Appeal of the International Luxemburgist Network to the proletariat on May Day

"When the proletariat discovers that its own externalized power collaborates in the constant reinforcement of capitalist society, not only in the form of its labor but also in the form of unions, of parties, or of the state power it had built to emancipate itself, it also discovers from concrete historical experience that it is the class totally opposed to all congealed externalization and all specialization of power. It carries the revolution which cannot let anything remain outside of itself..."

Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, § 114

The current capitalist crisis throws a strong light into the opacity of the functioning of the present-day system. We realize that the end of history announced in the 90s was just as much as of an illusion as the disappearance of social classes – namely of the Proletariat – with workers in many countries forced to get strangled in the stock markets in order to guarantee a minimum revenue more like how it was in the XIXth century. Further on, none of the self-proclaimed specialists saw the crisis coming. Yesterday’s heroes are today’s monsters : traders are not the role model for the youth anymore and their arrogance is now hidden in the heart of City during anti-G20 demonstrations in London. But above all, we saw that classes do exist and, despite of all the "democratic" and egalitarian covers offered by "free" elections, it is the ruling class who controls the states, redesigned in order to better serve the trans-national financial capital. "Marx is dead" arrogantly proclaimed Newsweek in the 80s. "There is no alternative" warned Tatcher around the same years, at the beginning of the neoliberal offensive.

During the 70s, the stability suddenly shaded away and led to yet another global crisis, foretold by the revolt wave at the end of the 60s, marked by high unemployment, inflation and low economic growth. Capitalism needed to expand further and continue creating the world after its own image. The national boundaries got busted for capitals - for people they got shut, on the other hand – expanding exploitation in the third world while reducing progressively workers’ wages and social welfare systems in the North.

Privatizations, social cuts, mass lay offs, inequalities, racism... become part of everyday life in the developed countries while the rest of the world had to face XIXth century style management, union busting and environmental damages. With the decrease of wages, workers had to either get two jobs or continue the imposed over-consumption by submitting themselves to personal debts. At the same time, as profit slowed down, speculation in the financial markets – called "financialization" - took over building a real rentist dictatorship, who submits the entire world population, without any control or limit, into a life of misery and theft, that David Harvey has correctly called "accumulation by dispossession".

After repeated warnings in the past years, the bubble spreaded to all economical spheres. As recession hit the world, the leaders and – in a broader sense – the ruling class casted all the spells against the evils coming out of this modern-day Pandora Box. Factories became silent, useless ships got destroyed, bankers got nervous while at the same time mainstream media put the blame on isolated "mean" individuals. Everything was made to hide the fact that this is a n over-production crisis of the system, a capitalist crisis, and certainly yet another one : the imperialist Globalization has over-floded the world with capitalism and there is no more escape within its frame.

The answer to it has been as well a capitalist answer. If the underlying causes are the limits of the global capitalist market, workers exploitation and the transfer of wealth from Labor to Capital, the solution provided followed the logic of the evil itself : further exploitation and further dispossession by Capital. Trillions of dollars were spent to bail out shareholders or purely created by central banks and offered with almost no interest. On the other hand, nothing was done to prevent lay offs, house seizures and no where did the government halted privatizations and social cuts.

These measures, together with tax cuts in favor of the rich, led to dangerous levels of public debts and deficits. Today, the best example of this is Greece, but Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy are also pointed out by speculators as going down the same path.

This new stage in the crisis is leading to further transfer of wealth to the bosses in Greece : pension and wage cuts, increase of VAT (the most unfair tax since both the rich and the poor pay it at the same rate)... as the EU, the IMF and the stock markets welcome such attacks on workers.

But this is not an isolated case. The same measures are being put in place in Spain, Britain and France and will certainly occur elsewhere. We can not be fooled by the new official interpretation which tries to blame now isolated countries instead of the global capitalist system and its financial attacks. At the same time, the struggle there will have a great impact in future struggles in other countries. Greek protesters do understand this and they are not wrong when they tag on a wall in Athens : "We are an image from the future".

The current isolated struggles must unite everywhere. In order to face an united international attack from the ruling classes, the workers have no other choice than to respond as well in an united manner, both on the national and international levels. We can not let ourselves be fooled by the racist propaganda instigated by the State whose only aim is to divide workers. We can not accept the idea that if there is a crisis today it is because the Greeks are "lazy" and responsible of what happens. Nowhere must we pay the bosses’ crisis.

The working class must put itself in motion in an autonomous manner : with independence and without hierarchy. It must gain conscience of its power and realize that they are no supreme savior. Through strikes and through solidarity actions with workers all over the world can we gain the experience to stop the attacks against our living standards.

Our immediate demands should be :

- Transfer of wealth from Capital to Labor : wage and pension increase, replacement of the VAT by a stronger income tax affecting the upper classes, suppression of tax benefits for the rich and big companies ;

- Jobs for all : lay offs should be banned and the public sector should hire unemployed workers for building, as an example, public housing ;

- Legalization of all foreign workers : the workers belong to an unique international class ;

- Socialization of the main industries (banks, factories, transports...) : workers must take them in hands so as to plan their productions according to social needs instead of today’s imperialism ;

- Review of international trade agreements, ensuring a co-development among countries instead of the current imperialist domination.

This process – which can be called "socialization" as it makes the working class take over society and its destiny – will only gain short term benefits if it stops half way. As workers take power over their lives, they will have to continue towards the only solution to the capitalist crisis : Social Revolution.