The Workers' Advocate


Volume 12, Number 9


October 5, 1982

[Front Page:

On the massacres in West Beirut--Condemn the U.S.-Backed Israeli Murderers;

Hail the 65th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks!;

On the Midterm Congressional Elections: Fight Reaganite Reaction - Oppose Both Democrat and Republican;

Chrysler Workers: Defeat Fraser's Contract Concessions!]


Program of Democrats and Republicans.......................... 2
AFL-CIO backs Democrats.............................................. 2

MLP campaigns against concessions in steel................... 3
On guard against USW bureaucrats.................................. 3
Chicago: No wage cuts to Danly capitalists..................... 3
Teachers strikes ............................................................... 4

Draft resisters jailed.......................................................... 5
Seattle: Fight against nuclear weapons............................. 5
Seattle: On the WPPSS boondoggle................................. 5

Reagan's Mideast "peace plan"........................................ 6
Crocodile tears of Israeli Labor Party............................... 6
Thousands protest Zionist aggression.............................. 7
Buffalo: Meeting condemns Zionism............................... 7

No to Reagan's plots against Nicaragua........................... 8
Salvadorian struggle advances......................................... 8
Condemn repression in Venezuela.................................... 9
Imperialists squeeze Mexican toilers................................ 9
From CP of Labor (Dominican Republic):Strengthen fight against liberalism................................... 10
Nixon visits China once again.......................................... 10
Light of October shines in Albania................................... 11

On the massacres in West Beirut

Condemn the U.S.-Backed Israeli Murderers

Hail the 65th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks!

On the Midterm Congressional Elections:

Fight Reaganite Reaction - Oppose Both Democrat and Republican

Chrysler Workers:

Defeat Fraser's Contract Concessions!

Down with Reaganomics-the election program of both Democrat and Republican

Why are the AFL-CIO leaders backing the Democrats?

MLP organizes campaign

Against Concessions to the Steel Billionaires!

On Guard Against the USW Bureaucrats


The fight against concessions at the Danly Machine Tool Co

Teachers' Strikes Across the Country

Down with the jailings of draft resisters!

On the Target Seattle Extravaganza:

For a real fight against nuclear weapons, target imperialism!

$24 billion and still rising:

On the WPPSS nuclear reactor boondoggle in Washington State

Reagan's Middle East 'Peace Plan':

Continued support for zionist aggression, empty promises for the Palestinians

Crocodile tears of the Israeli Labor Party cannot wash the blood off zionism

Thousands protest the U.S.-backed Israeli aggression in Lebanon

Buffalo Meeting Condemns U.S.-Israeli Aggression

From the 'Chicago Anti-Imperialist Newsletter':

U.S. Imperialism Is No Peacemaker!

Union of Anti-Imperialist Students (Buffalo)

Condemn U.S. Imperialism for Backing the Israeli Invasion

Down with Reagan's Plots to Strangle the Nicaraguan People!

Salvadorian revolutionaries pound away at the fascist regime

Solidarity with the imprisoned Venezuelan revolutionaries

On the financial crisis in Mexico:

Squeezing the toilers to pay the imperialist bankers

From the Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic:

Strengthen the Struggle Against Liberalism

Ten years of the U.S.-China imperialist alliance

Once Again War Criminal Nixon Is Wined and Dined in China

The Light of Great October Shines in Socialist Albania

On the massacres in West Beirut

Condemn the U.S.-Backed Israeli Murderers

The bloody massacre of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children in West Beirut has outraged the working people in the U.S. and throughout the world. From September 16 through the morning of September 18, with direct Israeli assistance, the Phalangist militia and the fascist troops of Major Haddad stormed through the refugee camps of Shatila and Sabra rounding up and murdering everyone they encountered. Even medical personnel and the dying and wounded in a number of hospitals were not spared. The Phalangists are based on the rotten ideas of the German Nazis and Italian Fascists who inspired their founder, Pierre Gemayel, in the 1930's. They are self-proclaimed worshipers of Hitler, but they attempt to drape themselves in the mantle of the Christian religion. The fascist militia of Major Haddad is a split from the Lebanese army and is best known for the fact that it has placed itself directly under the command of the Israeli armed forces.

While these Lebanese fascists may have pulled the triggers, it is the Israeli Zionists and their U.S. imperialist backers who bear direct responsibility for this heinous crime. Coming on the heels of the Israeli army's months-long blitzkrieg into Lebanon, coming on the heels of the Zionists' terroristic bombing of civilian targets in West Beirut, coming on the heels of the Israeli invasion of West Beirut and the artillery barrages into the Palestinian camps, it is clear that this massacre is not an isolated act. Rather, it is only the latest in a long history of genocidal atrocities committed by the U.S.-backed zionist stormtroopers against the Palestinian and Lebanese people. These atrocities are further evidence that the intention of the U.S. imperialists and the Israeli government in the invasion of Lebanon has been not only to smash the military forces of the Palestinian resistance, but to massacre and disperse the Palestinian people. This is what the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachim Begin, meant when he said that the invasion of Lebanon would provide the "final solution" to the Palestinian question.

Israeli Zionists Coordinate and Organize the Massacre

In the wake of the worldwide condemnation of these atrocities the Israeli government has been trying to conceal its bloody role. The Begin and Sharon government claims that the Lebanese Christian militias are solely to blame for the massacre and that the Israeli government does not have even indirect responsibility. But as the details of the slaughter have slowly emerged the zionist government has been caught in one lie after another. Even their own statements point to the fact that the highest levels of the Israeli government planned and organized the mass murders in the Palestinian camps.

The Israeli Zionists had been planning for a long time to invade West Beirut. It is reported that, following the forced withdrawal of the PLO, Israeli officials held detailed discussions with the fascist Lebanese militias to work out plans for the invasion, for the disarming and execution of Palestinian and Lebanese guerillas, and for the use of terror against the Palestinian population with the aim of dispersing them and eventually driving them from Lebanon. (New York Times, September 30, 1982) Defense Minister Sharon admits that immediately before the invasion started "a meeting was carried out with the Phalangist command in which the Chief of Staff and northern commander [of the Israeli army] participated, and during which we discussed the operations of the Phalangists and the entry of the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] into the western part of the city. And we spoke in principle of their dealing with the camps." (New York Times, September 23, 1982) Thus from the beginning the Zionists coordinated the invasion of West Beirut and the occupation of thePalestinian camps with the fascist militias.

On September 15, the Israeli storm-troopers, seizing on the excuse of the assassination of the president-elect of Lebanon, Bashir Gemayel, began the invasion. The Israeli cabinet announced that "The Israel Defense Forces have taken positions in West Beirut to prevent the danger of violence, bloodshed and anarchy." But this lie was exposed as in the first hours of fighting they had already killed at least 88 civilians and wounded another 254. (NewYork Times, September 20, 1982) Israeli troops surrounded the Shatila and Sabra camps during the day, and that night began shelling the camps with artillery. Many were wounded. Israeli tanks surrounded the camps to block any escape. And the Phalangist and other fascist militias were moved into West Beirut in preparation for them to enter the camps.

Initially the Israeli army claimed that it had no knowledge that the fascist militias were present and pretended that they must have sneaked into the camps. But later Sharon was forced to admit that on Thursday afternoon, September 16, "a meeting was held between the division commander [of the IDF -- WA] and the representative of the Phalangists to coordinate the entry of the Phalangists into the camp of Shatila" to carry out "search-and-destroy missions." (Ibid.) Following this meeting the massacre began. The fascist militias were escorted through the Israeli lilies surrounding the camps, they were provided with provisions, the Israeli army gave them food and talked with them when they emerged to eat and rest from their murderous labors, and the Israeli army lit flares at night to illuminate the camps to facilitate the carnage.

Sharon claims that the Zionists have no responsibility for the massacre because it had told the fascist militias that "it was forbidden to harm the civilian population, especially women, children and the elderly." (Ibid.) But all this means is that the Zionists wanted the murder of the Palestinian men. According to Sharon these camps were "centers of terrorism in West Beirut" and the aim of the operations was the "cleaning out of terrorist nests." (Ibid.) Major General Amir Dori, the senior Israeli commander in Lebanon, says the mission was aimed at wiping out 2,000 Palestinian guerrillas who were so blended with the population that they were indistinguishable. (New York Times, September 27, 1982) Clearly the massacre of thousands of Palestinian men was the order of the day.

But even Sharon's claim that the Zionists were against the massacre of women and children is a lie. Heads of the Phalangist militias had been repeating over and over that they were out for blood and, as they have done in the past, they would massacre everyone in their path at the first opportunity. For the zionist commanders to send the fascist militias into the camps was not aimed at avoiding a massacre, but at avoiding the blame for the massacre falling on the Israeli Zionists.

Despite their wriggling to escape blame, every new fact that emerges and every new statement by the zionist officials clearly exposes that the Israeli government planned, organized and directed the attacks on the Palestinians and that they bear direct responsibility for the carnage in West Beirut.

U.S. Imperialism Backs the Zionist Barbarism in Lebanon

Like Begin and Sharon, Ronald Reagan has also been trying to cover up the role of U.S. imperialism in the slaughter on the streets of West Beirut. Reagan has been decrying the terrible bloodletting, voicing protests to Israel and whining for peace. But no amount of lies can wash the blood of the Palestinian people from Reagan's hands. From the beginning U.S. imperialism has backed the zionist storm-troopers to the hilt. The cluster bombs, the tanks, the artillery and jets that have been used to murder Palestinian and Lebanese people have arrived in a continuous supply from the U.S. government to Israel.

But more. Not only has the U.S. government continuously propped up the zionist state, not only has it backed the zionist invasion to the hilt, but the Reagan government obviously helped orchestrate the recent massacre itself. It is reported that the U.S. embassy was informed of the Zionists plans to raid the Palestinian camps beforehand. (New York Times, September 27, 1982) They were also in touch with Elias Hobeika, a key leader of the Phalangist attack in the Shatila and Sabra camps. Hobeika, the chief of security and intelligence for the Phalangist militia, is the liason between the militia and the zionist secret service, the Mossad, and is also the liaison between the militia and the U.S. embassy in Beirut. (New York Times, September 30, 1982) Yet the Reagan government claims it knew nothing about the massacre and has no responsibility. What disgusting liars!

It is also notable that the negotiations to force the PLO out of Beirut were engineered chiefly by U.S. imperialism and their lying promises guaranteeing the safety of Palestinian civilians prepared the ground for the zionist invasion of West Beirut and the subsequent bloody atrocities. Once again the promises and "guarantees" of the U.S. imperialist gangsters have been proved worthless.

Now the Reagan government, having shed some hypocritical tears over the massacre, is continuing to back the Zionists by posing as a mediator and "peacekeeper." The U.S. imperialists are using this latest atrocity to send 1,200 marines to accompany the 2,700 French and Italian troops back into Lebanon as supposedly "peacekeeping" forces. This time the marines are fully armed and have been given sweeping authority to use their weapons to suppress any resistance from the Palestinian and Lebanese people. The Zionists have been put in an embarrassing position by the atrocities in Beirut. So now the marines will be used to help them carry out their reactionary objectives.

Establishing the Authority of a Reactionary Lebanese Government

The stated aim of the imperialist "peacekeeping" force is to establish the authority of the Lebanese government in Beirut. But what is this Lebanese government? It is the representative of the most reactionary feudal landlords and big capitalists in Lebanon who are tied to imperialism. The president of the government is Amin Gemayel, the leader of the fascist Phalangist militia. The troops of the Lebanese government have been put together from various Christian fascist militias, and there are presently moves under way to bring the Phalangist militia and Major Haddad's fascist forces under the Lebanese army's authority. These forces have long been backed by U.S. imperialism and Israeli zionism.

Even now the Zionists are trying to strengthen their influence in the government. Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Begin emphasized that he would work to get the zionist lackey, Major Haddad, into the government. Israel, Begin said, "will not leave Major Haddad in the lurch. I think Haddad should take part in the central government." Clearly establishing the authority of this government means to strengthen the hand of U.S. imperialism, Israeli zionism and Lebanese fascism over the people. This has always been one of the main objectives of the Israeli zionist invasion of Lebanon.

Speaking of the mission of the marines in Lebanon, Reagan emphasized that they are ' 'to give a kind of support and stability while the Lebanese Government seeks to reunite its people which have been divided for several years now into several factions, each one of them with its own army, and bring about a unified Lebanon with a Lebanese army that will then be able to preserve order in its own country." (New York Times, September 29, 1982)

How the Lebanese government is going about "unifying" Lebanon became clear within a few days of the massacre at the Shatila and Sabra camps. The Lebanese army raided the Burj al Brajne Palestinian camp, just south of Shatila and Sabra, and arrested some 600 people. All around West Beirut the Lebanese army, accompanied by Phalangist and other fascist militias, began disarming people, arresting thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, and arbitrarily harassing others. The terror that is being unleashed is aimed at stamping out any resistance to the U.S. and zionist-backed Lebanese government and driving out the Palestinians, many of whom have grown up in Lebanon, out of the country. It is reported that there is now talk of expelling the entire Palestinian population from Lebanon. The creation of a strong pro-U.S. imperialist, pro-Israeli zionist government is being carried out at the expense of the Lebanese toilers and the Palestinian population.

The Struggle of the People Will Not Be Crushed

Despite the savage zionist invasion of West Beirut, despite the brutal massacres in the Shatila and Sabra camps, despite the reign of terror that has been unleashed on the Palestinian and Lebanese people, their resistance has not been crushed.

Although hopelessly outnumbered, the Lebanese left put up a heroic resistance to the Israeli stormtroopers' march into West Beirut. Even today, reports come in of the Lebanese fighters carrying out guerrilla attacks on zionist troops and on the fascist forces of the Lebanese government.

As well the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people has marched on. Even during the brutal massacres, Palestinian fighters fought back. It was reported, for example, that after Phalangists lined up several hundred Palestinians against a wall to be executed, PLO guerillas fired on the fascist troops, drawing them away and allowing some of the Palestinian captives to escape.

On the West Bank too struggle has continued. Enraged at the brutal massacres, on September 23, demonstrations against the Zionists were held all across the the occupied territory. In Nazareth the zionist troops fired on the people, wounding 64. But the Palestinians fought back injuring some 25 zionist policeman. On the same day the Palestinians launched a general strike that swept across the West Bank. These actions show that despite terrible suffering the Palestinian people continue to fight on.

The target of the Palestinian resistance is not the Jewish people, as the Zionists cynically try to claim, but the racist and expansionist Israeli zionist regime. The racist, theocratic and militarist government of Israel is the oppressor of the Palestinians. The aim of the Palestinian liberation struggle is the overthrow of this unjust regime and the restoration of the national rights of the Palestinian people in a secular, democratic Palestine. They want to live in a Palestine in which every inhabitant, whether Arab or Jew, enjoys equal rights. And they want to live in a Palestine which will no longer be used as a tool of imperialism for invading and massacring the Arab peoples.

The crimes of the U.S.-backed Israeli zionists show the need to step up the mass struggle here at home against U.S. imperialist aggression and war. Today, when the brave Palestinian and Lebanese people are in their hour of need, let all the working class and progressive people rally to their support and loudly condemn the U.S. imperialists and Israeli zionist butchers.

[Photo: The bloody U.S.-Israeli aggression in Lebanon has outraged the progressive masses around the world. Since June, thousands have taken to the streets in protest across the U.S. Photo shows a section of a protest march in Detroit on July 10. The MLR banner (center) declared in English and Arabic: "Long live the Palestinian Revolution!"]

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Hail the 65th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks!

Sixty-five years ago, on November 7,1917, the working class of Russia seized political power. Completing the drama begun eight months before with the overthrow of the Tsar, the workers threw aside the corrupt provisional government. They cast aside the landlords and capitalists and installed a workers' and peasants' government, dedicated to the abolition of all exploitation of man by man. This was the first stable workers' state the world had ever seen. From then on for nearly forty years, until the mid-1950's, the eyes of all revolutionary workers the world over were fixed firmly on the new socialist state, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

This historic insurrection is known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. It is called socialist because it eliminated private ownership of the factories, fields, and other means of production and ushered in the new socialist society. It is called great because it marked the beginning of a new era in the history of mankind, the era of the proletarian socialist revolution. And it is called the October Revolution because the old society of the tsars and the provisional government was so backward that it even preserved the old Julian calendar that had been discarded in most of Europe two centuries previously. According to this calendar, which was then in use in Russia, the glorious insurrection of the working class began on October 25,1917.

Although after the death of Stalin in 1953 a new-style capitalist class arose and eventually seized power in the Soviet Union, converting the Soviet Union from a revolutionary, socialist country into a backward, capitalist-imperialist country, this tragedy cannot extinguish the light lit by the October Socialist Revolution. The October Revolution was the victory of Marxism-Leninism. Ever since 1917, every advance in the working class movement throughout the world has been linked to the path of the October Revolution. Whether it was defeating the fascist powers in World War II, or the upsurge in the national liberation movement, or the successful building of socialism that continues today in Albania, it is the lessons taught by Marxism-Leninism and the October Revolution that have brought out the tasks of the working class. And the October Revolution is the banner raised high by the world's Marxist-Leninists in their struggle to unmask and overthrow the present-day Soviet revisionist renegades, the Khrushchovs, Brezhnevs and all their followers.

The October Revolution Opened Up the Path for the Liberation of All Oppressed Mankind

Thus the Great October Socialist Revolution was not simply an event of interest to the Russian people. On the contrary, it was an accomplishment that belongs to the toilers of the whole world. It opened up the path for the liberation of all oppressed mankind. That is why the lessons of the October Revolution should be studied by all class conscious workers and revolutionary activists in the United States in order to learn how to deal with "our own" oppressors, the overbloated millionaire exploiters of American monopoly capitalism.

Indeed, this 65th anniversary of the October Revolution finds the American working class facing a deep economic depression and under fierce attack from Reaganite reaction. The present depression is bringing back memories of the terrible years of the 1930's. Unemployment and hunger once again plague tens of millions of workers. Meanwhile the capitalists are doing their best to preserve their profits by Reaganomics, by cutting wages and pensions, by speeding up production lines while laying off millions, by eliminating safety measures and health benefits, and so forth. At the same time, the capitalist politicians, the Democrats and Republicans, are competing with each other to pass new reactionary measures, to build more prisons and jails, to segregate the black people and other minority nationalities, and so forth. They are doing their best to make the U.S. into one big chain gang for the industrial workers, for the poor, for the minorities.

All over the U.S., the working class is indignant. It sees that the Reagan administration is spearheading the drive of the capitalist exploiters to drive them into utter ruin, to turn them into docile slaves, and to use them as cannon fodder in its new imperialist wars. The workers' movement is beginning to revive, and with courage and determination the workers are defying the threat of starvation to wage struggle against their oppressors. More and more the question that arises is, not should we fight, but how should we fight against the Reaganite reaction.

The anniversary of the October Revolution speaks directly to these concerns of the working class, for it is the October Revolution that shows the path of struggle against capitalist exploitation, against political reaction and against imperialist war. The October Revolution shows that the workers are not doomed to be wage slaves forever, nor are they doomed to languish forever under the perpetual alternation in power of "liberal" and "conservative" representatives of the billionaires, but can instead seize the direction of the economy and politics themselves. It shows that the bitter strikes and turbulent political movements of the workers have a perspective, a goal -- the goal of the socialist revolution, of the building of a new society without exploiters and against the exploiters. This socialist perspective lends fighting spirit to the masses, stiffens their resolve, and unites them into a class for themselves.

Furthermore, the October Revolution not only shows the socialist goal of the struggle, but it teaches valuable lessons about how to obtain this goal. It shows the working class who its friends are and who its enemies are. It shows that the working class needs its own political party, a genuine Marxist- Leninist communist party, in order to overthrow the exploiters and build the new socialist society. It shows how this party must be built. It brings the working class the science of Leninism, the strategy and tactics of the revolutionary struggle.

That is why it is fitting that we commemorate the anniversary of the October Revolution this year, when the working class faces the grave challenges of economic depression, Reaganite reaction and new U.S. military adventures. The lessons of the October Revolution provide the working class with powerful weapons -- with the goal of the socialist revolution and with the strategy and tactics of how to get there.

Now let us examine some of the features of the October Socialist Revolution.

The October Socialist Revolution Showed That the Working Class Is the Powerful Force That Can Bring About the Revolution

The October revolution took place in Russia. Russia was a country that suffered under the brutal rule of the tsarist monarchy and from the ruthless exploitation of the peasants by the landlords and of the workers by the capitalists. Russia of the old days was the great bulwark of European and Asian reaction. The dead hand of the tsars reached forth to strangle not only the Russian toilers but the revolutions of the neighboring peoples. For decade after decade the best sons and daughters of the Russian people threw themselves into revolutionary struggle against the decadent and barbaric Romanov dynasty. Yet the dynasty survived.

Then, at the end of the 19th century, in the 1880's and 1890's, a new force emerged onto the Russian political scene. This force was the working class movement. Unlike the situation in the U.S., the Russian workers were only a small percentage of the population, far outnumbered by the peasants. Yet the working class proved to be the decisive revolutionary force that could rally all the toilers around itself and carry through the revolution. The workers, starving on inadequate wages, without rights of any type, many of them barely off the land, took it upon themselves to challenge the apparently all-powerful monarchy of the Romanovs. They organized strikes, political demonstrations and their own Marxist political party.

By 1905 the workers rose up in a revolution whose echoes reverberated around the world. The mass strikes, political demonstrations and armed uprisings of the workers, along with the accompanying peasant movement, shook the throne of the Romanovs. This powerful democratic revolution was unsuccessful, and the Moscow workers' uprising of December 1905 that crowned the struggle was put down in blood. Yet the workers did not fight in vain. The revolution was a dress rehearsal for the revolutions of 1917. And in the revolution the working class developed its organization and brought forth the idea of the Soviet, the new organ of proletarian political power that would become the basis of the future socialist state and that already demonstrated its superiority to the bourgeois parliamentary system.

The Soviets of Workers' Deputies were assemblies of delegates from the mills and factories. They were organs of revolution set up in defiance of the rules and laws of tsardom. They were especially suitable for uniting the working class in revolutionary mass action. This was a type of mass political organization of the working class that the world had never seen before. Especially later, when Soviets were again set up in the February Revolution, different types of Soviets of the exploited classes also made their appearance, including Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' Delegates, Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, etc. After the seizure of power by the working class in the October Revolution, the Soviets became the basis of the Soviet Socialist Republics. They served to unite the working masses around the proletariat and to bring them directly into the administration of state affairs. They were not parliamentary talk shops, but organs of action, combining legislative and executive powers.

Then in March 1917 the revolution resumed. (According to the calendar then used in Russia, this occurred in February 1917 and hence it is known as the February Revolution.) The Tsar was toppled from his throne. An intense struggle then ensued between the working class and the capitalists over what Russian society would be. The bourgeoisie wanted to restore a limited monarchy and to keep the peasants enchained to the landlords. The Mensheviks and other opportunists and petty-bourgeois democrats wanted a bourgeois republic based on private property, based on the continued exploitation as usual by the capitalists and landlords. The provisional government was a coalition of the forces of the bourgeoisie and their opportunist supporters. But the working class, enlightened by the patient explanatory work of the Bolsheviks led by Lenin and strengthened by the careful organizational work of the Bolsheviks, step by step came to the realization of the need for a socialist revolution.

This revolution was the Great October Socialist Revolution. In this revolution, the working class overthrew the power of the exploiters. It took upon itself the responsibility to direct the whole of social life. It brought Russia out of the filthy fratricidal bloodletting of the imperialist First World War. It liberated the peasants at one stroke from the grip of the landlords. It carried out with great thoroughness all the democratic reforms that the masses had hoped for from the February Revolution but had not achieved. And it sounded the death knell for the private ownership of the means of production. Through the step by step expropriation of the capitalists, and then through the collectivization of agriculture, the revolution instituted the building of socialism.

The October Revolution was the announcement that the working masses, led by the proletariat, had seized power. This was something new in the history of mankind. All previous revolution in history (except for the short-lived but glorious Paris Commune of March-May 1871) were revolutions in which one group of exploiters replaced another at the helm of state. Feudal landlords might be replaced by capitalist exploiters. Monarchist capitalists might be replaced by republican capitalists. An obsolete form of exploitation replaced by a more modern form. But exploitation remained. The October Revolution was the first time that the real majority, the toiling and oppressed masses, seized the helm of state power and held it.

The October Revolution Ushered In the New, Socialist Society

What was the new society that the October Revolution had brought about?

It was the society that the most farsighted representatives of the working class had dreamed of, fought for and sacrificed for. It was the socialist society. Now socialism was no longer a dream, as it had been for the utopian socialists of the first half of the 19th century. It was no longer an ideal and a prediction based on a scientific analysis of capitalist economy and the class struggle, as it was for the growing workers' movement of the second half of the 19th century. Now it was an existing reality. The attention of the workers of the whole world over turned to the Soviet Union and, later, to the other countries that took the same path of building socialism. Ever since the October Revolution, despite the tragic restoration of capitalism that took place in the Soviet Union and various other socialist countries, there has never been a time when genuine socialism has not existed and done miracles on some place on the earth.

Socialism meant that the factories, the mines, the land, and all the means of production were removed from ownership by the rich. Now the economy was run for the benefit of the working people, rather than the working people seeing their labor exploited for the profits of a handful of wealthy parasites. Moreover, the socialist economy and political system was not only run for the working people, but by the working people. The October Revolution gave a tremendous spur to the development of all the mass organizations of the working class and peasantry, including the Soviets, the communist party, the trade unions, the cooperatives, the youth league, and so forth. The working people themselves were drawn into carrying out state functions and learning the secrets of how to organize the state administration.

The almost forty years of proletarian rule in the Soviet Union showed the superiority of the socialist system over capitalism. Under capitalism, Russia had been one of the most backward and uncultured of European countries. Under socialism, despite a hostile blockade by world capitalism and later the immense destruction of World War II, the Soviet Union rapidly developed industry and agriculture, raised the living and cultural standards of the people, developed a modem technology, and so forth. The various evils of capitalism vanished. There was no business cycle of boom and bust. Unemployment was eliminated after the October Revolution had several years of peaceful construction. There was no inflation, budget deficits, or speculation in stocks and bonds and other paper securities, no anarchy of production and economic chaos.

The political developments under socialism were just as dramatic as the economic ones. To begin with, the October Revolution rapidly accomplished an entire series of democratic reforms. Many of these reforms were promised by or expected under the February Revolution, but no revolution that preserves private property can carry through such reforms in a thoroughgoing way. This is because the capitalists are scared that the workers and peasants will use the weapon of democracy to go on and attack exploitation. And indeed, this is just what the October Revolution did. It organized the democratic reforms in a revolutionary way precisely in order to mobilize the working people in the struggle against exploitation and to build a socialist society.

Thus the October Revolution at one stroke swept away the remnants of the monarchy that the provisional government had left intact in eight months of dillydallying. It immediately tackled the stifling bureaucratic maze left over from the old administration and began mobilizing the mass organizations of the working people to take over various state functions. It immediately abolished all legal bars to the equality of men and women, and, not stopping at that, it vigorously set about work to create the conditions that would allow women to turn their legal equality into actual equality. It abolished the state support of the Orthodox church and began a struggle against religious prejudices. It abolished the oppression of the various nationalities.

Let us dwell for a moment on the question of the nationalities. We have talked about the Russian working class, by which we meant the workers of all the nationalities inside the Soviet Union. The Russian nationality proper (the so-called Great Russians) were only a minority inside the Tsarist empire, which was a veritable prison- house of nations. Tsardom was infamous for humiliating, massacring, plundering and otherwise oppressing the various "subject" nationalities. The October revolution freed the oppressed nations, provided them with the right to self-determination and created the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It eliminated the humiliations of the non-Russian nationalities, not stopping at providing them with just formal freedom, but going on to help them to flourish. It did not stop at eliminating the privileges of one nation over another, but took up the task of uniting the toilers of all nations for a common struggle against the class enemy. This liberating policy of the October Revolution towards the formerly oppressed nations inside the Soviet Union was one of the reasons for the profound sympathy for the October Revolution that spread widely among the toiling masses of the colonies and oppressed nations outside the Soviet Union.

In comparison, let us consider the United States. Here in the U.S. there has been two bourgeois-democratic revolutions: the War of Independence of 1775-1783 and the Civil War against slavery of 1861-1865. But private property still exists, the bourgeoisie still rules, and hence the political system is at best bourgeois democracy -- that is, freedom for the rich to exploit and for the poor to be exploited. There are a thousand and one restrictions on the rights of the masses. There is rabid oppression of the blacks and other oppressed nationalities, many of whom have a hard time even voting, and the bourgeoisie and the government fosters the Ku Klux Klan and other racist gangs to carry out attacks on them. Women workers face a double exploitation and thus have a hard time taking part in political activities. The bourgeoisie is searching for one way after another to foster backward religious prejudices and is even debating whether to deny Darwin's theory of evolution. Far from encouraging the workers to form mass organizations, the bourgeoisie puts one obstacle after another to even the organization of the workers into trade unions, sends police to break strikes, passes one law after another against "conspiracy," enacts a whole series of anti-communist emergency laws (Smith Act, McCarran Act, various provisions of the Taft-Hartley anti-union act, etc.) against the existence of a proletarian political party, and so forth.

The capitalists are scared of the actions of the masses, while the socialist system established by the October Revolution depended on the initiative of the masses and on their political consciousness for its continued health as well as its very existence. This is why bourgeois democracy -- democracy under the rule of the exploiters -- can never be anything but false, hypocritical and restricted in practice to a handful. And this is why a genuine socialist system constantly finds ways to increase the activity of the masses, to not only give them rights on paper but to ensure that the masses actually exercise them.

The October Revolution Gave Birth to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Thus the October Revolution replaced the old bourgeois-democratic republic -- which was freedom for only the wealthy few -- with the new Soviet Republic, which is freedom for the overwhelming majority of the population, for the workers and peasants.

This Soviet Republic was the concrete achievement of the dictatorship of the proletariat, called for decades earlier by Marx and Engels after they analyzed the experience of the Paris Commune. The ideas of Soviets and the dictatorship of the proletariat spread like wildfire among the working people all over the world. The toilers saw that the Soviet Republic gave them the tool they had long sought for emancipating themselves from the rule of the exploiters, from the iron dictatorship of the capitalists and landlords.

But wait, some may say, first you tell us that the October Revolution extended the limits of real democracy for the masses far beyond the bounds of even the freest bourgeois democracy and that it provided ten times, no a thousand times, more access for the workers to the state administration, the newspapers, the political meetings and so forth, and in the next breath you tell us that it was a "dictatorship" of the proletariat. How can democracy and dictatorship be compatible?

But the truth is that not only is democracy for the masses compatible with the dictatorship of the proletariat, but it absolutely requires the dictatorship of the proletariat. This "dictatorship" is not the benevolent rule of some leaders over the working class, but the rule of the working masses themselves against the resistance of the bourgeoisie. The working masses, led by the proletariat, must exercise their political power, without refraining from the use of force, to suppress the resistance and sabotage of the former money-grubbers and filthy rich.

The class struggle does not end with the insurrection that establishes the Soviet Republic. The capitalist moneybags do not accept the fact that the factories, fields and other means of production have been removed from their ownership and control. The capitalists and landlords do not accept the will of the majority, of the working masses. Instead they plot, fight, subvert, corrupt and do everything in their power to undermine the new socialist government, not hesitating to try to drown it in blood or even call in foreign imperialist powers. Take the case of Allende's Popular Unity government in Chile, for example. This was not a socialist government, but only a mild reformist regime. Yet the rich went into a frenzy. They set their newspapers to running a rabid slander campaign against the government. They organized economic sabotage. They collaborated with the CIA and called in U.S. imperialism. And finally the bourgeoisie succeeded in overthrowing the government by carrying out a bloodbath that is continuing even today, years later.

Similar things have taken place all over the world. Hence this is the choice before the working class: consent to be slaughtered in a Chilean-style bloodbath or suppress the resistance of the overthrown exploiters by exercising the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In a society divided into antagonistic classes, into exploiters and exploited, into capitalists and workers, the state cannot be anything but the dictatorship of one or the other class. The bourgeois states, not just the monarchies and military juntas and tyrannies but also the ones that boast the loudest of their parliamentary democracy, are in reality nothing but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. As we have seen with respect to the U.S., the fine words about "democracy for all" cover up a thousand and one restrictions on the rights of the masses. Talk about democracy in general is supplemented by the setting of the police to smash up the working class organizations. The capitalists do everything in their power to cover up this reality and to pretend that the state exists in an ethereal realm above the class struggle. But the proletariat has no use for such hypocrisy. It openly declares that the socialist republic is a proletarian dictatorship over the exploiters and that precisely for that reason it is a thousand times more democratic than the best of the bourgeois-democratic republics. And this is why the masses all over the world welcomed the Soviet Republic, for they saw that it replaced the rule of the few over the many with the rule of the many over the tiny minority of exploiters.

Lessons of the Great October Socialist Revolution for the Building of the Working Class Movement

The October Revolution not only ushered in the new, socialist society, but it showed how the working class must prepare itself in order to achieve the revolution. The October Revolution was the victory of the revolutionary strategy and tactics of Leninism. The study of the October Revolution and of the lessons of Leninism is indispensable for the guidance of the class struggle today. Let us briefly mention a few of the important lessons taught by the example of the October Revolution.

(1) The October Revolution showed the need for the working class to have its own political party. The Russian working class performed marvels in toppling the Romanovs and then overthrowing the exploiters because it was a united class, a class whose power was multiplied a hundredfold by the organization of the class conscious vanguard into a genuine communist party. This party was the Bolshevik Party led by comrades Lenin and Stalin. The history of the revolutionary struggle of the Russian proletariat is the history of the work to strengthen and temper the party.

This lesson taught by the October Revolution is valid for all countries. The American working class, too, must rally around its own political party, the Marxist-Leninst Party of the USA. Soon after the October Revolution, the working class in the U.S. formed a militant and fighting party, the Communist Party of the USA. For many years this party led the working class in struggle, and in those years the working class movement was looked up to by its friends and feared by its enemies. The CPUS A, however, fell prey to revisionism, to abandonment of the Marxist-Leninst teachings. It eventually replaced the path of the October Revolution with the path of trying to force the Democratic Party to the left. It has become a soldout party, a party not of the working class but of the labor bureaucrats and petty-bourgeois elements. The building up of a new communist party, the MLP,USA, is the crucial task to bring guidance and orientation to the working class movement and to allow it to follow along the path of the October Revolution.

(2) The October Revolution also showed the need for the working class to zealously guard its class independence. Anyone who examines the history of the Bolshevik Party is immediately struck by the combative spirit with which the Bolsheviks insisted on the class independence of the proletariat against the bourgeois parties, even in the period when the revolution was still at the stage of a struggle against medievalism and tsardom and had not yet gone over to the socialist stage. For example, the liberal monarchist bourgeoisie formed its own party in 1905, the "Cadet Party," which tried to present itself as the party of "people's freedom." The Bolsheviks fought perseveringly against this Party, exposed its pretensions to be a democratic party, and combated its influence not just on the working class, but on the peasantry and the peasant democrats. On the other hand, the Mensheviks, the opportunist wing of the working class movement, tried over and over to tie the working class movement to the tail of the Cadets.

This struggle between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks over the attitude to the bourgeoisie continued and intensified after the February Revolution that overthrew the Tsar. The Mensheviks formed a coalition with the bourgeoisie, while the Bolsheviks taught the workers that it was necessary to go forward to the socialist revolution. The Mensheviks ended up fighting against the working class and shooting down revolutionaries who dared defy the bourgeoisie, while the Bolsheviks led the working class to seize power in the October Revolution.

These struggles of the Bolsheviks seem very topical to us today. We see that the opportunists are advocating that the working class movement tail along behind the "left" wing of the Democratic Party. The path of the class struggle, however, is the path of building the independent movement of the working class, independent of and against the capitalist parties.

(3) The history of the October Revolution proves that it is impossible for the working class movement to stay independent of the bourgeoisie without fighting the opportunists, the Mensheviks. Revolutionary Leninism arose in the struggle against the revisionism of the Mensheviks. On the international plane, the Mensheviks represented the opportunist wing of the Second International. Just as the Mensheviks joined with the bourgeoisie to fight against the workers in the period of the provisional government, so too did the revisionists inside the Second International join with the bourgeoisie in World War I and send the workers off to slaughter each other in an imperialist war for the sake of the profits of their exploiters.

The October Revolution represented the victory of Leninism over this revisionist treachery. It gave a big impetus to the process of the revolutionary Marxists separating themselves from the revisionists all over the world. Following the October Revolution, the revolutionary Marxists in country after country took up the doctrine of Leninism, formed communist parties, and united into the famous Third or Communist International. The Second International and the name "social-democrat" were left to the opportunists. The communist parties then went through a difficult process of purging themselves of social-democratic traditions and uniting the working class around revolutionary communism.

Today too, we see that it is only possible to uphold the path of the October Revolution by the most strenuous and dedicated struggle against the revisionists of various shades. The struggle against social-democracy, which began back in Lenin's time, is still an important task of the revolution. The struggle against the Russian revisionists, who have usurped power in the Soviet Union, the land of the October Revolution, is another crucial task of the revolution. These revisionists, unlike the social-democrats who stopped talking in the name of Marxism long ago, speak in the name of Marxism- Leninism and distort it into something ugly and repulsive. As well, they hold state power in a country that they converted into one of the world's two superpowers, a dangerous aggressor and enemy of the world's people. For both these reasons, it is essential to show the working class that these modern revisionists are imposters, who have nothing to do with communism and Leninism, and that the evils of their rule are the result of their restoration of capitalism. This means exposing the Soviet revisionists, and exposing the other revisionists who hold state power in various countries, such as those of Poland, China, Yugoslavia, and so forth.

And (4) The achievements of the October Revolution teach the power of revolution. They show that revolution is the locomotive of history. It exposes the illusions that minor tinkering with the capitalist system can solve the evils of exploitation. The Bolsheviks resolutely rejected reformism and placed their faith in the revolutionary class struggle of the proletariat. This did not mean rejecting all reforms; the Bolsheviks supported any reform which provided a real improvement, no matter how small, in the conditions of the masses. But the Bolsheviks regarded reforms as the byproduct of mass revolutionary struggle. They subordinated the struggle for reforms to the overall strategy and tactics of the revolution and utilized partial demands and limited struggles as one of the means of organizing the masses for revolution.

Today, this revolutionary perspective offered by the October Revolution is of special value because the working class movement is faced with a sea of renegades renouncing their revolutionary vows of the past. The October Revolution shows that it is necessary to work all the time for the revolution. It is not sufficient to be a phrasemonger who swears loyalty to the revolution in the distant future, while saying that for the present there is nothing but business as usual. No, the example of the Bolsheviks shows that it is necessary to organize the working class on revolutionary lines from the start. It is necessary to develop mass actions, political demonstrations, and revolutionary methods of struggle. The level of the struggle varies according to the circumstances, but only he is a Leninist who knows how to pursue the goal of the revolution under all conditions.

This brief list barely scratches the surface of the lessons of the October Revolution. We hope that the reader will pursue this subject further in the brilliant works of Lenin and Stalin.

Forward Along the Path of the October Revolution

The October Revolution marked the start of a new epoch in world history, the era of the transition to socialism and communism. It showed that the world had divided into two: the new, rising world of labor and socialism and the old, declining world of imperialism and capitalism. All over the world, the working and oppressed masses began to turn towards the October Revolution. The October Revolution had great influence not only on the socialist proletariat but on the toiling masses in the colonies and oppressed nations. A joint front was created from the working class movement of the oppressor countries to the national liberation movement of the colonies and oppressed countries, a common front against imperialism and reaction. This front comprised the world proletarian movement, the socialist countries (then he Soviet Union, later also a number of additional countries, and today only Albania), the national liberation movement and all progressive people. Meanwhile the cause of capitalism attracted all that was backward and decaying, from the billionaire monopoly capitalists, to feudal remnants, assorted royalty and tyrants, and all reaction. From this time forward, the pivot of world history became the struggle between newborn socialism and the frenzied bourgeoisie, desperate to strangle socialism or drown it in blood.

Let us carry forward the cause of socialism by following the path opened up by the Great October Socialist Revolution!


Hail the 65th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution of the Bolsheviks!

Socialism is the goal of the struggle against Reaganite reaction!

Denounce Russian and Chinese revisionism, traitors to the workers' cause!

Celebrate 38 years of the triumphant march of socialism in Albania!


Friday, Nov. 5, 7:00 pm Harriet Tubman House 566 Columbus Avenue


Saturday, Nov. 6,6:30 pm Teachers College Room 136 Thompson 120th St. near Broadway Manhattan


Sunday, Nov. 7, 7:00 pm Ethnic Cultural Center 3931 Brooklyn Ave., NE


Saturday, Nov. 6 Time and place to be announced


Saturday, Nov. 6,6:30 pm s Lenox Hotel 140 North St.

Follow the Path of V.I. Lenin!]

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On the Midterm Congressional Elections:

Fight Reaganite Reaction - Oppose Both Democrat and Republican

The midterm congressional elections are rapidly approaching with two groups of candidates taking the field.

One group is made up of unabashed front men for big business. They are running on a three-point program. First, it is a program of hunger, of starving tens of millions of unemployed and poverty-stricken to provide charity for the millionaires and billionaires. Second, it is a program of fascism, of police-state measures to trample the people, and of cynical racism and bigotry. And third, it is a program of war, of imperialist aggression and massacres from Central America to the Middle East, and of preparations for a "winnable" nuclear holocaust. This group of politicians is known as the Republicans, and its standard-bearer is a smiling toady of the corporations named Ronald Reagan.

The other group is made up of self-styled champions of equality, social justice and the cause of the peace. In their campaign rhetoric they accuse Reagan of lacking compassion for the poor, and for being unfair to labor and the minorities. But scratch the surface and it is revealed that this rhetoric is just the age-old device for garnering votes. Scratch the surface and it is revealed that this group, too, is running on the very same program as the Reaganites. This group has obediently gotten in line to vote for each of the major Reaganite measures and it has taken to imitating Reagan and the Republicans as closely as their shadow. This group is known as the Democrats, and its standard-bearers are silver tongued hucksters of the likes of Ted Kennedy, Tip O'Neill and Walter Mondale.

In the name of re-industrialization, both Republicans and Democrats stand for strikebreaking, wage cutting, and productivity drives. Both stand for slashing social programs to the bone, and for bleeding the working people with ever higher taxes, while providing tens of billions in handouts and tax relief to the capitalist millionaires. The Republicans call this "supply side" economics; the Democrats call it "directed investment." But whatever you call it, both stand for the "trickle-down" economics of "revitalizing" the economy by starving the masses to fatten the profits of the corporations.

In the name of fighting crime, both Republicans and Democrats stand for more prisons and police, and for new draconic laws to jail strikers and demonstrators and to suppress progressive political organizations. Both stand for intensified oppression and segregation against the black people and support the persecution and super-exploitation of the immigrants.

Both Republicans and Democrats stand for rabid militarism and imperialism. In the name of keeping up the balance of terror with the Soviet social-imperialists, both parties stand for feeding hundreds of billions into the biggest arms buildup that mankind has ever witnessed. Both stand for imperialist aggression abroad, for Viet Nam-style intervention on behalf of the death squad dictators of El Salvador and Guatemala. And both compete to see who can be the most reliable backer of the Israeli zionist war machine that is trampling on Lebanon and slaughtering the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

In a word, the Republican and Democratic Parties are two pigs in a poke. Neither party has anything to offer the working people but lies by the bushel and more of the same monopoly capitalist offensive of hunger, fascism and war.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats Are to Blame

The working people want a change. Over 11 million workers have been thrown into the street without a job. Millions of others have fallen through the gaping holes that have been cut in the "safety net" of the all too meager social programs. Real take-home pay is evaporating in the face of the capitalist onslaught of wage cuts and take-backs, inflation and high taxes and interest rates.

The working masses have had enough of Reagan's lies about "recovery around the corner," as the depression goes from bad to worse. They want to put an end to the attacks of Reaganite reaction, and they want to stay the hand of the imperialist war-makers. They are demanding solutions.

With the pre-election demagogy heating up, both Democrat and Republican have taken to the grandstand to point the finger of blame at the other party. But both these parties of rich capitalists are fully to blame.

As the party in power, Reagan and the Republicans have resorted to the timeworn device of blaming all of life's ills on the previous administration. Never mind that for nearly two years we have been witnessing the disastrous consequences of Reaganomics and Reagan's ruthless war on the workers and poverty-stricken. Never mind that Reagan has presided over the worst economic crisis since the thirties. Never mind all that, because if you listen to Reagan, the Democrats took 50 years to mess things up, so the Republicans should get at least 50 more years to straighten things out. In the meantime, just let the next couple of generations starve in the unemployment lines.

As the party in opposition, the Democrats are posing as the alternative to the depression and the Reaganite offensive. With an army of sellout trade union bosses, social-democrats and other opportunist misleaders of the working people behind them, the Democrats want to convince the people that their hands are clean and that they are the real opponents of the cruel" and "heartless" Reagan policies.

But facts are stubborn things, and the fact is that Reagan took over wholesale the hated policies of the Democratic Carter-Mondale regime. And since declaring a honeymoon with Reagan when he first came to office, the Democrats in Congress have been a rubber stamp for Reagan's policies. Without batting an eye, Kennedy and company have voted for Reagan's monstrous nuclear war buildup, for his huge cuts in social programs, and for his fabulous handouts to the corporations. By the Democrats' own admissions, they have given Reagan everything that he has asked for.

When the Democrats consider a Reagan bill, their "opposition" can be counted in the millions of dollars, while Democratic support for Reaganism must be counted in the tens and even hundreds of billions. Therefore when the Democratic Party humanitarians get before TV cameras to give sermons about the "inhumanity" of the Reaganites, they are only slapping themselves in the face; they are only branding themselves as hypocrites.

Build the Independent Movement of the Working Class!

The hypocritical Democratic Party opposition to Reaganism has a special role in the monopoly capitalist offensive. It is designed to gain the people's confidence and thus sidetrack the freight train of mass struggle that is mounting against Reaganite reaction. With the help of the labor bureaucrats, the social-democrats and other opportunists, the bourgeoisie hopes to derail the strikes and militant actions of the workers and the protests and demonstrations along the dead-end track of getting out the vote for the Democratic Party Reaganites.

The only alternative to the Reaganite offensive and the schemes of the Democratic Party fakers is for the working masses to organize themselves for struggle. We must push forward the strikes, demonstrations, and other mass actions. From the auto plants and steel mills, to the bitter strike of the meatpackers in Neb., opposition is mounting to the bosses' concessions drive. The demonstrations against U.S. imperialist aggression in El Salvador and the U.S.-Israeli massacres in Lebanon, against draft registration, and against the nuclear war buildup continue to grow. And where- ever Reagan sets foot, he is met by protests of the black people, of the unemployed, of the ruined farmers, etc. Not begging for compassion from either the Reagans or the Kennedys, but the revolutionary action of the masses, the militant class struggle, is the only way to combat the Reaganite offensive.

To light the way forward for this struggle we must circulate revolutionary literature and spread the Marxist-Leninist science. This is essential to steer the movement from hidden rocks and to guide it along a truly independent working class course.

And we must build up the solid organization of the working class. In organization the workers find the strength to sustain and carry forward their struggle.

Along this road we will build up the independent political movement of the working class. The working and downtrodden masses will organize themselves into a mighty army of the class struggle against Reaganite reaction and for the socialist revolution.

The Tasks in the '82 Elections

Both groups of capitalist politicians competing in the 1982 elections are gangs of capitalist sharks. From the working class standpoint, both are worse. The Marxist-Leninist Party, the party of the working class, is not running in these elections. Whether a Marxist-Leninist party contests any particular elections depends on a number of circumstances. But whether it runs or not, it must always tell the truth about the real nature of capitalist elections.

The social-democrats and other sham socialists such as the revisionists of the so-called "Communist" Party, outdo the capitalists themselves in promising the people a heaven on earth if they only elect the right politicians -- especially Democratic Party politicians -- to Congress. A genuine working class party must never tell the people such lies. It must explain that these elections are a capitalist fraud which cannot solve the problems of the people. Congress is nothing but a puppet show; behind the scenes the big bankers and monopolists carry on the real business of government. Under capitalism, elections are bought and sold for a price, and like the high cost of everything else these days, a seat in Congress has become a multi-million dollar purchase.

Only under socialism, as today in socialist Albania, can elections truly express the will of the majority rather than just a handful of very wealthy. Only with the overthrow of the rich capitalists and the establishment of the power of the working class, the dictatorship of the proletariat, can the working masses find real democracy. Only then do they become the real masters of society, exercising their power through a number of means including elections.

But all this doesn't mean that we should be indifferent to the upcoming capitalist elections. Rather, the class conscious workers and progressive people should make use of this miserable farce to expose the ugly truth about the capitalist fakers; to show that what is at stake on November 2 is how many Republican Reaganites and how many Democratic disguised Reaganites will represent the capitalists in Congress. The elections should be used to fan all the fires of class hatred which are building up among the people. In this way, the capitalists' elections circus can be used to advance the class struggle, to push forward the revolutionary action of the masses, and to build the independent political movement of the working class.

Fight Reaganite reaction!

The Republicans and Democrats are both to blame!

Build the independent movement of the working class!

Forward against Reaganism, capitalism and imperialism!

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Chrysler Workers:

Defeat Fraser's Contract Concessions!

Chrysler workers, UAW President Doug Fraser and the other top UAW bureaucrats are trying to force another concessions contract down your throats. Three years ago, Fraser said that concessions would "save jobs." But not a single job has been saved. Now Fraser has come up with a new lie. This time he says that there are "no concessions of any description" in the new contract. What rubbish! The new contract takes another step to make the inequality and lack of parity with GM and Ford permanent. It is nothing but more of the same wage- cutting and slave-driving concessions that the workers have suffered under for the last three years.

Fraser's sellout has fueled the bitter anger and deep hatred of the Chrysler workers. When the old contract expired, workers across the country walked out in protest. All five Chrysler assembly plants and many other key plants were shut down by strikes. Workers at the Jefferson Avenue Assembly Plant marched from the plant to the local union hall, broke down the door and demanded that the local leadership explain itself for supporting the sellout. More than 600 workers at the Sterling Stamping Plant union meeting voted unanimously to call upon the UAW's Chrysler bargaining committee to resign. And many locals across the country are predicting massive "No" votes and rejections of the sellout.

The deep hatred and anger of the Chrysler workers against the sellout contract must be organized. Discussions exposing the sellout must be organized on every line, in the locker rooms, in the break areas, and in workers' homes. Workers should pass around leaflets like this one produced by the Marxist-Leninist Party which expose the hated concessions.

In some locals, contract explanation and voting meetings are scheduled to take place in the next week or so. Whenever they take place workers should go to them, vote against the concessions, and use these opportunities to denounce the concessions and to rally all the workers for mass struggle against Chrysler.

Chrysler workers, now is the time to make the rich bankers and stockholders pay. The Chrysler workers have suffered long enough. NO MORE CONCESSIONS! Not another penny to the rich moneybags. Not another penny for the job-eliminating and slave-driving schemes of Lee Iacocca. The militant strikes by the Chrysler workers have received very warm support from other sections of the working class. A victory for the Chrysler workers against Iacocca's concessions demands will not only be a big victory for the auto workers, but it will also be a big inspiration for all the workers fighting the monopoly capitalists' Reaganite wage-cutting offensive.

Provisions of the Contract -- A Sellout From A to Z

1) Wages Still Frozen -- Not One Penny of Parity

For three long years, Doug Fraser and Lee Iacocca have promised "absolute, ironclad parity" between the Chrysler, Ford and GM workers on September 14, 1982. But this has turned out to be a boldfaced lie. Fraser is trying to sell the workers a contract that doesn't even have one penny of parity. This contract continues the same old wage freeze and keeps the Chrysler workers $2.70 per hour behind the other auto workers. The continued wage freeze alone means more than $250 million per year in additional concessions to Chrysler. Although COLA payments are being restored, they don't do a thing to make up the $2.70 per hour differential. And this is $2.70 less than the wages of the Ford and GM workers after they gave major concessions.

2) $20 Million for Chrysler and a 16¢ Bonus for Each Worker

Instead of fighting for a wage increase, Fraser and Marc Stepp (UAW vice-president in charge of the Chrysler talks) have cooked up a scheme of one-time "quarterly bonuses" tied to Chrysler's profits. Under this scheme, if Chrysler makes $20 million profit in a quarter, the workers get $4 million ($88 per worker or 164 per hour). If it makes $50 million or more in a quarter then the workers get $8 million. Unlike COLA, these "bonuses" never accumulate and are never rolled in. In other words, if the lines are sped up enough, and if enough jobs are eliminated to make the company more profitable (that is, to fill the bank vaults of Chrysler's bankers and big stockholders), then a few pennies in wage "bonuses" may "trickle down" to the workers. This is nothing but the poison of class collaboration. It is a setup to convince the workers that they have a stake in stepping up their own exploitation. Small wonder that the GM and Ford bosses have already voiced their eagerness to apply this Fraser/Iacocca scheme against their own workers.

3) Absenteeism -- A Program to Terrorize the Workers

Chrysler and the UAW have set up a joint National Attendance Council to terrorize and intimidate the workers. Under the new contract, any worker who is absent 5 days (excused or unexcused) within a 6-month period will receive a verbal warning. The 6th day off brings a written warning. The 7th day absent brings a 5-day suspension; the 8th day, a 15-day suspension; the 9th day, a 30-day suspension; and the 10th day absent means discharge. All in all, if a worker even misses 10 days in one year that worker could be fired! These attacks on the front of absenteeism have caused such an outrage among the workers, that Fraser and Iacocca have sat down to rewrite the "wording" of this provision. But any minor changes in the "wording" will not change the fact that Fraser is eagerly implementing Iacocca's plans to. drive the workers like dogs and turn them into slaves.

4)No Job Security but Stepped-Up Job Elimination

With more than 40,000 Chrysler workers permanently out of work, with more than eight Chrysler plants already closed for good, and with countless jobs being eliminated every week by robots and other productivity measures -- what are Doug Fraser and Marc Stepp doing to provide job security for the workers? NOTHING!

If jobs are to be protected then a fight must be waged against speedup and job combinations. But the contract set up a new joint UAW/Chrysler committee, called the National Council on Classification and Wage Systems, which will further eliminate job classifications, combine jobs and make Chrysler more "streamlined."

If jobs are to be protected then plant closings must be fought. But the new contract does nothing to halt the planned closing of six more Chrysler plants in Michigan by the end of 1983, which Chrysler announced on May 30. Instead Marc Stepp brags that he "forced" Chrysler to give the workers 60 days notice when a plant is being closed. Big deal Mr. Stepp!

If jobs are to be saved, then a fight must be waged to force Chrysler and the banks to provide jobs or a livelihood for the tens of thousands of workers who have been thrown out of work. But the new contract does not even protect the present SUB fund.

5)Workers Are Forced to Bail Out the Chrysler SUB Fund Again!

The proposed contract does not contain a word about Chrysler having to increase its payment into the almost bankrupt SUB fund. But the contract does require laid-off Chrysler workers who previously collected SUB and TRA at the same time to pay back 50% of their SUB checks (up to $100 per week). This is a plan to bleed the workers dry.' And sellout Fraser has the gall to hail this as a "victory and breakthrough to strengthen and protect the SUB fund"!

6)Pensions Are Still Frozen

Chrysler retirees will continue to be saddled with the pension concessions that Fraser has made over the last three years. This means that Chrysler retirees will receive $1,100 per year less than Ford and GM retirees with the same seniority. As well the pension fund remains dangerously low. The contract does nothing to recover the $200 million that Chrysler has withheld from the pension fund as a result of the earlier concessions. Yet, Fraser and Stepp are bragging that they have protected the retirees. This is just like the fox bragging about how he is guarding the hen house!!!

7) Cuts in Health and Medical Benefits

Here Fraser and Iacocca have set up still another committee to attack the workers. Together they plan to cut $10 million per year from health and medical costs. Take elective surgery for example. Workers must go to a Chrysler/U A W-picked doctor to get a mandatory second opinion. If that doctor does not OK the surgery and the worker still has the operation, then the worker will have to pay the first 20% of the bill. This is nothing but making the workers pay fines for having "wasteful operations and treatments" like foot surgery, back surgery, breast surgery and others!!!

Additionally, if the joint committee makes less than $7 million in cuts per year, then the difference between the amount cut and $7 million will come out of the Profit Sharing Program! Another gem from Fraser and his crew.

8) Christmas Bonus Holiday Eliminated

Fraser and Stepp finally found an issue where they could negotiate parity with Ford and GM -- they gave up the Christmas Bonus Sunday Holiday! Now there's the real fight for parity -- the UAW hacks have given up this benefit at each of the Big Three.

9) More Local Concessions!

At the Southfield Sheraton Hotel meeting to explain the sellout to the local union officials, Fraser and his boys explained that the new contract will pave the way for local concessions including job combinations, job eliminations, speedups, etc. The UAW chieftains say that these local concessions are designed to "save" plants like Detroit Trim and Trenton Engine. What double talk! Somehow job elimination is supposed to "save jobs."

10) More Benefit Cuts for New Hires

Under the new contract, Fraser has again agreed to new dangerous steps in creating an underpaid section of auto workers who will be exploited to the bone and pitted against the higher seniority older workers.

For new hires hospitalization, surgical, medical or sickness and accident benefits will not begin until they have six months seniority; prescription benefits only after 12 months; and dental, vision and hearing benefits only after 18 months. And this is on top of wage cuts already given up under the previous concessions.

(The above leaflet was issued by the Detroit Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party on October 1, 1982.)

[Photo: The Detroit Branch of the MLP organized a picket to denounce Fraser's sellout contract outside the union hall where an informational meeting was being held by the UAW for the workers of Chrysler's Jefferson Avenue Assembly Plant, October 3,1982. Only an hour into the meeting, the workers decided they had had enough of the lies of the UAW hacks and angrily walked out. They came out onto the street and denounced the contract up and down. This was one sign of the fact that the Chrysler workers deeply oppose this contract. Indeed, as we go to press, reports show that the Chrysler workers have voted down the contract by sizeable margins at four major locals, including Jefferson Avenue and the Newark, Del. Locals.]

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Down with Reaganomics-the election program of both Democrat and Republican

Usually mid-term elections are pretty humdrum affairs; and the 1982 election campaign is no exception. Hundreds of millions are being spent on TV commercials to drum up support for this or that candidate or just to urge people to vote at all. But no amount of media hype can blow life into this election campaign.

This has nothing to do with what the so-called experts call voter apathy. On the contrary, the working people are acutely concerned about contemporary events. Their blood is boiling against Reaganite reaction. Discussion is breaking out everywhere about how to fight it, about how to get out of the economic depression, about how to stop the nuclear warmakers, and about other burning issues facing the people.

No, these elections are such an exceptional nothing because both groups of candidates are so exceptionally the same. The Democratic and Republican Parties have always been the two big parties of the monopolists for crushing the workers. And today these two parties are as alike as two drops of water; as alike as two Reaganite clones of the capitalist offensive against the working masses.

In his campaign rhetoric, Reagan attacks those he regards as "knee- jerk" liberals and big-spending Democrats. In turn Tip O'Neil and other Democratic Party hacks have been accusing Reagan of lacking compassion and of being a smiling Herbert Hoover. But get beneath the surface and both conservative Republican and liberal Democrat are in full agreement in their support for Reaganism. The only difference between the two is that unlike the Republican, the liberal Democrat tries to disguise this support, while he jerks his knees to not miss a step in the Reaganite offensive of hunger, fascism and war.

Reaganomics Is a Bipartisan Policy

The country is in the grips of economic disaster. Unemployment has reached a full 10%, the highest level since the Great Depression. The average worker's real take-home pay has declined 15% over the last five years and continues to nose-dive. Industrial output fell by over 10% in the last year and is still falling as steel mills are working at less than 50% of capacity. Business failures are at their highest levels since 1933 at the depths of the last depression.

But as the present depression deepens, as millions lose their jobs and stare hunger in the face, what has Reagan done? Just like in a Hollywood commercial Reagan smiles and lies about how his miracle-working Reaganomic poison will restore full health to the economy.

And what have the Democrats done?Have they protested the wage cuts and concessions, the plant closings and layoffs? Have they demanded the restoration of the devastated social programs? Have they proposed shifting the tax burden onto the rich and doing away with the tens of billions of handouts to the corporations and defense contractors? Not on your life! Instead the Democrats have become the latest converts to Reaganomic voodoo.

"Revitalization" Herbert Hoover Style

The hallmark of Reaganomics is the so-called "supply-side" theory. According to this quack theory, if the rich are allowed to get rich enough, they will then be allured into the unpleasant business of getting even richer by investing in factories and other ventures, and this in turn will bring prosperity to all. This allegedly new theory is based on the old dictum that "What's good for General Motors is good for America." It is the same as the old "trickle down" economics advocated by Herbert Hoover, who cynically geared his policies to fatten the profits of the millionaires under the hoax that the benefits would trickle down to the starving multitude. The great crash of 1929 was history's verdict on Hooverism.

Nevertheless, Reaganomics is based on this same trickle down idea. Reagan has forked over tens of billions to the bankers, corporations, oil tycoons, and defense contractors to assist in "capital formation." This welfare for the rich has assisted them in their rampant speculation on everything from motel chains to silver and antiques. And it has helped the corporations finance the closing down of plants, the purchase of robots and computers and every other means to squeeze every cent of profit out of the blood and sweat of fewer and fewer workers.

The Democratic Party politicians have taken up this supply-side quackery as their own, only they call it emphasis on "investment needs." On September 18, the House Democratic Caucus, which is made up of all 241 House Democrats, issued an economic policy statement. According to the New York Times, the statement calls for "direct(ing) the attention of Congress to investment needs," that is towards providing the capital for "investment in new technologies" and "the revitalization of basic industries." (September 19, 1982) Essentially this is the same as Carter's 1980 "industrial policy" that called for handing over several tens of billions to the monopolies in the name of "re-industrialization"

As a sop to the masses, the Democratic policy paper throws out the compulsory cheap phrase that Reaganomics is "a bonanza for the rich," echoing Tip O'Neil's jibe that Reagan is simply a smiling Herbert Hoover. But what is the Democratic Party policy that is based on the "investment needs" of the capitalist exploiters if not "a bonanza for the rich"? What is this policy if not the "trickle down" policy of Hoover infamy? Indeed, this explains why the Democrats have been outdoing Reagan himself in pushing for handouts and tax breaks to the corporate millionaires.

The Democrats also have something else in mind when they moan about Reagan's "unfairness to labor." They are keeping an outstretched hand to Lane Kirkland and the other sellout labor leaders of the AFL-CIO, promising that when the Democrats get back in power they will provide a place for the labor bureaucrats to assist them in administering the Reaganite offensive of layoffs, wage cuts and productivity drives against the workers. Hence, the Democratic policy paper stresses the theme of cooperation between business, labor and government as the path to "revitalization."

Taxing the Poor to Give to the Rich

Reagan cloaks his policy in demagogy about cheap government and cutting the tax burden on the citizens. But in fact, Reaganomics, with its fantastic boondoggles for the corporations and military contractors, costs money, lots of money. Reagan's 1983 deficit is predicted to reach the mind-boggling record of $140 billion. Someone has to pay. Therefore, while Reagan's tax cuts have provided a windfall for the wealthy, for the working people taxes continue to climb.

For their part, the Democratic Party politicians, the self-styled champions of the working man, made a fuss that Reagan wasn't taxing the working man enough. For Reagan's first 18 months in office, a tax hike was the foremost demand of the Democratic Party "opposition." Then, last month, Reagan put before Congress the biggest tax increase in U.S. history, a $94 billion hike in federal sales tax and other taxes. Naturally, Ted Kennedy and Tip O'Neill were both ecstatic, praising Reagan for finally coming around to their point of view.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party politicians continue to cook up new schemes to raise taxes on the workers and cut the taxes for the wealthy parasites. They are even toying with the ultra-Reaganite idea of abolishing the progressive income tax in favor of a flat rate tax. What "fair" and "even-handed" Robin Hoods these Democratic gentlemen are -- robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

Two Parties of Growing Fascism

The Reaganite Republicans, with their "social agenda" of law and order, of racist segregation, and of religious obscurantism are champions of capitalist reaction. But the Democrats do not want to be left behind. Again and again, they have demonstrated to their capitalist masters that they too stand for the Reaganite police-state measures, for racism, and for the iron fist against the revolutionary movement and the working people.

1) Police State Measures

Under the smoke screen of anti-crime hysteria, police-state laws are being proposed and enacted right and left. The courts send down one reactionary ruling after another. And while schools close for a lack of funds, somehow there is always money for more prisons and police. All of this growing fascism is a strictly bipartisan affair.

The proposed federal criminal code reform, for example, is a set of draconic measures to jail strikers and demonstrators and persecute progressive organizations. From the liberal prince Ted Kennedy to "lock 'em up and throw away the key" Orin Hatch, the Democrats and Republicans have worked together on this fascist bit of legislation. Indeed, in the fever of their anti-crime hysteria, the liberals and the conservatives jointly accuse each other of being soft and failing to bring down the mailed fist against the people.

2) A Segregationist Drive Against the Black People

The oppression of the black people is intensifying to the extreme. Unemployment among black teenagers is over 50% and racist police murders and other attacks on the black people are continuing without letup. On top of grinding poverty and government-organized terror, a big segregationist drive is underway to throw the blacks out of the schools and work places.

The Klansman without a robe who sits in the oval office is the bandleader of this racist offensive. The Reaganite battle cry is the filthy racist lie that equal rights for the blacks have gone"too far" and now there is so-called "reverse discrimination." So now, they say, is the time to turn back the clock to the good old days of the poll tax and Jim Crow.

The Democrats, who paint themselves up as friends of the minorities and champions of civil rights, follow a two-faced policy. On the one hand, they decry some of the most hated of the Reaganite schemes, such as the attempts to scuttle the Voting Rights Act. They do so because they know this is necessary to gain the people's confidence. It is necessary to keep in tow the Jesse Jacksons and other misleaders of the black people, through which they hope to prevent the inevitable explosion building up among the black people. And on the other hand, they carry on just like the Reaganite racists, echoing the same racist lies, giving encouragement to racist and fascist gangs, etc. This explains, for instance, why the Democratic- controlled House recently passed an amendment to bar busing for school integration authored by none other than the racist fiend Jesse Helms.

3) Inhuman Persecution of the Immigrants

The brutal incarceration of Haitian and Salvadorian refugees and their forced deportation back to their fascist executioners has highlighted the nature of the Reagan presidency. Now, with the full support of the chauvinist labor chieftains, new steps are in the offing to intensify the persecution and super-exploitation of the Mexican and other immigrants. The proposed bipartisan Simpson-Mazzoli bill is one such step. This bill includes the police- state measure of imposing a national ID card on the whole population, a step which is already underway with the new counterfeit-proof social security cards.

"Growth and Opportunity" Built on the Bedrock of Hunger and Misery

Besides granting fabulous handouts to the filthy rich, the other side of the "supply-side" or "investment needs" equation is the robbing of the workers and the poor. And Reagan has been carrying out this robbery with a vengeance. This has included the devastation of social programs, cutting tens of billions from unemployment insurance, welfare, food stamps, pensions, health, education, and on and on. Moreover this ax has come down in the depths of a depression when the needs are most pressing.

Reagan justifies this coldblooded policy with his charming little anecdotes like the one about the man he once heard of who bought vodka with food stamps. And if you don't swallow that, with a straight face Reagan will explain how, on the one hand, his handouts to the oh-so hard working millionaires will lead to growth and prosperity while, on the other hand, providing unemployment benefits for the 11 million jobless and other relief for the poor would only be a quick fix that would just make the workers even lazier. After all, according to Reaganomics, it is only the motivating fire of starvation that will reduce the workers to the level of slaves and bring "growth and prosperity" to the millionaires.

As for the Democrats, they have not only whizzed Reagan's cuts through Congress, but they have entered into a contest with the Republicans of who dares cut more. For instance, since the Carter administration both have been producing studies and recommendations for slashing social security benefits, but so far neither side has yet wanted to take the big step of tearing up the social security checks of the retirees -- at least not until after the November 2 elections.

Moreover, the Democrats have even learned to talk in Reaganomics. In their recent policy statement they have dropped all talk of "full employment." The Democrats have let four decades of lies and false promises of full employment go by the boards in deference to Reagan. And apart from some job training programs and a few pork-barrel public works projects, their statement says nothing about steps to alleviate the suffering of the jobless and the poor. As Timothy Wirth, Democratic Representative from Colorado and a principal author of the statement, puts it, "This is a significant departure, I think, for the Democratic Party. We want to move away from a temporary policy of redistribution (of wealth) to a long-term policy of growth and opportunity." Translated from the Reaganese this means that the Democrats, too, are against the so-called "quick fix" of providing relief for the tens of millions of unemployed and poverty stricken who now have to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families. Let them starve and freeze, because the bedrock of the bipartisan Reaganite policy of "growth and opportunity" for the rich money-grubbers is built on hunger and misery for the working masses.

A Bipartisan Policy of Imperialism and War

Reagan is imperialist militarism personified. His administration stands for the biggest military buildup ever witnessed in history. It stands for "thinkable" and "winnable" nuclear war. It stands for U.S. imperialism being the world's number one policeman. It stands for drafting the youth for military adventures to defend the super-profits of the U.S. multinational corporations and to smash the liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples. It stands for unrestrained rivalry with Soviet social-imperialism for spheres of influence and exploitation.

But the Reagan policy is not just the policy of a single madman. Rather this adventurous course is the policy of the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie and is backed up in full by both the hawks and the liberal doves of the Democratic Party.

The Reagan administration is presiding over an arms buildup the likes of which have never been seen before. It has launched a trillion dollar five- year campaign to build up the U.S. military machinery of death and destruction. The working people are being squeezed to the wall to pay for a new generation of tanks, for hundreds of new and recommissioned warships, for a new generation of chemical and bacteriological weapons, for equipping Rapid Deployment Forces, and so on and so forth. The Pentagon is also producing a slew of new devices of nuclear holocaust, such as B-l bombers, neutron warheads, and Cruise and MX missiles.

Oh yes, from time to time one of the Democratic doves will let out a chirp of protest. He will complain that this or that new weapons system doesn't get enough bang for the buck. He will lobby for two smaller aircraft carriers instead of one big one as a cheaper and better means to defend U.S. imperialism's far-flung empire. But from the days of Carter's record military budgets and reintroduction of draft registration, both Democrats and Republicans alike have been firmly united behind this insane military buildup and preparations for war.

Democrat and Republican -- Tweedledee and Tweedledum

On issue after issue we find that these two big parties of monopoly capital play to the same Reaganite tune of hunger, fascism and war. Yes, the wrath of the working class and people is mounting daily against the arrogance and brutality of Reagan and his Republican cronies. But when the sellout labor bureaucrats, the social- democrats or other opportunists try to claim that the Democrats pose an alternative, they are simply lying through their teeth. No, the 1982 elections are being contested by Tweedledee and Tweedledum.


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Why are the AFL-CIO leaders backing the Democrats?

Lane Kirkland and the rest of the AFL-CIO leadership have declared November 2 to be Solidarity II, a day to get out the vote for the Democratic Party candidates. And they are providing these Democratic Party candidates with millions of dollars of the workers' dues money and a host of campaign workers. So the question the workers must ask is why are these bureaucrats so eager to exchange the Reaganite Republican politicians for the concealed Reaganites of the Democratic Party?

Accomplices of the Reaganite Offensive Against the Working Class

The AFL-CIO bureaucrats say they are getting out the vote for the Democrats in order to fight the Reaganite onslaught against the workers. But this is a fraud. Do these labor leaders advocate strikes and demonstrations against the attacks on the workers? Heavens no, even the idea of the workers' mass action and the class struggle makes them shudder.

But what is more, it is the top trade union leaders, from Doug Fraser of the autoworkers to Lloyd McBride of the steelworkers, who have been in the very forefront of the Reaganite concessions drive against the workers. In industries and plants across the country, the union hacks have been on a rampage of tearing up contracts. They have been working hand in glove with the employers to jam concessions down the workers' throats, to cut their wages, to rob their benefits, to speed up the lines, and throw the workers into the street.

Such a shameless display of class collaboration shows the depths to which the notoriously corrupt American officialdom has sunk. It shows that all of Lane Kirkland's sermons about Reagan taking the side of big business is only so much hypocrisy, because the trade union chiefs are themselves the principal accomplices of big business in the strike-breaking, wage-cutting offensive against the workers.

The AFL-CIO "Alternative to Reaganomics" Is No Alternative at All

The AFL-CIO support for the Reaganite offensive extends beyond their dirty role in the capitalists' concessions drive. They have put forward a platform entitled "The AFL-CIO's Alternative to Reaganomics." (AFL-CIO American Federationist, August 28, 1982) One would think that a real alternative to Reagan's policies would include the demand for the full restoration and the necessary extension of social programs to meet the dire needs of the jobless and poverty stricken. One would think that it would call for serious measures towards making the capitalists and not the workers shoulder the burden of taxation. One would think that it would oppose the spending of hundreds of billions for the Pentagon, the bankers and corporations.

But no, the AFL-CIO Alternative keeps the entire Reagan budgets intact. It simply proposes band-aids to patch up a few corporate tax loopholes and a little tinkering to expand some minor jobs programs. Otherwise it is essentially a rehash of the Democratic Party policy of "directed investments" to provide handouts to the capitalists in the name of creating jobs. In other words, it is just the "re-industrialization" common to all the capitalists, Democrat and Reaganite alike.

A "National Accord" With Business and Government Is Kirkland's Goal

So then, what do the Democrats offer that the AFL-CIO chiefs can't get from Reagan and the Republicans? In his Labor Day Statement, Lane Kirkland provided the answer. Kirkland eulogized the Carter administration's National Accord for laying "the groundwork for a massive reindustrialization program through which government, labor and industry could work together as partners." (AFL-CIO News, September 4, 1982) And Kirkland went on to proclaim this National Accord as the only way out of the economic crisis and to bitterly attack Reagan for refusing such a partnership.

There you have it in a nutshell. The AFL-CIO leaders are angry with Reagan because he doesn't offer them the full status of partners in his brutal re-industrialization offensive against the workers. That is why Kirkland, Fraser et. al. are hitching up to the Democratic Party bandwagon. They hope that when the Democrats come back to power they will be treated with the respect they deserve. That is, they will be given more token positions on corporate boards and government commissions in return for which they will play a bigger role in cutting wages, imposing productivity schemes, eliminating jobs, and driving the workers like slaves.

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MLP organizes campaign

Against Concessions to the Steel Billionaires!

In June, on the heels of the contract concessions at Ford and General Motors, the "Big 8" steel monopolies and the union bureaucrats of the United Steel Workers began a campaign to tear up the steel workers' contract and shove mammoth concessions down the workers' throats. This provoked great outrage among the workers. In mills across the country the workers began to mount protests against the USW sellouts. The Marxist-Leninist Party plunged into the thick of this struggle and worked to organize the workers for a fight against concessions.

In June and early July leaflets denouncing concessions talks were circulated by our Party in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo. On July 20, The Workers' Advocate carried a front page article detailing the criminal plans of the steel tycoons and the USW misleaders and calling on the workers to get organized. The leaflets and The Workers' Advocate article were distributed widely through the mills. At U.S. Steel's South works and Gary works, at Bethlehem's mills in Burns Harbor and Buffalo, at the National Steel mills in Chicago and Detroit, at the mills of Inland Steel, Jones and Laughlin, and other companies, the workers greeted the MLP leaflets and shouted their enthusiastic support for the "No Concessions!" placards and banners carried by the MLP supporters.

The leafletting of the MLP encouraged the fighting spirit of the workers. In some mills "No Concessions!" stickers, produced by the MLP, were plastered on walls and workers' helmets. As well, the workers painted slogans against concessions on their department walls. Many workers took stacks of MLP leaflets to distribute to their fellow workers. Through these and other activities the MLP assisted the rank-and-file workers to begin to organize themselves independent of the USW bureaucrats and to prepare for a serious fight against the steel tycoons.

The MLP also urged the workers to expose the union hacks at the local USW meetings. The MLP distributed leaflets at many of the locals and in a number of cases spoke out at the meetings to rally the workers for the fight. At a 1,000-strong union meeting at U.S. Steel's South works, for example, the local USW hacks tried to deflect the workers' anger by blaming "foreign imports" as the problem. Instead of calling for a fight against the steel capitalists, they called for more job-eliminating "modernization" of the mills and voting for the Democratic Party in the fall as the supposed solution to the workers' plight. But the workers were unmoved by the lectures of union hacks. When a representative of the MLP took the microphone and denounced the capitalists' concessions drive the meeting broke into wild applause. These kinds of fights, waged by the MLP and many other militants, helped to further rally the workers and isolate the USW sellouts.

The outrage of the workers continued to mount through July. A virtual tidal wave of local resolutions against concessions flooded the USW headquarters. Under this pressure, Lloyd McBride, USW president, broke off the talks with the steel monopolies on July 30.

But the ending of talks proved to be a temporary maneuver of the top USW hacks. No sooner had the national talks broken off, when the USW misleaders began campaigning for local concessions at a number of mills. Enormous layoffs by the steel companies and lies about the imminent closing of steel mills were used to blackmail the workers. By September 13 job combinations and other concessions were imposed at U.S. Steel's South works. And concessions at other mills are still in the works. (See article below entitled "On Guard Against the USW Bureaucrats") On September 21, the local presidents of the USW met in Atlantic City, New Jersey and voted almost unanimously to reopen national concessions talks with the "Big 8." They complained that the talks had been broken off, before only because of the "No Concessions!" campaign of the "dissidents" in the union, but that now they had united the local presidents against such disruption. McBride and co. talked enthusiastically of handing over at least $2 billion from the workers' pay and benefits to the poor billionaires of the steel industry. The despicable treachery of these union bureaucrats knows no bounds.

The steel workers must get prepared to fight. An even more arduous struggle is at hand. The deepening economic crisis has meant that many mills are virtually decimated by layoffs. The workers left in the mills don't even have the right to vote on the new contract and the top hacks of the USW have announced beforehand that they will give the capitalists almost anything they want. These are difficult conditions in which to mount a struggle. But the workers have no other choice. They must take matters into their own hands and fight against the steel monopolies' takeback demands. They must fight that the steel billionaires hire back or provide a livelihood for those laid off. They must fight to make the monopolies pay for the economic crisis. The steel monopolies and the USW bureaucrats are right now preparing a new sellout contract. Now is the time for the rank-and-file steel workers to get organized. No Concessions to the Steel Billionaires!

[Photo: MLP distributes leaflets against concessions at Inland Steel in East Chicago, Indiana, July 22.]

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On Guard Against the USW Bureaucrats

(The following leaflet was issued by the Chicago Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on September 15, 1982.)

On July 30, concessions talks between the "Big 8" steel monopolies and the steel workers union fell through. The massive opposition of the rank-and-file steel workers to concessions has resulted in a victory, temporarily stalling the steel capitalists' concessions drive. There were protests at plant gates, workers denounced the talks in mills and union meetings throughout the country. In addition a demonstration was even held on the doorstep of the negotiation meetings where the labor traitors were plotting to sell out the workers.

But steel workers, be vigilant! The steel companies are trying to get around their defeat by forcing work rule changes and job combinations on a plant-by-plant basis. Just look at what they are trying to do at South works and at Interlake, a "me too" plant, in the Chicago area. ("Me too" plants are those which are not part of the "Big 8" but follow the Basic Steel Agreement negotiated by the "Big 8."--ed.)

Interlake Demands Over $2,500 per Year From Each Worker

At Interlake's Riverdale plant USW District 31 Director Parton and the USW top leadership are working hand in glove with the Interlake capitalists to force through a concessions agreement that would cost workers $1.24 per hour in wages and benefits. In return for easing the economic "plight" of the Interlake moneybags, the capitalists promise to inform the union before making a final decision to close a section of the plant. In other words, workers are asked to give up over $2,500 per year in wages and benefits in the vague hope that if the capitalists make fatter profits they might show a little mercy and not throw workers on the streets. (Just look at how many auto workers are on the streets after being told that concessions would save their jobs.)

U.S. Steel Demands Massive Job Combinations at South Works

At South works the U.S. Steel capitalists, with the full endorsement of the USW leadership are trying to force through drastic job combinations at the new rail mill they are building which would combine maintenance and production work into one job classification, a so-called "Operating Technician." Plus they are trying to combine maintenance jobs throughout the plant essentially to eliminate welders. Yet the labor traitors have the nerve to present this massive job elimination through job combination as something which will "save" jobs. Large numbers of steel workers shouted their opposition to this sellout agreement at the meeting of Local 65 in which the concessions agreement was presented. In the face of this massive opposition and outrage, the sellout labor hacks set up a "nonbinding referendum" of Local 65 members. They obviously intend to implement this agreement in spite of the workers' opposition. It should be noted that Ed Sadlowski, who has often postured as a militant defender of the rank and file against the sellout USW leadership, was part of the negotiating team and supports this job-eliminating agreement.

All across the country the steel capitalists are following a divide and conquer technique of demanding concessions on a plant-by-plant basis. They are trying to break off the "me too" plants from the basic steel agreement and to force through work rule changes and job combinations to eliminate jobs at basic steel plants. The USW labor traitors are eager to assist the capitalists' concessions drive by endorsing as the absolute truth all of the lies, threats, and empty promises of the steel capitalists, and then using every arbitrary trick in their book to railroad through the local concessions agreements.

In view of the need to continue the struggle against concessions, let us look at how the fight developed against concessions in the national agreement.

Mass Opposition to Concessions

With the first open declarations by the steel capitalists calling for concessions, steel workers went into motion. The workers at U.S. Steel's Fairfield, Alabama works rejected local concessions despite the company's threat to close the mill. In June, the workers in the USW local at Bethlehem Steel's mill in Burns Harbor, Ind., and at U.S. Steel's mills in Lorain, Ohio, and Homestead, Pa., voted unanimously against reopening the national contract. Many other locals, including at J&L, Inland, Republic, and National Steel in the Chicago-Gary area and in mills throughout the country have passed resolutions against concessions.

Yet, despite this mass opposition of basic steel workers, a meeting of the USW Basic Steel Industry Conference was held June 18 in Pittsburgh, where local presidents voted 263-79 giving the go-ahead for "discussions" to settle concessions.

But the rank-and-file steel workers were disgusted with this betrayal by the union hacks. On June 18th, 150 steel workers picketed the USW meeting in Pittsburgh. The union hacks barred them from the meeting and physically ejected protesters from the building. But the workers denounced the union hacks and declared, "We didn't make the steel industry in the shape it's in, we're not going to pay for it."

Following the Pittsburgh meeting, the steel workers continued to organize against concessions. The July 20 issue of The Workers' Advocate ran a front page article giving the call: "Steel Workers, Get Organized! Stop the Concessions Railroad!" which was enthusiastically received by workers in the mills and at union meetings. Militants joined with MLP activists to distribute thousands of local leaflets against concessions which were also eagerly grabbed up by the workers and taken into the steel mills throughout the Chicago-Gary area and other areas of the country. Banners and placards were taken by the militants of the Marxist-Leninist Party to plant gates to protest the concessions drive and invigorate the opposition.

USW Bureaucrats Try to Impose Concessions

All along McBride and the other top leaders of the USW have been working side by side with the steel capitalists to impose concessions. It was the white heat of anger and outrage from the rank-and-file steel workers which forced these sellouts temporarily to retreat on concessions. McBride has always been and continues to be ready to do everything in his power to help the steel capitalists gorge themselves at the expense of the worker. He admits this openly in his letter of August 12 to the USW members in basic steel, "I was prepared to recommend to the Basic Steel Industry Conference that we should offer significant relief to the Industry during the remaining year of the current agreement and the two years following the current agreement." In particular, the USW leadership was ready to give away $2 billion in steel workers' wages and benefits, including the raises and COLA due August 1 and the elimination of Sunday premium.

Mr. McBride is ready at any time to give away the steel workers' wages and benefits on the basis that the steel capitalists aren't making enough profits. He states in his August 12 letter, "Let me first stress that I am convinced that the Steel Industry has many problems and that our Union should help alleviate those problems in the areas over which we have control." As the June 10 New York Times reports, "Mr. McBride, a strong defender of the free enterprise system, has said that the only reason a steel company is in business is to make money...." And so McBride wants to give them more, all the while promising the workers that if the steel capitalists just become rich enough then, someday, somehow, a few jobs will trickle down to the workers. McBride's "job protection" plans are nothing but pure Reaganomics -- the "trickle-down" theory.

Look at how the top USW bureaucrats argued that the workers could "trade" concessions for "job guarantees." One of their chief "job security measures" was to demand that the steel capitalists provide "written guarantees" that they will reinvest the concessions money solely in modernizing steel. The modernization that the steel capitalists have already carried out has cost many tens of thousands of jobs. Yet the USW sellout leaders tried to tell workers that workers should finance the job-eliminating modernization under the label of "job protection." How ridiculous!

The USW bureaucrats also talked about putting some money, perhaps up to $100 million out of the billions of dollars in concessions to be stolen from the workers, into the exhausted supplemental unemployment benefit (SUB) fund. First of all, this money should have been taken from the capitalists, not taken from the workers' wages. Moreover, since the SUB fund paid out around $200 million in 1981 through the first few months of 1982, this means that at best some workers would get some benefits for a few more months and then the fund would again collapse.

Concessions don't save jobs. Instead workers must fight to make the capitalists provide jobs or a livelihood to the laid-off workers.

The experience of the auto workers gives clear proof of this fact. Despite concessions totaling more than $17,000 per worker over the life of the contract, tens of thousands of Chrysler workers have been thrown on the streets. At GM the immediate results of the concessions agreement is the permanent elimination of tens of thousands of jobs through the plant closings and cutting out of paid personal holidays (PPH days).

Steel workers, the fight against concessions must continue! Fight the local concessions, denounce them at union meetings, vote against them! Furthermore, be aware that the steel capitalists have not given up their drive for national concessions and that McBride is ready to try again to sellout "if and when the companies want to meet." Get organized to stop the concessions railroad! Join with the workers of the MLP to distribute leaflets against concessions. Talk with your fellow workers and explain how concessions don't save jobs. Stand up in union meetings and denounce concessions and the sellout line of McBride. Build networks of militants to campaign against concessions and to prepare slowdowns, demonstrations, and other mass actions. Steel workers, get organized! No concessions to the steel billionaires!

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The fight against concessions at the Danly Machine Tool Co

Danly, a major machine building factory in the Chicago area, was taken over by the Ogden monopoly last year. Recently, on September 13, the Danly-Ogden capitalists sent a letter to the United Steel Workers' local at Danly announcing their intention to tear up the old wage agreement and to impose pay concessions on the workers. They are demanding that the workers hand over the current cost-of-living increase of 20 cents an hour, all future COLA increases for the life of the current contract (seven increases altogether), and the general wage increase due in April. This amounts to a wage cut of at least $2 an hour and, with inflation mounting, it is likely to be much greater. These capitalist demands are outrageous. The workers have no choice but to get organized to fight them.

Rich Capitalists Want in on the Concessions Action

Last year it was said that the purchase of Danly by the huge Ogden monopoly would bring in new orders, put an end to the initial layoffs and solve the problems of the Danly workers. But the severe economic crisis and the buy-out by this giant corporation has only resulted in even more ruthless attacks on the workers.

By the end of July some 625 workers, close to half of the work force, were laid off. As well massive job combinations are underway, starting with the riggers and now spreading to the workers in die sets. These will result in even more layoffs. A prison-like discipline is being imposed, including a new point system for absenteeism and lateness, etc. And even while the layoffs continue, workers in some departments are being told to give up vacations and to work overtime in order to get the work out. Yet the Danly-Ogden capitalists are not content. Now they want enormous wage cuts as well.

In their letter to the workers, the capitalists cry that they must have wage cuts because of their poor economic situation. This is just outrageous. Ogden has been making money hand over fist for years. In 1978 Ogden hauled in a profit of $54.3 million, in 1979 they made $57.5 million and in 1980 they reaped another $58.2 million. In 1981, after they bought Danly, Ogden raked in a profit of $65.1 million. Clearly the purchase of Danly and the exploitation of the Danly workers has made these rich monopolists richer still.

But Danly-Ogden complains that other workers are taking concessions and so the Danly workers should also sacrifice to make the company "competitive" with the other domestic and foreign monopolies. The Danly-Ogden capitalists want their workers to compete with the workers from other lands and elsewhere in the U.S. over who will take the biggest cuts in pay, suffer the worst layoffs, etc.

This is how matters stand today. The workers are to be split up, competing with each other over how much sacrifice they can make to their "own" capitalists, while the richest of the monopolies are united, all demanding concessions from their workers, all attempting to shift the burden of the economic crisis onto the working class.

This situation is intolerable. To save themselves from devastation the Danly workers must fight the arrogant concessions demands of the Danly-Ogden parasites. And they must unite with the workers everywhere who are striving to rise up against the capitalists' concessions drive.

Independent Action of the Workers Is Essential

The Danly workers are determined to fight. At a local union meeting held on September 19 the workers overwhelmingly denounced the capitalists' concessions demands and began discussion of how to organize themselves against the capitalists.

But how did the bureaucrats of the USW respond to the workers? While mentioning a word or two against concessions the union hacks spent hours lecturing the workers on how "foreign imports" are the source of the workers' plight. In other words, the union hacks are expressing the same "foreign competition" complaint that Danly-Ogden is using to justify the demand for concessions. The USW bureaucrats are acting as the voice of the capitalists among the workers.

As well, the USW misleaders preach that the workers' "economic plight will be turned around with a great vote turn-out November 2nd;" that is, the workers should lay down in front of the concessions attacks and simply vote the Democrats back into office in November and their problems will be magically solved. Of course, the labor bureaucrats fail to mention that the Democrats have supported every aspect of Reagan's anti-worker offensive, complaining only that taxes on the workers aren't high enough and tax breaks for the rich aren't more plentiful. Kennedy, the darling of the labor bureaucrats, is actually calling for wage controls. Yet the USW hacks claim that voting Democrat will solve the workers' problems. What rubbish!

With such stands as this, it is obvious that the workers can expect no help from the USW bureaucrats in the fight against the capitalists' concessions demands. To fight the capitalist concessions drive, headed up by the Reagan government, the workers must break with the parties of the rich, expose the union bureaucrats as little servants of the capitalists, and organize themselves as an independent fighting force.

Danly workers, it's time to get organized. No concessions to the capitalist parasites.

(Adapted from September 1 and September 17 leaflets of the Chicago Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party.)

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Teachers' Strikes Across the Country

As the school year began in late August/early September, thousands of teachers went out on strike across the U.S. By mid-September there were close to 20,000 teachers on strike, shutting down school districts with hundreds of thousands of students. The largest strike was in Detroit, where 10,000 teachers struck for two and a half weeks. There were an additional 7500 teachers on strike in various districts in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. Schools were also closed by strikes in East St. Louis, Illinois; Butte, Montana; and elsewhere.

Across the country, teachers, like other sections of the working masses, are being confronted by their employers with wage cuts, layoffs, and other concession demands. The teachers quite justly are refusing to submit to this assault on their livelihood and are taking the course of mass struggle. In many cases they are striking in defiance of laws that ban strikes in the public sector. In a number of the strikes this year, striking teachers have been threatened with court action, firings, etc., and in Teaneck, New Jersey, strikers have even been thrown into jail. But such threats and penalties are nothing new; teachers have stood up to them in the past and they are doing the same today.

In Detroit, the Board of Education demanded a 10% cut in wages and benefits. The Board refused to accept a simple extension of the old contract, which itself would mean a big cut in real wages. Instead, the Board insisted on cuts in increments (seniority pay), holidays, health insurance, etc. When the teachers went on strike a few days after school opened, the Board tried to keep the schools opened and called on all students to attend. But this bluff lasted only one day. After that the Board was forced to close schools and lay off the non-teaching staff. After a strike of two and a half weeks, the Board agreed that teachers can continue at their old salary levels. But other issues such as insurance coverage, vacation pay, class size, and the Board's obligation to hire substitute teachers, will go to a fact-finder for a binding decision. The Board is threatening that if the fact-finder's decision favors the teachers, it will carry our massive layoffs and cut programs.

In Teaneck, N.J., teachers have persisted in their strike in the face of court injunctions and outrageous jailings. Their strike began on September 17, when 541 of the district's 600 teachers, aides and secretaries walked off their jobs. State Superior Court Judge Sherwin D. Lester ordered the district's employees back to work. The teachers however refused to back down. The judge then began to fine strikers and threatened to hold in criminal contempt any district employee who walked a picket line. By October 1, every teacher had been fined a total of $525 and the reactionary judge threatened to fine them $150 per day beginning on October 4. Also, on September 30, he began ordering teachers to be jailed. Thirty-five strikers were arrested that day. The next day he commandeered an elementary school and ordered 83 teachers held in detention there!

The Teaneck teachers, whose starting salary is $13,713, are fighting for a 19% salary increase over two years. In this struggle they have received support from the community. For example, when teachers were led to detention in the elementary school, they were cheered and applauded by a group of 200 supporters who chanted, "Schools are not jails!"

The Philadelphia teachers have stood out in recent years for their militant tradition of struggle. Last year, for example, when Mayor William Green demanded massive layoffs, the teachers replied with a 50-day strike which almost developed into a general strike of city employees. But this year, the trade union bureaucrats sold out their struggle.

The Philadelphia Committee in Support of the Marxist-Leninist Party jumped into the struggle against the contract offer proposed to the Philadelphia teachers by the city and the union bureaucrats. In a leaflet denouncing this contract offer, they pointed out: "The current contract offer before the membership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) represents the continued attacks by the ruling class and the government of the rich on working people. The contract proposal basically presents an 18% pay increase over the next three years. This along with the fact that PFT members did not receive any wage increases in the last three years, amounts to a 3% annual increase over a six-year period. When one considers inflation and the cost of living, the PFT membership has lost money over this period. This new contract offer also allows for continued layoffs at the discretion of the anti-union Board of Education." The contract offered to the Philadelphia teachers is supposed to put limits on layoffs, but it still allows for the elimination of 400 jobs each year of the three-year agreement.

While concessions contracts are being imposed on schoolteachers around the country, just as on the industrial workers, the strikes of thousands of teachers show that resistance to concessions is taking place.

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Down with the jailings of draft resisters!

In August, the first two young men indicted by the Reagan administration for refusing to register for the draft were convicted. On August 17, Enten Eller, a 20-year-old student who had refused to register on religious pacifist grounds, was tried in Roanoke, Virginia. He was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to register within 90 days or face a stiffer penalty. And in the last week of August, Benjamin Sasway, a 21-year-old student in California, was convicted in San Diego. Sasway was not allowed to testify about his reasons for refusal to register, but he is known to oppose registration on the grounds that it is a step towards war. The judge ordered Sasway placed in jail without bail until his sentencing in October. Although the judge initially claimed that he put Sasway in prison because he might otherwise flee to Canada, he later acknowledged that the real reason for his order was that the young man may "wrongly" influence public opinion. On October 4, Sasway was sentenced to two and one-half years in a federal prison camp.

All those who have refused to register face possible jail sentences of up to five years and fines up to $10,000. It is estimated that over 700,000 young men have refused to register. The government does not plan to bring all of them to trial. Instead it is arbitrarily picking and choosing a number of cases in order to use them to set an example for all the youth. Contrary to the fairy tales of the bourgeoisie about justice in America being evenhanded and "blindfolded," the government is carefully selecting the cases to prosecute on the basis of political criteria. Last spring, reports leaked out of discussions within the Reagan administration on how to carry out the trials so as to avoid localities where the prosecution would be too unpopular and likely to arouse strong protests.

The trials which have already been held provide further exposure of the farce that goes by the name of justice in America. They show that the courts are just as much an arm of U.S. imperialism's war drive as the Pentagon or the Reagan regime. The courts will not hear the full testimony of those who are being prosecuted because the government is afraid that the trials will be turned into forums for the condemnation of the reactionary war preparations of the Pentagon. The fear of an aroused people is also seen in the jailing of Sasway without bail prior to his sentencing. All of this demonstrates that despite their show of some outward forms of democracy, the monopoly capitalist rulers of the U.S. are quite conscious of standing in opposition to the working people and of exercising a ruthless dictatorship against the struggles of the people.

Besides the prosecution and jailings, the Reagan government is also stepping up other forms of coercion against those who refuse to register. It is trying to make registration a precondition for receiving various government benefits, such as student loans. As well, it is coordinating draft registration with IRS records, school attendance, and so forth. All this shows that Reagan is rushing headlong towards the restoration of the military draft. In January 1982, Reagan endorsed the system of registration casting aside his earlier campaign rhetoric about being opposed to a "peacetime" draft. In this, he simply took up from where the Democrat Carter left off. It was Carter who revived draft registration in the summer of 1980.

The draft is being revived as a cornerstone of U.S. imperialism's war preparations. The Pentagon's military machine is being geared up for unjust reactionary wars. These wars are aimed against the revolutionary struggles of the world's peoples as well as against the other imperialist rivals of Washington, especially the Russian social-imperialists. The draft is also being restored as part of the general militarization of society. The standing army is not just a weapon against the "foreign threat" but also against the working people at home. It is meant for suppressing strikes, demonstrations and other fighting actions of the workers, youth and oppressed nationalities. The recent use of the National Guard against striking workers at Iowa Beef in Dakota, Nebraska provides once again a vivid example of this purpose of the imperialist army.

The refusal by almost a million young people to register for the draft is a symbol of their protest against the militarism of the U.S. rulers. The youth recognize that to shed blood to defend exploitation and imperialism is to stain one's honor and take the side of injustice. The indignation against draft registration is part of the vigorous mass opposition that has developed for several years now against U.S. imperialism's war preparations. This has been expressed by countless protests and rallies against the draft, against the nuclear weapons and energy programs, against aggression in El Salvador and the Middle East, and so forth. Hundreds of thousands have taken part in these actions.

The Marxist-Leninist Party, USA supports those who have refused to register for the draft and who are standing up to the threats of imprisonment. We condemn the Reagan administration's prosecutions and jailings. At the same time, our Party does not give the general call to refuse registration or the draft. It is not beneficial for the struggle against militarism and war to create the idea that refusal to register, if only enough will take part, can stop imperialist war. This has never happened. Draft resistance is a form of struggle whose value is that it signifies a courageous protest against militarism and draws sections of the masses into more conscious forms of struggle. Those who refuse to register or be drafted cannot leave their struggle at simple refusal, but must go on to take part in the mass actions and the organized movement against imperialism. It is the mass revolutionary struggle against Imperialism which represents the powerful force against militarism and war.

The prosecutions and jailings of the non-registrants are already being seen as fresh outrages of the U.S. government. It is providing yet another impulse to the anti-militarist struggle. In both the trials held in August, demonstrations were held outside the courthouses. At the same time, a series of other protests were organized around the country. Other trials are due to take place shortly -- they too must be answered by developing the movement against war preparations.

[Photo: Anti-draft demonstration outside the armed forces induction center in Detroit, July 27.]

[Photo: Protesters denounce the government's trial of Ben Sasway in San Diego for refusing to register for the draft.]

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On the Target Seattle Extravaganza:

For a real fight against nuclear weapons, target imperialism!

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued by the Seattle Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA on September 17, 1982.)

The cat is out of the bag. According to the Reagan administration's new, classified Defense Guidance Document leaked to the press, monstrous nuclear weapons are necessary because in case of a "protracted" nuclear conflagration, the U.S. forces "must prevail" after the fallout and ashes settle; the "termination of hostilities" must come "on terms favorable to the United States." (Seattle Times, August 25, 1982) Such is the "thinkable" and "winnable" nuclear war that Reagan and Weinberger are so coolly contemplating. Toward this end, MX, Trident, Cruise and Pershing missiles, plus neutron bombs, are being constructed. These weapons aren't for peace, or chit chats, but for use in a nuclear war that would incinerate hundreds of millions; a war to decide which gang of international robbers, the U.S. or Soviet imperialists, would gain the most slaves and the most oil fields and other loot.

In response to this fascist madness, a powerful movement of protest against the Pentagon's monstrous nuclear arms buildup has burst forth in the U.S. On June 12 alone, close to one million demonstrated in New York, San Francisco and on the Washington-British Columbia border. These mass demonstrations are part of a worldwide movement which has been sweeping Western Europe, Japan, Canada and elsewhere like a torrential flood water.

The movement against the nuclear weapons buildup is closely related to the powerful wave of mass protests against the nuclear energy program, the draft and against U.S. intervention in El Salvador, as well as the varied protests against the U.S.-backed Zionist invasion of Lebanon.

What is "Target Seattle"?

"Target Seattle" (TS) is a nine-day (August 24 through October 2) series of "education symposiums," "dialogue" and "debate." Speeches will be given at various churches, universities, hotels and elsewhere, and will be capped with an event in the King dome. It advertises its theme as "preventing nuclear war" and for a "celebration of survival." Of course, you can't always tell a book by its cover.

How does TS fit into the anti-militarist movement? a snake fits in your pocket. The imperialists have "targeted" Seattle to conduct a test on how to stifle the growing militancy in the anti-war and anti-militarist movement in the U.S. This spring, there has been an upsurge in Seattle in the struggle against U.S. militarism, including two demonstrations of over ten thousand people. The mass struggles nationwide against U.S. war preparations represent a powerful threat. If today, tens and hundreds of thousands are taking to the streets in powerful actions, why can't tens of millions do so tomorrow? Panic has begun to creep into the "think tanks" and closed-door sessions of the rich about the growing anti-war ferment. TS spokesman Walter Straley made a revealing comment in this regard when he recently stated, "I see no alternative then for us so-called respectable corporate types to concern ourselves with this." In other words, the "respectable corporate types" are desperate to smother the anti-nuclear movement with their "loving" embrace.

TS is being staged by the biggest capitalists in the local area. It is backed by the Chamber of Commerce and the president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Walter Straley is ex-president of Pacific Northwest Bell (now there's a "grass roots" outfit!). And it has the full support of the Pentagon! That's why War Secretary Weinberger (Mr. Winnable Nuclear War) scheduled himself to speak! The Advisory Committee consists of the state's U.S. senators and five U.S. representatives, the governor and ex-governor, Mayor Royer, etc. Its Executive Committee reads like a who's who of rich capitalists, high society ladies, retired Navy admirals and opportunists of the social -democratic variety ("left-wing" Democrats).

We stress: the TS campaign has been launched to stifle all militancy in the anti-militarist movement. Its basic tactic is to try to limit the political discussion in the movement to a debate between two slightly different versions of Pentagon war preparations strategy. These two versions are (1) the nuclear freeze strategy of Senators Kennedy and Hatfield; and (2) the nuclear freeze strategy of Senators Jackson and Warner.

The first, or the "original," nuclear freeze proposal is very closely related to the doctrine known as MAD or "mutually assured destruction." It advocates talks between the two superpowers aimed at keeping the present astronomical number of warheads and not building any more missiles. Such talks have never stopped the growth of nuclear arms. But even if they did, the money saved from the "freeze" would be used to construct an even more gigantic machine of conventional warfare. After all, for the imperialists to put down the freedom fighters in El Salvador and elsewhere, nuclear threats have limited effectiveness and must be supplemented by rapid deployment forces, helicopters, etc., which are most desperately needed.

The second freeze proposal, coauthored by our "own" ultra-militarist Senator Jackson, is closely related to the doctrine known as NUTS, or "nuclear use theorists." This is the plan endorsed by war maniac Reagan himself, the proponent of "winnable" nuclear holocaust. Reagan has also given his strategy the name of START, or "strategic arms reduction talks." Under this scheme, Reagan says he is not only for a freeze, but for a freeze at reduced levels of warheads. So Reagan appears even more "anti-nuclear" than the "original" freeze recipe. Of course, in the meantime, Reagan is not for a freeze, but for a huge buildup of MX's, Tridents, Cruises, etc. He claims this vast buildup is needed to first achieve "equality" with the Soviet Union so that fair reductions and a freeze can be negotiated later...(Reagan must think we are complete idiots to swallow this.)

Some people, seeing that Reagan has also become a nuclear freeze advocate, are unnecessarily getting themselves all wrought up. They are worried that the allegedly "grass roots" nuclear freeze idea is being "co-opted" by the rich. However, the freeze idea originated in pro-imperialist circles. And from the beginning, one of its stated purposes was precisely to be "co-opted," i.e., to pave the way for Reagan to be able to drape himself in a peace-lover's disguise, while simultaneously arming to the teeth. (See "To Fight Nuclear Weapons, Fight Imperialism," The Workers' Advocate, May 24,1982)

Both Kennedy's and Reagan's nuclear freeze schemes are 100% frauds. They are imperialist pacifism at work, i.e., talk of peace and pacifism to the gallery, while arming to the teeth behind the scenes. Far from being plans for disarmament, they are in fact plans for even more gigantic war preparations, both nuclear and conventional. They are a continuation of previous disarmament schemes, such as SALT I and II, which are based on negotiations between the two superpowers as the way to eliminate the nuclear arms race. These negotiations go on for decades, and the genocidal nuclear arms stockpiles only mount higher and higher. There must be a reason for this! Why are such disarmament schemes based on superpower negotiations such a fraud and swindle?

Imperialism Is the Source of the Nuclear War Danger

Nuclear weapons are produced and deployed by social-economic systems. Whether one refers to the nuclear armaments of the U.S., Britain, France, China or the Soviet Union, the social-economic system these weapons are built to serve is monopoly capitalism, or imperialism. Monopoly capitalism has as its number one objective the pursuit of maximum profits. This includes the export of capital to exploit cheap foreign labor and to gobble up other countries' natural resources. The pursuit of maximum profits is the reason for the superpowers' obsession to economically, politically and militarily dominate vast "spheres of interest'' and entire empires.

Since the close of WWII, U.S. imperialism has brandished its nuclear weapons like a drunken gunslinger and threatened to use them many times against the anti-imperialist struggles of the people of China, Korea, Viet Nam and elsewhere. This nuclear saber rattling was also one of the main tactics used to try to bring the Soviet Union to its knees in the late 40's and early 50's when it was still a socialist country. After the Khrushchovite revisionists transformed the USSR into an imperialist state, the U.S. has used nuclear blackmail against it because it is the U.S. moneybags' main rival for world domination. In brief, the militarists of Washington, D.C. use nuclear weapons to intimidate the revolutionary struggles of the people of the world against imperialism, as well as to threaten and blackmail their imperialist rivals. And today the USSR uses its vast nuclear arsenal for the very same purposes. The imperialists obviously view their criminal nuclear stockpiles as very useful to themselves and in their interests. That is why they spend so much money on them. They aren't building them by accident.

Imperialism is the source of the nuclear arms race. That is why negotiations between the superpowers over this or that disarmament scheme have been, are and always will be a complete charade to fool the naive. Better to trust in the stars than to expect Reagan or Brezhnev to beat swords into plowshares.

"There Is No Enemy -- Purge Yourself of Your Nuclear Sins"

The imperialists are building huge arsenals and raving about "winning" a nuclear holocaust. Yet TS says: Hey, calm down, don't get excited, there is no enemy to get mad at. Why, we'll even bring Weinberger here to speak so you can see what a nice man he is. A member of the TS Executive Committee formulates this theme as follows: "No rational person or nation wants a nuclear war, but there is a great difference of opinion among reasonable people who care on how to avert it." (Seattle Times, September 5, 1982) In other words, the struggle against nuclear weapons has no enemy. (And obviously, the struggle should therefore cease.) What rot! The rest of the TS spiel, stripped of its camouflage, goes like this: Don't be so strident and divisive as to blame the rich and their government for the nuclear arms buildup. Blame yourself. After all, the U.S. is a democracy where the policies of the government reflect the will of the people. You the people are at fault for being silent for so many years. No, don't target a powerful mass movement at the rich capitalists and their state and its fiendish plans. Feel liberal guilt instead. Then go to the polls and vote in your favorite "peace" candidates. It doesn't matter whether they are Democrat or Republican, are for MAD or NUTS, just vote. And no matter what, don't get disillusioned in the "democratic process" and entertain any revolutionary (horrors!) or even radical ideas. Is this not a transparent maneuver originating from the very halls of the Pentagon itself?

Workers, anti-militarist activists and all progressive people! To hell with all of this! Utilize the "Target Seattle" extravaganza to denounce imperialism as the target of the anti-nuclear weapons movement! The "distinguished authorities" of the imperialist disarmament frauds are flimsy windbags, and the masses of the oppressed and downtrodden people will never believe their lies. Assist those who have been confused to see through the political deception of the rich.

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$24 billion and still rising:

On the WPPSS nuclear reactor boondoggle in Washington State

(The following article is taken from a leaflet issued on September 17 by the Seattle Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party.)

In Washington State, the mass indignation against the nuclear reactor construction program of the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) has been heating up for several years. Protests are heard from all quarters against the cynical looting of the masses to pay for the five WPPSS nuclear plants. This demonstrates that the anti-nuclear movement is very much alive and remains an obstacle and threat to the diabolical aims of the rich.

WPPSS has earned the just hatred of the working and oppressed people with its reckless reactor program and skyrocketing costs. It has become a national scandal, a symbol of capitalist profiteering the likes of which are seldom seen. Less well known is that WPPSS is an ultra-militarist undertaking, inextricably bound up with U.S. imperialist war preparations.

WPPSS and War Preparations

The nuclear energy program has been, and remains, completely bound up with war preparations in various ways. First, commercial reactors are not only a byproduct of the search for the atomic bomb but were themselves first produced for use in submarines and aircraft carriers. Second, every nuclear reactor produces plutonium, the raw material of nuclear bombs. Third, the reckless development of nuclear power -- with its bitter fruit in the near catastrophe at Three Mile Island -- is due in large part to the stockpiling of all energy resources by the U.S. government in preparation for war.

The WPPSS reactors are an important part of imperialist war preparations. In fact, the ultra-militarist WPPSS, unlike any other utility in the country, has been generating electricity for nearly two decades directly from one of the Pentagon's plutonium reactors at Hanford. WPPSS owns and operates a generating station which utilizes the "waste" steam from the production of plutonium in the Department of Energy (DOE) N-reactor at Hanford. This station is no toy but is nearly as powerful as the other WPPSS plants under construction.

And what is the N-reactor? The capitalists protest that the N-reactor is operated solely for the "peaceful" purpose of fueling the Fast Flux Testing Facility (breeder reactor) at Hanford. But in turn, the FFTF breeder has produced some 1,300 pounds of weapons grade plutonium! This October the N-reactor itself is going directly into weapons production -- with WPPSS all the while merrily churning out kilowatts -- in conjunction with the PUREX (plutonium extraction) plant at Hanford. This integrated weapons complex is part of Reagan's $180 billion nuclear buildup. Thus WPPSS is up to its neck in bomb production through the N-reactor/FFTF/PUREX complex. So much for the Pentagon and nuclear industry's cynical claims about the distinction between "electricity" and "weapons" reactors.

It should be noted that the N-reactor/PUREX complex will produce an estimated 11 million gallons of high- level waste to be stored at Hanford. This waste is so hot that it boils on its own for years. Hanford is already infamous for its "accidental" losses of 0.5 million gallons of similar high-level waste, together with 31 million gallons of low-level waste. Clearly the N-reactor used by WPPSS produces much more than "safe, peaceful, clean" nuclear power: it produces literally tons of the stuff of nuclear poisoning and mass slaughter.

As if this were not enough, the Seattle Times reported in March that WPPSS is exploring the possibility of selling the terminated Project 4 at Hanford to the federal government. Why? For warhead plutonium production, of course. Here is a marriage made in heaven! After all, Reagan and the DOE are in the market for a new $5 billion plutonium reactor, and WPPSS is looking for buyers for their "terminated" plants.

But we aren't yet through with the militarist character of WPPSS. The Reagan administration is preparing plans to reprocess the spent fuel from commercial reactors as a "solution" to the longstanding problem of waste disposal. In this manner all the WPPSS reactors would become plutonium factories. While it is true that Reagan is a nuclear madman who will stop at nothing to prepare a "thinkable" and "winnable" nuclear war, previously the U.S. imperialists have been bound -- not by scruples or lack of effort -- but solely by technological and economic considerations from pursuing waste reprocessing. But recent developments in laser isotope separation (LIS) by the Dr. Strangeloves of the Livermore Labs have created a viable means to reprocess the waste from electricity-generating reactors for weapons grade plutonium. No wonder that WPPSS, along with Puget Power and others, have chosen to place many of their nukes on the Hanford reservation -- on the one hand, to hide from the anti-nuclear movement behind the federal government's barbed wire, and on the other, to simplify the whole process of fuel reprocessing.

Profiteering Is an Understatement

The WPPSS nuclear project is the largest municipal-financed construction program in history. The construction cost estimates for the five plants have increased from $4,075 billion to over $24 billion. The total bill to the rate payers for WPPSS Projects 1 through 5, including interest payments to Wall Street, has been estimated at $110.9 billion over the next 30 years. Thus WPPSS is among the biggest financial rip-offs of the public ever known.

Today, Projects 4 and 5 have been terminated and put up for sale with the "final" cost for no electricity ranging between $7 and $9.25 billion. Project 1 has been mothballed for two to five years (increasing its cost from $3.3 to $4.3 billion). Projects 2 and 3 are still rolling along with a mere one-half billion dollars being added to their budgets just in this next year! These financial figures can only be described as mind-boggling.

Where is this money going? These enormous sums of money -- to be taken out of the pockets of the working people of the Northwest -- are lining the coffers of the biggest banks, insurance companies, Wall Street brokers and law firms, and the design and construction contractors. The financing costs (interest payments -- to put it bluntly, profits -- for the banks and Wall Street) are 68-76% of the bill for Projects 4 and 5! For Project 3, 76% of the additional money needed in the next year alone is for financing! It is a well-known fact that the financial hogs have used many tricks of the trade to keep WPPSS money rollin' in.

For example, the interest rates have been jacked up to as high as 15.24% with the heart-wrenching story that WPPSS bonds are saturating the portfolios of the rich, are hard to sell, and need to be made more attractive (15.24% over thirty years is indeed attractive!). Needless to say, the big brokerage houses and rating firms involved in the WPPSS bond offerings "have a vested interest in keeping WPPSS alive even if only to continue feeding off it. As a Merrill Lynch broker brags, WPPSS bond sales "have been the most profitable in our history." (Merrill Lynch collected a cool $5 million just for its role in the $750 million bond sale last September.)

The design and construction contractors have all made huge profits off the nuclear plant contracts. Some of them are well-known merchants of war, including Boeing, General Electric and Bechtel ("Defense" Secretary Weinberger's alma mater). Construction costs have ballooned from $4,075 billion to $24 billion for all five plants. WPPSS and the contractors have discovered that there are many ways -- contract realignment, overhead charges, incentive awards, "change orders" -- to give handouts to the rich. How else can WPPSS explain facts such as Morrison-Knudsen's contract being renegotiated from $40 million to $214 million? Or Fischbach and Moore's contract at Project 3 jumping $100 million in one year? Or EBASCO being awarded a $45 million incentive last September for Projects 3 and 5 at the very time that Project 5 was being slowed down in preparation for mothballing, followed by termination? One could go on. These are not unusual practices between WPPSS and its contractors. This is because WPPSS itself was created for no other reason than the pursuit of maximum profit.

The ugly results of the WPPSS fiasco for the working people are outrageous electric rate hikes. Amid the deep economic crisis and high unemployment, many poor people in Washington State are faced with the choice of food or heat. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has already increased its wholesale rates sixfold over the last three years! This fall BPA has mandated a wholesale rate increase of 61% in part to help pay for Projects 1-3. In Seattle, for example, residential rates will increase by 67 to 76% this October, much of this due to BPA increases. Come January, many other Northwest rate payers will find themselves digging into their pockets with cold and stiff fingers to pay for the terminated Projects 4 and 5. And they will continue to pay on these until the year 2018 (!) if Wall Street has its way.

Put Opposition to Imperialism in the Center of the Struggle

Today there is wide-scale indignation and resistance to the rate hikes caused by WPPSS. The Democratic Party says that what needs to be done is to replace this or that Public Utility District Commissioner (with one of their own, of course!), hire a few lawyers and clean up WPPSS management -- in other words, give WPPSS a face lift. We say, resist the rate hikes. Make the banks and construction companies -- in short, the rich -- pay for their WPPSS adventure. In the movement against rate hikes, denounce WPPSS' role in the nuclear arms buildup of U.S. imperialism. The movement's strength will be greatly increased when it is combined with the powerful outrage of the masses against the growing danger of war.

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Reagan's Middle East 'Peace Plan':

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Continued support for zionist aggression, empty promises for the Palestinians

On September 1, Ronald Reagan announced what he called a plan for a "far-reaching peace effort" in the Middle East. Since the brutal zionist invasion of Lebanon, the rabid warmonger Reagan has dressed himself up as a minister of peace. Even while he made sure that the zionist storm- troopers were more than well supplied with cluster bombs, artillery, tanks, jets and all of the other modern means of genocide, Reagan has been wringing his hands decrying the terrible human destruction. Even while the Reagan government pressured the Palestinian fighters, guns to their heads, to withdraw from West Beirut, thus clearing the way for the Israeli invasion and the subsequent massacre of thousands, Reagan tells us he was "engaged in a quiet, behind-the- scenes effort to lay the groundwork for a broader peace in the region." (This and all subsequent quotations from Reagan are from The New York Times, September 2,1982.)

Obviously the question arises, why is this rabid warmonger, this ardent backer of Israeli zionism, talking about peace? The answer is equally obvious. Having struck a harsh blow at the Palestinian liberation movement, Reagan wants to use talk of peace to bring Israeli zionism and reactionary Arab governments together to try to bring further pressure on the Palestinian resistance forces, to split them and extinguish the flames of their heroic struggle. Reagan intends to combine bloody terror with talk of peace in order to strengthen the hand of Israeli zionism and protect the vital interests of U.S. imperialism in the oil-rich Middle East.

Reagan announced his peace plan on the same day that the last PLO guerrillas withdrew from Beirut. Unable to hide his joy, Reagan begins his speech, "Today has been a day that should make us all proud. It marked the end of the successful evacuation of the PLO from Beirut, Lebanon." Later, Reagan explains that this "victory" has created new opportunities for U.S. imperialist intrigues. "The Lebanon war, tragic as it was, has left us with a new opportunity for Middle East peace." Thus the slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Palestinians pleased Reagan.

But Reagan is still worried sick about the resilience and the ability to rebound of the Palestinian people. This is why he feels compelled to come up with these new schemes. Summing up the lessons of the Israeli aggression in Lebanon, Reagan pointed out, "First, the military losses of the PLO have not diminished the yearning of the Palestinian people for a just solution of their claims; and second, while Israel's military successes in Lebanon have demonstrated that its armed forces are second to none in the region, they alone cannot bring just and lasting peace to Israel and her neighbors." In other words, Reagan has become frightened that the Palestinian resistance cannot be stamped out by bloody terror alone and another means must be found.

This other means is talk and empty promises of granting the Palestinian people their "legitimate rights." Reagan put it this way, "Throughout this time period of difficult and time-consuming negotiations, we never lost sight of the next step of Camp David, autonomy talks to pave the way for permitting the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights." The first step of the Camp David peace accord negotiated by Democratic Party President Jimmy Carter in 1978, was the treaty between Israel and Egypt. This secured Israel's southern flank and gave it a free hand to invade Lebanon with the aim of crushing the Palestinian resistance. The second step of Camp David which Reagan has set out is an attempt to exorcise the Palestinian resistance by combining Israeli terror with promises of negotiations that might some day lead to Palestinian "autonomy." Despite all of the noise against this "peace plan" by the Begin government, Reagan's plan is simply a dressed-up version of the Zionists' own stated objectives. The Israeli Labor Party has already fully endorsed Reagan's plan and Reagan's differences with Begin are nothing other than minor squabbles that exist among the Zionists themselves.

Let us take a look at the provisions of Reagan's "peace plan."

Nothing Will Be Done That Might Possibly Harm Israel

The first and most basic principle of Reagan's plan is that nothing can be done that might harm Israeli zionism. Reagan stressed, "make no mistake, the United States will oppose any proposal -- from any party and at any point in the negotiating process -- that threatens the security of Israel. America's commitment to the security of Israel is ironclad."

But the Israeli zionist state is situated in the homeland of the Palestinians. Israel was born through stealing the Palestinians' land, by murder, terror and expulsion of much of the Palestinian population. Today Israeli zionism continues to exist on the basis of brutal racist oppression of the Palestinians still in Israel, of continuing expulsions of the Palestinians from their land, of forcible seizure of the land of other Arab countries. As long as the Israeli zionist state exists, how can the Palestinian people obtain their "legitimate rights"? It is impossible! The protection of the "security" of Israeli zionism means the perpetuation of the enslavement of and genocide against the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian People Are Denied the Right to Their Own Independent State

The second basic principle of Reagan's plan is the denial of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. Reagan violates the principle of self-determination twice over. First, he denies the Palestinians their homeland and restricts them to a fraction of it, the West Bank and Gaza. Second, even on this truncated mini-state, he denies the Palestinian people the right to determine their own destiny.

This is a fundamental question of democracy. Only the Palestinian people have the right to determine whether they will form their own independent state or federate with some other state. But Reagan bars them from this decision. He exclaims that, "it is clear to me that peace cannot be achieved by the formation of an independent Palestinian state in those territories.... So the United States will not support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza...." Thus Reagan has not only barred the Palestinians from the homeland in Israel but even from setting up their own state on the West Bank and Gaza. Reagan says that, "The question now is how to reconcile Israel's security concerns with the legitimate rights of the Palestinians." Reagan is resolving this question by throwing the Palestinian rights to the winds. Through empty promises of rights for the Palestinians he is trying to reconcile them to the security of zionism.

Interminable "Autonomy" Talks

Here we arrive at the key to Reagan's plan -- "autonomy talks to pave the way for permitting the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights." Under Reagan's schemes there will be negotiations to provide for some sort of "self-governing Palestinian authority" that will have no power. Then there will be a "five-year period of transition" for more negotiations between the U.S., Israel, and Jordan (recently Egypt and Saudi Arabia have also been mentioned as participants for these talks) over what is to become of the West Bank and Gaza and to make sure that "Palestinian autonomy poses no threat to Israel's security."

It must be pointed out that this plan was already set forward and agreed to by Israel and Egypt in the Camp David accords. It is now four years since those accords were signed and as yet there have still been no negotiations even on the question of the initial elections. This is how matters stand with Reagan's peace plan: the Palestinians are to give up their right to their homeland, they are to put down their arms and guarantee the security of the Israeli zionist aggressors, they are to give up even the claim to an independent state on the West Bank and Gaza, and in return they are promised that there will be negotiations among the U.S. imperialists, the Israeli Zionists and reactionary Arab governments. This is like asking the Palestinians to cut their own throats and then Reagan will grant them their "legitimate right" to bleed to death.

Zionist Settlements on the West Bank Are to Be Preserved

There has been a great deal of debate over the question of the Israeli settlements on the West Bank. This area is populated by over a million Palestinians. After Israel seized this territory in the 1967 war, it began to grab up Palestinian land, bulldoze their homes, and set up armed camps as the forward posts for the Israeli military. Today, Israel has stolen about one-third of the territory and it has set up some 103 settlements containing about 30,000 Israeli colonists.

As part of his peace plan, Reagan calls for "the immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by Israel." This means that Reagan is sanctioning the Israeli settlements that are already in place.

It is well known that U.S. imperialist policy has always been to voice words of protest against the increase of zionist settlements on the West Bank while supporting them in practice. Reagan's call for a "freeze" on settlements has proved to be another such case of U.S. imperialist subterfuge.

The day after he announced his peace plan the Israeli cabinet adamantly rejected any freeze on settlements and confirmed their plans to quadruple the settlements within the next few years to ensure that the Zionists are in a position to annex the entire territory. Officials of the U.S. State Department said that they were not disappointed by the Begin government's stand since Reagan's suggestion to freeze the establishment of new settlements was not made to foreclose Israeli Zionists' rights in the area but to convince Arab leaders to join the peace process. (New York Times, September 3, 1982) Reagan's every word turns out to be nothing but lying promises.

Autonomy Without a Shred of Power

In his speech on the peace plan, Reagan does not spell out what Palestinian autonomy would mean, should it ever come about. But from the Camp David accords, which Reagan is following, and from other statements by Reagan and the Israeli Zionists some picture of Reagan's scheme can be put together.

In the first place the autonomy can be no threat to zionism. Therefore the armed camps and security forces of Israel remain in place and Israel will control the territory for at least a five- year transition. This means, among other things, that they will control the return of Palestinians who have been expelled from their homeland, enabling them to ban the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the organization of the Palestinian liberation movement and the only recognized representative of the Palestinian people.

Under the guns of the Israeli butchers a "self-governing authority" will be set up. Its "powers and responsibilities" will be decided by Israel, Jordan, and perhaps Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with the "participation" of handpicked Palestinian "representatives." This lackey authority would then design elections to a "self- governing authority administration council." Thus the Palestinians are granted "self-government" which will be administered by Israel and certain reactionary Arab governments, allegedly with the "participation" of the Palestinian people but excluding their representative, the PLO. And this is called Palestinian rights. What a sham.

After five years, if this setup proves to be no threat to Israel, and if U.S. imperialism, the Israeli government and Arab reaction agree, autonomy will be granted. But here too the Palestinians will have no power. According to the Israeli cabinet, Reagan's letter to them stated, "The definition of full autonomy as giving the Palestinian inhabitants real authority over themselves, the land and its resources, subject to fair safeguards on water."

What does this mean? First, the Palestinians will have at best limited water rights.

Second, there will be "real" authority over the land, but which land and how much authority is unclear. According to Reagan, "our view on the extent to which Israel should be asked to give up territory will be heavily affected by the extent of true peace and normalization and the security arrangements offered in return." In other words, the Palestinians are not even promised all of the territory, but it will be parceled out between them and the Israeli Zionists. Even Jerusalem is to be put up for negotiations between the Israeli rulers and the reactionary Arab governments. But the Zionists have declared over and over that they will never give up Jerusalem, and Reagan has indicated that he agrees by announcing that he will not allow Jerusalem to be divided.

Furthermore, how the Palestinians are to defend the limited territory that they might be granted is also in doubt. Reagan calls for "progressive Palestinian responsibility for internal security based on capability and performance." This means a Palestinian police force might be permitted to be set up, but only gradually, unarmed and under the full authority of the Israeli occupiers. The Zionists would like to find some Palestinian hooligans who will do the dirty work of controlling the Palestinian resistance for zionism. But only if such lackeys are found will a Palestinian police force be allowed.

Finally, the Palestinians are not even granted the right to decide what country, Israel or Jordan, that the West Bank will be attached to. This question too will only be decided by negotiations among Israel, Jordan and others.

When you add all of this up it means that there is little hope the Palestinians will ever be granted autonomy on the West Bank and Gaza, and even if they are it will amount to little or nothing. Even Begin, who has declared over and over again his determination to annex the West Bank, is agreeable to this kind of autonomy. He has said that the Palestinians can have autonomy "over themselves, not over the land." The Zionists want the land, but they also want to disenfranchise the Palestinians. The Zionists are afraid that allowing more Palestinians to be brought under the Israeli state will lead to the Palestinians outnumbering the Jewish population, and thus becoming a threat to zionism from inside Israel. Autonomy "over themselves, not over the land" is Begin's means of Israel annexing the West Bank and Gaza while disenfranchising the Palestinian population that lives there. Reagan's plan -- offering autonomy, but no power -- is offering essentially what Begin has called for.

Who Will Rule Over the Palestinian Autonomy?

As mentioned above, under Reagan's plan whether the West Bank and Gaza will go to Israel or Jordan is far from settled. For his part, Reagan states that, "The final status of these lands must, of course, be reached through the give-and-take of negotiations. But it is the firm view of the United States that self-government by the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza in association with Jordan offers the best chance for a durable, just and lasting peace." Thus Reagan is holding out the promise of handing over the West Bank to Jordan in order to draw them into negotiations with the Israeli government.

It should be remembered that the Jordan of King Hussein is a fierce enemy of the Palestinian revolution. He is the author of the infamous Black September massacres of 1970, in which the Jordanian army attacked PLO bases and refugee camps in Jordan at the instigation of U.S. imperialism. Most recently, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Hussein's troops opened fire on Palestinians demonstrating against the Zionists, killing a number of them. Thus for the Palestinian people, annexing the West Bank to Jordan is far from a pleasant prospect. But Reagan considers this a possible solution. Hussein is closely tied to U.S. imperialism and the promise of trading "land for security" will help to pacify reactionary Arab governments, draw them even more tightly to U.S. imperialism, and keep Israel secure.

Of course, Reagan has not cut off the possibility of annexing the West Bank and Gaza directly to Israel. This is all a matter of negotiations and, as was pointed out above, Reagan plans to divvy up the territory according to "the security arrangements offered in return."

The Palestinian People Fight for Their Rights

Clearly Reagan's peace plan is a solid gold fraud. It is an attempt to put out the flames of the Palestinian revolution by backing Israeli zionism to the hilt, by making empty promises of "rights" for the Palestinians, and by drawing reactionary Arab governments into the "peace process" to pressure the Palestinians into capitulation.

But the Palestinian people are not so easily suppressed. For decades they have made every sacrifice to win their liberation through struggle. Even as Reagan announced his plan, on the West Bank Palestinian teenagers confronted Israeli machine guns with rocks and bottles. Only days later, following the massacres in Lebanon, the Palestinians launched a general strike against Israel which swept across the West Bank. The Palestinian people are five million strong, they are determined, and they are gaining support even among Jewish people in Israel. Peace will not be found at the negotiating tables of U.S. imperialism, by conciliating with Israeli zionism or in the tender embraces of the reactionary Jordanian state. Peace can only be won through struggle, by overthrowing Israeli zionism and establishing a secular, democratic Palestine. This is the goal of the Palestinian liberation movement. Their struggle will triumph.

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Crocodile tears of the Israeli Labor Party cannot wash the blood off zionism

Since the siege of West Beirut, and especially in the wake of the massacres in the Palestinian camps, some of the American newspapers have suggested that the problem is not the system of Israeli zionism but simply that Defense Minister Sharon and Prime Minister Begin are madmen who are leading Israeli zionism astray down a path of death and destruction. It is reported that even the nuclear madman, President Ronald Reagan himself, believes that Begin has gone too far and that his government should be replaced. The Israeli Labor Party is presented as the alternative. It is being portrayed as a fighter against Begin's excesses, a party of peace, of reasonable men who uphold the "moral" and "humanitarian" traditions of zionism. But such heady, intoxicating claims fall flat in the sobering light of the Labor Party's own statements.

On September 22, the chairman of the Labor Party, Shimon Peres, addressed the Israeli parliament in what was portrayed as a fiery and scathing criticism of Begin and Sharon. What did he actually say? After wailing that "the slaughter of hundreds of innocent men, women and children in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut were conducted by the lowest form of murderers, people who have lost their divine spark, their human image," Peres immediately absolved Israel of any and all blame. "I do not suggest for a second that anybody in Israel would knowingly lend his hand, directly or indirectly, to this shocking criminal act. And even as I come to call this Government and its head to account, I must make clear that I do not accuse them of premeditated connections in any way to this heinous deed. And in the name of the unity of the nation I call upon all members of this house to exclude the Israel Defense Forces from this discussion. Let us leave aside our sons who are serving their nation faithfully. Let us not include the great and important organization that carries out orders, and which is blameless altogether: let us leave them out of this painful political controversy. We are sure that the Israel Defense Forces did not lend its hand to this spilling of blood." (New York Times, September 23,1982)

Such is the "opposition" of the Labor Party. Begin and Sharon are trying to hide the hand that threw the stone. They say that the Lebanese Christian militias are alone to blame for the massacres and that Israel does not have even indirect responsibility for the slaughter. The Labor Party agrees, the Israeli role must be covered up.

But if this is what the Labor Party believes, then what is its disagreement with the Begin government? They complain only that Begin and Sharon have not done a good enough job in covering up their bloody tracks. Speaking of Bashir Gemayel, the assassinated Lebanese Phalangist leader Peres points out that, "just as we were not involved in his election, or should not have been seen as involved in his election, so we should not, we must not be involved or be seen to be involved in the state of things created by the murder of the President-elect of Lebanon, and the acts of vengeance in its wake." (Ibid., emphasis added) In other words, Israel has been caught in the act and exposed for the carnage it is carrying out in Lebanon. The Labor Party is embarrassed that Israel has "been seen to be involved" and complains bitterly that Begin and Sharon should have done a better job of whitewashing the whole affair.

It must be emphasized that the Labor Party has all along supported the invasion of Lebanon and all of the mass slaughter of the Palestinian and Lebanese people that this invasion has wrought. All along the Labor Party has supported the aims of this invasion: the forcible annexation of Southern Lebanon by Israel; the setting up of a pro-Israeli, fascist regime in Lebanon; the crushing of the Palestinian resistance and the terrorizing of the Palestinian populace. The Labor Party does not even disagree with the invasion of West Beirut, only the "timing" of this invasion. (Ibid.) In short the Labor Party is in full accord with Begin and Sharon. They wish only to distance themselves from their crimes and to find a way to put perfume over the stench of Israeli Zionism's atrocities.

Still some might say that at least the Labor Party would not have carried out the massacres in the Palestinian camps; that at least the Labor Party would have had the sense to not send in the Christian militias; that at least the Labor Party still holds to the "moral" traditions, the "humane" past of zionism. But the criminal traditions of zionism and the blood on the hands of the Labor Party itself cannot be covered up. The Labor Party and its predecessors have headed up every government coalition that ruled Israel up to Begin's election in 1977. It presided over the Israeli wars of aggression against the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in 1956, 1967 and 1973. The name of Moshe Dayan, the notorious militarist and butcher of the Arab peoples, is linked to these aggressive wars, and he was embraced as a prominent leader of the Labor Party during these years. During the 1975-76 civil war in Lebanon the Labor Party backed the efforts of the Christian militias to stamp out the revolt of the Palestinian and Lebanese toilers. And it was the author of the plan to set up a pro-Israeli state of these fascist hooligans.

The same day that Peres chastised Begin, Defense Minister Sharon dredged up the horrors of the rule of the Labor Party and chided Peres for his hypocrisy over the recent massacres. Sharon asserted, "When you [Peres -- W.A.] were Defense Minister, there was an affair in Tell Za- atar.... Thousands of people were slaughtered. And Parliament Member Peres, where were the officers of the I.D.F. on that day, and that was an affair that occurred with foreknowledge." (Ibid.) Some Israeli journalists made it clear that Sharon was referring to the fact that Israeli officers were "advisors" to the Phalange militias in the bloody massacre at Tell Zaatar during the Lebanese civil war, and that Peres was the Defense Minister that directed this operation.

The bloody history of the Labor Party shows that the talk of a "humane" and "moral" zionism is a myth. Begin and Sharon's policy is not the exception, but the normal everyday practice. Zionism means massacres and war. It means theocratic rule, religious intolerance and brutal racism. It means genocidal terror against the Palestinians. There will be no peace in the Middle East until zionism is overthrown through revolution and Arabs and Jews live together in a secular democratic Palestinian state.

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Thousands protest the U.S.-backed Israeli aggression in Lebanon

In June, the U.S.-backed military machine of Israeli zionism stormed into Lebanon. There the Israeli aggressors and their Christian fascist puppets have established a brutal reign of terror, murdering over 10,000 Palestinians and Lebanese, maiming many others, and making hundreds of thousands homeless. The monstrous crimes committed in Lebanon have aroused the indignation of democratic and progressive people the world over.

In the United States, the country whose government is the No. 1 supplier of billions of dollars of weapons and other aid to the Israeli aggressors, the invasion of Lebanon has also outraged millions of working and progressive people. Thousands have taken to the streets again and again to protest the carnage in Lebanon. In these actions, the masses have squarely condemned the U.S. government for backing the Israeli zionist aggression.

The current protests form the biggest wave of actions in the U.S. against Israeli atrocities in years. They have brought together not only the Palestinian and other Arab immigrants and progressive Americans who have opposed zionist aggression for many years but also new forces whose eyes are being opened about Israeli militarism for the first time. This includes many Jewish people who had previously been misled by the lies of the Zionists. This is a blow against the chauvinist exclusionism preached by the Zionists. As well, the protests drew clear distinctions between zionism and the Jewish people, thus boldly refuting the lying zionist propaganda that opposition to Israel means anti-Semitism.

The emergence of this movement is significant especially in the face of the powerful opposition it faces. The imperialist parties, both Republican and Democratic alike, are vigorous champions of Israeli aggression. So are the labor bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO and the social-democrats. And even within the movement against Israeli aggression, there are those who seek to tone down and eliminate any condemnation of zionism and imperialism. This works to reconcile the movement to the enemies of the Palestinian struggle, to the capitalist interests who are the real organizers and boosters of zionist aggression and oppression. This policy leads to turning the movement into a tail of U.S. imperialism's designs to crush the Palestinian revolution by organizing a deal between Arab reaction and Israeli zionism.

The Marxist-Leninist Party has actively participated in the protests against U.S.-Israeli aggression. In the movement it has raised high the banner of opposition to imperialism and gone widely among the workers and oppressed masses to mobilize them into the anti-imperialist struggle.

Condemnations of Zionist Aggression Ring Out Across the U.S.

The Israeli invasion of Lebanon began on June 6. Right away, protest actions began to be organized. On June 11, for example, over 150 people marched through downtown Buffalo during the noon hour. The demonstration was militant in its denunciation of Israeli zionism and strongly denounced the U.S. government for backing the Begin-Sharon blitzkrieg.

On the following day, June 12, there was a series of demonstrations across the country against nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war. A million people marched in New York, San Francisco, at the Washington State- British Columbia border, etc. A section of the demonstrators loudly condemned the zionist aggression and carried banners and signs to that effect. The Palestinian contingents a the demonstrations were among the most militant contingents. The voices of those demonstrators who protested Israeli aggression stood in stark contrast to the official organizers of the marches who chose to say nothing against the Israeli war in Lebanon. This was a big exposure of the hypocrisy of their proclamations about being for peace in the world. But this was not at all surprising since they are allied with the Democratic Party which is one of the most vociferous champions of Israeli aggression.

On June 18, the mass murderer Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, came to New York to address the United Nations session on disarmament. There he gave one of the most warmongering speeches. But outside, 5,000 demonstrators militantly condemned his presence and came out to show their solidarity with the Palestinian and Lebanese people. On the same weekend, there were other protests elsewhere in the country. On June 19th, 3,000 people marched in Dearborn, Michigan and militantly condemned zionism and imperialism. Dearborn has one of the largest Palestinian communities in the U.S. and the people showed up in strength to display their solidarity with the struggle at home.

On July 10, demonstrations took place in many cities nationwide. In New York City, several thousand marched through midtown Manhattan and rallied at Union Square. In Washington, D.C., several thousand more showed their solidarity with the Palestinian resistance right in front of the White House. In downtown Detroit, 600 marched against the invasion of Lebanon. There were actions also in Los Angeles, Chicago, etc., while on the previous weekend protests had taken place in Cleveland and Philadelphia. And on July 17, over 600 people demonstrated in San Francisco. They denounced the Israeli siege of Beirut, declared their opposition to U.S. troops being sent to Lebanon and proclaimed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

On August 7, another demonstration took place in Washington, D.C. Over a thousand people participated, coming from cities as far away as Chicago. They chanted militant slogans, including: Reagan, Begin, you should know; we are all the PLO! and Jewish people -- yes; Zionism -- NO! The demonstrators were mainly organized by Palestinian groups in the U.S.

In the last week of August, the Israeli War Minister Ariel Sharon visited the U.S. On August 26, supporters of the Palestinian people demonstrated while he addressed a conference of major zionist organizations. A similar action took place in Washington, D.C. two days later when Sharon visited there.

On September 11, again thousands took to the streets in several cities against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and Washington's backing of the zionist crimes. In Washington, D.C., several thousand marched through the streets of the city. In San Francisco, 700 people took part in the event. On September 18, hundreds marched in Austin, Texas.

On the weekend of September 19, the news began to arrive about the bestial massacres of thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese people in the refugee camps of West Beirut. Immediately, protest actions were organized in various cities. On the evening of September 20th, 500 people rallied in Dearborn, Michigan. They denounced Israel and U.S. imperialism for the massacres in West Beirut. The rally then organized into a car caravan to downtown Detroit. With lights on and horns blaring, flags were waved and slogans shouted along the way. In Detroit, 300 people picketed the Federal Building loudly and vigorously. They chanted such slogans as: Begin (Reagan), Hitler are the same; the only difference is the name! and We are all PLO! The picket continued for three hours, well into the night, while dozens of demonstrators occupied the offices of Michigan Democratic Senators Carl Levin and Don Riegle. On Monday, September 20, a demonstration of 500 was held at the Daley Plaza in Chicago, followed by another demonstration of 250 on September 24. On the 22nd of September, about 300 people attended a memorial in Buffalo. In Boston, on September 20, a militant demonstration held outside the Israeli consulate was attacked by the police. Other actions were organized in many cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., etc. The next weekend, there were memorial rallies in various cities across the country, including downtown Detroit, New York City, and so on.

Besides all the actions mentioned above, there were small and large protests in numerous cities across the country. They all symbolize the solidarity of the progressive people of the U.S. with the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples' valiant struggle against Israeli zionism and its master, U.S. imperialism.

Problems Faced by the Movement Against U.S.-Israeli Aggression

The emergence of the wave of protests in recent months against the Israeli aggression is a very positive development. Israeli zionism is one of the bastions of U.S. imperialism. And the demonstrations have repeatedly condemned the U.S. government for standing behind the zionist aggression. Thus, another impulse has been provided to the movement against U.S. militarism and imperialism that has grown up in recent years.

The fact that thousands have taken to the streets on this question is especially significant considering the tremendous propaganda offensive carried out by the U.S. imperialist ruling circles to whitewash Israeli zionism and besmirch the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. And while thousands are demonstrating, many others are becoming aware of the reactionary and warmongering nature of Israel and Washington's support for it.

At the same time, it must be remembered that the development of this movement faces powerful obstacles. Only by confronting these obstacles can the movement grow.

On the one hand, there are the open enemies. The U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie stands solidly behind the Israeli zionist aggression. The Republican and Democratic Parties both fervently support the Israeli war of extermination against the Palestinian revolution. In fact, the Democrats try to outdo Reagan in enthusiasm for the Israeli aggression. Particularly notorious in this regard is the stand of the top labor bureaucrats of the AFL- CIO, who have long been among the most fervent boosters of Israeli zionism. Last month, the AFL-CIO spent over half a million dollars to take out ads in newspapers saying: "The AFL-CIO is not neutral. We support Israel." This ad fully endorsed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon including the siege of West Beirut.

It is of course not at all surprising to see the open warmongers of the Democratic Party and AFL-CIO stand on the side of zionist butchery in Lebanon. After all, these same worthies also support Reagan's backing of the fascist war against the Salvadorian people. But what is especially significant is that many "liberal" heroes who posture as big "anti-war" and "peace" leaders have also openly supported the Israeli invasion. For example, the AFL-CIO statement was signed unanimously by the entire Executive Board, including such people as William Winpisinger of the machinists' union and Douglas Fraser of the autoworkers' union. These gentlemen promote themselves as "progressive" and Winpisinger is in fact a leader of the Democratic Socialists of America. They claim to be "opposed" to nuclear war and Reagan's policies in El Salvador, but they cannot find it in themselves to oppose the brutal war of aggression in the Middle East. This shows that their "anti-war" stand is just so much posturing.

There are many other examples of this. We have already mentioned that the organizers of the June 12 anti- nuclear protests, who are the leaders of the "nuclear freeze" campaign, chose to remain silent on the carnage in Lebanon. They are closely allied to the capitalist politicians and especially the Democratic Party "liberals." They refuse to condemn imperialism and instead hide under exalted words about "life" and "survival." Yet, strangely enough, they cannot find it in themselves to oppose the destruction of life where the oppressed peoples of Palestine and Lebanon are concerned. What hypocrisy!

What this shows is that it is not just the right wing of the Democratic Party but the largest part of the "left- wing" Democrats too who are supporters of the U.S.-Israeli aggression in Lebanon. These heroes are no friends of the struggle against war; they reek of imperialism, chauvinism and militarism no less than the Reagans, Begins, and so forth. As a result, the largest part of the "left-wing" Democrats are fervently opposed to the development of a movement here against U.S.-Israeli aggression. This is a very important lesson to take note of by all the activists who seek to advance the movement. The treacherous stand of the "left-wing" Democrats should be used to show that Washington's policy in the Middle East is not the mistaken policy of this or that individual but the class policy of U.S. imperialism. It should be used to build the movement independent of both the Republicans and Democrats, including the "left- wing" Democrats.

The current atrocities being committed by U.S.-backed Israeli zionism are opening the eyes of many, many people. Zionism is suffering one of its greatest exposures. In this situation, certain political forces are working to make sure that those people whose eyes are being opened about Israeli aggression do not break with zionism and imperialism in favor of support for a truly democratic solution to the Palestinian question. These forces want to subordinate the protest movement against zionist aggression to the interests of zionism and U.S. imperialism.

First, this includes a section of organized social-democracy in the U.S. who are well known for being longstanding champions of zionist Israel. These forces are halfhearted and insincere in their alleged opposition to the invasion of Lebanon and only mouth a few words in order to be able to influence the movement towards conciliation with zionism and imperialism.

Prominent among such forces is the Democratic Socialists of America and various liberal zionist circles around them. Take a look at the policy of the DSA on the war in Lebanon. The National Executive Committee of the DSA adopted a statement on Lebanon on June 20. This statement tried to mildly hint of some displeasure over the invasion of Lebanon but fell far short of even doing that. Instead, it bolstered all the arguments of Begin and Reagan in support of the Israeli invasion. It was striking in its refusal to clearly condemn the oppressors and aggressors. Thus, while calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops, in true Reagan-Haig fashion it linked this with the call for the withdrawal of "all non- Lebanese armed forces," including the Palestinian fighters! And while claiming to condemn the "massive bombing of civilian population centers in Lebanon by the Israeli forces," it linked even this with the zionist-inspired condemnation of the "reckless use of the civilian population as shelter by the Palestinian combatants"! Thus, by equating the oppressors and oppressed, the DSA is not opposing Israeli aggression at all; it is merely providing a liberal hand-wringing cover for the crimes of the Israeli Zionists. (Excerpts from the DSA statement are published in Democratic Left, June 1982, p.12)

What is especially notable about the DSA's statement is not so much their defense of zionist crimes (they are well known for that), but their interest in diverting the protest movement towards this wretched pro-zionist position. The DSA statement goes on to say: "The local organizations of the DSA should join in protest against the Israeli policies in the occupied territories and in the conflict in Lebanon, but only under circumstances where our support for both Palestinian self-determination and the right of Israel to a secure existence is made clear.'' (Ibid., emphasis as in the original) And what does the DSA's support for both Palestinian self-determination and Israel mean in reality? It means a tiny bit of lip service to Palestinian self-determination while condemning the Palestinian liberation struggle and upholding the oppressor state of Israel, a state whose very existence is based on the negation of democracy and the national rights of the Palestinians. This stand is in fact the general policy of U.S. imperialism -- the Reagans and Carters are well known to mouth phrases about Palestinian rights while backing Israel to the hilt with billions of dollars of weapons.

The social-democrats of the DSA demand that they will participate in the protests against Israeli actions only under conditions where their pro-imperialist and pro-zionist policy is "made clear.'' What this boils down to is a demand that the protests eliminate the condemnation of Israeli zionism, that they conciliate with U.S. imperialism and that they do not vigorously support the Palestinian liberation struggle and the goal of a democratic and secular Palestine. This is nothing but a demand to subordinate the movement to zionism and imperialism.

Unfortunately, among many of the official organizers of the protests against Israeli aggression, there are efforts being made to weaken -this movement by adapting to the demands of social-democracy. Many of the demonstrations organized in this period are being called by coalitions which are dominated by revisionist and trotskyite political forces, such as the Workers World Party. These groups have long claimed to be opponents of zionism and supporters of the Palestinian struggle, but today they are trying in a number of ways to eliminate or tone down the condemnation of U.S. imperialism and Israeli zionism.

For example, certain forces in the coalition that organized the September 11 march in San Francisco tried to pass a rule that organizations participating in the event could not have their own banners and slogans and that the picket signs should not mention zionism or imperialism. This rule was rejected after comrades of the Marxist-Leninist Party opposed it at a coalition meeting.

Meanwhile, in certain other cities, efforts have been made to split the movement with the idea that there should be Palestinian and Arab demonstrations with one sort of politics and "American support'' demonstrations with another sort of politics. This even went to the extent of refusal to mobilize American workers and progressive people to take part in Palestinian-organized events and vice versa, of scheduling conflicting events, and so forth. What this separatist policy boils down to is that the "American support'' demonstrations should not be fully in solidarity with the Palestinian revolution and should not firmly condemn zionism and imperialism -- they should not be "contaminated'' by the presence of militant Palestinians vigorously declaring their support for the Palestinian revolution.

This separatist policy is reminiscent of cultural nationalist and bourgeois third-worldist views which have long been part of the arsenal of the opportunists. With demagogy about "third world peoples'' being more revolutionary, they justify craven reformism and pacifism for the American workers and progressives. On the other hand, they refuse to distinguish between reaction and the revolutionary forces among the "third world people," thus serving to subordinate the revolutionary forces to the reactionaries. In the current situation, this is manifested in applauding or refusing to oppose Arab reaction, which is stabbing the Palestinian struggle in the back.

Why do the opportunists refuse to hit squarely at imperialism? Why do they seek to tone down the condemnation of zionism? It is to allow the imperialist politicians, especially the Democrats, to come into the movement on the basis of their hypocritical statements about "concern" for the loss of civilian lives, etc. But to do this is to narrow down the movement. It only helps to whitewash the role of U.S. imperialism as the chief backer of Israeli zionism. In fact, this stand only helps to bolster Reagan's strategy against the Palestinian liberation struggle, which is to use the Israeli war machine to crush the resistance with fire and sword while portraying Washington as a "peacekeeper" and thus impose a reactionary neo-colonial solution on the Palestinian people through an accord between zionism and Arab reaction.

One of the significant features of the current movement against Israeli aggression is that many new people are coming into the struggle who had been misled by the lies of the Zionists. This is a positive step. But many of these people oppose the militarist policies of Begin and Sharon as the policies of individual politicians in Israel, instead of recognizing that the existence of a zionist, theocratic and exclusivist state inevitably means the national oppression of the Palestinian people and expansionist wars against the Arab peoples. Our Party welcomes the new people into the movement and helps them move forward. But this can not be done through conciliation with zionism, even of its most liberal varieties, but by helping these people open their eyes to the real nature of zionist Israel.

In sum, the movement against U.S.-Israeli aggression can be advanced only through remaining firm against imperialism and zionism. Otherwise, the movement will be turned into a plaything of the imperialists for their dirty designs against the Palestinian people.

The Marxist-Leninist Party Works to Squarely Target Imperialism

The Marxist-Leninist Party has enthusiastically supported the growth of the protest movement against U.S.- Israeli aggression. Throughout the country, the branches of the MLP have vigorously participated in the demonstrations, with banners, placards and slogans firmly denouncing U.S. imperialism and zionism. The banners of the Party have boldly declared Victory to the Palestinian revolution! The Party has worked hard to provide a militant spirit in the various demonstrations and rallies.

Throughout this period, the comrades of the Party have gone widely among the workers explaining the issues involved in the war in Lebanon. Many leaflets were issued on the question. On July 6, The Workers' Advocate issued a special bulletin against the invasion of Lebanon. The July 20 issue of the newspaper carried a series of articles, explaining the objectives of the U.S.-Israeli aggression, the historical background of zionism and exposing the treachery of Arab reaction against the Palestinian struggle. In this wide-scale agitation, many discussions were held with workers on the need to fight zionism and imperialism. In a number of cities, including Buffalo, Seattle, and Detroit, meetings were also organized to discuss the issues involved in the invasion of Lebanon.

The entire work of the Party in this movement has been based on the orientation that the real force against the U.S.-Israeli aggression lies among the workers, oppressed nationalities and progressive masses generally. It is here that the appeal should be directed to build the movement and not to the warmongering Democratic Party politicians, sellout labor bureaucrats and social-democratic defenders of Zionism. The war in Lebanon has provided an unparalleled exposure of the real nature of Israeli zionism -- this should be used to strengthen the fire against imperialism and zionism and not to weaken it. It is along these lines that the prospects lie for the growth of the movement.

[Photo: On September 11th, 700 people denounced the U.S.-Israeli aggression in San Francisco. Photo shows the MLP contingent in the demonstration.]

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Buffalo Meeting Condemns U.S.-Israeli Aggression

On August 11, the Buffalo Branch of the MLP organized a meeting to denounce the U.S.-backed Israeli invasion of Lebanon. For a week prior to the meeting, leaflets containing a reprint from The Workers' Advocate were distributed at factories, schools and in the community. The meeting was attended by 45 people, including many Palestinian workers and students, several Iranians, etc.

A comrade from the Buffalo Branch delivered a brief speech which dwelt on two points. The first dealt with exposing U.S. imperialism as the instigator and puppet master of Israeli zionism. It denounced Reagan's attempts to pass himself off as an opponent of the genocidal attacks on Beirut and warned against any illusions about a policy change on the part of U.S. imperialism. The second point was a denunciation of Arab reaction which showed its "support" for the Palestinian cause by stabbing the Palestinians in the back. The speech was warmly received and as the subsequent discussion showed, it hit on the appropriate points.

The discussion was opened by a representative of an Arab social club with a statement welcoming the holding of the meeting. This statement focused on the struggle of the Palestinian people and denounced U.S. support for Israeli zionism.

The discussion which followed was extremely lively. The Palestinian workers who had come participated vigorously. The Palestinians showed great morale and determination. Besides this, the discussion also showed the following:


1. Consciousness that U.S. imperialism backs Israeli zionism to the hilt and that zionism is the creature of imperialism is stronger than ever. Connected to this is better understanding that U.S. support for Israel is not a mere policy that can be changed through appeals to bourgeois politicians but a basic component of U.S. imperialism which must be opposed through mass struggle.


2. Soviet social-imperialism was explicitly condemned. In particular, it was noted that the Soviet Union finds ways to support Israel while only offering mild words of support for the Palestinians. But many people also made the general condemnation that the Soviet Union is not socialist but imperialist like the U.S.


3. There was very strong sentiment against the reactionary regimes that stabbed the Palestinians in the back. It was noted that they cannot and will not support the Palestinians and fight the Zionists. Rather, there was clear recognition of the need for the working masses in Arab countries to fight Arab reaction and that these masses and their revolutionary movement are the real allies of the Palestinians. As well, the Palestinians opposed Khomeini and pointed out that their real supporters in Iran were the revolutionary masses.

The high point of the discussion was an impassioned statement by a Palestinian woman expressing the great determination of the Palestinian people to fight on till victory and affirming that the working masses and the revolutionary movements are their true allies. This statement was received by prolonged applause and clearly concentrated the sentiments of the meeting.

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From the 'Chicago Anti-Imperialist Newsletter':

U.S. Imperialism Is No Peacemaker!

(The following is an excerpt from the Chicago Anti-Imperialist Newsletter, which is published under the leadership of the Chicago Branch of the MLP to advance the anti-imperialist movement. It is taken from the September 2, 1982 issue of the paper.)

A striking feature of the development of this situation over the last several weeks has been the relentless propaganda barrage in the bourgeois press portraying U.S. imperialism as the epitome of selfless, round-the- clock "peacemakers." The bloodstained warmonger Reagan has been pushed as the "levelheaded statesman and humanitarian" keeping the fanatic Begin on a short leash. Philip Habib has been promised a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by the two-faced Reaganite Senator Charles Percy and has been hailed as a "great peace negotiator," etc. This is a sickening sham. Reagan and the U.S. imperialists are dripping with the blood of the carnage in Lebanon because they are the ones who have unleashed Begin and his gang of rabid killers and because they are the ones who have armed the zionist war machine to the teeth. Reagan, Schultz and the other ultra-militarists have been joined by Kennedy and the other liberal "doves of peace" from the Democratic Party who are gushing with enthusiasm for the slaughter which the Israelis have been perpetuating in Lebanon.

With his demented posturing as a peacemaker, Reagan is bringing a proven imperialist method to his madness. He is picking up the mantle of the human rights preacher Carter and the Democratic Party. The Carter-Sadat-Begin Camp David accord was supposed to secure peace. But they have only secured Israel's southern flank so that it could wage war in Lebanon. Today Bashir Gemayel is already talking about a peace treaty with the Zionists which would clear the stage for deeper penetration of U.S. imperialist capital investments under the guise of "rebuilding" Lebanon. Such a treaty will further conditions for new expansionist offensives against the other states in the region by Begin and Sharon.

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Union of Anti-Imperialist Students (Buffalo)

Condemn U.S. Imperialism for Backing the Israeli Invasion

(The following are excerpts from The Buffalo Anti-Imperialist Newsletter, organ of the Union of Anti-Imperialist Students in Buffalo, Issue No. 17, September 3, 1982.)

U.S. imperialism is backing the Israeli aggressors to the hilt. Reagan is wringing his hands and "deploring the bloodshed," but everyone knows that it is the Pentagon which has supplied the tens of billions of dollars worth of tanks, warplanes and cluster bombs which made this massacre possible. In fact, all of the U.S. imperialist politicians are applauding the zionist butchers. Reagan and other ultra-militarists have been joined by Kennedy and other liberals of the Democratic Party in gushing with enthusiasm for the slaughter which the Israeli invaders are perpetrating in Lebanon. The Democratic Party has shamelessly declared that with the latest Israeli assault against the Palestinian people, "international terrorism has been dealt a severe blow," yet it is as plain as daylight that it is the Israeli Zionists who are the real terrorists. ...

Despite the fact that the Palestinian people are being confronted by a ring of enemies -- U.S. imperialism and its zionist henchmen in the forefront, as well as the hypocritical "friends" who have betrayed them at crucial moments including Arab reaction, Soviet social-imperialism andothers -- the brave and heroic Palestinian people have kept their militancy and fighting spirit. They will never put down their arms in the fight for freedom and their homeland. Through struggle and sacrifice, they will overcome the tremendous difficulties that they are facing today, just as they have done in the past. They have declared that they will continue to fight until final victory. All the progressive people around the world are in wholehearted solidarity with them. The demand of the Palestinian people for a secular and democratic Palestine, in which every inhabitant -- whether Arab or Jew -- enjoys equal rights, a Palestine which will no longer be used as a tool of imperialism for invading and massacring the Arab people, is a just demand and their struggle is undefeatable.

Down with U.S. imperialism and Israeli zionism!

Long live the Palestinian people's struggle!

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Down with Reagan's Plots to Strangle the Nicaraguan People!

Over the last six months, U.S. imperialism has escalated its efforts to strangle the Nicaraguan people. It is seeking revenge against the Nicaraguan revolution which overthrew the fascist Somoza regime in 1979. The Somoza regime had been a bastion of imperialism and reaction in Central America. Its overthrow was an example which inspired the oppressed people throughout the region and provided the revolutionary movements with a powerful impetus. The U.S. government and the multinational corporations which plunder the land and labor of the people of Central America have never reconciled themselves to the victories of the Nicaraguan people.

Last March, the Washington Post had reported that Reagan authorized $19 million for a 500-man paramilitary force of Somoza's henchmen to launch operations against Nicaragua. Since that time, many armed raids have been organized from Honduras and fierce clashes have taken place. The counter-revolutionary attacks are being organized by the Pentagon and the CIA with the full support of the reactionary Honduran military. Indeed, there are many signs that plans have been drawn up for a full-scale invasion of Nicaragua from Honduras.

In coordination with this military pressure, other fronts of disruption have also been opened up against the Nicaraguan people and the Sandinista government. For example, the Catholic church hierarchy has stepped up its intrigues to the point of launching armed provocations inside the country. Meanwhile the capitalist businessmen inside Nicaragua continue to organize economic sabotage. As well the international imperialist agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been applying economic pressure on the country. Clearly, a multi-pronged offensive is being carried out by U.S. imperialism to topple the Sandinista regime and replace it with a fascist pro-imperialist government. The scenario in Nicaragua is in fact similar to that used to bring down the Allende regime in Chile in 1973 and replace it with the savage Pinochet government.

However, the Nicaraguan people are vigilant and aroused against U.S. imperialism. Only three years ago, they emerged triumphant from the armed revolutionary struggle which overthrew the hated U.S. puppet Somoza. The revolutionary energies released through that struggle remain alive among the masses. This is a powerful force which imperialism has to reckon with in its plots to turn the clock back in Nicaragua.

Armed Raids From Honduras

In recent months, the raids by rightist bands have continued from Honduras. These bands are mainly made up of thousands of ex-members of Somoza's National Guard and operate from nine bases on the Honduran- Nicaraguan border.

On July 4, a Nicaraguan helicopter was fired on near Seven Bank, 18 miles northeast of Puerto Cabezas. Nicaraguan troops were dispatched there and fought a three-day battle with5 hundreds of counter-revolutionaries. Seventy-four of the rightists were killed. On July 19, light planes with rockets and bombs attacked oil storage and refinery sites in Nicaragua from Honduras.

There have been a number of cases where heavily armed bands of rightists have surrounded and killed Nicaraguan soldiers in isolated army and militia posts. On July 24, for example, 15 soldiers were killed in San Francisco del Norte. Later, 40,000 people showed up to attend a memorial on their behalf in Managua, the capital of the country. This was one expression of the broad hatred among the Nicaraguan masses for the U.S.-organized plots.

In the first week of September, rightists attacked a government construction site, killing one construction worker and damaging 31 trucks and other construction equipment with sophisticated explosives. It was also reported that the counter-revolutionaries continue to carry out other sabotage attacks, mortar shellings and raids on Nicaraguan villages.

It is no secret that the counterrevolutionary henchmen of Somoza are working with the full support of the Honduran army. In fact, this is one of the chief reasons why the U.S. government has bolstered the Honduran armed forces.

The U.S. government has 119 military advisors working with the Honduran army, the biggest number in Central America. In addition, Honduras is today the second largest recipient of military aid in the region. This year, Reagan gave Honduras $10.6 million in military aid, which is about as much as the U.S. sold or gave in military equipment to that country during the entire decade of the 1970's. Besides the direct military aid, Reagan also gave Honduras $39 million in "economic aid" this year -- a $6 million increase over last year. For 1983, Reagan has asked for $15 million in military aid as well as $21 million to expand and modernize three Honduran airfields so they can handle large U.S. planes, such as transports and jet fighters. Indeed, U.S. imperialism has helped make the Honduran air force the strongest in Central America. It includes 18 modern jets and 20 helicopters.

The U.S. government has raised a big hue and cry about the alleged big military threat that Nicaragua poses to the region. Last spring, the Pentagon held special press conferences to show spy satellite pictures which allegedly provided proof positive of the "massive buildup" of the military in Nicaragua, and especially of their air force. All they could come up with was some photos of rather ordinary military installations, but the Pentagon warned that their real insidious character was that they were built on "familiar" Cuban, Eastern European, etc., lines.

These were all nothing but Hitler-style big lies to turn the truth upside down. In fact, it is the Honduran military which is armed to the teeth, to say nothing of the massive forces that the U.S. itself has in the region. And we don't need any special spy satellite pictures to know that the Honduran military is being built up on "familiar" U.S. patterns. Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan air force is only made up of three helicopters, three old training jets, some old transports, a few pilots and a very poor fueling system. Considering what they are faced with from the U.S. and their lackeys, it is no wonder that the Nicaraguans are trying to get some new planes.

The present-day beefing up of the Honduran military by the U.S. has taken place ever since the revolutionary struggle heated up in Central America in the late 1970's. From 1978- 80, Honduras got $5.9 million in military aid, which amounts to 40% of all military aid granted to the country in the previous 30 years. In the same two-year period, the U.S. spent $1.4 million to train 613 Honduran military personnel -- nearly 20% of all Hondurans trained by the U.S. in the previous 30 years.

All this has been meant for bolstering Honduras as the main base against the revolutionary upsurge in the region. Honduras is well situated in this regard -- it borders on Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. The Honduran army has repeatedly helped the Salvadorian troops carry out operations against the liberation fighters. As well, there have been a number of cases where they jointly carried out massacres of civilians. It should be remembered that Honduras has long played this sort of reactionary role for U.S. imperialism. Back in 1954, it was this same country which was used by the CIA as a staging ground to send Guatemalan reactionaries to topple the reformist Arbenz government in Guatemala.

There is much evidence today that suggests that the present raids into Nicaragua are merely the prelude to a full-scale invasion. Bellicose proclamations from the Honduran generals are quite common. In early August, the U.S. and Honduran armed forces carried out joint military exercises near the Nicaraguan border.

Then, at the end of August, Colonel Leonides Torres Arias, who was head of Honduran military intelligence from 1976 to January 1982, broke ranks with his fellow officers and declared in Mexico City that General Alvarez, the strongman of the Honduran military, was planning "an adventure of madness" against Nicaragua. The colonel also pointed out that the military was strengthening repression at home. He explained that his remarks were made from the fear that Alvarez would thrust the country into a war which it could not win and that his actions were leading to the growth of revolutionary struggle at home.

The Catholic Church Steps Up Its Intrigues

Besides raids from outside carried out by Somozistas, U.S. imperialism is also relying on various elements inside Nicaragua to carry out its destabilization campaign. This includes sections of the Nicaraguan capitalists who have used their control of economic enterprises, news media, etc., to organize a bourgeois opposition to the government.

One of the spearheads of the U.S.- instigated disruption has been through sections of the churches active in Nicaragua. Earlier this year, a number of U.S.-based churches were accused of links with the CIA; several people, including some American missionaries, were expelled from the country. It is well known that the CIA uses religious missionaries to carry out various kinds of reactionary operations in foreign countries.

The leadership of the Catholic church has also been active in organizing the pro-imperialist opposition inside Nicaragua. In July and August, they stepped up their hostile activities against the Sandinista regime to the level of organizing armed provocations.

One of the features of the Nicaraguan revolution against Somoza was that while the Catholic church hierarchy supported Somoza, many of the lower levels of the church sympathized with the Sandinistas. Many of these priests and other church workers have been repeatedly ordered to get back in line. In a recent case, in July the reactionary archbishop of Nicaragua, Obando y Bravo, ordered the transfer of a priest from his poor parish in Santa Rosa to another one in a more prosperous neighborhood. This priest had worked with the Sandinistas for over 20 years. His parishioners occupied the church in protest. After a scuffle between the protesters and church authorities who had come to shut down the church, the church was closed down. In August, the Pope wrote a letter endorsing the Archbishop's positions on strengthening the Catholic church in Nicaragua and called for rallying behind the hierarchy.

In mid-August, the Archbishop came for a procession to Santa Rosa. Simultaneously rightist-instigated youths from Catholic high schools in several towns took over the schools in strikes against the government. Their ostensible reason was that allegedly a priest who is the official spokesman for the Archbishop and director of the Catholic radio station had been defamed by the government because the Sandinista press had exposed that the priest had been caught in a compromising situation by an irate husband. On August 16, in Masaya, rightists demonstrated and sacked the neighborhood police station and the office of the local Sandinista Defense Committee. When pro-government demonstrators approached, reactionaries opened fire from within the Salesian school, killing three and wounding seven. An investigation later revealed that a number of priests were behind the attack. Five foreign priests were also implicated in the provocations.

"Commander Zero" Emerges as the Latest Hero of the Imperialists

In mid-April, Eden Pastora Gomez, also known as Commander Zero, a former leader of the Sandinistas reappeared in public with calls for the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government. The significance of this event is not that Pastora is a force himself, but that he is useful to the imperialists as a figurehead. Pastora himself is a zero politically. He is simply an adventurer who attached himself to the revolutionary struggle, a phenomenon quite common to many revolutions. He has no support among the masses today. Rather his strategy is to hope for economic dislocation and the help of the imperialists to put him in power.

Eden Pastora had earned a reputation for leading the 1978 assault on Somoza's national palace which signaled the downfall of his regime shortly afterwards. After the overthrow of Somoza, Pastora served in various high positions in the Sandinista government, including Vice-Minister of Defense and head of the militia. In 1981 he disappeared from public view, amid statements that he had gone to other lands to fight for the revolution. He did go to Guatemala briefly, but the Guatemalan revolutionaries have recently exposed that he was more of a disruptor than anything else.

On April 15, however, Pastora surfaced in Costa Rica with a press conference bitterly denouncing the Sandinista regime. His main charges were that the government was not being loyal to its proclaimed goals of adhering to the program of "mixed economy" and "pluralism" and that it was allegedly coming under the control of Marxist-Leninists. Of course, these are the very same charges made by the U.S. State Department, showing where Pastora's true inspiration comes from.

It is not very hard to see why Pastora is so concerned about the fate of a "mixed economy" in Nicaragua -- he is linked to various rich private capitalist interests in the country. In fact, he is himself a landholder who became a prosperous businessman in Central America, with numerous interests in Costa Rica. He had contradictions with the Somoza regime. After having flirted with the Sandinistas in the late 1960's and early 1970's, he only committed himself to their struggle in 1977, at a time when a large section of the anti-Somoza bourgeois opposition decided to ally themselves with the revolution. After the overthrow of Somoza, these bourgeois forces disintegrated, a section remaining with the Sandinistas while others dropped away. The section of the bourgeoisie which Pastora defends forms one of the main social bases for the U.S. imperialist-instigated counter-revolutionary campaign today.

The imperialists are enthusiastic about Pastora because he is useful to them as a figurehead. That value comes from the fact that the other anti- Sandinista opposition chieftains are mainly made up of Somozistas and openly linked with the U.S., thus making them the object of a great deal of hatred from the Nicaraguan masses. But with Pastora, the imperialists try to cash in on his credentials as a former leader of the Sandinista forces. He provides a bourgeois-democratic screen behind which the forces of the fascist counter-revolution are being organized.

What is especially interesting about the Pastora case is that he is receiving support from various imperialist and reactionary forces in Western Europe and Latin America who have promoted themselves as great friends of the Nicaraguan revolution. Indeed, Pastora's approach has been to solicit the support of these forces rather than openly allying himself with the U.S. government.

In June, Pastora wound up a three- week tour of Western Europe, in which he was publicly received by important leaders of the Socialist International (SI), including reportedly Willy Brandt, the West German social- democrat who is chairman of the SI. In addition, Pastora has met with the Social-Democratic and Christian- Democratic chieftains in Venezuela and also had a secret meeting with the President-elect of Mexico, Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado. He also has friends in the Panamanian National Guard.

Pastora's mask of not allying with U.S. imperialism has also been worn thin. For one thing, one of his closest supporters is Arturo Cruz, a former member of the post-Somoza government who is now back at his job at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington where he worked prior to 1979. Moreover, Pastora has himself made plans to visit Washington later this year to meet with various "liberal" politicians in Congress.

Pastora's treachery has been strongly condemned by the Nicaraguan masses. He is popularly referred to as "the traitor." There is an important lesson to be learned from his case. The support Pastora has received from the Socialist International and its friends such as the ruling party in Mexico demonstrates that the Nicaraguan people cannot trust the social-democratic-type forces who pretend to support their struggle. Social-democracy is an instrument of imperialism and no friend of the liberation struggle.

Pastora and the imperialists charge that the Sandinista government is a Marxist-Leninist government. Things would be better if this were the case, but the Nicaraguan regime is not a Marxist-Leninist government. Although it came to power through revolutionary means, it is weakly formed and does not have clear ideas about what policies to pursue. Various political trends are trying to influence it, from social-democracy to pro-Soviet revisionism through the Castroites of Cuba.

Indeed, Castroism exercises a good deal of influence on the Nicaraguan government. Castro urges Nicaragua to follow the bankrupt course Cuba has taken under his leadership. Castro and company advocate putting brakes on the revolutionary process through a liberal and conciliatory attitude towards both domestic reaction and imperialism. In fact, the Cuban revisionists are one of the chief sources of the line of accommodation with social-democracy. As well, Castroite revisionism advocates the path of integration with the Soviet social-imperialist bloc as the answer to the U.S. imperialist offensive, the same path Cuba took in the early 1960's when it gave up its independence in favor of becoming a neo-colony of the Soviet Union.

Imperialism tries to use the weaknesses of the Nicaraguan government as a force in their favor. But no matter what the weaknesses of the government, it is the force of the workers and peasants of the country that imperialism has to contend with in its counterrevolutionary offensive. The raids of the Somozista gangsters, the provocations of the Catholic church and the treachery of Eden Pastora have all aroused the just resistance of the people. Indeed, it is no easy task for imperialism to stamp out the fires of freedom that burn strong within the hearts of the Nicaraguan people. From the heroic resistance to the U.S. marines earlier in this century to the revolution which smashed the Somoza fascist dictatorship, the Nicaraguan people have shown their courage and determination to fight with arms in hand for their freedom and liberation.

The American workers and progressive people must stand with the Nicaraguan people in their struggle against the imperialist plots. Nicaragua must be allowed to settle its own affairs, without U.S. imperialist dictate.

U.S. imperialism, hands off Nicaragua!

[Photo: Mass demonstration in Masaya, Nicaragua celebrating the third anniversary of the overthrow of Somoza, July 19.]

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Salvadorian revolutionaries pound away at the fascist regime

The revolutionaries in El Salvador are continuing to pound away at the fascist regime. In recent months anti-government forces have launched numerous raids on military and economic targets and have carried out extended offensives in some areas. These actions rebuff the claims of both the Reaganites and Democrats that the March 28 elections fraud represented a "political solution" to the problems in El Salvador. The only solution to the repression, poverty and oppression faced by the people of that country is for the U.S. imperialists to get out of El Salvador and for the liberation fighters to carry the revolution through to victory.

Revolutionary forces have been active throughout all of El Salvador, and especially in the eastern sector. They have cut the railroad lines between San Salvador and the east, blowing up bridges and attacking freight trains. The rebels have overrun more than nine towns since May and have inflicted heavy casualties on government troops in attacks on other towns. Government patrols and convoys have been attacked along the Pan American Highway and at least one U.S.-made helicopter and fighter bomber have been shot down.

Despite a massive offensive by government troops, the rebels have maintained their positions on the Guazapa volcano. Even inside San Salvador, the regime's troops are not safe; recent reports tell of battles between soldiers and slum dwellers inside the capital.

The revolutionaries continue a wide range of attacks on economic targets. Attacks on power stations have blacked out large areas of El Salvador for weeks at a time. Indeed, it has been estimated that in the past 18 months, the guerrillas have blown up 45 bridges, attacked 20 railway lines, bombed 650 electric generators and pylons.

The actions of the liberation fighters are taking a heavy toll on the forces of the fascist regime. According to the government's own figures, it has had 3,800 casualties in the last year. To counter the successes of the revolutionaries, the fascist regime continues its reign of terror against the masses of people. Twenty-three members of the teachers union in San Salvador were recently arrested and are to be put on trial in a secret military court. Meanwhile, the massacres continue. The government security forces continue to murder thousands of civilians, at an average rate of 100 per week. Recently, a horrible massacre of 300 civilians took place in the village of Amatitan Arriba near the Pan American Highway.

In these fascist atrocities, the Salvadorian government has the full support of the Reagan government. Indeed, the troops who carried out the massacre at Amatitan Arriba were from the battalions which had been trained in the U.S. They were given air support by U.S.-made A-37 fighter bombers. The U.S. government maintains a military assistance group in El Salvador which presently has at least 39 "advisors" in the field with government troops. Pentagon officials try to write away the massacres of civilians with pleas of "tactical difficulties." Lt. General Wallace Nutting, commander of the U.S. Southern Command based in Panama, recently testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that problems with "tactical intelligence" make it difficult in El Salvador "to apply force with discrimination." This is a backhanded admission that the people are against the government forces. Such being the case, the fascists find it difficult to "discriminate" the fighters from unarmed civilians, including women and children. So the solution these fascist cutthroats come up with is to apply "indiscriminate" force -- that is, to wipe out whole villages, massacring one and all. This is the same policy applied by the U.S. imperialists in Vietnam, where entire villages were napalmed and bombed, or all of the people herded into concentration camps called "strategic hamlets."

To justify massive military and economic aid to the Salvadorian regime, the Reagan administration is trying to portray the government led by the notorious death squad commander, Roberto D'Aubuisson, as "moderate" and "representative." This summer Reagan once again certified to Congress that the government of El Salvador is making progress in "human rights." This is despite the well-documented daily atrocities of the government. In the last three years, 35,000 civilians have been killed, mostly by the "death squads" associated with D'Aubuisson. Just in the last six months, 3,600 people have been killed and 760 "disappeared" (taken away by government security forces or "death squads" and never seen again).

Reagan's other justification for propping up the fascist regime in El Salvador has been the argument about "Soviet terrorism" and "Cuban intervention." But this argument has been repeatedly exposed as equally ridiculous as the talk about the regime making "progress" in " human rights." It was recently exposed once again by Wayne S. Smith, an employee for 25 years of the U.S. State Department. Smith resigned in July as head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba. In a recent article in the New York Times, Smith stated that the Reagan administration's evidence for Cuban arms shipments to El Salvador "has never been solid" and "If the guerrillas had received all the arms reported by U.S. intelligence, the Salvadorian army would be outgunned 20 to l."

The U.S. government is clearly a bunch of liars! Far from being Soviet or Cuban intervention, the roots of the war in El Salvador are to be found in the oppression of the people by the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys, the Salvadorian capitalists and landowners. The U.S. government, first under Carter and now under Reagan, has tried to cover up these basic truths in an endless stream of lies. And these lies are lapped up year after year by the honorable ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic and Republican Parties in Congress, who put their mark of approval on the continuous flow of millions and millions of dollars worth of bullets, guns, helicopters and other weapons.

The intervention of the U.S. government is the bipartisan class policy of the capitalist billionaires who rule the U.S. The workers and progressive people of the U.S. must continue to build the anti-imperialist struggle as our answer to the monstrous crimes being committed by the U.S. government in El Salvador. We must hold high the banner of solidarity with the revolutionary struggle of the Salvadorian people.

U.S. imperialism, get out of El Salvador!

Victory to the Salvadoran people!


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Solidarity with the imprisoned Venezuelan revolutionaries

Earlier this year, the Christian-Democratic government of Venezuela launched a fierce wave of repression against the revolutionary and popular organizations. On April Comrade Gabriel Puerto Aponte, General Secretary of the Partido Bandera Roja, the Marxist-Leninist party in Venezuela, was arrested. At the same time, a number of militants of popular organizations and several students and workers were also detained and thrown into prison at the orders of the Military Tribunals. These comrades included Eduardo Solorzano, Eder Puerto, Jonny Guillen, Rafael Venegas and Carlos Lopez, who are all leaders of the Committee of Popular Struggle and active in various mass fronts, including the Venezuelan movement in solidarity with the people of El Salvador. Although they are political leaders of known public activity, these comrades have been falsely charged of involvement in "guerrilla activities." The newspaper of the Committee of Popular Struggle, Que Hacer?, has also continued to suffer vicious persecution of the Venezuelan authorities. Its editor is among the comrades arrested. The Workers' Advocate has just recently been informed that the persecution of the government has forced Que Hacer? to cease publication; another publication will soon take its place.

The wave of repression launched by the Venezuelan government is aimed at all forms of organization of the people. The Workers' Advocate strongly condemns the reactionary offensive of the Venezuelan government. This government functions as a tool of U.S. imperialism 's counter-revolutionary offensive in Central America and the Caribbean. Among other things, it is notorious for supporting the fascist regime of El Salvador in its war against the Salvadorian people. The Workers' Advocate reaffirms its solidarity with the revolutionary and popular movements of the Venezuelan people and with the Marxist-Leninists of Venezuela. We are confident that the repression cannot hold back the forward march of the revolution.

Below we reprint a statement from the Partido Bandera Roja in which they explain their position regarding the arrest of Comrade Gabriel Puerto Aponte and the other arrests in April. It is reprinted from the April 28, 1982 issue of Que Hacer? Translation by The Workers' Advocate staff.

In the face of the wave of speculations that the repressive bodies are unfolding with the help of some organs of the press regarding the arrest of Comrade Gabriel Puerta Aponte, the Secretariat of the National Political Committee of Bandera Roja wishes to put forward the following to the working class, the Venezuelan people, and the militants of the Party:

1. Knowledge of the internal life of the organizations and the movements of our cadre allows us to state that it is absolutely untrue that the arrest of the comrade is due to "long and patient intelligence work by the police.''

The declarations of Remberto Uzcategui [director of DISIP, the political police -- ed.] in this direction have no objective other than to bolster the confidence of the bourgeoisie in their repressive bodies.

2. We refute categorically that the arrest of our comrade is due to an act of treason by some militant of the Party. The speculations of the press in this direction seek to create confusion in the revolutionary movement and distrust among the masses of the revolutionary organizations. We hope that from his place of confinement he can explain to the people the truth about the way in which the events of Friday night, April 9, took place.

Where practices exist that are at variance with revolutionary vigilance, the people can be sure that we will adopt corresponding measures.

3. We explain that the arrest of our comrade has nothing to do with the arrest of Pablo Hernandez Parra. There has been no political link, much less an organizational one, with this gentleman since February 1976, the date when he was expelled from our Party. We must also explain that the popular singer and fighter Ali Primera has no connection with our Party. The statements of Remberto Uzcategui trying to link the break-in of Ali Primera's residence with the arrest of our comrade only seek to justify before public opinion what is a clear act of harassment against the popular movement and especially against the powerful movement that is developing in our country in solidarity with the fraternal Salvadorian people, a movement in which Ali Primera is an important activist.

The other people captured in arrests and break-ins have nothing to do with us; they are leaders of mass organizations, unions, etc., and therefore should be released immediately.

4. We firmly and categorically deny the assertions of those who consider that our Party has been "beheaded'' or "dismantled.'' The arrest of Comrade Gabriel Puerta Aponte, General Secretary of the Party, is a hard blow. But it is a blow we are capable of absorbing; this event has not left our leadership without a head. Bandera Roja is not a simple armed group nor a sect led on a personal basis. We are a Marxist-Leninist party standing on solid theoretical principles; we base our support on linking with the masses and on a political line that is developed in a collective way. The responsibilities of Comrade Gabriel Puerta have passed to the hands of another comrade.

5. Even though the arrest of our comrade is a hard blow for the revolutionary movement, it does not signify a paralyzing of the process of struggles that our people are developing. To reason as the government does is to think that Bandera Roja, and not the social inequalities that are constantly growing, is the cause of the revolutionary struggles of the people. Bandera Roja could disappear entirely, but the people's struggles would not disappear with it. They will only disappear when exploitation is wiped out.

Bandera Roja is part of the untiring struggle of our people. We know what responsibility is entrusted to us to lead them in the political and military struggles with the objective of fulfilling the historic mission of overthrowing the bourgeoisie and establishing a government of popular democracy to build socialism and to advance to communism.

6. We declare before the working class and the rest of the people that our Party will continue developing its political line. This is centered, on the tactical plane, on stimulating the people's struggles and on achieving their unity and preparation for insurrection. These tasks are inscribed in our strategy of revolutionary war.

Our Party is tempered in struggle and we rely on militants and cadre ready to fulfill the difficult but honorable task of vanguard on all fronts, determinedly and firmly facing the security apparatuses of the enemy in order to assure revolutionary continuity.

The exploited sectors of our country can have full confidence that the repression will not succeed in changing the revolutionary direction of our political line. Our work will continue developing in the city and in the countryside, in the political and military spheres, in legality and clandestinely. The struggle continues till final victory.

The strength and quality of our people's struggle increase every day. The only thing left for the exploiters and the government is to act with lies and repression.

In this situation we are giving a call to intensify the struggle on all fronts so as to increase the popular mobilization; we are calling for strengthening the popular and revolutionary organizations, for protecting and caring for the Party, the Guerrilla Front and the people's fighters.

Victory will not be easy but it is possible, and the conditions in the country are most excellent for success. We must wage the struggle calmly and confidently, based on the courage and fighting spirit of our people. The just struggle that we are waging for the liberation of our fatherland will certainly be crowned with victory. We must attain final victory at the cost of all sacrifices. We march forward bravely with firm confidence in victory.

Our triumph is possible because the people are acquiring the necessary levels of consciousness and organization, and the invincible moral strength to forge it.

Nothing and no one will stop us, we will fight till victory!

March forward toward victory!

Violence of the poor against the violence of the rich!

Secretariat of the National Political Committee of Bandera Roja

Venezuela, April 12, 1982

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On the financial crisis in Mexico:

Squeezing the toilers to pay the imperialist bankers

In the last two months, the financial crisis of the Mexican government has come to a head. On August 10, the government devalued the peso, sending inflation soaring above 100%; today the peso is worth a third or less of what it was before devaluation. Furthermore, the government came close to defaulting on its gargantuan debt owed to the bankers and governments abroad. Recognizing that Mexico's default would have dire consequences for the world capitalist financial system, the bankers and governments of the U.S. and other major imperialist countries quickly agreed to temporarily bail out the Mexican economy.

This bailout comes with a heavy price tag. It is to be paid out of the blood and sweat of the poor workers and peasants of Mexico, who are exploited to the bone as it is. Already, as prices soar, one austerity measure after another is being imposed on the backs of the working masses to pay for the crisis brought about by imperialism and the capitalist oligarchy that rules Mexico. The Bankers of Wall Street, London, Paris, Toronto, etc., are demanding yet more of the same medicine. To pay the tribute to the financial sharks, the Mexican economy is being placed under the dictate of the International Monetary Fund. And more and more of the country's resources are to be sold off cheaply.

The lords of world banking will, however, find that they are smiling a bit too soon. The toilers of Mexico are not about to take this devastation lying down. All signs point towards a stepping up of the class struggle of the workers and peasants. Only this struggle, leading to the revolutionary overthrow of imperialism and the rule of the big capitalists and landlords, can lead Mexico out of the crisis towards a bright future for its long-oppressed masses.

Factors Behind the Current Crisis

The financial crisis in Mexico is the product of the deep problems of the country's own dependent capitalist economy as well as of the repercussions of the worldwide economic crisis of capitalism. The main factors behind the immediate crisis are the country's skyrocketing inflation and its gigantic foreign debt.

Over the last decade, they Mexican economy has been plagued by ballooning inflation. Earlier this year, it shot up from 30% to over 70%. The causes of this inflation include huge deficits in the government budget and in the country's balance of trade. The adverse balance of trade has been brought about chiefly by the worldwide oil glut which has cut down both the price and the quantity of the export of oil, Mexico's number one export commodity. It has also been caused by reduced demand for other Mexican exports as a result of the depressed state of the U.S. economy. On the other hand, imports to Mexico have remained high. Among other things, the country has to import large amounts of food since the stagnation of Mexican agriculture and the ruination of the peasantry have prevented the country from achieving self-sufficiency in food.

Mexico's financial crisis has been brought to a head especially by its huge foreign debt. For years now, Mexico has been going deeper and deeper into debt. Today this debt stands at a phenomenal $81 billion. A big part of this debt was incurred to finance various industrial projects which were planned on the expectation of high oil income after the discovery of large deposits of oil in the early 1970's. Indeed, after the discovery of this oil, the bankers of the U.S. and other imperialist countries came streaming to the doors of the Mexican oligarchy, offering all sorts of loans with the hope of making a huge kill.

But in recent years, the oil glut, the high interest rates on the world money markets and the soaring domestic inflation have all put big obstacles in the country's ability to repay. In fact, the government has had to borrow more just in order to meet its interest payments. In 1981 alone, the country borrowed $18 billion. At the end of the year, it had to refinance or reschedule 49% of its debt. Today Mexico's debt burden is so high that what it is supposed to repay in one year is equal to 85% of a year's export earnings!

A Bailout Which Strengthens the Hand of Imperialism in Mexico

The Mexican government's first response to the looming crisis was to devalue the peso and establish exchange controls in early August. But anticipation of this move by the Mexican rich led to a flight of about $7 billion out of the country, thus worsening the crisis even more. Then the government went begging to Washington and Wall Street, declaring that it could not pay back its debts and asking for more loans.

The Reagan administration and the bankers of Wall Street and other financial centers of the world quickly responded. The imperialists recognized that a Mexican default would have very serious consequences for the world capitalist financial system.

It was feared that a Mexican default could possibly bring down a number of banks in several countries, including the U.S. Several of the biggest banks of the West are heavily involved in the Mexican debt. Some $34 billion is reportedly held by the U.S. banks, such as Bank of America, Citicorp, Chase Manhattan, etc. Some of the American banks have a much as 90% of their equity on loan to Mexico. (A bank's equity is made up of its stocks and retained earnings, not its deposits. The loan/equity ratio is regarded by financial circles as useful in determining whether a bank has enough reserves to absorb potential defaults. Hence dubious loans worth 90% of equity are regarded as a sign of looming disaster for a bank.)

A Mexican collapse is especially feared because it may set off a dangerous chain reaction of other defaults. Mexico happens to be one of the world's two largest debtor countries and one of a long list of countries on the verge of bankruptcy. The long-term debt of all the underdeveloped countries has climbed from $97.3 billion in 1973 to $425.2 billion in 1981, while that of the state-capitalist economies of the revisionist countries of Eastern Europe and the USSR has gone up from $7.9 billion to $80 billion in the same period. The fall in the prices and quantity of commodity exports and the rise in borrowing costs have put a tight squeeze on many, many countries, including many of the richer, more developed of the dependent countries, such as Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Taiwan, S. Korea, etc.

Such being the potential results of a Mexican collapse, a bailout package was negotiated within a few days by the world's richest capitalist governments and bankers. This package sharply exposes the savage enslaving character of world imperialism as it sinks its claws ever deeper into the flesh of Mexico. The ravenous appetite of the lords of finance capital is insatiable.

In mid-August, the Mexican government first arrived at a deal with the U.S. government. Washington agreed to provide $1 billion in credits for grain purchases from the U.S. and $1 billion as pre-payment for oil to be delivered for the Pentagon's strategic oil stockpile. This oil was sold at prices below those of the world market, between a minimum of $25 a barrel to a maximum of $35 per barrel. The Mexican government also agreed to increase its exports to the U.S. from a current 50,000 barrels a day to 190,000 per day by the summer of 1983. This deal included a commitment by Mexico to make all the additional crude exports from its higher quality light crude reserves. Mexico had earlier sought to restrict production of this oil for fear of depleting these reserves. In short, the U.S. is getting a steal from Mexico.

These were only some of the deals arrived at between the Mexican and U.S. governments. One can only guess what sort of secret arrangements were reached. One cannot doubt that the screws on Mexico will also be used to utilize that government for U.S. imperialism's general imperialist interests as well. Indeed, the Mexican government's help is considered very important by U.S. imperialism for its counter-revolutionary offensive in Central and Latin America. In this regard, Barron's magazine, one of the big mouthpieces of U.S. finance capital, recently editorialized: "Above all, Mexico's financial fix gives significant new leverage to the framers of U.S. foreign policy.'' (August 23,1982)

Negotiations between the big bankers around the world brought other measures. The central or state banks of the major capitalist countries agreed to provide an additional $1.85 billion in credits. And the commercial banks agreed to provide Mexico with $500 million to $1 billion in new loans and to allow the postponement for 90 days of repayment on principal that was coming due shortly on some $10 billion. But all these measures, as well as the U.S. government's decisions, came with the proviso that the Mexican government go to the International

Monetary Fund and put the country's economy under IMF dictate.

And this is the clincher. The IMF is an instrument of world imperialism dominated by the major Western imperialist countries, especially the U.S. It provides standby credits to countries under the condition that economic measures be taken according to its dictate. Such measures invariably include a savage "austerity'' drive against the working masses. They include wage cuts, cuts in social welfare programs, and so forth. In Mexico's case, the IMF is due to provide some $4.5 billion in credits, and the austerity package is expected to include such things as a 25% limit on wage increases (in a country where the inflation is already above 100%). The details of the package are currently being worked out.

The Nationalization of the Mexican Banks

Another major measure taken by the Mexican government was the decision announced by President Lopez Portillo on September 1 to nationalize the commercial banks in Mexico, which are owned by Mexican private interests. This was accompanied by a lot of nationalist and populist rhetoric which the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has long been famous for.

But this decision had nothing whatsoever to do with defending the interests of the Mexican workers and peasants. In the first place, it was designed to please the foreign imperialists. Thus, the September 2 edition of the New York Times wrote that "most American bankers applauded the nationalization as a much needed step to bolster international confidence in the Mexican banking system.'' It is not hard to see why the American bankers were so happy -- the nationalization means that the debts of the Mexican banks, which stood at some $3.8 billion, have now become the obligation of the government. Wall Street's fear of the collapse of the Mexican banks is now gone since their debts will be paid out of the government treasury, out of the taxes plundered from the masses.

Despite Lopez Portillo's thundering against the "looting'' of the country by the bankers who have helped the flight of money, the nationalization order is not a measure against the capitalists. For one thing, the government plans to give these very same looters full compensation for their property. The nationalization of the banks simply means an extension of the state capitalist sector. Mexico already has a sizeable state-owned capitalist sector, in such activities as running railroads and airlines, producing steel, oil, electricity, fertilizer, etc. These enterprises are run on a capitalist basis and provide important services for the private capitalists. Besides, the private capitalists, the government bureaucrats and PRI leaders are all closely intertwined into a single ruling oligarchy. The takeover of the banks does not damage their wealth and power one bit.

Nevertheless, the nationalist and populist rhetoric of Lopez Portillo and the PRI has a significant purpose. It is aimed especially to deceive the Mexican workers and peasants into thinking that the government is acting on behalf of the people. This deception is carried out through the help of the reformist and opportunist leaders of the trade unions and the revisionist and social-democratic parties. The opportunists have enthusiastically applauded Lopez Portillo's decision. The subservience of the reformist leaders to the nationalism and populism of the PRI has long been one of the big obstacles to the development of the class struggle in Mexico.

New Storms of Struggle in the Making

The imperialist bailout of the Mexican government only spells further devastation for the workers and peasants of the country. Inflation is already skyrocketing. Indeed, one of the first things to happen after the peso devaluation was rises in the price of domestic oil and gas, electric power, and many other goods and services. In addition, the government reduced subsidies to staples, including tortillas and bread, by raising prices by 50 to 100%. (These subsidies had been provided by the government to keep prices down for consumers. As well, the government is talking about doing away with them altogether.) Unemployment is also massive in the country. In July over 2.2 million were officially listed as unemployed, while another 1.5 million are expected to be added to the unemployment rolls over the next year. As well, the country suffers from over 50% underemployment. The IMF-imposed austerity measures will only worsen this already terrible situation faced by the vast masses of impoverished toilers.

However, the working masses of Mexico are not about to passively lie down in the face of this fierce offensive. Already, the expected austerity measures of the IMF have been widely denounced among the masses. There have been protest marches against high prices. Meanwhile, the mouthpieces of U.S. finance capital are reporting on their apprehensions about a stepping up of the class struggle. Recently Business Week predicted that mass strikes and street demonstrations would soon break out, especially in the fall and winter when unemployment relief runs out for workers who have just been laid off.

The Mexican government has tried to stifle the class struggle by presenting its reactionary measures in nationalistic and populist colors. But of course, they know full well that this cannot prevent the struggle from erupting. Hence, the government's machinery of repression is being strengthened. Recently, another 20,000 troops were moved into Mexico City, giving the city a total of 45,000 troops. Clearly, it is not the imperialist and capitalist looters, but the looted who are the real target of the government's offensive. But the imperialists and domestic exploiters will find out that neither demagogy not terror can wipe out the inevitable storms of the class struggle.

The crises in Mexico demonstrates the insanity of capitalist imperialism. That country is rich in resources, but its wealth and labor have long been plundered by the domestic bourgeoisie and foreign imperialists. Even the oil boom did not bring about any improvement of the conditions of the toiling masses.

The situation clearly calls for a revolutionary solution. Only the class struggle leading to the overthrow of the oligarchy shows the path forward; only a revolutionary government of the toilers can take the measures that can get the country out of its crisis. Among other revolutionary measures, such a government would deal with the foreign debt in the same manner that the Soviet government of Russia dealt with the Tsar's debts in 1917 -- by annulling them altogether. This is the only just reply to the imperialist robbers.

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From the Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic:

Strengthen the Struggle Against Liberalism

On May 16, national elections were held in the Dominican Republic. The winner of the presidency was Salvador Jorge Blanco, the candidate of the ruling Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). The PRD is a social-democratic party which is a member of the Socialist International. It has ruled the country since 1978 through the presidency of Antonio Guzman. Guzman had replaced the hated dictator Joaquin Balaguer who had ruled the country for 12 years after he won the fraudulent 1966 elections with open U.S. imperialist support. On July 3, Guzman committed suicide before his term ran out. On August 16, Jorge Blanco was installed as the new president.

Guzman had originally come in with many promises to do away with the evils of the Balaguerist dictatorship. But he disappointed the expectations of the masses. He continued many of the Balaguerist practices, such as the shooting down of workers and peasants. Thus, in the conditions where Guzman had become very discredited, the social-democrats of the PRD put up Blanco as a new face, promising all sorts of good things.

For some time now, a strong renegade spirit has gripped the revisionist and opportunist "left'' in the Dominican Republic. The election of Blanco has served as a further pretext for them to abandon the revolution and seek accommodation with social-democracy. The groups of the electoral left now say that the Dominican state apparatus has been modernized, that the masses support the government and that the oligarchic-imperialist power has been consolidated. Completely throwing aside the revolution, they promote reformism and liberal and pacifist illusions to the masses.

The Marxist-Leninist party of the Dominican proletariat, the Communist Party of Labor (Partido Comunista del Trabajo) has raised the banner of uncompromising struggle against this pacifist and conformist propaganda. This is discussed in a number of articles in the September 1982 issue of Lucha, the Central Organ of the CPL.

The Communist Party of Labor points out that while it does not underestimate the new features of the political situation, especially the new maneuvers of the government to deceive the masses, nevertheless the new government does not substantially change the political process in the Dominican Republic or do away with the fundamental contradictions which govern it. The CPL explains that all the factors responsible for the ripening of a revolutionary situation remain in force. For this reason, the Party continues to uphold the conviction that the revolution remains on the agenda and all efforts have to be concentrated to push forward the revolutionary process.

The CPL points out that the crisis in the country remains rooted in the same economic crisis that broke out in the last years of the Balaguerist dictatorship. While that regime was able to expand the economy and consolidate its political rule up through the early 1970's, things began to worsen from1975 onwards. As a result, the objective basis for the political bankruptcy of Balaguerism was created and in 1978 it was removed from power.

The social-democratic government of Guzman came into office with promises to solve the crisis, but it was only successful in contributing to its deepening. The government leaders have admitted that today the Dominican people are living in the worst situation in the last 50 years. The external debt stands at over $2 billion, imposing a heavy burden on the toiling masses. The new government of Jorge Blanco proposes to deal with the situation through stepping up the oppression of the masses and increasing the dependence of the country on U.S. imperialism and others. He has proposed a program of "austerity and moralization" which includes new and higher taxes, a freeze on wages and prices of necessities, etc. Large debt payments have to be made to the imperialist banks very soon.

The Communist Party of Labor believes that this course of action will only strengthen the resistance of the toilers and prepare conditions for a big social and political confrontation. Therefore it upholds the necessity to maintain a consistent revolutionary orientation.

Below we reprint an article from the September 1982 issue Lucha which elaborates on the need to fight the pacifist and liberal spirit that has gripped the revisionists and opportunists. It has been translated by the WA staff.


We are advancing towards a new revolutionary situation, but this new situation has not yet arrived. The factors for the general insurrection of our people against their oppressors are maturing and progressing, but at the present time we are passing through a period of "peaceful" development of capitalism, of gathering forces and gradual preparation for the decisive actions of the future.

The power of the ruling classes shows signs of consolidation, although superficially, and the precarious functioning of bourgeois democracy has created conditions for the groups of the electoral left to spread the idea that there are no revolutionary perspectives in our country for a long time.

The new government facilitates the enlarging of legal work and open work by the Dominican left, but at the same time this very atmosphere encourages the growth of a tendency to legalism and liberalism, to adaptation and routine.

In a situation without open police persecution, when the possibilities have increased of getting ensnared in the bureaucratic state, when there are economic and family pressures, when the triumph of the revolution doesn't

appear as something immediate, some people can lose the perspective of the revolution, vacillate and fall defeated, stand aside from their political commitments, and hope for "better days."

Therefore we reiterate that if the present situation is not interpreted correctly, this atmosphere of a political opening and bourgeois freedoms can do as much damage as repression itself.

Persecution kills revolutionaries and also destroys organizations that struggle for the transformation of the social order. But the "peaceful" struggle, the legal struggle, badly handled, "kills" through the effect of degeneration, legalism, disorder and accommodation that flourish in situations like the one our country is in now.

The workers' parties of the Second International degenerated in a historical juncture of the "peaceful", development of capitalism and the absence of wars and revolutions.

Numerous parties which successfully came through violent clashes with reaction have not been able to prevent the virus of degeneration under conditions of legal struggle.

People who fought heroically in the revolution of April 1965 [A popular insurrection broke out at that time against domestic reaction which went on to fight an invasion by U.S. Marines -- WA] were not able to continue fighting after the revolution was suppressed, the counter-revolution prevailed, and slow and patient work was required to prepare for the new assault.

In the old MPD [Dominican Popular Movement] we saw men and women who confronted the repressive violence of the Balaguer regime with determination, who passed the test of such prolonged clandestinity, prisons and torture, when it was thought that a new insurrectional uprising was near.

But legalism corrupted them when it was necessary to admit that the insurrection was not just around the corner and the methods of action had to be modified.

When the Balaguer dictatorship was displaced in 1978 and the first PRD government was inaugurated, some members of the old party, MPD, did not understand the change, were left disoriented, and were unable to continue advancing.

With his ability of a genius, Lenin stated in his brilliant work "Left-Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder:

''It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is at its height, when everybody is joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the fashion, and sometimes even out of careerist motives....It is far more difficult -- and of far greater value -- to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist, to be able to champion the interests of the a nonrevolutionary situation, among masses who are incapable of immediately appreciating the need for revolutionary methods of action." (Section X: "Some Conclusions")

In these times of the absence of frontal revolutionary struggles, imperialism and revisionism have intensified their corrupting offensive. Groups which have not known how to deal with this offensive have been taking tumbles and rolls, committing costly errors, to the point of deepening the crisis inside, the crisis that has in some cases already exploded publicly, and in others their public explosion is expected.

The Communist Party of Labor is a Marxist-Leninist organization with a correct strategy and tactics in keeping with the needs of advancing the revolution under the present conditions.

The CPL has not let itself be dragged into the marsh of opportunism. With firm and measured steps it is advancing nonstop. Its ranks are united in a monolithic manner, and the dreams and intentions of anyone wishing our destruction have been smashed to pieces and will always turn to dust in the face of this unity.

But the CPL is not sealed off and untouched by the negative influences of the surrounding atmosphere, nor do we its members pretend or remotely insinuate that we have a perfect party, deceptively refusing to recognize the errors that we commit, the problems we suffer from, and the serious dangers that lie in wait for us in the thick of the class struggle.

It concerns us to be bold but prudent, to use all the recourses that the situation puts in front of us, to broaden the struggle on the legal plane, but to keep our guard up so that legalism does not corrupt us. We must be flexible and adapt our methods of struggle to prevailing conditions, but we communists must always live with our powder dry, alert and ready to fight and win in the face of any danger of destruction or degeneration of the party in which we militate.

Today we have a very dangerous internal enemy to confront: liberalism, with the whole succession of democratism and laxity that liberalism carries with it. The political atmosphere creates favorable conditions for it to be propagated and cultivated in the ranks of our Marxist-Leninist party.

Therefore, being flexible in tactics, we must be vigorous in the struggle against everything that contributes to laxness and disorder in the norms of functioning that must govern the internal life and regulate the process of building and raising the quality of the party.

In this struggle each comrade must be a dedicated and committed fighter till the final outcome, a cog that never fails in the organizational machinery of the party.

It is necessary to persist in the orientation outlined by the party, to reaffirm the conviction that the crisis of the old order is deepening, the class struggle is advancing, that the might of the enemy is more feigned than real, that their old and rusted state machinery continues to be our target, and that this decrepit apparatus will not be able to hold back the wheel of history eternally.

With party spirit, the theoretical and practical tasks must be executed with exemplary discipline to fulfill the higher bodies' directives and resolutions, which have the character of law in our Party and are in accordance with the Leninist-Stalinist conception of the party.

It is necessary to strike at liberalism without stopping because it plots and pushes into degeneration the party that tolerates it and is careless about it and other vices that grow when liberalism invades and is allowed to flourish uncorrected.

Thus, in the struggle against reaction, revisionism and opportunism, in all circumstances the CPL will keep its ranks sound and will fulfill its mission of vanguard fighter, turning itself into the battle staff of the proletariat in the struggle for national and social liberation.

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Ten years of the U.S.-China imperialist alliance

Once Again War Criminal Nixon Is Wined and Dined in China

In early September, Nixon, the fascist ex-chieftain of U.S. imperialism went for a five-day trip to China, the fourth such visit for him. He went to China to celebrate with his Chinese hosts the anniversary of the 1972 Shanghai Communique which formalized the launching of the U.S.-China alliance ten years ago. During his trip, Nixon was treated royally by the Chinese revisionist rulers. A grand banquet was thrown in his honor at the misnamed Great Hall of the People. And in one day alone, Nixon was received not only by the kingpin of the Chinese revisionists, Deng Xiaoping, but also by Deng's two top henchmen, Prime Minister Zhao and the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Yaobang.

The lavish treatment and great respect accorded to Nixon speaks volumes about the leaders of China. Nixon is the very personification of the savage exploitation, repression, anticommunism and imperialism which characterizes the U.S. ruling class. The workers and oppressed people in the U.S. and worldwide have the bitterest contempt for this dog. Among other things, he is hated for directing the genocidal war of aggression in Indochina, for unleashing fierce repression against the anti-war and other mass movements, for organizing massive police-state suppression of activists and revolutionaries, for fleecing the workers with wage controls and suppressing strikes, and so forth. Indeed, the list of Nixon's crimes is endless.

But it is precisely these features of Nixon which endear him to the Revisionist rulers in China, for they too are nothing but vicious capitalist exploiters and imperialist aggressors. They too are vicious enemies of the revolution and communism. This is why such human refuse as Nixon has time and again been welcomed in China. Indeed, it is no small coincidence that ten years ago, in 1971-72, Mao Zedong and co. initiated the counter-revolutionary U.S.-China alliance with Nixon right at the time when the U.S. president was raining bombs down on the people of Viet Nam who were fighting heroically against U.S. imperialism.

The Evolution of the U.S.-China Alliance

In 1971-72, the Nixon administration and the Maoist leadership of China launched the preparations for the U.S.-China alliance. From the outset, this alliance served to bludgeon the revolutionary movements of the workers and oppressed peoples. As well, U.S. imperialism sought to use China to strengthen its hand against Washington's main imperialist rival, the Russian social-imperialists. On his latest trip to China, Nixon emphasized in a toast to the Chinese leaders that ten years ago the U.S. and China had pledged "to advance our common interest in containing the threat of Soviet aggression."

Throughout the 1970's, the Chinese revisionists performed valuable services for this reactionary alliance. They carried out massive disruption in the world revolutionary movement through promotion of the anti-Leninist theory of "three worlds." This theory advocated abandoning the revolution in favor of conciliation with imperialism and reaction. The Chinese revisionists worked hard to strengthen the hands of the darkest reaction in the neo-colonial countries of the "third world," supporting such fiends as the Shah of Iran, the fascist military generals in Pakistan, the bloody dictators Mobutu and Pinochet, etc. Beginning with calls for uniting with the reactionary bourgeoisie of the lesser imperialist countries and the "third world" against the two superpowers, the "three worlds" theory passed over to open calls for allying with U.S. imperialism against the Soviet Union which became the "main enemy."

In 1979, with the establishment of full diplomatic relations between China and the U.S., the warmongering U.S.-China alliance was consummated. Deng Xiaoping visited the U.S. and, as soon as he returned, the Chinese revisionists launched a massive invasion of Viet Nam, thus exposing their real imperialist character. Since that time, the hand of the U.S.-China alliance has been seen in continued efforts to bolster reactionary and fascist forces in Southeast Asia, in attempts to tie the Afghan people's liberation struggle against Russian imperialist occupation to Western imperialism, and so forth.

In June 1981, the Reagan administration sent Alexander Haig to China where he forged an agreement to sell military hardware to the new Chinese warlords. This event marked a dangerous new phase in the U.S.-China alliance. It meant the direct arming of China by U.S. imperialism and broadening military cooperation between these two imperialist bandits. This event also signified an end to the attempts of the U.S. to hide the fact that the U.S.-China alliance is basically a military alliance. The rhetoric about a so-called "balance" between the Soviet Union and China was thrown overboard in favor of open flaunting of the "China card" against the Soviet Union.

Although the U.S.-China alliance has now been in existence for just over a decade, it should be noted that Mao's search for this alliance did not begin in 1971-72. Rather, during the Second World War and after its conclusion, Mao Zedong turned to U.S. imperialism for salvation. Mao Zedong and his opportunist leadership of the Communist Party of China sought the help of U.S. imperialism to develop China into a bourgeois democratic capitalist country.

But this path proved impossible. U.S. imperialism chose to fully back Chiang Kai-shek's reactionary Kuomintang (KMT) forces and closed the door on the prospects for an alliance with Mao and co. The Chinese democratic revolution did win victory, but it did so despite the damage caused it by these opposite stands. Moreover, although various important reforms were carried out, Maoism prevented the revolution from going over to the socialist stage. For many years, the Chinese leaders tried to pursue a "third road" between capitalism and socialism, but this pipe dream ultimately collapsed and China turned from a force against imperialism to an alliance with U.S. imperialism. It took the road towards becoming a social-imperialist power in its own right.

The Squabble Over Taiwan

Nixon's latest visit to China was not simply the visit of an old war criminal to reminisce about the good old days of forging the U.S.-China alliance a decade ago. Rather, Nixon is a close confidant of the Reagan administration. In fact, his visit bears the imprint of U.S. imperialism's aim of playing the "China card" to the hilt. It is notable that it came just a few weeks after the U.S. and China patched up their latest squabble over the issue of Taiwan.

The quarrel between the U.S. and China over Taiwan highlights the utterly unprincipled character of the U.S.-China alliance. The 1972 Shanghai Communique had recognized Taiwan explicitly as a "part of China" and pledged to do away with Washington's "two Chinas" policy. The U.S. promised to gradually reduce U.S. military support of Taiwan. But the U.S. government has continued to prop up the KMT/Chiang clique and maintain Taiwan as its neo-colony.

With the coming to power of Reagan, the U.S. imperialists decided to push things even further. Last January, they sold the Taiwanese government advanced fighter jets over objections from the Chinese. For a while, the Chinese leaders pretended to take a cool approach to the U.S. But this August the two governments came to an agreement on the issue. In the Sino-U.S. Joint Communique of August 17, the U.S. "promised" to eventually cut down arms sales to Taiwan.

According to the Chinese, a great victory has now been won and they believe that this will lead to an eventual end of U.S. arms sales to the KMT fascists. The official Chinese press proclaimed that this agreement "eased...the crisis which had threatened Sino-U.S. relations in recent months."

But all this is a fraud.

In the first place, the Communique does not require U.S. imperialism to end arms sales to Taiwan. In reality it explicitly approves of the present level of arms sales to Taiwan and leaves it entirely to the discretion of the U.S. government when, if ever, sales are reduced. Thus it fully preserves U.S. military support for the neo-colonial KMT/Chiang regime. This is why the Reagan administration was so pleased with the settlement, stating that "the agreement preserves our principles, eliminates a major obstacle in relations with China and opens new opportunities for U.S. policy in Asia."

Moreover, the claim of the Chinese revisionists that the Taiwan issue threatened the U.S.-China alliance is pure posturing. Since the 1972 Shanghai Communique the U.S. has in words recognized China's "territorial integrity" and pledged not to interfere with it. But since the American capitalists make a fortune in Taiwan and it serves as a U.S. military outpost, the U.S. government has continued to prop up the fascist KMT/Chiang clique. In 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act was passed, pledging the U.S. to continue its military aid to Taiwan. Meanwhile, for years the Chinese revisionist leadership has claimed that the Taiwan question was "a matter of principle" which "China does not barter," etc., etc. And they have let out shrill cries that this issue would jeopardize the U.S.-China alliance. But far from halting its collaboration with U.S. imperialism, the alliance has instead grown stronger and stronger. Such is the "principled" stand of the Chinese rulers.

In truth there are no principles in the U.S.-China alliance save whatever serves the pragmatic interests of each imperialist cutthroat. The U.S. wants to plunder China for profit and to have the Chinese protect the U.S. world empire. The Chinese revisionists concur with this and have their own goals too. They want the U.S. imperialists to "modernize" and arm China and turn it into a first-rate imperialist power. They too want to carve out a world empire.

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The Light of Great October Shines in Socialist Albania

The light lit by the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia still shines brightly today, a beacon to all oppressed humanity, in the People's Socialist Republic of Albania. This November marks the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Marxist-Leninist vanguard party of the Albanian working class, the Party of Labor of Albania, and the 38th anniversary of the liberation of Albania and its victorious march on the road of socialism. This year, when the class conscious American workers join with the Albanians in celebrating these historic victories, it is important to remember that the socialist triumphs of Albania have come about because the working class and people, led by the PL A, have embraced and followed closely the lessons of October.

The PLA emphasizes that the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia had a profound impact on Albania. It influenced the rise of the national liberation movement, inspired the fighting spirit of the people and began to spread the ideas of Marxism-Leninism. The History of the Party of Labor of Albania points out:

"Foreign occupations and military operations caused the Albanian people innumerable misfortunes. The economy of the country was wrecked. Whole villages were ransacked and turned to ashes. Starvation became widespread while epidemics exterminated part of the population.

"At this time, when the Albanian people were in distress, oppressed, thought little of, and their rights were ruthlessly trampled upon by the imperialists, a major event shook the world, namely, the triumph of the Great Socialist Revolution in Russia.

"On November 7 (October 25, old style), 1917, the working class and peasantry of Russia, led by the Party of Bolsheviks headed by V.I. Lenin, overthrew the regime of the capitalists and landlords and established the dictatorship of the proletariat. The banner of socialism was raised over one-sixth of the world.

"In Soviet Russia, the October Revolution created the necessary conditions for wiping out every kind of exploitation of man by man, every form of social and national oppression, for the victory of the new socialist order.

"The Socialist Revolution in Russia inaugurated a new epoch in world history, the epoch of the overthrow of capitalism and of the triumph of the socialist order, the epoch of proletarian revolutions in capitalist countries and of national- liberation revolutions in colonial and dependent countries, the epoch of the creation of a single revolutionary front of the proletariat and oppressed peoples of all countries against imperialism.

"The triumph of the Great October Revolution was the triumph of Marxism-Leninism over social democracy, opportunism, revisionism. Marxist-Leninist ideology received a new impetus in its triumphant march in the international workers' movement.

"The October Revolution and the Soviet Republic exerted a major influence on the revolutionary movement of various countries. They pointed out the way to the laboring masses all over the world, inspired them by the example they set, giving an unprecedented impulse to the workers' and national-liberation movements in the world.

"The October Revolution echoed in Albania too. Its ideas, and the policy pursued by the Soviet Government influenced the rise of the movement for national liberation, for the preservation of the territorial integrity of the homeland, and the expansion of the revolutionary democratic movement.

"Of special significance was the disclosure by the Soviet Government of the secret treaties of the imperialist powers. Among these treaties published by decision of the 2nd Congress of the Soviets was the April 1915 secret London Treaty according to which Albania was to be divided up among Italy, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. The content of this treaty was made known at once to Albania. A great wave of indignation swept the Albanian people. The anti-imperialist liberation movement to safeguard freedom, independence and territorial integrity against the London Treaty took broad proportions. The anti-imperialist National Congress of Lushnja in January 1920 and the heroic Battle of Vlora in the summer of that year, which ended with the expulsion of the Italian imperialists from Albania, bear witness to the high sense of patriotism of the Albanian people as well as to the influence exerted by the Leninist anti-imperialist policy.

"Following the triumph of the October Revolution and under conditions of a general revolutionary upsurge in Europe, the news about the victory of the Russian Bolsheviks began to spread among the Albanian workers, handicraftsmen and intellectuals whose sympathy for Soviet Russia was increased. Lenin's name became a symbol of 'the lofty principles of mankind,' of the new society without exploited and exploiters. The first pamphlets about the Soviet Union and communism infiltrated into the country from abroad. They were read in close, circles of intellectuals and workers. The October ideas spread among the masses of the city poor who were in great economic difficulties due to the devastating consequences of the First World War and the anti-popular policy of the landlord-bourgeois governments in power." (pp. 15-17, 1971 edition)

The spread of the ideas of October, the great teachings of Marxism-Leninism, eventually led to the formation of the PLA. For centuries on end, the Albanian people fought arms in hand for their freedom. Finally a new era began when, on November 8, 1941, the PLA (then called the Communist Party of Albania) was founded.

Led by the PLA, the Albanian workers and people liberated their country from the nazi-fascist occupiers on November 29, 1944 and embarked on the path of building socialism. For 38 years they have gone from victory to victory, building a strong socialist country free from capitalist exploitation and the ravages of imperialist plunder. In the struggle for socialist construction the PLA never forgot the lessons of the October Revolution and applied them concretely in their unswerving battle against all of the enemies of the working class movement. The PLA held fast to the path of Lenin of a relentless struggle against opportunism. When Khrushchovite revisionism emerged, splitting the international communist movement, and destroying socialism in the Soviet Union, the PLA heroically exposed it and defended Leninism and the lessons of October from every revisionist distortion. The History of the Party of Labor of Albania (1966-80) emphasizes in its "General Conclusions":

"The Albanian Party and people have nurtured boundless love and loyalty for the first socialist state, created by V.I. Lenin and J.V. Stalin, which emerged from the October Revolution. This love and this loyalty have always been based on the principles of Marxism- Leninism. When the Khrushchovite revisionists emerged at the head of the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet state, the PLA declared principled, uncompromising war on them, while coming out in defense of the glorious road of the Bolshevik Party and the Soviet peoples, in defense of J.V. Stalin and the lessons of October, which were trampled underfoot by the revisionists, and this it regarded as its internationalist duty...." (pp. 312-313, 1981 edition)

The Great October Socialist Revolution has illuminated the path of the PLA. The victories of socialism in Albania should inspire the American workers and show them that their own emancipation from the Reaganite capitalist hell can only be found in the socialist revolution along the path charted out by Lenin, on the road of the glorious October Revolution.

[Photo: Once the poorest country in Europe, Albania today has a flourishing modern industry. Photo shows the Dynamo plant in Tirana which produces factories. This is a symbol of the dynamic socialist economy of Albania which stands in sharp contrast to the stagnation of the economies throughout the capitalist-revisionist world.]

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