Aims and principles of the Irish class struggle anarchist group, Organise!
Organise! is a working class organisation. We seek to secure for all workers a full and equal share of the wealth and social benefits created by the combined labour of our class. We aim for the abolition of all hierarchy, and work for the creation of a world–wide classless society: libertarian communism.
Against Capitalism, Exploitation and Oppression
We are fighting to abolish the state, capitalism and wage slavery and to replace them with workers’ control of our industries and communities, ensuring production and distribution for need not profit. To achieve our goal we must relinquish power over each other on a personal as well as a political level. We are opposed to capitalism; a system based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class. By working class we mean the vast majority of humanity who are forced to sell their labour or survive on the pittance offered them by the welfare state.
Organise! is opposed to patriarchal and gender oppression, recognising that hierarchical notions of male domination in the family and beyond have imposed the oppression of females as well as males. This domination has been reinforced by organised religion hand in hand with bourgeois democracy and capitalism. Capitalism uses the “traditional” oppression of women to divide the working class.
We believe that fighting racism must be part and parcel of the class struggle. Libertarian–Communism cannot be achieved while racism still exists. In order to be effective in their struggle against their oppression both within society and within the working class people of various ethnic backgrounds may at times need to organise independently. However, this should be as working class people, cross–class movements attempt to hide real differences and achieve little for the working class.
Inequality and exploitation are also expressed in terms of sexuality, health, ability and age, among others, and sections of the working class can engage in the oppression of others along these lines. This divides us, undermining class unity in struggle, to the benefit of the bosses. Oppressed groups are strengthened by autonomous action that challenges social and economic power relationships.
The Trades Unions
Organise! believes that trade unions cannot be used as vehicles of revolutionary change. After year upon year of attacks on our class both the Irish and British based trade unions continue to offer no strategies for effective resistance. Based on ‘social partnership’ and top down hierarchical control of their membership trade unions have clearly become more and more divorced from the immense potential strength of workers at the point of production.
We reject social partnership between union leaders,bosses and government. In these ‘partnerships’ it is always the working classes that suffer. While rejecting the trade unions as beyond reform we will, where our workplaces have union recognition, continue to be active in them at a ‘shop–floor’ level to fight for working class interests at work. We will however be promoting workplace resistance not standing in union elections on so–called ‘radical’ platforms. Where accountability to our fellow workers can be ensured our members will take positions as shop stewards and health and safety representatives. We will not seek posts that take our members away from the shop floor and out of direct contact with our fellow workers and the realities facing them in their jobs. We will not seek full-time posts within the union bureaucracy, either elected or appointed, which are removed from the day-to-day realities and concerns of our working lives. More importantly we seek to encourage militancy and solidarity across the divisions in the labour movement, between unionised and non-unionised workers and across the sectional divisions maintained by the trades and general unions.
Workplace and Community Resistance
Further we are not simply exploited in the ‘workplace’ but in a whole host of exploitative and oppressive social relations. We work to expand and build workplace struggles alongside, and into, broader based resistance to capitalism and the state (e.g. housing,cuts in the social wage, and state repression). As such we hope to see the development of, and promote, working class activity that will build militancy, promote resistance and direct action, while building and strengthening links between the workplace and broader based struggles. We believe that such groups, and their struggles, as they develop, must link up and co ordinate across all levels, with no respect for either geography or borders.
We are opposed to the ideology of nationalism and national liberation movements which claim that there is some common interest between native bosses and the working class in face of foreign domination.
We are opposed to all forms of nationalism, be that the British nationalism of Loyalism and Unionism, Irish nationalism or the Ulster nationalist current evident within Loyalism. All have as central to their ideology the nationalist myth that people in an arbitrarily drawn up nation (be it based on language, ‘culture’, or religion, or any combination of these or other elements), have common interests which can be represented by the nation state. The nation state is in effect the government over the majority, the working class, by the wealthy few. The working class and those who hold power, the bosses and their lackeys, have no common interests.
We support working class struggles against racism, genocide, ethnocide and political and economic colonialism. We oppose the creation of any new ruling class. We reject all forms of nationalism, as they only serve to redefine divisions in the international working class. The working class has no country and national boundaries must be eliminated.
Capitalism and the Environment
Organise! recognises the appalling effects of capitalism on the natural environment, and believes this is the natural result of a system which treats both workers, and the planet, as something to be exploited and disposed of at will. We believe that access to a sustainable lifestyle is not a luxury for the wealthy, but something urgent and important that must be extended to the mass of the working people. Sustainable communities cannot arise as a result of reforming capitalism, nor can they be imposed by the state. With this in mind, we demand rational and sustainable practices.
Organise! rejects the notions of various ‘left–wing’ parties, the would–be ‘vanguards’ of the working class, that the state can be ‘conquered’ and used against the bosses. Government, no matter on whose behalf, has always rested on domination and exploitation, is an inherently repressive institution and as such beyond reform. The basic function of the state - that is the courts and prisons, the army and police, civil service and other state institutions - is to defend the interests of the bosses.
Government is a top–down institution which puts power into the hands of a few. All efforts at creating a ‘worker’s state’ have only led to further oppression of the workers as those in power consolidated and strengthened their positions. Government, no matter in whose name, no matter what jurisdictional boundaries it acts within, for instance UK, Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, offers no alternative for our class.
We believe that the criminal justice system is a product of capitalist society and is an instrumental weapon in the subjugation of the working class. We recognise that this system is only interested in the defence of the state, private property and the interests of the bosses. We must organise to defend ourselves against it (and all kinds of anti–social behaviour, domestic and sexual violence etc) supporting its victims until such a time that it is no longer a threat to our class.
Direct Action and Revolution
We advocate the use of direct action both in and out of the workplace. Direct Action empowers and develops the confidence we need in our continuing struggle against the bosses. It is exactly what it says, any form of action taken directly to effect an outcome – carried out directly by those involved without recourse to professional intermediaries, politicians or managers of conflict.
Direct Action demands decentralised control and should be participated in on an equal and direct democratic basis. Genuine liberation can only come about through the revolutionary self–activity of the working class on a mass scale. A libertarian communist society means not only co–operation between equals, but active involvement in the shaping and creating of that society before, during and after the revolution. In times of upheaval and struggle, people will need to create their own revolutionary organisations controlled by everyone in them. These organisations must be outside the control of political parties, and within them we will learn many important lessons of self–activity.
Organise! believes that the emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class themselves. As anarchists we organise in all areas of life to try to advance the revolutionary process. We believe strong organisations are necessary to help us to this end. Unlike other so–called socialists or communists we do not want power or control for our organisation.
We recognise that the revolution can only be carried out directly by the working class. Libertarian Communism is the only road to real liberty and equality; setting mutual aid, direct democracy, workers control, federalism and solidarity against all forms of oppression, totalitarianism and centralising tendency.
The class struggle is being waged more and more aggressively by the bosses while the official labour movement sells us short, or sells us out, at every turn. We participate in the class struggle as libertarian communists and organise on a decentralised federative basis.
We reject sectarianism and work towards a united libertarian and working class revolutionary movement.