Category Archives: United States

“Fight for $15” “Speaks Truth to Power”; “Power” Says: “Go to Hell!”

The capitalists who run this country – and who own and operate both of the political parties – the Democrats and the Republicans – and who also own and operate the Green Party and the Libertarian Party as well – tell you that you should not expect to make a decent living wage while working at a typical service economy job. It was this same capitalist class – or their parents – the capitalists of the last generation – who systematically dismantled the large industries of this country in the 1970s and 1980s – the steel mills – they shut them down; the factories – they shut them down and moved them overseas where the unions were weak and the wages were low. The US capitalist class deliberately destroyed millions of high-paying union jobs here in the USA – and told the workers “oh don’t worry; the economy is just evolving into a service economy – there will be plenty of jobs for everyone.” What they didn’t tell you is that these new jobs would be low-paying and unskilled and that they would be non-union jobs. And now when you demand that you be paid a decent living wage in this new “service economy – they tell you that your demands are unreasonable; that raising the minimum wage will hurt the economy! When you play by the rules that the capitalist class creates to make themselves rich and drive you into poverty you will lose every time. Is $15/hour “unreasonable”? No! In fact, $15 an hour is far too low to be a living wage.

Economists have told us that in order for a person or a family to live decently, to be able to afford to pay for housing, food, clothing, daycare and all the other expenses of life – and now they have added the burden of paying for health care too, something that no workers in any other industrialized country have to pay for – in order for us to live well we should not have to pay more than 25% of our monthly income for housing. Originally, back in the 1970s, the limit was 25% – in the 1980s, when it first became clear even to the government economists that very few people in the US actually paid just 25% of their income on housing – they were paying much more – they raised the limit to 30%. So now they go by this new limit that you should never have to pay more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. And so they took that 30% number and they used it to create what they call a “living wage”: that is: how much money does a worker have to make to be able to pay no more than 30% of his or her given monthly income in any city in the USA? And for Chicago – and this was ten years ago! – they came up with the figure of $20 an hour or something like that. That was 10 years ago – and it was confirmed again in a new study published in 2015! This is true!

In 2015 the “National Low Income Housing Coalition” published a study called “Out of Reach – Low Wages and High Rents Lock Renters Out”.  Now you know that this study’s conclusions must be very reasonable because the study was funded by the banking firm of J.P. Morgan and Chase! In this study, the average housing costs are calculated for every state and every county in every state, and then they determine from what the rent costs for an average two-bedroom apartment in every county and use that figure to determine what the mimimum wage must be in order for workers to not have to pay more than 30% of their income on rent. For Cook County, IL – this was a study published in 2015, so the figures at the time of publication were most likely a year old – they determined that a fair minimum wage for a worker with a small family who needed a two bedroom apartment had to be at least $21.02/hr or $43,720 a year! This is why we in the Independent Workers party of Chicago don’t understand why your leaders are “Fighting for $15” when even J.P. Morgan Chase’s own study says that in order to live like a human being here in Chicago you need to make at least $21/hour! Obviously, the leaders of the “Fight for $15” movement are overly concerned that if they ask for $21 – which is what is actually necessary – they will seem unreasonable to the capitalists. So they are limiting the demand to just $15/hour. Very reasonable, right? They are more concerned about looking reasonable to the billionaires than they are about fighting for you and your families!

The Democrats ho run “Fight for $15” are doing what the US billionaire class hired them to do: keep wages low and profits high. $15/hr minwage is $6 BELOW what J.P. Morgan study said – in 2015 – was minimum wage necessary to live decently in Cook County.   Source: “Out of Reach” p 69.

So the organizers of “Fight for $15” go and bring their very, overly reasonable demand for a statewide $15/hour minimum wage to Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois. Now as we all know, Bruce Rauner is a very wealthy man. He’s not just a millionaire – he’s not even a “hundred-millionaire”! He’s a BILLIONAIRE! He has spent his life robbing the workers of this nation blind so he could have all that money – that is a fact – no one gets to be a billionaire without ripping off a whole lot of people!

And what does Billionaire Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner say to you when you ask him for the very, overly reasonable minimum wage of $15/hour? He tells you to go to hell! Why? Because in his opinion – and in the opinion of the US capitalist class – which makes up less than 5 percent of the US population – it will “ruin the Illinois economy” if millions of Illinoisans get paid just $15/hr. ! “$15/hr is UNREASONABLE” says billionaire Bruce Rauner!

Well that is bullshit! But do you want to know what is really unreasonable and what is really ruining the US and the world economy? What is REALLY unreasonable is that capitalist billionaire Bruce Rauner and his billionaire friends – who together make up only 3% of the US population – own over 50% of the wealth of the USA! The billionaires of the US – and that includes that racist pig president we have now, the friend of the Nazis and enemy of the workers Donald Trump – these billionaires who make up just 3% of the population own over 50% of the national wealth! And does Bruce Rauner think that THAT is unreasonable? NO HE DOESN’T! He thinks that it is fair for 3% to own 50% of the wealth – to him and his capitalist friends, they’re splitting the wealth evenly 50-50: 50% for the 3% who are billionaires and 50% for the other 97% of the US population! And he has the nerve to tell you that your very reasonable demand for just $15/hr is UNREASONABLE and that if it is adopted it will ruin the economy!

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.

Bruce Rauner is a liar! When the minimum wage is increased all of that money that gets paid to the workers gets put right back into the economy and makes the economy grow. The more the workers make the better the economy is. For the workers all that money is going to get spent on the necessities of life for ourselves and our families. So when Bruce Rauner or anyone tells you that raising the minimum wage is going to ruin the economy, they are lying! What these lies about raising the minimum wage mean is that these billionaires who own this country and who own and operate both of the political parties in this phony democracy of ours would rather see you all drop dead than give you a living wage so you and your families can live like human beings! And this 3% of filthy rich greedheads will impoverish the entire nation and get away with it because they own and operate the political parties in this country! The fact is that in this phony democracy of ours, the minority rules! The 3% can tell 97% to go to hell and get away with it every time because they own the politicians in all of the major political parties – and then they turn around and call this a democratic system of government!

How is it that just 3% of the population gets to own 50% of the national wealth and gets to deny the vast majority of the population – you, the working class – the right to raise the minimum wage to a reasonable level for survival? They get to do this because YOU the workers – who make up at least 70% of the population – do not have even ONE representative at the state or national levels of government! Every single state rep and state senator – every single representative and senator in Washington – is owned by the billionaires of this country. The billionaires have bought every important politician in the statehouses and in the national government – and you the workers, who make up the vast majority of the population – do not have even ONE representative fighting for your rights! How did this happen and what can you do about it?

It has happened because you have not created your own workers party that is owned and operated by you – instead you have remained loyal to the two parties of big business – the Republicans and especially the Democrats. So when they tell you that you don’t need your own political party, all you need to do is “speak truth to power” power can ignore you, because you do not have even one representative in the state or national governments of this country. Because you the workers have not understood the importance of having your own political party owned and operated by you – a workers party that has the power – because you are the vast majority of the population of this country – to run this nation in YOUR interest – “power” can just ignore you and can continue to run the government in the interests of the 3%.

They tell you that the Democratic Party is “the party of the working class”. Well everyone knows that is a huge lie. If the Democratic Party was “the party of the working class”… when Barack Obama was first elected and came into office in 2009 the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. The Republican Party had been completely discredited in the corrupt swindle of the housing crash of 2008. The Democrats, who controlled the White House, the House and the Senate in Washington could have passed any kind of legislation they wanted to! If they wanted to make the minimum wage $15/hr they could have done it right then and there. But they didn’t: instead, they took out a loan for $1.7 trillion dollars to bail out the banks that had created the housing crash in the first place – and then they stood by and did nothing as millions of people lost their homes. They didn’t even send one banker responsible for this biggest-ever swindle in the history of the world to jail! And they didn’t do a damned thing for the workers in the entire 8 years of Obama’s presidency. The Democratic Party runs most of the major cities in the USA – which means that they run the racist police departments of the USA! It is the racist police run by the Democrats who have been murdering black workers with impunity and getting away with it because Democratic States Attorneys refuse to prosecute the cops even for the most savage crimes against the workers. Anyone who thinks that the Democratic Party is “the party of the workers” should have their head examined! The Democrats do not now and they never have been “the party of the working class”. Almost every single Democrat and every single Republican in the last analysis is a bought-and-paid-for servant of the billionaire class – the capitalist class of the US.

What can you do about this? It is absolutely necessary – if you want to be able to exercise your rights as the vast majority of the population as workers – you absolutely MUST dump the Democrats and the Republicans and build yourselves a workers party that is 100% funded by you, run by you and operated solely in YOUR class interests. You need a workers party that will lead the fight for a workers government – those who labor should and must rule! That is the kind of party we in the Independent Workers Party of Chicago want to build. It will be a party that is owned and operated by you the working class. It will not represent the capitalist class at all – it will only represent you the workers. But how will we fund this party? It will be funded through your donations and for those who want to be members of the party through your membership dues – just like a trade union. All of the money will be spent on organizing this party and getting as many worker-representatives elected as possible to the local, state and national legislative bodies of this nation. This party will be an actual political party – not just a lame NGO that relegates itself to “speaking truth to power”. The working class will BE the power! We will no longer go around begging the politicians owned and operated by the working class to “do for us”: we will do for ourselves! We will be in a position not to just BEG for a raise in the minimum wage, we will have a majority in the house and senate and we will be able to pass whatever legislation we want. In other words, a workers party will demand that the majority – the working class – must decide how this country is run and will take the power out of the hands of the 3% of greedy billionaires like Bruce Rauner and place it in the hands of the vast majority – you, the working class! We need to throw out of power – permanently – that gang of greedy billionaires that is right now using their Democratic and Republican parties to run this country like a slave plantation!

The revolutionary Trotskyist Independent Workers Party of Chicago says: the organizers of the fight for $15 are being far too reasonable: it costs more than $15/hr to live decently in Chicago. The capitalist system is a system by which the vast majority of the population is robbed blind so a handful of billionaires can live like kings! We do not want to be “reasonable” we want to get rid of the capitalist system before it gets rid of us and our families! In Illinois we need a $25/hr minimum wage – and that minimum wage should be strictly indexed to inflation – and it should be automatically raised each and every year at least 1% above the rate of inflation! Workers should not be made to pay with their lives so that a handful of millionaires and billionaires can steal half of the wealth of the nation and use it to purchase total control of the political system of the nation! We need to make the billionaires pay for the suffering caused by their crumbling capitalist system which robs the poor and gives to the rich; which makes a handful of people obscenely rich and leaves a constantly growing number of millions of workers in poverty!

We’re the Independent Workers Party of Chicago and we say: Dump the Democrats and Build A Workers Party!  Dump the Capitalist System before it dumps you!  Build A Workers Party to fight for a revolutionary Trotskyist workers government!  You can find us at iwpchi.wordpress.com and on Twitter @IWPCHI.   Happy Labor Day Everyone!

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“Speaking Truth To Power”: Why It Sucks as a Political Program

In this essay we will attempt to explain why the working class needs to have its own, independent, revolutionary socialist workers party, by comparing what we would have if we had our own workers party as opposed to what we have if we just “speak truth to power”.

We don’t like to “talk down” to people.  We ourselves are not so “high up” that we could “talk down” to people even if we wanted to!  But we have to face the reality that the US working class is by far the most backward working class in the industrialized world, politically.  The US is the only major industrialized nation that does not have a mass “socialist” or “communist” party.  This means that the US working class has never risen to the level of complete working-class-consciousness; it has been stuck at the “trade-union-consciousness” stage of development since the early 1900s.  The main reason for this is that the workers of the USA have been brainwashed by the capitalist class and their bought-and-paid-for servants in the Democratic Party and in the trade unions to believe that “socialism is bad” and “capitalism is good” – and that the class interests of workers and capitalists are one and the same!  This widely-held belief among US workers  in the identity of interests of capitalists and workers would make workers in every other industrialized country – and many so-called “third world” countries – shake their heads in disbelief.   This decades-long brainwashing of the working class has made it impossible for even intelligent people like Edward Snowden to simply  tell the difference between a communist and a fascist!

Brilliant whistleblower Edward Snowden displays the typical crippled political consciousness of the working class in the USA.

If Edward Snowden can’t tell the difference between Mao – a lifelong member of the Communist Party – and Hitler – who was never a member of any socialist organization ever and who incinerated tens of thousands of communists and socialists in his death camps (and Snowden’s a relatively educated US worker) you get a good basic idea of just how ignorant US workers are when it comes to politics.  This state of political ignorance among the US working class bore its most malignant fruit ever when the workers of the USA voted for a worker-hating billionaire for President – thinking that, somehow, a disgusting greedhead racist pig like Donald Trump would fight for the rights of workers! But that is getting off the track of our basic lesson plan on PoliSci101 as taught by a revolutionary worker!  Our subject today is not Donald Trump but one of the big political swindles going on in the so-called workers movement of the US, namely the “need” to “speak truth to power”.  What in hell does this political phrase “Speak Truth To Power” really mean?  And if it seems to you like we are “talking down” to you maybe it only seems that way because you, worker of the USA, have a vastly exaggerated sense of your own political wisdom, which, in fact, you do not possess AT ALL!  This is why you keep on voting this year for the Democrats and next year for the Republicans and still can’t understand why your lives aren’t getting better.    So please read on and see if you learn something.

“Speaking Truth to Power!” Sounds good, doesn’t it? Or maybe it should be like this: “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” Even better, right? It’s like a demand now. Or how about: “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!”. Now THAT is a revolutionary slogan! But let’s go all out and say we are “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” Take THAT, “powers that be”!

No matter how you write it; no matter how you say it, it means just one thing: “we accept the status quo; we know that there is a power up there somewhere and it is often against us; but if we just let those rightful “powers that be” hear our demands, they will become afraid of us and will do what we demand of them.”

As revolutionary Trotskyists, we study political speech scientifically. Everyone knows that all words have specific meanings; and that political words have special political meanings. But what most workers are only dimly aware of is that when political words are combined into political phrases by the enemies of the working class, those meanings are distorted, falsified and turned into lies. A clever phrase like “speak truth to power” is made to sound militant and revolutionary when in fact it is servile and cowardly – anything but revolutionary. Yet so-called “revolutionaries” seem to *love* the phrase “speak truth to power”. This is just one of the signs that they are fake-revolutionaries.

When political words are combined into phrases their meanings become (usually) more complex. It is our job as Trotskyist political scientists to deconstruct these slippery phrases used by fake-revolutionaries and other defenders of the capitalist system and to clearly show to the working class how these clever phrases are used to rip the working class off. And today’s lesson will show that the seemingly radical and revolutionary phrase “speak truth to power” contains a complete reformist political program that completely disarms the working class politically and hands it over to its mortal enemy, the capitalist class, bound and gagged!

So let’s analyze this political formula: “speak” “truth” “to” “power”. Break it down into its component parts. “Speak”: means of course to address something to someone else. We speak to communicate ideas. That part is straightforward.

The next word describes what we should say: “truth”. The working class is basically honest; when it addresses individuals or groups of individuals we as workers like to have the truth on our side and we also like our leaders to speak the truth to us and to whomever we ask them to address on our behalf. “Speak truth”. Very nice, nothing to oppose there. So far this phrase seems to be OK. And so is “Speak truth to”. Obviously if we are going to speak truth we must speak it to… someone.

“Speak truth” to whom? To whom will we address our speech? To “power”. What is “power”? Obviously, if we are going to “speak truth to” power, then “power must be a thing, some kind of material entity. You do not “speak truth to” the dog or to the birds in the trees, or to the sky; you speak truth to a person or persons. So this word “power” must be a noun, correct? Who constitutes this “power” we wish to address?

The Merriam-Webster English dictionary defines the word “power” in this way:

1 power

noun, often attributive pow·er \ˈpau̇(-ə)r\

1. a : (1) ability to act or produce an effect (2) : ability to get extra-base hits (3) : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect
b: legal or official authority, capacity, or right
2. a : possession of control, authority, or influence over others b : one having such power; specifically a sovereign state c : a controlling group; establishment —often used in the phrase the powers that be
d archaic: a force of armed men; e: chiefly dialectal; a large number or quantity
3. a : physical might b : mental or moral efficacy c : political control or influence
4. powers plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
5. a : the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product 5 to the third power is 125; also : the product itself 8 is a power of 2 b : cardinal number 2
6. a : a source or means of supplying energy; especially : electricity b : motive power c : the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred
7 : magnification
8. scope
9 : the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a statistical test when a particular alternative hypothesis happens to be true
Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/power

Looking at this list of the many definitions of the word “power”, we see that we can immediately eliminate several of these: 1a; 2a and e; 3; and the mathematical and parametrical references of 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. That leaves us with these:

1. b: legal or official authority, capacity, or right
2. b : one having such power [over others – refers to definition 2a – IWPCHI]; specifically a sovereign state c : a controlling group; establishment —often used in the phrase the powers that be
d archaic: a force of armed men
Now in the case of “speaking truth to power” as it relates to the “archaic” definition of “a force of armed men”; it is interesting that in the dictionaries of the capitalist period this is considered to be no longer valid. But of course the “forces of armed men” are not the “power” we are addressing when we use the phrase “speaking truth to power”. Everyone knows that the police are the armed fist of “power” but not “power” itself. The police are merely the pawns of those “in power” and are ordered to do their dirty work by “power”.
That leaves us with “legal or official authority”; “one having such power over others”; a “controlling group or establishment”. This must be the “power” we are “speaking truth to”.
The first thing that strikes a revolutionary Trotskyist when analyzing this term “power” as it applies to the “establishment” that runs the city, state or nation is that it is a very vague term that does not correctly describe the true nature of this “power”. As revolutionary Marxists, we understand that the real “power” in any capitalist country like the United States is held in the hands of the “capitalist class”. So why, we ask, did the people who came up with the phrase “speak truth to power” deliberately choose the vague term “power” instead of the more scientifically precise and correct term “capitalist class”?
The reason is simple: they do not want to use the more precise and scientific term because if they did then they would be revealed to be revolutionary Marxists and not the simple reformists that they actually are. If you use the precise, scientific Marxist language, you will be labeled by the “powerful” capitalist class as a “commie”; and the reformists who created this wonderfully vague demand to “speak truth to power” DON’T WANT THEIR CAPITALIST MASTERS TO MISIDENTIFY THEM AS MARXIST REVOLUTIONARIES! At the same time these reformists wish to trick YOU the workers into believing that they are “radical” and adventurous by “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!”
Let’s look a bit closer at this tricky bit of verbal posturing encompassed by the seemingly innocuous phrase “speak truth to power”, designed to make the reformist mice look like LIONS to the uninitiated (though at the same time providing a wink and a nod to the “powerful” that says “don’t worry, we’re not going to go beyond merely “speaking truth to power!”).
Every revolutionary Trotskyist “speaks truth” to every worker she or he talks to; it is our tradition, it is our job, it is our promise to you and it has always been the #1 rule of revolutionary Marxism: to never lie to the working class. But to “power”? Well, there are certainly times when it is NOT wise to “speak truth to power”; like when you are organizing a union in a non-union shop; or when a capitalist asks you how you like working for his company.
Only cowering slaves take the position that they must always “speak truth to power”. They rat out their fellow workers in order to ingratiate themselves with the capitalists. They always tend to lie to their fellow workers and to tell the truth as they understand it to their masters.
So why do the reformists try to inculcate in the minds of the working class that they must always “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER”? Whose side are they on: the side of the workers or the side of the capitalists?
But isn’t it OK in a demonstration, say, in Washington, D.C. to come right out and make our demands, to honestly and openly address our grievances to “the powers that be”? Of course it is. BUT FOR REVOLUTIONARY TROTSKYISTS, “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER” IS NOT AN END IN ITSELF! We don’t just “speak truth to power” and then go home, grinning like idiots because “we really told them off this time, didn’t we”? IF ALL WE DO IS “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER” WE HAVEN’T DONE A DAMNED THING AT ALL! We are still “power”-less workers who have merely addressed our pitiful grievances to “the powers that be” (who, in the case of the vast majority of mass demonstrations in Washington, D.C. make certain to leave town well in advance of the Big Demo)! If all we do is “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!” … and then the “power” tells us to go fuck ourselves…? What do we do when this “power” answers our honest appeal with rubber bullets, tear gas and even live ammunition? Do we keep on crawling and begging the “legitimate powers that be” to accept our humble petitions like the peasants did in Tsarist Russia, crawling on their knees to the Tsar’s palaces to present their petitions, hats-in-hands – only to be shot down like dogs by the Tsarist military? Are we workers today more or less cowardly than our peasant ancestors?
As for the reformists like Cornel West and Bernie Sanders who love to look tough in front of the workers by “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” – that is all they intend to do! They “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!” morning, noon and night – and “power” ignores them and even laughs in their faces! Why can “power” do this? Because so long as the working class idiotically contents itself with merely “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” and does not go on to organize a revolutionary workers party that will lead the fight to actually “TAKE POWER OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE CAPITALIST CLASS AND PLACE IT IN THE HANDS OF THE WORKING CLASS THROUGH WORKERS SOCIALIST REVOLUTION”, the “power” will keep right on enjoying its rights and privileges and its massive wealth – stolen from us! – and will never lose even one night’s sleep! So long as the working class keep following the reformist cowards and political idiots who will NEVER go beyond “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” – nothing… absolutely NOTHING will change unless the “power”-ful capitalist class “feels” like it’s a good idea.
We just had a great example of this with the “Fight For $15” campaign in Illinois. These reformists – completely tied to the apron strings of the Democratic Party – adopted a slogan that is so lame that it is amazing and it proves that they are 100% in favor of the capitalist system. For the better part of two decades now, every scientific study of the minimum wage in Illinois has stated that in order for the workers in Chicago to live like human beings, they must make at least $25/hour. This has been studied for EVER! So why do these reformist cowards who organized the “Fight For $15” (there is a misuse of the word “fight” if we ever saw one!) crawl on their knees begging the “powers that be” for a mere $15 – ten dollars an hour LESS than what is necessary for workers to live decently in this Democratic Party-run death trap for the working class?
The answer is simple: these people who are running the “Fight for $15” are more interested in trying to look “reasonable” to the “powers that be” among the Illinois capitalist class than they are in honestly and courageously demanding that the working class of Illinois get PAID ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE ON! These reformist cowards who run the misnamed “Fight For $15” (which should be called “Get Down On Your Knees And Beg For $15”) are trying to show how loyal and responsible they are as defenders of the capitalist system by not making the – to the capitalist class – unreasonable demand (!) that Illinois workers get paid enough money to actually barely keep their heads above water! By making their demand so low, they tried to “SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!” – but not so as to alarm anyone in the filthy rich capitalist class! The leaders of “Fight For $15” hope that if they behave themselves and can prove to the capitalist class that they can keep the “demands” of the workers well under what the capitalist class deems to be “reasonable” then they might some day be rewarded with a state senator’s job or a well-paid spot in the House of Representatives or Senate! They are interested in furthering their POLITICAL CAREERS AS LIBERAL DEMOCRATS – not in fighting for actual living wages for workers!
So they crawled through Chicago and crawled to Springfield and crawled back through Chicago again and even went to Washington D.C. and crawled there as well – always “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” but never backing that up by ORGANIZING A REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY!
So what did the “powers that be” do with the all-too-“reasonable” “demand” of the “Fight For $15”?
Billionaire Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used their petition for toilet paper and he vetoed the legislation “demanding” the starvation minimum wage of $15/hour!
So NOW what will the apostles of “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” do? They “SPOKE TRUTH TO POWER!” – and “power” told them to go get fucked! Will the “Fight for $15” people now raise their demand to “Fight for $16” or to “Fight for $25” (which is the MINIMUM of what the minimum wage MUST BE in Illinois if we want workers to live like human beings and not from paycheck-to-paycheck)? Will they continue to hide under the skirts of the Democrats, who, when they ran the State House in Springfield worked overtime to keep their piddling minimum wage always well below the rate of inflation? Or will the reformist cowards who run “Fight For $15” finally stop their phony charade and just go work for the Democrats or go get real jobs?
Who cares what they do? A reformist is as a reformist does; and these dyed-in-the-wool reformist Democrats will never amount to anything! All they can do is lead workers into the dead-end of voting for the Democrats – that is their role in this life.
Lastly we ask you, young (or old) worker: when will YOU finally realize that merely “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!” has never and will never change anything and start to organize a revolutionary socialist party that seeks to get rid of a capitalist “power” that doesn’t care if you live or die and to replace that “power” with a revolutionary socialist workers government?
The working class does not need pro-capitalist intermediaries in the Democratic or Republican parties to represent us – FALSELY! – in the local, state and national governmental bodies! We need OUR OWN party 100% financed by, organized by and led by WORKERS that represents the political and economic interests of the WORKING CLASS only! Once we have such a party, we will be able to stop merely “SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER”; we will be on our way to WORKERS POWER IN A WORKERS GOVERNMENT where we the workers – who make up the vast majority of the population in EVERY country – will decide how the wealth WE CREATE gets distributed! We will no longer have to endlessly beg our wealthy capitalist masters for a few crumbs!

Workers of the World Unite! Dump the Republicrats and Build A Revolutionary Trotskyist Workers Party and Fight For A Workers’ Government!

–IWPCHI

 

 

 

Leon Trotsky: The Workers’ Militia And Its Opponents (1934)

As we’ve been going through the always inspiring and illuminating writings of Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the Red Army Leon Trotsky searching for works that can illustrate the need for multiracial union-based workers defense squads to beat back the rising tide of fascism in the US, we have been learning and re-learning so much that it is amazing.  So many of the 1930s-era arguments against the creation of a workers militia to smash fascism are being repeated almost word-for-word every day on Twitter!  We know that in the USA, thanks to advertising and television and its inducement of short-attention-spans in way too many workers here, the idea that something written about political events of 70 years ago could remain relevant in 2017 seems absurd.  You want “NEW!” and “IMPROVED!” political science, right?  But just as the works of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein are still considered to be among the finest examples of scientific writing on their subjects to date, so it goes with political science.  And as it is absolutely necessary for a doctor or a physicist to study the history of developments in her field of expertise in order to more fully understand the modern approaches and discoveries, in political science we can obtain a wealth of vitally important information from the writings of the top revolutionaries of the past two centuries and apply that information directly to today’s political challenges.  It may come as a surprise, but the fundamental class structure of a capitalist state hasn’t changed much in the past 175 years or so: we still have the working class majority, a smaller petit-bourgeoisie (middle class small business owners) and a relatively tiny capitalist class to whom the majority of the national wealth is funneled year after year.  The actors change but the roles do not; petit-bourgeois politicians and businesspeople have the same complaints and roles in 2017 as they had in 1917 – with relatively minor differences in scenery and plot.  It’s like seeing a modern production of a Mozart opera, in which the clothing of the 1700s is replaced by hip-hop fashion: it looks very different but the music and lyrics remain the same.  And we are sure that our very perceptive readers will find themselves surprised to hear Trotsky, writing in 1934 (in this case) making incisive comments which, if the names of the old politicians were replaced with current US politicians, you would imagine the article was written last week.

In political science, the famous warning that “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” carries full force.  We assure those of you who laugh at us for using the events of 1934 as a warning in 2017 that you ignore these works at your peril.  The options for modern politicians – working class, petit-bourgeois and bourgeois – have NOT changed in the past century.  If the working class does not overthrow capitalism in 2017, and the fascists are allowed to grow, the result will be largely the same as what occurred in Germany in 1933.  The USA has a whole slew of would-be Hitlers jockeying to reprise his role in the 2017 production of “The Collapse of Bourgeois Democracy”.  The working class has its own contingent of feckless, class-collaborationist fake-socialists and pro-capitalist trade union “leaders” eager to show what they can bring to the roles of Scheidemann and Noske.  Today’s anarchists have their Bakunins, Berkmans, Makhnos and Goldmans; and the revolutionary socialists have their own up-and-coming Stalins, Kollontais, Lenins, Maos, Guevaras, and Trotskys.  All of these actors will be vying for the hearts and minds of the masses of workers, without whom there will be no play. 

“History repeats itself: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” We do not intend to fall into the same traps that our ancestors fell into; more than that – we do not intend to lead YOU into those same traps YOUR ancestors fell into!   So that we do not do so, we must study the development of the various class forces in the past who were faced with essentially the same collapse of bourgeois democracy and essentially the same rise of fascism we are facing today around the capitalist world.  In Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s the Communist Party refused to make a united front with the Social Democrats and form armed workers brigades capable of smashing Hitler’s gangs, paving the way for the rise of Nazi Germany.  Fascism then rose in France as well, paving the political road to the wartime Nazi-collaborationist Vichy government.  Why did bourgeois democracy fail throughout Europe in the 1930s?  Was the rise of fascism inevitable?  Is it inevitable now?  By studying the historical record of the workers movement as it struggled to overcome the obstacles hurled into its path during the interwar period of 1918 -1939 we can answer these questions. These tragic errors of the 20th century need not – and must not be – repeated in the 21st century.

— IWPCHI

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THE WORKERS’ MILITIA AND ITS OPPONENTS

From Whither France?, 1934

To struggle, it is necessary to conserve and strengthen the instrument and the means of struggle — organizations, the press, meetings, etc.  Fascism [in France] threatens all of that directly and immediately.  It is still too weak for the direct struggle for power, but it is strong enough to attempt to beat down the working-class organizations bit by bit, to temper its bands in its attacks, and to spread dismay and lack of confidence in their forces in the ranks of the workers.

Fascism finds unconscious helpers in all those who say that the “physical struggle” is impermissible or hopeless, and demand of Doumergue the disarmament of his fascist guard.  Nothing is so dangerous for the proletariat, especially in the present situation, as the sugared poison of false hopes.  Nothing increases the insolence of the fascists so much as “flabby pacificism” on the part of the workers’ organizations.  Nothing so destroys the confidence of the middle classes in the working-class as temporizing, passivity, and the absence of the will to struggle.

Le Populaire [the Socialist Party paper] and especially l’Humanite [the Communist Party newspaper] write every day:

“The united front is a barrier against fascism”;
“the united front will not permit…”;
“the fascists will not dare”, etc.

These are phrases.  It is necessary to say squarely to the workers, Socialists, and Communists: do not allow yourselves to be lulled by the phrases of superficial and irresponsible journalists and orators.  It is a question of our heads and the future of socialism.  It is not that we deny the importance of the united front.  We demanded it when the leaders of both parties were against it.  The united front opens up numerous possibilities, but nothing more.  In itself, the united front decides nothing.  Only the struggle of the masses decides.  The united front will reveal its value when Communist detachments will come to the help of Socialist detachments and vice versa in the case of an attack by the fascist bands against Le Populaire or l’Humanite.  But for that, proletarian combat detachments must exist and be educated, trained, and armed.  And if there is not an organization of defense, i.e., a workers’ militia, Le Populaire or l’Humanite will be able to write as many articles as they like on the omnipotence of the united front, but the two papers will find themselves defenseless before the first well-prepared attack of the fascists.

We propose to make a critical study of the “arguments” and the “theories” of the opponents of the workers’ militia who are very numerous and influential in the two working-class parties.

“We need mass self-defense and not the militia,” we are often told.

But what is this “mass self-defense” without combat organizations, without specialized cadres, without arms?  To give over the defense against fascism to unorganized and unprepared masses left to themselves would be to play a role incomparably lower than the role of Pontius Pilate.  To deny the role of the militia is to deny the role of the vanguard.  Then why a party?  Without the support of the masses, the militia is nothing.  But without organized combat detachments, the most heroic masses will be smashed bit by bit by the fascist gangs.  It is nonsense to counterpose the militia to self-defense. The militia is an organ of self-defense.

“To call for the organization of a militia,” say some opponents who, to be sure, are the least serious and honest, “is to engage in provocation.”

This is not an argument but an insult.  If the necessity for the defense of the workers’ organizations flows from the whole situation, how then can one not call for the creation of the militia?  Perhaps they mean to say that the creation of a militia “provokes” fascist attacks and government repression.  In that case, this is an absolutely reactionary argument.  Liberalism has always said to the workers that by their class struggle they “provoke” the reaction.

The reformists repeated this accusation against the Marxists, the Mensheviks against the Bolsheviks.  These accusations reduced themselves, in the final analysis, to the profound thought that if the oppressed do not balk, the oppressors will not be obliged to beat them.  This is the philosophy of Tolstoy and Gandhi but never that of Marx and Lenin.  If l’Humanite wants hereafter to develop the doctrine of “non-resistance to evil by violence”, it should take for its symbol not the hammer and sickle, emblem of the October Revolution, but the pious goat, which provides Gandhi with his milk.

“But the arming of the workers is only opportune in a revolutionary situation, which does not yet exist.”

This profound argument means that the workers must permit themselves to be slaughtered until the situation becomes revolutionary.  Those who yesterday preached the “third period” do not want to see what is going on before their eyes. The question of arms itself has come forward only because the “peaceful”, “normal”, “democratic” situation has given way to a stormy, critical, and unstable situation which can transform itself into a revolutionary, as well as a counter-revolutionary, situation.  This alternative depends above all on whether the advanced workers will allow themselves to be attacked with impunity and defeated bit by bit or will reply to every blow by two of their own, arousing the courage of the oppressed and uniting them around their banner.  A revolutionary situation does not fall from the skies.  It takes form with the active participation of the revolutionary class and its party.

The French Stalinists now argue that the militia did not safeguard the German proletariat from defeat.  Only yesterday they completely denied any defeat in Germany and asserted that the policy of the German Stalinists was correct from beginning to end.  Today, they see the entire evil in the German workers’ militia (Roter Frontkampferbund) [i.e., Red Front Fighters: Communist-led militia banned by the social- democratic government after the Berlin May Day riots of 1929].  Thus, from one error they fall into a diametrically opposite one, no less monstrous. The militia, in itself, does not settle the question.  A correct policy is necessary. Meanwhile,the policy of Stalinism in Germany (“social fascism is the chief enemy”, the split in the trade unions, the flirtation with nationalism, putschism) fatally led to the isolation of the proletarian vanguard and to its shipwreck.  With an utterly worthless strategy, no militia could have saved the situation.

It is nonsense to say that, in itself, the organization of the militia leads to adventures, provokes the enemy, replaces the political struggle by physical struggle, etc.  In all these phrases, there is nothing but political cowardice.

The militia, as the strong organization of the vanguard, is in fact the surest defense against adventures, against individual terrorism, against bloody spontaneous explosions.

The militia is at the same time the only serious way of reducing to a minimum the civil war that fascism imposes upon the proletariat.  Let the workers, despite the absence of a “revolutionary situation”, occasionally correct the “papa’s son” patriots in their own way, and the recruitment of new fascist bands will become incomparably more difficult.

But here the strategists, tangled in their own reasoning, bring forward against us still more stupefying arguments. We quote textually:

“If we reply to the revolver shots of the fascists with other revolver shots,” writes l’Humanite of October 23 [1934], “we lose sight of the fact that fascism is the product of the capitalist regime and that in fighting against fascism it is the entire system which we face.”

It is difficult to accumulate in a few lines greater confusion or more errors. It is impossible to defend oneself against the fascists because they are — “a product of the capitalist regime”. That means, we have to renounce the whole struggle, for all contemporary social evils are “products of the capitalist system”.

When the fascists kill a revolutionist, or burn down the building of a proletarian newspaper, the workers are to sigh philosophically: “Alas! Murders and arson are products of the capitalist system”, and go home with easy consciences. Fatalist prostration is substituted for the militant theory of Marx, to the sole advantage of the class enemy. The ruin of the petty bourgeoisie is, of course, the product of capitalism. The growth of the fascist bands is, in turn, a product of the ruin of the petty bourgeoisie. But on the other hand, the increase in the misery and the revolt of the proletariat are also products of capitalism, and the militia, in its turn, is the product of the sharpening of the class struggle. Why, then, for the “Marxists” of l’Humanite, are the fascist bands the legitimate product of capitalism and the workers’ militia the illegitimate product of — the Trotskyists? It is impossible to make head or tail of this.

“We have to deal with the whole system,” we are told.

How? Over the heads of human beings? The fascists in the different countries began with their revolvers and ended by destroying the whole “system” of workers’ organizations. How else to check the armed offensive of the enemy if not by an armed defense in order, in our turn, to go over to the offensive.

L’Humanite now admits defense in words, but only in the form of “mass self-defense”. The militia is harmful because, you see, it divides the combat detachments from the masses. But why then are there independent armed detachments among the fascists who are not cut off from the reactionary masses but who, on the contrary, arouse the courage and embolden those masses by their well-organized attacks? Or perhaps the proletarian mass is inferior in combative quality to the declassed petty bourgeoisie?

Hopelessly tangled, l’Humanite finally begins to hesitate: it appears that mass self-defense requires the creation of special “self-defense groups”. In place of the rejected militia, special groups or detachments are proposed. It would seem at first sight that there is a difference only in the name. Certainly, the name proposed by l’Humanite means nothing. One can speak of “mass self-defense” but it is impossible to speak of “self-defense groups” since the purpose of the groups is not to defend themselves but the workers’ organizations. However, it is not, of course, a question of the name. The “self-defense groups”, according to l’Humanite , must renounce the use of arms in order not to fall into “putschism”. These sages treat the working-class like an infant who must not be allowed to hold a razor in his hands.  Razors, moreover, are the monopoly, as we know, of the Camelots du Roi [French monarchists grouped around Charles Maurras’ newspaper, Action Francaise, which was violently anti-democratic], who are a legitimate “product of capitalism” and who, with the aid of razors, have overthrown the “system” of democracy.  In any case, how are the “self-defense groups” going to defend themselves against the fascist revolvers? “Ideologically”, of course. In other words: they can hide themselves.  Not having what they require in their hands, they will have to seek “self-defense” in their feet.  And the fascists will in the meanwhile sack the workers’ organizations with impunity.  But if the proletariat suffers a terrible defeat, it will at any rate not have been guilty of “putschism”.  This fraudulent chatter, parading under the banner of “Bolshevism”, arouses only disgust and loathing.

[NOTE: “The Third Period”: According to the Stalinist schema, this was the “final period of capitalism”, the period of its immediately impending demise and replacement by soviets. The period is notable for the Communists’ ultra-left and adventurist tactics, notably the concept of social-fascism.]

During the “third period”  of happy memory — when the strategists of l’Humanite were afflicted with barricade delirium, “conquered” the streets every day and stamped as “social fascist” everyone who did not share their extravagances — we predicted: “The moment these gentlemen burn the tips of their fingers, they will become the worst opportunists.”  That prediction has now been completely confirmed.  At a time when within the Socialist Party the movement in favor of the militia is growing and strengthening, the leaders of the so-called Communist Party run for the hose to cool down the desire of the advanced workers to organize themselves in fighting columns.  Could one imagine a more demoralizing or more damning work than this?

In the ranks of the Socialist Party sometimes this objection is heard: “A militia must be formed but there is no need of shouting about it.”

One can only congratulate comrades who wish to protect the practical side of the business from inquisitive eyes and ears.  But it would be much too naive to think that a militia could be created unseen and secretly within four walls.  We need tens, and later hundreds, of thousands of fighters.  They will come only if millions of men and women workers, and behind them the peasants, understand the necessity for the militia and create around the volunteers an atmosphere of ardent sympathy and active support.  Conspiratorial care can and must envelop only the technical aspect of the matter.  The political campaign must be openly developed, in meetings, factories, in the streets and on the public squares.

The fundamental cadres of the militia must be the factory workers grouped according to their place of work, known to each other and able to protect their combat detachments against the provocations of enemy agents far more easily and more surely than the most elevated bureaucrats.  Conspirative general staffs without an open mobilization of the masses will at the moment of danger remain impotently suspended in midair.  Every working-class organization has to plunge into the job.  In this question, there can be no line of demarcation between the working-class parties and the trade unions.  Hand in hand, they must mobilize the masses.  The success of the workers’ militia will then be fully assured.

“But where are the workers going to get arms” object the sober “realists” — that is to say, frightened philistines — “the enemy has rifles, cannon, tanks, gas, and airplanes. The workers have a few hundred revolvers and pocket knives.”

In this objection, everything is piled up to frighten the workers.  On the one hand, our sages identify the arms of the fascists with the armament of the state.  On the other hand, they turn towards the state and demand that it disarm the fascists. Remarkable logic!  In fact, their position is false in both cases.  In France, the fascists are still far from controlling the state.  On February 6, they entered in armed conflict with the state police.  That is why it is false to speak of cannon and tanks when it is a matter of the immediate armed struggle against the fascists. The fascists, of course, are richer than we.  It is easier for them to buy arms.  But the workers are more numerous, more determined, more devoted, when they are conscious of a firm revolutionary leadership.

In addition to other sources, the workers can arm themselves at the expense of the fascists by systematically disarming them.

This is now one of the most serious forms of the struggle against fascism.  When workers’ arsenals will begin to stock up at the expense of the fascist arms depots, the banks and trusts will be more prudent in financing the armament of their murderous guards.  It would even be possible in this case — but in this case only — that the alarmed authorities would really begin to prevent the arming of the fascists in order not to provide an additional sources of arms for the workers.  We have known for a long time that only a revolutionary tactic engenders, as a by-product, “reforms” or concessions from the government.

But how to disarm the fascists?  Naturally, it is impossible to do so with newspaper articles alone.  Fighting squads must be created.  An intelligence service must be established.  Thousands of informers and friendly helpers will volunteer from all sides when they realize that the business has been seriously undertaken by us.  It requires a will to proletarian action.

But the arms of the fascists are, of course, not the only source.  In France, there are more than one million organized workers.  Generally speaking, this number is small.  But it is entirely sufficient to make a beginning in the organization of a workers’ militia.  If the parties and unions armed only a tenth of their members, that would already be a force of 100,000 men.  There is no doubt whatever that the number of volunteers who would come forward on the morrow of a “united front” appeal for a workers’ militia would far exceed that number.  The contributions of the parties and unions, collections and voluntary subscriptions, would within a month or two make it possible to assure the arming of 100,000 to 200,000 working-class fighters.  The fascist rabble would immediately sink its tail between its legs.  The whole perspective of development would become incomparably more favorable.

To invoke the absence of arms or other objective reasons to explain why no attempt has been made up to now to create a militia, is to fool oneself and others. The principle obstacle — one can say the only obstacle — has its roots in the conservative and passive character of the leaders of the workers’ organizations.  The skeptics who are the leaders do not believe in the strength of the proletariat.  They put their hope in all sorts of miracles from above instead of giving a revolutionary outlet to the energies pulsing below.  The socialist workers must compel their leaders to pass over immediately to the creation of the workers’ militia or else give way to younger, fresher forces.

A strike is inconceivable without propaganda and without agitation.  It is also inconceivable without pickets who, when they can, use persuasion, but when obliged, use force.  The strike is the most elementary form of the class struggle which always combines, in varying proportions, “ideological” methods with physical methods.  The struggle against fascism is basically a political struggle which needs a militia just as the strike needs pickets.  Basically, the picket is the embryo of the workers’ militia.  He who thinks of renouncing “physical” struggle must renounce all struggle, for the spirit does not live without flesh.

Following the splendid phrase of the great military theoretician Clausewitz, war is the continuation of politics by other means.  This definition also fully applies to civil war.  It is impermissable to oppose one to the other since it is impossible to check at will the political struggle when it transforms itself, by force of inner necessity, into a political struggle.

The duty of a revolutionary party is to foresee in time the inescapability of the transformation of politics into open armed conflict, and with all its forces to prepare for that moment just as the ruling classes are preparing.

The militia detachments for defense against fascism are the first step on the road to the arming of the proletariat, not the last. Our slogan is:

“Arm the proletariat and the revolutionary peasants!”

The workers’ militia must, in the final analysis, embrace all the toilers.  To fulfill this program completely would be possible only in a workers’ state into whose hands would pass all the means of production and, consequently, also all the means of destruction — i.e., all the arms and the factories which produce them.

However, it is impossible to arrive at a workers’ state with empty hands.  Only political invalids like Renaudel can speak of a peaceful, constitutional road to socialism. The constitutional road is cut by trenches held by the fascist bands. There are not a few trenches before us.  The bourgeoisie will not hesitate to resort to a dozen coups d’etat aided by the police and the army, to prevent proletariat from coming to power.

[NOTE: Pierre Renaudel (1871-1935): Prior to WWI, socialist leader Jean Jaures’ righthand man and editor of l’Humanite. During the war, a right-wing social patriot. In the 1930s, he and Marcel Deat led revisionist “neo-socialist” tendency. Voted down at the July 1933 convention, this tendency split from the Socialist Party. After the fascist riots of February 6, 1934, most of the “neos” joined the Radical Party, the main party of French capitalism.]

A workers’ socialist state can be created only by a victorious revolution.

Every revolution is prepared by the march of economic and political development, but it is always decided by open armed conflicts between hostile classes.  A revolutionary victory can become possible only as a result of long political agitation, a lengthy period of education and organization of the masses.

But the armed conflict itself must likewise be prepared long in advance.

The advanced workers must know that they will have to fight and win a struggle to the death. They must reach out for arms, as a guarantee of their emancipation.

[Source: https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1944/1944-fas.htm#p1   Corrected and emphasis added in bold type by IWPCHI]

 

CIA’s Outsourcing of Torture: Mitchell, Jessen and Associates and the Murder of Gul Rahman

cia-timeline-of-the-day-gul-rahman-was-murdered-at-a-cia-black-site-prison

We present to our readers a selection of recently released CIA documents relating to the CIA’s outsourcing of torture to a private consulting firm, Mitchell, Jessen and Associates.  The documents were apparently obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) through a Freedom of Information Act request to the CIA.  The full set of 764 pages was uploaded to the “DocumentCloud” website by Charles Savage of the New York Times on 19 January 2017.  This original full set of documents can be obtained from our own website here:  cia-documents-from-aclu

Our selection featured here is

cias-outsourcing-of-torture_-mitchell-jessen-and-assoc_and-killing-of-gul-rahman_from-764pg-aclu-foia-docs

This 20-page document describes the CIA’s outsourcing of torture initially to a pair of US psychologists: James Elmer Mitchell  and  John “Bruce” Jessen.  This dynamic duo later formed a partnership –  the consulting firm of Mitchell, Jessen and Associates.

SERE training camp at Fort Bragg. Captain Michael Kearns, Psychologist Bruce Jessen (right). SOURCE: Michael Kearns, Truthout.org, via Wikipedia

SERE training camp at Fort Bragg. Captain Michael Kearns, Psychologist Bruce Jessen (right). SOURCE: Michael Kearns, Truthout.org, via Wikipedia

According to the financial statements given by the CIA in the ACLU document trove, between 2001 and 2009, Mitchell and Jessen were paid $74,633,075.75 to teach “enhanced interrogation” methods to CIA operatives as well as, apparently guards and officers from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  Mitchell and Associates had, at the time these documents were created, approximately 80 employees all “certified” to provide “expert” torture-enhanced interrogations as well as torture consulting services to the US military and the CIA.

Jessen was involved in the design and execution of the interrogation plan used against suspected  Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin operative Gul Rahman.   Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin is named after its leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a deranged Islamic fundamentalist once the darling of the US Government back when he was fighting the USSR-backed moderate Afghan Government in the late 1970s and early ’80s.  Once the Stalinist misleaders of the USSR pulled out of Afghanistan in an attempt to placate an increasingly belligerent US capitalist class, Hekmatyar began to turn on his erstwhile allies in the US.  The US policy of financing the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in order to use it as a battering ram against Soviet Central Asia and western China was a short-term solution that has turned into a long-term disaster for the US and especially for the women workers of the Near and Middle East.  The chickens came home to roost on 9/11 as another darling of Reagan-era anti-Sovietism, Osama Bin Laden, launched the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Our party is inspired by the work of the International Communist League/Spartacist League whose brilliant analysis and defense of of the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan stands as one of the greatest political achievements of the Trotskyist movement in history.  When the Sparts said “Hail Red Army in Afghanistan” in defense of the reformist pro-Soviet government that was trying to bring Afghanistan into the 20th century by fighting to end such horrors of Afghan tribal society as the buying and selling of brides and horrific enslavement of women, the entire reformist left howled in unison with the US and world imperialism, which backed the Afghan mullahs like Hekmatyar and Bin Laden.  We urge our readers to check out these brilliant writings of the Spartacist League/ICL on Afghanistan from 1979-80:17 November 1978. Sparts demonstrate what Trotskyist leadership is all about with crystal-clear analysis of Iranian Islamic counter-revolution.

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/workersvanguard/1978/0219_17_11_1978.pdf

Trotskyists principled internationalist Leninist defense of USSR intervention in Afghanistan.

Trotskyists of Spartacist League/ICL’s principled internationalist defense of USSR and its intervention in Afghanistan, Winter 1979-80.

 

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/spartacist-us/1972-1980/0027-0028_Winter_1979-80.pdf

Though there have been calls from several quarters to have these “war on terror” criminals brought to justice, as of this writing they are walking the streets as free men, enjoying the fruits of their labor in the service of the US capitalist class.  On 13 October 2015, the ACLU filed this lawsuit on behalf of the estate of Gul Rahman against Mitchell and Jessen:  salim_v-_mitchell_-_complaint_10-13-15

With bipartisan support among Democrats and Republicans for the aims and methods of the US “War on Terror” (which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people) and a long-standing refusal of either party to bring anyone involved in the CIA torture program up on criminal charges, it seems to us highly unlikely that Mitchell or Jessen – or any of their many US government collaborators – will see the inside of a well-deserved prison cell anytime soon.

The only way that the war criminals in the service of the US capitalist class will ever see justice is if the US working class overthrows this bloodthirsty ruling class and takes power into the workers’ own hands.  This will require a socialist revolution led by a Trotskyist vanguard party that creates an egalitarian socialist workers republic which will see to it that these criminals are brought face to face with a jury of their victims.  Donald Trump – a full-fledged representative of the venal, greed-mad US capitalist class, has repeatedly announced to the world his fondness for torture – a sentiment that would have shocked the “Founding Fathers” of the United States, whose bourgeois-revolutionary founding documents officially denounced “cruel and unusual punishments” like torture as a hideous relic of medieval barbarism and sought to end its practice for all time.  It is a sign of the depth of the degeneracy of the 21st-century heirs of Washington and Jefferson that the topmost representative of their class now threatens to “make torture great again”.

For decades the Trotskyists have warned the workers that if the working classes of the world do not organize themselves and overthrow the capitalist system, the result will be a descent into a barbarism even worse than that created by the world’s capitalist classes in World Wars I and II.  The time for the working class to organize for this final struggle against the last class of exploiters is getting short.  We must build revolutionary socialist workers parties NOW and put an end to the savagery of the capitalist system before it plunges the planet into a nuclear World War III in which the world – and for the first time the continental US – will see total destruction of its major cities and of hundreds of millions of workers.  This does not have to happen!

Workers of the World Unite!  Capitalism must die so that the working class may live!

IWPCHI

 

US “Intel” Report on “Putin-Ordered” “Hacking of US Election”: Same Lies, Shouted Louder This Time

Last week the badly misnamed United States “Intelligence Community”, whose repeated massive failures to do their “jobs” have resulted in (to name just the two most infamous) the attack on 9/11 and the monstrous war against Iraq, released a pathetic evidence-free 25-page report attempting once again to link the Russian government of Vladimir Putin directly to alleged attempts by his government to interfere and even to “hack” the US electoral process in the 2016 US Presidential election.  Not surprisingly, once again they failed to produce even the slightest evidence to back their outrageous claims against Russia – an extremely dangerous attempt to essentially assert that an act of war has been committed by the Russian Government against the USA.  In their mad determination to maintain their military and economic hegemony over the entire world, the US capitalist class and their government – who can’t even run a medium-sized city like Detroit without fucking it up – think that they have the “right” to run the entire planet as their very own combination slave plantation and personal piggy bank.  Angered at their inability to add Syria to the long list of Middle Eastern nation-states they have turned into free-fire zones (thanks largely to Russia’s military support for the brutal Assad regime), the United States capitalist class seems to have given their bought-and-paid-for Senators and Congressmen and the lame-duck Obama Administration the green light to launch a propaganda war against Russia that seems intended to start WWIII!  Fortunately for the world, Vladimir Putin’s government has not responded to the “lesser evil” Democrat Obama’s attacks in kind.

Having just had their asses handed to them in the recent US Presidential elections (in spite of their spending a couple of billion dollars to make their pet Hillary the first female President) the US capitalist class is in a rage.  Rodham Clinton – the heavy favorite to win the latest phony presidential “election” in the USA – had her coronation rudely canceled, not by WikiLeaks, not by the “evil empire”of Putin, but by the Libertarian and Green Parties, who, by securing over 5% of the vote in key states handed Donald Trump the electoral votes he needed to win.  But this reality can not be acknowledged by the US capitalist class because to admit that it was the poorly-funded third parties right here in the USA that annulled their supposedly magical money-power to elect whomever they choose to the highest office in the land means that they must admit that the days of dead-end two-party politics, controlled entirely by the wealthiest 10% of US citizens is OVER.  So, to cover up the fact that the suposedly invincible US capitalist class is losing control over its own fake “democracy” in the US, they have promulgated the Big Lie that it was the evil Russian Putin who “stole the election” which the US greedhead class thought they had once again bought for themselves “fair and square”.

The Obama Administration and their Republican allies in Congress are shouting in unison that WikiLeaks and Putin conspired to “hack” the US electoral process.  This ridiculous assertion falls on its face at the very first hurdle.  There is not the tiniest bit of evidence that WikiLeaks has colluded with the Russians in any way, and the US “Intelligence Community” reports have not provided a shred of actual evidence proving this assertion.  Likewise, they have not been able to find any kind of “smoking gun” evidence proving that the Russians did anything other than publicly avow their preference for a Trump victory over Clinton, for a vast number of very good reasons.  Hillary Clinton’s brutal record of destabilizing the entire Middle East and their sinister support for the Nazi-ridden, anti-Russian government of the Ukraine while she was Secretary of State alone provide enough plainly justifyable reasons why the Russians would prefer Anyone But Clinton.  But Trump’s wholly unsolicited public statements of admiration for the autocrat Putin gave the Russians plenty of reasons to prefer a Trump win.  Politicians, governments and media pundits all over the world picked their favorite candidates and publicly stated their preferences.  What makes Putin and his nation’s propagandists doing the same thing so special?  When the United States wants to make its preferences known in foreign elections it finds many ways to do it – publicly and privately – and makes no bones about it, unless the US “Intelligence Community” decides an assassination or two are in order, of course.

Did the Russians hack Hillary Clinton’s illegal, secret and poorly defended email server and those of her campaign manager John Podesta and others and turn over the docs to WikiLeaks  to use against Hillary Clinton as the US Government claims? According to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, the answer is an emphatic “no”.

(Watch the full interview below:)

During an interview with right-wing blowhard Sean Hannity broadcast on Hannity’s TV show last week, Assange repeatedly denied that WikiLeaks received the Podesta or Clinton emails “from any state party”.  Hannity pounded away on this point, asking Assange several times from several different angles during the interview to deny that there was any Russian Government link to the WikiLeaks revelations that proved so damaging to Clinton’s Presidential cakewalk; and every time he did, Assange firmly stated that there was no Russian government involvement in the leaks.

So, who should we believe: the US Government or Julian Assange?  Assange has a long record for telling the truth; the US Government “Intelligence” agencies have a much longer record of systematically lying to the public and even lying under oath during Congressional testimony!  Not surprisingly, current polls show that in spite of years of a massive US Government-orchestrated propaganda campaign to discredit WikiLeaks as an organization and Assange personally, a large percentage of the US population trusts Assange and WikiLeaks more than they trust the US Government officialdom!  This, too is another sign that the ability of the US capitalist class to fool the US working class with their endless pro-capitalist propaganda and lies is wearing thin.  The Internet in general, and courageous hackers, whistleblowers and information outlets like WikiLeaks have made it very difficult for any government to successfully lie to its own citizens for any length of time.  The exposes of their lies occur almost immediately as soon as the words trill off their lying tongues, entirely bypassing what has been for more than a century the carefully constructed and fraudulent “impartial” bourgeois press’ self-imposed pro-government censorship.  The top bourgeois press mouthpieces of the US capitalist class – the New York Times and the Washington Post – have in recent weeks been repeatedly caught spreading lying pro-government propaganda within 24 hours of the attempt.  The US capitalist class (less than 10% of the US’ ~4.5% of the world population) which thinks it can run the world in its own greedy self-interest – in the name of “Democracy”(TM), of course! – is rapidly losing control of its home wage-slave plantation.  And so the capitalists, always living in mortal fear that their long-exploited worker-victims will finally wise up to their tricks are losing their minds, lashing out at the Russians in a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that the “all-powerful” US capitalist class can’t even rig their own domestic elections any more!

The new “Intelligence” report is based upon alleged “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections developed by three US intelligence agencies: the US Government’s political police (the Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI); the foreign intelligence, propaganda and assassinations branch of the US Government (the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency – CIA); and the communications spy agency known as the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).  In spite of this the report is supposed to be evidence of openness and transparency in the US Government (try not to laugh).  In fact, the only thing about it that is “open and transparent” is that it is an open and transparent attempt to lie once again to the world – and especially to the workers of the USA – that the Russians essentially made Donald Trump President of the United States!  If you believe that whopper, we have a small herd of unicorns we’d like to sell you!  (They lay golden eggs!)

The Intel report (link available at end of article) is supposed to be identical to the “top secret” report given to US Assassin-in-Chief Obama… but with all the actual alleged “evidence” stripped out of it.  So, once again, the US working class and the entire world is supposed to “take the US Government’s word for it” that the evidence actually exists.  The problem is that these scumbags have lied to the UN, their NATO allies, the entire world to justify their massive crimes against humanity, like the murderous and unprovoked war against Iraq which cost that nation the lives of well over a million of its citizens and reduced it to a state of barbarism – all so the US capitalist class and their British co-conspirators could stuff their pockets with profits stolen from the Iraqi oil fields.  No one in their right mind would believe a thing the US Government says after the debacle over their fraudulent claims of Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of “mobile bioweapon labs” and an arsenal of “weapons of mass destruction” that turned out to be entirely imaginary.

What the new. slightly less-censored report DOES demonstrate is that the one branch of the US’ so-called “intelligence community” that would have been able to obtain bona fide “smoking gun evidence” of Putin having ordered the hacking of the US elections – the US National Security Agency – HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE SUCH EVIDENCE!  In fact, out of the three major US intel agencies whose assessments of the results of the entirety of their agencies’ collective massive spying operations being waged against Russia 24/7/365 led to the “overall” conclusion that the Russian Government was involved in “hacking the US elections”, it is the NSA that has the lowest level of confidence in the “evidence”!

It is typical in these types of validity assessments of “intelligence community” research on a subject that each agency report the level of confidence it has in its own assessment.  There are huge internal fights over these characterizations of the validity of the ‘evidence” presented.  In the run-up to the Iraq War, a significant number of CIA analysts fought to have their low opinion of the quality of the “evidence” for the existence of Saddam’s “WMD” arsenal and his attempts to obtain nuclear-weapons-grade materials brought to the attention of then-President Bush via the multi-intel-agency assessments of the Iraq WMD evidence.  Their criticisms were censored out of the report given to President Bush at the insistence of their own agency heads and key Administration officials hell-bent on war.  So any time we see, especially in a “declassified” document like this latest one an assertion from one of the key intel agencies that their level of confidence in the validity of the conclusions of the report differ from that of the other agencies, we take notice of that.  In this latest report, it is the agency that would most likely be the one whose intrusive spying operations would produce such evidence (involving the precise type of hacking of government agencies and politicians emails that the US Government is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them!) asserts that in at least one key conclusion of the report, the NSA has only “moderate confidence” in the “evidence”!

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: "Intelligence Community Assessment - Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections", 6 January 2017 (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: “Intelligence Community Assessment – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”, 6 January 2017, p. ii (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

The report gives us a helpful graphic which shows how to interpret the meaning of what a SpySpeak “moderate level of confidence” actually means in common English:

ODNI report defines "levels of confidence" - Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

ODNI report defines “levels of confidence” – Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

So now we can see that a “moderate level of confidence” in the evidence – as asserted by the NSA’s analysts regarding one of the central claims of the report – means “even odds” that the information is either a) true or b) pure horseshit.  The brain trust at NSA were unable to decide which.

So we know from this supposedly “unanimous” intel assessment that in at least one key aspect of the conclusions there was a significant difference of opinion so great that the less-confident section of the NSA analysts insisted that their lack of confidence be openly stated in the report.  This was probably not something that was very easy to have included in a declassified report that was being used as propaganda to demonstrate complete confidence in the allegations against the Russians; and was almost certainly insisted upon as a condition of the NSA agreeing to put their stamp of approval of the US Intel collective’s “high confidence” in the assertions made in the report.  The claim that all three agencies were “unanimous” in their “high confidence” of the assertions made based on the “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections… was itself a lie!

Quel surprise!: the US Government continues to lie to the world and especially to the working class of the USA, who must be kept in a state of fear and confusion at all times regardless of how stupid it makes the population of the USA look to the rest of the world and how venal and ruthless it makes the US government look.  What else is new?

The fact is that the US capitalist class and its “intelligence agencies” are engaged in funneling money to military leaders and politicians and buying journalists in every nation in the world 24/7/365.  Everything the US is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them the US  Government has done in every country in the world, from the Dominican Republic to Germany.  The CIA doesn’t stop at merely disseminating pro-US propaganda to bolster the foreign dictators the US supports; hires thugs to beat up communist and socialist political party workers; it trains death squads to kill union leaders and political activists of the working class;  and it does not to hesitate to ‘interfere” in foreign elections using every tool from slander to assassination to “eliminate” political leaders it does not like in a continuous effort to “defend American interests” (read: foreign investments by the US capitalist class) in every country on Earth.  The revelation by Edward Snowden of the US’ massive spying operations being waged by the US Government against its own allies, which include hacking into the cell phones of leaders and even of collecting DNA specimens from UN representatives shows that all of this reckless anti-Russian propaganda is nothing but a case of “the pot calling the kettle ‘black'”.  Only here in the USA, where the slavish US wage/debt/credit slaves keep themselves safely uninformed about what their own ruling class’ government is up to, does this thoroughly hypocritical campaign of lies carry any weight.  The workers all over the rest of the world laugh out loud in the face of the US Government’s massive shedding of crocodile’s tears over “poor little USA” merely having its own elections tampered with by the preferred news media outlet of Russia, when what the United Styates routinely does to interfere in foreign elections is far worse – by several orders of magnitude!  The wailing of US Government officials over “Russian tampering” in the 2016 US election is really too ridiculous for words!

The US “intel community” report also expresses the US capitalist class’ fury at the fact that it no longer can control the news being presented to the US working class via their wholly-owned-and-operated de facto government propaganda outlets of the domestic US bourgeois press.  They are particularly furious that the Russians have created a TV station that is popular in the USA and which boldly dares to disseminate pro-Russian propaganda – just as the US and the UK capitalist class governments do via Radio Free Europe, the Voice of America, the BBC, CNN and a host of other propaganda outlets!  It is quite amusing to hear the United States Government bleat about how “Russia Today”‘s US-focused “RT” network is spreading pernicious lies (actually mostly the truth) about the US Government to US workers when the US has been doing the opposite thing (spreading mostly lies) to the Russians since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917!  It is hilarious to hear the Big Criminals of the US capitalist class crying about how the Little Criminals in the Russian Government have “stolen” what they have always believed to be the US’ proprietary propaganda methods and are now using them to undermine US workers’ alleged “confidence in the US Government” precisely the same way that the US propaganda outlets have done and continue to do to Russia, Syria, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and every other regime they do not like!  Poor babies!

The fact is that the coronation of the US capitalist class candidate of choice the bought-and-paid-for shill of Wall St., Hillary Rodham Clinton was torpedoed not because too many US voters were brainwashed by watching (mostly truthful) RT exposes – based on the WikiLeaks and other revelations – of the undemocratic methods Hillary Rodham Clinton was using against the Bernie Sanders campaign to secure her nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.  Hillary Rodham Clinton was defeated because enough voters were convinced of her corruption and venality, her bloodthirstiness, her unsuitability to hold the nation’s highest office that a couple million of them in key states voted for third-party candidates because they found her simply to be repulsive!  Clinton had her candidacy torpedoed not by “Russian spies” or by Julian Assange but by the exposing of her coquettish courting of Wall St. speculators and bankers and other corporate criminals.  The US citizens who are so fed up with the same old bullshit from the Democrats and the Republicans that enough of them voted for Libertarian and Green Party candidates to shoot Clinton’s Presidential hopes to tatters – hopefully once and for all time!

This election, we believe, signals the beginning of the end of the two-party system in the USA and the advent of the rise of third parties capable of winning enough votes from the thoroughly discredited twin parties owned and operated by the US capitalist class to throw every future US election up for grabs.  This is the second time in 20 years that third parties garnered enough votes in key states to completely overthrow the carefully-laid-and-paid-for fraud of a US Presidential election.  Finally, US citizens are starting to vote their conscience rather than just voting for whoever they think will win.  But this passive strategy of voting for whatever half-bright third-party candidate shows up in an election who is not a Democrat or Republican will not magically produce candidates that truly represent the interests of the working class.  The Libertarian Party, for example, is not a pro-working-class party but is in fact a right-wing pro-capitalist party whose ideological ancestry can be traced back to that idiot tool of the capitalist class Ayn Rand – a “philosophy” that seriously asserts that selfishness is among the greatest of all human virtues!  Disgusting!

The Green Party, though espousing a reasonably rational environmental policy (its one “minor” flaw being that it is totally unrealizable under the capitalist system) is itself also a pro-capitalist political party, which means it defends the syatematic exploitation of the vast majority of the population by the numerically tiny capitalist class.  What the working class needs is a REAL workers party, not a vaguely “progressive” party that makes a lot of timid “progressive” noises but which, in the final analysis, defends the capitalist system that ruthlessly robs the working class day-in and day-out.   When the working class of the USA finally realizes that it must create a party of its own, completely independent of the US capitalist class, funded 100% by the working class, staffed by revolutionary Trotskyist workers and dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system of racism, war, poverty and unemployment, the days of the rule of the exploiters over the exploited will finally come to its long-awaited end.  We’re ready to get this party started when you are, sister and brother workers!  Join us!  If we work hard enough over the next three years we will be able to start replacing the bought-and-paid-for politicians representing the greedy 10%ers with real workers representatives who don’t just want to “speak truth to power” but who want to take power into the hands of the working class directly.  The working class can not have its rights successfully fought for and defended by politicians who owe their political offices to bribes paid them by the capitalists to secure their election.  We must have our own party, our own leaders, answerable only to you the workers and to you alone.  We will take over all local, state and national offices and then we will finally get rid of the capitalist system that enslaves the workers of the entire capitalist world by overthrowing the capitalists’ rotten and corrupt government and replacing it with an egalitarian socialist workers republic.  Only then can we have a government that guarantees our inalienable right to housing, food, clothing, education and health care once and for all time.

–IWPCHI

25-page ODNI Report:  odni_-intel-community-assessment-assessing-russian-activities-and-intentions-in-recent-us-elections-6jan17

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

 

Putin and Wikileaks Didn’t “Hack” US Presidential Election: Clinton A Lousy Candidate Defeated at Polls By 3rd Parties

The bourgeois press is at it again.

This time they are peddling one of the biggest US Government propaganda stories ever deliberately disseminated inside the USA: that the Russian Government of Vladimir Putin “hacked” “The 2016 US Presidential Election”(TM), throwing the election to their B.F.F. Donald Trump.

First of all it is the very height of hypocrisy for the United States Government to bitch and moan about how some third country intervened in the sacred territory of the US electoral process.  The United States Government has intervened, systematically, in every foreign election in practically every nation in the world since at least WWII, using its Central Intelligence Agency to do everything from hiring fascist goons to beat up leftists campaigning for working-class party candidates to assassinating heads of state!  In its massive, decades-long and ongoing campaigns to rig foreign elections in favor of those candidates who would protect the overseas investments of US capitalists, succeeding US imperialist governments of both Democrats and Republicans have rigged elections, bribed legislators, hired journalists to spread lies about candidates, hired thugs to attack opposition political leaders and their supporters, hired assassins to murder candidates and have hired entire military leaderships to overthrow their own “democratically-elected” governments and unleash murderous attacks on working-class parties, killing hundreds of thousands of workers all over the world, from Indonesia to El Salvador.  Edward Snowden, ex-CIA and NSA contract worker, through WikiLeaks, has proven to the world the extent of US Government spying on political leaders all over the world, from its opponents at the UN to its allies such as Angela Merkel in Germany.  The information acquired through the massive NSA spying apparatus is used to inform US government policy vis-a-vis these competing nation-states’ capital;ist classes and to identify and promote those politicians who are most willing to support the US capitalist class’ economic political and military objectives inside those countries and around the world.  For the US government – owned and operated by the top 10% of wealthy capitalists in the US – to complain about the immorality of Russia allegedly intervening in a US election is like listening to a convicted mass murderer complain about the shabby morals of his convicted mob hitman cellmate.

The mass propaganda operation being directed right now by the US Government of Democrat Barack Obama against Russia is intended primarily for domestic consumption.  Everyone in the rest of the world laughs at the obvious hypocrisy of the US Government; only in the USA are the workers so thoroughly uninformed about the long and inglorious record of massive US intervention in the electoral processes of other countries.  The purpose of the propaganda is to deflect growing unrest among the workers of the USA at their steeply declining standards of living into a campaign against the “evil empire” of Russia – the US government, of course, always being “the good guys”.

The fact is that the US capitalist class is losing political control of its own country, and has just been handed a partial defeat at the polls in spite of the US capitalists having purchased the election for their loyal servant – Hillary Rodham Clinton – to the tune of a billion dollars or so.  To be sure Donald Trump, being one of their own, will take quite good care of the interests of the 1%ers during the next four years, no doubt about it.  But the US capitalist class is enraged that their chosen candidate Clinton – upon whom they lavished hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign funds – was beaten decisively at the polls by that damned annoying working class, who somehow just could not stomach pulling the lever for as obvious a corrupt tool of the class enemy as Hillary Rodham Clinton.  The more they saw of her the less they liked her; she exudes insincerity when she appears in front of a working class audience, wearing expensive designer clothes in front of working-class audiences struggling to clothe themselves and their kids at resale shops.  For many intelligent workers, fed up with the massive corruption of the two main political parties, the only candidates worthy of their vote were the candidates of the third parties: libertarians, Greens and assorted independents and even socialists and “communists” – and so they voted accordingly.

Hillary Rodham Clinton was the bought-and-paid-for political shill of the US capitalist class.  The bankers and stockbrokers and CEOs and other assorted criminals that bankrolled Clinton are not used to not getting full value (and then some) on their “investments” in the political sphere.  And they are really pissed off that a couple of tiny political parties rendered the hundreds of millions of dollars they spent on Hillary’s coronation useless.  But they can’t admit that they are losing control of a political system that they have had a hammerlock on since George Washington was inaugurated; so they blame, not the third parties… they blame the whistleblowers, and the Russians!  “Putin, with the help of WikiLeaks stole our election!” they scream.   What a massive lie!  But then the USA is a phony democracy in which the working masses are brutally exploited and denied even basic human needs so that the rich can live like kings – and they call it “The Land of the Free”(TM) – so big lies, enormous, monstrous lies are told, must be told, in order to justify the continuation of the myth of “The American Dream”(TM).  US capitalism can’t be maintained in any other way; telling even part of the truth about it shatters it into a million pieces.

One of the biggest stories of “The 2016 US Presidential Election”(TM) was completely and deliberately buried by the capitalist press: 2016 was the year that the third parties came into their own.  It was the year in which millions of US workers overcame their traditional reluctance to vote for “lost cause” candidates in a Presidential election and voted FOR the third parties.  And it was this vote – which damaged both Trump and Clinton, but mostly Clinton – that overthrew the US capitalist class’ long planned and paid-for coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It really doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that this is the case.  The election was lost by Hillary Clinton in a handful of traditional Democratic Party stronghold states.  In the closing weeks of the campaign, when it appeared to the Clinton camp that Hillary’s once-dominant lead over Trump in states like Michigan and Wisconsin was disappearing, HRC was hastily dispatched to kiss as many babies and shake as many hands as she could in those battleground states.  But then a funny thing happened: the more workers got to see her up close, the faster her support eroded.  In retrospect it might have been better for her to stay at one of her million-dollar homes rather than hit the campaign trail in the final weeks: her frantic, insincere pandering turned off precisely those wavering voters it was intended to shore up – and they voted third-party in small but crucially important numbers.

There were six states in which the third-party vote proved crucial to swinging the necessary electoral votes from Clinton to Trump:

Third-Party Candidates Defeated Clinton - Not Putin, Not WikiLeaks

Third-Party Candidates Defeated Clinton – Not Putin, Not WikiLeaks [Credit: IWPCHI]

These numbers tell the entire story.  In these six states – most of which have been Democratic Party strongholds for decades – the vote was almost evenly split between the two candidates of the capitalist-owned-and-operated Democratic and Republican parties.  But enough disaffected Clinton and Republican voters jumped ship to vote for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party or Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party that the vote was flipped in favor of the Republicans.

The Democrats are howling that “third-party voters” are traitors for voting for the candidates of their choice rather than for a candidate – Hillary Rodham Clinton – that they abhorred.  What could be more absurd?  Workers have a right to vote for whomever they wish to vote for.  If your party runs a candidate that they feel does not represent their interests – and Hillary Rodham Clinton, like Donald Trump, certainly does NOT represent the interests of the working class – then those voters have a right to vote for someone else.  In the US – unlike in Europe and much of the world, where Parliamentary systems allow for minor parties to win seats in the national legislatures and to join coalitions in return for influencing major pending legislation  – voting for a third-party candidate who has no chance of winning has long been considered to be “throwing away your vote”.  But this year the level of disgust with the two main parties reached such a level that millions of workers threw off that mental block against voting third-party and voted to break the stranglehold the two main parties have on the national political scene.  We believe it is the beginning of the end for the two-party system in the USA – a vitally important step forward for the working class in the USA.  In fact so long as workers only have two pro-capitalist parties to choose from, the working class can only lose in every election.  This is why we have founded this party: to  build for the working class a party that will defend the interests of the working class in all cases, against all enemies.  If workers want a decent future for their children we must build a revolutionary Trotskyist workers party that fights to overthrow the capitalist system of war, poverty, racism and unemployment and replaces it with an egalitarian socialist workers republic in which all the basic human needs – food, clothing, shelter, education and health care – are no longer privileges granted to us – or not – by the wealthy landlord and capitalist class – but are guaranteed to all under a new socialist constitution.

The Democrats also complain about how the Electoral College “ripped off” the voters by giving the election to Trump, who lost the popular vote by several million votes.  It is true that the Electoral College is a rip off, and that it does repudiate one of the principle and supposedly fundamental elements of bourgeois democracy – that every vote counts and that the majority rules by popular consent.  But as revolutionary Trotskyists we must point out: capitalist bourgeois democracy has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH “MAJORITY RULE”.  Bourgeois democracy is a form of phony democracy in which the system is rigged to “look” democratic, but in reality it is a mechanism designed to ensure that it is not the majority who rules, but the tiny minority of wealthy capitalists who rule!  The Electoral College WAS DESIGNED PRECISELY TO REPUDIATE the votes of the masses when we vote against the vital private property interests of the capitalist minority.   In other words, the Electoral College system worked as designed – to protect the capitalist aristocracy’s interests against all efforts of the working masses to fully participate in the national government.  Proof of this lies in the fact that, in spite of the fact that the Libertarians, Greens and other parties polled roughly 4-5% of the vote, they won not one seat in either house of Congress!  And so it was a smashing victory once again for the capitalist class of the USA, which won its 45th consecutive Presidential election.  Once again, the working class – which to this day refuses to build itself a workers party worthy of the name – lost a national election.  Yet again we have a government in which the working class – which makes up over 70% of the population – HAS NOT ONE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT!

It is this that the US Government’s propaganda against “Russian hacking” of “The 2016 US Presidential Election”(TM)  is intended to cover up – with a thick, wet blanket of donkey and elephant manure.  The US capitalist class and its paid propagandists in the US press corps do not want you to dwell on the fact that it was the rebellion against the two major US capitalist political parties by ex-Democratic and Republican voters in the form of their vote for third parties that cost Hillary Clinton her coronation.  Because to admit this happened is to point the attention of US workers in the direction of the one possible solution to the steadily declining standard of living that faces them: workers MUST BUILD UP A WORKERS PARTY THAT CAN WIN LOCAL, STATE AND NATIONAL ELECTIONS!  Only this way can we even begin to fight for our rights against the legions of paid lackeys of the rich who are either members of state and national legislatures or lobbying those elected tools of the bourgeoisie.  Only when we have our own revolutionary Trotskyist workers party can we stop merely “speaking truth to power” and finally take power into the hands of the rightful rulers – the true majority – the working class!

—IWPCHI

 

 

For Trotskyist Political Revolution to Defend and Extend the Gains of the Cuban Revolution! A Response to Ross Wolfe

We republish our response to Ross Wolfe’s

Fidel Castro on the Frankfurt School

— a disgusting anti-communist rant slandering late Stalinist revolutionary leader Fidel Castro which he published on his sometimes interesting but ultimately reactionary blog “The Charnel-House”.

Pretending to be a form of Trotskyism, “State-capitalists” are those who, like the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the USA, espouse the belief that the USSR, China and all the Stalinist/Maoist workers states (which Trotsky accurately described as “deformed workers states” that should be defended at all costs as historic gains of the workers’ movement) are in fact a new form of capitalist state that should be completely overthrown.  When the USSR collapsed it was one of the greatest defeats the working classes of the world ever suffered; the “State-capitalists” – along with the capitalist classes and the fascists of the world – celebrated its self-immolation.  We warn the workers of the world: those who call themselves “state-capitalists” are among the greatest enemies of the working class and have always proven in the end to be among the staunchest defenders of capitalism as the “lesser evil” in comparison to Stalinism.  They pretend to be Trotskyists but are unalterably opposed to Trotsky’s concept that the USSR was a bloc of bureaucratized, deformed workers states that had overthrown capitalism and therefore should be defended by the Trotskyists worldwide; he called for only a POLITICAL revolution to oust the bureaucracy in favor of a more democratic socialist workers republic.

Ever since the historic workers and peasants revolution led by Lenin’s Bolsheviks in 1917 whether or not they defended the USSR  has been a litmus test for all so-called “Marxist” workers parties.  “Those who can not defend old conquests will never make new ones” is a quote attributed to Trotsky in relation to this controversy.  When the USSR collapsed all the phony “workers parties” in the world celebrated this historic defeat for the workers of the world.  They pretend today that the “Defense of the USSR” is a moot point; in fact, as even such a relatively minor event as the death of Fidel Castro shows, any party’s response to “The Russian Question” (as it was known until the collapse of the USSR) enables us to make a very accurate characterization of the extent of their revolutionary Leninist/Trotskyist principles (or, more often, the lack thereof).

Unfortunately we do not have time to go into this in more detail.  We recommend that you read Trotsky’s  “In Defense of Marxism” (IDOM) which is a series of articles and letters Trotsky wrote attacking the Burnham/Schactman faction in the then-revolutionary Socialist Workers Party (SWP) of the US.  Trotsky succinctly describes the reasons why the USSR had to be defended by revolutionary Marxist/Leninists in  “Again and Once More Again on the Nature of the USSR”

which is included in IDOM.

— IWPCHI

Thank you Ross Wolfe, et al, for once again confirming Trotsky’s warning to workers not to follow the “state-capitalist” road. It leads to outright political disorientation and to counterrevolutionary collaboration with the capitalist class.

Castro was a Stalinist, yes. Like most people on the planet he was not a “red diaper baby”. He was forced to embrace Stalinism when the United States made it clear that there would be no acceptance of the Cuban revolution by the US capitalist class and their allies. Yet Castro must be considered to have been one of the great – if massively contradictory – revolutionary leaders of the 20th century. The Cuban Revolution transformed Cuba from being the “whorehouse of the Caribbean” to being one of the most egalitarian and civilized nation states in the entire Western Hemisphere – indeed, in the world! Even the most cursory comparison between Cuba and Haiti or the Dominican Republic – or even Puerto Rico or vast swathes of the USA – proves the superiority of even a backward Stalinist bureaucratic regime to the typical brutal satrapies of the capitalist nation-states of the region – or even that capitalist monstrosity of monstrosities the United States itself! Anyone who cannot see the tremendous gains the Cuban workers and peasants made under the – (perhaps it would be more precise to call it “Khruschevized”) – Castro regime as compared to what they suffered under the Batista regime is absolutely blind!

Attempting an analysis of the deeply contradictory nature of a phenomenon such as a Stalinized workers state is where the dialectical materialist method proves its indispensability. An analysis of the contradictory nature of a Stalinist workers state cries out for the nuanced and very comprehensive analysis only made possible through use of the dialectical materialist method as taught by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. The death of Castro provides a litmus test of every “Trotskyist”‘s ability to utilize this method of analysis in the same way that a successful solo crossing of the Atlantic by sailboat using only the most essential manual tools for navigation proves the skill of a sailor. You, Ross Wolfe and Ashmeet Teemsha – and all your “State-Capitalist” co-thinkers – have once again failed the test comprehensively. By now you should have learned that your “state-capitalist” analysis of the USSR and its progeny is rotten through-and-through. That you have not done so demonstrates your profound inadequacy as proletarian leadership material. Your chosen vessel – let’s call it “Burnham’s Folly” (with its obviously rotten, worm-eaten hull) – has never made , will never make – it CAN NOT MAKE its pretended destination!

Like all Stalinists, Castro was a man of many contradictions. Pursuing revolutionary socialist reconstruction of the Cuban economy one year and then breaking bread with the Pope the next. Praising Allende one year and standing side-by-side with his murderer and the butcher of the Chilean working class Pinochet later. This is where the anti-Marxist and nationalistic ideology of Stalinism leads: to make unprincipled blocs with the class enemy in all its forms over and over again.

But to claim that Stalinism is entirely counterrevolutionary – as Trotsky patiently explained – is absurd even on the face of things. Capitalism was indeed overthrown in Cuba and a Stalinist bureaucracy erected to defend then gains of that revolution which was, unlike the USSR’s, deformed at birth. The Castroists pursued the typical course of the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union which the Cuban Stalinist bureaucracy was modeled after: a zig-zag course full of unprincipled compromises and the occasional outburst of honorable internationalist impulses, as demonstrated in the heroic Cuban effort in Angola. To call Castro and his regime “counterrevolutionary” through and through and to refuse to recognise and defend the very real gains of the Stalinized Cuban Workers and Peasants’ revolution is to make a mockery of Marxist analysis. It is to place oneself FAR OUTSIDE the revolutionary Trotskyist movement and on a trajectory identical to that of arch-counterrevolutionary James Burnham.

In what way are your anti-Castro and anti-Stalinist statements to be distinguished from those of the most virulently anticommunist capitalists, or even the fascists? “Fidel Castro, Sta­lin­ist butcher and en­emy of the work­ers, is dead. [Good fucking riddance.”] The work­ing class won’t be happy un­til the last bur­eau­crat is hung with the in­test­ines of the last cap­it­al­ist.” This is not Trotskyism. It is pure, rabid, emotional anticommunism. Anti-Stalinism taken to an absurd length; where the well-engineered and time-tested tools that enable one to make a rational, carefully considered dialectical materialist analysis are tossed aside and replaced with cheaper, poorly crafted non-dialectical tools that can only create outrageously hysterical emotional outbursts. Using those cheap tools to craft your “analysis” of the Cuban revolution and one of its principal leaders, you find yourselves standing on a creaky platform of your own construction among your co-thinkers in the anti-communist Cuban gusano exile community in places like Miami, Florida; your words and theirs almost identical. You try to win these rotten elements over to your side politically by utilizing their entirely subjective and pro-capitalist analysis of Cuba in place of a scientific, Trotskyist dialectical materialist analysis. And you poison the minds of the workers by pretending to be Marxist revolutionaries – Trotskyists even! – while howling along with the anticommunist mobs chanting slogans indistinguishable from those of even the fascists.

Immediately after Castro died, we warned the working class to keep an eye out for those who are seeking to utilize the death of Fidel Castro as an opportunity for slandering him and the Cuban deformed Stalinist workers state, as these people thereby expose themselves as the mortal enemies of the working class they truly are. You have taken up your rightful position as such enemies of the working class and this lesson must never be – will never be – forgotten by young proletarians who are seeking to lead the workers of the world to the long-delayed (principally by fake-Marxist “leaders” like you!) final victory over the capitalist class. In the last analysis, today’s State Capitalist “Marxists” will prove to be as counterrevolutionary as were all the “state-caps” that came before them. You are headed down the road of the repulsive anticommunist James Burnham, not the road of Lenin and Leon Trotsky. You are well on your way to a rapprochement with “the lesser evil” capitalist class and their bribed lackeys. Some of you made that deal long, long ago and are deliberately trying to destroy the workers movement by spreading your anti-Trotskyist poison. The working class has no use for “leaders” like you! Be on your way! And “good fucking riddance”!

Workers: Defend the Cuban Revolution! For Trotskyist political revolution in Cuba to Defend and Extend the Gains of the Cuban Revolution Throughout the Americas!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

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