25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

January 3, 2022

January 6, 1997

For an entire month, daily protests against the Stalinist regime of Slobodan Milosevic have filled the streets of Yugoslavia. The number of demonstrators in the capital of Serbia has hovered around 100,000. On December 16 up to 250,000 people took to the streets.

The working class in Yugoslavia had been facing deteriorating conditions of life and work for nearly two decades leading up to the 1990s. This was rooted in the Stalinist bureaucratic and anti-working-class methods of the petty-bourgeois layer that controlled state power.

The attack on the Yugoslav working class took a qualitative turn for the worse when the competing regimes in the different republics — primarily in Serbia and Croatia — launched their war in 1991. Their goal was to maintain or improve the parasitic and privileged way of life of the castes they represent.

January 14, 1972

The massive five-day U.S. bombing of North Vietnam underlined what many have been reluctant to believe: President Nixon is continuing to seek a military victory in Southeast Asia. The real meaning of “Vietnamization” is defeat of the Vietnamese revolution and stabilization of a proimperialist regime in Saigon.

U.S. Air Force and Navy jet bombers flew about 1,000 attack sorties against targets described as “fuel and supply depots, antiaircraft gun, missile and radar sites, and MIG fighter airfields.”

Devastating setbacks to the imperialist forces in Cambodia and Laos were clearly a major factor in Nixon’s decision to step up the bombing of North Vietnam.

The antiwar movement must respond with vigorous protests, mobilizing as many antiwar forces as possible. Already there have been immediate actions protesting the bombing raids.

January 4, 1947

American labor is hardening its front in struggle for new wage increases to keep up with rising living costs. Capitalist spokesmen advance the long-ago exploded argument that wage rises will lead to price rises, although wage rises actually only cut into profits. Flying in the face of facts, they try to make out that business cannot “afford” higher wages.

The unions have not yet advanced the powerful slogan which the General Motors workers found so effective last year: “Open the books!” If the unions are permitted to dig into company records they can establish irrefutably whether or not Big Business is lying when it talks about inadequate profits and inability to pay.

The giant interlocking monopolies do not dare to open their books to inspection. The exposure of their superprofits would wreck their propaganda beyond all repair!