Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Calling XR...Calling XR

Every protest begins by being ignored, then sneered at, then hated. Until finally, they get the message.

We are faced with a future that is unsustainable environmentally and it will take more than a bridge blockade to put that future on a sustainable basis. Ultimately, it will take a transformation of human civilisation. Anyone can be against capitalism. But some people are just against BIG capitalism as if somehow "small” capitalism is a completely different thing, and can be nice. It's not. They're the same. Capitalism is commodity production for sale on a market. It is wage slavery. Concentrating on "nasty" industrialists and the speculators of the stock-market and defining "capitalism" in those terms can only end up as a diversion from the goal of abolishing the capitalist system. 

Capitalism is not a place (City of London, Wall St) or a thing ("corporations"), it is a social relationship dependent upon wage labour and commodity exchange where profit is derived from capital's theft of unpaid labour. There are no nice capitalists. We have nothing to say to our rulers on how to run capitalism, we should not be drawn into fighting their battles, and we should certainly not be drawn into rolling history back instead of forwards. Our fight should not be a campaign for "real" capitalism i.e. manufacturing/industrial capitalism against the finance and speculator interests. It should be calling for the abolition of capitalism rather than its "fair" administration and regulation. Even in times of “prosperity” capitalism does not, and cannot serve the interests of the majority. Profit-seeking dominates decisions about what, where and how to produce. Priorities are distorted as profits always come before meeting needs. The real power of capital is in our everyday live, we re-create its power every day because capital is not a thing but a social relation between people mediated by things. Until, of course, we decide as a majority to take the political action necessary to change our lives.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a people-powered movement. The Socialist Party is glad to see the emergence of people criticising capitalism as a system which is causing the current climate change crisis. If there is a radical shift from being a single issue campaign to attack capitalism as a system XR is to be commended. The Socialist Party can only hope that climate change activists develop further, by shedding particular campaigns for the improvement of capitalism, into a general onslaught on capitalism itself. Revolutionary action lies in effectively communicating that message to each other. We welcome that some people are identifying capitalism as the cause of environmental problems they had previously sought to deal with on a single-issue basis, and now we urge them to take the next step and join us in the struggle for socialism as the only practicable alternative to capitalism. It's a question of getting the message out there, and getting it right. We're doing our bit. The socialist movement is the natural umbrella movement for all humanity. All the single issues are effects, the cause of which is capitalism. Effects can sometimes be ameliorated but it is better to eliminate the cause and prevent the effects returning. Go to the root of the problem and not the symptoms.

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