Index toPerestroika: a Marxist Critique [1990]

Part I

  • The global context of restructuring
    Factors in the post-war growth of the capitalist economies. Isolation of the USSR. U.S. efforts to sabotage gas pipeline. Hewett on the “mystery” of Soviet success. Why are imperialists today positive about perestroika? Regressive changes in economic system. Glasnost today and in the Lenin period.
  • How the imperialists see detente
    “Hit ’em while they’re down.” Imperialists want detente – without real disarmament. Is a broader rapprochement possible? Effect on working class and oppressed people. Concessions and the class struggle. Lenin’s attitude toward Brest-Litovsk. Conducting state relations with hostile governments. Separate role of communist parties. Blurring the distinction between party and state. U.S.-Soviet relations in the Bush administration. Return of Kissinger’s influence. Arms treaties in the 1980s. The fate of detente in the Nixon administration. Playing the “China card.” What happened to the 1972 trade agreement? The Jackson-Vanik amendment and the most favored nation clause. Behind the opposition of the “Israeli lobby.” The Stevenson amendment restricting loans. Watergate and the abandonment of detente.
  • Gorbachev’s world view
    Gorbachev speech to UN discovers “universal human values.” Does scientific-technological revolution invalidate or confirm Marxist view of class struggle? The theory that socialism and capitalism are “converging.” Sakharov’s influence on Gorbachev’s thinking. How only one side is doing the converging. Gorbachev on the “world economy.” Engels on world market of the late 15th century. Global interdependence and capitalist exploitation. Need for a socialist commonwealth of nations. Capitalist anarchy of production can’t be controlled, it can only be abolished.
  • Two revolutions and their thinkers
    Gorbachev on French and Russian revolutions. How Marxists view the French philosophers. Was their great contribution “universal human values”? Ruthless ideological struggle against the ancien régime. The socialist Utopians and Robert Owen. Early communist experiments and the intransigence of the bourgeoisie. The absorption of politics by economics (the “withering away of the state”): Saint-Simon vs. the Soviet reforms. The French revolution and Lafayette. Use of terror. Jacobins, Girondists and monarchists. Gorbachev’s omission of Chinese, Cuban and other great revolutions.
  • Crime and the reforms
    Crime rate in USSR rises. Symptom of decay and social tension. A decline in “white collar” crimes? No, just a failure to report them. Private cooperatives and trade a haven for criminals. Lenin’s view of accounting and control done by masses. Gorbachev’s “democratization” leads to fewer inspectors. The Soviet state and “bourgeois right.” Laws on white collar crime are softened. Marxism on crime as an outgrowth of class society.

This Week’s Labor History

This week’s Labor History Today podcastMother Jones and Fannie Sellins. Last week’s show: Scabby The Rat; Smoking at Work; Which Side Are You On? (Encore). 

August 31

10,000 striking miners began a fight at Blair Mountain, W.Va., for recognition of their union, the UMWA. Federal troops were sent in, and miners were forced to withdraw 5 days later, after 16 deaths – 1921

325,000 unionists gathered in Washington, D.C. for a Solidarity Day march and rally for workplace fairness and healthcare reform – 1991

September 1
A three-week strike in Woonsocket, R.I., part of a national movement to obtain a minimum wage for textile workers, resulted in the deaths of three workers. Ultimately more than 420,000 workers struck nationally – 1934

In Hawaii, some 26,000 sugar workers represented by the Longshoremen’s union begin what is to become a successful 79-day strike that shuts down 33 of the 34 sugar plantations on the islands. The strike brought an end to Hawaii’s paternalistic labor relations and impacted political and social institutions throughout the then-territory – 1946

The AFL-CIO creates Working America, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization designed to build alliances among non-union working people – 2003

 – David Prosten. 

Dog bites and racism in Indianapolis

Gordon Mitchum Sr., 78, of Indianapolis, a retired mail handler of 43 years, pulls up his left pant leg to show the scars left by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department dog bite, at his home on Monday, July 6, 2020.

October 24, 2020 Stephen Millies

Every five days, a police dog bites someone in Indianapolis. Just as Black people are twice as likely to be unemployed, 55 percent of those bitten in Indianapolis are African American. That’s double their percentage of the city’s population.

These and other facts were revealed in a remarkable investigation by the Marshall Project, named for the human rights attorney and first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall.

Indianapolis K-9 Officer Molly Groce told tens of thousands of followers on Instagram that for her dog, “The bite itself is the reward.” In 2018, Groce’s dog bit Gordon Mitchum Sr. so severely that the Black retired postal worker’s foot had to be in a cast for two months.

Mr. Mitchum spent 43 years helping people get their prescription medicines and other mail. He was resting on his porch when Groce and her dog entered the yard without a warrant through a side gate.

Police claimed they were looking for a carjacking suspect. They viciously attacked a man in his seventies.

Their K-9 dog first attacked Mitchum’s left leg, then dragged him from the porch before biting his right foot. His daughter had to use bleach and water to hose the blood away from the family’s patio and flowers.

Between 2017 and 2019, some 243 people were bitten by the K-9s of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. Of the 11 people younger than 16 years old who were bit, nine were Black. 

In 2015, an IMPD police dog veered away from a chase and suddenly attacked a woman who was seven months pregnant. She had to have several surgeries and went into labor early. 

A remnant of slavery and fascism

Fighting Words – From the Front Lines of the People’s Struggles Worldwide!

Check out these recent articles on Fighting Words.

Milwaukee, WI July 31, 2022

“Wisconsin Peace Convergence” September 20-23, 2022 In and Around Milwaukee

Building Unity

The three-month Building Unity Democracy Tour will end with the Wisconsin Peace Convergence in Milwaukee, WI – Sep. 20 – 23 (National Voter Registration Day, U.N. International Day of Peace, a Voter Engagement Volunteer Day, & the Global Climate Strike) 

People from all over Wisconsin will converge with people in the Milwaukee area on all four sides of Milwaukee during these four days. “Care-avans” visiting culturally significant Milwaukee sites will connect the convergence events and the four sides of Milwaukee. We’ll celebrate the four pillars of our movement: peace, justice, sustainability, and democracy, the strong leadership of Milwaukee activists, and our shared mission to increase voter turnout in Wisconsin’s largest city. 

On 9/23, the Wisconsin Peace Convergence will end. Many of us will then travel on to Chicago for the Global Climate Strike on that same day. We will come back to Milwaukee and other points in Wisconsin the same day. (No overnight group camping or indoor hospitality on that night.). 

More information and updates can be found on this document which can be found at:

RSVP/Registration: – Please let us know that you are coming and receive updates prior to the events.

Sign up as an individual and/or group endorser of the Wisconsin Peace Convergence:

Sign up to camp with us for any of the three nights Tuesday – Thursday – 9/20 – 9/22 :

Sign up to offer or receive indoor hospitality:

Facebook Event (Please share widely!):

Democracy Tour Returns to Ho-Chunk Nation! Labor Day Weekend Pow Wow 2022

Building Unity

The Democracy Tour has been invited to join the Ho-Chunk Nation Pow Wow over Labor Day Weekend. – W8426 Hwy 54 East, Black River Falls, WI

Come up and camp with us around the UnityMobile on the Pow Wow grounds or come enjoy the Pow Wow for a few hours.

Community Dance on Friday evening.
Grand Entries on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm and 7:00pm.

On Monday, Labor Day, the Democracy tour will be heading to Reedsburg for a Labor Day Tour Stop there at noon. We will therefore not be at the Labor Day 1:00 pm Grand Entry.

If you would like to join us at this event and camp with other Unity Builders, please call Timothy for more information. 608-630-3633.

Happy 4th Anniversary, Voices of Waukesha!

Voces de la Frontera

Happy 4th Anniversary, Voices of Waukesha! Who remembers May 1st 2018 in Waukesha when we came together to oppose the racist 287(g) program. We’re still in the fight, but united we’re stronger. IF YOU CAN !

Happy 4th Anniversary, Voces Waukesha! Who remembers May Day 2018 in Waukesha when we stood up against the racist 287(g) program? We’re still in the fight, but together we are strong! ¡Si se puede!

Photo credits: Joe Brusky/2018

Voces de la Frontera
Voces de la Frontera

Voces de la Frontera GALA September 16, 2022

Voces de la Frontera


[English Below]

¡Acompáñenos y guarde la fecha para el evento de recaudación de fondos más grande y divertido de Voces!

Aún estamos trabajando los detalles exactos, está invitado unirse a nosotros el viernes 16 de septiembre del 2022 en el Italian Community Center de Milwaukee.

Celebre otro año más de organización por los derechos de los inmigrantes y los trabajadores, y los hitos que hemos alcanzado.

Visite para comprar su boleto y obtener más información cuando nos acerquemos a la fecha de la gala.


Join us and save the date for Voces’ largest, most fun fundraising event of the year, our Annual Gala!

Exact details are still being determined, but you’re invited to join us on Friday, September 16th, 2022 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

Celebrate another historic year of organizing for immigrant, student, and workers rights and the milestones we’ve reached.

Visit to buy your tickets, and to check back for more information as we get closer to the date of the gala.

Voces de la Frontera

Madison, LaborFest September 5, 2022

South Central Federation of Labor


The South Central Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO (SCFL) will celebrate Labor Day with its annual LaborFest on Monday, September 5th at the Madison Labor Temple grounds on South Park Street. VO5 and the Chris O’Leary Band will perform. The event is free and open to the public.

SCFL’s Community Services Committee will be collecting gift cards of all types, color pencils, non-permanent markers, composition books, flash cards, deodorant, small bottles of laundry soap, hand/body lotion, and pocket folders for homeless students in the Madison area.

For more information on table registration and volunteering, please go to