Below is issue Number 2 of the Myanmar Solidarity Bulletin. Oaklandsocialist presents it with these thoughts in mind:
With a young fresh industrial working class growing by leaps and bounds, Southeast Asia could become the birth place and center of gravity for a new, mass working class international. That is why the struggle in Myanmar is so important – it could be the opening blow of a struggle throughout the region. It is true that the struggle in Myanmar has some unique aspects, one of of which is the role of the Myanmar military – the Tatmadaw. Unlike most (but not all) other militaries, the Tatmadaw is also a major capitalist enterprise. It owns huge tracts of land, banks, and other major capitalist businesses.
Because of that, it is able to isolate its rank and file soldiers from the rest of society in a way that other dictatorships cannot. Assad in Syria, for example, was not in that position and in the early years of the revolution there his troops started to come over to the revolution. In fact, the only reason Assad was able to stay in power was the intervention of the Russian and Iranian governments.
So an important question is: Can the loyalty of the Tatmadaw rank and file be
broken and if so how? One possible issue is the rise of Covid in Myanmar. If it spreads throughout the military, then certainly it will be the officers and their families who get medical treatment while the rank and file and their families are left to suffer and die. Is it possible, therefore, to direct messages at the rank and file and their families in order to tap into the resentment that is inevitable in that situation? Such a step would be very dangerous and would have to be done with extreme caution, but the workers and youth in Myanmar will surely have learned how to negotiate around the repression.
Arab Spring & Regional Struggle
Another issue is this: In the Arab Spring, the regional and world capitalist class was set on its heels by the scope of the struggle. However, despite the fact that workers and youth had risen up across several countries, the movement was not coordinated across those countries. Nor was there a systematic effort to reach out to the workers and youth in surrounding countries like Turkey and even Iran. So the question is how can the movement in Myanmar reach out to workers and youth throughout Southeast Asia. A step in that direction has already been taken through the Milk Tea Alliance. That could be a first step towards actually encouraging and building a movement in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and even India and China.
In this way, the working class would be able to support and learn from each other, just as we all can from the struggle in Myanmar and from previous struggles, including the Arab Spring. In this way, the entire world situation can be changed through the building of a new, mass working class international. Oaklandsocialist supports this solidarity bulletin as one small potential step towards that goal.
Read Myanmar Solidarity Bulletin #2: Myanmar Bulletin 2