The PLP applauds the angry workers in Michoacán that have had enough of the Cartel’s violence and picked up guns and fought back. In an inspiring example of working class rage, many members of the working class not only picked up the gun, not only attacked the criminal cartel, but also attacked the police and federal agents. The armed struggle is the intensification of the conflict between the exploited and the exploiter. There is another contradiction. This contradiction illustrates appearance vs. essence. It appears that this vigilante uprising against the cartels is spontaneous and fully rooted within the working class, but in essence, there may be another cartel arming and directing this movement as well. There may also be opportunist elements within the Ruling class in Mexico helping them as well. They are attacking a symptom of capitalism, and not the cancer of capitalism. Either way, the fact that many workers have turned to the armed struggle, challenged the cartel that was brutally dispossessing them, and also challenged the capitalist state apparatus is a very positive development.
A major question is, where did these vigilantes get their guns? Their narrative is that they, paralleled Mao’s tenets of guerrilla warfare. A small group began with a few hunting rifles and shotguns, they then raided the police stations and some of the cartel’s arms caches. If this is the actual way that they acquired their guns, it is even easier to see a method of how PLP will be able to arm ourselves, develop a Red Army, and seize state power. Though our primary way is by organizing directly in the bosses military. The vigilante armed workers now have automatic weapons and armored vehicles. Needless to say, much of the ruling classes are worried about lots and lots of armed workers taking power into their own hands and acting as an example to workers all over the world — from Cambodia, to Bangladesh, to France, to The United States — armed struggle against capitalism!
PLP also recognizes that politics are primary. Though the armed workers have had enough, Basta Ya! (enough is enough), they are not fighting to seize the means of production, institute the dictatorship of the proletariat, or transform society through Communist revolution. We must recognize that there is a contradiction occurring there between the positive aspects of elements of the working class arming and organizing themselves against a ruthless oppressor and the fact that without negating the systemic structures of capitalism, they are just either putting a new boss in charge or preserving the social order that allows the ruling class in Mexico to rule. In fact, the cartel they are deposing actually started as an armed reaction against exploitation! We applaud the armed struggle, but we are critical of the lack of a political thrust apart from a populist reaction to the terrible exploitation and brutal violence that the cartels enact upon them. The armed workers also recognize that the Mexican police and agents, despite the millions that they receive in aid from the US, are ineffectual in stopping the cartels.
The police, the agents, the bourgeoisie, the banking system, the DEA, and a whole line of federal agents all make some money off of the very lucrative drug trade. The poisoning of the working class is big money that flows into a lot of pockets. A scandal is just now breaking of how the US directly helped the Sinaloa Cartel and there is another scandal, Fast and Furious, where the US directly supplied weapons to the cartels themselves. PLP recognizes that the cartels are part of the exploitative apparatus of capitalism because they divide the working class, brutalize the working class, and make vast profits for the bosses either indirectly through money laundering or directly through kickbacks, bribes, or outright gun sales that echo the British gun running in Africa during slavery.
The PLP, both in Mexico and around the world, will continue to struggle to bring Communist politics to the armed struggle taking place. This group of vigilantes, though it may dismay some elements of the ruling class in Mexico, may also be a godsend to other elements. The Knights Templar Cartel had been ruling their territory like a feudal fief. They extract extortion on every sale and confiscate farmer’s whole crops for a price of their choosing. They may be just too abusive for some elements of the bloodthirsty ruling class, so the armed workers may have elements of another cartel that may not be as medievally brutal in their exploitation of the working class. Either way, the vast majority of the vigilantes appear to be workers who were deported from the US and are refusing to passively accept the burden of brutality that the workers in Michoacán have stoically accepted up until now. This illustrates a consequence of the US deporting so many workers into Mexico and destabilizing the extortion rackets that the ruling classes of The US and Mexico have been enriching themselves on.
It is inspiring to see armed and masked workers not fighting for some rotten religious ideology, but actually fighting against elements of the state apparatus in order to improve the conditions of workers in this life. This struggle will not end the tyranny of the cartels, since too many capitalists are enriching themselves from our class’ addictions, because it lacks a Communist center, politic, and, most importantly, Party to organize it and defend the working class’ gains. That Communist Party is PLP and it needs to built in the furnace of the Michoacán uprising.