Showing posts with label break with the republicans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label break with the republicans. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

From The "Renegade Eye" Blog-"Republicrats Target Social Security"

Click on the headline to link to the above article via the Renegade Eye blog.

*From The Archives-The Struggle To Win The Youth To The Fight For Our Communist Future- The Fight, The Very Long Fight, To Break With The Democrats- “McGovern And The New Left” (1972)

Markin comment:

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 on this article:

As I have mentioned, many times before, in previous comments about my early political career as late as 1968 I was in the throes of “enchantment” with the Democratic Party left-wing as the be all and end all for progressive political struggle. I have mentioned the name Robert Kennedy whom I tramped around the country for in the spring of 1968. And, although I am red-faced with embarrassment every time I say it to this day, I humped around the country for Hubert Horatio Humphrey in the fall of that year. Why? To “fight the right” in the personage of one Richard Milhous Nixon, later the President of the United States and artless common criminal.

And that is exactly the point of the article and my placing it in this space, given the recent political calculus around support (now fading support) for current President Barack Obama as the “progressive”, progressive black Democratic candidate to boot, against today’s version of the political right. Some things never change and some people never learn any lessons but that doesn’t mean that they should not be put out there. Break with the Democrats!, obviously, for those of use who fight for a workers party that fights for a workers government as part of the struggle for our communist future is simply the beginning of wisdom. Needless to say , really needless to say in this case, breaking with the Republicans, Greens, and other assorted non-worker class programs falls under that same umbrella.

Note: There is one distinction that should be noted between 1972 and 2011 when reading this article . Today (or rather 2008) the push for Obama (or Hilary Clinton, for that matter) represented something a move to the left (or to politics)by the youth, if only momentarily, the push for George McGovern in 1972 by elements of the left that should have and did know better actually represented a step to the right, and, more importantly a step, a long step back to the rat hole (nice term, right?) of bourgeois politics. And we have been stuck there ever since. Forward!

From The Revolutionary Communist Youth (forebear of the Spartacus Youth Clubs) Newsletter, Number 14, October-November 1972


The New Left entered its death agony when SDS fell apart, George McGovern is now attempt¬ing to bury the corpse.

The New Left was rooted in the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia, particularly the campus milieu. Born as the advance youth guard of liberal, Social Democratic and bourgeois idealism, it was tied to the Kennedy wing of the ruling class. While the early alliance broke down, symbolized by the sellout of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the 1964 Convention, it produced no qualitative break, SDS was still willing to go "part of the way with LBJ." But the inability of the capitalists to realize even its minimal promises of peace and civil rights eventually drove the New Left further and further away from conscious, active support. But most of the New Left activists did not move in the direction of the working class. The New Left, having broken pragmatically with the ruling class, saw little hope in the American proletariat still immersed in the reaction and passivity of Cold War red purges. Instead, it oriented in an empirical manner to what was currently in motion—the "Third World," oppressed minorities, and even the students themselves.

But it is now 1972. The "Third World" is not toppling U.S. imperialism. Rather, Mao is inviting Nixon to China. The black nationalist movement is in ruins, with its most militant and best known expression, the Black Panther Party, morally disgraced, split and physically defeated by the repressive apparatus of the state. And the Vietnam war continues, despite the election of three so-called "peace" candidates.

The repeated failures of the New Left have clearly demonstrated the bankruptcy of its theoretical conceptions. Some of its components have drawn the correct conclusion that only the working class has the power to destroy imperialism. Most of them have returned to the waiting arms of the liberal bourgeoisie.

Bloc of 5! Classes

Important in this process is the role played by the Stalinist DRV-NLF itself. The NLF's struggle against U.S. imperialism and bourgeois liberalism's embracing of the American war effort in Vietnam helped create the New Left. Yet this moral and political authority which the NLF possessed has now facilitated the capitulation of the New Left. The 7-point Peace Plan sellout and the all but open support for McGovern in the pages of Nhari Dan by the Hanoi bureaucracy all served to further disorient those rooted in impressionism.

According to the June 1972 Liberated Guardian:

"... Nixon could encourage a coup in Saigon led by someone with the stature of Big Minn. Such a coup would at some point in the future lead to the tripartite coalition the NLF has been seeking ....

"If Nixon can work out such a deal the left must educate the American people about the war sufficiently so that people will see the defeat for just that. Nixon will be seen as a loser rather than a peace-maker."
Thus, according to the Liberated Guardian, if the NLF forms a coalition government with Nixon's consent with a treacherous compradore like Minh, this is not a sellout but a victory! The extent to which political degeneration has taken place can be seen in the fact that not even the Chinese Communist Party, when they were chasing Chiang Kai-shek as an ally, ever stooped to declaring that the comprador bourgeoisie was somehow a friend of the "people."

But what is the nature of the "tripartite coalition"? If there is any way of preventing the gains that the construction of even a deformed (Stalinist) workers state would produce, short of a U.S. battlefield victory, the NLF's "coalition" is it. It is proposed precisely in order to avoid the dangerous necessity of taking power through a social revolution carried to completion by the working class and poor peasants. Once set in motion the revolution might well transcend the confines the Stalinist bureaucracy seeks to keep it in.

Thus, during the Tet offensive, when the NLF was at the height of its influence among the urban masses, it refused to establish Soviets. When Quang Tri was taken during the spring offensive, private property was declared sacrosanct, and a new government established composed predomi¬nantly of Saigon's ex-officials

"Small and Vacillating" Rifts

The Spring Offensive which could have sent Thieu packing allowed McGovern, as the representative of outright bourgeois defeatism, to gain leadership of the Democratic Party, The misleadership and defeats of the New Left aided him in gaining almost unchallenged hegemony over the campus population,, As spring student strikes took intermissions during the Democratic Party primaries, students, mostly in the newly enfranchised 18-21 year-old group, provided the door-bell ringing, caucus-packing machinery that enabled McGovern to take advantage of the rise of bourgeois defeatism. The pact was sealed at the Democratic Convention with the dumping of Daley and the New Leftish quotas of Blacks, women and youth.

The tide of pro-Mc-Govern sentiment that has swept the campus milieu has dragged with it almost the entire New Left to one degree or another. The opportunist rationales used to justify capitulation have been endless.

Remarkable in its own way for cynicism and sophism is the Guardian. In the lead article of 23 August 1972, it explained in detail that McGovern is an imperialist politician, essentially no different than the others, but then went on to speak "... of the necessity to take advantage of every rift and antagonism, however small and vacillating [our emphasis], that exist among the ranks of the bourgeoisie.". We do no oppose the the growing trend of those among the masses who intend to vote for McGovern..."

But the bourgeoisie is not a monolithic entity. There are always "small and vacillating" rifts within it. There were "small and vacillating" rift between Hitler and Goebbels. Not only is the Guardian advocating a bloc with one section of the bourgeoisie, but it is using a rationale that could equally justify such a bloc at any time o place. This is the logic of naked capitulationism

Left Moves Right

Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, after years' attempting wrecking jobs on the Left for being "too political" have shown up with shorn loci deep in the McGovern camp. But what is more natural, since the two of them have continuous: stated in the past that there was no difference between the "exploiters" on the Left and the bourgeoisie? The remnants of Weatherman are hoping that McGovern will lessen the repression, enabling them to walk unimpeded to the land of milk, hone and "power to the people." Rennie Davis, Dave Dellinger and other "movement" individuals popularized by the bourgeois press have adopted the slogan "Evict Nixon."

The SWP has continued to recruit from its series of Pop Fronts by preaching their "independence" from all political parties. When attacked from either the right or the left, the SWP could simply chant "We're for non-exclusion. Every body should vote for who they want." Of course this "line" succeeded beyond their wildest dream (or nightmares)—NPAC and SMC supporters are voting for who they choose... McGovern.' And the SWP's response? "After McGovern—Us" as the tell their members, planning on a tremendous influx of new, but non-socialist, recruits through the Jenness-Pulley campaign as disillusioned McGovern supporters swarm to the SWV/YSA after the elections.

The orthodox Maoists of the Revolutionary Union (RU) claim that they are to the left of the SWP; in wishing to build a "mass independent anti imperialist movement." Through the Attica Brigade, an "anti-imperialist" marching society that they are currently involved in, they have issued leaflet urging McGovern supporters to build the mass anti-imperialist movement, since it was after all, this "movement" which built McGovern

Likewise, the Maoist groups participating in the People's Solidarity Committee (Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization—formerly Young Lords, Venceremos, I Wor Kuen, Black Workers Congress, and others, including the RU push the slogan "Defeat Nixon" without mentioning McGovern, thus giving the latter backhanded support.

No Steps Forward, Another Back

The role of PL/SDS is particularly unfortunate The WSA was the pro-working-class wing of the old SDS. Its victory through political struggle over RYM offered the possibility of winning a large part of the New Left to the side of the working class. But PL was incapable of taking advantage of that opportunity. Having no conception of the rob that a communist youth organization could play it formalized its incapacity into the "theory" that "students cannot tell workers what to do," Even at its most post-split left point, PL specifically, emphatically and repeatedly rejected the idea that SDS should be a socialist youth group. PL could think of nothing better for SDS than wretched gimmicks like the Campus Worker-Student Alliance strategy or endless PL unemployment marches. Having no strategy for pro-working-class students, it was inevitable that SDS should sink back into the swamp of New Leftism, carried away by the McGovern tide.

Miami, McGovern and Mindless Activism

At the Democratic Convention, when McGovern stated at a Prisoners of War wives' meeting that -he would keep troops in Thailand until the prisoners were returned, SDS gathered up a flock of indignant liberals to "confront" him at his headquarters, McGovern, joined by national TV, met them personally, and informed them that the state¬ment meant nothing, since he had previously promised to withdraw all troops from Indochina regardless of other NLF activity.

An SDSer then handed McGovern their "anti-racism" bill, requesting his signature. He pointed out that the bill which forbade police to "assault a minority person except in provable self-defense" (and when don't the police claim self-defense?)said nothing about assaults on whites. The SDSer then stated that the Senator had the old bill, and immediately set off for a copy of the new bill for his signature. Rarely has SDS disgraced itself so utterly and publicly.

"Political Working Class" for McGovern

The resolution of the National Caucus of Labor Committees at the Trade Unionists for Action and Democracy conference stated that "TUAD will refuse all support to candidates for public office who advocate wage controls in any form" (our emphasis). Given the proper situation, not only might a bourgeois candidate denounce wage controls (and in fact McGovern has said that Nixon's wage controls are "unfair") but he could conceivably mouth every one of the points in the NCLC program, only to drop them after the election, as the bourgeois state remains intact. The NCLC's failure to declare their opposition to all bourgeois candidates, regardless of what they say, exposes their incapacity to take a clear working-class line.

In the last analysis, despite their bitter denunciations of him, the NCLC serves as a left cover for McGovern's economic schemes, just as the SWP serves as a left cover for his peace promises.
It is not simply that McGovern is a capitalist candidate—indeed the NCLC has shown a willingness in the past to bloc with the CIA-compromised Socialist Party against the rest of the left, when they attacked the then pro-working-class Worker-Student Alliance wing of SDS in the SP's New America.

McGovern represents an attempt by one bourgeois wing to draw all wings of the radical petty-bourgeois intelligentsia under its banner. Therefore, McGovern came up with his "plan," which, though considerably more modest than the NCLC's schemes, is fundamentally of the same species. Such reform platforms of the early McGovern-NCLC have traditionally served as the programs of Popular Fronts. How radical and deep-going they are is determined by the depth of the working-class radicalization and militancy that they are designed to dissipate. And when the crisis is over the program is burned. Whether the promises of the Popular Front are minimal or far-reaching is irrelevant, as they are worth no more than the paper they are printed on, as McGovern's abandonment of his pre-nomination platform shows.

No Middle Road

If leaflets, bull sessions or simple activism were enough to end the war, the war would have been ended long ago. If ringing door-bells and lesser evilism in elections were enough, the war would never have gotten started. From Eisenhower with his promise to "go personally to Korea and bring the boys home," through Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, with his "secret peace plan," all American presidents have been "peace candidates" of one form or another. But unable to fight its way out of the pragmatism which gave it birth, the New Left has continued like a punch-drunk fighter to reel from one post-election knock-out to another. The New Left has spent virtually its entire existence trying to find a middle road between reformism and revolution, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. It has not yet understood that no such middle road exists.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The First Stirrings Of The 2012 American Presidential Campaign- Everybody Who Is Smarter Than Sarah Palin Raise Your Hand

Markin comment:

I swear I had a vision, I swear I heard a voice call to me to make a comment on the 2012 American Presidential elections right now, today. I know that we are all materialists, men and women of science, and some of us are historical materialists to boot so the siren call for some comment on my part for these bogus bourgeois elections should be the last thing that I call up as the subject of a vision. Still, remember the Ides of March and all of that. Can I, under the circumstances, afford to defy the portents?

Yes, I know, I supposedly fore swore comment of the bourgeois election cycles forever a couple of years ago once I realized that such activity was a waste of precious cyber-ink for a commentator who wanted to bring that house of cards down. But remember this. Can a man who in his jaded youth, long before the Internet brought instant results (and a bewildering onslaught of instant commentary better left for later reflection), stayed up into the wee hours wondering whether the Democrats would win the 23rd Congressional District in Texas or the 34th in California really ever truly be trusted to break the habit even if he is "recovering?"

And that bring us to the subject of that vision, or rather the subject that brought on this vision. This may seem trivial after all the build-up but here is the story. I recently ran into an old acquaintance out on the street in Boston. I noticed that he had on a Sarah Palin for President in 2012 button. Naturally I had to make comment on that political advertisement. And here is what I said, “Why would you support someone who is not as smart as you are for President?” Now I know, because I know him from way back in the day, that he is very smart so it gave him cause for pause.

Of course, when it comes to bourgeois politicians, being smart is not always relevant either way. (Witness Bush, Junior, Yalie and all, for the dunce proposition, or the other way Obama, Harvard Law and all, for the wizard proposition). So based on my further conversation with him do not be surprised if you see an announcement that unknown smart guy, Michael Mackey, is throwing his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination for President in 2012. In fact everyone smarter than Sarah Palin should consider it their duty to do so. That is my first piece of “wisdom” for the 2012 political season. Meanwhile those of us who are serious about changing the world, for the better, will continue our work to build a workers party that fights for a workers government. So everyone can have a shot at being smart, if nothing else, okay?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Republican National Convention- Drop The Charges Against The Protestors


The following is a report from the Twin Cities (that's Minneapolis/St. Paul, the site of the Republican National Convention)Indy Media. Needless to say the lock down of these cities during these 'events' by the police puts a severe crimp in the democratic facade the ruling oligarchy likes to portray. As an equal opportunity commentator on the vagaries of bourgeois politics I note that in Denver, the site of the Democratic National Convention 100 or so protesters were arrested. Nice work, DNC, RNC.

300 Arrested in Protests

Two days into the Republican National Convention (RNC),more than 300 people have been arrested, including at least 120 people for felonies -- mostly the notoriously vague charge, 'conspiracy to riot.' With no provocation, police have indiscriminately used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and chemical irritants to disperse crowds and incapacitate protesters. Police appear to be specifically targeting videographers documenting these police abuses. In response, lawyers have
filed a federal restraining order against such conduct.

By the end of the day today, only 12 people had been arraigned. Many arrestees are refusing to provide identification, in order to call attention to what they consider trumped-up charges and to collectively bargain. 'These tactics are designed to protect the most vulnerable people in jail, and take a page from the history of labor solidarity,' said Rick Kelley of Coldsnap Legal Collective, an activist-based legal collective supporting the arrestees. 'Based on the vagueness of their
charges and the program of police intimidation currently underway, these
individuals understand how they will fare if they don't stick together.'
The court has been imposing the maximum bail of $2,000 for misdemeanor

In an unusual court decision, Ramsey County Judge Paulette K. Flynn today convicted two minors of criminal contempt for refusing to provide their identity. The two minors were then sentenced to 30 days in an adult jail facility. 'This decision undermines one of the most fundamental human rights concepts in the justice system, to protect the rights and safety of children,' said Jordan Kushner, Mass Defense
Committee Chair of the National Lawyers Guild's Minnesota chapter, and an attorney for one of the minors. 'This shows the willingness of the courts to go to any length, including sacrificing the most important due process rights, to answer to the political pressure to persecute activists.'

Many arrestees are also being denied medical attention. One arrestee with hemophilia and another with asthma are being denied their prescription medication. An arrestee with a broken finger is being refused medical care, as is a person who has been coughing up blood. An anemic woman reported to Coldsnap today that she passed out for 20 to 30 minutes due to iron deficiency and was told that she could not receive iron because it was a prescription medication, and because she refused to identify herself.

Iron is in fact an over-the-counter supplement. The same anemic woman reported seeing a Sheriff knock another woman to the ground and drag her out of the room by her hair. 'Just because people have been jailed does not mean their health should be put in jeopardy,' said Kelley. This is a matter of compassion and basic human rights.

Under Minnesota law, detainees must be released after 36 hours if the court fails to review and affirm probable cause for their charges. This 36-hour period will expire at noon on Wednesday.