Sunday, January 6, 2008

Revolutionaries and the Status-Quo Left

The status quo left is the sector of the left which sees the international struggle for social justice as a 40 hour work week. They can also be refered to as the institutionalized left. They are at peace with the roles they play as long as a small place is reserved for them within the establishment, as long as they can put a little bit of occasional pressure on reactionary governments, as long as their voice is heard. But taking a revolutionary approach to changing society only half way is not viable; it is naive, it is conciliatory, it is contradictory and hypocritical.

The problem with the status-quo left is that it is satisfied, it is comfortable with its position. For revolutionaries on the other hand, 24 hours of daily struggle is never enough, not until every sinlge oppressed nation attains sovereignty, not until every single exploited person is liberated.

Being a member of the status-quo left is an agreement to compromise with the ruling class. Essentially the ruling class tells them, 'we will allow you to pratice your leftist politics within our establishment, as long as you do things our way and abide by the same rules as us'. It is collaborating with the very system that perpetrates all the injustices we struggle against. How can they attempt to extinguish fires while being in partnership with the arsonists?

The aim of the status-quo left is to do things to create awareness and to cause reaction, but to not aggravate the powers that be too much, to not push our luck. 'You're too loud, you're overly active, you're giving the left a bad name' they tell us. Martin Luther King once said, "This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism." Yet the reformist "revolutionary" strategy of the staus-quo left can be described as a passive state of comfortable drowsiness. It is taking our so-called "rights and freedoms" under the system of capitalism for granted, all while allowing the reactionaries to further our oppression and exploitation. In 1952, before the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro wrote, "There is nothing in this world as bitter as the spectacle of a people who go to sleep in liberty and awaken in slavery." We can never allow the authenticity of our struggle to be watered down, yet the example that the status-quo left is setting for the working class is that the international struggle for the liberation of humanity is a submissive one, a privilege granted us dependent on the consent of our antagonists.

Being a revolutionary is making a concious decision to give your life to the cause of humanity. Che Guevara wrote that a revolutionary is "a self-sacrificing worker who gives up his hours of rest, his personal tranquility, his family or his life for the revolution." He noted that "Our sacrifice is a concious one: an installment paid on the freedom that we are building", and furthermore, we add that our struggle is not conditional on whether those sacrifices bear fruit in our lifetime or in our grandchildren's lifetime, rather it is an ongoing fight against capitalist globalization's advance toward the extinction of humanity.

We demand:
No concessions to the ruling class!
Solidarity and struggle in line with the true interests of the working class!

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