30/04/2018 by socialistfight
International May Day Statement 2018
Frente Comunista dos Trabalhadores – Brazil
Akhar Bandyopadhyay, Bhagat Singh’s Socialist India
Socialist Fight – Britain
Workers Socialist League – USA
Tendência Militante Bolchevique – Argentina
Communist Revolutionary Action – Greece
2018 sees the deepening of the threat of WWIII primarily from the USA. The main trends of the world class struggle in 2018 point out that the empire struck back and regained a part of the planet lost to the Eurasian bloc after the economic crisis of 2008. The US has declared a trade war against China and imposed new sanctions on that country, Russia, and Iran. In recent years, through various mechanisms of hybrid warfare, coups, media bombings, fraudulent elections, the US regained neo-colonialism in Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Honduras). Stabilizing relations at its core with Europe, between the United States, England and France, imperialism once again has the main target of the dispute in the Middle East, refusing to accept defeat to the Eurasian bloc in Syria (Russia, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah) and they are set to break the agreements signed by the Obama administration. Allied with Israel, it resumes hostilities against Iran, threatening to nullify the agreements signed in 2015; it supplies heavy weapons (including missiles) to Ukraine, breaking what was established in the 2015 Minsk peace agreement.
Similarly, imperialism wage the asymmetric warfare called Lawfare, internal agents of imperialism use the legal system against their national bourgeois enemies in, as it has been used against Brazil, Zimbabwe (though this combined was clear aspects of a coup), South Africa, and Armenia. And Venezuela Afghanistan, Bangladesh/Myanmar, Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, and Ukraine are all instable semi-colonies where the CIA and the agents of imperialism are working overtime to secure regime change or defend regimes already installed against revolts of the working class and poor.
The imperative is to secure imperialist domination over not only Syria but also over Iran and ultimately over Russia and China by balkanisation and regime change. This involves the crippling of all and every Arab and Middle Eastern regime, whether autocratic or democratic, that shows the slightest potential to stand up to Israel in the Middle East and North Africa.
The New York Times commented that with the dismissal of the more moderate H.R. McMaster and the appointment of the warmongering John Bolton on 21 March, just a week after dismissing the more moderate Rex Tillerson and the appointment of CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump now has “the most radically aggressive foreign policy team around the American president in modern memory.” The torture advocate Gina Haspel, Trump’s nomination as the new CIA chief, yet to be approved by Congress, makes up the trio of reaction. The supposed rapprochement with Kim Jong-un and North Korea is merely a temporary tactical retreat in that arena whilst war is prepared in the Middle East and Ukraine.
Mauricio Macri, US president Donald Trump, and their first ladies.
Since the FED – the federal reserve of the United States – began to raise the interest rate, Argentina is has suffered from the flight of dollars. USA attracts capital from all over the world and speculative capital is beginning to withdraw from Argentina. With the economic turbulence that generates, a run on the exchange rate and the fall of the reserves of the Argentine central bank is attempting to stop the run. Thus, and the entire government of Macri is advancing in implementing the adjustment, as in the case of the rise of tariffs, inflation, etc. The adjustment that the government of the right is deepening in a context where it is unable to resolve Argentina’s relationship with the world market and activate the “engines of growth”, as seen with the fiscal deficit and especially the trade deficit. This situation can be maintained only as long as it can continue to build up its external indebtedness. When that snowball of the indebtedness is over, we will witness a big debt crisis.
In order to impose its adjustment, the pro-imperialist government needs to deepen its repressive orientation as it has already been doing by persecuting popular fighters. In a context where, because of its neo-colonialist contradictions, the right marches to liquidate the country economically as it did during the ¡Que se vayan todos! (“All of them must go!”) uprising that broke out in 2001. The hybrid war continues in the judicial persecution of the Kichnerism, the political group of supporters of the late Néstor Kirchner, President of Argentina from 2003 to 2007; and of his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President from 2007 until 2015, for the crushing of the most timid of the nationalist opposition.
That is why the working class must take advantage of the situation of capitalist crisis that is coming to give a political response, combining the united front of the masses against imperialism and its national agents, with the struggle for its independent organization in a revolutionary party to fight for the power and not to fall prey to the tendency of the petty-bourgeois impotence how use the slogan hoping “that it will all go away”, etc.
Brazil’s ex-president Lula surrenders to the prison sentence
The parliamentary coup d’état in Brazil in 2016 may have been the most important victory of imperialism in its battles for its hybrid war and revenge campaign against the rise of the BRICS. To ensure that the Workers’ Party does not rule again, they arrested their leader, the former labourer Lula, through a fraudulent and typical trial of dictatorial regimes, and kept him in solitary confinement, politically neutralising and transforming him into a new Brazilian Nelson Mandela. The coup is wiping out each and every one of the workers’ social achievements. The freezing of state social spending for 20 years is rapidly sapping with the health, education, and wages of state workers. Official unemployment has reached more than 14 million people, public debt is 59% of GDP and last year extreme poverty grew 35% in the country’s largest metropolitan and industrial region, Sao Paulo.
These anti-worker reforms will promote an extreme precariousness of labour, a new slavery. The privatisation of the state assets, oil and energy, in particular, will mean a new colonisation. State-sponsored fascism, with its increasingly systematic physical attacks, assassinations such as that of the black socialist alderwoman Marielle Franco, and the threat of a military coup, which began with the intervention of the Army in Rio de Janeiro, are instruments of imperialism and the bourgeoisie to frighten the workers and facilitate the expropriation of the rights of the people. Dialectically, this offensive of the capitalist right has caused a gradual overcoming of the dispersion, disorganization and demoralization that characterized the mass movement in the period of the PT conciliation governments that facilitated the offensive of the right agent of imperialism.
The great mass of the population claims, still passively, the right to vote for Lula, today, a political prisoner of the coup regime. We demand the immediate release of Lula, and his right to be a candidate in presidential elections scheduled for the coming months. The process of reorganisation of the proletarian struggle has not yet made a qualitative leap in the number of people mobilised in street struggles, or organically engaged in the construction of a leading vanguard for the mass organizations, with enough political force to defeat imperialism and the fascist right, or even begin to remove the colonialist slave-like measures or contain the course of militarisation of the political regime. In the face of the increasingly systematic physical attacks by the right, threatening the lives of workers and their organizations, the building of a Antifascist and Antiimperialist United Front, in the streets and in the elections, and the creation of committees of struggle and self-defence, to ensure the integrity of the struggles of the working class, youth and the oppressed concretely their rights and security against all the attacks of the extreme right and neo-fascists.
Marc Wadsworth expelled from Labour and now the Zionists want Chris Williamson MP to be expelled for defending him!
It is the duty of the workers’ movement in the imperialist countries to stand up for the defence of Syria, and Russia, against this exercise of imperialist piracy, and to call for the defeat of imperialism. This attack clearly involved determined and sustained preparation to try to instil Russophobia into the population; the fake, and farcical, Skripal supposed assassination with supposedly deadly nerve agents that turned out not to be so deadly after all, and now the seeming kidnapping of Yulia Skripal by the intelligence services, is a case in point. The allegations made without proof against Russia, whose assassins, when they do mean business, are far from incompetent and self-incriminating – large sections of the population understandably consider the British state’s story suspect.
An opinion poll found only 21% of the UK population supported attacking Syria over the Douma incident. Many will have noted the speed of the imperialist response to an unproven and highly suspect attack in Syria contrasts blatantly with their failure to even criticise, let alone condemn or threaten war (!) over the openly proclaimed mass shooting of Palestinian Civil Rights marchers on the Great March of Return in Gaza. As well, there is a considerable fear of armed conflict with Russia and a nuclear Third World War over this. Germany and Italy have refused to have anything to do with the attack.
The Windrush scandal is a flash of lightning that has illuminated the real face of the British ruling class and its bourgeois politics. It is racist to the core. Even within the ruling class and its cabinet, it has been acknowledged that the policies pursued by the Conservatives under David Cameron, both in coalition with the Liberal Democrats and alone under Cameron and May since 2015, owe a certain debt to the policies of Nazi Germany. Not in the sense of people being actually exterminated physically, but in terms of the systematic deprivation of civil rights to those who have the temerity to be poor migrants, or the children of such, or who have non-UK partners, or are overseas students, to mention only a sample: the persecution of vulnerable minorities. Of all the horrible stories about people being denied cancer treatment, being detained and deported, people visiting relatives in the Caribbean being refused re-entry to the UK after living here for 40 or 50 years, being prevented from attending their mother’s funeral, or their daughter’s wedding, NHS workers being denied the right to treatment in the NHS, etc.
The expulsion of veteran anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth in a bogus “anti-Semitic” witchhunt for criticising of Ruth Smeeth in June 2016 for “working hand in hand” with a reporter of the Daily Telegraph was absolutely disgraceful. An all-white, three-person panel of the National Constitutional Committee of the Labour Party, expelled Marc on 27 April 2018 under the catch-all phrase of “bringing the party into disrepute”. Marc founded the Anti-Racist Alliance in 1991 and helped the parents of Stephen Lawrence set up their campaign for justice for their murdered son.
Despite the growing number of bogus allegations of anti-Semitism, the number of cases of anti-Semitism among Labour Party members upheld remains tiny. Many of the allegations have been baseless and politically motivated – attempts to purge or muzzle members who are critical of Israeli government policies and actions against the Palestinians, particularly pro-Corbyn members on the left of the party.
Most shameful is the silence of the Corbyn leadership and indeed their tacit endorsement of his expulsion and now all indications are that they will endorse the expulsion of Jackie Walker and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on totally bogus charges. And they are now open to the shame of a bourgeois court overturning their bogus expulsions on the grounds of natural justice. All this indicated that if Corbyn is elected he will capitulate wholesale to all the offensives of the capitalist establishment on every issue. He is now exposed as a man of straw.
The crowd cheers during a teacher rally at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The imperialist counter-offensive managed to advance the world and established a national truce between the two wings of imperialism (Democrats and Republicans, with all their contradictions and fractions, from Bernie Sanders to the Tea Party). At the heart of the monster, there was a relative and momentary process of economic stabilisation, supported by the increased oppression of workers and immigrants, widespread precariousness of work and increased misery. Thus, embellishing the official indices, Jerome Powell, the president of the Fed (the central bank that most influences the planetary economy), announced that US unemployment fell from 10% in 2009 to 4.1% in 2018, but economic growth barely reaches 2%. Between 2000-2007 growth was 3% per year, which, for the US, is well above the current rate of expansion. Powell acknowledges that “the difference, of course, is in productivity, which had double the growth rate in the early 2000s than now. And from a broader perspective, the average rate of growth in labour productivity, from 2010 to date, is the slowest since World War II, and about a quarter of the average postwar rate.
The fall in productivity is a generalised factor, “not only in the US but also reflects the disqualification of the generation of new jobs that are increasingly precarious, disqualified, unproductive and that impoverish the consumer market, also weakening the capital movement and consumption of goods. As a measure of the economic war, the Fed has announced that it will raise its benchmark interest rate to 1.75%, a steady rise, which began in 2015 and is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. It is an anti-crisis measure, to guard against capital flight, attracting dollars and speculative investments from the rest of the world. So that it does not affect big US capital, or a recession is created, fiscal stimulus was approved through huge tax cuts of around $ 1.5 trillion, and $ 300 billion in additional indirect government transfers to corporations. But the working class and the petty bourgeoisie will suffer from rising interest rates on credit cards, mortgages, auto and home loans, and other lines of credit that do not have flat rates.
Trump imposed the most severe income tax reform for the middle class in recent years, benefiting corporations, mainly real estate speculation. The internal plunder of the proletariat, the expansion of the gains of the imperialist bourgeoisie and the reconquest of the lost international space for Russia and China in the American continent, allow Trump to ensure a level of political stabilisation within the imperialist superclass to renegotiate with France and Germany and re-establish US leadership on the world stage. The farce of a humanitarian protector is maintained, but now the US collectively demands the NATO partners share the cost of defence and military adventures. In this way Trump fulfils the promises of reducing unemployment, US primacy over others (America First!) and the resumption of the US initiative in the conduct of world politics, with a strategic plan, to defeat Russia and China. The United States feels threatened by the growth of the BRICS. Thus, the Trump era announces the end of rights established after World War II, the elimination of labour rights, social security, humanitarian protections for immigrants. Racial internal warfare is fuelled by neo-Nazi appeals. This is an attempt to shift the attention of the poor white working class from its current chaotic situation.
The capitalist crisis is solved by the entrance onto the scene of fascist elements in the social control that ensures enslavement of the working class. The phenomenon of overexploitation of the labour force, which are paid less than the minimum necessary for its reproduction, is amplified. Wall Street has never made so much money and entrepreneurs are all satisfied. Heroically resisting this capital offensive, in several states, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, workers are taking to the streets, with teachers at the forefront, moving toward wage increases, rising welfare education cuts, cuts that have cut classes to four days a week in some schools. Even though strikes were declared illegal by the judiciary, and despite the treacherous policies of the democratic trade union leadership, thousands of teachers were striking red and reviving the class struggle at the heart of the imperialist monster. Each victory of these workers is part of humanity’s victory against barbarism.
The march of the Maharashtra unit of the All India Kisan Sabha on its fourth day, 11 March. (Express photo by Deepak Joshi )
Currently, India’s political condition is in a decadent phase. India’s growing indebtedness to the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) has contributed to the rise of the far-right fascist elements. With the far-right in the power at the centre, a fascist trend is on the move. Religious fundamentalism, communalism, and casteism are the deadly weapons of the existing ruling class which it uses to repress the protesting mass activities. Frequent talks about creating a united federal front of all the so-called ‘anti-fascist parties’ (all of which are bourgeois parliamentary parties) in a common alliance under a common minimum programme are beginning to be heard in the political atmosphere of India. Growing insecurity on the part of the oppressed castes and other minorities in reached a fearful height. Farmers’ suicides have increased in a manner which seems to be unstoppable so long as this anti-people fascist politics of hate and intolerance persists.
The most-recent farmers’ long march in Maharashtra and farmers’ protests in some other states, though exemplary, yet have failed to achieve any long-term success. The farmers are not yet really breaking from belief in the capitalist agricultural model as the only practical alternative. The Bhartiya Janta Party, a fascist neo-liberal party, is the main catalyst behind this dangerous condition of Indian politics today. It has won over many elections by means of its bourgeois manipulative tactics in a majority of the states of the Indian union. It has, everywhere, allegedly hacked and manipulated the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to win the elections at any cost. The callousness of the existing communist parties and the BJP’s efforts towards excluding the communists and calling them “anti-nationals” has made India a country, where one has to live in a state of constant fear and submissiveness.
The BJP’s efforts to create one mono-cultural Hindu nation on the basis of one-language and one-religion undermine and destroy the syncretic culture of our country. The Taj Mahal is generally taken as a powerful symbol of India’s treasured shared, syncretic culture. The sense of peaceful coexistence and the freedom of speech and expression which have existed in India are under the threat of this fascist party’s increasing influence. The anti-fascist Left students’ movement, on the other hand, has gained momentum and plenty of the student leaders have attained national fame. Their focus is now centred on fighting against the evil of fascism. Federal Front politics is not going to destroy fascism and the far-rightist politics in India. Only an anti-fascist Revolutionary Peasants’ and Workers’ front, guided by the youth trained in Marxist-Leninist theory, can bring about a possible alternative change to a form of politics that will be able to fulfil the rights of the oppressed citizens of India.
The present world situation demands a global anti-imperialist struggle. Neo-Imperialism’s death knells are sounding out loud. Whatever be the case, reformism and gradualism are not going to sustain. This is the question of the lives of millions of the exploited working citizens of the world. The oppressed working people of the world are calling for the abolition of the exploitation of humans by humans. Let us study more, organize more, agitate more and fight the final struggle against transnational capital. Let us promise to fulfil the ideals of the May Day Declaration!
SYRIZA deepening its alliance with the US and the Zionist state
Greek capitalism has survived the crisis by imposing a 60-year long austerity on the proletariat. The huge, militant demonstrations of 2010-2012 and the massive wave of radicalization belong to the past. The defeat on the streets combined with the bankruptcy of the parliamentary road and the full capitulation of SYRIZA to the diktats of the Greek bourgeoisie, the EU and the IMF has left the biggest part of the proletariat demoralized and in the search of individual solutions, especially in the absence of a credible working class political alternative.
Greek capitalism might have lost a large part of its GDP and moved down a few places in the hierarchy chain, but this does not stop it from dreaming of recovering the lost ground through the upgrade of its geopolitical position. It is deepening its alliance with the US and the Zionist state and it is trying to claim huge parts of the Mediterranean Sea, that contain oil and gas, as its own Exclusive Economic Zone at the expense of the peoples of the region. It sells arms to the Saudi murderers, shamelessly supporting them in their almost genocidal war against the Yemeni people. The US ships that bomb Syria often sails off Greek ports.
In Greece, the time of social protest and class struggle within the acceptable bounds of the previous period is over. This is something that needs to be understood by the vanguard and the movement. The SYRIZA experience provides further proof that there is no way forward but the intransigent struggle against the bourgeoisie and its state.
132 years since the workers’ uprising in Chicago and 50 years since May 1968, the international bourgeois reaction may boast that the ghost of communism is gone forever. They may feel comfortable thinking that the workers movement is no longer a cause of grave concern. But they have not done away with the Red May Day; not as long as revolution and communism continue to inspire hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. Not as long as the Empire, the guarantor of the capitalist order in the planet, is being battered where it tries to reassert its hegemony, exposing the structural reproductive weakness of a system that lives off its own flesh.
136 years since Chicago, the struggle continues. For the defeat of the Empire in Syria with the victory of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies. For the defence of the Donbass and the defeat of the NATO-backed fascist forces of Kiev. For the defence of the DPRK against the threats of the imperialist gangsters who reserve for themselves the monopoly in the use of violence across the planet. For the victory of the Ansarullah (Houthis) in Yemen against the US-backed Saudi murderers. For the victory of the Palestinian Intifada against the racist sheriff of imperialism which is the Zionist state. For the defence of the independent governments in Latin America that find themselves in the crosshairs of imperialism and its coupists.
The struggle also continues in the heart of the imperialist metropolises, where bourgeois “democracy” is being transformed into a constant state of exception against immigrants, refugees, Black people, foreigners and all those who are different. Where fascists roam. Where the social gains are being torn apart, with the working class being sentenced to a state of constant austerity and insecurity.
Therein lies the hope of the workers’ movement regaining its class pride. Therein shall it rediscover its flag: the red flag of the revolution and communism. Therein shall it rediscover its soul.