US capitalism is going to explode. Here are a few examples why.
#The six heirs of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, own as much wealth as the bottom 100 million Americans.
#In 2010, 93% of the gain in national income went to the top 1%.
#America's GINI coefficient, the classic measure of inequality, set a modern record last month, the highest since the great depression.
On top of this US capitalism is indebted as never before. It continues its wars and military occupations abroad and borrows from its competitors round the world sinking deeper and deeper into the red. It cannot go on like this. US capitalism will explode.
So what is it doing? It is attacking its own working class to take back all that the US working class has won in struggle over the past 100 years. This is the dominant dynamic presently driving events in US society. It is not hard to forecast what will happen. The US working class will explode in struggle as its living standards are driven down. This is the perspective for US society. It will over ride all other developments. It will be confused, it will have its ups and downs but more than anything else the attack on the US working class by its own capitalist class and the uprising of the US working class against this attack will be the dominant feature of US society in the coming period. And as part of this will be an explosive eruption of questioning and change in consciousness of the US working class. This is the perspective for US society. It is inevitable. The rest of the world will not go up in flames as it is already doing with the US remaining stable. This will not happen.
So what is to be done? A program and plan of action must be drawn up to allow this explosive movement of the US working class to find a way forward.
First to the program. This must be based on what working people need and not what US capitalism says it can afford.
# A minimum wage of $15.00 or $20.00 an hour or a $5.00 an hour increase whichever is the greater. The setting up of minimum wage committees to fight for these minimum wages and an increase in all wages.
# A guaranteed job for all through investment in infrastructure, schools, hospitals, etc. and the reduction of the working week with no loss of pay to 35 hours. Share out the work.
# Free education to all levels and free health care for all at the point of use. Take the profit out of health care by taking over the sickness industrial complex including the pharmaceutical industry.
# An end to all wars and occupations abroad. Spend the money on peoples needs not wars and occupations.
# Move to end the huge sums invested in the profit based prison industrial complex and increased police state apparatus and invest these instead in rehabilitation of prisoners and improving conditions in society to reduce crime.
# End the attacks on young people, minorities and workers by the state, the objective if which is to make them accept the conditions of capitalism.
# End Sexism and racism and what lies behind these, cheap labor and the division and control of the working class.
# Organize the unorganized, build the trade unions, end the bureaucratic control of the unions by their pro capitalist leaders. All union leaders to be elected subject to recall at any time and on the average industrial wage.
#End all support for the political parties of capitalism the Republicans and Democrats and build a mass workers party based on the unions, workplace committees and neighborhood committees.
# End the dictatorship of the profit addicted corporations over society. For a democratic socialist society and a democratic socialist plan of production.
# Build an International movement with concrete political and organizational links so that workers worldwide can fight the offensive of global capitalism as a united force.
This program and these organizational steps can provide a channel through which the working class when it explodes into action can implement its will. They can avoid the danger of the movement fragmenting and becoming confused and being thrown back. It is the responsibility of the trade union leaders to lead on these issues, to make them a reality. It is their responsibility to break from the capitalist Democratic Party and build this alternative to capitalism and to the capitalist organizations.
However the trade union leaders are opportunist and reformist. By this is meant they go along with the existing powers that be, (opportunism) and are reformist (support capitalism continuing with maybe a few reforms here and there) and on top of that they are terrified of an independent workers movement. This would threaten their control of the unions and their own perks and privileges. This holds them back them from taking action. This does not mean that we who are activists and socialists stop calling on the Union leaders to take action. This must be continued with as under pressure at some stage some of the union leaders will break and come over and at least for some time assist in building a new movement. However the union leaders with their opportunism and reformism are not the only players in the game. There is also the many thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of left activists and the many left groups.
Many of these left activists have been through left groups or are in left groups. The result is that they are in the main sectarian, or have experienced sectarianism, and been burnt and influenced by this. Sectarianism is where left groups and individuals put their own perceived interests above the interests of the working class. These groups and individuals also in the main have been influenced by ultra leftism, that is putting forward a program, a plan of action, ideas which are way to far to the left of the existing consciousness of the working class and so are unable to connect with the consciousness of the working class. This ultra left ism and sectarianism isolates left wing groups and individuals from the working class and in the small number of cases where it does win over a worker here or there it trains this worker in a way that he or she is drawn away and separated from the broader layers of the working class.
So the crisis of leadership and building an alternative for the US working class is not only a question of the opportunist and reformist policies of the union leaders, it is also a question of the sectarianism and ultra leftism of the of the left groups and activists. It is also a problem where the many left activists who have experienced the sectarianism and ultra leftism of the left groups have withdrawn from activity. These layers have a responsibility to learn the lessons of the past and get back into activity again.
US capitalism will explode. What is to be done. For the building of an alternative for the working class and youth so that the coming explosion of the US working class can find a way forward.
- The Future International
- Preparing for Revolution: A discussion document
- The Workers' International Network: Questions and Answers
- Reflections on the History of the CWI
- Some Comments on the Left Alliance in N. Ireland
- University of California workers and Unions
- AFSCME Local 444 negotiations assesment 1997
- On the slogan for a United Front to fight Fascism in Greece