Whether this strike remains a strike only, or becomes a step towards communist workers’ taking state power away from the bosses by armed revolution, depends on the activity of revolutionaries with their fellow workers during the struggle. They will be arguing for striking for the whole working class rather than only for the teachers’ interests. They will argue that “winning” the strike means not winning the strike’s reform demands (urgently necessary though they are in the misery of Haiti), but building the revolutionary party PLP and its communist influence.
They will try to mobilize support for striking teachers among every other sector of our class — students, workers, peasants, professionals, employed and unemployed — internationally as well as inside Haiti. They will highlight the need to end the structural inequality between teachers in the public schools (only 10% of all schools) and the even more oppressed and exploited teachers in the private schools (around 85% of all teachers.)
They will point out that reforms such as a better public education system will always fall short of what workers need, even if we can wrench them out of the unwilling hands of a cruel, racist ruling class (imperialist and local.) These reforms can always be taken back from us, whenever the rulers think they need to use their state power to do so.
They will point out that the role of education under capitalism — adding certain skills to our labor power, but mainly training obedient workers who believe in the system — cannot be transformed without workers’ seizing state power. They will show how the imperialist system of our day maintains Haiti for imperialist interests as a valuable “reserve” of manpower, resources, and military assets. Therefore the imperialists (the U.S., in rivalry with others like the European Union and China) will never “reconstruct” the education system or anything else in Haiti for the well-being of the working class.
For the PLP, this strike is international. We do not respect the bosses’ borders nor their “national sovereignty.” These struggles in Haiti are best seen not as national but as part of an international working-class movement, which needs an international revolutionary communist party. Each struggle must become a step towards the next wave of international communist revolution.
Why? Because state power in the hands of the working class is the first essential thing we need to reconstruct the world from the ruins in which four hundred years of capitalism has left it. Some live now in incredible luxury and waste while at least half the world’s people go hungry and unchecked capital accumulation destroys the planet.
We say “ruins,” because the racist inequality of world capitalism — so stark in Haiti — is the ruin of all the hopes which ever inspired the oppressed to struggle upwards. Also because, most likely, the conflict between rival imperialists will result in a massive world war, even worse than the two we have already endured. The reasonable course is not to reform capitalism but to destroy it before it destroys us.