[Marxism] My Thoughts on The Debt Ceiling Debate Scam

Bonnie Weinstein giobon at comcast.net
Sun Sep 18 12:14:36 MDT 2011

My Thoughts on The Debt Ceiling Debate Scam
By Jack Heyman
Sept/Oct 2011

Socialist Viewpoint is initiating a discussion based on the article,  
“Notes on the Debt Ceiling Debate Scam,” by Lynn Henderson that  
appears in this issue. There is no doubt that the commanders of U.S.  
capital will escalate their havoc on the lives and living conditions  
of workers across the globe. There is no end to their wars or to the  
cutbacks they will impose on the workers.

Henderson’s article has opened a dialogue on the state of the current  
world capitalist economic crisis; a realistic assessment of the state  
of the anti-capitalist, Socialist and Communist left; and what it  
will take for the working class to fightback and win. We welcome  
serious contributions to this discussion such as this one. —The Editors

The main focus of Lynn Henderson’s article, “Notes on the Debt  
Ceiling Debate Scam,” seems to be the bankruptcy of Stalinism,  
portraying it as the “biggest defeat of the working class.” I’d say  
that title goes to the fall of the Soviet Union, the degenerated  
workers state. Capitalism and imperialism have had nearly a free hand  
to wreak havoc in resource rich third world countries. Furthermore,  
in the developed countries they’ve had virtually no challenge to  
their austerity programs, not so much by the miniscule Stalinist  
parties but by the mass social democratic parties, especially in  
Europe’s soft underbelly, Greece, Spain and Portugal. China, the  
deformed workers state headed by a Stalinist party, has been  
navigating through a dangerous capitalist passage, accumulating  
tremendous wealth during this period of a world capitalist credit  
crisis at the expense of the Chinese working class. Obviously I  
disagree with Henderson’s characterization of China as capitalist and  
see the possibility of a political revolution there.

I’d also point out that there’s been some resistance to oppressive  
capitalist policies as in France, where the working class organized  
successful strikes against the government’s attempt to raise the  
retirement age. French dockers unions were actually able to keep  
their retirement age even lower than the national pension age. It  
required coordinated militant dockers strikes inflamed by the  
government’s attempt to make them work longer at an especially  
dangerous job. Also on the U.S. West Coast the longshore union was  
able to organize 1) the first ever strike against an imperialist war  
in this country on May Day 2008, 2) the first ever strike against the  
bloody Zionist state, 3) the Bay Area ports shutdown last October  
against the police killing of a young black man, Oscar Grant, and  
finally 4) this year another ports shutdown here in solidarity with  
the besieged state workers in Wisconsin—all were defiant actions  
against both the International union bureaucrats and the maritime  
employers. The employers are suing ILWU Local 10 for this last  
action, trying to quell the union’s militancy.

Yes, there’s a lack of class struggle in general in the world. I’m  
neither blind nor a Pollyanna. But there’s a pervasive, building  
anger amongst workers because of the oppressive capitalist austerity  
programs. This gives Trotskyists a golden opportunity to expose the  
machinations of pro-capitalist union leaders and the bankruptcy of  
capitalism and its social democrat and Stalinist props. What’s  
lacking is a class struggle leadership in the trade unions to break  
from the Democrats here and a revolutionary workers party in the  
international working class to coordinate struggles on a worldwide  

Jack Heyman is a retired longshoreman and rank and file leader of  
local 10, ILWU.

—July 25, 2011

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