Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Aid vs International Solidarity

img-20161011-wa0026The root of the disease was political. The treatment could only be political. Of course, we encourage aid that aids us in doing away with aid. But in general, welfare and aid policies have only ended up disorganizing us, subjugating us, and robbing us of a sense of responsibility for our own economic, political, and cultural affairs. We chose to risk new paths to achieve greater well-being.

Thomas Sankara on Western aid 

Class Struggle and International Solidarity

As soon as people heard of the ravages done by Hurricane Mathew, mostly in Southern and Northwestern regions of Haiti, many were volunteering to send support. Some even posted online what they perceived as reputable NGOs. But for us, whether or not some NGOs are reputable, the point to ask is whether or not sending money to NGOs, even reputable ones, is in the best interest of the Haitian popular masses. This is especially the case after the earthquake of January 2010, in which millions of dollars poured in for the same reasons of support and Haiti today remains in even worse shape. We hear the arguments that quick-fix support is important for the immediate survival of people, but we face the facts already proven in previous catastrophes that, for the long term, those quick fixes have become part of the problem and only represent a bail out for the Haitian dominant classes, the State Apparatus and imperialism.

As those catastrophes continue to occur internationally, other dominated and exploited classes from their respective societies will also manifest their spontaneous need to support and be interdependent with the most affected victims, with a total spirit of abnegation. This solidarity is a precursor, although limited, of the need for solidarity and internationalism, which under the leadership of conscientious social classes could become a powerful force underpinning the construction of new societies. But to realize this positive spirit of interdependency, progressive and revolutionary forces must promote a correct conception of internationalism and of solidarity based solely on the interests of the popular masses. We must demarcate ourselves from bourgeois conceptions that finally end up bailing out the dominant classes, the state apparatus and imperialists. Under capitalist direction, humanitarian aid is a bourgeois conception that inevitably serves bourgeois interests.

Haiti is Not a Poor Country

Haiti is a rich country. Much of our wealth has been stolen or is being stolen. The Haitian dominant classes should not be viewed as part of the popular masses in any scientific or materialist class analysis. In any social formation, the capitalist class and feudal classes are not part of the popular masses. Their nationalism is based solely on the interests of the power block exercising its class dictatorship over the popular masses, especially the proletariat.

Humanitarianism supports a parasitic form of capital accumulation

In fact many fractions of the capitalist class, especially the bureaucratic bourgeois and imperialist institutions such as NGOs are using the donations of well-intended people as a parasitic form of capitalist accumulation. This has even been documented as a growing trend of “disaster capitalism.”

Humanitarianism Promotes Dependency

We are not arguing that acts of solidarity, even humanitarian, are not warranted. On the contrary, they are necessary, but not under the dictatorship of capital. Capitalism only uses them to create a condition of dependency. Effective solidarity needs to be practiced within a revolutionary perspective of self-determination: COUNTING ON OUR OWN STRENGTH. In the response to the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, there was no attempt to promote self-determination. The politics of misery were used to guarantee capitalist accumulation. Aid, even humanitarian aid, has become one of the central forms of accumulation for the reproduction of capitalism in Haiti. As Thomas Sankara said of Western aid: “The root of the disease was political. The treatment could only be political. Of course, we encourage aid that aids us in doing away with aid. But in general, welfare and aid policies have only ended up disorganizing us, subjugating us, and robbing us of a sense of responsibility for our own economic, political, and cultural affairs. We chose to risk new paths to achieve greater well-being.”

A Quick Overview

It would be irresponsible and ultra-leftist not to ask for aid. We do support the need for donations. But the devastation of nature can’t be uncoupled from the reactionary political line of Haitian capitalism and imperialist domination. The way we deal with the devastation of nature must be determined in the field of class struggle, and now in the field of class struggle, capitalism is calling the shots. Haiti is a social formation that is rotten to the core. The inter-class struggles among the ruling classes in Haiti are secondary contradictions that provide no solution to the degradation of Haiti’s social structures. As long as capitalism is in control, as long as the policies of capitalism dominated by imperialism are in effect, exceptional crises caused by nature and the perpetual ongoing crisis caused by the anti-national and anti popular policies of the power block, the social formation will continue to deteriorate and reach a barbaric state in which the unacceptable becomes the norm of the day.

What Is to Be Done?

Although support is necessary at this time, progressives and revolutionaries must always denounce the role of the anti-national, anti-popular politics of capitalism in Haiti and demarcate themselves from the alternatives given to us by capitalism and imperialism. We must offer our own alternatives. Haiti is a failure of capitalism and imperialist domination. Our alternatives should be based on two aspects:

1] International solidarity and internationalism should start with progressives and revolutionaries organizing against their class enemies in their respective social formations, especially in the belly of imperialist social formations. Our future, in all social formations, can’t be based on whom we vote for but rather on our own capacity to organize in our interests and under the perspective of classes that have the most interest to rid humanity of capitalism.

2] Identifying organizations and movements we can support, from the perspective of unity and collective struggle for the conquest of popular democratic rights and the elimination of capitalism and feudalism. The more we organize and struggle in our own social formation, the more our vision of international unity and solidarity and internationalism will sharpen and consolidate. The more we demarcate from populism and opportunism the more our international unity will consolidate.

In Haiti, the MayDay Batay Ouvriye Federation of unions is a combative movement of laborers and workers that is organizing to struggle for the conquest of popular democratic rights. Batay Ouvriye [BO] is organizing workers and has worked to set up to unions in the garment industries in Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Ouanaminthe and Caracol. BO is also organizing poor peasants in rural communal sections of Haiti as well as agricultural workers. Most recently, the Organization of Laborers and Landless Peasants [OPTST] held its first general assembly. Under the leadership of the most advanced workers, BO is constructing a combative path to conquer popular democratic rights battling feudalism and capitalism.

Compounding ruling class repression, Mathew has hit BO as a movement among the popular masses. Some of our members in rural areas have lost their homes and the means to sustain themselves. In the face of this crisis, we urge progressives and revolutionaries to extend their solidarity directly to BO in support for the continuing struggle for popular democratic rights.

The devastation Hurricane Matthew left behind is yet another proof of the anti-national and anti-popular nature of the Haitian ruling classes, their state apparatus and imperialism. As global capitalism fuels growing environmental disasters, dominated and exploited masses all over the world must organize to build political organizations and movements to confront directly the mother of all catastrophes and disasters: CAPITALISM.

Some Basic Reflections On The US Electoral Process

trump hillary favorabilityBoth the Republican and Democratic conventions are now over. It is time for some additional reflections. First, as per the period of McGovern, the rainbow coalition, Jesse Jackson’s attempt to run and now Bernie Sanders, the reformist and populist left is left holding an empty balloon, deflated by promises to build a movement or a political revolution. These promises are nothing other than demagoguery. Some of these people will hibernate till the next election, hoping that we forget this election experience.  Some will hop on the bandwagon of other insignificant candidates, still pushing their opportunist/populist political line.


Haiti’s crisis: the ruling classes have failed; we need an autonomous alternative!


(The leaflet, in English and Kreyol, follows this introduction)

February 24, 2016


The Haitian masses have been mobilizing in the streets for the past 6 months or more to derail the sell-out alternatives of the Haitian dominant classes to imperialism. The most recent political election was derailed by massive popular mobilizations. The Haitian masses thwarted the imperialist plan under the slogan “WE WILL NOT OBEY”—even if only for a short time.


Unfortunately, the combativeness of the masses has been limited, and has been mostly co-opted by various sectors of the petit bourgeois linked to a consortium of the capitalist power bloc, against the political sectors represented by the anti-popular and anti-national government of the bourgeois bureaucrats’ Martelly, linked as well with a consortium of the capitalist power bloc.


There is an intense competition within the Haitian ruling classes. Cliques of petit bourgeois elements, ranging from left to right populists, are offering their services to sectors of the Haitian dominant classes and imperialism. That is the main plot of the political crisis surrounding these failed and trumped up elections. These cliques are offering themselves as either a new potential bureaucratic bourgeoisie (rural and metropolitan petit bourgeois) or a recycled bureaucratic bourgeoisie (represented by the “Fanmi Lavalas”, the political party of Aristide, or the Duvalierists, former “macoutes”). But the masses, even under the leadership of those forces, are still coming up with their own demands.


France is Not Alone

Gerye Proletari

November 15, 2015
319bI woke up to a ton of French flags on my Facebook newsfeed. The recent attacks in France from terrorist organizations are very real, as real as the terrorist attacks of the French imperialists around the world, as real as the attacks of the French bourgeoisie against the French proletariat every day, as real as the capitalist and imperialist attacks against workers and the masses of people every second around the world.

Why are my friends photos hidden behind a French flag today? Because people are outraged and rightly so. They are also well-intentioned and lack the presence of a progressive and revolutionary alternative to transform those good intentions into concrete steps towards building an alternative. What happened in Paris was a brutal attack. But let us not be fooled, massacres and terrorism happen on a daily basis all over this world, fueled by feudalism, capitalism and imperialism the world over.

We live in troubling times when capitalism/imperialism is driving this planet to its first ever great extinction led by an animal which calls this planet home. But it is not the whole species of this animal responsible, but certain classes. The environment is being devastated. The working class is sweating daily, under the brutal exploitation of the capitalist class. From the sweatshops in Haiti, China, Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, etc, to the favelas of Brazil, from the projects in East New York, to the slums in New Orleans, from the caserios in Puerto Rico, to occupied Gaza, from the industrial parks in Poland, to the prisons of North Korea, terrorism is our daily visitor.


Capitulating to Bernie Would Be Marching in Our Own Funeral



Jan Makandal

November 15, 2015


electionsSome assert that the Bernie Sanders campaign is helping the struggle to fight capitalism or to construct a combative mass movement. Can anyone explain how this is the case? Did we already forget (as usual), that the Rainbow Coalition had the same ambition? And what happened to that, were no lessons learned by the farce of the Rainbow Coalition? Now some are saying we should now embark on a new scheme to build a mass movement by tailgating a bourgeois politician, a political militant of the capitalist class. To hope that this new quest will give us a different result is ludicrous. This is opportunism at it lowest. Hopping on the Sanders bandwagon in a quest to build a mass movement can only to give the same result already given by the Rainbow Coalition.


How is Bernie campaign helping the genuine progressive movement? To argue that Sanders’ campaign is helping our movement even without a clear political line or coordinated practice among all involved, including Sanders himself, is pure demagogy. So far, there is nothing in Bernie’s rhetoric that gives a hint, even a minute hint, that he is helping our movement.


In the recent debates and forum, Sanders articulated his own brand of capitalist and imperialist line to make US imperialism work better. He appeals to the workers to join the petite bourgeoisie [middle class], to break from conservatism and live peacefully in capitalism. Forget about you being exploited; forget that your labor power is being violently expropriated.


Why Does Terrorism Occur and What Is the Proletarian Response?





Jan Makandal

November 14, 2015

All terrorist acts, whether from the left or right, are in the final analysis a reactionary political practice. Terrorist acts are blind populist isolated acts in which an enemy is not well defined, and all are being terrorized.


Genuine anti-imperialist progressives need to denounce them, since these acts usually benefit the dominant classes, who recuperate them to serve their interests and justify narrow nationalism (another version of right populism). Proletarian revolutionaries also need to denounce them since they are not in the interest of the proletariat, and ultimately benefit the capitalist class and imperialism by giving them ammunition to intensify their internal acts of aggression.


The most recent acts by ISIS should be exposed and denounced along with all such isolated reactionary acts like the planting of bombs by the freedom fighters and the CIA in the port of Nicaragua, the planting of bombs in Israel, and the occupation of Vietnam by a minority force.


The isolated acts by ISIS in the imperialist social formation of France should not be considered progressive simply because they happened in the belly of an imperialist beast. The popular masses in imperialist France are being terrorized sporadically by these acts while being simultaneously dominated and exploited daily by their dominant classes. Those who commit these isolated acts do not seem to make a fundamental distinction between the masses and the dominant classes. This is why they are populist. All classes are dealt with as a potential enemy. Any unity with the popular masses of France becomes impossible since they too are targeted as a potential enemy.


To think that the struggle against terrorism should be directed against Islam is very limited, and is only looking at a tree but not the forest. Islam, like many other religions, is a sub-ideological component produced by a mode of production, mainly feudalism. As a sub-ideological component of religion, Islam, unlike Catholicism, is one of the few tendencies very difficult to adapt to capitalism.


Because of imperialism and capitalism, the feudalist mode of production (which is totally antagonistic to the capitalist mode of production) is in a process of decomposition. In many social formations this is a deformed process of decomposition, in which we will find the co-existence of two antagonistic modes of production. This inherently creates a constant contradiction: reproduction alongside and inside the dynamic of that decomposition. One of the effects of that complex problematic is constant political instability. One must appropriate that complexity in order to offer a solution that will not become feudalism or capitalism.


Greece: Another Failure of the Radical Left Petit Bourgeoisie


We Need a Game-Changing Strategy: Working Class Leadership

Jan Makandal
July 11, 2015

LimitedVisionColorOnce again the failure and the bankrupt political line of the radical left petite bourgeoisie is manifest. [The petite bourgeoisie is the so-called “middle” classes, who are part of neither of the two fundamentally contending classes in the capitalist mode of production, capitalists and workers].

The ongoing negotiations in Greece are not about a total abolition of the debt and for the popular masses of Greece to take their destiny in their own hands, counting on their own strength to rebuild this social formation under the leadership of the working class. They’re not for a totally new mode of production (rather than an updated capitalism) led by the working class of Greece and the popular masses, under the leadership of the working class.

Once again the radical left petite bourgeoisie has failed.

This is not particular to Greece. It is a general tendency of struggles in many other social formations as well, wherever the petite bourgeoisie instead of the working class is leading the struggle. One lesson to learn is that whenever we persist in hoping that something positive will come from petite bourgeois leadership, however radical they might seem, THE RESULT WILL BE THE SAME: A TOTAL CAPITULATION TO CAPITAL.

The experience of Greece has once again confirmed a theory developed by previous revolutionary militants that the petite bourgeoisie is incapable of challenging capital, no matter how their radicalism is manifested in their political practice. In the end, this non-autonomous class will inevitably show its impotence and capitulate to capitalism/imperialism. Over and over again, they will always offer all the popular struggles of the masses to capitalism on a silver platter—as they have done in Peru, South Africa, Nepal, the social formations involved in the Arab Spring, and many others.

The international radical left will shove these dismal experiences under the rug of their historical failure and hop onto new experiences, hoping to get lucky. But however persistent they are, we can be sure it will be another failure, another manifestation of their bankrupt line.

Racism as an Element of Fascism, a Political Tendency of Capitalism




By Proletarian Alternative

June 21, 2015   


fascismOn Wednesday, June 17, 2015, a 21-year-old man walked into a church, prayed with the parishioners, and opened fire, killing nine people. All were Black. Subjectively, he thought that African-Americans are soon going to take over an imperialist social formation—so killing nine of them was apparently for him an initial step of slowing down the process of realizing that transfer of power.


This was an act motivated by racism, but it was also more than that. We must analyze the conditions underlying incidents like this one, if we are to combat and overcome these conditions effectively, and to transform society in a way that eliminates them forever. Let us draw the connections between racism, fascism, and the current structural crisis of capitalism. Understanding the fundamental dynamics of our conditions as deeply as possible will allow us to delineate a way forward out of this US-American capitalist/imperialist hell.


In reality, Dylann Roof committed a political act. Because it was a political act, we need to interpret it in the realm of class struggle. No political act is committed outside of the reality of classes and class struggle. This is true even if one does not even recognize that his/her action is a political act, and that it is in the interest of particular classes. Each of our actions, committed over our lifetimes, usually benefits one class or another. Since our political acts are in the interest of specific classes, then they are INEVITABLY against the interest of other classes, either antagonistically or non-antagonistically.


So it would be insufficient, and very limiting, to reduce this event to the act of a crazy person or even to an act of terrorism. Acknowledging it as a terrorist act is an upgrade from merely attributing it to mental illness, but to limit our thought process even to that is in this case (as in all cases) also a political approach that will benefit particular classes, mainly the dominant classes.


Hearts and Minds: Forging Ourselves into Revolutionary Militants



264bStephanie McMillan

(9/8/14; edited 9/13/14)

Escalating by the day, the ecological and economic devastation being inflicted on the world by capitalism is shocking and horrifying—even more so when we face our incapacity to respond effectively.

The revolutionary movements of decades past have completely disintegrated. In that process we’ve witnessed the bankrupt political line of the petit bourgeoisie, and with the working class as yet unable to take up its historical mission of destroying its fundamental antagonist, the field has been left wide open for global capitalism to invade every corner of our lives. Capital has tangled us in an economic, political and ideological web, determined to prevent us from rising up collectively against it.

Expanding inexorably, breaking all boundaries and devouring the natural world, capital zombie-walks ever deeper into crisis and conflict. With every conquest it grows more unstable. Its political legitimacy is unraveling along with the degradation of its economic health. Populations no longer able to survive under its domination rise up spontaneously, and struggle to cohere into organized movements. This is capital’s greatest danger, and it employs ever more ruthless repressive measures to prevent collective mass resistance.

It wages ideological warfare designed to pacify us, to make us believe in its invincibility and our own corresponding powerlessness. As we are increasingly unable and unwilling to tolerate the current situation, we search for a way out. To preserve their system of exploitation, the stewards of capital do everything possible to isolate us and divert us into political dead ends.