IN HIS speech on Saturday to the Labour Party Policy Forum Jeremy Corbyn proved that left reformism has absolutely no answers to the crisis of capitalism other than pledging to magically reform the system out of bankruptcy.
Corbyn stated: ‘Political upheaval is becoming the norm. The old certainties are dramatically falling away and we are coming to expect the unexpected. People know there can be no more business as usual.’
He went on to say: ‘But the question is what will replace it.’ The answer Corbyn gives is that as far as he is concerned nothing will replace this bankrupt capitalist system, which he himself accepts can provide no future for workers and young people.
Instead he pledges that a Labour government would ‘restore hope’ by regulating the banks and ‘give people the chance to take back real control’ at the same time as keeping capitalism intact.
What Corbyn, the left reformist, really wants is to restore the faith of workers that capitalism is a system that can be rescued from crisis by regulations and re-nationalising the railways.
Nothing about expropriating the banks and bosses and placing them and their wealth under the ownership and control of the working class as part of a planned socialist economy.
Indeed nowhere in his speech does Corbyn ever once use the word socialism. Instead he laments that there is a massive political crisis for the bourgeois parties, the general staff of the capitalist class.
Workers are in open revolt and in country after country have destroyed the old traditional parties of the bourgeoisie who for so long dominated and believed themselves invulnerable.
Corbyn himself was, much to his surprise, pushed to the fore by this tidal wave of anger against Tory austerity supported by the Labour Party leadership. A mass movement of workers and young people was expressed in the vote to leave the EU, a vote that dealt a huge blow to the bosses and bankers and which also shattered the hold that the TUC and Labour Party thought it had over the working class.
It is this mass movement, rapidly developing into a revolutionary movement, that is terrifying Corbyn and forcing him to drop any pretence of being for ‘socialism’ and openly coming out in favour of keeping the working class tied to this bankrupt system.
This is why Corbyn can’t bring himself to utter the word socialism. It’s why he doesn’t dare to talk of the world crisis that is set to bring capitalism crashing down. This crisis the capitalist class is determined will be paid for by driving the working class down to conditions of poverty last seen in the 19th century.
For Corbyn and all left reformists their urgent job is to try and divert this mass movement away from revolution with the fantasy that capitalism can be made to ‘work’. Analysing the revolutionary situation in Russia in 1917 Leon Trotsky wrote: ‘The most indubitable feature of a revolution is the direct interference of the masses in historical events.
‘In ordinary times the state, be it monarchical or democratic, elevates itself above the nation, and history is made by specialists in that line of business – kings, ministers, bureaucrats, parliamentarians, journalists. But at those crucial moments when the old order becomes no longer endurable to the masses, they break over the barriers excluding them from the political arena, sweep aside their traditional representatives, and create by their own interference the initial groundwork for a new régime.’ Trotsky added: ‘The history of a revolution is for us first of all a history of the forcible entrance of the masses into the realm of rulership over their own destiny.’ (Trotsky: History of the Russian Revolution)
The masses in Britain and across the world are making their forcible entrance onto the historical stage that Trotsky so accurately analysed and it is this spectre of revolution that is terrifying Corbyn.
The urgent task of the hour is building the revolutionary leadership of the WRP that will lead this mass movement forward to the overthrow of capitalism through the victory of the socialist revolution.