Capitalism Offers Only a Future of Devastation and Decline... But There is a Solution

By any standards the global capitalist system is in dire straits. The richest countries in the world have had declining growth rates for over six decades. The consequences for individuals and states are mounting. The fate of humanity in 2024 is in as dire a condition as it has been for decades. On a personal level, many, even in the richest countries in the world, are finding it hard to make ends meet and personal indebtedness is at record levels. In the US alone household debt was $17.25 trillion at the end of the third quarter in 2023 and equals $103,358 per household. The figures are similar for the UK where the Trussel Trust distributed 3 million food parcels (to 3% of the population) last year. The debt is nice for the finance capitalists who run the world – not so nice for those paying increased interest rates. And states further down the global power pecking order fare even worse.

And now the cancer of imperialist war is spreading across the world as their latest “solution”. These wars are naturally accompanied by nationalist campaigns which aim at demonising the “other” in order to con us into fighting for their class interests and not our own. It is likely that in 2024 more right populist regimes will get into power.

There is a solution. The victim of the system is the working class everywhere. It makes up the vast majority of the world’s population. It might be divided by all sorts of identities but it is united in one crucial way. We are the wage workers of the world. We share a common exploited relationship in the capitalist system. Without us the system could not function. And given the constant tendency of the system to make us produce more profit for the capitalist class we are its natural antagonists. However, the exploitation game can go on and on as long as we don’t challenge the basis of the system itself. The years of decline show that demanding a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work is increasingly pointless. It is long past the time for the abolition of the wages system itself.

The history of our class has also shown us how we might achieve this. In the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, workers united strike committees into local bodies of workers' councils, which spread across the old Russian Empire. They were not like a parliament where you elect an MP and never hear about them again until the next election. The delegates to them were DIRECTLY responsible to those who elected them. They could be RECALLED at any time if they did not carry out the mandate for which they were elected. It was the solution to how a real workers’ democracy could operate in a mass society. The social and economic conditions in Russia eventually led to them becoming rubber stamps for the new Russian state but not before the idea had spread to other countries (like Germany and Hungary). The working class organised in its councils brought the slaughter of the First World War to an end. In them we have a glimpse of how a different society might be organised.

And across the world, after decades of class quiet there are signs that workers are no longer accepting austerity and declining living standards. Strikes are re-appearing in numbers not seen for years. These, of course, are only a beginning. As the crisis deepens the capitalists will resort to greater violence at home and abroad. The response of internationalists has to be to organise against it politically. This is what we are trying to do by adhering to the "No War but the Class War" initiative which has now spread to many countries. Its basic five points are:

  • Against capitalism, imperialism and all nationalisms. No support for any national capitals, “lesser evils”, or states in formation.
  • For a society where states, wage-labour, private property, money and production for profit are replaced by a world of freely associated producers.
  • Against the economic and political attacks that the current war, and the ones to come, will unleash on the working class.
  • For the self-organised struggle of the working class, for the formation of independent strike committees, mass assemblies and workers’ councils.
  • Against oppression and exploitation, for the unity of the working class and the coming together of genuine internationalists.

If you agree get in touch and we’ll point you to the nearest committee. We have a world to save!

The above article is taken from the current edition (No. 66) of Aurora, bulletin of the Communist Workers’ Organisation.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

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.