Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kiev: Washington’s Barbaric Junta

Washington has been constantly meddling in the Ukraine since it became an independent country in 1991. $5 billion were spent bribing corrupt Ukrainian politicians into becoming US puppets and also to fund fake “protest movements” targeting anyone that refused to toe Washington’s line. Viktor Yanukovich, who had won the 2004 presidential election, was prevented from taking office by the US-orchestrated “Orange Revolution” coup. But the orange plague was beaten back and Yanukovich became president following the 2010 election.

During President Yanukovich’s administration, the Ukraine traveled on an independent course. Despite immense Western pressure, in late 2013 the Ukraine rejected an unfair trade agreement with the EU and opted instead for closer economic ties with its fellow East Slavs, Russia and Belarus. While imperfect, Yanukovich did not want to sell his country out to the IMF. US imperialism responded by unleashing fascist thugs and “useful idiot” liberal protesters upon the Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. The rainbow flag flew alongside the swastika. The mindless Maidan rioters murdered police and damaged property in the country that they claimed to love.

On February 22, 2014, Washington orchestrated its second coup in Kiev. A leaked conversation had earlier revealed Washington’s scheme to install Arseniy Yatsenyuk into power, but its revelation did not foil the plot. From a building controlled by the coup-plotters, Western mercenaries fired shots at the rioters to further radicalize them. Yanukovich was forced into exile. A brutal pro-US puppet regime, reminiscent of Pinochet’s dictatorship, was installed into power. The new junta in Kiev immediately banned the language spoken by the vast majority of the southeastern Ukraine, Russian. They threatened to ban the southeast’s political parties as well.

US imperialist strategists (like Zbigniew Brzezinski) believe that Russia can not become a superpower again without the Ukraine, which is a dubious assumption when one considers Russia’s immense geographical size. However, this curious belief was a key motive for the coup. Separating the Ukraine from Russia is also part of Washington’s larger drive for the breakup of the Russian Federation itself. Washington’s other top goal was the removal of the Russian naval base from Sevastopol in the strategic Crimean peninsula. Sevastopol is the Russian navy’s most important warm water port.

But power-mad Washington forgot about the people that actually live in the southeastern Ukraine. Large rallies against the new Kiev regime were held in Sevastopol and the West’s pro-Maidan minions were chased away. Anti-fascist militias were organized in the Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority. Several days later they took the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol into safe hands. Independence was soon declared. And on March 16th, almost 97% of Crimean referendum voters voted to reunify with Russia.

Angry, mournful howls filled the late winter air as Western officials gnashed their teeth in fury. The Crimean people had dashed an anti-Russia plot. Washington had wanted the world to forget that the Ukraine is a recently constructed country with disputed borders. In fact, in the USSR, the Crimea had been a part of the Russian SFSR until 1954 when the Khrushchev administration arbitrarily moved it to the Ukrainian SSR. Most of all, Washington did not want the Crimea to serve as an example to the rest of the Ukraine.

But serve an example it did. Following the Crimea’s lead, the Donbass arose as well in early April, creating the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. In retaliation, Washington ordered its Kiev puppet regime to launch a genocidal war against the Donbass. Despite a murderous assault, successful independence referendums were held in Donetsk and Lugansk on May 11th. Over 90% of votes were cast for self-rule.

Showing its complete disregard for the democratic process, the Western-installed junta continued its war against the Donbass’ people. Obama’s puppet, “President” Petro Poroshenko, boasted that he would win the war in “hours, not weeks.” But by late August, it wasn’t the junta’s pale blue and yellow flag that flew over Donetsk and it wasn’t victorious junta troops marching through Donetsk’s streets. Instead, the Donbass resistance was holding a victory parade of their own.

During the summer, the resistance had smashed the junta’s army and carved out the world’s newest, independent state, Novorossiya. The Novorossiyan freedom fighters seek to liberate the entire southeast from Uncle Sam’s clutches, overthrow the Kiev junta, and stop the eastward spread of NATO. Their bold resistance will serve as an inspiration to all those living underneath similar US-installed, neo-colonial dictatorships.

Washington’s junta only succeeded in committing unspeakable atrocities against the civilian population in the southeast, including torture, rape, organ theft, and murder. Their artillery shelled homes, businesses, Orthodox churches, and historical monuments. In addition, on May 2nd, the junta massacred dissidents in a fiery inferno inside the Odessa trade union building. Death and destruction is all that the West and its puppets have to offer the southeastern Ukraine.

Washington’s favored puppet and “prime minister”, Yatsenyuk, revealed the junta’s Nazi nature by calling the southeastern Ukrainians “subhuman.” The regime openly sends fascists from Galicia (in western Ukraine) to commit genocide against the southeastern population. The fascists are known as Banderites, the ideological followers of Stepan Bandera who massacred Poles, Jews, and other Ukrainians while collaborating with the Nazi occupation during World War II.

The world has become aware that Obama is backing Nazi thugs in the Ukraine just like he sent Wahhabi terrorists to destabilize Libya and Syria. US imperialism, despite all its “humanitarian” propaganda, has created real humanitarian catastrophes while attempting to counter its own decline and continue dominating the planet. Countless innocents have been sacrificed on an unholy altar to Wall Street. Their blood will forever be on the hands of all those in the US who still cheerlead for the Wall Street-owned Democratic Party machine, especially the pseudo “anti-war” leaders who have remained strangely silent during the Obama years.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Marxism-Leninism vs. “Western Leftism”

Contemporary “Western Leftism” is an insidious ideology that, whether ultra-left or reformist in form, only acts in support of monopoly capitalism. The Western left and especially the US left have rejected socialism (which they call “Stalinism”) in favor of bourgeois liberal culture war. A closer look at their extreme socially liberal views and utopian rejection of real world socialism reveals them to be a dangerous enemy of the Western proletariat. Marxist-Leninists must struggle against all manifestations of “Western Leftism.”

The Contemporary Western Left’s “New Left” Origins

During the tumultuous 1960s, a new ideological strain appeared on the US left-wing political scene. The New Left ideologists, as they would come to be known, placed the struggle for bourgeois democratic rights over the class struggle for workers’ rights. At its core, New Leftism rejected Marxism-Leninism in favor of bourgeois liberal ideology. And thus began an endless series of “rights movements”: rights for homosexuals, animals, the environment, transsexuals, etc. “Rights struggles” for everyone except, of course, for workers’ rights.

The New Leftists also harbored an intense hatred for the world’s community of socialist countries, especially the Soviet Union. Their hazy, drug-clouded minds could see no difference between the world’s first workers’ states and predatory US imperialism. They claimed to be for a “third way”, against Washington and Moscow, but their anti-Sovietism only sent them running into Uncle Sam’s open arms.

With bourgeois support, the New Left grew until its basic ideas (i.e. liberal identity politics) now hold a monopoly upon the West’s left. However, as New Left ideas became dominant, the left itself became politically irrelevant. Due to their rejection of working class organizing, many workers became ambivalent toward left-wing politics. Meanwhile, many more became openly hostile toward the neo-left’s fringe views on culture.

Oppose “Kulturkampf”

The Western left’s extreme social-liberalism alienates most of the proletariat. Such errors occur on two key culture war “issues” fought over during the bourgeois election season: the family and religion. The bourgeoisie effectively use these “wedge issues” to divide and rule our class.

The bourgeoisie try every way to weaken and undermine working class families, because they provide an economic support mechanism to workers. Consequently, capitalist Hollywood creates movies that encourage infidelity and divorce, while bourgeois liberal intellectuals slander heterosexual marriage as being “oppressive.” Radical-feminists turn male and female workers against each other by trying to replace proletarian class struggle with bourgeois “gender struggle.” Profit hungry exploiters want increasingly vulnerable (and therefore, extra-exploitable) workers, like single parents. Therefore, the bourgeoisie’s propagandists attack workers’ families just like they attack labor unions, progressive legislation, or anything else that benefits our class.

Rallying to the defense of workers’ families should be an obvious necessity. Yet the Western left has taken the exact opposite approach by promoting “alternative families” (i.e. advocating single parenthood or gay marriage as an ideal) over “traditional families” (i.e. a husband, wife, and children). Supporting such “family diversity” essentially means cheerleading for capitalism’s atomization of society, for the ruthless breakdown of what binds humanity together.

One might be wondering about how this relates to Engels’ 1884 work, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Engels said that we would not know how workers’ future romantic relationships would be like until a new generation had grown up in socialism. However, that question was long ago answered in the world’s first socialist societies in the 20th century. Soviet families were overwhelmingly heterosexual and monogamous. Ultra-leftists that slander workers’ nuclear families are rejecting the experience of real world socialism. Marxist-Leninists in the West could learn a lot from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which holds a strong pro-family position.

Interrelated to defending proletarian families is the issue of religion. Both are easy questions to make ultra-left errors on. Lenin said that communists must recruit religious workers into the party. While we oppose religious proselytizing amongst our ranks, we also must equally condemn hostility toward religious workers. Religious sectarianism is an easy way to turn friends into enemies. A clever tactician is not so foolish as to make such an error.

Thanks to misguided culture warring, the US left has isolated itself away in liberal enclaves in the Northeast, the Upper Midwest, and the West Coast. Almost no presence exists in the Deep South, Appalachia, the Great Plains, and the Mountain West regions. US leftists typically sneer at these latter parts of the country, which alienates most workers living there. It’s time to toss off those hemp sandals and start a nationwide struggle for socialism.

For Socialism, Against Imperialism

Western leftists’ opposition to existing socialist societies leads to support for capitalism. Once an ultra-leftist has realized that an anarchist/idealist utopia can never come true, they take a predictable ‘leap to the right,’ ultimately settling with support for Keynesian or laissez-faire capitalism, their choice. For the reformist left-liberals, Keynesian capitalism combined with a bourgeois “welfare state” is as far as they’ll ever go.

Only two real political positions exist: 1, support for socialist revolution and a socialist state; or 2, support for counter-revolution and a capitalist state. No “third course” is possible. The “alternative path” leads right back to capitalism, if it ever left in the first place. Support for socialist revolution to end US imperialism should be the basis for reconstructing “the left.”

As we warned in 2009, “humanitarian” imperialist propaganda would become an increasing danger. Imperialist wars and coups against small countries based upon lies about “national defense” could only be peddled for so long with a straight face. The reversion to “the white man’s burden to spread civilization” was inevitable. Now the imperialist think tanks and talking heads endlessly prattle on about “democracy” and “human rights” as they try selling Obama’s next Libya-style massacre, which easily fools Western leftists. Meanwhile, Western intelligence agencies fund, arm, and organize dangerous al-Queda terrorists against Syria’s secular government. In addition, the US State Department acts as a “second Pentagon” by funding pseudo-popular “protest movements” in countries independent from the US.

Opposition to US imperialism means more than just opposing US wars and coups, but also rejecting US monopoly capitalism as a system. In response to the bourgeois sneer, “There is no alternative,” we must reply, “Socialism is the alternative!” Real world socialism involves nationalization of the means of production and distribution, central planning, and a workers’ party holding political power in an individual country. Meanwhile, workers’ homes, cars, and other items remain their own personal possessions. Only those upholding these basic principles belong in a communist party, the development of which is our key task.

Instead of party building, the US left is obsessed with “organizing” disorganized protests that inevitably fizzle out, leaving no lasting presence, such as Occupy Wall Street. While the movement contains many well-meaning people, it has been severely weakened by two groups: Democratic Party operatives and anarchists. The Democrats want to dupe you into supporting the corrupt Democratic Party machine, while the anarchists try tricking you into “boycotting elections” altogether. Both ultimately serve the same purpose: preventing the development of a genuine opposition party that will lead us against Wall Street’s two-party dictatorship.

Workers’ Rights, Not Culture War

The US left should be fighting for the legal protection of key workers’ rights. US workers still lack the right to paid vacations, holidays, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave. Workers in all other developed capitalist countries and in many developing countries already have these rights. In addition, US medical care is not universal, Social Security is under attack, and increasing numbers of workers are not paid a livable wage. Unfortunately, US leftists have tried placing proletarian class struggle for these rights on hold until all workers are socially liberal rather than socially conservative.

Marxist-Leninists must oppose radicals on both sides of the “culture war,” taking special aim on the socially liberal varieties that currently afflict the left. The extremists only aid the capitalist class in dividing the proletariat against itself (e.g. “hippies” vs. “rednecks”). Marxist-Leninists must work to unite both socially liberal and socially conservative workers against our real enemy: the bourgeoisie. Only a steeled, Marxist-Leninist party that does not make “Western Leftist” style errors can lead our class to victory. “Western Leftism” only results in political irrelevancy and defeat.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Defeat Mittack Robama

Attempting to counteract US imperialism’s decline, Barack Obama has launched a new round of aggression, including both wars and coups. Wall Street’s drive for global domination also has another champion this year, Mitt Romney, who seeks to continue the Bush-Obama agenda for another four years. Class conscious workers must lead the opposition against the monopolists’ two-party system, by rejecting both Obama and Romney.

“You Will Hear of Wars and Rumors of Wars”

“Nobel Laureate” Obama continued the Iraq War, expanded the Afghan War into Pakistan, and launched new wars against Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and a small adventure into Uganda. Coup attempts were launched against Moldova (2009), Honduras (2009), Iran (2009, defeated), Libya (2011, a precursor to the war), Syria (2011-to-present), Paraguay (2012), and oil-rich Sudan was divided into two pieces (2011). Genocide against Palestinians continued unabated. Peaceful protest movements in Washington’s absolute monarchy satellites, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, were brutally repressed. More US troops have died during Obama’s administration (1,714) than in Bush’s first term (1,535). Obama-led “humanitarian” imperialism is even more aggressive than Bush.

Obama wanted to indefinitely occupy Iraq, not withdraw. However, patriotic Sadrist parliament members expelled the occupation by preventing the passage of a “status of forces” agreement that would have made US troops immune to Iraqi law. Knowing the troops could be prosecuted for the proposed “training exercises” allowing for the US to keep at least 5,000 more soldiers in Iraq, Washington withdrew. Note that some still remain “guarding” the US embassy, which is larger than the Vatican.

Only 34,000 US troops were in Afghanistan when Obama became president, but by 2010 he increased that number to almost 100,000. 70% of all US Afghan War fatalities have died during Obama’s administration. Afghan casualties are unknown, but certainly tens of thousands have been killed. The unmanned drone campaign was used to expand the war into neighboring Pakistan. Thousands of Pakistanis have been killed. Drone-launched missiles do not discriminate between armed fighters and unarmed civilians (the latter form the vast majority of the casualties). The so-called “withdrawal plan” is a farce, Obama plans to continue the US occupation until at least 2024.

While US imperialism cynically uses the fight against al-Queda-associated groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia to increase its global military presence near strategic areas (Central Asia and the Gulf of Aden), it backs the exact same terrorists in Libya, Syria, “Balochistan” (in Iran and Pakistan), and Russia’s Chechnya province. In fact, the terrorists that became known as “al-Queda” have always played a pro-imperialist role since their beginnings as the CIA’s “mujahideen” in the late 1970s and 1980s against Afghanistan’s progressive government that invited a Soviet peacekeeping presence to help fight them. In the 1990s, US imperialism also supported al-Queda terrorists against Algeria, Yugoslavia, and Russia’s secular governments. Clearly, the so-called “War on Terror” is a fraud.

Obama’s criminal attack on the Libyan Jamahiriya, which stole 100,000 lives, was launched to provide an air force for the US-orchestrated monarchist/al-Queda coup that began in February 2011. Despite seven months of NATO bombing, the Western-backed “NTC” regime has never controlled the entire country of only six million people, most of whom live within easy striking range of NATO airbases. Far from being a “glorious victory” for NATO, as the Western press trumpeted after the genocidal siege of Sirte in October 2011, the war actually revealed the US-controlled military bloc’s inability to quickly overwhelm a militarily weak opponent simultaneously fighting NATO’s proxy army on the ground. Furthermore, a determined pro-Jamahiriya Green Resistance movement still fights back against the West’s puppets and liberated Bani Walid in January.

In Syria, Western-backed al-Queda terrorists have murdered Christians, forced many from their homes, and desecrated their churches. Another common tactic used by the West’s terrorist proxy-army is to massacre Syrians who support their legitimate, secular government and then blame the atrocity on the government itself. The terrorists also rape/torture civilians and then force them to claim that the government committed the crimes (often in a video “interview” that is then displayed on Western media). The same tactics were utilized in Libya: crimes committed by the West’s terrorists are used to create propaganda to drum up support for “humanitarian intervention” (i.e. more illegal, aggressive wars). However, three Russian and Chinese UN Security Council vetoes (backed up by nuclear arsenals) have prevented Obama from launching an illegal, Libya-style air war against Syria.

“Anti-war” leaders and US liberals who still support Neocon war criminal Barack Obama have the blood of large numbers of Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Yemenis, Somalis, Libyans, and Syrians on their hands. The US liberal-left’s silence or open support for Obama’s illegal wars and coups reveals that they only care about electing Democrats, not opposing Wall Street’s bid for world domination. Ideologically advanced forces within progressive movements (e.g. trade unions, anti-war, and “Occupy”) must struggle against all currents that back the imperialists’ Democratic Party machine.

Obama’s War against US Workers

Like a nerdy, drone-operating CIA agent pressing a joystick’s trigger button to massacre an Afghan wedding party, Obama enacts “free trade” pacts that obliterate the USA’s last few remaining, decent-paying jobs. As a result, countless US workers will join the already long unemployment lines after their jobs have been sent to South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Of course, anyone who remembers the Democratic Bill “NAFTA” Clinton administration is not surprised.

Attacking us from another angle, Obama conjured up the Frankenstein monster “ObamaCare,” which is Massachusetts’ RomneyCare implemented at the federal level. The individual mandate forces workers to buy overpriced, low-coverage “health insurance” from private, for-profit companies. Essentially, the scheme is just another way to transfer ever more of workers’ dwindling wealth to Wall Street’s oligarchs. As a reward for services rendered, the super-rich pour hundreds of millions of dollars into fellow multimillionaire Obama’s re-election campaign.

Obama’s War on Dissent

Obama’s regime has raided anti-war activists’ homes, entrapped politically inexperienced youth, tortured whistleblowers (e.g. Bradley Manning), repressed journalism by targeting sources (i.e. “leaks”) and reporters (e.g. Julian Assange), and launched a federally-coordinated attack on the Occupy Wall Street dissident movement. Obama also believes that he has the right to kill (or indefinitely imprison) US citizens without a trial – provided that he first accuses them of being terrorists. US bourgeois democracy continues its decay into a brutal police state under Obama.

His capitalist USA has only 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the planet’s prisoners, which disproportionately targets oppressed nationality groups (especially African Americans and Latinos). Inside Obama’s dungeons, torture is practiced, including rape (both homosexual and heterosexual), other sexual assault, beatings, and prolonged isolation (i.e. “solitary confinement”). Western “human rights experts” are eerily silent.

“God’s Own Party”

Despite Obama’s reactionary regime, paid Democratic Party operatives are trying hard to scare and/or coerce workers into voting for more pain. The predictable bogeyman, the rival Republican Party machine, is endlessly brought up as some sort of excuse for Obama’s cruel rule (neglecting the fact that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House from January 2009 until January 2011). Furthermore, the only “major party” presidential candidate that criticized US military adventures and the repressive Patriot Act was Ron Paul, a Republican.

Ron Paul’s role (like the Democrats’ Dennis Kucinich) is to keep workers trapped within Wall Street’s two-party system. Paul failed to endorse the two minor party presidential candidates that share his paleoconservative/libertarian political views, Virgil Goode (Constitution) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian), instead remaining silent on the matter. His son, Senator Rand Paul, recently endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Workers should not have any illusions about the Republicans either.

Romney and Obama have identical political positions on every important issue (i.e. economics, foreign policy, and civil liberties, which are all intertwined). They only differ on the bourgeois “culture war” issues (e.g. gay marriage) to divide and rule the working class, by making one half of the proletariat subservient to the bourgeoisie’s socially-liberal section, while the other half submit to socially-conservative capitalists. Class conscious workers must struggle against all attempts to weaken our class by unnecessary divisions, including those painted with a “progressive” or “leftist” veneer.

Fight the Two Headed Beast

Many working people only follow politics during bourgeois elections. Communists must participate in bourgeois electoral politics to reach them by running communist candidates for office. Failure to do so, in most cases, comes from right-opportunism (i.e. “support the lesser evil” bourgeois candidate instead), but in some cases ultra-leftism can also be the cause (i.e. anarchism: “boycott elections”). Of course, some instances exist where communists would not participate in bourgeois elections: under fascism (due to being banned), while leading a revolutionary war against the bourgeoisie, and during socialism.

Only the Party for Socialism & Liberation is carrying out this necessary task in 2012. Wall Street’s two parties have enacted anti-democratic ballot access restrictions that make it very hard (in some cases, almost impossible) for opposition parties to even have their candidates printed on the ballot. For this reason, workers will not be able to vote for the PSL in most states. However, the two-party system can still be rejected at the polls by voting for ideologically weak (i.e. left-liberal) Jill Stein (Green) or Rocky Anderson (Justice).

Wall Street’s degenerate oligarchs gamble away the country’s future with complex financial schemes. Their greedy nihilism – seeking only to pleasure themselves – has spawned a morally decayed society, tearing apart working families en masse. The monopoly-capitalists’ Democratic and Republican political-machines must be cast away, which requires a Marxist-Leninist party. Make November 6th the beginning of the end for the parasites’ twin parties.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

7-22: Never Forgive. Never Forget.

Anders Behring Breivik, a brutal terrorist, stole nearly 80 innocent Norwegian lives on July 22, 2011. 68 were murdered in his cowardly attack on a Labor Party youth retreat at Ut√łya, while another eight died from a terror bombing in downtown Oslo. Explaining why this massacre occurred is absolutely necessary, but USA’s capitalist-owned, mass media is failing at this critical task.

US media outlets immediately began reporting that Muslims carried out the attack. When they realized how foolish they looked by trying to peddle that lie, they then started claiming, ‘the shooter [no longer a “terrorist”] is a Nazi.’ However, Breivik is not a Nazi, he is a former member of Norway’s largest conservative political party, the “Progress Party.” He frequently posted online about how he equally hates “Muslims, Nazis, and Marxists” – revealing a strikingly “anti-totalitarian” ideology. Karl Popper or Hannah Arendt could have been pulling the trigger. Sounding like any old McCarthyist, he said, “all Marxists should have been imprisoned after WW2.”

While this blog strongly opposes Hitlerite ideology, we must expose the sinister lie claiming that Breivik is a Nazi. Why? Because the lie is simply a desperate attempt by the US/British capitalist press to deny the terrorist’s real ideology: Neoconservatism. Various capitalist press outlets have more recently been calling him “a Christian fundamentalist” or “an extreme right-winger.” While these descriptions seem accurate, they are also incomplete because they intentionally omit his radical Zionist beliefs.

His pathetic “manifesto” reveals that “defending Israel” is a central part of his worldview. On page 1153 he says, “Jews that support multiculturalism today are as much of a threat to Israel and Zionism (Israeli nationalism) as they are to us. So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.” A Neocon Weekly Standard article is republished in its entirety (pages 490-492), while Neocon David Horowitz’s FrontPage Magazine is quoted numerous times. In addition, his document.no account specifically links to, and praises, the Neocon Daniel Pipes’ propaganda video titled, “Leftism and Islam. Muslims, the warriors Marxists have been praying for.” He also loves fellow Neocon Pamela Geller, who concocted the “Ground Zero Mosque” lie, and Neocon Robert Spencer’s “Jihad Watch”. Finally, he supports the “English Defence League”, a terribly misnamed, pro-Zionist hate group.

Before the shooting, Norway’s government had announced that it would end its participation in NATO’s criminal bombing of Libya on August 1. The Labor-led government also plans to recognize Palestinian statehood later this year. Obviously, this played a role in motivating the Muslim-hating fanatic to murder young members of Norway’s ruling, social-democratic party. The martyred youth held a “Boycott Israel” banner.

Breivik was also a capitalist business owner, which explains his class hatred for the working people that made him wealthy. One of Neoconservatism’s core objectives is the institution of extreme neo-liberal “austerity” attacks on workers. Therefore, no one should be surprised by his ideology.

Norway’s maximum prison sentence is only 21 years, which reveals why the terrorist did not take his own life. Neocons, being greedy, self-absorbed, hyper-individualists, are not known for suicide attacks. Bourgeois Breivik probably expects to retire atop a pile of loot in his mansion, after having pleasured himself by committing mass murder. Workers longing for justice know that if Norway had a Marxist-Leninist government, the morally decayed terrorist would be executed.

USA’s self-proclaimed “free and open” mass media will not report the simple, honest truth: the terrorist is a Neocon. If they did, they would have to admit that their own editorial pages, radio hosts, and TV commentators endlessly pump out the exact same type of hateful Neocon propaganda as the terrorist posted online. In addition, they would also have to explain that a bloody trail leads back across the Atlantic to Beltway think tanks. The world must never forgive or forget those truly responsible for creating the monster.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19th, "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy"

Emergency statement by the Communist Party Discussion blog:

The world’s true freedom-loving people strongly condemn US/UK/French imperialism’s criminal aggression against Libya, which was launched today (March 19, 2011) on the eighth anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq. The timing is no coincidence. The bombings represent an imperialist message to the planet that “Nothing has changed!” since 2003. Arrogantly, Obama predicts that his new war will only take “days, not weeks” to conquer Libya.

The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is one of only a few Arab governments not controlled by US imperialism (along with Syria and Algeria, who also oppose this war). Therefore, this attempt to seize control of Libya and its oil is simply a continuation of Wall Street’s project for global domination. Their strategy involves controlling the world’s fossil fuels (critical for modern industrialized economies) by establishing an empire of overseas military bases, harbored by repressive client regimes. Western governments fund, organize, and now provide open military support to Libya's monarchist/al-Qaeda rebels, who seek to create another pro-US puppet regime. Anti-war leaders must organize against this latest war.

The “Arab League” regimes that voted a week ago for the “no-fly zone” are hated by their own people and have seen massive protests against them in the past two months. Meanwhile, those same regimes (Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq, and Yemen) continue to slaughter peaceful protesters. As this message is being typed, Western planes and missiles murder innocent Libyan civilians. However, USA’s “human rights experts” are not concerned by those deaths, only Libya’s oil.

During the “UN Security Council” vote two days ago for a “no-fly zone resolution” (UNSCR 1973), Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Germany abstained. On the one hand, this shows that most of the world’s population (who live in these five countries) opposes NATO military aggression against Libya. On the other hand, it also reveals the submissiveness and subservience to the US by Russia’s current Medvedev government for failing to veto it.

The UN, headquartered near Wall Street in New York City, has proved itself once again to be controlled by US imperialism. The world’s progressive forces must recognize that the UN, at present, is fundamentally no different than the IMF, the World Bank, the “International Criminal Court,” or NATO – which are imperialist instruments. Internationally, protests should be held against not only the NATO-aggressor governments, but also the UN’s pro-imperialist leader, Ban Ki-moon. He obviously does not represent humanity.

In addition, any self-proclaimed “left-wing” organizations that do not fully denounce this Western aggression will simply be proving themselves to be imperialism’s minions. US progressive voters must remember this infamous day when they head to the polls in November, 2012: “Nobel Peace Prize” winner Barack Obama kills Libyan civilians while allowing Wisconsin’s fascist governor to practically ban unions! Finally, it goes without saying that anti-imperialists uphold Libya’s sovereign right to defend itself against foreign aggression.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Ode to US Imperialism's Current CEO, Barack Obama

Barry, Barry, quite contrary,
His handouts to the rich make oligarchs merry.
And for those on the left that are critical,
Spokesman Robert Gibbs denounces as being “professional.”

“ObamaCare” is just a terrible prank,
As insurance industry CEOs run laughingly back-and-forth to the bank.
Workers, now saddled with this individually-mandated scheme,
Must empty their pockets to fulfill a monopolist’s dream.

His cat food commission insists they’ll keep Social Security alive,
You just won’t be able to retire until you’re seventy-five!
The paltry benefits will awaken all to the magnitude of the plunder,
As you’re begging for alms, wishing you were six feet under.

While the capitalist economy continues to crumble,
Tax breaks are given to the wealthy whenever they grumble.
And as workers’ last decent-paying jobs are sent abroad,
Parties are held in the White House for millionaires whenever they prod.

A deregulation-induced oil spill polluted the Gulf’s azure sea,
Yet his policy approach to the disaster was laissez-faire, or ‘let it be.’
An oil-soaked pelican squawked, “Obama, help me!”
Only to hear the retort, “Can’t – I get campaign funding from BP!”

His supporters claim he’ll usher in a new era of peace,
As he frantically tries to extend his Iraq bases’ lease.
Meanwhile, Afghan and Pakistani civilians are butchered mercilessly,
By drone-operating killers in Langley.

When the Honduran coup crossed the proverbial Rubicon,
His fake “opposition” revealed him to be a machinating Neocon.
And don’t even ask him about Palestine,
He’d just say, “That land belongs to some friends of mine.”

In this heralded “land of the free,”
Airport security will fondle your genitals with perverted glee!
Civil-libertarians expected less post-9/11 oppression,
But the regime ransacks homes with renewed McCarthyist repression.

For the Constitution now has but one meaning,
To serve as lavatory paper to give his ass a good cleaning!
And as Sarah Palin’s theocratic hordes approach,
He offers them not a single, meaningful reproach.

A working class party is what this country is in need,
To drive those from power obsessed with greed.
And that’s as deep as this poem will delve,
Just remember: Don’t vote for that clown again in two thousand twelve.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

USA's 2010 Election: Reject the Capitalist Two-Party System

Working people (especially youth and oppressed nationalities) turned out in record numbers to give the Democrats control of the White House (and continued control of Congress) in 2008. The Democrats responded by continuing virtually all of Bush’s hated policies and implementing Mitt Romney’s reactionary, monopoly-empowering, individually-mandated “health insurance” scheme nationwide. Progressive forces must organize a counterattack in several ways this year, by showing voters how the Democrats have betrayed them, campaigning for minor party candidates, advocating advanced positions, and critiquing the existing opposition (which reveals a path out of the crisis).

The Democratic Party has once again had control of the US federal government (like the period between January 1993 until January 1995) and the results have again proved that Wall Street owns them, just like the GOP. Even the most progressive Democrat in Congress, Dennis Kucinich, abandoned working class voters. He lied and said that he would only vote for a health insurance bill that included a token “public option.” Instead, he voted for the individual mandate law without any “public option.” Previously, for the 2008 election, this blog suggested that progressives should vote to reelect Kucinich. Due to his betrayal, we can no longer offer that endorsement.

In the midst of capitalism’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Democrats in Washington have done nothing to help the unemployed, the underemployed and those languishing at low-wage jobs. The Democratic government has only bailed out the super-rich (i.e. thrown taxpayers’ dollars at big banks and entrenched the power of “health insurance” monopolies) and scheme to steal our Social Security by increasing the retirement age and cutting benefits. Meanwhile, the White House’s laissez faire approach has allowed for the worst ecological disaster in recent history, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Only the blindest party-hacks would seriously deny that Obama’s (extreme neo-liberal) economic policies are any different than Bush’s.

On foreign policy, the Democrats have continued the Iraq War, expanded the Afghan War into Pakistan, secretly bomb Yemen, established a brutal military dictatorship in Honduras, placed seven US military bases in Colombia, and provided massive support for the genocidal (and piratical) Zionist apartheid regime. White House Neocons, like Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel, also plot war against Iran, Syria, the DPRK, Venezuela, and Cuba. Clearly, Obama’s presidency represents a continuation of Bush’s administration. The left must break free from, and consistently expose/oppose, the regime’s reactionary influences.

Achieving political independence from the capitalist Democratic Party’s machine requires running progressive candidates for office (at every level) as either independents or members of minor parties. This blog is proud to have endorsed both Cynthia McKinney (Green) and Gloria La Riva (PSL) for president in 2008. The 2010 election also provides an opportunity to promote this in practice by supporting Green, Working Families, Labor (South Carolina), Vermont Progressive, and California Peace & Freedom party candidates. In addition, ideologically advanced Party for Socialism & Liberation candidates are running for office with the P&FP. Read the voter guide at the end of this article for further details.

Interrelated is supporting the struggle to end anti-democratic ballot access restrictions. The capitalist two-party system has enacted numerous, restrictive ballot-access laws that often prevent progressive forces from even appearing on the ballot. Such laws require smaller parties to collect vast amounts of signatures during limited timeframes. Then, if a party “fails” to pass a certain “test” (such as getting an arbitrary percentage of the vote for a random office or offices) they are required to collect signatures all over again for the next election. Such barriers, which vary in severity from state to state, must be eliminated, and the best way to permanently end them is by winning control of state legislatures where they are created.

Progressive candidates must also put forward advanced demands and not simply mimic the weaker positions of “mass organizations” or protest movements’ leaderships. Regarding foreign policy, dissolving aggressive NATO, closing all US military bases outside of US territory, nationalizing the arms industry, cutting off government funding for coup-plotting “democracy promotion” organizations, and reigning in the spy bureaucracies should be top priority. Ending military funding for and placing sanctions on Israel will help eliminate their anti-Palestinian apartheid system and end their illegal occupation of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Shebaa Farms. We also must campaign for international recognition of Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence, which is a historic reality as a result of Mikheil Saakashvili’s (a brutal, CIA-installed puppet) aggressive 2008 war. Finally, reparations should be paid to Iraq and an international war crimes tribunal must be called for to hold US/British civilian political leaders (including Neocon ideologues) and wealthy war-profiteers accountable for launching, funding and profiting from the war.

For domestic economic policies, public ownership is the key advanced position to advocate. The entire medical industry should be nationalized (i.e. true socialized medicine), meaning every hospital, clinic, and drug producing factory. Energy, including resource extraction companies and power production facilities, must also be nationalized to stop private, for-profit monopolies from endlessly jacking up prices. Smashing the financial oligarchy requires nationalizing big banks and establishing regional, publicly owned banks in every state. Re-industrializing the country with publicly owned industries (that can not be sent overseas), managed by each factory’s unionized workers, can create millions of new jobs and end the current depression.

Furthermore, it is necessary to campaign for withdrawing from “free trade agreements” that sent most decent paying jobs overseas (e.g. NAFTA). The fascist Taft-Hartley Act must finally be revoked. A nationwide living wage law must be passed, along with establishing paid vacations, holidays, and sick days as a right for all workers (full and part-time). Social Security must be safeguarded and expanded by lowering the retirement age to 60 and increasing benefits, which should be financed by making the rich pay in for all income earned (including from investments). Workers’ taxes must be cut, which can easily be accomplished by cutting wasteful military and spy bureaucracy spending and also by taxing the super-rich oligarchs hard.

Regarding “the issues”, many US leftists make a dangerous error by having a “protest fetish,” where organizing and attending street protests is considered the top priority. Protesting should only be considered one tactic in the fight for a more fair and just US, not an end in itself. In fact, limiting opposition work to protesting has a key weakness: its primary goal is to change some of the policy positions of those already in power. Progressive forces must begin competing for political power with the two capitalist parties and that requires running minor party and independent candidates for office at every level.

Some on the left have also recently made moves toward creating electoral alliances with independent-minded right-wing people. On the one hand, we should be glad that some on the right (e.g. Paleoconservatives and some Libertarians) oppose the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, and Neocon ideology (and there is nothing wrong with going to anti-war protests together with them). However, due to the rightists’ neo-liberal economic views it is impossible for the left to form electoral coalitions with them. Furthermore, most independent-minded right-wingers already realize this as well, so the left should not bother with it either.

Note that the so-called “Tea Party” protest movement is not primarily composed of independent-minded rightists, but rather fanatical zealots supporting one component of the capitalist two-party system: the GOP. Hypocritically, they claim to be for “small government” while cheerleading for the planet’s largest and most corrupt military and spy bureaucracies. Furthermore, most want to force their medieval theological views on the rest of the country. Racist elements are also abundant.

The capitalist media exaggerates the “Tea Party” movement’s significance but it is also a threat that can not be ignored. However, the key to defeating it is not by becoming zombie-like hacks of the capitalist Democratic Party’s political machine, but rather firm, consistent left-opposition to the Democrats. The “Tea Party” movement’s power comes from being the loudest opposition voice against the current regime. Therefore, ending their monopoly on being ‘the voice of the opposition’ with mass left-opposition will undermine them.

Union leaders wasted millions of dollars to elect and influence Democrats in 2008, which accomplished nothing (i.e. no Employee Free Choice Act, no universal healthcare, no living wage, and no jobs programs). Evidence from OpenSecrets.org shows that unions do not have the resources to compete with the super-rich (who control most of the country’s wealth) in buying influence within the Democratic Party. If that money had been spent on an all-out effort to build a nationwide labor party, thousands of candidates could have been elected across the country at every level, which also would have pressured the Democrats to make concessions.

The working class is the only force in US capitalist society with the resources and necessity to launch a new major party. The decline of US imperialism also opens up an important opportunity to do so. The last time an imperialist country had similar amounts of power was the 19th century British Empire, which had the monetary resources to ideologically corrupt a section of its working class (mentioned in Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism). The result was electoral domination by the bourgeois Liberal and Conservative parties. However, when that global capitalist power began to decline in the early 20th century, working class parties arose in Britain: Labour and Communist. Class conscious workers must prepare to take advantage of a similar opportunity unfolding in the US.

Workers must break with the Democrats, build a mass labor party, and contest the bourgeois elections against both capitalist parties. The most ideologically advanced workers should also simultaneously build a Marxist-Leninist communist party, which forms the proletariat’s vanguard. Only proletarian political power can end the super-rich oligarchy’s rule over our country and build a truly socialist USA, where the means of production and distribution will be nationalized and organized via central planning.

2010 Voter Guide:

Check out the latest edition of Ballot Access News to see where opposition parties’ candidates will appear on the ballot. Also visit the following party websites for candidate information:

Party for Socialism and Liberation
The following PSL candidates are running for office in California on the Peace & Freedom line:
Carlos Alvarez, for governor
Marylou Cabral, for secretary of state
Gloria La Riva, for US House (Congressional District 8)

Green Party

Vermont Progressive Party (12 candidates)

Labor Party (one candidate in South Carolina)

Working Families Party: CT, DE, NY, OR, SC, VT
Note that many candidates listed on the ballot as “Working Families” are actually just Democrats (and even some Republicans) being given an extra ballot line (in the few states that allow the use of “fusion”, where multiple parties can endorse the same candidate). We should support the real WFP candidates and encourage more to be run for office. Due to the WFP lacking a national leadership and organization, links to individual state chapters are provided above.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Mandate of Wall Street

The Democratic Party’s right-wing leadership claims that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is “genuine health care reform,” while their Republican opponents say that it is “socialized medicine.” Both are wrong, because the bill does not improve the US medical system and it is certainly not “socialized medicine.” Looking at the bill’s actual provisions and examples of other countries’ universal healthcare systems reveals both the true nature of the USA’s terrible private medical system and also the best way to reform it.

The bill’s worst provision, the individual mandate, forces nearly everyone to buy “health” insurance from private, for-profit companies. The IRS will annually fine almost anyone who refuses (or is unable) to buy insurance, with only a few exemptions (such as for prisoners). Starting in 2014, the fine will be (whichever is higher) $95 or 1% of taxable income, then increased to $325 or 2% of taxable income in 2015. By 2016 the fine will be $695 per year up to a maximum of three times that amount ($2,085) per family or 2.5% of household income (whichever is higher). After 2016 the fine will be increased annually by a cost-of-living adjustment. The mandate, combined with the bill’s lacking of any effective cost controls, will result in skyrocketing premiums.

US insurance monopolies’ major goal over the past decade has been to pass laws that force people to buy their products, to increase super-profits. Their first victory came in 2006 when Massachusetts’ Republican governor, Mitt Romney, together with the Democratic legislature (and then Republican legislator Scott Brown) imposed the mandate. Barack Obama claimed to oppose mandating insurance during the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential primary. Recently, Dennis Kucinich also claimed that he would not vote for a bill that lacked a token “public option” (the “public option” itself was simply an attempt to keep single-payer out of the “debate”). Both Obama and Kucinich lied, showing the capitalist Democratic Party’s ideological and moral bankruptcy.

While the individual mandate makes the bill bad enough, it also contains an unprecedented attack on abortion rights. NOW president Terry O’Neill warns that, “the bill passed today ultimately achieves the same outcome as the infamous Stupak-Pitts Amendment, namely the likely elimination of all private as well as public insurance coverage for abortion. It imposes a bizarre requirement on insurance plan enrollees who buy coverage through the health insurance exchanges to write two monthly checks (one for an abortion care rider and one for all other health care). Even employers will have to write two separate checks for each of their employees requesting the abortion rider.” No progressive person can support such attacks on women’s reproductive health.

Physicians for a National Health Program explain that numerous loopholes in the bill’s so-called “insurance regulations” (which allegedly will end denials due to pre-existing conditions) exist, because insurance companies played a central role in crafting the legislation. In addition, they warn that the bill will, “drain about $40 billion from Medicare payments to safety-net hospitals, threatening the care of the tens of millions who will remain uninsured.” And even worse, “People with employer-based coverage will be locked into their plan's limited network of providers, face ever-rising costs and erosion of their health benefits. Many, even most, will eventually face steep taxes on their benefits as the cost of insurance grows.” Progressive physicians recognize that this bill is a dangerous step backwards and away from real healthcare reform.

Finally, the bill does nothing to stop the 1974 ERISA law from preventing individual states from implementing single-payer systems, which is a violation of the US Constitution’s 10th Amendment (i.e. it violates states’ rights). Obviously, insurance magnates demanded this, because they fear single-payer winning out in individual US states, like it was initially created in North America in Saskatchewan, a Canadian province. Knowing that private insurance is inferior to single-payer, insurance monopolies try to make the implementation of that progressive alternative illegal.

Clearly, this bill is not a first step towards universal healthcare, which can be achieved in at least two ways (by either “single-payer” or by truly “socialized medicine”). Single-payer systems (like Canada’s) eliminate the “health” insurance middlemen (therefore, cutting costs), while leaving some or most hospitals, clinics, and pharmaceutical companies privately owned. True socialized medicine (the USSR had the world’s first such system) has an entirely nationalized medical industry (i.e. all hospitals, clinics, and drug manufacturing factories), therefore vastly cutting costs because the system is purely non-profit.

Only true socialized medicine can provide both universal coverage and reasonable rates, by completely cutting profits out of medicine. Obviously, the capitalist Democratic Party’s political machine will never back such an idea, considering they even rejected a token “public option.” In order to truly reform healthcare, workers must break with the Democrats, create a mass labor party (while simultaneously building an ideologically solid Marxist-Leninist Communist Party) and win political power. We also must campaign against Wall Street’s reactionary, monopoly-empowering, individual mandate.

Further Reading:

Health Insurance Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010, by Alan Maki.

Fact Sheet: The Truth about the Health Care Bill, by Jane Hamsher.

The Scalpel, the Sword: The Story of Doctor Norman Bethune, by Ted Allan and Sydney Gordon.

Constitution of the USSR, Chapter X, Article 120: “Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work. This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense, free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.”

Thursday, December 31, 2009

US Workers’ Special Responsibility: End US Imperialism

Despite its current decline (most strikingly evidenced by its decreasing percentage of the world’s total GDP) US imperialism is still the most dominant political and economic force on the planet. Weaker imperialist countries, like Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan are mere satellites in US imperialism’s orbit. The US has nearly 1000 military bases in over 100 countries and controls a large, hostile military bloc (NATO) that seeks to encircle and destroy Russia. Understanding US imperialism’s nature, history, current activities, and probable future shows the US left a way forward to victory.

Imperialism’s Nature

Lenin’s important classic, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, explains that modern imperialism is more than simply territorial expansion or gaining control of other countries’ governments/economies but also the final stage in the development of capitalism. He reveals that, “Imperialism emerged as the development and direct continuation of the fundamental attributes of capitalism in general.” And also that, “The fundamental economic factor in this process is the substitution of capitalist monopolies for capitalist free competition.” In sum, “imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism.”

Lenin also, briefly, discusses how the British Empire, exploiting the world as a global power in the 19th century, resulted in a section of the British proletariat becoming “bought off” by the bourgeoisie. The result was political domination by the era’s two bourgeois political parties (Liberal and Conservative). We can see a clear parallel between the 19th century British Empire’s influence on British workers and of 20th (and early 21st) century US imperialism on US workers.

However, as the British Empire started to decline in the 20th century, working-class political parties arose – the Labour and Communist parties. Clearly, the US left needs to be prepared to take full advantage of US imperialism’s decline (from its current position as the top imperialist power) in the 21st century. The rise and decline of major capitalist powers is something that tends to occur gradually and not very frequently, which makes this upcoming situation too critical to be squandered by US progressive forces.

Historical Background (1890s-Present)

US imperialism’s quest for control of the world’s markets, resources, and labor power has inevitably led it to act aggressively on the world stage. Studying the history of this endless aggression reveals the monopoly capitalist system’s truly moribund nature, because it is being kept alive by ‘devouring’ other countries. Understanding the extent of US imperialism’s heinous crimes against other countries also shows US workers why our class has a special responsibility to end this reactionary system.

By the 1890s, US capitalism had reached its monopoly stage and began to compete with other imperialist powers for control of the world’s people and resources. The first significant event of which was the 1898 Spanish-American War. The “spoils” of that war included Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines, and Guam. What followed, in the decades after, were numerous military interventions (mostly in Latin America) to establish US capitalism’s control.

World War I, the imperialist powers’ “Great War” to re-divide the world amongst themselves, brought US imperialism to Europe. Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution, which ultimately created the USSR, brought US invasion (many other imperialist countries also attacked young Soviet Russia, but all were ultimately expelled). World War I’s outcome increased the power of US imperialism and weakened British, French, and German imperialism.

World War II was not simply a war between imperialist rivals as World War I had been, but also a war between imperialism and the world’s first socialist country, the USSR. The Allied war effort also manifested itself as a worldwide popular struggle against fascism. Class conscious US workers realized the importance of defeating the fascist menace and were not simply fighting for “their” monopolists.

After World War II, US imperialism began a massive expansion as its imperialist rivals in the war (German, Italy, and Japan) had been conquered, while its imperialist allies in the war (Britain and France) were in decline. US imperialism increased its power in several ways, such as with the take over of capitalist Europe’s economies with the “Marshall Plan,” the establishment of a hostile military bloc (NATO) to dominate the continent, and the creation of various puppet regimes (e.g. West Germany and South Korea). US imperialism’s goal became the complete annihilation of socialism and global domination (likely taking the form of a fascist Earth).

The US capitalist class sought to achieve this goal by militarily encircling the USSR and brutally repressing national liberation movements in Europe and Japan’s former colonies. The latter was seen most dramatically in the Korean and Vietnam wars (that killed a combined 3-6 million people), and also notoriously brutal CIA-organized coups (that killed well over one million people), such as in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Indonesia (1965), and Chile (1973). Another aspect included funding counter-revolutionary movements in socialist countries, such as in Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968), Afghanistan (beginning in the 1970s), and Nicaragua (1980s).

As the 1989-1991 Western-backed counter-revolutions stole political and economic power from workers in Central/Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, US imperialism began to make its move for complete global domination. The 1991 Gulf War signaled this new era’s beginning, which was followed up with the Western-orchestrated breakup of Yugoslavia, the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe, and advances toward its long-term goal of conquering Russia and China. Between 500,000 and 1.5 million Iraqis were killed (mostly children) by US imperialism’s brutal sanctions on their country between 1991-2003. Madeleine Albright proudly stated that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqis were “worth it” (for US imperialism’s quest to control the planet). Thousands more Serbian civilians were murdered by Bill Clinton’s 1999 “humanitarian” terror-bombing campaign in Yugoslavia.

Current Events: “Democracy Promotion,” Color Coups, and War

Closely related to the Western propaganda about “humanitarian interventions” is what pro-imperialist hacks call “democracy promotion.” Washington’s much touted “democracy promotion” is nothing more than attempts to establish loyal client regimes that serve US imperialism’s economic and military interests. Before 1983, all of the “democracy promotion” was done either secretly via the CIA’s coups (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Chile, etc.), or with open military force (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, etc.).

However, in 1983, Washington set up a number of sinister “non-governmental organizations” (organizations that were set up by the US government and have been continuously funded by it as well, making the “NGO” claim false). These were the “National Endowment for Democracy,” the “National Democratic Institute,” the “International Republican Institute,” and the “Solidarity Center.” They openly support US imperialism, while attempting to appear as independent “rights” organizations rather than simply another branch of the US government (which they actually are). Several years earlier, another related group (“Human Rights Watch”) was established by the right-wing billionaire George Soros.

All of these groups, ultimately, have the same objective: US global domination. They provide a support role to the US intelligence agencies and military. They were directly involved in all of the US-orchestrated “color revolutions” (color coups) in Yugoslavia (2000), Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), Kyrgyzstan (2005), the failed attempt in Belarus (2006), and the currently on-going attempt in Moldova (2009).

Recent history has shown that Washington’s color coups have had most success in countries that have already made conciliatory moves towards US imperialism (e.g. Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan) before these governments were replaced by new completely subservient puppet regimes. On the other hand, in a solidly anti-imperialist country (Belarus) a recent attempted color putsch was defeated in 2006. Similar color coup attempts have also been defeated in Iran, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe, which also have governments committed to staying out of US imperialism’s control.

It should also be kept in mind that “old fashioned” US-organized coups still occur (i.e. coups that are not as reliant on pseudo-“popular” protest movements). Examples are the defeated coup attempt in Venezuela (2002) and the most recent US-backed military take over of Honduras (2009). The US bourgeoisie also, obviously, still use outright invasion and occupation of countries to bring them under US monopoly capitalism’s control (if coup attempts prove to be unsuccessful), the most notable recent example being Iraq.

Arrogant, overconfident US imperialism tossed aside the classic Clausewitzian understanding of the ‘atmosphere of war’ when it drew up its plans for taking control of Iraq. Carl von Clausewitz’s ‘atmosphere of war’ is composed of danger, hardship, uncertainty, and chance (grouped together as ‘friction’). Neocon ideologues (representing the most reactionary and aggressive section of the US bourgeoisie), on the other hand, fantasized that they (as the leading faction of US imperialism) “create their own reality.” They mechanically assumed that US imperialism could easily defeat Iraq because of US numerical/technological advantages in addition to Iraq having been crippled by 12 years of sanctions.

Iraq’s strategy caught US imperialism by surprise. Rather than having its military be swiftly destroyed in massive conventional engagements, as happened in the previous Gulf War (1991), they heavily utilized a different mode of warfare (i.e. guerrilla or “asymmetrical”). Iraq’s most elite troops (the Republican Guard and the Fedayeen Saddam) “melted away” into their civilian population, initially allowing the illegal invasion to seize Baghdad and all of their country’s other major cities. Despite Bush’s claim of “mission accomplished,” when he dramatically landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln’s flight deck in May 2003, the fighting never ended.

By the summer of 2003, even the US capitalist media could not ignore the reality of an endless armed resistance movement in Iraq. The successes of Iraq’s resistance are all the more stunning when one looks at the details of its operating conditions. The fighting mostly occurs in what is now known as the “Sunni Triangle,” an area of central Iraq where most of the country’s 4-5 million Sunni Arabs live. In addition, this area is largely flat, open terrain, lacking vast jungles or mountains for fighters to use as cover. These two conditions (operation amongst a small population and in poor terrain for a guerrilla war) make Iraq’s successes all the more significant. Finally, there was no major (or minor) foreign power funding and organizing their resistance.

Presently, the Iraqi resistance is taking a strategic respite while preparing for future national liberation struggles. Their determined resistance smashed the Neocon fantasy of “Pax Americana” (i.e. global domination). In sum, their resistance contributed towards quickening the pace of the development of a multi-polar world. However, this came at a price, US imperialism’s illegal invasion and occupation is responsible for the deaths of over 1.3 million Iraqis.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, is different in almost every way from Iraq. Geographically it is a larger country and is mostly covered with rugged, mountainous terrain (perfect for sustaining guerrilla warfare). Demographically it has a larger population, with the largest ethnic group (Pashtuns) having kin across the porous border in Pakistan. The country is also filled with arms caches, leftovers from what US imperialism provided to CIA-organized medieval terrorists (like Osama bin Laden) in the 1970s-80s, which were intended to be used in terror attacks on Soviet peacekeepers and progressive Afghans (mostly civilians, like schoolteachers).

It should be noted that there was never a "Soviet invasion of Afghanistan." The progressive Afghan government invited Soviet troops. Even when Afghanistan was a monarchy, it had friendly, neighborly relations with the USSR. US imperialism was the aggressor and was trying to gain ground by organizing a puppet "jihad." US imperialism's goal in Afghanistan then was the same as it is now: to control Central Asia (using bases in that region to further encircle Russia and China).

US Progressive Forces’ Current Responsibilities

Naturally, the US left has a responsibility to make immediate anti-imperialist demands and build a mass movement pressuring for their enactment. While this already exists and some basic demands are already well known (i.e. withdrawing from Iraq/Afghanistan and ending unworkable military programs like “missile defense”), other issues require more attention from these broad movements as well. Demands particularly important are to dissolve NATO, close all US military bases outside of US territory, cut off government funding for sinister “democracy promotion” organizations, rein in the massive spy bureaucracies, and nationalize the arms industry (and connected industries). Finally, communists (the most ideologically advanced progressive forces) must always explain that only socialism (i.e. public ownership of the means of production and distribution, combined with proletarian political power) will permanently end US imperialism as a system.

The US left must also always be on guard to protect its ideological health from the nefarious assaults of pro-imperialist, anti-communist propagandists posing as “leftists” and “socialists.” Right-opportunist elements on “the left” notoriously offer support to imperialism, while parroting imperialist propaganda. Presently, pro-imperialism can be seen amongst those “leftists” who have been relatively silent about Iraq/Afghanistan, those who try to peddle imperialist “humanitarian intervention,” and generally try to dupe progressive forces into supporting US imperialism (often by helping the capitalist press demonize socialist and anti-imperialist countries). Exposing the moral bankruptcy of pro-imperialist “leftists” helps ideologically steel the working class.

US imperialism’s decline will open up new opportunities for class struggle and working-class political power in the US, created by the already noticeable decline/stagnation of most workers’ wages (due to decent paying jobs being sent overseas). Internationally, multi-polarity (rather than US domination) will allow for a much more favorable situation for the world’s socialist countries (e.g. Cuba and the DPRK), which will have an easier time playing the capitalist powers off against each other. For these reasons, the US left needs to recognize the importance of building an ideologically strong Marxist-Leninist party to be able to take full advantage of the desirable world situation that we are approaching.

Sources and Further Reading:

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, V. I. Lenin

On War, Carl von Clausewitz

Imperialism Today, Gus Hall

Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, William Blum

To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, Michael Parenti

Afghanistan - Washington's Secret War, Phillip Bonosky

Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism, Michael Parenti

Against Empire, Michael Parenti

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Obama: Obviously NOT “a Communist”

Believe it or not, some people in the US are so ignorant of political ideology that they actually believe that Barack Obama is “a Communist.” Simply studying the nature of Obama/the Democratic Party and understanding Marxism-Leninism shows how wrong the right-wing’s smear campaign against both are. A look at Obama’s positions and campaign contributors reveals that he is simply the latest CEO of US imperialism. Conversely, studying the classics of Marxism-Leninism shows that Communists are the vanguard of the working class.

Almost one year ago this blog explained, in Why Obama Won, that the main source of Obama’s campaign funding was from the capitalist class. We also warned that only a mass movement could put pressure on the Democratic Party’s capitalist political machine to pass any reforms that benefit the working class (e.g. universal health care or the Employee Free Choice Act). Events, or the lack of them, have proven that analysis to be correct.

While Obama’s presidency can be seen as a rejection of racism by a majority of the US electorate, he has not actually passed any legislation that benefits the working class. In addition, just because Obama is not an Evangelical fundamentalist, like Sarah Palin, does not make him “left-wing.” Anyone (including neo-liberals) can be socially liberal (e.g. pro-choice), regardless of their views on any other political question. Simply put, Obama is no progressive leader, he has mostly just continued Bush’s economic and foreign policies.

Even if Obama were a progressive leader that would implement a few reforms that benefit the working class he still would not be “a Communist.” Lenin explained, in Differences in the European Labor Movement, that the bourgeoisie "inevitably devises two systems of rule, two methods of fighting for its interests and of maintaining its domination." One is the "method of force, the method which rejects all concessions to the labor movement...the method of rejecting reforms." The "second is the method of ‘liberalism,’ of steps toward the development of political rights, towards reforms and concessions." For example, FDR passed such legislation (e.g. Social Security), but his primary goal was to save US capitalism. While Communists support all reforms that benefit the working class, being a Communist involves much more than merely supporting progressive legislation.

Communists work to entirely abolish the capitalist system and replace it with socialism. In socialist societies (e.g. the USSR, the GDR, Cuba, the DPRK, etc) the means of production and distribution (i.e. factories, warehouses, railways, communications, power plants, etc) are publicly owned by the workers’ state. Furthermore, socialist economies are organized via central planning. The working class (and its allies) are also organized as the ruling class and have a firm monopoly on political power, led by their communist party. In addition, all workers in socialist countries are organized into unions, giving them maximum influence and control over the functioning of their economy. Such societies can only come into existence as the result of socialist revolution, where the old system is negated and replaced by the new.

Obama, the US capitalist class’ current chief executive, clearly wants nothing of the sort. As Marx and Engels pointed out in The Communist Manifesto, “The executive of the modern [capitalist] State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” Obama’s economic policies, like Bush’s, only involve “bailing out” (i.e. throwing taxpayers’ dollars at) millionaires and billionaires. His “health care reform” only intends to force workers to buy a service (health insurance) from private companies, regardless if a “public option” is included for a small percentage of the population. He has shown no inclination that he wants to help working people.

Conspiracy theorists try to claim that just because Obama had a childhood friend (Frank Marshall Davis) that was a Communist Party member, then surely he must secretly be one as well. If a fervent Southern Baptist had a childhood friend or “mentor” that was a Mormon, would that automatically mean that he is actually a Mormon as well when all evidence points to the contrary? Obviously not. A rational person could not assume that “Obama is a Communist” simply because of some childhood relationship, when there is no evidence (i.e. Obama’s actual policies as an elected politician) to support such a belief. It should also be emphasized that anti-communism (which often manifests itself in conspiracy theories) is, as Gus Hall pointed out in Imperialism Today, "utilized by all anti-democratic, anti-labor, anti-Black, anti-intellectual forces within our land."

A similar claim is that just because Sam Webb (the current chair of the Communist Party USA) uncritically cheerleads for Obama, then surely Obama must be “a Communist.” What this is actually evidence of is that Sam Webb is a right-opportunist hack of the capitalist Democratic Party’s political machine. In fact, Webb has liquidated the CPUSA’s print newspaper and theoretical journal, and ultimately intends to liquidate the party itself, replacing it with a bland “think tank” type organization. One might find this hard to believe, but this has already happened before. During World War II, when many of the most ardent US Communists were off fighting fascism in the war, right-opportunist Communist Party chairman Earl Browder liquidated the party and replaced it with a non-partisan “think tank” (the “Communist Political Association”). Browder was ultimately defeated and expelled and the party was rebuilt. Sam Webb is clearly a Browder-type misleader (i.e. a social-democrat, not a Marxist-Leninist), so his views on Obama are irrelevant.

Communists struggle not just for progressive reforms, but for an entirely new type of society where the working class is organized as the ruling class (i.e. socialism). Communists work to overthrow capitalism, not to strengthen it or prolong its life span. For these reasons, Communists form the front ranks of the working class struggle for liberation from capitalist exploitation. Capitalist governments, like Obama’s, do not want that to happen.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Repudiating Ultra-Left Deception about Socialism

When reading discussions on the Internet about the Soviet Union, or other socialist countries, you might see the claim that they were “not really socialist” or that “socialism in one country is impossible.” The same individuals will likely try to tell you that Josef Stalin invented the concept of constructing socialism in a single country and that Lenin did not support it. Other ultra-leftists might even try to tell you that nationalization of the means of production and distribution is “not Marxist” and that Marx was actually “an anarchist!” Such absurd claims are debunked in this post with quotes directly from Marx, Engels, and Lenin.

V. I. Lenin, on numerous occasions, explained that it is possible to construct socialism in a single country:

"The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in different countries. It cannot be otherwise under commodity production. From this it follows irrefutably - that socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will for some time remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois." V. I. Lenin, The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution

“A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism -- until the time when the complete victory of communism brings about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, first, because it merges with socialism; second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible, and it may also create misconceptions as to the relations of such a country to the others.

Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organizing their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world -- the capitalist world -- attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, stirring uprisings in those countries against the capitalists, and in case of need using even armed force against the exploiting classes and their states. The political form of a society wherein the proletariat is victorious in overthrowing the bourgeoisie will be a democratic republic, which will more and more concentrate the forces of the proletariat of a given nation or nations, in the struggle against states that have not yet gone over to socialism. The abolition of classes is impossible without a dictatorship of the oppressed class, of the proletariat. A free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states.”
V. I. Lenin, On the Slogan for a United States of Europe

After reading these two Lenin quotes it should now be clear that anyone saying, “Lenin didn’t believe in socialism in one country!” has obviously not read much Lenin!

Even more peculiar than the previous group are ideologically confused individuals who claim that “Marx was an anarchist.” They desperately need to study the classic works of Marx and Engels, which clearly explain that a proletarian state comes into existence once the proletariat has achieved political power. Marx said, in Critique of the Gotha Programme, that, "Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat." In addition, The Communist Manifesto also outlines that public ownership of the means of production and distribution is an integral part of economic life then as well:

“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i. e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible.”

And further on, in points five through seven (bolded):

“Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc., etc.”

Now ask yourself what kind of society comes to mind after reading these quotes from The Communist Manifesto. An absolutely flawless “utopia” as immediately expected by ultra-leftists? Or does it much more so resemble a currently existing socialist country like Cuba? The answer should be obvious: the latter.

Studying and reflecting upon these quotes from the classics should not only make clear the nature of socialism but also why it is so important to defend the socialist revolutions and socialist states of the 20th and 21st centuries. Construction of the Soviet Union and other socialist states in the 20th century and the survival of some into the 21st (e.g. Cuba and the DPRK) has been the highest achievement of the working class political movement to date and of human societal development in general. We should always vigilantly defend these accomplishments from the attacks of anti-communist slander, regardless if they come from open rightists or ultra-left minions of the bourgeoisie.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

History of the Communist Party of the United States

The Communist Party USA becomes 90 years old later this year. Over the decades, the capitalist class (via their intelligentsia, mass media, and government) has heaped countless slanders upon the CPUSA. As a result, only a tiny percentage of the population knows any of the party’s true history. Communists knew that the US bourgeoisie would always view the party as the top domestic threat to their class-rule and consequently would ceaselessly try to slander, repress, and destroy it. William Z. Foster, in 1952, when the bourgeoisie were trying their hardest to destroy the party, wrote History of the Communist Party of the United States as a definitive history to set the record straight. The party’s true history bares no resemblance to the slanders of the bourgeoisie and their minions.

Foster explains that the party’s earliest origins were long before the actual date of its foundation in 1919. The first Marxists in the US were mostly German immigrants who came here after the defeat of the 1848 revolutions in Europe. Some, like Joseph Weydemeyer, (a comrade of Marx and Engels) would go on to play important roles in the struggle to abolish slavery. Marxists organized support for Abraham Lincoln and the newly established Republican Party in the critical 1860 election. Many, like Weydemeyer (a former artillery officer in the Prussian military), went on to fight in the Civil War. Marx also corresponded with Lincoln and called for the emancipation of slavery and the creation of African-American regiments to help defeat the Southern slaveocracy. The Union victory in the Civil War constituted a bourgeois democratic revolution and was lauded as a progressive war by Marx, Engels, and Lenin.

After the Civil War the US Marxists participated in a number of notable political organizations, including the First International (i.e. the International Workingmen’s Association) and the Socialist Labor Party. They also actively participated in building labor unions and helped organize major strikes, both of which the bourgeois regime tried to repress (often ruthlessly). The foundation of the Socialist Party of America (SPA) in 1900-1901 and later the Industrial Workers of the World (which was originally Marxist-led before being taken over by anarchists), solidified a political tendency (the left of the SPA) that would ultimately produce the Communist Party.

The struggle between the left and the right of the SPA led to the creation of the Communist Party by the left. The dispute took various forms over a number of issues. The right and “centrist” SPA leadership had failed to put into practice resolutions passed by the party condemning World War I. The right-wing leadership also wanted class collaboration rather than class struggle, supported bourgeois democracy rather than proletarian dictatorship, and wanted to affiliate with the right-opportunist Second International rather than the newly created Communist International. The SPA’s left-wing membership supported the October Revolution and Marxism-Leninism. SPA’s national internal elections of 1919 were easily won by the left, but the right-wing leadership of Hillquit and Berger refused to recognize the results and then expelled a majority of the SPA’s members in order to hang on to power.

Despite their expulsions, some of the left (like John Reed) did not want to give up on the SPA and tried to take their seats at the SPA convention on August 30, 1919 in Chicago. The right-wing leadership called in the police to expel them. The left walked out and on August 31, 1919 they formed the Communist Labor Party of America. On September 1, 1919 another left-wing ex-SPA group of Michigan language federations established the Communist Party of America. These two communist parties would ultimately merge into a single party.

The new parties immediately faced bourgeois repression and terror, the first significant event of which were the Palmer Raids in October of 1919. The US bourgeois government, which claimed to be “making the world safe for democracy” in World War I, resorted to using terroristic repression against US workers. An estimated 10,000 were arrested, many taken from their homes in the middle of the night, including most of the leaders of the two new Communist parties. Despite this bourgeois terror, the two parties were finally united in May of 1921 (a previous unity attempt in May of 1920 had proved unsuccessful). Providing the numerous different language federations, of mostly immigrants, an official sanctioned role was critical in achieving party unity.

The party, called the Workers Party of America (WPA) until 1925, sought to expand its work amongst the masses’ daily struggles. The WPA’s language federations helped in organizing immigrants, because the federations were composed of mostly immigrants who spoke their native languages and had publications written in them. The WPA was heavily involved in trade union organizing, despite bourgeois terror directed at organizers and striking workers. The WPA also participated in the Trade Union Educational League, which helped to build a left-progressive coalition within the trade unions.

In 1923-1924 there was a serious attempt at building a broad party of workers and farmers, which revolved around progressive US Senator Robert LaFollette and his independent candidacy for president in 1924. The Workers Party participated in this movement, which was ultimately destroyed by right-wing trade-union leaders that were married to the two-capitalist party system. The Workers Party also ran William Z. Foster for president in 1924, the first Communist US presidential candidate, who was on the ballot in 13 states and got 33,316 votes.

The Workers Party struggled against the intense racism and reactionary terror of the Jim Crow regime in the South. After studying the works of Lenin and Stalin on the national question, the WPA also recognized that the African-American people constitute an oppressed nationality (and should therefore have the right to self-determination), which was something that previous left-wing parties had not realized. Communists also sought to increase African-American memberships in trade unions and the WPA.

The party changed its name, in 1925, to the Workers (Communist) Party. In the mid-to-late-1920s a serious right-opportunist threat came in the form of Jay Lovestone. The essence of Lovestone’s right-opportunism was typical bourgeois “American exceptionalism.” Specifically, he argued that US capitalism was not heading towards a crisis. Ultimately, he unsuccessfully tried to split the party. The coming of the Great Depression in 1929 soon discredited his viewpoints. He also tried forming an alliance with Soviet right-opportunist and traitor, Nikolai Bukharin.

The real driving force of the 1930s decade began in late 1929, the Great Depression, the most significant capitalist economic crisis. Communists had seen the crisis coming, and had repudiated Lovestone’s bourgeois prosperity theories. The party was greatly involved in mass organizing efforts of workers (employed and unemployed) and in farmers’ struggles. A number of other struggles and organizing campaigns occurred as well, including of women, youth, and African-Americans. In 1930, the party changed its name to the Communist Party of the United States.

William Z. Foster ran as the Communist presidential candidate in the 1932 election. James W. Ford, an African-American and former Alabama steelworker, was the vice presidential candidate. The Communist presidential ticket appeared on the ballot in 40 states and won 102,991 votes (the party’s best presidential election result so far). The Democratic Party’s Franklin D. Roosevelt was also elected president in that election.

In the 1936 election, reactionaries rallied to defeat President Roosevelt with their Alfred Landon ticket. Landon had the overwhelming support of the bourgeois media and was a darling of the reactionary newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst. The Communist Party’s policy was of active support for Roosevelt’s fight against the most reactionary sections of big business. It also combated bourgeois democratic illusions amongst the workers, while trying to get the maximum possible benefit out of the New Deal reforms for the working class. The party could not give Roosevelt a full endorsement though, and ran Earl Browder for president and James W. Ford for vice president. The Communist presidential ticket was on the ballot in 34 states and won 80,181 votes.

The Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO), formed in 1935, was the greatest stride forward made by the US labor movement. The Communist Party played a key role in organizing that movement to establish industrial unions in the basic, unorganized industries. The strength of the left in the CIO during its first decade was the result of successful organizing work and militant fighting on the picket lines by Communists.

Despite these successes, the world’s growing fascist menace dramatically impacted the political situation. At the Communist International’s Seventh World Congress in 1935, a policy was instituted calling for a united front of all democratic elements (workers, peasants, intellectuals, small business people, Communists, and others) that were willing to make a common fight against fascism. Anti-fascist people’s front governments were elected to power in France and Spain.

The legally elected people’s front government of the Spanish Republic soon came under attack from Hilter and Mussolini. Beginning on July 17, 1936, their stooge, General Franco, led a revolt in Morocco. The US, Great Britain, and France took a fake “neutral” position, refusing to sell war supplies to the Spanish Republic. Meanwhile, Hitler and Mussolini were giving Franco vast amounts of troops, guns, tanks, and planes. In order to attempt to prevent Franco’s fascists from winning, the world’s Communist parties gave all possible assistance to the Spanish Republic, including troops.

The International Brigades were made up of Communists and other anti-fascist fighters from all over Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere. The CPUSA and the YCL organized the sending of around 3,000 soldiers, many of them non-party people, to fight for the republic. On January 6, 1937 the Abraham Lincoln Battalion was formed and shortly after that the George Washington Battalion was also formed. Later they were merged.

African-Americans, who made up several hundred of the US troops, were fully integrated into the fighting force (many became officers). This was in stark contrast to the Jim Crow era US Army of the time. The US brigade fought heroically in the Brunete offensive, at Jarama, Quinto, Belchite, Fuentes de Ebro, Tervel, Aragon, the Ebro offensive, and in many other battles. Of the 3,000 US volunteers, around 1,500 died. Other International battalions suffered equally heavy casualties. Despite this brave resistance, the fascists won (thanks to the Western arms embargo) and butchered countless people. Foster points out that US Communists should be proud of the active role that their party took in defense of the Spanish Republic and that it constituted the most glorious event in the entire life of the party.

The international communist movement was virtually alone in condemning the Munich sellout, where the leaders of Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France (including the notorious British Conservative, Neville Chamberlain) got together and agreed that Germany should take over the Sudetenland, which ultimately meant all of Czechoslovakia. Just earlier that year Hitler’s Wehrmacht had taken over Austria. After Britain and France’s betrayal at Munich and their refusal to create a strong defensive alliance, the USSR and Germany in 1939 signed a non-aggression pact. British imperialism clearly had wanted Germany to attack the USSR. The pact ended up providing the USSR with 22 extra months to arm itself, which ultimately proved decisive in winning the war.

Meanwhile, the CPUSA organized against the so-called “isolationists” (made up of Republicans, right-wing Democrats, and smaller fascist groups) that opposed Roosevelt’s pro-British policy. These reactionaries were essentially pro-Hitler, and wanted a stalemate in Europe and a Nazi war against the USSR. The CPUSA simultaneously opposed Roosevelt’s pro-British position, while instead calling for international collective security as proposed by the USSR.

The party grew a lot during the pre-war years. Foster stated that, “Particularly helpful to the Party during these years were the books, Foundations of Leninism and History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, by Joseph Stalin and also the writings of Georgi Dimitrov.” The party had learned how to unite and lead the masses in their everyday struggles, a key part of expanding influence and ultimately, membership.

There were also attacks on the party by the reactionary Dies Committee in the pre-war years. One reactionary law was the 1940 Voorhis Act, which deprived the Communist Party of its right of international affiliation (a right enjoyed by many other organizations before then). The CPUSA dissolved affiliation with the Communist International to avoid prosecution by that law.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US officially entered World War II. The CPUSA had already been supporting a world people’s war against fascism since the Nazi attack on the USSR on June 22, 1941. The party’s position was for full support for both the Soviet and British war efforts against Hitler. The party, in its December 7, 1941 statement declared, “The Communist Party pledges its loyalty, its devoted labor and the last drop of its blood in support of our country in this greatest of all crises that ever threatened its existence.” And also called for, “Everything for National Unity!” “Everything for victory over world-wide fascist slavery!” 15,000 Communists joined the armed services. Many became officers and many others were decorated for personal bravery, such as Robert Thompson, Alexander Suer, and Herman Boettcher who received Distinguished Service Crosses. Many never returned.

On the home front Communists were in the forefront of all work calculated to strengthen the national war effort. They were second to none in rallying the workers for all-out production. They were militant participants in all phases of civilian defense work. They also carried on a ceaseless battle against all “isolationists” and other reactionary compromisers and saboteurs of the war effort. There was also a long struggle for the US and Britain to open a second, Western front in France.

With so many men at the front, many women came forward to become leaders of the party, like Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a National Committee member. Party membership grew slowly during the war, but reached an all time high of around 80,000 in 1944 (including the 15,000 in the military). During this period the party also elected Peter Cacchione and Benjamin Davis to the New York City Council. However, Browder’s opportunist policies prevented the party from growing greater than it could have.

In the 1930s, Browder began to slowly drift away from Marxism-Leninism. He developed an abstract (class-neutral) conception of and support for “American democratic and revolutionary traditions,” which developed into support for bourgeois democracy. In addition, he promoted the concept of it having constant, evolutionary growth. One of his slogans was, “Communism is Twentieth Century Americanism.” He had deviated into reformist, social-democratic ideology.

During World War II Browder would deviate even further to the right. He mistakenly interpreted the Tehran agreement between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin (which was a military agreement, setting the June 6, 1944 date for the opening of the Western front in France). He fancied that the post-war unity that the “Big Three” expressed wishes for at Tehran was an actual agreement and that post-war peace and co-operation were therefore guaranteed. He mistakenly assumed that US monopoly capitalism wanted peaceful coexistence and friendly competition with the USSR. He also imagined that US imperialism would tolerate people’s revolutions in Europe and collaborate with independence movements of colonial peoples. It goes without saying that all of post-World War II history dramatically proved him wrong.

Browder then developed a concept of a lasting post-war “national unity” in the US. He fantasized that there would be “very little discontent in labor’s ranks and very little strained relations between labor, government, and management.” He wanted World War II war production incentive wages and no-strike pledges carried over to the post-war era. His national unity concept also expected workers’ indefinite acceptance of the two-party electoral system.

After ideologically surrendering to the bourgeoisie, Browder no longer saw a need for the Communist Party. He proposed its dissolution and the reorganization of Communists into a non-partisan, educational institution, something that in the 21st century would probably be called a “think tank.” It would carry on “Marxist” work among the masses. Leninism, the Marxism of our present time, was entirely rejected by Browder. The heart of Browder’s opportunist ideas was American exceptionalism, the illusion that the US capitalist system is not subject to the laws of growth and decay that govern capitalism in other countries. His Teheran thesis virtually showed the US monopolists running the entire world, conceding Wall Street imperialist world hegemony. Another major element in Browder’s utopia was Keynesism. Browder’s utopia was the Keynesian illusion of a “progressive capitalism,” moving ahead in an evolutionary advance. This meant a complete rejection of workers’ revolutionary struggle for socialism.

Shortly after Browder had made his report on Tehran in early 1944, William Z. Foster, then national chairman of the party, came out totally against Browder’s opportunism in a letter to the National Committee. In order to avoid a split of the party, he confined his opposition to the National Committee at that time. The CPUSA was then dissolved in May 1944 and reconstituted into the Communist Political Association (CPA). Several months later Browder even tried to have the word “Communist” dropped from the name, but that proposal was defeated by one vote in the Political Committee. Earlier, in October 1943, the Young Communist League was also liquidated and turned into the “American Youth for Democracy”, an attempt to wipe out Marxist-Leninist work amongst youth. Browder’s revisionism seriously weakened the party in all areas of mass work (trade-unions, African-Americans, women, and youth). In 1944 he even publicly proposed that the Democrats and Republicans make a joint presidential ticket, but the CPA’s Political Committee rejected that foolish idea.

Uncertainty about Browder’s Tehran policy soon turned into opposition. Internationally, Jacques Duclos, secretary of the Communist Party of France, published an article that solidly denounced Browderism. The article played an important role in mobilizing already existing opposition to and critics of Browder. The CPA received a copy of Duclos’ article on May 20, 1945, which was immediately discussed in the Political Committee. Shortly after, Browder’s line was rejected by a two-thirds majority of the Committee, which soon became unanimous except for Browder. Browder refused to reject his ideologically bankrupt position and had to be suspended as general secretary. A secretariat of three (William Z. Foster, Eugene Dennis, and John Williamson) was created. A special convention was held in July 26-28, 1945. The convention thoroughly cleansed the party of Browderism and restored it to a solid Marxist-Leninist basis. The CPA was liquidated and the Communist Party was reconstituted. Foster was restored as national chairman. The new constitution clearly stated that the party based itself upon the principles of Marxism-Leninism. The reconstituted Communist Party rejected Browder’s post-war no-strike line, incentive wage, subservience to the two-party system, and “organized capitalism.” Browder then tried to build a revisionist factional grouping. However, he failed to split the party and in early 1946 he was expelled. Only a mere handful – his wife, his brother, his financial “angel”, and a few others – departed with him. He then attacked the party from the outside, but failed to gain a support for his absurd Tehran thesis.

After the end of the war the US bourgeoisie, with the reactionary Harry Truman as their leader, sought global domination. To achieve this, they tried their hardest to overthrow the world’s newly established people’s democracies in Europe and Asia. They rigged elections in France and Italy to prevent Communist parties from peacefully winning power. They supported reactionary terror in Greece (and ultimately countless other countries) to combat any opposition to US imperialism. They used the “Marshall Plan” to take control of Europe’s capitalist countries’ economies. They established puppet regimes in West Germany and South Korea. They constructed NATO, a hostile military bloc, to dominate Europe. They attacked Korea. They planned to use nuclear weapons against the USSR and the PRC. They set up a pro-imperialist, strikebreaking, anti-communist “International Confederation of Free Trade Unions” to split the international labor movement. They passed the fascist Taft-Hartley Act to weaken US unions. The Communist Party stood in firm opposition to the US bourgeoisie’s entire reactionary agenda for global domination.

For this reason, the bourgeoisie set out to ban and destroy the party. The US bourgeoisie learned from fascist dictators that the Communist Party is the greatest defender of democratic rights, so if the party’s democratic rights can be abolished, then the whole structure of the people’s liberties is undermined. The reactionary Truman government used J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, the McCarran Committee in the Senate, and the notorious “House Committee on Un-American Activities” to attack progressive forces. Many were arrested, including the leaders of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, for refusing to give the reactionary Un-American Committee the names of contributors and Spanish Republican refugees. The bogus charge was “contempt of Congress,” punished by six months to one year in prison, for simply refusing to state personal opinions or private partisan affiliations. In 1947 Eugene Dennis, general secretary of the Communist Party, refused to appear before the Un-American Committee on the grounds that it was illegal because it included the reactionary Rankin from Mississippi, who was “elected” in an election where African-Americans were not allowed to vote. Dennis was sent to serve one year in jail.

On July 20, 1948, twelve members of the National Board of the Communist Party were arrested for “violating” the “Alien Registration” law of 1946 and the “Smith Act.” Included were William Z. Foster, national chairman; Eugene Dennis, general secretary; Benjamin Davis, NYC councilman; and Gus Hall, chairman of the Ohio district. The so-called “trial” was not a trial in a civil or criminal sense, but a political attack by the government on the Communist Party. The “Smith Act,” under which the defendants were tried, clearly violates the US Constitution by abolishing the rights of free speech, free press, and free assembly. It is fascist thought-control legislation. It is also unconstitutional for being a bill of attainder, which is legislation directed against a specific group of persons. Making it akin to the hated Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. The jury was a hand picked group of middle and upper-class citizens. The judge, Harold R. Medina, was a millionaire landlord and corporate lawyer, red-baiter, and an organic part of the government’s trial offensive against the Communist Party. The accused were charged with “conspiracy to teach and advocate” the violent overthrow of the government, making this clearly a free speech/government thought-control case. The government’s “witnesses” were a predictable collection of stool pigeons, spies, and renegades. Eugene Dennis, in his summary speech to the jury clearly explained that, “We did not advocate the forcible overthrow of the United States government headed by President Truman. We did advocate its defeat at the polls in 1948.” The reactionary judge also bullied the defense attorneys and ultimately ended up sentencing them to jail for one to six months each for “contempt,” and also tried to disbar them from practicing their profession. Eleven of the defendants were sentenced (on October 14, 1949) to five years in prison and $10,000 fines. The twelfth defendant, Robert Thompson, a holder of the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery in the Pacific in World War II, was sentenced to three years.

On June 4, 1951 the US Supreme Court upheld this reactionary attack on the Bill of Rights, with dissenting votes from Justices Black and Douglas. Justice Black declared that the decision had so watered down the First Amendment, “the keystone of our government,” “that it amounts to little more than admonition to Congress.” Justice Douglas pointed out that the decision crippled free speech. Numerous others were arrested as a result later in 1951. The FBI stated that 43,000 Communists were being spied on and half a million “party supporters” would be thrown into concentration camps in case of war. Another part of this US march towards fascism was the McCarran Act, which claimed that “Communism” is an “international conspiracy” and that Communists are “foreign agents.” It also established the reactionary principle of guilt by association. The intent was to make certain political beliefs illegal. Pro-war liberals and Social Democrats supported these fascist laws. For example, Norman Thomas (a “Socialist”) publicly supported the proposal of concentration camps for Communists. The intent of those laws was more than just banning the Communist Party but also to smash any domestic opposition to US imperialism (i.e. to end dissent).

After reading this summary of Foster’s history of the CPUSA, it should be clear that studying critical periods of the party’s past not only reveals the absurdity of bourgeois anti-CPUSA propaganda, but also can be a guide on how to avoid or remedy certain types of ideological errors. The history of the crucial defeat of Browderism and the restoration of the party are more relevant now than ever. The CPUSA is currently controlled by another group of right-opportunists who also seek to liquidate the party much like Browder tried to do. Only the CPUSA’s membership and supporters can save it at this key moment. Strengthening of the CPUSA as a Marxist-Leninist party will allow for new, bright chapters of its history to be written.