Wednesday, September 27, 2017

China’s Kiwi Invasion: It’s not the ‘Yellow Peril’ or the ‘Red Tide’ but China’s reborn imperialism


Former Prime Minister John Key with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, 2014

This reactionary NACT regime has sold out to China like the parasitic ‘compradors’ – gentry dressed-down as jumped-up land agents – they are. Nothing to do with ‘one party states’, ‘Red tides’ or ‘yellow perils’, but a born-again imperialist global power sucking out profits. While we moaned about US oligarchs buying NZ citizenship, the ‘market socialists’ were scavenging NZ’s finite resources from its neoliberal pimps. Yet working people must reject all attempts to resist China on racist, chauvinist terms, but recognize that what motivates China is the same as all imperialist powers, the inexorable drive to increase its capital wealth by super exploiting its neo-colonies.

Brady’s Magic Weapons or WSWS dogma?

Let’s look at the work of Anne-Marie Brady on China’s ‘soft power’ as the ‘Red menace’ invading NZ. Brady is an academic with a foot in both the US and NZ. Her analysis documents the growing formal and informal ties with China which accompany the increase in its economic stake in NZ. Her factual analysis of the growing Chinese State/National Government partnership in the management of the NZ economy is one thing, but her political conclusions are another. For Brady ‘Red China’ is a threat to ‘Western Democracy’ defended by the US and its ‘allies’ such as NZ. This reflects the rise of China and decline of the US, marked by China’s ability to use ‘soft’ economic power to ‘out-compete’ the US forcing it to resort to the ‘hard’ power of military aggression.

This is the main thrust of the WSWS critique of Brady’s research being introduced into the recent electoral campaign to stir up racist hostility to Chinese immigrants and portray the National Party as in bed with ‘Red China’. No doubt Brady is siding with the US warmongering against China as a rival that threatens US hegemony – she presented her recent paper at a conference on ‘democracy’ in Taiwan. We too reject any attack on China by the US but not in order to defend ‘Red China’. ‘Red China’ exists only as the bogey of the neo-liberals who want to destroy it as a rival to US hegemony. Yet to the dogmatic WSWS, ‘Red China’ is a restored capitalist state but far from imperialist. China is therefore a semi-colony at the mercy of existing imperialist powers and has to be defended in any war with US imperialism.

This is a dogma that unfortunately too many of the ‘crypto-Stalinist’ Western left hold – all those who still see Russia and China today as ‘progressive’ forces against Western imperialism. China (and Russia) both restored capitalism in the 1990s by opening up to the global capitalist market. From that point, the prices of goods and services in China became set by the price of commodities on the global market. Their value was set by the labour-time required to produce commodities. Over two decades China transitioned from state ‘socialism’, to ‘market socialism’ to ‘state capitalism’. But because of its history as a deformed workers’ state, a reborn capitalist China was able to avoid re-colonization by Western imperialism and turn its restored ‘state capitalism’ into a new imperialism.

Fight Racism and Fight Imperialism! 

We will not side with China in a war with the US because we recognize it is a new imperialist power. Unlike Brady who wants us to go to war against ‘Red’ China, and WSWS who wants us to defend ‘semi-colonial’ China from the US, we say a curse on both their heads. That means we won’t fight in any imperialist war on the side of China or the US. We are for the defeat of both – at the hands of their own armed workers. Yet, because we live in a small, weak neo-colony of both the US and China, we cannot sit back and wait to see who wins and gets NZ for its prize. As we continue to point out with greater urgency, new imperialist wars are between the rival ruling classes that use national chauvinist appeals to drag their working people into fighting their wars. A WW3 or even regional wars such as we could see over the DPRK, threatens the survival of humanity itself.

That is why when the debates about China’s role in NZ start to escalate we have to resist all attempts by the NZ ruling class to pressure workers into new imperialist wars on the side of any imperialist power. Chinese expansion into NZ is motivated not by any ‘Red Menace’ to spread the communist revolution, or ‘Yellow Tide’ to spread the influence of Chinese as a ‘race’. China today is the antithesis of real socialism let alone communism. Nor is China reviving the Middle Kingdom. China is behaving like any other existing imperialist power – expanding globally to take advantage of cheap labour and resources to maximize profits.

In the debates about migration we have to differentiate between Chinese capitalists who buy their citizenship in NZ and Chinese workers who come to settle and work. We should oppose the entry of all capitalists whatever their country of origin, which includes NZ capitalists who promote foreign ownership and investment. They are all the agents of imperialist exploitation and oppression. We should be for the free access of Chinese workers who come to NZ to find work rather than to escape the working class. They are part of the international working class that has no country.

Resist all imperialist wars!

Working people of all nationalities must defend NZ as an oppressed neo-colony against all attempts by any imperialist power, US, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, Japan etc., to exploit and oppress us. In doing so we are acting in unison with Chinese, US, and workers everywhere, against the threat of WW3. It should be very clear after this election that to do this we have to replace the existing state that represents the interests of the capitalist ruling class with a Workers State and a socialist program which would include the expropriation of all capitalist and imperialist property!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Class Struggle, 122, Spring (September-November) 2017

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Where is the FLTI on Russia/China in Venezuela?

When a revolution stops halfway instead of going all the way to victory, it will be defeated by the counter-revolution. Since Chavez took power in the name of the Bolivarian Revolution and proclaimed “21st Century Socialism” we saw this clearly as an attempt by the ‘Bolivarian’ fraction of the national bourgeoisie to build a sort of half-way house Cuban/Chinese 'socialism-in-one-country'. The fate of such a half-baked revolution would be that the weak national bourgeoisie would have to act as compradors to not only US imperialism, but the rising Russian and Chinese imperialism, to suppress the workers’ revolution.

We wrote in 2009 that the regime was nationalising US oil interests, but at the same time becoming dependent on Chinese and Russian loans to keep the state oil company, PDVSA, solvent. The regime's anti-imperialist posture against the US was boosted by its Castroite and Chinese ‘market socialist’ credentials under the guise of a “5th International”! When we pointed this out to the FLTI we were condemned as US social chauvinists.

As predicted, today we see the Bolivarian regime under pressure from imperialism, and from its own working class suffering from years of deprivation and repression by the regime. The FLTI see this crisis as one of the US staging a coup d’état to restore the opposition bourgeoisie to power and control of the PDVSA. We see it as much more than that.

The US under Trump is acting to limit the growing influence of its big rivals, Russia and China in Venezuela. Already its sanctions have forced the regime further into the arms of Russia and China. They have responded by upping their ownership and control of Venezuelan oil resources.

This means that as Russia and China increase their stakes in Venezuela, US sanctions will hit their investments hard. The have every reason to support the regime and its repression of the workers who turn against it.

Most important, the failure of the FLTI to understand the rise of Russia and China as imperialist powers, disarms workers who still have faith in the Bolivarian regime and its Russian and Chinese allies. If the army splits and a coup is attempted, then it is all on for a war between the regime backed by the US bloc and the opposition backed by the Russia/China bloc.

The FLTI is calling correctly for workers to break from the Bolivarian regime and build an independent workers government. And in the event of a coup and civil war it will correctly defend the regime militarily from US imperialism. But what will it say about the role of Russia and China when they take the side of the regime to defend their investments, and workers illusions in the Bolivarian revolution disarm them in the face of these new imperialist powers? To claim that Russia and China are dupes of the US won’t wash. Time to face the reality that Russia and China are new imperialist powers.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

US vs China/Russia = WW3

Trump and Putin in the guise of Roosevelt and Stalin

The Pentagon now agrees with us that the US is in decline and faces the rise of Russia and China. They term this the “loss of US primacy” or hegemony, and want the US military to gear up to take on Russia and China.

China and Russia are engaged in purposeful campaign-like activities that are focused on the material reduction of American influence as the principal arbiter of consequential international outcomes. They seek to reorder their position in the existing status quo in ways that—at a minimum—create more favorable circumstances for pursuit of their core objectives. However, a more maximalist perspective sees them pursuing advantage at the direct expense of the United States and its principal Western and Asian allies. Each possesses substantial conventional and nuclear military capability. Further, each is aggressively pursuing interests in direct contravention of international norms and in ways that are threatening to U.S. and allied interests.
In bourgeois, bureaucratic and military jargon, this passage is a useful summary of Lenin's theory of imperialism where the rival imperialist powers "core objectives" are to grab more territory and resources at the "expense" of their rivals, by going to war to "re-order their position" and re-dividing the world. Then the Pentagon spoils it by revising Lenin.

Thus, while the United States faces a clear resurgent great power challenge, the nature and character of that challenge is not a mirror image of past—especially Cold War—competition. Contemporary great power antagonism instead occurs principally in the “gray zone” where U.S. adversaries’ substantial military capabilities are side-lined, over the horizon, or only marginally employed, but deter more activist U.S. responses nonetheless. Meanwhile, the principal competition occurs in murkier, less obvious forms of state-based aggression, where “rival states marshal various instruments of influence and intimidation to achieve warlike ends through means and methods falling far short of unambiguous or open provocation and conflict.

What the Pentagon, along with Trump, fails to see is that this ‘gray zone’ reflects the early stages of “great power antagonism” where Russia and China can successfully compete with the US without resorting to world war. But that does not mean that we can avoid the inevitable armed clashes between the two imperialist blocs as the stakes get higher. Right now, we can see the stakes in the Middle East and East Pacific escalating rapidly. Neither US in decline, nor the rise of Russia and China, can be stopped by the military might of the Pentagon because the decline is terminal. Only socialist revolution can avoid a WW3.

We argue that the US decline is terminal for two related reasons. First, US capitalism has exhausted its ability to survive without forcing workers worldwide to pay for its crisis of falling profits out of their wages and living conditions. Despite its boasts, it has failed because workers and other oppressed have refused to pay the price with their livelihoods and their lives. The US has not returned to profitability and GDP growth is largely fictitious.

Here it is important to make a clear distinction between Marxists who recognize that crises arise from the TRPF (tendency of the rate of profit to fall) which demands that terminal decline must necessarily be overcome by survival socialism, and under-consumption theory which explains crises as the overaccumulation of capital due to low wages and consumption and which can be overcome by capitalist reforms to equalize income-distribution.

Second, the US also faces (along with all other states) the devastating impact of climate change that will provoke massive social unrest and instability as there are more extreme climate ‘events’ such as Cyclone Harvey. The link between the two aspects of the terminal crisis is manifest in the contradiction between profits and nature; that the ‘value’ of the US ‘petro-dollar’ is pegged to carbon production backed by a strong US state when this is the prime cause of impending climate catastrophe.

So, US imperialism is in decline and its military adventurism can only accelerate this. Trump is symptomatic of this decline and look to see him try to concentrate state power in the Presidency. China on the other hand is proving capable of out-competing the US in productive growth. Along with Russia it is developing an alternate financial structure which began well ahead of Trump and his populist rhetoric. It has the production of goods and services to back a new global currency.

China’s and Russia's success in restoring capitalism and projecting their global reach is mainly due to inheriting the command economies of the former degenerated workers’ states. They will not sacrifice this under political or military duress. We will never see a Wall St take over China's state banks. This reality is clear to the EU powers that are now hedging their bets on the future of the Atlantic Alliance vs Russia/China. They can see that the balance of geopolitical power is shifting to Eurasia.

For world’s working class, future inter-imperialist wars can be stopped only by workers refusing to fight workers and instead turning their guns on their own ruling classes and fighting for a global Bolshevik Revolution.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fight Capitalist Reaction! For Mass Labor-Centered Assemblies and Mobilizations to Smash the Fascist KKK, Nazi and ‘Alt-Right’ Terror!

For Working Class Self Defense against racist white nationalism, white supremacy and fascism!

Build a United Front of working class Black, Brown, Immigrant, LGBTQI, Muslim and Jewish, interfaith and spiritual Communities!

For Mass Labor-Centered Assemblies and Mobilizations to Smash the Fascist KKK, Nazi and ‘Alt-Right’ Terror!

In every union hall and community center build and train disciplined non-sectarian, integrated Labor Self-Defense Guards!


Thousands rally in Boston against fascist terror, August 19th (Stephanie Keith/Reuters)


Emboldened by Trump, neo-Nazis, KKK and other fascist groups have been staging racist mobilizations not only in smaller cities like Charlottesville, but also in major metro urban working class centers such as Berkeley, Boston and Seattle. As shock troops of divisiveness and hate, racist terrorists intend to instill fear among Blacks, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, women, LGBTQI folk in order to divide and crush the multiracial, multi-ethnic, multi gender working class.

Make no mistake, they emerge now not because of Trump but because the unfolding crisis of capitalism has created such disparity that their “American Dream” has crumbled and they scapegoat you for it.

The murder of Heather Heyer and the August 11th-12th provocation have unmasked, for all to see, the fascist underbelly of the mis-named ‘Alt-Right’. Those chanting “blood and soil”, proudly offering up the Nazi salute as they Heil Trump, and cry “Jews will not replace us!” are the vanguard of a nascent fascist movement which if not stopped now will propel the likes of Richard Spencer, Baked Alaska and the Based Stickman into the mainstream. Their leaders (see Vice Interview 8/16) celebrate Charlottesville as a victory and promise more blood, egging on malcontents like those that murdered Heather Heyer, Tyler Magill, beat senseless DeAndre Harris and injured 19 others (five critically). A Trump supporter driving a car into anti-fascist protesters has horrified the world. But “Oathkeepers“ acting as demonstration Marshals lend cover to the fascists’ claims that they are only exercising free speech as they march with tiki torches and attack and brandish and discharge firearms at those who object to them.

Capitalism Creates the Conditions for Fascism

With the world economy still not recovered from the 2008 crisis, with the capitalists still unable to restore their declining rate of profit through the destruction of capital, the US imperialist ruling class, while not willing to engage in a costly fascist experiment at this time, are more USthan willing to keep the fascists in the wings as shock troops to crush a resurgent workers movement. It is the economic outcome of the capitalist crisis that creates the conditions for fascism to grow. So for instance, every sort of supplier, salesman and boss in the construction industry, and many of the formerly privileged labor aristocrats have been ruined by the elimination of 1.7 million jobs in construction that existed before the 2008 stock market crash (Economic Policy Institute of the AFL-CIO, Aug. 18, 2017). It is the ruined middle class (petty bourgeoisie), the small businessmen, professionals, students and the lumpen that have no prospects that are driven to a reactionary despairing frenzy, what Leon Trotsky referred to as white hot capitalist reaction against the working class, that form the social base of fascist movements.

The Communist Workers Group (CWG – USA) agrees with Marxist economist Michael Roberts, author of The Long Depression, that the 2008 economic crisis was primarily brought to a head by the dynamics of the capitalist system itself, by what Karl Marx called the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall (TRPTF).

We agree with Roberts that we are at an economic precipice, that the so-called recovery is weak and that Capital has not restored its lost rate of profit. The U.S. is a declining imperialist power and the days of post-WW II and the post 1989 unipolar hegemony are waning. Trump promised to “make America great again,” but that is just populist demagoguery. Capitalism is a history of peaks and troughs, with every crisis having a tendency to become sharper and longer. The stock market right now is peaking, with the media selling us full employment and inflated stock prices that don’t reflect the profit rates. And Trump’s full employment claims that the media hypes are based on the average wage and do not take into account workers trying to survive on sub-living wages. The stock brokerage newsletter “Gains, Pains & Capital,” quoting the IRS, showed a real decline in collected payroll taxes in April for 2016 vs. ‘15. For many youth, a college degree means heavy school loan debt and grim job prospects. Trump is a product of the capitalist system which in crisis produces the fascist resurgence as an option to seemingly expensive bourgeois parliamentary democracy. These reactionary forces instead of blaming capitalism blame Jewish bankers, Blacks, Latinos, immigrants, women, LGBTQI folk and leftists (Marxists and anarchists) for shrinking business opportunities.

Historically, the relatively “privileged” layers of the middle class and lumpenized elements are drawn to white nationalism and white supremacy because it gives them an “other” to blame for the economic crisis they are powerless over. They are powerless because their middle class and lumpenized condition is separated from the social relations of production. They have neither the investable resources of big capital nor their hands on the levers of production as does the working class. Only capital and labor have real power in society. Fascism is an existential threat to the existence of the organized working class. It is crucial that the working class organize and mobilize to drive the fascist KKK, Nazis and other ‘Alt-Right’ racists from the streets.

The fascist groups focus their recruitment efforts on a ‘no hope’ generation of students at elite colleges and universities, but this is not their exclusive focus. Where prisons are schools for revolution, such as at Attica in the early 1970’s, since the ‘80s prisons have been recruiting grounds for Nazis and similar groups. We notice a growth of Ku Klux Klan style groups, and these have pulled in members of the ‘no hope’ generation in the Bible Belt Christian right milieu of small-town America, as well as lumpenized Iraq and Afghan war veterans. Naturally, as more usually the case historically, the ruined small family farmers are a source of recruits too. We see foremen workers’ anxiety over their mortgages and kids’ future. We see the former union membership that are now “independent contractors” driving for Uber to try to make ends meet. For all of these there has to be a scapegoat explanation of their misery where Marxism makes no challenge to puncture it. We begin puncturing it here and today.

Trump is not a fascist, but a racist, reactionary populist “know-nothing” wannabe Bonapartist who has few qualms about putting the wind in the sails of the Nazis, KKK and other ‘Alt-Right’ groups. Are we at a turning point now after the recent fascist mobilizations? The fascist ranks are split with lots of different factions and they have not coalesced into a mass fascist organization. They don’t have a lot of ideological differences to sort out, though. Right now their donors are testing who can build a fascist movement. In response to those who say ‘ignore them and they will go away,’ it is essential for the working class to recall that Mussolini started with 54 in his outfit and Hitler joined the German Workers Party when it had 100 members or less. Their rapid growth was repeated in Greece in 2009 with the Golden Dawn which emerged from the slime during the crisis only to be projected onto the national scene gaining significant percentages of the popular vote in the last two elections. So it is imperative to keep our eyes on our biggest enemies, such as the capitalists and foundations who fund the racist organizations such as “ACT For America” coalition. We have identified a list of the donors.

The ruling class knows they are sitting on a tinderbox and they rightly fear a class conscious working class mobilized for class struggle under our own banner. But right now, the normal methods of bourgeois ‘democracy’ are sufficient for them to maintain their class rule. They have their two major political parties, the Democrats and Republicans, which the working class is tied to, along with a servile labor bureaucracy, a decimated labor movement and a weak ‘Left’ without revolutionary working class leadership. Capital right now rules by throwing in state repression here and there; unleashing their racist cops, La Migra and the National Guard against the working class and oppressed; and they are keeping the fascists as their shock troop reserve, waiting in the wings ready to crush the workers movement if necessary. So this is not a turning point, the fascist movement is too toxic for the established Right to outwardly embrace right now. Indeed Trump and the recently ousted Bannon are increasingly isolated from the ‘mainstream’ of bourgeois politics, but this could change very quickly. August 10th saw a 3-day stock market drop that had the billionaires freaking out, which follows the 2016 major contraction internationally in investment in production (see UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2017). It is not just Michael Roberts saying the world economy is not stable, the bourgeoisie knows it too. They recognize the class war and they come to the fight prepared.

Charlottesville, Trump, and the Democratic Party

The aftermath of Charlottesville saw Trump initially refusing to condemn the fascists outright and blamed “all sides” and said the answer is “law and order.” Then two days later bowing down to pressure, he denounced the KKK/Nazis as “repugnant”, then backtracked again and blamed both sides to the satisfaction of Klansman David Duke. Even the bourgeoisie was troubled by the fascist terror in Charlottesville as it sparked outrage worldwide and drew too much attention to the reality of racism in capitalist America. Better to keep things like this in the shadows to maintain the aura of respectability. Former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, and five military joint chiefs denounced the fascists in Charlottesville as did multiple Democratic and Republican politicians, which is easy enough to do. Trump has brought a lot of unnecessary overhead and instability to bourgeois “democratic” class rule that threatens to explode into mass struggle against capitalism. A large percentage of workers and youth are sympathetic to socialism. Workers, women, the Black, Brown and immigrant communities, LGBTQI folk and youth are sick of the con game.

A “red-brown” alliance is crystallizing in Democratic Party circles at the same time as states are banning demonstrations. Consider how many times the Workers World Party (WWP) has endorsed Democratic Party candidates, from at least 1975 down to today. This despite their support for Muammar Khaddafi and the Assad dynasties. This puts them in league with the “Christian” rightists and David Duke.; and so far this has only caused them to shrug. “Tankies” like the WWP and the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) dismiss the operation of the laws of history. (The WWP et. al. see anti-imperialism behind every comprador upstart where the fascists see them more clearly as the capitalist thugs and anti-Semites they are.) Their political coincidence with the fascists is not accidental. It is the expression of their petty-bourgeois class identity operating inescapably in the crisis. And we can expect fascism to grow at the expense of the ranks of petty-bourgeois socialism, as it did in the 1930s. Take a look at this!

Ex fascist Christian Picciolini interviewed on Democracy Now on 8/18/17:

“You know, I, myself, have a very checkered past. When I was involved in the movement, I was invited to Libya by Muammar Gaddafi to receive money to start a revolution against the Jews. I committed acts of violence that nearly killed many people. I stockpiled weapons to prepare for what I believed was an inevitable race war.”
And this!…, During a visit to Syria in 2005 David Duke’s speech was translated by the state media:
“Following Duke’s statement praising Assad, the crowd was shown chanting, “Our soul and our blood we will sacrifice for you, Bashar.”
“It saddens my heart to tell you that part of my country is occupied by Zionists,” Duke said, “just as part of your country, the Golan Heights, is occupied by Zionists. [They] occupy most of the American media and now control much of the American government…It is not just the West Bank of Palestine, it is not just the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists, but Washington D.C. and New York and London and many other capitals of the world.”

To Survive, the Working Class Had Better Fight

Teamsters Local 544 Worker Defense guard that drove the fascist Silver Shirts from the Twin Cities in the 1930's and 1940's

Antifa has risen to prominence in the wake of Charlottesville and other fascist mobilizations. Along with Redneck Revolt and the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) General Defense Committee, anarchist workers and youth have been at the forefront in defending the anti-fascist demonstrations against attack. Antifa has come under fire by Democratic Party liberals, the ACLU, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and so-called progressive activists, for “violence,” implicitly if not explicitly equating them with the Nazis and KKK. These groups effectively repeat Trump, Fox and the likes of ex-Vice reporter gone solo, Tim Pool’s “violence on both sides” denunciations. Self-styled anarchist Chomsky chimed in and even called Antifa a “major gift to the Right” and he claims that denying the fascists a platform is “wrong in principle”.

The Klan and Nazis are not a debate club, but paramilitary right-wing organizations who incite and commit racist terror. They are a mortal danger to the workers movement and all their intended targets. Their idea of free speech is as expressed by Dylann Roof, Timothy McVeigh and James Fields. Their ‘free speech’ technique is the noose, the bullet and the bomb. With the support of Breitbart News, Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting, they propagate a program of “Free Speech, (Confederate) Heritage Defense and Anti-Marxism.” The fascists use their rallies as a recruiting ground for their genocidal program. Under the cover of ‘Alt-Right’ acceptability, the “very fine people” Trump refers to are arming for race war and establishing a whites-only United States where they will be the capitalists’ state, the one legal ‘body of armed men.’

The Communist Workers Group (CWG) is not against peaceful demonstrations, but we are against a one-sided class peace where the masses are left defenseless. Liberals cheer when Governor McAuliffe bans all demonstrations at Confederate Statues and other white power monuments, little realizing they have handed the fascists a victory for free. It does not bother this “Resistance” that they have joined in denying the working class and those targeted by the fascists their right to self-defense! Demonstrating by the tens of thousands against the fascists in Boston does nothing to overturn the “no demonstrations” laws in 20 states. The fascists will never respect these laws and the police will never enforce these anti-free speech laws against fascists! Pacifism in the face of white supremacy only serves to politically and literally disarm the masses and is suicidal. The lessons of history are clear enough for those who do not wish to be fooled and misled. 

No more Dachau or Auschwitz! The CWG remembers the heroism of the 1943 Jewish Warsaw Ghetto fighters and the Soviet and Jewish prisoners of Sobibor! We honor the Auschwitz-Birkenau Jewish revolt of 1944!
The history of the labor movement and other social struggles in the United States has witnessed self-defense organizations take shape, from workers picket lines to defend a strike, to the 1930’s-40’s Minneapolis Teamsters defense guard that drove the fascist Silver Shirts from the Twin Cities, to Robert F. Williams and the Deacons for Defense and Justice who organized in the face of KKK terror, to the Black Panthers against racist cop terror. Self-defense is a necessity of the moment tactic, not a strategy of so-called ‘violence’. Today Antifa fills the vacuum left by the shame-faced union bureaucracy and their socialist apologists who in their fetishized pacifism refuse to build (or even contemplate) building workers self-defense organizations.

As Charlottesville showed, as heroic and defensible as Antifa’s actions are, their political program of organized groups of leftists attacking the white supremacists has limitations, especially if the balance of forces are equal. Antifa turns what can be adventurous confrontations from a tactic to a strategy. The day before the main rally in Charlottesville saw the white supremacists marching at the University of Virginia with tiki torches and chanting anti-Semitic slogans, a surreal modern-day version of the Nazi Brownshirt marches. This caused the famous half-stepper, ‘the left Reverend’ Cornel West to say that only the presence of 350 Antifa outside the church where he and 20 church folk were singing ‘this little light of mine’ saved them from the fascists surrounding the church. West misses or refuses to make the important point. The relationship of forces was adequate on August 11th-12th; but this won’t guarantee anyone’s safety in days to come. We need, like water or air, mass Labor, Black and Brown workers’ defense guards, trained and armed to defeat fascists and white supremacists! It is worse than useless to repeat the insane idea to trust the FBI or other government agencies to “handle” sociopathic forces that are creations of the ruling class!

August 12th Charlottesville videos show the fascists marching through the crowd in a very organized manner, attacking the anti-fascist protesters. Three armed fascists were posted outside a synagogue. Antifa courageously defended the demo. Sporadic confontations with the fascists by a relatively small number of Antifa are no substitute for the forces required for working class victory: history shows these are mass organized trained and disciplined contingents of Labor, Black and Brown self-defense guards organized from out of our union halls. Such displays of the power of labor will send the fascists scurrying. The workers movement cannot allow the fascists to march through our towns and attack oppressed peoples and the anti-fascist demonstrators. Labor defense guards and mass mobilizations of workers centered on the unions are not on Antifa’s political radar. In a Democracy Now! interview, the author of the upcoming Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook barely mentions the working class, and then only in the context of Redneck Revolt, a worker self-defense organization that focuses on organizing working class whites against capitalism and white supremacy. In Charlottesville, Redneck Revolt successfully defended their safe rally site from fascist provocations, to their credit.

The very powerful ILA (International Longshoremen’s Association) with a heavy concentration of black proletarians and with ports organized along the East and Gulf coasts, were only a few hours away from Charlottesville. What was needed in Charlottesville and everywhere was the mobilization of the actual mass of the organized working class that works in strategic industries.

There is a big and qualitative difference in social power between several hundred or thousand Antifa workers from various atomized industries and workplaces and organized, militant and disciplined trade union contingents from the ILA and other unions. The police are less likely to attack the anti-fascists where the ILA manifests the power to shut down the ports. It also doesn’t sit well with the millions of other trade unionists to see their sisters and brothers beaten by the cops or terrorized by Klansmen, Nazis or white supremacist college preppies. And labor defense guards organized today against fascists and racist cop terror can also be mobilized tomorrow to defend picket lines and seize workplaces.

The ILA and the ILWU (International Longshore & Warehouse Union) has mobilized against the KKK before, notably in 1982 in Washington DC. ILWU Local 10 have pledged to march in San Francisco on August 26th where the white supremacist Patriot Prayer organization is staging a ‘free speech’ provocation. The Alameda Labor Council (AFL-CIO Central Labor Council) has endorsed the “peaceful” counter protest in Berkeley at the UCB campus, some blocks away from the fascist “Anti-Marxism” rally at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park (!!!) on the 27th. Of course, just like AFL-CIO President Trumka’s and other labor bureaucrats’ denunciation of the Nazis and white supremacists, these are public pronouncements that do little to mobilize the heavy battalions of labor to fight. The trade union bureaucracy is busy preparing for the next election cycle to revive the fortunes of the Democratic Party, not mobilizing the ranks to fight.

The Bay Area Rally against Hate coalition made up of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the International Socialist Organization (ISO), the Morenoites, USec, Labor Rising, and other leftists, and the Berkeley Democrats, along with a smattering of workers — this popular front club is going to hold their ‘non-violent’ rally on August 27th, not where the white supremacists are rallying, but on the “other side of Downtown”. If what is desired is putting the local fascisti to rout, this is demobilization of the struggle. This is a demobilization if what is desired is a pedagogy in action that increases worker militancy.

Putting the fascists to rout and increasing worker militancy is the historic occupation of the vanguard, who will demand Jobs for All, sharing the available work at no cut in pay (30 hours work for 40 hours pay), Free Universal Quality Medical Care (socialized medicine), Free Universal Quality Education from daycare thru post graduate. To win, new unions and old must assemble a unionized army of the unemployed to demand work at union wages for all. Mass meetings of the working people and the oppressed can then discuss how to fight for every demand arising from their social situation, including transitional demands that place socialism on the order of the day, such as nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy under workers control without indemnification to the major shareholders. By degrees workers can win some concessions and/or learn why they cannot under the dictatorship of capital, and it will be their own revolutionary workers party who teaches this lesson and why workers must take political power to plan the economy and have any future. Democratize our unions to fight for working class political independence! Break with all bourgeois parties and their parliamentary fetish! For a Fighting Workers/Labor Party that fights for a workers government!

What the anarchists, the Antifa, Redneck Revolt and much of the rest of the Left miss is the organization and mobilization of the international working class as a class under our own banner united in a revolutionary international workers party and armed with a revolutionary political program to sweep fascism and capitalism away. To defeat all imperialisms internationally we must defeat fascism too!

Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains! For world socialism!

Reposted Class War Supplement
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