Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Thoughts on XR - Words are our weapons

The Socialist Party has never claimed that 'the revolution' will start in parliament without first starting in the minds (and therefore actions) of Because of the global warming crisis people are actually questioning capitalism, because they’re being forced to. Capitalist "truths" are being delegitimatised by experience on the ground. People are talking, reading, and thinking. But if they are not become part of the solution, they become part of the problem, people need to use that education intelligently. The protesters may be asking some of the right questions, but have they discovered the right answers? Many activists are still wedded to capitalist economics and propose to reforms it rather than do away it entirely.

Fridays for Climate school strikers and Extinction Rebellion should be commended for making time to discuss seriously the hope of finding a solution. There was immense pressure for them adopt a program. The Socialist Party applaud people taking action which is essentially democratic and anti-capitalist. However, it is foolish to think that a socialist party is the source of revolutionary consciousness. It is equally foolish to think that  climate change camps will automatically lead to an upsurge in socialist understanding. We can't just hope that socialist ideas will prevail. Socialist ideas have to compete with others. Many people understand that we have reached a critical turning point that demands radical change in how and why we produce the means of supporting life. People demanding change are not united in focusing on the political economics at the root of most global problems but they are moving in that direction. This shows that many can understand the situation. We want as many people as possible discussing and debating ideas of a post-capitalist future so we can establish this society. We need to articulate a different future. Many doubt a socialist society is either feasible or even desirable. Socialism doesn't have to be a utopia. It's a concrete answer to concrete problems, however. Without such an ideal, the real world will be ever harder to change.

The Socialist Party is an advocacy party with an intimate acquaintance with the various struggles in history since its foundation. Our purpose is to promote socialism, and advance the necessary pre-requisites for a movement to achieve it while at the same time, identifying and criticising trends that obstruct our goal, which is mainly but not entirely siren-call of reforms. Our job is to provide the ideological tools, (the ideas, the theory and the evidence) for those in in the environmentalist protest movement to maintain an effective anti-capitalism. It is not to lead workers to socialism but to push them by discussion, argument and debate into reaching the inescapable conclusion that for society to go forward, socialism is the only solution. We have to have a physical presence within those working class struggles which seek alternative answers to their problems. It means possessing a confidence in our politics and recognising ourselves as part of the working class and a legitimate expression of it. The more socialism is discussed and debated, the more likely that protests escalate and intensify into a decisive mass movement against capitalism and its failure as a system to satisfy and fulfil real human needs and wants. We need to relate socialism to the present and demonstrate its practicability. We need to connect struggles such as those of the climate justice movements with the attainment of socialism. Unlike others who present themselves as revolutionaries we do not project socialism as a remote ideal system of the future but something to aspire for to-day. Our educational efforts alone will not suffice since, as often explained, the power of the prevailing ideology through dominance of the capitalist media handicaps our class in the battle of ideas. But what we write and say still remains vital to give expression to people's actions and to validate their own experiences. We, as socialists, are simply presenting choices to the working class, for them to reject or accept, that is all we can do but without a choice being offered, there is no choice. The Socialist Party is not so presumptuous as to think that the whole future of the world depends on us. What we do say is that people will come to a realisation that capitalism needs to be replaced by socialism quicker if there's already an organised group arguing for this. 

The late historian Howard Zinn said, it is important toorganize ourselves in such a way that means correspond to the ends, and to organize ourselves in such a way as to create the kind of human relationship that should exist in future society.”

 The Socialist Party exists in order to assist in the self-emancipation of workers. Since its foundation it has asserted what it believes should be the democratic norms of social movements.  All policy and activity should be democratic and decided by the majority and that positions of responsibility should be elected. The world-wide environment movement raises awareness about climate change yet they follow the same old tried, tested and failed reformist formulae. Nevertheless, every once in a while, peoples' ideas experience a massive breakthrough, an evolutionary leap, in how the world around us is defined. Climate change has done that. Our challenge within the Socialist Party is to use the fertile ground to foster further progress.

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