Saturday, November 27, 2010

An injury to one is an injury to all... An injury to one is an injury to all...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Media Coordinator Update, 11/26/10

So far this week, I’ve detected five “pickups” — reprints of C4SS commentaries in the “mainstream” print media:

The Bakersfield, California Californian ran Ross Kenyon’s “Tax-cut policy on a bumper sticker” on November 19th.
On the 22nd, the Tehran, Iran Times and the Oxford, Ontario Review ran “Torture: The Great American Export” by David D’Amato.
My own “Dim Bulbs Seek Bright Lines: The LA Times vs. American Travelers” appeared in the Caroll County, Maryland Standard on the 23rd.
The Deming, New Mexico Headlight ran Kevin Carson’s “The TSA is Evil AND Stupid” on the 24th.Media Coordinator Update, 11/26/10

Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Upton Sinclair Mutual Aid Fund Needs you

Soon, unemployment benefits will cease for millions, time to act now... work with us to extend the unemployment benefits and create a means to provide direct relief for the coming crisis.
Upton Sinclair, LID fund

Leonard Peltier Letter To National Day Of Mourning

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Riz Khan - Fifty years after the sixties - Populist Wedge .org

Riz Khan - Fifty years after the sixties - Populist Wedge .org

The Defamation of LID, and it's current reformatting...

One of the ways to dismantle an organization or movement is to mount a defacement of it's intent and original purpose, especially when that movement is becoming successful. This has happened numerous times in American hstory. The SDS was defaced with the violence of the Weather Underground for example, and much of the time the AFL-CIO has been moved from it's workers base to the middle-right position of corporate owned unions. Well during the 90's this happened to the League for Industrial Democracy. According to Source Watch (, LID became co-opted by the CIA, and was granted a grant (CIA front money) in 1985. According to Source Watch. by the 50's. LID 'became involved with the CIA in efforts to combat Communism'.

From what I understand, was that many in LID's Board of Directors were not anti-communist but were opposed to autocratic rule and the Stalinist doctrine of democratic centralism which became the 'official' Soviet line by the 50's and 60's. This sadly has defined communism since. Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats did not want to cave in to the Stalinist line and viewed this line of thinking as disastrous to the workers movement. Marxist-Leninist and Stalinist interpretation of the Marx's 'dictatorship of the proletariat' was counter to the real democracy of the working class that most in LID defended. And of which, not everyone on the Left can agree, which on the one hand is a good thing, while on the other hand we do need to find a unifying element of which we can agree upon. In recent correspondence with Tom Hayden I had, he wrote to me, that this position of disagreement the Marxist-Leninist and Stalinist interpretation of Marx seems to built into LID's dna. It should be, as the experience of Russia and the former 'empire' known as the Soviet Union or even China or Cuba is not the American worker experience. The worker experience itself, with the exception of the slave industry hasn't been serfs or peasants to a Czar or other autocratic rule. We are not exiting in a pre-industrial society striving to cast off autocratic rule and advance to an advanced industrial society as those who were waging revolution in Russia.

We can learn from that history, and no doubt the writings of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Castro have much to teach us about that struggle. But we too, have our own revolutionary heroes who are indigenous to our culture and who speak from our history and culture. If there is to be a socialist transformation of our society, and if this means that we have to wage class warfare, it is our struggle, not Russia's, China or Cuba. This is not to promote/defend some kind of new Socialist Nationalism, and we should remain part of the International. But doing so, does not mean abandoning our experience as workers in America who have at least a form of democracy and have already been through one violent revolution and a violent civil war (over slavery). Our next revolution must commit itself not to democratic centralism or a hard line position of only a violent class struggle will cast off the chains of enslavement. This is why I think, most of us call ourselves 'democratic socialists' or 'social democrats', Socialism will emerge from our own history and heritage as Americans.

But I am, as the new National Co-Director of LID going to put an end to this historical smear and as Director will make every effort to debunk this and get LID back on track as a workers organization supporting efforts by the working class to regain democracy and support worker initiated projects, to defend the rights of the working class world wide, and to promote grassroot democracy, democracy in the workplace and to push forward economic democracy. LID is back with the full agenda of struggle for full racial equality, the abolition of poverty, the strengthening of trade unions and cooperatives, the expansion of civil liberties, the extension of public ownership and democratic economic planning, and the realignment of our political organizations with a view toward making them more responsive to the will of the people. To counter the right wing takeover of American democracy by the corporate minority who own and control 90% of the resources and wealth of the world, and which threatens the very existence of humanity through ecological ruination and greed.

Brother Robert, Franciscan
There is no peace, peace is the way.

Robert Mills
"The problem on “the left” hasn’t just been the in-power Democrats. The nation’s relatively moribund Democratic Party-captive liberal activist and policy infrastructure has responded to the social and economic crisis and the corporate and imperial direction of policy under nominal Democratic rule with remarkably little in the way of serious criticism and protest. As John Judis noted in The New Republic even before Obama’s administration was more than one month old, “there is not a popular left movement that is agitating for [Obama] to go well beyond where he would even ideally like to go…. Instead, what exists of a popular left is either incapable of action or in Obama’s pocket.” By Judis’ analysis, the U.S. labor movement and groups like “Moveon.Org” were repeating the same “mistake that political groups often make: subordinating their concern about issues to their support for the [Democratic] party and its leading politicians….”
Paul Street The Empire’s New Clothes - Part Two First published: 18 November, 2010

"It has been all too ready to surrender the mantle of populist anger to the dodgy, regressive, and authoritarian right represented by The Tea Party – the latest incarnation of the right wing version of “the Paranoid Style in American Politics” and the most powerful such embodiment of the version in more than half a century..."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

extend federal unemployment

A Proposal: House Republicans today blocked an effort to extend federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, making a lapse in benefits all but certain when they expire at the end of the month. Democratic leaders could bring the bill back to the floor. Sign the petition here to tell Congress to maintain UI for long-term jobless workers.

And there is the option to hit the streets massively, call for a poor people march and assembly. Make it as big and as widespread as the anti-war movement and form alliances with all direct action organizations and labor unions as possible. If France and England can do it, we can too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Summary of “Christarchy”

Sorry folks, this was suppose to be sent to my blog at cyberb764... Blogger keeps defaulting to the Industrial Democrat rather than my personal blog page. There is no delete button here and cannot move it to my other blog. But you may find tis interesting being an alternative Christian left/anarchist position. The same thing happened with the sermon submission about hope, didn't want to offend anyone... it was not intentional. I am sensitive to those who do not believe and apology is given to those who really object to this sort of thing (On the other hand, there might be someone wanting to hear). So if you want, skip these as they were intended for a different blog.

A Summary of “Christarchy”

Why I am a Progressive Populist Christian Anarchic-Socialist.

From the earliest days of my activism way back in the 70's I realized that Christianity as it has been propagated and promoted has very little to do with the actual life and events of the one called Jesus and the followers who were called Christians. Jesus was a religious and political threat, both to the Jewish ruing class and the emerging Roman Empire. The crucifixion was the method used by the Romans to punish rebels and heretics (those who refused to worship Caesar as a god). The Romans effectively used rhetoric and propaganda to convince people of their rightness and also attempt to shift blame to someone else. So Pilate told the Jewish authority to try Jesus, and when this failed, he turned to the people and told them Roman Law permitted one offender to be released in exchange of another. Who did the people want executed, Jesus or Barabbas? Well obviously, on the surface then - the Jewish people and the the authority could now be blamed for the execution and death of Jesus, Rome was satisfied and their idea of justice was carried out. This man Jesus will not be threat, and his followers will scatter.

Well it didn't work out that way, as it did for other popular leaders before Jesus. There had been many, including Barabbas who a 'terrorist' belonging to a sect of assassins called the daggers. It is interesting to note that Barabbas, meant 'Son of the Rabbi', hinting at the fact that he was of the Rabbinical line, while Jesus was Nazarene, of whom was a minority and could be considered 'from Palestine, as Nazr was a part of then Palestine. Anyways, these people were looked down upon, mistrusted and generally considered inferior to the Jewish race. No doubt, this Jesus was Jewish in origin, and the writers of the Gospels made special note of his lineage through Mary and Joseph. The Jesus people or followers, they were not called Christians, except as a derogatory term and were outcasts and was forced to live underground, as they were considered rebels against Rome, and the Jewish authorities did not want to make trouble with Rome. But they continued to grow, and to spread beyond the borders of Israel through the Middle east, Greece, Rome and even as far as Africa and India.

So for me, being a Christian also means being a rebel against authority and the State. hence it is part of my belief to be an anarchist. So as to be consistent, I cannot support ideological any State, most especially impose a theory of theocracy upon the secular State. Fundamentalists of any religion, who believe in the primacy of God, also attempt to force theocracy upon the whole culture. I refuse to believe that Jesus advocated this idea. For he taught 'the kingdom of God is within, and the Kingdom of God is already in your midst. if there is to be any kind of theocracy, this between you and God, in your heart and in the relationship you have with this personal God, and it is insanity to think that this relationship can forcefully be imposed upon the State. Instead, it is to seek after the Kingdom, which is to have no State control or rule you. hence to be a Christian anarchist.

However it doesn't stop here. My faith is not passive, and it is not confined to what has been called praying in the navel sort of spirituality, whereby you seek God and forget about everything else. This passive type or religion is as dangerous as the ones which seek to establish a theocracy on Earth. We must live as a society, as a community. The question is one of governance and how thte society is to organize itself. The early underground 'Church' was communal and socialist, and being poor, defending the poor. as well. They were all workers as well. They had trade and vocations, not as we define the worker today, but they worked with their hands. However rather than having 'lords or masters, they all shard equally what they made. In this underground, no one was left needy and all supported each other. It was what todays Marxists call primitive communism. But another term that I prefer is Anarchic-Socialist or the term Mutualists (as it was called by Peter Kropotkin). It is not primitive, as Jesus calls us to love one another, and some historians like Josephus were astonished enough to make note that these Christians surely loved one another. Tis love is a radical way of life and does not really leave much room for an individualistic interpretation of loving others when it is convenient or as a one to one gesture, as evidenced of the way the community lived in the beginning, so should we if we claim to be a following of Jesus. Certainly there is th dimension of personal-ism, that is we give to each other as real living persons, and not as a principle or object, and it is best we do it as a community. The very word 'agape' implies community. Charity within the context of community implies also social justice. The teaching in Matthew 25, where whatsoever you do or not do the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the imprisoned, the naked and scorned is being done to Jesus himself implies a social context, for in it Jesus states the nations shall be gathered at Judgment and be divided base on whether they did or did not do justice.

Politically then then I support an ideology of the Democratic Socialist and do not attempt to impose a false theocracy . Any State under which I am to live will either be a just and compassionate one consistent with my Faith or it will be an unjust State that is inconsistent with my faith. If unjust, then I must oppose it, and support the ideals of one which is consistent with the Gospel values of justice, compassion and community. I cannot accept the notion that Capitalism is such a system. You cannot justify Capitalism with scripture or faith. Capitalism indulges in self gratification, personal gain and the idolatry of wealth, as such it encourages and promotes selfish behavior and is contrary to community and to justice. Hence I am a Democratic Socialist and within the commitment to revolutionary non-violence I will fight for and support this position. And it is my belief, that Democratic Socialism would support mutualist communities, whereas the Capitalists refuse to accept them and even fight wars to prevent them.

Robert Mills
November 8 at 7:49am


Upton Sinclair, Clarence Darrow, and Norman Thomas were among the many who built the league for Industrial Democracy. Students of League for Industrial Democracy gave birth to the New left through the SDS. We live now in the 21st Century, and we need vision and real time solutions - LID and SLID continues to be committed to take the lead, investigate and propose and adopt solutions.

It does seem that the American people are not just ready to take a leap, to take a risk and begin taking stock of where we are really, and what our true potential could be. But the truth is, we should be prepared to examine beyond what our current options of 'business as usual' politics and way of living, to even go beyond the old way of beinng proggressive or left. To seek an entirely new revoltionary outlook, and move forward into the future. Some of this requires stepping back and taking stock of what has been tried and failed, to what has been proposed and not tried while rejecting altogether what is not advancing humanity, compassion, justice and peace.

Why on this insistence on revolution? What about just plan ordinary reform? To be a progressive populist, isn't it just enough to rework the exiting system? There are clearly two defining reason for the need of revolution rather than reform.

Political systems and other human conventions can be likened t the computer hard drive. When it acumulates too much junk, malware and such, there comes a time when the only way it will run smoothly and as it should, it has to be be wiped clean and reformatted. Since human conventions and systtem are also creations of the human mind in the first place, and no humna mind is perfect, the system itself needs to reformatted and start afresh.

We have accumulated so many laws, interpreatations and revisions, it has become overlyy cumbersome. Taake for example, I come from a City that still has old west statutes in their law books. One of those makes it illegal for automobiles to be driven on main streets, as they scare horses and are a hazard too much. Obviously there are no horses, why has this statute never been removed? How many other laws are outdated yet stay on the books?

And the second comes from the Burmese Democracy movement

"A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration." Aung San Suu Kyi

So then, to be progressive and to be populist, we need to have vision and we need to have spirit. To paraphrase Tom Paine, If we are to cast off our enslavement, we cannot merely repeat the role of the system which we are currently oppressed by, but to cast it off completely and create anew one which is compassionate, just, free and peaceful.

Bro. Robert FMC
There is no way to peace, peace is the way

The Peter Maurin Work Co-operative

A project of the Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra in Salinas Ca.

The goal of the Work Co-operative is to create sustainable work and revenue opportunities for guests of Dorothy's Place who are ready for a "next step" after volunteering. Our emphasis is building self-esteem and confidence among our members and creating a work environment without overwhelming stress.

Everyone needs work with a purpose just like the air that we breathe. There is no substitute source for the validation that the experience of work can give. When one has been unemployed for months or years, each and every day becomes more and more of a burden. Adding to the hopelessness that unemployment breeds, are the inter-related issues of personal, familial, and social breakdowns that oftentimes contribute to alcohol and drug addictions. The emotions of depression, anger, fear, loneliness, and desperation also prey upon the homeless, all of which make "job seeking' akin to climbing Mt. Everest with no oxygen. This is where the Peter Maurin Work Co-op begins.

The enterprise is named the Peter Maurin Work Co-Op after the co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, Peter Maurin (the “Catholic Worker” is the model on which the Franciscan Workers base their life of service). Volunteers and guests planned and are running the operation making screen printed t-shirts and canvas bags that we then sell at different community venues.

The designs are simple and created by local artists, reflecting the philosophies of the Franciscan Workers. Clothing used for printing is either stock from a “sweat-shop free” supplier, or good quality clothing recycled from donations received at Dorothy’s Place.What started as an art project during the Women Alive! shelter hours has grown to a small silk screening micro-enterprise. We do most of the work during the day and this provides a small income for participants (based on sales) and income to feed the expansion of the operation.

The Work Co-op is now selling on eBay -- go to eBay store "ST Pebble" and order our original designs shipped right to your door!• Purchase wearable art from the Peter Maurin Work Co-op for yourself and your business! Call 831-757-3838 or email for more details! We create custom orders!• Consider contributing to this project: we need start-up money to purchase supplies! We have a funding goal of $8,000 for this year.• Consider also becoming a business mentor/partner – this is an opportunity to really change some lives!• Order shirts as gifts for family and friends!

Go to our Peter Maurin Work Co-op eBay Store and check it out! What could be better than original designs in cheap art delivered to your door?

Our Vision – the Soupline Café

It is the goal of Dorothy’s Place to go out of business. In other words, we can “imagine paradise”. We can imagine communities, cities, nations, and a world of “justice for all’.

The solutions to poverty, marginalization, and homelessness are adequate housing resources, job training with actual jobs afterwards, educational and volunteer opportunities, support communities, constructive recreational outlets, and recovery programs that include on-going mental health guidance. Each of these components has been built into the plan for a New Soledad Street (New Chinatown) envisioned by the Franciscan Workers more than three years ago at our first Soupline Forum community conference. Creating a thriving community of housing, job training and small businesses, transitional programs, neighborhood youth activities, a living history museum and culture center with artists and writers in residence, a Chinese Garden, and building design to reflect the history of the area is a great unifying vision for a revitalization plan that builds upon our community assets and resources. In March of 2007, that vision was incorporated into the new Chinatown Renewal Project draft plan, adopted by the whole Chinatown stakeholder group.The element of our vision for providing job training and jobs compels us to transition our Dorothy’s Kitchen program into the “Soup Line Café”, open to the paying public, still offering hospitality and no-cost meals for the poor and marginalized, and employing graduates of our food service training program. At the new Soupline Café, visitors and residents alike can purchase lunch, relax in a nurturing environment, and become (at least temporarily) immersed in the rebirth of possibilities for the homeless persons that are students in the program.Employing formerly homeless individuals, the “Soup Line Café” would be advertised as a “retired” soup kitchen. Once Soledad Street has experienced the renewal that the neighborhood plan calls for, it will be the perfect destination for lunch for the many new community residents and for business professional in Oldtown Salinas. We see a beautiful, lively environment with patio seating where a server greets you and offers a delightful menu. We see guest instructors being chefs from a local restaurants and an on-site collaboration with a local culinary arts school, and all servers and restaurant workers being students or graduates of the program.It’s a powerful vision. And just as the vision developed in the Soupline Forum is becoming a reality for Salinas’ Chinatown, the vision of our Soup Line Café will become a reality for our homeless guests. Please help us share this vision with others – and contact us with questions, ideas, and support!

Submitted for consideration by Bro. Robert National Co-Director LID
A model project for Upton Sinclair Mutual Aid Fund Proposal.

Robert Mills
October 30 at 7:28am

Class, Manifest Destiny and the American Worker

The doctrine of Manifest Destiny came about about the same time of the American Revolution, with the Colonies. In 1776, Adam Smith had written "Wealth of Nations", the first complete description of a new economic system called capitalism. Smith had called for the freedom of capitalists to operate their businesses as they saw fit with little interference from government, and that it was a Divine right ordained by God.

The American Revolution happened, the colonies became States and Federalism began. But it was inspired by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and capitalism.

It was not until the mid 1800's when Karl Marx bean shaping a new economic theory and of revolution. Both his writings on the Paris Commune and Das Kapital began to challenge Adam Smith which at the time was the total 'science' of economics, Capitalism could not fail, because it was God given.

Before Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and Mao, there was Karl Marx writing directly to the American Working Class in the 1840's. Socialism was emerging, although not fully elucidated until later in the 1890's. Frederich Engels was also writng to the American Workers, warning the working clas not to take Das Kapital and the Comunist Manifesto as 'Gospel' or a divinely inspired work, but to use it to assist in understanding the mechanisms of capitalism and oppression. After all, this theory of socialism was a science not a religion, class struggle was a theory, not a doctrine. For both, the International, class struggle and revolution challenged capitalism, and the doctrine of manifest destiny as claimed by the doctrines of Adam Smith.

So we today should not look at the class struggle and the workers struggle as some sort of gateway to heaven, The hiostory of U.S. labor is unique and has had to deal with specific aspects of culture which cannot be found in Russia, China or Cuba. Solidarity is certain, but the American worker has and will continue to reject the imposition of 'doctrine' and is more concerned with the issues and concerns which effect the American worker. Lenin's amd Mao's peasent revolution does not concern the American worker (which is not to say, they did not contributed to the advancement of their countries and to advance industrialization) . The American worker does not want to stand under the banner of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao.

"You have wide field in America for work along the same lines. A coalition of the German workers with the Irish workers (and of course also with the English and American workers who are prepared to accede to it) is the greatest achievement you could bring about now. This must be done in the name of the International. -- Greetings and fraternity!Karl Marx"

"We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority.If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant warcry of your re-election is, Death to Slavery....When an oligarchy of 300,000 slave-holders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, “slavery” on the banner of Armed Revolt; when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the 18th century; when on those very spots counter-revolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding “the [...] ideas entertained [...] at the time of the formation of the old Constitution,” and maintained “slavery to be a beneficent institution,” indeed the only solution of the great problem of “the relation of labour to capital,” and cynically proclaimed property in man “the corner-stone of the new edifice,” then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slave-holders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labour, and that for the men of labour, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the pro-slavery intervention, importunities of their betters—and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.While the working men, the true political power of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic; while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned labourer to sell himself and choose his own master; they were unable to attain the true freedom of labour or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation, but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.The working men of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Anti-Slavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world."

—Karl Marx, “To Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America” (November 1864) [brackets in original]

Also see,

Robert Mills
November 7 at 10:45am