Kurzzusammenfassung der Antrittsrede des neuen Labour-Vorsitzenden Ed Miliband nebst Kommentar
Posted by entdinglichung - 29. September 2010
hätte er doch nur auf den Papa gehört:
Ever since the Labour Party became a substantial electoral and political force, Labour leaders have taken the view – and have persuaded many of their followers to take the view – that government was all; and that politics is about elections: on one side, there is power, on the other, paralysis. This is a very narrow view of the political process. Elections are important, and no party functioning in a capitalist-democratic context can afford to neglect them, not least at local level. But this is a very different matter from the view that gaining office is the sole and exclusive purpose of politics. For office, however agreeable for those who hold it, has often meant not only impotence, but worse than impotence, namely the power to carry out policies fundamentally at odds with the purposes for which office was obtained. Nor is it necessarily the case that opposition means paralysis. This has never been true of the Conservative Party and the conservative forces; and it has only been true of the Labour Party because of the narrow ideological and political framework in which its leaders have dwelt, and because of their concentration on electoral and parliamentary politics. But it need not be true for a substantial working-class party. It is by no means obvious, for instance, that the Italian Communist Party, in opposition since it was expelled from office in 1947, has, in socialist terms, exercised much less influence on Italian life in this period, than the Labour Party has exercised in government. The notion that the Labour Party is either a ‘party of government’, with all the opportunistic compromises and retreats the formulation carries, or must resign itself to being no more than an ‘ineffectual sect’ may be useful propaganda for all the ‘moderate’ forces in the labour movement, but it does not correspond to the real alternatives.
Socialist work means something different for a socialist party than the kind of political activity inscribed in the perspectives of labourism. I have noted earlier that political work, for labourism, essentially means short periods of great political activity for local and parliamentary elections, with long periods of more or less routine party activity in between. Socialist work means intervention in all the many different areas of life in which class struggle occurs: for class struggle must be taken to mean not only the permanent struggle between capital and labour, crucial though that remains, but the struggle against racial and sex discrimination, the struggle against arbitrary state and police power, the struggle against the ideological hegemony of the conservative forces, and the struggle for new and radically different defence and foreign policies.
The slogan of the first Marxist organisation in Britain, the Social Democratic Federation, founded in 1884, was ‘Educate, Agitate, Organise’. It is also a valid slogan for the 1980s and beyond. A socialist party could, in the coming years, give it more effective meaning than it has ever had in the past.
Ralph Miliband: Socialist Advance in Britain (1983)