The Workers' Advocate Supplement

Vol. 1, No. 10


Dec. 10, 1985

[Front Page: Interview with Comrade Isidro Tellez of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua -November 1985]



Killing the Movement with Kindness -- and Police (Speech at Boston Anti-Apartheid Rally)......... 15
Poem on the Death of Benjamin Moloise............. ............................................................................. 21
News from Iran ................................................................................................................................... 25
World Revisionist Symposium Lauds Errors of 7th C.I. Congress .................................................... 28
Correction to last issue of WA ............................................................................................................ 21

Report from Syracuse: The labor bureaucrats betray contract struggle at Carrier Corp.................... 23
Solidarity of Information Bulletin with Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists ............................................. 15

Interview with Comrade Isidro Tellez of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua - November 1985






(On the concessions contract at Carrier Corporation -- manufacturer of air conditioning)



Interview with Comrade Isidro Tellez of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua - November 1985

During his tour of the U.S. in November, comrade Isidro Tellez not only carried out a heavy schedule of discussions and meetings, but also gave an interview to The Workers' Advocate. Excerpts from this interview were published in the Dec. 1st issue of The Workers' Advocate, along with extensive reports on the solidarity tour of the U.S. Below we carry the full interview. The translation and the sub-heads are by the staff of The Workers' Advocate.

In the first days of December, the Reagan administration is beating the drums for a further escalation of its war on the Nicaraguan workers and peasants. Now that the Democrats have finished voting for a "humanitarian", "non-lethal" war on Nicaragua, the Reagan administration is demanding yet more steps to prop up the contra bands of murderers and thugs. Using the pretext of the Sandinista use of Cuban advisers, it is shouting about foreign intervention in Central America, as if it weren't the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department that are the biggest aggressors in Central America and that are directing the most atrocious massacre of the workers and peasants of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America.

This underlines the need to build a militant solidarity movement with the workers and peasants of Nicaragua and all Central America and to oppose U.S. imperialism. It underlines the need to cast off illusions in the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party. It marks another fiasco in the Sandinista strategy of seeking to appease U.S. imperialism and the domestic bourgeoisie. And it gives additional importance to support for the class-conscious Vanguard of the Nicaraguan workers, namely, the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists organized in the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (formerly MAP/ML).


Interview With comrade Isidro Tellez of the MLP of Nicaragua (MAP/ML)


The Workers' Advocate:

Last month the Sandinista government declared a series of emergency laws, including banning strikes and demonstrations, and censoring the press. What is the attitude of the MLP of Nicaragua towards this new state of emergency?

Comrade Tellez:

Last month, as the question points out, the FSLN suspended through the government thirteen articles of law which covered a series of rights of the workers. Among these articles suspended by the Sandinistas, basically taking away the rights of the workers was the right to strike. Included as well were the right to organize trade unions and popular organizations, and the right to mobilize and to organize in general.

Certainly our Party, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MAP/ML), does not agree with the Sandinista position when they try to justify the state of emergency by saying it is intended to strike at the counterrevolutionary forces.

The FSLN itself, that is, the general staff of the army, the Popular Sandinista Army, had given a public news conference, more or less three days before the state of emergency decree, where they said the counterrevolutionary forces had been hit very hard. They were summing up the actions carried out by the Popular Sandinista Army (EPS) against the armed counterrevolutionary bands, and they were saying they had met with, great success in military terms.

The Workers Are Questioning the Sandinista Program

Nevertheless, we see that the workers' movement is at this time questioning the program of "mixed economy" and "national unity". This program has resulted in the workers finding themselves in a situation of superexploitation, bearing the brunt of the economic crisis.

Naturally our Party, which. is linked with the workers' movement and the mass movement, has been implementing a policy of denouncing and attacking this program of "mixed economy" which, as I was pointing out, creates great difficulties for the working masses. A series of slogans which our Party has launched in the workers' movement have been taken up; and the masses and the working class have gone into motion around these slogans. While it is true that we can't say that these slogans have taken concrete shape in a vast organization, nevertheless they have given rise to spontaneous movements of the workers who stand up to question the damage caused, by the program of "mixed economy".

At the same time, the Party has taken up the line of struggle against the bureaucratic apparatus of the state. In the emergency conditions which the Sandinistas assert exists, Sandinism has not taken to suspending all those privileges which exist both for the bureaucracy as for the bourgeoisie, nor the concessions which Sandinism has been giving to the bourgeoisie, in economic terms (granting credits and incentives, even in dollars). Nevertheless, its policy has been quite strict in maintaining economic restrictions on the working masses. The working masses are affected both by the economic blockade of U.S. imperialism as well as by the actions which the bourgeoisie unfolds internally, such as in the spreading of the black market which pushes prices sky high, and which negatively affects the Nicaraguan working class and masses.

The Aim of the Sandinistas in Imposing the State of Emergency

Therefore we consider that the aim of the Sandinistas in imposing the state of emergency is basically to stop that mass discontent which is stirring, although, as I was saying, these manifestations have been spontaneous. Sandinism is seeing that its own program is being questioned, and it tries to take measures in order to maintain a certain stability in the country, a stability in which the struggle of the working class, which is in contradiction with the program of "national unity" and "mixed economy", cannot emerge.

In the context of this situation, it is natural that on the international level the FSLN tries to create the appearance that there is a situation of peace and stability in Nicaragua. Within the frame work of the negotiations which they have established through the Contadora group and the demands which they have made to the Reagan administration, no doubt the Sandinistas have the greatest desire to prevent any mass movement, any questioning of this program. This is because that is their letter of introduction in these negotiations which take place in Contadora and which, as I was saying, are aimed at opening up a process of negotiations with the Reagan administration.

The MLPN Is for Hitting the Counterrevolution

Our Party's stand with respect to the state of emergency is in the context that we do agree with hitting the counterrevolution; and our understanding is that the counterrevolution isn't only armed counterrevolutionary bands that operate in the northern part of the country. We understand that the counterrevolution has its manifestation in the military field as well, as in the political terrain inside Nicaragua.

Since the creation of the Contadora Group formed by the capitalist governments of Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama, we have been denouncing the line of U.S. imperialism and of the Contadora group as a line aimed at creating an internal political counterrevolutionary front which would generate confusion among the masses. we have certainly seen this borne out. In this direction, we think that this internal counterrevolutionary front, which expresses the stands of U.S. imperialism, and which expresses the interests of social-democracy, has been opened in Nicaragua, protected by the acceptance and legalization which Sandinism has given them.

Only the Mobilization of the Masses Can Stop the Counterrevolution

Nevertheless, we find that the state of emergency decree does not strike at these forces. We say that it is not necessarily through a decree or a state of emergency that one is going to strike blows at the counterrevolutionary forces. We think that only through the mobilization of the masses, their action, the militant mobilization of the working class, will it be possible to stop the development of this internal counterrevolutionary front and, at the same time, to stop the activity of these forces.

We don't consider that the counterrevolution is being hurt through the state of emergency decreed by the FSLN. For us the counterrevolution includes also the parties that are in the national assembly: the Independent Liberal Party; the Popular Social-Christian Party; the Democratic Conservative Party; and also the two revisionist parties, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party, which shake hands with these counterrevolutionary parties in order to act against the revolutionary process.

Oppose the Emergency Restrictions on the Masses

Thus, the stand of the Party is one of struggle against the state of emergency decree which we consider to be aimed basically at preventing the mobilization of the masses, at impeding the organization of the working class which would allow it to propel the advance and deepening of the revolution. In other words, we don't think the state of emergency is causing any harm to the counterrevolutionary forces. We think that these counterrevolutionary forces and the parties I've mentioned have formed a front. This front expresses the political stands of all those political parties as well as the Catholic hierarchy, which is the spearhead of the counterrevolutionary parties among the masses. The Catholic hierarchy has been generating a series of movements, of demonstrations, from the pulpits, and the state of emergency doesn't affect this in the least. The state of emergency has not been applied to this violation of the emergency laws on the part of the Catholic hierarchy.

In synthesis, then, our Party does not support the state of emergency in its entirety. We support those measures which tend to hit at the bourgeoisie; but since there are a number of measures which are aimed against the workers' movement, we reject and denounce them. We consider that these are measures which will impede the revolutionary action of the working class and the masses.

How the Sandinistas Treat the Reactionary Press and How They Treat the Workers Press

Now, it is also said that the state of emergency affects the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press. But this is not something new in the state of emergency. We have been denouncing this restriction with regards to the written and spoken press. These are measures which Sandinism had been implementing from before.

Let me give a further example. The counterrevolutionary press of the bourgeoisie, La Prensa, comes out daily in Nicaragua. The Sandinista government has what they call the Direccion de Medios y Comunicaciones. [Directory of Media and Communications], which is the body that reviews all the materials which the newspapers are seeking to publish. Thus La Prensa submits its materials for censorship. There is no variation, La Prensa can criticize series of deeds of the government and even publish communiques. The only thing La Prensa cannot do, as well as the press as a whole, is to talk about the military situation. But besides this, they can speak of anything they want. This review on the part of the Direccion de Medios y Comunicaciones is a daily occurrence for La Prensa [La Prensa is a daily.]

We have our newspaper, Prensa Proletaria, and sometimes weeks go by before they finally authorize the materials we take to the Direccion de Medios.

And it is a law the paper can not come out if the Direccion de Medios hasn't looked through the materials. Thus, we point out that the freedom of the working class press is fundamentally restricted, while Sandinism shows a flexible attitude towards the bourgeois press.

The renewed suspension of press freedoms under the state of emergency has had no effect. La Prensa continues to function, just as it had been, on a daily basis, with the same vacillating measures of Sandinism. And we believe that the workers' press is under the same restrictions as before. Basically, this is why we have put forth that the struggle against the state of emergency is one of defending the rights of the workers, the rights of the masses to be able to act, to prepare and organize, so as to carry out a truly revolutionary defense of the revolutionary process. We do not think those bureaucratic measures taken by the government are going to hurt the counterrevolutionary forces, since these forces are acting freely.

The Revisionist Parties Have Formed a Bloc With the Bourgeoisie

Now, as part of our position, we have pointed out that a frontal struggle must be waged as well to denounce revisionism. The revisionists are also part of this internal counterrevolutionary front, and they have formed an alliance, a bloc, which our Party has correctly labeled a bourgeois-revisionist bloc. This bloc has been formed to pressure Sandinism towards the path of negotiations with the armed counterrevolution, for negotiations with Reagan and for negotiations in Contadora.

We find then that the revisionist parties are carrying out a particularly harmful work, because these parties have had, and still have, links with the workers, and they are trying to pull the workers' movement along towards a bourgeois bloc, a reactionary bloc ... We find that they are trying to manipulate the discontent among the working masses, to manipulate them and place them under the leadership of the bourgeois-revisionist bloc. For this reason our Party takes up the struggle to expel the revisionists from the workers' movement.

At the same time we point out that the FSLN rather likes this game that revisionism is playing in the formation of this bourgeois-revisionist bloc. We have pointed out that there are no [fundamental] differences between the program [for capitalist mixed economy, etc.] of the FSLN and the stands of this bloc itself. We have carried out an all-sided activity among the masses to clarify and denounce the positions of the Sandinistas and of this bloc, which are the same positions. As we have pointed out, it is a power struggle between the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie in Nicaragua.

Meanwhile we, the Marxist-Leninist Party, demand the reinstitution of the rights of the workers. This was the stand which we upheld in the national assembly where the state of emergency decree was discussed. Nevertheless, Sandinism expressed its [stand] of restricting the rights of the workers, which means that our Party and the Workers' Front [the MLPN'S trade union organization] will take up the line of demanding the reinstitution of those rights of the workers. We think these rights must be reinstituted, but we understand that this will take place only through the actions of the workers' movement and the mass movement.


The Workers' Advocate:

We have seen reports about a workers' demonstration before the National Assembly carried out a few hours before the declaration of the state of emergency on October 15. What was the nature of this protest, and what role did the MLPN play in it?

Comrade Tellez:

Regarding the nature of the workers' demonstration. It took place fundamentally because the workers were demanding a revision concerning the thirteenth month. A little explanation is needed as to what the thirteenth month is.

In the times of Somocism, through struggle the working class was able to win the demand that at the end of every year business should grant one month of salary to the workers. The workers raised this demand for this time because in Nicaragua people celebrate Christmas and it is understood that Christmas implies that the working people have expenses to buy certain necessities, such as food, toys for the children, the celebration of December 24 and New Years. These are customs in Nicaragua.

However, this requires that the workers should have more resources since these are extra expenses which are not accounted for in their monthly salaries. This year-end bonus was a conquest of the working class movement.

However, after the triumph of the revolution, the Sandinista Front, through the Government Junta of National Reconstruction, declared that, given the crisis caused by Somocism in the State Treasury and in the various enterprises, they were going to suspend payment of the thirteenth month. The Sandinistas, however, did not take this measure in a drastic way because there were signs of doubts about this among the masses; even the trade union centers questioned [the plans to suspend the bonus]. So a partial measure was put forward to give only half of this thirteenth month [with the other half going to a fund allegedly for the unemployed]. In other words, if a worker earned 2,000 cordobas per month, he would receive 1,000. Maximum payment for the thirteenth month would be 1,000 cordobas, even if one earned 5,000 cordobas per month.

The Present Wage Policy of the Sandinistas

The situation developed in this way and here we are six years after the revolution. Given the economic situation of the working class, the workers have been raising questions, not only about the thirteenth month bonus, but about the whole wage policy of the Sandinistas. Under the pressure of the black market existing in the country, the Sandinistas have been carrying out, a series of salary adjustments, but these adjustments have been and are still well below the rise in prices of the basic consumer goods.

The complete wage scale has a series of categories, 29 categories including those of high officials. What has happened under these wage ceilings? In 1982 wages were stipulated [by the government], including those of high officials who could earn at most 10,000 cordobas. However, we found that for the bureaucratic apparatus, ministers and sub-ministers, the basic salary of 10,000 cordobas did not apply in reality, since over and above this salary they got fuel, cars, and did not pay for services; that is to say, in reality they had a salary above 20,000 cordobas. The Sandinistas lost control over those salaries, that is, the Sandinista's policy is directed towards giving privileges to the bureaucratic apparatus and restrict the salaries of the workers.

The National Assembly also discussed the wage schedules. In those wage schedules the workers' minimum wage was quite ridiculous. It was quite absurd since it was a salary that did not meet the needs of the workers. On that occasion our Party proposed in the National Assembly that an automatic cost of living adjustment in wages be included in the salary bill and be established by law. However, this was a position that we were not able to have approved by the National Assembly. The Assembly approved the line and criteria followed by the Sandinistas towards the wage policy for the workers.

The Maneuver of the Bourgeois-Revisionist Bloc on the Question of the 13th Month

Thus, last month we found this whole situation developing. December was approaching and with it the payment of the thirteenth month. The revisionists and the bourgeois parties proposed a bill, which was signed by the Conservative Party of Nicaragua, calling for the question of the thirteenth month to be reconsidered. They were trying to manipulate those just demands of the workers' movement to put forward that they are an alternative for the workers and that they are fighting for their rights. This was a joint maneuver of these parties and the revisionists.

We understood the intentions and the aims of the proposal of revisionism and the right-wing parties. Our Party and the Workers' Front began discussing how to fight this maneuver of the revisionists. The revisionists were proposing that the thirteenth month he paid in full and that the unemployment fund be suspended. It was clear that this [proposal] included payment in full to the bureaucracy. This was a position which does not have a definite class character, that does not try to allow for rallying together the workers, for the unity of the workers' movement around its demands, as it includes the bureaucratic apparatus, ministers, businessmen, etc.

The Stand of the Marxist-Leninists

The Party concluded that we are not for a line of giving more privileges to the bureaucracy, neither to the state bureaucracy, nor to that of the apparatus of the bourgeois enterprises. Already the wages for the bureaucratic apparatus have reached between 30 and 40,000 cordobas, [10,000 cordobas per month was only the maximum in 1982, and both severe inflation and the Sandinista policy of pampering the bureaucracy have continued since then], plus the prerogatives given them by Sandinism. We pointed out that it was necessary to put forward a policy which would allow for the activity of the workers and which would mobilize the workers. Therefore we proposed a position according to categories. We analyzed that in the category 20 and below, with monthly wages of 21,000 cordobas and below [about $30 U.S.], are included the greet majority of the workers in the various production centers, both in the factories as well as in agriculture, in cotton and coffee. That is where we find the great majority of the forces that generate the wealth in Nicaragua, the productive forces. ... [And therefore the thirteenth month bonus should be paid in full only to those in category 20 and below.]

The Sandinista Proposal

The Sandinistas came up with another proposal. They proposed [a ceiling on the bonus] at category 10. [This ceiling was close to the minimum wage, but it would even exclude many of these lowest category workers because the nominal category] is not necesarily what the workers are earning. The workers earn more than this minimum wage, not be cause of any decisions of the Sandinistas, but because the workers make efforts to improve their income, they work extra hours, in sum, they make a series of sacrifices to come out with a higher salary than the established one.

The Bourgeois-Revisionist Bloc Tries to Win Over the Workers

Naturally the right-wing parties and revisionism tried to manipulate the demand for the thirteenth month... Around the bill proposed by the Conservatives and the Socialists, they tried to win over to their side the workers' movement and the administrators and the bureaucracy. This bill was approved by COSEP [the Superior Council of Private Enterprise]. COSEP declared itself in favor of giving the workers the thirteenth month in full. There were demonstrations by the parties of the right. At the same time the revisionists tried to establish unity to act jointly with the right-wing trade union centers. Then the following trade union centers got together: the CAUS and the CGT(i), where the revisionist parties are; the CTN of the Popular Social-Christian Party; and the CUS, which is the trade union center affiliated to the AFL-CIO. This latter trade union center has pronounced itself as the trade union organization of the Social-Democratic Party of Nicaragua [a party of the right-wing opposition].

The Marxist-Leninists Defeat the Bourgeois-Revisionist Maneuver Among the Workers

We gave the orientation to the base of the Party and to the Workers' Front to develop a whole activity inside the workers' movement to block the maneuver of the right-wing parties and the revisionists. The revisionists want to have a greater impact and to recuperate from being discredited in the workers movement, so they launched a trade union leader on a hunger strike to have a greater impact. This took place two days before the national assembly discussed the bill on the thirteenth month. The radio stations broadcast news about the hunger strike, and the private news programs pointed out that there was going to be a demonstration in front of the national assembly, a workers demonstration. They did not say that it was to pressure the Assembly, but rather to see why the thirteenth month was going to be discussed.

The Party made extra efforts and we set for ourselves the line of capturing from revisionism and the right-wing trade union centers the leadership of this movement. This objective was achieved by the Party. And why is it that the Party achieved this objective of wrestling this mass movement from revisionism? This is because the Party has historically upheld a firm and clear stand in favor of the interests of the workers, and hence we have prestige.

Therefore it was not difficult for us to expose this maneuver of the bourgeoisie and revisionism when they tried to manipulate this right of the workers.

At the Demonstration

At the site of the demonstration, we were the first ones to arrive with a number of worker comrades who had not gone to work to attend the rally. This frightened the revisionists, who said that they were not able to mount a struggle to wrestle from us the leadership of the movement. Meanwhile, through the police force, the Sandinistas tried to block the workers' rally. Hundreds of police cars tried to disperse the workers that were going to the Assembly. But they were unable to disperse them, and a rally took place of more than 3,000 workers. Our representatives to the National Assembly came out and spoke at length, explaining to the workers our stand and, at the same time, denouncing the maneuvers of revisionism and the manipulations of the bourgeoisie.

In essence, we find that it was only the Party that was present in that workers' demonstration. There were a couple of members of the base of the Socialist Party, who did not dare to fight us in any way or to polemicize against the stands of the Party. The bourgeois-revisionist trade union bloc had no impact on the demonstration; to a certain extent they had retreated. The revisionists representatives to the assembly, as well as the representatives of the bourgeois parties, did not even come out to talk to the workers. The only one that dared to speak with the workers was a Sandinista trade union leader who is a representative to the Assembly, but the workers did not accept his participation and he was rejected. We find that the rally on the question of the thirteenth month came under the leadership of our Party and supported the position upheld by the Party regarding a ceiling on the bonus at category 20.

More on Proposal of the Marxist-Leninists on the 13th Month

Our proposal with regards to the thirteenth month was that the name of the unemployment fund should be a changed. From the report given by the Finance Minister we found that this unemployment fund was only such in name, but that the fund was really destined for something else. We found that there were loans from the fund given to the bourgeoisie, to improve roads for them [into their farmlands], etc. We pointed out in the Assembly that this was a tax imposed on the workers and that it was not necessarily an unemployment fund. We said that we indeed were for the creation of a fund, but that it should be to fight US imperialist aggression. And we said that if there are officials that earn more than 21,000 cordobas, that they should get thirteenth month of 21,000 cordobas and the rest should be given, to the fund. 0n the other hand, we put forward the position that the fund itself must be strengthened by affecting the earnings of the bourgeoisie. At the same time the incentives to the bourgeoisie should be affected, including the incentives given in dollars, and that the workers should not bear the burden of the fund. That is the position of our Party, regarding the question 'of the thirteenth month.

It could be seen in the National Assembly that the revisionists, and even the leaders of the right-wing trade union centers, were upholding a demagogical, populist stand, and that they even seemed to be talking in favor of the proposal of our Party. But that was something superficial in the discussion, because afterwards they supported only those positions that do not affect the bourgeoisie. They have been upholding, throughout their activity, a position of support for the "mixed economy" and for "national unity". Of course, if they were to change to a position of saying that the incentives to the bourgeoisie should be affected, they would be questioning the project of 'mixed economy" that their political leadership has supported.

The Declaration of the State of Emergency

Such is, more or less, the situation regarding the workers' demonstration. This question of the thirteenth month was what originated the decree of the state of emergency, which was decreed during that demonstration. The workers, were demonstrating at 6:00 pm, and we found that the National Assembly was discussing the thirteenth month while the President of the Republic and his government were discussing the state of emergency. They first decided to decree the state of emergency, even before considering the question of the thirteenth month.

From this we come to the conclusion that when the Sandinistas saw that workers' demonstration they tried to prevent any actions by the workers. What the workers were demonstrating was that if the Party's proposal was not approved, which was the demand that the workers were making, then they were going to develop a strike movement. To prevent this, the Sandinistas took restrictive and threatening measures against the workers.

Daniel Ortega gave the justification here in the United States, which was made public internationally, that this was a demonstration of 200 to 400 workers that were being manipulated by the "ultra-left" Or - at times, it was said - by the "left". It is not true that there were [only] 200 or 300 workers, but there were 3,000 workers. Sandinism is afraid of demonstrations of this type, because they undoubtedly interfere with the schemes that the Sandinistas uphold in their government platform. The Sandinistas staunchly support their program of national unity," of "mixed economy," of class conciliation. So they have to try to prevent such an ascent of the workers' movement.


The Workers' Advocate:

The opportunist press in the USA confuses the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MAP/ML) with the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, calling them all "ultra-left". Could you say more about the role which the Socialist Party and the Communist Party are playing in the class struggle in Nicaragua.

Comrade Tellez:

Yes, undoubtedly, on the international level, the FSLN tries to hide the independent position which our Party maintains. As I was pointing out, the MLPN maintains a struggle against the program of national unity. We also carry out a struggle against revisionism. Thus we find that there is a whole manipulation carried out by Sandinism on the international level whose essential aim is to hide our presence, our independent stand. The Sandinistas try to make it seen as though in Nicaragua you only have the FSLN, and then the bourgeoisie and the revisionist parties, which in essence... follow a line of convergence with the parties of the right.

Throughout the interview I have been pointing out that revisionism is in a bloc with the parties of the right. The Sandinistas speak as though the revisionist parties and ourselves were in a bloc. But we are upholding an independent position, an independent position based fundamentally on the Nicaraguan working class. Thus, most certainly the reactionary press internationally tries to minimize our presence and the class stand which we uphold inside the country.

Now, what is the revisionists' stand on the workers' movement? At a certain point, they supported all the measures which the Sandinistas applied against the workers, against the mass movement. Under their conception that in Nicaragua a well defined bourgeois democratic regime must be established, they don't believe in, nor are they in favor of, the struggle for socialism in Nicaragua. They say conditions for socialism don't exist. For this reason they follow a line of convergence with the parties of the bourgeoisie and, as a consequence, they also converge with the program followed by the Sandinistas. This goes in the direction of the bourgeois institutionalization [the process of adopting a bourgeois-liberal constitution, laws, electoral system, etc] in Nicaragua. And so naturally, revisionism has been supporting all those policies which the Sandinista government has been following regarding institutionalization.

Thus there is no fundamental difference between revisionism and Sandinism. It is merely perhaps a matter of tactical differences as to the application of the program of class conciliation which Sandinism, been implementing. We have said that this has been creating conditions in Nicaragua for reconstruction along capitalist lines, which were strongly shaken as a result of the victory of July 19 [1979].

Nevertheless, Sandinism tries, and will continue trying to confuse the international working class, by saying that MAP/ML is taking up "ultra-leftist" and "adventurist" positions, and that we just won't try to understand what they call the "wisdom" of their program. As for us, actually we have taken up the line of denouncing that program, because the weight of that program, as I was saying before, is basically falling on the workers' backs. A policy of exploitation of the workers is' being applied through that program.

To sum up, there are big differences between ourselves and the opportunist positions of revisionism, and [the stands] of the parties of the right, as well as the petty-bourgeois stand of the FSLN, which through all means tries to find some way in which to negotiate the Nicaraguan revolutionary process with imperialism and the exploiters.


The Workers' Advocate:

How does the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua see the current tasks of military defense against aggression by U.S. imperialism and the Somocist bands?

Comrade Tellez:

We think that the defense of the revolution must not be only in its military aspect. We consider that the defense of the revolution must be seen in its political, economic and military aspects. Why is this?

From the political angle, we consider that only on the basis of a political and programmatic definition can there be clarity around, the objectives of the defense of the revolution by the working class. Without a political stimulus, it would be difficult for the working class to join in the defense of the revolution. Rather, the question would arise: what revolution? Thus, it has to be clearly defined, in programmatic terms: which direction is the revolution to take?

I say also that it is a struggle as well in the economic sphere. This is because if a line is followed of not solving the economic problems of the popular masses, of the working class, then it would be difficult to conceive of the working class participating militantly in the defense of the revolution. Why is this? The economic measures that Sandinism has applied with respect to the working class have been restrictive measures. You have an economic situation which, as I mentioned earlier, basically weighs on the working class. At the same time Sandinism does not try to solve those problems, and so there is no stimulus for the working class to join in, in a militant way, in the defense of the revolution. Nor is there a stimulus for the revolutionary youth either, as its problems in that sphere are not solved. Nor is there a stimulus for the popular sectors in this sense. The problems of housing, of low wages, of high cost of living, are very significant problems which preoccupy the working class and popular masses. Then, as long as a worker has serious economic problems, as long as he can't take care of his family, it will be difficult for him to join in the military defense of the revolution.

Thus our conception of the military defense is that it is not only military, but also political, and that at the same time, only by resolving the economic problems of the workers will there be a clear, firm participation in the all-sided defense of the Nicaraguan revolutionary process.

In this regard the correctness of our stand is being proven through practice. Why? Because, currently, as the working class and sectors of the popular masses are having big problems, their participation in defense has been, rather limited. I was pointing out that in 1980, '81, and part of '82 and '83, there was a great enthusiasm around the victory of July 19. The FSLN had a lot of prestige among the masses and could mobilize the masses.

Nevertheless, today, given these problems and given this policy of not solving these problems but allowing things to become worse for the working masses, the result has been the relative demobilization of the masses. Because of this, Sandinism has been following the course of passing laws and taking bureaucratic measures to force the masses and the workers to take up defense in a compulsory fashion.

Thus they have passed the law on the military service, which the Sandinistas call "Patriotic Military Service", but which is obligatory. In other words, the Sandinistas try to substitute bureaucratic measures for the voluntary acts of the masses.

For this reason the Party has put forth its stands around defense in these three spheres, and we have pointed out that defense rests on the basis of political activity and the solution of the economic problems the workers face. The military defense of the revolution rests on the basis of all this work, on the solutions offered to the working class.

Bring Back the Popular Militias!

We have always upheld the stand that the popular militias should be brought back as a voluntary form of working class participation in military defense. We think that it is fundamentally on the basis of the political stimulus and with the solution to the economic problems of the workers that the participation in military defense through the militias can come about. We are in favor of bringing back the militias. We have upheld slogans around the issue of giving arms to the people. We have said that arms must be given to the working class in order to defend the revolution.

Nevertheless, the Sandinistas move further away from these stands with each passing day, as they base themselves mainly on the regular forces of the army, on the military draft, on the so called reserves. And this is no longer on the basis of political activity, [and it is not on the basis] of a constant work of developing a truly revolutionary consciousness which, in turn, is the result of the class struggle which must be waged against the bourgeoisie inside Nicaragua and against imperialism.

We see that while the slogans of our Party are clear and precise on this issue, the workers' movement has its limitations in this regard. In the first place, this is because the struggle for the militias at this point is [regarded as] being against the law on the military service itself. Nevertheless we continue to uphold the position of bringing back the popular militias. This could be achieved only on the basis of the activation of the workers' movement, the activation of the mass movement. It is a question of keeping the slogan for the militias alive, because for us it is clear that a dangerous situation prevails in Nicaragua. It is a situation in which U.S. imperialism can generate military conflicts in Nicaragua. Therefore we think that, at some given point, our slogan for the militias must be concretized through a mobilization of the masses.


The Workers' Advocate:

The Sandinista Front has followed a policy of seeking the support of the imperialist politicians of the Democratic Party against the Reaganite aggression. What is the stand of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua on this policy of Sandinism?

Comrade Tellez:

It is obviously true. The Sandinista Front has not only sought the support of the Democratic Party in the US, but also of social-democracy, and the Contadora Group. And they have considered that those are fundamental points of support for the Nicaraguan revolution.

Here is our stand. Towards Nicaragua and towards the rest of Latin America and towards other countries in the world, the policy of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have expressed the defense of the interests of U.S. imperialism. These two parties, which have taken turns being in power in the U.S., have maintained a policy of support for all the dictatorships in Latin America.

Now it is logical that the Democratic Party presently conducts a different policy from Reagan's. Reagan has been presented as the one who drives the cannons, who flies the planes and who can shoot those cannons. And the Democratic Party has been presented as a more understanding party. In this regard we believe that the policy of the Democratic Party is the same policy of imperialist interests. What happens is that these are only tactical discrepancies between these two Parties. But the interests and the goals that they follow are the same -- to defend the interests of U.S. imperialism.

On The Imperialism of Jimmy Carter

When Jimmy Carter was president of the U.S., the Nicaraguan revolution took place. Jimmy Carter supported the Somocist dictatorship in its massacre of the Nicaraguan people. Once the triumph over Somoza had taken place, and after an insurrection unprecedented in the history of Nicaragua, naturally Jimmy Carter did not necessarily maintain a position of support [for Somoza], but took the stand of the negotiated road with the new, that is with Sandinism in power. At that moment what was the stand of Jimmy Carter? Defending the prevailing interests of imperialism in Nicaragua.

The Democrats and Republicans Work Together Against the Nicaraguan Revolution

Today, Reagan appears as the militarist, the one who is going to trample Nicaragua under his boot. And what the Democrats do is say: "Sandinistas, negotiate with Reagan. Sandinistas look for a road of negotiation, because if you don't, Reagan will smash you." So what are the goals of the Republican and Democratic Parties? To defend the interests of imperialism. One party puts forth the road of negotiation, the other the military road. But the military road only tries to soften the Sandinistas so that they fall on the negotiating table and liquidate 1the Nicaraguan revolution.

We believe that the stands of the Democratic Party and the stands of the Republican Party are the same. In this regard our Party has maintained a critical stand on the line of the Sandinistas towards the representatives of the Democratic Party, which the Sandinistas have tried to present as defender of the revolutionary process in Nicaragua. We have denounced this stand and have maintained our stand with respect to the Democratic Party being a party that defends the interests of U.S. imperialism.

Against the Contadora Group

We have also denounced the role of the Contadora Group which also falls under this line of defending the interests of U.S. imperialism in Latin America. We have pointed out that the Contadora Group is the other ace of U.S. imperialism. None of the governments that are part of the Contadora Group will support the development and the deepening of the revolution in Nicaragua. We similarly think that the Democratic Party is not ever going to support the existence of this revolution, much less its advance towards socialist construction.

The Stick and the Carrot

All of the maneuvers of the U.S. imperialists, be they Democrats or Republicans, are aimed at liquidating the existence of the Nicaraguan revolution. In this sense, our Party has had a clear stand and has firmly denounced that policy of U.S. imperialism which presents itself in a dual way. That is, on the one hand the stick, and on the other the carrot. But the carrot is poisoned too; the carrot has the same effect as the stick.

The Working Class is the Main International Support for the Nicaraguan Revolution

Our Party holds that only on the basis of the revolutionary activity of the peoples, of the, working class including here in the US., can one speak of a real support for the advance and the deepening of the revolution. The American workers suffer, the effects of the policy of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party here in the U.S. [In the U.S.] the American workers are the ones who know how hard the policy of these two parties has been as they hate taken alternate turns in power. And the workers are the only ones who can understand the need to support the revolutionary process in Nicaragua, to support the Nicaraguan working class so that it can lead the revolution towards a system different than the one existing in Nicaragua, to a system which will be rid of the interests of U.S. imperialism and its representatives. We believe therefore [with regard to the forces in the U.S.] that the American workers constitute the main basis of support for us and for any revolution that may take place in Latin America or in the world. This main support lies in the American working class, in the American people who are fighting against the Reagan administration and are fighting against the Democratic Party. If the support doesn't come from them, and if instead it comes from the Republican and Democratic Parties, it is to poison the revolution, it is to liquidate the revolution.

This is why we consider the role of the Marxist-Leninists in the U.S. to be very important for the support of the Nicaraguan revolution, of the Nicaraguan working class and its Party. Because only in this way can one have a firm support that will enable the advance of the Nicaraguan revolution. This is why we do not believe that there could be another support by forces alien to the interests of the international proletariat, as is the case with U.S. imperialism, be it under the name of the Democratic or Republican Parties, since they are enemies of the international proletariat. This is why we think that the policy of the Sandinistas with respect to seeking roads for negotiation with these parties, and of seeking out and being patrons of the Democratic Party in the U.S., goes against the Nicaraguan revolutionary process.


The Workers' Advocate:

We have organized a campaign in support of the Nicaraguan workers' press as an act of proletarian internationalist solidarity in the face of U.S. pressure. What significance do you attach to this campaign and other work in solidarity with your Party?

Comrade Tellez:

The Marxist-Leninist Party of the U.S. has maintained a line of support and solidarity towards our Marxist-Leninist Party (MAP/ML) for a long time. Even before we had relations, the Marxist-Leninist Party of the U.S. had already been propagating the positions of our Party (MAP/ML). We consider that this line of the MLP,USA has been directed mainly towards supporting the advanced positions of the Nicaraguan proletariat and that these positions are upheld by our Party. In this respect, the MLP,USA has carried out a great deal of propaganda for our Party. At the same time it has organized a campaign in solidarity with the workers' press, a press which is being led by our Party.

Undoubtedly, this campaign carried out by the MLP,USA has had great significance for enabling our Party to maintain an active press. And not only its press, but also the general propaganda that the Party carries out in Nicaragua, in orienting the working class, and counteracting those positions alien to the proletariat. We consider that this campaign has had a very positive effect for the activity of our Party.

It is known that U.S. imperialism launched a policy of blockade against Nicaragua so that a whole series of press materials are unavailable in the country, so that it is difficult to obtain these materials... In this sense, our Party's press would have been very limited, or maybe it might not have been able to continue coming out, had it not been for the campaign carried out by the MLP,USA. We see that this campaign carried out by the MLP,USA is a correct line, since it is a question of supporting a brother class party in its struggle to advance the Nicaraguan revolution towards socialism.

The fruits of this campaign have been received by our Party. A potential has been created to be able to keep our press functioning in Nicaragua, counteracting the bourgeois press, which indeed has been able to obtain foreign currency from the Nicaraguan government, to buy paper, to buy press materials.

This [subsidies by the Sandinistas] has not been the case for our Party. And it is only through this solidarity, through this campaign carried out by the MLP,USA and the support given by the U.S. workers and revolutionaries that support the positions of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the U.S. and that also support its brother Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua, that we have been assisted in continuing our press.

We can point out that our Party has been able to gather enough resources to continue carrying out all of its revolutionary activity against both the bourgeois positions, as well as the maneuvers of the Contadora Group, and the vacillations of the Sandinista Front. Our Party possesses a small press for which the majority of the materials have to be sent from abroad - press plates, chemicals, etc. that are not found inside the country. We, from this campaign carried out by the MLP,USA, have received this help that assists us to continue functioning and continue fighting for the existence of the workers' press led by our Party in Nicaragua. <>

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The Information Bulletin, which is published by anti-racist activists, sent the following message of solidarity with the work of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists, their U.S. speaking tour, and the campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press.

Information Bulletin

Solidarity statement, November 6, 1985

The lessons and the work of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists have inspired and will continue to inspire the revolutionaries, the advanced workers, masses, activists and intellectuals living here in U.S. imperialism.

The various reports from the Movement for Popular Action/Marxist-Leninist, and the trade union organization, Workers Front, that have been reprinted in the Workers' Advocate newspaper have done important things: they have shed new light on the complexities of, and the need for, organizing a proletarian detachment in the national liberation struggle, and they have helped to expose what the real situation is today in Nicaragua and the challenges that confront the advanced and the masses and workers of that oppressed nation in continuing the revolution on to socialism.

Because of the grave crimes that have been committed against the people of Nicaragua by US imperialism, and because these crimes continue today, it is very important that concrete chains of solidarity and struggle be established between Nicaraguan people and the peoples of the US.

The campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press is a beginning step in this direction, and the 1985 speaking tour is another.

***** Victory to the Nicaraguan Revolution! ***** <>

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Below are excerpts, edited for publication, from the main speech delivered at the anti-apartheid rally sponsored by the MLP in Boston, Oct 19.


Comrades and friends,

The tremendous courage of the black workers and youth of South Africa in their struggle against the ultra-racist, fascist apartheid regime has inspired a new wave of struggle in the U.S. against the U.S. imperialists. Reagan may love the racists of Pretoria, but the sentiment of working masses, the black people, and the youth is with the black workers in the streets of Soweto....

Brutal Racist Oppression Began Long Before Botha's Party Came to Power in 1948

The movie we have seen tonight is made by some people who are left liberals and not revolutionaries at all, but from what we have seen it is abundantly clear that only revolution can free the black masses of South Africa from, white supremacist oppression.

The brutal oppression of, the black people in South Africa is not just a result of Afrikaner nationalism. It did not begin in 1948 with the coming to power of the Nationalist party as we are often told by the bourgeoisie and. the liberals. Apartheid is a component part of the development of imperialism, of monopoly capitalism. All the basic features of the apartheid regime were set up by British, American and Afrikaner capitalists in South Africa under the direct auspices of British imperialism in the decades following the defeat of the Afrikaner plantation lords in the Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902.

Blacks were permanently denied the vote in 1910. In 1911 laws were passed barring black workers from skilled jobs, and making breach of contract with an employer a criminal offense. In 1913 the Bantustans were set up and blacks were only permitted to work and travel outside the desert Bantustan reservations at the whim of their white employers. In 1924 the hated Pass laws were passed to further control black workers.

From its very beginning apartheid has been a system for the super-exploitation and control of black labor. The so-called tribal homelands were designed to be too small, and too and to support the black masses, thus forcing them to look for work in the mines, on the farms and in the cities. At the same time the pass laws prevented the black workers from setting up permanent residence in the mining towns or in the cities, and allowed them to be deported back to the destitution of the homelands at the whim of their employers.

American Racism and Segregation Was One of the Models for the Apartheid System

This whole sinister system was carefully designed and developed by the highest level planners of finance capital, who took into account all previous experience in exploiting and controlling black labor. For example in the period of 1906 to 1910, when the basic structure was being worked out for the South African government, several commissions were sent to America to study practices for exploiting blacks in the southern States. Professors were brought from Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute to teach Africans the proper servility, to white employers.

Our black brothers and sisters in South Africa have courageously taken up the path of revolutionary struggle. A growing section of the masses in South Africa is convinced that revolution is the only way out. The black masses have the racists and imperialists worried. The imperialists and the Pretoria regime realize that they cannot crush the revolt with bullets and whips alone, so they are organizing a major campaign to deceive the black masses into giving up the struggle.

Kennedy and Reagan are crying out: "Do not rise up in revolution! We Western imperialists will pressure Botha to end apartheid. Look! We have told Botha what a naughty boy he is and we have slapped his wrist with some micro-sanctions." De Beers and the biggest South African capitalists have gone to Zambia to negotiate with leaders of the ANC. They say: "we too are against apartheid. We will put pressure on Botha to negotiate some power-sharing. Just give us a little time." Perhaps another century or so. And unfortunately the ANC leaders are holding the door open to just Such a negotiated settlement.

The liberals in the U.S. and in South Africa, as well as even Reagan, tell us that they are working for a peaceful, negotiated power sharing settlement out of concern for the black masses because they want to save them from the blood shed of a revolution. Comrades and friends, this concern is the ultimate of hypocrisy. The black masses in South Africa have been shedding their blood for decades. Every year more miners are killed in the mines than the total number killed in the rebellions over the past year. In the bantustans over half of the children die before the age of 5 from malnutrition. The concern of the capitalist ladies and gentlemen is not for the blood or the health of the black masses but for the blood of the White racists and for the health of the system of white supremacy.

What the Liberals Have in Mind

Recently Sheena Duncan, president of the Black Sash, an organization of liberal bourgeois, white South African women who are in the left wing of white liberalism in South Africa, gave a speech at MIT. In her speech Mrs. Duncan admitted just what kind of negotiated solution the racists and capitalists have in mind.

After denouncing some of the atrocities of apartheid, after moaning about the fact that the masses were using more and more violence against the racist state, predicting that violent revolution is impossible, Mrs. Duncan went on to state that the way forward is a nonviolent movement in South Africa and pressure from the Western imperialists. She waxed enthusiastic about Reagan's micro-sanctions and said that Botha was susceptible to pressure because he was dedicated to preserving capitalism and white domination and would make concessions to preserve these things.

What Sheena Duncan openly admitted with this statement is that the peaceful road of negotiated solution that the liberals and imperialists are promoting has the purpose of maintaining capitalism and white domination. Such is the racist essence of all the talk about peaceful reforms and power-sharing so touted by the Kennedy's and the De Beers' [big South African capitalist] and Reagan's. Talk about reforms, put some black faces in high places, about the white capitalists must remain the boss.

The Liberals Want to Squelch the Solidarity Movement

While the De Beers' and the U.S. imperialists maneuver to save apartheid with talk of reforms and power-sharing, the liberal politicians, the university administrations and their little social democratic helpers are doing everything possible to liquidate any militant anti-apartheid actions in the U.S., and to rally the anti-racist masses behind the sham schemes for power-sharing and peaceful reform. The American capitalists got quite worried about the student anti-apartheid protests last spring. They felt that, if such protests were to continue, there would be a danger of the resurgence of a revolutionary student movement like in the late 60's and that such a movement might give dangerous ideas of rebellion to the working masses in the factories and ghettoes.

Killing the Movement with Kindness - and Police

So over the summer, university and college administrators held a number of meetings and conferences to figure out how to quell student protest. What they decided on was, on one hand, to adopt tough measures to punish student protesters, and on the other to flood the campuses with respectable conferences where liberal politicians from South Africa and the U.S. could talk the movement to death. Harvard has even set aside a million dollar fund of hush money to finance so-called anti-apartheid activities of students who will tone down their protests.

These tactics have created a number of difficulties for the anti-apartheid movement on the campuses. For instance at MIT a section of students led by people who are eager to get in bed with the administration has split the students coalition against apartheid. They said they did not want to have anything to do with people who support revolution in South Africa. Since splitting the coalition they have actively organized a boycott of anti-apartheid rallies, and demonstrations organized by the comrades of the Student and other militants on the campus. They even worked to keep people away from the anti-apartheid actions of October 11. They would rather help the rich wreck the movement than see a trend of support for revolution.

Support the Revolution of the Oppressed

Today when dirty maneuvers are being carried out to divert the revolution in South Africa and to liquidate the anti-apartheid movement in the U.S. it is more important than ever to boldly stand up in favor of revolution. Let the liberals and the flunkeys of the rich sing praises of power-sharing with the racists. We for our part will stand with the, workers and youth of Soweto who are fighting to completely smash the racist system. We do not want power-sharing we want the majority rule.

Not a Chasing Squad, but a Movement for Struggle

Comrades and friends,

Supporting the revolutionary workers and youth in South Africa is not just a question of cheering their struggle on. It is first and foremost a question of directing the sentiments against apartheid, and U.S. support for it, into a revolutionary struggle against our own government, against the system of capitalist imperialism in the U.S. U.S. imperialism is one of the biggest backers of the apartheid regime, and American capitalists have been making fortunes off the backs of the black workers in South Africa for decades. It was American capitalists and managers who set up, supplied, and managed the mining industry in South Africa for Cecil Rhodes back in' the 1880's. The South African racists have received consistent support from the U.S. government from every Administration, both Republican and Democratic, since Teddy Roosevelt. In return the apartheid regime has not only guaranteed the profits of the American corporations: but helped keep the black people down throughout southern Africa....

U.S. support for and profiteering off apartheid is not an exception but the rule. The treatment of the black majority in South Africa is [for the same purpose as the] exploitation and oppression of the workers and peasants in El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, the Philippines, Grenada or any other country dominated by U.S. imperialism. The same Reagan who is backing the racist regime in South Africa is heading up a brutal offensive against the working masses and poor here at home. The same government that loves apartheid in South Africa is trying to drive the black and latino masses here at home back to the old days of Jim Crow segregation. The imperialist system is so pervasive, so ruthless, that there can be no improvement in the conditions of the masses at home or abroad without revolutionary struggle against this system and no reforms will last unless the whole system is overthrown by the revolution of the working masses.

Fundamental Change Without Revolution? Now That's True "Idle Rhetoric"!

There are those who say that when our party tries to direct the anti-apartheid movement against the whole system of imperialism that we are engaging in idle rhetoric. Is it idle rhetoric? For decades black people in the U.S. lived under a system of legal segregation much like apartheid. And for decades liberals and reformists said what a terrible thing that was. But it was only when the black, workers and youth of this country rose up in great rebellions that shook the cities of this country in the 1960's that any change was brought about.

The movement of the 60's was powerful but it did not overthrow the capitalist government and system. The beast was wounded but still alive, and today with Reagan as their leader the rich are taking back all the gains of the 60's. Similarly, U.S imperialism was defeated in Viet Nam and the anti-war movement hurt it very much here at home. But the imperialist system continued, and now Reagan is preparing a whole new series of wars against the workers and poor of Central America and the people of other countries. No, the term "imperialism" is not rhetoric: it is a reality. The need for revolutionary struggle against this system is a burning necessity proved by our own history.

Divestment is a Starting Point, Not a Panacea

The orientation of imbuing the movement with hatred of U.S. imperialism and and with the spirit of revolutionary struggle is of great practical importance for the anti-apartheid movement in the U.S. This can be seen in its importance for pro-viding correct orientation for the struggle for divestment.

One of the major demands of the workers and students in the movement has been that U.S corporations must get out South Africa and that universities must get rid of their stocks in corporations that do business in South Africa. The actions of the students last spring centered around the demand for university divestment.

The demand for divestment is a let demand and an expression of the mass revulsion against the capitalist blood money. But divestment itself even if there weren't far too many ways for the capitalists to launder their investments - cannot bring about the downfall of apartheid in South Africa. Only the revolution of the black masses can do that.

The capitalists are worried about the militancy of the movement. In fact over the summer Business Week carried an article on how universities should temporarily divest themselves of stock of American companies doing business in South Africa in order to diffuse the student movement.

The demand for divestment has proved to be an important starting point of the movement. At the same time however a major effort is being made by social-democratic organizers to limit the movement to the demand of divestment in a narrow way. The social-democrats are telling students that they should not raise issues like racism in the U.S. and on campus. They should not speak out about how U.S. imperialism is exploiting people all around the, world. Instead, they should purify their universities of the single blemish of investing in apartheid by appealing to the reasonableness of the administrators and trustees....

DSA [the social-democratic group called Democratic Socialists of America"] is even telling students they shouldn't demand immediate divestment but only that a committee of trustees study the question of divestment. According to DSA you don't want 'to put the corporation presidents and businessmen that sit on the university trustee boards in a tight spot. You want to give them a way out. If the anti-apartheid movement were to follow this advice, it wouldn't even get much divestment. All the university administrations and trustees would have to do is study the problem until the movement died down.

On the other hand the more the divestment struggle is directed against imperialism, the more the energy unleashed by the anti apartheid movement is used to push forward the fight against racism in the U.S. and to fight, the imperialists on other fronts, the stronger, the more militant and more successful the movement [both in divestment and in its other aims] will be....

Against the Capitalist Liars

... we must base our struggle on the working masses, the youth and the poor, and not on the promises, speeches or campaigns of the capitalist political parties and politicians. Of course this point is obvious with regards the Republicans who everyone knows are a party of the rich, of the racists, and the imperialist warmongers.

But the democrats too are a party of the rich, a party which always defends the interests of the imperialists. After all, they are the party that brought us the Viet Nam war, that held power when Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were assassinated, and which today is going along with Reagan on everything from financing the contras to abolishing affirmative action. But at the same time the Democrats maintain a whole stable of liberal politicians who are very good at giving a radical-sounding denunciation of the various evils inflicted on the people by the rich, but who, in the end, always wind up reconciling the masses to the imperialists and racists, undermining the mass struggle, and promoting false hopes that the system will reform itself.

The Debate on the Role of the Democratic Party

Many people ask why our party so persistently exposes and denounces the Democrats and urges the workers and activists to organize the movement independently of these politicians. The reason is that the revolutionary mass struggle is held back to the extent that the masses have illusions in the Democrats or any other capitalist political party. Moreover, you cannot build serious, militant revolutionary organization while relying on or including the politicians of the enemy class.

Over the past year there has been an intense debate among student anti-apartheid activists on the issue of what stand to take toward the Democratic party politicians and whether to invite them to speak at rallies. The people who were pretty consolidated social-democrats were the most intent on organizing the movement actions around speakers from the Democratic Party and toning down the militancy and slogans of the demonstrations to what was acceptable to those politicians. At the same time, there were other, honest activists, who wanted to see, the movement develop and who didn't particularly like the Democrats but who felt, well, maybe, Mel King is OK and you know these politicians are well-known and can draw a big crowd and we can use that to help build the movement.

And What Happened When the Democratic Party Politicians Showed Up?

Against our advice the majority of student activists decided to invite Mel King to their September 12 demonstration and Jean McGuire to the October 11 rally. But the crowds did not turn out to be any larger than rallies and marches organized by the students and worker activists themselves last spring. In fact they were smaller.

And when Mel King spoke to the rally at Boston University on September 11 he told them that their demonstrations were not very effective, that what was really needed was to move out from the streets and into the suites, and to lobby your congressmen to vote for tougher sanctions against South Africa.

Jean McGuire called for money invested in South Africa to be invested instead in more modern police cruisers and police computers in the U.S. (Why, didn't you know, she's against "urban decay"?!)

Organize the Working Masses!

If we want to build a movement that is not subject to the whims of the Democrats and their electoral campaigns and that mobilizes the masses for the kind of revolutionary struggle that can really help our class brothers and sisters in South Africa, then we must take up the hard task of building up independent revolutionary organization on the campuses, in the factories and communities.

Comrades and friends it us up to us to organize the working masses into struggle against apartheid and against racism in the U.S. The reports of the last few days indicate that the struggle in South Africa is moving to a higher level. The workers are starting to arm themselves and beginning to shoot back at the police. And, for the first time, the struggle has been carried to downtown Johannesburg. The capitalist news media is not going to be able to ignore this struggle, and news of the struggle in South Africa will bring ideas of fighting the rich and the racists to the minds of the working people here in the U.S. We could see this already happening during our march today through Dorchester and Roxbury. Let us go to the widest number of workers in the factories, work places and ghettoes and mobilize them into a powerful struggle against our own racist imperialist government and ruling classes.

Apartheid no Revolution yes!

Fight the racist offensive of Reagan and the rich

Down with U.S. imperialism pillar of racism at home and abroad! <>

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The Dec. 1st issue of The Workers' Advocate left out a passage from the article "Election Ploy in the Philippines". This omission occurred between the first part of the article on, page 18 and its continuation on page 19.

The section of the article in question should read:

A number of Reagan's aides have shuttled to Manila this year. Earlier they included Jeane Kirkpatrick and CIA boss William Casey. In October, Reagan sent his friend Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.) to deliver "the bluntest presidential message ever sent to a friend."

In the meantime, October also saw a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill. A number of hearings were held in which U.S. State and Defense Department officials spelled out their fears about the crisis in the Philippines. A common theme was spelled out: U.S. security interests are paramount; civil war is threatening in the Philippines; the status quo under Marcos is not effective enough in crushing the revolution thus Marcos must reform his regime. On November 1, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released an hysterical 41-page report and its chairman Dave Durenberger (R-Minn.) said that Marcos should step down.

Despite Durenberger's opinion, Washington does not yet believe that Marcos has to go...

Also note that the article says "Continued on next page: See Moscow" when it should have said "... See Election Ploy". <>

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(for those who remain)

by Peter Poyas


October 17. Midnight walking towards me.

A man is scheduled to die at dawn.

Benjamin Moloise

an upholsterer

a small poet in the warrior spirit...

rhymer of resistance

for millions like himself.

Quite ordinary

head upright


found at last in the stagnant waters and

leaky lean-tos of South Africa's dirt streets.

Workers kept like slaves...

nations of unfaithful servants...

a contradiction certain to explode,

"Tomorrow I will spill my blood

for those who remain behind.

The struggle must go on.

Nobody must fear it."

One last poem

as he waited, content with his life

expecting his death

to arrive and be seated.

Thousands upon thousands

of young lions such as this

throw the sand of nightmares into the murmuring sleep

of Mr. Botha, the great "reformer" hangman

and his plush benefactors

Wall Street, the city*, the jackals of Zionism**,

all waking up with the house of fire.


I have a friend at work

rocky hills and backroads written all over his face.

Solid lanky ridgerunner stock.

Dirt poor. (When they got an indoor pump

they got so stuck-up and prideful you couldn't hardly talk to 'em.)

Well, somehow

he managed to escape the breast-milk racism

galloping ignorance among them through the generations.

As I walked the winking hours

trying to be mindful of my work, but clenched in anger

balled up like a fist.

he could see something wrong.

So we spoke about this murder impending.

How it is that when a turncoat black policeman

humiliates, betrays, slashes away into his own people.

as if they were so much meat on the book

"just keeping the peace boys, just keeping the peace"

But oh, when the victim strikes back

an act of desperate war

becomes a civil crime.

punishable by hanging

no clemency, no pardon.

Of course not.

it might catch on.


With these perfectors of the Aryan dream...

riding shotgun with golden bullets

through this lynch-law empire?


no thank you 'ma'am.


October 18th.

Strangled but not broken

the body swings

barricades burn

"blood for blood" cry warrior children.

As sunrise comes and goes,

one misplaced, country boy says to another

"they're hanging this man to scare folks,

but it seems like fear don't much occur to 'em.,".

Listen, I said

simple fear cannot undo this great moving thing.

The black toilers have endured too much too long

to now balk at the taste of their own blood.

But illusion, my friend...mistaken faith

thinking of all-out war.

only as the ultimate pressure for dialogue...

delousing of apartheid

there lies a danger of which we must take heed,

there gapes a trap

How must we remember this man?

Don't stop short!

Make a fire.

A big fire.

Get all the passbooks, the slave-labor contracts, the sjamboks

every weapon, every institution of subjugation...

get all these things together man and turn the sky

bright red orange like. nobody ever seen.

That light will go far, my friend.

Then stir with your finger

there amongst the ashes.

and I think you may find

your new beginning.

* The City" - financial district of London. Britain is among the biggest investors in South Africa today and also bitterly oppressed the blacks during the time South Africa was a British colony.

** "Jackals of Zionism" - refers to the Israeli Zionist government, which has especially close ties with South Africa. <>

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(On the concessions contract at Carrier Corporation -- manufacturer of air conditioning)

An activist from Syracuse sent in the following report. Subheads have been added.


The capitalists' Reaganite rampage of concessions, take-backs and job elimination stampedes on. The treacherous trade union bureaucrats play their role in this offensive against the working class, "reluctantly" urging the workers to be "realistic" and give in to the corporations' arrogant blackmail and vote for vicious wage-cutting, job-eliminating concessions contracts.

Workers Prepare to Defy Management Threats

In Syracuse, N.Y., the workers at Carrier Corporation, the world's number one air conditioning maker, headquartered in Syracuse, recently voted to accept a three-year concessions contract, which the Carrier capitalists rammed down their throats, telling them they had made their "last, best and final" offer, and if they dared strike, they would be replaced. Threats, intimidation and blackmail: that's how the capitalist tyrants deal with the workers. They also have another weapon: the sold-out trade union hacks.

At Carrier, many workers, before they met with the union bargaining committee of the Local 527 of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association the day before the contract vote (Nov. 3), were ready to strike and were incensed about the rotten contract. The workers had the month before authorized a strike, and had the union rejected the contract, a walkout was almost certain. The picket signs were made and other preparations were made in anticipation of a strike.

Union Hacks Echo the Management Line

But the union leaders endorsed the contract and recommended that the workers ratify it. They told the workers they had got what they could, and echoed the management's threat of losing their jobs if they struck. Many union members were angry and denounced the union leaders for their outright capitulation in using Carrier's own logic in urging acceptance of the contract.

"The company says that to stay competitive and stay in Syracuse they need this package," said... the president of Sheet Metal Workers' Local 527. "Personally, no, I'm not happy with it. But, given the (competitive) conditions the company has said it has to deal with and the job market in Syracuse, I think it's in our best interest to accept it."

The vote was close, but Carrier won. The workers are extremely bitter and of course morale is low. It was the first time in more than ten years that wage negotiations did not end in a strike, as happened in '79 when the strike prompted Carrier to come.up with a better offer. The Carrier workers have a long tradition of waging determined struggle against the Carrier moneybags. For Carrier, the threats and intimidation paid off this time. But the righteous workers will never submit, and their just struggle will continue.

Terms of the Sellout

Carrier Corp's "last, best and final" offer, the contract that the union president said "is in our best interest to accept", contains the following rotten terms:

-- basic pay rates-for hourly workers are to be frozen at current levels for three years;

-- a cost of living adjustment for workers of $1.68 an hour will be eliminated;

-- in lieu of COLA, workers will get a $3,500 lump-sum payment in January - this lump-sum deal of course means a big loss in wages for workers;

-- another 75 cents-an-hour COLA will be reduced to 20 cents an hour the second year, and the third year go "up" to 60 cents an hour;

-- another COLA in the second year would be paid if inflation rises at more than three per cent annually per quarter - this could mean up to 8 cents an hour more for workers, big deal!;

-- work schedule changes allowing the company to put workers on staggered work weeks;

-- changes in seniority rules making taking another less-senior worker's job in another plant more difficult;

-- workers now can be given 24-hour notice to work on Saturdays - 18 a year. Previously a week's notice was required.

Then there's a "job protection clause" which states that if a Carrier plant closes, those workers would receive the hourly COLA payments they lost, but the $3,500 lump-Sum buyout would be subtracted from the total. "Job protection", capitalist style. There are meager improvements in severance benefits, pension plans, employee saving plans, medical and dental insurance which amount to a hill of beans.

How Carrier Plans to Stay "Competitive"

Carrier is in the process of "restructuring". The shift of certain production lines to other states and overseas thus far has led to the elimination of 500 salaried and 865 hourly (production) jobs this past year. The production of "A coil" parts is being moved to a plant in Mexico. The production of certain room air conditioning units has gone to a Carrier plant in Brazil. There, the workers can be super-exploited by being paid super-low wages so that the Carrier, monopoly capitalists can reap super-profits, thus remaining "competitive," while cutting the U.S. workers' wages.

Carrier shrieks about "the Japanese invasion" cutting into their U.S. room air conditioning market and has taken out ads in the local bourgeois press trying to create alarm about this, as well as full-page ads, just preceding the contract vote, saying they will do whatever it takes to remain competitive, to stay number one. They will reduce jobs, they will reduce wages, they will further restructure, etc. They even put out a full-page "thank" you" ad after the workers reluctantly voted for the raw-deal contract, which they had in an earlier ad told workers, to "demonstrate your commitment by voting for," in which the corporation commended the union negotiating committee - "for showing courage and responsibility, acting in the best interests of - your members, our employees. Now it's time to move forward together and make the new contract work. Your commitment and our other efforts (layoffs, job exporting) to make Carrier-Syracuse competitive are in the best prescription to save jobs...We're confident about the future of Carrier-Syracuse."

The Workers Will Rise Up to Fight for their Class Interests

The Carrier exploiters dream of labor peace and increased labor management cooperation as they happily go about reaping huge profits well into the future, derived from the sweat and sacrifice of the workers. Dream on, capitalist bloodsuckers.

There will come a day when your grand delusions will be smashed to bits, as will your whole oppressive, exploitative system. The workers will organize themselves independently of the "labor bureaucrats of the capitalist class", the sold-out, labor union bureaucrats. The workers at Carrier have learned a lesson from their treachery, and they will not forget.

The workers can only defend their own class interests by organizing independently, as a class, and waging the most determined, fierce class struggle against all class enemies. When the workers further develop class consciousness, organize and unite, they will be unstoppable, a mighty revolutionary force, which, under the leadership of its Party, the Marxist-Leninist Party, U.S.A., will destroy the rotten, system of the rich once and for all, and become the rightful masters of society - socia1ist society - a society in which the revolutionary working class rules, in which production will be organized on socialist lines of ownership and relations, corresponding to the character of the productive forces. No more production for profit, but to meet the people's needs. The working masses themselves will rule and real democracy - proletarian democracy - will be realized, and classless society will be achieved, a society. without exploitation of man by man. <>

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The following reports are among those contained in issue #1 (Oct. 15-30, 1985) of the "Report"; a new bi-weekly newsletter of the Communist Party of Iran - The Committee Abroad. The CPI is an important revolutionary force in Iran, and the news in the "Report" illustrates the revolutionary flame that is still alive in Iran.


Workers Strike in Oil Industry

The Islamic Republic regime does not hesitate for one moment to put pressure and hard conditions of work and living on the workers. On 2nd July, "Gharazi", the, Oil Minister, ordered the replacement of air-conditioned buses with normal buses for workers' transport to work at the Bid Boland refinery south of Iran. The air-conditioned buses were ordered by "Gharazi" to be taken to the war fronts with Iraq. In protest, the workers went on strike. Their protest went even further, demanding:

1) Better conditions of living.

2) Re-payment of benefits which were stopped by the orders of "Gharazi".

3) Dismissal of "Gharazi".

The generalization of the demands of the strike and the massive support given by the other workers, prevented the authorities from attacking and intimidating the workers.

Eventually, the strike was ended successfully after the regime accepted to meet all the demands of the workers, except the sacking of the minister.

Workers of the oil industry: once again showed that with their united struggle they can stand against the anti-worker policies of the authorities and gain their demands. According to the reports which we have received, this strike has had a strong impact among the workers of the oil industry in Iran.

Demonstration and Struggles of the Toilers Against the Demolition of Their Houses in Ghal-e-hasankhan

Recently, following the destruction of the workers' houses in many poor areas of Tehran, the Islamic Republic regime announced that the houses in Ghal-e-hasankhan community situated 23 km. from the old Karaj road near Tehran would be demolished. In this town, water and electricity supplies are frequently disconnected and the condition of roads and houses is appalling. To protest against this decision, the people of the town gathered outside the 'Ogaf' building, (the institution in care of the clergy's properties). The Pasdaran (Islamic guards) fired at the protesting people killing 4, including a child, and injuring many more. On 28 July at 1 a.m., the regime's mercenaries. attacked the houses and demolished 200 of them in one part of the area. This township has a population of 80,000. Most of its residents are factory and seasonal workers. The factory workers are mainly from car, chemical and shoe factories around Tehran.

At 5 a.m., a huge crowd gathered in the town center and marched to the 'Ogaf' building chanting slogans against the 'Ogaf' and Ansari - the head of Ogaf - demanding an immediate stop to the demolition process. By this time the number of the protesting crowd had reached 5,000 - 6,000. The people attacked the 'Ogaf' and the Town Hall buildings and marched in the streets chanting: "Death to Pasdaran", "Death to the Committee" (the committees set up by Pasdaran), "Death to Ogaf", "Death to Ansari", "Death to the Municipality", and "Ogaf betrays the people, Pasdaran support the Ogaf". The marchers destroyed all official signboards on their way. During this period, all the shops in the town were closed in solidarity and support with the protestors. The active participation of the people stopped the Islamic guards from arresting any of the protestors. Throughout the demonstration, Pasdaran and the Gendarmerie had surrounded the area but did not dare disturb the people, since the people had threatened to disarm them.

At the end of the demonstration, at noon, people went to the 'Ogaf' building and demanded an answer to their complaints, but receiving no reply, they set the 'Ogaf' and the Town Hall buildings on fire, and stopped the fire brigade from extinguishing the fire. The demonstration continued till late in the afternoon and was eventually stopped when the people were dispersed by Pasdaran firing shots into the air. A number of people were arrested afterwards.

Also in the last several months, the houses in Firooz Abad and some other areas in south-east and south-west of Tehran were demolished which [acts] were confronted with the people's protests.

Demolishing of the people's houses by the authorities and protests against this savagery and lack of basic living facilities like water and electricity supplies has become almost a way of life for the workers and their families in the shanty towns around Tehran and other major cities.

Political Prisoners: Their Struggle Continues -- Families of the Political Prisoners Protest

Brute dictatorship, suppression and massacre of the revolutionaries and communists are some of the main factors sustaining the Islamic Republic regime in power. So far this regime has executed thousands of political prisoners en masse. It has arrested and tortured tens of thousands in its dungeons. However, despite all these brutalities, the militant political prisoners have even made the prisons [into] trenches of struggle and resistance against the Islamic regime by organizing protest actions and strikes against the conditions of the prisons and the treatment [by] the prison officials.

A few months ago, the political prisoners in the Ghezel Hesar prison (in Karaj near Tehran) organized a protest against the bad conditions of the prisons and refused to visit their relatives. In solidarity with the militant political prisoners, their families staged a protest outside the prison. Also, during the last week of July, in the same prison, the prisoners protested against the punishment enforced on them by the officials for refusing to undertake forced labor.

News From Kurdistan

Komala Peshmargas Enter the Occupied Areas of Kurdistan

To crush the revolutionary struggles of the Kurdish toiling masses, the Islamic Republic regime of Iran has, ever since coming to power, stationed its military forces and army in Kurdistan's towns and cities. Up to early October 1984 there were some areas which were liberated by the revolutionary struggle and resistance of the people and the Peshmargas (freedom fighters in Kurdistan). At the moment, Kurdistan is an occupied land. However, to break through the siege of the regime and also publicize CPI policies and program among the masses, the Komala Peshmargas enter the towns and cities frequently. Below we report the latest of such operations carried out by the Peshmargas of the Kurdistan Organization of the CPI-Komala:

Mahabad: 23rd, 24th August; 2nd September

On these days, to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the founding of the CPI (2nd September 1983), Komala Peshmargas entered the city, of Mahabad and spoke to the people about the Party's policies, and discussed with them about their problems and how to organize their struggle against the capitalist regime of [the] Islamic Republic.

During these operations, the Peshmargas also attacked the regime's bases in the city, broke through the ambushes laid down by the regime's forces and inflicted many casualties on the regime's forces.

Saghez: 19th, 22nd and 26th September

On these days, Komala Peshmargas entered the city of Saghez and held political meetings with the people. They also attacked one of the regime's bases in the city. The Islamic Republic regime's forces suffered a number of casualties, 6 were killed and many were injured. The Peshmargas returned without suffering any casualties.

Battles with the Regime

Bookan: 2nd September

To celebrate/the 2nd anniversary of the formation of the CPI, Komala Peshmargas attacked one of the regime's, major bases, situated in the west of Bookan. In this attack most of the regime's forces were killed, and some parts of the base were completely destroyed. In this operation, we lost one of our comrades.

Marivan: 21st September

In a victorious battle, Komala Peshmargas confronted the extensive and heavy attack of the Islamic Republic forces. In this battle which lasted 7 1/2 hours, tens of the regime's forces were killed and 11 of them arrested by our comrades. Our units did not suffer any casualties. During this battle, the Peshmargas were helped by the 1ocal people.

Saghez: 21st September

On this day, during a series of offensive operations, Komala Peshmargas attacked the regime's bases and mobile units in the Saghez area. In this operation 15 of the regime's forces were killed and 9 arrested by our comrades. The Peshmargas left the area safely.

In Battle Against the Forces of the KDP

On 16th November 1984, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), while negotiating with the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to suppress the democratic rights of the Kurdish people and negate the unconditional freedom of political activity, which exist in the areas controlled by the Kurdistan Organization of the CPI-Komala, attacked the Komala bases in the Oramanat area ([the] southwest of Iranian Kurdistan). Since then the clashes between the KDP and Komala have escalated and continued all over Kurdistan, gaining the shape of a civil war. Below we publish the latest news on this front:

2nd September

On this day, a unit of Komala Peshmargas were attacked by the armed forces of the KDP. During this battle, the forces of the Islamic Republic too attacked our comrades. However the Komala Peshmargas succeeded to break through the siege of both fronts and inflicted many loses on both the KDP and the Islamic Republic forces. Unfortunately 4 of our comrades lost their lives in this battle.

10th September

At midnight, 1 Komala Peshmargas who had been captive in the hands of the KDP succeeded [in escaping] with the help of their prison guards. Four of the ex-Peshmargas of the KDP who helped our comrades joined the ranks of Komala Peshmargas. <>

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In May this year pro-Soviet revisionists from 54 countries met in Prague, Czechoslovakia in a symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of the 7th World Congress of the Comintern. These revisionist hacks, fresh from betraying the revolution in their own countries, or from sitting on the backs of the workers in the countries where the revisionists hold state power, hailed the 7th Congress as the inspiration for their renegacy against the revolution. A summary of some of the discussion at this symposium appeared in the World Marxist [read: anti-Marxist renegade] Review for August 1985.

The revisionists are trying to deck themselves out as followers of the Comintern because they know the tremendous prestige that the C.I. has among real revolutionaries all over the world. The C.I. had an immense effect on the communist movement and on world history. It played an indispensable role in spreading the lessons of Leninism and in consolidating proletarian parties into real, revolutionary communist parties.

But how is it that the pro-Soviet revisionists, who have abandoned every single one of Lenin's teachings, who spit on the revolution, who denounce the real revolutionaries around the world as "ultra-leftists", "sectarians", "adventurists" and "anti-Soviet CIA agents", and who have applauded the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, can appeal to the legacy of the Comintern? Surely something is wrong here.

What is wrong is the general line adopted at the 7th World Congress of the Comintern in 1935. The 7th Congress marked a turn in the line for the world communist movement. It abandoned - nay, in essence it denounced - the line followed at the first six Congresses. It began the process of replacing Leninism by something else, arguing that revolutionary work was allegedly outdated and obsolete because of the need to fight the world fascist offensive of the 1930's, the world fascist offensive that led to the Second World War.

Our Party has discussed in detail our views of the 7th World Congress in the May 1, 1985 issue of The Workers' Advocate Supplement, whose lead article is entitled "In Defense of Leninist United Front Tactics". We showed that this tragic Congress opened the way to degeneration in the world communist movement and is one of the roots of the later collapse of mob of the world movement into counter-revolutionary revisionism. And we showed that in so far as this Congress propagated this wrong orientation it did not help the anti-fascist fight, but instead weakened it.

Thus it is no wonder that the pro-Soviet revisionists of today appeal precisely to the Seventh Congress, In the name of this Congress they seek to wipe out the legacy of the first six Congresses of the CI and of its Leninist work. And unfortunately they are correct in holding that their present sell-out practices have a direct relation to the (wrong) views put forward in 1935.

Replacing Revolution and the Class Struggle with Pacifist Agitation

The revisionist symposium, as the revisionist parties generally do, lays great stress on the peace slogan. They regard the struggle for peace as central to their strategy, and they denounce the struggle for revolution as contradictory to their view of how to maintain peace.

One of the notable features of the summary of the symposium in the World Marxist Review was the lack of any reference to revolution other than to denounce it. It was stated over and over in various ways that the struggle for peace was different from revolutionary work. For example, the Polish speaker stated that "...the struggle for peace is not some kind of 'instrument' for the Communists in overthrowing capitalism". (p. 61) And the Hungarian speaker contrasted the stand of the CI in 1922 which be characterized as urging the ideological and organizational preparation of. the masses, for the keenest revolutionary class struggle in order to avert war" with the stand of the 7th CI and the present communist movement. (p. 53)

This revisionist stand is completely opposed to revolutionary Leninism. Lenin, who gave the utmost importance to the questions of war and peace, stressed that these questions had to be connected to the organization of revolutionary mass struggle. He stressed this over and over in-the struggle against both the social-chauvinist warmongers and the centrist philistines who moaned about peace but refused to carry out the class struggle.

For example, in 1915, in the midst of World War I he stated:

"Pacifism, the preaching of peace in the abstract, is one of the means of duping the working class. Under capitalism, particularly in its imperialist stage, wars are inevitable. On the other hand, however, [Marxists] cannot overlook the positive significance of revolutionary wars, i.e., not imperialist wars, but such as were fought, for instance, between 1789 and 1871, with the aim of doing away with national oppression, or such wars that may be waged to defend the conquests of the proletariat victorious in its struggle against the bourgeoisie.

"At the present time, the propaganda of peace unaccompanied by a call for revolutionary mass action can only sow illusions and demoralize the proletariat, for it makes the proletariat believe that the bourgeoisie is humane, and turns it into a plaything in the a hands of the secret diplomacy of the belligerent countries...." (Conference of the RSDLP Groups Abroad," Collected Works, Vol. 21, pp. 162-3.)

But the revisionist symposium preached precisely peace in the abstract, and it held that the task of peace transcended classes and instead involved such things as, the "general human element" (Polish speaker) or "a worldwide coalition of reason and realism against another world war" (the East German speaker, p. 55).

Furthermore, the revisionists are right in finding the roots of this line at the Seventh World Congress. This Congress in fact replaced the call for revolutionary class struggle with the call for pacifist agitation to unite all those who claimed to be against war in general. Togliatti (speaking under the name Ercoli) delivered the main report on the question of war and peace at the Congress and declared that "The slogan of peace becomes our central slogan in the fight against war." And Dimitrov, in his closing speech at the Congress, differentiated the tactics of the 7th World Congress from those of 1914, i.e., from those of the time of Lenin.

Against the Class Struggle

Lenin stressed that the pacifist approach created illusions in the humanity of the bourgeoisie. And indeed this is one of the main uses the revisionists of today make of it. They claim that the struggle for peace or the struggle against reaction transcends class analysis. and justifies uniting with the liberal bourgeoisie.

The Turkish speaker, for example, denounced "the constraining influence of the 'class against class' principle, which is current among left-wingers in Turkey,...." He linked this to uniting with the bourgeoisie, stating that "But however limited and moderate the bourgeoisie's opposition to the regime, the policy of the, [revisionists in Turkey] is aimed to achieve the unity of all those who come out in defense of peace and democracy." And he called for unity with, among others, "the liberal bourgeois circles opposed to the present regime." (pp. 59-60)

The Polish speaker denounced the view that the interests cf entire classes are expressed in wars and also descended from class analysis to maneuvering among "circles". He stated: "When concretely identifying the sources of the present danger of war, we do not merely say that it is capitalism, or even state-monopoly capitalism; but its most reactionary and aggressive circles: the military-industrial complex, and the anti-communist forces looking to US imperialism..." (p. 61)

The Hungarian speaker claimed that the communist stand on peace "coincide(s) with the general line of aspirations among realistically-minded bourgeois politicians and statesmen..." (p. 54) In this denunciation of the revolutionary class struggle and call for unity with the liberal bourgeoisie, once again the revisionists were correct in finding precedents in the Seventh Congress; Dimitrov stressed in this Congress that the socialist revolution had to be set aside in the struggle against fascism. And he also called for unity with the liberal bourgeois forces in the struggle against war.

The Seventh Congress used various examples in creating illusions in the liberal bourgeois parties. It labelled that cesspool of corruption in France, the bourgeois Radicals, as a party of the petty-bourgeois masses that should be drawn to the side of the popular front; it praised the work of the liberal bourgeois Friends of the League of Nations in Britain; it established a rationale for the support of liberal Democratic President Roosevelt in the U.S.;.etc.

Denouncing the Struggle Against Opportunism

Naturally the revisionists could not be for a struggle against revisionism. But in fact the revisionists went out of their way to oppose the struggle against any of the opportunist traitors to the working class. And this is only logical. Since the revisionists are for unity with the bourgeoisie, how could they be against the other loyal servants of the bourgeoisie, such as the social-democrats, labor bureaucrats, clerics, etc.

The unity of the liberals, opportunists and revisionists was a basic theme of the revisionist symposium. And they tied this in with the policy of the Seventh Congress. Dimitrov and the Seventh Congress argued that the social-democrats were a pro-working class force that would fight for the immediate interests of the working class, so that if the communists set aside the revolutionary struggle they could allegedly achieve rapid unity with social-democracy, on such things as the struggle for peace and against fascism. As is well-known, Dimitrov made unity with social-democracy one of the cornerstones of his report to the Seventh Congress.

Abandoning Militant Struggle in the Name of Highflown, Empty Words About Struggle

The new line of the Seventh Congress that the revisionists find so attractive was advertised in its time as necessary to ensure a real struggle against fascism. And still today the revisionists try to repeat this demagogy. They cry out that the activists must abandon the revolution, which allegedly, concerns only a small vanguard of the working class, in order to have a real big struggle, for peace, against fascism, etc.

But what is the result of following this line? Once one gives up the connection between the struggle for peace or against fascism to the, revolutionary class. struggle, one thereby undermines the struggle. This is something that is very concrete. For example, the Polish revisionist stressed that the present-day peace movement, in his view, did not even include the struggle against NATO and the western imperialist bloc. (Of course, he also wouldn't mention the struggle against the Eastern imperialist bloc. he belongs to). He stated: "There are some new aspects to the Communists cooperation with various social forces. The present movement for peace is profoundly differentiated and is, as a whole, not aimed at liquidating capitalism or even the 'Western' security system [i.e. NATO]."

So here we have a struggle for peace that apparently can find no enemy, in neither superpower and in no imperialist power. This is what a struggle for peace in the abstract becomes.

The Hungarian revisionist speaker, in defending unity with the bourgeoisie in the anti-war movement, stressed that the loss of any target already took place in the 1930's. He held up, as a model of the struggle for peace, a peace congress in the 1930's that did not condemn fascism. He stated:

"Even in the mid-1930's, the communist movement was confronted with problems requiring coordination of anti-war actions by the working class and other numerous forces, including pacifists, who not only rejected the class struggle, but did not even want to issue an open condemnation of fascism. At that time, the Communists, wishing to unite all the forces against war accepted anappeal confined to anti-war objectives which was adopted at the International Peace Congress in 1936." (p. 54, emphasis added)

And this is true. Indeed the 7th Congress of 1935 itself lauded the so-called Peace Ballot in Britain organized by the Friends of the League of Nations, a ballot that failed to condemn fascism or any concrete act of warmongering. It was solely an appeal for peace in the abstract.

Thus the line of the Seventh Congress, which is promoted as absolutely essential to adopt because of the necessity to fight the fascists, in fact weakens the struggle against fascism and leads one to laud, as great steps forward, actions and conferences that intentionally avoid even naming the fascist danger, to say nothing of fighting it.

Abandoning the Revolutionary Struggle against Imperialist Oppression of the Colonies and Dependent Countries

The revisionist symposium repeated many phrases about the national movements, national liberation and so forth. But in fact the revisionists were opposed to the revolutionary liberation struggle of the workers and peasants of the oppressed and dependent countries. The national movements they were talking about is the struggle of the regimes and dominant social forces.

For example, the Ecuadorian speaker raised the question of dealing with the tremendous load of debt inflicted on the dependent countries, saying that "Latin America owes almost $350 billion of the developing countries aggregated debt of $800 billion." (p. 58) Bit he refrained from calling for the workers and peasants to rise up to repudiate this debt. Instead he complained that "US banks refuse to give the debtors loans to meet their debt-service payments, and dictate onerous terms for any debt rescheduling." He suggested no other ways to deal with the debt. Thus it appears that the real meaning behind his general phrases about resistance against imperialism was such things as debt rescheduling, i.e., negotiations between the imperialists, and the local ruling regimes on how to adjust the crushing burden on the poor so that the interest payments keep flowing.

Also, the revisionists cast the whole struggle in the broad expanses of Asia, Africa and Latin America as a national liberation struggle. They emptied the revolutionary content out of the concept of national liberation struggle and simply used national liberation phraseology as another method to downplay the struggle against the local exploiters and avoid, like the plague raising the issue cf the socialist revolution. (The socialist revolution is a burning necessity for the dependent countries, even though various of these countries are at the stage where the immediate struggle is either for national liberation or for a democratic revolution.)

It can be noted that after the Seventh Congress of the CI, various parties began to give up their support for the revolutionary liberation struggle of the colonies and dependent countries. Instead they suggested mild reforms. This was necessary in order to have alliances with the liberal bourgeois parties and the social-democrats, because these parties were diehard upholders of the imperialist colonial interests.

Failure of the Seventh Congress Line in Practice

The new line of the Seventh Congress of the CI failed the test of the struggle against fascism. It was correct to orient the communist movement to the struggle against the worldwide fascist offensive, but the discarding of the Leninist teachings on revolutionary struggle was absolutely wrong and had a bad effect.

Nevertheless the revisionist symposium made a pathetic attempt to hide this failure. Flying in the face of reality, it repeated the euphoric claims of Dimitrov and company that the new line could delay or prevent World War II while sliding over the fact that these claims had been proven wrong. The Hungarian speaker stated: "The [Seventh] Congress expressed its profound conviction that a world War could be put off and - given the right conditions -- even avoided."

Clearly World War II was not avoided. It wasn't even delayed. The 7th Congress took place in July-August 1935. Just four years later, on September 1, 1939, World War II officially began with the Nazi invasion of Poland, The intervening years had been packed with one fascist aggression and war after another: the Italian fascist invasion of Ethiopia, the Italian German intervention in the Spanish Civil War, the growing Japanese encroachments on China, the German annexation of Austria, and so forth. It is hard to see how the pace of war preparations and aggression could have gone much faster.

In fact, only through the powerful development of the revolutionary movement could the working class take an independent role in the coming world conflagration and only revolutions in Germany and elsewhere could have prevented sane sort of second world war. Short of being able to carry out the necessary revolutions prior to the war, the working class had to use the intervening years to organize itself through revolutionary struggles so as to be prepared for the coming world conflagration. It was of no value to the working class to be fed on illusions. It was of no value to the struggle against imperialist war for it to be separated from and counterposed to the development of revolutionary agitation and the revolutionary movement.

And the errors of the Seventh World Congress exercised a disorganizing effect on the communist parties and the revolutionary, working class movement. It not only weakened the struggle against fascism, but it provided soil for the later growth of revisionism. The verdict of history on the new line of this Congress has been severe. And it is no wonder that the present-day pro-Soviet revisionists, who fight to disorganize the working class and use it as a pawn in the bickerings between the new revisionist bourgeoisie and the Western bourgeoisie, hail the legacy of the Seventh Congress. <>

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