The Workers' Advocate


Special Issue for Aug. 27th and Sept. 5th Demonstrations

Volume 13, Number 7


August 20, 1983

No to Unemployment Racism and War!

Fight Reagan and the Capitalist Offensive!

Down with Reagan's gunboat diplomacy!

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Central America!

On the 'Coalition of Conscience'

Mass struggle or catering to the Democrats?

Combat the racist offensive!

Uphold the heritage of the black liberation struggle of the 1960's!

15 million unemployed

Workers must greet 'recovery' with struggle

AFL-CIO bosses sell out the struggle for jobs

Defend the Undocumented Immigrant Workers!

No to Unemployment Racism and War!

Fight Reagan and the Capitalist Offensive!

Workers and all who are poor and oppressed! Close ranks and unleash the power of the masses in struggle against Reaganite reaction!

The Reagan government represents all that is rotten in this country.

The working masses suffer under the heavy burden of depression. Fifteen million are unemployed. Backbreaking overwork and vicious wage cutting press those lucky enough to find work. Even according to minimized government figures, 34.4 million people have been driven into poverty. Yet what does Reagan demand? Still more cuts in the meager social benefits for the masses! Still more handouts to help the wealthy capitalists!

The working masses are crying out for justice. And what does Reagan give them? Strikebreaking, immigration raids, racist brutality and police terror!

The working masses are clamoring against Reagan's imperialist war drive. But he thumbs his nose at them and sends the troops marauding around the world. U.S. imperialism is backing up every two-bit fascist dictator; it is sticking its nose everywhere to throttle the workers and peasants of other lands; it is competing with the other imperialist superpower, Soviet social-imperialism; all for the greater glory of U.S. spheres of influence and the plunder for the greedy capitalists.

The Fight Against Reagan is a Class Question

With his callous words and highhanded policy, Reagan has brought out into the open the inevitable conflict in modern society.

On the one side stands the minority, the capitalist parasites, who live by exploiting the sweat and blood of the workers, who thrive off the impoverishment of the millions.

On the other side stands the majority, the working class, the poor, and the downtrodden, who are being driven to hunger and ruin.

There can be no thought of appealing to Reagan's conscience, nor of bringing him to his senses, because he is but a representative of one pole of society. He is the standard-bearer of capitalist slave driving, the champion of imperialist conquest.

Nor is the issue how to reconcile the differences, how to put back together the pieces of society that have split asunder. Rather the question is: which side are you on? Either for the capitalists, which means that in one way or another you must reconcile with Reagan; or for the working masses, which means you must stand for raising the fight against Reagan to a struggle of class against class.

The Democratic Party Is Arm in Arm With the Reaganites

It is important to ask: on which side stands the Democratic Party?

This is the biggest party in the country which claims for itself the official banner of "opposition" to Reagan. But despite all of their fine words about being the "friends of labor and the minorities," despite all of their rhetoric of displeasure with the Reagan course, the Democrats remain a capitalist party and are driven into Reagan's arms on every question.

The working masses appealed that Social Security be saved. But the Democrats joined the bipartisan commission that set the cutbacks in Social Security benefits.

On a single day last year nearly a million people demonstrated against Reagan's nuclear warmongering. But the Democrats joined Reagan's bipartisan panel that pushed through the funding for the MX missiles.

Of course there are some Democrats who call for an "alternative." For example the Congressional Black Caucus demanded that military spending be cut by $65 billion down to the then-record levels of the Carter administration. But when all was said and done, the CBC fell in line and voted for a 4% increase in spending for the imperialist armed forces and the weapons of mass destruction.

This is the stand of the Democrats. Handwringing against Reagan's policies in words and a bipartisan effort to carry out his policies in deeds.

The antics of the Democratic Party strikingly reveal the true class essence of Reaganite reaction. It is the bipartisan policy of the capitalist class. It is the united offensive of capital against the working masses.

Build the Independent Movement of the Working Class

But then, who can bar the door to Reaganite reaction? Who is capable of mounting a real struggle to defend the interests of the masses?

It is the working class. By freeing itself from the corrupting influence of the Democrats and by standing up as an independent class, fighting in its own class interests, the working class can forge the mighty force to lead all of the oppressed into battle against the capitalist offensive headed up by the Reagan government.

By their strikes and demonstrations, by their protests against Reagan, the workers are opening up the path of class struggle. But these fights must be carried forward.

Furthermore, the mass actions against this or that capitalist firm, on this or that economic issue, are not enough. The workers must also take center stage in the political struggle. The working class must join its mighty voice to every demonstration against imperialist war preparations. It must raise high the banner of active resistance to racist oppression. It must support and work to put the stamp of its class on every current of protest against the capitalist dictators.

Such a struggle requires organization. It is essential to forge revolutionary groups in factories, in communities, among the youth and in schools. The unions today are controlled by a corrupt bureaucracy which is tied to the Democratic Party and which sells out every fight of the workers. Thus the workers must build up independent organization that fights inside the unions to expose the bureaucrats and organizes the rank and file to take independent mass action.

Special attention must be paid to building and supporting the workers' own political party, the Marxist-Leninist Party, because the genuine communist party is the highest form of class organization of the workers. Only such a party can unite the class and bring together the separate rivulets of protest into a single coordinated revolutionary torrent.

As well, the fight against Reagan demands the widest possible distribution and study of revolutionary literature. The class struggle can only be organized by the workers becoming highly conscious of their own class interests. Thus the truth about the crisis-ridden capitalist system, the truth about the treachery of the Democratic Party and union bureaucrats, the truth about the way out for the workers and oppressed, must be spread far and wide. In this work, attention should be paid to the popularization and study of Marxism-Leninism because this is the only scientific theory of the revolution. And revolutionary theory is essential to guide the working class movement.

Socialism Is the Goal of the Class Struggle

The sharpening of the class struggle inevitably brings ideas of socialism to the minds of the workers. The working class does not want to just put a few bandaids on the gaping wounds of the oppressed. It is not interested in merely replacing Reagan with some other capitalist hangman like Mondale or Glenn. No, the situation demands a fundamental change, a socialist revolution, the overthrow of the existing order.

Socialism is a completely new society. It is the political system of working class power which destroys the old economic reality, in which a handful grows wealthy off the exploitation of the millions, and replaces it with the social ownership of the means of production, whereby the working masses themselves reap the fruits of their labor.

Socialism is not some far-off dream. For decades it was the brilliant reality in the Soviet Union, until the terrible betrayal of the Khrushchov, Brezhnev and Andropov-style revisionists. Today socialism remains a thriving reality in Socialist Albania.

The goal of socialism is an inspiration and guide to the struggles today. It gives the workers determination and courage in their day-to-day battles. It helps lift the popular movement out of the capitalist framework and free the working masses from the grip of the Democratic Party, the scab trade union hacks and other frontmen of the capitalists. It shows the necessity of building the independent movement of the working class in fierce battles against the capitalists and their political parties.

Today the Reaganite reactionaries have thrown down a challenge to the masses. Through the class struggle the working class will give its powerful reply.

All out against Reagan, chieftain of capitalist reaction!

To hell with the Democrats and Republicans, parties of the capitalist offensive!

Wage mass revolutionary struggle against unemployment, racism and war!

[Photo: During a fierce strike against concessions, copper workers celebrate a victory over the strikebreaking of Phelps-Dodge corporation, early August, 1983.]

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Down with Reagan's gunboat diplomacy!

U.S. Imperialism, Get Out of Central America!

Last month Reagan and the Pentagon generals further stepped up U.S. aggression in Central America. With their Big Pine II military "exercises," they have amassed a huge concentration of firepower in the region.

These are no "routine exercises." They are gunboat diplomacy pure and simple. As well, they will put in place a giant infrastructure, complete with air and naval bases, for increased direct U.S. intervention. These amount to nothing but major steps toward a full-scale Viet Nam-style war of aggression.

These latest moves come after Washington has already poured hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons into the hands of the death-squad regime in El Salvador, after hundreds of Green Berets have been sent in as "military advisers," after Honduras has been turned into a fortress for aggression, and after the CIA has rigged up a force of thousands of counter-revolutionary gangsters against Nicaragua.

But despite all of Reagan's guns and threats, the struggle in Central America marches forward. The people of the region are fighting for a just cause, for freedom from the tyranny and poverty they have long suffered. In Nicaragua, at a cost of 50,000 martyrs, they overthrew the U.S. puppet Somoza in 1979; today the Nicaraguan people are not about to let the U.S.-led contras reverse their hard-fought gains. And in El Salvador, the toiling masses are fighting courageously to overthrow the bloodstained dictatorship of the rich oligarchy.

Reagan wants to send the sons and daughters of the American workers and poor to go fight the workers and poor of Central America. There is no honor in such a cause. It is a war in the service of tyranny and exploitation. It is just like the 1960's when the Pentagon sent the workers, blacks and other minorities to go fight in the interests of the capitalists in Viet Nam. But just as the American working people and youth said No! to the war of aggression in Viet Nam, we must today rise up and fight the U.S. government's imperialist war in Central America.

Washington's imperialist policies are of course not restricted to Central America; they extend the world over. From Marcos in the Philippines to Mobutu in the Congo to Pinochet in Chile -- the U.S. rulers back up tyrants and bloody dictatorships. In southern Africa, they maintain cozy relations with the despicable racist apartheid regime of South Africa.

The progressive workers, blacks and young people despise the imperialist policies of Washington. But how are we to fight? The leaders of the August 27 coalition say that we should beg the U.S. government to "promote respect for human rights" and to "resolve conflicts through peaceful means." This is a farce. Begging the U.S. rulers will not turn them from wolves into lambs. They know full well what they are doing. In El Salvador, they are backing a regime which has massacred over 40,000 civilians in the last few years. And every six months, Reagan has certified to Congress that the human rights situation there is improving. And the honorable ladies and gentlemen in Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, have accepted Reagan's lies and voted for more guns and bullets for the death squads. Here is "respect for human rights," U.S. imperialist style. To say that Washington can respect human rights is to help the U.S. imperialist wolf dress up in sheep's clothing.

The same goes for Nicaragua. Recently the Democrats in the House, feigning concern against Reagan's covert war against Nicaragua, passed the Boland-Zablocki amendment. But this doesn't stop the aid to the contras; it only seeks to channel the aid indirectly through the Honduran militarists and other reactionary regimes. Here is the reality of the Democrats' concern for "resolving conflicts through peaceful means."

The U.S. government's policies overseas are not due to the misguided thinking of this or that politician. Instead they represent the bipartisan policy of monopoly capital. They are the product of the system of imperialism. Imperialism is a system of exploitation at home and abroad. The same multinational corporations that reap super-profits abroad preside over the wage cuts, layoffs and overwork in the factories here in the U.S. For example, support for apartheid racism in South Africa is the flip side of the segregationist drive, the racist killings and the activation of the KKK at home.

No, we cannot beg the government to become reasonable. We must instead fight imperialism by building up the mass struggle against aggression and war.

We have no common interests with the imperialist oppressors. Instead our interests lie with the struggling working people the world over who are fighting for liberation. We must stand with the insurgents of El Salvador, with the people of Nicaragua, and with the brave fighters against apartheid in South Africa.

Fight U.S. imperialism! Solidarity with the liberation fighters worldwide!

[Photo: Nine thousand people marched in Washington D.C., on July 2, to protest U.S. aggression in Central America.]

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On the 'Coalition of Conscience'

Mass struggle or catering to the Democrats?

The widespread enthusiasm for the August 27 March on Washington is an indication of the deep hatred for Reaganite reaction that is building up among the workers, among the black people and other oppressed nationalities, and among the poor and downtrodden generally.

The Marxist-Leninist Party supports this mass sentiment. We are taking an active part in the August 27 demonstrations. Like the working masses across the country, the MLP wants a real fight against Reagan and supports every concrete manifestation of mass protest against him.

But for this very reason we are obligated to tell the truth. The leading lights of the March on Washington are not trying to advance the struggle against the capitalist offensive headed by Reagan. Rather, they are trying to mislead the working people, to stifle the mass movements, and to divert them into a campaign to elect Democratic Party candidates in the 1984 elections.

A "Social Contract" With the Masses' Worst Enemies

The leaders of the August 27 march announce themselves for a whole slew of good things which we all want. "Full Employment," "Peace," and "Human Rights," they say, and who can say no? But do they stand for the stem mass struggle that is necessary to achieve these aims? Heaven forbid! At every turn they appeal for joining hands with the very exploiters who are bringing such misery to the working masses.

Take for example the fight against unemployment. Everybody knows that it is the capitalists who are throwing the workers out of their jobs. The capitalists profit from unemployment. And they will not, on their own, stop eliminating jobs any more than the capitalist government of Reagan will stop cutting the benefits for the unemployed. Not a job can be saved, not a penny for the unemployed can be raised, without the most vigorous mass struggles of the working people against the capitalists and their government.

But the leaders of the March on Washington claim that the solution to unemployment lies with a "new social contract between labor, industry and government." In other words, extend your hand to the dog that just bit you.

And they give this same answer to every question.

A "New Coalition of Conscience" to Back the Democratic Party

The central place in organizing the August 27 demonstrations has been given to the call to form a "new coalition of conscience." The working masses know the value of unity. The combined strength of all who are oppressed is needed to beat back the capitalist offensive of the Reagan administration. But this "coalition of conscience" is just a voting machine for the Democratic Party.

In the first place it is not a coalition of the masses at all. Rather it is an attempt to pull together the "respectable" black leaders (like the black Democratic Party officeholders and self-appointed "riot stoppers" like Jesse Jackson) with the sellout union bureaucrats and other liberal Democrats.

In the second place, this is not a coalition for struggle. Rather it wants to appeal to the "conscience" and "good will" of the Reaganite exploiters. This is none other than the policy of the Democratic Party, which has no fundamental disagreement with Reagan. Instead, through "bipartisanship," the Democrats seek to "educate" him to hide the club of oppression behind soft words for the oppressed.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the sole aim of this coalition is to elect Democrats in 1984. Walter Fauntroy, the national director of the March on Washington, and himself a Democratic Party congressman, made this aim amply clear. Speaking at a Baltimore rally in July he proclaimed the need for "a coalition of conscience to march on the ballot boxes." And at a press conference in Chicago he declared that the coalition "will start a new movement whose payday will be November 4,1984."

Of course all of the celebrities of this new coalition do not support the same candidate. Some back Mondale, or Glenn, or Cranston, while others, like Jesse Jackson, want a black candidate. But even the talk of a black candidate is not addressed to building an independent political movement that will fight in the interests of the masses. No, Jesse Jackson and company argue that a black candidate is needed to give these "respectable" misleaders more clout (cushy positions) inside the Democratic Party machine and to hoodwink the oppressed masses into voting for the Democratic Party bigwigs.

When all is said and done, this "coalition of conscience" is just an attempt to gain support for the concealed Reaganites of the Democratic Party. To advance the struggle against Reaganite reaction we must reject the advice of the heads of the August 27 march and take up independent mass action against the exploiters and both their political parties.

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Combat the racist offensive!

Racist Reagan is heading up an all-sided attack on the black people and the other oppressed nationalities. And from the quaking ghettos of Miami to the battles against the racist gangs in the streets of the capital, the masses have shown that they are not about to take these attacks lying down. The mass struggle against the racist offensive is on the order of the day.

Down With Racist Reagan!

Ronald Reagan was the preferred candidate of the filthy racists of the Ku Klux Klan. Over the last two-and-a-half years he has proved himself worthy of that "honor." Reagan wants to turn back the clock to Jim Crow slavery. His administration is working overtime to further segregate the public schools, while blessing the private segregation academies with loving care. It is striving to throw the blacks out of hard-won jobs and supports the deepening of racial discrimination in housing and every other sphere of life.

Behind this segregationist drive, racist terror is being unleashed. The antics of the tiny sects of the KKK are plastered across the headlines, while hundreds and thousands of police are sent to protect these racist scum from the just anger of the masses. And every day the police themselves commit more racist beatings, murders and other outrages.

Meanwhile, as the burden of the capitalist economic crisis is shifted onto the backs of all the workers, the black workers are shouldering a double load. They are suffering twice the national rate of unemployment, and joblessness among the black youth has taken on catastrophic proportions of nearly 50%. With a poverty rate at more than twice that of the population as a whole, over 35% of all black families struggle to survive below the government's official poverty level. Yet Reagan continues to cut back on unemployment insurance, food stamps, and even the miserly cheese handouts for the poor and hungry.

The Racist Offensive Is Rooted in the System

If Reagan acts the racist hangman, then the Democratic politicians play the role of priests sprinkling holy water on every new outrage. The smooth-talking Democrats are given this part to smother the flames of the mass struggle. In the face of each new racist atrocity they preach that the masses must "be cool" and "show restraint." Wait for another endless round of government "investigations," they counsel. Wait for the bestial police and government oppressors to change their racist spots and come to the aid of the oppressed. And, of course, wait for the next round of elections when voting in a Democrat will bring deliverance.

Behind the scenes, meanwhile, these Democratic Party "friends of the blacks and minorities" haven't lifted a finger against Reagan's segregationist drive. Nay more, they have gone along with many of his reactionary measures. Only yesterday these same Democrats were "honeymooning" with racist Reagan and rubber stamping his budget cuts. And only the day before that, it was the

Democrat Carter who was heading up the racist attacks and who was fittingly branded "Chief Racist" by the black people of Miami. Electing Carter's former vice-president or some other Democrat in '84 will change nothing.

Why? Because the Democrats are another party of the big capitalists, just like the Republicans. And the capitalist corporations and banks that they represent live off the oppression of the black people. The super-exploitation of the black workers and the divide-and-rule tactics against all the workers are a big source of extra profits. From the beginning the special oppression of the black people has been a cornerstone holding up the citadel of capitalist rule in this country.

The capitalists will never give up their racist system until they are swept from power. If yesterday they gave up some reforms, it was not out of a change of heart, but to quench the fires of the black revolt. Today they plan to take back every past gain with a renewed racist offensive. Only the mass struggle can beat back these plans. The revolt of the oppressed masses themselves is the key to breaking the racists' grip and opening the path to liberation.

For the Mass Struggle Against Racial Discrimination and Racist Terror

The fight against the racist offensive is a major battlefront in the fight against Reaganite reaction. It is part of the class struggle of all the working and downtrodden masses against the rich exploiters. In this struggle the workers of all races and nationalities must take their rightful place as the foremost champions of the liberation of the black people. Every racist outrage must be met with the militant weapon of mass struggle.

The Reagan government has thrown down a challenge. It is up to the working people to give him a fitting reply:

No to unemployment and hunger!

No to racial discrimination and segregation!

No to the KKK and to racist police terror!

Forward with the liberation of the black people!

[Photo: Miami's Liberty City rebellion of May, 1980. This rebellion broke out against the acquittal of the policemen responsible for the brutal murder of Arthur McDuffie.]

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Uphold the heritage of the black liberation struggle of the 1960's!

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the huge march on Washington of 1963. This anniversary brings to mind the decade of big demonstrations, rebellions, street battles and other mass struggles of the 1960's. It was these gigantic struggles by the black masses that struck big blows against the brutal system of Jim Crow segregation and racist oppression. To gain even the smallest right -- such as to drink at a public water fountain -- the black people had to shed their blood and fight racist terror. The big struggles of the 1960's allowed the black people to lift their heads.

In these struggles, many black leaders and militants fell as martyrs under the racists' bullets. There were Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and hundreds of unsung heroes. But not all these leaders had the same views.

The Democratic Party wants us to forget all these martyrs but one: M.L. King, Jr. This is because King, despite his tragic death, was a misleader. He stood for cooling down the mass struggle and for working hand in hand with the top leaders of the Democratic Party and the government. King believed in the "establishment" -- Malcolm X and Fred Hampton did not.

Today these two lines still exist. To wage an all-out fight against the Reaganite government, or to preach faith in the capitalist rulers and turning the other cheek as King did.

Active Resistance to Racism or King's "Turning the Other Cheek''

Throughout the 1960's the rebellion of the black people grew into a powerful force. By 1963 the demonstrations and battles had grown quite intense. To get education, to vote, to get a job -- the black people had to and did wage fierce battles. And they still have to.

But at every turn King strove to calm the masses down. He preached passive non-violence. The "Commitment Card" circulated by him in 1963 stressed that one had to "refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart." (See his book Why We Can't Wait) If the racists beat you up, you had to turn the other cheek. If the racists cursed you, you had to be silent. And you couldn't even hate the racists, for that would be "violence of the heart."

King's non-violence, however, applied only to the masses. He didn't demand nonviolence from the racist police forces. For example, in 1965, when the black masses rose in the powerful Watts Rebellion in Los Angeles, King supported the savage police repression against black people. "It was necessary," he declared, "that as powerful a police force as possible be brought in to check them [the rebelling black masses -- ed.]" (New York Times, August 16, 1965) When King went to Watts personally to advocate turning the other cheek, he was jeered and hooted.

Fighting the Racist Parties or Supporting the Democrats

In the 1960's the masses rose up against the racists, including both the Republican racists and the Dixiecrats and other Democratic Party racists. Step by step the masses began to see through the capitalist parties and to curse them as racist forces. The Democrats too were seen as oppressors of the blacks and the organizers of the genocidal war in Viet Nam.

The weakness of the 1960's consisted in the fact that the masses did not yet go far enough. Illusions still existed in various silver-tongued capitalist political liars, and independent revolutionary organization was not firmly established.

King was horrified at the growing political consciousness of the masses. He stood for converting the mass movement into a tail of the Democrats. In his own book Why We Can't Wait, he admitted that the black masses, who had overwhelmingly supported Kennedy's election to president, had become disillusioned and were turning away from the Democrats. Instead of welcoming this as an important step on the road of political enlightenment, King was panic-stricken. He did his best to prettify Kennedy. He planned his campaigns in close touch with the White House. And whenever the mass struggle forced grudging concessions from the government, he lauded Kennedy as the alleged source of all good things, advocating that Kennedy had risen "to the level of his own unswerving moral commitment."

Uphold the Lessons of the 1960's!

Today it is time to recall the legacy of the 1960's. Today the Reaganite Neanderthal racists are striving to take revenge on the black people. They are trying to scapegoat the black people for all the problems of this sick capitalist society. They are longing for the days of Jim Crow segregation when everyone "knew their place." There can only be one answer: struggle.

The Democrats tell us that all the advances came from congressional legislation. What a lie! Congress, and the war criminals like Kennedy and Johnson, only acted when they saw the specter of millions of militant black protesters from coast to coast. And even then, the legislation was only enforced when the masses rose up in struggle. Take the Voting Rights Act. It is almost two decades later, and it is still only enforced when the masses rise in battle.

So let us rise in mass struggle against the Reaganite racist offensive. This is the only answer. In this fight, let us be inspired by the memory of the 1960's. Let us oppose those who distort this memory by claiming that its lesson was "restraint" and turning the other cheek and recall its true lessons:

Unyielding struggle against the racists!

Denunciation of the Democrats as well as the Republicans!

Independent action by the masses against the wishes of the respectable establishment leaders!

[Photo: The black people of Newark confront troops in July, 1967. in that year rebellions broke out in over 90 cities.]

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15 million unemployed

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Workers must greet 'recovery' with struggle

As the economic depression has lasted on and on, the capitalist press and the Reagan administration have kept reassuring the workers that better times were yet to come. Keep faith in us, shouted these bloated moneybags. Stay the course. You may be out of work now, they said, but good times will come and trickle down to you.

Well, now the long-promised "good times" have allegedly come. The Reaganite clowns and their well-paid apologists are all cackling that the economy is allegedly on the rebound. Recovery is allegedly here. Why, the empty-headed faker Reagan himself announced at a luncheon a few days ago that there were only "pockets" of bad unemployment still left in America. (New York Times, August 6, 1983, p. 7)

Yet the government itself admits that over 10.6 million workers still walk the streets looking for work, and the real figure is closer to 15 million. Millions upon millions of workers waste days at a time waiting in long lines to receive miserable benefits -- if they are lucky enough to get any unemployment insurance or other funds to tide them over. Tens of millions of workers on the job watch their wages being slashed. Millions upon millions of workers and unemployed face the future and wonder: how shall we get through the next day?

In these conditions, the arrogant Reaganites are only condemning themselves and their beloved profit system out of their own mouths when they< dance and prance about "recovery." For they have thus admitted that ten million unemployed (really 15 million) is "recovery." Ten million unemployed is not just a temporary "recession." It is not just a passing nightmare. It is the reality of modern American capitalism in the 1980's; it is the reality of "recovery." Ten million unemployed -- or, they say, maybe if the workers are real polite and starve patiently for another year or two, "only" eight or nine million unemployed -- that is the good cheer that the capitalist spokesmen offer the working people as "recovery."

Workers! Unemployed! Think over this bitter lesson that your enemies, the Reaganites, are themselves so eager to shout about. It shows that there is no use waiting for "recovery." "Recovery" is here -- and it resembles nothing so much as permanent depression.

Karl Marx has been proved right once again. Under capitalism, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The "recovery" brings a stream of golden profits to the millionaires, while poverty hits new highs. Only the mass resistance of the working class prevents it from being reduced to abject degradation.

The only way to survive is to wage mass struggle against the capitalist overlords. Fight for jobs or livelihood for the unemployed! Fight against wage cuts and concessions! Fight for public education and other essential social services! Let all working people close their ranks to present a solid front against the capitalist offensive!

But as long as capitalism exists, exploitation, misery and oppression will remain. The workers must use the struggle against the capitalist offensive to organize themselves and to learn who their friends are and their enemies are. All the capitalist parties, the Democrats as well as the Republicans, must be exposed as the hypocritical tools of Reaganite reaction, as the enemies of the working people, while we must unite with the working people of all lands as our allies and brothers in the struggle for a new life. The struggle against the capitalist offensive must be used as a means to prepare to eliminate the obsolete system of capitalist exploitation and oppression, the obsolete system of production for the private profit of a handful of fatcat exploiters, and replace it with the only system worthy of an enlightened and industrious working class, the only system able to overcome economic depression, incessant warmongering, and filthy racism, the only system worthy of dedicating one's life to -- socialism!

The capitalists have given the challenge: either fight or starve. The answer must be the class struggle leading to the socialist revolution.

[Photo: On March 15, over 2,000 angry workers from dozens of cities demonstrated in Washington, D.C. against Reagan's economic program of mass unemployment and hunger.]

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AFL-CIO bosses sell out the struggle for jobs

The deep economic depression emphasizes the need for a struggle against unemployment, against wage slashing, against discrimination in employment, and so forth. The workers must unite in struggle against the exploiters.

But, in the very midst of this struggle, the workers find that they are stabbed in the back by the well paid bureaucrats who have usurped leadership of the unions. These bureaucrats are overbloated hacks with salaries the size of corporation executives. They denounce the class struggle and stand instead for cozy accommodations with the capitalist bosses.

Not Labor-Management Cooperation, But Class Struggle

The last thing the labor bureaucrats want is a real struggle against the rich corporations. Instead they stand for "labor-management cooperation." They hold that the workers and the fat cat capitalists have common interests.

What nonsense! There are no common interests between the shark and the swimmer. Labor-management cooperation cannot benefit the workers because the capitalist makes his money by exploiting his employees. Unemployment, for example, is a disaster for the worker but can be quite profitable for the capitalist. It is the capitalist way of ensuring that the burden of economic stagnation falls on the workers.

The capitalists make use of unemployment not just to save paying the wages to the workers heartlessly kicked out onto the streets, but also to threaten and intimidate the workers still on the job. The capitalists then brutally slash the wages of the workers who are still employed. And, while laying off millions of workers, the capitalists speed up and overwork the workers who remain.

Down With Concessions!

Only the class solidarity of the workers can face this threat. But "labor-management cooperation" means that the labor bureaucrats and the capitalist exploiters sit down together to impose concessions upon the workers. The labor hack gets his raise and the praise of bourgeois society, and the rank-and-file worker gets to tighten his belt.

The labor bureaucrats say that concessions save jobs. What a fraud! Concessions are simply Reaganomics translated into the language of labor contracts. Concessions no more help the workers than Reaganite social cutbacks help the poor.

Take the example of the auto industry. Chrysler has survived, and now the big three auto monopolies are making record profits of billions of dollars from the big cuts in the wages of the auto workers. But hundreds of thousands of auto jobs have been lost forever. And the capitalists, far from cooperating with the workers to save jobs, are still running heavy overtime so they can hire as few workers as they can.

Denounce the Racism and Anti-Foreign Worker Agitation of the Labor Bureaucrats

The labor hacks always have one excuse or another to avoid fighting the capitalists, or to stop the strikes short of victory, or to grant wage cuts and squeeze the workers. But suddenly these polite yes men of the billionaires become roaring lions when it comes to attacking the oppressed nationalities or the workers of other lands.

Today the labor bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO are involved in a big agitation against foreign workers. They smash Japanese automobiles and tell the workers to help defend the poor, helpless American billionaires against foreign competition. They try to make the American workers blame their plight not on the American capitalists, but on the workers of other lands. This is a complete betrayal, for the workers of all countries must unite together if they hope to win victory against the world force of big capital. The workers of all lands must not compete to see who can take the lowest wage or can have the blindest loyalty to the local moneybags, but must come together to form a great international army of labor.

And the labor bureaucrats seek to divide the American workers. The bulk of the AFL-CIO bureaucrats are notorious racists who for decades did their best to keep blacks and other minorities out of various unions. They are also in the forefront of vicious attacks on the "undocumented" immigrants. Instead of championing the cause of the most downtrodden workers, they compete with the bourgeoisie to see who can advocate the harshest measures.

For the Independent Organization of the Working Class

The Democratic Party politicians pretend that the working class movement is just the labor bureaucrats. They have good reason to engage in this charade, because the labor bureaucrats are real flunkeys of the capitalists right inside the workers' movement. Every step forward of the working class can only be made in fierce struggle against the treachery and outright opposition of the labor hacks.

The working class must make use of the fight against Reaganite reaction and mass poverty to organize itself. In this struggle, it must come to recognize the labor bureaucrats for what they are and to overthrow them. The working class must organize itself independently of the capitalist exploiters and of their loyal agents, the labor bureaucrats.

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Defend the Undocumented Immigrant Workers!

[Photo: 3,000 workers marched through downtown Los Angeles June 11 to denounce the anti-immigrant Simpson-Mazzoli bill now pending In Congress. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have been pushing for anti-worker, anti-immigrant bills. The Simpson-Mazzoli bill will not only increase the exploitation of the immigrants, but it will force a national ID card on all workers.

The AFL-CIO bureaucracy has once again revealed Its racist nature by demanding even tougher measures than the proposed Simpson-Mazzoli bill. While calling for "labor-management" cooperation with the billionaires, the AFL-CIO bureaucrats have launched one campaign after another to try to set the workers to fight each other.]

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