From The Marxist Archives-1970 Spartacist Leaflet-“Blood and Nixon”
Workers Vanguard No. 1035
29 November 2013
Friday, December 13, 2013
1970 Spartacist Leaflet-“Blood and Nixon”
This violence does not come from the evil or mistaken notions of a few politicians, as the liberals would have us believe—rather it is a violence politically motivated, directed against political dissent—it is the violence of capitalism which feels its power is threatened. For many students have begun to realize that the war in Vietnam is no “mistake” in U.S. foreign policy but is part of the need of American capitalism, as the backbone of world imperialism, to prevent social revolutions throughout the world.
The Working Class Must Lead the Struggle!
The Spartacist League has long insisted on the need for labor strikes against the war. We have raised the demand for a general anti-war strike of workers and students, and have struggled to see this demand adopted within the labor and radical student movements. It is crucial now for the masses of students to seek to link up their strike with workers, and it is crucial now for rank and file militants to raise the anti-war strike demand in their unions!
The reason for this should be clear. American capitalism’s life blood is the profits made by exploiting the labor of the working class. This was sharply dramatized in the recent brief postal strike which severely threatened the economy’s stability and forced Nixon to resort to troops to demoralize the strikers and intimidate popular support. Economic power lies in the hands of industrial, transportation and communications workers. And in the final analysis economic power is political power.
The student movement, isolated from the working class, will either shatter into frustrated, demoralized and adventuristic fragments and, like the [Black] Panthers, face savage repression by a government which feels it can attack them with impunity. The deepening political radicalization of students can be clearly seen in the cogent demands raised in many of the university strikes—demands for the freeing of all political prisoners, an end to war research and ROTC on campus, and an end to political intimidation, along with the demand for the immediate unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops and “advisers” from Southeast Asia.
Only the working class, because of its economic power, can lead an effective anti-war struggle. Only the class-conscious workers can lead the struggle to defeat capitalism. The unprecedented national student strike now under way is extremely important. The students’ unity and militancy themselves pose a threat to the Administration, but it is its potential for sparking the working class into revolutionary motion (as happened in France in May 1968) which is its greatest importance.
Workers whose job conditions and falling real wages force them continually into conflict with the bosses must see as essential to their own interests the fight to end the bosses’ imperialist war and to break from the bosses’ warmonger political parties to form a party of labor. These struggles—like struggles for militant economic demands—will necessitate the replacement of the treacherous union bureaucracies which seek at every turn to tie the workers to the status quo (like “labor statesman” George Meany [head of the AFL-CIO], who completely endorses Nixon’s war policy, and his more devious, left-talking counterparts like [United Automobile Workers leader Walter] Reuther) by rank and file workers’ control. A working class which joins the political combativeness of the radical student protesters with their own tremendous militancy is the only force which can decisively defeat the imperialists.
Faced with the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, the Soviet Union and China satisfied themselves with a few threats to increase their half-hearted military aid to the NLF [National Liberation Front] forces. Where, we ask, is the massive military support to repel the vicious imperialist aggressor in Indochina? Why instead have the Russians sent enormous military aid to the corrupt incompetent capitalist government of Egypt? The Maoist rush to hail Sihanouk, [Cambodia’s] former “neutralist” liberal prince, betrays the anxiety to avoid the urgent demands of the Indochinese situation and return to petty border quarrels and “national priorities.” The North Vietnamese government’s cowardly and vague threats about postponing negotiations in Paris also show their hypocrisy as Communist “internationalists.” In face of the invasion into Cambodia and renewed bombings of the North, what possible excuse could be found for remaining in Paris to negotiate?
All the Stalinist leaderships have once again demonstrated that their primary concerns are with their own narrow needs in consolidating their own power. The Stalinist dictum of “socialism in one country” is seeing another tragic enactment. The gains of the anti-capitalist revolutions of Russia, China, etc. can be safeguarded not by diplomatic maneuvering and deals but only by the victory of the Indochinese Revolution and the destruction of capitalism in the advanced industrial nations—the U.S., Western Europe, Japan—whose economic and military capacities hold the key to world socialism and world peace. By their denial of a truly proletarian internationalist perspective, the Stalinist bureaucracies show themselves as a best friend to the bloody Nixon administration.
FOR A LABOR-STUDENT GENERAL STRIKE AGAINST THE WAR!