Sunday, 2 September 2012
Class or the party first? Why both are equally important
I am as many of you may or may not know I’m a Socialist party member, a member of the CWI and a Marxist a bit of a mouthful but do I put our party before the working class? Never to me they go hand in hand and always should do if we are too far ahead or are chasing after the class are we doing something wrong. For Marxists to gauge the mood of the working class putting forward demands and transitional demands that can win workers to a Marxist programme which will eventually lead workers to drawing the conclusion that this current system of capitalism cannot meet everyone’s needs and needs to go. I believe the vanguard of the working class the most advanced layer of the working class who have drawn the conclusions as we have that the current system needs to go and cannot be reformed especially now given the global economic crisis . We fight for a socialist democratic system based on the needs of the many not just the few. For me that means joining a party and the Socialist party meets my expectations of a revolutionary party looking to change society. I don’t just think that changing a capitalist neo liberal government for another will do. While I don’t slavishly follow everything the SP say like some think I do I do however think we have the best all round Marxist programme and the most democratic organisation going. Of course I haven’t experienced all but I’m happy in the party I am and am happy to promote our ideas as a movement to win over others and to move the working class in the right direction. But I do think about every step trying to apply a Marxist theory to every situation every political question that may arise. I do not follow the SP like a cult or a fan club I see it as a means to an end not an end in itself. Of course I support the party whole heartedly and feel we have the best well thought out genuine Marxist ideas but debate and critical thinking is always welcome and actively encouraged certainly in our branch and I am convinced throughout the party too. We may not always agree that is the nature of democracy but we do as a party agree the working class has the power to change society. This is where we reach out to the wider working class to win over and spread our ideas. Not to doctrinate them as some put it but to begin to win workers to the ideas of genuine socialism which as I’ve felt for a long long time now that is many workers default position. I believe all workers are deep down natural communists who believe in thebenifit of the many over the few and that what we produce should be shared out. But as we know current society capitalist society convinces us this is not the case and push’s us in a entirely unnatural direction of greed, procession, exploitation of others and division for the benefit of a few. We, I and I would go as far as to say the majority of the working class reject this and fight against this every day. It is a constant struggle as we say. It is key we never put the working class or the party before each other ideally the party should inspire the working class but we know the both need each other to survive. The party should never come before the class as that would be sectarian but instead it should learn from the class and look to lead while keeping step with the workers movement. Giving clear guidance of the way forward learning the lessons from history and applying those lessons to today. As the old saying goes you move with your class not before or after it. Being in tune with the working class is a art in itself but a good rounded out Marxist theory can go a long way to helping this.