Sunday, October 07, 2012
Some of the leading members of the Trotskyist LOI-DO of Argentina have been subjected to house searches and confiscation of documents and cell phones by legal authorities on false charges of fraud. This is a capitalist state persecution of the "Movement for Workers' Democracy" and an attack on the workers' movement internationally.
The Liaison Committee of Communists strongly supports the call for a campaign to fight the persecution of the socialist fighters of LOI-DO, to drop all charges and end the persecution of militants by the state.
We reproduce part of the Press Release of the Movement for Workers Democracy below (any translation errors are ours).
Communist Workers Group (USA)
Communist Workers Group (A/NZ)
Revolutionary Workers Group (Zimbabwe)
Press Release of the Movement for Workers Democracy
Against the Trotskyists, no. Against us, no. We are with Aleppo and the workers and exploited who in Syria fight against the genocide to Al Assad on behalf of imperialism!
Out with the judges of Mossad like the fascist Melazo and the bosses justice that attack the Socialist workers and fighters!
October 1st, 2012
[...]On Wednesday, in simultaneous raids, in several houses of Argentinian socialist revolutionary leaders some with more than 40 years in the national political arena, were raided. The office of the labor lawyer Viviana Noguerol was raided also. She is member of the Promotion Board of “Movimiento por la Democracia Obrera” (Movement for Workers Democracy) in Argentina.
Days before, Paula Medrano was phoned by the UFI 8 of the city La Plata in charge of María Victoria Huergo, prosecuting attorney of complex crimes in the [...] public prosecutor office where César Melazo, the Magistrate of “guarantees” works.
Paula Medrano is a "daughter of the disappeared" of La Plata city. She had called the tribunal and public prosecutor’s office asking if the corpse of her mother had appeared in the year and a half since the corpse of her father “appeared”. The phone call in reply was to inform her that the prosecutor's office had found cause to charge her with "fraud".
[...] As already happened with leaders of Quebracho 5-6 years ago, this fascist judge Melazo now accuses worker and popular fighters of “fraud” and “theft” as a means of political persecution. We face a repetition of this proceedure, this time against socialist leaders, labour lawyers, intellectuals, and sons and daughters of disappeared. They have been targeted by the Bonaerense Police (from Buenos Aires Province) [...].
The judge Melazo, last April 2, said in the press that “here is a punch of the Quebrachitos - that hid their faces - till we break their faces”. Thus, this magistrate called for an attack like the murderous Bonaerense Police made when they “went to punch the picketers in Puente Pueyrredon” that killed Kostequi and Santillán in 2002. Some of the killers were caught not because a judge was investigating the Bonaerense police but because they were filmed by journalists at the moment when they killed the comrades in Avellaneda Station.
We are facing a provocation. The raids against socialists including detention of people at their home address. People that have nothing to do with the search warrant and were detained in public, in the street like ordinary thieves. Dozens of policemen and prosecuting attorneys trashed the houses and lawyer’s offices seizing papers, mobile phones and computers. They sought telephone numbers, personal notebooks, names, ransacked wardrobes, turned mattresses over. They carefully checked the books on Marxism and socialism found in the houses one by one.
The witnesses that supposedly “were passing by on the street” were arrested without the knowledge of anybody. [...] the police and experts opened their computers and mobile phones without the physical presence of the proprietors of the housing and without their permission [...]
[...] Nobody should be surprised by this attack, when the Macri, Chief of Government of the Ciudad de Buenos Aires is accused of listening telephone conversations of citizens demanding their rights. Nothing can be odd when all the political originators of the assassinations on December 20, 2001 are free, as well as of the assassination of Kostequi and Santillán and the thousands cases of “easy trigger” against the Argentinean youth, among others.
[...] Of course, we will show, neither before judges of the dictatorship nor their prosecuting attorneys living in La Recoleta, but before the eyes of the working class and workers of Argentina and the world that the true criminal gangs are those who steal the rivers, minerals, water, oil, the Central Bank, 50.000 millions of dollars of the savers while all the bankers remain free.
[...] we will denounce not before judges who belonged to the CNU, the fascists of the Triple A who killed students in Mar del Plata, who in partnership with Mossad persecute the fighters for the Palestinian cause. While the Triple A has kidnapped some of us it has not intimidated us. Neither did the military dictatorship intimidate us, let alone, the CIA, Mossad and CNU’s judges against which we fight.
[...] Facing the provocation, against the courts of the oligarchy, we call for a public tribunal of the workers organizations and those who stand for true democracy to bring to trial the judges of the dictatorship, their collaborators, the prosecuting attorneys and the oligarchy and expropriators of the people. We will investigate them. We will judge them. And before the eyes of the people we will show they are impostors.
[..]The internationalist socialists of world working class organizations will denounce the persecution of our comrades of Argentina because they dared to lead the Campaign of international solidarity with the workers and people massacred by genocides in Libya, Syria and Palestine. We accuse the political chiefs of these judges and the State as responsible. They are the agents of the oligarchy and imperialism that pillages the nation.
We know that these threatens and arrogance and this attack against the democratic freedoms are a respond to a relentlessly fight in defense of the interests of the workers all around the world and in particular of the Argentinian workers.
[...] The UFI 8 says it has an expert team with the best technology to solve “complex crimes”. They say to have the “best men” and the “best technology”…so, why don’t they find the kidnappers of Julio López if they are able to solve so many “complex crimes”? If they are of such "high quality” and “efficiency” where is Julio López? [...] where is the young Luciano Arruga and Daniel Solano-delegate of the agriculture workers? Until they fi find them this is living proof that they only catch “chicken thieves” and allow the kidnappers, the murderous military-men, the corrupted politicians, and the transnational companies, plunderers of the nation, to go free.
We know that we will get the support of the organizations that fight for democratic freedoms; the socialist and worker organizations of the world that support the fighters in Syria and Libya; those that in Wall Street and in Europe fight against the capitalists´ attacks. Those who fight for the freedom of the prisoners of Guantanamo, Chile, Colombia, Palestine will be side by side with us.
[..] Thousands of worker fighters have been under prosecution for “the crime” of asking for what belongs to them with justice. The capitalists’ state needs hostages and worker organizations with their leaders having “the Damocles sword” over their head so they will surrender rather than openly fight against this rotten society. And they speak about “democracy” when there are thousands of worker fighters under charges and hundreds of youth killed by the police. Even they speak about “democracy” when there are peasant peoples massacred to take away their lands like Qom in Formosa, and there are policemen sent by judges of the same quality of Melazo and other repressors that in order to defend the exploiters’ lands don’t need signed search warrants, or orders for assassinations and humiliations of all kind.
[...] This is one more of so many political fights that our socialist movement has made in the Argentinean, Latin American, and world working class. In the particular case of the “Movimiento por la Democracia Obrera” of Argentina which has begun its campaign to stand in the next electoral campaign to present, this time with electoral legal status, its positions in public. This provocation is aimed at preventing a socialist, independent, and intransigent voice being heard denouncing the interests of the exploiters and their political representatives in Argentina. They will not achieve it. We know of the great national and international solidarity that we will get through this appeal.
[...] The “Movimiento por la Democracia Obrera” is member of an international movement in support of the Syrian masses to stop the genocide of Al Assad on behalf of all the imperialist powers of the world. We take up again the socialist tradition of the Argentinian workers that in the ´30s sent volunteers, money and medicine to the battlefield in Spain against Francoism. We know that the “franquist” Argentineans of today are the ones attacking us and they want to stop us. They will not achieve it.
[...] Melazo ordered no less than 25 raids. What he found in these raids is secret.
What supposedly he found in the houses of the fighters members of the “Movimiento por la Democracia Obrera” that they had during a week confiscated by the SIDE, Mossad and Bonaerense will be exposed in a “public expert´s report”…since this note was already in the street and they knew about its existence.
Saturday, October 06, 2012
|Strategic Alliance: Jacob Zuma bows to Hu Jintao|
The Marikana Massacre has exposed the reactionary ANC regime as a client state of imperialism. The ANC is attempting to head off a growing mass uprising of workers by building a new ‘strategic partnership’ with China in the hope that this will produce ‘win-win’ deals to allow the country to develop its economy and reap the wealth produced. China, however, is no saviour as it is no different to the former colonial exploiters. As an emerging imperialist power its interest is in the super-exploitation of South African workers. The global crisis is creating a militant opposition to the rule of capitalist imperialism everywhere. In South Africa, as elsewhere, for workers to live they will have to unite to overthrow capitalism. Forward to the South African Revolution!
Marikana – A South African Spring?
What is behind the Marikana Massacre? It is a re-opening of the democratic revolution that has the potential for permanent revolution similar to that of the Arab Spring? Why does the national democratic revolution need re-opening? In 1952 the ANC and SACP joined forced to lead the national democratic revolution to power. The ANC adopted its program on national development, the Freedom Charter, from the Stalinist SACP which held that SA must go through a bourgeois stage of capitalist development to create the pre-conditions for socialism.
We trace this Stalinist theory of stages to the Menshevik position in Russia in 1923 which Stalin reverted to once he was in power in the Soviet Union. The democratic revolution would empower the working class to nationalise the means of production to speed up the transition to socialism. This would be possible if the bourgeois state was under the control of the ANC representing the Black majority working class. The Freedom Charter written in 1955 made ‘nationalisation’ of the mines central to its program of national development. Thus ‘nationalisation’ meant ownership by the bourgeois state ‘governed’ by the ANC, not the social ownership of the working class in a socialist workers’ state. The working people would delegate this task to the ANC and not have direct control over its implementation.
When the ANC came to power in 1994 the SACP program of ‘nationalisation’ was already realised in the Soviet Union by its return to state capitalism. The Stalinist policy of Perestroika and Glasnost had opened the road to the restoration of the capitalist market. Yeltsin in 1992 defeated any resistance to capitalist restoration forcing state property to be privatised or the remaining SEOs to be subject to the law of value in global capitalist market. This translated globally as a retreat from not only workers property, but from bourgeois ‘nationalisation’, to the ‘mixed economy’ dressed up sometimes as ‘market socialism’. So by 1994 the Stalinist world was already rejecting ‘nationalisation’ as the preferred road to socialism. Thus the bourgeois national revolution in SA was deformed at birth as part of a historic defeat of the world working class that brought the downfall of the degenerate workers states including the Soviet Union, destroying workers property, the main gain of the October 1917 Revolution.
In coming to power in 1994 the ANC junked the Freedom Charter for a developmental state model of ‘market socialism’ where the state regulates the market to meet the goals of ‘socialism’. It wasn’t until 2002 that it succeeded in overcoming resistance to the nationalisation of mineral resources in the ground. Today the ANC leadership still rules out nationalisation of the mining companies’ assets as too costly and politically destabilising. It says the nationalisation of the assets of listed mining corporations would cost $1 Trillion and bankrupt the country leaving it at the mercy of a Structural Adjustment Program. It therefore continues to opt for a range of taxes, royalties and other ‘value-sharing’ measures to implement its particular brand of ‘national development’.
Has the national revolution created the pre-conditions for socialism?
The ANC/SACP policy of the bourgeois national revolution is one of using the state to redistribute surplus value towards the gradual social ownership of the means of production. Imperialism is understood as based on unequal exchange where normal profits (surplus-value) are inflated into super profits by extracting ‘super-value’. The two main mechanisms are using a reserve army to force de-value wages below the level of reproduction, and undervaluing the price of the commodities produced and exported via transfer pricing. This means that on top of normal capitalist profits (surplus value), imperialist corporations ‘steal’ super-profits (super-value). The ANC/SACP policy is that the national revolution ‘empowers’ workers governments to tax or regulate imperialism to reduce or eliminate unequal exchange as the basis of super-profits. There have been ongoing attempts to achieve this using a number of rules including the latest attempts to stop transfer pricing. But there is now a growing consensus that this has failed and that SA is one of the most super-exploited semi-colonies on earth.
This means that in practice for 18 years the ANC has proven that its Stalinist SACP theory of the progressive national revolution is a fraud. It has presided over the return of EU and US multinationals into the mining industry and failed to put an end to imperialist super-exploitation of low wages (reflected in the poverty living standards of workers) and transfer pricing. The lion’s share of value pumped out of mining continued to go into the coffers of the mining multinationals, Anglo-American, Lonmin, Glencore etc. The rate of super-profit remains massive. The minority share that came to the regime via royalties, taxes and minority shareholdings such as the BEES (Black Business Empowerment) did not benefit the mass of South Africans, but went into the pockets of a newly emerging Black bourgeoisie. The ANC is now shown up by its failed national revolution as the party of a new Black national bourgeoisie presiding over the super-exploitation of the South African working class.
All of this was predicted decades ago by revolutionary Marxists who fought the Stalinist degeneration of the Soviet Union. The Stalinist popular front empowered a bureaucracy and a new bourgeoisie by disempowering the working class. These revolutionaries are once again vindicated by events in South Africa. The ANC Tripartite regime has trapped SA into dependency on Western imperialist super-exploitation. It has led to the rise of a Black bourgeoisie and crony capitalism, and the rising mass dissatisfaction with the successive leadership of the ANC, its statified union Congress, Cosatu, and of its political leadership in the SACP, is today beginning to rise up. The miners of Marikane are but the first wave of mass insurrection that rejects the ANC regime and its state force and is embarking on the road to workers power!
Despite the recent attempts at Polokwane to outline a new plan for national development based on a greater share of the resource rent these pathetic paper proposals have been overwhelmed by the global crisis and falling demand for minerals which has put pressure on the regime to contain and discipline mining workers to screw down labour and production costs to restore levels of super-profits. This created a wave of dissatisfaction with the NUM and the series of disputes that ultimately led to the Marikana Massacre.
The ANC response to the Massacre has been to resort to police suppression of the militants to defeat and contain the miners’ strike, and at the same time try to keep control of the moderates by holding a public inquiry and promising major economic reforms. These reforms amount to promises to tax the mining super-profits via tougher Resource Rent Tax that will create a Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest in national and economic social development. This conception of national development is tied to SA’s membership of the BRICS led by China. It is being promoted as an attempt to reduce its dependence on Western imperialism by collaborating with the ‘market socialist’ giant whose developmental model can be copied. Instead of ‘Western’ imperialist exploitation the ANC sees China as an alternative economic power with which it can enter a “win-win” partnership based on “equal exchange”.
Thus in the SIMS plans launched in March 2012 the ANC proposes that on the back of a SWF funded by the 50% RRT it can develop upstream in energy (power and infrastructure) and downstream, manufacturing, education, housing etc much as China has. It wants to build Pilot Beneficients Hubs based on the Chinese SEZs which allow new investment, technology etc to drive up the ‘value chain’ to add-value and fund jobs and rising living standards. This, they say will allow SA to follow China’s path to national development overcoming the barriers of super-exploitation, unemployment and poverty.
For some in the ANC this is not enough to stop super-exploitation. By its own calculations, SIMS proposed 50% RRT taxes only half the super-profits of mining companies. Julius Malema, the expelled ANC Youth League leader, and his faction want to replace the leadership of the ANC and its policy of taxing profits. Their main demand is ‘nationalisation without compensation’. Here we can see that Malema is trying to contain the political radicalisation of workers to rescue the ANC and the Tripartite Alliance by promising a more radical reform than the current leadership. Malema is popular with the striking miners who support more militant moves to share the wealth. Many are now breaking with the NUM and Cosatu and calling for directly negotiated share of the profits.
Malema’s factional fight inside the ANC does not break with the popular front. Nationalisation without compensation is still a bourgeois nationalisation. This is not a nationalisation from below based on workers occupation and workers control! ‘Nationalisation’ undertaken by the ANC would be a bourgeois nationalisation. The process will remain one led by the Tripartite Alliance of the ANC, Cosatu and SACP in which a bourgeois state is the agent of national capitalist development continuing to act as a junior partner of imperialism. Malema is unlikely to win a majority in the upcoming ANC Congress for ‘nationalisation’ as a panacea, because the ANC leadership is confident that its reforms will be bankrolled by China. “This time round” the global crisis which has now burst to the surface at Marikana and spreading to all the mines is pushing the ANC leadership to ‘reinvent’ itself by modelling SA development on China’s ‘market socialism’.
In other words ANC wants SA to “takeoff” and raise living standards like China and the other BRICS. “Not surprisingly then, the new investments from China will be centred on “geology and mineral resources” as well as on financial cooperation between the Development Bank of South Africa and China Development Bank. But according to Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa’s deputy president, things are different this time around. The deals, he said, are meant to “strike a healthy balance” in trade volume between the two countries.“This financial cooperation agreement is between development banks and the specific projects in which they are going to invest, they have to identify these projects,” Motlanthe, who is on a three-day trip China, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “To that end, the difference is, instead of just exporting these minerals as raw materials, there will be…value add to create jobs on both sides,” he added.”
In other words a ‘win-win’ deal. China may be investing in the old ‘imperialist’ ventures of energy, minerals and banking, but it won’t be extracting super-profits! Or at least the super-profits will be divided equally – hence ‘win-win’ for both Chinese and South African bourgeoisie! A recent delegation from the province of Gauteng visited China to sign up to a deal on infrastructure projects. It was led by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane who said: "Our people's lives will improve because after this partnership is sealed, we will see a massive roll-out of infrastructure projects. Already in Tshwane, we have a number of flagship projects in the pipeline including the construction of the Tshwane International Conference Center and Rainbow Junction, among others," said Ramokgopa.
Can South Africa develop like China?
Let’s look at this prospect. The global crisis and the slump in demand for minerals as well as the hardship facing workers that led to Marikana, may speed up the China connection. China continues to keep the economies of the BRICS steaming along so long as its own economy is still growing rapidly. The current slowdown in China from 8% to maybe 7% is still a raging boom by comparison with Western imperialist states. In this sense China appears to be different from the established imperialist powers in continuing to keep the world economy from slumping into deep depression.
So is Chinese investment an alternative to imperialist super-exploitation? Is China different to the Western Powers? Can it sustain the world economy and in particular the BRICS. Will South Africa be able to attract more trade and investment out of China, and also increase its share of the rent from mineral extraction? And will he Chinese model of development reproduce in SA an increase in added value based on transfer of technology and knowledge?
Deborah Brautigam of China in Africa: The Real Story sees China as different from the European powers, but still expecting a commercial advantage from its investments in Africa. China is not copying European colonisation which sucks out resources and labour power without concern for upstream or downstream development, but can see the benefits in developing Africa after the Chinese model. Not only is China exporting its model to semi-colonies like South Africa but since 2000 and the policy to “Go Out” and membership of WTO, it is demonstrating this process of going up the value stream from cheap labour to high tech in its FDI in SA. This shows that China has used FDI in semi-colonies like South Africa to launch its “Go Global”. It does not compete directly against the established brands of EU, US and Japanese corporate, but starts cheap or contracts to established brands to develop a competitive product and then develop its own brands globally.
In SA Chinese FDI took off after 2000 where it used SA as a ‘learning arena’ for the globalisation of its banks and industries. So China is not only doing swaps of loans for resources, it is investing in upstream energy and infrastructure, and downstream consumer goods such as domestic appliances, electronics and communications. “Adding these estimates suggests that Chinese assets in South Africa in mining alone were probably worth close to US$700 million at end of 2007. This suggests that MOFCOM’s figure of US$702 million was reasonably accurate, in contrast to the SARB figure of US$70.” The Edge, p8. “The period since 2000 has seen a major expansion in the Chinese presence in South African mining with the doubling of Sinosteel’s investment during 2006, and the entry of other mining companies as discussed above. Several major Chinese corporations have entered the banking and construction sectors.” Ibid p 18. Thus China’s ‘demonstration effect’ is a major factor in reviving hopes that ‘win-win’ deals will see South Africa and other African states make the same leap from underdevelopment to development made by China.
China’s 21st century imperialism
This is not the familiar 19th or 20th century imperialism, but rather a supersession of 19th and 20th century imperialism as a new form of 21st century imperialism. On the surface it is easy to see why semi-colonial governments can hope to do ‘win-win’ deals with China. Moreover, the Chinese developmental model which is regarded widely as a form of ‘market socialism’ fits snugly with the central role of the state in ownership and control of African economies in the ideology of the ANC, ZANU PF and other African governments. All of this hinges on the assumption that China is a new form of economy – a hybrid of a socialist state and the capitalist market – which is not governed by the laws governing the economies of the other big powers. Thus it appears that China has escaped the trap of Western imperialism and shows the way for the rest of the BRICS and other ‘developing’ countries to follow the same road.
But on closer analysis, China is not essentially different from Western Imperialist economies as its policies are dictated by the laws of motion of monopoly capital and by the growing rivalry with other imperialist states. Standard neo-liberal economic theory argues that China’s Overseas FDI is different from established developed economies as they are not global leaders in any sector. This view is echoed on the left, that China cannot catch up with imperialism because it does not have competitive advantage in any global sector of production. Some argue that this fits with Lenin’s concept of imperialism where imperialist firms must be world leaders to monopolise a sector of production, e.g. oil, banks, steel, autos etc.
What this theory overlooks is that China with its centralised state capitalist apparatus is able to leverage its 100s of millions of low paid workers to create huge surpluses to catch up with its stagnating rivals. This means that it has a massive accumulated super-profits to buy existing assets or resources and form joint ventures to break into sectors where seeks to dominate in the future. In South Africa as well as FDI in minerals and financial services China sought markets for assembled CKD goods and offer more competitive, cheaper, brands and services on the basis of technology transfer arising from FDI inside China itself.
Thus, China has been able to ‘capitalise’ on its history as a Degenerated Workers State to accumulate surplus value rapidly and ‘go out’ by applying its developmental model in key countries like South Africa. So not only has China demonstrated by its rapid expansion that it is an emerging imperialist power, it is also proving that it is not immune to the deepening global capitalist crisis and is showing signs of overproduction of capital. This is now becoming evident as China’s economy is slowing down. Perhaps China’s slowdown is only because it is tied to the global market, and not due to any inherent crisis of overproduction? This is the most common view on the reformist left, a view shared by the ANC and other African regimes. Because the ANC views capitalism as capable of being reformed into ‘socialism’ by equalising exchange, China is ‘socialist’ to the extent that it can use ‘Keynesian’ state deficit spending to compensate for falling trade. But in a capitalist economy state investment in infrastructure will generate stagflation unless that infrastructure contributes to the production of commodities that China can sell in the world market.
China’s crisis then, exposes for all to see, the limits of ‘market socialism’ as dependent on the underlying laws of global capitalism. The BRICS look to the ‘China model’ of state managed development to strengthen trade and investment relations and move toward swap deals where China provides long term loans or infrastructure deals in exchange for resources. Yet the BRICS categorised as ‘emerging markets’, hides essential differences behind surface similarities. The essential differences are that Russia and China are imperialist countries and have no interest in ‘developing’ the other BRICS unless they can reap super-profits. This means that BRICS like South Africa cannot escape the ‘sphere of influence’ of Chinese and Russian imperialism without a socialist revolution.
Russia and China are newly emerging imperialist countries having made the transition from DWS back to capitalism. Despite massive problems associated with capitalist restoration, their strong state and relative independence from existing imperialist states has allowed them to escape the fate of the other BRICS which remain trapped in their colonial dependence. We can see how Russia and China have formed a new imperialist bloc competing with the US led bloc by creating its own sphere of influence in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This sphere of influence now includes the other BRICS (Brazil, India and South Africa) as well as other intermediate states such as Iran, Venezuela etc. Yet inevitably this sphere of influence is one in which Russia and China dominate and super-exploit their semi-colonial clients. India, Brazil and South Africa are all characterised by the continued dominance of imperialist FDI which limits their ability to develop an independent bourgeoisie and accumulate capital on their own account.
Our conclusion is that the ANC cannot lead South Africa out of imperialist super-exploitation by following China’s development model. It has proven that the bourgeois democratic revolution cannot be completed by means of a popular front government but in fact holds back its completion by trapping the working class in a client state of imperialism. This will prove to be the case with China also. China is not a new form of society that can escape capitalist crisis. It is an emerging imperialist power that is now the main rival of the US bloc in Africa. The ANC’s strategic alliance with China will see it staying trapped in semi-colonial super-exploitation and its people trapped in poverty and misery.
The miners of Marikana will not win freedom or economic security without leading a socialist revolution in SA. For that to happen the workers need their own Revolutionary Party and a program that opens the road to revolution. It is necessary to build a working class movement based on the mines; workers councils in every workplace and township; workers defence militias; for the seizure of power and formation of a Workers and poor farmers Government to expropriate imperialist and capitalist property and plan a socialist economy!
Build a Workers Party that unites the militant vanguard from China the Middle East to the USA!
For a new World Party of Socialist Revolution!
Liaison Committee of CommunistsRevolutionary Workers Group (Zimbabwe)
Communist Workers Group (USA)
Communist Workers Group (Aotearoa/NZ)