Our organisation is proposing the following motion to the Labour Representation Committee conference:
After years of being told ‘There is No Alternative’, the crisis of global capital has shown that the entire system can be brought into question. Furthermore the widespread state intervention to preserve finance capital has brought into question previously conceived ideas of nationalisation and “public ownership” traditionally accepted in the labour movement.
As part of developing a vision of a viable alternative to capitalism our movement needs to develop new ideas of social ownership and abandon statist conceptions which have proven to be an historical failure.
1. State ownership, no matter what pseudonym it goes under is not social ownership. They are in fact two counter-posed things: one cannot equate the state with society.
2. The state is not a neutral force concerned only with the welfare of society and possessing the ability and the means to take measures suited to this end. The state is not a vehicle to achieve ‘socialism’ and cannot be relied upon to act as a protective shield against capital.
The capitalist system, whether in its private or state forms of appearance, does not and cannot work in the interest of the majority. It is an unjust system, an economic tyranny where the rulers at all levels make the crucial economic decisions that affect our lives, solely on the basis of what will increase their profits and promote their interests. The Labour Representation Committee considers that the people who should have the deciding voice on the economy and its problems are the people most directly connected with it, the workers who produce the goods and services.
As such the Labour Representation Committee sets as it goal a system of genuine social ownership, organised on the basis of workers’ self-management, a system of participatory democracy based on the sovereignty of those who produce the goods and services in society.
Conference recognises that if we are to realise the slogan ‘another world is possible’ workers’ self-management is a necessity in the creation of a new cooperative society based on common, social ownership. Workers’ self-management is not something which can be proclaimed or enacted from above, nor is there a blueprint. It requires a process of social self-organisation and creativity from below.
The publication of Building a new common sense, Social Ownership in the 21st Century is a welcome initiative in helping rejuvenate discussion of these issues in the movement. Conference agrees:
1. To hold a series of forums and conferences on the question of social ownership and workers’ self-management, with LEAP and fraternal organisations.
2. To publish a series of pamphlets on making the case for social ownership and workers’ self-management, drawing on historical, international and contemporary experiences of the working class.
3. To develop with affiliated trades unions the case for workers’ self-management in specific industries.
4. From these discussions and debates to take forward a campaign for workers’ self-management and social ownership.