Saturday, June 13, 2020

For our Future

Perhaps we have seen the beginnings of a political awakening as working people take to the streets to protest the economic and racial injustices of today’s system. When the question is asked how do we transform society, the Socialist Party has an answer. We know what's wrong with the world. A social system based on private property can’t support the kind of action that could avert the various catastrophes. Capitalists are divided and compelled by competition to protect their own vested interests first, and any serious social planning would have to override their property rights — and that would be aggressively resisted.

In this pandemic, profits not people count. Impoverished lives don’t matter as much as money matters so dismantle the lockdowns and let business flourish once more. It is a policy that dehumanizes and debases the poor as not worthy of protection. What do all working people have in common, regardless of so-called race or skin tone? It is precarious existence under the domination of a political and economic system that has concentrated power into the hands of a tiny minority. The 5% of big capitalists have accumulated the lion’s share of the wealth created from the labor of the world’s working classes. Even our masters and their media have been unable to deny this  fact. The capitalists rule!!

Controlling the mass media and the main political parties, the ruling class have undermined and destroyed all the  independent centers of working class power, starting with the trade unions, including ideological attacks on alternative political ideas and strategies that try to unite workers (socialism).

 In addition to this, our rulers have promoted divisions among the workers. Our rulers have been clever and devious, coming up with all manner and ways  to stop workers from coming together to use their numbers against the economic and state power of the owning class. They have succeeded only too well in selling racism to some white workers.  We cannot expect to keep our own rights if we do not stand up for the rights of others. We need to hold this capitalist system to account. Huge numbers of working people are without control over their lives and facing a future of vast uncertainty. And we have now  a system where people are living in fear for their lives.

Capitalism is social system in which money matters more than anything else, including people. It has not been difficult for the Have-Nots to imagine themselves becoming as rich as the Haves and the daily media repetitiously offers the public the rags to riches success stories and the economists proclaim the trickle-down of wealth theories and how the media disguises those who benefit from undeserved reward such as dynasties that inherited fortunes. Unreachable wealth and power is hidden beyond view. Social mobility is becoming increasingly rare yet the American Dream remains strong. It doesn’t matter what the wealth gap between the working class and the top 5% may be because that gap an incomprehensible level of private possession and privilege does not challenge or offend those who have blind faith and trust that the economic system works for them. At most they would submit to a little bit of re-distribution based on meritocracy. The goal of the top 5% face is to sway enough of that 95% toward voting for the interests of the elite to win elections. It cannot be achieved by reason but emotive appeals, by inflaming passions and inciting prejudices, firing up hate and fear. It is that fear and hatred that politicians have seized upon. It obliges a politician  to ipromote racism and bigotry in order to attract voters

The lessons of rebellions throughout history are that small victories inspire people to bigger battles. That is why the ruling class usually tries to crush or co-opt the first signs of popular dissent and defiance. They fear our empowerment. It is also why it is important for those like ourselves who want revolution not diminish the actions of those who take on initial confrontations with the Establishment. Working people are launching struggles against racism, vast lay-offs, lack of safety at work, mass poverty, cuts in  health care, anti-immigration legislation, and for environmental justice. They are the launchpad for greater things. 

Remember the massive marches against the Iraq war. They failed not because they were not popular – they were some of the largest protests ever seen in the UK - million strong demonstration in London. They failed because they were token one-off events, not built and organised to be a sustained non-violent civil-disobedience opposition to the war. When Blair and Parliament ignored it,  cynicism and apathy took over the anti-war movement when it was shown that protest has little effect on politics. A countervailing force – organised labour – has had its power emasculated. In the US our enemy - the police unions - are actually formally part of the AFL-CIO

We live in a sick system. Remove it root and branch, as we learn to care for ourselves, collectively and democratically. Our demand is for a better world. Solving the intertwined crises of the pandemic, climate emergency and police brutality will require replacing the capitalist mode of production and society with a non-exploitative, sustainable, egalitarian organisation of life, ending decades of struggle. All of these crises are manifestations of the mode of capitalist accumulation that has conquered the planet over the past five centuries. Our answer requires the end of capitalism, not merely ameliorative steps to make it “bearable. Working people have to envision going beyond capitalism towards common ownership and democratic control of production and distribution, to recognise the primacy of recognising the primacy of healthy social relationships. World socialism would replace the State with new forms of self-management and the administration of things and not government over people. Today’s myriad struggles tells us we, the people, have a chance this time to save ourselves and the planet. We need a socialist society based on caring, cooperation, and production for human needs and in a way that enhances human existence and preserves the earth that gives us all life.

No comments: