A VICTORY FOR THE IMPERIALIST BOURGEOISIE
The victory of the Democrats on November 7 in the US mid-term elections gave them control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The victory was widely hailed as a vote of no-confidence in Bush’s war in Iraq. Chávez, Castro and other leading figures of World Social Forum congratulated the Democrats calling the victory “a defeat for neoliberalism”. The fake Trotskyists also said that the result of the election was a “defeat of Bush”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The only defeat for Bush was that inflicted by the Iraqi Resistance and the militancy of US workers!
The defeat for Bush was inflicted by the heroic Iraqi resistance and the flood of body bags coming home, and not the ‘rebellion of the voters’ lauded by the fake Trotskyists. It was the Iraqi bullets and not the American ballots (which can never ‘defeat’ the bourgeoisie) that counted in the election. It was the defeat inflicted by the Palestinian people and the oppressed people of Southern Lebanon that defeated and humiliated the military machine of the Zionist-fascist state of Israel, acting as the US gendarme in the Middle East.
It was the defeat inflicted by the awakening of the US working class mobilising against the war – like the Movement of the Million Workers against the war; more than 1,500 demonstrations against the war; the thousands of local committees that built giant mobilizations fighting the bosses offensive against work conditions to casualise and drive up the rate of exploitation; and the campaigns that organized to defend the workers left to die by the state in hurricane Katrina.
It was the massive upsurge of millions of Latino migrants, treated as pariahs in the US, who organized a national strike on 1st May. It was the Spanish workers who on March 2004 rallied to the cry: “The war is yours, the dead are ours”; and the heroic young workers who in 2005 set alight the cities in France to the battle cry: “Every night we will make Paris a Baghdad”.
It was these heroic resistance struggles that has broken the teeth of the imperialistic offensive, the “war on terror” against the “axis of evil”, launched by Bush in 2001 on behalf of imperialist finance capital, in response to the revolutionary upsurges in the semi-colonial world like in Ecuador, Palestine, Indonesia followed by Argentina and Bolivia, and the world economic crisis that hit the US and saw Wall St lose 8 trillion dollars in one year.
The objectives of this counter-offensive were clear: US imperialism had to redesign the map of the semi colonial world to grab control of the vital oil reserves and pipelines, raw materials and cheap labor. In its back yard - Latin America, its main goal was to force the FTAA on all countries as it had done with Mexico and Chile in the 1990s. In the Middle East and Central Asia, its objective was to re-colonise Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations to take direct control of oil at the expense of the national bourgeoisies and its imperialist rivals France and Germany.
The counter-offensive required the Bonapartisation of the US regime and a intensified attack on the working class of that country. Thus, the fraudulently elected Bush government using the attack on the Twin Towers and the reactionary attacks on Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq, erected a Bonapartist-police regime with state power concentrated in the White House and the Democrats supporting the 'war on terror' and home and abroad.
But the objectives of the US offensive were more ambitious still. For Bush and the US bosses the recolonization of the Middle East and Central Asia were beach heads to mount a wider attack on China and Russia. Not content with the restoration of capitalism in these former workers states, the US ruling class wants to turn them into US colonies or protectorates grabbing their resources and depriving their rivals, France and Germany of any share in the booty. It is the wider ambition of this plan that has met with defeat due to the resistance of the masses, nothing to do with the election.
On the contrary, the result of the election of 7th November are a victory for the US imperialist regime of which Bush, and the Republican and Democratic Parties, are part. It is a victory because it allows President Bush to retain the support of the warmongering, anti-labor and anti-immigrant "Republicrats” and continue with his imperialist counter-offensive.
Today, the Democratic imperialists say to the masses that they can solve their problems. The treacherous union bureaucrats call on workers to vote Democrat to "defeat Bush”. These are the “democratic” pacifists of Clinton who led the slaughter in the Balkans in the 90s; of Carter, backer of the bloodthirsty military dictatorships of Latin America in the 80s; of the Kennedys, who began the colonial war against the the Vietnamese people in the 60s, and the Roosevelts who led the US imperialist war that ended by wiping Hiroshima and Nakasaki off the map with atomic bombs.
To claim that the ballot box can stop the US counter-revolutionary offensive while the Iraqi nation is still occupied and bleeding is to desecrate the tomb of more than half-a-million Iraqian workers and who have been killed by the Anglo-Yankee troops. To claim that the electoral victory of the Democratic imperialist killers is the “expression” of the Iraqi resistance, of the heroic militias who fell fighting in Fallujah and left unburied as food for dogs, is a huge insult to the oppressed peoples of the world.
The Democrats are a pacifist lid to stop an upsurge of US workers against a new 'Vietnam'
The failure of the plan to occupy and colonise Iraq has raised the spectre of a new Vietman before the eyes of the US ruling class. It fears that the resistance of the Iraqi masses may turn the occupation into a workers and peasants revolution in the Middle East. More than that it fears that the defeat of the US army in Iraq will spark the US workers revolution inside the US. The US ruling class is well aware that the risks of its gambit in Iraq includes an insurrection, not only in the Middle East, but also at home, where the US bourgeoisie has intensified its attacks on its own working class.
But the bourgeoisie will stop at nothing when it sees its property and class rule threatened by the masses. For example, after the victory of the Russian revolution in 1917, the world bourgeoisie quickly learned that it had to destroy the soviets at all costs. It grasped immediately that soviets were the form of workers class power irreconciably confronting the power of the power of the bourgeois state, and capable, under a revolutionary leadership, of removing the treacheous misleaders paid by the bourgeoisie to strangle the soviets, and taking power.
In the same way, US imperialism learned the lesson of the defeat suffered in Vietnam: it learned that it must prevent at all costs a defeat of its troops in a semi-colonial country from turning into the start of a proletarian revolution, particularly in its own 'homeland'.
To prevent Iraq from becoming another Vietnam, the US ruling class called on the Democrat machine backed by the gangster union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, and internationally by Chávez, Castrism and the fake Trotskyists, to create a big wave of pacifism to divert and contain the US working class, with its potential class power becoming aroused, into voting Democrat to 'defeat' Bush.
To 'defeat' Bush then, workers were trapped into voting for a party that: supported the war against Afghanistan and Iraq and voted the war budget; the “patriotic laws” attacking the civil liberties of the masses; all the attacks by the bosses on workers' historic gains; the enslavement of the twelve million immigrant workers in the US, and the building of a wall on the Mexican border!
The election result is therefore a victory for the bourgeoisie. Rather than being a crisis for the Bush regime, the imperialistic regime of the “Republicrats” has been strengthened by containing the growing movement of the US working class against the war, stopping any development of the struggle against the war from breaking with the union officials and the Democrats, and mobilising against the attacks on workers such as Katrina and immigration laws.
Containing workers resistance to the 'war on terror' at home is critical in implementing the plans of the US bosses to liquidate of all of the conquests of the labor movement and force the closure of plants, sackings, wage cuts, loss of pensions and health insurance etc., so that US corporates can compete with their relocated plants in China, Vietnam and Latin America.
The victory of the Republicrats and the big wave of pacifism means that the US ruling class has been able to prevent, for the moment, the development of independent organisations of the super-exploited working class that works more than 50 hours a week for miserable wages, where 50 million do not have access to basic health care, where 35 million live in hunger, and whose living conditions are becoming more and more like their class brothers and sisters in Latin America.
The Democratic plan to rescue the profits of US business from the Iraqi marsh
The result of the elections reflects a pact between the different fractions of US imperialism - such as oil, construction, the military etc who were the dominant fraction in 2001 - with the corporations that have relocated their production to China, Asia and Latin America. They have agreed to protect the wider interests of US capitalism by making an orderly exit from Iraq so that the resistance to the occupation does not turn into a revolution in the semi-colony or in the 'homeland'.
This pact junks the tactical failures of the “war on terror” and the “axis of evil” and creates a new bipartisan foreign policy of US pacifism, and new agreements with the national bourgeoisies to contain the masses and protect the interests of US business. Thus, Syria and Iran are no longer to be classified as “terrorist states” and are now being invited to 'mediate' and 'guarantee' 'peace' in Iraq and the Middle East.
As is always the case, where the imperialists make agreements with national bourgeoisies, the currency that pays for these dirty dealings is the blood of the oppressed masses. The imperialists and the national bourgeoisies have a common interest which is to contain the masses to ensure their superexploitation is maintained.
So in Lebanon, after the heroic masses defeat of the Zionist army, the bourgeois leaders of Hizbollah made a deal with the imperialistic powers, the UN, and Israel that allowed the Zionists to again enter Gaza killing and destroying. This deal is also in the interests of the Palestinean bourgeoisies' national unity government of Hamas and Fatah and a “two states” solution that guarantees the enslavement of the Palestinean masses. At the same time, the Shiite bourgeoisie of Hizbollah is now in position to become the leading fraction of the Lebanese bourgeoisie.
In the same way, the plan of the Democrats to make an orderly retreat from Iraq is to do a deal with the national bourgeoisies of Syria and Iran, so that they control the popular resistance in Iraq and cover the backs of the US forces as they withdraw. Instead of encouraging and fomenting the fratricidal wars between Sunni and Shiite militias to divert the resistance from the occupying forces, the US will now use the regional national elites as its 'partners' to suppress the 'civil war'.
Thus, the Iranian Shiite bourgeoisie will be made responsible for the control of the Shiite masses and disarming the militias of Al Sadr, while the Syrian bourgeoisie will be expected to isolate and crush the resistance of the militias by stopping the supply of arms, equipment and ammunition across the Syrian border.
As its part in the "withdrawal" US imperialism will unleash a blood bath in the so-called "Sunni Triangle" sending thousands of troops to wipe out the heart of the resistance in the same way it destroyed Fallujah. It will also unleash its troops against the Madhi brigades of Al Sadr in Sadr city in Baghdad. At the same time the Syrian and Iranian bourgeosies will create a regular army capable of finishing off the resistance and creating a stable Iraqi regime that serves the the interests of US imperialism and its allies and the Syrian and Iranian bourgeoisies.
This is the “withdrawal” plan being prepared by US imperialism today under the leadership of the Democrats, and with the collaboration of Chávez, Castro and the World Social Forum of “pacifists” and “negotiators”!
The US ruling class can today pay the price of this 'pacifist' policy of pacts and agreements with the national bourgeoisies in the Middle East to suppress the mass resistance thanks to the increased profits extracted from the working class and the raw materials plundered from the semicolonies and the ex-workers states, and the attack on the past gains of the working class in the 'homeland'.
Thus the terms of the agreement in Iraq will be the division of the oil wealth to be appropriated from the Iraqi masses by the imperialists, and the Syrian and Iranian bourgeoisies. The Democrats are confident that the US transnationals can make a deal that is no worse than those they are making with the populist 'pacifist democratic' leaders in Latin America!
With hundreds of millions of workers enslaved by the transnational companies located in the restored capitalist economy of China; with Latin America transformed into a reservoir of cheap labor in the assembly plants in Central America and its raw materials plundered by the big imperialist monopolies in the MERCOSUR countries; with the ex-workers states of Eastern Europe supplying cheap labor for the European imperialist transnationals; with the Russian working class oppressed by the Putin ex-KGB arms-dealers turned into bourgeois junior partners of imperialism; with US workers losing their past gains and working more than a 50 hour week; the German working class working 40 hour weeks to compete with German plants relocated to China and East Europe; there are more profits to bribe the national bourgeoisies.
While in the United States the Democrats 'peace' plan has succeeded in preventing the antiwar movement from spreading and uniting with other workers struggles, in the EU new popular front governments are playing the same role. In Italy and France popular fronts are in preparation as the renewed attacks against the masses by the “right” governments of Berlusconi and Chirac-Sarkozy will risk causing the revolutionary explosion of the masses. Popular Front governments of the 'left' will be better able to divert the masses struggles into parliament and 'pacify' the working class as in the face of new interimperialistic disputes and colonial adventures over labor reserves, raw materials, zones of influence new and superior colonial adventure.
Meanwhile, in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina, populist parties (popular fronts in one single party) of the “Bolivarian Revolution” or popular front governments steal and strangle the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggles of the masses. These regimes, while pretending to oppose US imperialism, in reality act as its agents and enforce the super-exploitation of the working class and the ongoing plundering of the natural wealth of the semi-colonies of the Southern Cone.
In Chile and Mexico, countries dominated by the US through free trade agreements, the fake Trotskyist left is weak and there has been no left populist front capable of tying the hands of the masses and prevent them from rising up in pre-revolutionary insurrections against the right wing bonapartist regimes which have turned these countries into virtual colonial protectorates of US imperialism.
Indeed, to prevent that happening in Nicaragua, the popular front of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas - those ex- “guerrilla commanders”, now the yuppies of Wall Street and agents of CAFTA who sold out the Central American revolution in the agreements of Esquipulas and Contadora, along with Fidel Castro, has been elected as the government.
The big pacifist wave in the United States; pacts and agreements with the native bourgeoisies; class collaborationist governments of the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Latin America; preventive popular fronts in imperialist Europe, these are all policies of the imperialist powers to prevent the heroic Iraqi resistance and the defeat suffered by the Zionists in Lebanon from sparking off a workers and farmers revolution in those countries, and in turn spreading like a prairie fire to the working classes of the metropolises.
The WSF creates a “democratic front” to disarm the workers before an imperialist counter-revolution
The big pacifist wave to divert workers from developing the antiwar movement in the US would not have succeeded without the political treachery of the reformist leaders in the World Social Forum who have recycled the old Stalinist policy of supporting the "democratic" imperialists against the “fascists”.
In 1935, as World War II approached, Stalin and imperialist France signed the Stalin-Laval pact of “nonaggression” and collaboration as a “democratic” front against the imperialist “fascists” of Germany.
In this way, the Stalinist bureaucracy said to the worlds workers that the fight was not class against class against every bourgeoisie, but a fight to defend the "democractic” bourgeoisie against the “fascist” bourgeoisie, and that the defense of the USSR was not that of the workers but that of the "democratic" bourgeoisie. With this political left cover for class collaboration the Stalinist bureaucracy sold-out the Spanish and French revolutions, completed the liquidation of III the International, betrayed the world revolution and opened the road to the imperialist slaughter of World War II.
This same policy of the “democratic front” is that which today is promoted by the treacherous leaders of the World Social Forum in the United States. The union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO - supporters of Bush and the invasion of Iraq, obeyed its masters, the US bourgeoisie, and contributed hundreds of million dollars of the union dues of the workers, to the electoral campaign of the Democrats. The traditional leaders of the Latino labor movement - allied to the catholic church, pacifists, etc. - and also the Communist Party of the US called openly and directly for workers to vote for the Democrats.
But the decisive thing in the success of the big pacifist wave was the the influence of Castroism and fake Trotskyism which play a treacherous role in the new organizations that have emerged in the US working class to oppose the war. These currents did not directly or openly call for a vote for the Democratic Party, but they played a central role in diverting the emerging indepenedent struggles of workers into the Democratic Party machine.
The first example was the undermining of the call to for a national strike of the 1st December, 2005, put out by more than 700 workers organizations against the war and to support the victims of Katrina. The reformist leaders conspired to transform that strike into a day of “commemoration” of the struggle “civil rights”.
In the same way, months later, under the leadership of the catholic church and the pacifists, the magnificent struggle of twelve million migrant workers, mainly Latina, who called a national strike on May 1st 2006, was diverted behind the Democrats. When the new anti-immigrant law which threatened to deport up to 12 million "illegal" immigrants was met with a massive wave of protests, the treacherous leadership wanted to amend the law in Congress. These reformists put a stop to the mobilisation of an independent migrant movement which is capable of directly challenging the policy of the US bourgeoisie to use the 'illegality' of migrant workers to continue persecuting, jailing and deporting them in order to super-exploit them as wage slaves.
These treacherous leaders made sure that the each of these currents and organisations do not coordinate and centralise their struggles. The guarantee that each fight, strike or mobilization is isolated and contained. For example the demonstation in support of the Oaxaca commune were separated from those of migrant workers. Mobilizations against the war were isolated from the labor struggles of unionists to defend their gains from attack, and from organizing support for the victims of Katrina etc.
By this means, the new layers of millions of workers roused by the war, Katrina and the anti-migrant laws, were coralled into the 'democratic front', subordinated to the bourgeois, petty bourgeois and treachersous WSF leaderships, and steered into voting for the imperialist killers of the Democratic Party.
US Workers: Your first task is to fight for the Victory of Iraq and the Defeat of the US troops in Iraq!
Once again, at the moment, the treacherous leaders have succeeded in making the US workers kneel before their imperialistic bourgeoisie, this time to the killers of the Democratic Party. The US proletariat will pay a high price for this new treason. The more they capitulate to their own ruling class the more it is able to intensify the superexploitation, invasions and massacres in the colonies, semi-colonies, protectorates and the ex-workers states. And the more counter-revolutionary victories the imperialists win in their colonial adventures, the greater the atttacks on the jobs, conditions and rights of their own working class bringing it down to the level of the workerfs in Latin America and then that of Iraq, Palestine, Asia, Africa, etc.
As understood by Marxists in the 19th Century, "a people that oppresses another one cannot be free itself”. In the last few years, the emergence of the resistance to the colonial war in Iraq in the US working class began to approach this understanding. And for this reason the leaders of the WSF have conspired to force it so retreat from any break with its own imperialist bourgeoisie. That is why, today, the first necessary task of the US working class must be to break with its own imperialist bourgeoisie - "The main enemy is at home!"
- Down with the new imperialistic plans of pacts and agreements with the bourgeoisies of Syria and Iranian to massacre the resistance and to collaborate with Bush and the Republicrats!
- Down with the imperialist regime of the “Republicrats”, killer of the peoples of the world and exploiter of the US proletariat!
- US troops out of Afghanistan, the Middle East and Asia!
- Immediate and unconditional freedom for the prisoners of Guantánamo, the secret jails of the CIA, the imprisoned and tortured militia fighters of the Iraqi resistance in Abu Graib, etc.!
- For the destruction of the Zionist-fascist state of Israel, the gendarme of US imperialism and killer of the Palestinian people!
Only by breaking with its own imperialistic bourgeoisie and the “Republicrat” regime and standing up across the whole continent calling for the victory of its Iraqi brothers and sisters against the US troops, will the US working class be able to end its subordination to the Democratic Party and class collaborationist politics of the "democratic front" of Stalinism, Castroism and its 'left' cover, the fake Trotskyists.
Only by building militant organizations independent of the state to fight for a national Congress of rank and file delegates of all the workers and exploited peoples organizations can the unions be rid of the treacherous bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO and the imposters of the “Change to Win” and other equally collaborationist leaders who have betrayed the movement in support of the peoples oppressed and killed by US imperialism, and the mobilisation of struggles to resist the attacks on their jobs, wages, conditions, and rights.
A Congress of rank and file delegates of all militant workers organizations in the US could mount a national campaign in support of the heroic workers and peasants Commune of Oaxaca, now repessed by the troops of the Mexican army sent by Fox-Calderón, servants of their US master, and give massive support to the workers and peasants revolution in Bolivia that is today stolen by the popular front of Morales government and the policy of class collaboration of the World Social Forum, and so help these struggle return to the revolutionary road.
- US imperialists out of Latin America!
- US out of Guantánamo!
- Down with the economic, political and military free trade agreements of NAFTA, CAFTA, MERCOSUR, and all treaties that subjugate and exploit the Latin American nations in the interests of imperialism!
- For the expropriation without compensation and under workers control of all the US companies and properties in Iraq, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Africa!
Such a Workers Congress would organize a united struggle to demand that the wages and conditions won by US workers in corporates such as Ford, General Motors, and the other transnational monopolies, must apply to all the workers in their plants relocated in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Such a militant campaign would lend huge support to the defensive struggles of the Chinese proletariat against the conditions of wage-slavery imposed by the transnationals, turning it into a counter-offensive that can open up the road to a new proletarian revolution that overthrows the semi-fascist regime of the new Chinese bourgeoisie, expropriates all the transnational companies, and establishes a dictatorship of the proletariat in the ex-workers state.
It is the duty of the US working class which has shared in the superprofits of imperialist exploitation to stand up and make this fight, just as it is the duty of workers of the European imperialist powers to support the struggle of the Russian and other workers of the former USSR against the semi-fascist regime of Putin and the new Russian bourgeoisie.
Breaking with the US bourgeoisie, and taking into its hands the demands of its class brothers and sisters of the nations subjugated by its own imperialism, the US proletariat can use its massive strength to resist further attacks, and reclaim its lost gains, and demand the rights of all migrant workers to automatic citizenship and all other legal, social and political rights.
- Smash the Minutemen vigilantes!
- Pull down the apartheid wall on the border!
- End the slavery of US workers: down with sellout deals of the AFL-CIO bureaucrats, and the new bureaucrats of “Change to win” that give away jobs, wages, conditions and rights!
- Worthy Work for all, with a sliding scale of working hours and wages, a minimum wage at the level of the cost of the family shopping basket and indexed according to the inflation!
- Nationalization without compensation and under workers control of all company that close or dismisses workers!
- Immediate payment of an unemployed wage equal to the minimum wage for all vacated worker!
- Guaranteed retirement benefit at age 60 years equal to the minumum wage!
- Free quality health care for all workers and their families, guaranteed by the employers and the state!
Breaking its ties to the bourgeoisie, defeating the union bureaucracy and the treacherous leaders of the World Social Forum, the US working class will be able to ride the big pacifist wave that currently engulfs it, and mount a massive struggle against its own imperialist bourgeoisie and the 'Republicrat' regime, that can transform its defensive campaigns against the war and the bosses attacks into the beginning of the socialist revolution in the US.
This is an edited and shorterned version of an article first published in Workers Democracy, No 19, December 2006, journal of LOI -CI (International Workers League - Fourth International) of Argentina, member of the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction.