|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|
– Solidarity with West Virginia School Workers
– American breaking news!! The US national strategy presented by President Trump, December 18, 2017
– Venezuela: The Inter-Bourgeois Political Confrontation Pushes the Proletariat Away from the Struggle for Its True Historical Objectives
On February 22 a extraordinary event occurred in West Virginia, an illegal strike of over 22,000 teachers and school employees. All public schools are closed in the State and the strike will be continuing into next week.
Despite threats from the West Virginia State authorities to take unspecified action, the strike is holding strong going into a second week. One striker was quoted saying “What are they going to do, fire us all? Who would they get to replace us?" With wages some of the lowest in the US, the State had already been unable to fill 700 teaching jobs.
Because the State’s legislature is responsible for the salaries of school employees, strikers have been swarming the State Capital disrupting the meetings there. Pounding on closed doors and chanting “Move Mitch, Get out of the way”. A joke on Mitch Carmichael, the President of the Senate, and a song by hiphop artist Ludacris – “Move Bitch”.
The organization of the strike started last year when school employees started a facebook group to discuss confronting the legislature for better pay and insurance. One striker said, “This was almost completely a grassroots movement, the unions kind of followed us” by planning an official protest. But the cat was out of the bag and strike votes were taken county by county.
So Much for “Trumpism”
So we have a mass illegal strike in a State in which Trump won West Virginia giving him his largest margin of victory in the country – 68.7% of the vote. West Virginia was also one of two States where Donald Trump won every county. As marxists, thus materialists, the ICP isn’t surprised. Elections are con-jobs and the workers, when they find they have power, take their own course despite what their votes in elections were.
The school workers of West Virginia have accepted the State’s offer and have returned to work with a 5% raise in wages. Was the strike a success? Like all strikes, yes and no. The wage increases are being funded with attacks on the living standards on all of West Virginia’s workers – cuts in school programs and medicare health care programs.
Despite the West Virginia State official’s attempts of a quid pro quo, the inspiration of rank and file led strikes have swept the country. Oklahoma teachers are likely striking at the beginning of April, organizing their activities on Facebook. Arizona and Kentucky State workers are also using the organizing techniques of the WV school strikers.
We would consider the spread of worker lead and organized strike movements a great victory.
The ICP advocates a program of building A United Front of Class Unions.
In the US, this would look like on-going coordinations of unions who
fight for the working class, rogue union locals, rank and file
workers groups like the one which initiated the West Virginia strike
as well as workers centers. Such coordinations would provide a
framework for successful economic struggles.
American Breaking News !!
The US National Strategy Presented by President Trump
December 18, 2017
In a document read by the troublemaker Trump, US president since January 2017, but drafted by the intellectual US defense secretary, James Mattis, the most threatening countries to the political security and, more importantly, economic interests of the US are China (33 times cited), Russia (25), Iran (17) and North Korea (16).
One can hear it again and again, the voice of the stronger rising up arrogantly over the weaker, serenely demanding the use of diplomacy (the adjective "secret" is not obviously specified), military, and economic means, and so again and again one can expect the waltz of alliances of medium and small powers with one or another of the great imperialisms that are fighting for the world market. The great enemy of the US is clearly identified as China, overwhelmingly in the box office of the enemies of the great American nation. Let’s add that if the Chinese bourgeoisie were as frank as the American bourgeoisie, they would certainly put the USA at the top of its list of enemies!!
Regarding the Middle East, it is now becoming clear that the US is far from withdrawing from the region as it was promised by the “pacifist” Obama. Neither he nor the trumpeting Trump have touched on the imposing American military presence in the Gulf, and there are even more US troops in Iraq and Syria under Trump! Iran now becomes, for US diplomacy, the "man to oppose" in the Middle East. But previously, Obama’s more "courteous" diplomacy had the same purpose: it was and still is to counter the powerful Chinese dragon, often accompanied by the little Russian bear, sneaking around the world.
Trump and Mattis (former General of the Marines in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, with a gift for of arrogant frankness) denounce the regional expansion of Iran with its influence on a geographical band which crosses the Middle East, from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean: Iraq (the American intervention in Iraq has cleared Iran of its fierce enemy Saddam Hussein), Syria (by its support for Bashar Assad, and therefore its complicity with Russia), Lebanon (with the shiite movement Hezbollah, a de facto ally of Iran). Tehran would also be held responsible for the lack of resolution of the Palestinian issue (Iran’s support for Hamas). It is therefore for US diplomacy to encourage the ongoing rapprochement between Israel, which is still consolidating in its role as US fortress, and several Sunni Arab states facing "Iranian peril".
We know that the reactions following the daring decision of the ugly duck Donald to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has met only hushed reactions among the Arab bourgeoisie of the region, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The "savior" Ben Salman in Saudi Arabia - who "generously" grants some rights to women, but accelerates imprisonment for not only economic but political crimes - was only waiting for that, Iran being the most dangerous regional power for his country (the two countries clash with each other in Yemen), far ahead of Turkey in this respect.
But Iran has other assets. For example, because of Saudi Arabia’s tactical diplomatic "mistake" with Qatar (Saudi economic blockade against Qatar for its support of the Muslim Brotherhood and the tone of the Al Jazeera television channel), Tehran, and also Turkey, are thus close at hand for Doha, with which Iran shares the largest natural gas field in the world. Moreover, Dubai in the Arab Emirates has been Iran ’s commercial center during the sanctions period and is today the financial capital of Iran!
Now the question of resolving the Palestinian problem is becoming more and more secondary for all the bourgeoisies, except for those represented in Brussels who still insist on claiming a Palestinian state that no one believes in, let alone a good majority of Palestinians, caught in the grip exterted by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and by Hamas in Gaza, on the one hand, and Israel on the other.
The icing on the cake, while not altogether a
surprise, the intrusion of Turkish troops a few days ago in
Syria, in Afrin (canton held by the Syrian Democratic Forces, close
to the PKK since 2012) to prevent its seizure by the Kurdish militia
on the Syrian border with Turkey, an action condoned by Putin, shows
that the game of chess continues. Mattis declares that he
"understands the legitimate security concerns" of Ankara
(Le Monde, January 24, 2018), and that the American "ally"
will not intervene and leave them to their
destiny. Once more the Kurdish clans
will realize that their mercenary condition exposes them to being
exploited and betrayed by all.
The political confrontation between the government and the parties and movements that support it, on the one hand, and the opposition and the different parties and movements that are grouped together there, on the other, has accentuated to the point of resuming the levels of violence that presented themselves a few years ago with the so-called “guarimbas”, barricades and the closing of streets and avenues, as well as the attack and burning of the units of transport and headquarters of different institutions. During the last two years, there have been rehearsals of political dialogues between both bourgeois camps, with the intermediation of ex-presidents and later also of the Vatican.
The opposition has mobilized masses principally nourished by sectors of the petit-bourgeoisie and has put forward the demand of holding presidential elections immediately, as a supposed exit to the economic crisis, which has as its most palpable effects inflation and decline of real wages, the shortage of basic commodities, and unemployment or instability of employment. The opposition’s move is to create an environment of political pressure that forces elections to be held earlier before the Chavismo-controlled government has time to recuperate and salvage the preference in voting of the electors. The opposition also has influence in sectors of the working class and the poor strata of the population, but it is the “middle class” who assumes its slogans in a more radical and firm fashion.
The opposition debates within itself in an internal struggle of leadership that is expressed in the coexistence of a tactic that uses violence with the hope that international bodies will intervene in their favor, on the one hand, and, on the other, street mobilizations that lead to the hastening of elections.
The government and the parties of Chavismo manage to mobilize petit-bourgeois strata and important sectors of the working class, as well as poor sectors, and they have responded to the opposition with legal and constitutional arguments. The crisis situation has weakened the electoral support of Chavismo, which has responded with a series of actions of a demagogic character, like the delivery of food through Local Committees of Supply and Production (CLAP), the “Carnet de la Patria” (a registry of the beneficiaries of the missions), and the continuation of the missions (social programs of Chavismo). The Chavist government has invested important resources in a media strategy aimed at presenting itself as a “government of the people” and bolstering the supposed “gains of its missions or social programs”.
Chavismo also presents its own internal contradictions, as an expression of the struggle of its leadership for control over resources and positions within the government.
In this way, the crisis in Venezuela, although having as its basis the capitalist economic crisis, is basically a political crisis derived from the conflict between two great bourgeois fronts or fractions for control over the government.
Chavismo has been developing accords in its management of the government to share decisions at the level of the enterprise but without ceding room to the political parties of the opposition. An example of this is the National Economic Council, which brings together the business community and the government and where different decisions are made in consensus, while in the media the government maintains hypocritical and high-sounding declarations against the business community.
Before the reemergence of violence in isolated pockets in some cities, and especially in the residential areas of the petit-bourgeoisie, the government has responded not only with a mobilization of its followers, but a wave of repression that has left many dead, wounded, and detained.
The most recent political move of the government was the convocation of the Constituent Assembly. With this move, the government presents a mechanism, provided for in the Constitution, that allows it to lay claim to a call for dialogue, while the opposition maintains that the Constituent Assembly is only a form of executing a coup d’état and immediately declared that it will not participate in the Constituent Assembly because the latter is not necessary for the hastening of presidential elections. The government has already begun to meet with different sectors of society to inform them about this convocation that will lead, in the first instance, to the election of different constituents. Of course, with this Constituent Assembly the government pretends to gain time to recover electoral support, to distract the masses with the expectation that solutions to the crisis will be derived from here, and expand its room for conciliation with those business sectors that have become adversarial.
Waged workers have been trailing behind the anti-worker and demagogic slogans of the two bourgeois fronts in struggle. Whenever a labor union or union leader has tried to push forward the economic struggle against these two bourgeois fronts, the government has repressed them with the accusation of terrorism and before the complicit silence of the opposition.
Waged workers will only move towards an exit to the crisis when they turn their backs to the Chavistas and their government as well as the opposition, when they resume the class struggle for its immediate demands, organized by the base and in class unions, and assuming the revolutionary program under the direction of the International Communist Party.