Saturday, May 25, 2019

Brazil: Break with the PT and the Popular Front!

The national education strike or more than 1 million on May 15 was the biggest mobilisation against President Bolsonaro's regime since his election. 


The following is translated from our Brazilian comrades of the Grupo de Trabalhadores Revolucionários do Brasil (GTR-BR)

In order to defeat Bolsonaro and fascism, the workers must break with the PT and the Popular Front and defeat the trade union bureaucracy: the example of education and public pensions

It is not possible to combat Bolsonaro, fascism and imperialism, supporting the PT (Workers Party) and the Popular Front. After the workers said NO to the neoliberalism of the FHC (Fernando Henrique Cardoso) government in the 1990s, they elected Lula and the PT in hopes of a better life. The PT spent more than 13 years in power ruling with the bourgeoisie and applying the neoliberal policies of imperialism. Bolsonaro’s victory and the threat of fascism show that the Popular Front is incapable of defending workers’ rights and fighting fascism, on the contrary, it demobilizes and demoralizes the struggle and paves the way for attacks against the working class!

While the commodity sales boom, especially for China, brought a flood of money, and as Lula said: “never before in that country did the bankers make so much money,” the PT was advancing in privatizations, in the dismantling of public services, of forestry, built the notorious Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, implemented education reform, auctioned pre-salt oil, etc., etc.

The financial market crash in 2008 marked the beginning of the biggest capitalist crisis in history. Capitalist crisis means that the bourgeoisie can not maintain its rates of profit and needs to attack the working class hard. These attacks have generated resistance on the part of the workers not to pay the price of the crisis, the Arab spring being the largest to date. However, there is no country in the world today that is not experiencing economic, social and political crises. On the other hand, fascism grows throughout the world as the only way for the bourgeoisie to crush the working class and make it pay the price of the crisis.

In Brazil it was no different, while Lula said that the crisis was a “marolinha”, he made appropriations of billions of reais to save the big companies like JBS (Brazilian meat-processing corporation) and GM. When Dilma assumed the presidency in the second term, the country already suffered with the end of the economic boom of commodities sale and the country went into recession; her government did not resist the crisis. Of the alms and credit that the PT gave to the working class, only the debts remained. The opposition bourgeoisie also did not speak of the global crisis of capitalism and its campaign to overthrow the government declared that the PT was the cause of the crisis.

Now the far right has come to power with their anti-PT discourse, but obviously the economic crisis is not over. On the contrary, the country has a high rate of unemployment and the public accounts do not balance, causing a risk of a crash. Bolsonaro’s populist government, which is rapidly advancing its Bonapartism, is a necessity for the bourgeoisie to crush the working class and ensure that it pays the price of the capitalist crisis. For the workers there is no other way forward than to end illusions in the bourgeois elections and capitalist state, no other way but to step up the independent struggle of the class to destroy capitalism and the construct the workers’ and socialist state.

The Bolsonaro versus Popular Front polarization is a trap for the working class because it puts before it two bourgeois options and eliminates a class independent alternative for the workers.

The neo-liberal reform of education: from FHC to the PT and the current government

In education, the subservience of the PT governments and their bourgeois allies to the plans of the World Bank and imperialism were no different. For decades education has suffered neoliberal attacks with small reforms that have been condensed and legalized in the National Education Plan (NEP). The National Education Plan, which represents imperialism’s plans to transform education into a commodity, was approved in 2014 under the Dilma government. Bolsonaro’s offensive against education and public universities can only be fought if workers are aware that it is necessary to combat all the neoliberal measures of the last years, including those of the PT, which have paved the way for the current attacks.

No doubt education workers have been among the most attacked in recent decades. The scrapping of schools and the precariousness of the teachers is felt by all. Every year education suffers from budget cuts. The education cuts carried out by the current government are the same as the left government made to comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Law or the “fiscal adjustment” Rousseff made in 2015.

It was in the PT governments that pushed the ‘Educational Reform’ the most. The private education college has grown exponentially, possible only with the billion in public money intended for entrepreneurs of the education sector, known as the “school of sharks.” Government programs that finance jobs in private institutions created the world’s largest education company in the world! Lula has created several new federal universities and institutes, which is the biggest rhetorical claim of his government. However, existing public universities continued in the process of scrapping and “reform”, while the new Universidades and Federal Institutes created by PT governments were born into the new system, where the curriculae and funding are geared to meet the private sector’s needs: low cost for school maintenance and the preparation of cheap and qualified labor to supply the markets. The fact is that universities remain an elite space that few have access to and the new universities created by Lula were part of the implementation of educational reforms dictated by the IMF and World Bank established in the NEP.

Bolsonaro has announced the cut of funds of 30% for the public universities. One of the arguments against government attacks is that public universities generate the most research and technology in the country. This is true, but it is important to remember that in recent years these researches are increasingly dependent on external funds, that is, on the foreign companies and multinationals that control and define what will be researched, according to their interests.

Another argument used by the PT government’s naysayers against the current government is the lack of democracy and autonomy in universities, when the chosen elector of the Triple List is not the one that received the most votes in the elections. However, it is worth remembering that before the PT came to power, one of the great promises was to end the Triple List, which includes the three names most referred by the university community, and from which the government chooses one name. During his thirteen years in power, the PT never ended this undemocratic method of choosing the rectors; what it did was to choose the one with the most votes, while the system remained the same!

High school reform is another example of the educational reform demanded by imperialism from semi-colonies like Brazil. It transforms secondary education into vocational education, with the justification that young people leave ready for the job market. This reform removes training and broad knowledge of secondary education and channels the training of young people to specific areas as a way to generate cheap and specialized labor for the market. On the other hand, it benefits private educational institutions, which lower their costs and increase the demand, since the young person who does not get space in the labor market needs to go back to school and retrain. The PT spoke against the reform of high school when this was approved by Temer, but were silent when this same reform of the NEP was approved by their government or when it was implanted in the states by PT governors, as happened in Rio Grande do Sul during the Tarso Genro government.

In universities, the same privatization logic and training of skilled and inexpensive labor for the market is observed. The old, long and comprehensive courses of entire areas of knowledge have been dismembered in several degree programs. Thus, the basic cycle was created, lasting 2 years, where students matriculate in these various courses. After completing the basic cycle, the student has to do two more years of the course he has chosen. For the student who in the old model leaves college with broad training, she or he now comes out enabled to work only in one branch of the area of knowledge chosen. For private initiative, it means that you no longer need to fund a long and comprehensive course, but only the basic cycle, or the specific modules of each course. It also means a greater demand, because every module that the student wants or needs to do, requires them to go back to the educational institution for it, and obviously to pay for it!

Before the arrival of the PT, the trade unions and the National Union of Students (UNE) fought hard against this reform that had already been demanded by the World Bank since the 1990s! In 1998 the federal universities engaged in a 90-day strike against the University Autonomy of FHC, which was nothing more than autonomy to seek financing in the private sector! This practice began with the foundations of private initiative within the universities, which not only has not been reversed, but made great strides with the PT governments.

What about basic education that suffers from the scrapping and immense precariousness of schools!? One of the main focuses is the attack on education workers, which serves both the interest of private Capital and the end of public servants. The “National Education Floor” was the great tool to end the careers of the teaching profession. While the government was promising a salary floor, which was actually the CEILING, the same floor law established the end of teachers’ career plans. The state of São Paulo is one of the most advanced in the privatizing reform of education. There, the teachers already “won” the floor so much defended by the PT and its syndicalists, but they lost their career plans and other benefits. The state is known for the precariousness of teachers, who worked on a temporary contract, with no ties to the government and earn by the hour, true day laborers! With different stages of implementation, this is the reform applied in ALL states and municipalities of the country. In this sector, the presence of the private initiative dates back to the FHC governments and has remained in the Lula and Dilma government. Private-initiative foundations, such as the AirtonSenna Foundation, Bradesco Foundation, etc., elaborate, apply and control pedagogical projects in public schools, taking away the autonomy of teachers in the classroom.

In Rio Grande do Sul, education has suffered the same dismantling for decades. The hardworking servants of education like doormen, lunch servers, etc., were almost all replaced by private initiative workers through outsourcing; there are only the few waiting for retirement. In recent years, the number of teachers hired under the new scheme equals the number of veteran teachers, whose indefinite period contracts are now the government’s target. The government attack advances to the privatization model already implanted in São Paulo. And during all these years of dismantling, the union policy directed by the CUT (Unified Workers’ Central) / PT is to deceive the masses claiming that the Law of the Floor and the NEP were the solution to all problems of education!

The example of Public Pensions

Today, the media, business people and the government are engaged in a massive campaign for the approval of the Pension Reform. They say it’s the only way out of the crisis. Social security is the largest income distribution in the country, which is one of the most unequal in the world! Reform is a requirement of the financial market, as it is from pensions that the country can draw more money to pay its debts to the bankers. Dilma in 2016, during her “fiscal adjustment” spoke of the need for reform. Temer’s “A bridge to the future” program identified pension reform as its main objective. The “democratic” bourgeoisie and its regime of the 1988 constitution were never able to meet the demands of the workers properly at any time. The different governments that operated under the constitution of 1988 have slowly withdrawn all the rights conquered in 1988. Like education reform, pensions have undergone several reforms since the Collor administration, with further reforms under Lula and Dilma.

The reform presented by the Bolsonaro government to Congress foresees the end of the current policy of public pensions replaced with a private capitalization scheme; the new scheme increases the time of service required, the amount of the contributions and includes a reduction of benefits. Several populist measures of the PT governments were instrumental in reaching the proposed reform of today. In the boom period of the international economy and sales of commodities and credit during the Lula government, the campaign of “valorization of the minimum wage” was launched. The untying of the increase for retirees earning more than one minimum wage led to a flattening of wages paid by social security. The pension ceiling had already led many workers to turn to private pension plans to try to keep their salary level in retirement. In practice, the private sector workers retain very little of the rights of the current pension system. The civil servants were targeted by Lula’s pension reform in 2003, but they are the ones who have managed to maintain most of their rights and are now the most threatened by the current reform, which foresees the end of public servants’ pensions for a single pension scheme. It is worth remembering that the public servants, while they were able to maintain their rights, unfortunately lacked solidarity with the workers of the private sector and the defense of their social security system. This balance is fundamental so that public servants can receive support from other workers in the face of the attacks they are suffering from the bourgeoisie and the Bolsonaro government that wants to end public service and advance privatizations.

The media and government say the country will collapse if the reform is not approved. To deceive the population, they compare the expenses of social security with those of health and education, showing that for the latter the expense is much lower. But they do not show that spending on debt repayment for bankers is astronomical. The workers should have no illusions, the money the government intends to take out of pensions will not go to health and education, but to the bankers!

It is not possible to defeat Bolsonaro’s final coup against public services and pensions by defending the PT and the Popular Front as “lesser evil”

Undoubtedly, the reforms of the last decades in education, health and social security follow the logic of privatization: increasingly scrapped, these services will remain public only for the very poor who can not afford to pay, the others will have to look for these services in the capitalist toilet. It is worth remembering that private does not mean quality, because in Brazil we know the poor quality of private schools, universities and health care and that we pay dearly for them!

After Lula’s first election, all workers’ struggle and awareness against the privatization of education project suffered a great setback. The unions and militants began to be integrated into the state institutions and defend this project, giving a “democratic” face through the “National Conference of Education,” a tripartite sphere with businessmen, government and workers, where this project was endorsed. Educational reform was implemented through the co-optation of trade unions and workers’ organizations by the Popular Front.

The capitulation of the Left to the Popular Front is general, as can be seen during the bourgeois elections, when most currents called for voting for the PT against Bolsonaro and Fascism. Even organizations that had stood in opposition to PT governments, such as PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party) and PSTU (Unified Workers’ Socialist Party) took this position.

PSOL, PSTU and combative unions such as ANDES (National Association of Teachers of Higher Education), who in the past were against the NEP, all denounced the maneuvering of the ‘Law of the Floor’ and tried to unite the struggle of teachers demanding the full rights of contracted teachers who have been in the public service for more than 3 years. Now they have NO policy different from that of the PT and the Popular Front. Instead, they are part of the National Conference on Education and are agents in the application of these neoliberal attacks.

The global crisis of capitalism and the resistance of the working class

The deepening of the crisis shows that the impeachment of Dilma was only the beginning of a great instability of the institutions of the Brazilian bourgeois state. After the fall of the PT and the unpopular Temer government, we went through a stark and growing crisis of the State institutions, with disputes between the powers and within the Bolsonaro government itself, which show that not only the executive power, but the bourgeois democratic regime is not able to carry forward the interests of the bourgeoisie and imperialism. Bolsonaro needs to deepen his bonapartism more and more, putting himself above institutions, with populist and authoritarian measures. Unlike the PT and the reformist left, we say that the fascist methods and military blows of the bourgeoisie remain the same that the impeachment of Dilma was a maneuver of the bourgeoisie to overthrow her government, and that Brazil suffers with a threat of a real coup. The PT narrative helps demobilize, misinform and disarm the working class for this fight.

The global crisis of capitalism demonstrates the destructive character of this system. The decadence of American hegemony and the intensification of the dispute with the imperialist bloc of China/Russia lead the great world powers to another imperialist war. Obviously Bolsonaro has no sovereignty allegiance and has already shown himself to be the doormat of Trump and American imperialism, even willing to go to war to defend imperialist interests, as in the case of neighboring Venezuela. But the PT governments were never “anti-imperialist.” What the PT and the popular front did was to bring the country closer to Chinese and Russian imperialism through the BRICS. For workers, there is no difference in being exploited and paying debt to the IMF or the BRICS bank.

The PT, PCdoB (Communist Party of Brazil) and its allies are traitors to the working class. Contrary to what they claim, the workers and the youth have staged a great resistance. Youth in 2013 in the fight against rising public transport fares mobilized millions who went to the streets asking for health and education, andtoday the PT accuses them of having been a fascist movement! Teachers have for years held strikes in every state and municipality in the country. The need to unify these strikes forced the CUT / CNTE (Teachers Union) to carry out 3-day general strikes in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. All of them serving the trade union bureaucracy to destroy the movement from the inside, controlling and diverting it into illusions in the elections and programs of the PT government. In 2019, in the face of all the Bolsonaro government attacks, the CUT / CNTE was forced to call another general education strike for May 15. The question is: why do the trade union centrals that have been talking about “building the general strike” for years not unify all workers, taking advantage of this moment of the struggle of the education workers? They will certainly answer us: because the general strike against the Pension Reform will be June 16.

We do not sing the chorus with the ultra-leftists and centrists who criticize the trade union centrals over how much “time is needed to build a general strike. For the working class that has listened to the Bureaucratic Block of Trade Union Centers (of which Conlutas is a part) that it is necessary to “build” the General Strike for 30 days, this is not the question. Our critique is the role of bureaucratic misdirections in intervening in the movement to bar it, bureaucratize it, and divert it to the interests of its opportunist parties and its strategies of Popular Front and bourgeois elections. We warn workers that this example shows how opportunist mis-leaderships try to divide the working class. Why can’t other workers make a general strike in defense of education and the specific demands of each sector? Why can’t the General Strike against Social Security Reform unify with the other branches of the movement? We have come to answer those questions: because the PT, CUT and its allies do not want to bar the pension reform, as exposed by their governors and parliamentarians; they want a “better” reform. They want to exhaust the government before the upcoming elections and they fear that the strike movement will get out of their control. These are the reasons why the workers’ reformist leadership does not advocate an INDEFINITE General Strike.

We support and will be part of the general strikes of education and against pension reform. But we warn workers that the strike and movement is in the hands of a union bureaucracy and reformist parties who want to divert our struggles to their interests in elections and in Parliament. We say that a united front (UF) is required among workers and left-wing organizations, including opportunistic ones. We do not ignore the fact that the CUT/PT are the majority leaders of the Brazilian working class. But UF means that they are a part, and not the only leaders; that also the rank and file has its leadership role. That is why we call the Central bloc a bureaucratic front, in which only the leaders decide between four walls the direction of the movement. We regret the fact that CONLUTAS are part of and sustain this bureaucratic bloc and we call on it to break with the union bureaucracy. Only the indefinite general strike, organized and controlled by the rank and file committees and self-defense organs of workers is able to defeat the government, imperialism and put in check the bourgeoisie and capitalism in Brazil!

The strategy of dividing the movement of the working class is also carried out in the international field of class struggle. It is no wonder that social democrats, Stalinists, “RT socialists” and faux Trotskyists when faced with the biggest economic, social and political crisis worldwide, with mass upheavals and openly revolutionary processes such as the Arab Spring and the Syrian revolution, with support for bourgeois regimes, ultimately abandoning the struggle for socialism.. They have not advanced an independent struggle to support and provide class solidarity. The only way out for them is the Popular Front, that is, alliance with “progressive” sectors of the bourgeoisie, supporting dictatorships such as Assad in Syria or Maduro in Venezuela. These opportunistic and reformist directions are said to be “anti-imperialist”, but only when imperialism is American. They are allies of Chinese and Russian imperialism, in a large popular front, taking sides in the inter-imperialist dispute.

Faced with the deep capitalist crisis in which the bourgeoisie needs fascist methods to crush the working class to “solve” its crisis, the growth of fascism in the world shows that only the struggle of the workers and the socialist revolution is capable of defeating fascism. Socialist revolution is required to prevent the recurrence of inter-imperialist wars and to save mankind in the face of the destruction of the environment caused by the capitalist mode of production. For this it is necessary that the workers, leftist currents, militants and activists break with the opportunist leaderships and the Popular Front and advance in the direct struggle of the working class and in the construction of the World Party of the Revolution. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY

























Workers of the World this is your Day, your planet, and if you want to keep it– it is your task to end for profit production and private accumulation and initiate a workers controlled, democratically planned economy based on social need and equitable distribution. Easier said than done? How do we do it? 

Some think capitalism is eternal. But economic systems (modes of production) do come and go. But they do not die of their own obsoleteness even when they outlive their shelf life. Prior to now defunct modes of production such as slave societies and feudalism, even when they were deep in decay, lingered until they were put to death by the conscious act of the revolutionary class of the age. During the American Civil War it was tens of thousands of Black ex-slaves flooding the Union lines demanding to be armed that crushed the Slavocracy and Confederacy. To quote Frederick Douglass, Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and never will!

Today the working class, the majority social class of the world, the class with its hands on the means of production, is the only revolutionary class with the historic interest of putting the rabid parasitic decaying capitalism down.

This is the day, more than any other, that the working class disdains to conceal its historic role and declares itself the only social class that can advance the forces of production without destroying the planet in the process, indeed the only class that can save the planet.

This day the working class declares its leading role in the permanent revolution to abolish the rule of the parasites and all the varieties of governmental forms they rule through.

This day the working class declares itself the only social class capable of completing the tasks of the national democratic revolutions-of defeating imperialism in the semi-colonies, of instituting land reform and of securing democratic and human rights for all.

This day the working class declares that only its program, it’s Party and its International can save civilization and the ability of humanity to survive by making peace with mother earth instead of killing her for private profit and military advantage.

As for your mode of production, always read the instructions (on the back of the box) and the fine print of the limited lifetime warranty. We say capitalism will kill you. The bosses say just keep working, shopping, paying your bills and be on time or we’ll replace you!

Revolutionary workers say now is time for the political independence of the working class. Fake socialists like the DSA and Bernie tell workers their home is the Democratic Party. We say look under the hood–the Democratic Party is a capitalist party with an imperialist foreign policy. It is an enforcer of austerity, a promoter of clean coal, a trigger man in drone wars and an incapable opposition party. Under the twin party political monopoly the policy of capital is always the government policy. We are delighted to see large numbers of youth getting wise to the racket and note that “Teen Vogue” is asking if it is time for a general strike, explaining what it is and why it becomes necessary! We agree; we just don’t see a general strike as self-sufficient. Workers need their own party; they can’t be on strike all the time.

An independent workers party will assert class struggle methods of political struggle and organization: To win, workers need to control our own organizations, take back our trade unions from the Democratic Party hacks, build action committees, factory committees, neighborhood councils, and popular workers assemblies that form organs of power such as workers councils and organize disciplined workers self-defense guards. Only an internationalist revolutionary workers party fights for this program. This is our method–socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the classless society of communism with the state withering away, this is our class’ historic project and goal.

Crisis Capitalism and Inter-Imperialist Conflict; while climate catastrophe looms…

The capitalist crisis requires capital to go international-some call it globalization, but this process is more concretely identified by the logic of the working class-the dialectic-as imperialism. Imperialism is not a policy choice as the debunked Marxist Kautsky and modern day liberals and social democrats tell you. It is how the advanced capitalist countries dispose of their over accumulated capital–when they have saturated the markets at home they must invest it abroad to prevent it from stagnating, withering and deflating. Imperialism-international investment, trade and control of that trade is an essential capitalist response to the tendency of the rate of profit to fall that accompanies the over accumulation of capitals. It leads directly to inter-imperialist conflict for access to cheaper labor power, natural resources and markets. It leads to a master/slave relationship between oppressor and oppressed nations.

The U.S.-led imperialist bloc enforces its will via the IMF, World Bank, NATO, Africom, the Southern Command, SEATO and nipping at its heels is the rising challenger the China-Russia imperialist bloc operating via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS agreements. For those who say “size matters,” Chinese military spending is equal to the combined spending of three long-term leading imperialist powers, England, France and Germany. Building aircraft carriers and artificial islands in major shipping lanes can only signify plans to project force at the cost of human life. Saber rattling against the U.S., boasting of new generation anti-shipping missiles, the Chinese military makes a sick joke of “21st Century socialism” on this May 1st.



Do not use capitalism after expiration date: That WAS August 4, 1914! 

The day the labor leaders of the 2nd Workers International sided with their own capitalist rulers by voting for the war credits that unleashed the slaughter of World War I. This social-patriotism defeated the internationalist conquests of the early socialist workers movement, eviscerated the revolutionary program of socialist internationalism and later ceded social power to fascism as a phenomena in the interim between WWI and WWII. Unlike western chauvinists who see the developing conflict with the Russia/China bloc through the eyes of Wall Street and promote “BUY AMERICA” campaigns and try to build walls, we see the developing inter-imperialist conflict as the gravest threat to humanity, one which can only be averted by an internationalist working class that opposes inter-imperialist war with the power of international working class solidarity in action.

Today we must apply the lessons of 1914! Workers of the world do not go to war against your sisters and brothers abroad, turn the imperialist wars into civil wars against your own capitalist ruling class!

Only an internationalist workers movement can prevent WWIII by uniting workers in the imperialist countries and semi-colonies against wars, against counter-revolution and against the capitalist class everywhere. To mobilize labor to oppose inter-imperialist wars and wars against the semi-colonies by turning wars of conquest and control abroad into class wars-social revolutions at home, we must take the lessons of WWI and WWII and declare workers won’t fight each other. Instead, we will fight our class enemy at home– the capitalist class. Where is the Workers Party and Workers International that will stop the imperialists wars? On this May Day we declare for the Party of the International Working Class!

MAYDAY means more than a holiday speech. It is our moment to reassess our situation as the one productive social class and to assert our intention to survive the system that exploits us daily and unceasingly puts us up to fight its wars, requiring that we kill each other off to reduce or destroy our commodified selves–reduced by the system to “variable capital” (flesh and blood!) for sale on the “free market”. To end this butchery workers need our own workers party that fights for political and economic power independently of the capitalist class; it is only by defeating the rule of the capitalist class that the working class can survive.

The Crisis of Leadership

Today the crisis of the leadership of the working class and the parallel disaster of popular frontism stymie the task of overthrowing capitalism. For example, in South Africa, where the working class still raises the hammer and sickle and red banner of communism, they are politically disarmed from fighting for worker’s power by the Stalinist South African Communist Party (SACP) and the COSATU trade union federation, in a popular front alliance with the bourgeois ANC government, which jointly administer scarcity capitalism instead of expropriating the capitalists and imperialists. The blood of the Marikana mine workers shed in 2012 at the hands of the ANC police (on behalf of the mine-owners including Ramaphosa) is the price the workers pay for the popular front between the mine owners and the SACP.

The Workers Party (PT) in Brazil administered the capitalist state in a popular front for decades but could not prevent the world capitalist crisis post-2008 from exerting its destructive powers on Brazil. And the PT, by choosing to administer capitalism, instead of organizing the working class to build socialism by expropriating big capitalist and imperialist holdings, the PT paved the way for Temer and now the rightist/nationalist authoritarian Bolsonaro. The same scenario is playing out in Venezuela; social democracy and half steps cannot resolve the crisis of capitalism, resulting in disillusionment by the masses, creating the crack where the counter-revolution sticks it wedge. This is the crisis of our age, the crisis of leadership that allows the popular front–cross class politics–to dominate the workers movement.

Fake-Trotskyists (Socialist Action, ICL, IG, IBT), ultra-lefts, such as the neo-Stalinist Party for Socialism and Liberation and Workers World Party, slandered and attacked the Syrian revolution from 2011 through 2018 and continue today, through venues like Pacifica Radio, Verso books and the Peoples Forum. Their main project is promoting the interests of “anti-imperialist” regimes, irrespective of the class character of the states involved or the questionable “democracy” in any of them. With this method, Duterte or Netanyahu could become “anti-imperialists” if they developed sufficient frictions with Washington. No surprise, this is a worldview that is unipolar, and in their scheme Russia and China are not imperialists but “anti imperialist nations.” Still more curious is the case of Socialist Action, the Jeff Mackler sect and rump of the “best builder” Barnesism-without-Barnes project. Recently it has dawned on them that China and Russia nowadays ARE imperialist. Yet they carry on their orientalist hate campaign slandering the Syrian revolution as before.

As our New Zealand comrades wrote in 2013…,

“The so-called revolutionary left of all colors from pink/brown national reformers, Bolivarians, Greens Anarchists and fake Trotskyists, are all feinting left and posing as revolutionary saviours of the working class. They are all traitors in the ranks of the class singing the siren songs of the popular front. The most dangerous and deceptive are those now organised behind the Bolivarians that unite fake Trotskyists with Castroists and Chavistas in a global popular front with Chinese imperialism.”

Who can Dump Trump? And What do we say to the ‘Anyone But Trump’ Left (?): How middle class reformists rob the workers of their party…,

This May Day the focus of the news in the U.S. is on the Mueller Report and the 2020 elections. Idolators of the two party system, including the “Democratic Socialists of America” will not tell you Trump is STILL in office because the Democrats fear that impeachment would destroy the Republican Party and with it their own reason for being one party, as collateral damage. Both of the status quo foci divert the attention of the masses from the tasks necessary to win socialism and defeat the rule of the capitalist class, which like Nero is busy fiddling-destroying mother nature-as the planet burns, the arctic melts, Game of Thrones Season 8 is out and Winter is not Coming!

For all but the most ignorant and willful deniers, climate catastrophe is clearly here and impacts broader and broader sections of the populations. Forest fires, hurricanes, floods, monsoons, rising oceans have triggered direct action citizen responses such as “Extinction Rebellion” and Friday student walkouts around the world. These are an indication of the frustration the masses are feeling with the political leaderships. So far these actions have been led by petty-bourgeois forces, privileged people who nevertheless have insufficient social weight to cause Capital to refrain from any profit driven activity. No pipeline is cancelled, no seawall is built around a nuclear plant and the net increase in fossil fuel consumption in energy production continues without pause.

In a race with the development of class-political consciousness, the fascists internationally have staked everything on defense of white privilege, from Sweden to Pittsburgh to Christchurch. The fascists tell you climate catastrophe is a hoax and criminal Brown people are invading and taking your jobs! We say workers must smash fascism in the egg. No platform for fascists! We deal with the fascists’ plans below.

Paramount in saving the planet is the need for the working class to seize control of the economic planning and create a science and engineering wing of economy under the direct control of the plan. This is opposed directly to the capitalist anarchy of production which all the Democratic Party hopefuls embrace. While some like Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg promise to administer the capitalist state in a more equitable fashion, taking account of the global climate change, their promises are just hot air, a mirage they can never deliver because of the power of the capitalist class to control its state. During 2016 Bernie talked of the Political Revolution! Not a social revolution-such is not on their agenda.

None of them will tell you that the state is capitalist and imperialist. None of them will address the class nature of the state; they seek to preserve the necessary illusion that the state, the government, the military and police agencies are class neutral. Representatives of capitalist class ideology all, they pull the wool over the third eye of the collective consciousness, they cannot dare tell you that the class nature of the state is capitalist! They can allude to problems with the system that can be tinkered with around the edges with ‘appropriate’ regulatory fixes and well placed taxes. And all you have to do is vote for them!

What they don’t tell you is that every effort for even the most minimal reforms will by met with the onslaught of the mega-power of big capital-from the media and lobbyists to the police, the baton and the taser. They neither spare the rod nor the cost to ensure capitalist class interests are not seriously challenged.

To win social gains massive social action such as sustained strike waves and working class mobilizations are required and that type of resistance will trigger violent responses from the state–the capitalist state. Just as the state under Obama unleashed its violent might against Occupy and just as Macron unleashes his goons against the yellow vests, the capitalist class everywhere resorts to violent enforcement against movements for social reform today because the crisis of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall gives them no quarter.

Liberals whine and cry over the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, posing the moral conundrum they naively ask, who needs so much? How many millions does one family need? They don’t dare look at the real reason that there is no limit to the capitalist class’ quest for accumulation. Individual capitals must accumulate or be eaten by bigger players. Likewise they are all aware of the vulnerability of global and national markets, propped up, as they are, by fictitious values of the fiat currencies, and subject to the instabilities of climate change, mass migrations, market manipulators, currency and trade wars, inter-imperialist conflicts, and most threatening to their rule–social rebellions, where the masses build popular assemblies, factory committees, and workers councils which lead toward socialist revolution (Portugal 1974, Argentina 2001.).

Neither Bernie, nor Warren nor the rest of the 20 or so Democrat politicians will look workers in the eye and say every state has a class nature, nor that the class nature of the state is based on the social economic class that controls the government and the armed might to enforce its class dictatorship. They will not tell you that the government is the tool of Capital and its entire operation today is maintenance of the monopoly of political power, persuasion and control over wage labor and the profits capital wrings from wage labor. Today the working class labors under the dictatorship of capital, the dictatorship of a minority. We need social revolution to initiate the dictatorship of the working class over Capital. Without it we will not save the planet, and it doesn’t turn out to be a moneymaker for the other major social class to save.

The widely hated and now deceased President Nixon, who under pressure of the first Earth day events conceded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), looks like a liberal compared to Trump who is flaying the EPA and ensuring it does not interfere with big corporate profits. Yet the Democrats are hellbent on running against Trump, even as the inescapable logic of the impeachment remedy oozes through their ranks…. When Matt Gaetz, Republican congressman of Florida proposes abolishing the EPA altogether, the same week the Mueller report came out, the question becomes how many more days of the Trump regime can parliamentary rule endure? He is denying every subpoena and redirecting funds in violation of the Constitution, and these acts cannot be normalized.Trump tells his supporters in the state to flout the law and he’ll pardon them. In this atmosphere fascist groups mushroom and lone wolves are emboldened. And this is an international phenomenon. Steve Bannon is organizing a white-alt.-right international, turning small time zealots into terrorists and murderers and is even plotting against the Pope!

Only our class’ historic solution to end exploitation and oppression can destroy the ideological basis for all forms of chauvinism, racism, misogyny, ethnic and gender bias that the authoritarian rightists foment in scapegoating projects to splinter the working class and defeat internationalist class solidarity. From Trump’s ear to Bolsanaro’s, the Breitbart bastard Bannon is forging an internationally coordinated alt-right project poised to supply the shock troops of the counter-revolution. He knows the bourgeoisie needs him because he knows that the working class internationally will be crossing over to an offensive that state repression may require outside support for.

On May Day we declare the working class is an international class and we know only our international solidarity and democratic and centralized coordinated offensive can defeat the reactionary shock troops, militarists and coup leaders. Solving the crisis of proletarian leadership in this way is also looking to be what humanity needs to combat the global climate catastrophe, where calamity visits Puerto Rico, Bangladesh and Mozambique and threatens Pacific islanders and every coastline.

Mueller report: Buck Passing Even Now When Decision Time Was Last Year…

Revolutionary workers have long known that parliamentary and legislative democracies with an upper house and an executive are not democracy for all. They are democracies designed as a tool to maintain capitalist class rule. Unicameral or bicameral no longer matters; they are devoted to intra-bourgeois squabbles concerning how to keep power from us! They are failing all the way down the line in preventing Bonapartist power grabbing by the Executive. And that grabbing is accelerating. Now the farce of bourgeois democracy has shown itself in the inability of the opposition party to withstand the attacks on social gains the working class and oppressed suffer under this Republican regime. And the social democrats tell us to join them in the very same Democratic Party that today peddles the old worn out imperialist war horse Joe Biden as its flag bearer.

The Democrat leadership tiptoes toward impeachment, then steps back, passing a year’s time or more getting fastidious preparations together for Congressional investigations AFTER two years of Special Counsel investigation and a report that damns Trump as the all-time crook of U.S. politics. The working class SHOULD NOT suffer an extra day of his right-to-work, Alt. Right “nationalism” and misogyny. We should be tearing up the streets in yellow vests and under union banners, eschewing Trump’s enablers just like his apologists, demanding his immediate impeachment and removal, and that as just one of many immediate demands and socialist demands of the workers and the oppressed.

The Dems always like to have Republicans to blame. Without Republicans, they’d have no reason for being one party. They pose as social democrats while they acquiesce in the erosion of social gains, and this is why they put “the resistance” to sleep the moment they won back the House; which is to say they put you up to enduring the continued erosion while they preoccupy themselves with weighing his criminality. Today they see Trump destroying the Republican party and are horrified.They don’t want the masses to make a fundamental reassessment of political parties and forces and shed their powerlessness. They want to run against Trump…the problem is with him in office there is a new outrage every day….and to a large extent the daily outrages that truly effect the daily lives of workers and oppressed have been buried under the howlings of Rachel Maddow and the DNC mouthpieces, whose daily obsession with Trump’s collusion with Russian interference takes the concrete attacks on social gains off the radar.

This is by design, because most of the rollbacks, be they in worker health and safety, the social safety net, educational funding, accessibility to medical care and environmental controls are all part of the ruling class’s project to counter the tendency of the rate of profit to fall and to counter the pressure of the rising Chinese and Russian imperialism.

Indeed while the Democrats look at Trump’s Russian deals as unpatriotic, they raise their war banners high in attempts to be more hawkish than the cravenly blatant beneficiaries of the military industrial complex. Behind the backs of the voter masses two dangerous, rotten Ukraine policies were contending in 2016, and this problem has not solved itself! Bernie is known as the F-35 Senator and his claim to have opposed the Iraq war is torpedoed by his votes for every military expenditure on it. Buttigieg, Gabbard and Moulton are all veterans of Capital’s never ending wars for pre-eminence in the world oil market. Every one of these pols is as pro-Zionist as Trump and has credentials to proudly prove it. They have many places to get you or you kids killed.

Death Agony of Capitalism

Forbes magazine’s concern is for the billionaires who look at the inverted yield curve and fret the next downturn because capital is incapable of reigning in the anarchy of production, the unplanned nature of the national and international economy. Trade wars, slowing global growth, and apprehensive consumer and business sentiment are the topical momentary considerations the “Capitalist Tool” sees as threatening their profits. Buttressed by high flying stock markets inflated by fictitious capital, printed freely, and distributed to the banks to soften the blow of the 2008-2009 crash, big capital tries to manage the unmanageable, grasping at straws to mitigate the inevitable effects of the actual current long depression. The working class in the main are not the beneficiaries of the inflated stock and real estate markets, rather we pay for their fictitious profits with our daily toil, we suffer the unsafe and unhealthy work conditions, we are driven by economic anxieties and into depression. Multitudes are immiserated and suffer the bloody and devastating consequences of their imperialist wars and disregard of the collapsing environment.

Capital, plagued as it is by a historic tendency for the rate of profit to fall, has no choice but to initiate a daily struggle at the points of production, distribution and exchange against the working class in order to squeeze every bit of surplus value out of the exchange relations which dominate our social relations, our economic life. This means every technical advance that saves labor time during production does not shorten the time the workers must toil; instead labor saving advances are turned into shareholders profits and coupon clippers’ dividends. This is the individual appropriation of the wealth created by social production.

While rates of productivity advance it is the control of production by capital that ensures actual wages stagnate and relative wages (relative to productivity) decline. It is no secret, on this May Day, that the international working class–the billions of workers, landless farmers and oppressed peoples pay for those profits–in the daily class war over what share of the value which we create in the production process and exchange relations–how much goes to the one true productive class, the proletariat– and what share goes to the parasitic class–the capitalists! (?) There is no capitalism without class war; the only question is do we fight back or do we just die!

Capitalism may choke, gag and sputter, but like a vampire, it rises from its deathbed again and again until the working class, out of its self-awareness, and driven by necessity drives the stake through the heart of capital. On May Day communist and revolutionary workers do not bemoan the dying of the capitalist system, we commit to building the class consciousness and organizational tools required to bury the dead and dying corpse before its excrescence kills us all.

Rise of fascism, racist violence and social reaction

The rise of right totalitarian, authoritarian and theocratic regimes is how decaying capital tries to sustain its profit base. The more the upsurge of the working masses is not pacified by the liberal and social democratic left and labor lieutenants of capital, the more an authoritarian state has to emerge from behind the screen of “constitutional” legality.

Trump suggests to the ruling class that he is a Bonaparte who can accomplish their aims without their having to resort to the fascist solution and the mobilizing of private armies and a mass fascist movement; even as he makes noises that he can turn out the motor-psycho fascist leagues of amerikkka with a tweet. He has not convinced most of the ruling class or most of their kept representatives and they think he relies too much on Russian and other foreign capitalists for support. Many fear he has fascism in store for them as a second act. Likewise he seems to them less and less likely to keep his crowd in check.

From the white nationalist cover of Trump “MAGA” rallies, the alt-right groups like Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys and thousands of others are festering and lurking, recruiting on the fringes of the internet. Then periodically and ever more regularly erupting violently in the streets, armed like caricatures of stupid heroes and then under the banner of free speech claim the right of fascism, patriots of the confederacy and white and European supremacists–to march in the streets. They make a mockery of free speech while making room for holocaust deniers and thugs to assault leftists, trade unionists, feminists, people of color, LGBTQI people, Muslims, Jews, and immigrants from Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. As we write in April, black churches are burning “suspiciously,” the police say, across Alabama. Again.

Whether acting en masse as in Charlottesville, a band as in Colombo or as lone-wolves like in Orlando, Christchurch and Pittsburgh and Poway, their violence is often committed in plain view of an authoritarian state. The fascists’ impunity spreads fear far and wide when there is mass suspicion of state collaboration in it! The perpetrators are all Trumpsters and proud to say so! Is this our future? Will the bourgeoisie offer a Constitutional Convention the way it proffers Constituent Assemblies and Popular Fronts around the world, shearing our rights from us even as they swear to guarantee them, all the while permitting the fascists to prepare to enslave us? This adds special renewed urgency to building the world party of socialist revolution.

Consider all the entrapment cases where the FBI actually “radicalizes” Muslims and Green activists, supplying them with motive and weapons, creating false flag terrorist assaults which are prosecutable and newsworthy (budget play!). Otherwise how to explain that despite having vast data mining resources watching nearly your every move on urban streets and every “private” keystroke, the state is not capable of preventing racist and neo-fascist violence, which is escalating at an alarming rate. The ruling class won’t stop it but the working class can!

Like the Trotskyists of the 1930’s we know that the declassed petty-bourgeois and lumpens who fill the ranks of the fascist groups are “toughguy” cowards. Their organizations can be smashed and their activities suppressed by the working class, once organized for this purpose. The unthinkable alternative, to let them speak freely and organize their violence against all other thought, cannot be accepted by the productive forces in society. Already we can salute some worker self-organized anti-fascist arms training organizations. These are lawful expressions of class warfare and we hope they will grow and overtake the anarchic “antifa” movement, which we neverthelessdefend against defamation by bourgeois politicians, fake socialist pacifists, and police violence and provocations.

Women’s Liberation

Capitalism on its last legs has to use every means at its disposal to prevent the solidarity of women uniting with men and posing a revolutionary threat to its class rule. Revolutionary system change is on the top of the agenda today because we can’t solve any of our problems if dying capitalism takes us down with it. Without a victorious women’s struggle against the patriarchy there can be no system change. It is young women who are leading the black lives matter movement and the climate emergency charge because it is young and working class women who have the least to lose and most to gain in challenging the oppressive, exploitative and ultimately destructive rule of capital and climate collapse.

We believe the women who accuse dozens of bourgeois politicians of molestation and sexual harassment. Not long ago having a “bimbo” in the state capitol or in Washington was seen as an ‘old boy’ perk that went with election or even candidacy as an unspoken norm of bourgeois parliamentarism, a side benefit of participation in the class dictatorship superstructure-the first bed right of kings and lords transitioned to the modern ‘democratic’ era. Now the bourgeois parties are forced by the mass women’s’ movement of today to pretend they never approved of it. Suddenly it is normative to have female presidential candidates, such as other developed and imperialist countries do, even as the bosses’ dictatorships in the workplace remain unchanged and fascist reaction threatens every gain women have won in the modern period.

That is why the fight for women’s liberation is a pre-condition for unity and solidarity necessary for the working class globally to make the social revolution, end patriarchal capitalism and create a post-capitalist, sustainable, human, world. For the working class to make its social revolution the political independence of the working class women’s movement from bourgeois feminism is not only essential, it is where the class line must be drawn. Bourgeois feminism demands a seat on the corporate boards, to run the chief executive offices of capitalism and the capitalist state. The class conscious working women’s movement aims to expropriate the corporations and smash the capitalist state.

100th Anniversary of the Communist International

March, 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Third International (Comintern) that was organized in the wake of the betrayal of the 2nd International, whose leaders to a great extent supported their own bourgeoisie in the imperialist slaughter of World War I. The Comintern was founded in Moscow as the world party of socialist revolution, carrying forward the revolutionary internationalist program of Marxism until it’s degeneration under the Stalinist bureaucracy in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Despite this betrayal, the Russian Revolution led by the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Trotsky served as a beacon for liberation for the working masses through much of the 20th Century.

There is no shortage of class and social struggle today. The Yellow Vests in France have met the assaults of the Macron government with months of militant street demonstrations. South Africa has witnessed the expulsion of NUMSA, South Africa’s largest labor union, from COSATU. This culminated in a break from the ANC/SACP/COSATU popular front Tripartite alliance and the formation of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party. Algeria erupted in mass protests that forced president Bouteflika to resign. The Syrian masses are not done with Assad yet, try as imperialism does to put the cork back in the bottle. The unfinished national revolution of the Middle East and North Africa will erupt unceasingly until imperialism is defeated. The United States has witnessed Black Lives Matter, militant teachers’ strikes and anti-ICE demos, as well as the growing popularity of socialism, such as it is understood.

Surviving Bolshevik-Leninists regrouped after the catastrophic defeat of the German Communist Party and the Hitler rise to power. In 1938 they formed a new international, after concluding that defense of the U.S.S.R. would ultimately depend upon a political revolution to restore the soviets, the workers’ councils to power, overthrowing the Stalinist parasitic bureaucracy. Forming this international the Bolshevik-Leninists engaged in a race against time, hoping to avert World War II. Trotsky saw and noted the exhaustion of the old revolutionary generation and the inexperience of the younger, yet had to stake his life on revolutionary optimism.

“… Revolution is not possible without democratic centralism that unites all communists in the vanguard party. The problem of the failure of key 20th century revolutions in Russia and China to build socialism, let alone communism, cannot be overcome today by a ‘communist movement’ separate from the ‘communist party’. Why? Because since 1850 any proletarian political ‘movement’ itself is only possible as the result of the vanguard party fusing theory and practice in the proletarian dictatorship of the workers’ state. Only this realisation can spark a “new beginning for Marxism”.

In sum, Western Marxism (and its Eastern Maoist analogue) is counter-revolutionary along with all other Menshevik and fake Marxist-Leninist and Trotskyist tendencies claiming to be followers of Marx. There is a failure of revolutionary leadership when the masses wallow in the swamp of social-imperialism, social democracy, crypto-Stalinism and ‘red-brown’ politics. The counter-revolution is not confined to the ‘West’ – the euphemism for imperialism – as the permanent counter-revolution to the international permanent revolution. The short 20th Century is a retreat from Marx that parallels and conspires with counter-revolution. The early 21st Century is a retreat from the 20th in toto and marks its lowest point yet – the bitter fruit of the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Vietnam, and before long the DPRK.

The ‘crisis of leadership’ that Trotsky spoke of in the 1930s persists today and until such time as new generations of Marxists take up the true legacy of Marx and Lenin and build a new Communist International capable of leading the workers of the world to socialist revolution to end capitalist destruction and climate collapse, and to build a future communist society.”

– Living Marxism, “Reclaiming Marx at 200

Liaison Committee of Communists