In her November 3 Star Tribune column last week, Katherine Kersten blew the whistle on a Communist antiwar march in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota: “Students should take another look at antiwar rally.” Kathy wrote:
The event was organized by Socialist Alternative, which prominently displayed its big red banner.
Just what is Socialist Alternative? According to the organization’s website, it is the American branch of the Committee for a Workers’ International, which seeks to “win support for the ideas of genuine Marxism among working class people.” A CWI website says its goal is to advance “the struggle to overthrow the rule of big business and global capitalism.” Its “recommended reading” includes Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” and Vladimir Lenin’s “State and Revolution,” along with tracts celebrating the achievements of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
Today the Star Tribune editorial page runs a column by one Ty Moore — a “youth organizer” for Sociailist Alternative — responding to Kathy’s column: “War protestors deserve better than red-baiting.” Moore writes:
She’s caught us redhanded. Socialist Alternative disagrees with a system where the drive for profit takes our country into wars of aggression to plunder the oil wealth of others. We want to end the system that relegates half the world’s population to miserable poverty while the richest 0.01 percent of Americans saw their income rise by 250 percent (adjusted for inflation) since 1980.
We look to overthrow the rule of big business in the medical industry, which leaves 45 million uninsured. We want to end a system where youth from low-income areas are seven times less likely to graduate college than youth from high-income areas.
We want to replace capitalism with a system of democratic control of the economy from below. Instead of industry and government being run by the super-rich, we believe the top 500 corporations should be put under the control of elected workplace committees, and production organized around a democratic plan. All economic decisions, from foreign policy to wage scales, should be decided democratically, based on human and environmental needs, not the short-term profit drive of CEOs and wealthy investors.
This has nothing to do with the Stalinist dictatorships that Kersten implies we are aiming to re-create.
Moore concludes: “[B]rutal wars of aggression are inevitable under capitalism.”
Moore, in other words, proudly proclaims what Kathy reported in her column. The folks behind the antiwar rally are good little Leninists. Moore doesn’t even attempt to dispute the notion that his group is Communist. Is it red-baiting to point out that the group is red?
Given the failure of Moore’s column to raise a single fact disputing Kathy’s original column, the bigger mystery here is why the Star Tribune editors find this column attacking Kersten worthy of publication. The Star Tribune’s uniformly left-wing editors are apparently happy to enlist Twin Cities Communists in their own “popular front” to drive a heterodox columnist from the paper’s news pages.
JOHN adds: Granted that we don’t expect much in the way of critical thinking from leftists, still, isn’t it a bid odd that Communists like Moore and liberal newspapers like the Star-Tribune keep repeating that the war in Iraq was intended to “plunder the oil wealth of others”? If that were true, wouldn’t they expect to see some plundering by now? These people seem to live in an alternate reality where there is no necessity for their words to correspond to anything that happens in the world. They just keep repeating them. I can understand why Communists are that out of touch, but what’s the Star-Tribune’s excuse?