by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The Left, the Labor Movement, must finds its way back to its roots, to the true socialism and communism from which it sprang and must abandon the misguided idea of being able to reform capitalism and make it into a user friendly version.
The British Labour Party and other political parties that proclaim socialism and social democracy are but apologists and have came off the rail like a train that has hit a fault switch. The Labour Party, for sure, has deserted its roots, the labor and trade union movement which founded it and has stabbed the working class in the back and continues to do so.
Not that the British Labour Party is alone in this of all the working class parties of Europe and the rest of the world. Far from it.
Labour, however, is literally advocating the creation of capitalism lite and Ed Milliband appears to have said as much in February 2014 and this is a total abandonment of the working class and of the principles on which the party was founded.
The majority of the British trade unions are, today, also no better in that they too are but interested, the leaders that is, in their cushy jobs at the top of those unions, drawing salaries that equal those of captains of industry, while their members are forced to eek out a living at less than the living wage.
Democracy is the road to socialism, said Marx. That is fine and good as long as it is true democracy where the central institutions in society are under popular control. What is, however, masquerading as democracy under capitalism is not democracy by definition. It is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control and predominately by the corporations via lobbying and other way of influence exerted upon the do-called government. This makes capitalism, de facto, fascist in nature. There is tight control from at the top and strict obedience is established on every level and enforced.
Until such a time that all major institutions of society are under popular control of participants and communities it is pointless to talk about democracy and to claim that we live in one.
Having said that, however, we must also ensure that the parties of the Left do not tread the course that the CPSU did once Stalin got the helm and forced collectivization, for instance, on the peasants in a way that killed many tens of thousands of them in the villages and those that were, as kulaks and kulak agents, deported to the wastes of Siberia for no other crime than wishing not to forcibly be joined to the kolchoz.
The collectivization was intended, by Lenin, to be voluntarily but under Stalin and his henchmen it became something else rather, as did many other things.
The entire economy was turned into state capitalism rather than socialism and communism and the means of production instead of ending up in the hands of the workers ended up in the hands of the state. That, however, was already a fault in Marx's thinking itself and should never have been cropped up nor adopted.
The means of production must be in the hands of those that work with those means and that means the workers and not the state. The state, in itself, is something that should be reconsidered also.
It is true that public utilities and transport, such as buses, trams and trains must be, well, public but businesses of all other kinds should be worker's cooperatives, family or individuals and not state monopolies or so-called “people's owed enterprises” which are, in fact, but state run with the workers changing from wage slaves to a business owner or corporation to wage slaves of the state.
Having said the afore about public utilities and transport that is not to say that they cannot be run as worker-owned and operated enterprises. Far from it. In fact that may just be the best solution for all.
The roots of the Left are not Marx, Engels and Lenin but go much further back to what Marx and Engels referred to, condescendingly, as utopians, such as the Diggers, Owen and others in Britain of the centuries before and the same time, and those include the ideas of the Co-operative Commonwealth. And while those ideas, to a degree, may also have been flawed, in the current economical and political climate it is those that show that their way may be the one to embark upon properly.
We must learn from the past mistakes but have a look at the so-called and often discarded utopian systems for a solution. It is then a case of looking at all those systems and taking the best from all of them and creating a new way. And the one notion that we have to get away from altogether is the state and the necessity of it.