Sunday, 19 May 2013
Succumbing to reformism and how to avoid it
As Marxists we are all too aware of reformists in the labour movement those who see no alternative to the capitalist system of exploitation and despair. They genuinely think we can reform capitalism into a nicer system which is a bit less brutal. This is completely false in so many ways and is quite a dangerous position to hold too. If you’re a trade union leader you’re quite likely to be reformist or at least confine yourselves to fighting for reforms within the current system however difficult that may look. We encounter them all the time reformists and some are won over to a revolutionary stand point and can develop into good Marxists but the type of reformists around today are the sort who worship the accomplished fact. Much like Owen Jones in the labour party and independent journalist. They do not see the world in a dialectical fashion with all things in constant flux and change. Jones and his ilk see things as static entities and do not see the changes going on in society under their very eyes. For example Owen believes there is a labour party and always will be a labour party he can see no further than the end of his nose unfortunately. I respect Owen a lot he writes some excellent stuff in a national newspaper and is no doubt socialist and fights against capitalism but ultimately does not see things in a process or a Marxist point of view. This is not to do down the likes of Owen as this is not uncommon. Those who support Cuba uncritically think well that’s socialism over there so we must support it without seeing the faults and contradictions locked up in that bureaucratic workers state where there is little democracy there. Reformists are often the ones looking for the easiest answers to everything take for example many in the labour party and see themselves on the left. Many shoot down TUSC and our low election results without seeing that we have a perspective over this and ok the votes are not great but we have had the fore sight to lay down a marker for a new workers party at this stage it is hard. The original founders of the Labour party including Kair Hardie were ridiculed and faced the same bemusement from those who pelted them with stones for daring to stand against the liberal party now look where we are a similar situation where we are laughed at for daring to stand against the labour party who are a fully fledged capitalist party now the second eleven for the ruling class if you like. But how to we avoid falling into reformist ideas ourselves? Its all about having perspectives and a basic understanding of Marxism the scientific socialism which Marx and Engel’s stood by which Lenin and Trotsky stood by too. It is not demanding more than the party can give or getting too down when things don’t appear to be going our way or get too excited if we win a victory. As we know that any reform won under this current capitalist system is only temporary and the ruling class will come back to take it back maybe in a different o name one day. Take the bedroom tax we may defeat this rotten cruel tax but there will be more attacks and unless we put an end to the capitalist system for good the ruling class will keep coming back for more and more as they always do. SO we must warn our younger socialist friends the dangers of reformism while being the best fighters for reforms ourselves whilst pointing out the temporary nature of those reforms. Our eventual goal is the over throw of the existing order of society turn it on its head in a sense for the working class to become the ruling class therefore abolishing itself as a class.