For the Socialist United States of Europe
CWG is in favour of boycotting referendums on the EU Constitution in countries such as Spain or France. This is because we are opposed to workers’ supporting the bosses’ project to build an integrated EU imperialist state and voting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the proposed new Constitution forces workers to vote for one or other form of the EU state. We reprint a slightly condensed version of a resolution on the EU by the Permanent Revolution Collective. We do not agree with it’s view that the EU cannot become an integrated European imperialism.The EU already acts collectively to defend and extend the interests of its different imperialist member states.However,we welcome a strong and clear statement of it’s view of the EU and will reply to it in a future issue of Class Struggle.
No to a divided Europe, unemployment, European fortress and imperialist interventions…
The Spanish Social-Democratic President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero declared after his election: "Europe must have confidence in its belief it can become the most important power in the world in twenty years" (Der Spiegel, 9 November of 2004). This perspective names the European Union of 25 countries, ' Europe’, which is capable of competing with the United States: $10.5 billion GNP as opposed to $11 Billion, 455 million inhabitants against 295 million. On the basis of this perspective, social democracy, European Stalinism and most of their so-called ‘far left’ allies talk of a United States of Europe, that the workers would merely have to make "social" and "democratic".
The myth of European Union Peace and Unity
All of the above political forces promote the myth that the capitalist class can unify Europe when only the working class can do this by overthrowing the capitalists. Europe is not like America. The USA was a state created by the bourgeoisies of the British colonies of North America at a time when capitalism was still juvenile, when the bourgeoisie was still able to play a revolutionary role, to lead the popular masses, and mobilise and to arm them against the colonial power (War of Independence) and, later, against the slave-owning landowners (War of Secession).
The European Union appeared much too late when capitalism was in its epoch of old age and decay. It has been a patch up job of the old national bourgeoisies, today all reactionaries because they none are capable of leading any progressive struggle to abolish their bourgeois states.
The budget of the European Union shows that the EU is not a real state. First, the EU taxes only 1.27% of its member states’ income, whereas the US taxes more than 20% of the national income.
Moreover, the largest part of this tiny budget, 45%, goes to agriculture. The largest spending in the USA is on the military 350 billion. The total spending of all 25 armies of the UE is no more than 150 billion euros.
The European Union so is divided that it does not have its own troops, aside from the "Rapid Reaction Force". This was formed after the European Council of Helsinki of 1999. It is not a supranational force or an embryo of a European Union Army. It is limited to co-operation between the armies of only four states (Germany, Belgium, France and Luxembourg). Not only that, but most European states are still members of the military alliance controlled by the United States, NATO.
The Balkan wars of the 1990s and the second imperialistic war against Iraq, proves that the EU is no more than a heterogeneous federation around an unstable agreement between German and French imperialism.
The 1957 agreement that founded the UE, aimed: "To strengthen. . . and safeguard peace and freedom" (Introduction to the Treaty of Rome). The new EU Constitution of 2004, affirms: "The Union’s objectives are to promote peace, the values and well-being of its peoples" (art. I.3).
Balkan wars explode the myth of peace and unity
These pious platitudes were contradicted by the devastation of ex-Yugoslavia from 1990 to 1999, as a result of the persistent rivalry of the European powers. To preserve and to extend their zones of influence, French and German imperialisms actively contributed to the break-up of the Yugoslav Confederation, supporting one or another national sector of the old Titoist bureaucracy. All the fractions of the bureaucracy wished to restore Capitalism, to convert themselves into bourgeois, and to prevent a united working class staging a political revolution to kick them out of power and create a real workers’ state.
Germany backed the independence of Croatia and Slovenia providing arms and military advisors. France backed a "Greater Serbia" and armed Serbia against Croatia and Bosnia. The United States made use of their diplomatic and military superiority to end the conflict and to advance their influence in Europe at the expense of their European imperialist rivals.
The EU oppresses the nationalities
The UE pretends to liberate the peoples and to assure their well-being. But since it guarantees the borders of the existing states, it also guarantees the oppression of many different peoples of Europe for example; Basques, Albanians of Kosovo, Irish. Still worse, it entraps the overseas territories of the old British, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French, Danish colonial empires as "countries and overseas territories of the European Union" (PTUM) and as "ultraperipheral regions" (RUP). These PTUM are associated with the UE: Greenland, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, the Dutch Antilles, Aruba, Anguila, Falklands Islands, Bermuda, etc. The RUP, often further removed from the European continent than Turkey, are also art of the territory of the UE: French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Reunion, Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands.
Peace falls to pieces
The goal of "European Peace" overlooks the participation of the armies of almost all the capitalist countries of Europe in the war against Iraq in 1991, the scandalous UN embargo that strangled the Iraqi population for the next ten years. Its "peace" is blind to the bombing of Serbia in 1999, Afghanistan in 2002, by NATO and the US military; ignores the many armed interventions where the "democracies" of "old Europe" invade the Ivory Coast, Haiti, etc. Its "peace" forgets the support from all these states to the oppressor state of Israel in Palestine, or Turkish oppression of the Kurds, and the new capitalist Russia’s oppression of Chechenia.
As for European unity, the reality is a cruel contradiction. Against their main rival, US imperialism, the European states are clearly divided. Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the countries of Central Europe, supported the US when it unleashed its war of terror and looting against Iraq, when the policy of French and German imperialisms was to use the UN to bleed Iraq’s oil wealth.
This rivalry also appears in the increasing antagonism between European imperialisms over their foreign trade and investments, in order to increase their shares of the resources of Eastern Europe or Africa, Latin America, Asia and Australia.
The Europe of Capitalism, Racism and Militarism
Therefore it is evident that the European imperialistic powers cannot deliver ‘peace’ and ‘unity’. They joined in the brutal restoration of capitalism in the former workers states; the recolonization of the dominated countries, such as the imperialistic invasion of Iraq led by the US (Great Britain, Spain State, Italy, Poland...); the invasion and occupation of the ex-Yugoslavia by NATO, the occupation of Afghanistan by NATO (with France, Spanish State, Germany), and the invasion and occupation of Haiti (France, Spain State, along with the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, etc.).
But to mask this super-exploitation and oppression, the imperialists must legitimise their rule by means of patriotism, the mass media, religion and the education system. Where that fails it needs to repress, and if necessary destroy, the resistance of the exploited and oppressed majority. Without counting the expenditures on police and prisons, which constantly rises, the 25 countries of the UE spend on average more than 2% of their national income on their armies.
The attacks on the agricultural and urban workers today, have nothing to do with the ‘neoliberal’ ideology of the European institutions. The struggle between the bourgeoisie and the working class is inherent in capitalism. Increasingly since the onset of the world economic crisis in 1973, every capitalist in the world is forced to attack the working class to increase the rate of exploitation and to devalue the value of the labour-power of the work force.
The result is that from 1975 to 1999, the share of wages in the 15 European states has been cut by an average of 9%. The rate of unemployment of the UE today averages 9.1% of the active population. The right to a decent pension, unemployment insurance, access to health and education, public services, which are all past conquests of the European labour movement, are cut back because they are a drain on the profits of the capitalist system that increasingly destroys the basis of all economic and social life.
The myth of a "social Europe"
Far from being a victim, as the reactionaries claim, the nation state is reinforced as a repressive apparatus by the formation of ‘Europe’. All the European bourgeoisies are strengthening their state apparatuses, especially the mercenaries that keep order: police of all sorts, secret services, and the army. At the same time they all attack democratic liberties.
The developing capitalism of 19th century justified colonialism by racism. At the beginning of 21st century all the reactionary demagogues attribute the evils generated by capitalism (unemployment, poverty, delinquency...) to foreign competition (always "disloyal"), to export of jobs, the "technocrats of Brussels", etc. Fascists and, sometimes, even respectable bourgeois politicians, traditionally show no mercy to the Jews but cover up their racism in the case of Pakistani, Arab, Turkish immigrants, etc. or to their descendants. But this racism is exposed by capitalism in decline as it continuously secretes the xenophobia by means of its "immigration policies", the "fight against the terrorism", the national and racial division of the working class, the social segregation into urban ghettos.
All the governments of Europe restrict the right of asylum. They reject Arabs and the inhabitants of the Kabila whose lives are threatened by Islamic fanaticism and dictatorships; they attack the Kurdish or Turkish immigrants persecuted in all the countries of the UE; the Basque militants persecuted in France and tortured by the Spanish state; the Italian militants who look for refuge in France where they are extradited to the mafia boss Berlusconi.
Every state restricts the freedom of movement and the rights of the immigrant workers, treating them brutally and locking them up in infamous detention centres, super-exploiting those who are not locked up and thus dividing the working class.
Capitalism has demonstrated it is incapable of overcoming national borders of Europe
The two great imperialistic wars were, first of all, the expression of the rebellion of the productive forces against the limits of the national borders, particularly archaic in Europe. On two occasions German imperialism tried to unify Europe under its military hegemony. In the second it did it under the rule of Hitler and nazism, the extreme incarnation of the bourgeois counterrevolution and capitalist reaction. On two occasions, the European ruling classes, with the aid of the North American bourgeoisie, made war to re-divide the world, sacrificing millions of young working people, devastating the continent, massacreing the civilians, and using their colonial subjects like cannon fodder.
Against the endless horror of imperialistic slaughter the proletariat rebelled and opened up another road for humanity. The socialist revolution began in October of 1917 in Russia and the overthrowing of the monarchy in Germany. Thus, the working class ended the war between the bourgeoisies, a war in which it was the victim.
During World War II, the defeat of Nazism began, thanks to the Russian workers, in Stalingrad in February of 1943. The same year, the Italian proletariat rose up against Mussolini. But the big revolutionary fires that were sparked off by World War II were damped down by the counter-revolutionary alliance between the imperialistic bourgeoisies of the United States and Great Britain and the Stalinist bureaucracy of the USSR (the agreements of Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam); an alliance thrown together by its fear that the potential proletarian revolution in Western and Central Europe that would have extended to the USSR. Stalin dissolved the 3rd International in 1943, as a pledge to the imperialists that he would suppress the international revolution. The “democratic" coalition of Wall Street and the Kremlin feared the revolution more than nazism. Their armies let the Nazis massacre the insurgents of Warsaw and deliberately attacked the German civil population to terrorise it and to destroy any will to revolt.
Their political agents in the working class, "the socialist" parties, "communist" parties and reformist union apparatuses, were all against the struggle of the working class in 1943, the date of the Italian uprising. They were able to contain the revolution disarming the workers of France, Greece..., participating directly in the reconstruction of the bourgeois states broken by the military defeats and the armed uprisings, denouncing and suppressing strikes, and slandering the revolutionaries.
Victorious imperialism reconstructed the bourgeois nation states in Europe, restoring the discredited bourgeois exiled regimes, risking the modification of some borders. With the complicity of Stalin, the Democrat Party presidents Roosevelt and Truman, divided up the European working classes more than ever, particularly that of the largest one, the German proletariat. At the same time, the counter-revolutionary alliance of Yalta ensured that the colonial peoples of Africa, Asia and the Middle East continued to live under the boot of their European masters.
The workers democratic and social conquests were the results of working class struggle
Only when threatened with revolution did the European bourgeoisies make large concessions to their respective proletariats: restoring democratic freedoms and the right of strike, extending Social Security and nationalizations. In Albania and Yugoslavia, armies of partisans controlled by the Stalinist parties took power in spite of the orders from Stalin.
The British and North American bourgeoisies had sent to young working people to all the fronts and across all seas on the pretext of fighting fascism. But as soon as their Japanese and German rivals were overcome, the US bourgeoisie turned against the USSR and allied with the fascist regimes of Portugal and Spain. The US bosses provided aid to the weakened European bosses with the Marshall Plan in 1947. From its bases in Germany, the US mounted an offensive against the USSR with the objective of restoring capitalism. This "Cold War" received the support of social democracy and most of the union leaderships.
With its own caste privileges safeguarded, defending at the same time in its own way the USSR against North American imperialistic aggression, the bureaucracy of the Kremlin in 1948 expropriated the capitalists of Central Europe. It established workers’ states bureaucratised from their birth, as copies of the USSR, states in which the workers did not really hold power, nor have basic democratic rights, such as the right to strike, but in which they had access to free health and education.
Everywhere around the world US imperialism supported or created dictatorships against any revolutionary threat. In Europe, it participated directly in the constitution of an authoritarian regime in Greece in 1967.
Yalta burns with new sparks in 1960s
But the dictatorial bourgeois regimes of Greece, Spain and Portugal could not resist the revolutionary flames which broke through the post-war order of Yalta in 1968, as much in the West as in the East of Europe.
In 1960, the Portuguese state faced a crisis with the uprising of the peoples of its African colonies (Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola). In 1974, the Portuguese revolution overthrew the dictatorship of Caetano the heir of Salazar. The fraternisation of soldiers and workers on the May 1st brought an end to the secret police, the occupation of factories and the winning of democratic liberties. Only class collaboration and the ferocious split in the ranks of workers between the PSP and the PCP, with the support of centrists of all types, allowed the bourgeois state to remain in power and to save the weakened Portuguese capitalism. At the same time the road to the European Economic Community was opened in Spain.
In Spain, still greater contradictions faced the Francoist regime. The working class reconstructed its forces, angry youth entered the struggle and the oppressed peoples reactivated their struggles. To stop a possible revolution, king Juan Carlos de Borbón and Parma, designated by Franco as his heir, introduced preventive reforms in 1976. Both the PSOE and the PCE supported the king and their "transition" plan. They supported the constitution of December 6, 1978 which restored some democratic freedoms, while maintaining the privileges of the Catholic Church, denying the right of secession of the national minorities, Basque, Catalan and Galician, and restoring a monarchy with strong Bonapartist traits
Although the reformist leaders Hollande, Buffet, Zapatero, Schröder and company, falsely claim that the workers’ conquests are the progeny of the "republic" or "parliamentary democracy", the truth is very different: both in the East and in the West of the continent, the great conquests of the European proletariat in the 20th century were the by-product of the world-wide revolutionary uprisings that were unleashed in 1917, 1943 and 1968.
EU: an unstable French and German alliance
The UE is the base on which the European imperialists defend their position in the world economy and try to conquer new wealth in the former bureaucratic workers’ states of Central Europe, China, Vietnam and Cuba, in the traditional semi-colonial countries, and in the imperialistic countries themselves. The bourgeois governments hide this reality behind speeches on the "unity of the continent" and on "peace".
The European Council, speaking for the governments of the 25 states members, adopted on the 18 of June of 2004, a project for an obviously capitalist constitutional treaty: "the Union acts in favour of the sustainable development of Europe founded on... a social economy of a highly competitive market... (I-3 article of the project). The word "social" only has a decorative function. The expression "market economy" refers, in hypocritical terms, to capitalism.
The capitalist mode of production, born in Europe, is not only a market for products but the exploitation of wage-earning workers. In capitalism the labour-power of the proletarians is, itself, sold to the minority class in society that owns the means of production. The social product escapes to the control of its producers, to benefit the capitalists who can, thus, monopolise the social product in the form of its own property.
The concentration of capital, that has continued on a world scale at the cost of economic crises and wars, takes the form of large capitalist transnationals. Nevertheless, it does not lead to the disappearance of nation states and borders. On the contrary, it tolerates the increase in the competition between companies and the national territories in which these move and on which they depend.
On the one hand, the overwhelming majority of the "multinationals" have a clearly identifiable national base; on the other hand, the most powerful states not only guarantee the profits of all capitals by the maintenance of the conditions of extraction of capital gain against the resistance of the wage-earners, but in addition, defend the interests of their national fraction of the capital against their competitors.
What politicians, university professors and journalists call the "European project" arose from secret deals between the politicians of France and Germany mainly, although these negotiations have also included Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
From the 1950s, to overcome the narrow limits of their territories, and to counter the loss of markets in Eastern Europe and the colonies, some states agreed to form a free trade zone. First the three countries of "Benelux" of 1948, then the six countries of the "European Economic Community" of 1957. This infant "Europe" was rebaptised the European Union in 1992: a commitment made between national capitalists to overcome the barriers to the accumulation of capital posed by their own borders.
Germany and France have controlled all the stages in the evolution of the UE, from the creation of the European Community of Coal and Steel in 1951 to the proclamation of the UE in 1992. No significant decision (as the adoption of the Euro in 1999 or the extension to ten countries in the 2004) has been taken in the UE without the agreement of the governments of the Germany and France.
On the other hand, these two states can break the UE rules if their interests require it, as was the case in 2003 and 2004 when their budgetary deficits widely exceeded the criteria of the Maastricht Agreement of 1992 and of Ámsterdam Treaty of 1997. Thus, through their prime ministers and the other members of their governments, the European Union is under the control of the big corporations of these two countries. The European Commission of Brussels, far from having power, is in charge only of the application of these policies. The new constitution will not question these foundations of UE.
Workers for or against the new Constitution?
Referendums on Turkey’s admission and the Constitution are underway in some countries.
The new Constitution, drafted by Giscard d'Estaing, old president of the 5th French Republic, guarantees the hold of the great powers on the European Union and their control over the other members:
On the one hand, national governments will continue to make the essential decisions, although the European Parliament will have to give its approval in some domains (budget estimates, internal market, immigration...).
On the other hand, the decisions will be by consensus (fiscal policy, social policy...), or by a "qualified majority", so that agreement must be by, at least, 15 states representing 65% of the population (I-23 articles, I-25...). In this form, France and Germany can paralyse any decision that they choose.
Consequently, the new Constitution maintains the economic domination of the continent by the imperialist states, but also the survival of the monarchies, the existence of state religions (Christian), and the maintenance of the oppressed peoples of Europe within the existing capitalist states. Thus religion is enshrined as a founding value (introduction); it forces the European Union to consult the Churches (art 1-52). Under the pretext of the "fight against terrorism", the new Constitution allows for the secret collaboration of the states, police and services, against the oppressed countries and radical organisations (articles I-42, Iii-271, Iii-276, Iii-309).
No conscious worker can support this constitution. But equally s/he cannot be associated with the chauvinists that oppose the constitution, to block with the chauvinist capitalists.
The reformist leaders of the main workers organisations and their centrist allies try to claim that there are only two alternatives. Either to concede to a imperialist Europe, or to fight for a ‘social’ Europe. Both concede that European capitalism can unify the continent. Most of them think that a ‘social’ Europe is the only way to resist US competition; others reject European integration altogether and bloc with the weaker fractions of their bosses who remain tied to "their" nation against the "dictators of Brussels". All of these positions are utopian.
The peaceful unification of the continent would be historically progressive. But the bourgeoisie, in the epoch of imperialism, is totally incapable of doing this –“social” Europe or not. The economy suffocates in the iron shackle of private property and the inherited borders of the previous historical period. The bourgeoisies of Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany cannot abandon their nation state, indispensable in their struggle against their proletariat and against the bourgeoisies with which they compete.
“Another Europe" must be a Socialist Europe
The unification of Europe is the historical task of the only progressive class of our time, the proletariat. The ever- increasing contradiction between the development of the productive forces, its tendency to internationalisation and socialisation, and the capitalist relations of production, can only be overcome by a social revolution, carried out by the class that is simultaneously the product of capitalism, its condition of existence and its potential negation: the working class. This class has the capacity to overthrow the exploiting class, due to its numbers, concentration and the strategic place that it occupies in production.
In order to rise to this historical task, the proletariat must begin to affirm its independence of the bourgeoisie and all its political fractions.
It is possible that the workers of a certain country will see in the referendum the occasion to declare themselves against the government in power, whatever its composition (reformist parties, coalition between reformist party and bourgeois party, bourgeois parties only in power). But these referenda will be used for the division of the workers ranks.
It will not be with a ‘no’ vote that workers will show their force. The campaigns for a ‘yes’ vote will not be, overall, a means to break the link between chauvinism and xenophobia, especially against the Turks.
Where workers are asked to vote on the modification of the European constitution, they must boycott it: Neither Treaty of Nice, nor the Constitution of Giscard! Neither reactionary nationalism nor the parody of European unity!
Workers must boycott the vote on Turkey
Like the present Russian state, the Turkish state has part of its territory in what is called "Europe", and most in "Asia". From 1963 Turkey has been associate the EEC. From 1995, this agreement included a customs union. Since 1987 successive Turkish governments have requested entry into the European Union.
Some bourgeois parties are against the entrance of Turkey because they exploit a xenophobic fear of Turkish migrants. Others don’t want to pay agricultural subsidies to Turkey. Also there is hostility to Muslim religion and culture which is already used to justify attacks on democratic rights in the EU.
On the other hand, the possibility of extending the European market to include Turkey and win it away from the US appeals to some sectors of the European bourgeoisie. At the moment, the European Council (the executive of the UE constituted by the prime ministers of the member states) continuously defers the question of Turkey’s entry.
The workers and revolutionary communists in Turkey must fight against the US, the NATO bases, as well as German and French imperialism. They have to reject all illusions in the Turkish and Kurd workers towards the UE, but also all political illusions in the national bourgeoisie, secular or Islamic.
The Kurdish people must be able to freely decide their future inside or separated from the existing bourgeois states in the Near East. Following the march of history, the Turkish proletariat will freely decide to contribute to the Socialist United States of Europe or the Socialist United States of the Near East.
On the other hand, the vanguard of the workers of the member countries of the UE cannot endorse the reasons the bourgeois give for exclusion or entry of Turkey. We must be against all chauvinism and all imperialistic influence on Turkey; for the unity of all workers of the continent including all those of Turkish nationality or of Turkish or Kurd origin; the workers of the UE countries must fight for the free movement of Turkish workers into Europe and for the acceptance of our Turkish sisters and brothers as our equals.
The bourgeoisies tries to trap workers into voting on the fate of Turkey in the EU.. Neither the workers of Turkey, nor the workers of the UE, can win any political victory in a vote that makes them side with one of two bourgeois options: the annexationists or the chauvinists. Therefore, in case of referendum on this question, the slogan of the proletariat must be –to boycott!
Against all the bourgeois governments of Europe, against the UE, NATO, and national chauvinism
The future that capitalism offers the European peoples is that of decline, reaction, massive unemployment, increasing competition between imperialistic powers, and world economic crisis and war.
But the working class, first victim of the constant degradation of the conditions of existence of the vast majority of the population, also has the power to put and end to capitalist rule and truly unify Europe. To do this the proletariat take over the leadership of all the exploited and oppressed peoples.
Against the political alliances with the bourgeoisie, practiced by traditional social democracy, and Stalinism trying to convert itself, the Bolsheviks fight for the united front of all workers against the bourgeoisie, the building of a political coalition of all the workers’ organisations against the bourgeois governments, their states and their European Union, in order to achieve its complete overthrow.
We demand of all the parties and organisations who base themselves in the workers to break politically with the bourgeoisie and commit themselves to fight for a workers’ government and a revolutionary program. Bolsheviks should support any step along this road:
· No to unemployment! No to dismissals without an equal job! Defend all the proletarian conquests! Free quality Education, health and housing for all!
· No to labour flexibility and anti-union laws! 35 hours per week! Fight unemployment with shorter working week! Wage, pension and benefit increase! Sliding scale of wages!
· Abolition of the VAT! Not subsidies to the capitalist corporations! Workers control of the industry and services! Expropriation of the capitalist banks and big companies! Plan production and distribution under workers’ control!
· For unified industrial unions! Total democracy in the unions! No to co-management or partnership! Workers assemblies and elected workers’ committees to lead the struggles!
· Real equality between men and women! Right to free contraception and abortion! Equal rights for all forms of sexual orientation!
· For a secular Europe! Separation of Church and State! No state finance for religious institutions! No state recording of religious affiliation! Emancipation of youth from all clerical control!
· Independence for remaining European colonies! Self-determination for Kosovars, Basques, Irish, Kurds, etc.!
· Abolition of the agreements of Schengen! Open the borders for all workers! Recognition of all rights and of citizenship to worker immigrants!
· Freedom for all revolutionary and union militants, for all the activists of the oppressed nations! Working self-defence! Dissolve the professional armies and repressive police forces!
· Abolition of all the monarchies! For the abolition of all ‘Upper Houses’ (Senates, House of Lords, etc.)! For the right to recall the representatives and wages of representatives limited to that of a technician!
· End of all military threats against China, North Korea, Iran and Syria! Close all the US military bases! Dissolve NATO! Disarm the "European Rapid Force"!
· Cancel the debt of the poor countries! Defence of the collectivised economies of Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam! Hands off the Ivory Coast, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq! Workers United Front to block the military transport and transmissions! Victory for the people of Iraq! Defeat imperialism!
· Against the UE, against all treaties and capitalist agreements of the EEC, and the UE, from 1957 to 2005! Workers’ governments in every country of Europe! For a Socialist United States of Europe!
Every serious demand of the masses reaches beyond the limits of the private property. So, the workers have to unite to overthrow the bourgeois state that allows the minority of capitalists to exploit and rule over the masses. Only a workers government can give humanity a future free from barbarism. The workers government will have like task of expropriating the expropriators, to put the giant corporations under workers’ control, so they can begin to reorganise society on a national, international, and finally, world-wide basis.
All previous social conquests of the working class in East Europe were lost because the bureaucracy was not overthrown and capitalism was restored. All the political and social conquests of the working class of Europe of the West are being eroded and threatened because the bourgeoisie is still able to control the working class through the reformist unions and political parties. The proletariat faces an inevitable struggle to fight for socialism or else collapse into the barbarism of economic crisis, fascism and war.
The union apparatuses and political reformists divide the workers ranks and collaborate with the bourgeoisie
In the course of the last world-wide revolutionary wave, the European proletariat one once again demonstrated its capacity for the struggle: Belgium in 1961, France and Czechoslovakia in 1968, Italy in 1969, Poland and Great Britain in 1970, Turkey in 1971, Ireland and Portugal in 1974, Spain in 1976, Poland in 1980. Recently, facing the counter-offensive of the global bourgeoisie, resisting the local offensives against their political and social rights, against the imperialist wars, strike movements and massive demonstrations have taken place in Spain, Italy, Greece, Great Britain, Germany, France, and Austria.
Nevertheless the spontaneous protest of the workers and youth is not sufficient. The union bureaucracies and the traditional parties of the working class are the paid agents of the bosses and are used to contain and divert workers’ struggles. The petty-bourgeois nationalists (the SSP, Batasuna, the IRA...), the Islamist currents and the Christian youth organisations, the “anti-globalisation" movements (ATTAC...) and "the ecological" parties..., they also contribute to the confusion of proletariat and youth. Many of these fakers feed the masses with the myth of "another Europe", that would be less "neo-liberal" (but equally capitalist) or divide the masses along the lines of gender, nationality, race or religion.
Across Europe, the union bureaucracies and bourgeois-worker parties practice class collaboration daily. Most of the Social-Democratic and Communist parties in the European countries who were accomplices in the restoration of capitalism in the soviet bloc, have abandoned talk of socialism. They try to make workers believe in a "social Europe", as if the capitalist European Union could satisfy even the elementary social needs of the masses.
Actually, the reformist parties are accomplices in the bosses anti-worker attacks. The prevent general strikes and the self-defence of the workers, they preach confidence in the police and the army, they agree with the bourgeois parties or they support the representatives of the bourgeoisie, accept the boot of Israel on Palestine, are accomplices of the oppression of the nationalities of Europe, support the UN and the intervention of its troops. When they are in the power, they further the privatizations and the anti-worker plans, and deport or jail migrant workers.
Their allies on the "far left" also call for "another Europe". The most audacious ones promote a "Europe of the workers", without socialism, nor revolution, and, definitely without a “dictatorship of the proletariat”!
For instance, in France, LO and the LCR claim to transform the UE, which is a coalition of bourgeois states, into a “Workers Europe”. Meanwhile, the PT accuses the UE of the deterioration of the life of the workers, as the most reactionary parties do. The liquidators of the 4th International are actually the left wing of reformism, because of growing adaptation to capitalism and accommodation to their bourgeois states.
For a long time, some of them have been praising the parliamentary road (ex-Militant now CWI and Socialist Appeal – El Militant tendency), and nowadays renounce more and more openly the revolution. In France, the centrists call for a vote for Chirac (LCR), defend the "bourgeois Republic" (PT), support the protests of police officers or the Chirac law prohibiting wearing the Islamic headscarf by Arab and Turkish young people (LCR, PT). In Britain, they give up the struggle for one secular and democratic Palestine, for the right to abort and for scrapping of all immigration controls (SWP). Across Europe, they become increasingly part of the corrupt union apparatuses. Such "Trotskyists" along with petty bourgeois anarchists are typically enthusiastic supporters of the "World Social Forum", led by the Christian churches and their recycled Stalinist friends, the NGOs financed by the bourgeois states and the ecological parties.
Libertarians and centrists oppose the building of a revolutionary party. In this way, anarchists give room to the lieutenants of the bourgeoisie. The ones who claim to be Marxists, prefer a “broad” party, not firmly separated from reformists. Its aim is to manage capitalism better. In France, the former PCI disappeared into a reformist and chauvinist party, the PT. In Britain, the Militant majority, when expelled from the Labour Party, built up a SP with a reformist program. SWP and ISG are launching (with Islamists) Respect, led by George Galloway who is against abortion and for the control of migrants, following the collapse of their hardly less reformist project the Socialist Alliance.
Pseudo-Trotskyites have for more than a decade supported former Stalinist parties: PRC in Italy, IU in Spain, PDS in Germany, PCF in France, etc. Sometimes, they have entered political parties with no connection to the working class: German ecologists, Catalan nationalists, Scottish nationalists. All these organisations have nothing more to do with socialist revolution.
Workers of the World Unite!
For a Revolutionary Workers International!
In order to defend themselves and to prepare its future, the proletariat needs a new leadership, a party of the Bolshevik type, internationalist and revolutionary, that use all proletarian tactics for evacuation of the armies of European imperialisms in Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, Bosnia, the Ivory Coast, Haiti; for the defeat of imperialism. The party must stand shoulder to shoulder with the proletariats of all other countries on the side of the countries oppressed by the European, Japanese and US imperialists. It must defend the national rights of all oppressed peoples, like the Iraqis, Palestinians, Chechens or Kurds.
But the most important task of the internationalists, in particular those who live in the imperialist countries, is to work to overthrow the bourgeoisie in their own countries.
The European workers vanguard must regroup in revolutionary internationalist Marxist parties in each country, parties based on the Trotskyist-Leninist nuclei that we fight to build. This is the International that will fight to the end against its own bourgeoisie, that creates workers’ militias, that fights for the overthrow of the bourgeois state and impose a workers government to expropriate the capitalists and open the road to a Socialist United States of Europe. This union will be open to all the workers’ republics that wish to join it, from Turkey to Norway, from Switzerland to Russia, because it will be only a stepping stone towards a Socialist United States of the World.
The unification of the continent only can be made by a social revolution. Such a revolution only can be made by the exploited and oppressed class that has nothing to lose, and that “has no country”. The victory of the revolution in Europe will be an inspiration for revolutions elsewhere; the US, Japan, and the ex-workers states, China and Russia and create a socialist international division of labour to further the transition to communism, the end of classes and the withering of the state.
Europe is the cradle of Capitalism. Consequently, the modern proletariat first appeared in Europe, and the latter was also the theatre for the first workers’ revolutions and the first seizure of power by the workers: Paris in 1871, Petrograd and Moscow in 1917. Although capitalism has been restored in Russia and the centre of Europe; although the social conquests have been eroded little by little in the West of Europe, the proletariat of Europe has not said its last word. Tomorrow it will once more take up the cause of the Paris Commune and the program of October 1917: it will take the power.
Let us construct the International whose red flags will proclaim:
· Long live the union of the workers of the city and the country of the entire world!
· Long live the workers and working farmers of the entire world!
· Let us overthrow the bourgeoisie in every country! · Long live the world socialist revolution!
From Class Struggle 60 March-April 2005