Red Flag Newspaper
International Communist Workers Party
One hundred eighty million strikers shut down India’s cities and roads on September 2 in what may have been the world’s largest labor action ever. Most impressively, these millions of women and men included Dalit, Hindu and Muslim workers.
It took Narenda Modi’s Hindu nationalist party over 30 years to build a fascist movement that terrorized Muslims, Dalits, women and labor organizers. Some thought fascism was too strong to fight. They didn’t believe that masses would ever rise. The collective mass actions of September 2 destroyed, in just one day, the myth of fascist invulnerability.
The general strike included organized and unorganized industrial and agricultural workers, youth, teachers and others. It demonstrated their rage at the racist and anti-worker policies of Modi’s fascist government. Many marched with the red banners of communism. Their chants rang out: “The workers of the world are the same!”
Transport workers paralyzed services. Workers blocked trains and roads with burning tires. Office workers shut down state-run banks and insurance companies. Strikers fought police who tried to stop them from marching on government buildings.
Nurses in New Delhi and elsewhere risked arrest to strike at government hospitals. Masses demonstrated in Chennai, a major hub of the international auto industry.
Trade unions backed by “communist” parties organized the general strike. Besides economic demands like pay hikes and pensions, these unions raised political demands. They opposed the Modi government’s decision to open up the railways and defense sectors to greater foreign direct investment. So, officially, this was a political strike for reforms.
But masses surged ahead of their so-called leaders. They were more militant. They came out in greater-than-expected numbers. Most important, many were open to the idea of fighting directly for communism.
Some members of the International Communist Workers’ Party (ICWP) joined this massive one day strike. They brought Red Flag and other communist literature to the masses. Afterward, our comrades were able to talk about communist society in a mass way with new friends. They saw how the unions chain workers to capitalism by trying to restrict our struggles to reform demands.
“We can’t limit our strike to one day! We have the power to change this system. They (the bosses) are powerless without us,” said one comrade.
Workers everywhere need to start organizing for political strikes for communism. Imagine the power of 180,000,000 workers mobilized for communism instead of reform! More here.
This is a report from five comrades about a discussion we had with students at comrade Bongani’s school.
We went to the school to talk with some of the guys who were interested to understand more about ICWP. As we approached the group, they were already discussing the politics here in South Africa. Then we told them who we were and what is ICWP.
It was positive to see their feedback and response. We were very happy to see three guys giving their phone numbers and wanting to come to our meetings. One comrade asked if we hold meetings and we told them that we meet every weekend. He was keen to come and discuss communism. We told him that we look forward to him coming to the meetings.
We talked with them about what communism is and how it would influence society in the
future. Most of them didn’t understand the concept of communism. As we explained it, some of them saw that communism is good. We spent over an hour talking with those comrades. One of Comrade Bongani’s classmates made a pledge to join.
As we interacted, one comrade said that white people are oppressing us. He was right, in the sense that white capitalists are oppressing us, but so are black capitalists. That statement triggered a debate about whether only white people are capitalists and not any black people.
Therefore we talked more about the similarities and differences between white and black capitalists and also their relationship to the working class. Black capitalists here are more accepted by the working class because of the color of their skin. But really they are one and the same as white capitalists. That was a highlight of the discussion.
Another highlight was that they asked how a communist society with no money and no bosses is going to operate. We talked about such things.
We explained that in capitalism, education is based only on what the bosses need at that moment. You go to school to be a worker in order to get money to try to buy what you need.
We told them that in communism people will learn how to produce the things that we need to survive, not only so that they can be workers and get paid. People will work to meet their needs according to their commitment and abilities and receive what they need.
Next we should also go to industrial companies and universities to mobilize more masses for communism.
SEATTLE, USA—Mobilizing the masses directly for communism promises something new: the prospect of actually ending racism.
At our Sunday barbecue, three friends of the International Communist Workers’ Party (ICWP) saw the difference between a communist approach and the futility of trying to rein in capitalism.
Introductory remarks by a young comrade from El Salvador put communism on the agenda. Despite more than a decade of heroic armed struggle, workers in this Central American country never fought directly for communism. Making the fight directly for communism is new and will succeed, he argued.
Then we saw a short video of ICWP activities in India, South Africa, Los Angeles and other places around the world.
One guest was a woman from eastern Africa who brought her kids. She had some questions.
She agreed Modi was a fascist. She knew about the attacks on Dalits and Muslims and was, of course, outraged.
A comrade started to say, “You can’t end racism under…”
“Capitalism!” she finished the sentence for him.
But what concerned her most of all was why “communist” societies like the USSR and China hadn’t eliminated racism.
Russia and China were actually socialist, which maintained the material basis of racism. Socialism retains all the earmarks of capitalist economies. It has money, wages, profits and capitalist social relations of production. Hence, it promotes competition between workers. All the good intentions in the world cannot stop racism from rearing its ugly head in this environment.
In communism, we will produce for our collective needs. Everyone will contribute according to their commitment and ability. Mental and manual labor will no longer be segregated. Workers will no longer compete for jobs. In short, the economic pillars of racism will be destroyed. We will mount the international campaigns needed to smash racism and xenophobia in this kind of environment.
We went into some detail about how we could then change everything— from education to housing, to eliminating cops and prisons—to support anti-racist worker unity.
Our guest had thought socialism would lead to communism. She left with a different idea: that socialism was in contradiction to a communist goal. She liked our guiding principle of mobilizing the masses directly for communism.
She looks forward to our November school when we will discuss how communism will work. She’s in touch with 30,000 others on the internet who are already discussing what kind of society they want when workers have power. She wants to report on the ideas that come out of the ICWP school.
Since we were discussing racism, a Boeing worker wanted to know what Trump supporters are going to do if he loses the U.S. presidential campaign. We discussed that the Trump campaign is an example of how the global crisis of overproduction leads to polarization. The old way of capitalist rule just won’t work when workers can’t live in the old way.
In this political climate, our priority is to create enthusiasm for communist revolution. The only way to effectively answer Trump-like fascism is with communism. No matter what the struggle, we have to spend as much time as possible developing an appreciation for what communism can accomplish.
A former University of Washington worker drew the correct conclusion from these discussions. She’s come to every party event since she proudly held high our party May Day banner throughout the two-hour march. Motivated by anger at the racist killings by cops, she and others are planning to build a political action group on campus to develop a communist response.
When she asked when the next general ICWP event was, a comrade asked her to help plan it at our next club meeting.
“You can see the potential here,” commented this comrade. “Our party needs more members to help make the plans. Those that do the work can make the best decisions. It’s the communist way.” The worker agreed to join.
These are the victories we seek today: more communists and spreading the communist vision to tens of thousands worldwide. The potential is there; the reality is emerging. Now it’s your turn to join the ICWP
Discussing communism with students in South Africa