Economy,  The Left,  UK Politics

The slippery slope of direct action?

I can’t say I’m shedding tears for Fred Goodwin, in wake of the attempt to kickstart the economy by providing employment to glaziers, but David Osler is quite correct in his assessment of the way forward:

If it’s legit to brick a window, why not firebomb some bankers’ upmarket pad while he is off on a ski-ing trip with the bit on the side? Why stop at firebombing? Why not make ‘em really suffer?

On past precedent, this mentality can develop a grizzly dynamic of its own. One has in mind here the 1977 abduction and subsequent murder of Hanns-Martin Schleyer, head of the main German employers’ organisation and a former SS officer, undertaken by the Rote Armee Fraktion. Remember, also, French group Action Directe’s killing of Georges Besse, head of Renault, in 1986.

At this point, the classical Marxist critique applies. Moves to undertake individualised reprisals against the nearest available fat cat, rather than patiently building a political response based on the organised working class, are ultimately counterproductive.

To bring about the sort of change that can address the misery that millions will endure in the years ahead, the necessity is build a political organisation committed to taking on capital in the interests of the working class.