May Day Greetings from the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International to the International Working ClassLeave a comment
02/05/2014 by socialistfight
The Liaison Committee for the Fourth International sends its warmest revolutionary greetings to the world’s working class, the poor and oppressed and in particular to its fighting vanguard; today the international crisis of capitalism has propelled the working class in the Ukraine to the forefront of the global fightback and we salute those heroic fighters, together with those fighting the US/EU assaults in Syria and Venezuela.
We are closer to world war now than at an time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The US has stepped up its warmongering provocations against both Russia and China since the weekend of 12/13 April when CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev for talks with the far right coupists he helped install. On 21 April US Vice-President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev for a two-day visit aimed at “showing American support for the new Ukrainian government and to push for implementation of a diplomatic accord reached in Geneva last week between Ukraine, the US, the European Union and Russia to de-escalate tensions.” The previous day there was a shootout at a checkpoint near the eastern town of Sloviansk which left three people dead. The latest hostage crisis shows the growing confidence of the revolutionaries.
On April 24 Obama met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe US to assure this right wing militarist of his full support. He had already given a press statement “The policy of the United States is clear—the Senkaku islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of Article 5 of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.” Obama was pledging war with China over these islands for the first time.
The AIUF tactic; no confidence in temporary allies
Whilst placing no political confidence in the leadership of Assad of Syria, Maduro of Venezuela or Putin of Russia we nevertheless recognise that in order to fight for its own socialist revolution internationally the working class is obliged to form an Anti Imperialist United Front (AIUF) with all those who are fighting Imperialism today. But an AIUF does not mean we are blind to the class nature and political perfidy of our temporary allies.
On 17 April the Geneva statement on the Ukraine agreed that parties would refrain from “violence, intimidation, or provocative actions” and that all “illegal armed groups will be disarmed.” The US, the EU, and the Kiev coupists had secured the agreement of Russia to betray the heroic fighters in the eastern Ukraine because their struggles were now reaching revolutionary proportions.
Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic rejected the sell-out: “Lavrov did not sign anything for us, he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation.” Of course Pushilin is a notorious crook who assisted in running the MMM Ponzi scheme in Russia which fleeced upwards of 40,000 Russians of some $10 million in the 1990s.
This reinforces our point that the workers must watch their backs politically in this struggle because all those leaders, who are not outright gangsters, with whom there are now obliged to ally are willing to compromise with Imperialism when they obtain more favourable terms. We are well aware the Putin is a corrupt bourgeois politician as is China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
Opposition to global-USA-led world Imperialism does not imply uncritical or political support for all its opponents or victims but it does imply tactical United Fronts with reformist workers’ parties and organisations in the Imperialist countries and anti-Imperialist United Fronts with the national bourgeoisie in the semi-colonial world in order to face the main enemy, US-dominated global finance capital.
Only in this way will we get the ear of the masses, who instinctively identify the main enemy (remember during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 the “Great Satan” was the war cry with which the Iranian masses identified the USA, albeit in religious terms?) and win the base of local bourgeois nationalist like Gaddafi, Assad or Putin or anti Imperialist Islamic forces like Hezbollah in the semi-colonial world.
We therefore pledge out solidarity with the Union Borotba, which is leading the anti-fascist struggle in Ukraine. The press has reported severe state oppression allied to the armed marauding gangs of fascist thugs who are now spreading terror in east Ukraine. Leading members of Borotba have been arrested.
Anti-Imperialist Struggle is STILL Key to human Liberation
Bogus “Right Trotskyists” like Socialist Resistance’s (USFI) Liam Mac Uaid (Ukraine – the Russians are the aggressors!), International Socialist Organization (USA), the LIT (PSTU / Brazil and Argentina), UIT (IS / Argentina and CST-PSOL / Brazil) and its satellites are crass pro-Imperialist propagandists. Their bitterest complaint is not that Imperialism is funding and arming the Syrian “rebels” but that they are not funding them enough and not giving them the weapons they think they deserve and that the EuroMaidan is a genuine democratic movement.
Obama and Cameron could not create the political conditions to bomb Syria and were momentarily contained. Cameron lost the vote on the issue in the House of Commons and Obama was facing defeat in the House of Representatives because: 1) the unpopular imperialist adventures of Bush and Blair are still in “political memory”. 2) It is extremely difficult to take on new war spending in the current capitalist economic crisis. 3) Learning from the Libyan tragedy, the Syrian national resistance is more prepared 4) Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah are giving Syria substantial military support.
Some like the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), the Liaison Committee of Communists, Workers Power/LFI, the SP/CWI, the new RS21C, and the SWP themselves take a third camp, “neither Moscow nor Berlin/EU/NATO” line based on a bogus equation of the “two Imperialist Camps”, the West and the East (Russia/China).
They are unable to condemn outright mass movements which are obviously reactionary and openly sponsored by Imperialism and instead resort to the ridiculous liberal notion that these are “contradictory” movements. It should be obvious to even the most politically naive person that a movement is defined by who dominates it politically and programmatically not by the idiots who wanted to tag along and got beaten up or killed for their pro-Imperialist stupidity. This is true of the Benghazi and Syrian ‘rebels’ and the EuroMaidan far right and fascists.
Steve Argue, of the US Revolutionary Tendency correctly says:
Despite the lies in the corporate media of Russian intervention, fact is, what is happening in eastern Ukraine is a working class uprising against the pro-IMF and chauvinistic coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in February. This working class uprising in eastern Ukraine has seized at least 10 cities. It has also won soldiers to their side that were sent to crush the uprising. Despite western hopes, it is also not surrendering, despite what Moscow says.
Only on this basis of clear anti-Imperialism can the global working class unite all its forces under revolutionary Trotskyism and a reforged Fourth International.
The Main Enemy
William Blum paints the picture in Killing Hope:
If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy of the past century, this is what crawls out, invasions, bombings, overthrowing governments, suppressing movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing “news”, death squads, torture, biological warfare, depleted uranium, drug trafficking, mercenaries, It’s not a pretty picture. It is enough to give imperialism a bad name.
We unequivocally identify the main enemy of the global working class as US-dominated finance capital, the fusion of banking and monopoly transnational corporations. This is the war-mongering aggressor who is behind every war since WWII. We reject the false and ultimately pro-Imperialist conceptions that the fundamental global conflict is between Western Imperialism and Eastern, i.e. Chinese/Russian Imperialism. Russia and China are not Imperialist powers in the Marxist sense as major centres of Finance Capital; that force is the USA which dominates the global scene economically, politically and militarily with its allies and global institutions like the IMF and World Bank with the dollar as the global trading currency.
Their aim is to fragment both Russia and China and open up their economies for exploitation by their great finance houses and transnational companies. The falling rate of profit revealed so dramatically in the 2008 finance crisis that began with the Lehman Brothers collapse is the essential driving force to the global WWIII. Russia and China have every right to fight back against this onslaught by assisting Crimea and eastern Ukraine against these attacks, albeit in their own immediate, capitalistic interests.
The wars waged by the USA after the fall of the Berlin Wall in particular, either fought directly by themselves or via their hired mercenaries, are essentially also wars against its European “allies” for investment opportunities for their transnationals, for markets and raw materials. Germany and France were the real targets in the ex-Yugoslav war and in Iraq and Afghanistan, France, Belgium and Italy in Africa (Ruanda, Zaire/DRC, Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic). China and Russia are the secondary victims only. The US was the victor in WWII and its war aims included seizing the spheres of influence of Europe and this is still an ongoing project.
We extend our warmest revolutionary solidarity to the Irish Republicans who are fighting British Imperialism and its defenders; Loyalist Unionist and sell-out former Republicans of Sinn Fein in the north of Ireland. We salute their POWs in Maghaberry, Hydebank and Portlaoise – Britain out of Ireland, prisoners out of jail, political status now!
Likewise to all anti-Imperialist fighters and POWs, beginning with the heroic Palestinians fighters and their POWs, those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Iran, Iraq etc. and in the Imperialist countries themselves; the Guantanamo Bay prisoners and those held by the CIA illegally in secret torture chamber for “renditions” abroad, Mohammed Hamid in Britain and all the victims of the Islamophobic “War on Terror” there and in the US, former Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal, American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier, Puerto Rican Independentista Oscar Lopez Rivera and those remaining MOVE 9 and Cuban Five POWs.
The Global Working Class
In country after country austerity is the response to this crisis; benefits are being cut, housing in Britain is moving out of the reach of the working class. In Britain some 22% of those still affected by the Bedroom Tax are still waiting for a smaller home. Only 6% of those originally affected have successfully moved. The National Health Service is being rapidly privatised to allow healthcare for the rich and deny it to the poor – free at the point of use will soon become a sick joke unless we stop this reactionary government. Similarly in France, in Germany, in the USA, in South America, in South Africa, Sri Lanka and across the globe.
But workers fight back. New rules on Pay As You Earn (PAYE) mean that casualised workers in the building industry in Britain must now be paid directly by the main contractors. But these are avoiding the law by using umbrella companies, thus forcing workers to accept up to £100 a week loss in pay. This has resulted in walk-outs in several places like the Three Bridges Station, Crawley, Sussex.
In response workers are demanding to be directly employed by the main contractors in Manchester City’s new football training ground where 40 agency electricians working for Balfour Beatty refused to work. Workers for NG Bailey on the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail site in London also downed tools. Both are demanding direct employment, Socialist Worker reports. Electrician Ian Bradley is reported in SW:
Casualisation is rife, so, knowing you can be let go at a moment’s notice can make workers reluctant to raise safety issues. This latest move is just a way to keep employment casualised instead of taking us on proper contracts and giving us real jobs. But Three Bridges proves that action can make them do it.
In South Africa the Platinum miners at Amplats are still on strike on 27 April and their union, the AMCU, is being sued by the company, Anglo American Platinum for 591 million rand ($54 million) in damages it said resulted from ongoing strike action by AMCU members. The strike began at the end of January at Amplats, the world’s No. 1 platinum producer, and also at rivals Impala Platinum and Lonmin in a sector-wide stoppage over wages that has again rattled business confidence in Africa’s largest economy. An AMCU shop steward was killed in a clash with police at an Amplats mine on Feb. 7 and the company said at the time that the strike was becoming violent.
Revolutionary developments in South Africa with the split of NUMSA from the ANC/SACP are in the face of a new wave of revolutionary developments following the Marikana massacre on 16 August 2012 and the support given to it by the ANC/SACP and NUM and other Cosatu leaders.
In Brazil, the capitalist crisis came later, but imperialism imposed severe economic adjustments: an increase in fuel prices, transport, and energy, elimination of labor rights, wage freeze, increased interest and the restriction credit. Against this, the youth and workers rose up in 2013 in an exceptional way, which we had not seen since 1992.
The number of strikes has been growing in the country, especially amongst the most oppressed sections of youth and proletariat. The PT government intends to postpone the biggest attack on working class until after the October 2014 elections and gain popularity with the World Cup football. But the needs of the capitalist dictatorship are imposed by FIFA and its local partners to boost its parasitism under this cover. There has been crazed killings of workers because of the unsafe production targets rates, democratic rights to come and go are restricted and thousands of working class families have lost their homes due to property speculation.
This has led to the increasing social dissatisfaction. The downtrodden had had enough and rebelled against every new police brutality. Imperialism and the bourgeois opposition in the media, the legislature and the judiciary require more repression and austerity, and threaten the PT government with alleged corruption scandals. Sectors of the bourgeoisie require the return of parliamentary dictatorship and others want to use impeachment as has occurred in Paraguay, Ukraine and unfolding coup in Venezuela. Workers need to defeat the coup by an Anti-Imperialist United Front against the bourgeois opposition and their opportunistic satellites (PSoL and PSTU ). At the same time we must build an alternative leadership to defeat the PT and its bourgeois-workers government by revolutionary opposition.
Only the independent mobilization of workers can give this progressive solution to the crisis, through the unification of their struggles and the organization in the workplaces of a Trotskyist party of the proletariat under an anti-Imperialist agenda and for a workers’ and labourers’ government.
In Argentina, the bourgeois government of Cristina Kirchner have abandoned its Bonapartist character by devaluing the Argentine currency to promote exports whose main market is in China. Inflation resulting from this action drove down real wages. One wing of the trade union bureaucracy expressed the dissatisfaction of workers by calling for a 24 hour general strike but made only “fair economic demands” and sought economic and trade rapprochement with the USA. In the current situation of capitalist social decomposition sections of the middle classes, which exists in great numbers in the repressive state mafias, try to compensate for their powerlessness through lynchings and other profound reactionary tendencies.
In less than two weeks a dozen lynchings or attempted lynchings were reported in Argentina. In the first, 18-year-old David Moreyra was hanged by a mob on 22 March, after he allegedly tried to steal the purse of a woman in the central city of Rosario.
The task now for the Argentine working class is to build their unity based on their own class independence across the different bourgeois tendencies, that will not only enable us to fight for our basic economic demands but would also be a major obstacle for manoeuvres of imperialism and its agents. Only if the working class becomes a class for itself is it possible for it to lead all the exploited and oppressed so that they have a political orientation that overcomes the barbarous reaction shown by these lynchings, signifying desperate impotence on all social matters which generates reactionary alternatives when faced by the capitalist decomposition.
Only in this way can class independence be forged which will strengthen the workers in their own class struggle. For this task to be successful it is essential to build a genuine revolutionary workers’ party which will defeat the parliamentary and electoral cretinism of FIT (PO, PTS, IS) and the opportunist small left wing pro-imperialist bourgeois opposition; this is only way to achieve authentic class independence.
The global fightback cries out for a new revolutionary leadership, a reforged Fourth International. The LCFI is dedicated to that task as the central reason for its existence and all its struggles.
● Defeat US-dominated World Imperialism, finance capital and its agents in Ukraine, Bosnia, Syria, Iran and in every war!
● For an Anti Imperialist United Front without political support to all forces fighting Imperialism!
● No reliance on Bourgeois nationalist leaders, Assad, Putin or Nicolás Maduro!
● Only the International working class can defeat Global Imperialism!
● Reconstruct the Fourth International; the World Party of Socialist Revolution!
● Forward to the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International!
Tendencia Militante Bolchevique—Argentina
Socialist Fight—Britain, 1 May 2014