Strengthening Our Organizations

January 12, 2007

Organization is one of the decisive weapons needed by the working class in its struggle.

As individuals the workers are powerless against the capitalist class which not only dictates the conditions of employment but also controls the government apparatus and determines the agenda of society.

But through organization, the workers give embodiment to their common interests and merge their activity into a powerful, concerted struggle. In fact, the workers ability to organize themselves and society is one of their distinguishing and revolutionary qualities.

On a world scale, the working class has created unions embracing hundreds of millions of people. Workers are in the forefront of building mass organizations on every front of the people's struggles (in the anti-war movement, the struggle of the oppressed minorities, the women's movement for emancipation); the working class has also created its own political parties which aim at bringing the working class to power and securing the general and fundamental interests of the workers. The recent mass mobilizations for immigrant rights offered a glimpse of the tremendous organizational capacity of the workers. Over the last 150 years the working class has shown that is has the strength not only to bring society to a standstill but to organize the new socialist society.

More than anything else, the capitalist class fears the organized strength of the working class. Thus the capitalists wage an intense struggle to disrupt and hamstring the workers' organizations.

Firstly the capitalists try to undermine the very aims of the workers' organizations. For example, the capitalists aim at transforming the unions from organizations of struggle against exploitation into organizations that collaborate with the capitalists and help them impose their agenda on the workers.

In order to undermine the aims of the workers' organizations, the capitalists do everything to depoliticize and disempower people. For example, according to the capitalist outlook, the workers themselves do not need to discuss and work out their contract demands but should leave all this in the hands of a few leaders. So too, decisions and actions are not worked out by the membership but are arbitrarily imposed on people. And when things go wrong, there is no way for the workers to get together and figure out who was responsible, what was the problem or what is the next step. Instead, the workers find that they themselves are cursed as the problem by the very same misleaders who refused to mobilize them in the first place.

To strengthen their organizations and keep them as sharp weapons in the struggle, the workers must oppose such capitalist methods.

The workers need organizational unity to reflect their common interests; they need unified action to wage their common struggle against the capitalists. Such unity can only be achieved when everyone participates in looking at the problems and working out the solutions. It is the consciousness of the workers about their conditions and aims which is the decisive factor energizing their organizations and ensuring their unity.

On the basis of their program (worked out in common), the workers again need democracy to work out the forms and methods of struggle. The widespread discussion and active participation of the everyone is precisely what releases the tremendous organizational capacity and fighting spirit of the workers. This participation begins with the workers' themselves setting the agenda in every meeting. By always setting the agenda, the workers ensure that their problems and concerned are taken up.

As this kind of genuine working class organization is strengthened, the workers can sum up their experience and deal with any and all problems that arise.

As long as the workers are united on their common aims and have the means of working together they can only get stronger in the struggle.