Sunday, December 23, 2007

Communists Must Respond to the Crises Faced by the Working Class

Brothers and Sisters,

A Communist response to the immediate crises faced by our working class is absolutely necessary. Our home is in the working class. Gus Hall, the former leader of the Communist Party U.S.A., once wrote that "our Party is a Party FOR the working class. Our Party is a working-class party." (Gus Hall, The Path to Revolution)

Communists have no interests separate and apart from the working class or the majority of the American people. But we have a special viewpoint and approach. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote that Communists are "the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others" and "'clearly understands the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement." (Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto)

Political parties are instruments which serve class interests. We need a Marxist-Leninist working-class political party--a revolutionary party dedicated to the fundamental transformation of society. V.I. Lenin wrote: "we see in the independent, uncompromisingly Marxist party of the revolutionary proletariat the sole pledge of socialism's victory and the road that is most free from vacillations." (V.I. Lenin, A Militant Agreement for the Uprising)

Our world outlook is scientific socialism, or Marxism-Leninism as it is commonly called after Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin, its foremost originators and exponents. Marxism-Leninism is the science of social change. It is revolutionary because it recognizes in the struggles of today the basis of fundamental social change. It is revolutionary because central to it is the reality that the climactic point of that change, the replacement of one social system by another, is a revolutionary act.

To be a Communist is to be firmly committed to the fight for the welfare and interests of the working class and of working people in general. It is to be selflessly devoted to the noble vision of emancipation of humankind from all exploitation and oppression, to the victory of socialism and communism. In the words of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "the Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement." (Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto)

(United Auto Workers union strike at American Axle, 2008. Photo: John Rummel for the Labor Up Front blog.)

We Communists, motivated by the elemental human needs of the international working class and our people, fight the evils of capitalist exploitation. Ours is the fate of our class and our people. The trials of their existence are ours. We strive for the improvement of their conditions of existence here and now. At the same time, we are convinced that socialism, and beyond it communism, offers the only fundamental, lasting solution to the problems of exploitation and oppression, that it opens the only door to an immeasurable improvement in the quality of people's lives. Thus the struggle for revolution is the logical continuation of the struggle for a better life.

Through immediate struggle workers organize and learn the need to battle further. They learn to understand the terms of their exploitation and the need for socialist revolution. V.I. Lenin once wrote that: "only struggle educates the exploited class. Only struggle discloses to it the magnitude of its own power, widens its horizon, enhances its abilities, clarifies its mind, forges its will." (Lenin, Lecture on 1905 Revolution) Every successful socialist revolution was carried out by the working class with experience rich in the struggles for immediate demands. A working class which did not battle for day-to-day improvements would, as Karl Marx put it, "be degraded to one level mass of broken down wretches past salvation."

For Communists the constant challenge is to relate everyday struggle to the ultimate goal, to show the relation of reform to revolutionary change. We believe there is an absolute need for a revolutionary working-class party in the ranks of workers and fighting in the immediate day-to-day struggles. Lenin said that "It is to enable the mass of a definite class to learn to understand its own interests and its position, learn to conduct its own policy, that there must be an organization of the advanced elements of the class, immediately and at all costs, even though at first these elements constitute only a tiny fraction of the class." (Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 19)

Our working class requires a Communist Party that applies Marxism-Leninism to the struggles of the workers and their allies, a party that seeks to guide that class to power. Lenin wrote that: "It (Marxism) made clear the real task of a revolutionary socialist party: not to draw up plans for refashioning society, not to preach to the capitalists and their hangers-on about improving the lot of the workers, not to hatch conspiracies, but to organize the class struggle of the proletariat and to guide this struggle, the ultimate aim of which is the conquest of political power by the proletariat and the organization of a socialist society…" (Lenin, Our Programme)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Public Ownership and Nationalization of the St. Paul Ford Plant is the Answer


Statement by the Gus Hall Action Club about the soon-to-be closing St. Paul Ford Assembly Plant.

Gus Hall, the former Communist Party presidential candidate, called for public ownership and nationalization of basic industries as a practical solution to the crises of state-monopoly capitalism. He wrote, in the 1987 book, Working Class USA, that "nationalization" is "when an industry is taken over by the government and run for the benefit of the people. The Communist Party calls for basic industries in the U.S. to be nationalized and run democratically by representatives of labor and community." (Gus Hall, Working Class USA, 1987, International Publishers)

"Our position is--make the monopoly corporations pay the tab. If the corporations say they cannot operate--which is fakery in 99% of the cases--then take the operation over. Nationalize the industry. We are for a law which states that before a corporation can move a factory it must have the agreement of the union and the community. If it disregards the wishes of the people--take the operation over." (Gus Hall, Capitalism on the Skids to Oblivion)


The scourge of plant closing across the United States has created a crisis for our working class and community. Public ownership and nationalization of the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant would guarantee working people job security.

Ford's multi-billion dollar downsizing, which has come at the cost of 30, 000 jobs nationally, cannot be allowed to attack unions and our community in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Amidst a frenzy of condominium builders and developers, the closing of the St. Paul Ford plant would come at the cost of hundreds of remaining union jobs. This is economic warfare against our working class. Ford has become rich off of the value produced by the working class. The essence of capitalist exploitation of workers is the production of surplus-value (profit). Capitalists are not interested in producing means of production and consumer goods that are useful and needed by society, but in extracting as much surplus-value as possible. In this respect, their appetites are insatiable. The buck stops here.

Ford announced that the St. Paul plant would be closing in 2008 and used this to coerce many of the United Auto Workers members to accept buyout packages. According to a recent article in the "Star Tribune," (Oct. 5, 2007) St. Paul union members said their understanding is that Ford's profit per truck has jumped from a few hundred dollars to more than $6,000 since the plant shed 900 workers through buyouts as of Jan. 1.

The real problem is the system of state-monopoly capitalism. The essence of state-monopoly capitalism is the direct union of the capitalist monopolies with the enormous power of the state.

Now, Ford will be keeping the plant open for another few years. On the other hand, the closure of the St. Paul Ford Plant in the future still looms. The closure of the St. Paul Twin Cities Assembly Plant would coss the loss of hundreds of union jobs. At this late date, there is only one way to address the issue of job security. This is through public takeover and ownership of the St. Paul Ford Plant.


Workers should not be concerned with Ford's corporate profits. Monopoly capitalists such as Ford oppose public ownership of the St. Paul Ford Plant because it would strikingly demonstrate to working people that society can get along very well without capitalists.In order to benefit the union, the working class and the community, the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant must not be torn down and it's land sold to wealthy developers and condominium builders. Ford should be taken over and nationalized--placed under public ownership. Taxpayers have subsidized Ford's manufacturing at this plant for years. There is no reason why we, the public, shouldn't own the plant and dam.

Ford CEOs have proven that they will not make any decisions based upon anything other than maximum corporate profits. Job security for auto workers is not a consideration with these monopoly capitalist CEOs. The Ford Plant should remain open, not closed, under public, not corporate, ownership. Public ownership and nationalization would mean that the Ford Plant would be taken over by the government and out of the system of corporate profits and be operated in the interests of the working class and the people. Nationalization under democratic people's control would allow unions and the community to have a voice. The St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant would be operated and controlled as public property and it would dispense with private profits and corporate executive salaries. Public ownership of the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant can be paid for by ending corporate tax loopholes and taxing the rich.

Public ownership of industry in France produced such marvels as the high-speed TGV train...and public ownership of the St. Paul Ford Plant would guarantee workers (and their families) job security.


The working people are by no means against all intervention of the state in the economy. We support such intervention as would curb the arbitrary and unlimited power of parasitical monopolies. We demand the nationalization of and public ownership of the Ford Plant. As the very life and livelihood of working people are under attack by the corporate profiteers, lawmakers have dragged their feet too long and not demanded public ownership of the St. Paul Ford Plant.

We demand a strong fight to save the Ford Plant and the jobs of those employed there.Working people can wring concessions from the capitalist state as a result of struggle.


The exploitation of wage-workers under capitalism is a means of maintaining and increasing values belonging to the capitalist, of extending and increasing the power and domination of capital. Capital is a value that produces surplus-value (profit) from the labor of the working class. Working people, deprived of ownership of the means of production, are compelled by the threat of the bony hand of hunger to sell their labor-power to the capitalists.

Every worker realizes the need to protect and improve their immediate economic interests. Ford said: "We're going to shut our doors and move our operations." The hard-working union members of United Auto Workers 879 do not deserve to be thrown onto the scrap heap by Ford's wealthy president and board of directors. In return for their many years of loyal service, Ford will be "rewarding" the workers with layoffs and threats to their security. This is a crime committed by corporate capitalist profiteers. The United Auto Workers and every working-class person has a right to be mad. Now that the union's being weakened, Ford says they're gonna stay open a few more years.

Present-day society could produce products making for a better life for all working people if only the means of production were utilized not for the sake of capitalist profit, but for the satisfaction of the requirements of all members of society. But this is only possible through private ownership of the means of production being replaced by public ownership. Public ownership and nationalization of the St. Paul Ford Plant is the answer to the crisis posed by Ford's closing of the plant. Public takeover and ownership of the St. Paul Ford Plant would guarantee job security.

The workers' class interests are not something that has been invented by some theoretician or party, they exist objectively. The class struggle of the working class proceeds in various forms--economic, political and ideological. The class struggle of the working class against the capitalist class is the driving force of development of society. The fight to save the St. Paul Ford Plant by nationalizing it and placing it under public ownership and thus saving the jobs of workers is part of the struggle to benefit our entire working class.


Public ownership and nationalization of industries is a demand that should be supported by all people who are concerned with job security in an age of plant closings. We in the Gus Hall Action Club support all progressive reforms and demands--such as public ownership of the St. Paul Ford Plant--which benefit working people. But we also believe that a fundamental and systematic change to socialism will ultimately solve the problems of state-monopoly capitalism.

With socialism, the working class captures state power in order to use its political supremacy to abolish capitalism and build socialism. The founders of Marxism-Leninism teach that what is called the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat (also called a "workers' state") is the only force capable of effecting a socialist transformation.

Unlike the revolutions of the past, the socialist revolution is not carried out to replace one form of exploiting system by another, but to abolish the exploitation of man by man. Socialism means that the vast resources of modern technique are developed and used to meet the needs of the people. The first act in the transformation of the economy is the nationalization of big capitalist industries. Socialist nationalization is one of the general, essential tasks of the socialist revolution. In socialist society, the national economy is an integral organism, directed by a single will and a planned economy. Production is not carried on for profit but to satisfy the material and cultural requirements of society.

The working class, union and community would not be threatened by Ford under socialism. Socialism puts people before profits!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

V.I. Lenin: Anarchism and Socialism

Written in 1901 by Lenin.


1. Anarchism, in the course of the 35 to 40 years (Bakunin and the International, 1866–) of its existence (and with Stirner included, in the course of many more years) has produced nothing but general platitudes against exploitation.

These phrases have been current for more than 2,000 years. What is missing is (alpha) an understanding of the causes of exploitation; (beta) an understanding of the development of society, which leads to socialism; (gamma) an understanding of the class struggle as the creative force for the realisation of socialism.

2. An understanding of the causes of exploitation. Private property as the basis of commodity economy. Social property in the means of production. In anarchism–nil.

Anarchism is bourgeois individualism in reverse. Individualism as the basis of the entire anarchist world outlook.

{Defense of petty property and petty economy on the land. Keine Majorität.[1]

Negation of the unifying and organising power of the authority.}

3. Failure to understand the development of society–the role of large-scale production–the development of capitalism into socialism.

(Anarchism is a product of despair. The psychology of the unsettled intellectual or the vagabond and not of the proletarian.)

4. Failure to understand the class struggle of the proletariat.

Absurd negation of politics in bourgeois society.

Failure to understand the role of the organisation and the education of the workers.

Panaceas consisting of one-sided, disconnected means.

5. What has anarchism, at one time dominant in the Romance countries, contributed in recent European history?

– No doctrine, revolutionary teaching, or theory.

– Fragmentation of the working-class movement.

– Complete fiasco in the experiments of the revolutionary movement (Proudhonism, 1871; Bakuninism, 1873).

– Subordination of the working class to bourgeois politics in the guise of negation of politics.


[1] No majority (i.e., the anarchists’ non-acceptance of the submission by the minority to the majority).–Ed. —Lenin

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who is Gus Hall?

One of the greatest American Communists. A working class hero. Hated by both the bourgeoisie and the revisionists. What is revisionism? "By revisionism, Lenin understood an opportunist trend alien to Marxism and socialism that existed within the revolutionary party of the working class and which, under the guise of Marxism, actually carried out a revision of the fundamental tenets of Marxist theory, replacing the basic principles of that theory by bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideas." (Right-Wing Revisionism Today, 1976, Progress Publishers, Moscow)

V.I. Lenin said that revisionism is "one of the chief, if not the chief, manifestation of bourgeois influence on the proletariat and bourgeois corruption of the workers." (Lenin, Works, Vol. 20) I warmly point out that revisionism swims with the tide of bourgeois ideology. "In scientific communism and socio-political ideas, revisionism rejects the theory of the class struggle, the opposing nature of liberalism and socialism, and the dictatorship of the proletariat." The book Right-Wing Revisionism Today points out that "the revisionism of scientific communism lies in the renunciation of the leading role of the working class and its party in the fight for socialism, of the Leninist theory of socialist revolution, of the historical necessity of proletarian dictatorship, of the basic principles of socialist democracy and the Leninist theory of the working-class party." (Right-Wing Revisionism Today, 1976, Progress Publishers, Moscow)

Gus Hall fought revisionism. Gus Hall was a major leader of the Communist Party USA until his death in 2000.

Phillip Bonosky penned that: "Gus (Hall) was always the Communist. Wake him up out of the middle of the night and he will come up a Communist. Communism was bred in his bone." (Phillip Bonosky, ’Gus Hall: A Workers Life,’ Intro to Gus Hall’s Working Class USA.)

Gus Hall wrote of opportunists in Working Class USA: "the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat is dropped, not because the words can be misused but because the concept of working class rule is objectionable to the capitalist class and those influenced by it." Gus Hall said that "a classical feature of revisionism is its rejection of the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat."(Gus Hall, Working Class USA, 1987, International Publishers)

The back cover of Gus Hall’s Power of Ideology gives a brief bio of Gus Hall.

"Gus Hall was elected general secretary of the Communist Party USA in 1959, and national chairman in 1987. He has run several times as a candidate of the Communist Party for president of the United States.

"He was born on the Iron Range of Minnesota. As a young man he worked as a laborer, lumberworker and steelworker. He was a founding organizer of the United Steel Workers of America and a leader of the Little Steel Strike in 1937. During World War II he served in the Navy in the Pacific.

"In 1927, Gus Hall joined the Communist Party. During the McCarthy period, he, along with other leaders of the Communist Party, was the victim of a cold-war political prosecution under the repressive Smith Act. He served eight years in Leavenworth prison for the crime of ’thinking.’

"Hall is the author of Working Class USA; Fighting Racism; Karl Marx: Beacon for our Times; Racism, the Nation’s Most Dangerous Pollutant; Imperialism Today; Ecology: Can We Survive Under Capitalism; The Energy Rip-Off and scores of other books, pamphlets, articles and essays. Many of these works have been translated into other languages and distributed widely." (from Gus Hall’s Power of Ideology, 1989, New Outlook Publishers)

Gus Hall passed away in the year 2000. One of his important teachings is that: "A classical feature of revisionism is its rejection of the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat." (Gus Hall, Working Class USA, 1987, International Publishers)