The democratic protest movements


The current upswing phase of the revolutionary period was characterised by the impressive entry into political life by spontaneous, democratic mass movements. The occupations of Tahrir Square in Cairo, the Kínima Aganaktisménon Politón (Enraged Citizens' Movement) in Greece and the Democracia Real YA (Real Democracy NOW!) in Spain, the global Occupation movement starting in New York – all these movements testify two things: first, that the masses have no confidence in the political and economic system of capitalism. And secondly, that they also have little confidence in the traditional mass organisations of the workers' movement (trade unions, political parties, etc.) as the dominant bureaucracy has alienated themselves in recent years and decades even more from the rank and file than ever before.

These movements once more demonstrate the utter nonsense of the thesis of centrists like Grant/Woods and the organizations they built (CWI, IMT), that when the masses enter the field of class struggle, they supposedly "always" and "inevitably" first turn to the traditional mass parties and become active within these. This assertion is contrary to historical truth and serves only to justify their deep burrowing and associated opportunistic adaptation to the bureaucracy of these parties (social democracy in Europe, PPP in Pakistan, ANC in South Africa, PRD in Mexico, etc.) and their refusal of building an independent revolutionary party.

What unites these movements and makes them so progressive is the desire for more radical democracy and social justice. That is why they are in fundamental opposition to the ruling political regime (dictatorships, corrupt bourgeois democracies) and therefore they are also willing to break with the ruling class legality with their occupations. Political forces that refuse to openly support these movements, because they cannot bureaucratically control them, only demonstrate their reactionary character. (e.g. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the KKE in Greece)

On the other hand, the democratic protest movements also have significant weaknesses. Denying the existence of these weaknesses would inevitably lead to opportunist swamp. For example, they are characterised by a non-specific class character and by the disproportionate role that representatives of the lower middle classes, the intellectuals and the students play in them. However, the broad mass of the lower strata of the working class, the migrants etc., are often under-represented. This is accompanied by a lack of organised roots in the workplace and a partial rejection of participation of political organisations in the meetings. Equally harmful and impractical is the principle of consensus (something is adopted only if none of those present is against it). Nevertheless, many workers take part in these movements, and even more are full of hopes and expectations.

Bolsheviks-Communists advocate fighting within these movements for a proletarian revolutionary line and finally for the independent organisation of the proletariat and the oppressed sections so that they can lead other layers such as the salaried middle classes and the peasants. This means:

* The expansion of the movement to large and central parts of the working class through strike committees in enterprises which can become the engine of the movement towards higher forms of resistance actions (such as an indefinite general strike).

* To argue for a revolutionary programme in the form of a programme that raises and answers the question of power (i.e. including armed insurrection and dictatorship of the proletariat).

* Open advocating of revolutionary tactics in this programme (e.g. general strike slogan, self-defence units).

* Clear advocating of organisational forms - especially Councils - which allow for the revolutionary-democratic, proletarian orientation of the movement.

* Fight for the orientation of the movement to the working class and the oppressed.

* Criticism and enlightenment about the true nature of the current petty-bourgeois leaderships of these protest movements.

* In this sense, to educate, to make propaganda and to gain supporters for the revolutionary communism.



Previous: Action comitee - factory comitees - councils

Chapter 5: The Program of the Revolution