Get Rid of the Lot of Them!

A Working Class Future Depends on Getting Rid of Capitalism Not Just the Tories

Capitalism is in the middle of the biggest crisis it has seen since the 1930s. As well as facing economic bankruptcy there is no better evidence of its political bankruptcy than the carefully orchestrated party conferences that pass most of us by every autumn. Ed Miliband treated us to the bullshit of “sustainable capitalism”. Now we have the prospect of therichest and most complacent party of all issuing sound bites to “assure the markets” that UK debt is under control whilst pretending that this key issue for capitalist profit-making is what the rest of us should be worried about. The crisis that is out in the open everywhere has been building up for decades. Under governments of the left and right, all around the globe, the working class is becoming ever less well off, with more and more of us falling into the stagnant pit of low wages, unemployment, poverty and despair. Meanwhile the wealth of the elite doubles and triples, protected by government bailouts we are supposed to pay. But the drunken orgy of the rich has ended in a global disaster of a colossal scale, with even the governing politicians admitting that “we now face a crisis that is the economic equivalent of war” (Vince Cable). Trouble is, it’s we who weren’t invited to the party who are expected to suffer the hangover. About a million young people are rotting without a job, education or prospect of a future. Child poverty is massively up. In the UK Save the Children says the number living in “extreme poverty” due to the increased cost of fuel, food and energy has risen to 1.6 million, with 290,000 in London alone.

At the same time, youths are rioting out of frustration as the working class here and everywhere are ever more cheated in terms of wages, benefits, healthcare, education and the whole gamut of social services. Yet the rich have never been better off. Up to date figures that embarrass the well-off tend to be hard to come by, but in the UK: the poorest tenth of the population now have, between them, 1.3% ofthe country’s total income and the second poorest tenth have 4%. In contrast, the richest tenth have 31% and the second richest tenth have 15%. The income of the richest tenth is more than the income of all those on below-average incomes (i.e. the bottom five tenths) combined.

This is before the present ferocious cuts which will only make things worse, no matter what the political lackeys of the rich may try to spin to pretend that we are all in this together.

Parliament is democracy for the rich

Our pain and their gross wealth and power, a social disaster which can only deepen, depends on us the working class accepting that the system has to be saved and if it means sacrificing our own and future generations, so be it. It’s not only the Tories who stand for capitalist profit-making. All the parliamentary parties subscribe to the capitalist system that inevitably produced this disaster; they all prescribe the same dose of mass misery, however packaged, to preserve the system whereby a wealthy few live on the basis of the value created by wage labour. Judging by the growing number of people who don’t vote at all in general elections we don’t need to spell out the fact that voting in a set of politicians for four or five years while the system of money-making and profit-chasing relentlessly carries on does not bring any substantial change. It is ironical then that many who consider themselves to be anti-capitalist and who are keen to see a working class fightback should limit their message to getting the present Government out. Without saying so, there is still the tired old belief that somehow Labour is “better” than the Tories. And if it isn’t, at least we can put pressure on Labour through the unions. There is absolutely nothing anti-capitalist about this. The unions are an integral part of the capitalist set-up and it is not surprising that their membership has declined dramatically in recent years because their role is to put the lid on the class struggle whenever they can and prevent it from posing anything like a threat to the system.

The Alternative is Anti-Capitalism

Long story short, it’s been getting worse for years. The entire system is guilty and whichever party you vote for will be obliged to inflict anti- working class policies because they are all capitalist parties. "Tories Out" only means "Labour In".

There is an alternative. Capitalism must be put down. It’s the only humane thing to do. It cannot be done through Unions and Parliament. The need to forge our own weapons of struggle is growing urgently necessary. In the process the basis for a higher form of democracy, workers’ democracy based on mass assemblies with instantly re-callable delegates,will show there is an alternative to capitalist parliaments. Unlike a capitalist election this will not happen overnight. In the long run we have to create a political movement to argue inside the workers’ assemblies for the overthrow of capitalism. This can never be done by a parliamentary party. Only a political organisation fighting for the communist programme can point the way towards a new world order. A world where money and the profits system no longer exists so no-one can enrich themselves from the labour of others, where hunger and poverty no longer exist because everyone takes part in directly deciding on the needs of the world community of “freely associated producers”.


The problem is that while many workers beleive that parliamentary democracy is about the MP's lining their own pockets while the rest of us are seeing our wages cut, hospital spending cut back, education cuts, welafare spending cuts etc there is still a lack of a beleif that there is an alternative way of organising society. I'm not only talking about capitalism but also about parliament.

In the inter war period 1918-39 especially the early part there was the examples of the soviets in Russia which workers could see was an alternative method of organising society. However with the success of the counter revolution this memory has been erased from workers collective consciousness. It's our task to remind workers that we can organise society outside of parliament and in our system consisting of an international network of workers councils there is less chance of graft as all delegates will be instantly recallable.

Another problem is that at this point of acute crisis there isn't a powerful enough alternative to mobilize people in a responsible and constructive way. Everyone sees that real change is needed but their response is nihilism and cynicism that it can be any different. This is true for people who call themselves leftists. For instance, the only "far-left" group in my town is the Young Communist League. They openly support unions as an instrument of class struggle and field candidates in parlimentary elections on the grounds that this is an oppurtunity to espouse revolutionary principles (they also call for an extra-parlimentary coalition and direct action). They see the events in Cuba that brought Fidel Castro to power as a true revolutionary event, as well as holding other questionable theoretical and historical positions. Given the apparent void as far as radical emancapatory politics goes, is it wise to participate in established but flawed (at times reformist) groups such as the YCL -- which at least can be a forum for debate -- assuming one approaches this organization from a critical proletarian position? After all, there is no left communist group in my town of which I am aware and I suspect that many members of the YCL would be receptive to a critique enunciated from a position that is left of the YCL.

Absolutely agree with your opening paragraph but there are enough signs around that things are beginning to change. The examples are as yet small but there are more examples of autonomous class action than for a long time (admittedly nowhere near meeting the severity of the crisis) but there is always a lag between attacks and responses and the one thing is certain is that they have no solution to the crisis other than to attack us in one way or another (and that still will leave them in a hole). Don't know about the YCL (are we talking Komsomol here?) but it might be worth it if they are the only place young people meet to discuss politics. If you keep a positive agenda (i.e. keep saying that what we need to do is find a real strategy [and more importantly a real programme] to fight the crisis) then you might be able to get your ideas across. It depends on the local situation nature of the group etc.

YCL are the youth section of the CPB, i.e. the people behind the Morning Star. They were invovled in the reactionary no2eu electoral campaign that was essentially UKIP in a left-form.

Having said all that about the nature of their politics, not sure I'd recommend joining but engaging them definitely, if thats all you have at a local level to try and develop a discussion with.

Agreed re YCL. We had the dubious privilege of reading the internal documents of the CPB in our Marxist discussion group up here and they had not moved a single inch from what they said in the 1950s!

Little detail

the meeting is "Orwell............" It is not a CWO meeting.

the leaflet is titled

Against all forms of capitalism.

Aurora (en)

Aurora is the broadsheet of the ICT for the interventions amongst the working class. It is published and distributed in several countries and languages. So far it has been distributed in UK, France, Italy, Canada, USA, Colombia.

Aurora #2011-10-01

Number 22, October 1st 2011

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