6 AUGUST 2017 – This weekend, Chicago, IL has had the “honor” of hosting what has been billed as the largest convention of socialists in the history of the United States. Please believe us when we say we wish that was actually the case. While it is indeed true that thousands of mostly young working-class youth and college students flocked to the 3-day soiree of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in the hope that the DSA represents a fighting socialist alternative to the Wall St. owned-and-operated Democratic Party, we are obliged to be the bearers of bad news: the Democratic Socialists of America are actually nothing less than a left cover for that Democratic Party you have grown to hate with a passion.
In order for the class interests of the working class to be represented at city hall, in the state legislatures or in the national legislature a true working class party must first be created that is completely funded by and led by a revolutionary socialist workers party that is 100% independent from the capitalist system and its class representatives. That means that not one penny of funding for that workers party can be derived from donations from the capitalist class or any of their many front groups. If the workers do not organize a workers party of their own, they have no way to independently put forward a working class program or to participate in local, state or national politics at all and must instead be reduced to begging other parties’ politicians to throw a few legislative crumbs to the workers once in a while (which is the case right now in the USA). A real workers party must be a party of, bay and for the workers, which fights for the rights of the working class in the USA and internationally; it must not defend the capitalist system – which is fundamentally based on the exploitation of the working class – in any way, shape or form. It must not support the cops, the criminal justice system or the military forces of the imperialist United States of America at all. The ultimate goal of an actual revolutionary socialist workers party is not to keep the decrepit and senile, racist, warmongering, exploitative capitalist system alive and to patch it up so it can stagger forward until it finally launches World War III; the ultimate goal of a revolutionary socialist workers party is to overthrow the capitalist class and their system and to put the working class in power. THAT is the program of revolutionary socialism: it was the program of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky – and it is the program of the Independent Workers Party of Chicago. That is what the word “independent” means in our name: complete independence from the influence of bourgeois ideology and complete dedication to the fight for the emancipation of the working classes of the world through workers socialist revolution.
For the leaders of the Democratic Socialists of America, this program of complete independence of their party from the forces of capitalism is anathema. The DSA is a thoroughly class-collaborationist pressure group (“we are not a political party” they declare) literally steeped in the reactionary, pro-capitalist principles of the Second International – the renegades from Marxism who betrayed the working class in 1914 by repudiating the program of revolutionary class struggle in favor of defending “their own” bourgeoisie by voting for war credits in their respective countries, which drove the working classes of the world into bloody conflict against each other in World War I.
The DSA wants you to believe that its party represents the ideals of the great US socialist leader Eugene Debs, who went to jail for his stalwart opposition to WWI. But nothing could be further from the truth. The DSA’s leadership and its program has ALWAYS repudiated what Eugene Debs stood for; they have been supportive of the United States Government since the Democratic Socialists Organizing Committee (DSOC – immediate predecessor of the DSA) was founded by Michael Harrington in 1973. From the very beginning, Harrington declared to the world that the new party was dedicated to the principle that “the left wing of realism is found today in the Democratic Party.” This is the bright red-white-and-blue thread that runs throughout the program of the DSA from 1973 to this very day. The DSA was founded on the principle of reforming the capitalist system to make it “more democratic”, not in overthrowing it. Harrington to the day he died worked assiduously to defend US imperialism against the degenerated Stalinist workers states of the USSR, Cuba and China – and the DSA even went so far as to support the United States capitalist class in their genocidal Vietnam War! Harrington and the DSA always urged their party’s members to vote for the Democrats – and his ideological children like Cornel West follow in his footsteps, urging youth to vote for the fake socialist (and real Democrat) Bernie Sanders in the last presidential election! If you are a young worker or student who hates the Democratic Party of war criminals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the DSA is not an organization you want to be a member of!
We do not expect nor do we want you to take our word for this; as Lenin said “in politics, anyone who ‘takes another’s word for it’ is a hopeless idiot.” And if you are looking for alternatives to the Democratic Party and the capitalist system you are obviously not a “hopeless idiot”. You want answers and you want the truth and you deserve both. One of the hallmarks of a true Trotskyist party like ours is that we are dedicated to the principle of telling the working class the truth no matter how painful it may be – even about our own party. Our goal is to win over the trust of the working class by steadfastly telling the truth about the capitalist system and the capitalist class and its many devious ways of entrapping workers politically. The DSA is one of those political traps laid for the unsuspecting workers who are just starting to check out the various socialist parties and who are trying to sort the real socialists from the fake ones. Unfortunately there are quite a few political parties that call themselves socialists and even revolutionary socialists who are in fact anything but what they pretend to be. To help you do this we are going to use the written program and the public statements of the DSA’s leadership itself. This is how Trotskyists determine the class nature of a political movement.
If we visit the DSA’s website at http://www.dsausa.org/, we can begin to see immediately that the DSA is a reformist organization, not an actual alternative to the Democratic Party at all:
“Continue the political revolution!” What does this refer to? Obviously, it refers to the phony “political revolution” the reformists falsely claim was led by the Democrat Bernie Sanders during the last US Presidential election, in which Sanders played the old “bait-and-switch” con, pretending to run for President on a “socialist” party program in order to lure unsuspecting youth into the Democratic Party’s circus tent, only to abandon his campaign and to throw his support to the hideous Hillary Clinton. This was no “revolution”: it was a cheap con game which has been played over and over by the Democrats. Jesse Jackson perfected this scam back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. We spent a great deal of time during the election warning Sanders supporters that they were being played.
A lot of Sandernistas hated us then for telling the truth about the phony Sanders campaign; but when he pulled the old switcheroo just as we predicted we had a good number of them come back and admit that we had told the cold truth – just as we promise we will always do to the very best of our ability. It was a tough lesson in the sleazy, underhanded methods the capitalist-owned politicians work their campaigns.
What else can we learn from just this first glimpse of the DSA’s website? Take a closer look at this “Who we are & what we do” paragraph:
Every word of this declaration tells a Marxist volumes about what the DSA is and what it isn’t. “Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few”. Here is what they mean with the missing words put back in the sentence: “Democratic Socialists believe that both the existing capitalist economy and the existing bourgeois democratic society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few capitalists.” This means that the DSA is a reformist, and pro-capitalist organization, and not revolutionary or even socialist at all. They don’t explicitly say it (because that would give the game away) but they are clearly talking about not the organization of a better, socialist, future society but are speaking in the present tense – they are describing the fact that it is their program to limit their demands to mere reforms of the capitalist system. And since racism, poverty, homelessness and war are all endemic to the capitalist system – as anyone can easily prove by examining the existence of ALL of these horrors in EVERY capitalist nation-state on Earth – when the DSA declares that it merely seeks to reform capitalism instead of overthrowing it they are declaring to the world that as far as they are concerned, racism, poverty, homelessness and war have always been part of the human condition and always will be – and so the best we can hope for is to put a few bandages on these gaping wounds of the capitalist system and hope for the best!
We don’t want to go on like this all day long; this article is getting to be too long already. So we will cut to the most revealing self-exposure of their fundamental commitment to the US capitalist class and the capitalist system that the DSA website proudly announces to the world.
One of our discoveries in the past year has been that practically every single charity group and non-governmental organization (NGO) in the United States and around the world is actually funded by some capitalist class-run charity or foundation or other! From the fake environmentalist organization 350.org (funded and run by the oil company money of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund) to the “Black Lives Matter”-allied “Black Youth Project” are actually sponsored by major capitalist foundations and charitable organizations – and guess what? SO IS THE DSA! Amazing but true! We just found this out today ourselves and we can hardly believe how easy it was, once again, for us to discover this fact.
All of these fake NGOs have two things in common: they are funded by the capitalist class, and they OPPOSE THE FORMATION OF A THIRD POLITICAL PARTY IN THE USA! Why? Because the capitalists who fund these organizations have a wonderful phony “two-party system” here in the US already – and they OWN BOTH OF THE PARTIES! The US capitalist class thinks that “democracy” is the cat’s ass – so long as THEY run all of the political parties themselves! They know that as soon as the working class organizes a successful workers party, their days of class rule will be numbered! So they make DAMNED SURE that NO ONE runs so much as an NGO unless THEY sponsor it!
How did we do it? EASY! Every NGO website – well almost every one – some of them hide the identity of their financial supporters for very good reasons – but nearly every one of them has a section or two on their website that reveals who their primary staff and chief advisers and donors are. We’ll show you how to do this with the DSA website and then you can try it on any NGO website you can find. You’ll quickly see that all reformist roads lead to the corporate boardrooms of the USA’s Fortune 500 companies!
OK. DSA website, homepage. Sometimes this info is located at the top of the page, sometimes at the bottom of the page; sometimes in both locations. But you usually can navigate to the sponsor pages through the tabs or buttons at the top of the homepage. Here they are on the DSA website:
Let’s click on the “About DSA” button:
This is all very interesting and reveals that our original evaluation of the DSA as pro-capitalist and reformist was right on the money. But where is the financial info? Let’s take a glance at the bottom of the page. Hmm. Lots of white space… doesn’t look promising… wait! We may be on to something! BINGO! “The DSA Fund”!
This looks promising! But before we click on the link, check out that disclaimer in tiny lawyer’s print at the very bottom of the page:
That is rich isn’t it? So the tail of the Democratic Party donkey – the DSA – hired the same people to develop their organization’s website as did the Trump campaign. How eerily similar to the Hillary campaign’s brilliant strategy to build up Trump during the primaries – so that they would have an opponent that would be easier to defeat! How’d that work out for them? It would be hilarious… if so many workers lives did not hang in the balance.
OK let’s click on the “DSA Fund” link and see where it takes us…
Click on that “Donate” button and…
Well we seem to have come to an end. There are no financials on the website! No IRS statements as to who gets paid how much and who made the top donations – no transparency at all! They claim that all their funding comes from memberships. “We receive no corporate sponsorships or government money”. Keep that claim in mind as we continue our search.
Let’s see if we can find a list of their top staff and advisers and see if we can find any clues as to who’s really running the show at DSA.
If we go back to the home page and click on the “Resources and tools” button what do we get?
Hmm. we didn’t notice this before: in the red box to the right… “Our Leadership and Structure”. Click on that link…
This is all fascinating and completely predictable – though you might wonder why the DSA keeps the leading lights of their organization hidden under such a huge barrel! Why don’t they have this list of the most famous people in their organization on the masthead of their homepage? Probably because it would let all the young workers and students know right away that the DSA is a cozy home for some of the most tiring, long-sold-out Democratic Party donkeys of all time – like the famous Democratic Party donkey Cornel West and the execrable “ex”-CIA “asset” and forever Democrat Gloria Steinem.
OK, well, this is all in good fun. Oh… by the way… are you surprised we called Gloria Steinem a CIA agent? This famous bourgeois feminist proudly admitted it and you can read all about her “work” for the Agency in books like “The Mighty Wurlitzer” by Hugh Wilford. And you can read about it here and here as well. Or maybe just watch this:
So beware, young socialist workers and students in the DSA: your organization has as one of its leading lights a “former” CIA agent who actually ratted out socialist students to the CIA – setting them up for political persecution, torture or murder when they returned to their respective countries!
It has been reported that Gloria Steinem tried to recruit the DSA’s Michael Harrington to join her CIA operation but for some reason he declined. We wonder: what made Steinem think Harrington was good CIA material? Had her CIA handlers asked her to attempt to recruit him? In “The Mighty Wurlitzer” Hugh Wilford says that Harrington had originally been penciled in as one of four CIA recruits being sent to disrupt the USSR-sponsored Vienna Youth Festival that was held in Austria in July of 1959 (fellow anti-communist and future National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter Zbigniew Brzezinski would have been one of his traveling companions). Harrington suspected that the free trip being dangled in front of him by the physically attractive Steinem was being bankrolled by the U.S. State Department, which in his mind would have been a deal too good to pass up. Wilford quotes Harrington as saying, cryptically: “Had I dreamed that the CIA was involved there would have been no issue.” After discussing the opportunity with the leaders of the Socialist Party’s youth group (of which Harrington was then a member) it was decided that, after all, “Lenin had accepted railroad transportation from the Kaiser when he went from Switzerland to Russia in 1917” – so he should accept the offer from the “State Department” while making it clear that he would criticize both the capitalist and communist bloc nations at the festival. “The offer of help was withdrawn formally” Harrington said, “and I paid my own way, having nothing to do with what turned out to be the CIA’s dirty games.” (Source for Harrington quotes and description of Steinem and Brzezinski’s activities: “The Mighty Wurlitzer” by Hugh Wilford; Harvard University Press, 2008, pages 141-148)
That may be the truth or may not be. But it still doesn’t explain why the fully exposed ex-CIA agent Steinem is given a leading role in the DSA of 2017 as one of its celebrity members. Her role at the Vienna Youth Festival is well-known: she coordinated the anticommunist propaganda operation via her CIA-front news organization the “Independent Research Service”. Meanwhile her fellow CIA plant Brzezinski – a Polish nationalist – enjoyed himself by strutting through the USSR section of the festival deliberately bumping into Russians and yelling “Out of my way, Russian pig!” in an attempt to provoke a fight between the Russian and Polish delegates. Steinem was a crucial part of a typical CIA dirty tricks team out to do all it could to disrupt a youth festival – but that only endears Steinem to the anti-communist DSA leadership all the more.
Lifelong Democrat and United Farm Workers union leader Dolores Huerta – who counts among her BFFs war criminals Bill and Hillary Clinton – is also listed as a DSA celebrity. She has spent her entire life luring workers into the clutches of their enemies in the Democratic Party – from vicious anti-communist Robert F. Kennedy to vicious war criminal Barack Obama to vicious war criminal Hillary Clinton – Huerta has campaigned for all of them. Huerta and UFW leader Cesar Chavez led farm workers in endless capitalist-friendly grape boycotts rather than lead hard class struggle on behalf of farm laborers in California, even going so far as to organize anti-immigrant picket lines that physically attacked migrant farm workers and reporting “illegal” workers to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service! THIS is why the worker-hating Democratic Party politicians love having their photos taken with Dolores Huerta!
What else did we find out? Well, he won’t mention that he’s a DSA member in his own political autobiography but ‘secret’ DSA member Harold Meyerson – editor of the liberal rag “The American Prospect” (which he co-founded with Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor Robert Reich) – is on the list as well. If he’s not a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party, who is?
But let’s get back to who actually funds the DSA. Remember how the DSA claimed that they never took money from corporations or governments? Well, they lied. Since 1980 the DSA has organized several major public conferences that were financed not by membership dues but by some infamous US Government-backed foundations like the “German Marshall Fund” whose current board of directors includes the former head of the US Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and former CIA head Michael Morell. We know these guys weren’t sitting on the board of the German Marshall Fund back in 1980 – god knows what US government criminals were – but it is a true sign of the depravity of the leadership of the DSA today that they proudly and fondly brag about their connection with this sinister organization even to this day.
“Democratic Socialists of America Fund (DSA Fund) endeavors to demonstrate how an awareness of social democratic and democratic socialist values and policies would strengthen the quality of policy debates in the U.S. The Fund also works to introduce young activists to the history and traditions of democratic socialism […] In December 1980, IDS organized a three-day conference, ‘Eurosocialism and America’ that brought over 2000 U.S.-based activists to D.C. to meet with the leaders of social democratic and democratic socialist political movements from Europe and the developing world to explore how democratic socialist policy alternatives could benefit the U.S. Speakers included Willy Brandt, Francois Mitterrand, Olaf Palme [sic], and Michael Manley. Temple University Press published a volume of conference papers. The German Marshall Fund supported the organizing of the conference with a grant of $95,000.”
What a rogues’ gallery! What a fine example of “democratic socialist values” are embodied in such hideous creatures from the black lagoon of the Second International as Francois Mitterrand, and Willy Brandt! And if that is not enough, the DSA accepted a grant from the “German Marshall Fund” – one of the most right-wing organizations in Washington D.C. which is today populated with such stellar proponents of “democratic socialist values” as
former Dept. of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff and
former CIA head Michael Morell! If the DSA had any decency they would have buried the memory of this monstrous gathering of Cold War criminals out in their political back 40. But no; there it is, proudly placed on their website in 2017 as the pinnacle of their past achievements as an organization!
Now we know that back in 1980 these people were not heading up the GMA/AFSD Advisory Council. But the organization hasn’t changed its stripes, just its personnel. At the time that the DSA accepted the grant from the German Marshall Fund it was headed by one Robert Gerald Livingston: a lifelong servant of the US capitalist class and its imperialist government who had worked on Nixon’s National Security Council under then- Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1972/73 – at the time when Kissinger and the CIA were working hand-in-glove with Chilean General Augusto Pinochet and his fascist allies to overthrow the “socialist” government of Salvador Allende. During that coup – and the subsequent political terrorism against leftist and union workers that followed it – tens of thousands of people were murdered. But what did that mean to Cold Warrior/State Department Socialist Michael Harrington? When it comes to defending the capitalist system from actual revolutionary socialists the DSA is more than willing to throw down with some of the most vicious enemies of the working class.
We don’t have time to research the rest of the organizations that have funded the DSA’s proudest achievements of the past 40 years; now that you see how we ran down all this information on the funding of fake NGOs like the DSA maybe you can take a whack at uncovering some more of their strange bedfellows. All we can say to those of you who are considering the DSA as a potential viable alternative to predatory capitalism is: you are wasting your time. If you really want to fight for the interests of the working class get in touch with us.