Occupy Wall Street OWS movement at a crossroads

Published on WSWS, by Joseph Kishore, October 26, 2011.

… Twenty years ago, the collapse of the Soviet Union was followed by proclamations by the propagandists of the ruling class of the “end of history” and the demise of the class struggle. The official “left” played its role by attempting to suppress any discussion of class in favor of the various forms of identity politics. Socio-economic class was presented as an altogether subordinate category to race, gender and sexual orientation. 

The events of this year have exploded these conceptions. From the revolutionary upheavals in Egypt, to mass demonstrations in Israel and social eruptions in Europe, the class struggle has reemerged as the basic historical force. The Occupy movement itself foreshadows an explosive eruption of class struggle in the United States, the center of world capitalism.

The reemergence of working class struggle is rooted in the crisis of the capitalist system and the response of the ruling class to this crisis. Hundreds of millions of people around the world, unable to tolerate the conditions imposed upon them, are beginning to fight back.

If the events of this year have confirmed the centrality of class struggle and the objective basis for a socialist movement, they have also confirmed that the successful prosecution of the class struggle is impossible without politics.

Those within the Occupy movement who preach “no politics” and “no leadership” serve to maintain the stranglehold of the prevailing politics. It is precisely leadership and politics—that is, a party and a program—that are required above all.

The unconscious historical process that is bringing millions of people into struggle against capitalism must be transformed into a conscious socialist political movement of the international working class.

The basic aspirations expressed in the Occupy movement—including above all the fight for social equality—cannot be achieved within the framework of capitalism, in which economic and political life is subordinated to private profit. A movement of the working class must be aimed at establishing a workers government, which will have as one of its first tasks the transformation of the banks and major corporations into publicly owned and democratically controlled institutions.

The Socialist Equality Party in the United States and its sister parties around the world are spearheading this struggle, and we urge all workers and youth who want to take up this fight to join the SEP. (full text).

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