Stop the system. Toward the social strike

Paweł Nowożycki, Katarzyna Rakowska (Workers’ Initiative), Zośka Marcinek

Strike takes place when workers demanding the fulfilment of their postulates voluntarily stop working to put pressure on private entrepreneurs or the state. But if we adopt a broader definition of work – including both production (manufacturing of goods) and reproduction (producing life), then we can say that it is not limited strictly to production plants, but it is distributed across entire society. In the conditions of neoliberalism which subjected all aspects of our lives to the logic of accumulating capital, making this life very precarious, or even outright threatening our survival, the class struggle goes on not only on the production site, but also in the reproduction area. Hence the idea of the social strike, which relies on two assumptions: 1) the need to develop actions which disrupt everyday operations of the capital in the entire society, 2) despite the high individualization of the society, such actions should produce new collective entities, also not worker-related, but antagonistic to the capital.

Are Women’s Strikes and climate strikes “real” strikes? Why social movements more and more readily reach for this basic anti-capitalist tactics and are alliances possible in the area of production and reproduction, both at the local and transnational level?

The Social School of Anti-capitalism emerged as a result of the discussion during the Polish Social Forum which was held in May 2019 and constitutes preparations of issues for next session of the Forum in autumn 2020.