Capitalism ran its course
Since it entered its imperialist stage, capitalism has declined. The outcome was the 1914 war in Europe (which was ended by the Russian revolution in 1917 and by the German revolution in 1918), the 1929 economic crisis in America.
Because of the quest for profit, which is the engine of capitalism, the environment of human species is deteriorating. The climate is disrupted by greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4…), nature is used by capital as a dumping ground, several avoidable pollutions affect human health, species are vanishing every year. Big capitalist groups take over agricultural and mining lands at the expense of the working peasants and of the environment.
In 2007-2009, the capitalist crisis strikes on a world scale. More local crises affect Brazil, Argentina, Russia… Greece falls further into depression. The 2009 world recovery occurred at the expense of the exploited, since the governments and the central banks saved the own financial and industrial groups, in each country and everyone for itself.
The capitalists, their states, with the complicity of the “reformist parties” and of the union bureaucracies, have intensified labour, increased job casualization and the flexibility of wages and of labour time, reduced social welfare, added the exploitation through rents and bank interests to the exploitation on the workplace.
Without a significant destruction of capital, the economic growth is weak, the international trade ceased intensifying (it grow slower than production), the world unemployment grows (employment increases slower than the total workforce), financial speculation is persisting. Whereas the working class (workers, employees, technicians…) is expanding, the share of wages in the production declines and the inequalities between the richest and the poorest increase. Hundreds of millions of people are living in destitution and uncertainty in crowded refugee camps in oppressed countries, in slums and favelas in their mainland.
The European Union is weakened by its subordination to US military authority (NATO), by the pressure of Russia on Ukraine, by the constriction of Greece by the German and French bourgeoisies, by the British exit, by the rebellion of the Central European states. As expected by Marxism a century ago, the European bourgeoisies are proving unable to unify Europe on a peaceful basis.
Capitalism leads to barbarism
Inter-imperialist rivalries intensify: the United States try to keep their hegemony on the basis of their military superiority, since Russia resists and China aims to redivide the world. The states spy on their population and cut down on the democratic liberties. Military budgets and arms purchases are rocketing, and nuclear-weapon states are proliferating (Pakistan, Israel…). The entrant Chinese imperialism militarizes the China Sea against the old Japanese and American imperialisms. Russian and Western powers are indirectly confronting in Ukraine and in Syria.
With the support of the United States, Israel is stifling the Palestine territories that are beyond their reach, it regularly destroys the Gaza Strip and it extends the colonization in West Bank and in Jerusalem. The war still devastates Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Tens of millions of people are displaced within their own countries, millions risk their lives in trying to flee (hundreds die every year along the US-Mexico border, thousands die in the Mediterranean Sea…). Everywhere illegal migrants are driven to overexploitation, even to slavery.
Everywhere the ruling class class seeks outlets for job insecurity and misery fed by domination. It targets refugees, workers from other countries, ethnic or religious minorities as scapegoats. The election of Trump in the US, after Duterte in the Philippines and Orbán in Hungary, is an illustration of the overall rise of protectionism and of xenophobia.
The prospect of socialism moved backwards among masses. This is due to the workers’ oppression in states that used to pretend themselves socialists (from Fidel Castro’s Cuba to Pol Pot’s Cambodia) and to the restoration of capitalism in 1989-1993 (in Central Europe, in Russia, in China, in Vietnam…) by privileged and usurping bureaucracies who called themselves communists.
In every country, obscurantism is back in force in ideology and politics, especially as religious fundamentalism. Such a regression occurs at the expense of the scientific research, of other religions and of the atheists, of women’s rights, of sexual freedom, of the archeological heritage, of artistic creation, of education… Nationalist, xenophobic, fundamentalist or fascist political movements threaten the workers’ movement, the democratic liberties as well as the ethnic, religious and sexual minorities.
Millions of women worldwide are excised, are married against their will, are raped and murdered; even in the most advanced countries, the right to abortion in incomplete and under threat.
For world socialism
Yet, the state of science and technology, as well as the means of production and transport, would allow the fulfillment of the basic necessities of the whole humanity. After allowing the development of the productive forces thanks to industrialization and to internationalization, the capitalist relations of production have become a limiting factor.
Fortunately capitalism also engendered a new revolutionary class. The class of the workers, who are forced to sell their labour power to capital, is the only able to remove the barriers to historical progress and to lead the transition to a higher mode of production, socialism-communism, where the associate producers, who are mastering the means of production, will determine in advance the creation and the distribution of wealth.
For the workers’ revolutionary international
The working class –workers, employees, technicians– must take the lead of all the intermediary and semi-exploited classes (peasants, state employees, managers, retailers…) and of all the oppressed in society in order to wrest power from the capitalists’ minority.
The ruling class is not only represented by its parties and by the bosses’ organizations. It is based on the ownership of firms and on the mass media. Its rule is tightened by the state, by the school system and by the academic system, by the clergy, by the liberal or Keynesian economists. Therefore, capital must be expropriated and the state must be destroyed in order to overcome it.
Because it owns both the social surplus product and the state, the bourgeoisie succeeded in corrupting and integrating the bureaucracies of the mass organizations of the working class. The unions’ bureaucracies are prepared to negotiate the attacks against the prior social gains of the workers, and the only thing they oppose it is fake resistance like appeals to bourgeois parties or one-day strikes. Workers’ bourgeois parties, formerly labourist which used to be social-democrat or Stalinist would have us believe that the bourgeois state can manage capitalism and be made to serve the workers. Still, when they reach the government, they defend the national capital against labour and they reinforce the repressive machinery of the bourgeois state (SACP in South Africa, Syriza in Greece, PT in Brazil, PS in France, SPD in Germany, SPÖ in Austria, PS in Belgium, PSC and PCC in Chile…). Therefore, a successful revolution makes it imperative to fight and trick the role of bourgeoisie’s agents within the working class. Yet, the centrist currents (who did not abandon Mao-Stalinism or who revise the Leninist-Trotskyist program) refuse to fight against the “reformist” political and union’s bureaucracies.
When they raise demands, the social-patriots and the centrists split them from the bulk of the program. The opportunists fear what would allow to win on the demands and to ensure conquests: general strike, constitution and centralization of popular and workers’ fights organs, self-defense against the police and the fascists, destruction of the repressive bureaucracy of the state, dictatorship of the proletariat.
No election, no referendum alone can allow the majority to get the power from the minority. To put it another way, what is necessary is a social revolution led by the workers like the 1871 Paris Commune or like the Soviets in 1917. The more the exploited are determined and the more the exploiters are internationally isolated, the less the uprising will be costly for the masses, the shorter and more democratic will be the transition period to socialism (dictatorship of the proletariat).
The positive lesson of the 1917 Russian revolution (and the negative lesson of the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria in 210-2012) is that the working class must take the lead. It therefore needs a strategy, a program, a party. It is necessary to revive Marxism, to rebuild a communist international, to gather the vanguard in every country and to build from it a Bolshevik-type revolutionary workers’ party. It will be able to relate the struggles of the exploited and of the oppressed in the perspective of the overthrow of the bourgeoisie.
Workers from all countries, let’s unite:
Closure of all the imperialist bases! End of the military interventions in Mali, Yemen, Syria, Iraq! End of US military drills against North Korea! Freedom of movement and of installation of refugees, workers and students!
Neither liberalism nor statism! Neither protectionism nor free trade! Expropriation of large landowners and capitalist groups! Production plan decided by the entire population!
Defense of democratic freedoms! Right to secede for all the oppressed nationalities! Complete separation of the religion from the state! Disarmament of the forces of repression and dismissal of the professional army!
Independence of the unions from the state and from the bourgeois parties! Creation of democratic file struggle organs! Workers’ Government based on them! World Socialist Federation!
1st of May 2017
CoReP, PD / Turkey, TML / Brazil