Monday, December 22, 2008
The crisis of the world capitalist system
The crisis of the imperialist capitalist world economy has become global. The recession with price inflation and loss of jobs is already here. Billions of dollars evaporate as banks and share markets collapse. The failures of banks and investment funds are merely the symptom of a bankrupt system. All the fictitious capital represented by shares, futures, currency in circulation in the computers of the bourgeois state, banks, investment funds, corporations, amounts to fourteen trillion dollars that has no value. US dollars are not backed up by real commodities or assets; they are backed by the U.S. state treasury and the military. Real value can only be produced by human labour, the labour of the productive working class.
The capitalist crisis appears in order to destroy the productive forces and wealth so that the profit rate can be restored. $4 trillion dollars over five years spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as the profits of the US military-industrial monopolies. $140 billion dollars for Exxon –not counting the other imperialist oil or the vultures of Halliburton, Cheney Co – thanks to the "war for oil"!
The masses of the world are already paying for the crisis, through the actions of the reformers. In the U.S., the working class was betrayed by the union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO and suffers losses to their wages, pensions and many other past gains won by workers. The mass anti-imperialist struggle that arose in the streets against the war, and for immigrant rights, was diverted into votes for Obama and the Democratic Party by the reformist left which sows illusions that there is a "democratic" and "pacifist" imperialism. In Europe the union bureaucracies betray the working class with social pacts.
In Latin America, it is the phoney "Bolivarian revolution" that has diverted and contained the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggles that have arisen in the new century. The reformists have not yet managed to extinguish the fire of revolution and wars against imperialism, as in Bolivia, Colombia or the Middle East. But they seek to contain them in anti-imperialist “united fronts” such as Chavez and Morales in Latin America, or the Islamic Hamas and Hezbollah in the Middle East.
The crisis reveals that the capitalist imperialist system is rotten and bankrupt before the eyes of billions of exploited around the globe. The system that oppresses the masses has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of millions of wage slaves. The government of the murderer Bush and the “Republicrat” regime and the imperialist powers in Europe and Japan that are fighting the war in Afghanistan and all imperialist monopolies profiting from the war, appear before the masses as what they truly are: genocidal murderers of more than one million Iraqis, more than half a million Afghans, 10s of thousands of Palestinians, and the jailers of thousands of political prisoners around the globe. The veil had been torn away, showing that the world is dominated by the US, European and Japanese imperialists, claiming to be "democrats" but in essence capitalist dictators.
The apologists of capitalism had promoted years of economic expansion, with several "centres of production" working together in a “harmonious” global economy. When the crisis erupted, the parasitic capitalists were totally unprepared. Bewildered, the bourgeois cried “everyone for himself”. This only served to deepen their unmasking before the working class. The masses of the world can see that today, without any veils to hide behind, "the king is naked". The declining imperialist system only survives by exploiting the masses and threatening the entire human civilization. Today, it is clearer than ever, that for the exploited and oppressed peoples of the world to live, the capitalist system should die.
The US imperialists support the election of Obama to try to hide the hideous face of a rotten capitalist system of capitalism from the masses of the world. Its purpose is to put a new black face on the rotten corpse to re-legitimate US “democracy” in the eyes of the U.S. and world working masses. So, get ready for new wars and counter-offensives against the masses by the imperialist parasites, led by their new fresh black-faced Obama.
The victory of Obama is a fraud against the U.S. working masses
The result of the US election on November 4 put the seal on the ruling class expropriation of the anti-imperialist struggle of the U.S. working class. This was achieved through the “democratic” imposition of a fraud against the masses. The election of Obama is a trap for all the exploited of the world. We no longer see the real face of the warmongering imperialist capitalism facing a major crisis. Instead we see Obama who holds out to the masses the promise of “change” and “we can”.
In this way US imperialism tries to make the working class believe that the imperialist butchers can be "good" and that this rotten capitalist system can be "cleaned up”. It is like the mass murderer turning up to the funeral of his victims dressed as a choir boy! Obama, with a new government, is sweet talking the U.S. working class’ out of its crisis of confidence in capitalism – damping down the fires of an growing consciousness that Wall St exists only by exploiting Main St and sending its sons and daughters to die in imperialist wars. But there is no such thing as “clean”, “peaceful” and “democratic” capitalism.
The war launched by the Bush administration and the oil cartel after the Twin Towers in 9-11-2001, was supported and sustained by both Republicans and Democrats. Together they voted for Bush's budget and war to destroy Afghanistan and Iraq and spark genocide in those two nations. Together they voted for the "Patriot Act" which marked a fierce attack on democratic freedoms of workers within the United States and outside the U.S. Together they voted for the tough anti-immigration laws. Then, recently, both voted to make the working class pay for the bailout of the major banks and financial institutions with nearly a trillion dollars. Thus they both collaborated in a massive attack on the US working class, cutting its living standards and removing its most basic democratic freedoms.
The “Republicrat” wars for oil have failed to smash the anti-imperialist resistance
The reason why US imperialism needs a fresh black face to sell itself as peace-loving and democratic is that it has failed to win its genocidal wars for oil in the Middle East. The invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have failed to overcome the indomitable strength of Afghan and Iraqi resistance, and the heroic resistance of Palestinians of South Lebanon that humiliated and defeated the genocidal Zionist army of Israel backed by imperialism. This opened the danger of a Vietnam-type scenario developing which might arouse a strong anti-war movement in the proleteriat.
The failure of these costly wars was blamed on the Bush administration. To divert the awakening anti-war consciousness of the American working class a new face for US imperialism was needed. After 40 years of the black bourgeoisie expropriating the struggles of the masses of exploited blacks, U.S. imperialism brings one of their representatives to re-legitimate Yankee regime in the eyes of the American masses and to clean the blood on its hands.
Today the most politically advanced section of the US working class is made up of superexploited immigrant workers of Latin American origin. In the 1960s and 1970s the vanguard was made up of the black labour movement. But US imperialism is very capable of dividing and ruling. While the vast majority of African-Americans were condemned to wage slavery, unemployment and poverty, a small minority were co-opted as a privileged black bourgeoisie. No doubt today US imperialism is busy co-opting a small segment of Latinos as a new bourgeoisie to play the same role of containing the masses. Meanwhile Obama's victory serves this purpose as is clear from the fact that while more than 90% of blacks voted for him, a big majority of Latinos also voted for him.
Obama is the mask of "democracy", "civil rights" and "solidarity with the poor and minorities" in the United States. Behind this mask US imperialism will launch a fierce offensive against the masses and exploited peoples of the world to make us pay for the bankruptcy of the capitalist imperialist system. Using this democratic front, US imperialism will make alliances with the “progressive” national bourgeoisies to win advantages against its imperialist rivals at the expense of the poor masses as in Bolivia and the Middle East. Like its “democratic” mask at home, these alliances with “progressive” national leaders are temporary masks designed to contain the masses so that US imperialism can and its allies can prepare their counter-offensive.
Obama tries to defend US world dominance facing the global crisis
Unlike Bush whose regime has lost its legitimacy before US and world workers, Obama has the prestige and authority to defend and extend US dominance over its rivals and the world working class. The imperialist bourgeoisies are in a panic facing the crisis and the crisis of legitimacy of the capitalist system. Bush, whose genocidal regime is exposed before the masses, says “we must save the system”. Sarkozy, representative of one of the most reactionary bourgeoisies in history, says: “we must rebuild a new form of capitalism” to stop a “revolution on a global scale." Immediately, he was applauded and congratulated by Chavez and other "Bolivarian" parrots, who are working with Sarkosy as junior partners in the business of looting Latin America. In this way the “democratic” imperialists try to make the masses believe that the problem is “neo-liberalism” and not the rotten imperialist capitalist system. So, against "neo-liberalism", "comrade" Sarkozy and the "Bolivarians” want to build "another capitalism", to "renew", "re-found” etc., capitalism based on state management of the market, and at the same time to "refound on new bases" the IMF, the G-7, the G-8, the G-20, the World Bank, etc.
Of course this is a deception of the workers. The imperialist states are not “refounding” capitalism when they "nationalize" bankrupt banks and businesses. This is nothing more than the old scam of nationalising the losses of finance capital paid for by the masses, whiles at the same time guaranteeing that the monopolies and parasites continue to expropriate the labour of the working masses –socialism for the bosses, capitalism for the workers.
In order for US imperialism to remain the dominant power it has to use Obama’s victory to try to re-legitimate not only itself, but also the capitalist system as a whole before the masses of the world. Obama thus gives a veneer of legitimacy to all the imperialist states and their client states. The leaders of those countries that supported Bush lost the support of their people. Today they rush to be photographed hugging the "African American", "democratic" and "pacifist" Obama to regain popular legitimacy. All of the reactionary leaders including Sarkozy, Putin, Castro, Chavez, Morales, Kirchner, Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah etc., have greeted the victory of Obama and offered him their support, helping to strengthen the illusions of the masses of the world in their executioners.
Yet Obama must first and foremost legitimate US imperialism. Because to retain its dominance US imperialism must make the exploited pay the costs of the global crisis of capitalism. And to do that it is necessary to increase their offensive against its imperialist rivals, in particular against France, to make its rivals shift the cost of the crisis on to their own workers. In this way Obama will attempt to revive US nationalism to unite the workers and the imperialist bourgeoisie against the workers of the other imperialist and semi-colonial countries, so that the nation is united in new trade wars and new wars of occupation.
And last but not least, to rebuild its legitimacy with the masses in the US and around the world, it is necessary for US imperialism to guarantee the world financial system against the most serious crisis since the 1930s. Obama will take the world stage with a world “New Deal” in which US finance capital will use the US state institutions to stabilise the global economy and retain its dominant imperialist rule. So today in the midst of the crisis, it is even clearer than in the previous short growth cycle, that far from being in "decline" or "losing its hegemony," the United States remains the dominant imperial power.
The masses around the world are already paying for the crisis
The masses of the world are already paying the crisis as the US and EU goes into a deep recession with 100s of thousands of jobs lost, homes foreclosed and pensions wiped out. 1 in 10 persons in the US is on food stamps. In these countries we can not rule out that deep recession will be combined with price inflation (stagflation) produced by the printing of tens of billions of dollars to pay for the imperialist state bailouts of finance capital. But in the semi-colonial nations, it is almost certain that looming recession will cause massive galloping inflation. In countries like Chile that is absolutely dependent on oil imports, or Venezuela, which imports most of the food it consumes, this will cause rapid cost of living increases.
For sure, imperialism can only solve its crisis in its own interests by stepping up the levels of plunder and looting of the resources and cheap labour of the semi-colonial and colonial nations. Now that U.S. and the imperialist powers are in a recession, the demand for gas, oil, minerals, and agricultural commodities is drastically reduced. Thus, in just a few weeks and months, the prices of these raw materials have almost halved. Oil decreased from US$140 to US$70 a barrel; soybeans fell from about US$700 per ton last March, to around US$300 today. The collapse of mineral prices has hit Bolivia, Peru, causing a big drop in mining production, and hence loss of jobs and wages, and fuelling the revolutionary unrest of the masses. In Argentina, the capitalists have already launched a brutal attack on workers to save their falling profits by massive sackings and suspensions in industry, and by the devaluation of the peso and the resulting price inflation that is destroying workers living standards.
The “Bolivarians” make the workers kneel before “democratic” imperialism
The balance of power between the imperialist powers has been thrown into disarray by the global crisis. Each imperialist power wants to solve its crisis by making its rivals pay for it. Disputes over control of markets, spheres of influence, and the sources of cheap raw materials and slave labour are intensifying. Under these conditions, Latin America is no longer exclusively a "backyard" of US imperialism. French, German, Spanish and Japanese imperialism, along with their national bourgeois junior partners, compete with the US and one another to extend their spheres of interest in the subcontinent.
They can do this only because the imperialists and their national bourgeois allies in Latin America have been supported by the actions of the treacherous reformist leaders grouped together in the World Social Forum who have suppressed the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggles of the masses of the continent and contained them by means of popular front regimes. These reformist leaders have acted to subordinate the working classes and poor farmers to the “democratic" imperialists and the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie. Thus, the reformist leaders subordinated the revolutionary upsurge of 2003-2005 in Bolivia to the government of Morales who then used the army to kill members of the miners’ vanguard and enter into a series of pacts with the fascists of the landowning and mine-owning bourgeoisie.
In Venezuela the anti-imperialist struggle of the working class has been co-opted by Chavez government which enters into agreements with imperialism over the shares of the oil revenue. Argentine strangled the revolution of 2001, subordinating the working class to Kirchner, supported by Fidel Castro, Chavez and all those in the World Social Forum. In the US, as we said above, the process of subordination to US imperialism is that of the "democratic" Obama, Clinton and company.
The reformist left welcomes Obama's victory as a “progressive” step in the struggle of workers and exploited Americans. But it’s a stab in the back against the proletariat. The anti-war pickets, the May Day strikes for migrant workers, the strike against the war by the ILWU, the mass mobilizations to end the war in Iraq, all of this self-action by the working class, has been sold out to a black faced bourgeois politician!
Today, internationally, the renegades of Trotskyism, joining the chorus of Chavez, Fidel Castro, Morales, Mandela etc "salute the American people" that according to them, brought the "defeat for Bush and the neo-conservatives of the Republican Party." Thus, in sowing illusions in “democratic” imperialism, they prevent the revolutionary uprisings of the Latin American masses joining forces with the struggle of US workers against the war and for the rights of immigrant workers who are a real bond of flesh and blood that can unite into a single battalion the workers of North, Central and South America. These counter-revolutionary treacherous Trotskyists are providing the left leg of the popular fronts that sacrifices the mass struggles in Bolivia and Colombia, and prepares the ultimate betrayal in Latin America, the capitalist restoration in Cuba.
The heroic resistance of the masses begins the counter-offensive
Despite the electoral victory of Obama to re-legitimate US imperialism, this does not decide anything. The bourgeoisie have not yet translated their electoral victory into a defeat of workers in the streets or the workplaces. The struggle against the bosses’ offensive will not be decided in the polls but in the struggles in defence of jobs, wages and workers rights.
Disarmed and with their hands tied by the treacherous leaders of the popular front, the masses of the world have begun a resistance to the attacks which have already created the first pre-revolutionary situations. Thus, we saw uprisings for bread in Burma, Georgia, Pakistan, Haiti, and so on. Since then there has been the huge general strike in Belgium, the strike of German metalworkers for wages and the mobilisations of millions of workers and students in Italy against the imperialist government of Berlusconi. Now in Greece a revolutionary situation opens with mobilisations, occupations, sackings of police stations and generalised strikes. Who can doubt that there, in the hands and the working classes of the imperialist countries, is the key to a success of the revolutionary upheavals in the semi-colonial world!
Thus the working class of the European powers must unite their ranks with their class brothers and sisters of the former state workers from Eastern Europe. The workers of the former USSR oppressed by French and German imperialism, or by the Russian bourgeoisie itself allied to France and Germany, need to raise among their own demands the return to the dictatorship of the proletariat of the October Revolution of 1917.
Meanwhile in Peru working masses have started an uprising of street mobilisations, semi-insurrections, and clashes against the police and the army in Moqueagua, Tacna, Cajamarca and Moyabamba, to bring down the pro-imperialist regime of Alan García. Here is the renewal of the struggle to reopen the road to the Latin American revolution, temporally suppressed in Bolivia, Venezuela and other countries by the "Bolivarian revolution"!
For all of the proletarian uprisings that are now breaking out, the first and most urgent task is to break with the bourgeoisie, in other words, end subservience to the “democratic” imperialists like Obama, and with their servants, the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie and its treacherous left wing of fake Trotskyists who have become reformists.
The FLT fights for an international conference to unite the healthy forces of Trotskyism and revolutionary workers groups. To do this, we have advanced 23 programmatic points to sum up the revolutionary tasks facing the world crisis and the offensive against the working masses that spells out the clear differences between revolutionaries, centrists and reformists. This would be a new Zimmerwald that will bring together the forces necessary to build a new international on the program and legacy of the founding program of the Fourth International of 1938.
Secretariat of Coordination and International Action (SCAI) of the FLT
Translated, Edited and Abridged by Communist Workers Group
• Long live the general revolt of the exploited youth and working class of Greece!
• Greece leads the working class of Europe and the world against the attacks of the capitalists and is in the vanguard of the fight for the socialist revolution!
• Down with the repressive government of Caramanlis and the social imperialists of PASOK!
On December 6 the police deliberately assassinated a 15 year old student Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was protesting with a group of friends in the neighborhood of Exarchia in Athens. This is the working class area where the University of Technology is located and which was the centre of the struggle against the bloody dictatorship of the Colonels in the 1970s.
The brutal killing aroused the just anger of the young rebels that have been for more than six days mounding huge demonstrations in the streets confronting the murderous police raising the battle cries “state killers”, “police killers”, “down with Caramanlis”, and attacked the key institutions of capitalist property and the bourgeois state: more than 370 banks, luxury hotels and police stations, many of which were set alight and burned down by the protestors.
The centre of Athens, the scene of the biggest struggles, has been almost destroyed. The youth rebels have burned shops and supermarkets, occupied schools and the Polytechnic University and the neighborhood of Exarchia where the rebellion began and from which it has spread to more than 10 other cities in Greece including Thessaloniki, Patras, Trikala and the islands of Crete and Corfu.
On the 9th of December more than six thousand youth rallied at the funeral of Alex, crying “Avenge the killing of Alex, march on Athens, confront the police killers, release the 150 plus political prisoners.”
• Long live the rebellion of the young workers of Greece who suffer 23% unemployed; who are lucky to find casual contract jobs, with the poverty wage of 650 euros, and are denied access to education by the privatization plans of the bourgeoisie!
• Long live the rebellion of the exploited youth con with their barricades and burning of cars and police stations, stake up the road of the immigrant worker youth struggle of the French Cités of 2006 that rose up to the cry of “Every night we will turn Paris into Baghdad” and the Italian youth, that have risen up on the last months to the cry of “We will not pay for your crisis”!
• Immediate freedom for all the jailed youth and workers!
• Dissolve and disarm the Police!
• For workers and popular courts to judge and punish all those responsible for the killing of Alexandro!
The rebellion of youth which began with barricades, street fights and the burning of police stations and led to general strikes, can erupt into a generalised revolt of the working class and exploited of Greece. The exploited have entered the revolutionary offensive.
But this huge generalized uprising by the exploited youth will not die down quietly. On the contrary it is the spark to alight the uprising of the whole working class and oppressed masses. Thus the strike of 23 October was led by the social democratic union bureaucracy allied to the Stalinist KKE (Communist Party of Greece) under pressure from below to put a lid on the workers opposition to the government’s plans. But the sectoral strikes and the huge general strike of 23 October, shows that the workers of Greece are determined to fight the coalition government of Caramanlis of the ND and the social democratic PASOK. This is because the government has no choice but to make the people pay the cost of the world crisis but cutting their living standards. Greece must do this because it is a minor imperialist power, subordinated to USA and German imperialism, the latter now the dominant imperialist power in Europe.
To pay for their solution to their crisis where the Greek banks have been bailed out by more than 28 billion euros, the bourgeois and its government under Caramanlis have launched ferocious attacks on the working class and the pensioners, with privatizations, cuts in public education and plans to privatize the universities. At the same time the wage basket has been reduced by inflation and more than 20% of the workers and their families now live below the poverty line.
This is the situation that caused the spark of the youth rebellion to light the fire of the working class struggles and the huge general strike of 10 December that paralyzed the country and took to the streets of Athens and many other cities.
The strike of the 10th brought out all the forces of the youth against the attacks on the pensions, and demanded 100% increase in the minimum wage. Facing these facts the Social Democratic and Stalinist bureaucracy of the GSEE (General Confederation of Workers) and ADEDY (main public sector union) raised these demands. Despite this, the strike turned into a generalized revolt of the exploited masses that, united with the youth rebellion took to the streets and barricades and breaking with all agreements between the bureaucracy and the regime, calling for an unlimited general strike against both the ND and PASOK that had taken turns for decades in exploiting, oppressing and repressing the workers.
With this generalized rebellion, the working class and the exploited of Greece have risen up against the crisis, the attacks of capitalism and all the schemes by the bosses and the treacherous workers leaders to divide and rule the workers ranks. We have today in Greece a revolutionary situation, such has not been seen by European imperialism for more than 30 years, when in 1975 the heroic Portuguese revolution erupted.
That is why the major imperialist powers are alarmed: “There is an insurrectionary climate in Athens”; “Greece has no state”, editorialized the leading French imperialist daily, Le Monde; alarmed because the workers suburbs of Paris, London, Madrid, Ro¬me, Berlin etc, contain the same unemployed masses, super-exploited migrant workers, disaffected youth, that is, the same miserable conditions that caused the uprising in Greece. 160 years after it was written in the Communist Manifesto, the Greek working masses are writing in the streets – in the letters of struggle, of fire, of strikes, of blood – the same words: “A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of Communism.”
• End the dictatorship of international finance capital. Stop the attack on the world working class and the slide to barbarism…Forward to the socialist revolution!
In our view, the uprising of the proletariat, the exploited youth and masses of Greece, that mobilized 10s of thousands on 10 December to the cry of “State murderer” and “Down with Caramanlis”, demonstrates that, facing a bankrupt imperialist capitalist system in crisis, that in order to defend the most basic rights and living conditions, it is necessary for the masses to launch a political struggle against the regime to take the power and to put in its place a state of the workers and all exploited people.
This bankrupt capitalist system has exposed itself before the eyes of the masses: the system is rotten and can only survive on the backs of our slavery. Today, against all the reformist lies about capitalism, Greece affirms the revolutionary Marxist program of the 1V International of 1938 that states clearly that: confronting the bankruptcy and decadence of capitalism, and the advance of barbarism, the only salvation for the exploited is in the workers socialist revolution, and that the struggle for this revolution is the most important and urgent task of the proletariat. For the working class, the exploited and the oppressed peoples to live, imperialism must die, and this task, on the whole continent, is concentrated in the struggle for the Socialist United States of Europe.
In this struggle the proletariat and youth of Greece are building on all previous struggles of their class brothers and sisters of Europe. They join with and advance the spontaneous uprising of the Belgian general strike of workers against their leadership. They join with also and learn the lessons of the huge spontaneous uprisings of the Italian masses of the 17 October which paralysed the country taking to the streets in the name of the rank and file of the Cobas, against the treacherous leaderships of the GIL who collaborate with the government of the “Tsar” Berlusconi today, and before that Prodi.
• Long live the spontaneous uprising of the exploited youth and the “kukulofori” (the “hoodies” who fight on the barricades)!
• Long live the fighting spirit of the proletariat and the Greek masses who show they are more conscious and advanced politically than all the “plans” of the treacherous union bureaucracy and the reformists of all colors!
Meanwhile the PASOK and the union bureaucracy calls for “calm”, for Caramanlis’ resignation, and for new elections in order to strangle the fight of the masses. The Stalinists of the KKE (CPG) take a position as in Chile where their “Red Police” openly “condemns the use of violence” by workers – as if the bourgeois state regime is not “violent” when it murders Alex and condemns the youth to a future life of unemployment! – and forms a security guard armed with batons to contain and suppress the heroic youth mobilizations. So, the cry of the Chilean youth “The ‘pacos de rojo’ (red cops) are dangerous” is today given new life on the streets and barricades of Greece.
Today, those who have usurped the name of Trotskyism to rescue the “progressive” or “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie; to call for a vote for Chirac “against Le Pen” in France; who say that the victory of Zapatero in the Spanish election of 2004 was an “expression of the class struggle against the war”, are doing the opposite, expropriating the name of Trotskyism. All have promoted the politics of class collaboration, bowing down before the bourgeois state, trying to reform bankrupt capitalism, instead of joining the campaign to support the magnificent general uprising of the students and workers of Greece who are opening the road to the socialist revolution in that country.
Today the anarchist movement has capitalized enormously from the radicalization of the exploited youth of Greece. This is no accident. The anarchist movement has maintained a tradition of courageous and intransigent struggle against the bourgeois state, while the renegades of Trotskyism have in the recent decades transformed themselves into reformists, providing a left cover and support for the bloody imperialist regimes of the European powers.
So today it is anarchism – that demonstrated its historic bankruptcy in the Spanish revolution in 1936-9 – that is benefiting from this magnificent radicalization of the exploited Greek masses. For this reason we must redouble our fight against those who have usurped Trotskyism and destroyed the 4 International, for an international regroupment, a Zimmerwald and Kienthal of the healthy Trotskyists and revolutionary workers organizations, and open the road to build on the basis of th3e program and legacy of the 4 International of 1938, a world party of socialist revolution.
• Long live the general revolt of the exploited youth, the working class and the Greek masses!
• Down with the repressive and starvation regime of Caramanlis supported by the social imperialist PASOK!
• Forward to the Socialist Revolution!
The task of the moment is the centralization and coordination of the pickets into one national workers and popular militia, the preparation of a general strike to bring down the regime of Caramanlis and the pro-imperialist coalition of ND and PASOK – sustained by the union bureaucracy and the “red police” of the KKE – to open the way to the proletarian revolution that will bring class justice for Alexandros, good work and a living wage for the working class, free education for all the children, and meet all the most basic needs of the masses.
• For a Workers Socialist Greece, for the Socialist United States of Europe from the British Isles to the Russian steppes!
• Our class brothers and sisters of Greece mark the road: against the catastrophe that the capitalists try to download on the proletariat and all the exploited of the world, we must fight to prepare and organize a true international counter-offensive of the working class, to expropriate the expropriators and open the road to the international socialist revolution!
• For the working class and the exploited of the world to live, the capitalist system must die!
Leninist Trotskyist Fraction December 2008
(unofficial translation by CWG)
Friday, November 14, 2008
There is confusion around that the National Party is no different from Labour because it also adopts a Keynesian economic policy. The Workers Party propagates this confusion because it suits them to claim that National and Labour are essentially no different and that social democracy is dead. Most of the so-called 'left' in NZ cannot relate to reformist workers other than by demanding they reject Labour and 'spoil their vote" (IBT) or vote for tiny, left reformist parties (RAM, Alliance). The Workers Party position equates John Key's use of the state to subsidise capitalists' profits directly with Michael Cullen's use of the state to subsidise workers wages directly in order to subsidise profits indirectly. While ultimately both serve the ruling class, the way they do this is not a matter of indifference to the working class.
Keynes claim to fame
Keynes claim to fame was to substitute for the failure of bosses to invest in production (when their profits were falling) state spending on consumption that would see increased demand create supply by stimulating bosses to invest in production. That is, the market failed when bosses failed to invest capital in production, slump followed.
Public employment and paying wages was the main point of public works, and not the actual infrastructure itself. Of course public works on infrastructure was and is welcomed by the bosses because it WAS and IS a subsidy to their profits in the form of cheap roads, rail, bridges, ports, schools, hospitals etc all of which lowered the value of labour power (cheapened wages).
For example public schools and hospitals maintain the skills and health of workers for exploitation more cheaply than private schools and hospitals. Public roads or rail shorten distances and travel time and therefore require less labour power to transport goods to market than clapped out private roads and railways.
So state investment in infrastructure from a Keynesian standpoint is a way of indirectly creating value by employing wage labour to stimulate demand and hence boost capitalist investment. Labourite social democrats turned Keynesian state intervention into a doctrine of reforming capitalism by smoothing out the business cycle and preventing the crisis of falling profits and the resulting depressions endemic to capitalism.
Keys claim to infamy
From a Keysian standpoint however, infrastructure is not at all a matter of creating demand to encourage investment. Investment is encouraged directly by cutting wages and cutting taxes to bosses. This means cutting state spending not increasing it. This is supply side economics. Profits are restored by cutting costs of the supply of inputs, not increasing demand for outputs.
Infrastructure investment is a way of directly subsidising profits by cutting wage costs and offering private participation in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). In many cases infrastructure costs are so massive and so long run that the private sector does not want to take the risk. So where possible they want the main investment to be guaranteed by the national debt as a charge on taxpayers (preferably a flat tax that makes workers pay the biggest share) that will also guarantee a private profit flow
So Keysian economics has nothing to do with the state creating jobs and paying wages to increase demand to encourage profits, it simply relies on the market to cut wages and taxes to increase profits.
Some details of the Keysian plans
National wants to cut state spending on wages and state jobs, and state subsidies to workers savings, but wants to increase state investment. But it does not want to pay for this investment out of bosses taxes which it proposes to cut further. It will pay for it out of workers savings, Kiwisaver and the Cullen Fund, to bankroll private PPPs. This is creeping privatization of state assets by using them to subsidise profits. Moreover it wants the PPPs to go through without RMA delays as this reduces the profits from these investments. The Maori Party will be contracted to provide PPPs in Maori health, education and development.
We can add here the state guarantees to bank depositors and overseas creditors that both parties have advocated. Labour has, however, agreed to Reserve Bank loans to meet some of the needs of the banks in exchange for securities in the form of the bank’s mortgages. This means that if the banks go bust and the value of those mortgages is written down, these assets remain in state hands. Labour has also introduced a wholesale guarantee with high premiums to try to make the Australian parent banks provide funds to their NZ subsidiaries. Of course this cannot stop the Australian banks from charging high interest rates to their subsidiaries. Those who borrow from the banks for mortgages etc will ultimately pay these added costs in the form of increased bank charges. Another way in which the crisis is paid for by the workers.
All of these measures cut workers past, current and future wages and savings (and taxes such as go into the Cullen fund) and divert them into current and future profits of international banks and corporates.
Nationals PPPs will employ more workers to build the infrastructure, but they plan to involve private corporations like Fletchers who will profit from the surplus value they expropriate from their workers. And to cut private sector labour costs, National has a labour relations policy and ACC reforms lined up. Workers can be hired and rotated every 90 days if necessary. Unions can be kept offsite or company unions formed. ACC costs can be cheapened and the health and safety of workers compromised by introducing competition. Workfare will be introduced as benefits are cut, extra support for unemployed limited to a 16 weeks 'handup', keeping a large reserve army of unemployed ready to compete for jobs and drive down wages.
Some detail of the Keynesian plan
Contrast these Keysian anti-worker policies with Labour's Keynesian plan to counter the crisis. Labour is no less concerned with maintaining and boosting profits, but without the pain of the business cycle which brings massive deflation and unemployment and huge destruction of value - itself the product of past social labour.
Facing the prospect of a worsening crisis Labour was proposing to introduce the basics of a Keynesian deficit spending package to stimulate consumption and hence investment - creating jobs in public works, paying wages, raising the minimum wage, paying for job training etc. Its job
rescue plan added to existing benefit entitlements a 13 week benefit for those on WFF losing a second wage to maintain family consumption.
While this is far short of socialism by any definition, Labour's plan is objectively better for protecting workers jobs and living standards. It reveals its commitment to bosses profits by not going further and ending GST and replacing it with taxes on the rich. It also refused to consider nationalising NZ banks in the even they needed bailing out and stuck to finance capitals demand that it guarantee them with the future taxes of workers. Making workers pay on the trickle up.
Make them pay for their crisis!
But insofar as Labour was spending to reflate the economy by increasing the budget deficit, it
was not taking this cost out of workers wages and savings, rather charging this debt to future taxes. Like all sovereign debts, whoever pays for this is a matter of class struggle. What proportion will be deducted from profits and what proportion deducted from wages?
This is a question that can only be decided by class struggle. National is representing the current dominance of the bosses and is cashing in workers wages and savings for profits now. Labour was
proposing to manage capitalism as a class 'partnership' using the government's credit card, opening up the possibility of workers repudiating the public debt in the future.
The difference between Keynesian and Keysian economics then is in the opportunity the bosses crisis offers to workers. Under Keysian economics, the crisis is being solved at the expense of workers wages and savings now. We are being made to pay for the crisis today and tomorrow.
Under Labour the crisis would be countered (not solved) on credit so that the question of who pays for the crisis is something that is postponed and becomes a matter of which class is the stronger when the bill has to be paid tomorrow. Under the Keynesian regime, workers have the
opportunity to take advantage of deficit spending to organise their class power to make the bosses pay for their crisis, repudiating the public debt, cancelling obligations to bail out banks, nationalizing and socializing all banks and corporates and to democratically plan for a socialist society.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The fast approaching election is not a normal election. The current international capitalist crisis has put the capitalist class under increased pressure, and the capitalist class is committed to solve this crisis at the expense of workers. Our attitude towards the competing parties now is about how the working class can defend itself from the bosses trying to make us pay for their crisis. We do not have the luxury of assuming that Labour and National are just two bosses’ parties, and that it makes no difference to our class which one we vote for. In the past we have argued for a tactical vote for Labour in order to expose it. This tactic has been overtaken by the crisis and what it means for workers. We have to assess which of the two main parties is the most immediate threat at to workers right now. We have come to the conclusion that the urgent task for workers is to keep National out of office. A National government would launch a massive attack on the working class and would weaken its still fragile organisations. That's why we advocate a tactical vote for Labour in this election.
Why do we say this? After all National and Labour have both shown that they are ruling on behalf of the capitalist class. Labour has moved to the centre and abandoned its earlier commitments to the labour movement and workers in general in the last decades. Under Key National clearly has an anti-worker agenda. So while it is true that neither have the interests of workers at heart, let us see what we can expect from each party after November 8 if it becomes the government.
The crisis, (see previous posts on this blog on the causes and effects of the crisis) can only be solved in two ways - at the expense of the bosses or at the expense of workers. Both National and Labour will try to solve it at the expense of workers make no mistake. But the way they do it is like sudden death versus slow acting poison. When offered a choice between being shot or poisoned, Trotsky once said, I'll take the poison because I can at least try to get an antidote. In fact, Trotsky survived an attempt at poisoning before he was ice-picked to death.
National's double barreled shotgun
National has shown in the last 2 weeks that it proposes to return to a market driven policy in which workers get wage cuts while bosses get tax cuts. It has ripped out the employers’ contribution to Kiwisaver and effectively made workers pay for it with lost wage increases. How do we know this to be true? Because National has said that it will give workers in or out of Kiwisaver the same wage increases.
When the crisis began to bite in the last week or so National's proposals were designed to rescue their big business mates not protect workers from job losses and wage cuts. Its two main proposals were first a 1% cut in the Reserve Banks rate of lending to banks. This means that the banks can get money more cheaply from the Reserve Bank than from the private banks facing a credit squeeze. While this may appeal to some workers as cheaper credit, in reality there is no expectation that any of this will be passed on to lower mortgage rates or any other debt servicing by the working class. This is effectively a tax-payer funded subsidy to investors to encourage them to take more "risks" and invest.
The second proposal was to force the Superannuation Fund to invest 40% of its fund in NZ. Key announced that this money would go into the pet schemes they are planning, Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) in toll roads, private prisons, private hospitals and schools etc. In other words, National would plunder the future pension funds of NZs for the short term profits of the private sector who would rake huge profits from these PPPs. This rip-off amounts to Rogernomics mark 2 except this time the state assets are not being openly privatised but rather plundered as taxpayers (created by workers) money going into private profits.
Its important to understand the link between National's cuts in taxes and social spending (e.g. taking the razor to the public service etc, cutting the R&D money going to industry and cutting Kiwisaver) and the use of the Super Fund to 'develop' the economy. Both amount to a redistribution of current savings all which originates in the labour of workers, into the pockets of big business.
National has also supported Labour's deposit guarantee that would pay out (without limit!) to depositors who might lose their savings in banks if they go bust. But National wants to extend this guarantee to the wholesale borrowing of NZ banks when the big 4 are Australian subsidiaries already covered by an Australian state guarantee. In the context of NZ as a semi colony, this amounts to National underwriting Australian and other imperialist profit-making in the NZ economy. National is only interested in solving this crisis by protecting and boosting profits at the expense of immediately cutting wages and social spending on the working class. This is the double barreled shotgun sudden death facing the labour movement.
Labours slow acting poison
Labour –and that of the closely aligned CTU –has a 'partnership' policy that claims that workers can be rewarded with their “fair share” of increased productivity (i.e. exploitation). Facing a crisis that threatens to destroy this 'partnership' Labour has revived the Keynesian economic methods of full employment and state spending to keep demand up in the economy so as to encourage investment and hence profits. Kiwisaver and Super Fund are part of this saving and investment strategy for profit growth.
National's policy to attack jobs, wages, spending and saving cuts out the foundations from this policy. That is why in response to the crisis Labour seeks to reinforce those foundations by a number of emergency measures. Job losses will be avoided with paid job training schemes and advancing house building and infrastructure projects. Labour's counter-crisis policy is designed to maintain the health of the capitalist economy and the slow acting poison of increasing exploitation and profits, but it has an immediate effect on workers in keeping them working, reasonably educated and healthy so that they are fit, ready and willing for exploitation.
Yet from a working class standpoint Labour's counter-crisis strategy opens up the opportunity for the labor movement to develop an antidote to capitalist exploitation. By keeping workers in work, training, education, and housing, and by allowing the unions to survive and grow, the labour movement can build the strength it needs to resist rising exploitation and increase its share of its own labor-power.
It can fight to reclaim that part of its former labor paid in taxes (including the bosses) that is being invested in public and private ventures. It can fight to reject all use of taxes by the private sector and to nationalise the key sectors of the economy -taking back former state assets and nationalising under workers control without compensation. All those industries that sack workers, close down, or are strategic in the economy like Fletchers, CHH, Fonterra, Telecom etc should be socialised. The antidote to the slow acting poison of rising exploitation is a fighting, democratic labour movement that pushes for socialisation of the means of production, distribution and consumption.
Short, sharp shock
Some on the left will still say it doesn’t matter if National becomes the government because it will give the labour movement a short sharp shock and galvanise it into action to bring down the government. Let's see how realistic this is. In the 1980s when we had a relatively stong labour movement, Labour got its new right agenda passed by short, sharp shock treatment. The labour movement was defeated and did not recover in time to stop the next short, sharp shock of the National Governments attacks on workers and beneficiaries in 1990-1991. Short sharp shocks have never resulted in the union movement being able to rally strongly enough to bring down new right Labour or National governments.
In fact it was the return of the 5th Labour government in 1999 that created a breathing space for the unions to recover and begin to rebuild. After 9 years the unions have recovered some of their former strength and have begun to tackle the difficult job of recruiting members who have never heard of unions or are in jobs that have never been unionised. The Employment Relations Act is designed to embed Labour’s class collaborationist 'partnership' policy and it cannot provide any real protection for workers. Yet National has promised to reform it and weaken those provisions that have allowed the unions to rebuild in the 2000s.
Therefore when some of the sectarian left say that a massive attack on workers is needed to revive and strengthen the unions, this is an insult to workers. On the historical evidence National will smother the weak child in its cot. The re-election of Labour facing this crisis will at least give the reviving union movement an even chance of surviving and consolidating its strength. A tactical vote for Labour facing this crisis gives workers more time and space to rebuild their forces and fight for an independent working class party.
- Vote for Labour candidates in every electorate.
A vote for any other candidate may defeat the Labour candidate even where Labour has had strong majorities in the past. For example the total vote of Green, Alliance, Progressive, Maori Party, RAM and Workers Party candidates may lead to the defeat of Labour in a number of electorates and lead to its defeat. A vote for Maori Party candidates may not only defeat Labour candidates in the Maori seats but give National an ally to form an openly anti-worker government.
- Vote Party vote Labour to give Labour the largest number of list members.
The Greens will probably have enough support outside the labour movement to get over the 5%. Therefore workers in the organised labour movement should give their party vote to Labour and not the Greens. Remember that the Greens can only play a role in support of Labour if Labour is returned. The Greens will not be able to stop National unless the party commits to Labour.
November 8 -Vote for a Labour Government
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The current crisis of the global economy tells us some home truths about capitalism.
First, that the market cannot exist without the state. The evidence for this is overwhelming and has a long history from the origins of European colonialism in the 16th century, right up to the post WW2 Keynesian intervention of the state in the economy. The current crisis is the ultimate proof of this calling on massive state bailouts for the survival of the market.
Second, that those who rule the market also rule the state. The evidence for this is also overwhelming and has a long history. Wherever the state intervenes din the market the outcome is in the interest of the capitalist owning class. Even those interventions that appear to benefit other classes, or people in general, are in the last analysis, designed to increase profits. When interventions become less beneficial for profits they come under attack and unless strongly defended are removed. The current rescues of the market prove that all the arguments about the state acting to distort the market are specious when the market is facing destruction.
Third, that capitalism today is what Marxists call state monopoly capitalism (SMC). If the first two propositions are correct, then we cannot be surprised at the fusion of interests between corporations that become increasingly big and powerful, and the nation states that serve their interests. This is evident from the clear benefits that flow to the capitalist owners from state policies in foreign relations, such as colonialism and imperialism, wars which are designed to extend the power and wealth of the monopolies, and the use of the state to police and repress working class opposition to these policies.
We take from these truths the fact that in order to survive capitalism has over the last century or so been forced to become more and more monopolised and that these monopolies rely increasingly on the state to defend their interests. Monopolies are defined not only the exploitation of workers in production to produce profits, but by the grabbing of the profits of other less powerful firms.
So what the capitalists argue are special circumstances today - the massive state interventions to rescue the "system" -are actually no more than the expression of the necessary historic role of the state to defend the interests of capitalism, today as State Monopoly Capitalism where the state...bails out the banks!
The case of New Zealand
NZ as a capitalist nation is a good example of these truths. Capitalism in NZ was born as SMC. The state was necessary from the start to enable colonisation to occur. The British state forcibly suppressed the Maori people and disposessed it of its best land. To develop the land and industry, the state borrowed heavily and so forced the taxpayers to fund the development of infrastructure to enable the capitalist economy to be set up. So business was funded by the national debt paid out of taxes deducted from the surplus created by workers. A market for Land, Labour and Capital was created by the state.
The NZ economy did not take off however until after WW2 on the basis of a strongly interventionist state under Labour governments that protected the domestic market from global competition. Small farmers and businesses were able to grow as a result of heavy state subsidies, tariffs and import controls. Public works created a necessary infrastructure, while state borrowing and marketing of exports subsidised the costs of individual capitalist owners.
This state protected economy allowed the rise of local monopolies. Some were state owned such as energy, rail, telecommunications etc.,- because no capitalist would risk money in such massive ventures. Others, such as building, food processing, like Fletchers, Watties etc.were in the private sector but heavily subsidised (again by the taxation of workers wealth). Growth was possible so long as exports were efficient and protected domestic industry could compete with imports. But increasingly exports were subsidised by the state out of taxation (again created by workers whose surplus value pays workers as well as bosses taxes) to compensate for the high costs of inputs from protected industry. Local industry could not sustain the cost of cross subsidies (they couldnt screw more value from workers) when monopoly industry reached the limit of the NZ market. The class interests of the monopolists in exports and domestic industry prevailed and deregulation, cuts in subsidies and removal of protection was forced through by the 4th Labour Goverment of the 1980s.
NZs SMC was then directly exposed to competition with global SMC which devalued and restructured NZ capital. A fraction of NZ SMC which had comparative advantage survived in partnership with increasing FDI. The more efficient export producers rapidly amalgamated to form monopolies like Fonterra in dairy, and to a lesser extent in the meat industry. The state backed cooperative structure of these industries is now being merged with NZ and global monopoly partners. The case of Fonterra is the subject of a previous post on redrave.
The current crisis is impacting on NZ in the following way. NZ is now fully integrated into the global economy. The crisis of profitability in the US, EU and Japan, and the prospect of a similar crisis in China, will see the big global monopolies backed by their states competing for ownership and control of NZs key productive sectors. US pension funds and Aussie banks are the most prominent. They will be looking for the cheapest raw materials and labour power and use FTAs as a way of getting the best deal. They will push for the lowest compliance costs in labor and environmental law, and the lowest taxes and biggest infrastructure and energy subsidies. They will want a NZ government that is willing to offer them these least cost options.
Labour's response to global SMC
Labour's social democratic approach to the national economy is to try to strike a balance between the interests of NZ SMC and global SMC to protect the share of value retained in NZ for redistribution as the social wage. The social wage is the redistribution of some of the value created by workers back to them to cover costs that the wage paid by employers does not eg health, education, housing. It is a workers subsidy to employers rather than a welfare payment to workers.
We can see Labour's FTAs as an attempt to negotiate deals that try to balance the interests of NZ SMC with the SMCs of the US, EU, Japan, Australia etc. So far NZ has negotiated FTAs with other small independent or semi-colonial states in a similar position to itself in the world economy. These are nations that are essentially exporters of commodities or, like Singapore, trading and service providers. The object is to trade off increased access into these markets for NZ commodities and NZ FDI for FDI access to the NZ economy in infrastructure and services etc. The FTA with China, itself an economic giant but not yet an imperialist power, is a good example of his approach.
Has the FTA with China acheived Labour's objectives of creating opportunties for the growth of NZ SMC and avoiding the dominance of Chinese SMC? The upside are a rapid reduction of Chinese tarrifs and opportunity for joint ventures (JVs). The damage done to Fonterra's JV with Sanlu is a hiccup in this process (see article on Fonterra). Chinese access to FDI in NZ does significantly change the its existing access. But given China's massive sovereign wealth fund it may replace US, Australian and Japanese FDI in the near future.
So while Labour's limited social democratic trade objectives appear to be met insofar as NZ SMC has won benefits from FTAs, there is no necessary benefit of a 'trickle down' of social wealth inside NZ. For example, increased sales and profits to JVs in China are not going to be retained in NZ (as these industries become internationalised) or redistributed to NZ workers. Fonterra and other JVs in China will have compete with Chinese and other FDI (US, Japanese, Taiwanese etc) on the basis of labour productivity in NZ and China. As the Greens and others point out this will involve increasing exploitation and oppression for workers in China (and consumers a la Sanlu) as well as NZ (see comments on Fonterra workers).
Clearly social democratic attempts to moderate the worst effects of the global market are unable to avoid the need for SMC to make its profits at the expense of increasing exploitation of the working class. I will come back to this below on the section on workers' fight against SMC.
National and Labour respond to the crisis
National's historic approach is clearly to facilitate the takeover of NZ SMC by global SMC. Their policies in the 90's continued Labour's Rogernomic deregulation. The budget was balanced, taxes to the rich were cut, labour rights were attacked and welfare spending cut. The policy was designed make NZ more attractive to foreign investment. More state assets were sold (Bank of NZ; NZ Rail; electricity) and others were turned into 'state owned assets' (SOEs). FDI increased and most large NZ banks and businesses were sold to Australian, US and other SMCs in the form of multinational enterprises, pension funds and private equity funds.
National's response to the current crisis has been to return to its former agenda of privatisation and cost cutting to encourage FDI into NZ. However because most valuable state assets have been sold, National is now focussed on partial privatisation via Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) that allow joint ventures between public and private sectors in industry and infrastructure. Their policy is to open the SOEs, roads, schools and jails to joint ventures. In the face of the global credit sqeeze, National has taken the line of global SMC in pushing for cutting the Reserve Bank interest rate, supporting the Labour led government's depositor guarantee, and arguing that the NZ Superannuation Fund should invest up to 40% of its funds in NZ.
In this way National is hoping to privatise the Super fund to bankroll new PPPs to create big profits for the private sector. This is like the profit sharing agreements of Big Oil to exploit Iraqi oil. So while National has aready promised to cut taxes for the rich, and cut to cuts wages for workers, it now proposes to tap into existing tax savings to transfer it into private profits. National objects to deficit spending on public works because these are charges on future taxation which it wants to cut further, so it is determined to plunder existing tax savings. This is the equivalent of a tax cut for business and a transfer of public spending social spending into capital spending for profit.
Labour's approach to the current crisis is to revert to the techiques of Keynesian demand management. As the recession bites Labour is prepared to increase deficit spending to fund infrastructure work, speed up house building, and set up skill training for those made redundant by layoffs and plant closures. The difference between Labour and National is that while National wants to plunder the existing savings of the Super Fund to capitalise PPPs for private profit, Labour wants to increase public debt as a charge against future taxation to stimulate the economy.
Workers' fight against SMC
Both National and Labour are capitalist parties attempting to facilitate public investment to stimulate the economy. In the case of National this is a diversion of existing taxes in the Cullen fund to finance private sector growth for profits. In the case of Labour it is spending now to create jobs, housing, roads etc. to maintain consumption paid out of future taxation which will be created by the ongoing exploitation of workers.
There is no question that both are propping up SMC in NZ which can only survive by increasing the exploitation and oppression of workers. Yet when facing these two options workers at the coming election are being asked to choose between being robbed of their taxes and pensions now as well as facing lower wages and increased exploitation in the future, or being kept in busy work so that they can continue to be exploited and pay the taxes to fund growth of profits now and into the future.
Facing this choice there is only one option for workers. If we take National's option we are agreeing to being robbed now for the privilege of facing an economy in which wages, living standards and workers rights will come under increasing attack. If we take Labour's option we reject the plundering of the Cullen Fund or the cutting of Kiwifund, and agree to deficit financing to minimise the recession and defer the question of who will pay this debt into the future. Since workers produce the wealth from which ALL taxes are paid our strategy is to keep as much of the tax wealth that we produce as possible for use in employing, housing, feeding, educating and keeping us healthy. It doesnt matter that this drives up the public debt because it it buys us the precious time we need to organise and prepare to give our collective answer to the question of who will pay for the debt in the future!
We say that workers right now must fight to retain and regain the surplus that they contribute in profits and taxation by demanding that public spending goes on our wages, health, education and housing, rather than goes into PPPs designed to boost the profits of the ruling class in this country!
- Jobs for all on a living wage. Public works funded out of taxation (which we create). Free comprehensive health, education and housing! Tax the rich to pay for it!
- Re-nationalise under workers control and no compensation to the bosses of privatised assets.! Take back Telecom, Air NZ, Contact Energy, BNZ etc.
- Nationalise under workers' control with no compensation all industries that threaten mass sackings or close down!
- Fight for these policies by building fighting, democratic unions everywhere! Build workers councils and defence committees to stop evictions and lockouts!
- For a Workers and working farmers government and a planned socialist economy!