Thursday
Nov092017

Letters of November 22

Trigger-happy Cops Fear Workers’ Revenge
The Howard University article (CHALLENGE, 10/11) correctly rejects the racist “Ferguson effect” – the false claim that cops are “fearful of...public criticism for being too violent and therefore [are] avoiding confrontations with criminals” (Washington Post, 9/22). However, cops do fear being killed in confrontations that they provoke, through stop-and-search, traffic stops, and other harassments.
Cops kill workers – Black, Latin, and white – at an annual rate four to six times the rate they are killed, and the death rate among cops has fallen by more than 2/3 in the last 30 years (BBC, 7/18/16). Moreover, more than twice as many cops are killed by white than by Black working-class men, a fact hidden generally by the mass media (NY Daily News, 5/11/16). Fear makes cops trigger-happy—shoot first, investigate later – and shoot not to disarm but to kill, for fear of missing the target.
Capitalist rulers and their armed state, particularly police departments, should be filled with fear—fear that masses of workers whom they exploit and oppress will rise up and send our wage-slave masters to well-deserved graves.
During the centuries of U.S. slavery, countless revolts by enslaved Africans kept the slavocracy paralyzed with fear, producing vicious attempts to terrorize their forced laborers into submission. Extreme violence and terrorism is the usual response by rulers to the real, and often actualized, threats of overthrow and executions invited by subjugation to savage servitude. Many laws were passed in Virginia and other slave states in a race to out-terrorize those who kept the slavocracy terrorized—in addition to extra-judicial and unpunished killings of their rebellious victims.
Cops’ fears, combined with racist attitudes that consign Black workers to subhuman status, is a deadly mixture that leads to the judicially sanctioned shoot-first-investigate-later approach. Prosecutors and judges usually exonerate cops for ostensibly defending themselves when cops claim they feared for their lives. Cops even get away with planting guns on their dead victims to support those claims.
Given the extreme exploitation under capitalism, and equally extreme oppression to make that exploitation possible, it is no wonder that cops and their masters are fearful of the working class, and not just of Black workers, but of white and all other workers as well. There is fear on both sides, but only the cops are allowed to kill without fear of punishment, and generally without fear of public criticism.
Can there be any doubt that in this tense standoff between our exploiters and our class, the only solution for the working class is to end the standoff by terminating the existence of the capitalist system that demands exploitation and oppression, as well as state terrorism, for its survival. We invite all workers to join PLP to hasten the day of victory for our class.
*****
Capitalism: An Unnatural Disaster
The editorial (9/27) correctly identified the issue that the flooding in South Asia, West Africa and the U.S. is caused by capitalism’s uncontrolled growth and the anarchy of capitalism. Another aspect of the anarchy of capitalism is the  catastrophe of climate change, caused by hundreds of years of anarchistic capitalism. The floods and hurricanes are from warming oceans creating much greater rainfall from hotter oceans. The fires are caused by years of drought due to global warming.
Climate change is a class issue. Working class folks, and those who are targets of racism are the first and most severely impacted by drought, hurricanes, floods and fires, in part because of racial and class discrimination in housing. The contradictions of capitalism mean that the system cannot stop, slow down or reduce the burning of fossil fuels, which is the main cause of climate change. The profit system requires exploitation to the hilt, or is replaced by competitors. The capitalists must be overthrown by force to stop climate change.
The consequences of burning fossil fuels are palpable today; millions are displaced and killed. In the longer-term future, the habitability of the planet is in doubt. It is certain that capitalism cannot solve the problem; communism is the only answer.
The bosses have tried to take over the environmental movement and claim, “we’re all in this together.” The bosses always try to get in front of movements as they did with Black Lives Matter to mislead the fight against racism. We see the trick the bosses are trying to pull. Climate change is a class issue as highlighted by the movement led by indigenous-led workers against the Dakota Access Pipeline. That movement is an example of the power of multiracial unity against racism and capitalist exploitation.
The Progressive Labor Party’s responsibility is to overthrow the rotting capitalist system. One of the contradictions caused by capitalism is climate change. We must lead that fight.
H H H H H
Two More Battles Before the Spanish Civil War
The editorial (11/8) about Catalonia refers to the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) as “the opening battle of World War II.” It was the opening battle within Europe, but two earlier armed conflicts, one in Asia, one in Africa, also led to World War II: The Japanese invasion and occupation of Manchuria (Sept 1931) and the Italian invasion and annexation of Ethiopia (Oct 1935).
*****
Individual Heroes Do Not Make History
When we describe the history of our communist movement, we should avoid slipping into the error of the “cult of the personality”, just as we avoid it in describing PLP’s own history of struggle. The backpage article on Bolshevik history (CHALLENGE 10/25) was the cult of the personality personified and contradicts our opposition to the “cult.”
Lenin and Stalin are made the “heroes” of the pre-revolutionary working class and Bolshevik struggles, with the rest of the Party and the working class just the supporting cast. This kind of cult approach leads to the capitalist historians’ mistaken “great men make history” which in practice is just as sexist as the name implies, as well as being a gross insult to the mass of workers who in the end were the force that smashed the rulers of imperial Russia and established working class rule.
Leadership is important in all struggles—those who are at the moment most dedicated and disciplined and who have the greatest understanding have an obligation to lead the way. The greatest obligation of that leadership, though, is to continually be developing more communist leaders, particularly among the youth who are our future.
From our earliest days, we have been committed to collectivity and confidence in the power of the working class to understand and lead the fight for communism. We as a Party collectively move our understanding and practice forward. Workers learn from communists and communists learn from the working class how to struggle for and win a new egalitarian world of workers rule.
Any individual glorification detracts from a commitment to and reliance on the working class to rule. We struggle for a mass party of millions, for the idea that every worker will become a leader of the revolution.
*****

Friday
Oct272017

Letters of November 8

An Interview with a Carwash Workers Organizer in NYC

What’s happening with the carwash workers?
I’m keeping workers united to fight off the bosses’ bribes and lies to decertify the union. By NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] pro-boss rules the boss has 90 days before the contract expires to get 30 percent of the workers to agree to decertify.

 What are the workers demands now?
The workers who do specialized cleaning want an enclosed space where they can work inside to avoid extreme weather conditions in summer and winter. Also the bosses force workers to use dangerous chemicals without proper protection as “required” by the Dept. of Health. Workers want holiday pay and regular scheduled hours.

 How big is the carwash?
There are 46 workers working 2-12 hour shifts at a grueling pace. They are mainly Latin, undocumented workers. And of course, the bosses are profit driven racist exploiters. The contract is weak in a number of areas. Self-critically we organizers need to work better to train the rank and file to defend the contract and fight for their health and safety.
 
How much change or reform is possible under capitalism for the carwash workers?
Under this system I don’t think there will be significant change in the carwash industry. The size and nature of the workforce and the separation into small shops limit the workers’ capacity to fight back. But given these limits workers have fought back against inhuman conditions and to organize the union over many weeks in outside weather, as long as five months. The workers have been united and courageous, giving leadership to the whole working class. Critically the union leaders have not organized powerful support, but rank and file workers from different industries have been 100 percent supportive.
 
In the future the working class must overthrow capitalism and take power. Do you agree?
Yes, because that is the only way that we can ensure that brutal capitalist exploitation will end. Without a doubt I think workers would be open to revolutionary communist ideas. It’s our job to begin these discussions with them, using CHALLENGE newspaper, which can be read out loud depending on the workers’ literacy levels.

*****

University of Maine Students March against Racism

Washington, D.C. October 1—Students from the University of Maine (UMO) drove to Washington, D.C. to join the national March for Black Women for racial justice. Students from Howard University’s HUResist also attended. The March for Black Women merged with the March for Racial Justice, protesting state violence, police terror and racist murders, at the U.S. Department of (In)Justice. The march ended on the National Mall, condemning institutional racism.
Anti-racist fighters launched the March for Racial Justice after the acquittal of the Minnesota cop who murdered Philando Castile. Their goal is a national mobilization against racist police terror. The March for Racial Justice was a nationwide protest in 18 cities, from Los Angeles to New York City, from Olympia, Washington to Dallas, Texas and Tallahassee, Florida.
The March for Black Women focused on denouncing “the propagation of state-violence and the widespread incarceration of Black women and girls, rape and all sexualized violence, the murders and brutalization of transwomen and the disappearances of our girls from our streets, our schools and our homes.” Organizers of this “march within a march” believed that it was vital to highlight the centrality of Black women in the oppression of racism and in the leadership of the resistance to it.
A supporter of the PLP who organized the UMO student contingent shared the following account of the day:
During the early part of the day, beautiful people of different identifications (class, sex, race, age, students, workers) stood together to listen and learn from women speakers who covered topics such as racism, sexual and domestic violence, hurricane relief, white supremacy, systemic racism, patriarchal constructs, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia.
We hit the streets, it was powerful, like every time I set foot on the streets of DC in solidarity with brothers and sisters who are tired of oppression. It was amazing to see the freshmen women of my group from UMO, wide-eyed and amazed because it was their first protest. It was great to be able to show them what direct action looks like. Taking the streets and disrupting traffic is powerful because it raises awareness. Will it change things in a day? No. But it may spark fire in the heart of many people to give their time and energy to this revolution.
I was moved to tears when everyone took a knee and then people started yelling, “Black women stand up!” I am moved to tears now writing it. The struggle of Black and Brown women is so real and so much of a burden to carry.
Personally, I made it a point to incorporate anti-capitalist chants. At one point I climbed a marble wall and chanted through my loudspeaker, “Hey hey, ho ho, capitalism has got to go!”
 As I chanted I got louder, more passionate and a lot of people were pumped. People were either wondering what capitalism had to do with this march or they were “real woke” and knew exactly why I was so furiously yelling with my fist in the air. I saw people jumping up and down with me chanting against capitalism. I believe in the good things coming. I believe people are getting ready and are ready for change, real change, the change that will free future generations.
Her account of the day shows the importance of collective action against racism, but also demonstrates the limitations of the current leadership of these movements. The speakers in the morning condemned many of the ills of capitalism, but failed to call out the capitalist system, the wellhead of all of these forms of oppression. Capitalism’s insatiable lust for profits above all and at all costs spawns myriad oppressions to divide sections of the working class against others, both to extract maximum profits and weaken our ability to fight back.
Fortunately, this comrade took it upon herself to make this connection herself with her own “rally within the rally”, heightening the consciousness of hundreds of participants in the march, and showing the way forward to her fellow UMO students to liberation through communist revolution.

*****

Walking through Mexico City after Earthquake
In one of the hardest hit neighborhoods around Roma and Condessa, Mexico City, several buildings collapsed during the earthquake and many more were damaged to the point of being uninhabitable.
Many deaths were the result of people trapped in buildings. Walking around the neighborhood a couple of days after the quake was both traumatic and inspiring. Many streets were blocked and yellow tape blocked off buildings at risk of collapse.
Two parks in the neighborhood were being used as makeshift refugee centers for people left homeless.
The city bureaucracy was overwhelmed by the disaster, but the neighborhood was full of young volunteers. Donated water, supplies and informal meals were being passed out everywhere you looked. Many neighborhood restaurants were giving free food to volunteers and refugees. Calls would go out, literally shouted in the street, for carpenters or other skills. From time to time, self-organized brigades of volunteers would run from one area to another as news of a new building collapse would spread.
Even in this, the hardest hit area, only a few square blocks, there was also “regular” life trying to go on as people who were able to returned to work and businesses reopened amid the streets teeming with machine gun armed soldiers. Many restaurants were filled with people and in the vast majority of the city there was little or no visible damage. Get out of the neighborhood and you could almost forget there was an earthquake.
Among the collapsed buildings were several new ones, including the school in another neighborhood where 20 children were killed, built after the codes were changed to require them to be earthquake resistant. But business came before people’s lives and bribes and willful ignorance let the codes get ignored in many cases.
Not shamed by their collusion with the criminal developers, the ruling class is trying to undue some of the positive collective response by building patriotism among the young volunteers. Mexican flags are appearing across the neighborhood even as the victims are still being removed and people without the money to properly repair their buildings have to decide whether to take the loss or risk living in a weakened apartment building. Flags will not hold those buildings up when the next quake comes.
The city is promising money to properly fix up buildings, but it seems impossible to believe that the distribution of the funds will be better than the corruption filled system that was “ensuring” new buildings were safe to begin with.
*****
Call For Action After Capitalist-Caused Disasters
The otherwise excellent editorial on the devastation of Puerto Rico by racism and imperialism left out one important point. It is necessary for communists and other class-conscious workers to be involved in the struggles to survive disasters like the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. We must lead the class struggles that will develop as local and national bosses try to profit off of the reconstruction and gentrification that almost always follow these disasters.
Progressive Labor Party organized in Texas and New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In Texas, we were part of the relief efforts for our brothers and sisters that were forced to relocate from New Orleans. In New Orleans itself, we organized a months-long project the summer after Katrina. Scores of Party members and friends participated in the process of clearing debris and rebuilding in working class areas like the Lower Ninth Ward, while exposing the limits of reform and the need for revolution. PLP has done similar things in Pakistan and Haiti.
On my job, I proposed to my co-workers that we raise money for relief efforts for Puerto Rico. We are setting up a small committee. I have also called for a demonstration condemning the racist failure of Trump and U.S. bosses to provide for the needs of workers there. These kinds of activities give us opportunities to raise communist ideas and build international solidarity with workers worldwide.
*****
Trump’s Sick, Racist Move
President Donald Trump used the term “sons of bitches” to describe the mostly Black NFL player’s protest against Black oppression. The move is designed to whip up nationalism and racism against Black people in the United States. It is a sick move by a sick leader of a sick system.
*****

Friday
Oct272017

Letters of October 25

Learning to Fight in St. Louis
After kkkkop Jason Stockley was acquitted for the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, the working class of St. Louis rebelled (see front page). A small collective led by PLP recently joined the struggle in solidarity. These are their letters.
For some of those on the trip to St. Louis, it would be their third or fourth time visiting from Chicago since Ferguson. This was my first time.
Upon arriving, we checked for news. The first article that came up from a “St Louis” Google search was an article reporting a banner drop at the Cardinals vs. Brewers baseball game before we had arrived in the city.
The banner depicted a cardinal wearing a jersey with “#Expect Us” in place of the team name. In the cardinal’s hand was a sign that read “Racism Lives Here” with the script “Stop Killing Us!!” written below the image. Afterwards, workers took the streets to show their continued discontent with the murders of black workers in the city. Sure enough, tensions were still high, and workers were demanding justice for father and soon-to-be husband Anthony Lamar Smith.
The next day, we arrived at the City Justice Center and met with a member of a grassroots group Lost Voices. They said they had been waiting for two comrades that had been assaulted and mishandled by kkkops the night before.
We made a friend with whom we talked about the notion of black workers being considered three-fifths of a person. We had discussion about how the 13th amendment states that no person can be held as a slave unless they are a criminal.
There were other workers who welcomed us with open arms. One worker had familiarity with the party. He spoke of revolution on the bullhorn. He had said that they “were not a charity” and that money is not what they wanted. In contrast, we attended another community event of churches and charities, and all they wanted was money.
We also visited Ferguson where the majority of rebellion took place after the murder of Mike Brown in 2014.
During dinner with a local friend we made earlier, we discussed reformism and revolution. There was criticism towards how the organizers are approaching the fightback. Some saw non-violent protests as the way to fight without being met with violence from the kkkops. There is talk of reform. Some mentioned revolution, but the overarching solution the workers had was to alter the current system instead of creating a new one.
A lot of self-criticism took place during this trip in regards to my participation in fightback at home. I look forward to being able to have more time for involvement in the fightback after graduation.
*
Workers wear many faces and come from many places. The struggle is all the same though. We saw the same fight against racism, sexism, and classism in St. Louis that we've seen in Chicago. However, it was still a fresh and informative experience.
A community leader showed us around. We had good conversation with him even though we didn't really get to explain our ideas for a better world as communists. Instead, we understood our role as guests and listened. Eventually, he mentioned there was going to be a Black Lives Matter protest at a shopping mall. We arrived to the mall and saw protesters inside the mall shouting "black lives matter!" so we tried to join but the doors were locked.
As we were looking for new friend, protesters started leaving the mall and closed off the intersection outside the mall. There was a small group of leaders at the center of the protest chanting, along with about 40-50 chanting along with them. Towards the end, we all formed a huddle in the middle as one protester gave a speech. "We can't be separated in the fight. Neither of us are allies. We are all brothers and sisters. We will continue fighting racism no matter the opposition." What a way to end the trip.
H
Driving down St. Louis, we saw two tents in front of a courthouse jail. There was a cloth banner with “Shut it Down for Justice because Black Lives Matter” painted on it. Youth and older men gathered to talk about the prior night while their eyelashes painted white with mace. Chests showing taser marks. Two older white males with long beards walked by with their baseball hats and shook hands with one of the older black protesters. I feel it was a conversation to try to understand the other side.
They were waiting for their reverend to come out after the prior night of marching. The cops separated the reverend and crushed his glasses. The two men who tried saving the reverend got maced and tazed. One of the guys had traveled from California and brought his emotional support puppy, which apparently also got maced.
The protesters passed around flyers for a community block party organized by all the churches in the area, free food for anyone, haircuts for the large amount of homeless youth, live music and lots of welcoming people. In a way, it seems like the community helps itself out, it’s great, but it’s probably done out of need. A man was talking to us about how he had started wanting to help with one thing and it ended up turning into a mentoring program for the youth teaching them how to read.
In conclusion, I feel as if we should contribute and support efforts in this area.
*****

 

Friday
Sep292017

Letters of October 11

Hurricane Harvey: No Support from Authorities
On Thursday, August 17, Hurricane Harvey began its furious attack that lasted until the third of September. It’s heart-wrenching here. We thought we would receive the necessary support from the proper authorities and the volunteer organizations, but sadly, that’s not the case at the moment.
At this time, the people affected by this disaster are not being supported. Many are undocumented workers who, for fear of being deported are not asking for assistance and live in an inhumane condition caused by the capitalist state.
Members of PLP have to give support and solidarity to the victims of the hurricane in a way that is characteristic of our international communist party. We have a fight to carry on at this time. We won’t allow the disgraceful corruption of profiteering influence our actions, like the capitalists. No worker is worth more—documented or undocumented. We need to unite forces as a class to keep moving forward and remember that we aren’t alone in the struggle.  
****
Trump fiddles with North Korea while Puerto Rico Drowns
Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico (PR) with zero electricity or running water for almost 3.7 million people, mainly members of our own class. In English Puerto Rico means “Rich Port,” but rich for whom? The main problem is there is no forthcoming help. President Donald Trump fiddles with North Korea while PR drowns in floodwaters with millions of homes wiped out, and tens of thousands facing death from dehydration, starvation, or exposure.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. and other ships and planes could deliver food, fresh water, and generators for electricity during the months-long process of restoring the power lines for electricity and running water. All eleven nuclear aircraft carriers and dozens of nuclear submarines from the U.S. arsenal, all run by nuclear reactors, could provide the electricity needed to run electrical necessities. But capitalism and its fake borders prevent one area working with another area. If the U.S. were to send resources to PR, it would be out of their imperialist interest, not the goodness of their heart.
Instead Trump is threatening North Korea with destruction, meaning murdering over 25 million people, again mainly members of the working class. The capitalist regime of North Korea knows that if it cannot maintain a credible threat against the U.S. ruling class. Its location is at a precarious place that puts them at a flashpoint of U.S.-China rivalry. The claim that they are a danger, rather than acting in self-preservation, is a deliberate lie to justify this threatened destruction in the eyes of workers around the world.
But is the neglect of the desperate life-threatening situation of millions of residents of PR—a U.S. “possession” since the 1898 war against Spain—any less an atrocity than the deliberately threatened destruction of millions North Koreans?
And compounding this atrocity, Trump denies global warming. While the rapid sequence of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria may not necessarily be repeated every year, the likelihood is rapidly growing that such sequences will occur more frequently. The trend will continue; warmer oceans produce hurricane-friendly conditions. The warming of the waters is now mainly due to the burning of oil, coal, and natural gas (the fossil fuels). Again, capitalism is to blame.
Workers must rid the world of profit-mad capitalism that spawns such atrocities. Join PLP to bring that day closer to reality.
****
Tribute to Lenny at Delegate Assembly
At the Delegate Assembly of my union (Professional Staff Congress), more than hundred delegates paid tribute to Lenny Dick, a math professor, union activist, anti-racist and life-long communist.
In honor of Lenny, delegates pledged to join the campus rally at Bronx Community College (where he taught) on November 30, kicking off a contract campaign that will, among other demands, fight to win a living wage ($7,000 per course) for adjunct professors, whose interests Lenny had always promoted.
One delegate said Lenny fought for a class-conscious trade unionism that challenged our class enemies. Currently, the Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees  case, which the Supreme Court will hear in October, threatens public workers. The Court will likely rule against the unions, this will weaken them. People in the bargaining unit who benefit from union contracts won’t have to pay a penny in either dues or a “fair-share” fee. The conservative National Right to Work Committee and the Liberty Justice Center brought this case. Both organizations are heavily funded by the billionaire Koch brothers. In her book Dark Money, author Jane Mayer describes how the Janus case is part of a long-term project by the Koch brothers and other billionaires to weaken government unions, slash public spending and reduce taxes on capitalists like themselves.
Lenny believed in a labor movement that would have brought thousands of NYC public workers to demonstrate at 740 Park Avenue, the luxury apartment building where David Koch lives. He believed in a labor movement that would be organizing millions of public workers to walk off the job the day the Supreme Court heard the case. This is in stark contrast to the leaders of the public unions who have stuck their heads in the sand and done nothing.
Lenny also believed in a labor movement that would refuse to accept capitalism. Capitalism is a society in which a handful of tycoons amass unparalleled fortunes and political power, while 20 percent of New Yorkers are poor, tens of thousands are homeless and millions more worry every month whether or not they’ll be able to pay their bills.
Lenny is gone, but his dream of an egalitarian, communist society lives on.

Friday
Sep152017

Letters of September 27

Workers Protest Macron-Style Fascist Attacks
My wife and I are visiting Paris, and joined the big demonstration called by the major unions to protest labor law changes which will take away rights the workers won in struggle over the past century (see photo above).
Tens of thousands marched under union and political banners, with loud chanting and signs. Even the occasional rain didn’t stop them. It was a very integrated march, with white, Black and Asian workers, men and women, young and old, marching together. At one point, there was even a loud singing of the Internationale.
But sadly, because the union leadership is tied to the bourgeois political parties, all the demands were against the changes, not against the system that’s always trying to take back workers’ victories everywhere. The new laws, which president Emmanuel Macron will issue by decree to avoid a fight in the National Assembly, will break workers’ rights to their jobs, reduce pension rights, end limits on night and overtime work and more. All this is in the name of efficiency and competitiveness against other imperialist bosses.
Macron was elected a few months ago, mainly because he’s not an open fascist like Marine Le Pen. Many of the workers who voted for him on that basis must now be realizing that under capitalism there is no lesser evil. Imagine what today’s march of 100,000 workers could have accomplished if they were fighting for communism, not reform.

Mosely & British Fascism
The Guardian published an article (9/8) worth reading about the Nazis in Britain before and after World War II through a discussion of Morris Beckman’s book The 43 Group: Battling with Mosely’s Blackshirts. Sir Osswald Mosley led British Nazis. He was from a wealthy British family and was married into the Mitford family, wealthy and highly placed in British society. Through his in-laws, he met Adolf Hitler in 1936.
Being the chief Nazi in Britain earned Mosley a prison sentence during the war. There were many protests when he was released. Upon his release, he reorganized his British Union of Fascists. Nazis did not need much of an excuse to attack Jews in Britain, and they tramped out the usual anti-Semitism. This led to many racist marches and attacks on Jewish, African, South Asian people in Britain.
On a personal note, I was about nine when the war ended. My family lived in Kilburn in London, one of the centers of Nazi and anti-Nazi activity. At the end of the road I lived on was a Communist Party bookstore. My uncle frequented this store. Besides occasionally buying the comic books I read he would get a copy of his Daily Worker, the newspaper of the Communist Party. There were often discussions in my house between the conservatives (my mother and grandmother), the left-winger (my father), and the communist (my uncle).
My uncle and his friends got involved in fighting the local Nazis. Sometimes he came home looking a bit knocked about. Being one of only three Jewish students in my school, I was under constant anti-Semitic attack. The attacks taught me to fight well. My friends would support me, but I was in a fight a couple of times every week.
According to the Guardian this period of fascism ended around 1949, but there was still plenty of open anti-Semitism around in 1956 when I had to sign up for National Service (British equivalent of the military draft).
The Guardian wrote, “Fascism is one of those creatures which, once its head has been cut off, soon enough grows another one. Little remembered today is that at the end of the war, with German cities in ruins, Hitler dead and Nazism seemingly destroyed, Mosley and his men were released from prison. Undeterred and unrepentant they went straight back to what they’d been doing before the war.”
Fascism is like a hydra, the serpent-like monster from Greek mythology. We have to keep cutting its heads off and bury its roots of capitalism deep. Only communism and hundreds of years would end this process.

Problem with Labeling Fascists as Just “Hate Groups”
When speaking of the Klan and Nazis, the concept of hate is largely misplaced. What these fascist groups, not hate groups, really do is downgrade entire groups of workers to subhuman status, not worthy of rights to thrive or even to live.
The concept of subhuman is rooted in the plantation-owners’ attitude toward enslaved Africans since the 1600s, and the similar regard of Native Americans even before that time. The subhuman status of enslaved Africans allowed the theft of their bodies and forced backbreaking labor, while that of Native Americans justified the theft of their land and genocide. Hate only lent support to the practical needs of this theft of labor and land, and guaranteed enrichment for the planter class.
Regarding the crimes of fascist groups as based on hate, or labeling them “hate crimes,” allows members and supporters of the ruling capitalist class to brand the anti-racist left with the same label. After all, don’t we anti-racists hate racists and fascists? And is it not proper for us to do so? Hate is an accusation that only muddies the water.
Let’s take away from ruling class propagandists this symmetrical branding of the concept of hate—the false idea that both sides are wrong. The real issue is the exploitation and oppression (that necessitate the degradation of the exploited and oppressed to subhuman status through racism and sexism) versus our determined resistance and rebellion against those evils. Acknowledging that there is no symmetry places the blame solely on the exploiters and their fascist helpers, the side where it belongs.
In recognition of this asymmetry, some members and supporters of the capitalist class hypocritically denounce the Klan and Nazis, out of one side of their mouths, for the very racism that they themselves practice daily in a hundred less obvious institutional ways. They profit greatly from doing so, and by dividing the working class in that fashion, they secure their control over their exploitative system. Without racism their days would be numbered.

Eternal War in Afghanistan
Donald Trump administration announced more troops in Afghanistan. Trump ran on an “America First” platform which implied defending the homeland and avoids getting involved abroad. Politicians, ruling-class intellectuals, and former National Security advisors, both Republican and Democrats, pushed for more troops “long-term commitment” to war. National Security Advisor General McMaster proposed sending more troops and was joined by two of Obama’s Defense Secretaries, Leon Panetta and Ash Carter, as well as many U.S. generals, active-duty and retired.
Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon favored using mercenary contractors to replace the U.S. troops and had former Blackwater chief Erik Prince to the White House to push his plan to privatize the Afghan war. Not only was this proposal rejected, but also Trump and 30 advisors held a long-anticipated daylong discussion of Afghanistan at Camp David on the day Bannon was fired.
Adding 5,000 U.S. troops to the 8,400 already in Afghanistan might sound modest. For each 100 U.S. soldiers, there are another 50 on “temporary duty”, 50 allied troops (mostly European), and 500 “contract” workers from mainly Asia and Africa (for equipment maintenance, transporting supplies, and preparing food). So, every 100 U.S. soldiers translates to 500 added to the imperialist war machine.
During Trump’s campaign and since his election, he has repeatedly asked, “Why isn’t the U.S. winning,” and “Why are we still there after 16 years?” As to the first question: in addition to a weakening U.S. and competition from its rivals, Afghanistan’s neighbors, mainly Pakistan, don’t want the U.S. to win. Many in the Pakistan ruling class support the Taliban. When the U.S. armed and funded the Taliban to fight the Soviet invasion, they did so through Pakistani Intelligence. Those bonds remain strong. Another complication is Iran working more with the Taliban, continuing a 20-year history of both fighting against and working with them.
As to the second question, many in the ruling class figure “if we can’t win, then we can at least not lose.” They argue that the war could go on forever without a high cost: “only” $8-10 billion a year (plus another $5 billion a year in bribes and “aid” to Pakistan to guarantee access), and “only” a dozen U.S. soldiers killed each year. This is seen as a cheap and acceptable compared to the $200 billion a year former president Bush spent in Iraq. The comparison is made to South Korea, where U.S. troops have been stationed for 70 years. To these ruling-class voices, it does not matter if deaths of those in Afghanistan are over 8,000 a year and climbing.
Workers have no dog in the fight between the “establishment” rulers and the “America First” gang. The racist profit system only promises more imperialist war. The only way out is to organize to overthrow the entire system.