Sunday, July 21, 2013

Boycott the Elections to Decide on our Exploiters and Oppressors! Workers and Poor form a Workers' Party to Defeat the Popular Front!


 The elections to be held on the 31st of July 2013, though not a fundamental national development, will point to the trajectory to be taken in the implementation of capitalist exploitation and state brutality on the workers and the poor masses. Whichever party wins the elections will without doubt and despite all election rhetoric go full swing to impose massive austerity as demanded by imperialism. The events in Egypt prove that democracy is not enough to cater for the needs of the poor. Workers and the poor should mobilise and organise now to be able to defeat such moves and protect their livelihood and interests.

Internationally capitalism is experiencing its worst crisis since the 1930’s depression which acted as the material basis for the eruption of the 2nd world war. Since 2008 capitalist strategists and politicians have failed to come up with a viable solution to the recession that has wiped out so much value created over decades in order to save a system that thrives on the exploitation and the impoverishment of the poor masses and semi colonial countries. The capitalists have been forced to place the burden on the workers and masses through an unprecedented attack on the working conditions of the workers and also attacking the living conditions of the masses especially the most vulnerable.

Here in Zimbabwe the workers and poor masses are still tied to the Popular Front leash of the bourgeoisie reformist MDC and the pseudo nationalist ZANU primarily because of a lack of a tested and viable alternative that offers real solutions to the fight for jobs, wages and protection of work and savings. Behind these two parties is a whole host of trade union leaders, civic groups and social movements’ leaders who one way or the other help to tie the masses to the two wings of imperialism. They are also some socialists calling for the support of the MDC as the lesser devil that will, in their revolutionary wisdom, be easier to remove from power in a clear sign of a Menshevik two stage approach that substitute the primary goal of building an independent alternative to tailing of reformist parties.

The recent referendum clearly exposed the deceptive and murderous nature of the local rulers and their imperialist sponsors who conjured to trick and deceive the masses to vote for a document that essentially attacks their welfare and certifies their continued exploitation and oppression. It is most significant that most of the eligible voters saw through the trick and boycotted the charade which has been paraded by the political parties as historic and an incremental development in terms of democracy and human rights. Imperialism supported by the main political parties and most civic groups directly urged the masses to vote in favour of the capitalist anti-working people draft with other so called radical groups playing the role of a left cover and contingent plan for imperialism by advocating for a meaningless No vote thereby legitimising the sham referenda.

The Revolutionary Workers Group, Zimbabwe (RWG-ZIM) campaigned vigorously for a boycott of the sham referendum calling on workers and the poor masses to mobilise for a Congress of delegates to write a constitution that will protect their interests and lives. The boycott by the workers and the ordinary masses reflected the rejection of the agenda by the main political parties on behalf of imperialism to plunder the natural and human resources of the country for the benefit of the capitalists and their comprador cronies who constituted the GNU. Beyond that and more importantly the masses have to be organised and mobilised for independent and militant active actions that fight capitalism and dictatorship.

Both the ZANU (PF) and the two MDC parties have issued basically common Manifestos with differences on emphasises and priorities all within the capitalist framework as demanded by the various imperialist wings. All the issues of employment creation, devolution and empowerment fit well into the grand strategy of ensuring the continued plunder of national resources by capitalists and their local agents whilst the majority wallow in poverty. The western countries have already indicated their intention to bounce back by indicating that they will endorse any winner in a “peaceful” election thereby discarding earlier talk of a “free and fair” poll.

We have no illusions about the immense tasks that await the workers, youths and the toiling masses nationally and internationally and we stand guided by the best Marxist experience and program in our efforts to break the popular front jinx and pose the imperative of independent mobilisation of the workers and ordinary poor. For us the elections and their result offers us the opportunity to develop our tactics within the broader and fundamental strategy of fighting for a socialist society through the mobilisation and organising of the workers and the poor here in Zimbabwe as part of an International struggle. We therefore call on all workers and the poor masses to boycott the poll that is meant to legitimise their exploitation and oppression and instead work towards building an independent worker and poor masses’ agenda.
  • Workers and the poor form action committees to fight the growing and coming attacks on the wages and conditions of the poor and the livelihood of the majority poor!
  • Workers and poor masses break with the MDC and ZANU (PF) and form a workers party that champions the interests of the workers and the poor masses!
  • Form rank and file committees in our movements to lead action and break with the reformist leadership!
  • For a workers state that defends workers and peasants against the local and foreign capitalists on the basis of the armed people to implement decisions that benefit the workers and the poor!
  • For an African socialist revolution as part of an international revolution that alone can guarantee a better life for all!
  • For a new world party of socialist revolution based on the Transitional Program of 1938 to lead the revolution to end capitalism and open the road to socialism!

Revolutionary Workers Group, Zimbabwe (RWG-ZIM/LCC):20 July 2013, Harare

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Defend Bradley Manning! Defend Edward Snowden! Down with the social-imperialist Pride Board!

A holy alliance between the Pride Board, the local Democratic Clubs, and corporate sponsorship paves a comfortable and familiar path for the politicians to arrive at PRIDE leveraging the interests of the status-quo over those of the masses.  And thus when Bradley Manning, whose actions are viewed as heroic by those oppressed and victimized by the US imperialist military is elevated to Grand Marshall status in a clear expression of anti-imperialist sentiment - the true heart of the LGBT community - the class line had been drawn!  By rejecting the community’s anti-imperialist wishes, the Pride board became social-imperialists, besides being undemocratic, arbitrary and biased.

For those who live under the jackboot of imperialism every act that stymies the imperialist forces’ ability to act militarily, economically or to act with impunity is heroic.  Every defeat inflicted on imperialism on the battlefield of public credibility is a victory for the international working class.  Embracing Bradley Manning, the heart and soul of the LGBT movement was drawing the class line against imperialism and therefore had to be slapped down by the social-imperialist, pro-corporate PRIDE board.

NGO’s, CBO’s and Democratic Party and Log Cabin Republicans have narrowed the agenda, strategy and tactics of the movement.  They claim mainstreaming of the movement led to the overturn of DOMA and Prop 8 by the Supreme Court.  These decisions secured some but not all democratic rights for LGBT persons, and came with a price that has been paid for with decades of abuse.  Counted as nothing are decades of Acting Up and fighting back.  The true cost of the mainstreaming of the movement, was the abandonment of it’s allies among the most oppressed and the crossing of the class line  to embrace and support the political shills and representatives of imperialism (Obama, Clinton, Pelosi) and the imposers of capitalist austerity on the state and local level (Newsom, Leno, Amianno, Harris and Brown).

Working people and the base of the LGBT community need to know these same “LBGT-friendly” politicians and corporations are themselves imposing the austerity, while approving, building and endorsing the National Security State.  These very politicians defend and are responsible for US imperialist actions and their cover-ups.  Thus in classic social-imperialist style, the Pride board conceded everything to the wishes of their corporate sponsors!  This should have come as no surprise as the corporations have privatized the official LGBT movement, narrowing its agenda to equal rights in marriage and the military.

The San Francisco Gay Pride board shamed the history of the LGBT movement by overturning the decision to name “Queer Hero” Bradley Manning the Grand Marshall of the S.F. Gay Pride parade.  The LGBT movement (both generally and concretely) grew out of and allied itself with, the civil rights, black and brown liberation, anti-war, anti-imperialist, United Farm workers, women's, feminist, socialist and libertarian movements.  For LGBT youth and working class people this is still the case, yet for the middle class LGBT and labor aristocratic layers the status quo of bourgeois politics prevailed.

The Pride board had an opportunity to build solidarity with those who by their millions see Bradley Manning as a hero.  But this board sold its soul for a bowl of pottage; to protect their cozy political and corporate relations they choose the narrowed interests of the LGBT elite over those of the masses, the working class and the victims of capitalist exploitation and imperialist military brutality internationally.

The program for full LGBT liberation is yet to be written and cannot be until the movement breaks from the political parties which are based on the capitalist system, the system synonymous with patriarchy and the propertied gender-dominant roles that perpetuate Women’s, Youth and LGBT oppression.
Such a program would include: full democratic rights for all; protection from bullying through LGBT; labor self defense, intervention and education by self organization against homophobic violence; end homelessness, create safe transition centers for the homeless and the runaways, with sufficient social services to elevate each from the misery of street life; for socialized childcare, medical care and education, free abortion on demand, free 24 hour child care services, and equal pay for equal work, for jobs for all and we militantly refuse to accept  gay bashing or exclusion from employment based on sexual preference or orientation.

Defend Snowden, Manning and Assange!

The July 8th Militant  (organ of the US Socialist Workers Party [SWP]) tells workers that Manning and Snowden are not heroes or traitors.

“Those who think that secret revelations from whistleblowers are the way workers find out about how capitalism and its war machine operate, or inspire mass action in defense of political rights, sow naïve and dangerous illusions about the source of the problem and the road to its solution.
…Manning and Snowden act on the premise that revelations will make some capitalist politicians come to their senses and do the right thing.
….Revelations like those of Manning and Snowden do not point a road forward for the working class. They foster conspiracy theories and paranoia that divert and demobilize us. ”

In contrast the Militant polishes its own lapel  by referring to their 1973 lawsuit which exposed the Cointelpro program (government spying and infiltration of workers, civil rights, black liberation and anti-imperialist groups) and says nothing about the illusions in the capitalist judiciary fostered by this type of lawsuit!  Like the pot calling the kettle black, the Militant skirts this issues completely.  The Militant claims the SWP case rested its strength on the masses of  the proletarians who mobilized to end Jim Crow and the mass movement which ended the Vietnam war.  Yet the case was hardly used for mobilizing masses in the streets or in the unions; it was an academic and legal exercise carried out as the movement was on the wane, by the middle class base and periphery of the SWP which had de-proletarianized staking everything on the student and other single-issue sector al movements.

Did the Cointelpro case create expectations that with exposure in the courts, the police state’s undemocratic behavior would be abated?   Indeed for the SWP’s middle class periphery such was supposed to be a reasonable expectation, especially as the SWP’s public action and program fostered many similar illusions in parliamentarism (think of Novack’s ‘linear extension of democracy’) and the legal-peaceful road to “revolution”!

Yet despite their victorious case and all good work done, forty years later the exposures of the COINTELPRO case have not abated the behavior of the National Security State, not one iota.  Nor should we expect it to have done so.

Marxists understood the value of smearing egg on the face of the state, of defending our militants in court and of arming the movement with the information acquired from the procedural process of the legal inquiry.  However, the capitalists run the state and organize their security police as they see fit.  We get ample proof of this  from the contemporary revelations of Manning, Assange and Snowden.
By their actions the rhetorical question is posed, “if this is democracy what is wrong with this picture?”   The Militant, in essence, tells whistle blowers, “don’t leak secrets…” – this the same thing Obama, Kerry and Pelosi are telling workers!  Or they are cynically saying we’ll tell you when revelations have a special meaning for the working class!

Marxists on the other hand support every action on the battlefield of war or of public opinion that pushes imperialism towards it grave.  Snowden and Manning may have had illusions in the democratic institutions of the State at the time of their decisions; however, since then they have undoubtedly received an accelerated education.   Manning has become an explicit anti-imperialist. Snowden says he doesn’t want to live in a country or a world that practices espionage against the person.  The hypocrisy of the imperial state attempting to kill the messenger is a moral blow to imperialism’s credibility, to its benefactors, its apologists and the dominance of its ideological sway. A time survey polls shows 70% of youth age 18-34 support Snowden and approve of his actions.   

Socialists support every exposure of the imperialist states secrets. If the workers movement had organized the rank and file of the military against imperialist wars instead of building the anti-war movement around social pacifism, there would be a movement of workers in uniform taking action against and exposing the secrets of imperialism, in which case the whistle blowers like Manning and Snowden would not be driven by their moral convictions to act alone.  The workers movement would have their back and defend them everywhere.

Even now with no such movement we should solidarize with and support any individuals whose conscience drives them to expose the secrets of the state.  Class war prisoners like Snowden, Manning and Assange, in uniform or work-clothes, should be defended unconditionally and where possible liberated by the workers movement and not derided for “fostering conspiracy theories…” and “demobilizing us”!  

Revolutionary socialists call on rank and file military to form up your own councils, elect your own officers, expose military and intelligence secrets that defend imperialism and its interests, arrest officers whose actions and orders are illegal, predatory, aggressive and constitute crimes against humanity!  Organize a “Let’s Go Home!” movement and close all overseas bases now!