- Created: Thursday, 07 May 2009 13:59
FRFI 185 June / July 2005
‘Our models of integration include liberty and equality…and they are incompatible with the laws of capitalism’, ‘the capitalist system does not allow us to implement our constitution or the political, economic or social project we want’, ‘we need to march towards a new socialism of the 21st century’, ‘To construct socialism we need to break capitalist economic laws… the traditional economic orthodoxy is not compatible with a revolutionary economy.’
– Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, May Day 2005.
Capitalism cannot provide liberty and equality – it is a system based on the exploitation of resources and of one class by another for profit. Imperialism imposes that system of exploitation overseas – plundering nations, oppressing their people and locking them into underdevelopment. The economic laws of capitalism lead necessarily to imperialism – capitalism is rampant, it must expand abroad. Racism at home reflects the brutality of imperialism overseas. As a system which divides society into exploiters and exploited, capitalism is incompatible with real democracy. Whom does the government represent?
The working class in Britain was gradually and begrudgingly conceded the right to vote. But voting itself is not a democratic act. Real democracy is about participating in our society, in our community. All we are offered when we vote is a choice of which member of the ruling class will misrepresent us. Whatever their origin, all members of parliament end up serving the ruling class, parading in their antiquated ceremonies, speaking in their pompous tones, swearing allegiance to Queen and her heirs.
And so the Labour Party returned to government. War and occupation continue in Iraq. Tony Blair remains our Prime Minister. Attacks on immigrants, asylum seekers and Travellers intensify. The Conservatives are still the opposition party. Tough on crime legislation penalises the working class and increases social control. The ‘anti-war’ Labour MPs return to Parliament to their script of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The armed apparatus of the state claims more victims. Ex-Labour MP Galloway is elected MP for Respect. There is still no real movement against war, racism or imperialism in this country.
Why is that? Why was the massive participation on anti-war demonstrations not translated into election victory for the Respect Coalition? More than 50% of the people in Britain did not vote in this election. Why should they? No-one represents them. They know this isn’t real democracy, not real participation. What is needed in this country is deep structural change, a complete social transformation and, as Venezuelan President Chavez told a million marchers on May Day, a break with capitalist economic laws (see page 1). And you will not get that in Britain by putting a cross in a box once every four or five years.
What you do get after the election is more ASBOs, criminalising working class communities and a witch hunt against Travellers, both feeding a culture of intolerance (page 16). You get more scaremongering about the terrorist threat while asylum seekers are brutalised and deported (page 4). You get worsening conditions in health and education as universal provision is sold off to private investors (see pages 2 and 14). Deaths in custody continue, prisoners’ human rights are trampled on and the mentally ill are subject to permanent confinement instead of care (see pages 13 and 15).
And you get more manipulation and hypocrisy from the imperialist warmongers who have the audacity to talk about human rights, democracy and freedom. They have stolen those words from us and poisoned their meanings. The European Union voted as a bloc against Cuba in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, but refused to support a Cuban motion condemning the institutionalised regime of torture in the US military base at Guantanamo – within wire and concrete built on land illegally occupied in Cuba (see page 10). Members of the Revolutionary Communist Group, which produces Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! have organised a solidarity brigade to go to Guantanamo in Cuba to donate a sound system to Caimanera, a town of 5,000 Cubans who live under the shadow of Camp X-ray (see page 5).
Bush warned that any country that harbours terrorists would be considered a target, but his words came back to haunt him when President Fidel Castro announced that infamous terrorist Posada Carriles was sipping mojitos in Miami, no doubt with his friends in the CIA.This has set the revolutionary coals ablaze in Cuba – just as the kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez did five years ago. Socialist Cuba remains united and defiant. In mid-May the largest march ever in Cuba’s history took place in Havana where 1.2 million people demanded that Carriles be tried for terrorism and Castro lashed out against US hypocrisy after 46 years of US state-sponsored terrorism. Just as the Cuban revolutionaries of the 1950s linked the struggle against tyrannical regimes with the need for national sovereignty, and political and economic independence from imperialism, today in Bolivia and Ecuador movements of the poor and oppressed have raised the flag of revolution (see page 11).
Change will not come with crosses in boxes, it will not come with reforms to sugar coat the bitter pill of capitalist exploitation. It will come with mass movements who can challenge the relationship of exploiter to exploited. It must happen, it is happening. Join with us and be part of a revolutionary vanguard committed to real social transformation!
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