Platform proposal #1

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Draft statement from upcoming December conference
[Proposed by Simon Hardy]

We are fighting for a world without capitalism, where people, not profit, are in control.

The need for an alternative to the system we live under has become increasingly clear to millions all over the world. The credit crunch of 2008 tore through economies worldwide, leading to a global recession and new regimes of austerity in many countries – exposing the corruption, hypocrisy and brutality of a system that protects the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor.

Rather than blaming the functioning of the capitalist system, the ruling elites instead blamed ordinary people for the crisis, claiming that we enjoyed life too much, that our health care was too expensive, and that our education, welfare and benefits were too extravagant. But the excesses were not ours. It was their greedy drive for profit and power, and the inherent instability of the system they have championed which ultimately led to the crisis and that is continuing to fuel it now.

The gap between rich and poor, the division between workers and their bosses, between men and women, between black and white is now accelerating. The division between the wealthy imperialist western countries and the poorer global south remains, the big parasitic financial centres sucking the life and resources out from the rest of the world.

The ruling class believe the answer is to rip up the welfare state and marketise more of the economy. They claim that more profit for them, and more poverty for us is the only way out.

The Anticapitalist Initiative

We urgently need a political solution to the problem. We do not believe that the answer lies solely in social protests or radical trade unionism, though both of these are very important in the struggle. The question of who runs society, and in whose benefit, is one that must be answered, not just with analysis and criticism, but with a struggle to change society from the top to the bottom.

Whilst we are activists on the left, we are not uncritical of the practices of the left. The radical movement is fragmented, weak, often dogmatic, conservative and uninventive. It is time for a more flexible approach to organising. Not one that abandons politics in favour of “activism” or principles in favour of pragmatic adaptation, but one that develops a strategy and way of working that can allow the left to genuinely challenge the capitalist system at a time when many millions are questioning it.

We want work with other formations and organisations which share our critical viewpoints and are non-sectarian. We aim to build a much larger broader anticapitalist organisation composed of many political tendencies, and individual viewpoints, all working in a spirit of collective unity.

Policies

We need a united anti-cuts campaign, one built from the bottom up with active local groups and a democratic, delegate conference.

We need to democratise our unions, with grassroots control of disputes and campaigns and ultimately full rank and file control free from bureaucracy.

We want to end the dictatorship of the rich over our economy, and are for a system that puts workers and communities in control

We support the struggle of the Palestinians for their liberation and right to return to their ancestral homeland. We support the Arab revolutions and we oppose imperialist attempts to co-opt them.

We fight against sexism, racism, homophobia and Islamophobia within society and within progressive movements.

We fight fascism and believe in mobilising communities to defend themselves against the violent attacks of the far-right, without reliance on state institutions.

We look to create a world without national borders or barriers, and oppose the division of peoples through the maintenance of racist immigration policies.

A market based economy cannot save the planet from environmental destruction. The drive for profits is the primary cause of the problems we now face.

We believe in the right of people to rebel and to defend themselves against attempts by capitalist states to crush resistance with violence.

We need to move beyond capitalism, and find a social and economic alternative to the present system.

We want to create a network of activists who agree with these policies and the direction of our organisation. If you want to build a radical left for the 21st century then join us.

How we organise ourselves

The ACI is an interim, transitional organisation. Its organisational structure is not fixed but will evolve over time depending on the size of the membership, its tasks and campaigning priorities.

As a principle the ACI will endevaour to be organised as much as possible from below for maximum participation from the membership in all serious decisions, both political and organisational.

Local networks are autonomous, they organise themselves and run their own activity.

Each group which is affiliated to the ACI can send a number of delegates to national meetings.

The national coordination is charged with organising national tasks, including demonstrations and conferences.

The ACI will organise bi-monthly national delegate meetings and an annual conference.

Supporters should pay a regular subscription to the organisation.

The national coordination has no powers of expulsion.

The website will be run by a volunteer editorial team. The web team’s role is to commission and edit articles for publication. Members of the ACI with minority view points can publish their positions on the website.

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2 Comments

  1. billj
    October 21, 2012 at 10:58 am · Reply

    This is my alternative to the above;

    “The ACI is a network that enables anti-capitalist activists to debate current political issues. Where possible it aims to unite these activists to fight for against capitalism, for the interests of working people, the unemployed and the oppressed”.

    Motivation. Its way too soon to draft a programme. There’s hardly any organisation in reality. It should be up to the group as it develops to decide what programme it adopts. The draft from Simon is inadequate in many areas. Its both too narrow and too broad. Better to adopt a very minimum definition that allows the group to organically develop.

  2. November 21, 2012 at 11:46 am · Reply

    In Platform 1 Simon writes “we need to end the dictatorship of the rich over OUR economy” But how can a Capitalist economy based on exploitation,alienation and oppression in which,as Simon notes, the credit crunch has exposed its corruption,brutality and so on, be in any sense ours? The implication is that capitalism or our economy can be modified so that there is not a dictatorship of the rich. Our economy might imply our national economy:so much for a world without borders. If we are going to put workers and communities in control, which Simon wants, then we need more suitable words than words that give the impression they come from a trade union leaflet, from a Trade Union office.

    Simon also writes “we need to democratise our unions” Again the Trade unions are not ours. The Trade Unions are tied to Capitalism and a layer of officials negotiating the terms of exploitation or the best deal, which in a time of crisis,as the pension dispute showed, is little or nothing. Full rank and file control is not possible this side of revolution. Such an aim has and will simply entangle socialists/communists/militants in bureaucratic structures.Surely it is better to simply state, we support grass roots campaigns by Trade Union members which act independently of the bureaucracy and across Union structures to link up with other workers in local communities,in the interests of the working class.

    Final comment. If as a principle,the ACI Organises as much as possible from below for maximum participation, from the membership,then why impose national delegate meetings and an annual delegate conference, on a small membership, which could meet in aggregates four times a year, with provisions for an emergency aggregate of supporters? After all these are interim or transitional arrangements.

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