Weapons of class war

On Sunday June 4 at a meeting in London the Communist Party’s 12th Summer Offensive - our annual fund-raising drive - was launched with a speech by John Bridge on Building the revolutionary alternative

AS WITH previous years, the 12th Party Offensive is not just about buying new equipment for the Party, but actually preparing and laying the financial foundations for the tasks involved in developing our work of reforging the Party.

It is about consolidating our gains, primarily at the moment in developing our press and our challenge to Labourism. This year’s Offensive will be critical in preparing our organisation for the forthcoming general election in 1996 or 1997.

It is almost taken for granted now that the Labour Party will win the next general election and, as John Bridge pointed out in his launch speech, “It is obvious to all but the pro-Labour left that the Labour Party is an openly capitalist Party”.

Those on the left who still insist on sinking themselves in the lesser-of-two-evils tactic of voting Labour have the same formal, mechanical outlook as the Mensheviks in Russia, who insisted that only the bourgeoisie was predetermined to follow the course of other capitalist countries to carry out a bourgeois revolution.

In the same mechanical way the pro-Labour left in all its different shades wants to get rid of the worst evil - the Tories - and only then somehow progress towards socialism via more and ever more left Labour governments. But, as Lenin recognised, politics moves, not in this stageist way, but in leaps, with societies being overturned through crisis, through revolution.

The enthusiasm for Blair will undoubtedly turn to disillusionment very quickly. As we move towards the 21st century, the post-World War II boom has created the conditions for the greatest slump capitalism has ever known. The agenda of the next Labour government has to be to try and save the capitalist system, to put off the coming crash.

To resist the tide of reaction that capitalism will attempt to drown us in the working class must be organised, not just on the basis of despair, but with a vision of a new society.

The history of defeats over the last century has left our class as a slave class. To rise again as a future ruling class, we need to be organised for ourselves in our party - the Communist Party.

This year’s Summer Offensive, as part of the process of building the alternative to Labourism, as part of the process of preparing for the next general election, must develop the struggle towards rapprochement.

Represented at the launch meeting were the Revolutionary Democratic Group (faction of the SWP) and Open Polemic. Comrade Bridge presented the Provisional Central Committee’s resolution, Theses on factions (printed below), which had been passed unanimously at a membership aggregate meeting. This resolution, it is hoped, will take forward the concrete discussions with the various groups we are in contact with. It was welcomed by the RDG representative at the meeting.

The left at the moment, divided as it is into separate sects owing allegiance to one or another dogma, confines itself to disunity. It puts a barrier on the development of revolutionary theory and therefore of revolutionary practice. The PCC does not claim to be the answer, but the campaign of rapprochement provides the practical basis for a principled coming together of the left.

This will not be an ideological truce, but a constant theoretical struggle and debate tested by united revolutionary action. The Summer Offensive must ensure that we are in a position to expand the Party’s press in order that this debate can be developed to the full in print.

John Bridge concluded his speech, saying:

“In our Summer Offensives you see the seeds of communism itself. During the two months comrades do all sorts of jobs with no expectation of reward, but for the collective good. It is that style of work that is necessary to reforge our Party.”

At the meeting pledges taken amounted to £17,125. Some comrades undertook to raise over £1,000, and supporters and friends of the Party pledged amounts ranging from £50 to £1,200. We are still some way from our £25,000 target, but this is an excellent beginning. No pledge is too small or too big. The important thing is to take part in our struggle to reforge the Party our class needs. Our Party Offensives provide the finance for the sinews of class war. Join us!

Lee-Anne Bates