The proletarian May 1 is dead, long live May 1st!
For the class struggle of proletarians of all classes, sectors, genders, ages and nationalities, beyond all divisions and all borders!
The defense of conditions of life and work against the power of the bourgeoisie is the first step towards emancipation from capitalism!
(«Proletarian»; Nr. 7; Summer 2011)
May first was once the workers’ international day of struggle, signifying that they are a class with the same interests and the same objectives beyond all borders: the proletarians have no fatherland, they have a world to win (the Communist Manifesto). In order to oppose the proletarian movement and its growing unification, the bourgeoisie in all countries has used and uses all means from open violence and repression, to democratic and electoral illusions, while working tirelessly to stoke division and competition among the proletarians. If May 1 is no longer the revolutionary show of force which once so deeply troubled the capitalists, if it is no longer the symbol of international labor solidarity, it is because the proletariat has long been paralyzed by reformism. It is this paralysis that allows the capitalist class to overcome the economic crisis by making the proletariat pay, it is this same paralysis that gives them ample opportunity for incursions into Afghanistan, Libya, Ivory Coast etc. through wars or for supposedly democratic or humanitarian goals which never manage to dissimulate the real, sordid imperialist goals (to seize or to preserve sources of raw materials, to finance its support for American imperialism).
Proletarians, resident workers and immigrant workers of all countries!
The bourgeoisie of all countries knows that not even the most violent wars can end its class domination because wars are only the expression of the violence that is inseparable from the capitalist mode of production. When, during crises, overproduction paralyzes markets, capitalism must necessarily destroy surplus goods and means of production to restart its economy: war is precisely one means to that end. Furthermore wars are the continuation of bourgeois politics by other means. The widespread competition between corporations, between states that characterizes life under capitalism, leads inevitably at a certain point to military confrontation to defend the interests of the national capitalism. The ruling class needs to concentrate and strengthen the resources of their country to confront international competition and prepare for wars, but this is only possible through greater exploitation of the proletariat. To prevent the proletarians from reacting to this exploitation, they must therefore always and increasingly support the collaboration between classes by spreading nationalism and racism, and by calling for the defense of the national economy as a goal common to the bourgeois and the proletarian.
Down with class collaboration!
Class collaboration is the catastrophic orientation that social-democratic then Stalinist then post- Stalinism inflicted on the workers and habituated them to only conduct struggles which are within the bounds of social pacifism and the rule of the law, it makes workers believe that their problems can only be solved through concessions to the capitalists, in short, it hides the fundamental antagonism between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
Class collaboration paralyses impulses of working class resistance to capitalism, sterilizes the fundamental weapon of the workers which is the strike; depletes militancy by orienting towards demonstrations and other impotent Days of Action; sabotages the struggle of defence against the capitalists and their State; marginalizes the demands and struggles of the most oppressed and most exploited layers such as undocumented workers; condemns any violent action against anti-proletarian repression and violence, inflicted daily by the police and all institutions of the bourgeois State, poisons the workers with nationalist propaganda, petit-bourgeois prejudices and contempt towards workers of other nationalities or other sectors, towards the unemployed or those without any job security.
We had a sad example in the pseudo-struggle against the attack on pensions last fall in France, where for the whole duration of the movement the reformist union front stubbornly refused to give any other objective than the negotiation of the terms of this attack and other “means of action” like the ritual demonstration/processions meant to move the government, while abandonning to repression the youth arrested during the demos. For decades the proletarians could see that the policy of the reformist trade unions and of reformist parties whether in opposition or in the government, is entirely subject to the imperatives of capitalism; for decades they have seen their living and working conditions deteriorate inexorably . The economic crisis accelerated this decline: rising unemployment, declining wages, social benefits are reduced leading to even more insecurity, the cost of living increases along with social despotism and the militarization of society. The need for a real struggle, not stifled by class collaboration becomes ever more pressing. The revolts that shook and still shake the Arab countries show that it is possible to fight against even the strongest dictatorships. But as long as the working class fails to organize itself on a class basis and does not have at its head the true revolutionary proletarian party, it will be duped by of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois forces want nothing but a simple reform of capitalist domination.
The proletariat of the major capitalist metropoles has had a long tradition of revolutionary struggle which culminated in the Paris Commune, the Bolshevik Revolution, the formation of the Comintern, this tradition was broken by the Stalinist-counter-revolution whose anti-proletarian effort was then consolidated with decades of class collaboration and democratic legalist, pacifist poison...
For the return to the proletarian struggle, for the constitution of the class party!
To defend themselves in the class struggle that continually leads capitalism to attack the proletariat, to respond to the call of the young proletarians in revolt in the Arab countries, to oppose the wars unleashed by imperialism, there is no alternative but to return to the classist means and goals that the workers once followed in the struggle against capitalism. May 1 has become a ritual procession that is used by reformist parties and trade unions to better prepare their pranks: social dialogue, elections, and avoiding proletarian struggle. But May 1 but will be reborn as the day of struggle and solidarity among the proletarians of the entire world when the working class begins to break with the parties and reformist union apparatuses which are the lackeys of capitalism, and to commence onto the road of class struggle. The proletarians have potentially an immense strength because it is they who, through their work, make capitalism live and produce all the riches of society, they have the strength not only to finish off some despots, but to overthrow bourgeois States and put an end to capitalism. But the condition for this force to express itself is the organization of the proletariat as a class, consequently in a party (the Communist Manifesto). This cannot be done automatically or quickly, so powerful are the reformist barriers still maintained by capitalism which paralyze the proletariat. But the internal contradictions of the capitalist mode of production that produce ever more serious crises, press upon and will inevitably press upon the workers to revolt, not only in the poor capitalist countries poor like in the Middle East or Africa, but also tomorrow in the rich capitalist countries which run the world. The proletarian vanguard must understand that today the most important task is to work for the formation of the class party without which the proletarian movements as numerous as they may be, with revolts as extensive as they may be, can never lead to the revolutionary struggle, the seizure of power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, paving the way for the communist classless society.
To avoid losing ground in the daily struggle for immediate defence and to then be able to move to offensive in this struggle against capitalism, the proletarians must adopt these class methods and objectives:
– Down with political and trade union collaborationism! Independent organization of workers on a class basis! No to competition between proletarians! For Strikes without warning and without time limits! Struggle for wages, for the reduction of working time, for solidarity with those most oppressed and exploited!
– No to expulsions, arrests and deportations of immigrant workers! No to immigration control! Release of jailed protesters and workers! For the right of immigrant workers and all farmworkers to organize!
– No to national solidarity in times of peace as in time of war: proletarian defeatism in times of peace, revolutionary defeatism during wartime!
– Down with imperialist wars, long live proletarian internationalism!
– For a return to the class struggle, for the reconstitution of the international class party!
April 23, 2011
International Communist Party