A Blog About Human Rights
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"A flaky website that purports to be ?leftist,? The Cedar Lounge Revolution, occasionally makes a relevant point or two."
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NAMA Wine Lake >>
Chilean Miners can build a world wide movement.
People all over the world have been watching the rescue of the Chilean miners.
Now is the time for the international workers movement to build a world tour for the Chilean miners. this should have as objectives. Organize the unorganized. explaining that capitalism does not work. Promoting the alternative of democratic socialism world wide.
Chilean Miners. Wall Street Journal: "Capitalism Saved The Miners."
Chilean miners coming out. With the help of the international workers movement they can lead a world wide movement that can transform the workers movement internationally. See Pinera, the right wing chilean President on the right looking on. He is there to try and stop the miners using their worldwide fame and popularity to lead a Chilean and international working class movement.
What did we say in yesterday's blog.? Capitalism would put its own spin on the saving of the miners in Chile. In today's Wall Street Journal the heading of the main article on the miners is: "Capitalism Saves The Miners." The Wall Street Journal and its capitalist puppet masters are absolutely shameless. Subtlety is not their strong point. Their pathetic argument is that the drill used to reach the miners was made by a privately owned profit based company. This leaves a few things out naturally enough. But before going on to that I am so angry about another aspect of the issue that I have to speak on it first.
Pinera, the President of Chile is a billionaire who bought his way to political power. He is a central figure in the Chilean capitalist class. In 1970 the socialist Allende was elected to power and moved to improve conditions for Chilean workers and peasants. In 1973 he was overthrown by this same Chilean capitalist class that Pinera belongs to in a US backed coup. This coup murdered Allende and with him tens of thousands of union and left activists. The US backed army thug Pinochet was put in power. The trade union movement which fought to protect the working class and was used by the working class to protect itself was beheaded and drowned in blood. It suffered a major defeat. The miners union suffered this same fate.
The country's economy was turned over to the so called "Chicago Boys," a bunch of extreme right wing economists from the University of Chicago who advised the Pinochet dictatorship on how to smash the working peoples' living standards and how to deregulate the economy so that the capitalists could do what they liked without any restraint. Part of this was lifting the regulations on the mine owners and allowing them to implement drastic reductions in safety precautions and measures underground.
Like his billionaire fellow capitalists the present president supported the crushing of the workers and left movement. This means he supported the measures that lifted the regulations on the capitalists. This means that he played a major role in worsening the conditions, including the safety conditions for these miners, and making them work underground in much more dangerous conditions. So he and his class, his system, capitalism, far from saving the miners as the Wall Street Journal claims, put the miners down there in those unsafe conditions in the first place and are responsible for the miners ordeal. This is what has to be understood. This is what has to be stated and restated by the miners and the trade union movement. Far from saving the miners it was the profit addicted capitalist system that trapped the miners down there in the first place. This President should have been chased out of the rescue area. He had no place there. He was there to cover up capitalism's responsibility. He was also there to get support for his capitalist party and its right wing ideas. But it was not only that.
The miners are now heroes in Chile and around the world. People world wide watched with nerves stretched to breaking point to see if they would be safely rescued. The trapped miners worked together, elected a leadership and organized themselves and survived their terrible ordeal. This was and is a great example for all workers unity and collective action. Working together, solidarity, electing a leadership in which there was not a single smart ass capitalist trained stooge telling them what to do, showing the greatest courage, these workers triumphed. It shows what workers can do. We can build a new society. The miners are a collective unit who have shown themselves able to conduct a struggle to survive. What other struggle can the conduct?
Arising from the achievements of the miners we have to absorb the extremely important fact that these workers now have enormous potential power. This is what scares the Chilean bosses and right wing government and in fact the capitalists internationally. This is why Pinera was at the rescue site non stop. He was there to keep things under control. This is why the Wall street Journal are so crude and direct in their lying claim that capitalism saved the miners. They want to take all credit away from the miners and tame any potential they have. The Chilean government and capitalists, the Wall Street Journal and the class it represents internationally, they know the potential power these workers have.
Unfortunately the union and labor leaders in Chile and internationally seem totally blind to this reality and to the possibilities. They have let Pinera, the Chilean capitalists and the international capitalists run the whole show. What should these leaders have done? What should be done now by the workers movement? What should the miners themselves do now? These miners should have a time to rest and recover and then spearhead a movement to organize the entire workforce in Chile into unions, for better living standards and for a different society which is not ruled by the right wing capitalist corporations and the blood stained military, state and capitalists of Chile. This should be underway as I write. The Chilean and world union and labor leaders should be giving the lead and giving all help in this direction to the miners.
As explained the Chilean government and capitalist class have been well aware of the potential threat to them and their system posed by the miners. They have been taking extreme measures to try and prevent this being realized. They placed the country's President and his partner and other capitalist ministers of the right wing government at the point of rescue. They used the means of communication they had with the miners to talk to them and tell them what to say when they came up. They hired capitalist P.R. firms to supply people to talk to the miners and tell them what to say when they came up. This was all to prevent the miners coming up and going on the offensive against capitalism and the employers. The union leaders should have prevented this. They should have taken over the rescue site and chased out the government ministers and taken over communications with the miners themselves. Tragically they did not do this.
Unfortunately the measures of the right and the employers seem to be working. The leader of the miners came up and said to Pinera the right wing bosses President: "Mr. President I now hand over my shift to you." I wanted to pull my hair out when I heard this. What he should of said was: "Get the hell out of here, this is my shift and now we are going to launch an organizing tour of Chile and the world. The whole world was watching our rescue and want to hear what we have to say. We are not going to sing your song. The objective of our tour will be to organize all workers into international unions, to explain that the privately owned corporations and their capitalist system does not work and to explain the need for democratic socialism on a world scale. This is what we are going to do."
Of course this worker was under extreme strain and had been isolated from the workers movement since he was trapped. But he should not have been isolated, he should have been in regular contact and discussion with the union leadership above ground working out the strategy and the ideas for when he came up. The union leadership have to be criticized for not giving the miners a strategy and plan. But it is not too late for such an initiative yet. It is up to the leadership of the union movement in Chile and internationally. This leadership should not have let the right and government in Chile monopolize the communications with the miners. But now they have access to them all. They must bring them together and support them, help them to understand the great collective achievement they pulled off, help them to see that what they did underground shows that when working people work together and collectively this is much better than working separately and help them to see what they can achieve in a great organizing tour of Chile and the world. They can change the world. The miners achievement underground shows in microcosm that working people can build a new world. After they built their own world underground.