The Labour Party dithers over whether it’s still the Blairite new-labour party or whether it will return to its true-labour social-democratic/socialist position as the mass party of labour. The question for those of use on the broad left is whilst the Labour Party continues to sit on the fence who will lead the offensive against the neo-liberal/neo-conservative attack on the living standards of the ordinary workers in Britain. How will the British Left respond to the attack on our social services, health care, education, employment and pension rights that are being coordinated by the capitalist classes, state and super-state of Britain and Europe, what is to be done?
The British Left can retreat into time-serving bureaucratic activity and dogma; look back longingly to the old certainties when the Soviet Union seemed to represent the socialist future or that somehow Keynesian welfare capitalism would transformation the bourgeois capitalist system into a socialist system. We have seen that the social-democratic road to socialism failed and how since the late 1970’s the capitalist classes have used the ideology of neo-liberalism to privatise and deregulate away much of what social-democrats believed would build socialism. At the same time the capitalist classes have used globalisation and neo-conservative ideology of financial and military imperialism to control the labour movements of the bourgeois democracies and resources of the planet.
We have seen the Soviet Union collapse as a result of an over bureaucratic system and lack of democracy, Yugoslavia had a more democratic form of worker co-operatives and workers councils yet the forces of global capital along with the subversive actions of the USA and British secret services managed to destabilise it and manipulate ethnic and regional tensions within the socialist state. China, Cuba and Vietnam are having to implement capitalist mechanisms in response to the realities of a global political and economic system. If the Left are to effectively defend the working classes of Britain, Europe and globally they will have to respond to the forces of British, European and global capitalism.
This means there can be no road to socialism in Britain or any other state in isolation, the neo-liberal and neo-conservative offensive mounted by the capitalist classes of Britain, Europe and the globally require a coordinated working class response and ideological understanding of the capitalist forces acting against the working classes of Britain, Europe and globally. Therefore if the Left are to be successful in response to the reactionary forces that have set the agenda for the last thirty years there can be no retreat into time-serving and dogma which represents a retreat from Marxist and Leninist theory and practice a retreat from historical-materialism. If the Marxist-Leninist parties are to be the vanguard that leads the counter offensive against the capitalist offensive of the last thirty years then it has to pursue an international and non-sectarian strategy. This I believe is the policy and argument that Lenin would have pursued as an international revolutionary Marxist rather than just going through the motions and is the only response for Marxists and Marxist-Leninist parties in the 21st century.