Solidarity – not charity

Nathan Hennebry writes on how the failures of bourgeois charity are highlighting the need for working-class people to take matters into their own hands
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Communists do not believe in charity. Charity serves as a parasitic relationship between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, forcing our most vulnerable to beg for the table scraps of elite. This parasitic exploitation is felt both in the exploited world, and the over exploited world. This contrast and correlation in operations of charity can be seen both in here in Britain and abroad –– we will use Africa as an example.

In Britain we’ve seen a disgusting rise in foodbanks and foodbank usage as a result of Tory austerity and capitalist greed. Statistics from the Trussell Trust show that since 2008 the number of emergency food supplies, provided by foodbanks in Britain, has increased from 25,899 to over 1,900,122.

Workplace poverty is at the heart of the workers struggle today within the current ‘cost of living crisis’, which to many the realisation is that this is in fact the cost of capitalism. Working-class communities are now forced to rely on the charity of the bourgeois, casting aside their pennies from the exploitation of the proletariat across public and private sectors.

From Richard Branson to Tom Hunter, these ‘entrepreneurs’ continue their exploitation under the guise of public service and gratuity. Portraying themselves as ‘one of us’ despite their wealth coming from the exploitation of the working class –– from us! Workers find themselves trapped in financial bondage, in precarious work with gruelling policies and conditions, succumbed to the whims of feudalistic landlords, and told that they just need to work harder.

We can see within working-class communities in Britain, mainly council estates, is where charity organisations and figure heads like to imbed themselves. They place themselves as the only force capable in aiding the working class, this is a false reality. They force the proletariat to disband from their ambitions in a seduced recognition of charitable heroics.

This charity does not develop the people of Britain, it merely makes them reliant on the exploitation of their fellow working-class neighbour. This charity takes away the very power that working-class people need, it makes them unable to fight for better housing conditions, jobs, fit and proper recreational centres within their communities. This reliance on charity results in community infrastructure degrading, waiting on the donation of a bourgeois knight in shining armour to refurbish them. They must cling on to the hope that someone may donate enough money to their local foodbank so they can eat for the next few days. They must beg for a donation to any sector that may ease their plight –– this is unacceptable.

When we look at the over exploited countries of Africa, we see the even deeper exploits of charity. The many countries of Africa do not have the tools to develop themselves, these are owned by the various parasitic charity organisations that continue to exploit within the continent and without. These organisations take away the African’s ability to sustain themselves, the ability to develop their communities, and the ability to combat disease.

Comrade Thomas Sankara, former president of Burkino Faso, recognised this. Sankara saw that charity had no place in Africa, or anywhere in the world. Only self-determination, rooted in a different and planned economy with a liberating social vision, could enable Africa to cast off the chains of decades long colonialism and imperialism. It’s no wonder the advancements that Sankara and his people made created many enemies from Britain, France, and the US, as Burkino Faso’s advancements focused on self-reliance and took massive leaps forward from the social poisons instilled from colonial brutes and profiteers.

The example of Burkino Faso, and the countless other African nations effected by colonialism and imperialism, is just one of the many stories of a need to develop self-sustainability within communities. This was also recognised in China, Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, and the USSR. Each with a different play of material conditions but set in principle with one key aim –– the overthrowing of capitalist bondage, and self-determination.

The clear and determined fight for self-reliance, free from the clutches of charity is something that the masses of working-class Britons overlook. This, however, is no surprises, given charity’s intoxicating poison. Educating the masses on the entrapment of charity is one of the major responsibilities of young communists, both here in Britain and across the globe. If we can combat charity, set about the organisation and effective running of our communities in the fight against capitalism, in turn, we damage and weaken these ‘entrepreneurs’ and their global exploitations on the over exploited nations of the world.

To seize the means of production is our goal, to destroy the machine of capitalism is our task, and to build a new world that gives power to the proletariat is our responsibility. This can only be done from the ground up. It’s vital to be active within our communities because it is there that we can build power and transform Britain. We, together, must fight to attain the very tools necessary for our survival, the capitalist swine will not relinquish them, so we must fight, and fight, to the very end, we will.

“Those who come with wheat, millet, corn, or milk, they are not helping us. Those who really want
to help us can give us ploughs, tractors, fertilizers, insecticides, watering cans, drills & dams. That is
how we would define food aid”

Thomas Sankara

Nathan Hennebry, is secretary of the YCL’s Glasgow branch and host of the podcast series Spectre

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