U.S. policy (answers)

February 12, 2018

1. (b)

As Marx and Engels wrote, “the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle.”  That doesn’t mean that other conflicts don’t exist!  The battle of ideas, the conflict between political parties, and the rivalry between imperialist powers are all very real.  But we interpret those conflicts through the lens of the struggle between the working class and the capitalist class.

2. (b)

Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992 didn’t live up to progressive hopes.  The 1994 Republican sweep of Congress and the ensuing Contract with America locked in conservative priorities.  It was helped along by the free-market mania of neoliberal Democrats and Fed chair Alan Greenspan.  The tide of deregulation and so-called ‘free trade’ deals took a heavy toll on the working class and the labor movement.

Lincoln’s victory in 1860, FDR’s win in 1932, and Johnson’s election in 1964 all allowed progressive forces to make or consolidate significant gains: abolition of slavery, the New Deal, and the War on Poverty.  This doesn’t mean that those politicians were anti-capitalist revolutionaries. Nor did it mean that their policies were progressive across the board–especially true for Johnson, under whom the U.S. began its bloody intervention in Vietnam,. We do have to recognize, though, that presidential elections, like the debacle in 2016, have real stakes for the working class and people’s movement.

3. (c)

Capitalists get rich by paying workers less than the value they produce. Therefore, the working class will never have enough purchasing power to overcome the crises of overproduction.

4. (d)

All of the above.  Credit allows the working class to maintain or increase its standard of living even when wages stagnate, but at a heavy price. Banks take back some of what gets paid out as wages. In the long run, as the debt burden increases, workers become increasingly dependent on whatever job they hold and unable to take the risk of a loss of income.  Finally, credit gives a false impression of social mobility, leading people to identify as middle class rather than working class.  This is especially true of student debt, which punishes working class people for trying to educate themselves.

5. (d)

None of the above.  The United States has shown no interest in the human or democratic rights of the Chinese people, except as part of a crusade to discredit socialism.  It participated in putting down the anti-imperialist Boxer Rebellion in 1900; it sold oil and war goods to the Japanese as they slaughtered and raped their way through China; it dispatched the Navy to the Formosa Strait to block re-unification of China and Taiwan and refused to even recognize the People’s Republic of China until 1979.



0 wrong: You’re a seasoned Bolshevik, a leader in the class struggle.  Or if you’re not, you should be.

1 wrong: Developed Marxist. Form a study group, join the Party–and bring others with you.

2 to 3 wrong: Class conscious worker.  Make time for study!

4 to 5 wrong: Danger, deviations possible.  The swamp of opportunism looms before you!

Comments (1)

Eric Priebe | February 13, 2018 at 4:37 PM

0 wrong. I should be a seasoned Bolshevik

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