Category: About the CPUSA
US-Iran naval encounter ‘very dangerous’

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/357321-iran-vessel-us-navy/

Arleigh Burke Class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze. © MC3 J. Alexander DELGADO / Navy Media Content Operations (NMCO)
A US warship in Iranian territorial waters could have little to do with innocent passage and Iran had every right to try to chase it away feeling its security threatened, said independent researcher and writer Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich.

A US Navy ship reportedly fired warning shots at an Iranian military vessel which sailed too close in the Persian Gulf.

RT: The US fired warning shots at Iranian ships near Iranian waters? A bit of a funny situation, isn’t it?

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: Well, yes. According to [Stars and] Stripes, the American military magazine, they were actually inside Iran’s territorial waters. I think it is very important to make that very clear – they were inside Iran’s territorial waters. In fact, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that it allows the innocent passage of vessels, and that costal states should not impede this passage. However, two things to bear in mind here: first, neither the US, nor Iran has ratified this treaty. Secondly, even if we disregard the fact that they are not signatories – innocent passage here stipulates what is very important, because what it means is that if a costal state feels that its peace, good order, or security is being threatened by vessel, it has every right to stop the passing of that vessel.

I think that anybody would agree that a US warship does not sit well with innocent passage, or with the securing of peace. So it can be understandable why, with the given hostilities of the two nations, Iran would want to chase it away. Importantly we have to bear in mind that these US warships in that tiny stretch of water not only threaten the security of Iran as a sovereign nation…In fact, a few years ago they collided with the Japanese oil tanker. It is really fortunate that there wasn’t a loss of life, or that the oil spill didn’t damage the environment. It is very important to point out that it was inside Iran’s territorial waters, and that Iran acted within its right in kind of chasing away the US warships.

RT: Earlier on Thursday, the US was making a fuss about the previous naval encounter which saw several Iranian ships allegedly coming “dangerously close” to American vessels. If these incidents keep carrying on and we see some escalation here, could we see some major diplomatic or some other international scandal?

SS-U: Absolutely. I think what’s happening here is very dangerous. In fact, it had been mentioned on several websites, one of them an Israeli website, that the hope was to provoke Iran into reacting. The hope was that the US would manage to provoke Iran, so that Iran would attack …

I think it is very important to understand that the US has designs on all the major waters around the world. We see what it is doing in the South China Sea. We know that it is arming, training, and giving guidance to Saudi Arabia and that coalition to attack Yemen, so that it can control the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

In fact, a 19th century strategist, Admiral Alfred Mahan had said that the control of the waves would enable you to control the world. Now with everything that the humans have invented it would seem that it… no longer applies, but clearly America doesn’t feel that way, because it does want to control the maritime choke points around the world, and does control. It is not just a passage of oil – that is also passage of finished goods and food. So its acts are so provocative and so dangerous, that if we did have a proper UN, I am sure they would have something to say about it. But unfortunately the US is the biggest financial supporter of the UN…

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Interview with Pável Blanco Cabrera, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM)

Σάββατο, 20 Αυγούστου 2016

Interview with Pável Blanco Cabrera, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM)

Interview of Pavel Blanco, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Mexico (Partido Comunista Mexicano, PCM), to the International Communist Press / August 20, 2016.
http://communismgr.blogspot.com/2016/08/interview-with-pavel-blanco-cabrera.html
 
ICP: In the recent years, violence in Mexico, both related to drug trafficking groups, or as a part of a clearly paramilitary activity against the progressive forces, organizations and people and especially the communists has been on the rise. Your Party, PCM has also suffered attacks of these paramilitary forces. What are the causes of this wave of violence and what will be the consequences of this situation in the context of the class struggle? Can you also comment on the relation of this situation with the U.S. imperialism that never ceased to mark its presence in Mexico?
 
Pavel Blanco: First of all, I would like to send my brotherly greetings to the Communist Party of Turkey, with whom we share the same line in the revolutionary regrouping of the international communist movement. We will do everything to reiterate our solidarity on the face of the political events that violently convulse the class struggle there.
In Mexico it is possible to literally observe the face of capitalism that Marx was speaking of. It drips mud and blood from all its pores. The wave of violence that shakes us with more than 200,000 dead in 10 years is not a system failure. Rather, it is the logical consequence of capitalism that consists of barbarianism, terror, uncertainties, hunger and death. The so-called war of narco-trafficking, in which the Mexican state is directly involved, is a process of re-accommodation of markets, routes and stakeholders in order to control this business, which is laundered rapidly through financial investments, and sectors such as the real estate and production. Here we don’t only refer to the agricultural industry but also to the branches such as metals, mechanics, iron and steel and extractivism. So, it is a process of amplification of accumulation and a new economic branch that rapidly generates consequences for politics. The money buys the political parties, candidates, elected state officers, mayors, MPs, senators and governors, all of which strongly influence the presidency of the republic.
In this context, it is necessary to plant terror, demobilize and immobilize the people in order to prevent any kind of possibility of protest and opposition to the plundering of the country. It is imperative to avoid the popular or syndical organizations that would prevent the processes of overexploitation.
It is very striking that they force displacement of populations that decimate cities such as Ciudad Juarez or desolate towns and territories such as in Tamaulipas. Paradoxically, after the expulsion of the inhabitants and destruction of their houses and lands, they found oil wells and mine zones in these places.
The popular organizations are under the threat of state terror. For example, look at the class-based demands of the educational workers, or the Federation of the Socialist Peasant Students of Mexico, 43 of which disappeared in Ayotzinapa, and of course the Communist Party of Mexico. Five of our comrades including Raymundo Velazquez, who was the political secretary of the party in that region, were assassinated in Guerrero because they were opposing the Canadian mines there. Moreover, Enrique Lopez, who is a member of our Central Committee, has disappeared in Tamaulipas. In addition to a number of prisoners, we also have comrades passing through judicial processes. We would like to clarify that this is the consequence of having a specific position in the class struggle, in other words, fighting for the revolution. Only those who do nothing are at the margin of the possibility of suffering these strikes.
It is true that the North American imperialism has big interests and that since the late 1970s they promoted the narcotic operations on Mexico. They did it in collaboration with Colombian groups to finance their fight against the insurgent movements in Nicaragua and in other Central American countries. This is not a secret. Moreover, we should underline the presence of the Chinese capital in the important harbor of Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacán, where they exchange steel with the chemicals used in the production of the raw material of a number of drugs.
At this point we would like to stop and think about this theoretical and practical question: In Mexico and for sure in almost all Latin America imperialism is identified with North America, and this position constantly creates deep political errors and strategic problems. The Communist Party of Mexico has the idea that imperialism as the actual phase of capitalism and characterized by monopoly capitalism also means that imperialism is not only an exterior but also an interior phenomena.  Speaking of the North American imperialism shouldn’t make one forget about the fight against the EU as an imperialist center or the inter-imperialist pact between Russia and China. Neither can other pacts between states or between capitalist economies such as MERCOSUR can be considered with sympathy. For us, the anti-imperialist fight is not an anti-North American fight. Rather, it is a fight against monopolies and we fight by confronting the monopolies in our country and in any other imperialist core. There is no “less bad” imperialism, all mean exploitation, pillage, plundering, war and death
 
ICP: There are millions of Mexican citizens and descendants of Mexicans in the United States, whose vast majority is part of the working class in this country. U.S. has never been an example of integration and acceptance but in the recent years the xenophobia and racism have increased even further and Mexicans, as the largest immigrant group, are one of the primary targets of xenophobia and racism. What is your opinion on the presence and role of Mexican workers in the struggle waged by the U.S. working class and the class character of the xenophobia?
 
PB: There are about 20 million Mexican or of Mexican origin workers in the US, and the number increases day by day, and year by year; it is our duty to contribute to raise awareness and organization of this population; during the bourgeois democratic revolutionary process in the last century, the Mexican workers of the USA were a stronghold of the anti-dictatorship fight which politically and financially supported the revolutionary forces of our country; phenomenon of migration peaked with the Second World War, and depending on the need for workforce, the North American border and the anti-immigrant mechanisms become more flexible or more harsh. The xenophobia and racism has been raging, not only against the Mexican workers but also workers of all nationalities who risk their lives in pursuit of employment there. It is PCM’s duty to fight to organize the Mexican workers to support the revolutionary process in our country and also to intervene in the class struggle for their rights and claims along with the North American workers and workers of other nationalities, who are exploited in the US. This happens by having a party organization at the borders, with which we’re moving forward, and for starting to have PCM cells among the Mexican workers in the US. It is clear that the class character of racism is one of the ideological pillars of the imperialist domination, which attacks all the workers.
 
ICP: Donald Trump is now officially the Republican candidate for the presidential elections, He is known for its anti-immigrant, anti-worker and racist rhetoric, towards the Mexicans in particular. What awaits the Mexican workers in the U.S. if Donald Trump is elected? The question can be asked for the working class in Mexico.
 
PB: Whoever wins the elections, may it be Mrs. Clinton or Trump, the loosing side will be the North American workers and the workers from other nationalities that shape the immigrant labor force. Trump resembles a scarecrow that is destined to express: “vote the lesser evil, vote the democrats”, which we consider to be a very dangerous position. Democrats or Republicans, the bourgeois parties of the USA do politics that are functional to imperialism. We already saw the fall of the myth, which claimed that it was a system only for the white; and the Obama administration turned out to be such an aggressive warmonger that it has no reason to envy Obama’s predecessor Bush. Now we will see how the myth, which claims that with a woman leading the USA, the world would go in a better direction, also crushes and falls. This is delusion, purely delusion.
No to Clinton and No to Trump, and we lament the wrongful politics done by CPUSA that navigates the opportunist flag of choosing a lesser evil. Whoever wins, will be a sworn enemy of the workers of the USA and the peoples of the world.
 
ICP: As the violence and repression increases in Mexico, the resistance of progressive forces and communists intensifies in response. We realize there is a revolutionary potential in the objective conditions in Mexico. What are the challenges, opportunities and the potential of revolutionary politics in Mexico?”
 
PB: That is true, the class struggle intensifies and the class conflict is present and evident. The labor-capital antagonism crystalizes especially wit the so-called structural reforms applied by the Mexican State, which embrace measures that devalue the labor and seek stability in the middle of the economic crisis.
 
We consider that the conditions are mature for a revolutionary process that according to our evaluation will be an anti-capitalist and anti-monopolist one with the goal of socialism-communism. We believe that a major obstacle at the moment is the mismatch between the objective bases, the limits of capitalism and subjective conditions of the moment, which are delaying; that is why since the V. Congress of PCM we are working to resolve this issue in two directions: building a strong, class-based workers and syndical movement on the one hand; and the development of the party itself in the principal strategic areas of the economy.
 
We are aware of the fact that without a strong communist party no revolutionary process would have any possibility to be successful.
 
Where are other revolutionary or anti-capitalist forces in Mexico, but none of them puts the proletariat in the center of their activity; in PCM we insist that the working class will be the epicenter of the revolutionary transformation; that is our advantage. Some words about an ingredient that is necessary for the revolutionary processes: the unity. We do not see it as a mere unification of organizations but as the unity of the class, we work exactly for that every day in every single work place.
Review: Adam Hochschild’s ‘Spain in Our Hearts,’ About a Strangely Literary Conflict

Credit Sonny Figueroa/The New York Times

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was not a splendid little war. It was an especially vicious one. Some 500,000 people died, most in combat or by political execution. A right-wing coup, led by Francisco Franco and backed by Hitler and Mussolini, toppled a democratically elected government.

It was, though, a strangely literary little war. We remember it today through classic accounts like Hemingway’s novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and Orwell’s memoir “Homage to Catalonia.” So many other significant writers and journalists poured into Spain, as observers or participants, it’s hard to keep track of them.

The French novelist André Malraux organized a squadron of volunteer pilots for the anti-Fascist resistance. The aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry reported for a Paris daily. Hemingway’s suite at the Hotel Floridain Madrid was a boozy hangout for a revolving rat pack of well-groomed foreign correspondents, including Martha Gellhorn, with whom he’d begun an affair. Dorothy Parker, Theodore Dreiser, Langston Hughes and W. H. Auden toured the fighting.

The war resonates visually as well. Robert Capa’s combat photographs are milestones; Picasso’s “Guernica,” painted after the carpet-bombing of that city, is among the most important artworks of our time.

Adam Hochschild’s excellent and involving new book, “Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939,” is not primarily a literary or cultural history. It’s about the moral appeal of the war, about the anti-Fascist and frequently pro-Communist idealism that made so many volunteers from the United States and other countries flood into Spain.

Yet in telling this story, Mr. Hochschild can’t help leaning heavily on the best-written accounts: books, letters, journals. Indeed, his title comes from Albert Camus. “Men of my generation have had Spain in our hearts,” Camus wrote. “It was there that they learned … that one can be right and yet be beaten, that force can vanquish spirit and that there are times when courage is not rewarded.”

What makes his book so intimate and moving is its human scale. Mr. Hochschild follows the paths of a handful or two of American (and occasionally English) volunteers, as well as journalists, and tells the larger story of the war through their tribulations.

These stories are not, in today’s parlance, of the first-person-shooter variety. The resistance was mostly too hapless, too ragtag. We might call these stories first-person shot-at. Orwell’s war ended when he took a bullet in the neck; he stood a towering 6 foot 3, and his head too easily poked over the parapet.

The Spanish Civil War was a forerunner, in a variety of ways, of World War II. Hitler introduced and honed in Spain many weapons the Allies would come to fear, like the German Stuka Ju-87 dive bomber, terrifying for its accuracy and for the dementing sound made by its wind-driven sirens.

World War II has pushed aside the Spanish Civil War in our memories. But Mr. Hochschild reminds us how riveted the world was. “While the fighting lasted, from mid-1936 to early 1939, The New York Times ran more than 1,000 front-page headlines about the war in Spain,” he writes, “outnumbering those on any other single topic, including President Roosevelt, the rise of Nazi Germany or the calamitous toll of the Great Depression.”

Roosevelt refused to involve the United States in this war, later calling its arms embargo a mistake. But some 2,800 Americans went to fight anyway. About 750 of them died there, a higher percentage of participants’ deaths than the United States military suffered in any of its 20th-century wars.

Adam Hochschild Credit Spark Media

The politics of the Spanish Civil War were, and remain, thorny. The appeal of resisting a coup backed by Hitler and Mussolini was apparent. But the defenders of the Republic, because the United States and other countries would not step in, took military aid from the Soviet Union.

This was at a moment when capitalism was in crisis, and disillusion with the Soviet Union, and Stalin, hadn’t fully set in; the Soviet Union’s economic success made it seem like a beacon of hope. Most of the American volunteers in Spain were Communists or Communist sympathizers.

For them, the war in Spain wasn’t merely a chance to rebuff Fascism. It was an opportunity to stand with Spain’s recently elected government, under which workers had taken over hundreds of factories. “Word of such events thrilled radicals abroad,” Mr. Hochschild writes. “Wasn’t this what they had long dreamed of: the people at last seizing the means of production?”

The moral problem, he notes, is that the defenders of the Republic were, in embracing the Soviet Union, “fighting for one of the finest of causes beside one of the nastiest of allies.” He asks: “If you’re in a desperate battle for survival, do you have the luxury of worrying about who your allies are?”

Orwell and Hemingway come alive in this volume. So do the two New York Times reporters, Herbert L. Matthews and William P. Carney, who reported from — and, Mr. Hochschild suggests, sympathized with — opposite sides (Mr. Matthews, the Republic, and Mr. Carney, Franco).

More than a few reporters made no pretense of objectivity. The British journalist Claud Cockburn wrote a fake article about an imaginary battle to make the Republic’s side look stronger than it was. About this trickery, Mr. Hochschild comments, “It worked.”

Mr. Hochschild, a founder of Mother Jones magazine, is the author of seven previous books, including “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa” (1998), which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

He’s a generally sympathetic observer of this conflict’s journalists, but he can also be stern. He criticizes the herd mentality that led journalists to miss one of the war’s biggest stories — how Franco’s side was propped up with oil delivered by Texaco, at the behest of an executive with Nazi sympathies.

The best stories in “Spain in Our Hearts” tend to be the smaller ones, which the author patiently teases out. We follow a Swarthmore College senior who becomes the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid, for example, and a 19-year-old woman from Kentucky who heads for Spain while on her honeymoon. Details of woe pile up.

These Americans tended to be a bookish lot. Two of them had to buy special gas masks to bring to Spain, Mr. Hochschild writes, the kind that fit over horn-rimmed glasses.

The CPUSA should put its money where its mouth is

by James Thompson

Many people have noted that the leadership of the CPUSA currently is obviously bent on liquidating the party. The tactic that leadership has employed to these ends is to transform the Communist Party into the Democratic Party, thus alienating the membership. What would happen if Pope Francis announced that the Catholic Church would no longer be Catholic and instead would be Baptist? Of course, Catholics would either overthrow the Pope or bail out of the church and form a new church.

Working people are not fools and the CPUSA leadership should not attempt to fool workers in a play to abscond with party resources.

Why not try honesty for a change? Of course, this would be a novel concept to CPUSA leadership.

CPUSA leadership has been blowing out a lot of hot air about organizing mass movements. Anyone who has followed the party over the last 10 years knows that this is pure balderdash.

Now that leadership has jettisoned many party assets such as historical documents, books and other records of party achievements prior to the chairmanship of Sam Webb, advocated dropping communism, socialism and Marxism Leninism from party discussion and advocated the uncritical stance towards the Democratic Party, why not put your money where your mouth is?

The CPUSA has been posting articles very favorable to the Bernie Sanders campaign. If they want to be Democrats, let them be Democrats.

When Billy Bragg rewrote “The International”, he sang “Don’t hold so tight to your possessions because you’ve got nothing if you’ve got no rights!”

CPUSA leadership: “Don’t hang on so tightly to the party resources because you’ve got nothing if you have no credibility!” Don’t fret and worry about your pensions and how much money Elena Mora will need to go shopping and buy new hats! Liberate yourself from your ill-gotten gains! Instead of taking the money and running, give it to a real people’s movement! Donate all of the worker’s money that you clutch so tightly to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Turn over all party property to the campaign. Offer up your lavish, but unused offices in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles to the Bernie Sanders campaign.

You’ll feel better in the morning if you do this because you can be sure he won’t squander these precious worker’s resources as you have done.

 

Bernie Sanders Drops A Bomb On Politics As Usual As He Celebrates An Iowa Win

 

Source: Politicus

Bernie Sanders could have used his speech after the Iowa caucuses to take a victory lap after he virtually tied Hillary Clinton, instead Sanders took aim at politics as usual and used his speech to spread his message.

Bernie Sanders Drops A Bomb On Politics As Usual As He Celebrates An Iowa Win

 

Bernie Sanders could have used his speech after the Iowa caucuses to take a victory lap after he virtually tied Hillary Clinton. Instead, Sanders took aim at politics as usual and used his speech to spread his message.

Sanders said, “As I think about what happened tonight, I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment, and by the way to the media establishment. And that is given the enormous crisis facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.”

Sanders called out the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior of Wall Street. He said the American people bailed out Wall Street; now it is time for Wall Street to help the American people. Much of the speech was the standard Sanders talking points and stump speech, but he gave Iowa credit for launching the political revolution.

The Sanders speech was a victory speech. For Bernie Sanders, a tie is a win. This speech was all about Bernie Sanders spreading his message while the entire national media was broadcasting live. Sanders earned the large national platform for his message with an outstanding performance.

Sen. Sanders came into Iowa and went toe to toe with a very good Clinton organization. Bernie Sanders took aim at politics as usual and transformed his online support and network of small donors into a potential win in Iowa. Even after everything has been counted and recounted, what people are going to remember most about the 2016 Democratic caucus is that Bernie Sanders made his political revolution a reality in Iowa.

The CPUSA throws out the baby with the bathwater and then throws out the tub

Response to recent articles by CPUSA leadership

By James Thompson

The USA is in a highly unusual period. There is a global economic crisis which reaches from Asia to the Middle East to Africa to Europe to South America and North America. No capitalist country is immune to this looming disaster. Oil prices are down, inventories are up, sales are down, stockmarkets are down, interest rates are in purgatory, profits are down, unemployment is up and, understandably, the working class is angry.

At the same time, there is no organized communist or socialist movement on the globe. Historically, communist parties around the globe have fought for the interests of the working class. However, at this juncture, no such party or movement is effective or even exists. To some, it might seem that after years of repression, wars and rumors of wars, the working class has capitulated since the bourgeoisie has the workers on their knees.

The CPUSA has distinguished itself by becoming the vanguard party of the bourgeoisie. The so-called leadership of the CPUSA has recently posted a number of articles which are blatantly anti-Communist and anti-socialist. Let’s take a look.

Susan Webb

The first article appeared on January 4, 2016 to welcome in the New Year. It was posted on the People’s World website since the CPUSA no longer has a printed newspaper. It has been reproduced on this blog in an effort to promote public discussion. It was written by Susan Webb who is the ex-wife of former CPUSA chairman, Sam Webb. Sam Webb and his new partner, Elena Mora, have been slowly, meticulously and surely dismantling and liquidating the CPUSA. Ms. Mora recently wrote a letter of resignation from the CPUSA. Susan Webb has been standing by her man (even though he is no longer her man) and at times seems to be attempting to outdo Mr. Webb and Ms. Mora in their efforts to destroy the party. Susan Webb’s article is entitled “Everyone’s talking about socialism, but what is it?”

Ms. Webb’s article sings the praises of Bernie Sanders while condemning the great socialist experiment which was called the Soviet Union. Ms. Webb attempts to outdo the apologists for capitalism by condemning anything which might be considered socialist. She even condemns what she calls “cheesy ‘socialist realism’ paintings.” In doing so, she condemns the likes of Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, Charles White and John Biggers. These artists painted some of the greatest murals in the world. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle puts a value on one of John Biggers’ murals at over $1 million.

Ms. Webb quotes Bernie Sanders as he praises Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and Pope Francis. In a speech that, according to Ms. Webb, Sen. Sanders delivered at Georgetown University, he stated “Our government belongs to all of us, and not just the 1%.” He also said, according to Ms. Webb, “you cannot have freedom without economic security” and detailed this as “the right to a decent job at decent pay, the right to adequate food, clothing, and time off from work, the right for every business, large and small, to function in an atmosphere free from unfair competition and domination by monopolies. The right of all Americans to have a decent home and decent healthcare.”

Those of sound mind will quickly recognize here a mixture of fantasy and reality. In the USA, under capitalism, the government serves only one function: To protect the interests of the bourgeoisie. In the history of the USA, there has never been a period in which working people have had any economic security. Unemployment in the USA varies, but has always been high. Access to food, clothing, paid leave, freedom from unfair competition and the right to a decent home and decent healthcare has always been nonexistent.

The problem here is not to achieve a kinder, gentler capitalism. The problem is to chart a reasonable, feasible path of struggle to the goal of socialism. Reforming capitalism can never result in the goals that Ms. Webb and her idol, Bernie Sanders set. Exploitation, repression, wars, racism, sexism, unemployment and other forms of hatred and abuse are inherent in any capitalist society.

Ms. Webb attempts to reduce socialism to co-ops, privately owned companies, individually owned businesses and sets tactics to achieve these goals to include worker decision-making, expanding town halls, implementing proportional representation, taking money out of political campaigns and making voting easy.

Such simplification is merely obfuscation of the main strategic goal of any Communist Party which is to bring about socialism.

Ms. Webb, in her article, returns to a maniacal rant against the Soviet Union. Interestingly, all of her criticisms of socialism and the Soviet Union are based on US propaganda. Her criticisms could have been written by Joseph McCarthy or J Edgar Hoover. She even goes so far as to say that the Soviet Union was not “socialist.” This may be an historical first.

She throws out red flags, Che and Lenin with the bathwater. She does not condemn Democratic Party president Harry Truman for the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and betraying the US ally, the Soviet Union, after their great contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany. After FDR’s death, Truman changed the course of US foreign policy which resulted in a very expensive Cold War and nuclear arms race which drained the resources of the working class and did irreparable damage to the planet. She did not condemn Democratic Party governor George Wallace for his virulent racism. She did not condemn the nasty, degenerate, vicious Dixiecrats.

You get the picture. Ms. Webb’s article is filled with filthy, destructive anti-communism which has always been a knife in the heart of the working class.

Let’s look at how Ms. Webb’s article measures up to Lenin’s 21 conditions (previously posted on this blog).

Lenin maintained that the political work of the party should have a “really communist character” and should be devoted to the cause of the proletariat. He stated “in the columns of the press, at public meetings, in the trades unions, and the cooperatives-wherever the members of the Communist International can gain admittance-it is necessary to brand not only the bourgeoisie but also its helpers, the reformists of every shade, systematically and pitilessly.” Ms. Webb obviously violates this condition. She seems to want to do away with the CPUSA and instead support a progressive candidate of the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders apparently wants to reform capitalism to make it more comfortable for some sectors of the population in the USA. This is not a bad thing, but it is hardly the only thing that needs to be done. No one knows whether Sen. Sanders has any chance of attaining state power, and if he does, whether he will use that power in the interest of the working class. He is certainly not a communist or socialist.

Lenin goes on “Every organization that wishes to affiliate to the Communist International must regularly and methodically remove reformists and centrists from every responsible post in the labor movement (party organizations, editorial boards, trades unions, parliamentary factions, cooperatives, local government) and replace them with tested communists, without worrying unduly about the fact that, particularly at first, ordinary workers from the masses will be replacing ‘experienced’ opportunists.”

Ms. Webb advocates elevating a reformist, centrist opportunist, Bernie Sanders, to the highest office of the land.

Lenin discusses the class struggle but Ms. Webb seems to think that the class struggle is irrelevant to working people.

Lenin discusses the role of the Communist Party in working to prevent new imperialist wars. Apparently, Ms. Webb must believe that imperialism is also irrelevant.

Lenin advocates the elimination of petty bourgeois elements within the party. Ms. Webb embraces not only petty bourgeois, but fully bourgeois elements.

Lenin clearly states “all those parties that wish to belong to the Communist International must change their names. Every party that wishes to belong to the Communist International must bear the name Communist Party of this or that country.” He goes on “The Communist international has declared war on the whole bourgeois world and on all yellow social Democratic parties. The difference between the Communist Parties and the old official ‘social Democratic’ or ‘socialist’ parties that have betrayed the banner of the working class must be clear to every simple toiler.” Again, Ms. Webb extols the virtues of the social Democrats while damning socialists and communists.

Lenin wrote “those party members who fundamentally reject the conditions and theses laid down by the Communist International are to be expelled from the party. Ms. Webb and her partners in crime, Mr. Webb, Ms. Mora and Mr. Bachtell have worked diligently to expel any members of the party who have expressed opposition to collaboration with the social Democrats.

Sam Webb

On January 29, 2016, Sam Webb, former chairman of the CPUSA, and his hand-picked puppet, John Bachtell, the current chairman of the CPUSA, launched two articles simultaneously. These articles have been reproduced on this blog in their entirety in an effort to promote public discussion. Webb’s article is entitled “Bernie or Bust”. As background information, it is important to know that Mr. Webb has advocated publicly abandoning the use of the words “communist” or “Leninist.”

The thrust of his article is to maintain that the only viable strategy of people on the left is to fight the ultra right. His concept of the ultra right equates to members of the Republican Party. He maintains that if Sen. Bernie Sanders does not prevail in his effort to be the Democratic Party nominee for president, people on the left, particularly communists, should fall in lockstep with Hillary Clinton or anyone else that the DNC chooses to anoint. Presumably, if the DNC could resurrect George Wallace and nominate him for president, by Webb’s reckoning, communists should throw all their support behind him.

Webb argues that Hillary Clinton is a far superior candidate than any of the Republican contenders. He allows that Clinton’s foreign policy would most likely be “more aggressive and military-inclined then Obama’s.”

Mr. Webb’s convoluted, contradictory thinking is exemplified in this paragraph: “In sharp contrast to her Republican adversaries, Hillary has a democratic sensibility and the commitment, even if hemmed in by her centrist politics and class leanings. She may not want to break up banks too big to fail, or rein in US military presence and activity worldwide, or embrace single-payer health care (arguably for good reasons), but she will fight for the full range of democratic rights-collective bargaining rights, wage rights, job rights, women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights, voting rights, immigrant rights, and, not least, health rights-as well as defend the integrity of democratic structures, governance, and traditions.

Que contrar, Mr. Webb. It is well known that the Clintons have fought the unions, failed to support the employee free choice act, and as you have cited, opposed single-payer health care. However, even if a hypothetical President Clinton II took office, if she led the USA in further and more intense military provocation of Russia, and China, all humans on the planet could be transformed into cockroach food. As Pete Seeger sang “we can all be cremated equally.” After mass cremation, all of the above reforms become moot issues.

Mr. Webb does not seem to recall that former Secretary of State Clinton committed international war crimes when she presided over the destruction of a sovereign state, Libya, and the barbarous assassination of its leader, Moammar Qaddafi. He doesn’t seem to recall that Hillary Clinton’s husband, former Pres. Bill Clinton (who would return to the White House if his wife is elected president) presided over the destruction of the sovereign state of Yugoslavia and the persecution of its leaders. He does not recognize that this set the stage for George W. Bush to preside over the destruction of the sovereign nation of Iraq and the barbarous assassination of its leader, Saddam Hussein.

He only recognizes the extreme right elements within the Republican Party. He turns blind eyes and ears to the extreme right elements within the Democratic Party.

Again, Mr. Webb, like Ms. Webb, violates Lenin’s conditions by denigrating the Communist Party and touting Social Democrats and reformists while working tirelessly to liquidate the CPUSA. One of the tactics Mr. Webb has employed was to elevate his favorite henchman, John Bachtell to the position of chairman of the CPUSA.

John Bachtell

It is no coincidence that Mr. Bachtell posted his article “Taking a sober look at the 2016 election” on the CPUSA website on the same day that Mr. Webb posted his article on his own personal blog. Both articles make reference to “Bernie or Bust.”

Mr. Bachtell apes the Webb line of “defeat the extreme right” which translates into support for the Democratic Party candidates, no matter how reactionary they may be. Much of the article is extremely poorly written with grammatical errors that would make anyone blush. His sentences don’t have any logical cohesion. They are presented in a staccato fashion which is highly confusing and raises party obfuscation to a new level.

Bachtell writes “We have to continue to emphasize the issues, promoting the best of both Sanders and Clinton, especially the most advanced positions. For example, there is growing discussion among the candidates about a financial transaction tax on Wall Street.” Bachtell does not seem to think that the class struggle is an issue worth discussing. Imperialism, socialism, and/or Leninism are not on the table for discussion either. However, the class struggle, and imperialism/fascism are the evils which plague the working class. Marxism Leninism and socialism are the tools which historically have been most effective in fighting the evils mentioned above.

Bachtell fecklessly quotes the New York Times and other sources of the bourgeois media and continues to confuse these voices of the bourgeoisie with the voices of the working people.

Bachtell talks about building a grand coalition to defeat the ultra right. Unfortunately, his predecessor, Sam Webb, has been very successful in dismantling and almost liquidating the party. It would be interesting to know what the party has done over the last 10 years to build any coalitions. The only coalitions that the party seems capable of building is a convergence of various sources of hot air. They also have been successful in infusing reality with a heavy dose of fantasy about their own importance.

Again, Bachtell follows in Webb’s footsteps and violates Lenin’s conditions in all regards.

On this eve of the Iowa primary and caucuses, is there any hope that the working class will inch towards the achievement of state power in the coming election cycle in the USA? Lenin said bourgeois elections do not solve anything. The great CPUSA chairperson, Gus Hall, urged communists that choose to engage in electoral struggle to “Aim to win.” When he said that, the CPUSA fielded candidates for various electoral offices around the country with little success. It is likely that he would be horrified at the state of the CPUSA today. Communists and socialists have been reduced to the position of deluding themselves into thinking that if a Democrat wins office, it is a victory for the working class. On the contrary, some might argue that support of bourgeois candidates is “Aiming to lose.”

The choices we must make are disgusting at best. It is like being forced to make a decision whether to drink poison and die or drink castor oil and get sick. The reality is that it is better to get sick and recover rather than to die and be gone forever.

Mr. Bachtell and Mr. Webb seem to think that there is no danger of fascism in the USA. Some might argue that it is already here. Much of Pres. Obama’s foreign policy might be characterized as fascist. His failure to support working people on many levels is not antithetical to fascism. The same can be said of both Sen. Sanders’ and former Secretary of State Clinton’s platforms. Sen. Sanders is clearly more progressive on more issues than former Secretary of State Clinton.

Will working people decide to drink castor oil or drain the poison? We will know more tomorrow. For sure, the class struggle will be very intense in the coming years.

 

WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT, AND WHY BERNIE SANDERS IS NOT A SOCIALIST

(A response to Sue Webb opinion in People’s World on January 4, 2016)

Dear Editor:

In Sue Webb’s opinion piece which appeared in the January 4, 2016 edition she implies that all that is needed in the USA is for us to change the word “capitalism” to “socialism” and everything will fall into place. Of course, this is pure fantasy, the words of a person who is satisfied with the capitalist system of greed and corporate control, what we used to refer to as the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”. Ms. Webb is, indeed, bourgeois and her oversimplifications show that.

Her slanders of the USSR and socialism are particularly disturbing. She writes “[socialism] – has been tainted by much of what happened in the Soviet Union and some other countries. But there’s nothing in socialism that equates to dictatorship, political repression, bureaucracy, over-centralization and commandism, and so on. Those features of Soviet society arose out of particular circumstances and personalities. But they were not “socialist.”

Ms. Webb never objected the to the USSR when, in an act of great proletarian internationalism, the Soviet Union and the socialist community of nations led an international movement to save the life of Angela Y. Davis. Now that there is no more USSR thanks to the counter-revolutionary activities of Mikhail Gorbachev and those around him that promoted the concept of socialist “markets” and private enterprise, Ms. Webb all of a sudden finds fault with the socialism of the 20th Century, calling it dictatorial, politically repressive, bureaucratic, and over-centralized, with a command style structure. And what dare I ask, was the USSR when they supported the CPUSA and its fight against racism and its political anti-monopoly program? So soon she forgets! Ms. Webb never objected when the Soviet Union supported the Cuban economy and the development of Cuba. She never objected when the USSR supported the national liberation movements in Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and the Congo. All during the existence of the Soviet Union, the world witnessed the greatest fighter for world peace and socialism. Real socialism. To deny that is the worst kind of right opportunism.

As her alternative to scientifically planned economic socialism, Ms. Webb describes how we in the USA have many publicly owned electric utilities. That’s nice. We also have private utilities Sempra Energy, Pacific Gas, and Electric (PG&E), and Edison International for example, that endanger our environment and public health, cause great disasters like the natural gas explosion in San Bruno, California, the natural gas leak in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the financial manipulation of energy prices by companies like Enron. What is the plan of the social-democrats to deal with these privately owned conglomerates in a socialist economy?

Ms. Webb says that Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist because he rejects the idea of a planned economy. Great! So we should continue living with the chaos we live in now, where material goods are produced not for the benefit of the people, but to continue the system of private profits and exploitation at any cost? She speaks like a typical believer in American exceptionalism. As long as we have markets for goods everything will be OK. She even says it would be OK to operate private businesses that continue to exploit workers, a kind of touchy, feeley, nice capitalism!

Gus Hall, the great American Communist leader, said many times that there is no “socialist model but that there are general concepts and economic laws of socialism that cannot be ignored. When they are cast aside as Sue Webb suggests we should, the result is counter-revolution and an increase in anti-worker activity. As long as there is a bourgeois class and that class holds the levers of power, it makes no difference who is President of the United States. We have two Americas. A capitalist America, and a working class America. The class war intensifies more every day. We will never have socialism unless and until the workers themselves take power and own the means of production and write their own ticket. They don’t need a Democratic Party messiah to do that. They need a real trade union federation like the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), another contribution to humanity from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

So what is socialism? In any country, in any language, socialism is the intermediary step toward a communist society. Socialism is defined as follows: *“The social order which, through revolutionary action by the working class and its allies, replaces capitalism. It is “the first phase of Communist society, as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society” (Marx). It is the social order in which the exploitation of man by man has ended because the toiling masses own the means of production. In contrast with the higher phase of Communist society, where “each gives according to his need,” in Socialist society “each gives according to his ability, and receives according to the amount of work performed”.

Contrast this with Democratic Socialism, *which is the general term for reformist and opportunist parties in their “theory” and practice in the Labor Movement [in sharp contrast with class conscious, anti-imperialist trade unionism of the WFTU]. Social-Democracy’s history is marked by timidity, legalism, “respectability,” capitulation to the influence of the capitalists, and consistent betrayal, of the working class.

Time to ask yourselves, which side are you on?

*Marxist Glossary, L. Harry Gould, Sydney. Australia 1948

Joe Hancock

PCUSA, Los Angeles