For readers who may not know, two weeks ago I joined Solidarity, a small socialist organisation in Australia. The first step in explaining my decision is to explain who Solidarity are. Their ‘About Us’ section on the Solidarity Online website set out below does this very well.
WHO ARE SOLIDARITY?
Solidarity is a socialist group with branches across Australia.
We are opposed to the madness of capitalism, which is plunging us into global recession and misery at the same time as wrecking the planet’s future. We are taking the first steps towards building an organisation that can help lead the fight for an alternative system based on mass democratic planning, in the interests of human need not profit. The name Solidarity invokes one of the basic values of working class struggle—standing together in the fight for our rights. But it also stands for the wider solidarity we want to see uniting those fighting for change around different issues into a united fightback against the capitalist system and the ruthless drive for profits that dominates our world.
We’re committed to building social movements and the wider left, through throwing ourselves into struggles for social justice, against racism and to strengthen rank-and-file unionism. We’re active in the movement for refugee rights, the student movement and the fight for education, the campaign to scrap the NT intervention and as activists in our unions.
Solidarity is a member of the International Socialist Tendency, a network of socialist groups around the world that shares a common political outlook.
Join us in the struggle to end the wars, inequality and environmental destruction that threatens our world. Please get in contact with us or find out more about our events and the campaigns we are involved in, or come along to our regular meetings. Join our Facebook page for regular updates. United we can win a better world.
Read what we have to say on current issues: climate change and the carbon tax, the Abbott government,refugee rights, Aboriginal rights, Egypt’s revolution and the Arab Spring and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WHERE DO WE COME FROM?
Solidarity was formed in February 2008 when three socialist groups—Solidarity, Socialist Action Group and the International Socialist Organisation—voted to merge into a new organisation. All three groups shared a common commitment to the politics of the International Socialist Tendency and the traditions of socialism from below. As a result our three former publications Red Alert, Socialist Worker and Solidarity have been replaced by the publication of a monthly magazine, Solidarity and the Solidarity website.
WHAT DO WE STAND FOR?
Solidarity 2009 Conference agreed to this statement of our basic principles:
What we stand for
Capitalism is a system of crisis and war
Capitalism is a system of competition, crisis, and war based on exploitation of workers, in which production is for profit not human need. Through environmental degradation and climate change capitalism has become a threat to humanity’s future and life on the planet. Although workers create society’s wealth, they have no control over production or distribution.
Capitalism stifles democracy and smothers creative freedom, creating a society of insecurity and alienation.
Workers power and socialism is the solution
We stand for socialism, a society that would be based on democratically elected workers councils which control and plan the economy to produce for human need and environmental sustainability.
The authoritarian states like the USSR/Russia and China were not socialist but a form of state capitalism where workers had no control over society and were denied even basic rights.
The working class – because of its role in production – has the power to challenge and change the existing system and create a better world. To help realise this potential we are active building our unions and the confidence of rank and file workers in their own power.
What about elections and parliament?
Parliament, the army, the police and the courts are institutions of the capitalist state. The state’s role is to maintain the dominance of the corporate ruling class over the rest of society. It cannot be taken over and used by the working class.
While parliament can be a platform for socialists and while the outcome of elections matter, real change doesn’t come through parliament. It is won by mass action in strikes, protests and demonstrations.
We are internationalists
The working class is international and the struggle for socialism has no national boundaries. We oppose everything that turns workers from one country against those from another. Only by struggling together can we successfully challenge the power of the multinational corporations and our own nation states. We oppose imperialism and support all genuine national liberation struggles.
Australia is an imperialist power in its own right. We oppose Australian nationalism and immigration controls. We welcome migrants and refugees.
Respect and liberation
We oppose sexism, racism and homophobia. We stand against the oppression of women, Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, migrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. We oppose discrimination against Muslims and Middle Eastern people.
Discrimination and oppression demoralises and denies rights to its victims. It weakens working class solidarity by dividing workers against themselves.
We campaign to defend and extend all democratic rights.
Linking up the struggles
We are active in movements for environmental, social and economic change. We develop the ideas and strategies needed to help campaigns win their demands. We bring together activists in the working class and the other movements to strengthen each movement and build a common struggle against the system.
Educate, agitate, organise
Socialism cannot be introduced from above – through parliament or a coup or by a party acting in the name of the working class. The emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself. Power can only be taken from the ruling class by the conscious action of the vast majority of the working class.
We are an organisation of activists, anti-capitalists and revolutionary socialists committed to socialism from below.
A democratic revolutionary party is necessary to deepen resistance to capitalism and to build a movement to overthrow and replace the system.
Solidarity members are beginning to lay the basis for a party by actively participating in today’s struggles.
Another world is necessary. Another world is possible. If you want to help build the struggle for a better world, join us.
You can contact Solidarity via the contact section of our website, via Facebook or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can also contact our national office in Sydney.
Phone: 02 9211 2600 (or +61 02 9211 2600 if ringing from outside Australia.)
PO Box 375
Sydney South NSW Australia 2012