The Workers' Advocate Supplement

Vol. 2 #6


July 15, 1986

[Front page: On the period preceding the reversal in the line of the Communist International at the Seventh World Congress of 1935--Between the Sixth and Seventh Congresses]


On the Dellums Anti-Apartheid Bill

How the House Passed It................................................ 2
What the Congressmen Want........................................ 3
Liberal Bourgeoisie in South Africa Scolds theAnti-Apartheid Movement in the U.S........................... 6
Berkeley: Reformists Oppose the Mass Struggle AndLong for the Fleshpots of the Powers That Be............. 7
Chicago: Upper Strata of the OppressedNationalities Supports La Migra................................... 11
NY Transit Workers: Your United Action Is WorthMore Than 100 Hearings............................................... 12
Portuguese Marxist-Leninists on the Situationin the Brazilian communist movement......................... 13
MLP of Nicaragua: The Sandinista AgrarianReform Changes for the Worse..................................... 15
Canadian Liquidators Praise New ZealandSocial-Democrats (On CPC(ML))................................. 18
Correspondence: On Tom Hayden................................ 18

On the period preceding the reversal in the line of the Communist International at the Seventh World Congress of 1935

Between the Sixth and Seventh Congresses


A motion to reconsider is pending:




On the struggle to sum up the experience of the Berkeley upsurge:


The upper strata betray the masses and support the INS


New York Transit Workers:


Portuguese Marxist-Leninists on Situation in Brazilian Communist Movement


From the Workers' Press in Nicaragua:


Petty-bourgeois nationalism leads into the marsh



On the period preceding the reversal in the line of the Communist International at the Seventh World Congress of 1935

Between the Sixth and Seventh Congresses

In this issue of the Workers' Advocate Supplement we examine the line of the Communist International in the period preceding the major change of its line that took place in the mid-1930s, a change that was formalized at the Seventh Congress of 1935. Why are we continuing to carry extensive material on this question?

Today a big clash is going on in left-wing movements around the world on what orientation to follow. Today, just as in the mid-1930s, opportunist forces are urging abandonment of revolutionary work, capitulation to liberalism and social-democracy, and liquidationist negation of Leninism in the name of united front tactics or of a struggle against fascism. These forces today often refer back to the line of the Seventh Congress and the experience of the mid and latter 1930s.

We believe that Leninist united front tactics are essential to communist work. And we believe that the defense of Leninist united front tactics require repudiating the wrong orientation, endorsed at the Seventh Congress of the CI. This wrong orientation undermined the world communist movement, weakened the struggle against fascism, and helped open the way for the development of revisionism.

The Importance of the Experience of the Communist International

Furthermore, we believe that the experience of the Communist International is of great value for the study of revolutionary Leninism.

The Bolshevik revolution of October 1917 ushered in a new stage of the world working class movement. It brought the working class to power in Russia, and it spread the influence of revolutionary Leninism around the world. All over the world revolutionary workers looked to Soviet power and to communism.

Revolutionary Leninism showed the path forward for the left-wing elements around the world that were seeking to fight the betrayal of the social-democratic leaders who had gone over to the side of their own bourgeoisie in World War I. Leninism showed why the social-democratic treachery had taken place; it showed how there had been a prolonged corrosion in the old, Second International that led up to its political collapse into a tool of the bourgeoisie at the outbreak of World War I. The spread of Leninism was a call for the left-wing to separate from the opportunist leaders and form true proletarian parties. By rescuing the teachings of Marx and Engels from the distortions of the social-democratic leaders, and by adding new lessons to these teachings, it provided guidance and orientation to the revolutionary left.

By 1919 the Communist International was formed. It had the task of hastening the separation of the class-conscious workers around the world from the social-democratic servants of the bourgeoisie. And it also took seriously that the revolutionary left didn't only have to separate from the social-democratic misleaders, but to repudiate the social-democratic traditions concerning strategy and tactics and concerning the methods of organizing the working class movement.

Lenin and the CI leadership didn't want the CI to consist of parties indistinguishable from social- democratic parties but spouting communist phrases. Instead the CI immediately began a protracted process of reorganizing the parties that came over to it -- mainly consisting of the left-wings of social-democratic parties -- into parties based on the communist methods of organization and struggle.

This process was not simply a process of writing down some good theses. Nor was it only a question of ensuring that leaders who genuinely wanted revolution come to the fore in the parties (although this, the separation from the reformist and centrist leaders, was an important part of the revolutionization of the parties). It involved a difficult process of parties, and the class-conscious workers around them, developing revolutionary methods of participation in the class struggle. And it involved gaining a deeper theoretical understanding of Marxism-Leninism.

This orientation of the CI achieved solid results. The revolutionization of the masses in World War I and the immediate post-war revolutionary wave weren't just frittered away. Instead a world communist movement came into being. This communist movement, along with its red base area in the Soviet Union, were an important world factor. The bourgeoisie was alarmed at the prospect of additional proletarian revolutions, and a fierce world class struggle ensued.

This struggle did not, however, proceed by way of an unbroken string of victories. In various places the revolutionary movement suffered many setbacks and zigzags. The communists often faced severe repression. The bourgeoisie and the social-democrats collaborated closely against the revolutionary workers. And by the 1930s, a growing world fascist offensive was the spearhead of the bourgeois attack on the organized working class movement.

A Reversal at the Seventh Congress

In this situation, the Seventh Congress changed the orientation of the Communist International. In the name of the united front and the fight against fascism, it proclaimed a new orientation. In fact, it threw aside the Leninist lessons on the united front and the struggle against fascism. The new orientation consisted in large part of trampling on the former Leninist stands of the CI, and as a result it undermined the world communist movement.

We have analyzed this change in a number of articles. Particular mention should be made of the May 1, 1985 issue of the Supplement which was devoted to repudiating the ideas of the Seventh Congress, and the April 15, 1986 issue which showed the negative effects of these ideas in the French working class movement of the 1930s.

Between the Sixth and Seventh Congresses

In this issue we turn to the period immediately preceding the change in line of the CI. The controversy over the Seventh Congress of the CI has generally involved sharp disagreements over the assessment of the period from the Sixth Congress of the CI in 1928 to a year or two before the Seventh Congress.

The supporters of the negation of Leninism at the Seventh Congress have had to throw aside most of the previous history of the CI. According to them, this was basically a period of dogmatism and isolation. Although in fact they are opposed to the basic orientation of all the previous CI congresses, they center their attack on the Sixth Congress and the period following the Sixth Congress.

On the other hand, supporters of Leninism have generally had a different assessment of the Sixth Congress period. Our Party believes that the CI led the revolutionary class struggle during this period, accomplished a good deal under difficult conditions, and followed a generally correct, Marxist-Leninist line. At the same time, we believe that there were certain problems in certain views of the CI leadership on delicate tactical questions. We have described these problems as "rigidities" in order to indicate their nature as a certain narrowness, or a somewhat mechanical approach, in applying correct overall principles.

Why are we examining these rigidities?

*** The examination of this period, including what problems actually existed, refutes its negation by the supporters of liquidationism.

*** The rigidities were one of the sources of tensions inside the CI. The way the world situation developed, the correction of these rigidities became more important as the thirties wore on. Some change, some adjustments in the stand of the CI was necessary. This has some relevance to the question of how the change in line of the CI was imposed, because it was not effective to simply repeat the old without some adjustment.

*** The rigidities from the Sixth Congress period were not corrected and clarified by the CI. From the point of view of theoretical questions, the Seventh Congress reinforced the rigidities; however the Seventh Congress looked at them from the rightist point of view, and it took matters to the point of flagrant trampling on Marxist-Leninist principle.

*** Finally, perhaps the most important reason of all for studying the rigidities of the Sixth Congress period is to facilitate study of the contributions of the work of the CI in this period. We believe there is a great deal of value from this period, and various documents from this period are important, first and foremost being the Sixth Congress documents themselves. When one knows where the errors made during this period tended to lie, it is easier to extract and study the good and inspiring work that is of value for today. And even the rigidities of the Sixth Congress period themselves concern issues that often come up today. So their study too has value for work today.

Below we reproduce a document on the Sixth Congress period which was originally produced for internal discussion in our Party in connection with materials on the Seventh Congress. It has been edited and revised for publication. <>

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As we have seen, the Seventh Congress declared that it was presenting a new orientation for the international communist movement. In this, it was correct. The Seventh World Congress did mark a change, a turning point in the general line for the world communist movement. Unfortunately, this was a change for the worse, an abandonment of the revolutionary Leninist teachings.


A Radical Change from the Sixth Congress

At the Seventh Congress and in its resolutions, there were also occasional declarations that the new orientation wasn't really new, that it was in the spirit of the Sixth World Congress (of 1928), and so forth. These declarations are simply a ruse.

For example, the Resolution of the Seventh Congress entitled "The Tasks of the Communist International in Connection with the Preparations of the Imperialists for a New World War", which is subtitled "Resolution on the Report of Comrade Ercoli", goes through the pretext of "confirming the decisions of the Sixth Congress on the struggle against imperialist war..." (emphasis as in the original). Yet no one could have any doubt of the fundamental difference between declaring "the slogan of peace" the "central slogan", as Ercoli declared, and the emphatic denunciation of pacifism by the Sixth Congress. On one question after another concerning the struggle against imperialist war, the two Congresses gave obviously different views.

The Marxist-Leninist Line of the Sixth Congress

Our view is that the the Sixth World Congress of the CI, held from July 17 to September 1, 1928, put forth a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist line in accord with the Marxist-Leninist tradition of the CI. Moreover, on various questions, it gave a detailed exposition of the communist stand that is not available elsewhere.

For example, our Party has made use in our denunciation of reformism of the explanation given by the Sixth Congress of the difference between transitional demands in a period of rising revolutionary turmoil and partial demands at other times. We have also made use in various articles in the Workers' Advocate of the analysis of the Sixth Congress on national-reformism in the oppressed countries. And our entire Party also had the occasion of studying part of the resolution "The Struggle Against Imperialist War and the Tasks of the Communists" from the Sixth Congress in connection with the Internal Bulletin in 1980 on revolutionary work in the anti-draft and anti-nuclear movements.

This is not to say that Sixth Congress had no weaknesses on this or that particular issue.

Perhaps there was also a weakness in finding the way to explain its correct theses to the parties.

But despite these questions, the basic line of the Sixth Congress was consistent and Marxist-Leninist.

Following the Sixth Congress

There is also the question that a certain awkwardness, a certain mechanical approach, appears in dealing with certain tactical questions in the period following the Sixth Congress.

One of the difficulties in comprehending the nature of these rigidities is that it is not the question of a wrong, unrevolutionary stand and of gross errors, but of the approach to delicate tactical issues that come up in implementing a correct stand. The CI and its parties made advances in their work in this period in the face of difficult conditions; this is clear, for example, in the history of the CPUSA, for its work flourished in this period. The consolidation of the parties in this period probably had much to do with subsequent successes. At the same time, there was also the severe setback of the Hitler takeover in Germany, which however cannot be blamed on errors of the CP of Germany. Thus the vexed questions of this period generally require judging carefully the concrete situation of the times, because the tactical matters in question depend very much on the time and place.

The period between the Sixth Congress of 1928 and the adoption of new orientations in 1934-35 may be called the Sixth Congress period. During this period one of the major issues was to continue the process of overcoming social-democratic methods and traditions and to direct the work of the parties on truly communist foundations. The Executive Committee of the CI (ECCI) helped the parties correct a number of errors of various sorts. In his report to the Seventh Congress, Dimitrov made a huge fuss about the alleged great errors that presumably characterized the work of the communists prior to the Seventh Congress. But most of the examples he gave are things that were already dealt with and corrected in the Sixth Congress period or even earlier.

But there were also some rigidities or mechanical conceptions in the ECCI itself. Since we are dealing here with the general line of the world movement here, we are concerned with certain views of the ECCI or in harmony with the ECCI, and not those views and practice of individual parties that the ECCI fought against.

The Internal Bulletin of Sept. 30, 1983 briefly referred to this issue as follows:

"... there were also some rigidities in the views of the ECCI itself in this period. It appears that these stemmed in general from a somewhat rigid or mechanical idea of how the revolutionary process would unfold.

"The 6th Congress had pointed out that a 'third period' in the post-World War I world had begun. Stated very briefly, the first period was the postwar revolutionary upsurge, the second period was the partial and temporary :stabilization of capitalism, and the third period marked a deepening of the crisis of capitalism. The social-democrats and bourgeois mocked at this assessment, but the CI was proved correct in the most dramatic manner with the arrival of the Great Depression, as signaled by the big crash of 1929.

"However, the way the crisis affected the course of the revolutionary struggle was by no means straightforward. The CI was right about the beginning of a new period, but it seemed to have had certain rigidities in the way that it thought the revolutionization of the masses would take place and in its conception of the speed of this process. This involved a certain 'leftist' narrowness on certain tactical issues. This caused certain difficulties,"

Now let us give a few examples of the rigidities. On all the issues we shall deal with, we shall first see that the CI maintained a firm, revolutionary stand on the overall issue. And then we shall go into certain problems the CI had in dealing with certain delicate tactical issues that came up in implementing their stand. We shall begin with the CI's steadfast stand against social-democracy and certain rigidities that came up with respect to the use of the term "social-fascist".

On The Anti-Working Class Nature of Social-Democracy

In the Sixth Congress period, the CI paid close attention to the way that the social-democrats sabotaged the struggle against the bourgeoisie and took part in repression against the revolutionary movement.

The social-democrats, as servants of the bourgeoisie, found their hands tied in dealing with the fascists, but they bared their fangs at the militant proletariat. However mild-mannered and liberal they might be to the bourgeoisie and the fascists, they were tyrants and oppressors in their stand towards the workers. The social-democratic leaders organized mass expulsions of militants from the trade unions; they fingered class-conscious workers to the police in certain countries with reactionary regimes; and, where the social-democrats were in power, they did not shrink from ordering the police to smash communist demonstrations. As developed political trends, social-democracy, and reformism in general, didn't then (and don't now) consist of mild-mannered and flabby pursuit of goals that the communists pursue militantly: instead social-democracy joined in the capitalist attacks on the working masses, provided ideological cover for the bourgeois offensive, threw aside all principles of proletarian democracy inside the trade unions and other mass organizations, and so forth.

(However this does not mean that any party or grouping could be judged solely by whether it had the term "social-democrat" in its name. Most of the original sections of the CI, for example, were formed from the left-wings of the social-democratic party of the particular country. But the movement to the left of social-democratic workers and groupings consisted of their abandoning the social-democratic politics for class struggle, even if these groupings still bore the term "social-democrat" in their name for the time being.)

On the Term "Social-Fascist"

The social-democrats dreaded the revolution more than fascism and played a particularly despicable role in clearing the way for the fascist rise to power. The term "social-fascist" (meaning socialist in words but fascist in deeds) was used to summarize the indictment of this reactionary role of the social-democrats. Our Party agrees with the assessment of the Sixth Congress period on the social-fascist nature of social-democracy. We have never had any sympathy with the neo-revisionists who were horrified at the term "social-fascist". We have repeatedly denounced the idea that the social-democrats and reformists are simply luke-warm revolutionaries and have instead pointed to the stand of opportunism on the side of the bourgeoisie.

At the same time, there is also the question of how to expose the evil deeds of social-democracy and reformism to the masses of workers. Our Party has had a careful attitude to the use of the term "social-fascist" and similar such terms. Terms such as "social-fascist" are powerful, emotional terms. Their use at random can create an obstacle to breaking the masses away from the influence of reformism and winning them to communism.

For example, consider the present political situation in the U.S. Given the support of the liberal Democrats for beefing up the CIA, Pentagon, police etc, given their role in the fascization of the state, one could rail at the liberals as "liberal-fascists" and so forth. But would this help the strength of revolutionary agitation in the present situation? It is a fraud to talk of building an independent political movement of the proletariat unless there is a fierce and unrelenting struggle against the liberal Democrats, but the terms used in this struggle have to be well-chosen so that they help enlighten the working masses.

It is likely that the term "social-fascist" could have had good use in the Sixth Congress period in branding various social-democratic leaders when they committed acts that were despicable and fascist even in the eyes of rank-and-file social-democrats. For example, when social-democratic ministers ordered the police to shoot down demonstrators, and the streets ran red with the blood of murdered workers, ordinary workers under the influence of social-democracy might well have themselves cursed these leaders and called them fascists. At such a time the communists might well have been able to make good use of the curses thrown at the social-democratic leaders by the rank-and-file workers.

An example of this occurred in Russia, several months prior to the October Socialist Revolution of 1917. During the "July days", when the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries supported the Provisional Government's mass repression against the workers, peasants, and Bolsheviks, many ordinary workers and soldiers cursed the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries as "social-jailers" (socialists in words, but jailers in deeds).

But in the Sixth Congress period it seems that the terms "social-democrat" and "social-fascist" became almost interchangeable at times. (This is not the case in the documents of the Sixth Congress itself.) This must have interfered to a certain extent with approaches to social-democratic workers and made united front tactics more difficult. The effect of this shouldn't be exaggerated, but at the same time it probably did cause certain difficulties.

(However, it should be noted that the communist parties did not start attacking rank-and-file workers under the influence of social-democracy with all sorts of names. This caricature of the Sixth Congress period is reformist fantasy: the communist leadership acted promptly to stop any such absurdity as calling ordinary workers "little Zorgeibels" after the social-democratic chief of police who ordered the shooting down of the communist May Day demonstration in Berlin in 1929.)

Furthermore, the terms "social-democrat" and "social-fascist" were used pretty interchangeably in some theoretical literature during the Sixth Congress period, including various discussions during and documents of ECCI plenums. This, to certain extent, was a hindrance to political clarity. The social-democratic parties and leaders, despite their bourgeois deeds and their sabotage of the anti-fascist struggle, occupied quite a different political position than the various groupings of fascism. (To be precise, the typical or general case was that the social-democratic parties and leaders occupied a different political position. There were some cases of social- democratic groups that were hardly more than direct appendages of fascist regimes.)

The CI Against the Degeneration of United Front Tactics

The ECCI in the Sixth Congress period dealt with encouraging various parties to invigorate the work for the united front from below. It faced the situation that various parties had fallen to varying extents into a stereotyped form of united front tactics. This stereotype regarded united front tactics as mainly attempts to obtain agreements with the reformist-dominated mass organizations through work within them, or work within the Labor Party in Britain, etc.

In fact, generally speaking, even the work of these parties had advanced over the years. The fact that these parties now accepted the necessity to apply united front tactics was helpful to them.

But the consolidation of a stereotyped and ultimately rightist approach prevented further advance and threatened what had already been achieved. It was necessary to revitalize the work and to move these parties forward to a better appreciation of united front tactics.

"Class Against Class" Tactics

The ECCI dealt with this by urging a change in emphasis in united front work. It laid stress on the united front from below, and it pushed various parties to step up the open exposure of the social-democrats and other reformists (the spirit to wage such struggles had waned under the stereotyped approach to united front tactics), etc. This was a good part of what was called "Class Against Class" tactics. And it had various notable successes, such as getting the CP of Britain to come out openly in elections against reactionary Labor Party leaders and to step up its own independent work (although the ECCI did not hold that the time had come to cut off all work inside the Labor Party).

This was described as shifting the weight in united front tactics to the united front from below. For example, the Six Congress of the CI stated:

"37. These tactics, while changing the form, do not in any way change the principal content of the tactics of the united front. The intensification of the struggle against social-democracy transfers the weight of importance to the united front from below, but it does not relieve the Communists from the duty of drawing a distinction between the sincere, but mistaken, social-democratic working men, and the obsequious social-democratic leaders cringing at the feet of imperialism. On the contrary, it makes it more obligatory for them to do so. Nor is the slogan 'Fight for the Masses!' (including the masses following the lead of the bourgeois and the Social-Democratic Parties) repealed by this. It must become the object of attention in the work of the Communist International more than ever before...." (Front "Theses of the Sixth Congress on the International Situation and the Tasks of the CI", Section VI, "The Tactical Line and Principal Tasks of the CI" emphasis and parenthetical remark as in the original)

It can be seen that the Sixth Congress period did not ignore the rank and file worker under opportunist influence.

Problems in the Theoretical Foundation Given for These Tactics

The Sixth Congress gave a number of reasons for transferring weight to the united from below. This included the intensifying capitalist offensive, the rightward swing of the social-democratic parties, and the leftward swing of the masses.

However, it should be noted that the stereotyped forms of united front tactics were not the correct way in any period to utilize the united front from above or united front tactics in general. The intensifying situation undoubtedly made the rectification of these tactics even more urgent. And from the practical point of view, the stress on the united front from below was important. But there were certain limitations in the way this was described theoretically.

For one thing, the idea seems to have spread that the utilization of united front appeals from above depended on how far to the right the social-democratic parties were. Thus it was said that the social-democrats were further to the right in the "third period" than earlier in the mid-1920's, and this was why the emphasis in united front work had to switch to work from below.

But united front tactics, including appeals from above, were discussed by the CI in the immediate post-World War I situation. At that time the social-democratic parties had their hands dipped in the blood of the workers uprisings that they were suppressing. The united front appeals were not made out of any analysis that there was something left in the social-democratic leaderships, but as a way of influencing the masses in these parties.

Thus, although the CI leadership in the Sixth Congress period fought against certain stereotypes in the application of united front tactics, stereotypes that would have led to rightist degeneration, the theory it put forward on the united front was not quite correct. This theory contained elements that fed a certain mechanical or stereotyped way of considering united front questions. According to this method of thinking, united front appeals depend on whether the social-democratic parties are regarded as more or less to the right or left.

Furthermore, this led to the idea that if a social-democratic party was in crisis due to the leftward movement of the masses, then it would be a mistake to make a united front appeal from above at that time. It was held, correctly, the communist parties should step up their work to win over the base at such a time, but it was held that recognition of the treachery of the social-democracy leaders ruled out any united front appeals from party to party at such a time. In fact, the question is more complex. It is true that rightist united front tactics might help get a social-democratic party out of its crisis and give it more credibility among the workers. But, depending on various circumstances, precisely when a social-democratic party is in crisis might be the time when correct united front appeals would help disintegrate further the influence of reformist and centrist leaders. And the decision to use such appeals has more to do with analysis of the views and temper among the rank-and-file than with belief in whether these parties are more or less to the right than they were at some other times.

It appears, therefore, that there was a certain rigidity on the question of united front agreements from above. It never reached denial, on principle of the united front from above. The overall policy followed strengthened the work of the communist parties and increased their confidence to stand by themselves. But certain issues did arise.

It should also be noted that the policy in practice towards appeals from above was actually less rigid than might appear from the theory concerning such appeals. During the Sixth Congress period, it seems that a complex and confusing terminology existed concerning what type of appeals were regarded as appeals from above. Appeals to various levels of the social-democratic parties below the top leadership were not necessarily regarded as appeals from above. Even appeals to the top leadership, if held to limited objectives, were not necessarily regarded as the united front from above. On one hand, this allowed more flexibility than might appear at first sight. On the other hand it makes it harder to comprehend what is being referred to as work from below; one must be sure to examine the practice of each party concretely, and not just rely on the theoretical terms used at the time.

Actually, the CI leadership during the Sixth Congress period generally didn't do much theoretical elaboration of united front tactics; yet there were a number of issues left over from previous Congresses of the CI. It appears that while correct work was often done in practice, various confused views often prevailed theoretically. To a certain extent, this resulted in rigidities in considering how and when united front appeals from above could be made. It should be stressed, however, that this did not prevent the CI and various parties from making a number of such appeals during the Sixth Congress period, particularly against imminent fascist threats.

The Black National Question in the U.S.

One question which particularly dramatically illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of the Sixth Congress period is the black national question in the U.S. This is discussed in detail in the November 15, 1986 issue of The Supplement, which is entirely devoted to the article "More on the path for the black liberation struggle/The History of the CPUSA and the CI on the. Right to Self-Determination".

During the Sixth Congress period the CPUSA, with help from the CI, dramatically stepped up its work against the oppression of the black people and its work to organize the black working people. It achieved good results, and firmly it established the tradition that American communists must fight with all their might against the oppression of the black masses.

The Sixth Congress and the 1928 and 1930 resolutions of the ECCI played a major role in this development.

The 1928 resolution of the CI stressed work among the black people and against their oppression. It provided concrete direction for this work, and it sought to motivate the CPUSA not just to do this work, but to really put sufficient effort into it. It also raised the issue of the self-determination of the black nation in the black belt South in a basically correct fashion. It vigorously defended the right to self-determination, but didn't advocate secession and instead called for orienting the black people's movement as part of the proletarian revolution in the U.S.

The 1930 resolution continues this work and sought to ensure that communist work with respect to the black people remained at a high level. But it also had the weaknesses of a certain national fetishism. A mechanical view of the question of self-determination lead it to this national fetishism. In the CPUSA and the CI in this period, advocacy of work among the black people became linked, to a certain extent, to some of this national fetishism.

Here we see a dramatic example both of the positive features of this period and of how a certain rigidity impeded its work. It is not clear if the national fetishism was that much of an obstacle in that period: it kept getting discarded in practice despite periodic moralistic breastbeating in the CPUSA over the party not carrying out this national fetishism among the masses.

Yet the theoretical errors that were introduced by this national fetishism played a bad role later on in the history of the U.S. communist movement. The difficulties these rigidities can give rise to, if not corrected, can be seen by the fact that this national fetishism later on played a negative role both in the struggle against Browderism after World War II and in the Marxist-Leninist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. (See the Nov. 15, 1985 Supplement.)

This national fetishism presumably was something of a "left" rigidity when it was taken up by the CI during the Sixth Congress period. It was an attempt to carry over various principles about the right to self-determination without properly taking the concrete conditions into account, and it presented itself as a way to really hit U.S. imperialism. But this national fetishism, in and of itself, was not inherently leftist. In the later history of the U.S. communist movement it fit in well with blatant rightism. Indeed, the neo-revisionists of the 1960s and 1970s took up national fetishism as a rationale to support the black bourgeoisie and as a shield for their other rightist positions.

On the Relationship of Bourgeois Democracy and Fascism

The Sixth Congress period had a correct overall line on the question of bourgeois democracy and fascism. The ECCI was never guilty of refusing to fight for the democratic liberties of the toilers, and it also refused to bow down to the bourgeois-democratic form of capitalist domination.

The social-democrats opposed using revolutionary methods against fascism. Instead they told the working class that the way to oppose fascism was to rally behind the liberal bourgeoisie and the bourgeois-democratic state. But this meant to sabotage both the struggle against fascism and the struggle for socialist revolution.

During the Sixth Congress period, the CI opposed this treachery of the social-democrats. But there often appears certain difficulties in the way this social-democratic treachery is dealt with.

For example, the 13th Plenum of the ECCI in December 1933 stated that:

"It is only for the purpose of deceiving and disarming the workers that social-democracy denies the fascization of bourgeois democracy and makes a contrast between the democratic countries and the countries of the fascist dictatorship in principle." (See the passage entitled "Fascism Born in the Womb of Bourgeois Democracy" in the theses entitled "Fascism, the Danger of War and the Tasks of the Communist Parties".)

It is by no means clear what is meant when the passage denies a contrast "in principle" between the bourgeois-democratic regimes and the fascist regimes. In both cases, there is still a bourgeois dictatorship; but it would have been better to say this, if this was what was meant. On the other hand, the distinction between bourgeois-democracy and fascism has many implications for the forms and methods of the class struggle and is one of the most important political conditions facing the proletariat in the capitalist countries.

The CI correctly rejected the social-democratic defense of the liberal bourgeoisie and the bourgeois republic. It correctly laid stress on the revolutionary struggle of the masses as the barrier to fascism. It understood that the growing economic and political crisis led increasingly to the question: bourgeois reaction or revolution.

But there was a tendency to be somewhat rigid in how this was posed. The CI leadership understood that bourgeois "moderates" shared with the fascists the desire to hamstring the workers' movement and that the liberals and bourgeois republicans thus helped pave the way for the fascists, but it sometimes talked about this in ways that appeared to denigrate the political differences between these trends or to suggest that the alternatives of revolution or reaction would present themselves straightforwardly at all times. Yet the communists had to be very attentive to these differences in order to discredit both bourgeois trends. And they had to be attentive to the fact that important struggles (and even decisive struggles, struggles that lead to revolution) may well start with the masses apparently having limited and restricted aims.

The CI had to combine imbuing the masses with the desire for revolution with remaining very attentive to any of the forms in which the masses went into action against reaction. The CI had to lead the struggle of the class-conscious workers against bourgeois-democratic illusions. And it had to stay sensitive to when the desire for struggle arose even among masses who were under the influence of bourgeois-democratic illusions; the CI had to show the parties how to utilize the fact that, as the struggle against fascism sharpens, the working masses tend to break out of the bounds of their original standpoint, particularly if there is active communist work among the militant masses.

It appears that the CI leadership, in its struggle to defeat the vicious social-democratic treachery of tying the working class to the tail of the "lesser evil" among the bourgeoisie, sometimes gave awkward formulations. Thus the CI did expose that the social-democrats and the bourgeois republicans were betraying the masses to the fascists, but the ECCI also gave such formulations as the one we have quoted about there being no difference "in principle" between bourgeois democracy and fascism.

The somewhat mechanical approach affected practical work and not just general theses.

For example, in this period the CP of France correctly stood against petty-bourgeois democratic illusions in the French bourgeois Republic or the Radicals (French liberal party). It did not give in to the widespread democratic phrasemongering in France. And it fought for the rights of the working class.

But in denouncing the yoke of the bourgeois state, and opposing democratic phrasemongering, the CP of France appears to have tended to lay stress on the argument that the bourgeois Republic was "bourgeois-democratic" or "democratic" (terms it used used rather interchangeably) and then to have denounced this "democracy". By identifying "democracy" with the defense of the bourgeois Republic, this terminology must have created some confusion on how to handle the struggle for democratic rights and the anti-fascist struggle. Although the particularities of the practice of the French CP are not necessarily exactly identical to that of other communist parties, particularly because of the revolutionary phrasemongering that was typical of all left-wing French parties at that time, nevertheless this stand of the French CP probably reflects the general awkwardness on the question of democracy at that time.

Undoubtedly militant workers understood that the communist parties wanted a mass fight against reaction, whatever the particular form of agitation on bourgeois democracy and fascism used by the communist parties. And the communist parties maintained the stand of socialist revolution and an accurate assessment of the role of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois state in fascization. But a certain awkwardness oh the issue of democracy may have constituted an obstacle to approaching the widest masses and perhaps also gave rise to certain difficulties in formulating tactics.

On What the Seventh Congress Should Have Done With Respect to the Rigidities

The rigidities were a hindrance to the work of the CI; nevertheless in general this work advanced. But with the changing world situation, and the added tactical complexities which resulted from the fascist offensive, it became all the more important to remove the rigidities. It was necessary to reach out to the broadest masses against the imminent fascist threat, and it was necessary to indicate the exact limits of tactical flexibility. The rigidities on united front tactics, on the relationship of bourgeois democracy and fascism (or of socialist revolution and the struggle against fascism), on the tone and method of approach to the social-democratic leaders, etc. more and more became central issues.

The Seventh Congress faced the task of orienting the communists to the tasks posed by the world fascist offensive against the working class and toilers. The struggle between the revolution and the bourgeoisie was expressing itself in the development of a gigantic clash with fascism. This required sober tactics to rally the maximum forces of the toilers against fascism. It also required communist insight that saw that the struggle against fascism did not eliminate the issue of socialist revolution, but instead meant that the masses would approach the revolution from another direction, so to speak. The bourgeoisie was the class force behind fascism, and the struggle against fascism not only brings the masses into struggle, it inspires a tremendous hatred for the bourgeoisie and, when victorious, may well immediately place the issue of social revolution on the agenda.

What the Seventh Congress Did

The Seventh Congress did stress that a great conflict with fascism was in the making. But it utterly failed in dealing with the rigidities from the Sixth Congress period. It did not understand the issues at stake. Instead it simply cursed leftism and sectarianism in order to justify abandoning the fundamental Leninist principles that were upheld in the Sixth congress period. It did not correct rigidities, but gave them a rightist turn -- in effect, it took mechanical thinking further and solidified it as engrained rightist views.

Solidifying the Rigidities and Turning Them into Engrained Reformist Views

Consider the question of the speed of revolutionization that would follow from the deepening of the crisis. Dimitrov appears to criticize rigidities on this question and blame them on sectarianism. He says, in Section III of his Report, that:

"Sectarianism finds expression particularly in overestimating the revolutionization of the masses, in overestimating the speed at which they are abandoning the positions of reformism,..." (From the passage on "Consolidation of the Communist Parties")

However, in fact, the Seventh Congress did nothing to put forward sober assessments of the development of the struggle. It promoted the most wild, euphoric assessments. Dimitrov boasted that the use of the new line would allow "at this very moment" the formation of united fronts with the social-democratic leaders and the immediate creation of the unity of the proletariat all over the world. Pieck complacently proclaimed the end of reformism. And Togliatti (Ercoli) declared that the new line of the Seventh Congress could stop the coming world war.

The only thing Dimitrov wasn't wildly optimistic about was the prospect of the masses leaving the social-democratic parties. And his utter skepticism on this point, which he promoted in the guise of sober realism, was actually nothing but the flip side of his wildly optimistic assertions that the social-democratic parties were not only being revolutionized, but were on the path of merging with the communist parties.

All these euphoric assessments were no longer simple rigidities, but engrained reformist fantasies that promised the greatest and easiest victories if only Leninist principle was abandoned.

Consider the issue of the relationship of democracy to revolution. The Seventh Congress laid stress on being extremely rigid on this. Dimitrov laid down the line that the fight on democratic issues requires throwing out the question of revolution; every other issue was to be thrown aside except for the contrast of bourgeois democracy versus fascism.

This did not amount to solving the rigidities of the Sixth Congress period concerning the struggle against bourgeois-democratic illusions nor its awkwardness in formulating the relationship between the democratic issues and the revolution, but absolutizing these rigidities. Only Dimitrov absolutized them not in the midst of struggle for revolution but in order to conclude that revolutionary work should be put off to the distant future.

Consider the question of the united front. The Seventh Congress didn't correct rigidities on the use of the united front from above, but instead championed and consolidated the opportunist, stereotyped view that united front tactics mean primarily and above all major agreements with the social-democratic parties and leaders. It did not show how to utilize correct agreements for the sake of the revolution, but demanded that everywhere and all the time united front work must be chopped down to the limits needed to come to terms with the social- democrats.

This did not amount to correcting the wrong idea that use of united front appeals from above depends on a certain belief in the more rightist or leftist nature of social-democracy in a certain period, but absolutizing this view and turning it to the right. Dimitrov held that united front work was only real when combined with firm belief that social-democracy was basically pro-working class and pro-class struggle.

Consider the term "social-fascist." The Seventh Congress didn't show how. to preserve the content of the criticism of social-democracy while adjusting the tone as needed in order to better approach those masses still under social-democratic influence. No, the Seventh Congress simply threw out the criticism of social-democracy. This didn't correct any rigid idea of what a relentless fight against social-democracy should be, but accepted the most rigid view and concluded from it that the struggle to win the masses from social-democracy is sectarianism.

And so it was from one question to another. From the theoretical point of view, the Seventh Congress did not correct rigidities but seized on them, exaggerated them, cast them in iron, but always looked at them from the rightist side. From the practical point of view, the Seventh Congress replaced certain difficulties in the work to build up truly communist parties with abandonment of the Leninist communist principles.

A Point on the Overall Characterization of the Sixth Congress Period

In order to justify its rightist stands, the Seventh Congress portrayed the the Sixth Congress period as a time of rampant sectarianism. This is simply not true. Even the rigidities of the period can't be presented as simply rampant sectarianism. But furthermore, a serious assessment of the Sixth Congress period requires more than an assessment of the rigidities. There were hard-won successes; there was progress in the face of major difficulties. And the shortcomings in the work too have to be examined seriously, not used as a pretext to throw out the work to build proletarian parties of the new, Leninist type.

Dimitrov confuses everything in his portrayal of the Sixth Congress period. In his typically frivolous fashion, while he condemned this period up and down, he portrayed the CI leadership as infallible, and his criticism was always directed at various parties. But, we may recall, the question of the rigidities is first and foremost a question of the ECCI and various views that came up that were generally in harmony with those of the ECCI.

When we shift our attention to the individual parties, we see there were errors and difficulties (and not all difficulties were the results of errors) of various types. Perhaps the fundamental issue facing the parties was learning how to Bolshevize their forms of organizations and methods of struggle, of learning how to really apply communist, Leninist methods. To do this, they had to overcome right as well as left errors, and to a certain extent the rigidities came up in the attempt to correct rightist errors and non-communist methods of work. The fight against this rightism was serious and difficult.

(And, it may be noted, there was certain sectarianism among the parties, but it all couldn't simply be said to be leftist sectarianism. For example, a sectarian attitude to the struggle for certain partial demands, for example, to certain economic struggles, was often based on an underlying rightist conception that only could conceive of the use of reformist demands in such a struggle. To solve such sectarianism by simply cursing leftism is a prescription for fiasco. The social-democratic parties had all sorts of rightist and leftist sounding reasons for taking a sectarian attitude to various struggles, and the struggle against the traditions inherited from these parties required more than simply shouting about left sectarianism. And, it may be noted, the CI fought hard during the Sixth Congress period against this sectarianism.)

As well, it should be noted that transforming the parties required not just setting forward some good theses and getting them passed against rightist or leftist opposition. No, it required a whole process of building up the parties. The parties had to find the way to learn how, in practice, to organize; they had to develop new communist traditions to replace the former social-democratic traditions in the working class movement; they had to learn how to activate the rank and file of the party and the party's basic organizations and teach them to have self-motion in taking up political issues. This process came up against conscious opposition from opportunists, but it also had to deal with sincere and dedicated communists who didn't understand, or only partially understood, what the correct method of approach was. Thus various problems that came up in this period are often hard to classify neatly as right or left precisely because they had not yet solidified as definite lines.

One of the difficulties facing the CI in the Sixth Congress period was how to train the parties and how to train large masses of new communists. One of the main problems may well have been the development of methods to really explain the communist methods and theses to the communists. It is one thing to exhort the parties to do this or that type of work; it is another to find a common language with the parties that allows one to deal with the barriers in this or that type of work.

The Seventh Congress had no magic answer to these problems. Or, to be precise, it had no serious answer, just magic prescriptions. It simply asserted over and over that rightist stands would by themselves solve all the difficulties. One striking example is where Manuilsky, in his pamphlet "The Work of the Seventh Congress", asserts that the liquidation of the communist fractions in the trade unions will solve the question of how to carry out lively communist work in the trade unions by "forcing the party members to stay among the masses." This was not an answer, but a reformist turn of speech gone wild. It was nothing but liquidationist mocking of party organization. <>

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A motion to reconsider is pending:


The Dellums bill was passed on June 18 at the end of a day of debate on the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. The voting on this Act provides a fascinating glimpse of Congressional hypocrisy.

The Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, as originally presented on June 18, was the typical loop-hole ridden sanctions bill that the House Democrats always put forward. It merely tapped the South African racists on the wrist and was full of provisions to delay the sanctions and then to remove them.

As well, it also included $25 million of aid to South Africa: yes, aid to South Africa in a bill of alleged sanctions against South Africa. The main part of this was $21 million of community development aid that was supposed to be given to nongovernmental agencies. This, presumably, means that the U.S. aid could be used to prop up such lackeys of the racists as Chief Buthelezi on the grounds that they are not members of the government.

Thus the Anti-apartheid Act clearly had the purpose of simply prodding the South African racists to make more use of collaboration with black reformists. It meant to prod the racist regime to gradually modify the more absurd aspects of apartheid while reserving the main bases of the regime's power.

The Anti-ANC Amendment Passes

Before the Act could be voted on, three amendments were presented.

The first amendment was presented by a bitter opponent of sanctions and lover of the Botha government, Mr. Burton, Republican of Indiana (as distinguished from Mr. Burton, liberal Democrat of California). Burton's amendment read:

"No such assistance may be used to support, directly or indirectly, the African National Congress or any organization or institution affiliated therewith, until such time as the controlling body of the African National Congress no longer includes members of the South African Communist Party."

Burton's amendment was designed to ensure that aid wouldn't go to anyone that opposed U.S. capitalist interests.

Actually, the South African Communist Party, despite its "communist" name, has actually been a diehard reformist group for decades. Meanwhile the ANC, despite its revolutionary reputation, has also followed an essentially reformist strategy; this has included putting stress on wooing the Western imperialist powers and the South African liberals, both white and black. (See "On the strategy and tactics of the ANC of South Africa" in the Sept. 1, 1985 issue of the Workers' Advocate. This article also has a brief discussion of the revisionist South African CP at the end.)

But Burton didn't even want money to go to the more phrasemongering wing of the black reformists; undoubtedly, like the other Reaganites, he preferred the straight out lackeys of the white racist regime.

The response of the liberal Democrats who supported the Anti-Apartheid Act was most interesting. First they opposed the amendment on procedural grounds. Then Mr. Wolpe, one of the sponsors of the Act, offered to include the amendment in the bill without a vote, rationalizing this by saying that the amendment was "meaningless".

But Mr. Burton insisted on a roll call vote. The anti-ANC amendment passed by a vote of 365 to 49 with 19 not voting. This margin is so lopsided that it proves that not only did the opponents of sanctions vote for this amendment, but the overwhelming majority of the supporters of the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 voted for the anti-ANC amendment. This shows that these "anti-apartheid" heroes are not only against revolution in South Africa, they are even willing to sacrifice the reformist leadership of the ANC.

The Sullivan Principles Amendment Fails

The next amendment considered was again by the reactionary Mr. Burton of Indiana. This amendment would have prevented any restriction from being put on any business enterprise that followed the hypocritical "Sullivan principles". This would essentially have wiped out any real sanctions. And the supporters of this amendment stressed that they believed that almost all U.S. firms were paragons of virtue and fighters against racism in South Africa. It seems that the racist big businessmen in the U.S. become anti-racist heroes when they go abroad to exploit cheap black labor in South Africa.

In a roll call vote, this amendment was defeated by a vote of 268 to 150 with 15 not voting.

The Dellums Amendment

Ron Dellums, liberal Democrat of California, then put forward his amendment to the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. This amendment kept only the title of the Act, deleted all the rest of the Act, and substituted instead the text of the Dellums bill.

A number of supporters of the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, including sponsors of the bill, came out in favor of the Dellums bill. A number of the most reactionary members of Congress and opponents of sanctions, such as ultra-Reaganite Republican Siljander, also came out in favor of the Dellums amendment as part of a parliamentary maneuver. For example, during the debate Siljander said he would probably vote for amending the Anti-Apartheid Act as Dellums voted, but then vote against the Act.

Almost No One Was Present At the Vote

By the time a vote was taken on the Dellums bill, there were only about 50 members of the House present, out of the total 435. A series of voice votes were then taken. Much to the surprise of Dellums, the Dellums amendment was passed. And then so was the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (which was now the Dellums bill). These were the votes by a tiny fraction of the House membership.

And then a motion to reconsider the whole thing was laid on the table. It is still pending.

So much for the supposed great anti-apartheid fervor of the House of Representatives. <>

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In the July issue of the Workers' Advocate we began the discussion of the Dellums bill for economic sanctions against South Africa. In this issue of the Supplement we are providing additional material on the Dellums bill.

The passage of the Dellums bill, even though few congressmen were present at the vote, may appear as if the liberals were now taking a firm stand against apartheid. After all, despite its disgusting provision to allow imports of South African minerals for the American military, and its specification that Reagan will administer this exception (thus giving him a big loophole to walk thought), the bill does contain some real sanctions; it differs from the utter frauds the liberals have usually rallied around (and were again rallying around this year in the form of the original Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 before it was amended into the Dellums bill).

Yet the fact is that the liberals are still false friends of the anti-apartheid movement. They proclaim to the world that they want sanctions in order to avoid the radicalization of the black masses and to prevent revolution. The anti-apartheid activists, on the other hand, want to abolish white minority rule; they support the revolution in South Africa.

The anti-apartheid activists want sanctions to help the liberation struggle; the liberals want sanctions, and mainly just a lot of noise about sanctions, in order to replace the liberation struggle.

The anti-apartheid activists look to the black and other oppressed masses as the source of change in South Africa; the liberals look to a change in heart in the Botha regime, to a change of heart in the Reagan administration, to gradual reform by the powers that be.

As we shall see, the liberals proclaimed these goals over and over in the debate on the Dellums bill. And they subsequently proclaimed that the Dellums bill itself was just a bargaining chip to obtain a compromise with the Reaganites.

Anti-apartheid activists! The movement must take up conscious support for revolution in South Africa. It must oppose the liberals and their plans to stop the struggle. Despite their bills, the liberals want at most a policy like that of ex-President Carter: talk of "human rights" and sanctions against South Africa, while the real brunt of the policy is against the liberation movement.

We do not oppose any sanctions that Congress may pass. But Congress is not aiming to help the struggle in South Africa, but to subvert it. So the exposure of the real intentions of Congress, combined with orienting the mass struggle against U.S. imperialism, will always be essential to build up an effective solidarity movement. It is necessary to ensure that sanctions don't get used against the liberation struggle. And, as a byproduct, this will increase whatever small chance there is that some sanctions may be passed and then implemented.

The Congressional Liberals Denounce the Struggle in South Africa

The Congressional liberals make no secret of their desire to stop the development of the revolutionary movement in South Africa. Revolution in South Africa -- this is the specter that haunted liberal and conservative alike. They differed only on the means of achieving this common cherished goal. Listen to Solarz, a Democrat who has often carried the banner for the liberals on foreign policy questions. Solarz is a cosponsor of the original loophole ridden Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 and also a supporter of the Dellums amendment to this bill which turned it into the Dellums bill. But his worst nightmare is not continued white minority rule. No, in the debate he stressed:

"Our interests are in preventing the radicalization of the black majority in that country and the emergence of a new government which would be hostile to our interests." (Congressional Record-June 18, 1986, p. 3875)

One speaker after another repeated this theme. Gunderson, speaking in favor of sanctions, stated: "The Commonwealth eminent person's group report has indicated that unless South Africa's largest Western trading partners, investors and creditors move quickly, the inevitable result in South Africa will be the emergence of a radical black government that will destroy Western interests absolutely, and will likely owe its allegiance to the Soviet Union." (Ibid.)

Or again, representative Bliley, speaking in favor of sanctions, stated:

"Mr. Chairman, the actions of the Government

of South Africa over the past week only prove more conclusively than ever that there is a basic lack of understanding on the part of the Government of South Africa that is combined with an inflexible and bullheaded attitude which can only lead to disaster, revolution and massive bloodshed in that blessed but wicked land."

Then there is Wolpe, a cosponsor of the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 and also supporter of the Dellums bill:

"...For democratic, nonviolent opponents of apartheid, like Bishop Tutu, Reverend Boesak,... economic sanctions are essential, precisely because they represent the only conceivable alternative to increasing pressure for violent resistance from the black majority." (Ibid., p. 3862)

It seems that these "anti-apartheid" warriors can't stand the thought of the oppressed masses rising up and smashing the white slavemasters. This they call racial war, disaster, disastrous bloodshed, etc. etc.

Lending a Helping Hand to the Racists

But how is apartheid to be fought without a revolution? It seems that Congress could only think of one way -- enlightening the Botha regime, lending a helping hand to the white racist rulers.

Thus, speaking on behalf of the Dellums bill, Solarz announced:

"I think that sanctions are designed not to bring the government of South Africa to its knees but to bring the government to its senses. Sanctions are a form, if you will, of political shock therapy. And if we are going to administer shock therapy, it is better to administer a stronger than a weaker shock." (Ibid., p. 3914)

It seems the Congressional heroes do not want to get rid of the racists but cure them to ensure their future health.

Why, consider. Representative Gray (D-Pa.), presently one of the most influential members of the Congressional Blade Caucus, a cosponsor of the Anti- Apartheid Act of 1986, and a supporter of the Dellums bill. Just a few days before the debate on this act, Gray decided to reassure the South African Ambassador to the UN directly, in a private chat, telling him:

"We're not trying to knock you to your knees. We're trying to knock a little sense into your heads." (Ibid., p. 3876)

Gray's act was cited approvingly in the debate by liberal Democrat Barnes, who gave it as an example of how the United states "must stop undergirding this oppressive system". (Ibid.) What a gap between liberal rhetoric and liberal deeds!

Coaching the Racists on How to Undermine the Anti-Apartheid Struggle

The main thing the liberals want the Botha regime to come to their senses over is the question of negotiations with black reformists like Bishop Tutu and Reverend Boesak and black organizations such as the African National Congress. The ANC is a major force in the anti-apartheid movement but, despite its revolutionary rhetoric, it has an overall reformist orientation.

The idea behind these negotiations is that the black and other oppressed people should give up their struggle and rely on the goodwill of the racists to voluntarily abolish apartheid. What a farce the liberals are pushing! In South Africa the most modest demands are met with whips, guns and jail. But now we are to believe that through polite talks these modern-day Hitlers will be convinced to scrap their beloved racist system.

Why, the black masses not only can't rely on Botha, but they better not rely on Congress. The same liberals who prescribe negotiations were stampeded by a Reaganite congressman into voting overwhelming for an anti-ANC amendment during the debate on the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. All it took was a bit of shouting about the dangers of communism.

The Liberals Are Willing To Barter Away Sanctions

And this treachery is compounded by the fact that in all likelihood, the supporters of Dellums' bill will barter away any meaningful sanctions as the bill makes its way through Congress. All the bill's boosters concede it has little chance of getting through the Republican-controlled Senate. For that matter, only 50 congressmen were present in the House of Representatives when the Dellums bill was passed, so it may be wiped out either in a reconsideration of the House or through other parliamentary maneuvers. Dellums himself was so shocked that his proposal passed the House that he said;

"I'm going to have a heart attack."

What type of bills do the liberals usually put forward? They are bills that are chock full of loopholes and escape clauses that cancel sanctions altogether, such as the original Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (before the Dellums Amendment). For years they were satisfied with Carter's token sanctions, and in the Reagan years they have obtained even less.

Against the Movement in the U.S.

Of course, there is an alternative to playing the game of corrupt deals. One could work to develop a powerful upsurge of the mass struggle in the U.S.. This would provide the maximum support for the struggle in South Africa; and, as a side benefit, it would also put the maximum pressure on Congress to make a concession, to the masses and tone down at least some of the blatant U.S. government support for South Africa.

But the liberal Democrats are not willing to do such a thing. For that matter, one of the pivots of liberal Democratic strategy is to cool the mass movement off and convert it into simple voting fodder for the liberals. And indeed, what sense would it make to be against the radicalization of the black South Africans and in favor of the radicalization of the American workers?

So the liberals work to pull the teeth out of the movement. They want to have the movement confined to the tamest actions, and they oppose any militancy in the movement. And when the movement begins to break free for the Democratic Party restrictions, the liberals, such as Mayor Feinstein of San Francisco or Mayor Newport of Berkeley, unleash the police on the activists.

But the movement is far more valuable than congressional posturing. It is among the masses where there are the true opponents of apartheid. It is the movement that has put pressure on the American friends of apartheid to cut their ties with South Africa or face exposure. It is the anti-apartheid movement that has the potential of rendering true services in support of the revolution in South Africa. And it has the potential of helping develop the political independence. of the masses that is a step towards liberation here in the U.S.

The Liberals Fawn on the Reaganites

No, the liberals are not for the anti-apartheid movement in the U.S. And the congressional debate on the sanctions bill was noted for its absence of any praise of the dedicated actions of the activists.

The liberals have another plan. The liberal strategy is not just to enlighten the Botha regime, but to work hand in hand with the Reaganites in the U.S.. Indeed, in order to achieve their aim of preventing the black masses in South Africa from becoming radicalized and anti-U.S. imperialism, they have to teach the Reagan government to maneuver. Just as they taught the Reagan government to cover up its war on Central America with "human rights" certifications and demagogy, so too they want to teach the Reagan administration.

Listen to Dellums himself talking about the ultra-Reaganites he was debating in Congress:

"Mr. Chairman, I would begin this important debate on this amendment [the Dellums bill] by indicating that each member of this Congress opposes the system of apartheid in South Africa." (Ibid., p. 3909)

Just imagine. For decades Congress has directed the American foreign policy of backing South Africa. In this very debate, Dellums has heard Reaganites quote South African officials, praise the Botha government as allegedly ending apartheid, glorify the South African occupation of Namibia. And all Dellums can say is that everyone opposes apartheid. Meanwhile there are signs that the Reagan administration is learning the language of empty gestures from the Democrats. Why, Time magazine has just reported the Reagan is considering appointing a black businessman as the next U.S. ambassador to South Africa.

The fact is that the liberals and the Reaganites share common goals with respect to South Africa. The liberals speak in the same language of American national interests, anti-communism, and fighting revolution that the Reaganites did. They represent different shades of opinion among the same capitalist class -- that is why they want collaboration with the Reaganites conservatives, not struggle against them.

The Military Defense Loophole

One interesting example of this is the military defense loophole in the Dellums bill. Dellums would cut off imports from South Africa except for minerals, in short supply domestically, needed by the U.S. military.

The liberals are out to prove that they are just as pro-national defense as the conservatives. In fact, they want to prove that they can get more bang for the buck, or corpses for the defense dollar, than the conservatives. And so we get the Dellums loophole, that there can be no imports from South Africa into the U.S.:

"...except for those strategic minerals of which the President certified to the Congress that that quantities essential from military uses exceed reasonably secure domestic supplies and for which substitutes are not available."

As usual, the liberals entrust to Reagan to administer the exception, subject to "certifications" presented to Congress. The liberals just love this method. No matter how many times the liberals themselves show that Reagan is a diehard liar whose certifications, mean nothing, they always make sure to include such a clause in their bill. As well, it appears that Reagan is allowed to prefer South African suppliers to any other foreign supplier.

It can be noted that a few days after the congressional debate, Jesse Jackson gave a press conference to hail the Dellums bill. He suggested that the U.S. military might be the last resort to liberate South Africa. As we can see, the liberals are not just bowing reluctantly to the conservatives on the military issue, but they are firm believers in the value of the American bayonet.

The Dellums Bill Does Not Cut Off U.S. Government Support for Apartheid

It should be noted that the Dellums bill only deals with one aspect of U.S. support for South Africa. Of course, it is not necessary that one bill do everything. But since the liberals are putting forward the Dellums bill as the ultimate in sanctions, something they will bargain down from, it is worth noting that this bill leaves intact U.S. political support for South Africa. For example, it does not change the U.S. government's backing of South Africa's occupation of Namibia, its winking at South Africa aggression against its neighbors, etc.

As well, the U.S. will continue to pour billions of dollars of military and economic aid into Israel, which is closely allied with South Africa. And Israel has been used before as a way of redirecting U.S. aid. For example, it has been used to redirect aid to the contras and for other reactionaries in Central America.

Condemn the Treachery of the Liberals

Today the liberals in Congress are striking their fiercest poses. But for all the sound and fury, the liberals remain what they always were -- false friend of the anti-apartheid movement.

Anti-apartheid activists! In order to stand with the fighting masses of South Africa we must build up a powerful solidarity movement. We must take up conscious support for the revolution in South Africa and aim our movement at U.S. imperialism, one of the main backers of the apartheid, regime. <>

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A section of the white population of South African is questioning the system of white minority rule. Many youth refuse to be conscripted into the South African army, and there are signs of support for the organizations of the black masses. At the same time, a section of these anti-apartheid whites may identify themselves as liberals or supporters of the (white liberal) Progressive Federal Party, as this is the only white party in parliament that takes a somewhat critical attitude to apartheid.

But this hinders their struggle and their further political enlightenment, because the Progressive Federal Party merely wants to adjust white minority rule so as to ensure capitalist profits. The PFP is a party of the liberal bourgeoisie, which wants such adjustments in the ways of exploiting the black workers, and not a party of struggle.

PFP Leaders Denounce the Struggle for Divestment

This was again revealed when a number of prominent members of the Progressive Federal Party recently toured the U.S. and denounced the struggle of the American students for divestment. This included former PFP leader Frederik van Zyl Slabbert and prominent liberal activist Helen Suzman. They oppose divestment because they are more concerned with the health of the economy, i.e., with continued profits for the capitalist firms, than with the mass struggle. Of course, they hid their concern for profits under the pretext that divestment would allegedly hurt the strike movement of the blacks, as if one had to first insure the South African economy was booming before waging a strike.

Speaking the Anti-Movement Language of Reaganites

Disparaging the student movement in the same terms, as the American Reaganites, Helen Suzman told a college graduation: "I understand the moral abhorrence and pleasure it gives you when you demonstrate. But I don't see how wrecking the economy of the country will insure a more stable and just society." (The New York Times, June 3, p. 4)

Thus for liberal activist Suzman, there is no question of revolution. Instead everything hinges on the maintenance and strengthening of stability, of business as usual. What this translates into politically is that Suzman and the PFP leaders see their role as urging reforms on the white racist regime of Botha, not as working for its overthrow.

PFP -- Would-be Advisor to Racist Botha

Thus, Suzman wanted to uphold the fraud of the gradual reform of apartheid by the Botha government; this showed that the PFP sees its role simply as pushing the Botha government to reform and mediating between the various forces in conflict.

However, she admitted that it was difficult to find any evidence of real change, saying that "I am not going to go on knocking my head against a stone wall" by lecturing against sanctions unless the Botha government helped her out by passing some reforms. (Ibid.) She hastened to add that this didn't mean she would support sanctions, but simply that her efforts to dissuade the activists from supporting sanctions would be futile.

A Permanent Case of the Blues

The liberal PFP opposes the revolution; as a result it becomes simply an impotent advisor to the Botha government. It itself realizes its impotence and is in a permanent case of depression. For example, van Zyl Slabbert recently stepped down as leader of the PFP when he resigned from parliament, calling parliament useless. But Helen Suzman is angry at him for not continuing to beat his head against the wall, because for her the parliament (in which blacks have no representation at all) is the only force that can bring legislative change (and for her that's the only change worth thinking about) to South Africa.

The path of the PFP is a dead end. It is in the absurd position of relying on Botha's reforms even though it itself denounces these same reforms as a sham. It has no sympathy for the courageous and self-sacrificing actions of the anti-apartheid movement outside South Africa. All this shows that liberal capitalism will not bring liberation to South Africa. It is not Western imperialism nor the South African exploiters that will bring liberation to South Africa, but the revolution of the oppressed. <>

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On the struggle to sum up the experience of the Berkeley upsurge:


The fiercest struggle in the upsurge of the anti-apartheid movement on campuses this spring was at the Berkeley campus of the University of California.

It took place as activists decided to go beyond the limits that had been imposed upon them by the usual reformist leaders.

The huge mass struggles, the self-sacrificing actions of the activists who defied the police, did not win the hearts of the reformists. They immediately began a campaign to denigrate the mass struggles, to attack the militants as provocateurs, and to sing about how good it is to work hand in hand with the UC administrators who aren't really the diehard supporters of racist policies.

An intense period of summation of the mass struggles thus ensued among the masses of students and activists. The San Francisco Bay Area branch of our Party, which had taken an active role In supporting the mass upsurge, threw itself into the period of summation. Among other things, they issued several leaflets analyzing the experience of the mass struggle.

The following article is taken from a leaflet issued on May 16 which pointed to the opposition to the mass struggle from various rightist forces, from the Democratic Party Mayor of Berkeley to various forces associated with the utterly opportunist league of Revolutionary Struggle, which supports Chinese revisionism.


More than a month has gone by now, but the effects of the Shantytown protests of the first week of April at UC Berkeley keep showing up.

Lies of the UC Administration

It is significant that the same university officials who went all out to smash the student protests with a court injunction and the predawn raids of police goon squads now tell the students over and over that such protests are ineffective. UC Berkeley Chancellor Heyman preaches that "violent protests" which "push [the administration] to the wall", that create a "confrontation" with their pro-apartheid positions and refuse to rely on a "dialogue" will have no effect on UC's investment policy. UC Regents step forward one after another to swear that the militant protests had "minimal effect", "the opposite effect" of that intended and that they were "no way to pressure the Regents".

From the other side of their mouth we hear familiar sounding promises of possible consideration of some change in policy in the future. Heyman calls "for a reassessment of each person's thinking and position" on the divestment of UC funds from companies supporting apartheid.

The administration is lying from both sides of its mouth. In fact, the lies of one side betray the other. If the militant shanty protests had no effect, why then is the administration suddenly falling over itself to step up its postures of concern over apartheid? This is the same ploy used last year when the massive student protests threatened to break out into a more militant mass struggle. It is clear that they fear any real escalation of the students anti-apartheid struggles and hope to defuse them with cheap theatrics.

The Open Struggle Was a Step Forward

Behind all their abuse and denunciations they know that far from being ineffective, the protests were a definite step towards breaking away from the control of the liberals and reformists who now keep the anti-apartheid movement carefully in check. Such a break scares them because it opens the door to galvanize anti-apartheid sentiments into a powerful fighting movement, one that is armed with anti-imperialist politics.

The Right-Wing of the Anti-Apartheid Movement Echoes the UC Administration

The administration is not the only force that has been trying to discourage the activists from taking up this path. The right wing of the anti-apartheid movement around the UCB campus has been active towards this end as well.

A Typical liberal Democrat

Take, for instance, Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport. This pretend socialist and pretend opponent of apartheid made his real Democratic Party stand clear when he didn't lift a finger to stop the Berkeley police joining the UCPD in viciously attacking the anti-apartheid protests. He wasn't about to let his anti-apartheid pretensions interfere with his responsibilities to the bourgeoisie.

And how does he justify his actions? By blaming "outsiders" and student provocations for the "violence" at the shantytown protests.

His message to the activists is clear: this type of action is not acceptable because it goes against his Democratic Party politics of placing a nonviolent straight jacket on the movement. He underscored this in a KALX interview at the pacifist "blockade" of California Hall a few days later, saying that this was his kind of action, one in which it was not "necessary to send in the police". Of course, what he means is that this action was heavily controlled by trusted reformist forces who could insure that a peaceful accommodation could be reached with the administration, and that if arrests were necessary they would be a model of politeness and cooperation.

His kind of action is one that would hide the real pro-apartheid stand of the administration in compromises, negotiation and phony dialogue and not one that would sharpen the contradiction between the hatred of the students for apartheid and the administration's support for it.

"Revolutionaries" Against Struggle

Another example of rightist forces that came out against developing militant mass struggle are leaders of United People of Color, leaders of the U.C. Divestment Committee (both of which are heavily influenced by the League for "Revolutionary" Struggle--LRS, which because of its utterly rightist politics is becoming better known in activists' circles as the League for Reformist Solutions) and the Daily Californian newspaper.

Some of these forces played a particularly dirty role, behind the scenes, during the period of militant confrontational actions. At meetings of the activists they worked to smash up this motion. They tried to discourage the activists claiming that no one supported the action. Meanwhile, in fact, the prospect of doing something more than the passively constrained type of protests approved by the liberals and reformists was having an electric effect not only in Berkeley but on other campuses as well.

The rightists tried to develop confusion by promoting the lie that the activists who refused to work for accommodation with the administration, or those that militantly fought back against the police attacks were acting like provocateurs.

Many of these stands became more public as events unfolded. In the 4/29/86 Daily Californian the UPC leadership issued "a public statement regarding where we stand on the recent protests and the issues raised by them."

Do they support the actions and the strong stand against the pro-apartheid administration it represented? Hardly! They decry the "distraction" to "the goal of this movement" due to the "violence".

Do they at least denounce the administration for unleashing a most vicious police attack against the protest? No not even that. Instead they lay the blame for the police violence at the feet of the activists by contrasting themselves to the militant activists, saying "UPC has consistently tried to avoid violent confrontation with the campus police during demonstrations."

The implication is, of course, that unless the activists take up the most mealy mouthed forms of protest they are provoking the police to violence.

They Want a Respectable Movement, One Good for Building Careers

Listen to how Pedro Noguera (a UPC leader and ASUC President) puts it, "There are people who are attracted to campus whenever there is a protest who do want to engage in a provocation with the police." (emphasis added) This is how a rightist describes a non-student who, god forbid, comes on this public campus to unite with the students in denouncing the administration's support for apartheid and who won't bow down before the reformist demands for only symbolic opposition.

Further, Noguera says: "We've been warned by Heyman that if the shanties go up [again] he's going to declare a state of emergency on campus and send in the police. There are some people who feel that's a challenge, and so we should go ahead and put up the shanties. There are others, myself included, who feel that will provoke nothing more than a riot..." (both quotes taken from "East Bay Express" of 4/11/86.)

Thus in a nutshell we have what the rightists mean by their talk of provocations. Anything short of accommodating the administration and utterly capitulating to its demand for a cessation of the activity that is galvanizing opposition to apartheid on campus is, according to the likes of this utter reformist, "provoking" the officials!! Is it any wonder why UC President Gardner praises the UPC leadership for its work to tone down the struggle after the shanty actions? ("Daily Californian", 5/1/86.)

We must ask these rightists, if putting shanties on campus is "provoking" the administration, what then do they say of the black masses in South Africa who are rising up in revolution to smash their oppressors?

What the rightists oppose is the politics of building up a fighting mass movement that targets US imperialism and its local representative, the UC administration. But what is their alternative? Why working with it of course, coaxing it along, reasoning with it, etc. Thus we read in the 4/29/86 Daily Californian (the Daily Californian is the official "student" newspaper, and while it pretends to have an independent existence, its editorial board, like the rightists in general, are tied by careers and privileges to the university coattails) editorial, which expresses very well the essence of the rightist views.

"For the first time in nearly two years, the drive for divestment on campus is beginning to see some real movement from the administration and indications are that there may be some real changes just around the corner." (What is being referred to here is Heyman's utterly hypocritical statement about reconsidering divestment, one that is cynically aimed at buying enough time to get the administration through the semester. But for the rightists... "The task -- and challenge -- of the divestment movement is to acknowledge the changes, build on them and positively encourage the administration to turn the wheel even faster."

"Chancellor Heyman has cracked the door to reconciliation, cooperation and dialogue. Now, it is up to the campus community to see that the door is opened wider by responding in kind, rather than slammed shut by intransigence. The corner is just ahead."

Why do the rightists lecture the movement that it should not "intransigently" target the UC administration, but rather find ways to work with it? Why do they deny the reality of who the administration is and its actual history?

Who is the UC Administration?

The UC administration is not some innocent babe in the woods, but rather is an integral part of the U.S. imperialist apparatus. A part so trusted that it is given direction of the U.S. entire nuclear weapons research and development programs through its oversight of the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos nuclear war labs. The UC administration has a long history of support for every aspect of U.S. imperialism, whether it is militarization of campus through ROTC or the financial and political support for the apartheid regime in South Africa. It also has a long, ugly history of trying to smash up any motion on campus that might jeopardize U.S. imperialist interests. The recent brutal assault on anti-apartheid protesters is only the most recent example.

The Politics of Accommodation with Imperialism

The right wing of the movement wants to hide this reality because they represent the politics of accommodation with imperialism: Democratic Party politics. These same reformist politics led them to repeat the administration's lies about "provocation" and claims of "ineffectiveness" (ineffective for linking up with the UC administration and Democratic Party hacks) in attacking the militant actions and activists.


The Activists Sought Confrontation, Not Capitulation

With their militant struggle the anti-apartheid activists threw aside mealy-mouthed capitulation in favor of struggle to support the anti-apartheid cause, and they insisted on confrontational tactics. Unlike the rightists, the militant section of activists were not interested in respectability but in advancing the solidarity movement with the struggle in South Africa.

The militant tactics of the shantytown protests represented the sentiments of the advanced section of activists to do something real as opposed to the tame and polite approach of the right wing of the movement. But these militant tactics were not the result of a conscious decision to break with the Democratic Party and to take up anti-imperialist politics. If this had been the case the Reformist right wing of the movement would not have been able to so easily wreck any chances for more militant actions and dissipate all the mass motion developed this Spring. The activists would have been politically armed and able to develop a political fight against the reformist attempts to derail the motion. The rightists would have met a firm wall of resistance, and would have been exposed, when they pushed their politics of "convincing" the administration to divest rather then making it the target of mass struggle and confrontation.

For a Conscious Anti-imperialist Struggle

We should learn from the experience of the shantytown protest that for the movement to succeed next fall, to sustain its militancy, and to avoid coming under the domination of the right wing all over again, it must be focused against imperialism and the imperialist political parties. This means that the advanced activists must develop anti-imperialist organization and with this carry out persistent anti-apartheid work with a clear anti-imperialist perspective among the broadest section of students. Part of this work must be a lively exposure of the imperialist nature of the UC system and the "progressive" liberal Democrats and other reformists who make up the right wing of the movement. This will draw clear political lines in the movement and show that the UC administrators and Democratic Party hacks can never be allies. This will provide greater impetus for the students to rally their own forces and to link up with their real allies--the working class and oppressed nationalities. And this will develop a firm political understanding of the necessity of militant tactics in confronting the pro-apartheid UC administration.

Taking a firm anti-imperialist stand and building up anti-imperialist organization will enable the militant activists to develop a conscious break with the rightists, to defend their militant mass actions from rightist sabotage, and to develop the political clarity of the movement. This is the path which will lead to winning the divestment demand and still greater victories in solidarity with the black people's revolutionary struggle in South Africa. <>

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The upper strata betray the masses and support the INS


The following article is based on a recent leaflet of the Chicago Branch of the MLP.


The anti-immigrant racist attacks are the program of the whole capitalist class, Republicans and Democrats alike. It has its supporters in the upper strata of the Mexican community in the U.S. as well.

Recently an organization called "Concerned Citizens of Little Village" organized a conference on immigration problems for "community leaders" and the Spanish language press. Guess what? The main speaker at this conference was none other than A.D. Moyer, the regional director of the INS.

The INS is notorious in the Mexican community for its atrocities against the immigrants and the community as a whole. But did these so called "community leaders" call Mr. Moyer there to expose and oppose the racist attacks of the INS?

No, Moyer used the time to outline his support for a whole series of anti-immigrant and racist policies that are being proposed and carried out by the government and the INS.

What did the "community leaders" have to say to all that? Well, they are concerned with why there are not more Hispanic INS agents! Their only concern was to get a bigger piece of the action in harassing the Latino community and the immigrants -- deportation raids by Hispanic agents are so much more acceptable.

However, the policies that Moyer outlined are of concern to the immigrants, the Mexican community in the U.S. and other workers who have to bear the brunt of the immigration raids, harassment, and discrimination.

Beefing Up the Border Patrol

First off, Moyer bragged about how the INS arrested 1.5 million people in the last year--an increase of 250,000 from the year before. This was done with the help of 1,000 new INS Border Patrol agents.

More agents and more arrests has meant more brutality against the immigrants. Last year a Mexican youth on the Mexican side of the border was shot by an INS agent. Two weeks ago near the border at Tijuana the Border Patrol used tear gas against immigrants who resisted arrest in a desperate attempt to cross the border.

The INS also is setting up a SWAT team known as BORTAG (Border Patrol Tactical Team) which is being trained in the use of assault weapons, and explosives--further evidence of the brutality and violence the government has in store "to solve the border problem".

Computer Tracking Means More Harassment and Exploitation

Mr. Moyer was enthusiastic for measures to prevent the undocumented workers from receiving any social benefits like unemployment, social security etc. Never mind that most undocumented workers pay Federal and State taxes and like everyone living in the U.S. the immigrants pay all kinds of city taxes, sale taxes and on and on. Mr. Moyer and Co. want to deny them any kind of rights at all.

In 1984, the INS started a program called "SAVE" (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement). Under this program any immigrant (or anyone who might appear to be an immigrant) applying to the state government for almost anything--unemployment, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, driver's license etc.--is checked through a computerized file to verify their legal status.

Along this same line there are new proposals being floated to prohibit the children of undocumented immigrants from attending public schools as well.

It is no accident that these measures are being developed against immigrants at the same time that workers as a whole are finding their unemployment insurance, and other benefits cut down to the bone, and at the same time that the children of all workers in the U.S. are finding it more and more difficult to get even the most basic education. The attacks on the undocumented immigrants are a part of the capitalist offensive against all the workers and go hand and hand with the increasing racist attacks against Latinos, Blacks and other minorities as well.

Lies, Lies, and More Lies

Mr. Moyer also came up with the Big Lie that the undocumented immigrants are stealing jobs from Americans, American-born Latinos, and legal immigrants.

Of course he is not the only one promoting this hysteria. Almost daily you can read it in the press or hear it on the radio and TV. It is a favorite song of the trade union bureaucrats who are quick to help their capitalist buddies point the finger of ' blame at the immigrants. We are asked to believe that the immigrants are responsible for all the serious problems of unemployment, plant closings, and wage cuts that face the workers today.

But we have to ask, is it the immigrants who have shut down one steel mill after another because they didn't like the profit rate? Have the immigrants laid off thousands of autoworkers replacing them with job combinations and robots? And finally, is it the immigrant workers who have pocketed the money stolen from the meatpackers in 40-50% wage cuts ?

NO! It is the billionaire capitalists who have done this. They are blaming it on the undocumented workers for a reason--to drive the immigrants themselves deeper into super-exploitation so the capitalists can make more profits off their labor; to step-up the racist attacks against not only the undocumented but all minority workers; and to divide and weaken the workers' movement so that the rich can continue with their all out offensive against the working class.

Workers Unite Against La Migra -- Full Rights for the Immigrants

While the so-called Concern Citizens of Little Village organize to give Mr. Moyer and the INS a forum in which to spread their lies and slanders, the slogan of the workers and oppressed people in the community has always been "Down with La Migra". Many times they have come out in militant protest against the deportation raids and harassment by the INS. Just last year, workers and activists organized a protest against La Migra right on Mr. Moyer's doorsteps.

The stand of the workers in the U.S. has to be full rights for the immigrant workers: no raids, no deportations, no racist attacks of any kinds. Without unity, we cannot begin to burn back the anti-worker offensive of the rich with its strike breaking, wage cuts, unemployment and all around impoverishment of the working people without unity. What is needed is to organize a mass struggle of all workers against all the anti-worker attacks.

Build the Unity of the Working Class!

No to the Persecution of the Immigrants! <>

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New York Transit Workers:


The following leaflet was issued by the New York Metro Branch of the Marxist-Leninist Party on June 29, 1986.


Events of the last month prove once again that the united action of transit workers is worth a hundred times more than any number of bureaucratic grievances and arbitration hearings.

--At Coney Island, the united action of a mere handful of Motormen stopped the. TA's [Transit Authority's] plans to jeopardize their safety. Facing threatened suspensions, Motormen still refused to drive trains through the new $30 million "automated" (!) car wash. Everyone knows how hazardous the ordinary car washes are both to the Motormen and to anyone in the vicinity. The new indoor wash is many times more dangerous due to the possibility of a ventilation system breakdown.

Motormen were 100% right to refuse the TA's order. By standing together they beat back this attack. Other workers should consider this in light of the TWU [the union] leadership's stated policy of "follow the order, then grieve it" (after the damage is done).

--At Coney Island and East New York, 7 Car cleaners spent an afternoon in the street for refusing to work out of title [outside their job classification]. After a few hours they were reinstated and the TA was forced to back down. For months and months cleaners have been doing Painter, Maintainer and Helper Work. The union hacks counseled patience and the arbitration procedure, but the arbitrator's final decision proved a fiasco for the Cleaners. He ruled Cleaners could paint, handle light bulbs or material when "incidental and necessary to cleaning the interiors and exteriors of subway cars."

But the TA is never content with just 3/4 of the pie. Short on Helpers (who were illegally forced to operate cranes), the TA set the Cleaners to operating forklifts, openly violating the arbitrator's ruling. Finally, after many complaints, the union told Cleaners to refuse to do Helper's weak. Only then did the TA back off its plans. It is also worth noting that at East New York the entire shop (which has been fed up since the CI [Coney Island] pick was imposed) was ready to walk off the job in support of one suspended Cleaner. But they were stopped by the union [leadership].

--Word has just been received of a work stoppage last week in the new CI Air Room. ABMs justly refused to continue to work in sweltering heat conditions. No doubt regarding this as bad news (an unfortunate departure freon the grievance procedure), Union VP Dellatorre was rushed to the scene. But the union honchos strategy of polite discussion with management will not win any real victories for the workers. Only their own efforts can do this.

--CMEs should ponder the value of united action. Last fall, CMEs successfully boycotted a pick that stripped them of seniority. But when the arbitrator fundamentally upheld the TA, official union opposition to the bid ended. "We have to take the bad with the good," it was explained. (What good, we ask?)

In the coming weeks the new pick will be instituted and the new Electric Bench at 207th Street will be opened. It is to be expected that management will now institute stepped-up policies of harassment, favoritism and speed-up. It is important that the CMEs stand united against these management attacks. Only by acting as one, by making sure that no one produces more than the unwritten quotas, can CMEs stop the TA's attempts to drag us back to the pre-union days of playing off one worker against another.

--Helpers around the system are also showing signs of action. They are fed up with the lack of promotional opportunities and are demanding the right to take various promotional exams. The Helpers were particularly angry at having to do MMC work (operating overhead cranes at Coney Island and training on the cranes at 207th St.) but not being offered a fair shot at regular MMC positions.

The Helpers have protested in several ways. They successfully organized a boycott of provisional MMC application which were being offered out of seniority. They have gone to Divisional union meetings and put the bureaucrats on the hot seat. And they have also written a bitter, open letter to Sonny Hall complaining about their situation and the union's inaction.

But the TWU misleaders show no interest in making waves with the TA on this or any other issue. Helpers, Maintainers, cleaners, Motormen--all transit workers--can only defend their interests by getting organized to fight the TA independently of the delaying and dead-end arbitration procedures that the union bureaucrats promote. Organization and united action-- these are the weapons needed to defeat the TA's attacks. <>

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Portuguese Marxist-Leninists on Situation in Brazilian Communist Movement


In our May 1 issue, the Workers' Advocate carried an article introducing the Communist Organization Workers' Policy of Portugal, which is working to reestablish a communist party in that country. In this struggle, the Portuguese comrades believe that it is important to have a public discussion of the problems facing the international Marxist-Leninist movement today.

One of these problems is the question of blatantly rightist positions being displayed by a number of parties that historically fought against Soviet and Chinese revisionism. The Communist Party of Brazil (CPB) offers one such example. As a result of its tailist stand behind the liberal bourgeoisie, the CPB today openly supports the capitalist regime of Brazilian President Jose Sarney.

In our January and February 1 issues, we carried articles on the situation in Brazil which included discussion of the problem of the tailism of the CPB. This problem has also been addressed by the Portuguese Marxist-Leninists. Besides the damage the CPB's rightism is now doing to the cause of proletarian revolution in Brazil, the influence of the CPB has also played a negative role in the Portuguese Marxist-Leninist movement for many years.

Below we carry extracts from an article of the Portuguese comrades on the CPB. This article was published in their journal Workers' Policy, No. 2, November-December 1985 under the title "The victorious march of the CP of Brazil towards revisionism". The translation and synthesis is by the Workers' Advocate staff.


In June, the CP of Brazil legalized itself and published a new program and statutes. In these new rules, the CPB declares that

"it defends the representative and democratic regime, the national sovereignty, pluralism of political parties and the fundamental rights of the human person."

The CPB justifies such a stand in the name of taking advantage of legality, but the fact of the matter is that the CP of Brazil is committed to bourgeois democracy.

The new program of the party limits its immediate political objectives to the consolidation of the bourgeois democratic regime. The CPB omits the difference of class interests in the present struggle, which involves a large democratic camp with a variety of forces. In particular, the interests of the working class, where it clashes with other classes, is dropped.

With the logic of "unity of the opposition" to "stop continuismo" [to resist those who wish to continue the military regime] the CP of Brazil has declared its support for the government of Sarney with the expressed aim of "strengthening" it.

"We support the government of the New Republic and President Jose Sarney because we understand that this is the proper road for the consolidation of the conquests that have been achieved and for advancing in the direction of the fundamental changes that our people eagerly hope for." (Speech of Haroldo Lima, leader of the parliamentary group of the CPB, Tribuna Operaria, No. 229, August 1985)

Sacrificing the Interests of the Workers

But in the face of the agitated Brazilian political life the effort to conceal the class antagonisms is too much of a job. It amounts to the sacrifice of the proletariat's own interests in the name of the "general" interests.

"The Brazilian people do not want division but unity. The division and narrow disputes over power, at the present time, only serve the adversaries of democratic advance." (Declaration of the National Commission for the Legalization of the CPB, A Clase Operaria, No, 159, May-June 1985)

No wonder then that positions of a servile nationalism have taken the place of class positions:

"...the defense of Brazil, and the colors of its flag, is no longer identified with defense of the military dictatorship... Symptomatic of this is the entry of the National Anthem in the everyday life of the Brazilians... The singing of the Anthem is a sound conclusion for meetings of trade unions and students, and popular demonstrations..." (Tribuna Operaria, No. 232, September 1985)

Putting Off Socialism

The CPB believes that shifts of the Brazilian political regime represent a stage in itself to be led by bourgeois democratic forces. The working class, rather the "people", are given the mission of creating the ever broader unity of these bourgeois forces. The popular masses, in which the working class is included without special distinction, are merely given the role of regulating this evolution, of being a force of resistance to the tendencies to retrogression, of serving as a mobile movement for the moments of crisis. No more than this.

The CPB concedes to evoking socialism as a point of the future goal and as a theme of political pedagogy -- but, in the concrete, what counts are the "imperatives of the present realities", that is to say, the liberties, the united front with the bourgeois democratic forces, the immediate demands, the reforms, the political compromises.

The constant unity-mongering is carried out at the cost of the independent politics of the proletariat, shutting off the revolutionary perspective.

And how does the CPB rationalize this? The proletariat is not a force in the disputes over power, thus it is obliged to support the bourgeois sectors disposed to a democratic turn. But for that [to be successful, the CPB regards that] the bourgeois democrats must be confident that the proletariat will not outwit it; otherwise, the bourgeois democrats will vacillate and turn their back on the transition. And what does the proletariat gather from these tactics? It gathers better conditions for the distant development of its struggle for socialism.

"The Real Danger"

Lenin affirms that the formal existence of a proletarian party is no guarantee against the dissolution of the workers' movement in the bourgeoisie:

"The ultimate political outcome of the revolution may prove to be that, (despite the formal 'independence' of Social-Democracy, despite its complete organizational individuality as a separate party, it will in fact not be independent; it will not be able to place the imprint of its proletarian independence on the course of events; it will prove so weak that, on the whole and in the last analysis, its 'dissolution' in bourgeois democracy will nevertheless be a historical fact.

"That is what constitutes the real danger." (Lenin, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, page 41, Moscow pamphlet edition, 1970)

Premises of Opportunism

The CP of Brazil is against this position of Lenin's. The CPB, despite its profuse declarations against Soviet revisionism, has fallen into political positions equal to the revisionist party.

How has this evolution taken place? It is linked to the bloc against the dictatorship and the recent political changes arising out of the crisis of the military regime.

The "Message of the Congress of the CPB to the working class" published in 1983 declared that this is the epoch of proletarian revolution. But only a few lines later, it said that

"It is necessary that other classes, the progressive classes and sectors, occupy high positions in the national administration."

The CPB has relegated to the back burner the clash between labor and capital. Joao Amazonas, in an article against the ideas of Mao Zedong, stated that:

"In Brazil there are two fundamental contradictions in the present stage of the revolution: the contradiction between the oppressed nation and imperialism, and the contradiction between the broad popular masses and the system of latifundia." (A Clase Operaria, No. 140, October 1979). Imagine that, no contradiction between labor and capital in the Brazil of 1979!

Clear Similarities

The article in Workers' Policy concludes by observing the essential similarities between the

stands of the CPB and those of the pro-Soviet revisionist parties in Portugal and Brazil. It notes that this similarity flows from the fact that the CPB loyally and vigorously applies the line which spread in the international workers' movement from 1935 on, that is to say, the politics of allying with the liberal bourgeoisie and reformists advocated by the 7th Congress of the Communist International. <>

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From the Workers' Press in Nicaragua:


The following article is from Prensa Proletaria, newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (formerly MAP-ML). It appeared under the title "A Balance of the Reforms of the Law of Agrarian Reform" in issue number 20, March 1986. Translation by the Workers' Advocate staff.


After three and a half years of the operation of the Agrarian Reform Law of Nicaragua, the government has introduced important reforms to the Law, which it is necessary to analyze and characterize.

The framework for these reforms in the law are the imperialist aggression that has been becoming ever more vast and all-sided; the deepening of the [economic] crisis of dependent capitalism and the blockade of Nicaragua; the enormous pressures of the masses for their demands; and the pragmatism of the petty bourgeoisie in power that continues to dedicate itself to the tenacious task of crystallizing a program for the harmonizing of the classes.

Demagogically presented as a process of deepening the Agrarian Reform, the reforms in the Law constitute, as we will go into further later on, an accentuation of the class alliance between Sandinism and big private capital, to the detriment of small capital and the landless peasants.

The reforms delete the [minimum] size limits for what lands can be expropriated, although the criteria of idleness, abandonment and renting continue to determine who is affected by it. That is to say, the logic of the Agrarian Reform is not the objective needs of the rural masses for land and employment, but what has been mentioned, with a great subjective weight in the decisions of the high authorities of the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Reform (MIDINRA), which carry out the qualification of each particular case. The Agrarian Tribunals, that function as the supreme authority in land disputes, are composed of three members directly named by the President of the Republic and not by the peasant organizations of the base.

In the reform, the old limits [below which size lands could not be expropriated] of 500 manzanas [875 acres] and, 1,000 manzanas [1,750 acres] (depending on the region) have been deleted, which theoretically gives the government the ability to affect idle, abandoned or leased lands, or lands held in other forms by third parties, irrespective of the size of the parcel of land. Although apparently this could be presented before the eyes of reaction and in the mouth of the narcissistic socialists of the state apparatus as a species of camouflaged nationalization of the land in general, the law is clear in indicating the specific causes for going into effect: cases of idleness, abandonment, and renting.

These definitions leave loopholes for the idle lands (of area of not less than 50 to 100 manzanas, according to the region) to be incorporated into the production of the same owner or at least pretend to do this with the bank. Or he can sell the land to an "efficient" bourgeois. Or, instead of renting, the owner can exploit the lands directly. Or, in whatever case, he can demonstrate that the deficiencies of exploitation occur for "reasons that can not be attributed to the proprietors". (Article 2, numeral 3 of the reformed Law.)

The Minister of MIDINRA, Jaime Wheelock, affirmed in Barricada (official organ of the FSLN) that, in reality, the peasant pressure on the strata of "efficient" proprietors with more than 500 manzanas of land was such that it had the contradictory result of leaving proprietors with idle, although smaller, lands. Because of this, the minimum [size] limits for expropriation of idle, abandoned or rented lands were eliminated. Wheelock's explanation in the text is that:

"We followed this road because the truth is that this pressure for the land was effecting the efficient private proprietors of 500 manzanas in such a way as that there were idle proprietors of less than the limits that could not be expropriated because the law didn't allow for it." (Barricada, 13 January 1986)

Now the law will allow them to be expropriated, while the big "efficient" producers follow their own development. That is to say, the logic of this reform is to guarantee the big and "efficient" agrarian bourgeoisie and condemn the small and inefficient bourgeoisie.

At any rate, that which is now institutionalized is the objective mechanism of private capital that faces the capitalists big and small. This is something like what is pointed out in the Bible: to those who render less it will be taken away from, and to those who render more will be given more.

This cold and biblical logic of the reforms of the Law reflects the momentum of the policy of alliances of the present power. It is growing closer to big capital and further from small capital. That is to say, it sacrifices some of the official populism. It appears to be, then, that the Mixed Economy of the Sandinista program only needs the big private producers and it is disposed to sacrifice the small ones on the altar of this preferential treatment of the rich ones.

Although at first glance it doesn't appear that way, the reforms limited by this class content further restrict the land available for the Agrarian Reform. They further accentuate the relative shortage and will limit the access [to land] of the peasantry that was situated on lands of the middle and small [proprietor] strata and worked the land under diverse backward forms. These strata of proprietors, to avoid becoming subject to the law, can sell their properties to the active "producers", or they themselves will work it, reducing the amount of land offered to those who aren't proprietors. Then, the pressure for the land, instead of lessening, will increase for the landless peasantry.

Article 2, letter "c" of the reformed Law, will declare subject to the Agrarian Reform "the lands which are leased or transferred in any manner". Logically, this would impel it towards the disappearance of the renters as such, although not of the previous landless tenants as such. If all the renters don't lease their lands and they work them themselves, what will happen with the tenants without land? Obviously, despite the objectives of the reforms as explained by Wheelock, the landless peasants will continue to put pressure on the big private proprietors, since the disappearance of the renters doesn't imply the disappearance of the tenants.


The Definition of the Affected Lands

Article 4 reformed details of the definition of the lands to be affected by the Agrarian Reform. There is a curious similarity between this framework of definition and the old Agrarian Reform Law of April 1963, promulgated by the administration of Luiz Somoza. This old law, enacted in the framework of the meeting of the presidents at Punta del Este and with respect to the effects of the repercussions of the Cuban revolution in Latin America, put forth "the expropriation of the uncultivated latifundias" and the poorly exploited lands. In the same law of Somozism, Article 19 stipulated that after two years of abandonment a farm could be considered for expropriation. The reformed law of the present government speaks of a waiting period of "two agricultural cycles", which is in fact the same lapse of time, in reality, why should the landless peasants have to continue waiting two years to have access to idle lands?

Other Points

To give an idea of the style of the reformed law, in regard to displaying umbrellas after announcing showers, the law specifies that if the agricultural goods affected had been used to guarantee loans to a third party, the state will also have to shoulder the burden of paying them:

"Art. 23. If the goods affected by the aims of the agrarian reform were given in guarantee of written debts, the state will assume the payment of the same, as long as these goods constitute the only guarantee of the sums owed. The Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Reform will determine the part of the debt whose payment it will assume in the case of only being partially affected. In either case, the debt assumed by the state will be discounted from the total amount of compensation."

A proprietor potentially affected, therefore, can take this type of security against expropriations. He can shift his debt burdens and sleep tranquilly before the eventuality of confiscations, since his properties really will no longer be his. The Law doesn't specify limits of indebtedness of the proprietors, nor the number of creditors that can jointly reclaim from the state the same rights, according to the documents of guarantee, nor if these are subject to the act of expropriation.

Additionally, it should be mentioned that the owners of lands affected because of poor exploitation or some form of renting, despite having the leeway of up to two years of poor use, have the right to receive compensation with state bonds in order to cancel taxes. As we see, the circle is perfectly complete.

In the same sense, once lands are affected and are surrendered under the Agrarian Reform, and the respective titles are correspondingly transferred [to the new owners], Article 28 stipulates that the (reformed Law that claims can be placed against these titles [when the land is used] in the following cases:

"a) By heredity, in undivided form.

b) As a share to an agricultural cooperative

c) As a guarantee to financial institutions for obtaining agricultural dwellings."

The lands of the Agrarian Reform, then, can be used as fixed assets for a cooperative or at the window of the state Bank. But the share in a cooperative is not returnable, and the bank guarantee can be called in. That is to say, in this case, the Bank will be able to demand its guarantee before the delinquent peasant who will lose the title of the agrarian reform. The bank would function as the Counter-Agrarian Reform, reclaiming lands instead of distributing them. The law also does not specify what will be done with the lands recuperated as bank guarantees or cooperative shares, and if in this last case the partner will withdraw the land from the cooperative.

In Article 31, although it remembered the need of assigning lands to the indigenous communities of the Atlantic Coast, the wording doesn't stipulate concrete answers that guarantee rights to the land. Equally, it does not mention the communal rights of the other indigenous communities, like those of Sebaco, Subtiava, Rivas, etc.

In Conclusion

The limits of space don't permit going further into this interesting topic, although it will be necessary to take it up in detail later on.

It is clear that the spirit of the law and its reform do not start from the essential point of recognizing the right to the land of the poor peasantry and the agricultural proletariat. But, to the contrary, the law recognizes the right of the present proprietors themselves. (The first article of the law says:

"The present law guarantees the property of the land to all those who work it productively and efficiently.")

The Sandinista Agrarian Reform has none of the aspirations of Emiliano Zapata ("A land without overseers and without lords"), nor the scope of the Bolivian agrarian reform of the 1950's. "Our" Agrarian Reform takes the road of transforming the latifundia towards more capitalist agrarian forms, but in the framework not of a high point of development, but in a depressed phase of capitalism.

There is an implicit desire in the reforms and the law to softly dismantle the patriarchal system of farming, letting it slide towards more advanced forms of exploitation of the land and men. But the toboggan has practically returned to the starting point in favor of an accentuation of the gap between the capitalist minority and a great mass of dispossessed and marginalized [toilers] in the rural areas. This is within a perspective of great class battles, of great pressures on these strata [of proprietors] holding more than 500 manzanas, which have been given a little respite by sacrificing the smaller ones.

But the development of the productive forces, and their present contraction as a result of the aggression and the crisis, will not be resolved by this plush tapestry that is the Law of Agrarian Reform. The contradiction between the production of "goods and services", with the acute tendencies that lie beneath it, and with a national demand that has a strong impulse to rise, shows that, in detriment to the populist sermons, the gap between the possessors of the means of production and the dispossessed in Nicaragua will be growing broader.

But once again, the answer of the government to this enormous problem is part of the supposed fundamentals of the Mixed Economy: the answers can not question at any moment big private property in general. This is the political guide that has dictated the reforms to the Agrarian Reform Law and which is creating conditions for new social contradictions in the countryside.

[The article ended with two footnotes: one is Wheelock's statement. The other is an extensive footnote comparing the text of the Somocista law of 1963 with the present reformed law, showing the worthlessness of the present law.] <>

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Petty-bourgeois nationalism leads into the marsh


We have followed in our press the decline of the Communist Party of Canada (ML), which was once a party but is now a liquidationist sect. We showed that, among other things, it was the unwillingness of the leaders of CPC(ML) to give up petty-bourgeois nationalism that led to disaster.

It is hard to find much CPC(ML) activity these days. But recently it had a drooping delegation at a large "walk for peace" in Vancouver, B.C. on April 27. At this demonstration, it continued its petty-bourgeois nationalist stand of detaching the struggle against U.S. imperialism from struggle for Socialist revolution in Canada. This led it to praise the treacherous stand of the social-democratic government of New Zealand on the anti-nuclear question. Thus its petty-bourgeois nationalism had led it back to the left fringe of social-democracy, where the "Internationalists" (predecessor of CPC(ML)) had originally come from.

The "Government with Courage"

According to a leaflet of the People's Front (as befits liquidators, the CPC(ML) does most of whatever little work it does among the masses in any name but that of CPC(ML)), the task is to follow the example of the New Zealand social-democratic government. They stated, in the leaflet they distributed at the demonstration:

"Another important example for us is New Zealand. There the people built a powerful national movement to keep nuclear arms and warships out of their water.... The movement brought forth a government with courage to defy the U.S. blackmail. Everyone in the peace movement applauds this victory of the New Zealand people. The task is to duplicate the victory here!" (Emphasis added.)

Here we will not analyze the situation in New Zealand, but simply refer the reader to our article on the New Zealand anti-nuclear movement and the social-democrats in the March 1985 issue of the Supplement. Since then, events have only confirmed the analysis given there. Suffice it to say here, it took merely a grudging concession from the social-democratic government of New Zealand to the angry masses for CPC(ML) to fall on its face. And for all their shouting against the superpowers, they are down on their knees before an ardently pro-U.S. government, which is simply playing the game of empty gestures.

A Liquidationist Press in Action

Of course it is easier to roll in the marsh with social-democracy than to build up independent political organization. So it is interesting to see what has been going on with CPC(ML)'s press.

It turns out that their central organ, formerly called People's Canada Daily News and now called the Marxist-Leninist, has been silent for a year. For a year, from last March to this May, not a single issue appeared.

But the CPC(L) leadership has always known how to put on a good show. So finally three issues of their paper appeared around May Day and soon after. And guess what? CPC(ML)'s leadership tells us -- their daily press didn't collapse, oh no. Instead, they have won the victory of creating the mass party press.

You see, this was going to take two years, but they completed the task in only six months! But, ahem, where is this new, victorious mass press? Well, you see, there are those three issues -- and reappearance of the daily is promised in August.

It's the old Madison Avenue showmanship.

It seems that announcing victory is a bit premature, at best. Besides, even if the press does reappear, what will be in it?

Perhaps we can get a hint of the profound analysis that awaits us in this press by examining those three issues more closely. A major speech by party leader H. Bains on building the party of a new type hints of a deep crisis in the party. And what is the political content? It seems that there is a struggle over whether the "integrity of the family" and "marital fidelity" are "personal" matters, whatever that is supposed to mean, and over the theories of "private lives" and "human emotions".

But with a sigh of relief we will abandon these profound thoughts, leave them to the dwellers of the liquidationist marsh, and return to the solid ground of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. <>

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March 31, 1986

To: the Workers' Advocate

Tom Hayden: Loyal Servant of Zionism and U.S. Imperialism

The political degeneration of 60's militant Tom Hayden into a tame lap dog of the capitalists' Democratic Party is pretty well known. However, less well-known is Hayden's active collusion with Israeli Zionism and U.S. imperialism in attempting to sabotage and otherwise derail the growing rebellion of the heroic black people of South Africa against the bloodstained apartheid system.

A few years back Hayden waged a successful campaign to become a California State legislator which cost his liberal, capitalist moneybags almost one million dollars. For them, it was a profitable investment! Lately Hayden has emerged as kind of a cat's-paw for pro-zionist and Democratic Party intrigue in the mass movements. Hayden hailed the Zionists' armed aggression against Lebanon in 1982.

He even paid a personal visit there with his wife, actress Jane Fonda, to hail the Zionist troops. The Zionist troops, no doubt encouraged by Hayden's support, proceeded to organize their Falangist lackeys and together they massacred in cold blood over a thousand Palestinian old men, women, and children at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in September 1982. This is what Hayden and his apologists call "progressive"!

Hayden is indeed a social-democrat with no shame. Recently he helped engineer a plan -- along with [an] Israeli emissary to South Africa, Shimshon Zelnicker; an obscure L.A.-based Zionist "think thank", the Center for Policy Options; the so-called Anti-Defamation league of B'nai B'rith; and Bishop Tutu -- to send groups of 20 to 25 black South African "trainees" to Israel. The "training" will be carried out by the Zionist labor Federation, the Histadrut, and its "Afro-Asian Institute", according to a report in the L.A. Times (March 30, 1986).

However, this is not a plan to assist the black freedom fighters in their struggle to smash up the racists' apartheid state machine. On the contrary, instead it is an attempt to better train a handful of stooges to sow political and organizational confusion in the ranks of the heroic black masses upon return to South Africa.

The Zionist labor federation Histadrut and its Afro-Asian institute have very close political and financial ties to the concessions-loving AFL-CIO bureaucracy in this country. In fact, the AFL-CIO is a major financial pipeline to the Histadrut through its American Institute for Free labor Development (AIFLD). The A1FLD is known to be a conduit for CIA funds and has instigated wrecking and sabotage operations in the labor movement of many countries, countries in which the toiling masses are rising in struggle and refuse to be fleeced further by U.S. banks and corporations as well as by local exploiters.

The U.S. government funds 90% of AIFLD's budget.

The AIFLD serves the moneygrubbers well. AIFLD played a big role in helping U.S. imperialism topple the reformist Allende government in Chile and bring the fascist Pinochet junta to power in 1973. More recently the AIFLD, with a 17 million dollar a year budget paid mostly from the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) funds, has stepped up the CIA dirty work, trying to split up the workers' movement in El Salvador in an effect to help stabilize the puppet Duarte "reform" death squad regime.

In Nicaragua, the AIFLD pushes company unionism and brazenly works with the pro-capitalist opposition which is attempting to strangle the revolution and bring back a Somoza-style tyranny. (See the Workers' Advocate, April 20, 1984, vol. 14, #5, pp. 8-11.)

Lest anyone still have doubts as to the pro-capitalist and imperialist nature of the Histadrut and the AIFLD, the ex-CIA agent Philip Agee, who quit that sleazy outfit in disgust, should be able to dispel them. In his famous expose "Inside the Company -- CIA Diary" (Penguin Books, 1975 -- for many years not for sale in the USA), Agee describes the role of the Israeli Histadrut as follows, "The Israeli labor confederation; used by the CIA in labor operations..." (p. 610). And concerning AIFLD he avers, "a CIA-controlled labor center, financed through AID programmes in adult education and social projects and used as a front covering trade-union organizing activity...." (p. 600).

The aforementioned L.A. Times article states that the South African trainees will be "unionists" and "leaders of women's, health, religious, and educational organizations". One of the trainees, Legau Mathabathe, is currently "the only black director" of the white racists' Premier Milling Company, a large South African firm. No doubt [the intention is that] these trainees of the Zionists and U.S. imperialist moneybags will be eager to serve their white racist masters upon return to South Africa and no doubt these imperialist agents will do all in their power to wreck and otherwise disorient the heroic anti-apartheid fighters.

But despite this Reaganite dirty work and these filthy schemes of the Democratic Party and their cheesehounds like Tom Hayden, the attempts to prop up the Zionists' and U.S. imperialists' tattered image (and falling profits) are bound to fail! The South African masses will soon see through this deception, ferret these "trainees" out of the growing revolutionary mass movement and carry forward their heroic struggle to the final triumph over the barbaric racist apartheid regime!

Here in the U.S. it is the bounden duty of all honest anti-apartheid activists, militant workers and revolutionaries to help to build up a massive anti-apartheid movement here at home that targets the imperialist enemies. Targeting and ferreting out of the U.S. movement the likes of frauds and fakers like Tom Hayden and all other capitalist politicians will be a big step forward in our struggle.

--An L.A. supporter. <>

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