There is really only one ‘non-negotiable’ demand. And that is; ‘power to the working class.’—Carl Davidson
Each year, as we join millions across the world to celebrate the victories of workers, our own Freedom Day remains still fresh in our minds.
On May Day, we remember that the workers’ flag is not red simply by accident or for artistic reasons. As the traditional Labour song goes, “Our life’s blood has dyed its every fold.” Not all those who wave the red flag or claim to speak for the working class actually do so, while entertaining that feeling.
Of course, the workers have made some gains in this century of struggle.
We live in a globally integrated capitalist society in its highest stage of imperialism, fuelling perpetual militarism and warfare. Consequently, we should be aware of the hijacking of our socialist persuasions by the opportunistic deviation of the ‘pseudo-left’ factions, whose tendencies do not even deserve the term ‘centrist,’ as these are simply unattested ‘anti-socialist’ parties or groups. The ‘pseudo-left’ denotes political parties, organisations and theoretical blocs which utilise populist slogans and democratic phrases to promote the socioeconomic interests of privileged and affluent strata of the middle class. In other words, the “left” lapdogs of the capitalists. Not unlike the Greek Syriza Party, our Maltese ex-Malta Labour Party has been hijacked and all socialist principles jettisoned. It is understood to have been converted into a ‘pseudo-left’ entity under the presumed caption ‘Progressive & Liberal Movement’. How would our dear ex-PM Dom Mintoff be turning in his grave!
And is it really the trade unions who shape the future of work? Both the trade unions and the Labour Party have failed the workers miserably! Instead of giving concrete support and calling upon workers to take action, they did absolutely nothing. Our trade unions have become mouthpieces of partisan politics besides the morality crisis reigning in our Maltese politics.
However, the greatest setback for our workers arrived when Malta was tricked into joining the European Union. The European Union does not represent the unity of the European peoples, but rather the dictatorship of the most powerful economic and financial interests over Europe. In reality, the EU is the main instrument for inciting social divisions, fostering national antagonisms and developing authoritarian forms of rule. Since the financial crash of 2008, Brussels has imposed brutal austerity measures, besides enforcing privatisation decrees on Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and other countries, including Malta. It has condemned millions to unemployment and poverty; destroyed education, health and old-age benefits; and left the young generation without a prospect for their future. We must reject all that EU hypocritical fancy talk which finally is translated into “I dictate.”
The achievement of our rights as citizens and our rights as workers should indeed be celebrated together. Our history has made them inseparable, as well as our destiny. Together we are stronger!
But today, the working class in its millions is not yet in a revolutionary situation. In fact today, it is the capitalists who are on the offensive and the working class that is in the position of the strategic defensive. In striving for our goals we must dispel the idea that change can come from government alone, while our people wait passively for delivery.
“Arise, ye prisoners of starvation.” May Day is the day of the working class, the class that has borne untold sufferings and has nothing, just nothing, to lose but its chains.
When the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century brought a rapid increase in wealth, the demand of workers for a fair share of the wealth they were creating was conceded only after riots and strikes.—John Boyd
Joseph M. Cachia resides in Malta and is a freelance journalist Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.