Friday, November 14, 2014

Another Useless Protest

On the face of it the latest left-wing demo might appear to be worthwhile, but it reality it is just another useless illustration of the backwardness of many workers. On Guy Fawkes night  protesters alarmed the police and the press by staging a protest march in Central London purporting to be a demonstration of their opposition to capitalism and their support for revolution. 'Protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks marched from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square as part of the Million Masks March, organised by activist group Anonymous. Three people were held on suspicion of assaulting police officers. Anonymous said the protest was against austerity and infringement of rights.' (BBC News, 6 November)  The fact that it was attended by publicity-seeking "personalities" like Vivienne Westwood and Russell Brand shows how serious it all was. Wearing masks, letting off fireworks, carrying empty slogans and banners won't bring about a transformation. That calls for thoughtful action based on an understanding of how capitalism operates and how to bring about socialism. RD


James said...

Another Useless Criticism?

I may have to hold my hand up to that one as well, by not having much to offer either. At least the so called 'useless protest' is doing something against plain apathy and indifference, isn't it? I don't see very much, so far, in these mostly well written pages on site, the details of the important details of exactly what "thoughtful action based on an understanding of how capitalism operates and how to bring about socialism" is going to transpire, or how? A lot of fine theory, but no lines connecting the dots to make any structure to hang the good ideas on. It may be that there are answers here, that I have yet to discover, that will fill in the picture I can't yet see? However, it seems the more I read, the more I find getting to grips with this whole system 'to be', is like trying to grasp water. In itself, that's not a big problem, if taking the view that this is a work in progress. Yet while that may be the case, I don't see it as particularly helpful in the meantime to belittle the efforts, of those who want to do something to change the status quo. Heightening awareness, by public gatherings, brings about a solidarity of union for the disgruntled. I think their efforts, however futile they may be, without any clear idea of what to oppose capitalism with, should still be applauded and encouraged ;-j

ajohnstone said...

i think you have a point, James.

I think i have said elsewhere by the SPGB that if the working class are not prepared to resist the encroachments of capitalism, then they will not have the spirit nor the capability of establishing socialism, itself.

We would welcome more protests but lets be truthful, some of us in the SPGB are old enough and long in the tooth these days to say, we have seen it all before and have witnessed the ensuing disillusionment that has inevitably followed. Saying that, nevertheless, doesn't mean giving up but means going beyond. I agree with you...Let us have many more demonstrations of our discontent with the present system. If we were stronger in numbers, we could perhaps be present at them, demanding that enough is enough but also that protest is not enough.

Agitate - Yes...but Organise and Educate, too, for an agreed alternative. That is our role as we see advocate the socialism and argue that our means of achieving it is the most feasible of succeeding.

But fair dos to your criticism...we aren't doing it sufficiently. We should be attending those events where our voice can be heard by a more receptive audience.

No doubt the internal democracy and discussion that takes place within the SPGB will endeavour to resolve the paradox we face.