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Monday, January 2, 2017


RAY O’ LIGHT  NEWSLETTER                           
     January-February  2017       Number 100
Publication of the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA


Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution:

The World-Historic Achievements and Historical Significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution



 “Marxist-Leninists commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution because millions of Russian people were liberated from Tsarist exploitation and from French, German and British imperialist oppression. We commemorate this anniversary also because the people of the Ukraine, Finland, Georgia, and the other nations oppressed by tsarist Russian imperialism were liberated.“But the primary reason that we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the October Revolution is the world-shaking importance of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union for mankind, in bringing mighty deathblows against the world capitalist system, in leading the struggle of the world’s peoples a long way down the path of eliminating the system of exploitation of man by man from the face of the earth.” (The Role of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the International Marxist-Leninist Movement: The October Revolution Vs. The “Cultural Revolution,” Youth for Stalin, April 1968) 

Indeed, little more than twenty-five years after the victory of Red October, the Soviet-led defeat of world fascism in World War II featured the Soviet Red Army’s rout of the previously undefeated Hitler-led German fascist army all the way to Berlin, as this triumphant Soviet Red Army march through Europe paved the way for the creation of peoples democracies across Eastern Europe in its wake. And just a few years later, little more than thirty years after the October Revolution, strongly backed by invaluable aid from the Soviet Union, the Chinese Communist Party-led victorious national democratic revolution over the U.S. imperialist-backed Chiang Kai-shek-led Kuomintang drove the Chinese reactionary regime and its army literally into the sea, that is, entirely off of the Chinese mainland onto Taiwan, liberating one-quarter of humanity.

By the early 1950’s, thirty-five years after Red October, approximately one-third of the world’s peoples still lived under direct capitalist rule, while one-third now lived in the so-called “nonaligned” countries taking an allegedly third “neutral” path, and one-third lived in the newly created socialist camp! It seemed that nothing could stop the world’s peoples from creating a socialist world in short order.     

It is difficult to comprehend the fact that almost as much time has passed since then as had elapsed from the time of the Victorious October Revolution until that time. For the titanic Soviet and Soviet-led achievements in that prior fifty year period dominated the world stage. In the fifty years since, the plight of the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples has grown ever worse as U.S.-led imperialism has been riding roughshod over us.

Marx and Engels and then Lenin had examined with great care the experience of the Paris Commune in 1871 when the working class first “seized heaven” and held state power for seventy days. Enriching the magnificent arsenal of scientific socialism, these great leaders of the international working class had turned the defeat of the Paris Commune into a treasured resource from which the Great October Socialist Revolution could draw strength that helped crown the Bolshevik Revolution with a stable victory for at least a few generations of humanity.*

*Mindful of the Commune’s great historical significance, Lenin reportedly danced in the snow when the October Revolution had lasted beyond the number of days of the Paris Commune.

With comparable seriousness, dedication, courage and proletarian internationalist spirit on the part of the international proletarian vanguard in the early 1950’s, an historical analysis of Red October and its aftermath could have itself been the foundation for the triumph of the world proletarian revolution, leading to the abolition of the capitalist system and its replacement by world socialism without the people of the USSR having to experience the reversal of fortune that has actually occurred there. The rest of the world’s proletariat and peoples owed them that much.*

*With the advent of open Russian capitalism in the Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin period, beginning in the late 1980’s, for the first time in modern history a people in a developed country, Russia, has suffered a sharp decrease in life expectancy, underscoring the defective  economic-social system of capitalism represented by this step backwards into the past.

Today, at long last, Leninists should use this 100th anniversary year of the Great October Socialist Revolution to carefully examine and draw the positive and negative lessons of  this world shaking Revolution and its aftermath in the cause of fighting and winning a socialist future going forward.

*          *          *

-Historical Highlights of the October Revolution-

1. The October Revolution was the work of the workers, the peasants and the soldiers and sailors themselves. The mass character of the October Revolution was based on the ruthless and consistent Bolshevik struggle against opportunism waged by a disciplined and responsible vanguard party among the toiling masses and among the working class in particular and on the Bolshevik mobilization of the masses around the urgent concrete demands for “peace, land and bread.” The masses were undergoing a rich experience in class struggle. This was especially true regarding their bitter and sorrowful participation in World War I. This experience proved to them the correctness of the Bolshevik political line, including the fact that the Bolshevik Party was the only political party that was sufficiently independent of the feudal and international capitalist rulers to satisfy the mass demand for “peace,” that is, for withdrawal from the imperialist war.

The Bolsheviks also immediately carried out their promise of land to the tillers, consolidating the proletarian party’s alliance with the main mass of the peasantry. After Lenin read the Decree on Land, according to John Reed, “the leader of the Maximalists, the Anarchist wing of the peasants [stated] ‘We must do honor to a political party which puts such an act into effect the first day, without jawing about it!’” (Page 135, Ten Days that Shook the World)

2. Tsarist Russia had been known as the “Prison house of Nations.”  One of the keys to the Bolshevik-led victory in the October Revolution and the subsequent civil war and imperialist intervention was the implementation of the Bolshevik policy toward the nations oppressed by Old Russia. This was based on the Lenin-Stalin position on the national question. The First Congress of Soviets proclaimed the right of the peoples of Russia to self-determination in June 1917. After the workers took power, one of the first acts of the new Soviet government (signed by Lenin and Stalin) was a special edict entitled “Declaration of Rights of the Peoples of Russia.” This law provided every nation formerly oppressed by Tsarist Russia the right to self-determination up to and including the right to a separate and independent existence as a state. In the immediate situation this deprived the counterrevolutionary White armies and imperialist expeditionary forces of much of the potential reserve for their reactionary war.

In the long run, Bolshevik encouragement of the free flowering of the many nationalities formerly suppressed under the Tsarist Autocracy laid the basis for the economic, political, cultural, and, ultimately, military prowess and success of the voluntary Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR. Even U.S. bourgeois experts grudgingly admitted that, “…the USSR within the framework of the over-all Soviet system seemed to have found a constructive solution to its nationalities question, and is the best example afforded by the twentieth century of a multinational state.” (Our emphasis, A History of the Modern World, R.R. Palmer, Second Edition, 1956, page 732)

3. In contrast with the almost bloodless initial proletarian victory, the forces of the old and dying privileged classes of Russia, backed by all the world’s imperialist powers, launched a civil war. They were not going to give up their heaven on earth without a bloody struggle. They attempted to take back riches of oil, timber and other abundant resources and the opportunity to exploit the millions of toilers there and to crush the new Soviet power before the people could begin to thrive — “to kill the revolutionary baby in its crib.”

The ferocious and bloody civil war and imperialist intervention that ensued from 1918 until 1920 caused terrible human and material damage to the new Soviet society. An estimated seven million Soviet citizens lost their lives in this conflict. Nonetheless, the toilers successfully defended their own newly won state power against the Tsarist and bourgeois Russian armies and the military expeditionary forces of fourteen imperialist countries. The Bolshevik-led victory in the Civil War and imperialist intervention and thus the Soviet Union’s survival was a remarkable accomplishment.

 4. In the midst of the Civil War, in March 1919, the Bolsheviks boldly and quickly initiated the establishment of a new Communist International with which to not only defend the Soviet Union but also utilize the Soviet victory “as a means of standing up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, and helping the proletarians of all countries in their struggle against capitalism.” (Stalin, Selected Works, Volume 9, page 120) This proletarian internationalist orientation led to the flowering of Communist Parties all over the world, many of which came to play an outstanding role in the class struggle in their countries, the USA included. It was also key to building up a socialist rather than a bourgeois nationalist economy and society in the Soviet Union.

5. In March 1921, with the Civil War ended, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was adopted to replace “War Communism” to ensure a strong economic alliance of the working class and peasantry. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party skillfully, openly and honestly led the new proletarian government in implementing the NEP, a strategic retreat economically in order to provide the Soviet regime some stability in which to consolidate the victorious seizure and defense of state power. The confidence that Lenin and the Bolshevik Party had in the working class was clearly reciprocated, for only a revolutionary army or society has the capacity to retreat in such an orderly, disciplined and confident way.

Recognizing the continued vulnerability of the new Sovietstate to capitalist encirclement, Lenin led the Bolsheviks and the Soviet people in making the “Electrification” of the country a foremost revolutionary task. This was vital to bringing the Soviet economy into the twentieth century and moving toward a proletarian-led integrated urban-rural society.

6. Great Lenin died in 1924. While the Bolshevik Party had wisely not opened wide the doors to Party membership after the successful seizure and defense of Soviet state power, the Party now decided to utilize the tremendous love for Lenin to have a special Lenin Enrollment so that many of the most politically advanced workers could collectively fill the shoes of the departed comrade. The 240,000 new party members, nominated from among their peers, were trained using the brilliant new Marxist-Leninist work, The Foundations of Leninism, dedicated by comrade Stalin “to the Lenin Enrollment.”

7.  By the mid 1920’s a new global capitalist stabilization had set in. Almost immediately upon Lenin’s death, Leon Trotsky and others began to more openly promote “revolutionary defeatism.” Comrade Stalin, the leader of the Party, defended and developed Lenin’s thesis that Socialism could be built in one large country, if need be. There began an epic ideological struggle that involved millions of Soviet citizens about the future of the USSR and the class struggle for socialism. Comrade Harry Haywood, in his outstanding autobiography, Black Bolshevik, who was there at the time, discusses how democratically this critical question was debated and how thoroughly the Trotskyite position was repudiated.

The most profound repudiation was expressed in the revolutionary practice of the Soviet people in two unprecedentedly successful Five Year Plans, each one completed ahead of time. And this period was characterized by the worst world-wide capitalist depression in history. In this same period between 1928 and 1937, the collectivization of agriculture, a massive revolution in its own right, and the establishment of tractor stations, incentivizing collectivization among the peasants and establishing proletarian leadership in the countryside, were implemented.

The first two five year economic plans, beginning in 1928, were so successful that virtually all bourgeois experts, even during the McCarthy Period in the USA, had to admit that, “No ten years in the history of any Western country ever showed such a rate of industrial growth …” (A History of the Modern World, R.R. Palmer, Second Edition, 1956) As Professor Palmer observed: “By 1939 it was clear that a new type of economic system had been created. However one judged the USSR no one could dismiss its socialism as visionary or impracticable.” (Ibid., page 751, my emphasis)

8.  Amazing as was the economic success of the five year plans, it was accompanied by what became known as the Stalin Constitution, the most democratic document both in the process of its creation, involving millions of Soviet citizens, and also in its content.

9. At the same time, the fascist powers of Germany and Italy and Imperial Japan, with the connivance of the western imperialist powers, united against the Soviet Union and the Communist International in the so-called “anti-Comintern Axis.”  With the growing threat of fascism, the Communist International, under the leadership of Bulgarian communist hero, Georgi Dimitrov, provided a new tactical vision with the United Front Against Fascism. Despite the tremendous pressure the USSR was under, it was the only country that courageously offered democratic Spain substantial concrete aid, including manpower. Moreover, inspired by the Communist International, International Brigades numbering about forty thousand, mostly but not entirely made up of Communist volunteers from all over the world, answered the call to join the struggle in defense of the Spanish Republic against the Spanish military coup leadership headed by Francisco Franco, strongly backed by both Hitler and Mussolini. With the so-called liberal democracies remaining “neutral” at best, the fascist forces won out in Spain in what was seen as a “dress rehearsal for World War II.”

Stalinist Bolshevik diplomacy enabled the Soviet Union to gain enough time to prepare for the mightiest invasion in human history, the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union. The heroic Soviet people, especially the Soviet Red Army and Communist youth, under the leadership of Stalin and the CPSU (Bolsheviks), were the decisive force in the defeat of German and world fascism.

Lest the contemporary reader think that we are exaggerating the role of the Stalin and Bolshevik-led Soviet Union, listen to tributes from two of the twentieth century’s biggest foes of the Soviet Union and communism. 

In 1942, U.S. General Douglas McArthur stated: “The world situation at the present time indicates that the hopes of civilization rest on the worthy banners of the courageous Russian Army. During my lifetime I have participated in a number of wars and have witnessed others, as well as studying in great detail the campaigns of outstanding leaders of the past. In none have I observed such effective resistance to the heaviest blows of a hitherto undefeated enemy, followed by a smashing counterattack which is driving the enemy back to his own land. The scale and grandeur of the effort mark it as the greatest military achievement in all history.” (The Great Conspiracy, Sayers and Kahn, page 138)

In 1943, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill admitted:  “No government ever formed among men has been capable of surviving injuries so grave and cruel as those inflicted by Hitler on Russia. … Russia has not only survived and recovered from those frightful injuries but has inflicted, as no other force in the world could have inflicted, mortal damage on the German army machine.” (Ibid., page 139)

10.  The world historic victory over fascism in World War II represented a general weakening of the imperialist camp (though a strengthening of U.S. imperialism). At the same time, the popular forces were strengthened throughout the world in their struggles for national independence and socialism. On this basis, the fruits of the October Revolution had led directly to a new period of victories for independence movements throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Southern and Eastern Europe. In particular, the victory of the Chinese national democratic revolution in 1949, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and its Chairman Mao Tse-tung, represented the liberation of one-quarter of humanity! With Leninism, in spite of an objective situation that had been unfavorable to the proletarian revolution on a global scale, the Soviet Union had led the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples from one victory to another. Now, finally, thanks largely to those who had carried out and consolidated the October Revolution and its fruits, the proletarian revolutionary movement had shifted the balance of forces in the world in favor of socialism.


As comrade Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and arguably the most prominent Maoist and one of the leading Marxist-Leninists in the contemporary world, has declared:

“The October Revolution has come to signify all the great revolutionary achievements of the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin in establishing the proletarian dictatorship as a requisite of socialist revolution, overcoming civil war and foreign military intervention, reviving the economy through transition measures, building socialist industry, collectivizing agriculture, developing the educational and cultural system of the working class, supporting the international communist movement, fighting and defeating fascism and further pursuing socialist revolution and construction in the face of the threats of U.S. imperialism after World War II.

“These achievements can never be belittled. Socialist revolutions in Eastern Europe, Asia and elsewhere have been inspired by the October Revolution, the achievements of the Soviet Union and the work of the Third International. The Soviet Union was unquestionably a socialist country for decades from 1917 to 1956.” (Validity and Relevance of the October Revolution in Response to the Challenges of the 21st Century, contribution to the International Communist Seminar, Brussels, May, 2007.)

*          *          *
This remarkable record of the accomplishments of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to which it gave birth makes it unmistakably clear that capitalism is not “the end of history,” as the imperialist propagandists have claimed. Nor is socialism the “failed project,” condemned by the social chauvinists, social pacifists and social imperialists of our time. It is the social system whose time has come. It is up to us to continue this forward march of history in our own time.______________________________________________________

Do you know who said it??

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
Hint: This person was a remarkable woman who was born in Alabama in 1880 and died in Connecticut in 1968.

–Still stumped?   See below for the mystery answer.

Helen Keller, born into a wealthy white Alabama family, was struck deaf and blind in her early childhood. The story of how she learned to communicate with others with the help of her teacher and longtime companion, Anne Sullivan, is depicted in the acclaimed Hollywood film The Miracle Worker.  Advocating for the disabled, she came to oppose discrimination against Afro-Americans and supported women’s suffrage and labor rights. She campaigned for Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs for President of the USA and courageously and correctly opposed World War I as an imperialist war. As she became more active politically, Helen Keller was vehemently opposed by privileged sectors of U.S. society.  Helen Keller was optimistic for all humanity, and identified with the most advanced revolutionary leader of her time, Vladimir Lenin, the outstanding leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
—Rose Brown, Assistant Editor



Fidel, who came down from the Sierra Maestra
accompanied by the song of the goldfinches
with your warrior’s gun on your shoulder.

To plant the seeds of love was always your day’s work.
You light up every corner of
your island, surrounded by palm trees,
like a star.

You came down from the Sierra,
and were each of your warriors.
You were the discriminated black man,
you were the exploited worker,
you were the hard pressed student,
you were the people.

You came down from the Sierra victorious
The flag of the revolution
blazed in Latin America.

You came down from the Sierra
with your warriors erect with courage
planting seeds of love in every one of your people.

You were Lumumba in Africa,
you were Farabundo in El Salvador,
you were Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.

Fidel you were the people,
you lived so that they could live
The excluded poor of America.

You were the excluded blacks of Harlem,
the exploited miners of Appalachia,
you were love and revolution.

Fidel, who came down from the Sierra,
commander, a blacksmith forging the new man.
You light up like a star
The path of liberty of our Latin America!
Editor’s Note: We thank brother Tito Meza for providing this opportunity for us to share his moving poem in this Newsletter as our tribute to comrade Fidel Castro, the recently deceased Cuban hero of the world’s anti-imperialist peoples.

—Ray Light
____________________________________________________Let’s Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux!
Indigenous Protesters Get Police State Repression while Reactionary White Settlers Get State “Understanding” in the U.S. Countryside


Two narratives of protests against police (the chief enforcers of the ruling classes’ will) dominated the U.S. media in 2016. In January, Ammon Bundy, a white right-wing anti-government militant, and other ranchers occupied the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in an attempt to seize for their private use certain parcels of public farmland now under federal government control. They were at the refuge until February 11, when the last members of the “Bundy Militia” surrendered to law enforcement.

In April, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, expressing her opposition to Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) being built near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in the Dakotas, established the Sacred Stone Camp on her property on the reservation as the base of protests. The pipeline is scheduled to be built under the upper Missouri River. This runs the risk of petroleum contaminating the reservation’s only water supply when (not if) the pipeline bursts. As of now, the Standing Rock protests are still in force, even though a temporary halt was placed on construction of the DAPL by the Army Corps of Engineers on December 4.

What a strong contrast of the handling of the protesters in Oregon versus the protestors in North Dakota! Although Ammon Bundy and his followers were armed, the Oregon State Police and the FBI did not immediately storm the refuge to arrest the ranchers for trespassing on federal land, allowing the occupation to continue for forty days. There was only one casualty in the end (LaVoy Finicum, who was violently resisting arrest). However, the unarmed, nonviolent Standing Rock protesters were attacked with pepper spray, dogs, rubber bullets, water cannons in freezing fall/winter North Dakota weather, and flash grenades (with one woman losing an arm).

White privilege certainly does exist throughout U.S. imperialist society. Understandably so, as the North American continent was colonized by and for Europeans, and many descendants of those colonists continue to be beneficiaries. It’s hard to believe that a group of dark-skinned armed protesters would have been permitted to occupy a bird refuge for over a month and not have been forcefully removed by police, with many deaths or injuries occurring. The fact is that the white members of the reactionary “Bundy Militia” were handled with kid gloves by law enforcement, while many Native American and other protesters at Standing Rock suffered bodily injury at the hands of Energy Trading Partners’ private security squad and the county police. This is evidence that whites in this country, when not opposing monopoly capitalist interests, are often given the benefit of the doubt by the imperialist state apparatus while it is almost unheard of for Afro-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans to be treated in this way. The reactionary Oregon protesters took over public land that they felt entitled to, while members of the Sioux tribe were penalized for having the audacity to protest the threat of  THEIR OWN water supply being contaminated.

Relative preferential treatment of many whites is key to the “divide and conquer” rule of the Wall Street ruling class, with its Republicrat political flunkeys and police state apparatus. 
Let’s All Stand With the Standing Rock Sioux!!! __________________________________________________

ICOR Resolution on U.S. Presidential Election
Even though we don’t have an identity of views with the following statement from the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties & Organizations (ICOR), we are pleased to join our comrades internationally in signing it because of its general soundness.
– Assistant Editor

“US presidential election between pest and cholera

“The surprising victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the election of the new US president causes worldwide sensations and intensifies the international societal polarization. Immediately after the announcement of the election the USA was overrun with militant mass demonstrations. After an exceptional media campaign for months in the end there was only the choice between pest and cholera left for the masses. In view of that the largest group, that of the non-voters, stayed away from this sham election. Thus with 58.1% voter participation Trump was elected with only 25% of the electoral votes as the 45th US president. He was elected by 18% of the total US population and just under 26% of the eligible voters. With unbridled demagoguery, a flood of lies, a crude, open racist smear campaign and vile manipulation Trump presented himself as alleged advocate of the unemployed and impoverished workers and middle strata as well as opponent of the corrupt Wall Street managers, the representatives of the international monopoly and financial capital. In spite of his well-known open racist, chauvinist and anti-women positions he won as the supposedly lesser evil over the desired candidate of the Wall Street and the political establishment. After the failure of US imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan and the relapse in the international competition after the world economic and financial crisis the most reactionary representatives of the US-American finance capital are trying to lead US imperialism back to old strength with Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump taking office marks a general tendency towards open reaction and has geopolitical consequences. The termination of the Global Climate Agreement is part of a rollback concerning environmental policy. As to economy Trump stands for an intensified protectionism and as to politics for a reactionary migrant policy, open anti-communism and an aggressive foreign policy. Many immigrants are anxious about their safety and their status in the USA. This is going to aggravate contradictions and provoke struggles on a worldwide scale.

“The shift to the right of the new US government is the result of the masses seeking an alternative to the existing dispensation. In the election campaign this was revealed in a close neck-and-neck race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who found recognition among many people with the demonstrative positioning as advocate of socialism. There was no real alternative in the presidential election.

“All this shows the farce of the bourgeois democracy and that bourgeois parliamentarism loses its effect to the same extent as progressive societal potential consolidates in the left trend and uses the democratic rights in elections for a proletarian profile. The crisis of bourgeois parliamentarism has become a general phenomenon. All over the world the masses are searching for a societal alternative to the imperialist crisis system. The conclusion can only consist in strengthening real alternatives all over the world. That means: priority to the construction of strong Marxist-Leninist parties in all countries of the world, union of the revolutionary forces in coordination and cooperation in the ICOR, the union of the revolutionaries of the world.

“For peace, freedom and democracy –
for socialism!
Strengthen the ICOR!”

Signatories (further signatories possible):

1.    RCP  Revolutionary Communist Party of Egypt
2.    ORC  Organisation Révolutionnaire du Congo (Revolutionary Organization of Congo), Democratic Republic of the  Congo
3.    CPSA(ML)  Communist Party of South Africa (Marxist-Leninist)
4.    PPDS  Parti Patriotique Démocratique Socialiste (Patriotic Democratic Socialist Party), Tunisia
5.    MLOA  Marxist-Leninist Organization of Afghanistan
6.    CPB  Communist Party  of Bangladesh
7.    CPI (ML)  Red Star Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
8.    Ranjbaran Hezb-e Ranjbaran-e Iran (Proletarian Party of Iran)
9.    NCP (Mashal) Nepal Communist Party (Mashal)
10.    APTUF  All Pakistan Trade Union Federation
11.    NDMLP  New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party, Sri Lanka
12.    БКП  Българска Комунистическа Партия (Bulgarian Communist Party)
13.    KSC-CSSP  Komunisticka Strana Cheskoslovenska – Cheskoslovenska Strana Prace (Communist Party of Czechoslovakia – Czechoslovakian Workers Party),
14.    MLPD  Marxistisch-Leninistische Partei Deutschlands (Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany)
15.    KOL  Kommunistische Organisation Luxemburg (Communist Organization of Luxemburg)
16.    RM  Rode Morgen (Red Dawn), Netherlands
17.    MLP  Marksistsko-Leninskaja Platforma (Marxist-Leninist Platform), Russia
18.    MLGS  Marxistisch-Leninistische Gruppe Schweiz (Marxist-Leninist Group of Switzerland)
19.    TIKB  Türkiye İhtilalci Komünistler Birliği (Union of Revolutionary Communists of Turkey)
20.    KSRD  Koordinazionnyj Sowjet Rabotschewo Dvizhenija (Coordination Council of the Workers Class Movement), Ukraine
21.    PR  Partija Rada (Party of Labor), Yugoslavia (ex)
22.    PC(ML)  Partido Comunista (Marxista Leninista) (Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)), Dominican Republic
23.    PC/ML  Partido Comunista (Marxista-Leninista) de Panamá (Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) of Panama)
24.    PCP (independiente) Partido Comunista Paraguayo (independiente) (Paraguayan Communist Party (independent))
25.    PPP  Partido Proletario del Perú (Proletarian Party of Peru)
26.    PS-GdT Plataforma Socialista - Golpe de Timón (Socialist Platform - Kurswechsel), Venezuela
27.    MMLPL  Moroccan Marxist-Leninist Proletarian Line
28.    БРП(к)  Българска Работническа Партия (комунисти) (Bulgarian Workers Party (Communist))
29.    NPCH(ML)  Nouveau Parti Communiste Haϊtien (Marxiste-Léniniste) (New Communist Party of Haiti (Marxist-Leninist))
30.    PR-ByH  Partija Rada - ByH (Party of Labor - Bosnia and Herzegovina), Bosnia and Herzegovina
31.    ROL,USA  Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA
______________________________________________________________________________“U.S. Democracy” Exposed Again


The famous ‘checks and balances’ found in U.S. Constitutional Government are not checks on the limits of power of one of the three branches by the others; in reality, they are a check on the ability of the people of the USA to mount any serious challenge to monopoly capitalist rule. The U.S. Constitution is not a democratic but an anti-democratic document.  The fact that Gore won the popular vote with a 500,000 plurality over Bush-even with all the crooked activity that went on, meant nothing. In effect, Bush and Vice President Cheney won the election by a 5 to 4 vote of the 9 judges of the U.S. Supreme Court. These judges are appointed for life by the sitting President to fill vacancies as they occur. Seven of the current nine were appointed by Republican Presidents including several by George W.’s father.*

*Bush senior, before becoming President, had previously served as head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), thus giving the intelligence services some unknown role in the election.

“In stopping the vote count in Florida and then a few days later rendering a decision, in the name of  ‘political stability,’ that completely contradicted their general states’ rights bias, the U.S. Supreme Court showed it is nothing more than an unelected, unaccountable, permanent prop of the monopoly capitalist and imperialist bourgeois system.

“Justice John Paul Stevens, disgusted by the naked power move made by his fellow Republican Supreme Court justices, stated: ‘Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election; the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.’   

“The electoral college, which most people both inside and outside the USA never knew existed, is a safety valve for the monopolists against the people.  After the victory of the Revolutionary War for Independence, the new U.S. government had been set up under the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles several rebellions against the new ruling classes had already taken place. The so-called Founding Fathers (including a large Slaveowner minority) implemented the Constitution, including the electoral college, precisely to keep the ‘one man—one vote’ principle from taking root in the USA.  In the 2000 election, the existence of the electoral college allowed the Florida legislature, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, George’s brother(!), and his Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the Florida Supreme Court and others to try to substitute their will for the will of the people. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court, the most undemocratic branch of the U.S. government, trumped them all.” (“US ‘Democracy’ Exposed! Lessons of the 2000 US Presidential Election,” Ray O’ Light Newsletter #28, March 2001)

The 2016 Presidential Election brings us the opportunity once more to revisit the issue of the electoral college.

When we the people, the 99%, failed to rise up against the electoral college vote for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, aided by the unelected Supreme Court in the Florida (electoral) vote count – the powers that be could rest easy with the knowledge that they still could rely on the anti-democratic character of the U.S. vote in the future.

The future is now. Hillary Clinton, one of the most unpopular presidential candidates in U.S. history and a puppet of the Wall Street ruling class, still received almost three million more votes of the people than the hated Donald Trump. But this fact is not slowing the fascistic Trump any more than “George W”’s loss of the popular vote made him shy away from launching his war of terror on the peoples of the world.

For those of us who have a U.S. vote, remember that U.S. imperialism, the U.S. Empire is exploiting war and conquest but it is definitely not exporting democracy!
 ____________________________________________________The Ghoulish Legacy of Barack Obama


 “On January 20th I will become the first President of the United States to serve two full terms during a time of war.” —@POTUS

The above is an actual TWEET of a line from a speech that Barack Obama gave at MacDill Air Force Base on December 6th. Do we need any more proof that his administration was steeped in blood and gore?

The reaction of the blood-thirsty crowd at MacDill was to cheer for that line, but even though even Obama can’t control what thugs applaud in his speeches, one can tell that he is proud of the fact that he has been a war criminal for all eight years of his regime.

Then Obama went on to say, “We did not choose this fight.” Of course, the USA was an innocent bystander on September 11, 2001. It’s a given that the US only spreads goodwill and material aid around a planet that adored “The Great Satan” and on 9/11 it was attacked by rogue terrorists that only wanted to hurt the US because of its “freedom and democracy.”

Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize Winning War Criminal has bombed at LEAST seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. I would really like to know who or what chose these fights for Obama? Did some random homeless guy from Hoboken phone him up one day and say, “Hey, Prez, I choose Libya for you to destroy next?” I more suspect the “fights” are always chosen by the Military Industrial Complex—which includes Wall Street and the fake corporate media.

What Obama is falsely implying is that the United States of America, the Empire which spends over a trillion dollars every year to maintain the largest military force and WMD in history, is actually somehow acting in self-defense in ANY of the above countries? Interestingly enough, though, his actions over the past eight years have gone a long way to harming relations with two nations that may actually have some capacity to fight back: Russia and China.

I cannot in actual fact wait until I don’t have to regularly hear Obama’s smarmy voice anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I do want to start to hear Trump’s smarmy voice either. The thing that is the most aggravating aspect (to me) about Obama’s two terms is that he was able to (and brag about it) bomb seven countries without any large-scale opposition.

By the time you read this, Donald J. Trump will probably be inaugurated as the 45th President of the U.S. Imperial States of America, and like Obama, he will willingly be strapping on the puppet strings of the Imperial Punch and Punch Even Harder Puppet Show. I say he will “probably” be inaugurated because there is much opposition from liberals and so-called left groups to his potential regime.

I am not sure where these organizations and individuals have been during the bloody eight years of Obama or what they want if they don’t want Trump. To block Trump’s ascension to the throne, are they talking armed revolution? Do they want the imperialist Clinton to be installed by the Powers That Be as they swoon with dismay over the “news” that Russia “hacked” US elections and the Clinton campaign’s emails? “News” brought to us by the (n)ever truthful C.I.A. without one shred of proof. But who needs proof when your terrible candidate who was endorsed by every single establishment institution lost anyway? Conveniently, there is a predetermined enemy to blame in the form of Russia, which we all know is evil because Obama told us so. I am writing this for the future and as you read, we are in the past, but at this point, we still don’t know where Obama will go with his threat to “retaliate” against Russia for “meddling” in US elections, or if it is/was just more bluster.

Speaking of Russia, Obama has spent at least the last half of his regime bringing the world closer to World War III and, I think, with all of Trump’s blustering and potential perfidy, Clinton was the candidate that was going to reliably carry on the policies of Imperialism that have been in place since the beginning. While the US is bombing those seven countries I mentioned earlier, Obama continues to skew facts in Syria to blame Russia for everything the US has done in arming and supporting the terrorists in places like Aleppo where civilians and hospitals have been targeted by those terrorists who are serving the “regime change” interests of US Imperialism.

No matter what he says, Obama’s legacy is so bad, while he rode to victory in 2008 with a veto proof majority in the Senate and a huge majority in the House of Representatives, he leaves office having lost any semblance of a “mandate” and with the Democrat Party in disarray (yea!) and the Republicans stronger (boo) but also in disarray. If anything good comes from any of this, we are most likely witnessing Capitalism and Imperialism in death-throes and conservative, liberal, and revolutionary alike will have to ultimately work together as members of the proletariat to build a movement and system that works for all the people.

I don’t know how to end this article, because the Ghoulish Legacy of Barack Obama will never end for the lifelong pain of those that had loved ones murdered, maimed, or made refugee by his regime.

I know the lifelong pain, because my own son Casey Austin Sheehan was killed by the precursor of Obama’s foreign policy that had manifested itself in George W. Bush in the “dumb” war that Obama promised to end, but never quite did.

The rivers of blood spilled and the untold number of lives ruined are Obama’s true legacy that most in this country never personally see, so they must concentrate on votes stolen by Russia or tweets tweeted by Trump.

My motto since my son was killed has ultimately become: “Never forget, but always move forward.” With the ending of another  “error,” and the beginning of the next one, I hope the integrity of the movement matures to opposition to Empire, not the fake media outrages du jour.

Revolutionary Organization of Labor (ROL), USA is a revolutionary working class organization that fights for working class power and the elimination of all human exploitation. Ray O’ Light Newsletter is the regular publication of ROL, USA. We believe, with comrade Lenin, that the working class “… needs the truth and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.” In the spirit of Karl Marx who taught that “our theory is not a dogma but a guide to action,” we welcome your comments.

Comradely the Newsletter Staff,

Ray Light, Editor            Rose Brown, Assistant Editor         Carl Pappos, Production Coordinator

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