Paper of the International Communist Party Issue 5 Foreword Pdf
The Communist Party
WHAT DISTINGUISHES OUR PARTY – The line running from Marx to Lenin to the foundation of the Third International and the birth of the Communist Party of Italy in Leghorn (Livorno) 1921, and from there to the struggle of the Italian Communist Left against the degeneration in Moscow and to the rejection of popular fronts and coalition of resistance groups – The tough work of restoring the revolutionary doctrine and the party organ, in contact with the working class, outside the realm of personal politics and electoralist manoevrings

Inside:
After the Nightmare of the Election in the USA and the Dissection of its Corpse – Against Trump or Against Capitalism
– Venezuela
     Report by our Comrades: Crisis, Inflation and Workers Struggle - On the Situation in the Coast of Carabobo State (Puerto Cabello and Moron)
     Plain Speaking about Chavismo and Anti-chavismo
 
 
 
 
 





After the Nightmare of the Election in the USA and the Dissection of its Corpse

After the nightmare of the election in the USA and the dissection of its corpse - It is obvious to Marxist theory, and backed by abundant historical evidence, that whenever any of the political actors takes their turn in power they become the most impotent person on Earth, unable to deviate from the prescribed and catastrophic trajectory of US capitalism by even a fraction of a degree.

Democracy, or rather its periodic orgiastic electoral rites, which have survived it and replaced it for more than a century, is now a mystifying word, empty of meaning, but highly useful for distracting workers from their real problems.

Anti-fascism and anti-populism are both forms of fascism and populism.

The only real historical alternative is between us - the communist party and the trade union movement - and the whole damn lot of them together: today, there is only one party of the bourgeoisie.

We understand the recurrence of the term “post-democracy” as a sign of the times, but it is clear to us that the bourgeoisie will continue obsessively to apply its media apparatus, projecting fake oppositions and simulating social struggle, so it can avoid the real class struggle.

   


Against Trump or Against Capitalism

The election of 2016 represents the true contemporary existence of capitalism. Clinton’s manipulation of the Democratic primaries, the “leaks” by the Republicans, the Russian “hacks” and the manipulations against minority voters in many States. Here is your democracy. To the buyer beware!

Democracy is fascism, Fascism is democracy

All governmental positions taken in the present society are there to maintain the status quo of property relations. The only allowed question is how to best maintain those relations? That range falls between leftist populism and fascism. The decision of whether to have in place a Liberal populist of the FDR stripe or authoritarian populist of the Trump variety is a reflection of the needs of capitalism to deal with specific issues.

What remains is the need to prop up the dictatorship of capital – the system itself.

Community or Class?

All over the world, bosses and bourgeois governments of all colours attack the living conditions of the working class, because an in increase in the exploitation of it is the only real option they have to keep the capitalist economy holding together, as it is inevitably heading towards a breakdown and a world war between the States.

Likewise for racism, the question is not race but of class; and that’s why the immigrant proletarians should not be deluded that they can solve their problems by relying on abstract bourgeois ideals. To fight sickening racism with anti-racism, in terms of superficial moralism and respect of cultures, is not only helpless but is harmful because it does not challenge any of the profound material bases of this reactionary ideology. The only true anti-racist struggle is and will be the class struggle, because it unifies workers beyond races and nationalities, and it leads them to going beyond capitalism.

Immigration

While it is an illusion for foreign workers to expect that racism is defeated through the abstract ideals of bourgeois equality, the class-conscious proletariat should embrace and sincerely welcome the struggle for total extension of civil and labour rights to anyone who sells its work force to Capital. To win this struggle, immigrants as well as native workers must recognize themselves as citizens of the single world class. As struggle that will have many facets but that can be pursued only within a strong class trade union movement, which must tend to be a single defensive front for the class struggle of the entire working class, either indigenous or migrant. A trade union organization that will fight against the threat of the loss of the migrant workers’ residence permit in case of dismissal.

Build working class resistance – Class unionism

Only the revolutionary movement of the proletarians of all countries, united in the same struggle against the common enemy, the bourgeoisie, will solve the problems of forced migration but also those of the exploitation of man by man, laying the necessary foundations for future Communist society.

Movements like Fight for $15 and OurWalmart have been positive for working class efforts to improve its conditions. But the benefits of these groups have been undercut by the needs of business unions such as SEIU and UFCW. These unions put their efforts into elections and not what workers can accomplish on their own efforts. So the significant efforts of Fight for $15 were diverted - pre-nomination! - to supporting the hostile to unions Hillary Clinton.

These days, ‘Class Unions’ like the ILWU, UE and IWW are needed – unions who are run by their memberships and who fight hard to the end for their causes. Worker Centers, like Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Solidarity Network movement are also important movements building an independent working class resistance to immiseration.

Build working class resistance – Need for class party

A party arises out by the side of the working class when that expresses the class’ need to understand and react to what is happening. This party is the International Communist Party. If you are curious as to how to move the working class forward towards the transformation of society, please contact us. 
 
 
 
 


Report by our Comrades in Venezuela
Crisis, Inflation and Workers Struggle
On the situation in the coast of Carabobo State (Puerto Cabello and Moron)

 

In May 2016, collective bargaining agreements in some public and private companies were being negotiated, while others had been already signed. Since higher inflation rates are expected in 2017, most owners are interested in signing these agreements before the end of 2016: it is very likely that such wage increases will largely be absorbed by the coming inflation, thus leading to production cost reductions for the companies.

In many cases, during the negotiations between the unions and the employers, wage improvements and bonuses were granted in return for staff reductions.This type of agreement, only made possible thanks to the betrayal of trade union leaders, backed by "labor consultants", has led to significant employment reductions in different companies. Workers in the meantime were offered compelling economic incentives if they left their employment.

In the case of Traylog, which provides logistics services at the Nestle warehouse in Moron, the number of workers who accepted the incentive offer, was so great that the few remaining workers didn’t reach the minimum number required by law to have their union recognized. Now the situation is such that Nesltè may dismiss all workers and resume its activity with a whole new staff.

The Ferralca, Tripoliven and Produven workers are meeting to discuss the collective bargaining agreement. Our comrades are proposing a joint meeting of the workers of these companies to unify all the demands and action.

Meanwhile Ferralca broke with their "employment consultant", who also works for Traylog.

At Ferralca bosses attempted to push through a bonus wage tied to the productivity of each worker. Union leaders and workers have discussed the bonus and came to the conclusion that: a) it generates divisions between workers, in the midst of the of collective bargaining negotiations; b) it encourages the intensification of the working day and the attitude that makes workers to steal other workers’ jobs; c) it won’t be counted for social security funds; d) it would hold back the recruitment of new workers as the company would produce more with the same number of workers. Although a minority of workers remained willing to accept the bonus, a majority of the assembly voted to refuse the bonus and drew up a report to be delivered to the owner. Given the forthcoming negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement, the union has expressed the need to maintain unity and focus on the fight for a wage increase: this direction is shared by all workers.

The workers of Ferralca, alerted to the arrival of the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia (Sebin), i.e. the government’s political police, made it clear to the owner’s representatives that if their union leaders should get arrested, they would have stopped work. The company denied it had anything to do with the political police Sebin visit, although everybody knew that if Sebin showed up it was because the boss had called them. The provocative intervention of Sebin against the union leaders occurred immediately after Ferralca workers had blocked shipments for one shift following demands regarding work clothing.

As for the PDVSA trade union workers, the union elections that were scheduled for the 22th of September have been suspended and will take place, if they will take place, in 2017, after the hypothetical presidential referendum. The postponement of trade union elections meets the need of the fraction of the PSUV [the ruling party] in the Unitary Federation of Venezuelan Oil Workers, represented by Wills Rangel, to gain time to make up for lost support of the majority of workers in the sector. Postponing the elections also took place with the complicity of the most important opposing current, that of Trotskyist, Jose Bodas.

Unfortunately, the various rank and file groups of workers ended up interested in the different options presented in the bourgeois elections, ignoring the discussion of a program for the recovery of the workers’ struggle. Comrades are preparing a leaflet about this.

 

 

 


Plain Speaking about Chavismo and Anti‑chavismo

In Venezuela, most of the reformist parties and groups active on the left, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary, along with those who describe themselves as center-left and as the “left” wings of the conservative and right-wing parties, have accepted the notion that the country has lived through a genuine “Bolivarian revolution”, which raised the flag of “21st Century Socialism”, in the words of its ‘great leader’. Outside the country numerous groups, movements and parties have rushed to support “the march of change” which, beginning in Venezuela, will supposedly spread to Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, and thus link up with the old Stalinists in Cuba.

Due to the diplomatic pressure exerted by the United States and in the wake of the devastation wrought by the capitalist crisis, the reformist currents in Argentina, Paraguay, Honduras and (we think) in Brazil, after having benefited in recent years from the accumulation of capital mainly from China but also from Russia and elsewhere, have now lost control of the government in these countries.

The fact is, more so even than in Cuba, China and Russia, the “Bolivarian revolution” is a total farce and its program has nothing at all to do with socialism, even if we are fed the idea, day in day out, about how opposed it is to the “right wing”.

In Venezuela there is just State capitalism. Even before Chavismo got into government Venezuela was based on State capitalism, dependent on oil revenue. But Chavismo talks about using this revenue in the people’s favour. In fact the only new thing about it is its capacity to drug the masses with the democratic credo, with fame-seeking and popular participation and with the illusion that the government represents the interests of the poor. Chavismo was the political solution to the economic crisis in the 80s and 90s, which allowed the national bourgeoisie and foreign imperialism to maintain capitalist exploitation against a background of social peace.

Learning from the experience of those who rule Cuba, the Venezuelan bourgeoisie spread the same lie: that the economic crisis is just the product of the economic war conducted by a few “anti-patriotic” entrepreneurs, by “right-wing” parties, and by imperialism. It’s exactly what they want people in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia to believe as well.

A path to socialism?

No. It isn’t. The course of the Venezuelan economy is capitalist in every sense. Businesses, whether private or state-owned, produce commodities on the basis of the exploitation of wage labor. The possibility of accessing services and obtaining products is linked to monetary exchange, even when the State is directly involved in their distribution.

A Struggle against the bourgeoisie?

No, it isn’t. Despite the demagogic, high-flown speeches of the Chavista leaders against “the bourgeoisie”, the government has always managed to ensure that conditions are such that bankers, industrialists and merchants can continue to appropriate high profit margins. By imposing a cocktail of Keynes, Rooseveltian New Deal, liberalism, corporativism and fascism, Chavismo has transferred the oil revenue to the bourgeoisie.

State purchases, dubbed “social” or “socialist”, have allowed national and multi-national firms (Cuban, Argentine, Uruguayan, Nicaraguan, Brazilian, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, American, etc,) to access Consumers previously beyond their reach. To Venezuela’s badly paid population big business is now flogging food, medicine, mobile phones, white goods, utility vehicles, health care, public housing units, etc, etc.

But this major market is today menaced by the drop in oil prices.

This explains the launch of the “Great Mission” for “Food Self-sufficiency” [“sovranita’ alimentare”] advertised under the aberrant brand name “socialist commerce”, put into effect by organizing the inhabitants of the various districts into Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP) charged with distributing, at administered prices, food and personal hygiene products, which are in short supply, from various firms. This demagogic mobilization, as well allowing the government to scrape something together to compensate for the reduced oil revenue, and the capitalist impresario to empty his warehouse, serves to placate the masses, who are increasingly unhappy about food prices and the high cost of living in general.

In fact the local elections, the referendum (if it actually happens) and the presidential elections are all coming up soon. The unique ability of these opportunists lies in combining populist petty political wheeler-dealing, by manipulating the means of information, with the guarantee that the population will continue to receive a basic minimum of staple goods, at the same time as it guarantees the profit margins of the national capitalist production and the multinationals.

And yet despite presenting the CLAPs as the “alternative to capitalism” long queues form in front of the shops and stuff is sold on at speculative prices. Large-scale rioting and looting has also taken place.

Not even the CLAPs can avoid getting caught in the web of corruption as faction fights inside the Chavist movement and the government party continue, which are minimized by the media and transformed into an argument for an electoral contest between the Chavistas and the opposition.

Every time that a national or multinational company hits a crisis, closes down or threatens to close down, the government steps in with funding, or acquires the bankrupt firms, “expropriations”, which allow the capitalists to firms from the marketplace which are no longer competitive whilst obtaining a corresponding compensation. Sometimes a demagogic “workers control” is declared. While the bourgeois government dons a socialist mask, in fact it is providing financial assistance and perpetuating capitalist exploitation, taking the burden of failed companies off the bourgeoisie.

Meanwhile there is an increased military presence in almost every area of government administration, although it hasn’t prevented a new mafia of corrupt officials from replacing those of the 4th Republic: soldiers and civilians enrich themselves from dawn to dusk, despite the sharpening of the economic crisis.

Anti-imperialism?

No, it isn’t. The whole of Chavista economic policy is geared towards attracting foreign investment, with exploitation facilitated on easy terms, and guaranteed profits to the multi-nationals. And although they may define China and Russia as “socialist” and “progressive”, their fight against the North American government is only in words, and the oil trade continues unabated.

Do they govern in the workers’ interests?

No, they don’t. The Chavista bourgeois government has been anxious to “modernize” existing laws by redefining workers’ protests of all types as common crimes, regulated by the penal code. What is more the government has placed a ban on demonstrations and protests in a number of urban and industrial areas referred to as “security zones”. Although the regime unions, which disorganize the workers by collaborating with the bosses, undoubtedly predominate, the list of trade unionists arrested and charged is getting longer. Instead of the reduction in working hours promised by the government the working day has actually been intensified and lengthened. Already under the legal framework all-out strikes have been rendered impossible by insisting that minimum services be maintained. In addition there is a range of activities which have been classified as “essential” and therefore subject to strike bans. The Chavistas, constantly using as pretext the imperialist “menace” and the threat of a military coup, have both threatened the use of force against the workers’ struggles and actually used it, dependent as ever on the co-operation of the trade union bosses and federations.

The aim of the government’s wages policy, which sets rises by presidential decree, which run in parallel with the delay in signing collective contracts, and with the complicity of the trade unions, isn’t to improve the living standards of workers, but rather to set a minimum standard of living to head off working-class mobilization. The bourgeois government increases the nominal minimum wage each year, but the underlying tendency is that of a constant reduction in real wages.

Under capitalism a “workers’ government” is not possible; it is just a trap invented by the opportunists. The only workers’ government possible is the dictatorship of the proletariat which can only arise from the violent insurrection of the working class under the leadership of its communist party. Its task will be to bring the insurrection to a close by establishing the domination of the proletarian class and to lead the socialist transformation towards a society without classes, without private property, without commodities, without money, without states, without bosses.

A struggle between capitalism and socialism?

No. it isn’t. The struggle between the Chavistas in government and the right opposition is not between capitalism and socialism, despite all the waffle being put out in the propaganda campaigns of these two bands of political speculators. They are just fighting for control of the government in order to administer the interests of the bourgeoisie, reflecting inter-bourgeois and inter-imperialist contradictions over the control of the country and its oil revenue.

Nothing new under the sun.

By declaring the bourgeois republic to be communist, by maintaining the relations of capitalist production, by seeking to hide behind a revolutionary phraseology which includes counter-revolutionary terms: “socialist fatherland”, “socialist market”, “socialist form”, etc, the so-called “Venezuelan revolution” offers nothing to the working masses which opportunists in other parts of the world haven’t offered it already.

The international capitalist crisis takes its course, increasing the contradictions between proletariat and bourgeoisie. The working class will necessarily have to resume class struggle by lining up with its party, the international communist party, by breaking with the regime unions, by resisting appeals to defend the country, and by rejecting all the false socialisms which try to breath life back into the bourgeoisie and its capitalist regime.