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Workers Vanguard No. 1098

21 October 2016
The closing date for news in this issue is 18 October.

Workers Vanguard

Elections 2016

Racist Bigot vs. Imperialist Hawk

We Need a Revolutionary Workers Party!

We print below the talk given by Mónica Mora at a public forum in the Bay Area on October 16. It has been edited for publication.

One of the key points in my talk was captured in a statement by a young black woman from Ohio who was interviewed in August about her voting preferences. She said: “What am I supposed to do if I don’t like him and I don’t trust her? Choose between being stabbed and being shot?” Well, that is precisely what we face in the upcoming presidential elections: no choice for the workers and the oppressed. The situation underlines the need to build a multiracial workers vanguard party, part of a reforged Fourth International.

The Republicans have nominated a vile presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Trump is articulating, in its most explicit terms, the racist bigotry at the core of American capitalism, its ruling class’s values. Also, we have Hillary Clinton, someone with a blood-drenched résumé. Beloved by an ex-CIA director, various neocons, former Reaganites and some in the Republican leadership, she is no lesser evil but, as we put it recently in our press, “a proven, gold-plated war hawk.” It was nauseating to watch her speech at the Democratic National Convention; it was essentially a military recruitment video.

Clinton is proud to embrace Ronald Reagan’s legacy. She asks Trump: What would Reagan think of you? Well, I don’t want that anti-communist Cold Warrior to come out of his grave, I tell you. He’s somebody who, in 1985, laid a wreath on the grave of Nazi SS murderers at the Bitburg cemetery in West Germany.

James P. Cannon, one of the founders of American Communism and American Trotskyism, once remarked that as capitalism decays it loses the power to think for itself. You can see that clearly in this election. Trump is a dangerous racist demagogue. Although not a fascist, he has emboldened fascist groups around the country. Trump seeks to tap into the fears of white working people who face an increasingly bleak future. He blames immigrants and blacks for the worsening conditions created by the capitalist class’s anarchic, irrational profit system. These conditions are part of the Obama administration’s rotten legacy, carried out with the help of the so-called friends of labor in the Democratic Party. (read on)

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About the ICL

V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek, Korean and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!