A hard fight ahead

WE BEGIN the year 2013 with Cameron and Clegg, the two leaders of the Con-Dem Coalition “renewing their vows” like a married couple trying to pretend their relationship is not falling apart as disagreements about the economy, about Europe, about civil rights, House of Lords reform and a dozen other issues pile up, leaving us to wonder what the Tories and the Lib Dems ever saw in each other and how much longer this farce can go on.

But of course what united them at the beginning and still does is the lust for power and wealth and knowing they depend on each other to cling on to either.

But since they came to power together they have been relentlessly cutting public services, jobs, wages and benefits. Most people in this country are worse off and some of the most vulnerable have been thrown into utter destitution. Workers have shown they are willing to come out and fight for their living standards in the mass marches and the one-day public sector general strike in November 2011.

But after all these huge, consciousness-raising events, the leadership of the movement seems to go to sleep again; leaving working class anger like a head of steam that has nowhere to go. All the talk of “forward to a national strike” that came out of the October 2012 mass march has dwindled away. If the TUC is a carthorse, it has developed narcolepsy.

This is leaving workers frustrated, disappointed, demoralised — but still angry. This anger will not go away because the cuts are hurting harder every day.

But the workers’ confidence that they can do anything effective about it is in danger of evaporating if the union leaders refuse to lead a proper attack on the class enemy.

The movement more than ever needs a big injection of Marxist-Leninist understanding: understanding that there is no such thing a benign capitalism. Once upon a time capitalism was progressive because it introduced methods of mass production that made thousands of commodities cheap and affordable for workers and raised living standards. And it got rid of sterile rigidity of feudalism — mostly.

But that era is long gone and now we are in an era of permanent capitalist crisis. The “free market” is revered as a god but is constantly manipulated by fabulously rich controllers of banks and giant companies who have the power of monopolies.

Meanwhile the value of workers’ wages falls and falls while the workers get deeper and deeper in debt. They cannot buy back what they produce — not manufactured goods, services, “financial products” or anything else. And they are no longer buying the lies of the capitalist ruling class. Cameron’s claim that “We’re all in it together” is now just a bad joke.

But there are still myths out there that somehow there is a different kind of capitalism, one that would support decent welfare services, where the state would intervene to control the worst excesses of the bankers and profiteers and where workers and benevolent bosses could work together in harmony.

And these myths are befuddling some of the leaders of the unions and the Labour Party. They do not yet realise that the interests of the bosses and the workers are irreconcilably opposed, that the ruling class is now openly and brutally oppressing and disarming the workers and that there is ultimately only one way to stop them.

The capitalist system and its brutal state machinery must be overthrown and replaced with a state of the working class. This is the message we have to get across within the Labour and trade union movement. And we have to fight against a mountain of anti-communist lies, propaganda and prejudice to do so. It is not an easy task.

But every time the ruling class drives the workers further down, every time they hurt and oppress us, they undermine their own lies and demonstrate the truth of our message. It’s a long, hard struggle but in the end we cannot lose.