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World Socialist Party of the United States

Obituary: Walter Kobus

We regret to have to report the death earlier this year of our Comrade Walter J. Kobus of the World Socialist Party of the United States. He lived in Detroit, the centre of the American car industry, and until his retirement had been an active member of the United Autoworkers Union. For a short while the headquarters of the WSPUS, before it was moved to Boston, was in Detroit and comrade Kobus was active in the party local there. Some members will recall his visit to Britain a fair number of years ago. His generous bequests to us and the other Companion Parties will be used as he would wish: the furtherance of our common aim to foster knowledge of and the desire for the establishment of world socialism.

North American Grand Tour

What better to do at the turn of the year than look back at one of the more enjoyable times in 1979. I was fortunate to take a five-week break in the USA and Canada last September and was able to combine a holiday with Party activity. The size of the American continent amazes me; it is a pity that capitalism denies access to its many beautiful places to the majority of people.

The World Socialist Party of the U.S. Turns 100

It is now just a century since the WSP established itself in the USA. Other such organizations arose at about the same time in Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere, from similar circumstances: SPGB comrades became world travelers to escape conscription in The Great War, spreading knowledge and understanding of the case for socialism as they went. In the Twenties and Thirties these early parties took steps to form what we now call the World Socialist Movement.

Vietnam and the Anti-War Movement

Vietnam will one day take its place beside Hiroshima and Auschwitz as an example of a time when the sickness of capitalism exploded into a kind of psychotic nightmare. It is no mere piece of sensationalism, either, to compare Vietnam with Hiroshima and Auschwitz, for there is a direct parallel between the causes, method, and results of all three events. Their causes can be traced to capitalist society. The method in each case amounts to genocide: the slaughter of as great a number of a population in as short a time as possible. The results thus far have been to create a world that looks like something out of a nightmare. For how else are we to regard a country that invests a quarter of a million dollars in the death of every “communist’  guerrilla, when close to one- third of its population lives in poverty?* How else are we to describe a system where announcements of the latest Viet Cong body count come over the radio and TV networks in the U.S.

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