We often hear many people out there in the wider movement ask ourselves well what is your theory to back up your politiacl ideas.
We as socialists and more specifically marxists are very keen to learn the lessons of history and keep a keen eye on theory at every stage of the class struggle.
i personally enjoy theory and learning about the working class history and class struggles that have erupted over the years and decades in the past. I am almost to the end of Das Capital Volumne 1 its been a fantastic read with so much strength in depth in its theory and understanding.
Karl Marx one of the greatest revolutionary thinkers ever wrote this book along with his good friend Frederich Engels in the 19th century and is still to this day the best explaination of capitalism as it is today. I am not saying all of what Marx wrote back then in the 1800's is relevant today as it is not but the lessons and the teachings of how capitalism works are as true today as they were back then.
It is avery well put together study and analysis that has never been disproved even by economists and capitalists today.
But theory is fantastic but cannot be a idol proccess and a stand alone method to the class struggle it must be applied and go hand in hand with practical day to day struggles and applying marxist theory and lessons learnt by Leon trotsky and Lenin to todays struggles by workers in everyday situations.
Capitalism and our version of it as our particular version is quite unique in a sense in Britain having its full rich history based here we as working class fighters have a wealth of historic events we can study and learn from to make suer we do not repeat the mistakes of the past in the future.
As Marxists we do not live in the past as many opponents of our ideas throw at us instead quite the contary we look to the past to fuel us with ideas and lessons to make the right and correct analysis for todays situation and current class contiousness. Knowing at what period are we passing is key. Having good theory and failing to draw the correct conclusions from a ebb or a flow in the class struggle can leave you marooned on the wrong side of history.
For example some on the left saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the soviet union as a step forward and a great victory for the working class at that time. Whilst we'll always support the falling of a iron fisted dictator we in the CWI at the time correctly saw that this was a massive defeat for the working class as much of their gains including nationalised industry and free health care and transport for example are under great threat from the capiatlists who were looking to reafirm their grip on the world market in the late 80's and this consequently saw a reemergance of capitalism in Russia and the former Eastern block countries.
TO think that this period was a big victory for the working class and they can now go on the offensive looking to make gains was a huge mistake and still many on the left are still coming to terms with the realities of that big mistake. So as i say theory is important but drawing the correct conclusions from new events in the class struggle globally not just on a national basis is key to drawing support and influence in the movement .
As lenin told us quite rightly "Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement. "
Politics begin where the masses are, not where there are thousands, but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begin.
"It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws" (Vladimir I Lenin)
But as lenin correctly pointed out a ounce of practical action in struggle is worth 10 times the amount of theoritical struggle, what he was trying to say that there is no greater expereince to the class struggle than actually getting out there and living it fighting it on a day to day basis.