September 1972 issue of Workers Vanguard

Document Sample
September 1972 issue of Workers Vanguard Powered By Docstoc
					WflRltERS "'N'IJ'RIJ
No. 11
                                                                                                                                                   September 1972

                                                      Not a Lesser Evil, but a Workers Party!

France Labor and the
Four   Elections
                                                         The process of the 1972 elections ties together all the strands of failure of the last seven years
                                                      of American radical politics. Nixon's wage controls have essentially achieved their goal of taming
                                                      the demands of the militant labor upsurge without a real fight having been mounted against them,
                                                      and the imperialist ruling class has succeeded in controlling both the dangerous revolutionary
                                                      offensive in Vietnam and the domestic anti-war movement. The American working class, despite
                                                      massive discontent with the coalition politics of the two capitalist parties and immense militancy on
                                                      economic questions over the past five years, is still lacking even the beginnings of an organized

    The French general strike of May-June 1968
                                                      movement for its own class political party.
                                                         The Democrats have harvested the rotten remains of the previous wasted era of petty-bourgeois
                                                      protest politics. The political heirs of those who "put their bodies on the line" against the war, to-
                                                      gether with the "heroes" of the Chicago conspiracy trial, have trooped back into the party of war they
                                                      demonstrated against in 1968. The reformist nationalists ofthe black movement have reaped what the
                                                      virulently independent "black power" radicalization sowed, and, with a few "separatist" provisos, are
was the largest in history: ten million workers                                                            leading their followers as well back into the
struck and paralyzed the entire country. Since                                                             Democratic "white power structure" in the finest
then, DeGaulle has been ejected by the 1969                                                               tradition of M. L. King. Standing at the door to
referendum which took place in the wake of the                                                             welcome the "radicals" back home is the newly-
strike, but the bonapartist government which he                                                            r e - em erg e n t and growing Communist Party,
left behind remains intact, although in an in-                                                             against whose "old left" politics so much "New
creasingly precarious position. The working class                                                          Left" venom was directed.
is increasingly restless, the French economy
faces rising economic difficulties, and the gov-                                                                                The McGovern Illusion
ernment has been shaken by several financial                                                                              Like the phony "peace candidates" who ran in
scandals in the last year. In response the Com-                                                                       Democratic primaries in the late sixties, "lesser
munist Party and the Socialist Party have been                                                                        evil" McGnvern has rapidly vacated all his earlier
obliged to conclude an electoral agreement which                                                                      so-called "radical" pOSitions, "clarified" hispro-
could lead to a repeat of the 1936 Popular Front                                                                      capitalist essence and generally accommodated to
government. The five-year term of the parlia-                                                                         every section of the ruling class and bourgeois
ment elected in 1968 is almost over, and the                                                                          power structure including Wall Street, Wallace,
forthcoming elections (which must take place                                                                          the cops, Mayor Daley, New York's Wagner
sometime between now and March 1973) have                                                                             (resurrected for the occasion), and all the old
been at the center of the tactical preoccupations                                                                     Democratic Party machines. His direct sub-
of the French left. Le Monde, France's leading                                                                        servience to the Democratic machine, and through
bourgeois paper, was no doubt correct when it                                                                         it, to the ruling class, was demonstrated quite
termed the CP-SP agreement the most important                                                                         clearly by the hilarious "Eagleton affair," in
event on the French parliamentary left since 1936.                                                                    which neither the will of the mass convention of
    These developments take place in the context                                                                      the "reformed" Democratic Party, nor the "pub-
of the class struggle in France and internationally                                                                   lic opinion" expressed in the heavily pro-Eagleton
and the evolution of inter-imperialist rivalries.                                                                     mail flow during the "affair" counted one whit
                                                                                                                      against the wishes of the big capitalist political
           Jlilitancy on the Rise                                                                                     mouthpieces as to who could or could not be on
   Since 1968, there has been an upsurge in the                                                                       the ticket.
subj ecti ve militancy of the French working class,                                                                       "Peace" candidate McGovern reveals his fun-
which has again begun to use tactics with a long                                                                      damentally pro-imperialist politics with his de-
history in the working-class movement and which                                                                       fense of the use of troops if necessary to defend
were brought back to the fore by the 1968 events.                                                                     Israel, i.e., U,S. interests in the Near East. The
Thus factory occupations, taking factory managers                                                                     single-issue movement against the Vietnam War
hostage, unlimited strikes (as opposed to 24-hour                                                                     revealed the same fundamentally pro-imperialist
                                                                                               Rouge, 11 March 1972   politics at the time of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli
strikes or revolving work stoppages, "gr~ves
tournantes," which had been the norm in France        200,000 workers and students protest the murder of              War, when, in an orgy of Zionist and pro-Zionist
in the immediately preceding period) have in-         Pierre Overney, at funeral march boycotted by the CP.           chauvinism, Vietnam doves became shrieking
creased in number and frequency. In addition,                                                                         hawks. The critical political difference between
physical confrontation between strikers and the       zation of the class has expanded. At the same time,             then and now, enabling this "antiwar movement"
forces of the state has significantly escalated.      the traditional strongholds of militancy have been              to move into a majority position in the Democratic
In one case, strikers created an oil fire with        somewhat reluctant to move toward large-scale                   National Convention is the rise in bourgeois de-
flames fifty feet high to keep police and scabs       action. Nevertheless, the upsurge of marginal                   !eatism--i.e., a tactical shift in ruling class
out of the factory.                                   sectors is indicative of the subjective readiness               strategy-over the seemingly endless quagmire
   But the subjective heritage of 1968 is not un-     of the class.                                                   in Vietnam.
mixed. The 1968 strike far surpassed the general                                                                          Thus the 1972 election experience, incor-
strike of 1936 in size but the gains won in 1968,              Fre.nch Economy Squeezed                               porating such "miracles" as the ousting of the
although real, were qualitatively less than those         In addition to the uneven working-class up-                 Daley machine from the Democratic convention
of 1936 and have been largely wiped out since         surge, and feeding deCisively into working-class                (against the wishes of McGovern) while the rep-
then by inflation and the bourgeoisie's counter-      militancy, the economic situation in France has                 resentatives of the very same victims of Daley's
offensive. The working class feels that it was        been applying substantial pressure on the bour-                 cops comfortably take their seats, together with
cheated-and rightly. even if this sentiment has       geoisie. The fall of DeGaulle also meant the at-                drastically increased youth, female, Black, etc.,
not focused clearly on its proper target, the         tempt by the French bourgeoisie to renovate the                 representation thoroughly demonstrates the futil-
French CPo Since 1968, working-class militancy        particularly antiquated structure of French capi-               ity of attempts to reform the Democratic Party
has been strongest in marginal industries in          tal. However, it has been largely unable to ac-                 or any capitalist party. Despite the change in
which the union movement had been weak or, in         complish this goal. The successive "crises" of                  personnel, the same capitalist machines and big
some cases, non-existent. In that sense, organi-                                   continued on page 11                                            continued on next page

  • SWP/WONAAC SINK IN                            • TOWARD A COMMUNIST WOMEN'S MOVEMENT!                                                                Pages _
    BOURGEOIS SWAMP                                   Lessons from the Bolshevik Struggle Against                                                        8-9 .
                                                      Women's Oppression
2                                                                                                                                WORKERS VANGUARD

                                                                                                               Continued from page 1
         Comic' Opera-tunists and
           the General Strike                                                                                          ... Elections
                                                                                                               money donors make the real decisions, the Demo-
                                                                                                               crats in Congress vote with the same disregard
      -A NOTE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISTS-                                                                for the party "program," and the candidate is lust
                                                                                                               as hypocritical as before and no more responsible
   In an attempt to cover up their gross oppor-           pacifist tone, since to view the general strike      to his supporters. But even such examples of
tunism, the IS is quick to denounce as "sectar-           as a special means just to deal with war is          futility as this attempt to reform the two-party
ian," by means of lies and slander, the principled        closely akin to viewing war, not capitalism,         system from within will go on being repeated
actions of revolutionary Marxists. An article on          as the central problem facing mankind. The           until a workers' party is counterposed to
the Labor for Peace Conference entitled "Comic            radical phraseology of the VNL (CRFC) pro-           liberalism.
Opera Sectarians Denounce Rank and File Cau-              posal is just one step away from the VVAW's
cus" in the August 1972 issue of Workers' Power           pacifist-utopianism.                                             AFL-CIO Neutrality
states, "The 'Spartacist League,' along with the                                                                   The official "neutrality" of the AFL-CIO lead-
'Vanguard Newsletter' group, denounced the one-              The Spartacist League has always proposed
                                                          agitation for political strikes against the war      ership in the presidential elections, far from
day work stoppage proposal as reformist, and                                                                   being an actual break from capitalist party poli-
demanded instead a 'general strike until the war          and combatted all opportunist excuses based on
                                                          assertions of the "premature" nature of this         tics, simply reflects the defeat of Humphrey and
is over.' This demand has a militant sound                                                                     the old line labor-liberal machines in the na-
similar to a demand for the seizure of stat;              slogan or of the subjective unreadiness of the
                                                          workers. During the heyday of petty-bourgeois        tional Democratic Party. Although it is a big
power. Such a slogan, however, is simply revolu-                                                               step in the rupture of the labor-liberal alliance,
tionary posturing ••• "                                   radicalism in the late 60's, we raised the demand
                                                          for "An Anti-war Friday" in order to split the       which has been the backbone of the Democratic
    The answer to this charge is simple-it's a            class-collaborationist anti-war movement in a        Party since Roosevelt, a new realignment within
lie.                                                      working-class political direction. Needless to       the framework of capitalist politics is still
                                                          say, this proposal was "sectarian" to the IS,        possible. While sections of the labor bureaucracy
   Not only does the IS completely ignore the             which was just as opportunist then as it is now.     may at some time be forced into deepening this
clear distinction between the demands of the VNL          In 1967, the IS (then Independent Socialist Clubs)   rupture by forming a labor party, at this time
and SL, but also, in order to cover up its own            supporters in the Bay Area chapter of Trade          the aims of all wings are clearly the rebuilding
opportunism, it purposefully obscures the prin-           Union SANE supported the U Thant proposals           of a right-wing liberal, prO-labor-bureaucracy
cipled SL objection to the way in which the IS'           for a general cease-fire and negotiations in         faction in the Democratic Party and pressuring
work-stoppage proposal was raised. Such behav-            Vietnam, in order to remain on favorable terms       McGovern by supporting local Democratic cam-
ior is completely unacceptable for principled so-         with the liberal bureaucrats in the leadership!      paigns only. Meanwhile, the more liberal wing of
cialists, but it is not much of a surprise coming                                                              the bureaucracy is jumping on the McGovern
from the IS.                                                In order to clarify this matter more thoroughly,   bandwagon.
                                                          we have sent the following letter to the IS:
                                                                                                                   As usual, the "left" groups divide neatly along
   The Vanguard Newsletter proposal (or more                                                                   the lines of the various sections of the labor
correctly, the proposal of the "Committee for                                                                  bureaucracy and capitalist class which they are
Rank and File Caucuses," an unprincipled amal-                                                                 tailing after. The ideologues: of the old social-
gam of Harry Turner's VNL and the Sociali~                                            Spartacist League        democracy (Socialist Party-SDF /League for In-
Forum group) does indeed call for building for                                        Box 1377 G.P .0.         dustrial Democracy) have been idolizing AFL-
a "general strike of labor by organizing strike                                       New York, N.Y. 10001     CIO head Meany, and lost in pushing Boeing
committees in the shops to stop all production
                                                                                                               Aircraft's Senator Jackson for President, but now
and services until the war against the Indo-                                           21 August 1972          debate giving support for McGovern. The Com-
chinese workers and peasants is ended ••• " (from                                                              munist Party, Which unconditionally supports
"A Rank and File Program to End the War,"                 International Socialists
                                                                                                               McGovern, does so through orienting to the "pro-
emphasis ours). The Spartacist League demand              c/o Workers' Power                                   gressive" wing of the bureaucracy, headed by
for "Strikes Against the War and the Wage Freeze"         14131 Woodward Ave.
                                                                                                               Woodcock of the UAW and Wurf of AFSCME. Al-
is a proper transitional approach. As explained           Highland Park, Mich. 48203                           though nominally running its own campaign in the
in the text of the Workers Vanguard supplement                                                                 elections, the CP, like the "progressive" bureau-
distributed at the conference, such strikes should        Comrades:                                            crats, sees McGovern as a clear "lesser evil"
be seen as "leading up to a nationwide general                                                                 and beating Nixon as the main task. This remains
strike."                                                     The Spartacist League categorically denies
                                                                                                               unchanged despite the brief and belated admis-
                                                          the assertion printed in the August 1972 issue
                                                                                                               sion by the Daily World that McGovern is "vac-
     Trotsky on the General Strike                        of Workers' Power under the heading "Comic           illating-even on the war" ("Send Nixon Pack-
                                                          Opera Sectarians Denounce Rank and File Cau-          ing-the People's Goal For November," 18 Au-
                                                          cus" that our supporters at the Labor for Peace       gust). Much fancy footwork is required in week
    A polemic of Trotsky's- "The ILP and the
                                                          Conference in St. LouiS, "along with the 'Van-        after week of Daily World articles to explain to
Fourth International" (September 1935}-dealt
                                                          guard Newsletter' group, denounced the one-day       the "progressive" allies why the Communist
with the question of the general strike. The cen-
                                                          wo,rk stoppage proposal as reformist, and de-         "campaign" does not actually threaten the anti-
trist ILP (Independent Labor Party) of Great
                                                          manded instead a 'general strike until the war        Nixon front, and to the radicals in the CP' s youth
Britain, which broke from bourgeois pacifism only
half way towards a proletarian program and af-            is over.' "                                           group, YWLL, and elsewhere why working inside
filiation with the Fourth International, was in              This is a groundless lie manufactured out of      the two parties of capitalism is really part of the
many ways an ideological ancestor of the IS.              the whole cloth!                                      same strategy as running independent Communist
Trotsky, basing himself on Engels, criticized the                                                               candidates. Although the CP, which seems a bit
ILP's "radical phraseology" on the question of               I} The SL did not object to the IS proposal        surprised at its own new-found viability, is re-
"the general strike to stop war":                         for a one-day work stoppage itself, but objected      cruiting youth who in some sense want to be
                                                          vehemently and abstained on the opportunist at-       "revolutionary," its basic political strategy of
    "The general strike is not only separated here        tempt to incorporate this proposal into an amend-     aiding the "liberals" against the "reactionaries"
    from the social revolution but also counterposed      ment to the social-patriotic statement of policy      within the spectrum of capitalist politics has not
    to it as a specific method to 'stop war.' This is     of the bureaucratic sponsors of the conference        changed since it was instrumental in preventing
    an ancient conception of the anarchists which         (about which policy declaration the same issue        the development of a labor party and tying labor
    life itself smashed long ago. A general strike        of Workers' Power had not a word of criticism).       to the Democrats under Roosevelt in the thirties
    without a victorious insurrection cannot 'stop                                                              and forties.
    war.' If, under the conditions of mobilization,          2) Nowhere in the written or verbal propa-
    the insurrection is impOSSible, then so is a gener-                                                              "Workers" League Cretinism
    al strike impossible •• the aim of revolutionary
                                                          ganda of the Spartacist League will you or any-
    policy should not be an isolated general strike,      one find the formulation, "for a general strike         On the other Side, orienting toward the more
    as a special means to 'stop war, I but the prole-     until the war is over."                              conservative central core of the trade union bu-
    tarian revolution into which a general strike will
    enter as an inevitable or very probable integral         This accusation has the same character as if      reaucracy, stands the vastly smaller, more im-
    part. "                                               we "immoral" bolsheviks equated your position        potent and therefore more frenzied Workers
                 - Writings of Leon Trotsky, 1935-36                                                           League of Tim Wohlforth, an ostenSibly "Trotsky-
                                                          on Vietnam with, say, the openly anti-communist
                                                          and social-patriotic views of the Socialist Party-   ist" sect. While the CP excuses its role by ac-
   A general strike which is not immediately              SDF, and then attributed the SP's pOSition to        cusing Meany and Abel of siding with Nixon "re-
successful by the threat alone must either be a           you both.                                            action," the Workers League angrily accuses the
fiasco or lead directly to a revolutionary situa-                                                              CP of "adapting" to the progressive wing of the
tion and the building of organs of dual power by             We demand public retraction of your attribu-      trade union bureaucracy and instead seeks to
the proletariat. Therefore to call for a general          tion of the Vanguard Newsletter position to us,      "push" Meany and I. W. Abel of the SteelWorkers
strike "until the war is over" is either meaning-         noting instead what our position is: "For Strikes    into forming a labor party» all the while denying
less utopian bombast or a willful attempt to de-          Against the War and the Wage Freeze" (from the       the right-wing pOlitical character of the central
flect the revolutionary drive for power of the            list of demands in the 22 June 1972 Workers          AFL-CIO leadership. Thus theWL's opportunism,
proletariat.                                              Vanguard Special Supplement, "Strike Against          which has been carefully nurtured over long years
                                                          the War-Build a Labor Party!" distributed at         of adapting to every conceivable element, includ-
  It is no accident that the proposal of the              the conference).                                     ing cops, black nationalists and "progressive"
Vietnam Veterans Against the War, "Stop the
War With a General Strike," had an impatient,                                            -Spartacist League                                continued on next page
September 1972                                                                                                                                                                            3

                                                              what Circumstances, under what guidance, and            gle to implement both it and a working class
                                                              for what purposes that party would be created."         program.
    WfJlillEIiS VANfilJAli1J                                                   -On the Labor Party Question
                                                                                            in America, 1932                           SWP Reformism
                                                          Although this was written six years before Trot~                Unlike the CP and WL, the reformist Social-
         \lani!">1 \\ ol'king-Cla!">!"> 'Ionlhl~          sky urged his U.S. supporters to take up the                ist Workers Party has been left out in the cold by
      l'uhli!">IH'd h~ 1114' Sl'al'la('i!">1 Leaguc'      slogan for a labor party, he insisted then that             the departure of its erstwhile reformist allies to
                                                          it had to be fought for on the basis of the Tran-           the Democratic Party. Indeed these feminist,
                                                          sitional Program. Would the Workers League                  black nationalist and anti-war reformists from
  Editorial Board: Liz Gordon (chairman), Chris
                                                          support a "labor party" whose purpose was to                the SWP's various single-issue fronts are the
   Knox (managing editor), Karen Allen
   (production manager).                                  route the workers back into capitalist politics             "new face" of the Democratic Party. Completely
                                                          by capturing the Wallace vote with racist dem-              caught in its own trap, the SWP has based its
  Circulation manager: Anne Kelley.                       agogy, running Henry Jackson for president, pre-            whole pro g ram on building petty-bourgeois,
  West Coast editor: Mark Small.                          venting all wheat Shipments to the Soviet Union             single-issue protest movements which are "ac-
  New England editor: George Foster.                      and bombing North Vietnam back into the Stone               ceptable to capitalist politicians" and which
                                                          Age? Apparently, they WOUld.                                (sometimes forcibly) "exclude revolutionaries,"
                                                              But Trotskyists fight for a working-class pro-          yet now hypocritically accuses the CP electoral
  Subscription: $1 yearly (11 issues). Bundle rates
  for 10 or more copies. Address: Box 1377, G.P.O.,       gram and for a labor party, not for a reformist             coalition of these sins! (Militant, 21 April 1972).
  New York, N.Y. 10001. Telephone: WA 5-8234.             labor party. The labor party demand is a tactic             The SWP thinks of its "independent" pressure
  Opinions expressed in signed articles or letters        for overcoming the huge gap between the objec-              movements as having demands which "cannot be
  do not necessarily express the editorial viewpoint.     tive need for organized working-class political             achieved within the capitalist system," yet they
                                                          leadership and the relative weakness of the sub-            are at a loss to explain why virtually all the lead-
trade union bureaucrats, has now culminated in            jectively revolutionary forces. It is not an objec-         ers of the single-issue abortion repeal, peace
                                                          tive historic necessity which the bureaucracy               and nationalist-reformist movements are now
uncritical pressure on George Meany himself,
the arch-reactionary and anti-communist who has           will inevitably be forced to implement for the              quite comfortably pushing their "demands" from
typ i fi e d and led the U.S. labor aristocracy           workers. It does not stand above the real strug-            within the two-party system.
                                                                                                                          The SWP presidential campaign is unsupport-
through one of its most conservative and wretch-
                                                                                                                      able because, while it also mentions alaborparty
ed pro-imperialist phases, since the purges of
                                                                                                                      and is not now directly acting as apressure group
the McCarthy period.
                                                                                                                      within the formal bourgeois political framework,
   The character of all trade union bureaucrats,
                                                                                                                      it is nevertheless completely subordinated to re-
inc 1 u din g Meany, is contradictory: they are
                                                                                                                      formist, single-issue protest politics-"a self-
simultaneously workers' leaders and agents of
                                                                                                                      determination for everyone" line empty of class
the capitalist class within the labor movement.
                                                                                                                      content, Le., profoundly petty-bourgeois. Nowheye
While it is thus perfectly possible that some of
                                                                                                                      does the SWP intervene to struggle for a working-
them may form a labor party out of desperation
                                                                                                                      class orientation or program for these move-
if caught between implacable rank-and-file mili-
                                                                                                                      ments. It is thus quite natural that, lacking a
tancy and attack from all sectors of the capitalist
                                                                                                                      unifying working-class perspective, these move-
                                                                                                                      ments "unify" as isolated pressure groups within
                                                                                                                      Democratic P arty capitalist politics. Although
                                                                                                                      this tendency has had a tremendous erosion effect
                                                                                                                      on the SWP' s mass arenas and slowed its growth
                                                                                                                      rate, both of which were built up during the hey-
                                                                                                                      day of petty-bourgeois protest politics in the late
                                                                                                                      sixties, the party shows no signs of searching
                                                                                                                      through the Trotsky in its closet for the answers.

                                                                                                                         Build a Movement for a Labor Party
                                                                                                                          The only course open to socialist and labor
                                                                                                                       militants in the 1972 election is to work for the
                                                                                                                       creation of an organized movement for a labor
                                                                                                                       party in the trade unions, based on militant cau-
                                                                                                                       cuses and the transitional program. The struggle
                                                                                                                       for an independent party of labor, while it may
                                                                                                                       recruit some trade union leaders, must be based
                                                                                                                       on a rank-and-file movement to replace the re-
                                                                                                                       formist bureaucracy with a revolutionary leader-
                                                                                                                       ship, since it is this bureaucracy which main-
                                                                                                                       tains capitalist politics in the unions. An impor-
                                                                                                                       tant par t of this groundwork will be lo cal
                                                                                                                       campaigns run by the trade unions with their own
                                                                                                                       candidates and calling for a break with all cap-
                                                                                                                       italist politiCians and for a nationwide movement
                                                                                                                       for a labor party. This call must be based on a
                                                                                                                       working-class political program, including break-
                                                                                                                       ing state wage controls, defending the Viet-
                                                                                      Guardian, 7 September 1968       namese Revolution in the context of general op-
           1968: Anti-war protesters jeer National Guardsmen at demonstrations outside Democratic Party                position to American imperialism, workers' con-
           Convention in Chicago.                                                                                      trol of industry and a workers' government._
class, it is inconceivable for them not to exhaust
all avenues of conciliation within capitalism first,
and then to think twice. The Meany bureaucracy
will not form a labor party, just as William
Green's AFL refused to organize industrial unions
in the thirties. A split would have to occur, with
some elements becoming convinced that they
must form a labor party in order to prevent
leadership of the workers from passing to the
communists. Such a conviction moved John L.
Lewis to form the CIO.
             Program Is the Key
   While it is true that a labor party is now a
tremendous defensive need of the trade unions
under conditions of the crisis and hostility of
the two bourgeois parties, enhancing the propa-
gandistic importance ·of the slogan, it cannot be
considered outside the context of its pyogram and
objective thrust. Meany and Abel have made clear
the raCist, pro-war and anti-communist program
they would push on the labor party the WL's
Bulletin says they are thinking about (17 July,
24 July). Yet the Bulletin completely refrains
from challenging them on it. Trotsky had a dif-
ferent orientation toward this problem:
                                                                                                                                                                             AssocIated Press
    "1 will never aSSume the responsibility to affirm
    abstractly and dogmatically that the creation of a      1972: Safely co-opted anti-war forces cheer McGr:;vern inside Democratic Party Convention in Miami.
    'labor party' would be a 'progressive step' even
    in the United States because 1 do not know under
                                                                                                                                                     ;   .        '. !   ~                      ,   I
4                                                                                                                                         WORKERS VANGUARD

Postal Workers Sold Out
by CWA Merger Move
    NEW ORLEANS-The leadership           tion seemed most consistently in
of the American Postal Workers           opposition to the APWU leadership.
 Union (APWU) rammed a resolution            On several occasions rulings of
through its national convention here     the chair were overruled by massive
 authorizing itself to enter merger      standing votes of the del ega t e s.
negotiations with the Communication      S eve r a I times proceedings were
 Workers of America (CWA). By            briefly held up by jeering and boo-
their haste to align themselves with     ing directed against President Fil-
the CW A bureaucracy, the APWU           bey, The positions of the leaders
leadership indicates its growing         were secure, however, since they
anxiety about the possibility of rank-   had been safely elected ahead of
and-file revolts against union com-      time through a mail ballot
plicity with the attacks on postal       referendum!
workers' conditions being made as            This is a typical example of the
part of Nixon's plan to reorganize       use of the referendum in unionpoli-
the Post Office.                         tics, and it should be a lesson to
    While delegates suspicious of        the United National Caucus, a small
the merger proposal were gathering       group of radicals in the UAW who
at all the microphones, and before       want to see the officers of that
amendments to the resolution were        union elected by referendum in or-
even voted on, President Francis S.      der to improve democracy. No mat-
Filbey accepted a motion to move         ter how tightly controlled the con-
the previous question and declared       ventions are now, they are bound to
all debate out of order. In the re-      be more so if the bureaucracy is
sulting parliamentary con f us ion,      secure from the threat of being
Filbey ruled that the merger resolu-     tossed out of office by the dele-              Delegates to Postal Workers Convention in New Orleans hold mass picket in solidarity
tion had passed and quickly adjourn-     gates. The real decision.'3, and es-           with striking clothing workers.
ed the session. The way is now           pecially changes, are necessarily
clear for the amalgamation of the        made at delegated conventions where
300,000-member APWU with the             debate is possible, not in the in-                All political discussion was gear-        the core of the caucus program,
CWA (550,000 members), since the         evitably leadership-controlled ref-            ed to harnessing the postal workers          incorporated a s demands for un-
latter passed a surprise motion for      erendums. It is a complete denial              to the capitalist two-party system,          conditional 0 p p 0 sit ion to Nixon's
the merger at its convention last        of democracy if a leadership which             with the convention ultimately en-           pr iva t i z at io n schemes and wor-
June (see WV No. 10).                    does not reflect the will of a con-            dorsing McGovern. Filbey and his             kers control of the Post Office, de-
                                         vention can continue in office, as             lieutenants spoke constantly about           fense of the Vietnamese Revolution
     Bureaucratic Unity                  happened in the UAW in 1944 on the             depending on "our friends" among             in the context of general opposition
    The APWU and CW A bureaucra-         key issue of the World War II no-              the capitalist politicians. No opposi-       to American imperialism, against
cies are not interested in increasing    strike pledge.                                 tion voice was ralsed to point out           all capitalist politicians and for a
the workers' strength through trade         There was virtually no discus-              that while Filbey and his gang may           labor party based on the trade unions
union unity, but in providing them-      sion of political issues such as the           indeed be friends with the bosses'           and a workers' government. Such a
selves with a larger and more in-        war in Vietnam, racial discrimina-             rep res en t a ti v e s, the masses of       caucus would also fight for a sharp
vulnerable bureaucratic structure        tion or the oppression of women.               workers can expect no favors from            reduction in the work week with no
from which to defy the increasingly      However, hundreds of delegates did             their class enemies.                         loss in pay and new hiring to re-
rebellious membership of both            respond enthusiastically to an appeal             Discontented forces at the APWU           place management's slashing of the
unions. Although historically the        for solidarity from the Amalgamat-             convention were fragmented and un-           work force; the closed shop and union
role of splitting the unions has of-     ed Clothing Workers, which is strik-           coordinated. The for mat ion of a            control of hiring throughout the Post
ten fallen to reformist bureaucra-       ing Farah Company. Del ega t e s               militant caucus is needed to give            Office; an end to the referendum
cies which desire to break up large,     formed a massive picket line in                principled leadership to these forc-         elections in the union and opposition
powerful combinations of militant        front of New Orleans' largest de-              es, to expose the class-collabora-           to the phony merger. Thus armed
workers, unity is not an end in it-      partment stores, urging a boycott of           tionist role of the union bureaucra-         with the transitional program, such
self which can be approached un-         Farah pants.                                   cy, and to provide an analysis of            a caucus could lead the workers to
conditionally, without consideration        Spartacist League was the only              the capitalist state. To make a break        an understanding that their problems
of its purpose. As in the recent         organized political tendency visibly           from the economist trade unionism            ultimately can be solved only by
abortive proposal for unity of the       in attendance at the conference.               which inevitably recreates bureauc-          overthrowing the entire system of
ILA with the ILWU, followed by            Workers Vanguard sold very well.              racy, these political points must be         capitalist wage slavery ••
ILWU-Teamster unity moves (WV
No.6) the need of the workers for
unity in the struggle against their
oppressors is not served by the          FINAL REPORT IN -
"unity" of bureaucrats who are look-
ing for another gimmick to betray
that struggle.
   Postal workers face a crisis as
                                         SUB DRIVE SUCCESS
the Postal Service ruthlessly pro-          The final results of the Workers Van-       among several recently published, hard-
ceeds with its plan of a 25% reduc-      guard subscription drive are in. Not only      cover Marxist classics.
tion in the work force. Early re-        was the drive a success with 601 one-             In the midst of much other demanding

tirement and a hiring freeze policy      year subs being sold, but 200 subs to the      work, SL and RCY members as well as
have been used in an attempt to get      Revolutionary Communist Youth's News-          other Workers Vanguard supporters did a
                                         letter were taken out at the same time.        vitally necessary job in this sub drive.
around no-lay-off provisions in the
national contract. To further weak-
                                         And the subs sold are of clear-cut political
                                         value. The great bulk are going to people
                                                                                        With the steady expansion of the SL and
                                                                                        our widening involvement in political and
en the union, the Postal Service has
begun hiring temporary, non-union
                                         who are in the process of being drawn
                                         closer to our aims and involvement in our
                                                                                        social struggle, we increasingly feel the
                                                                                        need for and look toward publishing Work-
                                                                                                                                       at this    &;
casuals to fill job openings former-
ly held by union members. Never
                                         activity, especially young workers, radical
                                         students and other militants.
                                                                                        ers Vanguard every two weeks. The con-
                                                                                        tinued broadening of the paper's regular       pI'icel       11 ISSUES
                                             The Boston comrades did well in the        circulation base is a necessary step to
considering strike action, the APWU      drive and plan to resume a local sub cam-      this increased frequency.
leadership's only response has been      paign this Fall as well. Chicago made the                                                           INCLUDES SPARTACIST
to meekly submit the grievances to       poorest showing, being overtaken by in-                 Area           ~       Sold           Name __________________________
arbitration.                             dustrial responsibilities part way through
                                         the drive. Of the smaller areas Washington         Berkeley -Oakland     55     56
    Considerable dissatisfaction was     D.C. and New Orleans also made a good
                                                                                                                                       Address _______ _
                                                                                            Boston               125    139
manifested on the convention floor.      showing, the latter on a well organized            Chicago               40     18            City ___
A proposed per capita tax boost was      basis.                                             Los Angeles           50     52            State _ _                        _ __ Zip _____
overwhelmingly de f eat e d amidst           Among individual comrades, Keith of            New Orleans           15     19
general criticism of the union lead-     Los Angeles sold the most with 311/2               New York             160    160
ership. Resolutions for a labor par-     points- WV subs counting a full pOint and
                                         RCY Newsletter subs a half point each.
                                                                                            San Francisco
                                                                                            San Diego
                                                                                                                                       WfJRKERS "ANGUARII
ty and boycotting of war industries      The runner-up was Bruce of New York with           Stony Brook           10      6             Make checks payable / maO to:
were offered by a radical represen-      231/2 pOints. At the forthcoming Sparta-           Washington, D.C.      10     25            Spartacist/ Box 1377, C.p.O./New York/N.Y. 10001
tative of a small local in California.   cist League National Conference the win-           At-Large             ~      ~
In general, the California del ega-      ner will be presented with his choice from                              600    601
September 1972                                                                                                                                                      5
                                                         Trotskyist SWP during the election period!                      PL Sells Out to McGovern
                                                            The rally featured Bobby Seale of the Black
                                                         Panther Party (BPP), which recently endorsed                PL is attempting to build a mini-pop front
                                                         NP AC, This fits well in the BPP's jump into            modelled after NP AC, and is trying to recruit
                                                         reformism, including turns toward the black             some of the liberals which NP AC and McGovern
                                                                                                                 have swept in, The latest issue of New Left

SWP Opens
                                                         church, black capitalism, and Democrats such as
                                                         Shirley Chisholm,                                      Notes (26 June), circulated at the convention
                                                            The split in the ruling class over tactics in        contains "Two Views On McGovern," The first
                                                         Indochina has its reflection in the trade union         view states that McGovern "is worth voting for,
                                                         bureaucracy as well, Thus NP AC has collected           whether as a lesser of two evils or as a positive
                                                         endorsements from some of the liberal bureau-           force for change in America." The other view

Door for                                                 crats, and another featured speaker was Harold
                                                         Gibbons, a Teamster vice-president who opposes
                                                         Teamster President FitZSimmons' endorsement
                                                         of Nixon only because he is pro-Democratic,
                                                                      SL/RCY: The Only
                                                                                                                 ends by stating, "we should either vote for Mc-
                                                                                                                 Govern or not vote at alL" Outside of the un-
                                                                                                                 readable Challenge, PL has nothing to offer in
                                                                                                                 SDS and NP AC but" ,McGovern!
                                                                                                                     The International Socialists (IS), who have

                                                                                                                 attempted to operate as a "left" caucus in NP AC
                                                                    Communist Opposition                         without demanding the expulsion of the bour-
                                                            The decisive political battles took place on         geoiSie, joined with the rabidly anti-communist
                                                         Saturday, 22 July, There were ten resolutions           "N ews and Letters" group to form an "Anti-
                                                         representing virtually every tendency on the left       War Coalition." This coalition submitted a reso-
                                                                                                                 lut~on called "Freeze the War, Free the People,"
                                                         (except for the Communist Party which main-
   LOS ANGELES-The "Emergency Anti-war                   tains its own pop front, the PCPJ,' which refused       WhICh left the door open for third bourgeois
Convention" (21-23 July) of the National Peace           to back this convention for the stated reason           parties such as the unmourned Peace and Free-
Action Coalition (NP AC) made clear that the popu-       that NP AC is "racist" for not endorSing the            dom Party, and backed away from demandin rr
lar front eagerly built by the Socialist Workers         P RG 7 -point peace plan), It is a devastating fact     military victory to the DRV /NLF. A separat~
Party (SWP) is now being funneled directly into          that except for the SL/RCY, virtually the entire        IS leaflet was distributed which did state "we
the Democratic Party, The fruit of the SWP's             American left has been swept into the NP AC             sup~ort the military victory of the NLFiPRC
"independent" anti-war movement is an army of            and PCPJ pop fronts, The SL/RCY alone called            agaznst U.S. imperialism" (emphasis in origina] i J
non-class-conscious youth for McGovern,                  for smashing NP AC through the expulsion of the         but as usual, what the IS formally called for ill
        Bourgeois Defeatism                              bourgeoisie from the anti-war movement , and            its own name and what it actually pushed for U:l
                                                         was thus the only prinCipled communist opposition       the floor were two different things. Being extreme
    It was only a year ago that the SW'P sealed in                                                               left-wing social-democrats and fundamentaL\'
                                                         at the conference, in addition to being the only
blood ~ts alliance with the ruling class by violently    Significant opposition force beSides the pro-           anti-communist, the IS began dropping the "mili-
expe1lll1g members of the Spartacist League/             McGovern wing,                                          tary victory" slogan in March-April when it
Revolutionary Communist Youth and Progressive               The SL/RCY leaflet "Smash the Pop Front! "           looked as if the North Vietnamese offensive was
Labor/SDS for protesting the presence of Demo-           detailed the collusion of the Workers League,           succeeding (see WV No, 8). Now that the North
cr~tic Senator Hartke and vigorously jeering red-                                                                Vietnamese have been beaten back, the IS again
                                                         International Socialists, National Caucus of Labor
baIter UAW bureaucrat Victor Reuther at the July         Committees and others in the construction of            occasionally raises the idea, But by refu;ing
1971 NP AC Convention, Since that time the               the S WP' s class-collaborationist coalition. The       to call on the Soviet Union to break the block- '
SWP /NP AC pop front has blossomed considerably          leaflet ended with a six-point proposal:                ade, the IS back-handedly accepts the U.S, block-
in "respectability" as a result of a wave of bour-                                                               ade of North Vietnam and renders meaningless
                                                            1, For the unconditional exclusion of the bour-
geois defeatism which swept the U.S, after the                  geOisie and their pOlitical representatives      the slogan for military victory.
North Vietnamese offensive of March-April 1972.                 from the anti-war movement!                          The National Caucus of Labor Committees
It was this wave of bourgeois defeatism andpaci-                                                                 (NCLC) submitted their "Working Class Alterna-
                                                             2. For the immediate and unconditional with-
fism which suddenly boosted McGovern into the                   drawal of all U,S, forces from Indochina!        tives in the Election Year," which they presented
national spotlight and Democratic nomination,                   For unconditional military support and vic-      to the SMC last February (see WV No.7), but
While he is no more apacifist than Richard Nixon,               tory for the DRV!NLF: All Indochina must         now with a new supplemental leaflet attached. 'nle
McGovern represents the         more far-sirrhted                                                                supplement made clear again that NCLC appro\ i_'S
                                                                go communist!
Americ~n imperialists who see the possibility                3, Labor strikes against the war and against        of the SWP' s pop-front strategy and merely c'p-
,:1 makmg peace and maintaining imperialist                                                                      poses the embarraSSing fact in particular cases
ll1fluence in Asia through a deal with the Stalinists           the freeze!
                                                             4. Control prices not wages, Union misleaders       of open Democratic candidates like McGovpl'n
such as the 1954 Geneva accords, It is precisely                                                                 coming into it. As a solution to the embarrass-
                                                                stay off the Pay Board:
because of the threat of this kind of "peace" that                                                               ment which the SWP faces, NCLC proposed that
                                                             5. Fight economic protectionism! For inter-
revOlutiona~ies must fight for military victory                                                                  NP AC negotiate with the SWP to "modify" the
                                                                national working-class solidarity!
to the NLF! DRV and a communist Indochina!                                                                       JenneSS/Pulley (SWP) campaign program so that
                                                             6. For a labor party based on the trade unions!
    In spite of Nixon's diplomatic successes in                                                                   N,CLC CO~ld endorse it "fo~ the sake of the prin-
P eking and Moscow, which allowed him to blockade                 The "Left" Tail of NPAC                      , clple of ll1dependent workll1g-classpolitical ac-
North Vietnam with impunity, he has not succeeded                                                                 tion '." In effect, the NCLC asked the SWP to
in ending the war, and this continues to feed the            A,ll the other resolutions were attempts to
                                                         modIfy the course of NP AC without raising the           negotiate with itself, This is intended to create the
split in the ruling class and hence the McGovern                                                                 facade of a "principled" NP AC united front ap-
                                                         question of the presence of the bourgeoisie
forces, McGovern is further buttressed by the                                                                    proach to the elections, but, as is well known to
                                                         thereby reflecting the deepening entrenchment of
class-collaborationist Stalinists in Hanoi, who                                                                  the SWP, the NCLC is already committed to the
                                                         the "left" groups in NPAC. The Workers League
have subordinated their military campaigns to the                                                                unmodifiable NP AC pop front, Michael Tinckler
                                                         (WL), which openly endorsed the NP AC expulsion
Moscow and Peking bureaucracies and the bour-                                                                    of Philadelphia NCLC sits on the NP AC Steering
                                                         of communists a year ago, introduced a resolu-
geois U,S, peace movement, thereby throwing                                                                       Committee.
                                                         tion calling on NP AC to "demand" that "the
away the opportunity which existed in April-
May to thoroughly destroy the panicked Thieu
                                                         American labor movement" .immediately call a                 McGovernites Come to Collect
                                                         Congress of Labor for the purpose of launching               on NPAC's "Independence"
forces and come to power. The DRV /NLF still
                                                         an independent labor party for the 1972 elec-
seeks a coalition government, minus only Thieu                                                                      Despite the million-and-one tie s between
                                                         tion,., "
instead of a communist revolution.                   '       The WL intervention lacked the fulsome de-         NPAC and the Democratic Party, the SWP main-
          SWP's Anti-war         "Success~'              nunciations of Stalinism which have filled their       tains the fiction that NP AC is "independent" so
                                                         previous resolutions to the pop front, and was         that the SWP can hang onto a figment of radical-
   The NP AC pop front has picked up much sup-           generally more subdued than ever so as not to          ism, The McGovern forces came to the conven-
port from "big names" in the Democratic Party            upset their new-found coziness with the SWP            tion to collect on the real meaning of NP AC
and trade union bureaucracy as a result of bour-         which they call on workers to vote for in NO~          "independence" by making more formal the con-
geoiS defeatism, thus fulfilling the SWP's concept       ve:nber "as a critical part of breaking the trade      nection between NP AC and the Democrats, A
of "success" for the anti-war movement: a                umons and the entire working class from the two        resolution was circulated early in the convention
coalition of working-class and bourgeois forces          capitalist parties" (Bulletin, 17 January 1972).       calling for the explicit endorsement of McGovern
under a bourgeois program. The Militant (14              Only about six WL supporters intervened and            and u r gin g NP AC to work for McGovern's
July) boasted, for instance, that the NP AC Con-         they gave only one half-hearted speech for 'their      election,
vention was endorsed by California State Senate          resolution in the plenary,                                 As we have conSistently pointed out since the
majority leader George Moscone, among others,               Progressive Labor/SDS, which late last year         SWP launched its single-issue anti-war move-
The NP AC national steering committee includes           dropped its previous correct criticism of class        ment in 1965, there can be no "independence"
Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams, Team-             collaboration in order to enter and endorse            froI? ,the bourgeoisie without a revolutionary
ster vice-president Harold Gibbons, Senator              NPAC, presented a pitifully low-level resolu-          SOCIalIst program based on the working class;
Vance Hartke, Brigadier General Hugh B, Hester,          tion, "Stop Genocide," which urged that "this          but such a program was conSistently suppressed
Betty Friedan of NOW, Sanford Gottlieb of SANE           convention resolve that any demonstratio~s or-         by ' the SWP because it is "divisive" that is , l't
and leading representatives of Business Execu~           ganized by NP AC will stress the racist and            d rIves away the bourgeoisie!
tives Move for Peace, College Young Democratic           genocidal nature of the war in Vietnam." The                Thus throughout Saturday, the SWP had to fight
Clubs and youth for McGovern,                            resolution also asked endorsement for the '!anti-      on two flanks: feverishly attempting to beat off
   !?uring the opening night rally on 21 July,           racism bill," a piece of reformism which SDS           the McGovern forces on formal endorsement and
chaIrman John T. Williams of the Teamsters               tried to get the Democratic Party in Miami to          at the same time having to answer SL/RCY
interspersed the speakers with telegrams of sup-         accept as part of its program! It includes such        attacks with gloating statements about the "suc-
port from "distinguished" Democrats, including           items as imprisonment of any policeman "who            cess" of NP AC. It became clear in workshop
McGovern, Moscone and Alan Cranston. The                 assaults a minority person, except in provable         straw votes and in the evening plenary that the
McGovern telegram read in part, "Through the             sel~-defense"! Needless to say, the capitalist         McGovern forces did not have the votes to push
strength which COmes from united work and con-           polIce always carry out their crimes in "self-         through their resolution, so they began a retreat
cern we will end the senseless loss of human             defense." That is precisely why Lenin talked           by stages, SWP leaders prevented their own
lives and stop this tragic war," No doubt McGov-         ab~ut the necessity of dismantling the capi-           followers from cutting off discussion, so that the
ern appreciates the "united work" of the ex-             talIst state, not reforming it.                                                      continued on page 10
6                                                                                                                               WORKERS VANGUARD


   In the July-August issue of Vanguard News-         Spartacist supporters in refusing to enter the         by the faction which Turner was supposedly lead-
letter (VN L) there appears a letter from the         meeting? But Fender and Jim Hays of CRFC/              ing! Turner declared himself the "real" minority
"Committee for Rank and File Caucuses" (CRFC)         VNL followed along behind the administration's         and the other nine "frictional losses." Complete-
challenging the Spartacist League to publicly de-     armed guard to enter the meeting!                      ly discredited by the confirmation of the majori-
fend our statement that VNL/CRFC leader David                                                                ty's characterization of his rotten bloc with a
Fender called the cops to open up the "public"           Origins of the Turner "Tendency"                    semi-syndicalist faction, Turner got himself
Workers League forum at the St. Louis Labor               The lengthy and hysterical (and frequently         suspended, then resigned from the SL.
for Peace Conference. The CRFC letter charged         totally fabricated) attacks On the SL in recent           The sub~equent political "evolution" of Turn-
the SL with a deliberate "misrepresentation of        issues of VNL, and the demand for a cOnfron-           er can be directly traced to this experience.
fact" and challenged us to a "public forum" to        tation over the St. Louis incident, require us to      Pushed into factional opposition in the SL by
debate the incident in question. This is the first    introduce working-class militants to the VNL           impatience, grotesquely used and discarded by
time in the SL's eight-year history as a tendency     grouping and its history. VNL was launched by          Ellens as a figurehead for a syndicalist split-
that the accuracy and integrity of our press-         one Harry Turner following his departure, along        oriented faction, feeling trapped in the SL and
despite its highly polemical, frank and revealing     with one supporter (his long-time friend Hugh          then all alone outside it, Turner's whole sub-
character-has been so challenged. We accept           Fredricks), from the Spartacist League after           sequent course has been a series of sordid at-
the CRFC's challenge and are prepared to con-         involvement in a faction fight in the SL in 1968.      tempts to find some "political " basis-any basis-
front the CRFC before any body in the socialist           In 1968 a liquidationist opposition arose in the   to justify his factional maneuverings in and
and working-class movement. We want to make           SL, based on a retreat from Trotskyism in favor        ignominiOUS departure from the SL.
known throughout the socialist and labor move-        of a workerist impulse. Despite Turner's self-
ment that this erstwhile proletarian revolutionist,   inflating claims to be the leader ofthat opposition,          Turner Looks for a Home
David Fender, called upon the class enemy to          its real leader was Kay Ellens, who built a               After leaving the SL, Turner cast about look-
decide a struggle within the workers' movement.       thinly-veiled semi-syndicalist faction, sucked in      ing for something to join. His first impulse was
                                                      Turner, and then split with nine people without        to re-unite with the Ellens group. But knowing
    CRFC and WL Vie for United Front                  even informing Turner and his lone supporter.          that Turner would never give up his comfort-
             with the Cops                                The immediate issue in the faction fight was       able life situation to enter a factory, Ellens
                                                      the fate of the SL's early efforts to build a tran-    rejected his overtures. FuriOUS, he responded with
    The material to which the CRFC letter objects     sitional organization, the Militant Labor Civil        an "open letter" to the Ellens group (29 Novem-
is two sentences in a leaflet titled "CP /TUAD        Rights Committee, designed to fight the special        ber 1968):
Prepares Betrayal with Mass Exclusion!" The           oppression of black workers. Turner and other             "We have been aware for Some time of Kay's
leaflet stated, " ••• at the Labor for Peace Con-     members of the incipient minority, including              lack of scruple, of candor-speaking plainly of
ference last week the Stalinophobic WL cowardly       Ellens, had been involved in directing the MLCRC          downright dishonesty. We can quote you chapter
 excluded all other tendencies from their allegedly   efforts, and decided to concentrate on a mass             and verse •.• such as the crude falsehoods retailed
 'public' meeting. Demonstrating further non-         leafletting campaign directed at the NYC hospital         at local meetings •••• "
proletarian means of struggle, and a complete         workers' union, where the SL had two comrades.         Having unintentionally admitted previously cover-
misunderstanding of the Leninist theory of the        The MLCRC was not a special project for some           ing up for his co-factionalist's lies, Turner went
state, the WL and CRFC called the cops on each        people to "do their own thing," but was treated        on to denounce Ellens' "fetishistic attitude toward
other, the WL to guard their meeting, the CRFC        as an SL activity; virtually without exception every   recruiting through accretion at the factory level"
to open it up." The next paragraph, also quoted       member of the New York local distributedMLCRC          and her undergroundist orientation-as the SL
in the CRFC letter, went on to explain why the        leaflets one or two mornings a week in front of        Majority had insisted all along! Of his own per-
working-class movement must not seek to "use          selected hospitals. When the two hospital workers      spectives he wrote, "You patronizingly inform us
the capitalist cops or courts to enforce 'democ-      defected from the SL in the direction of anarcho-      that our initial and tentative consideration of pre-
racy' within the labor movement."                     Maoist street confrontationism (along with one         liminary involvement in a loose gathering of
    At the Labor for Peace Conference in St.          Bob Ross, now a component of the CRFC!), the           radicals to try to win some addtional cadre
Louis, the Workers League had called a forum at       MLCRC's activities became a sterile exercise in        'merely postpones the real tasks' •.•• "
St. Louis University sponsored in the name of a       empty propagandism unsupported by an SL fraction          After being rejected by Ellens, Turner and
UAW "rank and file" caucus. The meeting was           in the union. The Ellens-Turner opposition in-         his supporter joined the Labor Committee of L.
publicly advertised but the WL followed its by now    sisted the work was still viable, counterposing        Marcus. Recall that the two main elements of
standard practice of physically excluding opponent    fake agitation to the SL's perspective of direct       Turner's opposition were overwhelming organiza-
tendencies from the "public" meeting. Those           political confrontation with other working-class       tional concentration on the labor movement and
excluded were standing outside the barred meeting     currents designed to cohere the most conscious         single-minded agitation around the oppression of
room, including supporters of the International       vanguard elements around Trotskyism. In par-           black workers. The Labor Committee, however,
Socialists, Socialist Workers Party, CRFC and         ticular, the kin d of agitation advocated by           explicitly maintains the elitist position that aca-
five supporters of the Spartacist League. Fender      Ellens-Turner deliberately avoided attacks on          demically trained intellectuals can conquer the
announced, "I'm going to get us into this meet-       black nationalist ideology then dominant among         working class without implantation in industry
ing," and left the meeting room area. Then ac-        black radicals and reflected in a definite mood        and trade union work; moreover, the LC re-
cording to the CRFC's version, Fender went to         among the black masses. The minority repeatedly        gards the black movement as simply divisive of
dispute a WLer over the question of exclusion         insisted that the indefinite continuation of MLCRC,    working-class unity and opposes in prinCiple the
before a campus administrator and in the pres-        despite the loss of any party fraction in the union,   raiSing of programmatic demands against the
ence of security guards. On returning to the meet-    had great possibilities, and that to discontinue it    special oppreSSion of blacks. While Turner was
ing room area, Fender stated that he had "coun-       meant the abandonment of any perspective for           in the LC, one of its leaders attacked the anar-
tered" the WL's arguments. He had indeed!             recruiting black workers.                              cho-Maoist wing of SDS in an article in the press
Shortly after that, the campus administrator              Ellens seized on the MLCRC as a good issue         of the pro-war Socialist Party at a time when
accompanied by an armed guard approached the          for building her s e m i-syndicalist faction, pull-    the instruments of bourgeois public opinion were
WL leadership and informed them that exclusionist     ing in Turner On the basis of his impatience           waging a hysterical campaign against SDS. When
meetings were against the rules. Fender stood         and his subjective stake in MLCRC, which he            SLers attended an LC meeting to raise a motion
right behind the administrator and guard, eager       believed was the manifestation in the flesh of a       condemning the LC for this action, Turner ab-
to enter the now opened meeting. All the other        "Memorandum on the Negro Struggle" he had              stained. Turner's conduct in the LC was deter-
groups present were likewise prepared to attend       written a year before. Spokesmen for the SL            mined by a deSire to get close to the Workers
the WL forum under campus cop auspices, except        majority repeatedly charged Turner with being in       League, which Turner had already begun chasing,
for the Spartacist comrades who argued heatedly       a rotten bloc with Ellens in a faction whose real      and which had a fraction in the LC.        .
against use of campus cops as arbitrators; one        politics were workerism, clandestinity, accom-
ISer called our comrades "purists" for our posi-      modation to black nationalism and emulation of                 Grovelling Leiter to Healy
tion that we would not touch such a meeting with      the Voix Ouvri~re group in France, and which              Despite his comic-opera overtures to Ellens
a ten-foot pole. The WL then transferred the          had an immediate split perspective. Turner in-         and Marcus, Turner saw his main chance in
meeting to a private apartment.                       sisted that he was the leader of the faction,          Gerry Healy's International Committee and its
    The CRFC's letter is a smokescreen by crucial     that it adhered to the basic orientation and pro-      American group, the Workers League of Tim
omission. It piously protests, "The position of       gram of the SL, and that it did not have a split       Wohlforth. While in the SL, Turner had written
the CRFC and its component organizations on           perspective. Immediately thereafter, the nine          savage denunciations of Healy's "International"
the question of the police and bourgeois legal in-    members of the Ellens faction preCipitously split      and the WL. Following the expulsion of the Spar-
terference in the workers' movement is the same       from the SL, without even informing Turner, to         tacist delegation from the 1966 IC conference,
as that of the SL." The letter claims that Fender     carry out its workerist program. The grouping          Turner had written (letter to Healy, 30 April
protested to the campus administration only to        promptly moved to a Midwest industrial center          1966): "You wanted an international after the man-
prevent the guards throwing the CRFC out of the       and went underground to attempt to conquer the         ner of Stalin's Comintern, permeated with servility
building. This claim is given the lie by the facts,   proletarian masses, adopting political pOSitions       at one pole and authoritarianism on the other."
which the letter conceals. The supposedly unin-       appropriate to its former minorityite stance:             Referring to the economist program of the
tended result of Fender's protest was the inter-      advocacy of strike-breaking in the NYC teachers'       Workers League's short-lived front group, Trade
vention by the administrator and campus cop to        union strike in the name of "community control"        Unionists for a Labor Party, which deliberately
force the WL to open the forum. If this had not       and characterization of the defomed workers'           omitted any mention of the fight against racial
been precisely the result which Fender was            states as state capitalist. Turner and his sup-        oppreSSion (as well as opposition to the Vietnam
seeking, wouldn't he of course have joined the        porter found themselves unceremoniously dumped                                     continued on next page
 September 1972                                                                                                                                                            7
war), Turner had denounced the WL for making              a proof of Turner's generosity in giving them               VNL's critical support to the police strike took
"a 'left' adaptation to the prevailing white chau-        permission.                                                 place a few months before VNL solidarized with
vinism in the working class" ("Whither the Spar-                                                                      the Newton wing of the Panthers, who would cer-
tacist League," 7 July 1968).                                        Turner's First Recruit                           tainly have been one of the first victims of a
   But only a few months after leaving the SL,               Rebuffed in his attempts to find a home in anoth-        cop victory.
Turner was chasing Healy and the WL! On                   er organization, Turner formed Vanguard News-
10 January 1969 Turner sent a classic letter of           letter in June 1969 on the following basis:                            Turner Chases OCI
recantation to Healy in which he capitulated on              "We begin, in effect .•. as a discussion group. It          As part of the developing split in the "Inter-
virtually every point. He wrote:                             is our hope that agreement on principle and pro-         national Committee" between the British Socialist
                                                             gram will be forged, so that a democratic-               Labour League and the French Organisation
    "Why wasn't r able to see it Ithat the Spartacist
                                                             centralist organization will emerge from the             Communiste Internationaliste in 1971, the latter
    tendency was "apetty-bourgeois personality cult" J
                                                             circle. We invite all those interested in dis-
    at the time? Why was r originally drawn to                                                                        aggressively lined up international supporters on a
                                                             cussion to contact us."
    Robertson's group, and away froni Wohlforth and                                                                   power-bloc basis. Lacking contacts in North
    Mueller in 1963? Subjective factors playa large       VNL remains a catch-all literary discussion group           America, the OCI was prepared to investigate
    part in behavior, of course •.•• r tended to react    "hoping" to achieve "agreement on principle and
    in simple Pavlovian fashion to your intervention
                                                                                                                      using VNL. Turner, in turn, tried to use the
    in the RT •.•• r also reacted quite superficially,
                                                          program" in the great by and by, while posturing as         attraction of the OCI franchise to strengthen his
    empirically and parochially. "                        a hard Leninist formation. We will see what kind            domestic discussion-regroupment operation.
                                                          of political animals ac cepted Turner's invitation.         Thus, Turner proj ected a fusion of VNL, the
  In his desire to become a Healyite, Turner
. denounced the SL pOSition against the Chinese              Robert Sherwood was expelled from the SL                 Sherwood group in Canada, the "revolutionary
  "Cultural R evolution," reverting to his original       for Signing a "Negotiations Now" leaflet, thus              DeLeonist H Socialist Forum and the Communist            •
  support for the Maoist Red Guards, and stated           breaking SL diSCipline to cross the class line.             Tendency, a group led by David Fender which had
  only the mildest of criticisms of the WL's              At about the same time, he legally emigrated to             recently split from the SWP.
  genuine adaptation to white chauvinism:                 Canada to avoid the draft, thus violating our policy           Turner's appetites for the OCI franchise were
                                                          that when drafted, proletarian revolutionaries              clearly reflected in the September and October
    "As to the Negro question, the WL's program ...       enter the army to carry the anti-war struggle to            1971 issues of VNL. Turner became a self-
    is one which we can support. Howe\'er we feel that
    the program does not sufficiently orientate toward
                                                          conscripted working-class youth. Sherwood then              appointed attorney for the Partido Obrero Revo-
    the increasingly militant black workers .... "        joined the Workers League and became leader of              lucionario of Bolivia, the OCl's ally against
                                                          its Canadian "section," making a mockery of the             the SLL/WL:
On his new-found commitment to the WL, he                 WL's public pOSition against draft resistance.                 "We do not consider it permissible to lump the
wrote: "when we examine the WL, we find a                 When Spartacist denounced the WL's hypocritical                POR with the Stalinists and Pabloists as does
performance in keeping with its professed de-             opportunism over Sherwood, the WL reacted with                 Tim Wohlforth •••• We believe that the Bolivian
sire to build a Leninist party in the U.S. "!             hysteria, terming us "the fingerman of the world               comrades made serious errors .••• It is only by
   Despite Turner's fulsome grovelling, Healy             capitalists," falsely claiming that the references             learning from their mistakes that the comrades
insisted on thoroughly demeaning his former                                                                              of the POR can overcome them in time, can yet
                                                          to Sherwood's draft-dodging would jeopardize him               lead the Bolivian working class ••. to power."
opponent by demanding that Turner give up his             legally. Significantly, this archtypically Stalinist
position on the black question and fully embrace          slander occurred in the same issue of the Bulletin          The same issue contains an effusive, uncritical
the WL's position. Turner turned away from the            as a gloating report on the Turner split based on            greeting to the congress of the OCI youth group:
WL, although without giving up hopes for an               documents he gave them.                                     "We wish you every success in your congress
eventual r e con c iIi at ion with international             While as usual using Aesopian formulations,              and in politically arming the youth of France for
Healyism.                                                 Turner solidarized with the WL-Sherwood ac-                 the socialist revoluti&." (For our critique of the
   The black question continued to be a stumbling         cusations (VNL, February 1970):                             OCl's opportunism over Bolivia and the youth
block for Turner. While in the SL Turner claimed                                                                      question, see Workers Vanguard No.3, Decem-
agreement with the SL position that U.S. blacks              "Should one judge the SL's actions in regard to          ber 1971.)
are a doubly oppressed color caste, but not long             Sherwood as isolated incidents ••• or even as a              However, the international fusion meeting,
after leaving (VNL, November 1969) he caved in to            vindictive, perhaps only semi-conscious wish for
                                                             harrassment of such opponents by the repressive
                                                                                                                      held in Canada in late September 1971, was a
black nationalist sentiment:                                 apparatus of the capitalist state? We have ruled         disaster for Turner's grandiose ambitions. The
    "Should the mass of the Black people, the vast           out the first alternative .••• We have informed          internal contradictions of Turner's motley com-
    majority of which is working class, decide on            others ••• of our belief that the latter possibilities   bination exploded. Half of the VNL, i.e., Harold
    nationhood, reach the' conclusion that they can          are most probable."                                      Robins and Bob Davis, went into "opposition"
    no longer reside in the same national state with                                                                  and split. RefUSing to unite with the draft-dodger
    whites, and demand a section of the U.S. for a            Turner had been a member of the SL Political
    separate     state, we    would   support their       Bureau when the Spartacist denouncing Sherwood              SherWOOd, the ranks of the CT split from their           I
                                                                                                                      political leader and spokesman, David Fender.            I
    demand •.•• "                                         and the WL appeared (March-April 1968). He
                                                          made no objections at the time and presumably               (The CT, Robins and Davis have since trans-
This position has nothing whatsoever in common                                                                        ferred their allegiance to the IS.)                      !!
with Leninism. For a Leninist, the question of            supported the article. A year and a half later,
whether a group is a nation is not determined by          Turner is accusing the SL leadership-of which                  Naturally, the conference with the OCI repre-         ..

how much its members want to secede but by                he was then a part! -of turning political opponents         sentative was not reported in VNL. But by                •
                                                          over to the cops. The apparent mystery is solved            November, VNL's attitude toward the OCI had
the existence of a separate political economy in                                                                      changed 180 degrees. In the November 1971 VNL
embryo within the oppressor nation. In a frenzy of        by the fact that in late 1969 Sherwood had a
                                                          falling out with the WL and transformed the Canad-          we read, "By embraCing Lora [head of the POR],
white guilt, Turner entirely does away with the
Leninist criteria in order to assure black nation-        ian WL into the Toronto VNL Committee. To re-               the OCI assumes full responsibility for poliCies         ,
                                                          cruit one slimy opportunist and draft-dodger to             which led to the Bolivian defeat." The article
alists that if they really want to be a nation, he                                                                    concludes, "The Bolivian test was miserably failed
will certainly give them permission. If TUrner            boot, Turner was prepared to retroactively make
                                                                                                                      by all organizations identifying with both the IC
believes that U.S. black people possess the ob-           himself a "capitalist finger man. "
                                                                                                                      andU.Sec." Turner termed the IC left-centrist and        "
jective requirements for becoming an independent                        NYC Police Strike                             accused the OCI as well as the SLL of gangsterism
national state, then his position is simply patron-                                                                   against other left-wing tendencies. Had the OCI
izing; for a nation, self-determination is a right           Under normal circumstances and with an eye
                                                                                                                      suddenly changed its spots before the November
which Leninists must unconditionally support, not         on the record, most organizations claiming to be
                                                                                                                      VNL issue? No, what changed was Turner's
                                                          revolutionary can present their politics as princi-                                                                      i
                                                                                                                      scheme for using the OCI to construct his                    I
                                                          pled and plausible. The real test of an organiza-           grouplet.                                                    •
                                                          tion's revolutionary capacity is its reaction to un-                                                                     •
           SPARTACIST                                     expected or complex social struggles (e.g., the                   Turner/Fender Rolten Bloc                              I
                                                          Chinese "Cultural Revolution," the 1968 NYC                    The OCI regroupment drive did produce another
        LOCAL DIRECTORY                                   teachers' strike, the present conflict in Ulster).          recruit for Turner: David Fender, who left the               •
                                                          Such a test was the 1970 New York City pOlice               CT ranks behind in order to join VNL. Under
       Box 7686, Atlanta, GA 30309                        strike.                                                     Fender'S tutelage, the CT had developed two con-
                                                             The WL predictably embraced the cops as a                troversial positions which they regarded as ex-
    BERKELEY-OAKLAND ........ ,. (415) 848-3029           militant wing of the working class. While VNL
       Box 852, Main P.O., Berkeley, CA 94701                                                                         tremely important: the CT critically supported
                                                          dissociated itself from the WL's extreme rantings           the Liu faction in the Chinese "Cultural Revo-

    BOSTON ...................... (617) 876-1787          (without naming the WL), it put forth the funda-            lution" and called for the "proletarian military
        Box 188, M.I.T. Sta., Cambridge, MA 02139         mental programmatic element of the WL position-             policy," trade union control of the standing army
                                                          labor movement support for apolice strike victory           with conscription.
    CHICAGO ..................... (312) 643-4394                                                                                                                                   J
        Box 6471, Main P.O., Chicago, I L 60680
                                                          (VNL, January 1971):                                            Fender had supported the Liu faction on the              I
                                                             "The rank and file of the entire labor movement                                                                       I
    EUREKA                                                                                                            grounds that this conservative resistance on the

                                                             must demand that their leaderships enter into a          part of the bureaucracy to the adventuristic
       Box 3061, Eureka, CA 95501
                                                             united front and a binding commitment for a
                                                             r;;enel'al strike in the event that either strike-
                                                                                                                      and austerity poliCies of Mao reflected pressure
    HOUSTON (contact New York)
                                                                                                                      to defend the material interests of the working
    LOS ANGELES ............. , ... (213) 467-6855
        Box 38053, Wilcox Sta., Los Angeles, CA 90038
                                                             breaking weapon is resorted to by the City."
                                                          The strike reflected the growing sense of inde-
                                                                                                                      masses. Turner, however, had supported the                   ,
                                                                                                                      Maoist Red Guards, taken in by their "anti-
                                                          pendent esprit by the cops and hostility to what            bureaucratic" and egalitarian rhetoric. Thus
    NEW ORLEANS ......... , ...... (504) 866-8384         they considered the "permissiveness" of politi-
       Box 51634, Main P.O., New Orleans, LA 70151                                                                    Fender and Turner have diametrically opposed
                                                          cians and juries toward black, Puerto Rican and             positions on contemporary Chinese politics. And
    NEW YORK .................... (212) 925-2426          student militants. A victory for the police strike,         more significantly, since Fender joined up with
       Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, NY 10001               particularly defying the National Guard, would              Turner, VNL has carried no material on political
    SAN DIEGO .................... (714) 453-1436         have removed the tenuous fetters of bourgeois               revolution in a country called China, which
        Box 22052, Univ. City Sta., San Diego, CA 92122   legality from the armed fist of the state, allowing         merely contains a third of the human race, One
                                                          that armed fist to rise above the traditional               of the hallmarks of any centrist group is pro-
    SAN FRANCISCO ............... (415) 826-8259          bourgeois state in bonapartist fashion, while re-
        Box 40574, San Francisco, CA 94140                                                                            found anti-internationalism. As long as an ac-
                                                          maining the guardian of the capitalist class.               commodation can be reached on domestic issues,
    WASHINGTON, D.C.-BALTIMORE (202) 223-1455             A victorious police strike would inevitabl~' mean           the most fundamental differences over revolution-
                                                          the unleashing of unrestrained racist terror                ary policy in "other" countries become merely
                                                          against the black ghettos. It should be noted that                                       continued on page 10
8                                                                                                                             WORKERS VANGUARD

       SWP/WONAAC Sink
       In Bourgeois Swamp
    The decline of the petty-bourgeois women's       WONAAC school are only being consistent when
liberation movement as it has existed for the        they yearn to support capitalist politicians like
past several years is a fact apparent to most        Abzug, whose so-called Abortion Rights Act of
 radical activists and ostensible revolutionaries.   1972 is being backed by WONAAC with a petition
The only organization which seems not to have        campaign. The SWP is unable to provide any                   Clara Zetkin, January 1918
 ass i mil ate d this fact of life is the self-      political justification for the "principle of inde-
proclaimed leader of the "mass feminist move-        pendence" besides the claim that endorSing any         and the establishment of the dictatorship of the
ment," the Socialist Workers Party, and its          candidate would "narrow the coalition."                proletariat, will open the road to the gradual
youth group, the Young Socialist Alliance, This         For communists the reason for a complete            replacement of the family.
blindness may be attributed to the SWP /YSA's        break with capitalist politiCians lies in the
heavy organizational commitment to its front         understanding that the oppreSSion of women is          Spartacist and the Women's Movement
group, the Women's National Abortion Action          one of the pillars upon which the capitalist sys-         Members of the Spartacist League and the
Coalition. The SWP /YSA has built WONAAC as          tem rests, Struggles against women's oppression        Women and Revolution group intervened in the
a liberal-reformist organization whose three         will be bitterly opposed by the capitalist state       WONAAC Conference to counterpose a revolu-
demandS aim at attracting middle-class women         and its political agents. On occasion reform is-       tionary proletarian strategy and program. W&R
and their Democratic Party representatives.          sues may be supported by particular politicians,       groups, based on the transitional program of the
The SWP /YSA' s desperate attempt to funnel the      but this "support" inevitably comes down to cyn-       SL, have intervened in the women's movement,
women's movement into the single-issue abor-         ical manipulation to garner votes, as was amply        consistently presenting an outspOken socialist
tion repeal campaign in order to "attract the        demonstrated by the maneuverings around the            alternative, explicitly anti-reformist and anti-
broadest possible number of women" has itself        abortion issue at the Democratic Convention.           feminist, SL/W&R has insisted that the women's
been a Significant factor in the demise of the          Such an analysis of the nature of capitalism        movement cannot go forward until it adopts a
movement.                                            is well known to the ex-Marxist SWP. The SWP's         proletarian perspective and recognizes that the
    The third National Women's Conference on         rationale for this elementary betrayal is that         uniquely leading class in the SOCialist revolution
Abortion, held July 15-16 at Hunter College in       breaking with the class enemy and its agents
New York under the auspices of WONAAC, sur-          would prevent WONAAC from "bringing in the
passed the previous two in endless boring hours      greatest number of women."
of petty, non-political ramblings and mindless
enthusing over non-existent "victories," The                 Abortion and the Family                           LESSONS FROM THE BO
fact that of the 800 women who were actually             Similarly with the issue of "free abortion on
interested enough to register for this confer-       demand." The SWP itself has admitted that "the
ence (less than two-thirds of the attendance at      part of this demand that calls for free abortion
the previous conference) fewer than half re-
mained by the second day itself bears witness to
the tragic dead end to which the women's move-
ment has come in the past few years.
                                                     on demand goes beyond democratic demands,
                                                     raises the concept of socialization of medical
                                                     care, and answers a need of the most oppressed
                                                     and exploited" (International Socialist Review,
                                                                                                                        Toward a
    The conference was frought with evident deep     November 1971). Yet the SWP /YSA has consistent-
rifts within the WONAAC leadership itself, final-    ly fought against this as a demand for WONAAC,               Most of the ostensibly socialist organizations
ly coming to a head with the resignation of eight    thus criminally abandoning the "need of the most         in the U,S. have pursued an opportunist, tail-
national coordinators and staff on the second        oppressed and exploited" for the sake of its lib-        endist policy toward the women's liberation
day. Much of the criticism raised by the main        eral supporters! The refusal to fight for free           movement, But for others, the question is seen
oppositional grouping within WONAAC, centered        legal abortion in itself cuts WONAAC off from            as inherently petty-bourgeois, and the existing
around Rose Weber (one of those who eventually       working-class women, especially the most op-             movement as the only possible expression of
resigned), took the form of vicious red-baiting      pressed layers of the class, who know they will          struggle against the oppreSSion of women, Thus
accusations of SWP "domination and manipula-         have about as much chance to obtain an expen-            the Workers League has expressed contempt for
tion" of WONAAC. The SWP is unable to fight          sive legal abortion as they have to take a (legal)       the current movement and has ostentatiously
red-baiting effectively because its reformist as-    airplane trip.                                           abstained from participation in it. OppOSition
pirations do not allow it to stand openly as com-        In itself the issue of abortions is a reform         to the middle-class and feminist-reformist orien-
munists and fight for leaderShip on the basis of     demand, For revolutionaries, particular reforms          tation of the existing movement does not produce
program. All that the SWP has to offer is an ef-     which strike blows at the oppressive institutions        abstention by revolutionaries, but rather demands
fective organization of cadres trained to tail-end   of capitalism and increase the capacity of the           energetic intervention with the correct prole~
the "mass movements" it claims to lead. While        working class to struggle must be supported. But         tarian program and strategy, For the Workers
the Weber grouping picked up on some key de-         the revolutionary always seeks to pose demands           League, however, blanket condemnation of the
fects in WONAAC's politics and the SWP method        which transcend the capitalist framework~ in-            movement is merely a cheap way to establish
of "leadership," the group represented a split to    crease the consciousness of the exploited and            "proletarian" credentials, The WL denies the
the right, probably headed straight back into the    oppressed of the objective need for socialist            special oppreSSion of women and maintains that
Democratic Party. For the most part these op-        revolution as the only way to fully achieve and          the organization of women around resistance to
positionists are simply extending feminist and       safeguard their needs, and lead to greater class         their oppression Simply divides the working
class-collaborationist principles taught them by     organization and higher forms of struggle on the         class. Unfortunately this cynical position keys
the SWP but which the SWP itself cannot ex-          part of the working masses.                              into one of the stereotypes of communists per~
plicitly endorse because of formal residues of           The SWP /YSA, however, has deliberately built        petrated by anti-communist feminists, who main-
its past socialist traditions.                       WONAAC as a reformist organization. It has               tain that communists are not concerned with
                                                     opposed adopting the "free abortion" demand              women's oppreSSion and have no legitimate place
            SWPjWONAAC Push                          which impliCitly calls into question capitalist          in the movemenL
                                                     private property relations; it has fought the                In forswearing the fight against the oppres-
            Class- Collaboration                     broadening of WONAAC's three official demands            sion of women the Workers League once again
    This point is demonstrated by WONAAC's           into a program linking up the abortion fight with        abandons a key component of the Marxist pro-
empty claims of "independence" from bourgeois        the class struggle in all its aspects; it has spread     gram, developed initially by Marx and Engels
political parties. In the June 26 issue of the       illusions which directly impede the development          themselves and later extended by the Bolshevik
WONAAC Newsletter well-known SWP spokes-             of revolutionary consciousness. WONAAC teach-            party and the Third InternationaL The current
man Kipp Dawson argued against the tactic of         es the militant women to place their trust in the        women's movement, with its disdain for "male-
legislative lobbying asking: "How can women be       class enemy and their female agents in the cap-          dominated" history and Marxist theory, is as
most effective in forcing the legislators to grant   italist parties. WONAAC pushes the illusion that         ignorant of the history of socialist work among
the right to abortion?" Later in the article-        abortion repeal means "control of our own bod-           women as is the Workers League, The historical
after bragging of the support to WONAAC of           ies." A woman who works a grueling eight-hour            development of communist organization and pro-
such "women's liberationists" as Shirley Chis-       day at a meaningless job and returns to an eve-          gram for work among women can provide guide-
holm, Mary Lindsay and Bella Abzug-Dawson            ning of petty housework drudgery hardly has              lines for the rebirth of a revolutionary women's
answers her question: "When thousands of women       "control of her own body"!                               movement as part of the struggle of the prole-
are marching in the streets for this right [abor-        The emancipation of women requires the de~           tariat for state power,
tion], legislators will sit up and take notice." A   struction of capitalism, Women under capitalism
militant-sounding strategy-for the purpose of        are exploited as workers and doubly oppressed by                     Birth of the Socialist
pressuring liberal legislators.                      the family, the main social bulwark of women's                        Women's Movement
   One reason why WONAAC has repeatedly              oppression. Achieving the right to abortion would            The drawing of women into large-scale in-
thrown off splits to the right is the contradic-     strike a blow against the material and ideological        dustry was a profoundly progressive step and
tion between this stated "principle of independ-     props of the family system, but the family will           laid the basis for their industrial and political
ence" from the bourgeoisie and support of bour-      not wither away until a replacement for it can be         organization, In many cases women were ad-
geois politicians in all but the direct electoral    created. Socialization of household duties, only          mitted into trade unions but frequently, as in the
sense. Those trained in the feminist-reformist       possible after the abolition of private property          case of the Lancashire weavers in 1824, as
"'-'"   -

            September 1972                                                                                                                                                9

            is the proletariat under the leadership of the         anti-theoretical biases and contempt for the les-        Clearly the politics of the SWP cannot provide
            vanguard party.                                        sons of history. Frustration with the male chau-      any alternative strategy for the women's move-
               SL/W&R presented a motion to the Confer-            vinism of the New Left was a catalyst for the         ment. In every field of its activity the SWP /YSA
            ence, "For a class Hne-not a sex line," which          emergence of the women's movement. The New            pushes class collaboration and petty-bourgeois
            demanded the exclusion of all bourgeois politi-        Left dead-end succeeded in discouraging its share     poly-vanguardism. It is in this sense thatthe SWP
            cians, male and female, from the women's liber-        of radical youth from a lifetime ~ommitment to        is correct when it claims to be the main builder
            ation movement. As part of our insistence that         revolutionary politics, and some women used the       of the women's movement: the SWP has indeed
            the struggle for the emancipation of women must        women's movement as a way of seeking personal         been instrumental in building into the women's
            be seen as part of the fight of the working class      "liberation" and thus a way out of politics alto-     movement all the reformist illusions and bour-
            for socialist revolution, the motion demanded that     gether. For others the women's movement was           geois traps which have led the current women's
            the Conference break with male exclusionism by         simply an extension of New Leftpoly-vanguardist       liberation movement to an impasse.
            allowing men who support the struggle full and         constituency pOlitics, a logical ~xtension of the       For a Socialist Women's Movement!
            equal participation. The fight for class unity         propOSition that "whites should organize whites,
                                                                   blacks should organize blacks." For some this            Petty-bourgeois feminism has shown itself un-
            requires intransigent opposition to male exclu-                                                              able to construct a viable women's movement. But
            sionism just as it requires a relentless struggle      idea meant that the only legitimate political work
                                                                   for women was the women's liberation movement.        the Menshevik policies of the SWP /WONAAC and
            against male chauvinist backwardness, on the                                                                 the utopian petty-bourgeois radicalism of the fem-
            baSis of a transitional program which fights           This led to disguised red-baiting of women in so-
                                                                   called "male-dominated" (i.e., sexually non-          inists have not been able to entirely dissipate the
            against the special oppression of women as part                                                              powerful impulse to struggle for the emanCipation
            of a struggle for the needs of the class as a          exclusionist) political organizations, and the
                                                                   charge that socialist women were fighting "other      of women, for this impulse is rooted in resistance
            whole. Elements of the W&R program include:                                                                  to the brutal economic and social oppression of
            equal pay for equal work, free quality medical         people's" struggles.
                                                                                                                         capitalism. The bourgeoisie and its agents have
            care for all, union organization of the unorgan-          A heterogeneous feminist tendency insisted         been able to successfully channel the women's
            ized, strikes against the Vietnam war, the build-      that women were the "revolutionary class" in          struggle for a time into electoral manipulation,
            ing of a labor party to fight for a workers'           modern society destined to carry out the revolu-      token hiring of women in certain industries, and
            government.                                            tion against the male-dominated society. Some         sensational or sympathetic coverage in the media.
                                                                   even envisioned a civil war between men and wo-       But the resistance of the oppressed to their ex-
                    Feminism vs. Communism                         men for political control. What kind of economic      ploitation and degradation under capitalism can
               The kind of "leadership" offered by the SWP         system they would gain control of was never dis-      never be eliminated until oppression itself is
            was exactly what the women's movement did not          cussed, although many made the blatantly male         eliminated following the destruction of capitalism.
            need to break out of its headlong plunge into im-      chauvinist assumption that it would be more "hu-      Militant struggle for women's emancipation will
            potent reformism. The movement emerged in the          mane" because it would be run by women (the           manifest itself again, and must base itself upon
            1960's out of the petty-bourgeois student move-        gentle sex?). The various tendencies of feminism      the tradition of the socialist women's movement-
            ment--the New Left. Much of the original New           hold in commOn the view that the fundamental          a long and proud tradition which the reformists
            Left baggage was carried into the women's move-        division in this society is sex and thus all women    and feminists must obscure and deny, a tradition
            ment: the early women's movement in particular         regardless of class can be united in fighting for     which offers the only road forward for the wom-
            was imbued with typical New Left anti-"elitism?"       their liberation from "male-dominated" society.       en's liberation movement ••


   Communist Women's Movement!
   second-class union members. In some cases                         from the semi-bourgeois Fabian SoCiety defend-      politically responsible to the leading bodies of
   working women formed their own class organiza-                    ed the admissibility of a struggle not for full     the party. This organizational form upheld the
   tions in response to their exclusion from the                     women's suffrage but for one limited to those       principle of revolutionary working-class unity
                                                                     posseSSing property. The Congress rejected this
   established trade union movement and their rele-                  unconditionally and declared in favor of women
                                                                                                                         under a single party banner while allowing for
   gation to largely unorganized sections of indus-                  workers campaigning for the franchise, not in       the application of a variety of methods of propa-
   try. In the U.S. separate women's trade unions                    conjunction with the bourgeois supporters of        ganda and agitation among women. Although other
   such as the Tailoresses' Union and the Shoe                       women's rights, but in conjunction with the class   forms of organization were used elseWhere, the
   Binders' Union were formed as early as 1830.                      parties of the proletariat. The Congress recog-     German form was the most widespread and suc-
   Militant strikes were led by the Ladies Waist                     nized that in the campaign for women's suffrage     cessful and seemed to allow for the greatest
                                                                     it was necessary to uphold fully the principles
   Makers Union in 1909. However, such separate                      of socialism and equal rights for men and wom-      clarity of theory and unity in action of the com-
   organizations we r e inevitably superceded by                     en without distorting those prinCiples for the      mon movement.
   unions of men and women, as working-class men                     sake of expediency. ft                                   Bolshevik Work Among Women
   gradually recognized that the economic interests
   of both sexes were inseparable. The unions took                   The necessity for a clear, unqualified class           The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party
   up only the purely economic aspect of women's                 line separating the SOCialist women's movement          (Bolshevik) carried out extensive propaganda
   lives. Other issues became the property of the                from the bourgeois feminists was understood             among women workers prior to the October
   growing bourgeois feminist movements.                         from the first informal gathering of women so-          Revolution. The pages of its journal, Rabotnitsa
      The Social Democratic (later Communist)                    cialists held in London in 1896. The Gotha Con-         (Woman Worker), which first appeared under the
   women's movement was separate and distinct                    gress of the German Social Democratic Party             direction of the Bolshevik Central Committee on
   from both the purely economic trade union move-               held earlier that same year had, at Clara Zet-          International Women's Day 1914, contained po-
   ment and the bourgeois feminists. This is clear               kin's insistence, laid the groundwork for agita-        lemics directed against the bourgeois feminist
   in an account by Lenin(Collected Works, Vol. 13)              tional work among proletarian women for the             movements of RUSSia and Europe and against
   of the International Socialist Congress held at               pur po s e 0 f draWing them into the general            the Mensheviks' policy of male exclusionism in
   Stuttgart, September 1907:                                    working-class movement,                                 the women's movement. Articles on the family
            "The resolution on women's suffrage was also             Debate in the German party centered around          and the causes of women's oppreSSion, the means
            adopted unanimously. Only one Englishwoman           the question of the need for special organiza-          of their emanCipation, current domestic and in-
                                                                 tional forms devoted to work in this section of         ternational affairs and the participation of women
                                                                 the proletariat. At issue was whether this work         in the workers' movement appeared in the seven
                                                                 should take place within or outside the party           issues of Rabotnitsa which were published be-
                                                                 organization. The final deciSion was to estab-          tween February 1914 and the outbreak of World
                                                                 lish a women's section within the party. It was         War I in July.
                                                                 based on two considerations: (1) the struggle of            In the spring of 1914 women from the major
                                                                 women workers for emancipation is linked in-            industrial centers of RUSSia elected delegates,
                                                                 separably to the struggle of the entire working         largely Bolshevik supporters, for the Third In-
                                                                 class against capitalism; (2) as long as women          ternational Socialist Women's Conference sche-
                                                                 workers are prevented from full involvement in          duled to take place in Vienna later that year,
                                                                 the working-class movement, a special organ-            Due to the intervention of the war the conference
                                                                 izational mechanism devoted to work among wom-          did not take place, but at the instigation of the
                                                                 en is necessary. The factors impeding women's           Bolshevik Central Committee a congress of
                                                                 full partiCipation in the proletarian movement          left-wing socialist women was held in Berne,
                                                                 were seen to flow from women's role in the              Switzerland on 26-28 March 1915. Of the thirty
                                                                 family which resulted in their relegation to the        delegates attending, four of the six RUSSian dele-
                                                                 least organized, most oppressed sections of the         gates were Bolsheviks who brought with them a
                                                                 class; lack of education and intellectual develop-      draft resolution written by Lenin. The resolu-
                                                                 ment; and victimization by backward social atti-        tion demanded: Break with the SOCial Democratic
                                                                 tudes and laws.                                         betrayers-Turn the imperialist war into a civil
                                                                     The women's section had a great deal of or-         war! It called for agitation among the masses
                                                                 ganizational autonomy (partially, but not entire-       for socialist revolution, The resolution was de-
                                                                 ly, because women were legally barred from              feated by the centrists and pacifists, as a simi-
                                                                 entrance into political organizations in Germany        lar resolution was later defeated at the Zimmer-
                                                                 until 1908). At the same time the section was                                         continued on page 11
10                                                                                                                            WORKERS VANGUARD
                                                                                                            its social composition. VNL consists of older,
Continued from. page 7                                                                                      materially well-off radicals who have come
                                                                                                            through harder, more dynamic organizations.
                                                                                                            They are burnt out, reacting against the pressures

                                                                                                            of an aggressive organization and resentful of
                                                                                                            the demands which such an organization makes
                                                                                                            upon its experienced and leading members.
                                                                                                               If Turner had been remotely principled, he
interesting discussion topics.                        to fight for specific aims. It is not a permanent     would have become a hospital worker carrying
   While a leader in the CT, Fender favored con-      organization capable of leading the class. The        out the policy he claims was the baSis for his
scription and called for trade union control of       CRFC is simply a means by which opportunists          opposition in and split from the SL. Turner claimed
Nixon's army. The "proletarian military policy"       can "unite" without taking any responsibility for     he had an iron-clad formula for winning black
either reflects utopian illusions or soCial chau-     one another, leaving each component free to           workers, which was not vitiated by small size
vinist impulses. In the case of the CT, it also       pursue its own particular hobbyhorse ("Trotsky-       (e.g., the MLCRC after the loss of its only two
reflected a machismo world-view-a worship of          ism," DeLeonism, Maoist adventurism) while            hospital workers). In the years since he left the
the army because it is tough and manly. The CT        hanging together for mutual back-scratching (as       SL, the Turner grouping has done no trade union
ranks felt so strongly about this position that       over the St. Louis incident) and a semblance of       work and virutally no mass work of any kind.
they refused to unite with Turner'S draft-dodger      wider influence.                                      Turner has become a parasitic intriguer in the
protegee, Sherwood. But for politicians of the            Turner's opportunism is particularly visible in   ostensibly Trotskyist movement seeking blocs
calibre of Fender and Turner fundamental dif-         the CRFC' s two-point program. In the 1968 faction    with anyone he can find. Despite his posturing
ferences in policy toward the army-the essence        fight, Turner essentially reduced the communist       in his reSignation from the SL that he did not
of the bourgeois state-are no bar to unity.           trade union program to the upgrading of poorly        "intend to build or join an anti-Spartacist League,"
                                                      paid black workers. But if the fight against the      the subjective impulse in the formation of VNL
     Mythical Rank and File Caucuses                  oppression of black workers was everything for        was nothing mor e than Harry Turner's wounded ego
    Despite its flexible membership standards,        TUrner then, it is nothing for him now. The CRFC      pouring out hostility and slander against the SL.
 VNL wasn't doing so well. Therefore, early this      program does not even mention the race question!
year, T urn e rca m e up with an even looser              The March issue of VNL began yet another                 The Politics of Dilettantism
 group in the guise of a pan-union oppositional       series of articles on the Spartacist League, again        When Turner left the SL, the instability that
formation, the Committee for Rank and File Cau-       attacking the SL as a "not very serious student-      he had shown while an SL member became an all-
 cuses, based on only two programmatic demands:       oriented personality cult around James Robert-        consuming desire to show us up no matter how.
 opposition to state wage control and support for a   son" in an article typically entitled "The Sparta-    But in the years since then, the underlying politi-
labor party. The purpose of the CRFC is to enable     cist League: A 'Workers Vanguard' for Students."      cal impulse which led to his break has been spelled
 some impotent literary grouplets-VNL, Socialist      What unleashed this latest spate of VNL vicious at-   out. At bottom, the VNL is a second-string
 Forum, the "New York Revolutionary Commit-           tacks on the SL for its supposed "student orienta-    IS, and it is indeed the IS that VNL resembles in
teen-to pretend to have a labor movement              tion" was the SL's intervention into the CRFC's       its practice, but superficially without the burden of
 orientation.                                         "founding conference" on January 25. What Turn-       the discreditable history of the IS. VNL and IS
    The CRFC is a completely phony gimmick.           er, assiduously cultivating the image of an           often compete for the same recruits and have
'vNL has no union caucuses, has no influence in       "honest worker," does not bother to mention           shown a capacity to transfer membership smooth-
 any union caucuses, and conducts no mass work        was that while he himself is a senior professional    ly. Where Fender joined VNL, his former com-
 except for an occasional leaflet. TUrner might       in a white-collar job complete with private secre-     rades in the CT joined IS. When Turner's long-
 just as well have called a "national network of      tary, the SL supporters who attended the CRFC         time supporters, Fredricks, Davis and Robins,
 soviets" since VNL is currently just as active       meeting as observers consisted of our trade union     left VNL they joined IS. Since the formal pOlitics
 in organizing soviets as it is in organizing union   director, a long-time delegate for a city employ-     of VNL and IS are not particularly similar, it
 caucuses.                                            ees' union and the editor of an oppositional caucus   is clear that their similar attraction for such
    For Leninists, a union caucus is a means for      newspaper in a transport union. And behind that       people stems from another factor. VNL and IS
winning the most advanced workers to the van-         delegation lay a history of struggle to construct     are the most finished expreSSions of dilettantism
guard party through the process of struggle.          real union caucuses based on a transitional pro-      among ostenSibly revolutionary groups.
 The party intervenes through party fractions, the    gram, a proven capacity to carry communist                As James Cannon observed, participation in the
arm of the party in mass organizations of the         politics into the union movement, and a rapidly        revolutionary movement often burns out people
 class. A union caucus is necessarily an alter-       growing involvement in oppositional struggles in      and destroys their combativeness. The cadres of
 nati ve embryonic union leadership and must have a   the working class.                                    a serious communist organization function under
transitional program comprehensive enough to             The SL never mechanically equates an individ-      considerable inner tension. They must take re-
provide consistent communist leadership of that       uals's political line directly with his personal      sponsibility for the pOlitical lives and well-being
union. The CRFC is that classic centrist Con-         social status. But Turner's deliberately con-         of their comrades, are held strictly accountable
 cept-the programmatic united front substituting      structed proletarian image is a fraud. More than      for their actions and opinions, must suppress
for a party. A united front is a tactical alliance    most left-wing organizations, VNL is defined by       subjective impulses for the sake of the collective
                                                                                                            and often have their pride hurt in internal
                                                                                                            political struggle. These pressures on a commu-
                                                      which accomplished the above feats, in the 1968       nist militant are particularly difficult to with-
Continued from page 5                                 Tet offensive and the 1970 Cambodia battle
                                                                                                            stand in the U.S., where a pervasive anti-
                                                                                                            communist social climate degrades and ridicules
                                                          An NP AC spokesman boasted, "we built Mc-         the concept of a professional revolutionary.

West COllst                                           Govern; McGovern didn't build the anti-war move-
                                                      ment," to which an SL member responded, "Yes,
                                                      that's true, NP AC did build McGovern!" SWP
                                                                                                                Thus the revolutionary movement inevitably
                                                                                                            throws off burnt-out shells. These rejects often
                                                                                                            retain a certain interest in and sympathy for

NPAC                                                  big-wig Harry Ring soon got up to restore the         revolutionary ideas. They find or create organiza-
                                                      facade of SWP radicalism by stating he would          tions like IS or VNL that allow them to dabble
                                                      vote for Jenness/Pulley in November; but at the       in revolutionary politics, but do not demand a
                                                      same time, he asserted that we all have a duty        disciplined partiCipation or a necessarily high
SWP could reach a compromise with the pro-            to "rally the American people" against "this          level of activity. The VNL group is essentially
McGovern leaders caucusing in the next room.          monstrous war." Ring concluded by saying every-       a rest home for burnt-out would-be communists.
This provided an unusually long discussion period,    one should "go their own way" on election day         Most of its supporters belong there and we have
during which the SWP was forced into adefensive       as long as unity is achieved. The Jenness/Pulley      no interest in them. However, we must set
posture on its 1 eft flank, against numerous          campaign, based on a liberal program hardly           the record straight in the interests of commu-
SL/RCY speakers. Finally, a McGovern spokes-          distinguishable from that of Shirley Chisholm,        nist sanitation, and we have an obligation to try to
man announced that after caucusing, the McGovern      except for the "socialist" label, serves quali-       deflect younger comrades from entering, out of
forces were withdrawing their request for official    tatively the same function as the Communist           naivete or lack of knowledge, this final resting
NP AC en<iorsement, since that would run against      Party's campaign: a left cover for the party's        place for the rejects of our movement.
NP AC' s official "independence." He neglected to     connection with the Democrats. The only differ-           We have not very often been the object of
mention that it would also run the risk of break-     ence is that the CP is more brazen about its          repeated public polemical attack, the involuted 1984
ing up a convenient recruiting ground for liberal     intentions inside the Democrat Party. While Ring      logic of Tim Wohlforth aside. And conSidering
Democrats!                                            votes SWP, the bourgeoisie will go its own way        that Turner appears bent on devoting the rest
           The "Power" of the                         with the youth collected by the SWP's pop front!      of his natural life to us, it becomes objectively
                                                          In the summing-up remarks, SL spokesman Al        necessary, despite the source, to wipe the smears
           Anti-war Movement                          Nelson ripped into the SWP, recalling that "a         off our political reputation. As Marxists, we
    During the discussion, an SL spokesman point-     line was drawn in blood last year," and charging,     are not cummitted solely to day-to-day tasks,
ed out that the NLF offensive created an "anti-       "this place reeks of bourgeois pacifism." Nelson      but rather to the continuing historical respon-
war" bourgeoisie, which finds the slogan "out         noted the obvious deal that had been made between     sibility to shape the future of the revolutionary
now" totally acceptable to its current imperial-      the SWP and the prO-McGovern forces and de-           movement as well. We assert and are prepared
ist needs, resulting in a swelling of McGovern and    manded of the SWP, "quit calling yourselves           to prove against any challenge that the Sparta-
NP AC forces. NP AC spokesman Stephanie Coontz        Trotskyists" and join McGovern openly. He em-         cist League is the organizational embOdiment of
argued that the "power" of the anti-war move-         phasized the most important aspect of the SL/         revolutionary Marxism and stands qualitatively
ment forced the bourgeoisie to consider with-         RCY motion-expulsion of the bougeoisie.               above and counterposed to all the imposters.
drawal. As the official NP AC resolution said,            As expected, the official NP AC resolution was    To leave a Turner unscathed might permit the
"The movement drove Lyndon Johnson out of             passed overwhelmingly, but the SL/RCYproposal         impression to prevail that we are but the best of
politics; forced Richard Nixon to get the troops      received a solid bloc of about 40 votes, emerging     that dreary lot of contemporary radical fauna
out of Cambodia and withdraw half a million Gl's      clearly as the only communist opposition present.     in America-e.g., CP, PL, S'VP, IS, NCLC-
from Vietnam; and turned public sentiment de-         The other "opposition" resolutions received a tiny    that each in its own way are break-downproducts
cisively against the war." Yet this "powerful"        handful of votes each. Once again, as the SWP         of the theoretical inciSiveness and whole-hearted
anti-war movement has been going for seven            delivers its pop-front supporters to McGovern,        committment in class struggle that are the true
years and Nixon continues bombing with impunity!      NP AC has served as a litmus test for principled      heritage of Lenin's Third and Trotsky's Fourth
It was in fact the power of the DRV /NLF armies       pOlitics, and only the SL/RCY passed. _               Internationals. _
September 1972                                                                                                                                                                                                   11 - ~
                                                           gress therefore considers it necessary to find
Continued from page 9                                      special methods of work among the women of
                                                           the Communist Parties and establishes a stan-
                                                                                                                Continued from page 1
                                                           dard of special apparatus within the Communist

... Women's
                                                           Parties for the realization of this work."
                                                           The purposes of such bodies for systematic
                                                        work among women were to bring communist
                                                        women into deeper party involvement, to draw
                                                        new layers of women into the party, to fight
                                                        backward prejudices among both sexes in order
                                                                                                                France ...
                                                                                                                the dollar and the pound, in which the u.s. bour-
                                                        to foster consciousness of their common in-             geoisie has tried to foist its own economic prob-
wald Conference. But the congress was an im-            terest in proletarian revolution, and to wage a         lems off onto the backs of the working class and
portant step in the re-crystallization of a revo-       relentless battle against traditional bourgeois         petty-bourgeoisie internationally (as well as with-
lutionary tendency in opposition to the social-         customs, laws and ideology. Work among women            in the U.S.), have had their effects on France.
patriotic renegades of the Second International,        was seen as the task of the whole party:                Beginning in 1970-71 and increasing at a rapid
and was thus part of the process of polarization           "The women's committee must see to it that           rate up to the present, inflation and unemploy-
culminating in the founding of a new International         agitation among the large masses of the women        ment have increased Significantly in France.
-the Third International.                                  proletariat be included in the general- work of      According to the official government agency, the
   In Petrograd in early fall of 1917, the Bol-            the party; that it does not remain a special task    rate of inflation was 3% in 1970-71~ but since
                                                           of a small handful of communist women. They          mid-1971 has been about 6% a year. The price
shevik Bureau for Work among Women held its                must make all efforts that the agitation among
first Conference of Working Women. As part of                                                                   index administered by the CP-controlled Con-
                                                           the women becomes a branch of the whole move-
the work of the conference the Party and non-              ment, that it be carried on by all organizational    federation Generale du Travail, France's largest
Party delegates were acquainted with the goals             and pOlitical means at the disposal of the Party,    union, shows a rate of about 9% over the last
of the Bolsheviks and prepared for the expected            and be supported by the full authority of the        year.
uprising. The conference was interrupted by the            Party and its various organs."                            Although European countries have long had low
outbreak of the Bolshevik seizure of power, in          Special propaganda organs directed toward wom-          unemployment rates by U.S. standards, unem-
which the delegates actively participated, re-          en were initiated. Particular emphasis was laid         ployment is growing significantly. In France, it
ass e m b Ii n g aft e r war d s to resume their        on the importance of linking the work of the            has doubled between January 1971 and July 1972,
deliberations.                                          women's section with communist fractions in the         and is currently about 2.3% (400,000). The gov-
                                                        trade unions. This stemmed from the under-              ernment compounds unemployment by its manipu-
        "An International                               standing that the full integration of women into        lation of imported foreign labor-from North
   Communist Women's Movement"                          the work force, particularly the key layers of          Africa, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Yugoslavia,
   Within the Second International itself no spe-       the industrial proletariat, was a crucial step in       Turkey and Italy. Foreign labor is used to de-
cial body responsible for work among women              their political development and a necessary part        press wages, to attack the unions (foreign work-
had ever been established. It was left to the first     of forging unity in the working class.                   ers can be deported immediately with no reason
four congresses of the Third International to               The communist women were to carry the full          given, and are therefore extremely difficult to
extend and codify the work begun earlier by the         program and banner of the party among women             organize) and as a reserve labor army. (This is
German and Russian parties. Debate continued            as part of the task of preparing the proletariat         a policy France shares with other advanced
to rage within the Communist movement over              to take power:                                           European countries, notably Germany and Swit-
the form of organization to be used in capitalist                                                                zerland.) The problem of unemployment is par-
                                                           "The women's committees must put forward the
and soviet states. In her 1920 Recollections of            most important tasks of the proletariat, fight
                                                                                                                ticularly severe among younger workers, includ-
Lenin Clara Zetkin quotes Lenin on the question:           for the unabridged slogans of the Communist           ing the ex-student population.
                                                           Party, of the Communists against the bourgeoisie          This is the background against which we must
   "The first proletarian dictatorship is truly pav-
   ing the way for the complete social equality of
                                                           and social compromisers.                              view the important strikes of the past year or so:
   women. It eradicates more prejudice than vol-           "While participating in the legislative, municipal    the Renault strike of May 1971, the railroad
   umes of feminist literature. However, in spite          and other organizations of bourgeois States,          strike of June 1971, the Paris subway strike of
                                                           Communist women should strictly adhere to the
   of all this, we do not yet have an international
                                                           tactics of the party, not concerning themselves
                                                                                                                 October 1971. In addition, there have been nu-
   Communist women's movement and we must have                                                                   merous strikes in minor industries or small
   one without fail. We must immediately set about         so much with the realization of reforms within
                                                           the limits of the bourgeois world order, as tak-      plants which have taken on national importance
   starting it. Without such a movement, the work
   of our International and of its parties is incom-       ing advantage of every live question and demand       due to the role played by various political groups:
   plete and never will be complete. Yet our revo-         of the working women, as watch-words by which         Pennaroya, Girosteel~ Joint Fran~ais, Creusot-
   lutionary work has to be fulfilled in its               to lead the women into the active mass struggle       L 0 ire (D u n k irk), Paris-Nantes, Nouvelles
   entirety ••••                                           for these demands, through the dictatorship of
                                                           the proletariat."
                                                                                                                 Galeries (Thionvielle and Richemont), Berliet,
   "The Party must have organs-working groups,                                                                   to name only the most important between March
   commisSions, committees, sections or whatever
   else they may be called-with the specific pur-           Dictatorship of the Proletariat                      and June of 1972.
   pose of rousing the broad masses of women,                                                                        In a.llY- discussion of the French left, it is im-
   bringing them into contact with the Party and            After the seizure of power in 1917, the Bol-         portant to distinguish among the "left", i.e;, the
   keeping them under its influence. This naturally     shevik party began with great determination to           CP and the traditional socialist groups, and the
   requires that we carry on systematic work among      overturn all the oppressive laws and institutions         "extreme left" and "ultra-left." The CP lumps
   the women. We must teach the awakened women,         which prevented women from participating as              everyone to its left together as "gauchistes"-
   win them over for the proletarian class struggle     full and equal members of society. The Bol-
   under the leadership of the Communist Party,                                                                  the ultra-left. "Gauchisme" is almost universally
   and equip them for it ..•. The lack of interest in
                                                        shevikS undertook systematic agitational cam-            a pejorative term, due to both its association
   politics and the otherwise anti-social and back-     paigns to uproot and destroy the backward prej-          with the anarchist-spontaneist wings of the stu-
   ward psychology of these masses of women, the        udices and social practices which were the heri-         dent movement in 1968 (Cohn-Bendit, etc.) and
   narrow scope of their activities and the whole       tage of capitalism. Special departments under            also the fact that "gauchisme" is the French
   pattern of their lives are undeniable facts. It      the auspices of the party engaged peasant and
   would be silly to ignore them, absolutely silly."
                                                                                                                 term for "left-wing communism" which Lenin
                                                        working-class women from throughout the Soviet           criticized so harshly. With the partial exception
   Discussion on the question led to the First          Union in carrying out the practical tasks of ful-         of the Ligue Communiste (section of the United
Conference of Communist Women held in 1920              filling the needs of working women, as well as           Secretariat and fraternal party to the SWP),
on the initiative of the First Congress of the          general administrative and political tasks. During        French ostensibly Trotskyist groups, the Organ-
Communist International, which established an           this period the Bolshevik Central Committee              isation Communiste Internationaliste and Lutte
International Secretariat for work among women          published two journals directed at peasant and           Ouvri~re, reject the term "gauchisme." They
with permanent representation on the Executive          proletarian women, and over sixty provincial             view "gauchisme" as symptomatic of a degenerate
Committee of the International. While ruling out        periodicals and newspapers were published.
                                                                                                                                                continued on next page
special communist organizations of women out-               Tremendous advances were made in the status
side the party, the Congress made the establish-        of Soviet women. The fundamental propositions
ment of special administrative and organization-        first stated by Engels in The Origins of the Fami-

al bodies within all party committees, "from the        ly. Private Property arul the State guided this
big g est to the sma 11 est," legal and illegal,        undertaking:
obligatory. The "Thesis on Methods of Work                 " •.. to emancipate woman and make her the                                                                                         ~C£NTS

Among the Women of the Communist Party"                    equal of the man is and remains an impossibility
(Third Congress of the Third International, July           so long as the woman is shut out from the social         NUMSER 21                        ioIH# ,946.54:
1921) stated:                                              productive labor and restricted to private domes-                  't p blois.
                                                                                                                    nresWP.,.;,.. F ",';"'

   "Woman's struggle against her double oppres-
                                                           tic labor. The emanCipation of women will onlv
                                                           be possible when woman can take part in produc~
                                                                                                                      GenesIS 0 a "           " "',~ '''< \
   sion (capitalism and her home and family sub-           tion on a large social scale, and domestic work
   servience), at its highest stage of development         no longer claims anvthing but an insiO'nificant
   assumes an international character, becoming            amoullt of her time.···                  "
   identified with the struggle of the proletariat of
   both sexes under the banner of the Third Inter-      Social dining halls, laundry and child-care, en-
   national for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat     lightened legislation concerning marriage, di-
   and the Soviet System.                               vorce, abortion and illegitimacy struck real blows
    "   the Third Congress, nevertheless, believes
        ••   0
                                                        at the family as the main social institution of
   that in view of: a) the present conditions of sub-   women's oppreSSion. The women I s department
   jection prevailing not only in the bourgeois capi-
   talist countries, but also in countries under the
                                                        dealt with particular problems in the education                                                                \;;L •• ,)

   Soviet system, undergoing transition from capi-      of women, drawing women into participation in
   talism to communism; b) the great inertness and      the work force more fully than ever before.
   political ignorance of the masses of women, due         The Stalinist thermidor brutally reversed many
   to the fact that they have been for centuries        of these gains, and resurrected all the backward
   barred from social life and to age-long slavery                                                                              The Case of Bola Tau:poe                                    P.4GE 14
                                                        mythology about the family and the role for women.                      SttIIf"sse41)oaU11t1ds Expose \lIite4 Seere
   in the family; and c) the special functions im-
   posed upon women by nature-childbirth, and the       But the achievements of the Bolsheviks remain a
   peculiarities attached to this, calling for the      historic record of the enormous possibilities for
   protection of her strength and health in the in-     human freedom and development when state power          JUST OUT. 25 cents.
   terests of the entire community, the Third Con-      is wielded by the working class ••                      P.O. Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N.Y. 10001
 12                                                                                                                                    WORKERS VANGUARD
                                                       the system has a different local. It can and does            ginning to react against this combination of ad-
                                                       happen therefore that one subway line will call a            venturism and sellout by rejecting the CFDT. At
Continued from page 11                                 24-hour strike which is respected by none of
                                                       the other lines. Given this sort of exercise in
                                                                                                                    Creusot-Loire, in a strike led by the CFDT and
                                                                                                                    widely hailed in gauchiste milieus as a success,
                                                       futility, it is small wonder that the urge toward            recent union elections resulted in a loss by the

France ...                                             militant united action is rising. French strikes
                                                       have traditionally been less militant than those
                                                       in the U.S., but recent strikes have increasingly
                                                       been marked by violence and police intervention.
                                                                                                                    CFDT of nearly 40% of its votes from previous
                                                                                                                    elections. At Paris-Nantes, the CFDT lost 30%
                                                                                                                    of its votes. A two-month strike at Girosteel and
                                                                                                                    a nine-week strike at Nouvelles Galeries, a de-
petty-bourgeois milieu and refer to themselves         1:1 most of the strikes listed above, the police,            partment store, resulted in mass desertion from
as the "extreme left."                                 National Guard ("Gardes Mobiles") orthe speCial              the CFDT and in each case the formation of a
                                                       riot/tactical pOlice, the CRS, have intervened.              company union.
                 Renault                                                                                               In recognition of this trend, the CFDT has
    Especially in view of the fact that gauchiste         Faced with the threat of a class upsurge, the             most recently moved to expel left elements, in
milieus have tended to glorify these recent strikes    unions and the party bureaucrats have evolved a              particular Trotskyists, from its ranks in order
                                                       number of ways of trying to deal with the situation.         to move closer to the CGT. Two members of
and hold them up as examples for working-class
action, it is important to appraise them care-
fully. The most important strike is doubtless that
at Renault in May 1971. Any strike at Renault
takes on immediate Significance, not only be~
cause of the economic importance of Renault in
France (Renault is the eighth largest auto manu-
facturer in the world and employs over 90,000
workers), but also because the Renault factory at
Billancourt (which employs 38,000 workers) is
on the edge of Paris, within the Paris subway
system, and because ever since the 1920's Renault
has been the bastion of Communist Party influ~
ence in the working class. Renalt-Billancourt
has played a leading role in every major class
upsurge in France. Thus it is extremely im-
portant that the 1971 strike began as a wildcat-
which became total, including workers' occupa-
tion of the factory-only a few months after a
new contract (claimed as a "victory" by the CGT)
-was signed.
   Since that time, there has been continued
small-scale activity at Renault, and the action of
the Renault workers has put an intense squeeze
on profits. Renault is a "nationalized" industry
which receives a government subsidy of some
$30 million a year (150 million francs). In 1971,
Renault had only the second deficit of its history
-$36 million (197 million francs). (The first, in
1961, was $2 million.) This is not entirely due
to the strike, since although profits in 1969 were
about $28 million, in 1970 they were only $1

   This sheds light on the significance of other                                                                                               Informations Ouvrieres. 8·15 March 1972
strikes. The overwhelming majority of these            Militants of the AJS participate in the mass demonstration against Pierre Overney's murderers.
strikes have been in marginal industries or fac-
tories, or in state-owned factories which are             The CFDT, the Pabloist Ligue Communiste and               Lutte Ouvri~re were expelled by the CFDT in the
attempting to be competitive on the capitalist         the gauchiste groups have tended to play up many             south of France, and the leadership has begun a
market. These marginal enterprises are rela-           strike situations-Pennaroya, Girosteel, Joint                campaign against the fractions of the Ligue C')m-
tively highly vulnerable, while strikes in the na-     Franc;ais, No u v e 11 e s Gal e r i e s-by organiz-         muniste in various areas.
tionalized industries constitute a direct attack on    ing strike support committees which, given the                  The combination of the deterioration of the
the state. To the extent that French capitalism is     lack of union strike funds, have in some cases               economic pOSition of the French working class
caught in a squeeze between the U.S., Germany          provided Significant material support through                and the frequently adventuristic poliCies of the
and Japan, these strikes are also a prefiguration      national fund-raising campaigns.                             Pabloists and the gauchistes starkly highlights
of what may be in store in other, apparently more                                                                   the question of revolutionary leadership and of
"healthy," industries (Renault, etc.). The fact that       The Ligue in particular has viewed these                 the construction of a vanguard party. In France,
political elements in these strikes are never far       strikes as "exemplary," that is, as strikes which           the central task in building a Bolshevist party is
from the surface and that significant demands re-       are held up as a model to the working class. The            to shatter the hegemony of the Stalinist Communist
volve around issues of working conditions and           formation of support committees, the involve-               Party.
layoffs adds to the worried premonitions of the         ment of (external) pOlitical elements, the attempt
bourgeoisie.                                            to rally the support of the population (since many                                CPjCGT
                                                       'of these strikes have taken place in relatively
         The Union Apparatuses                          isolated areas), are offered by the Ligue, not as a            Within the limits of its strategic aim of turn··
                                                        sign of its weakness, but as evidence for its               ing the class away from class struggle and toward
   The political underpinnings of these strikes         theory of implanting itself in the working class by         collaboration with capital, the French CP is
are emphasized by the structure and organization        moving from the "periphery"-some Ligue pres-                sometimes obliged to respond to the massive
of unions in France, which is vastly different          ence in marginal industries, virtually no im-               pressure of its base. In such cases, it combines
from that of the U.S. There are three main              plantation in key industries-to the "center" of             limited actions with a slander campaign against
unions: the CP-controlled CGT, the Church-              the class.                                                  the left.
initiated (and still Church-dominated) Confedera-                                                                       The CP systematically amalgamates everyone
tion F ranc;aise Democratique du Travail, and the         In typical Pabloist fashion, the Ligue has vir-           to its left-spontaneists, anarchists, MaOists,
Force Ouvri~re. In addition, there are many            tually abandoned any attempts at direct implanta-            Trotskyists, etc.~into part of a "gauchiste plot"
smaller and independent unions as well as a            tion in the class on the grounds that the class and          on the part of the government to mislead the
number of company unions. Since the union shop         its prinCipal union, the CGT, are too closely                working class. Due to the adventurism of the
does not ex~st in France, all unions can compete       bound to the Stalinists. The Ligue makes the                 Pabloists and gauchistes, this tactic has had a
for representation in the same factory. In addi-       actual weakness of its implantation in the class             certain success. At times, however, it has back-
tion, since the largest union, the CGT, is con-        into a theoretical virtue. It thus again demon-              fired. Thus in February, when a member of the
trolled by the CP, competition among unions is         strates its Pabloic;;t nature by searching for a             "parallel police" (plain-clothes armed company
also immediately political in nature, and tends        revolutionary agent everywhere but withi.n the               security guards) in the Renault factory shot and
to revolve around an anti-communist axis. Thus,        class itself, in this case through work from the             killed in eold blood a young Maoist worker,
for example, members of one union frequently           outside or in marginal industries.                           Pierre Overney, who was leafletting the factory,
will not follow or respect a strike call of another                                                                 virtually all groups on the left-some seventeen
union within the same industry. This spring, in           The CFDT, which after 1968 attempted to                   in all-formed a united front to demonstrate at
the Post Office, the CFDT and FO refused to            capitalize on the militancy of the younger work-             Overney's funeral against parallel police and call
honor a 24-hour strike called by the CGT, and          ers especially, has adopted a "left" vocabulary              for their dissolution. The CP denounced the
the CGT in turn worked during 24-hour strike           and has also supported, though ultimatistically,             "violence" of the "gauchistes" but did not 2rotest
actions called by the CFDT and then by FO. None        these strikes. On the one hand the CFDT has                  Overney's murder and refused to support the
of the unions maintain strike funds, and the CGT       urged long strikes (with no funds to support                 demonstration, which was nevertheless attended
has fought attempts to start them up. Strikes are      them, thus breeding discouragement and disillu-              by 200,000 people including many workers and
traditionally called for only 24 or 48 hours (al-      sionment) and on the other hand has supported                CP militants. When, however, a few days later,
though this has changed somewhat since 1968)"          these strikes only in isolated cases, refusing any           a MaOist commando group kidnapped Renault's
The splintering of unions can also be seen in its      appeal to mass working-class solidarity, which               personnel director in charge of firing, the CP' s
most absurd form in, for example, the Paris            might threaten the position of the CFDT bureau-
subway system, where each subway line within           crats. Not surprisingly, the working class is be-                                             continued on next page
September 1972                                                                                                                                                         13
                                                                                                                top it all off, it even contains an anti-communist
Continued •••                                                           Pop Front Pact                          (or, in this instance, anti-Trotskyist) clause
                                                                                                                which promises to prosecute anyone calling for
accusation could agairi take hold on the working            The central element of CP policy, however,          the violent overthrow of the government!
class.                                                   has been the signing of an electoral agreement
                                                                                                                   At the same time, however, the agreement
   More recently, as the pressure exerted on the         between the CP and the SP. The agreement would
                                                                                                                sets the stage for a possible upsurge which
CP, in particular by the ostensible Trotskyist           form the platform for a future Popular Front
                                                                                                                could seriously threaten the apparatus itself if
groups, has increased, the CGT union which con-          government should the CP and SP win the parlia-
                                                                                                                the coalition should win the election, just as tqe
trols the distribution of papers to newsstands           mentary election which will take place before
                                                                                                                general strike of 1936 began as a result of the
has refused to distribute Lutte Ouvriere. As the         March 1973. The agreement was signed in the            feeling that a "socialist" (i.e.,Pop Front) govern-
election draws closer, and as the influence of the       wake of what amounted to a defeat for the gov-
                                                                                                                ment had been elected. The fact that the CGT
ostensible Trotskyist groups grows (as it has been       ernment in its April referendum on the Common          has begun experimentally supporting "hard," i.e.,
doing rather steadily), the CP can be expected to        Market. Although the government won a majority
                                                                                                                unlimited, strikes bears witness both to its need
increase its offensiiTe against these groups.            of votes cast, two~thirds of the French electorate     to respond to the movement of the class and the
   Combined with its campaign of slander and             either abstained or voted no. On the basis of
                                                                                                                dangers inherent for it in this movement. In the
denunciation, however, the CP has also been ob-          those results, reflecting the deteriorating econo-
                                                                                                                wake of Pompidou' s relative defeat in last Ap ril' s
liged to give the impression that it is "doing           mic situation in France and a long series of
                                                                                                                referendum, he has carried out a major re-
something." Thus the CGT raIled a "24-hour               financial scandals in the government, there exists     shuffling of his government, including the resig-
general strike" for June 7 -·which it itself helped      a real possibility of the election of a CP-SP
                                                                                                                nation of the Prime Minister, Chaban-Delmas,
sabotage by urging workers at, for example,              government in 1973, or at any rate a near-
                                                                                                                and his replacement by Pierre Mesmer. While
Renault, not to go to the demor,stration in Paris.       majority.
                                                                                                                the government must maneuver in an attempt to
H was not, in fact, a general stri;{e at all. Further,      The pact Signed between the CP and SP is
                                                                                                                maintain its "credibility" through the elections,
the CP restricted the June 7 demonstrations to           much broader than the agreement which gave
                                                                                                                the CP must on the one hand attempt to respond
the m:,st limited slogans possible-I,OOO francs          rise to the election of the Popular Front govern-
                                                                                                                to the demands of its base sufficiently to retain
minimulll monthly income and retirement at               ment in 1936. The pact is, all the same, a thinly
                                                                                                                its chances for a good showing in the elections,
sixty-instead of in any way enlarging on these           disguised betrayal of the French workers' as-          but at the same time not allow the development
demands, which had been put forth in June 1968.          pirations. Thus, the governmental program prom-
                                                                                                                of large-scale militant strikes which might es-
Nevertheless, the June 7 action was a SUCf:ess.          ises not to change the bourgeois Constitution
                                                                                                                cape its control, spread to the class as a whole
After boycotting the June 7 strike, the CFDT,            which DeGaulle had enacted during his reign;
                                                                                                                and become explicitly political. To a large ex-
with the background of the failure of its own            although the program calls for nationalizing           tent, the results of the upcoming parliamentary
"radical" strike actions, attempted to link up           twenty-five of the largest industries in France,       elections will depend on the actions of the class
with the CGT. T06ether the CGT :lnd CFDT call-           it virtually promises indemnification; it abounds
                                                                                                                and the CGT bureaucracy when the French re-
ed a bigger and better "general strike"-this             in promises and assurances of its respect for
                                                                                                                turn from their annual August vacations .•
time for two hours!-on June 23.                          (bourgeois) legality, law and order, etc. And to

                                                                                                                meetings, however, the OCI stresses almost ex-

French Left                                                                                                     clusively the slogan of working-class unity and the
                                                                                                                demand for a workers government based on the
                                                                                                                exclusion of the bourgeoisie. Concretely, the OCI
                                                                                                                calls for a Communist Party-Socialist Party
                                                                                                                    The OCI clearly and consciously reduces the

OCI Seeks Class Unity,                                                                                          transitional program to this single demand, which
                                                                                                                supposedly incorporates the rest. For the OCI, the
                                                                                                                slogan of a CP-SP government is the "central po-
                                                                                                                litical question today," which "means that all the

Weakens Program
                                                                                                                determining factors of our policies are concen-
                                                                                                                trated in this slogan••• we have to support de-
                                                                                                                mands, but it is not the enumeration of demands
                                                                                                                which by itself allows us to advance if we do
                                                                                                                not have at the center of our politics the demand
    The French ostensibly Trotskyist movement is                                                                for the workers' government." (Stephane Just,
                                                         part to gain access to state-paid television time.
 a critical arena in the battle of tendencies vying      This is an enormous publicity undertaking, since       The Workers and Peasants Government, emphasis
for the ideological and organizational mantle of                                                                in original). A National Conference of the OCI
                                                         a guarantee of slightly over $200 must be posted
 Trotskyism on a world scale. The highly unstable        for each candidate, to which must be added the         in April 1972 passed a resolution calling for
 objective situation in France thrusts the French        costs of the campaign.                                 cooperation by all levels of the working class in
movement to the forefront of the world-wide crisis           The Ligue Communiste is simply following its       the fight for a workers' government. The reso-
of proletarian leadership. Moreover, there are in        1968 performance, when it ran Alain Krivine for        lution insists that the OCI "demands no other po-
 France three sizeable nominally Trotskyist or-          president and gained the publicity on which much       litical commitment than that of breaking with the
ganizations, each of which is associated with (and                                                              bourgeoisie" (Informations Ouvri~res, 12-17
                                                         of its growth has been based. The most left-wing
in some sense representative of) one ofthe inter-        extension of the "United Secretariat of the Fourth     April). And at a public speech to a meeting of
national blocs which have been quantitatively pre-       International," of which it is the largest section,    over 3,000 on 5 May, Charles Berg, one of the
eminent in the ostensibly Trotskyist world move-                                                                leaders of the OCI and national secretary of the
                                                         the Ligue is imbued with latter-day Pabloist re-
ment over the past period.                               visionism, whose central methodological constant       OCl's de facto youth group, said categorically
    The semi-state capitalist Lutte Ouvri~re             is the downgrading of the revolutionary capacity       that "the OCI does not intend to impose its pro-
group, loosely associated with the British and U.S.                                                             gram as an ultimatum."
                                                         of the industrial proletariat and the impression-
International Socialism groups, adhered before           istic attempt to find substitute "revolutionary"                The Struggle for Program
May-June 1968 to a theory of linear recruitment          forces to tail-end.
in the class almost irrespective of the ebbs and             The Ligue's analysis of the French situation          The OCI relegates to a subordinate position, or
flows of the class struggle, and oblivious to the        is that since the working class is controlled by       even omits entirely, the Bolshevik concept of
need to seek to recruit individuals and groupings        the Stalinists, it is therefore impossible to work     struggle for political program within the united
from other left organizations (possible particu-         at the heart of the class. The Ligue claims to         front, which Lenin and Trotsky always' saw as
larly in times of dramatic working-class motion).        work "from the periphery to the center," that is,      inseparable from the struggle for class unity
LO was severely disoriented by the 1968 events,          to begin in marginal and service industries (bank      through the united front. As Trotsky insisted in
which shattered the traditional routinistpreoccu-        clerks) and somehow organically "grow across"          What Next? Vital Questions for the German Prole-
pations of the various organizations and strongly        ("transcroitre") into the major industrial cen-        tariat (1932):
posed the objective need for united fronts among         ters. Like the original revisionist Bernstein who          "That a workers' party is compelled to carry out
the tendencies to the left of the CP. Sharply over-      foresaw a peaceful transition to SOCialism, the            the policy of the united front-that is not to be
reacting in unprincipled fashion, LO responded           Ligue projects an organiC transition from a                gainsaid. But the policy of the united front has its
by proposing lowest-common-denominator uni-              student-oriented and student-based group to a              dangers. Only an experienced and tested revolu-
                                                                                                                    tionary party can carry out this policy success-
fication with the Ligue Communiste to form "not a        proletarian organization. In fact, there is no             fully. In any case, the policy of tile united front
Bolshevik but a revolutionary party." (This over-        painless short-cut to the development of a prole-          cannot serve as a program for a revolutionary
ture, perSistently pursued by LO for months,             tarian base and cadre, and the Ligue's "theory"            party. And in the meantime the entire activity of
allowed the Ligue to affirm a principled stance          simply means forswearing efforts at implantation           the SAP is now being built on it. As a result, the
by pointing out that a party must be based on            in the working class and eternally undertaking the         policy of the united front is carried over into the
programmatic agreement.)                                 same type of publicity operations.                         party itself, that is, it serves to smear over the
                                                                                                                    contradictions between the various tendencies.
        LOjLigue Electoral Scheme                            OCI Calls for CPjSP Government                         And that is precisely the fundamental function of
                                                                                                                    centrism. ft [our emphasis 1
    Since 1968 LO has continued its opportunism'            By far the most serious ostensibly Trotsyist
economism. It has publicly offered to cease oppo-        organization in France is the Organisation Com-        Subordination of its full program is precisely the
sition to the Communist Party (i.e., to give up          muniste Internationaliste, which was until this        policy of the OCr. Although the OCI has a program,
being Trotskyist) if the CP would present and run        year part of an international bloc around the          one has to hunt to find it. It is everywhere sub-
on a program in the interests of the working             British Socialist Labour League and which is now       merged like, as Trotsky put it, "treasure at the
class. LO's factory campaigns tend to center on          the leading element in the "Organizing Commit-         bottom of the ocean" which does no one any good.
particular grievances in a way strongly remi-            tee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth Interna-         During the 1968 events, when what was required
niscentofthe SDS "rubber mats" campaigns. For            tional." The OCI is a serious pOlitical current with   was above all a clear-cut drawing of the political
the forthcoming elections, LO is entering into an        a perSistently centrist thrust-i.e., an opportunist    lines in order to expose the reformist betrayal of
election coalition with the Ligue. The two organi-       practice. In its international interventions, UV10CI   the CP, the OCI originally called for a single
zations plan to run some 200-300 candidates              insists it is based directly on the application of
under a common banner at the national level, in          the Transitional Program. In its press and public                                      continued on page 15
14                                                                                                                                    WORKERS VANGUARD

Continued from page 16                                                                                             outside the hall by supporters ofthe NCLC, Sparta-
                                                                                                                   cist League, and others. Members oftheWorkers
                                                                                                                   League refused to join the picket, thereby support~
                                                                                                                   ing the exclusion. At a later point in the confer-

Fake Lefts Conciliate ...
                                                                                                                   ence, the Workers League crossed the picket line
                                                                                                                   en masse after having made a deal with Some of
                                                                                                                   their bureaucrat friends to allow them read-
                                                                                                                   mission to the conference. Although they feebly
                                                                                                                   protested their own exclusion from TUAD, at the
                                                                                                                   Labor for Peace Conference the previous weekend
                                                                                                                   the WL had excluded all other tendencies from
who declared that the Labor for Peace proposal          when such an action is simply a harmless pro-              their publicly advertised forum, "The UAW Con-
was the only one in order. Mazey went on                test-an "escape valve"-to head off even greater            vention and the Fight to Build a Labor Party."
to explain that Labor for Peace is a "volun-            militancy. This is the only meaning such an
tary organization of trade unionists"-such inno-        amendment to the wretchedly social patriotic                       The Stalinophobic Nonsense
cence!-and that "we're trying to broaden our            program of these pro-capitalist bureaucrats could
base, not narrow it." So much for the Bulletin's        have.                                                                     of the NCLC
screaming headline, "Labor Party Fight Rips
St. Lquis Conference"!
                                                              Stalinists Exclude Left Wing                            The Labor Committee's response to the TUAD
                                                                                                                   events intensified the pattern of Stalinophobic
   The Workers League labor party proposals                Like the Workers League~ the NCLC blows
never caunterpose themselves to the reformist,          up its self-importance by claiming that its strike-
sellout policies of the labor bureaucracy; in-          support proposal dominated the TUAD Conference
stead they lend credence to the bureaucrats'            and was the basis for the exclusion of the Labor
leadership of the unions by providing them with         Committee and its supporters. What the CP was
a left cover. The Workers League maintains              really afraid of was any criticism from the left
"left pressure" on bureaucrats, who have been           of its effort to build support for McGovern and
committed to capitalism and capitalist parties          the Democratic Party in the elections. Supporters
for decades, by "demanding" that they form a            of the Spartacist League, Revolutionary Commu-
labor party. Although other "demands" are occa-         nist Youth, Workers League, and caucus repre-
sionally mentioned, and the Bulletin refers vague-      sentatives from NMU, AFSCME, UFT, AFT, UAW
ly to an unspecified "socialist program" for            and taxi and hospital unions were violently ex~
the labor party, these are worthless abstractions       cluded along with the Labor Committee. CP goons
since neither in print nor in practice does the         fingered known left-wingers as "disrupters" de-
Workers League ever do anything concrete to             spite the fact that no disruption of the confer-
criticize or separate itself from the bureaucrats       ence had even been threatened. The dissidents
whom it hopes will lead the labor party. This           were herded into a small room, supposedly for
extends to the most hopelessly compromised              investigation by the "credentials committee," and
reactionaries, such as I.W. Abel of the Steel-          then expelled. Others were barred at the door
workers and George Meany himself, if they make          with questions like~ "Are you a member of the
the smallest muttering about forming a labor            Spartacist League?" Inside the hall, a floor fight
party (see "Labor and the Elections," this issue).      erupted over the question of the exclusions. Two
   The "Call For Rank and File Conference"              supporters of the Workers League got the floor
proposal, which was pushed by the International         during the debate on rules, but spoke against the
Socialists and resulted in the formation of a           exclusion of their own supporters only, ignoring
"Rank and File Caucus" at the conference, showed        the prinCipled question of the exclusions. After
the same method of bureaucratic tailism as the          several futile attempts to gain the floor, the large
Workers League. The proposal stated, "We be-            NCLC delegation moved to the front of the hall
lieve that this conference has the potential to         and were physically ejected by CP goons. Sup-
begin to rejuvenate the labor movement and make         porters of the Spartacist League and Revolution-
it a fighting movement for social progress,"            ary Communist Youth, some of whom had been
thus lending full confidence to a hypocritical          inadvertently allowed in by the goons, walked
bureaucratic maneuver. Although the July issue          out in protest of the mass exclusions after efforts
of the IS Workers' Power had demanded that the          to raise the issue from the floor proved futile.
"pro-Democratic Party electoral orientation of
the leadership" of Labor for Peace "must be             While NCLC leader L. Marcus discusses exclusion with Chicago cops, SL/RCY members on joint picket line protest both
defeated, in favor of building an independent           exclusion and the use of cops within the labor movement.
party of the labor movement," the IS subor-
dinated itself to the "Rank and File Caucus"                                                                       reflex they have established against hooligan
and totally neglectec,:l. to fight for this demand                                                                 attacks and slanders suffered at the hands of the
at the conference, The "Rank and File" program                                                                     CP over the past several months. This reached
concentrated on the unresponsiveness ofthe union                                                                   a hilarious crescendo in the 17-21 July issue
leaderships in not mobilizing' the rank and file                                                                   of New Solidarity, which stated;
against the war, the inaccessibility of the con-                                                                          "As of the Chicago TUAD events, the socialist
ference to rank and filers, etc., although it                                                                          movement has entered a new, decisive phase. I: I
included denunciation of the Democrats and Re-                                                                         In the weeks ahead the left as a whole will real-
publicans (with no alternative) and called for a                                                                       ize something we and the Communist Party (CF)
one-day work stoppage.                                                                                                 already know: that there are only two serious
                                                                                                                       alternative tendenCies, crystallized in two organi-
       IS Amends Social Patriotism                                                                                     zations: the popular front or the class-for-itself-
                                                                                                                       the CP or the :\ational Caucus of Labor Com-
    Steve Zeluck, a delegate from New Rochelle                                                                         mittees. I: I"
Federation of Teachers, presented the proposal
for a work stoppage in the form of an amend-                                                                          It is quite proper that the NCLC should see
ment to the official Labor for Peace policy state-                                                                 the CP as its chief competitor, since their
ment, a patriotic, pro-imperialist statement which                                                                 "class-for-itself" politics have essentially the
read in part: "It is self-evident that this night-                                                                 same popular front character as the more orthodox
mare of killing has gone on far too long, and that                                                                 CP variety. The "Build Strike Support Coalitions"
this war is illegal and not in our national interest"                                                              proposal which it tried to present to the TUAD
and "It is self-evident that this war has severely                                                                 conference is a hodge-podge of crackpot theories
tarnished the good name and moral leadership                                                                       and a denial of the fundamental tenets of Marxism.
of our country in the arena of world opinion."                                                                     The "coalitions" are to unite "as equals" workers,
Nowhere does the Workers' Power report of the                                                                      lumpen and petty-bourgeois elements which can
conference (August) criticize this statement, ex-                                                                  never be "equal" until the abolition of classes
cept to say that the conference organizers "in-                                                                    under socialism. The program for these "coali-
tend to do nothing" to carry it out! The "Rank             Unlike the opportunist Workers League, which            tions," which are supposed to transcend "narrow
and File Caucus" and its IS backers thus endorsed       wormed its way into bureaucratic favor in order            trade union forms," is nevertheless nothing more
the labor bureaucrats' entire program and anal-         to remain in and present its proposal undisturbed          than simple trade union economism. Furthermore,
YSiS, only proposing an action contingent upon          by principled questions, the Militant-Solidarity           the NCLC places conditions on bourgeois politi-
that analysis!                                          Caucus of the National Maritime Union was pre-             cians rather than demanding a break in principle:
    Although only about 20% of the delegates voted,     vented from entering its resolution, "For a Labor           "TUAD will refuse all support to candidates for
there was enough support in a straw poll for            Party Based On a Militant Program," because                public office who advocate wage-controls in any
this amendment to alarm the callers of the              of its principled defense of the victims of Stalin-        form" (emphasis ours). Thus all the political
conference, such as Harry Bridges of the ILWU,          ist gangsterism. This resolution, which included           elements of the classical pop front are present
who demagogically attacked the amendment later          a full program, stated that, "it is the reformist          in the "class-for-itself". a coalition compriSing
(there was not enough support, however, to jus-         trade union bureaucracy, both 'progressive' and            many class elements, a reformist program sub-
tify the IS' pompous Workers' Power headline,           reactionary, which ties labor to the politicians           ordinating working-class interests to demands
"Rank and File Caucus Shakes Labor for Peace            of the capitalist parties," and called "for a labor        acceptable to the petty-bourgeois and bureaucratic
Conference, , . "). In fact, the labor bureaucrats      party .•• to mobilize the entire struggle against          "allies," and an unprincipled conditional approach
might someday lead one-day political strikes, as        the influence of the capitalist parties in the unions      to the capitalist policicians, leaving open the
their class-traitor brothers in the large work-         and the reign of their bureaucratic agents. "
ers parties of Europe sometimes do, but only               After the expulSions, a picket line was set up                                         continued on next page
September 1972                                                                                                                                                   15

                                                          Congress, which was followed shortly by the             a working-class alternative to the reformism of
Continued •••                                             cruShing of the political revolution in Hungary,
                                                          in no way abandoned any fundamental aspect of
                                                                                                                  the Communist Party and the labor bureaucracy.
                                                                                                                  Each by its own particular method of opportunism
possibility of a bloc if conditions are agreed upon.      Stalinism. This gross political softness is an          served as an apologist and left cover for these
   The NCLC's attempt to put together a "united           opportunist ploy toward what the NCLC sees as           same reformist politics. The construction of a
front" for defense against the CP has revealed            "reformed" elements within the mainstream of            revolutionary leadership in the labor movement,
the same pop frontist approach including indis-           Stalinism.                                              able to lead the struggle forward towards the
criminate appeals to all anti-CP forces, without                                                                  socialist revolution, will never be won by such
regard for their class nature. They approached                      For Principled Defense                        methods. Failure to ruthlessly expose the sellout
                                                                                                                  policies of the labor bureaucracy and reliance on
both the class-collaborationist Women's National                          of the Left!                            a single popular issue or organizational gimmick
Abortion Action Coalition (WONAAC) and the
                                                             On the baSis of this "Call," New Solidarity          may gain temporary allies, but in the long run
equally pop frontist, single-issue Student Mobili-
                                                          claimed that Spartacist had "agreed to attend a         will only lead to defeat and postponement of the
zation Committee (SMC) in this endeavor. Fur-
                                                          planning meeting." No such agreement had been           class consciousness needed to drive the Working
thermore, during the TUAD conference NCLC
                                                          made, since it would have implied political support     class forward in the struggle for power.
leader Lynn Marcus made a personal report to
a Chicago cop who approached the picket line,             not only to the nonsense in the "Call." but also
informing him of the NCLC's exclusion from the            to the class-collaborationist bloc and the provoc-              The Only Correct Course
conference and identifying the Communist Party            ative campaign the NCLC was waging against the
as the executors of this action, thus providing the       CP in general. In rebuking the NCLC for this                The Spartacist League seeks to build a revolu-
police with an excuse to raid or harass the meet-         false claim (which was withdrawn in a later issue       tionary leadership by the only means available:
ing! This frenzied attempt to create an all-class         of New Solidarity), the SL pointed out its contin-      the organizing of caucuses and the creation of a
anti-communist bloc against the CP can only play          uing commitment to the principle that all groups        communist cadre in the unions on the baSis of
directly into the hands of those in the Stalinist         within the labor movement have a right to exist         a revolutionary program of transitional demands.
parties who regularly invoke the charge of "police        and freely propagate their ideas in public (see         This program calls for breaking state wage con-
agents," etc., against their left-wing critics.           "Open Letter to the NCLC," available free on re-        trols; a Sliding scale of wages and hours; oppo-
                                                          quest). It is the duty of all militants and social-     sition to the special oppreSSion of Blacks, other
   At the same time, the Labor Committee seeks            ists to defend any group on the left-including          minorities and women; opposition to protectionist
to regroup with a large segment of the CP,                the Stalinist hypocrites themselves-against any         nationalism with its threat of third world war;
with which it demonstrates such methodological            specifiC assault on this right. As we demonstrated      strike action against the Vietnam war; defense of
kinship. The "Call for United Defense" printed in         at the TUAD conference, we unconditionally sup-         the Vietnamese Revolution and the deformed work-
the same New Solidarity contains the absurd               port united front defense against such assaults.        ers' states against imperialist attack; breaking
characterization that the 20th Congress of the                                                                    the working class from the strangle-hold of the
Soviet Communist Party in 1956 abandoned Stalin-             The politics of the fake~lefts at the Labor          two capitalist parties; and building a workers'
ist hooliganism and" 'Moscow Trial'-type slan-            for Peace and TUAD Conferences-WL, IS, NCLC             party based on the labor movement and committed
ders"! The NCLC knows very well that the 20th             -all clearly demonstrated their inability to pose       to a transitional program ••

                                                          CP or proposing any explicit programmatic alter-        union sections rather than marching under its own
Continued from page 13                                    nati ve to the CP policy. This is in marked contrast    banner. The OCI rarely engages in serious public
                                                                                                                  polemiCS with other ostenSibly revolutionary
                                                          to, for example, a speech Trotsky wrote for an

                                                          intervention in the CGT in 1935. Like the OCI           tendencies in France, ignoring the responsibility
                                                          delegate, Trotsky began by asking leading ques-         to seek to polarize and split centrist currents on
                                                          tions about the real meaning of some ambiguous          a hard programmatic basis.
                                                          phrases which are the Stalinists' stock in trade.          Over and over, the OCI insists that it is dan-
                                                          But unlike the OCI militant, Trotsky then went on       gerous to be "too far ahead" of the masses, and
                                                          to pose at some length a programmatic alterna-          is critical of "iron Bolsheviks" as being sectar-
workers' candidate in the elections without a             tive to the program and actions of the CPo The          ian. In the "Political Report for the National Con-
program. Justifying this policy, the OCI wrote:           OCI limits itself to aSking leading questions with-     ference of Militants for the Workers' Govern-
                                                          out posing an alternative. When the downplaying         ment," the OCl's emphaSis on unity leads it to
    "But what about program? Didn't a single can-
    didate put up by the workers' organizations need
                                                          of OCI criticism of the CP was questioned by a          restrict demands to what is "immediately realiz-
    a program? What was it developing into? In            number of people present at an OCI educational          able": "Of course, there can be no question of
    these specific Circumstances, the development of      in PariS, [O's account of several OCI educa-            advocating measures before they impose them-
    a program for the government of the united            tionals quoted two of these questions but did not       selves on political reality as well as in the con-
    workers' organizations derived from this joint        even attempt to answer them or justify its policy,
    campaign. By fighting for the defeat of the can-
                                                                                                                  sciousness of the masses."
                                                          merely st:'\.ting: "Those are the real questions.
    didates of the bourgeoisie, the working class would
    have given a class content to the united campaign
                                                          That is the beginnings of an outline of a discus-                 Centrism or Trotskyism
    of the workers' organizations."                       sion entirely oriented toward a precise objective:          In practice, the OCI constantly sacrifices the
              -St~phane Just, Defense of Trotskyism       how to construct the revolutionary party •••• "         explicit presentation of program to unity at any
                                                          (IO, 21-28 June 1972).                                  price-even when that price becomes inevitably a
When a unified campaign did not develop, how-                It is not enough for the OCI to quote Trotsky's
ever, the OCI called for a boycott of the elec-                                                                   bloc. Thus, the OCI envisaged a Revolutionary
                                                          calls for a Blum-Cachin government in 1935, or          youth International, intended as a grouping in
tions, on the grounds that partiCipation in them          to protest that it criticizes the CP privately or
simply meant approving the final destruction of                                                                   which largely non-Trotskyist organizations ofthe
                                                          implicitly. That is no doubt true, but as Trotsky       most disparate nature-from the OCl's unofficial
the general strike.                                       wrote in Whither France'!: "As soon as principled       youth group, the Alliance des Jeunes pour Ie
                                                          political differences are not manifested openly         Socialisme, to the U.S. National Student Associa-
            The OCI and the CP                            and actively ••• they cease thereby to exist politi-    tion-could peacefully coexist. Similarly, in order
                                                          cally." The OCI bases itself on a one-sided al-         to maintain for years the "International Com-
    The OCI apparently interprets its application         legience to Trotsky's writings on the united front,
of the tactic of the united front to mean downplay-                                                               mittee" bloc with Gerry Healy's SLL, the OCI
                                                          including only his calls for class unity but neglect-   acquiesced to a federated concept of international
ing explicit criticism of the working-class organi-       ing his insistence on sharp polemics against
zations, in particular the CP. Thus in the first                                                                  organization. In the course of the IC split, the
                                                          centrists. This is evident in the most recent           OCI's alliance with the Bolivian Partido Obrero
issue of IO after the CP-SP pact-an issue in              issue of La V~rit~ (No. 557) where the OCI
which one would have expected a rather extensive                                                                  Revolucionario pushed the OCI to vehemently de-
                                                          quotes only from Trotsky's attacks against third        fend the POR's claSSically POUMist line, es-
critique of the pact-we read:                             period Stalinism in What Next? and ignores his          pecially over the key question of political criti-
                                                          criticisms of the centrist SAP in the same              cism within a united working-class formation.
     "No working-class organization which cares about     article.
    defending the interests of workers and youth can                                                                  More recently, the OCI has allowed its inter-
    content itself with criticizing the bankruptcy of           Hard Trotskyist Stand Needed                      national youth policy to die a quiet death, publicly
    other working-class parties and opposing its                                                                  criticized the POR, and declared its intention to
    demands to theirs. At a time when the entire             In the absence of explicit principled program-       develop a democratic-centralist internationalor-
    economic and political situation impels workers       matic counterposition, the OCl's single-minded          ganization. But unless the OCI makes a clear and
    to rise up against capital and the bourgeois
    State •.• revolutionary militants who fight in and    concentration on the slogan of the united class         explicit self-criticism of its past opportunism,
    for their class cannot counterpose their own ideas    front for an SP-CP government amounts to little         its cadres will necessarily continue to accept as
    (which they continue to defend) to the search for     more than the Pabloist concept of the Trotskyists       "Trotskyism" the opportunist poliCies in which
    a means of working-class unity capable of getting     as a "left pressure group" on the Stalinists.           the OCI has schooled them.
    rid of the Pompidou-Chabal government.                Blunting the edge of criticism of the CP can only           The size of the demonstration at Pierre
    "Of course it would be very easy for us to under-                                                             Overney's funeral despite CP opposition is asign
    take the 'critique' of the 'common program for a
                                                          mean tail-ending the CGT bureaucrats. By its
    government' •••• But that is not our intention at     lack of substantial and direct public criticism of      that France could at any time see a working-class
    present. We have no intention of placing ourselves    the CP, the OCI logically liquidates its very           upsurge which could easily out-strip the bounds
    within the framework of the Marchais-Mitterand        reason for existence and withholds from militants       of CP control. None of the ostensibly Trotskyist
    program in order to make a 'left-wing' critique       the very tool they need to break from the CP            organizations are in a position to take the lead-
    of it. We leave that sort of game to Krivine          toward Trotskyism. There is at least one size-          ership of the class at the present moment, al-
    [Ligue Communiste j."
             -Informations Ouvrif!res, 5-12 July 1972     able group in France (the Centres d'Initiative          though the OCI feels it will be able to do so with-
                                                          Communiste) which broke with the CP in 1968             in a few years. For that to happen, however, the
                                                          only to replace Stalinism with a hodge-podge of         OCI will have to assume hegemony over the other
   Similarly, an OCI militant who intervened at           views. Without a clear Trotskyist pole, dis-            left tendencies by defeating them politically. If
the CGT congress in April raised several ques-            satisfied CP militants are likely to become simply      the OCI is to play a part in deepening such an
tions: the sellout of the Paris subway strike of          demoralized and eventually leave politics al-           upsurge into decisive gains for the Trotskyist
October 1971, the CGT's attitude to the Overney           together. But the OCI does not present i:l hard         movement~ the OCI must, through internal strug-
murder, the political trials in Czechoslovakia. But       Trotskyist face. For example, during anti-war           gle, confront its past and repudiate its centrist
he did so without either explicitly identifying the       demonstrations the OCI disperses its cadre into         policies ••
16                                                                                                                                     WORKERS VANGUARD

At Labor for Peace, TUAD:

Fake Lefts
  The "Labor for Peace" Conference held in
                                                                                Labor for Peace Conference, chaired by UAW Secretary-Treasurer Emil Mazey.

                                                           many bureaucrats themselves have used for dec-           crat friends) who sponsored the wage control
St. Louis on June 23-24 and the TUAD (Trade                ades to keep labor tied to the two capitalist            legislation which Nixon now uses to drive down
Unionists For Action and Democracy) "Emer-                parties.                                                  real wages. It was the Democratic Party of
gency Election Conference" held in Chicago the                 The talk of "political independence" really          Humphrey, Muskie, McGovern, Chisholm, Abzug,
following weekend were yet two more attempts by           means freedom to pick and choose among the                and Dellums that first involved the U.S. direct-
the "progressive" labor bureaucrats and their             capitalist pOliticians and to wheel and deal at the       ly in Vietnam. McGovern himself, praised as
friends in the reformist Communist Party to head          ballot box. The major theme of both conferences           "clear-cut" on the war, has voted against repeal
off and contain the growing discontent of the Amer-       was to "dump Nixon" and while neither conference          of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, voted for the
ican working class. The liberal labor bureau-             openly endorsed any particular can did ate,               1967 Vietnam war appropriations, and support~
crats, faced with intense rank-and-file pressure          criticism of George McG()vern was notably absent.         NATO and SEATO. The Democrats are a savage,
stemming from the present capitalist crisis, want         On the day preceding the Labor for Peace Con-             racist party which is even more useful to the
to make sure that Nixon gets the blame for the            ference, two of its initiators, Harold Gibbons,           capitalists than the Republicans, particularly in
Kennedy-Johnson war in Vietnam and for unem-              vice-president of the Teamsters Union, and                times of crisis, so long as the masses retain
ployment, wage control legislation, inflation, etc.       David Livingston, vice-president of the Distrib-          more illusions about it. The Democrats' new
Thoroughly committed to the capitalist system,            utive Workers of America, had joined with former          "reformed" image does not alter this, but is
they must hold back the struggle and attempt              Defense Secretary Clark Clifford and Mayor                rather an example of how the Democratic Party
to deflect it into a harmless "dump Nixon"                Lindsay to demand that the Democratic Party               superficially adapts, chameleon-like, to its en-
protest, since in a real class-struggle explo-            adopt an "end the war plank." Since the Demo-             vironment in order to continually recreate these
sion, they would be swept away as so much                 cratic National Convention many of the sponsors           illusions.
vermin.                                                   of the Labor for Peace and TUAD Conferences
  The forcible exclusion of virtually the entire          have openly declared their supportfor McGovern,
                                                                                                                                  Failure on the Left
left wing by Stalinists at the TUAD Conference            seeing their role as maintaining a left pressure            The gyrations of the labor bureaucracy make
dominated the proceedings. This violence was              on the Democratic Party.                                  it imperative to pose a clear-cut, class alter-
the familiar handmaiden to the Communist                     While Labor For Peace represents the broadest          native to their sellout poliCies. The fake alter-
Party's policy of a bureaucratic pop-front alli-          liberal segment of the trade union bureaucracy,           natives presented by the various left groups which
ance with the latest darling of the liberal bour-         the smaller TUAD represents the continuing                sought to intervene in the Labor for Peace and
geoisie, George McGovern,                                 effort of the Communist Party, the most un-               TUAD Conferences only sow confUSion, further
                                                          ashamedly reformist group on the left, to forge           the illUSions, and deepen the crisis of leader-
               "Pay for Peace"                            an alliance with these labor liberals. The CP,            ship of the U.S. working class.
    The bureaucrats' and CP'spiousphrasesabout            like the bureaucracy as a whole, sees its role              The Workers League (WL) and its supporters
"peace" and political independence are com-               as applying "pressures" within the system. Al-            presented the same proposal, "On the Labor
pletely without meaning since they oppose action          though they are running their own candidates in           Party," to both conferences. It stated" "be it
toward these goals in the form of striking against        the election, these hypocrites are really for             resolved that this Labor for Peace [TUAD] Con~
the war- and building an independent party of             McGovern; they see their "campaign" only as a             ference demand that the American labor move-
labor. The only proposed immediate activity of            pressure on him and the other Democrats, whom             ment-the AFL/CIO, UAW, Teamsters and all
the Labor for Peace group was that rank-and-              they will support anyway as a "lesser eVil":              other independent unions immediately call a Con-
file trade unionists should contribute one day's          "The CP campaign's aim is to push the entire              gress of Labor for the purpose of launching an
pay for "peace activity" and lobby for peace              election leftward, to make sure candidates such           independent labor party for the 1972 election."
in Washington. TUAD sent a delegation to the              as McGovern are not allowed to abandon their              In typical opportunist fashion, this frenzied sect
Democratic National Convention to "place de-              liberal planks in order to satisfy more conser-           seeks to grossly inflate its own influence on the
mands to candidates as a condition of support             vative supporters" (Daily World, 23 June).                American labor movement by claiming that the
from rank-and-file workers." TUAD opposes the'               It is this pOSition that holds labor back, pre-        question of the labor party framed in this way
formatio'n of a labor party as "not in the cards"         venting it from fighting for its class interests.         as an immediate question for the '72 elections,
at this time. This is a very old excuse which             It was liberal Democrats (and their labor bureau-         dominated the entire discussion at both confer-
                                                                                                                    ences: This obvious absurdity is a cover for
                                                                                                                    the WL's failure to struggle for a principled
                                                                                                                    program counter to the bureaucracy's and, in the
                                                                                                                    case of TUAD, for their complete failure to
                                                                                                                    protest or even recognize the importance of the
                                                                                                                    massive exclusion of leftists.
                                                                                                                                Workers League:
                                                                                                                        Puffed-Up Cover for Bureaucracy
                                                                                                                       In reality the labor party question was dis-
                                                                                                                    missed out of hand by such statements as Jerry
                                                                                                                    Wurf's (preSident of the American Federation
                                                                                                                    of State, County, and Municipal Employees), who
                                                                                                                    said "We must talk in terms of what we can
                                                                                                                    achieve, not in utopian terms" and that workers
                                                                                                                    must "show their power at the ballot box."
                                                                                                                    When the WL proposal was presented on the
                                                                                                                    floor of the Labor for Peace Conference, it was
                                                                                                                    ruled out of order by the chairman (Emil Mazey,
Left: Workers League members block hallway leading to "open" UAW Rank and File Caucus meeting; Right: Prominent     Secretary-Treasurer ofthe United Auto Workers)
WL spokesman enters TUAD Conference after WL failed to protest exclusion.                                                                       continued on page 14

Shared By: