THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE July 1919 The Left Wing Manifesto lutionary industrial unionism of the proletariat becomes an indispensable phase of revolutionary Socialism, on the basis of which to broaden and deepen the action of the militant pro letariat, developing reserves for the ultimate conquest of power.
Imperialism is dominant in the United States.
It controls all the factors of social action.
Imperialism is uniting all non proletarian social groups in a brutal State Capitalism, for reaction and spoliation. Against this, revolutionary Socialism must mobilize the mass struggle of the industrial proletariat.
Moderate Socialism is compromising, vacillating, treacherous, because the social elements it depends upon the petite bourgeoim e and the aristocracy of labor are not a fundamental factor in society; they vacillate between the bourgeois and the proletariat. their social instability produces political instability; and, moreover. they have been seduced by Imperialism and are now united with Imperialism.
Revolutionary Socialism is resolute, uncomprising. revolutionary, because it builds upon a fundamental social factor, the industrial proletariat, which is an actual producing class, expropriated of all property, in whose consciousness the machine process has developed the concepts of industrial unionism and mass action. Revolutionary Socialism adheres to the class struggle because through the class struggle alone the mass struggle can the industrial proletariat secure immediate concessions and ﬁnally conquer power by organizing the industrial government of the working class.
POLITICAL ACTION The class struggle is a political struggle.
It is a political struggle in the sense that its objective is political the overthrow of the political organizatiOn upon which capitalistic exploitation depends, and the introduction of a new social system. The direct objective is the conquest by the proletariat of the power of the state.
Revolutionary Socialism does not propose to capture the bourgeois parliamentary state, but to conquer and destroy it. Revolutionary Socialism, accordingly, repudiates the policy of introducing Socialism by means of legisla tive measures on the basis of the bourgeois state. This state is a bourgeois state, the organ for the coercion of the proletarian bv the capitalist: how, then, can it introduce Seei ahsm? As long as the bourgeois parliamentary state prevails, the capitalist class can bafﬂe the Will of the proletariat, since all the political power, the army and the police, industry and the press, are in the hands of the capitalists, whose economic power gives them complete domination. The revolutionary proletariat must expropriate all these by the conquest of the. power of the state. by annihilating the political power of the bourgeoisie, before it can begin the task of introducing Socialism.
Revolutionary Socialism, accordingly, proposes to conquer the power of the state. It proposes to conquer by means of political action,. polit1cal action in the revolutionarv Marx1an sense, which does not simply mean parliamentarism, but the class action of the proletariat in any form having as its objective the conquest of the power of the state.
Parliamentary action is necessary. In the parliament. the revolutionary representatives of the proletariat meet Capitalism on all general lSSLleS of the class struggle. The proletariat must ﬁght the capitalist class on all fronts, in the process of developing the ﬁnal action that will conquer the power of the state and overthrow Capitalism. Parliamentary ac(Continued from Page 8)
tion which emphasizes the implacable character of the class struggle is an indispensable means of agitation. Its task is to expose through political campaigns and the forum of parliament, the class character of the state and the reactionary purposes of Capitalism, to meet Capitalism on all issues, to rally the proletariat for the struggle against Capitalism.
But parliamentarism cannot conquer the power of the state for the proletariat. The conquest of the power of the state is an extra parliamentary act. It is accomplished, not by the legislative representatives of the pro letariat, but by the mar: power of the proletariat in action. The supreme power of the proletariat inheres in the political mass strike, in using the industrial mass power of the proletariat for political objectives.
Revolutionary Socialism, accordingly, recognizes that the supreme form of proletarian political action is the political mas:. drike.
Parliamentarism may become a factor in de veloping the mass strike; parliamentarism, if it is revolutionary and adheres to the class struggle, performs a necessary service in mobilizing the proletariat against Capitalism.
Moderate Socialism refuses to recognize and accept this supreme form of proletarian political action, limits and stultiﬁes political action into legislative routine and non Socialist parliamentarism. This is a denial of the mass character of the proletarian struggle, an evasion of the tasks of the Revolution.
The power of the proletariat lies fundamentally in its control of the industrial process. The mobilization of this control in action against the bourgeois state and Capitalism means the end of Capitalism, the initial formof the revolutionary mass action that will conquer the power of the state.
UNIONISM AND MASS ACTION.
Revolutionary Socialism and the actual facts of the class struggle make the realization of Socialism depend upon the industrial proletar iat. The class struggle of revolutionary Socialism mobilizes the industrial proletariat against Capitalism, that proletariat which is united and disciplined by the machine process, and which actually controls the basic industry of the nation.
The coming to consciousness of this proletariat produces a revolt against the older unionism, developing the concepts of industrial unionism and mass action.
The older unionism was implicit in the skill of the individual craftsmen, who united in craft unions. These unions organized primarily to protect the skill of the skilled workers, which 15 in itself a form of property. The trades unions developed into job trusts, and not into militant organs of the proletarian struggle; until to day the dominant unions are actual bulwarks of Capitalism, merging in Imperialism and accepting State Capitalism. The trades unions, being organized on craft divisions, did not and could not unite the workers as a class, nor are they actual class organizations.
The concentration of industry, developing the machine process, expropriated large elements of the skilled workers of their skill, but the unions still maintained the older ideology of property contract and caste. Deprived of actual pbwer, the dominant unionism resorts to dickers with the bourgeois state and an acceptance of imperialistic State Capitalism to maintain its privileges, as against the industrial proletariat.
The concentration of industry produced the industrial proletariat of unskilled workers, of the machine proletariat. This proletariat, massed in the basic industry, constitutes the militant basis of the class struggle against Capitalism; and, deprived of skill and craft divisions. it turns naturally to mass unionism, to an industrial unionism in accord with the integrated industry of imperialistic Capitalism.
Under the impact of industrial concentration, the proletariat developed its own dynamic tactics mass action.
Mass action is the proletarian response to the facts. of modern industrv. and the forms it imposes upon the pm etarian class struggle.
Mass action starts as the spontaneous activity of unorganized workers masSed in the basic industry; its initial form is the mass strike of the unorganized proletariat. The mass movements of the proletariat developing out of this mass response to the tyrannv of concentrated industry antagonized the dominant moderate Socialism; which tried to compress and stultify these militant impulses within the limits of parliamentarism.
In this instinctive mass action there was not simply a response to the facts of industry. but the implicit means for action against the dominant parliamentarisrn. Mass action is industrial in its origin: but its development imposes upon it a political character, since the more general and conscious mass action becomes the more it antagonizes the bourgeois state, becomes tolitical mass action.
Another development of. this tendency was Syndicalism. In its mass impulse Svndicalism was a direct protest against the futilitv of the dominant Socialist parliamentarism. But Syndicalism was either unconscous of the theoretical basis of the new movement; or where there was an articulate theory, it was a derivative of Anarchism. making the proletarian revolution an immediate and direct seizure of industry. instead of the conquest of the power of the state. Anarcho Svndicalism is a departure from Marxism. The theory of mass action and of industrial unionism, however, are in absolute accord with Marxism revolutionary Socialism in action.
Industrial unionism recognizes that the proletariat cannot conquer power by means of the bourgeois parliamentary state: it recognizes. moreover, that the proletariat cannot use this state to introduce Socialism, but that it must organize a new state. the state of the organized producers. Industrial unionism, accordingly, proposes to construct the forms of the government of Communist Socialism the government of the producers. The revolutionary proletariat cannot adapt the bourgeois organs of government to its own use: it must develop its own organs. The larger, more deﬁnite and general the conscious industrialmnions, the easier becomes the transition to Socialism, since the revolutionary state of the proletariat must reorganize society on the basis of union control and management of industry. Industrial unionism, accordingly.
is a necessary phase of revolutionary Socialist agitation and action.
But industrial unionism alone cannot conquer the power of the state. Potentially, industrial unionism may construct the forms of the new society; but only potentially. Actually the forms of the new society are constructed under. the protection of a revolutionary proletarian government; the industrial unions become simply the starting point of the Socialist reconstruction of society. Under the conditions of Capitalism, it is impossible to