Open Letter to the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation
"First of all we must stop the killing. Then we must set out to understand and help each other, respecting our differences and variety in the interest of all we have in common and our inescapable dependence on each other."
John Manning will be known to Spectre readers for his regular reports on the progress of the Japanese Communist Party and occasional articles on other issues. He has dedicated his long life to the cause of internationalism and the interests of working people, and continues to work on their behalf. Even having his house all-but destroyed by floods scarcely interrupted his seemingly tireless striving for a better world, or dent his unquenchable optimism. Below is an open letter he sent to this week's National Conference of the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, in which he finds inspiration and education in history, contemporary events, and the basic tenets of socialist philosophy.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The news that you are organizing an All Pakistan Trade Union Conference for November 4 is welcome news to all of us who are working for world labor awakening and organization. And, for you, the news should be welcome that 200,000 U.S. residents and citizens demonstrated Saturday, October 26, 2002, in the nation's capital and surrounded the White House, demanding Peace, and that the U.S. government scrap its plan to attack Iraq, which has done no harm to us.
Even more good news is the emergence of three more countries in the Latin American continent who have won elections to establish pro-labor democratic governments with full people's sovereignty - Venezuela, now Brasil, and Ecuador has the final hurdle to pass November 24th.. The whole Southern Continent, and the Caribbean Islands and Central America to the north, is motivated and mobilized by the example of the movement led by Simon Bolivar, 200 years ago, for the federated unity of free American republics, which has been suppressed all these years by the armed dominance of the technically advanced United States.
The exposure of the blind brutality and destructiveness of capitalism once it was freed from the braking effect of the Soviet attempt at socialism, even though that attempt was crippled by resorting to top and authoritarian control under the counterattack of capital, has been so devastating that it has reawakened the drive for worker and human liberty of the 18th and 19th centuries. As the Soviet movement was corrupted by top control which blocked full worker emancipation and advancement, so the century's earlier drive for democracy and freedom was corrupted by growing and expanding capitalism with its central ethic of selfishness. So in my country, the `13 colonies which later became the United States of (North) America, the "founders" signed a declaration that all were created equal and endowed with inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while themselves enslaving African workers and murdering and seizing the lands of the people native to the continent. They also said all "men" are equal, excluding women and it rapidly developed that they meant men of property only, landless workers being excluded. That fight was won later by the organization of workers and their allies who still, corrupted by the capitalist ethic, limited full citizenship to Euro-white males and continued enslaving African workers and slaughtering native Americans and stealing their land.
With the turn of the 21st Century, this constructive-destructive and corrupting culture which calls itself "civilization" has run its course.. Always destructive in its forced labor construction, upon reaching the end of our round world in its expansion, it has become so destructive that the very survival of life is in danger. The people of the earth are waking, and just in time, to the conviction that the predatory exploitation by humans of other humans must be checked and put under control while a different way of organizing our life in common on our small globe is worked out.
What is suddenly clear with the mad attempts of dominant exploiters to control everything and every body is that we are one human family and that the producing people, on whom all human life depends, must join together in a great effort to bring reason and respect for others to the top as the way life must be conducted.
First of all we must stop the killing. Then we must set out to understand and help each other, respecting our differences and variety in the interest of all we have in common and our inescapable dependence on each other.
Your convening of the National Conference of the workers of All Pakistan November 4th is a great step forward for all the workers of the Indian sub-continent and of the entire world. The time is right. The mood of organization and of revolutionary change is in the air on all continents. I send you greetings in the name of all those workers of the United States of America who still hope for the full realization of a World Federation of Trade Unions, and I am sure my millions of brothers and sisters, mainly of workers of the oppressed countries called Third World, who are now active and struggling members of the WFTU, join in extending our solidarity and wishing the National Conference of the All Pakistan Federation of Trade Unions the greatest success.
John Manning, U.S. Staff Member, World Federation of Trade Unions Center, Prague; Czech Republic, (Retired)