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Communist School Builds ICWP in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA, May 15—“I am fed up with the system. I want change,” shouted a woman.  When she was young, she had worked pouring asphalt with her young child on her back as she helped to construct highways in South Africa.  She is also a veteran of the movement against apartheid.
Today she lives in a dilapidated house.  There is a pile of garbage and a big pothole that makes it impossible to drive through.  At times she goes to bed hungry.  The change she wants can come faster because she joined ICWP. 
A month of mobilizing the masses for communism has brought about change.  Over 6000 Red Flags, and End Racism pamphlets were distributed in different townships.  Masses of workers reading, discussing and spreading the ideas of communist society have created new members of ICWP. 
We organized a weekend communist school to learn and advance the communist philosophy and science of change.  About 150 people participated over the weekend.  Many more could have participated but we were limited by our resources.
The communist school gave us a glimpse of how our future communist society will function.  The seeds of communism are here.  We cooked together and sang together.  Some comrades helped to hang banners, others cleaned the hall.  The sound system was installed, chairs were arranged.  Some comrades worked very hard, showing their commitment. Others learned from them and also contributed.  No money changed hands. As a comrade said, it is time to “give it back to the working class; that is an aspect of communism.”
Over the weekend we studied dialectical materialism, the communist philosophy of change (see www.icwpredflag.org for Dialectical Materialism series). We used many practical examples of daily activities where changes take place, including eggs and rugby balls, workers and bosses. 
To make scrambled eggs we need an egg, not a rugby ball.  To fight for communism, we need to mobilize the masses for communism, nothing less.  Once we establish a communist society, to prevent capitalism from re-emerging, the masses must be mobilized for communism. The more we do that and  the more communist relations advance, the better we will be able to prevent capitalism from coming back.
“This morning I was going to buy beer but a comrade asked me to come to the Communist School,” said a young worker who goes to sea on fishing trawlers.  “We catch tons of fish, the boss makes tons of money and we remain hungry.”  Strikingly similar to how tea workers in India described their condition! The young worker said that coming to this ICWP school has opened his eyes.  He said he will recruit many of his coworkers to ICWP. He not only joined but took a big stack of Red Flags and other literature.  He was encouraged to come to our school by the same comrade who also goes hungry at times. 
Dozens of men and women comrades spoke in front of a large audience, most for the first time in their lives.  A recently-retired auto worker introduced himself as a new member.  A metal worker emphasized the need for the masses to grasp the communist philosophy of change.  He explained that revolutionary communist ideas grasped by the masses become a material force that will destroy capitalism.  A construction worker boldly put forward how the bosses use religions to divert workers’ anger away from capitalism.
Those who did not speak to a large audience felt comfortable being open in smaller groups.  A woman who works in a plant that supplies seats to Mercedes Benz vividly described brutal conditions of working in an assembly line, speed ups and in return the workers are paid starvation wages.  She said, “we don’t need the bosses; we workers can run society.” 
Many women comrades gave rousing speeches denouncing the destructive effects of capitalism on the working class.  This shows the importance and power of winning more women workers to join ICWP and give leadership to all workers.
Every speaker joined ICWP and urged others to do so.  Most participants have experienced hunger, starvation and deprivation.  Their anger is turning into an unstoppable revolutionary force.  Women comrades led all in singing revolutionary songs with exhilarating passion and tumultuous energy.  It unified us all, gave us the confidence that change is possible and the vision of the future communist society.
Young comrades provoked serious discussion about communism and how it will work.  A comrade who joined ICWP six months ago explained that in communism there will be no money. To satisfy the need of the working class collective decisions will have to be made in all aspects of life.  Collectives will replace money. 
The communist school and the process of mass recruitment have created many new problems for us and we are learning how to resolve them.  The leadership here will meet to more deeply understand our strengths and weaknesses.  The comrades are already thinking of recruiting thousands to our party.  As they say here, a luta continua, the struggle continues. This is the way we are preparing the working class to take power.

Likeness and Difference:  Building ICWP Worldwide

The collective effort of the comrades in South Africa to build the International Communist Workers’ Party opens a new front in the Party’s internal struggle. These new experiences give the whole Party the opportunity to analyze our growth there and, most importantly, to analyze our work everywhere. In this process we must especially use the dialectical category of “similarity and difference.”
We know that there is uneven development, but are the workers everywhere in the world winnable to communism? Are the men and women workers of South Africa more different from, or more similar to, the workers where the rest of us live?
 What political lessons can we draw from this experience to help us to improve our communist work?  How can we see more clearly where we are and where we are going? How can the advance of some comrades in one place help the rest to have the confidence to move forward?
We don’t mean confidence that is only abstract, but rather confidence that comes from the practice of taking our ideas to the masses and from their response.  There is an objective basis for confidence!  We must use it to strengthen and deepen our practical work and to help us grow.
The whole Party should analyze this development very carefully and learn from the advances in South Africa. We should view objectively the obstacles and the potential we face today.
Growth also comes full of many political and organizational tasks, like organizing leadership collectives, clubs (cells) and concentrations of work. At the same time, we have to collectively try to resolve the personal problems of our comrades and readers.
The growth of ICWP in South Africa is a qualitative leap for the Party. It is a front where this greater mass practice gives us more opportunities to test our line of mobilizing the masses for communism.
We must also understand that this growth is a collective effort, from the articles and letters in Red Flag, to the mutual visits in international meetings, to the comrades and friends who make financial contributions.
The potential exists to develop dozens of new young and older leaders, women and men, who organize and struggle for a communist society. Collectively we are responsible for making that development happen and guaranteeing that our struggle is for communism, nothing less.
Forward, comrades, forward!

Communism Will End Subcontractors … and the Racist Pigs That Run Them

WASHINGTON STATE, USA—Some 400 Machinist Union (IAM) workers struck Boeing subcontractor Triumph Composite Systems in eastern Washington last Wednesday. They are demanding equal pensions for all workers at Triumph and an end to the two-tier wage system that pays some employees thousands less than others for the same work there.
The company has moved hundreds of jobs to even lower-paying Mexico while getting millions in state tax-cuts that were meant to “preserve aerospace jobs.” Ironically, it was the IAM that pushed these tax-cuts through in the first place.
On the other side of the state, CEO Peter Zieve of Boeing subcontractor Electroimpact has started an attack that might even be worse. Many of the 800 workers have protested his racist email tirades against “terrorist savages.” Others have called him out on his “racist and sexist hiring practices.”
“It’s time for you to leave [the company]” was the CEO’s response.
“One more for the good guys!” Zieve wrote after a worker had a baby. “I note that 381,000 terrorist savages have gotten into Europe this year,” he added (referring to refugees from Syria, North Africa and the Persian Gulf region)  “and if we don’t make more babies the light will go out on civilization.” Sounds like it came right out of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Now Zieve’s taking his racist campaign outside the company. He sent anonymous postcards to Mukilteo, WA residents warning about a planned “terrorist” mosque in the city. Unluckily for him, someone spilled the beans and exposed him.
For its part, Boeing assures big-time investors that the Triumph strike “will not impact production.” The aerospace giant stubbornly refuses to comment on CEO Zieve’s fascism.

Subcontractors are a Capitalist Invention
The capitalists invented subcontractors to intensify racist super-exploitation. The survival of every major capitalist manufacturer  depends on them.
Triumph is doing what it was invented to do: find more ways to increase exploitation of workers. Zieve’s racist and fascist politics comes from the same wellspring of wage slavery.
Communism will end subcontracting and the vile politics used to justify it. Each and every communist production center will provide workers what they need. Geography and company will no longer be a factor. In fact, there won’t be any companies.
Facilities won’t be divided between “subcontractor” and “heritage” (main) plants. Every production center will be flexible:   able to produce what the working class needs at a particular time.
Worker will no longer be pitted against worker. There will no longer be the need to invoke racism or sexism to justify super-exploitation.
We will work collectively to produce not only the goods we need, but the communist ideology and leaders we need to succeed. No more bosses dedicated to increased profit no matter what the cost to workers. No bosses at all!
Racist Zieve opposes free education, particularly for black, latin or “foreign” students. “We do not want to waste the limited resources we have trying to train people who will fail,” he told Electroimpact employees.
We’ll turn our production centers into centers for communist education based on real work. Workers will collectively educate young and old alike. Production centers will teach how to produce and the science that makes production possible. Mass communist education fueled by the power of a united working class will transcend the limits of capitalist education.
Racist pigs like Zieve and super-exploiters like the Triumph bosses only exist because capitalism needs them. Communism will end their reign of terror with the reign of workers’ power.

Striking Tea Workers in India Can Inspire Masses Everywhere

The strike of the 6000 tea workers in Kerala, India (Red Flag Vol. 7, No. 7) is path breaking. It carries a lesson we can all use.
“Ideas,” the communist saying goes, “when grasped by the masses, become a material force.” Ideas challenge the accepted order of things; actions change that order! To become a communist is a call to action and a call to learn. We learn from the masses and, through the party, give back to the masses.
As women, mostly dalits, these tea workers are seen by capitalist society as ignorant, the lowest of the low. Seen through communist eyes, however, they are on the cutting edge of revolutionary practice.
Like other recent strikes in South Africa, India and China, they rejected the leadership of the official unions. In other words they understood and dismissed the role of unions as the last line of defense that capitalist production has against the needs of workers. But they did more.
Among their ranks was a significant group (we don’t know if it was a leading group) that carried the message “We pick the leaves, we heave the sacks of tea leaves, you heave the sacks of money leaves, there has to be an end to this.”
It is a powerful attack on the wage system. It is rooted in the day to day life of the workers. It  emerges in the heat of a strike. It points to a demand far beyond anything that can be solved in a labor dispute. It crosses borders, continents, job distinctions. It only lacks a final call; “Smash wage slavery, fight for communism!”
We can apply it in Los Angeles among janitors in struggle: “As the sun sets we clean the floors, sanitize the workplace and haul out all the trash. As the sun rises you haul off all the profits. There has to be an end to this. Smash wage slavery, fight for communism!”
We can apply it to Boeing workers fighting lay-offs:  "We machine the parts, we build the planes, you fly off with all the profits. There has to be an end to this. Smash wage slavery, fight for communism!"
We could apply it wherever we work.
And how will the tea pickers in India react when we do adapt it? Will they accuse us of taking their “intellectual property,” like Nike would if we used their “Just Do It” slogan? We think not. We bet they would feel directly connected to us, seeing their struggles in our struggles.
Cash or money, private property in any of its forms tears society apart, sows divisions. On the contrary, direct human-to-human exchange of ideas and actions builds solidarity and bonding across continents.
Making such connections, making them more and more often, is one of the key roles of the ICWP. When ideas are grasped by the masses they become a material force, a world force.
And so through the pages of Red Flag, the organizing and insights of striking women tea workers in Kerala, India can potentially guide the struggles of workers the world over. This is how communism works! It changes the existing order of things. It fights capitalist exploitation. It rejects money and profits. It rejects capitalist institutions like unions. It unites workers across all borders. It gives us an inspiring glimpse of what a post-revolutionary communist world will look like!

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