UK – Left Unity: Comparing the Platforms

Published on Left Unity, by the Left Party Platform, the Socialist Platform and the Class Struggle Platform, August 11, 2013.

We face the probability of a terrible decline in the social wealth of the working people in the UK, a critical change in the life experience of working class people, says Felicity Dowling. Hunger, want and fear are coming back to this and other countries. Thousands have signed petitions supporting the call for a new political formation under the banner of Left Unity. November will see hundreds of founding members of this new party inaugurate it, determine our political direction, our priorities and the nature of the organisation itself … //

NATURE OF THE PARTY:

  • Left Party Platform: “A party which advocates and fights for the democratisation of our society, economy, state and political institutions, transforming these arenas in the interests of the majority… Its politics and policies will stand against capitalism, imperialism, war, racism and fascism”, “…socialist, feminist, environmentalist and against all forms of discrimination”, And “The new left party will campaign, mobilise and support struggles on a day to day basis, recognising the need for self-organisation in working class communities” – Towards a new left party, the background document for the Left Party Platform.
  • Socialist Platform: The [Left Unity] Party is a socialist party. Its aim is to bring about the end of capitalism and its replacement by socialism.
  • Class Struggle Platform: We need an anti-capitalist, socialist party. We need a party that says the working class and the oppressed must not pay for the long economic crisis of the banks and corporations. It is the rich financiers and capitalists who must be forced to pay. We need a party that puts an end to austerity and brings about a massive transfer of wealth from the rich to ordinary people. We want a party that champions and strengthens the unions and every organisation of working class and oppressed people, freeing them from the shackles of the anti-union laws. We want a party whose members are active on every front of the struggle.
    We need a democratic, anti-bureaucratic party. We need a party radically different from the undemocratic establishment parties funded by the rich and controlled by an unaccountable elite of MPs and bureaucrats.
    We will build our party from the bottom up, from the workplaces and communities, from the midst of our struggles. We want it to draw in tens of thousands of ordinary people in every town and city across Britain.

ANTI-CAPITALISM:

  • Left Party Platform: In reality these policies have been designed to destroy the social and economic gains working people have made over many decades, reducing wages and obliterating welfare states. The economic crisis has increasingly become a social and political crisis as people face poverty, hunger and even death, as a result of the catastrophic and government-imposed failure of health systems and social services. The environmental crisis driven particularly by climate change caused by the unending search for profit is wreaking devastation too, particularly in the Global South.
    That face of capitalism was superseded – temporarily as is now clear – after 1945, as humanising reform elements were adopted under the pressure of the strengthened post-war labour movements and the social democracy that they gave rise to across much of Western Europe.
    Following the pattern adopted in the Global South where post-colonial reforms were destroyed by the structural adjustment policies of the IMF and World Bank, resulting in poverty, environmental destruction, and intra-state conflict and increasing violence against women, Europe’s post-1945 social gains are now being brutally reversed. Governments use the excuse of ‘paying off the deficit’ to cut public spending and redistribute society’s wealth in the interests of the ruling class, by reducing wages and destroying the ‘social wage’ of health, education, social services and welfare…..
    The result is that whilst we see the rise of poverty, homelessness and unemployment, the wealth of the richest in our societies continues to grow at an exponential rate.
    We have entered the age of austerity where in a topsy-turvy world those who are responsible for the economic crisis are making the vast majority, who are not responsible, pay for their greed and profligacy and for the fundamental flaws in their system.
  • Socialist Platform: Under capitalism, production is carried out solely to make a profit for the few, regardless of the needs of society or damage to the environment.
    Capitalism does not and cannot be made to work in the interests of the majority. Its state and institutions will have to be replaced by ones that act in the interests of the majority
  • Class Struggle Platform: [It is very clear that the Class Struggle Platform do not like capitalism at all, however, they do not outline directly what they understand capitalism to be. This is not a problem as we can infer from their detailed account of socialism what capitalism might be from what it is not:] “It requires a fundamental breach with capitalism”.

SOCIALISM: … //

… WHAT WE WANT TO GAIN:

  • Left Party Platform: A party which advocates and fights for the democratisation of our society, economy, state and political institutions, transforming these arenas in the interests of the majority.
  • Socialist Platform: The [Left Unity] Party aims to win political power to end capitalism, not to manage it. It will not participate in governmental coalitions with capitalist parties at national or local level
  • Class Struggle Platform: Develop a strategy for taking real power into the hands of the people, forming a working class government, defeating capitalism and creating a world free of poverty, exploitation, oppression and war … //

… SUMMARY:

  • This post is intended to facilitate Left Unity supporters (future members) and meetings in the discussions which will be taking place over coming weeks and months in preparation for the November conference. It is clear, as has been observed above, that there is a huge amount of agreement between the various platforms. This posting has been constructed in the way that it has, to stress the similarities, but also highlight differences and gaps (which may well not constitute disagreement, so much as unintended omission) between the platforms, to facilitate the filling of gaps by all platforms, and the inclusion of unintended or apparent omissions – when we debate, let’s debate real rather than perceived differences where such exist. Where platforms want to emphasise differences, hopefully this post will support and help clarify that process too.

(full text).

(Resuming: Left Party Platform, Socialist Platform and Class Struggle Platform become the Left Unity).

Link: Bonga Bonga Land sums up the prevailing attitude towards immigrants in Britain, on Socialist Unity, by John Wight, Aug 13, 2013.

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