Issuu on Google+

What is Workers’ Power?? by Burhan Syed

International Socialists (Pakistan) www.worldtowinpk.net internationalsocialistpakistan@yahoo.com


Why we need Marxist Theory? • Socialist Ideas---Abstract? • Real Life/Common sense different – – – – –

Nature Hard work Investment Education Morals

• All contain view of Society • No theory----un-clarified view


Arguments for change in society • Need clarification • Marx (1830) development of Industry • Misery, squalor • Fightback, “Chartism” • Problem, workers’ movement – direction • Change through peaceful means, “Moral force”---defeated • Change through physical force, conspiracy----defeated • Economic action, General strike----defeated


Arguments for change in society • 1848 Marx, Manifesto • Deals with questions of Workers’ Movement • Moral/Physical Force---Parliament/Revolution----Terrorism


Capitalist crisis • Effect of Economy on Class Struggle?? – Severe Slump----Rebellion?? – Boom---workers confidence?

• Important Questions • Damaged working class movements • No Mechanical Relationship – Conditions …….Resistance


Previous Experience – Prolong Boom…Confidence/Organization • Concessions…Limits struggle – – – –

Strikes, successful, small, short No Compulsion to generalize Little interest in Revolutionary Ideas Reforms….Capitalism Remains


Previous Experience • Period of Economic Crisis – Sharp Rise and Class Struggle – Employers; Bankrupt, Determined, State-aid

• How to hold Gains?? – Workers’ fight harder, wider – Bitter struggle, generalized – Question of Political Leadership – Slump; Potential; Victory/Overthrow/Defeats – Defeat, Mass Unemployment….Demoralizing


Oscillation • Rev Struggle/Rev Consciousness – Bitterness at System – Possibility at Fightback

• Class Struggle...Alternate…Boom/Slump – Workers’ fight harder, wider – Bitter struggle, generalized – Question of Political Leadership – Slump; Potential; Victory/Overthrow/Defeats – Defeat, Mass Unemployment….Demoralizing


Capitalism • • • • •

No Sustained Move Continued Crisis Oscillations New Assault Upsurge in Class Struggle


Workers’ Power • Strike Committee • Rank and File Reps – Organize Protest – Collect other workers support

• Strike Spreads – Strike Committee expands – Tasks Grow


Mass Strikes • Serious Challenge to System • Working Class Forefront – Hundreds of organizations required

• New Tasks – Big Demos – Supplies/Transport – Defend Against Attacks – Alternate News Service

• Soviets/Workers Councils


Workers Councils • Soviet…Russian Word – Arise from need of Struggle – Not Theorists’ “Abstract Scheme” – Russia, Soviets, 1905/1917 – German 1918-1919 – Spain 1936 – Hungary 1956 – Iran 1979


• Take Government Functions – Alternate Power Centre – Rivals state • “Dual Power”


Dictatorship of Proletariat • Revolution…Destroy Capitalist State • Replace by Workers Councils • New State Power….Workers Power


Workers State • Workers State • • • • •

Elections in workplace Collective debate/Discussion Direct Interest of Class Recallable Delegates Everyone takes part in running the state

• Workers Power…..Million Times more Democratic


Workers Power