Wednesday
Jul312013

Letters of August 14

Anti-Racist Protesters Salute PL Politics
At a PLP demonstration in Brooklyn protesting the racist murder and verdict in the Trayvon Martin killing, militant speakers, in English and Creole, related it to the role racism plays in capitalism and the need to get rid of the whole system. As I stood across the street, passersby stopped to listen and grabbed CHALLENGES and our leaflets. Everyone seemed enthusiastic to hear the anger in workers who spoke and eager to discuss our point of view. Especially moving was the talk by the sister of Shantel Davis, one of the victims of police murders in Brooklyn.
Some friends in a local church told me about another demonstration in Harlem which I went to that evening. There were only a couple of hundred people there, and the organizers were stridently black nationalist. Two of them threatened me for being white and then, when they saw my leaflet, for being red. They even said from the microphone that no one should take any PLP leaflets.
Nonetheless, we ran out of the 500 leaflets and 100 CHALLENGES we had, taken by many demonstrators and passersby. Many people agreed that an alliance of black and white workers and students was needed to fight racism. A new comrade from the church and a high school student brought by a PL teacher received a good lesson in the dangers of nationalism.
Some attendees were shocked by the small size of the demonstration. This may reflect the very bad politics of those who organized it. But it also reflects the general lack of mass struggle in Harlem, despite the high poverty rate, unemployment and rapid gentrification. This represents the successful efforts for many years of politicians and various community misleaders to squelch any struggle there, in an area where mass outrage and fightback were once the order of the day. In the 1960s, when a black teenager was shot by a racist cop in Harlem, a rebellion erupted in which PL was very active and which sparked uprisings nationwide. We must continue our involvement there and help light that spark again under revolutionary leadership.
Anti-Racist

CHALLENGE Serves the Working Class
Greetings, and my sincerest thank you for the collective work in publishing CHALLENGE! The service for our working class is wonderful. And I fully support the writing style of the collective in aggressively educating and telling the truth. Even so many of our revolutionaries are so timid and reserved in their language choice and structure, so as not to piss off the ruling class or their petit-bourgeois minions too much. In reality it can mean the difference not just between jail or freedom but life or death, here in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Your cold, hard truth-telling and open calls for our class to organize revolution are more refreshing than a cold drink in the summer in Imperial-occupied Central America! (Insert any country here.)
Enclosed is a solidarity check for $100 for a one-year subscription for my comrade/spouse in the U.S. I was fortunate enough to get a copy while attending the Left Forum 2013 in Manhattan. Thanks for keeping us informed and educated (and pulling the tail of the tiger). I look forward to my first subscription copy of CHALLENGE.
Retired Union Firefighter

Cultural Revolution Article Hit the Mark

I was glad to read the article on the Cultural Revolution earlier this month after returning from a trip to China. Like most Western visitors there, I spent my time in the cities, amazed at the size and speed of construction, the world-class accommodations and the remarkable new subway systems. I got to know some Chinese professionals and we talked about how the country is changing. The CHALLENGE article referred to a book by Dongping Han which turns out to be easy to find on Amazon.com. That book put my first impressions into perspective.
Today over half of China’s population is classified as urban, which, on the surface, sounds like capitalism is making everybody middle class. The reality, as Han points out in his book, The Unknown Cultural Revolution, as well as in an excellent talk he gave (available on C-Span video www.c-spanvideo.org/program/290017-1) is more complicated. The huge economic growth of China since the restoration of capitalism over 30 years ago probably would never have been possible without the mass increase in education for the non-urban people that happened because of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). The restoration of private ownership of farms and factories since the 1970s has allowed some people to become very rich while others are much poorer. Post-Cultural Revolution capitalist policies permit discrimination in hiring based on ethnicity, and Han describes in his C-Span talk how racism has come back to parts of China where multi-ethnic harmony existed under socialism. Pensions and free health care in the villages, funded by the people’s communes, disappeared when the farms were privatized. Now former “barefoot doctors” have turned into medical entrepreneurs and make profits by performing ultrasounds for sex determination and aborting female fetuses. Poor rural workers take this desperate action because they have no old-age support except for a male child.
Western visitors to China also don’t see the tiny cubicles that workers live in, crammed into run-down parts of the huge cities. A typical Chinese family’s experience is portrayed in the documentary The Last Train Home (available on Netflix), a documentary showing how a mother and father toil in a sweatshop in a large industrialized city but must leave their son and daughter back in their home village in another province. Only once a year can they afford to make the thousand-mile train ride home to see the children, who live with their grandmother. If the children went to the city with their mother and father they would not be allowed to attend school since the family’s official residence is tied to their home village. That’s why every year at the time of the Spring Festival, the only long vacation of the year, 135 million Chinese workers travel home. In Shanghai, about half of the 23 million people living there have their official residence somewhere else. These exploited workers and the children deprived of parents are another piece of the Chinese “economic miracle.”
Red Traveler

Communist School: Inspiration to Turn Up Class War
Coming to events like a PLP communist school always invigorates me to reengage in the class struggle in a better way. We deepened our understanding of the philosophy of the working class: dialectical materialism. When we analyze our struggle by using dialectics, we can make better decisions on our tactics in the development for revolution.
With comrades like the ones I met, we will most definitely win! The determination, wisdom, enthusiasm and collectivity of this new young leadership were amazing to see. We discussed the fight against sexism and racism, building communist culture, how to make revolution primary in the class struggle and even communism in space! The future is ours, comrades!
A communist
*****
I returned from PLP International communist school inspired and much more knowledgeable. What gave the event its essential power was the participation of many young people, who provided general leadership and also led all the workshops.
It was very impressive to see our young people’s level of preparation on dialectical materialism and the different aspects of the struggle for communism, which was also evident in talking to them.
This communist school has been the best I’ve participated in, because of the level of organization, discussions, and depth of the workshop topics. I learned new concepts and struggles of other comrades in the Party. I left convinced that the fight for a communist revolution is a long-term struggle. If we put in all our passion and energy, we’ll be contributing in this process to unite the whole international working class — to achieve the goal of destroying capitalism and build a new society led by one party, our Progressive Labor Party.  
Inspired comrade from Mexico
*****
I feel like I have a much better understanding of dialectical materialism. I’ve read Jailbreak (a PLP phamplet) several times so I’ve known the three laws of dialectical materialism. Over the past few days, I’ve learned some of the finer points to the three laws. Hearing examples of the different laws and actually constructing examples helped me as well.
I hope to actually embrace dialectical materialism and use it to solve the problems in my life. I have a better understanding of what sexism is and why woman are especially targeted. I’ve also come to understand why racism is the key contradiction holding the working class back from uniting and fighting for communism. I almost didn’t come to the communist school, but I’m glad I did!
Red College Student
*****
The Party is always fighting to develop new young black, Latino, and women leadership. As a twenty-year old, I always thought the Party was referring to people like me. Now I realize, that the adult teachers who recruited me are considered young leadership too.
Having a founding member of PLP speak about our history really put our struggle into perspective. I always thought the Party was huge back in the 1960s — we took 59 people to Cuba illegally during the ban; turned the vigilant anti-red trials at the courts into a mass protest against capitalism; shipped arms and food while giving leadership to the striking miners in Hazard, Kentucky; were active in supporting the Harlem rebellion when every other group advocated “peace”; we began the anti-Vietnam War movement; we had the guts to correctly criticize nationalist leadership in Vietnam and in China.
Turns out the Party was much smaller — but we were sharp as a sword and a threat to the bosses. Today, PLP is international and organizing in over 25 countries. We’ve come so far because we toughened up, dared to struggle — dared to make communist revolution primary in every breath we took. PLP was sharply anti-racist since birth! That gives me great confidence in our Party, in our movement, and in our ability to create and maintain communism.
This lesson came out when we had our open mic night — we used communist culture as a weapon against the bosses. Literature, music, dance is important in grounding our commitment to revolution — but I think the indestructible weapon is our unity. It’s the relationship we build with our comrades that will survive through the tear gas, bullets, and drones. There is no stronger danger to the bosses than our commitment to communism and to our comrades.
That’s what we built at this communist school and I look forward to a lifetime of revolution, building stronger relationships with my comrades, and serving the working class. This communist school was awesome and I can’t wait to get back to my local area and turn up the class war!
Motivated Fighter  
******
The communist school has definitely intensified my passion for communist revolution. Trying to understand dialectical materialism has been a frustrating endeavor, but its applications have been extremely helpful. The communist revolution has taken light into my life. I believe that racism and capitalism are interdependent.
The life on campus was amazing. I finally can eat good food as well as go to sleep whenever I feel like. The needs that I sought out were definitely met. I love the communist experience!
Enthusiast
*****
The PLP conducted a four-day communist school for its emerging red leadership. After extensive discussion, the participants reaffirmed the Party line that the main obstacle that continues to hold back the development of class-consciousness in the working class is racism.
Several participants spoke about their involvement in the fight against police murders and brutality in NYC. The Party gave leadership to hundreds of people in the battles. Their fights can grow into massive anti-racist fights, opening the door for communist revolution.
DC Red
*****
This week at the communist school has been the best one yet. The workshops on dialectical materialism were really, really helpful and exciting! I love figuring stuff out. What drew me to communism first was the theory of historical materialism. (I was a history nerd). Now dialectical materialism has given me the method to figure out the whole world.
Besides the theoretical work we did, it was really fun seeing comrades, old and new, from around the world. We also played loads of soccer, which built up the camaraderie among us. I could only hope that every week could be like this. Until next time!
Fun Red
*****
The future of the Party is in good hands. For five days, communists met to improve their understanding of dialectical materialism, which is the working class’s philosophical weapon to destroy capitalism with communist revolution. From what I saw, our future is bright!
Inspired
*****
The only solution is communist revolution. We met to analyze and develop our work in the class struggle to defeat capitalism and build for communist revolution.
We applied the dialectical laws — contradiction, quantity into quality, and the negation of the negation — to the process of what we are doing in school, on the job, and in the streets of our communities. Confronting racist police murders in New York and Anaheim, organizing to stop hospital closings in Brooklyn, and fighting back against the destruction of public education in the U.S. are the realities of our lives. It also provides us with the material we need to win our friends and fellow workers to join Progressive Labor Party.
If we apply what we learned from this experience to what we are doing, where we live and work, we will succeed in the goals of the school — to move the working class closer to taking power!!
Veteran Comrade

Thursday
Jul182013

Letters of July 31

Oaxaca Teachers Fight Racism Reforms
The work of PLP in Oaxaca, Mexico has been consistent in each of the teachers’ struggles. Now more teachers are asking for copies of CHALLENGE to read about what comrades are doing internationally.
At the State Teachers’ Assembly on July 2 the teachers in the Oaxaca Education Workers Coordinating group agreed to increase the protests in the Federal District.
The main purpose of these demonstrations is to reject structural reforms, such as the Educational Reform, which is now a law in Oaxaca. This law allows the implementation of exams for teachers at all levels, as a requirement to compete for a job or to keep their current positions. This struggle, faced by teachers in Oaxaca and in Mexico as a whole, is similar to those taking place in Chile, Quebec and Spain, where workers are confronting the capitalist system.
The Oaxaca teachers’ declare this is not an educational reform but rather an administrative and labor reform. Teachers and students agree that the sole purpose of the ruling class is to push racism and sexism, which is standard practice in this ruling class system.
PLP is increasing efforts in Oaxaca to move workers to better understand the principles of communism, to more comrades closer to the Party and to develop through communist schools. We hope that through class struggle, the working class will speak with one voice: communism.
Education Reds

Crime Does Pay If You’re A Killer Cop
Five years ago in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, an under-cover cop committed cold-blooded murder. The name of the cop who murdered Shem Walker, an Army veteran, was never known. The cop was under cover, sitting on a tenement stoop, next door to a grocery. Shem’s mother was an amputee. He would faithfully drive down from Connecticut every Saturday to make sure drug dealers weren’t dealing drugs on his mother’s stoop.
On that fateful Saturday night, Shem thought that the young man on his stoop was a drug dealer. He asked the under-cover cop to move off his mother’s stoop. After the third time asking the under-cover cop to move, and seeing he wouldn’t, Mr. Walker took it upon himself, to remove the drug dealer. The cop never showed his shield, but fired at point-blank range into the chest of Mr. Walker, killing him instantly. The killer cop was never brought to justice. We’ll never know who this cop was.
Crime does pay, if you’re a killer cop under Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s watch.
Anti-police

Thursday
Jul042013

Letters of July 17

Army Brass Lets War Criminal Off the Hook
The U.S. Army brass is helping Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who confessed to murdering 16 Afghan civilians in the middle of the night, escape the death penalty by delaying his trial endlessly. They are allowing him to plead guilty and providing him with a top defense team that will whine that he’s not really responsible because  of post-traumatic stress resulting from his fourth combat deployment.
Compare that with their treatment of another soldier, Bradley Manning, whose crime was exposing the Army’s war crimes instead of carrying them out. Manning, whose trial just got under way after three years in prison, mostly in solitary, faces life imprisonment.
The Army delayed Bales’ trial as long as possible. He’s being tried by a U.S. army court, so Afghan citizens will have no say in his punishment. Relatives of the victims, such as Mohammed Wazir, who had 11 family members killed, including his mother and two-year-old daughter, are vowing revenge. Wazir’s reaction is representative of other victims’ feelings. He told reporters, “For this one thing, we would kill 100 American soldiers (HuffPost World, May 31).”
Bales’ top civilian lawyer, John Henry Browne, who is leading the “it’s-not-his-fault” defense said he was disappointed the case has not done more to focus public opinion on the war. We have to conclude that public opinion has not been aroused because of the relentless U.S. ruling-class propaganda pushing imperialist war and maintaining a giant military arsenal that threatens workers everywhere. The Bales case is one more example of the trend toward full-blown fascism in the U.S. Other war crimes continue to be committed in Afghanistan, with very little publicity given to them.
The military is not the only place where the bosses’ armed forces commit crimes against working-class civilians, of course. Here in the U.S., working-class youth face intimidation and attacks by cops, stop-and-frisk, and murders by police, who get off scot free — without even being charged with a crime. Bales is another murderous thug for imperialism, just like the police murderers of Shantel Davis, Ramarley Graham, Kiki Gray and a line of others stretching into the past. We need more than to put them on trial; we need to overthrow the bosses who employ them and build a communist society.
Anti-imperialist

Nationalism is Workers’ Enemy
The many letters in CHALLENGE (6/5/13) about the black nationalism debate shows that our comrades are engaging politically with other students and friends, which is a good trend. While it is important to participate and listen at these events, it is vital to workers that our Party’s political line on nationalism as the workers’ enemy be presented, even if it’s unpopular. Capitalist dictatorship supports, and it supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism and nationalism, among others. Nationalism is the capitalists’ main weapon to divide workers and get them to kill each other in their profit wars.
One letter said many young people were receptive to CHALLENGE, which contains articles about nationalism. In the same edition as the letters, an article described how the nationalists restored Apartheid after it had been defeated by the boycotts and massive resistance by the international working class. There are many ways to engage our friends in discussion about this ruling-class ideology which is responsible for the war deaths of hundreds of millions of workers, and the defeat of working-class movements through installment of national capitalists as “our” leaders. Our Party has the opportunities – now we must take them.
A comrade

Turkey: Workers Are Battling Cops’ Brutality
We are back in Istanbul. As you may know the police brutality in Turkey has reached another level. Many demonstrators have lost their eyes. So far there are five deaths. The police officer that shot and killed a demonstrator was not charged. The incident was recorded and played on TV many times. I am pleasantly surprised with the public mood in Turkey. People are not afraid of the police brutality and they organize and continue fighting back.
A friend

Supreme Court Continues to Enforce Racism
In our PLP club meeting we discussed the recent Supreme Court rulings that struck down the heart of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and legalized equality for gay marriages. These two rulings are in stark contrast to each other. Are things getting better or worse?
Everyone felt the ruling on marriage equality will benefit many gay workers, making it possible for gay couples to share the same benefits that straight couples do. And we discussed that, as a Party, we fight for egalitarianism and a world where all the fruits of society are distributed based on need. These rulings clearly show how the ruling class tries to divide the working class through identity politics which we oppose. Identity poltics emphasize all class unity with the bosses based on race and sex characateristics instead of working-class unity against the rulers.
Since the ruling class dubbed Gay Rights, “the new civil rights,” two decades of advances on that front have been accompanied by racist budget cuts and increased police terror to force black and Latino youth into accepting a future of poverty and war.  By every measurable category, racism in the U.S., especially against black people, is worse than before the 1963 March on Washington, 50 years ago. The back-to-back rulings which threaten to disenfranchise millions of black voters while establishing marriage equality, epitomize this trend.
Anti-racist


Tuesday
Jun182013

Letters of July 3

Immigration Court: Naked Fascism
Outrage and impotence — that’s what my friends and I felt when we went to an immigration court to the hearing of Shyanne, a restaurant worker detained by the police after she withheld the cell phone of a client who refused to pay his bill, and gave the phone to her supervisor. The boss called the police, which arrested the undocumented worker, without allowing her to explain the situation or defend herself. She was taken to jail and after a hearing at a criminal court, Shyanne was sent to an immigration detention center. This situation demonstrates yet again the racist and sexist nature of capitalism in this chain of the cops, courts, and immigration.
When I saw Shyanne at the hearing before the immigration judge, I felt the deepest hatred and anger; this oppressive and racist system criminalizes a humble worker, mother of three children, whose only “crime” was to cross the border looking for work to support her children and her family. She was brought in wearing an orange uniform, handcuffed and chained as a dangerous criminal, and the only thing she could do was to cry because she wasn’t allowed to say or do anything.
Later, she was allowed to talk to her lawyer, whose only contribution to the case has been to pocket the $4,000 her family managed to put together with great difficulty. The lawyer took the money knowing full well that Shyanne couldn’t be bailed out due to her previous deportation order.
There are also community organizations whose “leaders,” because of fear of losing the money they pocket, refuse to help, arguing that member didn’t participate in their activities. Shyanne was in fact a member and was studying English in the mornings. Thanks to her teacher’s solidarity and that of a few militant members, she received support and her case will be handled by the community organization’s lawyer. 
During the visiting hour, we talked to her through a glass partition. We were inside a small enclosure while she was on the other side, as we tried to somehow give her hope. But seeing her crying because of her inability to see her children, jailed like the worst criminal, we couldn’t help ourselves and cried with her. The racist nature of this rotten capitalist system only knows how to inflict suffering on workers, who because of the color of their skin or place of origin are criminalized.
The slogan, “Workers’ struggles have no borders” and “We are not immigrants, we are workers” will become a reality when the international working class unites to fight against this system through a communist revolution. Workers like this sister won’t be treated like criminals because they don’t have a piece of paper legitimizing their existence.
That’s why, brother and sister workers, we must unite to fight to destroy capitalism, not with reforms but with fighting for communism.
Another Red

Church Group Unites with Workers in Haiti
About two years ago I joined a church’s peace and justice group whose goal is to fight racism and poverty. The group has been involved in several community events like the Race Against Hate (5K/10K run or walk) and the YWCA’s Racism Hurts Everyone events.
In the Fall, a group from a nearby church came to talk to us about racism and poverty in Haiti. A couple of Haitian organizers were at the meeting and it was decided that the church would organize a lunch after the service and donate proceeds to a Haitian cholera relief fund being organized by a local Haitian group. Over 80 people ate a lunch of pumpkin soup, corn bread, rice and beans. People from the church were generous, many times donating and not eating lunch. A spirit of cooperation and generosity was everywhere.
A Haitian Task Force was formed and the first meeting’s opening words were: “Haiti was founded by a revolution in 1804 and became the first black republic. It was the first country to break the chains of slavery, the first to force Emperor Napoleon to retreat, and the only one to aid Simon Bolivar in his struggle to liberate the indigenous people and slaves of Latin America from the colonial oppressor. Tragically, the history of liberty and self-determination has drawn two centuries of political and economic ire from powerful countries resulting in the impoverishment of the people of Haiti.”
We discussed Hurricane Sandy, the cholera epidemic and the role of the UN and MINUSTAH; Haiti’s history and the role Haiti has been assigned in the world by U.S. imperialism. We advocated the need to bring awareness about its racism and inequalities and that we must stand with the working class of Haiti, a working class whose spirit will never be broken. We called for working in solidarity (not charity) towards a future that the working class in Haiti and workers worldwide deserve.
As Party members, this is an opportunity to build ties with those who are angry and upset about the poverty suffered by our class brothers and sisters. With these ties, we must advance the conversation to whether the ills of Haiti can be solved by capitalist reform, a discussion which can lead to the alternative, an egalitarian society based on the needs of the working class.
We must raise revolutionary communism and the Progressive Labor Party as the alternative that will liberate the people in Haiti, a revolution led by workers from Haiti, Bangladesh, Pakistan, El Salvador, Los Angeles, Chicago and so on. This is our future, the red star that burns bright for the workers of Haiti.
A Comrade

The Rosenbergs: Working-Class Heroes
Sixty years ago, on June 19, 1953, the U.S. government murdered Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The Rosenbergs, who were members of the Communist Party, were accused of passing “atomic bomb information” to the then-socialist Soviet Union. The “Rosenberg Case” was an important part of building anti-communism in the U.S. after World War II.
During the war, U.S. bosses had been forced to give some support to the Soviet Union, which did the lion’s share of the struggle to defeat Hitler. Now it was time for the bosses to turn the working class against them again, and try to make U.S. workers support the Cold War. They created the Rosenberg case as a dramatic event to help persuade the majority of people that the Soviet Union was an enemy. The accusations were meant as one way to “galvanize the nation” by whipping up a frenzy of anti-Soviet feeling. It came during the same era in which the bosses passed laws and whipped up hysteria to drive communists out of union leadership and out of schools.
The idea behind the charges was that the Soviets were “too stupid” to develop nuclear weapons by themselves; they had to “steal” the know-how from the U.S. through connections with wartime research. Well, it’s obvious that even if some “secrets” were passed, the Soviet Union wasn’t “too stupid” for technology: four years after the Rosenbergs were executed, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite into space, and in 1961, sent Cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin on the first manned orbit of the earth in a space capsule.
It is extremely unlikely that the Rosenbergs stole anything of scientific value regarding how to build a nuclear weapon, which is very complex, nothing like following directions in a school science experiment! But if the Rosenbergs were able to do something to assist the Soviet Union, they would have done it based on their loyalty to the working class. As communists, they were well aware of the vicious, anti-working-class nature of the U.S. government — which had recently dropped TWO atomic bombs on Japan  — killing 250,000 civilians — as a clear warning to the Soviet Union that it could be next.
The government hoped the Rosenbergs would plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. That would have given the bosses a bigger propaganda blast if they had admitted guilt. But the Rosenbergs refused to say that they were guilty of anything! The case helped the bosses scare many people away from revolutionary activity, but it also angered many others, and helped turn them into lifelong fighters for a communist revolution. For their courageous stand against the entire U.S. ruling class, the Rosenbergs deserve our admiration, just as we commemorate the original May Day martyrs in Chicago.
A Comrade Who Remembers

Unintentional Sexism and Racism
In the June 5 issue of CHALLENGE, letters sent in by Red Rabbi and Red Preacher, while correctly pointing out that white workers are not the cause of racism, unintentionally and carelessly contained both sexist and racist aspects that we must avoid.
In the second paragraph, where the letter listed four fake leftists, it named three of them — Dohrn, Ayers, and Mahdibuti. But then described the fourth merely as “his (Mahdibuti’s) wife” rather than giving her name. It is sexist to describe a woman in terms of whom she is married to and unwittingly (in this case) reduces her to second-class “citizenship.” It would have been no better to give her name and then describe him as “her husband.” However, that’s a mistake many would fall into, given the sexist nature of U.S. capitalist culture. Such ideas divide the working class every bit as much as the false ideas that white workers are responsible for racism. Therefore, such ideas must be defeated in order to unite the entire working class of the world under one party for worldwide revolution.
In the third paragraph a reference to Obama described him as “an African-American [who is] ‘emperor’ of the U.S. Empire.” Any time a person who has one white parent and one black parent is described as “African-American” rather than as half white and half black, it reflects the one-drop attitude of U.S. southern slavery, in which if any ancestor was African (referred to inaccurately as having one drop of “black blood”) the person was regarded as all black and therefore eligible to be enslaved.
These secondary defects were not the main focus of the otherwise excellent letter, which was that racism is a necessary product of capitalism, without which capitalism could not exist.  Nevertheless we must be aware at all times that we can repeat poisonous capitalist ideas without meaning to do so. (I won’t comment here on the contradiction between “Red” and the religious clerical designations in the signatures of the letter writers, as that topic has been well handled at much greater length in articles in the PLP magazine, THE COMMUNIST.)
Saguaro Rojo



Thursday
Jun062013

Letters of June 19

‘Workers are the real movers of society…’
Under today’s economic system of capitalism, there are billions of wage workers who only have themselves (and their labor power) to sell for money because the bosses control the global resources. Workers come in all colors, genders, and languages. Bosses try to use these to keep us divided so we don’t see who our real enemy is — the bosses themselves. Workers are the real movers of society — we grow the food, drive the buses, maintain the power plants, make the automobiles, computers, and educate our children. 
A revolutionary worker knows she/he is (super)exploited and fights to liberate their class. When workers try to alter their destiny, this is called “agency.” Karl Marx one of the founders of our movement said, “proletarians must be a class for itself.” For as dialectical and historical materialism, the scientific outlook of communists, says that just as the universe realizes itself, its conscience, through humans who are the highest forms of matter, proletarians must realize that it must act to fulfill its historical role as liberators of our class.
With communist revolution and the development of a communist society, we will abolish wage slavery, money, racism, sexism, nationalism, and imperialism. Only then can we be free.  All this can be possible with working-class armed struggle through the leadership of PLP. The bosses will never voluntarily leave the stage of world history.
PLP is the best weapon for communism. From John Brown, Harriet Tubman, to Lenin, and Stalin, we must learn from what was best for our class and discard what was bad. Join us on the road to communist revolution! Join PLP!
Minnesota Red

Imperialist Exploiters Suck Resources Out of Tanzania
New discoveries of natural resources in several African countries — including Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, and Mozambique — raise an important question: Will these windfalls bring prosperity and hope or be a political and economic curse?
On average, resource-rich countries have done even more poorly than countries without resources. They have grown more slowly and with greater inequality. Volatile resource prices cause growth to be unstable. International banks rush in when commodity prices are high and rush out in the downturns. 
Moreover, resource-rich countries often do not pursue sustainable growth strategies. They fail to recognize that if they do not reinvest their resource wealth into productive investments above ground, they are actually becoming poorer. Political dysfunction exacerbates the problem, as conflict over access to resource rents gives rise to corrupt governments. The Ogoniland delta region makes Nigeria the ninth-leading oil producer, but it’s the poorest area in that country.
Recently, residents in Mtwara, Tanzania, have demonstrated for Mnazi Bay and Msimbati gas to be utilized in economic projects within their region. Gas at Mnazi Bay was first discovered in 1982 by an Italian petroleum company that drilled a well in shallow waters. The well was abandoned due to lack of local demand and a national economic crisis. Later Artumas (eventually renamed Wentworth Resources), a petroleum company based in Canada, entered the area to appraise the hydrocarbon resources. They also discovered a previously unknown gas field at Msimbati. In 2008, the gas reserves in Mnazi Bay were estimated at 2.2 trillion cubic feet..
Meanwhile, China has just loaned Tanzania the $1.3 billion it needs to construct the 524km gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam. The biggest investment by the Chinese will be in Bagamoyo, where they would spend $11 billion to construct the biggest port in East Africa. The Chinese would manage the port for 50 years to recover the monies.
The old colonial powers regarded Africa simply as a place from which to extract resources. Some of the new purchasers have a similar attitude. Infrastructure (roads, railroads, ports) has been built with one goal in mind: getting resources out of the country at as low a price as possible, with no effort to process the resources or develop local industries within the country.
The discord between the bureaucratic bourgeoisie who constitute the state-capital nexus and the dispossessed is the root cause of the street rage in Mtwara and elsewhere. The dispossessed in Mtwara now count themselves out of the gas bonanza.
A friend

Red Youth Learns Roots of Racism
As part of preparation to start a campaign against racism in our community, we recently met in a study group to discuss its roots. This is a summary of what I learned:
Materialism— Historical Materialism is the application of Dialectical Materialism to the study of life and social changes. Ideas, theories, and the way we interpret the world come from our material conditions. 
Idealism — Idealist thought, on the other hand, argues that society develops because of ideas
Initially, slavery was never linked to racism. Whites also served as slaves, and slavery was the punishment for a crime or simply payment for an unpaid debt. Blacks reached high positions after serving their years as slaves and even when other persons of color were slaves.
Before the 10th century, the majority of slaves came from Eastern Europe. Arabs went to Equatorial Africa in search of black Africans who were forced to work for Arab masters.
Capitalism developed with the expansion of trade, which also made possible the growth of the bourgeoisie from the 14th to the 16th century.
It became necessary to define the status of slaves as different from that of the other workers, and find a way to brutally exploit them. When blacks arrived in Virginia as servants, they became the best source of labor.
Racism was created to legitimize slavery. Laws and practices were put in place to keep people divided and sustain racism.
 But British capitalism, which used to control the slave trade, sought the abolition of slavery to take advantage of the Industrial Revolution.
Liberal people believe racism will disappear by itself, or if it’s fought in court. But they don’t understand how it benefits capitalism, which created racism in the first place.
A new comrade

Genocidal U.S. Empire Can Never Be Reformed
The disclosure of the 1.7 million Wiki Leaks files by U.S. soldier Bradley Manning exposed U.S. imperialism’s murderous, racist actions for the recent historical period. The book “Untold History of the U.S.” details the entire genocidal history of U.S. capitalism’s insatiable hunger for lands and resources, from its colonial beginnings to world empire in 2012, describing over 100 wars and interventions against other countries.
The authors Oliver Stone and Peter Kuzneck use thousands of facts about the “dark side” of U.S. history, like showing the waterboarding of Filipinos by U.S. troops in the 19th century that echoes today’s torturing and renditions.  At the same time, the authors assert that U.S. superiority over other world powers is because of its ideals of freedom, liberty and democracy. However, millions of capitalism’s victims and the following quotes show U.S. imperialism’s rise to empire came not from ideas or values but from organized terror and military violence.
   • In the 1870s, U.S. rulers forced the army to slaughter workers in the1877 national railroad strikes because of fears that the Paris Commune might spark a communist revolution here. Jay Gould, a railroad millionaire, boasted he “could hire half the working class to kill the other half.”
   • President Wilson jailed anti-war protesters and rushed to enter World War I for a piece of the war profits, like producing enough poison gas to wipe out all German cities and kill everyone in North and South America. He said, “Everyone knows America as savior of the world.”
   • General Smedley Butler, who led many of the more than 50 invasions and interventions in Central American, Caribbean and South American countries between 1900 and 1936, said, “I was a gangster for U.S. capitalism.”
   • After World War II bailed out U.S. capitalism from a decade of depression, Wall Street said, “A permanent war economy is needed to prevent a return to depression” and profiteering from the Cold War against the Soviet Union began with wars in dozens of countries, including Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
   • When President Nixon was told by advisor Kissinger that hundreds of millions could die in the nuclear war he threatened in Vietnam, Nixon replied, “You’re too concerned about civilians and I don’t give a damn.”
   • Federal Reserve Board member Greenspan said everyone knows, “the Iraq war is about oil. The oil translates to power and control over Europe, Japan and China” And the New York Times (1/5/03) had a piece entitled, “American Empire, Get Used to It.” President George Bush searched under his desk and laughed when asked where were the weapons of mass destruction used as a false pretext to start the war that killed 600,000 Iraqis.
   • After drone warfare had killed 2,250, including 50 civilians for every militant, and terrorized millions of Afghans and Pakistanis into hiding from daily drone flights during President Obama’s first three years, he “joked” to a rock band not to get interested in his two daughters or else “predator drones, you will never see it coming.”
   • In 2010, Defense Secretary Gates assured the Afghans, “We’re not ever leaving at all” which explains why 17,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq and 30,000 remain in Korea conducting invasion exercises for a new conflict 60 years after that war supposedly ended.
By omitting the role of working-class and communist-led struggles (“available in libraries”) and exposing only the untold “dark side” of U.S. history, the authors dream that critics of imperialism and reform capitalists will be encouraged to develop and promote an American mission of peace and shared prosperity. President Adams, Vice President Henry Wallace and President Kennedy are portrayed as moderators of colonialism and imperialism who could have changed the course of history and prevented wars.
Only liberals who are desperate to believe that capitalism can change its war-making stripes (so they can argue that it’s not necessary to smash it once and for all) could give Kennedy the mantle of peacemaker.  Kennedy campaigned for the Presidency by making up the existence of a “missile gap” to justify ramping up military spending as soon as he took office.  He began and accelerated the U.S. aggression in Vietnam. 
He and his brother Robert supported the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in an attempt to make it secure once again for United Fruit.  When the Soviet Union exported missiles to Cuba (not unlike the missiles the U.S. had in Turkey that were even closer to the USSR), Kennedy escalated the conflict with a wartime blockade — bringing the world to the brink of a nuclear World War III.
Read the book if you want tons of facts on how capitalism always leads to wars. But if you want to learn how the working class is fighting back and organizing to change history, then you have to read CHALLENGE. Our revolutionary newspaper explains how communist revolutions have seized power in the past and will do so again.
A Comrade

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