Class character of interstate unions in America.
By Pável Blanco Cabrera & Angel Chávez Mancilla*.
A class approach that puts aside populist criteria is necessary, and this is done on a scientific basis, using the Marxist method of analysing reality, considering the degree of development of capitalism, the process of concentration and centralization in the imperialist phase, emphasizing what is general, without neglecting the peculiarities, and avoiding to place the part above the all. Marxist doctrine establishes the mutual connection between the phenomena of nature and society rather than analyse them in isolation. As V.S. Molodtsov noted “to deny the interdependence of phenomena goes against the possibility of knowledge as a single whole, as opposed to metaphysics Marxism-Leninism developed a truly scientific method of knowledge and transformation of reality. This method requires, first of all, considering all the phenomena of nature and society in mutual connection and interdependence“.
These features of Marxist-Leninist analysis are not always followed and dogmatic approaches remain, for example, with regard to the study of imperialism. For example, the relationships of economic dependences are considered fixed, immovable. In addition it neglects an essential quality of imperialism, that Lenin clarified, that it is monopoly capitalism, beating away free competition; five traits are expressed in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, and they only cling to one, dodging other traits of critical importance. This leads to distortions in the analysis of contemporary interstate unions and the anti-imperialist struggle itself, strictly limiting it to the conception of weak countries versus foreign powers, or economic subordination relations, without considering that capital is developing and there are constant changes, and interdependence phenomena.
Since the beginning of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Canada, USA , Mexico) in 1994, interstate unions are being promoted in America, bilateral, multilateral and even those of continental character, with economic, trade, customs, immigration, regional integration, police and military collaboration.
Latin America is not an exclusive “backyard ” of US monopolies, though its economic and political interests are still dominant, there is an increasingly growing presence of capitals from the European Union, China, and even the coordinated presence of monopolies of South America, and monopolies of each the countries involved, which are benefitted and who will occupy key places in the economic areas in which they participate.
Approaches on the class character of these interstate unions are plagued by confusion, because perceptions are mechanically supported by previous elaborations, dogmatically, as corresponding to a different time of development of capitalism rather that in its imperialist stage, and even to historical analogies such as colonial domination. This leads to ambiguity in strategic development by several communist and workers’ parties, and to the marsh in the class struggle, tasks and allies are mistaken, and promoting class collaboration, ideological misrepresentation, postponing the historic goal that was already mapped out in 1848 in the program for the communists which Marx and Engels wrote.
A first issue, is the way the Leninist theory of imperialism is assumed. Reductively it is focused as a relation of domination, and not the highest and final stage of capitalism, as monopoly capitalism. Imperialism is thus identified with “Yankee imperialism”, as a new colonial power, and maintains that the first task of the Communists is to fight for national independence, a task in which a spectrum of cross-class alliances is designed and the bourgeoisie is divided between “national” and “pro-imperialist”; by anti-imperialist sectors they mean anti-American, not necessarily antimonopoly because that would be involving many “national” monopolies, with which opposition platforms are forged against “foreign” monopolies. It is clear to the Communists, that regardless of nationality, whether they hold a higher or lower place, any monopoly is an essential component of the international imperialist system.
The main conclusion of this misperception is that Latin American countries are dependent, neo-colonies of American imperialism, and this conclusion is signed by a significant number of communist and labour parties of the region, and shared by reformist, opportunistic, and even political expressions of the bourgeoisie, not only at national scale but regional and seeking a continental character, plus it is no coincidence that these formations have correspondence with projects or mechanisms of some interstate unions, claiming its alternative nature to the American imperialist centre.
It is assumed that the dominant role of the US is static, without considering the inter-imperialist contradictions and intense battle between sharks to occupy the top of the pyramid. True, today in America the monopolies from US are dominant, but they are not as much as 50, 25 or even 10 years ago, because every time they are losing ground to competitors on the rise of other nationalities. Leninist law of uneven development is checked.
When influencing the strategy and tactics, the opportunist character that contains class struggle manifests itself for it sections capital, considering that the national capital must be protected from abroad and leads to loss of class independence of the workers, placing them at the tail of the bourgeoisie.
Let us take the case of NAFTA, against which the Communists have been fighting since 1994, and even before, when it was a project proposed by the government of George Bush. Overall popular class forces, including us, subscribed that Mexico being a dependent country the free trade area meant that Mexico went from being a semi colony into a process of direct annexation by the United States. The struggle perspective stood with the flag of national independence and sovereignty and conceived a broad front with part of the bourgeoisie of the country. If you see the resolutions, declarations issued by PCM then you will find that we had more concern for the future of the industrial manufacturing, textiles, agriculture, small industry, bourgeois facing foreseeable ruin, and you will notice very little reference to the situation of Mexican, Canadian, American and migrant working class. More than two decades later the assessment that history provides allows us to confirm that this approach was wrong, because not only the American monopolies made huge profits, but also Canadian and Mexican monopolies, which strengthened and absorbed the weaker ones in the USA, in the field of telephony, America Movil, and in the mining branch, Industrial Minera Mexico, both dominant Mexican monopolies that plunder, export capital to and exploit workers of the in the US and in Latin America, and have a multifaceted character as they have expanded their investments from telephony to the press, and in general communication services, food, pharmaceuticals, etc. In the case of Industrial Minera Mexico it absorbed several monopolies in the mining and metal-mechanical branch in the US, Peru and Chile. Other instructive examples are the monopoly of the Mexican Bimbo, the food industry, which already dominates the sector in Spain and ventures into China; Construction monopoly ICA, in competition with Brazilian Odebrecht dispute monopoly control of the sector in building roads, bridges and infrastructure; a sobering example is the state monopoly Pemex also locks in that direction, it expanded its line of control in ports and shipyards in Spain. They are not exceptions, you could list other, and check that regardless of nationality monopolies increased their profits, advanced concentrating and centralizing in their field and expanding to others, likewise workers, regardless of nationality, are exploited, impoverished, and are affected by the measures taken by the interstate unions – in this case the NAFTA, to affect their labour rights, reducing them to ashes, devaluing the work and sharpening the capital / labour contradiction, in addition to other measures such as privatization and cutting public sectors of education, health, etc. But not only in the case of NAFTA, Plan Puebla-Panama, bilateral treaties, tried and failed in the FTAA, but also in agreements with the EU, and even in the “alternative” called as MERCOSUR, UNASUR and ALBA, where monopolies of these countries have consolidated as dominant in important branches of agriculture, construction, energy, and also concatenated with blocks, which in the inter dispute with the US, as the case of the BRICS, consider them strategic partners climbing the imperialist pyramid.
Is it correct to speak of Mexico as a dependent and semicolonial country when it ranks 11th in the gross world product? When monopolies are consolidated after a long process of concentration and centralization? According to our findings, set out in the program adopted by the V Congress of the PCM, Mexico is a country of average development in which capitalist relations are fully consolidated, intermediate in the imperialist pyramid, with interdependent relationships that ensure the development of monopolies.
As the Communist Party of Greece states: “History has shown that monopoly as a result of the concentration of capital, as a fundamental law of the present stage of capitalism is a general trend worldwide and can coexist with forms of pre-capitalist economy and property.” That is, in Mexico there are characteristics of economic backwardness, though it is not dominant, as is usually intense and growing capitalist development; there are relationships of dependence and interdependence, stronger with the US economy, and growing with the European Union. We reiterate, there are very strong, dominant Mexican monopolies.
We are convinced of the fight against interstate unions, because these are unfavourable to the people and the working class, and that it has to start from a rigorous class analysis, otherwise, if wrong analyses and perceptions prevail, a wrong strategy will lead to the delay of antimonopoly, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist objectives.
Among the ideological components of non-class analysis we find the following:
a) Placing the fundamental contradiction as dependence / independence and erroneously displacing the essence of the era which is capital / labour antagonism.
b) Overideologizing the independence and anti-colonialist struggle of the nineteenth century, looking to extract out poetry of the past, and not from the future. The action and the program of Hidalgo, Bolivar, Juarez, San Martin, Sucre, etc., corresponding to a particular time, two centuries ago, when the rising bourgeoisie found in favour of their class interests the need to form their States freeing them from the colonial domination of the Spanish crown, moving immediately to establish domination of the bourgeois class over the exploited and oppressed. Recognizing the revolutionary-democratic struggles and characterizing these as progressive in its time, is downright insufficient wanting to find in the programs of old the flags that workers must now take up to achieve their emancipation. Concepts such as “Monroeism vs bolivarianism” for example, contribute to conceal that at the time the antagonist is socialism vs. capitalism, and the same applies to projects of “Gran Colombia”, etc, etc, today raised by political forces that do not fight against monopolies, but on behalf of those of their respective nationalities.
c) By placing independence as the immediate objective and broad cross-class alliances as the political subject to obtain it, intermediate stages are set, and although those who advocate them may adhere to the socialist-communist goal, they only do so formally for siding with any specific section of the bourgeoisie contributes to the prolongation of capitalist society.
d) Categories such as neoliberalism, globalization, multipolarity, which provide space to the improvement and “humanization” of capitalism, managing it differently, hiding the class conflict in international relations and leading the working class and peoples to take sides in the inter dispute by a block opposite to the US, a more “friendly” one.
e) When considering imperialism as a metropolis, the class struggle in each country is left aside, for the sake of “national unity”, to focus on the struggle against foreign domination.
Another important issue is the following. There is a consensus among the opportunist forces that interstate agreements promoted by the US imperialist centre must be fought in favour of national sections of the bourgeoisie. However when these intergovernmental agreements are with other imperialist centres the position changes, they are presented as the passage of a unipolar to a multipolar world, wording which hides the need to fight for a new world, where other social relationships exist, where workers’ power imposes new conditions favourable to the peoples in open dispute against imperialism. The same is true when the State Union is e.g. MERCOSUR, UNASUR and ALBA-TCP. The equation is simple, the sum of capitalist economies results in an inter-block and cannot result in a popular alliance opposed to monopolies. Where is the alternative there? Let us go to the case of ALBA-TCP that arouses expectations; the presence of Cuba, qualitatively, the economic weight, due to the difficulties it had as a result of the imperialist blockade, has no decisive economic weight relative to the other participating countries that are qualitatively capitalist countries. The ALBA-TCP also recommends capital investment in Latin America itself; true, the Bolivarian political processes of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, arouses expectation on the course they can take; but until today, in the Venezuelan case, after 16 years, the bottom line is that the capitalist structure remains intact and monopolies still dominate. Just as wrong is “socialism of the XXI century” (market socialism, bourgeois state, multi-class party, defence of private property and profits of monopolies), as thinking that these processes have a nature distinct of the capitalist one.
ALBA actually functions as a supranational structure just as the EU, and has established an economic base in capitalist relations of production that leads them to undertake joint economic projects as the development of monopoly enterprises with state investment from member countries of ALBA, and private investment to a lesser extent, as are the so called grand-national projects and grand-national companies that have raised venture in mining and metallurgy of aluminum, iron and steel. The boost they propose to give the cement industry with the construction of a cement plant with portland type production capacity of 1,000,000 tons / year, in the departments of Oruro and Potosi with the participation of Cuba and Venezuela is also significant, as it makes clear that the expropriation of CEMEX in Venezuela responds to capitalist economic interests such as the creation of a cement monopoly.
Although the ALBA declares that “The concept of grand-national companies emerged in opposition to transnational companies, therefore, its economic dynamics will be directed to favour the production of goods and services to satisfy human needs” and believes that opposes the logic of capital accumulation, the reality is that economic cooperation does not change the basis of the economic system, so the Grannacional projects are actually a way to develop the industrialization of the countries participating in the ALBA which will lead to the development and strengthening of monopolies, consolidating the ALBA as an imperialist bloc.
Let us recall that Lenin in Imperialism, Highest Stage of Capitalism, warned that “the monopolies have never pursued as an end, nor have resulted, in providing benefits to consumers or, at least, make available to the state a part of employer benefits, rather they have served for the State to bailout private industry, which has come almost to bankruptcy”, in this case the states of the ALBA alliance are seeking to encourage monopolies.
Another example that interstate alliances are of inter-imperialist nature is that for example the special ALBA 2014 Communiqué on states affected by transnational interests does not pronounce against the power of monopolies in general but against those most closely linked to US capital, promoting indirectly with the Southern Observatory on Investment and Transnationals that monopolies that exploit workers in the region respond to the interests of the ALBA, i.e. the exploitation of the working class of the ALBA countries enrich the grand-national companies.
The economic alliance takes ALBA to close military links to defend their economic interests, as NATO is the armed wing of the member countries of the EU, which is why it counts with a defence and sovereignty committee composed of the defence ministers of the member countries seeking “popular joint comprehensive defence strategy and to establish a school of dignity and sovereignty of the armed forces” behind the popular sovereignty and integral defence is the defence of monopoly interests.
Appreciated in their economic characteristics, interstate agreements in the Americas, without exception, have a capitalist class nature and cannot be presented as alternatives to the working class and peoples.
In the fight against them, i.e. in the struggle against the international imperialist system Communists must always specify the antimonopoly and anti-capitalist content and take into account that the struggle is national in form and international for its content. That is, to put a current example, part of the anti-imperialist struggle for the Mexican proletariat is fighting the monopoly Industrial Minera Mexico that now exploits the Peruvian and American proletariat through the Southern Cooper Company. Of very little use it is to break with NAFTA if it is to benefit the monopolies of national origin. Fighting interstate agreements, in our conception and strategic analysis, is linked to the struggle for socialism and workers’ and people’s power, i.e. with a clear anti-monopoly and anti-capitalist vision.
The overthrow of capitalism, of monopoly power is the basic condition to break the plundering of peoples and the exploitation of the proletariat, to forge relations of equality among peoples and ensuring development with socialism-communism will bring welfare of the working class and popular sectors.
 V.S. Molodotsov; Marxist dialectics and the mutual connection and interdependence of nature and society phenomena, in Dialectic Materialism; Science Academy of the USSR, under the editing of V. P. Tchertkov, V. S. Molodtsov, D.M. Trochin, K.V. Moroz, F.I. Kalochin, etc; Moscow 1954.
 Let us remember that the features that Lenin assigns to imperialism are the follwing: “(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopoly capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.”
Lenin, Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism, LCW Volume 22
 For example the Conference of Organizations and Political Parties of Latin America (COPPAL), the forum of Sao Paulo, which has strong ties with the Left European Party, and that to a great extent are functional for the collaboration of Latin American capitals with European, fundamentally between the MERCOSUR-EU agreements. Organizations that in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s of the XX century, led armed struggles in Central America and that have evolved towards social-democracy, and not as a degeneration, rather a logical result of its class origin and its program, are also inscribed in this analysis. It is in general the position denominated as left, concept that the PCM does not use for it does not express with clarity the class position and it does cloud ideologically, for it misleads, as for left today is also understood liberal formations, socialdemocrats and even capitalist options of neokeynesian management.
 The Communist Party of Mexico kept from 1994 and until the year 1999 a platform of struggle against NAFTA baseed on the misleading position that it was an anticolonial struggle for independence to break chains of imperialist domination, from 1999 the focus of struggle acquired a class character, and the rupture with monopolies that exploited the working class not only of Mexico, but also of USA and Canada. It was however until the IV Congress in the year 2010, when the position of rupture with NAFTA and any inter-state agreement was linked with the struggle for socialism-communism and for workers and people’s power.
 The Leninist approach of KKE on imperialism and the imperialist pyramid. Written Contribution of KKE to the 9th International Conference “Lenin and the contemporary world”
 As Marx well emphasized in the 18th Brumaire of Louise Bonaparte
 Mexican monopoly expropriated by the bolivarian government of Venezuela, ¿Do we the working class communist have to choose between the monopoly of the mexican bourgeoisie, or the monopoly of southamerican monopoly? For none, for our duty is to propose the socialization of the means of production and change.
 Approved communiqué of the XIV Political Council of ALBA, New York, September 26, 2014.
* Pável Blanco Cabrera is the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Mexico and Angel Chávez Mancilla is Responsible for the Ideology Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Mexico, Director of El Machete.