Tag Archives: Occupy Wall St.

Trotskyism 101: Does a workers revolution just happen “spontaneously”? Why do we need a “vanguard party”?

Does a workers revolution happen “spontaneously”?

Many self-styled revolutionares seem to think that a workers revolution arises spontaneously out of a protest without any preparation or any kind of leadership at all. These leaders (often of of supposedly “leaderless” organizations) really don’t know anything at all about revolution; they haven’t studied the long history of the struggles of the workers and peasants to free themselves from subjugation to the propertied ruling classes. To these faux-revolutionary leaders (but please remember not to call them “leaders” because their organizations are “leaderless”!) a workers revolution is like a magic show; all of a sudden the revolution is here like a rabbit from a hat. If they just choose clever slogans and chant them at the right time and get enough people to join along the next thing you know – voila! – REVOLUTION!  “If only we could get a enough workers into the streets we’d have a revolution just like that: the police would run away and the workers would be in power!  And then everything would be wonderful! Everyone would have plenty of food, health care would be free for everyone, college tuition would be free, everyone would have a nice apartment or house to live in…” etc., etc.

Maybe it’s like that in Hollywood movies but not in real life. It takes a political party of socialist revolutionaries with a revolutionary socialist program to ORGANIZE a revolution; workers revolutions don’t just fall into your lap like a ripe apple from a tree.
Why do you say we need a “vanguard party”?

It’s quite simple: there has NEVER been a successful revolution in the history of the world that did not have a revolutionary vanguard party of some kind at its head.

There is no such thing as a “spontaneous revolution”.  The French and American revolutions – which were bourgeois revolutions that brought the then -just-emerging capitalist class into power – had vanguard parties of the bourgeoisie leading the way forward.  Similarly, EVERY successful workers revolution of the 20th century had a revolutionary socialist (Leninist) vanguard party leading the way.  Anyone who tells you that you can overthrow capitalism without first organizing a revolutionary vanguard party and arming that party with a revolutionary Trotskyist program first could be a liar or a charlatan or just clueless but they are definitely NOT a revolutionary socialist out to rid the world of capitalism. Occupy Wall St., Black Lives Matter, WE ARE CHANGE – there are dozens if not hundreds of these reformist organizations – all pretending that they do not need to organize a political party to change things.  They are particularly hostile – note this! – to the very idea of a Leninist vanguard party.  That is because they really only want to reform elements of the capitalist system; they would like to someday be billionaires (or at least millionaires) themselves and don’t want to miss out on their chances by deliberately (or more likely, accidentally) overthrowing capitalism. They just want a more egalitarian capitalist status quo – which is of course impossible because the capitalist system is incapable of maintaining its own equilibrium for more than 8-10 years or so between economic crises.  Forget about establishing an egalitarian, stable “status quo” under capitalism! The staus quo under capitalism is a raging sea of conflict that threatens at any moment to bring the entire capitalist system to its knees.

The unequal distribution of wealth under capitalism is not an aberration that can be corrected by reforms.

It is said that approximately 80 billionaires own half of the capitalist world’s wealth. That did not happen by accident: it is the result of more than 300 years of the evolution of the capitalist system. Capitalism is inherently unfair; the distribution of wealth under capitalism is inherently unequal. If the capitalist system was made to be actually egalitarian it could no longer be called capitalist at all.

As Trotskyists we do not, like the reformists, only wish to “reduce” poverty or “reduce” the number of wars – we want to completely eliminate poverty and war from human society forever.  We don’t want to promote an insulting “tolerance” between workers but to create a situation in which there exists a profound working-class solidarity between each and every worker on earth, so we can live as sisters and brothers and share the wealth of this great planet as equally as possible as one great (hopefully mostly non-dysfunctional!) human family. This is the way forward, not a “future” of being forced to merely “tolerate” each other’s right to exist between battles over the scraps that fall from our capitalist masters’ tables. All these good things will not just happen because we wish for them.   We must organize a party with the right kind of program in order to get the results we want.

You can’t build a 100-story skyscraper with a set of blueprints for a summer cottage. Even the best construction workers in the world can’t build a functional skyscraper without a well-engineered plan and a complete and accurate set of blueprints, the tools necessary to do the work and a general contractor to coordinate the work of all the different trades.  We can not create a successful revolution without a proper plan and a party with a leadership that knows what it wants to do and how to do it.  If we want to overthrow the capitalist system and to build socialism to replace it then we need a a damned skillful and intelligent Trotskyist vanguard party for our “contractor” and a set of “revolutionary blueprints” – a revolutionary Trotskyist program – to work from. If we use reformist blueprints we’ll get the same old capitalist pig with a different color of lip gloss – that’s about all.

IWPCHI

“To A Certain Class of Citizens” (with apologies to Walt Whitman)

[This is a slightly edited version of Walt Whitman’s poem “To a Certain Civilian”, which we would address to all those who denigrate the idea of workers socialist revolution and our project, however modest, to create revolutionary socialist Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist vanguard parties of the working class from Chicago to Kolkata.  We read this today and thought it perfectly captured our attitude to those who sneer at the efforts of those who seek to emancipate the working class from capitalist wage- and debt-slavery worldwide, and also our attitude towards those who attempt to trick the workers into adopting every half-assed form of struggle they can imagine, all the while denigrating and slandering the only method that has ever led to a successful seizure of power and lasting victory by the working class: the Leninist vanguard party.  –  IWPCHI]

“To a Certain Class of Citizens”

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from us?

Did you seek the citizen’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?

Did you find what we sang erewhile so hard to follow?

We were not singing erewhile for you to follow, to

understand – nor are we now;

What to such as you anyhow, such poets as us?  therefore leave

our works,

And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with

pop-tunes,

For we lull nobody, and you will never understand us.

— (With apologies to and deep respect for Walt Whitman),

IWPCHI

Get your copy of the Secret Service’s Censored Report on their Aaron Swartz Investigation

We are presenting to our readers…

aaron-swartz-usss-first-release-08-12-13

…the just-released and heavily censored U.S. Secret Service report of their “investigation” of Aaron Swartz.

Aaron Swartz, as many of you know, was the M.I.T. hacktivist who took his own life last year while under threat of  facing decades in jail for the “crime” – in the eyes of “lesser evil” Democrat Barack Obama’s Justice Dept. – of attempting to provide to the world paywall-free access to JSTOR’s scientific journals.

This series of documents has not yet been reviewed by us and so we can’t tell you much about it except to say that it is censored in that charming manner we’ve seen so often before by the guardians of the US capitalist class’ “national interest”.  In other words, they don’t want the workers of the world – and particularly the workers in the US itself –  to see how “our” secret government police and spy agencies work.

Liberals decry the “need” for secrecy in this “post-911 world”; but the capitalist classes of the world have always kept their crimes secret from the eyes of “their” working classes.  The capitalist class of the US, representing far less than 1% of the national population, own more than 50% of the national wealth.  This disturbing fact is just one of the millions of “national security secrets” that the tiny gang of bloodthirsty greedheads who actually own and operate the US Government for their own benefit must keep hidden from the American working class  – and from the workers of the world. To further that conspiracy against the working class, the US capitalist class’ Government has always sought to assert its “right” to protect its’ “national security secrets” by crushing anyone who dares to expose their “national security secrets”; from the persecution and state murders of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to the attacks on Daniel Ellsberg and even John Lennon – to today’s assaults upon Anonymous, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, Glenn Greenwald, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Lynne StewartAssata Shakur, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks (to name but a few) – the tiny US capitalist class government, terrified of being exposed to the world as the world’s number one terrorist state – which it is! – will stop at nothing to silence those who dare to speak out against the crimes of the US capitalst class.  They have even gone so far as to assert their “right” to assassinate US citizens for writing articles in “terrorist magazines”!

Amazingly, in spite of all we know about the vast criminality of the US capitalst class – from the slave trade upon which the “great American fortunes” were amassed to Vietnam; from the genocide of the Native Americans to the torture camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – WikiLeaks, Occupy Wall St. and other liberal reformist organizations dull-wittedly continue to assert that the only thing wrong with the capitalist system is that it “lacks transparency”, and that if only the inner workings of the capitalist system were made more transparent, then the world would become a much better place for us all to live in.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  The capitalist class and its state NEEDS secrecy like plants need water to survive – their battle-cry is “DEATH TO TRANSPARENCY!”  World capitalism is based on nation-states: competing economic and political units that are struggling between themselves for access to the world’s limited natural and human resources and markets.  This struggle – even in so-called “peacetime” – entails the unleashing of teams of spies and  assassins and the launching of military air, sea and land operations to “protect” the overseas investments of these endlessly warring greedheads.  The true nature of capitalist class rule – which is entirely founded on the brutal economic exploitation of all the working people around the world – MUST be kept hidden from the eyes of those very same working people.  To this end, the capitalists deploy government-run overseas and domestic disinformation campaigns (via what they cynically call the “free press”) intended to cloak their mass murder campaigns under the hypocritical cover story of “bringing democracy to the world”.  This was the fraud perpetrated upon the world by the US Government – the world’s most despotic government in history – in its war against the Iraqi workers, in which the reality of mass murder of over a million people was presented to the workers in the US by the lying US capitalist press as “freeing the Iraqis” from the clutches of the Saddam Hussein regime – a cabal that the US had helped force upon the Iraqi people for nearly half a century.  Through the capitalist class’ wholly owned US Government and news media’s international campaign of lies about Iraq, the US government was able to commit mass torture of Iraqi workers in hellhole prisons like Abu Ghraib and on US military bases around the country, all the while committing mass murder in cities and towns all over Iraq – most notoriously in Fallujah.  Only through the heroic efforts of whistleblowers like Bradley Manning did the truth come out about what was really going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Transparency!  To paraphrase the late, great George Carlin: “If transparency was forced upon the US government, the whole system would collapse!”

Organizations like WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall St. do not want that to happen: they want to help reform the capitalst system and make it “work” for everyone.  But that is nothing more than a naive pipe dream.  Capitalism can NEVER be made to work in the interests of the vast majority of the people on the planet – the working class, whose labor power creates the profits that the capitalist class greedily hoards to itself, systematically robbing the workers and relegating hundreds of millions of workers to abject poverty and starvation, year after year.

Unless and until the working class – internationally – unites and overthrows their “own” capitalst classes and replaces the greed-based system of capitalism with an egalitarian, democratically and rationally planned world socialist system, the antagonisms between these capitalist nation-states will grow until the entire planet is engulfed in yet another World War.  THAT is something we workers can NOT afford to allow to happen!  We must act now to build revolutionary workers parties all over the world so we can rip the weapons out of the blood-stained hands of “our” national capitalsts and seize power in the name of OUR class – the working class!  Only after this is done will the advance of human civilization be placed on a firm political and economic footing, and only then will real “transparency” in the workings of government be no longer a hindrance to, but be made an inherent, vital and welcome component of the machinery of the political and economic relationships governing the world, for the benefit of all of the human race.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

1 Year Later, Occupy Wall St. Lays an Egg – Homeless People Say “Occupy Wasn’t For Me”

This past week in Chicago, there have been some celebrations by members of the “Occupy Chicago” group on their one-year anniversary.

We have no idea what it is they are celebrating.  Last year, after their meteoric rise from nowhere, they quickly grew into a vibrant, wildly eclectic group of hundreds of people; their General Assembly meetings drew hundreds of participants every afternoon (in fact, they often had 2 GAs a day);  there were Occupy groups springing up all over the country, in big cities and small towns.  Literally millions of people were energized by the movement and hit the streets, gathering on busy street corners and having political discussions with total strangers.  In over 30 years of political activity, this writer had never seen anything like it in the US.

Now, one year later, until their sudden reappearance this past week, their organization has withered away to almost nothing.  All over the country, Occupy groups evaporated over the past 12 months; succumbing to senseless infighting over minor issues as well as a general lack of coherent program and direction.  Here in Chicago, it appeared that the organization was taken over by a bunch of union-leery activists from MoveOn, the Democratic Party’s fake “alternative” political sandbox for pro-capitalist youth.  The Occupy Chicago leadership rendered itself irrelevant by conducting an obscene struggle over the money that was pouring in to the organization, scrambling for control of finances and leadership posts using bureaucratic methods that would have made Stalin proud.  They ran roughshod over their opponents, rigging votes at the GAs and Committee meetings; they held secret meetings of their committees and then drove out concerned Occupiers who attended their meetings.  They and their cohorts either stole cash money and donations outright or stood by as others did the same.  They threw away thousands of dollars on several huge office spaces in a deserted area of the city until the cash ran out, then closed down the unused spaces and shrank the operation until there was nothing left.  A couple of months ago, they were reported to be nearly broke.

As if this record isn’t pathetic enough, they also ran one of the worst homeless  shelters in Chicago –Grace Place Episcopal Church, a.k.a. “Grace Place” –  where two punks from Occupy dug themselves into the woodwork, avoiding any kind of oversight of their operation;  hoarding if not stealing thousands of dollars of donated food, clothing, and who knows what else, and even treating the homeless people in their care – people who worked long hours manning the original “Occupation” at Jackson and LaSalle Sts. in Chicago with no support from the Occupy Chicago leadership –  as if they were bums.  Only allowed to sleep 5 hours a night – if Occupy’s shelter crew felt like letting them inside – they were made to wait out on the street in the rain and snow while the 2 “Occupiers” running the show sat inside all nice and cozy, until the Occupy shelter “staff” deigned to let them in. Donated food was allowed to spoil in storage; a young Occupier who wanted to use the shelter’s full kitchen to prepare hot meals for the homeless was denied access to the facility and insulted and threatened at the GAs for invading the 2 punks’ turf at Grace Place.

Those of us participating in the so called “Housing Committee” who brought these shocking issues up at the GAs were completely ignored by the Occupy Chicago “leadership” clustered around one Kieran Aarons, a fake anarchist/philosophy professor at DePaul, who was too busy forming his own clique of followers who were intent on running Occupy Chicago THEIR way, no matter what devious methods needed to be used to accomplish this.  Their puppets on the Housing Committee denied that they had any responsibility for the Occupy Chicago homeless shelter!  This left the 2 street hustlers running their sordid operation at Grace Place free to rip off the homeless people staying there, denying them food, access to donated clothing and forcing them to remain out-of-doors until late at night, sometimes until after midnight!

So, it was not a surprise to us when we read in an excellent homeless advocates’ magazine from San Francisco, California that THEIR experience with the Occupy movement on the other side of the country was parallel to ours!

READ: “POOR Magazine: ‘Occupy Was Never 4 Me – (1 year later)’ “

Click on the link above and you’ll be treated to yet another sad account of how the Occupy Wall St. movement was an enormous disappointment to homeless advocates and homeless people in the San Francisco Bay area.  In the article, Gray-Garcia writes of newspaper accounts from around the US where yuppie “Occupiers” sought police assistance to “help” keep the homeless away from “Occupied” city parks which had formerly been the homes of the homeless people:

”  Occupy was never for me. I’m Pour’, I’m a mother, I’m disabled, I’m homeless, I’m indigenous, I am on welfare, I never graduated from a formal institution of learning, I have never had a house to be foreclosed on, I am a recycler, panhandler, I am broken, I am humble, I have been po’lice profiled and my mind is occupied with broken teeth, and a broken me. And I am a revolutionary…

“I’m not hating. I am glad, like I said when it all first got started, that thousands more people got conscious. I am glad that folks woke up and began to get active. What I am not glad about is that in that waking up there was a weird tunnel vision by so many ‘occupiers’ of the multiple struggles, revolutions, pain and deep struggle of so many who came before you, upon whose shoulders and already ‘occupied’ native lands you are standing on.  This is what I have now come to realize is a strange form of political gentrification…  Like any form of gentrification there is a belief by the gentrifyers/colonizers, that their movement is different, new form, that it has little or no historical contextual connection to the ones before it. And that it owes little or nothing to the movements and/or communities already there, creating, struggling, barely making it.

“And yes, race, class and educational access matter. I have heard from elders that a similar thing happened in the 60’s with the poor people of color movements raging on like Black panthers and Young Lords then suddenly the ‘anti-war movement’ sprung up, driven by white middle-class college students and the political climate suddenly got large.

“This ironic disconnect was never clearer than the way that houseless people, people with psychological disabilities existing outside, were treated, spoken about, problematized, and ‘dealt with’ in the occupations across the United Snakkkes this last year[:]

” ‘We are very excited because the police agreed to come every night and patrol our “camp” because we have been having so many problems with the “homeless people” coming into our camp’, said an occupier from Atlanta, Georgia…  ‘It took us awhile to forge a relationship with the police, but now that we did we feel “safe” from all the homeless people who are a problem in our camp,’ said an occupier in Oklahoma…  ‘We have been able to do so much with occupy in this town, but we are having a real problem with “security”, its because of the large contingent of homeless people near our camp,’ Occupier from Wisconsin.”  [Source: POOR Magazine: “Occupy Was Never 4 Me – (1 year later)” by Lisa Gray-Garcia, 16 September 2012]

As far as we’re concerned, the sooner Occupy Wall St. kicks the bucket for good, the better.   They’re a bunch of misfit reformists who like to throw major tantrums in front of large buildings housing banks, government offices, etc.  They refuse to produce a political program worthy of the name, because that would completely shatter their class-collaborationist organization.  They refuse to form a political party – WHY?  The only reason we can think of – aside from the impossibility of creating a party programme that would embrace their ad-hoc coalition of cop-loving, anti-abortion, fake-anarchist, spoiled college student, disaffected Democrats and badly lapsed Republicans – is that they don’t want to upset the Democratic Party applecart as it trundles its way to the election in November.

We have a lot more to say about “Occupy Chicago” on this one year anniversary of their existence.  The only thing they’ve been able to accomplish is to prevent the rise of what could have easily been a serious (albeit politically diffuse and reformist) third-party challenge to the Democrats and Republicans in this year’s national elections.  They could have really screwed up these elections, causing all the billions of dollars that have been spent by big corporations as they attempt to rent out the White House for four years to have been spent in vain!  We’re still waiting for the “Occupy Wall St.” movement to finally endorse Democrat Barack Obama as the “lesser evil” candidate – what else can they do?  We don’t expect we’ll have to wait much longer.

IWPCHI

 

Good News! “Occupy Chicago” Soon to “Occupy the Dustbin of History”!

We have heard this past week from people either currently working with or who have very recently left Occupy Chicago that the organization is in the final stages of its death throes.  Hooray!  It’s time for you to “Occupy” the Dustbin of History!

We had expected that they would survive just long enough to throw what was left of their weight behind the re-election campaign of Barack Obama.  Hopefully, according to our information, that will not occur!  Hip, hip, hooray!  We offer a “laurel and hearty handshake” to the man or woman who turns out the lights for the last time in the Occupy Chicago offices!  No longer will the working class have to suffer the embarrassment of  the continued existence of this pathetic remnant of what was once an inspiring movement!

The rapid disintegration and final demise of the organization was entirely self-inflicted.  Originally formed in the summer of 2011, Occupy Chicago rapidly grew into a large organization with hundreds of people attending its nightly “General Assembly” meetings, which were held at Congress and Michigan Avenues in downtown Chicago.

The organization was crippled from birth principally by its own fatal insistence that it would not form a political party, as well as its refusal to create any kind of class-based political program.  Consequently, it degenerated into a mishmash of independently organized cells called “Committees”, in which every type of political adventurer under the sun could seize control of a sandbox to play in and then kick everyone out who did not go along with the program of the clique of politically immature people who organized that particular sandbox.

Complicating matters further was the organization’s insistence on not having any kind of membership organization, and its puerile insistence on raising cash for its activities solely from donations from the public: Occupy Chicago’s members refused to shell out their own money to support their own organization.

The group also attempted to represent people from all over the political spectrum.  This led to an organization whose members took opposing sides on key issues, like abortion rights for women and support to the Democratic Party.  We remarked early on during our brief participation in the group that unless they created a politically consistent program that represented the interests of the working class, they would be quickly absorbed into the Democratic Party or destroyed by internal conflicts, as centrifugal political forces tore the organization apart.  This is, in fact, exactly what has happened.  Over the past several months, the group has hosted prominent Democrats at it’s events.  Jesse jackson was invited to speak at the rally at Petrillo Band Shell during the anti-NATO protest and he was again a featured speaker at a soiree held at Occupy Chicago’s headquarters in a broken down building in no-man’s land between Pilsen and Chinatown.  Several of the “leaders” of Occupy (a “leaderless group”) repeatedly expressed their determination to support and vote for the Democrats in the presidential elections to be held this year.  We expect that among the final acts of Occupy we will see what is left of their organization completely co-opted by the Democratic Party (a process that has been under way since the group’s founding) and are certain that, providing they survive long enough to do it, they will endorse the Democratic candidate for President as a “lesser of two evils” choice, thus completing their own self-immolation.

Though we are sorry to see a movement that began with such tremendous potential and which had raised the hopes and inspired the political activity of so many members of the working class crash and burn so rapidly, we must say that the working class of the United States needs an organization far, far better organized and led than Occupy Chicago or Occupy Wall St., for that matter.  The gang of political adventurers who seized control of Occupy Chicago – a fetid combination of barely closeted Democrats and phony anarchists – like Kieran Aarons of De Paul University – proved beyond a shadow of a doubt their utter uselessness as political leaders of the working class.   Their total contempt for anything resembling workers democracy inside their organization discredited them long ago in the eyes of many of the hardest working members of Occupy Chicago.  Their unprincipled actions included:

1) Holding blatantly rigged voting processes and slandering their political opponents would have gladdened the heart of Joseph Stalin – or Joseph McCarthy, for that matter;

2) The brazen seizure of the organization by the Kieran Aarons faction using every kind of vicious weapon usually deployed by the bourgeois politicians and the capitalist class was breathtaking in its audacity and for its naked self-aggrandizing power-grabbing style;

3) These self-proclaimed “leaders” of Occupy looked the other way as donations from the public – of everything from food to cash money – was stolen by their own “Security Committee” people and their street-hustler co-conspirators in the “Organizations [sic] Committee”;

4)  The Kieran Aarons faction and their supporters repeatedly called the Chicago Police in to GAs to arrest the Aarons faction’s political opponents;

5) They set up a “homeless shelter” at Grace Place that was overseen by a couple of common street hustlers who treated the homeless Occupiers worse than any other shelter in Chicago would, refusing them food while allowing boxes full of donated food to spoil in storage and forcing homeless Occupiers to stand out in the snow and rain until almost midnight, only allowing them at most 5 hours a night of sleep while the bogus “Organizations [sic] Committee” running the shelter played favorites and stole donations;

6) The Aaronites seized control of the treasury without permission of the GA and then quickly drove the organization into immediate financial difficulty by squandering the generosity of the workers of the midwest, wasting over $7,000 a MONTH on rent of no-visibility office space in a desolate area of the city at a time when they had just $22,000 cash in hand and had just a few months to prepare for the anti-NATO protests;

7) They also abandoned the whole concept of “Occupying” the public space by maintaining a street presence in Chicago (something the Aaronites were always opposed to from the beginning); they drove away hundreds of people with their undemocratic methods and their political gangsterism;

8) They spread dangerous illusions among the workers that the police forces of the capitalist class and their state could be reformed to “serve and protect” the working class and that the cops are “workers in uniform”, which is tantamount to setting a trap for the working class.  The police are not members of the working class – they are the armed fist of the capitalist class, who can always be counted on to smash union picket lines and infiltrate and destroy workers organizations.  They are the first line of defense of the capitalist system against the working class and are sworn to “serve and protect” only the capitalist class and capitalist private property;

9) They abandoned their responsibility as the host organization of the anti-NATO protests, refusing to provide housing for the thousands of workers from all over the US who were expected to come to Chicago – and got the word out that there were no accomodations in order to keep the attendance of those demonstrations as low as possible; then left many out-of-town activists to fend for themselves when they did show up;

10) And now they have blown all the cash and are holed up in a much smaller office space in Riverfront Work Lofts – a rundown, shabby building suitable for the rundown, shabby politics of what remains of the Aaronites’ broken-down organization.

So goodbye and good riddance, Occupy Chicago!  Do the working class of Chicago a great big favor and fold up already!  Don’t let the door crush your tails as you slither out of the city!  The sooner you “Occupy” that “dustbin of history” the better.

And for those of you Occupiers who want to fight on behalf of the working class and who really want to change the world, we say: join us!  The working class needs honest, hardworking people to organize a working class political party that will NEVER support the Democratic or Republican parties – or any other pro-capitalist parties or politicians; that will take its responsibilities to the working class seriously and that will provide exemplary leadership that instills the principles of workers democracy outside – and inside the organization.  We will fight for the gradual abolition of the capitalist system and its replacement by an egalitarian, democratic workers government that fights for the emancipation of labor all over the world.   These are goals worthy of your time and talents.

IWPCHI

My Trip Through the Looking Glass with Occupy Chicago – Part Three

  The first day I stopped by Occupy Chicago’s Headquarters at Jackson and LaSalle, I was surprised by the numbers of people hanging out on the sidewalk – none of whom I recognized from the more “established” left-wing groups.  The organizers had no donation box set up yet (if I remember correctly), but they had a table with food and coffee; people were driving up in cars and handing donations to guys who were hanging around, ostensibly members of Occupy Chicago.  These were the street hustlers I had expected to find… they’d stand around talking with activists and acting like they were interested in the politics, but what they were really there for was to snag every opportunity to pocket cash donations and to eat the free food.  As soon as a car slowed down in front of the occupation, people who were just hanging around sitting down on the sidewalk in front of the Bank of America building would leap up and rush the car as it slowed and opened its window; then there’d be an argument between the people over who saw the car first, and the biggest guy would stick his head all the way into the open window and secure the donation… and immediately stuff it in his pocket.  Some of that money made it into the general donations envelope, but a lot of it just disappeared.  Some of these hustlers eventually became part of the “Security” committee somehow, and so were placed in between the donors and the donations box.  How much money vanished, no one knows, because no one in Occupy ever took the responsibility to issue invoices for donations or to make sure that all the cash actually made it to the organization.  It was a free-for-all.

  To a normal, responsible human being, this state of things – the utter lack of recognizable leadership and the total lack of accountability – would be considered to be absolutely unacceptable.  But to the “leaders” of the “leaderless” Occupy Chicago movement, it was exactly the way they wanted things!  When an organization claims simultaneously to be “leaderless” and that “we are all leaders” then that organization has a serious problem.  And that was the kind of nonsense spouted by most of the Occupiers.  There were a few intelligent and serious people who were very concerned about the state of the situation with donations, but they were never able to get control of the situation during the two months or so that I was working with them – including the time when I was on the so-called “Donations Committee”.  No one was concerned that the utter lack of accountability for the cash and non-cash donations that were pouring into the organization from working people all over the Midwest would become a major problem for the Occupy Movement – even though they intended to be 100% financed through donations from the public.

[To Be Continued]

We’re like “Occupy Chicago” – for principled people.

  Originally inspired by the sudden emergence of the Occupy Wall St. movement in 2011, and having spent some time working with Occupy Chicago, we have come to the firm conclusion that Occupy Chicago is not and will not become the type of organization so badly needed by the working people of the United States.  The leadership cabal that has taken over control of the Occupy Chicago movement and run it into the ground is composed of unprincipled political bandits who will stop at nothing to get their way inside Occupy Chicago, using slander, intimidation, vote-rigging, and spreading vicious lies about their opponents in order to maintain a stranglehold on the direction of the Occupy movement.  The leaders of Occupy Chicago have covered up instances where members of their “security” apparatus stole funds from the organization; they have concealed the fact that they paid $350.00 ransom in a fake “kidnapping” scheme carried out by a former member of their “security apparatus”; they have even used false charges of assault and battery against a dissident member of their organization in order to exclude him from participation in the Occupy movement here in Chicago.  These gangster methods of operation are anathema to the workers movement and should be condemned by all class-conscious members of the entire Occupy and workers movements!

  The leadership of Occupy Chicago is opposed to anything resembling a democratic process inside Occupy.  Bureaucratic methods are routinely utilized by the Occupy leadership to intimidate and silence political opposition inside the organization.  The leaders also do not hesitate to call upon the armed fist of the capitalist class – the police – in order to “settle” disputes between the Occupy leadership and dissident members of the organization.  At least one dissident member of the group has been arrested at GAs more than once at the behest of the Occupy leadership and their “Security Committee” for opposing the Occupy Chicago honchos.  Both Andy Thayer and Kieran Aarons have been present when these arrests were made, and did nothing to stop this outrage.  This comes as no surprise to us in the case of Andy Thayer, now fronting something called the “Coalition Against the G-8” (CANG8), is a (former?) member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) who was happy to call the police on political activists who dared to criticise the ISO leadership during their public events in Chicago.  He stood by smirking while an oppositionist inside the Occupy Chicago group was arrested at the request of Occ Chi leadership during an abortive GA meeting “organized” by Kieran Aarons at De Paul University in the loop last December. Though there is, of course nothing wrong with being a socialist, there is something very wrong with using the armed fist of the capitalist class, the police, to “mediate” political disputes in the workers movement.  The ISO also notoriously assisted the Feds when they placed the Teamsters Union in “recievership” years ago.  Calling in the capitalist cops to police the workers movement has historically been considered to be a crime against the working class.  But for the fake-socialists of the ISO – and in Occupy Chicago, it’s just “business as usual”!

  Without the creation of a class-based, union centered political party of the workers, by the workers and for the workers, nothing will change.  By refusing to build such a political party – and the leaders of Occupy have repeatedly stated that they have no intention of building a political party representing the working class –  the Occupy movement is pledging to be nothing more than a pressure group providing the Democrats and Republicans with moral advice on how to behave like “responsible” capitalist politicians.  This ‘strategy’ of the Occupy movement is a complete waste of time.

  In order to fight the entrenched power of the Republican and Democratic parties in our phony “democracy”, the working people must create a political force at least as well organized and cohesive as that opposing the working class via local, state and national government.  The capitalist ruling class knows how to exploit the working class very effectively and brutally, and they have organized two political parties to achieve this objective: the Democratic and the Republican parties.  Between these two organizations there exists a division of labor: one party, the Republicans, tells the working class straight out to”Go to hell!”  The other equally pro-capitalist political party, the Democratic Party, has a more subtle tactical strategy to entrap the working class: they pretend to be the “friends of labor”, and constantly lie to the workers, making sweet noises in our ears one minute, then turning around once they have our votes in their pockets and stabbing us in the back.  Both of these parties, in the final analysis, actually represent one class and one class only: the capitalist class, the “1%” of obscenely wealthy bankers, stock market swindlers and industrialists.  The much-ballyhooed “democracy” of the United States, in which the working people, who make up the vast majority of the population, have not one single representative at the local, state or national level, is a complete fraud. 

 The small minority of wealthy people who actually run the United States enjoy a total stranglehold on the political system of our country.  They own both the Republican and Democratic parties and run the government entirely in the interests of the big banks and corporations, for the benefit of themselves.  These greedheads do not give a damn about anything but increasing their own personal wealth.  They know that in the future, as capitalist production becomes automated, they will need fewer and fewer workers… so why should the wealthy class pay for the education of working-class children, whom they have no intention of ever hiring?  Why should they provide a national healthcare system to workers who they never intend to hire and who they wish would just drop dead already?  Why should they spend their hard-stolen money to keep retired (i.e. unexploitable and worthless – to them) workers alive for years?  To the capitalists, millions of us are not worth a damn, because they can’t make money off the unemployed and the poor people.

 Thus, it is imperative – from the standpoint of basic survival – that the working people organize their own political party in order to wrest political power from the hands of these greedy, selfish cretins and to learn to wield this power ourselves, in the interest of the vast majority of the population who work for wages – the working class.  In order to do this, we must build a political organization that is owned and operated by ourselves – the working people of this country.  Our party will be completely financed by ourselves through membership dues and donations from our fellow workers.  If every working-class person gave just $1.00 a month to our party, we could have the best funded political party on the planet – easily.  Such a party will quickly become a major force in national politics, and will rapidly become the dominating political force, able to reorganize this country in any way it wishes to.  The Occupy movement was able to raise millions of dollars in just a few months (which they rapidly squandered on useless projects).  Our party, which will be composed of hard-working, responsible workers will be able to raise far more money than Occupy ever dreamed of raising – and we won’t be wasting our hard-earned money on offices with hot tubs and such nonsense.  We will use our money to educate ourselves and our fellow workers; to raise massive amounts of money to support striking workers all over the US and around the world; to provide excellent legal defense for jailed worker-leaders and heroic worker-activists.  We will train organizers and send them all over the country to build political organizations in all 50 states until we can replace all the pro-capitalist politicians in every local, state and national political office with reliable representatives of the working class.  As the rapid political changes taking place all over the world, from Tunisia to Egypt, Greece and other countries shows, this process can happen very quickly once the working class is mobilized to do it.  Let’s get started today!  Join us!