A New Rise in Working Class Struggle Has Begun
By Lal Khan
One of the most formidable characteristics of the human race is its instinct for survival. But to survive does not mean merely to endure, to tolerate ones existence, it requires a struggle. The mightiest and most brutal of repressions in history have ultimately caved in to the resistance and struggle of the subjugated and deprived masses.
Few would have imagined the dreadful fate of the imperialist aggressors in post-Saddam Iraq. The resilience and valor exhibited by the unarmed, tormented and scorned people of Iraq prove that even the mightiest of the evil forces of imperialism cannot prevail for long in the face of the power of the masses mobilized. The mass instinct of unity, survival, struggle and revengefaced with the aggression of a foreign invaderhas defeated the strongest and most ruthless empires in history. This fact is repeating itself on a much a higher plane in Iraq.
But it is not just Iraq, from Spain to India and from Venezuela to Britain, we are witnessing a resurgence of mass defiance, and a desire to reject capitalism outright. One can see that the tide is beginning to turn. In spite of the fact that, for the masses, all doors were closed, all paths blocked and their traditional political parties hijacked, yet the oppressed have chiseled new avenues along which to express themselves, and they have made themselves heard. The echo of this new voice of awakening resounds louder by the day. They have rebuffed the avalanche of lies from the imperialist media, and have stunned the leaders of the trade unions and mass parties. The shape and form of this upsurge varies in different regions but its basic characteristica revolt against capitalist drudgery and vandalismis profoundly evident everywhere.
The failure of imperialisms best laid planstheir perspectives for the economy, politics, diplomacy and even their military strategyhas shattered the confidence of the bourgeois leaders and their ideologues. An orgy of terror and bloodshed is ravaging societies and playing havoc with the lives of millions of ordinary people. This is the result of the contradictions of the system, sharpened by intensifying capitalist reaction, exploding through the surface. Imperialism and fundamentalism are two sides of the same coin: their brutal aggression and ruthless violence are products of capitalist decay. They cannot afford to allow the present state of affairs to continue, there is too much instability and chaos for the maintenance of capitalist profiteering. Yet they cannot salvage the situation either.
Every step they take, in any field, instead of solving anything only serves to further aggravate the turmoil. Today, how true is Trotskys decades old definition of U.S. imperialism as a monster with feet of clay. It is lurching from one fiasco to another. The prospect of a humiliating defeat in Iraq sneers in the faces of Americas leaders.
Alan Greenspan appears unable to do anything to revive the U.S. economy and prop up growth. He is flogging a dead horse. After their arrogant dismissal of the United Nations the Americans have had such an awesome drubbing in Iraq that they are kneeling once again at the doorstep of the Security Council for rescue. But the credibility of the UN has been irreversibly eroded. Its impotence has been blatantly exposed. There is little prospect of a NATO military rescue for the Americans either.
Meanwhile, the whole of Latin America is seething with anger and revolt. Even bourgeois politicians, like Mexicos Jorge Castaneda, have been forced to admit; Americas friends in Latin America are feeling this anti-American wrath. They are finding themselves forced to shift their own rhetoric and attitude in order to dampen their defense of policies viewed as pro-American or U.S.-inspired and to stiffen their resistance to Washingtons demands and desires.
In Asia, the election result in the worlds largest bourgeois democracy sent shockwaves through ruling elites everywhere. Even the leaders of the CPI [Communist Party of India] and CPI (Marxist) were flabbergasted at the votes and seats their parties secured in these polls (the largest ever in Indias post 1947 history). If the CP leaders had been real communists, a Socialist transformation of the subcontinent would have been in the cards.
These are not just isolated incidents or unconnected events. They are symptoms of a profound disturbance, the beginning of a new wave of class struggle. Across the planet the oppressed are taking the first steps to enter the arena of history to transform their destinies. Never was there such a burning need for a revolutionary Marxist alternative. This new generation of the proletariat is yearning for that alternative with such fervor and passion.
The battle lines are drawn. The working class will win some struggles, and lose others. But these will be temporary episodes in the class war that is now looming large on the horizon. The deep organic crisis of capitalism has made its exploitation so acute, its tyranny so merciless, and its leaders so obtuse and monstrous, that it has become intolerable for the working masses around the world. The echo of revolutionary events in any part of the planet will now resonate around the globe in an unprecedented roar. It will bring to life as yet dormant and new sections of the masses into the arena of struggle. With a Marxist leadership and a Leninist international these rising masses can be unified and organized, their struggles galvanized and directed to strike the enemy at the right point at the right moment.
Yes! This class war can be fought and won. History is on the side of the proletariat. This shall be the last and final class war fought in the history of humankind. Through a socialist victory the movement to create a classless society shall ensue. And new vistas of unfettered opportunities and a blissful existence for the human race shall open up, as it will enter into the realm of freedom; paving the way for a communist futurethe ultimate emancipation of humanity.
Asian Marxist Review, Summer 2004