In a context of a constantly developing struggle for markets, the trade unions’ tricks and the “democratic struggles” led by the petty bourgeoisie are a trap with no other purpose than to instrumentalize the working class and to force upon the class the demands of the petty bourgeoisie. In order to escape from this trap, we need concrete slogans that will enable us to advance the struggles, but we also need to form political groups that will accelerate the development of a class program and party. This week has shown us this clearly.
The consolidation of “Trumpism” as a strategy of the whole of the bourgeoisie in the United States. While the U.S. political apparatus is immersed in a ritual “impeachment”, the arrival to the Senate of the new free trade agreement shows the consensus of the U.S. bourgeoisie on the results of the trade war initiated by Trump. What is even more significant: the only opposition – Sanders – is more protectionist than Trump, not less. The essence of “Trumpism” is now fully accepted by all: that the definition of U.S. military and political priorities shall be dictated first and foremost by the balance of trade, and that this shall be renegotiated on a country by country basis.
The Scottish Prime Minister has already formally requested a new referendum on independence. On the other hand, the EU Court of Justice has given a serious blow to the trial against the organizers of the Catalan independence referendum, enabling and encouraging for the first time an the regroupment of the Spanish right around an anti-EU position. The general picture in Europe is that of a revival of the tendency to territorialize the petty bourgeoisie’s revolt, a territorialization increasingly intertwined with the unleashing of imperialist rivalries within the EU itself.
But the logic of fractalization of imperialist and ruling class divisions goes beyond territorial considerations. Territorialization increasingly leads to ethnification in the places where classes and subclasses are already ethnized. Such a phenomenon is becoming increasingly crass in Catalonia and Bosnia, as it happened before in Syria, but it now takes on continental dimensions in India, where the new law of citizenship endangers the fundamental freedoms of Muslims of all classes. As expected, the Muslim petty bourgeoisie is leading the protests. Protests that will end up inevitably strengthening Indian secular nationalism as long as a unified response from the working class is lacking. A working class wounded twice over by this move: wounded by a loss of basic freedoms and wounded by an internal division along ethnic lines as long as the terrain of response continues to be the demand for freedoms on an ethno-religious plane. And the question of potential imperialist alignments, for which there is no shortage of candidates, still remains. In few cases like this one is so clearly apparent the need to incorporate the demand of basic liberties for the workers without a solution of continuity with the anti-capitalist demands.
In France, the trade union’s foul move lies even below the lowest bar until now. The measure is the “Christmas truce” called for by the French government and already signed by UNSA and CFDT leaders. However, “anger doesn’t stop” and pressure from the workers is making the whole union circus recede. The point is that it is not so easy to break the union trap even when a majority of workers understand that the role of the unions is to put force the needs of national capital down the worker’s throats. A similar situation was characteristic of the struggles of the late 1980s throughout Europe. And yet without a perspective and concrete demands to go further, it is almost impossible to go beyond the occasional assembly that takes the struggle into its own hands. What does this mean? That the priority today is to form militant groups within the struggles, groups that will go beyond the concrete situation of a company or a specific demand. Groups that are useful to the extension of the struggles but above all to the extension and deepening of class consciousness. Without this “party in becoming” playing an active role, the struggles will inevitably find a ceiling too low to achieve even their immediate objectives. No class struggle goes anywhere without recognizing itself as political struggle.