Rise up against inequality!

The following review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century was first published on the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty website.

Ten Reasons Why We Need a New, Anticapitalist Alternative

Ten Reasons Why We Need a New, Anticapitalist Alternative
This article by Simon Hardy was first published on the New Left Project website.

Yes, it’s kicking off everywhere.

Over the last 18 months we have seen a sea change in resistance and popular consciousness. The Arab Spring has put revolution back on the agenda of global politics.

In Britain, we’ve seen the occupation of Millbank and student revolt, the huge TUC March and now the massive N30 strike.

I write as an activist who first came into radical politics in the early 2000s during the last wave of radical, anticapitalist mobilisation that put G8 summits under the siege of popular protest.

The anticapitalist and subsequent anti war mobilisations of those times were electrifying. But they did not create a new mass anticapitalist organisation that could challenge the power of the warmongers nor did they stop the wars by mass action.

Whilst the new spirit of revolt is certainly exciting for the possibilities that it opens up for radical shift to the left across Britain, it would be a missed opportunity if we simply participated in the new movements without exploring new avenues for unity, new forms of organisation, that might help us finally overcome years of decline and division.

The fear that many of us have is that without transforming the militancy and energy into a lasting political organisation we won’t realise the promise of the hour.

And the threat posed by this government and the Labour party is very real – within a couple of years the NHS will be privatised, pensions slashed, benefits dramatically reduced, structural unemployment will return to the economy and the clock on civil liberties is being turned generations.

For the radical left the challenge of this moment is enormous.

Here are ten […]

“Workers Power” resignations

This statement, written by Simon Hardy (the editor of Workers Power), was published on April 14 2012. It was the culmination of a six month debate within Workers Power and the departure of a group of comrades from that organisation. The internal debate centered around the understanding of democratic centralism and the need for broader political projects that are as plural and open as possible while still being clear on the strategic questions.

I along with a number of other members of Workers Power in Britain, Austria and the Czech Republic have resigned from the organisation. The global capitalist crisis has posed tremendous questions for the radical left about how to go forward. We have increasingly drawn the conclusion that the historical legacy of the post-war left, in particular the Leninist-Trotskyist left, needs to be subjected to far-reaching critique and re-evaluation in light of the contemporary challenges.

The organised left is dogged by sectarianism and opportunism. There are quite literally hundreds of competing orthodoxies, with each sect promoting and defending its own, typically very narrow, conception of revolutionary theory and practice without subjecting their ideas to the critical re-evaluation which we believe is necessary if Marxism is to reach out to far wider layers.

We came to the conclusion that a method of organising exclusively focused on building specifically Leninist-Trotskyist groups prevents the socialist left from creating the kind of broad anticapitalist organisations, which can present a credible alternative to the mainstream parties.

The post 1991 world presents new challenges to the left and the workers’ movement. Marxism is no longer the natural ‘go-to politics’ of radical activists coming into the movement today. The dramatic shift to the right by social democracy and the business unionism of the […]