labor russia
'Like prisoners of war': North Korean labour behind Russia 2018 World Cup
Claims of long hours, few breaks, dire living conditions, low pay and death emerge from construction of stadium in St Petersburg
By Alec Luhn

heres russia using slave labour from north korea in construction with oversight committees from FIFA knowing and deliberately not doing anything. 

thanks sports industries

chasing--the--universe  asked:

I'd to point you to a couple of things. They are. Soviet Russia. Maoist China


Soviet Russia and China are examples of countries that were still entrenched in feudalism at the times of their respective socialist revolutions, which effectively catapulted them into variations of state capitalist development instead of full workers-democratically-control-production socialism. The state became the analogous capitalist class and instituted developments and policies over the course of a few decades that private capitalists elsewhere were pushing for centuries – think forced proletarianization of peasants and concentrated industrialization. The state took over the functions of a bunch of private capitalists, appropriating surplus value generated by workers and distributing the surplus where deemed necessary; they often put this towards the industrialization of infrastructure and public services, but it just as often was used to enrich the party apparatus. Even Lenin literally deemed this setup as “state capitalism”, the idea being an intermediary stage for formerly-feudal societies before full socialism. 

As a libertarian socialist/Marxist, I don’t defend the actions taken in these countries, but it’s important to contextualize what was going on. The idea is that it’s near-impossible to just jump from feudalism to socialism – a period of capitalist development/accumulation and liberal institutions makes the jump more viable. As far as I’m concerned, this could have been accomplished through mutualism or market socialism, combining the liberalism of markets with the democratic accountability of worker control (thus mitigating much of the poverty and violent consequences of class domination).

To quote Terry Eagleton:

“Marx himself never imagined that socialism could be achieved in impoverished conditions [i.e. Russia and China]. Such a project would require almost as bizarre a loop in time as inventing the Internet in the Middle Ages. Nor did any Marxist thinker until Stalin imagine that this was possible, including Lenin, Trotsky, and the rest of the Bolshevik leadership…

Building up an economy from very low levels is a back-breaking, dispiriting task. It is unlikely that men and women will freely submit to the hardships it involves. So unless this project is executed gradually, under democratic control and in accordance with socialist values, an authoritarian state may step in and force its citizens to do what they are reluctant to undertake voluntarily. The militarization of labor in Bolshevik Russia is a case in point. The result, in a grisly irony, will be to undermine the political superstructure of socialism (popular democracy, genuine self-government) in the very attempt to build up its economic base…

As Marx insists, socialism also requires a shortening of the working day – partly to provide men and women with the leisure for personal fulfillment, partly to create time for the business of political and economic self-government. You can not do this if people have no shoes; and to distribute shoes among millions of citizens is likely to require a centralized bureaucratic state. If your nation is under invasion from an array of hostile capitalist powers, as Russia was in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution, an autocratic state will seem all the more inevitable…

To go socialist, then, you need to be reasonably well-heeled, in both the literal and the metaphorical senses of the term. No Marxist from Marx and Engels to Lenin and Trotsky ever dreamt of anything else. Or if you are not well-heeled yourself, then a sympathetic neighbor reasonably flush in material resources needs to spring to your aid. In the case of the Bolsheviks, this would have meant such neighbors (Germany in particular) having their own revolutions, too. If the working class of these countries could overthrow their own capitalist masters and lay hands on their productive powers, they could use those resources to save the first workers’ state in history from sinking without a trace. This was not as improbable a proposal as it might sound. Europe at the time was aflame with revolutionary hopes, as councils of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies (or soviets) sprang up in cities such as Berlin, Warsaw, Vienna, Munich, and Riga. Once these insurrections were defeated, Lenin and Trotsky knew their own revolution was in dire straights.

It is not that the building of socialism cannot be begun in deprived conditions. It is rather that without material resources it will tend to twist into the monstrous caricature of socialism known as Stalinism. The Bolshevik revolution soon found itself besieged by imperial Western armies, as well as threatened by counterrevolution, urban famine, and a bloody civil war. It was marooned in an ocean of largely hostile peasants reluctant to hand over their hard-earned surplus at gunpoint to the starving towns. With a narrow capitalist base, disastrously low levels of material production, scant traces of civil institutions, a decimated, exhausted working class, peasant revolts, and a swollen bureaucracy to rival the Tsar’s, the revolution was in deep trouble almost from the outset…

Imagine a slightly crazed capitalist outfit that tried to turn a pre-modern tribe into a set of ruthlessly acquisitive, technologically sophisticated entrepreneurs speaking the jargon of public relations and free market economics, all in a surreally short period of time. Does the fact that the experiment would almost certainly prove less than dramatically successful constitute a fair condemnation of capitalism? Surely not. To think so would be as absurd as claiming that the Girl Guides should be disbanded because they cannot solve certain tricky problems in quantum physics. Marxists do not believe that the mighty liberal lineage from Thomas Jefferson to John Stuart Mill is annulled by the existence of secret CIA-run prisons for torturing Muslims, even though such prisons are part of the politics of today’s liberal societies. Yet the critics of Marxism are rarely willing to concede that show trials and mass terror are no refutation of it.” 


1) You can’t just expect socialism to quickly arise in materially- and socially-isolated countries in the throngs of feudalism (Russia and China). A material base of industrialization and a social base of liberalism are generally understood to be useful/basically-necessary prerequisites to build from. If other capitalist countries had undergone socialist revolution and provided aid to the struggling formerly-feudal state capitalist countries, they probably wouldn’t have congealed into top-down bureaucracies. A domino effect of worker revolutions across capitalist countries is considered necessary for socialism to fully take hold, just as a domino effect of bourgeois revolutions across feudal countries was needed for capitalism to fully take hold.

2) The violent primitive accumulation of early capitalism and the concentrated industrialization of state capitalist Russia and China served similar analogous functions in the broader context of historical materialism. Private capitalism for the enrichment of individual capitalists over the centuries, state capitalism supposedly for the enrichment of society’s material base and an eventual transition to full socialism. 

3) Capitalist societies have unleashed violent imperialism, mass enslavement, systemic poverty, and police states. If we’re going to bring up the disasters of isolated countries that set their aims at socialism, then we need to bring up the centuries-long disasters of not-isolated capitalist countries that have actively oppressed domestic and foreign populations of people. 

4) We live in an era of material abundance aided by advanced technology and automation; any attempt at socialism in late-capitalist countries would be significantly easier than what Russia and China experienced. As such, these industrialized late-capitalist countries need to undergo social revolution and provide aid to each other and to struggling countries that would have otherwise been state capitalist. 

(This answer has mainly been for the benefit of people already at least relatively sympathetic to anti-capitalism; I realize it is unlikely to sway someone so entrenched in capitalist ideology that they have no clue what socialist movements have entailed and strove for. If your analysis stops at “Russia and China were bad and that’s what socialism means and therefore it’s not worth fighting for”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. If your analysis stops at “capitalism preaches liberal individual freedom so therefore it is good”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. Dig past the ideology you’ve been spoon-fed by capitalist media and the state since childhood and recognize that you’ve been conned, all for the enrichment of the bosses and the bureaucrats.)


President Trump began his press conference Thursday afternoon naming his new nominee for labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta. He also announced his decision to issue a new executive action while his travel ban is held up in court.

The president said “nobody that I know of” on his staff was in contact with Russia during the campaign. He also said he did not direct Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser this week, to discuss U.S. sanctions during a pre-inauguration phone call with Russia’s U.S. ambassador.

Trump also touted new approval numbers — citing one in his favor and leaving out a number of other polls that how him with a lower rating — and claimed to have “inherited a mess” in regards to the economy, though unemployment figures contradict that claim.

Trump Press Conference On Labor Secretary And Russia, Annotated

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images


May Day 2017 - Red March in Moscow

The United Communist Party of Russia (OKP), New Communist Movement, ROT Front and other supporters of the communist left welcomed a delegation of the Aurora communist women’s collective of Donetsk. After a march through the Russian capital, a rally was held at the Monument to Heroes of the 1905 Revolution.

Photos: OKP
Trump Says He Will Issue 'New Executive Action' Related To Travel Ban
On Thursday, the president said his administration will be appealing a decision that imposes a stay on his travel ban — and will also be issuing a new, "very comprehensive order" next week.

Update: Trump Press Conference On Labor Secretary And Russia, Annotated

America: Do you know why I hate you?

Russia: We have opposite ideologies and are competing on a global scale for power that will inevitably end  in one of our empires collapsing.

America: Because you’re always wearing white after labor day. Russia. Every fucking time. I just- it’s like you don’t even know when labor day is.  

Five countries account for 61% of the world's slaves.

5. Russia, 1.05 million
4. Pakistan, 2.06 million
3. Uzbekistan, 1.2 million

CLICK here to find out which countries top the list. Let’s make this the generation that finally puts slavery in the history books!


Reds and Whites Soviet porcelain chess set - State Porcelain Manufactory, Leningrad, circa 1925.

Representing the two sides in Russia’s bitter civil war that followed the 1917 Revolution, this chess set is a classic example of the winners writing the history books. The red pieces are workers, peasants, Red Army soldiers, noble and proud; the white pieces are oppressors and oppressed, haughty Imperial officers, a rich noblewoman, enslaved peasants in chains, all ruled over by a laughing skeleton king.

Though made in a people’s factory, this was hardly the people’s chess set; it retailed for the equivalent of ten months’ salary for the workers who crafted it.

Today in labor history, April 17, 1912: The military arrives to crush a strike by more than 6,000 gold miners – on strike over long hours, appalling working conditions, and starvation wages – along the Lena River in southeast Siberia, Russia. The entire strike committee was quickly arrested and when 2,500 workers marched to demand their release, soldiers opened fire on them, killing and wounding over 500 people. Anger over the mass murder fueled a subsequent wave of strikes across the country.

The part where Yuri Plisetsky canonically financially supports his family through skating makes me so angry.

Parents are obligated to support their children at all times - even when they lose custody or give up parental rights, they still must pay child support (at least, that’s the way it is in Russia).

Child labor is illegal in Russia; it’s impossible to even hire a child below 15.

If Russian CPS ever discovered that a world-renowned athlete is pressured to compete because he’s the only breadwinner in his family, they’d have a field day - both in a perfect world where children are protected, and in the terrible world where the CPS would just want some bribes out of everyone involved (real world can go either way). Yuri’s family would lose custody. They’d be sued for child support and face criminal charges if they don’t pay up. 

So, if Yuri’s supporting his family through skating and CPS aren’t in his hair - that means everyone who’s aware of the situation goes out of their way to conceal it. And if Victor, Yakov or Lilia may not be aware, Nikolai certainly is; it’s him and his daughter Yuri’s supporting.

Not only does that go against all Russian family traditions, where parents and grandparents sometimes keep supporting their overgrown babies all the way through adulthood, it also makes everyone around Yuri neglectful to the point of abuse - at least, according to the Russian laws and traditions. 

I’m having a hard time seeing Nikolai Plisetsky as the perfect embodiment of Agape in a world where a 15-year-old feels pressured to earn money for him.

So, to make myself less angry, I headcanon that it’s Yuri who believes he has to earn money to support the family, and the family (at least, Nikolai - the mother might actually be abusive, for all we know) has no idea he feels that way, and would be terrified to find that out.

Freeing Russia's Serfs - How The Serfs Got Screwed

Russian serfs were emancipated in 1861, four years before slavery in the US was abolished by a Constitutional Amendment. Tsar Alexander II (1855-81) shared with his father, Nicholas I, a conviction that American slavery was inhumane. This is not as hypocritical as it might first appear. The serfdom that had operated in Russia since the middle of the 1600s (around when slavery was taking hold in the southern British colonies) was technically not slavery. The landowner did not own the serf, the serf just could not leave the land. Or disobey the landowner. But it wasn’t slavery, technically. Serfs made up ½ the peasants and about 1/3 of the population. And it was widely agreed by the 1850s that Russia needed land reform – and serfs were a clear target. So the young Tsar after losing the Crimean War declared the end of the war marked a golden moment in the nation’s history. Now was the hour when every Russian, under the protection of the law, could begin to enjoy ‘the fruits of his own labours.’

He then asked the nobles to plan how freeing the serfs could be done. Tsar Alexander II was shrewd: the nobles could hardly ignore a command from their tsar, and they could not complain about a plan they themselves had created, and to top it all off they couldn’t blame Alexander if their plan did not go well. Impressive though the prospect of legal freedom first appeared to the serfs, it soon became apparent that they had come at a heavy price for the peasants. It was not they, but the landlords and Tsar Alexander II, who were the beneficiaries. Unsurprising since the landowners decided how the serfs would be freed. The landowners got to decide which parts of their lands they got to keep (usually around 2/3) , and which to give up. They always chose the best parts, of course. And the landowners were compensated far above market value for the serfs they lost, and the peasants had to pay for their new land which they had been working for centuries now!

We won’t be cold in Hell

December 1990, Russia, forced labor camp
Near the Siberian frontier

Officers in fur-lined coats and chapkas stood in front of the gates where “Исправительно-трудовой лагерь“ was written in black and bold. The long barrels of their rifles were not as threatening as the cold look of their faces.

An order in Russian. The gates started to open to receive a new arrival of prisoners. Will could hear it from his cell, but he didn’t take notice of it anymore. When he had arrived, he used to jump on his feet and press his face against the frozen bars of his cell door each time he would hear the gates. “Maybe they’re coming for us today, mommy!”

He had really thought it was possible, at first. They weren’t even forced to work - but it was because there was harly any work to do. Out in the snow, the prisoners didn’t last more than a few minutes. Most of them were simply dying in their cells - just like Will’s mother, sent here with her son. She had died first, her arms tightly wrapped around her boy, in an attempt to give him the warmth that was leaving her body.

He had stayed just like this for several hours, even if he knew she was dead, before rolling her to the corner.

Will was barely able to stand now, and he had no hope anymore. He had lost track of time - he wasn’t even aware that his birthday had been two weeks before, and at ten years old, he was already waiting for death. Eventually, the cold or the starvation would defeat him - if no one killed him before that.

He heard voices in the corridor, in a language he couldn’t clearly understand. Sitting with his head between his knees, he didn’t move. Couldn’t. Moving was not necessary, anyway. If he could just… Sleep a little more…

Let the death come.



Moscow, Russia: Police attack and arrests at revolutionary communist rally marking the 1917 socialist revolution, November 7, 2013.

“According to the activists of the party ROT Front, claimed the rally was interrupted by the police, with a preliminary ban on holding received. 25 people were detained by police. They were charged with participating in an unsanctioned rally and disobedience to the authorities.”