Saturday, November 20, 2010

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

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