excerpt from New Unionist, newpaper of the New Union Party


an excerpt from an article that appeared in the
New Unionist issue of October 1992

In order to make the everyday management decisions in the workplace, as well as the long-range planning decisions for the economy as a whole, we must have a decision-making system in place in the workplaces.

There will need to be "town meetings" - workers' assemblies - in each workplace, to govern the workplace. There will be elected managers for the workplace to carry out the decisions of the workers on a daily basis. There will be delegates elected from the workplaces to the administrative and planning councils that will coordinate the work of all the workplaces in each industry. Finally, there will be workers' delegates elected from each industry to a national Congress, to plan and coordinate the economy as a whole.

This change to a democratic economic government, with voting and representation from the workplaces, is essential to ensure the new economic system works as it's supposed to - to direct human resources to meeting human needs, with the least waste and damage to the environment as possible.

The Social Democratic parties thought they could use the old "bourgeois democratic" state to achieve socialism, and ended up building a government bureaucracy that strengthened capitalism in Western Europe. The Communist parties thought they would reach socialism by overthrowing the bourgeois democratic state and replacing it with a one-party "workers' state", and ended up creating an authoritarian leviathan, that robbed the workers of their rights as well as their product.

The lesson is clear: production-for-use is impossible without the direct democracy of industrial-union government.

Once we have created the new system of government in the workplaces, we can do away with the old system of professional politicians. Politicians have no useful talents for industrial management, only a socially-destructive knack for bamboozling working class citizens, to help enrich a handful of corporate owners. They are easily done without, as are the capitalists they work for.

But to get from here to there, the workers' movement must organize politically as well as industrially. Until the majority agrees to change society along these lines, a change cannot take place.

A labor party with a straightforward revolutionary program will rally the people behind it. Its vote will indicate the level of support reached for the program, and encourage others to support it. And once it has won a majority of the electorate, the vote will be the legal mandate to transfer ownership of the industries to the people, and the signal for the industrial unions to assume government authority.

At that critical point, the workers' party will be in possession of the State, and will be in the most strategic position to prevent the political powers - the police and military - being used against the new government. Political action is thus essential to minimize violence and bloodshed. With the new government secure, and in control of the nation, the old State powers can be dismantled, and, with them, their potential for future mischief.