1° mai: Du cri d’August Spies aux compromis des réformistes de droite et de gauche


Une déclaration (en anglais) du Comité de Coordination pour la Formation d’Organisations Ouvrières (Iran) qui déclare que « nous n’avons pas déployé partout notre réel pouvoir ni auto-organisé notre classe avec une conscience et une perspective de classe claires, contre le capital et ses racines » et se conclut par l’appel « Ouvriers, organisons-nous contre le capital« .

From the Red Cry of “Spies” to the Groaning Compromise of Right and Left Reformists

“Workmen, to Arms!”  This is the loud clamour of the power and battle of the Chicago workers against the possessors of capital and the government of that day which came out of the throat of August Spies, one of the most enthusiastic, militant and devoted leaders of their workers’ movement around the world.  The series of events during those few days which originated from the enflamed anger of the workers of the ‘lumber shovers’ and the McCormick factory, as well as from the red cry of August Spies, and later by the International Workers’ Movement became a base for an annual event of the workers’ war against capital and was then called the First of May.  From this time until now more than one hundred years has passed.  The entire history of human beings has been a history of class struggle but what was happening during those years to the working class of the world and its anti-capitalist movement without a doubt, was one of the most sensitive periods of such history, with stages of ups and downs which were supposed to be within every moment in every second of this class struggle the moment of a Last Fight, a Last Conflict, the International Day, the Resurrection day to unite the human race.  It was supposed to be like this.  But in order to find out the dreadful fate of such a statement one must only compare the red cry of Spies with the dire groaning and compromise of the right and left reformists which every year pays tribute to May 1st around the world.  This deduction is not only pitiful but it also aches to the bones.

Why has this happened?  Why instead of all clear and hopeful wars and fights, instead of all roars and thunder against capital, instead of the hoisting of a new world flag, instead of the International and Paris Commune, and the worker October Revolution – yes, instead of all this, why have we collapsed to this pitiful situation?  What has been happening to us?  What have we done and what has the capitalist system done to us?    What has happened to the anti-capitalist indictment of our movement?  And finally the flags and the platform of May 1st are in the hands of which forces, which parties, which state, which currents?  What has been stated from these platforms and what demands will be set?  Where are the following demonstrated in the ceremony: our class movement; our class struggle against capital; our war; our summons against exploitation, disenfranchisement and savage capital; our daily anti-capitalist demands; the horizon and idea of our class for the establishment of a free and equal human world?  These important questions as a matter of fact are the most vital questions that always and particularly have been imposed every year on the threshold of May Day for worker-activists around the world.  We need to look beyond ourselves in order to find out the actual mystery of the dismal situation of billions of workers around the world that have been buried in this swamp.  We have to take a look at the report card of our movement.  All mysteries lie here.  If one billion workers are unemployed, if the annual income of 600 million of our class members do not reach the annual income of 3 capitalists, if there are 3 billion worker masses with the same fate in a starved or semi-starved situation, if sex work becomes so widespread to such a degree to make ends meet, if wages are not paid for years, if the capitalists in the blink of an eye are sacking millions of workers without fear, if every year millions of workers are displaced and migrate just to sell their labour force of which many of them become bait for sharks both literally and figuratively, if our situation is that dire and pitiable there is only one way to find the reason.  We must investigate our movement report card and class struggle.  We must see what part of this report card is dark, what is the weak point of this historical movement?  And, what has happened that we have collapsed into such an abyss of inability and lack of power?  Let’s emphasize one more time that the real key to the actual understanding of the situation indeed is here.  Is it not because any and all the forms of poverty and misery of our situation have originated from the heart of the capitalist system?  Therefore, for this reason precisely, any kind of deficiency or weakness in our class campaign against this system is tied to the increased aggravation of poverty, starvation and the sustaining of the pillar of our slavery.  The reality is that we have been left to a deviated past during this century.  It is obvious that we struggled and fought night and day, we overthrew many different governments, brought up many different governments, built gigantic movements, came up with different mottos, got tired, and rose up again; we have done all of these things but we have not done one important and vital job.  We have not deployed our real power anywhere and self-organized our class with a conscious awareness and with a clear class horizon by adopting a successful approach against capital and its existing roots. Maybe some of us are surprised in hearing this, surprised probably due to a lack of consciousness.  Maybe some of us have not thought like this.  Maybe we really forgot about all of this or we have never learned or have never been taught that every level of our livelihood, our welfare, social rights, political freedom, honor, reverence, dignity, integrity and our human esteem, all of these things, are subject only and only to our class power arrangement, and it is a reflection of the power of our class struggle against capital.  Maybe we have not investigated enough.  However, independent of how we think, we cannot doubt one principle.  This is the most obvious one of our lives, that is, however more we attack, however united we fight, however more firmly we attack the roots of capital, however harder and uncompromising we go to war with the capitalist system, however firmly and powerful we attack the vein of the production of profits to improve our lives, however we smash the pillar of authority of the capitalist state – yes, however more we do these things, on the same level and only in the same proportion, we will have a better life, better well-being, freedom, human dignity, honor and social credibility, we will have more power to set out the fate of our lives and prepare for the establishment of a new world.  Any inch of improving our livelihood, well-being, human rights, will only be guaranteed by launching an offensive on the existence of the wage-labour system.  And if we are unable to do this in the same proportion we will collapse.

Let’s look beyond ourselves.  In Western Europe in all periods related to this discussion we have sunk into the swamp of reformism and conciliation with the capitalist system.  In these countries we hang ourselves on the gallows of the Trade Union movement.   We have forgotten the fate of our movement in return for obtaining a minimum livelihood and a low level of welfare.  We have buried the struggle against capital in the cemetery of unionism, and we have given power to corporate unionism which dresses up as worker-activism to sell out our anti-wage-labour movement in the cheapest way to capital.  We have completely forgotten that we are a gigantic international class.  We have not considered the poverty, the starvation and the misery of billions of our class members in Asia, Africa and Latin America or other places as a problem of our life and struggle.  We did not protest or oppose all the savagery and brutality of capital against these people; we did not protest at all.  We even support the most brutal governments and enter war against our fellow class members as responses to the detestable voice of capital that was emanating from the throats of Social Democracy and the leaders of the Trade Unions.  We left a bad report card for ourselves.  And all of these were and continue to be imposed upon us by Social Democracy and the union movements.  Even now, we are surrounded by these protectors of the system.  Let’s move from Western Europe to Eastern Europe where we made a worker October revolution, we brought down the Tsar, we established councils, and we built an organized worldwide movement for a better and new world for a free and equal human race.  We surprised the entire world with the immensity of our power.  We pushed history forward.  We did all of these things.  However, with all of these strikes to the body of the old system with the shaking that we did to the old world, we did not proceed with a real and successful approach to our struggle against wage-labour.  We did not organize a true anti-wage-labour movement of our class and have not relied on our real class power.  We did not attack the root of the existence of capital.  We did not set the path of our struggle with the consciousness to abolish wage-slavery.  We relied on the party and its prescription as well as its commands from the “professional revolutionary organization”.  We reached a realm which was not a real battle of anti-capitalists.  We became devoted soldiers for the democracy-seeking movement and developed capitalism as in Europe.  The future of our struggle was tied without knowing it to replacing one capitalist system with another one.  We created many epics, shook history and finally made a revolution but our revolution was not opening a door to the next struggle to abolish wage-slavery and put an end to the capitalist system, rather and unfortunately it was the beginning of the establishment of another form of wage-slavery.  In the blink of an eye we were thrown out of councils, we were told that the council is nothing, and that the party above us is everything.  They rejected the nationwide council organizations of worker masses for work and production programming but they said yes to the state party that relies on the superior role of a few elites. We have been told that the councils and millions of workers within them are not capable of making a production plan or making any decision regarding social affairs and it is only the party and state machine that are capable of all of this.  They imposed state ownership as social ownership.  We have been sentenced to continue selling our labour power and at the same time we have been told that state ownership above wage-slavery is the same as abolishing wage-labour and that this is socialism.  We have been told to work and work and to produce and create capital.  We have been told that the labour system to increase more and more surplus value is the best way to realize the abolition of wage-labour!  In one word, we lost the revolution in the early period because that revolution was not the product of the real manifestation of a conscious and organized movement with the clear anti-capitalist horizon of our class.  It is clear that it would not end like this.  In the absence of our creative intervention they built a capitalist state in our name and they called upon other workers around the world to build the same wage-labour relation.  Additionally, they have driven other masses of our class to the same failure.  In our name and under the red flag of emancipation they governed over half of our class members.

Yes fellow class members!  The same thing has happened to our movement here too.  This is what they have done to our anti-wage-labour movement.  This is a long story.  In Asia, Africa and Latin America the situation of our class and the events of the class struggle is worse than elsewhere.  On these three continents whenever we try to fight against capitalist exploitation, all its disenfranchisements and its crimes, it was a part of the capital class, the same friends and allies of state capitalism, from everywhere, that provided guidance that this is not the time to struggle against capital, rather it is time to fight against imperialism; that this is the time to unite with the national capitalists; that it is time to unite with the freedom-loving landowners; and it is time to struggle for a democratic revolution!  They, in our name and under our flag of emancipation, have started to prescribe a democratic national capitalist development and the establishment of state capitalism.  They have asked us to be a free army for the realization of their goals.  They turned us into soldiers for a nationalist democratic movement.  They told us that in order to have a better livelihood we needed to build a syndicate to replace one form of capitalism with another form.  We have become a free and cheap infantry of this organization, that group or this party.  They slaughtered us within their own disputes.  In one word, this is how we came to be captured by them up till now and we are still wandering in the ups and downs of a dreadful historical captivity.

Yes fellow members this is a century gone with the fate of our movement.  We have been blocked from a worldwide campaign of our council against capital.  Our class struggle for the emancipation from the yoke of wage-slavery has been buried in the cemetery of the Trade Union movement by the hands of Social Democracy.  Our struggle has been buried in the cemetery of prescribed Socialism by a part of global capital and finally it has been buried in the cemetery of the struggle against anti-imperialism and for democracy.  We were unable to proceed with a united organized worldwide anti-capitalist council of our class.  Part of global capital executed many of us for protesting against exploitation and all disenfranchisement.  Other parts of global capital captured the power of our struggle and our movement in the interest of their own expectations.  Yes – that is why we have stagnated from the conscious struggle with an anti-capitalist horizon.  Our movement in the best scenario has sunk into the swamp of capital reform and has been turned into the replacement of one form of the wage-slavery programming relation into another one.  The capitalist system found the opportunity due to the absence of conscious attacks against it.  Step by step the capitalist system pushed us to withdraw and strengthened its pillars, and in this way we have been pushed into the abyss, an abyss that is tangible for the masses of our class as we bear all of its misery.

Fellow worker members!  Our movement’s report card has been written like this.  All of these have been seized; our horizon of emancipation, our daily offensive approaches against capital, our container of organized labour and the exertion of our class council power for struggling against wage-slavery, the fort of our daily anti-capitalist demands and all approaches and weapons have been hijacked from us.  And in this direction our annual May Day as well has been hijacked.  This platform everywhere in all countries has also been stolen by the syndicalists and leaders of the Trade Unions, by the leaders of Social Democracy, by the hands of the ruling state capitalists, by the hands of the democrat anti-imperialists, by populism, and by the hands of the reformists and left nationalists.  In brief, our entire arsenal has been captured by the forces that try to reform capital and replace one form with another form.  During all this century and few decades they have been talking instead of us.  They have been replacing our anti-capitalist war with the compromised moaning.  They have been the ones who changed our May Day, when instead of fighting against capital it has become a place of submission and obedience with capital.  This is what happened to our May 1st and now on the threshold of May 1st we suffer like this.

Workers!  This is what happened to our May 1st and now in the continuation of this dire situation we are standing in one of the most important forks in the road in our history.  The one path is the continuation of the same path that has been taken until now.  This is the path of reformism, syndicalism and sectarianism which is the renunciation of the real struggle against capital, a path that is based upon our historical experience and leads to the cemetery, the same cemetery where billions of workers are buried alive.  Another path is the path of the anti-capitalist struggle; the path of organized council against capital; the path of unity and the formation of an organized council around the fundamental proclamation demands of our class; the path of attacking the heart of capital; the path of adopting fresh  approaches in exerting our power against capital and its state; the path of preparation and mobilization for the constant exertion of such power; and the path of consciousness and awakening of all members of our class within the class struggle against wage-labour to put an end to the capitalist system.  This path has to be taken and it is in this direction on the dawn of May Day that we call upon all workers to organize in the form of a worldwide council around the fundamental proclamation demands of the working class.  Let’s impose the power of our organized council as a weapon on capital and its states.  By means of taking over factories that are on the brink of shutting down complemented by strikes shutting down the wheel of profits of production in all work places, and by means of organizing the movement of factory takeovers – yes by all these means let’s fight against capital.  Let’s turn this year’s May 1st into the beginning of opening the fort of a huge internationalist struggle.

Workers, Let’s Get Organized Against Capital!

Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization

April 23, 2009

Autres textes du Comité de coordination:

4 Réponses to “1° mai: Du cri d’August Spies aux compromis des réformistes de droite et de gauche”

  1. T*** Says:



  2. Viliam Says:

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    Let’s turn this year’s May 1st into the beginning of opening the fort of a huge internationalist struggle. Workers, Let’s Get Organized Against Capital! Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization. April 23, 2009 ……


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