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You are here: Home / 2021 / Contribution to the webinar: The united front is picking up speed! – Imperialism and the class struggle

Contribution to the webinar: The united front is picking up speed! – Imperialism and the class struggle

By Abdesselam Adib, Moroccan trade unionist, 8 May 2021


1 My name is Abdesselam Adib, a Moroccan trade unionist, on behalf of the Moroccan working class, I welcome the announcement of the foundation of the united front against fascism and imperialism, and I also salute the organization of this webinar on this occasion. My intervention will deal briefly with the dialectical public relations linking imperialism and the class struggle in Morocco and across the world.

2 Today's 8th of May, marks the 76th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Union as the first proletarian state in history over Nazism in 1945, when the Soviet Red Army successfully established the red flag with a sickle and a hammer on the Reichstag building in the German capital. It is a historic moment that will not be forgotten, given the implications of the victory of the international workers' movement over German fascist imperialism, and for the emancipation of mankind.

3 – The masses led by the proletariat and its revolutionary Bolshevik party have succeeded in freeing themselves from the yoke of capitalism in Russia and in building socialism in the Soviet Union. According to them, the war against the fascist German armies was a war to liberate all the Soviet people. The content of Joseph Stalin's radio address on July 3, 1941 was loaded with these connotations:

The aim of this national patriotic war for the defense of our country against the fascist oppressors is not only to eliminate the danger that hangs over our country, but also to support all the peoples who are groaning under the yoke of German fascism. In this war of liberation, we will not be alone”.

4 – Since the fall of Nazism in 1945, the working class has been gradually re-domesticated by the successive collapses of its self-defence institutions by revisionism which allowed the return of capitalism in Russia and China, as well as the return of imperialist domination over the recently decolonized countries and the overthrow of sovereign states which sought to keep their autonomy.

5 – Fascism is not a mystical concept, but a terrifying and tangible reality in the daily life of people, and many populations living under its yoke. In Morocco, for example, since the global economic crisis of 2008-2009 and the popular Maghreb and Arab reactions against the neo-liberal policies of economic and social austerity, qualified as the Arab Spring, and with the rise of the Islam political to the government , we have lived, an escalation of fascist behavior in parallel with the imposition of the adopted neoliberal policies. Thus suppressing voices demanding social justice; as the Rif Harak activists calling for the construction of schools and hospitals in a region which has experienced total marginalization by the state for sixty years; as the workers of the traditional coal mines of the city of Jerada, who were thrown into prisons simply because they demanded an economic alternative from the state. The crackdown went beyond union and mass protests to also restrict freedom of expression, arrest many journalists and bloggers on social media, and spread an atmosphere of constant intimidation not to judge the government's behavior.

6 – The neoliberal policies, caused the high cost of living of basic consumer prices, raised taxes, massive layoffs, the frozen low wages, the dismantling of vital public services, spreading poverty. These incidences have constituted objective reasons for protests and strikes, and general popular rejection. The government's only response to popular demands was repression, arrest and deduction from the wages of strikers. Indeed, during the years 2020 and 2021, all forms of demonstrations, including the demonstrations of May first, were banned under the pretext of the consequences of the Covid19 pandemic.

7 – The relationship of imperialism and fascism with working class struggles poses a problem of form, process and consequences of this class struggle. What then are the features of this dialectical relationship between imperialism and fascism on the one hand, and the daily class struggle waged by the working class, on the other?

8 – In any case, we cannot separate the concept of imperialism and colonialism directly from the nature of the capitalist mode of production. On the contrary, they are both the result of the same dialectical process of capitalism from its emergence in the thirteenth century to the present day. Direct capitalist military colonialism was a response to the demands of the conditions of its primitive accumulation, of the management of its crises of overproduction and of the declining tendency of the rate of profit.

9 – The domination of direct capitalist military colonialism over the different peoples of the world at the beginning of the 20th century was the way of imposing the capitalist mode of production on the people of the world and subjugating the emerging working class, separated from its traditional mode of production, under the conditions of capitalist accumulation and the plundering of surplus value in its two forms, absolute and relative. Karl Marx confirmed this thesis in the Communist Manifesto that the bourgeoisie forced “all nations, Under pain of death, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production. In short, she models the world in her image ”.

10 – No objective researcher can deny the role of the slave trade and colonial plundering in the primitive capitalist accumulation within European colonial countries, nor the role of the greed of the colonial powers and their thirst for colonies in triggering of the various wars that occurred under this system, especially the first and second world wars. Karl Marx concluded in the first volume of Capital that "it was necessary as a pedestal for the concealed slavery of wage earners in Europe, slavery without phrase in the new world [...] The discovery of the gold and silver lands of America , the reduction of the natives into slavery, their burying in the mines or their extermination, the beginnings of conquest and looting in the East Indies, the transformation of Africa into a kind of commercial warren for the hunting of black skins, these are the procedures idyllic of primitive accumulation which signal the capitalist era at its dawn [...] The treasures directly extorted out of Europe by the forced labor of the natives reduced to slavery, by the concussion, the plunder and the murder flowed back to the motherland to function there as capital. "(Karl Marx, Vol. 1, Section VIII).

11 – Faced with the extreme capitalist exploitation of labor power, anti–bourgeois-capitalist proletarian thought has emerged since the thirties of the nineteenth century, in particular with the philosophical and organizational framing under the direction of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in the beginning of the forties of this century. Successive proletarian revolutions have erupted since, aiming to eliminate the capitalist mode of production: 1848, 1871, 1905, 1917 and 1949. This finally allowed the working class to take power and impose its dictatorship of the proletariat, especially in the Soviet Union and in China. These revolutions also enabled the working class to organize the colonized peoples into liberation movements, which enabled them to achieve political independence during the fifties and sixties of the twentieth century.

12 – However, the political independence of the former colonial peoples continued to maintain economic capitalist links with their former colonial powers, and these are the entrances that the imperialist powers exploited through their international institutions, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in order to re-adapt these countries to the conditions of their capitalist accumulation. This is what constituted the neo-colonial countries, where new mechanisms and techniques of plundering surplus value were employed against the working class of these countries.

13 – Among the imperialist policies adopted at that time, by which he was able to shatter all the hopes of economic, political and social independence of the peoples of the newly decolonized State of Third World, are the so-called “neoliberal” policies, which allowed the absolute subjugation of the sovereignty and economies of the countries of the South to the domination of multinational companies, through the imposition of privatization and the removal of customs barriers and by foreign direct investments or supply contracts with local companies .

14 – The stage of neoliberal policies made it possible during the eighties and nineties of the twentieth century and through the formation of global commodity chains, or what are also called global value chains or global commodity networks, which have the same meaning. These are the inventions of large multinational corporations to establish their monopoly in order to exercise their extreme exploitation of the labor force of the southern countries, in exchange for low wages below their real value. The export of these goods to the markets of the imperialist countries allowed them to be sold at higher prices. In this context the simple and systematic transfer of the surplus value produced by the labor force of the proletarians of the South against low wages to the imperialist countries, it becomes impossible to develop or improve the living conditions of the billions of proletarians of the South. The only beneficiaries in these countries are the ruling mafias who play a mediating role between exploiting imperialism and the exploited proletarians.

15 – Gary Gereffi, a leading global value chain analyst, says: “A striking feature of contemporary globalization is that a very large and growing proportion of the workforce in many global value chains is now located in developing economies. In a phrase, the centre of gravity of much of the world's industrial production has shifted from the North to the South of the global economy”(see, The new offshoring of jobs and global development” 2005, documents de l 'ILO).

16 – Without addressing here the impact of this process on the working class in the imperialist countries, and it’s suffering due to the transfer of most branches of productive enterprises to the countries of the South, and taking into account the advantages of relative wages in exchange, of the relative surplus value they produce. What matters here is the extent of the influence of global value chains on the penetration of imperialist greed and its hideous exploitation of southern labor and its excessive aggression against all peoples and states which can express their opposition to this new imperialist capitalist model, of looting and extreme exploitation. The overthrow of countries through the imperialist military shield, in order to regain control and adapt them to the conditions of their new conditions of accumulation, as has happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and the destabilization of other countries in Africa and Latin America, or in Asia. There is in this field a dialectical relation between capitalist exploitation, imperialism, fascism and incessant wars.

17 – The application of imperialist economic policies, often faced with broad workers' opposition all over the world, pushes local governments to adopt fascist attitudes to suppress freedom of opinion and expression, strikes and popular demonstrations, in light of a media blackout and the complicity of imperialist forces.

18 – As Gary Gereffi pointed out, the bulk of industrial and agricultural production is now produced by the working class of the south and its poor peasants. One need only look at international reports on international trade to confirm the volume of exports from the south to the north, as these are global value chain exports that transfer the surplus value produced by the working class, from the south, at the lowest costs, to revalue them in the centers of the imperialist countries.

19 – The reports of the world organization of work shows the growth of the global industrial work-force between 1950 and 2010 in "more developed regions" and "less developed regions." In 2010, 79 percent, or 541 million, of the world's industrial workers lived in "less developed regions," up from 34 percent in 1950 and 53 percent in 1980, compared to the 145 million industrial workers, or 21 percent of the total, who in 2010 lived in the imperialist countries.2 For workers in manufacturing industry this shift is more dramatic still, since in low-wage countries manufacturing forms a much higher proportion of total industrial employment than in the, imperialist economies, and therefore, as John Bellamy Foster, Robert W. McChesney, and R. Jamil Jonna point out, "The broad category of `industrial employment' systematically understates the extent to which the world share of manufacturing has grown in developing countries". (See their 2011 study titled: The Global reserve army of labor and the new imperialism).

20 – The Brazilian Marxist economist Roy Mauro Marini (1932-1997) had previously indicated in 1967 in his book “Backwardness and Revolution” that “the history of underdevelopment in Latin America is the history of the development of the world capitalist system ". It can be concluded with him that The history of global underdevelopment and the deterioration of humanity and its environment is the history of the development of the capitalist system, especially in its imperialist stage.

21 – Imperial domination and plunder was a necessary condition for the emergence of capitalism in England, but it took the entire historical course of capitalist development for the imperial division of the world to be absorbed and to become a feature of the report capitalist himself. It is this characteristic that became one of the central concerns of Lenin, who defined this last stage of capitalism in sharp political terms, “the division of nations into oppressors and oppressed is the very essence of imperialism”.

22 – Lenin wrote his book, Imperialism supreme stage of capitalism, in 1916, in the middle of the First World War, as a guide for action and on the basis of a concrete analysis of concrete reality. From 1916 to the present day there have been several developments in the forms of imperialist domination, but they nevertheless find their origins at the heart of Marxist analysis through the theory of value and Leninist analysis in his book Imperialism supreme stage of capitalism. To face imperialism and fascism today, and for the world proletarian revolution, we call for concrete analyses of the concrete reality of the world economic and political situation on the basis of Marxism Leninism.

23 – The conclusion that we can draw from Lenin's analysis is that the stage of state capitalist monopoly necessarily ends in imperialism, fascism, wars, national revolts, civil wars and proletarian revolutions.

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