FIGHT FOR COMMUNISM!
International Communist Workers Party
SEATTLE, WA —“Racism is not about bias and prejudice, it’s about power in capitalism,” argued a long-time Boeing worker on Facebook. He struggled with his workmates about the failure to indict the racist cops who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island. The fight took on a new dimension when the focus shifted to mobilizing the masses for communism – now and after the revolution – and winning the power necessary to end racism forever.
The bosses’ system can’t survive without racist pay differentials and racist unemployment. Racist pay differentials provide essential profit in their own right. They also drive down the wages of all workers. Racist unemployment is another threat hanging over our heads.
The immiseration of the working class, spurred on by racism, marks the worldwide imperialist system. It fuels inter-imperialist rivalry and war. The bosses have no choice but to seek out (and occupy) sources of cheaper labor. Imperialism is the natural and inevitable outcome of capitalist production for profit.
Since 2007, the capitalist crisis of overproduction has forced the bosses to accelerate wage cuts— nowhere more so than in the U.S. The productive capacity of the world has exploded, along with the industrial working class. The rise of new manufacturing powerhouses, like China, changed the landscape.
Racism attacks black, immigrant and indigenous workers first and foremost, but no worker escapes. Typical production jobs in U.S. manufacturing now pay less than the public sector. For decades, the reverse was true. U.S. auto parts workers, for example, now make an average of $15.83/hour after a decade-long decline (www.nelp.org/manufacturinglowpay).
A black South African comrade recently described how he quit one auto parts plant after another in a vain search for a job he and his daughter could live on. This doesn’t benefit Darrel Eberhardt, a 49-year-old white worker in Ohio, who is now forced to work for $10.50/hour assembling seats for the Chevrolet Cruze.
White workers are not just “collateral damage” in this scheme. The intent of systematic racism is to divide, weaken and attack the whole working class.
“It always comes down to what’s good for the haves and what’s good for the have-nots,” is how another worker characterized the situation that led to recent anti-racist rebellions.
Smashing Racism Requires Communist Production
We cannot end racism—including racist cop murders—without ending production for profit. Nothing is more basic to capitalism than this production model.
A communist society, in contrast, is built on the production-for-need model. It eliminates wages: hence, no racist wage differentials.
Everyone works according to their commitment, and gets according to their need. Racist unemployment will no longer sentence workers to misery or worse. Those who are not yet working will no longer be a threat to those employed. They will become potential helping hands.
Most importantly, communism derives its power from a united working class, the very opposite of the racist divisions that buttress the bosses’ power. We can win the mass ideological struggle necessary to end institutional racism if we build this fight on a foundation of communist production.
Crisis Intensifies Racist Terror and Mass Rebellion
At the start of the 2007 capitalist economic crisis, workers were mere victims. Soon rebellions shook the world.
Racism is the cutting edge of the bosses’ attacks. It is also their most vulnerable point. Some of the most militant fightbacks ever have been against racism.
The bosses are pouring million$ into corralling the latest rebellions against racist terror. Their agents advocate dead-end legislation, law and police reform, and pacifism while promoting one or another form of nationalism.
Still, these anti-racist fights will continue. During this period of crisis, rebellions have lasted longer than they used to. We can expect more of the same. It’s hard to put the blinders back on the masses once their eyes have opened.
We should guarantee the continued growth of the International Communist Workers’ Party in the midst of this struggle. Red Flag networks must expand and grow into organizing collectives providing revolutionary solutions. More Red Flag readers must join and help build ICWP into a mass communist party.
In Seattle, we discussed communism’s potential to end racist terror with with some relatively new young workers at our ICWP meeting last weekend. “Does the party have a book on how communism works?” asked one of these workers as we rushed him to his second job after the meeting. “That’s the main thing I have to explain to my co-workers.” Don’t we all!
Quantitative changes lead to qualitative changes in the development of our daily lives. We develop activities according to our professions and, based on the effort and time that we spend on a task, we accumulate changes in quantity whose sum gives the leap to a change in quality.
In my profession of being a communist, I dedicate time to distributing Red Flag (RF) to my colleagues. Also I have conversations about what communism will be like. Mainly I fight against capitalist ideas, reformism and other deviations. Over time, the seed begins to germinate and create a small plant that needs care so that it may grow stronger and develop communist thoughts, spreading pollen in other directions.
This work is slowly bearing fruit although at times it seems impossible, stuck and stagnant. But if we are consistent, tenacious and confident, eventually the seeds begin to germinate and we start reaching new, higher levels of struggle. Then other complications arise, but always one continues moving forward if we put more wood on the fire.
An example: A bus driver at MTA, let’s call him C. For a long time I would invite him to ICWP activities. At first, he showed no political interest. However, we discussed on-the-job situations or social problems we faced. We connected those problems to our lives, and in the search for solutions I would lead him to a communist conclusion.
His contradictions were strong and he sought different solutions because he thought that communism would not be accepted by other workers. Over time and after analyzing stories of revolutions, reading Red Flag, the Mobilize the Masses for Communism pamphlet and other documents and after he himself observed how hundreds of other MTA workers had much sympathy for our party, he grew closer.
One day I asked him for a monthly contribution to continue the growth of our party. He agreed to give a certain amount and gave me his first monthly sustainer. The next time it was his turn , he walked over to my work area and handed it to me.
The third time, I hadn’t seen him, but when he saw me he said, “Hey bro, here’s the money,” as he handed it to me.
I took the opportunity to ask him if he could help distribute the paper. I thought one, maybe two RF. Excitedly he said, “Sure, give me a dozen to pass out to people I know and the rest I will place on the tables in the cafeteria so other drivers can read them.”
After a week went by, I went looking for him and asked how he had fared. He answered that it had gone very well, that the newspaper had been well received and that he would continue doing it. To add more wood to the fire, I asked if he would like to be a member of our party. Smiling, he said, “Bring me my membership card, because here they are already calling me Red Flag.
There are a lot of processes like this at MTA among mechanics, service attendance, bus drivers and others. The party collective has been very valuable in the development of these comrades. This development of communist consciousness may not be as exciting as carrying a gun. But I can assure you that without this daily work, the only thing that we would be building would be a sand castle and not a strong party of workers, soldiers, and students who are politically conscious and convinced that communism is the only solution and that in order to win, many sacrifices will be necessary.
As quantitative changes lead to qualitative changes in the lives of an individual comrade, the quantitative increase in the number of members of the party at MTA will lead to a qualitative change in the party and in the class relations at MTA. A stronger ICWP at MTA can give leadership to the whole working class.