25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

December 30, 2019

December 26, 1994

The drastic cuts to Social Security proposed by Sens. Bob Kerrey and John Danforth, who head a bipartisan commission established by President Bill Clinton, are a harbinger of things to come. Clinton and the Democrats and Republicans in Congress may squabble over how to do it. But in their drive to restore falling profit rates U.S. employers try to destroy as a universal right the social entitlements that working people won.

Workers fought for Social Security as one way to lessen the constant fear of becoming destitute and the dog-eat-dog competition that is imposed on them by capitalism. It was an initial step by working people toward conquering the social organization of the basic conditions for life. Social Security is a conquest for the entire working class. It is not a handout but a right. 

December 26, 1969

BERKELEY — A rally of 250 people was held in Oakland on Dec. 13 to protest the Vietnam war, the victimization of the Black Panthers, and to back the GE strikers. The rally was held just blocks from the gates of one of the main plants shut down as a result of the walkout of 147,000 GE workers nationwide.

Dave Kotz of UE Local 1493 explained the main thrust of the GE attack against the strikers. The attack is to bust the union into local bargaining units by denying them a national contract. GE pays only $3.00 an hour average on the assembly line, only two days sick leave after five years service, and the pensions are only $29 a week.

The crowd of young people had posters that read, “GE Makes a Killing in Vietnam” and “GE Needs This War, We Don’t.” Proceeds from a collection went to the strikers. 

December 30, 1944

Since the British began their attempt to re-establish domination over Greece, the liberals have stepped up their propaganda to whitewash the role of American imperialism. The liberals have seized on demagogic declarations of the State Department as proof for their contention that Churchill may be continuing imperialist “power politics” but Roosevelt is “coming clean for democracy.”

With the war, the United States has emerged as the most powerful capitalist power on the globe. Britain, on the other hand, has been immeasurably impoverished and weakened.

Super-wealthy U.S. imperialism, whose program to subjugate Europe is only part of its program to establish its imperial hegemony throughout the world, can afford a certain amount of flexibility in imposing its brutal rule over the peoples.