Crass protest or class struggle

From Socialist Studies 78 Winter 2010

Submitted by jondwhite on May 3, 2016

What of the capitalist left in relation to the cuts in government spending?

They see the cuts as a means to recruit non-socialist members of the working class to their organizations.

On the day of the Coalition’s first budget the Socialist Workers Party and other assorted Trotskyists were outside Downing Street gates shouting out slogans.

One banner claimed the “Right to work”. There can never be a right to work under capitalism. Workers are only employed if it is profitable to do so.

Another banner said “Stop the cuts” but the cuts have already begun.

And yet another said “Tax the rich”. Well the rich are taxed but many have clever accountants. Alistair Darling’s taxation of banker’s bonuses was, by his own admission a failure. It is the capitalist’s social system it is they who benefit from the social wealth produced. But how much tax they have to pay is for them and their politicians to squabble about; it does not concern the working class.

What you did not hear is any protester saying “abolish capitalism and establish socialism”. That is because the capitalist left are not in the business or establishing Socialism. The SWP pursue any worker’s grievance as the spark for insurrection: First fuel up the anger from street protests or strikes then on to the barricades and the imposition on workers of leaders from the SWP central council (when they are not fighting and expelling each other), the setting up of workers councils and finally the establishment of a State capitalist dictatorship with its secret police, political prisons and firing squads.

The Socialist Party, once known as Militant, was also there calling for the Nationalisation of top 40 companies and banks. This would merely retain capitalism and the exploitive wages system. State capitalism is not Socialism. They also wanted to “defend our public services”. However, they forget that they are not “our” public services. They are an insurance policy for the capitalist class which they pay for out of their taxes.

The Socialist Party in fact has a whole menu of social reforms in a desperate bid to gain attention from workers. It parasitically feeds off every problem facing the working class. What it does not do-because it has no understanding of Socialism itself-is how to resolve these myriad of social problems in a comprehensive way once and for all.

Not one of these capitalist organizations sets out to explain capitalism to the working class; how and why it exploits them and the necessity to replace private property ownership with common ownership of the means of production and distribution by all of society. In short they do not advocate the urgent need for workers to become Socialists and work politically for the establishment of Socialism. They believe workers are too stupid to understand capitalism.

The Trade Unions are no better. They want to accommodate themselves in a capitalism that works for the working class. It is sheer fantasy. Typical of the leaders of trade unions is Bob Crow, the general secretary of the RMT rail union.

The RMT has tabled a motion for the September TUC conference urging: “co-ordinated strike action and national demonstrations" against the government's cuts.

Mr Crow said: "The TUC has to be the launch pad for the fight back against the coalition government's decision to launch an all-out class warfare through their unprecedented attack on our communities, public services, welfare state and transport system" (BBC NEWS 3rd August 2010).

However, they are not “our” public services. It is not “our” welfare State and it is not “our” transport system.

Capitalism works for the capitalist class not for workers and trade unions. The institutions of the capitalist State are there to support the capitalist class not workers.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain has no leaders. We want workers to understand and reject capitalism, to become Socialists and establish Socialism world-wide. Yes, we realize workers have to struggle against employers to keep them at bay but after two hundred years haven’t workers struggled long enough. There do not have to be capitalists and capitalism. There do not have to be the effects of capitalism. Meanwhile, the case for Socialism is both compelling and necessary.

We believe the case for Socialism is within the grasp of workers prepared to think for themselves. That is the answer both to the anti-working class elitism of the capitalist left, the poverty of thinking currently found in trade unions and the reactionary conservatism of Cameron’s government.