51st congress resolutions

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Resolutions going to the Communist Party's 51st Congress.

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  • Executive Committee Resolutions Page 1

    st

    1920-2010 Executive Committee Resolutions

  • Page 2 Communist Party 51st Congress

    Executive Committee Domestic Resolution

    Another Britain is Possible - Build a Working Class Movement to Challenge the Bankers, Bosses and their

    Government Economic and financial crises are endemic to capitalism 1. The capitalist world is in deep and continuing crisisa crisis of finance and of production, each aspect feeding the other. It is not an aberration. It is not based on simple 'greed' of individual bankers. Such economic and financial crises are endemic to the capitalist system. 2. The Conservative-LibDem coalition is established on the strength of a vote for the Conservatives amounting to 24 per cent of the electorate. It does not reflect the aspirations of many Lib Dem voters who supported what they believed to be progressive policies. The Liberal Democrat leadership should be 'Con-Demned' by their party membership. 3. The crisis and the Con-Dem coalition confront us with a new political situation. We are experiencing a frontal, wide-ranging and accelerating attack on the working class. But in the face of the current crisis and the ruling class offensive, there is not yet a political crisis for capitalism and its ruling class. 4. The financial crisis has taken place against the background of a year-on-year, decade-on-decade spiral of decline in manufacturing employment in Britainwith the loss of over 6 million jobs since 1965, more than four million of those since 1979, and more lost during the period of the New Labour government than under the Thatcher and Major Tory governments. 5. The Bank of England predicts that lost global output could reach a figure between 42 trillion to 140 trillion, between 1.25 trillion and 5.2 trillion in the Britain, as the effects of the crisis continue. In Europe, manufacturing output is down 20 per cent since the beginning of the recession. 6. This huge decline in manufacturing gives even more significance to the banking and financial services section of the economyand makes any recovery 'weak, fragile and uncertain' in the words of the IMF. The continuing destruction of industry is not just about the immediate job loss. It destroys the acquisition of skills for future generations of workers, undermines trade union organisation and breaks up whole communities 7. It is in this assault on the industrial working class that we see the origins of the financial crisis, a three decade period of 'financialisation' with the progressive dominance of the finance sector over the productive sector. This is a process which has taken place not just in Britain but, significantly, throughout the advanced capitalist world. 8. 'Financialisation' led to further lack of investment in the 'real economy', and the further undermining of workers incomes, and eventually resulted in the credit crisisreaching unprecedented levels. 9. The current crisis has resulted in similarly unprecedented international co-ordination of the main capitalist states and their central banks in massive fiscal, economic and political intervention. This intervention has enormous costsover 7 trillionone fifth of the entire globes economic output and just under 1,800 for every man, woman and child on the planet.

  • Executive Committee Resolutions Page 3

    10. Britain has been the biggest of all the spenders on emergency measures over the last few years to support its financial sector, with its total bill being 1,350 billionequivalent to the entire output of the British economy for a year and twice the total of public expenditure with just 20 billion made available to support industrial production. 11. Now we see not just economic and financial crisis within capitalist economies but the potential bankruptcy of entire capitalist nationsthe 'sovereign debt' crisis. The ruling class of the whole of Europe are forced to 'bail out' not just their bankers but other capitalist states, through a total 860 billion put together by the European Financial Stability Facility fund, European Finance Ministers, the European Commission and the IMF, with a 110 billion loan to Greece already made. Clearly such bail-outs are linked directly to demands on governments to impose the most extreme 'austerity measures' on the working class of their countries. State-monopoly capitalism 12. Co-ordination and intervention on the part of capitalist states to protect their system and its ruling class is not a new thing. Marxists analysed and described 'the general crisis of capitalism' following the 1914-18 war, and understood the growing dominance of monopolies and the development of 'state-monopoly capitalism'the direct fusion of the capitalist state and monopoly financial and productive capital. 13. In earlier capitalist crisesprior to the total dominance of monopolies in finance and industryMarx, while recognising the devastating effects of capitalist crisis on the working class, identified the destruction of sections of the least efficient parts of the economy as 'creative destruction', eliminating overproduction, allowing the dog-eat-dog system to 'rebalance' itself and to enter a new period of growth. 14. But the crisis of the 1930s was analysed by Marxists as the first crisis of 'a new and special kind', in which monopoly capitalists colluded to cut production to sustain profitsresulting in mass unemployment, the devastation of small businesses and growing political unrest. The monopolies demanded state intervention, the use of political, fiscal and economic tools to protect their interests and the system as a whole. 15. It is against this background we should note carefully the April 2009 IMF Global Financial Stability Report which concluded that economic recovery was likely to be 'protracted', and that 'strong political commitments under difficult circumstances, and further enhancement of international cooperation' was required. It warned that 'political support for such action is waning as the public is becoming disillusioned by what it perceives as abuses ' 16. The process of such state interventions has created huge public debt, although this is not historically unique. Now capitalist governmentsrepresenting their ruling class, and so unwilling or unable to seek solutions that would damage their wealtheither have to impose immediate, huge cuts, risking a 'double-dip recession', or put off the cuts in the short term and risk a run on their currencies. This is the 'argument' between Tory and Labour Parties. 17. The Con-Dem cuts agenda is immediate and huge, with projected cuts of between 25 and 50 per cent to almost all areas of public services. At present the government seeks to deflect opposition by promising 'protections' for the health service and other 'front line services'which suggests greater cuts elsewherebut it becomes daily clearer that the extent of the cuts makes such promises valueless anyway.

  • Page 4 Communist Party 51st Congress

    18. The government now predicts the loss of 600,000 public sector jobs over the next five years. Many analysts believe that they are deliberately understating the figure, fearing the response. Turning the financial and economic crisis into a political crisis for the ruling class 19. The key feature for trades unionists and Communists is that the financial and economic crises have not yet translated into a political crisis for the ruling class or threatened the dominance of finance capital. 20. The Con-Dem coalition is using the recession to further attack all gains made by workers since 1945. In this they accelerate along the path followed by the previous New Labour government, and the Tory governments that preceded that. Despite the clear nature of the attack, they try unsuccessfully to suggest that, 'we are all in this together'. It is remarkable how clear workers are about the economic and political situation, given the mystification and misinformation presented by politicians and the mediawith the very important exception of the Morning Star, which daily exposes the truth. 21. Many workers do not believe that 'we are all in this together'. They know that the rich get richer and workers get attacked, and that the recession is far deeper and will have more devastating effects than the capitalist class, its politicians and its media dare reveal. They know that there will be mass unemployment, pay cuts, attacks on pensions, housing repossessions and devastation of communities. 22. Many workers who previously might have thought of themselves as 'middle class' now realise that they have only their labour power to sell, and are just one or two pay cheques away from hardship and poverty. They also see jobs that were once secure now becoming threatened. 23. Many workers know the capitalist state is prepared to spare no cost in supporting the rich and powerful, particularly those in the City, while workers are thrown out of work'necessary pain that we must all share', todays equivalent of Norman Lamonts 1992 'unemployment is a price worth paying'. 24. They know that the banking and financial service industry is again making huge profits, has restored its bosses bonuses, and will be soon fully handed back to the private sector. 25. They know that there is a 'revolving door' between the highest positions of the banking and finance industry and those of government. 26. They know that capitalists will export workers jobs and whole industries in search of economies offering higher levels of profit based on low pay and poor working conditionsand that they will import workers from overseas, who are super-exploited here in an attempt both to undermine hard won pay and conditions, and to set worker against worker. This is not the cosy 'free movement of labour' promoted by the European Union, it is a forced movement of labour for capitalisms purp