Why Left Unity has to be socialist party:

  • Tom
  • May 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm
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  • Left Unity is reported by Neil Williams as a response to Ken Loach’s appeal for a socialist party. However, this site is littered with those attacking the very idea of socialism, of unity, of us even describing ourselves as part of the left, and jettisoning the colour red.
  • There has to be plenty of room for debate as to exactly what we mean by the term, socialism. We are not all going to agree. We should welcome the cut and thrust of debate. We might all learn something. We will certainly sharpen our ideas which will come in handy for when we put them to the voters, and we are faced with a hostile media.
  • But there has to be limits on what we think Left Unity is fighting for. We can hardly unite if we are all marching in opposite directions. We need to be clear not whether Left Unity is anti-capitalist, but why it is anti-capitalist.
  • Profit derives from the exploitation of the wage slaves. The latter are those with nothing to sell but their labour power. This class is sucked dry over a lifetime to create profits for those who own the means of production, distribution and exchange. This is a situation that foments class struggles. Such struggle is inevitable. And given the state of the global economy today, such struggles are going to intensify enormously because the capitalist system in the advanced world has been fueled for decades by unsustainable debt.
  • In order to restore the rate of profit within each nation state, something has to give. And for capitalists in one state after another, that means the economic and political rights of the people, the 99%, are going to be targeted. They are coming for us, comrades, and David Cameron’s government has barely gotten started.
  • The debt has just been increasing since the Tories and Lib Dems took office. From their point of view, our pensions are unsustainable, as is the NHS, etc, etc. And we are going to be sacrificed on the alter of a bankrupt economic system. We are all going to be sacrificed if we let them get away with it, that is.
  • If the working class and all our natural allies amongst the oppressed fight back, then not only can we win; we will win. However, fighting back means rejecting the inevitability of capitalism. It means challenging the BBC, SKY News, Channel Four News, Labour MPs, SNP MPs, etc.
  • If we bow down before the necessity of the profit system, then we need to find the money for all our legitimate demands from somewhere other than the corrupt, omni-shambling parasites. And that is to surrender to the ruling class without a battle. It is to allow pensioners to call for increased student fees. It is to have those in employment demand cuts in benefits for those who are unemployed, unemployed because capitalism cannot make profits from them. It is to demand workers embrace wage cuts in order to stop mass redundancies. It is to sacrifice essential health and safety for the workers (as in Bangladesh), and for the general public. It is to have public and private sector workers blame each other, to have women and men fight against each other, black against white, gay against straight, Catholic against Protestant, Jew against Muslim against Hindu, etc, etc, etc.
  • This is the nightmare Left Unity will face if we sanction profits as sacrosanct, rather than the illegitimate ill-gotten gains of a parasitic class who outlived their usefulness over a century ago.
  • Explaining the exploitative nature of the capitalist system, and of its wretched crises of overproduction is not that difficult. It is not difficult provided we want to make the case. If some members of Left Unity would prefer to surrender to the capitalists, then I would suggest they join one of the capitalist parties. No one can deny they are spoilt for choice.
  • Let socialists have at least one party. And let Left Unity be that party. And let it learn the lessons of the past and actually unite all socialists. And let us start by getting into urgent negotiations with TUSC, to see to it that we never have to split the socialist vote.
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