There is an Alternative But We Need to Fight For It

Capitalism and the Cuts

A System in Crisis

Even the ruling class admits that capitalism is in deep crisis. Their speculative bubble has burst and the consequences of their crisis are obvious to everyone. They cannot hide from us the fact that the working class everywhere will have to pay for years in order to get them out of the hole the capitalist order is now in.

Job insecurity, layoffs, cutbacks in social provisions, spiralling youth unemployment, tax rises for the poor and pensioners, as well as pension and welfare cuts for everyone. It does not matter where you live in the so-called “advanced” capitalist world the recipe is the same. We are experiencing - and even the ruling class admits that worse is yet to come - a brutal deterioration of our living and working conditions. It will go on for years if we let it.

Meanwhile the grand coalition of all those who exploit us are slowly restoring their bank balances, property prices for the very rich are on the rise and naturally they are voting themselves tax cuts as they are the deserving “wealth creators” and philanthropists of society. For them “the recession” is over.

But the crisis is far from over. This is not just a crisis about bad debts or bad banks. This is a structural crisis which has been with us for decades (since the end of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 in fact). Capitalism is at the end of one of it cycles of accumulation and it can only get out of the mess by devaluing existing capital values. In the early days of capitalism a few bankruptcies here or there could do the trick. The successful capitalists would buy up the losers at knock down prices and the system could start again. Despite all the industrial restructuring that went on in the 1980s and the easy way capital nowadays shuts down businesses as soon as they are unprofitable, the mass of capital in the world today is so large that only a gigantic devaluation of real capital (not just bursting the balloon of fictitious financial capital) could allow capitalism as a whole to return to “healthy growth”. Unfortunately such a devaluation today requires the massive destruction which can only be accomplished by the physical destruction of a global war. Although the political and diplomatic conditions do not yet exist for such a war ultimately that is capitalism’s “final solution”. In the meantime the world working class will pay an even heavier price than it has already.

The Working Class

The only force that can end the crisis and prevent war is the collective power of the international working class. For the last three decades the international working class has been on the retreat. It has become a piece of mere variable capital which has globally seen its share of global wealth reduced. With the shipping of jobs to the Far East where sweatshop conditions are the norm, workers in traditional capitalist centres have been displaced from production and gradually forced to accept lower wages and worse working conditions. On top of that the working class has become less organised and less cohesive; and haven’t the capitalist class enjoyed it.

Now though the situation is beginning to change. The working class – everyone who depends on wages for a living – is under an unprecedented and concerted attack. So far, for the reasons already outlined above, workers have been slow to react.

However something is stirring. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement it is clear that the crisis itself is provoking responses which go beyond the limits of these experiences and some sections of the working class have gained confidence from this. In the worst affected countries like Greece and Spain resistance is beginning to appear. Even so, in relation to the impending disaster for the working class it has been inadequate. There are several reasons for this. Years of defeat have taken their toll of working class self-confidence. However this is not just a question of confidence. Many workers have bought into capitalist individualism and are waiting and hoping that somehow the worst of the crisis will not hit them. But hit them it will and when it does workers will need to respond in two ways.

What Will Have to be Done

In the first place they will need to unite whatever their age, their employment situation, or trade. The form of this unity will have to be through autonomous bodies such as strike committees which are controlled only by mass meetings of all the participants in the movement. They will need to go beyond the trades unions and capitalist political parties who call for negotiations with the existing order.

In the second place they will have to recognise that the struggle has to become political. So far many have come to recognise the need for “anti-capitalism” but this means different things to different people. Some think it just means anti big business or anti-bank as if small-scale capitalists are nicer exploiters. Others think it means bringing in the state to nationalise everything to keep the system going. The fate of workers under the former Soviet Union shows the limits of that vision.

There is no half way house. Anti-capitalism if it has any real meaning has to be about setting up another way of producing things. The only option is a system which abolishes money, exploitation, profit. In fact we need a completely different society which produces to satisfy human needs; a society in which the means to produce and distribute are socialised and not managed by a handful if capitalists (whether of the private or state variety). It is a society where the environment is not looted and devastated (in an almost irreversible way) but respected by present and future generations. It is system based on everyone having a say through elected and recallable delegates to coordinating bodies of the whole population. To achieve this requires the overthrow of the democratic capitalist state in which parliament acts as a fig leaf for the rule of the capitalist class and the taking of power by the proletariat. Its aim will be to establish a society of “freely associated producers” who plan for need and not for profit. It will have no nations, no states, no frontiers and no wars.

This is the kind of communism we envisage. It will not come about overnight. We have a long struggle ahead of us both to convince our class comrades of the real alternative to capitalism and to organise to defeat the ruling capitalist cliques. In the course of this those who can already see the need for a new society will need to join together in a communist minority, an international revolutionary party. This is not a question of wanting to create an instrument of domination, a government in waiting or even another parliamentary project. What we need is an international and internationalist organisation capable of participating in the class movement, of debating and illuminating the perspective for the overcoming of capitalism and another way of living together: an association of free and equals, in which the "free development of each is the condition for the free development of all"

The Internationalist Communist Tendency is not "the Party", and is not even the sole core of such an organisation. Having said that, we have given ourselves the goal of working together with serious working class activists and revolutionaries to further the construction of a new international revolutionary organisation. We invite everybody who can identify with this perspective to get in touch with us and to enter into discussion.

Statement of the Internationalist Communist Tendency - May Day 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012


sadly, the proletariat has largely swallowed the bourgeois ideology, accepting the capitalist order as natural and unable to imagine a rational solution to this irrational system. the belief that this irrationality is a product of human nature or lack of scruples on the part of the "experts" ( as opposed to a logical expression of capitalism) may the biggest obstacle to the emergence of a collective political movement of the working class. unless we bring back the tradition of critique of ideology and de-naturalize capitalism, the dissatisfaction with modernity will result in people embracing opiates like new age spirituality and the belief that everything was harmonious before the fall. this is why the work of the ICT and like-minded groups is so important. we have to challenge the ideological hegemony of these opiates.

The ICT is under no ilusion regarding the general absence of revolutionary consciousness.

The crisis alone will not produce it. But it will produce defense struggles.

It requires an organisation which can infuence the wider class when it enters in partial defense struggles to counter the efforts of organised capitalist currents who otherwise will fill the void and prevent the autonomous instruments of struggle mentioned from taking on a revolutionary character.

Our task is to create a revolutionary organisation.

The crisis will push the working class into struggle.

The revolutionary organisation will put forth the case for a break with capitalism in the face of its collaborators.

The core principle of any working class organization is the demolition of Capitalist State, & Establishment of the Commune like states (Soviets). My comrades & I can identify with that. We are trying to bring other Marxists of Iran to adhere to this goal. But, it sure is taking a lot of convincing and effort, after all these decades of over whelming opportunist rule over the left.