Few can still harbour any illusion about the Labour Party. Hardly any brain cells are required to see that Labour is just a continuation of Thatcher's vicious free market polices glossed over with a touch of caring concern. This says much about the reasoning capacity of boneheaded trade union leaders who still insist on handing over millions of pounds to Labour.

That the Labour Party has finally evolved into the Tory Party will not come as a surprise to anarcho-syndicalists. One of the driving forces which gave birth to our movement, in the early years of the 20th century, was the disillusionment felt by workers with newly elected MPs. In country after country newly franchised (mainly male) workers used their votes to elect socialist and communist party members to office for the first time; only to find that, once in office, their elected representatives were quickly seduced by the trappings of power. In a number of countries they were corrupted to the extent of supporting the use of troops to put down strikes.

The revulsion over this betrayal led to the embryonic revolutionary unions adopting a firm anti-parliamentary line. They rejected electoral politics and took up direct action as the means by which the working class could keep democratic control of their own struggle and confront capitalism directly. Instead of placing their faith in politicians and governments, they sought to build a mass movement that would use boycotts and various forms of strike action as part of the wider struggle against capitalism. The ultimate aim was to launch a social general strike which would be the means of overthrowing capitalism and creating a better world.

The experience of those early workers and the direct action alternative is still relevant today. As Labour transformed themselves into the Tories, numerous socialist parties have stepped in to try and occupy the place once occupied by Labour. We should not be fooled; the whole history of electoral politics, not just here but across the world, is that once in power political parties soon ditch any thoughts of destroying capitalism and become part of the elite ruling over us in the same old way.

Similar articles