Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Class Struggle Programme for the Transition to Working Class Power and Socialism (a very rough draft)

Below we set out our programme not for the transition of power from one government to the next but from one brutal, anachronistic exploiting class to the working class so that it can rule through its dictatorship over capital in the name of society as a whole until classes themselves and the instrument of class oppression are dissolved.

It is neither an opportunist minimum programme designed to allow apolitical alliances with bureaucrats, careerists and reformists nor a sectarian maximum programme designed to keep us uncontaminated by actual class political struggle but a programme for the transition that poses the question of power addressing the most urgent demands of the working class and the objective situation.

1.  Our most pressing task is to organize the resistance of the proletariat against the capitalist austerity offensive which is in full swing across Britain, Europe and the world.  We must defend all necessary and desirable public and welfare spending, demand the collection of sufficient taxation to pay for them, defend and fight to improve working conditions, defend and fight to improve pay levels, and of course defend existing and demand new jobs.  This is the best possible platform for reuniting the disorganised proletariat and restoring its confidence in its own strength and future.  We must immediately take the initiative in every united mass action that is capable of halting the offensive of capitalism, instill the working class with the spirit of unity that such offensives would engender and build principled political unity behind our programme.

2.  We must demonstrate the interdependence of all struggles and demands.  We must make use not only of the attacks of the employers but also of every attack by the state against the immediate interest of the workers such as the Bedroom Tax and every economic issue which especially concerns the working class such as rents levels, sales taxes, welfare and so on.

3.  The fighting slogans for the vital material demands of the proletariat must serve as a means of realizing in life the united front against economic and political reaction. The tactic of the workers’ united front must be our governing rule for every mass action. We must build a party that can create  the favourable conditions for the success of this tactic; and to this end it must undertake seriously the education of its own members and sympathizers by every means of propaganda and agitation at its disposal. The press, the pamphlets, meetings of all sorts, everything must be used in this work of education which the party must carry on in every proletarian group where there are members. The party must issue appeals to the important rival political and economic organizations of labour. Therewith it must from time to time publicly explain both its own proposals and those of the reformists, and give reasons for its acceptance of some proposals and the rejection of others. In no case can the party renounce its unconditional independence, its right to criticize all the participants in a joint action. It must always seek to take and keep the initiative of these movements as well as to influence the initiative of the others in the spirit of its own program.

4.  To be able to participate in the action of the workers in all its forms, to help in orienting this action or, in certain circumstances, to assume the leading role in the action, the party that we build must, without losing a single day, proceed to organize its work in the trade unions. The formation of trade-union committees in the federations and the sections of this party and of Communist cells in every factory and large private or state-owned enterprise will permit the party to penetrate the masses of workers and enable it to spread its slogans and increase Communist influence in the proletarian movement. The trade-union committee, in each party or union body, will maintain connections with the members and will guide their opposition to the policy of the official leaders. They will register every trade-union member of the party and transmit to them the instructions of the party.

5.  The activities of members of the new party in all trade unions without exception shall consist primarily in seeking to re-establish trade-union unity, indispensable for the victory of the proletariat. The membership must take advantage of every opportunity to advocate unity. The party must combat every tendency inclining toward organizational exclusiveness, circle-group atmosphere – in trade unions or localities – and anarchistic ideology. It shall defend the necessity of a centralized movement, of forming broad organizations on an industrial basis, and of co-ordinating isolated strikes in order to substitute unified mass actions, which will instil the workers with confidence in their own strength, for localized and partial actions that are doomed to failure. The membership must combat every tendency opposed to the adhesion of the trade unions to radical ideas and expose the manipulations of reformist anc centrist leaders in favour of class collaboration.  We must fight for joint actions, demonstrations and strikes, for the united front, for a radical trade union policy as a whole.

6.  The party must utilize every large-scale mass movement – spontaneous and organized alike – to show the political character of every class conflict. It must take advantage of every opportunity to spread as widely as possible its slogans of political struggle such as an end of the bail out of the bankrupt banks and full-employment.

7.  The struggle against the Bankers’ Versaille of 2008 following the collapse of the `monetarists’ 30-year credit bubble turned official Ponzi Scheme and its consequences must remain in the forefront of the new party’s entire activity.  We must unify the working class against the financial bourgeoisie that profit by the continued bail out of the bankrupt banks.  When the British banking sector went bankrupt it owed its creditors £6.7 trillion and the farcial sum was guaranteed by the then New Labour Government and those guarantees have been paid for ever since by welfare and spending cuts aimed at society’s most vulnerable and by printing money and debasing the currency which imposes the bail out through wage and public spending deflation on the general population.  This is socialism for the rich at the expense of the poor.

The bankrupt banks must be allowed to go under, their staff, estates and deposits must be taken into administration to form a People’s Bank with a monopoly of credit that can lend at base rate to small business and facilitate social investment in accordance with a sustainable and democratic plan.

8.  We must agitate for a regime of full-employment by which all school and college leavers and unemployed workers who cannot find their own job are bought into the local workforce to share in the productive work with each paid the minimum of a trade union living wage.

No longer can capital be allowed to maintain an army of unemployed workers on starvation welfare and food bank handouts simply so that they can act as a pressure on the wages and conditions of those `fortunate’ enough to be employed wage slaves.  We must explain to the workers that in fact it is because the benefits of increased productivity accrue to a tiny minority in society via job cuts and increased profits instead of to the worker via pay rises and ever decreasing working weeks that we are in this economic mess.  When capitalism was growing they were able to hide this fact by isolating the very poor and bleating on about social mobility or the American Dream.  That is no longer possible for a system that has reached the limits, indeed exceeded them, of its ability to reproduce itself let alone expand.

In the absence of `social mobility’ class consciousness can only re-emerge and deepen.  Revolution becomes inevitable.

9.  We must demand the re-nationalisation of all public services that have been privatised or farmed out to private companies such as health services, railways, postal services, telecoms, government functions, utility companies such as water, gas and electricity but we must also demand the socialisation and democratisation of the cash-hoarding, profiteering, asset-stripping corporations, cartels and monopolies in all spheres from retailing to manufacturing to mining and heavy industry.

We must demand the replacement of the Old School Tie Network and shareholder-imposed executives and managers or indeed those imposed by political patronage that treat UK plc as a personal trough with worker-elected leaders. The new party must carry on an active agitation campaign among the workers for the creation of committees, embracing all the workers in each enterprise, irrespective of whether they are already organized politically and into unions or not. The aim of these committees is to introduce workers’ control over the conditions of work and production,  to challenge the lackey managements of the capitalists for leadership of the workplace at every level and to argue for social ownership.

10.  Women, youth, minorities, defence.

11.  In terms of constitution we must stand for a federation of sovereign British nations and the north of Ireland to replace the Westminster-dominated Union under the Monarchy.  We must further argue for the renegotiation of the founding treaties of the European Union in accordance with socialist principles such as EU-wide living wage and EU-wide full-employment as opposed to the neo-liberal ones that are currently tearing it apart.

In government we would seek this renegotiation with allied governments but in the meantime would refuse to enact any anti-working class EU-directives whilst upholding those that helped its cause.  In the event of an `in-out’ referendum them we could not vote positively for the EU as it is currently constituted whilst making it clear we stand for a Socialist European Union.

12.  Semi colonial struggle – Arab Spring

13.  Deputies.

14.  Party organization.