Workers Vanguard No. 1127
9 February 2018
Their Monuments and Ours
4 January 2018
In response to the article “Confederate Monuments: Tear ’Em All Down!” (WV 1113) I think it appropriate to note an example of the working class tearing down a monument representing interests antithetical to the workers’ own. The example I had in mind was the destruction of Napoleon’s Victory Column, decreed by the Paris Commune in 1871, while under the guns of both Prussian and Bonapartist armies, as a symbol of national chauvinism and an incitement to national hatred...attitudes unworthy of the Commune in relation to workers of all other countries. [All ellipses by author.]
The Paris Commune, with its establishment of the first Workers’ Republic, had a profound effect on the American bourgeoisie.
This event, among others, led many of America’s Northern bourgeoisie to re-think the wisdom of experiments in remaking southern society and using the Federal army to defend Reconstruction governments and black rights to achieve that end.
Making peace with their Southern bourgeois partners suddenly made a lot more sense, after the Commune, even if it meant abandoning the black population to race-caste status, enforced by systematic violence perpetrated by the forbears of today’s Fascists.
Make no mistake about what the Fascists’ “celebration” of those who fought to keep black people in chains means today.
Auschwitz and Dachau, Belsen and Birkenau, celebrated not in stone but, once again, in reality, is the ultimate monument the Fascists hope to enforce on humanity.
A victorious workers’ state would celebrate its own victory, by contrast, with monuments appropriate to its aim of liberating humanity from the scourge of capitalism and its Fascist dogs of war, by honoring all those who won a crucial initial victory in the still ongoing battle to Finish The Civil War....
One hundred and fifty years ago today’s Fascist forbears were beaten by a black and white army, significantly made up of southerners, ex-slaves, free blacks and the foreign born, receiving critical political support from workers in other countries.
Seventy-five years ago another generation of Fascists were crushed by the might of the Red Army, defending the Soviet degenerated workers’ state.
Today’s Fascists will be defeated by the mobilization of all their intended victims behind the power of the working class, strategically placed in capitalist class society, and the only class with the social power, organization and interest to smash the Fascist threat, here and internationally, as part of its fight to take power in its own name and create an International Soviet.
This program is expressed in the ICL’s call for labor black united front mobilizations to smash the Fascists and its power expressed in a series of successful anti-Fascist mobilizations in the US and one in Rouen, France.
We fully honor the sacrifice of all those who fought against or were victims of Fascist terror only by mobilizing the power to stop the Fascist scum in their tracks, so we do not have to keep adding names like Heather Heyer to the list of the lost and we can, instead, stuff the physical and ideological expression of Fascism down deep in the trash bin of history where it belongs, and where it will stay, with the victory of Socialism internationally over decaying capitalism and the filth it degrades human life with.