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Resistance is globalized

Published May 19, 2006 10:44 PM

Sara Flounders
WW photo

Today there are more than 200 million migrant workers globally. And that number is growing by millions every year. The largest number is in the U.S., where there are more than 34 million immigrants with papers and 12 million undocumented.

Every industrialized capitalist country is dependent on super-exploited, low-paid workers with no benefits, no protection, and no rights. This is true not only in the U.S.

Consider the rebellions against racism that swept France this spring. Millions of workers and the children of the second generation from North and West Africa rose in rebellion against the relentless racism of imperialist French society.

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Look at the wave of strikes that gripped Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman in the Persian Gulf, where up to 90 percent of the population are immigrant workers living in conditions of modern-day slavery. Last week a strike in Dubai shut down work on what is to be the world’s tallest building. In Kuwait Bangladeshi workers stormed their own embassy in protest of unbearable working conditions. In Saudi Arabia, where more than half the population is migrant workers, there is rising instability.

Hundreds of millions of other peasants and small farmers are daily being forced off their lands and into the cities of the developing world. These vast internal migrations are equally disruptive.

There are cartels that deal in human trafficking-a modern-day slave trade. The trade in women for the sex industry is organized on a global basis.

Many developing countries’ primary source of revenue is the remittances workers send home to their families.

Imperialist tentacles reach into every village. Capitalist relations uproot centuries-old traditions in the most isolated corners of the globe.

High in the Himalayas a revolutionary movement is sweeping Nepal. A general strike of more than 2-and-a-half million shut down the capital, Kathmandu. A Maoist insurgency has wide support in the countryside. Nepal is one of the poorest and most isolated countries in the world. Its main export is labor. Its main income is workers’ remittances.

Capitalism has no solutions to the chaos it causes. The giant transnational corporations must maximize profit, not just over the long term, but every minute in order to survive, without regard for human life or the life of the planet itself. This drives them into a frantic race literally around the world to find the lowest possible wage rate. The result is run away shops, outsourcing, free trade zones, and special economic zones with no labor protection.

The pressure to expand and to maximize profit is relentless. Markets are blas ted open using full scale military attacks, political coups, and economic sabotage.

Due to the cycle of disruption, U.S. impe rialism is increasingly the target of rage on a global scale. Imperialism has internationalized production and is creating at a faster and faster pace millions of new wage slaves-capitalism’s grave diggers.

Ruthless globalization has not only vastly expanded the working class. Technology has connected the working class. Communication is instantaneous. The workers are not only more numerous but far more educated and technically skilled. They are increasingly conscious of their own potential.

The U.S. ruling class is determined to use its military and economic power to shape events and dominate the world. U.S. imperialism is determined that no area remain outside its control—regardless of how small, poor or underdeveloped—from Sudan to Nepal, Haiti to Albania.

But with all that power and enormous weaponry, what the bourgeoisie fears most is a powerful mass movement that can overwhelm them and sweep them aside. Their problem is that more and more is happening on a world scale that is outside their control.

Once resistance begins, resistance changes consciousness. It changes the view of what is possible.

The spirit of internationalism and resistance of millions of new workers provides a material basis for the revival of socialism. It will push the whole class struggle forward.

We can feel that spirit of resistance growing and finally it has even taken root here—in the very center of the empire.

—Sara Flounders, Secretariat WWP