Euromobilization of November 14, 2012
Only the class struggle can defend proletarian interests against capitalism!
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 9; Winter 2012-2013)
Confronted with the deterioration of living conditions, with generalized layoffs, unemployment and restrictions on basic services such as health, transport, social security, the working class is faced with the dilemma of accepting the miserable situation into which the bourgeoisie wants to plunge it or to really enter into struggle.
The anti-crisis measures of the various governments, which are in fact anti-worker measures, have solved nothing and those recently announced will solve nothing either.
For the bourgeois class, the economic crisis means a drastic reduction in its profits; capitalist competition which commences from the struggle of a company against its competitors and proceeds to clashes between countries, makes still more difficult the recovery of profits which are necessary for the capitalists to sustain their economic system; these problems will inevitably impact directly on the conditions of life and work of the proletariat which is ever more exploited(exploitation by means of extortion of work which is not paid for).
Increasingly lower wages for the workers still employed and mass layoffs are the most direct measures taken by the capitalists to seek to restore the rate of profit weakened by the crisis. If the basic services that are used by the vast majority of proletarians undergo cuts, it is because the bourgeois class does not want a portion of its profits, already reduced by economic difficulties, to be spent to maintain the conditions of life of the proletarians: Accordingly, the bourgeois economic system condemns an increasingly large part of proletarians to impoverishment.
The problem is not that European governments have engaged in an improper policy; “austerity” is a necessity for the bourgeoisie against fierce competition engendered by the capitalist economy, the global economic crisis only aggravating the situation in each national economy. And it is obviously the weaker economies such as Ireland, Portugal, Greece, but also Spain, and Italy, which suffer the most negative effects of the crisis; but even the countries with slightly less vulnerable economies like Great Britain, France and even Germany, are not spared.
The bourgeois class, as has already been written in the Manifesto of Marx and Engels, is always in struggle against fractions of the same class with opposing interests, and against the bourgeoisie of other countries to defend or capture market share; but also and always against the proletariat to maintain the wage slavery necessary for the extortion of profits, and to defend its social domination. It is the capitalist system that requires the bourgeoisie to reduce ever more proletarians to poverty; it is the capitalist political system that impels the bourgeois class to take measures of rigid and dictatorial social control which a formal democracy only manages to conceal with great difficulty. In the factories and businesses as in everyday life every proletarian lives in a situation of insecurity, precarity and increasing poverty feeling in his very marrow that there is no way out of this society entirely oriented towards the search for profit.
Due to the devastating effects of the crisis and the still dominant influence of reformist forces over the largest part of the proletariat in all countries, demoralization and reluctance to respond to thecontinuing deterioration of conditions of existence with truly classist struggle, have continued to increase in the workers’ ranks. However, elemental spontaneous reaction to intolerable living and working conditions have in some cases led the proletarian masses to express their discontent and sometimes, as in Greece in running street battles. Social conflicts are inevitable and the bourgeois class is always ready to respond: the State with its police, its army, its judges and its body of officials is there to demonstrate that the bourgeoisie is ready to defend its interests by all means; peacefully when this is sufficient, but also with violence when the “dialogue between the social partners” and the various “negotiations” with the forces representing the workers are no longer able to contain the anger of the latter.
The economic crisis hit not only the proletarians; it affects layers of both the petty and middle bourgeoisie, it ruined shopkeepers, artisans, professionals and other categories of so-called “middle classes” or the labor aristocracy, the layers that form the basis of social reformism, interclassism and collaborationism. It is the forces of trade union and political collaborationism , more than openly bourgeois forces that are at work to control social tensions and extinguish the outbreaks provoked by the situation of the masses, these are precisely the ones who have organized the events of November 14.
On the initiative of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), you are asked to mobilize against the “politics of austerity” against the “reduction in public spending” and for a “European social contract”.
It is with the most hackneyed clichés of the most trivial reformism in whose name anti-labor forces have always sold out the interests of workers. Today, in an era of increasingly violent attacks against the living conditions of workers, the collaborationists still dare to speak about defense of the “European social model”, of social contract, when social confrontation, the class struggle against the so-called social model is urgently necessary to respond to the capitalists.
The stated objective of the unions is a new capitulation before the enemy of the proletariat, the bourgeois ruling class; and it is an unconditional capitulation because the capitalists in all countries have already passed – with the tacit agreement of the reformist organizations – a series of anti-worker measures, and they are preparing to pass more. And this will continue until capitalists find themselves faced with a unitedproletarian force, organized and determined to fight, instead of a demoralized mass, divided and torn by internal divisions, by competition between young and old, men and women, native-born and immigrants, etc..
The “riposte” which the collaborationist trade unions say they want in order to oppose the politics of austerity only serves to confuse and mislead the workers in a vicious circle because they link their demand for the maintenance of the network of social shock absorbers and the refusal of more work flexibility, toa policy of “economic recovery” and redistribution of profits in accord with a “social justice” that bourgeois society has never been and will never be able to achieve.
Economic growth under capitalism means increased profits and there is no other way to do this that by increasing the exploitation of the labor force; in periods of crisis, when markets are saturated by overproduction, profits can be preserved only by the direct reduction of real wages.
The “day of action” organized on November 14 by the European trade unions, even if in some countries where the proletariat discontent is growing, as in Spain, Portugal or Greece, it results in a general strike (but limited in time and announced sufficiently in advance so that the capitalists are able to prepare for it) and not by the usual “labor-crawl” processions, organized elsewhere (or, worse, “Internet actions” in Britain!), in reality has an anti-proletarian function: the central orientation indicated for this day, is the economic recovery (which cannot be anything other than increasing exploitation), not the intransigent defense of the lives and work of the proletarian masses; in addition the collaborationist unions would also like to mobilize the proletariat for a “social contract” with the capitalists.
But proletarian interests are completely opposed to those of the capitalist exploiters and their lackeys. All the propaganda about the “general interest” of the homeland and the defense of the national economy, only aims to convince the proletarians that they must consent to sacrifices, accept wage cuts, resign themselves to redundancies ...
The “general interest”, it is actually nothing other than the interest of Capital!
In order to change this situation, to resist the continued degradation of their living conditions, to stop layoffs and maintain to every possible extent an acceptable wage level in comparison to the cost of living, workers must take the struggle in hand: they must break completely with the conciliatory policy of the union leaders and fight instead for the exclusive defense of their class interests.
In capitalist society, the worker is the one who is subject to daily exploitation to support the entire society: it is this society, in every country, which lives on the backs of the workers!
There is no common interest between proletarians and capitalists, despite all the efforts of political and trade union collaborationism to make us believe otherwise.
The proletarian struggle becomes a class struggle when it actually attacks the interests of the class that owns the means of production to make it yield to the demands of the workers.
To achieve this it is necessary to use truly classist means and methods such as the unlimited strike without notice, without respect to minimum service, etc.., effectively paralyzing production and distribution to exert real pressure on the capitalist resistance; a strike organized and defended against the attacks of the enemy forces implemented by the bosses, the state or the forces of collaborationism, means and methods of practical class solidarity for which even a partial struggle concerns all workers and must be supported by all without hesitation.
With these methods the proletarians will be able not only to combat the most serious consequences of their exploitation, but they can also combat the competition that constantly divides them in the search for a job or the struggle to maintain their salary, and which is used by the capitalists to reduce them to impotence. In overcoming this competition it is possible to maintain an organization, even if minimal, to fight against bourgeois attacks and the deterioration of living and working conditions in every domain.
The strike must be reacquired as a weapon of proletarian struggle, not a harmless safety valve used by interclassist collaborationism to preserve social peace and to perpetuate the enslavement of the proletariat to the bourgeoisie!
The capitalist crisis is far from over. And the measures with which the bourgeoisie intends to emerge from the crisis by attacking the workers are also far from being the last.
It’s up to the proletariat to get itself out of its organizational and political crisis, by breaking from class collaboration, by struggling against the politics of unity and national reconciliation for the defense of the national economy by putting into action its class organizations for the immediate struggle, and utilizing these to prepare for the generalized struggle against all of its enemies.
– For the reprise of the class struggle!
– Against the collaborationist orientation of the unions and their methods which can only lead to defeat!
– Against all democratic and interclassist alliances with democratic and pro-capitalist reformist organizations, camouflaged behind so-called workers’ “unity !”
–For the exclusive and uncompromising defense of the living conditions of the working class!
November, 8th 2012
International Communist Party