May 1st: a day of struggle against world capitalism
A new International Workers’ Day is coming. The systemic crisis of capitalism continues its destructive path. The great multinational corporations, their international organisms and their national governments, have not managed to overcome the economic crisis that exploded in 2008, and their analysts now forecast, with increasing concern, the possibility of an upcoming new crack. This increases inter-imperialist tensions and clashes.
The origin of the crisis lies in the fact that capitalism has not been able to impose on the workers of the world a level of exploitation that would allow it to maintain the accumulation of profit of on which the functioning of the capitalist system depends. This is why bourgeois governments of the most diverse political colors apply or attempt to apply austerity plans that attack the wages and rights of the working class. In order to impose such plans against the will of the majority, governments also intensify their authoritarianism and repression.
But the workers of the world, as they have always done, resist and fight back. They fight in self defense against the austerity measures and advance against the governments that apply them. It is this stubborn and brave resistance of the people, that has not allowed capitalism to resolve the crisis in its favor and has turned the economic crisis into a political one. Many are the governments that began applying austerity plans and ended up overthrown by popular resistance. In several cases, the mobilization has overthrown regimes that had guaranteed the stability of capitalist business for decades.
Weeks ago, the working masses of Algeria and Sudan overthrew their governments in what could be the beginning of a new Arab Spring. As in 2010-2013, the vanguard of the revolutionary mobilization is the working-class youth, that radicalizes and acts against an establishments that wants to rob it of its future. This a common characteristic of mobilization processes around the world. As in the previous Spring, in Algeria and Sudan, social and economic demands combine with democratic demands against authoritarian regimes that griped on to power for many years. The working-class youth wants to live and it wants to decide.
These characteristics are seen repeated in France, where the powerful movement of the yellow vests has confronted the austerity plan of Macron for months, defying police repression every Saturday on the streets of Paris and dozens of other cities. They began protesting against a tax on fuel -which Macron has already had to repeal- and achieved important concessions from the French government: a raise of the minimum wage, the freezing taxes rates and an indexation of pensions of less than 2000 euros. But the protests do not stop, they want Macron to go. In their last “assembly of assemblies”, the yellow vests called on people to “break with the current system to create, together, a new social, ecologist and popular movement” and to fight for a “government of the people, by and for the people”.
Working-class women are also at the vanguard of the class struggle. The feminist wave that crosses the world is led by the most radicalized women, who brand the movement with their global challenge of the capitalist system. The international women strike this March 8th set new records, with actions in 80 countries and high points with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in Spain, Argentina and Chile.
The predominant characteristic in the global mass movement is a rejection of the establishment that spurs political polarization, creating space farther to the left and to the right. Where the mobilized masses have found alternatives to the establishment on the left, they have followed them. But where they have not or where these alternatives have disappointed by limiting themselves to a reformist program and ended up supporting capitalist austerity, the right has advanced.
However, because the right does not provide workers a solution either, and has not been strong enough to crush them and impose a rhythm of exploitation that would allow capitalism to recover its capacity to accumulate profit, the right also quickly reaches its limits. This is why Bolsonaro has not been able to apply the key measures of his program and is bogged down in a deep political crisis just a hundred days after taking office. This is why Trump is below self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders in vote intention polls. This is why Macri in Argentina has not been able to apply the essential reforms demanded by the IMF and also fears losing the upcoming presidential elections.
There is a solution to the crisis for the working class. There is more than enough wealth and resources in the world to satisfy the needs and desires of the great majority. But we have to tear them away from the handful of capitalists that hoard them, and to do so, we have to unseat them from power. The strength in numbers of the toiling 99% and the power of that potential when it mobilizes is demonstrated time and again. This May 1st must be, across the world, a new manifestation of the power of the working class, with mobilizations and rallies in each country.
But to defeat capitalist imperialism, that power requires a leadership with a program and a revolutionary and anti-capitalist strategy. One that does not promise impossible solutions within a reformed capitalism, but proposes to lead the strength of the mobilized working class against the entire system. One that struggles for a socialist world where the working majority rules democratically.
This is why the organizations that make up the Anticapitalist Network, the SEP (Turkey) and comrades from various other countries are on the verge of taking an important step in the building of a new revolutionary and socialist international political tool that will hold its first foundational activity from May 24 to 26 in Barcelona.