Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Step Up the Mass Struggles of the Workers for Their Rights and Against the Capitalist Exploiters!

May Day Statement of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
May 1, 1984

First Published: 1984.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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ON MAY DAY, workers in Britain and in other countries are carrying out actions to mark International Working Class Day.

Ever since 1889, May Day has been the day on which the workers of all countries come out in demonstrations, rallies, strikes and other actions to affirm their unity in struggle for their rights and against the system of capitalist wage slavery, their determination to overthrow this system and build the new world of socialism.

On May Day the working class affirms the unity of the workers of the whole world in common struggle for the realisation of the common goal.

May Day is a festival of the working class in which the workers affirm the irreconcilability of their struggle against capital and also powerfully advance this struggle through united actions in each country and throughout the world.

May Day expresses the refusal of the working class to accept the status quo of exploitation and oppression, its determination to fight the shifting of the burden of the capitalist crisis onto its back and to fight to avert the dangers of fascism and war with which the bourgeoisie is threatening the people.

On May Day the working class in Britain raises its voice with the workers of all other countries, in a vigorous, united and large-scale demonstration of the unity and strength of the working class against the capitalist exploiters.

The workers are celebrating May Day this year at a time when the class struggle in Britain is greatly sharpening.

In recent months the bourgeoisie has further intensified its offensive against the working class with the aim of shifting the whole burden of the crisis onto the people and of suppressing the struggles of the workers against this.

The workers have responded to the escalation of the bourgeois offensive with a powerful escalation of the class struggle against the bourgeoisie, as shown in the struggle of the print workers, the struggle against the banning of trade unions at GCHQ, and most recently the miners’ strike, as wel1 as the many other strikes and actions which are being launched by increasingly wide sections of the working class.


The British state monopoly capitalist economy remains in the grip of the crisis, the worst crisis since the thirties.

The crisis is a crisis of overproduction, taking place in the context of the deepening of the general crisis of capitalism. Such crises are an inescapable feature of the capitalist system. This system cannot ensure the harmonious growth of the economy, cannot ensure work and well being for all the working people, cannot avoid economic crises and the destruction of the productive forces and the values created by the sweat and blood of the working people.

The strategy of the bourgeoisie in the conditions of the crisis is aimed at intensifying exploitation, further increasing the concentration of capital and production, carrying out various changes to create the best conditions for the extraction of maximum profits, shifting capital to the areas of maximum capitalist profit whether at home or abroad, militarising the economy and stepping up its contention for markets and sources of raw materials with its rivals.

In pursuit of this strategy the bourgeoisie is shifting the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the working people and increasing the tribute it exacts from the whole of society. The exploitation of the workers at the place of work is being intensified through the cutting of real wages, imposition of redundancies, the intensification of labour through speed-ups etc., the imposition of worse working conditions, and so on, facilitated by the pressure of the vast reserve army of the unemployed. State expenditure is being transferred away from social spending such as on health, education, welfare, etc., into military spending and other areas in order to boost the profits of the monopolies, and the burden of direct and indirect taxation is being increased to cover the increased state expenditure as a whole.

The bourgeoisie pretends that it has the solution to the crisis and promises “recovery” provided the workers accept the shifting of the burden of the crisis onto their backs. The bourgeoisie is demanding further sacrifices of the workers in terms of further reduction in real wages, further increases in productivity, etc., as the condition of ensuring recovery. But in reality the bourgeoisie has no control over the course of the overproduction crisis; the demand that the workers accept further unemployment and further speed-ups and further reductions in real wages, social services, benefits, etc., is simply a demand that the workers accept still more of the burden of the crisis on their backs so as to ensure the recovery of profits which is the real concern of the bourgeoisie.

The bourgeoisie has no solution to the crisis. Its measures aggravate the crisis and pave the way for still more deep-seated and profound crisis in the future. The working class and broad masses must not harbour any illusions about “recovery”. The motive of capitalist production is profit and the only issue of “recovery” for the bourgeoisie is recovery of profits. Such “recovery” will not alter at all the condition of the working class as wage slaves, or change the conditions of the exploited in relation to the exploiters. In fact, the recovery of the profits of the bourgeoisie can only take place on the basis of the further intensification of exploitation, the further impoverishment and ruin of the masses of the people, with a higher level of the permanent army of the unemployed, an increase in the impoverishment and immiseration of the working class.

In order to force through its programme for shifting the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the working people, the bourgeoisie is launching a savage offensive against the rights of the workers. Among many other measures it has passed the Employment Acts to outlaw long-standing trade-union rights of the workers such as the right to picket; it has made sophisticated plans for the deployment of large numbers of police to suppress workers’ pickets, as at Warrington and in the coalfields; it has imposed the ban on trade union membership at GCHQ.

In the context of the sharpening class struggle the bourgeoisie and all the forces interested in preserving the capitalist system have escalated their efforts to defeat and undermine the workers’ struggles.

The political reserve of the bourgeoisie – the social democrats, revisionists and opportunists of all shades – has been set in motion with increased efforts to sabotage the workers’ struggles and to persuade the workers to put their faith in the possibilities of the capitalist system, urging the workers to see their struggle as merely one to “compel the government, through democratic mass action, to change policies”, as merely a struggle to replace the Conservative government by a Labour government, under which, as seen in the past, the attacks of capital on the working class will continue and the dangers of fascism and war will continue to increase.

The social prop of the bourgeoisie, the labour aristocracy, has been set into motion in renewed effort to make class collaboration the general line of the trade-union and working-class movement under the banner of the “new realism”; it has set forth its traitorous “strategy for the future”; it has tried to outlaw political strikes by the workers; its general staff, the leadership of the TUC, sabotaged the print workers’ struggle and the struggle against the ban on trade unions at GCHQ.

The workers are responding to the escalation of the bourgeois offensive, and the escalation of the efforts of the labour aristocrats, social democrats and revisionists and opportunists of all shades to liquidate their struggle, with an escalation of their mass struggles, which are in opposition to all these forces.


The miners’ strike is the latest and most vivid expression of the class struggle. In the situation in the coalfields can be seen all the elements of the situation facing the workers in capitalist Britain today.

The miners’ strike was called on the announcement by the NCB of plans to close 20 more pits in the next 12 months, with a loss of 23,000 more miners’ jobs.

As in other industries, the bourgeoisie and its coal board claim that the closures are “necessary” because the pits are “uneconomic” and that, in fighting the closures and the loss of their livelihood, the miners are simply refusing to bow to the “economic realities”, trying to preserve what is outmoded and uneconomic and belongs to the past. Instead they should “accept the inevitable”, “move with the times” and co-operate with the government and the coal board in accepting the “modernisation” and “rationalisation” plans of the bourgeoisie.

However the situation shows not the retrogressive attitudes of the miners but the retrogressive nature of the capitalist system. It shows not the “need” for the miners to change their attitudes, but the necessity to get rid of the capitalist system, to change the social system from capitalism to socialism.

The crisis in the coal industry is part of the overproduction crisis facing the whole capitalist-revisionist world. The gravity of this crisis is indicated by the fact that the bourgeoisie has lowered its projections of the amount of coal needed for industry from 200 million tonnes per annum to 100 million tonnes. All the coal-producing countries including Britain are trying to dump their coal on the market, often at prices below the cost of production, competing to maintain or expand their share of the dwindling markets. In this situation of deepening crisis the bourgeoisie is carrying out the large-scale liquidation of productive forces, forcing the burden onto the miners through sacking large numbers and intensifying the labour of those remaining at work.

Crisis is an inherent feature of capitalism and cannot be eliminated without eliminating the root, the capitalist system. The bourgeoisie and the social democrats and revisionists suggested that crisis could be made a thing of the past by means of nationalisation and extending state monopoly capitalism. Thus, after the second world war, it was suggested that, with the setting up of a nationalised coal industry, a nationalised electricity industry, the nationalisation of steel and other industries supplied by the coal industry, etc., the coal industry could be planned and regulated and organised and, as a result, the anarchy of production and the overproduction crises could be eliminated. The crisis in the coal industry confirms that the growth of monopoly and state monopoly does not eliminate the anarchy of production but in fact aggravates it to the maximum. The anarchy of production and crisis will not be eliminated without putting an end to the capitalist system, thereby removing the contradiction which is at its root, the contradiction between the social character of production and the private capitalist appropriation.

The motive of capitalist production is the securing of maximum profits. Production of goods is in fact an incidental aim of capitalism, as is employment. The bourgeoisie organises production for the purposes of increasing profits. When conditions are such that profits can be increased by increasing production, the bourgeoisie does so, and when conditions are such that profits can only be increased by cutting back production to keep up the price, then that is what the bourgeoisie does. Thus if it serves to increase profits to increase the numbers of workers in production, then this is done; but if profits can only be increased by intensifying exploitation, getting more or the same amount of work out of fewer workers, then this is done instead.

These fundamental features of the capitalist system cannot be eliminated without removing the capitalist system itself. Thus the issue is not that the coal board and the Thatcher government are following a “short-sighted policy”. They are following the policy necessitated by the capitalist system, one which would be followed in one form or another by any capitalist government, as shown by the record of Labour governments in the coal fields. The issue is not that “British coalfields are capable of producing the best and cheapest coal in the world”, but that the miners in Britain like those in every other capitalist-revisionist country are being forced to bear the burden of the capitalist crisis and that this crisis proves the necessity to put an end to the capitalist system.

As with previous phases, the bourgeoisie pretends that if the miners accept this phase of the closure programme then the basis will be laid for realising profits through matching production to the existing market. The same logic is given by the bourgeoisie to call on the workers to accept any other plan for redundancies, cuts in real wages or intensification of labour. It is a lie to get the workers to make further sacrifices, to accept still more of the burden of the crisis on their backs so that the bourgeoisie can achieve the recovery in profits it is seeking.

The coal board is pretending that there will be “no compulsory redundancies” as a result of the closure plans. The reality is that each and every crop of redundancies, compulsory or not, which have been imposed by the bourgeoisie in recent years –redundancies which have brought the total of unemployment to over five million – has meant an increase in the destitution of the working class, loss of means of subsistence by those cast onto the dole queue, increasing overwork for those remaining. By this means the bourgeoisie is making the working class pay for the crisis. The workers do not and must not accept this. The rich must be made to pay for the crisis, not the working class and working people.


The miners’ strike and the situation facing the mine workers underlines the reactionary character of the bourgeois state and all the bourgeois political parties.

The massive suppression launched by the bourgeoisie against the miners’ pickets shows that the miners and the working class as a whole have nothing to hope for from the false “democracy” of the bourgeoisie. It confirms that the bourgeois state, its government, parliament, courts, police, etc., exist for the purpose of maintaining the rule of the bourgeoisie and thereby the continued exploitation of the working class and working people. Whatever is necessary for the maintenance of the profits of the capitalists and the maintenance of the capitalist system is done – be it the passage of the Employment Acts, or the issuing of injunctions against miners defending their most basic right to a livelihood, or the despatch of thousands of police to launch brutal and violent assaults on pickets, etc. The bourgeoisie is prepared to go to any lengths to force the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the workers and crush the resistance against this policy.

All the phrases from the mouths of the bourgeois politicians about “respect for law”, “opposition to violence”, “defending the right to work”, “necessity for democratic process through balloting”, are merely cynical rhetoric whose purpose is to brow-beat the miners, isolate them in public opinion, split their ranks and get them to call off their action. When the government talks about “respect for law” it means simply that the miners must accept the decision of the bourgeoisie that as from 1980 the picketing rights for which the workers have fought since the time of Tolpuddle no longer exist. The bourgeoisie’s talk about “opposition to violence” means that the miners must bow down to the massive violence of the police directed at smashing their pickets and smashing their strike, refrain from defending themselves and their rights and meekly go home. The “right to work” in the bourgeoisie’s vocabulary means the right of the bourgeoisie to throw thousands of miners out of work and the “right” of those remaining in work to accept whatever harsh exploitative conditions are imposed on them, i.e., the right to work on the bourgeoisie’s terms which are the giving up of the workers’ basic rights. Respect for the “democratic process” means that the workers must give up the right to decide the affairs of the working-class and trade-union movement themselves and hand it over to the bourgeoisie, which will select whichever “process” is best calculated to come up with the “decisions” favourable to the bourgeoisie.

The bourgeois parliamentary “democracy” is in reality a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie; the capitalist class, the minority of exploiters, as a class, dictate to the working class and the whole of society.

Ranged against the miners are not only the Conservative government, the police, courts, etc., but all the political parties which defend and uphold the capitalist system.

The Labour Party chieftains have been against the miners’ strike from the beginning. They have been putting pressure on the miners to carry out a national ballot – just the same thing that the Thatcher government, the press barons and as the openly reactionary forces in society have been doing. Kinnock hastened to condemn the miners’ vigorous action in setting up mass pickets throughout the coal fields. In parliament he adopted without reservation the rhetoric of Thatcher, Brittan and the entire bourgeois press, according to which the miners were guilty of “violence”, whereas the massive police assaults against the miners were “upholding law and order”. “Will you understand once and for all”, he declared, “that I now – and always have – condemn violence in pursuit of industrial disputes… even where it occurs amongst people who feel impotent in the face of the destruction of their jobs, their industry and their communities”. Kaufman, the “shadow” Home Secretary, said: “We on this side strongly support the police in the proper use of their powers to uphold law and order. We believe that when men or women wish to go to their workplace they must be free to do so. We believe that if attempts are made forcibly to prevent people from going to work they have the right to the protection of the police, and the police have the duty to provide that protection”. This was exactly what Thatcher and Brittan have been saying all along, and the same as the SDP, whose leader, Owen, simply said “I will vote for the police”

All the capitalist parties, all the parties dedicated to the continuation of the capitalist system of wage slavery, are against the most basic rights and interests of the working class. The workers can only wage their struggle in opposition to these forces. In particular the struggle cannot be one simply to remove the Thatcher government and replace it by a Labour government. The miners’ strike and the struggles of the entire working class resulted in the collapse of the Heath government in 1974, but the Labour government which followed continued and increased the crisis measures of the bourgeoisie, and paved the way for the further intensification which has taken place under the Conservative government of Thatcher. The working class must prepare through the course of this and other struggles for putting an end to the capitalist system.


The labour aristocracy and the class-collaborationist labour traitors are an essential part of the bourgeois offensive against the miners and the whole working class. An essential role in the strike-breaking operation of the bourgeoisie has been assigned to these forces. They have intensified their sabotage against the miners’ strike, acting in the closest collaboration with the bourgeoisie, the Thatcher government, the police and the capitalist press in the attack on the miners, their jobs and livelihood, for their conditions and pay, for their future; their dignity, and for their most elementary rights. They come out in unison with the entire bourgeoisie to demand that the state cannot go ahead until a ballot is held and to demand the cessation of the militant picketing.

The head of the TUC, Len Murray, came out to say “the trade union movement has never condoned the violence of pickets”, deliberately adding his voice to the propaganda of the bourgeoisie aimed at defining the miners as “violent” and the police as “keeping the peace” and “defending the right to work”. The TUC leaders have not only turned their back on the miners and not lifted a finger to support them; they have come out against them as the example of Len Murray shows. The labour traitors at the head of the steel unions declared against the miners and against the transport workers who are taking solidarity action, saying; “the action being taken by the miners and the transport unions is exacerbating a precarious situation that has existed in our industry for some time. We wish to confirm our instructions that our members continue to work normally”. Like the bourgeoisie they blame the workers not the capitalists for the threat to workers’ jobs and conditions. Within the miners’ union a great deal of activity has been carried on by the right-wing labour traitors in a campaign orchestrated by the bourgeoisie to split the miners, impose a ballot and get the strike called off.

The events of the miners’ strike confirm the necessity to combat and defeat the influence of the labour aristocracy and the labour traitors in the working-class and trade-union movement. Practice proves that any struggle against the bourgeoisie must proceed in the face of the ruthless opposition of the labour traitors. These traitors always oppose the action of the workers against the bourgeoisie, and only when they see that the workers are going into action in defiance of their advice do they make halfhearted noises “supporting” the workers, from the point of view of avoiding complete exposure and loss of their position at the head of the trade union apparatus. From this position they seek to get the workers’ struggles called off at the earliest available opportunity, hailing the treacherous agreements they make with the bourgeoisie as a “victory for the workers”, while the bourgeoisie continues its offensive against the workers, in the same or changed form according to the circumstances.

The reason for the treachery and betrayal of the labour traitors is not simply the cowardice and spinelessness of various individuals. The workers can never rely on the labour aristocrats because their entire position depends on the maintenance of the capitalist system. The labour aristocracy is a stratum of the working class, the upper crust of the working class, brought into being on the basis of bribery of a section of the workers from the enormous profits which are made from the plunder of colonies and neo-colonies and from the super-exploitation of the lowest paid strata of the working class. The labour aristocracy is the principal social prop of the bourgeoisie, agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement. They are “the labour lieutenants of capital”. The labour aristocracy, for the sake of the privileges and favours it receives, supports and defends the capitalist system, supports the demands of the capitalists, and acts as their reliable ally and agency within the working-class movement. The labour aristocracy defends the imperialist ambitions of its “own” bourgeoisie abroad and defends its system of exploitation and oppression at home.

The labour aristocracy creates illusions about the economic crisis. It pretends that this crisis is not the result of the capitalist system but merely a result of “erroneous policies” of this or that individual, manager or government. Through this it strives to divert the working class away from the struggle for its economic and political demands into parliamentarism, into a struggle to change such and such a policy, government or manager. The labour aristocrats preach reformism to the workers, and this is the case whether it is a question of the open right-wing traitors or the “left-wing” representatives of the labour aristocracy. The right wing preaches submission to the capitalist offensive and giving way to all the demands of the capitalists that the workers make sacrifices for the sake of “recovery” – a “recovery” which they, like the bourgeoisie, pretend will improve the lot of the workers through bringing “jobs” and “prosperity for all”, but which in reality means recovery of the bourgeoisie’s profits at the cost of increased unemployment, overwork and impoverishment of the workers. The “left-wing” representatives of the labour aristocracy criticise the measures of this or that capitalist government while calling on the workers to limit their struggle to one for reform of the capitalist system within the confines of the parliamentary system, through putting faith in the Labour Party, or even “a Labour government committed to a socialist programme”. The class-collaborationist labour traitors and the labour aristocrats are defenders of the monopolies and capitalist exploitation and oppression at home and the defenders of imperialist robbery and oppression on a world scale. Thus the struggle against the labour aristocracy is inseparable from the struggle against the bourgeoisie and imperialism. The working class cannot realise its economic and political demands, cannot realise its strategic mission to put an end to capitalism, without the most determined struggle against the labour aristocracy and its reactionary bourgeois ideology and class-collaborationist politics. The working class cannot achieve its goals and build its unity without the most determined struggle to get rid of this ideological, political and organisational influence of the bourgeoisie from the ranks of the working-class movement and to break the hold which the labour aristocracy has established over the movement. This task can never be reduced to a struggle against this or that individual or to a question of “reforming” various trade union chieftains. It is a struggle to build the unity of the class in action against the class enemy, fighting against the class-collaborationist labour traitors, opposing reformism and chauvinism and organising the class to end the capitalist system of wage slavery. The workers cannot accept the doctrine of “economism” promoted by the labour aristocracy, both right and “left”. This is the doctrine that all that the workers need to be concerned with is the question of wages, conditions, jobs, and in particular “winning the present struggle”. The workers can and must fight the encroachments on their rights, but they cannot restrict themselves to addressing only the symptoms; they must in the course of combatting the encroachments, in the course of fighting for their short-term demands, prepare for removing the source of the disease, the capitalist system of wage slavery. In order to be successful the struggle for the short-term demands must be waged bearing in mind that it is the capitalist system of exploitation and oppression, the system of wage slavery, that is the source of all the problems facing the working class and the broad masses of the people, and that all developments show the urgent necessity to overthrow capitalism and establish socialism through revolution.


The bourgeoisie is shifting the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the working class and people, and it is heading for fascism and war.

The danger of fascism is serious and growing. Faced with the mounting struggles of the workers and people against being saddled with the economic crisis, against war and for their democratic rights, the capitalists and their political parties and state are more and more casting off their “democratic” mask and revealing their real features.

What is under way is the all-round fascisation of the state and of all aspects of life. The use of the Employment Acts and the massive police assaults against the miners’ pickets are a vivid example, as are the increased arming of the police, the introduction of the Police Bill, the passage of the British Nationality Act to further restrict the rights of immigrants and national minority people etc.

The same is to be seen in the existence of the nazi gangs who commit racist crimes against national minority people and launch violent attacks on the progressive and democratic forces. These forces are inspired, instigated, promoted and protected by the bourgeoisie and its state.

These and many other facts show that the tendency in Britain is away from democracy and towards fascism. All propaganda that such a situation is “impossible” in Britain is designed to disarm the workers in the face of this real and growing danger. The situation shows the urgent necessity for all the democratic and anti-fascist forces to take action and, with the working class at the head, to persist in and intensify their struggles for their democratic rights. The bourgeoisie is heading for war at a rapid rate. The danger of a new and more catastrophic world war is very real and this danger is growing. The chief source of the danger of a new world war is the contention and rivalry of the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, and their huge aggressive military alliances, NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The two superpowers are escalating the arms race at an unprecedented rate and are stepping up their contention and rivalry in all areas of the globe. Their preparations for war will lead to a new world war breaking out unless they are halted by the struggles of the peoples. The danger of war stems from the superpowers and also from the other imperialist and social-imperialist powers, including British imperialism. Imperialism is the source of war and all the imperialist and social-imperialist powers are participating in the arms race and the war preparations of the alliances headed by the two superpowers; they are preparing for war and threatening mankind with disaster. British imperialism still remains one of the principal warmongering powers in the world. In order to realise its own ambitions and interests, the British bourgeoisie has built up a war budget which in the NATO alliance is second only to that of the United States. In pursuit of its ambitions the British bourgeoisie supports and closely follows the United States. It has tied Britain to the war chariot of the United States, submitted Britain to the dictate of the United States, sold out the sovereignty of the British people and allowed the American Cruise missiles to be stationed on British soil, alongside the existing US bases, troops and other armaments. British imperialism has not ceased conducting bloody aggressive wars against the world’s people, as witness the colonial war in the South Atlantic. The struggle against the imperialist war preparations and the danger of war must be directed against all the warmongering powers, against the two superpowers and also against British imperialism and the other imperialist and social-imperialist powers.

The superpowers, the Thatcher government and all the warmongers claim to be for ”peace”, and this is an essential part of their efforts to line up the working class and people behind the war preparations. To preserve this moribund system and its bloodstained profits, imperialism, social imperialism, the bourgeoisie and reaction are prepared to go to any lengths. They are preparing to unleash an unprecedented catastrophe upon the working class and people.

It is only the people who are the force to avert the danger of imperialist war, and this is a crucial task of the present time. It is the task of all democratic, peace-loving people to unite in struggle against the warmongers to stay their hand and avert the catastrophes they are threatening. The working class must take the lead in this struggle at the head of all the oppressed, as in all the other progressive and revolutionary movements of our time.

The bourgeoisie and the labour traitors are calling on the workers to support the drive to imperialist war and the militarisation of the economy on the basis that this “provides jobs”. The workers must not accept this reactionary propaganda. The war preparations which are going on in this country and in all the other countries of the capitalist revisionist world are not a “source of jobs”. The warships, guns, tanks and missiles are not being built for the philanthropic aim of providing the workers with a livelihood, but precisely as a means for slaughtering workers in the imperialist war for which the bourgeoisie of all capitalist-revisionist countries is preparing at the fastest possible rate. The workers must fight against the militarisation of the economy according to the principle: NO TO IMPERIALIST WAR! NOT A PENNY FOR IMPERIALIST WAR PREPARATIONS! and vigorously take up the urgent necessity of our times, to avert the danger of fascism and imperialist world war and to prepare the conditions for the revolution which alone can eliminate the source of fascism and war and create the conditions for genuine and lasting peace, freedom and democracy.


The events of the miners’ strike once again confirm that the class struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie is irreconcilable and that only by deepening this struggle can the workers defend their fundamental rights and interests and advance their interests.

The miners’ struggle is concerned in the first instance with an economic issue, the pit closures, but from the beginning it has been evident to all that it is a political struggle, a class struggle in which the forces of the entire bourgeoisie – its government, police, law courts, press and political parties, labour traitors, social democrats, revisionists and opportunists of all shades, etc. – are ranged on the one side, and the workers fighting for their rights on the other. The struggle is part of the overall struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. This struggle will go on so long as the bourgeoisie holds state power and is able to maintain the rule of the exploiting minority by means of its command of state power. Hence in fighting this and other struggles the workers must prepare for the taking of state power, for the overthrow of the capitalist system, to put an end to the rights of the exploiting minority to exploit and suppress the majority, the working class and broad masses of the people. For this, preparation is necessary. The working class must wage powerful mass struggles against the capitalist offensive, in defence of its rights and interests, in the course of this always fighting and acting with the perspective of preparing the conditions for the success of the revolution to transform society from capitalism to socialism.

The bourgeoisie, labour aristocrats, social democrats, revisionists and opportunists of various shades naturally dismiss this as “unrealistic”. They pretend it is so laughable as not to deserve serious discussion, but behind this stance there lurks the very real consciousness that that is precisely the danger facing the bourgeoisie and its exploiting capitalist system. The miners’ strike has already placed the government on the brink of crisis and obliged the bourgeoisie to bring to bear the biggest police operation since the second world war in fear that the strike should become a trial of strength of the entire working class against the bourgeoisie and its system.

The bourgeoisie and its agents do everything to try to ensure that the idea of the transformation of the social system is not even discussed precisely because that is the real danger to the bourgeoisie and the capitalist system. The miners’ strike illustrates the power of the working class when it is organised and in action in defence of its rights and interests. It brings out that when fully mobilised and prepared the working class will be able to carry all before it and sweep away the capitalist system, and build the socialist system.

Revolution is not only a possibility, it is a necessity in order to avert the grave dangers facing the working class and people, to prevent the immiseration and destitution of the people, and avert the dangers of fascism and war to which the bourgeoisie is leading the society.

Vital for the success of this great task is for the working class to build, consolidate and strengthen its general staff, its Marxist-Leninist party. Such a party exists; it is the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist), which was founded five years ago and which has built, strengthened and consolidated itself on the basis of firm adherence to the scientific doctrine of Marxism Leninism and opposition to all brands of modern revisionism and opportunism of all shades. The Party has been tempered in the course of the many revolutionary actions and struggles which it has participated in, organised and led against the class enemies, against imperialism, social imperialism, the bourgeoisie and reaction, and in defence of the rights of the people; the revolutionary Marxist Leninist character of the Party has been tested and proven in words and deeds. The Party has established its branches in the major cities throughout Britain and has extended its links in the working class and established cells in factories, and it has further developed its activity and its ties amongst other sections of the people. Revolutionary mass organisations of workers, youth and women, and on other fronts, have been established and are being strengthened. The First Congress of the Party, held last year, laid down the main task of strengthening the Party in order to develop its leading role.

The working class in Britain has in the past months vigorously escalated the class struggle against the bourgeoisie, through the course of such struggles as that of the print workers, the struggle against the banning of trade unions at GCHQ, culminating in the present great miners’ strike. These struggles of the workers are a powerful blow against the efforts of the bourgeoisie and the labour traitors to convince the workers that they are powerless to confront the bourgeois offensive.

In the face of the assault launched by the bourgeoisie, the miners responded vigorously and heroically, defying the bourgeois threats, the reactionary laws, the court injunctions, the massed police assaults, the splitting attempts of the bourgeoisie and of the labour traitors hand-in-glove with them. They took up the gauntlet laid down by McGregor and Thatcher, responding with self sacrificing heroism, conscious that the workers cannot defend their rights or make advances in their struggle without sacrifice. And other sections of the workers, train drivers and rail workers, transport workers, seamen and dockers have responded with militant solidarity action. A great wave of sympathy and support for the miners has swept through the working class. Workers and working people have responded with demonstrations, meetings, actions, financial support, and all this is increasing.

The bourgeoisie is working according to a conscious plan. Its aim is to isolate and crush the miners, who have always been in the forefront of the struggle of the British working class, as the prelude to launching a still more savage escalation of the bourgeois offensive in order to force the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the working class and people and to head for fascism and war. The working class must likewise work according to a conscious plan.

The present struggle is the latest and also the most militant, protracted and widespread struggle in a series of mounting struggles which have been waged by the workers in the past period against the capitalist offensive, in which the workers have been taking increasingly militant and powerful actions against the attack on their most basic rights and in defence of their conditions, wages and livelihood. These actions have shown increasing resolution and spirit of self-sacrifice, increasing willingness to defy the draconian anti-working-class laws of the bourgeoisie and the repressive forces of the state; the workers have also become increasingly conscious of the necessity to combat the treachery and betrayal of the class-collaborationist labour traitors and increasingly determined in the struggle not only against the capitalists but also against the labour aristocracy, to break the stranglehold of the labour lieutenants of capital on the working-class and trade-union movement.

The struggle must be deepened and strengthened. The workers increasingly have taken the initiative in their hands against the bourgeoisie, whose propaganda is increasingly being rejected, and against the reactionary trade union chiefs, who have not so far found it possible to re-assert their hold; but the struggle has by no means been won.

In this situation is it essential to see that the advances which have been made have come from the workers relying on their own strength, unity and organisation, seizing the initiative from the labour traitors, defying not only the Thatcher government, but also the Labour Party chieftains, the social democrats, revisionists and opportunists of all shades, against whose ruthless opposition the workers have had to fight every step of the way. The workers’ struggles have advanced in proportion as the reactionary doctrine of class compromise and class collaboration and their proponents have been repudiated. These forces are trying to re-establish their stranglehold. The openly rightwing labour traitors are doing everything in their power to break the strike. As a back-door attempt to re-establish the hold of the labour traitors it is being said by the opportunists of various shades that the workers should call on the TUC leadership and on the Labour Party to support the strike. As a matter of principle the workers call on everyone to support the struggle, but this does not mean that one expects Thatcher to support the miners, and neither should anyone have illusions that the labour traitors or the Labour Party chieftains will ever support the aims of the working class. It is said that this will “expose the traitors”, but the effect is to sow illusions about those who have already been considerably exposed, but of whom it is necessary to deepen the exposure, complete their isolation and secure their defeat in the working class and trade-union movement. The issue is not simply to “expose” the labour traitors and social democracy as such, but to carry the struggle of the working class further forward. The workers must vigorously support the miners and vigorously advance their struggles for their rights and interests in opposition to the bourgeoisie, according to the principle of unity in action against the class enemy, unity in struggle against the bourgeoisie and the class-col1aborationist labour traitors, keeping the initiative all the time in their own hands. The workers must escalate their mass struggles for their rights and against capitalist exploitation. The opposition within the trade-union and working-class movement must be further strengthened on the basis of resolute defence of the workers’ rights, resolute struggle against capitalist exploitation and against class collaboration and treachery, and struggle to end the capitalist system of wage slavery. The Trade Union Revolutionary Opposition has been set up on the initiative of the RCPB (ML) for this purpose. TURO is a revolutionary mass organisation of workers, built on the basis of the united front of the working class, on the basis of its unity in action and struggle against the bourgeoisie and against class compromise, in struggle against capitalist exploitation and for the elimination of the system of wage slavery. TURO upholds proletarian internationalism and resolutely supports the struggle of the workers of all countries. TURO is a mass organisation of the working class in which any worker, irrespective of ideological and political views, religious beliefs, etc., etc., who agrees with the programme can join. TURO wi11 hold its First Congress in October this year. The Party calls on workers to vigorously build and strengthen TURO as a most important task at this time. While attending to the present struggle the workers must look beyond the present struggle, look to the overall struggle which is being fought, the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The workers must fight each and every attack of the bourgeoisie. In doing so they must bear in mind that the only way to put an end to these attacks and to bring about any security of livelihood, to bring about freedom from the threat of fascism and war, is to put an end to the capitalist system. The situation is that the objective conditions are ripe for the proletarian socialist revolution, but that the subjective conditions lag behind. The conditions must be prepared so that when a revolutionary crisis sets in, as it inevitably must, the working class will be prepared, to make use of this crisis to overthrow the political power of the bourgeoisie and capture political power itself. Hence in the present struggles the workers must fight bearing in mind the overall perspective and in the present conditions prepare the conditions necessary for victory in the decisive struggle that lies ahead. Unless this is done the workers will not be able to avert the grave dangers the dying capitalist system threatens.

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On May Day, the day of international working class solidarity and struggle, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) sends its revolutionary greetings to the working class and other working people of Britain who are courageously waging class struggle against capitalist exploitation and oppression for their rights and freedoms.

The Party sends its revolutionary greetings to the workers of all countries and oppressed peoples the world over, who are waging the same fight against the same enemy -imperialism, social imperialism, the bourgeoisie and all reaction and revisionism and opportunism of all shades, for the triumph of the cause of the revolution and socialism. The Party sends its revolutionary greetings to the oppressed peoples of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Namibia, Azania, northern Ireland, Palestine, Lebanon and all the other peoples fighting for national liberation and social progress. The Party sends its revolutionary greetings to the heroic working people of Albania, who, in the extremely difficult conditions of vicious imperialist-revisionist encirclement, are, under the leadership of their glorious Party of Labour of Albania with Enver Hoxha at the head, resolutely building socialism in the only genuinely socialist country in the world today, the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, the socialist homeland of the international proletariat. On this occasion, the Party also salutes all the genuine Marxist Leninist Parties under whose leadership the working class and oppressed people are organising to accomplish the historic mission of the proletariat to overthrow capitalism through revolution and establish socialism and fighting to avert the danger of fascism and imperialist world war which the imperialist powers with the two superpowers at the head are preparing, and to the progressive and revolutionary forces everywhere fighting for democracy, freedom and social progress.