In the wake of the Eu Elections …

Our comrade Ant gives a view.

Fight for your class, you have no country

Recently we were treated to that rare phenomenon, the political ‘’earthquake’’ on the European political terrain as described by those commentators who were shocked that the parties who had doled out decades of decline to their populations failed to achieve a ringing endorsement from the victims. The UK was a prime example of this rejection of the politics as usual, the usual nonsense choice between Labour and Tory, somewhat akin to choosing between cancer and aids, is losing its ability to mesmerise those who participate in the charade and little UKIP harvested a significant share of the votes, enough to create a media splash. It is hard to believe that anyone who is reading this really needs to reread the details of UKIP’s UK election success. Suffice it to say that the party which sees the root of all evil in what its propaganda portrays as communist Europe (!) which threatens a locust swarm of immigration to this fictitious land of hope and glory gained more votes than any other UK party in the European elections and has a dramatically increased its number of local councillors even if at the moment it has not taken control of any councils. Its surge forward at the polls exceeded most expectations and many commentators see a historic turning point has been reached, British politics have permanently changed. Even so, there are real doubts that UKIP will manage to take a single seat in the forthcoming UK general elections. We will see.

But as initially stated, the phenomenon is far from being purely confined to the UK; we have seen a swing away from the mainstream parties offering more of the same to those parties considered far right or left according to the dominant mythology in several European countries where the grim reality of economic misery, huge levels of unemployment and attacks on every aspect of working class conditions, has translated into disaffection for those traditionally dominant parties held responsible.

No, there is little point in regurgitating the percentages and swings which can be found in every media outlet. What we have to consider is how we interpret and react to the sequence of events which either disprove or confirm our perspectives.

So, has anything changed for us? The short answer is not really. We don’t expect the working class to become class conscious easily. The fact that masses of workers show little interest in the political process or that approximately a third of the third of the electorate who actually cast a vote (i.e just over 10%) chose a party characterised by hard right policies represents no new development for us. The fact that a recent poll indicates that about a third of the UK population is openly racist to a greater or lesser extent does not mean we retire to a dark corner of the pub to cry into our pints, or abandon all hope of a real change and engage in the ‘’realistic’’ process of getting a Labour party elected as the best that can be achieved. No, we have deeper principles, longer perspectives and a few more brain cells than that.

Unlike the opportunists of all stripe, whatever political label they wear, we don’t have to ruminate on the success of UKIP, flash in the pan or otherwise, and decide to what extent we are going to embrace xenophobia and racism, how far we are going to turn the screws on the unemployed, how much to charge for a visit to the doctor, how we can prevent the movement of workers between one state and another. We have one solution only to the incremental decline of working class conditions and that is proletarian revolution.

Our perspective is effectively the following;

  • Capitalism is in a crisis of accumulation. It cannot avoid the intensification of class antagonism as its inner contradictions mean that the interests of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat are diametrically opposed.
  • Unless capitalism destroys a mass of capital on the scale of a generalised imperialist war, time will only allow for the deterioration of the working class condition as long as capitalism survives.
  • The working class will generally follow the various ideological constructs of the ruling class so long as there is no effective presence of a revolutionary organisation to express an alternative.
  • The growth of such a revolutionary organisation into an ‘’effective presence’’ will be the fruit of class struggles which are precipitated by the need for capital to shore up its profit rates at the expense of the proletariat.

Whatever barbaric political concoctions the ruling class can foist upon us, the communist internationalists remain steadfast defenders of an invariant position – Against the exploitation, barbarity and poverty of capitalism we need class struggle and a class party. That won’t change this side of revolution, regardless of Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and whatever other flag waving, national anthem singing apologists of class domination capitalism spawns. We don’t need to take pride in geographical entities, national or otherwise, the stomping grounds of this or that fraction of the exploiting class who love to see us divided by nationalism, racism or any other such poison. We have nothing to defend in this system.


Monday, June 2, 2014


You have certainly provided a clear assessment of the situation and perspective. What are you recommending, presumably of least one or more things, that can usefully actually be done about it all ?

As long as there isn't a revolutionary organization to express the alternative to capitalism, the working class will remain struck dumb and unable to act; the victim of bourgeois ideology. But, for the development of the revolutionary organization, its emergence as an "effective presence", the working class will have to lose some of its dumbness and start to struggle: because the party is the fruit of struggle.

I suppose this is true. But isn't there some kind of strange contradiction inside this apparent clarity? Which comes first the flood or the rain?

I suppose for for once I more or less agree with what T 34 says. (General applause and cheering with noises off!)

The author of the original article asked me to post up his reply to Charlie. It follows here

Charlie wrote"As long as there isn't a revolutionary organization to express the alternative to capitalism, the working class will remain struck dumb and unable to act"

I think there is an important point here. Class struggle is an unavoidable feature of capitalist society. No matter how draconian the set up, the working class will not merely allow the ruling class to have its way which would very quickly result in an extreme level of pauperisation. So, the material pre-requisite for the generalisation of class consciousness, class struggle, is not dependent on the prior clear perspectives of such a consciousness.

I speculate that the mere threat of a class response is such a powerful fear of the ruling class that much of what shapes its current policies is intended to maintain that potential threat at bay.

However the inner contradictions of capitalism, essentially the derivatives of the tendential fall in profit rates, mean that the ruling class are, willingly or otherwise, forced to run the risk of what they most fear, a unified class response.

So a dialectical conundrum. On the one hand the need to maintain the passivity and disunity of the class, on the other the need to shore up profit rates.

Ultimately this is an insoluble dilemma. The whole structure has to come crashing down in the shape of revolution or imperialist confrontation as the dogs, starving for profit, reveal their fangs on the military terrain.

We are seeing this process unfold; it is evidenced by the whole sequence of events, including the disaffection for traditional political entities as commented on in the article.

Our task is not essentially to encourage class struggle, though this is not at all to be ignored. Our general opposition to cuts can be an element of many interventions we can make in the present climate. This said, the essential task of the revolutionary organisation is to introduce long term political perspectives within the struggles to the best of our ability as the opportunities allow us. We cannot simply set out a ‘’scheme of work’’ and follow it to victory, we have to respond to the unfolding reality as best we can. At no point do we fear to link the moments of struggle with the need for the abolition of the system, and the prime need of the moment is the gathering of forces around the revolutionary programme in order to increase our ability to effectively intervene where the hydra of class struggle rears its heads.

Cleishbotham (editor) gives a clear answer as regards strategy, but my question as to what can actually usefully be done about it lingers. Enthusiasts convinced of the strategy and maybe those partially persuaded might benefit, as presumably would the ICT, for clear steps to be spelt out for the average punter. Maybe something along the lines of - donate, subscribe, go to strike situations and hand out ICT publications, where meetings are held by ICT attend them. Of course the ICT is concerned with the situation of the whole class, but, on the other hand, it seems likely that most visitors to the leftcom website tend to be loners ideologically, who maybe seldom get the chance (or anyway cannot afford) to attend ICT meetings. Because of such isolation, it is not surprising that workers and students on the left go to meetings and demos of large organisations, partly for the socialising benefit of mingling with many largely like-minded people. Now what would Cleishbotham say about all this ? I guess it needs sorting, otherwise impressions of backwaters and cul-de-sacs limits confidence in viabilities and advances. The main motivators of the CWO, such as Jock and comrades, have done a tremendous amount of work in assembling and providing the ICT strategy, of that there is no doubt and should be respected, even by some who have some disagreements, but we have to keep coming back, or rather, getting forward, to practicalities.

T34 - the answer was by Ant the author of the original article. For some technical reason he was unable to post himself. However I take your comment as a criticially positive one and thank you for it (although I would not call isolated individual communists "loners" and here the internet has been useful for them to discuss and debate).