In his opening speech of the Second Congress of the Third International, Zinoviev said: “Comrades, we have before us the World Congress of the Communist International. At this Congress is represented the vanguard, ready for battle, of workers from all over the world.
"We are fighting against the international bourgeoisie, against a world of enemies who are armed to the teeth, and we must have an iron international proletarian organisation that is able to beat the enemy everywhere, which must be able to give any one of its troops the greatest possible help at any given moment, which must elaborate the most powerful, flexible and mobile forms of organisation it possibly can in order to face fully armed the enemy it has to fight."
"Long live the working class of the whole world! Long live the Communist International!"
A major concept is discussed, which is a global unified front to face the bourgeoisie of the world. To be exact, the current priority enemies are the transnational corporations that install the Presidents or dictators in 3rd World Nations. Ironically, the above words of Zinoviev were said in 1920, but in practice, the same applies in this century.
Zinoviev mentions that the Capitalists got their own international, and the working class requires a unified international of its own. That was mentioned by Marx and Engels in the Manifesto when they say Communism includes all the Proletariat despite Race, Gender, Color, or Nationality. The problem is that Capitalism became a global system with an international of its own that penetrated the Proletariat also despite race, gender, color, or nationality. Capitalism has integrated the workers from all over the world, and according to Teresa Brennan’s book “Globalization and its Terror”, two billion people live below the two dollar wage. According to Suzan George, 3.6 trillion dollars rotate around the globe per day while the capitalists refute to accept the Tobin Tax to stop the markets of the 3rd World being volatile. Samir Amin, in Obsolescent Capitalism, argued class inequality has increased to the extent less than 8% of the world own more than 65% of global wealth. The fact, again referring to Suzan George, the top 100 wealthiest entities in 2001 were divided into 51 Corporations and 49 Nation States tells you there is something wrong with the global system and the distribution of wealth. This means that some corporations own what the most of Asia, Africa, and Latin America’s budgets combined.
Corporations in Latin America intervene with the elites and sustain their reign as much as possible. Just for the fact that Bolivia and Honduras had their natural water privatized, it should explain to the extent the details how much transnational corporations are involved. In Nigeria, in the mid-nineties, Shell succeeded in executing nine activists with the accusation of high treason. Worse, in the United States, you can attain patents on anything as long as it is not a human being, which means living microscopic organisms can be owned temporarily. I recommend the documentary The Corporation for further information.
The current third world nations are doomed since their entry into the Capitalist system is rather late. In the past, for example, the 3rd world nations were sources of raw materials and cheap labor. Now, the majority are still the same with the difference they became markets to those transnational corporations.
Problems with National Liberation Movements
When economic recessions and demand for minimum standards of survival are pushed forth, Nationalism becomes popular (unless we refer to the fundamentalist groups who succeeded in replacing Nationalism with ideological religious doctrines). In the past, several national liberation armies were successful, but the problem is they succeeded in their own country, and to make it worse, in a global capitalist system driven and dominated by the corporations.
A member of the International Socialist Tendency was telling me that he opposed the United States, I explained to him that as Marxists we oppose the Corporations behind the US administration, after all it is they who fund the presidents’ campaigns.
Henceforth, when Nationalist militant groups succeed, or as far as Stalinist groups, they didn’t change much. They remained stuck in the muck of capitalism while the leaders became business men to the corporations and privatization would strike whereby the Public Sector employees are thrown out to the streets and welfare services are cut to compensate for those Transnational Corporations.
Even the Social Democrats in Sweden got stuck with Capitalism. Their Welfare State is gradually being demolished by Capitalism since it is impossible to establish Socialism in one state and neglect the whole world. Even Lenin expressed that the Soviet Union is doomed to fail when the revolutions in Germany and Warsaw failed because the Russian Revolution failed to metamorphose towards becoming a global revolution that would eliminate the Capitalist system.
The Lies of Democracy and Free Market Go Togather
Currently a solution is difficult if we think in terms of emancipation from above. If leaders, and specially 3rd World Leaders think they can change the world by plans, then they are wrong. The top three forces: Japan, United States, and Europe, still practice market protectionism while forcing others to liberalize their economies. The whole Latin America and North Africa suffered from recessions, unemployment rates, and others due to liberalization of the markets. The Capitalists say they are promoting fair global competition, but under such circumstances no domestic local corporation can compete with the transnational corporations, with all those large mergers occurring.
The integration of the markets of the world towards a singular market has made things more terrible for the Proletariat. States are left at the mercy of foreign investments. Whatever state offers more tax havens and cheaper labor will receive investments, then the cycle rotates. As standards of living improve a bit and wages increase, the transnational corporations would either close their plants and travel elsewhere cheaper or import human labor for cheaper prices.
The Neo-Cons hail two things at the same time: Democracy and Capitalism. Each goes parallel to the other. They meddle in internal affairs of other nations in the name of democracy and afterwards force them to open their markets (or they force them through the IMF and World Bank to liberalize the market then preach democracy). Samir Amin’s reply was perfect to such allegations. He dedicates a whole section analyzing democracy through the question of “Socialization through the market or through democratization?” The liberal ideology assumes that no nation can socially progress without democracy, and currently “a concern for democracy has become the stuff of everyday official discourse and a duly issued certificate of a democratic practice is a prerequisite for the continuation of aid by the large rich democracies.” Democracy assumes that the individual and the collective are responsible for the making of their history. This concept is modern in such a way it was created with the birth of capitalism. To Amin neither modernity nor democracy reached its full development. Capitalism has nothing to do with democracy. Democracy traditionally meant a well managed political system, and the ‘successes’ of S. Korea, Brazil, and Taiwan economically occurred under a dictatorship system rather a democratic system. Amin argues that Commodity Alienation has declined the stress on human values, and as such democracy assured to the entrepreneur the space to maximize profit on the expense of cheap labor. Democracy currently also works through coalitions. This is where the relations between politics and economics emerge as interrelated, since it is the coalitions of corporations that pool in to support their candidate in elections, and definitely the victors would stick to the political policies that suite the taste of the well-financed corporations.
Well, I tend to agree with Hal Draper’s masterpiece, May Day. This should return us to Zinoviev’s quotes, the need for an international. I cannot think any organized international (well at least that was that organized) other than the Third International, prior to the rise of Stalin to power. The goal was to open fronts on the bourgeoisie through out the world and to emancipate the Proletariat through out the world. The ones most effected currently are the workers of course. A demonstrator in the battle for Seattle 1999 was raising the logo “WTO, if it does not work for the workers, it simply does not work” while another screamed “Workers of the World Unite!” The problem again boils down to the Proletariat who got the tendency to be organized to face the Capitalist’s international. Individual revolutions would end up doing a U turn to capitalism as the balance of payments of the nation’s budget would be important for the survival of the government. Chavez himself wouldn’t have lasted this long if his nation’s GDP depended 87% on Oil exports. Tehran’s Islamic regime also wouldn’t last that long if there was no oil. This is of course not to compare Chavez to Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khameni, rather drawing on the situation of what keeps them on-going: Capital.
The Zapatistas bravely and most respectively launched their insurrection, and used the capitalists’ own weaponry against them: the Internet. They expressed poems and called for an International Movement to face Wall Street which according to them in 1994 was supporting their dictatorship government. The World Social Forums came as a reply to their demands at later years and in the light of Seattle 99 (as well as other factors), but its loose organization proved after 2003 that it can’t do real change since again the standing system remains there: the system of greed and cash accumulation whereby the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
The steps of change should be gradual and on an international level. Clandestine of activists should be organized everywhere and wherever possible, with a long-run to achieve what is needed. This means that the workers should learn what are their rights, who are their real enemies, and how get rid of them step by step on an international level. After Seattle 99, it was noticed that the majority of participants were the ones with internet access. Actually, most of the ones who didn’t participate in that event because they didn’t have a clue what the WTO is. The same applies in almost all the countries.
Women workers are the most oppressed with cheapest wages and double shifts, specially one (house labor) is unmeasured in the GDP and definitely unpaid for. They should learn what are their rights not as women, but as humans, to face that segregation, while males should learn the same thing. The world is no longer a big place, and Trotsky always argued that to attain equality, the standing system which is the creator of all those values should be overthrown.
A new International is needed to be as threatening as the Third International, and more effective as Capitalism has advanced. There is no joking around when everything is tagged with a price, even the war on Iraq had its materialistic profits for the corporations rebuilding it.