by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
No organization of the working class – how ever well intentioned – and especially no party in the political sense can do this task for them. And all too often then, if tried, it becomes a “top down” approach no better than what went before; at times even worse.
All too often such attempt is, however, made to hasten the process of liberating the working class. This liberation is not a liberation at all but just a jump from the frying pan into the fire, exchanging one master, the capitalist ruling class, for another, the political party.
Nationalization of industry and means of production is one of those attempts, then calling it “owned by the people” though it is rather “owned by the state”. This is not was was and is meant by “the means of production in the hands of the workers”. It just transfers the means of production from being in the hands of the capitalists into the hands of the state, with the workers just exchanging the previous master for a new one in the form of the state.
The means of production and the land must indeed be placed into the hands of those who do the work and not the state. Nationalization does not put the means of production and the land into the hands of the people who work the machines and the land but it is but a transfer from ordinary capitalism to state capitalism. In fact, the state itself is something that needs to be abolished if the people are to be free, but that is another story.
The liberation of the proletariat and the peasantry, of the masses, must come from and be done by the grassroots and will require leadership of high caliber. This has to be a leadership that guides and nurtures rather than one that imposes its way and views onto the masses. The party is not always right, as we have seen often enough in the past.
Change, and this is true for political change as well as change in other quarters, cannot be imposed on the people from above (by force of arms or coercion) how ever well intentioned. It must come from the roots through proper nurturing by those who have seen the light of the new dawn.