Saturday, March 28, 2009

March ...march ...march ...keep right on marching to the end of the road

The SPGB was founded in 1904 and through the decades it has seen marches and demonstrations and protests over a whole range of issues. Rather than just patting to-day's G-20 marchers on the back for turning out to protest , we demand much more from them .

The protesters at the G-20 might think they are united in common cause, but in truth they are only united in supporting capitalism and in their mistaken belief that “bad” capitalism can be legislated out of existence. They are not even anti-capitalist, in the sense that they haven't yet even agreed on a definition of capitalism.
Whilst the G-20 protest may demonstrate great strength of feeling it will also demonstrate a great weakness i.e. the lack of control of those who take part and their dependence on the decisions and actions of present power structures. Because of this, protesters can become victims of a seductive but deadly process. The capitalist system constantly throws up issues that demand action amongst those who are concerned and by many people who think of themselves as socialists. As a result, protest tends to become a demand for an “improved” kind of capitalism which leaves the long-term reasons for protest intact. This has been the history of protest.In this sense, protest tends to set a stage for further protest and further demonstrations. Though the issues may vary the message stays the same: “We demand that governments do this, that or the other!” The spectacle of thousands demanding that governments act on their behalf is a most reassuring signal to those in power that their positions of control are secure. In this way, repeated demonstrations do little more than confirm the continuity of the system.

The point is to change society, not to appeal to the doubtful better nature of its power structures.

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