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1992 Los Angeles riots #FirstBLMProtest

1992 Los Angeles riots From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 1992 Los Angeles riots 4,000 California Army National Guardsmen patrolled the city to enforce the law. Date April 29 – May 4, 1992 Location Los Angeles County, California, United States Causes Reaction to acquittal of policemen on trial in beating of Rodney King Methods Widespread rioting, looting, assault, arson, protests, property damage, firefights, murder Casualties Death(s) 55 Injuries 2,000+ Arrested 11,000+ The 1992 Los Angeles riots, also

Source: 1992 Los Angeles riots – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


#FirstBLMProtest 1992 Los Angeles riots

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1992 Los Angeles riots

4,000 California Army National Guardsmen patrolled the city to enforce the law.
Date April 29 – May 4, 1992
Location Los Angeles County, California, United States
Causes Reaction to acquittal of policemen on trial in beating of Rodney King
Methods Widespread rioting, looting, assault, arson, protests, property damage, firefights, murder
Death(s) 55
Injuries 2,000+
Arrested 11,000+

The 1992 Los Angeles riots, also known as the Rodney King riots, the South Central riots, the 1992 Los Angeles civil disturbance, the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest, and the Los Angeles uprising,[1] were a series of riots, lootings, arsons, and civil disturbance that occurred in Los Angeles County, California, in 1992. The riot started in South Central Los Angeles and then spread out into other areas over a six-day period within the Los Angeles metropolitan area in California, beginning in April 1992. The riots started on April 29 after a trial jury acquitted four police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department of the use of excessive force in the videotaped arrest and beating of Rodney King, following a high-speed police chase. Thousands of people throughout the metropolitan area in Los Angeles rioted over six days following the announcement of the verdict.

Widespread looting, assault, arson, and killings occurred during the riots, and estimates of property damage was over $1 billion. The rioting ended after members of the California Army National Guard, the 7th Infantry Division, and the 1st Marine Division were called in to stop the rioting when the local police could not control the situation. In total, 55 people were killed during the riots and over 2,000 people were injured. LAPD chief of police Daryl Gates, who had already announced his resignation by the time of the riots, took much of the institutional blame for them.

See also: Rodney King

South Central Los Angeles, where much of the rioting took place[2]

On the evening of March 3, 1991, Rodney King and two passengers were driving west on the Foothill Freeway (I-210) through the Lake View Terrace neighborhood of Los Angeles. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) attempted to initiate a traffic stop. A high-speed pursuit ensued with speeds estimated at up to 115 mph first over freeways, and then through residential neighborhoods. When King came to a stop, CHP Officer Timothy Singer and his wife, CHP Officer Melanie Singer, ordered the occupants under arrest.[3]

After two passengers were placed in the patrol car, five white Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers (Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano) attempted to subdue King, who came out of the car last. King was tasered, struck with side-handled batons, then tackled to the ground and cuffed. Sgt. Koon later testified at trial that King resisted arrest, and that he believed King was under the influence of PCP at the time of arrest, which caused him to be very aggressive and violent toward the officers.[4] Video footage of the arrest showed that he was attempting to get up each time he was struck, and that the police made no attempt to cuff him until he lay still.[5]

A subsequent test for the presence of PCP in Rodney King’s body at the time of the arrest turned up negative.[6] The incident was captured on a camcorder by resident George Holliday from his apartment in the vicinity. The tape was roughly 12 minutes long. While the case was presented to the court, some clips of the incident were not released to the public.[7]

In a later interview, King, who was on parole for a robbery conviction and had past convictions for assault, battery and robbery,[8][9] said that he had not surrendered earlier because he was driving while intoxicated under the influence of alcohol and he knew that an arrest for DUI would violate the terms of his parole.

The footage of King being beaten by police while lying on the ground became a focus for media attention and a rallying point for activists in Los Angeles and around the United States. Coverage was extensive during the initial two weeks after the incident: the Los Angeles Times published forty-three articles about the incident,[10] The New York Timespublished seventeen articles,[11] and the Chicago Tribune published eleven articles.[12] Eight stories appeared on ABC News, including a sixty-minute special on Primetime Live.[13]

The footage was shocking. LAPD chief Gates upon watching the tape of the beating later said:

I stared at the screen in disbelief. I played the one-minute-50-second tape again. Then again and again, until I had viewed it 25 times. And still I could not believe what I was looking at. To see my officers engage in what appeared to be excessive use of force, possibly criminally excessive, to see them beat a man with their batons 56 times, to see a sergeant on the scene who did nothing to seize control, was something I never dreamed I would witness.[14]

Charges and trial[edit]

The Los Angeles County District Attorney subsequently charged four police officers, including one sergeant, with assault and use of excessive force.[15] Due to the heavy media coverage of the arrest, the trial received a change of venue from Los Angeles County to Simi Valley in neighboring Ventura County. The jury was composed of nine whites, one biracial male,[16] one Latino, and one Asian.[17] The prosecutor, Terry White, was black.[18][19]

On April 29, 1992, the seventh day of jury deliberations, the jury acquitted all four officers of assault and acquitted three of the four of using excessive force. The jury could not agree on a verdict for the fourth officer charged with using excessive force.[17] The verdicts were based in part on the first three seconds of a blurry, 13-second segment of the video tape that, according to journalist Lou Cannon, was edited out by television news stations in their broadcasts.[20][21]

The first two seconds of videotape,[22] contrary to the claims by the accused officers, show King attempting to flee past Laurence Powell. During the next one minute and 19 seconds, King is beaten continuously by the officers. The officers testified that they tried to physically restrain King prior to the starting point of the videotape, but King was able to physically throw them off himself.[23]

Another theory offered by the prosecution for the officers’ acquittal is that the jurors may have become desensitized to the violence of the beating, as the defense played the videotape repeatedly in slow motion, breaking it down until its emotional impact was lost.[24]

Outside the Simi Valley courthouse where the acquittals were delivered, county sheriff’s deputies protected Stacey Koon from angry protesters on the way to his car. Director John Singleton, who was in the crowd at the courthouse, predicted, “By having this verdict, what these people done, they lit the fuse to a bomb.”[25]

#FirstBLMProtest 1992 Los Angeles riots

The riots, beginning the day of the verdicts, peaked in intensity over the next two days. A dusk-to-dawn curfew and deployment of the California Army National Guard eventually controlled the situation.[26]

A total of 55 people died during the riots, including eight who were killed by police officers and two who were killed by guardsmen.[27] As many as 2,000 people were reported injured. Estimates of the material losses vary between about $800 million and $1 billion.[28] Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings, with fire calls coming once every minute at some points. Widespread looting also occurred. Stores owned by Koreans and other Asian ethnicities were widely targeted.[29]

Many of the disturbances were concentrated in South Central Los Angeles, which was primarily composed of African Americans though Hispanic residents made up a portion. Less than half of all the riot arrests and a third of those killed during the violence were Hispanic.[30][31]

First day (Wednesday, April 29, 1992)[edit]

Before the verdicts[edit]

In the week before the Rodney King verdicts were reached, Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates set aside $1 million for possible police overtime. Even so, two thirds of the LAPD’s patrol captains were out of town inVentura, California, on the first day of a scheduled three-day training seminar.[32]

At 1:00 pm on April 29, Judge Stanley Weisberg announced that the jury for the Rodney King assault charges had reached its verdict, and that they would be read in two hours time. This was done to allow reporters, but also police and other emergency responders, time to prepare for the outcome.[32] The only specific action taken by the LAPD in advance to prepare was to activate its Emergency Operations Center, which the Webster Commission described as “the doors were opened, the lights turned on and the coffee pot plugged in” and nothing more. Specifically, assembling the people meant to man that Center was not done until 4:45 pm. In addition, no action was taken to retain extra personnel at the LAPD’s shift change at 3:00 pm, as the risk of trouble was deemed too low to do so at that time.[32]

Verdicts announced[edit]

The acquittals of the four accused Los Angeles Police Department officers came at 3:15 pm local time. By 3:45, a crowd of more than 300 people had appeared at the Los Angeles County Courthouse protesting the verdicts passed down a half-hour earlier.

Meanwhile, at approximately 4:15-4:20 pm, a group of people approached the Pay-Less Liquor and Deli on Florence Street just west of Normandie. A gang member in an interview explains that the group “just decided they weren’t going to pay for what they were getting.” The store owner’s son was hit with a bottle of beer, and two other youths smashed the glass front door of the store. Two officers from the 77th Street Division of the LAPD reported to this incident and, finding that the instigators had already left, completed a report.[33][34]

Mayor Bradley speaks[edit]

At 4:58 pm,[35] Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley held a news conference to discuss the verdicts handed down for the four LAPD police officers. Incenced, his statement showed both anger toward the verdicts, and made an appeal for calm.[36]

Today, the jury told the world that what we all saw with our own eyes was not a crime. My friends, I am here to tell the jury…what we saw was a crime. No, we will not tolerate the savage beating of our citizens by a few renegade cops.
…We must not endanger the reforms we have achieved by resorting to mindless acts. We must not push back progress by striking back blindly.

— Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, post verdict press conference

Assistant Los Angeles police chief Bob Vernon believed Bradley’s opening remarks invited a riot, and was taken as a signal by some citizens to act in violence. Vernon backed this statement with the assertion that the number of police incidents rose in the hour after the mayor’s press conference.[36]

71st and Normandie[edit]

As the officers completing the police report at the Pay-Less Liquor and Deli left that location, they heard another report of a disturbance at Florence and Halldale, arrived there at 5:27 pm to find a crowd, and requested assistance.[37] Approximately two dozen officers, commanded by 77th Street Division LAPD officer Lieutenant Michael Moulin, arrived. One gang member who was throwing rocks was chased to 71st and Normandie by officers, where he was arrested. An uneasy crowd, taunting and berating police, also gathered in this location. Among them was New York Times freelance photographer Bart Bartholemew and Timothy Goldman, who began to record events with a camcorder.[38]

Goldman’s footage shows the arrest of the gang member, then police forming a perimeter around the arresting officers as the crowd grows more hostile. Bart Bartholemew is attacked, and an individual takes one LAPD officer’s flashlight, causing another large altercation between officers and the crowd. As the crowd continues to grow, Lieutenant Moulin ordered officers out of the area altogether. Moulin later says that officers on the scene were outnumbered and unprepared to handle the situation.

Forget the flashlight. It’s not worth it. It ain’t worth it. It’s not worth it, forget the flashlight. It’s not worth it. Let’s go.

— Lieutenant Michael Moulin, Bullhorn broadcast as recorded by the Goldman footage at 71st and Normandie[39]

Moulin made the call for reporting officers to retreat from the 71st and Normandie area entirely, and regroup at a riot command center two miles away, at approximately 5:50 pm.[2][33]

Unrest moves to Florence and Normandie[edit]

Jubilant and empowered by the retreat of officers at 71st and Normandie, many proceeded one block south, to the busy intersection of Florence and Normandie.[40] As Timothy Goldman continued to record video on the ground, the Los Angeles News Service team of Marika and Robert Tur arrived overhead in a news helicopter, filming from the air. The LANS feed appeared live on numerous Los Angeles television venues. At approximately 6:15 pm, as reports of vandalism, looting, and physical attacks continued to come in, Moulin elected to “take the information”, but not to respond with personnel to restore order or rescue people in the area.[37] Meanwhile, media continued to cover the events in progress at Florence and Normandie. Overhead, Tur described the police presence at the scene around 6:30 pm as “none”.[41]

At 6:43 pm, truck driver Larry Tarvin,[34] driving down Florence, stopped at a red light at Normandie in a large white delivery truck. He was pulled from the truck, kicked and beaten, and struck unconscious with a fire extinguisher taken from his own vehicle.[42] He lay unconscious for more than a minute[43] as his truck was looted, before staggering back to his vehicle. With the help of an unknown African-American named Rodney, Tarvin was able to drive his truck out of further harm’s way.[44] Just before he did so, another truck entered the intersection. This was the truck of Reginald Denny.

Attack on Reginald Denny[edit]
Main article: Attack on Reginald Denny

Looking northeast from the southwestern corner of Florence and Normandie, in March 2010

At 6:46 pm,[34] Reginald Oliver Denny, a white truck driver who stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues, was dragged from hissemi-trailer truck and severely beaten by a mob of local black residents. The LANS news helicopter piloted by reporter Tur, was still overhead, and broadcast live footage of the attack. This included a concrete brick that was thrown by Damian “Football” Williams that struck Denny in the temple, causing a near-fatal seizure.[citation needed]

It was Tur’s live reports that led to Denny being rescued by two black civilians, Curtis Yarbrough of Compton and Bobby Green Jr. of South Central Los Angeles. Both separately saw Denny’s assault live on television, and rushed to the scene. Upon arriving, they found Denny had climbed back into the cab of his truck and was attempting to drive away, but was unable to go far because he was drifting in and out of consciousness. Curtis Yarbrough put Denny in his car and drove him to Daniel Freeman Hospital in Inglewood. Green states that he took over and drove Denny’s truck back to the work location in Inglewood. Upon arriving at the hospital Denny went into a seizure.[45] Denny’s ability to speak and drive were affected by the attack, and he had to undergo years of rehabilitative therapy.[46]

Fidel Lopez beating[edit]

Almost an hour after Reginald Denny was rescued at Florence and Normandie, another beating was captured on video tape in that location around 7:40 pm. Fidel Lopez, a self-employed construction worker and Guatemalan immigrant, was pulled from his GMC pickup truck and robbed of nearly $2,000. Members of rioters in a group including Damian Williams smashed his forehead open with a car stereo[47] as another rioter attempted to slice his ear off.[48] After Lopez lost consciousness, the crowd spray painted his chest, torso and genitals black.[49] He was eventually rescued by Rev. Bennie Newton, who told the rioters: “Kill him, and you have to kill me too.”[48] Lopez survived the attack, but it took him years to fully recover and reestablish his business. Newton and Lopez became close friends until the death of the former in 1993.[50] Police did not return in force to the Florence and Normandie area until 8:30 pm local time,[34] by which time the intersection was in ruins and the instigators of the rioting had gone elsewhere.[51]

Parker Center[edit]

After the verdicts were announced, a crowd of protestors formed at the Parker Center (Los Angeles police headquarters) in Downtown Los Angeles. The crowd grew as the afternoon passed, and as this group grew and began to grow violent, a moving skirmish line formed between police protecting the building and protesters advancing on it.[52] In the midst of this, before 6:30 pm, police chief Daryl Gates left Parker Center, on his way to the neighborhood of Brentwood. There, as the situation in Los Angeles deteriorated, Gates attended a political fundraiser against Los Angeles City Charter Amendment F,[52] which was stated to “give City Hall more power over the police chief and provide more civilian review of officer misconduct”,[53] and would limit the power and term length of his own position.[54]

Regardless, the Parker Center crowd grew riotous, eventually making their way through the Civic Center, attacking law enforcement, turning over vehicles, setting objects ablaze and blocking traffic on the U.S. Route 101. Nearby firefighters were shot at while trying to put out a blaze set by looters. One firefighter was shot in the stomach. The first of the National Guard units, the 670th Military Police Company, had traveled almost 300 miles from its main armory and arrived in the afternoon to assist local police.[55] They were initially deployed to a police command center and they began handing out bulletproof vests to the firefighters after encountering the unit whose member had been shot. Later the same evening, after receiving ammunition from the LA Police Academy and a local gun store, the MP’s deployed to hold the Martin Luther King Shopping Mall in Watts.[56]

Second day (Thursday, April 30)[edit]

By mid-morning on the second day violence appeared widespread and unchecked as heavy looting and arson were witnessed across Los Angeles County, as rioting began to make its way from South Central Los Angeles going north through the neighborhoods of Central Los Angeles before reaching Hollywood as looting and fires engulf Hollywood Boulevard, as well as making its way south to the neighboring cities ofInglewood, Hawthorne, Compton and Long Beach. Korean-Americans, seeing the law enforcement’s abandonment of Koreatown, as police forces created lines of defense for places like Beverly Hills and West Hollywood instead (both cities are heavily linked to the American film industry and several movie stars and studios requested increased police presence)[citation needed], organized armed security teams composed of store owners, who defended their livelihoods from assault by the mobs. Open gun battles were televised, as in one well publicized incident where Korean shopkeepers armed with M1 carbines, pump action shotguns, and handguns exchanged gunfire with, broke up, and forced a retreat of a group of armed looters.[57] Tommy Lasorda’s statement criticizing rioters burning down their own neighborhoods resulted in death threats. He was relocated to the LAPD academy for protection where the 670th MP Company had been redeployed to reinforce police patrols and to guard the Korean Cultural Center and Embassy after events in Korea town. That evening at the Korean Cultural Center, two men out past curfew, were nearly shot after attempting to take a rifle from a 670th MP member. The men had mistakenly believed the media who had been reporting that soldiers had no ammunition.[citation needed]

The LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) organized response began to come together by midday. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and Los Angeles County Fire Department(LACFD) began to respond backed by police escort; California Highway Patrol reinforcements were airlifted to the city; and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew at 12:15 am. PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush spoke out against the rioting, stating that “anarchy” would not be tolerated. The California Army National Guard, which had been advised not to expect civil disturbance and had, as a result, loaned its riot equipment out to other law enforcement agencies, responded quickly by calling up about 2,000 soldiers, but could not get them to the city until nearly 24 hours had passed because of a lack of proper equipment, training, and available ammunition which had to be picked up from the JFTB (Joint Forces Training Base), Los Alamitos, California, which at the time was a primarily mothballed former airbase.[58]

In an attempt to end hostilities, Bill Cosby spoke on the NBC affiliate television station KNBC and asked people to stop what they were doing and instead watch the final episode of The Cosby Show.[59][60][61]

Third day (Friday, May 1)[edit]

The third day was punctuated by live footage of Rodney King at an impromptu news conference in front of his lawyer’s Los Angeles offices on Wilshire & Doheny, tearfully saying, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”[62][63] That morning, at 1:00 am, California Governor Pete Wilson had requested federal assistance. Upon request, President George H. W. Bush invoked the Insurrection Act via Executive Order 12804, federalizing the California Army National Guard and authorizing federal military personnel to help restore law and order,[64] but it was not ready until Saturday, by which time the rioting and looting was under control. Meanwhile, the 40th Infantry Division (doubled to 4,000 troops) of the California Army National Guard continued to move into the city in Humvees, eventually seeing 10,000 Army National Guard troops activated. Additionally, a varied contingent of 1,700 federal law enforcement officers from different agencies across the state began to arrive, to protect federal facilities and assist local police. As darkness fell, the main riot area was further hit by a power cut.[citation needed]

Friday evening, President George H. W. Bush addressed the country, denouncing “random terror and lawlessness”, summarizing his discussions with Mayor Bradley and Governor Wilson, and outlining the federal assistance he was making available to local authorities. Citing the “urgent need to restore order”, he warned that the “brutality of a mob” would not be tolerated, and he would “use whatever force is necessary”. He then turned to the Rodney King case and a more moderate tone, describing talking to his own grandchildren and pointing to the reaction of “good and decent policemen” as well as civil rights leaders. He said he had already directed the Justice Department to begin its own investigation, saying that “grand jury action is underway today” and that justice would prevail.[65]

By this point, many entertainment and sports events were postponed or canceled. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Portland Trail Blazers in a basketball playoff game on the night the rioting started, but the following game was postponed until Sunday and moved to Las Vegas. The Los Angeles Clippers moved a playoff game against the Utah Jazz to nearby Anaheim. In baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers postponed games for four straight days from Thursday to Sunday, including a whole 3-game series against the Montreal Expos; all were made up as part of doubleheaders in July. In San Francisco, a city curfew due to unrest forced the postponement of a May 1 San Francisco Giants home game against the Philadelphia Phillies.[66]

The horse racing venues Hollywood Park Racetrack and Los Alamitos Race Course were also shut down. L.A. Fiesta Broadway, a major event in the Latino community, was not held in the first weekend in May as scheduled. In music, Van Halen canceled two concert shows in Inglewood on Saturday and Sunday. Michael Bolton cancelled his scheduled performance at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday. The World Wrestling Federation also canceled events on Friday and Saturday in the cities of Long Beach and Fresno.[67]

The Southern California Rapid Transit District (now Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) suspended all bus and Metro rail service throughout the Los Angeles area. Some major freeways were closed down.[citation needed]

Fourth day (Saturday, May 2)[edit]

On the fourth day, 3,500 federal military personnel — 2,000 soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division from Fort Ord and 1,500 Marines of the 1st Marine Division from Camp Pendleton — arrived to reinforce the California Army National Guard soldiers already in the city. This federal force took twenty-four hours to deploy to Huntington Park, about the same time it took for the California Army National Guard soldiers. This brought total troop strength associated with the effort to stop the breakdown in civil order to 13,500. Federal military personnel and California Army National Guardsmen directly supported local police in restoring order and had a major effect of first containing, then stopping the violence.[64] With most of the violence under control, 30,000 people attended a peace rally. On the same day, the U.S. Justice Department announced it would begin a federal investigation of the Rodney King beating.

Fifth day (Sunday, May 3)[edit]

Quiet began to set in and Mayor Bradley assured the public that the crisis was, more or less, under control.[68] In one incident, Army National Guardsmen shot and killed a motorist who tried to run them over at a barrier.[69]

Sixth day (Monday, May 4)[edit]

Although Mayor Bradley lifted the curfew, signaling the official end of the riots, sporadic violence and crime continued for a few days afterward. Schools, banks, and businesses reopened. Federal troops did not stand down until May 9; the Army National Guard remained until May 14; and some soldiers remained as late as May 27.[70]

Korean-Americans during the riots[edit]

See also: History of the Korean Americans in Los Angeles

Many Korean-Americans in Los Angeles refer to the event as Sa-I-Gu, meaning “four-two-nine” in Korean, in reference to April 29, 1992, which was the day the riots started. The riots prompted various responses from Korean-Americans, including the formation of activist organizations such as the Association of Korean-American Victims, and increased efforts to build collaborative links with other ethnic groups.[71]

During the riots, many Korean immigrants from the area rushed to Koreatown, after Korean-language radio stations called for volunteers to guard against rioters. Many were armed, with a variety of improvised weapons, shotguns, and semi-automatic rifles.[72]

According to Professor Edward Park, director of the Asian Pacific American Studies Program[73] at Loyola Marymount University,[74] the 1992 violence stimulated a new wave of political activism among Korean-Americans, but it also split them into two camps. The liberals sought to unite with other minorities in Los Angeles to fight against racial oppression and scapegoating. The conservatives emphasized law and order and generally favored the economic and social policies of the Republican Party. The conservatives tended to emphasize the political differences between Koreans and other minorities, specifically African Americans.[75][76]

On March 16, 1991, a year prior to the Los Angeles riots, storekeeper Soon Ja Du physically confronted black ninth-grader Latasha Harlins by grabbing her sweater and backpack over whether the 15-year-old had been trying to steal a bottle of orange juice from Empire Liquor, the store Du’s family owned in Compton. After Latasha hit Du, Du shot Latasha in the back of the head, killing her. (Security tape showed the girl, already dead, was still clutching $2 in her hand when investigators arrived.) Du was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and forced to pay a fine of $500, but not sentenced to any prison time.[77][78] This was the catalyst that fueled much of the rage against Koreans and Korean store-owners in the Los Angeles community.[original research?] Racial tensions had been simmering underneath the surface for several years. Many African-Americans were angry toward a growing Korean merchant community in South Central Los Angeles earning a living in their communities, and felt disrespected and looked down on by many Korean merchants. Cultural differences and a language barrier further fueled tensions in an already fragile environment. With the acquittal of four LAPD officers in the Rodney King beating trial and the aftermath of the Soon Ja Du trial where she was sentenced to probation for killing Latasha Harlins, the Los Angeles riots ensued and much of the anger was directed at Koreans.

One of the most iconic and controversial television images of the violence was a scene of two Korean merchants firing pistols repeatedly at roving looters. The New York Times said “that the image seemed to speak of race war, and of vigilantes taking the law into their own hands.”[79] The merchants, jewelry store and gun shop owner Richard Park and his gun store manager, David Joo, were reacting to the shooting of Mr. Park’s wife and her sister by looters who converged on the shopping center where the shops were located.[79]

Due to their low social status and language barrier, Korean Americans received very little if any aid or protection from police authorities.[80] David Joo, a manager of the gun store, said, “I want to make it clear that we didn’t open fire first. At that time, four police cars were there. Somebody started to shoot at us. The LAPD ran away in half a second. I never saw such a fast escape. I was pretty disappointed.” Carl Rhyu, a participant in the Korean immigrants’ armed response to the rioting, said, “If it was your own business and your own property, would you be willing to trust it to someone else? We are glad the National Guard is here. They’re good backup. But when our shops were burning we called the police every five minutes; no response.”[79] At a shopping center several miles north of Koreatown, Jay Rhee, who estimated that he and others fired five hundred shots into the ground and air, said, “We have lost our faith in the police. Where were you when we needed you?” Korean Americans were ignored.[citation needed] Koreatown was isolated from South Central Los Angeles, yet despite such exclusion it was the heaviest hit.[80]


One of the largest armed camps in Los Angeles’ Koreatown was at the California Market. On the first night after the verdicts were returned in the trial of the four officers charged in the beating of Rodney King, Richard Rhee, the market owner, posted himself in the parking lot with about 20 armed employees.[81] One year after the riots fewer than one in four damaged or destroyed businesses reopened, according to the survey conducted by the Korean-American Inter-Agency Council.[82] According to a Los Angeles Times survey conducted eleven months after the riots, almost 40% of Korean-Americans said they were thinking of leaving Los Angeles.[83]

Before a verdict was issued in the new 1993 Rodney King federal civil rights trial against the four officers, Korean shop owners prepared for the worst as fear ran throughout the city, gun sales went up, virtually all of them by those of Korean descent,[citation needed] some merchants at flea markets removed their merchandise from their shelves, storefronts were fortified with extra Plexiglas and bars. Throughout the region, merchants readied to defend themselves as if on the eve of a war.[82] College student Elizabeth Hwang spoke of the attacks on her parents’ convenience store in 1992 and the fact that if trouble erupted following the 1993 trial, that they were armed with a Glock 17 pistol, a Beretta and a shotgun and they planned to barricade themselves in their store to fight off looters.[82]

Some Koreans formed armed self-defense groups following the 1992 riots. Speaking just prior to the 1993 verdict, Mr. Yong Kim, leader of the Korea Young Adult Team of Los Angeles, which purchased five AK-47s, stated, “We made a mistake last year. This time we won’t. I don’t know why Koreans are always a special target for African-Americans, but if they are going to attack our community then we are going to pay them back.”[82]


Korean Americans not only faced physical damages to their stores and community surroundings, but they also suffered emotional, psychological, and economic despair. About 2,300 Korean owned stores in Southern California and Koreatown were looted or burned, thus contributing to 45 percent of all damages caused by the riot. According to the Asian and Pacific American Counseling and Prevention Center, 730 Koreans were treated for post-traumatic suffering, which included symptoms such as insomnia, sense of inactivity, and muscle pain. Such physical and psychological trauma created a positive movement as Korean Americans established their political and social empowerment.[80]

The L.A. riots contributed to the creation of new ethnic agenda and organization. A week after the riots, the largest Asian American protest ever held in a city, about 30,000 mostly Korean and Korean American marchers walked the streets of L.A. Koreatown, calling for peace and denouncing police violence. This cultural movement was devoted to the protection of Koreans’ political rights, ethnic heritage, and political representation. It created a new form of leaders within the community, in which second generation children spoke on behalf of the community. Korean Americans saw a shift in occupation goals, from storeowners to political leaders. Such political voice aided Korean Americans in receiving governmental aid in the reconstruction of their damaged neighborhoods. Countless community and advocacy groups have been established to further fuel Korean political representation and understanding. They experienced firsthand the severity of such isolation, as they were forced to endure the physical and psychological aftermath. The representative voice that was created remains present in South Central Los Angeles, as such events as the riots contributed to the shaping of identities, perceptions and political and social representation.[80]

Hispanics in the riots[edit]

According to a report prepared in 1993 by the Latinos Futures Research Group for the Latino Coalition for a New Los Angeles, one third of those who were killed and one half of those who were arrested in the riots were Latino; moreover, between 20% and 40% of the businesses that were looted were owned by Latino owners.[84] During the time of the riots, Hispanics were increasingly inhabiting the area. Based on the 1990 census, South Central Los Angeles, the area hardest hit by the riots, had a population that was 48 percent black and 45 percent Hispanic (of any race). South Central Los Angeles was not seen as incorporated or demographically connected; rather, it was seen as two different communities: black and Hispanic. Due to this distinct division, the media focused on the plurality population, blacks, of the area.[citation needed] Hispanics were considered a minority despite their increasing numbers, and thus lacked political support and were poorly represented. Their lack of knowledge, both socially and politically, within the area additionally silenced their acknowledgment of participation. Since many of the individuals of the area were new immigrants; they did not speak English and were further silenced by the language barrier and were seen as unimportant and “different” from blacks.[85]

According to Gloria Alvarez,[who?] Hispanics did not riot out of outrage of the verdict of Rodney King; rather, their participation was based primarily as opportunistic and a bridge of cultural division between Hispanics and blacks living in the area. It has been addressed that Hispanics were not part of the initial outbreak. In fact, it was not until the third or fourth day of the riots, when social unrest began to hinder their everyday duties, such as getting food or transportation, that Hispanics were seen participating in looting.[citation needed] Since the majority of Hispanics in the area were living in poverty, they jumped at the chance of possessing valuables that they could not afford.[original research?] Many Hispanics were not even aware of the Rodney King case; however, they became a product of the chaos surrounding them. Others saw looting in a way that they would be left with nothing if they did not participate as well. Other Hispanics participated in the violence because they felt the same racial and economic conditions that blacks felt as well as the unfair treatment by the LAPD and LASD throughout the years. By rioting together, these two groups felt united as one. They were no longer two distinct races; rather they shared more than they believed.[86]

Gloria Alvarez claims the riots did not create social distance between Hispanics and blacks, but rather united them. Although the riots were perceived in different aspects, Alvarez argues it brought a greater sense of understanding between Hispanics and blacks. Even though Hispanics now heavily populate the area that was once predominantly black, such transition has improved over time. The building of a stronger and more understanding community could help to prevent social chaos arising between the two groups.[87] Hate crimes and widespread violence between the two groups continues to be a problem in the L.A. area, however.[88]

Salvadorans in particular were no strangers to police brutality and riots; a year earlier, the 1991 Washington, D.C. riot occurred and Salvadorans were at the center. The influx of Salvadorans and other Central Americans due to the Central American crisis were the civil wars part of the 1980s Cold War era, brought a large exodus of Salvadoran refugees who settled, cramming in the ghettos and enclaves with African-Americans in South Central L.A and surrounding areas. The L.A riots opened the wounds of the Washington, D.C. riot a year earlier as well as the horrific military brutality they revived during the Salvadoran Civil War[citation needed]. Salvadoran youth along with their Central American counterparts who were former trained child soldiers and rebels, began mobilizing their infamous militaristic maras rapidly in the wake of these riots.[citation needed]

Media coverage[edit]

Main article: Media coverage of the LA 1992 race riots

Almost as soon as the disturbances broke out in South Central, local television news cameras were on the scene to record the events as they happened.[89] Television coverage of the riots was near-continuous, starting with the beating of motorists at the intersection of Florence and Normandie broadcast live by television news pilot/reporter Bob Tur, and his camera operator, Marika Gerrard.[citation needed] By virtue of their extensive coverage, mainstream television stations provided a vivid, comprehensive and valuable record of the violence occurring on the streets of Los Angeles.[90]

In part because of extensive media coverage of the Los Angeles riots, smaller but similar riots and other anti-police actions took place in other cities throughout the United States.[91][92] The Emergency Broadcast System was also utilized during the rioting.[93]


The rioting ended after members of the California Army National Guard, the 7th Infantry Division, and the 1st Marine Division were called in to stop the rioting when the local police could not control the situation. In total, 53 people were killed during the riots and over 2,000 people were injured.[94][95]

After the riots subsided, an inquiry was commissioned by the city Police Commission, led by William H. Webster (special advisor), and Hubert Williams (deputy special advisor, the then president of the Police Foundation).[96] The findings of the inquiry, The City in Crisis: A Report by the Special Advisor to the Board of Police Commissioners on the Civil Disorder in Los Angeles, also colloquially known as the Webster Report or Webster Commission, was released on October 21, 1992.[97]

LAPD chief of police Daryl Gates, who had seen his successor Willie L. Williams named by the Police Commission only days before the riots,[98] was forced to resign on June 28, 1992.[99] Some areas of the city saw temporary truces between the Crips and Bloods gangs, which fueled speculation among LAPD officers that the two gangs’ truce was going to be used to unite against the department.[100]

Post-riot commentary[edit]

Scholars and writers[edit]

In addition to the immediate trigger of the Rodney King verdicts, a range of other factors were cited as reasons for the unrest. Anger over Korean American shop-owner Soon Ja Du’s sentence of a 5-year probation and 400 hours of community service but no jail time for fatally shooting a black teenager, Latasha Harlins, whom Du mistakenly thought was stealing a $1.79 container of orange juice,[101] was pointed to as a potential reason for the riots, particularly for aggression toward Korean Americans. Publications such as Newsweek and Time suggested that the source of these racial antagonisms was derived from perceptions amongst blacks that Korean-American merchants were ‘taking money out of their community’ and refusing to hire blacks to work in their shops. According to this view, these tensions were intensified when Du was sentenced to five years’ probation but no jail time after a jury convicted her of manslaughter.[102][103]

Another explanation offered for the riots was the extremely high unemployment among the residents of South Central Los Angeles, which had been hit very hard by the nationwide recession,[104] and the high levels of poverty there.[105] Articles in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times linked the economic deterioration of South Central to the declining living conditions of the residents, and suggested that local resentments about these conditions helped to fuel the riots.[106][107][108][109][110] Other scholars compare these riots with the riots of the 1920s in Detroit. But instead of African-Americans as victims, the race riots “represent backlash violence in response to recent Latino and Asian immigration into African-American neighborhoods.”[111]

Social commentator Mike Davis pointed to the growing economic disparity in Los Angeles in the years leading up to the riots caused by corporate restructuring and government deregulation, with inner-city residents bearing the brunt of these changes. Such conditions engendered a widespread feeling of frustration and powerlessness in the urban populace, with the King verdicts eventually setting off their resentments in a violent expression of collective public protest.[112][113] To Davis and other writers, the tensions witnessed between African-Americans and Korean-Americans during the unrest was as much to do with the economic competition forced on the two groups by wider market forces, as with either cultural misunderstandings or blacks angered about the killing of Harlins.[31]

One of the more detailed analyses of the unrest was a study produced shortly after the riots by a Special Committee of the California Legislature, entitled To Rebuild is Not Enough.[114] After extensive research, the Committee concluded that the inner-city conditions of poverty, segregation, lack of educational and employment opportunities, police abuse and unequal consumer services created the underlying causes of the riots. It also pointed to changes in the American economy and the growing ethnic diversity of Los Angeles as important sources of urban discontent, which eventually exploded on the streets following the King verdicts. Another official report, The City in Crisis, was initiated by the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and made many of the same observations as the Assembly Special Committee about the growth of popular urban dissatisfaction leading up to the unrest.[115] In their study Farrell and Johnson found similar factors which included the diversification of the L.A. population, tension between the successful Korean businesses and other minorities, use of excessive force on minorities by LAPD, and the effect of laissez-faire business on urban employment opportunities.[116]

Initially, the motive of the rioters was attributed to racial tensions but now they are considered one factor in a larger status quo conflict.[117] Urban sociologist Joel Kotkin agrees, “This wasn’t a race riot, it was a class riot.”[102] Supporting this is the large misconception that rioters were primarily African-American, as many groups participated. Newsweek reported that “Hispanics and even some whites-men, women and children—mingled with African-Americans.”[102] “When residents who lived near Florence and Normandie were asked why they believed riots had occurred in their neighborhoods, they responded of the perceived racist attitudes they had felt throughout their lifetime and empathized with the bitterness the rioters felt.[118] Residents who had respectable jobs, homes, and material items still felt like second-class citizens.[118] A poll by Newsweek asked whether black people charged with crimes were treated more harshly or more leniently and results revealed that blacks voted 75% more harshly versus whites 46%.[102]

In his public statements during the riots, civil rights activist and Baptist minister Jesse Jackson sympathized with the anger experienced by African-Americans regarding the verdicts in the King trial, and pointed to certain root causes of the disturbances. Although he suggested that the violence was not justified, he repeatedly emphasized that the riots were an inevitable result of the continuing patterns of racism, police brutality and economic despair suffered by inner-city residents—a tinderbox of seething frustrations which was eventually set off by the verdicts.[119][120]

Several prominent writers expressed a similar “culture of poverty” argument. Writers in Newsweek, for example, drew a distinction between the actions of the rioters in 1992 with those of the urban upheavals in the 1960s, arguing that “[w]here the looting at Watts had been desperate, angry, mean, the mood this time was closer to a manic fiesta, a TV game show with every looter a winner.”[102] Meanwhile, in an article published in Commentary entitled “How the Rioters Won”, conservative columnist Midge Decter referred to African-American city youths and asked “[h]ow is it possible to go on declaring that what will save the young men of South-Central L.A., and the young girls they impregnate, and the illegitimate babies they sire, is jobs? How is it possible to look at these boys of the underclass … and imagine that they either want or could hold on to jobs?”[121]


Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton said that the violence resulted from the breakdown of economic opportunities and social institutions in the inner city. He also berated both major political parties for failing to address urban issues, especially the Republican Administration for its presiding over “more than a decade of urban decay” generated by their spending cuts.[122] He maintained that the King verdicts could not be avenged by the “savage behavior” of “lawless vandals”. He also stated that people “are looting because … [t]hey do not share our values, and their children are growing up in a culture alien from ours, without family, without neighborhood, without church, without support.”[122] While Los Angeles was mostly unaffected by the urban decay the other metropolitan areas of the nation faced since the 1960s, racial tensions had been present since the late 1970s, becoming increasingly violent as the 1980s progressed.

The African-American Congressional representative of South Central Los Angeles, Democrat Maxine Waters, said that the events in L.A. constituted a “rebellion” or “insurrection” caused by the underlying reality of poverty and despair existing in the inner city. This state of affairs, she asserted, were brought about by a government which had all but abandoned the poor through the loss of local jobs and by the institutional discrimination encountered by people of racial minorities, especially at the hands of the police and financial institutions.[123][124]

Conversely, President Bush argued that the unrest was “purely criminal”. Though he acknowledged that the King verdicts were plainly unjust, he maintained that “we simply cannot condone violence as a way of changing the system … Mob brutality, the total loss of respect for human life was sickeningly sad … What we saw last night and the night before in Los Angeles is not about civil rights. It’s not about the great cause of equality that all Americans must uphold. It’s not a message of protest. It’s been the brutality of a mob, pure and simple.”[125]

Vice President Dan Quayle blamed the violence on a “Poverty of Values” – “I believe the lawless social anarchy which we saw is directly related to the breakdown of family structure, personal responsibility and social order in too many areas of our society”[126] Similarly, the White House Press Secretary, Marlin Fitzwater, alleged that “many of the root problems that have resulted in inner city difficulties were started in the ’60s and ’70s and … they have failed … [N]ow we are paying the price.”[127]

Writers for former Congressman Ron Paul framed the riots in similar terms in the June 1992 edition of the Ron Paul Political Newsletter, billed as a special issue focusing on “racial terrorism.”[128] “Order was only restored in LA”, the newsletter read, “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began… What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided.”[129]

Rodney King[edit]

In the aftermath of the riots, pressure mounted for a retrial of the officers, and federal charges of civil rights violations were brought against them. As the first anniversary of the acquittal neared, the city tensely awaited the decision of the federal jury; seven days of deliberations raised fears of further violence in the event of another not guilty verdict.[citation needed]

The decision was read in an atypical 7:00 am Saturday court session on April 17, 1993. Two officers—Officer Laurence Powell and Sergeant Stacey Koon—were found guilty, while officers Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind were acquitted. Mindful of accusations of sensationalist reporting in the wake of the first trial and the resulting chaos, media outlets opted for more sober coverage, which included calmer on-the-street interviews.[130] Police were fully mobilized with officers on 12-hour shifts, convoy patrols, scout helicopters, street barricades, tactical command centers, and support from the Army National Guard, the active-duty Army and the Marines.[131][132]

All four of the officers involved have since quit or have been fired from the LAPD. Officer Theodore Briseno left the LAPD after being acquitted on federal charges. Officer Timothy Wind, who was also acquitted a second time, was fired after the appointment of Willie L. Williams as Chief of Police. Chief Williams’ tenure was also short-lived. The Los Angeles Police Commission declined to renew his contract, citing Williams’ failure to fulfill his mandate to create meaningful change in the department in the wake of the Rodney King disaster.[133] Susan Clemmer, an officer who gave crucial testimony for the defense at the initial trial, committed suicide in July 2009 in the lobby of a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station. She rode in the ambulance with King and testified that he was laughing and spat blood on her uniform. She had remained in law enforcement and was a Sheriff’s Detective at the time of her death.[134]

Rodney King was awarded $3.8 million in damages from the City of Los Angeles for the attack. He invested most of this money in founding a hip-hop record label, “Straight Alta-Pazz Records”. The venture was unable to garner any success and soon folded. Since the arrest which culminated in his severe beating by the four police officers, King was arrested at least a further eleven times on a variety of charges, including domestic abuse and hit-and-run.[28][135] King and his family moved from Los Angeles to Rialto, California, a suburb in San Bernardino County in an attempt to escape the fame and notoriety and to begin a new life. King and his family later returned to Los Angeles, where they ran a family-owned construction company. King, until his death on June 17, 2012, rarely discussed the incident or its aftermath, preferring to remain out of the spotlight. Renee Campbell, his most recent attorney, described King as “… simply a very nice man caught in a very unfortunate situation.”[citation needed][136]

Deaths and arrests[edit]

On May 3, 1992, in view of the very large number of arrests, the California Supreme Court extended the charging defendants’ 48-hour deadline to 96 hours. That day, 6,345 people were arrested and 44 dead bodies were still being identified by the coroner using fingerprints, driver’s license, or dental records.[137]

At the end of the riot, 53 people were killed. 35 died from gunfire (including eight shot by law enforcement officers and two by National Guardsmen), six died in arson fires, two died from attackers armed with sticks or boards, two died from stabbings, six died in car accidents (including two hit-and-runs), and one died from strangling.[138]

Nearly a third of the rioters arrested were released because police officers were unable to identify individuals in the sheer volume of the crowd. In one case, officers arrested around 40 people stealing from one store; while they were identifying them, a group of another 12 looters were brought in. With the groups mingled, charges could not be brought against individuals for stealing from specific stores, and the police were forced to release them all.[139]

In the weeks after the rioting, over 11,000 people were arrested.[140] Many of the looters in black communities were turned in by their neighbors who were angry about the destruction of businesses employing and providing basic needs such as groceries to communities in the area. Many of the looters fearful of prosecution by law enforcement and condemnation from their neighbors ended up placing the looted items curbside to rid themselves of the items.

Rebuilding Los Angeles[edit]

After three days of arson and looting, 3,767 buildings were burned[141][142] with over $1 billion in property damage.[26][143][144] Donations were given to help with food and medicine and the office of State SenatorDiane E. Watson provided shovels and brooms as racially mixed volunteers from all over the community helped clean. 13,000 police and military personnel patrolled the area protecting gas stations and food stores that were not affected by the looting, which were able to reopen along with other areas such as the Universal Studios tour, dance halls, and bars. Many organizations stepped forward to rebuild Los Angeles; South Central’s Operation Hope and Koreatown’s Saigu and KCCD (Korean Churches for Community Development), all raised millions to repair destruction and improve economic development.[145] President George H.W. Bush signed a declaration of disaster; it activated Federal relief efforts for the victims of the looting and arson which included grants and low-cost loans to cover their property losses,[141] the Rebuild LA program promised $6 billion, in private investment to create 74,000 jobs.[144][146]

The majority of the local stores were never rebuilt[147] because, even though store owners had great desire to rebuild, they had trouble getting loans; myths about the area arose discouraging investment in the area and preventing growth of employment.[148] Few of the rebuilding plans came to be because business investors as well as the community members rejected South L.A.[144][149][150]

Residential life[edit]

Many Los Angeles residents were motivated to buy weapons for self-defense against further violence, though the 10-day waiting period in California law stymied those who wanted to purchase firearms while the riot was going on.[151]

In a survey of local residents in 2010, 77% felt that the economic situation in Los Angeles had significantly worsened.[145] From 1992–2007, the black population dropped by 123,000, and the Latino population grew more than 450,000.[149] According to the Los Angeles police statistics, violent crime fell by 76% between 1992 and 2010 and tensions between racial groups have lessened;[152] 60% of residents reported racial tension has improved in the past 20 years with decreased gang activity.[153]

You Owe Them Nothing – Not Respect, Not Loyalty, Not Obedience – Kurt Schlichter

Sometimes in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. It is high time to declare our personal independence from any remnant of obligation to those who have spit upon the rule of law. We owe them nothing – not respect, not loyalty, not obedience.Think about it. If you are out driving at 3 a.m., do you stop at a stop sign when there’s no one coming? Of course you do. You don’t need a cop to be there to make you stop. You do it voluntarily because this is America and America is a country where obeying the law is the right thing to do because the law was justly made and is justly applied. Or it used to be.The law mattered. It applied equally to everyone. We demanded that it did, all of us – politicians, the media, and regular citizens. Oh, there were mistakes and miscarriages of justice but they weren’t common and they weren’t celebrated – they were universally reviled. And, more importantly, they weren’t part and parcel of the ideology of one particular party. There was once a time where you could imagine a Democrat scandal where the media actually called for the head of the Democrat instead of deploying to cover it up.People assumed that the law mattered, that the same rules applied to everyone. That duly enacted laws would be enforced equally until repealed. That the Constitution set the foundation and that its guarantees would be honored even if we disliked the result in a particular case. But that’s not our country today.CARTOONS | GLENN MCCOYVIEW CARTOON The idea of the rule of law today is a lie. There is no law. There is no justice. There are only lies.Hillary Clinton is manifestly guilty of multiple felonies. Her fans deny it half-heartedly, but mostly out of habit – in the end, it’s fine with them if she’s a felon. They don’t care. It’s just some law. What’s the big deal? It doesn’t matter that anyone else would be in jail right now for doing a fraction of what she did. But the law is not important. Justice is not important.The attorney general secretly canoodles with the husband of the subject of criminal investigation by her own department and the president, the enforcer of our laws, shrugs. The media, the challenger of the powerful, smirks. They rub our noses in their contempt for the law. And by doing so, demonstrate their contempt for us.Only power matters, and Hillary stands ready to accumulate more power on their behalf so their oaths, their alleged principles, their duty to the country – all of it goes out the window. But it’s much worse than just one scandal that seems not to scandalize anyone in the elite. Just read the Declaration of Independence – it’s almost like those dead white Christian male proto-NRA members foresaw and cataloged the myriad oppressions of liberalism’s current junior varsity tyranny.There is one law for them, and another for us. Sanctuary cities? Obama’s immigration orders? If you conservatives can play by the rules and pass your laws, then we liberals will just not enforce them. You don’t get the benefit of the laws you like. We get the benefit of the ones we do, though. Not you. Too bad, rubes.So if you are still obeying the law when you don’t absolutely have to, when there isn’t some government enforcer with a gun lurking right there to make you, aren’t you kind of a sucker?Don’t you feel foolish, like you’re the only one who didn’t get the memo that it’s every man/woman/non-binary entity for his/her/its self?Who is standing against this? Not the judges. The Constitution? Meh. Why should their personal agendas be constrained by some sort of foundational document? Judges find rights that don’t appear in the text and gut ones that do. Just ask a married gay guy in Los Angeles who can’t carry a concealed weapons to protect himself from [OMITTED] radicals.The politicians won’t stand against this. The Democrats support allowing the government to jail people for criticizing politicians and clamor to take away citizens’ rights merely because some government flunky has put their name on a list. Their “minority report” on Benghazi is an attack on Trump, and to them the idea of congressional oversight of a Democrat official whose incompetence put four Americans in the ground is not merely illegitimate; it’s a joke.Is the media standing against this, those sainted watchdogs protecting us from the powerful? Don’t make me laugh.What do these moral abortions have in common? Short term political gain over principle. These people are so used to the good life that a society’s reflexive reliance on the principle of the rule of law brings that they think they can undermine it with impunity. Oh it’s no big deal if we do this, they reason. Everyone else will keep playing by the rules, right? Everything will be fine even as we score in the short term.The Romans had principles for a while. Then they got tempted to abandon principle for – wait for it – short term political gain. Then they got Cae

Source: You Owe Them Nothing – Not Respect, Not Loyalty, Not Obedience – Kurt Schlichter

Rush Limbaugh: abortions should be performed with a gun full transcript

Rush Limbaugh

After tweeting with the #stopRush dummies all day this little lie kept coming around.

Limbaugh says abortions should be performed with a gun. Rush is ProGun but NOT ProLife!?:

El-Rushbo-s-24th-Anniversary-Gift (1)

I tried to tell them that the quote was wrong, out of context or that they just don’t get it. maybe even they are not capable of understanding a great mind like Rush. the fact that was very clear is they do not listen to the Rush limbaugh show, and get their info from places like cnn, huffpost, media matters or straight from the other #stopRush crowd.  I highly doubt that any of them have the courage to come here and see the truth or even try to find the truth herein contained. It takes thinking for that to happen.


Revenge on the Bitter Clingers


RUSH:  I’m gonna take a stab at answering my question.  Obama is literally pushing people to snap, attacking the very sanity of the country.  To what end?  Aside from wanting everybody’s name on a list of some kind, why is Obama doing all of this?  I mean, all of this is so in our face.  Everything that people hold dear is under assault, deliberately making people upset.  This is not what presidents do.  Deliberately making people upset.Maybe this is about revenge.  You know, Obama used that word when he was on the campaign trail prior to the election.  He told his supporters in Ohio to go vote and get their revenge.  Revenge against who?  Well, obviously, the people that disagree with Obama.  But who are those people?  He clearly knows who they are, and I think the root of this, I think the answer to my question can be found in the comment that Obama made when he thought he was off the record at a fundraiser in San Francisco, when he talked about the bitter clingers.  These are people that the liberals all know.  These are the not very bright people that want life to never change.  They don’t want any progress.%image_alt%They want to remain cloistered in their archaic, antique past, and when things don’t go right, when there’s too much change, when there’s too much progress or progressivism, like when there’s civil rights laws, they don’t like it. When there’s gay rights and gay marriage, they don’t like it.  When there’s all kinds of cultural rot on TV, they don’t like it.  And so what do these people do?  They get bitter, and they cling to their guns, and they cling to their religion.  They cling to their antipathy for people that don’t look like them, and this would include minorities and immigrants and so forth.  Maybe it is that that’s who Obama wants revenge on.  Maybe he has an active dislike for the people he calls the bitter clingers.

That birth control mandate was revenge on the bitter clingers. People clinging to their religion when things are happening so fast around them they don’t understand and they don’t like, so they cling to their religion as though being religious is clinging to something.  When people move in that don’t look like them and don’t like them, they cling to their archaic sexist and racist views, and they grab their guns or what have you.  Here’s what he said.  He said, “It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

And if you noticed now, Obama has found a way to get back at ’em on every single point.  He is in their face on guns.  He’s in their face on religion. He’s in their face on immigration.  Amnesty by executive order was revenge on those who don’t like immigrants, in his view and the view of a lot of leftists.  You people in Kentucky, for example, you in the hills of Kentucky and West Virginia and in Georgia and the Carolinas, down there in Mississippi, Alabama, you people, you’re the ones, you don’t like all this change so you cling to all these old-fashioned standards.  And you’re holding this country back from moving forward, being modern and so forth.

Maybe that’s it.  But clearly he has animosity for these people that he calls the bitter clingers, and everything he’s done has been in their face.  It really has.  And it continued today with this massive new effort now to stop gun violence, which is what they’re now calling gun control.  I want to go to the audio sound bites here.  Let me go back and replay the NRA ad that has the left in a tizzy.  Well, they were this morning.  They’re a little mollified now that Obama has spoken, but the NRA took it right to Obama.

ANNOUNCER:  Are the president’s kids more important than yours?  Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools?  Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.  But he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.

RUSH:  Ooh, you don’t do that.  You don’t call Obama an elitist hypocrite.  His kids are more important than yours, and you should damn well know that.  You should respect that.  His kids are more important than yours.  He’s Barack Obama.  He’s more important than you are.  You ought to understand it’s okay for him to do whatever he has to do to stay safe, ’cause he’s our leader.  We’re nothing without him.  And he’s nothing without his family.  You’ve got to understand that.  We can lose your kids.  We can have your kids get kidnapped, and that’s one thing, but not his kids. Oh, no.  The country can’t put up with that.

A bunch of leftist bloggers actually started tweeting things that I just said.  His kids are more important than yours.  Yes, they are.  He’s the leader.  He’s a Dear Leader.  He’s entitled to better food than you have. He’s entitled to more travel, better travel. He’s entitled to a nicer house than you, because we all need him.  That’s what they think.  Here is the state run media in lockstep on this.

NORAH ODONNELL:  The NRA gets personal against the President.

JON KARL:  A harsh, personal attack on the President.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE:  An ad that gets very personal.

JOHN DICKERSON:  It’s already pretty personal.

CAROL COSTELLO:  It’s personal now, a new NRA web ad makes no bones about it.  We’re going for the jugular.

RUSH: See, Obama’s never personal. His bitter clinger comments, that’s not personal. When he mocks and makes fun of people who aren’t like him, that’s not personal. When Obama says he doesn’t know what’s in Rush Limbaugh’s heart, that’s not personal. When Obama says whatever he says about the NRA or whatever he said about Romney, that wasn’t personnel. Calling Romney a felon in his campaign, accusing Romney of heartlessly standing by while a man’s wife died from cancer?

It’s not personal! No, no! See, Obama’s never personal. Obama’s the essence of a wonderful spirit. He’s the essence of perfection. The NRA, that’s getting mean and nasty and personal now. So Obama can say whoever or whatever about whoever he wants, and it’s just the way it is — and you better damn well agree with it. If you don’t, and if you voice your disapproval, you’re “getting personal,” and that makes you a target. You don’t do that. Not at all.

Here is Yvette, Gainesville, Florida. I’m glad you waited. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, how are you?

RUSH: Good. Thank you very much for calling.

CALLER: Oh, thank you for having me on. Okay, gun violence is gun control. I like the comments of the children standing behind him and writing the letters. But are they the same the children who wrote letters to Santa Claus, hoping that he’s gonna bring them toys and gifts, that Santa Claus who isn’t real? So we’re gonna put our thoughts or our hopes behind…?

RUSH: Are you questioning the president’s commitment to the safety of those children?

CALLER: I’m questioning the president’s reality. If he really wants to stop gun violence or reduce gun violence, it’s gonna take more or something different than gun control because controlling guns means only the law-abiding citizens will not have guns. Drug dealers will have guns, terrorists will have guns, crazy people will have guns.

RUSH: That’s true. I’ve often wondered, what is so hard for the left to understand about that? By definition, if you have gun control laws, the law-abiding will be the only people that don’t have guns. In fact, the most stringent gun control laws in the country today are DC and New York and they’ve got the highest crime rates with guns. Doesn’t that tell them something? So it must be something not to do with guns. It’s gotta be about something totally different than gun control.


CALLER: I think it does. It’s just terrible that 26 people died in Sandy Hook and 20 of them were children. Terrible. Very sad, coming up to Christmas. Hopes and dreams the young children had, their parents and weddings and congratulations that will never occur. However, on any given day in America, more than 3,000 children are killed from abortion, and we have no problems with that. We’re okay with that; it’s not an issue.

You can’t spend 40 years telling people and telling children that if I make a mistake — if something comes up and this child that I don’t want is in the way of my future and the way of me graduating high school, is in the way of me going to college, is the way of me being happy, is in the way of whatever I want out of life — then it’s okay for me to kill the baby. But later on when I become a disgruntled employee, when I become an unhappy student at school because children are bullying me, then I want to eliminate them to get them out of the way? It’s the same concept.

RUSH: Well, it’s a good point. You know how to stop abortion? Require that each one occur with a gun.



so now you see the whole truth in context and it is what i said you libs just don’t get it. you’re to narrow minded to understand, your news source is lying to you. you seek neither truth nor enlightenment.

Posted in ASS WAGON, Common Core|


download (3)plus a cool vid at the bottom




NEW! Updated for Hillary’s 2016 run!

My thanks to everyone who took the time to write and suggest corrections. Many changes have been made to this list based on the info sent in and more will be added in the very near future.

As a rule I do not list the names of people who contribute information for reasons of their privacy and safety, but if you contributed to these changes and wish to see your name appropriately acknowledged, please email me and I would be happy to include the proper credits.

The following is a partial list of a large number of persons who have recently met their demise in suspicious circumstances who appear to have some connection to the Clintons. I stress partial because new additions are coming in faster than closets can be found to hide the bodies in!




Charles Ruff

Clinton lawyer.

died: 11/20/00Charles Ruff was one of Clinton’s attorneys during the impeachment trial and was known to have inside infomration on the White House emails scandal as well. Original reports were that he died in an accident in his home although no details were given. Then the report changed to claim that he was found in his bedroom unconscious, then declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The authorities will provide no details other than the usual (and quite premature) assurances that there was no foul play involved.

Tony Moser

Anti-Corruption Journalist.

died: 6/10/00Tony Moser, a critic of the Arkansas Democratic Party political machine, was killed as he crossed a street in Pine Bluff 10 days after being named a columnist for the Democrat-Gazette newspaper and two days after writing an article which exposed the looting of programs designed to obtain money from “Dead beat” parents to then give to their children.

Click for full size image.
The police declared that no crime had been committed since the anonymous driver of the 1995 Chevy Pickup truck that struck and killed Moser was not intoxicated nor was he speeding. In Arkansas, that apparently makes it legal to run down a politically unpopular journalist.

James McDougal


[McDougal]Died March 8 1998

Jim McDougal was serving his 3-year sentence for bank fraud at the Fort Worth Federal Medical Center in Texas, a facility operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons for inmates who need medical attention.

Just prior to another round of testimony before Kenneth Starr’s grand jury, and while the reporters who were covering that story were two hours away covering a standoff situation in Waco that just “went away”, Jim McDougal suffered a heart attack while in solitary confinement. Left alone for too long, when Jim McDougal was taken out of solitary, instead of attempting to defibrillate his heart with equipment on hand at the facility, he was driven over to John Peter Smith hospital. Not the closest hospital to the Fort Worth Federal Medical Center, John Peter Smith hospital is a welfare hospital, where (in the words of one local) ,”They let interns practice on deadbeats”.

NEW! The Fort Worth Star-Telegram acquired the official report of the McDougal death via a Freedom Of Information Act request, and report that doctors ignored McDougal’s signs of imminent death.

John Millis

Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Committee

died: 6/4/00Millis had just helped the HPSCI complete it’s “investigation” into alleged CIA cocaine smuggling which predictably (given that Millis was himnself a long time CIA agent) concluded that the CIA was innocent of all allegations of wrongdoing. Fairfax, Virginia police were tipped off by an anonymous phone call claiming that “a man” was threatening suicide in a motel room. Police arrived to find Millis dead of a gunshot wound. As was the case with Vincent Foster and Sandy Hume, the death was immediatly declared a suicide.

Ron Miller


Died October 12th 1997Ron Miller, investigated by authorities over the sale of his company, Gage Corp. to Dynamic Energy Resources, Inc. was the man who tape recorded Gene and Nora Lum and turned those tapes (and other records) over to congressional oversight investigators. The Lums were sentenced to prison for campaign finance violations, using “straw donors” to conceal the size of their contributions to various candidates. Indeed, Dynamic Energy Resources, Inc. had hired Ron Brown’s son Michael solely for the purpose of funneling $60,000 through him to the Commerce Secretary, according to Nolanda Hill’s testimony.

Reportedly a healthy man, Ron suddenly took ill on October 3rd, and steadily worsened until his death 9 days later. (This pattern fits Ricin poisoning.) Owing to the strangeness of the illness, doctors at the Integris Baptist Medical Center referred the matter to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office promptly ran tests on samples of Ron Miller’s blood, but has refused to release the results or even to confirm that the tests were ever completed.

Sandy Hume


On Sunday, February 22nd, 1998, Sandy Hume, the 28-year-old son of journalist Britt Hume, was reportedly found dead in his Arlington, Virginia home. Aside from the statement that this was an “apparent” suicide, there remains in place a total media blackout on this story, possibly out of concern that the actual facts will not withstand public scrutiny. Indeed, it was reported in Associated Press that the Arlington Police were not responding to any inquiries.Hume was a reporter for The Hill magazine, newspaper about Congress for Congress, and had broken a major story in 1997 regarding the friction between House Speaker Newt Gingrich and a faction led by Representative Paxon (who announced his resignation just 24 hours after Hume’s death).

In addition, Sandy Hume had just joined the staff at Fox TV News and was just three weeks into a job that represented the pinnacle of his young career. Oddly enough, aside from echoing the one Associated Press story, the Fox News website has ignored the death of its newest commentator.

Sandy already had a reputation for getting the story that nobody else wanted to look at. It is worth noting that his death came hard on the heels of reports that “a reporter” was about to break a story confirming the White House’s use of investigators to dig up dirt on critics.

It has recently been confirmed that the man who performed the as-yet-unreleased autopsy is none other than Dr. James C. Beyer, who has a record of concealing homicides behind a ruling of suicide.

Kenneth Starr’s “suicidologist” Dr. Alan L. Berman has waded in again and as he did in the Foster death ruled it “100% certain that this is a suicide and can be nothing else”.

Daniel A. Dutko

C-chairman of Leadership 2000

died: 7/27/99Daniel A. Dutko, 54, was the co-chairman of Leadership 2000, the Democratic National Committee’s main fund-raising effort. He held many other high-level political positions, including vice chairman of finance for Clinton-Gore in 1995; finance chairman of the 53rd inaugural ball; and vice chairman of finance for the DNC in 1996 (when the Chinese money poured in). Attributed to a bicycle accident in which it’s claimed he struck his head on the concretetwice.





John F. Kennedy Jr.

Potential Candidate for Senator from New York.

died: 7/16/99Within days of an NBC Dateline story hinting at a possible run for the Senate seat currently assumed to be the property of Hillary Clinton, JFK Jr. and his wife and sister-in-law died when the Piper Saratoga II TC JFK Jr. was piloting crashed in to the ocean just short of Martha’s Vineyard. The NEWSWEEK issue for the following Monday, which NBC Dateline had reported would announce JFK Jr’s candidacy, was yanked from distributors and destroyed.

Even before the wreckage of the plane had been found, the media was saturated with news stories declaring the weather to have been very hazy (the weather was VFR conditions, and 8 mile visibility, plus weather radar and witnesses on Martha’s Vineyard all reported clear skies) making it impossible for JFK Jr. to know which way was up (he also had working instruments in the aircraft).

As was the case when TWA 800 was shot down, the United States Navy took control of the crash site, ordering an unprecidented 5 mile wide no-fly zone while the wreckage of the aircraft was recovered and taken to a military base.

Reporters Cindy Adams and Andrew Goldman have documented the planting of false information about JFK Jr. in the media in the days following his crash. The feeding of false information to the press proves there is a cover-up. The existance of a cover-up is why JFK Jr. gets an entry on the Dead Bodies List.

According to some reports, Mrs. Kennedy was pregnant.

[Mary Mahoney]

Mary Mahoney

White House Intern

died 7/97An attractive 25-year-old woman, Mary was a former White House Intern for Bill Clinton working as the Assistant Manager at a Starbuck’s Coffee shop in Georgetown.


In the pre-trial publicity surrounding Paula Jones lawsuit Mike Isikoff had dropped hints that a “former White House staffer” with the initial “M” was about to go public with her story of sexual harassment at 1600 Pennsylvania. Just days later, gunmen entered the Starbuck’s while the crew was cleaning up after closing.

Mary’s two associates, Aaron Goodrich, 18 and Emory Evans, 25, were taken to a room and shot. Mary herself had five bullets in her, from at least two different guns, most likely with silencers.

A total of ten shots were fired; none of them heard by neighbors in the densely populated Georgetown section.

Mary was shot in the chest, her face, and in the back of the head. Someone wanted her very dead. Or to send a message.

Even though more than $4000 remained in the store, the police have categorized the triple murder as a robber, even as they acknowledge the “execution style” killings.

There was no sign of forced entry, which means that either Mary of one of the employees let the killers in (at least one hour after closing). That means that the killers included at least one person known to the victims.

One report is that the Starbuck’s was still locked when the bodies were found the next morning. Robbers don’t bother locking doors.

George Stephenopolis, Monica Lewinsky, and Chelsea Clinton were all regulars at the Starbuck’s.

UPDATE: On August 1, 1998, yet another young female government intern with the initial “M”, Christine M. Mirzayan, was murdered, beaten to death with a heavy object near Georgetown University.

Eventually, Mike Isikoff’s “former White House staffer” has finally surfaced and its NOT Mary Mahoney, but Monica Lewinsky. If the killing of Mary Mahoney was to silence a “bimbo eruption”, they got the wrong woman! (Just how many of the interns was Clinton getting oral sex from anyway??)

Carl Cooper, the man charged with the Starbuck’s murders on the basis of a confession has now recanted that confession, claiming that it was obtained under coercion (not unlike that of James Earl Ray).

UPDATE: A recent affidavit filed by NOAA’s Sonya Stewert, confirms that the Department of Commerce was selling trade mission seats in exchange for campaign donatations, and illegally blocking FOIA requests. Named in the affidavit as the White House staffer directly connected to this obstruction is Doris Matsui. Doris’s assigned intern during this period was Mary Mahoney.

The Washington Weekly continues to investigate this case. Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact the Washington Weekly by email at . Confidentiality is assured.

[Vince Foster]

Vincent Foster

White House Counsel

died: 7/21/93Found dead in Ft. Marcy Park in Washington, DC, of a supposed suicide by gunshot. A suicide note was supposedly found a few days later, torn into several pieces, in his briefcase, after his office had been entered by white house staff and materials removed.

The gun which he supposedly used to kill himself was reported to be still in his hand, but the person who first found the body reports that there was no gun at that time. Many irregularities surround the death and the investigation of it.

Foster was also from Hope, Ark., like Clinton, and also worked for the Rose Law firm. Foster had intimate knowledge of the Clintons’ personal finances. Foster was involved in an investigation of their finances, and reportedly made a phone call to Hillary Clinton, in Los Angeles, just hours before his death.

Recently, the signed report of M.E. Dr. Donald Haut was uncovered at the National Archives, proving that Foster had a previously unreported gunshot wound to his neck.

Finally, an FBI memo has surfaced dated the day after the date of the official autopsy, in which the autopsist informs the FBI that there was NO exit wound.

The “suicide” note, (leaked despite official efforts to keep it from view) has since been revealed to be a forgery.

Admiral Jeremy Boorda

Chief of Naval Operations

[Admiral Boorda]Died May 16th, 1996

Boorda supposedly went home for lunch and decided to shoot himself in the chest (by one report, twice) rather than be interviewed by Newsweek magazine that afternoon.

Explanations for Boorda’s suicide focused on a claim that he was embarrassed over two “Valor” pins he was not authorized to wear.

Former CNO Admiral Elmo Zumwalt said on the May 17 Larry King Live show that Admiral Boorda was not only authorized to wear the “V” on his medals, but that had personally authorized him to do so when he was serving as Commander Naval Forces Vietnam.

When it turned out that Boorda was entitled to those decorations, blame shifted to stresses over the down sizing of the Navy, and even (Washington Times) the adverse affect that feminism was having on the Navy’s morale.

Boorda supposedly left two suicide notes, neither of which was released.

On Thursday, June 25, 1998, Navy Secretary John Dalton formally acknowledged that Boorda had been entitled to wear the decorations.

So, like Brown, and like Foster, the proximate cause for the “suicide” turns out to be fraudulent.

[William Colby]

William Colby

Director of Central Intelligence (ret)

Died – April 27(?), 1996William Colby had been the DCI from 1973 to 1976 under Nixon and Ford.

At age 76, Colby had found a new career and had just started writing for Strategic Investment at the time of his death. This had worried many insiders in the intelligence community who felt that Colby had already divulged too many of the CIA’s secrets in the preceding years. Indeed, his dismissal by Ford because of his over-cooperation with Congressional investigations into CIA wrongdoing. It was Colby who had revealed to Congress the plans to kill Fidel Castro, the spying on American citizens (in direct violation of the CIA charter) and the conducting of biological tests by the CIA on unsuspecting citizens. George Bush replaced him.

According to the original CNN report, Colby was reported missing by neighbors who “recovered” his canoe, by one story from under the dock at Colby’s house, by another report, 1/4 of a mile downstream from Colby’s home.

Colby was by all report a methodical, tidy man, yet police found his home unlocked, his computer on, and a partly eaten dinner on the table. The official story is that Colby just put down his fork and decided to drop everything and go canoeing.

Colby at 76 was still a world-traveler and consultant to many corporations. He recently became an editor of an important financial newsletter, “Strategic Investment,” which covered the Vince Foster “suicide” in detail. Its editors hired three renowned handwriting experts to investigate Foster’s suicide note, which hadn’t been found when his briefcase was first searched, but later materialized, torn into pieces, with no fingerprints on any of the pieces. Upon comparing this document with others of Foster’s writings, these experts declared it was a forgery, and a not very good one at that.

Colby had old enemies as well as new, with plenty of motives for his extermination. He was in charge of the infamous Operation Phoenix during the Vietnam War, in which more than 20,000 South Vietnamese citizens — supposedly Vietcong sympathizers — were rounded up, tortured and executed. In the 1970s he opened some of the secrets of the CIA to Congress: “Colby insisted on going public about the agency’s role in tapping the telephones and opening the mail of Americans; plotting the assassination of Fidel Castro, and using human guinea pigs for mind-control experiments involving LSD,” the Times reports.

On Monday, May 6th, Colby’s body was found just 20 yards from where his canoe had been recovered, in an area that had been thoroughly searched several times by helicopters and search teams.

Most notable about the body was the absence of a life jacket, which according to his wife, Colby always wore on the water.

As has since been proven to have happened in the JFK Jr. case false stories were being deliberatly planted in the media, including one quoting Mrs. Colby herself as having been told by William Colby by phone that he was going canoeing. Mrs. Colby denied any such story. The week that he died, Colby was scheduled to meet with the Disclosure Project.


Maj. Gen. William Robertson,Deputy Commanding General, V Corps, Europe

Col William Densberger,V Corps Chief of Operations and Plans

Col. Robert Kelly,V Corps Chief of Intelligence

Spec. Gary Rhodes, Crew Chief

died: 2/23/93 – All were killed when their Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed in Wiesbaden, Germany. No cause was ever determined. – V Corps figured prominently in the US Bosnia-Serbia peacekeeping operations, along with the carrier Roosevelt. These men, and 8 others associated with Clinton’s visit to the Roosevelt all died within 4 months of each other.

Steve Willis, Clinton bodyguard

Robert Williams, Clinton bodyguard

Conway LeBleu, Clinton bodyguard

Todd McKeehan, Clinton bodyguard

died: 2/28/93 – “executed” by gunfire in the Waco, Texas assault on the Branch Davidians. – All four were examined by a “private doctor” and died from nearly identical wounds to the left temple, so-called execution style. According to Linda Thompson, videotapes and other evidence indicates that none died from guns fired by Branch Davidians. In his address to employees of the Treasury Department in the Cash Room on March 18, 1993, Clinton said: “My prayers and I’m sure yours are still with the families of all four of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents who were killed in WACO — Todd McKeehan and Conway Le Bleu of New Orleans; Steve Willis of Houston, and Robert Williams from my hometown of Little Rock. Three of those four were assigned to my security during the course of the primary or general election.” However, the Little Rock, Arkansas office of the ATF confirmed that all four had at one point been bodyguards for Bill Clinton, three while he was campaigning for President, and while he had been governor of Arkansas. In the videotape by the American Justice Federation, “WACO II, the Big Lie Continues,” Linda Thompson demonstrates that 15 shots were fired from six separate weapons into and out of a room into which three of the four agents had entered through a window. Four of these shots were fired from an overhead helicopter, an agent outside the window, firing an MP5 submachine gun, who also threw in a concussion grenade, fired at least two shots into the room. In the autopsies of these agents, three had virtually identical wounds to the left temple that exited through the rear of the head, execution-style. A “private physician” treated all four.

Alan G. Whicher

Oversaw Clinton’s Secret Service detail. In October 1994 Whicher was transferred to the Secret Service field office in the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Whatever warning was given to the BATF agents in that building did not reach Alan Whicher, whom died in the bomb blast of April 19th 1995.

Cpl Eric S. Fox.

Died 3/22/99. Crewman for Marine One, the Presidential Helicopter. Shot in the head, and declared a suicide.

Five Navy aviators, Clinton bodyguards/escorts

(names not determined) died: 3/26/93 – all died in a crash of an E-2C Hawkeye in Italy. The crash occurred shortly after the plane was “waved off” from a landing attempt on the Carrier Roosevelt, due to a “foul deck”. – All five men had been Clinton’s escorts during Clinton’s visit to the Roosevelt 2 weeks prior. Three other men, who had flown Clinton to the Roosevelt for that visit also died later in a helicopter crash.

Staff Sgt. Brian Haney, Clinton bodyguard

Marine Sgt. Tim Sabel, Clinton bodyguard

Maj. William Barkley, Clinton bodyguard

Capt. Scott Reynolds, Clinton bodyguard

died: 5/19/93 – All four men died when their helicopter crashed in the woods near Quantico, Va. – Reporters were barred from the site, and the head of the fire department responding to the crash described it by saying, “Security was tight,” with “lots of Marines with guns.” The Marines seized a videotape made by a firefighter. All four men had escorted Clinton on his flight to the carrier Roosevelt shortly before their deaths.

Aldo Franscoia, Secret Service Agent

Cpt. Kevin N. Earnest, Aircraft Commander

Cpt. Kimberly Jo Wielhouwer, Pilot

2Lt. Benjamin T. Hall, Navigator

SSgt. Michael J. SmithJr., Loadmaster

Sr. Airman Rick L. Merritt, Flight Engineer

SSgt. Michael R. York, Loadmaster

Sr. Airman Billy R. Ogston, Crew Chief

Airman Thomas A. Stevens, Loadmaster.

Killed when the C-130 carrying the Presidential Limos crashed near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. August 18, 1996. All nine people on board a White House support plane were killed late Saterday (10:48pm MDT), when it crashed into Sheep Mountain (also known as Sleeping Indian Mountain) near Jackson Hole Wyoming. The aircraft was en route from Jackson Hole to John F. Kennedy International airport.  The Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130 Hurcules transport aircraft was carrying a presidential vehicle and many pieces of luggage, all related to the president’s vaction (50th birthday celebration in the Grand Tetons). President Clinton said Sunday afternoon that he was told the pilot was attempting to return to the Jackson Hole airport when it crashed (CNN news report).  The Air Force reported finding no evidence of an in-flight mechanical emergency  after examining the flight data and flight voice recorders and could not find evidence that the pilot radioed mechanical trouble before crashing into the mountainside as reported by the White House. The victems included 8 crew members and one Secret Service agent. The aircraft and crew were stationed out of Dyess Air Force Base.

Four Marine Pilots, Marine One Presidential Helicopter pilots.

(names not determined) died: 4/8/00 – all died (with 15 others) in a crash of a V-22 Osprey near Tucson. Witnesses reported the craft burst into flames in mid-air, then crashed.






C. Victor Raiser II, National Finance Co-Chairman, Clinton for President Campaign

Montgomery Raiser. Son of C. Victor Raiser II

died: 7/30/92 – Both men died in a private plane crash in Alaska, en route to a fishing expedition. The crash was blamed on the pilot, who survived. Five others not connected to Clinton died in the crash. – DeeDee Meyers described Raiser as a “major player” in the Clinton organization. Victor raiser was also chairman of Mobile Telecomm Technologies Corp., whose subsidiary, SkyTel Corp. is an international paging company used by federal police agencies such as the FBI.

Victor Raiser was a Washington lawyer and he was counsel to the Washington law firm of Jones Day Reavis & Pogue until 1991. At his death, he was the national finance co-chairman of the Clinton for President campaign. The campaign’s press secretary, Dee Myers, described him as a “major player” in the Clinton organization. He and his wife had been friends of the Clintons for ten years. He was the past national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He served on the boards of the Democratic Business Council and the Center for National Policy and the board of advisers of the Democratic Leadership Council.

On May 29, 1993, President Clinton announced that he had selected Raiser’s widow, Molly Raiser, 50, former Democratic co-chair of the Women’s Campaign Fund, to be his protocol chief and stated that he planned to nominate her for confirmation as an ambassador.

Paul Tully, Democratic National Committee Political Director

died: 9/24/92 – Found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock Arkansas of “unknown causes.” No autopsy allowed. – Described by Clinton as a “dear friend and trusted advisor. Tully authored several key strategies for Clinton and the party. Paul Tully, 48, Democratic National Committee political director and architect of a strategy to make the party competitive again in presidential elections, was found dead in his hotel room on September 24, 1992, in Little Rock, Arkansas of unknown causes. Authorities speculated his death was from a heart attack or stroke. In a press release, then-presidential candidate Clinton called Mr. Tully “a dear friend and trusted adviser.” He said he was “deeply saddened by the loss.” Tully devised a strategy of targeting states based on their value in the Electoral College, and coordinating the presidential campaign with state and congressional races.

Ed Willey, Real Estate Attorney, Clinton Fund Raiser

died: 11/30/93 – Died of a shotgun blast to the head. Body found in deep woods in Virginia. Ruled a suicide, no note was found. Died on the same day his wife was sexually assaulted in the White House by Bill Clinton. – Intimately involved in several Clinton fund raising events.

Hershell Friday, Attorney and Clinton fund raiser.

died: 3/1/94 – Killed when his plane exploded. Cause unknown.

Duane Garrett, Radio Host and Al Gore fund raiser.

died: 7/26/95 – A lawyer and a talk show host for KGO-AM in San Francisco, Duane was the campaign finance chairman for Diane Fienstein’s run for the senate, and was a friend and fundraiser for Al Gore.

According to Garrett’s lawyer, Garrett was under investigation for defrauding investors in Garrett’s failed sports memorabilia venture. There was talk of a deal to evade prosecution. On July 26th, Garrett canceled an afternoon meeting with his lawyer because he had to meet some people at the San Francisco airport.

Three hours later he was found floating in the bay under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Daniel A. Dutko, C-chairman of Leadership 2000

died: 7/26/99 – Daniel A. Dutko, 54, was the co-chairman of Leadership 2000, the Democratic National Committee’s main fund-raising effort. He held many other high-level political positions, including vice chairman of finance for Clinton-Gore in 1995; finance chairman of the 53rd inaugural ball; and vice chairman of finance for the DNC in 1996 (when the Chinese money poured in). Attributed to a bicycle accident in which it’s claimed he struck his head on the concretetwice.




Luther Parks, Head of Clinton’s Gubernatorial security team in Little Rock.

died: 9/26/93 – Gunned down in his car at the intersection of Chenal Parkway and Cantrell Road, near Little Rock. Parks was shot through the rear window of his car. The assailant then pulled around to the driver’s side of Park’s car and shot him three more times with a 9mm pistol.

His family reported that shortly before his death, unknown persons were following them, and their home had been broken into (despite a top quality alarm system). Parks had been compiling a dossier on Clinton’s illicit activities. The dossier was stolen.

When news of the discovery of Vincent Foster’s body came over the news, Parks is reported to have said, “Bill Clinton is cleaning house”.

James Bunch, Influential Texan

died: ??? – Died from a gunshot suicide, similar to Vince Foster. – Was discovered to have a “little black book” containing the names of many influential persons in Texas and Arkansas who visited certain prostitutes.

John Wilson, Former Washington DC Council member

died: 5/18/93 – Found dead from an apparent hanging suicide. Claimed to have info on Whitewater and was threatening to talk.

Bill Shelton, Arkansas state trooper and fiancée of Kathy Ferguson

died: 6/94 – allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself at the grave site of his fiancée – Officer Shelton was the fiancée of Kathy Ferguson, who was the ex-wife of Trooper Danny Ferguson. Kathy Ferguson also committed “suicide” 6/94 when she shot herself in her living room. Oddly, next to the body were her packed bags, as if she was expecting to be going somewhere. Danny Ferguson is a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in Paula Corbin Jones’s sexual harassment suit. His ex-wife was reported as a corroborating witness for Ms. Jones.

Kathy Furguson, Ex-wife of Trooper Danny Furguson

died: circa 5/94 – Died of a supposed gunshot suicide in her living room. There was a suicide note found by the body. However, friends were surprise at having noticed nothing wrong previously. And even more curious, found nearby were several packed suitcases, as if she expected she was going somewhere. She was the former wife (since changed her name) of Trooper Danny Ferguson, who is the Arkansas State Trooper alleged to have escorted Paula Corbin Jones to the hotel room for her alleged episode of sexual harassment by then-Governor Clinton. Ferguson’s wife was reported as a possible corroborating witness for Ms. Jones.

Gandy Baugh, Attorney representing Mr. Lassater in a case concerning alleged financial misconduct.

died: 1/8/94 – Died in an alleged suicide by jumping out of a window of a multi-story building. – Mr. Lassater was a close associate of Gov. Clinton, and was later indicted on drug related charges, among other things. Baugh’s law partner was “suicided” one month later on 2/9/94

Dr. Ronald Rogers, Dentist from Arkansas

Killed in plane crash as he was on his way to an interview with a “London Sunday Telegraph” reporter to reveal some Clinton dirt.

NBC and freelance cameraman John Hillyer

Hillyer passed away in a Dentist’s office from a suspected heart attack, despite being very health-conscious and in good physical condition. Was working on an investigation into Mena and assisted with the “Clinton Chronicles.” Some time after his passing, his widow recalled her husband saying he felt he could be in danger.

Stanley Huggins, Partner in Memphis law firm

Investigating Madison Guaranty. Reported to have succumbed to viral pneumonia (See attack on Russel Welch). His 300-page report has never been released. Stanley had been at a Cotton Carnival Party on a Friday night. He was supposed to escort his wife all week during the 7 day event, but told her he couldn’t as something important was going down. He has recently left the law firm in Little Rock where Hillary C worked and set up a small office in Memphis. On that Friday night I saw Stan and spoke to him briefly. He seemed extreemly nervous & about to jump out of his skin. The word circulated throughout the party that he had been involved in some secretive issue that was under the microscope. Soon after that we were told by his wife that he had flown up to a NE University to give a speech on a Saturday. He checked into the provided dorm room, by the university employees that said he looked fine. When they called up to his room later in the day he didn’t answer the phone, so they went to check on him and found him dead. His wife has tried to get the hospital records, but they were sealed by JAnet Reno under presidential orders of Clinton. Over that weekend his Memphis office was broken into and the only noticable thing taken were his files.

Florence Martin, Accountant subcontracting to CIA

Related to the Barry Seal case. Dead of three gunshot wounds to the head. At the time of her death she had the account numbers and PIN for a bank account in the Cayman’s in the name of Barry Seal which held 1.4 million dollars. Immediately followi9ng her death, the money was moved to someplace in the Virgin Islands.

Calvin Walraven

24 year on Walraven was a key witness in Jocelyn Elder’s son’s drug case. Ten days after Elder’s son was convicted of trafficking in cocaine, Walraven was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot blast to the head. Tim Hover, a Little Rock police spokesman says no foul play is suspected.

Neil Moody

Died Aug. 25, 1996

Following Vincent Foster’s murder, Lisa Foster married James Moody, a judge in Arkansas, on Jan 1, 1996.

Near the time Susan McDougal first went to jail for contempt, Judge Moody’s son, Neil died in a car crash. There were other reports that Neil Moody had discovered something very unsettling among his stepmother’s private papers and was threatening to go public with it just prior to the beginning of the Democratic National Convention. He was alleged to have been talking to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post about a blockbuster story. Witnesses said they saw Neil Moody sitting in his car arguing with another person just prior to HIS CAR SUDDENLY SPEEDING OFF OUT OF CONTROL AND HITTING A BRICK WALL.

Johnny Franklin Lawhon, Jr.

Died March 29, 1998

In the spring of 1997, a tornado ripped through some junked cars at Johnny’s transmission and opened up the trunk of a car that proved to have a box of Whitewater records in it, including a copy of a $27,000 cashiers check drawn on Madison and payable to Bill Clinton. Johnny Franklin Lawhon, Sr. realized what he was looking at and turned the box of documents over to the FBI.

According to police, Lawhon Jr. (the son) and a friend hit a telephone pole at a high rate of speed after their car had become airborne and left the road. They had driven less than 1/4 of a mile at the time of the accident.

This manner of death is similar to the single vehicle accidents that killed Paula Grober, and Neil Moody.

Col. James Sabow

Died 1991

Supposedly about to blow the whistle on drug running activity taking place on the naval base where he was stationed, Col. James Sabow was found by his wife in the backyard of their home with his head blown off with a shotgun. The Navy ruled it a suicide. In all, more than 40 deaths by individuals concerned with drug traffic on military bases have been declared as suicides despite evidence that murder was involved.

Eric Butera

An informant who came forward offering information regarding the murder of White House intern Mary Mahoney. He was then sent into a known crack house to make an undercover buy for the police and was beaten to death.

Maynard Webb

Owned a small aircraft repair business, and had stumbled on several aircraft whose tail numbers were being changed on a regular basis. Was about to go public when he walked headfirst into a spinning propeller.

Caetano Carani.

Witness to a shooting near the White House. Suffered an unknown infection just before he was to tesify. Death attributed to “apparent” food poisoning.

Click for full scan of article

Terrance Yeakey.

First police officer to arrive at the Murrah Building following the OK City bombing. One year later, his patrol car was found abandoned along a dirt road, the front seat covered with blood. Officer Yeakey himself was found a short distance away, with cut wounds on both arms and his throat, plus a gunshot through the head. No gun was ever found, and the death was ruled a suicide. He had collected together a vast amount of hard data on the bombing of the Murrah building. That material was never found following his death. His life had been threatened.




Suzanne Coleman

Had affair with Clinton when he was attorney general. Died of “suicide” with gunshot wound to the back of her head. No autopsy allowed. Was 7 months pregnant at time of her death. She had told friends it was Bill Clinton’s child. (See Danny Williams). She was 26 at the time of her death.

Paula Grober, Clinton’s speech interpreter for the deaf.

died: 12/9/92

Died in a one-car accident with no known witnesses. Her body was thrown 33 feet from the car, indicating a very high speed. A very attractive women, Paula traveled extensively with Clinton from 1978 until her death. Clinton, through a spokesman, called Grober’s death “a great personal loss.” He also said, “Hillary and I extend our sincere sympathy to Paula’s family. I had the privilege of working with her over many years.”

Judy Gibbs, Penthouse model, and call girl

died: 1986

Judy Gibbs (along with her sister Sharon) appeared in the December 1979 issue of Penthouse, and later worked at a bordello near Mena, Arkansas which also ran a blackmail operation with photos taken of the customers with their girls. According to the Gibbs family, Bill Clinton was a regular customer of Judy. While cooperating with law enforcement in a drug investigation, Judy was burned alive when her house burned down. In a sworn statement, Clinton bodyguard Barry Spivey related how he had been with the governor when the governor’s plane had flown over Judy Gibb’s house and Clinton had shown Judy’s penthouse photos on the plane and pointed out the house.




Paul Wilcher, Washington attorney investigating gun running out of Mena, Arkansas.

died: 6/22/93 – Found dead on a toilet in his Washington apartment. No cause of death was ever reported by the coroner.

At the time of his death, he was investigating connections between the “October surprise” during the 1980 federal election campaign and drug and gunrunning out of Mena, Arkansas, as well as the BATF assault on the Waco, Texas Branch Davidians. Was planning on producing a television documentary on his findings. He had delivered a 105-page affidavit to Janet Reno detailing the evidence he had collected regarding the drug operation at Mena, just three weeks before his death.

Jon Parnell Walker, RTC investigator

Mysteriously fell to his death from an apartment balcony. The same apartment which was alleged to have been a secret getaway which Foster may have visited.




[Ron Brown]

Ron Brown, Former Chairman, DNC; Commerce Secretary

died: 5/3/96 – Ron Brown died along with 39 other people when the T-43 (a converted 737 used by the Air Force) carrying the group on a trip to Bosnia crashed while approaching the Dubrovnik airport. On the verge of being indicted and having stated publicly his willingness to make a deal with prosecutors, Ron Brown’s death brought to an end his ability to testify.

As of this writing, Judicial Watch has petitioned for the investigation into on Brown’s dealings to be expanded to include his death. (NOTE: Also belongs under dead fundraisers)

Barbara Wise, Commerce Department Staffer

died: 11/29/96 – As the scandals continued to swirl around the John Huang, one of Huang’s associates, Barbara Wise, was found dead in her locked office on the fourth floor of the Department of Commerce, partially nude (by one report completely nude) and covered with bruises. No cause of death has ever been announced even though an autopsy was conducted (prior to next of kin being notified). Calls to the D.C. autopsist, Dr. Jaardemal have gotten an assurance that the bruises were not from being beaten but nothing else. Despite claims of ongoing illness, no record of a hospital visit in the months leading up to her death has surfaced. Oddly enough, following the discovery of her body, Bill Clinton made an unscheduled return to the White House from Camp David, claiming he needed a book of poetry in order to complete his inauguration speech.

Charles Meissner, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Economic Policy.

John Huang was placed on a Commerce Department contract that allowed him to retain his security clearance by Charles Meissner. Charles Meissner died on the plane with Ron Brown.




[Don Henry][Kevin Ives]

Kevin Ives & Don Henry

Initial cause of death was reported to be the result of falling asleep on a railroad track in Arkansas on August 23, 1987. This ruling was reported by the State medical examiner Fahmy Malak. Later it was determined that Kevin died from a crushed skull prior to being placed on the tracks. Don had been stabbed in the back. Rumors indicate that they might have stumbled upon part of the Mena drug operation, specifically a drop site in the area of Bauxite and Alexander, Arkansas.

Keith Coney

Keith had information on the Ives/Henry deaths. Died in a motorcycle accident in July 1988 while being chased by a car. Ruled a traffic accident.

Keith McKaskle

McKaskle has information on the Ives/Henry deaths. He was stabbed to death in November 1988. He had told his family someone was out to kill him and told tem “good bye”.

Gregory Collins

Greg had information on the Ives/Henry deaths. He died from a gunshot blast to the face in January 1989. Declared a suicide.

Paul Olson

A Federal witness in investigations to drug money corruption in Chicago politics, Paul had just finished 2 days of FBI interviews when his plane ride home crashed, killing Paul and 130 others on Sept 8 1994. The Sept. 15, 1994 Tempe Tribune newspaper reported that the FBI suspected that a bomb had brought down the airplane.

Jeff Rhodes

He had information on the deaths of Ives, Henry & McKaskle. His burned body was found in a trash dump in April 1989. He died of a gunshot wound to the head and there was some body mutilation, specifically that his hands and feet had been partially sawn off, leading to the speculation that he was tortured prior to being killed. The body was then burned.

James Milam

Milam was decapitated. The state Medical examiner, Fahmy Malak, initially ruled death due to natural causes, claiming that the victim’s small dog had eaten the head, which was later recovered from a trash bin several blocks away.

Richard Winters

Winters were a suspect in the deaths of Ives & Henry, and had offered to cooperate. He was killed by a shotgun blast to the face during a “robbery” in July 1989, which was subsequently proven to be a setup.

Dan Harmon, the Prosecutor who Winters reportedly made the offer to, has since been implicated in the Kevin/Ives deaths and is now in jail for running his office as a racket.

Jordan Kettleson

Kettleson had information on the Ives & Henry deaths. He was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup in June 1990.

Barry Seal

Now known to have been a drug runner for the CIA, operating out of the Mena airport, Barry Seal had reportedly kept in contact with Bill Clinton’s head of security at the governor’s mansion, Raymond “Buddy” Young, the ex rodeo clown who is now the number 2 man at FEMA.

Following his fall from CIA grace, Barry was sentenced to live at a Salvation Army Housing Complex by a judge who also prohibited Barry Seal to either have any guns or to employ any bodyguards. Corruption doesn’t become any more obvious than this. Barry was gunned down with machine gun fire in the parking lot of the Salvation Army Housing Complex.

In violation of the court order, Barry had hired bodyguards who worked a rotation schedule. But the bodyguard who was to be there when Barry was killed never showed up. That bodyguard, according to video producer Daniel Hopsicker, was a former associate (meaning drug pilot) of Barry’s named William “Bear” Bottoms. Bottoms continues to this very day to prowl the internet insisting that there never was any drug running operation at Mena, Arkansas.


Barry Seal’s aircraft mechanic at Mena (name unknown as of this time) died March 21, 1995 of an “overdose of mouthwash”. Regarded by local authorities as an obvious homicide.



Stanley Heard, Chairman, National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee

Steve Dickson, – Counsel to Mr. Heard

died: 9/10/93

Both died in a plane crash outside Dulles airport, after their aircraft, rented after Heard’s personal craft developed troubles, crashed while attempting an emergency landing after reporting a fire on board. Let’s repeat that. They took off in a plane. It developed problems. They got it back to the airport. They rented a new plane. They took off in the new rented plane and IT developed a problem. On the way back to the airport it crashed. – Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton’s advisory council, also personally treated Clinton’s mother, stepfather, and brother.

Carlos Ghigliotti, Thermal Imaging Expert

Carlos Ghigliotti: 42, was found dead in his home just outside of Washington D.C. on April 28, 2000. There was no sign of a break-in or struggle at the firm of Infrared Technology where the badly decomposed body of Ghigliotti was found. Ghigliotti had not been seen for several weeks.

Ghigliotti, a thermal imaging analyst hired by the House Government Reform Committee to review tape of the siege, said he determined the FBI fired shots on April 19, 1993. The FBI has explained the light bursts on infrared footage as reflections of sun rays on shards of glass or other debris that littered the scene.

Don Adams

Died Jan 7 1997

Long before Whitewater’s land flips made the Clinton’s circle of friends rich, many of the same players had been involved in a similar land swindle in Branson. Don Adams was a lawyer in Arkansas who got involved trying to help the people who were being swindled out of their life savings.

[Don Adams missing]Click for full size article of Don Adams missing.

[Don Adams found dead]Click for full size article of Don Adams found dead.

Jim Wilhite, Vice Chairman, Arkla, Inc.

died: 12/21/92 – Died in a one-person skiing accident. – Wilhite had extensive ties with Clinton and Mack McLarty, with whom he visited by telephone just hours before his death.

Theodore Williams, Jr., Bettie Currie’s brother.

died: 12/16/97 – Traffic accident.

A passing car hit the brother of Presidential Secretary Betty Currie after his own car had somehow run off the road. Bill Clinton called Monica Lewinsky at 2:00 AM the next morning to tell her of the death and alert Monica that her named appeared on the Paula Jones witness list. Betty’s brother had also been beaten shortly before Betty testified in a previous matter.


INSLAW deaths:

Larry Guerrin

Was killed in February 1987 while investigating the INSLAW case.

Alan Standorf

An employee of the National Security Agency in electronic intelligence. Standorf was a source of information for Danny Casalaro who was investigating INSLAW, BCCI, etc. Standorf’s body was found in the backseat of a car at Washington National Airport on Jan 31, 1991.

Dennis Eisman

An attorney with information on INSLAW. Eisman was found shot to death on April 5, 1991.

Danny Casalaro

Danny was a free-lance reporter and writer who was investigating the “October Surprise”, INSLAW and BCCI. Danny was found dead in a bathtub in a Sheraton Hotel room in Martinsburg, Virginia. Danny was staying at the hotel while keeping appointments in the DC area pertinent to his investigation. He was found with his wrists slashed. At least one, and possibly both of his wrists were cut 10 times. All of his research materials were missing and have never been recovered.

Ian Spiro

Spiro had supporting documentation for grand jury proceedings on the INSLAW case. His wife and 3 children were found murdered on November 1, 1992 in their home. The all died of gunshot wounds to the head. Ian’s body was found several days later in a parked car in the Borego Desert. Cause of death? The ingestion of cyanide. Declared a murder/suicide.


Wounded or attempted murder:

Gary Johnson

Not dead, but beaten near death and left for dead. Had videotapes of Clinton entering Gennifer Flowers’ apartment. His tapes were taken.

Dennis Patrick

Court clerk. Had millions of dollars laundered through his account at Lassater & Co without his knowledge. Four attempts on his life.

L.J. Davis

Reporter investigating Clinton scandals. Attacked at his hotel room in Little Rock. His notes were stolen.

Larry Nichols

Former official at ADFA and author of “The Clinton Chronicles.” The man who broke many of the Clinton scandal stories. Several attempts on his life.

Russel Welch

Infected with military grade anthrax.

Charles Wilbourne Miller

Died 1/12/99. Vice President and Board Member for Alltel, the computer company that wrote the White House “Big Brother” computer system. Found shot to death with two guns. Multiple shots had been fired. Declared a suicide.

Gordon Matteson

Died 5/15/97. Clinton associate. Shot in the head. Declared a suicide.

David Drye

Died 8/1999. Pat Matrisciana, owner of “Jeremiah Films” (which produces such vides asThe Clinton Chronicles), and David Drye planned a trip to Washington DC by Private plane. At the last second, pat had to cancel and David left without him, dying when the plane crashed.

Sadly, the list goes on……


the above is from


Just for giggles


Posted in Government, CLINTON|

Alert: We May Not Win a War Against Islam

Alert: We May Not Win a War Against Islam…‼


Cos… · @Coslopuss
17th Jan 2015 from TwitLonger

It must be known that with 2 plus years more of Obama and his Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated/infected Administration, We may NOT win the war that Islam has declared on the World.

Through Obama’s and Jarrett’s concentrated efforts, ISIS has grown in wealth, territory, strength and numbers. This is NO accident. This is a planned event. Obama has been gutting Our Military; Firing Our Generals; Slashing Our Defense Budget; Withdrawing Our Troops; and the Troops he leaves behind…Cannot Open Fire…unless fired upon and even then not without explicit permission…

Obama depletes Our Arsenal by firing million dollar rockets from 800 million dollar planes on lone humvee’s and empty buildings…We all know an airstrike should consist of 200 airstrikes per day..NOT over a 2 month period..

The under armed Kurds…have held off ISIS for over 2 months…the American Military cannot beat them back AT ALL..???….This is by Design…

In two more years….much of Europe will be enveloped by Sharia as is evidenced by what’s happening in the UK, The Netherlands, France…what Western Allies will be ready, willing and able to help us Post-Obama…? Australia perhaps…Abbott seems to be the only one who gets it…If you watched the Sharia Marionette Show both Cameron and Obama put on yesterday with incredulity…well lose that…and START WORRYING…Big Time…!!

When the time comes to beat back this menace…WE MAY NOT WIN…!!! This needs to be said because People Must Awaken from their Slumber…NOW…!!

And to Atheists:…Stop…!!! Stop litigating the Judeo/Christian roots of America out of Our Culture…YOU are helping to sweep the Political Ideology of Islam in. Stop …!! Comparing Christianity and Judaism to Islam…Islam is NOT a religion…It is NOT a Race…

Saudi Arabia just declared ALL YOU ATHEISTS….TERRORISTS….!!! I’ve been telling you forever that YOU will be the FIRST dropping to your knees praising Allah…and I stand by that….Your Stupidity by not Standing with Christians and Jews who will stand with you against Islam is a testament to your own Bigotry and MASSIVE STUPIDITY…It’s unacceptable in this Global Landscape for your stupidity to continue…

VIDEO: Rosemary Lehmberg the Drunk Public Integrity / DA #RickPerry

Perry said he’d veto the funding if the district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, didn’t resign. Lehmberg had recently been convicted of drunken driving. The state’s Public Integrity Unit operates out of her office.     and they indited him for it 

the stop

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even more

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first one i had

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Posted in ASS WAGON, Government, Blog page| Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

LIBTARD Austin slap Perry video of Rosemary Lehmberg

SO a LIBTARD and a LIBTARD Austin grand jury acting out in true public corruption slap Perry with an indictment. 

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Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been indicted for abuse of power after carrying out a threat to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors.

The Republican governor is accused of abusing his official powers by publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit at the Travis County District Attorney’s office. He was indicted by an Austin grand jury Friday.

Perry said he’d veto the funding if the district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, didn’t resign. Lehmberg had recently been convicted of drunken driving. The state’s Public Integrity Unit operates out of her office.

When Lehmberg refused, Perry carried out his veto, drawing an ethics complaint.



Dead Baby #JokesAtWendyDavisTexas

BrYxxzvCQAIPmz3Dead Baby Jokes Over heard at the #TeamWendy party for @WendyDavisTexas


  1. What is funnier than a dead baby?
    A dead baby in a clown costume.
  2. What is the difference between a baby and a onion?
    No one cries when you chop up the baby.
  3. What is the difference between a dead baby and a water melon?
    One’s fun to hit with a sledge hammer, the other one’s a water melon.
  4. What is the difference between a baby and a dart-board?
    Dart-boards don’t bleed.
  5. What is the difference between a baby and a mars bar?
    About 500 calories.
    download (1)
  6. Why did the family take the dead baby along on the cookout?
    So they could light it and toast their marshmallows.
  7. Why was the dead baby kept in the kitchen drawer?
    The family used it to crack nuts.
  8. Why do people keep dead babies in the rec. room?
    They cut off one leg and use it as a ping pong paddle.
  9. Why do you put babies into blenders feet first?
    So you can see the expression on their faces.
  10. Why do they boil water when a baby is being born?
    So that if its born dead they can make soup.
  11. Why did the baby cross the road?
    It was stapled to the chicken.
  12. How many babies does it take to make a bottle of baby oil?
    It depends on how hard you squeeze them.
  13. How many babies fit in a blender?
    Depends on how powerful the blender is.
  14. How do you know when a baby is dead?
    It doesn’t cry if you nail its feet to the ceilingimages (1)
  15. How do you find the live baby in a pile of dead ones?
    Jab ’em all with a pitchfork.
  16. How do you save a drowning baby?
    Harpoon it.
  17. How do you turn a baby into a dog?
    Pour gas over it and light a match. Woof.
  18. How do you turn a baby into a cat?
    Freeze it solid, then run it through a bandsaw. Meeow.
  19. How do you get 100 babies into a bucket?
    With a blender.
    How do you get them out again?
    With Doritos.
  20. How do you make a dead baby float?
    Take your foot off its head.
    A glass of soda water and 2 scoops of baby.
  21. What do you call two abortions in a bucket?
    Blood brothers.
  22. What is red and is creeping up your leg?
    An abortion with homesickness.
  23. What is a foot long and can make a woman scream?
  24. What is a foot long, blue, and makes women scream in the morning?
    Crib death.Wendy_Davis_Shoes-240x361
  25. What do you call a dead baby pinned to your wall?
  26. What is red, bubbly, and scratches at the window before exploding?
    A baby in a microwave.
  27. What is blue and yellow and sits at the bottom of the pool?
    Baby with slashed floaties.
  28. What is red and yellow and floats at the top of the pool?
    Floaties with a slashed baby.
  29. What is red and hangs around trees?
    A baby hit by a snow blower.
  30. What is green and hangs around trees?
    Same baby 3 weeks later.
  31. What is pink and red and silver and crawls into walls?
    A baby with forks in its eyes.
  32. What is pink and goes black with a “hiss.”?
    A baby thrown into a furnace.
  33. What is brown and gurgles?
    A baby in a casserole.
  34. What is purple, covered in pus, and squeals?
    A peeled baby in a bag of salt.
  35. What is black and goes up and down?
    A baby in a toaster.
  36. What is red and hangs out of the back of a train?
    A miscarriage.
  37. What is red and goes round and round?
    A baby in a garbage disposal.
  38. What is red and swings back and forth?
    A baby on a meat hook.
  39. What is red, screams, and goes around in circles?
    A baby nailed to the floor.
  40. What is red and sits in the corner?
    A baby with razor blades.
  41. What is blue and sits in the corner?
    A baby in a baggie.
  42. What is black and sits in a corner?
    A baby with it’s finger in a power socket.
  43. What is green and sits in the corner?
    Same baby two weeks later.
  44. What is black and charred?
    A baby chewing on an extension cord.
  45. What is black and white, runs around the room, and smokes?
    A baby with his hair on fire.liberalism
  46. What is blue and flies around the room at high speeds?
    A baby with a punctured lung.
  47. What is cold, blue and doesn’t move?
    A baby in your freezer.
  48. What is pink, flies and squeals?
    A baby fired from a catapult.
    What do you call the baby when it lands?
    Free pizza.
  49. What is red and has more brains than the baby you just shot?
    The wall behind it.
  50. What is white and glows pink?
    A dead baby with an electrode up its ass.
  51. What is more fun than nailing a baby to a wall?
    Ripping it off again.
  52. What is more fun than throwing a baby off the cliff?
    Catching it with a pitchfork.
  53. What is more fun than swinging babies around on a clothesline?
    Stopping them with a shovel.
  54. What is more fun than shoveling dead babies off your porch?
    Doing it with a snow blower.
  55. What sits in the kitchen and keeps getting smaller and smaller?
    A baby combing it’s hair with a potato peeler.
  56. What bounces up and down at 100mph?
    A baby tied to the back of a truck.
  57. What goes plop, plop, fizz, fizz?
    Twins in an acid bath.
  58. What is red and pink and can’t turn round in a corridor?
    A baby with a javelin through its throat.
  59. What is little and can’t fit through a door?
    A baby with a spear in its head.
  60. What is the definition of fun?
    Playing fetch with a pitbull and a baby.
  61. What has 4 legs and one arm?
    A doberman on a children’s playground.
  62. What has 10 arms and blood all over it?
    A pitbull in front of a pile of dead babies.
  63. What is red and pink and hanging out of your dog’s mouth?
    Your baby’s leg.
  64. What present do you get for a dead baby?
    A dead puppy.
  65. What is grosser than ten dead babies nailed to a tree?
    One dead baby nailed to ten trees.
  66. What is worse than a dead baby in a trash can?
    100 dead babies in a trash can.
    What is worse than that?
    There’s a live one at the bottom.
    What is worse than that?
    It eats its way out.
    What is worse than that?
    It comes back for seconds.
  67. Know what’s gross?
    Running over a baby with a truck.
    Know whats worse?
    Skidding on it.
    Worse than that?
    Peeling it off the tires.
  68. What is the worst part about killing a baby?
    Getting blood on your clown suit.obama-baby-killer

#MySOTUresponse Feed

Join TheBonfireMedia while I scream at the jackass commie scum aka Barf Obama.

BHO 4 LIFE… WTF See we told you so

End presidential term limits

By Jonathan Zimmerman, Published: November 28

Jonathan Zimmerman is a professor of history and education at New York University. His books include “Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory.”

In 1947, Sen. Harley Kilgore (D-W.Va.) condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that would restrict presidents to two terms. “The executive’s effectiveness will be seriously impaired,” Kilgore argued on the Senate floor, “ as no one will obey and respect him if he knows that the executive cannot run again.”

I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37 percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president. Even former president Bill Clinton has said that Americans should be allowed to keep the health insurance they have.

Or consider the reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Regardless of his political approval ratings, Obama could expect Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) to attack the agreement. But if Obama could run again, would he be facing such fervent objections from Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)?

Probably not. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they’ve got little to fear.

Nor does Obama have to fear the voters, which might be the scariest problem of all. If he chooses, he could simply ignore their will. And if the people wanted him to serve another term, why shouldn’t they be allowed to award him one?

That was the argument of our first president, who is often held up as the father of term limits. In fact, George Washington opposed them. “I can see no propriety in precluding ourselves from the service of any man who, in some great emergency, shall be deemed universally most capable of serving the public,” Washington wrote in a much-quoted letter to the Marquis de Lafayette.

Washington stepped down after two terms, establishing a pattern that would stand for more than a century. But he made clear that he was doing so because the young republic was on solid footing, not because his service should be limited in any way.

The first president to openly challenge the two-term tradition was Theodore Roosevelt, who ran for a third term as president in 1912 on the Bull Moose ticket. When he stepped down in 1908, Roosevelt pledged not to seek a third term; reminded of this promise in 1912, he said that he had meant he would not seek a “third consecutive term.” The New York Times called Roosevelt’s explanation a “pitiful sophistication,” and the voters sent Woodrow Wilson to the White House.

Only in 1940, amid what George Washington might have called a “great emergency,” did a president successfully stand for a third term. Citing the outbreak of war overseas and the Depression at home, Democrats renominated Franklin D. Roosevelt. They pegged him for a fourth time in 1944 despite his health problems, which were serious enough to send him to his grave the following year.

To Republicans, these developments echoed the fascist trends enveloping Europe. “You will be serving under an American totalitarian government before the long third term is finished,” warned Wendell Wilkie, Roosevelt’s opponent in 1940. Once the two-term tradition was broken, Wilkie added, nobody could put it back together. “If this principle dies, it will be dead forever,” he said.

That’s why the GOP moved to codify it in the Constitution in 1947, when a large Republican majority took over Congress. Ratified by the states in 1951, the 22nd Amendment was an “undisguised slap at the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” wrote Clinton Rossiter, one of the era’s leading political scientists. It also reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people,” Rossiter said.

He was right. Every Republican in Congress voted for the amendment, while its handful of Democratic supporters were mostly legislators who had broken with FDR and his New Deal. When they succeeded in limiting the presidency to two terms, they limited democracy itself.

“I think our people are to be safely trusted with their own destiny,” Sen. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) argued in 1947. “We do not need to protect the American people with a prohibition against a president whom they do not wish to elect; and if they wanted to elect him, have we the right to deny them the power?”

It’s time to put that power back where it belongs. When Ronald Reagan was serving his second term, some Republicans briefly floated the idea of removing term limits so he could run again. The effort went nowhere, but it was right on principle. Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.

Read more about this issue: Thomas E. Mann: Want to end partisan politics? Here’s what won’t work, and what will Robert J. Samuelson: Why we no longer trust government Letter: After shutdown debacle, it’s time for term limits Zachary A. Goldfarb: How we misread the numbers that dominate our politics

#Obamacare Taxes That Will Crush The Middle Class

The Hidden Obamacare Taxes That
Will Crush The Middle Class

By Money Morning Staff Reports

Get ready to be blindsided by a barrage of new taxes. $1 trillion worth…

They’ll be coming courtesy of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

And they won’t just be affecting those who make over $250,000. The bulk of these taxes will be passed on directly to the middle class.

That’s because while a majority of these “stealth taxes” were designed to be taxes on businesses, they’re actually transferred directly to ordinary citizens.

MORE: How much extra will you have to pay? To see how Obamacare taxes will directly affect your paycheck, go here.

They include the investment income surtax, a Medicare payroll tax, even a “tanning tax” on those who utilize indoor tanning services.

“Many of those [hidden] taxes, especially those on hospitals, insurers and medical device manufacturers, will ultimately be passed on through higher health costs,” said Michael Tanner an expert on the healthcare law.

In fact, analysts estimate Obamacare will cost the average taxpayer nearly $6,000 in extra taxes as early as next year.

Obamacare Tax Hikes Stoke Outrage

Many of the Obamacare taxes are already in effect, others will hit January 1. But they are already infuriating millions of Americans.

While even Obamacare detractors applaud the requirement that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions and put a stop to lifetime caps on benefits, they say these laudable benefits don’t compensate for the bills high cost – especially in new taxes.

According to most experts, Obamacare will create a total of twenty new taxes or tax hikes on the American people.

In fact, the Obama administration has already given the IRS an extra $500 million to enforce the rules and regulations of Obamacare.

The new taxes don’t bode well for millions of middle-class Americans. Incomes for the rich have soared this decade but middle class workers have seen their wages stagnate and even drop since the 2008 Great Recession.

Many fear Obamacare with its high insurance costs and new taxes, could provide the middle class a fatal blow.

The 20 new Obamacare taxes are making Americans eyes pop out in disbelief.Take a look.

Of course, the Obamacare plan was primarily designed to decrease the number of uninsured Americans and reduce healthcare costs.

Many experts are saying it will have the exact opposite effect.

That’s just one of the reasons why Republicans hope to defund Obamacare before January.

They claim that the taxes and costs needed to pay for Obamacare will crush the middle class and most U.S. taxpayers, as well as trigger job losses in affected industries.

Tax experts say you should try to estimate how much you will have to pay when the law goes into full effect – and take precautions to limit the damage to your bottom line.

What the Experts Say: How to avoid getting your financial neck broken by Obamacare… Watch this video.

One expert, Dr. Betsy McCaughey, a constitutional scholar with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, recently wrote a best-seller showing Americans how they can not only survive Obamacare, but prosper through it.

McCaughey claims to be one of the only people in the country – including members of Congress – who has actually read the entire 2,572 page law.

Her book, titled Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for Surviving The New Health Care Law, breaks the huge bill down into 168 pages of actionable advice.

The book, written in an easy going, easy to read style, shows some startling facts about Obamacare not seen in the mainstream press.

For example, she points to a little known passage in the bill that shows how you could get slapped with a $2,000 fine for not having health insurance – even if you do actually have it.

She also goes into detail explaining how a third of all U.S. employers could stop offering health insurance to their workers.

In one chapter, she shows how ordinary Americans will get stuck paying for substance abuse coverage – even if they never touched a drink or drug in their life.

According to McCaughey’s research, senior citizens will get hit the hardest.

Hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery will be especially hard to get from Medicare in the months ahead thanks to Obamacare, according to McCaughey.

She warns seniors to get those types of procedures done now before Obamacare goes into effect January 1.

Editor’s Note: Real facts and figures about the hidden Obamacare taxes and fees and how they will affect everyday Americans and seniors are hard to find. As a courtesy, Money Morning is offering readers a free copy of Betsy McCaughey’s new book Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for Surviving The New Health Care Law. But only a limited number of copies are available. Please go here to reserve yours today.

Wrong in every way

We are, after all, the Communist Party and socialism is at the core of our identity.
The main political task at this moment is to assemble the necessary social forces to defeat Bush and his counterparts in Congress and elsewhere.
The urgency of that task, however, should not be converted into a rationale for socialists and communists to push the mute button on the socialist alternative. To the contrary, we should bring our vision of socialism into the public square; we are, after all, the Communist Party and socialism is at the core of our identity.
The ruling class, not surprisingly, shows no reticence in shaping popular (mis)understanding of socialism. In fact, establishment think tanks, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, have said that socialism is not simply damaged, but damaged beyond repair.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the political spectrum, this subject is slowly finding its way into political discourse. At first glance, this may seem surprising, given that socialism took such a big hit a decade ago.
But on closer inspection it is not such a mystery.
The very advances of capitalism bring in their train new oppositional forces. Admittedly, they don’t yet embrace socialism as we understand it, but they do imagine a society without the hardships, oppressions, worries, pressures, and unbridled profiteering that are emblematic of and structured into present day capitalism. They desire a future that brings material security and a sense of community, insist on some power over their lives, yearn for a new birth of freedom and hunger for a joyous life, and they want a little heaven on this earth.
Obviously, this structure of feeling doesn’t, all at once, translate into a mass constituency for socialism, but it does mean that we can bring our vision to a much larger audience. And doing so can only have a positive effect on ongoing class and democratic battles – not to mention the longer-term prospects for socialism. It is no coincidence that the most far-reaching reforms in the 20th century were secured at moments when socialist ideas had their greatest currency and constituency.
In advocating socialism today, we can’t simply repeat what Marx and Engels said. Call it what you want, a blessing or a burden, we can’t act as if socialism wasn’t a defining feature of world development in the 20th century. And, to say the least, that experience was tumultuous and contradictory.
On the one hand, socialism transformed and modernized backward societies, secured important economic and social rights, assisted countries breaking free of colonialism, contributed decisively to the victory over Nazism, constituted by its mere presence a pressure on the ruling classes in the capitalist world to make concessions to their working classes and democratic movements, and acted as a counterweight to the aggressive ambitions of U.S. imperialism for nearly fifty years.
On the other hand, the shortcomings and mistakes in the political, economic, and cultural fields, not to mention the egregious and indefensible crimes against the Soviet people and Soviet socialism during the Stalin period, were so serious that in the end, the Soviet Union (and the Eastern European states) collapsed with barely a word of protest from their citizens or ruling parties.
All of this – along with the conditions, challenges and sensibilities of our own time – must be soberly studied and appropriate lessons drawn in order to construct a compelling vision of socialism going forward. But luckily there are no pressing deadlines that force us to hurry this process. We can be almost leisurely in our discussions because socialism in our country, it is safe to say, is not around the corner.
Marxism, of course, should guide this discussion, but we should employ its principles and methods creatively. Marxism, when properly used, is an open system that absorbs new experience and adjusts earlier assessments and concepts to new realities.
To have the most fruitful discussion, we should create an atmosphere that encourages comrades to explore the subject without blinders and in fresh ways, while discouraging the practice of political labeling, which becomes a substitute for thoughtfully addressing the merits of points of view different from our own.
No one should feel compelled to defend everything that the communist movement said and did in the past, nor should anyone assume the role of the defender of Marxism-Leninism. That is the role of collective bodies, and even collective bodies should exercise that function in a considered way.
Engels once remarked,
“… the word ‘materialist’ serves many of the younger writers in Germany as a mere phrase with which anything and everything is labeled without further study, that is, they stick on this label and then consider the question disposed of. But our conception of history is above all a guide to study … All history must be studied afresh.”
Marx, of course, shared this view. These great thinkers appreciated the dynamic nature of world capitalism and insisted on creatively developing their insights in line with a changing world. Never did they attempt to shoehorn facts to theory; their approach was fresh, creative, critical, and free of cant.
I hope that this paper meets that standard. My primary, though not singular, focus is on the transitional period of the revolutionary process. I try to be as concrete as possible, although I am mindful of the fact that any envisioning of this transition must be tentative.
Why? Because in any transition from one social formation to another, there are novel features, unforeseen events, sudden turns, and even the possibility of social retrogression. The history of social transitions in general, and the variegated nature of the transition to socialism in the 20th century in particular, demonstrate that societies’ developmental paths are neither uniform nor predictable.
“History as a whole, and the history of revolutions in particular,” Lenin wrote near the end of his eventful life, “is always richer in content, more varied, more multi-form, more lively and ingenious than is imagined by even the best parties, the most class consciousness of vanguards of the most advanced classes. This can be readily understood, because even the finest of vanguards express the class consciousness, will, passion and imagination of tens of thousands, whereas at moments of great upsurge and exertion of all human capacities, revolutions are made by the class consciousness, will, passion and imagination of tens of millions, spurred on by a most acute struggle of classes.” (Left Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder)
The dream of a just and classless society has a long genealogy. For centuries, it stirred the hopes of women and men, shackled by exploitation, poverty, oppression, and war.
The slave revolts in ancient as well as more recent times were animated by such an idea, as were the peasant uprisings in feudal Europe. Such a vision motivated the rebels on land and sea who fought emerging capitalism in the 17th and 18th century Atlantic economy. The most radical-minded people in our nation’s war of independence were spurred to action because of a vision of an alternative way of living based on solidarity, equality, and community.
The early 19th century labor movement envisioned a cooperative community of producers. The pre-Marxian utopian socialists constructed intricate blueprints for egalitarian societies.
So we can’t claim that Marx and Engels invented the idea of a society defined by common ownership, mutuality, freedom and equality.
But socialism was their lifetime preoccupation and, unlike the utopians, speculative thinking had a small place in their writings. They were materialists and their point of departure was objective reality with all of its complexities and contradictions.
Their method of analysis allowed them to penetrate deep beneath the surface of developing capitalism and unearth its exploitative dynamics, pressures, and laws of motion – not to mention the main class and social forces that would emerge to challenge capitalist class rule.
But because socialism was not yet a material reality, and could not be studied in that manner, they resisted making anything more than the most general observations regarding its content, contours, and historical trajectory.
Those observations, however, not to mention their philosophy and methodology (dialectical and historical materialism) remain of enormous value and should inform our socialist analysis and vision in the 21st century.
Some of the most important of these are: First, the contradiction in capitalist society between the social nature of production and the private form of appropriation and reproduction is the matrix in which the objective and subjective conditions for socialist society gel.
“This contradiction,” Engels wrote, “… contains the germ of the whole of the social antagonisms of today.” One may reasonably argue that Engels is overreaching here, but the point is clear: the widening and deepening of capitalist relations over time has turned capitalism into a near universal system, reduced nearly everything that humans desire to the cash nexus and the commodity form, sucked hundreds of millions into the web of wage labor, and generated new contradictions, inequalities, hierarchies, and antagonisms on a more extensive scale – all of which constitute the material basis for socialism. Thus, socialism springs from the general logic of capitalist development.
A second observation is that the working class, because of its position in the system of social production, is the gravedigger of capitalism. In their view, no other class or social strata has the economic and political strength to successfully confront corporate power. They didn’t rule out an important role for allied forces, but, by the same token, they did not see them as the mainstay of the socialist movement.
Another of Marx and Engels’ observations is that a shift in political power from the capitalist class to the working class and its allies is an absolutely essential requirement of a socialist revolution. This transfer of power, however, doesn’t announce the arrival of full-blown socialism, but rather constitutes the first phase of a period of transition during which the working class and its allies dismantle the old state structures and construct new ones that are infinitely more democratic.
They also observed that at the core of the socialist project is the elimination of private ownership in the major means of production and the replacement of market mechanisms in favor of economic planning. In the Manifesto, Marx and Engels write that “the theory of communism can be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”
A fifth observation of the founders of modern socialism is that the role of communists is to “raise the proletariat to the position of the ruling class and to win the battle for democracy.” And then, to assist the working class to “wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.” (Communist Manifesto)
Finally, socialist societies, according to Marx and Engels, are dynamic social formations that undergo phases of growth and development, leading eventually to the transition to communism, in which classes and all forms of inequality and oppression disappear, the state as a coercive instrument withers away, the distinction between town and country is overcome, and the old division of labor that confined working people to crippling work routines and long hours melts away.
In other words, the kingdom of necessity gives way to the kingdom of freedom and inscribed over its door are the words, “From each according to their ability and to each according to their needs.”
Marx and Engels said much more about socialism, but I hope that this thumbnail sketch gives us a frame of reference.
I would argue that socialism is acquiring a new necessity in the 21st century, despite its historic defeat in the 20th century.
Since its earliest days, capitalism has inflicted incalculable harm on the inhabitants of the earth. Primitive accumulation, world wars, slavery, various forms of labor servitude, ruthless wage exploitation, territorial annexation, colonial and interstate wars, racist, gender, and other forms of oppression – all this and more occupy prominent places in the historical mapping of U.S. and world capitalism.
And yet as ghastly a history as this is, the future could be even worse for a simple reason: capitalism’s destructive power, driven by its inner logic to pump surplus value out of its primary producers and dominate global space, has grown exponentially compared to a century ago. Unless restrained and eventually dismantled, this power is capable of doing irreversible damage to life in all its forms.
A century ago, Rosa Luxemburg, the great communist leader, famously said that humanity had a choice, “socialism or barbarism.” A century later, her warning has even more meaning.
Consider some of the new dangers that make socialism necessary.
First is the prospect of unending war and mass annihilation. With the winding down of the Cold War, most people assumed that the war danger, conventional and nuclear, would ease. Subsequent events, however, have erased these modest hopes. The nuclear threat remains and conventional wars scar the landscape and brutally extinguish the lives of millions of people.
Our own government, with the biggest stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, continues to develop ever more powerful ones, but with this twist: unlike its predecessors, the Bush administration claims a singular right to employ such weapons in a “preventive” fashion and not simply as a last resort.
At the same time, the administration demonizes, imposes sanctions against, and threatens and wages war on countries that possess or may possess nuclear capability and/or constitute an obstacle to its global designs.
Despite claims to the contrary, the mission of neoconservatives in the White House and Pentagon is world domination, cunningly and cynically couched in the language of “fighting terrorism” and accomplished by military means.
And with no counterweight to its power, U.S. imperialism feels few restraints on its ability to wage war. Indeed, from the moment the Bush gang stole the presidency in 2000, they have been hellbent on putting the Pentagon’s military might on display for the entire world to see.
Some say that while the danger of local and regional wars has grown, the danger of inter-imperialist wars and nuclear exchanges between competing capitalist countries is less likely, given the overwhelming preponderance of U.S. military power relative to other capitalist states, the present level of integration of world capitalism, the hesitation of sections of the capitalist class to consider the nuclear option a viable one, and the worldwide opposition to U.S. militarism and aggression.
There is more than a grain of truth in this logic. Nevertheless, we should never forget that war is always latent in capitalism and has a logic of its own. Even the cleverest policy makers are guilty of miscalculations and/or are easily overtaken by events beyond their control.
Furthermore, tensions in some regions of the world, say Taiwan, North Korea, South Asia, and the Middle East, could easily escalate into much wider wars, with the possibility of nuclear exchanges.
The present balance of forces is also more fluid than it appears. China, for example, could emerge as a counter-hegemonic force to U.S. imperialism in the not too distant future, something that the Bush administration and the most reactionary sections of capital say that they will not allow.
Finally, the readiness of the Bush administration to use nuclear weapons should not be underestimated. A recent report in the Washington Post describes how the administration has at its beck and call a global strike force that can launch a strike, including a nuclear one, anywhere on earth within in a few hours. And given a “clash between the triumphal rhetoric of global domination and the sordid reality of failure in practice … would the President facing defeat of his policies somewhere in the world … actually reach for the nuclear option?” (Jonathan Schell,The Nation, June 13, 2005)
All of this offers powerful reasons to intensify the struggle for peace as well as the struggle for a new society that turns swords into ploughshares.
Another compelling argument for socialism’s new necessity is that the economic slowdown of the world capitalist economy in the early 1970s has not been overcome. The political elites hoped that economic restructuring, deregulation, privatization, trade liberalization, and massive financial manipulations – in a word, neo-liberalism – would create conditions for a sustained economic expansion worldwide, but it never happened.
Yes, the economy has grown and profitability has been restored. A regime of internationally networked production has superseded the old Fordist arrangements. The financial sector has grown at a dizzying pace and millions of low-wage jobs have been created in the service sector. But vigorous and prolonged growth has been a no-show.
Neoliberalism, in fact, has produced tremendous human suffering across the globe. No country, including our own, has escaped its punishing impact in a highly competitive world economy that is awash in commodity overproduction.
All of which makes one wonder if the sustained growth of the 1945-1970 period was an aberration, rather than, as conventionally believed, the norm to which the economy will eventually return.
While the jury is still out on that, clearly capitalism in its neoliberal form on a global level is incapable of resolving the contradictions and hardships that it creates: unemployment and underemployment; dislocation of industries and people; declining living standards; growing income, racial, and gender inequality; unrelieved debt; and marginalization of whole countries and regions.
In fact, without radically restructuring the world economic order, it is hard to envision how these present economic trends and their inevitable negative consequences will change in any fundamental way. British Marxist David Harvey believes that we are entering an era where capital accumulation occurs as much through dispossession and theft, legal and otherwise, of public and private assets, social entitlements, and cuts in living standards as through expanded commodity production.
Another threat to humanity’s future is environmental degradation. Almost daily we hear of species extinction, global warming, resource depletion, deforestation, desertification, and on and on to the point where we are nearly accustomed to this gathering catastrophe.
Our planet cannot indefinitely absorb the impact of profit-driven, growth-without-limits capitalism. Many scientists say that unless we radically change our methods of production and consumption patterns, we will reach the point where damage to the environment will become irreversible.
We must move in the direction of sustainability, which Marxist John Bellamy Foster describes as the following:
(1) the rate of utilization of renewable resources has to be kept down to the rate of their
(2) the rate of usage of non-renewable resources cannot exceed the rate at which alternative sustainable resources are developed; and
(3) pollution and habitat destruction cannot exceed the “assimilative capacity of the environment.”
Obviously, we are far from meeting these criteria. The earth is sending distress signals to its human inhabitants, which will become more pronounced as long as the social relations of production are not in harmony with the ecological relations of consumption; as long as the reproduction of capital dominates the reproduction of nature.
Despite this, even the most modest measures of environmental protection are resisted by sections of the transnational corporations. This makes the transition to a socialist society all the more imperative.
Humanity is also gravely endangered by the deep and persistent racial, gender, and regional inequalities that exist across the planet.
The evidence of these inequalities is obvious: massive hunger and malnutrition, dire poverty, pandemic diseases, daily and institutionalized brutality against peoples of color, systemic abuse and oppression of women, explosion of slums around mega-cities, massive migrations of workers and peasants in search of a better life and decaying urban and rural communities and whole regions.
While these conditions exist worldwide, the countries of the southern hemisphere experience, not quietly to be sure, the worst forms of deprivation and inequality.
These inequalities are embedded in the very structures, hierarchies, and dynamics of capitalist development. Unconscionable affluence and wealth at one pole and unspeakable poverty, exploitation, and oppression at the other pole are the gasoline that fuels the engine of global capitalism.
All of this provides yet another compelling reason for a new society.
A final danger is the many-sided assault on democracy in the recent period, resulting from two interrelated phenomena: the new aggressiveness of world imperialism and the political ascendancy of the neoconservatives in the United States.
The hacking away at labor, civil, voting, women’s, immigrant, gay and lesbian, and disability rights is exceedingly dangerous. But the role of the democratic movement is not to lament this attack, nor to cry that fascism is imminent. Its role is to fight more energetically to preserve and expand democratic rights. In the early days of the Cold War we didn’t do this and thus contributed to our own political isolation. We don’t want to make the same mistake again, nor do we want others to do so.
I hope that the foregoing makes the case that socialism is not just a good idea, but a necessary one – necessary to preserve peace and our planet, necessary to defend and expand democracy, necessary to eliminate gross economic, racial, gender and other inequalities, and necessary to provide a secure life for the billions living on this earth.
While I’m not saying that we mothball the idea of socialism’s inevitability – an idea, by the way, that we have understood in a too mechanical and too superficial way – I do believe that the notion of socialism as “necessary” has great meaning and mass resonance.
The struggle for socialism today unfolds in a world in which the U.S. ruling class and especially its most reactionary section is determined to maintain unrivaled dominance.
But the Bush administration, despite its overwhelming preponderance of military power, is learning that the world isn’t infinitely malleable. The subduing of Iraq has proven far more difficult than policy makers expected and has revealed the limitations as much as the strength of U.S. imperialist power. The invasion has morphed into a grinding occupation, unpopular among both the Iraqi and American people.
Moreover, this is but one expression of the many forms of opposition that imperialism has encountered to its political and economic ambitions. Admittedly, the social actors (regional groupings, nations, international bodies, and, above all, hundreds of millions of people) who resist are diverse and differently motivated. Nevertheless, the scope of this opposition as well as deep-going changes in the political economy and relations of power of world capitalism are so impressive that the theoretical adequacy of unipolarity – a notion that asserts that a single superpower, the United States, is unrivaled and able to easily impose its will on the rest of the world for the foreseeable future – is being questioned.
So much so that it has triggered a spirited debate. One side claims that U.S. imperialism, with its military and financial might, has rebuffed the challenges it faced over the past three decades and is now leaner and meaner and able to impose it hegemonic designs on friend and foe.
The other side argues that new centers of power and accumulation are emerging, especially in China and East Asia as a whole, that will rival and eventually replace U.S. imperialism’s dominance. The only question, according to these social theorists, is whether U.S. imperialism will adjust peacefully to the new configuration of power or, to borrow the phrase of sociologist Giovanni Arrighi, pursue a policy, of “exploitive domination,” that is, a policy of maintaining global dominance by primarily military means. (Chaos and Dominance in the World System)
Regardless of who’s right, this wider conflictual environment on a global level will impact on the transition to socialism. Precisely how I don’t think we know, but it is safe to say that it will create both new opportunities and new dangers to the socialist project.
Our vision of socialism should embrace a set of values and norms. Some of the most important are social solidarity, equality, non-violence, economic justice, the abolition of exploitation, democracy, respect for difference, individual freedoms and liberties, sustainability, and internationalism. These values are not chosen willy-nilly, but emerged out of the struggles of working people and the necessities of social development.
Moreover, they should inform the culture, discourse, and decision-making processes of a socialist society in our country. While they can only be fully realized over time, and while they may conflict with socialism’s short-term developmental requirements, these values must condition the means as well as the ends of socialist construction.
Wage leveling, for example, is not a suitable goal of the socialist phase of development for economic and cultural reasons. And yet the normative value of equality must be upheld as a safeguard against excessive variations in incomes, a deterrent to the emergence of privileges, and a reminder that inequality will disappear at higher stages of social development.
Or to take another example, Lenin wrote on the eve of WWI, “Disarmament is the ideal of socialism.” (The Disarmament Slogan) Was he being naive in making this assertion in view of the world conflagration about to take place? Or was he saying that at every turn of the class struggle communists must strive (and must be seen in the public eye as striving) for a world free of violence, or where that is not possible, to minimize war and violence.
There was a tendency in the communist movement, however, to see values and norms instrumentally. Thus, in the name of fighting the class enemy and building socialism, they were too easily dispensable.
I like to think we have learned some lessons in this regard, one of which is that we can’t be cavalier about the values that socialism should embody. If our values don’t animate the revolutionary process, if the means and methods of socialist construction aren’t reflective of those values, then socialism will concede its most attractive features – humanism and moral superiority – which once lost, are difficult to regain.
To insure that this doesn’t happen requires an active citizenry engaged in democratic organizations and steeped in a robust socialist political culture.
The struggle for democracy, understood in the broadest sense, is at the core of social progress and socialism.
Democracy – the opportunity to shape one’s own destiny – has become a necessity of life for working people in the current phase of capitalism’s development, much like food and shelter were in an earlier stage.
It is not simply a means to an end, nor a tactical device to be employed when it advances the class struggle. Rather the struggle for democracy is both a means and an end. It empowers people and people empower democracy.
Under capitalism, which hems in and restricts democratic life, the struggle to deepen and widen democracy is an inescapable task at every turn.
In the course of democratic struggle, the working class and its allies acquire practical experience. They gain political understanding. They unify the necessary forces in political and organizational terms. They curb the power of their class adversaries. And, not least, they win immediate improvements in their day-to-day lives.
The main site of the democratic struggle today – which is the main site of the class struggle as well –  is the battle to defeat the reactionary sections of transnational capital gathered around the Bush administration. Every democratic right (the right to peace, the right to a living wage job, civil rights and affirmative action, the right to organize, reproductive rights, constitutional protections, gay and lesbian rights, social entitlements, etc.) and every democratic organization, beginning with the trade unions, are threatened by this administration and its supporters.
Thus the main task at this moment is to decisively curb the political power and influence of the extreme right and in doing so move to a more advanced stage of struggle.
At that stage, where the main obstacle to social progress is corporate power as a whole, new democratic tasks will emerge, such as radically cutting the military budget and conversion to a peace economy, full funding of the public sector, a shorter workweek, electoral and political reforms, curbs on capital movements, deep-going measures to end poverty and inequality, tax system overhaul, aid to small and medium-sized business, restraints on the coercive instruments and structures of the state, and a foreign policy that accents disarmament, peace, and neighborly relations.
And, finally, in the socialist stage, the struggle for democracy will continue to loom large and acquires an even deeper content.
In sum, there is no road to socialism that bypasses the democratic struggle. Anyone who attempts to do so will soon feel the chilling winds of political isolation.
Lenin once wrote,
“It would be a radical mistake to think that the struggle for democracy was capable of diverting the proletariat from the socialist revolution or of hiding, overshadowing it, etc. On the contrary, in the same way as there can be no victorious socialism that does not practice full democracy, so the proletariat cannot prepare for its victory over the bourgeoisie without an all-around consistent and revolutionary struggle for democracy.”
(The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination)
On another occasion, he wrote:
“A [Communist] must never for a moment forget that the proletariat will inevitably have to wage a class struggle for socialism … This is beyond doubt. Hence, the absolute necessity of a separate, independent, strictly class party of Social-Democracy. Hence, the temporary nature of our tactics, of ‘striking a joint blow’ with the bourgeoisie and the duty of keeping a strict watch ‘over our ally’ … All this leaves no room for doubt. However, it would be ridiculous and reactionary to deduce from this that we must forget, ignore, or neglect [democratic] tasks which, although transient and temporary, are vital at the present time.” (Two Tactics of Social Democracy)
I don’t think that this understanding of the democratic struggle always informs our thinking and practice.
Of course, you may be wondering where this leaves concepts of class and the class struggle. Are they to be put out to pasture like a champion racehorse that has grown too old to compete? Are they irrelevant to the politics of the 21st century? Have they been superseded?
By no means! Class and the class struggle remain at the center of political, economic, social, and cultural life. But they are not sealed off from other categories of analysis and struggle.
There is no such thing as a pure class struggle or pure democratic struggle, except at the level of high theory. As we move from theoretical abstraction and get closer to concrete political realities, class and democratic struggles interpenetrate and are embedded in a complex and dynamic political and social process that is shaped by and shapes the logic of capitalist accumulation.
Isn’t this interpenetration evident in the struggles to prevent the privatization of Social Security or end the occupation in Iraq or block the reactionary judicial nominees or preserve affirmative action and reproductive rights or strengthen labor’s right to organize? Can any of these struggles be explained solely in the language of class or solely in the language of democracy?
The struggle for democracy will immeasurably strengthen class unity and class struggle at every stage, including the socialist stage. And, by the same token, a shift in the balance of power in favor of the working class can only give new impetus to the democratic movement.
Going a step further, a qualitative and decisive shift in class power in favor of the working class and its allies opens up new democratic vistas and possibilities about which the exploited and oppressed have only dreamed.
At the epicenter of the struggle for democracy and socialism is the struggle against racism and for full equality.
Notwithstanding the claims of the right-wing apologists camped out in think tanks, universities, and radio and television studios, we do not live in a post-racial, post-civil rights society. To the contrary, race still matters.
While racism as a mode of exploitation and oppression changes over time, we should not lose sight of some critical insights that we have embraced and popularized over decades.
First, racism demeans, segregates and locks racially and nationally oppressed people into inferior conditions of life. Second, it is deeply embedded in the relations, institutional structures, and system of capitalism. Third, it confers enormous political, economic, and ideological advantages to the capitalist class. Fourth, the journey from formal to substantive equality requires the radical rearrangement of political, economic, and cultural relations and institutions in our society.
Fifth, white workers, despite experiencing better conditions than their brother and sisters of color, possess both material and non-material interests in fighting against racism and for full equality of oppressed people.
Sixth, racially and nationally oppressed people are not simply the objects of racism, but are also historical subjects and strategic social actors in the political drama of our country. Indeed, each oppressed nationality brings its own deep repository of political traditions, consciousness, and imagination, its own institutional networks, and its own unyielding attitude of struggle. In so doing, the political capacity of each of the components of the all-people’s front, beginning with the labor movement, and of the all-people’s front as a whole are immeasurably strengthened.
And finally, democratic, class, and socialist advance in our country will be achieved only to the degree that substantial numbers of white workers and white people join peoples of color in a sustained and unremitting struggle for equality and against racism.
Essential to the realization of socialism is a vision of the class and social forces that have to be assembled to win political power. At the center of this assemblage is the multiracial, multinational, male-female, multigenerational working class.
While we should resist the idea that the working class alone can bring the capitalist class to its knees, we shouldn’t minimize the strategic social power of the working class nor set aside the Marxist insight that the working class, because of its economic location, political capacities and historical experience, is positioned to emerge as the general leader of the broader democratic movement. Other social forces can effect change, but by themselves they are unable to move the struggle from the politics of protest to the politics of power.
This concept of the leading role of the working class, however, is not yet widely accepted among progressive and left forces. In some circles, this elementary Marxist idea has been supplanted by a notion that other social groupings are more likely to lead. A recent popular book, Empire, submerges the working class in the more open-ended and ambiguous concept of “multitude.” Some speak about a “new historical subject” of the revolutionary process.
But we should not yield ideological ground here.
Workers are the producers of surplus value. They are strategically positioned to challenge capitalist rule. Workers keenly appreciate the need for broad unity and are well aware of the need for organization.
They attach great importance to legislative and electoral activity and skillfully combine different forms of struggle. Workers are sober in their tactical thinking and not dismissive of compromise. They understand politics as an impure and contradictory process with inevitable ebbs and flows.
Workers have other identities besides class, thus enabling them to form powerful and strategic alliances across race, gender and other lines. And lastly, it is the working class that will be the main builder of a sustainable, efficient, and equitable socialist economy.
Having said this, I would quickly add that the issue of who leads will be contested at every point in the revolutionary process. With so many social forces and trends, how could it be otherwise?
The leading role of the working class, however, will not be won by rhetorical assertions on our part, but rather, by the vigor with which it fights for democracy and equality; by the degree to which it defends the interests of other strata and speaks for the nation.
“No class of civil society,” Marx wrote, “can play this role without arousing a moment of enthusiasm in itself and in the masses, a moment in which it fraternizes and merges with society in general, becomes confused with it and is perceived and acknowledged as its general representative, a moment in which its claims and rights are truly the claims and rights of society itself, a moment in which it is truly the social head and the social heart. Only in the name of the general rights of society can a particular class vindicate for itself general domination.”
And herein lies the role of communists, that is, to practically and ideologically assist the working class and its organized section to “fraternize and merge” with the whole democratic movement, and thereby become its leader. Such a role can be realized only if we are of as well as for the working class, only if we are dug deep into its immediate struggles, only if we bring our Marxist understandings to these struggles.
The task of winning broad and diverse allies to the cause of socialism is of fundamental strategic importance. It is achieved, however, not on the eve of a socialist transformation, but over a protracted period of struggle. The struggles of the future have their seeds in the struggles of the present.
So to the working class are coupled the communities of the nationally and racially oppressed, women, and youth.
Together these social forces are what I call the “core constituencies” of a broader people’s coalition. Their participation is a strategic requirement at every stage of struggle, including the socialist stage. Remove any one of them from the mix and the prospects for winning are not simply greatly dimmed, but doomed.
Around this core are gathered other diverse social forces (seniors, family farmers, professional and intellectuals, gays and lesbians, etc.) and social movements whose interests and issues of struggle make them allies, and together, they constitute a broad people’s movement.
This is consistent with the ideas of the classical Marxist thinkers.
In his notes on the Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx was critical of LaSalle and the German Social Democrats for suggesting that “the artisans, the small manufacturers, and peasants are ‘one reactionary mass.’” These groupings, he argued, should not be conceded to the bourgeoisie before the struggle has begun.
Lenin was as, or even more, insistent regarding broad alliances as a necessary condition for winning socialism in Russia. And Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Communist and outstanding theoretician, who spoke about organizing a working class led political bloc of diverse social forces, held a similar view.
Should our approach be any less expansive than theirs?
In its formative period, the world communist movement had a disdainful attitude towards transitional forms and processes. The struggle for socialism was direct and compressed in time. It was damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.
And it was not that those early pioneers were naive. The Great October Revolution had just shaken the world and millions in the heart of Europe were returning from the senseless slaughter of WWI to countries in the throes of profound crises. At that moment the old world seemed to be dying and a new world seemed about to be born.
Thus there were no tactical adjustments or compromises worth thinking about. It was “class against class“ and “the final conflict.”
But things didn’t work out the way those communist militants anticipated. Political reaction regained the initiative, turned back the tide of struggle, the revolutionary upsurge ebbed, and repression followed.
In the aftermath of this upheaval, Lenin authored his classic work, Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder.
In this essay, he argued that there was no direct path to socialism, and that the revolutionary process would stretch out over time and go through different stages, with distinct strategic tasks and associated democratic demands specific to each stage.
He further argued that the new communist parties must search for forms of transition to socialism, based on a sober estimation of the stage of development of capitalism as well as an objective appraisal of the balance of class and social forces at a particular moment.
Unfortunately, Lenin died at a relatively young age and was succeeded by Stalin, who went in the other direction. Instead of broad alliance policies Stalin reverted back to a “class against class” strategy, which in its essence was a go-it-alone approach.
The outcome of this policy was disastrous both in the Soviet Union and in the capitalist countries, perhaps nowhere more than in Germany.
Internationally, it wasn’t until the 7th Congress of the Communist International in 1935 that this sectarian policy was corrected. In his address to that gathering, Georgi Dimitrov said that the immediate strategic task was not socialism, but rather to defeat the growing fascist threat.
Dimitrov ridiculed what he called “cut and dried” schemes that ignored the political situation and dynamics on the ground. He maintained that strategic and tactical concepts had to be fashioned to fit concrete reality, not to abstract theories.
He argued that communists must shed themselves of simplistic understandings of the revolutionary process like class against class, skipping intermediate stages of struggle, and countering every demand of the social democrats with a demand that was twice as radical. His report was an impassioned plea against, to use his words, “self-satisfied sectarianism,” an attitude and practice that consisted of taking good formal positions while sitting off in organizational forms detached from the main organizations of the working class and people.
That was then. So where do we stand now with respect to a view of the transition to socialism?
There are two distinctly different visions that are found on the left. One, nearly identical with the outlook of the early communist movement, visualizes a “Great Revolutionary Day” on which the economy suddenly collapses, the workers rise up and seize power, the state, economy and civil society are smashed and remade from top to bottom in one fell swoop, and socialism springs up full grown, like Athena from the head of Zeus.
You may be thinking that this is caricature, but such ideas are still heard in the communist and left movement.
The other vision of the transition is that the struggle for socialism is a lengthy process that winds its way through different phases during which the configuration of contending class and social forces and mass political consciousness changes, requiring, in turn, new strategic policies to match the new alignment of forces and new level consciousness.
Periods of advance yield to periods of retreat and vice versa. Shifting alliances form and reform with each side struggling to turn provisional allies into stable ones. New political understandings that accent unity, equality, empowerment, and anti-capitalism compete with and replace the ruling class notions that framed how millions interpreted their world. And electoral and legislative forms of struggle combine with other forms of mass struggle.
As the contest for power approaches a decisive break, no class is hegemonic, and control of the branches of government is contested with each power bloc trying to capture the initiative. Much depends on a meltdown in the structures of coercion, and paralysis, if not divisions, within ruling circles. And at each successive stage more millions enter the arena of struggle.
The latter was not always our understanding of the transitional process. At one time, we envisioned a narrowing of the movement from the anti-monopoly stage of struggle to the socialist stage. There was a grain of truth here, but only a grain; probably some social strata will peel away as the dawn breaks on socialism, but at the same time, the overall movement must be gaining in breadth and depth. It must be winning ever more millions of people to its banner, including those who were formerly politically passive or a part of the opposition bloc.
Therefore, any notion of the transition to socialism as a purely working-class affair or a project of just the left should be rejected. Only a movement of the great majority and in the interests of the great majority, only a movement whose mass character deepens again and again, is capable of winning socialism in our country.
Even when a political rupture occurs, it will be neither complete nor irreversible. On the day after the transfer of power, socio-economic life will probably look much like it did the day before and power will continue to be contested.
As complex as the revolutionary process is at every point, it takes on even greater complexity when the revolutionary forces hold powerful positions in the government apparatus.
In such circumstances, as important as the battle of ideas is, it is no substitute for sound policies and mass mobilization. It is imperative to enact democratic measures to weaken the class adversary and remove their personnel from the state apparatus, while at the same time taking steps to expand democratic and economic rights for tens of millions.
Thus, revolutions are not a single act, but rather a series of events and complex processes stretching over time.
Nor are revolutions imitative. While there are clearly some commonalities and fundamental features – political power has to migrate from the hands of one class into the hands of another, economic and cultural changes have to take place, and state institutions must be transformed – this transformational process can happen in a variety of ways; one size doesn’t fit all.
In considering forms of transition to socialism, we should be unabashed proponents of our own nationally specific path.
While we should study the experiences of other countries, the forms, scale and pace of that experience should not imprison our political imagination, and go against the grain of Lenin’s thinking,
“All nations will arrive at socialism – this is inevitable, but they will do so in not the same way, each will contribute something of its own to some form of democracy, to some variety of the dictatorship of the proletariat, to the varying rates of socialist transformations in the different aspects of social life. There is nothing more primitive from the viewpoint of theory or more ridiculous from the standpoint of practice than to paint ‘in the name of historical materialism,’ this aspect of the future in monotonous gray.” (A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism)
On another occasion Lenin said, obviously with the situation of Russia in mind,
“We do not regard Marx’s theory as something completed and inviolable; on the contrary, we are convinced that it has only laid the foundation stone of the science which socialists must develop in all directions if they wish to keep pace with life. We think that an independent elaboration of Marx’s theory is especially essential for Russian socialists, for this theory provides only general guiding principles, which … are applied differently in England than in France, in France differently than in Germany, and in Germany differently than in Russia.” (Our Programme)
Fidel Castro recently echoed that sentiment,
“Tremendously strong mass movements are emerging, and I think that these movements will play a fundamental role in future struggles. There will be new tactics: not the Bolshevik style and not even our own style, because these belong to a different world. That should not discourage anyone. We need to see and to analyze, with the greatest possible objectivity, the current setting in which the struggle will have to unfold … There will be other roads and other ways by which the conditions will be created for transforming this world into another one.” (Istvan Meszaros, Monthly Review)
If I were to write a book on our own country’s path to socialism, I would make the particular features a main thread, not an addendum. For example, given the democratic sentiments of the American people and given the powerful impact of race and gender on the politics, economics, culture, consciousness, and historical trajectory of our nation, our vision of socialism must include an unyielding commitment to completing the unfinished democratic tasks that we will inherit and expanding democracy, beginning with the eradication of racism and male supremacy.
Even the slightest devaluing of democracy or the fight against racism and gender oppression will keep the socialist movement on the political periphery.
We also have to anticipate that multiple parties and movements will be a feature of our path to socialism and will cooperate as well as compete over a range of issues and for mass influence. Whether we become the leading party is neither lawed nor self-proclaimed; it will have to be earned.
Obviously, a movement for socialism should seek a non-violent, peaceful transition. But it is not enough to simply demand that the American people be the arbiter of the socio-economic character of our country. Our ruling class, like other ruling classes, will never sign on to such an agreement.
Such a demand, therefore, must not only be backed up by an aroused, mobilized and united people but also by the socialist movement’s ability to utilize positions in the state structures to immobilize and curb the repressive institutions and powers of the ruling class.
Thus, any hope of achieving a peaceful transition that bypasses struggle in this arena is a dangerous delusion.
Some have suggested that talk of a peaceful transition to socialism is nothing but empty rhetoric, a dangerous naiveté, a denial of history’s lessons.
But is this true? While there are examples of ruling classes using force to block social change, there are also instances where corrupt and discredited regimes have been swept away without mass blood letting. The brutal South African regime gave way to the forces of freedom without the country being thrown into civil war; fascist regimes were replaced with bourgeois democratic governments in Portugal and Spain; Hugo Chavez and his supporters are effecting radical changes in Venezuela; and similar political trajectories in other South American countries are easy to imagine.
Thus a peaceful transition is possible. It may take longer and require compromises, but the people of our country will surely feel that compromises and delays are well worth it if bloodshed can be avoided. The bloody carnage and unnecessary loss of life in the 20th century has left a strong mark on the sensibilities of the human family. And I suspect that the people of our country will move heaven and earth to find a peaceful path to socialism and we should unequivocally express this desire, too. As I mentioned earlier, an overriding ideal of socialism is to end violence in all of its forms.
The conventional view of the communist movement was that after the revolutionary forces won political power, the period of consolidation would be relatively brief, new forms of popular power would emerge to replace hopelessly corrupted political institutions; and once power was won, it would never be yielded.
We also assumed that the socialist state would acquire more functions and extend its reach into social, cultural, and civic life, including state control of the media.
Another assumption was that market relations would quickly give way to centralized planning.
Still another assumption that we embraced was that socialism is reducible to social ownership plus comprehensive planning.
Finally, even if we didn’t always explicitly state it, we held that the Party would “run” socialist society.
I would like to briefly revisit each of these assumptions in view of experience and new theoretical insights.
Just as we insist that the ruling class bow to the wishes of the electorate, we should expect no less if a governing left coalition is defeated at the polls. In the past we didn’t accept this, or did so only grudgingly. But going forward – and not for tactical reasons –we have to say unhesitatingly that the democratic will of the people is paramount. Any resistance to this notion will have very negative repercussions on our prospects of gaining a mass constituency and evolving into a mass party.
The American people for good reasons will oppose tearing up the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, scrapping the system of checks and balances on concentrated political power, foregoing political freedoms and individual liberties, or dismantling representative political structures.
Instead, they will want to extend, deepen and modify all of them based on the unfulfilled promises of our democracy, new democratic desires, and the needs of socialist construction.
You might be thinking that this flies in the face of Lenin’s insistence that the working class must “break up and smash the ready-made state machinery and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it.” I would argue, however, that aside from the old structure of repression and violence that should be destroyed, the main thing is to transform the class content of the state structures. Revolutions combine continuity with deep-going change.
Today millions of people feel alienated from the political process; nearly one-half of the population doesn’t vote. Many people see the government as disconnected from their day-to-day lives, even an obstacle to their aspirations.
To overcome this, new popular institutions and direct forms of governance will likely emerge during the revolutionary process that draw millions into struggle and devolve political power to the grassroots.
With regard to the reach of the state, the experience of 20th century socialist construction suggests that either non-governmental organizations or lower levels of government should perform many of the functions that were previously done at the highest level. Undoubtedly, federal power would still have a substantial role. But such power, it must be admitted, is distant, beyond the reach of the very masses of people who are supposed to be authors and architects of the new society.
The socialist state will be coercive like other class-based states, but with this difference: it will also be infinitely more democratic and emancipatory than its predecessors.
Some flinch at the idea of a coercive side to a socialist state. But I would reply this way: To begin with, the opponents of socialism are unlikely to graciously accept their defeat. Historical experience suggests that they will fight back vigorously, using legal and illegal means.
Thus, legal measures that protect and consolidate the revolution will have to be enacted and the police, armed forces, and other instruments of repression will have to be dissolved and reconstituted along different lines.
This doesn’t mean that opponents of the new government will be summarily thrown into jail or worse. In fact, a socialist society should abolish the death penalty – not to mention torture. Marx wrote, “… it would be difficult, if not altogether impossible, to establish any principle upon which the justice or expediency of capital punishment could be founded in a society glorying in its civilization.” While Marx was referring to 19th century Britain that was in the throes of its industrial revolution, I strongly suspect that he would say socialist society should have no truck with capital punishment either. (New York Daily Tribune, February 18, 1853)
Of course, if the opponents of socialism violate laws, they should expect appropriate penalties, but a socialist state should resist the problematic notion that democratic rights will be severely and automatically curtailed rather than enlarged in the aftermath of a revolution.
Another reason for the state’s coercive character is that new laws, rules, and procedures, regulating the interactions of citizens and institutions, will be passed and enforced, although the state should not extend octopus-like into every crevice of social life. The space for civil society and nongovernmental organizations must be extensive as well as clearly delineated so that the state doesn’t intrude into social space where it need not.
At the same time, the socialist state has an emancipatory side that we should highlight more than we have. It will greatly expand political, economic, and social rights and create the optimal conditions conditions for the vast majority of the people to live a free and productive life. At one time, I thought that it would take a whole era to undo the economic, social, cultural, and psychic damage that capitalism has inflicted on millions, but after visiting Cuba I have become convinced that an emancipatory state, an energized people, and full-blooded civil society could shorten the time frame considerably.
These two sides of a socialist state – the coercive and emancipatory – are dialectically connected, but over time the former will gradually disappear. In contrast with earlier class-based states in which the ruling class was an exploiting minority and harbored expansive territorial ambitions, thus requiring a large apparatus of coercion, a socialist state, sunk into a set of non-exploitative economic relations, expressing the interests of the vast majority, possessing no imperial designs, and (in the case of our country) fearing no outside intervention has no need for such a ramified apparatus.
A socialist state will also be law-based. Among other things, individual freedoms of citizens will be protected by law from the arbitrary action of state authorities. I mention this because such violations have occurred in socialist societies, usually in the name of defending socialism, and, in some instances, these violations were massive.
Our concept of “Bill of Rights” socialism, a concept that Gus Hall authored, is an acknowledgement of socialism’s less than sterling record in defense of individual liberties as well as of the role of democracy in our nation’s history.
Herbert Aptheker once wrote,
“Marxism has tended to ignore the question of sheer authority, sheer power [and] tended to view the reality of authority and power in terms of the … material base from whence the power and the authority have hitherto sprung. But Marxism has not … sufficiently concerned itself with the facts of authority and prestige and power which have a logic and an appeal of their own … we may … reject this as idealist or tending to ignore and minimize the material and class realities of society and of politics; but … we must not ignore the insight offered as to the reality of power per se, and the influence it exerts over people’s activities apart from class or material origins of that power.” (Political Affairs, August 1956)
Much more humorously, but no less incisively, the late E.P. Thompson, also a Marxist historian and an outstanding one at that, wrote,
“I am told that, just beyond the horizon, new forms of working class power are about to arise which, being founded upon egalitarian productive relations, will require no inhibition and can dispense with the negative restrictions of bourgeois legalism. A historian is unqualified to pronounce on such utopian projections. All that he knows is that he can bring in support of them no evidence whatsoever. His advice might be: watch this new power for a century or two before you cut down your hedges.” (Whigs and Hunters)
Finally although a socialist state will be secular in its outlook and practice, it will welcome full religious expression and oppose all forms of religious discrimination. People of faith will have a place and play a vital role in socialist society. At the same time, attempts to impose the theology of one or another religion on the politics and mores of our country should be rejected. It goes against the grain of a secular tradition that has served us long and well.
As for the economy, the main issue is to bring improvement to millions of people whose lives have been marked by insecurity and deprivation. The question therefore is: how should the economy be organized to accomplish this task?
In the past, the dominant view in Marxist circles was that market relations would disappear almost overnight and centralized planning would become the sole mechanism to coordinate economic life.
Far fewer people subscribe to that point of view today. The main question that socialist societies in the 21stcentury will have to answer is not whether to employ market mechanisms, but rather to what extent and for how long?
Admittedly, market mechanisms in a socialist society can generate inequality, disproportions and imbalances, destructive competition, downward pressure on wages, and monopoly cornering of commodity markets – even the danger of capitalist restoration.
But this is not sufficient reason for concluding that markets have no place in a socialist economy. For markets can also adapt the supply of goods and services in a timely way to changing consumer tastes, spur on the integration of new technologies into the productive mechanism, gather vital economic information for production collectives, planning authorities, and consumer networks, minimize transaction costs, spread out decision-making over time, encourage the most efficient forms of production, establish a rational pricing system, and measure socially necessary labor time.
Even Che Guevara, who was an advocate of planning, saw that the law of value and by inference, market relations has a place in a socialist economic system.
“The starting point is to calculate the socially necessary labour required to produce a given article, but what has been overlooked is that socially necessary labour is an economic and historical concept. Therefore, it changes not only on the local (or national) level but in world terms as well. Continued technological advances, a result of competition in the capitalist world, reduced the expenditure of necessary labour and therefore lowers the value of the product. A closed society can ignore such changes for a certain time, but it would always have to come back to these international relations in order to compare product values. If a given society can ignore such changes for a long time without developing new and accurate formulas to replace old ones, it will create international relationships that will shape its own value structure in a way that may be internally consistent but would be in contradiction with the tendencies of more highly developed technology (for example in steel and plastic). This could result in reverses of some importance, and, in any case, would produce distortions.” (quoted from Fin de Siecle: Socialism after the Crash, Robin Blackburn, New Left Review)
Markets (and the law of value), however, would operate in a very different context in a socialist society than they do in capitalist society. Socialist property would be the dominant form of ownership. Markets would be socialized, monitored, and regulated by work collectives, consumers, and governmental bodies. Economic decisions would take into account social, human, ecological, and opportunity (what you forego) costs. The distribution of income would be much flatter and fairer. State institutions would be dedicated to reproducing socialist property relations and a robust socialist economy rather then attending to the interests of the owners of capital as they do in a capitalist society.
At the same time, many of the efficiencies of capitalist economics would still be retained. Just as some of capitalism’s political structures would be transformed and given new content, so too would its economic structures, techniques and accounting methods.
But where does this leave planning, you are probably asking yourselves? Does it have any role?
The answer is that it does, and a vital role at that. But we have to admit that socialist planning, as we understood it and as it was practiced, was problematic.
In the realm of theory, of course, comprehensive planning performs flawlessly: use value governs the allocation of economic resources and goods; social productivity shoots up, imbalances and disproportions in the economy disappear, the cash nexus and commodity form melt away; living standards steadily increase; sustainability is achieved in short order; and economic decisions no longer take place behind the back of the workers.
In practice, however, a different picture arises. As the economies of the former Soviet Union and the socialist states of Eastern Europe morphed from one stage where inputs and outputs were limited to another stage where the economic links were infinitely more complex, big problems cropped up with centralized planning.
The planning mechanism in these countries adjusted haltingly to changing consumer tastes, produced massive waste, encouraged hoarding of human and material resources, resisted integrating new productive techniques and more efficient production practices into the production process, produced shoddy and unsellable goods, and reduced the role of the working class to passive participants in economic life.
Rather than organizing a world-class, democratically organized economy, socialist economic relations in these countries ironically become a brake on the growth of the productive forces and social productivity. In fact, by the last quarter of the 20th century, the socialist economies were losing ground to capitalism in the economic field. The capitalist economies produced a greater variety of goods more cheaply and efficiently, integrated new technologies more quickly and flexibly into the production process, rationalized the production mechanism, and adapted production to new consumer tastes.
The price paid by the working class and the environment in the capitalist world was steep to be sure, but capitalism came out the winner nonetheless.
Thus, the scope and methods of planning in a socialist society have to be thoroughly reexamined, but with an eye to finding new forms that are democratic and suitable to economies of great complexity operating in a global context. Any idea, however, that socialism can do without planning would be a great mistake.
One of the most complex challenges facing a socialist society, for example, will be achieving a sustainable economy. It will, according to Marxist economists and ecologists, require major changes in our production methods and consumption patterns.
It is hard to imagine how this challenge, not to mention other challenges like overcoming racial and gender inequality, demilitarization, urban and rural revitalization, and so forth, can be successfully tackled without planning. Market mechanisms can play a useful role in economic coordination as I said, but the redirection of the economy along fundamentally new lines requires a planning process at every level.
While the debate over markets versus planning is absolutely necessary, much of it has been stripped from any particular context. But economic decisions can’t be made in a vacuum. The mix of planning and market mechanisms is shaped by the concrete political and economic context.
For example, in 1921, Lenin introduced a new policy that allowed for the revival of markets and encouraged the growth of cooperatives. This was not only necessary to revive a collapsed economy due to the civil war, but also to reestablish the strategic alliance between a tiny working class and a huge peasantry that had frayed during that same period.
Had Lenin gone “by the book,” had he not taken into close account the actual political and economic situation in Russia, he might have pursued a different policy that conformed to some abstract theory. But instead, he proposed a U-turn in economic policy, which infuriated some who believed that Lenin had abandoned socialism and the party’s “vanguard” role.
The point of this digression is not to drag out Lenin to legitimize markets or to heap scorn on misguided leftism, but rather to say again that economic policy is a decision that has to be soberly informed by the political, economic, and cultural realities of a particular moment.
With this in mind, I would expect that a transitional economy in our country would be a mixed one, combining different forms of socialist and cooperative property with space, within clear limits, for private enterprise. While democratic planning would begin to play a major role in organizing economic life, market mechanisms would probably operate over sectors of the economy for much longer than previously thought.
A socialist economy would de-commodify some sectors of the economy like health care, nutrition, education, and child and elder care, as well as provide a universal guaranteed income, which wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) substitute for an occupational wage and wage differentiation, but it would cut down on poverty and cut the legs from underneath the labor market.
In other words, the costs of the reproduction of labor power would be socialized as much as possible.
The federal budget would be overhauled and its priorities radically changed. The economy would be de-militarized and restructured. A social fund would be established to compensate for racial oppression, gender discrimination and other injustices. Forms of participatory decision-making on economic matters would be instituted from the workplace and community up. Generous public subsidies would be directed to communication, culture and education. And financial institutions and mechanisms would be quickly and decisively brought under public control.
Transitioning to a socialized ownership and markets in a global economy would present some problems, but none would be insurmountable. The size and scope of our economy gives us some advantages that other countries don’t have. One pressing task in this regard is to restructure our economic relations with the countries of the South. It cannot be done in a single stroke, but a socialist government would have to give it great urgency. There is much to love about our country, but our role in employing military force and immense financial power to structure international economic relations is not something that we should take pride in. Eight million people die each year because of poverty and more million from AIDS. Hundreds of millions of human beings are living in slums on nearly every continent. This has to change for all of humanity’s sake.
Another assumption that should be interrogated is that socialism can’t be reduced to the combination of social ownership, central planning, and economic growth. Socialism has to settle the property question to be sure, but the development of a socialist society is a more complex and conscious process. Formal socialist relations of production, governance, culture and so forth don’t simply materialize out of the growth of socialism’s productive forces.
On this subject, Lenin wrote,
“… socialism cannot be reduced to economics alone. A foundation – socialist production – is essential for the abolition of national oppression, but this foundation must also carry a democratically organized state, a democratic army, etc. By transforming capitalism into socialism, the proletariat creates the possibility of abolishing national oppression; the possibility becomes reality only only! with the establishment of full democracy in all spheres.” (The Discussion of Self Determination Summed Up)
Thus, socialist production and economic growth are no more than the structural foundation of socialism. While they create the possibility for its full flowering, that possibility rests on the conscious activity of millions, on society’s ability to open up the wellsprings of democracy and human freedom to everyone, on the ability of socialism’s builders – the working people – to periodically reconstitute and transform socialist relations so that they keep pace with new conditions, new possibilities and new desires.
Finally, as for the role of communists, our mission is not to “steer the ship of state.” That task is the responsibility of a broader left coalition and the broadest possible section of the people.
Communists should be a part of this enormous undertaking to be sure, but not crowd out or substitute for mass participation at every level of socialist society. Our principal role is to encourage the activity and organization of the people, to deepen and extend our connections to the main organizations of working people, to find timely solutions to pressing problems, to bring a creative and critical Marxism to the millions building a new society and to viscerally feel and convey in everything we do a complete confidence in the creative capacities and desires of millions of people to be the builders of a new society.
This wasn’t the practice of the parties in the former socialist countries. Moshe Lewin, a distinguished historian, writes in his latest book, The Soviet Century, that the CPSU didn’t absorb the state, but it was the other way around – the state absorbed the party. This is an intriguing hypothesis that should stimulate discussion and study.
But for our purposes, the point that I want to make is that Lewin is correct in saying that the Soviet Party assumed a larger and larger role in administrating the state apparatus.
Occupying all the prominent positions in the state apparatus, issuing ideological appeals that found no reflection in their day-to-day practices and policies, managing an economy that lagged behind world standards, monopolizing the decision-making process in every arena of social life, and enjoying privileges and unearned income – all this did enormous damage to its own political and moral authority and undercut any sense of ownership of the Soviet people in their economy and society
Is it any wonder that millions lost confidence in the Soviet communists and socialism? Is it any surprise that thousands of communists joined the pillaging of state assets? Is it so startling that there were so few defenders of socialism in 1991?
Obviously, there is a lesson here as we go forward.
I have confined myself to the “day after the revolution” and some of the assumptions that we held require some revision in light of new experience, but I want to return briefly to the dream of a better world that animates us and our struggles, and end with a few images of what a more distant future of socialism in our country would look like.
Work would engage our skills and bring personal satisfaction. Leisure time would be expanded and fulfilling. Our skies, oceans, lakes, rivers and streams would be blue and pollution free. Our neighborhoods would become places of rest, culture, green space. Communal institutions, like cafeterias serving healthy and delicious food, and recreation centers would become routine features of life. The whole panoply of oppressions that damage our people and nation would be on the wane. Human sexuality and sexual orientation would be enjoyed and celebrated. Culture in all its forms would be the inherited right of every person.
The prisons would be emptied and the borders demilitarized and opened. Women would be regularly receiving Nobel prizes in the sciences. The Pentagon would be padlocked and war would be studied no more. And, finally, the full development of each would be the condition for the full development of all.



June 4 2005


Socialist Utopia or Ignorant Dumbass

We Communists believe that socialism is the very best replacement for a capitalist system that has served its purpose, but no longer meets the needs and requirements of the great majority of our people.

We believe that socialism USA will be built according to the traditions, history, culture and conditions of the United States. Thus, it will be different from any other socialist society in the world. It will be uniquely American.

What will be the goals of our socialist society?


  1. A life free of exploitation, insecurity, poverty; an end to unemployment, hunger and homelessness.
  2. An end to racism, national oppression, anti-Semitism, all forms of discrimination, prejudice and bigotry. An end to the unequal status of women.
  3. Renewal and extension of democracy; an end to the rule of corporate America and private ownership of the wealth of our nation. Creation of a truly humane and rationally planned society that will stimulate the fullest flowering of the human personality, creativity and talent.


The advocates and ideologues of capitalism hold that such goals are utopian; that human beings are inherently selfish and evil. Others argue that these goals can be fully realized under capitalism.

We are confident, however, that such goals can be realized, but only through a socialist society.

Why Socialism?

Since its inception capitalism has been fatally flawed. Its inherent laws – to maximize profit on the backs of the working class – give rise to the class struggle.

History is a continuous story of people rising up against those who exploit and oppress them, to demand what’s theirs. Our own country’s historic beginning was revolutionary. The ideals of justice and equality have inspired peoples for centuries.

Up until the time of Karl Marx, those that advocated socialism were ‘utopians’, that is, motivated by ideals only. It was Marx and his longtime friend and collaborator, Frederick Engels, who uncovered the inner laws of capitalism, where profit comes from and how societies develop. They transformed wishful thinking for socialism into socialism with a scientific, materialist basis.

Communists say that capitalism won’t be around forever. Just like previous societies weren’t around forever either. Slavery gave rise to feudalism and feudalism to capitalism. So, too, capitalism gives rise to socialism.

The Foundations of Socialism

Political power would be in the hands of working people. Socialism starts with nationalization of the main means of production – the plants, factories, agri-business farms and everything necessary to produce what society needs. The large monopoly corporations and banks come under public ownership, that is, under the collective ownership of the entire working class and people, who have the leading role in building socialism.

Socialism also means public ownership of the energy industry and all the natural resources. It eliminates forever the power of the capitalist class to exploit and oppress the majority.

A socialist government draws up plans covering the entire economy. They are drawn up with maximum participation of the people, from the shop level on up. Such plans are achieved because they harmonize the interests of all, because there are no conflicts arising from exploitation of workers and no dog-eat-dog competition.

Production increases much faster than under capitalism, with a planned economy, advancement of science and technology, and the protection and preservation of our environment and natural resources.

A socialist government is based on all-around democracy, starting with economic democracy. The more people participate in running their own economy, the more firmly people’s power is established, the more successful a socialist America will be.

Trade unions in a socialist USA will insure a fair balance between what workers produce and what they receive. They will have decisive power to enforce safety and health provisions, prevent speedup, and guarantee good transportation, working conditions and plant facilities.

Public services – schools, hospitals, utilities, transit, parks, roads – are crumbling under capitalism. And now corporations are ‘privatizing’ government-run, publicly-owned institutions for private profit.

Under socialism public services and housing will be vastly improved and expanded. They will be broadened in their scope beyond anything dreamed of under capitalism.

The U.S. will become a vast construction site. Homes, schools, hospitals, places of recreation will be built to end shortages, replace substandard infrastructures and public facilities.

Jobs and Education for All

Full employment will be quickly achieved as production is expanded to satisfy the needs of people. Automation at the service of the working people will lead to both reduced hours of work and higher living standards, with no layoffs. There will be no danger of over-production since production will be planned and people’s incomes will increase in line with the rising output of consumer goods and services.

Poverty will be ended quickly with the recovery of the vast resources now wasted in war production, corporate profits and the extravagent lifestyles of the filthy rich.

All education will be tuition-free. Every person will have access to unlimited medical and health care without charge. These rights will be realized as rapidly as facilities can be built and the personnel trained.

With capitalism gone, crime will also begin to disappear, for it is the vicious profit system that corrupts people and breeds crime.

To Each According to Their Work

Some ask whether guaranteeing basic necessities, free education, low-cost housing and health care will encourage people to avoid working, or doing their best. The principle of socialism is: From each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her work.

Socialism provides incentives for working better, producing more and higher quality goods, acquiring advanced skills. It does NOT equalize wages. Wages vary according to occupation and efficiency, although everyone is guaranteed a liveable wage.

Under capitalism, improvements in skill, organization and technology are rightly feared by the worker, since they threaten jobs. Under socialism, they offer the chance to make the job more interesting and rewarding, as well as to improve living standards.

Socialism provides moral incentives because the fruits of labor benefit all. No person robs others of the profits from their labor; when social goals are adopted by the majority, people will want to work for these goals. Work will seem less a burden, more and more a creative activity, where everyone is his/her neighbor’s helper instead of rival.

It is true socialism will nationalize or socialize all large-scale production, property and real estate. But socialism does not abolish ALL privately-owned business. It does not require nationalization of those small businesses owned by people who work for themselves and do not hire others to make a profit. Personal property – private homes, automobiles, etc., – will remain just that, personal property.

In highly mechanized U.S. agriculture there will still be a place for the family farmer. But the farm family will be relieved of the pressure of agribusiness monopolies.

There will be rapid abolition of racism and national oppression. Socialism will bring complete equality for all racially and nationally oppressed. There will be no compromise with racism, for there will no longer exist a capitalist class which profits from it. Racism, national oppression, anti-Semitism, sexism, anti-immigrant discrimination and all forms of prejudice and bigotry will be banned by law, with strict measures of enforcement. Affirmative action will be expanded immediately to undo and make up for hundreds of years of the ravages of racism. Full equality will be one of the main priorities of the new society.

War propaganda will be outlawed.

The only privileged sectors will be the children and seniors, who have earned the right to a healthy, happy, secure retirement.

The children will reap all the benefits of socialist child care, free nurseries and schools with the very best facilities and teachers. Children will have wonderful recreational and sports facilities. They will have the option to choose whatever career they wish, and the free education and training to achieve it.

Socialism provides the economic foundation for effective democracy for the masses of people. To carry through the socialist economic and social transformation requires political rule by the working class – a government of, by and for the working people.

Socialism USA

Socialism USA will benefit from the experiences, the mistakes and succesess of the countries who built and are building socialism. But mainly it will reflect the distinctive features of U.S. development and environment.

Unique historical advantages, like the unequalled natural resources, fertile soil and perfect weather, coupled with the contributions of generations of working people, enabled U.S. capitalism to achieve higher productive levels and living standards than capitalism in other countries. So, too, the development of socialism here will have some distinct advantages.

  1. We have a highly developed industrial society with a highly trained and educated work force.
  2. Free from foreign intervention, socialism will not have to divert human and economic resources to defend itself.
  3. Socialism USA will avoid the terrible problems of extreme poverty, illiteracy, civil wars, wars of intervention and world wars.
  4. Socialism USA will extend democracy to its fullest, taking as its starting point the democratic traditions and institutions of the American people.

Path to Socialism

We say that it may be possible in the U.S. to bring socialism through peaceful means. Perhaps through the ballot box. One thing is clear, there won’t be socialism in the U.S. until the majority of the American people want it.

I like to say that when workers enter the corporate board rooms to take over and the ruling class says: O.K. you’re right, we made a mess of things and now you should run it all. Well then there won’t be any trouble. But if the ruling class says: Forget it! And call out the army and the police and the national guard, then that is how revolutions become violent. It starts with the ruling class. Workers and their allies have to defend themselves and to fight for what is rightfully theirs.

We believe and advocate that a socialist society in our country will guarantee all the liberties defined in the Bill of Rights but never fully realized. These include the right of people to express themselves fully and freely through organizations of their choice and competing candidates who respect and are guided by the concept of building socialism.

Indeed, the freedoms in the Bill of Rights will take on far greater meaning for the great majority, who will now own the meeting halls, press, radio and TV, and will be able to exercise that freedom effectively.

That’s why we call ours Bill of Rights Socialism, USA.

Socialism is our vision for America’s future. It is a vision we are winning more and more people to because it is logical – really a great – replacement for capitalism. And because it is the next inevitable step up the ladder of human civilization.


Common core Educational and Literature Young Communist League

Getting them YOUNG to warp their minds

Lenin’s Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder gives us an introduction to understanding how Marxist strategy and tactics are formulated and tested. For Lenin it was not enough to just want and work towards socialism, but how you actually planned to get there mattered as well.Left Wing Communism is the first work that actually mentions strategy and tactics and what they mean for the Communist movement. Before this, Marx, Engels and other revolutionaries had not set out to discuss the formulation of strategy and tactics in both the movements for immediate reforms that were taking place and the long-term struggle for socialism. It was during Lenin’s time, a period that saw communist and revolutionary parties and organizations coming to life in every country, that there was a need for a larger discussion on strategy and tactics.

From Lenin’s standpoint, there were two different troubling trends when it came to the formulation of strategy and tactics. There was an opportunist trend that wanted to reform not abolish capitalism that was embodied in many of the Socialist and Labor Parties of Lenin’s time. The other trend was “ultra-leftism” which advocated against compromises with the capitalist class, against working within reactionary trade unions and generally boycotted elections. Having dealt with the opportunist trend for many years, Lenin set out to tackle the problem of “ultra-leftism”.

In Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Lenin wanted to make a distinction between the political “infantilism” of new organizations and those that were hardened ultra-leftists. New revolutionary groups had formed after the Russian Revolution of 1917, with many of them coming from the left-wing of other parties. Lenin saw that these groups were making tactical and strategic errors because of their general lack of experience. Lenin wanted to help these new groups by giving them criticism and advice so that they could avoid repeating past mistakes. Lenin, on the other hand, had no patience for hardened ultra-leftists that were disruptive and acted as obstructionists in the movement towards socialism.

We have to recognize and put into context the language that Lenin uses in the text. During Lenin’s time period, there was still armed struggle being waged in different countries and the Soviet Union was just coming out of a civil war. The language and phrases that Lenin uses such as “iron discipline” of the Party and the “ruthless” struggle against the capitalist class reflects the climate of intense and deadly struggle that was taking place. Today, we would not use this type of language when discussing the work of the Party and the types of struggles that we are involved in.

In the following years after the publication of this text, there was much discussion in the world communist movement about strategy and tactics. The relationship between a given strategy and tactics that were used was explored more in-depth. Lenin did not actually explain how or even if strategy and tactics were related or what they are. Today we understand that to develop a strategic goal, you have to look at the stage of social development and the class and social forces that exist. From there, you have to determine what would be the first qualitative change that you would need to make to move forward. With this in mind, then you need to think of what tactics will bring together the necessary social forces to make this change happen.

While you can have multiple tactics, you can only have one strategy. The strategy stays the same over a long period time, while your tactics must be flexible and change to meet new developments and keep pace with the direction of events on the ground. Making all of these connections is more of an art than a science and the world communist movement continues to debate, discuss and develop the ideas started within Lenin’s work.

The study guide contains questions based on different sections of the book; an index and a facilitator’s guide that will help you lead the discussion. Ideally your club or discussion group would set aside a hour or two to give time for a full discussion on each of the sections. You can order copies of the book from International Publishers for $4.00. You can find their online catalog at .

At the end of the study guide you will find an evaluation sheet that you can fill out after you complete the study guide. Your comments, feedback and suggestions are very important and will help us to ensure that the study guide is a useful tool. You can mail your feedback and suggestions to YCLUSA 235 W. 23rd Street NY, NY 10011.

Have fun reading,

Educational and Literature Committee of the Young Communist League, USA

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