Sunday, October 15, 2017

Facts For Working People Conference Call Report. Saturday October 14th.

Boston march against nazis and racists.
Facts For Working People  Conference Call Report. Saturday October 14th  2017.

As is usual our conference call tried to develop a view of what is happening worldwide and in the US.

We looked at the conclusion that we have held for some time now that global capitalism, and the dominant imperialist nations, are in political, military, environmental and economic crises. We are seeing the unraveling of the global capitalist order.

We discussed how this is in contrast to the period following World War 11 when under the domination of US imperialism, international capitalist institutions such as the IMF, NATO, WTO and the UN were set up to attempt to give some order and stability to imperialism and prevent its contradictions spinning it out of control. This situation was given some durability by the existence of the Stalinist blocks creating this bi-polar world and relative stability in world relations.

This period was not without turmoil of course. There the colonial revolutions which, in the main, removed imperialism from direct rule over the colonial countries. There were also the conflicts like the civil wars in Korea and Vietnam that US imperialism intervened in and the Stalinist invasion of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, US imperialism’s attempts to crush the Cuban revolution and other events, but overall, the world did not spin out of control. The present world situation, we concluded, shows that this period is coming to an end.

When Stalinism in the Soviet Union collapsed US imperialism thought it could build a new world order under its domination. It spoke of having “Full Spectrum Dominance”. This did not happen. Instead we have had the rise of Russian imperialism challenging US imperialism. We have the rise of the Chinese regime to where it is now number 1 in purchasing power to where it can challenge US imperialism in South East Asia, in the South China Sea and is challenging it in other areas such as central Asia and Africa. China also has the power to challenge ocean going US battle groups and now has more laboratory scientists than any other country in the world and is the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles and lithium batteries. It is the world’s largest and most profitable auto market. The old world order is fast disappearing.

A major factor in this is the growing economic military and political weakness of US imperialism. It can no longer afford its giant military machine and apparatus worldwide and at the same time keep its own working class at the level to which it became accustomed in the post World War 11 decades. As a result we have the stepped up US capitalist offensive against its own working class and increased class tensions in the US as it tries to make the US working class sacrifice further so US imperialism can maintain its world role. On an international scale and with some qualifications the phrase of the poet Yeats applies: “Things fall apart the center cannot hold”.

This crisis of US imperialism would have been the case whoever was in the White House in Washington. But making this crisis worse is that US imperialism has the moron in the White House and other spineless morons and Evangelical Christian Zionists-----the US Taliban---controlling the Republican Party, which in turn controls both houses of Congress. Along with this, US capitalism’s other political party, the Democrats, is paralyzed having no real solution to the problem other than its representatives boot-licking the capitalist class hoping to convince it they can better represent it than the Republicans.

Both the Republican and Democratic Parties are in the throes of huge internal tensions, which will most likely lead to splits in these parties in the coming period. As we have pointed out many times on our blog; the era of the two party domination of US politics by the Republicans and Democrats is over. Both parties are being abandoned by the US working class through electoral abstentions or placing their hopes in so-called anti-establishment figures or Mavericks on the left or the right.

How this breakdown of the two capitalist party monopoly will end it is not possible to say. If the union leaders would lead and build a mass labor party then this could develop. But they will not, at least not until their positions are threatened by new movements and forces. So what is likely as we head towards 2020 and new Presidential elections is likely to be numerous parties with significant bases as the two capitalist parties implode. Revolutionary socialists will have to be flexible in how we work as these processes unfold seeking an audience for their views where working class people are fighting, not allowing ourselves to be hamstrung by doctrinaire sectarian ultra left misunderstood historical processes.

Our conference call discussed the more short term and the future of the moron in the White House. The more strategic thinking sections of US imperialism see he is a catastrophe. Threatening to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal. Screaming insults at the North Korea regime. Challenging his own Secretary of State to an IQ contest. The strategic section of the US bourgeois want to be rid of him. But their problem is how do they do this without seriously damaging their own institutions and very possibly splitting the Republican Party. This is paralyzing them. But our conference call considered that this might not be the case for much longer. We did not rule out some move to get rid of the moron sooner rather than later and ride out the damage to their institutions and rule.

US imperialism is being undermined internationally by the day. At home Trump and co will not stop their attacks on women, on minorities, dividing along race and gender and age lines, treating Puerto Rico with contempt, totally different from how Texas and Florida were treated when they were hit by storms. If US imperialism does not get rid of Trump then they will be further weakened and even possibly, though not likely, stumble into a war with North Korea. We think a war with North Korea is just about ruled out. But we have learned to be cautious in our projections. And of course, if there were such a war then all bets are off. We also considered that it cannot be ruled out that Trump might actually resign as the Mueller probe on his activities with Russian imperialism moves closer to home. 

While we feel a war with North Korea is in our opinion very unlikely, or with Iran for that matter, there are other shocks that are inevitable. The present crises unfold even as the world economy continues grow, albeit at a slow rate. But this will not last indefinitely. This period of growth will end. The world's stock markets will plunge. Unemployment will explode. This economic development will intensify the contradictions and crises on all other fronts, inter-capitalist tensions and conflicts, class conflicts, political crises. An even more explosive situation will open up. 

Along with this, the environmental crises will deepen, is deepening. Harvey, Maria, Irma, Puerto Rico, the fires in California, all demonstrate the  environmental crisis and catastrophe of capitalism. As this environmental crisis worsens and more of these shocks take place, the working class and also the middle classes will be increasingly forced to recognize that they cannot escape the effects of capitalist caused climate change and global warming. The middle classes cannot escape the crisis of capitalism by retreating to the beautiful environs of places like the Napa Valley, Hawaii or Bali for that matter. End capitalism or capitalism will end life on Earth as we know it: this harsh reality will increasingly be driven home.   

We had a very brief discussion on the rise of the tech giants. Amazon. Facebook. Apple. Microsoft. Alphabet, and how these were run by either political morons like Zuckerberg of Facebook, by people who had no concept of the role of and contradictions of the ruling class and especially no concept that there is a working class which can build a new world. So these giant companies stumble into all kinds of problems such as Zuckerberg has being used by Russian imperialism. The irony is that a major element in imperialism’s world offensive has been deregulation. Now significant elements of imperialism are crying out for regulation of the tech giants. Bitten by its own dog!  The Internet is 'too free'.

Our conference call discussed numerous other issues. One being that revolutionary socialists are faced with tasks on two fronts. One front is helping the struggle of the working class and minorities against the capitalist offensive. Neither those of us around the Facts For Working People Blog nor all the left combined, afflicted as so much of  it is by sectarianism, can affect this mass struggle in any significant way. This struggle will stagger to its feet under the leadership of accidental figures and organizations. At some stage the union leadership will be forced to act, but the movement will have to threaten the leaderships hold on the leadership of the unions before it will do so. It is impossible to say how the struggles against the capitalist offensive will manifest themselves. The left, to the extent it exists, should seek to develop united front work, should seek to break from its sectarianism and ultra leftism in order to help this movement. The socialist left is overwhelmingly petit bourgeois if not in its membership certainly its culture. This much change if the left wants to have any serious influence in the US working class.

The other front facing anti capitalist activists and revolutionaries is to build a non-sectarian revolutionary current, which can be part of and help the movements that are  to come. Facts For Working People is a Think Tank, an activist current which seeks to clarify ideas, which seeks to help in the task of building a revolutionary socialist current with a healthy democratic culture and with roots in the mass movements, in the working class.

There are many many more people who consider themselves revolutionary socialists outside revolutionary socialist organizations than inside revolutionary socialist organizations. The conclusion is inescapable. There is something fundamentally wrong with the existing revolutionary organizations. Facts For Working people seeks to help build a revolutionary socialist current with a healthy culture and with roots in the working class. We ask those who wish to do likewise to contact us.

As always we discussed the special oppression of women. We believe that revolutionary socialist organizations did not sufficiently fight on this front in the past. We are seeking to ensure that we are not part of this mistake being continued into the future. The US House of Representatives just passed a resolution making it a crime for any doctor to perform an abortion after 20 weeks. This is part of the war against women. This war continues with intensity. But we also reminded ourselves of the millions strong women’s marches and the increased power of women as they have entered the paid workforce.  It is this increased power of women that leads to the increased exposure of misogyny as in the case of the Hollywood capitalist Weinstein. The special oppression of women, the war against women is being stepped up but so also the battle against the special oppression of women is gaining strength.

We discussed the issue of prostitution. That at root this was an issue rooted in the existing system, an issue of poverty and alienation and abuse under capitalism. How many women would go into prostitution if they had a well paid job, childcare facilities, emotional and psychological help and support etc. While being against any criminalizing of prostitution we posed the need to fight for the alternative of good jobs etc. and an end to the system which keeps so many in poverty and which brutalizes personal and sexual relations.

We also discussed the issue of a women’s right to choose. And how this also was rooted in the economic and political system in which we live. We stressed how we stood for the right to choose in the full sense. That is for women to have the full decision making power either to end a pregnancy or to continue with a pregnancy, either to have a child or not have a child. This means the availability, free at the point of use, of all medical facilities to have a legal abortion. It also meant the right of a woman to have a child which means the availability to all women of a well paying job, an affordable home, childcare at all places of work and in the communities staffed by paid professionals. The right to have a child is also part of the women’s right to choose. It is insufficiently stressed by the women’s movement as this movement tends to be dominated by middle class better off women.   

We also discussed racism and sexism. How Malcolm X was correct when he said you cannot have capitalism without racism. We restated our view that racism cannot be eliminated without eliminating capitalism. This is what flows from Malcolm X’s position. We also restated our position that you cannot have capitalism without sexism and misogyny. That is, you cannot end sexism and misogyny without ending capitalism. We also underlined that capitalism cannot be over thrown except by a united working class and that you cannot have a united working class unless racism and sexism and misogyny are fought as an integral part of the struggle of the working class against capitalism. The struggles are inseparably linked. Unfortunately many of the middle class people who put themselves at the head of many of the movements against racism and sexism do not accept this. Many of them accept steps up for themselves in the capitalist world and from there allow themselves to be used by capitalism to keep down the mass of the minorities, the mass of women, that is the working class of the minorities, the working class women. We repeated the old maxim. You should not seek to rise out of your class, should not seek to rise out of your specially oppressed group, you should seek to rise with your class as part of your class, you should seek to rise with your specially oppressed group as part of your specially oppressed group.

We affirmed that we must also stress but not by shaming and blaming others, that for specially oppressed sections of society, often called “marginalized” today, that white workers or workers of any dominant culture in any situation, Hindus in India, Protestants in Northern Ireland, Han in China, etc. that they face two very distinct but linked issues, in the US for example being black or Latino—oppressed on the basis of color----and being a worker---oppressed on the basis of class.

Finally we discussed the need to publish our material on what a socialist world would look like and how it would be brought about. The transitional method and transitional demands are essential to build united mass fighting movements. But there are many people for whom this is insufficient. There are many people who hold back from organizing as they see that it is a more fundamental problem, that is how the working class can take power, how a socialist society would work. We decided we would publish some material we have on this topic, on how the collective power of the working class would express itself, how the collective power of the working class would organize and run a democratic socialist world, how the collective brain of the working class would express itself and build a new world through democratic workers and peasants councils. We will publish this material in the near future.

In the meantime we invite those who consider our views of interest and wish to discuss these to check out our Blog further and to consider working together with us to contact us. Give a summing up of your views, give a short history of what if any organizations you are in or have been in, and hopefully you can be part of our conference calls and help enrich and expand the ideas and together help build a revolutionary socialist current with a non sectarian approach and a healthy democratic culture.  

No comments: