Tag Archives: Independent Workers Party

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

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

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

Trotskyists seek scientific precision when making political characterizations of their opponents

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

What is dialectical materialism and why is it important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IWPCHI

The USA Now Has A President That Perfectly Reflects the “Soul” of It’s Demoralized, De-Unionized Heartland

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite.”  (Every nation gets the government it deserves.)  – Joseph de Maistre

“This whole election is being rigged. The whole thing is one big fix. One big ugly lie. It’s one big fix.” – Donald Trump

“Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.” – Anonymous

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States came as a shock to many observers around the world.  Professional political pollsters, particularly, were exposed as the charlatans they are by their wildly inaccurate predictions made through the last weeks of the campaign.  The New York Times, America’s “Newspaper of Record” dropped all pretense of “journalistic objectivity” to campaign furiously for the hideous Democratic Party candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, turning their newspaper into a de facto arm of the Clinton campaign.

The NY Times and almost all other major bourgeois press outlets railed 24/7 against the equally repulsive Republican candidate, slumlord and swindler of small businessmen and working class college hopefuls Donald Trump, piling up devastating evidence of his contempt for women, handicapped people and immigrants in particular.  In spite of the damning audio recordings and accusations of several women of his misogynist tendencies broadcast on all news media for the final weeks of the campaign, Hillary Clinton was unable to put Trump in her rear-view mirror.  Trump, just a day before the election, still trailed Clinton by just 4 percentage points in the WSJ’s polls.

The pinnacle of pro-Clinton propaganda was reached on November 3 when the magazine “The Atlantic” published an incredible puff piece on Clinton that will stand for all time as one of the most  hilariously fatuous and wildly inaccurate pieces of political journalism ever penned.  Written by Chimamanda Adichie (seemingly while curled up comfortably  in Hillary’s lap), it was entitled “What Hillary Clinton’s Fans Love About Her”:

“We do not see, often enough, the people who love Hillary Clinton, who support her because of her qualifications rather than because of her unqualified opponent, who empathize with her. Yet millions of Americans, women and men, love her intelligence, her industriousness, her grit; they feel loyal to her, they will vote with enthusiasm for her.

“Human beings change as they grow, but a person’s history speaks to who she is. There are millions who admire the tapestry of Hillary Clinton’s past: the first-ever student commencement speaker at Wellesley speaking boldly about making the impossible possible, the Yale law student interested in the rights of migrant farmworkers, the lawyer working with the Children’s Defense Fund, the first lady trying to make health care accessible for all Americans […]

“There are people who love how cleanly she slices through policy layers, how thoroughly she digests the small print […]

“They have confidence in her. There are people who rage at the media on her behalf, who see the coverage she too often receives as unfair. There are people who in a quiet, human way wish her well. There are people who, when Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to be president of the United States, will weep from joy.

“Hillary Clinton was guilty immediately when she stepped into the view of the American public as the first lady of Arkansas. She was a lawyer full of dreams. She had made sacrifices for the man she loved, waived her plans, and moved to his state. But she also dared to think herself her husband’s equal, to assume herself competent enough to take on expanding access to healthcare and reforming the Arkansas public education system […]”.

“Because she is already considered guilty in a vague and hazy way, there is a longing for her to be demonstrably guilty of something. Other words have been repeated over and over, with no context, until they have begun to breathe and thrum with life. Especially “emails.” The press coverage of “emails” has become an unclear morass where “emails” must mean something terrible, if only because of how often it is invoked.

“The people who love Hillary Clinton know that the IT system at the State Department is old and stodgy, nothing like a Blackberry’s smooth whirl. Hillary Clinton was used to her Blackberry, and wanted to keep using it when she became secretary of state…”

It has to be read to be believed.  How much does it cost to hire someone to write sickening, fawning garbage like that?  How can an editor with any sense at all dare to present such a thing to the public?

The constant stream of evidence of Hillary Clinton’s willing servility towards the US capitalist class brought forth by the WikiLeaks organization was like a firehose of condemnation turned against Clinton for the final month of the campaign.  Hacked emails spirited from her top campaign manager John Podesta’s computers revealed how the Clinton camp’s near-total control of the primary election machinery of the Democratic Party had sabotaged the chimerical Bernie Sanders campaign from day one.  The WikiLeaks document trove also detailed how the Clintonites had conspired to use their agents in the US bourgeois press to build up the weakest of the Republican candidates so as to provide Hillary with the weakest possible opponent from the Republicans’ Augean stable of rotten, greed-driven swine.  Many commentators have awarded the laurel wreath to WikiLeaks for torpedoing the Hillary Clinton campaign with their steady drip of exposures of the criminality of Hillary Clinton and her family’s deeply corrupt Clinton Foundation, awash in barely concealed campaign donations from some of the most reactionary regimes on the planet.  But WikiLeaks’ efforts, though significant, were not responsible for the humiliation Clinton suffered at the sweaty, grasping hands of Donald Trump.

Post-election, the Clintonites desperately sought to lay the blame for their candidate’s stunning defeat at the feet of Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party and of Gary Johnson of the Libertarians – both of whom did, indeed, to their credit, succeed in taking a great many votes away from the Democrats and the Republicans.  The Democratic apologists’ shrill condemnations of the third parties for having the nerve to actually run candidates for real against their pre-selected winner of the Presidential race demonstrates better than any communist polemic the utter fraud that is the US political system.  Third party candidates, it seems, can exist, but not if they will actually participate in the final vote.  They are supposed to run during the primaries only, in order to give the completely phony US democracy a thin veneer of legitimacy, and then fold up their tents like dutiful and loyal servants of the two “major” “official” political parties of the US.

Donald Trump won a great deal of support from the mostly white, male working class that elected him by blathering about how the US election process is “rigged”.  Here Trump simply pointed out the obvious, while omitting the most important aspect of the rigged nature of the US political system: it is indeed rigged – to benefit people like him.  Wealthy white males have always been at the pinnacle of US politics since the wealthiest man in the young USA – George Washington – ran for president.  Donald Trump stands elected as US President not in spite of the fact that the US elections are rigged but because they are rigged to benefit white men of his social class: the capitalist class.

Hillary Clinton was defeated because she was a monstrous candidate obviously completely in the pockets of the Wall St. bankers and brokers who had paid her millions of dollars for speeches in which she told them exactly what they wanted to hear from a politician running for president.   Clinton lost because she’s a vicious, heartless, murderous, grasping beast who clearly would do anything – a-ny-thing – to become President of the United States.  To raise money for her election as the champion of women all over the world she openly sold herself not just to the US capitalist class but to some of the most disgusting women-hating regimes on the face of the Earth – like Saudi Arabia – for cold, hard cash.  She and her cohorts – whom she praised in her concession speech as representing “the best” the US has to offer – conspired to deny millions of Democratic Party voters the right to fully participate in the Democratic primary when her campaign deliberately and calculatedly plotted to destroy the candidacy of fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders.  The contempt of her co-conspirators for fair play in a political contest between loyal Democratic Party flacks was so boundless that she left nothing to chance in elbowing her way to the Democratic nomination, even to the extent of having her agents in the news media obtain debate questions in advance of the phony “debates” between herself and Sanders.

Hillary Rodham Clinton lost because she was a far less convincing liar than the real estate huckster Donald Trump.  The only people she told the truth to were the 1-percenters who run the USA and whose money and support she needed to obtain in order to become their anointed presidential candidate in 2016.  For a couple hundred thousand dollars a pop, she made speech after speech to the kings of Wall St., promising them in no uncertain terms that if they backed her they’d be running the tables in Washington for yet another four years.

WikiLeaks provided us with all of the damning evidence of the contents of Hillary Clinton’s highly-paid speaking tours of the halls of actual political power in the US’ phony democracy – which Clinton herself wisely refused to release to the public.  In a speech given to the Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium on 24 October 2013 Hillary told her sponsors: “It’s still happening, as you know. People are looking back and trying to, you know, get compensation for bad mortgages and all the rest of it in some of the agreements that are being reached. There’s nothing magic about regulations, too much is bad, too little is bad. How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” In other words, if anything is wrong with Wall St., it should be the Wall St. insiders who decide how to fix it, she sang to her paying audience of top capitalists.  To Clinton, the millions who make up the US working class are nothing but an ignorant herd of meddling outsiders.

The more Hillary Clinton appeared in public, the more convinced prospective voters became convinced of her vast insincerity in espousing her fake concern for the plight of working-class families in the US struggling to keep a roof over their families’ heads.  No one believed a thing she said; no one was convinced that she had any other motive for becoming President other than pure egotistical self-aggrandizement and of course to stuff her and her family’s pockets with money by doing favors for everyone who had bankrolled her campaign, from Goldman Sachs to the government of Saudi Arabia.  Hillary Clinton seemed to represent everyone EXCEPT the vast working class majority that makes up the citizenry of every capitalist nation-state including the “classless” “egalitarian” USA.

Hillary Clinton’s pretense of being the #1 champion of women’s rights simply by becoming the first female president of the United States was exposed for the fraud it was by the WikiLeaks revelations that the Clinton Foundation had received millions of dollars from reactionary woman-hating regimes throughout the Muslim world, like Saudi Arabia, whose government she made sure was showered with military supplies used to support the even more reactionary and anti-woman cretins of ISIL/ISIS when she was Secretary of State.  Hillary was never a champion of anyone other than Hillary.  Electing Hillary Rodham Clinton President would have done no more to advance the cause of women than did the election of the Afghan-mullah-loving Margaret Thatcher.  No intelligent person in the world doubts that a woman can run a major modern nation-state.  The United States lost its chance to be the first to have a female head of state decades ago.  Hillary Clinton would have been as big a disaster for the advancement of women’s rights as President as she was as Secretary of State.

Paradoxically, it seems to many, the workers of the US – primarily white males but also a surprising number of white women and a large percentage of US Hispanics and even black workers – were convinced that the bombastic, racist, neofascist huckster real estate swindler Donald Trump was the candidate that truly represented their best interests.  This may seem paradoxical but in reality there is no paradox.  In Donald Trump a large percentage of the US working class finds a mirror image of their racist, greedy, narcissistic selves.  After decades of attacks on the workers’ movement that has driven millions of workers out of the trade unions, the entire concept of the superiority of collective struggle of the working class has been subsumed under a tidal wave of capitalist propaganda and a brutal driving down of wages and benefits for the working class of the USA.  This conscious destruction of the workers’ movement by the US capitalist class and their criminal co-conspirators in the AFL-CIO hierarchy has led to a complete collapse of working class solidarity and its replacement by a “look out for #1” mentality that apes the self-aggrandizing, selfish Ayn Rand-inspired Libertarian ideology of increasing numbers of the capitalist class themselves.  The corruption of the bourgeoisie and their systematic corruption of the bribed trade union bureaucracy that has hamstrung every attempt by the working class at successful collective struggle to defend workers interests over the past 40 years has led inexorably to the corruption of the morals of the working class itself.  “Fuck the next guy – I’m going to get mine first” has become the “philosophy” of a large percentage of the US working class; and so they have ditched the idea of collective struggle through trade union organization and have raised up on their shoulders the hideous caricature of  the “self-made man”: Donald Trump, a billionaire born with a golden spoon in his mouth who never gave a shit about the working class in his entire disgusting money-grubbing life.

Donald Trump perfectly reflects the moral bankruptcy of the US ruling capitalist class in general as well as a similar degeneracy that has mushroomed among a large and growing section of the increasingly desperate and demoralized US working class that has seen its standard of living steadily hammered down year after brutal year since the late 1960s.  With trade union membership in steady decline, the working class has become imbued with the corrupt Libertarian philosophy of the capitalist class that sees poor people as “freeloaders” and unionized workers as “overpaid” and pampered privileged parasites on the national economy.  “Selfishness is the highest virtue” taught the cheap Hollywood screenwriter Ayn Rand; this vicious “philosophy” is at the root of supposedly “egalitarian” Libertarian politics, and has been embraced and proselytized by millions of desperate workers.  Unionized  nurses, teachers and city workers and poor people of every race – but particularly blacks and immigrants –  have become the enemy of the massively non- and even anti-union US working class, egged on by bought-and-paid-for pro-capitalist demagogues from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to Donald Trump.  The US capitalist class and their news media outlets have convinced a large majority of the demoralized US working class that it is not the billionaire capitalist who is the source of the workers’ misery, but the immigrant worker crossing the Mexican border to try to make a decent living for his or her family.  It is not the swindling bankers who have robbed the workers of their income but the black workers on welfare who are doing it.  Never mind that all economic data proves that none of these racist lies are true.  This racist propaganda, spewed by Republican and Democratic politicians and by the US news media for decades has done its nefarious work.  Now we have begun to see the emergence of the fascist scum from the margins of US society starting to become emboldened by hearing their racist ideology parroted by “mainstream” politicians like Trump and seeing their racist “solutions” to the “immigrant problem” put into practice by the Democratic Obama Administration.

This 2016 US Presidential election shows to us that the US working class, in its present disorganized and demoralized state, with no revolutionary socialist leadership to speak of, with the trade union movement in free-fall and supporting the same anti-immigrant proposals as the racists, stands ready to fall victim to fascism in all its savagery.  Prepared by two decades of nearly non-stop war against Middle Eastern and Asian countries with large Muslim populations, the US working class has in large numbers become utterly intolerant of Muslims – who make up nearly a third of the world’s population.  Driven to a mad fury by the neofascist slogans “Make America Great Again” and a fulsome hatred of immigrants not seen in the USA since the days of the “Know-Nothings” the USA looks to us in 2016 like Germany circa 1938.  Millions of US workers have degenerated morally into vicious, greedy, racist and desperate thugs who don’t give a shit HOW MANY people the US military slaughters so long as the price of gasoline stays below $5 a gallon.  Trump’s election isn’t an aberration: it’s the culmination of decades of attacks on the working class and minorities by the Republicans; and even more so by the “friends of labor” Democrats like Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose racist program to “end welfare as we know it” and whose “truth in sentencing” laws fostered decades of brutalization and victimization of black and Hispanic workers.  Seeing no way out of the “hope”-less and “change”-less blind alley into which the Democrats under Barack Obama have led them, and seeing the promising futures and those of their children and grandchildren melt away as their wages and benefits decline, the white working class is embracing neofascist ideology and striking out on the road towards an American Fascism that could well lead inexorably – and rapidly – towards World War Three.  The only way to prevent this descent of the US into the very same abyss that destroyed Germany in just 12 years of unparalleled savagery is for the working class to be won over to the program of revolutionary Trotskyism which alone can overthrow the racist, exploitative capitalist system and to replace it with an egalitarian working class socialist republic.  Only a party such as this can organize the working class to effectively smash the growing fascist menace being unleashed by the US capitalist class, hell-bent on global domination.  This is the kind of political party we hope to build in the coming years right here in the belly of the U.S. imperialist beast.

If that section of the US working class that continues to fight for the rights of immigrants and minorities does not immediately stop tilting at the windmills of impotent “speaking truth to power” and begin to organize a fight to take power directly into the hands of the working class itself, fascism will soon triumph in the USA.  Only a powerful working class force like the communist movement proved capable of effectively fighting fascism in the 1920s and 1930s.  It was the communist-led Resistance movements of Europe that led the opposition to fascism during Hitler’s bloody reign of terror; it was the USSR that finally crushed the “Thousand-Year Reich” and that drove Hitler and his inner circle to suicide in their hole in the ground in Berlin.  It was the heroic communists of Asia – particularly China and Korea – who led the victory over Japanese fascism and, immediately afterward, to new victories over world capitalism and US imperialism.  Those heroic communist movements were successful in spite of the crippling effects of their Stalinist and Maoist bureaucratic leaderships which usurped political power from the working class and led their revolutions into nationalist dead ends from which they still haven’t escaped.  A new Trotskyist movement in the USA is the only hope the working class has of creating a militant and positively creative force that can unite workers of all races, creeds and ethnic backgrounds into a revolutionary force that can crush any and all fascist opposition and lead a truly egalitarian revolutionary workers movement like the one led by Lenin and his Bolsheviks after WWI.  “The capitalist system must die so that the working class may live” is our slogan.  “The capitalist system must die so that fascism can never rise again” must be the principle upon which the now decrepit US workers movement rallies itself around in a massive fight to restore the power of the communist-led US workers movement of the 1930s.  Failure to achieve these goals will lead to the triumph of fascism in the USA and ultimately to the total destruction of the US by the combined forces of the entire world, which will unite to smash US fascism just as they smashed the fascism of the German, Italian and Japanese Nazis in the ’40s.

Time is running out for the US working class to organize itself and turn the direction of the US around into the direction of workers socialist revolution.  Join with us to build a socialist future for the workers of the world through the overthrow of a capitalist system that threatens to plunge the planet into a war that will kill tens or even hundreds of millions of workers and that could damage the planet beyond repair.  The victory of Donald Trump is a clarion call to all workers in the USA to begin immediately to take up the tremendous tasks that face the US working class to build the revolutionary workers party that will lead the American Socialist Revolution in the USA , throughout the Americas and around the world.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Labor Day, 2016: Once Upon A Time, The US Had “Labor Newspapers”… Lots of Them

On this “Labor Day” weekend we are reminded of the terrible state of the union movement in the USA.  Under the pro-capitalist leadership of the AFL-CIO since the anti-communist witch-hunts led by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy back in the ’50s drove the commies out of the unions, the percentage of the US working class holding union cards has steadily dwindled.

Union membership rose vertically in 1930s under anti-capitalist Communist and trotskyist leadership; collapsed when "Reds" were driven out of unions in late 1940s.

Union membership rose vertically in 1930s under anti-capitalist Communist and Trotskyist leadership; collapsed when “Reds” were driven out of unions in late 1940s.  Wealth distribution towards top of income pyramid shows distinct inverse relationship to percentage of workers in higher-paid union jobs. Anticommunist, pro-capitalist AFL-CIO “leadership” has overseen 65 years of almost unbroken failure to organize the unorganized.  Time to dump these bums and build a revolutionary Trotskyist class-struggle leadership in the unions!

Today’s AFL-CIO “leadership” regales the membership with the lie that “the interests of labor and capital are one and the same”.  Look at point one in the following AFL-CIO handout:

Pro-capitalist AFL-CIO spreads lies about "unity of interests" of capital and labor. Is it any wonder that union membership has fallen off a cliff with these "labor lieutenants of capital" at the helm?

Pro-capitalist AFL-CIO spreads lies about “unity of interests” of capital and labor. Is it any wonder that union membership has fallen off a cliff with these “labor lieutenants of capital” at the helm?  Every word of this document is pure bullshit, sowing illusions that workers can get a fair deal under the capitalist system.

It wasn’t always this way.  In the late 19th and the early years of the 20th century US workers and their union leaders understood that the interests of capital and labor were directly COUNTERPOSED and IRRECONCILABLE.  Union leadership in those days was full of anarchists, socialists and (after 1917) Communists inspired by the Bolshevik Russian Revolution.  Though the top AFL-CIO leaders like Sam Gompers were hidebound pro-capitalist quislings, many of the local unions had more left-leaning leaders who taught that the working class could expect nothing but a knife in the back from the capitalist class – and their media outlets, which in the early days of the union movement before radio and television meant just one thing: the newspapers.  And so, in order for the truth about the union movement to be broadcast to the masses, the socialist parties and later on the AFL-CIO itself began publishing newspapers telling the workers’ side of the story.  From union and socialist and anarchist strongholds like the lumber and mining unions in the Pacific Northwest to the shores of the Atlantic, union newspapers were created.  Where once the US produced perhaps dozens of daily socialist, anarchist and trade-unionist newspapers none are in existence today.   Outside of the important revolutionary socialist papers that struggle to obtain the support of the slavish, pro-capitalist US working class of today (and can only publish weekly or biweekly or monthly as a result) the US has not a single pro-union daily newspaper!  What is wrong with this country and its working class?   Here is a selection of papers we ran across today as we checked out the archives at  Newspapers.com:

The Knights of Labor, Richmond, Virginia, 1886: “That is the Most Perfect Government in Which An Injury To One Is the Concern Of All.”

Richmond, VA K of L paper_'The Labor Herald'_ 17jul1886

The Knights of Labor were originally organized as a secret society at a time when union organizing was punished as a “conspiracy” of labor against the “rightful rulers” of the USA.  Having just emerged from secrecy in 1886 during the rapid rise of the “Eight-Hour Day” movement, the K of L were driven back underground in the wake of the vicious anti-union attacks led by the US capitalist class and their press in revenge for the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago that took place in May of 1886.

Mt. Vernon, Illinois “Progressive Farmer” of the Farmer’s Mutual Benefit Association (FMBA), 1895

Farmers across the US were forced to band together in the wake of economic crises of the late 1800s that resulted from land speculation and droughts that ruined the rural economy and kept farmers at the mercy of bankers, grain speculators and railroads. The Farmers Mutual Benefit Association was formed and published newspapers across the Midwest.

Farmers across the US were forced to band together in the wake of economic crises of the late 1800s that resulted from land speculation and droughts that ruined the rural economy and kept farmers at the mercy of bankers, grain speculators and railroads. (Some things never change!) The Farmers Mutual Benefit Association, though not a trade union, was formed and published newspapers across the Midwest.

 

Elwood, Indiana “Daily Labor Record”, 1896

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Even small towns like Elwood, Indiana had their own labor papers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Louisville, Kentucky and New Albany and Jeffersonville Indiana’s “Ohio Valley Worker”, 1904: “The Official Paper of the Federated Trades Council of Louisville, Trades and Labor Council of New Albany, Central Labor Union of Jeffersonville.”

Perhaps in response to the spread of popular daily papers being published all over the Midwest in the wake of major union organizing efforts at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the AFL began to publish their own papers, with a far more leftist slant than their leadership in Washington, D.C. would have approved of.

Perhaps in response to the spread of popular daily papers being published all over the Midwest in the wake of major union organizing efforts at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the AFL began to publish their own papers, with a far more leftist slant than their leadership in Washington, D.C. would have approved of. This one features a poem dedicated to Socialist Party leader Eugene V. Debs.

 

Greensboro, North Carolina “Labor News”, 1908: “Organ of the State Federation of Labor.  Endorsed by Greensboro Trades Council.  Motto: Organization, Education And Elevation.”

The less-than-inspiring motto of this AFL paper demonstrates a more conservative political philosophy and an appetite for seeking the approval of pro-capitalist "public opinion".

The less-than-inspiring motto of this AFL paper demonstrates a more conservative political philosophy and an appetite for seeking the approval of pro-capitalist “public opinion”.

 

Everett, Washington “Washington Socialist”, 1914: “Workers Of The World, Unite!  You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Chains.  You Have A World To Win.”

A revolutionary socialist newspaper of 1914 pulls no punches about where it stands. Anti war articles rail against WWI: "[We] deplore the fact that the wage class of Europe have allowed themselves to be lured to the battlefield to be slaughtered for the benefit of the master class."

A revolutionary Socialist Party newspaper of 1914 pulls no punches about where it stands. Anti-war articles rail against WWI: “[We] deplore the fact that the wage class of Europe have allowed themselves to be lured to the battlefield to be slaughtered for the benefit of the master class…the proletariat have no country, but are and should be citizens of the world, and that they have therefore but ONE enemy, the capitalist class…”

Decatur, Illinois “Labor World”, 1915:  “The Paper That Won’t Be Muzzled… Endorsed By The Trades And Labor Assembly”

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WWI saw the US working class, which had initially completely opposed any involvement in the “War to end all wars”, being driven by the jingoist press into joining in the effort to defeat “the Hun”.  The Socialist movement, led in many midwestern cities by German workers, was attacked for its principled anti-war stance for being “pro-German”.  This placed the editors of newspapers on the defensive throughout the period of build-up to the entry of the US into the war until the anti-communist Palmer Raids shut down many of these papers in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917.

 

Everett, Washington “Northwest Worker”, 1917:  “Official Organ of the Socialist Party of Snohomish and Stevens Counties… Spokesman for the Only Useful Class in Society – The Working Class”

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By 1917, the US had been transformed by 3 years of incessant warmongering from the capitalist press from a nation utterly opposed to entry into WWI to a nation eager to plunge into the worst bloodbath in world history to that time.  Working-class papers that had held to their anti-war principles were severely attacked in print and in public.  The Socialist Party openly hails the bourgeois-democratic revolution that had taken place in Russia in February of 1917, toppling the hated Czar from his throne.

 

Cincinnati, Ohio “Labor Advocate”, 1917: “A Paper Without A Muzzle For All Who Toil… Property and Official Organ of the Building Trades Council of Cincinnati and Vicinity… Independent… Non-Partisan”

Pro-capitalist AFL newspaper pushes pro-war propaganda, using a front-page cartoon of a German soldier butchering a (probably Belgian) woman with a babe in her arms. The dear American Mother urges her sons to take up the sword to defend the innocent woman from "the Hun". Touting in its masthead the slogans "Independent" and "Non-Partisan" it urges its readers to take a very partisan stance in the mass slaughter of WWI.

Pro-capitalist AFL newspaper pushes pro-war propaganda, using a front-page cartoon of a German soldier butchering a (probably Belgian) woman with a babe in her arms. The dear American Mother urges her sons to take up the sword to defend the innocent woman from “the Hun”. Touting in its masthead the slogans “Independent” and “Non-Partisan” it urges its readers to take a very partisan stance in the mass slaughter of WWI.

 

Duluth and Superior, Minnesota “Labor World”, 1918:  “For Social Justice, Economic Reform, And Political Progress”

The motto says it all: this paper is pro-capitalist and reformist, seeking labor "peace" and mere "political progress", not revolution. The blurb in the upper-left corner of the masthead, addressed to potential business advertisers, states that the people who read this paper are not of the "working class" but of the "consuming class".

The motto says it all: this AFL paper is pro-capitalist and reformist, seeking labor “peace” and mere “political progress”, not revolution. The blurb in the upper-left corner of the masthead, addressed to potential business advertisers, states that the people who read this paper are not of the “working class” but of the “consuming class”.

 

Wilmington, North Carolina “Union Labor Record”, 1918:  “The Medium of Organized Labor and Guardian of the Workingman’s Interest.  Endorsed by the North Carolina State Federation of Labor.”

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By the end of 1918, the US working class – outside of a few strongholds of internationalist socialism — has been stampeded into supporting the US drive to enter WWI.  This southern AFL paper decries war profiteering while trumpeting a “united war work drive”.

 

Everett, Washington “Labor Journal”, 1922: “Official Paper Everett Central Labor Council… Published In The Interest Of Organized Labor”

Insert

Another pro-capitalist AFL paper, featuring the uplifting, inspiring saying (in the face of a mass lockout of workers by the railroad barons): “In the struggle between poverty and talent, poverty generally triumphs.”

The AFL-CIO unions today publish not newspapers but newsletters for their membership only, featuring self-aggrandizing pabulum about how great the local piecards are… and of course the death notices… and large displays of US flags everywhere – along with attacks on the Republicans and lists of “friends of Labor” Democrats to vote for in the upcoming elections.  No wonder the AFL-CIO is going down the tubes with this pathetic, pro-capitalist leadership!  If we want to see the union membership rise again like it did in the 1930s, we need to kick out the pro-capitalist labor fakers and replace them with a revolutionary Trotskyist class-struggle leadership that fights not just for “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” but for workers socialist revolution in the USA and around the world!  There will not be any dancing in the streets after WWIII, sisters and brothers.

Workers of the World, Unite!  Capitalism Must Die So The Working Class May Live!

—IWPCHI

Exclusive: Report from 14 November Hearing to Obtain Class-Action Status for 100 Incarcerated Chicago Police Torture Victims

Part of the small but spirited gathering of political activists showing their support for imprisoned victims of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge’s Torture Squad outside Cook County Criminal Courts Building, 14 November 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

[NOTE TO READERS:  As thrilling as it must be for you to read our scintillating prose, if you wish to simply get to the transcript of remarks made immediately after today’s hearing by Peoples Law Office attorney Joey Mogul, skip down to the bottom of this article. – IWPCHI]

Cook County Criminal Courts Building, Chicago, IL (November 14):
Lawyers from the People’s Law Office appeared in Cook County (IL) Court today to pursue their goal of obtaining class-action status for the 100 still-imprisoned victims of the  infamous Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge’s torture squad.

A typically small (for a largely brainwashed and apathetic Chicago working-class population of over 3 million) but spirited demonstration in support of the imprisoned torture victims was held before the court hearing began.  Initiated by the “Campaign to End Torture” group led by Mark Clements – himself a formerly incarcerated victim of the Chicago Police Department’s torture squad – this group of approximately 30 people set up a picket line directly in front of the Cook County Courthouse building and let everyone entering the building know why we were there: to demand that all imprisoned victims of the CPD’s torture gang be released immediately.

Friends and family of Stanley Howard participate in demonstration on behalf of Chicago Police Department torture victims outside Cook County Criminal Courts Building, Chicago, IL, 14 November, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

Several different groups were represented in the protest: “Campaign to End Torture” was there, as was one representative of the Independent Workers Party of Chicago; at least two members of the Socialist Workers Party and a couple of folks from Occupy Chicago, who brought a long banner presenting the names of every known incarcerated torture victim still languishing in the Illinois prison system.  Significantly present were several family members of imprisoned victims of Jon Burge’s CPD torture squad, including a group of supporters of Stanley Howard (www.freestanleyhoward.com).

Half of the banner brought by Occupy Chicago supporters listing the 100 names of known imprisoned victims of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge’s torture squad outside Cook County Criminal Courts building in Chicago, IL, 14 November, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

Notably not present were some of the most prominent socialist groups in the city, including the International Socialists Organization (ISO), the Spartacist League and the Sparts’ Partisan Defense Committee, a group allegedly dedicated to fighting for the rights of political prisoners.  Perhaps they were all staring on their Christmas shopping the week before Black Friday?  None of the major trade unions sent a single member, which is absolutely typical of the pro-capitalist, pro-cop “business unionist” trade union bureaucracy in the U.S.

Also nowhere in evidence were the usual phalanx of mobile satellite broadcast trucks of the city’s television news stations.  But that’s no surprise: these pro-capitalist propaganda outlets have consistently distinguished themselves by attempting to completely ignore this major scandal from the time the story was first broken by ‘Chicago Reader’ journalist/playwright John Conroy  to the present day.

The hearing was held in courtroom 101 on the ground floor of the ancient Cook County Criminal Courts building, which itself sits atop a suite of holding cells for the hundreds of mostly black and Hispanic prisoners awaiting trial every day.  These holding cells are scenes of torture on a daily basis themselves: hundreds of prisoners are herded from hideously overcrowded, filthy holding cell to hideously overcrowded, filthy holding cell, packed into barred, open cells in such numbers that it is impossible to sit down; and the men and women have to stand for hours, shoulder to shoulder, awaiting their moment in the notorious kangaroo court system of Cook County, where the judges and prosecutors boast of “98% conviction rates” due to defendants’ willingness to plead guilty to crimes they never committed or were improperly arrested for just to get out of the hellhole “Crook County” jail system.  Amnesty International would have a field day if they were allowed to view the conditions in these holding cells, which are probably not much better than those found in any brutal prison system in any “Third World” country.  The U.S. government has nothing to boast about – “human rights-wise” – when it comes to prison conditions in U.S. county jails.  All the judges, lawyers, prosecutors and capitalist press know full well about the horrid conditions in the Cook County Jail – and they collaborate to cover up this major scandal that literally sits directly under their feet every time they enter the “Crook” County Criminal Courts Building!

But, we digress.

The hearing in courtroom 101 was held in front of “the Honorable” (that is the honorific title traditionally and – usually ironically – used in the U.S.) Judge Paul P. Biebel, Jr. in a courtroom vastly different from the kind we see portrayed in endless, tediously hagiographic Hollywood productions.  Unlike the august, dark-paneled temples of justice seen in, say, Law and Order, Judge Biebel’s courtroom is a model of police-state technology, with a floor-to-ceiling glass partition and door separating the defendant-victims and their families from the courtroom itself.  The proceedings are capable of being closed to the public at any time by shutting the glass door to the courtroom and then turning off the audio which is piped into the gallery area through three lines of loudspeakers.  In this way, the public can be cut off from hearing what’s going on in the courtroom; the gallery can be placed under a virtual “cone of silence” at any time by order of the judge.

The “Cone of Silence” installed in Courtroom 101 in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building as it appeared on November 14, 2012. No credit.

In today’s hearing, the issue at stake was whether or not the Cook County Prosecutor’s office, led now by Anita Alvarez, can be allowed to represent the state in this case, or whether the manifest and multifold conflicts of interest that exist between the wholly interpenetrated Chicago Police Department and Cook County Prosecutors’ office have created a situation in which it is impossible for the Cook County Prosecutor to fairly and equitably administer even the rough semblance of “justice” in this case.  [SPOILER ALERT: The “Crook” County Prosecutor’s Office is so completely compromised by every conceivable level of corruption that could exist between two branches of government that there “ain’t no way” they can be considered impartial in this case or any case involving the Chicago Police Department. – IWPCHI]

So, when the case was called, the judge immediately ruled that it would be much more convenient for everyone involved if they retired to his chambers to discuss the finer points of law, undistracted by the eyes and ears of the very interested citizenry assembled in the gallery.  Into the judge’s chambers they all went – lawyers for the torture victims and prosecutors, special prosecutors and all – and we waited in the gallery for the outcome of this “meeting of the minds” so to speak.

In about 15 minutes, they re-emerged into the light of public observation, and the judge blurted out a series of court dates that would be upcoming, in which both sides could make their cases as to whether or not, and why or why not it was right and proper for the “Crook” County Prosecutors’ office, long “in bed” with the Chicago Police Department, to exercise legal jurisdiction over this case, or whether a special prosecutor should be appointed in their place [SPOILER ALERT: This is something like arguing that the Titanic would still be sailing across the Atlantic today if it had a different captain in 1912.  In the capitalist courts, workers can never expect to find “justice”, even on a good day, in front of a “decent” judge and a “fair” prosecutor.  And in hugely political cases like this one, “the fix”, as they say, almost certainly already “is in”. And that goes double when the court in question sits in the County of Cook, in the State of Illinois, in the Untied Snakes of America. – IWPCHI]

Lawyers from the People’s Law Office confer outside courtroom 101 in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building after class-action petition hearing, 14 November 2012.  Attorney Joey Mogul is second from right, with her back to the camera.  Photo by IWPCHI

Thank god that the People’s Law Office brought an interpreter along with them to explain to us mere workers the strange signs and figures we had just seen described in impenetrable legalese by “the Honorable” Judge Biebel.  Her name was (and is) Joey L. Mogul – she is an Attorney at Law.  And she concisely and quite nicely laid out the situation for us in 5 minutes.  We used our “cleverphone” to record her remarks, and somehow managed to get almost all of them even though the “cleverphone”, we discovered too late, makes voice notes of a maximum duration of 60 seconds at a time [DAMN YOU, RICHARD BRANSON!! (1) – IWPCHI].  Ms. Mogul’s remarks are reproduced here.  All errors are ours, but we were very careful to reduce them to a reasonably small number below around five but definitely probably above zero.  (See (1), above.

REMARKS OF JOEY L. MOGUL, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW, PEOPLE’S LAW OFFICE:

JM:  “Hi, everybody – hi.  Sorry to make you wait in the cold.  First of all, thank you for coming today.  I think it’s really important to show support for the guys behind bars, so we really appreciate you coming here and being outside in the cold.
O.K.:  so you know this was about our class-action petition, right?  Seeking hearings for all of the torture survivors who are behind bars who have never gotten an evidentiary hearing, O.K.?  So these have to be… to be individuals who were tortured or physically coerced under Burge’s supervision at Area 2 or Area 3, right?  So we filed that petition; and at the same time we know that the “Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission” – TIRC [pronounced: “turk” – IWP] – has made findings in 5 cases that individuals should get evidentiary hearings.  One of those cases – Shawn Whirl – was up today with the class-action petition.
[Switching to recording number 2, we lost a bit of Ms. Mogul’s remarks.  She said that the primary question being raised in today’s in-camera proceeding in the judge’s chamber was… – IWPCHI]
JM: “… Who is gonna respond in behalf of the state?  Because – just as a reminder – back in 2002 the State’s Attorney’s Office when run by Dick Devine was found to have a [per se? – IWP] conflict [of interest – IWP] because Dick Devine, when leaving the State’s Attorney’s Office [in the 80s? – IWP] went into private [law – IWP] practice; and while in private practice, he and his law firm represented Jon Burge and the other white detectives, in Andrew Wilson’s civil rights case.  And as a result of that conflict, that is how we had special prosecutors [appointed – IWP] to investigate the crimes of Burge and others; and that’s later why we had Lisa Madigan’s offices to be appointed in representing various torture survivors who had post-conviction petitions, right?
Later, in 2009, what happened is that the A.G.’s [Attorney General’s – IWP] office said that they didn’t have enough resources in which to represent all of the existing [unintelligible – IWP] in all these cases; and that is why Judge [Engelman’s ? – IWP] office was appointed as a special prosecutor.

The state is being… the State’s Attorney’s Office, they have said… Alvarez’ office says they want to represent the State’s interest with respect to our class-action petition, and with respect to the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission cases.  So they [Alvarez’ office] are now responding, on December 12th, as to whether they are ‘conflicted out’ from representing the state on these cases.  We will then file a reply in January – on January 7th – saying what our position is.  And our position is that State’s Attorney Alvarez’ office has a conflict; that conflict remains from the Devine era; and that that [conflict – IWP] prevents them from taking – representing the state in this case.  There will be a hearing on January 15th.  So that’s a status hearing; and eventually we will probably have arguments before Judge Biebel, O.K.?  Does that make sense?”

[We switch again to the next recording, missing 10 seconds of audio – IWP]

JM:  “Well, we certainly are disappointed… [at this point, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez walked by, attracting the attention of Mark Clements of the ‘Campaign to End Torture’.  As she walked by, Mr. Clements shouted: “FREE THE TORTURE VICTIMS!”  This completely justified outburst predictably discomfited Ms. Mogul… – IWP]
JM:  “Mark, don’t… Mark… please don’t do that.”
Mark Clements: “That’s Alvarez.”
JM:  “But, Mark, don’t.  That’s just… you know?  We don’t need it.
We believe there’s a conflict [of interest – IWP]; we believe that conflict’s been found; we think that conflict remains, O.K.?  Yes, we are anxious to get to the merits; yes we want hearings for these individuals; we would like to get through this quickly so that we can actually get to the issues of the fact that there are potential torture survivors who are still behind bars, who’ve never been given any due process and have never been given a fair opportunity to have their torture allegations heard.  We will move with as quick speed as possible.  We would like… we would like the State’s Attorney’s office to acknowledge their conflicts […] and step aside so we can get to the merits.  That said, we are prepared to fight this; we are prepared to argue it in court; and we are going to prepare to proceed, because we look forward to having our day in court…”

[We switch again to the next recording, again missing around 10 seconds of dialogue.  Ms. Mogul has ended her presentation, and a question and answer session begins. – IWPCHI]

Q. [by unknown person]: “Those are five individual cases?”
JM: [affirming – IWP] “Those are five individual cases.”
Q:  “Was [Javon? unintelligible name – IWP] one of them?”
JM: “No, he was not.”
Q: [unintelligible]
JM: “I don’t know if he was [unintelligible – IWP]… if he filed a claim to the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission or not, or if it’s an issue about…”
Q: “Did he file a claim?”
JM: “… Let me say this: whether he did or did not, the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission was only able to get to a small number of cases.  They have now been funded to investigate further cases, O.K.?  That said, Javon Deloney [phonetic spelling – IWP] is one of the… in the putative class members; he’s one of the people [who we’ve looked at recently – IWP] under our class-action petition, O.K.?”
Q. [Mark Clements? – IWP]: “And I think that’s the route that he should go.”
JM: “That’s something that should be discussed privately, O.K.?  Any other questions?”
Independent Workers Party: “Yes. What do you feel is the advantage of having a class-action suit in this kind of a case?”
JM: “We think… because we think what has happened has been insufficient.  Individual cases fought here and there has not resolved this systemic issue…”

[Here the recording ends.  Ms. Mogul went on to say that in major cases of police misconduct or brutality involving, as the Burge cases do, dozens of individuals, such as the many cases in Oakland and Los Angeles, California; in Philadelphia and in other jurisdictions, class-action proceedings have been repeatedly adopted as the most efficient way to handle such large numbers of similar cases, but that this has never been done before [SPOILER ALERT: Surprise, surprise! – IWP] in Illinois or Chicago. – IWP]

IWPCHI

UPDATE: Niles, IL “Racist Router” is Still Running

UPDATE:  It appears as if our celebration of the takedown of the racist router of Niles, IL was premature: although we were unable to find it last night, today when our correspondent went to the Panera Bread location at 7023 West Dempster Street in Niles IL, the racist router broadcast was back on the air.

Of course, our reporter immediately notified Niles, IL Community Relations Commission Secretary Cathy Spadoni to thank her for her work and to let her know that the racist broadcast was still ongoing.  She thanked him for the kind words and said that she had been assured that the router broadcast would be “taken down” in the next couple of days.

Our correspondent asked her if she knew who it was who was making the broadcast.  She said “no, I don’t [know]”.   He asked her why it was taking so long to get this router shut down; her response: “I don’t know anything about these technical things”.   Our reporter explained to her that a router broadcast can be immediately turned off by unplugging the router, or it can be renamed in a couple of minutes.  She said: “I don’t know anything about any of that, but it should be turned off in the next couple of days”.

Our correspondent let her know that the status of the router would be monitored daily by us until it is actually turned off.  Which is exactly what we are going to do.  Our own investigation into this matter is ongoing.

We will be contacting the local newspapers today to let them know about the existence of this router broadcast so that they can confirm its existence over the next few days.  If it turns out that Ms. Spadoni has been misled by the Niles Police Department as to t

Comrades! We Must Redouble Our Efforts to Raise Money to Fight for the Emancipation of the Working Class!

[The following is a verbatim transcript of the Dear Leader’s most recent speech, graciously given last evening to the assembled comrades of Party Local 1 in Chicago.  All Hail the Dear Leader!]

[Recording begins: “… hey – that guy didn’t ‘Hail the Dear Leader’ loudly enough!  Get him out of here!” [scuffling, doors slamming, muffled cries for help, etc.]

DL: “Good Evenin…” [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE]

DL: “I said, ‘good…” [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE]

DL: “I… [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE, CHEERING, CRIES OF JOY, SEVERAL COMRADES FAINT AND HAVE TO BE CARRIED OUT OF THE ROOM]

DL: “Jeezus fucking chr…” [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE]

DL: “ALL RIGHT!  STOP IT ALREADY!  I’VE GOT JUST A COUPLE OF THINGS I’D LIKE TO SAY!  ENOUGH WITH THE BROWN-NOSING!  I HAVEN’T EVEN SAID ANYTHING YET!  JEEZUS!”  [silence] “That’s better.  Damn!” [scattered applause followed by harsh “shushing”]

DL:  “Comrades!  I’m here to spewak with you about our current fundraising campaign for the Independent Workers Party… [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE]”… ah, shit… there they go again… what the fu… KNOCK IT OFF!” [SILENCE]

DL: ” Our party has for the past several months created several campaigns in order to raise much-needed funds for our party activities – money that we need in order to even begin to counter the well-funded round-the-clock propaganda operations of the class enemy. We have created a Cafe Press storefront selling IWPCHI merchandise [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE] – items useful to the proletariat, and at the same time amusing and enlightening the workers and relieving in a small way the daily drudgery of the masses…   [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE] “…at reasonable prices.    We have also created our magnificent WordPress blog [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE, JOYOUS PROLETARIAN SHOUTING]”…  Our blog has been a modest success: in every month since we started it, the number of hits has been steadily increasing…  [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE] “… ahhh shit. [whistles “The Internationale” while the applause continues, then subsides]

DL: “Are you gonna keep doing that or will you let me speak? [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE, Shouts of “YES!”]  “oh, man…”

DL: ” Comrades, our party has been, for the past several months, trying to utilize a mechanism of funding originally designed by a cabal of capitalist running dogs  to raise money for such things as cute-puppy surgerythe production of ecologically-friendly drinking straws,  and the production and distribution of miniature Dungeons and Dragons figurinesand even the production and distribution of miniature Dungeons and Dragons figurines…   [UPROARIOUS LAUGHTER]” …in order to raise money for our party’s vitally important work.   Don’t laugh, Comrades!  [SILENCE]  These running dogs of US imperialism have raised millions of dollars for these projects and thousands of other frivolous projects just like them.  American workers and workers all over the world have responded to appeals for funding such things as   ‘Orapup’ – a tongue brush for dogs that claims to eliminate canine halitosis…”  [HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER, CHAIRS BEING KNOCKED OVER, COMRADES ROLLING ON THE FLOOR IN UNBRIDLED PROLETARIAN MIRTH] “COMRADES!  The ‘Orapup’ campaign has raised, in just a month, over $41,000 dollars in contributions! [GASPS OF DISBELIEF]
“Yes, comrades, it is true.  And that is not the worst of it.  Our campaigns – we are now in the second fundraising campaign on the “Indiegogo” website – have, in almost 60 days of non-stop campaigning RAISED NOT A SINGLE DOLLAR!” [SHOUTS: ‘NO!’  ‘INCREDIBLE!’  HYSTERICAL SOBBING]  “Yes, it’s true, comrades!  While the running dogs promoting  ‘Hot Guys With Guns’ – Hollywood’s first gay action comedy  have succeeded  in raising over $21,000 for their ridiculous project, which will do nothing for the workers except to distract them from the struggle to overthrow the capitalist system, our campaign – a campaign to start building a working-class political party here in the United States – the belly of the capitalist beast – has not succeeded in raising a single penny! [SHOUTS: NO! IT IS NOT POSSIBLE! GUNSHOTS AS MEMBERS BEGIN TO COMMIT MASS SUICIDE]

DL [ducking behind podium]:”JEEZUS CHRIST!  WHERE DID THOSE GUNS COME FROM!  STOP THEM!  ARE YOU FUCKING NUTS?  OH MY GOD!  YOU CRAZY BASTARDS!” [Order is slowly restored.   Dear Leader goes around disarming those comrades who stand holding guns to their temples.  The wounded are cared for; the self-martyred dead are carried to the outside of the conference hall, etc.]

DL: “You crazy bastards!  Jeezus!  Jeezus!  Now, where the hell was I…?” [Comrade in the audience: ‘You were saying that our Indiegogo campaign has been a failure…’]  “Right, right.  Thanks, comrade.  Jeezus!  Fucking crazy bastards!  [Voice: ‘We’re sorry Dear Leader – it won’t happen again!’  Other voices make affirming comments to the first comrade’s statement]  “Good, it better not happen again.  Damn!  You guys are goddamned crazy!”

DL [continuing]: ” It is sadly true, comrades.  Our fundraising campaign has been an abject failure.  How can we hold our heads up and present ourselves as worker-leaders when we can’t even out-compete those who, as I speak to you now,  are raising tens of thousands of dollars  to produce a pair of electric-powered sunglasses that create YouTube videos at the touch of a button!.   [POWERFUL GASPS OF PURE PROLETARIAN DISBELIEF]  “I shit you not, comrades!”  [VOICES: ‘It cannot be!  It is a bourgeois trick!  It is another lie of the capitalist press!’, etc.]

DL: “I am afraid it is all too true, comrades.  All our efforts – nearly 90 vitally important articles infused with fighting proletarian spirit – have not yet encouraged a single donation out of the thousands of website hits our blog has received from oppressed workers all over the globe!”  [VOICES:  NO!]

DL:  “Comrades, we must redouble our efforts to reach the masses.  Of course, our glorious Party will not die if we cannot obtain funding from the workers directly.  We ourselves will contribute the money we earn as workers to keep our party strong… [THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE] “…our party leaders have considered this question with all the seriousness they can bring to bear on even the tiniest issue – like whether it is more revolutionary to go to Caribou Coffee instead of Starbucks –  and they have come to the conclusion that our inability to raise the kind of money that a campaign that built a look-alike iPhone case that in fact conceals a powerful stun gun was able to raise may indicate that the workers in the United States simply do not give a shit about the future of their own country enough to support a political party of the working class…” [VOICES: ‘NO!  IT IS NOT POSSIBLE!]  “Yes, it may be the case, comrades.  They are so entranced by their iPhone 5s that were built by virtual slave labor in Maoist China that they can’t be bothered to fight for their own rights…” [VOICES: ‘A LIE!’ ‘You do not mean what you say, Dear Leader!’]  “No, my comrades, it may be true.  Years of playing Nintendo and Wii for hours has turned their will to struggle into a facile yearning for the comforts of a soft couch in front of a large television screen…” [VOICES: ‘NO!  NO!’]

DL:  “I know, it is hard to take, this indifference of the proletarians of the US, who, once organized into fighting battalions could rid the world of the most vicious, bloodthirsty ruling class in world history – has instead settled for fighting computer-generated villains in the latest video games…” [VOICES: ‘They will fight, Dear Leader!  We will organize the working class to break out of their infotainment-induced stupor!’]  “Yes, I know you will try your best, comrades.  But we must stop here and re-analyze our methods.  What can we do to make our campaign more interesting and compelling  for the workers of the world?  What is it that draws their attention to projects like the one that seeks to produce a combination solar lamp and phone charger  that its inventor claims will somehow “improve the lives of millions” while our project, which aims to end the exploitation of man by man all over the world and which seeks to stop the US capitalist class’ insane drive towards World War Three goes completely unfunded?  This utter, abject failure of our fundraising campaigns may in fact prove conclusively that the working class of the US is so completely fucked up that they can’t even mount the most elementary self-defense against their continual degradation under capitalism and the steady decline of their incomes since 1968.   It may take the same kind of intervention by the rest of the world’s workers to overthrow the US Government that it took in the 1940s to crush the repulsive Hitler regime.”
[VOICES: No!  No!]  “Time will tell, comrades.  Time will tell…” [VOICES: ‘They will fight!, etc.]

DL:  “I know they will, comrades, I know they will.  Your confidence in the American working class is an amazing thing to behold in these dark days…

“That is all I have to say today.  Look again at our blog.   Look again at our Indiegogo campaign.   Check out, once again, our party’s online store.  See if you can come up with any way to make these things more interesting to the working class than a campaign to help a Las Vegas hypnotist open a show across the street from the MGM Grand!”  [VOICES: ‘We’ll do it, Dear Leader!  The workers will stand rise up and fight their US imperialist oppressors!’]  “I know you’ll try, comrades.  But Kevin the Hypnotist has raised over $20,000 already…” [The Dear Leader breaks down sobbing and rushes out of the room, followed by the members of the Central Committee. THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE, SINGING OF ‘THE INTERNATIONALE’]

IWPCHI

#1 Reason Why Capitalism Must Be Abolished: The Standing Threat of WWIII Under the Greed System

Marxists have long argued that, unless the capitalist system is abolished, the working class of the entire world stands beneath a nuclear-tipped Sword of Damocles at all times. And the current state of the world’s geopolitics underlines this threat. So long as the world is divided up into separate nation states under a system of global competition for raw materials that are becoming scarcer by the hour, the threat of world war looms over all of humanity. The entire human race stands at the edge of a precipice from which the capitalist system threatens to hurl it into the abyss in a paroxysm of greed, nationalism and world-wide nuclear war.

This is clearly shown by the sudden escalation of unrest in the world’s most prolific oil-producing region, the Middle East and its environs. This week, the internal civil war in Syria, egged on by US and NATO imperialist powers through their secret police – the CIA, Mossad, British and French Intelligence services, etc. – and hired proxies on the ground inside Syria threatens to explode out beyond that nation’s borders and into Turkey and possibly northern Iraq and elsewhere.

An overzealous Syrian military unit appears to have shelled positions in Turkey from which the Syrians claim they were being fired upon by Syrian “rebels” fleeing government attacks. The Turks, whose national government is characterized by fierce nationalism and the suppression of its own minority populations – particularly, the Kurdish people of southeastern Turkey and Northern Iraq, obtained permission from its national Parliament to retaliate against Syria. The Turkish retaliation, coming as it does from a NATO member country and having taken place after consultations with the US and other top NATO imperialist nations, immediately poses a threat to China and Russia: two non-NATO states who have been strong supporters of the Syrian government during its civil war. The trip wires have long been set between NATO and its historic enemies: principally the deformed Maoist workers state of China as well as Russia, which, when it was the USSR, was the prime inspiration of the creation of NATO. The Independent Workers Party says: US/NATO Hands Off the World!

The imperialist powers who run NATO – which is primarily a front for US imperialism – are not a force for “good” in the world; NATO is the military alliance of the world’s leading capitalist states, who seek to use their combined military forces to smash worker revolutions wherever they occur. NATO is used to project the military forces of the leading capitalist states – whose citizens comprise far less that 1/5 of the world’s population – across the world, protecting the foreign investments of global bankers and their corporations. Everywhere NATO goes, it brings in its train hideous pro-imperialist exiles, who are so depraved that, in their quest for power and wealth, volunteer to be the front men in puppet regimes to be installed by the NATO forces after military invasions during which hundreds of thousands or even millions of the workers of the invaded countries are slaughtered. Such was the result of the NATO-backed invasion of Iraq; such has been the result of the NATO invasion of Afghanistan; such was the result recently in Libya. Everywhere NATO goes, it brings “profitable” death and destruction of countries – profitable because the bombs and other weapons systems deployed in the war have to be replaced afterwards, and the destroyed cities have to be rebuilt by contractors hired by the NATO imperialist states. Thus capitalism makes war into a never-ending engine of blood-soaked profits for the worlds capitalist class. They don’t care how many workers they slaughter, because to the capitalist class, human life, especially of the poor and the working class, is cheap. The US capitalist class has Grim-reaped hundreds of billions of dollars in profits by blowing up the cities of Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan, rebuilding them – and then blowing them up and rebuilding them again! These bloodthirsty greedheads, who are presently in the process of leasing the White House for the next four years so that one of their very own – vulture capitalist and Mormon Bishop Mitt Romney – can sit in the Oval Office with his hand on the button that could be pushed to launch World War Three. The US capitalist class is tired of having worker-friendly sock-puppets like Barack Obama as their cut-outs pretending to be running the US: now they want to promote as Presidential material a man who has openly stated to the world that he has no use for 45% of the US population, and will not even try to represent their interests.

He is, of course, lying. He really means to say that he has no intention of representing the interests of the US working class, which makes up far more than just 45% of the US population; and, by extension, he tells the capitalists of the world that he has no intention of representing the interests of ANY workers, ANYWHERE! He is a filthy rich greedy vulture capitalist, who made his bones by buying out viable capitalist enterprises, sucking all the exploitable value out of them and then killing them off, throwing thousands of workers out of work and taking the stolen cash and putting it all in his and his co-conspirators’ pockets. It is thievery on a massive scale, and it’s all legal under the rules of US capitalism, where poor people who steal food from supermarkets go to jail, while rich greedheads like Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney are hailed as “self-made capitalist success stories”. It truly is a hideous cancer on the world, the cancer called the capitalist system!

“…and then the war came…”

Generations of pro-capitalist historians have spread the lie that wars under capitalism occur by accident; they are “acts of God”; they are “a failure of diplomacy”, etc, etc., ad nauseam. Those of us who have studied the teachings of the great Marxist theoreticians – Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky chief among them – understand that war, under capitalism, and even before capitalism, is never an “accident” but is the product of the expansion of nation states and their quest for more natural resources to feed their expanding economies and the needs of their expanding trading operations. Under capitalism, war is the byproduct of an economic system based on greed and the exploitation of the working class. Capitalism has created productive forces that can produce products in quantities far beyond what can be consumed within the borders of the nation-state in which they are produced. The capitalists then seek markets beyond their borders, where that competing nation’s greedheads are already producing the same products. In order to protect their domestic markets, the capitalists of both nations might initially place tariffs on the importation of their rival capitalists’ goods, so as to make the domestic products cheaper. This angers the other capitalist class, who then place retaliatory tariffs on THEIR competitors’ goods. This back-and-forth economic war can – and often does – lead to actual military forces being sent into the rival capitalists’ territory to “settle” the trade dispute in the more powerful capitalist state’s favor. World Wars I and II were, fundamentally, fought over just such a struggle for raw materials which one or another imperialist nation-state (Germany and Japan, in particular) lacked. The working class of all of these countries was, tragically, forced to go to war to slaughter their fellow workers so that the rich capitalist class could defeat their economic competition. What the workers got out of it was hundreds of millions of their working class brothers and sisters being slaughtered all across the globe.

Today, the worlds’ capitalists are in the run-up to yet another world war. The capitalist economies of the world have already divided up the world among themselves; access to raw materials and markets has also already been divided among them. The only way they can increase their profits now is either to discover new sources of raw materials, or to go somewhere in the world and seize them from one of their imperialist capitalist rivals – or to invade the territory of one of the deformed workers states, like China, and take over their markets and resources. There is no other way out of the world economic depression that the world is now stuck in. Just as in the 1930s, the only way out of this economic impasse for the capitalists is world war.

They do not necessarily sit around and plan such a war over a sumptuous banquet. Economic necessity impels them toward war the way hunger impels a poor man to steal food or money to survive. Feeling threatened by their imperialist erstwhile “allies”, the capitalist class of the various nation-states tell their bought-and-paid-for politicians to increase “defense” spending to “protect the homeland from ‘terrorist attacks'”. Under this thin veil – which of course, does not for a minute fool their imperialist rivals – they begin to arm for war. “Missile defense systems” are built; aircraft carriers, which are only effective as offensive weapons, are designed and constructed; long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles are stockpiled and the old stock replaced with more modern versions; old battleships and submarines are replaced with more powerful modern designs. The raw numbers of such weaponry may decline – this fact will be loudly broadcast to the workers to fool them into believing that the military forces are being “downsized” – but, in fact, these newer weapons are so much more powerful and accurate that half as many of them can cause far more destruction than all the old ones combined. In this way, the trip wires are gradually, unnoticeable set for war. By deploying their navies all over the globe, these competing imperialist states raise the risk of “accidentally” bumping into the “enemy’s” ships. Eventually, the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan.

The run-up to war happens so slowly and incrementally that when it “happens” it “looks” accidental. But the war planners in places like the Pentagon are continually creating and revising plans to “defend US interests” in the event of any contingency imaginable. They are always ready to launch a pre-emptive strike against any competing nation-state. Of course, both sides will be careful to make it look like they were attacked first.

Until the working class of the US rises up and disarms its ruling capitalist class, and our working class brothers and sisters of every other capitalist country in the world do the same, the threat of WWIII will be very real and will be inexorably approaching nearer and nearer. If WWIII occurs, it will be the fault – not so much of the capitalist class that has prepared it and which will launch it – but it will be the fault of the so-called leaders of the worlds workers who have done absolutely NOTHING to stop it. Without revolutionary leadership of the working class there can be no revolution to overthrow capitalism and stop WW III from happening. Revolutions, like wars, do not happen by accident. It takes a highly dedicated revolutionary leadership that has studied and learned the lessons of history  and who have a very clear understanding of what must be done  in order for a  successful workers revolution  to take place.  Revolution, like war, is part science and part art; the consciousness of what the workers need to do does not arise in their minds spontaneously – it must be taught to them by professional revolutionaries, just as the laws of physics do not spontaneously occur to people, but must be taught by highly trained teachers.

Where are those professional revolutionaries now?  They are, sadly, few and far between – especially in precisely those countries where a successful workers revolution is needed most: the United States of America.

The search for the leaders of the Third American Revolution is going on now.  That is what we in the Independent Workers Party of Chicago are attempting to do – organize a vanguard of worker-leaders who can fight for the rights of our class here in the US and rip the guns out of the hands of our blood-thirsty US capitalist class once and for all and place the weapons now being used by the US government to slaughter workers in the hands of the working class here.  Only in this way can we stop WW III from happening.  If we fail, the planet we live on may become something like Mars, a dry desert where, once upon a time, water flowed and life bloomed.  Not just the survival of our children and grandchildren is at stake: the survival of life on Earth is at stake.

It is time, fellow worker, to drive away that apathy and hoplessness that has been driven into your mind over the years of your hard-working life by the pro-capitalist media and join this vital struggle for the future of humankind.  We do not have much time left before the next war “happens”.

IWPCHI

The Union Pacific Railroad and the Federal Railroad Administration – Literally In Bed With Each Other

As we were writing to the top elected officials in the towns of Northbrook and Glenview, IL today to inform them of the results of our investigation of the quality of Union Pacific’s “maintenance” of the remaining uncollapsed railroad bridges in their towns, we were compelled to do some quick research in order to remind ourselves, once again, just how long-running that criminal conspiracy called the Union Pacific Railroad has been.

Our very first search took us – where else? – to Wikipedia, which supplied us with these nuggets of information regarding UP’s safety record of late:

“On June 28, 2004 in Macdona, Texas a UP train collided with an idle BNSF train resulting in the puncturing of a 90-ton tank car carrying liquified chlorine. As the chlorine vaporized, a toxic “yellow cloud” soon formed which killed 3 (the UP conductor and two residents nearby) and caused 43 hospitalizations. The costs of cleanup and property damaged during the incident exceeded 7 million dollars.

“Another derailment in November 1994 killed a bystander in a neighboring business in San Antonio. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson demanded a federal investigation in the Union Pacific crashes around Bexar County.[20] Area civic leaders called for the rerouting of Union Pacific’s hazardous chemicals around the city altogether.[citation needed] In March 2005, Texas Governor Rick Perry supported a plan to reroute trains around large urban population centers in the state of Texas, including San Antonio[21]

“Various investigations of the Macdona incident have revealed several serious safety lapses on the part of the Union Pacific and its employees; specifically, Federal Railroad Administration officials in 2004 have reported that the Union Pacific had “notable deficiencies”, including its employees not following the company’s own safety rules.  While initial reports blamed “fatigue” of the crew of the UP train,[citation needed] many other contributing factors have been cited. Among those, the chlorine tank cars were improperly placed near the front of the train. Cars containing hazardous materials have traditionally been placed away from the front of the train, an operational measure used to safeguard against the likelihood of the such cars being among the first affected in a derailment and to reduce their likelihood of colliding with heavier steel cars.[clarification needed]

“In the aftermath of the Macdona and other incidents, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) signed a compliance agreement with the railroad in November 2004 in which the railroad promised to rectify the “notable deficiencies” that regulators found.  Specifically, the agreement mandated increased training for railroad managers and increased the number of FRA inspectors in the region by 10.  United States Assemblyman Charlie Gonzalez questioned if the agreement went far enough; he and other Congressional delegation members questioned the FRA’s “partnership” approach as being “too cozy a relationship to the railroads” and cited an article in The New York Times that reported that the acting FRA administrator, Betty Monro, and the chief lobbyist for Union Pacific, Mary E. McAuliffe, had vacationed several times together on Nantucket.

“The railroad’s San Antonio Service Unit (SASU) has had other derailments,  including a Schulenburg, Texas incident in June 2009 where tank cars containing chlorine and petroleum naptha xylene derailed but were not punctured.

“On June 24, 2012, three crew members were killed when two Union Pacific trains slammed into each other just east of Goodwell, about 300 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. One of the trains should have been waiting on a side track for the other train to pass. The crash triggered a diesel-fueled fireball that appeared to weld the locomotives together.”
[Source: Wikipedia – “Union Pacific Railroad”]

They haven’t even updated this article to include the Union Pacific’s murder of the Lindners at the Shermer Rd. bridge in Glenview, IL on July 4th, 2012.

But that’s nothing!  Did you read that thing about the UP’s chief lobbyist and the Federal Railroad Administration’s then-acting administrator vacationing together on Nantucket?  For years!

Oh, my!  Why is it that the Glenview and Northbrook town officials never expressed even the slightest bit of dismay over the FRA and not the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) conducting the investigation of the corporate murder of the Lindners?  Are they completely unaware that the FRA and UP are, apparently, literally in bed together?

So, being the unpaid investigators of these things that we are, and knowing that the village executives who make hundreds of times more money than we do for doing their jobs will never bother to even do the most cursory investigation into the incestuous history of the FRA and the UP, we dug a bit further.

The Wikipedia article cites a New York Times article – “Regulators Plan to Step Up Union Pacific Safety Checks” –

from 2004!   This article merely alludes to the criminal relationship that exists between the Union Pacific Railroad and its “regulator”, the FRA.

So, we dug further into the archives of the New York Times and found this jewel:

“For Railroads and the Safety Overseer, Close Ties” .    This is also from 2004, and it’s almost unbelievable.

“Federal inspectors were clearly troubled by what they had been seeing in recent years at Union Pacific. According to their written accounts, track defects repeatedly went uncorrected; passenger trains were sent down defective tracks at speeds more than four times faster than were deemed safe; and engines and rail cars were dispatched in substandard condition.

“Soon, the inspectors from the Federal Railroad Administration began talking tough: bigger fines and more of them. But as they began to crack down on the railroad, they found themselves under fire from an unexpected quarter: their boss, the agency’s deputy administrator, Betty Monro.

“Ms. Monro demanded to know why agency officials had not pursued the less punitive ‘partnership’ approach that she favored, according to a July 2002 memo from her and the agency’s chief at the time, Allan Rutter. A year later, in a senior staff meeting, Ms. Monro rebuked her subordinates as being ‘overly aggressive’ toward Union Pacific, according to one person present.

Ms. Monro, who now runs the railroad agency, was in a position to know just how unhappy her inspectors were making officials at Union Pacific. She and the railroad’s chief Washington lobbyist, Mary E. McAuliffe, are longtime friends and have vacationed together on Nantucket several times since Ms. Monro joined the agency in 2001.

“The railroad industry and its federal overseer have long been closely intertwined. And increasingly, like many other federal regulators, the Federal Railroad Administration has emphasized partnership as the best, quickest way to identify, and fix, safety problems from the roots up. But the story of its recent oversight of Union Pacific – spelled out in a series of internal memorandums from agency officials and inspectors – raises questions about whether this closeness has actually served to dull the agency’s enforcement edge…”

Isn’t that sweet?  Why aren’t the so-called “leaders” of Glenview and Northbrook out there saying “NO FUCKING WAY are we going to allow the FRA to oversee an investigation of the Union Pacific Railroad!”  Glenview’s President, Kerry Cummings has a law degree from Kent College of Law and works for… the Northern Trust bank.  Gee, I wonder if they have any business with the Union Pacific?

Sandra Frum, Northbrook’s Village President is an officer with the League of Women Voters, so she should know better than to… no, wait.  Forget it.

These are little fish, swimming with the sharks, so they have a choice: clean the shark’s gills or eat the parasites that infect the shark’s skin or… get eaten yourself.

And what they both know better than anything is: play ball with the big railroads and you’ll get PAID!  Check this out, from the just-quoted NYT article:

“Another big railroad company, CSX, offered the [FRA’s] chief safety official a job potentially worth $324,000 a year, with bonuses and stock options, while he [was] visiting railroad headquarters to discuss safety problems. After the official, James T. Schultz, accepted the job several days later, a federal watchdog asked that agency officials be instructed on the ethics of discussing job offers”!  “Instructed on ethics”!  Ha! That’s a hoot!

Here’s more:

“The industry is a rich source of campaign contributions, mostly to the Republicans, with Union Pacific as the biggest giver. It’s corporate political action committee was among the top ten donors to Republican candidates for this election cycle, and Ms. McAuliffe is the treasurer of the company’s PAC.

“The railroad’s chairman, Dick Davidson, is identified by the Bush campaign as a ‘Ranger,’ having raised more than $200,000 for the president. Until he became Mr. Bush’s running mate in 2000, Dick Cheney was a member of the Union Pacific board.”

Do you really need to know more about the relationship between the “regulator” and the “regulatee”?  Isn’t this just the same old story of how corporate money has caused the corruption of the entire US Government, from small towns to the White House?

Isn’t it time we had a political party that represents the working class, so we can clean house for real in Chicago, Illinois, the rest of the US and that cess pit they call the national government in Washington DC?

IWPCHI

[Sources: Wikipedia; The New York Times; official websites of Glenview and Northbrook, IL; Knox College website]