Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More bad news

We didn't know what to do with this letter.

This letter has circulated all over the country in at least 43 states.

Bad enough one individual sent it out but we are now getting this letter back from people after it has been forwarded more than 20 times.

Since many of our staff are receiving this letter and demoralization is setting in among the paid staff accounting for much of our remaining membership, at least the membership we still recognize as being members, we could no longer withhold this letter from the rest of you.

The question is again what do we do about this?

I am asking for your help in solving this problem.

Here is the letter, the name has been omitted but we all know the source. The Hallite up there in Minnesota:

Comrades and friends,

I am intrigued by how any Communist Party, like the CPUSA, can be wrong about so many issues, so many times and withdrawn from so many struggles at a time when we are right in the middle of what can only be described as such “a Marxist moment” that any Communist would be eager and quick to immerse herself/himself in the struggles of the working class.

I have used the phrase “revisionist (or worse)” to describe the bunch surrounding Sam Webb on the National Board of the CPUSA. We have lost leaders and members in the past as a result of sharp ideological divisions… however, in this case, where were those ideological divisions? In fact, even as recent as this past Saturday Sam Webb invoked the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin and even Gus Hall to make a point… a wrong point at that.

If we look back at the history of our Party there is only one other time something like this happened and it was with the case of the editor of the Daily Worker, Louis Budenz who was on the payroll of the FBI for years. Budenz covered his dirty deeds with a growing revisionist outlook that sucked so many in it even compromised the Marxist-Leninist thinking of the leadership and helped lay the basis for the dissolution of the CPUSA which was laid at Browder’s feet because no one wanted to admit that Budenz, a paid FBI informant, had been hard at work in the Party for years setting things up.

Here we have Webb who was nothing but a “party hack” in every sense of the word. He pretended to support Marxist-Leninist ideology only to admit to the Chair of the Minneapolis club at a barbeque that he “never liked the term Marxism-Leninism.” This, after making an extensive trip to the Soviet Union and coming back extolling in speeches and writings how great everything was (if he was wrong he sure was one heck of a weak-minded person to suck it all in and who would want such a person to lead the Communist Party anyways--- no, Webb works for those who pay the best)… he did not have any questions at all that everything was well with socialism. Well, now, without explanation he changes his mind about what he calls “twentieth century socialism” and decides he wants no part in defending the great strides humanity made under the red flags of workers’ power.

And Jarvis Tyner; you can see and hear him still in YouTube videos as he stands next to Gus Hall in Red Square talking about the greatness of Soviet power. Another “party hack” that will say and do anything to keep a job.

How is it that Art Perlo can write such an articulate article for the PWW concerning the plight of working people, but no activity takes place using this article which could have and should have been distributed at Obama’s inaugural celebrations?

How is it that these Communist “leaders” can spend the money of our Party to fly to Washington D.C. to clap and cheer and weep with joy for Obama as he is sworn into office, but they could not distribute tens of thousands of copies of their own newspaper which they write for with the Communist analysis of the economic problem and their position of what needs to be done by working people if they are to protect their rights and livelihoods?

When the big picture of all of this is looked at one has to assume there is just some kind of bizarre string of events which no one can explain (which would be completely counter to Marxism, wouldn’t it?); or, one has to look at the problems more deeply.

We have had no accounting of membership figures; we have had no detailed financial explanations of where a million dollars comes from to remodel the Party offices.

Most important, we have had no explanation of why these newly remodeled Party offices have not been turned into a center of working class resistance to all this Wall Street thievery and bullshit.

One need only look at the pathetic state of the peace movement in this country and there is only one place to point one’s finger: squarely at the leadership of the Communist Party USA which has been on the wrong side of every single controversy when it comes to the question of peace throughout the Bush years and now with Obama; always and in each case siding with imperialism while making the excuse there is no other way to end these dirty imperialist wars. Why the vast difference from the way our Party engaged in the struggle to end the War in Vietnam and these dirty imperialist wars in the Middle East and why no work at all, except for a few “official statements,” on the Israeli killing spree in Gaza Strip?

Where are the letter writing campaigns?

Where is the petitioning?

Where is the tabling?

Where are the militant vigils and demonstrations?

Where is the “campaign for peace?”

Where are the Communist Party leaders traveling across the country helping to rebuild the Party by rebuilding the Party clubs. It is no secret the Party is small and weak with a dues paying membership of less than three-hundred now… with people continuing to quit because they can’t stomach this crap any longer. A country of over 300 million people; fewer than three hundred Communists… Pathetic. Disgraceful.

And we can ask the exact same questions about each and every other issue and struggle.

Going on right-wing talk shows unable to push one’s way into intelligent conversation and looking like stupid clowns is not part of the fight-back. The head of the Young Communist League even went on an ABC radio affiliated station in Florida and said the Communist Party and YCL would work together with the openly anti-Semitic and racist (not to mention anti-communist) John Birch Society in defending civil rights and civil liberties! What the hell is going on here? How can the Party leadership justify sending such a stupid fool out into the field to discuss the Party’s position on anything? In fact, there is no need for these “leaders” to care because their job is destroying the Communist Party. At best, turning it into some kind of envelope stuffing looking for donations plastic membership card organization.

I have been doing quite a bit of research on this outfit “Progressives for Obama” which the CPUSA leadership has aligned itself with and that is how I got into these “discussions” recently with Carl Davidson.

I thought it was very unusual that all of a sudden after Tom Hayden had been working to promote Israel and defend its murderous attacks on Palestinians and Israel’s Arab neighbors he has this miraculous rebirth of “leftism” which emerges from his die-hard support for Zionism and every dirty thing it stands for just in time to support Obama--- and here he is with one the former top officials from the AFL-CIO, Bill Fletcher, and Carl Davidson along with the vicious anti-communist Barbara Ehrenreich forming this group with Communist Party support--- Progressives for Obama... the list of current and former Communists affiliated with this group tells the entire story.

The Communist role in the group Campaign for America’s Future is more understandable… it is the kind of organization one would expect Communists to be working in--- if--- if they were trying to push things in a socialist oriented left direction--- this is what we do, right? Well, even in this group… I go to there annual conference and who do I find there? None other than the entire National Board. They are there, no leaflets, no People’s Weekly Worlds, no Political Affairs. I ask Jarvis Tyner, what the heck is going on? Where are the leaflets, papers, magazines? He tells me, “There was a mix-up; they got put on the wrong bus they never arrived.” Ya, sure, you betcha. Every other left group under the sun, labor union, civil rights organization, environmental organization and even church groups had their newspapers, newsletters, leaflets, petitions, postcards. I had a pile of leaflets about the struggles of workers but none of the National Board wanted to help pass them out.

Anyways, here is what I found on the Internet where Carl Davidson is talking about his alliances with “high road” capitalists… and he boasts out in this video, “Ok, if you must know; we brought in Gates.” Obviously a reference to the one and only Bill Gates; Microsoft Bill Gates.


Check this talk by Carl Davidson out… do we want any part of this “new” New Left he and Tom Hayden, Barabara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher are peddling?

Bill Gates was one of Obama’s main “bundlers” along with George Soros, Maurice Strong and Warren Buffett (and Bernie Madoff!)

And all of a sudden every time you pick up the People’s Weekly World you see Carl Davidson this, Carl Davidson that and Carl Davidson who was the biggest anti-CPUSA person around in the 60’s, 70’s is now praising the leadership of the CPUSA.

And along comes Sam Webb showing off a new one-million dollar glass office remodeling job.

In the history of the left there is all kinds of times when many on the left have been wrong about many questions and problems for a variety of reasons but I don’t think there has ever been a time in history when so many of the opinions from such diverse forces and groupings on the left--- including a Communist Party--- have prostituted themselves for money as in the case of supporting Barack Obama.

Their “high road” is nothing but the “low” sell-out road… and this is why we have the leaders of the Communist Party sitting in their comfortable million-dollar glass offices not spending one single penny to recruit new members and organize clubs to initiate a fight-back against this brazen and brutal attack on the working class as they accept the imperialist definition of “peace” which means the successful occupation of a sovereign nation to rob it of its oil and use its territory as a staging grounds to dominate the region.

There is simply no other way to explain a Communist Party leadership being wrong on so many different questions and remaining so completely and thoroughly inactive at a time when so many working people are angry and suffering.

Webb and company and those on the National Board have been paid well for their services to imperialism by “high road” capitalists.

And how do we explain Sam Webb and Company being able to twist other Communist Parties in other countries around their little fingers?

Political Affairs is little more than a blog posting site; one only has to read the pathetic “blog postings” with the low ideological level which demonstrates there really is no thinking at all taking place along Marxist-Leninist lines.

Try to find “the Party line” on any issue or problem in any writing or speeches or talks; you can’t.

We are stuck with having to build Party clubs without any National organization; without any District Organizations for the most part.

I hope everyone will watch and listen to the video of Carl Davidson… is this the left you want?

How should we respond to this letter. So far I have been making personal calls and sending individual e-mails trying not to let anyone know these letters are getting under my skin and sticking in my craw.

Where do we even begin?

We made a promise to take care of the Minnesota Problem. We now confront a national emergency without a "Plan B."

This is the most serious problem we have at the moment.

Sam Webb

National Chair, CPUSA

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is he or isn't he?

There is apparently no end to this question concerning President Obama.

We have now been getting calls from the Associated Press and Reuters News Service not to mention the New York Times.

They insist on knowing if President Obama is a member of our National Board.

Again, our answer is the same as yesterday regarding President Obama's membership in our Party:

We do not provide an answer to this outrageous question.

Who is or is not a member of our National Board we do not disclose to anyone. Even our general membership does not know who all the members of our National Board are.

This is a security matter and a question of pragmatism.

Pragmatism has become since the year two-thousand our guiding philosophy and ideological world view. We mix in a little Marxism, a little dab of democracy, some smatterings of Buddhism and a few words of wisdom gleaned from many philosophers both living and dead.

Dead philosophers are our favorites because they can't change their minds about things.

Suffice it to say we have revised the old philosophy of Marxism by infusing it with pragmatism.

President Obama has helped our theoretical development along by teaching us that the Keynesian outlook updates Marxism by infusing it with pragmatism.

John Maynard Keynes was not only brilliant in the area of economics but his personal life and his life-style was a forerunner of everything to come in our modern world.

21st Century Keynesianism replaces old, doctrinaire, dogmatic Marxism with a brilliant science of life and living and a socialism completely unfettered and without any ties to the Twentieth Century.

President Obama brings into the White House and the Oval Office pragmatic new ideas for a new century for new times.

We share a common outlook with our new President and our longtime friend.

Let them keep guessing if we have ever shared office space or phone service.

Sam Webb
National Chair,
2009 March 25

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is President Barack Obama a Socialist or Communist?

Statement of the National Board of the CPUSA March 25, 2009

Our leaders and members are frequently being asked if President Barack Obama is a Socialist or Communist.

We are even being asked if President Barack Obama is a member of our Party.

Our Party has a longstanding policy of not commenting on whether or not any individual is or is not a member of the Communist Party USA.

No leader or member of our Party should be answering these questions.

These are questions for President Barack Obama to answer.

With this said we point out that President Barack Obama came under the tutelage of the great Marxist-Leninist thinker, writer, journalist and working class leader Frank Marshall Davis.

We further point out that President Barack Obama was endorsed for public office by the socialist New Party when running for public office in Illinois.

Further, our Economics Commission has pointed out the following about John Maynard Keynes:


We are interested in FACT-BASED economic analysis, research and theory because the interests and aspirations of our membership are entwined with economic outcomes of the working people of the United States. Both immediate and long term interests of workers all over the world, as well, demand an accurate understanding of real economic forces and how to manage them better to serve human ends. More than ever, even than in Marx's own time, all Communists and all Socialists should strive to become good economists! And modern economists -- when they can be persuaded to take off the dark glasses and see that the "private" label, on an ever larger domain of property, is not permanently affixed -- will be giving Marx his intellectual due and his heirs a new look.

Those heirs are found in some surprising places. We promise not to neglect, however, the contribution of the great Socialist John Maynard Keynes, and his progressive heirs in their search for the means of managing capitalism's inherent instability and tendencies toward extreme inequality. Their theory, and its consequences for policy, forms the basis of most serious reform proposals. Nor shall we discard the intellectual tradition of Vladimir Lenin which we believe will be making a comeback: as working class organizations strive to protect themselves in the economic tempest, many will conclude that they need more political independence in order to advance their interests and aspirations.

President Barack Obama is a Keynesian by his own admission as are many of his economic advisers. People can draw their own conclusions from this fact.

We must ask this question of those insisting on an answer as to whether or not President Barack Obama is a Socialist or Communist, or is or was a member of the CPUSA:

What difference does it make?

Socialist and Communist ideas are not against the law in the United States.

The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights protects freedom of thought and association; excluding neither Socialists or Communists from participation in the political life of our country, including holding the highest office in the land.

President Barack Obama was asked this question a number of times including very recently by reporters. President Barack Obama has answered this question in his own way.

Our position is that President Barack Obama is a friend of the people, a people's advocate and our ally in the struggle for a just and peaceful world.

Enough said.

National Board, Communist Party USA

March 25, 2009 National Board Meeting

I called this emergency meeting of the National Board of the Communist Party USA because there are now new forces at work undermining our authority. This time those most sinister forces are closer to home than the cow pastures in Minnesota although it is my thinking, my new thinking, that the two problems may be closely related.

One will note the very similar references to people in the Roosevelt Administration to previous citations coming from the Minnesota Problem.

There isn't a lot of crabgrass in New Jersey but I suppose it can grow, what am I talking about, it has grown, between the cracks in the sidewalks.

I am happy we finally have a quorum here today with three members of the National Board reporting for duty so early in the morning. I see some of you haven't purchased free trade coffee. Whoops I mean fair trade coffee. Or is it free trade coffee. I get the two confused. One is right-wing coffee one is left-wing coffee. They both taste the same to me. Oh, well.

I didn't wake all of you to talk about coffee.

Here is our problem.

Norman Markowitz has written a PA Blog piece that challenges us.

You have a copy in your envelopes along with a number of writings from those troublesome people in Minnesota.

I'll give you a few minutes to sip your coffee and read the inserted material.

This is a one man thinking operation we have here. I want this made very clear. I do the thinking you do the listening and write my thoughts.

Alright everyone has had their morning caffeine intake and you are all awake and a few more stragglers have managed to make their way to our meeting this morning to grace us with their presence.

Let's get down to business.

Here is what comrade stormin' Norman Markowitz has written--- let me ask, does anyone know who this Jim Genoa guy is; is he from Minnesota? Could he be a yooper from Michigan's Upper Peninsula they are a strange lot too?

Remember these names: Jim Genoa and Norman Markowitz. Especially Norman Markowitz. He says we need a bigger Communist Party when we are in with the big man.

Here is what he wrote. He wrote this just yesterday right under our noses:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Right Turn for the Obama Administration in a Fast Moving Crisis

by Norman Markowitz

Jim Genova's fine blog and online article on the Geithner plan got me to thinking about its possible ramifications. First, the plan reflects(and this should not be any great surprise) the Obama administration's attempt to save the system by saving the top and having the benefits "trickle down" to the masses of people. This, given the institutional weakness of labor and the left and the ideological baggage of thirty years of rightwing hegemony which followed thirty five years of cold war reaction (which marginalized the CPUSA, which played the essential role in building the industrial labor movement and coordinating it with other peoples movements out of the great depression and also fragmented the broad left, leading rightwing social democrats to become mindless Sancho Panzas following cold war Democrats tilting at Soviet windmills and those to the left of the Communists to move in cultural and intellectual anarchist directions ) is unremarkable. Although this is only the administration's beginning, the left is not yet even close to being there to seriously influence an administration whose electoral victory was based on a clear repudiation of the Bush policies and also the rightwing ideological hegemony of the last thirty years, which Obama rejected in his campaign speeches. He clearly then used the economic crisis as proof of the failure of rightwing "neo liberal" economic policy.

As an historian who has compared Obama both before and after his election with Franklin Roosevelt and the rise of the New Deal in the midst of a much greater economic crisis that had been in existence for four years, let me make a few new comparisons at this moment. First, Roosevelt's early policies were based on saving the system by saving the top(NRA, AAA, a large increase in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation) policies of "planned scarcity" which sought to fix prices and "manage production" so as to stimulate revival (even though there was a major expansion of relief and a presidential commitment to support labor and consumer rights, which the corporation's cavalierly avoided, as the banks and corporations are avoiding any real accountability today). The failure of the socialists and others on the left to mobilize the people to advance an alternative program and the relative success of the Communists through the unemployed councils, the organizing of strikes and the building of community support for strikes (culminating in the San Francisco General Strike of 1934) led Roosevelt and his administration to move to the left in its third year, not because the depression was getting worse (it was getting significantly better) but because organized social struggles and protests, particularly trade union organizing struggles, had become much larger, better organized and focused, alienating even those sectors of the capitalist class who had supported the administration to save _save themselves_ but now feared that its rhetoric and some of its policies had awakened workers(whose political support for the administration and the Democratic party was also growing) to challenge the capitalist system.

It took two years for these policies to develop In that period, there was both criticism from the Communist left against the administration's overall capitalist commitment and its specific failings, but, at the grass roots, an understanding that workers viewed the administration and particularly both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt(who shocked the establishment press by visiting coal miners, unemployed youth, African Americans, going to their venues and expressing sympathy and support for their aspirations) very differently than they did previous administrations. Workers were taking the promises of the administration to carry out reforms in their interest seriously, making those promises a goad to militant action, a way to build confidence, just as millions over the last year looked to the Obama campaign and to Obama himself in a similar light.

There is however a nagging and very negative difference, at least at this point. Roosevelt had different and much better people who represented new politics in his administration at the beginning as officials and advisers--Harry Hopkins, Rex Tugwell, Frances Perkins, Henry Wallace, to name some of the major ones. Geithner, Bernanke, Larry Summers, no one in the administration accept perhaps Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor really comes close to those figures in that they in no way are independent progressives with a long history of opposing right-wing pro business policies. These are the sorts of people Obama needs inside the administration, not only outside it in mass organizations. People like progressive economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman. People with activist backgrounds in organizations like Physicians for Social Responsibility to develop health care policy, activists with backgrounds in groups like Citizen Action, "Think Tanks" like the Institute for Policy Studies, to balance the establishment" process liberals," who are so conspicuous now in the administration, but whose MO is always to hew to the center and take the right much more seriously than the left(the broad progressive left) because they see the right as having institutional wealth and a history of holding power and the left as scattered in protest groups for whom they offer sympathy in exchange for support.

What should we say about the administration's most recent proposal.

The Geithner plan is a bad plan and it is a continuation inadequate policy that are becoming associated with Geithner. The plan has little to do with "markets" since the problem is that the banks will not sell these "toxic assets" at the low "market" prices that they would have to without the Geithner plan. Private investors are given a large incentive to drive up the price of these "assets" and profit from them at the expense of public funding. The banks will get these "assets" off their books (and their corrupt speculative actions created the crisis to begin with) without really giving the government and the people much of anything. There is no regulatory reform of the banking system involved and the plan is essentially being sold as an expensive fix, a substitute for reform

This is why Wall Street and the banks are happy with it. They have every reason to be. This is why we must make it clear that we cannot support it in its present form. We also must make it clear that Geithner, Summers, et al, must come up with serious policies in the interest of the workers and employees, not primarily owners and investors, to contain this economic crisis if they are to keep their jobs in Washington.

The Geithner plan in its present form is an economic error by the Obama administration as policy to contain the economic crisis. It is a political right turn that will not win support from its core constituencies. We should forcefully oppose it and work to develop the strength that will lead the administration to abandon it.

I want this made very clear. I want Mr. Markowitz to get this message. The Obama Administration takes no "right turns."

These new plastic cards are tough but I have some good sharp scissors. I don't want to have to use them.

Sam Webb

National Chair, CPUSA

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Minnesota Problem


I have been shown complete disrespect. I was called a "muddle-headed middle class intellectual."

We now have revolutionaries spouting Karl Marx and Lenin calling us a "liberal think tank."

The "Minnesota Problem" has given rise to searching and questioning when it is my job to give people the answers. I am the National chair of the CPUSA. I inherited this position from Gus Hall even if I never thought much more of him than I do Marxism-Leninism."

Every time I speak I provide more new ideas. Marxism-Leninism embodies old ideas. Old Twentieth Century ideas.

We have divided the National Board into teams.

Team Obama will take the "high road" to socialism and will be headed up by Libero Della Piana.

Team Biden will be headed up by Danny Rubin and this team will take the low road to socialism.

We will see how accurate the lyrics are to "You take the high road and I'll take low road." Let's find out if the high road will get us to socialism first.

Look at what has been written.

Look at what has been written.

Obviously this was written before my speech to the National Committee Saturday morning. I don't think anyone will find it very credible; there are spelling errors:

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Nation "Tackles" Socialism

And now for the sixty-four thousand dollar question: What historical figure has been identified with socialism for the last century and a half? Yes, that’s right. Karl Marx! Bonus question: What has been the ideology of the movement for socialism in nearly the entire period? Right, again. Marxism!

You would never know this from reading the contributions in the current issue of the most popular, most influential publication on the US left, The Nation. In an issue headlined Reinventing Capitalism/Reimagining Socialism, The Nation editors call on “self-identified socialists” to discuss the prospects of socialism in the wake of a sinking world capitalist economy. To hedge their bets, the editors include an article by Joseph Stiglitz posing a strategy for saving capitalism from itself. I suppose we should applaud the magazine for raising a prospect that has long been absent from the pages of this journal that goes back almost to the founding of the First Workers’ International. Certainly, The Nation devoted much more attention to socialism in its first hundred years than they have in the last fifteen years – the era of capitalist triumphalism.

In the five articles featured in the March 23, 2009 issue, there are only two mentions of Marxism, including this derisive comment: “And we all know the joke about the Marxist economist who successfully predicted eleven out of the last three recessions.” Yes, I know that economist, too. But his or her confidence that capitalism periodically stumbles from its own internal logic strikes me as far more insightful than the correspondents who were caught completely unawares by the dimensions of the economic upheaval. So they dust-off their old socialist credentials and proffer musings on the prospects of socialism sans Marx – they re-imagine socialism.

The lead article by Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher Jr. (Rising to the Occasion) is meant to “kick off a spirited dialogue”. One can imagine the Parisian Communards, Lenin, Mao, Fidel, or Hugo sitting in the rubble, in exile, on the Long March, in the Sierra Maestra, or in jail shouting: “Hey comrades, let’s kick off a spirited dialogue on socialism!” But, then, they were not twenty-first century US liberals.

Make no mistake about it; Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher Jr. are good folks. Their dedication and service to democratic reforms and defense of the rights of working people is unmatched among progressives. But they ain’t socialists. They see no revolutionary potential in the current moment: “There was supposed to be a revolution, remember?” They can find nothing worthy of revolutionary expropriation: “In recent years, capitalism has become increasingly and almost mystically abstract” (What could “mystically abstract” possibly mean?).

Their vision is darkly pessimistic: “Can we see our way out of this and into a just, democratic…future? Let’s just put it right out on the table: we don’t.” If this were my view, I’d ask for a re-deal.

Instead of a vision of workers power, social ownership of the key economic sectors and an end to exploitation, Fletcher and Ehrenreich opt for “participatory democracy” and “solidarity” – two ideas that would draw approval across the political spectrum from soft liberals to raging anarchists. It would seem that after over two hundred years of suffering the whip of capitalism, the best answers the left can supply were inherited from the French Revolution.

Another contributor, Immanuel Wallerstein, postures a similar negative view. In the short run, Wallerstein advocates pressure on Obama and similar centrist or reform-minded politicians – a sane position, but hardly a step towards socialism. In the longer run, Wallerstein opines that “[s]ince no one really knows, practically from day to day, where the [economic] indicators will shift, no one can sensibly plan anything.” Again, it would be hard to imagine these words coming from the mouths of Marx, Lenin, Mao, Fidel, or Hugo.

“What can we do?” Wallerstein asks. “[W]e must be clear what the battle is about. It is the battle between the spirit of Davos… and the spirit of Porto Alegre. No lesser evil here. It’s one or the other.”

In the end, the left is advised to promote “intellectual clarity”, “experiment with all kinds of new structures…” and “encourage sober optimism”. I suppose these less than ambitious goals flow from the spirituality of Porto Alegre.

Writing from the perspective of environmentalism and climate change, Bill McKibben confesses he’s “not much of a socialist.” And he’s right. His legitimate environmental concerns lead him to claim that the moment for socialism has past since socialism dealt with the problem of growth. “The fuel for free-market fundamentalism and Marxism was fossil fuel, and we’re not going to have it.”, he adds. While I credit his argument for its absolute simplicity, I don’t think Marx or any of his followers ever claimed that the road to socialism was paved with fossil fuels. Nor does changing the consuming habits of people or lowering their growth expectations preclude putting an end to labor exploitation.

McKibben’s contribution shows not even a hint of class awareness. The people of McKibben’s world all seem to be solidly middle-class albeit infected with “hyper-individualism” and a lack of respect for “common good”. There is no mention here of the role of trans-national corporations in corrupting the environment or accelerating climate change. Rather, he scolds us all for our intemperance. I guess if you can’t recognize capitalism, you will surely see no need for socialism.

For Rebecca Solnit, the revolution has already begun! But, unfortunately it has little or nothing to do with socialism. In place of public ownership, universal social securities, effort-determined compensation, and a democratic workplace, Solnit gives us “gardens”, “child-care-coops”, “bicycle lanes”, and “farmers’ markets”. How revolutionary! Like McKibben, she lives in a world without massive unemployment, debt, inadequate or no health insurance, poverty, or insecurity – the world of the self-satisfied burgher. One wonders if she has offered this revolutionary program to unemployed autoworkers or Bolivian peasants. Surely they need bicycle lanes, too.

Dismissively, she cites the Sandinista revolution as the “last of its kind”. Like so many romantic – decidedly middle class – leftists, she shows a smug affinity for the Zapatistas, who remain a toothless icon of media-friendly opposition. Apparently, she has yet to hear of the revolutionary changes in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay, all of which aim for a socialist future.

Tariq Ali has. His contribution shows much respect for the question posed by The Nation editors as well as a measured historical perspective on the neo-liberal triumph and its current collapse. For Ali, the model that fills the void may well be the “radical social democracy that seeks to combine state, socialized, cooperative, small-scale private and individual enterprises” which he finds in the South American countries cited above. While Ali’s admiration (and defense) of the South American model is commendable, he is dismissive of the labor movement’s role in securing change. Instead, he opts for the Hispanic community as the agent for change in the US. But here he shares the thread of utopian detachment that runs through all of the contributions. There is little more than shared ethnic heritage that links our-Spanish speaking brothers and sisters with the inspiring example of Venezuela, Bolivia, etc. They are yet to be organized for effective progressive action, not to mention Chavez-inspired “twenty-first century socialism.” Besides, these South American movements would have made little progress towards their goals without the support of working people, peasants and many of their organizations. In the world of Saint Thomas More, God, fortuity, and reason will bring Utopia, but in our world, we will only get Jerusalem by organizing the unemployed and the unorganized, while bringing a commitment to socialism to the previously organized labor movement.

I confess to both anger and disappointment with The Nation initiative. Since the dawn of capitalism in its industrial incarnation, it has left thousands, then millions living on the edge, marginalized by its profit-churning logic that enriches its agents with unimaginable wealth. This is not or should not be news to anyone on the left. The persistent crises of capitalism – some “moderate”, some deep and profound – have devastated communities and families. Sure, capitalism has changed dramatically and resiliently, but whether it is dark, satanic mills or work cubicles or fast food restaurants, employees suffer the indignities and exploitation of the capitalist work place as well as the injustices of capitalist practices. These truths remain constant.

No doubt these truths strike different people, different strata, and different classes in different ways. A manual laborer in an Asian sweatshop, an autoworker in Detroit, and an academic or public intellectual may well feel the effects of capitalism in different ways, but all are capable of understanding the need for a system that provides decency, justice, and the absence of exploitation.

Since the dawn of industrial capitalism, the one solution that promises a complete and final break from capitalism is socialism. While there have been passionate debates over the contours of a socialist society, most advocates have offered homage to the pioneering work of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and their adherents. Their legacy sustained and energized the movements for socialism, almost without exception. So why is it absent from The Nation’s discussion? With an economic crisis that offers opportunity unseen in most of our lifetimes, an opportunity to seize the initiative against a wounded capitalism, we deserve more than pessimism and bike lanes.

Zoltan Zigedy

Though this isn't credible because of the spelling errors it was credible enough for Carl Davidson to respond so we need to take this melarchy seriously. After our gathering is concluded we will hit the streets in vigorous protest against this diatribe against us and against our allied network.

Yes we can! eliminate this crabgrass from the playing field. A cure for "The Minnesota Problem" is at hand.

On a closing note. I was asked why I am so upset today. The answer is quite simple. I was not asked to write an article about socialism for The Nation. Here I am. The preeminent socialist of the 21st Century and no one wants my opinions.

Sam Webb
National Chair,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crabgrass or dandelions?

In response to my speech to the National Committee, Building A New Era of Justice and Peace, we are getting many responses like this one. I won't provide the name of the writer. Suffice it to say the Minnesota Problem is spreading rapidly. I had been thinking that our problem was similar to dandelions sprouting up after a warm spring rain but it is more like an infestation of crabgrass we are dealing with.

If we let this problem get out of control we are going to have a real mess on our hands with these Communist Clubs springing up everywhere expecting us to take on projects like this.

Look at what this person wrote.

Each of you have a copy in your weekly update packets:

Monday, March 23, 2009

The United States has 800 military bases on foreign soil...

What we need--- instead--- is 800 public health care centers spread out across the United States where people can universally access, for free, all their health care needs from pre-natal care, to general health care to eye, dental and mental care right through to burial.

Instead of moving in this progressive direction, President Barack Obama and the United States Congress are moving in a most reactionary direction towards establishing military bases in outer space as they seek to insure the profits of both the merchants of death and destruction and the profit-driven health care industries... talk about skewed priorities and your wacky ideas devoid of common sense.

In addition to these 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil, Barack Obama and the United States Congress continue funding--- with our tax-dollars--- the Israeli killing machine to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

A network of 800 public health care centers spread out across the United States would create over four-million good-paying, decent jobs--- talk about your "economic stimulus" package!

We would be planting the seeds of socialism while helping to eradicate poverty as we keep people healthy and get them well when sick.

Think about this kind of solution in relation to what Barack Obama, the U.S. Congress and the Wall Street bankers and coupon clippers are offering the American people, and the peoples of the world... just what is the reason for bailing out the banks and AIG and maintaining more than 800 expensive U.S. military bases of foreign soil?

The Mt. Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada offers us a glimpse at what militarization and wars continue to rob us of.

The problems created by Wall Street will not be solved as long as the military-financial-industrial complex is allowed to squander human and natural resources on militarism and wars... we might just as well be dumping these resources out into the ocean... at least no one would die in wars.

These merchants of death and destruction must be stopped if humanity is to survive in a livable world.

The time has come to talk about the working class Marxist politics and economics of livelihood... capitalism has failed humanity miserably and left us a real mess.

Something for working people to think about and discuss around the dinner table... the capitalist sooth-Sayers certainly are not going to broach such solutions to the problems of working people as they hide behind the skirt of Rosy Scenario as this global capitalist economic depression intensifies.

This is far out of hand. People could take this seriously.

I have people writing me wondering why we don't support this. Why didn't you recommend this in your speech and so on.

What should I tell them?

I thought my speech to the National Committee was pretty darn good. We attracted about 52 viewers out of 300 million people. That isn't bad. And almost half the National Committee members showed up that is another good sign. Membership is steady around 300 nationwide. I don't understand what people expect of us.

I know a lot of you on the National Board missed my speech. Spend the rest of the day watching it a few times:


I think you will enjoy viewing me talking as much as I enjoyed talking. I threw some new ideas into the mix of things. A little more confusion on the ideological front won't hurt anything. Confusion will help keep tempers down and help keep the pressure off our friend Obama.

Good god, does anyone really expect the National Chair to talk about the specific things we are going to be doing in public? We can't be talking about closing down U.S. military bases all over the world. What will we do with all these people coming home? Put them in the growing unemployment lines. Obama is going to give them some targets to practice their shooting on. This is a good job creation strategy.

Sam Webb
National Chair, CPUSA

Monday, March 16, 2009

Towards a people's capitalism; it is just as good as socialism


I have included this article about Stephen Schwarzman in your information packets this week.

This is our future.

Even the Chinese Communist Party encourages people to go into business to amass great wealth.

President Obama is shaping an entirely new and bright future. As our friends in the Progressive Democrats of America enthusiastically point out the stock market has begun to recover regaining much of its losses. Capitalism hit a little bump. Recovery is within sight. I agree with the estimates that we will be seeing a 2009 recovery.

We have remodeled our offices placing us on the cutting edge as our country emerges from a little recession with the new people's capitalism holding out great promise and opportunity to all willing to put forward a little effort.

This is what I had in mind as I reflected on a Springtime of Possibility.

We are on the threshold of a transformational society. Industry and politics has been completely revamped with socialists the tools of capitalism to create a new post industrial society where anyone who wants to can become rich.

There were the doubters who said President Obama couldn't bring us out of a little recession but a new kind of capitalism has emerged stronger and more resilient than ever because this time middle class intellectuals are the engineers and architects of this new way forward.

We don't have leaders coming from log cabins as Lincoln did (I have included plastic Lincoln logs in each of your packets, also. See what you can build). No we have leaders like President Obama and Ben Bernanke who come from very modest backgrounds. These are people who will never forget the very modest backgrounds they have come from.

We have helped bring together a winning team. Our skills remain unmatched.

Comrade Marquit from Minnesota who among our front-rank fighters helping us to get control of the Minnesota Problem has suggested we begin using only our abbreviated name: CPUSA. I agree. It is more corporate sounding. It projects where we want to be headed. It is not necessary for these letters to stand for anything.

Get to your computers. Start investing. President Obama tells us there are profits to be had for the taking.

Sam Webb
Chair, CPUSA

The Guardian (London) - Final Edition

The Guardian profile Stephen Schwarzman: An expert in branding himself, he has gone from being a very rich nonentity to being the poster child for capitalist success: Fabulously wealthy private equity boss is New Yorks man of the moment

BYLINE: Andrew Clark, New York

After a tough day of deal-making, it is only right that the king of Wall Street should retire home to a palace. Stephen Schwarzman does just that
- his Manhattan apartment boasts 35 rooms including a foyer the size of a ballroom, his-and-hers saunas, a pine-panelled library, 11 fireplaces and 13 bathrooms.

Works by Claude Monet and the American abstract artist Cy Twombly adorn the walls of the two-floor, 20,000 square foot Park Avenue residence. In pride of place, according to visitors, is a silver-framed photograph of Schwarzman arm in arm with President Bush.

Brash, well-connected and fabulously wealthy, Schwarzman, 60, is New York's man of the moment. The Pennsylvania-born boss of the Blackstone private equity empire has been at the forefront of a rush of multibillion-dollar deals to snatch public companies away from the prying eyes of the stock market.

Blackstone's investments have included $12.7bn (£6.4bn) for the market research firm Nielsen, $3.2bn for United Biscuits, $2.3bn for Orangina and $3.6bn for Merlin Entertainment - the owner of Madame Tussauds, Alton Towers and the London Eye. In November, the firm smashed records by paying $38bn for US property firm Equity Office Properties.

The son of a curtain store owner, Schwarzman is not blessed with deep reserves of patience, and to describe him as competitive would be a reckless understatement. "I want war, not a series of skirmishes," he told one interviewer this week. "I always think about what will kill off the other bidder."

The business channel CNBC has dubbed him the premier capitalist in America. In a March cover story, Fortune magazine crowned him as Wall Street's monarch.

This week, Blackstone was compelled to disclose the extent of his riches in a prospectus for a stock market flotation, and revealed that Schwarzman took home $398m in cash last year. When the firm goes public, he will scoop at least $449m and his ongoing 23% stake in the business will be worth $7.7bn.

Blackstone points out that these sums reflect the fact that Schwarzman invested his own money to start the firm in 1985. But to some, he has become a poster boy for financial excess.

Richard Ferlauto, director of investment policy at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, says Schwarzman benefits from favourable tax breaks and is setting a benchmark bound to drag up boardroom pay elsewhere: "How much incentive does he need, given his direct ownership of the company, to get him to produce more for his limited partners?"

Another union, the SEIU, is more measured. It says private equity has an opportunity to shape companies in a beneficial way for both workers and employers. But spokesman Andy McDonald adds: "Right now, the econo my's doing very, very well for a small number of people but there's a much larger group for whom wages are stagnant and healthcare is hard to come by."

By definition, private equity is low-profile. Its logic is to take companies with long-term challenges out of the public gaze and to restructure them without day-to-day scrutiny from investors. Blackstone's rivals - KKR, Texas Pacific and Carlyle Group - shun the limelight. Schwarzman, though, is different. Short, grey-haired and softly-spoken, he is renowned for his exotic parties. His Christmas event was themed on 007, with Bond girls sashaying around with trays of nibbles. Then in February, he spent an estimated $3m on a birthday bash featuring private performances by Rod Stewart and Patti LaBelle at a regimental armoury on Manhattan's upper east side. The venue was decorated to look like Schwarzman's own living room, complete with a huge portrait of the host himself. Guests included Colin Powell, Donald Trump and mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Typical of Schwarzman's prestige is his choice of living space. He paid $30m in 2000 for his apartment, which was previously the home of the Mayflower descendant George Brewster, John D Rockefeller and computer leasing magnate Saul Steinberg. "Each one of them, in their way, was the ultimate capitalist of their age," says Michael Gross, author of 740 Park, a book about the building. "Not only is it the best building in New York - but it is the best apartment in the best building."

Schwarzman is married to Christine Hearst, an intellectual property lawyer who, unusually, has kept the name of her first husband, Austin Hearst, grandson of the legendary newspaper tycoon Randolph Hearst. Nomenclature is important to the couple, suggests Gross: "This is a man who is an expert in branding himself - and he has done so brilliantly. He's gone from being a very rich nonentity to being the poster child for capitalist success. Stephen Schwarzman is now know as the epitome of American capitalism."

Educated at a suburban Philadelphia school, Schwarzman attended Yale University at the same time as George W Bush and both were members of the elite Skull and Bones society. He worked at the investment bank Lehman Brothers before quitting to set up Blackstone with a colleague, Peter Peterson. The firm is a play on their names - "schwarz" is the German for black and "Peter" is derived from the Greek word petrus, meaning stone.

Schwarzman remains close to President Bush, who attended a Republican fundraiser at the private equity tycoon's apartment in April. Some say he covets the job of treasury secretary. If he ever gets it, America's treasury mandarins should expect to be pushed hard - Schwarzman boasts that he requires nothing less than a "zero-defect culture" in all his dealings.

The CV:

Born February 14 1947

Family Married to Christine Hearst, a lawyer. Three children between them from previous marriages

Education BA from Yale; MBA from Harvard business school

Employment Began at Lehman Brothers; managing director by 31. Left 1985 to co-found Blackstone

Interests Chairman, Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts; board of New York Public Library; member Council on Foreign Relations thinktank

Friday, March 13, 2009

Upbeat Obama touts new economic model for recovery

Obama: My responsibility to solve U.S. problems Play Video AP – Obama: My responsibility to solve U.S. problems
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Economic Recovery Advisory Board Chairman AP – President Barack Obama, accompanied by Economic Recovery Advisory Board Chairman Paul Volcker, makes …

WASHINGTON – Turning more upbeat, President Barack Obama said Friday his administration is working to create a "post-bubble" model for solid economic growth once the recession ends. He said that means the days of overheated housing markets and "people maxing out on their credit cards" are over. But first, Obama said, "We've got to get through this difficult period."

There are "modestly encouraging signs" on that score, said Lawrence Summers, Obama's top economic adviser, citing indications that consumer spending had stabilized after taking a dive over the holiday season.

The White House attempts to be positive matched a fourth day in a row of stock market gains. The Dow Jones industrials gained 53.92 points to cap Wall Street's best week since last November.

Administration officials were criticized earlier this year for painting too dark a picture of the economy in an effort to win congressional passage of the president's $787 billion stimulus package. But more recently, the president and others on his team have tempered their comments in hopes of building confidence, including the president's suggestion last week that it was a good time for those with a long-term perspective to buy stocks.

Despite the new enthusiasm at the White House and on Wall Street, there was little solid evidence to suggest an end was in sight to the severe recession that has already cost the U.S. over four million jobs, driven home values down and sent foreclosures soaring.

And there were fresh signs of financial stress. The Commerce Department reported Friday that the U.S. trade deficit plunged in January to the lowest level in six years as the economic downturn cut America's demand for imported goods.

And China's premier, Wen Jiabao, expressed concern over the U.S. economy and the value of his own nation's vast holdings in Treasury bonds. China is Washington's biggest foreign creditor, holding an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt.

"We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S., so of course, we are concerned about the safety of our assets," Wen told reporters in Beijing.

But in Washington, Summers said it was time for America to move past an "excess of fear" that has made things worse.

Summers, who was treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and now is director of Obama's National Economic Council, said it was too soon to gauge the broad impact of the administration's recovery program or to predict when the recession might end. But he suggested glimmers of hope.

Speaking at a Brookings Institution forum, he was asked by a member of the audience what the nation's business community could do to help speed the recovery.

"What we need today is more optimism and more confidence," Summers said.

He called it a "very good moment" to make investments in new construction and other projects. "There are a very large number of things that are on sale today."

Private economists agree that it's too soon to declare recovery is on the way.

"As long as we are losing over 600,000 jobs per month, consumers are not going to be able to sustain consumer spending," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "It is too early to conclude that the bottom is at hand," he said after Thursday's report on retail sales and consumer spending.

The White House has been on a weeklong campaign to promote the president's economic recovery and financial stability plans while giving a more upbeat assessment of the economy's ability to rebound. Summers had been working on his speech for five days.

Obama economic adviser Christina Romer delivered a speech along the same themes earlier in the week, and Obama on Thursday offered business leaders his view that the crisis is "not as bad as we think."

On Friday, the president called on Americans to keep "focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy." The phrase had a familiar ring. During the heat of the presidential campaign last September, Obama ridiculed rival John McCain when he declared, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong."

As for the Chinese premier's comments on U.S. Treasury bonds, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, "There's no safer investment in the world than in the United States." He urged lawmakers to adopt the president's budget, saying it would lead to fiscal discipline in the long term.

Obama spoke with reporters after meeting with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, chairman of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board. The president said the days of overheated housing markets and maxed-out credit cards are over.

"It is very important even as we're focused on the financial system and the credit markets, that we are laying the foundation for what I'm calling a post-bubble economic growth model," Obama said.

"There are a lot of individual families who are experiencing incredible pain and hardship right now," Obama said. "But we're providing help along the way." He mentioned aid for troubled homeowners and other moves and promised to soon lay out "additional steps to help small businesses."

Meanwhile, the government said the U.S. trade imbalance dropped to $36 billion in January, the lowest level since October 2002. However, the politically sensitive shortfall with China bucked the trend, rising by 3.5 percent to $20.6 billion.

U.S. manufacturing companies, battered by what they view as unfair competition from China, said that the continued high deficit with that nation pointed to a need for the Obama administration to take a tougher line on trade rules with the Chinese.

Heads of state from both the United States and China will be among leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and developing nations meeting in London early next month to try to chart a common approach to taming the global recession.

Finance ministers from those 20 nations, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, were meeting near London this weekend to discuss the April agenda. Geithner was seeking a commitment from the other countries to increase stimulus spending. But many in Europe are calling for better financial regulation, not spending.

Obama said it was important to coordinate "with other countries in order to assure that what we do here in the United States corresponds with strong efforts overseas." But he also said that overhauling financial regulation was something "we have to do very carefully."

Volcker told reporters that restructuring regulation of the financial system was "a very complicated matter."

Also, he said, "There are big economic problems behind the financial system, too, that are going to take longer to work out."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Free Bernie Madoff!

Bernie Madoff is a victim of the right-wing Bush regime.

Bush targeted Madoff because Bernie supported Obama.

We need to look into getting Bernie a presidential pardon.

Bernie is 70 yrs. old he will never be able to with stand jail life because he is used to living life to the fullest.

If what Bernie did is criminal the entire capitalist system is criminal. All of this was just standard operating procedure. So what if a few rich people lost a few bucks. Isn't this the risk capitalist investors take?

Some of the Madoff investors helped us with our million dollar remodeling job; others helped Obama on advice from Madoff. These are our friends.

Let's see what we can do to help out Bernie through our connections.

Bernie is a true progressive philanthropist.

We should explore getting bumper stickers made: Free Bernie!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tearing Glenn Beck to shreds

Comrade Sam Webb appeared on the Glenn Beck show today and ripped right winger Beck to shreds.

Watch the video on the side bar.

Webb defended President Barack Obama, distanced himself from Stalin and insisted he be given the right to defend the interests of workers.

The National Board of the CPUSA thanks Comrade Sam Webb for a stellar performance and a job well done.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Danger from the right

A number of right-wing extremists organizations have begun an attack on our Party because of our close association with Barack Obama.

This presents a danger to democracy.

We intend to request Attorney General Holder looks into our concerns.

The most recent attacks on our Party come at a time we are working for nationalization of the banks. We want the nationalization to proceed smoothly.

The attacks on the Communist Party, USA are completely unfounded.

Our position is unshakable.

The following right-wing blogs pose a threat to our Party and a threat to democracy. We will request an injunction to have them shut down:



Gribbit's Word

These attacks on our Party must be brought to an end. The right-wing was defeated. Obama was elected.

We cannot fight on two fronts. Our primary concern must continue to be the Minnesota Problem.

We must be aware of Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh is a major problem for the country. We should consider calling for boycotts of his sponsors.

For the time being we should continue to downplay Frank Marshall Davis. Further into the Obama Administration we will begin selling books by Frank Marshall Davis. We need to go slow.

We expected the danger from the right to subside with the election of Barack Obama. Perhaps we over estimated Obama's potential.

I will write to Rush Limbaugh to see if he will allow us to present our views on his program. He should be open to this suggestion. Rush appears to be highly intelligent.

Sam Webb, for the National Board, CPUSA