Monday, December 09, 2013

Greetings To the Second Congress of the Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe!

From the Communist Workers Group (USA) December 6, 2013

Since “independence” in 1980 the ZANU-PF and its predecessors have made Zimbabwe safe for imperialist exploitation. The Program of Permanent Revolution is confirmed in the negative results of the national revolution, which gained for the national bourgeois forces the role of administrator over and champion of a capitalist economy which can neither support its people nor gain its independence from the dictates of the world market. They are playthings of imperialism; they cannot avoid the economic and military ravages intertwined with the inter-imperialist struggle over Africa’s resources. The ZANU-PF regime has not always been a favorite with the former colonizers and they are tolerated in the breach because the cost of overthrowing them was judged to be too steep by the Blair and Mbeki regimes. Sanctions imposed at that time impacted the lives of the working masses and ordinary poor. By design they did not interfere with the profits of the giant extraction companies.[1]

In the epoch of imperialism there is no national program for the liberation of the semi-colonial countries and their people. The pan-Africanist vision also has not liberated Africa. While touted from many corners of the continent by liberation fighters turned capitalist state administrators, it serves as an ideological and organizational roadblock to the African workers revolution in particular and the world revolution by extension.

The tasks of the bourgeois revolution, the completion of the agricultural reform, national independence and democracy have not been completed by the ZANU-PF. How could they be with their political program? A layer of veterans has become a new ruling class. Their privilege derives from and is maintained by the counter-revolution from within the anti-imperialist revolution, and is just a cost of doing business for the imperialists.

Had these tasks been completed Zimbabwe would be able to feed its people and would not be trapped into mono-cropping for the world market. The starving of the masses fills the prisons for want of bread and democracy. Yet in the prisons hundreds have died because the state cannot find the funds to feed the inmates but one meal a day.[2] The capitalist system is the crime and the prisons are the result! We say tear down the prisons! Complete the agricultural reform by uniting agricultural workers under the leadership of the working class to seize Capital’s assets, plan and implement a rational production of food to meet the needs of the people.

Had these tasks been completed the resources of the state would prevent the epidemic (reportedly 100,000 victims) of waterborne disease, and cholera would not be a threat today. Yet by subordinating the national revolution to imperialism, the mineral wealth of the nation keeps the miners and their families living in poverty without clean and safe water supplies.[3]

We hear Anglo American tooting its own horn for having donated a preposterous $100,000 to the Red Cross and showcase plumbing projects to fight cholera. The fake concern of these imperialists is notable on two accounts. Capital proclaims its beneficial role as a big investor, yet the historic impoverishment of the nation is the product. We say complete the revolution! Expropriate the assets of foreign capital! Make the imperialists pay![4]

Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Impala Platinum drain the nation’s wealth by keeping the miners wages at the starvation minimum wage of $227 a month. The Chamber of Mines is fighting the union’s demands for $800 for diamond miners, $700 for platinum miners and $573 for gold miners. The impasse in negotiations last week (Nov 26) will once again put the ZANU-PF to the test as the state arbitrator adjudicates on the dispute in January. We say no faith in the state arbitrators! VICTORY TO THE MINERS IN THEIR FIGHT FOR A LIVING WAGE! TO WIN AGAINST THE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS UNITED STRIKES ACROSS SOUTHERN AFRICA ARE NEEDED!

In we read, ‘‘The union believes that it’s fair and just for each sub-sector to remunerate its employees at rates that are proportional to its performance…” We say union leaders who tie labor costs to the price of the ore workers extract from the ground are not committed to the workers but to the market and its dictates! The LCC demands a living wage for all! For wage and price committees tied to mass assemblies of workers, the unemployed, agricultural labor and students! We must reject wages being determined by the wild fluctuations in the price of the ore workers mine. Imperialism has extracted its profit and super-profits when the ore was selling at high prices, yet they did not raise wages then, and now the labor fakers tier the wage demands referencing the imperialists excuses about the fall in demand! Repatriate the stolen super-profits! Expropriate the Expropriators![5]

We have noticed a big increase of the Chinese influence in Zimbabwe and it is not limited to the economic sphere. The 98 million dollar loan to build the Harare military base signals a long-term partnership with the ZANU-PF regime. It will garrison forces aimed squarely at the working class, as Zimbabwe is not the imperialist proxy of choice for enforcement on the continent. For the present we don’t see Zimbabwe making military moves against its neighbors. This base will constitute the security of the state at the expense of the masses who will have to pay back the loan. And the Atlantic Monthly raises the question about what it represents about future projections of Chinese military power onto the continent. We well remember that imperialists have made Africa their battleground in both inter-imperialist world wars and we see Africom as an early placeholder for US imperialism and its NATO allies.[6]

The Marikana example is an object lesson in the need of the working class to organize self defense of its ranks and its struggles. We know the ANC colluded with the mine owners against the Marikana miners and shot them down in cold blood. The ZANU-PF is no better and we must warn the workers against faith in the state and prepare the masses to defend their strikes, to arm the people and disarm the police. As Trotsky observed in his history of the Russian Revolution, “The way to the soldier’s rifle leads through the revolver taken from the Pharaoh.” [7]

From the belly of the imperialist beast and on behalf of the vanguard workers of the USA we salute this second congress of the Revolutionary Workers Group! We salute the programmatic conquests that have resulted in the formation of the RWG. The RWG is the ripe fruit of the battle against Cliffism and its surrender to the Popular Front and entry into the MDC. We would wish to caution vanguard fighters everywhere of the Cliff/Schachtman tendency’s history of reducing class struggle to economism. Recently, these willing class collaborators (the ISO-Z) tried to hitch their failed economist project to the unsullied standard of the RWG which proudly defended the transitional method against a fake unity of the working class and its vanguard around the minimum program of reformism.

The RWG likewise rejected the schematicism and target fixation of the FLTI which refuses to recognize Chinese imperialism though it stares workers in their face anywhere they care to look and particularity in the southern hemisphere. The RWG has successfully defended the revolutionary position on the August 1991 coup and counter-coup in the former USSR and has done so against the considerable pressure from the backslider RCIT whose break from the method of Cliffism is incomplete as demonstrated by their support for Yeltsin faction and their objectively pro-imperialist position in support of the Bosnian breakaway state and the NATO bombing of Serbia.

We salute the RWG for raising the banner in Africa for solidarity with the Revolutionary fighters in Syria and in solidarity with the deepening Arab revolution against the misguided calls for retreat to bourgeois parliamentarism and the Constituent Assembly while trade unionists on strike in Egypt are daily fighting the military regime and while the order of the day across MENA is to organize workers councils and militia.

We are united in our internationalist vision and resolved upon the tasks of building a revolutionary workers’ international. The very survival of humanity depends on our victory. Capitalism, the impending inter-imperialist conflict over resources and markets and the devastation of climate change will devastate the billions in the semi-colonial world whose infrastructure is least prepared to adapt. The impact of drought driven by climate change on the Syrian economy has driven the people to revolt and we will see case after similar case as the comprador bourgeoisie seek to keep the cork in the bottle. Hurricanes, typhoons, natural disasters combined with capitalist lack of planning and the anarchy of production that gave us Fukushima cries out for the formation of a planned world economy. Our tasks are monumental but our program of class independence and the dialectical method of the transitional program guide us to build our fighting party to lead the workers to victory.

All power to the working class!

Victory to the Zimbabwe miners! Justice for Marikana!

For the united socialist state of Southern Africa!

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