CPGB-ML and Red Youth comrades attended Saturday’s demonstration against austerity in London. Comrades cheered Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuiness when he declared that the Tory government were the “real spongers”, he said,
“Unlike the Tory millionaires, I live in the heart of the proud working class community of the Bogside in Derry,”
“The people the Tories are targeting are my friends, my neighbours, my family. They are fine, hard-working, proud and decent – just like our people in working class unionist communities.
“They are not parasites or spongers. It is Cameron’s cabinet of millionaires who are the real spongers given free rein to live out their Thatcherite fantasies at the expense of ordinary, decent communities throughout these islands.”
In the aftermath of what was presented by many as a ‘Tory landslide’, a groundswell of dismay greeted the 2015 election result. From quarters where well-meaning, better-off workers have been fooled into thinking that electing Labour will be Britain’s path out of austerity, much hand-wringing and agonising is now the order of the day.
But while it may be discouraging to see workers voting for openly right-wing parties, we should note that only 22 percent of adults voted Tory (37 percent of voters) and another 7.5 percent (12.5 percent of voters) voted Ukip. Moreover, 40 percent of adults did not vote at all, despite a massive national voter registration drive.
Meanwhile, despite Labour’s anti-worker, warmongering, profiteer-enabling record in office – and its support for war and cuts in opposition – a significant minority still believe that a Labour government will stop wars, be kind to immigrants, save the NHS, build social housing, reverse attacks on benefits, support trade-union organisation and more. This follows a concerted ‘Labour will fix it’ campaign by ‘left’-Labour’s hangers-on, which was in overdrive assuring us that Miliband was just waiting for a chance to implement a raft of pro-worker policies.
At present, right-wing votes are less an indication of fascistic inclinations than of the success of two main pillars of capitalist propaganda that have been heavily pushed during this crisis.
These are: 1. that austerity is the ‘only way out’ of the crisis, and that we must all ‘tighten our belts’ and accept public-service cuts and a drop in living standards so as to ‘balance the books’ and get the economy ‘back on track’; and 2. that immigration is a serious drain on the public purse and one of the main reasons why we are facing so many crises in the provision of housing, health care, education and so on.
In Scotland, the swing towards the SNP reflects the success of another propaganda pillar: that workers in Wales and Scotland are oppressed nationalities suffering under the imperial heel of ‘the English’, and that the removal of control by the Westminster government will be the cure for all the ills of workers in those parts of the country.
Here, too, the faith placed in the SNP by many is based more on wishes than on experience. Despite its own record of privatisation and cuts, and despite election rhetoric that was so vague as to be meaningless, the SNP has managed to present itself as being all things to all people. This cannot last, but while it does, the ruling class can only be rubbing its hands with glee at the success of its campaign to divert the anger of the British working class into futile dead ends.
The wishes and hopes of those who voted Plaid, SNP or Labour are baseless. They are all as loyal to the ruling class as the Tories, and share the same one-point programme: ‘Save British imperialism by any means necessary.’
All other rhetoric, whether left or right, is just window dressing. Only this explains the huge gulf between the words and deeds of bourgeois career politicians.
Ravages of revisionism
So how is it possible that our rulers have fooled so many of us so effectively?
How is it that, despite the hideous consequences of austerity taking effect amongst Britain’s most vulnerable and poorest workers, and despite the unpopularity of the ConDem coalition, so many workers were convinced that voting Tory was the right thing to do?
The answer is to be found in the total lack of decent, principled leadership and organisation, and the consequent lack of scientifically-based class consciousness in our own movement.
It is now six decades since Britain’s original communist party (CPGB) abandoned its revolutionary principles and turned itself into an electoral machine for Labour, telling workers to put their faith in Labour governments to bring socialism.
The results of this betrayal of workers’ interests are everywhere clear to see: a disillusioned, rudderless working class, which has lost faith not only in the mis-leaders of the Labour party and in the revisionist distorters and falsifyers of Marxism, but also in itself. As a result, it is left without decent trade unions to defend its rights under capitalism and without a mass organisation to fight for socialism.
And so we have a ruling class that feels free to attack workers’ pay, conditions and services at home and to wage genocidal wars of conquest abroad.
The consequences for humanity of the British communist movement’s collapse into counter-revoutionary revisionism have been and continue to be catastrophic – not least because it has opened the door to every charlatan to peddle lies to the working class, from Ukip and EDL to the apparently ‘left’ nationalists and Trotskyites.
All these share a visceral hatred for the existing and past achievements of world socialism, and a total aversion to our own socialist future.
This is the reason our party, the CPGB-ML, was formed in 2004.
Eleven years on, it is no longer possible for the Labour-loving opportunists who control what is left of the workers’ movement in Britain to deny our existence. Our party may be small, but we are growing, and we are beginning to attract some of our class’s brightest and most class-conscious workers into our ranks.
We aim to recapture the ground lost by those who squandered the revolutionary organisation that Britain’s communists built up in the 20s, 30s and 40s, and to use it to help British workers fulfil their historic mission of smashing the imperialist state and building socialism.
Our tasks remain the same whoever gets elected: to build a strong party, to create deep links with the masses, to spread an awareness of the real cause of workers’ problems … and, above all, to expose and kick out the charlatans who tell people to hope for a Labour (or other ‘fairer’/’greener’) bourgeois government and who tie our movement to the ruling class’s coat tails in a million and one ways.
As Marx famously said: “theory becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses”. When we bring mass organisation together with a scientific knowledge of the world, there is nothing that can hold us back.
Marxism Leninism is the science of the working class – it is the weapon that will enable us to organise effectively, not only to stand up for our rights under capitalism but also to finally overthrow this rotten, bloodthirsty system and build a socialist society, where planning for people’s needs replaces profit as the motivator of all production.
Humanity faces many problems today, but they all have known solutions. We have the technology, and we have the resources and creativity to solve our problems and to build a truly fulfilling life for every human being on the planet.
The only thing that stands between us and a decent future is the capitalist system of production, in which private appropriation of humanity’s wealth makes it impossible for us to use our resources sanely and for the benefit of all.
Another world is possible. Join us and help to make it happen!