This weekend they have gathered again, the top politicians and bureaucrats of Euorpe, this time together with the political top dog of the amarican capital, George W Bush. Behind crush barriers and a 2 000 headed riot squad they are supposed to draw the political conclusions from the intensified attacks on the working class from the total capital. A sad bunch of political yes men and women safely distanced from the people they claim to represent shall discuss mainly the prospect countries of Eastern Europe. All this to the cost of millions of Euro, a bill they certainly not will pay themselves.
Before the meeting the resistance have tried to gather themselves. This diverse, to say the least, movement, both politically and in social composition, split themselves into two different demos. The argument was on whether the focus should be on Sweden leaving the union or for a different Europe. But despite their difference in degree they both end up i the dead end street of being on the defense: an internal capitalist reformism and a nationalist homage to the ‘own’ nation state, with the only difference in which capitalist symptom is worst, ‘globalization’ or the ‘right wing policies’ of the European Union. Like all resistance movements in the society both the networks include selfproclaimed leaders and internal ‘polices’ who try to drain the discontent and to make us ask and pray instead of demand and take. By, for example, focusing on the violence, like the non-violince network do, you let the State set the rules, where we must obey the monopoly of violence of the class state instead of fighting back.
We all live in a capitalist society. Its very base is that the majority has to sell their labour to survive while a small minority owns the means of production and therefor buy our labour so we can produce wealth for them. As a capitalist you have to earn more and more every year, you have to grow bigger and bigger. The competition between the different capitals wipe out some of them and make the rest even stronger, this is the consentration of capital. From this follows that capital expand both geographically and ‘socially’; the whole world and all aspects of social life is capitalised. With this Capitalism Made Easy you can see that globalization is part and parcel of capitalism. But with this comes that the working class to is globalized.
Why this focus on the ‘globalization’ recently? The capitalists are destined to revolutionize the technics faster and faster to be able to rationalize the workers so that less workers produce more, and through this annihilate their competitors. The information technology exploded in the 90s and has made the world smaller, the machines in the industry are more easy to move today, not to speak about companies in the service sector. This has become a powerful weapon for the capitalists, the threat and the reality of factory closures and relocation. But the critiques see this too much on just the capitalist side of the fact. But the working class to is ‘globalized’ with ‘workmates’ within the same company dispersed all over the globe. The same goes with every part of the final product. This global chain of production, linked together just-in-time make the whole system more fragile, since even a small group of workers ‘placed’ at a strategic part in this chain can stop factories on the other side of the globe. This because of their position as workers. On the short term capital may become stronger, but this development pin points the precarious situation of the capitalists since the whole system becomes more vulnerable for workers’ actions.
Anther aspect of this precarious situation is the so called ‘speculation hysteria’, the focus for the major part of the anti-globalization movement blaming it for unemployment, world starvation and the bad weather. But speculation does not cause the crisis, it is just a symptom of the crisis. When the capitalists make more money speculating stocks and houses than they make on production you see the most distinct proof of their crisis. The crisis may first appear on the surface in the sphere of realization as underconsumtion – even if the starvation and the nonexistent material standard in the third world gives plenty of examples of the needs not being satisfied – is the cause of the crisis to be found, like the most fundamental contradictions of capital, in the sphere of production.
What is new with this liberalism? Not much actually. It is just the ideological expression for the capitalist crisis. The post WW2 capitalist growth, that even allowed a relative material wealth for larger sectors of the working class, was based on a fundament of more or less limitless production of capital. The political economy was named after Keynes and the production technics after Ford. The workers demanded a bigger slice of the continous growing pie, and the slices really got bigger for a lot of workers. Today, with the deepening crisis this wealth is withdrawn for more and more workers. Both the ‘welfare state’ and the conditions at our workplaces. Today many workers produce and reproduce as much as ten workers did earlier. The welfare states responsibilities towards the capital is called Neo-liberalism and Toyotizm is the label of our working conditions. This is the class struggle from above against the workers’ dito from below, an uninterrupted now hidden, now open fight.
The wave of privatization over Europe, where former operations of the social state are sold to private capital, is about the redistribution of values from the state to private capital, in an attempt to kick start the stagnated accumulation. This is motivated by international agreements and institutions like the Worldbank and the IMF or the convergense demands of the EU, to which the states have tied themselves. Whether of these is chosen, it is about increased attacks on the working class, executed by the state.
In 1998 an organisation was formed in France, initiated by the editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, called Attac. Its aim was to appeal to the politicians to introduce a symbolic 0,05 % taxation on short term speculation, named after Tobin. The money was to be given to the third world. In Europe and particularly in Sweden the response among leftists and environmentals was great. Only the fact that ‘something seemed to happen’ woke up lots of leftists, now trying to become a piece of the action.
The bourgeoisie media started emotionally upset campaigns against this ‘grass root’ movement who dared to question the globalization and the speculation. But these ‘grass roots’ really grew way up on the capitalist pyramid. And just the fact that the bourgeoisie media are howling about huliganism and protectionism can not make socialists consider joining them.
The main objection for socialists and working class people must be their social composition based on individuals from the middle class and organisation bureaucrats. But also their focus on finance capital and speculation, leading them at best to the reformist illusion that the politicians and the nation states must ‘retake’ the control over the ‘economy’. With this there is nothing that makes Attac socialist progressive at all. Just the same old social democrat deadend with the only political conclusions drawn to ‘make the UN an organisation of struggle’. Seen in this perspective Attac and their fellow tendencies are just the opposite side of the capitalist coin.
Sweden joined the European Union in 1994 after a general referenda. And the export industry with their main market in the EU hoped for milk and honey and increased profits. Even the unions were happy since they are totally dependent on industrial growth. The fundament of the EU was to create an internal European market, to compete with the US and Japan on the domination over the world market. This is the extension of the capitalist nation state, a logical consequense of the captialist evolution. The opponents to this project was in Sweden to be found in the left and the environmental movement, but you could also find agrarian petite bourgeoisie and extreme neo-liberals. Even large sectors of the working class said No, with a healthy scepticism towards captialist political and economical re-organisations. With the top meeting in Gothenburg they are now trying to profit from the resistance. The ‘socialist’ vanguard of this nationalist resistance is the marxist-leninist KPML(r), a leftwing religous relic from the Cold War.
The question of wheather Sweden, or any other contry, should leave the union, as a way to strengthen the workers positions in the class struggle is nothing but an attempt to divide the european working class, through the illusion of your ‘own’ nation state as a better forum for struggle. But capitalism in one nation is as much an illusion as socialism in one nation. At best this will lead to a division of the european working class today, with the attempt to try to unite us again in some dull future in the socialist revolution. At worst, which is closest to the reality you just feed nationalism and the illusions on the nation state.
This is their incest relation to the rest of the anti-globalists, the change of focus from the core of capitalism in the production process, out of which the whole capitalist system arises and where its contradictions are most visible, to the surface of for example the aburdities of speculation or its political and juridical superstructure. The question of how the working class is getting stronger or not through this nationalist tactics, both in its EU form or its traditional swedish dito, is totally out of focus. The faith in the ‘possibilities of politics’ conceals the fact that we live in a capitalist society, a society that sell every tiny aspect of social life on the world market, a world market that sets the limits of operation for all nation states.
What is on the agenda is to ‘harmonise’ the workers’ struggles all over Europe and the rest of the world. It is when we fight back the contents of the convergence demands and the structural transformation programs, when we fight back the attacks at our workplaces and in our comunities, we have something to gain. This struggle pin points in itself how to create socialism. In this struggle we must fight and organise ourselves independently, according to our own interests as workers. It is in this collective struggle that the solidarity is strengthened. Here we realize that we need nobody’s help to liberate ourselves, no unions, no parties. These experiences are the core of the socialist consciousness necessary for the successful socialist revolution.
But all aspects of the class society must be attacked, not only the ‘economy’. The environmental problems are a threat to all human beings and are caused by the cynical capitalist haunt for profits. The oppression of women is an obstacle in our struggle, since the liberation of the working class is the liberation of the whole working class. The same goes with racism. We must fight back the tattered social life in work and so calle free time. We must everywhere fight back the division between us in competing companies, different sectors, industry vs the reproduction, in different nationalities. Non of these divisions are ever tactical to support.
The only consistent tactics are always Class against class.
We have a world to win!