The strike of the Asturian miners and the metal-workers of Vigo: For the uncompromising defense of the living conditions of the proletariat! For struggle with classist means and methods!
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 9; Winter 2012-2013)
Since May 23 miners, especially in the Asturias but also in the provinces of León, Palencia and elsewhere, have been on strike to demand that the central government not remove subsidies to coal production, which would mean its practical disappearance. Commencing in early June the urban transport workers, then the substitute teachers of the Asturias joined the strike. For their part, the auxiliary shipyard workers of Vigo led various events and demonstrations during the month of May which resulted in direct clashes with the police as well as members of the factory committee.
The anti-worker policies waged by the bourgeoisie in Spain as in other countries hit by the global capitalist crisis (increased age of retirement, gutting of labor laws, etc..), first by a socialist government and now by the rightist government of the Popular Party, and the repression against workers, layoffs numbering in the thousands each month in all Spanish cities, cuts in basic services or widespread wage cuts in the Public Service sector, have up until now submerged the proletarians who have seen their living conditions deteriorate without there seeming to be any alternative.
There is no doubt that social unrest has increased considerably, especially among the working class which more than any other supports the weight of the so-called “emergency situation” in whose name the bourgeoisie seeks to amend the sociallegislation which still accords a few benefits to some workers, and the situation in the factories and industries where employer despotism continues to mount in even the most insignificantcircumstances. But this discontent is still manifested more in avague expression of malaise, democratically oriented towards civic protest – symbolic, legalistic and confident in the ability of bourgeois laws to save the sinking ship ... All in all a frustrating situation socially accepted to which there seems to be no remedy.
The yellow unions, which are not only more or less directly funded by the state and the companies where they exist, but which also have the defense of the national economy enshrined in their principles, maintain at all costs the smooth running of production and workers’ solidarity with the bourgeoisie in the name of a common interest for which the workers must accept to sacrifice themselves. These defeatist and collaborationist trade unions are responsible for keeping the proletarian class bound hand and foot while blows rain down on it from all sides; they only organize symbolic demonstrations, or strikes concocted in advance with the bosses and the government, they systematically disrupt all attempts in the workplace to fight against the particularly painful living conditions now rampant everywhere. Two general strikes in three years and ten demonstrations announced with great fanfare but which have been nothing other than safety valves to reduce social tension so that the cycle of capitalist profit can continue to operate without serious hindrance from the workers.
For their part, the mobilization of intermediate social strata commencing on May 15 last year, keep on exactly the line necessarily followedby the driving forces of the movement known as the “outraged”: defense of Democracy, confidence in the collaboration between the classes to find a satisfactory solution of the problems of capitalist crisis for all society, etc.. So the proletariat is caught as in pincers: on one side by the defeatism and concilliationism of the yellow unions, on the other by trends gathered together under the banner of spontaneity and autonomy, which undoubtedly express a profound social malaise but which, in fact, meet up with the first, proving once again that the class struggle is not just a problem of forms of organization.
But in spite of these political and ideological forces that strive so that the proletariatremains victim of the misdeeds of a world that seems completely irrational and yet somehow the only one possible, other material forces, with far greater depth and breadth of scope, are at work in social subsoil, undermining all the equillibrium between social classes and tending to break down the barriers that hinder the reaction of the working class. Today this is happening only precisely in this tendential fashion, through episodic events that can disappear quickly, but which without doubt trace a path.
The strikes of the miners of the Asturias (which for the first time in decades have led other sectors into struggle) and those of the workers in the shipbuilding industry in Vigo are two examples that testify to the fact that not only will social confrontation return to the forefront, but that it will do so in themost appropriate manner to struggle and to impose its immediate class interests. Even the press of the bourgeois left has recognized that what is most disturbing in the struggles of Asturias is the reappearance of “scenes of urban guerrilla warfare like the 80’s into which the region may fall”. The great fear of the bosses, the bourgeois, but also the apparatuses of the yellow unions, is indeed that the proletarians take to the terrain of open confrontation, class against class.
More than the “guerrilla” aspect, they fear that the proletarians may resort to the means and methods able to push back their class enemy by the damage caused to production by endless strikes, pickets organized to stop work not only in a plant, but of entire areas, the extension of solidarity and the struggle to other workers. It is sufficient to look at the different treatment by the authorities: on one side, the greatest permissiveness toward useless protests, ritual demonstrations that lead nowhere, symbolic actions, on the other, the repression of workers’ strikes, even when they are still controlled by the collaborationist forces. But consider also that this unrestrained repression against workers by the police or the Guardia Civil is powerless to stop the struggle.
The proletarians can be victorious in the struggle. And they can get out of their current situation of permanent defeat, provided they return to open confrontation with their class enemies. Provided they are ready to fight by taking control of their struggle, defending their own class interests, including at the most immediate and concrete level; in a world by rediscoveringthe means and methods of the class struggle. These methods consist of extending class unity in all situations, to overcome the competition between the proletarians among themselves, to attack production to push back the bosses, to defend against attacks by the repressive forces of the State trying to liquidate the struggle. The proletariat can and must enter into struggle, but they can only really do that if they can place themselves on the terrain of class struggle, consequently not only in the defensive or offensive economic struggle, but also in the political, revolutionary struggle, whose organ is the class party. Otherwise they will be condemned to remain in the dark tunnel of misery and exploitation in which the bourgeoisie has placed them.
For the resumption of the class struggle!
For the uncompromising defense of the methods and means of the class struggle!
For reconstitution of the Communist Party, International and Internationalist!
June, 11th 2012
International Communist Party