Sunday, August 2, 2009

Organization for Hire 1 (1985)

Workers Vanguard No. 379 (17 May 1985)

Smash Fascist Smear of SL

[Part 1]

Imagine that you open up a presumably left-wing paper and see this headline: “Fascists Lead 5,000 Black Workers to Stop Klan in Washington.” You might think you fell asleep and woke up in Alice in Wonderland. What kind of “fascists” would lead thousands of militants, drawn mainly from predominantly black unions, to stop a KKK provocation? On 27 November 1982 the Spartacist League mobilized the vanguard of the black working class to deal a big defeat to the racist terrorists who, emboldened by Reagan reaction and by the broad-daylight “Greensboro massacre” of five leftist union and civil rights activists in North Carolina, were seeking to march in the nation’s capital for the first time since 1925. Now somebody wants you to believe that the organization which led the labor-based action that stopped the Klan is “racist” and “fascist.” These characterizations of the SL appeared in the March 1 Bulletin, newspaper of the Workers League. And if the Bulletin did not print the headline we have imagined for them about November 27, it’s only because the WL rarely mentions the existence of the mobilization - the largest labor-based anti-fascist action since the 1939 anti-Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden, also led by Trotskyists-except to bait it as a “provocation.”

The WL is the sinister American incarnation of Thomas Gerard Healy (aka “Gerry”), a corrupt plebeian political adventurer who, as sort of an illegitimate stepchild of Sir James Goldsmith, Rupert Murdoch and Ian MacGregor, runs a considerably larger operation in England. The Bulletin article, ostensibly a response to our coverage of the case of Bernhard Goetz, the so-called “New York subway gunman,” claims that our articles are “explicitly racist” and establish the completion of “the evolution of the Spartacist group toward fascism.” Later it defines us as "a middle-class cult group” and expounds on our political origins in the typical Healyite style which combines deliberate slander with a bizarre paranoia. The article launched in they U.S. was picked up and reprinted by Healy’s papers in England and Australia and, in Sinhalese translation, in Sri Lanka.

Then on April 19 a new Bulletin article appeared headlined “Spartacist Opposes Anti-Apartheid Struggle,” charging us with “demoralization, cynicism and racism” and terming us "petty-bourgeois reactionaries.” Both articles carry the by-line of David North, head of the local American Workers League. The basis for Healy’s charges of Spartacist “racism” and “fascism” boils down to two things: l) that we object to the Healyites’ view that people, as opposed to the state, have no right to bear arms; 2) that we say that nothing short of proletarian revolution can win freedom for the black masses of South Africa. But what’s really going on here has little to do with Goetz or South Africa, and everything to do with the British miners strike, as we shall see.

Gerry Healy has a problem. His problem is that a lot of people just learned some things in the heat of sharp class struggle in Britain. And they saw Gerry Healy and his gang fronting for the redbaiters and union-busters, screaming for the blood of miners union leader Arthur Scargill.

The British miners strike was 12 months of class warfare in the coal fields, a militant struggle which shook Margaret Thatcher’s Britain to its foundations and pointed toward the question of which class shall rule. Confronted with the deliberate treachery of the pro-capitalist Labour Party Trades Union Congress tops who, all in the name of “unity” of course, herded scabs and isolated the miners to face Thatcher’s fury, the militant miners, winning to their side the best elements of the oppressed and exploited, held out for a year and spiked the Tories’ effort at wholesale destruction of the union.

All of the English fake-left stands pretty exposed by their gutless behavior. Flinching from the hard battle against the hated “Iron Lady,” they mostly made outright apologies for scabbing, and all espoused “unity” when what was needed was a sharp break with the TUC/ Labour tops’ stab in-the-back refusal to spread the miners strike. But even among this sorry lot, Healy’s gang was distinguished by very special treachery.

Fingerman for TUC Cold Warriors

Healy made his loathsome “contribution” to the British miners strike before the strike began, at the Trades Union Congress meeting at Blackpool in September 1983. The order of the day there was to draw the line in support of the Cold War politics of Reagan/Thatcher and to impose on the unions the policies of the TUC right wing, including operation with the Tories over anti-union legislation and conciliation toward the rightist, pro-American split from the Labour Party, the Social Democratic Party. The key task for the likes of Frank Chapple, Bill Sirs & Co. was to isolate leftist union leaders, and in particular to witchhunt (miners union head Arthur Scargill, so that this militant union should face all alone the anti-union assault that Thatcher was already preparing.

The Blackpool TUC opened by solidarizing with Reagan’s barbarous Korean Air Lines Flight 007 war provocation against the Soviet Union, which sent over 200 innocent people to their deaths. Not surprising, given that Chapple, Sirs and others of the TUC leaders are open sponsors of the CIA-backed “Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding,” mouthpiece ,in the labor movement for Thatcher’s NATO-loving line. In the midst of this carnival of the Labour rights, on the third day of the TUC, the Healyites dropped a carefully aimed bombshell: their News Line published a letter by Arthur Scargill in which he correctly castigated Polish Solidarnosc as “an anti-socialist organisation” seeking the overthrow of the Polish state. Healy had waited seven weeks to publish Scargill’s letter at the optimal moment. It was a bonanza for the Tory rags of Fleet Street and became the centerpiece of the TUC right’s wholesale red baiting attack on Scargill. The Healyites were so proud that they issued a pamphlet about their role in the anti-Scargill witchhunt.

The British miners strike – which side were you on? This is the defining question for the left in England right now. And where was Healy? - the fingerman for the most right-wing agents of British capitalism in the labor movement, at the very moment that the lines were being drawn for the biggest class battle in more than half a century. The South Yorkshire miners who reportedly canceled their order for News Line after Blackpool expressed the contempt for Healy and his whores which has certainly become generalized in the miners’ communities.

We’re Marxists, defenders of the working class. We vigorously supported the miners strike, by raising the strategy and tactics we believe were necessary to win the struggle, including by seeking where we could to spread the , strike to other unions (our supporter Patrick Sliney was tacked because he fought for active solidarity by his own union). American Spartacists, through the Partisan Defense Committee, raised over 620,000 for the British miners from American workers, against the active opposition of the AFL-CIO tops who refused to lift one little finger for a militant British union which is led by “reds" like Scargill. We have our criticisms of the miners’ leadership; indeed neither we nor Scargill have been quiet bout our differences, but over this crucial class battle there as a unity of action, albeit a very lopsided one. And Scargill ran the miners strike about as well as any labourite bureaucrat could-that is, showing the limitations and underlying weakness of the best-intentioned “Labour left” reformist.

Meanwhile, some of the best elements among the miners have started paying attention to the Spartacist League of Britain. They think the Spartacists had the right strategy to win the miners’ struggle: pull in a couple of the other key unions to “shut down the country.” Alone among the British left papers, our Workers Hammer told the truth: the need for a fighting workers leadership not afraid to confront the capitalist state in a struggle which poses the question of class power; the essential role of a revolutionary party forged by splitting the militant ranks of labor from the traitorous tops, uniting the vanguard fighters on behalf of all the oppressed of capitalism. That’s why slandering the Spartacists has suddenly become urgent business for the Healy gang once again. England is Healy’s home base, and he even used to aspire to a following among the miners. So the American Healyites in their remote bunker got their orders to do a smear job on the Sparts.

The opportunist British left, and Healy the counterfeit leftist, are eager for the working people to forget the lessons of the hard-fought strike, which was a profound exposure of the slavish Labour “leadership.” The social consciousness of the miners was altered as they found that the specially oppressed, from blacks and Asians to homosexuals, were a solid base of outside support for the strike. The miners got a concentrated education in the nature of the bosses’ state and the cops. And they learned about Healy. In the normal course of things, lessons pretty quickly become eroded or submerged in defeat, as political life flows back into the usual channels – i.e., the reformist channels of the Labour Party. But the miners union has a long memory, and it’s our job to see that the lessons of this struggle are not forgotten. Of course all the “left wing” fakers have a stake in the idea that most betrayals should be forgotten, forgiven, accepted as “necessary” or inevitable. But for Healy it as a priciple that there must be no memory in political life. The determination to glory in lies, to wage war on consciousness, is perhaps the most consistent feature of Healy's loathsome political career.

Healyites: An Organization for Hire

When we first encountered the Healyites many years ago, they had begun espousing orthodox, anti-revisionist Trotskyism. (Indeed they still try to do so when it suits them, except that they come close to posing Trotsky as Stalin’s agent - a fairly unique paranoid delusion.) But they do not have inherent politics of their own nor have they had any for a long time. For nearly two decades, they have done their best to be simply an organization for hire.

Healy’s appetites came to fruition when the Healy gang became the most unashamed devotees of assorted gangs of Near East murderers, vicious reactionary militarist regimes like Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Islamic fanatics in Libya. The Healyites have been among the world’s most fulsome supporters of the ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, the most grotesque champions of the “unity” of Arafat’s PLO. In 1979 they explicitly justified the Iraqi Ba’ath regime’s execution of 21 members of the Stalinist Communist Party, historically the leadership of the militant, strategic oil workers. Healy’s embrace of these murderous capitalist regimes was prepared by years of cynical adulation of the so-called “Arab Revolution,” a classless and entirely disembodied notion whose function is to permit those who are so inclined to justify anything in the name of “anti-imperialism.” But more than ideology is involved in Healy’s posture; the deal was consummated with something a lot more solid than the collected works of Colonel Qaddafi. Healy’s embrace of Qaddafi coincided with the reappearance of a Healyite daily paper, News Line, in England two months after his previous daily, Workers Press, had folded.

Hence the Healyites, as corrupt press agents for some of the world’s most unappetizing capitalist regimes, are hardly acting as a part of the workers movement. But then they have always been distinguished by an incredible programmatic instability and a cynicism which boggles the mind, as well as a penchant for physical gangsterism against dissident members and political opponents. They are characterized by slavish Labourite reformism, which in the U.S. is expressed in the most grotesque catering to the white labor aristocracy, at the same time as they seek to appeal to restless youth with the most ultra-“revolutionary,” not to say bloodthirsty, rhetoric. The Healyites are a professional cheering section for Third World nationalism and worse, at the same time as they are marked closer to home by the most cringing legalism. Out of this dichotomy comes the attachment to frenzied slander and violence and the insistence that nobody should remember what was written yesterday and the day before.

From their earliest days the American Healyites have been on the market for an influential patron to sell themselves to. When they’re not practicing the world’s oldest profession on behalf of Near Eastern despots, they are sucking up to the labor bureaucrats at home. In 1967, at the very moment when millions of youth were being radicalized by the imperialist war against Vietnam and the movement for black freedom, the Bulletin put forward a program for a “labor party” that only George Meany could love. Meany, who headed the AFL-CIO at the time, was part of the Cold War labor “leadership” installed after the American labor movement was beheaded by the anti-“red” purges which drove out the communists and militants after World War II. Meany & Co. supported U.S. imperialism’s war against Vietnam even after most capitalist politicians had given it up as a losing cause.

Take a look at the WL’s five-point “labor party” program, which we reproduce [on page 34] from the Bulletin’s front page. For the WL, the war and black people just didn’t exist. A program for labor? This was a program for the bureaucratic fat-cats whose conservative, openly racist and pro-government line makes the AFL-CIO a bastion of sellouts at home and a witting cover for the CIA’s anti-labor machinations all over the world. Now almost 20 years later, George Meany himself couldn’t have done a better job than Healy did at Blackpool to spearhead the Cold War witchhunt of Scargill to facilitate “Iron Lady” Thatcher’s union-busting.

Catering to the labor bureaucracy means mimicking every aspect of racial insensitivity and political backwardness. And so the WL displays a recurring fondness for cops and prison guards as an alleged part of the labor movement; in 1971 the Bulletin’s approving front-page article on a bonapartist “strike” by New York cops was headlined “New York Labor Explodes.”

An undated Bulletin supplement issued in about March of this year perfectly illustrates this profile. The supplement is by Ed Winn, a Black transit worker identified as the “Workers League candidate for President of the United States in the 1984 elections.” Addressed to the members of the New York transit workers union - a strategic union with a militant history and a high proportion of black, Spanish-speaking and immigrant workers - the supplement runs two full pages of newsprint, mainly on the upcoming transit contract and the perennial WL call for a “Congress of Labor,” without ever mentioning one single word about black people in any connection. What kind of program for city labor can exclude the central necessity of a labor-led fight against racist oppression, against cop brutality, against killer cutbacks, against the resurgent racist reaction of Reagan's America? The WL calls for ... a Labor Party, obviously one that won't mention blacks even when addressing a largely black union which ought to be the powerful fist behind the demands of the impoverished ghetto masses. Even where the WL suggests as its own eventual goals “a workers government,” “socialist policies, “revolutionary struggle” etc... there is clearly no place in such “policies” for black struggle and no hint that socialists are committed to utterly smashing racism as a vital necessity to win the communist road to human freedom.

This is all of a piece with the Bulletin headline “Black Caucuses Are Reactionary,” the constant sneering at women’s liberation which perfectly reflects the Healyites’ consistent hostility to all questions of fighting special oppression.

But at the same time that the Healyites are sucking up to the labor aristocracy, they’re also working the other side of the street (or you could say that they’re crippled on two legs). To obtain a “base,” they spout a lot of militant rhetoric intended to appeal to restless, alienated unemployed young people. This provides a pool of semi-lumpenized kids to serve as cannon fodder under the direction of a totally cynical and corrupt cadre. The emphasis on youth also has another advantage: it’s important to Healy that nobody know what he said yesterday, and kids are good for that.

But this system, transplanted into the U.S. by the Workers League, has a problem which is reflected in the exaggeratedly schizophrenic profile apparent in every issue of the Bulletin. In England, the Iumpen youth and the working class are mainly of the same ethnicity. The 16 year-old white kid that joins Healy’s Young Socialists out of desperation at the conditions of life under decrepit British capitalism normally partakes of the same general outlook as his older brother - he is aware that there is a working class and a capitalist class and sees the Labour Party as immutably the vehicle for protecting working class interests, however impatient he may be with the old men who run it. He can enjoy the endless youth marches and the revolutionary rhetoric in the spirit in which they are intended: as pressure tactics in the framework of the tired old reformist perspective toward the Labour Party, “make the Lefts fight.”

In America, the counterpart to these unemployed white youth are a lot harder to handle. They are mainly black and, under the American conditions of negligible class consciousness in the whole working class, they can by no means be presumed to be pro-union, and will not be kept In line by the exciting prospect of a labor party, particularly the pro-cop, anti-black “labor party” favored by the WL – so the Healyites have some problems as they run around depressed inner cities like Detroit seeking a base by posing as defenders of black folk and “racist”-baiting anyone who intrudes on their turf.

Not all their problems are political, either. The schema worked out by Healy for the English social reality and loyally applied by the WL here has had some unexpected consequences. As you may know, every issue of the Bulletin since October 1977 has carried a front-page call: “Investigate the Murder of Tom Henehan.” From the facts as the WL presents them, we have to assume that Henehan, a Healyite cadre who was on duty at a WL dance when he was shot, was probably just applying the normal Healyite techniques of cajoling and strong-arming kids looking for a good time, in order to get them onto the buses for a conference somewhere, or into a contingent for a youth march, or into a dance hall for a Healyite festivity, and then to keep them there. Only this time, unfortunately for Tom Henehan, some of the kids the WL was manhandling evidently had big brothers. Of course this rather simple explanation is far from sufficient for the WL, which insists that the two men who were convicted of shooting Henehan were paid political assassins, and insinuates they were working for the Socialist Workers Party, laying heavy stress on “the role of confessed FBI informant Edward Heisler within the leadership of the SWP during the months that the assassination of Tom Henehan was prepared....” Healy uses his paranoia as a kind of justification for fleeing Trotsky’s revolutionary Marxism, coupling it with an ever so abstract and arid manipulation of a mystified “dialectics” where only Gerry gets to know which “opposites to hold fast to.”

Anti-Trotskyist Slander Machine

The Henehan affair is part of a multi-year slander campaign which the Healyites call “Security and the Fourth International,” aimed at the SWP, now a reformist shell but formerly the Trotskyist party in this country. Healy’s chief target is veteran SW P leader Joseph Hansen, who died in 1979. Hansen presided as “theoretician” over the SWP’s reformist degeneration in the 1960s. Running the SWP at the time was Farrell Dobbs, with present SWP head Jack Barnes (not, as WV readers know, one of our favorite people) waiting in the wings. Healy, in successive waves of escalating wild slanders, posited that Hansen was a long-standing agent of the FBI and of the Russian secret police as well. Healy claims that Hansen had, as part of Leon Trotsky’s entourage in Mexico, set up Trotsky’s assassination by the Stalinist GPU. Thereby Healy echoes the discredited Stalinist lie that Trotsky was killed by his “own people.” And from the claim that Hansen was an operative of the Stalinist and capitalist secret police, it’s a short half-step from Hansen to Cannon to Trotsky.

A dozen years ago the SWP, even as a fully reformist party with no programmatic attachment to Trotskyism, was interested in and capable of defending its veteran comrades. For our part, the Spartacist League, in addition to signing the SWP's united front defense statement, campaigned vigorously against Healy's lies with our own demonstrations and articles raising slogans like “Who Gave Healy His Security Clearance?” and “Joseph Hansen Is an Honest Revisionist.”

With the death of Hansen and the accelerated purges by Barnes of virtually every element of organizational and human continuity with the old SWP, Barnes' party became unwilling or totally unable to defend the name of the old Fourth International against the Healyite slander machine. A couple of years ago the American Healyites brought suit in federal court against the SWP for having expelled one Alan Gelfand. Thus they invoked the U.S. government as arbiter, supposedly to return the SWP to the revolutionary road! Legally Gelfand’s case centered on demanding that the U.S. court should intervene in the running of voluntary organizations of the left and determine who is and who isn't a member. Propagandistically the suit - charging the SWP was FBI-controlled through the SWP leadership - was a vehicle for re-raising the ludicrous slanders against Hansen. But the SWP shamefully ducked the whole issue of Hansen as a supposed accomplice to the Trotsky murder, while keeping the very existence of Gelfand’s outrageous challenge to workers organizations' rights secret from the public as long as possible.

Healy Loves the Law

Taking workers organizations to the capitalist courts is a hallmark of Healyism. For at the same time that the Healyites are violent, they’re very legalistic, and indeed Healy just loves the law. In 1966 the Healyites strong-armed Ernie Tate, an SWP supporter, when he was trying to sell literature on the sidewalk outside a Healyite political dent in London, then brought charges against him in court. In 1981 the British Healyites’ Vanessa Redgrave brought a libel suit against Socialist Organiser editor Sean Matgamna after Matgamna published an expose of these political bandits. (Interestingly, Redgrave’s suit conspicuously chose not to contest Matgamna’s allegation that Healy & Co. have received material aid from Qaddafi’s Libya.)

Healy’s love for the law brings us straight back to the Goetz case. For the Healyites’ basic thrust on the Goetz case is, simply, that only duly constituted authority should carry guns. All the cheerleading for “revolution” abroad notwithstanding, nobody beats Healy for legalism close to home.

Last December 22 a skinny white guy, Bernhard Goetz, shot four young black men during an apparent shakedown on the IRT subway, and the case of the “subway vigilante” began. We have written about the Goetz case, a fable of our time, illuminating the desperately sharply posed conditions of life in Reagan's America. It's an ambiguous situation, and we said so.

What the Healyites have to say about our approach to the Goetz case bears, as might be expected, little relationship to reality. Thus:
However, there is another newspaper that has joined [Post publisher Rupert]Murdoch in the adulation of this fascist psychotic - the so-called Workers Vanguard published by the political sect known as 'Spartacist.' It has devotedtwo lengthy articles supporting Goetz's shooting of the four black youth in terms that are explicitly racist... This article clearly establishes the evolution of the Spartacist group toward fascism, completing the process of political putrefaction which will come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the history of this group.”
The Bulletin goes on to define us as “a middle-class cult group set up around the person of James L. Robertson,” who, it says, has functioned since the early 1960s “as a behind the scenes operator for [you guessed it] the FBI agent then leading the SWP, the late Joseph Hansen.”

Probably the Healyites are counting on the indisputable shock value of the Goetz affair itself for the distant reader. Even many Americans, if they aren’t vividly aware of the New York subways, will just be put off by the idea of people shooting people. Middle-class Britishers who think their own cops never carry guns are probably utterly bewildered by the American social reality. It’s hard for them to know what it means to be approached by four young black strangers in the IRT (the South African legal code, perhaps derived from the British, has a precise phrase for what New Yorkers know as a shakedown: “demanding with menaces”). English readers might consider how it feels to walk into a railroad car full of crazed soccer fans. Or try walking down Shankhill Road at high noon wearing a crucifix. Brother, your ass is grass. What is “racist” about saying, as the Healyites quote from Workers Vanguard, “Marauding by black youths on the NYC subways is a mass phenomenon”? That is a fact, which black people are especially aware of, because they are the most frequent victims.

To convey a sense of the American social reality, more specifically the violence that racism and desperation breed, in our original articles on Goetz we quoted from Manchild in the Promised Land, a work by a black writer which is eloquent and prcise on the subject of lumpen crime. This time, in deference to the WL's ultra-philistinism, we will put literary sources aside and simply quote in full a title story from the New York Times:
A group of four teenagers robbed three men on the IRT No. 2 elevated subway line in the Bronx early yesterday, stabbing two victims and beating the third, the police said.
“Two of the victims, from the Bronx, wre asleep when the gang attacked them, according to a spokesman for the transit police, Edward Silberfarb.
“The first incident occurred at 2 A.M. when Joseph Lee, 33 years old, was attacked by the group on a southbound train entering the Gun Hill Road station. He told police he had been punched, kicked and robbed of $20. He was treated at Jacobi Hospital for minor injuries.
“An hour later, the youths chased Warren Kendrew, 30, from the 219th Street platform, stabbed him and took his wallet with $15, Mr. Silberfarb said.
“Then the youths assaulted Carl Thorpe, 39, on a northbound train. He told the police that a youth had cut his right leg with a knife and that the gang had stolen his wallet with $70.
“Mr. Kendrew and Mr. Thorpe were listed in serious condition at Misericordia Hospital.”

- New York Times, 20 April
The Times, by neglecting to mention the race of either the four assailants or their three victims, will have made it impossible for the WL to evaluate the above incident. To us, it makes no difference whether these were black youth attacking whites, white youth mugging blacks, Puerto Rican youth mugging whites and blacks, or any other variant. Nobody, oppressed or not, has a license to prey opon the people. Kids with no jobs and no prospects want to eat potato chips and look at TV like everyone else, so they need money, but it's still pretty terrifying when they get it by mugging you on the subways.

The Goetz case is contradictory, and so is the outcry it has produced. It is being used simultaneously to whip up racist “backlash” sentiment and to push gun control. Central to everything we have written on Goetz is the understanding that in this violent racist country there is a huge congruence between the fear of lumpen crime and racism, and thus vigilantism necessarily acquires a fascistic political coloration. But we have also pointed out the desperation of hostile, mutually terrorized populations in the big cities, who know the capitalist “justice” system “isn’t working.” So a lot of working people - and when we say “working people” we, unlike the Healyites, don’t just mean white working people - initially responded to the Goetz case by observing that people might be better behaved if they were reminded that the skinny white guy with glasses, the black grandfather sitting next to him or the Hispanic mother across the aisle might just be “packing” a gun. This response was particularly marked among black people.

Integral to this widespread attitude is fear, and not just the often justified fear of random, casual crimes of violence by lumpen youth with little to lose, but also the eminently sensible fear of the cops. Nobody thinks the cops – being too busy sitting around getting drunk when they are not out dealing drugs or choking black kids to death – will protect them. Particularly in the social matrix of New York City, a cop is: 1) a psycho, 2) a racist and 3) not too fond of the big boys who really are on top. (Of course, the Healyites don’t share this view, instead embracing the cops as a purported part of the union movement.) The real problem in New York today isn’t one “subway vigilante” but the systematic police torture and murder of dark-skinned people, a daily occurrence in today’s “fear city.” Seeking to hide this fact, the WL puts itself right up there with [New York mayor] Ed Koch in alibiing cop terror against the working people.

Meanwhile, the reformist groups in this country, who are at bottom mainly just guilty liberals, don’t dare touch the explosively interlocked questions of crime and race. They must therefore paper over the contradictions of the Goetz case with simplifying mythology. Here the WL is absolutely indistinguishable from the common variety of reformist leftists (though as we have said, they are far from being merely this). Thus, for the Bulletin Goetz is simply a “fascist.” The Communist Party, similarly, has suggested that Goetz was some kind of German, in other words a Nazi. (Indeed, Goetz was some kind of German – his mother was a German Jew who fled Germany.) The reformist press symmetrically presents the black kids (who already had criminal records) as if they were on their way to a church social. The recourse in simplifying invention is the tip-off that they’re hiding something.

They’re hiding how hard it is in this country. The masses are being attacked in every imaginable way by a vicious Reaganite bourgeoisie on top while being eaten from below by despairing lumpen youth. And these moods do tend to a polarization - ultimately, fascism or workers revolution. And the reformists are in the business of pretending that things will get all better if only we bring back the capitalist Democratic Party (in Britain, the sellout Labour Party). For there to be any illusion of reasonableness to this “solution,” it is necessary to minimize the problem. If things were not so raw, if racism were not so integral to the fabric of capitalism, if injustice and oppression were not fundmentally rooted in the social order, indeed we wouldn't be for socialist revolution, a cataclysmic historical event frequently accompanied by very bloody savagery from the ruling class, and it's not just the ruling class of South Africa that we’re talking about.