First Published: n.d. [1976?]
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Marx constantly predicted continual and absolute decline. Many said this was wrong since capitalism ’recovered’ from one crisis after another. The recovery was always relative not absolute. Capitalism never expanded in an overall form, the triumph in one area is the decline in another to the dismay of those national capitalists suffering.
Always at all times the decline was at the expense of the people, be they peasant or proletarian. Never in ’upsurge’ (always only relative never absolute) no advantage accrued to the people once the ascendancy of capitalist forces over feudal forces was absolute. From this moment of peak capitalism began its decline. The struggle of the proletariat and the dialectical development of the force for socialism commenced. From this moment in capitalist history their capitalist troubles assumed a fundamental nature unresolvable in co-existence, their death knell was rung.
That this is a piece of obvious history is known. That it is a time of some length in the past is also known. That it has prolonged the longevity of the capitalist system is a fact; what is not accepted is that the longevity of this, an anachronist system sustained, was because of the backwardness of the opposing force, the proletariat.
It is precisely because this backwardness has been overcome in some areas, particularly Albania and China, and the shaping toward absolute dictatorship of the proletariat, an essential for socialism, that now the crisis of world capitalism is absolute – the decline absolute.
The crisis is now as sharp because of the growing strength of socialist countries.
The most devastating setback to the working class in struggle in all their weakness was the new revisionist ’Power’ of a former socialist country, the USSR. It was in its coming a necessary shot of adrenalin to a dying capitalism prolonging and postponing its expiration date.
It also not only created great confusion among political parties purporting to serve workers, but comforted in its confusion the indecision and downright political cowardice within the ranks of the working class in the old world Europe and especially in Britain.
This lives with us today and we are a part of it.
Such a phenomenon, development, did not deter all the forces, viz Albania and China, though it created for them great difficulties, slowed the speed of their development and still represents an ideological threat within and military without.
The emergence of true Marxist forces elsewhere was and is slow especially in Britain. We should not be dismayed, but know the cause; in Britain an especial landmark in reaction here was ’The British Road’ preceding the showing, disclosure of New Revisionism in the USSR.
Europe is a specially complex circumstance. It requires special study, for within it there are remnants of feudalism, a mixture of peasantry, proletariat, capitalism, monarchy, in parts feudal monarchy, and dictatorship. An uneven development industrially and in agriculture, and an uneven decline. An uneven force of working class. And an especially potent dangerous force of Revisionism.
The forces of Marxism-Leninism in Europe are woefully weak.
This must be appreciated. As the capitalist crisis develops there will yet be a perceiving of the force of socialism which is accelerating and exacerbating this decline.
This phenomenon once perceived will create even greater problems in these socialist countries, and may even create internal difficulties as well as external, only to be relieved by a developing force for socialism elsewhere.
Our duty as a party is clear. For our party there is but one world.
The divisive force is class. The division in Britain: working class – capitalist class, the expropriated and the expropriator, the exploited and the exploiter.
Is detente a sham? Is it some perfidious plot by the New Revisionists, the more easily to seize Europe and perhaps the world?
No. It does not exist. US imperialism has no detente with anyone. Neither has the USSR, not even in Comecon. The sham detente from within the USSR is as much to do with the collapse of the building of socialism within the USSR and the internal contradictions because of it as for any external pressures and external contradictions. Those who say, if they do, beware of the imperialist designs of the USSR state the obvious.
Great vigilance must be used by our party to guard against the promulgation of a philosophy of co-existence in order to save Britain and Europe from the USSR. To save it for the bourgeoisie.
It is the reverse of Khruschev revisionism, hence it is the same – revisionism. Just as Khruschev brandished the Yankee atom bomb as a fear so can be the atom bomb of so called ’social’ imperialism.
In Britain the working class has no bourgeois ally nor is it likely, whatever the contradictions among the bourgeoisie, to have a force from within the bourgeoisie as a progressive breakaway. In this matter the progressive force we have is the working class, it is the only force, it stands alone. When as must be the Russian mass make a new revolution then shall you see no detente.
At present the New Imperialist of USSR and USA Imperialism stand poised as cut throats waiting on the other to be off guard. The meantime they drive to pastures new and old as before. This with the connivance of each national bourgeoisie.
The division of the world into 1,2,3 is artificial and mechanistic, and there are especial dangers inherent within the so-called developing countries and within the liberation struggles today; no true liberation can be achieved within this one world without the strong development of Marxist forces. Internationally is this so but even more nationally.
No emancipation and true liberation can be completed in alliances alone of shifting class forces; in finality only the peasant and proletariat can achieve liberation for it is they who are slave.
Our party is still a school for revolutionaries, a nursery school with too few pupils. With education and conviction we shall produce revolutionaries separately and together capable, a great Marxist force to lead to Revolution for Britain.
As we have said before we have little to teach the working class on struggle with the employer or within the unions, yet we have much to learn. Further new forms are emerging and less struggle also. As the struggle diminishes in its elementary wage form new forces emerge, with a theory pragmatic of different ways to fight, potentially reactionary and basically by-passing real struggle.
The party must not qualify in political need of struggle and leadership thereof yet must caution against sectarianism and take in its stride the superficial and contemporary struggle.
We must have conviction that in all places of work, be it shipyard or office, if we be as far as possible the leaders in the daily battle then the mass will come to accept us and our communism. We must say today what the mass will come to do tomorrow. We must seek at all times to direct all struggle to political action, to Revolution.
To look for new action as a claim for political place and leadership is false, and in this period becomes more local, more parish pump, smaller and petty, not national leadership.
The party must raise the question what is the direction of mass struggle where it exists and change the direction. The party must discern the present policy of unions separately and as a whole labour movement and change it. The party must assist and advise on caretakerships of the machinery of the working class, the trade unions, a dying machinery.
It must discuss in detail how to advise about and implement the line, how shall it be done? This is not worked out but must be if it is to be real.
It must marry all the party force in all the separate spheres of industry to one common direction. The direction of struggle within industry, all of it, is the working class – for good or ill presently sick, fragmented and divided.
There is the question to be answered of the nationalised industry, of ’private’ and ’mixed’ economy, of worker ’participation’. All of this is the problem for the party.
It is not a trade union recruititg centre or an advisory body on labour legislation. It should not seek to do the work of a trade union but assist those within the unions to make the union do its work: very primitive and elementary work it is too.
We shall not accumulate a series of ’stars’ who shall win or lose an Upper Clyde fight and become famous or infamous.
We are a party involved in one sole task, to make revolution. It is a long, hard, thankless, unglamorous task, and we shall lose some and gain better.
It has initially certain elementary administrative tasks which should be undertaken without fuss or great labour lest it become a substitute for a political role. There must be on this point a compilation of all the separate pieces of the labour movement, a calendar of the events which fall in regularity i.e. the national and local meetings, conferences, committees. It must compile a divination of the contemporary policy and direction of the unions, of the TUC, of the Labour Party nationally, of the Parliamentary Party also. Understand it, and warn.
The background of the emergence of the party was against a furore of international and internal polemic. Here in Britain it was late beginning mostly because of a long improper understanding of the meaning of Leninist democracy, of democratic centralism.
The acceptance of our party, in some circles is still rejected, for this reason alone; it is regarded as an heretic, as a breakaway.
In its embryo beginning it took on an artificial characteristic, a debating forum. We still must guard against this.’
The party must demand self sufficiency, self reliance within the line in all localities in all branches. The caretaker, the director of the whole, the Central Committee.
The labour movement is in process of awesome dangerous change The disaffection within the parliamentary parties is the nucleus of a new fascist force which will no doubt take on a very subtle and sophisticated character, not a vulgar symptom of a new fascist party and new leaders though we shall also see this form as well most probably as a feint. What is now being enacted is the transformation of the establishment of a bourgeois democracy – well directed, well planned and it will find many allies. The working class is assisting this process. We see the development of a parallelism in trade union machinery of ad hoc and self appointed committees and leaders a neglect of the machinery and its bypassing, and a dangerous development of company style unionism. This is not a progressive phenomenon but a dangerous one.
It comes from a design and is being adopted by the workers consciously and unconsciously. It comes also because of the unions having begun to outlive their usefulness as a defensive weapon and having adopted the role of collaborators or policemen to the bourgeois state.
We must perhaps find ourselves as a caretaker of a fast emptying house; the more easily shall we seize the property and destroy social democracy. We want not a “save the unions” campaign but seizing of the assets material and human.
In this new fast developing period we must expect to see greater and greater inroads into normal civil liberties, the necessary apparatus and ingredient which makes up a bourgeois state.
We will be harried and hunted as subversives, will be made illegal so long as we adhere to our task, revolution, Marxism-Leninism. (See Robert Mark on soldiers and terrorism – he does not mean Irishmen, he means us, the revolutionaries.)
That is why the party must be educated, dedicated, disciplined, monolithic. Without we shall not survive.
“Man’s dearest possession is life, it is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying, he might say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world – the fight for the Liberation of Mankind.” Nikolai Ostrovsky, “How The Steel Was Tempered”.
The triumph of the industrial revolution in Britain heralded the birth of a new world order, the epoch of capitalism. For where we led others were compelled to follow. But having reached its zenith capitalism may advance in one area only to the detriment of another, the triumph of one national bourgeoisie means always the discomfiture of its rivals, and in all places at all times it is at the expense of the people. With the final victory over feudalism the battle with the emerging proletarian forces comes to the fore, the struggle for socialism begins. The capitalist star is everywhere in decline, and most apparently in this the oldest of industrial countries. ’The workshop of the world’ is an industrial graveyard. Britain, which Marx could once describe as ’the demiurge of the bourgeois cosmos’ is now ’the sick man’ of world capitalism, providing us with the clearest demonstration obtaining anywhere of the fatal stranglehold which capitalist property relations place upon the social forces of production.
The long long stagnation of Britain must surely, of dialectical necessity, presage the end of the existing order and the emergence of a new. It is apparent that our rulers are unfit to govern, that social distress is the goal of their economic system, that their sole palliative for suffering is greater suffering, that they will certainly destroy us if we stay our hand.
Nowhere are the class lines more starkly drawn than in Britain.
The division of society into two as it has developed here has no parallel. This is the most proletarian of countries; here it has been most clearly shown that the prosperity of a nation rests upon the skill and ingenuity of its people, for Britain has few resources; fertile soils and a benign climate, fossil fuels, and above all a highly skilled populace. But all of these are subject to the use and abuse of our ruling class, to be squandered or destroyed at the behest of capital.
We are nothing and we should be everything!
The old world has nothing further to offer, its possibilities are totally exhausted, the new world beckons. All the contradictions of the global crisis of capitalism find their focus here in Britain, the place of their birth.
We were the first modern proletariat, once again we must lead: the opportunity is ours, if we only seize it others will follow as before.
The proposition of the ruling class is that Britain cannot survive economically as an island. In other words cannot produce full employment, economic growth and profit except as a part of a larger economic bloc – Europe. But the crisis of Britain is also the crisis of Europe, in fact the whole capitalist world. There is no economic ill that is peculiar to Britain and does not affect every other capitalist country co a greater or lesser degree, unemployment, inflation, reduced living standards – the lot.
No amount of juggling can affect this. So long as capitalism remains its effects will be seen and felt both by nations separate or organised into economic blocs.
Why cannot Britain sustain itself as an island? What is lacking? There is no lack of anything necessary to provide the workers with full employment and improved standards of living. There is seemingly too much of everything including workers. Hence cuts.
Every basic industry is shedding manpower. Iron and steel, and every energy producing industry as well as transport and communication. In no instance is this because of any shortage of raw materials.
So we have an abundance of the most highly skilled manpower in the world, so much so that there are probably as many skilled people in unskilled occupations as in skilled.
In terms of raw materials there is no overall shortage. Such raw materials as we lack are available in the world in exchange for the products that we are best at producing.
In terms of agriculture we are the best mechanised. There are also resources of land which allied to advanced agricultural technique could assure all the food requirement of the country. So all the conditions exist to provide all that is needed without any surrender of independence. Except one. That is the condition in which all resources of all kinds can be organised in the interest of the working class. They cannot be so organised while they are the property of those who have no interest in the working class other than to exploit them for profit when it suits them or when they are able to do so. It follows therefore, that ownership of all our resources must pass from these hands to the workers who have no possible interest in unused economic resources.
Such organisation of resources with its social implications is Socialism. It follows that we must get across to our class these two things. First that capitalism doesn’t work and that socialism does.
It is a view, widely held, that the present economic and social distress will be short-lived, is but the uncomfortable prelude to another period of prosperity and well-being. No doubt the wish was father to the thought, no doubt that within our class there is a yearning to live in peace with our exploiters, for a quiet life, but it is a dangerous thought. ’Let him who desires peace prepare for war.’ The very means of our existence is being destroyed, the sheer scale and speed of the razing of British industry beggars all description. We are a manufacturing nation; the working up of raw .materials into finished goods, has long been the basis of our cultural identity and material welfare, there is no other course compatible with life in Britain, we cannot revert to a peasant existence. The unchecked and wanton destruction of manufacturing capacity is the destruction of our class, for we are industry.
Between the years 1963 and 1973 the number-of locomotives was cut by a third, the number of freight and steel carrying wagons by more than 40% and the track shrank from 17,500 miles to 11,300 miles. The government have now decreed that only 4000 miles are to exist in the future and that of 265,000 now employed 170,000 must find other work. Can anyone conceive of a modern industrial country without railways?
Let us turn to shipbuilding. Once more than half the world’s ships were launched in British yards. In 1955 the proportion was still more than a quarter. By 1973, however, the figure was just 3.6%.
In textiles, another staple British industry the number of spindles fell, between 1963 and 1973 from 13 million to less than 6 million. Imports of woven cloth and synthetic fibre in 1970 were almost 40% by volume of the materials for home use. The comparable figure for 1974 was 57.3%.
Steel presents an equally alarming picture. Production has been cut since 1970 by 8,191,000 tonnes; nearly a third. Imports stand now at 4.5M tonnes and plans are afoot to cut production further.
Next coal, so much a part of our history. Coal is being imported at prices greater than those obtaining at our own pitheads while many of our mines are filling with water. 221M tonnes were mined in Britain in 1955. In 1964, 184M. Today, with rising demand, output is only 126M tonnes. The present rate of exhaustion of mines will allow a mere 80M tonnes to be produced by 1980.
Unless we do something about it!
Britain is being destroyed and we should not suppose that this is in anyway the result of ignorance on the part of our rulers. Nor can it honestly be said that we, the working class, are unaware of the present position! But only from us can come the necessary action to redeem the present desperate situation.
We made Britain. We alone can save it.
A more competitive industry has long been the call of the economic managers of British capitalism. Our goods, they said, were too expensive because the workers demanded too much in wages. But had the capitalist class been less greedy they might well have invested the revenue from production in more advanced machinery to enhance output. Had they been more far-sighted they might well have cut their dividend to this end, but in reality they have not replaced the capital equipment consumed in the production process. This capital has been withdrawn from the reproductive cycle for investment abroad or in the ’candyfloss’ industries where a higher rate of profit might appertain. Too often the seed corn has merely been consumed and irretrievably lost.
Investment in the private sector in 1970 amounted to 3 and a half percent of the gross national product. This proportion is declining. In 1972 it was a mere two and a half percent. Because so little has been invested over an extended period it is estimated that at least 10% of manufacturing output must now be re-invested every year simply to make good the annual wear and tear.
Yet, investment fell once again last year, in real terms, by 13%. Further, a recent Department of Industry survey showed that manufacturing industry was planning to cut its investment in plant, machinery, buildings and vehicles next year by another 5 to 8%.
Every year dividends rise and investment falls.
On the basis that ’bigger equates with better’, government policy has been the promotion of amalgamation of capitals as in the formation of AEI and British Leyland, for example. In practice, far from strengthening industry this has meant easy pickings for the pariahs of modern society, the asset-strippers and property speculators. It has meant the destruction of skills, of productive capacity and of jobs. And, of course, to ease the process the government produced such socially advanced legislation as the Redundancy Payment Act (1965), designed to make being redundant very acceptable indeed. (Needless to say, a Labour Administration was the first to revert to talk about an ’acceptable’ level of unemployment! Yet equally we must condemn those of our class who connived at the destruction of jobs by their readiness to accept cash in hand.)
Far from ’rationalising’ industry and creating the efficient, competitive units of which they boasted, they have husbanded absurdity and irrationality, enabling the financial Cain to slaughter his manufacturing brother or to force him into an even more slavish dependence.
The policy of fewer, bigger and more ramshackle organisations, which are at best a drain upon the public purse (our purse!) and at worst licensed bandits, is now formalised in the National Enterprise Board which will pursue the grafting and weeding process with vigour. How little deserves the proud title industry!
To illustrate the concentration of capital: in 1958 the 50 biggest firms in manufacture employed 21. 2% of the working population and were responsible for 24.7% of the net output of Britain. The corresponding figures for 1968 were 29.4% and 32.4%. The figures for the share of the top 200 firms in employment and net output were, in 1958 35.5% and 41% respectively, and in 1968 47.1% and 52. 5%.
What of our future? our children?
How few of those leaving school will have jobs to go to? How few of the very young will have any substantial schooling? The demand for labour governs the supply of labour. Skill is to be a thing of the past so an end to education! An end too to apprenticeships! Even today many skilled workers are in unskilled occupations and tomorrow the proportion will be greater.
In 1964 880,450 skilled men were employed in the shipbuilding, ship repairing and engineering sector. There were then 140,450 apprentices in training: three apprentices for every nineteen skilled men. Ten years later there were but 740,290 skilled men employed and 79,940 apprentices: three apprentices for every twenty-eight skilled workers.
In the construction industry over the identical period the number of craftsmen in employment fell from 835,000 to 653,100; 182,200 jobs had evaporated. Similarly, the number of apprentices in training fell from 129,700 to 93,400.
The picture for school leavers is equally bleak. In December 1975 more than 40,000 were registered as having no job and the true figure may be more than twice as high.
Modern industry demands high investment in human beings as well as plant. The destruction of educational establishments and of craft training belies the promise of a better tomorrow in a capitalist Britain. Not only are they clearing the ground, they are sterilising it.
Will the immense human capital which is embodied in our working class soon be crossing national boundaries in the service of a French or German bourgeoisie!?
Since 1940 everyman has come to expect (and why should he not?) a rising standard of life. The war brought security of employment, a greatly strengthened Trade Union movement and rising wage levels. Further, the National Government pledged itself (white paper ’Employment Policy’ May 1944) to maintain a high, stable level of employment at the end of hostilities, a promise which none of the successors cared to repudiate for almost a generation.
During this period the working class proved equal to the task of wresting from its adversary an increasing share of the national product, and corresponding to the movement of wages has been the inexorable rise of prices whereby the employing class have sought to protect their profit margins. By way of response, ruling class policy has been to generate redundancy; the prime objective being to strengthen their bargaining position. ’Full employment’ may, for a brief summer, have been a sacred cow, but nothing approaches the sanctity of capital. This, of course, is to ignore the loss to the economy as a result of under utilisation of human resources and the welfare costs of the unemployed and their dependents; but though the rationale may have been couched in economic terms, ie ’the control of inflation’ and ’putting Britain back on its feet’, the motive was social and political. Suffice it to say that each prescription dose has brought with it higher and more persistent unemployment, higher prices and an increased balance of trade deficit.
Two years after the 1957 squeeze unemployment stood at 512,000. Two years after the 1961 squeeze it was 612,000. Two years after the 1966 squeeze it was 601,000. By the beginning of 1972 unemployment had topped 1 million and four years later it stands (!) at one and a half million. During the late fifties and the beginning of the sixties, a period in which the average rate of unemployment was 1. 7%, it was widely believed that a rate of 2 and a half percent would ’bring about stable prices!
Unemployment now is nearing 6% and prices...!
What the facts clearly show is that until very recently, no level of unemployment was sufficient to prevent workers from acting in defence of their wages against the encroachment of prices, remembering only that the inevitably delayed response has always given the Government an initial measure of success. Why then do workers now accept meekly the spurious arguments and appeals to national interest that were so ruthlessly brushed aside two years ago? Why the social contract? And particularly now when every instance of self-deception, hesitation or resignation is seized upon by the enemy for what it is, weakness, and gives them the singlemindedness to pursue their destructive policies, devices which even from the bourgeois standpoint betray a wretched narrowness of vision; once again the Geddes Axe, once again a May committee.
And we, the workers, have we not learned? Though it was graced with no decorous title was there not a social contract under Stafford Cripps?
Have there not been other periods of ’Voluntary restraint’?
In furthering its purposes the ruling class has also turned its attention to the fundamental organisations of our class.
The Donovan Commission made great play of the anarchy of British industrial relations (for us a major strength as well as a weakness). Its recommendations were for the promotion of company unionism and inter-union mergers; in brief, for more discipline. These proposals were taken further by ’In Place of Strife’ and finally brought to the statute book with the Industrial Relations Act. In the euphoria surrounding the belated defeat of the Act it was possible to forget how very close to acceptance the labour movement came. At the present juncture when we as a party have less influence, direct and indirect, upon the class, are less able to influence the course of events as a result of the destruction of the industrial base, it cannot surely be so surprising that the class has accepted the social contract, that in practice they have accepted the lie that inflation is the cause of the present crisis and that wage increases are the root of inflation.
And all the while the class repudiates its own heritage. Scabs are found to act against their unions and the membership is mute. The development of company unionism, if not actively connived at, proceeds unchecked; more officials are appointed to union posts; sheer apathy allows the ruling class to call the tune. At present their approach is still largely persuasive. But how long before persuasion gives way to coercion as the full horror of their policy becomes more apparent and as our resistance becomes weaker? How soon before another reign of terror, when ’in conspiracy’ becomes once more a feature of working class resistance?
The attack on the civil liberties of the individual and on the most rooted and democratic of our institutions go hand in hand. And when the very independence of these institutions is at stake, those that would willingly submit would surely be fit instruments to enslave their brothers. It is for us to impress upon the class the need to make real (not token) sacrifices, purely in order to retain the capacity to fight and therefore ultimately to preserve ourselves, let alone go forward and win the war.
A General Staff would like to join battle under conditions the most favourable for its own forces but sadly we have been outmanoeuvred, though not yet overwhelmed, and our ability to fight is ebbing away. As a class we appear to be stricken with impotence. Historically, a great strength of the labour movement has been its flexibility, its ability and readiness to advance on one front when baulked on another. To give battle, for example, on the political front when it met obstruction in the economic sphere.
Defensive though they be, trade unions have shown themselves capable of carrying the fight to the enemy, of counter-attacking rather than passively awaiting the next onslaught.
But today? The situation is fraught as never before. Affrighted by circumstance, chary of combat and in dreadful disarray is the army of labour. It is difficult indeed to discern any battle formation at all. Which way to the front?
Meanwhile the master class prepares a truly dreadful peace.
But by far the most calculated measure taken by the Governing class was entry into the Common Market, a huddling together for warmth in a thieves kitchen where beggar-my-neighbour is the game and winner takes all.
It is a capitalist game played by capitalists in which the only certain loser is the working class.
The destruction of our advanced agriculture, the exultant flight of capital, increased taxation, prices and unemployment; these facts are so well attested as to need no further elaboration.
We should remember also the limitations on production, the quota system which was a part of the high price of entry; the loss of national sovereignty, and the present menace of reactionary European labour laws.
Before entry the annual investment overseas by private companies was running at about half that invested in new plant and machinery in domestic manufacture. The two figures are now comparable in magnitude.
By contrast, the movement of capital from the EEC member states to Britain is less than one fifth of the outward flow, and it is most certainly not being invested in any major manufacturing industry.
Put together the evidence points to the conclusion that the ruling class seeks our destruction because they have proved incapable of living with us. Fear impels them to act and out of fear we are reluctant to take the most elementary defensive measures. But act we must; and in a radically new way.
For the working class to aspire to an improvement in its general condition within the present framework is little short of Utopian. Indeed, such aspirations expressed in an active form will be represented as criminal attacks upon the interests of society at large, for as certain as the governing class is turning Britain into a wasteland, so their ideologues and lawyers are drawing up an indictment to lay the responsibility at our feet.
We have said loudly and often that revolution is on the agenda, that it is the key to an understanding of the times. Can we really proclaim it theoretically and shrink from it practically as we seem to have been doing? Our difficulty will not be one of convincing the class that change is desirable or even necessary but that they must be the instrument and initiator, that in being so they will offend against constitutionality.
The working class must now accept the mantle of responsibility. It alone can claim to represent the interests of society and must surely use that authority to condemn our rulers who have placed themselves beyond the pale of social morality and justice, It matters not what attorneys say we may do but what reason and humanity demand that we do, compel us to do. We must present our own impeachment.
The direction of society must be wrested from capital. No other form of defence is capable of providing us with any future at all.
The bedrock of capitalism appears more and more to be sand. The foundations have never appeared so shaky, but in the course of two centuries and more, the bourgeois economic mode comes to have the appearance of an eternal form of organisation; necessity. Traditional modes of thought are not readily abandoned, there can be no question of overnight success, the desperate situation must not be allowed to obscure the protracted nature of the struggle.
It is for us to break the moral and intellectual ascendancy of social democracy, which, once the expression of resistance, can only become a philosophy of subjection, part of the corporate mechanism of control. We do this only by posing the alternative course, the which we posit most clearly and correctly only by uniting the greatest number in the struggle against the agressor and finally for socialism. Recrimination and division within the class is a constant danger. Disunity is the high road to further defeat.
Finally, it is for us to convince our class that the capitalists, in Marx’s words, “... are lords of the earth only in the sense that they fill it with their presence as worms fill a corpse”.
That they represent only death and decay.
Will we allow ’might’, ’perhaps’ and ’soon’ to be the delayers and appeasers?
Must our battle scarred class after all its toil-worn history be left to starve among a pile of ruins? The “now” of the revolution must be put more sharply.
Our clarity and the obduracy of the working class so consistently displayed in the past are our chief strengths at this time. The ignorance and social democracy of the class are the chief negatives, indeed the only reason for the continued existence of capitalism.
If it be now, ’tis not to come;
If it be not to come, it will be now;
If it be not now, yet it will come –
The readiness is all.
“Dare to struggle, Dare to win.”