No to Cuts= The Political Struggle for Socialism

NO to Cuts = The Political Struggle for Socialism

Workers the world over face a truly historic task as the capitalist crisis lurches into open class war on all our conditions. The UK is no exception. Despite the most intense efforts to unify us all in an ecstatic red, white and blue euphoria provided by the sporting elite, and the Labour Party’s newly hatched One Nation rhetoric, there is no hiding the fact that our class divided society is doing what every capitalist society the world over has ever done; fleecing the majority and filling the coffers of the wealthy. And inevitably, the impossibly unbalanced economic system of the rich has broken down and they want us to give up the little we have to rescue them. We are being asked to submit to the mutilation of our living standards, condemn generations to jobless poverty, offer ever more sacrifices to the broken down globalised profit machine which somehow represents the national interest in a grotesque media fantasy world where workers who object to ever increasing levels of exploitation, ever decreasing job security, pensions.... in short an ever shrinking share in the wealth that we workers make, are portrayed as evil incarnate, ‘the enemy within’ the selfish polar opposite of the virtuous boss class whose efforts to maximise profits are portrayed as the epitome of serving the national interest As part of the chorus of the global capitalist political spectrum, Labour and Tory offer the same capitalist recipe; cuts, wage freezes, unemployment, bad jobs and attacks on every front with no prospect of ever ending.

More than ever the stark reality of class division defies establishment whitewash. A society based on crisis–struck capitalist foundations offers only two possibilities; follow the ruling class represented by their paid for parliamentary parties down the path of ever mounting pauperisation, decimation of our conditions and the condemnation of future generations to worse, or a fight back that takes on the task of building a society beyond capitalism.

Yet amidst the unanimous calls for belt tightening, the bailing out of the capitalist class and the sacrifice of the producing class, at least we have the unions to fight our cause. Or so the fairy tale goes.

Brendan Barber calls for an “Olympic style national Crusade” to rescue an economy ‘on its knees’ and the TUC has passed a motion calling for coordinated action "including the consideration and practicalities" of a general strike.

But the reality is that the unions will only offer an ineffectual tokenistic ‘’struggle’’ that offers no solution to the terminal capitalist crisis. Marches from here to there, a day off work now and again, meanwhile the capitalist onslaught can only continue until the system itself is replaced.

The reality is the economic struggle within capitalism is doomed to failure unless it becomes a political struggle for a socialist society. That workers may win certain struggles, that certain victories are gained does not negate the fact that as long as capitalism is allowed to exist, the total working class condition can only worsen.

Trade Unions may have been of benefit to certain sectors of the working class when capitalism could afford to make concessions due to healthy profit rates, but those days are long gone.

Now decades after the petering out of the post-war boom, the ONLY possibility of better conditions for the working class lies with the revolutionary struggle against capitalism.

Such a perspective may appear distant, and difficult, but every other path leads only to declining working class conditions, no doubt accompanied by endless military barbarity as the rival capitalist powers attempt to snatch resources and markets the world over.

The absolute truth is that capitalism only offers a worsening situation; only the fight for the socialist perspective, for the revolutionary party, for the revolution, offers the working class a brighter future.

It is precisely the English trade unions," Rosa Luxemburg wrote, "as the classic representatives of complacent, correct, narrow-mindedness, that bear witness to the fact that the trade union movement, in and for itself, is utterly non-socialist; indeed, it can be, under certain circumstances, a direct obstacle for the expansion of socialist consciousness; just as, in the opposite case, socialist consciousness can be an obstacle for the achievement of purely trade union successes.

Today the stakes are as high as they could be. The whole official edifice, every institution, from parties to unions, stands on the terrain of capitalist conservation. A conservation that can only be achieved by unlimited decimation of the working class, smashing every gain, removing every pitiful protection gained by centuries of struggle, ultimately the total folly of the only way out of mounting crisis the capitalist class has – generalised imperialist war.

But opposed to this bleak perspective, there is another massive force, the struggle of the working class. A struggle provoked by a capitalist class desperate for profit, a struggle that can only intensify as the crisis bites deeper and deeper as it inevitably must, an international struggle that can break every capitalist chain and end the insanity of class divided society and become a struggle for socialism, heralding a bright future.

The stakes could not be higher. Yes, oppose every capitalist cut, every attempt to make us pay for their crisis, but that is not enough, there must be a political response. The question of power, the direction of society has to be addressed. The only alternative to capitalism, the only anti-capitalism is the fight for the socialist perspective. A purely defensive struggle, limited by trade union sectionalism, constrained by acceptance of the capitalist economic framework has no chance whatsoever of preventing the working class sinking deeper into poverty, unemployment, becoming an ever more exploited, disposable element in the capitalist process.

Those whose consciousness recognises the validity of these words are called upon to do the right thing and join us in the fight to spread the socialist perspective. We call on all those who reject trade union and Labour Party collaboration with the ruling class to learn about the Internationalist Communist Tendency, lose the blinkers, filth, rags and chains of capitalism and engage in the struggle for the revolutionary party today and the revolution tomorrow. The situation we face demands no less. We offer no easy, quick solutions, no fairy tales, no comforting shortcuts. Karl Marx wrote of the difficulty of the task “That is a disadvantage I am powerless to overcome, unless it be by forewarning and forearming those readers who zealously seek the truth. There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits.” But as the class struggle sharpens and the cuts bite we are confident the truth of our perspective will prevail; Socialism or Barbarism, there is NO third way.

Thursday, October 11, 2012