Battlefield Losses Pale Against Industrial Carnage.pdf

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					Trucking Industry            50 Years –             Global Warming                    China’s Emerging                          Capitalist Profits
Barrelng Out                 Beginning of the       Anchored in Exploitation          Class Struggle                            Behind China’s
Of Control                   End in Hungary         Of Wage Labor                                                               Environmental Crisis
             Page 3                     Page 4                              Page 5                 Page 8                                         Page 8
                                                                                                                          LNS




                                                         BOR OM N
                                                    LA              IA
                                                         V I NC I T




  Published by the Socialist Labor Party                                      Established in l89l
     1
VOL.1 6       NO. 4                                           NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006                                                               $1.00




 HEALTH INSURANCE                                   Battlefield Losses Pale
 A Leach                                            Against Industrial Carnage
 On Society                                         W
                                                              hile the capitalist media occupy work-
                                                              ers’ minds with the depravities of
                                                              politicians, and debate how to get the
                                                                                                          5,702 fatal work injuries...recorded in the
                                                                                                          United States.”
                                                                                                            Some point to such statistics to contend
                     By B.G.                        most advantage from an immoral war against            that job safety and health is improving. In
    The insurance “industry” produces noth-         Iraq, precious little is being said or done about     2003, for example, there were 4.4 million
 ing. It is a leach on society, nothing more        conditions for workers here at home.                  “total recordable cases” of injury and illness,
 and nothing less. Its foundation is fear and          Capitalism does not merely promote car-            1.3 million of which involved “days away from
 insecurity, two social byproducts that capi-       nage abroad in defense of the material inter-         work.” But the BLS’s National Census of Fatal
 talism creates in abundance. Capitalism            ests of the capitalist class. It promotes car-        Occupational Injuries that year reported “A
 virtually guarantees the insurance busi-           nage on the industrial field here at home,            total of 5,559 fatal work injuries,” fewer than
 ness the opportunity to suck the life out of       and it has done so for a very long time.              in 2005.
 workers who, despite working hard all their            Ninety-five years ago, Daniel De Leon char-         In fact, rates of death, injury and illness on
 lives, are left with precious little for retire-   acterized the capitalist class as a “cannibal         the job have always fluctuated according to
 ment and their declining years. What               class” that “undermines the health and life of        the volume of production and overall employ-
 makes that possible is the wages system,           the workingman.” “The roots of capitalism,” he        ment. But the government’s figures are hard-
 under which workers are exploited of most          added, “are literally watered with the blood of       ly a reliable indicator of the real extent—or
 of what they produce, then left vulnerable         the proletariat. Capitalist ‘progress’ is built       rate—of carnage in capitalist industry in any
 and “easy pickings” for charlatans of all          upon the skulls and crossbones of its working-        period.
 sorts, clerical and lay. The insurance racket      class victims.”                                         Some industries are exempt from record-
 (and that’s not too strong a term for it) is          Was De Leon speaking of a passing phase            keeping. Employers are not required to record
 nothing but a form of legalized blackmail.         of capitalism, or an inherent characteristic of       all illnesses. And all BLS figures are based on
 The most inhumane and repulsive branch             the system still evident today? Judge for             reports from capitalist enterprises them-
 of insurance banditry is “health insurance.”       yourself.                                             selves—the proverbial fox guarding the chick-
    Capitalism undermines and destroys our             In 2005, for example, according to the             en coop scenario. According to the New York
 health in a thousand ways. Workers are             Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4.2            Committee for Occupational Safety and
 subjected to occupational illnesses and dis-       million “total recordable cases” of injury and        Health, a union-sponsored educational founda-
 eases—not to mention job-related threats to        illness at U.S. workplaces, 1.2 million of which      tion, “The extent of occupational illness and
 life and limb—just to make a living. They          involved “days away from work.” In the same           injury is much greater than government sta-
 are compelled to consume hundreds of               year the BLS’s National Census of Fatal               tistics indicate. Some researchers suspect that
 chemicals, not only in the foods they eat but      Occupational Injuries reported “a total of                            (Continued on page 6)
 also from the clothing they wear, the cos-
 metics and toiletries they use, the water
 they drink, even the air they breathe.
    The American health insurance system is
 no exception to our characterization of the
 insurance business generally. The very
                                                    Cuts at Ford a Sign of the
 essence of its existence is to make profits for
 itself. Accordingly, it should come as no sur-
 prise that health insurers are finding more
                                                    Times for U.S. Workers
                                                                     By Ken Boettcher                     can communities where losses are the greatest.
 and more reasons to cancel health insur-             Ford Motor Co. announced plans in September         Michigan, where many of the plant closings and
 ance for people who get sick too often.            to both accelerate the timing of and add to its       job cuts will occur, will be particularly hard hit.
    Indeed, from 2000 to 2005, the total num-       previously announced job cuts and plant clos-         The state’s official unemployment rate is
 ber of people with private health insurance        ings. All totaled, as many as 44,000 jobs at Ford     already 7.1 percent.
 in the United States fell by one percent.          in North America will be cut by the end of next          Wall Street, however, still hasn’t seen enough
 One reason for this is that the companies          year, and 16 North American plants will be            blood. “They’ve got to get 40 to 50 percent of the
 are very careful whom they insure. Those           closed by the end of 2012. The cuts will reported-    [workers] out the door,” said Bradley Rubin, an
 who get sick too often, or who need costly         ly reduce Ford’s North American workforce by          analyst for European banking firm BNP Paribas.
 surgery or continuing health care, will soon       more than a third. Buyouts and early retirement       “It’s just got to be a lot smaller company.”
 find their health insurance abruptly can-          will be offered, but if enough workers fail to           Some blame the company’s intensifying prob-
 celed. The greatest profit to the industry         leave, involuntary cuts will follow. Output will be   lems on the mistakes of Ford executives who,
 comes from insuring healthy people.                slashed by 21 percent in the fourth quarter.          despite intensifying foreign competition, have
    Employers constantly complain that health         The cuts are much deeper than previously            garnered obscene wealth.
 insurance for their workers is becoming a          announced. Last December the company’s plans             It is true that the company’s executives have
 financial burden for them when, in truth, it       included cutting 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and clos-      made decisions that resulted in the company
 costs them nothing. It costs them nothing          ing 10 plants in North America within five            losing ground to other manufacturers. It is also
 because they pay for it out of the surplus         years. Those announced cuts were also “much           true that Ford execs rake in millions for their
 value workers produce but for which they do        deeper than earlier reports, which initially had      role in better fleecing the workers they do not
 not receive an equivalent in wages. Capital-       Ford closing as few as three assembly plants          toss into the unemployment line. The compen-
 ists who pay wages too small to allow work-        and cutting...about 7,000 positions,” as CNN-         sation package for Ford’s new CEO Alan Mulal-
 ers to pay their own way are merely grum-          Money.com put it at the time.                         ly, for example, reportedly totals $20.5 million in
 bling that they cannot keep all that they            The company’s massive job cuts will bring           the first year.
 steal. Accordingly, they seek to lessen the        tragedy to the lives of workers in many Ameri-                        (Continued on page 5)
 drain on their profits by shifting even more
                (Continued on page 5)
                                                                         Visit our website at www.slp.org
2 THE PEOPLE                                                                                                          NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006



                                                                                                                memories of the fun they had pretending to

Coming Soon: War World                                                                                          destroy developing nations that resist American
                                                                                                                corporate interests: “I planned a coup!” “I gutted
                                                                                                                their natural resources!” “I used the World Bank
                                                                                                                to plunge them into debt!” “I assassinated key
                 By Michael James                      park to further celebrate the criminal bellicosity
  Grab the kids, pack up the car and head for the      of the U.S. ruling class.                                members of their socialist party!” “I set up
new amusement park! Make a day of it! What is             Capitalist America is one of the most militaris-      sweatshops!” “I unleashed death squads!” One
the theme of this new park? Water slides? Roller       tic and violent nations in human history. The            especially educational exhibit might parade the
coasters? Mickey and Donald? No, believe it or         Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C.,           quaint cultures and customs of all the nations of
not, the theme is war.                                 confirms: “The historical record, according to the       the world that America has invaded, bombed,
  The Washington Post carried the story recent-        Congressional Research Service, shows the Unit-          embargoed or otherwise assaulted. Visitors will
ly with the headline “Army Ponders Amusement           ed States is one of the most warlike societies on        want to allow plenty of time for that one! And
Venue, Hotel.” It would be a “military theme           the planet....” This means that the proposed new         predatory recruiters will undoubtedly be on
park” in Virginia where, according to the Post,        military amusement park will have unlimited              hand as working-class park goers, caught up in
families can “command the latest M-1 tank, feel        possibilities for attractions, rides and exhibits.       patriotic war fever, urge their teen sons and
the rush of a paratrooper freefall, fly a Cobra           For example, will park goers be able to mimic         daughters to sign up to fight and die in real
gunship or defend your B-17 as a waist gunner.”        the joy of picking off Native Americans at Wound-        world ruling-class wars.
The park would include “an entertainment dis-          ed Knee? Will there be an attraction that lets vis-         So welcome to War World! Spend the day!
trict with bars like the ‘1st Division Lounge.’ ”      itors experience the exhilaration of dropping            Cheer on the imperialist adventures of our ruling
The developer has boasted that the military            bombs on Vietnamese peasants? Surely children            class! See how third world resistance fighters
amusement park would attract “3 million visi-          will be able to stroll through a shooting gallery        who were bombed, shot or imprisoned by U.S.
tors a year, more than Hersheypark in Pennsyl-         that shows them what all-American fun it was to          military muscle got what was “comin’ to ’em”!
vania or Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.”               murder women and babies at Vietnam’s My Lai.                Meanwhile, the grim reality of America’s
  Granted, at this point it is only an idea being      An attraction devoted to atomic weapons will             bloody military madness continues. The funda-
studied and debated by Pentagon brass and local        likely ignore history’s conclusion that the bomb-        mental point is that militarism and war are
officials. But the mere idea is so offensive, taste-   ings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were strategi-            essential tools that the corporate ruling class
less and horrific as to boggle the mind. The very      cally unnecessary, and will instead just focus on        uses in pursuit of profit. Capitalism means per-
notion reveals the vulgar depravity of capitalism      how viscerally pretty the flashes and mushroom           manent war. The current cost of the war in Iraq,
and its militarists. Countless statues, tanks and      clouds were. Eager visitors will perhaps be able         for example, is $8 billion per month. That is $2
artillery guns, ceremoniously placed in parks          to compete for prizes in a game designed to see          billion per week, $267 million per day, or $11 mil-
across the country, already glorify capitalist         who can be the fastest to bankrupt U.S. schools,         lion per hour. A sane, socialist society would use
wars waged for profit. Our corporately manufac-        libraries and health care programs by diverting          the labor and resources now represented by that
tured “popular culture” further romanticizes           wealth and resources into Pentagon projects.             money for the environment and programs of
militarism and other forms of violence. Now               The CIA is certain to have an interactive dis-        human uplift such as education, housing and
there comes this possibility of a military theme       play which allows families to forever exchange           health care.


                                                                                                                American society.

Remember Your Three Rs
                By Michael James                       “the second leading cause of death for Hispanic
                                                                                                                   At the root of U.S. gun violence is our violent
                                                                                                                economic system. Capitalism allows a small rul-
                                                                                                                ing class to own and control production and dis-
                                                                                                                tribution. It sets one class against the other. It
   The three Rs once were the building blocks for      youth ages 15–24.”                                       uses war as a tool for accumulating and maxi-
the education of American schoolchildren—                 Gathering together conclusions from these             mizing profit. It requires exploitation and degra-
reading, writing and arithmetic. Now, some are         and other studies, the coalition said it is “four        dation of the working class. Capitalism alienates
suggesting the addition of a fourth “R” to U.S.        times more likely” that a gun in the home will           the majority of citizens from their own labor, from
pedagogy: “revolver.”                                  result “in an unintentional shooting” than be            one another and from true social wealth. More-
   The Associated Press reports that recent            used for self-defense. It is “seven times more           over, capitalism is devoted to the ruthless pursuit
school shootings in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania            likely” that a gun in the home will “be used in a        of profit with absolutely no regard for peace, the
and Colorado have prompted a Wisconsin state           criminal assault or homicide” than for self-             natural environment or simple justice.
legislator to call for arming teachers, principals,    defense, and “11 times more likely” that a gun              Every person who is heartbroken and out-
administrators “and other school personnel.”           kept at home will “be used to commit or attempt          raged at the murder of schoolchildren must rad-
“To make our schools safe for our students to          suicide, than to be used in self-defense.”               icalize him or herself and comprehend the vio-
learn, all options should be on the table,” the           In its “briefing book,” the coalition also cited “a   lence of the material base that shapes and
legislator said.                                       study published in the American Journal of               drives our society. For example, U.S. history con-
   Our young ones certainly need protection. In        Public Health,” which “found that 20 percent of          firms that capitalism means constant war or
spite of the recent spate of school shootings,         police officers shot and killed in the past 15           preparedness for war. Those who wring their
however, teachers and students generally do not        years were killed with their own firearms.”              hands over school shootings should consider the
carry guns into the classroom, and it needs no            Although these statistics are from six to 10          link between U.S. militarism and violence in our
more than a light sprinkling of common sense           years old, no one today is suggesting that gun-          streets, homes and schools. Is the U.S. corporate,
to accept that more guns in more hands can             related violence and deaths are on the decline.          ruling class not now committing the global
only lead to more shootings and more deaths,           Indeed, the “debate” on what to do about it rages        equivalent of armed robbery by invading and
not the other way around. For those in need of         on in superficial and absurd fashion. Some, such         occupying Iraq? The ruling class daily diverts
statistical support, however, the Coalition to         as the Wisconsin politician, say the answer to           millions in tax dollars away from programs of
Stop Gun Violence has posted a 112-page “brief-        gun violence is more guns.                               social uplift such as health care or education
ing book” to its website with enough statistics to        It should be noted that the Coalition to Stop         and straight into the bloody coffers of the Pen-
reassure anyone who doubts their own capacity          Gun Violence is not itself a research group, but         tagon. Is it not obvious that massive military
to reach the common sense conclusion.                  an organization interested in promoting “pro-            spending and constant war justifies and legit-
   Citing a “national vital statistics report” pub-    gressive gun laws.” Other concerned persons              imizes violence?
lished in 2002 by the National Center for              call for more gun laws, too, but we can only hope           Militarism, exploitation of the working class,
Health Statistics (HCSH), the coalition said           to understand the problem and discover its               abandonment of the poor and pollution of the
“guns claimed 28,663 lives in the United States,       solution by looking at the economic base of                               (Continued on page 7))
the majority [16,586] from suicides....” That was
for the year 2000, when 10,801 additional
deaths were from homicides and 1,276 from                   A sample copy of The People
“unintentional shootings.”
   Drawing on the same HCSH report, the coali-              is your invitation to subscribe.
tion said that “3,365 young people ages 19 and
under were killed by gunfire—an average of                             $5 for a 1 year sub      $8 for a 2 year sub       $10 for a 3 year sub
nine each day”—in 2000. From an earlier study                                           $9 for a 1 year sub by first-class mail
by the Centers for Disease Control and Preven-
tion (CDCP), the coalition found that “The                   NAME                                                            PHONE
firearms-related death rate for children under               ADDRESS                                                                     APT.
15 years old in the United States is nearly 12
times higher than that of the other 25 industri-             CITY                                                STATE            ZIP
alized countries combined.” (Our emphasis.)                  Make check/money order payable to The People.
The CDCP study, as cited by the coalition, also
found that “Gun violence is the number one
                                                                           the People P.O. Box 218, Mountain View, CA 94042-0218
killer of African-Americans ages 15–34” and
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006                                                                                                                                         THE PEOPLE 3




                                        Trucking Industry
                       By B.B.
                                     Barreling Out of Control        quences—especially when one of those 18-wheel-              guage skills who are unable to read signs;


M
          ass transportation is a product of the                     er “big rigs” connects with a passenger car. Such              •Employers ignoring drivers’ complaints
          capitalist era. Before that, our ancestors                 collisions (and others) are dutifully monitored             about faulty maintenance of tires, brake pads,
          got around (if they got around at all) on                  from overhead by low-flying helicopters that radio          air brakes, lugs, hoses, trailer frames, etc.;
foot, by straddling a donkey, mule or horse, or by                   to survivors below to advise drivers how to avoid              •Law enforcement officers overwhelmed by
riding in a cart, a buggy or a wagon. The only                       the carnage and subsequent traffic tie-ups.                     the soaring volume of truck traffic on roads
exception that predates the capitalist era is                                                                                        and highways;
transportation across wide expans-                                                                                                      •Increased competition facilitated by
es of water, when many of our ances-                                                                                                  deregulation and the creation of fly-by-night
tors traveled as soldiers, sailors or                                                                                                 companies with little regard for the reliabil-
galley slaves.                                                                                                                        ity of their truck or their drivers (40,000 go
  Capitalism, however, gave rise to                                                                                                    bankrupt annually);
the nation-state and roads connect-                                                                                                       •Companies pressuring drivers to deliver
ing one end of a country to the other                                                                                                  loads at a specific time and something
to facilitate commerce, and only inci-                                                                                                  called “ ‘just in time’ inventory” with “trucks
dentally human travel. Commercial                                                                                                       as rolling warehouses”;
coaches, then passenger trains, fol-                                                                                                       •Paying drivers by the hour rather than
lowed by today’s airliners are all prod-                                                                                                 by the load, which encourages speeding
ucts of the capitalist era.                                                                                                              and fatigue when drivers press them-
  With the invention of the internal                                                                                                     selves to complete a run in time to start
combustion engine and the automo-                                                                                                         another; and
bile, however, capitalism began to tear                                                                                                      •Drivers distracted by computers and
down what it had built up. Gone, at                                                                                                       e-mailing devices used to receive instruc-
least in America, are the trolleys that                                                                                                    tions and directions while driving.
once crisscrossed, and sometimes con-                                                            U.S. Department of Transportation
                                                                                                                                              According to Dallas attorney Frank
nected, our towns and cities. Gone are                                                                                                     Branson, trucking companies “treat
the passenger trains, except for a few                                                                                           mutilations and deaths as the cost of doing busi-
“commuters” in highly congested areas                                  These trucking fatalities were the subject of a ness.” Similarly, when state trooper Randy
and the badly neglected AMTRAK.                                      series of articles published recently by The Dal- McDonald ticketed an overweight big rig work-
  In a sense, we have gone back to the individ-                      las Morning News. Texas, the newspaper report- ing for an oil company, the driver gave a message
ual travel of our ancestors, but instead of driv-                    ed, “consistently leads the nation in fatalities, in from his boss that he could write all the tickets
ing buggies drawn by a horse or two we drive in                      part because it has more roadway miles and the he wanted and it wouldn’t change a thing. The
cars powered by engines propelled by a power                         second-highest number of registered trucks.” state trooper said he had been around “a long
equal to 200 horses or more. The technology has                      The state topped the national list of fatalities in time and they’ve been saying the same thing for
changed, and so have some of the hazards. We                         2003, with 419, but Florida and California were a long time.” The article concluded that truck
rarely watch for highwaymen, but the tollgates                       close contenders with 314 and 311 such fatali- owners broke “safety rules to maximize profits.”
on the approaches to some roads and bridges                          ties respectively.Among the causes cited for fatal             Truck accidents have spawned a veritable litiga-
are reminiscent of the tollgates and tolls that                      accidents were:                                             tion industry as survivors and families have re-
travelers once paid at the point of a sword to                         •A lack of experienced and competent drivers tained legal counsel to claim punitive damages
cross the fiefdoms of feudal times. Rocks still                      willing to work for bare bottom wages, unpaid from trucking companies.As a reaction, companies
fall across roadways and a flood will occasional-                    down time, in bad weather, through long hours routinely “falsify records and destroy documents
ly wash out a bridge. But our modern reversion                       away from home and harsh delivery schedules; that federal law requires them to keep.”The Morn-
to individual travel also has brought along new                        •The hiring of alcoholics, drug addicts and ing News reported Branson as saying that compa-
hazards unlike any our ancestors faced, except-                      felons and a failure to verify work histories;              nies spend more time “covering up fault than they
ing perhaps those of the few of us who can trace                       •The hiring of drivers with low English lan- do screening drivers and training drivers.”
their lineage back to the time when Hannibal                                                                                        Branson may have had in mind the fatal acci-
brought his elephants across the Alps. Today’s                                                                                   dent in which a Werner Enterprises truck rear-
elephant on the highway is the “big rig,” the “18-                                                                               ended a passenger vehicle because the driver
wheeler,” the truck pulling a semi-trailer, and                                                                                  was distracted by an e-mail device mounted on
sometimes one or two more trailers hooked on                                                                                     his steering wheel while the truck was moving.
behind—“elephants” locked trunk to tail of such                                               New                                The driver of the car burned to death
size and in such numbers that they would over-                                                                                      Werner, one of the nation’s largest truckers,
awe even the Carthaginian conqueror.                                                        Leaflets                             reportedly destroyed the records and logs, then
  Indeed, nowhere is the absurdity of “free enter-                                                                               claimed they had been lost. According to one
prise” more evident than the wrenching and
                                                                                           Ready for                             attorney, however, “90 plus percent of drivers
deadly dramas played out on the nation’s streets                                          Distribution                           were using it [e-mail] while they’re driving” in
and highways. It’s chaos and anarchy, and as such                                                                                previous cases involving the Werner firm. The
may be viewed as the quintessential buzz of cap-                                                                                 Morning News also reported on a number of
italism’s ideal: isolated nomads flying to and fro,                    •America’s Workers Can Build a Better                     similar cases to demonstrate how trucking com-
all compelled to do their “thing,” with periodic                         World (SLP National Platform)                           panies use obstructionist tactics to prolong
traffic controls often ignored. Vehicles of all kinds                  •Global Warming: All Talk, No Action                      court cases and wear down opposing litigants.
just dumped together, often with horrific conse-                         Worsens Threat                                             All this comes as no surprise to Socialists,
                                                                                                                                 who recognize that this system of legalized
                                                                       •Socialist Industrial Unionism: The
                                                                                                                                 robbery of the working class is steeped in
                                                                         Workers’ Power
                 LA
                      BOR OM N I
                      V I NCI T
                                 A
                                                                                                                                 perpetual misconduct, corruption and crime.
                                                                       •Technology & Job Loss: What Workers                         None of this would be possible under social-
 Founded April 5, 1891                                                   Can Do About It                                         ism, where the profit motive will no longer
   The People (ISSN-0199-350X), continuing the Weekly Peo-
 ple, is published bimonthly by the Socialist Labor Party of
                                                                       • What Is Socialism?                                      prevent rational methods from being devised
 America, 661 Kings Row, San Jose, CA 95112-2724.                                                                                to facilitate travel and the distribution of
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 218, Mountain View, CA 94042-0218. Phone: (408) 280-                  Name                                                      mass transportation are constructed and how
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4 THE PEOPLE                                                                                                         NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006



A De Leon Editorial                                                                                            has been practiced before by France, by Spain,
                                                                                                               by England in their colonies.

An International Plague
                                                                                                                 But times progress. Of late the barbarian
                                                                                                               methods of old have been considerably held in
                                                                                                               check. “Opposition” parties in parliaments, avail-
Long before Abu Ghraib, even before My Lai, there was Bud Dahu, where Amer-                                    ing themselves of the facilities for gathering
ican soldiers slaughtered 900 men, women and children during U.S. capital-                                     news, have had a salutary effect upon the con-
ism’s colonial war in the Philippines. Last March marked the 100th anniversary                                 duct of colonial officers. That meant a reduction
of the crime—one of many atrocities committed for the sake of power and profit.                                of income. At this season Gen. Wood turns up in
                                                                                                               Europe, apologizes for and justified the “no quar-
                  No Quarter                            ticed; in a colony the religion of the natives,        ter” conduct of Roosevelt’s pets in the Philip-
          (Daily People, July 17, 1908)                 being different from the standard religions of         pines, and thereby gives a new lease of life, or
  When Adam Smith wrote his chapter on                  the “mother country,” becomes a pretext to out-        rather promotes to life the worst practices that
colonies he did not have the benefit of the Unit-       rage them, and the outrage is committed under          formerly blackened the records of colonial
ed States colonial system in the Philippine             the cloak of religion. At home, some semblance         administration. Quick was the ruling class of
Islands, and of the effect thereof upon the colo-       of fairness must be preserved towards the              Europe to see their opportunity, and seize it. Gen.
nial practices of other and older colonies-holding      worker: in the distant colony the natives are          Wood’s words were telegraphed all over and
countries. Spicy would have been the para-              treated with impunity as a conquered race. At          praised. If a republic finds it necessary to give no
graphs that Adam Smith could then have added            home, favorites cannot all be placed in comfort-       quarter to native colonial insurgents, why, “no
to his quite interesting chapter on colonies, espe-     able sinecures: a colony furnishes golden oppor-       quarter” cannot be found fault with; “no quarter”
cially after reading Gen. Leonard Wood’s recent         tunities for soft berths where favorites can           is democratic, it is republican, it is Christian.
advocacy of “no quarter” for colonial insurgents,       make fortunes in a short time. All this, and             Capitalist rule in America is spreading its poi-
be they male or female, adults or children.             much more to the same effect, do colonies mean         sonous exhalations beyond our own borders. It
  Colonies are peculiar institutions of capitalist      to the capitalist alleged “mother,” but more           is infecting Europe. It is becoming an interna-
rule. At home, religious tolerance must be prac-        properly “stepmother” countries. And all this          tional plague.


                                                        255075100 years ago
    Beginning of the End in Hungary                     that had been imposed on Hungary by Russian            and developed in the name of socialism in Sovi-
            (Weekly People, Dec. 1, 1956)               bayonets.                                              et Russia, has cast them. The Communist Party
  The bureaucratic rulers of Soviet Russia have                                                                of Hungary is itself hopelessly split. Indeed,
brought upon themselves the loathing and con-           Stalinists Had Complete Control                        many of the bravest fighters against the Rus-
tempt of untold numbers of their former adher-            For more than 10 years the Communist Party           sians and their Hungarian Stalinist supporters
ents by their murderous attack on the Hungar-           has had carte blanche in Hungary. It has con-          were Communists who broke with the party.
ian people. But this attack and the subsequent          trolled absolutely the newspapers, schools, radio,       One need not seek far for the reason for this
terror should not obscure the implications of the       unions—all the organs for molding the minds of         colossal failure—a failure that will lead in time
popular demonstrations that set off the revolt.         the people, especially of the youth. Its propagan-     to the repudiation of Russian “communism” by
  The overwhelming majority of the demonstra-           da has been all pervading and incessant. All the       the most conditioned people of all, the Russian
tors were Hungarian students who enjoyed a              words that touch the good side of man’s nature—        workers! This reason is the rejection long ago by
privileged position under the Stalinist regime.         “freedom,”“democracy,”“socialism,”“rights,” etc.—      the Bolsheviki of reliance on the workers, on
Picked from families of workers, peasants and           have been sown liberally in all the utterances of      democracy. The Russian Revolution was carried
Communist officials, their tuition and living           the communist rulers. All the words that evoke         out to the slogan, “All power to the Soviets!” But
expenses were paid by the government. They              hatred and fear—“fascist,” “exploitation,” “imperi-    all power was never really transferred to the
were being conditioned for an “elite” role in this      alist,” “traitor,” “wrecker,” etc.—have been used to   Soviets; it was retained rather by the Commu-
ironically named “People’s Democracy.”                  attack those who opposed the regime.                   nist Party. And after the Soviets (which means
  Their demonstrations, which culminated in               Yet the overwhelming—and to the Commu-               “councils”) ceased to be necessary, they were
open revolt on the fateful evening of Oct. 23 (when     nist despots, the devastating—fact remains             deprived of a revolutionary role.
they were fired on by the hated AVH—the Hun-            that the Hungarian masses have rejected the
garian Stalinist secret police), certified the popu-    Communist Party and all it stands for. They            Workers Must Free Themselves
lar rejection, not merely for Russian domination,       have rejected the passive, subservient role in          Marxism teaches that the class interests of
but of the social system misnamed “socialism”           which the bureaucratic despotism, pioneered                             (Continued on page 6)




                                     What Is Socialism?
  Socialism is the collective ownership by all the      those who elected them decide it is necessary.         that socialism existed and failed in places like
people of the factories,mills,mines,railroads,land        Such a system would make possible the fullest        Russia and China simply do not know the facts.
and all other instruments of production. Social-        democracy and freedom. It would be a society             Socialism will be a society in which the things
ism means production to satisfy human needs,            based on the most primary freedom—economic             we need to live, work and control our own lives
not as under capitalism, for sale and profit. Social-   freedom.                                               —the industries, services and natural resources
ism means direct control and management of the            For individuals, socialism means an end to eco-      —are collectively owned by all the people, and in
industries and social services by the workers           nomic insecurity and exploitation. It means            which the democratic organization of the people
through a democratic government based on their          workers cease to be commodities bought and sold        within the industries and services is the govern-
nationwide economic organization.                       on the labor market, and forced to work as             ment. Socialism means that government of the
  Under socialism, all authority will originate         appendages to tools owned by someone else. It          people, for the people and by the people will
from the workers, integrally united in Socialist        means a chance to develop all individual capaci-       become a reality for the first time.
Industrial Unions. In each workplace, the rank          ties and potentials within a free community of           To win the struggle for socialist freedom
and file will elect whatever committees or repre-       free individuals. It means a classless society that    requires enormous efforts of organizational and
sentatives are needed to facilitate production.         guarantees full democratic rights for all workers.     educational work. It requires building a political
Within each shop or office division of a plant, the       Socialism does not mean government or state          party of socialism to contest the power of the
rank and file will participate directly in formu-       ownership. It does not mean a closed party-run         capitalist class on the political field and to edu-
lating and implementing all plans necessary for         system without democratic rights. Those things         cate the majority of workers about the need for
efficient operations.                                   are the very opposite of socialism.                    socialism. It requires building Socialist Industri-
  Besides electing all necessary shop officers,           “Socialism,” as the American Socialist Daniel        al Union organizations to unite all workers in a
the workers will also elect representatives to a        De Leon defined it, “is that social system under       classconscious industrial force and to prepare
local and national council of their industry or         which the necessaries of production are owned,         them to take, hold and operate the tools of pro-
service—and to a central congress representing          controlled and administered by the people, for         duction.
all the industries and services. This All-Industri-     the people, and under which, accordingly, the            You are needed in the ranks of Socialists fight-
al Congress will plan and coordinate production         cause of political and economic despotism hav-         ing for a better world, to end poverty, racism,
in all areas of the economy. All persons elected to     ing been abolished, class rule is at end. That is      sexism, environmental disaster and to avert the
any post in the socialist government, from the          socialism, nothing short of that.” And we might        still potent threat of a catastrophic nuclear war.
lowest to the highest level, will be directly           add, nothing more than that! Remember: If it           Find out more about the program and work of
accountable to the rank and file. They will be          does not fit this description, it is not socialism—    the Socialist Labor Party and join us to help
subject to removal at any time that a majority of       no matter who says different. Those who claim          make the promise of socialism a reality.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006                                                                                                             THE PEOPLE 5




           Texas Leads the Nation
       In Producing Greenhouse Gases
                      By B.B.                      Times, Sept. 21)                                    the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide


T
       exas lost its bragging rights to being        Corporate capitalist response can be gauged       and Global Change.”
       the biggest state when Alaska added         by a report called the Carbon Disclosure Pro-          This dissembling posturing is in line with
       its star to the flag in January 1959, but   ject, which showed that over 80 percent of          that of other capitalist outfits. Indeed, TXU
keeping a braggart down is hard to do. Texas       companies polled provided data revealing            came out with a full-page propaganda piece
is back with something else to boast about,        that they recognized the hazards but that           on the very day that the Morning News pub-
if so inclined. The Lone Star state now has        “fewer than half said they were working to          lished its report on Texas being the top
the dubious distinction of leading the nation      reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that           national producer of greenhouse gases. The
in the burning of global warming fossil fuels.     cause global warming.” (Times)                      utility giant claimed it is going to reduce emis-
   A report in The Dallas Morning News lists         This reluctance brings to mind a recent           sions by 20 percent while continuing to burn
the state as number one in the production of       demand by the Royal Society, Britain’s high-        Texas lignite and while reducing costs to the
greenhouse gases—723.2 million tons of the         est scientific association with 1,400 members       populations of northern Texas—and it will
stuff every year—and it may be in the run-                                                                   “benevolently” do it all for families.
ning for top spot on a global scale.                                                                            Fact is that the capitalist system oper-
Already it places seventh in the                                                                              ates only to increase profits. Private
world, outpacing such other major                                                                             material interests militate against even
contenders for the top spot as Cana-                                                                          the most pressing of social needs. Few
da, the United Kingdom and South                                                                               social needs are greater, few threats
Korea. It is far behind China, in the                                                                          more urgent to meet, than the environ-
number two spot, and it can never                                                                              mental disaster that capitalist-induced
hope to surpass the current title                                                                               global warming almost makes
holder, the United States, of which it                                                                          inevitable.
is just one of 50 parts. However, it is                                                                            “Almost,” we say, because there is a
contributing mightily to the defense of                                                                          way to stop that disaster from hap-
the U.S.’s title as the world’s leading                                                                          pening. The American working class
contributor to global warming.                                                                                   must organize itself under the banner
   The private material interests that                                                                           of the SLP to declare they have had
have arrogated to themselves the pre-                                                                             enough of a system that disregards
rogative to undermine the global envi-                                                                            their safety and jeopardizes their
ronment and ruin the health of unknown                                                                            very survival for the sake of making
millions couldn’t care less about that                                                                LNS          money. It must organize itself eco-
part of it. They are the strip mine own-                                                                           nomically to take, hold and operate
ers; Texas Utilities Mining; various elec-                                                              the industries and services of the country
tric power corporations (such as TXU                                                                   democratically. It is the only solution, and it is
and Houston Lighting and Power, the biggest        counting Newton and Einstein as members,            a good one, because not only will it restore
users of brown coal); trucking and railroad        that Exxon Mobile stop putting out misrepre-        control over our destiny to our own hands—
owners; cement manufacturers; the Alu-             sentations about global warming. They               the only safe place for it to be—but also
minum Corporation of America and others not        charged that the oil giant promoted a “false        because it will guarantee that our children
favored with an honorable (or is it dishonor-      sense somehow that there is a two-sided             and their children will live out their lives in a
able) mention. Collectively, they form a pow-      debate going on in the scientific community”        clean and beautiful world.
erful political force for resisting change and     regarding the basis of climate change. The             Capitalism has turned America into the
whose giant profits emanate from the               society further charged that it was “very diffi-    world’s leading threat to our survival. The
exploitation of wage labor.                        cult to reconcile the misrepresentations of cli-    American working class can yet inspire the
   Texas is a leader in the march towards turn-    mate change science in” documents dissemi-          workers of all countries to unite and put an
ing our “blue marble” into just another lifeless   nated by Exxon Mobil with its “claims to be an      end to the madness that places property and
asteroid, but, as mentioned, it is not a lone      industry leader.” The company spent $2.9 mil-       profit above life itself. First, however, it must
crusader in the unworthy cause. Indeed,            lion sending disinformation to 39 groups            set the example that will show the way. Cap-
Texas is not a culprit at all, capitalism is—      “including the Competitive Enterprise Insti-        italism is lunacy; socialism is sanity; the
and the problem is pervasive throughout the        tute, the International Policy Network and          choice between the two is yours to make.
system wherever it nestles and settles.
   Texas lignite has been mined since the
mid-1800s, initially by below ground min-
ing. Greater productivity came with the
introduction of giant shovels to gouge direct-
ly into surface seams, the technique known
                                                   . . . Ford Cuts a Sign of Times
                                                                  (Continued from page 1)
as strip mining, with its attendant ruination                                                         means that workers elsewhere lose, and the
of the immediate environment to be sure.             But while Ford executives certainly played a     “winning” workers are more intensively exploit-
   From 1890 until 1970, the production of         role in bringing the present crisis at Ford to a   ed. Higher productivity with fewer workers can
high sulfur Texas lignite was virtually flat,      head, this devastating scenario for Ford work-     spell capitalist success. But it’s ultimately a
averaging about 2 million short tons annual-       ers might have occurred even if Ford execs         dead-end road for workers. One of the system’s
ly until coal supplanted natural gas about         had paid themselves nothing and allowed            biggest inherent weaknesses is that fewer
the mid-1970s. Then a steep rise commenced         workers to build better cars, or ex-ploited        workers working means fewer workers able to
until production hit about 55 million short        them even more intensively than they actual-       buy the products produced. That’s a recipe for
tons in 1992, the latest date for which statis-    ly did. The simple fact is that the world needs    an eventual surplus on the market and conse-
tical information is available.                    only so many cars and trucks. If sane mass         quently more job cuts and further layoff crises.
   Though we have no figures for current coal      transportation policies and systems were in          There is only one way to rid society forever of
production in Texas, it is a sure bet that the     place it would need far fewer yet. And within      the vicissitudes of the capitalist market that are
profits are immensely higher than 16 years         this world of finite but still expanding mar-      today wreaking havoc with the lives of Ford and
ago. This focuses our attention on the broad-      kets for automobiles, worldwide competition        GM workers and the whole working class.
er picture of global warming, the system that      is growing.                                        Workers must achieve control over the wealth
produces it and the prospects for change.            Under capitalism there must be winners and       they produce as a class. The economic security
   Such prospects are reflected in the formation   losers in the automobile industry, as in every     and abundance that modern industry could pro-
of “Ceres, a coalition of environmentalists and    other. Ford won in the marketplace for much of     duce for all will result only when the working
investors; Yale University; and the risk and       its more than 100-year history. So did General     class as a whole takes possession of the indus-
insurance services of Marsh & McLennan,”           Motors, which today finds itself in much the       tries and services generations of workers have
who have concluded that global warming is a        same situation as Ford. Now they are losing,       built—and operates them democratically to
hazard and capitalists should do something         succumbing to competitors here and elsewhere       serve human needs and wants.
about it. They want to hold “sustainable gover-    who are more quickly able to get far more out of     Nothing short of such a revolutionary trans-
nance forums to give directors an overview of      fewer workers. Would better management             formation of society can sufficiently change the
the financial, legal and business investor         make a difference? It might, for a time.           increasingly grim situation of U.S. autowork-
implications of climate change.” (The New York       “Better management” under capitalism only        ers—and the U.S. working class as a whole.
6 THE PEOPLE                                                                                                                                NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006




                                                                                                                                                       directory
. . . Industrial Carnage
                (Continued from page 1)               put off maintenance and so on, for the sake of
                                                                                                                                     UNITED STATES
                                                                                                                                     NATIONAL OFFICE—SLP, PO Box 218, Mtn. View, CA
                                                                                                                                     94042-0218; (408) 280-7266; fax (408) 280-6964; email:
                                                                                                                                     socialists@slp.org; website: www.slp.org.
the number of injuries is twice as great as           profits.
reported, and the number of illnesses may               Many workers know that government regula-                                    AUSTRALIA
                                                                                                                                     Brian Blanchard, 58 Forest Rd., Trevallyn, Launceston,
exceed the number reported by a factor of five.       tory agencies charged with occupational safety                                 Tasmania 7250, Australia. Call or fax 0363-341952.
No one really knows.” (Emphasis in original.)         are worthless because they are in league with                                  GREAT BRITAIN
  Whatever the real number and rate of                the capitalists. Inspections rarely happen.                                    Jim Plant, P.O. Box 6700, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 0WA,
deaths, injuries and illnesses in the nation’s        According to one industry safety analyst,                                      UK. Email: socliterature@btopenworld.com. Fax 01279-
factories and services, one conclusion tran-          OSHA’s 2002 budget would allow its staff of                                    726970.

scends this gray area of “lies, damned lies and       2,238 federal and state inspectors to inspect                                                 (Additional listings at www.slp.org.)
statistics,” as the British statesman Benjamin        the nation’s 8 million workplaces once every 119
Disraeli once wrote.                                  years. Inspections that do happen are sometimes
  De Leon’s characterization still rings true.        legally announced in advance thanks to loop-                                               U.S. Postal Service
The extent of death, injury and illness on the        holes written into a general prohibition against                                Statement of Ownership, Management and
job today still amounts to massive carnage.           notifying capitalists in advance of inspections.                                    Circulation (Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685)
All the more so now because a century has               Many workers also know their union leaders                                    1. Publication Title: The People
                                                                                                                                      2. Publication No. 672-900
passed in which capitalist industry could             are prone to compromise and collaborate with                                    3. Filing Date: Sept. 1, 2006
have implemented safeguards and changed               the capitalists and government agencies.                                        4. Issue Frequency: Bimonthly
                                                                                                                                      5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 6
processes that could have ended the carnage.            All too many workers, however, are resigned                                   6. Annual Subscription Price: $5.00
                                                                                                                                      7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 661 Kings
                                                      to accepting all of this. All too few realize that                                  Row, San Jose, Santa Clara County, CA 95112-2724
                                                      things need not be this way. In their collective                                8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office
                                                                                                                                          of the Publisher: 661 Kings Row, San Jose, CA 95112-2724
                                                      hands is the power to change things.                                            9. Publisher: National Executive Committee, Socialist Labor Party, 661
  As Dr. Linda Rosenstock, former director of           Properly organized, workers can take, hold                                        Kings Row, San Jose, CA 95112-2724
                                                                                                                                          Acting Editor: Robert Bills, 661 Kings Row, San Jose, CA 95112-2724
the National Institute for Occupational Safe-         and operate all the industries and services of                                      Managing Editor: Robt. Bills, 661 Kings Row, San Jose, CA 95112-2724
                                                                                                                                     10. Owner: Members of the National Executive Committee: Kenneth
ty and Health, once put it, “We have tools for        the land—the entire economy—in their own                                            Boettcher, Bernard Bortnick, Bruce Cozzini, J. Thadieu Harris III, Carl
prevention here, in the workplace, that some-         behalf. With those doing the work in charge of                                      C. Miller Jr., Diane Secor, Michael Wenskunas, 661 Kings Row, San
                                                                                                                                          Jose, CA 95112-2724.
times just don’t exist for other illnesses.”          safety, safety will no longer come second. For                                 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees and Other Security Holders Owning
                                                                                                                                          or Holding 1 Percent or More of the Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages
“These are all inherently preventable illness-        with capitalism abolished, production won’t                                         or Other Securities: None.
es and injuries,” Rosenstock noted.                   be carried on for the benefit of a class of vam-                               12. N/A
                                                                                                                                     13. Publication Name: The People
  Sam Mannan, the head of Texas A&M’s                 pires that profits from its reckless disregard of                              14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: September-October 2006
Mary K. O’Connor Process Safety Center, once          workers’ lives and health.                 —K.B.                               15. Extent & Nature of Circulation: Average No. Copies No. Copies of
                                                                                                                                                                              Each Issue During Single Issue Pub-
told U.S. News & World Report, “Most of safe-                                                                                                                                 Preceding Twelve  lished Nearest to
                                                                                                                                                                              Months            Filing Date.
ty is not rocket science.” “We don’t have to                                                                                          a. Total Number of Copies (net press run)        8.833      8,000
research another 100 years,” he said, “or even 20         NEW EDITION                                                                 b. Paid and/or Requested Circulation:
                                                                                                                                          1. Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail
years, to figure out the right way to do things.                            Earth Day                                                         Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541.       1,767      1,769
                                                                                                                                          2. Paid In-County Subscriptions Stated
Why accidents keep happening is because we
don’t do the things that we know how to do.”                               and May Day                                                        on Form 3541
                                                                                                                                          3. Sales Through Dealers and Carriers,
                                                                                                                                                                                           0          0

                                                                          Two Views of the Future                                             Street Vendors and Counter Sales,
  The problem is systemic. Production under                                                                                                   and Other Non-USPS Paid Distribution 6,116          5,267
                                                                                    By Robert Bills
the terms and conditions laid down by capi-                                                                                               4. Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS 114
                                                                                                                                      c. Total Paid and/or
                                                                                                                                                                                                    112

talism cuts against safety at every turn. Cap-                                                                                            Requested Circulation (15b. 1, 2, 3 & 4):    8,047      7,148
                                                                                                                                      d. Free Distribution by Mail:
italists “don’t want to stop the equipment”                                                                                               (Samples, Complimentary, and Other Free)
when there are profits to be made. They                                                                                                   1. Outside-County as Stated on Form 3541         0          0
                                                                                                                                          2. In-County as Stated on Form 3541              0          0
invest in a lot of relatively cheap insurance                                                                                             3. Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS         0          0
                                                                                                                                      e. Free Distribution Outside the Mail
and as little maintenance and worker safe-                                                                                                (Carriers or Other Means)                      630        700
guards as possible.                                     $2 postpaid                                                                   f. Total Free Distribution
                                                                                                                                          (Sum of 15d and 15e)                           630        700
  This case against capitalism is no mere alle-         16 pages                                                                      g. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15f): 8,677          7,848
gation, but a fact well established by both his-                                                                                      h. Copies Not Distributed:
                                                                                                                                      i. Total (Sum of 15g. and h.)
                                                                                                                                                                                      156
                                                                                                                                                                                    8,833
                                                                                                                                                                                                   152
                                                                                                                                                                                                 8,000
tory and the daily experiences of workers on            New York                                                                      j. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circu-
                                                        Labor News                                                                      lation (15c. divided by 15g. times 100)      93%          91%
the job. Most workers know that, if they were                                                                                        16. Publication of Statement of Ownership will be printed in the
in charge, workplaces could be made safe.               PO Box 218                                                                        November-December 2006 issue of this publication.
                                                        Mtn. View, CA                                                                17. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and com-
They know they are pressured to take short-                                                                                               plete.
                                                        94042-0218                                                                                                                                   Robert Bills
cuts, ignore safety procedures, neglect repairs,                                                                                                                                                    Acting Editor



                                                      Russians brought to Hungary. The Kremlin                                    have they also rejected the idea of freedom they

... 50 Years    (Continued from page 4)
                                                      named the “leaders” who were to lead the Hun-
                                                      garian workers and peasants to the Promised
                                                      Land. The system was called a “people’s democ-
                                                                                                                                  have hitherto identified with socialism? Only
                                                                                                                                  time can supply the answer. Dispatches indi-
                                                                                                                                  cate that the workers are sustaining a remark-
the workers are the wellspring whence flows           racy” but, like the Russian system, it was a                                able solidarity, and their spirit seems far from
the forces of socialist freedom. Marxism teaches      bureaucratic despotism sustained by police state                            crushed by the Russian terror. Nevertheless
further that it is the task of a socialist party to   terror. Contempt for the mass of workers became                             their movement continues to be negative in
arouse the workers to a consciousness of their        a characteristic of the bureaucratic leaders, and,                          character. There is an instinctive groping for
class interests, to show them how to organize to      indeed, it was this contempt that led to the mon-                           democracy, but no one has any idea of how
fulfill these interests. But Lenin, Trotsky, and      strous stupidity of firing on the Budapest demon-                           socialist democracy is constructed. Until this
the rest of the Bolshevik leaders, abandoned          strators and setting off the explosion.                                     idea—an idea that only De Leonism supplies—
Marx’s reliance on the workers. We are not con-         Now the Hungarian workers have led the                                    is grasped, frustration must inevitably dog their
cerned here with the overwhelming and com-            way in rejecting “communism.” The question is,                              efforts.
plex problems that the proletarian revolution in
an economically backward country faced.
Unquestionably these problems were enor-
mous, and they seemed to Lenin to justify the
                                                         The People’s
expedient policies that, in the name of the “dic-
tatorship of the proletariat,” led to the creation
                                                         PRESS FORWARD FUND
of a dictatorship over the proletariat. The point
is that very early in the life of the Soviet regime         This is my contribution of $ _______ for The People’s Press Forward Fund, which will help support
                                                            the SLP’s official journal. (Please make checks/money orders payable to the Socialist Labor Party
the Russian workers were reduced to a nega-
                                                                                           .O.
                                                            or The People and mail to P Box 218, Mountain View, CA 94042-0218.)
tive, subservient role.
  By the time the Soviet Army “liberated” East-             Name
ern Europe, the communist movement was                      Address
thoroughly conditioned to the idea that the                 Apt.
mass of workers had not to be enlightened, but              City
only to be manipulated. Socialism would be the              State                            Zip
work of “leaders.” It was the duty of the workers           (Political contributions are not tax deductible.) Acknowledgments will be made in The People.
to follow the leaders and accept unquestioning-             Please indicate if a receipt is desired: K Yes K No
ly their explanations and rationalizations.
  This was the concept of “socialism” that the
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006                                                                                                                              THE PEOPLE 7


                                                                                                                  nist” China leads the world in the number of peo-

Luxemburg in China? By Jim Plant                           Revolution” that he engineered towards the end
                                                                                                                  ple executed. Amnesty International estimates
                                                                                                                  that in 2005 at least 1,770 people were executed,
                                                                                                                  but it also states that the real figure could be as
                                                                                                                  many as 8,000.
  Against a backdrop of fabulous wealth and                of his life. The poverty and exploitation in today’s
                                                                                                                     Until recently, the most common method of
privilege on the one hand, and dire poverty and            China, coupled with a complete lack of demo-
                                                                                                                  execution in China was a bullet in the back of the
superexploitation on the other, an extraordinary           cratic and union rights for China’s workers,
                                                                                                                  head. Now it is becoming less messy and more “hi
event took place in the Chinese city of Wuhan              would have enraged her.
                                                                                                                  tech” with the introduction of smart “mobile exe-
last March. That event was an international                  Yet such an international conference could not
                                                                                                                  cution chambers,” in which prisoners are given a
conference on Rosa Luxemburg’s Thought and                 have taken place without at least a tacit go-
                                                                                                                  lethal injection. Reportedly, 40 such mobile exe-
Contemporary Value.                                        ahead from the Chinese government. Why Bei-
                                                                                                                  cution vehicles have been put into service so far.
  The conference, which attracted delegates                jing gave its consent is not immediately appar-
                                                                                                                     These ghoulish vehicles put one in mind of the
from the United States, Europe, Japan and South            ent, but it might be part of an attempt to con-
                                                                                                                  “gas vans” used by the Nazi Einsatzgruppen
Africa, as well as from China, was “extraordinary”         vince some gullible supporters outside China,
                                                                                                                  (mobile killing units) to murder Jews, Gypsies,
because the ideas and life’s work of Rosa Luxem-           despite all the evidence to the contrary, that
                                                                                                                  Communists and Socialists in Poland and Russia
burg were completely antithetical to the theory            somehow the Chinese government and Commu-
                                                                                                                  during World War II.They are much more sophis-
and practice of the Chinese government and the             nist Party are interested in the creation of a
                                                                                                                  ticated, however, and are fitted with closed circuit
ruling Communist Party.                                    socialist society.
                                                                                                                  television. That particular innovation permitted
  Luxemburg—a Polish Marxist who was active
                                                                                                                  local members of the National People’s Congress
in the Polish, Russian and particularly German
                                                                                                                  to witness one recent execution.
socialist movements a hundred years ago—stood
                                                                                                                     The designer of the execution vehicle, Kang
for the self-emancipation of the working class                It is especially ironic that a conference on Rosa
                                                                                                                  Zhongwen,states that the switch from gunshots to
and the building of a genuine democratic social-           Luxemburg should have taken place in present-
                                                                                                                  injections is a sign that China “promotes human
ist society. She would have been appalled and              day China because Luxemburg was a passionate
                                                                                                                  rights now.”
repelled by the “cult of personality” that sur-            opponent of the death penalty. Indeed, one of the
                                                                                                                     George Orwell would have appreciated that
rounded Mao Zedong, by his disastrous “Great               first articles she penned upon her release from a
                                                                                                                  remark; it could have come straight from the
Leap Forward” and by the so-called “Cultural               German prison in 1918 (she had been impris-
                                                                                                                  pages of 1984.
                                                           oned because of her antiwar activity) was a call
                                                           for the abolition of the death penalty. “Commu-
     ACTIVITIES
 CALIFORNIA

 San Francisco: Discussion Meetings—For                    ...Three Rs ...Struggle                                                  (Continued from page 8)
 information call 408-280-7266 or email slpsfba@net-                       (Continued from page 2)                per month while putting in 15-hour shifts.
 scape.net.
                                                           planet are forms of structural or systemic vio-          So, in “communist” China, Xia can spend an
 OHIO                                                      lence. Violence is so pervasive under capitalism       amount to establish his polo team that would
                                                           that it is typically minimized and dismissed as        take a Dongguan factory worker 1,742 years of
 Columbus: Discussion Meetings—Section                     simply business as usual. In addition, what of         labor to earn in wages and an iPod worker over
 Cleveland will hold a discussion meeting on Sunday,       the moral and social superstructure which              2,500 years!
 Nov. 26, 1–3 p.m., at the Carnegie Library, Grant and     emerges from the economic base of capitalism?            China never was, because it couldn’t be, a
 Oak streets. For information call 440-237-7933.
                                                           Even the dominant values associated with cap-          socialist or “communist” country. The reason is
 Independence: Discussion Meetings—                        italism, such as status, competition, extreme          obvious. Not until now did it have the industri-
 Section Cleveland will hold discussion meetings on        individualism, dominance over nature, the              al foundation and the industrial working class
 Sunday, Nov. 19, and on Sunday, Dec. 17, 1–3 p.m.,        romanticizing of war and acquisition of con-           to make genuine socialism possible. “Workers of
 Independence Public Library, 6361 Selig Dr. (off Rt.      sumer goods are antisocial, thereby contribut-         China, unite!” was a meaningless slogan in a
 21 between Chestnut & Hillside). For information call     ing to violence.                                       nation that had virtually no industrial founda-
 440-237-7933.                                               American teachers may carry guns if the Wis-         tion and a working class that was an insignifi-
                                                           consin legislator has his way. Children will sure-     cant fraction of the population. Now it has both,
 OREGON
                                                           ly ask these teachers, “Why do you have to carry       or enough of both for a genuine socialist move-
 Portland: Discussion Meeting—Section Port-                that gun?” Without Marx, teachers have no              ment to emerge and take shape. Without such a
 land will hold a discussion meeting on Saturday, Nov.     answers. The fourth “R” must be “REVOLU-               movement, China’s working class is destined to
 11, from 10 a.m.–12 noon, at the Portland Main Library,   TION.” Therefore, study hard. Learn the fourth         a new and prolonged era of unremitting and
 SW Yamhill & 10th. Topic: “Technology and Job Loss.”      “R.” History will grade harshly. The test is           intensified exploitation.
 For more information call Sid at 503-226-2881 or visit    whether American citizens can develop class-             Such a movement is bound to emerge, and
 the section’s website at http://slp.pdx.home. mind-       consciousness, discover that capitalism is the         when it does it will give shape and direction to
 spring.com.
                                                           root of violence and create a sane, classless,         the unrest the clash at Dongguan, and many
    For information about future meetings, visit the
                                                           socialist society for our children.                    other places, suggests is on the rise.
 section’s website at http://slp.pdx.home.mindspring.
 com or call Sid at 503-226-2881.
                                                                                                                                 Press Security Fund
                                                                       Funds                                        Chris Dobreff $200; $100 each R.E. Wolf, Helen
                                                                                                                  Deneff; $50 each Ron Harner, Robert Ormsby, John

. . . Health     (Continued from page 1)
                                                                            (Aug. 12-Oct. 20)
                                                                          Press Forward Fund
                                                             Section Cleveland $1,000; John & Mary Brlas (In
                                                                                                                  S. & Rosemary Gale; Section Cook County, Ill.,
                                                                                                                  $46.80; Lloyd A. Wright $35; Ronald J. Ingalsbe
                                                                                                                  $30; $25 each Phillip Colligan, Ken Stibler; Mar-
                                                           memory of Lazar Petrovich) $500; Reynold R. Elkins     shall G. Soura $20; Bob & Sita Brothers $15; $10
of a burden onto their workers by “giving” them            $210; $200 each Chris Dobreff, Irene Schelin, John     each Richard Mack, Peter King, Keith Ocamb,
the bare minimum in health coverage.                       S. & Rosemary Gale, Roy K. Nelson; $100 each Ken       Harry E. Gibson, Harold Madsen, Earle McGue;
  If by “health care crisis” is meant a shortage           Boettcher, Lois Reynolds; Harvey Fuller $75; T.        Jim Plant $7; $5 each Glenn E. Jones, Anthony
of the things needed to provide for the health             McGregor $53.86; $50 each Jill Campbell & Steve        William Greco.
and well-being of all American workers, it is              Littleton, Jim Plant, Marshall G. Soura, Michael         Total: $823.80
safe to say that the “crisis” is contrived and             Preston, Walter J. Leibfitz; Henry Coretz $45;
                                                           Wayne F. Lovett $31; F. Cline $27; $25 each Ben
false. The resources are there, but doled out in                                                                                SLP Sustainer Fund
                                                           Kraft, Robert Ormsby; $20 each James Lehner, Sid
ways meant to maximize profits.                                                                                     Joan Davis $800; Bernard Bortnick $325;
                                                           Fink; $10 each Daniel Brian Lazarus, Eugene Tagle,
  If that means that millions of working-class             George E. Gray, Joe Randell, Richard Mack, Robert      Robert P. Burns $320; Chris Dobreff $200; Lois
men, women and children must go without, too               & Donna Bills; Stephan Graham $5.                      Reynolds $100; Jill Campbell & Steve Littleton
bad for them—capitalists must have their                     Total: $3,346.86                                     $60; Section San Francisco Bay Area: Bill Kelley
“pound of flesh.”                                                                                                 $30; Helena Stevens $30; Michael Wenskunas
                                                                     Prisoner Subscription Fund                   $25; George T. Gaylord Jr. $1.
                                                            Frank Cline $10.20; Richard Mack $10;                   Total: $1,891.00
                                                           Reynold F. Elkins $5.
                                                            Total: $25.20
Blizzards?                                                                SLP Leaflet Fund
                                                                                                                                Socialist Labor Party
                                                                                                                                 Financial Summary
If you find yourself tramping through rain, sleet            Michael Wenskunas $50; $25 each John Lam-              Bank balance (July 31) . . . . . . . . . $105,549.87
and snow to get your copy of The People:                   base, Mary & John Brlas; Robert P. Burns $20; T.         Expenses (Aug.-Sept.) . . . . . . . . . . 21,657.02
  Wouldn’t it be easier to enter a subscription?           McGregor $17.92; Alex Iwasa $10; Gene Tagle $7;          Income (Aug.-Sept.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,221.73
And one for a friend? Use the subscription coupon          R.C. Moody $4; Jeffery Smith $2.                         Bank balance (Sept. 30) . . . . . . . . $ 91,114.58
on page 2.                                                   Total: $150.92                                         Deficit for 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 58,738.68
                                                                                                                     NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2006




                   Capitalist Profits Behind
                  China’s Environmental Crisis
                  By Diane Secor                        China’s leaders are in need of some spectacular        increased by 27 percent in the five years to 2005


H
        osting the Summer Olympics in 2008 is           progress, or some innovative razzle-dazzle, to         to reach 25.5 million metric tons.” In addition,
        said to be a matter of pride and prestige for   make Beijing presentable, to save face and to          industrial pollution has endangered substantial
        the leaders of “communist” China, a sign        avoid humiliation. However that may work out,          amounts of agricultural land.
that it has been accepted as an equal by the other      Beijing’s environmental and social problems               China’s environmental crisis, however, is not a
industrial nations. Two other Asian nations,            represent only a fraction of similar problems          consequence of some corrupt individuals but the
Japan and South Korea, have staged a total of           across wide areas of the country.                      direct consequence of a capitalist system’s inher-
four Olympic Games since 1964, but in 1993 the            Indeed, China’s quest for foreign capitalist         ent profit motive.For example, when local or region-
International Olympic Committee rebuffed                investment has brought the country’s environ-          al authorities do shut down the most hazardous
China’s bid to host the summer games in 2000.           mental crisis to a head. Many parts of the coun-       factories, factory owners simply relocate their
There were several reasons for the IOC snub. As                                                                        plants and carry on business as usual.
noted by an Associated Press item on Sept. 15:                                                                           This “business as usual” has been devas-
   “Beijing previously has enacted                                                                                     tating to the residents of Hui County in
extraordinary measures to reduce the                                                                                    Gansu Province, to cite one example. On
chances of protest or spruce up the                                                                                     Sept. 12, the Associated Press reported
grimy capital’s appearance. In 1993,                                                                                    that over 800 people in the county, includ-
during its failed bid for the 2000                                                                                      ing more than 300 children less than 14
Olympics, Beijing expelled beggars,                                                                                      years old, were victims of lead poisoning.
forced the handicapped to stay at home                                                                                   The source of the poisonous emissions
and closed smokestack industries when                                                                                    was the privately owned Hui County
IOC inspection teams visited.”                                                                                            Non-Ferrous Metal Smelting Plant Co.
   In short, China threw up a smoke                                                                                       The plant had the legally required
screen to conceal the capital city’s wors-                                                                                antipollution devices installed, but to
ening social and environmental prob-                                                                                      cut expenses the company did not use
lems from IOC eyes, but apparently                                                                                         the equipment at night. A government
without success. When China renewed                                                                                        spokesperson announced that the com-
its bid for hosting the 2008 summer                                                                                         pany who owns the factory agreed to
games six years ago, it promised a gen-                                                                                     close down the plant and offer com-
uine cleanup of the city. The IOC gave in,                                                                                  pensation to the lead-poisoned vic-
and since then China has spent huge                                                                             LNS          tims, in order to be “cooperating posi-
amounts of money to build the facilities                                                                                     tively with the government.”
needed to hold the games and accommo-                                                                             Faced with the dilemma of keeping capitalists
date thousands of athletes and other for-                                                                      happy while cleaning up its environment for the
eign visitors. It has also boasted of making great      try, especially the poorer areas whose popula-         2008 Olympics, what is a country to do? Accord-
strides toward turning Beijing from a veritable         tions supply cheap labor to factories, have lax        ing to Xinhua news agency (April 27), the Beijing
sewer into a “livable” city, in part by relocating      environmental standards.                               2008 Olympics Organizing Committee has hired
some of the dirtiest factories in and around the           Where pollution laws do exist, fraud and fail-      the prestigious Western public relations compa-
capital to outlying areas. Nonetheless, in Octo-        ure to enforce the laws are common.As the direc-       ny Hill & Knowlton (H&K) to help in “communi-
ber 2005, and five years into its “cleanup” pro-        tor of China’s State Environmental Protection          cating Beijing’s Olympic vision” to the interna-
gram, the European Space Agency dubbed Bei-             Administration, Zhou Shengxian, explained, this        tional media. H&K comes with “excellent” cre-
jing “the air pollution capital of the world.” As       is a “conflict between economic growth and envi-       dentials. According to Covert Action, some of
reported by the Guardian of London:                     ronmental protection.” (International Herald Tri-      H&K’s past campaigns include making “sure
   “Satellite data...revealed that the city is one of   bune, Aug. 21) He blames China’s environmental         gasoline taxes were kept low for the American
the worst environmental victims of China’s spec-        disasters on the corruption of local and regional      Petroleum Institute,” handling “critics of Three
tacular economic growth, which has brought              officials who refuse to comply with environmen-        Mile Island’s near catastrophe,” and representing
with it air pollution levels that are blamed for        tal laws, and has promised to tighten pollution        countries known for its human rights abuses
more than 400,000 premature deaths a year.              regulations. Zhou’s and other PRC governmental         such as Turkey, Peru, Egypt and Indonesia.
   “According to the European Space Agency,             agencies have been compelled to act to save               It remains to be seen how much house cleaning
Beijing and its neighboring northeast Chinese           entire areas of their country.                         China accomplishes before the 2008 Olympics
provinces have the planet’s worst levels of nitro-         The International Herald Tribune reports            and how much, if any, the impact will be on cap-
gen dioxide, which can cause fatal damage to            that “90 percent of waterways” in China’s urban        italist profits. What is certain, however, is that
the lungs.” (Oct. 3, 2005)                              areas and “75 percent of lakes” have dangerous         the exploitation of that country’s workers and the
   With less than two years before the scheduled        levels of toxic substances, and “discharges of         degradation of its environment will continue
start of the summer games in August 2008,               sulfur dioxide from power plants and industry          until a truly socialist society exists there.




          China’s Emerging Class Struggle
                   By Jim Plant                         of China’s population.                                 a polo club, Chinese workers have to exist on the
  The social and economic contrast between                For Xia Yang, however, money is not a prob-          most meager of resources. Last summer, for
China’s burgeoning working class and its                lem. He has invested 12 million yuan (about            example, a clash occurred in the city of Dong-
emerging capitalist class grows sharper every           $1.5 million) in a stable, a clubhouse (built on his   guan between factory workers (producing toys
day, and with it grow the tensions and clashes          own land) and 26 thoroughbred horses. More-            sold by U.S. companies such as Disney, McDon-
that are evidence of a sharpening class struggle        over, he has also flown in Singapore’s national        alds, Mattel and Hasbro) and security guards
in the so-called People’s Republic.                     polo team coach to teach him and his friends the       and police. (International Herald Tribune, July
  Xia Yang is one of China’s nouveaux riche.            fine points of the game.                               28) The workers were protesting their paltry
According to the London Guardian, he is also the          Xia is one of the new breed of rich capitalists      wages and unbearable working conditions.
founder of the Beijing Sunny Times Polo Club.           who are flourishing in “communist” China, but            According to the Paris-based International
  Polo is an expensive sport to indulge in.             he declares that “Polo is not about money, it is       Herald Tribune, the workers put in 11 hours a
Among other things, it involves the keeping of          about being a gentleman.” “I really hope that one      day, six days a week for 574 yuan ($72) per
thoroughbred horses. Once known as “the sport           day I will have the opportunity to play against        month, but in many Chinese factories wage rates
of kings,” it was a favorite pastime of maharajas       Prince Charles and the Sultan of Brunei,” he           are even less. Another example was cited by the
and well-healed colonial administrators and             said. We would not be surprised if eventually he       British newspaper, the Mail on Sunday, which
military men in British India. Needless to say, it      gets his wish—certainly the three “gentlemen”          reported that workers in a plant manufacturing
is far beyond the reach of ordinary mortals, and        would feel at home in each other’s company.            Apple Computer’s iPods are paid as little as $50
certainly well beyond that of the vast majority           While Xia can comfortably invest a fortune in                         (Continued on page 7)

				
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