by Henry Melo – from Workers` Voice National Leadership
Workers’ Voice foundational Congress, held June 15th & 16th of this year, established our position on the main issues of the national situation, the political principles of our organization, and our internal structure
For socialists, the most important challenge of the national situation is how to overcome workers` illusions in the Obama administration.
Even after the natural wear and tear of a turbulent first term, Obama still enjoys a great deal of popularity. Most workers believe Obama is doing the best he can to defend America´s role worldwide, recover the economy, create jobs and improve wages. This is especially true if we are talking about blacks, latinos, LGBT and other oppressed communities.
Obama rules for the rich
The reality, though, is way different. While talking about the American dream, economic recovery, affordable health care, and other popular issues, what Obama is doing is increasing the exploitation of workers and the people, in order to ensure a profitable recovery for American companies. Every single act of the government is guided towards that.
A false democratic face to U.S Imperialism abroad
Internationally, Obama talks about democracy, but implements an imperialist project: imposing IMF deals and a free trade agreement in Europe; establishing and supporting puppet regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan; financing assassin armies in Egypt and Israel, all to ensure economic and political control over strategic regions.
At home, Austerity and double-edged reforms
Internally, Obama opts for austerity, imposing budget cuts, downsizing, and even threatening to close basic public service units, such as Community College of San Francisco, in California, and Interfaith Hospital in NYC.
In the private sector, the government pushes for concessionary labor contracts, attacking workers’ wages, healthcare and pensions.
Reforms that seem to be progressive, as Immigration, include reactionary measures such as E-Verify, border enforcement, Visa control, and guest-worker programs, with the long-term intent of recreating the infamous “bracero”.
Domesticated Labor leadership
The labour movement leadership is bureaucratized and corrupt. It got used to receiving immorally high wages skimmed from the dues of rank and file workers, lobbying instead of fighting, and accepting concessionary contracts instead of defending workers´ rights. Most union leaderships are controlled by the Democratic Party.
A fragile left
So far, most left organizations have not been able to confront this situation. They are afraid that to directly oppose Obama would increase their isolation. They have trouble fighting for leadership of strikes against the bureaucracy, and most of the times remain spectators that do mainly propaganda. Many are succumbing either to opportunism or sectarianism.
Where does Workers´Voice stand?
Workers´ Voice main goal is to help workers understand that Obama is not a government of the working class, but of bankers and big business.
We oppose Obama´s imperialist policy abroad, as well as his austerity measures at home, and we fight to build a working class movement that is independent of the government.
We stand for democratic, fighting, and independent unions that defend workers´rights instead of selling them out.
We believe it is necessary for unionists, activists, progressives, and the left in general to break with the Democratic Party and the Republicans and build their own independent workers´ party.
We propose a broad unity in action with all left groups willing to fight for workers´rights and against the government attacks. But we also want to build a different left organization, deeply rooted in the working class and its struggles.
Why be part of a political organization?
A lot of activists agree with most of what we say about the government, the unions, and the struggles that we should be involved in.
They join opposition caucuses, immigrant, women, black or environmental movements, and coalitions of all types.
They call themselves left wing, progressives, anti-capitalists or even socialists. But most of the time they do not want to join a political organization. And when they do, they want it to be very democratic, horizontal and non-hierarchical, which is interpreted in practice to mean a very fluid multi-tendency organization.
The first question every worker and activist that is fighting for their rights should ask themselves is: what is my strategy? If your strategy is to put an end to exploitation, oppression, sexism, racism, war, and environmental destruction, the only way to do that is by fighting against capitalism as a whole. There is no way to do that within capitalism, because it can’t be transformed into a humanitarian system.
And then you could ask yourself a second question: if I want to fight against capitalism, what kind of organization do I need? And you will find out that a lot of organizations may seem very democratic and plural, but they are impotent when it comes to class struggle. If you want to help lead the working class towards its emancipation, you’ll need a revolutionary party.
This is the kind of organization Workers´Voice is willing to build: a revolutionary party, deeply democratic in its internal functioning, united, and disciplined in its actions.
The principles approved in our foundational congress are:
1. The fight for a Socialist Revolution against capitalism, as the only way to end exploitation and oppression;
2. The strategy of Permanent Mobilization of the Working Class as the subject of the revolution we want to achieve;
3. The fight against all forms of Oppression, such as racism, sexism and xenophobia;
4. The fight against Imperialism, which is the domination by advanced capitalist countries and multinationals over the entire world;
5. Internationalism – understanding working class struggle worldwide as part of the same fight against capitalism, and building an international socialist organization, the International Workers League;
6. For Revolutionary Morals, as opposed to the degenerated and corrupt morality naturalized in capitalism.
If you agree with these ideas, get to know us better! Join Workers´Voice!
 “Puppets in Revolt: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the United States”, By James Petras, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, July 25, 2011