Tuesday, April 19, 2016

To the NUM . . . (1985)

From the February 1985 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Socialist Party sent the following letter to the National Union of Mineworkers on 14 January.
The Socialist Party of Great Britain stands in solidarity with all our fellow workers in struggles against the capitalist class, and whilst recommending trade unionists to offer their utmost resistance to the worsening of conditions, points out that under capitalism the pressure on workers is inevitable. The continuing struggles of the miners arise from the class division in society about the ownership and control of the means of life, and therefore such struggles can only be ended through the political work of organising to take over the entire means of production including the mines. On the basis of common ownership the mining communities could co-operate democratically with the rest of society in producing energy, goods and services solely for the needs of the whole community.
   We therefore point out that trade union struggles can only be defensive, cannot alter the basic position of workers under private or state capitalism. Whilst ownership and control of the means of production, and control of the forces of the state are conceded by workers to the capitalist class, our class will inevitably remain in the position of being exploited according to the economic dictates of capital.
    Therefore it is the clear responsibility of all workers, whether in trade unions or not, to take the political offensive with the principled aim of taking over the means of production and abolishing the state on behalf of the whole community. The immediate steps to be taken are those which ensure the rapid growth of the World Socialist Movement, as this is the only practical action which can ensure that the problems of the working class can be finally solved.

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