The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

To “Transform” Mexican Society Today

Jul 27, 2023

During his 2018 election campaign, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared his intention to launch the country’s “Fourth Transformation,” promising it would be “no less profound than Independence, the Reformation, and the Revolution.”

The struggles between classes that produced what López Obrador calls “transformations” not only overcame the backward way in which colonized Mexico was born in the 1500s. Resting on revolutionary means in the 1800s and 1900s, they laid the basis for the capitalist development that eventually would produce modern-day Mexico. A bourgeois class in the real sense of the term was born. The rudiments of an industrial economy grew up, and this, ironically, made the country an especially attractive place for corporations from the U.S. to invest in production, even while Mexico was shaking itself free of its long colonial tutelage.

According to the World Bank, in 2022, Mexican manufacturing produced more wealth than that of any country in Latin America and the most of any underdeveloped country, with the exception of India and China (each of which has more than ten times as many people). U.S. corporations have profited enormously from their hold on Mexico. But the bulk of the population remain mired in poverty and beset by violence, in desperate need of, as López Obrador said, a “fourth transformation.”

López Obrador’s talk about “a fourth transformation” was little more than a slogan in an election campaign, much like U.S. politicians when they claim the mantle of the 1775 revolution or the Civil War. Neither set of politicians—not in the U.S., not in Mexico—have any intention, much less the capacity, to build on the revolutionary heritage which their speeches invoke.

Nonetheless, López Obrador’s “transformations” are relevant to today’s world. Not only did they produce Mexican society as it is today. They contributed to producing the working class, the social force that does have the capacity to carry out the “transformation” from the capitalist society that exists today in Mexico and around the world to the socialist society that can serve all of humanity.

Spain’s North American Colonies

Laying claim to much of the Western Hemisphere, Spain in the 1500s had not yet broken free of a feudal-like social order. And that order was reflected in the backwards economic and political organization the Spanish crown imposed on its colonies. Its “conquistadores,” little more than privateers on the high seas, sought a source for immediate wealth—whether a shortcut to the riches of Asia, or the material wealth of precious metals they could bring back to Europe. When the “conquistadores” arrived, there were already millions of people living there, organized into the civilizations of the Aztecs and the Maya, among others. There were also silver mines.

Before the Spanish had even conquered the societies that existed in what would become Mexico, the Spanish crown staked out claims to a vast territory it called the “Viceroyalty of New Spain,” the limits of which extended, at least on Spanish maps, from Central America all the way up into what is today western Canada. Perhaps 90% to 95% of the indigenous people living in the Americas when the Spanish arrived soon perished, killed off by the conquest itself, overcome by diseases the Spanish colonizers brought with them, and laid waste by the brutality with which the first decades of Spanish rule were imposed.

Using the wealth it got from New Spain and its other colonies to fight a series of wars with its European rivals, the Spanish Crown had no interest in developing an economy in the colonies beyond what was necessary to take out the wealth. For the three hundred years of Spanish rule over New Spain, the economy remained focused on the limited development of the mines. Agriculture, handicraft production, and transport grew up only to the extent they were needed to support the mines and to maintain the colonial army, the colonial administration, and the church. Some of the indigenous people, along with some captives brought from Africa, were integrated into the labor force needed to extract the region’s wealth. But most of the indigenous population that survived in this vast territory lived in what was essentially a subsistence economy.

Three hundred years after the conquistadors arrived, the colonies were still ruled by military, church, and administrative officials born in Spain, the direct representatives of the crown in New Spain.

A small Spanish-descended but colonial-born elite owned the mines as well as the rural haciendas that provisioned the mines. They might have taken an important share of the wealth their properties produced, but they were blocked from advancing to the highest positions in the colonial state.

There were also hundreds of thousands of people working on the haciendas or in the mines, surviving on the rations the mine owners or hacienda owners doled out. Some of them were descended from Spanish settlers. But more often they were a mixed race of Spanish and indigenous people. The majority of people in the vast territory called New Spain were categorized by the colonial administration as “Indians,” many living free of contact with the colonial state altogether. Some “Indians” living closer to the Spanish centers were forced to pay tribute in food or cloth under direct military threat, but they had little else to do with the Spanish-speaking part of the population. The entire population was categorized by a legal caste system that put “pure-blood Spanish” on top of the colonial hierarchy, “Indians” and “Africans” on the bottom, and all the different layers of people born of the mixing of these groups on the rungs in between, with each rung officially defined by its share of each type of “blood.”

Through almost 300 years, up until the early 1800s, the society remained stable—and backwards.

The First “Transformation”: The Wars of “Independence,” 1810—1821

Spain’s own decline relative to its European rivals shook this stability. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Spanish crown put in place a series of new taxes and restrictions on trade and banking. It was a desperate attempt to squeeze out more wealth from the colonies in order to pay for Spain’s never-ending wars with England and France. To no avail. By 1808, Spain’s navy had been wrecked, and Spain itself had been occupied by France.

Parts of the colonial-born elite, angered by the new taxes, tried to take advantage of Spain’s weakness to declare their own government, which would have broken the monopoly exercised by the Spanish-born over positions of power. Their first attempts were blocked by the army, still controlled by the Spanish-born top officers. After that failure, some of the colonial-born elite sought to mobilize broader parts of the population. The popularized version of this history rests on a priest named Miguel Hidalgo, who called for the population to rise up on September 16, 1810, which supposedly was enough to bring the population out.

In fact, hacienda workers did seize the opening provided by the struggles going on between different parts of the elite and also inside its army (which by that time was in large part colonial-born, even if most of the top officers were still Spanish-born). After Hidalgo’s call, a large mass of people gathered, taking to the roads, marching on Mexico City, burning and looting haciendas on the way. The colonial army put down this initial uprising. Hidalgo himself was publicly executed. But peasants, mine workers, hacienda workers, mule drivers, and Indian tribes continued to carry out similar forays in different parts of the vast viceroyalty.

These groups often found themselves at odds with each other, but the one thing that struck a chord with almost all of them was the desire for land. Many were focused on gaining land for themselves, others on defending the land their tribes still controlled. But they shared a resentment toward the elite—wherever they were born—who held a grip on the land. One rebel leader, Jose Maria Morelos, demanded that farming should be “based on many cultivating small plots separately, with their own industry and labor, with no one individual having large expanses of unused land and enslaving thousands....”

Ten years of fighting ensued, with shifting alliances among different forces. But one thing was always clear through the various shifts: when the rebellions of the poor threatened them, the colonial-born elite rushed back into the arms of the Spanish-born leaders of the colonial army and the Catholic church. And while the Spanish-born officers, church leaders, and officials fought to maintain their own privileges and positions, their army had to rely on colonial-born hacienda owners to raise troops to fight the various rebellions. This gave an opening for the colonial-born elite to reassert their initial demands.

In 1821, the head of Spain’s colonial army gathered both the colonial-born and Spanish-born around a compromise, the Plan of Iguala. They would form a newly independent country, in which the property and privileges of both groups would be respected. The leaders of the colonial army effectively declared their unwillingness to continue fighting for the crown. Having no force with which to impose its control, the Spanish monarchy was forced to recognize the independence of the “Mexican Empire.” Iguala also promised to abolish the caste system, which was enough to convince the rebel commanders still in the field to lay down their arms. The Mexican Empire, reduced in size from the Viceroyalty of New Spain, nonetheless still included an area stretching from the southern border of what is now Costa Rica, through northern California.

The Second “Transformation”: “Reformation,” or the Reform Wars, 1857—1867

Independence may have removed control by the Spanish crown, but it did not solve the other major problems that had been raised during the wars for independence: who would run the state and who would own the land. In fact, independence brought these problems to the fore.

Without the mines shipping silver back to Spain, there was no glue holding the economy together. Most of the mines shut down. Haciendas turned in on themselves even more than they had during the colonial period, producing little more than food, clothing, tools, and other goods for their own consumption. Most significantly, the army in many places broke apart into private military forces linked to the haciendas. Without the threat of the colonial army, peasant villagers and Indian tribes stopped paying taxes and tributes. There was no real center.

In 1823, landowners in the southern part of this newly independent “empire” organized to declare their own independence, splitting off what would become five independent countries of Central America. There was little the “Mexican Empire” could do about it. In 1835, a ragtag group of settlers from the U.S. and Mexico itself were able to defeat a Mexican army sent to stop them from forming the new country of Texas. Mexico barely avoided being recolonized by one or another European power, but that depended, in great measure, on the U.S., which intended to take parts of Mexico for itself. In 1846, the U.S. army invaded Mexico, going all the way to Mexico City, forcing Mexico to give up its remaining claim to Texas and to cede California and everything in between. In 1847, the Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula revolted, a revolt that continued on and off for decades.

A fight for land erupted, with some of the larger hacienda owners seeking to put their hands on more land. But land either belonged to the church, granted centuries ago by Spain, or it was the traditional communal land of the villages or of various Indian tribes. Using their own hacienda armies to grab land, the owners pulled hacienda workers behind them using both threats and the promise of a share of the land. Trying to give their land grab a political cover, the political descendants of the old colonial-born elite formed a coalition calling itself the Liberal Party.

Church leaders turned to the old colonial military leaders still in Mexico. But with fewer forces than the hacienda owners, they had no choice but to seek an alliance with a European power. Their coalition labeled itself the Conservative Party. Small peasants and Indian tribes, hoping to keep the lands they lived on, lined up to some extent behind the Conservatives.

Civil war over the land broke out between these forces in 1857. The French army invaded in 1860 in alliance with the Conservatives, but it quickly became clear that France intended to turn Mexico back into a colony. The empire France established began to appoint its own high officials, often attacking its Conservative allies. In reaction, many landowners and officers rallied to the side of Benito Juarez and the Liberals, balking at the real possibility that Mexico would be recolonized—and that they would thereby lose their privileged positions in the state and perhaps even their land. When the U.S. Civil War ended in 1865, the U.S. increasingly intervened, determined to reinforce control over its southwestern territories and block France from establishing a colony on its borders. The U.S. threatened France with war and sent weapons to the Liberal side. By 1867, the Liberal armies were victorious.

The conclusion of the civil war led to the personal dictatorship of one of Juarez’s leading generals, Porfirio Diaz, which lasted until 1910. For the first time, under Diaz, a single, unified Mexican state apparatus developed. The dictatorship brought together the disparate Liberal armies into one Mexican army. It also established a new rural police force, controlled from the center. The Diaz dictatorship finally halted the process of territorial disintegration, solidifying Mexico in approximately its current borders.

During the rule of Diaz, the state also defended the hacienda owners’ seizure of the land they had coveted. About half the arable land in the country was transformed into private holdings, taken from communally-held village and tribal land or from church land. Although there was continued resistance among peasants and tribal members to the loss of their land, not only did they lose much of their land, many of them were forced to work on the haciendas. Most wound up in some kind of debt peonage, a system resembling sharecropping, and some were forced into slavery more directly. For instance, after the army took their land, it captured more than 5,000 Yaqui and sold them to work on sugar, tobacco, or henequin plantations, hundreds of miles from their homeland. Some of the peasants driven off the land ended up in the new factories that were developing.

Hacienda owners increasingly specialized in producing a single crop for sale on the market—internal or increasingly overseas—rather than focusing only on the food and goods needed for the hacienda residents’ consumption. A small industrial bourgeoisie also developed, especially in textiles and mining. The Diaz regime organized the beginnings of a rail network, whose purpose was to tie the agriculturally productive areas and the mines to Mexico City, to a few regional centers, and to the port cities. The construction of the railroads themselves drove the development of a limited number of steel mills and foundries.

Along with industry came the beginnings of a modern working class, which, even in the face of extreme state violence, was combative. In 1907, Mexican workers organized a textile strike that spanned the states of Puebla and Veracruz, though it was broken by troops who killed over 100 workers.

The defeat of the French invasion marked the definitive end of direct European attempts to colonize the country. And it also opened the gates for the intrusion of U.S. capital. With the massive growth of the U.S. economy after the U.S. Civil War, U.S. banks and corporations quickly became dominant and U.S. corporations largely controlled the market for exported hacienda products. Despite his famous quip, “poor Mexico, so far from God, so close to the United States,” Diaz promoted U.S. investment in the country and was in turn supported by the U.S. both militarily and politically. For example, in 1906, Arizona state troopers crossed into Mexico to crush strikers at a copper mine owned by a U.S. company. The Diaz regime sent the Mexican army to back them up.

The “transformation” carried out during the wars of reform and the Diaz dictatorship allowed for the establishment of a central state apparatus, large scale agricultural production for the market, and the beginnings of an industrial economy—in other words, the very early appearance of a modern capitalist economy, and the bourgeoisie that came with it. But that state was still organized as the personal dictatorship of Diaz. And the heavy hand of U.S. imperialism rested on the economy.

The Third “Transformation”: The Mexican “Revolution” and Its Aftermath, 1910—1940

The Diaz dictatorship may have acted in their basic interests, but the hacienda owners and the growing bourgeoisie found the dictatorship’s control increasingly inconvenient for their own lives and business interests. And they found themselves blocked by U.S. imperialism, which was allied with the dictatorship.

Increasingly, parts of the bourgeoisie pushed against the strictures of the dictatorship, exerting enough pressure that Diaz felt obligated to promise a “fair election” in 1910. But having established a framework for the election, Diaz had his electoral opponent arrested. That candidate, wealthy hacienda owner Francisco Madero, called on the population to rise in support of his bid for the presidency. Some of the army’s officers, with their soldiers, joined him.

Once again, this struggle at the top opened the door for a wave of rebellions from below. In Morelos, Emiliano Zapata rallied peasants to form an army that redistributed hacienda lands in areas they controlled. In the north, Francisco “Pancho” Villa led an army of hacienda workers, also promising that land would be distributed. In 1914, leading their armies, they invaded Mexico City. Occupying the capital for some weeks, the peasants undoubtedly terrified the elite, but ultimately, with no goal to their actions, other than land—and with no practical plan for how to get it—they left.

Over nearly ten years, the situation was unsettled, with peasant armies created, then disappearing. Out of this, together with the military forces on the haciendas, the Mexican army was rebuilt, led by so-called “revolutionary generals,” who had carried out struggles not only against the peasants, but against each other. The victorious generals went on to build a new political party based on their army. Taking power in 1929, they established a military regime that would control the country all the way up to 2000. While it went through a series of name changes, this party would eventually call itself the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

The establishment of the army and the party did not end the fighting in the countryside. Even after the large-scale fighting had ended, a mini-civil war over land continued into the 1930s between peasant militias and “white guards” organized by hacienda owners. In 1933, leaders of this same ruling party, which then was calling itself the National Revolutionary Party, chose one of the generals, Lázaro Cárdenas, for president, noting that he had contained the peasant mobilization in his home state of Michoacan by bringing the peasant organizations into his ruling coalition. Once in power at the national level, his government established a “land reform from above.” Effectively, the state took legal ownership of about 50 million acres of lands coming from the haciendas, giving peasants the right to farm the land, much of which they had already occupied. It was enough to tie the main peasant organizations to Cárdenas’ party and to the state.

Cárdenas carried out a similar policy toward the unions, the organizations of the working class. He spoke in favor of unionization and even some strikes, especially against foreign-owned companies. Workers seized the opportunity. There had been just 15 recorded major strikes in 1933. But the number increased to 202 in 1934, and over 600 in 1935. Unions were given the right to exist—but within a legal framework established by the state, defined by a series of rules that limited what actions they could take, under what circumstances, etc., much like the labor law that was elaborated in the U.S. at the same period. In 1936, the main union federation was integrated into Cárdenas’ ruling party, which by this time had expanded, changing its name again to the Party of the Mexican Revolution.

In June 1938, writing about this situation, Trotsky characterized Mexico under Cardenas in the following way:

“In the industrially backward countries foreign capital plays a decisive role. Hence the relative weakness of the national bourgeoisie in relation to the national proletariat. This creates special conditions of state power.... It [the government] can govern either by making itself the instrument of foreign capitalism and holding the proletariat in the chains of a state dictatorship, or by maneuvering with the proletariat and even going so far as to make concessions to it, thus gaining the possibility of a certain freedom from the foreign capitalists. The present policy [of the Mexican government] is in the second stage. Its greatest conquests are the expropriations of the railroads and the oil industries.”

Between 1927 and 1937, Mexico nationalized the railroads, which had been owned primarily by U.S. and British investors. A year later, it turned them over to “worker management,” which meant management by the unions which were already integrated into Cárdenas’ party. In 1938, a wave of strikes in the oil industry led to a decision by the national mediation board to increase oil workers’ wages, which the companies refused. Cárdenas used the pretext of the impasse over wages to expropriate the entire oil industry. His administration mobilized a campaign to support this move, engaging huge numbers of people to take a passive part in the process of nationalization by asking them to donate a few pesos to help pay the indemnity the Mexican state offered the companies. There was little Britain could do, and the U.S. was more concerned with ensuring stability on its southern border, as World War II loomed, than helping the affected oil companies, most of which were British.

In another article, Trotsky characterized the situation as one in which “semi-colonial Mexico is fighting for its national independence, political and economic ... expropriation is the only effective means of safeguarding national independence and the elementary conditions of democracy.” Further, he added: “The expropriation of oil is neither socialism nor communism. But it is a highly progressive measure of national self-defense.” Finally, looking at the situation in Mexico as “only one of the advance-line skirmishes of future battles between the oppressors and the oppressed,” he anticipated two possible results. One was the danger that “through the intermediary of controlled trade unions, state capitalism can hold the workers in check, exploit them cruelly, and paralyze their resistance.” Conversely, there was the revolutionary possibility that “basing themselves upon their positions in the exceptionally important branches of industry, the workers can lead the attack against all the forces of capital and against the bourgeois state.” In any case, he said, “for the workers to use this new form of activity in the interests of the working class, and not of the labor aristocracy and the bureaucracy, only one condition is needed: the existence of a revolutionary Marxist party,” which among other things “wins influence in the trade unions, and assures a revolutionary workers’ representation in nationalized industry.”

In 1938, that party did not exist, nor was it brought into existence. The revolutionary possibilities were not realized.

Bourgeois Development in the Shadow of Imperialism

Instead, the Mexican state, basing itself on the nationalized industries, was able to spend the next 40 years subsidizing business and building up the country’s industrial base, with enough success that its economy was labeled “the Mexican miracle.” This new, more “perfect” dictatorship, as many observers called it, was able to take advantage of the breathing room that World War II offered the countries of Latin America. With Europe preoccupied by its own war, and U.S. imperialism preoccupied with extending its control over Asia through the war, there was an opening that Mexico took to industrialize itself.

In addition to factories, mills, and mines, the country built a basic transportation, education, and health infrastructure, although many villages remained outside their reach.

In the countryside, access to the land impelled many people to return to what was almost a subsistence economy, even as modern cities and industries were growing up near them. In general, with the productivity of labor in the Mexican countryside very low, the bulk of the peasants lived in deep poverty. The peasant economy could not really provide an adequate living and it could not absorb all the young people it produced, leading to a constant flow of people into the cities.

In this period of growing wealth for a few politically-connected bourgeois amid continued poverty for the bulk of the population, the dictatorship established by the Institutional Revolutionary Party became increasingly repressive. In 1959, the military crushed a series of railroad strikes. In 1962, police killed dozens of peasants demanding land reform. In 1968, Mexican troops massacred hundreds of student demonstrators in the Tlatelolco section of the capital just before the Mexico City Olympics. The Tlatelolco massacre marked the beginning of the Mexican “dirty war.” Between the 1960s and 1980s, with the help of the U.S., Mexican security forces “disappeared,” tortured, and executed thousands of people accused of belonging to activist organizations.

The party that under Cárdenas had opted to rest on the working class against imperialism had by the 1960s demonstratively shifted its camp, instead depending on the “chains of the state dictatorship” to keep the working class under control.

And in Imperialism’s Direct Glare

The development that Mexico carried out made it even more attractive to U.S. corporations once the post-war economic recovery ended. U.S. investment flooded in. The surplus produced in the nationalized oil industry had allowed for much of the development. But starting in the early 1980s, the price of oil collapsed. Mexico was forced to turn to the international financial markets—dominated by the U.S.—for one bailout after another. The bailouts came with conditions that forced the country to open its economy step-by-step to foreign investment and trade, culminating in NAFTA, which essentially codified the changes that had been taking place. Since this process began, 40 years ago, Mexico has absorbed a flood of international investment that has driven massive industrial and agricultural development.

Mexico has become in many ways an industrialized subcontractor for U.S. corporations. In 2019, Mexico was the U.S.’s largest trade partner, barely surpassed recently by Canada. Many Mexican factories are integrated into supply chains in which parts go back and forth across the border before winding up in a finished product. These supply chains are overwhelmingly controlled by U.S. companies, or European and Japanese companies that produce in part for the U.S. market. Mexico exports 100 billion dollars’ worth of vehicles to the U.S. each year. These are sold by Stellantis, Ford, Nissan, or Volkswagen, each of which is among Mexico’s 20 largest employers.

The economic transformation of the last 40 years has hammered Mexico’s small producers, especially its peasantry. They could not compete with the cheap corn and beans grown in the U.S. that have flooded into the country since the 1990s. More than two million small farms have failed since then. Small shops have not been able to compete either. Mexico’s largest retailer today is Walmart; it is also the country’s largest private employer.

Today almost half of Mexico’s people live below the country’s extremely low poverty line, in large part because not nearly enough jobs have been created to replace the small farms and shops that were destroyed. As López Obrador himself put it, while about 1.2 million Mexicans enter the labor force every year, “in the last 15 years, only 500,000 jobs have been created per year. So from a long time ago, every year 700,000 Mexicans have only three routes to take: migration, the informal economy and the path to antisocial behavior.” This lack of jobs drives unrelenting violence, a large share of which is also organized by drug cartels that have grown tremendously since the 1980s and are themselves linked to various parts of the state apparatus. And the huge pool of people outside the work force helps employers keep wages low.

While López Obrador won election five years ago promising that his “fourth transformation” would make the Mexican economy and government work “for the good of all, with the poor coming first,” his policies have been, in their essentials, little different from those of the presidents who came before him—that is, carried out to serve the interest of the Mexican bourgeoisie and, above all, of the U.S. companies that dominate the country’s economy.

Far from re-shaping Mexico’s relationship with imperialism, López Obrador has instead worked to sell the country as an even-lower-wage alternative to China. In 2019, López Obrador’s Secretary of the Economy released a pamphlet called “Mexico’s Strengths” for potential foreign investors. After a graph, the first sentence of the pamphlet reads: “As may be seen, labor costs in Mexico are significantly lower than those in Brazil, Poland, and Korea, among others.”

So yes, a fourth transformation is needed: one that will not only address the problems of land, jobs and poverty, but will take on the forces that control Mexico, and that means, first of all, the Mexican capitalist class, but, above all, U.S. imperialism.

The Force Exists That Could “Transform” Mexico

The changes of the last 40 years have greatly increased the force that has the capacity to do just that, that is, the Mexican working class. While in 1980 only about half of Mexico’s people lived in towns of 15,000 or more, more than eighty percent of the country’s population is now urban. Something like a third of Mexico’s workers have no regular job and make a living in the informal economy, but the working class along with those linked to it constitutes most of the population.

In the last few decades, companies from foreign countries have set up over 5,000 factories, or maquiladoras, that employ over two million workers, concentrated in a few cities close to the U.S. border. The maquiladora workers, along with the truck drivers, railroad workers, and others who make them run, occupy an important place in supply chains for the whole North American continent. And despite the hold of the state on the unions, these workers have organized some major strikes: in 2019, a wildcat strike wave broke out among tens of thousands of maquiladora workers in more than 48 factories in Matamoros, and more strikes broke out among maquiladora workers in 2020 as COVID spread through the factories.

Not only does this working class have the forces that would allow it to take on and discard the national bourgeois class, it has the means, in a revolution that started in Mexico, to take on U.S. imperialism, which holds Mexico in its grip.

Revolutions when they happen don’t stay within national borders. Struggles in one area spread to other areas. What might a revolution do if it were initiated by the Mexican working class? Mexican workers have countless personal, cultural, and economic links with workers all over Latin America and the Caribbean. And—what is most significant from the standpoint of breaking the hold of imperialism—there are all the ties that link large numbers of Mexican workers to their family members in the western United States, in Florida and Texas, as well as in large cities like Chicago and St. Louis. One quarter of all Mexican-origin people live in the United States, second only to Mexico itself. Wouldn’t it be one of the great ironies of history to see the international communist revolution spread from Mexico, the country U.S. imperialism holds in thrall, right back to the imperialist center!

Much has changed since 1938. Above all, the potential strength of the working class has grown immensely. But one thing remains the same, and that is that a Marxist party must be created, a revolutionary communist party, and it must win influence in this working class. This necessity is not unique to Mexico. It is vital around the world, and above all, in the U.S., the imperialist center that dominates the world today, far beyond the way it did in 1938. This depends on individuals, on women and men who understand, to the center of their being, what the stakes are.