The International Marxist Tendency will be present at the 16th WYSF in Caracas, August 7th to 15th, with comrades from the CMR in Venezuela and other countries attending. You will be able to find us at our stall at the Solidarity Tent and at the different meetings. Alan Woods will be speaking at a number of the meetings being held during the week and then the Revolutionary Socialist Youth will have a one-day internationalist school on August 16th with leading Venezuelan revolutionary activists and international Marxist speakers. More details will follow and we will be updating the website with news about the Festival regularly.
Another world is possible… only with Socialism
The Venezuelan Revolution is the vanguard of the world revolution
The Venezuelan revolution has become a point of reference for revolutionaries all over the world. The mass mobilisation of Venezuelan workers and youth has defeated several counterrevolutionary attempts by imperialism and the Venezuelan capitalists. After the victory in the presidential recall referendum a year ago, this willingness to carry the revolution to a successful conclusion has intensified. The expropriation of some companies that had been occupied by the workers (Inveval and Invepal) and the debate about workers’ participation (which in some cases contains elements of workers’ control) has brought the working class to the centre stage of the struggle with increasingly bolder demands and proposals.
The call by president Chavez to build socialism and to open the debate on what kind of socialism is needed has been taken up enthusiastically by the workers and peoples’ movement. For the first time in the last two decades, since the collapse of Stalinism (which was not socialism but a bureaucratic degeneration), a popular mass leader is talking about socialism again, and the people as a whole are throwing themselves into the task of changing their living conditions and putting an end to capitalist misery and exploitation. Venezuela today is the main frontline of the world revolution. The victory of the revolution in Venezuela, can only be achieved by moving decisively towards socialism, that is by expropriating the capitalists, the monopolists, the banks and the big latifundia, and putting them under workers’ control in order to allow the democratic planning of economy. This is the only way to solve the problems of the Venezuelan working people and would decisively transform the whole of the world situation.
Socialism or barbarism
For the last two decades we have witnessed an unprecedented political, economic and ideological offensive of the capitalists worldwide against the ideas of Marxism and socialism. Capitalism has been presented as the only model possible, and even many of the reformist leaders of the workers’ movement accepted this idea. The consequence of the prolongation of the life of a system in decay, such as capitalism, beyond its historical limits, threatens to plunge the whole planet into barbarism. The dilemma posed by the German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg more than 100 years ago, "Socialism or barbarism", today reveals itself to be true. Every day 30,000 children die of hunger, 800 million human beings suffer from hunger, the three richest individuals in the planet have a personal wealth equal to that of the GDP of the world’s poorest 48 countries.
Another myth that has been cultivated by the ruling class over the last few years is that of an all-powerful, undefeatable US imperialism. However, if we analyse what is happening in the world in a concrete way, we discover the complete inability of imperialism, despite its military might, to establish its political, economic and social control and guarantee the necessary conditions for the maintenance and reproduction of capitalist exploitation. We are witnessing a growing social malaise, deep anger among the masses (both in the colonial and semi-colonial countries and in the advanced capitalist countries), which is seeking a channel to express itself through.
The growing struggle against imperialism around the world
In Iraq, after two years of occupation, the resistance of the masses of our brothers and sisters, the Iraqi workers, youth and peasants, still prevents the implementation of the plans of imperialism. More than two years after the beginning of the war of occupation they cannot extract the amount of oil that they wanted to and the impression of its own strength that imperialism wanted to present to the peoples and oppressed classes of the world has turned into its opposite. Not even in the small and weakened Afghanistan have the imperialists been able to establish their full control.
The main result of Bush’s crimes is that the questioning of the capitalist system and the genocidal and murderous policies of imperialism is growing everywhere, and is spreading to the very heart of the US, where the mobilisation of our brothers and sisters, the workers, the youth and the oppressed, against the arch reactionary clique in the White House grows by the day. In Europe itself, workers and youth have carried out mass mobilisations and general strikes in most countries, both against the imperialist war and the policies of cuts applied by the European capitalists. Amongst these are the mobilisations that defeated one of the vilest allies of Bush, Aznar in Spain, or those that took place in Italy, France and Greece. The victory of the NO to the reactionary and bourgeois European Constitution in France and Holland confirms the growing popular resistance to the plans of Capital.
But where the revolutionary mobilisation of the masses has become an inspiration and an example for workers and youth around the world is without doubt in Latin America, and particularly in Venezuela and Bolivia. The exploited masses have risen to their feet, from the Rio Grande to the Tierra del Fuego, carrying out mass struggles and dealing serious blows against imperialism. The electoral victories in a number of Latin-American countries of parties and movements seen as being left wing by the masses, express the popular will to transform society. In some cases in which these leaders have disappointed the will of the workers and peasants who voted for them, mass protests have developed once again.
In Mexico, the attempt to prevent Lopez Obrador from standing in the elections has been defeated by the mobilisation of the masses. In Argentina, in Ecuador, and in particular in the recent revolutionary events in Bolivia, the working class, leading all the exploited layers, has shown its unstoppable will to struggle. In Bolivia, the state apparatus could not crush the miners and the rest of the working class and the peasantry when they came out in struggle for the nationalisation of gas and forced the resignation of the different governments that imperialism has tried to use to carry out their plans.
The Bolivian workers went as far as to organise cabildos abiertos and mass popular assemblies which represented the embryo of a new workers’ state, a new revolutionary legality based on the mass assemblies of workers and the people in every workplace, neighbourhood or town. These should link up through delegates, elected and subject to recall, to a revolutionary National Popular Assembly, which could take power and replace the corrupt bourgeois parliament and elect a workers’ and peasants’ government to implement a socialist programme. The most advanced elements were keenly aware of the urgency of implementing this task in order not to give the capitalists enough room for manoeuvre to implement their constitutional tricks (Constituent Assembly, early elections…).
For a Socialist Federation of Latin-American Republics! For a World Socialist Federation!
The same debate about how to replace the bourgeois state that emerged from the IV Republic with a genuine revolutionary state is taking place in Venezuela. Hundreds of thousands of workers and youth have participated, first in the Bolivarian Circles, and now in the UBEs, the Land Committees, the peoples’ assemblies, etc. They want to prevent the bureaucracy and the capitalists from sabotaging some of the revolutionary measures implemented by Chavez and to insist on their own willingness to participate in all the decisions and in leading the state.
The Venezuelan bourgeoisie and imperialism – after their defeat in the referendum a year ago – are now trying to sabotage the economy and undermine the social base of the revolution. They are using their mighty economic power and the fact that the state apparatus that they built in the past, though weakened, has not yet been replaced by a workers’ state based on the revolutionary assemblies of the workers and the people. Their aim is to paralyse all revolutionary initiatives, create economic chaos and create demoralisation among the masses that support the revolution – as they did in the past against the revolutions of Chile and Nicaragua - so that they are able to go on the offensive again and defeat the revolution. They are trying to base themselves on a wide layer within the state bureaucracy which does not believe in socialism and do not want the revolution to go forward as has been stated by Chavez and as the masses clearly desire.
Faced with these attempts to stop the revolution, growing revolutionary sections of the working class, the youth and the urban poor are trying to organise to struggle for socialism. This means the nationalisation of the banks, the monopolies and the latifundia under workers’ control to allow for the democratic and socialist planning of the economy and build a revolutionary state based on representatives, elected and recallable by workers’ assemblies in all workplaces, poor neighbourhoods, etc.
The movement of Venezuela towards a genuine workers’ democracy, which would begin the implementation of socialism, would break the isolation of Cuba and would become an example and a stimulus for the Cuban revolution. A revolutionary victory so close to home, aside from inevitably spreading to other Latin-American countries, would also lead to the further integration of both economies and would strengthen the struggle against the imperialist blockade and the plans of the capitalists to restore capitalism on the island. Furthermore, it would revitalise, spread and deepen the participation of the Cuban masses in the defence of the revolution and all its state institutions.
A Socialist Federation of Cuba and Venezuela would be the first step towards a Socialist Federation of Latin America and would be greeted with enthusiasm by workers and youth all over the world. It would not only accelerate the current increase in the revolutionary mobilisation of the masses that we are already witnessing in Latin America, but it would also become a point of reference worldwide.
The only thing that is missing in Venezuela, in Bolivia and in many other countries, for the revolutionary desire of the masses to become reality, is for the most advanced revolutionary activists, workers, students and peasants, who already share many of these ideas, to gather in one revolutionary organisation armed with a socialist programme and the method of Marxism. This is the central task today in all countries.
The crisis of capitalism, developing at different speeds, is creating the conditions for mass upheavals and revolutionary movements in all countries. Today more than ever it is indispensable for revolutionary Marxists to organise in one international Marxist tendency to struggle for genuine socialism. This is the task we have set ourselves in the International Marxist Tendency founded by Marxist theoreticians Ted Grant and Alan Woods.
We organise revolutionary Marxists on the 5 continents and we are present in more than 30 countries. In Venezuela we are the Revolutionary Marxist Current, which publishes The Workers’ Mole [El Topo Obrero] and which has played a key role in the struggle which led to the expropriation of Venepal and CNV. Recently we created, together with a number of revolutionary youth groups, the Revolutionary Socialist Youth (JSR), and our trade union comrades are participating in the revolutionary and class struggle wing of the UNT by developing the Left Wing Trade Union Tendency for Socialism (TIS). In Mexico, our comrades from Militante, have played a key role in a number of workers’ struggles (Locatel and others) and youth movements, such as the historic struggle of the UNAM university students. They lead the Students Committee to Defend State Education (CEDEP) and promote the Marxist wing of the PRD. In Argentina and Peru, the comrades of El Militante and the Left Socialist Force (FIS), fight for a united front of the revolutionary organisations whose role would be to break with sectarianism and become a tool in the struggle for socialism.
In Pakistan, the comrades of The Struggle lead the Marxist left of the Peoples’ Party and the main militant trade unions in the country, and our comrade Manzoor Ahmed, an elected Marxist Member of Parliament is one of the main social leaders in the country. The Struggle fights for socialism, against the pro-imperialist military government and against fundamentalist reaction. In Spain, our comrades from El Militante have created the Students’ Union (SE), the main students organisation in Spain, which organised the massive struggle against the imperialist war and played a frontline role in the struggles of the last few years against the right-wing Popular Party government. The Marxists of FalceMartello in Italy are one of the main tendencies in the Party of Communist Refoundation [PRC], and in Britain and other European countries our comrades play a leading role in different trade unions and mass organisations, and promote the Hands Off Venezuela campaign in solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution. The campaign has had important successes and has gathered the support for the Venezuelan Revolution of some of the largest trade unions in Europe as well as thousands of trade union activists, and has received public recognition from President Chavez.
If you agree with our ideas, join us in the struggle for socialism worldwide.
International Marxist Tendency (www.marxist.com/ www.elmilitante.org)
Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria [Marxist Revolutionary Current] (Venezuela)
Militante Marxist Tendency (México)
El Militante (Argentina)
Fuerza de Izquierda Socialista-Perú Militante (Perú)
Alan Woods (Leader of the International Marxist Tendency)
Manzoor Ahmed (Pakistani Marxist Member of Parliament and leader of the Marxist current The Struggle of the International Marxist Tendency)