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Editorial - Caderno "Luta Social", No.3

category iberia | workplace struggles | opinion / analysis author Tuesday November 18, 2008 23:34author by "Luta Social" Collectiveauthor email iniciativalutasocial at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

In the midst of a serious situation, with great instability on economic, political and social levels due to another crisis in the world financial system, which has already spread to the "real economy" and with no end in sight, our country is immersed in an "endogenous crisis". [Português]

Caderno "Luta Social", No.3 - November 2008


In the midst of a serious situation, with great instability on economic, political and social levels due to another crisis in the world financial system, which has already spread to the "real economy" and with no end in sight, our country is immersed in an "endogenous crisis".

This "endogenous crisis" has still to be duly analysed at theoretical and practical levels (mainly for guiding action) by the non-authoritarian left, the left not compromised with neo-liberalism.

As a matter of fact, our country is historically a country with the past of a colonial empire, but it was soon neo-colonized by various powers.

In the post-25 April 1974 epoch, the shift towards the EEC meant its anchoring to formal democracy. But also to capitalism (in contradiction with the people's feelings, at least in this time, in the mid-eighties).

The expression of this was a political and economical subordination - to an extent never seen before - to the dominant powers, without a clear conscience of what was really at stake. Certainly, this was contributed to by the fact we were at the end of the "cold war" period, with a series of tensions between the dominant superpower (as the USA already were) and the super-power that would soon lose its status, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the USSR's dissolution, the quick conversion of the "people's democracies" in Eastern Europe to a savage version of capitalism after the forced experience of state capitalism.

In the turmoil of this new power and political rearrangements, the workers' class in every European country had always shown its rejection of imposed solutions, the reduction of their rights, against the strengthening of capitalism, against unemployment and the increasing casualisation of work, used as a terrorist weapon by the bosses and State officials from Europe, including the so-called "liberal democracies".

But, due to decades of subordination of their class instruments - the unions - to interests that were external to its own reality, identity and nature, the worker class was badly armed for the battle. In fact, union leaders, chosen and maintained because they are party members or sympathisers, were "controlling" the mass movement, as orderlies of the bosses, useful to the dominant caste.

The leaders' treason can be understood as corollary of having transformed themselves progressively into a caste or "coordinator class", with certain privileges, with a seemingly unchallenged status as "social partners", essential to the big circus called "social dialogue", in fact, the search for a (false) consensus between the exploited and the exploiters, in short.

Nevertheless, in Brazil (see Alexander Samis' article on Syndicalism and the Social Movements), in in France (see the CSR militant interview) and even in our own country, the unions are subject to change, sometimes to splits, sometimes reunifications, but always subject to a grassroots dynamic.

Under our eyes (see also in this issue the "Open Letter to Education Workers"), the teachers are fighting for the state school system, for their dignity, to maintain their autonomy and the quality of the educational act in itself, showing how people can organise themselves in a spontaneous way, in autonomy, forcing the heavy machines such as the unions to move forward and take steps which were previously rejected as being "too radical".

Whatever the outcome of the struggles, one thing is sure: the worker class and the people in general are learning - through the practice of social struggle - to determine for themselves their will, imposing respect from leaders of the mandate that was given to them. Although these have a permanent tendency to take decisions in place of those that elected them, they have no longer the hegemony over the social movement.

Today in Portugal, people are understanding better and better that their self-organisation, horizontal, democratic, with active solidarity, crossing the frontiers of professional groups, uniting everyone in the action, independent from their partisan or ideological preferences. This is the key to being able to impose their will, at any level, and to defend their dignity, their livelihoods and their future.

This movement should put down roots and spread even more, because the long-term goal is the elimination of capitalism, the construction of socialism from below, the deep change we call "social revolution".

"Luta Social" Collective

Caderno "Luta Social" is published by the "Luta Social" Collective, an anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist group based in Portugal.

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