Berlin, Caravan, Kashoggi: Week in Review 13-19 October

In Berlin a quarter of a  million people marched against racism and xenophobia. Signs said “#unteilbar” – indivisible. The march was organized by a united front of trade unions, student groups, human rights groups, and so on.

Although a march this size is inspiring, the united front against fascism strategy has historically been a disaster.

Communists used to advocate it. For example, in Spain in the later 30’s, fascists staged a coup which was only a partial success and a civil war broke out. The popular front, assisted by the Soviet Union and international brigades, tried to save the “democratic” republic and was defeated. The fighters (who included communists) did not put the struggle for communism forward and for us this partly explains their defeat. England and France (France was then governed by the Popular Front) abandoned them while Germany and Italy supported Franco’s fascists with their planes and bombs.

The trouble with the united front strategy is that it’s goal is to go back, to bourgeois democracy. Instead, we have to go forward to communism. Only the goal of communism can light the enthusiasm of the masses and guarantee that fascism will be smashed forever.

The migrant caravan from Honduras is stalled at the Mexican border. Some  marchers managed to cross the river but most (about 3000) spent their second night on the bridge. During their march they stayed in churches or slept in parks. [Update: As many as 1000 have made it across the border illegally.]

Trump is shamelessly whipping up racism and xenophobia and is promising to send the army to ‘protect’ the US from refugees. He also threatened to cut off ‘aid’ to Honduras.

The caravaners are desperate, fleeing starvation, gang violence, and, for many, domestic violence. One told reporters, “They [the USA] destabilize our country, wreck our economy, and protect the corrupt, who keep all the money the US sends. We don’t care if they stop the aid – we never see any of it. All we want is to get out of that hell we were living in San Pedro [Sula],” he said.

Once even one part of the world is liberated from capitalism we communists will open our borders to anyone fleeing capitalism (as the Soviet Union did in its early years). Migrants will be fully integrated into communist society and will work  with us to supply everyone’s needs. And they will unite with us to liberate the rest of the world from the “hell” that is capitalism.

Jamal Kashoggi is definitely dead, murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. After two weeks the Saudis have come up with a cover story: the 60 year old got into a fistfight with the 15 man squad sent from Riyadh and was ‘tragically’ killed. Preposterous, but good enough for Trump. In fact he was drugged, tortured, killed and dismembered.

If only it was just one murder! And the 100,000 or so Yemenis killed by Saudis and allies.

Kashoggi is more than a simple reporter. His family is wealthy and influential and entangled in internal struggles in the Saudi ruling class. So this is a settling of accounts – whose details don’t matter to us. It’s the bosses fighting each other, like in the US, only they’ve reached the stage of chopping each other up.

Communism will eliminate the  rulers and their incessant and deadly squabbles. Under communism we’ll still disagree about things, but as WEB Dubois predicted, nobody will get hurt as a result.

Italy’s neofascist interior minister Salvini has been busy implementing fascism from the top down. He ordered migrants expelled from Riace, one of the villages that was a model of integration of refugees. He earlier had its mayor, Domenico Lucano, arrested then banned from his own city. (Probably all illegal, but fascists don’t care about laws).

He also ordered the closing of “ethnic” stores at 9 a.m. under the pretext that they are hangouts for drug traffickers. These stores are supposedly frequented by alcoholics who defile their entrances!

Salvini is fascist filth, a product of capitalism in crisis. But Lucano and his thousands of supporters are proof that even under capitalism people are not automatically xenophobic. Communism will build on this solidarity to create a society where no one is a stranger.

Austrian neofascist chancellor brings in the 12 hour day. Chancellor Kurz has changed the Austrian labor law to allow 12 hour days, seven days a week, up to 60 hours per week (it used to be 10 and 50, bad enough). Hundreds of union leaders demonstrated at the Federation of Industry headquarters.

Fascists and neofascists (Kurz, Trump, Salvini, Bolsonaro, Duterte etc) pretend to be friends of the ordinary worker but in practice they have the same policies as the neoliberals – austerity, union busting, xenophobia. Persecuting migrants is the only campaign promise they keep. These fascists – certainly not migrants – are the enemies of the workers whom they cruelly exploit and use as cannon fodder in their inevitable wars, as Hitler did.

Under communism workers will labor for a few hours a day, at different jobs. Sometimes if they want to finish a task they will work long hours but at other times (and these decisions are collective) they will leave early. There will be no need to work like mad  because a few hours a day will be enough to supply all our needs. The left wing German socialist August Bebel (correctly) first pointed this out a century ago!

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