Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Progressive Labor Party Says: Watergate: Nothing’s Changed; Same Old Billionaires’ Dogfight!


First Published: Challenge, October 4, 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Since the advent of the Watergate investigations, nothing has occurred to indicate this dog fight between the more established section of the bosses and the newer wing of the ruling class has been of help to workers and our friends.

Prices have been rising more rapidly than ever;
There have been occasional flip-flops on price controls–but there has been no vacillation among bosses about maintaining wage controls (these controls are really wage roll-backs as the cost of living far outpaces any wage raises );
Recently, U.S. bosses and their politicos and their military apparatus, taking advantage of the opportunist Allende government, has openly intervened through their stooges to install open fascism in Chile.

US bosses are doing what they are best at– killing workers and communists.

So those with any illusions can be shown by these and countless other events that the Watergate hearings are strictly an internal battle royal among the industrialists, and that there is nothing to be gained by people choosing sides. In order to detour workers and others from focusing more on their real needs, a great deal of dust is being hurled to block their vision. And of course, for partisan reasons, much of this dirt is used by one side or another within the ruling class.

For example: the great battle of the tapes. We are being told that our fate hangs on whether Nixon does or does not turn over the tapes to the courts. Points of view on this matter coincide with which side of the ruling class they are on.

BUT WHAT IF NIXON DOES TURN OVER THE tapes? What if they prove he planned the entire Watergate affair among others? Do we need tapes to prove that our conditions are worsening? If the tapes prove Nixon is the scoundrel, the N.Y. Times and others claim he is, we will all still have to work the next day for low wages. And we will still have to pay exorbitant prices for everything. Hearing the tapes or not will never break the wage freeze. The wage freeze is unanimously called for by all bosses. They can always unite about screwing us.

In any event, even if Nixon does turn over the tapes our appetite for behind-the-scene info will probably not be satisfied. By now, these big crooks probably have Howdy Doody on the tapes!

A lot is being made of continued Senate hearings. The big struggle over whether they should continue and for how long seems to be settled. The compromise calls for shortened hearings, keeping the choicest morsels out of the senate chambers.

But what did the previous hearings do for us? Did they break the wage freeze? Did they smash racism? Did they place power in the hands of the workers? Did they promote 30 for 40?

The hearings were an attempt to line up mass support among the people for a gut movement to dump Nixon. However, there was much interest in the hearings. Some insight was shed into how the bosses fight with one another so they can screw us, and hold state power. But the hearings didn’t help us one iota at the supermarket. Nor did the hearings put one red cent more in our pay checks. So what difference does it make to us whether the hearings go on?

BY AND LARGE THE LIBERALS WERE NOT able to organize an impeach Nixon movement among any section of the population. While many “left” mouthpieces, pasted up stickers, etc., to advocate this route for workers, there were very few followers. This was so because many people were indifferent. But more important, many workers know that the actual fight goes on in the FACTORIES AND IN THE COMMUNITIES AROUND REAL ISSUES THAT DO CONCERN THEM.

However, bosses are growing very concerned about this. Unable to divert or live together through Watergate, they now have to fight more directly on the production line. Bosses were badly rattled by the rank and file upsurge in auto in which members of the Progressive Labor Party played a good role. In a recent issue of Business Week they show this concern:

“Unfortunately, UAW leadership has been under increasing pressure from the rank and file to toughen its demands. Chrysler workers are particularly militant about plant safety and discipline, and contract talks are being held against a background of local wildcat strikes against Chrysler. The union leaders will have to remember that they are negotiating not just a contract with a single company but a wage scale for one of the nation’s biggest and most important industries.”

So not only are they scared of the workers, but they are admonishing their labor leader stooges to get that sell-out.

Bosses are worried that important working class action for improved wages and conditions will aggravate the already weakened position of US bosses in the world market. This is what Watergate is basically about, how to improve the U.S. position as a world power.

The big bosses–those that control the eastern establishment and the monopolized industries– have come out far ahead in their fight over controlling the economy and the governmental machinery. The sharpest area of their fight took place in the oil industry. In fuel oil, and in gasoline, they have been able to weaken the newer oil barons. The energy crisis is really a dodge to force the independent producers to their knees by curtailing supplies. The fuel oil shortage is more of the same. The big oil monopolies won’t sell to the independents, thus creating artificial shortages. Bosses aren’t interested in our health but in profits.

Since the beginning of the Watergate affair, Nixon has been cut down to size. Many of his political cronies have been dumped and some of his policies have been changed in favor of the eastern establishment. The significance of Watergate is shown by the fact that neither section of the ruling class was able to solidify its base among workers. And since the inception of Watergate, we have pointed out who is fighting whom and in whose interest. This has been of some help to workers not to be sucked in.

You can’t ally with any section of the ruling class. There are no good or better bosses. This is one of the lessons of Chile. In Chile and elsewhere, many people thought you could elect socialism, and have unity with some bosses. Many people are paying with their lives because fake radicals peddled this junk. (These “communist parties” are now just organizing defense committees to save people whom they helped to slaughter.)

Ironically, both the revisionists in Moscow and Peking have allied themselves with Nixon, seeing deep dark plots against themselves because the old money is at odds with the new money. While local “leftists” were calling Nixon a fascist their pals in Moscow and Peking were hailing him as a “great statesman.”

U.S. workers have shown far more insight into Watergate than all these big brains and “theoriticians” by pursuing the class struggle, and by building up their independent class organizations.