Monday, June 27, 2016

Worker Socialist: Appeal of the Workers' Socialist Party

Worker Socialist: Appeal of the Workers' Socialist Party: Transform the Indefinite Nationwide Strike of July 11 into a General Political Strike Carry Forward the Struggle For Establishment...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Class Struggle 117, Winter, 2017

Aotearoa/NZ: The Fudget Fiddles while Capitalism Burns

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Bill English, New Zealand's Minister of Finance
"The NACTS budget is really a fudget for trying to hide the growing weakness of NZ’s neo-colonial economy behind a veil of spin. The Key regime hopes to promote business confidence in a climate of falling profits by ‘tax cuts’ made possible by cuts to public spending on the ‘social wage’ and by ‘dividends’ created by privatising state assets and plundering public resources such as water and fisheries."

Orlando and the Right to Bear Arms

New Black Panther Party carrying weapons
The mass killing of 50 gay people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has once again thrown the question or the right to bear arms into the limelight. The reaction to this crime is to blame it on homophobia, Islamic ‘terrorism’ and freely accessible guns. This builds support for the ruling class agenda to disarm the working class or anyone profiled as a potential “terrorist”. We disagree. The right to bear arms is a fundamental democratic right that we must defend as the capitalist ruling classes everywhere resort to armed repression to force the working masses to pay for the terminal crisis of capitalism with their livelihoods and their lives.

Two examples of reactions to the Orlando shooting calling for gun control:

“It's that outmoded part of the constitution allowing the citizenry to bear arms that's the big stumbling block.” And: “Our constitution is antiquated and obsolete. The constitution should have been altered several it's more of a slave to the wealthy and powerful to use against the very people it was intended to protect.”

We reject this argument. The US constitution empowered property owners which included slave owners to own and bear arms in popular militias to defend a ‘free state’. It represented the bourgeois constitution that legitimates the ruling class to shoot the property-less when they rise up. Now that bourgeois democracy extends to all citizens as property owners including workers who own their 'labor' to sell, all can bear arms.

To suppress that right for all will not take it away from the state which is now routinely executing unarmed people on the streets. The response from black activists is to bear arms in public to assert that right which communists support. This is the embryo of a workers militia and workers defence committees against the police attempts to execute blacks and the bosses’ attempts to hire thugs to shoot militants to smash strikes and occupations.

The fact is that the US has created conditions at home and abroad in which 'lone wolves' (individuals acting alone motivated by ‘terrorists’ or not) kill scores of people. These killings cannot be stopped by banning guns. Nor will a ban stop deaths from gun crime which kills more people a year in, for example, Chicago than in Libya. Gun crimes are overwhelmingly the result of ‘crimes against property’ which are endemic in capitalist class society where the proletariat is driven into poverty.

This is not about individual 'psychology' but class power. As the crisis of US imperialism develops the state will arm more paramilitaries to wipe out popular resistance as 'crime' or 'terrorism'. Do we give up the right to arms and surrender, or organise armed resistance? We don't deny that right to those oppressed by the US abroad, why deny it in the US itself where the US working class has the potential power to change the system?

The solution is to defend the right to bear arms so that the exploited and oppressed working majority can overthrow the militarised state and impose a workers' state which can be defended from armed counter-revolution!

Against those who have little faith in workers not shooting one another or executing non-workers arbitrarily, this wilfully ignores the reality. The capitalist state employs police and the military to execute scores of worker every day.

Workers need to be armed to defend their class despite being divided and driven by capitalism to kill one another. With capitalism in terminal crisis attacks on workers can only get worse so that they need armed militias to defend themselves.

If we take historical examples, the Russian revolution would not have succeeded without the arming of the proletariat. The Tsar in 1905 proved that when he shot down the unarmed masses. Kornilov who tried to smash the revolution in 1917 failed because the workers were armed and his own ranks mutinied and joined the revolution. The coup against Allende in 1973 drives home the fact that unless armed, workers united will always be defeated.

Of course being armed is not sufficient as the revolution in Germany 1919 proved. The armed masses who mutinied were fooled by the abdication of the emperor and by the treacherous Social Democratic Party into disarming and voting for a new republic. The proletariat needs to be organised and led by revolutionaries to build workers militias.

Meanwhile those who are fighting for basic democratic rights as in Syria are forced to take up arms to defend themselves from imperialism and its reactionary agents. That is the principle at stake: the right to bear arms in self-defence from the armed force of the capitalist state!

RCEP with China and India

The RCEP is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership sponsored by China to create an Asian sphere of interest separate from the US dominated TPPA. We can view it as an enlarged BRICS for Southern Asia but which includes South Korea and Japan, the other regional imperialist power, as well as Australia and New Zealand (see graph above).

Is it an instrument of Chinese imperialism? Yes, but Japan and South Korea are trying to act as stalking horses for US imperialism in inserting corporate investor provisions into the RCEP.

NZ has already capitulated to the TPPA as a semi-colony of the US. Now the NZ ruling class wants to join the RCEP. Like the TPPA we need to add the RCEP to the list of imperialist attacks on NZ economic sovereignty and fight to reject it as a tool of Chinese corporate dominance of the region. We need to take our cue from India the largest semi-colony in the region that is already subordinated to China in the BRICS.

India is holding the line against imperialism rejecting the role of Corporates dominating national sovereignty. If the ‘investor protection’ rules are included then big pharma will attempt to stop India being the main provider of generic drugs eating into their profits. 

So we have here an insight into the relative roles of China and India in the world economy. Obama has just visited India to promote a ‘strategic partnership’ with the US. So India as a oppressed country is increasingly subject to rival pressures from the two big imperialist blocs to plunder its resources and extract superprofits.

We can see this reflected in the politics of the ruling Modi Government which is using rabid Hindutva nationalism to divide and rule the masses. As we argued in our last issue the pressure to solve the crisis of imperialism at the expense of the semi-colonies is transmitted downwards by the national bourgeoisies onto the working people.

One of the main demands of the labor movement in all the countries subjected to TPPA and RCEP type ‘partnerships’ must be the rejection of all such agreements as tools of either, or both, US and Chinese imperialism, and a determination to mobilise and coordinate international strike action to stop them! 

For a Socialist United States of the Asia-Pacific!