por Carlos Petroni
(Leido en el Memorial de Gene Pepi el 11 de octubre de 2015 en San Francisco)
Conocí a Gene Pepi, Gino como le gustaba que lo llamaran, a principios de los 80. Antes de comenzar a trabajar en BART y convertirse en dirigente sindical y Vicepresidente de ATU 1555, Gino ya era un revolucionario.
Era miembro de un pequeño grupo de Trotskistas que se unifícó con nuestro partido, en esos momentos llamado Frente Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (FRT) y formamos el Internationalist Workers Party, hoy Left Party, o Partido de Izquierda.
BY TED BAKER
Published in Iskra, Volume 1 Number 1, Summer 1990. Quarterly Journal of the Internationalist Workers Party (Fourth International) – United States.
(For reprint of article in pdf format click here)
“The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial war of the European nations, with the globe for a theater. It begins with the revolt of the Netherlands from Spain, assumes giant dimensions in England’s Anti-Jacobin war, and is still going on in the opium wars against China, etc.” 1
“Primitive accumulation of capital” was the term Marx used to describe the accumulation of the social and economic conditions from which capitalism arose. In Capital and elsewhere Marx was primarily concerned with this process as it affected Europe, and particularly England, the birthplace of the capitalist mode of production. Even in the above-quoted passage Marx referred to the plunder of Africa, Asia, and the Americas as part of the preconditions for the rise of industrial capitalism in Europe, rather than attempting to establish how, or even whether, that same process was creating the preconditions for establishing the capitalist mode of production elsewhere.
Of course today there can be no question that “primitive accumulation of capital” did occur in the rest of the world: capitalism is the dominant mode of production on a global scale, and within every single country of the world with the exceptions of those states where it has been expropriated. Yet between today’s accomplished fact of capitalist imperialism and the precapitalist past of the non-European world lies a long, violent, and tortured transition. The different ways in which this transition was accomplished in different parts of the world played a major role in shaping the present social, economic, and political physiognomy of the planet. Understanding that process is vital if we are to understand either the different internal national political economic processes, or the international web of political economy within which those national processes are embedded.
This article will attempt to outline the most important features of the primitive accumulation of capital as they affected the present-day United States of America, both shaping its distinctive internal social and political structure, and propelling it towards becoming today’s hegemonic capitalist imperialism of the world.
Por Organizacion de Izquierda Revolucionaria – Mar del Plata (Izquierda Internacional)
Las elecciones primarias locales dejaron consecuencias inevitables, la previsible gran votación de Arroyo lo colocó en situación de pelear la intendencia con muchas chances, como producto de eso apareció el miedo a la derrota en Pulti y su alianza de conservadores, peronistas de derecha, kirchneristas, radicales, socialdemocratas, vecinalistas, burocratas sindicales y toda la fauna de arrivistas y aves de rapiña que vienen administrando los negocios de la ciudad.
Todos los politicos se acuerdan ahora, que su colega concejal durante años fue funcionario de la última dictadura en la ciudad y temen que dicho individuo llegue a la intendencia. Hasta ayer eran solo `adversarios´ respetuosos, hoy temen al monstruo que no saben de donde salió. La realidad es que esta democracia para ricos construye sus monstruos a fuerza de promesas incumplidas, frustraciones, traiciones y consecuente desmoralización. Aprille, Katz y Pulti son los doctores Frankenstein que crearon al monstruo Arroyo, como Roig generó a Russak.
Estos políticos `democratas´ que convivieron `civilizadamente´ con Russak y Arroyo entre muchos otros genocidas que todavia no murieron tranquilamente de viejos, los blanquearon. Como toda tragedia se reitera como farsa terminan recibiendo su premio: los monstruos los desplazan de sus cargos con el voto de la población. Ya pasó con Bussi, Rico, Patti, Ferreyra, etc… Si hubiesemos metido presos a esta lacra para toda la vida, esto no ocurriría. Resulta que ahora los votantes deberian sufragar por Pulti y sus amigos para evitar que ganen los muertos vivos.
Solo un pàrrafo respecto de Arroyo así como de toda la basura que participo en el regimen que derrocó la democracia, asesinó, secuestró y torturó a luchadores, trabajadores y estudiantes, en cualquier nivel de gobierno, ejecutivo, legislativo o judicial, tenemos una sola politica: prision perpetua y ojo con hacerse los vivos. Y eso sin perjuicio que lo votaran millones, incluso si lo votara el 99,99% nada cambiaría, nunca hay que legitimar lo que está mal, aúnque quedemos solos.
Por supuesto, no debe votarse por Arroyo y su cortejo, pero tampoco a los doctores Frankenstein de Pulti, peronistas, radicales, macristas, gen, mazzistas o vecinalistas. Son los mismos transfugas que cambian de partido para mantenerse en el poder siempre al servicio de los verdaderos amos de la ciudad: Aldrey Iglesias, Valastro, Toledo, Moscuzza, Solimeno y los gerentes locales de las empresas multinacionales.
Todo trabajador, sobre todo los mas prearizados, quienes solo pueden hacer changas de ves en cuando y notan que la vida solo vale la pena por televisión, cada ves que entregan un voto al `menos malo´ están dando su aprobación a otro período de mayor explotación. Desde OIR llamamos a votar a la izquierda en defensa propia.
Por Organizacion de Izquierda Revolucionaria (Izquierda Internacional)
A lo largo de todo 2015 los argentinos han sido claros electoralmente y nada indica que algo cambiará en octubre. Las tendencias electorales han ratificado la opinión que los trabajadores tienen de la situación que se vive: que nada cambie demasiado. Esto es lo que se ve todos los días en las fábricas, las calles y los barrios; los reclamos y las luchas son muy pocas, puntuales y circunscriptas a situaciones sin retorno como los despidos.
Esto lo reflejan los políticos, que desarrollan sus campañas evitando prolijamente hablar de nada importante. Hablan de abstracciones como republicanismo, democracia o decencia, mientras preparan operaciones de unos contra otros sabiendo las bajesas de todos ellos. Se refieren a la inseguridad compitiendo quien propone mas policias federales, provinciales o municipales, gendarmes, prefectos o cámaras de seguridad para combatir la delincuencia, mientras los ¨garantistas¨ hablan de aumentar la ¨protección social ¨ a los ¨vulnerables¨ con mas planes miserables o mas educación y salud en escuelas y hospitales destruidos.
La izquierda debería proponer alternativas a todo esto, sin embargo en su búsqueda de votos imita a los politicos de la patronal proponiedo cursilerias sindicales de imposible cumplimiento sin una movilización profunda de las masas, como ¨defender el salario y los derechos de los trabajadores en el parlamento¨.
Mientras tanto, nadie quiere hablar en público de lo obvio: eramos una semicolonia de Estados Unidos y Europa y ahora somos una semicolonia de Estados Unidos, Europa, China y Brasil. Los politicos solo se diferencian en la defensa de los intereses y negocios de unos u otros. Macri, Maza, Carrió y Sanz juegan para USA-UE y el kirchnerismo para China y Brasil, Scioli nos entrega a todos por igual.
El producto del trabajo de los argentinos es enviado al exterior, las deudas aumentan, las inversiones en infraestructura no existen, mientras aumenta la desocupacion y el trabajo precarizado. Esto es lo unico importante que debiéramos proponer discutir, sin importar que la mayoria no quiera escuchar ¨malas noticias¨.
- Nacionalización del comercio exterior. Expropiación y cárcel a quien fugue divisas.
- Trabajo para todos los mayores de 18 años a cargo obligatorio del estado. Prohibición de despidos sin causa.
- Plan de infraestructuras en presas, puertos, ferrocarriles, rutas, agua potable, energía, saneamiento y vivienda.
- Devolución de las tierras usurpadas a los pueblos originarios. Detención del desmonte y cárcel a los usurpadores.
- Cancelación de la explotación minera a cielo abierto. Cese del uso de trangénicos y pesticidas.
- Publicidad y anulación de todos los acuerdos secretos con empresas imperialistas.
- Disolución de los servicios de espionaje, fuerzas militares, policiales y de seguridad.
- Derogación de la ley de Asociaciones Profesionales y cárcel a todos los sindicalistas millonarios.
- Gobierno de trabajadores urbanos y rurales.
November 10, 2014
The grim horror of the case of 43 missing student teachers continues to unfold. The remains discovered in a mass grave, initially believed to be those of the students from Ayotzinapa, admittedly murdered at the behest of the state, actually belong to other victims.
What now? Will President Peña Nieto reopen the “search” for the missing students?
· #YaMeCanse — the people are beyond tired of the corrupt Mexican government. But what can be done?
· With widespread outrage and nowhere to turn in the treacherous regime, now is the time for a national front against impunity. It is time for a government of the workers and oppressed, without bosses and capitalist parties.
· Down with the Narco-Government – For the resignation of Peña Nieto
· Neither the PRI nor the PAN nor PRD
· We call for the formation a National Committee empowered to organize the national strike on November 20. Such a committee could include elected and recallable representatives of the autodefensas, independent trade unions, and workers, educators, farmers, community and student organizations.
· We support self-defense formations under the control of democratic organizations in struggle, including labor organizations, to stop the institutional and paramilitary violence.
· We advocate breaking all covenants with US imperialism, a major root cause of the violence in Mexico.
· To this end, we support a full investigation, including criminal charges, against the operators of the Fast and Furious program, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice that introduced high-powered weapons to Mexico.
On Friday November 7th the Mexican federal government decided to put an end to the “search” for missing Ayotzinapa students. In a press conference, the government informed viewers that all the students were killed by gunmen in the state of Guerrero. The head of the Attorney General’s Office made special emphasis that the human remains were burned under heavy fire and thrown into a river, reduced to virtually unidentifiable ashes. The entire narrative is based solely on the alleged confession of the perpetrators.
The timing of this official revelation coincided with the departure of President Peña Nieto to the APEC and G-20 summits – a tour of China and Australia. Convenient, at a time when he would rather not show his face.
The government, as denounced by International Amnesty for Latin America, avoided referring to the slaughter in terms of a state crime, and also waived political responsibility from the ruling parties at all levels of government: from local (PRD) to national (PRI). Other lines of investigation remained unexplored, such as determining the role played by the army, which has a military base in the region of Iguala.
In the final analysis, the slaughter in Ayotzinapa is the an outcome of 30 years of neoliberal policies, including those of the Pact for Mexico, which serve to subordinate the country to imperialist dictates: including the war on drugs. The result has been a political and social decomposition of the whole regime. It is no coincidence that he first neoliberal government reform of the Peña Nieto presidency was precisely the education reform. This reform eliminated automatic job placement within the national public education system, formerly an opportunity guaranteed to graduates of teaching programs in Mexico, seeking to begin their teaching careers and serve the common good. The students from Ayotzinapa were struggling precisely for those post-graduation jobs. Another, subtextual goal of the education reform was to liquidate the power of teachers’ unions, particularly the CNTE, weakening them in their ongoing policy battles against the government regime.
Upon recovering the presidency in 2012, the PRI immediately announced the so-called “Pact for Mexico” – a common political agenda negotiated secretly by the PRI, PAN and PRD. This was one of the main reasons why the PRI carefully avoided proceeding with complaints of crimes by PRD elected officials in the state of Guerrero. First priority was to move the package of reforms for Pact for Mexico, signed by the same corrupt current New Left of the PRD responsible for the crimes of the Guerrero narco-government.
Political parties represent social classes, and MORENA, the party of López Obrador, is no exception. It’s as much a bourgeois organization as its parties of origin: the PRD and its predecessor, the PRI. They represent and rule according to the interests of the dominant class. This has been so since the origin of the PRD. Today MORENA is the same construction, designed to intercept the genuine democratic aspirations of the masses in their advance towards revolutionary and conclusions, squashing any aspirations away from capitalism and toward socialism. MORENA’s leader, López Obrador, has proved himself deeply untrustworthy by staying silent during Angel Aguirre’s recent cases of repression in the state of Guerrero. Obrador walked with Aguirre during his presidential campaign of 2012 in Guerrero, only resigning from the PRD when he lost the presidential election.
The huge movement fighting for the safe return of the missing students is demanding trial and punishment for all those responsible. Beyond this, a gargantuan challenge looms: determining the strategic steps needed to dismantle the repressive apparatus of the narco terrorist state, including the Armed Forces, the new National Gendarmeria, all the Federal, State and Municipal Police and paramilitary gangs of police and drug cartels. Also urgent: the unconditional release of Mireles and other autodefensa leaders who have been criminalized in order to contain their independent movement of community self-defense.
When the government so deeply betrays its populace, the order of the day is for the movement to build the power of regular people — workers, students, peasants, youth — in order to take the reins of the country. The surrender of Mexico must end — whether surrender to US and European imperialism, or to the other emerging imperialist powers such as China and Brazil.
The US role in the violence in Mexico is undeniable. The War on Drugs directed by the US government is the engine of corruption and violence that has plagued the country. An example of this criminal policy was exposed when some details were revealed about the weapons program “Fast and Furious,” concocted by the US Justice Department. This operation would allegedly investigate the flow of arms in the field by the crime cartels; however, the guns distributed had no integrated tracking devices at all. The operation was discovered only when a US agent was killed in Arizona, gunned down by one of the 2,000 high-powered weapons that the program had “let walk.” A similar exposure occurred around another operation involving parts of grenades. The reaction of the Mexican government has been a nothing but a timid request for explanations. More appropriate would be a full investigation and criminal charges against the operators of the Department of Justice of the United States, beginning with the outgoing Eric Holder.
Down with the Narco-Government – Ni PRI or PAN or PRD
Repeal all the neoliberal reforms
For a Worker, Peasant and Popular Government
LEFT PARTY – PARTIDO DE IZQUIERDA // United States
OIR – ORGANIZACIÓN DE IZQUIERDA REVOLUCIONARIA // Argentina
EDITORIAL: A TURBULENT WORLD A NEW POLITICAL SITUATION
International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2
At the dawn of the current century a new international scene began to consolidate with its own features that are in many ways opposed to the earlier epoch (1), which was characterized by the strengthening of capitalism which had extended its own survival for the umpteenth time, constantly postponing its inevitable end.
This apparent invincibility lasted only one decade (2) and today we see how the bastions of this system– the United States and the European Union – are sinking rapidly and sharply into decay. At the same time China and Brazil – among others – are striving to develop their new powers as imperialist nations, while relying on the regional blocks that they already lead. They are developing themselves despite the difficulties present in rising precisely in the middle of the another, hopefully final, decline of capitalism. Continue reading
By Carlos Petroni
International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •
All the workers and the oppressed in the United States know first hand the depth of the crisis happening in the country. Without even seeing the statistics, most people know that unemployment has doubled. While officially reported at 10%, reflecting only those who are still collecting unemployment insurance, in the real world it is actually about 20%.
Social services have been cut drastically (by 18% according to official figures) as education, health services, housing, bridges and roads (but not limited thereto) are all crumbling in plain sight.
The big economic bailout and rescue plans for the economy, pushed by the Obama administration, has all gone down the sewer with the ‘plumbing’ assistance of big bankers and businessmen in the country. At least half a dozen major banks sucked up 50% of the funds. Continue reading
Europeans know splendor like they know decadence (and its consequences), but even throughout several different generations of experience, they have not always learned from their history. Will they learn this time? There has been anger, confusion, rebellion, xenophobia and impotence. Will anything good emerge from this?
By Nicolás Barros
International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •
The situation in Europe is far from good. Europeans have routinely trashed and irrationally exploited the environment for centuries. More recently there has been a lack of investment in new and improved technologies and manufacturing plants; instead there has been only pushes to spend on useless and unnecessary construction, to withhold capital from increasing manufacturing capacity, and even at times to invest capital in manufacturing outside of Europe. After all this, the chickens are coming home to roost. Continue reading
THE BARRIER BETWEEN REVOLUTION AND COUNTERREVOLUTION
What is the Working Class Aristocracy? What is the Labor Bureaucracy? Why do they exist?
Resolution of International Left
International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •
“The trade union bureaucrats, like the bureaucrats of false Communism, live in the atmosphere of aristocratic prejudices of the upper strata of the workers. It will be a tragedy if the oppositionists are infected even in the slightest degree with these qualities. We must not only reject and condemn these prejudices; we must burn them out of our consciousness to the last trace. We must find the road to the most deprived, to the darkest strata of the proletariat, beginning with the Negro, whom capitalist society has converted into a pariah, and who must learn to see in us his revolutionary brothers. And this depends wholly upon our energy and devotion to the work”
Trotsky, Leon, Militant
May 1, 1929
To address the debate over whether a sector of the working class (the labor aristocracy) benefits from the surplus value extracted from the countries oppressed and exploited by imperialism, we must start with the analysis of the origin of the labor aristocracy itself. This is also necessary in order to see how the bourgeois project that incorporates a layer of the working class in to a higher level of benefits, salaries and privileges — as practiced in every country in the world — is part of the dominant class “divide and rule” strategy against the oppressed and exploited. Continue reading