[OPE-L] Should We Celebrate May Day?

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon May 01 2006 - 09:23:16 EDT

Greetings to all on the first of May, 2006.

Note the extensive historical chronology of May Day:
> http://www.eskimo.com/~recall/bleed/0501.htm <

So, as you can see, there is a long history associated
with May Day.  But should we _celebrate_ May Day?
I think we should but the following makes a case to the
contrary.  What do you think of the claims made below?

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: there will most probably be another _huge_ march in
New York City later today -- and at least sixty other
cities in the US.  Today has been called a "day without
immigrants" and there are plans for students to boycott
school,  workers to take a day off,  small businesses
to close, and a call for consumers  not  to spend any
money.  This comes only two days after a massive anti-
war demonstration in NYC --  which was estimated by
a FOX news station (!) to have 350,000 protesters.
I marched in that protest with my union contingent
side-by-side with OPE-L member David L.  It was a
great day for me, except for the end at Foley Square
where tents and tables had been set up.  I was confronted
by a very aggressive person (who happened to be another Marxist
and a Professor of Eeonomics) who (among other indignities and
public outrages) shouted repeatedly at the top of his voice:
"You are the enemy of all humankind!"  Some day I might tell
you more about that.  It was quite a scene -- full of drama,
unintended humor,  and rich in irony.

> > Against the ceremonies of May Day
> http://www.geocities.com/icgcikg/leaflets/primerodemayo.htm#mayday
> > Here is reproduced a leaflet against the bourgeois
> celebrations of May Day, written and distributed by
> South American comrades. The clearness of these
> comrades while affirming the invariant positions of
> the revolutionary proletariat makes any other
> observation useless: against the state, against
> democracy, against national liberation, against wage
> slavery, against labor, against capital, against the
> bourgeois commemorations of May Day. We just want to
> emphasize the importance of the fact that these
> comrades support the real historic subject of
> revolution, i.e. the proletariat, at an historic time
> where all the ideologies apply themselves to diluting
> and dividing our class into a whole of various
> categories. With these comrades we affirm against the
> current that May Day was and will be a moment and a
> flag of the struggle against exploitation, and with
> them we call "for the constitution of the proletariat
> as a revolutionary class".
> May Day
> =======
> The utopia of communism finds all the historic
> strength for a new world to build in the words Manual
> Gonzales Prada delivered at May Day, 1908 while
> describing it as the day where "proletarians,
> scattered throughout the world, don't see anymore May
> Day as the irony to commemorate Labor Day but as the
> symbolic day where oppressed and exploited gather to
> number themselves, unify their aspirations and get
> ready for destructive and definitive action" against
> the state and capital.
> May Day commemorates the international day of the
> proletariat, the day remembering the legal murder of
> four anarchist militants in Chicago perpetrated by the
> American state in 1887. Some are trying this day to
> reconcile class contradictions, shouting that May Day
> is Labor Day; these words are so pathetic that they
> only can be issued by counterrevolutionary agents
> (leftist from all sides) who mix with us and
> appropriate our flags to make us take the way of
> democracy's pacifism, that is to say the legal
> dictatorship of capital. Anarchists of Chicago didn't
> die for this, they died for a new world to win, a
> stateless one without democracy nor capital.
> Strengthening the historic line of revolution, whom
> Marx, Bakunin, Flores Magon, Gonzales Prada belong to
> as well as all those who succeeded in identifying the
> state, democracy and capital as the highest enemies
> denying our humanity, we will continue to say that May
> Day is "the international day of the proletarian
> struggle", and NOT Labor Day. Celebrating labor means
> to celebrate exploitation, celebrate the permanent
> action of selling day after day our labor force for
> money, this means to celebrate and cheer the bloody
> "community of money" of the bourgeois state. This is
> why speeches for Labor Day are coming from the UNO,
> which is the International Organization of Capitalism
> (where the whole of democratic dictatorship is
> represented), so that we celebrate the inhumanity to
> live happy within exploitation of the state and
> capital.
> In these periods of generalized reaction of capital,
> May Day must be the day where "the historic line of
> revolution" starts to live again, settling the
> positions once and for all, and demystifying the
> red-painted radical bourgeois opportunism represented
> by all the left-wing fractions: from the Leninist,
> Stalinist, Trotskyite, Maoist fractions up to
> Guevarist, Castrist, Mariateguist, Aprist ones [APRA =
> American Revolutionary Popular Action, populist party
> founded by Haja de la Torre; ICG's note], etc. All
> these intellectual fractions of radical petty
> bourgeoisie, everywhere in the world, instill us that
> it is necessary to celebrate labor, to continue the
> reactionary reasoning of the management of capital by
> workers and the reorientation of popular democracy and
> national liberation, through which the constitution of
> the proletariat as a revolutionary class is boycotted
> and continually changed towards the channels of
> capitalistic mentality.
> Between left- and right-wing there is no opposition,
> neither ideological nor practical, both are democratic
> lines and therefore capitalistic sisters differing
> only by the economic models of management of capital
> in the hands of the state. Thus, within democracy
> where leftists and rightists play, there is no
> opposition, there is uniformity in the dump of capital
> and labor management, generating all their blemishes:
> commodity, accumulation and trade; homelands and wars;
> borders, exploitation and misery; democracy and wage
> slaves. For this and forever, while reminding Gonzales
> Prada, celebrating May Day as Labor Day means to
> affect simplicity, this means to play the role of
> unfortunate and unaware people defending misery and
> wage slave role, this means to be made a fool of what
> is to be delighted upon the table of Easter feast.
> Conscious proletariat celebrates May Day as the day of
> revolution.
> "For the constitution of the proletariat as a
> revolutionary"
> Long live May Day!

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