Americas

At 6 am on Sunday, November 24, police forces took over the Brukman textile factory, which had been occupied by its workforce since December 20 last year, in the middle of the "Argentinazo" uprising. The police came together with the old owners, foremen and supervisors of the company with a court order to take away all machinery.

Once again the Venezuelan bourgeoisie is trying to put an end to the revolutionary process which has opened up in Venezuela. After the failure of the coup on April 13, a new coup is being openly and shamelessly prepared by the oligarchy with the backing of US imperialism. They have now called for an indefinite bosses' lock out until Chavez and his government resign.The working class must go on the offensive! Against the bosses' lock-out, workers' control of the factories!

This is the final part of Alan Woods' 4 part article on Marxism and the United States where he looks at the situation in the USA today, with immense polarisation of wealth between the extremely rich and the extremely poor. The years of boom have come to an end. Unemployment is rising. In spite of its immense power US capitalism has entered a phase of terminal decline, together with the rest of the world. And this is reflected in a questioning on the part of many ordinary working Americans of the society they live in. Marxism can explain why all this is and also offer a way out to the American workers.

This is part 3 of Alan Woods' 4 part article on Marxism and the United States. In the USA in the nineteenth century there was an unprecedented development of the productive forces and this brought into being a mighty working class with its labour organisations, starting with the Knights of Labor in 1869. The list of working class martyrs of American Labor is endless, the most celebrated being the Chicago martyrs of 1886 - as a result of which the American working class gave May Day to the rest of the world. This was followed by the IWW, the AFL and later the CIO. There is a rich history of working class struggles in the United States that we can draw lessons from.

This is part 2 of Alan Woods' 4 part article on Marxism and the United States. In this part Alan concentrates on the 'Second American Revolution' more commonly known as the Civil War. Like every other serious conflict, at bottom the American Civil War was a class struggle. The Northern manufacturers necessarily had to come into conflict with the Southern landowning classes. The conflict of interest between the two lasted for sixty years and finally ended in civil war. However, the mutual hatred between the northern capitalists and the slave owners of the South, grounded in economics, was only half the story. There was a genuine sense of moral outrage among sections of the northern working...

The final results of the Ecuadorian elections have meant the victory of the left-supported candidate Lucio Gutierrez. As was the case with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Gutierrez has come to power pushed by the most oppressed and exploited sections of society in Ecuador. The new government will, from the very beginning, be subjected to the pressure of the masses and of imperialism and the Ecuadorian ruling class. It is completely impossible to conciliate these two sets of opposite interests and this will necessarily lead to a new heightening of the class struggle.

Part of the intention of this article is to combat the kind of senseless anti-Americanism that one encounters all too frequently in left circles. Marxists are internationalists and do not take up a negative stance in relation to the people of any country. We stand for the unity of all working people against oppression and exploitation. What we oppose is not Americans, but American capitalism and American imperialism. The American people and above all the American working class have a great revolutionary tradition. On the basis of great historical events they are destined to rediscover these traditions and to stand once more in the front line of the revolution, as they did in 1776 and...

As the Republicans celebrate their mid-term election victory, the drums of war are growing ever louder, and the bourgeois economists insist that a sustained recovery is just around the corner. We are told that the passing of the Homeland Security bill will mean greater safety, stability, and that the "war on terror" is being successfully waged in the interest of all Americans. However, the new bill means only more restrictions on the "freedom", and the economic situation for hundreds of thousands will continue to deteriorate. Billions have been spent on "defense", and still we are told that the threat of attacks is as high as it was before September 11.

As the results of the mid-term elections come in - an apparent sweeping victory for President Bush's Republican Party - many questions must be answered. How and why did this happen? What will it mean for working people and activists on the left? Does this mean Americans actually like George Bush and his policies?

To scenes of wild rejoicing on the streets, the people of Brazil celebrated the landslide victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of the Workers’ Party (PT). This was undoubtedly a heavy blow struck by the masses against the corrupt and degenerate oligarchy that has ruled Brazil for decades. It has caused shock waves that will reverberate throughout the whole of Latin America and beyond. Now however a period opens up in which the PT government will come under enormous pressure from two sides, the bourgeoisie and the workers and poor. Alan Woods outlines the tasks facing the Brazilian working class.

We received this from Bob M. who gives this first-hand report from the anti-war demonstration in San Francisco. As he says, "Any attack on Iraq is going to be followed by massive demonstrations, and in more communities. The capitalist politicians have created anti-war momentum that's not about to go away, as long as the threats of war, if not actual war, persist."

As US imperialism prepares to go to war against Iraq, Jonathan Clyne looks back at the Vietnam War. He shows quite clearly the level of radicalisation that had developed among both the US soldiers fighting in Vietnam and the mass opposition that had developed back home among US workers and youth. As he says, "It was the American working class, those in uniform and those without, that more than anything else put an end to the war."

For the first time in many years the Taft-Hartley bill has been used against the West Coast dockers in the USA. This is a reactionary anti-union law that has been invoked to force the dockers back to work. But this is only a temporary “solution” for the bosses. The problems that forced the workers to take union action will not go away. Roland Sheppard in the US looks at the issues involved.

In a week's time the second round of the Brazilian elections are to be held. In the first round Lula, the candidate of the PT came first by a large margin and looks set to win the second round. In this article Dario Castro analyses the results of the first round and looks at the situation a PT government will be facing, with the mounting debt and the huge pressure it would face both from the bourgeois on the one side and the workers on the other.

The West Coast shipping bosses have declared a lock-out which affects all 29 ports along the US Pacific coast. The bosses are demanding that new technical jobs be non-union. This is a mortal attack on the union's future. Thus while Bush prepares to go to war against Iraq he has another war opening up on the home front - the class war - this time against US workers. David May in the USA reports on the latest developments in this key struggle of the American workers.