In this Section
- Revolutionary Solutions
1 Strategy for a global crisis
The revolutionary upsurge in North Africa and the Middle East, joining with growing resistance to austerity measures in Europe, north and south America and elsewhere in Africa places the masses in every country centre stage as the only force that can shape the future in a positive way.
New organisational forms have appeared in Egypt, Europe and the Americas, notably in Bolivia. They include People’s Assemblies as a way of uniting diverse interests in the struggle against existing power structures. General strikes by workers and student occupations have also been widespread.
Ruling classes and regimes, no matter where, understand that their authority no longer strikes fear into the hearts of ordinary people, whether they are held down by dictatorships, exploited by corporate and financial power or are victims of the global recession. Wielding the brutal tools of state repression like the police and army in a desperate bid to impose order only encourages more defiance and outright resistance. These are truly characteristics of a new revolutionary period in world history that is rich with potential. Not only are the ruling classes unable to rule in the old way, they do not have solutions to a series of crises that together constitute a global emergency. This is marked by deepening economic and financial crisis, runaway climate change, growing inequality and hunger and political failure.
The breakdown of traditional bourgeois political systems is nowhere more marked than in Britain, where a coalition government rules without a mandate and imposes the harshest measures on ordinary people. In the United States, the hopes placed in Barack Obama have been dashed by his inevitable embrace of the ruling corporate elites. The Obama administration is pursuing the policies of the previous Bush regime while in Britain, the ConDem government staggers from crisis to crisis. Only the feebleness of the leadership of those resisting the attacks on living standards allows capitalist governments like these to remain in power.
The crises confronting humanity are interconnected. Each feeds the others, reinforcing and deepening the problems facing humanity. In December 2010, in Cancun, Mexico, world leaders abandoned any attempts to tackle runaway climate change. The interests of competition and profit were, once again, put before a concerted attempt to reduce carbon emissions. No single crisis can be solved in isolation, nor by a country acting alone.
International solutions are required. The approach has to be: think globally and act locally to create the conditions for universal solutions. Poverty and hunger cannot be ended while political systems from Washington to Nairobi are inextricably linked to upholding capitalism.
Drastic cuts in overall carbon emissions cannot be achieved within the capitalist model of production. The drive to war for resources, or the land grab by richer countries, will not halt until the profit system itself is replaced by co-ownership and production for need.
The uneven development of capitalism, shown in the doubling of the world’s working class to three billion as a result of Asia’s incorporation into the global economy and the rise of Indian and Chinese capitalism, has weakened the old centres of capital in Europe and the United States. Switching production to cheaper-labour areas, far from solving capitalism’s problems actually worsened them in the long run. The expansion of production required to overcome falling rates of profit (see section 3) was made possible by the formation of an unsustainable international financial system founded on creating and recycling debt. This is the essential contradiction behind the global economic crisis.
What are required are not-for-profit solutions achieved in struggle against capitalist corporations and governments. The aim has to be to transfer power to the masses out of the hands of the bourgeois classes and their representatives in every country. In practice, this means expropriating corporate assets and turning them into a collectively owned and controlled commons, along with all natural resources. These would come under the direct management of a network of People’s Assemblies (see section 2) that replace existing oppressive state institutions. Through these solutions we can achieve a real and practical unity between the ordinary working people of the developed economies and those in the developing countries. Only in a world free of exploitation and discrimination, where people are not suffering from starvation, can we put an end to terrorism and violence.
The struggle for revolutionary, democratic change to end the rule of global capitalism and its political agencies can only succeed if it is international in scope and appeal. A World to Win in Britain therefore appeals to like-minded individuals, groups and movements throughout the world to work for the building of an international revolutionary alliance.
The global crisis of the capitalist system is certain to deepen, ushering in a period of revolutionary opportunity. The conditions are increasingly favourable. Millions of people in every country no longer believe official propaganda about the virtues of free market capitalism. Equal numbers are disillusioned with political systems that are pawns of big business and finance. Leaders who have held sway with rhetoric and nationalism are losing their grip.
Revolutionary political organisations of a new type should be built internationally to provide the leadership necessary to facilitate this historic transformation of social relations. They will need to learn from history – from the struggles for democracy, national liberation, self-determination, human rights, against Stalinism, for climate justice and for socialism. To succeed, they will have to articulate the needs and aspirations of the powerless majority in creative ways, free from the dogmas of the past, and firmly rooting themselves in the potential of the present.
A revolutionary government in Britain would pursue policies to further the objectives set out in this Manifesto, namely:
- an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan
- an end to British participation in the NATO attack on Libya
- support for anti-dictatorship movements in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Burkina Faso and elsewhere
- an end to the “war on terror”, torture and state-sponsored kidnapping and assassinations
- support for the Palestinians, the Kurds, Tibetans, Chechens and all peoples engaged in struggles for self-determination
- technological and economic assistance to developing economies free from conditions formerly imposed by the IMF/World Bank/World Trade Organisation
- a new United Nations based on a new Charter that represents each member state equally as a step towards a world system of government
- support for the government and people of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba and other countries pursuing alternatives to the market economy
- opposition to the undemocratic, corporate-dominated European Union and support for alternative non-capitalist Europe-wide models
- the unilateral destruction of weapons of nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction.