What we stand for
Adopted by ACR Council – December 2023
Anti-Capitalist Resistance is a revolutionary Marxist organisation in England & Cymru/Wales.
The world is facing an unprecedented and interrelated crisis of economic collapse, social decay, grotesque inequality, mass impoverishment, growing militarisation, and creeping authoritarianism. Capitalist liberal institutions and parties can no longer sustain the status quo as the drive for profit eats away at our society and deepens a metabolic rift between people and planet.
Extreme inequality is out of control. There are more billionaires than ever before. Millions live in poverty whilst the super rich go into space. 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 support the greatest amount of democracy under capitalism, abolishing the monarchy and the Lords and for Proportional Representation. We organise for action and reforms now, but also for a total reorganisation of human society on a global level.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance defines 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 reject the old productivism of 20th century Stalinism and Social Democracy. Instead, we fight for a stable economy that meets human needs based on the collective democratic power of producers and consumers. Such a society will be consistent with human needs within a sustainable relationship to other life forms and the environment itself.
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 keep 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.
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.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance supports the right of people to challenge colonialism and all forms of apartheid and to struggle for self-determination, including for the people of Palestine. We will support a united Ireland and Scotland and Cymru/Wales right to self-determination, up to and including independence. We are for the right for self-determination for oppressed nationalities which includes the right to self-defence and agency to choose how to conduct this struggle. We believe in unconditional (though critical) solidarity.
Liberation for the oppressed
Capitalism divides working class people along sexual, gender, ethnic, 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.
We oppose all forms of racism and ethnic division, and the way that capital racialises human society. The racist demagogues and fascist movements that seek to divide us and whip up race hate most be opposed politically and physically if necessary. We support the fight for equality whilst recognising that under capitalism full equality is impossible in a society divided by class power.
We oppose the oppression of women and women’s primary responsibility for unpaid labour in social reproduction. We believe in reproductive justice and support the bodily autonomy of women and trans people. Socialists support the fight for reproductive rights, for equal pay, against male violence, and for LGBT+ rights.
We are for the creation of an inclusive society where systems, structures, and practices do not impose unnecessary social restrictions on people who experience chronic illnesses and impairment reality.
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. We support the self-organisation of women, Black people, disabled people and LGBTIQ people to combat all forms of discrimination, oppression and bigotry.
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.
However, social-democratic parties like the Labour Party no longer refer to socialism and, in practice, support the continued existence of capitalism, though with occasional minor reforms to offset the worst effects of it. Social democracy in Britain is wedded to imperialism and racist border controls.
We do not believe that the USSR or China under Mao was socialist. Workers and consumers democracy is central to any genuinely socialist society and these were utterly lacking. 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. In the spirit of internationalism we are an observer organisation to the Fourth International.
Anti-Capitalist Resistance bases its politics on Marxism and its perspective of revolutionary class struggle. 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”.
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