Introducing the Workers' Alternative

This was the editorial from the first edition of the Nigerian Marxist paper, the Workers' Alternative which was launched in October, 1998.

Workers' Alternative is the Marxist Journal for workers, youth and all other poor and oppressed segments of the society. It is the Marxist voice of the Labour Movement. The Editorial orientation is towards emphasizing the need for the independent class-line and unity of the working masses in their socio-political and economic struggles.

This is more so the case since past-past and recent-past attempts by other trends to re-orientate the political line of thought of the working masses have been lost in the shadow of ideological confusion and derailment.

It is therefore, on a happy note that this paper is being launched five years after the idea was conceived. We particularly note that the need for an independent journal for the working class cannot be overemphasized. That is, it is time for a paper genuinely interested in the plight of the suffering working people. With a departure from the past experience with trends that only make pretences to be aligned with the working masses on a superficial ground, but whose editorial policies are inherently class collaborationist with the exploiters and oppressors of the working class.

From time to time editions of the Workers' Alternative shall be with a focus of analysing events, locally and internationally, past and recent, on a strictly objective philosophical standpoint of Dialectical Materialism. This is to say, our perception is not that of "what is at present existing have always been there and it shall continue as such". On the contrary, we take it that our World and the events in it can be known; what is not known presently will be known later. That is our analysis shall be completely scientific.

By Dialectic, we mean that our World is continuously undergoing changes on a contradictorily basis. Hence, we have "positives" and "negatives" existing together. Similarly the major crisis of the present day society is it's negative class stratification. We have a minute very rich Capitalist ruling class existing, side by side, with the very broad poor teeming population. And contradictory, the handful rich are ever getting richer at the expense of the poor workers, who are getting more and more poor.

Hence it is obvious now than ever, that to save the continuous drift to further abyss and impoverishment, the situation have to be changed radically. We must achieve the reverse of the present order. The society, on a worldwide basis, must be transformed on a genuine Socialist basis. That is, the wealth of the society which the vast majority do not have access must be readily available to all, ultimately, according to the individual needs. Especially when it is the poor workers and farmers that produced the wealth at the factories and tilled the ground for the production of resources, that are majorly being appropriated by the handful rich. With the protection of their state machinery i.e. the Government bureaucracy, the police, military, the Court, etc.

Meanwhile for such a positive transformation to take place, we must go beyond mere lamentation. An organized idea is most importantly required, as a tool for transformation. Workers and Youth must first and foremost understand the reason for the present crisis before we can advance forward. Here lies the essence of the Workers' Alternative. It is the workers' paper that gives the day to day struggles of the workers and youth the required ideological focus based on a concrete scientific analysis on a patient and steadfast basis.

On a regular basis, the paper's content shall be full of concrete analysis of events- politically and economically; industrial struggle news, in Nigeria and internationally; Youth-in-struggle, including developments in the students' movement; a Political Educational page, among others. Others to be expected include, specially selected articles on the Trade Unions, science and revolt, arts and struggle; class analysis of sports, religion, culture, etc.

Our commitment is to provide the readers with something fundamentally different from the traditional newspapers and magazines, that are owned by the rich and their supporters, and generally elaborate ideas that furthers the interests of the Capitalists at the expense of the workers and the poor. It is therefore a joint project between those seeking for a way out of the present crisis and impoverishment and the supporters of the Workers' Alternative to help sustain this paper.

Readers and supporters of the ideas enunciate in the Workers' Alternative must continually spread the ideas among the targeted readership and support the paper extra financial inputs by contributing regularly to it's various Campaign funds. Together we shall achieve the feat of Socialist transformation of the society locally and internationally!

Editorial Board,
October, 1998