The motive force for advance in our society is the class struggle between workers and capitalists. But capitalism not only exploits people at work, it also oppresses them in many different aspects of their lives.
Thus people experience capitalism’s negative effects not only in their workplaces, but in their communities and in their social, cultural and leisure activities. Students, pensioners, tenants, environmentalists and other movements, pressure groups, local community-based bodies, charities and the like challenge significant aspects of the current system, even though they may not always see their stance in ideological or political terms. They embrace people not only from different sections within the working class, but often from other classes and strata in society.
However, if these movements and struggles proceed in isolation from one another, they can only challenge the ruling class on single, isolated issues but not its overall domination and control.
Yet they all face a common enemy: British state-monopoly capitalism, which blocks advance on every front. Here lies the objective basis for uniting these forces in an anti-monopoly alliance, in favour of redeveloping Britain’s productive economy and combating the anti-democratic use of state power against the interests of the great majority of people.
Experience of joint campaigning with the labour movement and the left, which can project wider political perspectives, will lead many more activists to a fuller understanding of the nature of capitalist society and why it needs to be replaced by socialism. If these movements remain apart from the labour movement, not only will they lack its valuable support. The organised working class itself will lose the opportunity to gain valuable experience in its role as the leading force in society for progressive and revolutionary change.
It is imperative, therefore, that the organised working class builds the widest possible alliance with all other movements fighting for progress, democracy, equality and justice. It will be vital to maintain the unity and respect the sovereignty of all the forces involved.
The left and the labour movement will need to transform an array of defensive battles against the capitalist monopolies, right-wing governments and reactionary policies into a united offensive across a broad front, winning support for the LWP.
The policies of the LWP challenge state-monopoly capitalism on every front. They also advance the interests of broader movements in which the working class is active and other sections of the population who can be won to support at least some substantial aspects of the programme. Thus people will be persuaded through experience that the organised working class alone has the capacity to strengthen and lead a popular democratic anti-monopoly alliance.
This alliance will be popular because it will win the support and embrace the interests of the people as a whole, seeking to achieve their sovereignty over the monopoly capitalist minority. It will be democratic because it is posed against the anti-democratic essence of state-monopoly capitalism and seeks to mobilise the collective power of the working class and its allies against it.
The labour movement has to win its leading role by fighting for the whole range of policies in the LWP and respecting the independence and particular interests of other progressive movements.
The potential for progress in this direction has already been shown in the support won for the People’s Charter for Change, the policies of which broadly reflect those of the LWP. Adopted by the Trades Union Congress in 2009, the movement for the Charter has since secured the individual affiliation of many national trade unions and trades councils.