Elections can't deliver real change, but our fights can - and they will!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
20 November 2019

With just over three weeks to go before the 12 December, the main parties still have to release their election manifestos.  They all want to be free to tweak their election promises up to the very last minute, so as to be able to respond to opinion polls and unexpected developments.  No wonder: they aren't fighting for ideas, only for votes!
    For the working class, this election is in no way different from so many others in the past: our class interests are just not represented by any of the contending parties.  Instead, they're all offering their loyal services to the bosses, by promoting their own “fast-track solution" out of the Brexit conundrum as the “best for Britain” - i.e., for British capital.
    In other words, whoever we vote for - and whichever way Brexit goes as a result of this election - our ballot papers are bound to be used, once again, one way or another, to justify getting the working class to foot the bill for bailing this corrupt capitalist system out of its own chronic state of crisis.
    Of course, there are different ways of organising this bailout, depending on which party is running the show.  And the methods the different parties propose to use may seem more or less brutal.  But, ultimately, the resulting bailout of the capitalists' profits will be just as crippling for the rest of us and for society as a whole.

The Corbyn illusion

So, would it be different for us under a Corbyn government?  This is what the media stories suggest when they talk about British billionaires queuing to move abroad, should Corbyn make it to Downing Street.  But why should it be different under Labour - and why would the bosses have anything to fear from Corbyn?
    Take, for instance, the £400bn investment in infrastructure pledged by McDonnell.  Wouldn't this be a massive bounty for private companies?  Since Labour has no plans for the state to undertake the construction of the required infrastructure itself, by directly recruiting workers and organising the work, wouldn't this mean hundreds of billions worth of contracts going straight onto private sector order books, without companies and shareholders having to fork out a penny from their own pockets?
    Of course, the word "nationalisation" is supposed to be a dirty word these days.  But this is only because the bosses are crying wolf, in the hope of squeezing even more money out of a Labour government.  After all, Labour says it will buy the nationalised companies' shares!  But what did their shareholders ever do, apart from waiting for workers to sweat out their dividends?  Why should they be compensated at all?
    What's more, by buying these shares, Labour will allow their owners to invest in far more profitable industries than Britain's ageing privatised utilities!  In this respect, we're back to the post-WWII situation, except that instead of being crippled by a war, today's privatised utilities are crippled by decades of criminal under-investment!
    In any case, just as Attlee did in 1945, today, Corbyn is offering British capital a new lease of life, at a time when it is weakened by the world crisis.

Back to the class struggle

In fact, Corbyn is just offering to save British capital from its own reckless greed and chaotic system.  As he pointed out himself in front of the CBI, on 18 November:  "It’s sometimes claimed that I am anti-business.  That is complete nonsense."  And then he proceeded to convince his audience that his primary concern is to make the economy work for them, the bosses!
    But an economy that works for the bosses cannot work for workers:  opposite class interests cannot be reconciled.  It is not a question of policy, nor a question of party, let alone a question of who's prime minister.  It is a question of social organisation.  As long as the capitalists have a monopoly over the economy, it will be exclusively driven by private profit - and society will be chronically crippled and forced into decay.  And Corbyn has no intention of undermining their monopoly.
    So, yes, the capitalists have everything to expect and nothing to fear from a Labour government.  In fact, the only thing they really do fear is a resurgence of working class militancy, which might threaten their profits - and, potentially, their stranglehold over the economy.  But, predictably, this is the one thing that Corbyn is careful not to even hint at in his election campaign!
    For the working class, there will be only one way forward after this no-stake election, no matter who gets into N° 10:  to defend its class interests, it will have to rebuild its collective militant strength and go on the offensive against the capitalist profiteers, by using the weapons of the class struggle.