We publish below a statement by Socialist Action Group (GAS) in Romania, which was distributed on the Mayday 2023 demonstration in Bucharest.
More than three decades after the capitalist restoration of 1989, the situation of us, working people, is far from the one painted by the promises of the free market. Members of yesterday’s repressive apparatus have become private exploiters during the transition; the once mostly empty shops have been filled with products we can scarcely afford. Our present is shaken by crises and our future is increasingly uncertain, under the threat of wars and natural disasters. The rich are getting richer at the expense of our work, while we are toiling harder and getting poorer. We have replaced a regime that limited our possibilities with a regime that presents us with seemingly unlimited possibilities – but only for those born into wealth and privilege. The vast majority are condemned to accept low wages and few rights or to take the foreign route. Public services are underfunded and the housing market increasingly prohibitive.
Is this what people died for in the streets in 1989?
We believe that a better and fairer world is not only possible, but necessary. We believe in a system that prioritises our needs, not the interests of the powerful. Only we can build it, those of us who work, produce and keep society going. We believe that we deserve a dignified present and a secure future.
We believe that there can be NO compromise with those who profit from their current positions of power. The capitalist system is not flawed. It works as it should: accumulating profit for those at the top at the cost of our constant impoverishment and the destruction of nature. The current economic, social, geopolitical and ecological crises are not a fault, they are part of the vicious circle of this system. Its removal is a necessity for our emancipation. Corporations, banks and factories must become public property, and the planning of their activities must be the dynamic result of a democratic process that takes into account both the wishes and knowledge of the workers in these enterprises and the wider social needs.
At the same time, we must fight to improve the living standards and conditions of today’s working class. This means fighting for higher wages, for stable and well-paid jobs, for adequate investment in health and education, for access to affordable and decent housing for all, for the rights of women, minorities and the oppressed, for access for young people to all the means necessary to develop their interests and skills, for the protection of the environment.
We believe that we need to find solutions by referring to the current reality in concrete terms, not by elaborating them in the abstract, starting from our own preconceptions about the world. We also believe that past and present theoretical and practical experience is essential to this. We believe that we must look objectively and critically at our past and draw the necessary conclusions, not idealize or demonize it.
Our struggle is an international one: as capital knows no borders, neither is our solidarity limited by them. Victory over the exploiting class of the many and many, in all states and nations, is our objective. The recent waves of strikes and workers’ uprisings in France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Portugal show the will of the working class in Europe to fight and fill us with optimism.
We also believe that this struggle brings us all together, regardless of ethnicity, gender, spoken language, religion, (dis)ability, sexual orientation and other characteristics. At the same time, everyone’s struggles against oppression and discrimination based on these characteristics are part of our struggle against the oppressive and divisive system in which we live. This is why we oppose the far right and its reactionary ideas.
We oppose bureaucracies disconnected from our real needs and desires, and we support democratic planning of the economy and society — one carried out by those without whom it cannot function: workers in all fields. Only we can bring about this systematic transformation; because as hard as the system and competition try to drive us apart, our very work brings us together.
For change to happen, we need to organise at work, at college, in our community. But movements and street protests are not enough; in recent years, they have died out or have been captured by political forces with interests different from our own. We need to go one step further.
We need to form a socialist party that unites workers, youth and social movements, that combines theory with practice, and that focuses the energy of our struggles into a political programme that addresses the immediate problems we face, while preparing the transition to a different system, where we are in control of all our activity, productive and non-productive.
This is what we, in GAS, aim to build together with the other political organizations and comrades of Internationalist Standpoint — an initiative of revolutionary socialists worldwide.
If you too feel that we deserve a life without exploitation and a future without the worry of tomorrow, we welcome you to join us.