Skip to main content

Chapter 35 - Conclusion

In the year of 1912 I heard Eugene V. Debs predict the victory of Socialism over the forces of Capitalism. I believed it then-and I believe it now (in 1966)-more than ever before.

Radicals generally, have given up the fight for Socialism mainly because of a lot of false notions as to the invincibility of Capitalism. They see the continuing almost uninterrupted boom conditions prevailing since [World] War II. Some of them seem to think that the theory of Marx-Lenin is outdated. Events will soon prove them wrong, and Marx-Lenin correct.

The system of world capitalism collapsed in the 1930s and the fake nostrums of Mr. Franklin D Roosevelt was able only to partially revive it. Yet, in spite of the expenditure of billions of dollars for relief, relief work, unemployment compensation, Social Security, and the like, the US still had ten million unemployed at the outset of World War II.

Hitler became the "fair haired boy" who was to "save the world from Bolshevism" in the 1930s. He was allowed to rearm Germany and was given all possible assistance by the ruling class of the whole world. Then came the formation of the Axis of Germany-Italy-Japan. The Capitalist world gave them every assistance in their struggle "against Communism".

We all know the rest, but what we don't seem to realize is the fact that the US has now stepped into the shoes of the defeated Axis powers and is now attempting to lead the "Free World" (the Capitalist Class) in the struggle "against Communism" and it will meet the same fate as did Adolph Hitler.

The German working class was a more or less bribed working class getting fairly good pay as a result of the German seizure of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other conquered territory. Today-the American working class is a more or less bribed working class which is also living off the plunder of US imperialism abroad. This is why Mr. George Meany[1], Mr. Walter Ruether, and their cohorts are in favor of the present administration policy of the Cold War, the arms race, the Vietnam War, and the rest. This proves another basic tenet of Marxist-Leninists that the leaders of organized labor are "agents of the capitalist class within the ranks of labor."[2]

On the continuing economic boom in the "Free World" there is one simple logical reason. At the close of [World] War II with the whole of Europe and Japan bombed out of existence there was bound to be an economic upsurge given a "banker" country to foot the needed loans. That was the US with its means of production intact. The Marshall plan did the chore. Then we saw emerge the so-called "economic miracle" of West Germany. There was an immense pick-up in Japan, Italy, England, and France. Naturally, business boomed over here too. Things began to slump in 1950 which was a main reason for the Korean War. In order to sustain the pick-up, a re-arming program was begun, and the US supplied tanks, planes, and modern weapons to the whole world.

This has had the effect of dampening down the world revolutionary movement, but at the same time laying the basis for a real upsurge later on. The peoples of the world are getting tired of being targets for imperialism merely to keep business booming in imperialist countries and working people of the world around are getting tired of this eternal cycle of "boom, bust, depression, and war."

So-we will soon see a vast revival of Marxist-Leninist activity throughout the whole world.[3] This is inevitable, simply because an economic depression is inevitable, and history records that struggle always increases during an economic letdown. Each boom generates its opposite-depression. The up-coming depression bids fair to make all others look like a pink tea social by comparison, a "little dandy"!

The Socialist world will be exempt from the ravages of depression as they are well on the road of solutions of economic problems. Those people have HAD their slowdown with the master class. Unemployment has been eliminated, production steadily increases, and hunger has been banished. What an example, especially when once more the workers of the "Free World" hunt non-existent jobs, wage cuts, high prices, diminishing pensions and the like! Just as surely as we have done many times in the past-we will face this same situation again!

The times demand that the US workers organize a genuine Marxist-Leninist movement that will be capable of organizing the American workers into an organization strong enough to resist this imperialist offensive against their living standards. Our group in the Eureka, California vicinity in 1957-62 through our activities did not exactly evolve any new contribution to the theory of Marxism-Leninism but we DID prove that the old discarded theory (discarded by many "Marxist-Leninists") was still valid.

It took 30% unemployment of the labor force in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte Counties to get a struggle going for unemployed organization. Local Communist party members said we were "outdated", "behind the times", "living in the past", etc. And yet, when the chips were down-struggle was born out of which came many gains for unemployed. When the sawmills resumed in 1959 our group, mostly lumberjacks transferred our movement into another field which had been discarded by the pinkos-rank-and-file activity within the lumber locals of AFL and CIO woodworkers. This worked every bit as good as it ever did in the "old days". So, to sum up in a few words, we invented no new theory, but we merely reaffirmed the validity of Marxist-Leninist theory of "united front from below", that is, rank-and-file activity within reactionary led unions and independent organization of the unemployed. This is of course, part of the drive to "organize the unorganized". There are only a trifle over 20 million organized workers in the US out of some 70 million in the labor force!

These more than fifty million workers that are unorganized today constitute the main body of the proletariat; the propertyless individuals whose historic task is the overthrow of capitalism. Let us proceed forthwith in a vast attempt to organize these people into some sort of catch-all organization perhaps similar to the old Workers Alliance. It could be called an "all workers union'. This could become a decisive force for peace and against imperialism in present day US.

Before any great success can be achieved in this line there must be some kind of Marxist-Leninist unity accomplished first. Most of the Marxist-Leninist groups now in existence today agree on the nature of the State. Most of them agree that US imperialism is the main source of wars and the worst enemy of the people. Their other differences are mainly over tactics. First order of business it would seem to me, would be a unity conference of these groups to see what might be done towards a new start on the road of Revolution.

Millions of Americans already know that war and imperialism are "gold dust twins". To really assure peace in the world, you simply have to remove imperialism, the source of war! When this great historic task is finished we can get where the next main enemy, hunger and want can be eliminated forever. I arrive at this view of the world situation after more than fifty years experience in the American revolutionary movement, including the IWW, the Communist Party, the West Coast Committee, and the Provisional Organizing Committee. Poor health has got me out of all this at the moment, but I would still take part in a unity conference of the left if one could be arranged.[4]

Goodbye, and don't let the middle of the road extremists get you down!


[1] President of the AFL-CIO at the time of this writing (1966).

[2] Marxist-Leninists are not the only ones who hold this theory.

[3] Actually, what happened in 1968 was more of a revival of radical, libertarian-socialist traditions, but the causes were the same as Scribner describes here.

[4] The following sentence, "Anyone who wants a copy of this book, just mail one dollar to Redwood Ripsaw, Davenport, California and we will mail you a copy" has been relegated to this footnote, since the Redwood Ripsaw is no longer in existence.