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Open Letter on Socialism and the Mass Revolution

To the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

By Punkerslut

From Wikimedia Commons
Image: From Wikimedia Commons

Start Date: July 24, 2010
Finish Date: July 24, 2010

          Manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)


     There is much about your program and manifesto that will directly and fully appeal to the common, laboring people. The Labor Party, after years of anti-labor and pro-war legislation, finally appears as like the contradictory machine that it is. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may have been started with some spurt of patriotism, this certainly has dwindled, leaving a growing discontent.

     Furthermore, you have clearly and brilliantly critiqued the government-funded Bailout for the banks: "Whatever the make-up of the next government, its agenda has already been determined. The international financial institutions, the major corporations and all the official parties intend to make working people foot the bill for an economic crisis that is not of their making."

     However, there is a real difficulty, and that lies in tactics. Your observations about the painful and miserable conditions of society are just, accurate, and true. But, you are trying to create "a workers' government and socialist policies." Within Britain, what would it take to create the workers' government? Under the parliamentary system, it would require half or a majority of voters to vote for the party that would institute a genuine "workers' government."

     That means, you will need to appeal to the hearts and minds of at least 32 million people. What does it take to reach that point? It's going to require every form of publicity, from protests and demonstrations to newspapers and pamphleteers. This, too, is going to require plenty of money and investment, which is not going to spent at a single moment, but will be slowly let out over years and years of campaigning. Since the party itself is poor like its members, it will need many volunteers, from organizing events to distributing propaganda.

     Imagine Britain upon the eve where the nation finally elects a political party that really represents the workers. The people are so impassioned by the class struggle that they spend hours propagating the ideas of the party; they flood the streets regularly with their protests and civil disobedience; and everywhere, the articles of the party's newspaper are vividly discussed and argued. It would come after perhaps a decade of uphill, parliamentary battling: gaining a sheriff's office, losing a bailiff position, forming a coalition over the county tax assessor election, as well as the larger positions, such as in the House of Commons.

     But even with 32 million people, you won't have complete control of the government, and dissident representatives may not always vote with the political party. What is likely to occur is a variety of "compromises" or "coalition governments," varying with different regions according to the powers of the opposing sides. It is certainly true, though, that some areas are going to be dominated by a conservative voters, and the effect of the party's laws may still be very weak -- even if they are national.

     Take those 32 million people, though, and organize the nation's largest strike -- strike against school, against work, against government. It would not even require that many. If only one million students walked out of their schools and refused to return, they would be able to demand whatever they wanted in an education revolution. If four or five million workers walked out of their jobs and left the economy without any functioning, they would be able to receive greater wage increases than through any legislation. And if millions could be encouraged to occupy unused land and demand it for the public, they would achieve greater Socialization than through any political party.

     Compare the organization of half of Britain's citizens to organizing large sections of its people. If you have half of the nation's voters, that will require tens of millions who are obedient to the party, and nothing else will be able to achieve "workers government," or anything near it. With the amount of people, their contributions in effort and material, they could have achieved better gains if they dedicated it to striking or civil disobedience. A party's success requires tens of millions, but successful revolution against Capitalism can be won by many fewer. Does it not seem that the method of direct resistance is ideal compared to the indirect, parliamentary tactics?

     Finally, the political party yields its final product as the chairman and the internal rulers of the party. Since they see themselves as "the vanguard of the workers," attempts to create socialized workplaces will be resisted -- because this places power directly in the hands of the workers, far away from the universal legislation passed by the Socialist Party. In France, 1968, workers seized their industries and completely abolished the rule of Capitalism, with more than ten million workers on strike. The internal rulers of the Socialist unions and political parties were threatened -- the workers did not need their politicians or their union bosses. And so, the Socialist Parties fought the strike, and did everything to bring the workers back to work, succeeding with the help of violence.

     Today in France, Socialist candidates pass weak, pathetic laws that make small guarantees to the workers. They continue to maintain a system of government based on the aristocracy of the few over the many. And only a few decades ago, Capitalism was ready to collapse, but it continues -- and with it, there continues the "need" for a Socialist Party. If you believe in direct worker management and the right of every worker to own their tools, then it is time to abandon the political party. There are no gains to be made by playing by the rules of your oppressor; it is necessary to make more meaningful, direct acts of resistance. Forget the game of parliamentary politics, and you'll open up your mind to the real possibilities of a workers' revolution.

     Thank you; I patiently await a response.

Andy Carloff

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