Britain: For a General Strike to Bring Down the Cameron Government! For a Workers’ Government! For a Constituent Assembly!

RCT Britain – Against Cameron, RCA-State

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Fight against the corrupt Parliament which is inextricably linked with Big Business! Build Peoples’ Assemblies and Action Committees to organise the struggle throughout the country!

Statement of British Supporters of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT Britain), 14.4.2016, https://rcitbritain.wordpress.com/

 

  1. The Cameron government faces its biggest crisis until now. It has become highly unpopular in the wake of never-ending austerity attacks, its unpopular desire to keep Britain inside the European Union and, more recently, the scandal surrounding the shady business affairs of Cameron and his family which have become public with the publication of the Panama Papers.

 

  1. In reaction to this scandal, thousands of people have spontaneously demonstrated in front of Downing Street to express their disgust for Prime Minister Cameron. Many more will march on 16 April at the Peoples’ Assembly demonstration. There is mass outrage among the workers, migrants and youth against the corruption and the profound lack of real democracy in Britain. Similar protests are currently taking place in South African and the US (dubbed “Democracy Spring”).

 

  1. This revelation of the Panama Papers demonstrates once more the enormous degree of corruption in the highest ranks of bourgeois politicians and their close links with Big Business. It illustrates how little democracy there is in imperialism’s bourgeois “democracy.” The government is above any control by the people and is closely connected with the capitalist class via numerous personal and commercial links. Ministers and parliamentarians receive astronomical incomes many times higher than the average wage of a British or migrant worker. In addition, the workers in our country have to foot the bill for the so-called House of Lords and the whole decadent institution of the monarchy. Indeed, bourgeois “democracy” hides behind its self-righteous façade what is actually a “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” (Lenin) against the working people. Real democracy can only be achieved if the working class – the vast majority of the people – unites and overthrows the ruling class and replaces bourgeois pseudo-democracy with authentic democracy: a workers’ government based on popular councils and militias which opens the road to socialism.

 

  1. Shamefully, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has not even called for the resignation of Cameron. Obviously the Labour leadership wants to avoid an escalation of the domestic political crisis. This reflects the unwillingness of Corbyn and the left-reformist bureaucrats to wage a consistent struggle against the government. This is because these party bureaucrats are inextricably connected with the capitalist state apparatus and big business. Instead of immediate confrontation with the bourgeois state, they prefer to wait for the next elections scheduled to take place in 2020! But the workers, migrants and youth cannot wait another four years during which their incomes and subsidies will be cut and their jobs increasingly threatened, while politicians unabashedly enrich themselves at our expense!

 

  1. The RCIT calls for the formation of people’s assemblies and action committees to organise the struggle throughout the country. Their main goal should be to organize mass demonstrations and an indefinite general strike in order to bring down the Cameron government. The road ahead is to confront and defeat the government on the streets and in the workplaces, not by means of political manoeuvring behind the scene. Socialists should demand that the leaderships of the Labour Party and the TUC organize such mass actions to bring down the government!

 

  1. We also reject the orientation of various left-reformists and centrists who raise the call for new parliamentary elections. We think this is a cul-de-sac, since it focuses the attention of the workers and youth to the parliamentary field which is dominated by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

 

  1. Instead, the RCIT Britain raises the slogan of a Constituent Assembly. Such an assembly would have the task of discussing the political and social system in which the people of Britain wish to live. There must be no pre-conditions on what type of constitution and what laws are possible. In particular, there should be no a priori commitment to protect of the property of the rich, the capitalists, and the financial institutions. Such a Constituent Assembly should be based on direct democracy grounded in workplace and residential constituencies; delegates should be elected proportionate to the numbers in each constituency; any delegate should be subject to instant recall if deemed appropriate by the electorate he or she represents; and each delegate must earn no more than the wage of an average skilled worker. After elaborating a new constitution, such a Constituent Assembly would dissolve itself.

 

  1. Naturally, the RCIT Britain considers it the duty of authentic socialists to argue inside such a Constituent Assembly for a program of revolutionary transition to socialism. The Constituent Assembly is not a government or a new parliament. It is only a temporary forum for debate to decide about a new constitution.

 

  1. The slogan of a Constituent Assembly is the highest form of revolutionary democracy. It does not negate the need for revolutionaries to fight for a workers’ government based on popular councils and militias. But it is a slogan which relates to the current democratic illusions among many workers and youth in Britain, without falling into the reformist trap (like the slogan for new elections does).

 

  1. We expect various centrists to vehemently reject the slogan of a Constituent Assembly, pleading that such a slogan would deflect the workers attention from the struggle for a workers’ government and socialism. However, this is entirely wrong and rather reflects the economistic limitations of such groups. This slogan is not counterposed to a workers’ government (just as it was not the case in 1917 Russia, 1931-36 Spain, or in Latin America in the past decades). Rather it will advance the struggle for such a workers’ government since the ruling class will do everything possible to prevent the election of such a Constituent Assembly. However, given the massive democratic illusions among the vast majority of the workers and youth, it is obligatory for socialists to advance slogans which relate to such illusions. The task is to raise revolutionary-democratic slogans which are opposed to bourgeois parliamentarism and to win the vanguard of the working class over to such a perspective. The RCIT Britain asks all militants who share such a perspective to join us in this struggle!

 

Postscript: We draw our readers’ attention to the RCIT’s program where we already envisioned a situation which might raise the need for a slogan calling for the Constituent Assembly. “Where there are basic issues of political sovereignty on the agenda and there is still no awareness among the masses about the superiority of proletarian council democracy, in certain phases the slogan of a revolutionary Constituent Assembly can be important. Bolsheviks-Communists advocate that the delegates should be controllable and open to recall by its people. Thus such a Constituent Assembly cannot easily become an instrument of the ruling class, they should not be called by a bourgeois government, but by a revolutionary government of workers and peasants’ councils.” (RCIT: The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto, p. 46, http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/revolutionary-struggle-for-democracy/)

 

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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