back to front - organised, rational
WORKERS, JAN 2005 ISSUE
There is a lot going on. There is a malaise of hyperactivity. Everyone is at it: elections in the United States creating hysteria; 100,000 killed in Iraq; savage wars over minerals; retail markets and of course oil and gas. Fiddled elections in the Ukraine to keep fascists out, then clamour in the streets as if respectable; separatists murdering school children in Russia; the Israeli Apartheid Wall to which terrorists obligingly respond; terrorist MI5 doubling its budget and agents; agriculture and productive industries closed and run down every day; super profits made by the US and the Bin Laden family on the destruction of Iraq; and Ian Paisley, aware of Protestant weapon stores, but demanding photographs of republican gun destruction!
As civil disobedience and terrorism by the state and others become the political order of the day, we here in Britain have to reassert the importance of reason and organised political action rooted in the democratic struggles of workers, extending out from the workplace to questions of power.
Action without thought is blind. But thought or even protest without organised political action means nothing. This was a straightforward lesson learned by the Diggers and Levellers in the struggles against the expropriation of the countryside by the aristocracy and bourgeoisie over three hundred years ago. It was a materialist form of thinking handed on to the guilds and early trade unions. Glorifying mindless and chaotic action, blind to purpose and social responsibility, is the hallmark of the terrorist.
In Britain, on the other hand, a long tradition of responsible action and protest has enabled the bourgeoisie to survive largely unchecked for decades. It can always be contained, especially when like the class warriors busting up McDonald's shops on May Day, it doesn't connect with anyone or represent anyone.
Neither anarchist protest, nor social democratic complaint and reform will release either the countryside or the cities from the grip of capitalism. Only reasoned, highly organised action will do this. No to terrorism. No to social democracy. No to anarchy and chaos. New Labour must go and not be re-elected. Predictable radicalism against it and lots of huff and puff won't help this.