Dear Sisters and Brothers of LALIT,
We in News and Letters Committees send you revolutionary greetings and wishes for success for your Labor Day Celebration. We applaud your theme: "For a socialist system to safeguard humanity and the environment," as global warming and pollution endanger all of of us, but the impact on poorer countries and peoples will be much more devastating.
This year, our Draft for Perspectives (which we will append to this greeting so you may share it in full) took up how the question of different paths of development is being raised in the midst of a global struggle over control of land and food production. Land in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the former USSR is being taken by foreign investors for industrial agriculture for export. Often billed as "unused" or "waste" land, it is generally used by communities, and the takeovers drive out small farmers, peasants - in many regions the majority are women - who grow crops for food. This is unseparated from environmental degradation. As our Draft for Perspectives states:
"This land grab is sold as a tool for development because small farmers,particularly in Africa, tend to produce less grain per acre than the corporate-controlled industrial agriculture that is trying to crowd them out. For capital, this is development. Not so for the human beings driven off the land, often into urban slums. Raya Dunayevskaya, the founder of Marxist-Humanism in the U.S., captured this dynamic, showing that capital sufficient to industrialize the so called `backward` lands will not be available so long as the determinant is the accumulation of surplus value - that is, unpaid hours of labor. In other words, capital`s own laws of development preclude it from developing these countries."
As the world experiences an almost unprecedented global economic disaster, what many forget but Lalit does not, is that the foundation of the world economy is production and that the only source of value is alienated labor - that is to say, the capitalist economy is based on extracting surplus value (unpaid hours of labor) from sweated,alienated labor.
It sounds like a wonderful day that Lalit has planned and the way Labor Day should be celebrated with working-class people and organizations discussing ideas and how to get to a new society based on new human relations.
Again,we congratulate you on your Labor Day meeting and topic and wish we could be with you in person to participate in such an undertaking. We offer you revolutionary solidarity knowing full well that the struggle continues
Managing Editor, News & Letters
for News and Letters Committees