July-August 2012
Number 73

Publication of the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA

All Out to Charlotte, N.C. –

Protest “Republicrat” Rule at the Democratic National Convention

Also included in this issue:

The Walker Recall Election Defeat in Wisconsin
Obama’s “Carrot and Stick” on Immigration
      -a book review and historical analysis-  by RAY LIGHT
“If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention”

During the first week of September, the Democratic Party will be holding their nominating convention for President of the United States in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Wall Street of the South. President Obama will be making his acceptance speech at none other than the Bank of America Stadium.

The Democratic Party continues to hold sway within the leadership of the trade union and various civil rights and other “progressive” organizations despite the fact that the Democrats have proven to be as faithful servants to Wall Street capital and U.S. imperialism as the Republicans – and better at keeping the fight-back resistance at bay.  Social props of capitalism, such as the leadership of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win labor federations, who promote Democratic Party rule on the “lesser of two evils” basis, are helping lead the people to defeat as witnessed by the Walker recall debacle in Wisconsin.

Sadly, the U.S. working class movement is still so politically weak that we have yet to even build a bourgeois “third party” “Labor Party” electoral alternative that arises from and has some accountability to the working class and oppressed people. In this presidential election cycle there is not even an outstanding individual candidate to rally around as in 2008 when former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney ran for president against McCain and Obama and anti-war heroine Cindy Sheehan ran against Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat in California. Whether it’s Romney or Obama, the guaranteed winner of the 2012 U.S. Presidential election is Wall Street. The “99%” will be the guaranteed losers. A solid protest at the DNC in Charlotte is a needed step in the process of workers and their allies breaking politically with the Democratic Party and beginning the process of breaking the shackles of U.S. capitalist enslavement.

Under these circumstances, as outstanding Afro-American leader Larry Hamm, head of New Jersey’s Peoples Organization for Progress (POP), recently observed, the most important day of the 2012 Presidential election season will be the day after the election: fighting for decent jobs and homes, quality health care for all, saving our unions, a clean environment, ending the Wall Street wars at home and abroad, bringing the war dollars home, protecting and improving Social Security and Medicare, democratic rights including Afro-American and immigrant rights and developing a more vigorous fight for workers’ power – will be on the order of the day!

What follows is a positive mass call from the Labor Coalition of the Carolinas to Oppose Corporate Politics calling on workers to join together against the two parties of big business. It was signed by over three dozen elected labor representatives and activists from the Carolinas. This press statement can serve as a good organizing tool within our unions, Occupy, fraternal, community and faith based organizations. See you, your co-workers, families and friends in the streets in Charlotte on Sunday, September 2nd!

Labor Coalition of the Carolinas to Oppose Corporate Politics

Press Statement
July 3,  2012

On Labor Day 2012 the Democratic Party will open its Convention here in Charlotte N.C., one week after the Republican Party will have completed their convention in Tampa, FL. Each political party will claim to represent what is best for the people of the United States. And they will each make plenty of election year promises.

One thing is certain: Both the Democratic and Republican parties have utterly failed the poor and working people of this country. Between the two corporate parties, (the “Republicrats”) we say, “none of the above.”

Both political parties have used the people ʼs tax money to bail out Wall Street to the tune of trillions of dollars while Main Street, the 99%, suffers deeply under Wall Street greed and the profound economic crisis it caused.

Both political parties, in the face of massive lay-offs, refuse to promote a major, countrywide “public works” jobs program that will provide millions of decent jobs while rebuilding the crumbling public infrastructure and facilities of the U.S. – railroads, bridges, schools, public hospitals, parks, libraries, etc.

Both political parties have continued to rescue the banks that foreclosed on the “American Dream” for millions of taxpayers through unlawful home foreclosures and refusal to extend credit to small businesses. All while sitting on trillions in cash reserves obtained from the Republican and Democratic Party bailouts.

Both political parties promote austerity and cut-backs for the people with threats to Medicare, Social Security, education, environmental protection, and the public Postal Service. On the cutting edge of their drive toward our impoverishment are new and more aggressive restrictions on public sector worker organizing and collective bargaining across the USA.

Both political parties have jointly waged wars in the Middle East for big oil profits and U.S. dollar domination – and spent some $4 trillion – while leaving the people of the United States in deepening impoverishment.

Both political parties have dangerously undermined and eroded civil rights and civil liberties, including our right to protest right here in Charlotte. (The Republican and Democratic Parties have been handed more than $100 million dollars of our tax money to use to “secure” their national conventions against us!) We support the traditional Labor Day Parade through Downtown Charlotte, which should not be canceled or otherwise disrupted in deference to the DNC.

Both political parties refuse to address the massive health care crisis, the lack of quality and affordable health care for millions.

Both political parties continue to “wheel and deal” to protect the tax breaks for the rich (individual and corporate) which directly cause monetary shortfalls, resulting in cuts to education, Medicare and assaults on public sector services, workers and their unions.

Both political parties are allowing the environment to be degraded at an alarming rate, with hydraulic fracking, new nuclear power and expanded off-shore oil drilling.

No wonder the majority of the people in this country believe the government does not have the consent of the governed and the approval rating of Congress is below 10%.

In order to address this situation from the point of view of the majority, “the 99%,” we the undersigned hereby announce the formation of “the Labor Coalition of the Carolinas to Oppose Corporate Politics.”  We intend to mobilize a working class/union labor fight-back that will link up with the broader “Coalition to Protest At the DNC in Charlotte.”

The Labor Coalition of the Carolinas to Oppose Corporate Politics calls for employed, underemployed and unemployed workers, union and non-union, African-American, Latino, Native American, immigrant and white workers of the Carolinas, from youth to retirees, to join with us and others in protest during the DNC – fighting against corporate/banking/Wall Street domination of the policies and politics of the United States government and for decent jobs, housing and health care for all.

Let our voices be heard loud and clear – “business as usual” is over!


From Strength to Weakness:

The Walker Recall Election Defeat in Wisconsin

by MIKE S.

The uprising in Wisconsin sixteen months ago against the full-fledged assault on public sector workers, their rights to collective bargaining and the very existence of their unions was a real advance for the U.S. working class. Tremors were felt in the foundations of capitalism. The Ray O’ Light Newsletter of May-June 2011 summed up the rich experience of the “Battle of Wisconsin”:

“The workers of Wisconsin were ready to fight back. Their response has breathed new life into a moribund labor movement. The state house was taken over for more than three weeks, daily demonstrations reached over 100,000 participants at their peak, made up mostly of Wisconsin workers. Large numbers of workers were calling in sick and joining the protests and the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council based in the Madison Wisconsin area seriously raised the question of a general strike. The spirit of the just and popular uprisings of the people of Tunisia and Egypt had spread to Wisconsin!” (“Wisconsin Battleground Update: The Struggle Continues...”)

Yet 16 months after the Wisconsin uprising, Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce, the Tea Party, the Koch brothers and their Americans for Prosperity and their ilk are celebrating labor’s defeat as efforts to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker from office went down in flames.*

* Election results in San Jose and San Diego, California gave these reactionary forces even more to cheer about. By a 70% margin in San Jose and 66% margin in San Diego, voters cast their ballots to cut city workers’ pensions (current and future) regardless of current provisions in contracts and without subjecting the issues to collective bargaining. In one city, the ballot initiative was promoted by Democratic Party rule, in the other, Republican Party rule.

In Wisconsin, Tea Party favorite Governor Scott Walker won with a larger margin than in his initial election, beating Democrat Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett with over 53% of the vote. This is despite the fact that an impressive 900,000 valid signatures were obtained on the recall petition. Tens of millions of dollars of corporate money poured into Walker’s coffers. According to the New York Times, “State law allowed unlimited contributions to Mr. Walker’s campaign mirroring the free flow of money into presidential campaigns via federal super PACs that were allowed under the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision ... The biggest contributors to Mr. Walker included investments from Bob Perry, the Houston homebuilder whose family has spent more than $8 million this election cycle, Foster Friess, the entrepreneur who was the leading benefactor to Rick Santorum, Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who provided millions to Newt Gingrich, Charles and David Koch whose group helped finance millions in advertisements.” (New York Times, June 7, 2012)  The corporate-led anti-recall Walker forces outspent the union-led pro-recall efforts seven to one!

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party candidates both during the primary and the actual recall election period barely mentioned or campaigned on the core issue of the recall effort, the right to collective bargaining! The Democratic National Committee (DNC) refused to sufficiently respond to funding requests by the Wisconsin State Democratic party and Obama himself stayed out of the fray.* Noteworthy is that, according to exit polls, 18% of the anti-recall Walker voters plan to vote for Barack Obama in the fall. This is reminiscent of the lack of Obama support helping to defeat progressive former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, a defeat which, in turn, helped to open the reactionary floodgates in Wisconsin.

* Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan observed, “He [Obama] doesn’t go to Wisconsin where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker’s place, where the money is.” (Wall Street Journal, June 9-10, 2012)

The deceitful corporate/government message that public sector workers are living “high off the hog” at the expense of the hard working taxpayers took hold. An indication of the success of this divide and conquer strategy is that approximately one-third of union members and half of members of union households who were not union members voted for Walker, the ultimate union-buster!

Furthermore, he prevailed in the ten poorest counties of the state. As workers buy into divide and conquer, the rich are laughing all the way to the bank: Two-thirds of Wisconsin corporations pay no taxes. The banks that sunk the economy, causing state budget shortfalls and opening the floodgates for attacks on the public sector workers and unions, got bailed out by the “Republicrats” with public taxpayer money.*

* Instructive in this regard the New York Times reported:  “Backed with millions of dollars in contributions from business, the Committee to Save New York has been Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s most important ally in his battles with public-sector unions over government spending, pensions and teacher accountability ... But the committee turns out to have another source of money: a group of building trade unions who contributed $500,000 last year ... and help finance an offensive against their public-sector brethren ...” (New York Times, June 8, 2012, my emphasis)

So what went wrong?  The seeds of this defeat were planted when the misleaders of labor refused to respond to the militancy of the workers fighting back to “Save their Unions” and to build on that militancy. These misleaders sapped the energy leading toward a massive Solidarity Day III in the streets of Wisconsin and failed to advance the strike weapon as the battle lines were drawn and the fighting Wisconsin workers had occupied the state Capital.

Instead, as the Revolutionary Organization of Labor raised over a year ago in an article “Wisconsin Battleground Update: The Struggle Continues...,” “The tremendous unity and activity of the Wisconsin working class has now been largely diverted into the framework of the legal system and electoral politics ... Focus on recall election tactics [recalling Republicans and electing Democrats in their place] has taken the initiative away from the workers, dissipated the workers’ unity in action in the street, and directed it into a ‘safe’ electoral process with its facade of democracy ... While creative use of the electoral process, such as referenda, can be a positive arena for struggle, it will never be a winning tactic when it is used to substitute for and divert the direct action of the workers.”

The article continued...  “The outcome of the struggle to save the unions, will either lead to further impoverishment of the working class, both in the private and public sector, or lead to a resurgence of a militant, fighting labor movement in the U.S. capable of beating back the assaults and shifting the economic crisis back onto the capitalist class, onto those who caused it. Thus far, ‘the labor lieutenants of the capitalist class’ have been taking us down the path of defeat despite the exemplary efforts of the Wisconsin workers, their families and supporters.” (Ray O’ Light Newsletter #66,May-June 2011)

The defeat of the Walker recall enlivens and emboldens the most anti-union, anti worker forces throughout the United States and their dream of the unfettered “Iron Heel” crushing and eliminating unions as self defense organizations of the workers. (For example AFSCME dues-paying membership in Wisconsin declined from over 62,000 to under 29,000 from the withering attacks launched by Walker.) Even The New York Times, warned in their editorial on the Walker recall election: “The people who kept Mr. Walker and his policies in power are just getting started.” (6/7/12)

Yet the Wisconsin uprising and what followed provides the working class with invaluable experience and lessons that can turn the tide and lead Wisconsin and other workers from weakness to strength – and victory:

* Unions need to be rebuilt on a democratic and militant basis, with worker involvement and activism at its core and solidarity and “An Injury to One is an Injury to All” as its CREDO.

* Workers and their organizations need to break with the Democratic Party.

* The working class needs to build a worker based political party accountable to the working and other oppressed sectors of society such as Afro-Americans and Latinos, not the banks and Wall Street.

* Stripped of their basic democratic union rights such as grievance procedures and collective bargaining rights, which also served to regulate and restrict their conduct, Wisconsin workers can now actively engage in direct action in the workplaces around key demands. This includes creative use of “work to rule” campaigns, safety campaigns, strikes, sit-ins, etc.

* Strong alliances with the community, especially in the fields of education and healthcare, can be built and become a fighting force for workers’ rights.

* With an approach that the union belongs to the members, union dues can be collected without dues check off and can strengthen workers’ commitment to their unions.

* It was the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt which helped inspire the Wisconsin Workers’ fightback. We should take heart that in the long and difficult struggle the Egyptian people and workers remain in the streets as their struggle continues...

Let the Walker recall be a wake up call! Let the working class recall its fighting and solidarity traditions of which the Wisconsin uprising has now become a part.

“On Wisconsin” is among the most famous college football “fight songs.” Its lyrics include “Fight, Fight, Fight!!”

On Wisconsin – fight for workers power throughout the land!

An Election Time Ploy:



On June 15, 2012, U.S. imperialist chieftain, President Barack Obama announced that his administration would stop deporting hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant youth who meet certain criteria.  Such criteria include being thirty years old and under, brought to the United States as children under the age of sixteen, have resided in the U.S. at least five years and are in school or received a high school diploma or GED, have been honorably discharged from military service and cannot have been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.

President Obama’s executive action is estimated to impact 800,000 to 1.4 million immigrant youth in the USA who are now being encouraged by the government to apply for “deferred action from deportation.” Obama’s action does not change the status of any undocumented youth. Each potentially eligible young person will be required to apply individually to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a “deferred action” and a work permit and to reapply every two years for these “benefits.” Furthermore, USCIS reserves the right to terminate or renew “deferred action” at its discretion!

This is the same President Obama whose Democratic administration has deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants, especially from Latin America, (1.2 million since taking office in 2009), including parents of the very youth who he is now claiming to champion! It is the same President Obama whose administration has expanded the “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) deportation program of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). S-Comm requires the transfer of information from local law enforcement to ICE to check the immigration status of any person charged with even minor “crimes” such as traffic violations. S-Comm was initiated, but barely implemented, under Republican President George W. Bush. Under the Democratic Obama administration it has been spread to virtually every law enforcement jurisdiction in the country.* This is the same President Obama that prosecutes U.S. foreign policy on behalf of Wall Street Capital that is the primary source of forced migration from the oppressed nations to the shores of the United States. (Remember U.S. support of the military coup against the democratically elected Zelaya government of Honduras and the seven new U.S. military bases in Colombia!)

* Just last month, on May 15, 2012, the Obama S-Comm program was implemented in New York State and Massachusetts, two states where significant mass resistance to the program resulted in the state governors taking action against the program a year ago. On June 5, 2012, ICE activated the S-Comm program in Washington, DC, where there also was significant opposition.

Without a mass movement in the streets for immigrant rights as was displayed in 2006, what primarily accounts for Obama’s announcement on undocumented youth? The election for the next “Republicrat” chieftain of U.S. capitalism is around the corner. Polls show Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, and Romney, the Republican Party candidate, in a virtual tie. The election will come down to a few “battleground” states, some with large Latino voting populations. As Bruce Dixon, managing editor at Black Agenda Report, recently observed in response to Obama’s announcement, “It’s a no-cost cynical ploy by the Obama Administration a few months before the election to shore up his sagging support in the Latino community. In 2008 Obama received more than two thirds of an abnormally large Latino vote which made the difference in several states.” (The crucial Latino vote also underscores why openly anti-immigrant Republican presidential candidate Romney had such a muted response to President Obama’s “pro-immigrant” announcement.)

In an article entitled “Obama reacts to immigration struggle” (June 28, 2012), Workers World Party lauds this new Obama immigration policy as a victory produced by mass struggle and refuses to denounce Obama’s sordid record in relation to immigrant workers. These opportunists disarm the people by creating illusions about both the current strength of the immigrant rights movement and the bestial nature of the Democratic Party Obama administration and U.S. imperialism.

As Ray Light pointed out in May 2006: “In the epoch of imperialism and the proletarian revolution, (the last one hundred years or so), the principal character of migration from the oppressed and dependent nations of Asia and Latin America into the USA has been of a forced character. Especially in the sixty years or so since the end of World War II, when U.S. imperialism became the leading imperialist power in the world, immigrants have come to these shores driven from their homelands by a combination of U.S. imperialist-backed terror and by economic hardship based on the U.S. imperialist-led economic control of their countries through international institutions like the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank and the U.S.-based corporate monsters like Exxon-Mobil, GE, GM, Microsoft, Citigroup, etc. ...”

“The aim of U.S. imperialism is to maximize private profit through exploitation and super-exploitation of workers both within the United States and around the world. The various proposals for ‘immigration reform’ being considered by the U.S. Congress represent two sides of a strategy to entice immigrants into the United States to work (‘Bring ‘em here’) and to maintain a workforce submissive and ripe for super-exploitation (‘Beat ‘em down.’) Such exploitation and terror directed against one section of the working class serves also to further repress all sections of the working class (‘Beat ‘em all down’).” (“The Growing Movement for Immigrant Rights in the USA and the Question of Immigration,” Ray O’ Light Newsletter #42)

President Obama’s new executive action on undocumented youth, especially his plan to issue two year work permits, combined with continued mass deportations is clearly an example of the “carrot and stick” approach to immigrant workers. It is a cynical effort to play on the hopes and dreams of these youth and their families. In reality it places the youth in a “permanently temporary” and second class position within the workforce, undermining the position of all workers, while helping to provide U.S. monopoly capitalists (Corporate America) a more stable low-paid and vulnerable temporary workforce.

If, unlike with his previous “promises” to the Latino community, Obama follows through with this promise, will it help some young immigrant people? In some limited and temporary cases, yes, and this is the positive side of this reform, regardless of its motivation. But the Obama announcement on undocumented youth has serious limitations and negative consequences: Mass deportations will continue; massive youth unemployment remains unabated; the high and ever rising cost of college education remains; no path is provided any undocumented immigrants to legalization; large numbers will be excluded due to “criminal” records resulting from police and state repression of immigrant communities; and repressive state anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB1070 are left standing.

This new policy is being used to rally young immigrant workers around the flag and U.S. imperialism. In the June 15th press conference announcing this change, President Obama said that undocumented youth, “... pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.” It sets the stage for open recruitment of undocumented youth into the U.S. military, thereby strengthening the military might and capacity of U.S. imperialism.

The most immediate consequence of the new Obama-led policy is that it fosters illusions regarding the nature of U.S. imperialism and the Democratic Party, politically disarming many mainstream Latino organizations, NGO’s and Dream Team youth who have praised this Obama announcement and called for Latino voters to actively rally behind President Barack Obama’s re-election.

Finally, it flushes out and exposes young undocumented people who will now have to register with the government, with the potential of future harassment, prosecution and deportation.

Don’t be Fooled by Election time ploys!

Let’s continue the Fight against the “Republicrats” for:

Legalization for all undocumented youth and people! –
Defend All Workers’ Rights!
Stop the Deportations! –
End the “Secure Communities” Program!

Support National Democratic Revolutions leading to Socialism
throughout Latin America and all Oppressed Nations!

Fight for Workers’ Power and Socialism in the USA!

Khrushchev Lied!  —
Why this is so important today!

-a book review and historical analysis-


“Soviet Union, if we could gather up all the blood spilled in your struggles,
all you gave as a mother to the world so that freedom, dying, might live,
we would have a new ocean / larger than any other / deeper than any other
vibrant as all rivers / active as the fire of Araucanian volcanoes.

Sink your hand into this sea, Man of every nation,
then withdraw and drown in it / all that has forgotten, outraged,
lied and stained, all that joined the hundred small curs
 of the Western dump-heap and insulted your blood,
Mother of free men!”

                                                                                    – Pablo Neruda
(Excerpt from Let the Railsplitter Awake, Canto General, 1948)

In 2011, Grover Furr published a book in English entitled, Khrushchev Lied. The book deals almost exclusively with evidence this professor had amassed about one speech that is over fifty years old! And this book is important becauseNikita Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech” to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik) (CPSU(B)) was arguably the most important speech of the twentieth century and still casts a giant shadow today over the political events breaking out all over the world.

On February 25, 1956 Nikita Khrushchev, as the head of the CPSU(B), made his “secret” or “closed” surprise speech to the delegates assembled at the 20th Congress of the CPSU(B) alleging a number of damaging and even horrific revelations about the recently deceased, long time leader of that political party and of the Soviet state, Joseph Stalin. Indeed, Stalin had also been the leading figure of the world communist movement for more than a quarter of a century.

Under Stalin’s leadership, only a decade earlier, the CPSU(B) and the Soviet people had spearheaded a global communist and workers movement that had largely on its heroic shoulders defeated world fascism — laying the basis for the birth of the people’s democracies in Eastern Europe, the blossoming of political independence in much of the African continent and the Middle East, and the Communist Party-led national liberation victories of Peoples China and half of Korea and Vietnam in rapid succession. With this momentum, just a few years later, the Cuban Revolution brought this great upsurge of national independence and socialism to Latin America. Close to half the world’s peoples now lived in countries in the “socialist camp” or that were close allies of this Soviet Union-led camp.

Within the USSR itself, as even Stalin critic, Roger Keeran and his co-author, Thomas Kenny, acknowledge: “… no society had ever increased living standards and consumption so rapidly in such a short period of time for all its people. Employment was guaranteed. Free education was available for all, from kindergarten through secondary schools (general, technical and vocational), universities, and after-work schools … free health care existed for all, with about twice as many doctors per person as in the United States. Workers who were injured or ill had job guarantees and sick pay.” Keeran/Kenny point out that the state regulated all prices and subsidized the cost of basic food and housing with rents (in the mid 1970’s) taking only 2-3% of the family budget and water and utilities only 4-5%. Workers averaged a month’s vacation per year and resorts and children’s camps were free or subsidized. Other free or subsidized social benefits included: paid maternity leave, inexpensive child care and generous pensions. Furthermore, “state subsidies kept the price of books, periodicals and cultural events at a minimum … UNESCO reported that Soviet citizens read more books and saw more films than any other people in the world.”  According to Keeran and Kenny, “The overall equalization of living conditions in the Soviet Union represented an unprecedented feat in human history.” (Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union, International Publishers, 2004)

Thus, Nikita Khrushchev, as he presented his secret speech, was wrapped in the tremendous authority of the Soviet Communist Party, which, under Stalin’s leadership, for almost two generations, had led so many proletarian revolutionary victories in the face of hostile capitalist encirclement all over the globe!

Khrushchev focused his surprise attack on Stalin’s leadership in several areas: he claimed that Stalin cultivated a cult-like following, suppressed any initiative by other leaders and repressed them en masse. Khrushchev alleged that Stalin tried to heap glory and credit on himself for accomplishments that others were responsible for (such as authorship of the famous History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Short Course) and that Stalin downgraded Lenin in raising himself up. Khrushchev passed out copies of a note written by Lenin, shortly before his death, in which he had expressed a concern about Stalin’s personality that, taken totally out of context, appeared to support Khrushchev’s main thrust that Stalin might become “dictatorial.”  Khrushchev also claimed that Stalin showed weakness, indecision and cowardice in the face of the unprecedentedly powerful Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941 and was a bad commander in chief during World War II. Most seriously, Khrushchev alleged that there had been no plots of Soviet leaders in connection with foreign powers to overthrow the Stalin-led Soviet regime and that Stalin’s personality defects were responsible for the bloody purges of Soviet communist ranks that occurred in 1937 and 1938.

Given all the wondrous accomplishments of the Soviet-led international communist movement during the long period when Stalin was the unquestioned leader of this great movement, the allegations by Khrushchev struck the world communist movement with the force of a thunderbolt. Initially, just the delegates to the 20th Party Congress had copies of this speech. However, the New York Times and other imperialist media also somehow got copies and trumpeted the news to incredulous and skeptical rank and file communists and other revolutionary folks throughout the world. In this way, news of the content of Khrushchev’s speech dripped out like a rotten apple in the middle of a barrel of healthy apples, like acid slowly eating away at the flesh of the communist movement around the world.

In the years immediately following Khrushchev’s surprise speech, there were some Marxist-Leninists in various parts of the world, including in the USSR, who came to Stalin’s defense on a principled proletarian revolutionary basis. For example, at the last large world communist gathering, the meeting of 81 communist parties held in Moscow in 1960, the Albanian Party of Labor, led by comrade Enver Hoxha, took just such a principled stand.* Openly in the face of Nikita Khrushchev and the revisionists that had come to power in the USSR largely on the basis of their attacks on J.V. Stalin, Comrade Hoxha said:

* Enver Hoxha was the outstanding founding leader of the Party of Labor of Albania and of the Albanian national democratic revolution which won victory in conjunction with the Soviet-led victory over global fascism in World War II. In 1960, comrade Hoxha was the head of the Albanian Party and State.

“Stalin fought for the rights of the working class and the working people in the whole world; he fought to the end, with great consistency, for the freedom of the peoples of our countries of people’s democracies … Viewed from this angle alone, Stalin belongs to the entire communist world and not only to the Soviet communists. He belongs to all the workers of the world and not just to the Soviet workers … We should all defend the good and immortal work of Stalin. He who does not defend it is an opportunist and a coward …” (Enver Hoxha, Speech delivered at the meeting of 81 communist and workers’ parties in Moscow, 1960)

Of course, comrade Hoxha was correct that the question of Stalin was not the (national) “private property” of the Soviet Party. Nevertheless, part of the Khrushchevite revisionist rejoinder to comrade Hoxha and others was the bourgeois nationalist position that comrades in parties outside the USSR had no right to speak, discuss or analyze what “de-Stalinization” was all about. Tragically, there were very few other communist leaders in that important gathering and in the period that followed who were prepared to tackle Khrushchev and the powerful Soviet state under his command head-on.*

* It is worth considering the curious timing of the 1960 arrest and imprisonment of David Siqueiros, the new Chairman of the Mexican Communist Party, world famous Mexican mural artist and staunch Stalinist, and veteran of the Mexican Revolution, widely admired as a hero among the Mexican people and the world’s people. Recently incarcerated, he thus could not attend the 81 Party Meeting. Siqueiros served four years in prison from 1960 until 1964, the year that Khrushchev (but not Khruschevism) was ousted from leadership in the USSR. This was the only time in his long revolutionary career that Siqueiros was so detained!

As Sun Tzu, the legendary medieval Chinese expert on the art of war, taught: “supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” Flashing forward more than fifty years, there are no longer any “countries of people’s democracies” and no Soviet Union. There is no “socialist camp.” And there is not even an organized international communist movement. The attack on Stalin by Nikita Khrushchev begun in the “closed” or “secret” speech that he gave at the 20th Congress of the CPSU(B) had started the rapid unraveling of this once great world movement.

Until late 1967, in common with many of those who had sided with the Chinese Communist Party and the Albanian Party of Labor in their principled dispute with the Khrushchevite revisionists in the early 1960’s, I shared the “worldly-wise,” skeptical and individualist “revolutionary” view articulated by Chairman Mao that Stalin had been about 70% correct and about 30% incorrect. In a period when the main contradiction had become the contradiction between the oppressed peoples centered in Asia, Africa and Latin America, on the one hand, and imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism, on the other, the downplaying of Stalin and the promotion of Chairman Mao had seemed fitting. And, such a position did not require a ruthless proletarian struggle against revisionism in defense of Leninism.

At that juncture, with the help of a few veteran communists in the USA, I recognized that the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) in China (begun in mid 1966 in the name of Mao) with its inward, insular focus on China and petty bourgeois anarchist attack on the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) was a terrible setback for the proletarian revolutionary cause in China and the world. The difficulties that the principled forces in the CPC were having in dealing with the “left” and right opportunist assaults on the Chinese Revolution in the so-called “GPCR” underscored the brilliant proletarian revolutionary leadership of the Leninist Party in the USSR under Stalin’s leadership. Accordingly, I developed tremendous appreciation for Stalin’s decades-long leadership through incredible trials and tribulations of the Soviet Party and state and the international communist movement.

Our little group became, simply, Youth for Stalin. And we published a 70 page pamphlet, entitled, “The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement” with the subtitle, “The October Revolution vs. the ‘Cultural Revolution.’” In the Introduction to that pamphlet, entitled, “Why We Are Youth For Stalin,” I wrote the following: “Under Stalin’s leadership internationally, the dictatorship of the proletariat of the first socialist country was consolidated, the Fascist imperialist axis was smashed and the Chinese Revolution of 1949 was accomplished. Stalin’s heroic leadership of the Soviet Union, the CPSU (Bolshevik), the Third International and the peoples’ forces in World War II brought the imperialist system that much closer to its final total destruction. … Because of the massive victories which the people of the world accomplished over imperialism and the irreparable damage done to world capitalism under his leadership, Stalin, fifteen years after his death, is still the man most feared, hated and slandered by U.S. imperialism.” 

The next paragraph captured much of the political dynamic afflicting the world communist and revolutionary movement of the time and for decades afterwards — until there were no socialist countries remaining. “Since the death of Stalin, the two main characteristics of the international situation have been (1) the intensification of the contradiction between the oppressed nations and U.S. imperialism; and (2) the development of a policy in most socialist countries of betrayal of the oppressed nations based on the ascendancy of the national bourgeois class in the socialist countries.” (The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement, Youth for Stalin, April 1968)

It was this political dynamic that helps explain why Khrushchev’s Secret Speech of 1956 was able to be so effective in spearheading the destruction of the international communist movement and the socialist camp. For, following the revisionist path “pioneered” by the treacherous CPUSA leader, Earl Browder, the communist parties in state power and the influential communist parties in Eastern and Western Europe, in particular, were in a race to see which party leadership (following Yugoslavia’s Tito) could sell out their own working class and the oppressed peoples to U.S. imperialism first. And the cynical, “worldly” view that socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat leads to monstrous results such as “Stalinism” became the excuse for giving up the goals of socialism and communism and for the outright betrayal of the proletarian revolutionary cause — in the working class movement in all countries, including in the socialist camp, in the imperialist countries, in the oppressed and dependent countries, in the national liberation movements against imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism.

Jhrushchev and StalinIn 2007, Grover Furr, a Montclair State University (New Jersey) English professor fluent in Russian, but specializing in medieval studies, published, in Russian, a book challenging head-on Khrushchev’s 1960 secret speech. In 2011, it was published in English. The English title: Khrushchev Lied includes a lengthy subtitle: “The evidence that every ‘Revelation’ of Stalin’s (and Beria’s) ‘Crimes’ in Nikita Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, is Provably False.”

Furr modestly explains that because of his specialization in medieval studies he was trained to do “deeply historical research,” including checking everything for himself. He further explains that, were he a professor of Soviet History in a college history department, he would be unable to do the research he is doing or he would be quickly out of a job. Tellingly, Furr has been told by non-communist but honest researchers in Soviet history that no book that is not hostile to Stalin can be published by an academic publisher.

As a graduate student from 1965-69 Furr opposed the U.S. war in Vietnam. Someone told him that the Vietnamese Communists could not be the “good guys” because they were led by Ho Chi Minh, who had been trained by Stalin and “Stalin had killed millions of innocent people.” This incident appeared to lead Furr, in the early 1970’s to read the first edition of reactionary Robert Conquest’s book, The Great Terror. Furr was stunned to discover that Conquest had no “source criticism” at all. His footnotes did not support his anti-Stalin conclusions!

At some later point, with Conquest’s book in mind, Furr reread the infamous Khrushchev speech of 1956 and noted that there were critics with different political stands and historical interpretations each of whom had found some of Khrushchev’s “revelations” to be false. Furr thought that, with access to many documents from formerly secret Soviet archives opened briefly in the 1990’s, serious research might discover that more of these “revelations” about Stalin were false. Says Furr, “In fact, I made a far different discovery. Not one specific statement of ‘revelation’ that Khrushchev made about either Stalin or Beria turned out to be true ... every single one turns out to be false. The entire ‘Secret Speech’ is made up of fabrications.” (Khrushchev Lied, page 3, Furr’s emphasis)

As Furr himself admits, “I would have been much happier if my research had concluded that 25% of Khrushchev’s ‘revelations’ … were false. ...  I feared … that if I claimed every one of Khrushchev’s ‘revelations’ was false no one would believe me. … To disprove the whole of Khrushchev’s speech is, at the same time, to challenge the whole historical paradigm of Soviet history of the Stalin period …” (ibid. page 4)

In Khrushchev Lied, Professor Furr uses a simple but effective format to establish the facts. He has discovered sixty-one alleged revelations in the speech. He begins each section with Khrushchev’s actual words and proceeds to document how the facts give the lie to Khrushchev’s assertions. This format takes up the first nine chapters that encompass all sixty-one “revelations.”

The most damning “revelations” involve the so-called “Stalinist terror.” In opposition to Khrushchev’s lies, Furr documents well the fact that the Moscow Trials that found important Soviet leaders guilty of conspiracy with hostile foreign powers against the Soviet state were well founded. Furr reports that these conspiracies existed and were extremely dangerous for the Soviet regime. The prosecution of these trials was key to the elimination of a “fifth column” ready to capitulate to and collaborate with the Nazis when they invaded the USSR — something that ultimately occurred in all the other countries invaded by the Nazi war machine. It was an important reason why the Soviet Union, unlike all those countries, not only was not defeated by the Nazis but defeated them in the end.

Furr also asserts that the excesses that occurred following those trials were a sustained effort by the forces in the defeated opposition that had remained undetected to sow widespread dissension with the regime so as to make it vulnerable to the same coming Nazi military invasion. In addition, the widespread arrests and tortures carried out from mid 1937 through late 1938 under Iagoda and Ehzov, two Intelligence Chiefs in a row who proved to be conspirators against the Soviet regime, also served to block and stop the democratization efforts that the Stalin-led leadership was beginning to implement. This Stalin-led democratization program threatened the power and privilege of the First Secretaries of the Party, including Khrushchev, who was First Secretary of the Moscow Area Party and then First Secretary in the Ukraine during the 1937-38 period.

Chapter Ten deals with the types of fabrication, including outright lying, that Khrushchev employed in the secret speech. This chapter helps the reader to understand how Furr came up with such a damning conclusion about Khrushchev.

Chapter Eleven deals with the “Falsified Rehabilitations” of innumerable plotters and saboteurs by Khrushchev, in the face of great evidence of their guilt. Furr believes that, “The whole thrust of Khrushchev’s Speech is to cast doubt on all conspiracies.” In this cause Khrushchev ordered whitewashes of a number of these guilty traitors and conspirators. In fact, among other findings by Furr were that, in regard to the massive numbers of arrests and executions in the late 1930’s, it is clear that Stalin was “trying to carry out a serious investigation, sort out the rights and wrongs.” By contrast, Furr establishes that, in the two major areas where he was First Party Secretary, first in Moscow and then Ukraine, Khrushchev himself was one of the biggest initiators of terror. As Furr observes: “… we now know that … Not Stalin, but the CC members — and specifically, the First Secretaries -— initiated the mass repressions and executions.” (page 199, ibid.) Moreover, Furr states, “The studies that are available today suggest that Khrushchev may well have repressed more people than any other single Party leader. Certainly he was among the leaders in repression. This context is entirely missing from the Secret Speech.” (Page 156)

Almost the entire second half of the book is made up of an Appendix in which Furr provides “Quotations from Primary and Other Sources.” This section provides a lot more documentation establishing that Khrushchev lied about each of the sixty-one “revelations.”

In Chapter 12, “Conclusion: The Enduring Legacy of Khrushchev’s Deception,” which concludes the main body of the book and precedes the Appendix, Professor Furr does quite a good job answering the question why Khrushchev really attacked Stalin. In his review of Furr’s book, Empire State College (SUNY) Professor Roger Keeran concisely summarizes the four possible explanations Furr raises, “that Khrushchev wanted to shift blame for ‘his own role in the mass repressions of the 1930’s,’ that Khrushchev wanted to take the USSR on a ‘sharply different’ political course, that Khrushchev wanted to gain an edge on his rivals in the leadership who had been close to Stalin, and that Khrushchev wanted to stop the ‘democratic reforms with which Stalin was associated.’” (Keeran, “Khrushchev Lied But What is the Truth?” 11/23/11, page 10)

Keeran, I believe correctly, points to the second of these points (i.e. taking the USSR on a sharply different course) as being “the most consequential.” But it is noteworthy that Keeran, who is apparently close to the right revisionist Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) that sided with Khrushchevite revisionism against the CPC and Albanian party-led anti-revisionist movement in the first half of the 1960’s, fails to mention that this was the position of the CP of China, even though Furr identifies the viewpoint with the CPC.

Furr enumerates several fundamental political shifts to the right that Khrushchev led in the USSR “directly contrary to Stalin’s long-held policies.” These include: a shift away from heavy industry and towards market-oriented reforms, toward avoidance of any direct warfare with imperialism at all costs, de-emphasis on the working class as the vanguard class and emphasis on building alliances with other classes and “a new notion that capitalism itself could be overcome without revolution by ‘peaceful competition’ and through parliamentary means.” (Furr, page 196)* Keeran then treads even further into the Khrushchevite revisionist swamp. After stating that he “holds no brief for Khrushchev,” Keeran asserts that, “Furr neglects yet another reason for Khrushchev’s behavior, namely, a desire to close the door decisively on the period and practice of harsh and widespread political repression. And he did.” (Keeran, op.cit. page 10) In his “Rejoinder to Roger Keeran,” Furr clearly, strongly and correctly states: “No, he did not.” As he does in Khrushchev Lied, Furr provides documentation with dates and statistics and then states: “The conclusion is inescapable: It was not Khrushchev, but Stalin and Beria who ended mass political repression, and they did it in late 1938.” (“Rejoinder,” page 9, Furr’s emphasis)

* As we have repeatedly pointed out, Khrushchev’s program was the program of the Russian bourgeoisie.

In contradiction to his own great blurb on the back cover of Furr’s book, praising it as “a marvelous piece of work … and breathtaking in its findings and implications,” Professor Keeran’s book review is a concerted attempt to tarnish and diminish Furr’s book. In this way he evidently could avoid its conclusions and so remain in his comfortable role as a “left” critic of capitalism rather than become a proletarian revolutionary. As Furr correctly points out in his “Rejoinder,” “Keeran is determined to criticize me — that much is clear. But he is utterly confused about what to criticize me for!” (page 5) Evidently, Professor Keeran, as someone in a history department in a U.S. university and therefore someone “prohibited” from being pro-Stalin, is one of those people that Upton Sinclair was referring to when he wrote that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it!” (Cited by Grover Furr in A Talk on Khrushchev Lied, September 2011, page 7)

George Gruenthal, a longtime and knowledgeable left-wing, pro-revolutionary activist who has no such privileged professorial job that he is protecting, still has difficulty in figuring out what to do with Grover Furr’s Khrushchev Lied. Gruenthal begins his own book review, published in Revolutionary Democracy (Volume XVII, No. 2, September 2011), with a good sentence: “Prof. Grover Furr has done a great service to Marxist-Leninists and all revolutionaries and to all those interested in historical truth.” But Gruenthal ends up orienting his book review around those interested in historical truth in the abstract, i.e. academics, rather than around proletarian revolutionaries, and other militant fighters against imperialism. This is in line with the prevailing ideology among U.S. “Marxists” today, those “in the know,” almost all of whom uphold an idealist conception of history. According to this bourgeois view, it is the “great individuals,” often seen as possessors of great knowledge, who make history. This line is in opposition to the Marxist-Leninist materialist conception of history that upholds the view that it is the masses who make history and “it is the Party that makes them conscious.” (Enver Hoxha)


The Overall Excellence of Khrushchev Lied
and the Tasks of the Communists

Professor Grover Furr’s insistence on truthfully reporting the results of his research are of great potential benefit for the international working class and the oppressed peoples fighting for national democratic revolution and socialism against imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism. It is clear that the pressure on Grover Furr to soften his words, shrink from his conclusions, and fall in line with the “politically correct,” “politically bankrupt” left movement in the USA — full of NGOers, well fed college professors, social workers and the like — has been immense.

Furthermore, Furr himself is not immune from the idealist conception of history. In his case in his first and only significant misstep in the entire book, it is manifested in the very last section of the book’s final chapter, entitled, “Unresolved weaknesses in the Soviet system of socialism.” Instead of focusing on the bitter class struggle which is conditioned by organizational, political, military, cultural, historical and other phenomena as well as correct and incorrect ideas and ideology, Furr insists that: 1. “… Khrushchev could not have been promoted to the Politburo/Presidium if his concept of socialism had been worlds different from that shared by many other Party leaders” [and  this assertion after saying that Khrushchev evidently had many innocent people killed, etc. on his way to the Politburo] 2. “… Trotsky and Bukharin, as well as other oppositionists, found support for their proposed policies in Lenin’s works too. And Khrushchev, like his epigones up to and including Gorbachev, cited Lenin’s words to justify, and give a Leninist or ‘left’ cover to, every policy he chose.” [This is simply not true; in addition, a “left” cover is not the same as Leninism.] Furr then leaps to the erroneous conclusion: “Therefore, something in Lenin’s works, and in those of Lenin’s great teachers Marx and Engels, facilitated the errors that his honest successor Stalin honestly made, and that his dishonest successor Khrushchev was able to use to cover up his own betrayal.”

Such a vulgar idealist conception of history is naïve to the extreme. It is as if the class struggle, the fate of the monopoly capitalist and imperialist enemy and the future of capitalism which is leading to the destruction of the earth as a planet hospitable to human beings or a working class-led socialist future with bright communist vistas for toiling humanity  will be determined by some grand professor in the sky who will decide which of the “great individuals” has a better idea — Lenin or Rockefeller.* How do Keeran, Gruenthal or even Furr think that the phenomenal success of the world proletarian movement was achieved during the forty years leading up to Khrushchev’s speech?! Is there any historical event, especially in the USA, during their adulthood that has come close to achieving anything comparable to the titanic victories achieved under Lenin and Stalin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the forty years prior to Khrushchev’s speech!

* Furr himself could not resist the stock concluding sentence to his important book: “But that is a subject for further research and a different book.” What an anti-climax!

Let us ponder the beautiful words of comrade Pablo Neruda, the world renowned Chilean communist poet, with which we open this article.

Also, let us ponder the following words expressed by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, one of the bitterest foes of communism in the twentieth century: “No government ever formed among men has been capable of surviving injuries so grave and cruel as those inflicted by Hitler on Russia. … Russia has not only survived and recovered from those frightful injuries but has inflicted, as no other force in the world could have inflicted, mortal damage on the German army machine.” (August 31, 1943)

Finally, let us ponder the words of legendary Soviet partisan heroine, 18 year-old Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya. Just before she was hanged and bayoneted on a Nazi gallows in December 1941, Zoya addressed the townspeople of Petrishchevo, who were forced to watch her barbaric execution. Her last words were “Farewell, Comrades! Fight, don’t be afraid. Stalin is with us! Stalin will come!”

Similar references to Stalin were widespread on the lips and in the hearts of hundreds of thousands and millions of magnificent Soviet heroes and martyrs in the Great Patriotic War. And after the incredible victory over German fascism, Stalin’s stature among the people was like that of a god and his leadership was virtually beyond criticism, a situation of vulnerability for the USSR and the proletarian revolutionary cause.*

* In the post war years, Khrushchev (as well as other sycophants, bureaucrats and opportunists) wrapped himself in the mantle of Stalin; he repeatedly praised Stalin in such a way to silence any mass opposition to Khrushchev himself and to stifle mass initiative.

In this setting, in October 1952, less than six months before his death, for the fourth and final time, Stalin asked the Central Committee to release him from his position as General Secretary. Clearly, Stalin was the very opposite of a power hungry madman.*

* Perhaps the most telling, though hardly the most dramatic, allegation by Khrushchev was the one listed sixty-first by Furr. Evidently, it was on Stalin’s initiative, at the 19th Party Congress held in October 1952 (shortly before his death), that the Central Committee (CC) was expanded; and at the CC Plenum held immediately afterwards, Stalin proposed that the Presidium (Politburo) be expanded to twenty-five. Khrushchev’s speech characterizes this Stalin initiative as “plans to finish off the old members of the Political Bureau” allegedly to “cover for all shameful acts of Stalin, acts which we are now considering” [i.e. in this surprise speech].

Efremov, a comrade attending his first CC plenum, took extensive notes on what Stalin actually said with regard to the expansion of the CC, a question clearly of great interest for the young comrade. According to these notes, Stalin pointed out that, despite apparent harmony and unity following the 19th Congress, there was real dissatisfaction among leaders who disagreed with having “new forces” promoted into the CC. Stalin said, “We old people will die out, but we must think to whom, into whose hands, we shall pass the baton of our great undertaking…For this we need younger, dedicated people and political leaders…It takes ten, no, fifteen years to educate a state leader. But just wishing for this is not enough. To educate ideologically firm state activists can only be done through practice, in the daily work of carrying out the general line of the party, of overcoming all sorts of opposition from hostile opportunist elements who are striving to slow down and interrupt the task of the building of socialism….Is it not clear that we must lift up the role of our party and its party committees? Can we forget about improving the Party’s work among the masses, as Lenin taught us? All this needs the flow of young, fresh forces into the CC, the general staff of our Party. This is what we have done, following Lenin’s instructions. This is why we have expanded the membership of the CC.” (page 412, ibid.)

I have quoted Efremov’s notes at some length because they illustrate how, at the end of his life, Stalin still modestly presented himself as a pupil of Lenin, was still fighting against opportunism and still struggling to make a way for the working class and the masses to exert their control over the Soviet state on the high road to socialism and communism. At best, if Khrushchev was sharing his real feelings about the expansion of the CC to include new younger forces, his was a bureaucratic reaction of trying to preserve his own position and privilege. Contrary to the anti-Stalin lies, Stalin was ever the enemy of bureaucratism. Significantly, according to Furr, “On March 5, 1953, with Stalin not yet dead, the old Politburo members met and abolished the enlarged Presidium which had been approved at the 19th Party Congress the previous October. This was virtually a coup d’etat within the Party, neither voted on, nor even discussed, by the Presidium or Central Committee.” (page 200)

It is precisely because, as materialism teaches, ideas are secondary to matter that ideas have such great practical significance. The willingness of Professor Grover Furr to generously share his research on Khrushchev’s secret speech and his thought process in interpreting that research and to fearlessly share his conclusion that Khrushchev lied about every “revelation” is of great potential significance for the international working class and the oppressed peoples, billions-strong, in our fight for the future of humanity. For Professor Furr has proven that, in order to overthrow Stalin and proletarian socialism in the USSR, it had to be based on the Big Lie.

From 1956 until today, fifty-six years later, opportunists of all types — Trotskyites, social-democrats, right reformists and revisionists in state power and out, and left-infantile anarchists, Debrayists et al — have all promoted the idea, often funded by and amplified by the imperialist liberal as well as conservative and reactionary politicians, imperialist think tanks and foundations, educational institutions, NGO’s, corporate media, etc. that Leninist principles are no good because they lead to “horrible Stalinism.” Leninist Party organizational principles have been rejected and abandoned. Leninist theory of the revolution in the imperialist epoch, including understanding of the connection between the national democratic stage of the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and the proletarian socialist stage, strategy and tactics, the alliance between the working class and the peasantry or strata within the peasantry, short and long term alliances of the proletariat with other classes, international solidarity among workers of all countries and nations has all been likewise rejected. Rampant individualism and selfishness among the leaders, the party, the class and the masses has replaced Leninist-Stalinist proletarian collectivism. In practice, in most of the world, the goal of achieving socialism and communism has itself been abandoned.

Grover Furr’s dramatic and decisive and well documented book insisting that Khrushchev Lied places the real invaluable revolutionary leadership of Stalin once again in a positive light. For there is no other explanation for why Khrushchev would have lied so thoroughly to the delegates to the 20th Congress of the CPSU(B) if Stalin had not been such an exemplary leader of the working class and the toiling masses. Thus, Khrushchev Lied raises with new generations the value of Leninism. And it raises these questions in the light of the bitter experience that the international working class and oppressed peoples have suffered in the class struggle against imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism over the past fifty-six years.

Repeatedly, over these bitter years for the cause of proletarian revolution and socialism, I have reminded the comrades of the following: With Leninism, in the period prior to World War II, despite an unfavorable objective situation internationally, our movement experienced tremendous successes. After the Soviet-led global victory over fascism in World War II, our movement had achieved a favorable objective situation internationally. But without Leninism, in the period that began with Khrushchev’s “Secret” Speech in 1956, despite a favorable objective situation internationally, our movement has experienced defeat after defeat.

Today we need a revival of Leninism and real work toward a new Communist International. Grover Furr’s Khrushchev Lied is a real building block for this crucial task.

“If You’re Not Outraged,
You’re Not Paying Attention”

Get Angry, Get Active, Rise Up –
Fight for Workers Power!

*A good bumper sticker reads, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” If you are paying attention, please send me the items that are enraging you. Thanks.
- the Editor

Now they don’t even try to hide that this system is “democracy” for the rich only. The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling raised the buying, selling and control of U.S. elections to a new level with unlimited spending. One example: Right-wing casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his family have already contributed $36 million to election “super-pacs.” Assuredly Adelson has infused more cash into the elections since donations to “non-profits” (such as the Karl Rove-created “Crossroads Group”) are never reported and remain secret. Candidates from both corporate political parties, the “Republicrats,” share in the feast of Citizens United and are ever more beholden to the super wealthy.

A recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal determined that, as a result of the economic crisis, big U.S. companies became more productive, more profitable, are flush with cash and less burdened by debt. U.S. companies became “leaner and meaner” something the employed, unemployed and underemployed feel everyday. The WSJ reported the astounding figure that in 2011 companies generated $420,000 in revenue for every employee on their payrolls!

Now for a real debt crisis: College student loan debt has topped $1 trillion. Contributing factors include higher tuition costs and increased college enrollment due to the economic crisis and lack of jobs. Since 1990 the average tuition for a non-profit 4-year public college has increased over 150%!  The average debt of those graduating from public colleges and universities is over $25,000, with few, if any, job openings awaiting them after they receive their diploma.

On a recent trip through Asia, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta defended the U.S. use of drone strikes in Pakistan, a direct violation of Pakistani sovereignty with a proven record of carnage against the civilian population.  During the same period the U.S. government acknowledged that U.S. killer drone strikes are being used in Yemen and Somalia as well. Recently “leaked” is that the Obama administration has a “kill list” for its drone attacks, by which the chief representative of the U.S. empire serves as “judge, jury and executioner,” all in violation of international law.

The U.S. Supreme Court just upheld the centerpiece of the SB 1070, the repressive Arizona immigration law. The section, commonly known as the “show me your papers” provision, requires the police to check on the immigration status of anyone they stop for any reason (i.e. a light out on an automobile, loitering, etc.) if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is undocumented. Of course the only basis for such a determination is racial profiling – if you look Latino or look like someone from other immigrant populations, you are a suspect! The Supreme Court has now given the green light in Arizona and other states to a gestapo type fear campaign of discrimination and harassment.

The current federal minimum wage is a poverty wage of $7.25/hour. In 2011 dollars, the federal minimum wage in 1968 was equivalent to more than $10/hour! In 2008 President-elect Obama promised to increase the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by the year 2011 and index it to inflation. Alexander Cockburn in The Nation (4/23/12) pointed out that this was a promise to low-paid workers to give them a sorely needed 30% raise! Until the end of 2010, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Hard to argue with Cockburn that “Of all Obama’s betrayals, this was one of the bitterest.”

“The great appear great to us
Only because we are on our knees:
Let us rise.”
— Camille Desmoulins

Revolutionary Organization of Labor (ROL), USAis a revolutionary working class organization that fights for working class power and the elimination of all human exploitation. Ray O’ Light Newsletter is the regular publication of ROL, USA. We believe, with comrade Lenin, that the working class “… needs the truth and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.” In the spirit of Karl Marx who taught that “our theory is not a dogma but a guide to action,” we welcome your comments.


Ray Light  —  Editor

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