So far, there are a range of opinions on TDB about the convoy’s occupation of Parliament grounds. Chris Trotter asks the police to evacuate the demonstrators. John Minto sees in it a revolt of workers who are fed up with neoliberalism and the failure of their political leadership. Bomber is somewhat neutral, tolerant of “clowns” and opposed to using cops to recruit more “clowns”. Somewhere in all of this the distinction between the petty-bourgeois leadership and the ugly mob is lost.
Go further. It’s an ugly mob claiming their individual rights without reference to the rights of others. But it is clear that the crowd is mostly made up of workers who are victims of decades of anti-worker attacks. But what Bomber sees as “clowns” are populist mobs mounted by fascist demagogues in a confused and distorted expression of class struggle.
The struggle that is represented by the convoy on the House lawn is not about the use of violence, or whether most of the crowd are workers. It is about how an international fascist movement uses declassed workers as fascist fodder to gain state power and unleash systematic fascist state violence against the working class.
Appearances are always deceiving. There is much more to the convoy than a legitimate protest by angry workers. It is the creation of Bannon and Trump’s international right-wing project for a fascist white supremacist movement. The New Zealand convoy is part of an overall plan to save the white European world from the growing flood of poor black and brown masses.
It is therefore not about the mob against the capitalist state. They are part of the same problem of how to monopolize state violence to crush the working class. The fascists are not against the capitalist state, they want to control it. They want to eliminate the “communist” Jacinda, just like the January 6 attempt by a populist mob to force the US Congress to give Trump the electoral victory over the “liberal” Biden. Fascism is a long story.
Fascism is the last attempt by the capitalist class to retain power in the face of growing mass resistance against its destruction of society to retain its wealth. The effect of this destruction is the collapse of all the achievements that workers have acquired over generations. Several million workers are thrown into unemployment and poverty. With nothing to lose, their potential power to overthrow capitalism becomes a revolutionary threat. “Potential” because this threat must first be organized before it can materialize.
So while workers globally can unite to overthrow capitalism with strikes and sit-ins halting the production process, workers are divided into class by income, nationality, religion, race and gender. Identity politics is an outcome that erases class identity, “downgrading” workers as bourgeois individuals in the dog-eating dog market. Unless workers are united and mobilized against the ruling class and its state, the class enemy will use these divisions and recruit workers as fascist fodder to crush the workers who thus retain their solidarity and class consciousness.
Since the Second World War, capitalism has gone through a long structural crisis of declining profits where the share of the value produced going to the workers has decreased in relation to the share of profits. The increase in labor productivity has made the workforce more precarious, weakened if not destroyed unions and pushed many workers into self-employment. The declassification of workers sees social democracy move to the liberal centre, and those who remain fall prey to populist demagogues who recruit them as fascist fodder against organized labour.
The result is what we have today. Capitalism facing a terminal crisis, layers of workers declassed and turned into fascist fodder, prey to petty-bourgeois “leaders” who blame the crisis on the working class, and any government labeled “socialist” or “communist” or even “liberal” targeted by a populist mob to bring fascist leaders to power.
Once an “event” such as Convoy’s occupation of the Parliament grounds is understood in terms of class struggle, the task of revolutionary socialists is clear: to build an anti-fascist workers’ movement!
Fight all attacks on workers in the streets, expose and discredit bourgeois backers of fascism like Bannon and Trump, ridicule bloated petty bourgeois leaders like Eftpostle and Demented who want to bring down the Labor government.
Because the ruling class is preparing an international fascist movement to seize power, we must defend bourgeois democracy. But only as a way to move the fight forward, not as a dead end. We never appeal to the bosses’ state to defend our rights.
We do this by methods of class struggle. We show how parliamentary democracy is a sham. That populists’ “human rights” demands are a decoy. Only a workers state can deliver “democracy” and “freedom” from exploitation and oppression.
So once the socialist left gets its foot in the stirrup, builds independent anti-fascist fighting militias to dispense with fascism, we must move on to the task of breaking up the capitalist state and replacing it with a workers state. .
Dave Brownz is TDB’s guest Marxist blogger