FIGHT FOR COMMUNISM!
International Communist Workers Party
CARSON, CALIFORNIA, Feb. 3—Striking oil refinery workers confront scab bus. Eight hundred members of the United Steel Workers union local 675 are on strike against Tesoro Oil Company, demanding safer working conditions and fighting company attacks on health benefits.
Men and women on the picket lines took copies of Red Flag and the ICWP Industrial Workers pamphlet. “It’s a communist paper,” a comrade explained. “Oh, cool,” a worker responded. Two workers were asked what message they’d like to send to metalworkers in South Africa. “It doesn’t matter where you are in the world,” one said after a moment’sthought. “Everyone wants a decent standard of living.” More next issue
SOUTH AFRICA—In a township of Soweto near Johannesburg, two youths were trying to steal food from a spaza shop (informal shop created in shacks). One of the youths was killed by the shop owner, who is from Somalia.
Very soon, as the news spread, angry youth started attacking and robbing spaza shops owned mostly by Somalis, Ethiopians and Bangladeshis. Fearing for their lives, these immigrant owners fled the area, abandoning their property.
The ANC government was quick to assert that these attacks had nothing to do with racism/xenophobia but were due to “criminal elements” in the townships.
The fact is that capitalists/imperialists are the biggest criminals. They have created lives of misery for the working class, not only in South Africa but also in Somalia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. In the township of Soweto the youth unemployment rate is as high as 60% with no prospects for the young people. Hunger and desperation are everywhere.
Since the ANC has come to power, it has created enormous wealth for a very small group of blacks who live in exclusive suburbs of Johannesburg in million dollar homes protected by security. This is in stark contrast to Soweto where hundreds of thousands of workers toil every day for very few basic necessities by selling their labor if they are lucky. Those who can’t are barely surviving. This simmering anger and desperation led them to attack the wrong targets – the owners of spaza shops.
The South African government has very systematically created racism. It uses a selective immigration policy to divert the fury of angry youth in the townships towards foreign-owned spaza shops. The government issues resident permits to Somalis, Ethiopians and Bangladeshis if they open spaza shops in the townships of industrial cities. The reason these immigrants come to South Africa is that their home countries are devastated by capitalist/imperialist exploitation and civil wars.
Millions of people in those countries live just like people in the townships of South African cities, and in many cases worse. The South African government won’t allow the workers from those countries to enter, only those who want to open spaza shops.
The displaced youth from those countries end up becoming illegal immigrants in Europe and the US, where they face racist, anti-Muslim xenophobia.
In South Africa this simmering anger of the working class must be channeled into the revolutionary goal of overthrowing capitalism and its wage slavery. That is what ICWP is doing.
We are not only exposing the bankruptcy of reformist sellouts like ANC, but also dangerous racists like “Economic Freedom Fighters” and those who advocate Pan Africanism. These forces want to mislead the desperate youth to support our class enemies who are black capitalists.
We in ICWP have a better system to offer. Under communism we will eliminate the very foundation of what causes racism. That is the money system. We will produce for the need of the working class and not for the greed and luxury of our class enemies. We will create mass culture and collective learning, enriching life by sharing and helping each other. This is the exact opposite of capitalist culture and education.
We also believe that communism will go through many different phases. In the early phase after violent revolution we will have shortages but they will be resolved collectively; we will share what we have. Nobody will be shot and killed because they are hungry.
We realize we have a big job on our hands but our party here in South Africa is very new, we are learning. We will never give up. We are using the Red Flag as our revolutionary tool to build our party. We are very energetic and passionate about communism and convinced that only communism is the answer to our problems.
EL SALVADOR—“A garment worker who has received Red Flag and with whom we have good discussions about the articles and their communist ideas has told me that he agrees with many aspects of our Party. But he told me he thinks that we workers need the bosses in order to be able to work and live. At that time, I couldn’t give him a good explanation about why we don’t need bosses because I myself didn’t understand the point well,” said a comrade worker in the factory.
The comrade attended a communist political school of the International Communist Workers’ Party in which he asked that we discuss this issue. He wanted to hear what the others thought to be able to return to the worker and give him a better explanation of why we don’t need bosses.
There were several opinions in the group. One person said, “We need a lot of money to be able to buy raw materials, to produce and to find the customers.”
Another person asked, “What can the boss do with only the machine?”
“Really we workers don’t need the bosses. The means of production can be led completely by the workers; that is what we do today. We do the work, but the one who takes the profit is the boss,” said a worker.
For now there is a ruling class, but it has not always been like this and it won’t be like this in the future. Communist revolution will rip this system of wage slavery out by its roots. We will take complete control of the means of production and build a society without bosses, or money, or wages.
How will we produce shirts or clothes in general?
Let’s imagine a system in which ICWP with its millions of members controls an area and that the food, shelter, and other necessities are assured by the men and women workers. So our mission as garment workers is to produce clothes for the new communist society.
Some workers will grow, cut and process the cotton and other materials for fabrics. Other workers will construct the machines and the transportation needed to take it to the production centers. In this process, money will not be needed because everything that exists in this area will belong to the workers collectively. In a communist system of organization and production, ICWP will guarantee that everything gets where it is needed.
Those who are garment workers will produce the necessary clothing, not to sell but to use, to meet the needs of the masses. The scientific advances to develop the instruments of production are the result of the creative work of millions of workers worldwide. The more communist consciousness that they have, the greater are the possibilities to put an end to this exploitive capitalist system.
ICWP organizes and fights to mobilize workers for this. In Communism, there will not be bosses. We will produce based on the needs of humanity. We will share abundance and if there is scarcity, we will collectively seek the way to resolve the situation. Accumulation of personal wealth will not exist; money will not exist.
The industrial workers and soldiers are some of the main forces to achieve a system free of bosses, the COMMUNIST system. We are fighting every day to carry the communist ideas of ICWP forward, so that the working class will not be caught off guard by capitalist propaganda.
Our newspaper Red Flag is an important means to bring out these daily discussions in the centers of production. We would like to see other opinions about this subject of a world without bosses. Distribute Red Flag, organize study cells and join the International Communist Workers’ Party.