Article from Class War Issue 73 looking at the future beyond the dissolution of the Class War Federation
In this issue of the paper we have been as honest and as frank as we can. We have taken the bold step of getting our dirty washing out in public. Being self-critical can seem negative, but we believe that this is now the most positive thing to do.
At the moment, there's no other group on the left that has the courage to do what we have done. They will quite happily carry on trudging (and we do mean trudging) along the same path, using the same formulas, spouting the same old tired shit, in blind obedience to their doctrines and leaders. They are never allowed, and never want, to admit that maybe they have got it all wrong. One thing that has set us apart from the rest of the Left is that we have always believed that the working class movement towards revolution is the most important thing, and that Class War would only have a limited part to play in this.
To go forward you have to look in the past, to see your mistakes. This we have done over the past few years, and in this issue. It hasn't been all bad: we have had some great times, our politics have been fun and we have had an effect out of all proportion to our size. But at the same time there was always the frustration that for every person involved in the Federation there were another ten who agreed with what we said but kept their distance - people who read the paper regularly, who bought the T-shirt, who flocked to line up behind our banners on marches, but who never felt able to commit themselves further to our organised politics.
THE FED STRIKES BACK
You might be dismayed at the basic frankness and tone of this paper. It is a departure from the type of propaganda that we have always produced in the past, but while we may be saying things differently, there is no departure from our politics. In fact, quite the opposite: it is only because we can now see the potential for re-founding the revolutionary movement that we are taking the unprecedented step of dissolving the Class War Federation. With sales of 4,000 for every issue, Class War is almost certainly the biggest paper on the left apart from Socialist Worker. For some groups this would be their idea of heaven. Yet it is because we want so much more that we are now dissolving. Our underlying thought is this: if just fifty people organised into a Federation have achieved this much, what could we do if there are five hundred of us or five thousand?
The upshot of what we've said here is that we need new ways of organising ourselves that can appeal to all the working class, male and female, young and old, black and white. Class War has gone as far as it can go, and while it still exists our movement will not be able to move on to something better.
It's not down to us as Class War to say how we should organise, that's for the men and women who take part to decide. But we are taking the initiative by organising a number of conferences, to create some sort of national forum for revolutionaries. From informal chats we already know there is a groundswell of support for this. Over the next few months we will be pushing the idea as widely as possible and we urge you to do likewise.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
As libertarians we aim to motivate rather than lead, empower rather than act as a vanguard. It's a difficult task given the complete and utter political alienation of the working class from both mainstream and radical politics. But if we we want to move our politics beyond the shadows of the Left - which, not to put too fine a point on it, is fucked - we need imagination, dedication, education, collaboration and a vision. Individually we may have some of the answers, but it's only by collaborating that we can come up with a practical programme which we can get on with.
If you agree with the gist of what we've written - bearing in mind that we've written it 'from the heart', and not as some piece of lefty theory - we appeal to you to get involved. We don't care what you call yourself - anarchist, communist, Sagittarius - but the bottom line will be a commitment to libertarian class struggle politics: party-builders, hacks, cynics and armchair theorists need not apply.
Don't believe the hype: capitalism has not gone away, the class struggle continues and there are huge social battles looming on the horizon. Let's get to work.
SMASH THE STATE!
DEATH TO THE RULING CLASS!
ALL POWER TO THE WORKING CLASS!