WHAT WE BELIEVE
WHY CLASS WAR?
Class War is not just another party seeking to gain power or a new way of
telling people what to do. Class war is what happens when ordinary people have
had enough of being pushed around and decide to fight back. If you're one of the
people who've swallowed the crap about "we're all middle class now" or "we live
in a classless society" this is the time to stop reading! We live in a society
severely split along the lines of class,where capitalism,the State and the
ruling class dominate us. So what do we mean by this?
Capitalism is an economic system run purely for profit in the interests of a
small class - the capitalists - at the expense of a larger class - the working
class. The whole of our present society is geared to the needs of capitalism.
It is the mechanism whereby we sell our labour, in exchange for money,to
purchase the goods and services we need, which we also happen to have produced
in the first place! However,we only get a proportion of the wealth that our
labour produces, the rest goes to the capitalists in profit. This is fundamental
to capitalism - in order for it to work the many must produce wealth for the
few. Western style capitalism is often hailed as being the free market,all it
means is that they are "free" to exploit us. The situation is exactly the same
in the so-called "planned economies" of the "Communist" countries. Karl Marx
suggested that capitalism is a machine governed by natural laws - it isn't.
It's an economic system run by a group of people who compete fiercely with
each other for the right to rip us off. Capitalism has nothing to offer us
except an endless cycle of war,famine,recession and unemployment. It is not
inevitable that it will die of it's own accord,it could linger on for centuries
yet,lurching from crisis to crisis,therefore it must be destroyed.
Although capitalism is the major form of social organisation in terms of
production,there are things that it can't do. Broadly speaking it cannot supply the
`social' organisation of society, this hole is filled by something else - the
The State is the means by which a tiny minority control and dominate the rest of
us,in the interests of the ruling power in our society - the capitalists. To give
you an idea of how small a minority we are talking about,the often quoted figures
are still true - that 7% of the population owns 84% of the wealth. The state is a
set of institutions and bodies through which government is exercised e.g.
parliament, local government, ministries, civil service ,police,law,education, and
the church. The aim of government is to keep the lid on class conflict, and to
contol competition between the capitalist,to make sure of the smooth running of
society. It does this by enforcing the laws of private property, and the right of
capitalists to buy and sell it. It does'nt matter whether that propety is
land,food,health,sex,factories, houses or anything else that takes their fancy.
But the State came before capitalism, and it has always been a form of control and
oppression in th interests of whatever ruling class is in power, and whatever
economic system they choose to use. In Britain we are given the `choice',every five
years or so, of what Party we'd like to govern us. This, like many other `choices',
is a false on, a con trick to fool us into thinking we can change things through
the vote. It also gives us politicians, as figureheads,to blame for our
But the reality is that the power of the state lies with the capitalists, and the
states own officials - they pull the strings. With power concentrated like it is
there is always the risk that a small group can mount an attempt to gain control of
the state. For example Fascist or Lenin-inspired communists. This would be nothing
more than swapping one set of bosses for another - we want to sweep the lot of them
The Ruling Class
About 5% of the population.
Some examples: Owners of major companies, landowners judges ,top cops, church
leaders and the aristocracy including the Royal Family.
The Middle Class
About 20% of the population
Some examples :professionals eg journalists,doctors,teachers,management,social
workers Also priests officers in the armed forces and the owners of small
The Working Class About 75% of the population
Some examples: Factory shop and office workers,nurses,technicians agricultural
workers, soldiers up to NCO level and the unemployed
The above figures are not the invention of Class War - they come from the
State's own figures and were updated after the 1981 census.
*The Ruling Class *
In general there are two main factors that give you your place in the class
system : wealth and powere. The ruling class rule but they don't actually govern
- that is left to the State's politicians and officials They don't all sit
around in smoke filled rooms conspiring to opppress us, they don't need to most
of the time. So how do they keep us in our place? By the old trick of divide and
rule - settng white against black, men against women and worker against worker.
This breaks down any sense of class solidarity, identity and unity - without
which a revolution is an impossible dream.
*The Middle Class*
Contact between the ruling class and the working class is very rare Most
inter-class contact comes between the working and middle classes. The middle
class is made up of many sub-sections and layers, all performing different roles
and functions necessary for capitalist society to run. Basically speaking they
manage us in the interests of the ruling class.
The most recognisable role for the middle class is the economic management of
business and industry e.g. work/factory managers, and accountants. These are the
top dogs, the highest earners in the middle class,because Without their services
capitalism would rapidly collapse.
By it's very nature capitalism is filled with brutatlity and inequality. If left
to it's devices it would end in either barbarism or class revolution. Neither is
any good to the ruling class, so this must be preventedby capitalism putting on
a `human face` - the caring side of capitalism! a large section of the middle
class provide this function. Mopping up the casualties of class society, and
providing a `buffer' for class anger, and sometime channelling it into minor
tinkering with social conditions. they also provide the vitual services we need,
but at a cost to us - they have virtual control over whole areas of our lives.
A not so obvious role of the middle class is to provide and intellectual and
cultural framework in which ideas that serve the interests of the ruling class
become part of our everyday thoughts. The endless repeating of certain ideas,
stereotypes and myths try to stifle our class consciousness and turn us into
`model citizens'. These can be the crude lies like ` all blacks are lazy and
thick' or the more sophisticated crap about the so-called `classless society'.
Examples would be the media and advertising industry, education and religion.
Capitalism must have a constant supply of new ideas to create new markets to
sustain its profits. It must also evolve in order to survive. Middle class
researchers and intellectuals provide the information necessary to make this
possible. This is true right from university professors to the new so-called
Because of the varied roles of the middle classes there is often conflict and
contradictions within its ranks. When the class struggle comes to a head it
would split them, forcing them to take sides. As a general rule those near the
top would side with the bosses,having the most to lose. Those who come on our
side can only do so on our terms. Whish is to join us as equals, and not in
their usual role as leaders.
*The Working Class *
The briefest way of describing our class is to say we are everyone who is not in
the middle and ruling class! This is not just a smart arse remark. Ingeneral the
working class are people who live by their labour, the ownership of property
that generates wealth is the dividing line - if you have enough property or
money not to work then you are not working class.
The other part of class identity is `social power'. The working classes do not
have the power, we are the ones who are told what to do. We are defined not by
what we do,but by what is done to us. But this does not mena that we are
powerless - far from it. The state spends vast amounts of money and energy to
keep us in our place. Also,because our work is at the very centre of everyday
practical economic activity it is fair to say that everything hinges around
whether we want to `play the game' or not .
Class is a much disputed topic. the ruling class need to confuse the issue in
order tosurvive. If the majority of people have a clear idea of the workings of
a class society, social control would be impossible and the ruling class would
be toppled from their positions of wealth privilege and power.
As captialism developedand class society became a feature of people's lives ,
the ruling class found it necessary to stifle class conciousness, and even to
get working class people to identify with capitalism. Myths like ` we're all
middle class now' or ` we live in a classless society' , are laughable and
contradictory. These are the rantings of middle class journalists, ad-men and
politicians, who want to wish away class conflict and try to create a false idea
With the rise of the `Consumer Society' and the easy availablity of credit,more
and more working class people can afford things like their own
house,car,holidays abroad etc, But this increase of personal wealth does in no
way increase your social power. At the end of the day these extra goods all rely
on your abilty to work. The day you lose your job and can't keep up the
payments, they all go out the window along with the easy credit that made them
available. and at the same time when we can afford a few extra goodies, the
wealth of the already rich and powerful rises fantastically. What counds is not
token improvements in our life-styles but the gross inequality in the overall
distribution of wealth and power.
With the running down of the traditional heavy industries, the old image of the
working class has dramatically changed - massively so during the 1980's. In its
place are more white collar workers, and the rise in service industry,high tech
and part time employment. But it's ridiculous to say that just becuse there is a
more diverse labour market the working class has disappered! It has't, it's just
that to the middle class politicians,media people and journalists if you don't
wear overalls, a cloth cap, and get your hands dirty at work you aren't working
class. That's how thick they really are!
The end of class society can only come about through working class revolution.
This is because the working class is the only social group capable of this
massive transformation of society, by virtue of the fact that we are the
overwhelming majority and because we have the interest, motivation and ability
to do so. History has shown us many examples of the working class's revoutionary
ability, there is no good reason for thinking that this will be any different in
As we said earlier, once you are aware of how crap this society is you either:
1)Do nothing about it because you belong to the ruling class or middle class and
have a lot to lose through a revolution
2)Take a cynical `why bother' attitude, believe that this is the way it will
always be and go back to sticking your head in the sand
3)Or you believe that things should change and that we have to organise and
fight back to do so.
How you go about doing number three depends on how much `change' you actually
want, and what exactly you are prepared to do. Some people feel thay are
changing society by voting Labour, joining CND, becoming a vegetarian or joining
the Green party. There's nothing wrong with being a Green, vegitarian member of
CND, but it is being criminally naive if you think it will really change the
overall structure of society. The same goes for those who think that by
`dropping out' and living some sort of `alternative lifestyle' they are doing
something to change society. They aren't. The State can tolerate millions of
its's citizens wandering off and living in teepees. and would probably prefer
them to do so since they would then be not harmless , and no threat to the
State. Others think that by voting Labour they'll achieve change. We don't.
Class War doesn't prattle on about `waiting for a Labour Government" or electing
Socialist Councils because the Labour Party is about as revolutionary as a pond
full of ducks! It's political aims and ideas are just a `soft' version of
capitalism. It also has a negative and destructive influence because it pretends
to be the political voice of the working class. The reality is that it' s run by
a motley collection of bloated, corrupt union offficals and trendy-lefty social
worker types who are nothing more than a load of parasitical, careerist
bureaucrats, easing their `radical consciouness' by naming tower blocks after
obscure Latin American freedom figherters and drinking Nicaraguan coffee at
their smart parties,in their smart houses in Hampstead and Holland Park.
Some people join Left-wing groups like the Socialist Workers Party, or Militant.
They do want to change society and realise(well some do) that it will only
change through a revolution. Class War believers this too ,but how these groups
see the coming about of a revolution, and what type of society will be formed
and by who, is fundamentally different to what we think and want.
Firstly Class War is not another `Party" trying to gain power. We don't want to
swap one set of bosses for another,no matter how `radical and progressive 'they
pretend to be. They talk about `democratic centralism' and how the working class
needs `their leadership' - What a joke! We don't need them anymore than we need
the Tories or Labour - THEY NEED US! We have no intention of destroying
capitalism just so that it can be replaced by a NEW state, and new laws. Quite
apart from anything else, the very nature of these tiny bands of
`revolutionaries' who seem to form new groups, and splinter groups, at the drop
of a hat means they usually have an exclusively middle class membership. The
working class members soon leave. As a result they launch endless new `fron
organisations' to try to recruit members. Based around issues such as the war in
Ireland,anti racism and sexism and gay rights etc. The damage that has been done
by their guilt-ridden brands of anti-racism and anti-sexism, in particular, is a
disgrace to see. In reality though, these obscure left wing groups are little
more than a talking shop wherer their members prattle away to their hearts
content about `the political relevance of one-legged tea pickers in Tibet'.
While the rela world passes them by...
Unlike the Left we see the community as of crucial importance to our class. It
is obvious no what any major industrial battles will not succeed without massive
community support, such as during the Miners Strike. Crime and other anti-social
behavior,racism and sexism must be fought from within our communities, we can't
sit back waiting for someone to do it for us. This is what the Left want us to
do, leave everything to them and they will sort it our for us. But what usually
happens is that as soon as something else appears on the horizon they're off
like a shot! A good example of this is the Poll Tax - as soon as it was annouced
that it was going to be scrapped they dropped it like a hot potato, probably
relieved that their would be no more riots in Trafalgar Square that would
threaten their cozy lifestyles.
To the Left the working class are there to be ordered about because we are too
thick to think for ourselves. The new concerns of the Left in this country
relect the political,economic and cultural hopes of the middle class more than
ever before. Tragically any decent revolutionaries within these groups usually
become burnt out, disillusioned and are wasted. Class War makes no
`revolutionary demands' on behalf for the working class. But we do see the need
to play up the revoutionary elements witnin our struggles, towards an objective
of creating a popular `culture of resisitance'. This is the popularisation of
the ideas of class struggle, class pride and identity, and the values of
solidarity, self-management and internationalism. Fundamentally this is about
bringing politics into all areas of peoples lives. At present the capitalists
invade all areas of our lives - in turn we will have to retrieve every part of
Class War makes no "revolutionary demands" on behalf of the working class. But
we do see the need to play up the revolutionary elements within our struggles,
towards an objective of creating a popular "culture of resistance". This is the
popularisation of the ideas of class struggle,class pride and identity, and the
values of solidarity ,self management and internationalism. Fundamentally this
is about bringing politics into all areas of peoples lives. At present the
capitalists invade all areas of our lives - in turn we will have to retrieve
every part of them. This development will become the foundation and energy
behind any possible revolutionary movement. In areas of the world where this has
happened,like Spain,Italy and Russia, the traditions have lingered on
generations after the orginal movements were crushed - its powerful stuff!
Get in touch
SCOTLAND: PO Box 1021, Edinburgh EH8 9PW
WEST SCOTLAND: Glasgow CW, PO Box 1008, Glagow G42 8AA
NORTH EAST: Leeds CW, PO Box HH57 Leeds LS8 5XG
EAST AND WEST MIDLANDS: PO box 2531,Smethwick,Warley,B66 2NH
WALES : c/o CSG PO Box 368,Cardiff CS2 1SQ
EAST ANGLIA: PO Box 467, London E8 3QX,
LONDON: As above
SOUTH EAST: Temporarily use above London Address
SOUTH WEST: PCW PO Box 108 Plymouth,Devon
IRELAND:PO Box 5,Derry,Ireland BT48 6PD NATIONAL SECRETARY:PO Box HH57 Leeds LS8
INTERNATIONAL ADDRESSES: Contact International Secretary
CLASS WAR internationals Secretary: See National Secretary Address.
Class War is active in most UK towns and cities. If you want to find out more
and get involved in your area. Write to your closest regional secretary.