Developing the Resistance and Organisation
of the Working Class Movement
The issue being discussed in the working class and trade union movement following the massive demonstration for A Future That Works is how resistance and organisation can be developed in the fight for an alternative to the government’s austerity programme. This also includes discussion of what mechanisms the working class has at its disposal.
For example, what did trade unions and delegates at the TUC Congress take up this year? They focused on the campaign for an alternative to austerity, an alternative to realise that future beginning right now. This campaign which the trade unions have taken up involves a fight to realise now jobs, homes and a decent standard of living for working people. It involves a fight to preserve the welfare state, investments in infrastructure and affordable social housing. It is expressed as an active industrial policy that makes strategic use of government procurement and helps to develop a greener and more stable economy. And looking at the mechanisms at the disposal of the trade unions, the resolve was that there needs to be a strong voice from all the TUC unions to protect public and private sector workers. The trade union movement as represented in the TUC is united that co-ordinated actions are required, with far reaching campaigns including consideration of the practicalities of a general strike, as the delegates to the 2012 Congress resolved.
In other words, what the movement is gravitating towards is that the focus is not just about opposition to austerity but to turning things around from the old direction of society to fight for and realise a new direction for society. This experience shows that what is required is not some policy objective for the next Westminster government but to organise to take care of the future political direction in the here and now.
At this time, the programme which expresses this future in the present and unites the whole working class movement is the programme to stop paying the rich; and, increase investments in social programmes. It is a fighting programme to expand investment in social programmes, the social and public sector of the economy and a programme that demands more wealth is put back into the economy and preventing the added value produced by the working class being taken out of the economy by the financial oligarchy. It is a programme that reflects the struggle between the old direction represented by paying the rich and imposing austerity and the new direction of putting more into the economy than is taken out and organising a society for the benefit of its members and that guarantees their rights to a livelihood, to health care, housing and the rights of all. It also upholds the vital question of what is needed for an alternative to the wars and occupations pursued by successive British governments. It is a programme that there is an alternative to war and that taking a stand for this now is the precondition for bringing about a future without war.
Such a programme requires building on the success following the massive demonstrations the March for the Alternative in 2011 and the March For A Future That Works on October 20. As the workers organised into their trade unions have been summing up, it is to build on this resistance and take it forward. The spontaneous consciousness is growing that new forms are required for organising and consolidating the resistance. What is clear is that with the crisis of political representation of the working class, with the need for the democratic renewal of society, the working class and people require a new political direction.
To turn the situation around, the working class and trade union movement must go all out to mobilise for the next step in its fight for the alternative. It is in this context that the working class needs its own worker politicians and to ensure that all participate in analysing what programme, resistance and organisation are needed, combining this with action to work for a new future.
Workers must increasingly get together in this way to develop their own thinking as to how society is organised so that public right prevails over monopoly right, so that the majority prevail over big party government and so that the working class can take its place as the leader of a new society in Britain. The working class needs that power to implement its agenda. This is the future! The working class has the mission to bring that future about, and must seriously consider the strategy and tactics required to make its power count. This is the lesson on how to launch the next stage of the line of march of the campaign of A Future That Works!