Category: Party Voices
U.S. Communists Oppose Move of Embassy to Jerusalem; Call for Immediate Recognition of Independent Palestinian State by U.N.

The Party of Communists USA (PCUSA) condemns and vehemently opposes the unilateral decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel and transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision by Trump is not supported by the vast majority of the American people, and has been roundly condemned around the world. The Turkish Party of Labor, or Emek Partisi (EMEP) described the move as a provocative act. PCUSA believes that we in the US bear a special and urgent responsibility to fight this cataclysmic move with all the political and economic might we can muster. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) struggle must intensify in every trade union, community organization and political formation.

In the US, writing for the organization Jewish Voice for Peace, Rabbi Alissa Wise pointed out the danger of the Trump decision: “There’s a reason the status of Jerusalem hasn’t been determined yet – it’s at the core of the struggle against permanent Israeli domination and Palestinian dispossession. [And] we have to take the initiative and start conversations not just about what happened today, but what’s been happening for the last 70 years and more.”

 In Italy, the Unione Sindicale di Base (USB) said: “The decision of the current U.S. President to transfer his embassy to Jerusalem reiterates, in a very delicate phrase of political and military tension in the Middle East, the war choices adopted by this administration in every geopolitical scenario, from Latin America up to the Far East.”

From Cyprus, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), representing a neighboring country in the region of Palestine and Israel warned, “[T]his provocative decision constitutes a flagrant violation of the Palestinian people’s national rights and represents support for the Israeli occupation, threatening to undermine the possibility of a two-state solution and to provoke new conflicts both in Jerusalem and in Palestine, and more broadly throughout the region.”

Reaction to the Trump decision inside Israel was swift: Trump is a crazy pyromaniac capable of setting the entire region ablaze with his madness,” stated the leader of the Joint List, Members of Knesset (MK) Ayman Odeh. “If there is one thing that the past few days have proved, it’s that the US shouldn’t remain the sponsor for discussions between Israel and the Palestinians,” Odeh added. “If the Israeli government wishes for the world to recognize West Jerusalem as the Israel’s capital, all it needs to do is recognize East Jerusalem as the capital city of Palestine.”

It is the responsibility of every Communist and peace loving person to stand on the side of peace. It is the responsibility of every Communist Party to organize for peace and to stand together alongside those forces fighting for peace. The PCUSA, therefore, without reservation or hesitation, condemns the Trump decision and its imperialist, war making intentions. In the words of the Spanish republic fighting fascism in 1936: THEY SHALL NOT PASS!

European Communist Initiative: On the intensification of the militarization and aggressiveness of the EU
| December 7, 2017 | 8:03 pm | Analysis, Announcements, Party Voices | No comments

Friday, December 1, 2017

European Communist Initiative: On the intensification of the militarization and aggressiveness of the EU

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/european-communist-initiative-on.html
The EU, the NATO and the bourgeois governments of their member-states are engaged in an escalating arms race and in the development of military plans and preparations, which pose a serious danger for the peoples.
These developments reflect the contradictions among the governments within the EU and NATO as well as their contradictions with other imperialist centers and rival powers which are focused on the control of hydrocarbons and energy pipelines in the Middle East, in Northern Africa, in Eastern Mediterranean and other regions.
This process, which concerns the capitalist profits and the division of the market shares, poses a great danger for people’s peace and security, although it is carried out allegedly in the name of the peoples. The EU, as an imperialist union, is reinforcing its militarization. Guided by its “Global Strategy” and the White Paper on Defense it has established the European Defense Union and the related Fund while at the same time it has reinforced the systematic supervision of the promotion of armaments by the member-states through the Coordinated Annual Review on Defense (CARD).
In the same framework, the EU is promoting military forces and formations aiming at the creation of an “EU army” such as the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the battle groups, the inter-groups either in competition with the US and NATO, or in cooperation with them, serving in each case the interests of the European monopolies.
In view of these dangerous developments the peoples must be organized and prepared, they must be vigilant and strengthen their struggle against the adventurous military plans, the interventions and the wars of the bourgeois governments and the imperialist organizations such as the EU and NATO.
The European Communist Initiative:
-Calls on the peoples to condemn the bourgeois governments of their countries which promote the reinforcement of armaments, the upgrading, the extension and the increase of US, NATO and EU military bases in their countries as well as the various concessions to them for the implementation of the imperialist plans against the peoples.
-To strengthen the struggle against the EU, the NATO and all imperialist alliances.
-We struggle for the right of the peoples to choose independently their own path of development, including the right to disengage from the EU and NATO. We intensify our struggle for socialism which is necessary and timely.
European Communist Initiative: On the intensification of the militarization and aggressiveness of the EU
| November 30, 2017 | 8:52 pm | Analysis, Imperialism, Party Voices | No comments

Friday, December 1, 2017

European Communist Initiative: On the intensification of the militarization and aggressiveness of the EU

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/european-communist-initiative-on.html
The EU, the NATO and the bourgeois governments of their member-states are engaged in an escalating arms race and in the development of military plans and preparations, which pose a serious danger for the peoples.
These developments reflect the contradictions among the governments within the EU and NATO as well as their contradictions with other imperialist centers and rival powers which are focused on the control of hydrocarbons and energy pipelines in the Middle East, in Northern Africa, in Eastern Mediterranean and other regions.
This process, which concerns the capitalist profits and the division of the market shares, poses a great danger for people’s peace and security, although it is carried out allegedly in the name of the peoples. The EU, as an imperialist union, is reinforcing its militarization. Guided by its “Global Strategy” and the White Paper on Defense it has established the European Defense Union and the related Fund while at the same time it has reinforced the systematic supervision of the promotion of armaments by the member-states through the Coordinated Annual Review on Defense (CARD).
In the same framework, the EU is promoting military forces and formations aiming at the creation of an “EU army” such as the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the battle groups, the inter-groups either in competition with the US and NATO, or in cooperation with them, serving in each case the interests of the European monopolies.
In view of these dangerous developments the peoples must be organized and prepared, they must be vigilant and strengthen their struggle against the adventurous military plans, the interventions and the wars of the bourgeois governments and the imperialist organizations such as the EU and NATO.
The European Communist Initiative:
-Calls on the peoples to condemn the bourgeois governments of their countries which promote the reinforcement of armaments, the upgrading, the extension and the increase of US, NATO and EU military bases in their countries as well as the various concessions to them for the implementation of the imperialist plans against the peoples.
-To strengthen the struggle against the EU, the NATO and all imperialist alliances.
-We struggle for the right of the peoples to choose independently their own path of development, including the right to disengage from the EU and NATO. We intensify our struggle for socialism which is necessary and timely.
The centennial of the 1917 October Revolution to be commemorated in New York (Left Forum, 2-4 June)

Friday, May 26, 2017

The centennial of the 1917 October Revolution to be commemorated in New York (Left Forum, 2-4 June)

 https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-centennial-of-1917-october_26.html

Marxism-Leninism Today is co-organizing a panel commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution at the Left Forum in New York City.

Jointly co-sponsored with the Party of Communists USA, the panel is entitled: “The Russian Revolution and its Indelible Stamp on the Course of World History”  
The event will take place on Sunday, June 4th at 10:00 AM. Room 1.124 John Jay College, 899 10th ave (between 58 & 59th Sts.).
Featured panelists include Zoltan Zigedy and Joseph Jamison both members of the Editorial Board of Marxism-Leninism Today;  George Gruenthal an officer of the PCUSA; and Grover Furr Professor at Montclair State University and author of  several volumes , including “Khrushchev Lied“; “Yezhov vs Stalin” and “Trotsky’s Amalgams”.
When Communism Inspired Americans

New York Times, April 30, 2017
When Communism Inspired Americans
by Vivian Gornick

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/…/when-communism-inspired-americans.html

At a rally in New York City in 1962, the famously liberal journalist Murray Kempton said to an audience full of old Reds: “I have known many Communists in my life. I have not known them as criminals. I knew them once as activists — and we had our quarrels. But while this country has not been kind to you, it has been fortunate in having you. You have been arrested, you have been followed, you have had your phones bugged, you have had your children fired. Throughout this, I can think of numbers of you I have known who have remained gallant and pleasant and unbroken.” He added, “I salute you and I hope for times to be better.”

My mother was in the audience that night and said, when she came home: “America was fortunate to have had the Communists here. They, more than most, prodded the country into becoming the democracy it always said it was.”

My parents were working-class socialists. I grew up in the late 1940s and early ’50s thinking of them and their friends as what they themselves called “progressives.” The sociology of the progressive world was complex. At its center were full-time organizers for the Communist Party, at the periphery left-wing sympathizers, and at various points in between everything from rank-and-file party card holders to respected fellow travelers.

In my childhood, these distinctions did not exist for me. The people who came to our Bronx apartment or were present at the fund-raising parties we attended, the rallies we went to, and the May Day parades we marched in were all simply progressives. At the kitchen table they drank tea, ate black bread and herring, and talked “issues.” I understood nothing of what they said, but I was always excited by the richness of their rhetoric, the intensity of their arguments, the urgency and longing behind that hot river of words that came pouring ceaselessly from them.

They were voyagers on that river, these plumbers, pressers and sewing machine operators; and they took with them on their journey not only their own narrow, impoverished experience but also a set of abstractions with transformative powers. When these people sat down to talk, Politics sat down with them, Ideas sat down with them; above all, History sat down with them. They spoke and thought within a context that lifted them out of the nameless, faceless obscurity into which they had been born, and gave them the conviction that they had rights as well as obligations. They were not simply the disinherited of the earth, they were proletarians with a founding myth of their own (the Russian Revolution) and a civilizing worldview (Marxism).

While it is true that thousands of people joined the Communist Party in those years because they were members of the hardscrabble working class (garment district Jews, West Virginia miners, California fruit pickers), it was even truer that many more thousands in the educated middle class (teachers, scientists, writers) joined because for them, too, the party was possessed of a moral authority that lent shape and substance, through its passion for structure and the eloquence of its rhetoric, to an urgent sense of social injustice.

Most Communists never set foot in party headquarters, laid eyes on a Central Committee member, or were privy to policy-making sessions. But every rank-and-filer knew that party unionists were crucial to the rise of industrial labor; party lawyers defended blacks in the South; party organizers lived, worked, and sometimes died with miners in Appalachia; farm workers in California; steel workers in Pittsburgh. What made it all real were the organizations the party built: the International Workers Order, the National Negro Congress, the Unemployment Councils. Whenever some new world catastrophe announced itself throughout the Depression and World War II, The Daily Worker sold out in minutes.

It is perhaps hard to understand now, but at that time, in this place, the Marxist vision of world solidarity as translated by the Communist Party induced in the most ordinary of men and women a sense of one’s own humanity that ran deep, made life feel large; large and clarified. It was to this clarity of inner being that so many became not only attached, but addicted. No reward of life, no love nor fame nor wealth, could compete with the experience. It was this all-in-allness of world and self that, all too often, made of the Communists true believers who could not face up to the police state corruption at the heart of their faith, even when a 3-year-old could see that it was eating itself alive.

I was 20 years old in April 1956 when Nikita Khrushchev addressed the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party and revealed to the world the incalculable horror of Stalin’s rule. Night after night the people at my father’s kitchen table raged or wept or sat staring into space. I was beside myself with youthful rage. “Lies!” I screamed at them. “Lies and treachery and murder. And all in the name of socialism! In the name of socialism!” Confused and heartbroken, they pleaded with me to wait and see, this couldn’t be the whole truth, it simply couldn’t be. But it was.

The 20th Congress report brought with it political devastation for the organized left around the world. Within weeks of its publication, 30,000 people in this country quit the party, and within the year it was as it had been in its 1919 beginnings: a small sect on the American political map.

The effective life of the Communist Party in the United States was approximately 40 years in length. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were Communists at one time or another during those 40 years. Many of these people endured social isolation, financial and professional ruin, and even imprisonment. They were two generations of Americans whose lives were formed by political history as were no other American lives save those of the original Revolutionists. History is in them — and they are in history.

Vivian Gornick is the author, most recently, of the memoir “The Odd Woman and the City.”

Filipino communists call for ‘armed revolution’ against ‘US imperialism’

https://www.rt.com/news/382955-filipino-communists-revolution-us/

Filipino communists call for ‘armed revolution’ against ‘US imperialism’
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) vows to continue an armed battle against US imperialists and their local supporters, just as the party is heading into peace talks with the Filipino authorities.

“The Party program reaffirms the necessity of waging armed revolution in order to counter the armed violence employed by the US imperialists and the local reactionary ruling classes and end the oppressive and exploitative semicolonial and semifeudal system,” read the communique, released on Wednesday.

It also denounced the “pseudo-democratic” regime, which led to “deteriorating socio-economic conditions of the Filipino people,” urging the Philippines communists to “be ready to sacrifice their lives if necessary in the struggle to bring about a new Philippines that is completely independent, democratic, united, just and prosperous.”

The party’s convention, held for the first time in almost five decades, coincided with the 48th anniversary of its armed wing, the New People’s Army, which is leading an insurgency against the government in one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.

On Saturday, the communists announced they would declare a unilateral ceasefire by March 31 ahead of resuming peace negotiations with the Philippines government, expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to do the same.

However, the Philippines authorities ruled that out.

“The first agenda item that we will tackle starting April 2 will be the issue of a bilateral ceasefire agreement,” Silvestre Bello, the government’s chief negotiator, told reporters on Friday before flying to Oslo. The talks will be taking place in the Netherlands, with Norway mediating.

John Bachtell divides the working class by splitting the CPUSA: Whatever happened to “Unity, the only way!”?

John Case’s view of the CPUSA under John Bachtell’s leadership via the Socialist Economics listserv:

With the best of intentions and sentiments, CP leader Bachtell delivers a typically impotent CP rebuke to fascism. The fascist threat will be rebuked when its driving cause, 40 years of Austerity, is directly addressed and reversed. Not before. Bachtell does not even mention that. Doing that would mean raising, not burying, effacing, minimizing or damning with faint praise, class politics in the midst of reveling in the abundance of “resistance” movements. Hat tips from “Communists” to these movements are no doubt elevating to the tipper. But who in the movements cares? the CP represents no class, none,  Airy speculations about all-peoples fronts and such from those with no base, and no prospects of one, are just that: hot air.

I suspect the faction online advocating that the whole Trump affair, and now the fate of democracy, is mainly about race and not class is loud in party ranks. I guess THEY won’t be contending, like Sanders, “the new center” — Joe Manchin— in the coalfields of West Virginia. Or engaging the gas fields either, with those evil pipeline workers and their building trades unions  begging Trump — not the “multi-class allies” — for jobs at a living wage.

Bachtell offers this, for those who might be tempted to criticize, like Sanders, the new “center”: Senator Joe Manchin, of West Virginia:  “These approaches [that] advocate war against the political center at a moment when center-left unity is absolutely necessary…”
 
Unity on what? Does the “unity” include  — first — reversing austerity, which, by the way, does NOT require overthrowing capitalism, but does require a determined class struggle against the rights and prerogatives of billionaires? If not, it won’t amount to dogshit in repairing working class disunity. And if that is not repaired, all the “multi-class” coalitions in the world won’t remove the fascists, and the fetid petri dish of austerity in which they thrive and are reborn. If you do not use a class approach — who are YOUR people, YOUR way of life — if ordinary people are not drawn into motion in the millions, you wont ever know what the basis of popular unity really is. For example — you might find that fixing austerity HAS TO COME BEFORE bathroom rights in North Carolina, if you were listening to millions, not the “left”.
 
Of course this discourse is all a waste of time with the CP and some similar orgs — orgs with no base have no real way of politically verifying their positions, and thus can remain firmly planted in mid-air for lifetimes. It was effectively liquidated in the 50’s by a combination of repression and sectarianism. It revived a half Zombie existence in the sixties at the pleasure of the  CPSU and a quid pro quo with the Kennedy Administration. It’s leaders got out of jail. It succeeded in getting Angela Davis out of jail — its singular post-war actual accomplishment, beyond a repository of militant memories. Soviet cash helped pay for the paper and presidential campaigns of Gus Hall. Which makes the CP going after Trump for foreign interference a bit, well, compromised to say the least.
But I offer it as an example of what not to do as the resistance goes forward.
Stay away from sectarian outfits with “profound world-scale views” but no legs, and giant suitcases of dead weights they will ask you to carry for them on the way to “liberation”.
jcase
Joes Sims response to John Case’s view of John Bachtell via the Socialist Economics listserv:

I was surprised and dismayed by John Case’s recent rebuke of John Bachtell’s article and more broadly the Communist Party.  Allow me a brief personal reply.
First it is absolutely untrue that the Communist Party downplays austerity now or in the past. I, for example, essayed an extended critique of this very subject, its influence on GOP and Democratic neoliberal politics and on the Clinton’s in particular. Combating the fascist danger as Case correctly emphasizes was its point of departure. So too with various articles in peoplesworld.org by many writers including Bachtell.  His most recent, taken to task by John Case, is no different, albeit its consideration of how to conduct this fight in the current dispensation, an issue that’s ignored at our collective peril.

What’s the basis of this fight? Clearly it will not be giving up on the fight for 15, Obamacare, acceptance of national stop-and-frisk, approval of right to work, etc.  In a phrase, we cannot stop saying no to neoliberal austerity.  These demands have had much room for initiative and setting the agenda – even for the most advanced elements of the political center.  This fact is suggestive of the danger of getting stuck in the middle of constricted phrases and formulas. My own view is that we’ve entered an unprecedented period where the defeat of fascism may well require radical radical reforms: or as John Case puts it,  a defeat of austerity, a moment when for a time,  the anti-right and anti-monopoly stages of struggle could combine.

It’s all the more curious then why John Case critiques  challenging the basis for Trump vote. Doing so does not necessarily undermine the anti-austerity motives behind sections of the vote.  An understanding of this vote is not written only in black and white, but also in many shades of grey.  A denial of one leads necessarily to a misunderstanding of the other. Not seeing the greys may obscure all.  Hence my complete disdain for the “identity politics” critique as if people of color, women, lgbtq people do not have the same economic claims and anxiety as working-class whites. In fact we have more. John Case knows that and in fact has written eloquently on it himself, which makes me wonder as to why the tenor, tone and content of his attack, a fusillade that goes beyond the present moment but dates a half a century back into the dark corners of the Cold War.

Speaking now as the son of a steelworker at Youngstown Sheet and Tube and coming of age in the direct shadow of Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn I have to directly challenge Case’s allegations about the Communist Party, its working class influence and its source.  Coming from a party family in a  small industrial town in the 60s I witnessed the daily work of my mom and dad from a unique vantage point. I saw first hand their daily work on school reform, model cities, welfare rights, police violence, union rights, even questions of war and peace. I heard the phone ring and watched their grassroots defense of our class, work which won them respect and even election to community organization and union positions. And all of this was after having been twice hauled before HUAC. Dad was a grievance man for Local 2163; mom an activist and trustee in AFSCME, both members of the NAACP, CBTU, SANE FREEZE and many other organizations. When dad died the then USWA sent Oliver Montgomery from the Pittsburgh International to speak at his funeral. Montgomery reflected on dad’s work on the consent decree and importantly on the issue of black white unity urging him at a difficult time not to give up on his white union brothers.  Tributes were also brought from other community and religious leaders, including Ron Daniels. The same can be said for my mom, who twice ran for city and countywide office and was an elected leader in her union. Even today when dining out her lunch and dinner are bought by community figures who on occasion happen upon us – an offering of admiration and respect.

Here’s what I came here to say: this respect was not bought with  Moscow gold. Not in Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago or any other town were communists worked and struggled. And these  tales are not unique but are the stories of Frank and Bea Lumpkin, George and Denise Edwards, Wally Kauffman, George Meyers, Lorenzo and Anita Torres and hundreds if not thousands of communist trade unionists  who labored in the factories and mines of our country.

So no John I can never agree with your charge that the U.S. working class doesn’t give a damn about the Communist Party.

No, respect cannot be bought. This I know. But I’ve learned something else. Lies come cheap, especially big ones.  And that’s what troubled me more than anything else when reading your critique.  We live in an age of the Big Lie, in a time when facts give way to unbelievably dangerous flights of fantasy. We cannot in any way accommodate them.  The facts I offer instead are small ones, grains  of truth really, anecdotal sure, but taken together they weave an undeniable pattern of struggle, one that challenges your narrative John, then and now. These same truths obtain today as the CP experiences an uptick in membership brought about in response to the Trump election. Just last weekend we phoned some 5000 of them several hundred of whom joined since November 8th.

Winter is here and we must huddle together to avoid the cold. And for that reason I will end by reminding of you of my father’s lesson upon dying learned through the tears of  Oliver Montgomery’s eulogy: no matter how difficult the time or how low the blow I will not give up on you my erstwhile comrade but remaining class brother.  Let’s not give up on each other.

Joe Sims