“You are either for us or against us” is a great slogan if you are a sectarian or a psychopath. For a Marxist it is worse than useless.
The Tory establishment that controls the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News need to lie and lie and lie about what Marxists believe. That is why they bury the truth about the crimes of the NSA, GCHQ, CIA, Mossad, MI5, MI6, etc, etc, etc. That is why they invent nonsense about Marxists being into slavery, based on an alleged crime by two people expelled from a party in 1974 which had a dozen members four decades ago. That is why they bury the crimes of Special Branch, 90% of whose members in a cell that infiltrated the left sank to systematic ‘state rape’, perjury, agent provocateur bullshit. That is why they bury the truth about four decades of British soldiers murdering Catholics without due process. That is why they let us have about one day’s worth of discussing Tony Blair’s selling the British people to the NSA before forgetting the truth once more. That is why Chris Patten and Rupert Murdoch responded to the Daily Mail’s smear about Ralph Miliband by giving a platform to Alister Campbell, Jack Straw, John Prescott, David Miliband, Peter Mandelson, Alan Johnson, David Aaronovitch, and the rest of Tony Blair’s anti-Marxist scum who ripped up Clause Four. That is political balance in the twisted worldview of Britain’s capitalist media. What a shower of lying Tory idiots.
Marxism is a science, but it is unlike any other kind of science because its subject is humanity itself, and its aim is to make that subject conscious of itself, to liberate itself from ignorance and oppression by tiny elites who live off the unpaid labour of the majority of humanity. Marxists see further than others not by ourselves being giants, but because we are standing on the shoulder of giants. On rare occasions one or two of us may enter the hall of fame: Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci. Most of us are quite content to learn the method of scientific socialism and to apply it, as best we can, with the help of our friends and colleagues, all those who share our perspective, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age.
This Marxist method defends human rights as universal. Contrary to the liars who responded to the Daily Mail’s smears about Ralph Miliband, Marxists are not patriots. For us, national and every other kind of privilege is a distraction. That is why we defend woman’s liberation: a gender that oppresses another will never itself be free. Same goes for race, nationality, sexual orientation and everything else. Obviously.
What else? Class. Let’s speak about that, shall we?
Capitalism is theft. All those parties that sell themselves to the capitalist class are incapable of fighting for genuine democracy. Wage slavery is the bedrock of the capitalist system and socialists fight to overthrow it. We don’t sell out our class because we want to raise the rate of exploitation of the Brits who own the means of production, distribution and exchange, anymore than we fight for the most advantageous terms for any other section of the capitalist parasites: men, whites, heterosexuals, Christians.
Marxists challenge every divide and rule weapon in the ideological arsenal of the enemies of all the exploited and oppressed: nationalism, sexism, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-semitism.
Marxists won’t tolerate the divide and rule agenda that pits public sector workers against their private sector brothers and sisters, or the disabled against the able bodied, or our children and students against old age pensioners.
Marxists defend the democratic rights of all the oppressed, regardless of how temporarily successful Tory bigots at the BBC, SKY News and Channel News are at poisoning the majority of the exploited against one or other victim of their bigotry. United we stand; divided we fall.
Marxists need to unite. A fist works so much better than five fingers going their own separate way. Marxists need to come to terms with how effective some of the establishment propaganda is. We don’t surrender to it. But we do need to realize what exactly we are up against. Individually, we can do a lot. As individuals we do have a voice. We have twitter accounts. We can make ourselves heard. But we need far greater unity. We need to sing in harmony. And for that we are going to need access to the mass media. At the moment, the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News are pretty much cut off to us. Their editors are scared of us. But we can force them to change their policy.
In the immediate term, we can use RT.COM. They have proven themselves willing to give the left a voice. We need to exploit this to the full. Self evidently, there is a market niche for news junkies of the left, and RT.COM are taking advantage of this: good for them. They will use us, the left and trade unionists, to increase their viewing figures. This in turn will force one or more of the British broadcasters to shift, at least a little, in granting the real left some access to the media. They won’t want to do this, but we can give them no choice.
Giving them no choice means thinking strategically, and that is something the fragments of the socialist left have not been great at ever since we started to expose Labour’s leadership in the electoral arena. Ever since Arthur Scargill set up the Socialist Labour Party, one bid after another to replace it, or even dent its hegemony within the labour movement has come to nothing, notwithstanding short-lived honeymoon periods for the SLP, Socialist Alliance, Respect and most spectacularly, the Scottish Socialist Party. Left Unity is merely the latest in a long series of political abortions. It has been designed to fail. And fail it most certainly will.
Left Unity will hobble on for a time as too many individuals have too much invested in it to call it a day this soon. But those who don’t walk away immediately will become disillusioned very quickly and they will look for a new home. TUSC has to see to it that they become the home for all the best elements drawn to Ken Loach’s online petition that secured a rapid 9,000 supporters.
Part of mopping up all the socialist elements of Left Unity means creating room for them to organise within TUSC, as an individual membership component. This should have been done long ago. Just because Kate Hudson, Tom Walker and co will have their 9,000 supporters scatter to the wind soon doesn’t mean a second attempt won’t begin to mobilize them. That is inevitable if TUSC appears indifferent to their needs.
In addition to creating a home for all 9,000 of Left Unity’s online supporters, it has to adopt a non-sectarian attitude to the rest of the left. It is possible for those who are not with TUSC to still not be against it, to adopt a pragmatic relationship, one based on mutual interest and respect. Such an attitude will not exclude individuals voting for other parties, maybe even belonging to other parties, but with an open mind, a willingness to cooperate, to engage in fraternal debate, to consider the possibility that TUSC may actually represent the future, and at the very least a worthwhile bargaining chip to force more established politicians to steal part of their program. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If other parties do steal parts of TUSC’s manifesto in order to win votes, is that such a terrible thing? Not if you are a Marxist it’s not.
With the appetite comes the eating. TUSC winning popularity for its polices to the extent of forcing other politicians to echo them, at least temporarily, for electoral advantate, creates the political climate for futher growth for TUSC down the line. To take full advantage of such an approach requires a non-sectarian approach to members of Labour, SNP, Greens etc who are willing to talk to us. The same holds true for other fragments of the left who are willing to talk to us: Respect, SLP, Left Unity and other even smaller groups. Treat members of these parties as individuals. If they are hardened sectarians, then let them prove that by their actions, and let individual members prove that any disunity within the ranks of the left is caused by others; not by TUSC.