‘May First’ as Reason
Facts on May Day are widely known: suppression of justified demands, struggles and sacrifices. A few more facts are startling : the
world proletariat has made strides and clinched victories in the world stage for a number of times in a number of areas despite setbacks in areas and at times, the struggle goes on despite onslaught by capitals, and the world capital has failed to cover its misdeeds, and continues to muzzle down the world proletariat.
Facts of failures in today's journey of the proletariat in this sub-continent are to be identified on this May Day. It's the essential and immediate requirement for victory-in-future. A look at the capitals in the region helps identify self-failures.
Capitals in the sub-continent often fail to behave craftily—a weakness. Its limitations are historical, which make it redundant in the journey to progress. At the same time, reigning capitals in the region as in the rest of the world continue with its old "game": de-radicalise and-revolutionise labour by creating confusion in the camp of labour and' by corrupting, criminalising and usurping a part of leadership in the camp. Labour's ideological base is being, corrupted by the capitals. It is part of de-activiting, politicising and mobilising the labour The world imperalism extends its support with its expertise, market mechanism, institutions, media and ideology. It's, hence, found that, establishment organisations celebrate May Day—a safe tact of establishment politics.
Seemingly, as the same side of the coin, May Day celebrations by labour in the region have broadly and fundamentally turned into a day of mere formal celebration only—marches with red flags, a few lectures, discussions, song soirees, etc.—without politics of proletariat. First and Second World-donor-directed organisations with the brand of union, lumpen and hireling in character, make a fanfare with a proletarian posture. It seems Eisenhower's proclamation of May 1 as "Loyalty Day" echoes around. Absent is the proletarian spirit and politics.
But the reality of exploitation is intact. Its reach is spread to the farthest comers of life and population in all areas including the remotest parts of the region. Even, a part of white collar employees are not spared. With the help of new technologies, and management, psychology and propaganda techniques working hours are lengthened, sense of insecurity is strengthened, capital's grip over entire populations in societies is tightened. Crises being faced by capitals and interventions and wars being conducted by imperialism are making wages and working conditions of toilers and life of entire populations in countries intolerable to the level never seen in human history. Capitals' use of political weapon and of instruments of coercion is going beyond limit.
More than a century ago, Lenin depicted the condition of the working people in Russia: "[O]ur wages scarcely suffice for a bare existence.... We time and time again discover that those to whom we turn for protection are friends and lackeys of our bosses. ("The Workers Holiday—May First", April 19, 1896, a leaflet) Is the picture different today? What's the life of bonded labour in the southern and northern hemispheres? Of the part of the toilers named migrant labour? Of the women labour? Of the labour in sweatshops or in virtual slaughter houses? Of the labour in so-called informal sector? Of the labour in agriculture tied to world market? Of the child labour in the sector with the fancy name SME—small and medium enterprises? Of the labour in mines, ship breaking yards, marine fishing and transport sectors? Scores more burning examples are around.
But, absent is the response : sustained, persistent political awareness building work and political campaign by the quarter that claims leadership in struggle against capital, absent is the organisation capable and willing to methodically carry on political education of labour and systematic and persistent publicity movement. These facts in this May Day, hence, make an urgent call: organisation, political education, publicity campaign. This is part of proletarian politics. This will make the famous last words of August Spies, one of the May Day martyrs, on the gallows—"The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today" a reality.
Vol. 48, No. 43, May 1 - 7, 2016