Workers of all countries, let us unite!

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The masses of Algeria and Sudan rise up against the tyrannical regimes of their privileged bourgeoisie, that of the FLN and the army in one case, that of Islamism and the political police in the other. Thousands of worker activists have broken with the confederal leaders of the COSATU and with the SACP “Communist” Party that manage South African capitalism with the ANC party of the black bourgeoisie since 1994. They have just constituted a party that appeals to social revolution (SWRP).

In a capitalist world that is heading for disaster, these are signs that the working class can defend itself and save humanity.

Imperialist powers are fighting over the world

Second world economy, China has become a heavyweight imperialism, by the amount of its exports, the establishing of big groups (such as Huawei, the most capable of passing communications to 5G, which is a world challenge), its purchase of farmland and foreign enterprises, its loans to States in need (among which Venezuela and Sudan). The world being divided since long, it can take a position only at the expense of old imperialist powers (United States, Germany, Japan, France, Great-Britain, Canada …).

To guarantee its supplies and opportunities, to defend the interests of its multinational companies, the Chinese State, as its rivals, reinforces its army and establishes bases abroad (Djibouti). China makes eyes at all those threatened by US imperialism, it presents itself as the champion of free trade, while building patiently and methodically its own imperialist policy around the “new silk roads”.

The dominant imperialism could not stand any more without reacting to see its positions weakening, not only towards Chinese imperialism, its most menacing rival, but also towards all its other competitors. It cannot stand any more that anyone, like Syria, Iran or Venezuela, taking advantage of its relative weakening, would dare to challenge it.

The United States rest on their economic, cultural and military assets. They multiply judicial decisions against foreign capitalist groups. Since the election of Trump, protectionist measures (raising custom duties) hit hundreds of billions of dollars of European, Canadian and foremost Chinese exports to the United States, and retaliatory measures were taken symmetrically by the EU and China against American exports.

The economic war is not only a factor of economic crisis, but also of growing instability between the main imperialist countries and within each country. In the Middle East, the United States have undertaken a relentless struggle to make Iran step back and asphyxiate it. Trump gives its blessing to the colonial State of Israel for the annexation of Jerusalem and of the West Bank. The United States, France, Great-Britain … support the reactionary monarchy of Saudi Arabia in a murderous war in Yemen (in which Sudan took part). France favours in Libya the offensive of marshal Haftar against the government supported by the other Western powers, in particular Italy. It reinforces its military interventions in Mali as in Central African Republic.

Russia has a military base in Syria, consolidates its hold on Crimea and maintains secessions in Ukraine, in Georgia and in Moldavia. The threats by Trump of a military intervention in Venezuela in order to hasten the downfall of Maduro fit also into the offensive by the United States to regain their hold on Latin America, while giving them the opportunity to oust from Venezuela Chinese and Russian investors. Turkey, with the consent of Russia and the United States, leads military operations against the Kurdish national movement in Iraq and in Syria. China occupies islands in its neighbourhood, which justifies militarism among neighbouring capitalist States (Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines, Australia).

The rise of reaction under all its forms

On all continents, democratic freedoms (the right to inform oneself, to debate, to strike, to demonstrate, to organise …) step back. Workers are reduced to slavery. Walls are built by Israel, the United States, etc. Often, refugees are the first victims, but all oppressed and all workers are threatened. The right to abortion, in countries where it was snatched despite religious institutions, is challenged. The Burmese State exterminates Muslims; the Turkish State occupies militarily Kurdistan; the Spanish State refuses the right of inhabitants of Catalonia to decide their fate …

Not only some countries bear severe economic crises (Venezuela, Argentine, Turkey …), but the most advanced capitalist States inflict on workers unemployment, precariousness, an increase in the retirement age, the deterioration of public hospitals and of the public school, higher housing rents … Capitalists have recourse to blackmail of relocation (within the country or abroad).

In this framework, traditional parties of capital are worn out, undermined, discredited, and they barely succeed, or don’t, to find a sufficient foundation within the framework of bourgeois democracy, a more or less parliamentary one. The relative or absolute impoverishment of ever wider layers of the population, not only of the working class, but also of part of the petty bourgeoisie, does not guarantee them any more a stable electoral foundation. Many of their electors abstain or switch to “populist”, clericalist, xenophobic, or even fascist parties. All bourgeois parties, old or new, hold up the flag of a more aggressive nationalism in order to divert the anger of the masses against the “foreigner”, either external or internal (migrants, religious minorities …), and to protect their own bourgeoisie and increase exploitation.

The adventurers and the new xenophobic and clericalist parties pretend to oppose the “system”, the “oligarchy”, to represent “the people” against the “elites”: they won the referendum in Great Britain, they won the elections in Brazil, in Italy, in Austria, in Turkey, in India, in the Philippines, in Poland, etc. But the retreat to national self-interest and military aggressiveness, religious obscurantism, will not solve in any way the difficulties of workers.

The success of “populist” demagogues and of fascistic parties rests on the absence of a revolutionary alternative for the working class to the decline of capitalism, to its threat to environment, to its political crisis, to international tensions.

The trade union bureaucracies and traditional “reformist” parties do not obtain any more concessions from their bourgeoisie. The union apparatuses sabotage resistances with symbolic and powerless “days of action” while collaborating to the bosses’ and government’s attacks. Often, the old social-patriot parties (labourites, social-democrats, “communists” …) find themselves carried away into the same discredit as traditional bourgeois parties. The weakening of the SPD in Germany, of the PCF and the PS in France, the disappearance of the PCI in Italy, and the discredit of the PT of Brazil are striking examples.

To end with capitalist barbarity

Despite the intensification of measures to maintain the rate of profit, despite to restrictions to democratic freedoms, despite the installation of ultra-reactionary governments in a certain number of countries, nowhere has the working class been crushed. In Brazil, waged workers, women, students and Indians already raise their head by starting to gather against the first blows of the Bolsonaro government. In Hungary, important demonstrations marched against Orban. In Italy, hundreds of thousands of workers demonstrated in Rome against the Salvini-Di Maio government. In Algeria, millions de proletarians, youths, women, self-employed workers and executives mobilise themselves against the corrupt regime. In Sudan, masses by the millions seek to end with the regime of Islamist oppression and theft that has furthermore profoundly divided the country.

In Algeria, in Sudan, in Brazil, everywhere, to bring the the victory of the camp of the immense majority, that of exploited, of oppressed, to really bring down the system, one must wage the social revolution. It belongs to workers to take hold of factories, mines, means of transport and communication, banks and land. To organise everywhere, one needs assemblies, committees that elect their representatives and coordinate themselves at the local and national level. All power to these structures! The “constituent assembly” or the “democratic transition” will only maintain capitalism and the apparatus of repression, as it happened in Spain, in Tunisia, in Venezuela … To the upholding of capitalism, every “Islamic State” adds the oppression of women, youth, religious minorities, homosexuals, as shown by the caliphate of the IS, Iran, and Sudan.

On the order of the day, there is the general strike, self-organisation, the rallying of conscripts, the taking of power by workers of town and country!

Everywhere in the world, the working class and youth need fresh air, a strategy of permanent revolution, a communist international, to take power, to build a society without classes and without borders.

Against the rancid nationalism of the bourgeoisies at bay and of their social-patriot agents! Long live the international workers’ solidarity! Freedom of movement for refugees and workers! End of imperialist blockades and expeditions, closure of military bases! Dismantling of Israel for a unified, democratic and secular Palestine in the hands of Arab and Jewish workers!

Reconstruction of a workers’ international on the basis of the programme of the Communist International at the time of Lenin and of the 4th International at the time of Trotsky!

Expropriation of capitalist groups, control of production and exchanges as a function of needs and not of profit anymore! Dissolution of the bodies of repression and armament of workers!

Against capitalist barbarity under all its forms, social revolution, workers’ government! Long live world socialism!

1 May 2019

Permanent Revolution Collective (Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Turkey)

Fração Trotskista – Vanguarda Proletária (Brazil)

Internaciema Kolektivista Cirklo (Spain)