Pedro Fuentes in collaboration with

Maycon Bezerra and Bernardo Correa

This text is a contribution to those who believe in the need for an open debate on the world situation. We are moving in complex and new moments, in which the revolutionaries can not keep the old schemes and formulas; we must enrich and  improve them to understand and act in a very rich reality, but at the same time very different from others in which we have gone through. It is a time for action in which theory and its political developments have to be used. Let us think of Brazil where PSOL looms as a real alternative to sections of the people and can govern cities! We can face this exciting reality in two incorrect ways: acting pragmatically as events happen, or being critical commentators, observing and criticizing politics and what others are doing. To understand and act in Brazil, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina… we need to look at the world that is increasingly synchronized. These notes are for those who understand that Marxist theory must be linked to action and it is a period of action and dispute over the masses.

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/I/

Global impasse?

 

 

The world situation is very complex; the planet is like a wave (or maybe a dam) where the world system accumulates more and more contradictions without any sharp release of forces neither to one side (the ruling bourgeoisie) or the other (the workers and the people), as in previous situations of global crises.

This concentration of contradictions has two poles: in one side the crisis of the ruling classes, which is a consequence of a global (economic, political and environmental) crisis; and in the other an absence of a clear revolutionary alternative that could be an alternative to radically alter this situation. We can say that there is a critical global impasse, in a world where there are inequalities between countries but, at the same time, more synchrony because the crisis is global and occurs substantially in central countries; USA, Europe, BRICS, permeating the planet as whole. There is a great impasse where we can say, quoting Lenin, that to some point those “in the top cannot anymore” and those below “do not want it” to some extent.

 

 

/II/

Impasse is different from immobility

 

1 There are many movements happening, although they don’t define neither to one side nor the other. The bourgeoisie can’t get overwhelming victories, nor the workers and the people.

After the crisis of 2007/2008, with the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, (which were democratic revolutions), an uprising wave began. This wave dominated the world until 2013 with demonstrations, occupations and rebellions. Then came the “Indignados” and Greece (including Occupy Wall Street in the US), Ukraine (Maiden), June 2013 in Brazil, in July Turkey (Taksim square). They were clear democratic, popular, spontaneous youth and plebeian movements, with anticapitalist features for the character of their actions (occupations, revolutions), and some of their slogans. For the first time, there appeared new and creative slogans questioning the regime to demand “real democracy now”, and “no to the power of the banks” and the system / model of globalization and profiteering, as well as “99% against 1% “.

 

2 These processes stumbled and stumble upon the absence of an alternative leadership. We are not talking about a revolutionary socialist leadership – which of course there wasn’t – but a consistent revolutionary popular democratic leadership, as had, for example, despite its limitations, the Latin American radical nationalism in 2002, 2009, i.e. Chavez’s bolivarianismo and Evo’s indigenism, with whom important democratic and anti-imperialist triumphs were achieved.

In the Arab countries only Tunisia hasn’t backed off, or it did only partially because the old regime fell. It was where the working class was and is more organized and active. In the rest of the Arab countries the stagnation and / or subsequent advance of the counterrevolution was much higher, further evidence that the bourgeoisie cannot carry out democratic and anti-imperialist tasks to the end in delayed countries.

The biggest point of this counterrevolution in the Middle East is Putin’s and Al Assad’s counterrevolutionary war in Syria, added by Erdogan in Turkey. In Eastern Europe it was the war and the division of Ukraine. In Western Europe, the capitulation of Syriza.

 

  1. However, the movement stumbles but raises and expresses itself in various ways. For example, in Latin America with the end of the PT leadership cycle in Brazil as well as the Bolivarianismo in Venezuela, there seems to be a reborn pole in Peru (Frente Amplio), in Brazil with PSOL, and in Mexico where there would be a major leap if Zapatistas (EZLN) launches a candidacy to the elections of 2018.

In Europe it also occurs. In England despite the triumph of the hard right with the Brexit, Corbyn secures himself in neo-labors with the idea of party/movement. In Spain, although the PP gets advantages with the impasse by the capitulation and collapse of the PSOE, “Podemos” strengthens itself with the idea of a new party / movement. In France the PS crisis fortifies Partie de Gauche; and in Germany (especially Berlin) Die Link collects the crisis of social democracy.

And in the USA something fundamental: the crisis of credibility in the political regime of the old bipartisanship of Democrats and Republicans is “stark”. Something like that never happened, even in the 70’s. There are two anti-regime poles: one very progressive and substantial that relies on the structural crisis in the country from which violence against blacks is an expression (Sanders, Black Live Matter) that includes transitional demands.

 

  1. Another face is the emergence of a new proto-fascism and neo-Nazism on the basis of national chauvinism, xenophobia, and the attack on immigrants who flood Europe and the US. It is the result of the objective crisis and the weakness of alternatives that appeal to the whole of mass movement. In the US Trump it is no clown, but the expression of the fascist neo-ultra-right heir to the Tea Party and the Klux Klux Klan, against blacks and immigrants. In Latin America the most notable case is that of Uribe and his alliance with paramilitaries. In Europe, UKIP in England, Le Pen in France, New Alternative in Germany, Erdogan in Turkey, Duterte in the Philippines. It exists in many countries are although they aren’t the choice of the “western” bourgeois ruling classes; they still develop themselves, relying on Putin and also in China, and can be an alternative government towards the crisis of the classic bipartisan system that sustains capitalist globalization. The Zionist “State” (not the country) of Israel is with Putin, the two institutional bastions of this process.

Generally they rely on the impoverished sectors of the middle class and old workers who lose jobs with globalization and immigration and are attracted by the national chauvinist promises, and the rejection of immigrants. While the dominant bourgeois sectors do not have them as their alternative, they continue to grow.

 

5 Why do we say impasse if very progressive new phenomena occur? Because it is very difficult to have heavy blasts (on either side) that unlevel the situation in the most important centers of the world system. An ultrareactionary or counterrevolutionary victory is unthinkable in the US, Europe, or even in China if workers, the modernized urban masses and the peasantry in those countries keep waking up. We see it is even less possible in Latin America. What advances is the economic counterrevolution, which it is a real threat, it is difficult that it advances in a political counterrevolution that could be what gives dark stability to the world economy. It would be certainly the “stability” of barbarity.

On the other hand, if we understand blasts on the workers and the people, that is new expropriations of the bourgeoisie, they haven’t occured for 40 years and is very difficult that they occur nowadays. What’s more likely are revolutionary democratic gains with certain economic benefits  similar to those that happened in Latin America at the beginning of the previous decade. That’s where the situation points to and this can happen in key countries, or in countries that are not marginal to imperialist domination. That is, there could be new democratic revolutions that shake the structure of capitalist dominance and itself, with more impact than we had so far in Latin America and Arab countries.

 

  1. The other thing that happens and will continue to happen is the sharpening of inter-capitalist competition that comes from the hand of globalization. The voracious trade war between the powers, which are more than the patent fight. There is a very dangerous escalation of local and regional wars for geopolitical and economic interests as the ones in the Greater Middle East (Syria and Iraq); that is what really is on the horizon. The new China and Russia arms race, the rearmament of Japan, are trade war and “inter imperialist” (in quotation marks) political disputes held by USA and their fragile allies in one side and on the other the increasingly strong partnership between Russia and China.

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/III/

Which is the crisis of the world dominant bourgeoisie? In a descriptive way some components of this crisis are:

 

  1. a) Crisis of the accumulation mode in this phase of “globalization” where there is the highest concentration of capital in few corporations and families with the greatest inequality in the last 140 years. (Oxfam report, Dumenyl, Piketty). It is increasingly based on financialization and rentier profits associated with globalization governments. The characteristic of financialization (money making money M-M’) leads to a process of greater lumpenisation of the bourgeoisie. It is about “future” surplus value, which somehow needs to get out of the super-exploitation of wage labor worldwide and especially in the periphery. This inevitably collides with the falling rate of profit despite the technological revolution that increases the productivity of labor;
  2. b) high rentier financial bourgeoisie (derivatives and banks) is articulated with large “productive” corporations, hence it is impossible to break their hegemony without a comprehensive attack[1]. This symbiosis or association among the world neo-oligarchy is that while it profits from financial speculation that also despoil countries, it accumulates profits from surplus coming out of cheap labor countries (China, Vietnam, India etc.) converted in the world’s factory.The inherent contradiction is that the rentier profiteering causes prolonged economic stagnation that suffocates with the high level of debt (countries, states, cities and businesses) and the decreasing rate of return on productive investments (low profit rate);
  3. c) this leap occurred in with the mode of accumlation in the new phase has its other side in neoliberalism, as a new political and state model serving these interests.
  4. d) The restoration of capitalism in the countries of “real socialism” in which capital became economically dominant in the world as a whole, and the technological revolution that allowed a leap in communications, globalizing the information in seconds, were two decisive facts to explain this new phase.
  5. e) the environmental crisis is part of the crisis (global warming etc.) resulting in this capitalism stage in which it became more destructive and depleting to the environment. There is a devastating attack by the largest mining corporations, transgenic agriculture, use of herbicides which contaminate the environment in the cities, which is uncontrollable by capitalism unless they get new profitable clean energy sources .
  6. f) super exploitation and spoliation are the ways in which at this stage the bourgeois initiatives occur to resume economic activity. The have also necessarily a character of accumulation by dispossession. (Delivery of the country’s goods, territory, mining, energy, roads, and all kinds of extractive activities on the periphery, especially in Latin America, Africa. Etc [2].;
  7. g) the ineluctable neoliberal “management” of bourgeois political regimes and their parties and governments serving corporations and rent-seeking is a need for this accumulation stage (dismantling of states to put at its service), which has led politicians to their delegitimization to the mass movement, as well as institutions with which they govern;
  8. h) the increasing loss of hegemony by the American imperialism is part of the current crisis of domination. USA is weaker and at the same time more unilateralist because it has less ability to master through “association” with other imperialist powers. Meanwhile, the weakening of the regime itself in their country, result of the absorption of all contradictions which were marked with the crisis of 2008 when Obama had to go to state bailout of the banking domain of what we call rent-seeking;
  9. i) the strengthening of Russia and China, two countries that in the current context play a role of neo-imperialism (the first in a political feature, and the second in an economic one) forces the US to a more defensive position (which does not mean less aggressive). So it has opened a geopolitical scenario of more instability and unpredictability; [3]
  10. j) there is a deepening ideological decadence of the bourgeoisie as part of this overall situation of impasse, which explains the spread of religious, national and racial chauvinism.

This crisis of the ruling classes and their system is, for  revolutionaries, objective, it indicates the limitations of capitalism at this stage of decay. The bourgeoisie “can” to some extent by this intrinsic process and because the mass movement does not allow it to go further.

But the crisis does not mean that capitalism will fall only by itself, the social and political subject who can take it down, destroy it and replace it is needed. For these reasons it would be unilateral not to take this subjective problem (that is for revolutionaries an objective one). Therefore we can not define this period as a revolutionary; Capitalism is in crisis but the social and political subject are needed to bring it down because it doesn’t die by itself.

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/IV/

 

The end of a leadership cycle and the difficulties for a new mass consciousness

1 A condition for the revolution to happen is “an independent historical action of the workers and the people”. Lenin said that for a revolutionary situation to happen, that is the opening of a situation that puts the power in the hands of the workers and the people, the class must be determined to that independent historical action. The contradiction that exists today in the realm of consciousness is that, while the masses have a discredit to capitalism, its regime and political parties including parties with a working class origin (social democracy and Stalinism), there are many difficulties to advance to that independent historical action. And a difficulty for this to happen is the fact that they do not see socialism as an alternative.

  1. This contradiction between the objective (the crisis and disbelief in capitalism) and the subjective dimension happens when objectively anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism are more linked and interconnected worldwide since poverty of the exploited and oppressed increases in the South and North. But the social and political subject (ie subjective, the class consciousness and the revolutionary party) that are essential to encourage an anti-capitalist alternative to overstep the frames of the regime and the system are weak. There’s a big denial and there is an absence of affirmation of socialism.

 

3 To deny the importance of consciousness is a serious mistake we can’t make, especially in today’s world where the rule of the bourgeoisie is achieved not only in the form of coercion but also through imposed consensus by its institutions that propagate their ideologies[4].

4 In history, in the times of the Second and Third International  socialism was part of the consciousness of the workers. Large sections of masses believed during Engel’s life in the big workers’ parties of the Second International (and also the Russian revolutionaries) up to its degeneration when they supported their own countries in the First World War. That ideology was not cut, it continued along with the Communist parties grouped in the Third International. The cut came at the end of the 1920’s and beginning of the 1930’s with the triumph of Stalinism and the historical weakness of Trotskyism to overcome it and be the continuation of socialism.

Anyway the bureaucratic socialist model (despite its totalitarianism) was useful until the beginning of the 1980’s to explain to workers the superiority of socialism as a system despite its totalitarianism, so we said in our international Tendency that socialism equals “Cuba with democracy”[5].

  1. The anti-bureaucratic revolutions of 1989 (in the former USSR and Eastern Europe) ended the Stalinist apparatus that controlled the vast majority of trade union and social organizations. European social democracy maintained a certain prestige in the electoral field between workers with Blair in the so-called third way, as had happened before with the PSOE. But social democracy was also definitively buried with the European austerity governments[6].

With the anti-bureaucratic revolutions and the restoration of capitalism the counterrevolutionary forces international apparatus fell which released the masses that are freer having more spontaneity to self-organize. (As we have also said the balance of postwar domination was broken accelerating the globalization of capital and its concentration). That way new paths were opened, workers and the poor were more liberated. Bolivarianismo can not be explained without the end of the apparatus that used to absorb any progressive independent process. Every new political process after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bolivarianismo and Indigenismo in Latin America, Die Link, Syriza, Podemos in Europe and Sanders in the US can be explained by the absence of them.

But at the same time, it meant to the consciousness of the masses the loss of the only model of socialism they knew, a false one, which served to see another perspective of capitalism. This provoked confusion is what explains the difficulty of the masses to see socialism as a way out. And the question of the model is a difficulty to build consistent anticapitalist alternative politics which have in their program a clear socialist way out.

  1. What happens is that there is a void because those old leaderships are not believed while just recently new alternatives appear to replace them; the path is more open to it[7]. It is a time of transition, as Gramsci said (and now is very fair moment to quote him), “the old hasn’t died yet and the new is not yet born”. The end of old leadership cycles also brings elements of skepticism and disbelief, it is a negative moment that we must use to claim the new that hasn’t yet born, though it is being born. That “birth” already exists, because PSOL, Podemos and other processes live. The crisis triggered in Greece by the capitulation of Syriza, doesn’t bury all this rich process that exists today. On the contrary, it must serve to avoid those mistakes.

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/v/

The working class, the exploited, oppressed and their mobilization

  1. The objective crisis, and permanent counterrevolution made by those above push the fight. The mass struggle currently has several aspects: economic resistance struggles of workers resist (forgive the redundancy) cuts of rights and fight for wage (although struggles appear as defensive are transformed into offensive). To the struggles of workers we must add the significant democratic popular and anti-imperialist struggles against governments, most of the spontaneous uprisings or riots in which workers do not appear as a class. Struggles of the oppressed social sectors, of peoples for their independence, the feminist struggle, blacks, LGBT and youth have increased.
  2. Two sectors have a special highlight;

the feminist tide growing in many countries. The woman is who suffers the most from this crisis, at work and at home, the social crisis exposes more strongly sexist violence and behindhand social aspects, specially in the most exploited countries, where women have more claims, though it is also true worldwide. The new feminism is closely linked to women from the most exploited sectors and sustained by the crisis and gender violence as an expression of this moral crisis. It could be seen in the strike of Argentine women a few weeks ago which shook the world. It is because this is a global process that women resume from a long historical tradition of struggles started with 19th century suffragist workers;

the youth is the most revolutionary sector. They suffer more from the global crisis, unemployment, lack of expectations, the expelling of education in schools, and they are not tied to the old, search for a new horizon, rebel. The occupations are the mark of youth. It has been and will be the mobilizations engine; first it was its role in the Arab revolutions, then the squares, then came the fight against the commodification of education (Chile, Spain, France and now Brazil). A new youth vanguard is rising comprising highschool students, neighborhoods and young workers who are not tied to the old and that are also the source that nurtures new political processes emerging. Other processes that occur are LGBT claims, but especially the black movement that rose up again in the US which have a strong meaning.

 

  1. The working class has been and will remain being (in particular the industrial proletariat), the most genuinely anti-capitalist. Specially workers who are potentially the most revolutionary class and decisive by its nature. They are those who directly face employers and question their property. The most structural weakness of this period is that the working class and specifically in industry, which is the most genuinely anti-capitalist and objectively face the boss at work does not appear as a leader. It can not be explained solely by subjective problems as the absence of an alternative model to capitalism. This is primarily a structural phenomenon produced in this new phase of globalization.

The class was enlarged in numbers, grew vigorously even in the industry, but the technological revolution brought networked production (producing parts and components in different countries) and it created a global reserve army of labour that the bourgeoisie can handle and which the class can not face unless it counted with an international organization. By moving production to countries with cheaper labor and that network possibility the heavy battalions in Europe with long history and class consciousness have weakened. Workers are positively concrete, in a less spontaneous sense[8]. In the fight they risk everything, but it has to do with objective conditions to win and unemployment increases makes them think twice before deciding to fight. Hence the proletariat is not as in previous periods to the level of capitalism crisis to carry on the task of bringing behind itself the big sectors suffering neoliberal globalization.

The objective feature is that an economic and productive restructuring to increase the reserve army happened which fragments, outsources and precarizes workers and even the environment of the conflicts. But at the same time, growth in the sector linked to the circulation and services (especially among young people) as call centers, motives, UBER, street vendors, and more forms of precarious work is also critical to understand because often the conflict environment is extended or transferred for cities and neighborhoods. Real estate speculation and produced income differences also place in the center of urban conflicts the right to housing in both central and peripheral countries.

  1. It means that the number of exploited, impoverished, oppressed and excluded increases in the world in quality and quantity, which fuels the claims and struggles of the cities, the young people, the women, the blacks, the indigineous, the LGBT.
  2. Action and conciousness are dialectically united; there is no consciousness without action but there is no action without conscience. For that particular thought it is that to decide for the mobilization we have to see things “clear”, a real alternative way out. And in that sense previous consciousness acts, we can call it historical, that is formed by past experiences.

Thus the possibility of advancing in consciousness is open and is happening, especially the younger sectors who became more dynamic.

  1. In that way movements and struggles have increased. The lack of a leader (the class) is what makes the diversity of processes and mobilizations have more difficulties to act decisively. In other words, that popular, democratic and revolutions of this kind prevail, which strike governments, regimes but do not advance in a sense to question the greater superstructure, the bourgeois state, and its system.
  2. These changes do not deny that the working class remains the most revolutionary sector, with the most anticapitalist potential, the one who can carry out to the end the revolution against capitalism and their regimes. There are sections on the left and social movement that deform and unilaterally put the situation denying the role of the proletariat and in particular the industrial sector. If we adopt this mindset we would be unarmed to face the tasks. The general strike, and in a more concrete sense the political general strikes will be placed on the agenda again as happened in other periods. There is no deindustrialization. There is a redistribution of the proletariat that we have to take into account, but it is still decisive in large countries, in China, and also in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil in our continent.

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/VI/

 

A time of democratic or political rebellions and revolutions

  1. If we revisit the last 40 years, the revolutions have been anti-imperialist, democratic, political and less anti-capitalist[9]. However they are not less important since they have prevented the bourgeois stability. That is why economic counter-revolution advances (the dictatorship of the 200 companies as said by Ramos) , but it can’t do in the same way a political counterrevolution in major countries. On the contrary, what prevail are the democratic revolutions to which the ruling classes oppose their reaction and / or diversion to stop them.
  2. With the neoliberal globalization capitalism reached its zenith and its greatest contradiction and decay. The dictatorship of the bourgeoisie was transformed into a dictatorship of large corporations: the dictatorship of the 200 companies. The democratic gains of the bourgeois revolution are increasingly sold out and denied by the dictatorship of an extreme minority. We refer to overall democratic freedoms (economic, social and political) and anti-imperialist including in European countries.

Economic and political domination of the rent-seeking is also of a financial neo-oligarchy that reminds of the financial aristocracy of feudalism and its absolutist monarchy regime against which the nascent productive bourgeoisie faced in the sixteenth century and toppled by the French Revolution. Except from the differences, because on the top there is a unity of the corporations that dominate the whole world economy. The dominance is established through political castes (the bureaucratic caste possessing considerable means of production as well), political parties who are the managers of capitalism. Corruption (in Brazil it was very obvious), far transcends a moral problem to be intrinsic and organic to this phase of globalization where there is greater lumpenisation of the bourgeoisie and therefore its agents.

  1. The democratic or political revolution (ie the destruction and replacement of existing regimes and building a new one by a constituent popular assembly), is put not only where are dictatorial regimes but in all countries and in particular the most advanced capitalist countries, which are dominating most of the world economy. Not by chance the most responsive slogans to these tasks, 99% against 1% of the indignados and real democracy now, are expressions emerged in these countries.
  2. A triumphant democratic revolution can only be possible if there is strength and mass action from below. That is if dual power or popular power as organization of the poor and workers arises, whether regional, local or factory which establishes a duality and oppose the old power.

Bolivarian revolutionary processes taught that there is a close relationship between the mobilizations and new electoral political expressions. Chavismo is a product of a long revolutionary process that had the Caracazo as its starting point, several large popular mobilizations and then in 2002 the defeat of the coup. In Ecuador and Bolivia there were similar processes culminating in the electoral political triumphs of radical nationalism organized in parties.

The relationship between mobilization and political processes is also happening in Europe and other countries. The decisive factor, or rather the most important, is the revolutionary mass action to open a breach in the consciousness of the masses to dislocate a sector towards the new. Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain were a reproduction in Europe of what had previously happened in Latin America.

  1. The balance of these two processes (Venezuela and Greece) has to be instrumental to our learning taking into account the objective and the subjective; You can not drop it saying betrayal period. Bridging the gaps it is good to remember the method we Trotskyists use to explain bureaucratization and the Russian counterrevolution[10]. However you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water since the most likely is that situations like that of Venezuela will be repeated, rather, it is the most likely prospect although given in another context.

In Venezuela the revolutionary process has not been deepened, no doubt about it, but this can be used to justify dogmatic positions that match Chavez to Lula and Tsipras to social democracy. The reality is richer. The first factor in Venezuela is also objective; as occured in Russia the Bolivarian process was not extended to key countries of the continent. Moreover Brazil acted as a dam, playing a clear subimperialist role (much more active than USA imperialism in that period), to prevent the process forward. Chavez must be harshly criticized for having capitulated to PT, but that does not deny the counter-revolutionary role in relation to Venezuela of the PT itself.

On the other hand, the true advancement of nationalist politics passed through the nationalization of banks (national and international, to break the internationalized power of rent-seeking) rather than expropriating the weak bourgeoisie and this measure was never in the agenda of Chavismo. The nationalization of banks and oil revenues have allowed the beginning of the diversification of production to break the extreme dependence on foreign products.

But another decisive factor was and is the bureaucratization of the state. The popular, community power was essentially local, a progressive power though crashing against the central apparatus of state managers that proliferated and allowed the establishment of a caste / class, the bolibourgeoisie that began to manage its own privileges. The PSUV was an appendage of the state bureaucracy. To this we must add the death of Chavez; as fellow from Marea Socialista and the CIM explained very well if on one side we had to criticize his “hyper-leadership” on the other hand its role of a political axis of the process was decisive. With his death there was a loss of a leader without any substitute able to put limits on bureaucracy, face reaction and correct directions.

The state and its bureaucracy is a theme to deepen; self-management and popular / community control of key levers of the state as well as production were annulled by the state bureaucracy. The transition to socialism also presupposes the democratization of the state and thus self-management as way forward[11].

Greece is also for us much more complex than the betrayal of Tsipras, which existed. You can not eliminate problems that are objective (knowing that objective and subjective are relative depending on where we locate). Syriza became government after the large demonstrations that occurred in 2014, especially the education strike in Greece. Syriza’s most serious error was not to bet mobilization and put all the chips in the electoral perspective. Thus becoming a prisoner of Europe’s isolation when in Latin America things changed right after the death of Chavez, a process in which Syriza also bet. In these difficult conditions  capitulation occurred, imposed by the Troika in the absence of a plan B[12].

  1. The elections and the role of the struggles in the institutions; government and power.

Back to the theme of revolutions, in this period the elections play a crucial role as a way of advancing the revolutionary and anti-capitalist democratic alternatives; It is a mistake to think that we only go to them for propaganda of our way out. From  this aspect it is also important but for the mass dispute put today to advance institutional spaces is a key activity; You can not cease to dispute them, under the penalty of opening spaces for the bourgeoisie, the extreme right or the failed left tendencies. It is not just about choosing parliamentarians so that they are as Lenin said “tribunes of the people”. That is essential, but we run to win mayoralties, as conquered in Spain (Cadiz, Madrid, Barcelona), or recently in Valparaíso in Chile where won a new political force emerged in student demonstrations.

Why should we govern in the frames of the bourgeois democratic regime? To use the institutions of government to gain social force, to transform it into an orlop that allows (more than better managing the city, which is possible) to advance the self-organization of workers and the people. To help creating “from the top” people power “from below”, using the famous expression of Lenin in Two Tactics of Russian Social Democracy[13].

  1. Democratic revolutions can only be made by the exploited, the workers and the people organized. The party has to organize the vanguard (this is necessary), but it’s not enough, you can’t stop there. Marcelo Freixo, right after the election result made a beautiful self-criticism about the lack of integration of our party in the West of Rio de Janeiro, the most popular area, noting that “it wasn ‘t only because there were militia that we didn’t get there but because it is our deficit.” To organize these precarious workers from poor neighborhoods around their needs after the crisis is an indispensable task for our grassrooting.
  2. The slogan ordering the tasks and slogans of a democratic revolution is the People’s Constituent Assembly. An assembly to reorganize the regime and the country on other bases, and this can not be done if there is no dual power, people and workers organized are capable with their mobilization to break the decadent bourgeois regime and its political castes and be an alternative power.

In the past decade in Latin America we had Constituents Assemblies in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Then there were large mobilizations / insurrectional / elections / constituent assemblies. These three factors will be present, and over all we have to put the emphasis on the organization of mass action. We are in times when the objective crisis of the above can become chronic. Therefore, we can not deny that the famous exceptional hypothesis of the Transitional Program (economic crack, war, impasse …) non-labor reformist forces (petty bourgeois) are forced to go beyond what they wanted.

Hatred and rejection of political parties is tremendous, more and more social sectors essentially repudiate them and it occurs essencially as a result of the suffering of global crisis. Thus reaching the masses and building an alternative revolutionary democratic power is possible. There are increasing demands of the workers and the people. Starting now by wages, to which are added many mobilization slogans increasingly broad as defending education, health, women’s claims, etc. collide against the current regimes.

 

The democratic revolution is a step of social revolution,

whether long delayed

 

  1. We continue to believe that the revolution in the 21st century will be uninterrupted or permanent. We think that is permanent essentially in the character international. It´s impossible the revolution in only one country, and there is no solution to the problems of peoples or humanity if the big bourgeoisie which dominates the world is not expropriated and if they keep their heavy blows in the countries. Socialism – said Moreno – will be international or it won’t be any.

With the restoration of capitalism in all countries of “real socialism”, the current phase of neoliberal globalization meant the absolute rule of global wealth  capital in few large corporations, which also dominate science and high technologies. On the other hand the increase in poverty, precariousness, not to mention the increasing number of workers worldwide.

We have also said that the existence of the Soviet bloc played a negative political role. This had a contradictory aspect in relation to the global control of the capital. Because the existence of these countries allowed an economic dispute and backward countries could become independent from the domination of imperialism drawing on support (not without costs) to Russia as happened with Cuba, Arab countries all over a long period for example. Today for any country to be “out” of world domination is more difficult.

This complication has its compensation because the concentration and increasing global poverty it causes places more objectively and possible tasks of expropriating the big capitalists, ie the revolution in central countries.

 

Democracy and socialism. The new transition slogans.

  1. The existence of neo-oligarchies also puts in a “democratic” way the issue of property in a more visible way. Share the property. Tax the fortunes of the richest capitalists, expropriate certain capitalist as the Transitional Program said. etc. That is to say democratic and socialist have that link. If anything indicates that this new transition put was the Bernie Sanders campaign in the US that was clearly of the poor against the rich, for the taxing of fortunes, the division of banks etc.

In this sense the Transitional Program, which is as present as ever in relation to the transitional method, changes a lot the transitional slogans. For this situation workers’ control and opening of the books, tends to be replaced by these new slogans that also attack the big capitalists and claim for another way as PT used to say “the expropriation of certain groups of capitalists”.

  1. The democratic revolutions are a step towards the socialist revolution, but in this time are a big step and can only carry out the exploited and impoverished by neoliberal globalization. Even the most progressive economists of the bourgeois thinking as Krugman or Stiglitz make correct complaints against financial capital. Is it possible that these complaints give way to a polarization of the productive bourgeoisie against rentiers? So far it has not happened and it seems that in the inner circles this is impossible, which does not mean that bourgeois middle and small sectors may not be important allies in the struggle of workers and plebeian sectors of society against the old political caste and families that dominate the economy in each country.

Latin America: an important scenario for this new period.

A superficial and quick glance would indicate that in the global division of labor Latin America not only plays the role of supplier of raw materials. It is also territory for extractive activities depleting mineral and water reserves, land purchasing, oilfields, etc. We can say a neo-colonization is involved in which intervene not only US but also China and other global corporations.

This process is being facilitated by the decline of the Bolivarian revolution and also the right-wing return after the PT cycle in Brazil. By the experience in previous periods in our continent and by the experience of masses in our countries there is still much to play; the Party has just begun. On the one hand, and although it has receded, we cannot disregard the experience accumulated in the previous period. (Do not throw the baby with the bath water). The experience and achievements of indigenism in Bolivia though are now bound by Evo’s political pact with the “medialuna” and Brazilian and Bolivian soy producers, as well as agreements with large international mining, are a reference for a large sector of peasants and indigenous people from the continent who are expelled from their lands and have their water and land contaminated. Previous experiences were located in some countries, being Brazil and Mexico left out, which are now part of this economic counterrevolution advancing after the crisis entered the continent.

2. In Latin America there is no possibility that local elites turn against imperialism. In Mexico, Brazil, and other average countries there is an association between the elite of billionaire families and the world bourgeoisie, they have more investment abroad than in their own country. A superficial glance would indicate that the global division of labor LA not only plays the role of exporter of raw materials (an important part in the hands of foreign companies), but also the predatory extractivism. In the case of Brazil (the largest country) it seems to be indefinite, in search of its destiny. To maintain its industrialization it would have to be again cheap labor needing a very big fix that is what they are trying to do.

4. In this overview we believe all processes occurring will be more continental and also closer to what happens in North America including the US as we claimed a few months ago in a text. If Trump wins, now a hypothesis became increasingly likely, this would be even narrower, since the wall he is trying would unite the Chicano population from one side to another of the Bravo River instead of dividing it./[14]/.

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/VI/

The new political processes; the relationship between the political with the social; the idea of party-movement.

1 In this period a new political cycle before the debacle of social democracy, Stalinism and its apparatuses began. Looking globally, and also in Latin America it would seem it happens more as political processes than social and labor processes. Podemos, Corbyn’s New Laborism, Die Link, Sanders, Frente Ampio in Peru, PSOL, HDP in Turkey, Mexico if the Zapatistas run in the elections. It is a result of the weight of elections as a way to express the rejection of the old regimes and parties. This process has not stopped after the capitulation of Syriza, despite the ultra left saying they are neo-reformists and want to liquidate us. It is the richest form of expression of the radical and anti-capitalist democratic struggle in this period and we are committed to its development and to transform them into inserted parties in the social subject.

Its anti-capitalism is relative. We can also say that sometimes their anti-regime seems to be relative; hence we cannot embellish these processes. What we disagree openly is to be crystallized as neo-reformists, substitutes or allies of social democracy and nothing but this process. They are not, more than anything there is a confused, doubtful moment going on the consciousness of the masses, but they are representative of the novel occurring in the mass movement and its vanguard.

Our task is to be there, within them, so that they are democratic processes that allow the expression of all who are present there and not only represented. To be also within them the sector that expresses the need for progress on the tasks to dispute the masses against old organic parties of neoliberalism (PT, Social Democracy, former Stalinism), and that this could count with a program that reaches the tasks raised at that time by the workers and the exploited people. This dispute of the masses is in all fields; in the election, in the structures of trade unions, neighborhoods, schools, factories as we have already said[15].

3 There is a new relationship between the political and the social.

There is a crisis in the old trade unions, which are based on apparatuses that live on state revenues and thus helped to shape a bureaucracy within them. And this happens in a fairly widespread manner, hence also decreasing affiliations and the disrepute they have. However it is not black or white. There are progressive processes especially in a more structural level, the factory committees, in union elections and even in union organizations. The old unionism by new practices must be replaced based in classism and internal democracy. It is also necessary that the unions, more than unions for categories and workers struggles embed otherwise within the population, so that they stop being corporative struggles to become more social, young high school students have shown with the occupation of schools.

One issue that occurs by the social weight of unions is the emergence of many neighborhood, women, blacks and cultural organizations within the poor population. It is a party’s task to be in all these processes.

  1. The party should not only be inside but must also be the cement or mortar that gives political centrality to social subjects, being somewhat confused being its members one more within them but at the same time an uniting factor. Hence it has to be present in the neighborhoods and communities every day not only at election time but at work, valuing the social activists and politically structured in neighborhoods. In 2016 Brazilian elections PSOL in Rio, Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, Belem etc. hierarchically put this task. To extend the party’s affiliations in neighborhoods and at the same time is a dynamic factor, of social structure cement.
  2. Revolutionaries’ and reformists’ unity which is nothing new in the history of internationalism. It is what Lenin later put forward when he defended and carried on the unity of the Russian Social Democratic Party. That is not only possible but also necessary in this period we are going through. That obviously requires the right to be in that process loyal to the party organization and politics that it assumes. There is a new material a new comprehensive vanguard to develop these broader processes and revolutionaries should be the strongest within them.

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/VII/

Revolutionary regroupment e Internationalism

  1. Trotskyism is for its program and revolutionary tradition better prepared to face this new period. However it is very weak and has a strong propaganda and dogmatic heritage. We need to nurture from the youth (student and worker), the feminist struggle, and the vanguard of the proletariat which is in the unions. At the same time there are revolutionary sectors that come from Guevarism, independent formations, etc. A task that is placed is the regroupment of revolutionaries. Here there is the experience with Esquerda Marxista and MAIS, which are new challenges that we have locally and internationally. This task is facilitated to the extent that we can converge with those whith whom we agree in an overall program like ours and also with the work in the new processes.
  2. Moreover from PSOL, along with our current allies we can develop more offensive politics towards new processes that occur debating regrouping or close relationship with them. For example it is urgent to contact Mexico fellows who support the statement made by the EZLN; in the US we have to make every effort to link up with the dynamic sectors that supported Sanders; in Chile after the triumph of Valparaiso surely new tasks are placed. On the other hand we continue to follow the Spanish experience of Podemos and in particular what is happening in Andalusia where the idea of Party – Movement develops.
  3. The role of propaganda we will do in this next year should be in the form of a campaign with the related sectors around the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
  4. The autonomous organization of Youth and women.

[1] The neoliberal Globalization [Maycon Bezerra]. The neoliberal globalization and rentier degeneration of capitalism that it performs, plunged into ever deeper crisis, expresses the tendency of capital – pointed out by Marx – to stay as much as possible in the form of abstract, financial wealth. The more accumulation takes place within the financial sphere (M – M’), converted into rentier gain, more if detaches from the plane of the concrete human needs put in the dimension of  commodity production and circulation (asphyxiating it because of the high level of indebtedness imposed), thus tending to develop an increasingly sharp contradiction with an increasingly wide range of social sectors. Moreover, when the extraction of surplus value on the basis of capital’s appreciation process is carried out by over-exploitation of wage labor (wages below the value of labor power) on the periphery – especially but not exclusively – and by transferring this mass value from the capitalist periphery to the imperialist centers. (http://www.sinpermiso.info/textos/imperialismo-y-sobre-explotacion)

[2] We take the fundamental contribution made by David Harvey’s theory of capitalist accumulation in this period.

[3] China more than Russia is part of the “world economy”. It has accumulated a lot of financial capital and is the largest holder of US government debt. It can not be said that the bureaucracy is simply a caste, it is more than that, it is about an autocratic regime where its head is part of the world neo-oligarchy.

[4] As Gramsci explained in the 1920s and 1930s, the bourgeoisie built with their contradictions and differences between East and West its hegemony through coercion (army, police, etc.) and consensus through its superstructures; Churches / religion, school / education, media, political parties. Nowadays there is a great discredit of the ideological power of political parties, but that gap is occupied by other more perverse superstructures as churches (particularly evangelical in poor classes), and the media that are critical opinion formers.

 

[5] The Social Democrats also survived for many years by the great achievements via reforms accomplished by workers in capitalist countries in the postwar Europe, social security, wages, free health care, known as the era of the welfare state.

[6] In dependent and semicolonial countries besides those parties we had the influence of bourgeois nationalism, as Peronism or Nasserism.

[7] In the 1990’s this term was misused by our tendency since we identified it as a leadership and even power vacuum. What we have now is not a power void but a void of political representation because the old parties have ceased to be believed. Obviously this gap is relative and is occupied if the new left processes don’t develop.

[8] The worker learns from his experience. The worker does not risk as do students who have less to lose when they occupy schools. For workers occupying a factory means taking their job, their family, that is their life and hence when they decide they know it’s all or nothing. This is not to diminish the value of student occupations, but to understand and value our class.

[9] The democratic revolutions are political revolutions that change the political regime by revolutionary methods, but do not alter the system, ie property relations in their essence. The bourgeoisie is not expropriated.

[10]In Russia counterrevolution triumphed because the revolution was not extended in Germany (Russian late development character) and the enormous wear in the loss of the workers’ vanguard in the civil war.

[11] Tito Prado and Bernardo Correa made this very important observation. The grim experience of “Lulista statism with Lavajato Operation” discredits the idea making the equivalence between nationalization and bureaucratization and theft. The theme of “freely associated producers” put by Marx and the “New Type of State” put by Engels and Lenin.

[12] Plan B was to stick to rent-seeking auditing debt and nationalizing banks, which could trigger a bourgeois counteroffensive for what it should also be prepared.

[13] It is worth remembering Lenin on the Social Democratic Party maintaining their political and organizational independence, they had to enter a provisional revolutionary government as a way to dispute and push from above the process of democratic revolution against the opinion of the Mensheviks who opposed it and for whom power should be occupied only by the bourgeoisie.

[14] See “Notes on Latin America. The end of a stage (and cycle) and the beginning of another (and also a cycle)”. http://portaldelaizquierda.com/2016/08/notes-on-latin-america-the-end-of-a-stage-and-cycle-and-the-beginning-of-another-and-also-a-cycle//

[15] A popular experience to unerline is that MES’ youth with Rede Emancipa. It is a response to the need of the poor sectors to study for university entrance that perhaps should expand to literacy in these areas and slums (favelas).