So as we draw to the end of 2011 a year in which many firsts happened be that the fantastic uprisings in the arab world to the amazing co-ordinated public sector industrial action or the fantastic occupy movement which has touched every continent on the planet this year.
At the start of 2011 we thought to ourselves that capitalism was entering a new period of decline on top of the already depression like downturn since 1974 where the ordinary workers have seen their wages fall and living standards stagnate at best and fall at worst.
But for myself 2011 has been a turning point in my political life. I came into the year not knowing waht to expect but leave the year fully realising how big this situation is and our task is greater than ever. I joined the socialist party of England and Wales part of the CWI- committee for workers international in Febuary properly and have not looked back since.
As some of you may know i was in the Labour party briefly and left as soon as i realised what they were all about, or not about as the case is. I have been criticised for leaving labour and aiming fire at them but in my view i feel vindicated in my decision to leave. As i have previously posted on this blog labour do not oppose all the cuts and think the cuts go "too far and too fast" not to mention the cuts are happening at all that is by the by to them and a issue they have accepted the need for "somecuts". Which i flatly refute and that was the crux of why i left labour. I wanted to change them but saw no democratic structure and any organised socialist body within labour to increase pressure on the leadership. For a completely undemocratic structure you will not get far however optimistic you are. So i chose to leave.
I do not regret my decision at all and have been involved in some excellent campaigns with the socialsit party against cuts, privatisation, job cuts, wage cuts, youth unemployment and so so much more.
The socialist party is a fighting revolutionary organisation with a aim and a set of real solid values in marxism which i have come to embrace as a guidline to my political development.
As the socialist party looks to the thoughts and ideas of Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky but not religiously of course we look to apply these graet revolutionary thinkers to todays struggles they have shown me from reading their material that you have to live the struggle to be able to understand other peoples struggles and how to put forward socialist ideas that can and will appeal to the mass's.
But as for 2011, its been a big year and many will have been drawn into the struggle. Maybe not all that many are joining revolutinary organisations such as the socialist party as yet but this is due to the lack of class contiousness and peoples inability to formulate a alternative or to link the failiures of capitalism to a need for an alternative and then what that alternative is. In time i firmly believe that organisations like ourselves will be a beacon for working class people to come to to find out our ideas and what would we do. We would welcome this and engage in a discussion and a debate on the way forward.
As marxists we always take a class perspective on every situation and in 2011 we have needed this more than ever. In 2012 we will need this tool even more i feel with the class struggle intensifying even more and people becoming more and more poloarised in their views and political opinions.
I have been on some big demonstrations myself this year from the amazing turnout of up to three quarters ofa millin trade unionists on the streets of London on March 26th which i extensively blogged about on this blog here. To the amazing co-ordinated strikes by three quarters of a million public sector workers on June the 30th which i feel was the start of the workers fight back for real but many will identify November the 30th of this where a fantastic turnout of up to 2 million public sector workers walked out in defence of their pensions and for future generations pensions. I was in Hertford on the day and what is normally a quiet conservative backwater of a town was full of trade unionists determined not to let this con-dem government railroad over their pensions and what is in affect differed wages.
Since then we have seen certain union leaders looking to sell out workers but this will i am sure be met with resistance and i am hopeful in the new year of further escalated action in terms of strikes and demonstrations. This is a battle we can and must win for the good of all workers and i believe we can win.
But 2011 will be remembered for other huge uprisings in the arab world where Egypt and Tunisia were the two nations to first fight back after decades of brutal dictatorship. The rest of the world looked on in amazement as dictator after dictator was crumbled to the ground by ordinary peoples pressure and demonstration. Since then the amazing over throwing of dictators has slowed and had the sting taken out of it for various reasons non least the western imperialist intervention in Libya and the brutal crack down on Syrian anti government demonstrators too. But no doubt there has been a shift in opinion and a complete condemnation of the Iraq war that these dictators can be removed without a huge los of civilian life like was the case with the American and British invasion of Iraq and Afgahanistan .
Lets also not forget the wonderful idea of teh occupation movement in which hundreds if not thousands of towns and cities
This in responce of course to the global economic crisis and the thought of the ruling class putting all of the burden on to ordinary working people and the poor to pay for a crisis they did not create.
This has been the case all across the world largely where capitalist leaders have locked their nations in to a deep program of austerity including cuts to public services that the working class's will use the most, tax hikes, further privatisation and a increase in their vicious neo-liberal policies.
I have made the point before on here that people say to me ooh the nasty tories are back and such things as oh they dont know what they are doing they are incompetent . But believe me this may be the case up to a point but this is about far more than that. You only have to look across Europe to tell this as Spain, Italy and Greece with imposed technocratic leaders now all in place to push through austerity.
But is this working or having any effect ? yes it is having an afeffect on the poorest and the most in need but it is certainly not working. Ireland and Greece where deep austerity measures were meant to be the benchmark for others to follow have resulted in huge unemployment and huge suffering on behalf of those who as i say didnt cause this crisis.
Those who caused the crisis , those who run capitalism. Not the governments so much although they did play their part in bailing out the rotten bankers who had gambled away billins if not trillions speculating using our money and failed spectacularly causing the governments of the Uk and othrs to step in and save the banks but this was the crucial point in which private debt from the banks then became what is known now as "sovereign
and now the governments of all fashions be them social democratic or right wing are being forced to put through these cuts on behalf of the markets who are the true rulers of society as we do ultimatly live in a capitalist society. It is the market who call the shots unfortunatly and governments simply react to them to keep them happy.
But although governments are pushing through cuts like there is no tommorrow the markets are still sulking and would appear little will do to help them recover right now. But governments will not let up on their drive for cuts in living standards of the ordinary working class.
So as we go into 2012 i feel it is more nessesary than ever before for us to create new mass workers parties to get into some position of influeincing things to popularise the ideas that aausterity is not needed and that it is actually making things worse if not better.
We need to be saying we need jobs not cuts. Investment in industry and affordable homes not higher rents and cuts in housing benifits to the poor. At the end of the day it is the working class who create the wealth not the rich they only ruthelessly cream off the wealth from what we produce. So they want to keep us working and competing against each other for jobs and wages to craete further division as waht the ruling class fears most is workers organising and fighting back.
The odd organisation they dont mind but when workers organise in a huge mass way there is very little stopping them carrying out and forcing throuhg what they want. We need to get back to a position of power like that where what the working class says gets done where we have the power to bring the capitalists to their knees and grovelling before we start demanding a better standard of life for the many not just the few.
I see 2012 being a big year as the class struggle intensifys but we must be ready and ready to put our best foot forward. Trade union leaders at the top of our movement will not be allowed to flinch if they do they will be gone. We need real leadership and if it is not forthcoming we will organise ourselves as rank-and-file.
So you thought 2011 was big i really do feel 2012 will be even bigger!