6 Principles Of Working Class Struggle
Thousands of teachers in the Brazilian state of São Paulo voted on May 15 to continue their now two-month strike. Photo: CUT, São Paulo.
Note: The article below comes from a new project, Workers Struggle, which stands for the autonomous/independent organization of workers and laborers. They see workers being exploited on the job with low wages, worsening conditions, lax safety standards, while more business owners wallow in luxury profiting off their growing misery. Visit their website: http://www.workersstruggle.org.
1) Class antagonism. There is no reconciliation possible between the
workers and the capitalists (company/owners/bosses/
are not “exchanging labor for a fair wage” but are being robbed by their
class enemy. Exploitation is inherent in the relationship. Even if we win
concessions, we must never be satisfied.
2) Collectivity. There is no way to win this struggle as individuals.
Working class unity is crucial.
3) Combativeness. There is no way to win by cooperating with the enemy,
being subsumed by them, or avoiding confrontation with them, but it must
be through struggle–whatever level of struggle corresponds to the capacity
we have at a given time.
4) Internal democracy. Once we have established an organization with a
basic orientation, it must function internally with democratic practices.
Each member should be encouraged to participate fully and openly state
their views. We don’t want bureaucratic structures or foot soldiers, but
for every individual to increase their capacity for the strength of the
5) Class autonomy. We must make sure that our struggles are in our class
interests, and not inadvertently serve the interests of other classes. The
working class must lead, self-manage and control its own struggle, and not
be led by capitalist proxies (establishment unions that collaborate with
management, NGOs, politicians, legalistic means). Even if we use those
entities in specific situations as we build our capacity, like bringing in
unions or lawyers, they must be under the control of autonomous workers
6) Internationalism. The capitalists are an international class, and so
are workers. We have more in common with one another as workers across
borders than we do with the capitalists in our home countries. National
borders were arbitrarily set up by capitalists in the first place—they
cross them at will, while limiting our freedom to do so. We need to build
solidarity with workers globally to strengthen our common struggle.
“Workers of the world: Unite!” is not just a slogan, but is a guide to