Sunday, 16 September 2012
For a genuine free press
While many will still be reading various editions of our printed press and think the recent article by Laurie Penny or Owen Jones is of the cutting edge radical form of our printed press we just have to remember who actually owns these papers and who’s interests do they ultimately serve. As I say you may well read a radical left wing piece from the fore mentioned authors but be under no illusions we do not have a free press at all. Notice how many stories were anti N30 last year and how much in favour. I do not have to bring up the statistics to show you workers interests are not represented fairly in our media at all. You may think like I once did the BBC a fine establishment a cornerstone of media ethics. Yes the BBC likes to hold a line of impartiality and in some respects they are but be under no illusion if the state was ever under threat or if workers were taking up their class position against the government of the day of which they did last year on numerous occasions including the biggest strike day for many years on November the 30th. It can be under no doubt who the BBC and others who claim to be independent who’s side they are on. They will line up with the boss’s 9 times out of 10. We must never forget who owns these media outlets and who ultimately controls what they publish and produce at the end of the day. With the recent uncovering of phone hacking within the news of the world and deeper into News international the idea of a free press has remerged. As socialists we do not accept that there can be a free press under capitalism as we live today. Even with a Levison style enquiry the results and recommendations will not be enough to bring a bout a fair and open free press. AS Trotsky said way back in 1938 in the free press and the working class Theory, as well as historic experience, testifies that any restriction to democracy in bourgeois society is eventually directed against the proletariat, just as taxes eventually fall on the shoulders of the proletariat. Bourgeois democracy is usable by the proletariat only insofar as it opens the way for the development of the class struggle. Consequently, any workers “leader” who arms the bourgeois state with special means to control public opinion in general, and the press in particular, is a traitor. In the last analysis, the accentuation of class struggle will force bourgeois of all shades, to conclude a pact: to accept special legislation, and every kind of restrictive measures, and measures of “democratic” censorship against the working class. Those who have not yet realised this should leave the ranks of the working class. Trotsky went on to detail that only under socialism can a free press truly become free, democratic and fair to all The real tasks of the workers’ state do not consist in policing public opinion, but in freeing it from the yoke of capital. This can only be done by placing the means of production – which includes the production of information – in the hands of society in its entirety. Once this essential step towards socialism has been taken, all currents of opinion which have not taken arms against the dictatorship of the proletariat must be able to express themselves freely. It is the duty of the workers’ state to put in their hands, to all according to their numeric importance, the technical means necessary for this, printing presses, paper, and means of transportation. One of the principal causes of the degeneration of the state machine is the monopolisation of the press by the Stalinist bureaucracy which risks transforming all the gains of the October revolution to a pile of ruins. Trotsky concludes that workers need their own press and only a truly independent democratic form of a communication press can succeed and bring the news other day to the mass’s democratically and fairly. It is essential to wage an unrelenting battle against the reactionary press. But the workers cannot leave a task they have to fulfil themselves through their own organisations and their own press, to the repressive fist of the bourgeois state. Today the government may seem well disposed towards workers’ organisations. Tomorrow it may fall, and it inevitably will, into the hands of the most reactionary elements of the bourgeoisie. In this case the existing repressive laws will be used against the workers. Only adventurisms who think of nothing but the moment’s needs can fail to guard themselves against such a danger. The most efficient way to fight the bourgeois press is for the workers’ press to develop. Of course, yellow papers like El Popular, are unable to undertake such a task. Such papers have no place among the workers’ press, the revolutionary press, or even the bourgeois press of good reputation. El Popular serves the personal ambitions of Mr. Tolerant, who himself is in fact in the service of the Stalinist bureaucracy. Its methods: lies, calumnies, witch hunts, are methods a la Tolerant. His paper has neither program nor ideas. It is evident that such a sheet can never strike a resonant chord in the working class, nor win them over from the bourgeois press. So we arrive at the inevitable conclusion that the struggle between the bourgeois presses starts with the eviction of the degenerate leaders from workers’ organisations and in particular from the liberation of the workers’ press from the tutelage of Tolerant and other bourgeois careerists. The Mexican proletariat needs an honest press to express its needs, defend its interests, broaden its horizon and pave the way for the socialist revolution in Mexico. This is what CLAVE intends to do. So, we start by declaring an unrelenting war against the Bonaparte’s pretensions of Tolerant. In this effort, we hope for the support of all advanced workers, as well as Marxists and authentic democrats. Last updated on: 20.4.2007 Under socialism the press would be shared out to those who win the most in elections and beyond if you win a low turn out in elections as pro capitalist leaders would under socialism as their ideas being bankrupt we wouldn’t exclude them we would give them as much as their vote suggests and a section of the press to put their views across. Of course we would be well on our way towards socialism by this point but the freedom of the press goes hand in hand with democratic reforms and rights of the people to present an alternative at any opportunity, even if it is wrong and would throw us back. Exposing this and showing we are open to democracy will shine through and show eared on the correct path to true democratic socialist society. To benefit the many not just the few. Which means the working class needs its own press a weekly socialist paper which we produce known as the Socialist is key to transforming ideas and building a alternative toe the so called free press which is not free at all. Only if it was held in the workers hands the hands of the many could it be democratically free to all.