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Workers Vanguard No. 1054

17 October 2014
The closing date for news in this issue is 14 October.


Workers Vanguard

Hong Kong Protests: Spearhead for Capitalist Counterrevolution

Expropriate the Hong Kong Bourgeoisie!

For Proletarian Political Revolution in China!

OCTOBER 13—Imperialist-backed “democracy” activists seeking to end Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control over the capitalist enclave of Hong Kong continue to block streets in parts of the city, as they have since late September. Using the demand for universal suffrage as a wedge, the protesters, known as the Umbrella Movement, are attempting to open the way for Hong Kong’s capitalist parties to exercise direct political power. It is in the interest of working people around the world to oppose these protests. Political power in the hands of the bourgeoisie in Hong Kong would be a spearhead for smashing the Chinese bureaucratically deformed workers state and opening the mainland to untrammeled capitalist exploitation.

The Umbrella Movement’s demands have been endorsed by a chorus of reactionary forces, from the White House and Fox News to the Vatican. In an October 1 meeting with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry pressed home Washington’s support for “free elections” in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s former British colonial masters, who lorded it over the territory for a century and a half without the slightest democratic trappings, have also expressed support, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg summoning the Chinese ambassador to express “dismay and alarm” at Beijing’s refusal to “give to the people of Hong Kong what they are perfectly entitled to expect.” “Democracy” has long been a favored pretext for imperialist machinations, particularly during the anti-Soviet Cold War. In the case of the Hong Kong protests, however, the imperialists have been somewhat coy in order to avoid disrupting their commercial relations with China.

China is not a capitalist country, although its “market reforms” have opened the door to large-scale investment by foreign corporations and led to the emergence of a layer of capitalists on the mainland. China’s economy is tightly controlled by the CCP regime, with the most important sectors of industry collectivized and owned by the state. The imperialists’ aim is to break the state’s control through capitalist counterrevolution. To this end, they pursue economic inroads into China and promote internal counterrevolutionary forces such as the Umbrella Movement. The other side of their strategy is the military pressure exerted by the U.S. and Japan and other American allies, as marked recently by a series of provocations in the East and South China Seas, not to mention spy flights off China’s eastern seaboard. China has been quite restrained in response. Imagine the frenzy the U.S. government would whip up if the Chinese navy were spotted 50 miles west of California!

Capitalist Hong Kong provides a golden opportunity for the imperialist powers to cultivate “regime change.” They have been doing so with alacrity, with Washington paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in State Department grants to develop “democratic institutions” in the enclave and training youth as political activists. They have also set up spy operations in Hong Kong, such as the NSA hacking of Chinese cellphones revealed by Edward Snowden. The Umbrella Movement is the latest manifestation of imperialist-backed anti-Communist “democracy” protests going back over a decade. The current demand for “free elections” is directed against a plan by Beijing under which Hong Kong’s chief executive will be elected from a list approved by a committee under the sway of the CCP. (read on)

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About the ICL

V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!