May Day 2019
May Day is International Workers’ Day. It has its origins in the fight for an eight-hour working day. A fight that workers waged throughout the 19th century.
This fight is still relevant today.
It remains relevant today for the millions of unemployed, especially in the European Union, as unemployment represents a fundamental war on
workers. The right to work and the right to work in your country of birth are fundamental.
It remains relevant for the millions on zero hours contracts never knowing how to make ends meet.
And it remains relevant for all those working way more than eight hours a day yet still only being able to survive by gettng food from food banks.
Precarious work, unemployment and overwork in unacceptable conditions are all part of the same drive by capital to make workers slaves to labour.
Some commentators say that populism can be left wing or right wing. We do not accept this. Maduro has different objectives to Trump, Corbyn has different politics than Farage.
Populism is not anti-capitalist. It is not therefore popular. The Labour Party and trade union movement are more popular numerically, culturally and with historic achievements. The working class is rooted, real and revolutionary. Populists are lumpen, volatile and reactionary.
Populists bring together maverick billionaires with disaffected, unorganised workers in an unholy, mutually loathing alliance. They substitute a notion of ‘the people’, in place of the reality of class. They imagine the people against the corrupt elites, they do not seek the replacement of the capitalist economic system. Populism arises when there is general increasing alienation from lack of popular sovereignty offered by the political system. It represents frustration and legitimate concerns about the failings of bourgeois democracy.
Britain and the World
Socialism is a recent, infant development in the whole, long history of the human species, yet its seeds and embryos have grown within each previous social formation worldwide. Its essence in collective labour, sharing, solidarity, mutual support and human empathy has been evident in every human society. What has been unnatural and inhuman has been the theft of the collective production of people and the private ownership of land. This has occurred in relatively recent, class divided history since the first City states in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. It was this division into various forms of haves and have nots over the centuries that gave rise to new ideas of socialism which aspire to and predict a future without class division, the oppression of women, or ethnic groups.