MEXICO CITY, August 7 — “We don’t want crumbs, we want the whole cake!” With these words at a communist school attended by nearly 30 workers and their relatives alongside members of Progressive Labor Party, a comrade from Mexico summed up the class struggle at the heart of the PL Summer Project here.
The school covered political economy, the rise of fascism, the line of PL, and the necessity of a single international communist party. It followed a week of activity in an industrial area near Mexico City, an impoverished, drug-infested community of mostly factory workers. As we visited the Party’s base in many houses and several workplaces, and then met with workers in the evening at a comrade’s home, it was obvious how capitalism had failed to meet the community’s most basic needs. Of every ten students who begin primary school, only one will graduate from high school. In many houses, water and electricity are sporadic. Some neighborhoods have none at all.
One worker we visited, Roberto, is a brickmaker. His neighborhood has no paved streets, no school. The bricks he makes go elsewhere; his own home is made of wood, plastic sheets, corrugated metal, and cardboard, with a dirt floor. For nearly two hours, Roberto talked about all the things his community lacked, from public transportation to sports facilities. He said that the three major parties’ local politicians buy votes with pre-election pizza parties, but deliver nothing of substance to the workers. Roberto is a regular CHALLENGE reader and agreed to take several papers to distribute.
Jorge is a factory worker — “a true communist,” as a comrade who works with him said after a small but intense struggle at their workplace. As a young man with no dependents, he volunteered to give up his own job to someone who needed it more. After the brief struggle, however, both workers kept their jobs. Our discussion with Jorge included his family members, all of them eager to ask questions about PL. We offered our analysis of the perpetual crisis of overproduction in capitalism. The system’s relentless drive for maximum profits explains why skilled Mexican factory workers, once relatively well-paid, are now losing their jobs or getting lower salaries. It also explains why the workers’ children, even those with university degrees, cannot find work, much like their cohorts in the United States, Europe, and worldwide.
This week of meetings and visits was very productive. We had inspiring conversations and distributed lots of literature. With comrades from a number of different countries participating, we showed PL’s international character and built solidarity with our friends. Despite the pervasive sexism under capitalism, we found that husbands consistently encouraged their wives and children to participate in our discussions. We were also humbled by the generosity and hospitality of these workers with limited means. In all cases, people agreed to read CHALLENGE and to show it to their friends.
All workers and members of PL can learn much from our comrades from Mexico. They show how industrial workers — armed with class hatred, communist ideas, and a single international party — represent the only threat to capitalism. They are the future of the working class.