The IWW is, as a fundamental aspect of its being, not a supporter of the ruling class. Our interests are opposed to that of the government and that of capital. However, power shifts at the top of the pyramid send masonry tumbling to the workers at the bottom. This week the proroguing of parliament at the hands of Boris Johnson and his chief allies has held sway over the news cycle, a development which may indicate serious trouble for the working class and the anti-capitalist movement as a whole in the near future.
Debate currently rages over what the practical effect of the proroguing will be: is it a “soft coup”, or mere parliamentary maneuver? Is it a ploy to disrupt Johnson’s opponents ahead of No-Deal, or a power play to help ram his preferred version of Brexit through parliament? Regardless of the outcome of opinion piece analysis, the material reality remains: This move is a dangerous erosion of already precarious bourgeois democratic institutions in the UK. The IWW is proudly independent of all institutionalized structures that feed into the capitalist system- especially including parliamentary parties- but ultimately we cannot divorce ourselves from their effects on society.
While IWW will never take a stance in favour of any given political party or coalition, the decision to prorogue parliament is likely not to our collective benefit, and largely strengthens the most aggressive factions of the ruling class, at the expense of damaging the limited form of democracy currently in use. This episode serves as a reminder that we are facing opponents who are basically willing to enact any precedent to enrich themselves, either in terms of direct hoarding of money, or the accumulation of more abstract political power. In return, the IWW will similarly pay no heed to convention in its efforts to resist the exploitation of workers.
This precedent is just as worrying in its implications as the slowly growing calls for a general strike from some parts of social media are heartening and interesting- yet the ever present need to organise remains. The calls to resist both the economic and political exploitation of the population are growing throughout the various sectors of the working class, a matter which our union notes with keen interest. Because of this we must be ready for both challenges and opportunities to appear, and for new areas of struggle for workers rights to open up in the near term.
The long term reality of the present crisis is that it is merely an expression of the deep problems of exploitation that lie at the core of modern society. Major political crises are now regular occurrences, and yet are themselves dwarfed by the massive issues of the day: Class Struggle and Climate Collapse. The only method of combating these is for those who work every day to operate and feed the engines of the economy to organise and win back control over their own lives.