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Unions, Democrats, and Communists – One Big Angry Family

Monday, February 28, 2011


“The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole…The Communists…have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.”
– Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto

Last week’s union solidarity rally at the State House offered important political lessons for all Rhode Island voters, as it casted a bright light on exactly who fuels the activism for the RI Democrat Party.

It may shock some old-school Democratic voters to be informed that a variety of Marxist organizations are invariably involved in rallies organized by Democratic partisans. This should, at the very least, raise suspicion regarding the kinship between Democrats and dedicated socialists.
But trying to get a Democrat to employ the slightest bit of intellectual curiosity these days is a magic trick itself.

Scattered throughout last week’s State House crowd were dozens of unabashed socialists, handing out copies of the Socialist Worker and holding signs that directed people to websites such as RISocialist.org. Many of them were holding materials that instructed, “Tax the Rich!” Amidst a crowd of people wearing green AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) solidarity T-shirts, several union members held signs that also read – yup, you guessed it – “Tax the Rich!” 

And then there were the “progressives.”

To understand why “social justice” advocacy groups such as Jobs for Justice, the RI Progressive Network, and Ocean State Action always stand with the unions, one must first understand that the term “progressive” is merely a code word for “socialist,” and that the term “social justice” is code for “redistribution of wealth.”

The Progressive Democrats of America describes itself as an organization that is “working within the Democratic Party, reminding them that they are the party that represents the people not the elites.” Just the fact that progressives feel the need to clarify that they are “working within” the Democrat Party should send signals regarding their extreme political character.

Van Jones, President Obama’s former Green Jobs Czar, represents the quintessential progressive. Jones is a self-declared communist, who the Nation magazine calls “a caring and eloquent champion of social justice.” In order to propel himself to the top of the Democratic network, Jones decided “to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of the radical ends.” Like all progressive Democrats, Van Jones disguises his Marxist identity in order to advance Marxist policies. His entire mainstream political existence is a lie.

Peter Asen, a community organizer out of Brown University, also exemplifies the progressive phenomenon. Asen has been known to make submissions to Solidarity.org, “a democratic, revolutionary socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization.” Asen left his post as Executive Director of Ocean State Action last year when he was hired as the Campaign Coordinator for the RI Democrat Party. Asen is now a “senior policy analyst” for the General Assembly, “a newly-created, $60,000 a year job…on the House payroll” that has him “focus[ing] on health care and labor policies.” Oh, wonderful.

Shaun Joseph – a local radical activist who presides over the RI Chapter of the International Socialist Organization – further confirms this Democratic deception for us. Joseph, another community organizer out of Brown, has lamented the lack of socialist encroachment achieved by progressive Democrats by handing out street flyers in Providence that ask, “Where are all the ‘progressive Democrats?’” Last election season he praised former Rep. David Segal for having a “decent progressive record, albeit more impressively so during [Segal’s] years as a Green in the [Providence] City Council.”

Joseph is fervently against the progressive penetration of the Democrat Party, actually finding it counter-productive to the “path of radical independence and grassroots struggle.” Therefore, it is Joseph’s “hope that progressives who have worked for Democrats out of sincere desire to see their ideas implemented” will make “a consistent left-wing exit from the Democratic Party.”

Okay, so that settles it. The only difference between progressives and socialists is how they choose to deal with the Democrat Party.

But did it disturb any of the labor supporters last week that the policies they were proposing were identical to those being advanced by the Marxist revolutionaries in the crowd? Or, that in order to spark a socialist revolution, the Communist Manifesto instructs anti-capitalists to “tax the rich” by implementing “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax”?

The complete lack of concern over the clear philosophical camaraderie between Democrats and devout socialists is telling. Does it disturb union advocates that, according to the National Park Service, the permit to host another union solidarity rally in Washington, DC over the weekend “was requested by and issued to the International Socialist Organization”?

Nope. We’re talking about Democrats here. So politics are at play, not principles.

To any normal person, last week’s rally got really weird when Rhode Island labor boss Frank Flynn told the crowd, “It wasn’t very long ago that organized labor broke the back of communism in Poland!”

The socialists let that one slide.

Shaun Joseph recently included the labor movement within his definition of the progressive community, when he explained that the term “progressive Democrats” used “in the broad sense” includes “not just [the Progressive Democrats of America] and [MoveOn.org], but the entire left-liberal complex, up to (and especially) the leadership of the trade unions.” 

Union Members: The International Socialist Organization wants You!

But why? As it was explained at a Netroots Nation conference in 2008 by a progressive panelist, “More union members means a better progressive movement. You can’t have a successful progressive movement without a workers movement. It’s never been done in the history of progressive politics.” 

Or, as the Communist Manifesto explains, organizers must “increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.” According to Marx, the mob rule of “democracy,” detested by America’s founders, “is the road to socialism.” The George Wiley Center, a progressive activist group here in Rhode Island, elaborates: “[Our] enduring task is to help [the poor] find their own voice…for they are not powerless once they recognize that their numbers count.”

Taxing the rich is a surefire way to further destroy Rhode Island’s business climate, and diminish the job supply for union workers and the middle-class. It’s easy to understand why left-wing radicals would desire these conditions. They have been instructed by Marx to collapse the current system by initiating “despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production.” At first, these measures will “appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.”

Democrats and Union Workers: Is this truly who you are? Is it possible that you have been co-opted by professional left-wing activists actually aiming to collapse the Rhode Island economy? Are you comfortable being aligned with Marxist radicals?
Or do you think it’s time to reconsider your allegiance to the RI Democrat Party?

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans, and author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.  


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