Category Archives: Police Scandals

“Anarchists”, “Antifa” Liberals Unable to Distinguish Between Fascists and Right-wing Blowhard Yiannopoulos

Is Milo Yiannopoulos a “fascist”? What about Steve Bannon? Or Donald Trump?

How one defines “fascist” is critically important. When you define every right-wing person who hates immigrants a “fascist” then your ability to identify actual fascists disappears. You also single out these mere disgusting conservatives for extreme punishment of the sort communists and anarchists traditionally reserve for the actual fascists of the Ku Klux Klan or Nazis. This is wrong and it destroys the credibility of the revolutionary socialist and anarchist left in the eyes of the workers whose support we seek. It also plays right into the hands of the capitalist class and their fascist attack dogs by helping to camouflage the real fascists. The working class needs to be able to clearly distinguish between its pro-capitalist conservative political opponents and the fascist threat which is like a knife held to the throat of the working class.

Trotskyists seek scientific precision when making political characterizations of their opponents

Revolutionary Marxists employ scientific terminology to describe political phenomena just as natural scientists employ their own precisely-defined terminology to describe the elements of the natural world from sub-atomic particles to black holes. Revolutionary Marxism/Leninism/Trotskyism utilizes a more precise scientific method than the bourgeois scientists do: the scientific method of dialectical materialism. By carefully analyzing political movements and their leaders not, as with bourgeois political science, as discrete and fully-formed entities but as evolving phenomena, revolutionary Trotskyists seek to precisely characterize the class origins and trajectory of political movements. Our method is derided by vulgar bourgeois political scientists as being “too dogmatic”. In fact, bourgeois political scientists despise the dialectical materialist method of the revolutionary Marxists because it enables us to tear off the masks from the political movements arrayed against the working class that pretend to be on the side of the workers of the political movements – which pro-capitalist bourgeois political scientists have carefully created and maintained in the service of their capitalist masters. Scientific terminology is as indispensable to revolutionary Trotskyists as it is to mathematicians, physicists or surgeons because without that agreed-upon scientific terminology scientific inquiry and experimental work is impossible. It is as desirable to be precise when discussing politics before we act just as it is when surgeons utilize the precise scientific terminology of modern medicine, biology and anatomy before they operate. Utilizing precise scientific language when operating in the political world is far more important than using precise scientific terminology when preparing a surgical procedure on a single human being because in politics, not single lives but billions of lives are at stake. No one ridicules the surgeon for being “too dogmatic” when he’s preparing to perform open-heart surgery on a friend or relative. Political science requires the same kind of precision and for the same reasons. The wrong terminology, mistaken identification of the illness and inadequate description of the operation to be performed and the methods to be used often results in the loss of the patient. In political science, terminological imprecision results in massive human suffering and in deaths of millions of people. Words matter. Outside of the revolutionary Trotskyist movement, political terminology is bandied about in the same way that a 3-year-old handles a loaded gun: we are unfortunately witnessing that today in the case of our wayward anarchist and “antifa” friends who are going around calling mere repulsive conservatives “fascists”.

What is dialectical materialism and why is it important?

Marxism is even more reality-based than bourgeois science. Dialectical materialism is the scientific philosophy that the entire superstructure of revolutionary Marxism is based upon; it seeks to comprehend the material reality of the universe in toto, encompassing every aspect of a phenomenon and recognizing that nothing is permanent – everything is in a state of development and transition, from atoms to the universe itself. Bourgeois science tends to study things as discrete phenomena and struggles to conceive of the material world as something that is not permanent and unchanging (this is more true for some scientific disciplines than for others). This is a most serious problem for bourgeois political scientists and economists who, on top of the fact that they do not utilize the dialectical method of analysis of phenomena, which itself leads them into making enormous errors in their work, they are charged with the responsibility of covering up the truth about the fundamental nature of capitalist society. A major part of their job is to convince the workers of the world that the capitalist economic system and its corresponding political system is the highest form of human society possible; that it is “the best of all possible worlds”.

Marxists do not see the world in stark “black-and-white” terms as bourgeois political scientists do. We understand that the collective state of mind of the working class and the capitalist class and all of human society the world over are in a constant state of flux. We also recognize that there exist intermediate forms of matter that fluctuate from one state to another and back again – solid to liquid to gas to liquid to solid – and that this happens in the political world as well. During the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Cossacks – who had long been the Czar’s brutal anti-Semitic pogromists periodically unleashed to attack Jews and communists – became during the revolution some of the most heroic elements of the vanguard of the first successful workers revolution in world history – led by the communists of the Bolshevik Party, many of whose top leaders were Jews. Many of the Czar’s own top military officials also went over to the side of the Bolsheviks and helped create the Red Army. The Marxist worldview recognizes that there is only one constant in the material world: change. In political science we see the long historical view of the evolution of human society and understand that there are long periods of relative political stability that are broken up by periodic upheavals and revolutions after which the new social landscape is hardly recognizable in comparison with the social structure that existed before. We also recognize the capabilities of human beings to change their political beliefs over time. And this doesn’t just happen on the right-wing side of the political spectrum: Mussolini, who was the originator of fascism in Italy, began his political career as a revolutionary Marxist.

Bourgeois political scientists use vague, non-class-based terminology to hide the true nature of capitalist system

Imprecision in political science as well as all of the sciences in the capitalist world is part of the narrow worldview of the capitalist class which permeates all of human society under the capitalist mode of production. Bourgeois political scientists speak in very imprecise, non-class-based terms when they describe the political world around them. When Marxists speak of “fascism” and “fascists” our use of the term is precisely defined to describe a specific type of political philosophy and political fauna that arise out of the capitalist system in times of acute political and economic crisis. The bourgeois political world, mocking the precise scientific terminology of Marxism as being “hopelessly dogmatic” – has adopted terms that assist the pro-capitalist ideologists hide the true nature of the capitalist system from the eyes of the working class. For example: “The people” is used by bourgeois ideologists – and their fake-left “tails” – instead of the Marxists’ far more precise “working class” and “capitalist class” to describe “the masses”. “The people, united, will never be defeated” is a popular political slogan of the pro-capitalist bourgeois ideologues and the fake left. Why is it a pro-capitalist slogan? Because “the people, united” means “all classes united”: the rich and the poor, capitalist and worker, peasant and landlord. And when the exploited working class or peasantry “unites” politically and militarily with their exploiters – the capitalists and landlords – the workers and peasants will ALWAYS be defeated!

Simply by substituting the phrase “the people” for “the workers”, the bourgeois apologists for the capitalist system prepare the working class and peasantry psychologically to fall under the yoke of “reasonable” pro-capitalist political leadership: the working class and peasantry are politically disarmed by this simple, very popular and very deadly political formula! The Democrats love to chant “the people, united will never be defeated”. But change the words to “the workers, united, will never be defeated” and watch their big smiles turn to worried frowns! They know the difference between these two slogans – and so do their capitalist masters. There is a world of difference in terms of the political content of the two opposed slogans. One – “the people, united” – supports class-collaboration with the political representatives of the capitalist class and defends the capitalist system; the other – “the workers united” is a call for working class solidarity against the capitalist system. You can tell if you are a bourgeois liberal or not just by whether you can or can not discern the deep political difference between the two slogans. Bourgeois liberals insist revolutionary Trotskyists are just “being dogmatic” when we denounce the use of the term “the people”. They do that because they know we are unmasking them by revealing the true class nature of their favorite political slogan, which is in fact nothing more than a stratagem for leading the workers to walk blindly into the mousetrap of pro-capitalist politics!

Bourgeois ideologists speak of a vague, broad “middle class” that to the much more precise terminology of a Marxist is actually composed of three separate classes, the majority of which is merely the slightly more well-to-do section of the working class who make enough money to be able to afford to purchase their own homes. The vague, unscientific, vulgar terminology of the bourgeois political scientist obscures rather than clarifies the real class relationships that compose human society in the capitalist era. This is done – consciously or unconsciously – to confuse and divide the working class into antagonistic, imaginary sub-classes. In bourgeois political discourse we see that the term “working class” is barely even used; “middle class” is the term used to describe working class people who “rise” mysteriously into this “middle class”… the moment they become indentured servants for life to the banksters by draping themselves in the heavy chains of a home loan! In “third world” countries, hundreds of millions of dirt-poor peasants live in houses they built for themselves but no one describes the “homeowners” in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro as “middle class” – not even the epigones of vulgar bourgeois political science. Only the revolutionary Marxists (who today are known by the name of “Trotskyists”) consistently employ a truly scientific terminology in their political science. We do it because it is literally a matter of life or death.

Terminological precision is necessary in order to win the working class to a revolutionary socialist program dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system

The primary reason why scientifically precise political terminology is important in the eyes of revolutionary Trotskyist political scientists is because only the revolutionary Trotskyists actually seek – not to “peacefully coexist” with a capitalist system that became thoroughly reactionary more than a century and a half ago – but to overthrow it. The Trotskyists seek not to prolong the life of capitalism one more day but to overthrow the world’s capitalist system and replace it with a global alliance of egalitarian socialist workers states. The Trotskyists understand that if you want to change something you must first understand precisely what it is that you wish to change and determine what social forces can be enlisted on the side of the working class and what social forces can be expected to form up the ranks of the enemy capitalist class and its allies. Goals, in order to be achieved, must first be formulated with extreme precision and a program devised that is equally precise so that we can get to there from here. If we try to travel from Chicago to Paris but we neglect to purchase either a plane ticket or passage on an ocean-going vessel we will have a very difficult journey ahead of us.

Precise definition of the obstacles that lay ahead of us is necessary before we head out on this or any major endeavor. A revolutionary working class leader who can not detect the sometimes subtle shades of difference between “ally”, “neutral” and “mortal enemy” can only lead the working class into defeat; so precision is necessary when we analyze the class forces as they appear on the battle field: are they friends or enemies of the working class – or are they representatives of the undecided middle or petit-bourgeois class who will join either the side of the workers or the side of capitalist reaction depending on which side seems most likely to prevail in the event of a social revolution? Are the largely working-class ranks of these political movements or even military formations in a state of transition? How will they react to an appeal to join the ranks of the revolutionary workers party?

Before we analyze any political movement or leader we must determine their class origins and their political trajectory. Petit-bourgeois origins of fascism.

We live in a class society based on the capitalist mode of production. What determines, to a Marxist ones class identity depends not on whether or not you own a house but upon your relationship to the capitalist means of production: are you an owner of factories or a worker in a factory? Capitalist class society is fundamentally divided into two primary classes: the capitalist, exploiting class known by its precise Marxist name of “bourgeoisie”; and the exploited working class. In between these two classes lies not an amorphous and ambiguously-defined multi-class “middle class” but an intermediate class revolutionary Marxists call the “petit-bourgeoisie”. “Petit-bourgeoisie” is a term that was coined by the revolutionary French political scientists of the 1700s; it is a combination of the terms “petit” meaning “little or small” and the term “bourgeoisie” meaning wealthy capitalist or businessman. In modern times “petit-bourgeoisie” is equivalent to “small businessperson” who owns a business that exploits a number of workers who are not of his or her own family. This may all seem way off-topic but it is not, because in the Marxist analysis of capitalist society and of the phenomenon of the rise of fascism it is the petit-bourgeoisie that is the critical source of recruits to the fascist movement.

This “petit-bourgeoisie” is defined by Marxists as an intermediate and highly politically unstable class whose members have either risen from the ranks of the working class or are “de-classed” elements who have fallen out of the ranks of the bourgeoisie. The stereotypical petit-bourgeois generally admires and aspires to being wealthy someday and to eventually rise into (or back into) the ranks of the “big-bourgeoisie”, and simultaneously loathes the big bourgeoisie which rips off the small businesspeople at every opportunity and often threatens to wipe out the small businesspeople entirely. A good example of the “petit-bourgeoisie” is the owner of a small family-run grocery store that has been in a community for a hundred years and is now facing the destruction of its long-popular local business by the arrival in the community of a massive big bourgeoisie operation like WalMart. This is just one example: the petit-bourgeoisie includes not just small businesspeople but all manner of “self-employed” workers and artisans as well, from handymen to artists, actors and musicians. The petit-bourgeois is trapped between her admiration of the ruthless “self-made” billionaires like Donald Trump (or the multi-millionaire hip-hop or movie star with “her own” ridiculous jewelry, clothing and fragrance lines) and the hopeless struggle to survive in competition against rivals whose enormous purchasing power enable them to achieve economies of scale and to survive the inevitable periodic economic crises of the capitalist system.

The struggle of the petit-bourgeoisie to survive independently in an era of brutal competition from the big bourgeoisie creates anger and resentment in the petit-bourgeois. As his sales decline he “has to” cut wages to his workers or make unwanted cutbacks in his own standard of living. The small businessman is caught between the two fires of the working class and the big bourgeoisie, both of whose good will the small business person needs in order to survive.

He seeks political assistance from the local representatives of the major political parties: is there some way he can ban these big capitalist enterprises from coming into his town and ruining the small local businesses? But the major political parties are owned and operated by the big bourgeoisie and are discovered to be in the pay of the capitalist class! What can the petit-bourgeois do?

It is in this environment that the petit-bourgeois is driven to take sides in the great struggle between the capitalist and working classes. The petit-bourgeois has sympathy for the working class from which he and his family likely originated; yet he also admires the big bourgeoisie and wants to become a big success like, for example, the billionaire Walton family of WalMart fame. He might like to pay his workers higher wages but believes he can not afford to do so and still be able to live at the standard of living he feels he deserves – rightly or not. The formation of a union in his store would only, in his eyes, hasten the day of his company’s collapse. (Whether or not this is true means nothing under capitalism; capitalists big and small are “free” to do whatever they want with “their” money – stolen as it is from the working class. The capitalists deny that they bear any responsibility for unemployment, homelessness or any of the other social ills endemic to their system).

Vacillating petit-bourgeoisie must ultimately choose between giving support to working class or to the fascists

The revolutionary Marxists and the fascists offer the petit bourgeois two diametrically opposed ways out of this blind alley: the revolutionary socialists offer workers socialist revolution where the endless struggle for economic survival for the petit-bourgeois will itself cease and she will perhaps be given the money necessary to continue operating their small businesses from the new socialist government; the fascists “offer” a militarized capitalism where the rights of the citizenry are sharply curtailed, dissidents are imprisoned, trade unions are outlawed and revolutionaries and other “social undesirables” are put to death. For the more greed-inspired petit-bourgeois, this choice is not as easy as it would appear to be to you, a decent and honest worker.

As the class struggle heats up as a result of the declining standard of living forced upon the working and petit-bourgeois classes by the big bourgeoisie, the working class begins to organize itself in opposition to the big bourgeoisie and its predatory capitalist system. Those workers and petit-bourgeois who are anti-racist and pro-union gravitate towards the champions of workers rights and internationalism – the revolutionary Marxists-Trotskyists; those workers and petit-bourgeois who are racist and who hate unions and “reds” gravitate towards the ranks of the fascists.

The rise of Donald Trump indicates the start of a period of sharpened class struggle and increasing polarization of society between extremes of revolutionary socialism and fascism.

This is where the capitalist world stands in 2017. The political landscape in the US and Western Europe especially is becoming increasingly polarized between the pro-working class and anti-working class parties whose extremes are represented by the revolutionary internationalist Trotskyists and anarchists on the left and the union-hating ultra-nationalists financed more and more by the big bourgeoisie (Klan and Nazis) on the right. In between these two polar opposite camps in this transitional period are now appearing all kinds of intermediate characters whose semi-formed political ideologies borrow freely from both the fascist and the communist ideologies, depending on which way the political winds are blowing at any given time.

One of the most definitive qualities of the petit-bourgeoisie – this “middle class” caught between the two fires of the capitalists and the working class – is precisely this “flag in the wind” character of their politics. When the unions, led by the revolutionary Trotskyists are growing stronger, the petit-bourgeoisie presents a friendly face toward the workers and begins to place its hopes in a workers revolution to save the petit-bourgeois from economic ruin. If the revolutionary upsurge becomes powerful more and more of the petit-bourgeois join the ranks of the revolutionary workers parties. But when the unions are in decline – as they are now across the United States and Europe – and it looks like there is no pro-working-class revolutionary socialist solution to the problems of the petit-bourgeoisie on the horizon then the small businessman or woman looks to the racist, nationalist and even fascist parties for a “way out” of the economic and political impasse of collapsing capitalist society.

Capitalist class and their politicians scapegoat immigrants, refugees, religious and ethnic minorities in order to maintain their class rule by dividing and conquering the working class. Fascists are the capitalists’ weapons of last resort in this struggle.

In the United States in 2017 the long-running decline of the workers unions and the revolutionary political parties of the working class has led the petit-bourgeoisie – and the big bourgeoisie – into despair. The phenomenal emergence of the planned socialist economy of Maoist China as the world’s next economic superpower (which will blow past the United States within the next 10 years or maybe less) the capitalist world is thrown into political chaos. The greed-based capitalist economies can only increase their profits by driving down the wages of the workers of the “first world” to the level of those workers in the brutally exploited “third world”. In every capitalist country we see attack after attack on social programs and on the high wages won over centuries of struggle by the trade unions. The capitalist class and its media try to pretend that it is not the capitalist system that is responsible for driving down the workers’ standard of living. To make their getaway complete the capitalists use the old ruse from the famous story of the thief who escapes capture by pointing to another person and shouting “Stop, thief!” The capitalists look for scapegoats they can point the workers towards in order that they, the capitalists can get away with their stolen booty. “Stop, thief!” the capitalist screams, and points to… the immigrant workers. “Stop, thief!” the capitalist hollers again, and points to… the refugees. “Stop, thief!” the capitalist yells again and this time points to… the Chinese. “Look! They are all stealing your jobs!” shouts the capitalist – and as soon as the workers, led by the fascists, are off attacking their innocent immigrant, refugee Muslim or Jewish brothers and sisters… the capitalist gathers up all the workers’ money and heads to his bank, chuckling all the way.

In this way the capitalists whip up racist anti-immigrant and anti-refugee campaigns to cover up the fact that it is indeed the capitalist system itself that is to blame for the endlessly declining standard of living of the working class. With even the capitalists’ own economic institutes producing scientific study after scientific study PROVING that it is the capitalist system itself that is at the root of all economic problems, the capitalist class begins to spread outright lies through its media outlets to confuse the working class and keep the workers fighting each other instead of uniting to overthrow the capitalist class that is systematically robbing all the workers blind.

Yiannopoulos, Bannon and their kind are merely right-wing conservative demagogues, transitional figures between bourgeois democracy and fascism – they are not “fascists”

The fascists feed on the capitalists lies that immigrants are at the root of the economic decline of the working class. They are only too willing to help the big bourgeoisie smash the communists and trade unionists whose demands for higher wages and increased social spending can only come out of the pockets of the bourgeoisie – big and “petit”. With the union movement in decline, the petit-bourgeois licks his finger and holds it up into the air and determines that the wind is indeed blowing strongest from the direction of the fascist parties; and so she begins to overcome her disgust for the more vulgar political ideas of the fascists and moves closer, step by step, to the fascist camp.

To facilitate this transition of the petit-bourgeoisie towards the fascist camp all kinds of transitional figures emerge as if on cue. Sensing that they can profit from the indecision and confusion that reigns among the middle-class and large sections even of the working class, these people freely borrow elements of the political program of the communist left and the fascist right and duct-tape together a ramshackle political “program” that is a more palatable version of a supposedly “neutral” middle ground between the two extremes. This is the milieu of the “alt-right” swamp inhabited by such shady characters as Milo Yiannopoulos, Steve Bannon, Alex Jones and a whole slew of half-bright right-wing ideologues. Their “fascism-lite” program is a bridge between what had once been the “traditional” conservatism of, say, a George Bush pere and the more extreme and even fascist right wing. These transitional figures may express elements of the fascist program from time to time – but that alone does not make them “fascists”. We must recognize them as what they are and calibrate our responses to them accordingly. Should a sleazy right-wing provocateur like Milo Yiannopoulos or Steve Bannon get the same treatment from anti-fascist worker-militants as an outright Klansman like David Duke? This is the question.

Fascists represent not merely a political but a mortal threat to the physical existence of workers movement.

Fascism represents a mortal threat to the lives of the workers all over the world. Fascist political parties and leaders find ready financing from the ranks of the capitalist class and, in Europe, from the monarchist remnants of the old aristocratic ruling families as well. These people fear the power of the working class and would rather drown the working class of their own countries in blood rather than allow the workers to seize power. The capitalist class and the aristocrats know all too well that they have committed massive crimes against the workers of the entire world, and they live in mortal terror of what will happen to them if the revolutionary workers ever erase that “thin blue line” of police that protects them.

Fascists are hired by the capitalists and the aristocrats precisely to draw a line in workers blood when an upsurge of worker militancy threatens the continued existence of the capitalist system. When the typical methods of police brutality no longer suffice to keep the working class in check, the capitalists finance, arm and unleash their fascist wolf packs. The fascist stormtroopers are not politicians looking to discuss politics: they are psychologically deranged xenophobes who seek not merely to discriminate against workers of color, immigrants, gays, religious minorities and militant workers of all political persuasions, but to physically exterminate us! Fascist ideology represents a qualitative leap beyond “mere” intolerance into organized mass pogroms against every racial and religious group they despise. The Nazis do not seek to merely “deport” immigrants and Muslims: they want to impose a “final solution” – the complete physical extermination – of people they identify as being social undesirables”. There is a world of difference between a right-wing bourgeois politician who espouses a disgusting program to deport immigrants and a fascist who wants to hunt down Mexican workers as they cross the border and shoot them dead the moment they cross the line!

Yiannopoulos, Bannon and Trump are not “fascists” – they should not be treated as such.

As revolutionary Trotskyists we uphold the free speech rights of right-wing blowhards like Milo Yiannopoulos, Steve Bannon and yes even Donald Trump; we might protest their appearance wherever they wish to speak; we would debate them in public if the opportunity arose – in order to expose their political bankruptcy and (in Trump’s case) murderous criminality. But we do not physically attack them or try to deny them their free speech rights – because they are not actually “fascists”. Milo Yiannopoulos, for example, is a gay, white man who brags at his public appearances about having sex with black men – which alone would make him a target of the fascists, not one of their leaders. He has repeatedly sued various newspapers and magazines that have called him a “white supremacist” and has won retractions from several of them. This is not the kind of thing an actual fascist or white supremacist would do. Many of his political statements skewering the “political correctness” campaigns of the campus liberals are quite accurate. His criticisms of the Democratic Party as well often hit their mark – and that is why the bourgeois liberals hate him. He calls Donald Trump his “Daddy” – he’s quite pathetic, really. Many of his opinions are objectionable and amount to bigotry, like his hatred of Muslims. But none of this right-wing bloviating amounts to a fascist program of the physical extermination of his political opponents. Having read several of his speeches he’s given in the past year on various US college campuses, we must conclude that Milo Yiannopoulos is simply not a fascist. It is not easy for an openly gay man to join the ranks of the Klan or Nazis (although there were many gay men in Hitler’s retinue in the early days of National Socialism). But they didn’t remain in the fascist ranks for long because Hitler had most of his gay followers either executed or put in concentration camps. “Good luck” to Milo if he wants someday to “transition” into becoming a fascist!

The “antifa” who think Yiannopoulos is a fascist are simply wrong. They’ve been led astray by their leaders’ lack of a coherent revolutionary Marxist political program and their vague understanding of what fascism is and what it isn’t.  They go crazy and mobilize their members to rampage across the Berkeley campus to stop a pathetic self-hating gay conservative while completely ignoring the fact that imperialist pig  John Yoo – “the deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice” who “discovered” the “legal justification” for US imperialism’s use of torture against suspected terrorists – trains young lawyers as a professor of law on the very same campus!  Yoo deserves to be driven off campus, not Milo.  Yiannopoulos needs to be debated – or ignored.

For the record, Donald Trump is also not a fascist – even though he has expressed concepts that are borrowed – probably, like most of his “philosophy”, semi-consciously – from the fascist program, like his calling illegal Mexican immigrants “rapists and murderers”. Trump is a disgusting, right-wing capitalist (and now as President, US imperialist) pig – but he is not a fascist! Not yet anyway. If Donald Trump was a fascist, we would not be able to write articles advocating the overthrow of the US capitalist class: we’d either be dead or we’d be in a prison or a concentration camp! If Donald Trump was a fascist, anarchists, communists,illegal immigrants and Muslims (Anti-Islamism being the 2017 version, in the USA, of Hitlerite anti-Semitism) would be getting rounded up and thrown into concentration camps to die – or just be summarily executed – and that would be that! Fascism is orders of magnitude worse than mere “right-wing conservatism” or even the majority of the people who self-identify as “alt-right”. The “alt-right” are in a transitional phase of development; these “alt-righters” must be kept under close observation so when they actually move into the fascist camp they can be treated accordingly. In the meantime they must be combatted politically, not physically! An intelligent, rational revolutionary socialist workers party programme can win these “middle of the road” and even many right-wing workers over to the side of the revolutionary working class. To simply write off whole sections of the working class as eternally compromised because they voted for Trump is absolutely asinine. We need to present the working class with a programme that truly represents their interests and which presents a realistic prospect for a prosperous future for all the working class in a post-capitalist world. The fascists can only promise workers a future of global war, hate, bloodshed and misery under capitalism! If revolutionary Trotskyists do our jobs properly we will win the vacillating “petit-bourgeoisie” and undecided workers to our side – and the fascists and their “alt-right” movement will evaporate like piss on hot asphalt.

For the actual fascists – whose “debating methods” are guns, knives and the lynch rope – we deny that they have any “right” to speak at all!

We seek to physically drive the fascists out of human society permanently! We understand that fascists do not want to be part of the great human race and that fascists represent a MORTAL, DEADLY THREAT to human civilization itself! Fascist meetings and rallies and public speaking tours should be disrupted if they can’t be prevented from happening in the first place and the fascists themselves, personally, as the great Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky advised, “should have their heads acquainted with the pavement”! The mass murder of workers by Mussolini and Hitler’s fascists – and by the Japanese fascists in the 1930s and ’40s must never be allowed to happen again!

As revolutionary Trotskyists we seek to lead the working class to the Marxist/Leninist understanding that the working class will never enjoy the right to the basic necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter, health care and education) nor will basic human rights (womens’ and LGBTQ rights, an end to all racial, sexual and religious discrimination and bigotry) ever be made secure under the capitalist system – which is fundamentally based on the exploitation of the working class and which employs racism, religious bigotry and sexuality to divide and conquer the working class. We want to provide the clear-sighted and principled revolutionary Trotskyist political leadership that is necessary in order for the working class to successfully overthrow capitalism and to replace it with a worldwide alliance of racially integrated, egalitarian socialist workers republics. To achieve that goal we must have a clear understanding of who our mortal enemies are; we can not go off running around calling every right-wing jerk who blurts out a stream of bigoted invective a “fascist” and go and lead workers to launch physical attacks against them! This kind of political gangsterism and adventurism confuses the working class: when everyone is labeled “fascist” then no one is a fascist! The ability of workers to distinguish between run-of-the-mill right-wing assholes and the far more deadly fascist foe is entirely lost, and the politically miseducated working class becomes an even easier target for the fascist gangs.

Lack of coherent, revolutionary Marxist programme leads “Anarchistsand “Antifa” astray

In the recent protests against Milo Yiannopoulos we see the political confusion of the anarchists of the “antifa” movement leading them into launching physical attacks on Yiannopoulos as if he was an actual fascist. Yiannopoulos is a transitional figure of the “alt-right” who lies somewhere between right-wing conservatism and fascism. He does not advocate the extermination of immigrants or other “undesirable” elements of the working class. Yiannopoulos is not a fascist: he is an “opening act” for the fascists! Yiannopoulos and his ilk are preparing the road for the rise of fascism; they are creating “safe spaces” inside universities and major cities in which the fascists may operate. But they are NOT “fascists”!

One of the tremendous weaknesses of the “anarchist” movement is the total absence of any political party structure that includes a collectively agreed-upon revolutionary Marxist political programme. This political nebulosity and confusion allows all kinds of heterogeneous political characters to pass themselves off as “anarchists”. Unlike the revolutionary Trotskyists who have a well-thought-out and openly proclaimed political programme which every member of a Trotskyist political party must agree to uphold before they can become even a prospective party member, in the anarchist “movement” it’s “everybody into the pool!” There are pro-capitalist anarchists, anti-abortion anarchists, anti-communist anarchists; you name it, the anarchist movement’s got it. Because the anarchists deny the obvious necessity of the formation of a cohesive political party around a revolutionary party programme, they allow all kinds of cretins into their ranks who simply like to pretend to be revolutionaries. If you ask one hundred anarchists what their political programme is you’ll get one hundred different answers. The only thing all anarchists agree on is their puerile opposition to any kind of “state” – especially a revolutionary socialist “worker’s state”! This fundamental political bankruptcy of the anarchist movement is the primary reason why whenever anarchists are placed in a position of political power they always wind up supporting the capitalist state as “the lesser evil” in comparison to a workers’ state (we’ve just seen this phenomenon once again with “anarchist” leaders in Iceland’s Pirate Party). History has shown the absolute necessity for the working class to establish a workers’ state in order to create the basis for the initial establishment of socialism and for the suppression of the overthrown capitalist class which will not simply concede defeat and walk away the minute they are deposed. Because the anarchists refuse on principle to build a workers state to defend and consolidate the gains of the successful workers revolution they will NEVER be able to lead a successful workers revolution, period! This is why real worker-revolutionaries should reject the lame “politics” of the anarchists.

The anarchist and “antifa” leaders that are going all out to stop the conservative bigot Yiannopoulos and his supporters as if they were all fascists are simply exposing their political bankruptcy for all the workers of the world to see – and are falling into a political trap laid by the right-wing bigots behind Breitbart “News”.  They are leading their members blindly into this set-up; and they and their naive members will suffer arrest, jailings, fines and the probable destruction of their organizations – all because they can’t tell the difference between a Nazi and a dollar-store right-wing blowhard! And these crazy youth who fantasize about just going around “punching a fascist in the face”? Look: if you can’t tell the difference between a real fascist and a bozo like Yiannopoulos do the revolutionary workers movement a favor and just take up MMA instead. You’re just going to give anarchism and the “antifa” movement a reputation as being “those idiots who go around punching people in the face”. That is not righteous revolutionary activism, it’s thugishness and a profound embarassment to the workers movement!

We must warn the working class of the mortal danger that fascism represents and we must put the “alt-right” on notice that the working class is keeping them under strict observation – and the moment they cross over the line to fascism they will become recognized as such and will become the mortal enemies of the organized working class and will be treated the same way we treat the fascists: they will “have their heads acquainted with the pavement”!

We defend those antifa activists who bravely defend the working class from actual fascists; but we will not defend those politically confused pseudo-anarchists who “call themselves” “antifa” but who physically attack people who are NOT fascists! We will be happy to patiently explain to any honest “antifa” or anarchist activist how to tell the difference between a fascist and a right-wing blowhard “opening actfor the fascists like Yiannopoulos.

Workers have the right to physically confront the fascists wherever they raise their heads. The police in a capitalist state have always and will always “protect and serve” their capitalist masters and their fascist gangs.

Pro-capitalist liberals of the Democratic Party and the fake-left groups howl when they see workers and students out in the streets defending themselves and society from fascist and neo-fascist mobilizations. The liberals want workers to rely not on their own organized strength – which the Democrats and their capitalist patrons fear above all else! – but on the police forces of the capitalist state to stop the fascists “if they get out of hand”; they also defend the “free speech rights” of the fascist scum.

As revolutionary Trotskyists we know that the police can never be depended upon to stop the fascists as the role of the police in a capitalist state is to protect and serve the capitalist class and their investments. And the capitalist class own and operate the fascist parties so that they may use them to smash the most powerful opponents of unrestrained exploitation of the working class by the capitalist class: the trade unions and the revolutionary socialist and anarchist parties. Time and time again we have seen, in capitalist countries all over the world, police agencies chock full of fascists and proto-fascists. In Chicago, many of the police are so racist they can’t even restrain themselves from using vile racist slurs on the police radio system when they KNOW they are being monitored by their superiors!

The FBI did a study in 2006 (17oct2006_fbi_doc-26-white-supremacist-infiltration) that exposed the degree to which fascists and white supremacists had “infiltrated” the police agencies of the United States. Dozens of police departments north and south were discovered to harbor gangs of fascist white supremacists (a fact which every black and Hispanic worker or cop in the US has known for ages).  The Southern Poverty Law Center, also in 2006, published proof that the US military is also packed with white supremacist Nazi elements – and has done almost nothing about it. The US military harbors and trains thousands of white supremacist lunatics and provides them with practice opportunities against “real world” targets all over the globe.   Once they are done slaughtering people for the US capitalist class overseas and their tours of duty are over, many of these lunatics return home and get jobs working for local and state police agencies.  Is is any wonder, then, that time and again we have seen these fascist-ridden police departments deployed to protect the Klan and Nazis, and once the Klan and Nazis’ provocation is over… THE COPS ATTACK THE ANTI-KLAN/NAZI PROTESTORS!  The fascist-ridden police departments of the US are world-infamous for their brutal murders of unarmed black and Hispanic citizens. These are the kind of “neutral” arbiters of “public order” we have prowling the streets of US cities with badge and guns – not the “Officer Friendly” fantasy the liberals and fake-leftists want workers to rely on for “protection” from the Klan and Nazis!  These are the Nazi-ridden police departments run – in almost every major US city – and defended by the “lesser eveil Democratic Party!

The police in a capitalist state are NOT “neutral arbiters” between the workers and the fascists but are one of the “special bodies of armed men and women” who exist to defend the class privileges and stolen wealth of the capitalist class and to keep the working class “in their place”. That means that when the capitalist class decides to unleash their fascist attack dogs to smash the workers movement the police can ALWAYS be expected to “protect and defend” the interests of the capitalists by “protecting and defending” the fascists!

Not small groups of activists but millions of workers organized in workers’ defense guard battalions based on the trade unions must be created to effectively smash the fascist threat in the egg!

The working class must create workers defense guards to defend the working class from the mortal danger that the fascist threat represents – whenever and wherever it appears. It is not a job for small groups of anarchists or socialists to “substitute themselves” for the integrated working class in defending human society from the fascists. Anarchists and socialists must go out and organize workers of all races, creeds and colors wherever they are: at work, at union meetings, at their places of worship, and urge them to join with us in confronting the fascist threat because it is particularly the minority workers who will be the first targets of the fascists if they become emboldened enough to operate openly in our cities. Only the effective mobilization of millions of workers into integrated workers defense guard battalions can effectively counter and crush the fascist movement in the egg. These battalions must be based on the organized power of the trade unions who are also among the top targets of the fascists. This has been done before quite effectively here in the US and around the world and it can and must be done again. Fascism? NEVER AGAIN!

It is tragic that honest political activists are led by political charlatans into physically attacking right-wing creeps who pose no serious threat to anyone – exposing those activists to brutal police attacks, arrests, jailing, and perhaps even death at the hands of racist (and often fascist) cops and prison guards! We must carefully choose our enemies so as not to squander our limited, precious and noble real antifascist activists on attacks against conservative windmills! We must organize and prepare ourselves to defend our working class sisters and brothers against our deadliest enemies: the real fascists whenever and wherever they appear. We must also not seek to substitute handfuls of heroic and self-sacrificing antifa and revolutionary socialist activists for the huge numbers of union workers of all races, creeds, colors – and political persuasions – who must be organized and brought into the streets to confront and crush the actual fascists whenever and wherever they raise their heads! We need to organize MILLIONS of worker-activists, especially in the potential bastions of working class power – the trade unions – into disciplined battalions of worker-militants in order to crush the fascist movement in the egg. Only the revolutionary Trotskyists have a class-struggle programme time-tested and successful that can not merely combat all the many forms of fascism from the Black Hundreds of Bolshevik Russia to the Ku Klux Klan but which can put an end once and for all to the capitalist system that creates, nurtures, organizes, finances and unleashes the fascist hordes to smash the workers movement. Every successful workers revolution in world history has had at its head a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries with a revolutionary program for the overthrow of the old regime and for the creation of a workers government. We need to build a Trotskyist vanguard party now to lead the next wave of workers revolutions – in the US and around the world – so all future generations can live in a world where xenophobic fascism no longer exists! JOIN US!

To smash fascism once and for all time we say: capitalism must die so that the working class may live!

IWPCHI

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Emanuel Emails Reveal Close Collaboration Between Democrats, Republicans to Destroy Unions, Rob Workers

We are pleased to publish the full set of the recently released emails from Chicago Democratic Party Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s private email server that were finally divulged after a lawsuit brought against the Emanuel Administration by the tepidly reformist “Better Government Association” (BGA – former Chicago TV newsman Andy Shaw’s hobbyhorse).  We’ve also added the court documents released by the BGA along with the emails, because you never know when the BGA’s website will “lose” the links to the emails and start producing the usual “404 error” page we see all the time with releases like this.

DOCUMENTS:

  1.   rahm-emanuel-personal-email-court-documents
  2. 122116-wls-bga-emanuel-emails settlement agreement
  3. BGA vs City of Chicago_Rahm Emanuel private email server emails (3276 pages. censored)

Like the infamous and insecure private email server of Hilary Rodham Clinton, Rahm Emanuel’s email server is purpose-built to help Democrat Emanuel to hide his behind-the-scenes close collaboration with the Dems’ Republican “opponents” as well as the allegedly pro-union Democrats’ secret collaboration with the anti-union capitalists who bankroll both the Democratic and Republican candidates for all the major political offices here in the “Land of the Free”(TM).  Under the toothless “government transparency” laws, all emails and other correspondence from and to government leaders is supposed to be carried out via official  communications channels where they can be archived and preserved as public records, reviewable by the citizenry via Freedom of Information Act requests.  Every communication of every President, Senator, Congressperson and on down through the government to local mayors is supposed to be subject to public scrutiny – if only after a number of years have passed.  The “secret” private servers of Clinton, Emanuel and other “public servants” are kept secret only from the supposedly supreme power in the US’ phony democracy: the citizens.  In fact, private, illegal communications networks set up by top US politicians and federal agency heads are constantly being revealed which prove to anyone paying attention that the only people who these bought-and-paid-for public servants “protect and serve” are the wealthiest people in the USA: the 10% of the US population who own 75% of the national wealth.  Billionaires like Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner have full access to the ears and eyes of politicians like Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel via these “secret” email servers, where they can conspire against you behind your back while they publicly pretend to be at each others’ throats.  These repulsively wealthy people, who actually run the USA in their own selfish interests, have 24/7/365 access to the big-city mayors and all the top politicians who are in their turn busily stuffing their and their friends’ pockets with whatever they can filch from the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax money stolen every year from you, the struggling members of the working class.

Even the cursory examination of the emails which we’ve been able to do provides a rare glimpse into the backroom deals constantly being engineered by the phony “friends of labor” Democrats and their real friends among the capitalist 1%ers who actually run Chicago and the USA.  The billionaire who is now the Republican governor of Illinois – Bruce Rauner – whom the Democrats publicly pretend to be their enemy – turns out to be on a first-name basis with Rahm and is revealed to be actually a member of the (very small) Rahm Emanuel fan club.  “You’re a good politician” Rauner gushes at Rahm in an email in which he and the “friend of labor” Emanuel administration conspire to coordinate their attacks on perhaps the last popular and powerful bastion of union labor in Chicago, the Chicago Teacher’s Union.

Rauner conspires with Emanuel to Crush Chicago Teachers' Union

Emanuel and his Republican allies are seen in the emails conspiring to carefully engineer their attacks on the Teachers Union so as to justify smashing the union. They plan to take pains to minimize the “psychological shock” to the pro-teachers’ union majority of the working-class population of the city when they launch their final assault on the union’s ability to protect tenured teachers from summary dismissals based on their poverty-stricken students’ weak GPAs. In other words, the US capitalist class and their politicians are cutting funding to the very social and educational programs necessary for students to excel in school, and then they plan to use the low test scores generated by their cuts to justify the gutting of the seniority rights of “underperforming” teachers!

The emails were released in a single .pdf file of over 3200 pages, which makes searching the individual emails a chore to say the least.  The Chicago press corps and the BGA itself have bent over backwards to downplay the significance of the evidence of close collaboration between the two capitalist-owned-and-operated political parties of the USA when it comes to attacking the teachers’ union and shoving the greedy agenda of the Chicago capitalist elites  down the throats of the workers of Chicago and Illinois.  The head of the teachers union, Karen Lewis, is herself a close friend of her “opponent” Rahm Emanuel and spends her time in a pantomime of opposition to the union-busting operations of her own Democratic Party directed at “her” union.  As we have pointed out to the workers time and time again, the Democratic Party is not now and never has been composed of the “friends of labor” but is in fact owned and operated – just as the Republican Party is – by the mortal enemies of the workers of the US and the world: the US capitalist class.  So long as the leadership of the US trade union movement is politically shackled to the pro-capitalist dung-cart of the Democratic Party the union movement will not advance a single step but will continue on its downward trajectory into oblivion.  Only a class-struggle Trotskyist leadership of the union movement dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system which systematically robs the working class of the fruits of its labor can lead a resurgence of the US labor movement.

The emails also reveal the careful massaging of the news media constantly being undertaken by the Democrats in order to get the most positive coverage possible for their never-ending attacks on the unions and the working class in general.  The masses must be kept blind and must always have pro-capitalist propaganda driven down their throats continuously lest they discover how badly they are being screwed by their political “friends”.   And of course the media – like the politicians themselves, wholly owned and operated by the 1%ers – dutifully obliges, covering up the actual collaboration between the anti-union capitalist class and the “friends of labor” in the Democratic Party.  “Everyone” wins – except the vast majority of the population in the working class, who see their standard of living being steadily eroded.

The close collaboration betwen the “friends of labor” Democrats and their murderous, racist police is also laid bare by the emails.  Emanuel and ex-Chicago police chief McCarthy fret over news media coverage of the latest atrocities committed by the police and desperately try to maintain the fiction that the police in a capitalist state are supposed “to protect and serve” the working class.  As every intelligent worker knows, the police are the mortal enemies of the workers, racist thugs who think nothing of shooting workers – especially black and Hispanic workers – who dare to stand up against racist police terror.  The cops in a capitalist state have one role to play: they defend the racist capitalist status quo, crushing any attempt of the working class to fight for their rights.  The cops defend capitalist private property and the “inalienable right” of the 1% to 75% of the national wealth!

Democrats have been running the murderous, racist police departments in almost every major US city for ever. Source: Rahm emails, page 220.

Democrats have been running the murderous, racist police departments in almost every major US city for ever.  Source: Rahm emails, page 220.

Democrats' killer cops ever-vigilant to protect citizenry from themselves.  Cop "intelligence" confused by "Guy Fox" masks.  Source: Rahm emails, page 269.

Democrats’ killer cops ever-vigilant to protect citizenry from themselves. Cop “intelligence” confused by “Guy Fox” masks.  Source: Rahm emails, page 269.

We wish we had the time to do a thorough dissection of these emails so we could present you with the juiciest evidence of how the Democrats are selling you out to their wealthy owners day in and day out, but we just don’t have the personnel to enable such a project.  We need honest, hard-working workers to put down their TV remotes and dedicate themselves to fighting for the rights of the working class by joining our party or at least helping us do this work on a regular basis.  Until you start to take your working class political responsibilities to yourselves and your families seriously you will continue to get pummeled by the endless assaults being launched against you by your mortal enemies: the capitalist greedheads and their political hatchetmen in both the Democratic and Republican parties.  The enemies of the vast majority of the population of every capitalist nation-state – the working class – needs the kind of 24/7/365 representation that the top 3% have.  Until you build that kind of organization you will be stuck impotently “speaking truth to power” to a ruling class that is so completely insulated from you that the desperate pleas of your hundreds of millions of workers sounds like a plaintive whisper they need not trouble themselves to notice.

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

 

U.S.A. Has Always Been a Phony ‘Democracy’: Ferdinand Lundberg’s “Sixty Families” (1937)

We are pleased to be able to offer our readers the long out-of-print and legendary expose of the oligarchical nature of the US capitalist ruling class: Ferdinand Lundberg’s “Sixty Families”, published during the Great Depression in 1937.

Lundberg’s very well-researched book revealed how few people actually control the political and economic life of the United States, in complete contradiction to the widespread belief – held principally by the poorly self-educated and therefore pathetically slavish U.S. working class – that the US is an egalitarian, democratic meritocracy, just as the “Founding Fathers” designed it to be.

Of course, the “Founding Fathers” of the USA never designed their government to be anything even remotely resembling a true democracy: they created a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in which over 70% of the population was disenfranchised because they were either female, black, Native American or simply because they owned no – or not enough – property.

We obtained this copy of the book from the Internet Archive, where it is, as we write, being made available to the world for free.  If anyone wishes to object to our republishing it we suggest that they take up their complaint with the Archive.

We will be publishing each chapter of the book separately and not necessarily in chronological order.  We are reading it ourselves for the first time and will try to bring you the juiciest chapters first.

Enjoy!

[Update, 2 September 2016:  We apologise for the inconvenience – we should have uploaded the Index and the Reference Notes for the book earlier.  That oversight has been corrected. – IWPCHI]

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Title page, Acknowledgments, Foreword and Contents

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter I – Golden Dynasties and Their Treasures

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter II – The Sixty Families

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter III – The Politics of Pecuniary Aggrandizement: 1896-1912

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Lundberg_America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Chapter XII – The ‘New Deal’ – And After

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Bibliography

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Reference Notes

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Lundberg – America’s Sixty Families (1937) – Index

 

 

 

“Kinder, Gentler” Dallas Cops Act as Judge, Jury and Executioner: Use Bomb to Murder African-American Suspect in Cop Shootings at “Black Lives Matter” Protest

[Note: In the wake of the shooting of police in Dallas, Texas there have been arrests of hundreds of Black Lives Matter protestors in several cities, including Chicago. We say: DROP ALL THE CHARGES AGAINST ALL THE BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTORS! – IWPCHI]

10 July 2016

This past week the world was once again reminded of the brutal racism that lies at the cold, dead heart of US imperialism as the US Police State executed three black men for the “crime” of… being a person of color in the racist USA.  First Alton Sterling, 37, was shot to death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by cops who had attacked him for selling CDs… presumably without a license! And then the very next day in the Minneapolis/St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights, Minnesota Philando Castile, 32, was shot to death by a crazed cop who falsely claimed that his tail light was broken and then told Castile to present his ID… and shot him four times when he reached for his wallet, killing him – with Castile’s girlfriend sitting by his side and a baby watching the horror unfold from the back seat! The world yet again reeled in horror when videos made by witnesses to these brutal executions by police were made public. Once again the lies of the police were exposed when the videos clearly revealed that, in contradiction to the cops’ claim that their victims threatened them with guns, neither of the two men were brandishing a weapon when they were summarily executed. Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds used her cell phone to record the immediate aftermath of the murder, capturing the ravings of the deranged cop who immediately (and typically for the police) blamed his victim for his own death at the hands of the killer cops!  But the US police state’s reign of terror against African-Americans wasn’t over;  when a black man who was suspected of opening fire on Dallas cops during a Black Lives Matter protest against the racist cop murders would not surrender to the cops fast enough, they mounted a bomb containing a POUND OF C4 EXPLOSIVE on a mobile “bomb detecting robot”, drove it by remote control to the place where he was hiding… and blew him up with it!

"Kinder, gentler" community policing brought to you by an African-American police chief in Dallas Texas.

“Kinder, gentler” community policing brought to you by an African-American police chief in Democratic Party-run Dallas, Texas.

The reality of racist cop terror against poor and homeless people in general and against people of color particularly has been largely covered up by the major US media outlets. The “mass media” outlets are owned and operated by the numerically tiny and filthy rich US capitalist class whose mortal fear of workers revolution by the tens of millions of workers they exploit and force to live out their lives in dire poverty has led them to militarize the police forces of the USA. The capitalist-owned news media conglomerates – (which Marxists, scientifically, collectively describe as “the bourgeois press”) covers up the crimes of its masters, whether those crimes are committed in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan – or right here in “The Land of the Free(TM)”.

The ability of the bourgeois press to cover up the crimes of their masters has met its match in the far more democratic realm of modern mass-communications that are not subject to the censorship of the bought-and-paid-for editors of the capitalist-owned press in the Internet and the widespread use of smartphones. Capable of capturing video evidence of the truth of how the US police state deals with black workers who dare to stand up for their rights as citizens, smartphones are now in the hands of more than 60% of the population. Connected to the Internet, these phones can provide “real-time” reports of police atrocities as they go down. In Falcon Heights, Diamond Reynolds was able to create a video of the incident immediately and was able to upload it to the Internet just before the police arrested HER for witnessing their crime. Where the police were once able to “justify” their gunning down of black and Hispanic youth who they invariably claimed had “turned and fired” at police before being executed, now the cops’ lies are exposed over and over again. Eyewitness videos are released to the public via the Internet just hours – or even as in this case, minutes – after the cops have spun their lying tales of having come under fire and having been “in fear for their lives”, proving to the world that what their victims and their families have always claimed – that their sons and daughters were unarmed and unresisting when murdered by police – was true.

The endless cases of black workers being murdered by cops all over the USA proves that having black mayors, Congressmen, police chiefs and even a black President has not changed the reality of racism in the USA. But because the US does not have a major working-class political party, the demonstrations against these wanton police state killings has been led principally by the pro-capitalist, reformist and Democratic Party-affiliated “Black Lives Matter” group and similar organizations. Their mostly peaceful and law-abiding protests have limited their “demands” to calling for such reasonable things as “citizen control over the police force” and for “independent” investigations into the murders committed by the police. These “reasonable” demands are actually impossible to achieve in a capitalist nation-state in which all of its institutions – including the police – were based on an economic and political system in which slavery was the primary source of investment capital.

But not all of the victims of the racist US police state can be expected to simply beg the “powers that be” to reform the police state terror apparatus that the capitalist class and its politicians have designed and implemented over the past century and a half since the US Civil War put an end to the slaveocracy.

There are some people who have learned all too well the lessons taught by the US capitalist class that violence is the answer to every question. It was only a matter of time before some fed-up victim of racist US police-state terror retaliated in kind for the endless series of cold-blooded murders of black men and women by the police.

In the racist hell-hole of Texas at least one young black man – who had been recruited and trained by the US Government to murder his fellow workers in Afghanistan – Micah Johnson, just 25 years old – allegedly took his knowledge of military skills and put them to work during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas, Texas. Opening fire exclusively on the massive, heavily armed police mobilization designed to intimidate the Black Lives Matter protest and to keep workers from participating in the demonstration, this man (or men; initially the cops and many witnesses claimed there were multiple shooters) allegedly gave the police a taste of their own vicious medicine, picking off 12 cops with a high-powered rifle, killing five of them.

This desperate attempt at retaliation against the police very nearly created a massacre of the very protesters the gunman – it is claimed – supported. The small army of Dallas cops had been sent out to intimidate anyone who was thinking about joining the demonstration and, at the slightest provocation, to attack the Black Lives Matter protestors. Realized they were being fired upon, the cops chaotically returned fire on the perceived locations of the shooter(s). Video taken by the protesters and bystanders show that hundreds of rounds of ammunition were wildly fired by the cops in the general direction of the alleged attacker(s). Reports say many cops were shot in the back; it is highly likely that some of them were shot by their fellow cops as they ran around firing in panic wherever they believed they saw a flash from the muzzle of a gun. Fortunately, the shooter(s) fired from far above street level; if they had been standing among or behind the protestors the trigger-happy cops would probably have killed dozens of innocent people.

Somehow, the Dallas police were able to contact (one of?) the suspect(s) by phone as he hid out in a parking garage near the scene of the shooting. For a time they carried on “negotiations” with Micah Johnson who they claim now was the sole shooter. But after a few hours of negotiations, the cops got tired of waiting for the man to surrender.

As with the cops in every other major US city, simply walking or driving down the street “while black” – or Hispanic – can lead to a very ugly confrontation with “Dallas’ finest” – which could easily land a citizen in the morgue. The lying bourgeois press reports that the Dallas police – long notorious for monstrous racism and for having Klan members on its payroll – are a “kinder, gentler” police force today. The Dallas cops engage in “community policing” scams designed to get workers to rat out their neighbors who might be trying to survive in a country with 25% unemployment rate for blacks (a brutal 75% for black youth!) by dealing drugs or participating some other minor criminal activity. In fact, even the Wikipedia article on the Dallas Police Department shows that there have been police corruption and racist profiling scandals in Dallas and its environs in the past 20 years. The Dallas Police Department’s own website presents reports proving that racial profiling is alive and thriving among the cops on their force. African-Americans, who make up just over 25% of the population of Dallas make up 36.7% of the traffic stops as compared to whites, who, though they make up 50.7% of the population, are pulled over just 25.2% of the time.

Racial profiling by Dallas Police Separtment, 2011 to 2015. Source: Dallas Police Department

Racial profiling by Dallas Police Department, 2011 to 2015. Source: Dallas Police Department

And for those who are pulled over, it is nearly THREE TIMES as likely that the traffic stop will result in a search and an arrest if a person is black than if he or she is white.

Racial profiling - alive and thriving in the "kinder, gentler" Dallas Police Department, even under a black police chief.

Racial profiling – alive and thriving in the “kinder, gentler” Dallas Police Department, even under a black police chief.  Source: Dallas Police Department

The numbers of blacks pulled over by the Dallas Police has actually been increasing slightly year-on-year as this allegedly less racist Dallas PD has been attempting to reduce racial profiling under their new black police chief. Likewise, when it comes to police shootings, there is no evidence that the DPD is becoming less trigger-happy. Well over a third of the officer-involved shootings recorded resulted in a “miss”. The DPD has shot on average 15 people a year since 2003; between 2011 and 2012 the number of citizens shot or shot at by police nearly DOUBLED from 11 to 23, and then stayed at or above 20 for 3 consecutive years.

Long-term trend of Dallas Police Department officer-involved shootings is on the increase. Source: Dallas Police Department

Long-term trend of Dallas Police Department officer-involved shootings is on the increase.  Source: Dallas Police Department

5 of the 6 people they shot in 2015 were killed; of the five, three were black or Hispanic. As of March 2016, DPD cops have shot at (at least) one black man prior to their murder of the black suspect in this week’s assault on the DPD. This is the racist record of the “new” Dallas Police Department, led by a black chief!

Proving our point: when these “kinder, gentler” Dallas cops got tired of negotiating the surrender of the black man who was the alleged gunman, they immediately showed how “modern” Texas lawmen handle such a situation. They had their SWAT team create a BOMB containing A POUND OF C-4 PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE COMPOUND, which they then mounted on a mobile “bomb detecting” robot – AND THEY DROVE IT UP TO THE SUSPECT AND BLEW HIM UP WITH IT!  “I approved it and would do it again if presented with the same circumstances,” African-American Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown  declared to the press!

 

THIS is the supposedly “more racially sensitive” Dallas Police Department that did this! They summarily EXECUTED a suspect in a crime – WITH A BOMB! That is the modern version of racist Texas frontier “justice”; there is nothing “civilized” about it! It does not matter that the police chief is a black man; when push comes to shove the black cops – just like the white and Hispanic and Asian and LGBT cops – are tools in a racist police state that are willing to murder their fellow black men and women in defense of the capitalist state! The summary execution of Micah Johnson is a monstrous crime that underscores once again the willingness of the US police state to appoint itself as the final “arbiter of justice” – especially against black workers.

The working class of the US now confronts a ruling capitalist class that is without question the most despotic and brutal in the world. In the past 15 years they have re-legalized torture; the black Democratic President has asserted the right of a President to authorize the assassination of US citizens; and now the police are being allowed to use BOMBS to execute suspected criminals! Does anyone need any more evidence that unless we the workers overthrow this savage US capitalist class all of our lives are in mortal danger?

We do not advocate the vigilante killing of police by workers – no matter how justified it may be (although we recognize that killing a cop or anyone else in self-defense is legally justifiable). Racist cop terror is part of the capitalist state apparatus used to intimidate the working class, keeping them too scared to rebel against the forces of “law and order”. As revolutionary Marxists and Trotskyists, we understand that terrorism is not a revolutionary program that can lead to the creation of a better world for the working class. If terrorism was capable of creating more just societies then Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria would be the most wonderful places on Earth in which to raise a family.  Individual and organized acts of terror launched against the capitalist state are doomed to fail; and more often than not they result – as we can see in the present case in Dallas – in harsh measures being taken against the workers movement itself. Terrorism occurs when people become hopeless in the face of massive attacks on the working class that go unavenged because no well-organized revolutionary socialist workers party exists that proves itself capable of finding a way out of the dead end of the capitalist system through workers revolution. Instead of doing the hard work of organizing a revolutionary socialist workers party, the terrorist appoints his or herself as the hero-avenger of the workers, grabs a gun or a bomb and sets out to save the world by killing a few representatives of the capitalist system that oppresses us all. But the capitalist nation-state has always a reserve of people to take the place of those who fall to the impotent attacks of the terrorists. Within a short time it’s back to business as usual, and to even more repression against the workers movement, not less. No terrorist organization has ever led a successful workers revolution, and none ever will because it takes a mass uprising of the working class led by a revolutionary socialist vanguard party to overthrow a capitalist nation-state. In fact, every successful workers revolution in the history of the world was led by such a party!

In the wake of the killings of the Dallas cops, defenders of US imperialist terror and its domestic police corollary have been claiming that it is the POLICE, not the citizens who are under attack across the USA! The bourgeois press, especially its most rabidly pro-capitalist pro-US-imperialism outlets have begun launching attacks on the Black Lives Matter demonstrators, obscenely arguing that by standing up against racist cop terror they are encouraging people to kill cops! That is a monstrous slander of the Black Lives Matter organization and the hundreds of millions of workers in the US and around the world who support them! Black Lives Matter is a reformist organization that seeks merely to “reform” the racist capitalist US police state into a police state that “protects and defends” the rights of “people” in general – and black “people” in particular. The Democratic Party-affiliated reformist leadership of Black Lives Matter and its affiliates do not recognize the true role of the police in a capitalist state: the police do not “protect and defend” the interests of the workers: they “protect and defend” CAPITALIST PRIVATE PROPERTY and the “inalienable right” of the numerically tiny capitalist class to rule over the 250-million-strong working class! The role of the police is to uphold and defend the highly UN-democratic capitalist system, in which the top 10% possess 75% of the national wealth!

The life of a capitalist wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you're getting screwed by your capitalist "friends". Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

This is what “democracy” looks like… under capitalism. Top 10% have 75% of national wealth; “bottom 90%” get to split 25%. Source: “Recent Trends in Wealth Distribution in USA, 1989-2013”. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

The police in a capitalist state are the capitalist class’ first line of defense used to smash any attempt by the workers to oppose the class rule of the “1%”. The police are one of the “special bodies of armed men” who are used to prevent workers from organizing effective strike action by the unions to defend their organizations and the livelihood of the workers. THE POLICE IN A CAPITALIST STATE ARE THE MORTAL ENEMIES OF THE WORKING CLASS! They were our enemies last year; they are our enemies today; and they will be our enemies so long as the system of capitalism exists! It does not matter if the cops are black, female or LGB or T!  And it does not matter how many of them are gunned down from time to time by enraged people who have been forced to suffer under the racist capitalist system in the USA all their lives… like Micah Johnson!

So how do we effectively fight racist cop terror? We do not fight it through terrorist methods; desperate attacks on the police like the one launched this week in Dallas will not overthrow the racist capitalist system that created and which perpetuates the racist US police state. To put an end to racist cop terror once and for all we must organize an integrated revolutionary socialist – Trotskyist – vanguard party to lead the working class in the overthrow of the entire racist capitalist system – in the US and around the world. The workers – who do the hard work that makes the world economy function and who thereby create all the wealth in the world – MUST RULE if we want to see “real democracy” exist! The only “real” democracy is workers democracy; capitalist “democracy” is a fraud in which a tiny percentage of the population owns all the wealth and uses it to control the political system for their own selfish ends!

Until the capitalist system is overthrown, racist cop terror will continue to plague us. Black workers will continue to be the “last hired and the first fired”; and the capitalists will continue to possess 75% of the national wealth while the “bottom 90%” of the population gets to split just 25%! Reformism never has and never will work to end the racism and economic inequality that grows from the very roots of the capitalist state and which had its origins in the institution of the slave system that created the first big ruling class family fortunes here in the USA. The US Civil Rights Movement, which repudiated the idea of revolution in favor of “working from within” the capitalist system served only to make a handful of black and Hispanic sellouts – like Jesse Jackson – rich, while leaving the vast majority of black workers just as bad off as they were – or even worse! – than in the ’70s. We must not succumb once again to the comforting lies of the “modern” reformist civil rights “leaders” in groups like Black Lives Matter who tell us that the cops are our friends and that “this time” working within the racist capitalist system will work!

The first step towards ending police state terror is the building of a revolutionary Trotskyist workers party that fights for the rights of the vast majority of the population – the working class! The pro-capitalist, reformist leadership of Black Lives Matter does not even want to form a workers party at all! They want you to vote for the Democrats – the very same people who RUN the racist police state and the racist criminal justice system here in the US! The Democrats and Republicans are the bought-and-paid-for representatives of the 1%! We need a party of the working class that fights not for “power sharing” with the capitalists, but for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a revolutionary socialist workers government!

Black Lives Matter!  Capitalism must die so the working class may live!  Join us and help build a party that can lead the fight to end racist police terror and create a decent future for all the workers in the US and the world through workers socialist revolution!

IWPCHI

Report on NATO 3 Defendant Jared Chase’s Court Appearance 18 February 2016

DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST JARED CHASE AND FREE HIM NOW!

At a pre-trial hearing held today (18 February, 2016), former NATO 3 defendant Jared Chase’s Cook County Public Defender Peter Benesh made an ineffectual attempt to obtain a court injunction prohibiting the shackling of Chase using a “black box” device, which causes physical injury to Chase, who suffers from Huntington’s Disease.  Chase was in court to answer to charges of “aggravated battery to a corrections officer” – a Class I offense, punishable by between 4 and 15 years in the penitentiary.  Yet Chase’s lawyer was repeatedly rebuffed by Cook County Court Judge Thaddeus Wilson for lack of preparation in not asking for this protective court order in the proper fashion.

We were informed about the hearing via the Twitter and WordPress accounts of   “Free the NATO 3”.

In our experience attending hearings like this one (since circa 1979), defendants have almost always had a legal defense campaign orchestrated by one or another revolutionary socialist party. Having had more than a century of experience defending class-war prisoners, the communists know how to run an effective defense campaign in a politically-charged case like this.  Understanding that, in political cases, legal precedent and rule of law have a tendency to fly out the window, the communists do not act as if it’s just “business as usual” defending a political activist:  they organize media campaigns to get out their side of the story in defense of the accused, make sure that their physical presence is asserted before every court hearing with a protest outside the “temple of justice” and make sure that the lawyers in the case understand the nature of how the capitalist frame-up system works in cases involving anti-capitalist political activists.  Effective tactics are employed to let the powers that be understand that the defendant does not stand alone in facing the charges; the revolutionary working class principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all” means that every worker in the USA – in fact, the revolutionary workers movement itself – is on trial, not just the defendant.  Inside the courtroom they stand in solidarity with the accused when the defendant’s name or names are called.  This always pisses off the judges – but the communists don’t mount defense campaigns for their comrades in order to have the opportunity to kiss a judge’s ass.  Communists understand that it is imperative to make it clear to both the accused person(s) and the court and spectators that THIS defendant is not fighting his or her case by themselves – he or she has a strong and militant base of supporters closely watching every development in the case.  Often times major court victories have been won only after huge national and international defense campaigns have made it politically extremely expensive for the bourgeoisie to railroad the defendant.  These class-struggle methods have worked time and time again to expose the injustice of the capitalist system to the world; they alert the working class to the vital necessity of NOT acting as if these cases are just “business as usual”.  The outrageous US government frame-up of the NATO 3  is an attempt by the capitalist state to intimidate the working class and crush political dissent.  Workers must be awakened to this fact and taught not to cower in the face of such criminal conspiracies that the capitalist class and its justice system continuously launch against worker-militants.

For activist groups who are not part of the revolutionary socialist movement, like the NATO 3 folks, these historical lessons have not been incorporated into their defense tactics.  Not having the revolutionary Marxist understanding that there is no justice for workers – especially communist or anarchist workers or trade union militants – in the capitalist courts, they tend to try to “play by the rules” of the court, allowing defense attorneys to kowtow to the judge’s every whim; they advise supporters to “keep a low profile” in and around the courtroom, often even going so far as to assert that the defense attorneys “know” this judge and know how best to “get on the good side of the judge” for a favorable ruling.  More often than not, these class-collaborationist tactics result in complete disaster, with the defendants getting the book thrown at them.  The defense attorneys then express “shock” at the “uncharacteristically severe” sentence handed out by their “friend” the judge.  Revolutionary Marxists don’t fall for this bullshit.

Having been informed by Jared Chase’s supporters’ websites that the hearing today would occur at 9AM, I made certain to arrive early so I could participate in the demonstration that would undoubtedly occur before the hearing.  But when I arrived at 8:45 AM, this is what I saw:

... not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

… not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

This was not good.  When I expressed my disappointment later to a handful of his supporters in the court gallery at not having seen the slightest hint of public protest outside the courthouse, I was chastised for being so arrogant in criticising them since  they had been attending all these hearings for all these years and I had not.  As if that matters in terms of the simple expression of disappointment at seeing NO evidence of support outside the courthouse TODAY!  These poor defense tactics usually don’t obtain much sympathy from the judges, who have been instructed by the political powers in the Cook County Democratic machine to “make an example” of the defendants.

While it is entirely understandable that Chase’s supporters are depressed and dismayed at the prospect of their friend spending up to 15 years in prison if he gets the maximum sentence possible in this case, that is no excuse for failing to organize an effective defense campaign and then expressing hostility towards supporters who express their dismay when they show up at court in response to an appeal for support and find no organized support at all!

Progress cannot be achieved by the workers movement if historical lessons go unlearned and if every generation just keeps making the same avoidable mistakes over and over and over again.  Our capitalist class opponents have centuries of experience buttressing their class rule; they learn from their failures and don’t repeat the same stupidity twice!  Likewise, the communist movement has nearly 200 years of experience fighting frame-ups in the courts of the capitalist classes all over the world.  To fail to take advantage of the hard-won experience of the revolutionary communist movement is a major error on the part of any activist group that finds its comrades in a situation like Jared Chase is in.

It was no surprise in this era of mass apathy among US workers that – in Chicago, a city of 4 million – a grand total of 9 supporters of Chase (including this reporter) made the trek to the Cook County Courthouse for the hearing.  It was held in a bizarre glassed-in courtroom in which spectators are entirely sealed off from the actual courtroom, which sits behind a semicircular glass-and-metal barrier that looks like something out of the original Star Wars movie.  No photos could be taken of the courtroom because in the “free and open” court system of Crooked Crook County, the Chief Justice has banned all cell phones from the premises.  Members of the public who wish to observe the proceedings in Cook County Courthouse at 26th St. and California Avenue in Chicago must not only pass a metal detector screening before entering the courthouse, but they must also place their cell phones, chargers and any other electronic recording devices in secure lockers (provided for free by the county) before they are allowed to enter the building.  The criminals running the farcical “justice” system  in Crook County Courthouse – widely acknowledged to be one of the most corrupt in the United States of America – must keep video and audio evidence of their many blatant miscarriages of justice hidden from the eyes of the working class at all costs.

The court hearing in room 303 (which was set for 9:00 AM according to the “Free the NATO 3” website ) never actually got underway until 10:05 when the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson finally graced us with his presence.  Wilson, who is black, has hung a large framed color photograph of the Rev. Martin Luther King on the door behind the bench in order to give the appearance (to the uninitiated) that in his courtroom, the respected principles of Dr. King are upheld.  King would undoubtedly not be amused to know that his portrait is being utilized in this manner in a courtroom in Cook County, where brutal racist injustice is meted out daily to hundreds of primarily black and Hispanic defendants.  Hundreds of people of color are daily shipped to this County Courthouse for “kangaroo court”-style bond hearings at which it’s “your money or the next two months of your life” while you wait in jail for your trial.   Judge Wilson’s courtroom sits directly above a filthy, overcrowded basement prison dungeon where hundreds of people are crammed into holding cells awaiting trial; this is a place completely at odds with everything Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.

On the dark, smoked glass barrier that stands between the public and the “bar of justice” are affixed a number of printed and crudely hand-lettered signs threatening the citizenry – who are supposed to be those from whom Judge Wilson derives whatever limited power he actually possesses – not to do a multiplicity of things.  “Absolutely No Food or Drinks Allowed in this Courtroom” one declares.  “DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOUR NAME IS CALLED” screams another.  If a citizen dares to enter the courtroom he or she has paid for many times over with their taxes – what would happen?  Would the altar of justice be rendered unclean by an unindicted citizen’s presence?  Would it have to be then reconsecrated to the gods of justice, Crook County-style?   No children are allowed to cry or call out to a parent, sister or brother they see being brought into the courtroom in handcuffs and prison rags: “Children must be kept quiet or you will be asked to leave!”  Surely Martin Luther King would endorse all this! A child crying out at seeing her father for perhaps the first time in months or even years would be cast out of the room by the “honorable” Judge Wilson!  Such is justice in Crooked Crook County, USA, run for the past 100 years by the “lesser evil” Democratic Party!  Everything is crooked about this place: the huge cockroaches at the jail skitter crookedly across the floors and the walls; even the birds flying over this place seem to fly sideways.  Let’s not even mention the crooked guards!

While we waited for Jared’s case to be called an attorney emerged from the courtroom into the spectators’ seating area to converse with his client, who was seated among us.  They openly discussed their strategy right there where it could be heard by all the court employees and the judge via the intercom system connecting both rooms.  There is no private place in this courthouse for attorneys and their clients to discuss their cases!  The image of Martin Luther King gazes pensively down from the wall of Judge Wilson’s courtroom upon this farce.  If only that portrait could come to life to tell Judge Wilson what it thinks about the monstrous scenes that have played out in that courtroom under its eyes day after day after brutal day!

Finally, at around 10:32 AM, Jared Chase is led into the courtroom.  As he enters, I stand up in solidarity.  “SIT DOWN!” bellows the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus Wilson.

Chase is a big guy; 6 feet tall, perhaps a bit more.  Thinnish but well-muscled in his brownish v-necked prison shirt and matching brown pants, he looks as healthy as can be expected – given the circumstances of his confinement in a hellhole Illinois state prison in Pontiac – to me, who has never seen him before.  But to his friends he “looks very thin and gaunt, and his health is visibly not well.”

Chase stands erect, calm and collected; his hands are not manacled but I can’t see his feet.

There is some preliminary chatter between the judge, prosecutor and Jared’s Public Defender Benesh.  Then Benesh asks the judge for a court order to prevent Chase’s being manacled with what is called a “black box”.

"Black Box" restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

“Black Box” restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

This high-security restraint is usually only used for the most dangerous inmates: murderers and terrorists.  In spite of the fact that all of the “terrorism charges” that the government had brought against the NATO 3 were repudiated by the jury in the original trial, Chase is still being periodically subjected to this abuse by the prison screws when they transfer him to court for trial.

Benesh is asking the judge for a “court order” prohibiting the use of the “black box” on Chase.  He states that there is an existing doctors’ order that these restraints not be used on Chase due to his suffering from Huntington’s Disease, which causes sufferers to shake uncontrollably.  This shaking, combined with the harsh restraints, has been found to be causing injury to Chase, Benesh explains.  The use of harsh restraints “cuts off circulation” of blood in Chase’s hands.

Who do you want me to order to stop using the restraints?” asks Judge Wilson?

Benesh appears to be somewhat taken aback by the question.

“Who do you want the court order to be issued to?  Eye-Doc?” asks the judge again, indicating the acronym for the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), as if to prompt Benesh… who appears to fumble for an answer.

“In terms of transport…” Benesh begins to reply.  “We are asking that the least restrictive means possible should be used.”  He describes a less physically punishing type of restraint known to be used by IDOC.

Judge Wilson advises Benesh to “talk to IDOC… I am not in a position to order such a thing.  You can file a Federal lawsuit against IDOC if they are not following doctors’ recommendations.  If it’s within my authority I’ll do it.  I don’t know of any need for extra security.  But just based on oral statements  I’m not going to do anything.”

It appeared that Benesh was unprepared to properly ask Judge Wilson for a court order, having not submitted to the court any legal document for the judge to review and sign!  Not only that, but Benesh seemed uncertain who it was that he wanted the judge to order to stop using the “black box” restraint!  Unbelievably poor preparation for the hearing by Benesh – not at all atypical for the Public Defenders here in the “Land of the Free(TM)”.

It’s pretty outrageous that the Public Defender’s Office had their client dragged in chains all the way to Cook County Jail from the dungeon at Pontiac Correctional Center – a distance of 100 miles – so they could challenge the state’s use of cruel restraints used when he is transported from jail to court and back, causing physical harm to him – and then the PD wasn’t even prepared to properly ask for and obtain the court order necessary to get the chains removed!  Sadly, this kind of third-rate legal defense for the poor is common, not only in Crooked Crook County but all over the USA – and in all the “advanced” countries of the capitalist world.

Benesh then asked for a status hearing to be set for March 23rd.  He appeared not to have submitted any requests for discovery of evidence such as videos of the alleged physical altercations between Chase and prison guards that led to the present assault on a prison officer charges against Chase.

The judge agrees to set a status hearing for March 23rd at 9AM and for the trial to begin on April 11th of 2016.  Chase is dismissed and I stand up again in solidarity as he leaves; and I and all Chase’s friends and supporters leave the courtroom.

Moments later Public Defender Benesh comes out into the hallway and I introduce myself and ask him for his business card.  He says “no problem” and goes back into the courtroom to take care of some other legal business.  After a few minutes he comes back out again, accompanied by a female colleague, and I ask him a few questions.

I had heard from one of Chase’s supporters that there might be video evidence available in this case.  Is Benesh aware of any?  “Not that I’m aware of; and I don’t know if it would be helpful or not if there was” he replied.  Surprised at his answer I ask “really?  No videos at all?”  (There are cameras all over the jails).  “No I don’t know of any”.  “Have you asked if there was any such evidence through the discovery process?” “No.” he replied.

“The next hearing on March 23rd; will Jared have to appear in court again for that?” I ask.  “Yes, he’ll be appearing at all of the hearings”.  This is a real ordeal for Chase, who has to come, shackled, all the way from Pontiac to Chicago, especially considering his health.

“What is the specific offense Chase is charged with and what are the potential penalties?” I inquire.

“He is charged with ‘aggravated battery to a corrections officer’, which is a ‘Class I’ offense, punishable by 4-15 years in prison” Benesh replies.  Very serious, indeed.  (For a description of the incident as related in a letter from Chase to a supporter, click here).

I ask Benesh if he has been on the case from the beginning of the NATO 3 trial; he says: “I just got this case two weeks ago from my colleague in the Public Defender’s Office.  I had nothing to do with the earlier case; this case has nothing to do with the original one”.  But of course, this is not true at all!  This case has EVERYTHING to do with the earlier case; Chase is a political prisoner who was framed up by undercover cops in the first place!  If that frame-up hadn’t been successful, this assault case would never have occurred!

This is what we meant earlier in this article when we spoke of the danger of having inexperienced defense attorneys who do not understand the difference between a typical criminal case and one involving a political frame-up.  This lawyer appears to be unaware of the very political nature of the charges his client is facing.  “Business as usual”; just another assault case in the hideously overloaded docket of the vastly understaffed and underfunded Public Defender’s office.

It’s too bad that the crew of “Free the NATO 3” supporters didn’t bother to talk to this new defense attorney for their comrade!  They had all just walked away from the courtroom without even bothering to talk to their comrade’s new lawyer!

It was not a very impressive performance by the “Free the NATO 3” defense campaign.

Later on that evening, I checked the “Free the NATO 3” WordPress site to obtain more background information about the case and to see if they had written a report about the hearing; commendably, as we stated above, they had. Their article criticises that I stood up in solidarity with Chase as he was led into the courtroom: “While prisoner supporters have employed the tactic often to stand up when the defendant’s name is called in various cases, Judge Thadeus [sic – IWPCHI] Wilson issued an injunction in the NATO 3 case preventing supporters from doing so, and does not respond kindly to this. So please remain seated when Jay’s name is called, as protest tactics or standing up only backfires on Jay.”

This expresses quite clearly the touching faith that these so-called “anarchists” have in the “impartiality” of the US capitalist “justice” system!

The “Free the NATO 3” website operated by these folks appears to offer a decent amount of information about the case – including copies of Judge Wilson’s outrageous piece-of-shit injunction against displays of class solidarity for political prisoners who appear in “his” courtroom.  Unfortunately, the amateurishness of the anarcho-reformists reared its ugly head again when we tried to download a copy of this fine example of legal treachery; we received a “404- File Not Found” error.  We left a message on that page so the website admins could fix the problem; checking it again today a week later, we found that it has still not been corrected.  We left another message, for what it’s worth.

***

This should serve as a warning to young activists trying to decide between joining a revolutionary socialist organization or a more loosely organized “anarchist” or other activist group.  It a choice between joining a party of organized, disciplined revolutionaries who will know how to avoid a cheap police entrapment scheme and defend you if you get framed up on bogus charges or joining a group that will fall right into a trap set by a pair of half-assed Police Explorers who infiltrate their organization on the first try.  In a revolutionary socialist party, youth members are taught about the history of police entrapment schemes; internal party discipline requires them to report provocations like the one launched against the NATO 3 defendants to party leaders, who know how to deal with these things properly.  It would be almost impossible for this kind of entrapment scam to ensnare a youth member of a revolutionary Trotskyist party; for amateur “activist” and “anarchist” organizations, this is not the case.  So choose wisely when you choose the revolutionary political organization you want to join.

***

One last glimpse of the “justice” that takes place in the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson’s judicial chamber of horrors:

A tall, well-groomed black man in a new winter jacket stands calmly before the dais upon which Judge Wilson sits.  A few feet to his  right, a middle-aged, stooped blonde white female Assistant District Attorney is trying to make this man look like Capone times ten.  She rattles off a seemingly endless number of arrests and convictions for petty offenses this man has suffered all his life for the “crime” of being a black man living in Democratic Party-run Crooked Crook County.  She chatters on: case after case, from the 1990s to the present.  Only after she has made it up to June of 2008 does the “Honorable” Judge Wilson stop her, saying tiredly: “That’s enough.  I get the picture”.

Perhaps it was a trick of the light, refracted through the smoked glass barrier of the courtroom… but we swear we saw the left hand of Dr. King move in front of his eyes; his shoulders seemed to heave spasmodically.  He appeared to be crying.

Thanks to the poor defense work today by Atty. Peter Benesh of the Crook County Public Defender’s Office, Jared Chase will once again most likely by dragged in chains – including the “black box” apparatus that is causing him physical harm – from Pontiac “Correctional” Center to Crook County Courthouse for his next status hearing on March 23; his trial is scheduled to begin on April 11.

— IWPCHI

 

 

 

 

 

Report from “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall, Chicago 31 December 2015

About 150 demonstrators from Black Lives Matter, Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Alternative, Independent Workers Party of Chicago and other worker-activists occupy the ground floor of Chicago's City Hall on 31 December 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

About 150 demonstrators from Black Lives Matter, Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Alternative, Progressive Labor Party, Independent Workers Party of Chicago and other worker-activists occupy the ground floor of Chicago’s City Hall on 31 December 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Chicago, IL, USA (31 December 2015):  About 150 activists in Chicago (IL, USA) held a spirited and righteous – if politically naive – demonstration at City Hall on the final day of 2015, calling on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign.

Activist Addresses "Black Lives Matter" Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Activist Addresses “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Led – apparently – by “Black Lives Matter” activists (we were never able to confirm it), the crowd assembled on the first floor of Chicago’s City Hall and was addressed by speakers from – probably – BLM.  A dozen or so police monitored the demonstration and basically let it occupy the ground floor in front of the elevators for 45 minutes, at which time the entire demonstration boarded the elevators and headed to the 5th floor, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office is located.  There the crowd reassembled in the hallway just outside his office; various speakers addressed the crowd and led it in chants calling for Emanuel to step down.

Activists Address "Black Lives Matter" Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Activists Address “Black Lives Matter” Demo at City Hall Chicago (IL, USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Outrageously, there was no sign of any trade union members in attendance, and only a couple of the city’s main revolutionary socialist groups had a presence there, including the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) – who brought an excellent banner along.  Socialist Alternative was there as well, as was the Progressive Labor Party.  The International Socialist Organization and the Spartacist League were nowhere to be found, though they may have been at the earlier Democratic Party-led demo featuring Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger.  Unfortunately, we don’t have enough members to cover both demonstrations! Those larger parties do, though, so it’s odd that they missed the demo we attended.

"A Fish Rots From the Head - Impeach Rahm" protest sign at Black Lives Matter demo at Chicago (IL, USA) City Hall, 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

“A Fish Rots From the Head – Impeach Rahm” protest sign at Black Lives Matter demo at Chicago (IL, USA) City Hall, 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

After about a half an hour in front of the (apparently empty) Mayor’s office, the demonstration headed to the street and began a march from City Hall to the site on Michigan Avenue near the Tribune Tower (where the city is to have its “Chicago Rising” New Year’s Eve soiree), marching right down the middle of the street as the cops frantically tried to keep the traffic disruption to a minimum.

Chicago Cops on Bicycles Vainly Attempt to Corral Black Lives Matter Protest in Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Chicago Cops on Bicycles Vainly Attempt to Corral Black Lives Matter Protest in Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

The “Chicago Rising” New Year’s Eve event was  originally supposed to be free of charge to the public – but out of alleged concern for “public safety” the city fathers chose instead to sell tickets to the event for the “low, low price” of $90 or $150 per person!  In order to get to the Hyatt Hotel on East Wacker Drive where the giant LED star symbolizing Chicago’s “Rising” was to ascend the building, citizens had to pay $150 at ticket booths that were set up behind barricades blocking off the street.  This is in keeping with the Democrats’ apparent desire that only the rich be allowed to participate fully in the cultural life of Chicago while the poor and working class citizens can all just go to hell.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators advance on Trump Tower from Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL (USA) on 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Black Lives Matter demonstrators advance on Trump Tower from Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL (USA) on 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

The police, on bicycles, had apparently been ordered to keep their bloody “hands off” the demonstration; they made a futile attempt to block the protestors from marching from Trump Tower to Michigan Avenue – but after the protestors, urged on by a young woman activist, quickly were re-routed around the police daisy chain, the cops otherwise left the protestors to their own ad-hoc devices. This may have been due to previous arrangements with the organizers of the demonstration: we observed one of the men leading the chants “fist bumping” a number of bicycle cops in a far too friendly manner.

The marchers briefly blocked the intersection at Wacker and Michigan Avenues just south of the bridge over the Chicago River.  It looked to us as if they’d be there for a while, so we took a break at a local pastry shop for less than 10 minutes. By this time the crowd had dwindled to about 50 people or less.  When we emerged from the coffee shop, the demonstration had disappeared.  We overheard the police on their radios saying the demo was at Washington and Michigan, but even though we immediately headed to that location and arrived in 5 minutes, the demo had vanished without a trace and we were unable to relocate it!

Revolutionary Communist Party banner: "Murdered by Police" at Black Lives Matter demo in Chicago, IL (USA) 31 Dec 2015. Photo by IWPCHI

Revolutionary Communist Party’s excellent banner: “Murdered by Police” at Black Lives Matter demo in Chicago, IL (USA) 31 Dec 2015. Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones presente! (at top of banner L and R encircled in red)  Photo by IWPCHI

There seemed to have been very little in the way of planning for this march; no one was informed as to where it was headed or if there would be any events later on.

The primary political demands of the protest leaders were for the resignations of Emanuel and Alvarez and for an elected civilian police review board to be created to “oversee” the cops.  The protest leaders also urged the demonstrators to register to vote, although it was not clear who they intended us all to vote “for”!  Seeing that they do not even call for a new political party to be formed we can only conclude that they intend to vote for the Democrats again, since the Republicans are so convinced that it would be futile to run candidates for Mayor in this heavily Democratic city, they don’t bother to do so.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement has done an excellent job of organizing powerful demonstrations against police murder which has exposed to the entire world the deep racism that remains at the heart of the US capitalist system.  But their demands fall far short of what is necessary to end the endless series of killings of black workers by the racist cops.  Nothing short of workers socialist revolution is necessary to put and end once and for all to racism and racist killer cops here in the USA and throughout the entire capitalist world.  We see racist cops attacking workers in EVERY capitalist state, from the US to France to South Korea, Egypt and Israel.  The killer kops of kapitalism are the enemies of the working class!

The idea that an elected civilian police review board would give the workers “control” over the police department is a popular one. Unfortunately it is our duty as revolutionary Trotskyists to tell you, sisters and brothers, that it is completely impossible for the working class to exert “control” over the police in a capitalist state!  The police exist to protect the private property rights of the capitalist class – the wealthiest 10% of the population. The capitalist state is not “neutral” when it comes to adjudicating the endless conflict between the workers and the capitalist bosses.   The cops, courts and the military in every capitalist state are owned and operated by – and exert their power in the interests of – the capitalist class.  The only way that the working class can truly “control” the police is if the workers overthrow the capitalist state itself and replace it with a revolutionary socialist workers state. THEN – and only then! – can we have complete control over the killer kops of kapitalism – and put them in jail where they belong!  Those who tell you, sister and brother workers, that you can “control” the cops without first overthrowing the capitalist system are either naively misleading you… or are consciously telling you lies – plain and simple.  We believe that when it comes to the majority of Black Lives Matter activists it is naivete rather than deliberate lying going on; although some of the BLM leaders are definitely in the camp of the Democratic Party and therefore are deliberately trying to keep the protests well within the boundaries of what is “acceptable” to the capitalist class enemy.

We spoke with a number of activists from different groups, emphasising the vital necessity of organizing a revolutionary socialist working-class political party to break the stranglehold enjoyed by the twin parties of capital in the US’ completely undemocratic political system.

Socialist Alternative's Leaflet Pushes Pro-Capitalist Democrat Sanders for President! Leaflet acquired from Socialist Alternative activist at "Black Lives Matter" demo, City Hall, Chicago 31dec2015. Pro-Sanders meeting to be held at Chicago Democratic Party hangout "Manny's Deli" on near south side! Photo by IWPCHI

Socialist Alternative’s Leaflet Pushes Pro-Capitalist Democrat Sanders for President! Leaflet acquired by IWPCHI from Socialist Alternative activist at “Black Lives Matter” demo, City Hall, Chicago 31 Dec 2015. Pro-Sanders meeting to be held at Chicago Democratic Party hangout “Manny’s Deli” on near south side! Photo by IWPCHI

The self-described “Trotskyists” of Socialist Alternative were handing out leaflets pushing the candidacy of the phony-socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders!  We criticised this policy as basically being an outright betrayal of the working class.  SA defended their support of Sanders by claiming that since the workers were naively supporting him, and because, in SA’s analysis, Sanders is a social-democratic improvement over Hillary Clinton, SA should not discourage workers from supporting Sanders.  This is not revolutionary Trotskyism at all, but tailing after the naive political backwardness of US workers instead of leading them away from pro-capitalist candidates and in the direction of revolutionary socialism.  Sanders is a pro-capitalist candidate who has garnered financial support from the National Association of Realtors – among other sections of the US bourgeoisie.  Sanders has also come out side-by-side with Hillary in support of the US’ murderous war against the workers of Afghanistan, as well as the US’ cynical and fraudulent “War on Terror”.  Encouraging workers to vote for such a pro-capitalist, pro-war cretin as Sanders amounts to a complete betrayal of the working class and is the opposite of revolutionary Trotskyism.

The other extreme pole of the revolutionary working class party vis a vis electoral politics was represented by the RCP, whose rep stated to us that it was pointless to participate in bourgeois elections at all!  Workers should simply join the RCP and organize demonstrations.  Eventually- according to the RCP – the demonstrations will become so large that we can immediately overthrow the capitalist system!  The only problem with this concept is that it has never succeeded in the history of the world.  The revolutionary workers party must prove it will fight intransigently for the interests of the working class by leading strikes and by producing honest and self-sacrificing leaders who always uphold the highest principles of the revolutionary socialist movement – including as elected representatives of the working class in legislative bodies.

We say that a revolutionary workers party needs to utilize all methods at its disposal to organize the working class and to prepare them to overthrow capitalism.  We should participate in bourgeois elections while it is legal for us to do so, seeking non-executive elective offices only.  At the same time we must never stop pointing out to workers that revolutionary change will require more than simply electing a “socialist President”, as it has time and time again been PROVEN that the machinery of the capitalist state can not be seized and forced to work in the interests of the working class; it must be completely overhauled from top to bottom and a workers state created to completely replace it.  Marx and Lenin taught that trying to use the capitalist state machinery to defend the rights of the working class would be like trying to force a steel mill to produce baby clothing; it’s impossible!  The capitalist state was designed to defend the private property rights of the capitalist class and it cannot be reformed to promote and defend workers’ rights; the capitalist state must be “smashed” or broken up to its foundations and an entirely new workers state created in its place.  Every fake-socialist party that has ever tried to use the capitalist state machinery to defend the workers’ rights has failed and usually ends up being overthrown in a military coup and its party leaders and many of the best leaders of the trade unions executed.  One of the most tragic examples of this occurred in Chile with the fake-socialist Allende government in 1973.  The Venezuelan working class, betrayed by the “Bolivarian” fake-revolutionaries known as the “Chavistas” are today heading down the same disastrous road to defeat taken by Allende and his fake-socialist party. “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it”.  We in the Independent Workers Party of Chicago study history so that hopefully we can prevent such a disaster from occurring to the workers of the United States and the rest of the world in the future.

To refuse to participate in bourgeois elections is to render the revolutionary workers party utterly useless to the working class from now until the time of the workers revolution.  The Bolsheviks of Lenin demonstrated very clearly how a revolutionary socialist party could utilize the bourgeois democratic system to effectively and in a principled way put forward a revolutionary socialist program.  In this way they were able to continually expose to the eyes of the workers and peasants of Russia the utter political bankruptcy of the capitalist system and its hired politicians of all stripes.

What’s the point of organizing a political party if you’re not going to participate at all in any political process except the revolution itself?  How do we get from where we are today to where we want to go?  Revolutions can’t just be pulled out of the air.  It takes years for a revolutionary party to prove to the working class that it means exactly what it says and that it will not sell out the workers in exchange for government offices.  The example set by the Bolsheviks of Lenin in the period leading up the the great Russian Revolution of 1917 is the model upon which the Independent Workers Party of Chicago is based.  We encourage all workers to read “The History of the Russian Revolution” by Leon Trotsky (who became Lenin’s right-hand man during the Russian Revolution) to see how Lenin’s Bolsheviks masterfully used bourgeois democratic processes to lead the Russian working class to understand the absolute necessity to overthrow the capitalist system – not just in Russia but throughout the entire world.  The Bolsheviks’ revolutionary socialist program never led them to present frauds like Bernie Sanders and the Democrats as “friends of the working class”, nor did it lead them into the dead end of refusing to participate in bourgeois elections.  A truly revolutionary socialist party with a truly revolutionary socialist program avoids both of these extremes easily.  That’s the kind of program Marx, Engels and Lenin created; it’s the kind of program Trotsky defended; and it’s the kind of program we aspire to base our revolutionary Trotskyist party on.  They were the best leaders the working class ever had and we’d be betraying your trust if we urged you, our working class brothers and sisters, to follow any example besides theirs!

Workers of the World, Unite!

—- IWPCHI

 

Pew Research Touts “Racial Disparities” in US Wealth Distribution; Hides Fact That “Bottom” 90% Split Just 24.7% of US National Wealth

This week we were presented (via a correspondent on Twitter) with some interesting but confusing data from Pew Research Center on “Racial and Ethnic Wage Gaps” in the USA.  This is the chart we were sent:

“Racial, Ethnic Wealth Gaps Have Grown Since Great Recession”,  Pew Research Center, 12 December 2014

It comes from this article on the Pew Research Center website:   “Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession”

published December 12, 2014.

2014?  Yes!

Hey this isn’t even news! So why are they just now shoving this nonsense in our faces?

While we know fully well that there are indeed disparities between wealth of black, Hispanic and white workers due to racial discrimination and the legacy of slavery in the US, these numbers seemed a bit overblown; we simply don’t know many “white” workers whose net worth is $141,000.  And we know a lot of black and Hispanic workers whose net worth is well over $11- or $13K.

The numbers seem to be shorthand for showing white workers how well they are doing compared with blacks and Hispanics, with an eye towards driving jealousy among workers over who’s getting the most “tar-tar sauce” from the US’ greedhead capitalist class, busily ripping ALL OF US off 24/7/365.

Obviously, if this data includes all the US billionaires (who are mostly white) among the calculation of “white wealth” then the data is skewed to make it look like white workers are doing great while black and Hispanic workers are surviving on air.

Also, a closer look at the data shows that there is something else weird going on here: it indicates that between 1983 and 1989, the wealth gap between white and black workers expanded from 8% to 17%!  Now, we were working then; and we’re unable to recall our incomes jumping nearly 10% over that period.  Nor can we recall that time when black workers’ incomes magically rose by something like 14% over a 3-4 year period, as the chart indicates happened between 1989 and 1992.

The whole thing seems a bit much… and designed to piss off workers and inflame racism between us; all based on some questionable data interpretation by the august Pew Research Center – a thoroughly pro-capitalist think tank.

So we asked the world (via Twitter) what the sources were for the claims made in these charts; Pew Research nicely tweeted us a link to the article again (which we had already seen).  But this time we spotted the link to the data upon which their article and the accompanying charts were based:  it was hidden under the words “Federal Reserve notes” in a link:

FRB – Changes in US Family Finances 2010 -2013_Survey of Consumer Finances_scf14

Reading this we saw that there were some large apparent discrepancies between what the Pew Research Center’s researchers were presenting to the public as “racial disparities” and what the source for their data actually said.

Point #1:  Nowhere in this document is the data broken out into 3 separate “racial” categories.  In this source document, there are only TWO racial groups delineated:  “Nonwhite or Hispanic” and “White non-Hispanic”:

Where'd all the black workers go to?

Where’d all the “black” workers go?  Detail, Federal Reserve Bulletin, page 12.

Also, if we read the “methodology” section which describes how the survey was done, we see that “[f]or greater comparability with earlier SCF data, the data reported in this article ignore the information on ethnic identification available in the surveys since 2004, but respondents reporting multiple racial identifications in the surveys starting with 1998 are classified as ‘non-white or Hispanic.'”  (p. 37).  So there may be more detailed racial data that breaks down the categories into more than two, or even more than three categories, but it’s not here in this document cited as their source by the Pew researchers in their own article.

Even more “amusingly”,  in digging for all this info we found something far more interesting: the data on the distribution of wealth and income in the US between the top 10% and the “bottom” 90%.

[It’s a bit strange talking about the VAST MAJORITY of the US citizenry as being “the bottom”, isn’t it?  But when it comes to the distribution of wealth in ANY capitalist society, this is really how things shake out in the final analysis. And it’s not OUR terminology, anyway: it’s how the banksters at the Federal Reserve – themselves all well up in the “top” 10% – who look down on the REST OF US as being the “bottom 90 percent”!]

The view from the top: 90% of the US population are at the

The view from the top: 90% of the US population are at the “bottom”! Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 10 (highlighted by us).

Well now at least we all know where we stand in the eyes of the US bourgeoisie!

But let’s take a closer look at the findings here.  What ARE the “Recent Trends in the Distribution of Income and Wealth” here in the “Land of the Free”(TM)?

Recent Trends in INCOME Distribution in US 1989-2013 (detail). Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 10. Read it and weep, but save some tissues for the next slide...

Recent Trends in INCOME Distribution in US 1989-2013 (detail). Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 10.   Note that this is for INCOME, not WEALTH.

Got that?  The top 3% receive nearly 1/3 of the INCOME of the entire USA annually!  It’s good to be a capitalist king!

But now when we look at WEALTH – overall WEALTH… lol!  The numbers get really disgusting!

Well fellow workers: you have not been dreaming when you have perceived that you've been falling further and further behind while the rich get richer. Recent Trends in the Distribution of WEALTH in USA, 1989-2013, Federal Reserve Bulletin, page 10 (detail).

Well fellow workers: you have not been dreaming when you have perceived that you’ve been falling further and further behind while the rich get richer. Recent Trends in the Distribution of WEALTH in USA, 1989-2013, Federal Reserve Bulletin, page 10 (detail).

Here’s the view of the accompanying chart:

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you're getting screwed by your capitalist

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you’re getting screwed by your capitalist “friends”.  Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

That black line trending steadily downward for the last 25 years is YOU, dear working-class brothers and sisters.  That solid green line moving just as steadily upward represents the trillions of dollars you’ve handed over to your capitalist class masters ‘lo these many years.

So the 3% own 54.4%  of the nation’s wealth.  Let that sink in a minute.  Add to that the wealth of the next 7% – “the middle class”, if you will – (whose “share” of the national wealth was 20.9% in 2013) and you see that the “top” 10% of the population owns over 75% of the nation’s wealth!  And in this great, free “democracy” of ours… the “bottom 90%” (i.e. we, the wage slaves) get to “share” 25% of the nation’s wealth!  Ah, freedom!  Ah, democracy!  What a joke.

Unwilling to bring THIS to our attention a year after they did their “study”, the Pew Research Center chose instead to highlight a cranked-up, phony distortion of the income distribution in the USA which pretended that white workers  possess 10 times the wealth that black and Hispanic workers do, when in FACT it is the top 3% of whites who own the VAST MAJORITY of that wealth attributed to “whites”!

Now why do you suppose the Pew Research Center would want to do such a mean thing to us?

It’s called DIVIDE AND CONQUER, brothers and sisters.  It’s one of the capitalist class’ oldest tricks – in fact, they learned it from the landed aristocracy and the monarchists the nascent capitalists overthrew because they stood in the way of the bourgeoisie obtaining the kind of wealth once only enjoyed by… kings and queens and their courtiers!  But after 400 years of the evolution of the capitalist system, which promised that “a rising tide” of economic wealth created by capitalism would “lift all boats” we see instead that only a very few yachts are being lifted to heights unimagined by the kings and queens of old, while the VAST MAJORITY of humanity is left in their canoes… at the bottom of the ocean!

Moral of the story: don’t take the racist bait when it’s offered to you by the apologists for the capitalist system!

We’ll say it yet again: THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR YOU, WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNDER CAPITALISM!  The capitalist system must be overthrown and replaced with a revolutionary socialist workers government which distributes the wealth of the world equally among all the workers of the world who create that wealth through our labor-power.  We need a society in which jobs, food, clothing, housing, health care and education are GUARANTEED to all as rights, not as favors bestowed upon us (or not) by the 3%.  The capitalist revolutions promised us the right to merely PURSUE happiness; the SOCIALIST revolution will GUARANTEE that we will ACTUALLY OBTAIN that promised happiness by providing the actual means of existence to ALL, instead of the dreams and empty promises of the capitalist system.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Standing Bear vs. Crook: the Landmark 1879 U.S. Court Decision that Recognized Native Americans as Human Beings

Native American Ponca Chief Standing Bear (photographer, date unknown)

Ponca Chief Standing Bear (photographer, date unknown)

Below, we publish a corrected text of the landmark 1879 US Federal Court ruling in “Standing Bear vs. Crook”, in which, for the first time, it was held by a US court of law that “[a]n Indian is a person within the meaning of the habeas corpus act, and as such is entitled to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in the federal courts when it is shown that the petitioner is deprived of liberty under color of authority of the United States, or is in custody of an officer in violation of the constitution or a law of the United States, or in violation of a treaty made in pursuance thereof.”  It is considered by historians to have been the very first time that a Native American had sued the US Government in a US court and emerged a winner.

The ruling also noted that Native Americans also had the right to declare their expatriation from their tribes, as provided by a Reconstruction-era (1868) law that provided that right to anyone temporarily or permanently residing in the United States.  Additionally, it asserted that it was declared that if Federal troops were to arrest anyone illegally residing on an Indian Reservation (including Native Americans of a different tribe), they must “convey the persons so removed, by the most convenient route, to the civil authorities of the judicial district in which the offense may be committed to be proceeded against in due course of law. In time of peace, no authority civil or military exists for
transporting Indians from one section of the country to, another, without the consent of the Indians, nor to confine then to any particular reservation against their will”.

A key player in bringing this case to trial was Thomas Henry Tibbles – one of the many unsung heroes of US history.  Tibbles – originally from Ohio – was  an ardent abolitionist in his youth and served under the command of fellow abolitionists James Lane and John Brown in Kansas before the Civil War.  Tibbles was once captured by pro-slavery racists in Kansas who planned to lynch him; he escaped from their hands and lived to serve as a scout for the Union Army.  After the war, he moved to Nebraska where he became involved in the fight for the rights of Native Americans.  As an assistant editor of the Omaha Daily Herald, he was made aware of the plight of Standing Bear and his small tribe of Poncas and began to publicize the case, eventually obtaining the legal services of two lawyers who agreed to represent the Poncas pro bono.  Later in life, Tibbles was witness to the aftermath and informed the world of the the hideous massacre of 200-300 men, women and children by US troops at that took place at the “Battle” of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on 29 December 1890.

Sadly, Tibbles’ anti-racist fervor seems to have degenerated over time; he was the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Populist Party in 1904, on the ticket with white supremacist Thomas Watson of Georgia.  He died, in his late eighties, in 1928.

History as written by the

History as written by the “victors”: “Bureal of the Dead at the Battle of Wounded Knee, S.D.” Photo by NorthWestern Photo Co., Chadron, Nebraska, 1891.

Standing Bear was a chief of the agrarian Ponca tribe which had undergone its own “Trail of Tears”, having been wrenched by the US Government from lands in Nebraska they had worked for more than 150 years and driven across country to a reservation in Oklahoma where the land was unsuitable for farming.  The Ponca chiefs refused to accept these poor agricultural lands as their new home and fought to return to Nebraska.  During the journey to the Oklahoma reservation as many as 1 in 4 members of the tribe – including Standing Bear’s oldest son Bear Shield – died in their first year since being driven from their homes.  Standing Bear and his 30 or so followers decided to return but were captured on the way and jailed at Ft. Omaha by soldiers under the command of US General George Crook.  Urged on by Tibbles’ reports in the Daily Herald which had been picked up and broadcast by telegraph from coast to coast, many citizens throughout the US protested the harsh treatment of the Poncas and the case was brought to trial.  During the two-day trial Standing Bear, through an interpreter, eloquently defended his and his tribe’s actions and fought for their freedom.  Outrageously, one of the principles Standing Bear had to fight for was the fundamental right for a Native American to be considered a human being:

“This hand is not the color of yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you also feel pain. The blood that will flow from mine will be of the same color as yours. I am a man. The same God made us both.”

— Chief Standing Bear, addressing the court – Standing Bear v. Crook (May, 1879)

Ponca Chief Standing Bear with his wife and son (photographer, date unknown)

Ponca Chief Standing Bear with his wife and son (photographer, date unknown)

Chief Standing Bear traveled across Europe and the US on the lecture circuit, in tours sponsored by abolitionist and Native American rights advocate Wendell Phillips.  In his lectures Standing Bear fought for the rights of all Native Americans.  He returned to farm on his tribe’s original lands on the Niobrara River in Nebraska where he died in 1908 not far from where he had been born some 70 years earlier.  The Ponca are divided into two tribal groups to this day – one based in Nebraska and the other in Oklahoma.

— IWPCHI

United States ex. rel. Standing Bear v. Crook (12 May 1879)

[NOTE: The text of the ruling we used was originally available online on the website of the Yale Law School, but has since been removed.  We found a copy of it on the Internet Archive, but upon reading it we discovered a number of errors and typos and so have produced this corrected version.  If anyone has access to a copy of the trial transcript we would be very happy to link to it or republish it here.  —- IWPCHI]