Yes, The Working Class is Still Changing the World

People’s Voice Editorial

Ever since the English trade union movement went through a lengthy period of relative “labour peace” during Karl Marx’s lifetime, so-called “experts” have proclaimed the death of the revolutionary working class on every possible occasion. It’s absolutely true that the tactics and strategies of working class struggles adapt to changing times. Ups and downs in the level of organizing and militancy are inevitable. But life itself is the best answer to the accusation that workers have given up the fight for social change.

Look at the past year, to take just one narrow slice of time. Trade unions in Sudan are playing a magnificent role in the current uprising against that country’s exploiters and repressive military rulers. Algeria has also seen huge working class involvement is a similar battle for democracy and social justice. Some of the biggest mass worker and peasant strikes in history have been mounted in India against the Hindu fundamentalist regime of Narendra Modi. The “gilets jaunes” movement in France (unlike in Canada and other countries where the yellow vests were taken over by white nationalist forces) have rocked the country, forcing the austerity Macron regime to back down on several issues. Although right-wing parties have won several elections in Latin America, workers are in the streets, pushing back in huge numbers. Even in the heartland of imperialism, US teachers and fast food workers are striking and protesting from one end of the country to the other.

Nobody can predict the outcome of any of these clashes, or whether any of them will flower into a genuine fight for workers’ power. But these and other examples prove that the spirit of working class resistance is very much alive, 170 years after the Communist Manifesto changed the world forever.

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