To all workers, working people, oppressed nations, brothers and sisters,
Mayday is approaching, the international day of unity, struggle and solidarity of the working class, the day when we raise our demands on the streets against capitalist exploitation and imperialist aggression.
Unfortunately, we cannot talk of many positive changes in our lives since last Mayday. We work more in the factories, workplaces and fields but our wages have not increased, nor have our working and living conditions improved. Many of us struggle to make ends meet. More of us become unemployed for longer periods. Our retirement age are being raised but not our pensions. We do not have much time for leisure or holiday. Fellow women workers do not have equal rights as men in this capitalist system which has taken over patriarchal hegemony from previous systems of exploitation. They cannot find employment easily in every sector, nor can they get equal pay. Violence against women, economic and political repression and discrimination is on the rise, let alone decreasing. The motto “future belongs to the youth” is, in practice, no more than empty words for the bourgeoisie. Young people who have to start working from a young age instead of going to school are in fear of their future.
In many countries, including the ‘democratic’ ones, political reactionarism and the tendency towards fascism is on the rise, so is racism, chauvinism and the extreme right wing parties. Freedom of expression, gathering and demonstration, political and trade union organisation, press freedom, etc. are being restricted. Corruption of governments in Latin America, Turkey, Iran and many other countries can no longer be hidden. Bourgeois democracies are restricted, especially in Europe, with tightened political rights. In Eastern countries which have historically stronger material and cultural basis for authoritarianism, democratic rights and freedoms are already on a tight rope. In those countries who seem to implement democracy to save face there is a tendency to ignore even the appearance. Cosmetic changes in countries such as Saudi Arabia does not change this tendency. If one of the reasons why political reactionarism is on the rise is the fact that it is becoming harder for the bourgeoisie to rule and they feel greater need for extraordinary measures, the other is that the working class and the working people are disorganised across the world and their low level of struggle for their own independent demands.
Capitalist monopolies exploit the workers in other countries as well as their own and plunder the natural resources of oppressed peoples. Competition between these international monopolies and between capitalist-imperialist countries is intensifying. This rivalry manifests itself in trade wars which was sparked by Trump’s protectionist custom duties, Europe and China responding in the same way, as well as in military clashes. Tension between the US on the one side and Russia, China, North Korea and Iran on the other fuels concerns of a big war.
The world is no longer unipolar and the US has lost its unrivalled hegemony, but it is still the most powerful imperialist country in terms of its economic, political and military presence in many parts of the world and in terms of its armament expenditures. However, there has not emerged yet a unified rival against the US, even though there are signs of a formation of some polarising blocs. Having UK as an ally the US is trying to impose itself on the rest of Europe. But European countries insist on their own interests and no longer accept to unify under the US umbrella through institutions such as Nato. Russia has been standing against the US for some time. China is trying to reinforce its economic and military might, while in the meantime avoiding an open confrontation. Germany has a similar position.
The “West” responded to Russia’s harsh rivalry in Syria and Ukraine with the expulsion of Russian diplomats following the suspected poisoning in the UK, and with the bombing of Syria with missiles following the alleged use of chemical weapons in Duma. The US, UK and France joined forces against Russia, while Germany stayed out of this coalition. Russia took a step back and did not respond. China was contented with condemning this attack. These developments show that the blocs have not settled yet and are still loose, but weapons are used quite easily.
In the last few years, Syria has been the main scene for the fight for hegemony over the oil fields in the Middle East. First, it was the “proxies” which were the clashing forces, but now main actors are taking part. The fight was between various groupings such as ISIS or FSA, with the backing of big imperialist countries and reactionary regional governments. But now the USA, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia (in Yemen), UK, France and Germany show their presence in the region with their own military forces and are fighting fiercely. Imperialist capitalist world, the so-called “international community”, does not care for the countless number of deaths and displacement of Syrians. They are only concerned about preventing refugees coming into their own countries.
However, this is not an easy job. Because of the poverty and war, mass migration from the Middle East, Africa and Western Asia cannot be stopped. Refugees are drowning every day in the Mediterranean.
Capitalism shows its inhuman face in every occasion and evidence of this can be found in deteriorating living and working conditions and intensified exploitation as well as in their preference of war over peace. Another one is present in the destruction of the environment for the drive for more profit, just like Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Mayday is the day of going onto the streets to shout out our demands against the exploitation and aggression of international bourgeoisie and imperialism and our aspiration for a world without classes and exploitation.
Mayday is the day of raising our demands for an end to wars and plunder of the resources of the oppressed peoples.
Mayday is the day of shouting louder our demands for social rights, a shorter working week and for equal pay for equal work.
Mayday is the day of showing our might as a united force of billions of working people against the capitalists in every part of the world.
Mayday is the day of unity, struggle and international solidarity of the working class.
Let us go onto the streets on this Mayday to claim our rights, as a united force!
Let us unite to end the hegemony of the bourgeoisie!
Long live Mayday!
Long live the international unity and struggle of the working class!
Down with capitalism and imperialism!
International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations (CIPOML)