cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgWorld Perspectives 2017: VII. Imperialist Interference and the Struggle for Democracy in Sub-Sahara Africa

 

  1. Africa – the fastest growing continent economically as well as in terms of population – comes increasingly into the focus of the imperialist Great Powers. The Western imperialist powers – in particular the US and France – are increasingly sending troops to the continent and to expand their military presence. They are already intervening with the deadly drone programs in several countries. China has become one of the biggest foreign investors in recent years and has sent, for the first time, “peace-keeping” troops to South Sudan.

 

  1. In the last two decades Ethiopia has become one of the most important local allies of the imperialist powers. The dictatorship of Hailemariam Desalegn has created fertile conditions for multi-national corporations – many of Chinese origin – to buy up land and to build factories in order to super-exploit the cheap labor force of the country. Furthermore, the regime has sent thousands of soldiers to Somalia as an occupation force, to secure the country on behalf of the Great Powers against the rebellion led by Al-Shabaab. However, the regime is currently facing a popular domestic uprising which has led to many demonstrations and violent clashes with the police resulting in hundreds of dead. Desalegn was forced to declare the state of emergency in order to crush the resistance. He has also had to begin a process of bringing back his troops from Somalia. [1] Revolutionaries fully support the mass protests against the dictatorship and the fight for a government of the workers and poor peasants which will expropriate the bourgeoisie and lead the country out of its domination by the imperialist Great Powers.

 

  1. The popular uprising in Ethiopia has tremendous implications for the civil war in Somalia Since 2007, the occupation forces – called “African Union Mission to Somalia” (AMISOM), with more than 20,000 troops – have been able to slowly push back the petty-bourgeois Islamist Al-Shabaab militia. This foreign intervention against the Somali people has always been supported by US drones as well as covertly acting US and French Special Forces. However, Al-Shabaab has held substantial areas of the country and has retained popular support. Since the beginning of the withdrawal of the Ethiopian troops, Al-Shabaab is again advancing and expanding its influence. If their advance continues, it is quite possible that the Great Powers will consider a direct military intervention (as the US already did in 1992/93 which resulted in a humiliating defeat, depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down”). In all conflicts between the Islamist Al-Shabaab militia and the imperialist forces and their local allies, revolutionaries stand for the defeat of the latter, while giving no political support to the Islamists.

 

  1. South Africa continues to experience a political crisis as the Zuma government, a popular front led by the ANC in alliance with the Communist Party and the COSATU trade union. The government faces massive protests both on the streets as well as inside the ANC itself. As a result, there have been important mass protests by students in defense of free education. A number of trade unions – among them the biggest single union NUMSA (metal workers) – have split from COSATU and are discussing the formation of a new political force to the left of the ANC. In recent local elections, the ANC lost tremendous support while the Economic Freedom Fighters of Julius Malema – a petty-bourgeois-populist party which emerged out of a split from the ANC youth organization – achieved electoral gains. The most important task for revolutionaries in South Africa is to win over the trade unions and other mass organizations for the creation of a Mass Workers Party. Against the Stalinist-reformist perspective of the NUMSA leadership, revolutionaries will propose a program of action based on the transitional method for such a party, without making its adoption a precondition for participation.

 

  1. The Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe also faces a new upsurge of protests. The country is in the midst of a deep economic crisis characterized by mass impoverishment and an unemployment rate of 85%. This is, to a large degree, the result of the economic sanctions which have been imposed by US and EU imperialism, which are demanding the rescinding of the limited land reform which was undertaken in Zimbabwe and, effectively, want to replace the Mugabe regime with a more loyal lackey. As a result, the Mugabe has aligned himself closely with China, which has become the biggest destination for the country’s exports. However, this must not deflect our attention from the fact that the Mugabe regime has stupendously enriched itself, is thoroughly corrupt and anti-democratic, and for many years has been willing to implement neoliberal programs of the IMF. Revolutionaries support the democratic protests of the people against the Mugabe regime, and call for a government of the workers and poor peasants. At the same time, we call for an immediate end of Western sanctions against Zimbabwe, and oppose any interference of the “Orange Revolution” type by Western powers.

 

[1] See e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Ethiopia: Down with the Dictatorship of Hailemariam Desalegn! Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 17 August 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/ethiopian-dictatorship/

 

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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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