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History is ours to make

This article is over 8 years, 9 months old
Issue 2349

Politicians of all stripes have spent the past week telling us Margaret Thatcher was a “great” individual who transformed Britain. Others have compared her to previous “great” prime ministers.

They want us to think that history is made by such great individuals, and to accept that we can never make it ourselves. But no one can escape the conditions they find themselves in—even Thatcher.

She led a war on the working class and inflicted serious defeats. But she was determined to make British capitalism competitive, and ultimately she failed. Thatcher couldn’t overcome the decline of British capitalism or the recurring crises that are built into the system.

Union leaders didn’t lead a united struggle against Thatcher, and Labour didn’t challenge her ideas. History could have looked very different if they had.

Our side can make history too. Workers in Egypt who organised strikes during the revolution in 2011 played a key role in toppling hated dictator Hosni Mubarak. 

Students who stormed into the Tories’ headquarters in Millbank in 2010 smashed the idea that no one could take on the government.

Individuals play an important role—from challenging racist and sexist ideas to being the person in a meeting who calls for a strike. But we’re strongest when we’re organised as a collective. 

That’s why you should join the Socialist Workers Party.

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