By International Socialist Leauge (ISL)
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has already taken the lives of at least 700,000 people, has unmasked the barbarism of the capitalist system, and precipitated and exacerbated the profound capitalist crisis that was beginning to unfold towards the end of 2019.
Capitalism had failed to recover from the systemic crisis that erupted in 2008 when it was headed for a new global recession last year. The capitalists and their governments responded in the only way they know, intensifying their war against workers and the planet to save their profits; with more austerity, massive layoffs, precariousness, attacks on workers’ wages, pensions and living conditions; more plundering, extractivism and destruction; more cuts to social and democratic rights; more repression to push through their austerity plans; and greater inter-imperialist conflicts, mainly between the US and China, in a dispute over a shrinking mass of global surplus value.
The working masses responded by unleashing a wave of rebellions and revolutions that covered, in a few months, the most diverse regions of the planet, with epicenters in countries like France, Chile and Lebanon, but of regional scope and global impact. The processes presented everywhere some common characteristics: massive mobilizations against the austerity plans of capitalism and its governments, and large scale radicalization with the youth and women at the vanguard.
Consequently, the social and political polarization that has been growing in the world since 2008 deepens. The absence of revolutionary leaderships with mass influence and the insurmountable limits of bourgeois nationalism, the center-left and reformism have allowed sectors of the right and far right to reach governmental office in various countries, but these quickly lose support because they do not solve the people’s problems nor defeat the mass movement. And this has not stopped the expansion and radicalization of an important, mostly young, vanguard that creates new opportunities for solving the most important of historical tasks: the construction of the revolutionary leadership of the world labor movement.
The Covid-19 pandemic came to exacerbate all the contradictions of the capitalist crisis and the class struggle. The capitalist crisis that was brewing was precipitated, causing the deepest global recession in almost 100 years. Capitalist governments dedicated themselves to safeguarding the interests of the bourgeoisie at the cost of the health and lives of millions, while unemployment and poverty have reached historic levels. But the response of the masses is also intensifying. The gigantic rebellion in the heart of the empire after George Floyd´s murder, which led millions to take to the streets, despite the United States being one of the countries most affected by coronavirus, clearly demonstrates this. The resurgence of mobilization in France, Brazil, Lebanon and other countries also indicates that the dynamic of world rebellion will only deepen after the pandemic.
At this international conference, we reaffirm our revolutionary socialist strategy and express an orientation and a program to intervene in the global class struggle and build revolutionary parties and an international:
- No to austerity; no to privatizations; no to layoffs; no to precarious labor; for a working-class and socialist solution to the capitalist crisis. Capitalism has only one answer to the crisis: increasing exploitation and destruction to try to save its profits. Ours is the opposite: that the crisis be paid for by the capitalists who generated it. We commit to the struggle against all austerity policies and all forms of privatization, for quarantines with full social rights and an emergency plan to protect the lives of working people: prohibition of lay-offs, suspensions and salary reductions by law; reduction and distribution of working hours: work less so that everyone can work; nationalization under workers’ control of any business that closes; wages according to the real cost of life; against all forms of job insecurity, mainly suffered by the youth; workers’ control of production and the democratic planning of the economy.
- Right to unionize at workplaces and educational institutions. We fight for the right to unionize for the working class and youth at all levels. No to all kinds of bans and prohibitions on unionization at workplaces and campuses. Right of collective bargaining by the workers and involvement of students’ representatives in campus affairs must practically be acknowledged.
- Against all racist, national, religious, sexist and homophobic oppression. We fight for the dismantling of racist, chauvinist, fundamentalist, sexist and homophobic institutions and we rise to confront fascist threats on the street; for the separation of the State and religious institutions and the elimination of any subsidy to these; for adequate budgets to fight against femicides and gender violence, guaranteeing free comprehensive assistance, shelters and subsidies for women; for Comprehensive Sex Education; for the defense of the right to legal, safe and free abortion, and other reproductive and social rights of women and LGBT people; against all discrimination, for real equality and human, social and gender rights for all; against discrimination of migrants, for documentary regularization and social inclusion plans with full rights.
- Health care and education are rights. We defend public, free, scientific, secular, non-sexist and compulsory education at all levels; unrestricted admission to public university; autonomy, co-government with student majority and full rights to union and political student organization at all universities. Against the capitalist privatization of health care; we fight for a single, public and free health care system.
- For the universal right to housing. Capitalism commodifies everything. In the country, expropriating land from peasant and native communities through corporate farming and agribusiness, and in the cities, appropriating public space for the development of large speculative real estate ventures, affecting the working people who are unable to access a home of their own and rents take up to 50 per cent or more of our miserable income. So we fight for the universal right to housing and to stop the speculative real estate market. We fight for agrarian reforms to nationalize and redistribute the land among those who work it with state incentive and promotion of modernized and mechanized collective farming.
- Against imperialism, for the self-determination of the oppressed peoples. We confront all imperialist intervention, interference and domination. We fight for the withdrawal of imperialist troops occupying any country; we stand for the end of imperialist blockades like those of the United States against Cuba, Venezuela or Iran; for the end to imperialist enclaves and military bases and the independence of colonies; for a single, secular and non-racist Palestine. We defend the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir, Kurdistan, Catalonia, Euzkadi, Western Sahara and all oppressed peoples. We stand for the complete and revolutionary abolition of all imperialist debts, free trade agreements and the capitalist custom and economic unions; and we promote the free union of the peoples in voluntary federations of democratic socialist republics.
- Against the capitalist destruction of nature. The environmental destruction caused by the capitalist mode of production is taking the planet to the limit that can lead to the extinction of humanity. We raise the urgent and profound measures that are necessary to reverse that course: the prohibition of mega-mining, fracking, agrotoxins, extrativism and urban speculative cementation; the productive reconversion of polluting industries, guaranteeing labor continuity; a plan of transition towards a model of clean and renewable energy; promotion of affordable, decent and accessible public transportation; and the democratic planning of the economy at the service of human need and the preservation of nature.
- For world socialism. We are socialists and we work to achieve a world without exploitation, without oppression and without national borders. Our proposal has nothing to do with the one raised by social democracy or with the bureaucratic experiences of the past, nor with state capitalism in China. Nicaragua and Venezuela are not socialist. Contrary to what various reformist expressions proclaim, there is no humane or progressive capitalism possible. This system cannot be reformed, it must be eradicated at its roots and replaced by another, in which the working majority manages resources and social wealth and democratically determines how to organize society and the production and distribution of wealth, a socialist system. This is only possible by fighting for workers’ and people’s governments that will advance the revolution in their countries, expropriating large companies, banks and foreign trade under workers’ control, and expanding it regionally and internationally; It is only possible with the destruction of the capitalist State and the construction of workers’ states with democratic regimes based on the organisms that workers themselves build in their struggle against imperialist capitalism.
- For the construction of Leninist parties and a revolutionary international. In order to achieve the socialist world for which we fight, in which the working class, the youth and women can enjoy a full, dignified and peaceful life, it is essential to build revolutionary socialist parties that – without sectarianism or opportunism of any kind – can earn the confidence of the majority of workers and the people in our countries; and at the same time to place all necessary efforts to build a truly international organization in which the forces of revolutionaries can be regrouped worldwide.
Those of us who build the International Socialist League commit to tirelessly fight until all this becomes reality.
Courtesy International Socialist League