What we stand for
Adopted at the ACR founding conference, 31 January 2021
Anti-Capitalist Resistance is a new revolutionary Marxist organisation in England & Wales.
The world is facing an unprecedented interrelated crisis with the coronavirus pandemic, the accelerating climate disaster, creeping fascism, and an economic crash.
Extreme inequality is out of control. There are more billionaires than ever before. Meanwhile, the world’s poorest get even poorer as governments bail out private corporations and cut back on education and health. This is no accident, or just the result of greed. It is built into the logic of capitalism, a system built on profit and exploitation of people and planet
Change is urgent. We need mass movement to win victories for democracy and social, climate and economic justice. We must organise for action now, but also for system change.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance calls itself ecosocialist because the ecological crisis is so profound that it redefines the socialist project. We are engaged not just in a struggle to end capitalism and for a socialist society, but also to have a viable planet.
We challenge the growth-based and consumption-driven system of capitalism, which is also responsible for the development of pandemics such as COVID-19. This task is urgent. That’s why we need mass movements today that force governments to stop the rise in global warming below 1.5°C by 2030 to prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate change.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance is internationalist and opposes imperialism, nationalism and militarism.
Capitalism is an international system, so the struggle for socialism must be international, uniting workers of all countries. Huge corporations, some bigger than many countries, dominate the world economy. We need to organise across borders for action and solidarity. Socialists oppose imperialism – the subjugation of weaker nations by stronger ones —and support the self-determination of oppressed nations and the struggle for national liberation.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance supports the right of people to challenge colonialism and forms of apartheid and to struggle for self-determination, including for the people of Palestine. We will support a united Ireland and Scotland’s right to self-determination, up to and including independence.
Liberation for the oppressed
Capitalism divides working class people along sexual, gender, racial, national and other distinctions; the oppressed suffer most. The most effective way to fight back is for those who directly experience discrimination to organise and lead their own struggles. Much has been achieved but not liberation. There can be no liberation without socialism, and no socialism without liberation of the oppressed.
Socialists support feminists in their fight for reproductive rights, for equal pay, against patriarchy, and for LGBT+ rights. We stand in solidarity with trans people currently experiencing the sharp end of a backlash against their right to exist and to unconditionally self-define their genders.
We are against racism from the state and in any other form, against immigration controls and borders, and support the struggle for migrant rights. We fight to remove the legacy of slavery and colonialism.
We are for the creation of a society without the barriers that exclude those with mental or physical impairments.
The labour movement and socialists must champion these liberation struggles as their own, while recognising the right of the oppressed to lead these struggles and formulate their own demands.
Stop Tories – For a Labour government
The EU is a neoliberal capitalist trade bloc, but a vote for Brexit has accelerated the shift to the right in politics. We now have a government in the hands of English nationalists, an even more hostile environment for migrants, deepening racism and creeping authoritarianism. The left must now work together stop the consequences of the Tory Brexit.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance defends the political gains won in the Labour Party and in the trade unions while Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the party. Radical policies against austerity and neoliberalism are popular. That’s why Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders have so many enthusiastic supporters and came under unprecedented attack.
The election of a Labour government at Westminster would be a blow to the hard right Tory party and would give confidence to millions to fight for deeper change. But the ruling class will only give up their power and wealth through mass struggles of the working class and the oppressed. That’s why Anti-Capitalist Resistance is committed to social change through mass struggle of the working class without focussing exclusively on elections and parliamentary reforms.
We take the culture war seriously as a site of conflict between socialists and reactionaries. As Marxists, we believe that cultural battles are not secondary to economic ones. We oppose the right’s distortion of class that defines it as a static, often reactionary identity and reassert Marx’s formulation of class as a living process of struggle necessarily involving the mass agency of workers in transforming the world and thereby themselves.
Poverty, exploitation and oppression and war are products of the capitalist system in which a tiny minority ruling class benefits from the labour of the majority. The alternative is socialism, where the wealth created is owned in common, major assets such as industry and finance are socialised and democratic planning to meet society’s needs.
Socialism is not possible without the fullest possible democracy. It must guarantee freedom of expression and organisation to every range of opinion, other than those who incite violence against the oppressed or the working class.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance is a pluralist and internationalist organisation that can learn from struggles across the world. We are democratic revolutionary socialists and oppose the top-down model of ‘democratic-centralist’ organisation. Anti-Capitalist Resistance will encourage convergence with other revolutionary Marxist activists and organisations. Anti-Capitalist Resistance aims to be rooted in the struggles of the working class and the oppressed and is committed to debate, initiative, and self-activity.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance draws its politics from Marxism. The class struggle is still very real. The social crisis caused by COVID has demonstrated that as workers are sent into workplaces and nurses get sick through government prioritising capitalism above people. We have a vision of a new society, one based on human freedom, as described in the Communist Manifesto “In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”.