The capitalist class on both sides have traditionally used the working class to protect their capital interests when it is threatened - giving up certain concessions when neccessary for their own survival. Do not confuse this with a genuine religious or fraternal movement within the capitalist and working classes. This idea must be fostered. As soon as the capitalist class is not threatened by outside forces, they return to a parasitic position. Look at the actions of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association and the Orange Order in intentionally removing the politics of labour from the protestant working class. This is class antagonisms being masked by sectarianism. And that in a nutshell is why the working class is not 'a class FOR itself'. Sectarianism has been fostered along with the idea you present, ie class is not the issue. Class is the only issue. EDIT; Just reread your last line. I agree completely.
Its about time we, as socialists, take back the term 'working class'. Reactionary nonsense. Step1. Open your eyes. Step 2. Read a few books. Step 3. Realise the DUP was never and will never be a party of the working class.
The old days are over. They don't need a general strike, they need business's that profit. So drop the working class rhetoric, or alternatively, learn what the labour movement actually aspires to achieve.
When i first became politically active about 5 years ago, people would laugh off the idea that politics is merely class warfare. In this post industrial age we are mean't to believe that the class antagonisms no longer exist. To accept this argument is to accept the working class itself does not exist. Yet the more it is ignored the louder it becomes, poverty in the working class is related to EVERY social problem. The antagonism between those who create wealth and those who accumulate it has never been greater. But we are a class in itself, but not FOR itself. We are divided on sectarian lines. We do not join unions. We do not vote within our class. The DUP/SF/SDLP/UU all have one thing in common, not socialists. They are not going to do it for us, we need radical working class solutions to working class problems. Until then, prepare to be disappointed.
The real question this point raises is 'why do politicians not seem to share and represent the values of the people'? We need dig a little deeper. It is clear that society is divided up into classes. It is clear that we have a ruling class which manipulates/hires the politicians to enforce their views. Why is this phenomenon occurring when we are told we live in a democracy?
From first principles. Capitalism was brought into existence by a revolutionary group known as the bourgeoisie. These we the first true capitalists and industrialists. Feudalism was impeding their development and so they overthrew it. The French and American revolutions were based on enlightenment ideas and these ideas defined the role of the state under the bourgeois (now referred to as capitalists). The new capitalists had some great ideas and among them was democracy. But it is wrong that they wanted democracy for all. They simply wanted democracy for themselves, for the capitalist class to prosper and gain more wealth. For the past 200 years, despite many class struggles, this fact is still concrete...Under capitalism, Capital rules....not democracy. The capitalist system has been created to enforce capitals supremacy over the majority. This includes creating a political class which have a very limited amount of power and which are easy to manipulate. So when we say that the politicians don't understand or listen to us, we fail to appreciate that the problem is systemic. The real problem is the limits of bourgeois democracy under the capitalist system.
It subtly reinforces bourgeois nationalism and the right to export imperialism. It's possibly the lowest act of the war monger, use dead servicemen to beat the drum for future wars. Salute the flag, don't think. War is normal, don't question. 'Your' country needs you, answer the call.
A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of corporatism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to engage this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies. Marx was right, and all these liberal crocodile tears will not be enough to deal with these problems until we use a structural framework which acknowledges this fact.
The British Labour Party, the Irish Labour Party and the SDLP are all affiliated to the Party of European Socialists and the Socialist International which means they have a pact which means they won't seek to compete with one another. If you want labour politics you should do one of two things; 1. seek to return the SDLP to labour values or 2. vote for a socialist party.
When we combat historical amnesia it should in the name of anti imperialism. So many sweet nothings are voiced in the name of honouring the war dead and wounded, yet they are usually the last to get asked what they think. What did the working class think when they got home from WW1, they wouldn't touch the blind nationalism that led them to that butchery. What do the Afghan/Iraq veterans actually think about fighting a war no one supports? These are the voices that count, not the mindless beating of the war drum by saluting the 'heroes' and not asking any real questions.
I agree with your points, but the inequality that results from capitalism (and ultimately leads to corporatism as monopoly) is in built to the system. There is no 'better capitalism' that will lead us to equality. Regulation by the financial/industrial class of themselves by their proxy politicians is a pipe dream. Even the progressive capitalist western nations are using wage slaves in asia as the drivers of their economic growth. What we see with corporatism is a class of parasites feeding of other capitalists.I have no dog in that fight.
bigchiefally - We can send a man to the moon, we can have a better system than capitalism. Every economic development has its roots in its historical and material conditions. For a new system to work we need to raise ourselves above the paradigms of capitalism and being acting collectively with accountability to each other.
I think it goes to show that oppression of one form or another is systemic to capitalism. South Africans, to be truly free, need to overthrow capitalism as well as apartheid. I agree with you in principle, but yet, we exist to exert resistance. Global capital is not as strong as their ideology would have you believe. That perhaps is Mandelas real triumph. We must first believe in our collective strength to organise from below; Organise, Educate, Agitate. The world belongs to the Mandelas, not the Blairs. Where there is resistance you will find comrades.