cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngBrazil: No to President Temer’s Decree Eliminating the RENCA Amazon Reserve!

Statement of the CCR, Brazilian section of the RCIT, September, 09, 2017, http://elmundosocialista.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

On August 23, President Michel Temer eliminated an environmental reserve of 46,450 sq km (17,800 square miles) ‒ an area equivalent in size to Denmark ‒ in the border area between the Brazilian states of Pará and Amapá, known as the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (RENCA).

 

The region holds mineral reserves including gold, iron and copper. Disingenuously, the government is attempting to hide the significance of its decree by asserting that the elimination “does not rule out the application of specific legislation regarding protection of native vegetation, nature conservation units, and indigenous lands.”

 

The day following the government decree, the BBC website reported that in March 2017, five months before the official announcement by the government, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Fernando Coelho Filho, told the country’s businessmen that this Amazonian reservation area would be eliminated, and that its exploration and exploitation would come up for auction among private companies.

 

Announced during a public event which took place in Toronto, The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), the end of RENCA comes in conjunction with a package of measures to reformulate the Brazilian mineral sector, which includes the creation of a National Mining and Initiatives authority to stimulate this branch of the economy.

 

One week after the elimination of the reserve, President Temer and his entourage flew to China to discuss improving Brazil’s foreign trade with the East Asian giant. China is a huge buyer of mineral and other commodities throughout the world, and Temer clearly intended to utilize his visit in Beijing to announce the “good news” in person.

 

The Negative Impacts

 

In contrast to the government’s enthusiasm, environmental experts strongly oppose Temer’s decree. Luiz J. Wanderley, a researcher from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and a member of the National Committee for the Defense of Territory against Mining, declared that the elimination of RENCA will, first and foremost, have a political impact, and will place more pressure on those indigenous lands and UCs (Conservation Units). By opening up another area to mining, the Temer government is signaling that it intends to relax restrictions in additional environmental reserves.

 

Mariana Napolitano, coordinator of the science nucleus of WWF Brazil, has stated that the growing interest in mining in the area would lead to a reduction in protected areas and a wave of gold rushes, and these in turn would result in a demographic explosion in the region, more deforestation and the contamination of water resources with heavy metals, in addition to threatening the lives and livelihoods of traditional indigenous populations.

 

Social Movement Resistance

 

Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) linked to the environment protested on August, 30, in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies against the decree which eliminated RENCA. NGOs such as Greenpeace, WWF-Brazil and SOS Mata Atlântica were present and participated in the protest. A number of organizations, feminist, black and environmental, from the state of Amapá, prepared a manifesto on the potentially devastating impact of the elimination of the national reserve, with the aim of denouncing such a move in the national and international media.

 

The position of CCR

 

Brazil is a semi-colony and is therefore subject to the dictates of the imperialist countries. Our bourgeoisie is directly dependent on the great capitalist powers. Capitalism is not driven by love for the environment. The implacable search for profit not only causes misery, hunger and wars, but also the destruction of the planet’s natural resources, threatening future generations and even possibly leading to the extinction of the human species.

 

Only in a socialist system, where there are no exploiters and exploited, where there is no need to destroy natural resources, with a planned economy, with an end to social inequality, will humanity be able to survive. The 2016 coup d’état that put the Temer government in power in Brazil clearly demonstrates that not only are social rights and democratic rights being thrown out in the trash. The government is eager and ready to implement a land policy that will devastate the environment for the benefit of large landowners and transnational corporations.

 

Therefore, we from the CCR strongly reject the government decree that eliminates RENCA reserve in the Amazon. We call upon all workers and oppressed, all social movements and progressive parties, to join this struggle. The fight for the environment must be linked with the struggle for society.

 

* For the annulling of the decree which eliminates RENCA

 

* For the protection of all forest reserves in Brazil

 

* For the sustainable, socialist management of the forests in Amazon region and throughout the entire world

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngMyanmar: Solidarity with the Uprising of the Rohingya Muslims!

No to the Regime’s Buddhist Chauvinism! For the Rohingya’s Right of National Self-Determination!

 

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 27.08.2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. More than 1.000 armed fighters of Myanmar’s persecuted minority of the Rohingya Muslims have launched a wave of attacks against the military and police posts in more than 25 different locations. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army claimed responsibility for the attacks. It stated that these attacks were in reaction to “a blockade [of the township of Rathetaung in northern Rakhine, Ed.] for more than two weeks which is starving the Rohingya people to death. (…) As they prepare to do the same in Maungdaw … we had to eventually step up in order to drive the Burmese colonising forces away.” (Al Jazeera, 26.8.2017) At least 77 Rohingya Muslims and 12 members of security forces were killed during these attacks, according to the regime.

 

  1. These guerilla actions are the result of the horrible mistreatment of the Rohingya Muslims who have been described by the United Nations “as the world’s most persecuted minority“. The Rohingya Muslims are an ethnic minority of about 2 million people who have experienced systematic persecution by the Myanmar’s regime since many decades. Mostly located in Arakan (now called Rakhine State by the regime) in the north-west of country, they demanded independence or at least autonomy since the beginning of Myanmar (Burma) as an independent state in 1948.

 

  1. Myanmar is a highly multi-national state with 135 distinct ethnic groups officially recognized by the government (and numerous more which are not recognized). Together, these minorities constitute at least 32% of the population (the biggest minorities are the Shan, Karen, Mon and the Rohingya Muslims). However, the regime – which has always been capitalist irrespective of its pseudo-socialist ideology in the past – has pursued a policy of chauvinist oppression against national and ethnic minorities (“Burmanisation“) which it based on the ultra-nationalist ideology of racial “purity”.

 

  1. In October 1982, the military dictatorship introduced the Burmese Citizenship Law which officially denied the Rohingya Muslims Burmese citizenship. They are effectively denied access to university education and to jobs in the public sector. The Rohingya are living under extremely impoverished conditions and 60% of them are landless. They have a child mortality rate of up to 224 deaths per 1000 live births, more than 4 times the rate for the rest of Myanmar! The regime denies their existence as an ethnic minority and claims that the Rohingya Muslims are illegal migrants from Bangladesh. As a result, the army implements a policy of systematic ethnic cleansing resulting in the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who are currently living as refugees in Bangladesh and other countries. Today, only 1.1-1.3 million Rohingya Muslims are still living in Myanmar. They constitute about 90% of the population in the north of Rakhine State.

 

  1. It is important to point out that the brutal persecution of the Rohingya Muslims is not only implemented by the military bureaucracy who ruled the country for decades but also by Aung San Suu Kyi, a bourgeois politician who has been hailed by the Western media as a democrat and who is the de facto Prime Minister since April 2016.

 

  1. Officially the United Nations protest against the brutal persecution of the Rohingya Muslims. In August 2017, former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan released an official report which criticizes (in diplomatic language) the situation of this ethnic minority. However, as both Chinese and US imperialism are battling for influence in Myanmar, neither is willing to undermine their position for the sake of a small und poor ethnic minority.

 

  1. The RCIT unconditionally supports the struggle of the Rohingya Muslims for national self-determination. It is the task of socialists, indeed every consistent democrat, to support the wish of this oppressed minority to decide freely if they wish to gain autonomy inside Myanmar, if they wish to join Bangladesh or if they wish to constitute an independent state. As the Rohingya Muslims face brutal persecution by the Myanmar state, they have every right to launch an armed struggle for freedom. Indeed, history teaches the oppressed that they can never achieve freedom and justice without an armed struggle against the ruling class!

 

  1. As revolutionary communists we oppose the petty-bourgeois Islamist and nationalist ideology to which the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) – as well as most of its predecessor organizations since 1948 like the Rohingya Liberation Party, the Rohingya Patriotic Front or the Rohingya Solidarity Organization – adheres. However, this does not alter the fact that the uprising of the Rohingya Muslims – which is currently lead by forces like ARSA – is profoundly legitimate and deserves the full support of all socialists and consistent democrats!

 

  1. The RCIT draws the attention of the Rohingya Muslims and all supporters of their liberation struggle to the fact that historic experience has demonstrated that freedom and equality can only be secured if the workers, poor peasants and youth take power in their own hands. Any other solution will result in the usurpation of power by small elite which will sell their people to the imperialist monopolies and the Great Powers. This is why authentic revolutionaries fight for the creation of a workers’ and poor peasants’ government which can open the road towards socialism.

 

  1. The RCIT calls all socialists and revolutionaries in Myanmar and around the world to join forces in order to build revolutionary organizations as part of a new revolutionary world party!

 

* Solidarity with the uprising of the Rohingya Muslims!

 

* For the right of national self-determination of the Rohingya Muslims – including the right to secede!

 

* Immediate grant of full citizenship rights for the Rohingya Muslims and all ethnic minorities in Myanmar!

 

* Down with the capitalist Buddhist chauvinist regime of Myanmar!

 

* For a workers’ and poor peasants’ government!

 

* Long Live the Revolution! Aluta Continua!

 

 

 

International Secretariat of the RCIT

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

For our analysis and perspectives of the liberation struggle in Asia, see, among others, the following documents:

 

The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor is a Project of Chinese Imperialism for the Colonialization of Pakistan! Joint Statement of the International Secretariat of the RCIT and the Revolutionary Workers Organization (Pakistani Section of the RCIT), 22.1.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/pakistan-cpec/

 

After the Killing of Burhan Wani: Long Live the Kashmiri Intifada! Statement of the International Secretariat of the RCIT and the Revolutionary Workers Organization (Pakistani Section of the RCIT), 21.07.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/kashmir-uprising/

 

Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? 18 August 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-india-rivalry/

 

RCIT: Thailand: Smash the Developing Military Coup! 21.5.2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/thailand-coup/

 

Theses on capitalism and class struggle in Bangladesh. Joint Theses of the International Secretariat of the RCIT and the Revolutionary Workers Organization (RCIT Section in Pakistan), November 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/theses-on-bangladesh/

 

Revolutionary Workers Organization (RCIT Section in Pakistan): Action Program for Pakistan, April 2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/pakistan-action-program/

 

Michael Pröbsting: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, 2012, www.thecommunists.net/theory/why-china-is-imperialist. See also numerous other documents on China as an imperialist power here: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngDas Kapital – 150th Anniversary of a Milestone in Class Struggle

On 14 September 1867 the most famous book by Marx was published for the first time

 

Article by Almedina Gunić, Revolutionary-Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 14 September 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Das Kapital (Capital) is not only well-known by socialists, it is more or less general knowledge that Karl Marx is its author and that it explains the nature of capitalism. On its 150th anniversary, we take a brief look at the coming into being of probably the most famous book in revolutionary history. First, it is necessary to understand that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were not academics sitting in some ivory towers. Both were serious revolutionary militants who were able to contend with various propagandistic, theoretical and practical tasks. Therefore, is also important that we deal with a number of developments in the lives of the two founders of dialectical materialism and scientific socialism.

 

The first volume of Das Kapital was published on the 14 September 1867 – after more than two decades of intense, but at times interrupted, studies, countless notes and drafts which were continually being revised and often torn up by Karl Marx.

 

In 1844, a 26-year old Marx openly discussed his ideas on the nature of capitalist economy, more or less for the first time. At this young age, Marx was already banned from pursuing an academic career by the Prussian government which, in 1841, had declared him a left-wing Hegelian. He worked, therefore, first as a journalist and later as the editor-in-chief of the radical opposition paper Rheinische Zeitung which was heavily and repeatedly censured. However, under the intelligent leadership of Marx (beginning from October 1842) the newspaper continued to be published in an increasingly polemical and radical manner against the will of the government. The publication was eventually shut down by the furious Prussian government in April 1843. One year later Marx moved to Paris together with his wife and political comrade-in-arms, Jenny von Westphalen. He started the journal Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher together with the 41-year old Arnold Ruge, a former editor-in-chief of the journal Halleschen Jahrbücher für deutsche Kunst und Wissenschaft which had also been banned.

 

Ruge was himself a Young Hegelian and collaborated with Ludwig Feuerbach, the Brothers Grimm and other famous philosophers and literary men in the publication of Halleschen Jahrbücher für deutsche Kunst und Wissenschaft. However, very quickly the paths of Marx and Ruge at Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher parted, as the latter became a bourgeois democrat while Marx was developing towards the ideas of communism. Nevertheless, this very short episode opened the door to a life-long comradeship, both politically and personally, between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They began corresponding because of two articles written by Engels for the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher.

 

1844 – The idea for Das Kapital is born

 

In September 1892, nine years after the death of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels wrote in a letter to Franz Mehring: “Marx was then a Hegelian and that passage was pure heresy to him. He knew nothing whatever about political economy and could not have had any idea about the meaning of a term like ‘economic form’. Hence the passage in question, even if he had known it, would have gone in one ear and come out the other without leaving a perceptible trace in his memory. But I greatly doubt whether traces of such views could have been found in the works of the romantic historians which Marx read between 1837 and 1842.“ (Marx Engels Collected Works [MECW] Vol. 49, p.550)

 

It was to a large part the influence of and discussions with Engels which inspired Marx to deal with economic theory and to elaborate a socialist stance on it. Marx had already written some very first ideas in the so-called Pariser Manuskripte in May and June 1844, but more to clarify ideas to himself than to publish. For this reason these notes were never completed by Marx nor have they ever been published in their entirety, as some parts were lost. Marx’s new comradeship with Engels changed his ideas on the meaning of a detailed elaboration of economic theory. This was not the only occasion on which Friedrich Engels inspired Marx to deal with certain issues. Their comradeship and mutual friendship were based on each brilliant man’s inspiring the other to develop to his very best. It is therefore very characteristic that Marx wrote to Engels in July 1864: “As you know, 1. I’m always late off the mark with everything, and 2. I invariably follow in your footsteps.“ (MECW Vol 41, p.546)

 

It was exactly two decades earlier that Engels ‒ after he met Marx in person and spent time with him in Paris, realizing that they share the same ideas – wrote to Marx in October 1844: “I have not been able to recapture the mood of cheerfulness and goodwill I experienced during the ten days I spent with you. I have not as yet had any real opportunity of doing anything about the establishment we are to establish.“(MECW Vol. 38, p.6)

 

So, like the serious political person that he was, and most likely in the same cheerful mood as that which Engels enjoyed during their first ten day sojourn together, Karl Marx began to delve into economic theory by reading a huge number of books and publications by the most famous economic theorists of that time. He also studied a countless number of empirical publications on various aspects of bourgeois economy. In the end, Marx’s entire life circled around the economic studies he later published, all in all, in the three volumes of Das Kapital and his Theories of Surplus Value. During the decades of elaborating what would later become known as Marxist Economy, he and with him Engels, suffered in different ways because of this tremendous project. Friedrich Engels had to repeatedly demand and plead with Marx to finalize his studies in a publishable form.

 

Engels was probably the most patient, but was far from being the only person demanding that Marx finish his study. Wilhelm Liebknecht (to name just one of many), for example, wrote to Marx in September 1864: “Ceterum censeo oeconomiam esse perficiendam.“ [“Furthermore, I consider that the (studies on) economy must be finished“, originally in Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA), Dritte Abteilung, Briefwechsel Band 12, Brief 415, Zeile 14-15, p.643, our translation]

 

Ambitious plans at the beginning

 

Marx, from his perspective, explained in various ways why his ideas were still not ready to be seen by the public. After many years he became so frustrated that he once wrote: “As soon as peace is restored, I shall devote myself to the fair copy of the beastly book, which I intend to hawk round Germany myself.“ (MECW Vol. 41, p.481)

 

However, Marx’s theoretical achievement implemented over so many years in Das Kapital started rather inauspiciously. Originally, Engels thought (as did Marx himself) that they would eventually publish a sort of lengthy essay on economic theory, sooner rather than later. However, after he began work on the first draft, Marx preferred publishing his study in a more extended form.

 

At the beginning of 1845, he came to an agreement with the publishing house of Karl Wilhelm Leske to publish two volumes called “Kritik der Politik und Nationalökonomie“ (Critique of Politics and Political Economy), closing the deal with the receipt of an advance payment. This was also the goal very much encouraged by Engels, who wrote to Marx in January 1845: “Do try and finish your political economy book, even if there’s much in it that you yourself are still dissatisfied with, it doesn’t really matter; minds are ripe and we must strike while the iron is hot. (…) We German theoreticians — it may be ludicrous, but it’s a sign of the times and of the dissolution of the German national filth — cannot yet so much as develop our theory, not even having been able as yet to publish the critique of the nonsense. But now it is high time. So try and finish before April, do as I do, set yourself a date by which you will definitely have finished, and make sure it gets into print quickly. If you can’t get it printed in Paris, have it done in Mannheim, Darmstadt or elsewhere. But it must come out soon.” (MECW Vol 38, p.17)

 

Although a contract was signed between the publishing house and Marx, Leske never received any draft from the latter. Instead, Marx wrote him several times promising in various manners to finish a first volume of Kritik der Politik und Nationalökonomie, including his letter to Leske in August 1846: “The revised version of the first volume will be ready for publication at the end of November. The 2nd volume, of a more historical nature, will be able to follow soon after it.“ (MECW Vol. 38, p.51)

 

Theory needs practice

 

We needn’t be surprised that the contract between Leske and Marx was soon terminated. Parts of Marx’s notes were later published in the pamphlet Ökonomisch-Philosophische Manuskripte aus dem Jahre 1844 (Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844). Critics of Marx have joked that, at that point in time, Marx may have been a weak theoretician, as he was finding it so difficult to complete his study in economics. Such conjecture, at any point in the life of Marx after 1844, is complete nonsense. Aside from the huge delay in publishing Das Kapital, both Marx and Engels were very prolific and wrote a number of significant theoretical works from this time forth. Even at the very beginning of their collaboration and their joint development towards scientific socialist ideas, they already wrote a number of important ideological polemics.

 

After they first met in Paris 1844, Marx arranged for a publishing house to print their first coauthored book only a few weeks later, Die heilige Familie, oder Kritik der kritischen Kritik. Gegen Bruno Bauer & Consorten (The Holy Family). Indeed, this book was published in the spring of 1845 by the publishing house Literarische Anstalt (J. Rütten). They next jointly elaborated Die Deutsche Ideologie (The German Ideology) between1845 and 1846, the main part of which was written by Marx. This manuscript was only partially published during Marx’s lifetime, while the entire work was released following his death. In 1845, Marx also wrote his famous Thesen über Feuerbach (Theses on Feuerbach) which were also only published after his death. At this time Marx was writing for the weekly newspaper Vorwärts! bringing a socialist influence to this German radical-democratic paper. For this work he was exiled by the Prussian regime and moved to Brussels at the beginning of 1845.

 

Aside from his literary activity, Karl Marx was, like his comrade Friedrich Engels, also a man of practice. He and Engels met with a revolutionary wing of the Chartist Movement in London in the summer of 1845. Half a year later, at the beginning of 1846, they launched an initiative for founding a joint organization for all revolutionary workers in Germany and other countries, calling it Kommunistisches Korrespondenz-Komitee. Both joined the socialist Bund der Gerechten in 1847 and they managed, primarily due to the efforts of Marx, to transform this organization into the Bund der Kommunisten (Communist League), with Marx writing Das Kommunistische Manifest (The Communist Manifesto) which was published in the revolutionary year of 1848. Among Marx’s many activities from this period were the lectures he prepared. His essay Lohnarbeit und Kapital (Wage Labour and Capital) was based on a number of lectures on capitalist economy that Marx delivered to workers in 1847.

 

Interruptions and delays

 

The revolutionary year of 1848 and the counterrevolutionary developments of the following years had their impact on the work of Marx and Engels. With the turbulent times, Marx’s further elaboration of economic theory was continually postponed. Furthermore, after his arrest in Brussels and his forced exile from Belgium, Marx moved to Paris at the invitation of the new provisional government of the French Republic. He also participated in the German revolution in March 1848, leading the revolutionary movement in Cologne and founding and serving as editor-in-chief of the daily socialist newpaper Neue Rheinische Zeitung. In April 1849, before the counter-revolutionary forces succeeded in repressing the uprising of the workers and poor, Lohnarbeit und Kapital was published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. The writing of this series of articles explaining the fundamental method of the capitalist economy was interrupted by the need to focus on propaganda addressing current developments. However, in the end, the series of articles was never resumed as the reactionary Prussian regime returned to power and permanently shut down the publication of the newspaper in May 1849.

 

The publication of the complete text of Lohnarbeit und Kapital remained unfinished even after Marx’s death, as no previously unpublished notes had survived. Engels edited the later version, published in 1891, consistent with the development that Marx’ theory on the capitalist economy had taken in the 1850s: “Marx, in the ’40s, had not yet completed his criticism of political economy. This was not done until toward the end of the fifties. Consequently, such of his writings as were published before the first installment of his Critique of Political Economy was finished, deviate in some points from those written after 1859, and contain expressions and whole sentences which, viewed from the standpoint of his later writings, appear inexact, and even incorrect. Now, it goes without saying that in ordinary editions, intended for the public in general, this earlier standpoint, as a part of the intellectual development of the author, has its place; that the author as well as the public, has an indisputable right to an unaltered reprint of these older writings. In such a case, I would not have dreamed of changing a single word in it. But it is otherwise when the edition is destined almost exclusively for the purpose of propaganda. In such a case, Marx himself would unquestionably have brought the old work, dating from 1849, into harmony with his new point of view, and I feel sure that I am acting in his spirit when I insert in this edition the few changes and additions which are necessary in order to attain this object in all essential point. .“ (MECW Vol 27, p.194)

 

This brief explanation which Friedrich Engels makes en passant includes a crucial point for our understanding of the very long time that Das Kapital took before it was ready for publication. Karl Marx in the 1840s had not yet developed the theoretical understanding of capitalist economy which Karl Marx in the late 1850s had. The whole process of analyzing the capitalist economy down to its DNA and understanding the dialectical mechanism of it took its time.

 

Beginning in 1849 Marx was exiled from France and took up residence in London where he lived for the remainder of his life. Aside from numerous, very impressive and important publications like Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte) which was published in 1852, Marx elaborated a number of articles on the economy of several European countries, which were published in the New York Daily Tribune starting from 1852. In the period after 1858, he intensified his studies on the capitalist economy and further developed his understanding of it. To Ferdinand Lasalle, who put pressure on Marx to finalize his writings on economy, he wrote in 1858: “1. It is the product of 15 years of research, i.e. the best years of my life. 2. In it an important view of social relations is scientifically expounded for the first time. Hence I owe it to the Party that the thing shouldn’t be disfigured by the kind of heavy, wooden style proper to a disordered liver.“ (MECW Vol. 40, p.354)

 

In 1859, Marx’s work Zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (Critique of Political Economy) was published, marking a new stage of his studies. However, as the man of practice that he still was, Marx brought the Deutscher Arbeiterbildungsverein in London to support the Polish uprising of January 1863. Last but not least, the First Internationale was found in 1864 in which Marx and Engels fought for a revolutionary communist orientation. Thus, a milestone was set in the history of the revolutionary struggle of the working class.

 

In addition to the developments mentioned above, far more propaganda, theoretical work and practical tasks were done by Marx in the years before the publication of the first volume of Das Kapital in 1867.

 

The scientific artist and the creation of a Weltanschauung

 

True, the major economic study of Marx was not published as originally planned in 1845. It is also true that his publication plans were repeatedly delayed because Marx continued to fool himself into believing that he would finish the work by the next planned due date; this resulted in the postponing of its publication again and again. However, in retrospect, we can understand that this lengthy series of delays is in no way a reflection of some general theoretical weakness on Marx’s part, but was rather due to the enormity of the tasks that both Marx and Engels had set for themselves: developing a whole new movement while taking the communist ideas of the utopian socialists and placing them on firm materialistic grounds.

 

Both contributed, in their close and rare comradeship, to the founding of an entirely new political movement. Marxism is – as is said in German – not just an idea, but a Weltanschauung, which literary means something like a worldview, but which includes far more than just simply observing the world. It is the result of a systematic and thorough engagement with various ideas and philosophies, culminating in the realization of one’s own view, which is compared with the perception of others in order to elaborate a deep and vivid understanding of the dynamics of the world and the human society. Weltanschauung is something that needs the exchange, the comparison with, and the battle against other ideas.

 

In this sense Weltanschauung is nothing that you can get as a gift from others or that is passed on to you by pure tradition. It is rather something that you have to earn by your own efforts and which permanently evolves during your lifetime. In the best case scenario, your Weltanschauung gives you the answer to the universal question: “Who Am I and Why Am I Here?“ All the weaknesses in developing Das Kapital, all the problems and nerve wrecking situations are just the price Marx and Engels had to pay in order to sustain the building of a new political movement, to develop a new Weltanschauung and with this the developing of a deeper analysis and understanding of the capitalist economy.

 

Marx himself became an expert on everything that was published by famous and not so famous bourgeois economics before and during his lifetime. He wrote in 1851 to Engels: “Ça commence à m’ennuyer. Au fond,9 this science has made no progress since A. Smith and D . Ricardo, however much has been done in the way of individual research , often extremely discerning.“ (MECW Vol. 38, p.325)

 

Today, it is easy to compare the writings on capitalist economy of both authors, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, with the collected works of Marx and Engels. It is very easy to differentiate these authors from one another. The style and rhetoric of Smith and Ricardo are smooth compared to the elaboration in Das Kapital. However, the elaborations of Marx (and Engels) are far more brilliant and capture the true nature of capitalist economy. They are written on the basis of dialectical materialism, the scientific method that allows us to understand the contradictory developments of society. Marx and Engels turned the dialectical idealism of Hegel around and placed it firmly on materialistic grounds. They created a whole new – and until today – revolutionary philosophy.

 

To laugh about Marx’s insecurity, his occasional confusion and his overall struggle in developing a deep understanding of the way the capitalist economy operates based on a fundamental understanding of class society is comparable to laughing at Einstein about his doubts on the cosmological constant or laughing about Michelangelo who believed that he is not skilled enough to do the fresco paintings in the Sistine Chapel. Hence, Marx was both a scientist and an artist, forming the sculpture of a whole new Weltanschauung. Beside him remains Friedrich Engels who, aside from numerous brilliant writings of his own, organized the publication of the second and third volumes of Das Kapital after Marx’s death. He collected what Marx had elaborated and revised it as he always did, even Marx’s lifetime. As a result, thanks to Engel’s enormous efforts, today we are able to read the second and third volumes of Das Kapital. And indeed, we should read them!

 

What Das Kapital means to us workers

 

As a Marxist worker, your Weltanschauung saves your every day – every single day. In this thick fog arising from forced production and reproduction that engulfs you as a worker and makes your world so small that you barely see your own hand in front of your face, a Marxist Weltanschauung is like a sword with which you can cut through the thick curtain of fog and help you to see how big and sunny the world can be.

 

Das Kapital like anything else written by Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, as well as other communist revolutionaries should not be read like some holy, God-given document. It definitely has its shortcomings and, as it explains in extreme detail the dynamics of the early stages of capitalism, it is partly outdated. For this reason it is important to also read further developments of Marxist economy by later revolutionary communists, including the elaborations for today in the RCIT publication The Great Robbery of the South. However, the fundamentals of Marxist economy explained in Das Kapital and various other writings by Marx and Engels are essentially still correct today.

 

When Marx believed that we, as workers, will understand his analysis of capitalist economy, he was right. We understand it out of the daily experiences we have. We understand it and at the same time shake our heads over the writings of Smith and Ricardo, which make a mockery of us in their explanations of the capitalist economy, to say nothing of all the bourgeois charlatans since them. Maybe it takes time to learn all the terms that are used in political economy. Maybe it takes serious effort and patience to understand such matters. Yet we must remember that It took Marx 22 years to finalize the first volume of Das Kapital, so we don’t need to worry that we don’t understand every single word with the first, second or third readings of it.

 

But if there is a class which can understand it, it is us – the working class!

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngFrance: Down with the decrees of the Macron/Philippe government!

An indefinite general strike against the Macron/Philippe government is the correct answer!

 

Article by Manfred Maier (RCIT Germany) on the situation in France after the presidential and parliamentary elections, 17.08.2017, www.diekommunisten.net

 

 

 

The elections in France have not only ended in a simple defeat for the workers’ movement, they were a total disaster for the working class which has been hit hard in the parliamentary elections. Only a very small number of candidates from the Socialist Party (SP) and the CPF have been elected to the parliament, something comparable to a situation in which the Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany would receive fewer votes than the 10% threshold, something which is already close to the reality in Saxony and Baden-Württemberg.

 

The working class, the youth and the migrants either boycotted the elections or were prevented from voting. Macron’s movement “En Marche” is far from having majority support in society at large, but wields its power as if it does in the institutional bodies of bourgeois parliamentary democracy.

 

SP in crisis and a new born star of the bourgeoisie: “En Marche”

 

The French party system has been thoroughly mixed up. However, though its outer form is ostensibly different, the new Macron government is actually a continuation of the policy of the government of Hollande, only with a stronger neo-liberal nucleus. Macron himself was formerly part of the Hollande government. Essentially, the Macron government remains one of the large corporations and financial capital.

 

It should be noted that the existence of the Socialist Party (SP) as a bourgeois workers’ party is now at stake. The SP only received just over 5% of the total votes cast, the number of their deputies shrank to one-tenth of that in the previous legislature. The SP is in the midst of a serious existential crisis: p part of their squad has defected to Macron; three are even now ministers in his cabinet.

 

Macron organized a personal movement with hand-picked candidates for the parliamentary elections. Increasingly we are witnessing such personal movements, like the 5-star movement in Italy or the Kurz movement in Austria. However these movements are also different when compared to “En Marche.”

 

In France, Macron directly implements politics for the benefit of corporations and financial capital, which is also seen in the makeup of his government team. The cabinet list of the Macron/Philippe government consists in part of experts from the French economic, financial and administrative branches and comes directly from the management of companies such as Areva, Danone and others.

 

Crazy electoral circus

 

Several politicians have also left the traditional bourgeois parties (LR, PRG) to join Macron’s movement where the latter offered them leading positions, the most prominent, perhaps, being the case of his Prime Minister, Philippe.

 

In the elections, an all time record was set for the large number of blank and invalid ballots cast. Macron’s victory was based only on about a quarter of the eligible voters. The small parties like the Green Party, like LO and NPA, have lost a significant number of voters. Only Mélenchon’s movement “France Insoumise” maintained a stable electoral base.

 

The PCF, the other bourgeois workers’ party now has only 10 parliamentary representatives and has lost ground against Mélenchon’s movement.

 

On Macron and his imperialist agenda

 

Macron aspires for France to play a leading role in the EU, with him as the head of state, and in close collaboration with Germany. To meet this goal, Macron intends to rebuild France so that it completely serves the interests of monopoly capital by attacking labor rights, cutting wages and damaging the social system as much as possible.

 

To achieve this goal, Macron can use the same path that the former Holland government previously laid out.

 

However, Macron also wants to increase the military strength of France within the framework of the EU, which in particular means increased military interventions in Africa, including joint imperialist interventions. Significantly, the French Ministry of Defense has been renamed the Ministry of Armies. The military intervention in Mali is a central project of French and German imperialism. But also in countries like Libya, Central Africa and others, French imperialism is a giant beast. France supports Libya’s “government,” which is currently favored by the West. Macron wants to construct so-called “hotspots” (actually internment camps) for refugees in Libya and other African countries. France’s “Minister of the Armies” also maintains the closest of contacts with Egypt’s dictator Al-Sisi and other African despots.

 

Despite a slight reduction this year, Macron wants 2% of France’s gross domestic product (GDP) to be invested in armaments by 2025. He also wants to rebuild the EU budgetary policy, which is still partly in contradiction with that of France’s German “partner”.

 

In order to be able to undermine France’s current labor laws, Macron passed a so-called “law of competence” by 13 July of this year, which enables him to make changes to these laws by decree (ordonnance), which Parliament can only then confirm as a package, all or nothing. His first foray in this direction is his new labor reform, which represents a massive attack on the workers’ movement.

 

Attack on the democratic rights in France

 

What has become a permanent “state of emergency” in France is being used against workers’ strikes and demonstrations. Macron has seamlessly adopted the emergency measures of Hollande’s predecessor government that include restrictions on the right of workers to strikes and the right of assembly. What were still exceptional measures under Holland, have become the norm under the presidency of Macron. France’s state of emergency legislation grants the police very extensive powers, which has led to an increase of house searches and other undemocratic and repressive measures.

 

In light of the strengthened apparatus of repression, proletarian forces throughout France must organize by forming self-defense committees that will defend strikers and demonstrators and protect migrants, particularly Muslims, against the attacks by the state.

 

The French state of emergency legislation goes back to laws adopted at the time of the colonial war against Algeria. Accordingly, in exceptional circumstances, bourgeois authorities may prohibit assemblies that disrupt the “public order.”

 

When demonstrations took place more recently during the current state of emergency, security forces have already “partially promoted undue hardship against individual demonstrators“.

 

Batons, rubber bullets and tear gas have been used against peaceful demonstrators who did not seem to endanger public order,” a report said. Since the attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, 155 decrees have been issued against public assemblies. In 2016, 574 people were prevented from participating in demonstrations against a planned labor reform (“Law El Khomri“).

 

In the meantime, the so-called exceptional state of emergency has been extended five times since it was introduced in November of 2015. Macron has authorized a further extension active until 1 November 2017. The state of emergency provides security authorities with special powers: prohibiting assemblies, declaring curfews, searching houses without judicial authorization, and placing people under house arrest, who — according to the police – may constitute a danger for “security and the public order.”

 

Who can lead the resistance against Macron’s policy?

 

This situation in France today is very dangerous for the proletariat, the youth, and anyone from an immigrant background. These sectors of society, with whom the workers’ movement is bound, are all in bad shape. Some of them may not recover from the disaster of the 2017 elections. Macron profited from the fact that many voters didn’t want Marine Le Pen and the Front National to win the election. Many refused to vote or cast an invalid ballot, and the absence of a revolutionary party resulted in a dangerous vacuum.

 

Representatives of the trade unions have met individually with the Minister of Labor during the last few months. During such meetings behind closed doors, Macron’s new labor reform was presented to the “labor leaders.” An official and final version of these reforms is still not available for public scrutiny. While the CGT and SUD/Solidaires are organizing a day of general strike for 12 September, the CFDT, FO and other trade unions are not mobilizing for it. One of Macron’s weapons is to divide the trade union movement, along with other organizations of the workers’ movement, in order to undermine it systematically. Macron has partially neutralized the FO. He gives the union bureaucrats what they love: lucrative political posts, especially in the Ministry of Labor.

 

What is about Mélenchon and France Insoumise?

 

In the presidential elections Mélenchon was not so far behind Marine LePen. The agenda of France Insoumise is to create a new French republic, the so-called 6e Republique, with Mélenchon as its president (something which he greatly desires). Such a new French republic would create constitutional reform more or less based on the program of France Insoumise.

 

Aside from the very progressive, general demands against cuts in the health and education systems, the rejection of CETA, TISA and CO trade agreements, concrete progressive demands like the increase of the minimum wage to €1,326 and a minimum monthly pension of at least €1,000, the manifesto of France Insoumise is nothing more than a bourgeois fantasy construct. The “fair” tax system that it requires is based, among other things, on an additional taxation for people with an income greater than €33,000 per month (!). The EU is envisioned as being transformed into a more social and ecological project. And if this algebraic concoction cannot be implemented, a Plan B, consisting of controls of capital and commodities at the national borders, shall come into force.

 

All of the above doesn’t include, of course, the openly pro-imperialist agenda, which demands inter alia the formation of a joint “peacekeeping” force in Syria and Iraq. Populism and the popularity of Mélenchon, in combination with radical changes in the established parties — which also found expression in the meteoric coming to power of En Marche – have led to an unbelievable and probably not repeatable 2017 electoral success for France Insoumise, despite its crude program.

 

Just as new: Front Social

 

Shortly after the presidential elections, activists from the initiatives against the “Al Koudri Law,” CGT trade unionists such as Goodyear and other trade union groups of the CGT, the SUD/Solidaires, as well as NPA-related groups formed a Front Social. They were able to carry out a series of demonstrations and have held meetings around the country to discuss formation of the “Front Social” as a permanent political force, but their mobilization was weak: in Paris, for example, only between 1,000 and 3,000 activists rallied together. These numbers will clearly not be enough to stop Macron’s attacks against the labor movement for the benefit of the French corporations and financial capital.

 

What about the “radical left”?

 

France has an historic Trotskyist movement, but in the elections this year the Trotskyists of LO and NPA received only 1-2 percent of the vote. In the past, they have receiveed around 10 percent. One can watch the decline of these forces as they intensify their already existing rejection of revolutionary Marxism. The same is true of POID, which can be attributed to the tradition of Lambertism.

 

The NPA is only partly within Mélenchons’ orbit; partly it is involved in the “Front Socia.l” There is also an anarcho-syndicalist left in France, which will play a definite role in any resistance movement, but is far too sectarian for the formation of a revolutionary party, i.e., it opposes the formation of a revolutionary party.

 

The “Social Front” acts fast and is action-orientated, but is not fulfilling the task of building a vital united front against the Macron government. French revolutionaries have to prepare for the creation of a new workers’ party based on a revolutionary program and a successful strategy. Some small groups are already raising revolutionary demands, but they are currently quite isolated.

 

Solidarity with the workers, the youth, the women and the migrants in France

 

As already mentioned, the CGT, together with SUD / Solidaires is mobilizing for a nationwide day of general strike on 12 September. Mélenchon and France Insoumise are organizing their own day of protest for 23 September. We currently don’t know whether these different dates in fact will remain as planned, which surely would be unfortunate for honest activists at the base of the France Insoumise. Instead, they should fight within their party for close collaboration with the more radical trade unions and other organs of the labor movement, instead of separating themselves from these forces. It is in no way surprising that a party like France Insoumise, which tends towards petty-bourgeois-populism, does not focus on a common day of action with a combative CGT.

 

A bitter defeat of the French workers, of the trade unionists in their struggle against the new labor reform, may have a serious impact on all workers and trade unionists throughout Europe. This is to say nothing of what this would mean for future proletarian struggles. The international workers’ movement should therefore organize a solidarity campaign in Germany and in other European countries. Ultimately, the French working class must answer the attacks with an indefinite general strike. Such a general strike must be protected by self-defense units which will have to fight against attacks by the repressive state apparatus and right wing activists.

 

At the same time, the indefinite general strike also poses the question of power: Which class is embodied in the government? The only answer in favor of the workers and oppressed is a revolutionary workers’ government which has to be won by a proletarian revolution. Ultimately, the path leads to a socialist government if the workers and oppressed want to end the rule of profit, the oppression and exploitation by the capitalist class, once and for all.

 

 

 

Sources:

 

http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2016-04/frankreich-nuit-debout-proteste-francois-hollande-reform#

 

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-05/frankreich-amnesty-international-bericht-missbrauch-ausnahmezustand

 

https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2017/05/france-unchecked-clampdown-on-protests-under-guise-of-fighting-terrorism/

 

 

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngFight Macron’s Labor Bill: Time to shake France to its very foundations!

Statement of the European Bureau of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 28th August 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. After both the French Senate and the National Assembly approved Macron’s new labor bill, the massive attack by the new president against the French working class became visible for the first time. It was clear from the very beginning that the French president Emmanuel Macron and his newly-founded, bourgeois party La République En Marche! represent a severe threat for the workers and oppressed in France. The labor bill is the first, but surely not the last, attack against workers’ rights that the new government intends to implement. The bill is scheduled to take effect by the end of September. On behalf of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), it’s European Bureau calls the workers and oppressed in France to organize massive protests, including a general strike to bring down the new bill.

 

  1. The new labor bill was introduced by Macron with the goal of “liberalising and freeing up the labour market.“ This is nothing but bourgeois talk for “increasing the misery of the workers to increase the profits of the bosses.“ No wonder the labor bill includes the complete flexibilisation of working time. It gives nearly all power to the negotiations at individual workplaces, thereby weakening the influence of the negotiations accross industries. The bill offers workers who are discharged without cause less compensation than before. Various organs of the labor movement will be fused together thereby making it far more difficult for more radical factions of the trade unions to operate successfully in concrete workplaces. Although not formally eliminated, the new labor bill opens the end of the 35-hour workweek.

 

  1. Consequently, it is extremely important and urgent that the labor movement successfully fight back against this first huge attack, and put the full force of its resistance against the new government. We therefore support the nationwide day of strike planned by the militant trade union CGT for 12 September and call upon all other trade unions and labor organizations to participate and mobilize for it. The RCIT and its European Bureau condems the refusal of the largest French labor union, CFDT, and the third largest, Force Ouvriere (FO), to participate in the protests. No worker should forget that the CFTD opposed the mobilisation for the impressive and militant protests against the last reactionary labor law (El Khomri Law) implemented by the Hollande government in 2016. We call upon trade union activists inside the CFDT and FO to act against the intent of the bureaucrats and to mobilize for the planned day of action. However, the Macron government will not take back the new labor bill due to one day of mass strikes. Indeed, only an indefinite general strike has the potential to bring down the new bill. Such a indefinite general strike opens the way to bringing down the new government. However such a strike must be well prepared, well organized and adhered to by the working class.

 

  1. The permanent state of emergency is already being used in France against strikes and demonstrations and its use can now be expected to take off. Macron has seamlessly adopted the emergency measures of the predecessor government of François Hollande to include restrictions on strikes and assemblies. What were still exceptional measures under Holland have become permanent and normal features of the Macron presidency. The police have been granted extraordinary powers under the state of emergency, and these are also being used in the context of house searches and other violations of civil rights. The state of emergency has been extended five times since the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015. Macron won a further extension until 1 November this year. Therefore, it is vitally urgent that workers in the trade unions and workplaces begin preparing to protect and defend the 12 September mass strike by forming self-defense committees. We call upon all revolutionaries, all progressive organizations, as well as all militants from the labor movement to join forces in creating such self-defense units.

 

  1. Aside from giving verbal support for the 12 September strike, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his party France Insoumise have organized a day of action for 23 September. The programmatic base of France Insoumise cannot be characterized as anti-capitalist, but rather as social-imperialist, petty bourgeois, and populist. It has a number of progressive demands, including the strengthening of the health system, an increase of the minimum wage, and an increase of the minimum pension. France Insoumise also rejected the El Khomri Law of 2016, which is a progressive stance. However, its strategy for the labor movement is to include the latter into a new form of the French imperialist state, a “VIe République.“ This party fantasizes about a 6th Republic with Mélenchon as its new president. Aside from some progressive demands, France Insoumise is awash in French nationalism, which in the end makes it awash in the sea of imperialism. No wonder that they call for a separate day of action. While France Insoumise was founded by reformist-bureaucratic forces inside the labor movement, it is rapidly transforming itself into a left-wing petty bourgeois populist force outside of the labor movement.

 

  1. Other forces like the NPA (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste) are definitely taking the correct position by supporting and mobilizing for the mass strike on 12 September, while at the same time criticizing France Insoumise for not orienting themselves towards anti-capitalism, the working class, and the labor movement as such. However, all in all, the NPA has been far too uncritical of France Insoumise and has likewise failed to merge with mass elements as obviously became necessary after its weak results of the last elections. While the NPA correctly criticizes France Insoumise for their sectarianism towards organs of the labor movement, their undemocratic party system, their rejection of working class politics, and their main focus on electoral work instead of mobilizing in the street – the NPA doesn’t condemn the chauvinistic, pro-imperialist stance of France Insoumise and other related core elements of the latter’s political agenda. This constitutes a fatal blindness and far too pedagogic criticism of a party in a country that is leading the imperialist European Union, that has a history as a colonial power, and that is not only exploiting and occupying a number of semi-colonial countries, but which is also over-exploiting a great number of migrants. The inconsequential, chumming-up approach of the NPA brought the party to erringly call its supports to vote for the candidates of France Insoumise (and the CPF) in the second round of the elections, as they were supposedly candidates with a “clear position against future attacks on labor law, pensions, social security and those who will support them.” Without consistent criticism of France Insoumise, the NPA’s illusions of attracting mass elements into their the ranks cannot be achieved. Rather, in light of looming onslaughts by the Macron government, the labor movement must prepare for the struggle by joining forces with the organs of the oppressed like migrant organizations and others. A incorrect approach towards social-imperialists can only put labor at the risk of breaking its neck.

 

  1. A very dangerous situation exists for the French working class, for the youth, for all those of an immigrant background: the parties to which the workers’ movement has moved are all in bad shape, some of them will not recover from the disaster of the elections of 2017. Macron has profited from the fact that many did not want Marine Le Pen and the Front Nacional to win the elections, and thus either entirely abstained from voting or purposely voted by casting invalidated, slogan-bearing ballots. The resulting Macron government is a government of the multinational corporations and financial capital. While its form is ostensibly new, the Macron government in fact is a political continuation of the policy of the government of Hollande. After all, Macron was at one time a part of the Hollande government. The historic defeat of the Social Democratic Party at the French elections was entirely justified based on its all to blatant politics against the interests of the working class and the migrants.

 

  1. Directly after the presidential elections, a “Front Social” was formed by activists coming from the initiatives against the El Khomri Law, CGT trade unionists such as Goodyear and other trade union groups of the CGT, the SUD/Solidaires, NPA-related groupings and others. They were able to carry out a series of demonstrations and hold meetings around the country to discuss the formation of a mass “Front Social,” but the numbers of supporters remained quite small. In Paris, between 1,000 and 3,000 activists came together. These numbers will not be enough to stop Macron’s politics and his implementation of the interests of the multinational corporations and financial capital by weakening workers’ rights. However, the “Front Social” initiative was an important first step that has to prove its militancy in the upcoming mass strike of 12 September.

 

  1. Revolutionaries in France should argue for an indefinite general strike against the new labor bill. Such a strike is extremely threatening for the ruling class, as it has the potential to deal a death blow to the new government. It is crucial that revolutionaries apply the united front tactic in the period ahead. They should call the trade unions and various left-wing parties (e.g., PCF, France Insoumise, Front Social, NPA, LO, etc.) to form a united front to coordinate the struggle against Macron’s austerity offensive. To force the government not only to take back its labor bill, but to also smash the neoliberal government, the indefinite general strike must be well-organized and protected by self-defense units of the workers and oppressed. It is most likely that the capitalist state apparatus and its forces of repression, i.e., police and probably even the military, will be mobilized rather sooner than later against an indefinite general strike.

 

  1. At a certain point the general strike will face a decisive phase at which revolutionaries need not only argue for the transformation of the self-defense units into armed militias of the workers and oppressed, but to rather organize this transformation. This is the only way forward to succeed while still preventing unnecessary bloodshed. An indefinite general strike, if successful, could lead to the downfall of the Macron government. Under present conditions, with no mass revolutionary party existing, socialists should call for a government based on the (mostly reformist) mass organizations of the workers’ movement like the CGT and other militant trade unions, as well as parties like the PCF, NPA and others. However, in order to end the capitalist offensive, the working class must take power and overthrow the ruling class. In other words, it must create a workers’ government based on action councils and armed popular militias which will open the way towards socialism. Only an organized uprising of the masses, a socialist revolution, can end the era of permanent exploitation and oppression of our class whether by a government of Macron or someone else. Only an armed uprising can achieve a government of the workers and oppressed that leads to a socialist society. Only such a road can end the days of oppression and exploitation. A socialist France as part of a European federation of socialist states – the United Socialist States of Europe – this is the revolutionary answer to the ideas of a “VIe République” of Mélenchon and France Insoumise! For this the formation of a revolutionary leadership inside a new workers party is vital. This is not only in the interest of the workers and oppressed in France, but also internationally.

 

 

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngImperialist EU: Hands Off Africa! Open the Borders to Refugees!

The EU’s Intervention in Africa is a Blow against Refugees as well as against the Sovereignty of African Nations!

 

Joint Statement of ELA (Zambia) and the African and European Sections of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 31.08.2017

 

 

 

  1. At a summit that took place in Paris on 28 August, the heads of state of France, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed to “help” Chad and Niger with border controls in an attempt to prevent refugees from leaving their countries to head to Europe. Libya’s UN-imposed government and the presidents of Chad and Niger, who were also present at this conference, submissively agreed to this interference in their countries’ respective sovereignties. They also announced that they would accept asylum claims from refugees who apply for protection while in Africa instead of their original destination countries in Europe.

 

  1. This initiative is related to the creation of internment camps in the aforementioned African countries. The EU has also stepped up its Mediterranean naval mission – in collaboration with the so-called “costal guard” of Libya – in order to prevent African refugees from crossing the Mediterranean. Towards the same goal, the EU is increasingly making it impossible for NGOs to assist African refugees who put their lives at great risk to flee war and misery on their home continent.

 

  1. There are three primary motives behind this EU initiative:

 

  1. a) The imperialist ruling class of the EU is determined to keep refugees out of Fortress Europe. Europe’s capitalists are only too happy to exploit migrants as cheap sources of labor without rights. However, they want to control the influx of refugees so that they can cynically select only the most skilled and fittest among those fleeing war and misery.

 

  1. b) Europe’s imperialists greatly fear the unrest and rebellions which have broken out and spread throughout the Arab world and black Africa since 2011. This is the reason they imposed Fayez al-Serraj as the head of Libya’s UN-backed government while at the same time they continue to collaborate with General Haftar, an ex-Gaddafi military commander, who is the strong man in the east of the country. This is also the reason they support the military dictatorship of General al-Sisi in Egypt; why they have close relations with a number of corrupt dictators in black Africa like Kabila in the DRC, Kagame in Rwanda and Gnassingbé in Togo; why they have deployed troops in Mali; and why they support colonial troops – like the so-called AMISOM mission – in Somalia.

 

  1. c) Europe’s corporations are greedily determined to acquire an advantage in the African market where they must compete against their imperialist rivals from the US and China. In the conditions of a crisis-ridden world economy characterized by accelerating inter-imperialist rivalry, the EU leaders are forced to intensify their political and military intervention in Africa in order to enhance their competitive position.

 

  1. We unequivocally condemn as barbaric and colonialist the decisions and dictates of the EU towards the African states. The European colonial powers have been exploiting Africa’s resources and peoples for centuries. They continue to do so down till today even though, during the last five decades or so, this economic colonialism has been hidden behind the fig leaf of formal political “independence” of the African states. But when Africans flee their home countries in an attempt to escape the dreadful conditions which the imperialists have created there, the EU sends warships to police the Mediterranean! As a result, according to official figures, 2,410 Africans have already died at sea in the Mediterranean since the start of 2017 (the real figures are certainly higher)!

 

  1. Particularly rife with cynicism and racism is the imperialists’ purposeful promotion of fear among their own citizenry about the 121,000 African refugees who have successfully crossed the Mediterranean between January and August 2017 in their attempt to find refuge within the European Union – a geographical area which is home to 511 million citizens and which enjoys some of the highest standards of living on earth!

 

  1. We emphasize that the roots of the mass exodus from Africa to Europe are to be found in the utter poverty and misery on the continent which are, in turn, the legacy of centuries of enslavement and super-exploitation by the imperialist Great Powers. Today’s barbaric conditions explain why we are now witnessing a new type of “slavery,” in which the Africans are selling themselves into the hands of the slaver. Ironically, now the new African slave negotiates for and pays his or her own transportation costs to the slave markets in Europe, with the hope that conditions there will be far better than those which he or she is leaving behind.

 

  1. The only means to overcome this horrible social decay lies in the fundamental change of the political and economic conditions in Africa. Only when the workers and poor peasants expropriate the imperialist monopolies and the local capitalist class, take power and open the road towards a socialist society, only then will it be possible to create the conditions to employ the rich natural and human resources of Africa for the well-being not of the capitalist bosses but of the popular masses.

 

  1. At the same time it is the duty of all socialists in Europe to support all efforts of the workers and oppressed in resisting the ruling class while providing them with a revolutionary and internationalist perspective. Part of this perspective is the struggle against the super-exploitation of migrants which pushes down the wages of European workers and leads to the de facto enslavement of migrant workers. Similarly, it is crucial to fight against racist and fascist forces and to advance the struggle for full democratic rights and equality of migrants. Rising unemployment and poverty, as well as national divisions and racist hatred, can only be eradicated in Europe if the capitalist class is overthrown by a socialist revolution of the workers and oppressed.

 

  1. Centuries of imperialist enslavement and super-exploitation have led to profound deformations in the economic and political structure of Africa. They have also helped the ruling class in Europe create a social-imperialist mentality among sectors of the European working class. It is, therefore crucial for socialists in Europe, as well as in other parts of the world, to fight for a comprehensive plan of reparation payments by imperialist Europe to the African peoples in order to compensate them for centuries of enslavement and super-exploitation.

 

  1. As revolutionaries, we emphasize that internationalism is the basis of our struggle for socialism. Hence, it is the task of all socialist forces in Europe and Africa to support each other and to support the struggle of the workers and oppressed not only on their own continent but in all parts of the world.

 

  1. The foreign policy of the EU is increasingly becoming openly colonialist. Eva Ottavy, of the French charity Cimade, correctly observed: “We’re extending the European border farther and farther away.” Indeed, the deployment of troops to Mali, of warships to Libya’s coast and, most recently, ground forces to the border between Libya, Chad and Niger are undisguised steps intended to strengthen the EU’s political and military control of African countries.

 

  1. We call upon all socialists and anti-imperialists to strive towards unity in the struggle for the following demands:

 

* No European troops in Africa or navies in the Mediterranean!

 

* Stop the repression of NGOs which are attempting to help refugees in Mediterranean!

 

* Down with Fortress Europe! Open Europe’s borders to refugees!

 

* Support the resistance of Arab and African peoples against imperialist corporations and troops!

 

* Stop racist oppression and social dumping! For equal wages and equal rights for migrants in Europe! European and migrant workers and youth – fight together against the bosses!

 

* Expropriation and nationalization of all imperialist corporations in Africa! No to the “free trade” agreements which only make the African countries even more subservient!

 

* For a comprehensive plan of reparation payments by imperialist Europe to the African peoples as compensation for centuries of enslavement and super-exploitation!

 

 

 

Economic Liberation Association (Zambia): http://www.elazambia.org

 

Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, México, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Aotearoa / New Zealand, Germany, Britain and Austria), www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngBRAZIL: TEMER ESCAPES IMPEACHMENT BY BUYING LEGISLATORS FOR 4.5 BILLION DOLLARS: IT’S THE WORKERS WHO WILL PAY THE BILL

 

For a United Front of Struggle! Organize a General Strike and Popular Uprising Now! No to the proposal of parlamentarism! For a Workers’ and Popular Government!

 

Statement of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (Section of the RCIT in Brazil), 22 August 2017, http://elmundosocialista.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

At the beginning of August President Michel Temer was able to obtain enough votes in the Chamber of Deputies to stop the proceeding of the complaints against him to the Federal Supreme Court. Such a “victory” was only possible with the government’s releasing more than 4.5 billion dollars to parliamentarians, creating a huge chest fund to buy votes to save the presidents. The possibility that the denunciation against Temer would be referred to the Federal Supreme Court was ruled out when votes opposed, to the move, in addition to thos of absent legislators, prevented the opposition from obtaining the required 342 votes (two-thirds of the House). Had the complaint been accepted, the Federal Supreme Court would have had to examined the case, which could have led to Temer’s removal from office. until the final decision. In a recording of a conversation between Temer and JBS owner Joesley Batista, the president seems to endorse the pay-off to ex-deputy Eduardo Cunha, who is in custody, in exchange for his silence. The video shows the then Deputy Rodrigo Rocha Loures, one of Temer’s trusted cronies, carrying a suitcase with 500 thousand reais. The money is alleged to be a donation by the owner of the refrigeration company JBS to Temer, part of a bribe offered to the latter to favor doing business with this company.

 

The following week the Temer government announced that it needed to revise the fiscal budget forecast. The new target foresees a shortfall of R$ 159 billion (reais) in public accounts for 2017 and 2018. This deficit is a bigger than what was previously expected, from R$ 139 billion in 2017 and R$ 129 billion in 2018. Among the measures announced to reduce The budget deficit is the increase in taxes on fuel prices that will generate an additional R$10 billion of income for the government, exactly the sum alleged to have been spent to purchase the votes the deputies of the deputies who kept the president’s case away from the scrutiny of the Federal Supreme Court. Or, in other words, every time citizens fuel up their vehicles at the gas station, they will be paying to retain in power a president came to office in the wake of a parliamentary coup.

 

The Temer government has already approved, without the consent of the workers, the complete outsourcing of labor contracts; the 20-year freeze on public investments in essential areas such as health and education and housing; the elimination or reduction of historical labor rights, such as vacations, working hours, overtime, etc. But there remains what is considered the final cherry on the cake, the pension reform, which if approved, in practice will make it impossible for most workers to retire before they die.

 

The sum of the proposals of the pension reform project is so damaging to workers that part of the rank-and-file government deputies fear losing votes for their own re-election if they vote in favor, exactly one year before the next general elections of 2018, and therefore are threatening not to vote for the reform.

 

In practice, the Temer government, while having managed to get rid of the threat of impeachment by buying off the parliament, is now in the hands of the same parliament itself. Today, Brazil is witnessing a weak presidency combined with conservative, parliament of vagabonds.

 

The current political crisis, in which the bourgeoisie cannot agree on who among the most reactionary sector should actually run the country should be the opportunity for the left sectors of the political spectrum, the parties and social movements, to conduct a head on confrontation with the bourgeoisie. But the leftists (PT, PCdoB, PSOL, PCB, PSTU, MTST, MST, etc.) are doing just the opposite, throwing all their hopes into the illusion of bourgeois democracy by betting on their hopes for the outcome of the general elections in October 2018. There are no guarantees what will happen in the elections next year. The political, economic and social crisis is intensifying every day. The sectors that engineered the coup against the government of Dilma and those who collaborated with it, such as the public prosecutor’s office, the press in general, the Federal Supreme Court, the National Congress, the big farmers, the conservative parliamentarians from evangelical and Catholic groups, did not carry out a coup in order to place power back in the hands of Lula da Silva or any other leftist name associated with the struggles for democratic and social rights. The bourgeoisie is openly talking about the possibility of installing the parliamentary system in place of the presidential one, accompanied by the setting up a district vote. If such a proposal materializes, the working and oppressed people of Brazil will be in the hands of the most conservative, reactionary, anti-worker and most corrupt parliament in history. As Marx said: History repeats itself, the first time as a tragedy and the second as farce.

 

The Revolutionary Communist Current reaffirms the need to:

 

1) Use to our advantage the crisis of this corrupt government! We can and must strengthen the power of the working class and the popular masses! No to the parliamentary!

 

2) Block the conspiracy of the ruling class with its obscure parliamentary maneuvers. We must overthrow Temer’s corrupt government! For the organization of a general strike and a popular uprising!

 

3) Call upon the CUT, the MST, the MTST, the Popular Brazil Front, the Front of the People Fearless, the PT and all popular mass organizations to constitute a united front of struggle. We call upon these organizations to organize a general strike! We must force the conservative and hesitant bureaucrats in charge of these organizations to organize resistance. But at the same time we should not put our trust in them! These bureaucratic leaders have proven in the past that they are willing to subordinate the struggle for our interests in exchange for participation in the institutions of bourgeois power. We must impose demands upon these leaders, but we must observe and control them carefully.

 

4) Build committees of popular action. These committees are to be elected in popular assemblies in which all workers participate in workplaces and all persons in popular neighborhoods. They should discuss the most important issues of the fight and elect their delegates. These delegates should meet at a national congress that should discuss how to advance our struggle. These committees of action must also control the leadership of mass organizations and lead the fight against the Temer government if the bureaucrats hesitate and betray us. In addition, such action committees should also create popular self-defense units in order to defend the people against the inevitable attacks by the police and the army.

 

5) Due to the fact that many people currently follow the leadership of CUT, MST, MTST, FBP, FPSM and PT, we call upon these grassroots organizations to take power into their own hands in the wake of a general strike and a popular uprising. For a government that encompasses organizations and movements such as CUT / INTERSINDICAL / CTB / MST / MTST / FBP / FPSM / CMP / PCO / PT * and all popular mass movements! This could be a first step towards the creation of a people’s and workers’ government.

 

6) In order to advance this strategy and put it into practice, we must create an authentic revolutionary party. We call on all activists to share such a perspective of the struggle to join the CCR in our efforts to build such a party as part of a new revolutionary workers’ international!

 

7) Onward to a revolutionary constituent assembly!

 

 

 

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