Argentina: Alejandro Bodart’s speech at the MST rally

“Our project is called socialism”

A special greeting to all comrades who accompany us, to the comrades of the FIT Unity, to all our groupings.

We are saying goodbye to a bad year, very bad for the working sectors. If something became clear this year is that capitalism has nothing positive to offer to humanity. The capitalist class is producing natural disasters, destroying forests, wetlands, polluting water and entire villages. It creates the conditions for deadly diseases like the one we are suffering from to spread and take the lives of a million and a half people. It is not over yet since some countries are already going through the third wave. Some estimate that there may be two, three million more dead. Behind all of this is capitalism.

That social class with its governments has destroyed health systems. It has defunded the State’s scientific research and that is why we had to face this pandemic in such bad conditions. And on top of that, during these months, in order to continue guaranteeing their profits, millions of workers were forced to go to work without minimum safety conditions. All so that the banks and companies can continue to get richer. Capitalists do not care about the lives of the workers. They know that they have reserve armies of unemployed that they themselves create.

The misery of this system, the evilness is exposed, for example, regarding the vaccines, which have already begun to be distributed by millions in imperialist countries. They have already taken five, six, nine times the population they have. While in poor countries it is not known when they will arrive or in which quantities. That is the capitalist system.

The pandemic deepened an economic crisis that has been going on for a long time. We had a huge expression of it in 2008. Without the pandemic, we were heading for an enormous economic crisis because this system always creates bubbles. It is a speculative system that condemns us to crisis after crisis. Now the pandemic has deepened everything, and what do they want now? The crisis to be paid by the same people as always: the workers. It is estimated that hundreds of millions will lose their jobs. A third of the world’s workers will see their salaries reduced. Thousands, millions will lose their pensions. We are going to a world where they want job insecurity to be the rule.

Our young people will have no future because they will have less and less access to education, to decent work. Not to mention decent housing. But beware, when a poor person takes a small piece of land, a barrage is unleashed through the big media that they have in their pay in defense of the sacrosanct private property. Not the private property of the worker who has nothing: they jump like rats to defend the privileges, the fortunes accumulated by a small group of capitalists in the world and in our countries.

Now, how was the private property of that 1% that today possesses the wealth of all humanity created? It was done by exterminating the native peoples in Argentina, in the U.S.A., all over the world. By taking advantage of the enslavement of the peoples of Africa. On the basis of sending us to fratricidal wars. Stealing the wealth of our peoples. Starving the working class, super-exploiting them. Discussing the famous fiscal deficits that imply robbing us of health and education budgets. Not giving us access to housing. All for those who want more and more to accumulate. People started to rise up against all of this and that is why we are seeing rebellions from one side of the planet to the other. In France, the yellow vests. Our Chilean brothers… In Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala and Colombia. We have seen the people of Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Belarus… Because they are coming for everything. The capitalists, in order to guarantee their profits, are going to intensify the attack against the workers and the people. But the people will rise up and resist. And the space for the left will grow. It will put us in front of historic opportunities and that is why we are doing these events. To begin… to discuss the new world that is coming, our proposals and how we can make the left grow in that world. It is going to be proposed to overcome the great weakness that we workers and peoples have: the absence of a revolutionary leadership with mass influence.

Now, this weakness does not prevent great triumphs from being achieved. The struggle, for example, managed to shake regimes that had been built on the basis of constitutions bathed in blood… like the Pinochetista constitution in Chile and the Fujimori regime in Peru… But beware, these partial triumphs, if they do not continue and remain only in some constitutional reforms, will not lead us to victory. If a sector of the mass movement does not manage to understand that, in order to really change, it is not only necessary to throw out but to put in place something different, then things can go backwards.

The peoples are overthrowing governments. In Peru they overthrew two governments in a few days. Today is December 19, 19 years ago we overthrew a government and in one week we overthrew several. These are important triumphs, we must vindicate the Argentinazo and our martyrs. But since we did not manage to put in place a workers’ government, the regime, the system, recycled itself and that is why we are here, 19 years later and we are still fighting for things to seriously change.

The only true triumph is the socialist revolution to overthrow this system. For that, we need to build a revolutionary leadership. More conditions are being created in the world, but we have to be clear that this is the big way out if we really want to change things….

The crisis is generating the emergence of conservative and right-wing sectors. In almost all countries xenophobic, racist, authoritarian expressions arise, like Trump, Bolsonaro, or with other manners like Macri. The bourgeoisie prepares these sectors to go for everything. Now, we must be aware that the anger generated by these sectors provokes important turns to the left, that begin looking to the left. If not, let us look at what is happening in the U.S.A. It is a symbol of this new time. Not only a black and popular rebellion that threatened the empire at home: that rebellion was preceded by a turn to the left in the majority of the youth. And that is what is coming. Struggles are coming, but in those struggles consciousness will advance, whole swathes will begin to look to the left. Now, in order to prevent the masses and the workers from going to the left, there are working sectors that paint themselves as different. Some call themselves progressives, some reformists want to convince us that to confront the right, the only way out is to unite behind another capitalist project. They want us to believe that to confront Trump, we must support the imperialist Biden….

They want us to believe that there are bad, brutal capitalists, but that there are good capitalists who can lead us to a different world. Some say that there is a human capitalism, a green capitalism. They are all lies! We have to confront the brutal right-wingers, but also those liars who want to drag us behind other capitalists who would be the least bad. And that, when they govern, we quickly realize that they become the main enemy of the workers and the peoples.

In this imperialist stage there are not two capitalisms: there is only one. There is no welfare state or the famous rule of law. We have to get rid of all those phraseologies imposed on us by the ruling classes so that instead of opting for a clear left, revolutionary, socialist solution, the workers become entangled.

Our role as revolutionary socialists is to unmask all these sectors. The reformists. The bureaucrats who act in the workers movement to defend their interests. The false leftists who join the capitalist governments. To patiently explain to the workers that we cannot fall into the traps of the system; that we need to raise our own project, which is called socialism. There is no other proposal for the workers than socialist revolution, and a government of the workers and the people.

There is no way we can advance to solve our problems behind the bosses’ variants. The only way is to raise an independent project. Where the whole society, starting with the economy, is planned to solve the needs of the working people. Where there is a real democracy and not the false democracy we have. Where the capitalist class, which is minuscule, has all the means of communication… They control the institutions. They have the monopoly of force because they control armies, the police, the gendarmerie. That is not democracy. The majority does not control anything. Everything is managed by a minority, which gets rich at our expense.

We have towards a society where we decide everything among ourselves. A society that works in an assembly way. Where we decide what to produce and what not to produce, what to export and import, all based on our needs and not on those of a handful of businessmen. A society where we decide what budget we are going to give to health, education, housing.

We need to put an end once and for all to speculation and financial swindling. Nationalize banking and foreign trade under workers’ control, so that all the wealth goes to create industry, work, technological sovereignty.

We need a project to create decent work. To distribute the working hours among all so that no one is left without work. But also to move towards a society where, taking advantage of technological advances, we work less and less. Where we are increasingly free and have more free time. To dedicate ourselves to travel, to education, to art, to sports, to enjoy. Because life is beautiful, it is worth living. We have to work to enjoy it.

Such a project can only be carried out by a government of working men and women. Now, many ask us: is it possible to do this? Is it possible, or if we were born poor we are screwed, we are going to be poor forever, which is what they tell us. Is the sacrosanct private property that makes the 1% concentrate all the factories, banks, companies, land, something immovable? Is it impossible to move towards socialism, to a classless society? Is it impossible to live better? No, we believe it is possible. And that it is necessary, moreover.

Look, I believe that a hundred years ago slaves wondered if it was possible to be free. Or also the serfs, in feudalism, would ask themselves: will it ever be possible to get rid of the feudal lord, who even had the right of pernulation? As it was possible to get rid of slavery and feudalism, it is possible to get rid of capitalism. With struggle and organization we can defeat capitalism and go to another type of society.

Capitalism is leading us to barbarism. It is destroying nature and calling into question the very existence of the human race. We are convinced that humanity is not going to let them drag us towards barbarism and extinction. That there will be many struggles. And that in those struggles we will gain awareness of the need to do something different.

But to reach that society, besides fighting, we have to organize. To build parties that fight for this. To stop following political forces that tell us that the problems can be solved within capitalism. We have to build our own parties, big parties like the MST or like the parties that each of our comrades are building in the countries where the ISL is active.

The struggle is international… Capitalism is global. We are not going to defeat it if we, the workers of the different countries, are divided. That is why it is necessary to build, in addition to national parties, an international organization. That is why, in conclusion, I want to refer to the International Socialist League. In a short time, since May of last year when we founded the ISL, a handful of comrades from a few countries, we have seen our organization grow and today we are already in all the continents. This is a sign that in all countries there is a search for different alternatives. It is a sign that it is possible to grow. However, to take advantage of this opportunity it is necessary to raise a project that is neither opportunistic nor sectarian. It must not be dogmatic, as unfortunately some leftist organizations propose.

The ISL grows because it is a project to really unite revolutionaries, not to talk about uniting revolutionaries. It is a project to work with comrades who come from different traditions. To build taking first of all what unites us revolutionaries of the world and to learn to discuss the differences, which are logical, that we workers and popular sectors have after so many years of being dispersed. The ISL is a project to learn from others. We are learning from the comrades of Pakistan, who have an enormous organization in a country with tremendous problems; we are learning from the comrades of Turkey, of Australia, of Lebanon, of Europe, of Latin America.

The ISL is a project to listen to others, something that is often lacking in revolutionary organizations, which make the other revolutionary their enemy instead of considering the need to listen to them in order to learn. Because we need each other to change this situation. We are not going to change the system separately: we need the unity of the working class, the unity of revolutionaries. To learn to work among all of us if we really want to change things.

The working class is one and without borders. Let us unite behind a project like the one proposed by the MST and the LIS. Let us work for a different world, which is possible and necessary. If we do not stop the capitalist beast before it takes us to barbarism, we may not leave any kind of future for our children and grandchildren.

Long live the international working class! Long live internationalism! Long live the MST! Long live the International Socialist League! Long live the Left Unity Front! Long live socialism!

I wish you all, from the bottom of my heart, to have the best possible holidays and that next year we meet again to continue fighting. Thank you very much.