Tag Archives: working class

Daily Headline – 12/05/13

Conservative Lord Young: exploit cheap labour

Lord YoungThe prime minister’s adviser on enterprise Lord Young has told the cabinet that the economic downturn is an excellent time for new businesses to boost profits and grow because labour is cheap.

Instead of trying to improve conditions for workers the ruling coalition is focusing on the positive side to recession, cheap labour and as we all know, cheap labour is good for business and good for profits.

If ever there was a clear sign of the governments callous attitude towards the working class and their lust for profits over people here it is.
Only business owners should be voting for the coalition, anyone else is voting against their own interests.

Conservative = Scum

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The role of the party

By Reece Lawton

The idea of the vanguard party invokes hatred towards Lenin among many of the libertarian leftists. A small group of intellectuals to take over in a coup d’état and guide the masses to socialism via a one party dictatorship! Does this sound like Marxism, or the self emancipation of the working class? The answer is no, no, and a hundred times no! I ask you to find one example of Lenin using this term. Lenin, no matter what the anarchists and council communists like to say, was not a blanquist.

Lenin’s idea of a party was one which was based of the German ‘social democratic party’;I say based, as it had to be adapted to the conditions of tsarist Russia. Despite the accusations of Kautsky in his late work ‘social democracy vs communism’, the October revolution was planned by the ‘All Russian congress of soviets’ and ratified by the 2nd ‘All Russian congress of soviets’. These soviets were ran by workers, and the men that overthrew the bourgeois state of Kerensky were, mainly, red guards, the most militant of workers.

The party Lenin had in mind was a party of the most class conscious workers and revolutionaries to educate the proletariat so they achieve class consciousness, that is to say realise the exploitation inherent in capitalism and see that the bourgeoisie are about as much use to society as a parasite is to the human body.

A class conscious proletariat will undoubtedly rise up and ‘lose their chains’, organising this new society via democratic organs under the control of the workers (soviets). But, to quote Marx, the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.

Lenin outlined what was required so the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is a dictatorship in the sense that the proletariat is the ruiling class, rather than the small, exploitative minority of bourgeois that are the ruiling class in capitalism.

i) Free and democratic elections with right of recall of all officials.

ii) No official to receive a higher wage than a skilled worker.

iii) No standing army but the armed people.

iv) Gradually, all the tasks of running society to be done by everybody in turn (when everybody is a bureaucrat nobody is a bureaucrat).

So the party will not substitute itself in the place of the proletariat, the state will be controlled democratically by the workers. The party will radicalise the workers by making them class conscious and by organising the proletariat along revolutionary lines.

I detest the ‘marxist-leninists’ who cry out for a vanguard party to ‘lead the workers’. What a reactionary view! This implies that the proletariat cannot lead itself, and implies total lack of democracy. The proletariat shall elect it’s delegates and representatives, and will certainly not have a vanguard party enforced upon it!

Essentially, the party is the all-important spark to light the fire of proletarian revolution, a midwife to class consciousness. It will represent the most radical sections of the proletariat, as it will be made up of them.

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Daily Headline – 03/04/13

Class rethink

Class StruggleWhen we think of class we tend to categorise it into the following groups:

Working Class
Middle Class
Upper Class

Or possibly:

Working Class
Lower Middle Class
Upper Middle Class
Upper Class

Marx would define these groups by people’s relationship to the means of production and labour power, for example:

Working Class (proletariat) – Worker
Middle Class (petit-bourgeoisie) – Small business owner, cannot employ anyone
Upper Class (bourgeoisie) – Business owners who employ others

For some time now there have been people saying that this classification is too outdated and no longer has relevance in the 21st century.

A new survey in the UK (the largest study of class in the UK) has created a new system involving 7 classes:

Elite – the most privileged group in the UK, distinct from the other six classes through its wealth. This group has the highest levels of all three capitals

Established middle class – the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most gregarious group, scoring second highest for cultural capital

Technical middle class – a small, distinctive new class group which is prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural apathy

New affluent workers – a young class group which is socially and culturally active, with middling levels of economic capital

Traditional working class – scores low on all forms of capital, but is not completely deprived. Its members have reasonably high house values, explained by this group having the oldest average age at 66

Emergent service workers – a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital

Precariat, or precarious proletariat – the poorest, most deprived class, scoring low for social and cultural capital

There is a test you can take to see what class you are under the newly defined criteria, click here.

Daily Headline – 03/03/13

Venezuela; Hugo Chavez still in hospital

Chavez Venezuelan flagHugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has been suffering from cancer for some time now and after several rounds of treatment in Cuba he remains in a Venezuelan hospital, unable to speak.

Chavez is seen as a real divisive figure with 45% voting against him at the last elections.

The poor and working class like him because he spends the petrol revenues on social programs and helping improve their standard of living and the wealthy hate him because he spends the petrol revenues on social programs and helping improve the lives of the poor.

Internationally Hugo Chavez is generally supported by the left though not entirely, even among the international left he is divisive.

Personally I am not one for hearsay, I like to look at the stats… and the stats are not good!

Hugo Chavez has been president for 14 years (came to power in 1999) which is by no means ‘too long’ (he is the 24th longest current serving leader) but how has he and Venezuela performed?

HDI ranking – Currently 73rd (2011)

1995 – 53rd
2000 – 58th
2005 – 74th
2010 – 73rd

HDI is the UN’s Human Development Index, it attempts to measure standard of living.

Life expectancy

2010 – 79th (73.8 overall)
2000 – 52nd (73.3 overall)
1990 – 50th (71.2 overall)

Life expectancy is getting better but at a slower rate to other countries.

The truth is something that always seems to be hidden in a web of media bullshit and left/right agendas.

The Guardian, for example, is reporting that the homeless in Venezuela have been given free houses and that lots of money has been spent on social programs and while I don’t deny this, it is clear from the stats that something doesn’t add up. Either the stats from the UN and other ‘trusted’ resources are false or Chavez’s regime is not all it’s made out to be.

What do you think? Is life getting better in Venezuela? Are you from Venezuela? And finally, what do you think will happen once Chavez steps down or passes away?

The British Left

By George Volkov

The left in Britain numbers at approximately 10,000 people, with the largest “communist party”, the Communist party of Britain, being completely reformist, and thus, disregarding that famous last paragraph in the communist manifesto- “They (Communists) openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.”.

The largest revolutionary party (SWP) numbers at about 800, so is too small to have any effect. The fact we have so many communist parties and organisations, may lead people to believe that Marxism is booming in Britain, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Parties split to form new parties, creating more tiny parties. The British left needs to unite to form a single Marxist party, ran on democratic centralism, which is the practice in which everything can be debated on, but once one strategy or theory gains the majority vote, that line has to be followed by the whole party- “freedom of discussion, unity of action.”- Lenin

Since this party would be made up of different tendencies- Marxists, Trotskyists, Marxist-Leninists, Anarcho-communists etc. it would allow us to break away from the dogmatism that has been holding us back for years, even decades. This would be akin to the popular front that gained power in Spain, 1936, but without being dominated by one party. By grouping together their efforts, the communists could easily double their numbers, just by enlightening a friend.
The left in Britain is weak, but like a pile of sticks, it will be stronger united. Break away from dogmatism and sectarianism. Marx and Engels wrote:
“ Proletarians of all lands unite” – shouldn’t that apply to their followers too?

The UK & the rise of the far-right

By Leon J Williams

Opinion polls are showing the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) at an all time high, according to Opinium/Observer with 15%.

As clearly shown by UK Polling Report in their article ‘The ups and downs of UKIP‘ all of the major pollsters have shown UKIP increasing in the ratings, mostly at the cost of the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) and reasons for this and their ‘successes’ in a couple of local polls.

So the current polls show:

Labour – 39
Conservatives – 29
UKIP – 15
Lib Dems – 8

So a coalition could be on the cards for the 2015 General Election though a Conservative/LibDem one is looking increasingly unlikely.

Why UKIP?

Why were UKIP the party to profit from the demise of the Lib Dems and the Anti-Labour vote?
The Lib Dems have lost most of their vote due to going against everything they stood for in the last election and labour lost the election because of bad financial management and warmongering. Labour have regained some of their losses but not all of them.
There are many parties in the UK and outside of the old main three parties there remains three in the ‘second tier’ two far-right parties, the BNP and UKIP and one left-wing party, the Green Party of England & Wales.

I suspect that the BNP failed to capitalise due to the extremeness of their policies and blatant fascism and the Green Party failed to capitalise because they didn’t criticise the European Union (EU) enough.

UKIP must be opposed at all times and on all fronts, they do not and should not be allowed to get into a position of representing the working class of the UK.

Only the progressive left fight for the interests of the working class and even though the choice of representatives for the progressive left are very limited in the UK there is still the Green Party.