Working men and women! Comrades! In the name of the central committee and all members of our party we greet you on the occasion of this great festival of workers of all the world.
You are the creators of all wealth!
We, the labourers, farm and factory workers, shop and retail workers, artists and intellectuals, scientists and engineers, office workers, healthcare workers, teachers, cooks, binmen and cleaners … we are the creators of all wealth; the real engines of human economy and endeavour.
We are the great benefactors of society – we feed and clothe and house humanity. We entertain and create; we nurture and provide for ourselves, our families and each other.
We drive human culture and civilisation forward. But we do not control the product of our labour – and this constitutes the great robbery of the capitalist exploiters, who daily, hourly, defraud the mass of humanity of the product of our labour-power, of our rightful wealth and place in society.
The British ruling class has robbed you and the workers of all lands
It is we workers who create the wealth that the billionaire exploiting class are piling up in unimaginably vast treasure hoards. They strive to hide this great truth from us, to reinvent the economic wheel.
But on the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth, his teachings, and those of his great disciples, the working-class freedom fighters of the 20th century, are as relevant to the workers of all countries as ever.
The capitalists are our implacable enemies. Their wealth is built upon our poverty – their joy upon our misery!
For in our world today 6 out of 7 billion of us live a wretched existence; and in Britain indices of poverty and depravation are spiralling out of the control of our capitalist governments, who stand like the sorcerer’s apprentice, watching the havoc that this system has wrought upon our earth, and powerless to intercede.
The richest eight billionaires have as much wealth as the poorest half (3.5 billion human beings) of humanity! Just fathom it if you can! Every policy of Trump, Macron and May makes matters worse; they pour oil, not water on the raging fires of inequality, environmental destruction, and human conflict; they lift rocks, only to drop them on their own feet.
Celebrate the first of May!
Since 1889 the international working class has chosen this day, the first of May, to mark the mutual solidarity of all workers, in our struggle for work, for rest and recreation; for the equality of all nations and peoples, women and men. For decent pay and conditions within the old capitalistic order of exploitation, within which we remain imprisoned by our wage-slavery – and renew our struggle to build a better world, in which we move forward to a higher, fairer, more decent order of society, and relations between nations; our struggle for socialism!
Today we reaffirm our resolute intention to cast off this parasitic and decadent capitalist system, and with it the exploitation of one human being by another and one nation by another.
Can capitalism be reformed?
We must never forget that no matter how well our trade unions battle for higher wages and better pay, they are fighting against the effects, and not the causes of our exploitation.
As long as we receive wages for our labour, rather than taking ownership of the very means of producing – the land, the housing stock, the factories, mines, retail stores, distribution and communications networks, banks and industries, media and government – we will remain the pawns of our exploiters; powerless to effect change in our interests. Beggars at the feast.
We do not need ‘fairer’ wages alone; we need to end this capitalist system of exploitation and robbery in its entirety.
And we must record, in passing, the fact that since the heroic miners’ strike of 1984/5, which ended in the defeat of the once mighty National Union of Mineworkers, for the most part, our unions have failed even to engage in everyday skirmishes effectively; they have failed even to resist the constant tendency of the capitalists to force our wages to rock bottom.
The pitiful wages of the McDonalds strikers, or of our hospital cleaners; the totally inadequate levels of ‘minimum wage’ and ‘living wage’, and the legions of ‘illegal’ workers who do not even scrape these meagre sums, are all testament to this sad fact. As is the inability of even better-off workers to afford decent homes.
Our ministers and parliamentarians have no answers to our most pressing problems.
Crisis, war and cuts
Coupled with the defeat of our labour movement domestically, which has tied itself to the coat tails of the parliamentary Labour party, which has neither the will nor the ability to change this rotten economic order, international capitalism has been riding high since the demise of the Soviet Union, which for so long kept imperialism’s most rapacious tendencies in check.
Moreover, for the last decade we have been living in the conditions of the most severe economic crisis and recession that global capitalism has known.
The slogan and refrain of each successive British government – Labour, Liberal and Tory – has been the same. To the workers: tighten your belts; cut wages; live on less; accept cuts in social services, healthcare, housing and education. To the capitalists: protect your superprofits; cut corporate tax; make labour ‘flexible’; make Britain a tax-haven for the global super-rich parasites; protect the bonuses of the directors of finance capital; protect the City; protect the wealth of the billionaire elite.
All this is said to be necessary to improve ‘competitiveness’. This disparity and dichotomy, we are told, is ‘sinking or swimming together’.
That is why we are seeing, even in Britain – one of the richest nations on earth, which has exploited much of the world for 300 years – a blighted generation, deprived of prospects, opportunity and hope for the future; and the resurgence of Dickensian poverty.
Yet outside of our party, there is no organisation that offers explanation of the workings of our class-ridden society, and the root causes of humanity’s misfortunes.
Unemployment, hunger and homelessness
Twenty-first century Britain has ‘achieved’ a homeless population of 300,000 and the ‘inactive’ portion of the working population has reached 25 percent.
So, despite officially falling unemployment, in reality one quarter of the working-age population of Britain is jobless, without steady income, with all the precariousness this entails – all the vulnerability to poor diet, obesity, malnutrition, hunger, homelessness, grinding poverty, mental illness, despair and suicide.
In Kensington and Chelsea, the richest borough in our country, where luxury flats are exchanged for tens of millions of pounds, we witnessed the spectre of the Grenfell Tower fire.
An entire council block of working-class Britons was burned alive in front of the media glare because of council corruption, cuts to the fire service, cuts to buildings inspections, the inability of workers to get their voices heard and reasonable demands met, and because it was not deemed ‘cost effective’ to install sprinkler systems and fire-retardant cladding to protect the lives of working-class families.
Meanwhile, the borough puts on opera performances in the streets of the wealthiest residents. Marie Antoinette would be proud of the “Let them eat cake” laissez-faire attitude of our ruling class towards the misfortune of their subjects.
‘Enquiries’ that take years and achieve nothing are ways to diffuse our righteous anger. Nothing more. They couldn’t give a damn!
The drive to war with Russia and China
In the last months we have been subject to a constant barrage of war propaganda directed against Russia and Syria, with cold-war allegations of ‘Novichok’ nerve agents being used by ‘Russian agents’ on our streets, and constant baseless assertions of ‘human rights abuses’ against the Syrian government and Syria’s president Dr Bashar al-Assad.
Nato, the aggressive military alliance of the largest imperialist powers, headed by the USA, the EU and Britain, is feverishly pursuing its agenda of regime change (on the spurious grounds of ‘humanitarian intervention’) against all independent governments that stand in the way of the imperialists’ global domination of labour, resources and markets. They desperately hope to stave off the next inevitable stock market crash, the next wave of bankruptcies and recession, and the heightened economic dislocation, discontent and instability of their rule that such crashes entail.
US president Donald Trump has proved to be, as billed, a loose cannon on the imperialist deck. From one moment to the next no-one knows whether he’ll launch cruise missile strikes, threaten ‘rebellious’ nations with “fire and fury”, or pull out his imperial troops and invite the leaders of those nations for a “burger”.
He is a symptom, as well as an aggravating factor, of the weakening economic and diplomatic position of US imperialism, which is desperately struggling to cling on to its primacy. But our Trotskyite-revisionist fake-left hate him personally, unable to see that he serves – ineptly – the same evil empire that Obama served so smoothly and competently. They cannot advance beyond personal politics to meaningful analysis. They advance the interests, in fact, of ‘liberal’ imperialism.
The USA’s tariff trade war and ongoing military interventionism threaten constantly to drag the world to the brink of an all-out global war, a most horrifying prospect, and Theresa May is falling over herself to participate – illegally and without provocation, aggressively launching cruise missiles against the sovereign state of Syria from British bases in occupied Greek-Cypriot territory.
We say: No war with Russia! Hands off Syria! Down with British and Nato imperialism!
Much has been made of Jeremy Corbyn’s rise from ridiculed back-bench ‘loony leftie’ to Labour party leader of her majesty’s opposition. It is a position that since WW1 has been occupied only by British imperialist loyalists, who have a consistent record of betraying the interests of the working class and oppressed masses all along the line.
But could Jeremy be different? All the indications so far are that every time he is subjected to the slightest pressure, he concedes his position, or finds a mealy-mouthed way out. The EU, Trident, Venezuela, Israel, drone strikes, militarism, war on Syria, the NHS, housing, and of course the fundamental economic interests of capitalism – protection of the City and the exploitation of workers.
He has been up-front about his desire to stoke trade war with China, blaming the capitalist crisis on “China’s steel dumping”, for example.
Yet while the entire fake-left block continues to sow illusions in Labour’s social democracy, we welcome the possibility that Corbyn could be given the fullest chance to expose the limitations of a ‘left’ sympathising Labour party government to effect any meaningful change.
We in the meantime must grow the party and be prepared to offer a broad home to those who will leave this doomed project in droves.
The way out
Lenin long ago showed that awaking workers to their interests – to true class consciousness – and organising them around a disciplined party – capable of analysing and exposing the activities of the ruling class and all its many shades of hangers-on – are the are only effective weapons to dethrone our financial emperors.
The penalties for failing to do so are too severe to contemplate. The time for this system to give way is long overdue, but it will not do so spontaneously. The ruling class has centuries of experience of clinging to power.
The CPGB-ML is a young, radical and dynamic force in British politics. We are creative Marxist Leninists and are proving to be the only growing party of the working class, capable of growing to fulfil that role.
The greater the support workers lend us, the greater numbers who join us, the quicker and easier will be the path to ending humanity’s suffering and securing a bright future for workers of Britain and the world.
Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!
You have nothing to lose but your chains; you have a world to win!