Socialist Resistance welcomes the initiative with Mutiny towards the possible creation of a new revolutionary anti-capitalist organisation. We have found ourselves to be increasingly in agreement since we both opposed Brexit. We did so for the same reason. We believed that it was opening the door to the far right and a more authoritarian regime in Britain, and we had no illusions in the neoliberal EU. Events since the 2016 referendum have confirmed our analysis at the time.
We both agree with the need to put the environmental crisis and an ecosocialist alternative at the centre of anti-capitalism.
We challenge the growth-based and consumption-driven system of capitalism, which is also responsible for the development of pandemics such as COVID-19. The struggle we are engaged in therefore is not ‘just’ a struggle to end capitalism and build a socialist society but to have a viable planet. This task is urgent. That’s why we need mass movements that compel governments to prevent the rise in global warming below 1.5°C by 2030 to prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate change.
The fact that the COP 26 will take place in Glasgow in 2021 gives left activists in the British state a particular responsibility to prioritise this struggle over the months ahead – including this coming November when the COP would have otherwise taken place.
We also agree with comrades in Mutiny for the need to have a feminist, anti-racist and internationalist organisation that fights all forms of exploitation and oppression. Black Lives Matter and Me Too have mobilised millions of anti-racists and feminists.
Disabled peoples’ organisations and LGBTIQ movements are mobilising to prevent reactionaries rolling back the limited gains that self organised groups have won thus far and to build solidarity with other struggles.
Social change will only come through the mass struggle of the working class in all its complexity and diversity. And it is the exploited and the oppressed who should lead these movements.
We know that radical policies against austerity, neoliberalism and oppression are popular. That’s why Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders had so many enthusiastic supporters and came under unprecedented attack. We still need to defend in the Labour Party and in the trade unions the political gains won while Jeremy was leader of the party.
In Britain, many on the left are now uncertain of the way forward. This is a moment of reflection and potential realignment. None of the existing left organisations are an end in themselves, although many think they are.
Both Socialist Resistance and Mutiny oppose the top-down model of ‘democratic-centralist’ organisation and favour pluralist and internationalist organisations that can learn from struggles across the world.
There is now the potential of a new revolutionary, democratic anti-capitalist organisation. It would be irresponsible not to work towards that. This new organisation must be built on trust between individual activists, and not be a block of organisations. To do that, we need to work together, debate politics together and get to know each other.
That’s why we appeal to all supporters of Socialist Resistance, Mutiny and individual activists who agree with the idea of Anti-Capitalist Resistance to join us at our weekend school on the 12 & 13 September.
Appeal from the Anti-Capitalist Resistance steering committee
The radical left faces major challenges following the defeat of Corbynism and the consolidation of a new Labour leadership under Starmer. We also face a resurgent far right following Brexit, an unprecedented economic crisis, and the existential threat of climate chaos. Many left organisations and activists, inside and outside the Labour Party, are uncertain of the way forward. This is a moment of reflection and potential realignment. We must learn the lessons of the past and apply them in creating new socialist organisation fit for purpose in the 21st century.
The aim of this weekend school is to analyse the political situation we face and to consider launching a new, united, anti-capitalist organisation in England and Wales. (The political situation in Scotland is very different, though we wish to work closely with Scottish anti-capitalist organisations.)
What we stand for
We seek revolutionary transformation to meet the compound crisis of ecological disaster, economic collapse, social decay, grotesque inequality, mass impoverishment, growing militarisation, and creeping authoritarianism.
- We are internationalists, ecosocialists, and anti-capitalist revolutionaries. We oppose imperialism, nationalism, militarism. We support the self-organisation of women, Black people, disabled people and LGBTIQ people to combat all forms of discrimination, oppression and bigotry.
- This means: 1) we oppose Brexit as a British form of nationalism and racism; 2) we support the right of oppressed peoples to challenge colonialism and forms of apartheid and to struggle for self-determination; 3) we support a united Ireland and Scotland’s right to independence.
- We favour mass resistance to neoliberalism and work inside existing mass organisations like the trade unions and the Labour Party, but we believe that grassroots struggle is the core of effective anti-capitalist resistance, and that the emancipation of the working class will be the act of the working class.
- We reject forms of left organisation that focus exclusively on electoralism and social-democratic reformism. We oppose the top-down model of ‘democratic-centralist’ organisation. We favour a pluralist and internationalist organisation that can learn from struggles across the world. We are democratic revolutionary socialists who aim to build a united organisation rooted in the struggles of the working class and the oppressed and committed to debate, initiative, and self-activity.
We will be hosting online meetings in the run-up to the weekend school. The conference itself will comprise two sessions on Saturday afternoon (12 September) and two on Sunday afternoon (13 September). There will be plenty of time for discussion at both pre-meetings and weekend-school sessions. The final session on Sunday afternoon will have a workshop format for pooling ideas about working towards establishing Anti-Capitalist Resistance.
The aim of the weekend school is for supporters of the idea of Anti-Capitalist Resistance to set up an initial structure that would develop into a democratic political organisation. This would be done at a formal conference of supporters to be held early in 2021. This conference would agree a programme, constitution, and national coordinating committee for the new organisation.
Conference registration will require participants to commit to the aim of establishing a united, non-sectarian, anti-capitalist organisation based on the principles stated above.