Saturday, 14 September 2013
What is holding the working class back?
Is an interesting question in many ways? I do not subscribe to the theory that it is simply due to those pesky trade union leaders putting a block on all out class warfare and if only we had better leaders all would be fine. This is frankly delusional and a position a lot of the Trotskyist groups hold tat there is a mass militancy just waiting and bubbling under the surface waiting to get out. This is just not the case. For the most part the working class’s are scared today, scared of what the future holds. While many have seen their fellow workers jobs go and they now fear for their own many are keeping their head down in fear of loosing their join job. I think this can be one of the major reasons for a lack of activity from workers in struggle. A factor of fear that if we do take strike action we will just be crushed and this can also be put down to a lack of confidence in their leaders who will more often than not try and sell them out. The TUC and the union structures in particular have done their job almost too well from a ruling class point of view they have policed workers and put breaks on movements that may develop. I’m not saying that any other leadership would be any better it is the structures that link the unions into the capitalist system and play a certain role for capital. For sure the leaders of the unions have been a block on action but I don’t think we can put the lack of action and the lowest amount of days lost to strike action solely down to that I think that is far too simplistic if we’re honest. I do think we have to start looking at different and new ways of organising. If the union structures re not offering way forward for workers we should look at other ways of going over the heads of the unions and their leaders or looking at new ways of organising such as pop up unions which was tried down at the Sussex University occupation. Workplace and non workplace networks should be taken up in my view building links in the community and beyond. We do have to remind ourselves of the important victories the workers have won in the past to build confidence among other workers to spread the idea we can win and by struggling we can get somewhere and it isn’t a dead end strategy as some like to make out. Take the sparks dispute from a few years back workers were only victorious in the end due to independent workers action from below forcing the union leadership to recognise a struggle was taking place and eventually backed the strikes and actions. This was all orchestrated from below and militant workers action not from the tops of the unions. I do think further struggles in the future will be forced from below with workers finding new ways of organising and trying new things that they may not have tried before just to fight back. There is no grantee on winning any battle but if you don’t fight you have no chance of winning. The working class of today is a very different beast to the past as is the labour movement we have to recognise this before we can move forward in any meaningful manner.