Friday, December 17, 2010

This is from an interesting interview Playboy magazine did with Saul Alinsky...

Alinsky had his own take on things a lot of people wouldn't agree with; others do. He obviously had a big influence in the left movement.

[It's a long ten part interview but really very interesting.]

PLAYBOY: What was your own relationship with the Communist Party? 

ALINSKY: I knew plenty of Communists in those days, and I worked with them on a number of projects. Back in the Thirties, the Communists did a hell of a lot of good work; they were in the vanguard of the labor movement and they played an important role in aiding blacks and Okies and Southern sharecroppers. Anybody who tells you he was active in progressive causes in those days and never worked with the Reds is a goddamn liar. Their platform stood for all the right things, and unlike many liberals, they were willing to put their bodies on the line. Without the Communists, for example, I doubt the C.I.O. could have won all the battles it did. I was also sympathetic to Russia in those days, not because I admired Stalin or the Soviet system but because it seemed to be the only country willing to stand up to Hitler. I was in charge of a big part of fund raising for the International Brigade and in that capacity I worked in close alliance with the Communist Party. 

When the Nazi-Soviet Pact came, though, and I refused to toe the party line and urged support for England and for American intervention in the war, the party turned on me tooth and nail. Chicago Reds plastered the Back of the Yards with big posters featuring a caricature of me with a snarling, slavering fanged mouth and wild eyes, labeled, "This is the face of a warmonger." But there were too many Poles, Czechs, Lithuanians and Latvians in the area for that tactic to go over very well. Actually, the greatest weakness of the party was its slavish parroting of the Moscow line. It could have been much more effective if it had adopted a relatively independent stance, like the western European parties do today. But all in all, and despite my own fights with them, I think the Communists of the Thirties deserve a lot of credit for the struggles they led or participated in. Today the party is just a shadow of the past, but in the Depiession it was a positive force for social change. A lot of its leaders and organizers were jerks, of course, but objectively the party in those days was on the right side and did considerable good.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good article for discussion: Cuba bows to pressure to reform its economy

Cuba bows to pressure to reform its economy

By Marc Frank in Havana

Financial Times
December 13 2010

Rising debt charges are forcing Cuba to reshape its Soviet-
style economy, with leading creditor China among those
cheering on the changes.

A Cuban Communist party congress, scheduled for April, will
discuss and likely ratify policies that are already starting
to be implemented. These include cutting 20 per cent of state
workers, cutting social benefits, eliminating state
subsidies, improving Cuba's trade balance and liberalising
rules for small business and foreign investment.

ChartCuba, which is the subject of a strict US embargo and is
excluded from most international lending organisations,
depends on China as a creditor of last resort. Its proposed
reforms are remarkably similar to those typically required
under International Monetary Fund bail-outs - although
privatisation of state assets is not on the agenda.

In a recent closed-door meeting of 500 senior officials
chaired by Raúl Castro, president, Cuba's economy minister,
Marino Murillo, reportedly stated that mounting debt and the
need for fresh credit had left the government no choice but
to put its economic house in order.

A video of the November meeting, called to discuss plans for
next year's congress, is making the rounds of Havana's elite.
Cuba faces rising principal and service charges over the next
five years and simply does not have the money to meet them,
Mr Murillo, reportedly said on the video.

Cuba last reported its foreign debt at $17.8bn in 2007. Most
analysts agree it now exceeds $21bn, or close to 50 per cent
of gross domestic product and 30 per cent more than annual
foreign exchange revenues. Many creditors have tired of
Cuba's debt reschedulings. China is a relatively new member
of Cuba's creditor club, having provided billions in loans
over recent years. But it is now Havana's biggest creditor
and second largest trading partner, after Venezuela.

According to a number of people familiar with the video, Mr
Murillo specifically talks about the need to repay China on
time. Plans to develop oil refineries, ports, railways, the
nickel industry and power generation will require billions in
fresh credit.

Mr Castro's point man for economic reform reportedly argues
in the video that state-run companies should be freed from
government administration and defends plans to shift hundreds
of thousands of workers to 'non-state' jobs such as small
businesses, farms and co-operatives.

'Mixed-capital companies, co-operatives, farmers with the
right to use idle land, rented property landlords, self-
employed workers and other forms that contribute to raise the
efficiency of social labour must be recognised and
encouraged,' adds a 32-page discussion document prepared for
the congress, which will set out Cuba's social and economic
policies through 2015.

Cuba is counting on China and Venezuela to provide fresh
development credit. Some of its debts to Beijing will be
backed by Venezuelan oil as collateral. A diplomatic cable,
released by WikiLeaks last week, describes a US diplomat's
breakfast meeting with the commercial attachés from Cuba's
biggest trade partners. 'Even China admitted to having
problems with getting paid on time,' the cable reported.
'[Officials from] France and Canada responded with ‘welcome
to the club'.'

According to Asian diplomats in Havana, Chinese and even
Vietnamese officials have repeatedly 'suggested' Cuba
modernise and offered their assistance. Discussion documents
for next year's congress, the Murillo video and government
statements all indicate that Havana may finally be heeding
their advice.

Fidel Castro, former president, recently praised China's
'rectifications' and told university students: 'China is
worth studying.'

'Cuba is prepared to take advantage of China's experience in
developing reform and opening up,' Ricardo Alarcón, a long-
time politburo member, added while visiting China last month.
Such words will surely be welcomed in Beijing as it ponders
further loosening its purse strings.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Elect Frank Komarniski... Vote Communist! On Monday, November 29, 2010

Campaign message no. 2
Communist Party campaign in Winnipeg North

Dear Friends, Sisters and Brothers,

We need help to deliver the campaign leaflet to thousands of doors in Winnipeg North! If you can spare a few hours in the next week, give us a call at 586-7824 or reply by email.
The leaflet is attached to this email (pdf format); the text is below.

We are proud to nominate Frank and are campaigning to elect a worker to Parliament.

Darrell Rankin
Manitoba office, Communist Party of Canada

* * * * *

Put People
before profit!
On Monday, November 29,Elect Frank Komarniski
Vote Communist!
Main issues in Winnipeg North:  Friendly to families. Unfriendly to crime.
1. Create good-paying jobs
End the waste and fear of unemployment. We need jobs for everyone able to work, creating more resources for new universal social programs. How: A 32-hour work week with no loss in pay, lower the pension age to 60, more paid vacations, massive public works spending on housing and child-care centres and to curb carbon emissions.

2. Guarantee fair access to educationEducation should be free and accessible. Increase federal funding for universities and colleges and build highly-subsidized housing for out-of-town students. Ban federal equalization payments to Manitoba or any other province if they increase tuition fees. End the Harper government’s racist under-funding of post-secondary education for Aboriginal students.

3. End the war in AfghanistanGet Canada out of this unjust war launched without the legal authority of the United Nations. The people of Afghanistan must decide their own future, like all nations. Support the troops by bringing them home. Tax the excess profits of the arms industry.

Frank KomarniskiFrank was born in Ste. Rose du Lac, Manitoba and grew up in Thompson. He moved to Winnipeg in 1982 and has worked 17 years for the City of Winnipeg as an outside worker. He is a member of CUPE 500. A father of four children, Frank joined the Communist Party in 2006.
The Communist Party is proud to nominate Frank.
Let’s put a worker in Parliament!

l Call us to help our campaign!l Ask us about joining!l Send us a cheque to build the Communist Party! Or smaller monthly cheques. We need funds!
l Ask us for the CP’s full platform.
A People’s Alternative for Canada includes justice for Aboriginal peoples, job creation, equality for women, taxing the wealthy and corporations, access to education, fighting racism, expanding social programs, saving the environment, opposing free trade, a foreign policy of peace, defending the family farm, and fair elections, among others.

Reach us at 586-7824 or
387 Selkirk Ave., Winnipeg MB R2W 2M3

From Frank Komarniski,
Communist Party candidate
for Winnipeg North:
The Communist Party is campaigning for good-paying jobs and access to education. We are demanding Canada get out of the terrible war in Afghanistan, right now.

I think Manitoba can stop being a low-wage, racist backwater. The North End of Winnipeg can stop being a backwater of this backwater. The Communist Party has real solutions for the real problems, not the same old policies that got us here in the first place.

Communists have always fought for a better society in Canada. But today, much of what we helped win is in danger because of the growing economic crisis, government cuts, privatization of health care and water, and the growing harm of climate change.

Young people are denied their future by the loss of nearly 10,000 manufacturing jobs in Manitoba in the last two years.

Young people are denied an education by tuition hikes in Manitoba and by the Harper government’s racist under-funding of post-secondary education for Aboriginal students.

I don’t want young people to inherit a planet destroyed by climate change. Backed by the Harper government, the giant energy corporations are recklessly promoting uncontrolled energy consumption for the selfish goal of increasing their bloated profits.

The Communist Party is demanding that the government nationalize the energy companies, that they become public property. We are demanding caps on carbon emissions.

The other major parties have no solution. The Manitoba government supports a system that failed in Europe (cap and trade). It will be a failure like the Kyoto treaty.

Canada is a wealthy country. Yet millions of nearly-retired Canadians owe the banks billions of dollars; their homes are almost entirely mortgaged. People who have worked all their life will retire to food banks and total poverty. The Communist Party will nationalize the banks and cancel the debts because housing is a right. We will increase public pensions above the poverty line.

Turning to the war in Afghanistan, which imposes death and destruction on the people of that country. We have no business being there. How is it that we are building schools, roads and water systems there, when we don’t have the same for Aboriginal peoples in Canada? George Bush should be tried as a war criminal, and so should the Canadian politicians that put our troops in Afghanistan.

Liberal and Conservative governments have used the war against terror to trample on civil rights in Canada. Last summer more than 1,000 mainly young people were arrested for peacefully demonstrating at the G8 summit in Toronto. This must stop.

The people of Afghanistan have every right to resist the occupation of their country, just as the Aboriginal peoples of Canada have every right to fight politically and however they can for full national self-determination, a right all nations have in international law.

The Communists have a dream, where all nations in Canada are equal and develop in a voluntary partnership. Canada must stop being a prison house of nations where only the corporate elite in Canada’s English speaking nation have control

The low wages caused by racism and national inequality create a super-profit gravy train for these elite, a huge problem in Manitoba.

We live in a society where people live in constant fear of losing their job, where families are on the edge of losing their homes, where children are afraid every month when there is no food, where young people can’t start a family, and where all these fears are doubled for Aboriginal people, people of colour and women and youth and people with disabilities.

There is too much fear in the North End of Winnipeg. The Communist Party has a plan to end these fears, and for everyone to have a good-paying job and an education.

No single political party can change society. No party can claim credit for establishing medicare or unemployment insurance. Accomplishments like medicare were made by thousands and millions of working people, in trade unions and in their faith organizations, in student groups and women’s organizations.

We need to build up those historic struggles once again, to turn society around.

We can create good-paying jobs, we can create a society that takes care of children and educates our youth. We can end poverty and social inequality. We can get Canada out of Afghanistan and we can solve the problem of inequality among the nations in Canada.

Read the Communist Party’s policies and see why they are the only realisitic solution to the injustice of our present society. They are the most advanced ideas in this election, but we need them today. Their time has come.

A vote for the Communist Party is a vote for real change. It is a vote for the future, a vote against war, a vote to put people before profit, a vote for jobs and education. It is a vote to end fear and to create a far better society.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

People First!

--- En date de : Mer, 23.6.10, Communist Party of Canada a écrit :

De : Communist Party of Canada
Objet : CP of Canada Statement on the G8/G20 Summits
À : "Recipient List"
Date: mercredi 23 juin 2010 12 h 06
Re: G8/G20 Summits to be Held in Toronto

Dear comrades and Friends,

As you are well aware, the G8/G20 Meetings are being held in Toronto this week. We are enclosing the statement issued by the Central Executive of our Party with respect to these imperialist-dominated ‘Summits”. For those of you who plan to be in the Toronto area during the G20, we also enclose a mail-out regarding the June 26th People First!” march and rally.

Comradely yours,

Central Office,
Communist Party of Canada


G8/G20: Fight for a Real Alternative
to the new Capitalist “Consensus”

On the eve of the G8/G20 meetings, mass labour and democratic mobilizations are building in Southern Ontario and across Canada to protest this wasteful, security obsessed extravaganza. The Communist Party of Canada salutes this resistance and takes its rightful place alongside workers, students, women, Aboriginal peoples and social activists in denouncing these summits which aim to hammer out a strategic line among the ruling imperialist states and international finance capital on how best to advance their shared interests, and then present their agenda as a fait accompli to the world’s peoples.

This set of G summits is particularly important because global capitalism continues to be mired in a profound economic and structural crisis, notwithstanding the soothing media reports that the ‘worst is behind us’ and that recovery is well under way. Saving capitalism and restoring profit margins are the main concerns of these ‘leaders’, rather than solving the burning problems afflicting the world today. That is why issues like climate change, the world food crisis, ending wars of occupation and rampaging military spending, and the worsening problem of “under development”, especially in Africa, have all be swept off the agenda of the G8/G20 meetings.

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney admitted as much this June when he declared that the Summits must focus attention on the continuing crisis, especially in Europe , which has had a serious “impact on financial conditions ... [and] it’s not over.” He then parroted the World Bank which earlier raised the possibility of a “second recession affecting most of the industrialized world if governments don’t deal successfully with the unfolding European debt crisis.”

In fact, the leading imperialist countries, including Canada , want to use the Summits to showcase their determination to impose further social and economic austerity on all states and peoples, as the only viable solution to overcome the crisis. But this is a false ‘international consensus” one that serves the interests of finance capital, but which consigns the vast majority of the world’s working class and oppressed peoples to even more hardship and suffering.
In Europe , the Austerity agenda pushed by the European Union brass and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is already having a devastating effect, especially on public sector workers, youth, and pensioners. Minimum wages are being slashed, social programs cut, and the retirement age extended for workers.
But this savage attack is being met by heroic resistance across the European continent, especially in Greece and Portugal where the left, Communist led unions and popular movements are mounting escalating general strikes and other forms of mass resistance to fightback against this anti social onslaught of Big Capital and its governments.

In Canada , we need to replicate the kind of militancy building in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere around the world. The right wing Harper government and their pro corporate provincial counterparts (both Conservative and Liberal) are also moving to deepen the assault on workers’ conditions, social programs, and democratic and equity rights. And they will succeed in pushing through these reactionary ‘reforms’, unless the labour and people’s forces move quickly to mount a militant, coordinated, Canada wide counter attack.

There is such a progressive alternative to this reactionary, pro capitalist ‘solution’, but it must go beyond, palliative demands to soften the impact. It must include sweeping measures which challenge the dominance of monopoly capital, such as the nationalization of the banks, the big energy monopolies, and other key sectors of our economy. These steps need to be combined with social measures like expanding access to healthcare, public and post secondary education, raising the minimum wage to $16/hour, reducing the workweek with no loss in take home pay, and improving public pensions. And with sweeping tax reform which would shift the burden from working people onto the corporations and the wealthy, and with an immediate withdrawal from the disastrous war of occupation in Afghanistan , along with a 50% cut in military spending which would save another $10 billion every year.

As we state in our May Day 2010 statement, “the big monopolies and banks want to make working people pay for the economic recovery through lower wages, higher unemployment, and huge cuts in social spending. We say: those who reap billions in profits must pay! Unite and fight for a fundamentally new direction, placing the needs of working people and our environment before corporate greed, [and for policies] based on peace and disarmament!”

Issued by the Central Executive Committee
Communist Party of Canada
June 2010

Protest the G20
this Saturday!

Dear friends and comrades,

Protests against the pro-corporate agenda of the G8/G20 Summits are already building, despite Harper’s attempt to ‘lock down’ Toronto and ‘lock out’ dissent. Whatever the diversity of these actions, they reflect various aspects of popular anger and the people’s demands for change – for peace, for protection of our environment, for jobs and living standards, for healthcare, education, pensions and social programs, and not least, for equality and democratic rights.

Of all the myriad events making place around Toronto leading up to and during the G20 meetings this coming weekend, the most important will be the “People First!” march and rally to be held on Saturday, June 26 at 1:00 pm, starting at Queen’s Park. This is because Saturday’s “People First!” march & rally will be the one event which brings together all the streams of protest into one united action – workers, environmentalists, Aboriginal peoples, anti-imperialist and anti-racism groups, youth & students, women’s, GLBT and equality activists, and other social movements.

A massive outpouring of opposition to the reactionary agenda of the imperialist world order is the worst nightmare for Harper, Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Sarkozy, Berlusconi and co. That is why the G20 organizers have unleashed a campaign of intimidation and fear-mongering to keep working people away from the streets, especially for the big rally on Saturday.

The best response or antidote to this anti-democratic campaign is for all of us – each one of us individually and collectively – to redouble our efforts to bring as many people as possible out for the big march and rally this Saturday!

The Communist Party of Canada , the Young Communist League, and all of our friends and comrades will be marching together in a contingent during the march and we cordially invite you to join and march with us! We will be assembling at 12:30 p.m. on the south side of Queen’s Park, close to College St where University Ave. turns into an oval road (see photo).

Bring your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers; your flags, placards (although we will have some on hand as well!) and noisemakers. See you there!

A Word About Tactics

As many of you have already heard, some groups have announced their intention to join the “People First!” march, but will attempt to split the march on route, taking some participants directly to the security perimeter, and possible confrontation with the police.

Even if well-intended, this is a wrong and divisive tactic in our opinion. The main political value and impact of the “People First!” action is to demonstrate the ‘all-in unity’ of the labour and people’s movements, notwithstanding whatever differences around specific policies our tactics exist within our ranks. To attempt to divide the people’s forces during this critical action would create confusion and acrimony, would send the wrong message, and would play into the hands of those who stand to benefit from such an overt display of division within the ranks of the labour/people’s resistance to the G20. For this reason, the Communist Party will abide by the route approved by the “People First!” organizers.

All Out for the “People First!” March and Rally!

See you Saturday!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The facts of Marxist thought remain

The facts of Marxist thought remain
Monday 17 May 2010
Jean Turner
Two works vital for understanding the development of the human race and the origin of life on Earth were published in the mid-19th century - The Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848 and Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859.
Both works were ground-breaking in that, by empirical methods, they produced a scientific analysis that refuted previous religious and philosophical concepts of the world in which we live.
They linked the dialectics of nature - representing the continual struggle of all species on Earth for survival and development - with historical and dialectical materialism, which sees the human race developing from primitive tribal societies, holding land in common ownership, to class societies in which the struggles of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter, result in new social organisations and formations. These have had a lasting effect on subsequent international events and universal education.
Because of the challenge to orthodox religion and politics which these works represent, they are still under attack from fundamentalists and the ruling capitalist class. But more than 160 years have passed without any serious refutation of the scientific facts which these publications contain.
In our epoch, the rise of a capitalist class owning advanced industrial machinery, manufacturing solely for profit and seeking control of resources, including human resources, throughout the world, has produced a form of slavery, wage slavery, which has displaced the peasantry and the craft guilds responsible for small scale production and led to the creation of a class of industrial workers - men, women and children - driven to the expanding cities by a lack of land and poverty.
Thus a new class, the proletariat, has been formed. To this new class Marx and Engels attribute the historical role of combining its forces to replace the capitalist system with a new form of society; one in which the mass of the people - workers by hand and brain, men and women - develop alternative means of production for use and not for profit, and create new forms of social organisation to suit their needs, including the necessity to preserve the ecology and sustainable balance of the Earth on which they, the majority of the human race, live. Marx and Engels called this communism.
The first attempt in the history of the world to form such a society took place in Russia in 1917, paradoxically a backward, semi-feudal country with only a small proletariat but a large peasantry demanding land.
Lenin understood the implications of the Communist Manifesto and combined with it a study of the new form of capitalism - finance-capital or "imperialism" - which produced nothing, but sought to control the world simply by the export of money.
His party, the Bolsheviks, took advantage of the chaos and misery brought about by the imperialist first world war and led the Russian people to overthrow both feudalism and capitalism in one fell swoop. Their slogan was "Bread, land and peace."
Despite every attempt to undermine the victory of the Bolsheviks, by isolation, starvation and direct intervention by 14 countries in support of the White counter-revolutionary forces, the first socialist state in the world was formed - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Marx and Engels had envisaged that the most advanced proletariat would create this new society, which they called the dictatorship of the proletariat, but the lot fell to a vast country with only a small manufacturing base.
Isolated in a hostile world, Joseph Stalin, who became leader after the death of Lenin, pursued the line that socialism could be built in one country.
This was a new idea in the development of communist ideology. Socialism, which is public ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, was always seen as an interim phase before stateless, classless communism.
Pursuing the necessity to rapidly develop industry and agriculture - sometimes with harsh effects on individuals and communities - a powerful state arose which was able to withstand the onslaught of fascism from 1941 in a way that no other country in mainland Europe could.
The Soviet Union was largely responsible for the defeat of nazi Germany in World War II, but suffered terrible losses in terms of people and infrastructure. It rebuilt itself and took on a powerful role in world politics.
The demise in 1991 of this first socialist state - a bulwark against imperialism but driven to compete with it in the real world of armaments and capitalist consumerism - has affected peace and stability throughout the world.
However, the Soviet Union created an example for revolutionary forces everywhere, one which must be studied and understood, criticised and improved upon but respected and admired for its truly great achievements.
At this time, when all the peoples of the former Soviet Union and Europe have been celebrating the 65th anniversary of the defeat of the racist, sexist, genocidal ideology of fascism, we in Britain must examine our own weaknesses.
Lenin once famously wrote that "one step forward, two steps back" happens in the history of nations and in the development of parties. This is the nature of dialectics.
Juggling with arrangements among bourgeois parties as to who will rule the country, all of them solely representing the interests of international finance capital, will not solve the problems of the working class.
As was described in the Communist Manifesto, capitalism, at various times, alienates not only the working class, which consists of the majority of people, but also the petty bourgeoisie - the small business people and small farmers - and at times even sections of the bourgeoisie and state machine. This is the case in Britain now.
The danger lies in where this discontent will be led. It is the duty of Communists and all progressive people to ensure that - through socialist leadership and constant resistance to pressure to solve capitalism's problems by impoverishing and destroying the power of the working class and its organisations - this discontent does not lead to fascism, as it did in pre-war Germany.
Defeating a new generation of fascists is a political priority and the price of this is eternal vigilance.
Finally, we must end imperialism's mad rush to war to control the resources it needs for its continued existence. These wars are not supported by the majority of people and their connection with environmental damage to the fragile ecology of the planet is now being understood.
A nation which expends so much of its budget on weapons of mass destruction is not only causing untold suffering and destruction throughout the world, but is also destroying the social welfare on which its masses depend.
It is time to return to the vision of a better world as described in the Communist Manifesto and to charge the human race - a very recent late-comer to the amazing, beautiful Earth depicted by Darwin in The Origin of Species - with preserving it from mindless, careless destruction.
I should like to end with one thought. There are voices which wish to erase the name of Communism in favour of some alternative which is considered to be more palatable to the public.
To be a Communist is to carry a heavy responsibility. It is to constantly apply Marxist-Leninist theory to every current situation and to act as the heart, mind and advanced leader of the masses.
At the same time, one must never divorce oneself from grass roots and popular life in all its cultural diversity. Marx and Engels led a rich cultural life while remaining close to the trade unions and all political movements which represented the working class, the struggle for women's rights and national sovereignty.
They never divorced theory from practice, nor encouraged dogmatism. Communists in many places in the world are struggling, suffering and dying for their convictions. I salute them and wish them every success. They represent the best and highest aspirations of the human race for peace, justice, equality and a good and happy life.
Jean Turner is honorary secretary of the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies. This is an edited version of her speech at the Annual Karl Marx Oration at Highgate cemetery.

Great socialist’s birth commemorated in London

LONDON - Recently, on a rainy day in London, a group of people assembled at Highgate cemetery at Karl Marx' gravesite to commemorate the 192nd anniversary of his birth. It was also a commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the people's victory over fascism.  Present were representatives and Communist Party members from around the world.  Among them were  Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, UK and USA.

A number of years ago a BBC poll conducted in the UK found that a majority of Britons think that Marx was the "greatest philosopher" of all time.

Gerrard Sables, Secretary North Devon branch, CPB, and recent candidate for parliament in Britain told the World after the event, "For me Marx's message is still true. Workers of all countries unite! The first and most essential job we as communists have is persuading our fellow workers that we as workers do not have the same interests as big capitalists and that for a few people to insist on their 'right' to be fabulously wealthy is bad for humanity."

An excellent oration was delivered by Jean Turner, Honorary Secretary, Society for Cooperation in Russian and Soviet Studies. The text of the speech can be found  here. [speech is above]
Turner maintains that Marx and Engels recognized the formation of the working class and " To this new class Marx and Engels attribute the historical role of combining its forces to replace the capitalist system with a new form of society; one in which the mass of the people... create new forms of social organization to suit their needs, including the necessity to preserve the ecology and sustainable balance of the earth on which they, the majority of the human race, live. Marx and Engels called this communism."

She talked of the danger of fascism and maintains, "Defeating a new generation of fascists is a political priority and the price of this is eternal vigilance."

She told the World, "We need to lift our spirits and see our goal, as Marx and Engels did. It is easy to get bogged down in the disappointments and setbacks of the present political situation."

Christine Lindey, Art Critic, Morning Star, commented about Ms. Turner's remarks, "For myself I was impressed by the clarity of her thinking and her use of jargon-free language with which to explain complex ideas. She took an overview of history and linked the achievements of the past to the current situation."

A number of wreaths were placed at Marx' headstone after the oration,. Representatives from many countries including Greece, Iran, Iraq,  UK, and Venezuela placed wreaths and it was moving to watch them.

The commemoration was concluded by singing the Internationale in many different languages. Robert Griffiths, Secretary General, Communist Party Britain, encouraged the "cacophony" of different voices and languages to express the power of this great working-class song.

London was alive with activism and protests were everywhere drawing attention to the devastating wars. Banners calling for the return of the British troops alive were visible by the Parliament and other government buildings. I visited the pub where Lenin first met Stalin which is right next door to the Marx Memorial Library. The Marx Memorial Library houses the tiny room where Lenin worked while he lived in London. It was truly inspiring to be present in this city with such a great working-class history.

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell Phone: 651-587-5541

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

A message from Greece...

Note: This is the link to PAME, the All Workers’ Militant Front, as mentioned below.:

Communist Party of Greece - [13.05.2010] Message to the National Committee of CP, USA

Communist Party USA,
National Committee,
New York
Athens, Thursday, 13 May 2010

Dear comrades

We would like to thank you for the information regarding your 29th party convention and to extend our greetings to the delegates. Our parties have met in the past in common struggles for workers’ rights, in the struggle against anti-communism, for the defense of socialism and the Soviet Union, for the unity of the communist movement on the basis of our revolutionary principles and traditions.

We are following as closely as we can the developments in the USA, the escalation of the aggression of US imperialism which lately has become quite obvious. The US is striving to respond to the trend of losing ground within the framework of the imperialist system by inciting regional tensions and conflicts, so that it can take advantage of its political and military supremacy in order to safeguard its interests and maintain its spheres of influence.

In Greece, the working class and the popular strata are facing a barbaric attack, on the pretext of the economic crisis; an attack which has been jointly unleashed by the social democratic PASOK government, the EU and the IMF, with the assistance of the conservative ND party and the open support of the nationalist LAOS party.

The remarkable resistance presented by the labor and popular movement is spearheaded by KKE which continually strives to reveal the real cause of the crisis, the sharpening of the basic contradictions of capitalism. Without the consistent exposure of the compromised and discredited in the eyes of the workers trade union leaderships of GSEE and ADEDY (the national confederations of the private and public sector respectively), without the decisive contribution of PAME (All Workers’ Militant Front), the national trade union front comprised of class oriented Federations, trade unions, labor centers and trade unionists, the labor movement in our country would have been disarmed, unprepared, and unable to fight back.

KKE calls upon the working class, the self-employed, the poor farmers, and the youth to engage in even stronger, more massive and organized actions in order to stave off the onslaught and pave the way for a different path of development. There can be no way other than the nationalization of the monopolies. The working class must take possession of the concentrated means of production and mobilize them with central planning and popular participation. This presupposes a struggle aiming for people’s power, for socialism-communism.

The fightback against anti-communism, the adamant defense of the historical contribution of the Soviet Union and socialist construction in the 20th century, of the identity and revolutionary traditions of the communist movement, take on particular importance today.

As long as the crisis of the international communist movement persists, as long as the situation does not improve and retreats from ideological and theoretical principles are not resolutely confronted, as long as the front against opportunist views that hinder the formation of a single revolutionary strategy against imperialism does not become strengthened, the situation will harbor the danger of an even greater backslide.

The existence of strong Communist Parties steadfast to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, with a revolutionary program for the overthrow of the rule of monopolies, for building socialism - communism, is the foremost demand of our times.

We look forward to learning the conclusions and the resolutions of your convention.

With comradely greetings

The Central Committee of KKE


Distributed courtesy of:

Alan L. Maki
Lake-of-the-Woods Club

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell Phone: 651-587-5541


Please check out my blog:

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Moral Vest

Alan, thanks so much for these words of encouragement. The internet is slow and expensive so while my articles are being printed elsewhere I cannot even open my own website at but I will keep trying. Here is my second article from Cuba.

I have some wonderful photos but will not be able to upload until next week when I am home.

In solidarity, June


A Moral Vest

By June C. Terpstra, Ph.D.

In the film, Fidel, The Untold Story, there is an interview with Fidel Castro where he says he does not need a Kevlar vest to protect him from countless assassination attempts because he wears a moral vest. I am back in Havana, Cuba today after visiting a natural medicine clinic in Santa Clara, Cuba; an agricultural cooperative in Matanzas, Cuba; a teacher training arts school in Matanzas; and ELAM, the incredible Latin American Medical School that trains and sends doctors to work all over the world. With each program or institution visited I wonder what it would be like to live in a country with values of social justice instead of values of profit and plunder. There are countless examples of those who wear a moral vest here in Cuba.

It is most certainly not easy for the Cubans to live their principles in the face of so much oppression from the USA. Their daily lives are restricted from the moment they wake till they sleep at night and not by the government. Running water, flushing toilets, toiletries, access to oil to run a tractor or a car, obtaining the parts to fix a car, obtaining medicines; these and more are scarce and make life difficult. It is interesting to me that while their form of socialism is so hated by USA elites it is based in hard work and contributions to the country; they are rewarded for the level of their commitment to social justice and the sharing of resources. This is not allowed under capitalism.

The homes and apartments in which Cubans live, whether they are allotted cars, their jobs are all based on education, level of commitment and hard work as evidenced in their contributions at work and in their communities. People from the USA have difficulty grasping the concept of a life where one does not pay rent or a mortgage or a car payment or for health care or school. Members of this delegation from the USA continue to ask questions about shareholders; how much cars cost; where the stores are located; and, how much oppression people here are facing without any real understanding of the fundamental changes this government is attempting to establish and manifest.

In the Cuban medical schools they are taught both traditional and natural medicine. These doctors are known and trusted around the world because they have been taught to care about the patient and not view them as a client to be charged money for profit. Just recently seven American women doctors trained in Cuba returned to work with the medical brigade in Haiti. All of the training done in Cuba is framed within the commitment to serve communities in need. On the contrary, the people of the USA are programmed to think hate of medicine not for healing rather as a mechanism to maintain disease to keep a drug and surgical industry as a profitable way to make money.

On the farms in Cuba the land is given to those who apply and they are allowed to live on the land and work for 90 days before they make their commitment and a cooperative board accepts them as a member of the cooperative association. Women and all races in Cuba have access to these opportunities and many incentives are provided because developing a self-sustaining Cuba has been critical since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Once one is a member they contribute to both their own sustenance and receive the resources and benefits of their hard work. Women and all races are present at every level of labor and leadership.

Education, intellectual life, and culture is highly respected and valued in Cuba. They have established a teacher training program for artists in music, literature, theater, dance and painting, and sculpture. The students pay nothing for this specialized education but they must make a commitment to teach at the end of their training. There is no job insecurity in Cuba; the teachers of the arts will always have jobs! On the contrary, in the USA, the arts programs are always the first to be cut and many schools no longer have these programs for all the students nor are they offered on a daily basis. Which country is really a country of wealth?

Every place I have visited and talked with the people they express their commitment and passion for their culture and society. This is not my experience in the USA where the focus is rarely on producing art for the people. Producing art is for money and fame. Where ego is de-emphasized here; narcissism is encouraged in the West. Where good behavior is encouraged here, ugly and violent behavior is glorified in the USA. Where the women’s federations set up programs to counsel all family members in domestic crisis and teach them to live in ways that benefit the family; the USA model is to disconnect and provide a band-aid in the form of a shelter.

I am not telling you things are perfect here in Cuba. They are not. Most certainly, the effects of the embargo have been devastating. The effects of colonial racism and sexism have their own unique manifestations here as Cuban socialism attempts to rid itself of these internalized oppressions. However, the real Cuban people; not the ones who are sitting in Miami plotting the destruction of their own people out of their own greed and selfishness; the real Cuban people wear a moral vest and the examples they set for their children in the schools and hospitals and their daily life are visible to those of us to whom they open their doors.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Frank Lumpkin, African-American steel worker, long time Communist fighter and a working class hero

Frank Lumpkin, African-American steel worker, long time Communist fighter and a working class hero, passed away March 1 at the age of 93. In this era of economic crisis, exploitation and war, proletarians in the Twin Cities can draw inspiration from yesteryear’s fightback. Lumpkin's battle against mill closings and his national solution, "the public takeover of the closed plants to provide the jobs and make the steel that the country needs," is a rousing answer to the pending closure of St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. Frank's serious reading of Marxist texts is a lesson for today's activists. 

Beatrice Lumpkin’s Always Bring a Crowd!: The Story of Frank Lumpkin is a handbook for action. 

This Black proletarian, master tactician and long-time member of the Communist Party, was honored by PBS, called a "History Maker" by an African-American site and commemorated with the words "Fought for Rights of Workers at Wisconsin Steel" in the Chicago Tribune. In Minnesota, the Gus Hall Action Club dedicated a recent blog post to Frank Lumpkin and the Thoughts from Podunk blog promotes the book 
Always Bring a Crowd! 

Brother Lumpkin’s battles against the closing of Chicago’s Wisconsin Steel are epic. The plant gates slammed shut in 1980 and the 3500 proletarians were forced to "live a nightmare. Suddenly, workers were out on the street, left with nothing: no jobs, no pensions, no sick pay, no supplementary unemployment benefits, not even pay for the last three weeks they worked." Frank, with 30 years in the mill, fought back! He organized the Wisconsin Steel workers to struggle for the plant’s reopening and their benefits. Lumpkin forged the Save Our Jobs committee and, under his leadership, it "became a crusade that never quit" until victory was won. Comrade Frank was a militant and hardened Marxist-Leninist. (Information and quotes from Always Bring a Crowd!: The Story of Frank Lumpkin by his wife Beatrice)

Chicago public TV station WTTW’s commemorative video about Frank Lumpkin 
is excellent:

A superb excerpt from Beatrice Lumpkin’s Always Bring a Crowd!: The Story of Frank Lumpkin about Communists, rank-and file workers’ activity and the forging of Save Our Jobs:

1980: "The plant’s closed. Don’t come in tomorrow. Maybe never."

"Nobody knew what to do. What could you do without an organization? Frank Lumpkin had read about the ’Save Jobs’ committees at the Youngstown, Ohio and Detroit Dodge-Main plants in the rank and file paper, Labor Today, and in the Communist Peoples Daily World. These papers were urging workers to fight plant closings. Frank realized that Wisconsin Steel workers had allies and did not have to fight alone. Fred Gaboury, then editor of Labor Today and a trusted friend (and Communist Party cadre -M.W.), encouraged Frank to take the first step: ’Get a committee going To Save Jobs and start a petition to Congress to reopen the plant.’ Frank thought that was good advice as far as it went. But how could you do that when the in-house union refused to move? He decided to talk it over with some friends from the mill.

"Frank invited some Wisconsin Steel workers to a meeting in his basement. Some he had met during years of African-American rank-and-file groups in the mill such as ’Self-Help’ and ’Getting It Together.’ If ever self-help was needed, that was the time. The meeting was open to any idea for action. The unanimous decision was to organize a ’Wisconsin Steel Workers Save Our Jobs Committee.’ Their first action was to petition the President of the United States, asking him to reopen the mill.

"’Fight or Die’ was the call Frank sent out to his fellow workers. And for 17 years he led the unemployed Wisconsin Steel workers, working without pay, using his house as the first headquarters and his own money when necessary for organizing expenses. No one who knew him would call him a saint, as R.C. Longworth had suggested in the Chicago Tribune financial section. However, it was true that Lumpkin’s dedication was based on his love for working people. Lumpkin’s staying power was strengthened by the belief that workers could change the system if they organized. He often said, ’the system’s got to go.’ He thought it was wrong to allow a few capitalists to close Chicago’s steel mills and ruin the lives of 30, 000 steel workers’ families. His ultimate solution was socialism - production for the good of people, not profits for a few.

"Under Lumpkin’s leadership, Save Our Jobs became a crusade that never quit. The Wisconsin Steel workers took the Save Our Jobs name because their first goal was to reopen the mill. The second goal, which as the years passed became primary, was to get their unpaid benefits. (The WTTW video focused on the fight for the stolen money - M.W.)

"The committee went into action immediately. They circulated their petition to the President and Congress asking them to reopen Wisconsin Steel. The petition let the world know that Wisconsin Steel workers would fight for their jobs. At churches, taverns, beauty shops and grocery stores, wherever steel workers and their families gathered, there was someone collecting signatures to reopen the mill. In a few days, over 4000 steel workers and friends had signed the petition. With thousands in support, Save Our Jobs (SOJ) planned a mass delegation to take the petitions to the state legislature in Springfield, and to Congress in Washington, DC.

"The idea of mass action began to catch on! The in-house union had not organized a labor action in over 30 years. Inside the mill, the rank and file knew how to slow down or ’work to rule’ to make the company live up to the contract. But they had never carried picket signs or demonstrated with other steel workers. After the mill closed, Save Our Jobs members became the most experienced demonstrators in the Chicago area." (Beatrice Lumpkin, Always Bring a Crowd!: The Story of Frank Lumpkin)

Frank Lumpkin, African-American steel worker, long time Communist fighter and a proletarian hero, passed away March 1 at the age of 93. Circulate the tribute 
video. Call on May Day books to carry 
Beatrice Lumpkin’s Always Bring a Crowd!: The Story of Frank Lumpkin. Check out the Lumpkin's organization, the Communist Party. "If you can't find a leader, be a leader," Brother Frank once said. And his militant statement from decades back is our battle cry: Fight or Die! 

Michael Wood, Gus Hall Action Club,


A word about TV station WTTW’s commemorative video about Frank Lumpkin, African-American steel worker, long time Communist fighter, proletarian hero:

"Lumpkin got another chance to speak for himself in Ten Good Lives, a prize winning TV documentary produced by Jay Shefsky for WTTW, ’Chicago’s Window to the World.’ Lumpkin took viewers for a walk through the closed mill while he told the story of the steel workers’ fight to survive. The documentary was based on a sculpture exhibit, on permanent display at De Paul University’s Monsignor Egan Center. The exhibit includes a bronze bust of Frank in hard hat and working clothes. (This is featured about 4 minutes into the tribute piece. -M.W.) Margot MacMahon, the sculptor, titled the collection, ’Plain hard working, ’ an apt description of Lumpkin. However, his love of useful work is just a part of his love and confidence in working people. That may be the magnet that attracts working people to him, the confidence that together they can win." (Beatrice Lumpkin,Always Bring a Crowd!: The Story of Frank Lumpkin)

(Frank Lumpkin:"My whole life has been around the Communist Party. Everything good that has happened to me has been through the Party. Nothing can make me deny it.")

Brother Lumpkin and Save Our Jobs’ first protest can inspire proletarians in the Twin Cities:

"On April 22, 1980, the bankruptcy court was hearing the Wisconsin Steel case again. Save Our Jobs held its first demonstration. They came with picket signs to make the workers’ plight known. But no one made a move to raise a sign and begin the picket. Except for Frank, these workers had never, ever held a picket sign in their hand. Then the news media showed up, including a television crew. Frank knew he had to do something. He picked up a sign and began to walk alone. One or two joined him, while the rest stood and watched. As the television camera began to film, one by one other Wisconsin Steel workers picked up signs. They took their first, hesitant steps and then seemed to gain confidence. All they were asking for was what they had already worked for - payment of wages, supplementary unemployment benefits, medical insurance and pensions. Above all, they called for the reopening of their plant. ’For us, this picket line was historic, ’ Frank said later, ’We Wisconsin Steel workers are joining with other working people to fight for our rights.’" (Beatrice Lumpkin, Always Bring a Crowd!: The Story of Frank Lumpkin)

Michael Wood

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Setting the record straight

A response to Sam Webb, National Chair, Communist Party USA:

Sam Webb wrote this in the "new" on-line People's World--- my response follows:

Setting the record straight 

It is said by some on the left that the Communist Party USA has no differences with President Obama. Just to set the record straight: we do and we express them. For example, we opposed the nearly unconditional Wall Street bailouts and deployment of more troops to Afghanistan. We argued for a bigger stimulus package. And we said the president should push the envelope more; otherwise he runs the danger of the extreme right turning the popular discontent over the economic crisis against him, the Democratic Party, and the people's movement that supports his agenda. Isn't this what we saw in Tuesday's election in Massachusetts, where a right-winger was elected to the Senate?

 But in expressing our differences with the president, communists go to great lengths to state them in a constructive and unifying way. We don't do it to score points or demonstrate our "militancy." We don't lose sight of the class nature of this struggle.

The main organizations of the working class and people are not always in sync with the president on every issue either. But they don't turn their differences into an unbridgeable divide between them and him. In fact, they consider him a friend and are mindful of the unrelenting attack, steeped in racism and other forms of division, coming from right-wing extremists, against our nation's first African American president - something that was so evident in the Senate election in Massachusetts.

The left has something to learn from the approach of these people's organizations. We are too comfortable in our role as an exceedingly small, but "principled and militant" grouping in U.S. politics. Such a posture, which could easily gain greater currency in the aftermath of Tuesday's election, may feel satisfying, but it won't help us evolve into a political player that exercises a major influence on U.S. politics nor get us a flea hop closer to socialism.

In my view, the president has made mistakes, particularly his handling of the financial, jobs and health care crises, but he isn't the main obstacle to social change; he is not the "enemy," or even an "enemy." President Obama is a reformer, not a socialist reformer, not a radical reformer, and not even a consistent anti-corporate reformer, but a reformer nonetheless whose agenda creates space for the broader people's movement to deepen and extend the reform process in a non-revolutionary period.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson were Democratic Party regulars, but, with the help of a popular and sustained insurgency, both of them stepped outside of their comfort zone and morphed into change-makers, thus opening up space for substantive reform - Roosevelt with the New Deal and Johnson with civil and voting rights, Medicare, federal aid for education and the "War on Poverty." Unfortunately, Johnson's mistaken decision to escalate the war in Vietnam stained, perhaps irreparably, his presidency and historical legacy.

Barack Obama in my opinion has the same potential to "grow on the job" and enact reforms that measurably improve the lives of the American people and reframe our nation's place in the world. Right-wing extremists and powerful sections of capital feel much the same. Hence, the formidable opposition striving to sabotage, block or contain even the tiniest reforms by any means necessary. To make matters much more difficult, the broad coalition supporting reform is not yet of sufficient size, strength and understanding to consistently elect people's candidates as well as guarantee passage of the president's reform agenda - let alone radical reforms such as sustainable and just economic development, a national "profit-free" health service, a massive full employment program with affirmative action and living wage guarantees, fully funded, integrated, quality public education from child care to college, and a new foreign policy that accents peace, cooperation, equitable relations and a commitment to end global poverty.

Until that movement is at such a level, it is premature to say what the political limits of this president are, or, to put it differently, smugly dismiss him as simply another Clintonian Democrat. When our movement reaches the level of the popular upsurges of the 1930s and '60s, we will be in a better position to say where he fits on the political spectrum and whether his views are elastic enough to accommodate more deep-going changes.

Don't think we will succeed if the Obama presidency fails. If it fails, we will once again be fighting an uphill, defensive struggle as we were in the Bush and Reagan years, or worse. Witness the election of Republican Scott Brown to the Senate.

There will inevitably be differences and tensions with this White House as we go forward. In most instances, the differences will pivot around the pace and depth of reform; in some instances, such as the decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, the differences are more fundamental.

The role of the left is to help navigate these differences, while at the same time infusing energy and clarity and sustaining the strategic unity of the people's movement against the main enemy - right-wing extremism and powerful sections of big capital. This admittedly is a difficult needle to thread, but, as we know from the experience of the 1930s and '60s, it was done then. And there is no reason to think that it can't be done now. In doing so, the left of our time will move into the center of U.S politics.

My response:

Obviously Sam Webb hasn't an inkling of how to "thread a needle" much less initiate a develop struggles intended to solve the problems of working people.

What a crock.

You have the unmitigated gall to call enforcement of affirmative action "radical" when it has been in force for forty years! Only to be abandoned by Barack Obama, his Administration and the Democrats.

Barack Obama is no friend of working people; Obama is doing a con job for Wall Street.

None of this is "radical:"

"...let alone radical reforms such as sustainable and just economic development, a national "profit-free" health service, a massive full employment program with affirmative action and living wage guarantees, fully funded, integrated, quality public education from child care to college, and a new foreign policy that accents peace, cooperation, equitable relations and a commitment to end global poverty."

We already have three "profit-free health services" in this country:

1. Veterans Administration
2. Indian Health Service
3. National Public Health Service

It is only a matter of expanding these three health services which Barack Obama and the Democrats have left underfunded to have more funds to fight his dirty imperialist wars.

What is "radical" about living wages?!

There is nothing "radical" about a commitment to end global poverty;" the leaders of the entire world signed onto the Millennium Statement to do just this.

As far as peace... no one wants these dirty imperialist wars.

By making the claim that these things are "radical" you aren't even defending the democracy you claim you are protecting in "fighting the ultra-right."

By calling these things "radical" you have provided nothing for people to unite around for change.

The worst part of all, you confuse for the working class friend and foe. Wall Street is our enemy and Barack Obama represents Wall Street--- he always has and always will... unless of course you have reason to believe the words he wrote in Foreign Affairs Magazine are not his own.

You come to Bemidji, Minnesota and tell Native American Indians that their just demands for jobs through the enforcement of affirmative action at living wages is "radical" and you will find the only ones agreeing with you are the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's 8 candidates for governor with two exceptions, including former United States Senator Mark Dayton telling you that you are full of it, along with State Representative Tom Rukavina. You will find the racist Bemidji City Planner, a Democrat--- Rita Albrecht, who refused to implement affirmative action in the planning, construction, staffing and maintenance of this massive one-hundred-million dollar plus public works project, in complete agreement with you.

That you cannot distinguish between the huge gap between the so-called labor "leaders" who have betrayed the workers they are paid to represent and what the rank-and-file of these unions want is pathetic.

If Obama "succeeds" in carrying out Wall Street's agenda working people are going to be in one hell of a worse mess than we are already in.

Obama is no kind of "reformer" no matter how far you try to stretch the definition of this word--- there isn't a dictionary of any kind on the face of this earth that stretches the meaning of "reform" as far as you do: "reform" means to make things better... there is no way you can claim that Obama, the Democrats, or the small handful of over-paid union leaders covering his worthless political butt are making anything, in any way, better for the working class... your support for "the best deal that could be had in health insurance reform" is a major "wage cut" for the working class in case you haven't figured out that taxes on workers' health benefits is a wage cut and one more attempt to place the burden for these problems on the backs of working people continuing to drive down the overall standard of living of the working class.

You built yourself nice million dollar glass offices but you haven't allocated one single penny to develop the kind of nation-wide fight-back required... and now we know why; you think what people need and want is "radical" when it is nothing more than what is required for basic social and economic justice.

Go ahead and make all the stupid posts you want to about me on the Internet... the fact remains you don't even dare to stand at a mine, mill or plant gate and distribute your stupid ideas.

Alan L. Maki
Lake-of-the-Woods Communist Club

Webb has failed to point out what kind of massive movements it took to win the reforms of the 1930's, and he fails to note that Lyndon Johnson made some very significant reforms--- only because America's major cities--- and many smaller ones--- were, quite literally, BURNING.