Saturday, 25 December 2010

Season's Greetings

Christmas has snuck up on me this year. Whereas last year it was a major stress-headache, precipitated by a lack of both money and foresight, this year it kind of just fell into place.

But then, part of that will be due to the fact that I had a lot to occupy my time. Picket lines, marches, and anti-fascism. Because, of course, when we took two seconds to breathe in the midst of an intensified class war, the fascists reared their ugly heads.

And Christmas time is only the briefest of breaks from all of that. With the new year comes new struggles, not just here in Britain but worldwide. Ours is only one of a great many governments wishing to impose austerity on the working class so that we might bear the cost of preserving capitalism after its latest crisis. And that cost, let's not forget, is job losses, benefit cuts for those who can ill afford it, and the ravaging of every last little concession that ordinary people have pried from the state.

The response to austerity has varied wildly, and the "leaders" of "the Left" have been as disappointing as ever. But there is hope, and as that's what Christmas is all about, that's what I will dwell upon.

A renewed militancy has erupted amongst rank-and-file students. Class consciousness has bloomed in the youth, forcing aside all the vague niceties about "aspiration" and "social mobility." More and more people, beyond the professional revolutionaries, are aware that this is a class war and of what that means. And new movements, such as UK Uncut, have forced direct action onto the agenda, against the will of the various bureaucracies that lay claim to leading us.

There is great potential for a resistance that argues for more than simply defending the existing social order. More than manifest that defence in listless marches to the top of the hill, and right back down again. There is the potential - and the will - for a genuinely revolutionary struggle built and led from below. It is just a question of whether it thrives or is demobilised by the usual suspects.

But, for now, Christmas offers us a breather. Jobs and services remain under threat. The poorest still face the possibility of not being able to keep food on the table or a roof over their heads. The threat to the independence and mobility of the disabled is ever-present.

But it won't happen today. Today, whatever we call it and however much or little prominence we give it, we can spend time with those we love. As sappy as it may sound, we can bring warmth to the coldest and darkest depths of the year. And, I would say, focus not on the misery that may be to come but the hope that we can win the fights ahead.

In the spirit of liberty, equality, community, and solidarity, here's wishing that all my comrades, friends, and family have a Merry Christmas. And that, through the strength of our resolve and our will to fight, the New Year is nowhere near as dismal for us as the ruling class intend to make it.