Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Watergate: Political Crisis Escalates

First Published: People’s Tribune, Vol. 5, No. 6, July 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The latest events in the Watergate hearings indicate that the legislative and executive branches of the government are heading on a collision course. Both the Senate Watergate Committee and the special Watergate prosecutor have subpoenaed President Nixon to surrender tapes and papers related to the Watergate scandal. President Nixon refused to honor the subpoenas using the excuse of executive privilege, and now both the committee and the prosecutor are moving separately to have the courts order Nixon to produce the tapes and papers.

The bourgeois press and the traitorous CPUSA would have us believe that this is a struggle between reaction and democracy, that Senator Sam Ervin has become the crusader of democracy in spearheading the exposures of the Watergate scandal. The stage has also been set for further exposures on secret bombings in Cambodia and North Vietnam. However, is there all of a sudden a democratic tendency in the Senate? Of course not.

This is not a struggle between reaction and democracy, but a struggle for the independence of the Senate, for a separation of powers. This independence has not been necessary since the Truman administration. What has changed? Again we must turn to the economic situation, Certain financial groupings are rising who do not like Nixon’s policies. These groups are expressing themselves through the Senate in a bitter struggle for their “rights.”

The only road open to the Senate is to win and mobilize the masses in their behalf. To do this they must call for progressive legislation. This can only further aggravate the split in the ruling class, leading to a polarisation within that class. This polarization will create the conditions for a revolutionary situation for history has shown us that revolution is not possible unless the ruling class is polarized.

This impending crisis will arouse the masses of people and lead to a spontaneous uprising. We must capture this motion and expose the true nature of this struggle. Senator Ervin is no more fighting for the interests of the working class than is President Nixon. We must assent the independence of the working class. Marx tells us that the workers “themselves will have to do the most for their final victory by becoming enlightened as to their own interests, by taking up their own independent party position as soon as possible and by not allowing themselves for a single moment to be led astray from the independent organizations of the party of the proletariat by the hypocritical phrases of the democratic bourgeois.”[1]

We must use this opportunity given to us by the bourgeoisie to build an independent party of the working class that will give the working class consciousness. Only in this way, can we channel the spontaneous energy of the masses to take state power away from the hands of the bourgeoisie and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.


[1] Marx, Selected Works, “Address to Central Committee of Communist League,” pp. 166-67.