THE STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE IMPERIALIST COUNTRIES TODAY CHAPTER 2 AN ESSAY BY MICHAEL PROBSTING.

2. On Unevenness in the Imperialist Countries

Let us first recapitulate briefly what we have shown in preceding chapters about the relevance of the Law of Uneven and Combined Development for the imperialist countries. We have demonstrated that in the imperialist countries there is increasing unevenness on the economic, political, and social levels. In China as well as in Russia we are witnessing the coexistence of very rich, economically developed provinces and poor, backward regions. This reflects the simultaneous existence of different stages of capitalist development and different levels of labor productivity (e.g., modern factories – backward agricultural production). Likewise we see growing contradictions between a modern proletariat, an emerging middle class and an authoritarian Bonapartist state apparatus.

In the old imperialist countries of Northern America, Western Europe, and Japan we are similarly witness to uneven development in a variety of ways. Economically there is increasing inequality in real income and accumulated wealth between the broad mass of the working class and the lower strata of the middle layers on one hand and the bourgeoisie and the upper strata of the middle layers on the other hand. On the political level there is increased importance of democratic rights both in (bourgeois) public opinion as well as in popular consciousness in parallel with a huge, all pervasive build-up of imperialist surveillance and repression apparatuses.

The accelerating capitalist crisis – both in the semi-colonial world and in the imperialist metropolises – spawns a huge increase of migration from the South to the North; this in turn exacerbates the unevenness between various forms of capitalist labor conditions as well as between the lower and upper layers of the proletariat. Likewise unevenness and political oppression of national minorities (Catalans, Basques, etc.) or racial minorities like the black and ethnic minorities in the US and Britain increases in the period of capitalist decay. Finally, we should add that the imperialist countries are increasingly dependent on the super-exploitation of the semi-colonial world, a dependence which in itself accelerates the capitalist process of unevenness.

Hence we can speak of a certain degree of “semi-colonialization” inside the imperialist countries. By this we group together the following phenomena: the substantial increase in the portion of the population which has origins in semi-colonial countries; the spread of super-exploitive labor conditions; and the simultaneous increased vulnerability of the imperialist countries to political, social, and economic developments in the semi-colonial world.

In addition it is important to be cognizant of the unevenness within the EU between the richest and most powerful imperialist states (Germany, France, Benelux, etc.) and the semi-colonial countries (Eastern Europe, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland, etc.)

Finally let us focus our attention on those uneven social relations which capitalism inherited from previous class societies, like the oppression of women and youth. During the past decade or two of capitalist decay in the imperialist metropolises, this inequality has evolved in contradictory directions. On one hand more and more women have been employed, something which has enhanced their economic independence. However this positive development has hardly affected the inequality between male and female wages. At the same time, the increasing commodification of all aspects of social life also increases the social oppression of women. Similarly, we have witnessed the growth of the role of youth in social life – driven as it is by the capitalists’ desire to develop young people as consumers – while at the same time capitalist decay throws an increasing number of youth into chronic unemployment and impoverishment.

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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