Thursday, December 22, 2011

From The Archives-The Struggle To Win The Youth To The Fight For Our Communist Future-No Academic Posts For War Criminals!: Bloody Bundy Must Go! ("Young Spartacus," October 1979)

Markin comment on this series:

One of the declared purposes of this space is to draw the lessons of our left-wing past here in America and internationally, especially from the pro-communist wing. To that end I have made commentaries and provided archival works in order to help draw those lessons for today’s left-wing activists to learn, or at least ponder over. More importantly, for the long haul, to help educate today’s youth in the struggle for our common communist future. That is no small task or easy task given the differences of generations; differences of political milieus worked in; differences of social structure to work around; and, increasingly more important, the differences in appreciation of technological advances, and their uses.

There is no question that back in my youth I could have used, desperately used, many of the archival materials available today. When I developed political consciousness very early on, albeit liberal political consciousness, I could have used this material as I knew, I knew deep inside my heart and mind, that a junior Cold War liberal of the American For Democratic Action (ADA) stripe was not the end of my leftward political trajectory. More importantly, I could have used a socialist or communist youth organization to help me articulate the doubts I had about the virtues of liberal capitalism and be recruited to a more left-wing world view. As it was I spent far too long in the throes of the left-liberal/soft social-democratic milieu where I was dying politically. A group like the Young Communist League (W.E.B. Dubois Clubs in those days), the Young People’s Socialist League, or the Young Socialist Alliance representing the youth organizations of the American Communist Party, American Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party (U.S.) respectively would have saved much wasted time and energy. I knew they were around but not in my area.

The archival material to be used in this series is weighted heavily toward the youth movements of the early American Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party (U.S). For more recent material I have relied on material from the Spartacus Youth Clubs, the youth group of the Spartacist League (U.S.), both because they are more readily available to me and because, and this should give cause for pause, there are not many other non-CP, non-SWP youth groups around. As I gather more material from other youth sources I will place them in this series.

Finally I would like to finish up with the preamble to the Spartacist Youth Club’s What We Fight For statement of purpose:

"The Spartacus Youth Clubs intervene into social struggles armed with the revolutionary internationalist program of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. We work to mobilize youth in struggle as partisans of the working class, championing the liberation of black people, women and all the oppressed. The SYCs fight to win youth to the perspective of building the Leninist vanguard party that will lead the working class in socialist revolution, laying the basis for a world free of capitalist exploitation and imperialist slaughter."

This seems to me be somewhere in the right direction for what a Bolshevik youth group should be doing these days; a proving ground to become professional revolutionaries with enough wiggle room to learn from their mistakes, and successes. More later.
Markin comment:

The question of academic (or other non-governmental) positions for those who have been direct actors in implementing American imperialist policies is a serious one. We Marxists draw a sharpe distinction between those who are "merely" reactionary academics and those whose actions would actually qualify them to stand in front of some international criminal tribunal. No, not the bourgeois ones as constituted now but tribunals of their victims in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever else their hubris takes them.

This point was recently brought home when a number of us demontrated against ex-Bush Secretary Of War Donald Rumsfeld when he came to Boston on a "book tour" touting his memoirs. If people want to pay hard cash to buy the book at some book stalland read his gibberish that is one thing. It is another that he be allowed to move freely around to do so when by all that is rational he should be standing front and center in Iraq right now in a place like Baghdad facing some serious criminal human rights violations. Of course, his president Bush (either)and others should be crowding the docket with him.
From the pages of Young Spartacus, October, 1979:

No Academic Posts For War Criminals!: Bloody Bundy Must Go! ("Young Spartacus," October 1979)

NEW YORK—"No academic posts for mass murderers! McGeorge Bundy, chief strategic advisor on Vietnam for Kennedy and Johnson, responsible for the deaths of thousands of Vietnamese. Demonstrate, today, 12 noon, Bobst Library. Drive war criminal Bundy off campus!" On the morning of October 2 the Spartacus Youth League's sound-truck drove through the New York University campus to build for a militant protest against the appointment of McGeorge Bundy to a post in the history department. NYU students and several campus workers swelled the ranks of the SYL's contingent in a 50-strong picket line demonstration.

The demonstrators chanted "Bloody Bundy -you can't hide, we charge you with -genocide!" and "Bundy, Eichmann, Pinochet, the working class will not forget!" And nationally-known NYU professor Bertell Oilman and supporters of the Spartacist League/ SYL spoke at a spirited rally. The demonstration drew a large crowd of observers which included 15 Moonies, anti-communist fanatics who repeatedly sought to provoke a physical fight. But the disciplined protesters easily prevented any disruption.

The anti-Bundy protest created a great deal of controversy on the NYU campus, including front-page coverage in the NYU student paper. A professor commented that "having a demonstration at NYU was itself a revolution," on a campus which has not seen much political activity in the last five years. Unaccustomed to militant protests, some students fully expected the SYL to drag Bundy out of his offices and string him up from Washington Square Arch. But such justice for Bundy and others of his ilk rightfully belongs to the families of his victims. Ship Bundy to Hanoi for trial!

McGeorge Bundy once told a New York Times reporter, "I'm not sure I engage in a great deal of introspection" (22 May). And no wonder! As an SYL leaflet stated,

"Bundy was the No. 1 author of U.S. imperialism's strategy of air and naval' against the North—carpet bombing, napalming villages, the mining of harbors and the bombing of dikes...Vietnam was the U.S.' dirtiest war and Bundy's hands are blood red from the slaughter of Vietnamese men, women and children."

After the 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic Bundy demanded that the Communists "be incarcerated in concentration camps" (Sidney Lens, The Nation, 2 May 1966)! Following a stint as president of the Ford Foundation, Bundy is today again serving U.S. imperialism as an advisor to Carter on the "Soviet/Cuban military threat." This is the imperialist mastermind the NYU administration wants to clothe in academic respectability. The SYL says: drive this war criminal off campus!

Speaking in solidarity with the SYL's action, Bertell Oilman agreed that Bundy was certainly a war criminal, and noted that by NYU's criteria the shah of Iran would be a good candidate for a teaching post. Ollman, who was denied an academic post at the University of Maryland because of his left-wing political views, focused much of his case against Bundy's appointment on this grounds that this former Harvard deal lacked "scholarly" credentials. The SYL, however, couldn't care less about the number of degrees Bundy has or what his academic standing is. For us the question is his responsibility for the crimes of U.S. imperialism. As Michael Weinstein, president of the SYL's NYU chapter, put it: "Bundy is not an academic apologist, he is a shameless executor of mass murder— Bundy must be driven away— not for his views but for his deeds."

This point went right over the head of the editors of the NYU student paper the Washington Square News. They went into a tizzy, charging that the SYL is against academic freedom. "Bundy is a man who will bring both prestige and valuable knowledge to the university, they wrote. The editors may think it's fine for the Bundys of the world to bid their time at the universities until the are called on again to plan the next imperialist slaughter, but their past and future victims have a rather differert view. As one student wrote:

"It ought to delight the masterminds of the German War Machine, who can finally leave South America and bring valuable knowledge of history to Universities all over the nation... wonder if Bundy and his crowd would be as forgiving and forgetting of draft dodgers and AWOLs, whose crime was NOT wanting to kill people."

Kissinger, Friedman... Now Bundy

Bundy is not the only imperialist mass murderer who has sought to carve out "respectable" academic niche. The SYL sprang into action in 1977 when Nixon' right-hand man Henry Kissinger was offered a post at Columbia University John Alcorn, SYLer at Columbia recalled that effort in his speech to the NYU demonstrators: "We had the same situation Kissinger, another architect—just like Bundy—of mass murder
in Indochina, was offered an honorary professorship. The Spartacus Youth
League initiated a united-front campaign to prevent this scum from getting
an academic post. The SYL led a campaign, successfully, to keep Kissinger off campus at Columbia. It can be done!"

University of Chicago professor Milton Friedman is another "respectable academic" who has been the focus of SYL protests. Friedman thought he could hush-hush his active collaboration with the savage, U.S.-backed military regime of Pinochet in Chile as he continued to teach economics. As an advisor to the junta Friedman engineered a "shock treatment" for the Chilean economy which brought starvation and massive hardships to thousands of workers and peasants. The SYL broke the diplomatic silence over Friedman's murderous role with a 1975 campaign which received nationwide publicity.

In the past few years the SYL has also demonstrated against the likes of Nguyen Cao Ky, former vice president of South Vietnam and an open admirer of Hitler, in Cleveland in 1975; against Vietnam war criminal Sam "Mad Dog" Huntington at Harvard in 1978 and most recently against Secretary of Defense Harold Brown in Boston. The SYL has also been active in struggles to oust the CIA and ROTC from the campuses, and in 1977 the SYL led a successful mobilization to drive a bunch of Nazis off the San Francisco State campus and then beat back an administration witchhunt.

Loony Moonies: The South Korea Connection
Coming on the heels of Carter': nationally televised speech on Soviet troops in Cuba, the SYL demonstration included signs demanding "Carter/ Bundy: Hands Off Cuba!" and "Sink SALT! Defend Cuba and the USSR!" One of the most popular chants was "Hey, hey, what do you say, U.S. out of Guantanamo Bay!" As a speaker explained at the rally: "The Spartacist League is a Trotskyist organization. The Stalinists who rule in Russia and Vietnam are our bitter enemies. We stand for political revolution in those countries to overthrow the ruling bureaucracies. But we defend those countries 100 percent against U.S. imperialism!"
The 15 provocateurs from Sun Myung Moon's anti-communist Unification Church went nuts at the SYL's defense of the deformed and degenerated workers states. But their howls of "SYL-KGB" and "Communists off campus" were drowned out by the demonstrators who chanted "Crazy Moonies, they may pray, but they're running dogs for the CIA!" and "Down with the Moonies! For a united socialist Korea!" Having come originally to seek to provoke a "rumble," the Moonies decided that discretion was the better part of valor when they were confronted by a number of trade

Numerous investigations have documented the Moonies' sinister connections to the South Korean CIA; lately, a detailed expose by Francine du Plessix Grey appeared in the New York Review of Books. The purpose of Moonie outfits is to foment anti-communism in the U.S. and to build public support for an ever more aggressive anti-communist U.S. foreign policy. To this end. Moon and his cohorts have established a "Freedom Leadership Foundation," which conducts right-wing propaganda activities in Washington; a "Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation," which serves as a public-relations outlet for the brutally repressive dictatorship of South Korea's Pak Chung Hi; an "International Federation for Victory Over Communism," which coordinates the Moonies' pro-imperialist activities on a world scale and last but not least the "Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles," which serves as the campus home for people like those who tried to mix it up at the Bundy demonstration.

Moon himself is a multimillionaire industrialist with interests in heavy machinery plants, titanium, marble, shotguns and ginseng tea. Wild-eyed Moonies can be seen on the streets of New York City and at local airports pushing their slick daily newspaper.

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