Main Political Report to the Oct 15-16 NC Meeting

November 16, 2005

The purpose of my report is to present a picture of the political situation and its evolution since our Convention. Normally we might not do this, but things have happened over the past four months that are anything but normal.

Indeed, the political landscape has tilted enough that the National Board thought it would be useful for the National Committee to take a fresh look at the status of the Bush administration and its implications for struggles ahead.

At our National Convention four months ago we noted that the Bush administration was losing its initiative and momentum. We said that Bush didnt walk with the same old swagger and his much-vaunted political capital had lost much of its value.

Tensions and fissures, we also noted, were evident in the Republican Partynot an open rebellion by any means, but substantial enough that the single-mindedness that had been the signature of the Bush administration and Republican Party was less evident.

At the same time, we said that the resistance to the administrations policies was growing in depth and breadth. The opposition to social security privatization was widespread; by last summer more Americans opposed the war than supported it; and public opinion polls showed a steady decline of support of Bushs overall job performance.

Meanwhile on an international level, the Bush administrations predilection for unilateralism and force was encountering resistance from all quarters of the globe. Much to the chagrin of the neoconservatives, the use of overwhelming military power hasnt succeeded in establishing a new U.S. dominated client regime in Iraqlet alone set the stage for ushering in a new American Century.

At the time, we assumed that the crumbling support for the administration and its policies would continue. But none of us, I dare say, could foresee how precipitously this would happen.


But then again how could we? Who could have predicted back then that a storm was soon to form in the unusually warm waters of the Atlantic and then morph into a powerful hurricane that would rip into the Gulf States with such destructive and deadly force?

Who could divine that the Bush administration would respond with such indifference and incompetence to the plight of hundreds of thousands of people in the Gulf States, and New Orleans in the first place?

Who could foresee the rash of indictments, sleaze, scandals, and charges of cronyism that would surface and engulf the White House and the Republican Party this fall?

Who could easily predict the sudden surge in oil and gas prices and what that surge portends for the winter?

Who could anticipate the rancor and divisions between Bush and many of his conservative supporters over his nomination of Harriet Miers to fill the new vacancy on the Supreme Court?

The confluence of all this, unfoldingkeep in mindin the context of widespread disapproval of social security privatization, generalized anxiety with the economy, and, above all, an increasingly unpopular war and resurging peace movement, has thrown the Bush administration on the defensive and left it scurrying to regain lost ground.


While the precipitous decline in the political fortunes of this administration is the result of a cumulative process, not everything has the same causal significance. Some things carry more causal weight in the chain of events that account for the sinking status of the Bush administration.

Herein lies the significance of hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

More than anything else, Katrina and its aftermath left a deep imprint on the public imagination of an administration that is morally indifferent, administratively incompetent, and politically self-serving.

It brought into full view the mistaken priorities that favor war and corporate profits over peoples needs. It gave sharp definition to the fault lines of race and classaggravated to the extreme by the race conscious policies of the Bush administration and its extreme right wing counterparts in Congress, corporate board rooms and think tanks.

Katrina helped millions of people to see the connections between issues, such as war spending and infrastructure repair, as well as to reconsider the assumptions that frame and legitimize the administrations policies, such as smaller government is better than bigger government.

Finally, Katrina punctured the artfully constructed myth that Bush is the best guardian of our nations security.

What is the upshot of this?

Is the jig up? Is Bush down for the count? Or to employ a sports metaphor, is it strike three on Bush? Not quite! But he speaks with much less authority. He can no longer expect to be given the benefit of the doubt, command the same ardent, unqualified support, or exercise power the same way that he once did.

He is operating for the first time from a position of weakness. His support in the post-Katrina political environment, according to opinion polls, has been reduced to his core constituency on many issues

In January, an ABC News survey found Bushs job approval rating at 52 percent; in August at 45 per cent; and now, less than three months later, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has Bushs approval rating slipping to 38 percent, while the percentage in the same poll who say that the country is heading in the right direction is below 30 percent.

Even among his diehard supporters, dissident voices are now heard.

In short, the Bush administration has lost much of its political and moral authorityneither of which, it is safe to say, can be recovered with a few photo ops and a little spin here and there.

Bushs handlers, of course, hope that the American people have a short memory, but they would be ill advised to bet on that possibility. After all, Katrina wasnt the first misstep. It came on the heels of a string of other missteps, Iraq being the most notable one.

Thus the downward spike in Bushs support in recent weeks is not a momentary blip, but a continuation of a longer-term trend of public disaffection with his administration.

To make matters worse for Bush, the internal situation in Iraq could deteriorate more, federal indictments of Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and others could come down, the corruption trials of key Republican operatives could reach into the White House, the nomination of Harriet Miers could go up in smoke, energy prices could go higher, and a fragile economy could further soften as we head into 2006.

If all, or even a combination, of these things happens, the Bush administration could move into what might be called the Humpty Dumpty zone, where his loss of legitimacy could become irretrievable.

In this event, his presidency collapses, his right wing counterparts in Congress and elsewhere attempt to minimize their losses, and the political terrain shifts dramatically in favor of the broad forces opposing his policies or, more broadly, the whole right wing political project a reactionary project that began during the Reagan years and is steeped in anti-communism, savage market fundamentalism, chauvinism in all of its forms, and U.S. imperial ambitions.


It should be said, of course, that neither Bush nor his Congressional cronies are going to leave the stage willingly. Both will try to regain their stride. In fact, we are seeing the beginnings of a counter attack. If they had a playbook, it might be called, Seizing Victory from the Jaws of Defeat.

What are its main elements?

First, change the conversation from incompetence, corruption, indictments, race, poverty, and mounting war deaths to the war on terror, Supreme Court nominations, shrinking the budget deficit, and rebuilding the Gulf.

Second, fill the Supreme Court vacancy with someone (Meirs or another faithful right-winger if her nomination is withdrawn or rejected) who will tilt the court in a reactionary, anti-democratic direction for the foreseeable future.

Third, turn the Gulf States into an Opportunity Zone, which is a Bushs term for a vast laboratory of no-bid contracts, right wing privatization schemes, and unrelieved exploitation, free of prevailing wage agreements, affirmative action provisions, and environmental protections.

Fourth, ethnically cleanse New Orleans of its African American community thereby turning Louisiana into an uncontested red state in the coming elections.

Fifth, claim that tax cuts are needed more than ever to stimulate the rebuilding process in the Gulf States and a sluggish economy nationally.

Sixth, turn the big price tag of reconstruction into a rationale to make draconian cuts in spending for Medicaid, food stamps, and other peoples programs, while at the same time, quietly scaling back the federal commitment to hurricane reconstruction.

Seventh, consider reckless provocations and wag-the-dog scenarios that will create an international crisis (Syria perhaps), thereby deflecting public attention away from the mess in which the administration finds itself.

Finally, ride out the political storm knowing that in the end the Senate and the House still remain solidly in Republican hands. When all else fails, employ that naked power to unapologetically pursue a right wing agenda. After all, say Republican strategists, we could be a minority party next year and in an even weaker position in 2008.


This counterattack of the Republican Party is not surprising, but as every football player knows, having a playbook is one thing and executing it is quite another.

For starters, millions of people are looking at the world through a different political lens now. Righteous anger is in the air and people feel emboldened. Even the Democratic Party and the mass media are showing some moxie. The mass turnout for peace on September 26 and the incredibly positive reaction of the American people to the courage of war critic and gold star mother, Cindy Sheehan, are emblematic of these shifting moods.

Meanwhile, there are few signs that the Bush administrations political fortunes are going to rebound soon if ever.

All of this clears the ground for a steady deepening the all peoples front against the policies of the Bush administration. It opens up new opportunities to unify a labor led progressive movement. It gives new leverage to peoples initiatives, both to block reactionary Republican measures (and there are plenty of them) and to support progressive Democratic ones. And most importantly, it sets the stage for a working class and peoples counteroffensive in the 2006 elections and beyond.

Are we at a turning point in the struggle against the Bush administration and his reactionary corporate backers? Nothing in politics is inevitable. But the possibility of decisively defeating the right is smoldering in the shifting political and ideological sands of this moment, but it wont happen easily.

What will it take?

To begin, the withdrawal of US military forces from Iraq remains on the top of the agenda. More and more people are reaching the conclusion that occupation is not a solution, but rather part of the problem in Iraq. Many are saying that more is to be lost by staying there than by withdrawing.

Given these sentiments, a key task for progressive and left forces is to engage in the ongoing political debate in Congress and the country over the merits of ending the occupation forces. Bring the Troops Home Now is a good agitational slogan, but as a practical political guide for executing a withdrawal it is, as veteran peace activist Tom Hayden recently wrote, easily dismissible, by its foes because of its simplicity as well as unpersuasive as an exit strategy to many people and politicians who are looking for a way to extricate ourselves from Iraq.

It follows that what is needed is an alternative strategy to staying the course that can unite all peace minded people and crystallize a majority peace bloc in the Congress. I dont have a concrete proposal, but I would say that there are some exit strategies in the public domain and in Congress, including Haydens, that deserve a good look

Another issue of struggle is over who fills the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. The stakes are so incredibly high that I dont have to convince anybody here of the urgent necessity of joining the emerging movement to oppose Bushs nomination to the court. Pausing to take enjoyment in the feud between Bush and some of his conservative supporters is enjoyable, but every day that goes by without winning support to block Bushs nomination, no matter who it ultimately is, is a mistake.

It has been said the future of Roe v. Wade may very well hang on who fills the newest vacancy on the court. No one in their right mind would take issue with this claim nor take lightly the dire consequences if Roe is overturned, but it should also be said that the new court will make other decisions that will have a disastrous effect on the democratic rights and possibilities of labor, the racially oppressed, the disabled, gays and lesbians, and democratic minded people generally for years to come.

Conservatives say they want to a judge that has a track record as a strict constructionist jurist. They want someone who not only makes good decisions from their point of view, but also a nominee who will join with Scalia and Thomas to transform the whole legal culture and paradigm prevailing in our country to the hard right.

Since the 1960s the conservative movement has bristled at what it calls the rights revolution that began with the great civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King.

The passage of civil rights legislation set in train the enactment of a string of judicial decisions by the Warren Court that expanded democratic rights for millions of people who had been reduced to second and third class citizenship.

For conservatives these decisions were at loggerheads with a strict constructionist reading of the constitution and cut into the authority of the legislative branch of government. Indeed they wrapped their objections in constitutionalist language and derided what they call, judicial activism from the bench.

But their interpretation of the constitution and the intentions of the framers of that document is specious according to respected historians.

No less importantly, it is also political sophistry and claptrap to conceal their disdain for democratic rights as well as their desire to construct a system of laws and constitutional interpretation that creates a clear and unobstructed field for U.S. transnational corporations to employ their political and economic power to ruthlessly exploit labor and nature, to maintain savage social and economic inequalities, to make war without popular consent, and to secure U.S. imperialisms uncontested position at the top of the global pyramid of states.

Thus the battle over the composition of the court is no small thing. While the court is not insulated from mass political trends, jurists of the court are nonetheless unelected and serve on the court for life.

Justices like Scalia and Thomas are disdainful of public opinion, so adding somebody else of their mindset is a big danger. Although Harriet Miers may not be a constitutional scholar, she is, according to her sponsor, will be a good conservative judge. So we should have no illusions. Her ascendancy to the court would constitute a clear and present danger to democracy.

Still another field of struggle is the economy where stagnant wages, eroding benefits, deteriorating health care, low wage jobs, pensions erosion, rising housing costs, and now skyrocketing energy prices are roiling working people.

Its true that if you look at some of the gross measurements of economic performance you can with some plausibility make the case that things arent that bad. But if you look closer at statistics that measure economic conditions and well being of those who have nothing to sell but their labor power a far less promising picture comes into focus and it precisely this that we have to be concerned about.

Most immediately, the rising costs of energy are turning into a crisis for millions of people. People are angry and will get angrier as home heating oil and gas bills begin to arrive. For many who are deep in consumer indebtedness the added costs of energy will be a budget breaker. Some will be unable to pay their energy bills, thus facing the danger of shutoff.

We have to join with others demanding both immediate relief and longer-term solutions to the energy crisis, while opposing new legislative measures made in the aftermath of Katrina to lift the remaining regulations on the energy industries and open up new formerly protected lands and waters to drilling.

On an immediate level of analysis, we can trace the energy crisis to the Bush administrations policies and the energy industrial/financial complex, but on deeper inspection we have to bring into focus the ligaments that attach this level of analysis to another level, that is, to the growth without limits, anarchic, expansionist, accumulation drive of capitalism/imperialism in its present phase of development. In a world fraught with hardships and disasters, the socialist alternative has many compelling arguments that can be summoned up these days, but one of the most compelling is its capacity to make a necessary and timely transition to a sustainable, renewable, and not for profit energy complex.

Still another field of struggle is the cleanup and reconstruction of the Gulf States. As the water has receded, as the rebuilding has begun, and as public attention has turned elsewhere, it has become clear that the Republican Party would like to turn the whole region into a giant field of unregulated, crony capitalism. Right now there is no comprehensive plan or oversight committee that is comprised of prominent representatives of labor, racially oppressed, women, clergy, youth, seniors, elected officials, and so forth to monitor the reconstruction process.

Moreover, Bush says that he has no interest in such a plan or committee.

Bush joined Habitat for Humanity for a photo op, but is doing little to rebuild the housing stock in the Gulf States and New Orleans for Katrinas victims. Bush said that human services will be provided to all the evacuees, but his Congressional operatives are trying to nix Medicaid assistance to the displaced residents of the storm. Bush asserted that a racial divide still exists in our country, but then lifted Davis-Bacon and affirmative actions provisions. Bush claimed that money will be appropriated for Gulf reconstruction, but Congressional Republicans are reducing the deficit under the ruse of paying for Katrina.

The Congressional Black Caucus and other members of Congress, the labor movement, the NAACP, and Rev. Jesse Jackson of Rainbow/PUSH among others are battling this callous attempt on the part of the White House and Republican House leadership to exploit the hardship and misery of hundreds of thousands in the Gulf to their own advantage. The broader movement and, of course, our Party, have to join them and give support to every positive Congressional initiative.

Another field of struggle is the fight against racism and poverty. If Katrina had a salutary effect it was to reintroduce the fault lines of racism and poverty into the nation consciousness and conversation. For the past quarter century right wing ideologues have been saying, with some assist from centrist democrats, that we live in a post-civil rights era in which rough equality of condition among peoples has been either achieved or, where it hasnt, is explained by other factors than race and racial discrimination.

But Katrina and its after shocks challenged this myth. It brought to the nations consciousness that millions of African American people and other people of color are locked into conditions of poverty, attend understaffed and under-funded schools, live in substandard housing and hyper-segregated neighborhoods, receive inadequate health care, experience long bouts of unemployment, work overwhelmingly in low wage jobs, and are denied dignity.

Or to put it differently, thanks to the Katrina, the American people have a greater awareness that racism is not simply a prejudice and little more than that. They now see that it decisively shapes the material and spiritual conditions in which tens of millions of racially oppressed people live.

As images from Katrina cascaded across their television screens, millions of people were shocked and asked themselves Why?

Why do so many racially oppressed people live in poverty? Why are so many young African American men unemployed? Why are so many African American men and increasingly women filling our jails? Why hasnt the high school drop rate of young people of color changed appreciably in decades? Why are high schools that are named in honor of our nations great civil rights leaders more segregated now than they were thirty years ago?

These questions still await an answer, but the important thing is that they were asked and that millions are disposed to consider a different narrative that explains the conditions and persistence of racial inequality in our country.

But as we know windows of opportunity dont stay open forever, thanks in no small measure to the ability of ruling elites to change the subject of conversation. It is easy for people to return to old explanations and understandings rather than confront new narratives that lead in a different direction, even where it is in their interests to do so.

I dont think that the window has closed yet, but leaders of the progressive movement have to take initiatives on an ideological and practical level, beginning with the rebuilding of New Orleans and the rest of the region.

Another field of struggle is the collective bargaining arena both private and public. A crucial struggle is taking place in the auto and auto parts industries. Delphi, the worlds largest auto parts manufacturer, is attempting to impose, using the cudgel of bankruptcy laws and judges, draconian cuts on 34,000 active workers and 12,000 retirees in the United States and many thousands more worldwide. And GM is not far behind in its demands for shedding health care benefits and pension responsibilities. No matter how you slice it, this struggle constitutes a major test for the entire labor movement and its allies and is a critical piece of a larger class wide struggle to protect retirement security.

Still another key field of struggle is the 2006 elections. With each passing month, the elections become the main battleground for the working class and peoples movement. The outcome of these elections for the House and Senate will have a tilting effect on the balance of class and social forces and set the stage for the 2008 Presidential elections. The fight is uphill. Democrats, however, stand the chance of regaining a majority. Of course it will depend on what they do between now and November 2006 as well as what Bush and the Republicans do to recover the lost ground.

Not least of all, it will depend on the ability of the peoples movement to mobilize their forces and unite in a common cause to defeat the ultra right and to take the control of the Congress from the Republicans. Such a victory would cripple Bush for his final two years and be a grave blow to the extreme right. Instead of crystallizing an enduring right wing majorityKarl Roves dreamthe right would find itself in complete disarray, while the peoples movement would have an opportunity to move the struggle to higher ground after decades of fighting rearguard actions.

Needless to say the elections have to come to the top of the agenda of the entire movementnot next September but now. An immediate task is selecting candidates that will articulate the needs and concerns of millions who have bee battered by the policies of the Bush administration and transnational corporations over the past six years. We have to be in this mix from the get go.

While the struggles that I have mentioned are national in scope, we also have to be connected to local issues and struggles too. Sometimes they carry more currency among grassroots activists than the larger national battles. Certainly how they are settled is of great consequence to the how people live and work. Neither the Party nor the YCL can simply ride the wave of overarching national issues and national coalitions. We have to dig into local movements and issues. It will be different in Chicago than it is in Seattle; different in Dallas than it is in New York; different in Cleveland than it is in Detroit.

In recent years, some of our most effective work has been done in local coalitions and on local issues, including in local elections.

Thus our political plans have to be shaped as much by local issues and local political dynamics as by the national ebb and flow of events and issues.


In suggesting that a favorable turn in the struggle against the right has taken place, I dont want to give anyone the impression that its going to be smooth sailing, that its only a matter of time before he says uncle.

Optimist we are! Hopeful we are! But we also are sober minded enough not only to appreciate the concentration of power that we are up against, but also to realize that there are obstacles within our movement that impede our own ability to assemble a broad and unified peoples coalition.

So what are some of them?

A formal split has occurred in the labor movement. There is no way to put a good spin on this. It weakens labor and encourages both the Bush administration and the transnational corporations to exploit these divisions and to turn up the pressure on labor and its allies.

Taking measure of this negative development, however, should make no one so gloomy that they throw their hands up in the air in despair. Weakening is not crippling. Moreover, there are pressures that move in the opposite direction, including the keenly felt sense among workers that labor unity is imperative in todays struggles.

As serious as the divisions are in labor we dont want to spend all of our time, or even the majority of our time analyzing them or acting as a megaphone for every rumor we hear. Our principal task remains the same after the split as before it: to build the broadest and deepest unity in labor and between labor and its allies against the Bush administration and the transnational corporations.

The opportunities to pass resolutions against the war, to send delegations to meet with elected officials, to organize a campaign to reinstitute Davis Bacon and affirmative action provisions in the reconstruction of the Gulf States, to join picket lines of striking workers, and to mobilize for the 2006 elections have not changed a lick.

Still another problem that impedes the struggle against the extreme right is the lack of a unifying center. Its true that many organizations operate on a national level, but none at this moment have the authority and capacity to draw a diverse and powerful movement into a single stream organizationally and politically. Labor comes the closest, but even labor is not quite positioned to do it.

This is a serious shortcoming. For without greater political and organizational coherence it is hard to foresee how the extreme right and the transnational corporations can be dealt a decisive blow to their power.

Finally, the inconsistency of the Democratic Party in the struggle against the right is a problem, but it is not surprising given the diverse class and social forces that comprises this party. Since 9/11, the Democrats have provided little resistance to Bushs ramped up offensive, but in recent months, some of them have shown more backbone, not that they have turned into a consistent and principled opponent of the ultra right program or the leading voice of the opposition to the Bush program. No one should expect such a radical makeover.

Still, the all peoples coalition should welcome positive initiatives and legislative alternatives by Congressional Democrats.

Like it or not, Congress is going to be a major venue of struggle for the foreseeable future against the extreme right and the Democrats are going to be part of the mix. Thus any idea that the Democratic Party is so totally bankrupt and therefore has no positive potential whatsoever is simply mistaken. It suggests a misunderstanding as to what it will take to shift the balance of forces in a qualitative way and unnecessarily yields ground to the extreme right and the more conservative forces in the Democratic Party.

The broader movement should neither rely on the Democratic Party nor should it dismiss it altogether. To gravitate in either direction would be a serious error. Our task now is to build up the main forces of political independence and in the longer term an independent labor-led peoples party, but within the framework of our strategic policies and a sober estimate of the existing balance of forces at this moment.

Lenin once said (and I believe it has some application here),

Tactics must be based on a sober and strictly objective appraisal of all the class forces in a particular state It is easy to show ones revolutionary temper merely by hurling abuse at parliamentary opposition, or merely by repudiating participation in parliaments; its ease, however, cannot turn this into a solution of a difficult, a very difficult problem. (Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder)


Our role in these circumstances is to apply our strategic policy at every level of activity in a flexible and broad way. Obviously, we cant respond to every opening or join every movement. Our numbers do not allow that, and the more we move down the structure of the Party organization, the truer that is. To try to be everywhere usually means we are nowhere.

But what we can do is to set priorities based on two factors. One is the overall conditions of struggle and the balance of forces; the other is the status and strength of the party at that moment. Once we have done that, we can bring our broad strategic and tactical concepts of unity and action to bear on the issues and struggles that we have chosen.

The easiest thing to do is to act alone or in narrow circles. Much more difficult is to be part of broader initiatives and actions in a communist way.

If one of the main strengths of the movement battling the right is today is its diversity, one of the chief weaknesses, as I mentioned earlier, is its insufficient political and organizational unity. Thus one of our main tasks is to find the structural forms, demands and, yes, programs that will encourage united action on a higher level.

To do this, of course, we have to be in the mix and think very concretely. Propaganda alone wont do it, although propaganda is absolutely necessary at every stage of struggle. Left demands alone wont do it either, although left demands are necessary at every stage of struggle.

We also have to combine participation in the main organizations and struggles of the working class and people with a search for the partial demands that reflect what the people are ready to fight for and the concrete forms of struggle that will unify the peoples struggles organizationally and politically.

For example:

Could we raise in various circles the need for a unifying center that brings together the core constituencies (working class, racially and nationally oppressed, women, youth) and social movements around a set of common demands and actions? At the local level our ability to float this issue and to effect some movement are greater, given our connections, but even at a national level we should float such an idea in one way or another.

Could districts and clubs help initiate neighborhood, town hall, congressional district, or state wide meetings to discuss the political situation and a peoples response to Hurricane Katrina and the crisis in the country generally with an eye to reaching agreement on a common set of demands?

Could we suggest the organization of broad delegations to visit our Congress people when they are home for Thanksgiving recess? Such delegations can explore a range of issues from the occupation of Iraq, to nominees to the Supreme Court, to war to the reconstruction of the Gulf, to the energy crisis?

Could we explore the possibility of petitions and other actions with other organizations that address the skyrocketing cost of gas and home heating oil or protest the lifting of Davis Bacon and affirmative action provisions in the Gulf States?

Could we explore the possibility of organizing Party or PWW forums at the district and club level before the end of the year where we can present our views of the current situation and how to move forward? Is forty forums a realistic goal?

Could we consider increasing the distribution of the PWW and sending sub holiday offers of the PWW and PA to opinion makers and activists in the movement?

Could we ask every district, club, and commission to do a mailing of Reflections on Socialism to its friends and contacts, enclosing a cover letter that solicits their opinions?

Could we issue a Gulf States reconstruction plan that stresses democratic control, accents public works projects with union wages and affirmative action, prioritizes environmental cleanup, and pays for the reconstruction by rescinding the tax cuts, seizing the scandalous profits of the energy corporations, and reducing the military budget by half?

Could we issue an energy program?

In the course of doing of all this, we have to build the Party at an accelerated pace. Bigger is not just better, but a lot better. Of course, it wont happen without very concrete plans, assignments and follow-up, without more visible communists, without a bigger press and YCL, and without a change in our style of work and culture.

Moreover, it wont happen unless we do more, much more to strengthen the collective and democratic functioning of our party at every level, beginning with the clubs. Clubs should meet at least once a month, agendas should be thoughtfully prepared, educational discussions should be interesting, dues should be collected, decisions with individual responsibility clear should be reached, and clubs leaders should receive the full support and assistance of our leadership. Clubs chairs along with district organizers occupy the pivotal positions in our leadership structure.

The growth and transformation of our Party will take time, although we have to appreciate that we dont have endless time. Measurable results have to be obtained. Is that appreciated enough in the Partys leadership and membership? Is it reflected in how we organize our work? Are we structured in a way to build the Party, YCL, and press? We must discuss these questions, so I would like to propose on behalf of the outgoing National Board that we organize a national Party and Press building conference next year. I hope you agree.

Finally, the PWW fund-drive is slow getting started. We have to change this and I am confident that we will, provided that every member of this new National Committee gives it her or his attention. Suffice it to say that we should see it as a test of the seriousness that we attach to our membership on the National Committee.

Comrades, that concludes my report. Lets have a great discussion and meeting!



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