Revolutionary Worker #905, May 4, 1997
May First, the traditional day when the international proletariat thunders its political manifesto against the imperialist and reactionary classes all over the world and reaffirms its unshaking determination to violently overthrow the oppressive rule of these bloodsuckers everywhere on earth and build a new society, free of exploitation and oppression. On this day revolutionary proletarians join in streets, neighbourhoods, factories and base areas of revolutionary armed struggle to once again reaffirm their world historic mission and call upon all oppressed to join in this liberating life-and-death struggle. On this day, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) calls upon all revolutionary communists around the world to carry forward a red May Day which powerfully and unambiguously conveys this message--in contrast to all the reformist views, which in one form or another counsel the proletariat and oppressed to make peace with class exploitation.
Across five continents, our class and the rest of the labouring classes produce all the food and wealth on the earth. But while enormous resources are accumulated in the hands of the exploiting classes, poverty and hunger grow among the producers. The increasing number of electronic gadgets cannot hide the fact that never in the history of the earth has there been greater inequality. The imperialist ruling classes of a handful of rich capitalist countries dominate whole nations and peoples in Asia, Africa and Latin America and, together with local big capitalists and landlords, seek to suck ever more blood-soaked profits out of the labouring people. And while some sections of the middle classes in developing countries may enjoy fleeting prosperity, others from among these same classes are cast unceremoniously to the bottom of society. Even in the citadels of imperialism itself, millions lack basic necessities and millions more see the standard of living driven downward. In the former East bloc countries, the same old ruling elite (like Yeltsin) dropped their previous hollow profession of "communism" (actually revisionism). They have changed uniforms, while retaining their capitalist soul, and become "market-oriented democrats." They have accumulated mind-boggling wealth, while tens of millions have been thrown out of factories and off the land.
Tremendous technological advances have been built upon the labour of the proletariat and the accumulated knowledge of mankind. But in the hands of the imperialists, these advances are transformed into private "intellectual property" and used as one more link in their system of modern-day slavery. The capitalists turn every technological advance into a man-eating horror, kicking people out of work and onto the streets, sucking further wealth out of the oppressed nations and increasing the gap between the backward and rich countries.
This is not all. The Cold War between the Western imperialists and their East bloc counterparts is over, but the aftershocks of their beast-like rivalry for world domination are still taking victims from amongst the masses. While the crumbling of their Cold War set-up is still a cause of instability and suffering for the masses of many countries in Africa and Eastern Europe, newly intensifying contention among the Western imperialist powers is adding salt to the wounds. Imperialism is indirectly and often directly responsible for the killings and horrendous human suffering in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and elsewhere. Then the imperialists use these situations as justification to send their reactionary armies and use reactionary violence to establish order and so-called human rights (the most important right for them is their "right" to exploit the masses). The imperialists' actions are not aimed at saving the Kurds from Saddam Hussein or the Bosnian Moslems from Serb fascist rapists and killers or the Tutsis from Hutu warlords. Their only concern is to keep their shaky empires together. They use their guns to dominate and exploit the oppressed peoples. Every big-time reactionary in the oppressed countries has been their faithful servant for decades, including the now tottering Mobutu of Zaire. Every killer party from Africa to Afgahnistan is financed, armed and politically advised by the U.S., European (France, Germany, Belgium, etc.) or Russian imperialists individually or together. Political forces who beg the imperialists to provide a solution to the many crises in the world are either deliberately hiding the truth or fooling themselves.
The world situation today and the repeated outbreaks of crisis cry out for a clear revolutionary vision that is boldly and persistently implemented. Oppression is giving rise to many forms of resistance and protest by the masses around the world. The majority of them desperately need change. Leading these masses away from illusory roads and obsolete ideologies and onto the liberating path of proletarian revolution is the tremendous challenge facing revolutionary Maoists throughout the world.
History has shown that only a proletarian revolution can bring the masses power to control their human and other resources in the service of building a new world free of all oppression. This was powerfully shown by our class in waging revolution and building socialism in the USSR (1917-1956) and China (1949-1976). The fact that capitalism was restored in those countries cannot wipe out this profound truth and historical reality. These historic experiences have shown that the proletariat and the masses, having established their power by revolutionary means, can make giant strides in eliminating the relations of oppression and exploitation established over thousands of years and the reactionary and stultifying ideas which correspond to those relations. Today the proletariat does not hold state power in any country. But these tremendous historical achievements are exactly the ground we must build on today to carry to victory new proletarian revolutions in various parts of the world, and to build new socialist societies on even higher levels. There is no other way to liberation. This truth must be brought home to more and more proletarian masses.
History has also shown the bankruptcy of other views claiming to change the world: religious obscurantism, nationalism and reformism and imperialist "democracy." We have seen how the Islamic forces in Iran immediately after the fall of the Shah turned against the masses and drowned their revolution in blood. We see now how the Islamic forces in Afghanistan have allied with U.S. imperialism and other reactionary powers to enslave the masses there. We have seen in the past few years how the introduction of Western market reforms in the former East bloc countries has only intensified the suffering of the masses and how the much heralded electoral democracy has not empowered them a bit. We have seen how the imperialist-sponsored reforms in South Africa have been nothing but the "changing of the guard" of the oppressive system, while the black masses, the great majority, are yet to be liberated. We see before our eyes how the imperialist "peace process" in the Middle East is being built on the basis of betraying the Palestinian masses and their national aspirations. Nor can ex-rebels turned Western (or market) oriented "democrats" take us to liberation. All of these false prophets can only lead the masses back to the same misery. Even the few states which today are out of favour with one or another imperialist powers do not express the political interests of the proletariat.
In contrast to all these reactionary and reformist views of "improving" the world while leaving its basic class distinctions in place stand the revolutions waged or being prepared by the proletariat and its Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties. People's Wars are being carried out in Peru led by the Communist Party of Peru and in Nepal led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)--both participating parties in RIM. Also, revolutionary armed struggles are being waged by other Maoist forces--such as in the Philippines and in India. Although the revolutionary struggle led by MLM parties and organisations does not yet occupy the centre of the political scene internationally these struggles are the sharpest expressions of the interests of our class. They are the early birds of the future waves of class struggle.
In the face of vicious attacks by the reactionary U.S.-backed Fujimori regime, the People's War in Peru has carried on, and the Communist Party of Peru has remained steadfast in the face of a right opportunist line which raised its head inside the party, proposing to surrender the People's War. This is an inspiring example of the determination of our class internationally. The launching of a People's War in Nepal by initially unarmed masses is a powerful echo of the international proletariat's view of how this world must and can be changed arms-in-hand by class conscious workers and peasants. In both Peru and Nepal, the revolutionary road of the Maoists has been bitterly opposed by phoney communists (revisionists) who have helped the reactionaries try to suppress the armed uprisings.
While the imperialists and reactionaries of the world crowed about the "death of communism," the parties and organisations of the RIM and other Maoist forces have led revolutionary struggles and gained in strength. Our Movement has uncompromisingly spread a revolutionary communist view of changing the world and has worked to help form Maoist parties and organisations wherever they do not yet exist and strengthen those already in existence. Because in a world where the ruling structures in many countries are tottering with instability and the masses cannot live like before, what is most often lacking is a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist vanguard capable of leading the struggle and sacrifices of the masses to victory.
The international proletariat needs to unite its ranks around a clear revolutionary communist vision and programme and build an international centre for pushing forward the process of the world proletarian revolution. This is why RIM has been formed as a stepping-stone towards forming a Communist International of a new type, based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is how Marx and Engels' historic call, "Workers of the world, unite!" can and must be realised at this time. Only this kind of a centre can bring to bear the collective strength of our class worldwide to aid the revolutionary process at key junctures and places, while pushing the overall process of world proletarian revolution forward. Only this kind of centre can galvanize the potential allies of the proletariat internationally in order to shore up the revolutionary front against imperialism in the world.
Let us express this view of the world even more resoundingly and uncompromisingly in different parts of the world, train the proletarian masses with it, and lead them in revolution, so that the earth shall indeed rise on new foundations.
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