The week of action against the Conservative anti-social offensive, with the October 4 demonstration as its centrepiece, is evidence that the scale and intensity of the movement against the neo-liberal austerity agenda is increasing.
Indeed, the watchword has become that there is an alternative. By occupying this space for change, pushing forward the movement for a new direction for the economy and society, and affirming that a different world, a new society, is possible, working people in action will deal a powerful blow against this fraudulent agenda of “austerity”.
This movement, this new optimism, has not come out of nowhere. The ground has been laid for it by working people themselves organising to resist the anti-social offensive, taking a stand for justice and the rights of every human being, building the anti-war movement and refusing to accept that there is no alternative. Those that have united in action to demand an end to the class privilege of the rich, and the safeguarding of the future for public services and social programmes, have come to the fore.
The injustices of an economy which puts paying the rich in the first place and not the prospering of society and its members have been at the root of all the injustices heaped on working people. This fact underlines how necessary it is to fight for a new direction for the economy. In addition, it is the case that aggression and intervention by Britain abroad is rooted in reaction at home.
Building the movement against the anti-social offensive means building resistance and organisation on the one hand, and taking social responsibility for the fate of the socialised economy on the other. This is one reason that it is so crucial for the workers’ movement and the social movements to get behind the path which the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader represents. This is not simply an issue of showing support and solidarity for the new Labour leader. It is a question of making a reality of the “new politics”, which is to say actively participating in building the movement against austerity and for a new direction, a different world. It is a question of refusing to be diverted or split by all the cynics of the establishment whose only interest is to sow doubt on the alternative and to try and convince and fool working people that those who are to blame for the economic and social crisis are the ones who now are resolving this crisis.
Ultimately it is a question of renewing the political process and institutions, with the aim of vesting decision-making power in the people. This has been and is and will remain an inspiring and challenging task. But already the definition of “mainstream” is changing. The old division of “left” and “right” is being left behind. The “new politics” demands working together, acting as part of a collective in sorting out problems and resolving them, both for the public good and for the benefit and flowering of individuals and their claims on society.
It is crucial at this stage to aim the blow against the Conservative government who are wreaking such havoc on the economy and on society, attacking the vulnerable and working people as a whole, and ensuring that the economy is run, if that is the word, only for the rich. The aim is to put an end to all aspects of the fraudulent “austerity” programme and to use the coming period to ensure that the neo-liberal Conservatives have no credibility left and are defeated.
The times are calling for a new direction for society in which the working class and people are empowered to make the decisions. The opportunity has opened up for the working class and people to make headway in turning things around, with unbounded potential to challenge and defeat the austerity agenda. The opportunity is there to build the movement against the anti-social offensive and for a real alternative, to build the movement for a pro-social economy and a society that guarantees the rights of all to a livelihood, to a bright future, and to an international order where problems are sorted out humanely and without recourse the use of force.
For an End to Austerity!
Build the Movement against the Anti-Social Offensive!
For a Pro-social Economy and the Empowerment of the Working Class and People!