NOURISHING SOUP OF WORKERS’ POWER
In the 1970s, we were an unassociated tendency in the tensile lassitude of Workers’ Power. It has taken us nearly 25 years to coalesce together to form the emulsion that is Proletarian Democracy from amidst the nourishing soup of WP. That is to say we felt things were not quite right, but couldn’t say this for fear of rocking the boat back then. However had we said all of what we wanted, then it is/was what would have been right.
HERD MENTALITY OF THE MAJORITY WORLD
Though we had criticisms of the Labour Party in 1978, we felt the one thing that they should not have been criticised for was the export of nuclear material to Majority World countries. Workers’ Power should have openly come out and praised A.Q. Khan’s liberation of nuclear bomb making technology from British-funded Urenco facilities. We felt this would better have objectively aligned Workers’ Power with the instinctive herd mentality feelings of the Majority World masses.
A.Q. Khan helped build up the only true independent Workers’ Bomb (China’s deformed status means its nuclear arsenal can only be characterised as a Bonapartist-semi-feudal hiero-Mandelite neo-Kautskyian Workers’ Bomb). Workers’ Power’s failure to fully support A.Q. reflects the confusion so many soi-disant leftists have between the Programme of Action and the completely different girder of Transitional Programme. Nonetheless self-appointed apparatchiks such as Mark Hoskisson openly pontificate on their metataxis to gullible acolytes.
FOR NAFF’S RIGHT TO PUBLISH LIES ABOUT GRUNWICK
We felt Workers’ Power should have stuck to its guns in defence of the rights of editors at the Guardian to bravely publish in 1977 the NAFF (National Association For Freedom, now The Freedom Association) advertisement on the Grunwick dispute. Instead of seeing this as a workplace issue, crucial to non-unionised millions, it needed viewing as a defence of editorial freedom of speech. We boldly stand for the principle that censorship should only be conducted by editors and sub-editors as this provides the only get-out clause for protest daredevilism and close-to-the bone danger journalism. (Even Nick Lezard agrees with us on the importance of danger-journalism, so desperately needed in these tawdry times)
We secretly welcomed the Free Presbyterian Church’s analysis that the revisionist Kremlin-Catholic conspiracy was increasingly becoming unstoppable over vast swathes of northern Europe:- in ecumenical Sunday services, in old people’s homes in Barnsley, in glue sniffing gangs in Scotland, in George Harrison’s increasingly unlistenable pampered Western fusion of classical Bengali and pop music, even on Royal Air Force playing fields.
Whilst we disagreed with slogans raised in the Reverend Ian Paisley’s 1977 strike, we urged a stronger Workers’ Power ‘stand’ against anti-social hooliganism, which would have done nothing meaningful or practical, but would have significantly raised our hardman esteem within the Left.
Others have seen the error of Workers’ Power’s ways here. To be proletarianly judicious to Permanent Revolution, their criticisms of S.W.P.-U.A.F. anti-fascism and editorials in favour of constant defence-squadism have been correctly followed up by no action whatsoever.
(For more information please attend our public meeting ‘UAF, NF, SWP, BNP, EDL, SNP, WP, PR, S019 And Criminal Gangs – How a Workers’ Bomb Could Be The Breakthrough We’re Waiting For’… details on the back page of next month’s Workers’ Girder)
We accurately foresaw the destruction of the pseudo-socialist Warsaw Pact states, correctly guessing the date of Ceausescu’s execution, many many years before it happened. However, we were prohibited from expressing our prescient forecasts under the stifling yoke of the Workers’ Power Central Committee Bonapartist clique. Slowly but surely we began to factionalise secretly and quietly. Sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, sometimes in the toilets, sometimes behind a curtain in a Workers’ Power 3-Day Marathon Seminar.
We factionalised whilst others vacillated.
NUCLEAR MINI-ROCKETS FOR CONCORDE
Whilst other leftist groups called for cancelling Concorde immediately, we felt Tony Benn’s supersonic dream could be re-invigorated with the adoption of nuclear mini-rockets under its wings. After declasse lumpenproletariat elements again rioted in 1985 for fun and profit in the second wave of (objectively anti-PD) neoliberal riots, we secretly maintained it was always more practical to argue for nuclear weapons laboratories in each and every working-class suburb of Britain’s major cities and market towns.
Had Workers’ Power called for this, at a stroke it would have solved the employment problems of working class youth on the way to building Proletarian Democracy. Well disciplined working-class workers from these working class suburbs would soon have been able to commandeer these laboratories with well-planned Workers’ Defence Squads.
Alas, the call was never made.
We wished that Workers’ Power would be more constructive in its engagement with Militant’s call for the nationalisation of the top 100 firms in Britain, by calling for the nuclearisation of Britain’s top 100 firms. If these firms did not use or produce nuclear power or bombs, the assets would be seized by a real Workers’-Farmers’ Government.
In spite of the strong liquidationist tendencies within a substratum of semi-Stalinist circles in and around Workers’ Power’s CC in the 1980s, Mark Hoskisson was productively correct to assert that Trotsky, had he lived to 1945 to see a nuclear bomb in action, would have revised his statements denouncing nuclear physics and nuclear weapons:
“Now with the reality of the boom, only an idiot or perhaps a charlatan like Gerry Healy, would describe Trotsky’s categorical declaration as correct. However we reject the idea that Trotsky’s error stems from an objectivist and fatalist methodology on his part. This charge, levelled at him by theoretical cheapskates like John Molyneaux – does not stand up for one minute.” – (Workers’ Power Theoretical Journal of Workers’ Power- no9).
BOURGEOIS MILIEU TO ITS CORE
Hoskisson is only partially correct to suggest “Had Trotsky’s epigones re-elaborated his programme in the 1950s many of the difficulties we face today would not exist.” The contradictory containment of post-war Trotskyism within the methodological confines of identary post-manufactured retopianism would have marked a bourgeois milieu to its very core even in the 1950s, hence Hoskisson would be wrong.
If you think what we say doesn’t make sense, read it again!
DRIVE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INTO THE CAMP OF THE BOURGEOISIE!
Although Paul Mason is now an erstwhile counter-Proletarian Democrat on Newsnight, his contribution to Workers’ Power as it was then, was insightful:
“Soviet power in reality had been enough to drive the Mensheviks into the camp of the bourgeoisie, to make centrists like Kautsky opt decisively for bourgeois-democratic counter-revolution. Conversely it had raised the political sights of the best syndicalist and anarchist militants who had hitherto rejected both the party and state power, by embodying in deeds the revolutionary essence of these words.” – (Workers’ Power Theoretical Journal of Workers’ Power- no9).
It remains our aim to drive Mensheviks such as the IRSP, Eirigi, the ICC, the SSP and the various sordid sub-party groupings around the journals ‘The Commune’, ‘Battaglia Comunista’, ‘Good Housekeeping’ and Lauren Laverne’s columns in Grazia into the camp of the bourgeoisie. We are as committed as ever to make centrists like Owen Jones and Caitlin Moran opt decisively for counter-revolution. And, we will, in time, make the best syndicalist and anarchist militants embody in deeds both party and state. The worst syndicalist and anarchist militants naturally will face a workers’ girder.
THE ‘MACE’ IN PAUL MASON
The crucial point: we were the ‘mace’ in Paul Mason’s words. We did what he preached, and began taking action to make the bourgeoisie crack from within. We knew better than to openly discuss our factionalisation in front of the WP CC, and to openly digress from their characterisation of the Labour Party as a bourgeois workers’ party would have been foolish. We knew they would never condone or support militant action and might even have acted as informers – so we acted in secret, in private.
Whilst we knew it was important to promote the cultured against the un-cultured, the punk-loving against those who thought it was just noise, those who accepted quality journalism versus those who sneered; there were more pressing battles.
EARLY PROLETARIAN BATTLES
Our first targets were posters for concerts and records by The Mekons in Manchester city centre. We had never forgiven them for continuing to popularise a counter-revolutionary perspective on extraterrestrial life. The infantilism of sub-Cannonite Dan Dare comics which portray aliens as intellectually super-advanced beasts, but morally bankrupt beings, should have remained quarantined in antique stores. For a group of ostensibly punk musicians to resurrect such a cognomen is to traduce the Proletarian Heritage of a genre like punk; a de facto flagrantly insufficient application of Trotsky and Adorno on art. Science-Fiction must be either be Ironic or Revolutionary, else it is nothing.
Then came the Mekons’ real treachery!
The release of ‘Never Been In A Riot’, an attempt to deliberately and shamelessly mollify the bourgeoisie by projecting an image of confused youth, unable to cope with the demands of barricade-heavy struggle.
Having decided upon action, we used marker pens to strike out the name ‘Mekons’ from their posters and adverts. With growing confidence our targets became ever more audacious – inside John Menzies, Cheadle High Street, in Cheadle Central Library’s periodicals rack – anywhere and everywhere. With biros surreptitiously tucked in jacket pockets, we thoroughly defaced any references to the Mekons in the music press. (One advantage of this was it gave us a chance to read the NME as part of our political activity.)
A thorough Proletarian response throughout the bedrock of Cheadle and in scattered parts of Glossop!
This was merely the start of a glorious trajectory – the footsteps to a nuclear earthquake!
MIGRATING AFRICAN SWALLOWS
Instead of Workers’ Power’s defensive abortion campaign in the 1980s, merely trying to protect the limited legacy of the social non-Proletarian Democratic Roy Jenkins Act, we called for an offensive campaign. We demanded abortion procedures for all men between the ages of sixteen and twenty four in order to help equalise the social stigma around reproduction. We also called for a programme of abortion amongst Britain’s farm animals and domestic birds, and pending negotiation with the revolutionary regimes of Frontline Africa, some agreement on abortion for migrating African swallows.
We urged some kind of investment programme to fund technological research into the problems in this field. Why should only human females be given a right to choose? To simply insert IUDs or spade a certain quantity would be an invasion of animal rights as Peter Singer so bravely explained. But a safe and simple abortion procedure for animals asserting their own right to choose remains elusive.
WHO REMEMBERS THE NUCLEAR BOMB RESEARCH ASSISTANTS?
We strenuously argued in favour of nuclear power and nuclear weapons, no matter how dangerous, unhealthy or militarised any reactors would be, since only with nuclear weapons in the West would work for the Workers’ Bomb be extended elsewhere. We vigorously supported the AEUW’s nuclear division leaders as they rubbished reports from environmental groups and dissident nuclear physicists.
By 2006, we were able to swiftly categorise journalism detailing payments from BNFL to unions as counter-revolutionary, weakly researched and generally poor. The current members of PD (present author included) cut their teeth in the gritty dirt-in-your-nails, calluses-on-your-hands, mud-up-your-bum coffee-bunker struggles over Workers’ Power’s Election Platform on the nuclear/workers’ bomb issue.
What part of ‘Writing pro-nuclear columns is harder than going to live next door to Sellafield to bring up your children’ did they fail to understand?
We have always enjoyed letting other people struggle for us here then take the credit for it. Why not apply this principle to nuclear physics as well? After all, who remembers Sir Henry Tizard‘s research assistants?
WE LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD
In the new era, whilst there is more to be done, we have achieved much. Between us, our members have:
- written over 170 position papers
- typed up 1200 meeting notes on over 8000 pages of A4
- attended 9 Earth First Winter Moots arguing the case for nuclear power and the Workers’ Bomb, only to be hounded out by a swarm of ‘crusties’ at the last one in a dispute over who ate the last of a pack of poorly-labelled marshmallows (since many green anarchists disliked the fact that we had prominent journalists in national newspapers they did nothing to help us)
- formed 4 external, 2 semi-permanent, 3 fully permanent and 4 internationally allied factions within various left groups, primarily Worker’s Power
- moved 456 Conference motions of one sort or another
- held 19 webcasted symposia
- organised 12 guerrilla theatre actions which the Space Hijackers and Association of Autonomous Astronauts were too sectarian to note let alone applaud
- organised over 92 international speaking tours
- seen Ted Grant fall asleep in 3 separate meetings
- called for well over 350 immediate emergency demos
- infiltrated 5 Parish councils
- stood outside over 23 embassies in solidarity protests with average attendance of under a dozen
- added an extraneous clenched fist symbol to a leaflet in over 200 instances
- printed something in the colours black and red well over 2,500 times
- solved the ‘National Question’ in over 100 of the present-day 191 U.N. countries (and, comrades, we are well on our way to solving the others too!)
- used the caption ‘the worker’s friend?’ over 40 times to explain something about a trade union official
- auctioned or raffled 9 Mark Steel pocket history books and 3 Mark Thomas DVDs to raise funds.
And finally, we accepted, unlike others, that a prize for a Christmas crossword puzzle could not be an extra copy of Permanent Revolution in festive wrapping. Many in Workers’ Power sadly continue to live in a deluded ultra-revolutionary dreamscape where students are all dope-smoking punk rebels, and workers go out on strike with a call from the weekly paper.
We live in the real world.
DEBATING ZOMBIE MULTICULTURALISM WITH PROFESSOR PAUL GILROY
- included in publications 500 cartoons featuring large-belly fat capitalist company bosses, in the knowledge that (with the sizeable exception of Sir Digby Jones) they barely exist in that shape any longer.
- continued to use sickles on our posters, flatly failing to recognise that farm-workers in Britain do not use sickles
- continued to show cartoons of workers performing tasks that have long been mechanised in Western capitalism
- produced 6 ironic versions of ‘Keep Calm and’ posters. (Our favourite: ‘Keep Calm and Don’t Watch Game of Thrones’)
- attended University Challenge on 4 separate occasions
- discussed the merits and demerits of various Oxford Colleges with the late Paul Foot
- re-energised the anti-war movement when it was flagging by reloading the ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, Thatcher Out Out Out’ chant with ‘Blair, Blair, Blair Out Out Out’ (This was us, not Fight Racism Fight Imperialism)
- attended a Royal Festival Hall debate between Tony Benn and David Davis (not to hold Benn to task for giving money to South Africa for uranium in Namibia unlike infantile ultras) but to make the case for new nuclear facilities in Gibraltar
- participated in an open-air, open-mic straight-edge only discussion of zombie multiculturalism and race citizenship with Professor Paul Gilroy
- bragged about the quantity of our alcohol and/or tobacco consumption to countless hundreds in an attempt to prove our proletarian habits
- donated 12 sketches and paintings (mostly of miners) and stacks of unsold Housman’s Peace Postcards (reinterpreted with a red marker pen to reflect the truth of Proletarian Democracy) for foreign revolutionary movements’ representatives
SALUTE THE MAJORITY WORLD
We have even made a gallery representing our favourite Majority World movements and figures:
- the original Sendero Luminoso
- the anti-revisionist Nepalese Maoists
- the Amal militia
- the Mouvement Revolutionaire National pour le Developpement of Rwanda
- Kyaing Kyaing and Than Dar Shwe
- Ujamaa villages
- Jim and Nancy Jones
- women’s sugar worker units of Burnham’s socialist Guyana
- patriotism lessons in Cuban secondary schools
- Esma Assad’s house servants
- female Haitian voodoo practitioners
- castrated dissidents from the Ottoman janissaries in the Gilan revolutionaries
- the thousand-li winged horse Chollima
- microfinance to women as done by the anti-imperialist Nasser bank (not the pro-capitalist pro-IMF Grameen bank)
- Bonnie ‘Ti’ Nettles (cruelly ignored in histories that focus upon ‘Do’)
- Girls Aloud’s Kronstadt ballad (ghost-written we believe by a Moroccan producer)
- Wangari Maathai
- Raila Odinga
- Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Cde Weyzero Wubanchi Bishaw – heroes one and all
- Lady Eva Peron (cruelly lampooned by empty-headed bourgeois liberal Andrew Lloyd-Weber)
- the Red Guards’ and PLA riot clean-up volunteer brigades of the late 1960s
- armed clanswomen of northern Chad
- Mirjana Markovic’s defence of anti-balkanised socialist Yugoslavia
- La Camarada Norah (but NOT La Passionara)
- the Trung sisters
- the rebel UPDA
- Justine Odong Latek and Alice ‘Lakwena’ Auma
- Delilah and Mary Magdalene (contrary to Western bourgeois academia, these are clearly Majority World figures)
- Themie Thomai
- Fiqirete Shehu
- Nejimha Hoxha, particularly at the Vladimir Lenin Higher Party School’s Lake Ohrid summer retreat
- the egalitarian spirit of the Mareexaan clan of Somalia
- humanist Zambia’s collective farms
- the socialist hotel managers in revolutionary Grenada
- and last, but certainly not least! Hannibal’s elephants
There are no precision measurements (beyond what we say) for how progressive something is, but we feel sure that People’s Pyongang might still remain a half-lit beacon sustaining aspects of the logic of propelling the proletarian class along the path to Global Revolution and Wholesale Liberation.
Clearly it is a vilely deformed workers’ state in many aspects, however its people know within their titanium girder bones to revere their armed forces. Its people know how to live and, if necessary, die for the Workers’ Bomb. Its people know meaning in this mortal coil comes from Songun, and defending the nation, its alliances and its freedoms.
Every day its 25 million adherents, scorning vile bourgeois-individualist concepts such as ‘meaningful pensions’, ‘paid holidays to compensate for employment’, ‘health and safety for individual workers’, ‘the right to choose your job’ , ‘retirement before death’, and ‘mutually assured destruction’, give concrete struggle to embolden the juche spirit.
A EUROPE OF PROLETARIAN NATIONS?
If we could somehow combine Nigel Farage‘s Europe of Nations (or as we call it an Association of Independent European Socialist States) or an irradiated moon of Jupiter with the spirit of People’s Korea, a fully-fledged Proletarian Democracy may emerge. Nigel Farage genuinely desires national liberation and nationwide independence – what finer or more popular British protagonist of juche is there? Galloway? We think not.
Whilst we disagree with Farage on the use of the bourgeois colour purple, we would like to see a constructive dialogue between the progressive minority within UKIP and PD. The nuclear ball valve is in their court, if they are serious about furthering their anti-EU goals.
Our journalist section members have between them, in total, published or have been heavily involved in:
- 398 articles for the Guardian/Observer
- 314 articles for the Independent and Independent on Sunday
- 58 in the New Statesman
- 43 in Red Pepper
- 36 in New Humanist
- and 3 in New Scientist
They have visited over 16 crisis-ridden countries and made up over 89 quotes attributed in part to 21 made-up people, correctly justifying this Proletarian Democratic practice on the grounds that many people made up names when returning Poll Tax forms.
Our Manchester members, still our core, have intervened in literally dozens of meetings:
- 3 ICC meetings
- 4 CPGB meetings
- 9 SP meetings
- and 19 SWP meetings
We hope to branch out and grow our appeal by intervening in a Spartacist League meeting somewhere in Sheffield in the new year.
Our North London members, who spearheaded the ‘Long March of the Hoxton Crowd’ driving their family property portfolios further northwards into Haggerston and Dalston Kingsland, have fought the housing benefit cap by holding a meeting on a weeknight in London Conway Hall without childcare at the venue or any babysitting in people’s homes.
Our South London members have attempted to discuss the consequences of the 1974 Imperial Typewriters strike with Darcus Howe on 2 separate occasions waiting for his departure from his flat in order to Doorstep-Dialectics Discussion-Challenge him. This has been a superb Proletarian Democracy innovation, one we look forward to applying to Tariq Ali. (Discussing Vietnamese Trotskyists in 1937 makes perfect sense in Tariq Ali’s neighbourhood of Muswell Hill-Crouch End.)
Our unflagging youth movement members have, over time, released several fundraising CDs with poorly mixed KRS-1, Public Enemy, Paris and Dead Prez songs. ‘Revolutionary Mixtape 1’, ‘Popo the Block’ and ‘Down with Kim Howells – the Compilation’ were particular favourites. They have organised 3 highly-liked post-ironic Facebook ‘joke’ campaigns to ‘vote for the most working class one’ in various Simon Cowell television shows, and made the tough-revolutionary point that the NUS is not like a workplace union in a total of 8 different ways. Inside, but outside and against the unions – at the same time. Have your cake (from the SU shop’s fair-trade range), but keep it for later!
Our female members (12% in all, a supremely high proportion of total membership compared to other vile sectarian ultra-leftists) have demanded funding to organise a women’s day from general funds.
The discussion between the Proletarian Democratic Organising Committee and Women’s Committee over this point has been in progress over the past 3 months and will continue at the next sub-congress at the semi-regional level.
In the meantime, some of their members have written an appraisal of another journalist member’s Guardian Saturday Magazine feature on unusual lizard pets, scoring it 8 out of 10 in its attempt to insert Proletarian Democracy feminism into newspaper articles. (Compared to the tawdry efforts of Madeleine Bunting, Liz Jones and Rosamund Urwin and their limp bourgeois feminism, our women’s section is like a male’s faceful of pepper-spray laced with uranium oxide ready to decay).
A response paper is expected soon.
Our racial minority caucus consists of 1 member, an Egyptian international PhD student completing his thesis on the Middle East labour movement in a prestigious economic history department.
A BOOM WITH A VIEW. THE WORKERS’ BOMB
Our efforts prove we are the hardest working and most correct organised left-wing grouping in Britain. We have done all this allied to the spirit of Proletarian Democracy. There are endless complaints about us but we shall not sully ourselves with answering all (or indeed any) of them.
We merely wish to re-emphasise the central point.
We do what we say. We have the vision and you have the leg-work. Look at the title of our paper ‘Workers’ Girder’. It means what it says – to those who understand, no explanation is needed, to those who do not understand, no further explanation is possible.
One day we all will look over the part Proletarian Democracy played in the construction of a post-nuclear bomb workers’ democracy and smile with pride.
Cde Barry Mainwaring
BarryMainwaring at gmail.com