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Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

Brief Stuff
fight for NZ’s independence of imperialism by making a
NZ’s semi-colonial ‘sovereignty’ socialist revolution.
NZ is a semi-colony fawning over China for money and the US
for protection without seeing that it is being used by both NACTs pushing Privatisation
against its major imperialist rival. While John Key pays over
$100m protection money to Warner Bros he also holds out his Key has nailed the NACTs privatisation plans to the election
hand to China for economic salvation. But the US is master of year mast. Flogging off 49% of the energy SOEs to ‘mums and
NZ. Key invites the SAS troops to tell him if they want to dads’ at the same time as he is about to concede to the TPPA
volunteer for further deployment in Afghanistan. They say that they have no preference over US pension funds. Already
yes. Key signs the US mafia deal, the Wellington Declaration we have Whanau Ora as a model for privatised welfare but
to enlist as US deputy dog in South Pacific (Deputy to US that is not profitable except for the Maori Party which is
Marshall Australia that is) to help ring-fence China. The NZ happy to get a few multi-million dollar contracts to run family
capitalist class finds it easy to sign away the livelihoods and welfare and privatised prisons as the price for betraying its
lives of its workers in return for a few crumbs from the table working class voters. Coming next to a school near you are
of the US and China. plans to privatise education after nearly 30 years of pre-
market research; follow the British and sell off schools.
So while NZ gets nothing substantial in return - far from the Allowing Auckland Grammar to reject NCEA in a state school
billions that Key brags will flow into the NZ economy - is welcomed by the NACTs. Then health minister, Razor Ryall is already going round the country sacking elected Health
only-to-the-small/ the local class of bourgeois parasites get a officials who oppose his cuts that are shifting health spending
few free trips, and the bank balance boosted by their plan to from the diseases of the poor to the health of the rich!
privatise the remaining public assets.
What is NZ really joining. The US is building an Asian
extention of NATO Labour’s and Green’s critiques of this are weak. Labour promises to restore some of the cuts. Labour will timidly
west-completes-plans-for-asian-nato/ impose a tiny surcharge on incomes over $120k that will not
even pay for cutting GST on food. The Greens are a bit better
The Pacific thrust of the US is to surround China. proposing a capital gains tax on all income apart from the family home.
That is why the US is now pushing the TPPA [Pacific chairs-to-be-stood-down.htm
Partnership Agreement] disguised as a free-trade agreement
and building defence alliances to ring-fence Chinese and Green Social Democracy has no answer to the attacks of the
Russia expansionism in Asia-Pacific. The TPPA is just a pretext NACTs to make NZ workers pay for their capitalist crisis.
for the US to reinforce its allies in the Pacific against the Capitalism in crisis cannot be managed by redistributing
reality that China has stolen several marches in its influence income from rich to poor, as the rich have all the money and
in the region. Gordon Campbell takes a left Social Democrat the power and will not voluntarily hand it over. We are for a
line which sees this as conscious NACT sellout of kiwi Workers Socialist Party that will expropriate the wealth of the
sovereignty. parasitic capitalist class and then redistribute it as unpaid back wages to all workers including those forced into self-
campbell-key%E2%80%99s-illusory-free-trade-gains/ employment to cut their wages and screw up their
exploitation. (see New Left Party? In this issue)
But left liberal realist Pablo sees this correctly as weak the NZ
Banararepublic speaking. From Welfare to Forced Labour
The Nazis had a slogan ‘work makes you free’ to signify the
Against the NZ Labourite left who are really the only higher duty that forced labour was to serve in the realm of
defenders of the NZ ‘sovereignty’ myth, realists of left, right freedom. i.e. Nazi Germany. For Marx and Engels the realm
and centre recognise NZs semi-colonial dependence on of freedom is only attained when wage slavery is ended and
Australian mini-imperialism mediating its subservience to US the free exchange of labour realised in a socialist society.
imperialism. Aussie has virtually re-colonised NZ so that it is Like the Nazis who misappropriated the realm of freedom to
now basically a servile state of Australia without the provision smash the struggle for socialism and the Hayekian free market
made in 1901 to join the Federation. fundamentalists who glorify ‘free labour’ against the socialist
‘road to serfdom’, the NACT razor gang on welfare also
Sadly the CWG revolutionary realists are alone in recognising assume that forced labour for beneficiaries is the road to
the looming power of China as not some aberrant market freedom. (Channelling Paula Rebstock).
socialist monster, coming down to breath fire on the Greens,
but a newly emerging capitalist imperialism. The game being working-group-cries-crocodile-tears.htm
played in the Pacific is not one of NZ benefitting from its
relations with China or the US as a sovereign equal, but rather For a NZ Marxist critique of Hayekian Welfare-to-work see
its increasingly insignificant role as a pawn of both giants, and
its trans-Tasman big brother. NZ’s future is therefore in the
hands of its working class will have to take the lead in the

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011


Pike River Mine Disaster

This is not a national disaster but a disaster for the workers and their families. Key’s class of banksters
and profiteers are facing a financial hit but hardly a disaster. They are using the same approach to the
failure of this mine as the failure of South Canterbury Finance. Inside traders get paid in full by the
state for investing in a state bailout. The banksters get away with murder while posing as national
leaders in national disasters. There is only one national disaster and that’s the NACT frontier capitalist
neo-colonial lackey regime that serves the interests of Australian, US and Chinese imperialism!
NZ Oil and Gas would have been happy to pay their $500,000 Similar mines in the US now have failsafe ventilation systems
conscience money, recover the bodies and after a decent since if the ventilation system fails in ‘gassy’ mines explosions
interval reopen the mine. Even if they were found responsible are almost inevitable. Disasters in the US today are due to
for the disaster they could hide behind a cowboy government owners’ negligence. So it’s no use talking about Pike River as
into strip mining and a greedy petty bourgeois class wanting the ‘latest’ such mine. Peter Whittall, the mine manager,
its share of the spoils. As soon as the explosion died down while developing Pike River himself reported that the Mining
there was already a campaign underway to blame the disaster regulations needed updating and there was a shortage of mine
on the difficulties of ‘surgical mining’ forced on the company inspectors. What he failed to mention was that only in NZ had
by the ban on opencast mining on Conservation land. Even a mine of such a type installed a ventilator fan inside the
though the company pointed out mine where it could not be
this was technically impossible this reached in an explosion, rather
hasn’t shut the cowboys up. than at the top of the ventilator
shaft where it could be
But as it played out, the company, protected from the blast.
the NACT regime and big business,
closed ranks and played the Both the Labour Party and the
disaster for sympathy to create a EPMU which covers most of the
smokescreen over any company or miners knew about a report
Govt negligence. And now the critical of lack of inspection
mine is closed and the bodies are made in 2008 but they did not
unrecovered, the Official Inquiry act on it. Pike River even had a
will have to speculate on what dangerous build-up a few days
when wrong and why. before the explosion and workers
were out for the 20 hours it took to clear the gas. At that
Well we won’t allow this frontier boss rule politics to shift the point the EPMU should have stepped in and insisted that the
blame from the operation and management of the mine onto cause of the build-up be investigated and better ventilation
the miners, the contractors, the Greens or some freak put in place.
accident. After all it was Coasters that started coming out
with ‘blame’ comments right after Friday, November 19. Of course we won’t know the full facts even when the Official
Former mine workers commented on safety defects in the Inquiry is completed. The mine is closed, and important
mine. Then the MSM got into the act. They have their reasons evidence is lacking. So if the Inquiry was always going to
(keeping the disaster movie interesting) but they did hit some whitewash the Company and Govt this is now certain.
pay dirt. Investigate Magazine summarised most of this Meanwhile our solidarity should be for the workers families
information in its January, 2011 Issue. As was immediately and not for the parasites that turned this disaster for the
evident at the time of the explosion, and with plenty of miners and their families into a face-saving exercise for the
warning signs, the mine exploded because it was a ‘gassy’ ruling class and their NACT regime.
mine without an adequate ventilation system.
The west coast miners have a proud tradition of unionism that
Investigate Magazine puts a lot of emphasis on reports that led the way in the fight to win improved conditions not only
contractors tampered with the methane sensors so that they in the mines but in all workplaces. The west coast miners
would not lose pay in the event of gas leaks causing a shut stood firm with the wharfies in 1951 until the navy was sent
down. But the possible failure of gas sensors sabotaged or to scab on the miners. Today it is a scandal that the miners’
not, is not the main cause. Even if it was the immediate union, the EPMU, should be included along with the company
cause, it reflects company policy to used casualised and the Government as contributing to the conditions that led
contractors rather than company employees who would be to the Pike River mine disaster. Workers in this country should
paid for down time. Moreover, it’s damning of both the make it their duty to revive the west coast unions along with
company and the union that what was reported as a common the rest of NZ union movement in the tradition of the militant
practice was not acted on and stopped. However you read the unionism of the Red Fed and take control of the health and
safety problems the mine faced, it is the history of safety conditions of workplaces so that disasters like this
deregulation of health and safety requirements and never happen again!
inspections over the last 20 year allowing the mine to operate
without sufficient margins of safety, that is the fundamental fed-vs-red-red.html
cause of the explosion for which the company and both
National and Labour Governments are clearly to blame.

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011


A New Left Party?

What is going on here? Are McCarten, Bradford and Harawira going to found a New Left Party? What
happened to the New Labour Party that morphed into the Alliance. Will a new NLP be based in the
unions? It looks like Unite Union national secretary McCarten had a new party in mind when he stood as
a candidate in Mana. Only the unions have the base to put up candidates to the left of Labour but most
unions support Labour. McCarten wasn’t nominated by his union base, he nominated himself. What’s
the bet that a NLP will also be founded without any attempt to form a mass base? McCarten can
probably rely on the Unite membership base, but Bradford and Harawira are not currently involved in
unions. Will a New Left Party go down the same parliamentary road as the old New Labour Party trying
to push Labour to the left? The New Labour Party failed, and so will a New Left Party. McCarten got
around 6% of the Mana vote. We don’t give critical support to another attempt to create a New Labour
Party that says NZ capitalism can be reformed. It will become the tail of the Labour parliamentary dog.
We want a workers’ party with a socialist program that only uses parliament only as a forum and a
sounding board to expose it as a sham and to raise the banner of the socialist revolution.

Same old reformist illusions It is being egged on by its coterie of left intellectuals who
have revived their state socialism brand as Fabian lectures.
The Labour left on The Standard blog is pushing for a ‘new
economy.’ What’s new? Touting 19th century Fabian solutions Today, the NZ state acts openly for international capitalism
for the 21st century? How are these different from Fabianism and no significant economic sovereignty survives. In a hundred
that was the ideology of parliamentary socialism in Britain? years NZ has gone from infant capitalist colony to a clapped-
Trotsky identified Fabian out capitalist semi-colony. Instead of becoming a state of
intellectuals as the ideologists of the Australia in 1901 when the other
British Labour Party in the 1930s. In states federated, NZ struck out (in
NZ Fabianism arrived in NZ in the both senses) on its own because the
1890s. W.P. Reeves was a Fabian. Liberals under Seddon and the social
State management of the economy imperialist Fabians had visions of NZ
was necessary in a young colony capitalism as a little England with its
since the market was hardly formed. own Pacific empire. Of course these
The land had to be converted into were infantile delusions, so that today
private property via state far from being a minor imperialist
dispossession. The biggest theft of power lording it over tiny Pacific
Maori land occurred under the watch fiefdoms, NZ is virtually a colony of
of the Liberal Party Fabians. Workers Australia without the benefits gained
had to be regulated into a labour by Federation over 100 years.
market via the Industrial Conciliation Catching up with Australia is
and Arbitration Act, later called therefore impossible and futile. NZs
‘Labour’s leg-iron’ by Harry Holland. It was WP Reeves’ baby. future therefore is more like that of the historic Latin
The colonial capitalists ‘pork-barrelled’ (insider-traded) the American semi-colonies of the US. If you want a current
economy by electing themselves as legislators. Reeves got a model to revive economic nationalism look to the Bolivarian
road put into his farm (inspiring the notorious labour rat FP states in Latin America and see that none of these states can
Walsh who became the biggest dairy farmer 50 years later). evade subservience to the big foreign powers. What we see in
Latin America is not a contemporary Fabianism, or a managed
The Reevesites used the state to establish a national national capitalism, that has escaped US domination but a
capitalist class through state protection and insulation - a switch from US subservience to Chinese subservience.
tradition picked up by the NZ Keynesian WB Sutch during the
30s depression. Sutch was the intellectual grunt behind state Illusions of the NZ Bolivarian Left
intervention first in the Reform Government of Coates, and
then the first Labour Government of Savage and Fraser. He It’s not surprising then to find that McCarten is a strong ally
had a second go as head of Trade and Industry during the of the Australian Green left which pins its hopes for socialism
Second Labour Govt of 1957-60. on the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez
advocates a 21st century socialism that is not tainted by that
The Lange Fourth Labour Govt facing a deep crisis that had of the 20th century. Yet this ‘socialism’ is no different from
built up during the 1970s, rejected Keynesianism for the neo- the state socialism of the Fabians of the 20th century. It is
liberal market reforms in the 1980s. NZ’s economy was essentially no different from the Alternative Economic
deregulated and bought out by Australian and US Strategy of the CTU. The AES which is a predicable wish-list
multinationals. It suited the MNCs but not the working class of reforms that sees workers taking a larger share in the
whose living standards plummeted. Only now facing a new ‘productivity’ of their labour. From this rising share of wages
global crisis of capitalism is Labour turning back towards would come more jobs, education, health and public housing.
weak-kneed Keynesian type policies to manage the economy. This is also the broad program of Bradford and Harawira
addressing the needs of working people and of Maori.

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

They make no mention that this increased income share going We need a Workers Socialist Party
to workers is the result of rising exploitation and that workers
are entitled to all, not just a larger share of the value they Economic independence will not come from belated attempts
produce. So the differences on the left of Labour are not over at economic nationalism by a fraction of the national
reforms as such but how far those reforms go and how they bourgeoisie that exploits xenophobia to keep the working
can be implemented. Those who identify with the Bolivarian masses under the control of a section of the national
left are pushing for more mass involvement in politics so that bourgeoisie, the ‘boli-bourgeoisies’, but the opposite. Instead
more major reforms are possible. They point to the success of of the race to the bottom where isolationism and
Chavez and Morales in Latin America who have been elected protectionism leads inexorably to wars over diminishing
to power on big popular majorities. resources, real independence from the dominance of the US
or China today will only come by workers in every country
What they don’t say is that the populist policies of these uniting to overthrow their ruling classes and building
leaders of sharing the wealth that workers produce, serves to international alliances to plan production on a global scale to
justify the right of capitalists to expropriate their profits from provide for the needs of the masses without destroying the
workers’ labour. Workers become subordinated to popular planet.
fronts which are dominated by bosses and prevented from
organising independently to overthrow these regimes. The NZ at the beginning of the 21st century is a semi-colony of
irony is that Chavez now talks about 21st socialism as being Australia and the US, and increasingly China. Economic
similar to Chinese ‘market socialism’ when China is now the nationalism is a reactionary utopia (or as we say these days a
new imperialist power that is in strategic alliances with the dystopia) because to even begin to realise it, workers have to
Bolivarians to contain the masses so it can extract its super- voluntarily submit themselves to slavery, poverty and misery.
profits. The time has come for workers to organise independently of
the state, and its parliamentary road, and build a mass
Workers Socialist Party, affiliated to a new world party of


Break down imperialist borders!

Already NZ, Singapore, Chile have set up and signed off what they called the Trans Pacific Partnership
Agreement (TPPA). Now the USA has moved to join and fast-track this agreement. John Key is overjoyed
with the promise of blood for butter. What is behind the US deals with these Pacific nations, and what
of the opposition to the TPPA? How do we organise a working class solution to US imperialist trade war?

It is significant that the USA is joining in the discussion. As NZ and Australian economies have not been hit by the
the world's largest economy the US needs to protect its capitalists' crisis as much as European and US economies
interests. We predict that the USA would try to use the TPPA because of expanding China has created a huge demand for
to contain the expanding imperialist force that is China. Since raw material exports to China. China has passed the US as
China has emerged from the cold-war and used party control Australia's biggest trading partner. NZs recent FTA with China
of workers property to control development. China has has continued to open up trade between NZ and China to
harnessed foreign capitalist investment and kept enough which NZ supplies raw materials - wood, steel, coal, milk
capitalist profit in China, to emerge as an imperialist power. powder, wool, etc.
That is China is now investing its own capital internationally.
The resources of the Pacific region are of interest to The NZ state is openly subordinated to Australian, US and
imperialist powers, as US investments wane China emerges. Chinese imperialism and becomes a mere manager for foreign
investment, and the force for social control - defending
Already the largest export destination of Australia's exports is capitalist property and imperialist interests.
now China (from previously being the US).
The Trades Unions won’t stop the TPPA
US imperialism wants to limit China's trade and investments,
and protect its own. The US will push its own military and Who will stop the TPPA? Not the trade union bureaucracy! The
security agenda. NZ govt is following US agenda with Security so-called TU mobilisation against the TPPA is not about
laws going through parliament. fighting imperialism but dragging workers into the bosses’
agenda of exploiting the economic nationalism that links the
The TPPA is an economic tool to push "free trade" ruling class from right to liberal left and the union
agreements, similar to other FTAs but under today's bureaucracy to negotiate best terms with US and China.
imperialist conditions. Similar, since all "free trade" within
capitalism means that imperialist will super-exploit the Where has there been any discussion in the unions over what
colonies/semi-colonies for cheap labour and raw materials. position to take on the TPPA? The CTU leadership is simply
Under today's conditions the rate of profit for capitalism taking the longstanding position of economic protectionism to
continues to fall, as shown in the 'financial crisis', which was a protect NZ jobs and of course the top union officials’ jobs.
symptom of the falling rate of profit in capitalist production. This is an ‘economic nationalism’ that claims that each nation
The TPPA looks to open new opportunities for capitalist should retain its economic sovereignty and thus to ensure that
expansion and to restore their profits e.g. to force govt all classes benefit as a result. It is a strictly a utopian
privatisations and allow monopoly firms to strip resources.
Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

reformist program. It fits well with the national populist needs of workers. Our purpose is to expose the failure of
program of the left bureaucracy in the unions which sees reformist social democracy to fulfil those demands. We do
China as a progressive force allied to the Bolivarian regimes in not support new reformist parties on the left putting pressure
Latin America, much as the Green Left in Australia does. on Labour. We support rank and file unionists putting up
candidates on a program to deliver what workers want. Not
It ignores the reality that NZ is a weak and declining semi- just minimal demands for jobs, wages, houses etc paid for by
colony, subordinated to Australia and the US and increasingly a transaction tax, or even the Greens’ capital gains tax.
China. The race to the bottom won't be stopped by joining Parliament cannot meet these demands.
forces with nationalist organisations that promote reforms to
protect NZ’s so-called sovereignty in the face of global A new Workers’ Party would use parliament only as ‘sounding
capitalist crisis. Despite and because of nationalist policies board’ to expose its bankruptcy and to mobilise workers to
endorsed by the union bureaucracy, no political party can organise independently of parliament and the state. Instead
impose this through parliament. of locking workers into parliamentary legislation for minimum
wages, etc., workers need to revive the unions as democratic,
The pathetically weak ‘centre-left’ Labour Party, and the fighting unions to impose their demands in the workplace. To
rightward moving Greens are all in sucking up to the weak NZ do this, it is necessary for strikes, occupations of workplaces
bourgeoisie to negotiate the terms of 'our' national facing closure and sackings, occupations of vacant state
sovereignty which barely exists. There are already virtually no houses, the occupation of state SOEs under threat of
limits to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in NZ, capital flows privatisation, and the expropriation of the banks and
in and out without any borders. Attempts to stop FDI appeals formation of one state bank, all under workers control. That
to national chauvinism as the recent opposition to Chinese is, a new Workers’ Party must raise not just a minimum
buying farmland showed, and in the racism and discrimination program for immediate reforms, but a transitional program
directed at migrant workers. The real danger is that this which maps out the road to socialism.
nationalism and racism morphs into fascism and becomes the
basis of uniting rightwing workers with a bankrupt middle Within the unions it is the job of revolutionaries to raise these
class behind the NACTs wars against Islamic ‘terror’ (already demands in a transitional form and explain that to get them
happening in Afghanistan) and Chinese ‘communism’. we have to take power and what that means and how to do it.
The first principle of a transitional program is that it must be
So the only way to stop the attacks which the TPPA means for international and geared to the current world situation.
workers is to reject any campaign based on the program of Isolated actions (even on a pan Pacific basis) around FTAs are
the nationalist bosses which is to rally the unions, labourites part of a much bigger struggle against a global capitalist crisis
and left academics like Kelsey into a cross-class, legalistic, and mounting inter-imperialist rivalry. The TPPA is really
ultimately parliamentary opposition. That's a popular front about the US reclaiming the Pacific to prevent China from
and makes workers servile to a weak fraction of the national making further inroads. So what is behind the TPPA is the
bourgeoisie which barely exists. growing rivalry between the US and China. NZ workers have to
reject NZ nationalism as nothing more than pulling workers
Class Struggle to stop the TPPA into a reactionary nationalism to go to war as an ally of the
US in the coming fight with China. Workers have to refuse to
Rather we fight FTAs by working class methods, we oppose fight in such wars and reject the NZ national bourgeoisie and
privatisation by calling for nationalisation by mobilising union its subservience to the US (all the current political parties),
fight backs, occupations etc i.e. ‘socialisation’! That's what break from their agents in the unions (the bureaucracy), and
we mean by a workers united front. join forces internationally with workers in all of the Pacific
countries and in particular, China and the US.
That means that the content of what is 'national' is not
defined by the bosses or their agents, but by the working So the real issue for workers is not to oppose free trade as
class. Of course most of the working class are infused with such, (or FDI which already exists since capital doesn’t
nationalism and in a semi-colony like NZ much of that is recognise borders, or even against privatisation by ‘foreign’
directed at imperialist countries that profit from our labour. firms), on the basis of protection of NZ jobs and living
standards, but rather the fight for class independence and
But 'nationalism' is a barrier to uniting workers across proletarian internationalism. Opposing the TPPA then has to
borders in a proletarian ‘internationalism’. The defence be by working class methods, mobilising the unions to stop
of 'nationalism' that is based on resentment towards privatisation, resisting all of the NACTs attacks on workers,
foreign ownership has to be put on a class footing defeating the NACTs, putting demands on Labour to expose it
otherwise it becomes the basis for fascism. So by raising a working class program, reviving the unions,
nationalisation of a company for example must always be building strike actions and strike committees and defense
done not the basis of 'nationalism' to defend NZ jobs etc., committees to prepare for a general strike and for a Workers’
but an internationalism that recognises that most firms Government.
are already multinational and that defence of workers’
rights and living standards demands the expropriation of Therefore revolutionaries in the unions should be opposed
imperialist and national companies without compensation to the TPPA as one of many measures sucking NZ workers
and under workers control. So we must demand the into a national alliance with the US to fight China. We put
socialisation of multinational firms by building a campaign forward a workers international program to defend jobs,
among workers in all countries where this firm operates. wages and rights, and to advance workers organisations to
do it, in particular to break from their own bourgeoisies
The approach of the rank and file in the unions should be to and their agents, everywhere in the Pacific without
mount industrial action to get rid of this NACT government borders, especially China and the USA.
and to put demands on Labour to adopt policies that meet the

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011


The National revolution stalls

Protests of ordinary Tongans at the inequity of nobles’ wealth and mass poverty built up to riots in June
2006 when the King reneged on reforms. This has forced the rulers into constitutional change to keep a
lid on the movement for democracy. The rule by a feudal king and system of lords who self select a
parliament has changed and more seats were elected by commoners (17), than the nobles (9), total =26.
The King still gets the power of veto, including the power to sack the government. The Nobles can still
bloc with Commoner MPs to keep control of parliament. So what has changed?
Constitutional reform is the legal surface appearance of the
ruling class, under which the capitalism maintains its /politics/20101125_tonga_election_download_results.shtml)
exploitative class relations. Tonga is a tiny Pacific state,
dominated by not only the US via its regional allies, Australia The DPFI were never going to rule alone, since they only had
and NZ, but increasingly influenced by China. The Tongan 12 possible candidates in a government of 26 members. Even
economy is capitalist which uses more traditional labour had the DPFI been able to unite all the commoners to get
forms based on the family to produce exports of agricultural Pohiva elected, he has committed to working within the
goods - fish, coconut, vanilla. Yet Tonga's main income is constitution. However, since Pohiva has long been a thorn in
from the thousands of Tongan the backsides of the King and
workers who live offshore, in nobles, the nobles bought the
countries like Australia, U.S. loyalty of the 5 so-called
(west coast) and New ‘independent’ commoner MPs
Zealand, and who send some to elect Lord Tuivakanō as
of their wages home. The Prime Minister by a vote of 14
Tongan working class is the against12 for Pohiva.
main export of Tonga, and its
strength is outside Tonga. Whoever is ruler of Tonga, as
The IMF and World Bank such they can only manage
consider Tonga a poor capitalism on behalf of a few
country; 40% population lives local owners, and the many
below their "poverty line"; international capitalist
and at high risk of failing to interests. Their ability to
pay government debt. manage capitalism and to meet
the needs of the working
The newly elected people who voted them comes
government of Tonga may second to keeping the King and
represent a change from a Nobles in the wealth to which
capitalist feudal semi-colony they are accustomed, and
to a capitalist parliamentary continuing to export
democracy (an elected time- unemployed workers to
limited dictatorship), but it Australia and NZ as a reserve
remains a capitalist semi-colony. Semi - as in having the army of workers in those countries to be returned home when
appearance of independence, while a colony in terms of the they are no longer needed. Thus to keep the profits of
ruling class acting as a compradors or agents of imperialism, international capitalism flowing, ‘democracy’ in Tonga
and dependence on a division of labour which sees Tonga limited as it is, is nothing more than a taro leaf covering the
export of basic items/raw materials to imperialist or other nakedness of the hypocrisy of the ruling class. The economic
intermediate countries and a dependence on the import of conditions which leave the masses impoverished and their
capital goods (machines etc) and consumer goods from those sons and daughters migrant workers will continue. Wages and
imperialist or intermediate countries. conditions will be cut in Tonga to balance the books for
international capitalism, and force the next generation to
The new parliament which includes more 'commoners' is no migrate to low paid jobs in Australia and NZ.
threat to the rule of capitalism within the constitution. The
King and nobles as the capitalist ruling class retain the ability Evens if the DPFI had won all 17 commoner seats and a
to control parliament and prevent any popular democratic majority for ‘democracy’ it would be forced to rule on behalf
challenge to their class privileges, and the subservience of of the ruling class and imperialism and expose ‘democracy’ as
Tonga to imperialism. a fraud before its own supporters. There is no freedom under
capitalist rule. Democratic capitalism in Tonga will be as bad
Thus while Akilisi Pohiva and the Democratic Party of the as 'feudal capitalism'.
Friendly Islands (DPFI) won all 12 of the 12 seats which they
contested, 5 independent candidates won the other 5 of the Only socialism can end Tonga’s servitude to imperialism.
17 general election seats, and 9 nobles were voted in by 54 For a socialist Tonga as a member of a socialist federation
nobles. See Matangi Tonga: of the pacific

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011


Permanent Revolution Unfolds!

This statement was originally written during the early days of the Tunisian revolt and does not attempt
to deal in detail with the quick moving escalation of revolutionary events in Egypt and elsewhere in the
Middle East occurring today. Two and a half years since the onset of the world imperialist crisis, we are
seeing a revolutionary development in the Arab world that resembles the generalized revolutionary
upsurge that accompanied and followed the final days of WWI. These uprisings are developing in many
countries in the North Africa and the Middle East. In Egypt we see the toilers climb on the tanks hug the
soldiers, carry them on their shoulders and ask them for their participation in the revolution. We saw
similar fraternization in Tunisia. Are we witnessing the unfolding of the Permanent Revolution?

The National Revolution revives regime in Syria to create an Arab nation from north to south.
The betrayal of this pan-Arab nationalist project of Nasser
We are not surprised that revolutionary uprisings in which the and the Ba’athists by the national bourgeois lackey’s of
workers and the impoverished toilers throw themselves imperialism and the Stalinist parties contributed to decades
bravely against the batons, shields and armored vehicles of of defeats in the Arab countries and passivity of the masses.
the police, are not happening in Europe but rather in North
Africa where American and European imperialism has driven Now the democratic and the national questions are back on
down the masses livelihood to nothing; and has, for decades, the agenda. This time the masses are the sole driving force
crushed the inspiration to fight imperialism and the Zionists behind it. The events, in Egypt and Tunisia showed that the
via the brutal services of the most vicious puppet dictators. nationalist pan-Arab unification is not yet a serious concern of
Now the masses flow by the tens of thousands into the streets the masses. Their focus today is the economic question. Like
fighting to overthrow the dictatorships installed, armed and in the Russian revolution the demands today are for bread,
defended by imperialism. jobs and the end of the dictatorships who have failed to
provide them. However these economic and democratic
The goal of overthrowing these dictators and the class of aspirations of the masses cannot be resolved by ignoring the
comprador capitalists with them, expresses the democratic national question, since without defeating imperialism these
nature of this re-opening of the national democratic neo-colonies cannot win true national independence.
revolution. The masses of
North Africa and the Middle Therefore in order to succeed,
East despite their de- the revolution must be unified
colonization struggles have across borders and this can be
never gone through the done only if the masses struggle
experience of bourgeois to complete the democratic tasks
democracy and its of the national revolution carries
associated illusions (that over into the socialist revolution.
democratically A revolution that will defeat the
administered capitalism can imperialists and their agents, not
provide the greatest good only the dictatorships but the
for the most people). national bourgeoisies in all these
countries, and create a federated
Naturally many of the socialist Republic of North Africa
people in the streets and the Middle East. This is the
believe that by only progressive way to resolve
overthrowing the the national question.
dictatorships and creating a democracy, under the control of
the masses, or with the support of the army, their basic needs Yet since the masses emphasize the question of democracy
will be met. Yet, this “democratic” re-opening of the national and their economic conditions, the national question, at the
revolution will be crushed if it aims only at the creation of a moment, is important only insofar as it encourages the spread
parliamentary democracy and does not develop over into a of the revolution across borders to make it permanent and
workers’ revolution spreading across the Arab world and socialist. The economic yoke of imperialism has enriched a
ultimately Europe. small comprador bourgeoisie at the expense of the masses
who are now wary of solutions that maintain these elites in
The national and the democratic character of the revolution power.
combine and cannot be separated. Imperialism divided the
Arab world into many countries in order to divide and control Imperialism will seek to resolve this crisis by imposing a
the masses. The national question in the Arab world cannot democratic façade, either coalitions or ‘patriotic’ popular
be fully answered unless the revolution becomes international front governments of ‘national salvation’, with or without
and creates one Arab nation. This was understood by Constituent Assemblies, to protect the rights of capitalist
different left Bonapartist dictators in the region who tried property. In the interim, left Bonapartist officers' coups may
several times to create one unified Arab nation. The most arise to manage the transition to ‘democracy’. But ultimately
famous of which was Nasser’s project with the Ba’athist these cannot meet the masses needs and imperialism will, if
it is necessary, conspire with the military high command to
Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

unleash counter-revolutionary coups to crush the masses as those tasks squarely in the hands of the proletariat which will
we have seen recently in Honduras. If local 'democratic' come to see its own economic liberation as tied to the
solutions or home grown military solutions are not sufficient unfinished tasks of the national revolution of the whole region
to contain the masses, then imperialism will not hesitate to – the defeat of imperialism and its national bourgeois
send NATO or Zionists dogs to crush the revolutions. That is lackeys.
why it is critical for the Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians,
Yemenis, Iraqis etc to join the North African uprisings and The driving force in the revolution so far has been the
unite with the masses to drive imperialism and Zionism out of working class, the youth and the unemployed. Any
the Middle East. governmental solution short of a workers’ state will
perpetuate the economic crisis because the bourgeoisie has
The Tunisian Revolution no choice but to maintain subservience to imperialism.
The class character of the uprising and revolutionary
It’s clear that the Tunisian uprising has sparked off a re- process is therefore proletarian.
opening of the Arab national democratic revolution. There are
now demonstrations going from Algeria to Jordan and the However, for lack of a revolutionary leadership, mass
West Bank and Yemen. The massive revolutions erupting organizations of workers, unemployed councils, and
throughout the Arab world express the fundamental character neighborhood committees have, to the extent they have
and contradictions of the following revolutionary aims: The begun forming, not become true organs of workers power
struggle for national independence, agricultural reform, or generalized as of yet. Therefore, true dual power, which
control of foreign trade, control of national resources, is a necessary stage to complete the proletarian revolution,
expansion of workers and poor farmers wages and rights has not yet developed. In this vacuum the grave danger is
(relative to those enjoyed under imperialism and neo-colonial that the formation of a popular front, coalition bourgeois
dictatorial rule); these are all goals which can be achieved government, or left Bonapartist ‘officers’ coup’, would be
only by the leadership of the working class pushing the a setback for the revolutionary process and would set
struggle on to the formation of a workers’ state. Tunisia up for a solution to the crisis much like Haitian
masses received following the ouster of “Baby Doc”
These lessons from which the theory of permanent revolution Duvalier.
was derived have been played out over and again in countries
across the colonial world where the working class has been Only the working class can lead
prevented from taking power
into their own hands. During Immense pressure from the
the post colonial period, in spontaneous outrage of the
wars and struggles for masses has already resulted in
liberation, a weak comprador the release of many Tunisian
bourgeoisie subservient to political prisoners, and a
imperialism came to hold the relaxation of the curfew. The
reins of power, often using revolution requires the end of
revolutionary rhetoric but all restrictions on assembly and
ultimately acting in the the freedom of all political and
interests of imperialist economic prisoners. Pitched
finance capital and a small battles between the military
home grown crony capitalist and the counter-revolutionary
class. Without the rapid militias followed the ouster of
emergence of a revolutionary Ben-Ali. The violence of the
workers’ party capable of counter-revolution has been
leading the masses to create met with by the formation of
democratic organs of worker’s power, the consolidation of neighborhood committees and to a large extent has been
power in the hands of the counter-revolutionary comprador rooted out (for now). Reports of battles with the police mix
bourgeois will strangle the revolution. with reports of some police coming over to join the
demonstrators creating cracks in the state power structure.
Today, the Tunisian, the Maghreb and North African working
class is faced with the necessity of accomplishing the national The neighborhood defense committees are not controlled by
and democratic tasks of the bourgeois revolution, which any left or other organizations. They are truly spontaneous
today, can only be done through the formation a workers’ and controlled by the workers in their areas. We don't know what's
farmers’ state. The bourgeoisie of Tunisia has proven too going on inside them or if they are trying to connect
weak and too corrupt to carry the revolution against the nationwide. This is the task of the vanguard to build the
dictatorship through to full independence from imperialism, councils, spread their influence and coordination. According
neither can they advance and sustain democracy nor to a few sources the committees so far have no ideology or
overcome the structural constraints imposed by French and direction, representing ‘anarchism’ or ‘chaos’. But this is not
US imperialism through the IMF over the decades. The largest true. The street protesters are part of the rising defense
sector of the elite is a crony class in the worst sense. committees across the country that wants to overthrow the
'coalition' government and in particular all those forces linked
Researcher Juan Cole reports that 50% of the financial elite to the dictatorship seeking to maneuver a foothold in the new
are tied to the Ben-Ali family’s financial empire. The petty administration. This populist anger has already forced the
bourgeois layer of lawyers and civil servants have taken to the prime-minister and president to distance themselves from the
streets, joining the most oppressed who have no faith in the hated (former) ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD).
oligarchy or the Ghannouchi interim government. The It has also pressured representatives of the UGTT to withdraw
inability of the local capitalists to liberate the nation places from the first attempt at a popular front.

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

But this has not stopped these treacherous labor bureaucrats The Madagascar experience from 2009, of soldiers arming
from endorsing the second proposed cabinet. The UGTT has the workers must be popularized in the workers discussions
long associated itself with the regime and the rabidly anti- in the coming weeks. Workers’ militias are needed to
communist International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. defend the revolutionary process and to unite the workers
During the build up of the movement the UGTT did not take a with the neighborhood committees and the soldiers who
leading role. Rather they appealed for calm, at first tried to break rank and come over to the revolution. Soldiers must
distance the organization from the uprising with a call for a be pressed to open the armories to the workers to defend
council for a national dialogue. As the masses ran out in front the revolution through the formation of a popular worker’s
of the UGTT they tried to catch up calling a two-hour strike militia.
on January 14th, all the while hoping the masses would forget
its treacherous role over the decades and in the first stages of To defeat imperialism this revolution must
the uprising - find a crowd and jump in front of it - an old
technique but one the masses would not stand for. As noted spread
when the UGTT maneuvered into the first attempted coalition
Defense of the revolution by necessity is a confrontation with
government with the RCD they felt the heat of the uprising
imperialist forces and that confrontation has begun.
and backed out. The masses have nothing to expect but
Imperialism will first try to undermine the revolution from
conciliation from the UGTT leaders who would be happy to
within. If their coalition governments and popular fronts, or
participate in a popular
military putsches, are
front to stop the
not successful we can
revolution. The UGTT will
expect to see US,
maneuver to create a
French, Zionist, NATO or
popular front ‘unity’
UN imperialist
government that includes
troops arrive to ‘restore
‘progressive’ bourgeois
order’. Internationalist
parties but with sufficient
workers and anti-
trade union Ministers to
imperialist fighters must
‘push the popular front
take action to demand:
No to Imperialist or
The revolution must go
Zionist intervention!
around, over or through
Prepare to stop
this obstacle to
shipments of troops
democratic workers’
and supplies!
mobilizations and self
Internationalist dock
organization. Members of UGTT must oust the leadership
workers prepare to tie up the docks! French and US
which is tainted with this collaborationist history and build
workers: build general strikes to stop imperialist
rank and file democratic organizations in defense of the
revolution. Today the UGTT threatens strikes in defense of
the revolution but we can see this is only hot air as they have
The forces arrayed against the Tunisian working class far
not dared to call for indefinite General Strike until all the
outweigh its own isolated power necessitating an
demands are met and the old guard of the government is
internationalist perspective in order to advance the
driven out.
revolution and drive out imperialism. Already this uprising
has the imperialist overlords and bourgeoisie of the Maghreb
Liberals are returning to Tunisia and without a doubt will try
and the entire Arab Middle East trembling, as the masses
to either convince the masses to accept a "reformed" version
realize the dictators are paper tigers and the forces of
of the coalition or call for a bourgeois government without
theocratic control (militant Islam) cannot be counted on to
the elements of the corrupt regime. None of this is
contain the masses. But imperialism has too much to at stake
acceptable to advance democracy or the revolutionary
knowing full well the internationalist implications of a
victorious revolution. For the Tunisian revolution to be
victorious it must spread past boarders and reignite the Arab
Vanguard workers need to counter-pose the power of
workers revolution. Today we see Egypt in flames, the masses
the spontaneous organizations of workers, unemployed
are taking to the streets in all the major cities. Jordan,
youth, and students who organized the revolutionary
Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and even Albania are all feeling the
uprising as the bread the butter protest developed; these
ripple effect. The occupied masses of Palestine and Iraq are
organizations need to link with the street defense
lifting their eyes in hope towards these events. A wave of
committees to form an incipient workers councils.
revolutionary fervor is awakening the oppressed masses. For
These forces should be linked to newly formed rank-and- the Tunisian revolution to be successful it must spread and
file action committees within a revitalized UGTT, the break out of its national and regional isolation.
factories and the army. Thus such workers councils will
We have seen the terrible consequences of the isolation of
rise as a challenge to the capitalist regime in a dual power
the revolutionary process to one country. First, with the
situation. We have already seen the soldiers (who are
USSR which through isolation had its revolution overturned by
mostly short term conscripts with close ties to the working
the Stalinists who made their peace with imperialism, selling
class) hesitate in suppressing the masses; the short next
out world revolution, engaging in pacts with Hitler and later
step to opening the armories to incipient workers militias
at Yalta with Churchill and Roosevelt. Isolated, invaded and
must have imperialism and its local lackeys sweating. If
outspent militarily the revolution was destroyed from within.
North Africa falls to armed workers’ revolution, the
Now in Cuba the PCC rapidly restores capitalism as socialism
workers and youth of Southern Europe will take the
on one island could not survive without the advance of
struggle into the heart of Imperialist Europe.
socialism in the Americas. Tunisia’s revolution will either be

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

corrupted and reintegrated into imperialism’s structures or • Reverse the structural adjustment privatizations!
will be the spark that ignites revolutions that initiate and
sustain the world revolution.
• Bread for all, jobs for the unemployed and land for
Events are moving fast yesterday the call was to free political the poor farmer.
prisoners today many are free and the demand to free all
remaining political prisoners must not be forgotten. • Stop all capital flight demand return of all stolen
wealth to the people!
In the next days and weeks we say
• Immediate suspension of debt to the IMF!
• Generalize the neighborhood committees unite
with workers committees in the factories and form
workers assemblies where the demands of the • For full employment! To provide a job for every
revolution can be debated and voted on. Rise up unemployed youth and worker we fight for thirty
worker’s councils, soldier’s councils, student and hours work for forty hours pay at full union scale.
unemployed councils. These are the embryonic For an immediate implementation of sliding scale
organs of duel power and the workers state. of wages and prices.

• Demand the immediate sacking of the officer corps • Solidarity with the workers of Algeria, Morocco
and the disbanding of the army into a popular Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine. Rise up - only
soldiers and workers’ militia with elected officers. together can we defeat imperialism.

• Demand the immediate expropriation of the • Solidarity with the workers of Southern Africa! US,
property of the imperialists, and of the Tunisian European and Chinese imperialism have turned the
and Egyptian ruling classes that serve imperialism continent into a blood bath over your resources.
Your oppressors are our oppressors rise up to
defeat all imperialisms, together we can build a
• Repudiate the foreign debt! rich and united federation of democratic workers
states of Africa!
• Nationalize the land! Distribute land to the
peasants. • Solidarity with the workers and students of
Europe. We have watched you fight from Greece,
• Nationalize major industry without compensation across Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and event into
to the imperialist and comprador bourgeoisie. England where your youth attack the Prince! Your
Take the planning and direction of these industries dying system which has enslaved us for centuries
under democratic workers control! can no longer share its wealth and elevate
European worker far above our plight. Our
present conditions are your future unless you join
• Expropriate the banks and form of one state bank us to defeat your own bourgeoisie. Only a socialist
controlled by the workers representatives. United States of Europe can stand with the African
workers to remake a just and viable world.
• For the formation of workers food and transport
commissions to administer just distribution. • Solidarity with the workers and students of
America! Your empire is crumbling; we know our
• No to coalition governments of the bourgeoisie! No oppressors and your exploiters sit on the same
to popular fronts between capitalist parties boards of directors. This makes us family, the
liberals or and the UGTT! For an independent family of the exploited. We see your millions in
workers government! prison. We see your multimillions out of work.
You have more people out of work than Tunisia
has people.
• For a workers, soldiers and farmers Government!

• We see your cities, counties and states collapsing. • Brothers and sisters, learn the lessons of the
We see your financial bulwark is a house of cards. revolutionary history. Unite to form a World
Brothers and sisters blow it down! Join the Revolutionary Party that draws on the tradition of
oppressed and super-exploited of the world stop struggle of the previous communist internationals,
giving your sons and daughters to imperialism’s based on the Trotskyist program of 1938, to
military. Stand down any attempt to crush our coordinate and lead the international revolution to
revolution; the best way to support the a victorious socialist revolution!
revolutionary process is to defeat your own ruling
class. A successful socialist revolution in the US Liaison Committee of Communist Workers Group(NZ) &
will guarantee the victory of socialism in North Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism(US)

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011


Free Bradley Manning!

The jailing of Bradley Manning in solitary confinement is torture designed to make him confess to his
role in the leaking of US classified war information to wikileaks. The British bourgeois Guardian
newspaper has claimed that Manning is their source. Wikileaks boss Assange refuses to reveal his
sources. The US ruling class wants to try him for espionage. It is the duty of workers everywhere to
stand up in defence of Manning and wilileaks and defeat imperialisms desperation to murder anyone
who stands in its way.

Capitalism trains its own gravediggers global working class, which now includes a billion Chinese
workers, has the power to stop these wars before it is buried
Marx observed that capitalism had to create its own along with capitalism in a nuclear catastrophe.
gravediggers. It had to empower its working class in order to
exploit it and so its fate was sooner or later sealed. But The death rites of imperialism are now being prepared as the
capitalism doesn’t just roll over and die leaving only the need global working class moves stage center. Cue the awakening
for a burial. Workers are not handed socialism on a plate they of the world proletariat to the reality of the brutality and
are propelled towards it by the whole of capitalist history barbarism of capitalism in its dying days. When ordinary
which begins with a revolution to overturn feudalism, then enlisted soldiers break ranks to blow the whistle on mass
the rapid development of its incredible productive forces, murder; when the middle class libertarians use their
before ending its life as a parasite advanced computer skills to home in on the US as the NO 1
living off the blood of its workers threat to human rights; when hundreds
and of nature. The gravediggers are of thousands are risking their lives
the working class which becomes an engaged in spontaneous street protests,
organised revolutionary class general strikes and occupations; then
because it is enmeshed into a total capitalism's days are numbered.
global labour force which has to
free itself from the shackles of Death sentences for
capitalism or die. Marx even cyberwarriors
referred to this global capitalist
labour force as 'socialised'. Private Bradley Manning, the
international working class hero of 2010,
Nothing expresses the extent of its risks his life (did he do it, or didn’t he?)
global 'socialisation' at this point in because US imperialism must make an
history more than the role of the example of an enlisted whistleblower
internet and cyberspace. While who disregards orders and leaks its
century-old capitalist imperialism is military secrets while listening to Lady
locked into its need to maximise Gaga. The US ruling class has no sense of
profits, it now makes its biggest humor. Manning is now incarcerated in a
profits by speeding up the US marine prison at Quantico in solitary
circulation time of capital via the confinement for one reason only, to
new digital technology of the break him and make him confess to
internet. And it competes with its conspiring with wikileaks boss Julian
rivals by speeding up Assange to reveal the secrets that
communications, espionage and expose US imperialism as a giant mafia
warfare via cyberspace. It’s like the with millions of hired killers on its
old man going out on a dose of payroll. While Assange has to answer the
adrenaline. He has had several rape charges made against him, we are
bypasses and at least one heart opposed to his extradition to Sweden if
transplant (China) but is more and more exhausted. Who will this is likely to result in his 'rendition' to the US.
administer the final rites of passage? China?
Such is the fear of the US ruling class that exposure of its lies
China is no way out for capitalism and secrets will threaten its 'legitimacy' and lead to socialist
revolution, that its natural impulse is to extend its many
China cannot despite being the dynamic new imperialist global wars, occupations and missile rings, into the total
power that has stopped a full slide into global depression. surveillance of cyberwars. They will try to lock up Manning
The new Chinese imperialism is winning the battle for the for 50 years, and if they can cook up a story that Assange is a
global economy and its rivalry with the US is becoming spy, they will try to get him lynched under the 1917 US
increasingly hostile. But China will not replace the US as the Espionage Act. The clear intent of the US to kill those who
hegemonic power for some years, and meanwhile its own blow its military secrets will politicise another mass layer of
working class is emerging as the most powerful and dynamic anti-US imperialist militants, bringing the end of US hegemony
section of the global labour force. Thus the China/US rivalry even closer. If the US goes down this road expect a mass
may spill over from proxy wars such as in the Sudan to worker uprising that will unleash the full repressive state
regional wars and even wider nuclear destruction, but the apparatus on its head.
Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

The emperor has no clothes undermined by myriads of subversives and freedom fighters
who are not only at home on the streets but in the internet
US imperialism since 9/11 has been forced to expose its open and cyberspace. The old man is dosed up on adrenaline and
hypocrisy in destroying bourgeois democracy in order to save all dressed up to kill but has nowhere to go.
it. Since it cannot win the battle for the hearts and minds of
even its own working class majority that opposes its wars in Free Bradley Manning!
Iraq and Afghanistan, it must resort to force to suppress the Defend Assange and Wikileaks from state
rise of a militant working class. It will try to divide and rule
the militant working class. It will have to turn the Tea Party repression!
into a fully fascist militia. This will raise the stakes and lead Defeat US and Chinese and all other
to sacrifices such as those of the youth in North Africa who imperialisms!
have burned themselves alive to prove they are prepared to
die to live. These state forces are made up of working class or
For international class struggle across borders!
peasant ranks and can be split from their officers who For a Revolutionary World Party of Socialism!
represent the ruling class. Armed workers, peasants and For Workers' and Peasants' Councils and
soldiers militias will deprive capital of its state forces Militias!
allowing the working class majority to take power and remove
all barriers to socialism. For rank and file soldiers councils to overthrow
their officers!
The class war has never stopped. But today the ongoing global For general strikes to unite the working class
crisis of capital has shifted the many fronts from the
occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan into cyberspace. Drones
and take power!
are now the US weapon of choice, and computer viruses are For Workers' and Peasants' Governments
used to destroy the enemies' weapons control. We are everywhere!
approaching Starwars where the evil empire is surrounded and


Suicide as a Political Act

The self-immolation of Mahomed Bouazizi in Tunisia that Yes, it is a necessary price because revolutions begin with the
sparked of the uprising in that country in December last year acts of heroism of its most committed militants before the
ousting the dictator, has been followed by others in North mass support sufficient to overthrow the reactionary forces
Africa, posing the question of the significance of political has developed. This means that such militants are isolated
suicide as a revolutionary act in opening up revolutionary and face death since the ruling regimes see political
uprisings. assassination as necessary to deter revolution gaining
momentum. But their martyrdom becomes a
While these acts of self-immolation are catalyst in mobilising that mass support. This
ones in which individuals act in relative is also true of suicides in invading armies
isolation it should not be overlooked that since the demoralisation and rejection of war
political suicide can mean any that underlies such suicides is also the
revolutionary act that is met with state inevitable product of weakness of individuals
violence. The Jihadist suicide bombers soldiers trapped in an imperialist army.
against US invasions in Iraq and
Afghanistan, or those in Pakistan and Currently Bradley Manning accused by the US
India, are no different from the many military of being a whistle blower who
acts of heroism of militants confronting released US secrets to wikileaks is on suicide
state forces in revolutionary uprisings. watch in solitary confinement in the Marine
These acts are not new as all revolutions jail of Quantico. The authorities are using
are heralded by the actions of martyrs solitary confinement to torture Manning into
who are killed by counter-revolutionary confessing and implicating wikileaks as war
repression. criminals. If Manning is driven to suicide in
this setting this would be a clear case of
We can also see the suicides of those in political assassination and again prove the
the imperialist occupying armies as politically motivated. The point that suicide for political reasons is a revolutionary act.
US has lost more soldiers to suicide in its invasions of Iraq and
Afghanistan than lost in combat. These suicides are just as Suicides are therefore political acts in situations where
much the result of political oppression and repression as those resistance is weak and there is no organisation to turn
of the freedom fighters of the resistance movements they are individual self-destruction into a collective armed struggle to
sent to fight. defeat and destroying the oppressor.

The question we need to ask is: if revolution is about the This is especially true when we are talking about states in
struggle for freedom, is it necessary that the revolution has which the mass movement has been repressed for a long
its martyrs? Is death the price of liberation? period and when the revolutionary forces are weak or where
their leaderships betrayed them. In the colonial revolutions
that won independence after WW2, each revolution had its

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

martyrs. Gandhi, Lumumba, Fanon and Steve Biko, to name a colonial lackeys, and again a wave of uprisings sparked by
few. But these revolutions only began the process of martyrdom is evident. At the same time the suicide rate in
decolonisation as national bourgeoisies came to power in the the imperialist armed forces is on the rise. What we see here
service of imperialism. The national revolutions remain is the initial inevitable imbalance of forces where the
trapped, or frozen by neo-colonialism. oppressed do not yet have organised mass support to express
their opposition to oppression. Such individual acts, even
When popular movements rose up against neo-colonialism, as when copycatted, will continue until such time as collectively
in Latin America, Asia and Africa, imperialism adapted to the international proletariat takes on its shoulders the task of
maintain control. They resorted to popular fronts or patriotic socialist revolution.
fronts (Peron, Allende, Chavez) and when these fail to
contain the masses, dictatorships follow. Where national The task today then is to recognise the heroism of martyrs but
leaders went against imperialism, coups or invasions were at the same time to use their heroism as inspiration to build a
imposed to restore compliant national leaders (e.g. Vietnam, mass revolutionary movement that will make it no longer
1955, Iran 1956, Indonesia, 1965, Nicaragua, 1979 etc). necessary for the best fighters to die for freedom, but rather
Sometimes these coups and invasions failed or were reversed to create the conditions that will allow death to take its
(Cuba, Iran, Iraq). In every political turn, thousands of natural course within the realm of freedom.
militants were martyred.

Today, facing the global crisis of capitalism, the masses are

once again moving against imperialism and their local neo-


We are NOT all Zapatistas

The age old bogey of the left, 'do we need leaders?' has reappeared again (having never gone away)
following the massive student protests in the UK. Once again the left is split between those who want
to have a 'democratic' victory without Bolsheviks or Communists imposing their 'top-down hierarchy',
and those who insist on the party leaders running the show. That we have this debate constantly every
time a major spontaneous struggle bursts out just shows how lacking is our understanding of
revolutionary history.

There are two kinds of democracy in capitalist society. Necessarily then, opposition to Bourgeois Democracy
Bourgeois Democracy and Workers Democracy. Bourgeois spontaneously takes the form of a defence of it as a pure or
democracy arose historically when the bourgeoisie came to anarchist form of Bourgeois Democracy against its abuse by
power and offered workers the vote to convince them that capitalist elites. Noam Chomsky's huge popularity reflects this
they were equal citizens to their bosses. A sort of standpoint. If the bosses deny the right of the majority to
parliamentary front to hide the fact that behind the scenes rule collectively, then the majority asserts that right and real
the bosses organise everything very undemocratically so that democracy ensues. This is the common underlying anarchist
Bourgeois Democracy is a front for Bourgeois Dictatorship. position that we find in all social movements today from the
Most on the left understand this Zapatistas to the recent student
consciously or instinctively but at protests. If the majority expresses
the same time defend Bourgeois its democratic will bourgeois state
Democracy as a life line to power will dissolve. But this
freedom to organise, mobilise, and democratic will becomes a
express opposition to mounting reactionary utopia because in
bourgeois state repression. rejecting the struggle for power it
succumbs to it.
What is not seen in this struggle is
that Bourgeois Democracy is the The fate of the Zapatistas proves
expression of a deep seated the point. The Zapatistas won the
bourgeois ideology of individualism minds of the new left in 1994 but
that is generated by capitalist failed to lead it anywhere since
production itself. Wage workers then. The result is that such
have their surplus labour pacificism in the face of the
expropriated as surplus value which then takes on the benign bourgeois state has seen social movements smashed or co-
appearance of value inherent in commodities. The members opted everywhere. At the end of 2006 the uprising in Oaxaca
of the exploited proletariat become transformed into the ended in defeat because it pinned its hopes on mass pacifist
isolated bourgeois individual whose value is equal to the value protest defeating the armed Mexican state. Meanwhile sub-
of the commodities he or she consumes. Such individual comandante Marcos was absent touring other parts of Mexico
consumers are then dignified as citizens who are all 'equal on his motor scooter. The spontaneous resistance of youth
under the law'. Bourgeois Democracy then, is an ideological using home-made rocket launchers and barricades was
fiction that represents an inverted, false picture of capitalist rejected by the indigenous teachers as futile gesture of
class exploitation as the equal rights of citizens. resistance to power. Yet the defeat that followed saw all the

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

leaders of the Commune arrested and jailed in other parts of 1905 in Russia proved this. The industrial struggle would
Mexico. teach workers to unite, form their own organs of power such
as soviets or workers councils, and begin the fight to take
Everywhere it is not passive resistance but armed resistance power. The women workers of the St Petersburg textile mills
that reveals the weakness of the ruling class. The Oaxaca took this first step in February 1917. Workers Democracy
youth, the French youth of the Banlieus, the Greek Youth on would then become an expression of both the democratic
the streets, and the Council Estate youth who fought back decisions of the workers collectively to act against the ruling
against the cops in London recently, point the way towards class, together with the election of leaders to implement
the only means of defeating Bourgeois Democracy - Workers their decisions but who were accountable and recallable by
Democracy. But in itself spontaneous mass anger and them if they failed in their delegated tasks.
mobilisation on the streets cannot defeat Bourgeois
Democracy (Dictatorship). At best it unites masses of Such revolutionary lessons of history are vital if the world
individuals in crowds, now formed instantly by means of cell proletariat is going to defeat the bosses’ crisis today. 2011
phones and social media. What it lacks is a democratic will be the year in which the leadership of the workers
leadership. The loudest voice or the most bureaucratic party movements everywhere is contested. The outcome will decide
hacks, colonels or sub-comandantes can impose an if we win or lose and whether defunct capitalism is swept
unrepresentative leadership in the absence of true Workers away or survives to destroy humanity and nature. Against
Democracy, what Lenin called 'Democratic Centralism'. those misleaders who try to keep workers inside the straight-
jacket of bourgeois ideology and spontaneous, anarchist
Contrary to the bogey language of those who caricature actions, we must fight for Workers Democracy, calling for
Leninism as 'hierarchy' it is nothing of the kind. Lenin argued councils of action where workers can unite, organise
as early as 1902 in What is to be Done, that mass spontaneous collectively, debate and decide on courses of action, as well
uprisings could not break with Bourgeois Democracy unless as elect leaders who prove themselves able to lead, or be
they became class conscious and rejected the false thrown out and replaced by those who can. Those leaders
consciousness of bourgeois ideology. Such class consciousness who succeed will be those who are class conscious and
would not emerge politically until the class had fought hard capable of taking the struggle for proletarian world revolution
battles on the production line where their power as workers forward to victory.
was pitted against the power of the bosses. The tragedy of

Tunisia: Is it a Revolution?
Are the huge protests that spread from Tunisia to Algeria, These bourgeoisies remained agents of imperialism while the
Egypt and Yemen part of a revolution, or not? Revolutions task of completing the bourgeois revolution passed onto those
must overturn existing social relations to qualify as classes who were super-exploited by both imperialism and
revolutions. However, revolutions often take many years to their national bourgeoisies.
complete and may become redundant when overtaken by
other revolutions. The current uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, The proof of this was in the fact that it took socialist
Algeria and Yemen are a continuation of ongoing colonial revolutions to break from imperialism, in Russia, China and
revolutions. They qualify as bourgeois revolutions since they Cuba. The Russian bourgeoisie remained tied to imperialism
the purpose is to eliminate barriers to the full development of so it was necessary for the workers and peasants to overthrow
capitalist social relations. They must unify the nation, replace them with a socialist revolution in order to break from
pre-capitalist relations with bourgeois market relations (or imperialism. So the goals of the bourgeois, or national
integrate them fully) and create a capitalist market for the democratic, revolution were subsumed in the socialist
production of commodities. These revolutions may take revolution. These examples allow us to understand the logic
decades to complete and remain incomplete until overtaken of the current incomplete colonial revolutions of which
by socialist revolutions. Tunisia is one of many.

For example, the American Revolution was a revolution to Tunisia’s national revolution against France was incomplete
establish an American bourgeoisie independent of Britain. But and the exploited and oppressed classes are now waking up
it didn’t succeed in establishing the complete dominance of under the whip of imperialist crisis which imposes terrible
capitalist social relations until it eliminated the pre-capitalist austerity on their lives. At the moment their goal is bourgeois
social relations of slavery and united the federation after the ‘democracy’ i.e. removing a 'corrupt' capitalist class. They
Civil War. Once the European powers and the US had united have yet to see that this will be insufficient. The examples of
their nations and their economies had outgrown their national the USSR, China and Cuba appear to be irrelevant or worse as
territories, they expanded to become imperialist states. That models for completing their bourgeois revolution. For that we
is, they dominated all the other nations in varying degrees, have to thank imperialism that strangled these socialist
subordinating them to a division of labour in which their raw revolutions over many decades, and Stalinism for holding the
materials were exchanged for manufactured commodities. workers down.
This economic dependence, or backwardness, meant that
they were incapable of completing their bourgeois revolutions However, the lessons of these socialist revolutions will
and achieving national independence without a total break remerge more clearly when the barriers to national liberation
with imperialism. become obvious. The sooner that the new generation of Arab
fighters can see through all the imperialist ploys to pretend
Thus the bourgeoisies of the colonies, or even weak they can create a bourgeois democratic state, or that Islam
imperialisms such as Tsarist Russia, did not have an economic can create a moderate clerical state, and fight for a popular
base to allow them to win wars of national independence. workers and peasants socialist government, the better.

Class Struggle 92 Nov 2010-Jan 2011

What We Fight For

Overthrow Capitalism inequality, injustice, anarchy and barbarism of
capitalism in crisis, led by a revolutionary Marxist
Historically, capitalism expanded world-wide to free party, produces a revolutionary class-consciousness.
much of humanity from the bonds of feudal or tribal
society, and developed the economy, society and For a Revolutionary Party
culture to a new higher level. But it could only do this
by exploiting the labour of the productive classes to The bourgeois and its agents condemn the Marxist
make its profits. To survive, capitalism became party as totalitarian. We say that without a
increasingly destructive of "nature" and humanity. In democratic and a centrally organised party there can
the early 20th century it entered the epoch of be no revolution. We base our beliefs on the
imperialism in which successive crises unleashed wars, revolutionary tradition of Bolshevism and Trotskyism.
revolutions and counter-revolutions. Today we fight to Such a party, armed with a transitional program,
end capitalism’s wars, famine, oppression and forms a bridge that joins the daily fight to defend all
injustice, by mobilising workers to overthrow their the past and present gains won from capitalism, to the
own ruling classes and bring to an end the rotten, victorious socialist revolution. Defensive struggles for
exploitative and oppressive society that has exceeded bourgeois rights and freedoms, for decent wages and
its use-by date. conditions, will link up the struggles of workers of all
nationalities, genders, ethnicities and sexual
Fight for Socialism orientations, bringing about movements for workers
control, political strikes and the arming of the working
By the 20th century, capitalism had created the pre- class, as necessary steps to workers' power and the
conditions for socialism –a world-wide working class smashing of the bourgeois state. Along the way,
and modern industry capable of meeting all our basic workers will learn that each new step is one of many
needs. The potential to eliminate poverty, starvation, in a long march to revolutionise every barrier put in
disease and war has long existed. The October the path to the victorious revolution.
Revolution proved this to be true, bringing peace,
bread and land to millions. But it became the victim Fight for Communism
of the combined assault of imperialism and Stalinism.
After 1924 the USSR, along with its deformed offspring Communism stands for the creation of a classless,
in Europe, degenerated back towards capitalism. In stateless society beyond socialism that is capable of
the absence of a workers political revolution, meeting all human needs. Against the ruling class lies
capitalism was restored between 1990 and 1992. that capitalism can be made "fair" for all; that nature
Vietnam and China then followed. In the 21sst century can be "conserved"; that socialism and communism are
only Cuba and North Korea survive as degenerate "dead"; we raise the red flag of communism to keep
workers states. We unconditionally defend these alive the revolutionary tradition of the' Communist
states against capitalism and fight for political Manifesto of 1848, the Bolshevik-led October
revolution to overthrow the bureaucracy as part of Revolution; the Third Communist International until
world socialism. 1924, the revolutionary Fourth International up to
1940 before its collapse into centrism. We fight to
Defend Marxism build a new, Fifth, Communist International, as a
world party of socialism capable of leading workers to
While the economic conditions for socialism exist a victorious struggle for socialism.
today, standing between the working class and
socialism are political, social and cultural barriers. Class Struggle is the bi-Monthly paper of the
They are the capitalist state and bourgeois ideology Communist Workers’ Group of New
and its agents. These agents claim that Marxism is
dead and capitalism need not be exploitative. We say Zealand/Aotearoa, in a Liaison Committee
that Marxism is a living science that explains both with Humanist Workers for Revolutionary
capitalism’s continued exploitation and its attempts to Socialism.
hide class exploitation behind the appearance of
individual "freedom" and "equality". It reveals how and PO Box 60620, Auckland, New Zealand.
why the reformist, Stalinist and centrist misleaders of
the working class tie workers to bourgeois ideas of
nationalism, racism, sexism and equality. Such false
beliefs will be exploded when the struggle against the