This statement was adopted by the Network X gathering of 15/16th of January with 14 stand asides and concerns expressed.
Statement from the Class Struggle workshop of the Network X gathering
We are currently facing an assault which we need to resist urgently, before this moment is lost.
Capitalism in Crisis
We live in a time of crisis; economic, environmental and social. This is the normal functioning of capitalism: the shock and misery of crisis, and the shock and misery of “recovery”. The economy falters and the majority of us suffer the consequences, the economy is readjusted in the aftermath and it is the majority of us who suffer unemployment, cuts etc. to foot the costs. To fight austerity, we must fight capitalism itself.
The working class pays
Austerity is nothing more than an attack on the living standards of the working class. Class ultimately is not about having a manual job, education level of accent, it is a about our relationship with the economy. Either you live off your ability to work now (wages), your ability to work in the future (a student loan) or, unable to work, you are allowed to scrape by on the dole. Those with the wealth and power to be above these “choices” will be untouched by austerity. Instead, we will pay the price through layoffs, wage cuts, attacks on working conditions, cuts to benefits and services and student loan hikes.
Mass struggle is the solution
We can’t rely on anyone but ourselves to fight austerity. The major parties, Labour included, differ only on the specifics of how our living standards are to be attacked. Whilst understanding that workplace struggles will, in many cases, start off within the Trade Union framework, we need to understand that to be successful, in the current crisis, struggles will need to move outside of this framework. Vanguards fighting on our behalf, and substituting their party, clique or scene for the struggle of the working class must be rejected. Successfully resisting austerity will require:
– Mass direct action: Strikes, occupations and other tactics which will disrupt the economy.
– A mass movement: Students, workers and the unemployed share the same struggle and cannot fight alone.
– Fighting divides: Race, gender, union membership, workplace, nationality, migrant/“indigenous” worker, etc.
– A movement from below: Directly democratic control from the bottom-up; mass meetings and use of recallable delegates instead of stagnant committees.