Saturday, July 10, 2010

*From The Horse's Mouth- The Supreme Court's Decision In "Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project"

Click on the headline link to the United States Supreme Court decision of June 21,2010 in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project mentioned in the Workers Vanguard article posted earlier today.

Markin comment:

Read it and weep.

Preachin' The Blues- Son House


The Very Best of Son House , Heroes Of The Blues, Son House, Sony Music, 2003

I recently reviewed Mississippi John Hurt’s "The Last Sessions" in this space. Hurt was ‘discovered’ in the early 1960’s by young, mainly white, folk singers looking to find the roots of American music. Well, Hurt was not the only old black country blues player ‘discovered’ during that period. There is a now famous still picture (as well as well as video performance clip, I wonder if it is on YouTube?) of Hurt along with the legendary Skip James and the musician under review, Son House, jamming at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. That was a historic (and probably one of the last possible) moments to hear these legends of country blues in one spot together.

And why was House on that stage with Hurt and James? Well, the short answer is that old flailing National steel guitar of his. However, the real answer is that like Hurt he represented a piece of American music that was fast fading away, at least in its original form –the country blues. Can anyone beat the poignancy of "Death Letter Blues" or bitterness of "Levee Moan"? Or when House gets preachy on "John the Revelator" and other old time religious songs of shout and response. The tension between being a preacher man and doing the ‘devil’s work' (playing the blues) is more clearly felt in House’s work than in Hurt’s.

House’s repertoire is not as extensive as Hurt’s and there is a little sameness of some of the lyrics but when he is hot watch out. There is another famous film clip of him alone sitting down in a chair on stage under the hot lights flailing away at the guitar almost trance-like, sweating buckets doing "Death Letter Blues". That is the scene you want to evoke when you listen to this selection. And do listen.


Kicking The Country Blues- Son House and Bukka White

Son House and Bukka White: Masters Of The Country Blues, hosted by Taj Mahal, Yazoo Videos, 1991

I have reviewed the music of country blues legend Son House elsewhere in this space (and above in this entry) and expected to review this documentary solely on the basis of a comment there. I mentioned there that in 1963 Son House, Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt performed at the Newport Folk Festival, a historic Delta blues occasion. One of the vivid cinematic scenes from that event was Son House flailing his National steel guitar, trance like, on the classic "Death Letter Blues". I assumed that I was going to see that performance here. That was not the case. However, with solid introductions to both performers by blues legend Taj Mahal we are treated to a little different look at Son House and a new look at Bukka White.

The Son House segments here concentrate on the lifelong tension between a career in preaching, Baptist style of course, and ‘doin’ the devil’s work’ of singing the blues (and along the way doing a little whiskey drinking, womanizing and hell-raising). House is interviewed here trying to lay out his philosophy, his theology and his acknowledgement that the whiskey and women mainly got the best of him. The actual musical presentation is rather short and religiously oriented- "Death Letter Blues", "John The Revelator" and the like. If you want Son House at his most musical you will have to look elsewhere, mainly to his CDs. If you want to know the man behind the music a little this is for you.

Enough of Son House here though. The real story of this documentary is that the lesser known (at least to me and others that I know who follow the blues) Bukka White steals the show in his segments. Not only is he a better and more versatile guitar player than Son House but he jumps with his musical compositions here. Let us leave it, for now, that if you want to get introduced to Brother White then this is a very good way to start. I might add that in a segment of The Howlin’ Wolf Story that I am also currently in the process of reviewing that White also steals the show from the legendary Wolf with his guitar playing. That said, the reader can expect that Brother White will shortly be getting an individual entry in this space. Yes, indeed, he will.

*From The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee-Sentencing Hearing July 15, 2010-New York City

Click on on the headline to link to theLynne Stewart Defense Committee Website for important updated information

From The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee Website

JULY 15, 2010


Sentencing is at 2:30pm, we will be there at 11am

Federal Courthouse

500 Pearl Street
Doors will open at 2pm


*From The Pages Of "Workers Vanguard"- "Supreme Court Decision Shreds First Amendment Rights"

Click on the headline to link to the Workers Vanguard website for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

As noted in this linked article, although not unexpected from the Neanderthals (oops, that is disrespectful to those early residents of our fair planet who represented, at the time, a higher form of life) on the Supreme Court this decision will have, as in other previous decisions like in the 2nd Court Of Appeals case of people's attorney Lynne Stewart, a "chilling effect" on free speech. By the way, anyone who is under the illusion that you need to know the law, and just the law, rather than exhibit your ingrown "original intent" political prejudices to be a Supreme Court justice should read this decision. I think those unfairly maligned Neanderthals could come up with a more rational decision. And they did not have several hard-pressed, overworked law clerks to "write" the thing for them.

*From The Pages Of "Workers Vanguard"-"Militant Strike Wave in China"- American Workers Better Learn To Speak "Chinese" To The Bosses

Click on the headline to link to the Workers Vanguard website for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

In the old early glory days of the workers state in the Soviet Union a popular slogan in America (and elsewhere) was the call for American workers to learn from their Russian counterparts, learn to speak "Russian" to their American (or whoever was in charge) bosses. Today that mantle, as noted in the linked article, is carried by the Chinese workers. American workers- Learn to speak "Chinese" to the bosses .

Friday, July 09, 2010

*If Drafted I Will Not Run, If Elected I Will Not Serve- Revolutionaries and Running For Executive Offices Of The Capitalist State- An Encore

Click on title to link to important theoretical article on the question of revolutionaries running for the executive offices of the capitalist state in "Spartacist- English Language Edition, Number 62, Spring 2009. (Yes, isn't it nice to transcend and go forward in time by the 'magic' of technology in the blogosphere.)

Markin comment:

On a day when I am posting (or rather re-posting) a propaganda entry arguing for running independent working class candidates under a workers program for legislative offices of the bourgeois state I believe that a reposting of why leftist militants should not, actually, cannot run for the executive offices of the bourgeois state. (In this cycle that would mean governors, mayors, county boards, sheriffs, and so on. Those who directly administer the state.)


If Drafted I Will Not Run, If Elected I Will Not Serve- Revolutionaries and Running For Executive Offices Of The Capitalist State, June 15, 2008


If drafted, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve- words attributed to William Tecumseh Sherman at the prospect of being nominated for American president in the late 19th century.

Well, the old soldier Billy Sherman has it right, if for different reasons from those of today 's revolutionaries. We want no part in administering the bourgeois state today and therefore, disrespectfully decline to run for its executive offices. However, to show that we are not anti-parliamentary abstentionists like many of our anarchist brethren we, in our role as 'tribunes of the people', will graciously accept any elected legislative posts that come our way-of course running on our program of a workers party fighting for a workers government.

Wait a minute, Markin, haven’t you gone out of your way in previous commentaries to argue that revolutionaries should run for executive office, while also taking the historic revolutionary socialist position of refusing to actually accept the office if elected? Umm......, well yes, and here the writer will have to eat humble pie and accept that the old historic position is indeed wrong and not just wrong on a tactical basis but on principal.

Let’s go into a little background here. As I have developed a socialist worldview I have attempted to ground that position with a sense of history. Part of that history included studying the lives of various revolutionary socialists here and elsewhere. One of the first that I came across was Eugene V. Debs, one of the key early leaders in the American socialist movement. Debs not only ran for president as a socialist in the historic four-way presidential fight of 1912 (you know, the one where Teddy Roosevelt ran as a Bull Moose) but also in 1920 from the Atlanta Penitentiary where he was spending a little time, at government expense, for opposition to American entry into the slaughter of World War I. That fighting stance exemplified for me an ideal way for socialists to get their propaganda out to a hostile world that might be a little less so when confronted during traditional election periods.

That position was fortified further for me by a look at the latter campaigns of the American Communist Party from the time that they placed William Z. Foster and Ben Gitlow on their presidential ticket in the 1920's. To speak nothing of later campaigns by Earl Browder in 1940 and Gus Hall more recently for that same party, as well. Moreover, when I first began sniffing around the Trotskyist movement in the early 1970’s I distinctly remember, as an act of defiance in breaking with the Democratic Party (I had after all, when all the dust was settled, supported Hubert Humphrey in 1968), voting for the Socialist Workers Party candidate in 1972 (and here memory fails for I am not sure whether it was Doug or Linda Jenness who was running for president that year but I believe that it was Linda- someone can correct me on that, please) Moreover, in the harsh reality of American politics since then and the harsher realities of socialist propaganda politics the question of the pitfalls of running for executive office seemed a little exotic, to say the least. In short, nothing really seemed to require that I seriously work through the issue.

Then, a few years ago, entered the International Communist League (ICL) and presumably others to upset the historic applecart. Apparently within that organization some qualms developed over the historic position mentioned above(a position that they themselves utilized back in the 1980’s running a candidate for Mayor of New York City). Researches by the ICL back to the early days of the Communist International concerning various nebulous formulations of the workers government slogan and some unfinished business concerning electoral platforms opened up this can of worms. When I first read of this dispute I dismissed it out of hand as a 'tempest in a teapot' rather than as a serious issue that needed a full airing today among small left-wing propaganda groups and labor militants trying to avoid the pitfalls of opportunism.

Now there are many ways to obtain political enlightenment in the world. One of the most important for me about the nature of the state came from being part one of that state’s armed bodies of men- a member of the American armed forces during the Vietnam War. On the present question my awakening was not nearly so dramatic but as I mentioned in a recent blog entitled "The ‘Woes’ of The British Labor Party" (see May 2008 archives) the defeat of “Red” Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London brought the issues home. The idea that a soft pink leftist, much less a hard Bolshevik would want to administer the bourgeois state for Her Majesty showed me graphically the absurdity of the old historic position. And Livingstone did not even bother with the formality of refusal but accepted that political responsibility, gladly, to boot. Reinforced by a little quick research on my part into the German Social Democratic and French and Italian Communist executive running of municipalities and states and things began to fall into place.

Sometimes old habits die hard though. I still have to think through how critical support to other leftist formations who do run for executive office with some supportable positions would work in connection with this new standard. My question: Are we just maintaining theoretical ‘purity’ by not personally sullying our hands administering the bourgeois state but are more than happy to let others, whom we give critical support to, do that dirty work? In any case I am ‘born again’ on the principal of executive office refusal now and have swore off that childhood dream of becoming president of the American imperial juggernaut- but, hey, how about being a commissar?

* A Modest Proposal -Recruit , Run Independent Labor Candidates For Congressional Office In 2010

Click on the headline to link to a Leon Trotsky Internet Archive online copy of his 1921 Report on “The Balance Sheet” of the Third Congress of the Communist International.

Markin commemt 2010;

It is election time in the U.S., a time when my many times posted modest proposal is appropriate propaganda in the fight for our for our communist future.




Repost Spring 2007 comment

I originally planned to repost the commentary below in the summer of 2007. However, two trends have forced me to republish earlier than I planned. The first is the fact that the whole 2008 bourgeois electoral process has gone into warp speed. Yes, yes I know that thinking about electoral politics, or any politics, in the spring of 2007 is only for political junkies and other misbegotten types. I confess to that sin and some day I will turn myself into the appropriate 12-step program. Nevertheless the campaign season goes full throttle. Thus if we are to have any effect on the 2008 campaign on behalf of our fight for socialism we better get in harness now.

The second trend revolves around the periodic publication of, and commentary on, the not so startling, by now, fact that the wealth distribution gap between the very, very rich and the merely rich here in America and the rest of us has over the last few years once again become wider, the widest since the 1920’s. In response a number of political commentators, especially liberal commentators, have bemoaned this condition noting that part of the problem is the very real ‘class struggle’ by the rich and their minions to beat down wages and benefits. One of the better commentators on this subject the Boston Globe Op/Ed writer Robert Kuttner, who is almost always worth reading to gauge the pulse of the Eastern liberal part of the Democratic Party, recently placed the blame on the fight against unionization by the corporations and their political hangers-on. So far, no argument there.

Where we part company is over his exclusive and eternal strategy of relying on the political ‘goodwill’ of the ‘friends of labor’ in the Democratic Party to make capitalism fairer. He further argues that this is where labor has found its earlier successes. No, one thousand times no. Despite Kuttner’s obviously truncated reading (if at all) of labor history the way unions were organized, particularly in the 1930’s the heyday of militant action, usually meant hard-fought factory and street actions over and against those so-called ‘friends of labor’. This is the simply truth that we must get out and have independent militant labor candidates shout to the rooftops. LET OUR CAMPAIGN BEGIN.


All “anti-parliamentarian”, “anti-state”, “non-political” anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist brothers and sisters need read no further. This writer does not want to sully the purity of your politics with the taint of parliamentary electoral politics. Although I might remind you, as we remember the period of the anniversary of the Spanish Civil War 1936-39, that your political forbears in Spain were more than willing to support the state and enter the government when they got the chance- the bourgeois state and the bourgeois government. But, we can fight that issue out later. We will, hopefully, see you latter on the barricades.

As for other militants- here is my modest proposal. Either recruit fellow labor militants or present yourselves as candidates to run for public office, especially for Congress, during the 2008 election cycle. Why? Even a quick glance at the news of the day is calculated to send the most hardened politico screaming into the night. The quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, immigration walls, flag-burning amendments, anti same-sex marriage amendments, the threat to separation of church state raised by those who would impose a fundamentalist Christian theocracy on the rest of us, and the attacks on the hard fought gains of the Enlightenment posed by bogus theories such as ‘intelligent design’. And that is just an average day. Therefore, this election cycle provides militants, at a time when the electorate is focused on politics, a forum to raise our program and our ideas. We use this as a tool, like leaflets, petitions, meetings, demonstrations, etc. to get our message across. Why should the Donkeys, Elephants, and Greens have a monopoly on the public square?

I mentioned in the last paragraph the idea of program. Let us face it if we do not have a program to run on then it makes no sense for militants to run for public office. Given the political climate our task at this time is to fight an exemplary propaganda campaign. Our program is our banner in that fight. The Democrats and Republicans DO NOT RUN on a program. The sum of their campaigns is to promise not to steal from the public treasury (or at least not too much), beat their husbands or wives or grossly compromise themselves in any manner. On second thought, given today’s political climate, they may not promise not to beat their husbands or wives. You, however, get the point. Damn, even the weakest neophyte labor militant can make a better presentation before working people that that. In any case, this writer presents a five-point program that labor militants can run on (you knew this was coming, right?). As point five makes clear this is not a ‘minimum’ program but a program based on our need to fight for power.

1. FIGHT FOR THE IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL WITHDRAWAL OF U.S. TROOPS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST NOW! U.S. HANDS OFF THE WORLD! VOTE NO ON THE WAR BUDGET! The quagmire in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East (Palestine, Iran) is the fault line of American politics today. Every bourgeois politician has to have his or her feet put to the fire on this one. Not on some flimsy ‘sense of the Congress’ softball motion for withdrawal next, year, in two years, or (my favorite) when the situation is stable. Moreover, on the parliamentary level the only real vote that matters is the vote on the war budget. All the rest is fluff. Militants should make a point of trying to enter Congressional contests where there are so-called anti-war Democrats or Republicans (an oxymoron, I believe) running, who nevertheless have voted with both feet for the war budgets, to make that programmatic contrast vivid.

But, one might argue, that would split the ‘progressive’ forces. Grow up, please! That argument has grown stale since it was first put forth in the ‘popular front’ days of the 1930’s. If you want to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan fight for this position on the war budget. Otherwise the same people (ya, those progressive Democrats) who, in the end, voted for the last war budget get a free ride on the cheap. By rights this is our issue. Let us take it back.

2. FIGHT FOR A LIVING WAGE AND WORKING CONDITIONS-UNIVERSAL FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL. It is a ‘no-brainer’ that no individual, much less families, can live on the minimum wage of $5/hr. (or proposed $7/hr). What planet do these politicians live on? We need an immediate fight for a living wage, full employment and decent working conditions. We need universal free health care for all. End of story. The organized labor movement must get off its knees and fight to organize Wal-Mart and the South. A boycott of Wal-Mart is not enough. A successful organizing drive will, like in the 1930’s, go a long way to turning the conditions of labor around.

3. FIGHT THE ATTACKS ON THE ENLIGHTENMENT. Down with the Death Penalty! Full Citizenship Rights for all immigrants who make it here! Stop the Deportations! For the Separation of Church and State! Defend Abortion Rights! Down with ant-same sex marriage legislation! Full public funding of education! Stop the ‘war on drugs’, basically a war on blacks and minority youth-decriminalize drugs! Defend political prisoners! This list of demands hardly exhausts the “culture war” issues we defend. It is hard to believe that in the year 2008, over 200 years after the American and French Revolutions we are fighting desperately to preserve many of the same principles that militants fought for in those revolutions. But, so be it.

4. FIGHT FOR A WORKERS PARTY. The Donkeys, Elephants and Greens have had their chance. Now is the time to fight for our own party and for the interests of our own class, the working class. Any campaigns by independent labor militants must highlight this point. And any campaigns can also become the nucleus of a workers party network until we get strong enough to form at least a small party. None of these other parties, and I mean none, are working in the interests of working people and their allies. The following slogan, which codifies that great lesson of politics today, must be hammered home. Break with the Democrats, Republicans and Greens!

5. FIGHT FOR A WORKERS AND XYZ GOVERNMENT. THIS IS THE DEMAND THAT SEPARATES THE MILITANTS FROM THE FAINT-HEARTED REFORMISTS. We need our own form of government. In the old days the bourgeois republic was a progressive form of government. Not so any more. That form of government ran out of steam about one hundred years ago. We need a Workers Republic. We need a government based on workers councils with a ministry (I do not dare say commissariat in case any stray anarchists are still reading this) responsible to it. Let us face it if we really want to get any of the good and necessary things listed above accomplished we are not going to get it with the current form of government.

Why the XYZ part? What does that mean? No, it is not part of an algebra lesson. What it reflects is that while society is made up mainly of workers (of one sort or another) there are other classes (and parts of classes) in society that we seek as allies and could benefit from a workers government. Examples- small independent contractors, intellectuals, the dwindling number of small farmers, and some professionals like dentists. Ya, I like the idea of a workers and dentists government. Given my dental history I would fight on the last barricade for that government. The point is you have got to fight for it.

Obviously any campaign based on this program will be an exemplary propaganda campaign for the foreseeable future. But we have to start now. Continuing to support or not challenging the bourgeois parties does us no good now. That is for sure. While bourgeois electoral laws do not favor independent candidacies at this late date write-in campaigns are possible. ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES! GET THOSE PETITIONS SIGNED! PRINT OUT THE LEAFLETS! PAINT THOSE BANNERS! GET READY TO SHAKE HANDS AND KISS BABIES.

*From The Pen Of James P.Cannon-"The Capitalist Offensive" (1931)

Click on the headline to link to the James P.Cannon Internet Archives for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

This article goes along with the propaganda points in the fight for our communist future mentioned in this day's other posts.

*From The Pen Of Vladimir Lenin-"The Tasks of the Revolutionary Youth" (1903)

Click on the headline to link to the Lenin Internet Archives for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

This article goes along with the propaganda points in the fight for our communist future mentioned in this day's other posts.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

* From The " Renegade Eye" Blog- On The Struggle For Communism In Venezuela- A Guest Commentary

Click on the headline to link to a Renegade Eye blog entry from the In Defense Of Marxism website on the struggle for communism in Venezuela.

*From “The Rag Blog”- “Bob Feldman 68” Blog- A People’s History Of Afghanistan, Part Thirteen

Click on the headline to link to a The Rag Blog entry from the Bob Feldman 68 blog on the history of Afghanistan

Markin comment:

This is a great series for those who are not familiar with the critical role of Afghanistan in world politics, if not directly then as part of the history of world imperialism. Thanks, Bob Feldman.

And, speaking of world imperialism, let us keep our eyes on the prize- Obama- Immediate, Unconditional Withdrawal Of All U.S./ Allied Troops And Mercenaries From Afghanistan!

*From The Pen Of Class-War Prisoner Jalil Muntaqim- “We Are Our Own Liberators" Just Released

Click on the headline to link to the JALIL MUNTAQIM website.

A former member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Muntaqim is one of the world's longest held political prisoners, having been incarcerated in the United States since 1971.

For Immediate Release
July 7, 2010


Los Angeles: The second edition of Jalil Muntaqim’s We Are Our Own Liberators was released today by Arissa Media Group, an independent, politically focused publishing house.

A former member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Muntaqim is one of the world's longest held political prisoners, having been incarcerated in the United States since 1971.

This second edition of We Are Our Own Liberators consists of the prison writings of Muntaqim, which have spanned over the thirty-six years of his imprisonment. This valuable collection of writings represents some of the significant contributions Jalil has made to the Black Liberation and New Afrikan independence movements.

Muntaqim writes, "Ultimately, the U.S will eventually find itself at war with itself, as the ideology of a free democratic society will be found to be a big lie. This is especially disconcerting as greater restrictions on civil and human rights are made into law eroding First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S constitution."

304 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inch, paperback, printed on 100% recycled, post consumer waste paper. Retail: $17.95. ISBN:978-0-9742884-6-8

Arissa Media Group titles are distributed exclusively in the United States by Small Press United, a division of Independent Publishers Group.

For more information or to order review copies, please contact:

Arissa Media Group
info (at)
(866) 476-0964
info (at)
See also:

From The "UJP" Website- Demonstrate In Boston Saturday July 11, 2010 At The National Governors Conference Against Arizona's Immigration Law SB 1070

Click on the headline to link to a post from the "UJP" Website-"Demonstrate In Boston July 11, 2010 At The National Governors Conference Against Arizona's Immigration Law SB 1070."

Markin comment:

Some issues, and this Arizona SB 1070 apartheid-like pass law is one of them, require very little explanation and very vocal opposition wherever and whenever possible. Boston at the National Governors Conference (where Arizona's governor and chief enforcer will be present)on July 11, 2010 is one of them. Massachusetts will also get attention for its recent anti-immigrant legislation, as well. We will be there.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

*Songs To While Away The Class Struggle By-Malvina Reynold’s "On The Rim Of The World"-For Our People Down On The Edge

In this series, presented under the headline “Songs To While Away The Class Struggle By”, I will post some songs that I think will help us get through the “dog days” of the struggle for our communist future. I do not vouch for the political thrust of the songs; for the most part they are done by pacifists, social democrats, hell, even just plain old ordinary democrats. And, occasionally, a communist, although hard communist musicians have historically been scarce on the ground. Thus, here we have a regular "popular front" on the music scene. While this would not be acceptable for our political prospects, it will suffice for our purposes here. Markin.


On the Rim of the World

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1973 Schroder Music Company, renewed 2001.

She inches along on the rim of the world,
Always about to go over,
How she can manage I never will know,
To get from one day to the other.
Scrounging a buck or a bed
Or the share of a roof for her head,
This nobody's child, this precarious girl,
Who lives on the rim of the world.

She looks like a princess in somebody's rags,
She dreams of a world without danger,
Climbing the stairs to a room of her own
With someone who isn't a stranger.
But now she eats what she can,
And accepts what there is for a man,
This nobody's child, this precarious girl,
Who lives on the rim of the world.

She inches along on the rim of the world,
Always about to go over,
How she can manage I never will know,
To get from one day to the other.
Scrounging a buck or a bed
Or the share of a roof for her head,
This nobody's child, this precarious girl,
Who lives on the rim of the world.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Held Over
---- Ear to the Ground

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Rosalie Sorrels: Be Careful There's a Baby in the House (Green Linnet Records GLCD 2100, 1991)
---- Rosalie Sorrels: No Closing Chord; The Songs of Malvina Reynolds (Red House Records RHR CD 143, 2000)
---- Jane Voss and Hoyle Osborne: Pullin' Through (Green Linnet SIF 1044, 1983)

* * * * *
This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

*Songs To While Away The Class Struggle By-Malvina Reynolds' "Bury Me In My Overalls"

In this series, presented under the headline “Songs To While Away The Class Struggle By”, I will post some songs that I think will help us get through the “dog days” of the struggle for our communist future. I do not vouch for the political thrust of the songs; for the most part they are done by pacifists, social democrats, hell, even just plain old ordinary democrats. And, occasionally, a communist, although hard communist musicians have historically been scarce on the ground. Thus, here we have a regular "popular front" on the music scene. While this would not be acceptable for our political prospects, it will suffice for our purposes here. Markin.


Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems

Bury Me in My Overalls

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1956 Northern Music Corporation, renewed 1984. Written during a time when Malvina's husband Bud was quite sick.

Bury me in my overalls,
Don't use my gabardines,
Bury me in my overalls
Or in my beat-up jeans.
Give my suit to Uncle Jake,
He can wear it at my wake,
And bury me in my overalls.

The undertaker will get my dough,
The grave will get my bones,
And what is left will have to go
For one of those granite stones,
But this suit cost me two weeks pay
So let it live another day,
And bury me in my overalls.

The grave it is a quiet place,
There is no labor there,
And I will rest more easy
In the clothes I always wear.
This suit was made for warmer climes,
Holidays and happy times,
So bury me in my overalls.

I gave a hand to clear the land
And make the cities rise,
I helped to bring the harvest in
And lay the railroad ties.
I boomed about from east to west,
It's time I had a little rest,
So bury me in my overalls.

And when I get to heaven
Where they tally work and sin,
They'll open up those pearly gates
And holler, "Come on in!
A workin stiff like you, we know,
Has had his share of Hell below,
So come to glory in your overalls!"

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- Song in My Pocket: Songs
---- Little Boxes and Other Handmade Songs
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Other place(s) where the music to this song appears:
---- Sing Out!, Volume 4(7) (1954), p. 31
---- Sing Out!, Volume 21(5) (1972), p. 15

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Mama Lion
---- At Work; The Music of California Labor (San Francisco State University, 2004)
---- Ear to the Ground

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Barbara Dane and Lightnin' Hopkins: Sometimes I Believe She Loves Me (Arhoolie CD-451, 1996)
---- Gateway Singers: Puttin' on the Style (Decca DL 8413, 1957)
---- Gateway Singers: "Monaco/Bury Me in My Overalls" (45 r.p.m. single, Decca 30088)
---- Faith Petric: When Did We Have Sauerkraut? (Center Records CR105, n.d.)
---- Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips: Worker's Doxology (Cold-drill, 1992) [same material as next entry]
---- Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips: The Long Memory (Red House Records RHR CD 83, 1996)

* * * * *
This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

*From The Pen Of Leon Trotsky-"How To Really Defend Democracy"

Click on the headline to link to the Leon Trotsky Internet Archives for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

Blame it on Leon Trotsky, Blame it on Lenin. Blame it on the Russian October Revolution of 1917. Or, maybe, just blame it on my reaction to the residue from the bourgeois July Fourth celebrations. Today I am, in any case, in a mood for “high Trotskyism.” That is always a good way to readjust the political compass, and read some very literate political writing as well. With all due respect to black author James Baldwin and his great work, Another Country, featured today Jimmy you have to share the stage today. Okay?

*From The Pen Of Leon Trotsky-"Some Questions On American Problems"

Click on the headline to link to the Leon Trotsky Internet Archives for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

Blame it on Leon Trotsky, Blame it on Lenin. Blame it on the Russian October Revolution of 1917. Or, maybe, just blame it on my reaction to the residue from the bourgeois July Fourth celebrations. Today I am, in any case, in a mood for “high Trotskyism.” That is always a good way to readjust the political compass, and read some very literate political writing as well. With all due respect to black author James Baldwin and his great work, Another Country, featured today Jimmy you have to share the stage today. Okay?

*From The Pen Of Leon Trotsky-"Fighting Against The Stream"

Click on the headline to link to the Leon Trotsky Internet Archives for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

Blame it on Leon Trotsky, Blame it on Lenin. Blame it on the Russian October Revolution of 1917. Or, maybe, just blame it on my reaction to the residue from the bourgeois July Fourth celebrations. Today I am, in any case, in a mood for “high Trotskyism.” That is always a good way to readjust the political compass, and read some very literate political writing as well. With all due respect to black author James Baldwin and his great work, Another Country, featured today Jimmy you have to share the stage today. Okay?

*From The Pen Of Leon Trotsky-"Art And Politics In Our Epoch"

Click on the headline to link to the Leon Trotsky Internet Archives for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

Blame it on Leon Trotsky, Blame it on Lenin. Blame it on the Russian October Revolution of 1917. Or, maybe, just blame it on my reaction to the residue from the bourgeois July Fourth celebrations. Today I am, in any case, in a mood for “high Trotskyism.” That is always a good way to readjust the political compass, and read some very literate political writing as well. With all due respect to black author James Baldwin and his great work, Another Country, featured today Jimmy you have to share the stage today. Okay?

*From The Pen Of Leon Trotsky-"The Lesson Of Spain"

Click on the headline to link to the Leon Trotsky Internet Archives for an online copy of the article mentioned in the headline.

Markin comment:

Blame it on Leon Trotsky, Blame it on Lenin. Blame it on the Russian October Revolution of 1917. Or, maybe, just blame it on my reaction to the residue from the bourgeois July Fourth celebrations. Today I am, in any case, in a mood for “high Trotskyism.” That is always a good way to readjust the political compass, and read some very literate political writing as well. With all due respect to black author James Baldwin and his great work, Another Country, featured today Jimmy you have to share the stage today. Okay?

Monday, July 05, 2010

*From The Archives Of "Women And Revolution"-The Comintern Theses on Work Among Women

Click on the headline to link to a Leon Trotsky Internet Archives online copy of his 1921 Speech Delivered at the Second World Conference of Communist Women from Volume One of The First Five Years Of The Communist International.

Markin comment:

The following is an article from the Spring 1981 issue of Women and Revolution that may have some historical interest for old "new leftists", perhaps, and well as for younger militants interested in various cultural and social questions that intersect the class struggle. Or for those just interested in a Marxist position on a series of social questions that are thrust upon us by the vagaries of bourgeois society. I will be posting more such articles from the back issues of Women and Revolution during Women's History Month and periodically throughout the year.
Markin comment on this article:
Over the past couple of years I have placed as many still relevant social, political, literary, and cultural articles from the journal Women and Revolution as I have been able to find as a source for leftist militants to think about these questions that are not always directly related to our day to day tasks in the class struggle today. I have made some effort into trying to get as many articles about the experiences of the Soviet Union as possible because that experience is, in some senses, our only example of what could have been had things turned out a bit differently back in the early days of the Russian revolution.

A couple of general observations about the tenor of the Soviet-centered articles. First, each article starts with items and ideas that spoke to the promise of the revolution, the things that could or should have been done and that the Bolsheviks raised holy hell to try to accomplish. Second, each article notes that turning inward of the revolution and the erasing of institutions, movements, and currents that surfaced in the revolutionary period and that were slammed in the period of Stalinist degeneration of the late 1920s. Those observations should be etched in the memory or every leftist militant who wants to fight for our communist future so we do better when our chance comes.
The Comintern Theses on Work Among Women

The Third Congress of the Communist International, meeting in Moscow from 22 June to 12 July 1921, adopted the following theses on the woman question. The Second International Congress of Communist Women, including delegates from as far away as Mexico and India, had met just prior to the Congress and also adopted this document. We are reprinting the Comintern - approved English-language edition, published by the Contemporary Publishing Association, New York City, 1921. (For a discussion of certain flaws in this translation, see "On the Comintern Theses on Work Among Women—I.S. Slander Refuted," W&R No. 4, Fall 1973). For space reasons, we are printing excerpts. The "Propaganda and Agitation Methods" section, which deals with tactical implementation, and the one-sentence conclusion, "Work on an International Basis," which directs the Women's Secretariat of the Comintern to oversee the work, have been dropped entirely.

The Theses set forth the Communists' determination to find effective means of propaganda and agitation-among women to win them to the cause of proletarian socialism. To the feminist notion of an "autonomous" women's movement, the Theses forthrightly counter-pose the need for class-conscious women's organizations led by the Communist vanguard in a united struggle against capitalism.

1. The Third Congress of the Comintern in conjunction with the Second International Women’s' Congress confirms the decision of the First and Second Congresses on the necessity for increasing the work of all the Communist Parties of the East and West among proletarian women. The masses of women workers must be educated in the spirit of Communism and so drawn into the struggle for Soviet Power and into the construction of the Soviet Labor Republic. In all countries the working classes, and consequently the
women workers, are faced with the problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The capitalist economic system has got into a blind alley, for there is no room for the further development of industrial forces within that system. The general impoverishment of the workers, the impotence of the bourgeoisie to revive production, the development of speculative enterprises, the decay in the production system, unemployment, the fluctuation of prices out of keeping with wages,— all this leads inevitably to the deepening of the class struggle in all countries. This struggle is to decide who shall conduct, administer, and organize production, and upon what system that should be done,—whether it should be in the hands of a clique of bourgeois exploiters, and be carried on upon the principles of capitalism and private property; or in the hands of the producing class and carried on upon a Communist basis.

The newly rising class, the class of producers, must in accordance with the laws of economic production, take the productive apparatus into its own hands, and set up new forms of public economy. Only in such a way will it be possible to create the necessary impetus for the development of the economic forces to the maximum and for the removal of the anarchy of capitalist production.
So long as the power of government is in the hands of the bourgeois class, the proletariat has no power to organize production. No reforms, no measure, carried out by the democratic or socialistic governments of the bourgeois countries, are able to save the situation. They cannot alleviate the unbearable sufferings of the working women and working men, sufferings which are due to the disorganization of the capitalist system of production, and which are going to last as long as the power is in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Only by seizing the power of government will the proletariat be able to take hold of the means of production, and thus secure the possibility of directing the economic development in the interests of the toilers.

In order to hasten the hour of the decisive conflict between the proletariat and the degenerating bourgeois world, the working class must adhere to the firm and unhesitating
tactics outlined by the Third International. The most fundamental and immediate goal determining the methods of work and the line of struggle for the proletariat of both sexes must be the dictatorship of labor.

As the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat is the vital question before the proletariat of all the capitalist countries, and the construction of Communism is the important task of those countries where the dictatorship is already in the hands of the workers, the Third Congress of the Communist International maintains that the conquest of power by the proletariat, as well as the achievement of Communism in those countries where the capitalist state has already been overthrown, can be realized only with the active participation of the wide masses of the proletarian and semi-proletarian women.
On the other hand the Congress once more calls the attention of all women to the fact that without the support of the Communist parties in all the tasks and undertakings leading to the liberation and enfranchisement of the women, this task is practically impossible of achievement.

2. The interest of the working class, especially at the present moment, imperatively demands the recruiting of women into the organized ranks of the proletariat, fighting for Communism.

The economic ruin throughout the world is becoming more acute and more unbearable to the entire city and country poor. Before the working class of the bourgeois-capitalist countries the question of the social revolution rises more and more clearly, and before the working class of Soviet Russia the question of reconstructing the public economy of the land on a new communist basis, becomes more and more vital. Both these tasks will be more easily realized, the more active and the more conscious and willing the participation of the women.

3. Wherever the question of the conquest of power arises, the Communist Parties must consider the great danger to the revolution represented by the inert, uninformed masses of women workers, housewives, employees, peasant women, not liberated from the influence of the bourgeois church and bourgeois superstitions, and not connected in some way or other with the great liberating movement of Communism. Unless the masses of women of the East and West are drawn into this movement, they inevitably become the stronghold of the bourgeoisie and the object of counter-revolutionary propaganda. The experience of the revolution in Hungary, where the ignorance of the masses of women played such a pitiful part, should serve, in this case, as a warning for the proletariat of all other countries entering upon the road of social revolution.

On the other hand, the experience of the Soviet Republic showed in practice how important the participation of the women workers and peasants has been in the civil war in the defence of the Republic, as well as in all other activities of the Soviet construction. Facts have proven the importance of the part which the women workers and peasants have already played in the Soviet Republic in the organization of defence, strengthening the rear; the struggle against desertion, and against all sorts of counter-revolution, sabotage, etc. The experience of the Workers Republic must serve as a lesson to all other countries.

Hence, the direct task of the Communist Parties: to spread the influence of the Communist Party to the widest circles of the women population of their countries; organizing a special party body and applying special methods; appealing to the women outside of it, to free them from the influence of the bourgeoisie and the compromising parties, and educating them to be real fighters for Communism, and therefore for the complete enfranchisement of the women.

4. Putting before the Communist Parties of the East and West the direct task of extending the activity of the Party among the women proletariat the Third Congress of the Comintern declares also to the women of the entire world, that their emancipation from age-long slavery and inequality depend upon the victory of communism.

What Communism offers to the women, the bourgeois women's movement will never afford her. So long as the power of capitalism and private property continue to exist, the emancipation of woman from subservience to her husband cannot proceed further than her right to dispose of her property and earnings, as she sees fit, and also to decide on equal terms with her husband, the destiny of their children.

The most definite aim of the feminists—to grant the vote to the women—under the regime of bourgeois parliamentarism, does not solve the question of the actual equalization of women, especially of those of the dispossessed classes. This has been clearly demonstrated by the experience of the working women in those capitalist countries where the bourgeoisie has formally recognized the equality of the sexes. The right to vote does not remove the prime cause of women's enslavement in the family and in society. The substitution of the church marriage by civil marriage does not in the least alleviate the situation. The dependence of the proletarian woman upon the capitalist and upon, her husband as the economic mainstay of the family remains just the same. The absence of adequate laws to safeguard motherhood and infancy and the lack of proper social education render entirely impossible the equalization of woman's position in matrimonial relations. As a matter of fact, nothing that can be done under the capitalist order will furnish the key to the solution of the problem of the relationship of the sexes.

Only under Communism, not merely the formal, but the actual equalization of women will be achieved. Then woman will be the rightful owner, on a par with all the members of the working class, of the means of production and distribution. She will participate in the management of industry and she will assume an equal responsibility for the well-being of society.

In other words, only by overthrowing the system of exploitation of man by man, and by supplanting the capitalist mode of production by the Communist organization of industry will the full emancipation of woman be achieved. Only Communism affords the conditions which are necessary in order that the natural functions of woman—motherhood—should not come into conflict with her social obligations and hinder her creative work for the benefit of society. On the contrary, Communism will facilitate the most harmonious and diversified development of a healthy and beautiful personality that is indissolubly bound together with the whole life and activities of entire society. Communism should be the aim of all women who are fighting for complete emancipation and real freedom.

But, Communism is also the final aim of the proletariat. Consequently, the struggle of the working women for this aim must be carried on in the interests of both, under a united leadership and control, as "one and indivisible" to the entire world movement of the revolutionary proletariat.

5. The Third Congress of the Comintern confirms the basic proposition of revolutionary Marxism, i.e., that there is no "specific woman question" and no "specific women's movement," and, that every sort of alliance of working women with bourgeois feminism, as well as any support by the women workers of the treacherous tactics of the social-compromisers and opportunists leads to the undermining of the forces of the proletariat, delaying thereby the triumph of the social revolution and the advent of Communism, and thus also postponing the great hour of women's ultimate liberation.

Communism will be achieved not by "united efforts of all women of different classes," but by the united struggle of all the exploited. In their own interests the masses of proletarian women should support the revolutionary tactics of the Communist Party and take a most active and direct part in all mass-actions and all forms of civil war on a national and international scope.

6. Woman's struggle against her double oppression(capitalism and her home and family subservience), at its highest stage of development assumes an international character, becoming identified with the struggle of the proletariat of both sexes under the banner of the Third International for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Soviet System.

7. While warning the women workers against entering into any form of alliance and co-operation with the bourgeois feminists, the Third Congress of the Comintern, at the same time, points out to the workingwomen of all countries that to cherish any illusions of
the possibility for the proletarian women to support the Second International or any of the opportunistically inclined elements adhering to it without causing serious damage to the cause of women's emancipation—will prove infinitely detrimental for the liberating struggle of the proletariat. The women must constantly remember that woman's present-day slavery has grown out of the bourgeois order. In order to put an end to women's slavery it is necessary to inaugurate the new Communist organization of society.

Any support rendered to the Second and Second-and-a-half Internationals hampers the social revolution, delaying the advent of the new order. The more resolutely and uncompromisingly the women masses will turn away from the Second and the Second-and-a-half Internationals, the more certain will be the triumph of the Social Revolution. It is the sacred duty of all women Communists to condemn those who flinch from the revolutionary tactics of the Comintern and to Communist Party and take a most active and direct part in all mass-actions and all forms of civil war on a national and international scope.

8. The support of the Comintern by the women workers of all occupations should, first of all, express itself in their willingness to enter into the ranks of the Communist Party of their respective countries. In those countries and parties where the struggle between the Second and Third Internationals has not yet come to a head, it is the duty of the women workers to support, by all means, the Party and groups that stand for the Comintern and carry on a relentless warfare against all vacillating and avowedly treacherous elements, irrespective of any authorities holding a different view. The class-conscious women who are striving for emancipation should not remain in any parties which have not joined the Comintern. Those who are opposed to the Third International are the enemies of the emancipation of women.

The place of conscious working women in Eastern and Western countries is under the flag of the Communist International and in the ranks of the Communist Parties of their own countries. All wavering on the part of the working women and the fear to sever connection with the parties of compromise, and the hitherto acknowledged authorities have a pernicious influence on the satisfactory progress of the great proletarian struggle which is assuming the nature of an open and relentless civil war on a World scale.
Methods and Form of Work Among Women

Owing to all the above mentioned reasons, the Third Congress of the Comintern holds that the work among the proletarian women should be carried on by the Communist Parties of all countries, on the following basis:

1. Women must be enlisted as full-fledged members of the Party, on the basis of equality and independence, in all militant class organizations, trade unions, co¬operatives, factory committees, etc.

2. To recognize the importance of recruiting women into all branches of the active struggle of the proletariat (including military service for the defence of the proletariat} and into the construction of new forms of society and the organization of industry and life on a communist basis.

3. To recognize the functions of motherhood as a social function, promoting and supporting appropriate measures to aid and protect women as the bearer of the human race.

Being earnestly opposed to the separate organization of women into all sorts*of parties, unions, or any other special women's organizations, the Third Congress, nevertheless, believes that in view of: a) the present conditions of subjection prevailing not only in the bourgeois-capitalist countries, but also in countries under the Soviet system, undergoing transition from capitalism to communism; b) the great inertness and political ignorance of the masses of women, due to the fact that they have been for centuries barred from social life and to age-long slavery in the family, and, c) the special functions imposed upon women by nature—childbirth, and the peculiarities attached to this, calling for the protection of her strength and health in the interests of the entire community, the Third Congress therefore considers it necessary to find special methods of work among the women of the Communist Parties and establishes a standard of special apparatus within the Communist Parties for the realization of this work. The apparatus for this work among the women in the Party should be the sections or committees for work among women, organized by all party committees commencing with the Executive Committee and ending with the city districts or village party committees. This decision is obligatory for all parties attached to the Comintern....

Work of the Party Amongst Women in Soviet Countries

It is the task of the Sections of the Soviet Labor Republics to educate the masses of working women in a spirit of communism, by attracting them to the Communist Party; to inspire and develop activity and self-reliance, by drawing them into the work of constructive Communism and bringing them up as staunch defenders of the Communist International.

It is the task of the Sections to attract the women to every form of Soviet construction, including questions of defense, as well as all the many economic plans of the
Republic. ,

In the Soviet Republics the Sections should see that all the regulations of the 8th Congress of Soviets regarding the attraction of working and peasant women to the work of building up and organizing public production, as well as their participation in the work of all those organs which direct, manage, control and organize production should be carried out. The Sections should participate through their representatives and through the Party organs in the elaboration of new laws and exercise an influence on the alteration of such as require much alteration in the interest of the enfranchisement of women. The Sections should take the greatest interest and show most initiative in the development of those laws which deal with the protection of the labor of women and children.
It is the duty of the Sections to attract the greatest possible number of working and peasant women to all election campaigns of Soviets, as also to see to it that working and peasant women are elected as members of Soviets and Executive Committees,
The Sections should make it their business to assist in every way possible in making a success of political and economic campaigns carried on by the Party.
It is the task of the Sections to assist the growth of skilled women labor by means of professional education, as well as to facilitate the admission of the working and peasant women to the corresponding educational establishments.

The Sections should facilitate the entrance of working women into the Commission for the Protection of Labor in various enterprises, and should also accelerate the activity of the auxiliary Committees for the Protection of Mother and Child.

The Sections should make it their business to assist the development of all social institutions, such as communal kitchens, laundries, repairing shops, institutions of social education, communal houses, etc. which, basing as they do, the conditions of life upon 2 new Communist principle, ameliorate the difficulties which women experience during the transition period; assist their rapid enfranchisement and transform the slave of the family and the home into a free co-worker in the great social renaissance, a fellow creator of new forms of life.

Through the organizers working among women elected by the Communist fraction of trade unions, the Sections should assist in the education of the women workers, members of the trade unions, in the spirit o Communism.

The Sections should look after the due attendance o the working women at all general factory delegate conferences.

The Sections should carry out a systematic distribution of auxiliary workers, for all the Soviet, economic and trade union work.

The Sections must first of all take deep and firm roots among the proletarian women, wage-earners, and organize propaganda among employees, housewives and peasant women.

To build up a firm connection between the Party and the mass of the people, and to spread its influence over the non-party members of society, and also, to develop the method of the education of the women folks in this spirit of Communism, by teaching self-activity am participation in practical work, the Women's Section are to organize delegate meetings of women workers

The delegate meetings are the best means to educate the women workers and peasants, and to spread the Party influence amongst the backward masses c women workers and peasants.

These delegates meetings are formed from factor and shop representatives of a certain region, city or volost. I n Soviet Russia, the women delegates are draw into all kinds of political and economic campaign They are sent into different committees in industry, are invited to control Soviet institutions, and used for regular work in the Soviet Departments, in the capacity of clerks, for two months (Law of 1921).

The women delegates should be elected at general meetings of the shop workers, of the housewives and employees, according to a certain rate of representation fixed by the Party. The Women's Sections are obliged to carry on propaganda and agitation among the delegates, for which purpose special meetings of women delegates are to be arranged not less than twice a month. The delegates are requested to make reports of their activities either in the shops where they work, or at meetings arranged in the city districts. The delegates should be elected for a period of three months.

Another form of agitation among the women is the organization of large non-party conferences of women workers and peasants. Representatives to conferences are to be elected at meetings held for women workers—at their place of work, and for peasant women—in the villages.

The Section for work among women is charged to call the conferences, as well as to supervise their work.

In order to make the best use of the experience that the women workers have secured by participating in the work and activities of the Party, the Branches and Committees carry on an elaborate campaign of propaganda by word of mouth and press. The Sections arrange meetings and discussions for the women workers at the shops and for the housewives at the city clubs. They exercise control over the delegates meetings and carry on house to house agitation.

To train active workers among the women, and to widen their understanding of communism, the party must organize with the help of the Sections, special courses for work among the women, at each Party school or school for Soviet work.

In Capitalist Countries

The current tasks of the Committees or Sections for work among women are initiated by the circumstances of the period. On the one hand, the ruin of world economy, the rampant growth of unemployment; especially effecting the women workers and tending to increase prostitution, the high cost of living, the acute housing question, and the threats of new imperialistic laws; on the other hand, the unceasing strikes in all countries, repeated outbursts of armed uprisings of the proletariat, and the ever more violent civil war throughout the world, are the prologue to the inevitable world social revolution.

The women's committees must put forward the most important tasks of the proletariat, fight for the unabridged slogans of the Communist Party, of the Communists against the bourgeoisie and social-compromisers. The committees must see to it that the women are not only registered as equal members of the Party, trade unions and other militant workers organizations, which are waging the fight against all injustice or inequality of the women workers, but also that the women should be allowed to occupy responsible positions in the Party, Union or Cooperative on an equal basis with the men.
The Committees or Sections must facilitate the work of the wide masses of the women proletarians and peasant women in utilizing their franchise in the interests of the Communist Parties during election to the parliament and to all the public institutions, explaining at the same time the limitations of those rights, in the sense of weakening the capitalist exploitation, promoting enfranchisement of women, and replacing parliamentarism by the Soviet system.

The Committees must also aid the women workers, employees and peasant women to take a most active part in the elections of revolutionary, economic and' political Soviets of workers deputies, obtaining representation in them; awakening the political activity of the housewives, and carrying on a propaganda of the Soviet idea among the peasant women. The special concern of the Committees must be the realization of the principle of equal pay for equal work. It is the task of the Committee to start a campaign, drawing men and women workers into it, for free, universal education, aiding the women to become highly qualified in their work.

The Committees should see to it that women Communists take part in the legislative, municipal and other legislative organizations, in fact, wherever women have the right to vote.

While participating in the legislative, municipal and other organizations of bourgeois States, Communist women should strictly adhere to the tactics of the party, not concerning themselves so much with the realization of reforms within the limits of the bourgeois world order, as taking advantage of every live question and demand of the working women, as watch-words by which to lead the women into the active mass struggle for these demands, through the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The Committees or Sections must explain the disadvantages and waste of the system of individual house keeping, the bad bringing up and education of the children by the bourgeoisie, rallying the women workers to the struggle for practical improvement of the conditions of the working class, waged or supported by the Party.

The Committees must aid in recruiting the women to the Communist Party from the Trade Unions, for which purpose the Communist fraction of the Trade Unions appoints an organizer for work among the women, under the direction of the Party and the local branch. The entire work of the Committee must be carried on with one purpose in view: the development of the revolutionary activity of the masses and the hastening of the social revolution.

In Economically Backward Countries (the East)

In conjunction with the Communist Party the Women's Section should do everything possible to achieve in industrially weak countries, the recognition of the legal equality, the equality both of rights and obligations, of women in the Parties, Unions and other organizations of the working class.

The Sections or Committees should carry on, in conjunction with the Party, a struggle against prejudice, religious customs and > habits which maintain an oppressive hold upon the women; to achieve this, it is also necessary to carry on propaganda among the men.
The Communist Party, together with the Sections or Commissions, should carry out the principle of the equality of women in matters of education of children, family relations and general social life.

The Sections should look for support in their work, first of all, among the large classes of women who are exploited by capitalism in the capacity of workers in home industries (Koustar), as laborers on rice, cotton and other plantations, and assist in the general establishment of communal workshops and home (Koustar) co-operatives; this applies especially to all Eastern peoples living within the borders of Soviet Russia; the Sections should also assist in the general organization of all women engaged in plantation work with the working men united in trade unions.

The raising of the general educational level of the population is one of the best means of fighting the general stagnation of the country as well as religious prejudices. The Committees or Sections should, therefore, assist in the opening of schools for grownups and children, such schools also to be accessible to the women. In bourgeois countries the Committees should carry on a direct agitation to counteract the influence of the bourgeois schools.

Wherever possible, the Sections or Committees should carry the agitation into the homes of the women and utilize the field work of the women for purposes of agitation. They should also organize clubs for working women, doing everything to attract to these clubs the most backward section of the women. These clubs should represent cultural and educational centers and model institutions, illustrating what can be achieved by women for their emancipation, through such means of self-activity, as the organization of creches, kindergartens, schools for adults and so forth.

Special clubs should be organized for nomadic peoples.

In Soviet lands the Sections, together with the Party, should assist in the transformation of the existing recapitalize forms of production and economics into a communal form of production. They should be practically propagated, in a manner to convince the working women that the former home-life and home-production oppressed and exploited them, while communal labor will emancipate them.

With regard to the peoples of the East who live within the borders of Soviet Russia, the Sections should take care that Soviet legislation should equalize men and women, and that the interests of the women should be properly protected. For this purpose, the Sections should assist in appointing women to the position of judges, and as members of juries in national Courts of law.

The Sections should also get the women to participate in Soviets, taking care that working and peasant women should be elected into the Soviets and Executive Committees. All work among the women proletariat of the East should be done on a class basis. It should be the task of the sections to expose the powerlessness of the Moslem feminists in the solution of the question of the enfranchisement of women. For enlightening purpose in all the Soviet countries of the East, the intelligent feminine forces should be utilized, as, for instance, women teachers and sympathizers, avoiding all tactless and vulgar treatment of religious faiths and national traditions. The Sections or Committees working among the women of the East should definitely fight against nationalism and the hold of religion on the women's minds.

All of the organizations of the workers should, in the East as well as in the West, be built not upon the basis of defending national interest, but upon the unity of the International proletariat of both sexes striving for the same class aims.

Notice: The work among the Eastern women being of great importance, and at the same time representing a new problem for the Communist Parties, the Conference deems it necessary to add to those theses special instructions on the methods of communist propaganda among the women of the Eastern countries, appropriate to their local habits and conditions.

*"From The "We Are Wide Awake" Website- Hear The Heroic Israeli Class- War Mordechai Vanunu Speak-Free Vanunu! Let Him Leave Israel!

Click on the headline to link to the We Are Wide Awake Website to hear more about Mordechai Vanunu

Markin comment:

I received this comment in response to a posting that I did on July 3, 2020 (reposted below) concerning the case of Israeli class-war prisoner Mordechai Vanunu. I am linking to that site in this post for the purpose of letting others hear from Brother Vanunu himself.


eileen fleming said...
Please listen to Vanunu speak for himself in 2005, 2006, 2008 video interviews and learn all about his FREEDOM OF SPEECH Trial and why Israel persists to persecute him @
THE VANUNU SAGA 2005-2010!

8:19 PM

Markin comment:

Every person in the world, and I mean literally every person, owes a great debt of gratitude for Brother Vanunu's courageous acts in exposing the Israeli nuclear arsenal. Such men are dangerous to the imperial order-and we know why. Thanks, Brother. All Honor To Vanunu.


This is passed on from the Partisan Defesne Committee.

Workers Vanguard No. 960
4 June 2010

Thrown Back in Prison

Free Vanunu! Let Him Leave Israel!

On May 23, Mordechai Vanunu, the whistle-blower who spent 18 years in prison for exposing the extent of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, began serving a three-month prison sentence that stems from his December 29 arrest for meeting with a Norwegian woman in Jerusalem. Despite serving his entire prior sentence, Vanunu remains barred from talking to non-Israelis and going near airports, ports and embassies, subject to 24-hour surveillance and prevented from leaving the country.

Following his December arrest, Vanunu was sentenced to six months of “community service” in overwhelmingly Jewish West Jerusalem. Fearing his life would be threatened by right-wing Israelis who consider him a “traitor,” Vanunu requested that his sentence be served in predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem. When the court rejected his request, Vanunu declined to carry out his community service. On May 11, he was sentenced to prison once again.

The vindictive, blood-soaked rulers of the Zionist state will not rest until Vanunu, a former technician at the Israeli nuclear weapons facility in Dimona, is forever silenced for having revealed that Israel had upwards of 200 nuclear warheads. This arsenal, built up with the active support of the French and then the U.S. imperialist powers, was enough not only to incinerate every Arab capital but to bomb major cities in the Soviet Union as well.

Vanunu was born to a Sephardic Jewish family that emigrated from Morocco to Israel, where he experienced discrimination at the hands of the European-derived Ashkenazi establishment. As a student at Beersheba’s Ben-Gurion University, he joined protests against Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon and actively fought for the rights of Palestinian and Bedouin students. Fed up with the Israeli garrison state, Vanunu left the country in 1986 and later converted to Christianity while in Australia.

In 1986, he was kidnapped in Italy by the Israeli Mossad secret police, thrown into a desert prison in Ashkelon and sentenced by a secret military court. In prison, Vanunu was given the kind of treatment Israel’s rulers reserve for those they deem “subhuman”—the Palestinians imprisoned within the electric fences that surround Gaza, those confined behind the concrete walls and checkpoints of the West Bank, the thousands who languish in Israel’s prison torture chambers. He spent more than eleven years in solitary confinement, entombed in a six-by-nine cell in a high-security complex built for Palestinians.

When Vanunu walked out of prison in April 2004, he said that he was “proud and happy to do what I did.” He was arrested later that year and, in 2007, he was sentenced to another six months’ imprisonment. He remains defiant, declaring before he was dragged away to his cell last month, “You didn’t get anything from me in 18 years; you won’t get anything in 3 months. Shame on you, Israel.” Defenders of the Palestinian people and opponents of capitalist repression everywhere must take up the call to free this courageous opponent of Zionist terror and demand that he be allowed to leave Israel.

*Writer's Corner-Less than zero: Bret Easton Ellis’s sequel misses- A Guest Book Review

Click on the headline to link to a Sunday Boston Globe, dated July 4, 2010, guest book review of Bret Eason Ellis' latest novel.

Markin comment:

The reason that I am posting this guest review is that the reviewer's (Jay Atkinson) first paragraph hits the nail right on the head about the dearth of sympathetic (or even likable) characters that populate most contemporary literature:

"Sometime in the 1970s, when money and power became mixed up in the counterculture, it all went horribly wrong, in literature and in life. The primary books that celebrate this intriguing aspect of Americana, works by writers like Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, and Jim Carroll — even Whitman and Thoreau — often featured charismatic quasi-hoboes as their protagonists, enlightened seekers in pursuit of “joy, kicks, darkness, music,’’ in Kerouac’s famous expression. These penniless hipsters were not looking for freedom from authority so much as freedom from oppression; for the most part, they were willing to live, and let live."

Does anyone else have that same sense? Or sense of the decline of "hobo" sensibility.
Neal Cassady from Kerouac Denver, "The Brown Buffalo", Oscar Acosta, from Thompson California, Duane from McMurtry Texas, McMurphy from Kesey Oregon, Hell, even Faulkner crazies from Mississippi and Tennessee Williams misfit from all over the South. I could go on. Where have they gone in techno-America? At least they could have left an e-mail address. Right?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

*The Latest From The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee- Free Lynne Stewart (And Her Co-Workers-translator Mohamed Yousry and paralegal Ahmed Abdel) Now!

Click on the headline to link to the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee- Free Lynne Stewart (And Her Co-Workers) Now!

Markin comment:

This is exactly the right day to call for freedom, a real call for freedom in 2010. This is a no brainer- Free our sister and her two co-workers (translator Mohamed Yousry and paralegal Ahmed Abdel Sattar)now!