Friday, September 7, 2012

Revisionism, racism, and anti-labor "progressivism"

Reposted from:

November 18, 2007

Friends and comrades,

I got another e-mail from Alan Maki today.
I won't print that e-mail here but you can read it for yourself on his blog. I think Alan's blog points out one of the most important problems in progressive circles today--- the failure to confront racist, anti-woman, anti-youth, anti-labor bias and bigotry:
I would encourage everyone to read Alan's blog. Alan raises an important issue. I think we need to probe more deeply into this issue.
Alan touches on an important issue I think needs to be expanded on: Revisionism in our Party, the Communist Party USA, and how this revisionism undermines the struggles against racism and sexism and the struggle for labor rights and for the rights of young workers.
I don't think it is coincidental Alan has pointed out that Sam Webb stands in silence on this issue involving casino workers along with those he views as his "coalition partners." These "coalition partners" Webb has referred to are the upper echelons of organized labor and the business interests dominant in the Democratic Party.
I had been a big supporter of Dennis Kucinich until I heard Alan speak to this issue a few weeks ago at our union meeting. Alan was asked by the president of our local why he made disparaging remarks about Kucinich and refused to join the ranks of progressives in supporting Kucinich. His answer was pretty much what he has written in his blog interspersed with a personal experience concerning the struggle to achieve integration in the public schools another issue Webb remained silent on until the United States Supreme Court came down with its recent adverse ruling. Webb never brought our Party into struggle to try and stop the United States Supreme Court from making this terrible ruling that undermines years of struggles for civil rights including our Party's very distinguished and honorable role in this struggle against racism for human rights.
You see there is a pattern that has developed here.
The "pattern" is one created by revisionism.
The pattern involves refusing to engage in struggles at a time when this engagement can determine the outcome over an issue. Webb comments solely on regressive and reactionary things once these decisions have been made. Making him sound like the most revolutionary of voices in denouncing these things. The problem is the denouncements take place after-the-fact not in time to organize united struggles.
The recent auto negotiations provide a classic example of this. We didn't hear from Webb about the auto negotiations until his "Report" to the National Committee of our Party was posted on the CPUSA Web site after it had all become "a done deal." Alan has impressed this "done deal" malarchy aspect of revisionism on us I think. Sam Webb and Scott Marshall proclaimed auto an important component of what our Party sees as key to industrial concentration. Both Sam Webb and Scott Marshal went on vacations when they should have been working to bring the issues forward in the months leading into the negotiating process. These were the key months when our Party's initiative and activity was needed and this involvement and activity never materialized.
Back to the casino issues.
Among the primary weaknesses of organized labor preventing organizing the unorganized has been the complete and universal failure of the labor movement to address: anti-communism, racism, sexism, and the rights of young workers and their specific problems.
The rights of young workers and their specific problems.
This is a biggie here folks so pay attention to this. One of the first jobs working people will have today as they enter the labor market is working in casinos. Does it bode well for organized labor or those engaged in "progressive" politics to remain silent as these young workers are forced to, as Alan Maki has been almost alone in publicly pointing out, that they go to work in these smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws.
Not only has Alan Maki been the foremost advocate of the rights of casino workers he just about "owns" this issue with a copyright stamped on it.
As everyone knows Alan Maki has been under constant attack from Sam Webb who fronts for the Democratic Party like the Indian Tribes front for organized crime with these casinos. Not coincidentally the issues are so related they can't be separated. Webb refuses to address these issues of casino workers as the problems they are in the labor movement and the Democratic Party. Not once has he addressed these issues because he does not want to offend his "coalition partners."
You can read Sam Webb's vicious attacks without any substance to back up the malicious accusations against Alan Maki. I find Alan Maki to be one of the most principled and articulate voices in the working class movement and on the left today:
How does this attack by Sam Webb on Alan Maki stand up in reality when Alan Maki's very public, transparent and open activity on an entire range of issues including defending the rights of casino workers is examined? Webb, forgive my French here, but Webb comes out looking and smelling like a complete asshole. No wonder Alan has made fun of Webb and encouraged Webb to circulate his attack widely.
Sam Webb has never addressed the problems of casino workers. Alan Maki is actively engaged working on this issue in a way most of us have never seen a union organizing drive conducted. A rank and file organizing effort without precedent since the 1930's before most of us were born.
We have one of these casinos right here in Duluth. Several of my friends work in this casino. What they tell me about the way they get treated is terrible. They also tell me Alan Maki is viewed by casino workers as a folk hero of sorts. How do casino workers view Sam Webb? Chances are they have never met him and don't even know his name.
Sam Webb's manner in using the Young Communist League blog for his viciously racist and anti-labor attack on Alan Maki really underlines how corrupting an influence revisionism has become in our Party that the head of the Communist Party USA would be involved in attacking a leader of the labor movement in the midst of an important union organizing campaign.
The attack on Alan Maki posted on the YCL blog really demonstrates how revisionism blinds us to the real issues. Alan Maki doesn't care about what Sam Webb or these revisionists say about him anymore than what he cares about what leaders of the Minnesota and Michigan Democratic Parties have to say about him. Why should he? If these kinds of insults could be intimidating factors it wouldn't make him much of an advocate for the rights of casino workers.
If Alan doesn't care, there is ample reason why the rest of us sould care about Sam Webb's vicious attacks on Alan Maki because others are now Webb's target, too- for many of the same reasons- including myself. Most of the members of the Communist Party USA in Minnesota and Michigan have sided with Alan Maki in this struggle against revisionism. One writer suggests that revisionism already has our Party on the road to liquidation. A charge I agree with completely observing the destruction of the Communist Party here in Minnesota. Because of Webb's longstanding feud with Alan Maki it is difficult trying to convince many working people to work with us now. I would point out that Alan Maki has been the voice of the Communist Party on just about every issue of importance to working people. He took up the struggle against home foreclosures long before any politician would acknowledge the issue. He was out fighting to prevent this dirty war from starting as he traveled to every corner of this state and was attacked by every right-wing, warmongering creep around. Alan Maki stood up and organized the opposition to peat mining in the Big Bog and he stood up to United States Steel's intent to continue polluting the waters of northern Minnesota.
I ask a very simple question: Where has Sam Webb and his revisionist friends been through all of this? Nary any sight of them. They wouldn't even step forward as those working in the iron ore mines and taconite industry were faced with the threat from Cleveland Cliffs to bring in scabs! Alan went onto Cleveland Cliff's property risking arrest to photograph the mobile homes Cleveland Cliffs brought in to house the scabs exposing this to the world. Now they decry, "The Minnesota Problem." "he Minnesota Problem.""The Minnesota Problem" is a problem of revisionism and betrayal of the working class by Sam Webb who pretended to be working in league with Gus Hall then like a Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell he trashed Hall's books after he died... what Webb didn't sell off through liquidations for pennies he tossed into the dumpster. Again, who brought this issue forward for all of us to hear about? Alan Maki. Not a peep of protest from these perverted leaders of the Young Communist League. As far as I can see they are as perverted in their personal lifestyles which dictate their political morals as they are in their thinking.
Consider this:
The main victims of racist discrimination in the casino industry are young workers of color. Many are young women workers. Like my friends who work in the Fond-Du-Luth Casino here in Duluth, Minnesota many are young Native American single mothers having a very difficult time making ends meet even as they work fourteen and sixteen hour days. I used to have to put in these kinds of hours myself as a single-mom trying to care for my five children as they were growing... let me assure Webb this kind of life is no picnic and the heck if I am going to stand for Webb using these kinds of conditions as something less than a footnote in his report to the National Committee. Webb told some big-business publication he has problems purchasing pajamas for his daughter. We are talking about working people not being able to afford to feed their kids who don't even know what it is like to wear a pajamas which weren't purchased from a rummage sale. Let Webb and his daughters go to work in one of these casinos. Better yet, let Webb's daughters ship off to Iraq since he thinks its alright for congress to keep funding this war as the Democrats use this war to play their little games. I have never heard of a Communist Party leader siding with the voices of business and imperialism the way Webb does.
Keep in mind Sam Webb attacks Alan Maki using the Young Communist League's blog not the CPUSA web site. I think we need to ask why?
This blog of the Young Communist League has never addressed the issues of casino workers! Many of whom are young workers! Many of these casino workers are young women workers. Many have small babies. Most of these young workers are working for the first time in their lives. This is their first experience working in the real world. This is their first experience with human exploitation. What an experience it is!
Young workers:
    Working in smoke-filled casinos
    Working without any rights
    Not a mention of this by Communist Party USA Chair Sam Webb or the leaders of the YCL.
As Communists we should all be hanging our heads in embarrassment such a creep heads up our Party.
In his revisionist outlook of the world Webb talks about "the old stage" and "the new stage" of the class struggle when working people are fighting to keep their heads above water and a roof over their heads under the same old rotten capitalist system that is just as rotten at any stage.
Alan Maki was fighting for peace and social justice and was helping to found the Young Workers Liberation League paving the way for the creation of the Young Communist League when Sam Webb was out partying at St. Francis Xavier University as people were having cluster bombs dropped on them and being napalmed in Vietnam.
In fact, by his own admission, Sam Webb was hiding out from the draft behind getting a university education in Canada. You call this a "Communist leader?"
Alan Maki stood up to the war machine of Richard Nixon when he was drafted to fight what Gus Hall called, "this dirty imperialist war."
If Webb's attack on Alan Maki isn't the pinnacle of typical perverted, cowardly revisionism, I don't know what is.
Webb represents the embodiment of a hypocritical racist and bigot parading around under the guise of being progressive. Webb certainly is no Communist.
Alan Maki is too nice of a guy to say these things as they need to be said.
Sam Webb is referring to me as "that bitch from Duluth."
I am just a "bitch" with two sons the military recruiters are constantly pestering to join their mercenary army. A mother with three children who can't find jobs and two children still in school. I am going to say what is on my mind I don't give a darn who cares. I certainly don't care what a revisionist puke like Sam Webb has to say about me.
In Peace, Love and Solidarity-
Rita (the bitch from Duluth)

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