Communist Worker

Archive of Communist Workers Group of Aoteaora/New Zealand up to 2006

Archive for the ‘wsf’ Category

The Popular Front Government of Morales tries to strangle the Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolution

leave a comment »


Statement by the Internationalist Red October of Bolivia, February 2006.

Evo Morales has just assumed the presidency of Bolivia. His inauguration ceremony was attended by the representatives of the imperialistic powers, the client governments of South America and all the reformista political currents who are members of the. World Social Forum such as the Zapatistas, the CONAIE and the Pachakutik of Ecuador, the MST of Brazil, etc. Even before he took office Morales as head of state, he travelled to Cuba, Venezuela, France, Spain, China, Argentina and Brazil. He took every opportunity to state clearly that he will respect, defend and protect private property; and that he wants a good relationship with US imperialism.

In China, he embraced the former Stalinist bureaucrats who as the new national bourgeoisie, have become the servants of the imperialist transnational companies who make big profits from exploiting millions of Chinese workers as wage slaves. In Spain, before Zapatero and Corona, he swore his loyalty to the oil company Repsol; in France, in front of Chirac, president of the 5th Republic of imperialist France, he swore fidelity to the oil company Totalfina, an important partner of the Brazilian state-owned Petrobras, which is one of the major foreign investors in Bolivia.

Before the tour to reassure the oil companies that their property would be protected, and only days after his victory in the elections, Morales met and embraced the fascist bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz, saying he shared their economic program. So, it is clear that the victory of Morales has created a classic pro-imperialistic popular front that can only serve to strangle the Bolivian revolution which still remains very much alive.

This government is supported at a continental level by the foreign bourgeoisies – imperialist and national – and by the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy. This is proof that Evo Morales heads a government of all the fractions of the bourgeoisie, the US and EU imperialist monopolies, the national bourgeois ‘sepoys’ of Latin America, and of all the various factions from the Bolivian bourgeoisie, including the the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie.

All of them gamble that the government of Morales, by breaking the worker and peasant alliance forged in the streets during October 2003 and May-June of 2005, will strangle the Bolivian revolution, forcing the masses back from the semi-dual power regime that they won during their heroic uprisings – removing two presidents and throwing all the institutions of the Rosca [mine owners] regime into crisis – to that of a ‘parliamentary republic’ to prepare for a further backward step with the Constituent Assembly this July.

That is to say, we now have a new regime of the mine owners oligarchy, based on a pact between Morales and the oil and mining monopolies, and the rich farmers, to guarantee the imperialist monopolies superprofits from the gas, and to allow the exploitation by these companies of billions of dollars from the manganese and iron deposits at the Mutún mine. As a result, the fate of the working class and the poor peasants is to sink further into misery and a new and more brutal exploitation of the oppressed people.

At the same time – in case the siren songs and the sweet phrases of the popular front and class collaboration does not suppress the proletariat and strangle their revolution – imperialism, the bourgeoisie and and Morales government have already prepared the officer caste and the fascist gangs of Santa Cruz to use brute force against the revolution, while in reserve there is the ring of military bases surrounding Bolivia. The US has built a military base in Paraguay, has held ‘Operation Ceibo’ and other joint manoeuvres involving Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in Argentina. US and UK imperialism has armed the Chilean army with the latest technology for direct armed intervention against the Bolivian revolution.

The “Bolivarian revolution” is the expropriation of the anti-imperialist fight of the masses and the subordination of the working class to the interests of the bourgeoisie

Morales’ government is prepared to renegotiate with imperialism in the interests of the Bolivian bourgeoisie as a whole to save it from the attacks of the revolution. At the same time, the Bolivian national bourgeoisie discusses how it will collaborate with Morales to renegotiate its contracts, disputing the price of the gas paid by the national bourgeoisies of Argentina and Brazil, so as to guarantee Petrobras (and its partner Totalfina) and Repsol will continue to make superprofits.

Morales is a supporter of the so-called “Bolivarian Revolution” led by Chavez, Fidel Castro, with the backing of the World Social Forum and the fake Trotskyists who provide a left cover for populist regimes that try to do deals with imperialism for a slice of the profits created by workers and peasants in their countries.The “Bolivarian Revolution” uses the masses like bargaining chips in pursuing the class interests of the national bourgeoisies. This policy of class collaborations is sold to the workers by the Stalinists, Castroists and the fake Trotskyists that voted for the goverenment of Morales.

The “Bolivarian Revolution” is opposed to the workers and poor peasants revolution. It aborts the anti-imperialist struggle of the masses by doing deals between the national bourgeoisies and imperialism, and so preventing the workers and peasants from expropriating the imperialistic monopolies and bourgeoisie property which is the only way that the anti-imperialist fight can be won.

For that reason, the victory of the workers and poor peasants revolution in Bolivia has to break all ties with imperialism and to begin the advance towards the socialist revolution to meet the needs of the exploited masses, as a first step in the struggle for the Socialist United States of Central and South America. A socialist revolution is necessary to plan production on a continental scale where the gas, iron and manganese of Bolivia, the meat and the soyabean of Argentina, the copper of Chile, the minerals of Peru, the oil of Venezuela, the light industry of Brazil, etc., are all used to meet the needs of the vast majority of exploited and oppressed workers and poor peasants.

The treachery of the workers leaders

The expropriation of the heroic struggle of May-June 2005 that overthrew Mesa, the deal done to make Rodriguez interim president, the diversion of the struggle into the December elections, and the electoral victory of Morales, would not have been possible without the treachery of the leaders of the working class, Solares of the COB, Patana of the El Alto COR, and the bureaucrats of COR and COD.

The workers leaders took the workers and poor peasants off the streets, breaking the alliance of workers and poor peasants and handing back to Morales the leadership of peasant masses. They sidelined the COB, subordinated the COD and COR – the regional organs of dual power in the cities – to the local mayors and civic committees, stopping the workers organs from centralising and coordinating their embryonic dual power.

Even so, they did not manage to convince the proletariat which hates Evo Morales to fall into the trap of the elections. In order to convince the workers they were forced to call a popular assembly one week before the elections, demanding that all workers vote for Morales to prevent the right from winning, and then go forward to the new Popular Originary (indigenous) Assembly in April.

And now, while they debate the ministers appointed by Morales to his bourgeois government, the leaders and bureaucrats of the working class are preparing to sabotage the revolutionary threat of the Popular Originary Assembly by postponing it and transforming it into a Constituent Assembly, and founding an “instrument of the workers” (IPT), that is to say, of a reformist working party that will send its representatives to the Constituent Assembly to finish the task of strangling the organs of dual power of the masses.

Morales – last stop before fascism

The Morales government is the third crisis regime of the mineowners oligarchy. It is the government of the bourgeoisie. The treacherous leaders of the COB, the COR and the COD are today advising Morales on who he should appoint as ministers. In this way these leaders have put the workers into the popular front government of the mine owners, of Repsol, Totalfina, and other imperialist monopolies such as Techint steel. Whoever is in the cabinet the government is one that will act only on the interests of the class of Goni, Mesa and Rodriguez.

Imperialism and the national bourgeoisie have won a great victory They have put a left bourgeois government in power to smother the fire of the Bolivian revolution. But in doing it they are aware of the risk of playing with fire. Trotsky said: “When the bourgeoisie is forced to establish, by means of its left wing, an alliance with the workers organizations, it has more than ever the necessity of maintaining its officer corps as a force in reserve. For them the question of the protection of private property is the most important question.”

Thus, like when Morales was in opposition, now he is in government he has promised the Bolivian bourgeoisie to protect the officer caste of the army. The parliament has voted to declare as “heroes of the nation” those who killed Che Guevara so that they are allowed to remain in the army and avoid criminal prosecution. Those who were responsible for killing more than 100 workers and peasants in the revolutionary uprising of October of 2003 have not been punished. But the militant workers have their own popular justice [hanging] such as that they used against the corrupt bourgeois mayors of Ayo-Ayo and other places.

The Santa Cruz bourgeoisie, while it applauds Morales, at the same time keeps its fascist bands formed during the revolutionary days of May-June 2005 at the ready. With its left hand the regime plays with class collaboration to smother the revolution while with its right hand it keeps its officer caste in reserve in case the workers throw out the treacherous Morales and misleaders of the workers.

And if all these measures fail, the Chilean army armed to the teeth and the Yankee military bases in Paraguay will be mobilised to massacre the revolutionary Bolivian workers.

The survival and future destiny of the entire working class of Latin America depends on the outcome of the workers and poor peasants revolution that has begun in Bolivia. The Bolivian working class and poor peasants have many times shown that it can win the streets with the slogan “neither 30% nor 50% nationalization of hydrocarbons” [meaning we want 100%!]. In the ranks of the masses of workers this government is not trusted, yet the corrupt and treacherous leaders of the workers try to tie the workers hand and foot to the new government.

  • “Gas for the Bolivians”, “Out with foreign and the transnational companies!”, and “Nationalization of gas, petroleum and the mines now!” 
  • These are the slogans of the Bolivian revolution that the masses have made their own, as well as the demands for land and machinery for the poor peasants. This new class collaborationist government can deliver on none of these demands!
  • Only a workers and poor peasants government based on the armed organizations of the masses, destroying the government of mine owners, expropriating the property of the expropriators, will be able to grant the minimum demands for which the workers and poor peasants of Bolivia have risen up!
  • The heroic workers and poor peasants revolution cannot be left to its fate: It is the hands of the national bourgeoisie, the union bureaucracies and World Social Forum, that strangles the heroic Bolivian revolution! 
  • No confidence in the Morales government and the servile bourgeois of Mercosur that want to defeat the Bolivian revolution! 
  • For an immediate National Congress of rank and file Delegates of the workers and poor peasants organizations! 
  • It is a task of the Latin American working class to break through the hostile ring of the regimes of Mercosur and the imperialist monopolies! 
  • For a coordination of all Latin American workers in support of the victory of the Bolivian workers and poor peasants revolution to ignite the revolutionary struggles in all of these countries against the superexploitation oppression of the imperialist monopolies! 
  • No confidence in the government of Evo Morale and the mine owners!  
  • For assemblies of workers and poor peasants to demand that not one worker representative collaborates with the bourgeois government!  
  • Long live the Bollivian workers and poor peasants revolution!

For a new revolutionary internationalist party

Besides the imperialists and national bourgeoisie, Castro’s bureaucracy and the treacherous labor leaders of Latin America, the Morales government has the support of the fake Trotskyists, such as the Lambertists who control the oil union in in i.e. CUT in Brazil which organized the “Continental Encounter” to subordinate the revolutionary vanguard of El Alto to Chavez last August; such as the Mandelist United Secretariat, the P-SOL (Party of Socialism and Liberty) of Brazil, the Uit-ci, the Workers’ Party (PO)of Argentina, etc., that supported the election of Morales and today welcome his victory.

On the other hand, POR Lora has taken a position covering the left flank of the popular front. Its role is to contain the most militant and radicalised sectors of the Bolivian working class, that in El Alto, the mines of Huanuni, in the heart of the proletariat,who hate Evo Morales for defending the interests of the bourgeoisie. In order to contain this sector of the working class, POR Lora today denounces Morales government as pro-imperialist, raising the same demands of the masses for “gas for the Bolivians”, land for the landless, living wages, work for all, etc., but saying that the key is the fight for the “independence of the unions”.

That is to say, they refuse yet again as they have done right throughout the revolutionary struggle, to defend the organs of semi dual power that the masses have built, or to centralize them at a national level along with workers and peasants militias. The role of POR then, is to take the political fight out of the hands of the working masses, and to divert it into a struggle for power in the unions. That is the route by which POR collaborates with the popular front to drive the masses back from their position of semi dual power to that of the parliamentary republic. The bankruptcy of POR Lora and the fake Trotskyists is total.

For that reason, it is more urgent than ever to build a new revolutionary Trotskyist, internationalist party of the Bolivian revolution, that can confront the popular front, defeat the false Trotskyists who tie the workers hands, and defend the workers from the terror of fascism. The forces to build this party are still strong: they are in the proletarian heart of El Alto, the mines of Huanuni, and the advanced workers and militant youth who support the Theses of Pulacayo, that historical program adopted by the Bolivian proletariat in 1946 under the influence of the Trotskyists of the 4th International founded in 1938.

The Theses of Pulacayo are more than ever a living program in the revolutionary struggle of the Bolivian working class. That internationalist Trotskyist program of the Bolivian proletariat has been a guide to its revolutions for more than half a century and has passed the test of history. The Theses call for a struggle against the popular front, and all politics of class collaboration, and for the independence of workers’ organizations from all bourgeois governments and the state. Today they remain completely valid 60 years after they were written. It is the Lorists, the Pabloites, and other false Trotskyists who have not passed the test of history and who have betrayed the Theses of Pulacayo, just as they betrayed and destroyed the 4th International.

The comrades of the Internationalist Red October of Bolivia (ORI), along with the LOI-CI/Workers’ Democracy of Argentina and all the groups who belong to the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction, have taken on our shoulders the responsibility to build that new revolutionary party that can lead the revolution of the workers and poor peasants of Bolivia to victory. To achieve this, we must struggle to reclaim the authority of the founders of the 4th International in 1938. As its defenders we must return to the vanguard of the Bolivian proletariat today with the living program that the Trotskyists of the ‘30s and ‘40s took to their parents and grandparents: the Theses of Pulacayo.

And we must make the same commitment as the founders of the 4th International: to unite the American working class, from Alaska to Terra del Fuego, by means of a new revolutionary proletarian organization that can take any class struggle at any place in the Americas, and transmit it immediately the length and breadth of the continent.

This is the challenge which has been taken up by the internationalist Trotskyists of the FLT, first, by our comrades of the ORI of Bolivia, who in their leaflets keep alive the program of the Theses of Pulacayo against the popular front government of Morales.


From Class Struggle 65 Feb/March 2006

Liaison Committee Documents: Before the 2nd Pre-Conference Feb 1-2.

leave a comment »

Perspectives and Challenges facing the Liaison Committee for an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary internationalist workers’ organizations

THE masses that heroically resist the imperialist occupation of Iraq, and check the Ango-American imperialists, see today how the national bourgeoisies reach an agreement with the invaders to force the combatants to give up their arms. But the masses resist.

In the heights of Oruro, in Bolivia, the revolutionary students of the UTO revolt against the agreements signed by the bureaucratic leaders of the COB, and the COD, that with the aid of POR Lora want to concede the gains won by the students in their struggle.

In Argentina, the regime of the Social Pact closes down the remaining vestiges of the revolutionary process that began in December of 2001 with the fall of de la Rúa at the hands of the masses.
 
In Brazil, the pro-imperialist government of Lula, supported by the union bureaucracy, furthers the implementation of the plans of the IMF and imperialism, despite the growing resistance of workers and poor people with strikes like the that of the workers of the state unions, the strike of private and state banks, the heroic student fight in Bahia, among others, to which Lula and the employer’s association responds with persecution and repression.

At each step, the struggle of the masses is contained and betrayed by its leaders, who tie their hands and stop them settling accounts with the imperialistic bourgeois regime. The liquidators and renegades of Trotskyism also do their worst, being subordinated to Castroism, Chavism, the union bureaucracies and the labor aristocracy, to social democracy, and all the reformist leaders assembled in the World Social Forum. They do not leave one stone in place of the theory and program of revolutionary Marxism. Their bankruptcy is total. The crisis of revolutionary leadership of the world proletariat continues to deepen.

Under these conditions, is born the Bulletin of International Discussion of the Liaison Committee for an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary internationalist workers’ organizations. This Liaison Committee was formed on the 10 and 11 of July, 2004 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during the international Pre-conference summoned by the Coordinating Committee of all the Brazilian groups that have taken into their hands the revolutionary struggle for a an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and workers’ organizations. Proudly, in the Act of constitution of this Liaison Committee, we declared war to all the treacherous liquidator and renegade leaders that drag the flag of Trotskyism in the soil, and we raised the flag:

…To fight against the treacherous leaders of the working class, social democracy, stalinism, the labor bureaucracy and labor aristocracy, the great majority of grouped in World Social Forum, that tries to reform the capitalist state.

Against the popular front and the governments of the bourgeois-worker parties in power. Against all class collaboration. To denounce and to confront the counter-revolutionary role of the government of Lula, Castroism, and its continent-wide politics of containment with which they strangle the revolutionary fight of the masses of Latin America and keep in power the client governments and lackey regimes of imperialism.

 Confrontation and struggle against the liquidators and renegades of Trotskyism. Against the pseudo-Trotskyist centrism that is actually subordinated to the reformist apparatuses, like for example, in Brazil, supplies ministers in the pro-imperialist government of Lula as does Socialist Democracy (United Secretariat of the Fourth International), or act as pressure groups on the government like the PSTU.

In that meeting there participated delegates of Marxist Workers’ Party (Partido Obrero Marxista – POM); the Trotskyist Fraction (FT, member of the TCI); Revolutionary Communist Group (CCR), Workers’ Opposition (OO); Marxist Trench (Trincheira Marxista – TM) and Revolutionaries in Struggle (Revolutas), all of Brazil. Also POR Argentina (member of the TCI); and the delegates of the Fti-ci, represented by the International Workers Group (Grupo Obrero Internacionalista -GOI) and the Trotskyist Workers’ Nucleus (Nu’cleo Obrero Trotskista – NOT) of Chile; the Organizing Committee of International Trotskyist League (Liga Trotskista Internacionalista -COLTI), of Peru ‘; the Fti-ci in Urus in Action, of Bolivia and Internationalist Workers League –Workers’ Democracy (LOI-CI) of Argentina.

After two days of rigorous, exciting and democratic programmatic debate, we collectively formed the Liaison Committee for an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary internationalist workers’ organizations, on the basis of clearly defined agreements, as well as the differences that exist which will be the reason for further deep discussion. The comrades of the Communist Workers Group (CWG) of New Zealand, despite not being able to be physically present at the meeting sent their enthusiastic greetings to the meeting and agreed to join the Liaison Committee.

Those of us who formed this Liaison Committee come mostly from the breakdown of the 4th International, and we are trying to regroup on the basis of the revolutionary lessons of the struggles of the masses and the betrayals they have suffered. In order to regroup the dispersed ranks of revolutionary internationalists, and stop the flags of Trotskyism falling into the hands of the liquidators and renegades who usurp them, we take on the task of convening an international conference on the basis of these lessons and around a revolutionary program, and of creating a transitional and democratic centralist International Center for the regroupment of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary internationalist workers’ organizations on the way to re-building the World Party of Socialist Revolution.

The Bulletin of International Discussion that is today presented, has the objective of defending the common program agreed by the Liaison Committee, as a base line for the regrouping of revolutionary internationalists, and to make public a programmatic debate challenging the world workers’ vanguard and the currents who claim to be revolutionary Marxists, to throw light on the discussions among revolutionaries and to seek in the lessons and revolutionary program confronting the decisive events of the world class struggle the Marxist truth which clearly separates the reformists and centrists from the revolutionaries. The members that sign this Bulletin of International Discussion are also the Editorial Committee of the Bulletin.

A stop forward in the revolutionary struggle for an International Conference principled Trotskyists and workers’ organizations

The formation of the Liaison Committee and the publication of this International Discussion Bulletin are a great step forward that will allow us to begin to advance further the existing achievements of the Call for an International Conference and its program of 21 points.

Two years ago, towards the end of 2002, the revolutionary struggle of the working class and the exploited people of Argentina, the heroic revolutionary struggle of the Palestinian working class and people, the movement of workers all over the world to take an anti-imperialist stand against the colonial war that imperialism was preparing against Iraq, allowed those various healthy forces of Trotskyism, dispersed and seeking a revolutionary path, to recognize as revolutionary internationalists the lessons and the program posed by those explosive events, resulting in the formation of the Collective that put forward the call to the International Conference and its program of 21 points.

Subsequently, the defeat and crushing of the Palestinian workers and people at hands of the genocidal army of Sharon and Bush; the partial counterrevolutionary victories won by imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq; the imposition in Latin America of a containment policy and class collaboration imposed by the reformist leaders, meant that some members of this Collective retreated and it did not pass the test of the new acute events of the world class struggle, such as the rebellion of the Spanish working class after the attacks of Madrid; the electoral triumph of the PSOE, the upsurge in the Iraqi resistance, the situation in Bolivia, the elections to the European Parliament, among others.

In spite of this, the fight for the Call to the International Conference and its program of 21 points, were taken up the hands of new forces and groups greater than those who formed the Collective. Most of these forces we those that met in Brazil on the 10 and 11 of July 2004, forming the Liaison Committee.

Once again, here also, it was the heroic struggles of the working class and exploited people that allowed us to regroup, making sure that the continuation of the fight for the International Conference and for its program of 21 points as the basis for regroupment, was not lost. The rebellion of the Spanish workers; the intensifying of the resistance of the Iraqi masses against the imperialist occupation; the comuneros uprisings in Ilave, Peru, and in Ayo Ayo in Bolivia, alongside the struggle against the pro-imperialistic referendum of Mesa in Bolivia; the struggle of the miners of the Rio Tinto in Argentina; the fight against the pro-imperialist government of Lula-Alencar in Brazil, among other events, created water sheds in the ranks of the international Trotskyist movement, just as they created a demarcation line in all the discussions of 10 and 11 of July in Sao Paulo. The political discussion and debates for frank, fraternal and open in this meeting, allowing us to arrive at principled positions to mark the working class trench line in these events, and to launch the struggle against the treacherous leaderships and the renegades of Trotskyism, which are expressed by the Liaison Committee in the Act of this Pre-conference, advancing the Call for an International Conference.

Today, the Liaison Committee and its International Discussion Bulletin, are a weapon to create a new impulse to the fight for an International Conference that, on the basis of a sound program with clear majorities and minorities, can establish a democratic centralist International Center, for the purpose of regrouping principled Trotskyists revolutionary internationalist workers’ organizations, on the road to the rebuilding of a World Party of Socialist Revolution, that centrists, opportunists, revisionists and Trotskyist renegades have subordinated to the treacherous leaderships for decades. Today, they act like a left wing of the World Social Forum, that gang of counterrevolutionaries that subordinate the working class to the bourgeoisie and prevent the advance towards the proletarian revolution.

Thus, next to the recycled stalinists, and the labor aristocracy and labor bureaucracy of all stripes, the betrayers of Trotskyism constitute the “quarter” of that counter-revolutionary International, that is the World Social Forum, in the same way that Trotsky in the ‘30s called that opportunistic group that was the London Bureau of centrists, “the 3-and-a-quarter International”. As Trotsky spoke on them:

… the bourgeoisie, the reformists and the Stalinists will continue to label these creators of the “Fund” as – “Trotskyists or “semi-Trotskyists.” This will be done in part out of ignorance but chiefly in order to compel them to excuse, justify, and demarcate themselves. And they will actually vow, with might and main, that they are not at all Trotskyists, and that if they should happen to try to roar like lions, then like their forerunner, Bottom the weaver, they succeed in “roaring” like sucking doves. The Fenner Brockways, the Walchers, the Brandlers, the Sneevliets, the Piverts, as well as the rejected elements of the Fourth International have managed in the course of many long years – for some decades – to evince their hopeless eclecticism in theory and their sterility in practice. They are less cynical than the Stalinists and a trifle to the left of the left Social Democrats – that is all that can be said for them. That is why in the list of the Internationals they must therefore be entered as number three and one-eighth or three and one-quarter. With a “fund” or without one, they will enter into history as an association of squeezed lemons. When the great masses, under the blows of the war, are set in revolutionary motion, they will not bother to inquire about the address of the London Bureau”. (‘A Fresh Lesson – After the Imperialistic “Peace” at Munich, October 10, 1938’ in Writings [38-39] Pathfinder, p. 75)

The epoch of national programs is finished

This internationalist struggle is indispensable in order to regroup the healthy forces of Trotskyism to overcome the dispersion of groups country by country and to avoid being dragged into the degeneration by national isolation. The time of national programs is over. The world-wide policy and the economy dominated by imperialism makes a reactionary utopia of all intentions to create groups national that can orient themselves in a revolutionary way without being part of international revolutionary grouping.

Revolutionaries must try to lead the world struggles of the working class which now are made powerless by the counter-revolutionary leaders in the pay of international finance capital, in the same way as the labor aristocracies and bureaucracies.. Opportunists and centrists, swearing allegiance to the Transitional Program of the Fourth International, to the resolutions of the first four Congresses of Third International, have done no more than besmirch all the lessons of international Marxism in the decisive battles of the world class struggle.

How is it possible to make revolutionaries without the lessons of the revolution and the counterrevolution in the face of the most burning facts of the international class struggle? There, in those acid tests acid of class struggle, separates as white from black, those who speak in the name of Marxism and the revolution, and those who kneel before the treacherous leaderships.

The liquidators and renegades of Trotskyism, the new batch of Mensheviks that arose from the decades of decomposition of Fourth International, taking out the Transitional Program on holidays, never do more than fight for minimum programs, while proclaiming to the four winds that they fight “for socialism” and for “the dictatorship of the proletariat”. For that reason, today along with 20th century Menshevism –Stalinism –they proclaim: “While fighting every day in order to relieve the toiling masses from the misery which the capitalist regime imposes on them, the Communists emphasize that final emancipation can be gained only by the abolition of the capitalist regime and the setting up of the dictatorship of the proletariat”

Against them Trotsky wrote:
“The Marxist political thesis must be the following: “While explaining constantly to the masses that rotting capitalism has no room either for the alleviation of their situation or even for the maintenance of their customary level of misery; while putting openly before the masses the tasks of the socialist revolution as the immediate task of our day; while mobilizing the workers for the conquest of power; while defending the working organizations with the help of the workers’ militia; the Communists (or the Socialists) will at the same time lose no opportunity to snatch this or that partial concession from the enemy, or at least to prevent the further lowering of the living standard of the workers.”” (‘Once Again, Whither France’, in Leon Trotsky on France, Monad Press, pp. 82-3)

The opportunists and centrists, renounce, in the same breath, the Transitional Program, at a time of crisis, abrupt and convulsive wars, revolutions, leaps forwards and backwards, that: “brings about an immediately revolutionary situation, in which the communist party can try to take power, or the victory of the fascist or semi fascist counterrevolution, or the provisional regime of the right (block of the lefts in France, entrance of the social democracy in the coalition in Germany, coming to the power of the party of MacDonald in England, etc.) to postpone the sharp contradictions which like a razor clearly pose the problem of the power “(“Stalin, the great organizer of defeats”, Leon Trotsky)

Centrism, as Trotsky said, is the most important factor of our time. Whoever does not have a policy to fight centrism, cannot find a way to the masses and, what is more serious, allows the centrists the room to exist, and so also becomes a centrist. Thus, “centrism very is keen to proclaim its hostility towards the reformists, but never mentions centrism. In addition, it considers our definition of centrism is “unclear”, “arbitrary”, et cetera; in other words, centrism does not like to be called by that name.” (León Trotsky, “Centrism and the Fourth International”).

To settle accounts with the liquidators of the Fourth International that every day cause the demoralization of the proletarian vanguard, it is necessary to find a way to the revolutionary masses that enter the struggle. Without this perspective, the small isolated groups that seek a revolutionary road, will only be able to repeat in a more bastardized way the construction of national Trotskyism, lost in the swamp of parliamentarism, and in the impotent trade union swamp.

To create revolutionary insurrectionary parties will be impossible without the fusion of revolutionary internationalists with the advanced workers who are looking for ways to break through in the struggle against opportunism, centrism, and against the treacherous leaders.

For that reason, the fight for an international regrouping on a principled basis, must condemn all types of diplomatic and opportunistic regroupings in the style of “International” federations of the Social-Democratic type, where each “national section” is boss in its country and no-one criticizes any other, or in the style of the Second or 2 and a half “International” where everything in general but nothing in particular is discussed. It must condemn all ‘centrist alchemy’, as Trotsky stated when he wrote: 

A Revolutionary resolution for which the opportunists could also vote was deemed by Lenin to be not a success but a fraud and a crime. To him, the task of all conferences consisted not in presenting a “respectable” resolution but in effecting the selection of militants and organizations that would not betray the proletariat in the hours of stress and storm.” (‘Centrist Alchemy or Marxism?’, Leon Trotsky, Writings [34-35] p. 260).

The experience of these centrist alchemies has already been condemned by history: the impotence of the International Committee in 1953 to defeat Pabloism that took over the Fourth International; the impotence of federations of small groups, have demonstrated and still demonstrate they have failed the most important tests of the international class struggle.

An international regroupment on a principled basis must also condemn all types of self-proclamation and ultimatism, whether it is of small groups that claim to be “the” International, or Trotskyists who build national ‘mother-parties’ with satellite groups in different countries.

The formation of the Liaison Committee and the publication of its International Discussion Bulletin, is therefore a step forward in this struggle. The forces that compose it, as we show in this Bulletin, have made fundamental agreements to debate publicly before the international workers vanguard, on the nature of the agreements and the differences among us, and to explore therefore the conditions that will make it possible to proceed to an International Conference to create a democratic centralist International Center for the regrouping of principled Trotskyists, that restores the continuity of revolutionary Marxism.

But to take a step in this sense from the Leninist point of view, will only be possible on the basis of the testing of the different positions, on the basis of a public and fraternal debate, in order to convince or to be convinced. We must prove the agreements and the differences that we have, in the face of the world-wide revolution and counterrevolution. There, in life, is, and will be the verdict.

Our Liaison Committee thus constituted with its foundations in revolutionary Marxism, is neither an “international brand” nor a base maneuver of a national group that breaks with the legacy of the Marxism.

The open and public debate, facing the world proletarian vanguard, and this Bulletin of discussion, alongside the evidence of life itself, will be the only arbiter of the currents that we dedicated to revolutionary Marxism.

New global class struggles; new tests for the revolutionary international movement

After the Preconference of July new class combats developed in Latin America and around the world – such as the referendum in Venezuela, the massacre in North Ossetia, as well as others from which it is necessary to give new answers and to extract new lessons and revolutionary conclusions. These are class combats with political and programmatic lessons that once more create watersheds – in the international Trotskyist movement, and also a new and higher challenge for those who are members of the Liaison Committee.

Two trenches have been formed: in one the working class and the exploited masses fight heroically with the principled Trotskyists next to them. In the other trench is imperialism, the subservient bourgeoisies and the treacherous leaders of the masses. Alongside them, are the renegades of Trotskyism and the liquidators of the Fourth International who have taken a further step in their subordination to the World Social Forum: in Venezuela they capitulate to Chávez, saying to the workers that they are in an “anti-imperialist camp” against Bush. They capitulate to the Castroite bureaucracy that introduces capitalist restoration in Cuba. They capitulate to the “democratic” imperialists of France, Germany, and Spain, and now also Kerry, with the argument that they confront the “fascist” Bush.

The liquidationist and revisionist currents of Trotskyism the regimes and the treacherous leaders, including ministers in the Lula government in Brazil that kills the landless farmers, as in the case of the Mandelist current. In Brazil, in Argentina, in France, in the United States, they act like pressure groups on the union bureaucracies.

They are responsible for keeping in power regimes and governments in crisis like that in Bolivia, where POR Lora is already betraying the third revolutionary attack of the workers and farmers in fifty years, supporting the truces of Castro, the Stalinist leaders and the petty bourgeois who support Mesa.

As Trotsky would say, the liquidationists and opportunists of Trotskyism speak of “socialism” and the “dictatorship of the proletariat” when the struggle for power is not yet on the horizon. And when it is on the horizon, when the working class faces the question of power, this new batch of Mensheviks only understands the language of negotiation, truces and pacts. They sing the wedding march at funerals, and the funeral march at weddings.

All the currents that claim to be revolutionary Marxists are being put on approval before the new events of the world-wide class struggle. This first number of the International Discussion Bulletin of the Liaison Committee expresses this fact, and to it we have dedicated a Dossier with articles and controversies on the elections to the European Parliament, the massacre in North Ossetia, and centrally, the challenge of the referendum in Venezuela and the policy of the Trotskyists in the workers defense of the Cuban nation and the program of political revolution against the Castroite bureaucratic restorationists, which is inseparable from the fight for the Latin American revolution and the proletarian revolution inside the United States. Only in the international political struggle of groups and tendencies to regenerate the revolutionary movement, is it possible to find the Marxist truth and to conquer the lessons and the revolutionary program necessary to confront these acute events of the world class struggle.

More advances combats are in preparation, then, in the arena of the struggles of the international working class. The Liaison Committee prepares a new Preconference to be held in January 2005 in Buenos Aires. Our objective until then is to deepen discussion to determine the extend of our political agreement to see if another period of additional discussion in the Liaison Committee is necessary, or if there is sufficient programmatic agreement to enables us to move towards setting a date for the International Conference and to create and International democratic centralist Center.

The Liaison Committee calls on all the healthy forces of Trotskyism and revolutionary workers organizations to join the campaign for an International Conference

The Liaison Committee takes up the challenge to fight for an International Conference to create a transitional and democratic centralist International Center to regroup the healthy forces of Trotskyism and revolutionary workers’ organizations. This regrouping becomes every day more urgent day, with the intensification of the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat, and every day more indispensable to challenge the liquidationists and renegades all over the world who steal the flag of the Fourth International. A regroupment is necessary as an instrument that creates, as a by-product of the political contest of groups and tendencies, the regeneration of the international revolutionary insurrectionist movement in all the many divided countries so that the proletariat and the exploited people can take the power.

The Liaison Committee calls on all the healthy forces of Trotskyism and internationalist revolutionary workers’ organizations who agree with the basic points, to join the Liaison Committee and to add to the debate and to the campaign for an International Conference. For this, it is a condition, as stated in the Act of the Preconference of the Liaison Committee (reproduced in this Bulletin), to pronounce oneself “on the original call of 21 points, on the points where there is agreement, on the differences and debates raised here, and to publish the 21 points in its printed materials”, as well as “the defense of the principles and proletarian and revolutionary morality, as is stated in the 21 points, in particular point 19. It is fundamental that, for the development of a discussion which prioritizes workers’ democracy, all those who have become members of the Liaison Committee affirm that: “(…) to guarantee a democratic discussion, no current, group or tendency that, after the formation of this Committee, expels comrades who raise political differences that adhere to any position of other groups or tendencies of the Committee, can participate”. (Act of the Preconference of Sao Paulo.)

The International Discussion Bulletin: the organizer of the debate towards the January 2005 Preconference in Buenos Aires

With the objective of organising the debate, then, we will publish three numbers of this International Discussion Bulletin before the Preconference of January 2005 in Buenos Aires. We put forward here the expected contents of the following numbers of the Bulletin that will continue order and express the debate towards Preconference of January 2005.

The second number of this Bulletin, whose publication is expected at the end of November, will be dedicated to the controversy around the Anti-Imperialist United Front, with texts presented by the TCI, Fti-ci, the POM and Marxist Trench on this question. It will also include the controversy on how characterize the state of the class struggle and how to define a revolutionary situation, developed by the comrades of the POM, the Fti-ci, the TCI and Marxist Trench.

A priority will also be the discussion on Brazil, on the situation in this country, the combat against the government of Lula-Alencar, the fight against the union bureaucracy, and the liquidators of Trotskyism, and on the transitional program of demands that form a bridge between the present needs of the masses and the insurrectionary struggle to take the power. It will also contain a key discussion on the situation in Argentina and the struggle against the government of Kirchner, servant of Bush, and his social pact regime.

We will also included in this number an article that the companions of the Fti-ci put forward for debate in the Liaison Committee, giving account of the advance of the process of the capitalist restoration in Cuba, and raising the program and the policy for the defense of the conquests of the Cuban Workers’ State and for the fight for a political revolution against the restorationist Castroite bureaucracy. As thus also all the contributions to the debate that make the other organizations.

The third number of the Bulletin of Discussion the International, whose publication is expected in mid-December 2004, will be dedicated to the controversy on the world the political situation, the balance of the events of 1989 and the restoration of capitalism, and the present character of the former workers’ states and the program in these states.

An important debate will be on the character of the revolutionary international which needs to be created, since among the forces that belong to the Liaison Committee, there are those who fight for the Fifth International, as is the case of the comrades of the CWG of New Zealand and Workers’ Opposition Brazil; others, fight for the reconstruction of Fourth International, like the comrades of POR Argentina, the FT and the POM of Brazil; whereas others, like the comrades of the Fti-ci fight for the regeneration and refoundation of the Fourth International.

Being the last Bulletin before the Preconference of 2005, it will include all the positions and political discussions and programmatic criticisms of the original program of 21 points, contributed by the different forces and groups that compose the Liaison Committee, as well as those that have joined in the debate since. It will also include the different proposals from resolutions to be debated in this Preconference, and will thus allow us to evaluate whether a further period of programmatic and political discussion is necessary, or if we have managed to conquer sufficient conditions and programmatic agreement to march onwards to the constitution of a Parity Committee that sets a date and puts out the call for the International Conference to create an international democratic centralist Center to work for the regrouping of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary internationalist workers’ organizations.

24 of October of 2004

Ft-vp (TCI) of Brazil; Workers’ Opposition of Brazil; CWG of New Zealand; GOI and NOT of Chile (Fti-ci); Co-lit of Peru (Fti-ci); Fti-ci Bolivia; DO (Fti-ci) of Argentina.

From Class Struggle 59 January-February 2005 

Leaflet for the 2nd Congress of CONLUTAS in Porto Allegre, January 2005

leave a comment »


For a CONLUTAS with Soviets everywhere!

The electoral victory of the popular front in Brazil and the participation of the CUT in the government of Lula, proved conclusively the bankruptcy of the bureaucracy which began in the 80s and crystallized in the last twenty years. The CUT, PT bureaucracy never called for the overthrow of the bourgeois state. Its record of struggle was limited to fighting for improvements for workers within capitalism
 
The conformism and adaptation of the CUT bureaucracy was accompanied by a form of undemocratic union organization separated from its membership base that gradually consolidated into the extreme that we see today: the statization of the CUT, the vertical structure, and the defense of the privatizations and neo-liberal reforms. While the CUT defends sectorial representation and ‘organic unionism’ it is already completely bureaucratized with only 1 delegate for by each 1500 members; the high wages paid to the officials creates a privileged and corrupt gangster layer whose interests are totally opposed to those of the membership; a caste that uses the union apparatus of the central command to serve Lula. For this reason the CUT could not give birth to an anti-capitalist program.

The CONLUTAS is a progressive initiative of a sector of the vanguard militants who have broken with the CUT and are opposed to the government of the Popular Front of Lula PT/PC neo-liberal health reforms, and in response to the CUT entering the FNT (National Labor Forum) definitively abandoning its roots in the working class. The formation of the CONLUTAS is the vanguard’s answer to the complete servility of the CUT to the government of the PT and the bourgeois State. It is also a demonstration that the will to struggle of the proletariat in Brazil did not die with the betrayal of the CUT with the subservience of the PT to the reforms of the bourgeois State.

The CONLUTAS and POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS

The CONLUTAS is made up of several political organizations including the PSTU that today is leading the process of construction and strengthening of the new union, reorganizing the vanguard, the union and the popular movement for the defense of social and labor rights. We must support and participate in that process.

But it is necessary to say clearly that the PSTU, for a long time, was also in the leadership of the CUT. In fact, it played the role of left cover for the right policy the majority. Now, as a calculated political and electoral move, the PSTU decides to break with the CUT and to create CONLUTAS. Sadly, the PSTU does not have revolutionary politics. It will try to transform the CONLUTAS into a pressure group on government, into a sort of “CUT No 2”. Thus, in the unions it leads, it does not organize the membership base; the mobilizations it leads are token marches to pressure the bourgeois parliament in Brasilia. The political program of the PSTU does not go beyond the limits of capitalism either: that is, not beyond opposition to the union, labor and university reforms, the FTAA and the “neo-liberal model” in general.

The PSOL – the Party of the Socialism and Freedom, organized by the sector of the PT left that broke with the PT – is, in fact, “a new” version of the PT. It does not participate actively in the construction of the CONLUTAS due to its electioneering focus; it has a foot in both camps. While the PSOL has broken with the CUT, only some of their tendencies (e.g. Cliffites) defend CONLUTAS. PSOL does not call for its members to break with the CUT. On the contrary, it reinforces the illusion that the membership should stay in the CUT and fight to take over the leadership.

Marxists, Leninists, Trotskyists and CONLUTAS

What worries us is that the Marxists, Leninists and Trotskyists who are active in the day to day building of CONLUTAS – and we call on all the activists and fighters who are engaged in this process to listen to our concerns – is that the CONLUTAS must bury all the bad habits of the bureaucratic unionism of the CUT, or risk recreating a new union bureaucracy which will again deceive the vanguard that is fighting for a democratic CONLUTAS.

We use this occasion to denounce the PSTU’s use of the same policy as the CUT bureaucracy to finance Cesar Benjamim and James Petras to come to the 2nd Congress of CONLUTAS. We are against this because it uses the funds of the workers struggle without demanding that the money be repaid. On the contrary, anybody who has the interests of proletariat in its struggle against capitalism at heart will pay out of their own pocket for that fight. While we workers rely on our poor wages to be at the congress, these gentlemen are privileged to have their hotel, food and transport costs guaranteed. These gentlemen, who live much better than workers, should have to donate to the movement, not to be paid by it. The PSTU hypocritically condemns this practice, used for years by the CT bureaucracy as a means of corrupting militants and activists, before the membership, but defends it to the intellectuals.

No to the CORRUPTION of the MILITANTS (“We must live for the movement and not on the movement “, Leon Trotsky – Transitional Program).

There must be maximum workers’ democracy in the daily operation and decision making of CONLUTAS. Transparency, respect and equality in relation to minority sectors, discussion and decision making by the rank and file membership, are essential conditions to guarantee workers’ democracy inside the union. CONLUTAS, taking the example of the Soviets, must be open to a broadest membership, from the union organizations, student movement, popular movements and revolutionary political organizations, to prevent the formation of a bureaucratic apparatus.

This form of organization must be combined with a workers and farmers political platform:

· Down with the Lula/PT/PC government of Brazil and its neo-liberal reforms!
· Down with the regime of the social pact headed by Cardoso yesterday and Lula-Alencar today, supported by its agents in the CUT, accomplices in the murder of the poor farmers and the domination of Brazil by imperialism!
· Expel from the unions the CT bureaucracy sold out to the regime!
· For a CONLUTAS with a proletarian and Soviet program, and down the reformist program of the PSTU for the CONLUTAS!

CONLUTAS cannot avoid being a minority and the fact that most of the proletariat is still controlled by the CUT bureaucracy. It is not enough to offer the workers a place to go. It is necessary to go and look for them where they are and to show them the way. For this, it is necessary to raise the fight against the statization of the unions, for workers’ democracy and a revolutionary leadership of the unions; to create organs of workers’ democracy of the masses that overcome the barriers that the bureaucratic caste has imposed on the unions.

· No interference of the state in the working organizations!
· No union law with which the patterns and their state regulate the working organizations!
· Neither the current law, nor the new one that they want to impose!
· Down the compulsory conciliation, the boss’s state’s hands off the worker’s organizations!
· Independence of workers organizations!
· Down with the union bureaucracy!
· Pay union leaders the workers’ average wage, with mandates recallable at any time by decision of the assembly and bodies of delegates, and a return to the workplace without right of re-election!
· End the compulsory discount of the union quotas!
· For leaders and delegates to meet monthly in the factories and workplaces!

It is necessary that CONLUTAS boldly promotes the formation of strike and factory committees and pickets, which are the only means to organize the exploited layers of the proletariat alongside the committees of unemployed and landless farmers, united around the central demands for a sliding scale of wages and working hours, against the wage agreements and labor concessions signed by the bureaucratic officials, against the notorious social pact of exploitation and slavery, and for land for the farmers. This is the way to advance and realize a national Congress of workers’ and farmers delegates with self-defense committees – embryos of the workers’ militia with the perspective to defeat the regime of the social pact and its government, and to advance towards the creation of a workers’ and farmers’ government based on the armed, revolutionary masses in struggle.

NO SUBORDINATION of CONLUTAS to the WORLD SOCIAL FORUM

But the real danger to the revolutionary perspective of the CONLUTAS is its subordination to the World Social Forum that the PSTU is trying to impose. Because while the organizers of the WSF have not finally accepted that the 2nd national Congress of CONLUTAS is an official event of the Forum, it is clear that this is the policy of the PSTU: to make sure that CONLUTAS is born and develops inside the cave of bandits of the WSF –traitors of the world revolution, enemy of the Iraqi resistance, loyal servants of the apartheid forced on the heroic Palestinian people, stranglers of the Argentine and Bolivian revolutions, betrayers of the Central American revolution, lackeys of Bush with the AFL-CIO and of French-German imperialism along with the bureaucracies and workers’ aristocracies of Europe.

Thus, the PSTU, while on one hand it calls for a break with the CUT and to integrate itself into CONLUTAS, on the other hand it takes the combative vanguard that looks for a way to defeat the bureaucracy, the employer’s association and the government, and puts it on its knees before the WSF, that is to say, before the bureaucracy, the government of Lula, and the Castro bureaucracy that is preparing capitalist restoration in Cuba, etc.

For that reason, the Marxists, Leninists, and Trotskyists, who signed this declaration, put forward a motion to the assembled workers and youth vanguard in CONLUTAS: we propose that its Congress resolves explicitly to fight for “Down with the World Social Forum of Lula, Chávez and Fidel Castro, of the AFL-CIO, those accomplices and servants of imperialism, traitors of the Latin American and world revolution! No subordination of CONLUTAS to World Social Forum!

We propose that alongside this struggle and as the first internationalist task of the Brazilian working class, that the 2nd Congress of CONLUTAS denounces the counter-revolutionary continental policy of the government of Lula that, with the support and the support of the bureaucracy of the CUT, Fidel Castro, Chávez, and the reformist World Social Forum, which is at the point of the imperialist’s spear to contain and to strangle the revolutionary struggle of the Argentine, Bolivian, and Peruvian working class and of all Latin America.

· Down the continental counter-revolutionary policy of Lula, of the Castro bureaucracy that is preparing the completion of capitalist restoration in Cuba, and of Chávez who sells petroleum to the Yankee imperialists to kill the Iraqi people!

· It is necessary to declare war against that holy alliance that, at the hands of the mercenaries Lula, Kirchner and Lagos, sends troops in the service of imperialism to massacre the Haitian people!

From Class Struggle 59 January-February 2005

Written by raved

January 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Leaflet for the 5th World Social Forum, Porto Allegre, January 2005

leave a comment »


The 5th meeting of the WSF prepares new sellouts of the Castroite restoration bureaucracy and US imperialists.

The World Social Forum (WSF) – meeting in Porto Allegre in January 2005 for the fifth time, has an ominous significance for the organizations and the struggle of the workers of Brazil, Latin America and of the world. It mystifies and confuses with its reactionary strategy of class conciliation, suppressing the direct action and revolutionary politics of the masses. The WSF unites the worlds reformists (social democracy, stalinism, and pseudo-Trotskyism), such as the PT [Workers Party of Brazil], the petty bourgeoisie, the NGOs, the church, the CUT [pro-Chavez bureaucratized union movement of Brazil] and leadership of the MST [movement of landless workers]. “Another World is possible”, in the after life in the sky; here and now the WSF adapts to the declining capitalist State and its barbarism.

The 5th WSF takes place at a time of intense class struggle with the US offensive against the Iraqi people. The re-election of President Bush and the election of Abu Mazen in Palestine demonstrate that imperialism will ruthlessly pursue its objective to exploit, dominate and oppress the Iraqi and Palestinian people, in a wild drive to sack and plunder the natural wealth of the Middle East. Oil, vital to the survival of North American industry, is what made it go to war to loot and plunder Iraq which has the 3rd largest reserve. As well as oil, the US war industry also profits from the war.

The United States must exercise its world domination by the use of the force, occupying Iraqi territory, and trampling on every principle of national sovereignty, supported hypocritically by the international organisms of the bourgeoisie, like the UN, and the class collaborationist line of the World Social Forum. Yet the occupation of Iraq has fallen far short of what the Pentagon wanted because despite the huge and escalating cost of suppressing the Iraqi resistance it has not yet forced the Iraqi people to accept the occupation. Already, the US has had more than 1,500 casualties (according to the bourgeois media). Another test of the hypocrisy of the US is its insistence on holding elections in Iraq, a farce which is designed to legitimize it domination military behind a screen of bourgeois democracy.
 
All this proves that the use of ‘revolutionary terror’ by the Iraqi masses against the US occupation is totally legitimate, and that the calls for peace and condemnations of the use of violence by Iraqis is a demagogic conspiracy by the bourgeoisies, the petty bourgeoisie and their agents designed to suppress the peoples’ instinct to defend their country. All the gangsters are united internationally in the defense of the ideals and security of the capitalist society and their state regimes, that have as their ‘mission’ the exploitation and the domination of the semi-colonial nations by imperialism and “the legitimate” defense of imperialistic super-exploitation and oppression.

For that reason the servile lackeys of imperialism and defenders of capitalist exploitation daily condemn the use of the revolutionary violence of the Iraqi people, since this is the one true, real threat to the power of the imperialistic bourgeoisie and its accomplices. If the opposition to violence was grounded in the interest of the working class, why do these pacifists not condemn the reactionary violence of the US that almost daily drops their bombs on thousands of innocent civilians, young and old; that daily destroys public buildings, historical and cultural treasures, houses, hospitals and schools, causing indiscriminate and immeasurable genocide? Why do they shut up before the tortures inflicted on the Iraqi militia in the prison of Abu Graib and the prisoners of Guantánamo? Or perhaps these do not constitute forms of violence? The only violence condemned by the lackeys of imperialism, is that directed against bourgeois hegemony.

Bourgeois and petty bourgeois pacifism condemns the violence of the exploited against the exploiters, organizing themselves globally to legitimize the violence of capitalism including of state fascism, as is the case of the politics of the World Social Forum. Thus it disarms the proletariat of its militant ideas and reinforces the oppression and domination of imperialism and capitalism in decline.

The WSF is an initiative of the global reformists (social democracy, Stalinism, and the pseudo Trotskyism), of the Workers Party (PT), the petty bourgeoisie, the NGOs, the church, the CUT (Workers Union Central of Brazil) and direction of the MST (union of landless workers of Brazil) all are financed by the governments and international organisms of imperialism, to put pressure on the imperialistic bourgeoisies (that meet at the World Economic Forum at Davis) to give more breadcrumbs to the poor countries. The main organizers are ABONG (Brazilian Association of non-Governmental Organizations), ATTAC (Action by the Taxation of Financial Transactions to the Citizens), CBJP (Brazilian Commission of Justice and Peace of CNBB), in addition to CUT, MST, UJS, UNITES, CMP and others, all related to national and international governmental organs. Indeed because the FSM arose to make a counter-pressure to the Economic Forum of Davis, their meetings always precede it. (Leaders of the WSF like Lula, also go to the WEF).

The WSF announces that “Another World is possible”, without violence, shared by all, with justice, without social exclusion, and of equality between all peoples. It recycles as its principles and justification, old clichés long used to suppress the independent struggle of the working class from the time of the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels that first said that “the liberation of the workers will be work of the workers”, that is, that liberation will only come from the victory of the proletarian revolution, nationally and internationally. Thus, the World Social Forum orates at the funeral of the workers who are made to wait for a better world after their death.

Another method used to mystify the unions and workers struggle: the NGOs penetrate these movements with their humanitarian, pacifist and ecological ideologies, trying to replace the method of direct fight against capitalist exploitation, in all its forms, with the method of the pacific appeals and voluntary aid (alms, something typical of the religious mentality). They say, that the proletarian method of direct action, armed or not, is ineffective in the transformation of the capitalist society into a world of social equality. They say that the proletariat organized as a class to fight Capitalism, does not bring about any improvement in the lives of the workers and the people. For that reason they try to sell to the governments their assistance projects (especially in the poor countries) which they claim can provide solutions to the social evils of prostitution, unemployment, violence, illiteracy etc.

Therefore, the WSF is promoted and justified by the strategy and world-view of the petty bourgeoisie desperate to survive as a class that lives on the dregs and the breadcrumbs of the bourgeoisie. It is most damaging because it infects the movement of workers of Brazil, Latin America and of the world, with a conformist, stingy and anti-proletarian ideology. More importantly, the WSF is supported by the treacherous leaders of the masses, whose objective is to strangle the proletarian struggle on a global level and, in the case of Latin America, the revolutionary struggle of the workers and the exploited masses, like yesterday in Central America, today in Bolivia and Venezuela, and soon in Ecuador and Argentina, to subjugate them at the feet of the bourgeoisies.

In this fifth World Social Forum the NGOs and the churches are a key element, where they play the role “of mediators” sprinkling holy water on the revolutionary struggles of the masses, to bless those that were the key figures at previous WSF meetings, including its predecessor, the Forum of San Pablo, that are all today participating in bourgeois regimes and governments, or openly supporting them.

There is colonel Gutiérrez, leading the government of Ecuador, who presented himself in the previous meetings of “the patriotic” WSF as an “anti-imperialist”, but selling out to the plans of the IMF, and preparing to sign a free trade agreement with the Yankees, and starving and repressing the workers and the farmers.

There are the old Sandinista commanders of Nicaragua and those of the FMLN of El Salvador, founders of the old Forum of San Pablo next to Chacho Alvarez of Argentina, the bourgeois red Cardinal of the PRD of Mexico, Aristide of Haiti, friend of Fidel Castro and killer of his people -, administering declining semi-colonial Capitalism in those nations and as mayors and parliamentarians, ‘dolarizing’ El Salvador, applying the plans of the IMF and making deals for imperialist re-colonization.

There we see the supposedly “anti-imperialist” Chávez who continues selling petroleum to Bush and the Yankees, who use it to fuel the military machine to massacre the Iraqi people.

There, in that Forum, are the communist parties of Latin America which hold their “World Seminar” every year to agree on their counter-revolutionary politics before traveling to the meeting of the WSF. They are the stalinists and Castroists in all its variants, that all openly support the US lackey Kirchner in Argentina, as demanded by Fidel Castro when he visited that country in 2003; that like the Peruvian CGTP supports the hated government of Toledo; that in Bolivia, along with Solares and Quispe, support Mesa with their truce; that in the case of Castroite bureaucracy is prepared to complete the capitalist restoration in Cuba.

There, also in that Forum, are the communist parties and the union bureaucracies that in Europe have led the working class, as in Spain, Germany, Britain, into the governments of the social-imperialist parties who create the illusions of French-German-Spanish ‘democratic imperialism’. There also is the union bureaucracy of the US AFL-CIO that yesterday supported Bush and marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, and today wants the US working class prostrate at the feet of the imperialistic killers in the Democratic Party.

Against this den of liquidators of the proletarian revolution and expropriators of the workers struggles, the members of the Committee of Connection counter pose the struggle for an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary international workers organizations, fighting to regroup the healthy forces of Trotskyism to recreate a World Party of the Socialist Revolution. For that reason, we commit ourselves to confront and to fight against that treacherous Forum, and to mobilize all our forces and energies, to defeat social democracy, stalinism, the labor aristocracies and bureaucracies of all types, and the liquidators and renegades of Trotskyism, who are dragging in the mud the name, the program and the flag of the 4th International.

The revolutionaries who have signed this declaration, follow the Transitional Program of the 4th International, and repudiate and fight uncompromisingly against popular fronts and all political groups who hang onto the aprons strings of the bourgeoisie; our task is the abolition of the capitalist domination; our objective, socialism, our method, the proletarian revolution.

We must make this fight with all our forces, because the international proletariat needs to raise a spotless flag, a program based on the international experience of the proletariats fight for the freedom of all oppressed peoples of the world; that is the flag of the Trotskyism.

For that reason, we are not part of World Social Forum, nor do we support it in any way. On the contrary, we are here to denounce the farce called for WSF before the worldwide activist vanguard who are gathered here, the mass union movements, students’ movements, and unemployed people etc., who believe in the goal of socialism. The World Social Forum is an anti-proletarian den. For that reason, we denounce it before the poor people of the world; we say that its politics does not serve the interests of workers; we denounce its organizers as parasites that live off the taxes paid by the exploited labor power of the people.

The greatest violence that humanity imposes on the oppressed is capitalism itself (private ownership of the means of production) and the crises of overproduction that are inherent in that system, (the minimum wage does not correspond to 10% of working families’ necessities). According to bourgeois sources: the number of poor people in the world has risen to around 307 million. The Report of the Conference of the UN Committee for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published recently, shows that in the last 30 years the number of people who live on less than one US dollar a day has doubled. It predicts that by 2015, the poor countries will have 420 million people living below the poverty line. In some regions, mainly in Africa, part of the population already live on less than US 57 cents, while a Swiss citizen spends US$ 61.9 per day. In the 1970s around 56% of the African population lived on less than a dollar a day. Today, this proportion is 65%. Poverty is increasing, not diminishing. The workers and youth in general are at the mercy of this absolute violence, of hunger, misery, unemployment, prostitution, drugs etc..

The remedy for the violence of the capitalism that social science reveals, is the international socialist revolution, the expropriation of the expropriator, the socialization of the means of production.

· Out with the imperialistic troops of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Haiti!
· For the military defeat of all imperialistic troops occupying Iraq!
· For the victory of the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses!
· For the triumph of the Latin American working class and the world socialist revolution!
· Long Live the struggle on the workers and exploited people of Bolivia who lead the way!
· Imperialism out of Bolivia! Down with the government of Mesa, break the truce made by Evo Morales, Solares of the COB, and Quispe of the CSUTCB!
· For a national Congress of delegates of rank and file of the COB and the farmers unions, for a political general strike, with barricades, pickets, workers militias and committees of soldiers, that can overthrow Mesa and the regime of the mine-owners, imposing a revolutionary provisional government of the COB and the farmers unions, supported by the armed, independent organizations of the masses!


Signed by FTI-CI (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia), CWG (NZ), FT-PV (Brazil) and CLA (Australia)

From Class Struggle 59 January-February 2005

Written by raved

January 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm

United States: the Movement of the March of the Million Workers.

leave a comment »

  • For a class program, anti-imperialist and the fight for the unity of the world working class
  • Solidarity with the North American workers’ vanguard.
  • Support its anti-imperialist, internationalist and working class mobilizations for the 19th of March and 1st of May!
  • Call to the militant workers organizations of Latin America and of the world


The North American working class, the main ally of the exploited workers and peoples of the semi colonial world, because it can strike at the heart of imperialism, has begun to wake up. The vanguard workers of the United States and their militant organizations have begun to look for a way to fight against the war in Iraq, opposing their own imperialistic bourgeoisie, and the attacks that Bush and the ruling class make on their historic gains and living standards, and against the rotten union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, servants of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

They have launched the Movement of the Million Workers March against the war, adopting the call originally made by Local 10 of the Oakland dockworkers (ILWU). Hundreds of local unions have signed up to this call breaking the discipline of the bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO. The MWM Movement mobilized about ten thousand in Washington on 17th October 2004 calling for the immediate return of the Yankee troops from Iraq. Now, it has issued a new declaration, calling for “the unity of the rank and file of the unions in the fight for the rights of workers and the end of the war in Iraq”, raising an anti-imperialist and working class independence program, based on the united struggle of the international working class.

This call by the militant workers vanguard of the United States, stands up against the union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO which adheres to the sell-out World Social Forum. This declaration by our North American class brothers and sisters challenges the subservience of the AFL-CIO to Bush and the Democratic Party that is creating a big crisis in the unions in the US. The unions in the epoch of imperialism are totally dominated by the labor aristocracy and the labor bureaucracy and their reformist programs. This proves that the rebuilding of the unions will only come as the result of the most militant workers guided by a revolutionary program.

This Movement and its declaration came as a breath of fresh air for the exploited workers and peoples of the world. It proves that the future of the North American working class is in the hands of its most exploited sectors, the African-American and migrant workers who are the backbone of the new militant movement. The African-American and Latino workers, immigrant workers, and the unemployed workers are the rank and file troops of this movement and they are flexing their muscles against the privileged workers aristocracy and the labor bureaucracy, struggling to unleash the power of the North American working class!

19th of March, all out against the war in Iraq, all out for May Day all over the world!

In their struggle to revive proletarian internationalism, this new militant Movement has forged links with the Zengakuren students and the railway workers of Japan fighting against privatization of rail, marking a leap forward in the international cooperation of workers organizations.

A delegation of this Movement also joined with Japanese workers who traveled to Tokyo to protest outside the owners’ head office against the lockout of hotel workers in the USA. It has also established international solidarity links with the Korean Confederation of Unions (KCTU) as it prepares for a general strike.

Its call to the antiwar and workers organizations in the United States to jointly organize on the 19 of March – marking two years since the invasion of Iraq – a big mobilization in New York, demanding the immediate end of the war and the return of troops from Iraq, is a major step forward in the anti-imperialist struggle. Its call to reclaim the 1st of May as the international day of struggle for the world labor movement, with a worldwide day of action against the imperialist war in Iraq and in defense of the demands and the rights of workers, clearly marks an historical event for the world proletariat.

Long live the North American workers’ vanguard and its militant organizations, who have erected in full view of the world’s workers a barricade for class independence against the imperialist massacre of our Iraqi brothers and sisters by their own bourgeoisie, and against the workers aristocracy and the union bureaucracy, and for proletarian internationalism!

The North American workers vanguard raises the barricade of working class internationalism objectively opposed to the barricade of the World Social Forum and its politics of class collaboration

Though the leaders of the MWM Movement do not see this, the proletarian, anti-imperialist and internationalist demands of the Movement objectively raises a barricade against the World Social Forum and the policy of the AFL-CIO. In the heart of the imperialistic beast, class against class, there is now a class struggle barricade; a barricade against the World Social Forum, opposed to the policy of the AFL-CIO in the United States, and of the labor bureaucracies and the social imperialist parties of Europe, all serving the class interests of their own imperialist bourgeoisies; a barricade against the counter-revolutionary class collaboration politics of treacherous nationalism, which the Castroists, stalinists, and labor aristocracies and bureaucracies of all types –with the collaboration of the liquidators and renegades of Trotskyism – try to strangle the vanguard of world working class.

It will not be the Iraqi bourgeois fractions, Shiite, Sunni or Kurd, all minor partners of imperialism and the betrayers of the national resistance against the invader, nor even the heroic resistance of the workers of that blood soaked nation that wins the war against the imperialistic invader. On the contrary, the main ally and the decisive factor in the victory and the liberation of the oppressed peoples of the world, is the North American working class that is now beginning to find its strength to attack the imperialist beast at home.

It is not Chávez, Lula or Kirchner – nor Fidel Castro, the stalinist unions, the bureaucracies and the reformist leaders of all colors, who subordinate the working class to the bourgeoisie and prop-up its regimes and governments – that are the allies of the working class and the poor farmers of Latin America. Rather it is the working class of the United States and in particular, the African-Americans, Latinos and immigrants – the most exploited, oppressed workers who are treated like pariahs – who today begin to find their strength and to organise themselves in the Million Workers Movement!

The big majority of the liquidationist currents of Trotskyism have now officially joined the World Social Forum at the 5th meeting in Porto Allegre at the end of January of 2005. They have already chosen their barricade: with the World Social Forum, blocking the road of the North American workers vanguard and its anti-imperialist, internationalist, working class program.

These currents were the ones who took the most militant representatives of the workers vanguard of Brazil, of Argentina, of Peru, of Latin America, to the meeting of that traitors’ forum in Porto Allegre, to try to subjugate them to their reformist policy of class collaboration.

  • Down with the World Social Forum of Lula, Chávez, Fidel Castro, of the AFL-CIO, all agents of imperialism and traitors to the Latin American and world revolution!
  • No subordination of the militant workers and their class struggle organizations to the World Social Forum!

To the militant workers organizations of Latin America and the world: Solidarity with the Million Workers March Movement and its mobilizations of March 19th & May 1st
 
We revolutionary internationalists who have signed this declaration enthusiastically welcome and join our forces with the Movement of the Million Workers, and its two working class, anti-imperialist and internationalist calls of the March 19th and May 1s.

We call on our comrades in the different groups which are members of the Liaison Committee for an International Conference of Principled Trotskyists and revolutionary internationalist workers organizations, to add their support and signature, and build together a great internationalist campaign.

We call on all the militant workers organizations of the countries in which we are active, and in the rest of the world, to play their part on the barricade that has been built by our class brothers and sisters of the United States. We call on the workers of the Subte [underground railway of Buenos Aires] and their delegates who are within reach of victory in their strike against the employer’s association, the union bureaucracy and the government of the imperialist lackey Kirchner; the miners of Turbio River, the piquetero movement, and the internal commissions, bodies of delegates, and militant workers organizations of Argentina; to the worker and youth vanguard that in Brazil which has built CONLUTAS to confront the union bureaucracy of the CUT that supports Lula; the militant working class organizations of Chile, of Peru, of Bolivia, and of New Zealand, all to adhere to the declaration of the Movement of the March of the Million Workers and to its two calls to action.

The barricade of North American workers vanguard is also our barricade in the fight for the revolutionary students of the Technological University of Oruro (UTO) in Bolivia, and those of the National University of the Comahue (UNCo) in Argentina, that rose in struggle for a University in the service of the workers and the people; it is the same barricade for all the militant anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist youth of Latin America and the world. We call on all of them to unite with the revolutionary students Zengakuren of Japan, who have adhered to and support the declaration and the calls to action of the Million Workers March Movement.

We call on the militant workers organizations and the anti-imperialist youth to take the struggle into their own hands so that March 19 becomes a day of anti-imperialist mobilization and class struggle everywhere in the world for the defeat of the imperialistic troops in Iraq, and support for the heroic Iraqi masses. We fight against the rotten politics of the World Social Forum which tries to neutralize the mobilizations and to remove their proletarian class character and substitute a reformist and pacific politics. The revolutionary organizations that have signed this call, undertake to fight inside all united front actions on March 19th to raise our class struggle program for the military defeat of the imperialist troops in Iraq, and for the victory of the indomitable resistance of the Iraqi masses.

We call on the militant workers organizations to reconquer the heroic tradition of proletarian internationalism of the world working class, which was suppressed by social democracy and stalinism: let us reclaim, alongside the North American workers, May 1st [May Day] 2005 as a day of world proletarian struggle, with strikes and mobilizations coordinated in every country! This is what is most urgently needed by our Iraqi brothers and sisters!

This is what we urgently need, the workers, and the exploited and oppressed peoples of the world! This is what we need to free from the jails the tens of thousands of worker and anti-imperialist fighters who the bourgeois imperialist regimes and governments keep as hostages, in Guantánamo, in Turkey, in Bolivia, in Argentina, etc.!

We call on workers everywhere to take the declaration and the two calls to action as motions to be discussed and voted on in the militant workers organizations of Latin America, of Europe, of Asia, of the world. For our part, we commit ourselves, on the honor of revolutionary internationalists, to build this struggle and to take these motions to the heart of the workers organizations and all the struggles of the exploited and oppressed in the countries where we are active.

Signed by FTI-CI (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia), FT-PV (Brazil), CWG (NZ)

From Class Struggle 59 January-February 2005 

Written by raved

January 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Imperialism: policy option or death drive?

with one comment

When anti-war activists blame US imperialism or ‘globalisation’ as the cause of wars they usually mean the ‘power elite’ – the ‘neo-cons’ etc who are backed by the oil and arms industry. Imperialism and its wars are ‘bad’ policy options on the part of the US as a ‘world power’ which can be countered by world public opinion – the ‘second world power’’, or the ‘movement of movements’ as the World Social Forum has been called. For Marxists this conception of imperialism as ‘bad policy’ open to reform by an electoral alliance of workers, peasants and ‘good’ capitalists is a reactionary utopia. It is a utopia because imperialism needs wars to survive. It’s on a death drive and cannot be pacified. It is reactionary because it disarms the masses in the face of inevitable destruction and dooms the struggle for socialism. Real anti-imperialism for us does not mean making ‘good’ ‘bad policy’, but terminating the terminator.

There are a number of theories that have arisen in recent years claiming that the Marxist/Leninist concept of imperialism as the highest and final stage of capitalism is wrong.

They argue that the main forces that Lenin saw as driving imperialism to inevitable wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions, do not exist. The rise of finance capital, capital export, the growth of monopolies etc that doomed capitalism to destruction, have been surpassed by new developments such as the new economy that have rescued capitalism and made unlimited growth and the sharing of wealth possible. If this were true, then Marxism would cease to be relevant. Lenin’s theory that class politics is the extension of class economics would be empty phrases. Social classes would not longer exist and socialism as a post-capitalist dream would be made redundant by a just and benign capitalism.

These theorists say that globalisation has replaced imperialist contest between rival capitalist powers. Multilateral agreements between imperialist powers subordinate national interests to the global market and make national conflicts a thing of the past. It was easier to argue this during the 1980’s when the major powers were all allied to the US led ‘cold-war’, and the 1990’s when the UN and NATO officially fronted the wars against Iraq and Serbia. Whatever word is used to describe this ‘consensus’, national differences are now all accommodated under a US global hegemony where all states, including the US as the world’s biggest debtor, are dependent upon one another. Indeed some radicals, like Hardt and Negri in their book Empire published in 2000, say that the US is now so economically weak that it is no longer ‘hegemonic’.[1]

But what if the underlying strength of the US economy is in terminal decline?

What if to survive the US needs to turn its back on international agreements and attack its former allies? What if the US economy is in such a deep crisis that it is forced to revert to naked imperialist aggression on any state that threatens its ‘national interests’. A reversion to unilateral aggression is exactly what has happened since 9-11 under the Bush regime when the ‘world changed’. So the question must be asked: is this reversion an aberration? An aggressive militarist policy option driven by the narrow interests of one section of the US ruling class, the oil barons and arms industries? Or is this return to military occupations and recolonisations driven by a more deep-seated desperation on the part of US capital to survive at all costs? The answer to this question is critical because the solutions offered to this post 9-11 crisis depends on the perceived causes.

The globalisation theorists explain post-9-11 as an aberration. Already they say, the world has passed on. The new knowledge economy has created more wealth across national borders that can be redistributed in rising living standards in the developing world. The new capitalism in the US, Japan and EU does not need wars to make profits, but rather new technology and increasing labour productivity. The dynamic growth areas of the world economy are driven by multinational firms that invest, produce and sell in an integrated world market.

This ‘aberration’ must therefore be caused by a rogue element of the US ruling class that has taken power and used the military to grab scarce resources such as oil and natural gas to make big profits. For example, Chalmers Johnson’s recent book the Sorrows of Empire argues that the military have taken over the US state for this purpose. Chomsky’s analysis of US power is similar; the power elite uses its control of the media to manipulate public opinion to accept an aggressive foreign policy. If these arguments about the US as a ‘rogue state’ are correct, then mass mobilisations that reclaim control of the media and democratic institutions can theoretically regain control of the state for the people. But what if these arguments are not correct and imperialism is not a policy option but a death drive.

The reality is that imperialism is in a life or death crisis.

In the 1970s the world economy experienced a classic crisis of overproduction due to falling profits. Profits fell not because they were squeezed by rising wages but because the corporates could not increase the rate of exploitation fast enough to return a profit on the massive investments that went into plant, machinery and raw materials.[2] To restore profits it was necessary to drastically cut the price of wages (variable capital) and raw materials and machines (constant capital) by whatever means. In the 1890s and 1930s the world economy revived only because depressions and wars drastically cut the costs of plant and machinery and of labour.[3]

In the years since the 1970s ‘crash’, the US economy has failed to revive its economy to outcompete its rivals. The new economy has seen some increases in output and profits, but not sufficient to outperform Japan in cars and China in consumer goods. The recent ‘jobless’ upturn is less to do with new technology replacing jobs than with fewer workers working harder and longer (i.e. increased hours and intensity of work). There has been no massive reduction in the costs of wages or raw materials and the economy has been kept afloat by state borrowing and spending. The money borrowed from its rivals, particularly Japan, means that the US is now heavily in debt. Therefore the US economy is experiencing a deepening crisis of insufficient profits from which it can only survive by embarking on open imperialist wars to recolonise other nations, plundering their raw materials and attacking workers wages and rights at home and abroad to reduce labour costs. As Marxists say, the bosses’ crisis is being solved on the backs of the world’s workers.

It is not the policy of a militarist fraction of the US ruling class that causes war, but that of the whole US ruling class. Imperialism is not an aberration but a necessary result of capitalist crisis today.

So how does the whole ruling class benefit from war? Some corporates benefit directly, while others benefit from the flow-on effects. Of course the military and war industries do gain directly from imperialist wars, but production of arms and munitions is consumed unproductively (apart from R&D spin-offs in other sectors e.g. satellites, jeeps etc) and cannot revive the US economy as a whole. The Bush family and prominent members of the cabinet like Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice profit as shareholders of corporations that supply the military, and the workers in the arms industry earn wages that enter into the GDP – a sort of ‘military Keynesianism’.[4] But military expenditure does not otherwise add value to the economy. A good analogy would be to say that war benefits some bosses like the production of luxury items such as fast cars and jewelry. Theories such as the Permanent Arms Economy promoted by the Cliffites to account for the post-war long boom are fundamentally flawed in failing to recognise this fact.[5]

However unlike luxury cars, planes and tanks can be used to invade and occupy other countries and expropriate their resources and labour supply. The US has seized Iraq’s oil wealth and created hundreds of military bases in the Middle East and central Asia to oversee the plunder of natural resources. In its own poodle-like fashion, the UK has rechristened Gaddafi the former ‘terrorist fiend’ as the west’s ‘loyal friend’ in order to get access to Libya’s oil and gas fields.[6] While the military and oil magnates get the biggest share of this colonial bounty, the flow on effect of the war to the whole US and UK economies will be a vital supply of oil and gas at cheap prices that will lower the price of constant capital (fuel for industry) as well as variable capital (gas for workers cars) not available to their EU and Japanese rivals.[7] At the same time the US can create client states like Bolivia, or protectorates like Bosnia, Kosovo[8] and Iraq, impose the US dollar as the main currency, and threaten to bomb any state that wants to switch from the dollar to the Euro or yen as a rival to the ‘petrodollar’.[9]

We see that the imperialist states’ militarist policies are dictated by the interests of all capitalists.

The big banks and corporations all benefit from imperialist wars and plunder. What Lenin identified as finance capital was the big banks fusing their interests with the big corporations, and becoming monopolies, that is, combines or cartels that dominated whole industries. The monopolies were vertical (like Rockefellers Standard Oil or Carnegie’s Steel Corporation in the US) or horizontal (like the big German cartels) conglomerates that bought up their rivals and set the prices of production in that industry. Because they were national monopolies they had to compete with their rivals in other nations backed by their states. It was this rivalry that led to the export of capital to colonies to gain cheap raw materials and labour and the inevitable wars to divide and rule the whole world market. In what sense do today’s multinational corporations remain monopolies dominated by finance capital which look to their nation states to go to war in their interests as the ‘national interest’?

Monopoly finance capital is now centralised mainly in the hegemonic imperialist power, the USA.

First to the question of finance capital, then that of monopoly, then the question of national interest to show that state monopoly capitalism is alive, but not well.

At the heart of monopoly is finance capital. After Lenin’s death 20th imperialism created state capitalism to survive. Private banks became regulated by the central banks which took over the management of money capital to rescue the corporate sector. Without massive state intervention and ‘military Keynesianism’ after WW1, the big US corporations would have collapsed. The ‘new deal’ like the Keynesian welfare state’ was mainly about benefits to business.[10] Therefore we can say that far from being outdated, finance capital is even more concentrated and centralised today than it was in Lenin’s day.

Today the giant US Federal Bank along with World Bank and International Monetary Fund monopolises global finance capital through the bond market and international credit. The ‘Fed’ creates dollars which are pumped into US business which it then borrows from its rival EU and Japanese money markets in the form of US bonds. But the cost of its debt is offset by the advantages of the dollar as the main international currency. Private monopoly banks, such as Morgan/Chase, BOA and Citibank, are the biggest shareholders in the World Bank and IMF and dominate the loans made to the ‘‘third world’. But such is the crisis of overproduction, most ‘capital’ today is not invested in production but in speculation as ‘fictitious capital. Not only is finance capital concentrated into giant monopolies in the form of central banks and a few giant corporate banks they are all centralised in heart of the US imperialist state. Therefore what became known as ‘state monopoly capitalism’ in Lenin’s day is still the dominant reality in the global economy.

The crisis of overproduction manifests itself as the ‘risks’ associated with anarchic capitalism destroying the forces of production. Capitalism’s quest to plunder the third world is now in its final phase of world domination –exhausting the resources of the former soviet bloc. The end of the Soviet Union has opened up central Asia. There and elsewhere, the race for scarce resources is hotting up the competition between the imperialist powers.

Today capitalist production is highly dependent on non-renewable resources, notably oil, whose supply is rapidly running out. The big corporations are oil pushers, enforcers, or oil junkies.[11] Those who control these scarce resources benefit from ‘rent’ i.e. that is the premium that can be extracted from those who do not own this resource. Capitalism today is an asset-stripping death machine. The risks associated with this drive to survive explains the behavior of all the players.

The US finances its military machine and arms industry to win control in the rent-seeking war game. This is the case in Iraq, Central Asia and Latin America. These are all military fronts in the war for oil, gas or other vital resources. But even such looting of vital resources and the massive military subsidies of the imperialist states, does not make them cheap enough to restore rising rates of surplus value and return acceptable profits on the vast capital stockpile awaiting investment in production. As capitalism drives down its path of destruction it cannot save itself.

There are inherent limits to the gains from capitalist production which is simultaneously destroying the forces of production.

The recent controversy about the US ‘jobless recovery’ illustrates this point. While thousands of migrants flood into the US to fill menial service jobs, productive industry shifts over to ‘lean production’ by exporting jobs to cheap labour countries. In Mexico or China, wage goods (clothes, white goods, electronic goods, cars etc) are produced more cheaply because of low wage costs combined with global lean production methods (cast-off production lines e.g. Korean or Indian cars). This is the same export of capital recognised by Lenin. But now it is up against more fundamental limits set by rock bottom wages as well as productivity caps.

The crisis of the period from 1914 to 1945 was hugely destructive in terms of the devaluation of variable and constant capital. Only out of such a destructive firestorm could the post-war boom emerge. But that boom was limited to the imperialist world and did not extend to the third world and the gap between ‘north and south’ widened dramatically. The accumulation of capital at the centre is now so huge that only a massive destruction of capital on a world scale will restore a return to profitable production. Windfalls like the collapse of the Soviet world extended the capitalist market to its full global reach. But while it created huge chunks of ‘new capital’ to add the world supply, it did not create sufficient means of making sufficient profits on that capital.

Thus early 21st century imperialism is unable to generate enough super-profits to keep pace with its rising capital stock. All the ‘t-shirts in China’ cannot sustain sufficient profits in the US let alone rising living standards of labour in the US. With the decline in new surplus-value from production, potential money capital becomes merely footloose money that devalues unless new sources of ‘value’ can be found. Increasingly finance capital ceases to be the productive investment that drives the development of industry and instead becomes ‘fictitious’ capital which is valueless because it cannot exchanged for commodities and must be gambled away on the prices of commodities. Take the derivatives market of ‘casino capitalism’.
 
Morgan/Chase the biggest international bank now has 84 times its real capital assets (stockholders funds) gambled on ‘derivatives’.

‘Derivatives’ are bets on future prices. Derivatives are a form of insurance to cover risks of production in a high-risk, unstable, crisis-prone anarchic market. That’s why 80% of such bets are on future interest rates (the price of money). For example futures brokers ‘borrow’ company shares for a fee, sell them to create cash and agree to sell the shares back at a given price. They use the money to speculate on currencies etc, and hope that the shares will be worth less when they buy them back so they can make a profit. This creates huge amounts of debt with no share asset backing. The instability in the market is itself greatly increased by the billions of hot money gambled on future prices every day.

Moreover it is workers that stand to lose most in the casino economy. For every George Soros who may lose billions of fictitious capital there are millions who lose their life savings. The finance mafia bets the savings of the ‘new middle class’ held in pension funds and bank shares. Marx talked about joint stock companies borrowing from small savers as a form of ‘socialising the costs’ of capital. Small savers would always be wiped out in any credit crash. Soros lost millions in 1998 when Russia defaulted on its debt. Morgan/Chase was similarly exposed to the Argentina collapse in 2001 even though the government froze the accounts of small savers (ahoristas) while at the same time allowed the big banks to take their money out of the country.

Such financial crashes destroy the jobs and savings of those workers who have savings. 19th and 20th century imperialist powers justified their smash and grab expansionism by selling it to their working class as a defence of the national interest. Britain had its ‘civilising mission’ and the US had its defence of the ‘free world’. All used ‘international relations’ to pacify and buy off the rising working class challenge to the power of capital. Marx, Engels and Lenin recognised the importance of colonial super-profits, which when trickled down to the ‘new middle class’ bribed it to support imperialism and to turn organised labour into cheerleaders for imperialist wars. Now 21st century imperialism cannot afford to buy off its workers and runs the ultimate risk of eliminating its support base in the ‘labour aristocracy’.

21st century imperialism cannot afford political buyouts so funds patriotic panics.

While it can’t afford to buy patriotism anymore imperialist states appeal to ‘national values’. Foreigners are blamed for taking jobs and cutting wages so that the labour movement becomes geared up to support wars against enemy aliens at home and abroad. As imperialist rivalry hots up trade protection becomes national protectionism in which workers are enlisted to fight the ‘enemy’. But as the costs of imperialist crises and wars become thrust onto the backs of workers (workers welfare axed while corporate welfare – especially oil and war industries – climbs, jobs and wages lost, workers in uniform lose their lives in the war for oil etc) the political class consensus that drove the post-war boom and which has been kept intact from the victory of capitalism over ‘communism, now becomes fractured at home and abroad. Workers and peasants see themselves as pawns in a US corporate war game for world domination. The level of anti-US sentiment outside the US is rising to massive proportions. And the class conflicts in the outside world are now being reproduced inside the US and the other imperialist powers.

This means that resistance in many forms is beginning to emerge. The WSF is a sort of ‘good cop’ imperialism that promotes the illusion that imperialism as a bad policy option that can be globally challenged and reformed. Hardt and Negri’s concept of Empire provides a popular version of this ideological position. There is a reformist labour international around Castro, including Chavez and Lula that promotes social democratic regimes coming together as an international counter-weight to US rogue imperialism. But the severity of the crisis imposed on the masses is rapidly surpassing the capacity of the reformists and their leftwing cheerleaders in the WSF to strangle the exploding resistance movements. Castro, Lula and Chavez attempts to negotiate with imperialism can only be at the expense of their worker and peasant supporters. Once we can see that 21st century imperialism is on the road to destruction, then we understand that only a world working class mobilisation for a global socialist society can offer an alternative. The cost of anarchic date-expired capitalism in the 21st century will be more wars and destruction unless it is replaced by socialism! 

From Class Struggle 55 April-May 2004


Written by raved

January 6, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Bolivia: Making the Revolution

leave a comment »

 

 
February 2004 marks one year from the re-opening of the revolutionary struggle in Bolivia when workers’, peasants and youth began their uprising against the hated president ‘Goni’ Sanchez de Lozada. In October, peasants and workers blockaded La Paz forcing Goni into exile. He was replaced by Carlos Mesa who called for a truce. Mesa has failed to deliver on the COB demands and has used the time to stabilise his rule. On 22 January the COB met and called for a mobilisation in 20 days to prepare for a national general strike on 21 February to bring down Mesa and put in place a Popular Assembly. Here we argue that there is mass support to go beyond a Popular Assembly to a real Workers’ and Peasants’ State if a revolutionary leadership can be created. We support our sister group POB in this task!

COB ends truce with plans for general strike

In a meeting that lasted all day, delegate after delegate of 42 of the 65 COB (Bolivian Workers’ Centre) affiliates, including miners, transport workers, teachers, shop assistants and civic committees, called for the unity of all the popular forces in Bolivia to be mobilised to launch an indefinite general strike in 20 days to bring down the Mesa government.

Jamie Solares a miners leader of the COB said that Bolivia was a colony of the US and that Mesa was continuing the same policies as Goni on behalf of US imperialism. He said that it was an emergency situation, and that the time for theory was past and time for action had arrived to build a great popular assembly to take power.

He had invited the peasant leaders Evo Morales and Felipe Quispe to meet with the COB to build a united front against the government. Morales was visiting the Chapare region where more than 200 died in the war against the selling of the gas in October. Morales replied condemning the COB plan to attack parliament were he is a member. He said that the COB plan was to make a coup that would only invite the US to make its own military coup. But when some of his supporters present spoke in favour of participating in parliament and the referendum on selling the gas they were booed. Quispe, for his part, did not come to the COB meeting but immediately came under pressure from the militant peasants of the Altiplano and quickly endorsed the call to bring down Mesa.

Most speakers called for the COB to build grass roots support for strike action to replace the government with dual power organs, repeal the gas agreement with the multinationals, nationalise industry and provide free health, education and pensions. Delegates from the media said that it was necessary for the people to replace the leadership. They questioned Morales claim to defend democracy. What democracy? We can expect no solutions from parliament! The workers union leader Roberto de la Cruz of El Alto (the working class town above La Paz) who was not at the COB congress challenged Morales to say which side he was on, the peoples or imperialism.

The students also made the call to organise to fight for power, to prepare the general strike with blockades in February, to split the army and win the support of the military rank and file. In an separate meeting of youth organisations on the 25th January in El Alto many resolutions were passed in support of the COB call for a general strike, including re-nationalising the gas, exprorpriating the multinationals, the US out of Iraq and for a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government.

The miners cooperatives representatives warned that if the workers and peasants were not united they would face a military coup d’etat. Other workers warned the leadership of the COB that they would be thrown out unless they provided militant leadership. The pensioners delegate spoke of the need to finish with the capitalist system and replace it with a socialist system.

Speaking for the artists and writers a delegate put the position of POB (Poder Obrero – Workers Power) calling for the renationalisation of the mines and the gas and oil, but under workers control which the program of the COB does not raise. He said that the unfinished revolution in Bolivia could not rely on the support of the anti-neoliberal governments who had just met at Monterrey, or the WSF, because Bolivia was not facing neo-liberalism. The enemy was the capitalist system and the drive of imperialism and its lackey Mesa government to rob Bolivia of its gas. The answer was to create a popular assembly of the workers, peasants and rank and file military to prepare for an insurrection and not a Constituent Assembly which was an example of parliamentary cretinism.

The POB comrades speech was in part echoed by the regional bodies of the COB – the CODs or local workers’ confederations of Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Santa Cruz, Potosi, Beni, Huyuni and Montero. The government of Mesa was rejected. The gas law was rejected and the demand raised for gas to be under national control. War was declared against all the imperialist multinationals. The COB had to begin educating the masses for the national mobilisation. The CODs would provide the leadership along with the COB national executive to unite the forces to bring down the government and put in place a government of the COB representing the workers, peasants and rank and file military.

The resolutions passed ended with the demand that all the sectors declare an emergency, and organise within 20 days for an indefinite general strike to demand a 3% salary rise for all government workers, and a new monthly minimum wage of $820 up from $55.

From General Strike to Workers Power

It is clear to the people that Mesa is continuing to act like Goni as the open US agent in Bolivia. His class interest is to do a deal on behalf of Bolivian capitalists with imperialism that allows some share of the gas to be retained in Bolivia and trickled down to pacify the poor. But imperialism will not allow enough gas wealth to be kept to feed the children of the poor. US imperialism can only survive by taking the maximum super-profits from the Bolivian gas. The Bolivian children will continue to beg on the streets in their thousands.

The rank and file of COB have rejected the truce with Mesa and are calling for a ‘workers’ and peasants’ government.’ But this means different things to different camps. On the right, the MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) led by Evo Morales who represents the coca growers in the tropical east of Bolivia believes that it is possible to mobilise the people to force the Bolivian state to strike a deal with imperialism for a larger share in the gas wealth than Mesa can deliver. This will enable the coca growers to cultivate their land in peace and prosperity.

That is why Morales has used Chile’s demand to share in the proceeds of the gas being piped across its territory to activate Bolivian national resentment of the defeat in the war with Chile in the late 19th century. Morales does not agree to the strike action on February 21 because he believes he can be elected president in Mesa’s place and win these concessions from imperialism. For him a ‘Workers’ and Peasants’ government’ is a left social democratic government led by the peasant bureaucracy rather than the national bourgeoisie. He fears that to go any further and allow workers and peasants to really take power would bring down an imperialist military coup on his head.

In the centre are the current leaders of COB such as Jaime Solares, and Filipe Quispe who represents the impoverished Quechua indian peasants of the altiplano. They are being pushed left by the mass rank and file militancy of COB and the grass roots revolutionaries who dominate the regional CODs. Since 1946 the COB has had in its program demands that originate in the Pulcayo Theses based on Trotsky’s transitional program for a workers’ and peasants’ state. Against this revolutionary program, Solares adopts the position of the labour bureaucracy that wants a return to the Popular Assembly of the 1970s, in the form of a Constituent Assembly that will write a new bourgeois constitution. Essentially the labour bureaucracy is petty bourgeois, and sees itself as a ‘middle class’ able to guide the Bolivian people to national independence. Its model is a petty bourgeois government that represents the national unity utopia of the popular or patriotic front, like that of 1952 and 1971 in Bolivia. They hope and pray that imperialism will come to terms with a radical popular front government and not smash it as has always happened in Latin America. Like all petty bourgeois politicians unless they are kicked aside by the revolutionary workers and peasants they will be used by the bosses to strangle and kill the revolution.

The camp followers of the labour bureaucrats are the centrist former Trotskyists of POR-Lora whose class compromises always betray the workers at the crucial hour. POR-Lora provides a left cover for the labour bureaucracy sowing illusions in workers that ‘democratic’ imperialism can make concessions to progressive anti-neo-liberal governments based on the unions in Latin America. The centrists are more dangerous than the open reformists as they speak about socialist revolution but act for the counter-revolution. For them a COB-led Popular Assembly would be a ‘Workers’ and Peasants’ Government’.

But their ‘Popular Assembly’ was and will always be a popular front joining workers and peasants to the petty bourgeois parties defending private property. Workers may call for a Constituent Assembly to defend bourgeois democracy against fascism or military dictatorships. But when workers are on the offensive, the Constituent Assembly is a trap which prevents them advancing to seize state power. The POR-Lora allowed the COB to join a popular front government in 1952 during a revolutionary upsurge, the first major post-war betrayal by Trotskyists of a workers’ revolution. Today they disarm workers who are mobilising to take power, by covering up these past betrayals and by refusing to call for a Workers’ and Peasants’ government based on workers and peasants councils and militias.

Revolutionary Party

On the revolutionary left the POB (Poder Obrero Bolivia) demands a return to the Pulcayo Theses, for the formation at the base of the COB and CODs of workers’ and peasants’ councils, for the splitting of the rank and file military from the officers, and for the formation of workers, peasants and soldiers militias to take power and form a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government. That is why the POB delegate at the COB meeting on the 22 January raised a number of transitional demands including the nationalisation of industry under workers control. This calls on workers to go beyond the COB demand for mere nationalisation of industry by the capitalist state. This is because even under a COB-led Constituent (Popular) Assembly the capitalist state can re-nationalise the oil and gas in the interests of imperialism to head off the revolution and prevent control over the profits from falling into the hands of workers. By raising the demand for workers control militant workers, peasants and youth are confronted with the necessity of going beyond capitalist nationalisation and of struggling to expropriate industry and land under workers and peasants control.

We see that an unlimited general strike beginning on February 21 can be the beginning of a victorious revolution. But for this to happen the rank and file workers have to take the Pulcayo theses and the POB program seriously. The program of the bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie and the centrist betrayers to limit a ‘Workers and Peasants government’ to a Constituent (Popular) Assembly has to be defeated. The best militants have to join the revolutionary vanguard and carry its program into the base of all the workers, peasants and youth organisations. As the Solares leadership attempts to contain the strike short of these objectives it will have to be replaced by a revolutionary leadership.

The demand for workers’ control must mean that workers and youth occupy and manage industry, factories, gas and oil, health and education. It means that peasants must occupy the government departments that administer the land. It means that the rank and file of the military must mutiny against the officers and take control of the military apparatus. Such occupations will create a situation of ‘dual power’, in which the workers power can only be defended by armed workers and peasants smashing bourgeois state power. The seizure of power by the workers and peasants must be organised centrally as a Workers’s and Peasant’s Government based on workers’ and peasants’ councils and militias, and on the rank-and-file of the armed forces who come over to the revolution. A Workers’ and Peasants’ State in Bolivia will survive only if the workers of Latin America intervene to prevent the US from mobilising the state forces of its Latin American client states to smash the revolution.

For an indefinite general strike to bring down Mesa and to impose a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government!

Call on the coca growers of the tropical east of Bolivia around Cochabamba and Chapare break with Morale’s parliamentary cretinism and join the COB plan for a general strike!

Call on Bolivian workers and peasants to elect delegates to the Popular Assembly that are prepared to take power in the name of the workers and peasants organisations!

Build workers’ and peasants’ militias and for the rank and file of the military to take control of the state repressive apparatus!

Stop the chauvinist call for war with Chile over control of the gas pipeline!

Call on Chilean, Brazilian and Argentinean workers to blockade all gas stolen by the imperialists from Bolivia!

For a continental anti-imperialist workers bloc opposed to imperialism and to the anti-neoliberal WSF false international of Lula, Chavez and Castro!

For a new Bolshevik/Leninist International to lead the revolution in Latin America!

For a Socialist United States of Latin America!

 
From Class Struggle 54 Feb-March 04

Written by raved

December 27, 2009 at 10:24 pm