[Marxism] Working class solidarity and the struggle in Syria

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Sat Nov 18 19:31:08 MST 2017


I was honored to have been asked by the Alliance of Mid East Socialists
<https://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/> to make a presentation on a panel
they organized at the Left Forum in Los Angeles on Nov. 4. Here is a
slightly expanded version of that presentation.

Nowhere in the world is the crisis of capitalism – as well as the crisis of
the working class – felt more intensely than in Syria. That crisis is felt
all the way around the world, including in the United States, where it
actually played a role in electing the most reactionary president this
country has seen at least since the US Civil War. Therefore, the working
class movement – no less socialists within that movement – cannot ignore
that crisis in Syria. We must find a way to relate to the struggle against
both the Assad regime and the Islamic State and similar forces. However, in
order to do so, we have to start by understanding the state of affairs –
the objective situation – in which we are working here.

*Crisis of both US capitalist and working class*

The mainstream of the US capitalist class has largely lost control over its
own presidency. This represents the greatest crisis in US capitalism in
many, many decades. However, we also have to recognize that the US working
class is also in crisis: Now, when it is needed more than ever, the US
working class barely even exists as an independent, cohesive force in
society. Confusion reigns. That is expressed, for example, by the fact that
it is estimated that about 30% of union members voted for Trump. Membership
participation in the unions – the only mass organizations of the US working
class – is at an extremely low level and alienation from the unions is
massive. The union leadership is closer to the employers than ever  since
the pre-1930s, as expressed by one local union leader here in Oakland who
openly said that we have no choice but to remain as “slaves to the
financiers”. A local leader of the laborers’ union even said that he could
not say his union would oppose building Trump’s wall on the border with
Mexico since it means jobs for his members. And this was a Latino leader in
a largely Latino union local!

*Socialist Movement*

This confusion within the US working class is part of the basis for the
confusion within the US socialist movement. The great majority of that
movement has adapted to the low level of activity within the unions by
turning towards the “progressive” union bureaucrats instead of addressing
the membership, even if that membership is not active yet. In doing so,
they have lost sight of the entire premise for their own existence: That
the liberation of the working class is the task of that class itself. Or,
put another way, that the working class is the subject, not the object, of
history.
See whole article:
https://oaklandsocialist.com/2017/11/19/working-class-solidarity-and-the-struggle-in-syria/
-- 
"No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them."
Assata Shakur
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