April 11, 2001

TO OUR WEB READERS: This issue of CHALLENGE includes a special supplement on the racist sociobiology "science." How it has spread to all areas of the academic world and its effects on our daily lives. Again, we ask our web readers to help us keep both versions of our newspaper (the digital one and the printed one) spreading communist politics as an antidote to the poisong of capitalism and all its different ideologies. You can help subscribing to the printed version of the paper or sending a contribution. One year sub to CHALLENGE cost 15 dollars. You can send a check or MO made out to Challenge periodicals and mail it to PLP: GPO Box 808, Brooklyn, NY 11202, USA.

  1. Spy Vs. Spy Shows
    U.S.-Russian Bosses on Collision Course
  2. Rulers Want Latino Mayor For
    L. A. to Curb Class Struggle
  4. Boeing's Top Bosses Leave Town:
    Are They Taking our Jobs and Pensions with Them?
    1. Even The Bosses Admit What The Workers Know
    2. A Strategic War Asset
    3. How Did CHALLENGE Know?
  5. Ford Workers Fight for A Better Idea
  6. Europe's Bosses Invading U.S. `Backyard'
    1. European Imperialist Inroads in Latin America
    2. The Boys from Brazil
  7. Pipeline Politics Fueled Balkan Bombing
    1. Macedonia: Pipeline Politics II
  8. Garment Strikers Fight Scabs, Welcome CHALLENGE
  9. Transit Workers' Unity Jails
    Sexist D.C. Boss
  10. Jobs Cut, Profits Rocket, Capitalism Kills 91 Oil Workers
  11. UCLA: Take Affirmative Action To Smash Bosses' Racism
  12. `No Free Speech For Racists!'
  13. Capitalism's No Accident; Murders Two More Steelworkers
    Workers of the World, Write!
    1. They Can't Stand
      the Truth
    2. Smack C.R.A.C.K.
    3. Fighting for
      Our Children
    4. U.S. STEEL, KKK
      Go Way Back
    5. Vietnam: Turning
      The Guns Around
    6. Murder in Seattle By Racist Cops
    7. Capitalist Anthropology:
      `Science' of Extermination
    8. Guns, Germs, Steel and Anthropologists
  15. Zapatistas March:
    Can't Reform Bosses' Racist Rule.
  16. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Special Effects Make History Disappear

Editorial 1

Spy Vs. Spy Shows
U.S.-Russian Bosses on Collision Course

The recent "spy vs. spy" finger-pointing between U.S. and Russian bosses confirms that the main political trend in the world today is sharpening inter-imperialist rivalry.

In the wake of revelations that an FBI agent had been handing U.S. security secrets to the Russians for years, Bush ordered the expulsion of 50 Russian diplomats. The Russians retaliated. Both groups of rulers will eventually limit this particular incident. Regardless of its short-term tactical result, however, the incident itself shows that U.S. and Russian bosses are on a long-range collision course. U.S. bosses want to rule the world. After all, the Russian bosses still have one of the world's largest nuclear arsenals and the largest country in the world. They don't want to be ruled by other bosses.

When the old Soviet Union self-destructed in 1991, many U.S. capitalists thought they could take advantage of a super-profit bonanza. They rushed in with loans and investments. They succeeded mainly in wreaking economic terror against the Russian working class by helping Russian vulture capitalists strip it bare of broad protections and benefits workers had enjoyed for decades under Soviet socialism. But the U.S. business pipe-dream was short-lived. Led by current president Putin, a group of Russian nationalist politicians and generals grabbed power away from the Yeltsin clique, who had favored deals with the U.S.

Many in the U.S. ruling class have done an about-face over policy toward Russia. One of the most important is Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. As C.E.O. of aluminum giant Alcoa, he tried to take over the huge Russian aluminum industry during the Yeltsin years. Putin gave O'Neill the bum's rush, preferring to deal with the French aluminum company, Péchiney. Now O'Neill calls further loans to Russia "crazy" (New York Times, 3/25).

O'Neill reflects Bush & Co.'s overall hawkishness toward Russia. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his assistant Paul Wolfowitz made hostile statements to the British press about Russian arms deals with Iran. In February, Bush National Security advisor Condoleezza Rice called Russia "a threat to the world in general" (New York Post, 3/25).

This sparring isn't just verbal. The Bush administration intends to expand NATO to include the Baltic nations on Russia's border, a clear attempt to surround Russia and prevent it from becoming an imperialist threat to U.S. world domination. Further trying to humiliate Putin & Co., a Bush State Department official will meet with the foreign minister of the Chechen nationalists with whom Russian rulers have waged a brutal war for the last year and a half.

The Russian bosses have a long road to travel before they can confront U.S. imperialism as equals. However, they are mapping out such a strategy. "Despite Russia's economic weakness...[ rebuilding] relationships with...former Soviet republics in hopes of slowing NATO's expansion" (New York Times, 3/25). The Russians are re-establishing toeholds in other strategically vital areas -- the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans, Korea and even Cuba.

The Russians aren't alone. As the Times grudgingly admits, the U.S. may still be the "lone superpower," but the "world is starting to get in its way" (3/25). The "world" includes the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, China and Western Europe. U.S. efforts to impose "peace" on Israel and the Palestinians are fizzling. Saddam Hussein still holds power and continues to thumb his nose at Exxon Mobil. Differences between the U.S. and Chinese bosses are growing. And "the U.S. and the European Union are on the brink of a major trade and economic conflict," according to C. Fred Bergsten, head of the Institute for International Economic Studies (NYT, 3/25).

None of the above furnishes a recipe for peace and tranquillity, particularly if the worldwide profit system's current economic slump continues. Like the Russians, the Chinese and Europeans are a far cry from the strength they will need to unseat U.S. imperialism. But contradictions between U.S. rulers and their rivals are slowly sharpening and U.S. isolation is increasing.

Competition among imperialists for markets, resources and cheap labor makes war inevitable. As CHALLENGE has often noted, all the world's rulers are secretly planning for this war, even if it lies in a still-undetermined future. We, too, must make our plans as a class. As the drift toward world war accelerates over the coming decades, the progress we make today and tomorrow in building our Party and in sharpening the class struggle will enable the working class to understand the necessity to turn imperialist war into class war for communism.

[Editor's note: The Bush administration is also retooling its foreign policy to treat China as a strategic enemy. Regardless of tactical disputes among U.S. bosses about which of the two looms as the primary threat to their domination, the trend is toward treating each as a strategic foe. Future CHALLENGE articles will examine the growth of these two rivalries.]

Editorial 2

Rulers Want Latino Mayor For
L. A. to Curb Class Struggle

About two dozen candidates are running for mayor here on April 10. Only six are considered serious contenders. Of these, only two will remain for a June run-off that's virtually inevitable with such a large number of candidates. The run-off will most likely be between James Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa. Hahn is the city attorney and son of the late Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, remembered kindly by many liberals and black voters, particularly in South Central LA. Villaraigosa is the former speaker of the California State Assembly.

Hahn is white. Villaraigosa is Mexican-American. In a city over 60% minority, of which the majority is Latin, Villaraigosa is the candidate of choice of the main wing of the U.S. ruling class, the Eastern Establishment. Not surprisingly, he has been praised by the New York Times, and endorsed by the LA Times, Gov. Gray Davis, the LA County Federation of Labor and by many black liberal politicians and religious leaders.

He is proud to describe himself as a "product of the American dream," a poor boy from the barrio, whose abandoned mother's efforts and affirmative action put him through college and on the road to success. He is charismatic and, as the LA Times writes, has "the highest potential to take up the unifying mantle of the late Tom Bradley." Bradley made "history" as the first black elected mayor of LA.

But Villaraigosa, 48, is not without blemishes. Besides having Clinton-style marital relations, after being appointed to his first public position by County Supervisor Gloria Molina, one of his first acts was to grant Molina's husband a contract for $193,000.

But none of this worries the ruling class. Their politicians' rampant immorality in both private and public life is common knowledge. What does worry the rulers is his claim that sometimes he leads "with my heart instead of my head," as he said to explain his letter to President Clinton to pardon Carlos Vignali. Vignali was a big-time drug dealer whose father was a hefty contributor to Villaraigosa's political campaigns. Another main concern is that, although he is an able coalition builder, "Does he know the line between trying to forge coalitions and trying to please everyone all the time?"asks the LA Times (3/25) "As Mayor, will he be able to say no to them [the unions] when necessary?"

Nevertheless, he's their best choice for implementing their plans for war and fascism. According to the same LA Times editorial, the main problems to be addressed are "rehabilitating the LAPD,.... saving the public school system, [and] the racial and class resentments simmering just below the surface." War is not mentioned, but the U.S. military has a major propaganda blitz to recruit more Latino youth. The ruling class hopes that Villaraigosa will be able to dampen the class struggle, maintain fascist police terror through community policing and get Latino and black youth to willingly fight and die for U.S. imperialism.

But capitalism is driven by its own internal laws that no boss or politician can correct. Voting for any of these politicians won't change a thing. The deepening economic crisis inflicting misery and havoc on the working class, plus a racist police state mowing down young black and Latin youth in the streets, terrorizing and imprisoning tens of thousands, does not bode well for "peace and harmony." Communists in PLP will fight to turn that "simmering racial and class resentment" into a fight for communism.


BLOOMFIELD, CONN., March 27 -- "This is supposed to be these people's golden years," declared a locked-out nursing home worker at the Alexandria Nursing Home here. "It's impossible to do the kind of job that will allow this to happen," she said. She was one of 4,500 nursing assistants and food and maintenance workers, members of District 1199 of the New England Health Care Employees Union, who walked out last week at 40 nursing homes throughout the state in a planned one-day strike.

The workers' main demand was for increases in per-patient staffing levels. Here there is only one nursing aide assigned to 40 patients on the night shift.

Gov. John Rowland immediately called out the National Guard to break the strike by escorting the bosses' hired scabs into the struck workplaces. Rowland pledged $6 million to cover the cost of those scabs.


The strikers here are largely black women whose overwhelming feeling is concern for their patients who they treat "like family." But when they headed back, the racist bosses, with no feeling either for the workers or their patients, locked out 1,500 statewide for the next four days while the scabs continued to work their jobs. Then the bosses threatened to refuse to take back the mostly white LPN's altogether because they're seeking union recognition. But the predominantly black aides and maintenance workers vowed, "We'll all stay out together. Everyone in or no one in!" This multi-racial solidarity resulted in the LPN's returning with everyone else. Workers grabbed whatever CHALLENGES a PLP member had as they told him to make sure he brings this next issue with their story.

Rowland's attack follows Bush's latest blocking of a Northwest mechanics walkout and pledge to break any strike by 100,000 airline workers whose contracts expire this year. (See CHALLENGE, March 28.) Under capitalism's class rule, government (State) power is the bosses' biggest weapon to make strikes illegal and force workers to knuckle under to their profit system.

The Governor claimed it was necessary for the State to pay the scabs (with workers' tax money) to safeguard the nursing home residents. But he hasn't appeared worried over the threat to their safety caused by understaffing and sped-up workers the other 51 weeks a year.

Despite all the hoopla about budget "surpluses", the bosses face a crisis, trying to re-coup falling profits in many industries while planning for costly wars in the Middle East and the Balkans. Maintaining a huge naval armada in the Persian Gulf to control oil routes costs $50 billion a year -- a billion dollars a week!

This kind of 1-day walkout the union called won't cut it. It reveals to the bosses the union leaders' refusal to wage an all-out battle. The unions, while calling strikes here and there, are loyal to the bosses' profit system and refuse to mobilize the entire working class to back particular groups of workers on the front lines. That kind of class war will only happen with communist leadership that doesn't operate within the bosses' laws. Through that kind of political struggle workers can learn, and act on, the necessity to get rid of the whole damn system.

Boeing's Top Bosses Leave Town:
Are They Taking our Jobs and Pensions with Them?

SEATTLE, WA, March 25 -- Last Monday we were debating if the Boeing bosses suckered us by offering 401k's instead of adequate guaranteed pensions with a cost-of-living escalator. On Wednesday, CEO "Lyin Phil" Condit announced corporate HQ was moving to Chicago, Denver or Dallas. On Friday, we got the "good news": Boeing was not going to sell the commercial division "for the foreseeable future," but 500 manufacturing jobs would soon be eliminated and the 757-fuselage assembly would be gone from here.

The week was not so bad--for some. Lyin Phil got a 400% raise, pulling in a hefty $18.7 million. Boeing president Stonecipher got $16.2 million, while Alan Mulally, CEO of the Commercial division, netted a "meager" $8.5 million.

While some workers on the shop floor seemed baffled, soon a theme emerged: capitalism had pushed the aerospace industry into a crisis of overproduction. The anarchy of the bosses' system was destroying our lives.

Even The Bosses Admit What The Workers Know

" company that is generating a flood of cash," said Wolfgang Demish, an investment banker and a long-time Boeing specialist. (New York Times, 3/23) "The critical issue from a corporate perspective is how do you deploy that cash for the benefit of the shareholders."

"I listened to Condit," said a machinist, using wisdom gained through class struggle, "and all I heard was shareholders, shareholders and profits, profits, nothing about employees."

It's true we made oodles of money for the bosses. The "financial markets" (i.e. the biggest capitalists) demand huge profits from the investment of this capital. Boeing can't make that kind of profit building airplanes because "it can no longer dominate the market for airplanes, as it once did." (Reuters, 3/22) Too many jets are chasing a shrinking market. Orders have dropped more than 50% the first quarter of this year.

Lyin Phil's answer is to dump money into the "new economy" and speculate in the stock market. The company has spent more than $3 billion of the money we made for them buying back its own shares. More billions have been sunk into airborne Internet schemes, but "airlines enthusiasm for in-flight Internet has cooled."(New York Times, 3/23) Boeing has also expanded aircraft maintenance services, but run into competition from some of its big customers, like United and Northwest. Meanwhile, European Airbus has invested $10 billion in their new Superjumbo jet--which is already replacing Boeing's cash cow, the 747.

Boeing is forced to look for places to generate bigger profits so it's moving its headquarters to free itself to make more of these speculative investments, financed by gutting its manufacturing base. "It's a lot easier to slaughter the cow when it's not in your own back yard," observed a machine operator.

During the last year and a half, Boeing stock would rise every time the company announced one of these "asset reductions." Interestingly enough, last week's announcements saw Boeing stock sink. You can only go to that well so many times. The absurdity of capitalism is becoming all too obvious.

A Strategic War Asset

Boeing is a strategic war asset, necessary to the dominance of U.S. imperialism. Ultimately, U.S. bosses won't allow Boeing to collapse--no matter how many of us they have to destroy. The situation is even more urgent since, "The European Commission and aerospace industry executives have unveiled `A Vision for 2020' which calls for a $93 billion investment over 20 years to obtain `global leadership' in aeronautics," reports Aviation Week and Space Technology (3/05).

The crisis in commercial aircraft production has put U.S. bosses between a rock and a hard place. Commercial production helps war production with technology and capital, but as commercial production becomes less profitable, the benefits rapidly disappear. The Pentagon intends to aid Boeing in a desperate gamble to "free up" capital for military production. The Air Force is telling the airlines to buy C-17 military transports from Boeing, subsidized by the Pentagon and use them for commercial freight shipments. But if war comes, the airlines must lease them back to the Pentagon. All this means the C-17s will be virtually given to airlines at taxpayers' expense, while the Pentagon's Defense Science task force recommends a dozen ways to lower our wages.

The union leadership says they will fight for every job. To them that means calling another press conference. To us that means organizing class struggle pointing the way to the only sensible solution--communist revolution. We'll advance this struggle on many fronts, including flooding the plants with May Day leaflets. Each and every May Day marcher will help us organize for the coming battle against this exploitative system. To Lyin Phil and his gang, we say, "You can run, but you can't hide!"


"How did you guys know about Corporate's move before the announcement?" asked a Boeing CHALLENGE reader.
"We didn't."
"But I read that article about how you have to pay attention to the primary contradictions of this system, just like you can't ignore faults in the ground."
"Oh! We were just talking about the crisis of overproduction and inter-imperialist rivalry in general."
"I guess I'm going to have to study that paper more carefully," concluded the now-avid CHALLENGE reader.
A few others that we know have also decided--on their own--to take CHALLENGE more seriously. Their faith in this system has been shaken. How many more will read, sell and contribute to our paper, given the present circumstances, if we consciously campaign for a bigger circulation? Let's find out!

Ford Workers Fight for A Better Idea

MEXICO, March 26 -- In order to maintain its position in the sharpening competition for markets, Ford is trying to impose its fascist production program (FPS). Ford bosses want to nullify labor contracts and make class struggle illegal. This is a stage of capitalism called fascism. The new Fox government, like the PRI before it, has opened the door to legalizing the Ford program.

For three years they've tried to get workers at a Ford assembly plant here to submit mind, body and soul to the interests of the company. But rank-and-file workers are resisting. Ford said, "Accept or you're fired," but only a minority wears the company shirt. In a February audit to guage its progress, Ford reported reaching a level 3 on a scale of 10. But even this is fictitious.

The local union committee opposes FPS. Ford and the gangster leadership of the national union (CTM) decided to get rid of it. They tried to win the support of the workers, but the majority repudiated them. In spite of this massive rejection, Ford dissolved the local committee.

The committee called an assembly. Ford and the national union attacked and intimidated the workers but half of them attended the meeting. The fired committee has rejected the national CTM and declared itself independent. The fired committee has accepted the support of another labor federation which unfortunately is just as fascist as the CTM, converting it into a fight of gangsters vs. gangsters for power. Meanwhile, Ford persists in imposing the CTM national committee.

A rebellious worker asked CHALLENGE, "What's happening?" We answered, "Capitalism is in a crisis of overproduction, which leads to increased work-loads, layoffs, fascism and war. We can't win with pro-capitalist gangster union leaders. We need a communist party to confront the bosses and destroy them."

This worker showed his agreement by singing a stanza of a song calling on the workers to fight. He promised to write a song about the Party and the revolution. This kind of response makes the decaying atmosphere of capitalism livable.

Europe's Bosses Invading U.S. `Backyard'

Since President Monroe's 1823 Doctrine of "America for the Americans," proclaiming the Western Hemisphere as the U.S. sphere of influence, the U.S. has considered Latin America its "backyard." In 1845, the U.S. annexed Texas. The ensuing war cost Mexico a fifth of its territory (including California).

In 1898, the U.S. provoked a war with Spain by having its own agents sink the U.S. battleship Maine in the port of Havana, Cuba. Spain lost the remainder of its empire -- Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines -- to the U.S. In 1903, the U.S. supported a rebellion to separate Panama from Colombia. Then it built the Panama Canal. Throughout the last century U.S. rulers sent the Marines to country after country, installing the most brutal dictators in power (Trujillo, Somoza, Batista, Pinochet, the death squads governments of El Salvador and Guatemala, etc.). In the second half of the 20th century, as the U.S. launched its cold war against the former Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands were murdered by the anti-communist death squads and right-wing governments imposed by the U.S. in Central America, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Haiti, etc.

Now U.S. bosses have launched Plan Colombia, spending $1.7 billion to maintain the Monroe Doctrine in Colombia, using the "war on drugs" as a cover. It was begun by Clinton and is now being continued by Bush. But instead of sending the Marines, the White House uses mercenaries (mostly former U.S. Special Forces) and local death squads. Since closing the Panama Canal military headquarters of the U.S. southern command, the U.S. has used bases in other countries (like the Manta air base in Ecuador) to pursue its Plan Colombia.

European Imperialist Inroads in Latin America

European imperialists are increasingly exploiting the cheap labor and resources of Latin America. Spain's banks are the leaders. From 1995 to 1998, the Spanish bank BBVA bought banks in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil and Puerto Rico and became partners with the Bhif bank of Chile. In 2000 it took over Mexico's Bancomer, its biggest acquisition in Latin America.

In the last year BSCH, Spain's largest bank, spent $8.4 billion to acquire three banks: Banespa, Brazil's third largest private financial group and Banco Serfin and Banco Caracas, the fourth largest banks in Mexico and Venezuela respectively.

The Boys from Brazil

This financial "invasion" is part of the growth of European investments. Previously they were centered in Brazil and Argentina, but now Europe's annual investments have virtually equaled those of the U.S. Latin America draws 60% of Germany's overseas investments, 52% of Holland's and 44% of Britain's. Europe is now Brazil's main trading partner. Germany accounts for 27%, ahead of the U.S. at 20%, in trading with Latin America's largest country.

BP, Elf-Totalfina, Repsol and Shell are among the European energy companies expanding into the U.S. "backyard," along with auto giants like VW, Peugeot, FIAT and Renault. They represent intense competition for U.S. companies.

U.S. bosses still have many aces up their sleeve to protect their empire, including the expansion of NAFTA into the so-called Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, to try to keep out the European bosses. The competition among these imperialists will continually sharpen.

(Coming articles will deal with various aspects of this struggle, including the price paid by workers and their allies because of imperialist rivalry, the role of opportunist forces allying themselves with the different imperialist forces and how can we build a revolutionary communist movement to fight these imperialist butchers.)

Pipeline Politics Fueled Balkan Bombing

A special report appearing in the British newspaper Guardian (2/15) confirms CHALLENGE'S analysis of the Balkan war as a struggle for control over oil pipelines. It documents a project "little-reported in any British, European or American newspaper," the Trans-Balkan pipeline, whose "purpose is to secure a passage for oil from the Caspian Sea....likely to become the main route for the oil and gas now being extracted in central Asia. It will carry 750,000 barrels a day.

"The project is necessary, according to...the U.S. Trade and Development Agency because the oil coming from the Caspian `will quickly surpass the safe capacity of the Bosphorus [Strait, through Turkey] as a shipping lane.' The scheme, the Agency notes, will `provide a consistent source of crude oil to American refineries, provide American companies with a key role in developing the vital east-west corridor, [and] advance the privatisation aspirations of the U.S. government in the region.'"

The Guardian reports that Clinton's Energy Secretary, Bill Richardson, said in November 1998 that, "This is about America's energy security,....about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values....

"We would like to see them [Central Asian countries] reliant on Western commercial and political interests rather than going the other way. {Russia] We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it's very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."

The Guardian also stated that the pipeline "featured prominently in Balkan war politics. On December 9, 1998, the Albanian president...noted `that no solution [to the pipeline scheme] confined within Serbian borders will bring a lasting peace.'" "The message," says the Guardian, "could scarcely have been blunter: if you want Albanian consent for the Trans-Balkan pipeline, you had better wrest Kosovo out of the hands of the Serbs." That was exactly the main purpose of the U.S./NATO Balkan bombing: to oust the Serbs from Kosovo. In fact, the Guardian reports, "In July 1993...the U.S. sent peacekeeping forces to the Balkans. They were stationed not in the conflict zones in which civilians were being rounded up and killed, but on the northern borders of Macedonia...."-- precisely where this pipeline project was headed.

Concludes Guardian reporter George Monbiat, "I can't tell you that the war in the former Yugoslavia was fought solely to secure access to oil from...central Asia. But in light of these findings, can anyone now claim that it was not?" Enough said....

Macedonia: Pipeline Politics II

Fighting over export oil pipeline routes for Caspian oil continues to fuel violence in the Balkans. In 1999, when the U.S. and its NATO allies rained "humanitarian" high explosives on Serbia, CHALLENGE revealed that the Western powers' real goals were to protect a U.S.-backed pipeline project that would run through Macedonia, within ten miles of the Serbian border. Another U.S. aim was to prevent strongman Milosevic from building his own Russian-sponsored pipeline network to export Caspian crude to the West through Macedonia and Serbia. (See article left.) Gun battles have now broken out inside Macedonia between Albanian nationalists (people of Albanian background living in Macedonia) and the government right along the route of the major U.S. pipeline.

The shooting is centered just to the west of the Macedonian city of Skopje. Halliburton -- Vice President Cheney's old company -- is building a line to move Caspian crude from Bulgaria through Skopje to Albania and from there to Western Europe and North America. BP Amoco and Chevron support this route. But Skopje also serves as a strategic junction for competing projects. Russia's Lukoil and Greece's Hellenic Petroleum plan to pipe Caspian oil from Thessaloniki to Skopje. And before the NATO bombardment, Milosevic boasted of a grand design to pump Russian-produced Caspian oil from Skopje through Serbia and then to Croatia for export to the world market. The ousting of Milosevic and the current occupation of Kosovo by U.S.-led NATO troops puts this scheme on hold for now.

But Moscow's influence in the Balkans has been growing ever since Russian troops seized Kosovo's main airport at the close of NATO's bombing campaign. Today, Washington appears forced to tolerate the Albanian fascists -- who want a bigger slice of the pipeline profits for themselves -- because they are sworn enemies of the Russians and Serbs. For the warlords, both the local nationalists and the big imperialists, too much is at stake for the pipeline question to be settled peacefully.

The endless battle in the Balkans shows that the capitalists are willing to spill barrels of workers' blood for a secondary source of petroleum. We must also be ready for a bigger, more deadly, showdown over the grand prize, the oil of the Persian Gulf.

Garment Strikers Fight Scabs, Welcome CHALLENGE

LOS ANGELES, March 25 --"We're tired of so much injustice, that's why we're on strike," declared a worker from Hollander Home Fashion. These workers, who make curtains, bedspreads and mattresses, have been out for over two weeks.

"We produce everything. You need us more than we need you!" charged an angry worker when a bosses' agent came out to speak with the strikers. The bosses have refused to negotiate. In January they sharply attacked the workers, cutting their wages in half while bringing in new machines to speed up the work and lower costs. Then over 450 workers in two plants in Vernon (a small city near here) struck for decent wages, a pension plan (they have none) and an end to harassment by supervisors. Workers with 25 years seniority earn between $7.50 and slightly over $8 an hour. These workers have been represented by the UNITE union for many years.

The strikers, especially the women, are very militant. They welcomed CHALLENGE with open arms and asked for extra copies of a PLP leaflet. It related a struggle in another garment factory and called for workers to fight for power and to March on May Day.

Several strikers spoke at a nearby high school, asking students for support and explaining that workers create all value. The strikers have welcomed the support of other garment workers, students and other workers. We are urging workers and students to raise money for the strikers and join their picket line.

The bosses are using scabs. When the scabs discover they're breaking a strike, many don't return. The union leaders obey the bosses' laws. When the strikers stopped a scabs' bus for ten minutes, the union opened a path for the bus to go through.

Many workers resist this, and want to use workers' violence to stop the scabs. Many agreed that the laws serve the bosses' interests, not the workers'. And many workers agreed that workers must break the bosses' laws to win anything. The bosses' State -- cops, courts and laws -- exist to keep workers exploited.

The entire capitalist system and its crisis of overproduction, not just the Hollander bosses, are attacking these workers. The fierce competition among the bosses driving for maximum profits has cut workers' wages or jobs in California while thousands of workers in China, Mexico, Central America and elsewhere, are forced to work for $2 to $4 a day.

Strikers said they're interested in coming to the May Day March on Saturday, April 28, to unite workers against the bosses' attacks and fight for workers' power. This strike shows capitalism cannot meet workers' needs. Our alternative is to fight together for a communist society where a decent retirement for workers is a priority--not expendable on the alter of the bosses' profits.

Transit Workers' Unity Jails
Sexist D.C. Boss

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20 -- A Metro senior supervisor was convicted here in Superior Court of sexual assault on a northern bus operator and given a 90-day jail sentence. This was the latest battle in an ongoing struggle against sexism at Metro, the city's mass transit system.

For several years women drivers have stood up to management's sexual attacks. In each case, the bosses have refused to take any serious action against the supervisor involved and have intimidated the workers making the accusations.

Men and women workers have circulated petitions to fight this management sexism. This has emboldened other women to fight back. In this particular case -- because of the support of her fellow workers -- this woman withstood an all-out attack on her credibility and the portrayal of her as a "disgruntled" worker trying to get back at management by "making false charges" against them.

Will this end sexism at Metro? No! The conviction was the result of a liberal woman judge, a very arrogant supervisor, some obvious lying by management and a very credible victim. The bosses who control the judicial system will not let this happen very often.

Sexism is very important for the bosses. It divides the working class and prevents many women from leading class struggle. Sometimes the bosses are willing to let one of their stooges go to jail to maintain their system's credibility.

Sexism, like racism will only end when workers make communist revolution and take political power away from the racist and sexist rulers. Because of the PLP's involvement in this struggle for many years, some workers have learned the above political lessons and have moved closer to the Party. Others believe the system can yield justice for women workers. But this is the nature of any reform effort. Without engaging the bosses in a struggle, no lessons can be learned.

Jobs Cut, Profits Rocket, Capitalism Kills 91 Oil Workers

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, March 16 --Today, an oil workers protest denounced the real causes behind the off-shore sinking of the state-owned oil company Petrobrás' biggest oil rig into the Atlantic Ocean. At least one worker died and ten are missing. Yesterday, three explosions within a few minutes of each other sank oil rig 36, located 125 kilometers (78 miles) off the coast here.

The United Federation of Oil Workers, which organized the protest, blamed Petrobrás for the "accident" with its policy of using contractors and cutting labor. In 1990 Petrobrás employed 60,000 workers. Today it's down to 34,000. Rig 36 opened in 1999, with a daily capacity of 180,000 barrels. Later that year it was producing a record one million barrels daily. Between production speed up and rising oil prices, profits shot up, but 91 oil workers paid with their lives. Twelve died on Rig 36 in 1999 alone. These non-union workers have less training and, of course, are paid less.

Capitalism and its industrial "accidents" kill workers from Inland Steel to off-shore in the Atlantic.

UCLA: Take Affirmative Action To Smash Bosses' Racism

LOS ANGELES, March 21 -- On March 14, PLP youth participated in a demonstration at UCLA for affirmative action and for the repeal of SP-1 and SP-2, the policies that ended affirmative action on University of California (UC) campuses. About 3,000 people came from all over the state, including many local high school students. About 140 CHALLENGES and nearly 1,000 leaflets were distributed that, as one comrade told people, "shows you need a revolution to get rid of racism." The march was spirited, rallying to chants like "U C Regents, We see racists!"

Despite the militancy and numbers, it did not force the Regents to vote on the issue. This left many students frustrated and angry. Others were more optimistic, saying that the effort caused several Regents to agree to put the vote on their agenda for their May meeting. While this is true, PLP is working to spread a critical communist approach to affirmative action, to explain why it was created and why it's been removed. Students involved in this struggle wrote a PLP leaflet about the racist nature of capitalism and the need for revolution to end it, calling on students to march on May Day.

Participating in this struggle is reaping results. Several local junior college students came and, for the first time, helped distribute PLP leaflets. We also met others from another UC campus that we've been working with who agreed to help with May Day. Friends of other comrades at different schools got the leaflet as well. This can inspire them to build for May Day on their campuses. PLP's presence also helped the Party at UCLA, where many students are linking the fight against racism to the fight against capitalism. All this will hopefully help bring a bigger college contingent to May Day this year.

Affirmative Action was a compromise won through student struggles. It helped integrate the colleges and universities. Faced with massive social unrest from urban rebellions and anti-war demonstrations at the end of the 1960s, the ruling class felt it could allow certain reforms like Affirmative Action. The U.S.' relative position of dominance in the world and the growing post-World War II economy convinced the rulers that not only could they allow more women and black, Latino and Asian students into the universities but they could turn them around and use them to defend the capitalist system and teach patriotism and loyalty to the U.S. bosses. California State Speaker of the House Bustamante spoke at the rally in favor of affirmative action. He represents the liberal politicians who want more black and Latino youth to go to college and to graduate believing that the system works.

As long as capitalism controls the schools, they will try to produce people from these groups who make racism and sexism legitimate while serving the bosses. But now that capitalism is in crisis, it is sucking the schools dry of needed resources and funds in order to pay for the bosses' global war plans. The bosses have fewer crumbs to give to youth and workers. So their need for more pro-capitalist black and Latin graduates conflicts with their need to divert funds for social programs, including affirmative action, into investments and wars to dominate their imperialist competition.

PLP fights this system's racism, for a world without racism, sexism, exploitation, bosses, or borders...a communist world. An attack on any one of us is an attack on us all. All students fighting racist attacks must understand that racism was born with capitalism. The only real end to all forms of racism will come destroying its creator, the capitalist system. Marching on May Day is one step towards that goal.

`No Free Speech For Racists!'

BERKELEY, CA, March 15 --"10 Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks are a Bad Idea for Blacks-And Racist Too!" Right-winger David Horowitz placed advertisements in college newspapers across the U.S. with this headline. When he came to speak at the University of California here, PLP'ers rallied outside, distributed nearly 200 leaflets with the headline, "NO FREE SPEECH FOR RACISTS!" and made communist speeches. We said the best reparations for racism is destroying the capitalist profit system that needs it. We ended by inviting all students to march on May Day for a communist world.

Horowitz claimed black people should be "thankful" for what the U.S. has "given them," and that "the failures of the black `underclass' are failures of individual character." Topping this racist garbage, Horowitz lied, "there never was an anti-slavery movement until white Englishmen and Americans created one." Mass slave revolts in Brazil created an independent communal society. In Haiti ex-slaves drove out the French slavemasters and then smashed Napoleon's invading hordes. In the U.S. over 400 slave revolts occurred before the Civil War. The 180,000 freed slaves who joined the Union Army became the decisive forced that defeated the Southern slaveowners.

However, calling for reparations for slavery and segregation, but not for an end to job and housing discrimination, police terror, incarceration or sub-standard schools is also a mistake. It implies racism no longer exists. It is true that slavery under capitalism was one of the cruelest forms of murder and exploitation in history, but ever since societies were divided into classes, the exploiters have murdered and brutalized the exploited masses, stealing the fruits of their labor. Today's bosses will never pay us that debt. That's why we need revolution.

The campus reactionaries say they invited Horowitz because he should have "a right to free speech." Well, he sure did: he was defended by cops and bodyguards and was interviewed on the evening TV news! Free speech is a question of power. The bosses have more free speech in their TV, movies, newspapers, schools and universities than workers will ever have under capitalism. On top of that, the cops defend racist speechmakers but attack demonstrators and striking workers. Speech and action are not unrelated. Spreading racist ideas leads to racist actions.

At this event we met friends and acquaintances who we'll see in "Students for Justice in Palestine" meetings or back in our classes. There we'll discuss the need for militancy.

We did not go in and disrupt the speech. This was a big mistake. We compromised our ideas by not doing our best to shout him down, mainly because we worried about not getting enough support. Next time we'll organize to do this and will struggle to mobilize groups from our mass organizations to join in.

Capitalism's No Accident; Murders Two More Steelworkers

EAST CHICAGO, IN, March 16 -- Ronald L. Robinson, 45, and Norman L. Brown, 53, were killed in a fiery explosion at Ispat Inland Steel. Both workers, with more than 25 years seniority, were burning out ductwork in the mill's No. 4 shop by cutting steel pipes with hand-held torches. Dan Kado and Mike Davis died in a similar explosion Feb. 2 at Bethlehem Steel's Burns Harbor plant.

The explosion occurred when the workers cut into a 12-inch high-pressure oxygen pipe that feeds oxygen to the furnace. The oxygen pipes are painted green, but years of grime and dust made them indistinguishable. The oxygen pipe was not shown on the building's blueprint and was the same size in diameter as other pipes in the area.

Before the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration had any time to investigate this double murder, United Steel Workers Local 1010 president Hargrove said, "We're not laying blame on anyone. We have a good safety program."

This is what it's coming to. Gambling casinos and beauty pageants. KKK rallies protected by hundreds of riot cops. Plant closings, layoffs, and funerals for murdered steel workers. This garden of weeds is bringing fascism and war, and must be pulled out from the roots. Steel workers have two more reasons to march on May Day and build PLP.

Workers of the World, Write!

They Can't Stand
the Truth

The article describing the "racial profiling" of babies at Cook County Hospital in the last CHALLENGE is causing a stir. Most people who read that newborns get their urine tested for drugs without anyone telling their mothers agreed with us -- it's terribly wrong to make criminals out of our patients and cops out of us medical workers. But administrators and doctors in charge of the program were furious, especially after 1,500 copies of the article in leaflet form filtered through the hospital last week. One clinical director saw some on a secretary's desk and asked angrily, "What are you doing with THOSE?" She replied coolly, "I'm planning to distribute them in my community. People need to know what's going on."

One of the doctors opposed to drug testing seems to be getting blamed for the leaflet. Of course! The bosses would assume no "mere" worker could be behind writing a leaflet. The head doctor, his boss, refused to speak to him. When he mentioned this to a nursing assistant friend, she said, "They can't stand it when the truth comes out."

Some people object to controversy. Why should we get everyone upset and cause tensions? Because if you rest comfortably while others are oppressed, it's only a matter of time before they come for you, too. Struggle, although stressful, gives knowledge, life and hope.

Some of those on the newborn ward have jokingly started calling each other "comrade." Not a bad start.

Red Hospital Worker

Smack C.R.A.C.K.

The Ad Hoc Coalition Against CRACK, organized a community forum opposed to the group Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity (CRACK). The latter is a private organization paying $200 to women with substance abuse problems who verify they've been sterilized or use long-term birth control methods. The Coalition is concerned with drug policy, women's health and racism.

Last summer CRACK opened a chapter here and placed subsidized ads on Metro buses serving the black and Latin communities. Several organizations immediately circulated petitions against the ads. Metro unions and the American Federation of Government Employees passed resolutions condemning CRACK. Last November, the American Public Health Association (APHA) passed an interim resolution opposing CRACK's approach to women who use drugs (see under Issues, and the March 2001 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, page 516). We urge other unions and organizations to use this resolution. In Seattle, organizers are plastering anti-CRACK messages over the CRACK advertisements.

At our meeting, speakers from the National Black Women's Health Project and the South Carolina Advocates for Pregnant Women spoke eloquently about CRACK's dangers. They explained how poverty and racism cause many of the problems that encourage self-medication or drug use, and how CRACK uses racial profiling to deal with this problem. For example, they don't try to reach women who use tobacco, which is much more widespread.

They also related CRACK to eugenics, the attempt to select "good genes" for reproduction and to limit "bad genes." During the 1920s and '30s, over 30 states legalized involuntary sterilization for those considered "mentally defective." Population control measures have been used on welfare recipients during the 1970s. Today, we see many groups linking inattention, violence or depression solely to biological causes rather than social conditions.

Black and Latin women are especially stigmatized for drug use. In many states, pregnant women who test positive for drugs can be arrested for inflicting harm on the fetus. Black and Latin people who use drugs are disproportionately arrested and jailed under harsh drug laws.

There are no quick fixes to drug addiction, but people can change with compassion, support and treatment. While we would support people who fight for that outlook, PLP believes that only a society free of exploitation for profits can eliminate drugs and addiction. We encourage all people opposed to CRACK to march on May Day on April 28 in Washington, D.C.

Participants at the Coalition meeting planned to organize an anti-CRACK campaign by holding more community forums, notifying clergy, meeting with City Council members and distributing the statement.

CRACK is also organizing in many other cities. Check their web site at to see if it's in yours so you can take action also.

D.C. Comrade

Fighting for
Our Children

Parents, teachers and a school nurse at an urban school have united to retain a free dental program and win safety rumble strips on the street in front of the school. The nurse found out which residents of the housing complex across from the school wanted to be involved through a regular neighborhood CHALLENGE route.

We faced many obstacles. While the authorities revealed how little they care, we persisted to achieve these immediate benefits. However, the fact that fatal accidents still occur and that our dental program is still in jeopardy demonstrates that we need a strong communist party to fight for a system where children will be our priority.

When a car crashed through the apartment complex, a parent who is a regular CHALLENGE reader and contributor alerted the school nurse, a communist, to begin a safety campaign. Only two other schools in the area have rumble strips. One has a very active parent-teacher coalition with communist involvement. At the other a student was killed despite the strips. Funds have been available for several years through a state grant for ALL the schools.

We asked the principal if we could circulate a petition for the rumble strips inside our school. She said it was a "community" affair, that we should take our case to the parent advisory council. The council (most of whom had never been public school parents) initially said a petition in the school was impossible. Two days later they called the school nurse saying we could go ahead. Evidently, they had second thoughts, worrying they would look bad if someone got hurt.

Even after hundreds signed, asking for traffic lights in addition to the strips, it still took many follow-up phone calls before the strips were installed (but no lights and no school signs). Just a few weeks later a speeding car killed a fourth-grade girl. The City then said it would have to do a survey because signs were so expensive. Today there are signs but still no traffic lights at the school corner.

Conditions have worsened since the state take-over of our schools. The dental program provides for buses or vans to take some children every week to get their teeth fixed. However, the dental bus attendants were privatized and then removed altogether. Now parents volunteer as unpaid attendants to keep the program running. When such a parent attendant has an emergency and can't escort the children, dozens are denied dental care. A fight possibly could be made to restore the original attendants. Still, the ongoing volunteer effort by parents and grandparents (most don't even have children in the program; many must go to Workfare sites), shows that communism won't need money and wage slavery to induce people to work to meet society's needs.

We have experienced first-hand that even though we put band-aids on the capitalist system, our children continue to bleed. Yet if we don't unite and fight, the rulers rip off whatever little monies are due us. Under the cover of state "supervision," school administrators have already stolen millions, while ceilings are literally falling on our children's heads.

As we PLP members lead class struggles, we must expose the nature of the capitalist system. CHALLENGE is an important tool. Two mothers have agreed to take five and three copies respectively for friends and folks in a Workfare program. This is all part of re-building a new communist international. We can begin now by marching on May Day, asking our friends to come, and join PLP.

Concerned parents, teachers,

aides and nurse

Go Way Back

CHALLENGE readers are familiar with the March 10th KKK rally in Gary, Indiana. The police staged an overwhelming show of force to protect two dozen Klan gutter racists. It was especially outrageous given the high level of racist police terror directed at young black and Latin workers, and the crisis in the steel industry that means plant and mill closings, job cuts and a rash of workers killed in explosions. But really, this is nothing new.

In her new book Carry Me Home, Diane McWhorter covers Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 when she was growing up. She reveals "the long tradition of enmeshment between law enforcers and Klansmen," including the FBI, state and local police.

She writes that in the 1920's, the coal and steel bosses used the KKK to get U.S.-born Protestants to fight immigrant Catholics so there would be "no danger of union solidarity even among whites, let alone across color lines." U.S. Steel and other corporations kept Klansmen on their payroll as anti-union thugs. When the owners of industry, known as the Big Mules, were no longer willing to dirty their own hands, they used "the racism they had fomented whenever the have-nots threatened to organize across racial lines," McWhorter writes. "Rather than give specific orders to the [KKK], they would delegate political intermediaries to oversee...racial violence."

Birmingham's police chief "Bull" Connor ran the Klan on behalf of the murdering Mules. Among the racist terrorists under Conner were Troy Ingram, who learned about dynamite while working for Charles DeBardeleben's coal mining company, and Robert Chambliss, who organized the infamous 16th Street church bombing that murdered four black children, using a device rigged by Ingram.

Conner was picked to be the center of an alliance of the Big Mules, the judges, the police, the politicians, local newspaper editors and the Klan. When Freedom Riders arrived in an integrated bus in 1961, he kept his police away so Klansmen could beat defenseless protesters. When children marched peacefully, Connor had them met by snarling police dogs, high-pressure fire hoses, cattle prods and clubs.

So the steel bosses and the KKK go way back. Old friends. Then as now, communists saw the struggle against racism as crucial to the liberation of the whole working class. And then as now, "The Cops, The Courts, The Ku Klux Klan, are all a part of the bosses' plan!"

Chicago Comrade

Vietnam: Turning
The Guns Around

A recent CHALLENGE supplement summarized the history of working-class revolts inside the bosses' military during the Vietnam War. We received the following letter from a long-time PL'er, a college professor. He tells of a comrade who was drafted after refusing the military deferment available at the time to college students and who entered the army to organize for communist revolution.

On the day this comrade was inducted into the army, I was one of those detailed to keep the MP's out of the room so he and fellow PL'ers could give speeches to the other recruits. When the MP's finally threw me out, they ripped off my pants, and I had to take the subway wrapped in newspaper. I heard the speeches were good, though. When M... returned from Vietnam a couple of years later he told this story. He was stationed in Pleiku and some guy fired quad 50's at him. He assumed the guy was trying to kill him because the guy disliked his politics. Later he confronted the guy, who apologized profusely, saying he had thought M... was an officer who they all hated! I still use this story with students from time to time.

A Comrade

Murder in Seattle By Racist Cops

On December 28, 1998, Michael Randall Ealy, a 35-year-old African American, was brutally murdered by two Seattle cops, McLaughlin and Traverso, and two American Medical Response (AMR) attendants. Michael had been calling for help; he was ill, very weak and unable to stand on his own. Some passersby called 911 to try to get help for him. Cops McLaughlin and Traverso arrived on the scene, as did Danny Hill and Brett Munsey in the AMR ambulance, which had been called to transport Michael to Harborview Hospital. Something happened on the way to Harborview, and Michael was DOA. He had intrusions, scars and bruises all over his body, and died of brain damage from suffocation.

It took 85 days to get an inquest. When one was finally called, it was composed of five white men and one white woman. There was no justice for Michael at this inquest.

At the end of last year, Michael's mother sued the four men involved, hoping to focus media attention on the case and get the King County police officers and AMR employees to be accountable for Michael's death. However, the jury voted 11-1 in favor of the murderers.

Challenge interviewed Michael's mother (see next issue). She has been very active in continuing the fight to determine what happened to Michael, to bring the responsible parties to justice, to organize the families of other people murdered by the police and to fight against this ever happening again.

Seattle Comrade


Nazism 101--
Sociobiology: Genes For Genocide

With this special supplement, CHALLENGE is reinvigorating our Party's struggle against the murderous theory that genes determine society. This idea starts as a "scientific" discussion, but its consequences are far from academic. In the first part of the 20th century, millions of workers died as victims of policies first developed by Harvard "eugenicists." Hitler could never have carried out his "Final Solution" without first establishing "racial science" in German universities. More recently, the U..S.imperialist war of genocide in Vietnam, racist budget cuts, the fascist Workfare slave labor scheme and many other body blows against the working class owe a lot to the Big Lies of genetic determinists like Arthur Jensen, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray. Like the sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, they all have close ties to Harvard. Wilson's "Consilience" (Consilience, a little-used word, roughly means "being on the same page.") is just the latest disguise assumed by this many-headed monster. Exposing and smashing this trash in a revolutionary manner is, quite literally, a matter of life and

death for our class

A recent CHALLENGE editorial (2/28) described the report of the U.S. Commission on National Security as a bosses' "blueprint for fascism" -- to centralize and strengthen the state apparatus, unite the capitalist class, increase attacks on the working class and indoctrinate us for war against rival capitalist countries. The rulers need the support of millions of college students and professors. The most important blueprint for the colleges is the 1997 book by Harvard professor E.O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge.

The ruling class is striving to make its government totally consilient in its preparations for "homeland security." Similarly, Wilson and the ruling class want to make all academic disciplines consilient, to effectively indoctrinate students and the general public by updating the Hitlerite lie that putting millions in concentration camps and carrying out genocidal wars is the highest calling of a genetically-based human nature. For example, Wilson claims the recent genocide in Rwanda and "ethnic cleansing" in the Balkans were rooted in genetically-based "tribal instincts, ethnic rivalry, and religious dogmatism," calling Rwanda "a microcosm of the world."

Ant specialist Wilson's 1975 Harvard-published book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, updated the old social Darwinist ideology that there is an underlying biological basis for all human social behavior. The bosses showered Wilson with publicity and praise, transforming him from an obscure investigator of ant colonies into an academic celebrity.

Four years ago they extolled Consilience as the crowning achievement of a visionary elder scientific statesman. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal lavishly praised his call for the subjugation of the social sciences and the humanities to the natural sciences.

Last June, a 3-day a New York Academy of Sciences conference, "Unity of Knowledge: The Convergence of Natural and Human Sciences," based itself on Wilson's book and featured him as keynote speaker. It involved prominent supporters of sociobiology, discussing how to promote consilience.

An example of this promotion occurred last month in New York. Senior administrators from Texas Tech University (TTU) met with Steven C. Rockefeller, chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express and E. O. Wilson who has helped develop the TTU program in natural sciences and the humanities. They wanted funding for, (1) a new inter-disciplinary major in "natural sciences and the humanities," and (2) an environmental institute for government research on germ warfare.

Since the 1890s, the Rockefeller family has used philanthropy to influence how the world is organized and to shape the direction of education. The Rockefellers' financed the field of "industrial relations" to promote reforms that would quiet U.S. workers unrest and radicalism. Here Rockefeller and Wilson were looking to establish a beachhead for Wilson's views within the university and develop a pro-business environmentalism.

They told TTU officials that campuses like theirs could become the cutting edge in reforming liberal arts education according to Wilson's Consilience ideas. They apparently viewed TTU as receptive to consilience and as "business friendly."

These developments reflect a broader consilient trend in universities. Biological anthropology and sociobiology have marginalized cultural anthropology. Evolutionary psychology, a disgustingly sexist update of sociobiology, has made significant inroads into psychology. Behavioral genetics and biological psychiatry have displaced social explanations for alcoholism, mental illness and violence.

Worse still, sociobiology has been applied in practice with horrific consequences. New York psychiatrists Wasserman and Pine have drawn blood samples from, and given fenfluromine to, young black and Latin boys to test abnormal serotonin levels in the brain as a "cause" of violent behavior. These children had no history of violent behavior and were subjected to risky experimentation without informed consent. These studies are part of a larger program of U.S. government- funded research once known as the "Violence Initiative."

Further, anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon and geneticist James Neel experimented on the Yanomami, indigenous people living on the brink of extinction in the Amazon basin of Brazil and Venezuela. Beginning in the 1960s, they bribed the Yanomami with metal goods, incited internal warfare, exposed them to epidemics of infectious diseases and dislocated villages, all to obtain 12,000 blood samples to test their sociobiological and eugenic theories.

In the 1970s, Wilson invented sociobiology based on Chagnon's lies about the Yanomami as "the fierce people" to support his claims that men are genetically predisposed to fight each other over access to women. Last year, British journalist Patrick Tierney published Darkness in El Dorado, exposing the genocidal crimes scientists like Chagnon and Neel committed or justified against indigenous Amazonian people. The book has provoked sharp struggle in the field of anthropology. The ruling class values sociobiology enough to mount a concerted attack against Tierney. (See review of Tierney's Darkness in El Dorado, next page.)

These examples of racist medical experimentation on minority children and indigenous Amazonian people offer a glimpse of capitalism in crisis moving toward fascism and world war. After all, U.S. genocidal sanctions have killed 1.2 million Iraqis, imprisoned two million workers at home and forced hundreds of thousands into slave labor in prisons or welfare Workfare programs.

Our Party fought against sociobiology in the 1970s. We led modest struggle against the racist Bell Curve in 1994. Recently we've built a more sustained campaign against the Violence Initiative. We need to increase our efforts to build a broad movement against the rulers' fascist ideology and strategy of consilience. This should include campus-based struggles against local sociobiologists, classroom struggles against sociobiology curricula and exposure of consilience at academic meetings.

These beliefs that everything is genetic have become very mainstream in the U.S. Every day we hear people say that intelligence, racism, nationalism, obesity, mental illness and children's behavioral problems are genetic. Such fascist ideology is being promoted throughout popular culture -- movies, songs, TV shows, etc. We must expose it and organize many more workers, students and professionals to learn through this battle the need to join and build the PLP in order to destroy the system responsible for fascism, capitalism.

Capitalist Anthropology:
`Science' of Extermination

The science of anthropology has just been rocked by its worst scandal in 50 years. Patrick Tierney's book Darkness in El Dorado charges prominent scientists with genocidal crimes.

During the early 1960's the Atomic Energy Commission funded research into mutation rates of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with the Cold War objective of establishing "tolerable" nuclear radiation dosages. As an unexposed "control" group, it chose the Yanomami, semi-isolated Indians living on the brink of extinction in the Amazon basin of Brazil and Venezuela. Geneticist James Neel, program director, and Napoleon Chagnon, then an anthropology graduate student, collected 12,000 blood samples from their "research subjects," bribing them with steel axes and pots.

Chagnon depicted the Yanomami as unusually brutal warriors, calling them " the fierce people." He claimed murder and trickery were rewarded in Yanomami society, and that they typify human society before agriculture. Actually, today's Yanomami are survivors of once-large Amazonian populations decimated by colonial slavery. After E.O.Wilson published Sociobiology (1975), Chagnon applied this new biodeterminist theory that human behavior is genetically inherited, falsely claiming that Yanomami men who kill have more children and are more likely to pass on their genes. When gold was discovered in Amazonia, Brazilian rulers -- seeking to carve up Yanomami land for profit -- used Chagnon's portrayal of Indians as bloodthirsty killers to justify genocide. By 1990, Chagnon, hated by Yanomami activists, was barred from Yanomami territory. His research was enshrined in popular films and college textbooks but attacked by other anthropologists who studied the Yanomami.

Guns, Germs, Steel and Anthropologists

According to Tierney, Neel and Chagnon carelessly or deliberately used an obsolete vaccine to spread a lethal measles epidemic among the Yanomami. This charge has grabbed headlines, and drawn angry rebuttals by Chagnon's supporters. But even more serious are charges that Chagnon became a village headman and created the very warfare he described by bribing Indians with sought-after steel goods and stirring up enmities. Chagnon's frequent trips to remote villages to gather blood samples and genealogies ignored the health of Yanomami, who lacked immunity to urban diseases and died by the thousands.

At one point "Chagnon's village" actually made war on "Lizot's village" run by another corrupt anthropologist! During the early '90s, Chagnon conspired with the crooked mistress of Venezuela's president Perez and gold mining bosses to create a Yanomami reservation which would allow unlimited access to minerals and to Chagnon's human research "subjects." Obviously Chagnon's "research" is scientifically worthless.

(Incidentally, this is the same President Pérez who, in 1989, sent tanks to murder hundreds of workers and youth who had rebelled against an austerity plan imposed by him and the International Monetary Fund. The reservation scheme was derailed when Pérez was ousted and imprisoned for being a crook and helping oil-rich Venezuela go broke.)


Chagnon's crimes have shaken U.S. anthropologists, who tend to be more left-leaning than most academics. Their national association began a formal investigation last month. But leaders of the academic right, who regard Chagnon's "research" as the poster child of human sociobiology, launched a pre-emptive strike against Tierney's book even before it was published, according to a Science magazine investigative reporter.

Chagnon's defenders campaigned by e-mail to discredit Tierney, lining up sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, philosopher Daniel Dennett, zoologist Richard Dawkins of "selfish gene" fame, psychologist Steven Pinker and science writer Matt Ridley. These men have no expertise in anthropology, human genetics or the Yanomami, and had not even seen Tierney's book. They are all hardcore biodeterminists; each is celebrated for pushing the idea that genes rigidly control human behavior.

This struggle is clearly very important to the ruling class and its academic bloodhounds. Our Party can give the leadership exposing the political motives and inevitable spread of fascism behind such "science".

Zapatistas March:
Can't Reform Bosses' Racist Rule.

MEXICO CITY -- The Zapatista march from Chiapas to Mexico City attracted masses. It dramatized the poverty, racism and oppression of the indigenous communities. Yet they sought protection from the bosses' constitution and used the rulers' flag as their banner. The EZLN's (Zapatista) nationalist alternative is "good democracy," a "just nation" and a world where all fit in. This creates the illusion that this exploitative capitalist system offers something beneficial to the working class. Yet for 500 years, millions of indigenous people have been subjected to the most brutal oppression. Without class content, the Zapatista movement becomes an obstacle to the liberation of the indigenous people.

All this politically disarms the oppressed in the face of growing fascism, a result of fierce imperialist competition for the natural resources and low-paid labor of Chiapas. It's no accident that President Fox is trying to negotiate with the EZLN in order to stabilize the southeast region and begin huge profit-making projects (see below).

In 100 days of rule, Fox and the group of fascist bosses he represents, have raised the price of everything, pushed speed-up in the work-place and aims to tax everything, while lowering wages. (Real wages have already declined 25% since 1980 -- LA Times, 3/25)

The indigenous people suffer the most rabid and brutal racism in the world today. They've been so marginalized that urban workers are either ignorant of, or passive and indifferent (sometimes accomplices) of the discrimination and terrible conditions of the indigenous people. "The worker in the white skin will never be free while the worker in the black skin is in chains," said Karl Marx. This applies to the indigenous communities, which provide the cities with domestic slave labor and forces the abandonment of children to the streets.

Up to now, the North has been the primary source of low-paid skilled labor while the South supplies oil and electricity. But now the Puebla-Panama project will employ indigenous slave labor to develop Southern Mexico in order to produce low-cost goods for the Central American market and act as a brake on emigration to the U.S.

Historically the indigenous people in Mexico have fought back the hardest. Today, they are the most willing to take up arms, to sacrifice their lives to end oppression. The rise of the EZLN publicized the racism afflicting the indigenous people. But its political alternative will lead to alliances with one or another capitalist/imperialist gang.

PLP must spread our communist politics to the rebellious communities. We're convinced that only communism can liberate them and the whole working class from racism and exploitation. We must win these communities to make the fight for communism their fight. CHALLENGE is distributed in some indigenous communities and has sparked discussions and study groups about communism. This is the beginning of the fight for liberation.

[Editor's note: Using the term "Zapatour" in our last issue was an error. "Zapatour" is a term created by the right-wing racists who degrade the indigenous rebellion.]

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Special Effects Make History Disappear

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the recent multiple Oscar-winning film by Ang Lee attempts to play off two film genres: the Hong Kong-based martial arts melodrama and the "yakuza" saga. Yakuza culture (gangster samurai serving the ruling class in one form or another) is Japanese, and Crouching Tiger is Chinese, but the analogy holds. These films are really about mythologies of violence, revenge and redemption in which the central character is provoked into using his/her martial arts skills in defense of an aggrieved sense of communal moral outrage. In the case of Crouching Tiger, the main achievement is not the awesome and breathtaking special effects, but the way in which the film makes the oppressive "communal" bonds of feudalism and early mercantilism in China completely invisible.

One interesting aspect of this film is its use of complex female characters in prominent roles. As a matter of fact, these women are far more interesting than the men! In martial arts films, women are usually either sex objects or the victims of male action; rarely, are they the subjects of the plot. Although Ang Lee deserves some credit for nodding in the direction of women's independence, the women are eventually circulated back into the male-dominated social relations of a feudal culture. The female protagonist, played by the actress Michelle Yeoh, owns a private security business which guards shipments of commodities and currency from place to place in China. The male protagonist (Chow Yun Fat) is the alienated (exiled? retired?) leader of a yakuza cult, formerly in service to the same ruling class. Yeoh's character is like an ancient Pinkerton or rent-a-cop! What's totally absent and romanticized beyond belief are the class relations of feudal, semi-feudal, and emergent mercantile economies. There is also the distorted history of the warlords -- glorified gang leaders posing as military officers -- who also use the yakuza/samurai/martial arts cultists for the same purposes as the various Chinese dynasties and ruling classes do: extreme repression and coercion to guarantee their own personal power and that of their allies, available for a price, of course.

So the film uses impressive cinematography and special effects to lull the audience into a sense of wonder and awe at its beauty and the exotic allure of seemingly bizarre and distant Chinese cultures of the past. "Oh, how inscrutable, how beautiful, how honorable, how loyal, how romantic! It took my breath away!" While the audience gasps in temporary, but pleasurable, cardiopulmonary distress, ideologies of primitive capital accumulation, murder, racism, rape, pillage, etc., go unobserved or are so disguised as to be unrecognizable. This, I think, is the point of the film--to create a world elsewhere, to distort history. In this sense, the film reminds me of the Godfather trilogy and the current HBO hit, The Sopranos. With one or two exceptions, mainstream films about organized crime romanticize the violence of the criminals, disguise their relationship to big capital, and lure us into fuzzy thinking about the nature of crime, honor and loyalty.

By the way, none of the above is meant to suggest that we should avoid these films. My breath was taken away at some of the scenes in Crouching Tiger, and I laugh at some stuff on The Sopranos. All the more reason to see such films with our friends and discuss the political nature of art with them.