Venezuela and left-wing adventurism

 

As the Venezuelan government moves to secure its position of power in a political struggle where from the beginning the Venezuelan working class has assumed the role of an extra rather than the lead, the revolutionary left around the world has been trapped in a theoretical discussion where the question of class has been absent from the start.

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Guest article written by Steve Forrest, Harrow West CLP (personal capacity)

The Labour Party withchunt goes on unabated and seemingly unchecked by any of the left NEC members or left MP’s. All we have is the commitment that they are opposing internally but as expulsions reach the 1000 mark it is time we had more public commitments and statements given against this repugnant stain on our Party’s character. 

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The victory of reformism and the reactionary character of Greek Marxism.

 

In the days after the referendum the final chapter of SYRIZA’s political history began to be written. With the sense of political liberation the referendum had provided, the leadership of the party moved away from the left reformist wing of SYRIZA’s parliamentary group, at first by establishing that very night a parliamentary alliance with the opposition parties, and afterwards, in the days that followed, with the unconditional acceptance of a new deal by the European political establishment. The referendum set the stage for a political catharsis to take place and created a means for the buildup of political frustration, that was overwhelming Greek society, to become defused through the illusion of individual democratic power. Every question that materialized throughout the last period in relation to the economic and political crisis Greek society was facing culminating to the day of the referendum, became enclosed within a meaningless expression of social patriotism; with the result of that expression baring no responsibility to address let alone answer those questions. Read More

The demise of Syriza and European left populism

 

While every worker in Greece should have voted for Syriza in the 25th of January elections the Greek working class found itself politically and culturally absent. In its totality the Greek working class had joined the ranks of the petty bourgeoisie, assimilating its program and various political perspectives scattering itself politically and electorally across the field of bourgeois democracy. And so it came to be that what was described as a revolutionary movement charging throughout the southern European states, its prime expression rose to power in a most unrevolutionary manner, with no revolutionary forces behind it and no revolutionary program; just an echo of past voices and slogans, a shadow of old struggles and victories. Switch off the lights, and the shadow is lost in the darkness of populism, illuminate and the truth of its unsubstantial existence becomes evident.

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The message Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign needs to take to the British working class

 

There is a fundamental difference between the democratic values social democracy has historically furnished and passed on from generation to generation for more than a century, to the democratic values bourgeois democracy has thus far stood upon and has used to pacify and conceal the reality of oppression in modern society. Our democracy is that of social responsibility and political engagement while theirs is the breeder of apathy, social disassociation and resentment.
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Why the labor movement should be against the living wage and in favor of the minimum wage.

 

The issue of the minimum wage is not an economic but a political; It can only be addressed and propagated as a social demand; it is society’s testament as to what it would accept as the lowest a worker should be paid. A testament to its degree of humanity but also a testament to the social, cultural and political cohesiveness of the working class. Its existence as a social demand, recognizes the limitation of the economic struggle (trade union struggle) to economically advance the working class as a whole, rather than those workers organised within strong sections of the trade union movement, that may temporarily be able to subtract a small proportion of the profits, being attached to a prosperous section of the economy, or attached to the state through public service using its position as a leverage for further concessions. Hence the minimum wage is not part of the bargaining ability of any organized section of the working class but represents the political state workers as a class find themselves in society. Its proponents emerge with a selfless outward social outlook of the relationship between capital and labor. Read More

There is a deep irony evident in the circumstances that surround the political life of the European working class, presiding in the vast difference between north and south and more acutely in the profound alternate existence the Greek working class finds itself to that of the German. While in Germany organised labor advances strongly with unprecedented industrial action in the country’s post war history, in Greece after an indecisive attempt in 2013 it has withdrawn under a sentiment of defeatism and impotence. It is an irony that exists between two sections of the European working class which underlines the fundamental issues that concern the essence of class struggle in Europe, displaying on the one hand the backwardness of the working class culturally today, and on the other the politically evolutionary process modern trade unionism is undergoing. Read More

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