Strong Communist Parties needed to advance workers’ movements, says PW reader
A supporter of presidential candidate Alejandro Guillier carries a Communist Party flag, top, and another carries a portrait of Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, during a campaign rally in Santiago, Chile, Dec. 14, 2017. | Esteban Felix / AP

People’s World readers offer their take on a number of recent articles featured in our pages. The comments below have been proofread and edited for length. Join the discussion on the PW website and on Facebook, or submit your comments directly to editors@peoplesworld.org. Your thoughts could be the next to appear in this space.

 

Re: Social democracy abandoned workers; now, workers are doing likewise

Norman Markowitz says:

A decent job of stating what should be fairly obvious. The missing component everywhere though is socialism and the existence of significant Communist Parties. The existence of powerful Communist Parties in France and Italy in the trade union movement especially played a substantial role in the gains made by working classes. As social democrats in Europe became more like Democrats in the U.S. circa 1960, and Democrats in the U.S. became more like Nelson Rockefeller Republicans circa 1960, a political vacuum was created. Reviving Communist Parties everywhere and putting socialism into political discourse, working to accomplish both, along with an international peace policy to foster both peace and economic development of the regions from which the immigrants are coming—working for that is the only real solution.

 

Re: MLK’s children: We need a revolution of values, not a sanitized idol

Zen Arts says:

Taking the revolution out of the revolutionary. Great article. At first, I was confused by the phrase “sanitized idol.” Then, I remembered the great Lenin using a similar concept in his State and Revolution. Lenin explains (Chapter 1, Section 1) how great leaders of oppressed and exploited classes are hounded, demonized, and persecuted throughout their lifetime. But, “after their deaths, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names…” At the same time, their revolutionary theories are vulgarized and robbed of their substance. The goal is to take the revolution out of the revolutionary and render him/her as a “harmless icon” or “sanitized idol” who no longer threatens the status quo.

This is happening to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Fortunately, his children are keeping his true analysis alive. His son, Martin Luther King III, says, “He is actually watered down. The revolutionary that he really was is not yet appreciated by the total population. We have a lot of work to do.” His daughter, Bernice King, says, “They don’t tell the story of how he began pushing for open housing, opposing the Vietnam War, and starting Operation Bread Basket.”

The ruling class purposely leaves out much of his legacy in order to confine and contain his criticism of American capitalism. We have to understand his vision as a gestalt, the whole being more important than any of its parts. He was not just a champion of civil rights. His concerns were universal and posed a serious threat to the status quo.

MLK’s children conclude that a radical shift in values “…will require a fundamental shift in our entire economic system.” In other words, ditching capitalism and replacing it with socialism. That day will come.

 

Re: Roslyn Sims, 96; Youngstown labor and civil rights activist

Rick Nagin says:

The memorial tribute was inspiring, and the speakers, including family, union members, and comrades, described the modesty, warmth, and humanity, as well as the tireless work and many struggles furthered by this outstanding Communist woman. The event drove home the message that Ros’s memory and legacy demand a deeper commitment by all of us to the fight for equality, peace, union rights, and to the ultimate goal of socialism.

 

Re: Catholic Church “concerned” by bill introduced after Nassar gymnastics scandal

Dave Fields says:

I found your comparison of the Catholic Church—the entire institution, including its millions of adherents and thousands of priests, nuns, and other leaders—to a convicted rapist doctor disturbing. Granted, Church institutions have been involved in less than admirable, even criminal activities dealing with sexual abuse, but to place the entire institution, which is people, not buildings or organization, on the same pedestal as this criminal is a gross exaggeration of the realities of the institution itself.

Take a close look at what the first sentence of this article claims: “What do former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar and the Catholic Church have in common? Both are well-known sexual predators.”

Really? Millions of adherents to the Catholic faith are, at this moment, stalking people for illegal sexual reasons? I don’t think so.

Immediately upon the first sentence you condemn an entire religion, everyone in it, everywhere and for all time.

You condemn the Pope.

You condemn the Catholic Worker Movement.

You condemn the Catholic view on the dignity of work and the rights of workers.

You condemn the thousands of Catholics, including Bishop Romero and the Nuns raped and killed in Central America, who fought for the dignity of the people there.

You condemn all those who have fought for rights and dignity on the job, in the community, and in institutions that members of the Communist Party have often fought for alongside them.

We should be building coalitions, not making divides, and the very first sentence of this article did not express a reasoned viewpoint but gave a divisive and (this is a word I use cautiously) hateful view of millions of people.

A church is the people in it, and you condemned them as sexual predators. Shame on you.

 

Re: Los Angeles commemorates Dr. King with glorious music

Charles Dickerson says:

Dear Mr. Gordon,

I have read your article about our program on Wednesday Night of this week during which we commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. I really just want to say thank you for your glowing report. It seems to all of us who were involved in the planning of this that you grasped and commented on every single nuance that we tried to present in this concert. And you were exceedingly generous. Thank you for this.


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Contributors to “The People Speak” round-up of discussions and debates happening on the People’s World website and on our social media networks.

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