The Workers' Advocate Supplement

Vol. 4 #3


[Front page: Class struggle in Nicaragua]

Other articles from Prensa Proletaria:

Militant leadership elected to local trade union at vegetable oil plant.............. 2
No to the social pact with imperialism!............................................................ 3


No to U.S. imperialist fist on Panama!.............................................................. 5
News from the struggle in El Salvador.............................................................. 6
Swedish Marxist-Leninists on Palestine............................................................ 7
Israeli terrorism on the high seas....................................................................... 9


TPLF on Ethiopian famine and the Red Cross.................................................. 10
OMLWP and the Extra Bulletin........................................................................ 12
Prisoner on ideological struggle........................................................................ 13
When black politicians speak of black unity, of which black people do they speak?................................................................................................................ 14

What happened to the anti-revisionists in the CPUSA after World War II?..... 17

Class struggle in Nicaragua











Comment by the Supplement:





How the legacy of the 7th Congress of the CI sabotaged the fight against Browderism


Class struggle in Nicaragua

The Arias peace pact was supposed to bring the era of peace and harmony to Nicaragua. But the opposite proved true. Not only has the contra war against Nicaragua continued, but the economic vise on Nicaragua tightens. The U.S. imperialist, economic boycott, the CIA-organized attacks on cooperative farms and economic targets, and the Sandinista policy of trying to win the capitalists over with subsidies and concessions has left the country economy in a mess. This is pressing hard on the workers and peasants.

The Arias pact is directly involved in these economic problems. The Arias process does not only involve forcing political concessions from the Sandinistas, but it also includes economic concessions inside Nicaragua for the sake of strengthening the position of capital. It is an attempt to build a social pact between the petty bourgeois Sandinista government, imperialism, and the capitalist forces of the Nicaraguan right-wing. This has resulted in a more intense class struggle.

In this issue of the Supplement, we carry some articles from Prensa Proletaria, voice of the class-conscious workers organized in the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MAP-ML). There is an article denouncing the social pact. And there are two articles on the struggle in the trade unions and at the places of work.

The last issue of the Workers' Advocate (March 1) carried other articles from Prensa Proletaria on this subject. And the next issue will begin a new report on the situation inside Nicaragua based on materials gathered by a delegation of our Party.

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Based on the account in the December 1987 issue of Prensa Proletaria.


On the afternoon of November of the internal reactionary forces, between the forces of imperialism and those of Sandinism. In practice, though, Sandinism is carrying6, workers at the Port of Corinto launched a strike over a series of accumulated grievances. The strike was provoked when management closed a waiting hall used by the workers.

The workers called an assembly of stevedores, crane operators, gangway workers and others which took the decision to strike. They repudiated all the leaders of the local CST union as well as some national CST officials. (The CST is the Sandinista trade union association.) The old CST leadership had not accepted some of the workers' main demands, including the demand for a new contract. Some national CST officials who attended the assembly with the aim of opposing it were thrown out of the meeting. The assembly decided to negotiate the strike through a Workers' Commission of 14, which they elected.

Sandinista Apparatus Tries to Break the Strike

On the morning of the 16th, before the strike had been launched, the national and local CST, the port management, and the Sandinista government collaborated in an attempt to crush the developing mobilization of the workers. They sent in a truckload of convicts, 100 Sandinista troops, and Sandinista activists to act as strikebreakers and scabs. When the strike began, the Ministry of Labor declared it illegal and threatened to use police as well. The Sandinista media tried to present the strike as simply a creation of Frente Obrero with no mass initiative. (Frente Obrero, or the Workers' Front, is the trade union association affiliated to the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua.)

The port administration unleashed repression against the strike. It threatened to fire the older workers so as to deny them their retirement benefits. Management also refused to negotiate with the democratically elected Workers' Commission and declared it would only negotiate with the deposed CST union leadership. As the Workers' Commission and the CST were discussing the workers' demand for a 300% raise in the pay per ton, management delivered a massage that two workers were fired. One, Rigo Alonso Parrales was a leader of the mass struggle and the elected negotiator of the Workers' Commission.

The old CST leadership did not condemn the firings, but merely tried to pacify Parrales, saying they would try to arrange his rehiring. Parrales denounced this as empty words.

Workers Win Some Demands and Others are Pending

On the night of the 17th, the pressure of the port administration and the CST petty-bourgeois unionism forced the workers to return to work while continuing negotiations. In an attempt to break the workers' unity, the port administration combined repression with conceding to some of the workers' demands. Thus, through their fight the workers were able to win meals on all shifts, a cafeteria, credit at the commissary for consumer goods, and subsidies for food. Other demands are pending in the negotiations. One of the main demands is that management respect the representatives delegated by the workers, including the responsibility given to Parrales. The workers are also insisting that Parrales be rehired and that there be no reprisals against any of the militants at the port. <>


The following article is from the November 1987 issue of Prensa Proletaria, newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MAP-ML). Translation by the Workers' Advocate staff.


Official company unionism suffered a heavy blow at the end of September at the Corona vegetable oil plant. A new leadership, made up of tested and militant workers, was elected by the General Assembly of Workers.

The new leaders of the Union of the Oil Industry in Managua (SITRAIM) issued their manifesto supporting the interests of the workers who elected them. In addition, through the Workers' Action Bulletin, they also proclaimed a plan of revolutionary action.

Although it postured on a few issues, the official unionism of the CST lost out at the time of the elections. [The CST is the Sandinista Confederation of Labor.] At the end of the elections, the workers holding bureaucratic posts, such as Manuel Reyes, Luis Morales, and Emigdio Lee, were not promoted to the leadership.

The assembly of the workers got rid of the previous general secretary, who had for a long time carried out individualist activity as a cover for his official unionism.

As soon as the new leading body took office, it reaffirmed its promise to fight for an incentive plan favorable to the workers, against the high production quotas, and for decent food at the commissary. On this [the commissary], the secretary Moises Zeledon recognized that there are shortages, inaction by [the bureaucracy], and exorbitant prices for certain products (such as clothing, or small containers of milk for almost 4,000 cordobas).

Zeledon said that he would confront the repressive policy of control enforced by management against the workers. "We will fight for control to be applied against the waste and privileges of management," the union leader commented. And he insisted on other points of struggle such as temporary work, food, and the oppressive, unsanitary working conditions in places like the solvent and margarine plant. "We will push for coordination and united action with other unions and workers on common points of struggle such as wages and basic necessities," asserted Moises Zeledon.

It will be a difficult struggle said another worker, and mentioned the police discipline used by the engineer, Frank Isley, who has sent to jail many of the 320 workers in this factory, which is affiliated to the transnational corporation United Brands [formerly called the United Fruit Company].

Against the National Wage Tables (SNOTS)

There is hardly a union leader left today who, under the weight of reality and the strong demands of the workers, doesn't call, in one way or another, for the reform or abolition of SNOTS, the rigid and capitalist wage-labor system imposed by the Sandinista government. [SNOTS is a Spanish acronym for the national wage and salary tables. The Union of the Oil Industry of Managua (SITRAIM) declared:

"We propose once again the abolition of SNOTS and call on the union confederations, on the unions and individual workers to discuss with us the strategy to follow to abolish this system. SITRAIM is ready to put all its power behind this struggle."

This declaration by Carlos Lopez, general secretary of SITRAIM, was supported by the general secretary of the Union of MACEN, Armando Quezada, as well as by leaders of the Union of Bricklayers of Managua, construction workers, and others.

Carlos Lopez of SITRAIM added:

"Our reason for demanding the abolition of SNOTS is simple; it is that while the government leaves the price of basic commodities uncontrolled, we cannot accept that ours, the commodity of labor power, is controlled in its price."

The union leader pronounced himself in favor of a system of readjustments that take account of the increases in the cost of living. He gave the example of his own basic monthly wage of 58,000 cordobas, less than 2,000 cordobas a day, which obviously doesn't cover a pound of beans, and hardly even buys a pop. When the system of SNOTS was discussed and passed in the National Assembly, Frente Obrero was the only labor organization which, from the start of the plan, warned the workers against the effects it would bring and about the class nature of SNOTS. [Frente Obrero, the Workers' Front, is the union center or confederation which is affiliated to the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua.] It is a system to squeeze the workers in favor of the capitalists and the upper bureaucracy.

SNOTS must be completely wiped out and the union confederations must agree to put for ward a wage scale that is tied to inflation and the needs of the workers. <>

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Below is the lead article from the November 1987 issue of Prensa Proletaria, central journal of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua (MAP-ML). Translation by the Workers' Advocate staff.


As our Extraordinary Congress of January 1987 noted, Sandinism is carrying out a process of negotiation with the bourgeoisie and imperialism. It is compromising the future of the revolution in exchange for its institutionalization as an apparatus of power. The strategic negotiations have already been carried out in various ways and continue to develop.

The Esquipulas Pact [Arias peace plan] is only a formal manifestation of the negotiations. The National Dialogue, in the political context in which it's been put, has the strategic objective of becoming a form of indirect negotiations, with the mediation of the internal reactionary forces, between the forces of imperialism and those of Sandinism. In practice, though, Sandinism is carrying out accords and concessions directly with various sectors of the international and local counterrevolution.

From the point of view of imperialism and the Nicaraguan bourgeoisie, the negotiations have the objective of guaranteeing the functioning of private enterprise and the capitalists. That is, guaranteeing, in the economic and political sphere, a more or less significant influence or control over the external policy of Nicaragua, as well as reducing in this way the pressure of the revolutionary situation in the surrounding Central American region. The social and political "stabilization" of Nicaragua, in the sense of "quieting" the possibilities of mobilization and radicalization of the Nicaraguan masses, will give U.S. imperialism more security for neutralizing the armed revolutionary struggle in El Salvador and Guatemala.

From the point of view of Sandinism and its bureaucratic pragmatism, the negotiations work to defend its own institutionalization as a political and state power. This is a criterion which does not serve to advance the strategic defense of the social, economic and political revolution, a revolution where the workers and peasants are the determining force. Long ago the Sandinistas not only themselves renounced this type of revolution, but also their role has consisted in making the concept and practice of class conciliation penetrate into the breast of the working class and popular masses.

For the proletariat, the class negotiations between the bourgeoisie, imperialism, and the Sandinista petty-bourgeoisie are an eminently counterrevolutionary step. On the one hand they lead to the institutionalization of the petty-bourgeois power, of the bureaucratic, hierarchical, anti-democratic, populist apparatus, an apparatus which has faltered before the class revolution and proposes, at the most, a nationalist, democratic, bourgeois process with the hegemony of the bourgeoisie and private capital.

In this configuration of forces, the horizon of the National Dialogue is the social pact between imperialism, the internal reaction, and the political-social state that the Sandinista petty-bourgeoisie represents. This is all at the cost of and with the subjection of the working class to forced labor, in favor of private, bureaucratic accumulation and of internal capital. It is at the cost of the loss of the political rights of the working class in the name of nameless democracy. The National Dialogue is the appendix or continuation of Esquipulas II, with the aim of blocking and destroying the revolution in Nicaragua.

For this reason, the national dialogue is a political abortion made to dictate, justify, and implement a process of resurgence of the internal counterrevolutionary forces. This means committing the Sandinista petty-bourgeoisie still further in the direction of the strategic annexation of the revolution, and creating a wall of ideological and institutional contention against the revolutionary forces of the workers and peasants.

Our Position on the National Dialogue

Given the petty-bourgeois intent of ending up with a social pact which will not only freeze the revolution, but also reverse it, the proletariat' is obligated to neutralize all types of shady compromises between the FSLN and the right wing, to the detriment of the interests of the working class and people. It is necessary to completely unmask the reactionary content of the criteria and proposals of the right, of course including among the reaction the revisionist forces [the pro-Soviet revisionist parties in Nicaragua, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, take part in right-wing coalitions]. It is important to contrast the class positions of the reaction with the revolutionary class positions of the Nicaraguan proletariat, exposing the vacillation and opportunism of Sandinism. The social pact which is in bloom must be confronted with the mobilization of the masses for the defense and deepening of the revolution. This is needed to defend the mass conquests which have been achieved, though several of them are now being violated or even reversed, such as the right to free trade union activity and the right to free health care.

We must prepare the necessary conditions for the development of the unity in action of the revolutionary and anti-imperialist forces, and fight for the disorganization of the pro-imperialist political forces. With mass mobilization we must confront the betrayal or opportunism of Sandinism against the interests of the revolution.

The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists hold that there are two possible "national dialogues": one in favor of the revolution and one against the revolution. A national dialogue in favor of revolutionary development cannot fail to be mass and democratic. Not a negotiating table, but an impulse to the participation, organization and mobilization of the masses in defense of its gains and in struggle for new triumphs. A democratic and mass dialogue must be participatory and enveloping. It must cover the whole geography of the country and not cloister itself between four walls behind the backs of the people. It must give leadership to the mobilization and expression of the legitimate economic, political, social, and ideological demands of the unions, the peasant cooperatives, the soldiers, the students, and the indigenous peoples in a democratic exercise of discussion of the national problems, and the answers that the masses give. This is the type of dialogue the MLPN proposes, as opposed to the negotiating table that Sandinism and the right wing are covering with giant cloaks.

In the national dialogue undertaken between Sandinism and the right, we will say:

No to the harmonization and social pact between the Sandinistas and the pro-imperialists!

No to the reversing of the mass gains!

For a democratic and mass movement around the national problems!

No to the dialogue for negotiating away the revolution!

For revolutionary struggle for a peace without surrender or conditions!

For the destruction of the internal counterrevolutionary front!

For the defense of the toilers in the face of the economic crisis, the effects of the war, and the anti-worker policies of the government!

For the defense of the right to self-determination of the Nicaraguan people so that democratization can strengthen the participation, organization, and revolutionary mobilization of the working class and people! <>

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The news is full of the campaign by the American government to overthrow the Panamanian government of General Noriega. Democrat and Republican unite in the glorious crusade to ensure that Panama will be an old-style "banana republic", subservient to every whim of the U.S. embassy. Meanwhile the man they want to overthrow, Noriega, has for years been on the payroll of the CIA and offered his services against the Nicaraguan revolution. But this comedy of the U.S. government seeking to overthrow its own paid informer is being played out on the backs of the Panamanian working class, which want neither U.S. imperialist dictate nor Noriega's dictatorship. The bourgeois opposition to Noriega, of course, is just a miserable creature begging that it should get the largess that Noriega once enjoyed, with the wife of recently deposed president Delvalle begging that the U.S. should consider military intervention to put her husband in power.

Are Drugs the Issue?

The Reagan administration, Congress, and the bourgeois news are shouting that drugs are the issue. But Noriega's drug deals were well-known while the CIA was paying him. All he had to do was occasionally extradite a small drug dealer for appearances, and the U.S. government was more than willing to look the other way.

Indeed, the Reagan administration makes full use of drug dealing fiends in Central America. The CIA-organized contras are up to their necks in drug dealing. And "national hero" Oliver North had his plans to utilize Noriega for various of his plots against the Nicaraguan people.

The Democrats Want to Out-Reagan Reagan

Not drugs, but subservience to U.S. imperialism is the issue.

And in this the Democrats have spotted an issue to wave the flag even higher than Reagan. They are shouting for even harsher and faster measures against Noriega.

Take Sen. John Kerry, who is the darling of some opportunist forces because, he is leading a Senate investigation of contra drug-running. It turns out that Kerry has declared his willingness to fund the contras, if the Sandinistas don't behave properly, despite his own investigation into their being drug fiends.

But while the investigation of the contras drags out for months, then years, he has already jumped on the baud wagon with respect to Panama. He is spurring on the administration to greater aggression. All this because he is oh so concerned about drugs, he would have one believe. At least, concerned to drug the masses with chauvinism and to inspire a patriotic high whenever the bourgeoisie looks at him.

Washington D.C. -- a Mafia Government

What about the history of Washington's dealing with Noriega? It reads like a novel about the Godfather. One day they consider ordering a hit on Noriega, the next day they are dividing up the spoils of the exploitation of the Central American toilers.

In 1972, for example, Noriega was chief of military intelligence and key in protecting General Omar Torrijos from being overthrown. At this time a predecessor of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) called the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, proposed to assassinate him. This was stated in a Senate Intelligence Committee report of 1978, and revealed in the New York Times in 1986.

It seems the federal "drug fighters" actually copy the methods of the dealers.

But Noriega managed to win the favor of U.S. imperialism and got put on the CIA payroll. It seems, indeed, he was a master on getting on quite a few payrolls.

Most recently Noriega has again fallen into disfavor. It seems he didn't jump high enough in proposing to wipe out Nicaragua. Or perhaps his dealings with the Soviet Union were too much for his White House protectors. The bourgeois papers say that a disagreement over who would be civilian figurehead in Panama was involved. The Panamanian military, under Noriega's direction, ensured that civilian Nicolas Ardito Barletta was, "elected" in 1984. But then they deposed him in 1985 and replaced him with his vice-president, Eric Arturo Delvalle. This got the ire of Washington, which is so "principled" about this sort of thing that it now champions the claim of the formerly despised Delvalle to power simply on the grounds that he decided that the wind was blowing against Noriega.

Meanwhile the drug issue is being played solely for political purposes. An indictment is laid down against Noriega in Miami, where federal prosecutors have managed to close their eyes to contra drug running for years. But the government suggests it will make a deal to withdraw the indictment if Noriega resigns.

The Panamanian People Will Have Their Say

Washington tries to pretend that it is ramming the bourgeois opposition down Panama's throat in order to help the Panamanian people. Hogwash! Indeed, the weak attempts of the Panamanian bourgeois opposition to organize demonstrations and strikes showed how little the mass of the Panamanian people cared about it. In the last few days, some government employees have held some real real strikes, but they have been for the payment of wages.

The Panamanian working people may not be able to enforce their will at the moment. Noriega and Washington and the bourgeois opposition may control the game. But the working class and progressive students have historically shown that they are content neither with local dictatorship on behalf of imperialism nor with direct U.S. imperialist dictate from Congress and the White House. The day will come when the working class will sweep all its exploiters off its back. <>

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On February 18, anti-government guerrillas in El Salvador launched coordinated attacks around the country. It was their biggest assault in a year on the U.S.-financed Duarte regime of the oligarchy and the death squads.

Major Army Base Attacked

The liberation forces unleashed a major attack on the barracks of the government's 6th Brigade in Usulutan, about 60 miles east of San Salvador, the capital. The guerrillas besieged the fortress with mortar fire for several hours. Fighting also raged on the outskirts of Usulutan. Even by the minimized figures released by Duarte's military, eight government soldiers were killed in the Usulutan battle.

Other Fighting

Another raid was launched on government troops in San Jose Guayabal, 20 miles north of San Salvador. And in other fighting around the country, scores of government soldiers were killed or wounded.

The Masses Show Their Strength

This latest guerrilla offensive shows the continuing strength of the liberation movement in El Salvador.

Backed by hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S military aid, the Duarte regime has gone all out to crush the armed rebellion. But it has failed. The liberation forces continue to be a thorn in the side of the regime. In fact, last year the guerrillas not only punished Duarte's army in small skirmishes, but in large-scale battles as well. They have successfully stormed several of the most important government military bases.

The anti-government fighters have also been able to extend their activity to the center of government power, San Salvador. They have helped build the militant strikes and demonstrations that have rocked the regime over the past several months.

Duarte's "Carrot and Stick"

The Duarte regime is not only using brutal repression against the mass uprising. It is also trying to subdue the struggle through the deception of the Arias "peace plan". This plan calls on the armed masses to abandon their armed struggle in return for empty promises that the regime and its death squads will reform themselves and become "democratic" and "peaceful". The Arias plan also says the Salvador liberation fighters are no better than the CIA-organized Nicaraguan contras on the grounds that both are fighting central governments. The Salvadoran FMLN guerrilla leaders correctly reject this comparison. But unfortunately they still hope that the Arias plan can provide an alternative to the liberation struggle. But so Tar all the Arias plan has brought El Salvador is an excuse for Duarte to pardon death squad murderers of the people. And despite all the talk, the struggle continues. <>

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Below is the leading article in this year's first issue of Rod Gryning (Red Dawn), Jan. 15, 1988, journal of the Communist League of Norrkoping (Sweden). We would not formulate everything the same way as the article does. But it gives a vivid picture of the Palestinian struggle and of the situation with the PLO. We think that it is an example of the lively interest and proletarian solidarity that should be extended to the fighters in the revolutionary hot spots around the world. Translated from the Swedish original.


The TV pictures carried us straight into the Palestinian reality. On one side of the road stood the Israeli military shooting live rounds and tear gas grenades. On the other side stood Palestinian youths with stones. One could see how the youths managed to set fire to a tire, and the smoke was their only protection against the live bullets.

Defiantly remained the Palestinian youths in their place, and in the Palestinian struggle five of the twelve Palestinians killed would be youngsters.

In Gaza 60% of the population is below19 years of age, born after 1967 when the Zionists extended their occupation in Palestine to the entire country through also taking over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the beginning of the next century, there will be, due to the high birth rate, three million Palestinians, which should be compared with Israel's four million citizens.

In fact, the entire existence of the Israeli state is based upon, denial of the rights of the Palestinian people. When In 1948 the Zionists established the state of Israel (which was recognized and supported not only by U.S. imperialism and its allies and "neutral" countries like Sweden, but also by the USSR of Stalin), it was created through forcing out a huge section of the Palestinian people with threats and terror. The Palestinians who remained got, after a long time, Israeli citizenship, and thus some formal rights. But, as is well known, Israel declares itself openly as a purely Jewish state, and thus treats them as third class citizens, suffering all sorts of humiliation and discrimination.

The difference between the areas occupied in 1948 and in 1967 is that the latter have not been formally incorporated within the state of Israel. Therefore, the Zionists do not need to uphold even the image that there would be any rights for the Palestinians. The dictatorship of the military is open here. Trade unions and political parties are banned. 300,000, more than a quarter of the entire population, have served sentences in Israeli jails. Torture is routine. Even under "quiet" conditions, people regularly are shot, beaten up, or see their houses destroyed for the smallest utterance of protest of any kind against their oppression.

This military rule is backed up by armed settlers, who have been encouraged by the state of Israel to take over land in these territories. 52% of the West Bank and 40% of the Gaza Strip have been confiscated by force. There are more than 30,000 Jewish settlers, and they keep on expanding.

The TV pictures have shown a massive popular uprising, by the Palestinian people in all Palestine. In the eastern part of Jerusalem, Palestinians have built barricades and thrown stones on Israeli cars and buses. Palestinian leaders even within the state of Israel itself have called for general strikes, and shops and schools have been closed down. In this connection, in Nazareth there were militant actions by the youth in the streets who, defying the riot police, expressed their solidarity with their compatriots on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This is an important event because the Zionists as well as many of the Palestinian "leaders" do what they can to try to split people on the respective sides of the "border".

The television has shown us daily the heroic struggle of the Palestinians on the barricades of Gaza and the West Bank. The Zionist answer has been clear: live bullets, tanks, curfew and siege

In the West Bank and Gaza. According to staff commander Dan Shomron, the army today has more soldiers in Gaza than at the time of capturing the area from Egypt more than twenty years ago. The atrocities of the state of Israel have unanimously been condemned by the UN. Until now, the Zionist atrocities have cost the life of 31 Palestinians, hundreds of injured, and several thousands arrested.

Khan Yunis is situated on the border of Egypt. One half of the refugee camp is in Egypt, while the other half is on the Gaza Strip; people have to talk to their relatives by shouting over the well-guarded border. Khan Yunis has a deeply religious, fundamentalist Islamic population, which has been becoming more and more militant. The fundamentalists want to create an Islamic state in all Palestine, and the bonds with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt are strong. It was the latter who shot Sadat [late President of Egypt], and who recently called for a march in support of the Palestinian people -- a march which was attacked by Egyptian riot police, which beat up and arrested 22 demonstrators.

In the Islamic university of Gaza, the "militant" Islamic party got 15% of the votes in the student body elections in 1987, while the "moderate" Islamic party got 60% of the votes. Islamic fundamentalism grows in Gaza, a place where there are 600 mosques -- almost twice as 'much as when the Zionist occupation began in 1967.

A PLO representative said that the rate of participation in the student election was low and that the PLO is supported by 85% of Palestinians in Gaza. Maybe this is correct. But nevertheless, it seems that the fundamentalist Islamic undercurrent grows in scope and strength. And that shows that the PLO is -- or is going to be -- out of step with its mass base. Because at the same time as the struggle sharpens and the Palestinians get more desperate -- and more militant -- the PLO leadership meanwhile moves in the opposite direction, thus in practice handing over the leadership of the struggle to the fundamentalists.

There was a time when the PLO won the trust of the Palestinian people through organizing the armed national liberation struggle. They were for the abolition of the state of Israel and its replacement by a secular [non-religious], democratic state in all Palestine, with equal rights for Arabs and Jews. They stood for mass mobilization and revolutionary methods of struggle. And they opposed interference by imperialism as well as by the reactionary Arab states.

But since 1973 the PLO leadership has been moving towards national-reformism. Today they have given up the goal of liberating the entire homeland. They demand only some mini-state on territories occupied in 1967 and are, in exchange for that, ready to recognize the state of Israel within the "borders" of 1948! To achieve this, they put their trust in a "peace" conference, arranged by the U.N... with the PLO, Israel, the Arab states, and the five big powers being at the negotiating table.

However, this sad development is no mistake. It is the result of the PLO leadership becoming bourgeoisified. Today it represents the interests of the bourgeoisie. The same thing applies to the "left" inside the PLO -- the PFLP, DFLP, and other groups, whose line does not really differ fundamentally from that of Yassir Arafat's al-Fatah if one looks beyond the rhetoric.

Thus, there lies a reason for the growth of the Islamic movement. Of course this does not mean that the working class is represented by it, that revolutionaries should wait for miracles from the priesthood. A contradiction taken up by the Palestinian theater group el-Hakawati was: what is to be carried out first and foremost -- class struggle or national liberation struggle?

From the communist point of view, there is only one answer to this question: the class struggle of an oppressed nation is expressed in the form of struggle for national liberation, because the working class can never reach its objective goal -- socialism -- if the country is not free from foreign occupation. But this does not mean that the question of socialism can be postponed until the distant future, and that the bourgeoisie should be given a monopoly on the leadership of the national liberation struggle. The bourgeoisie does not have the same interest, as a class, in national emancipation, something which is not least shown by the European history at the time of World War II. Thus, even this struggle has a class content.

Besides the petty-bourgeois fundamentalist movement, another force appears in Gaza too, as well as in the rest of the country -- a unionist movement, a working class movement. The working class has to participate in the national struggle as an independent class and take the leadership. Through pushing the priests aside, and challenging the PLO leadership on the orientation, the toiling

Palestinian masses can be the force that overthrows zionism and grants the future united, democratic Palestine a proletarian content and a socialist direction. This is the only way!

- Long live the brave and steadfast struggle of the Palestinian people!

- Long live the Palestinian working class!

- For a free and democratic Palestine!

- Break with Israel -- recognize the PLO! <>


A criticism of Ramiz Alia's Report to the 9th Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania.

A discussion article on the question of building socialism. In a previous issue of Red Dawn there was a discussion article that held that the abolition of commodity production and wage labor is the precondition for socialism to exist. This article gives the view that under socialism there is a process of withdrawing one sphere after another from commodity production.

An article from the CP of Iran exposing the trotskyist view that state ownership in itself is something socialist.

KOMALA's (Kurdish organization of the CPI of Iran) declaration on the fundamental rights of the toiling people in Kurdistan.

Two articles from the Workers' Advocate on Nicaragua.

A letter from a member of the centrist CP of Sweden which is full of bile and slander against Red Dawn and a commentary on it which explains why the Communist League of Norrkoping has been organized, why it is independent of the KPS, and why it stands for public polemics against deviations in the world movement.

To get in touch with Red Dawn or the Communist League of Norrkoping (NKF), write: [Address.] <>

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In yet another outrage, the Israeli government recently murdered three PLO activists in Athens and scuttled the plans of the Palestinian organization to sail to Haifa, in a "ship of return".

In early February the PLO announced plans to charter a "ship of return" in Greece. They gathered together 135 Palestinians who have been deported by Israel from the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967. The PLO's plan was for these people to carry out a much-publicized "return" on a ship loaded with journalists and diplomats from many countries.

The PLO's idea was for a mild, pacifist protest against Israel. The PLO leaders planned their symbolic action patterned after the 1947 voyage of the ship Exodus, filled with European Jewish refugees, to Haifa.

The whole thing was an attempt by PLO leaders to appear relevant at a time when the Palestinian masses are hurling themselves into battle. PLO leaders have been left behind by events. While the masses in the West Bank and Gaza grapple with Israeli soldiers in daily combat, PLO leaders are busy tinkering around with reformist pipe dreams. They look for hope in UN resolutions, superpower-led peace conferences, etc.

But for the Israeli government even such a mild protest against Zionist oppression was simply too much.

Israeli Hysteria

The Zionists were outraged at the PLO's plan to dramatize the deportations. Leaders of both major parties (Likud and Labor) in the "national unity" government denounced, the PLO plan.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir went hysterical, declaring that the voyage would be "an act of war". He made the ludicrous claim that Arafat was loading up a ship with "terrorists who want to kill us all". More to the point, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that Israel would oppose the voyage "in whatever ways we find".

Terrorist Attacks

It was not long before the "ways" began to reveal themselves.

First, threats were delivered to shipping lines that the PLO tried to hire for the voyage. The PLO was not able to charter a ship.

PLO officials then went to Cyprus and purchased a ship. But immediately after, on February 14, three PLO officials involved in the arrangements were killed in a car bomb explosion in Athens. Hours later, in the early morning of February 15, the ship they had bought was torn by an explosion. An underwater limpet mine had been placed on the ship's hull.

In case there was any confusion about who was responsible for the bombings, Israel's Transport Minister cleared it up. He declared that if the PLO gets another ship, "its fate will be the same." The terrorist attacks succeeded; the voyage was cancelled.

Where Is Reagan's War on Terrorism?

Everyone knows that "war on terrorism" is one of the hallmarks of the Reagan administration. Where then is the U.S. government's denunciation of this piracy?

Of course, there is none. Not from Reagan and his State Department. Not from the Democrats in Congress who every year vote billions of dollars in aid to the Zionist butchers. Not from the presidential campaign circuit.

None of the capitalist politicians will say a word against the savagery of the Zionists in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and on the high seas.

Once again the hypocrisy of the U.S. "war on terrorism" is made clear. It does not apply to the U.S. and its allies. It only applies to whomever U.S. imperialism declares to be beyond the pale. <>

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In 1974 Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia, was overthrown by the people. The fruits of this revolutionary movement were however seized by the military government, the Dergue, But only through a series of bloody struggles has the Dergue been able to maintain its rule. This struggle continues today. And the Dergue, showing its anti-people nature, has made use of the horrible famine as part of its war against its numerous enemies.

Below we reprint a news release, dated Jan. 16, 1988, from the Information Office of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) on famine relief in Ethiopia. (The Tigrayans are an oppressed nationality in Ethiopia.) It deals with the savage policy of the Dergue towards the people and the collaboration with it of the Red Cross. We presently have only limited knowledge of the stands and activities of the TPLF itself, which is one of the mass forces in armed struggle against the reactionary Dergue. But the Ethiopian famine and the problems of the famine relief effort are a world issue, and this statement may help shed some light on these questions.



The famine situation in Ethiopia has once again caught the attention of all well-meaning people and humanitarian organizations. The international community is once again being called upon to help save millions of Ethiopians from starvation and certain death.

The TPLF has consistently been in the forefront of the effort to save the famine victims from starvation and death in Ethiopia in general and Tigray in particular. Early warnings were issued to the international community in good time and proposals for effective relief operations were put forward.

The central aim of the TPLF proposals has always been that of giving relief aid to the people as near to their villages as possible. The priority has always been to avoid movements of all famine victims which enormously increases the death toll and uproots the peasants from their land prolonging the effects of the famine.

In a statement issued in October 1987, the TPLF reiterated that relief works in areas under TPLF control and movements of food convoys in Tigray would not be hampered provided all parties concerned accepted the need for free passage of food to all parts of Tigray. (See appendix 1 [omitted]).

On the 10th of November 1987 the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] proposed the 'Open Roads for Survival', in which amongst other things it was declared that "The ICRC's main objective is to transport as much food as possible to the villages in conflict areas in order that people can stay on their land. In this way the long journey to overcrowded relief and refugee camps outside Ethiopia, and the accompanying greater risk to life and health will be avoided for as many people as possible." (See appendix 2 [omitted]).

The TPLF believed that this ICRC proposal was a good humanitarian move, worthy of the name ICRC, and supported it full heartedly. Indeed, the TPLF went even further. In order to avoid the problem of the regime being unwilling to negotiate with us, we declared we would honor any agreement that the ICRC might make with the Dergue along these lines. The agreement would be enforced without the TPLF demanding that they should be a partner in the negotiations.

We knew however that the fascist regime in Addis which is bent on using the famine situation to kill as many Tigreans as possible, would not agree with the lofty humanitarian proposals of the ICRC. Thus whilst we stressed the need to pressurize the Dergue to agree to the so-called open road for survival, we advised the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations to think of and prepare for other options in the event of the free passage policy failing to materialize due to the obstinacy of the fascist regime in Addis. We asked them to consider massively increasing cross-border operations, together with the use of distribution centers in the towns, controlled by the regime in power, for food distribution to the villages around the towns.

As the human disaster increased and the regime in power obstinately refused to consider the proposals of the ICRC and other organizations, we make it known that our patient waiting was paying no dividends and that other options must be considered urgently. In a press release on November 30th 1987, we explained that the TPLF have no intention of passively watching whilst the Dergue implements its policy of forced labor camps and leaves others to die in their thousands. We strongly implored all those concerned not to submit to the open blackmail of the Dergue and to persist in their humanitarian efforts. (See appendix 3 [omitted]).

Under these conditions, it was expected that all the humanitarian organizations and the ICRC in particular would condemn the Dergue for refusing to accept the only real means of launching an effective relief program, or at least to express their dissatisfaction and seek other avenues for helping the people, including stepping up cross-border operations as much as possible.

To the surprise of everyone, the ICRC, who had not only accepted the TPLF's proposal of free passage, but proposed their own identical version, did the exact opposite. The ICRC accused the TPLF, who unequivocally supported the so-called 'Open Roads for Survival', of hampering the relief effort and increas[ed] communication with the Dergue who were the ones who had openly and obstinately refused to accept the ICRC proposals. Contrary to all logic, they started a propaganda campaign against the TPLF.

Worse was to follow. At a time when the free passage policy had failed to materialize due to the obstinacy of the regime, it was hoped that all humanitarian organizations would seek other means of aiding the people including the intensification of cross-border operations. The ICRC, however, decided to do exactly the opposite all cross-border operations were stopped at a time when hundreds of thousands of lives depended on it. The cross-border operation had been in progress even when there was no sizeable famine problem (i.e. 1986-87). But it has now come to a halt. The ICRC trucks that were in the Sudan for this purpose are now being sold off after three years of service.

ICRC has now decided to run the Dergue's distribution centers and enforce its policies together with the RRC. Repeated appeals on our part were of no avail. Several discussions were held with them in an attempt to convince them of their mistaken decisions, however they were fruitless. It would seem obvious that the ICRC has dropped its political neutrality and humanitarian concern, and decided to take a stand in the conflict on the side of the Dergue, by shelving proposals, stopping cross-border operations and accusing the TPLF, who stand by the original proposals of the ICC, of hampering the relief effort. The ICRC is clearly stating its decision to be an agent of the diabolical designs of the Dergue, This is sinister real politics at its worst. This is a declaration of war on the Tigrean people and the TPLF.

Clearly the ICRC has decided to be a party to the war of annihilation on the Tigrean people that the Dergue is carrying out. Regrettably the only option left for the TPLF is to see this as a de facto declaration of war and act accordingly. The responsibility for the consequences obviously lies solely on the ICRC.

We call upon the donor community to use all possible means to convince the ICRC to stop this anti-humanitarian policy and to fulfill its humanitarian obligations. We call upon those who take their humanitarian obligations very seriously to help forestall a calamity by increasing the pressure on the Dergue. We call upon them to explore and expand ways of reaching the people in their villages. The TPLF is flexible as to the means, so long as they serve to save the people from death by providing them with assistance [as] near to their villages as possible. The TPLF firmly believes that stepping up cross-border operations is one very vital policy, and ask that everything possible be done to step such operations up. <>

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February 6, 1988

The Workers' Advocate Supplement

Dear Comrades,

We are writing to correct a statement you made in the Workers' Advocate Supplement, Vol. 3, No. 12, December 20, 1987, in the article entitled, Protest of the Communist Party of Iran to the OMLWP. In this you state that the publication Extra Bulletin "is (or was) a paper of the OMLWP while it decked itself out as the journal of an international trend." This Extra Bulletin is not, nor has it been, financed, published or supported by OMLWP or any of its members. It is put out by a former member and current supporter of OMWP. The articles, viewpoints, and activities of the bulletin do not necessarily reflect those of our organization. As for the statement made by the bulletin--the view that the Communist Party of Iran, Organizzazione Communista Internazionalista (Italy), and organization for a Marxist-Leninist Workers Party are part of a "developing international trend"---we do not have the exact same analysis. For our views on that subject readers to refer to WT #7 [referring to Workers' Truth, publication of the OMLWP], and also to WT #9 coming out in February where we respond to the criticisms of the CPI.

Thank you for printing this correction.

In communist struggle,

Organization for a Marxist-Leninist Workers' Party

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Comment by the Supplement:

Thank you for your letter. It shows that the Extra Bulletin is the work of a single individual, who is a supporter of the OMLWP.

So here we have a self-proclaimed "independent" paper, which is financed, published and supported by an individual who OMLWP claims as a supporter, and which claims to be written in "basic support of" an international trend with OMLWP as its American part. We accept OMLWP's statement that the Extra Bulletin is not formally its paper, but we think that this is hardly the only point involved.

It seems to us that the Extra Bulletin is an example of replacing serious work by attempts to present oneself as the voice of the international movement. We don't think it is surprising that this type of useless play-acting at revolution comes from OMLWP circles. OMLWP has made a career of denouncing actual communist work under the cover of revolutionary phrases, while trailing behind the reformists in practice. As its pretext of work in the movement collapsed, OMLWP began the game of implying that it was the American representative of a trend around CPI or around the seminar organized by CPL

We have not seen yet WT #9, nor do we know if it has even been published. But in any case it comes more than a year after OMLWP started promoting itself on the basis of the preparations for a seminar with CPI. This game continued after the seminar. It seems to us that it was this frivolous approach on the part of OMLWP that gave rise to CPI's criticism of OMLWP in their letter of July 1, 1987 to the OMLWP. It was written in response to issue #7 of WT, dated March 1987, and the letter was later made public in Bolshevik Message. It was this letter that was reprinted in the Workers Advocate Supplement of Dec. 20, 1987 in the article Protest of the Communist Party of Iran to the OMLWP. <>

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16 February 1988

Fraternal Greetings!

In the context of deepening international crisis of capital, the apparent need for a militarily accomplished redivision of the "spoils" that is the world in the vulture's eyes of the super imperialist camps--translated increasingly into the reactionary climate of fascistic racist violence against blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minority nationals here in Amerika--the struggles in the ideological arena, the struggle of ideas and world outlook is sharpening up.

As a black proletarian and worker-member of PURE [Prisoners United for Revolutionary Education] important for me [is] this debate heating up in the so-called "black community" in the fires of intensifying material conditions of racist attacks, government cut-backs, the infringements on the petty privileges of the black bourgeoisie, growing polarization and anger of the black masses. We are working to inject into this debate the medicinal effects of class perspective and analysis toward giving a true and workable theory for revolutionary practice and the building of true working class orientation, solidarity and movement in the black ranks. We are attempting this from the cage on various levels and you can well imagine the disadvantages we face.

To this end I have been utilizing whatever means available to get the word out, to answer the ridiculous assumptions and collusionist prop and hype struggling opportunistically to place themselves at the helm of black anguish. Some papers are simply xeroxed, stapled and chain passed along, others are done as articles for the small community-type press, letters are written and the teach-ins go on in the sties.

Study too, so greatly circumscribed by the conditions of the cage, is still so necessary--finding that I often make mistakes in the handling of the writing of my papers but that they hopefully point up the basic revolutionary spirit and idea and approach to the "shitstem" at hand. The linkages with strong communist thinkers and workers (Party) has accumulated for some needed history helping to raise our knowledge in the handling of our tasks from inside the cages. You know you're high on this list--we owe you much.

Perhaps prisoners tend to read more than do their counterparts locked within the confines of the Inner-city, and here there is a good reception of the revolutionary poetry in STRUGGLE magazine. The reception is very strong on the part of black and latino prisoners and I always look forward to it for circulation with fellow slaves.. [...]

PURE sends it solidarity and warmest revolutionary fraternity.

Revolutionary communist greetings,

Gary Donn Washington

Minister of Culture


The System Works...

In a recent article of the San Antonio/Express News Clarence Brandley made his views public. Brandley, a well-known black prisoner on death row at Texas' Department of Corrections for the rape and homicide of a young white female, has been the foco of a growing struggle to prove his innocence and save his life. It is widely believed, and for good reason, that Brandley is innocent of the crimes for which he remains sentenced to die. Evidence gathered illuminates his innocence while uncovering a most casual conspiracy to publicly murder him by state execution.

From his death row cage of over seven years, Brandley has recently been reported as saying, "the system works." A shocking and unfortunate view for those black-like-me who know and accept, to the contrary, the truth.

"The system works," is an ahistoric [non-historical] notion with no basis in reality outside the narrow confines of one's own head. A mere state-induced mass superstition; an ideological myth that serves the political purpose of crushing the collective potential of the black masses to effectively organize the fight and resistance against racist oppression--a fight that necessarily means to change, fundamentally, the system itself. This incorrect, mystical belief, would have us pronounce the system of racist U.S. capitalism-imperialism, under which black people were made slaves-- in its colonial beginnings--and during the course of which black people have suffered three centuries of racist victimization in the grinding jaws of the criminal justice system, innocent of cause! As if to say this chicken egg was in fact laid by the duck!!! Brandley's own personal experience with "the system" and its criminal justice arm should confirm for him after more than seven years on Texas' death row, heaven is not further from the earth than is this system to social justice for the poor, minority nationals and most certainly black people.

All right-minded people must rally in solidarity with the struggle to save this black man's life. Yet we must not deceive ourselves that his is a rare case. This racist victimization perpetrated by "the system" is not nor has it ever been uncommon experience for black men, women and youth in Amerika. The direct opposite is true--that systematic oppression and open racism are filthy materials woven into the very fabric of Amerikan society; they constitute' the seam by which the system was able to sew, bind and now continuously mend its gaudy power.

A 1987 review by the Supreme Court on the nation's death penalty ruled state execution constitutional, sanctioned by Amerikan law despite the finding that this ultimate penalty is consistently applied through blatant racism. Another Supreme Court opinion on the handling of black people construed in the light most favorable to the state.

While it has been found that the imprisonment rate of black people has no relationship to the crime rate, the more than half a million prisoners held in the nation's cages are 47% black. All the more revealing when one understands that black people make up only 12.6% of the nation's population. As of 1983 (likely greater disparity in Resurgent Amerikkka: 1988) the imprisonment rate of black people was 713 compared to 114 for whites in relation to their respective numbers in the national populace. This means, as Steven Whitman pointed out in his Chicago Tribune article "The crime of black imprisonment," that black people are six times more likely to go to prison than a white person in Amerika. In Illinois it increases to ten. In 1979 about one of every five black men went to prison; in 1988 it's closer to one of every four. Very eye opening are international imprisonment rate statistics that confirm that blacks in the United States go to prison more often than black people in South Africa!

The apologists and faithful patriots of this system smugly and with straining innovation justify this racist corruption through colorful plays upon the original bigotry-- "niggahs are no good criminals." It is the epitome of self-hate, immorality and perversity when we, ourselves, develop this belief, this blind faith.

Finally, "the system" is due no honorable credit when now, after nearly eight years of imprisonment for Brandley, one of its judges "recommends" a new trial in the case. This action is no reflection of possible benevolence of the system, but is only begrudgingly taken as a result of the hard and determined struggles of black activists, black people and others, and brother Brandley's own noble and tireless mother, who have rallied to save his life. It is to these we must give credit and faith. We win these battles on the sole strength of our unity and determination in struggle--or we simply lose.

Yes, "the system works..." and I would add that this fact is precisely the reason the people must redouble the work to stop it!

Forward Ever, Backward Never!


February 1988 <>

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8 February 1988

Dear Friends,

...The discussion [concerning] the Jackson campaign prompted me to share one of the articles I am circulating to various press organizations of the "black community" this Black History Month. My intention is to circulate a series of articles toward pinning the class contradictions permeating the hallowed programs of the black-faced fleecers of the black masses...

Warmest revolutionary regards,

Gary Donn Washington

Minister of Culture PURE

Prisoners United for Revolutionary Education


In 1986 black female officers of the Houston Police Department (HPD) were convicted of brutality and assault committed against the persons of their charges in custody--white females. There was, an instantaneous outcry of racism. Black petty bourgeois and middle class sectors, their ideologues, intellectuals and white collar professionals--par their normal reaction, not to simple racism but institutional racist infringement upon their status as black upwardly mobile "equals"--set out to mobilize black mass support for a campaign of essentially defending police brutality in the name of fighting racism.

The events were a classic example of the social relations and political contradictions of a completely class-polarized and class-divided black reality, exposing the worn myth of a homogeneous "black community" opportunistically sold to the black masses by the upper-crust black capitalists. Here could be seen the open clash of conflicting class interests: petty-bourgeois black on the one hand, poor and working class masses of black people on the other, and the historical methods by which the black capitalist class seeks to dupe and lord over black proletarian masses for the sake of its own bourgeois ends.

Coming out of the 1960s and what has been termed the "civil rights era"--a period of deep crisis for U.S. capitalism-imperialism with radical struggles of broad masses against the imperialist war on Viet Nam, various movements of social forces including the black liberation and civil rights movements--emerged the petty-bourgeois black capitalist class as an Amerikan social institution. In this period of fundamental crisis of the capitalist system and along with the struggles of the black masses, the WASP capitalist ruling class found it impossible to rule in the heretofore, same old Jim Crow way. Black capitalist-oriented forces, primarily black professionals, white collar "worker aristocrats", intellectuals, politicians and business entrepreneurs were able to and had to be allowed to rise above the black masses as conditions necessitated that these forces be assimilated into the ailing capitalist social structure in a new way, and that the overall exploitation and oppression of newly urbanized black masses, still the sacred pillar of Amerikan society, be conducted in a strategically new way. The rise of the black bourgeois as a solid class with particular class interests corresponding to its material conditions of social privilege above the black masses, on the one hand, and the subordination to and dependence on the WASP capitalist-imperialist ruling class and the whole oppressive economic and social-political relations of the system for its privilege and very existence, marked the concrete and irreversible-class polarization of the black nation. Fundamentally two distinct black classes of distinct, antagonistically contradictory class interests rose up--the petty-bourgeois black capitalist and the urban black proletariat.

Since this social phenomenon the black capitalist class has sought to consolidate its gains and advance its class interests on the backs of the black proletarian masses and in the name of "black unity". Through the use of imperialist-backed resources and the^whole structure of the oppressive system this class exerts its will over the masses of black people as "leaders of the black community". Every class treachery is cloaked in the emptiest black cultural trappings and manipulation of black mass sentiment to bind them faithfully to the very system that crushes their human existence.

The black petty-bourgeois, capitalist class, in relation to the black proletarian masses, stands, essentially, as the WASP bourgeois ruling class in black face--waging the ideological struggle to instill in the mass black mind a perverse patriotism in the institutions that destroy them. It was in this spirit they cried racism at the conviction of black police guilty of brutality and assault on white prisoners, and would rally us to the front!

The Amerikan system is racist to its very core but they have not denounced the system, rarely will a mongrel bite the hand of its feeder. Amerikan imperialism is in open plunder of the Third World, propping up dictators here, invading openly there, organizing contra and UNITA forces somewhere else. It is U.S. imperialism holding apartheid together, arming the murderous general Namphy and the CNG (bloodletting national army of Haiti) of black Haiti; from the Philippines to Iran to the Zionism of the Middle East the U.S. imperialist system sucks the blood of the poor all over the world and the black capitalist would have us follow him into a defense of the brutal police of such a system. In the name of black unity!!!

The black HPD officers convicted of assault on white female prisoners were, it is no secret, members of an organization with a long history of brutality, assault and "official murders" of black; prisoners of both jail and the inner-city. They were party to this ongoing historical role of the police organization, at the very least complicitly...

When the whole history of law enforcement has been but a grim tale of official state violence and violent racism against black people, particularly, the working class generally, while historically giving the protection of force to corporate Amerika, the owners of all major means of production and private property, and the rich, the police as an organization is in the main a political class weapon legitimized then brazenly wielded against the subordinate, down-pressed social class and national minorities. Black police can only serve the same cause beneath the same tired disguise of "fighting crime" while the CIA trafficks in cocaine, [alongside] Lt. Oliver North--international gangster on the loose and not hiding! While the Reaganites are above crime when they actually break the law! While corporate Amerika, where the ruling itself is not jeopardized, does what it pleases... We may even be unable to recall a police shooting of a Ku Klux Klan party member at the ceremony of a lynching. Blacks die in this crime fighting episode hourly... The role of the police organization is a class political one of extreme violent suppression and control--by any means necessary--of especially common black people. As an apparatus of the state, an extension of the U.S. ruling elite and that class power, it is necessarily as aggressively racist as the history of a system founded by owners of black slaves. The black masses know this first hand, the black petty bourgeois would, by some slight of hand, cause this historical fact to disappear by their magical lure.

While it was certainly institutional racism, nationally and within the most racist organization in society--the police--that rendered some frame of justice to these black police brutalizers, the black masses have no class interests along with the black bourgeoisie in obtaining their "rights" to brutalize prisoners on an equal footing with their white racist counterparts. This has always been the heart and soul of black bourgeois ideology--to be equal to the imperialist class chauvinists, sexists, racists, exploiters and oppressors.

(To be continued) <>

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Lexington, Kentucky

Dear friends and comrades:

With reference to vol. 18, no.2, Feb. 1988 issue of the Workers' Advocate: I am so happy you all made contact with the Komala Peshmarga! Right-on! Now, the Party has close relations with the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua, a militant outfit, and now the very militant (fighting) Komala, Peshmargas! I salute you comrades! We need close collaboration with all militant comrades world-wide. That will forge chains binding true Marxist-Leninists together. We can learn valuable lessons from these comrades for use when we will be faced with the same situation. And that's not too far off now.

[M.R.] <>

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How the legacy of the 7th Congress of the CI sabotaged the fight against Browderism


The Seventh Congress of the Communist International in 1935 marked the adoption of a new and wrong line for the world communist movement. In the U.S., this went hand in hand with the corruption of the party by the revisionism championed by Earl Browder, a major leader of the CPUSA in the 1930's and World War II who progressively degenerated more and more into an ordinary bourgeois-style politician. This led to utter liquidations m and the dissolution of the Party itself into the "Communist Political Association" in 1944.

The reconstitution of the Party in 1945 brought a repudiation of some of the most blatant features of Browderism. But as it turned out, this repudiation was half-hearted. This was true of the actions taken by such Party leaders as William Z. Foster which has been analyzed in such articles as "The CPUSA's Liberal-Labor Approach to the Critique of Browder" (The Workers' Advocate, May 1, 1984) and "Why the CPUSA didn't resist Khrushchovite revisionism" (The Workers' Advocate, June 10, 1984).

A deeper and more radical analysis was given by a number of CPUSA members who wanted a more thorough correction of its views and practices. And in turn Foster and Dennis and other CPUSA leaders condemned them as left sectarians. But time has proved that the leadership given by Foster and Dennis and others did not root out Browderism from the CPUSA, which continued to degenerate into the corrupt reformist party it is today.

What happened to the anti-revisionists who stepped forward right after World War II? They were isolated and defeated. One of the sources of their weaknesses was their attempt to fight Browderism while upholding the line of the Seventh Congress of the CPUSA.

Below we reprint a discussion of the line of these anti-revisionists. It is taken from a May Day speech of the MLP given in Seattle in 1986, edited for publication.


Our Party stands by the truth: one must study history, and learn its lessons, or be condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past. The repudiation of Browderism was a pretty lame affair and by no means resulted in the CPUSA restoring a Marxist-Leninist policy. In the June 10, 1984 issue of the Workers' Advocate we examined the evolution of the CPUSA's tame, liberal-labor and opportunist course in the immediate years following its re-founding. In this article we referred to a speech by William Z. Foster at the Special Convention that reestablished the Communist Party, where he said:

"The fourth and last false conception that I wish to speak against is the idea being circulated by 'left' sectarian voices in our Party to the effect that the present program of the Party is only transitory, that we are on our way to a much more left interpretation of the present national and world situation. According to these comrades, we are going to, or should, denounce the war against Japan as imperialist, condemn the decisions of Teheran [i.e. for lovey-dovey post war cooperation between the USSR, Great Britain, and the U.S. for a peaceful, harmonious reconstruction from the ravages of the world war] as unachievable, drop the slogan of national unity, call for a farmer-labor government, give up our wartime no-strike pledge, abandon the fight for 60,000,000 jobs, bring forward the question of socialism as an immediate issue, and generally adopt a class-against-class policy.

"But these comrades are indulging in wishful thinking. Our Party, if I know it, is not going to take any such leftist course."

Our article went on to comment on Fosters statement as follows:

"Thus Foster called a halt to the struggle against Browderism almost before it had begun. His only difference with Browder on the question of the Teheran perspective was whether mass struggle was necessary to force the capitalists to carry out this program.

He wanted to keep the liberal-labor coalition with the liberal bourgeoisie, rather than rallying the working masses to a truly independent class, position, which he condemned as the line of 'farmer-labor government' or as a 'class-against-class' policy."

Who were these "left sectarians"?

This brings up an interesting chapter in the repudiation of Browderism: who were these "left sectarians" advocating a class-against-class policy that Foster was cursing, and what was their line? Did they oppose the ideas of the 7th CI Congress? What was their fate?

Brief answers can be provided for these questions tonight. The investigation was not in depth: only some important documents have been studied. But even so, certain points are clear. And the hope is that these preliminary views may encourage discussion and study of the authoritative documents our party continues to publish on these and related issues.

First, a brief chronology:

The CP was liquidated into the "CPA" on May 20, 1944. The article by Duclos criticizing this was in April 1945, and the CP was refounded in July. One year later, in July 1946, there was a CP National Committee meeting and resolution dealing with the on-going discussion in the Party to repudiate Browderism. In November of that year, a series of expulsions of "leftists" took place and continued as the months went by.

In 1947, two books appeared by individuals expelled from the CP. One was by William F. Dunne entitled The Struggle Against Opportunism In The Labor Movement -- For A Socialist United States. The other book, by Harrison George, was entitled The Crisis in the C.P.U.S.A.

According to one source, William F. Dunne was a charter member of the CPUSA, and for some time a candidate member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. Harrison George was also a charter member of the Party, and the editor-in-chief of the Daily Worker for several years. He also served as editor-in-chief of the West Coast paper, the People's World.

In September 1947 William Dunne was expelled from the Party by the National Board, along with several others, for alleged "left sectarianism". Soon thereafter, Harrison George and many others were also expelled on the same basis.

In his book History of the CPUSA, Foster also lists Sam Darcy (who had been the only comrade in the national leadership to oppose the dissolution of the Party) and Vern Smith as among the sectarians.

"Left sectarians" or anti-revisionists?

Now to present an overview of the line of these "left sectarians" as William Z. Foster, Eugene Dennis (the CP's General Secretary after Browder), Gil Green, and the rest of that crew called them.

I will refer to them as anti-revisionists, although there were numerous problems with their positions. It doesn't appear that they had organizational links either before or after their expulsions, nor did they share the same views on all issues. Of the two, more material was available from Dunne's book, and so the following remarks will deal more with it.

1) First of all, did the anti-revisionists have a Marxist-Leninist critique of Browderism, unlike the liberal-labor criticism of Browder by the French communist Duclos and the CPUSA's Foster? Were they guilty of the honorable charge of advocating a policy of class-against-class? Partially, but there were numerous weaknesses in their attack.

On the plus side both Harrison George and William Dunne saw Browderite revisionism as a phenomenon that started around 1934-5. This is unlike Foster and Dennis, who agree with Browderism up until it takes on the extreme positions of open love for U.S. imperialism, that is, until it emerges as open social-imperialism, in around 1942-3. And Dunne especially criticizes numerous manifestations of the application of the 7th Congress line to the U.S., while not seeing (or perhaps--hot admitting) the source.

2) Did they see any relation of Browderism to the opportunist theses of the 7th CI Congress?

No. They saw Browderism as an opportunist distortion of a correct 7th CI line. But here it should be stressed that both Dunne and George take the "left" demagogy of Dimitrov and company at the 7th Congress to be the actual line. They quote extensively from 7th Congress materials against the line of both Foster and Dennis, utilizing the apparently correct and Leninist phrasemongering that Dimitrov and others used to lubricate the jamming of the departures from Leninism down the throats of the international movement. In fact, George's book contains a compilation of much of the left demagogy of Dimitrov's speeches.

Their inability to see the departures from Leninism in Dimitrov's speeches made their efforts to clean up the mess Browder had made of the CPUSA more difficult.

3) Despite its weaknesses, this criticism could have served as a starting point for a deeper repudiation of revisionism. It was combative, impassioned, and even showed revolutionary spirit here and there. But things did not proceed further. They were not up to the task, and it seems that they and their views faded into oblivion by the 1950s. Later I will list some probable reasons for this. But now, let's proceed to examine some of their views.

What the anti-revisionists stood for

Both Dunne and George present their views in the form of a critique of the CP leaders, especially Eugene Dennis, for their inadequate repudiation of Browderism. Their criticism is quite harsh. George, for example, has a chapter entitled "Principles of Party Cleansing from Below--Against Factionalism; for a Revolutionary Party" in which he says:

"From top to bottom, this corrupt and incorrigibly opportunist leadership must be swept away, and replaced by fresh and proletarian leadership from the depths of the Party."

This entire chapter is a plan for such a revolt, based on the author's experience in the IWW (Wobblies), and especially the Socialist Party in 1919 when a left-wing revolt gave rise to the two CP's that would merge in 1921 to form the united Party. The spirit of Dunne's views is similar.

So, let's compare their views for repudiating Browderism with Dennis and Foster's. Our article, "The CPUSA's Liberal-Labor Critique of Browder" in the May 1, 1984 issue of the Workers' Advocate can be used as a basis.

On revolution

We say there that

"Nowhere in any of the documents, including the Duclos [article], is there the slightest mention of the necessity to organize the working class for revolution. Talk of revolutionary organization, revolutionary struggle, or the revolutionary movement has been completely banished. One can find statements about social progress, socialist reorganization of society, even the elimination of exploitation of man by man. But nowhere will you find the word revolution, nor will you find the presentation of a revolutionary perspective."

The anti-revisionists were much better on this issue, but there are still weaknesses here in the writings of both Dunne and George.

Dunne says some things about the need for a revolution. For example, he calls the Foster-Dennis group "refugees from the social revolution". He uses the formulation revolutionary struggle a few times. And his description of bourgeois democracy hints at the need for revolution. After presenting a good explanation of the origin of the bourgeois democratic state and its role in suppressing the masses, he denounces the prevailing CP practice of referring to the U.S. government as an above-class "democracy-for-all". He then states that precisely because the communists are the most vigorous defenders of bourgeois-democratic rights, it is all the more important to explain the illusion "that capitalist democracy by itself affords the opportunity and the machinery to end the exploitation and oppression of a working class in the majority by capitalists in the minority." This is a big hint against the prevailing, though unstated, line of peaceful, parliamentary road to socialism and of the need instead, for a revolution.

But it is only a hint. Dunne's basic formulation sounds radical, but upon reflection one realizes that it doesn't mention revolution directly. He states that

"the main, immediate and central task of Marxists is the political preparation of the working class in the U.S. for the abolition of the system of monopoly capitalism (imperialism) and the establishment of a socialist system of production and government."

George also mentions the revolution. He states:

"In the present controversy within the CPUSA, the idea that the Seventh Congress of the CI revoked the previous program of the Communist parties to struggle for Socialism and the proletarian revolution, has been given furtive circulation by the 'political hens,' who are hatching some revisionist eggs."

He then goes on to quote Dimitrov talking about "the second round of proletarian revolution" and "the dictatorship of the proletariat and the power of the Soviets".

It is interesting that at least by 1946 the discussion in the CPUSA dealt with such issues introduced by the 7th Congress of the CI as that socialism and the revolution have been taken off the agenda. George tries to counteract this view from the 7th Congress by citing the demagogic frills Dimitrov grafted onto it.

At the same time, both George and Dunne rarely deal with the issue of revolution.

On the nature of U.S. imperialism

Browder's perspective was U.S. imperialism would perform progressive miracles in the wake of World War II. For one thing, the capitalists would voluntarily double wages at home and liberate the colonial and dependent countries in order to ensure a market for their goods. Our 1984 article states "The fundamental criticism of Browder [by Foster and company] is that he believed that the domestic and international war-time alliances could be maintained after the war without struggle, whereas Foster held that struggle was essential to maintaining these alliances."

What Foster is referring to is US-Soviet cooperation to make the UN a democratic organization to ensure world peace; and cooperation whereby the U.S. generously contributes to world postwar economic reconstruction --of the colonies, of Eastern Europe, and especially in the socialist USSR! In other words, Dennis and Foster also have the post-war perspective of socialism and capitalism getting married in a loving embrace, but that the U.S. groom will submit to the charms of the Soviet bride only with a little encouragement of the "shotgun" of the mass struggle in the U.S.

Dunne's view is quite different. He tends to ridicule the idea of "American-Soviet friendship", "Big Three [U.S., USSR, and Great Britain] unity" and "the peaceful collaboration of the United Nations". After giving a nice description of the U.N. "as an instrument of U.S. imperialist policy", he states:

"Petty-bourgeois prattle about the United Nations as an instrument of peace is a crime against the working class as long as the UN is dominated by U.S. imperialism and its British minions."

Another of his comments on the U.N. reads like a bit of fresh air today in light of various forces including the Party of Labor of Albania expressing enthusiasm for the "anti-imperialist" hot air of such medieval reactionaries as the Khomeini-ites in the U.N.

"The Dennis conception is typically anti-Marxist-Leninist. It tries to substitute for the class struggle inside each capitalist nation, and struggle for national ruling class interests between nations, the formal expression of this struggle--the echoes of the wide upsurge of anti-imperialist battles on various levels in debates of diplomats in the assembly of the United Nations."

He also says that

"No one in his right mind, certainly no communist, believes that the [monopoly capitalists] will ever order their relationships with, the U.S.S.R. on the basis of 'friendship'."

As proof, he cites the U.S. policy to conduct World War II in such a way as to allow the Nazis to bleed and destroy as much of the USSR as possible.

George, for his part, describes the U.S. as not pursuing anti-fascist aims in the war, but only anti-axis aims, and even these for imperialist interests. This cuts sharply against all the euphoria about "big three unity", both during and after the war, promoted by the Soviet leaders as well as the Browderites.

Dunne says U.S. postwar aims include threatening the S.U. with atomic attack and, in general, the pursuit of "world domination by all methods including war".

He criticizes Foster's view that the Teheran program of post-war collaboration can be achieved through pressuring the U.S. with mass struggle. He denounces the Dennis-Foster conception of mass struggle as being in fact a 'progressive' electoral block based on the 'resurrection of the Roosevelt program'. (Throughout the book, he denounces Roosevelt as a monopoly capitalist and liberal imperialist. Of this, more later.) Dunne does not, however, say that a real mass struggle, as opposed to a liberal electoral block, will achieve the Teheran objectives. He does not believe in the Teheran perspective at all.

Dunne goes on to say that "War on the Soviet Union, on the people of China...against other peoples, will be prevented only by the united mass action of the working class." In sum, Dunne foresees a post-war situation marked by U.S. imperialist aggression, not the rosy Teheran utopia. But there is also the issue of whether all reactionary wars can be prevented without revolution. As an agitational statement, Dunne's remark might mean little other than one must wage mass struggle against imperialist wars. But as a careful statement of line, it may counterpose to the Foster idea of achieving the Teheran utopia through a shotgun marriage between imperialism and socialism, one of the pacifist arguments of Dimitrov and the 7th Congress that war can be prevented under imperialism if there is enough mass opposition. As is known, while an invasion of the Soviet Union did not take place after World War II, imperialism waged one reactionary war and intervention after another all around the globe.

On national unity

What about the Browderite slogan of "national unity"?

Browder's idea of the progressive character of U.S. imperialism was coupled with the corresponding idea that there was no longer any need for the class struggle. The workers should just loyally embrace the monopoly capitalists to help them carry out their progressive deeds.

In our 1984 article we pointed out that Foster agreed with the slogans for "national unity", "defense of the national interests", "patriotism", and so forth. His only disagreement was that "the bulk of finance capital" could not be included in this coalition. But this is just eyewash, because Foster states that

"the patriotic lead, on the contrary, has come and will continue to come from the national unity elements grouped mainly around the Roosevelt forces."

This is Foster's plan for bringing the Teheran utopia into being. Of course, the trick here is the ridiculous idea that the Rooseveltians were not also representatives of monopoly capital.

Dunne is against all of this. He condemns Dennis for being

"a champion of 'American national interests'".

He goes on to say that

"The enemy of the U.S. working class is a part of the nation. It is the ruling class. In the U.N. its spokesmen voice its imperialist interests. The defeat of its program in our country means, not national, but class struggle."

George also denounces the national unity slogan. George says that this slogan was fine during World War II, and only became "putrid" the minute the war ended. But of course the class struggle continued in the U.S. during the war, only in different forms.

On Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democratic Party

Perhaps the strongest aspect of both Dunne's and George's writings is their condemnation of Roosevelt and the Roosevelt wing of the Democratic Party as representative of the liberal bourgeoisie and of U.S. imperialism.

In 1944 Foster argued at length that the Roosevelt government is not only not based on the monopolies, but is at odds with them. This is also exactly what Dimitrov strongly implied at the 7th Congress. This was a crucial thesis used for dragging the CPUSA into the mud and slime of bourgeois reformism, of cringing liberal-labor politics, of social-chauvinism, and of desertion of the socialist revolution.

From the thesis that the Roosevelt government fights the monopolies, Foster argues that

"We must go all out for a continuation of the Roosevelt policies as the only way to support effectively the Teheran decisions."

After Roosevelt dies, Truman is installed as President, World War II comes to an end, and the CPUSA maintains the stand that the Democratic Party is against the monopolies. But a problem comes up. Truman goes on a reactionary rampage. He broke the U.S.-USSR wartime alliance. He brandished U.S. military might and the atomic threat in a drive for world hegemony. He launched an offensive against the working class, sought to purge the trade unions, and went after the CPUSA with a vengeance.

Foster and Dennis describe this process as Truman "betraying" the "FDR policy of American-Soviet friendship, the rock of Roosevelt's foreign policy." (Election statement, CP National Board, 1946) The line was given that Truman "surrendered" to the GOP and Wall Street. In class terms, this view meant that the Democratic presidential administration had allegedly gone from an anti-monopoly FDR stand to a pro-monopoly GOP stand; from a "liberal-labor-middle class"' coalition to Wall Street.

On this basis, the CP gives what Dunne describes as their central slogan: "Resurrect the Roosevelt Program". And in late 1946, the CP leadership had already conceived of, and began to plan for, the building of a third, electoral party based on the presidential candidacy of FDR's ex- vice president, Henry Wallace, which was to feature some anti-monopoly demagogy.

Dunne denounces all of this. He states that:

a) the Roosevelt administration was always a liberal imperialist regime for the crafty defense of monopoly capitalism;

b) for 10 years, the CP had step-by-step become a "tail to the kite" of this Democratic Party of the monopolies; ("appendage for a decade"--i.e. from 1937 or so);

c) Truman did not betray the FDR policy, nor desert from the masses to Wall Street, but simply continued the monopoly capitalist policy of Roosevelt in the changed conditions after the close of the war;

d) the CP slogan of "resurrect the Roosevelt program" was liquidationist; it was

"merely the continuation of the dissolution of the CPUSA as the revolutionary political party of the working class under the guise of 'reconstitution' and: 'unity' and 'puts the CP in the camp of liberal imperialism'".

e) the third party scheme is liquidationist through and through: "a reformist capitalist set-up that liquidates the independent program of the CP -- and has nothing to do with socialism."

It seems fairly clear that Dunne's criticism of the Democratic Party is the strongest aspect of his arguments. Still, these are views of a pretty basic nature.

This concludes the comparison of Dunne and George's views to those of Foster and Dennis on the points highlighted in the May 1, 1984 Workers' Advocate article.

Other issues

On a number of other points there are some nice touches in the literature studied. For example Dunne selects some excellent quotations from Marx, Engels and Lenin that hit on various controversies quite well: among other things, Marx on the opportunists taking refuge in eclecticism; Engels on the necessity for using scientific language; and Marx on the brilliant tactics of eliminating the "red bogey" and on postponing the goal of socialism for future order to "win over the bourgeoisie". But these are side roads.

Overall the analysis of the anti-revisionists cuts much deeper than that of Foster and Dennis. It does have weaknesses; its basic problem is not left sectarianism but the carryovers from the 7th Congress period of the CI.

The problem of setting forth revolutionary tactics

It should be stressed that the strengths of the anti-revisionists, particularly the decent criticism of Roosevelt and the Democrats, are by no means sufficient for elaborating and maintaining a consistent Marxist-Leninist line for reconstructing a communist party. For example, there are examples today of opportunists who are capable of revolutionary phrasemongering, and of basically correct criticisms of the Democrats, but who still find it easy to rationalize abject, reformist tactics. Various groups in the 'left'-sounding wing of the trotskyists, among others, come immediately to mind.

The question of the tactics for revolutionary work among the masses also appears to be a stumbling block with Dunne and George. I am running out of time, so my remarks on this will be briefer.

The mass struggle

Neither Dunne nor George can deal much with the particular fronts of the mass struggle and the damage to them caused by the CP's submersion in the FDR liberal-labor coalition. There is one section where Dunne ridicules the line of the C.P. in 1946 to solve every problem by writing your Congressman and by voting Democratic. And Dunne is particularly angry that, on the electoral front, the CP did not run their own candidates in the 1946 New York State Governor's and Senator's races, and instead supported the pro-Truman candidates. But generally the consideration of the damage by liberal-laborism is kept on a general plane.

On the stand towards opportunism

This is connected to their stand on social-democracy and the trade union bureaucrats. While they criticize them in many places, they give the distinct impression that they regard them as fighters against the bourgeoisie when it comes to reforms. It seems as if they are regarded as OK in the immediate struggles, with the problem being that they are not for socialism and that they are going over to overt anti-communist measures, and it is mainly on these issues that they have to be fought. This still put the anti-revisionists to the left of the CPUSA's stand on the trade union hacks and the opportunists, but it is not sufficient to deal with the tactics in the mass struggle.


Therefore, the anti-revisionists focused their attack on Foster and Dennis for not standing up for socialism; not standing up to the reformists anti-communist attacks; and for "bowing to spontaneity". Both George, and another "left-sectarian" expelled from the CP at the same time, Burt Sutta, quote extensively from. Lenin's What Is to Be Done? to show the origins of opportunism in just submerging the Party in the immediate-struggles.

This was good as far as it went. But the main concern seemed to be confined to the fact that Foster opposed socialist agitation and providing a socialist perspective to the mass movements. Dunne and George seemed to overlook the fact that the CP pushed a wrong line in all the Party's political agitation; a reformist line in the mass struggles themselves.

Listen to Dunne:

"The main, immediate and central to win our class...for a socialist program... for the abolition of the capitalist-imperialist system... without socialism as the goal, we will lose."

"We must unite our class, not only for militant struggle for living standards and against 'the daily encroachments' of the capitalist class and its government...but to unite it for victorious struggle for a socialist system of production in the U.S." (emphasis added)

There was an important point to the raising the issue of socialist agitation. After all, Browder banished all talk of socialism, while Foster claimed socialism was not an immediate issue and as little should be said about it as possible. But in this and other passages, Dunne seems to be saying that the CP fights well in the immediate struggles, even though, as he points out, it is an appendage to the Democratic Party and completely submerged in the liberal-labor swamp. And it doesn't seem like adding on phrases about making socialist agitation "the main, immediate and central task" clarify the issue.

In light of the fact that I couldn't find much criticism of the abject pacifism of the CP, that there is little said about the CP's no-strike pledge during the war, and so forth, it seems that Dunne and George are in the dark about what constitutes an independent proletarian position in the mass struggles.

This is also consistent with their support for the 7th Congress of the CI. One of the key features of Dimitrov's "new tactical orientation" was to regard the opportunists as good fighters in the immediate struggles, but only lacking in the long term goal of socialism and revolution (although for Dimitrov this is a very, very long term goal, while Dunne and company put socialist agitation to the fore).

So the anti-revisionists' view of "winning the masses for socialism" and not "bowing to spontaneity" seems to be limited to the task of doing socialist agitation, agitation against bourgeois democracy, providing a socialist perspective to strengthen the mass movements, and so forth. This is vital and necessary work, and it was slighted by the CP. But all of this was to be grafted, onto the existing line on work in the immediate struggles, with relatively little criticism of it, and yet this existing line was a reformist line.

United front tactics

This may be clearer when we look at their conception of the united front.

They denounce the CP leaders for departing from the Leninist united front tactics. But what they are doing is denouncing the policy of lining up behind Roosevelt. They do not present the united front and "winning the masses for socialism" as the process of winning the masses to the revolutionary class struggle, against the opposition of the opportunist misleaders.

Their conception of "winning the masses for socialism" is limited to agitation for the socialist goal. Their conception of the united front however remains joining opportunist coalitions. This is the end-all and be-all, not winning the masses away from the tame, reformist line of the opportunists and to the militant leadership of the Communist Party.

Their conception of the unprincipled pursuit of the united front of the CP leaders includes

(a) hiding the face of the Party, masquerading (and acting) as, for example, just the best trade unionists;

(b) giving up "freedom of criticism", which is elaborated as the right to do socialist agitation.

This criticism of the CP is correct, as far as it goes. But Dunne argues that they could get into coalitions easier if they did not hide the Party's communism, because this opens the door to redbaiting; if they had a year-long campaign to win a million workers to the program of a socialist way out, they would have so much strength that the coalition leaders could not keep the CP out. Their argument against giving up the "freedom to criticize" the opportunists is not that these opportunists play the role of undermining the mass struggles.

Quite clearly, Dunne is mired in the Dimitrov view that the united front is equivalent to CP agreements and coalitions with the social-democrats and trade union hacks. They give a militant line on how to get into coalitions ("win over a million workers for socialism"), unlike Dimitrov's line of "sacrifice everything, at all costs, sell off the Marxist-Leninist line". But this is still not the Leninist conception of united front tactics.

And there are other problems with their views on a series of other issues.

In sum, they were fighting revisionism. But they have numerous mistakes or weaknesses, and these concern vital issues of revolutionary tactics. Moreover, these mistakes are often directly connected to the profoundly mistaken, anti-Leninist views of the 7th CI Congress.

The anti-revisionists on the 7th C.I. Congress

Dunne and George tried to defeat the revisionism of Browder and Dennis by showing that it is a distortion and perversion of the line from Dimitrov and the 7th Congress of the CI. They both make big use of the more left-sounding statements that were used at the 7th Congress to disguise the essence of the line. It is typical that Dunne praises the Popular Front program at one point, while stating that the "opportunist distortion and perversion" of it by Dennis and company "Is the most recent theoretical foundation for 'notorious revisionism' [referring to how Duclos characterized Browderism] and its further perversion on the basis of false analysis of class forces and the historical development of fascism."

They also argue that the 7th Congress line is right for certain situations, but the conditions have changed. George, as we have seen, supported the slogan of national unity during World War II, but denounced it for the post-war situation. Dunne seems to argue that the Popular Front program and shelving the issue of socialism for the defense of bourgeois democracy is right at certain times, because fascism was the key threat. He then argues that there wasn't a clear fascist threat in the U.S. in the immediate post-war period, and thus the shelving of socialism doesn't apply. He lashes out at a 1946 article in the CPUSA's journal Political Affairs that states that "we are still in the historic period of the struggle against fascism."

He strikes out at this from many angles, for page after page, and not without merit. At the same time, he needed this in order to criticize the CPUSA line without disloyalty to the 7th Congress.

Dunne strongly criticizes Browder for numerous things that follow directly from Dimitrov's speeches:

(a) handing over, the CP's red trade unions to John L. Lewis and the CIO without getting a single guarantee in return;

(b) liquidating the CP's party groups in the trade unions; and

(c) the whole policy of hitching the CP to Roosevelt, about which Dimitrov strongly hinted.

And perhaps other things. But he never says that any of these things follow from the 7th Congress. And, in any case, it is clear that Dunne shares many of the wrong stands of Dimitrov.

The fate of these anti-revisionists

Well, what was the fate of the anti-revisionists?

Oblivion, it appears. They seemed to just disappear.

Why? There are a number of possible factors:

1) The CPUSA had been quite corrupted after over 10 years of Dimitrovism and Browderism. As well, many militant elements had drifted away. And the new members who had joined in this period had little knowledge of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. The Party had become thoroughly trained and immersed in opportunist methods. The link to the revolutionary methods of one time had been broken.

2) In 1947, the bourgeoisie began a frenzy of repression against the CP.

3) The clearest voices of protest against liberal-laborism were weak theoretically, and especially, could not see through the line of the 7th Congress. They had particular difficulties in not just criticizing the general political errors of the past, but in putting forward a line of revolutionary tactics. They were also divided among themselves, (to addition, they were getting on in years, and Harrison George had severe heart problems.)

4) Both Dunne and George were holding out hope in the leaders of the world communist movement supporting their views. For example, referring to factors which may hasten the rectification of the CPUSA, George states:

"Economic crisis, war, and--not the least--the inevitable clarifying function of the international Communist Bureau established recently at Belgrade, can be among these objective factors." (Ch. 9, p. 121)

Dunne's and George's books were both published in 1947. (George's book was originally written for a pre-convention discussion scheduled for July 1947, but postponed for one year by the CPUSA.) The first meeting of the Communist Information Bureau took place in November 1947 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. But the leaders of the world movement were dead-set on promoting the profoundly rightist line of the post-World War II period. The anti-revisionists around the CPUSA were fated to be struck a heavy blow by this world line. In the CPUSA, the leaders of the world movement only wanted enough discussion to eliminate Browder's extreme liquidationism.

Thus, the weight of the official world movement came down on top of the anti-revisionists. It could only reinforce the Foster-Dennis leadership against them. And the CPUSA leadership was cursing the anti-revisionists as "left-sectarians", "semi-trotskyites", "anarcho-syndicalists" and other such balderdash.

In conclusion, the main lesson is that you can't kill revisionism with popguns manufactured by Dimitrov. Only revolutionary Marxism-Leninism provides the artillery to smash the revisionist edifice to smithereens. Defense of revolutionary Marxist-Leninism, upholding the classic teachings of Marxism-Leninism, evaluating the history of the revolutionary movement and absorbing the valuable lessons it teaches, this is the line of the MLP,USA. I know various "esteemed Marxist leaders" around the world are upset because we, and others, are implementing this line. But their difficulties have only just begun. The rejuvenation of world Marxism-Leninism is not necessarily a distant prospect. <>

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