- Created: Wednesday, 19 September 2012 09:49
- Written by FRFI
The crisis of the capitalist system demands a political response. The RCG believes that the way for human society to progress – or even to survive – is for capitalism to be destroyed. The British ruling class will never allow the system which maintains its domination to be wished or voted away – it will take a revolution led by the working class. The only alternative to capitalism is socialism: a conscious and organised process of constructing society in which people cooperate in order to meet their needs rather than serve the dictates of private profits; a society enabling the full development of every individual rather than privilege for a few.
Defending the working class
Britain is the oldest imperialist country in the world. It was the first to develop into monopoly capitalism – imperialism – and is still a major imperialist power, second only to the United States. Britain’s imperialist character has been decisive in determining its economic, social and political developments. The banking system and multinational corporations based in the City of London represent a parasitic and decaying capitalism. British international investments, including financial derivatives, amounted after the last decade to between 5 and 7 times Britain’s GDP. Whilst British banks and multinational corporations exploit the majority of humanity in oppressed countries, within Britain millions live in poverty, with many – women and oppressed black and immigrant people in particular – trapped in low wage, part-time jobs. Meanwhile, private industries and banks continue to amass super profits and pay their directors inflated salaries, and the directors of our public services are richly rewarded for running them down.
The RCG supports the struggles of the whole working class to defend jobs, wages and living conditions.
As an imperialist country, Britain depends on the super-exploitation of the labour and resources of oppressed nations. For this reason it fears the success of movements for self-determination. Britain’s economic position and political credibility in the world would be severely undermined if it could not maintain its domination. The resistance movements in the oppressed nations are weakening imperialism; an anti-imperialist movement in this country in unity with these struggles can deal a decisive blow against British imperialism and the British ruling class. For this reason the RCG has always given complete and unconditional support to liberation movements fighting imperialism and we support their right to carry out their struggles by any means necessary. British imperialism has a long history of engaging in bloody wars and occupations of countries in the Middle East and Africa. Most recently this has included Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. It has been instrumental in the creation and continued expansion of the state of Israel, which acts as an attack dog against any forces which threaten imperialism’s interests in the Middle East. Britain continues to occupy the north of Ireland, its oldest colony.
The RCG supports the struggles of the people of the Middle East and Africa for self-determination, respects their right to determine their own means of struggle and calls for the immediate withdrawal of all imperialist military forces. The RCG supports the Palestinian resistance, and calls for an end to all British backing for Israel and for the isolation of the Zionist state. The RCG opposes the continuing occupation of Ireland under the guise of the Good Friday Agreement or any future arrangement.
Against the imperialist Labour Party – for a new movement of the working class
Britain derives monopoly profits from the super-exploitation of oppressed nations and these have made it possible to split the working class by creating a privileged section of workers within this country. These workers, a labour aristocracy, constitute the social basis of opportunism. The upper stratum of the working class now dominates the British labour movement and ties it to imperialism – the economic foundation of its status and privileges. The labour aristocracy expresses itself politically through the Labour Party and it controls the trade union movement.
The RCG has always regarded the Labour Party as a racist, imperialist party. In 1979 we called on people to ‘Vote H’ in support of the H-Block republican prisoners protesting for political status in occupied Ireland. Subsequent general election manifestos have confirmed the reactionary, racist and imperialist character of the Labour Party, and the RCG has therefore continued to oppose any support for Labour. Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader has not significantly changed the situation. Labour councils have continued to implement savage cuts to jobs and services; the framework of Labour’s 2017 election manifesto was as pro-imperialist as any previous one. Under Corbyn’s leadership, the already limited opposition to austerity, racism and war has become almost invisible. The needs of the working class, especially its poorest sections, have been sacrificed in a drive to get a Labour government.
The RCG calls for a complete break with the Labour Party, and fights all attempts to tie emerging movements behind the leadership and control of the Labour Party and the interests of the narrow and privileged section of the working class which it represents.
Racism is the form which national oppression takes within an imperialist country like Britain. Imperialist nations brutally exploit and impoverish oppressed nations through war, plunder, low wages, the denial of workers’ rights and weaker environmental controls – enforced when necessary by repressive governments supported by imperialism. The vicious racism directed at Muslims is based on and used as a justification for Britain’s imperialist interventions in the Middle East, while portrayals of African countries as inherently corrupt cover up the imperialist plunder of the continent and are used to justify repeated interference. The British state uses immigration laws to keep out, imprison and deport asylum seekers fleeing from the resulting war and poverty. Immigration laws are also used to control migrant labour to meet the needs of capitalism. Restricted access to state benefits and public services force migrants to accept whatever pay and conditions employers choose to offer, and to leave Britain if unemployed for more than a short period. The British working class is encouraged to see immigrants as the cause of its problems rather than capitalism. State racism and divide-and-rule tactics create a fertile recruiting ground for overtly racist parties and organisations.
The RCG fights against racism and fascism in all its forms. We support the right of black people to defend themselves against racist attack. We oppose all immigration controls and actively organise against deportations and immigration prisons.
Against women’s oppression
The dual exploitation of women through domestic and wage slavery is central to capitalism. Women are forced into low-paid, casualised jobs, forming a reserve army of labour at the same time as they perform domestic work and raise the next generation of workers. Working class women are hardest hit. Women remain in insecure work, on temporary, zero-hours contracts when they are needed by the ruling class, and are the first to lose their jobs when they are not. Austerity has had a greater adverse impact on women, especially ethnic minority and low-income families. Working class women are forced out of their communities in search of cheaper housing and have to make impossible choices as to how to meet their basic needs. Women also bear the brunt of cuts to local services. For example, councils have slashed support for domestic violence victims.
The RCG opposes the oppression of women and recognises that the only possibility of challenging austerity is to create a new movement, one that makes demands based on the real needs and experiences of working class women.
Since capitalism values people for the exploitation of their labour power, people with different needs or disabilities are often left unemployed, homeless and living in poverty. Since 2010, austerity measures have savagely targeted disabled people and mental health services have been cut to the bone.
Young LGBT people face disportionately high rates of unemployment and homelessness. Hate crimes and incidents against LGBT people are often unreported, with younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police.
We oppose all discrimination on grounds of gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. The RCG fights against prejudice and bigotry, which are used by the ruling class to divide and weaken the working class.
Against capitalism’s police state
Capitalists safeguard their privilege with bodies of armed men – the police exist to defend private property.
Opposition to the British state has been criminalised by the introduction of a web of legislation, including Public Order Acts, counter-terrorism laws, the Anti-Social Behaviour Act and anti-trade-union laws.
The RCG fights to defend democratic rights and to abolish all legal restrictions on the right to organise and protest.
Defending the environment
The capitalist system has no concern for either human beings or the environment. The failure of environmental regulation demonstrates the impossibility of sustainable development under an inherently chaotic and profit-driven system. Under imperialism a safe and sustainable environment is treated as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder, whilst the poor in oppressed nations are forced to live with the consequences of a system which takes everything from them and gives back polluted seas and rivers, lethal waste dumps, droughts, floods and other environmental catastrophes. The struggle to defend the environment must therefore be a struggle against capitalism and imperialism. Only a socialist planned economy can create the opportunity for a sustainable relationship to our environment on a mass scale.
The RCG supports the struggle to defend the environment and develop a sustainable way of life through collective organisation and planning.
Defending socialist countries
Today Cuba carries the banner of socialism as the leading example of what is possible when the working class and oppressed take power to transform society. Cuba has demonstrated the security of health care, education, food, housing and other fundamental human needs that socialism can bring to people, even in a country under siege from imperialism. Cuba has extended the democratic participation of the entire population in the running of society. Cuba has long been a beacon of international solidarity and played a vital role in the defeat of apartheid in South Africa. Now Cuba is playing a leading role across Latin America through its relationships of mutual solidarity with revolutionary democratic movements in countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia and the initiatives carried out under the banner of ALBA – the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.
We fight actively in defence of the Cuban revolution and against the illegal US blockade, and support the Bolivarian movement for anti-imperialist unity between Latin American countries.
Get involved in the fight back
The RCG exists in order to defend and develop an anti-imperialist trend within Britain, based on the long term interests of the entire working class and oppressed internationally. We stand for the creation of a society organised both to meet the needs of the entire population and to ensure the fullest possible development of every individual. A crisis of imperialism on the present scale is going to transform the political landscape. The British ruling class will be increasingly unable to buy off so great a section of the working class, and around the world movements of resistance and revolution are on the march. This is the period when social and economic developments are creating the conditions for building a new socialist movement in Britain. We are committed to building a movement on the streets, educating ourselves and organising to this end. All of us have a role to play and a responsibility to act. We must seize the time.