Sunday, April 27, 2014

May Day - workers have the power

Vanguard  May 2014 p. 1
Alice M.


On 1st May workers around the world gather to show solidarity with people’s struggles and hopes for a better life. We put forward our own independent working class vision of struggle and a future that’s not tied to the interests of capitalist and imperialist exploitation.

On this May Day 2014 working people in all corners of the world are in intense battles resisting the unremitting attack by capital’s neo-liberal imperialist globalisation.

The people are strengthening, developing and building old and new mass organisations of struggle to resist the attacks of monopoly corporations and big banks.   The working class advances its own demands and agenda of struggle that strike at the main enemy of the people today – US imperialism and its monopoly corporations.

Imperialist attack

Capitalism is in a severe and prolonged crisis of overproduction.  The immense record profits created by the labour of hundreds of millions of working people around the world are appropriated by a miniscule group of monopoly corporations and individuals.  At the same time there is spreading poverty, unemployment, homelessness, high cost of living, and diminishing spending capacity for people to sustain their livelihoods.  Public health, education, pensions and welfare services to the people are gutted and privatised.

Deep poverty and unemployment are no longer confined to developing countries under the heel of imperialism, but now grip the people in developed countries at the heart of imperialism, as austerity programs are unleashed across the world.

Cut throat imperialist competition is driving all current wars and the threat of wars in the Middle East, Ukraine, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.  Free trade is simply different sections of monopoly capital and their governments capturing, restructuring and redividing the world’s resources, markets and labour between themselves.  Trade is a tool of imperialist globalisation to crush wages, conditions, jobs, people’s services and remove all obstacles standing in the way of corporate profit making.

Capital is shifting manufacturing and technological industries from the industrially developed nations to developing countries with low wages and few labour and environmental regulations. 

People’s democratic rights are attacked to suppress people’s organisations and resistance to the onslaught by capital.

Working Class Fight Back

In Australia, the economic crisis of capitalism and imperialist globalisation is wiping out the manufacturing industrial base, sending jobs and services off shore, privatising the few remaining public instrumentalities and services and redirecting public funds away from people’s needs into the coffers of big business.  In tandem with this there is concerted attack on workers’ wages, conditions and rights to organise.

The working class alone has the capacity to unite and mobilise wide sections of the people to resist the assault by big business.

To do this we must have our own independent working class movement and a vision that goes beyond bourgeois parliamentarism, building unity across trade unions and grass roots communities.  This movement would take up the immediate demands of the people for secure jobs, decent working conditions, access to quality public health and education, affordable housing, fair and just social services and benefits, affordable child care and cheap and reliable public transport.  These are the main things that impact on people’s daily lives.

There are some in the Labor Party who want to control this movement, who want to build it as a movement to secure their return to office. They are dismissive of grass roots organising that they do not control. We must break free of this cycle of hope in Labor when it is in Opposition, and despair and anger when it gets into office and flaunts its loyalty to US imperialism and the whole neo-liberal agenda of privatisation and deregulation.  We can and we will have an agenda that is independent and that puts the needs of the people before the those of the big end of town where Liberal and Labor share rented office space.

We are bold enough to give the lie to the nonsense about budget deficits and austerity. There’s enough wealth created by working people in this country to meet people’s needs. Most of this wealth is controlled by foreign mining and oil corporations, banks and financial institutions, and multinational corporations who send most of the profits overseas. 

A movement of the people led by the working class would have the power to nationalise the key resources, industries and banks to build an independent economy that serves the working people and protects the environment.

This is part of the struggle for socialism.

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