RCP: From Indignation to Revolution

From Indignation to Revolution
Partisan #11 • October 21, 2011

All around the world our societies are in crisis. This is something obvious. On the one hand, the economy is collapsing; on the other, outraged peoples of the world are rising up en masse. From one continent to another, a righteous anger rises and spreads.

The conditions for a social explosion are ripening —a rare opportunity for those aspiring towards a better world.

What kind of movement do we need?

The first obstacle rearing itself in the wind of popular protest is the possibility of being led astray, into dead ends. Several have suggested that we —the oppressed and indignant of the world— take part in a moral crusade against the “abuses and excesses” of those in power. Fundamentally, this view dismisses the idea that the problems are deeply structural; rather the solution lies in removing a few bad apples!

It is therefore a huge waste of good will to moralize over this corrupt politician or that greedy speculator. This moralistic approach is akin to mitigating the symptoms rather than correctly diagnosing and curing the disease. Rescuing capitalist society through reforms will not help us shed the illusion of “democracy” embodied in these woeful parliamentary spectacles. The pillars of our so-called civilization are crumbling. Let us stop supporting them and hasten their collapse. We can aim for and achieve much better than a reformed capitalism.

Behind the symptoms are the root causes of injustice and crisis.

We live under capitalism. This seems an obvious statement, but there are grave consequences for the people. The entirety of our society is organized according to a blind and tyrannical objective: the rapacious accumulation of profits. This race to accumulate capital is fueled by the exploitation of workers and the squandering of natural resources. Capitalism ultimately benefits a minority —a social class composed primarily of bosses, bankers and politicians.

Capitalist accumulation determines the rates of employment and unemployment (through the creation of a vast reserve army of labourers), wages, forced migration, state budgets and so on. It disregards the livelihoods of our friends and families, breaks up strikes and unions, lays industrial waste in our rivers, triggers wars and colonizes peoples. Since 2008, this system of capitalist accumulation painfully and violently plunged the world into deep economic and social crises.

The laws of capitalism —not simply the excesses of this or that institution or individual— are the true sources of injustice from which we need to free ourselves. Our future lies in their disappearance.

We want a future where working people collectively determine a planned economy through truly democratic processes. In other words, we want a society not where production is geared towards the accumulation of capital, but production geared toward the needs of the entire human population instead. This will ensure that everybody will enjoy the right to decent living conditions, where everybody can develop their creative capacities. Only Communism can bring about such a society.

How to break with the capitalist system?

Like all outdated modes of production and political regimes, capitalism will also disappear. Historically, it has had its day and that is why it is everywhere overwhelmed by increasing difficulties. Unfortunately, capitalism cannot simply be reduced to a system of abstract and anonymous economic laws. It is not just an outdated idea that we can simply refute in our minds. It is also the real domination of a powerful ruling class —the bourgeoisie— that owns the means of production and they are ever more determined to avoid being swept away from the stage of history. This reactionary ruling class will inflict on us every possible crisis rather than give up its privileges.

The basis on which we will crush capitalism and its injustices is necessarily that of the class struggle. History cannot progress until the final defeat of the bourgeoisie by the proletarian class, the workers subjugated under capitalist domination and exploitation.

The revolution is to be built by the action we are taking today.

Despite being engulfed in economic crises, the bourgeoisie remains a tough opponent. This class controls production, finance, and corporate media. Above all, the bourgeoisie relies on a state that is shaped by and defends its interests. And despite what many would like to believe, even though it is minority class, it is certainly more than 1% of the population and has many faithful servants! Only a socialist revolution can isolate, disarm, and get rid of such a parasitical class.

A revolution does not just happen, nor does it triumph by chance. A revolution is the product of a conscious and long-term struggle led by thousands of proletarian people, people that are as ordinary as they are heroic. People who make the first decisive action to engage in the struggle.

Some proposals we can uphold right now are:

1) To discuss and share our collective problems and to convince those around us of the necessity of class struggle in order to radically transform society. We need to combat systems of oppression, such as sexism, racism, and all forms of chauvinisms aimed at dividing the camp of the people.

2) To organize in our workplaces, our schools and our neighborhoods by establishing committees for socialist revolution. Such committees could serve as the basis for circulating revolutionary ideas: by distributing newspapers and leaflets, by organizing events and actions, for example denouncing public services cuts, acting in solidarity with strikers, occupying a factory, responding to racial profiling by the police and ‘justice’ system, acting against a polluting industry, etc.

3) To build the revolutionary organization capable of uniting the proletariat and leading the fight for socialism.

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