You could be transfixed and stagnated by the cascading illegalities, shenanigans and doomsday-threatening fables of just the first 100 days of Trump. The U.S. capitalist threat of nuclear war against North Korea (the DPRK) is mind boggling, even as the question is posed whether this is any more real than any of Trump’s other initiatives. Buffoonery with nukes can be fatal! He has rained cruise missiles on one Syrian airbase and dropped one 11 ton Mother of All Bombs and has befuddled many of the Democrats who would have you believe they are the “resistance movement.” But behind the headlines lies the real story of multiplied Syrian civilian casualties in thousands of sorties against Syrian revolutionaries by the U.S.-led coalition and the Assad and Russian air forces, the targeting of the “White Helmets,” the civil defense and emergency rescue forces, and the deployment of hundreds more U.S. Special Forces and Marines. But socialism is coming and the degenerate class Trump is a product of can do nothing but delay its arrival or kill us all, by inter-imperialist war and/or by Capital’s fossil-fueled acceleration of climate change . For the workers to live, the power of the capitalists must be smashed and imperialism must die!
The ruling class wants the workers, alongside the tens of millions living in poverty and the specially oppressed masses to buy their media hype and their lies. They tell us they got it covered when it comes to health care, the environment and that the threat of terror comes from far away overseas and not from the racist state, police and other state agencies of repression (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.) They want you to buy their story, or most of it, or enough of it to keep you locked into a no-win game on their home court.
Their playing field is the ‘for sale’ presidency and a Congress directed by corporate lobbyists, the corrupt courts, jails, for-profit prisons and city councils and local jurisdictions like Ferguson which use state repression to fill their coffers by criminalizing poverty. They want to turn the naturalized workers against the immigrant workers, the whites against the blacks, the blacks against the Koreans, the men against the women, the ‘straight’ against the LGBTQ and to the extent that they do this the capitalist ideologies suppress the workers political consciousness. On May Day we declare war on the capitalist consciousness and fight for the workers political consciousness!
To win, workers, the poor and oppressed must take the high ground–not a moral high ground–our fight will not be won based on moral indignation; ours is a CLASS WAR, not a friendly debate among legislators. We have to launch an organizational and programmatic offensive against the capitalists and their backhanded supporters and thereby take the ongoing CLASS WAR onto our own terrain.
Our terrain is located physically at the points of production and distribution and in the streets and public squares, union halls and community centers, where our methods are those of the mass strike, the general strike and the political strike, as well as workplace occupations and takeovers of factories, farms and housing resources….and all the major industrial and financial places of employment.
Our terrain is located politically in the fight for working class political independence, which can only be effective when guided by a program of transitional demands that mobilize united class action to win the concrete daily needs of the masses for full employment, decent living wages, the right to unionize, guaranteed pensions, sick days, maternity leave, vacations, equal pay for equal work, the right to choose, free medical services including free abortion on demand, free public transportation, free education and a robust social service system, cultural and developmental resources for all persons, and including free 24 hour child care centers and in particular to uplift the destitute, the unemployed, the youth, the retired and cast aside. We demand $Trillions for public works programs to put people to work at prevailing union wages now! Not building bombs and walls but building homes, schools, medical centers, and reclaiming the natural environment.
The bosses sneer at our demands for free services and say ‘there is no free lunch’ but we see them bellying up to the trough every day! They say we can’t find work because we’re lazy, but we know that the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall keeps them hoarding vast stores of capital instead of moving the wheels of production and putting people to work at necessary tasks. Our class demand is to open the books, show the workers from whence your profit is derived! We know it will show that our productivity increases faster than our wages and that you bosses pocket the difference.
We know that the capitalist class generalizes the surplus value, the real profit our labor power creates, and divides it among themselves through complicated games of stocks, bonds, insurance derivatives, back room conjuring of currencies, and speculative bubbles that concentrate the appropriated wealth into fewer and fewer hands.
Because capitalist organization of production cannot supply decent conditions for the people and a decent environment for all species the capitalist system is no longer progressive. As a class, Capital no longer advances the needs of the people or the planet, and their class is no longer necessary or welcome: their organizational forms of production are shackles that are holding back the advance of the forces of production, holding human social relations in an old ‘paradigm’ of exploitation based on the commodification of everything including our lives, our labor power, our desires and our personal data trails. And Capital’s class strategy is one of propaganda and repressions which reinforce each other.
The bosses maintain a propaganda war on all fronts. First they send the condescending pundits who, for thirty pieces of silver, blame the workers and the poor for their own poverty. While they will not convince us, they do cater to the guilt and fear of the ‘haves’ providing an ideology of entitlement based on the myth of individual achievement which provides the moral backbone for privileged layers of the middle and upper middle class to collect their share of the beef and gravy at the tables of the master class (the 0.1%).
This ideology, with its many faces (libertarianism, neo-liberalism, white superiority, misogyny class/pedigree privilege, autarchy) creates and spreads the poison of condescension and hatred of workers who demand decent contracts and of the poor who require assistance, of the immigrants who are blamed for taking low wage jobs and clogging up the underfunded public programs. Their ideology has its material basis in the experience of the small businessman or artisans who become businessmen, the Horatio Alger ‘rags to riches’ mythology of hucksters. The anachronism of personal success, which in a mass society is the familial experience of some and goes unchallenged where the capitalist narrative shapes the consciousness of tens of millions, our collective culture is duped by the top 0.1% born with proverbial platinum spoons, as they manipulate the state, the media, and the culture for their collective class interest. The ruling classes’ mythological self-narrative is the foundational story underlying the talking heads and media servants of the capitalist elite for constructing their propaganda and the media lies they use to repel the threat of an emergent and spreading revolutionary workers’ socialist consciousness.
The capitalist ‘liberal elite’ (spanning from right to center right) whether “old money” or new, from the Rockefellers to the Kennedy’s, the Mercers, the Adelmans, Bushes, Clintons and their adversarial pool from Moyers and Hightower to Brzezinski, Kissinger, Albright, Summers and Reich, all play “holier than thou” from their vaulted heights and dismiss the economic disparity, the class, gender and racial divides that Capital produces. They spin the unending invasions, blockades and sanctions against small countries, and the spate of confrontations over markets and resources as just “the hand they have been dealt,” “the chess board” they find themselves upon, “the cost of doing business,” etc. And their business, the business of America (as is in all capitalist countries) is providing markets for national capital, which is then hustled as “acting in the national interest.”
With the far right pundits backing up the neo-liberal elite in the middle, the left forces (such that there are) prop up the neo-liberal consensus doing the yeoman’s share of the work for the master class. Theirs is the ultimate task of keeping the workers and oppressed contained within the acceptable parameters. They will offer you the popular front, the cross-class alliance in order to fool you into turning away from your party and your program! That is why they roll out tons of NGO’s, CBO’s, endless online petition campaigns and a thousand other paths back onto their playing field of lobbying, letter writing and voting for their candidates.
First among them are the apologists for the Democratic Party who are to be found among the leadership of oppressed peoples and in the labor movement. They cover for the crimes of Capital and are among those selling neo-liberal politicians to the masses in exchange for the material privilege it affords their thin layer of bureaucrats, careerists and flunkies. They consciously dismiss the class struggle methods that formed the unions in the first place and the programmatic method for winning workers power as an anachronistic throwback to a different time. They reject the workers’ need for their own party and do their utmost to keep the masses bogged down in and dependent upon the electoral arena as the sole venue of struggle. Like the president of the SEIU, Mary Kay Henry, they talk about new ways of struggle, of the ‘team concept’ or pressuring the liberal bourgeoisie by making them feel guilty about paying sub-living minimum wages, and then corral workers into a fight for a higher sub-living minimum wage for $15 and ultimately crow that there is a victory when $10.10 or $12.25 is achieved through city-wide ballots, or in $15 someday as in NY state in 2018. When the candidates and parties they promote are shown over and again to be the tools of the ruling class who are imposing austerity on the workers and oppressing the downtrodden, the paid intellectual tools shrug sheepishly (or not at all) and spew the old standard line, “we know they are bad but they are the only option.” The “lesser evil” is promoted as the argument to corral the masses, especially those who are only steps away from the exit door and to draw them back into the fold, onto the phone banks, over to the precinct walks.
So despite being stabbed in the back a thousand times, the rank and file is told this is the best we can do! Labor leaders say we are in a “team with management” and that team is reflected in the admonition by ex-president of SEIU Stern (just like Bernie Sanders!) that we don’t need our own workers party, the “Democratic Party is the labor party.”
The ruling class has a special plan for those of us with one foot out the door already. For those who are already the street activists, the rank and file worker militants, the ones who build solidarity actions, who “talk union,” for those who lead their brothers and sisters into the streets to stop racist state repression, the ivory tower experts and the most soothing of the condescending flunkies make their way onto PBS in town hall-type meetings convened to “bring America into an open conversation,” where the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders admonish youth to get out and vote and participate in the system as “our revolution”(!)
The ruling class see the intersection of the Occupy youth, the low wage workers (FF$15 & OurWalmart campaigns) and the #BlacklivesMatter movements coalescing and will do everything they can to diffuse, co-opt or destroy this unity. While offering great gobs of liberal moral effluvia, they blame the low voter turnout in places like Ferguson on the very people who live in the occupied and terrorized communities. Talk about the arrogance of privilege! From their positions of privilege they seek to hide and ignore the fact that the black population has been systematically criminalized and disenfranchised via an institutionally racist criminal justice system. A criminal justice system which is daily put under the microscope, cell phone videos and scholarly studies, which are exposing state-sponsored sick and inhumane brutality, torture and harassment committed by openly racist and gender-biased cops who act more like a gang of racist thugs than “Officer Joe Friendly.” It is no secret that black families have to teach their youth to behave in an obsequious manner before the cops lest they become victims. Federal studies show conspiratorial targeting of populations to control and extract taxes in municipal judicial rackets. These are shown to keep black and brown populations in cycles of poverty.
We need to create politically independent organizations of the working class and the oppressed, which are self-empowering, which convene and construct the new forms of workers democracy, of workers ownership and control which have the primary aim of seizing the commanding heights of the economy and unseating and replacing the capitalist “democracy” with workers democracy in which all workers and specially oppressed people have their say and votes counted.
To end the “endless wars,” to end the threat of inter-imperialist war, to end the grinding poverty and lives lived in fear, and to address the environmental crisis, the full productive capacity of humanity needs to be engaged; only the workers organized as a class can take the means of production from the capitalists and plan and execute a rational future.
Capitalism is locked into structural cycles of ever-deepening crises. These crises compound generational poverty and are most acutely felt by specially oppressed minorities, immigrant workers, the elderly and the youth in the first world, while in the under-developed semicolonies, billions live in abject poverty and millions die of preventable disease, hunger, thirst, wars and proxy wars everywhere imperialist powers are extending their control and extracting wealth.
The ruling class knows there is no way out! They know their system’s innate inequality, which gathers vast stores of capital to itself as a class, has a social cost. They know that the compensation for a worker’s labor power must be driven down as low as possible to counter the downward pressure on profits, both in the imperialist centers and in the semi-colonies. To maintain their power, the bosses must keep the masses demoralized, terrorized, disorganized and without their own politically independent organizations. We call for labor strikes to defeat the imperialist war drive and to turn imperialism’s wars abroad into a revolutionary civil war against the capitalist ruling class at home. To throw off the rule of the capitalists we need to build a revolutionary workers party in every nation, national parties that link workers into a new revolutionary international with a general staff that builds for and guides the international workers revolutions, defeats the imperialists and leads the working class to seize all means of production with their own hands! For a state and government based on workers councils and workers militias! For socialism, the state- planned human future!
For new October Revolutions in this 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution!