The costs of the crisis will be aggravated by the imperialist treaties in Mexico

Marco Vinicio Dávila Juárez, director of El Comunista, central organ of the Central Committee Mexican Communist Party of the Communists

In capitalism crises are unavoidable

The present crisis of the capitalist mode of production demonstrates the actuality of Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary tasks in class struggle of the proletariat and its vanguard organization, communist parties. At the same time the generality of the crisis stresses out the need, to be solved with urgency, of the elaboration of a common strategy of the communist and labor parties to develop a strong and decided intervention in a stormy period, as the one opened in historical perspective.

Marx, Engels and Lenin demonstrated throughout their works that capitalism just as previous modes of production is not eternal and that in its core contradictions, that aggravate the life conditions of the masses and put at the order of the day the need to overthrow it through revolution, surge. Stable development of capitalism, which consubstantial characteristics are the cyclical crises of overproduction and over accumulation, is impossible just as Friedrich Engels describes it in an early way in the Anti-Düring

It necessary to note too that we live in the imperialist phase of capitalism and that the crisis is international, that no country escapes it. As we know, and the current crisis confirms, monopolies establish the costs over the working class while they assure their profits.

Under imperialism inequality increases, the policy of despoiling that characterizes imperialism adopts the most varied forms: overexploitation of labor force, unequal interchange, the irrational use of certain resources. The domination exercised by the most powerful countries affirms monopoly capital and reports humongous economic profits and many other great advantages to imperialist potencies. The consolidation of monopolies intensifies the inherent contradictions of the system: at the same time that it provokes rapid processes of growth, profoundly anarchic and unequal, it spawns the tendency to stagnation and decomposition.

As production and above all capital concentrates in a minority of gigantic enterprises dominated by the financial oligarchy, and also big quantities of money in the financial centers of the dominant countries the conditions for decomposition and parasitism are originated. The parasitism that characterizes financial oligarchy exhibits the contradictions of a regime of useless exploitation that expresses itself in militarism, despoiling war and ever more intense crises.

In the Collective Direction’s Inform to the VIII Plenary of the Central Committee of the Party of the Communist we express the following over the present crisis:

“The National Bureau of Economical Research (NBER) announced officially that the US entered a recession on December 1st of 2008. Initially presented just as a inmobliary crisis, subprimecredits crisis since march of 2007; they did everything possible to contain the information of a deep economical crisis of the capitalist system with its epicenter in north American imperialism.

Rapidly, one after another the real state agencies, banks, industries, services break. Every monopoly sees its hour; to the US follows England, Japan, European Union and dependant capitalist countries.

In a first moment this crisis was pretended to be presented as restricted to the financial sector of the US, just as the bankruptcy of the New Century Financial Corporation, Ver Stearns bank, IKB (German Industry Bank), Merrill Lynch, Citi Group, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Hypo Real Estate, Bank of America. And in a way this is true, but not only, because it’s the first manifestation of a crisis which is not just american rather than global; not just of the financial sector rather than of the whole of the system; not just of neoliberalism, rather than capitalism, of imperialism.

We can say that the world financial bankruptcy is the first manifestation of the general crisis of capitalism. The financial bubble exploded and it could not be in another way.

…This world crisis is of the whole of the capitalist mode of production, very superior to that of 1929, since the margins of capitalist stabilization are not those from then and because it combines with an energetic, ecologic, food and political crisis; it’s besides a crisis with repercussion to the hegemony of the US, reached in the framework of the counterrevolution in the USSR and the socialist field. As well as the stock market values collapse the myths in which the monetarist fundamentalism of neoliberalism based itself to announce the death of Marxism, of communism collapse.”[1]

Full force of Marxist-Leninist theory on imperialism as the superior phase of capitalism.

The counterrevolution of the 90’s was not just limited to the temporary retreat in the socialist construction for the working class and the peoples of the USSR, GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary Mongolia, also in Albania and for the processes in course in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen. It also meant the imposition of backward steps to the conquests of the workers movement in the entire world through the capitalist restructuring known as neoliberalism. But it also meant the war in Iraq and the efforts to assure Latin America as exclusive influence zone of american imperialism. It is that counterrevolutionary course of the “end of history” that helps to start the North America Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico.

When the popular and revolutionary forces started to reorganize a series of ideological positions of opportunism and reformism came in help of imperialism. Hard attacks to the central paper of the working class, speaking of the end of labor and of the raid of emerging subjects; also the idea of no-power and the “innovative” disdain to the question of State and conquest of power was launched; another of the campaigns was on the political party of the working class, restating the “culture to spontaneity” and to “movementism”, intending to split off the political from the social and the economic struggles; but one of the most dangerous approaches was the debate around imperialism raised by Negri and Hardt. Still and when we need to systematize more the debate in this period that already covers a decade, if perceived that coordinated or not, it can be assured that it was an attack against fundamental aspects of Marxism-Leninism, bringing to the present arguments long ago defeated, not only of anarchism, but of Bernstein and Kautsky. This of course impacted negatively in the development of class struggle that in the last period rose in intensity, upon massive questioning to the capitalist domination and to war. Nevertheless the contemporary opportunistic forces have tight to those coordinates, by citing an example, the Party of the European Left, party that collaborates to capital and all those that have determined to be submitted and to be integrated to imperialist projects as the European Union and also many of the organizations of the vague left and ex communist that act in Latin America, like the case of the Party of the Democratic Revolution in Mexico that accepts NAFA, presenting only very light modifications that in nothing alter its imperialist character.

As we know in the great theory work Imperialism superior phase of capitalism Lenin sums up the most fundamental features that characterize the transformation from free trade capitalism to monopoly capitalism in the following way:

“1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; 2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy; 3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; 4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and 5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed..”[2]

In its place, opportunist and reformist, go to the old ideas of Kautsky of Ultraimperialism sowing the confusion of a “natural tendency” to integration and peaceful development of capitalism, intending to justify the wars of pillaging, despoiling and conquest, with the same justifications that in the Middle Ages the crusaders utilized: as wars between West and the civilization against the barbarians, as wars of good against evil.

Here now we do not intend but to set the precedent that the current crisis also collapses these ideological trinkets that concurred to the market to sell an intelligent, modern, not violent, dialoging and collaborating left that could occupy a chair in the council of administration of capitalist interests: the State.

Marxist-Leninist theory of Imperialism is important to explain why the international trade agreements and interstate projects presented as float tables are becoming the anchor that carries to the abyss peoples and countries that are found in a subordinate position in the imperialist chain.

The imperialist projects of expansion and domination in Latin America: The Mexican experience.

In 1994 the NAFTA started, 15 years later the balance is resounding: NAFTA and the initiative to extend it to the entire continent in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) have confirmed the existence of imperialist policy, despite the disguises adopted in its discourse.

This agreement is pretended to be generalized to all America. Despite the great defeat suffered by North American initiative in a total agreement, the truth is that through bilateral and regional agreements it insists in its project, accompanied with repressive and military agreements.

It is important to signal that the first defeat suffered by NAFTA was greatly owed to popular, social, politic and armed resistance. There is no doubt towards the central role played by the Cuban Revolution that achieved to group, with its calling to the Hemispheric struggle against FTAA Encounters, in a single front workers and peasants movements, social forces and intellectuals and artists articulating continental protests and action plans that rendered a great service, another part was played by the Colombian resistance to the Plan Colombia and to Plan Patriota, fundamentally by the FARC-EP. The growing opposition of the Mexican working class and peasant and indigenous opposition to NAFTA contributed to arouse consciousness to the Latin American peoples about the risk of accepting the FTAA. [3]

With the euphemism of free commerce [4] the United States pretend to secure their hegemony in Latin America in opposition to the European Union. CAFTA, Puebla-Panama Plan, SPP, bilateral agreements are, as NAFTA, the same strategy. They are accompanied by repressive military plans as Plan Colombia or Merida Initiative, as with the installation of North American military bases everywhere [5] and the reactivation of the IV fleet.

Counting in first place with the inertia of the so called de-ideologization imperialism covered itself with makeup and in the name of “liberty”, “democracy”, “free commerce”, “interdependence”, “new world order” tried to suffocate any resistance to its policy of dominating Latin America. It was the conditions of international counterrevolution that imposed the NAFTA, qualified by investigators and academics as a sale/purchase of Mexico [6], which finds an analogy with the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty’s terrible mutilation of Mexico’s national territory after the unjust 1847-1848 war and that legalized the despoiling of 2,263,866 km2, however NAFTA ruined Mexican land, food sovereignty and the national production plant, introducing the dominion of North American monopolies into land and natural resources, especially in power generation related ones. Gas is already in foreign hands, for example. Monopolies have invaded areas previously reserved exclusively to the State by mandate of the democratic-bourgeois revolution of 1910, this is the case of electricity and oil.

Among the effects are the intensification of despoiling and exploitation. Unemployment in the field and the city, and emigration are permanent.

The grade of subordination of Mexican capitalism in relation to North American is total. It is the main and almost sole buyer of oil, the almost exclusive destination of our exports, and also the source of remittance which is our second biggest economical contribution, which have dropped since November of 2008 a 3%.

Since Felipe Calderon took possession of the presidency of the republic the economical situation of the country has worsened in prejudice mostly of the workers, the self named “president of employment” has not done a single action that effectively impacts on the life standard of workers.

Now we know that the growth for this 2008 [7] will be practically nil, the federal government has dedicated itself to implement various anti-crisis plans, all of them aimed to strengthen familiar economy, acquisitive power and to incite employment, although curiously all of these plans actually transfer great quantities of economical resources to private companies.

The measures taken by the federal government are not channeled to solve worker’s problems, and economic pressures continue to emphasize. The inflation during last year was of 6.53%, double than what was esteemed, and the one esteemed by the government for this year is of .28%, the devaluation of the peso in front of the dollar is more than 38% since January of 2007 to February of 2009, the NGP until July of 008 was of 1.2%.

The manifestations of labor dissatisfaction are expressed in different forms, one of these manifestations are the strike notices. This notices had an increase of 46.33% when they passed from 7,390 in 2006 to 10,814 that took place last year, during the month of January of this year there had already occurred 1,162 notices. The vast majority of these notices are in regard to salary raise, however none of them has achieved to break the imposed salary top, that for this year is according to words of labor secretary Javier Lozano Alarcon not superior to 6%.

All of this comes to show the rise in workers unhappiness towards labor situation. It is true that in average only between 25 and 40 notices actually go on to a strike but in some cases the social and economic impact spans over whole regions or branches of production, such is the case of mining, where the strikes of Taxco, Guerrero; Sombrerete, Zacatecas, Met Mex Peñoles in Coahuila and Cananea have national and international impact.

In the case of land the situation is worse, according to data of the Worker’s University of Mexico, in the last twelve years two million rural jobs have been lost, 85.5% of the rural population continues or has entered poverty, and 55.3% corresponds to food or extreme poverty. Rural migration cover 45% of families with at least one member in the US, and 80% with at least one member outside of his community.

NAFTA aggravating Mexico’s dependence immediately provokes devastating effects. Stabilization of the change type as a result of speculation has cost the country over 20 thousand million dollars to the Mexican Bank’s reservoir; working class suffers the speculative rise of food prices [8]; the excess of debts caused that 10,250 enterprises declared themselves in bankruptcy; Mexican workers have lost 53,000 million pesos of their retirement savings due to the fact that they were used to invest in international financial instruments, which means the despoil of 10% of their savings. The fall of employment in the US in the construction sector will make that 3 million Mexican immigrants return to the country.

Mexican economy has passed from chronic stagnation to open recession, and shows already the effects of the external crisis in the production plant, financial sector, public finances, and labor market. Industrial activity has fallen 11.1% in January of 2009. Total exportations have lowered 30.5%, oil exports 55.3% and manufactures 25.9%, between January and February. The budgetary incomes of federal government diminished in 9.9% due to the lesser mounts derived from oil activity and to lower tax collection, between January 2008 and January 2009. Automotive production has reduced a 44.4%, passing from 340 thousand 36 units to 19 thousand 0 units in the first bimonth of 2009. In the assembly sector we can observe a fall of 31.5%, passing from 6 thousand 299 million dollars to 4 thousand 313 million dollars from 2007 to 2008.

Despite the fact that workers have suffered during almost three decades the despoiling of their life funds: Wage maximums have continued with the purpose of making the costs for enterprises even more cheaper, despite the speculative rise of food prices, which keeps in permanent lingering wages vis-à-vis with inflation. To the loss of acquisitive power of salaries, we add the loss of employment: in 2009, not only will enough job posts to satisfy the demand of youth that join the labor market not be created, but it is also calculated the already existing job posts will be canceled: if we consider that according to calculations of the Bank of Mexico, the Economically Active Population (EAP), will grow in one million 300 thousand persons, and if we take the calculations of the Treasury and Public Credit Secretary (SHCP in Spanish), that refer that up to 300 thousand jobs will be lost, then we have a job deficit of at least one million 600 thousand persons. However we consider that the lost of job posts and the deficit of job posts will be much higher, if we take in account that the tendency towards the reductions of formal jobs since 2008 to the date: According to data of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), 538 thousand 68 workers have lost their jobs, which meant an average reduction of 107.6 thousand job posts by month between October 2008 and February 2009. Just in the assembly exports industry (which is one of the most affected by the US recession and the change type), 64 thousand 404 job posts have been lost, between October 2008 and February 2009; regarding the clothing industry, 40 thousand jobs have been lost and 350 business have closed in 2008; mining industry has lost 2 thousand direct jobs and 20 thousand indirect job posts, at the same time 2 thousand 500 find themselves in technical lockout, the sugar sector has lost approximately 10 thousand jobs in 2008, due to favoring of sugar imports by the dispositions of the NAFTA; work precariousness deepens even more in crisis epochs: technical lockouts are a mechanism that businessmen have come using to adequate themselves to the necessities of market, for example, to diminish production when sales fall; that is to say, they don’t have as objective preserving employment. In fact, capitalist, as well as applying lockouts reduce salaries and benefits and end up firing workers: in General Motors, for example, after a series of technical lockouts they fired 600 workers. Besides the permanent wage eroding, technical lockout, wage reduction and unemployment, the poorest workers continue being the captive tax payers: Between January and September of 2008, people who won up to ten minimum wages contributed more to federal budget, than those that won more than one hundred minimum wages. Finally workers end up getting into debt in view of salary damaging, unemployment, burdensome tax payment and general precariousness of their work and life conditions, among whist health and accident related problems are a common place.

New garments for old recipes

Imperialist agreements not only condemn the workers of Mexico rather they do it to all workers of the world. The main contradiction of the epoch is that one existing between labor and capital. The fact that Mexico is a dependant country does not render void the fact that there are national monopolies that are exporting capital, such is the case of CEMEX, TELMEX, Televisa, Grupo Elektra, Televisión Azteca, citing a few, and these have beneficiated from NAFTA.

In fact these monopoly groups in tune with the North American are suggesting –in open rejection to the dogmas that they praised in the 90’s when they beneficiated from the privatization of the state section of the economy- that state intervention is required; that is how it was analyzed by the Central Committee of the Party of the Communist:

“ is important to go to the bottom of the question of our class position and our Marxist-Leninist ideology and to unmask any intent of capitalist way out of the situation, even if it resorts to a humane façade, to ways out intended to present to us a capitalism with human appearance.

As communist we have clear that the actual crisis is the manifestation of unavoidable contradictions in the capitalist production mode and that due to all its characteristics it is a crisis of overproduction and over accumulation that covers the whole of the world capitalist system. We will not make any concessions to the approach that a Neo Keynesian reform is possible. It’s our job in this period to have as aim the socialist revolution, working in that only sense, opening true perspectives to the working class and to the peoples.

In the chaos scapegoats are looked for, and its own creators sit neoliberalism in the dock; because of necessity they have to stomp on arguments that two decades ago they presented as theend of ideologies, as the non plus-ultra of freedom and democracy. The wheel of history inexorably charges its vengeance, two decades in the clock of history are merely a second and the triumphant neoliberal discourse today is barely a fetid and unburied discourse; one again the state fattens, it get overweight, in a desperate maneuver to escape from total bankruptcy. Again the great mass media worship the State and the protectionist discourse is reborn. Privatization cedes its place to state-owned companies. But that generates very dangerous illusions, fed by social democracy, that consider progressive measures adopted by Bush and now by Obama, betting on a capitalist reform that would show a new welfare state.”[9]

Two centuries of struggle for Independence: socialism is the perspective

In the X International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties effected in Sao Paulo some of the present parties approved a declaration Regarding the bi-century of the independence in Latin America and the Caribbean [10] that indicated the struggle against colonialism specially Spanish one. It highlights the task raised by the Conference of Communist and Workers Parties in Latin America that took place in Habana in 1975 on the quest for a second and definite independence.

The liberating processes of the 20th century, from the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the Cuban Revolution of 1959 frame actual processes in the dialectics of anti-imperialism and socialist revolution. Other ways whatsoever despite the liberating aspects would end up recompose the domination of the exploiting classes. The Mexican Revolution is an example of this since it lays out the following question: ¿What sense does it have that the State controls 70% of the economy if this State is bourgeois?

The Great Socialist Revolution of October had the merit of breaking the ice, of showing the way. It opened the epoch of transition from capitalism to communism. Today it is impossible to separate the tasks of economical emancipation of dependant countries without placing the question of political power conquering by the working class and the construction of socialist society, which has as a premise communist parties and Marxism-Leninism ideology of the vanguard class in the present epoch.

[1] La Crisis del capitalismo y las tareas de los comunistas en México. Mimeographed edition of the Central Committee of the Party of the Communist; March 2009

[2] Lenin, Vladimir Ilich; Selected Works in 12 Tomes; Progress Editorial; Moscow; Page 459

[3] The important role played by the Mexican indigenous and peasant’s rebellion against NAFTA shouldn’t be ignored, exactly on the day that it became valid on January 1st of 1994. Organized in Chiapas in the Mexican Southeast by the EZLN, the armed uprising expressed with crudeness that the imperialist agreement was a death sentence for the indigenous peoples.

[4] It is well known that capitalism is no longer in the free competition phase, which historically belongs to the past.

[5] Recently a new military base in Colombia, that of Palanquero, that of course is aimed to continue the bloody war against that brother country and its revolutionary forces, but that reaches the Andes area, the Caribbean and Central America. By the way, among other things, it confirms that the North American president continues the same route that his predecessors. Obama also ratified all the resources promised by Bush to the Merida Initiative, discrediting the opportunist Mexican left that talked about a new era and that enthusiastically saluted the election of the North American democrat.

[6] Among many other the academic John Saxe-Fernandez in a study with the same name, where he documents that NAFTA means for Mexico the annexation, that would complete the expansion started with the violent war of 1847 against Mexico, prior to the masked annexation of Texas and the acquisition of other territories as Louisiana. In his book La compra-venta de México he says: “For the United States the Louisiana purchase and the Treaty of Guadalupe of 1848 were crucial in its rise as continental, hemispheric and international power by the geographical dimensions of the territories and the mineral, then after Hydrocarbon, resources that nature had so generously laid within them.”

[7] It is curious that the government and the bourgeoisie have mounted a propaganda campaign alerting that the North American crisis won’ affect us, and that any negative effect in the economy would be result of provocative groups specialized in sabotaging. After they said that it was just “a petty cold” and now they have said it is a “big hole”, “tsunami”, “shock”, “earthquake”, etc.

[8] As general minimum wage has received a rise of 12.6%, the prices of edibles, meanwhile, have raised up to 339.4%, this is the case of green bean, chicken has received a rise of 243.4%, oil 107.7%, rice 139%, salt 77.2%, white bread 53%, tortilla 42.8%, wheat flour 54.4%, beans 35.5% and eggs 49.8%.

[9] The crisis of capitalism and the tasks of the communist in Mexico. Mimeographed edition of the Central Committee of the Party of The Communist; March 2009

[10] 10° Encontro Internacional de Partidos Comunistas e Operários; Edited by the PCdoB; p. 48