Chile – May 1st: Reclaiming the working class as our flag and as the subject to transform everything

In most countries of the world, except in the United States where the Chicago martyrs were assassinated, May Day is remembered as a day of struggle of the working class with holidays that we fill with mobilization and activity from the workers’ organizations.

It is important, however, to keep in mind that it is also reformist and bureaucratic leaderships that seek to prevent this day from being an engine to recover the place of our class as a subject of social transformation. Beyond our heartfelt tribute to the fallen, we propose to address that debate in this article.

By Movimiento Anticapitalista

This May 1st, all over the world, but in our country in particular, faces us with a great challenge. The crisis of the capitalist system has reached a culminating point, so much that it has become a global crisis as never before. In this scenario, a deep economic crisis coexists with an unprecedented ecological, social and cultural crisis. The destructive forces of capital have claimed millions of lives in their unbridled search for profits, the ecosystems are creaking under the blows of extractivism and repression is once again gaining strength as a tool to contain the response of the masses to these permanent hardships.

Faced with this panorama, the workers’ organizations, their great majority atomized and controlled by bureaucratic and reformist leaderships, are powerless to deploy all the strength of our class to turn the tide.

In Chile, in addition to this leadership of unions, there is the exercise of the government by an alliance between the Frente Amplio (with many elements of the old concertación) and the Communist Party, the latter formation state they represent a different model and yet has been the guarantor of capitalist stability for the last decades.

They refer to the working class and its demands rhetorically, no longer as a channel to liberate its transforming force, but with the objective of containing it, of transforming it into isolated, individual “citizenship” and into mere voters in the face of the limited options of the system that only offers the same representatives of the past.

It is logical that Gabriel Boric’s government acts in this way, the fight for revolution was never in their DNA, nor the desire to radically transform society, they simply proposed a radical democracy, a better life, but within the framework of the system. These few months have shown that these desires quickly changed into an almost total acceptance of the program of the right wing, which includes economic adjustment and the reinforcement of repression, as indicated by the approval of the recent laws.

Rarely as at this moment our class finds itself in a situation of precariousness and helplessness. The big capitalists advance conquering profits while the majorities suffer inflation and low wages, the shortcomings in housing, health and education, pensions remain in the hands of speculators and insecurity is far from being solved with the increase of benefits to Carabineros and other repressive forces.

The working class is key to disarm this trap

As we mentioned previously, it is not by chance that the CP and other forces have adopted the advantages of bourgeois parliamentarism and in order to enjoy them they have been in charge of emptying the CUT of power and organization for years to such an extent that they even lost its leadership. It is not by chance that the forces that call themselves “progressive” do not have the tools to organize and place the working class at the center of their formations. They are deeply afraid of the force contained in the enormous mass of working men and women who even today, and perhaps more than ever, move the world.

At this point it is key to think beyond the tributes and rituals that remember the martyrs who for dozens of years left their lives in the fight to transform everything. The point is to put the working class and its most urgent needs at the center so that this is the origin of a program that proposes another society.

Contrary to what the FA-PC government proposes, nationalizing common goods and stopping extractivist plundering is a measure in favor of workers that would allow reorganizing the country’s resources in favor of the majorities. Recovering pensions and building a new solidarity system, state-owned and controlled by pensioners, is a measure that would guarantee a dignified life and cut financial speculation with the resources of the majority. A general wage increase, with a real law to reduce the working day without cheating, together with a strict price control and severe punishments to those businessmen who abuse their power, are key measures to raise the standard of living of the working class so that life can be much more than working for a handful of coins.

These and other measures, together with a reorganization of the unions, creating strong organizations by branch of production or services, with a democratic internal life and permanent encouragement to the participation of the rank and file, with assemblies and bodies of delegates, with rotation in the mandates so that there are no eternal leaders, would allow a tonification of the working class as a subject of change, as a profound transforming power, would also allow without doubt a constituent process in accordance with this need and not the farce put together in the kitchen of the right wing.

This May 1st let us fight to build a political force of majorities with the working class at the center.

The CP abandoned that objective years ago, the forces that emerged to take its place took it upon themselves to follow it to the corridors of parliament and the palace offices. That is why the great historical task we face at this time is to rebuild the forces of our class and for that we need a political force capable of leading that process, a force that is part of the struggles and experiences of the working class and that works with the youth, the environmental fighters, with the best experiences of the feminist movement to merge these biases into a force that puts in check the system of capitalist domination and its supporters, responsible for the current state of affairs.

The uprising of October 2019 showed that there is material for that, however, there is still much work ahead.

This task is present in Chile and around the world, from the Anti-Capitalist Movement we are part of the International Socialist League and we build a tool to realize these objectives, facing the barriers of false nationalism and xenophobia, appealing to the unity of workers to transform everything. This May 1st and every day we invite you to build it with us.