See: UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT
UKRAINIAN COMMUNIST PARTY [UKAPISTS]
An opposition party to the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine from 1920 to 1925. The nickname “Ukapists” comes from the Anglicized Ukrainian initials of this party, UKP. The Ukapists were a split-off from the Ukrainian Social Democratic Labor Party in January 1919, and initially called themselves the Socialists-Sovereignists. They had a strong nationalistic orientation, though they did favor some type of an alliance with other Soviet republics in a sort of European socialist federation. In its newspaper Chervony Prapor the UCP strongly criticized the Ukrainian Bolsheviks as being subservient to the Russian Bolsheviks in Moscow.
Besides their initial Sovereignist core the Ukapists included many former left-Socialist Revolutionary Borotbists, and some people, such as Yuri Lapchinsky, who had left the CP(B)U for nationalist reasons. In 1923 a faction of the UCP requested unification with the Bolshevik party. In 1920 and again in 1924 the UCP asked the Communist International for affiliation as the representative of Ukraine. The Comintern rejected this application and said that since Ukraine was already a sovereign state within the USSR, the UCP should dissolve itself and merge into the CP(B)U. At its Fourth Congress the UCP did formally dissolve itself, and some members, including its leader Andri Richitsky, did join the CP(B)U. During the early 1930s at least some of the former Ukapists were purged from the Bolsheviks, and some were apparently exiled to Siberia or else executed.
[To be added... ]
See: HEISENBERG UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE
1. The active mental processes (or high-level characterizations of the functioning of the brain) which are outside the range of the subject’s awareness. This includes the brain processes that occur when a person performs routine tasks “without thinking about them”, such as walking, or driving a car while thinking about something else. But it may also be said to include similar sorts of characterizations of brain processing which people are normally incapable of being consciously aware of. Thus we may be aware that we have recognized somebody’s face, but we are not aware of the precise complex processing in the brain that allows us to actually do this. In this sense, most of the processing that the brain does is unconscious.
2. [In Freudian and similar types of psychoanalysis:] The part of the mind (or “psychic apppartus”) that does not ordinarily enter the individual’s awareness, and which is repressed, but which may be manifested indirectly by slips of the tongue, otherwise inexplicable actions, or in dreams, and which can supposedly be brought into conscious awareness through psychotherapy. The unconscious, in such theories, refers to “psychic activity” which concentrates eternal and immutable motives and desires, including taboo sexual and domination wishes. However, there is little or no scientific evidence that the “unconscious” actually exists in this Freudian sense. It is just a wild hypothesis of pseudoscientific psychoanalytical theory.
See also: SUBCONSCIOUS
One of a number of basic theories in the Marxist milieu for what causes capitalist economic crises. Marx called these events “overproduction crises”, though he actually put forward at least three different explanations for them—overproduction (or underconsumption), the anarchy of capitalist production, and the falling rate of profit theory). (And the followers of Marx have constructed even more crisis theories besides those three.)
Underconsumption is just another way of looking at overproduction; they are two sides of the same coin. Underconsumption is in relation to what the masses of the people actually need and want, and results from their not having enough money to buy those commodities. Overproduction is in relation to the real market demand (and not in relation to what people need and want!), but likewise results from people not having the money to buy all the things that are produced which they do in fact need and want.
Some of the early bourgeois theorists of underconsumption (such as Rodbertus, but including even Sismondi, the best of them) put forward undeveloped and often quite naive theories that tended to discredit this type of explanation for capitalist economic crises. In particular, many of them thought that simply raising wages would prevent such crises. (It is actually impossible for the capitalists to raise wages to that degree; they would go broke! In any case, they are definitely unwilling to even give it a try!) Furthermore, because of the multifaceted explanations which Marx himself gave for crises, even many Marxists do not understand that his central, and most essential, explanation was in fact a much more sophisticated form of underconsumption/overproduction theory than bourgeois economists like Rodbertus put forward. Hence the name he used for the phenomenon! Most of us defenders of the “underconsumption” theory of crises follow Marx and instead refer to them as “overproduction crises”. Consequently the term “underconsumptionism” is used mostly by opponents of overproduction theories of capitalist economic crises.
It should also be noted that Marx’s theory of overproduction focuses primarily not on the excess consumer commodities themselves (which are produced relative to the market demand), but rather the excess capital that is created which in turn can be used to produce so many “excess” commodities. In other words Marx is focusing on the overproduction of capital, rather than the overproduction of consumer commodities. This also explains why the term “overproduction” is superior to “underconsumption” in his theory.
See also below and: OVERPRODUCTION CRISES
UNDERCONSUMPTIONISM — Marx’s Supposed Rejection Of
There are a great many statements in Marx’s Capital, and in his other writings (including Theories of Surplus Value), in which he makes clear that his basic theory of capitalist economic crises is the Overproduction Theory. And, indeed, Marx even calls these crises by the name overproduction crises. However, as the introductory entry on UNDERCONSUMPTIONISM above notes, there are two competing crisis theories in Marx’s writings: the anarchy theory and the falling rate of profit theory. Those who favor one or the other of these theories instead of the overproduction theory prefer to call that theory “underconsumptionism”. And they have scoured Marx’s writings looking for the slightest clue that he also rejected “underconsumptionism”. They’ve found very few such statements, and even those are totally misconstrued. The specific passage from Marx which has been cited most often is the following from volume II of Capital:
“It is sheer tautology to say that crises are caused by the scarcity of effective consumption, or of effective consumers. The capitalist system does not know any other modes of consumption than effective ones, except that of sub forma pauperis [in the form of the pauper] or of the swindler. That commodities are unsaleable means only that no effective purchasers have been found for them, i.e., consumers (since commodities are bought in the final analysis for productive or individual consumption). But if one were to attempt to give this tautology the semblance of a profounder justification by saying that the working-class receives too small a portion of its own product and the evil would be remedied as soon as it receives a larger share of it and its wages increase in consequence, one could only remark that crises are always prepared by precisely a period in which wages rise generally and the working-class actually gets a larger share of that part of the annual product which is intended for consumption. From the point of view of these advocates of sound and ‘simple’ (!) common sense, such a period should rather remove the crisis. It appears, then, that capitalist production comprises conditions independent of good or bad will, conditions which permit the working-class to enjoy that relative prosperity only momentarily, and at that always only as the harbinger of a coming crisis.” —Marx, Capital, Vol. II, chapter 20, part 4, (International ed., pp. 410-411; Penguin ed., pp. 486-487.)
First of all, just who is Marx criticizing here? Engels, who edited volume II, comments in a
footnote to this paragraph that “possible followers of the Rodbertian theory of crises” should
take note of this passage. So we immediately see that Marx’s comments were directed against naïve
underconsumptionists such as Rodbertus, and not at all against the whole notion that
underconsumption by the masses is a central aspect of capitalist crises.
In fact, Marx makes it absolutely clear that underconsumption is indeed central to crises in the first sentence in the above passage where he says that “It is a sheer tautology to say that crises are caused by the scarcity of effective consumption, or of effective consumers.” Several times over the years I’ve heard people quote that sentence as part of their attacks on “underconsumptionism”. I’ve often wondered—do these people even know what a tautology is? To say that something is a tautology is definitely not to say that it is false, as some of these people seem to think! But it is true that Marx wanted to emphasize here that the forced underconsumption by the masses is by no means the whole story—that though it is certainly true, there are also other contradictions involved in crises.
There is another critical sentence in the above passage which I’ll repeat, but this time with the key part of it—the part that is unaccountably neglected by many—put in bold type: “But if one were to attempt to give this tautology the semblance of an profounder justification by saying that the working-class receives too small a portion of its own product and the evil would be remedied as soon as it receives a larger share of it and its wages increase in consequence, one could only remark that crises are always prepared by precisely a period in which wages rise generally and the working-class actually gets a larger share of that part of the annual product which is intended for consumption.”
It should be clear once again here that Marx is by no means denying that crises are in fact ultimately caused by the fact that the working class receives wages which cover only a part of the value which they create. But his point is that the complexities of the contradictions involved in crises, and the complicated way they develop, means that simply raising wages cannot possibly prevent crises from breaking out. This is true for any number of reasons. It is true because even if wages are raised, workers will still be exploited (though to a lesser degree). Capitalism cannot continue without the continuous extraction of surplus value from the workers. But more to the immediate point, it is also true because crises are postponed by means of the expansion of credit—consumer credit, government deficits, and so forth. So when these financial bubbles pop we have a crisis—even though wages are typically increasing at the time. To imagine that crises can be prevented by simply raising workers wages—even by raising them substantially—is in large part to fail to understand all the many additional contradictions at work on top of the most basic contradictions.
Marx’s point—in emphasizing that wages usually rise in the period just before crises break out—is that simple-minded crisis theories which recognize only that the consumption of the masses is forcibly restricted are completely inadequate. It’s not that Rodbertus was wrong about this basic point; on the contrary he was entirely correct about it. But this much is totally obvious; it is a “mere tautology.” What Rodbertus and others like him could not do was work out the full story, and explain all the additional mechanisms at work which both prevent crises for a time, but then inevitably lead to their sudden outbreak just when it seems the capitalist economy will fly forward unimpeded forever.
I should also add here that while what Marx says in the above passage is certainly true, it is a bit misleading in another way. A substantial increase in the real wages of the workers—either through actual wage raises, or a fall in consumer prices, or a cut in workers’ taxes—can in fact help to postpone or possibly somewhat mitigate the severity of a crisis. But just as extending the workers more credit can only ward off the crisis to some degree and/or for a limited period of time, the same is true of any real increase in wages. Eventually a crisis will break out in any case because none of these things truly resolves the underlying contradiction—that the workers are still being paid for only part of what they produce and therefore cannot possibly buy back all of it. No increase in wages—no matter how great—can permanently prevent a new crisis from developing. If the capitalists were suddenly to all go crazy and to actually try to pay the workers enough to buy an equivalent amount to what they produce then the capitalists themselves would soon go broke and the entire system would collapse. —S.H. [From a section of my work in progress, An Introductory Explanation of Capitalist Economic Crises].
UNEMPLOYMENT — U.S.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has many statistical series for unemployment rates. The “U-3” series, is the official unemployment rate, and the series that the government is willing to let the public see. It is therefore the series which the bourgeois media gives almost exclusive attention to. But this official unemployment rate does not include the millions of unemployed people who have gotten so discouraged by the job situation that they have not looked for work in the last few weeks. Nor does it include people who want to work full time but can only find part-time work. The “U-6” series does include many of the people in these two categories, but still excludes many other people who are actually unemployed, and who would get a job if work was available for them.
The BLS uses these official definitions:
U-3 Series: “Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor
force (official unemployment rate).”
U-6 Series: “Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.”
Marginally attached to the labor force: “are those who currently are neither working nor [currently] looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months.”
Discouraged workers are “a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work.”
Persons employed part time for economic reasons “are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.” —From the notes to each month’s BLS Unemployment Report.
[Note that every one of these “definitions” distorts the truth. U-3 is not at all the “total unemployed” (as they go on to tacitly admit themselves!); U-6 does not include all those who would work if jobs were actually available; “discouraged workers” actually excludes a large number of those who really are discouraged about finding work; and so forth. Even the BLS’s definition of the size of the labor force itself seriously distorts things (and tries to make the unemployment situation look much better than it is) by simply not counting millions of unemployed people as being in the labor force at all! —S.H.]
[Refer to the graph at the right.] “The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.” —John Williams, on his Shadow Government Statistics website at http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts
See also: COMPUTERS—and Unemployment
UNEMPLOYMENT — World
The total unemployment in the entire world, from data before the severe world economic crisis struck in a major way at the end of 2008, was said to be more than 1 billion workers! (One-sixth of the entire population of the world, and a much higher than that percentage of the world’s total work force!) This includes both the totally unemployed, and also those who are drastically underemployed (working only a few hours a week, whenever they can find it). [This estimate comes from Charges McMillion, chief economist at MBG Information Services, a Washington D.C. consulting firm. Quoted in The Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 21, 2010, p. 23.]
“Globally, 2.5 billion people are unemployed, underemployed, economically inactive, or engaged in subsistence labor (constituting a global reserve army almost twice the size of the world’s employed labor force). The result is abysmally low wages—with 39 percent of the world’s workers earning less that $2 a day. Meanwhile, multinational corporations are enjoying record profit margins from the super-exploitation of this cheap labor and the robbing of everything under the sun, thereby endangering the planet itself.” —John Bellamy Foster, in a letter to supporters of Monthly Review, Sept. 2011.
UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT OF CAPITALISM AND CAPITALIST-IMPERIALISM
A law of capitalism, which is greatly intensified in the modern imperialist era of capitalism, is that different enterprises, different industries, different sectors of the economy, and production in different capitalist countries as a whole, develops very unevenly. Moreover, in different time periods there is also uneven development, including among different capitalist countries. A country which zooms ahead of others during one period may well fall behind at a later period. And it is with regard to countries, and especially countries in the imperialist era that this uneven development becomes especially significant, for it is one of the underlying factors which lead to terrible wars between imperialist countries (including World War I and World War II).
There are a wide variety of reasons which explain this uneven development among countries. Some imperialist countries may possess colonies or have rights in their neo-colonies that others do not. Some may be better prepared to export capital to other countries. Other countries which were once more victimized by outside imperialism may break free to some extent and become better able to develop their own national economy. Some countries may already be deep in debt, while others have more freedom to expand production by promoting further debt growth. Even differences in the superstructure of society may be significant, as when one country has a better developed legal system which promotes the sanctity of business contracts. Similarly, one country may have a superior educational system to another. These are just a few of the great many reasons why one capitalist country, during some given period, may be able to far outstrip the economic development of another capitalist country.
Historically, capitalism first developed in a really intensive way in Britain. This led to Britain becoming more powerful and dominant than countries like Holland and France. In 1850 the U.S. share of world industrial production was only 15%, while Britain’s was 39%. Germany’s share was also far below Britain’s. As capitalism developed into its imperialist form in the last part of the 19th century, other capitalist countries began to catch up, especially Germany and the U.S. From 1870 to 1913 British output expanded only 2.25 times, while Germany’s increased almost 6 times and the U.S. by 9 times! Britain lost its status as the sole “superpower” of that age, and World War I developed among the two contending groups of imperialist countries to see which would dominate the world. World War II was really “round two” of that contest. The U.S. emerged as by far the most powerful imperialist country, both militarily and economically. Nevertheless, in the aftermath of World War II many other capitalist countries, including defeated Germany and Japan, began developing faster than the U.S. (in large part because of the greater destruction of capital in those countries during the War).
Then, too, in the mid-1950s the Soviet Union was captured from within by a rising new bourgeoisie. At first, based on its tremendous economic advances during its socialist period, the Soviet Union, even as a capitalist country, continued developing faster than the U.S. But then, because of its destruction of socialism, the masses turned against the Soviet system. And the greater degree of monopoly, bureaucracy, and the growing corruption in the U.S.S.R. led to a great fall in its rate of GDP expansion. It was hopelessly losing out to the U.S. and the “Western World”, and it knew it. For a while it looked very much like there would be a new world war, involving nuclear weapons, to settle the issue. (The world is very fortunate that this did not happen, because we certainly came close to it!) But then Gorbachev and the other new rulers of the Soviet Union recognized that they could not prevail that way either. The only path left to them (within the overall framework of capitalism, which is all they could comprehend or aprove of) was to switch over to Western-style monopoly capitalism. This final destruction of the Soviet Union led to an unprecedented further collapse of the economy, and even two decades later it has not fully recovered.
Meanwhile, the other great socialist country, China, was also captured from within by capitalist-roaders. In the socialist era China had overall been expanding its economy much faster than that of the U.S. and the “West” generally. This continued during the transition period, and then over the past couple decades has possibly even further speeded up. The Chinese revisionists have proven to be much more successful than the revisionists in the Soviet Union were in switching over to Western-style monopoly capitalism (for reasons we won’t get into here). So the world today, even in the midst of a growing overall world capitalist economic crisis, is still made up of one rapidly rising imperialist power—China. This suggests that there might be some real dangers of a major war between China and the current top-dog imperialist country, the U.S., at some point over the next few decades.
“Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism.” —Lenin, “On the Slogan for a United States of Europe” (Aug. 23, 1915), LCW 21:342.
“The uneven distribution of the railways, their uneven development—sums up, as it were, modern monoplist capitalism on a world-wide scale.” —Lenin, “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Preface to the French and German Editions, (July 6, 1920), LCW 22:190.
“It goes without saying that if capitalism could develop agriculture, which today is everywhere lagging terribly behind industry, if it could raise the living standards of the masses, who in spite of the amazing technical progress are everywhere still half-starved and poverty-stricken, there could be no question of a surplus of capital. This ‘argument’ is very often advanced by the petty-bourgeois critics of capitalism. But if capitalism did these things it would not be capitalism; for both uneven development and a semi-starvation level of existence of the masses are fundamental and inevitable conditions and constitute premises of this mode of production.” —Lenin, “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Ch. IV, (1916), LCW 22:241. [Although capitalism has now finally “developed agriculture” in the form of giant agribusiness, it has not done so for the benefit of the people, vast numbers of whom still starve to death every year around the world. —S.H.]
UNIFIED COMBATANT COMMAND [U.S. Military]
The vast U.S. imperialist military forces have divided the whole world into six regions, with separate military command operations for each. These are the six area Unified Combatant Commands. (There are, in addition, four more “functional” UCCs in charge of special military functions, such as strategic bombers and ICBMs.). The six area commands are:
NORTHCOM — U.S. North Command: North America, including Mexico & Cuba.
SOUTHCOM — U.S. South Command: All of Latin America except for Mexico & Cuba.
EUCOM — U.S. European Command, including Turkey.
CENTCOM — U.S. Central Command: The Middle East, including Egypt and Central Asia.
AFRICOM — U.S. Africa Command: All of Africa except Egypt.
PACOM — U.S. Pacific Command.
UNION OF IRANIAN COMMUNISTS (SARBEDARAN)
An Iranian Maoist organization formed in 1976, which organized uprisings and guerrilla warfare in Iran, but suffered some serious defeats and setbacks especially during the 1980s. A large part of their membership and leadership was killed in battle or executed by the reactionary Iranian government. After those disasters it struggled to rebuild its organization and the revolutionary movement in Iran. In 2001 the UIC(S) became the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist).
It is unclear how much influence Sarbedaran had within Iran itself, though it was quite influential in Iranian student groups abroad, including the United States. The UIC(S) always viewed Iran as a semicolonial, semifeudal country, rather than as a fully capitalist country. It also always recognized the absolute need for, and strongly supported, revolutionary violence to overthrow the oppressive regime in Iran, and opposed the revisionists of the Tudeh Party. However, there were some substantial struggles over political line and strategy within the organization which were greatly amplified by their military defeats and government suppression efforts.
After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Sarbedaran expanded its work in Iran and tried to prepare for uprisings and guerrilla warfare, while also participating in some working class and peasant struggles. And around 1981 it began some limited actual guerrilla warfare in the Kurdish areas of Iran. On January 25, 1982 the UIC(S) launched an armed uprising against the Islamic Republic in the vicinity of Amol (near the Caspian Sea). This failed and many members and leaders were captured and shot.
The UIC(S) was then in disarray for a fairly long period. However in the spring of 1983 it held its 4th Conference and in the spring of 1984 it participated in the founding of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). Throughout this period some Sarbedaran members and cadre were still being arrested and murdered by the government. In 1985 they tried anew to organize a militant struggle against the Islamic Republic, but it once again failed. A long summation by the UIC(S) of some of these very negative experiences, entitled “Defeated Armies Learn Well”, was published in the RIM magazine, A World to Win, in late 1985. [See: http://www.bannedthought.net/International/RIM/AWTW/1985-4/AWTW-04-Iran-DefeatedArmies.pdf (PDF: 22 pages, 4,329 KB).]
The Wikipedia (from which some of the information in this entry is taken) says that in the late 1980s the UIC(S) dropped some of their old slogans and strategies such as “Peoples’ war in rural areas and uprising in cities”, and instead put forward a new strategy with the slogan “Protracted People’s War: Siege the Cities via Villages”. It is unknown to us how successful the revised strategy has been so far.
On May 1, 2001, the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) was formed as the continuation of Sarbedaran. However, there is still a website at http://www.sarbedaran.org/language/index.htm which has some new and old documents posted in various languages.
UNION OF RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATS ABROAD
“The Union of Russian Social-Democrats Abroad was founded in 1894 in Geneva, on the initiative of the Emancipation of Labor group. The latter was at first the leader in it and edited its publications; but afterwards the opportunist elements—the Economist ‘younger group’—secured the upper hand. At the Union’s First Congress in November 1898 the Emancipation of Labor Group refused to edit the Union publications; and at the Second Congress, in April 1900, it broke with the Union finally, withdrawing with its supporters from the Congress to establish an independent organization called Sotsial-Demokrat.” —Note 5, LCW 7.
UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS (USSR, or SOVIET UNION)
See: SOVIET UNION, and sub-topics there, and also: COUNCIL FOR MUTUAL ECONOMIC AID
See: LABOR UNIONS
UNIT LABOR COSTS
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines unit labor costs as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity. Increases in hourly compensation tend to increase unit labor costs and increases in output per hour (productivity) tend to reduce them.
1. Either a formal or informal agreement of different political forces (possibly even from different social classes) to work cooperatively with regard to one or a few issues on which they agree, despite their many disagreements on other issues.
2. A government created on the basis of such an agreement, even if unstable over the long term, and probably short-lived. [More to be added.]
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT — Control Of
[To be added...]
“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.” —Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speaking to Colonel Edward M. House, Nov. 21, 1933. [Quoted in: Ronald Wright, What Is America? (2008), p. 169.]
UNITED STATES ECONOMY — Reliance on Foreign Sales
The U.S. is a large country with a more self-contained economy than many countries. However, it is also a major part of the world economy, and is dependent on the world market for considerable sales of its products, as well as for foreign investment in both directions. The chart at the right shows the varying dependence of particular U.S. industries on foreign sales in general, and also specifically on sales to Europe and the Middle East. (It should be noted that this chart shows the foreign sales only for the biggest corporations which are included in the Standard & Poor’s 500 list. Thus the average foreign sales of about 1/3 of their production is not true of the U.S. economy as a whole.)
[Figures in the chart are estimates for 2011 and 2012. *Excluding telecommunications companies and banks because the index only includes regional banks and companies in those sectors whose business is restricted to the United States. †Excluding sales in Canada and the Carribean. New York Times sources: Company reports; Citigroup Global Markets.]
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT — Expenditures of
[Intro to be added...]
|Some Big Budget Expenditures of the U.S. Government|
|Program||Cost (at the time)||Cost (2009 dollars)|
|Louisiana Purchase (1803)||$15 million||$217 billion|
|The New Deal (1933-1941)||$32 billion (est.)||$500 billion (est.)|
|Marshall Plan (1947-51)||$12.7 million||$115.3 billion|
|Korean War (1950-53)||$54 million||$454 billion|
|Race to the Moon (1960s)||$36.4 million||$237 billion|
|Vietnam War (c. 1961-75)||$111 million||$416.7 billion|
|S&L Crisis (1980s & 90s)||$153 million||$256 billion|
|Gulf War II/Invasion of Iraq (2003-?)||$551 million*||$597 billion*|
|Financial Crisis Bailouts (2008-?)||Many trillions!**||Many trillions!**|
* Full cost including the continuing occupation well over $1 trillion. |
** Final figure not yet known.
Based on: Barry Ritholtz, Bailout Nation (2009), Table 1.1,
from data provided by Bianco Research.
UNITED STATES IMPERIALISM
[Introduction to be added...]
“U.S. imperialism, which looks like a huge monster, is in essence a paper
tiger, now in the throes of its death-bed struggle. In the world of today, who actually
fears whom? It is not the Vietnamese people, the Laotian people, the Cambodian people, the
Palestinian people, the Arab people or the people of other countries who fear U.S.
imperialism; it is U.S. imperialism which fears the people of the world. It becomes
panic-stricken at the mere rustle of leaves in the wind. Innumerable facts prove that a
just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust cause finds little support. A weak
nation can defeat a strong, a small nation can defeat a big. The people of a small country
can certainly defeat aggression by a big country, if only they dare to rise in struggle,
dare to take up arms and grasp in their own hands the destiny of their country. This is a
law of history.
“People of the world, unite and defeat the U.S. aggressors and all their running dogs!” —Mao, from his statement of May 20, 1970; Peking Review, Special Issue, May 23, 1970.
UNITED STATES IMPERIALISM — Crimes Of
[To be added...]
“I never apologize for the United States of America. I don’t care what the facts are.” —George H. Bush, while campaigning for President in 1988, speaking soon after the U.S. warship Vincennes “accidently” shot down an Iranian airliner on July 3, 1988, killing all 290 people on board. [Quoted in Harper’s magazine, November 1990.]
UNITED STATES IMPERIALISM — and Democracy
“We have 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent
of its population... In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy
and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of
relationships which will allow us to maintain this position of disparity. We
should cease to talk about the raising of the living standards, human rights, and
democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in
straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the
better.” —George Kennan, Director of Policy Planning of the Department of State,
Department of State, Policy Planning Study 23: Foreign Relations of the
United States, 1948, vol. 1 (part 2), Feb. 24, 1948, p. 23.
[Of course later on the U.S. government recognized the need to both employ military force to maintain its empire and at the same time to verbally pretend to be supporting peace, freedom and democracy around the world. They have learn quite well to use the words while rejecting the actual concepts. —S.H.]
UNITED STATES IMPERIALISM — Invasions of Other Countries
SELECTED UNITED STATES INVASIONS, ATTACKS AND INTERVENTIONS |
Including via CIA-armed and trained proxies or at the “invitation” of client regimes.
Does not include the many countries invaded in World War I and World War II.
Major U.S. imperialist war.
Plotted and directed army coup, but was defeated.
Engineered coup by reactionary officers, set up pro-U.S. Guido regime.
|Directed Ballivian’s coup; established military dictatorship. |
|Master-minded military coup, forcing President G. Vargas to commit suicide. |
Plotted coup, but failed.
Stage-managed coup forcing President Quadros to resign; unsuccessful attempt to set up military dictatorship.
Stage-managed military coup & set up pro-U.S. military regime.
|Cambodia||1972-75||Murderous bombing and invasions during Vietnam War.|
Plotted to dissolve parliament and set up military dictatorship, but was defeated.
Multi-imperialist invasion to suppress “Boxer Rebellion”.
|Costa Rica||1955 (Jan.)||Ordered attack by Nicaraguan dictator A. Somoza, but was repulsed.|
|Spanish-American War. |
Instigated coup, installed dictator Batista.
Bay of Pigs invasion and fiasco.
2,000 U.S. marines landed to threaten Dominican people.
Landed 4,000 U.S. marines.
Sent 40 warships to Dominican waters and threated invasion to stop possible revolution.
Dispatched warships to Dominican waters to support puppet President Balaguer.
Engineered coup by ultra-Right-wing military & police to set up pro-U.S. dictatorship.
|Conspired with reactionaries in Ecuador to set up dictatorship, but failed. |
Instigated coup by reactionary military clique to set up dictatorial regime.
Engineered coup, set up pro-U.S. dictatorial regime.
Instigated coup; installed Osorio’s one-man rule.
Sent naval and air forces to Caribbean Sea to threaten Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Organized invasion from Honduras; overthrew the democratic Arbenz government.
Direct coup to set up a more pro-U.S. military dictatorship.
U.S. supported death-squad regime murdered tens of thousands.
Directed military coup, but failed.
U.S. troops kidnap President Aristide and family.
|Hawaii||1893||Annexed as a territory; became a U.S. State in 1959.|
Stage-managed coup by reactionary army officers to set up dictatorial regime.
U.S. shoots down civilian airliner killing all 290 people aboard.
|Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed. |
Over 100,000 more Iraqis killed.
Korean War: Major U.S. imperialist war.
|Laos||1965-75||Murderous bombing and invasions during Vietnam War.|
1954 (Latter half)
|Theft of much of Mexico’s territory in major war. |
Instigated coup, but was defeated by the Mexican people.
San Juan del Sur.
U.S. mined Bluefields, Corinto & Puerto Sandino harbors.
|Pakistan||Recent years||U.S. drone air attacks kill many Pakistani civilians.|
Massacred Panamanian people defending national sovereignty.
Two to six thousand people killed in U.S. invasion.
|Paraguay||1954 (May)||Engineered coup; set up Stroessner dictatorship in July.|
|Engineered military coup; set up Odria dictatorial regime.|
Instigated military coup; set up Perez Godoy dictatorial regime.
Again instigated coup and set up a more pro-U.S. dictatorial regime.
|Philippines||1898-1910||Spanish-American War and suppression of Filipino nationalists.|
|Spanish-American War. Annexed as a territory. |
|Russia (Soviet Union)||1918||Part of a multi-nation invasion against Bolshevik Revolution.|
|Samoa||1899||Annexed as a territory.|
|Somalia||1993||In one attack alone U.S. missiles kill 100 unarmed people.|
|Uruguay||1964 (Jan.)||Instigated right-wing army coup, but failed.|
1958 (July, Sept. & Nov.)
|Stage-managed coup; set up P. Jimenez dictatorship. |
Instigated three coups, which were all defeated.
|Vietnam||1965-75||Major U.S. imperialist war against Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia.|
From: “Selected Crimes of a Global Terrorist”, Revolution, #232, published by the RCPUSA, May 15, 2011, p. 10; |
“U.S. Political Intervention and Armed Subversion in Latin America” (Peking Review, #22, May 28, 1965);
and from additional sources.
UNITY AND STRUGGLE
“The unity (coincidence, identity, equal action) of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive opposites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute.” —Lenin, “On the Question of Dialectics” (1915), LCW 38:360.
UNITY OF OPPOSITES [Dialectics]
See also: CONTRADICTION—Dialectical, DIALECTICS, ONE-INTO-TWO
“Marxist philosophy holds that the law of the unity of opposites is the fundamental law of the universe. This law operates universally, whether in the natural world, in human society, or in man’s thinking. Between the opposites in a contradiction there is at once unity and struggle, and it is this that impels things to move and change. Contradictions exist everywhere, but they differ in accordance with the different nature of different things. In any given phenomenon or thing, the unity of opposites is conditional, temporary and transitory, and hence relative, whereas the struggle of opposites is absolute.” —Mao, “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People” (Feb. 27, 1957), SW 5:392.
UNITY OF THE WORLD
The physical universe is a unified system, consisting of myriad separate material parts which nevertheless interact with each other to various degrees. This unity of the world arises from the fact that these parts can and do interact with each other. They do so through the forces which have been discovered, namely gravity, electro-magnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces, and perhaps also through some additional physical forces yet to be discovered.
It is possible to absurdly exaggerate the unity of the world, however, such as via the mystical notion that “all is one”. According to the ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides, for example, reality is a unified, eternal, indivisible, unchanging and motionless single entity, and all the movement and interaction between people and things that we seem to see are mere illusions! Of course it is difficult for modern scientific people to understand how such a view could ever have been taken seriously.
Obviously a more dialectical perspective is called for here. There is both unity and difference in the world, both connection and distinction, both interaction and effective non-interaction. The unity of the world consists more in the possibility of occasional exceptional interactions between two different things than it does in actual universal, constant, equipollent, mutual interactions. It may well be that every single particle of matter is connected to every other one through gravitational and/or other forces, but in most cases such connections are inconsequential. The gravitational tug of the planet Neptune has no detectable effect on my fingers in the typing of these words, even though science does currently assume that some such ultra-minute tug actually exists.
Any coherent notion of cause and effect requires such a dialectical view of the unity of the world.
The world is a unity in another important way as well: there are not two separate, unconnected aspects to it, the physical and the mental (or “spiritual”); instead, mental phenomena such as ideas, thoughts or memories, are merely special ways of looking at aspects of certainly highly organized complexes of matter (e.g., brains) and their functions and processes. (See: MONISM)
“The real unity of the world consists in its materiality...” —Engels, Anti-Dühring (1878), MECW 25:41.
UNIVERSAL RIGHTS OF MAN, The
The principles in the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen” which was proclaimed during the time of the great French Revolution of 1789-93.
UNIVERSALS (vs. PARTICULARS or INDIVIDUALS) [Philosophy]
Universals are abstractions (abstract concepts), which are usually generalizations derived from particulars (such as individual material things) which have a physical existence in the world.
There is a long tradition in idealist philosophy, going back at least to Plato, in arguing that in addition to the specific material objects in the world there also actually exist (perhaps even in some “deeper” sense!) abstract entities which embody the “idea” or “form” of a given sort of object. For example, according to this idealist conception, in addition to all the actual chairs in the world there also exists the idea of “chair” (or “chairness”) which is just as much a part of reality as are all the specific chairs. But while that idealist conception that ideas are on an existential (or ontological) par with material objects is total nonsense, it is a fact that we do have the abstract concept of a chair, and that abstract concept is different from (and not identical to) any specific chair. (If some particular chair that is extremely similar to our concept of a chair is destroyed, for example, our concept of a chair is still not in any way destroyed.)
Philosophers, therefore, have long discussed the relationship between universals and particulars (or individual things), and idealist and metaphysical philosophers have often been very confused and mystified by this relationship. The central difficulty here comes from an inadequate understanding and analysis of what abstraction is. However, to deeply understand the nature of abstraction itself, one must apply materialist dialectics. It appears to me that Lenin was making an attempt in this direction in the following, though it is not certain that everyone will find this helpful (since the discussion itself is quite abstract):
“To begin with what is the simplest, most ordinary, common, etc., with
any proposition: the leaves of a tree are green; John is a man; Fido is
a dog, etc. Here already we have dialectics (as Hegel’s genius recognized): the
individual is the universal...
[Lenin then quotes a passage in German and Greek about the views of Aristotle on this subject. The English translation of that passage is: “For, of course, one cannot hold the opinion that there can be a house (in general) apart from visible houses.”]
“Consequently, the opposites (the individual is opposed to the universal) are identical: the individual exists only in the connection that leads to the universal. The universal exists only in the individual and through the individual. Every individual is (in one way or another) a universal. Every universal is (a fragment, or an aspect, or the essence of) an individual. Every universal only approximately embraces all the individual objects. Every individual enters incompletely into the universal, etc., etc. Every individual is connected by thousands of transitions with other kinds of individuals (things, phenomena, processes), etc. Here already we have the elements, the germs, the concepts of necessity, of objective connection in nature, etc. Here already we have the contingent and the necessary, the phenomenon and the essence...” —Lenin, “On the Question of Dialectics” (1915), LCW 38:361. [This is from a rough manuscript that Lenin did not have a chance to prepare for publication during his lifetime.]
UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT (UAPA)
A fascist law passed by the central government of India in 2008 which gives the police and other authorities almost a completely free hand to suppress ideas and social movements which the ruling class dislikes. It is especially aimed at the revolutionary movement, and the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in particular.
For further information see the Indian Fascism page on BANNEDTHOUGHT.NET at: http://www.bannedthought.net/India/Fascism/index.htm
[To be added...]
See also: PRODUCTIVE LABOR
UPPER PALEOLITHIC (LATE PALEOLITHIC)
The European pre-historical period from about 35,000 to 11,000 years ago. The Upper Paleolithic and first part of the Neolithic are generally divided into six principle cultural periods (which overlap somewhat): The Chatelperonian (35,000-30,000 years ago); the Aurignacian (34,000-30,000); the Gravettian (30,000-22,000); the Solutrean (22,000-18,000); the Magdelenian (18,000-11,000); and the Azilian (11,000-9,000). [Roger Lewin, In the Age of Mankind (1988), pp. 145-6.]
See also: PALEOLITHIC
URBAN GUERRILLA WARFARE
The scheme of attempting to bring about social revolution through small scale hit-and-run guerrilla warfare within the cities and urban areas of a country, by forces with little or no connection to the masses and their struggles. This has sometimes been an attempt to apply something like Che Guevara’s “foco” strategy in an urban setting (as by the Tupamaros in Uruguay in the 1960s and early 1970s), and at other times a gross distortion of the Maoist strategy of people’s war, the revolutionary strategy developed by Mao for China in the 1930s and similar Third World countries with huge populations of peasants and weak central governments. In no country have any attempts at urban guerrilla warfare made any significant progress toward actual social revolution and the seizure of power by the revolutionary proletariat.
For an exposure of many of the fallacies involved in the theory of, and attempts at, urban guerrilla warfare, see: “The False Path of the W. European ‘Urban Guerrilla’”, by P. Becker, A World to Win, #4, 1985, 16 pages, posted at: http://www.bannedthought.net/International/RIM/AWTW/1985-4/AWTW-04-UrbanGuerrilla.pdf [PDF: 2,288 KB]
See also: VENCEREMOS ORGANIZATION, WEATHER UNDERGROUND ORGANIZATION
[Sometimes with a hyphen.] 1. An item which is useful or meets a need or satisfies a desire that someone has. (Marx generally uses the term in this sense.)
2. The characteristic(s) of an item that makes it useful or allows it to meet a need.
“Whatever its social form may be, wealth always consists of use-values...” —Marx, CCPE, pp. 27-8. “The use-value of a commodity is the basis of its exchange-value and thus of its value.” —Marx, Capital, vol. III, Part VI, Ch. 37: (International, p. 636; Penguin, p. 774.)
See also: VALUE, EXCHANGE VALUE
1. Any of a large number of ethical theories, most of which are now varieties of hedonism, and therefore focus on “happiness” and “pain”.
2. [Originally, and logically:] The ethical theory that goodness and morality derive from utility or usefulness. Marxist-Leninist Class Interest Ethics has developed from these roots. (See next entry below.)
See also: Philosophical Doggerel on utilitarianism.
UTILITARIANISM AND MARXISM
[Intro to be added... ]
“Is this attitude of ours utilitarian? Materialists do not oppose utilitarianism in general but the utilitarianism of the feudal, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois classes; they oppose those hypocrites who attack utilitarianism in words but in deeds embrace the most selfish and short-sighted utilitarianism. There is no ‘ism’ in the world that transcends utilitarian considerations; in class society there can be only the utilitarianism of this or that class. We are proletarian revolutionary utilitarians and take as our point of departure the unity of the present and future interests of the broadest masses, who constitute over 90 per cent of the population; hence we are revolutionary utilitarians aiming for the broadest and most long-range objectives, not narrow utilitarians concerned only with the partial and the immediate. If, for instance, you reproach the masses for their utilitarianism and yet for your own utility, or that of a narrow clique, force on the market and propagandize among the masses a work which pleases only the few but is useless or even harmful to the majority, then you are not only insulting the masses but also revealing your own lack of self-knowledge. A thing is good only when it brings real benefit to the masses of the people.” —Mao, “Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art” (May 1942), SW 3:85.
UTOPIAN COMMUNE (or COMMUNITY)
A small community of utopian socialists who come together to equalize their labor and share the wealth that they collectively produce. Some of the most notable of these communities were established by the early 19th century utopian socialists such as Robert Owen. Many utopian communes were set up by various religious sects. In modern times utopian communes are few and far between, and are very small and essentially inconsequential as far as participating in any way in the progressive social transformation of society as a whole.
The most extensive and economically successful (for a time) system of utopian communes has been the kibbutzim in Israel, which were set up from both collectivist impulses and in order to more effectively steal the land away from the Palestinian people. This shows just how terribly reactionary a programme of creating utopian communes can sometimes be.
[To be added... ]
“It is natural that utopian theories, which before the era of materialistic critical socialism contained the rudiments of the latter within itself, can now, coming belatedly, only be silly, stale, and basically reactionary.” —Marx, Letter to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, Oct. 19, 1877, Marx-Engels: Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress, 1975), p. 291. [In a slightly different translation in MECW 45:284.]
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