someone who had/have our shoes on. I would like to thank the following exonerees who have been in touch with me: Jeffrey Deskovic, Derrick Hamilton, Eugene Gilyard, Obie Anthony, Jarrett Adams, Harold Wilson and William Lopes (RIP).
Once again, I want to thank ALL of my supporters. Please continue until we can make a difference. Feel free to use my articles. For those who can make a financial donation please do. It’s needed. Everyone who writes me knows I personally respond. Feel free to contact me. For those outside of the country and would like to help raise awareness about my injustice, contact me.
“The Pain Within”
Free The Innocent,
Lorenzo “Cat” Johnson
—Free Lorenzo Johnson, October 17, 2015
Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036
301 Morea Rd.
Frackville, PA 17932
Through JPay using the code: Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC