The Worker, August 7, 2015
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625
U.S. Imperialism's Program for World Domination
70 years after Truman dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki another Democratic party president heads a government that is asserting itself in the role of “world policeman.” As in the past, today’s program of modernizing the quadrillion dollar nuclear arsenal of U.S. imperialism and projecting its aggressive armed forces into all corners of the globe is driven by the ambitions of the U.S. multinational corporations. It is driven by their plans to maintain and expand a world empire based on the super-exploitation of the peoples and the plunder of other countries.
The ambitions of U.S. imperialism have enlarged since the end of WWII. In 2015, U.S. imperialism is a world power that has relied on its military superiority to grant itself the right to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign nations everywhere and to dictate the balance of power in all regions. And even as the State Department sends diplomats to strengthen aggressive alliances and U.S. armed forces are sent to intervene all over the world, Obama and the Republicans alike try to legitimize U.S. war and militarism by equating it with “peacekeeping.”
Today, under the banner of “peacekeeping” the military machine of the U.S. government is mobilized in full-scale wars against the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. The chauvinist banners of “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights” are also used to disguise the aggressive aims of U.S. imperialism in Venezuela, Colombia, the Philippines, Palestine and elsewhere. The U.S. is also blockading Cuba, escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, intervening in Haiti and preparing for war against Iran. The Obama administration is also telling the people that it is preparing more wars by projecting U.S. military power into Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. On a global scale, Obama has focused on creating more special units which are “agile, lethal and readily deployable” in order to wage more counter-insurgency and “low-intensity” wars. Obama’s program also continues to include the building and deploying of a new generation of nuclear weaponry.
The way to develop the spontaneous protest movement of the American people against the war program of the Democrats and Republicans is by embracing a proactive peace agenda which aims at ending U.S. intervention and aggression against other countries. In order to advance our struggle for a democratic foreign policy – a policy which ends U.S. militarism, interference and aggression and recognizes the sovereign equality of all peoples, the people need to strengthen their independent political movement against the parties of war and imperialism. This means laying the foundations for a broad, popular front against war and imperialism. It means strengthening our political independence by organizing in opposition to and struggle against the capitalist class and its political parties, the source of militarism and war.
These days, even while the bourgeoisie never stop boasting about the “death of communism,” they keep up their relentless anti-communist propaganda to distort and marginalize the views and programs of the genuine communists. Are the bourgeoisie afraid of a corpse?
The capitalists have “commissioned” countless books to refute the theory of Karl Marx and scientific communism.
This hysterical anti-communism of the capitalists is the leading edge of their attack on the working class and its movement for emancipation. At all costs the bourgeoisie want to deprive the workers of consciousness of their own history, consciousness of the causes of their exploitation and oppression, and of their role as the grave diggers of capitalism and the builders of the new socialist society. The bourgeoisie want the workers to resign themselves to the “fate” of being exploited and oppressed. By distorting and attacking communism, the bourgeoisie are saying that social development has come to an end, that history has stopped and that capitalism will last forever.
The anti-communism of the bourgeoisie negates the entire body of scientific social theory. The bourgeoisie want to deny the simplest facts of contemporary society and hide the source of every social, economic and political problem.
More than 150 years ago, Karl Marx, the founder of modern communism, uncovered the law of surplus value, revealing how the capitalist system is based on the exploitation of the workers. Marx not only laid bare the laws of motion of capitalism but showed how the class struggle of the workers necessarily leads to the socialist revolution. Still, the bourgeois ideologists try to deny that the workers are exploited by the capitalist system based on private property in the means of production, deny that our society is divided into antagonistic social classes. But while the ideologists are “refuting” the theories of Marxism, the capitalists themselves have not and will not stop trying to maximize their exploitation of the workers. The bourgeoisie never stop preaching that “America is a free society” in which everyone is guaranteed “equality of opportunity” but they have not and will not give up their ownership and monopoly over our country’s means of production. No, the theories of Karl Marx cannot be erased because they are only the reflection of the objective reality.
So too, bourgeois political theory aims at mystifying the fundamental relationship between the economic base of society and its political superstructure and preventing the rise of the independent political movement of the workers. The bourgeoisie love to portray contemporary U.S. capitalism as the epitome of “democracy” and contrast this with communism which they allege is a “dictatorship.” But in any society, the political system and the state arise precisely in order to enforce the existing property relations. Thus in capitalist society, “democracy” and “equality” are only empty phrases because at its very economic foundation society is divided it into rich and poor, into exploiters and exploited. The working class can only achieve genuine democracy by organizing itself as a class, gaining the political power and creating the new socialist and communist society which eliminate class oppression and guarantee economic and social equality among all human beings.
The capitalist class is a class which lives at the expense of society as a whole; thus bourgeois culture and ideology extol anti-social values all along the line. Today bourgeois ideologists insist that there are no social, collective or human values which must be upheld but only the individualism of the bourgeoisie, an individualism which thrives only at the expense of others. Trying to make the entire world in their own morbid image, the bourgeoisie insist that the very nature of human beings is to exploit other human beings. They push ultra-fascist theories extolling war and racism.
The capitalists smuggle their attacks on the theories of modern communism into the working class movement itself through the labor aristocracy and opportunism. The labor aristocracy follows the famous dictum of Samuel Gompers who insisted that “the movement is everything, the aim is nothing.” This is the line of unbounded opportunism, the line of surrender to spontaneity.
Contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory provides the working class with consciousness of its own aims and empowers it to work out the strategy and tactics of its struggle for emancipation.
By renouncing any independent aim for the working class movement, the labor aristocracy liquidates the organization of the workers as a class-for-themselves and leaves their thinking to be dominated by bourgeois ideology. Without basing itself on its own aims and own theory, the workers movement remains enslaved to forces which operate seemingly beyond the control of human beings; each aimless, individual worker remains at the mercy of the capitalist exploiters and the contradictions of capitalism which keep tearing society apart. The workers remain deprived of the capacity to develop their own movement for emancipation on the basis of a conscious plan and organization.
The labor aristocracy and opportunism are willing to admit that there are certain problems facing the people but they insist that these problems can be resolved without striking at the root cause, without struggle and revolution against capitalism and its state power. Today, in the face of the anti-social agenda of the government, opportunism is working to prevent the workers from seeing the cause of these attacks in the contradictions of world capitalism, trying to hide from the workers the intensity of these contradictions and the disasters which are in the making. The labor aristocracy and opportunism deny that the interests of the capitalists and the workers are antagonistic, deny the laws of the class struggle and the necessity for the workers to come out as an independent class force. In practical political terms, the labor aristocracy and opportunism try to keep the workers’ movement under the political domination of the Democratic Party. To maintain the charade that the Democrats are the “friends of labor,” opportunism continually tries to erase the consciousness of the workers about the deeds and the class character of the Democrats.
In their contempt for theory, the labor aristocracy and opportunism are only expressing their contempt for the workers and trying to degrade the workers’ movement. Like the capitalists themselves, the labor aristocracy and opportunism want to deny 1) that the class struggle of the workers and oppressed people is the motive force of social development; 2) that in the course of their struggle the workers become conscious of the laws of social development and use this consciousness to 3) conquer the political power and carry through the social revolution which overthrows capitalism and builds the new socialist and communist society.
One of the distinguishing human qualities is the capacity to reflect in the brain the interconnections of phenomena and grasp the laws of motion of the objective, spontaneous world. Through theory – through knowing the world – human beings are able to transform the natural and social environment, to humanize it. Becoming conscious is part of living; it is part of the life-activity of the workers and people. The working class, in the course of its struggles against exploitation, becomes conscious of the causes of its oppression and conscious of the conditions it must create to emancipate itself. The Marxist-Leninist theory has been created by the working class precisely to illuminate its struggle.
At the time of the emergence of the modern working class, Karl Marx and Frederich Engels worked out the theory of modern communism. Marx and Engels took part in organizing the workers as a class-for-themselves by building independent working class parties with the goal of conquering the political power so as to build socialism. The theory of Marxism revealed the laws of development of capitalism, the necessity for the proletarian revolution and illuminated the conditions necessary for the complete emancipation of the workers.
In the beginning of the 20th century, as capitalism passed into the stage of monopoly capitalism and imperialism, Lenin further elaborated the theory of Marxism. Leninism revealed that all the contradictions of capitalism had reached the bursting point, showing that imperialism was the eve of the socialist revolution. Lenin and Stalin, at the head of the Bolshevik Party, led the Russian workers in carrying through the Great October Revolution and the construction of the first socialist state.
After World War II, when, under the pressure of the anti-communist crusade of U.S. imperialism, Khrushchev and other modern revisionists betrayed communism, Enver Hoxha, defending the cause of national liberation and socialism, analyzed the emergence of modern revisionism and the bi-polar division of the world. On the basis of the Marxist-Leninist theory, Enver Hoxha pointed the way for the working class to defeat modern revisionism, re-unite its ranks and carry forward the revolution and socialism.
Thus the theory of modern communism always starts from the concrete problems facing the working class and from the aspirations of the workers to create the new socialist and communist society as the condition for the complete emancipation of the workers.
Today, the Workers Party along with the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties throughout the world, carries on continuous investigation of present-day conditions in order to find solutions to contemporary economic, political and social problems and imbue the working class with scientific theory. Contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory provides the working class with consciousness of its own aims and empowers it to work out the strategy and tactics of its struggle for emancipation.
For a Modern Definition of Rights
Five decades ago, Medicare was created as an entitlement program to serve senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.
The fact that prior to the Medicare, seven out of ten Americans over the age of 65 had no health insurance at all was noted in a survey by the United States Public Health Service published in 1956. The ones that had insurance faced high premiums and deductibles. As a result of repeated popular struggles demanding that all members of society be guaranteed needed health care services, the program was created in August of 1965. Medicare not only represented at least a partial legal recognition of the right of senior citizens, but also, by investing a portion of our country’s resources in a social fund set aside to guarantee access to health care, created the means necessary to insure this right in practice.
Medicare is run by the Health Care Financing Administration within the Department of Human and Health Services. There are two parts to the Medicare program: 1) Part A provides hospital insurance and 2) Part B provides Supplementary Medical Insurance. Part A helps to cover the costs of hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health and hospital care. Part A is financed through a payroll tax. The benefits are paid out of the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. Part B helps to cover costs of physician and outpatient services. Part B benefits are paid out of the Supplementary Medicare Insurance Trust Fund. The trust fund is financed through a combination of premiums that are paid by beneficiaries and federal general revenues.
Such movements as the struggle for public housing, Medicare and Medicaid, unemployment compensation, the struggles of social security, trade union rights, the 8-hour day, etc. have all made continual inroads against the rights of private property. By fighting and winning these political struggles, the workers are not only creating barriers against their unbridled exploitation but also are asserting their economic and human rights – asserting that they are more than beasts of burden to be exploited by the capitalists. Through such struggles the workers have raised the price of labor-power, created certain minimal standards and guarantees which have raised the general price of labor-power and asserted the human rights of the workers in opposition to the unrestricted “rights” of private property in the means of production.
The question the Workers Party poses today is, whose rights are paramount? The rights of the people, or the rights of capital? The right of the capitalists to exploit and plunder, or the right of the working class to live free of exploitation? We say that the rights of the people must come first. And these rights include not only the civil liberties of the Constitution, they include economic rights. Every human being has the right to a secure economic existence. Private property interests cannot be allowed to supersede these rights of the people.
The rights of certain groups of people must be recognized and guaranteed. These rights are based on the objective position of the group members in society. These include the rights of women to reproductive health care and assistance with child care; the right of national minorities to use their native language, and be educated in their native language; the right of oppressed nations to self-determination; the right of workers to a safe workplace and healthy working conditions and to wages commensurate with our country’s high level of development; the right of disabled persons to all assistance necessary to allow them to participate fully in society, and the rights of senior citizens which arise from their position in society.
So too, every human being has certain inviolable rights simply by dint of being human, and it is the elementary responsibility of society to provide guarantees for these rights. They include the right to a secure job or livelihood at the highest possible standard commensurate with the level of development of society, the right to comprehensive and free medical care, the right to secure pensions and for retired workers to live in dignity, the right to free and equal education at all levels (including university education), the right to housing, shelter and food.
The Workers Party puts forward a program of solutions based on the fundamental interests of the workers, a political alternative which goes against the privileges of private property in the means of production and which breaks the monopoly of the capitalists over political affairs. This includes the program of Democratic Renewal which relies on the independent political initiative of the people and brings to the forefront the question of political power.
Democratic renewal puts forward a modern definition of rights which includes the recognition of the people’s fundamental economic rights (i.e. the right to a livelihood, to health care, etc.) and demands that society guarantee the means necessary for the people to exercise all their rights in real life. The program of democratic renewal recognizes that in the final analysis the modern demand for equal economic, political and social rights for all human beings is the demand for the abolition of social classes.
Education and Class Size
The struggle of Chicago teachers to reduce class size is not only a necessary part of their struggle against overwork, it is vital to the education of our children. This struggle deserves the support of all the working people.
Since 1995, the Chicago Teachers Union has been restrained, under special state legislation, from bargaining over class size as well as other vital working conditions, such as privatization, layoffs, staff assignments, class schedules, hours of work, pupil assessment, and charter schools.
As a result, the disaster of overcrowded classrooms is becoming worse instead of better. The Board of Education, even while boasting to the world about its “reform model,” has callously increased class sizes. Today, although laws limiting class sizes proscribe levels higher than 28 per class in elementary school and 31 per class in high school, the assignment of more than 35 students to a class is not uncommon. Even special needs teachers, including bilingual teachers, art and music teachers, counselors, speech therapists, librarians, and nurses are assigned impossible numbers of students.
The vital importance of class size is not only common sense but supported by voluminous research conducted by independent investigators as well as by the state and federal government.
For example, the “Student/Teacher Ratio” (STAR), an authoritative study by the state of Tennessee concluded that class size for grades 3-12 should be no greater than 17 or 18. The study, which tracked student achievement over time, proved that students in small classes consistently scored higher on achievement and basic skills tests. This study also revealed that smaller classes produced better high-school graduation rates and students who were more likely to attend college. There were significant improvements in grades and test scores for inner-city, minority children especially.
In Wisconsin, the state-sponsored “Student Achievement Guarantee in Education” (SAGE) program, after following the performance of nearly 10,000 students for three years, concluded that 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes should be limited to no more than 15 pupils.
Similarly, a largescale project in Indiana found that children in small classes as compared to those in larger classes “obtained higher test scores, participated more in school, demonstrated improved behavior and retained many benefits of early class-size reductions in their later years of schooling.”
Even the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) report: “Reducing Class Size. What Do We Know?,” shows that reducing class size from substantially above 20 students per class to below 20 students increased the average student’s performance levels from the 50th percentile to above the 60th percentile.
In fact, the DOE officially recommends that class size be limited to no more than 20 students and 21 states have passed laws mandating that classes in early elementary school be kept under 20 pupils.
But, flying in the face of this scientific research and its own laws, the government refuses to make the investments needed to reduce class size.
As a result, millions of students across the country, are literally stuffed into overcrowded classrooms and schools. In Chicago, some classes meet in hallways or closets because there are not enough classrooms. Special needs teachers often have no place to meet with their students or even store their materials. Thousands of students attend class in trailers in parking lots.
Teachers, in turn, simply cannot keep up with their day-to-day workload (grading, paper work, report cards, etc.) much less provide students with needed individual and group instruction.
Nothing could be more hypocritical than to hear government officials, at all levels, complain about “low student achievement” or condemn teachers as “unprofessional,” when it is the government and school authorities who are systematically underfunding the public schools and herding students and teachers into overcrowded, rundown buildings with impossibly high class sizes.
Individual and Collective Rights
As we all know, the PR men for capitalism never tire of advertising it as the society of the “individual.” Contemporary U.S. capitalism is extolled for allegedly guarantying individual freedoms, individual human rights and the fullest expression of the individual human personality. What is more, the propagandists for capitalism assert that the struggle for collective rights and especially the collective life and collective rights which are a key part of the socialist and communist program are hostile to and negate individual freedom and individual human rights.
How do things really stand?
To begin with, today – several hundred years after the first capitalist revolutions which enshrined on their banners such things as freedom of conscience and freedom of association – these elementary rights are routinely violated by the capitalist state and denied to the masses of workers and oppressed people. Who can count the number of laws passed in this country and others forbidding people to discuss or even think about socialist and communist ideas? Who can count the numbers of people persecuted, imprisoned or killed for espousing such ideas? What is more, everyday workers are hounded and fired for union activity, just as strikes and other struggles are repressed. In fact, these days, the capitalist state is more and more turning back towards feudalism, demanding that all Americans must accept the morals, lifestyles, “work ethic” and culture imposed by monopoly capital.
But let us forget about all these hard facts. Let us take the PR-men for capitalism at their word.
The individual freedoms and human rights asserted by the ideology of capitalism all pertain to the political sphere. That is, capitalist theory and politics postulate that all humans are equal and that the state – the public authority – must treat all humans as equal under the law.
But of course the real humans living in the U.S. or any other capitalist society are not equal. Some are born (or become) capitalists, a class of people given, by authority of the state, a monopoly over society’s means of production – the tools used by the whole society to secure its material existence. On the other hand, the vast majority of the people are born with nothing but their minds and bodies, and throughout their entire lives remain forcibly separated from and deprived of the means of subsistence, except to the extent that they put their labor-power at the disposal of the capitalist owners. In fact, the sine qua non of capitalist theory and capitalist society is that the state and the law arise only on the basis of, and in order to protect, a civil society based on private property in the means of production. In other words, before the law recognizes the “equality” of human beings, it starts out by sanctioning and fortifying a system of inequality, a division of society into classes – a propertied class with all the means at its disposal and a laboring class – dispossessed, oppressed and exploited.
It is this real contradiction at the very base of capitalist society which reveals that all the propaganda about “individual human rights and freedoms” is nothing but a cruel hoax for the masses of people. Where are the human rights for the workers when they are denied such elementary economic rights as the right to a livelihood? In fact whenever the workers and people come out as collectives to assert their rights, the capitalist ideologues and the government rant and rave that the very foundations of society are under attack. Any demand or inroad which strikes against the prerogatives of private property in the means of production, which demands recognition of the human rights of the workers and oppressed people, is considered an attack on “individual rights” and society itself.
Thus, it can be seen that the “individual rights and freedoms” of capitalist society are really nothing more than the rights and freedom of capital, of the owners of private property in the means of production. It is the individuality and personality of capital which is enshrined in the constitution and fortified by the capitalist state. It is an individuality and freedom for a few on the basis of the exploitation of the vast majority and the denial of their individual and collective rights.
And the same is true in politics. While capitalist ideology proclaims equal political rights for all individuals, everyone knows that the entire political process and political system – as well as the ideological apparatus at the disposal of society (including the mass media, educational institutions, and so forth) – are rigged by big money and are really nothing but the organized political power of the capitalist class. The workers have the “right” to whisper their opinions to their co-workers and neighbors while monopoly capital has the “right” to own the airwaves and telecommunications systems. The workers have the “right” to vote but can only choose from two parties which in law and in fact have a monopoly over the selection and nomination of candidates and which are both creatures of big money.
Just as in the economic sphere, where the “rights” of private property in the means of production necessarily mean the denial of rights for the vast majority of the people, so too, in the political sphere, the power of capital denies the collective right of the people to determine their own political system and to participate directly in governing their own social existence.
The reality is that the workers and vast majority of people can only claim and realize their individual human rights by coming out together and winning the struggle for their collective rights. In the first place, the collective right of the people to determine the economic and political system must be claimed. Only when the people themselves are sovereign can they put into practice their most fundamental human right to participate in shaping their social environment. Only when the people govern themselves can they create all the means necessary to guarantee their other individual and collective rights, including such economic rights as the right to a livelihood and health care, including such political rights as the right to nominate candidates and run for elections. Only when the collective right of the people to hold the economic and political power in their own hands is asserted can the people use these resources and this power to guarantee the means necessary for the blossoming of the individual human personality of everyone. For example, how can the individual worker enjoy a secure economic existence unless society recognizes and creates the necessary means for insuring the right to a livelihood for everyone?
Asserting the right of the people to hold the political power and asserting the collective rights of the workers, oppressed peoples and other collectives is the only way forward in terms of humanizing society and winning guarantees for the individual rights of the workers and people. This struggle must be carried forward as a struggle against the “rights” of private property in the means of production – against the handful of individuals who, as capitalists, base their entire social existence on denying the rights of the overwhelming majority of humanity.
Anniversary of U.S. Attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan
Thursday, August 20, will mark 17 years since U.S. Navy warships fired 75 Tomahawk cruise missiles against Sudan and Afghanistan.
“The Worker,” newspaper of the Workers Party, U.S.A., reported that in Sudan, the missiles completely destroyed a pharmaceutical factory on the outskirts of the capital, Khartoum, killing one employee and wounding many others. In Afghanistan, reports documented that dozens of people were either killed or wounded as a result of the attack.
After the attack, U.S. officials, including President Clinton, Secretary of Defense Cohen, and Secretary of State Albright all stated that the missile strike was “just the beginning” in a new “long term war against terrorism.” While promising further military attacks, Clinton stated that “our efforts cannot and will not end with this strike.” U.S. Senators and Congressman voiced practically unanimous support for the attack, praising Clinton and the U.S. military.
The pretext under which the U.S. government launched its missile strikes was as a response to the recent bombings of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But international public opinion had already exposed the so-called “evidence” which the U.S. used to frame its targets by linking them with a so-called “terrorist network” allegedly responsible for the embassy bombings.
Regardless of whatever “evidence” and accusations were presented, the military attack by the U.S. government against sovereign countries was nothing more than a barbarous act of state terrorism. Random acts of terror are, of course, justly condemned by democratic-minded people everywhere. But such criminal acts must be dealt with by the authorities in the countries in which these acts were committed. Instead, the U.S. government acted as if it had appointed itself the judge, jury and executioner in an international anti-terror campaign.
The truth is that under the banner of fighting a “war against terror,” U.S. imperialism is striking out against its opponents, tearing down the entire edifice of international law and openly declaring that Might Makes Right. Labeling the peoples as “terrorists” is in reality directed against any country or people who, for whatever reason, oppose the dictates of the U.S. monopolies, i.e. the dictates of U.S. imperialism.
In the manner of the oldstyle racists and colonialists, U.S. imperialism has declared that it can determine the economic and political system of every country and send its troops to every corner of the globe.
This war program is a product of the crisis and decay of the capitalist-imperialist system. In particular, U.S. imperialism is trying to shift the burden of the economic crisis onto other countries and peoples, trying to maintain its global dominance by militarizing every situation and imposing its will through force of arms.
To wage its wars against the peoples throughout the world, the U.S. government is also stepping up its attacks against the American people. The two big political parties and the monopoly-controlled media have joined ever-more closely together to beat the war drum and promote a political atmosphere of war hysteria and chauvinism.
In addition, the government is usurping more arbitrary, dictatorial power – strengthening its apparatus of repression and a legal edifice for violating the inalienable democratic and human rights of the people. The recently passed U.S.A. Patriot Act criminalizes dissent and political opposition, threatening to return the country to the witch-hunt McCarthyite days and government prescribing of political association and political thought. Since 2001, tens of thousands of local and foreign born Americans have been arrested, harassed and persecuted.
The capitalists are also using the war program to further loot the public treasury, cut social spending, increase the exploitation of the workers and put everything at the disposal of the biggest monopolies. Hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars are poured into the war machine while federal, state and local governments are slashing monies for education, income-support programs, health clinics, and other vital public services.
The Blockade of Cuba is One Link in a Chain of U.S. Aggression and Intervention Across the World
Any bilateral treaty between the U.S. and Cuba would have to end the blockade of Cuba, end the U.S. occupation of Guantanamo Bay, and include provisions guaranteeing U.S. “respect for the Cuban sovereignty and the compensation to our people for human and economic damages.” This point was explained to the peoples of the two countries by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez during a press conference at the U.S. State Department on July 20th.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry allowed the Cuban Foreign Minister’s contention about the aim of potential negotiations between the two countries to pass without denial.
Nevertheless, Kerry’s silence cannot be accepted as a typical sign of mutual agreement. The Obama administration has not announced plans to enter into diplomatic negotiations with Cuba much less agreed to a binding agenda for talks. Furthermore, “normalization of relations” is a phrase that stands for two different and mutually exclusive things. For the U.S. government it stands for recolonization and for the Cuban government it stands for economic independence.
In short, the Obama administration is employing a commonplace tactic, also known as “imperialist diplomacy,” in an attempt to disguise the exploiting aims of U.S. imperialism under the banners of “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights” and to cover over the crimes of U.S. imperialism against the people of Cuba. These banners are really the banners of American chauvinism, slogans through which U.S. monopoly capital declares the “moral superiority” of the “American way of life” while trying to conceal its real economic and strategic aims.
The Workers Party, U.S.A., wholeheartedly supports the struggle of the Cuban people in defense of their economic and political independence. We also welcome any measure of relief from the blockade that the Cuban people are able to secure in their heroic and principled struggles against the U.S. aggressors. So too, our experience is that there is nearly universal support among the American people for the program for a Democratic Foreign Policy which includes the demand, “End the Blockade of Cuba!” In order to advance our struggle we must direct it against the monopoly capitalist class and imperialist system. While U.S. imperialism will remain warlike as long as it has a single tooth left in its head, it is also true that by mobilizing the people in mass struggle independent of and in opposition to the Democratic and Republican parties on the basis of our own program of action, individual wars can be averted.
Imperialism is a system in which the economic power of the big monopolies is merged directly with the political power of the state. The very social existence of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class is dependent not only on the exploitation of the American working class but also on the super-exploitation and domination of other countries.
Hundreds and hundreds of times, the U.S. monopoly capitalist class has launched wars and interventions precisely to grab the mineral wealth of other countries, to dominate “strategic” regions, to exploit the peoples. The present-day system of capitalist-imperialism is founded and rests on violence and war.
The imperialist warmakers themselves spend a vast amount of time and money trying to cover over the real, exploiting aims of their foreign policy and trying to cover over the source of war in the imperialist system. They advertise their wars as the “defense of democracy and human rights.” And when their real aims are exposed and the movements of the peoples threaten their plans, the warmakers talk about their desire for “peace” and “negotiations” in order to pursue the same aggressive, imperialist goals.
In fact, such illusions continually penetrate inside the anti-war movement, causing massive damage to our struggles. A politics is presented which claims that war is not the inevitable result of the imperialist system but only a bad policy pursued by a few “hawks” and that the people can oppose this policy by rallying around the “doves” in the government. This politics undermines the independence of the anti-war movement and ties it to the apron-strings of the imperialist warmakers themselves. Inevitably, when the real interests of the U.S. monopoly capitalists are at stake – as in the Gulf war, the war in Yugoslavia, etc., etc., – the “doves” lose their disguises and turn into hawks.
Recognizing the cause of war in the capitalist-imperialist system, at once, also means recognizing that it is the working class and people who are the force against war. It is only by developing the consciousness, organization and political independence of the people themselves, only by organizing ourselves in opposition to and struggle against the capitalist class that we can advance the movement against war and militarism.
The Program For A Democratic Foreign Policy
The struggle against war and imperialism is a vital part of the struggle of the American working class and people.
In the present conditions, the immediate program of the Workers Party calls for a genuinely democratic foreign policy. This program calls for
— the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed abroad.
— an end to all aggressive military alliances and pacts such as NATO.
— an end to U.S. interference and aggression in all its forms.
— respect for the sovereignty and independence of every country and the right of every people to determine their own social, economic and political system.
This immediate program aims at putting the initiative into the hands of the anti-war, anti-militarist movement by making it pro-active rather than merely reactive. It aims at uniting the various currents of the anti-war, anti-militarist movement into one mighty torrent and at developing it as an independent movement in opposition to and struggle against the monopoly capitalist class and the imperialist system.
The immediate program for a democratic foreign policy corresponds with the proletarian internationalist ideology of the Workers Party.
Proletarian internationalism is expressed in that great slogan of the Communist Manifesto: “Workers of All Countries, Unite!” This slogan expresses the fact that, regardless of nationality, the oppression of the worker arises from the same conditions – from the capitalist system based on the exploitation of wage-labor. The slogan “Workers of All Countries, Unite!” also expresses the fact the workers in every country are waging a common struggle for emancipation, a struggle against capitalism and for the victory of socialism. In fact, in the world today – when the biggest monopoly groups and imperialist states have stretched their net of exploitation over the entire globe – the working class struggle is not only directed against the common class of capitalist exploiters but often against the very same capitalists.
In the beginning of the 20th century, alongside the slogan “Workers of All Countries, Unite,” the international working class movement also inscribed on its banner: “Workers and Oppressed Nations and Peoples of the World, Unite!” This slogan arose from the fact that capitalism had “grown” into a world system of colonialism and imperialism. One billion and more people, enslaved by the colonial system, took the field against capitalist-imperialism by initiating anti-colonial, national liberation movements.
These two great movements – the working class movement for emancipation and the national liberation movements of the oppressed nations and peoples – are the principal motive forces of the present era.