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The capitalist state

Political and Economic Organisation: Some Common Objections Answered

 The Battlefield of the Struggle

 In a previous issue we outlined the policy of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. We showed that the class struggle arises on the economic field, but that the workers can only be victorious in that struggle by becoming conscious of their class interests and controlling political power. The objection is often raised that the worker is "robbed” in the process of production, and that it is on the industrial field that he must fight for emancipation. These objectors do not realise the truth pointed out by Marx, that economic systems are controlled politically. Marx showed that material conditions give rise to political institutions by means of which ruling classes dominate the economic world. The materialist view of history shows that the material conditions of production, etc., make necessary political machinery to govern or control the economic life of society.

Socialism and Social Reforms

 It is not only the workers who, through Trade Union action, endeavour to place certain limits upon their exploitation by the capitalists. The State, which to-day exists for the purpose of preserving capitalism, is also compelled in the course of its activities to take such steps.

 In the early days of the nineteenth century, when the modern factory system was still struggling with earlier methods of production (based on handicraft in its later phases), the workers were able to reap some slight advantage from the divisions among the exploiting class.

Methods of Organisation. Which is correct?

 A good deal of importance has of late been attached to the question of the industrial organisation of the working class. It is now more than ever necessary to sound a note of warning. A lot has been written and said unduly emphasising this importance. While the present writer admits the necessity for some form of organisation on the industrial field, he realises that these, at best, have their limitations.

 Syndicalism, Industrial Unionism, with the advocacy of their respective methods of “war” on the capitalist class, such as the rank and file movement of the metal trades, the general “down tools" policy, “direct action,” sabotage, etc.—all these have been brought to the front at various times, with claims that they represent the correct form of organisation for the workers to take up in order to free themselves from the domination of capitalism.

Book Reviews: 'Miners' Strike'

Iron Fist 

'State of Siege: Miners' Strike 1984 - Politics and Policing in the Coal Fields', by Jim Coulter, Susan Miller, Martin Walker. Canary Press

'Strike Breaking in Essex: The Policing of Wivenhoe and the Essex Ports During the 1984 Miners' Strike', Moira Abdel-Rahim. Canary Press

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