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- University of California workers and Unions
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Wednesday, March 9, 2016
The capitalist class is organized globally, workers must be too.
By Richard Mellor Afscme Local 444, retired
How correct Marx was about class unity being revolutionary compared to its nationalist opposite. “Workers of the world unite….” he proclaimed, “….you have nothing to lose but your chains.” The massive assault on US living standards, the further impoverishment of the poor, the disabled and the weak is only possible as the capitalist class has political power but that too can only be maintained by class unity, unity of those that do no work.We must recognize that our strength depends on this unity too.
Internationally of course the situation is much worse in the former colonial countries as brutal, oppressive regimes, from the bureaucracies of China and Vietnam to the dictatorships of Indonesia and Bangladesh maintain vast wealth thought the super exploitation of labor.Nationalism helps this process survive to the detriment of all of us.
Here in the UK, the present government has just cut benefits to disabled people. The reason for the cuts is clear, the government states that doing so , “…would provide and incentive for them to return to work.” This attitude is profound in the consciousness of the 1% as they have to justify their successes, they have to justify their rule and position as owners of capital and heads of state. Why else would workers be workers if they were not stupid, if they were not such by the grace of god and the laws of nature.
This decision was apparently made possible due to some political rules that prevented the opposition (in this case form the House of Lords) from stopping it. I heard a conservative politician interviewed on the BBC this morning on a completely different issue; he was described by the interviewer as a “devout Christian”. For me, this can only mean a more bizarre example of the lesser type. But I am sure there are a number of them that consider themselves devout this and devout that. How could a devout Christian, Muslim or Jew cut desperately needed services or funds to the disabled? It’s not hard to figure out, they are most devoutly capitalists. They are devout worshipers of the market; this is their god.
We can only imagine the horrors that workers, our class brothers and sisters in places like Bangladesh or Cambodia and other such monstrously governed regimes, experience.
It’s also ironic that the people that do no work claim that those who do it all have to be tortured to do more no matter what their physical state. If we think for one minute about the very rich. They have workers watch their kids, they have workers, tend their gardens. They have other workers repair their homes, their cars and even walk their pets. And they call us lazy.
The issue of the disabled who have just had benefits cut, benefits that are inadequate as they are, is a labor issue. The Junior doctors are on a two day strike starting today as their contract talks are at a standstill. As the parliamentary vote shows, their political system cannot be relied upon to serve workers’ interests. This doesn’t necessarily mean we must not participate in it. It does mean that when it takes steps like above, we use our united power as workers to force the issue. We take direct action, on behalf of doctors, the poor, the low waged and the disabled. Unions, no matter in which country, are not just representatives of their members, they are representatives of the entire working class including internationally.
Marx was not wrong.