The Worker, January 7, 2020
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625

Working Class Goals

We live in an era when the modern working class has emerged as the decisive social force. The working class not only comprises the vast majority of the people of our country, but the history of the last century and a half shows that, on a world scale, the working class has been at the center of every movement for progress, enlightenment and the emancipation of the people.

On average, a worker in the U.S. creates new values equal to her/his wages in less than two hours. Thus, during a typical 8-hour day, more than six hours of labor accrue to the capitalist as surplus value. As a whole this exploitation of labor makes up the foundation of our modern economy, created by the social cooperation of some 250 million people. It is not hard to recognize that our country’s vast economy already produces more than enough goods and services to meet the needs of all human beings and has the potential to produce far more than it is producing at the moment.

The deeds and plans  – the political programs – which embody the essential principles of so-called “good governance” being pursued by the Democrats and Republicans is one which the monopoly-capitalist drive for grabbing more profit is served by throwing obstacles in the way of that potential and shifting an ever-greater burden onto the people.

Monopoly capital is imposing a thoroughly reactionary, anti-social agenda on the country – imposing new and more intense forms of exploitation on the workers, slashing social investments in education, in health care, in income-support programs, in Social Security, etc., etc., privatizing the public infrastructure and stripping away any guarantees for the economic and human rights of the people. To impose this agenda on the people, the government and the monopoly capitalist class spend billions to guarantee that the people are completely excluded from the political power.

The anti-social agenda is an agenda of putting all our resources at the disposal of big business, financing the repressive apparatus of the state, militarizing the country and launching new wars – in short, arbitrarily imposing the dictate of big business over the whole country.

It does not take much to understand that the government program of all-around militarization of the society and the raising of a vast national police force charged with spying in the name of “homeland security” and criminalizing dissent is antagonistic to the interests of the workers. It does not take much to understand that the government program of imposing 90% of the tax burden on the working masses while giving hundreds of billions in handouts to the monopoly corporations hardly reflects the desires and interests of the majority.

The fundamental reality is that at its very foundation our society is divided into classes. The primary function of the state is precisely to maintain and enforce these social relations. Through their ownership of the economic lifelines of society, through their economic domination of the society as a whole, the monopoly capitalist class is always able to subordinate the state to its interest. The political reality is that the monopoly capitalist class is in the driver’s seat while the workers and people are disempowered.

This situation must be changed. It is a national disgrace that in the U.S. in the 21st century the society remains plagued by unemployment, low wages and poverty; that it remains a society in which racial discrimination and violent repression are constant facts of life.

Everyone should join in the on-going struggles of the people and take their thinking and concerns to heart. The working people are already in motion fighting for higher wages and better working conditions, against downsizing, restructuring, contracting out, privatization, the substitution of part-time work for full-time, etc. The workers are defending their daily economic interests through political struggles to assert that they are more than beasts of burden to be exploited by the capitalists. Struggles are breaking out to oppose U.S. imperialist wars of aggression, to demand education and a future for the children as well as income support for the unemployed and disabled and a secure pension for retired workers. Ever-wider sections of people are raising demands for a moratorium on interest payments and cancelation of the debt. Many struggles are breaking out to defend the civil liberties and democratic rights of the people, etc., etc.  

The significance of these struggles goes far beyond their ability to impede the process of the impoverishment of the proletariat; they also contribute enormously to the ability of the working class to carry out more mature forms of the class struggle. A successful pro-social agenda of the working class is one that makes continual inroads against the political economy of capitalism in favor of the implementation of rights which are ignored or as of yet unrecognized.

So too, the revolutionary leaders which are emerging from these struggles have an important role to play in creating a new political culture within a prevailing atmosphere in which, at all costs, the bourgeoisie want to deprive the workers of the consciousness 1) that the class struggle of the workers and oppressed people is the motive force of social development; 2) that in the course of their struggle the workers become conscious of the laws of social development and use this consciousness to 3) conquer the political power and carry through the social revolution which overthrows capitalism and builds the new socialist and communist society.

The permanent victories that we seek along the path of social change are the ever-growing consciousness and organization of the people themselves.

Cherish the Struggle to Assert the Rights of the Youth!

In the last issue of The Worker (Vol 33, #3), we released an article called “Oppose the Criminalization of the Youth” which took up the job of analyzing the intensifying problem. It called on everyone to mobilize themselves to take the future into their own hands by developing a pro-active program which asserts the rights of the youth.

The stubborn fact that there are two sides to this conflict is, of course, a class question. The root of the problem is that the political process and political system in the U.S. is nothing but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. One task the bourgeois state regularly works to fulfill is the consolidation of the capitalist order. It directly participates in the reproduction of capitalism’s economic and social relations. Through the bipartisan political program of criminalization and attacks on the rights of the youth, the bourgeoisie is attempting to prevent the emergence of organized struggles against capital.

How did this grave situation come about?

In the first place, the capitalist system refuses to recognize and guarantee the rights which belong to the youth – their right to a modern education, their right to recreation and culture, their right to economic security, their right to seek and express the truth, their right to participate in the political affairs of society and to shape their social environment.

But this politics of the ruling class in the U.S. comes after its economic basis.

Every social system is based upon the antagonism between classes. All government is class government – all states are class instruments, organs of oppression and coercion of the lower class by the ruling class. Naturally they differ depending on the contemporary social system. Whereas, the slave state was the naked dictatorship of the slave owner and the feudal state the undisputed dictatorship of the feudal lord, bourgeois democracy speaks in the name of the people and veils its deeds of violence and oppression under diverse honeyed and sham catch-words – suffrage, republicanism, equality of opportunity, liberty, etc., etc.

Early on, in order to free itself from the economic fetters of feudalism – from its social, political and judicial superstructures which bound it tightly and kept it from exploiting its newly gained advantages and control over the social forces of economic production – the bourgeoisie began first to organize campaigns to weaken and undermine the theoretical and ideological counterparts of the feudal regime. It brought science and enlightenment in its battle against medieval theology. The bourgeoisie thus brought forth a revolution just as far-reaching and tremendous in its consequences as the revolution proper which followed, namely, the destruction and uprooting by force of the feudal state and its political and social institutions.

However, the working class itself was already emerging as a force from very early on during the rise of capitalism. The bourgeoisie, realizing the revolutionary nature of the sciences and culture in general set out from the earliest days to capture them from the proletariat and has from then on made learning and specialization a set of tools serving its own narrow class interests. For example, as owners of all the publishing houses, they twisted and distorted the study of history and all social sciences beyond all recognition.

As computerized learning began to take a central place in the 21st century, the bourgeoisie consolidated this position even more by using this situation to standardize education further. Now more than ever the platform created in classes and schools is dominated by a dogmatic curriculum.  

The methods used to suppress the revolutionary spark of the youth fall into two main types. Some school authorities antagonize openly all progressive and socialist doctrines and pour a flood of invectives upon students upholding them, stopping dissensions of revolutionary-minded students by refusing them the privilege of defending themselves. The other type of method is from the camp of so-called “also-Socialists.” These see the futility of preventing the spread of revolutionary ideas among the thinking and intelligent youth by bullying them openly and so try to capture these ideas from the proletariat, dilute them, twist all their revolutionary fire and meaning out of them, and thereby make those ideas the helpers and property of the liberal bourgeoisie.

The big education publishers and other “educational entrepreneurs” that are buying up and dismantling the schools left and right thus swindle and try to suppress the working class youth by muddling up their youthful energy and zeal.

So too, the bourgeoisie, through both political parties, is on the offensive against the partial guarantees of the rights of the youth they have been forced to recognize as a result of the struggles of the working classes. For instance, elimination at all levels of government of monies for day care and public schooling aims at denying our sons and daughters the right to free and equal education at all levels. This includes the situation in which investments in so-called “extraneous” curricula such as art, music and sports, as well as special education classes for schoolchildren, bilingual curriculums, grants and aid for college students and further programs have been drastically cut.

In sum, the growing criminalization of the youth and the U.S. monopoly capitalist system’s general refusal to recognize and guarantee the rights which belong to the youth are both things which arise from the bourgeoisie’s fear of the revolutionary nature of the youth.

The very essence of capitalist government in the U.S. is that while on paper the state proclaims various rights and freedoms, in practice it denies the rights of the working masses at every turn. Today’s events in which the bourgeoisie are snatching back the minor reforms which served the youth expose the fraud of so-called American democracy. It shows that what characterizes the necessity for change is not how many civil rights and protections from the oppression of the state are written down as paper promises, but rather the relentless drive to dispel the existing conditions in which we are denied the experience of democratic rights and liberties in practice.

The growing attacks on the rights of the youth will only produce new struggles to wring concessions from the capitalist class. And while many of these partial victories will be positive, full success requires mobilizing the people on the basis of the most fundamental problems which are demanding solution.  To give this movement scope, to carry it through so the inalienable rights of the youth are not merely promised, but implemented, and to ensure that what is won is not just snatched away, we must target the capitalist state. In the final analysis, individual and group rights can only be guaranteed when the collective right of the people to sovereignty, to determine their economic and political system, is guaranteed. The immediate goal of mobilizing ourselves is to challenge the power of the capitalist state, to enforce the political will and demands of the working people against the power and will of the monopoly capitalist class. This can be done if we build up the independent political movement of the working class. The first step is building up the independent political party of the working class and people in the course of our many struggles to realize the rights of the youth in practice.

Finding Genuine Solutions to the Growing Economic Problems

The basis of the Workers Party program for unifying and strengthening resistance to the capitalist offensive and to carry through the struggle for the political economy of the working class is the assertion that every human being, simply by virtue of his/her humanity, is entitled to certain inalienable economic rights – has the right to food, clothing and shelter, has the right to a secure job or a livelihood at a level commensurate with the degree of development of our society, has the right to income security in retirement or loss of capacity to work, has the right to comprehensive, free medical care, has the right to the best possible education from infant care through the university. This political program holds that it is the elementary responsibility of society and government to provide ironclad guarantees for these rights.

The cuts to wages and benefits, 10 million unemployed, the 17 million living below the official poverty, the economic insecurity which threatens every worker, the 8 million seniors unable to pay for medicine, and many more of the conditions of the U.S. show that the promise of a “better future” does not come to fruition even in the country famed as the most successful capitalist country of all time.

While the propagandists for American capitalism beat their chests about how the social system in which the instruments of production are owned by private individuals and allegedly set in motion voluntarily for the profit of those individuals is capable of resulting in general “economic prosperity,” the reality tells a different story. The share of those whose labor-power produces all the material wealth – the workers – in the aggregate social product as well as the national wealth of the country as a whole is shrinking. Even the story of goods and services freely exchanged on a market regulated only by supply and demand turns out to be another ridiculous fairy tale. In actual fact, capitalism is marked by monopoly domination rather than free competition. And the very fact that the U.S. monopolies are constantly driven to the export the capitalist-imperialist relations of domination and subordination of one state to another in order to find outlets for reinvestment of their capital is enough to show that the conditions of the capitalist mode of production are eroding themselves from within.

The limit of the political economy of the bourgeoisie, whether the topic of the day is the so-called “budget deficit,” or the alleged “bankruptcy of the Social Security Trust Fund” or the “high cost of capital gains,” the agenda is always presented on the basis of assuming that the profits of the capitalists must be protected, that the capitalist relations of exploitation are unchangeable and hence that the workers can only debate which way they prefer to be exploited and robbed. It is always openly or tacitly assumed that the existing economic, political and social relations are the only possible way in which society can be organized. The people are defined as fragmented into various “special interest groups” and dead-end debates are created on the basis of such artificial, polarizing aims.

It is not merely the role of highly paid expert researchers and the state (organs and agencies engaged in exercising power such as Congress, administrative bodies, courts of justice, etc.) to promote this political economy; it is also adhered to by the two parties which function, in law and in fact, as part of the governmental apparatus and which enjoy a near legal monopoly over the electoral process and de facto control over the election boards which organize and monitor the elections – the Democrats and Republicans. In the main, bourgeois political economy sees its main field in the social form of the economy, meaning the juridical and ethical relations between people. But these relations belong to the superstructure and not to the economic basis. They are merely an ideological reflection of the material, objective economic relations between people that take place in the process of production. Present-day bourgeois political economy is a champion of monopoly capitalism. So, for example, the entire struggle for equal rights is reduced to controversy over privileges or “opportunities” because the inability of capitalism to guarantee jobs for all is taken as an immutable law.

The political economy of the working class takes up an entirely different subject matter. In a nutshell, it can be summed up into the following four points.

In the first place, it takes up the social side of production, rather than the technical side which is left as the subject of the natural and technical sciences. It does not examine material production as such, but the social relations between people concerning production – the social system of production, and relations in all the phases of the reproduction of material values – including relations of distribution, exchange and consumption.

In the second place, it studies the relations of production in close connection and interaction with the development of the productive forces. It does not study the productive forces from the technical angle but from the standpoint of their place in the mode of production. Thus, a machine as such is an implement of labor which is not an economic category in itself. But when it is seen as an object of property, its use in production is connected with definite economic relations between people which are studied by political economy.

In the third place, it studies the relations of production – the society’s economic basis – in interaction with the superstructure arising on that basis. Although the superstructure is determined by the economic basis, it exerts a reciprocal influence on the economic basis, accelerating or slowing down its development. Thus, present-day state-monopoly capitalism has been actively intervening in the relations of production in order to intensify the exploitation of the working people.

Lastly, it studies the development of society by elucidating the laws of society’s transition from one form of productive relations to another.

It is the subject matter of this political economy which gives rise to the express demand for the creation of a society which genuinely guarantees equal rights for all human beings and directs contention with the capitalist system on the basis of the question: the economy for whom? for the capitalists or for the workers?

This political program is diametrically opposed to the other one which is offered.

The other distinct program is offered by the Democratic and Republican parties. The political economy advertised and implemented by the Democratic and Republican parties insists that the task of government is to fulfill the claims which the capitalists make on the economy. As for the workers and people they have no claims on the country’s yearly social product, no claims on the public treasury. In sum, the people have no rights by virtue of their humanity and the government has no responsibility for the well-being of the people.

Rather than recognize that rights such as those mentioned belong by definition to all human beings the two parties try to transform rights into privileges or “policy objectives” which may be granted or denied to various sections of the people depending on circumstances. Versions of such social democratic or liberal bourgeois political economy are imported into the workers’ movement through the labor aristocracy and opportunism with the goal of undermining the independent political movement and economic resistance of the workers and placing the workers under the domination of bourgeois ideology. For example, how many times have the upper echelons of the AFL-CIO hierarchy renounced the independent class aims of the workers and pitted different sections of the workers against one another in order to redirect the struggles to petitioning for “privileges” from the ruling class or “getting out the vote”? Of course, the thorough repudiation of this opportunism is absolutely necessary in order for people to take their movement into their own hands and advance along the path of independent politics.

The Workers Party program for economic rights brings the workers and broad sections of people to the social front, arrayed against the bourgeoisie and challenging the foundations of private property in the means of production and the capitalist state not only because it starts from the demands that are already in the thinking and on the lips of millions of people, but also because it is based on a correct theory. It is based on the theory of Marxism-Leninism – the theory that uncovered the law of surplus value, revealed how the capitalist system is based on the exploitation of the workers, showed how the class struggle of the workers necessarily leads to revolution and illuminated the conditions necessary for the complete emancipation of the workers.

The program for economic rights gives consciousness and political expression to the many economic and partial struggles of the people with the aim of winning contractual and other guarantees of such rights as the right to a livelihood and merging these struggles into a generalized political movement. As a political program for bringing people out again and again in opposition to the attacks on all sections of people, it defends the working class concept of rights and defends the general interests of the workers. It helps to strengthen the convictions of the workers that an injury to one is an injury to all and that rights and emancipation can only be won through the principled approach of organizing on the basis of the collective interests and collective struggle.

From the Anti-Imperialist News Service

Washington Wants Cuba to Stop Sending Doctors Abroad

December 8, 2019 – In recent months, the Trump administration has been pursuing a practice of going from one place to another to denounce Barrio Adentro (a Cuban initiated health care program for the poor) and other trade instruments agreed to between third party countries and the Cuban government. In addition to declaring the program to be a violation of the U.S. trade embargo, U.S. diplomats are characterizing Barrio Adentro as a criminal enterprise and calling for it to end.

For example, at a speech on September 26, after classifying Barrio Adentro as "human trafficking," U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, Carlos Trujillo said, "Across the Americas, there are multiple countries that continue to have these programs. What we’re really asking here is for a lot of the countries ... who are continuing to traffick and conduct these types of activities with Cuban doctors in their countries to please stop.”

Thus, the U.S. is once again trying to put forward a doctrine of international law that tramples underfoot the sovereign rights and freedom of international trade of third party countries that have, up to now, refused to join the U.S. blockade of Cuba.

By declaring to the world that Cuban trade practices in health care and other fields are illegitimate, Washington is demonizing the Cuban health care industry as a "rogue" one and characterizing Cuban trade as a threat to U.S. national security. As with all the ultra-chauvinist doctrines of U.S. imperialism, the point is to declare the "moral superiority" of so-called "American values" and thereby justify the violation of the sovereignty of countries. Whether through the employment of the "carrot" or the "stick," the desired outcome is to destabilize Cuba's social system in order for Cuba to submit to the economic and political reforms spelled out through the trade embargo.

Just as the so-called engagement policy of thelast U.S. presidential administration did not arise from any support for the Republic of Cuba's path of independent development, the subsequent refueling of the anti-Cuba rhetoric in 2017 did not arise from any degree of change in the aims of U.S. imperialism.

As fixed in the law of the land of the United States (such as the Helms Burton and Cuban Democracy Acts), the U.S. government seeks to overthrow the government of the Republic of Cuba and return the country to the status of a colony or neo-colony.

As long as Cuba continues to assert control over its own commercial enterprises it will be considered by U.S. imperialism to represent "the danger of a good example." And precisely because there is so much opposition amongst the people to the blockade of Cuba, U.S. imperialism is continually trying to disguise these exploiting aims. Thus, U.S. imperialism relies heavily on the tactic of "imperialist pacifism" – of promising respect, dignity and engagement while imposing its dictate through economic blockade and military blackmail.

Today, in opposition to the peoples, U.S. imperialism pursues a foreign policy of dictate, of colonialism and neo-colonialism, of contention and collusion with other imperialist powers; in short, a foreign policy based on the idea that "might makes right." The declared "national security" policy of U.S. imperialism is to make the whole world open to investment, exploitation and domination by the biggest monopolies.

U.S. imperialism has appointed itself the judge, jury and executioner in the hope of imposing its will on the peoples and countries. Thus, it finds one way or another to brand as "outlaw" or "rogue" states all those nations which refuse to accept its dictates.

The blockade of Cuba is but one link in a chain of U.S. aggression across the world. In this situation, the decisive thing for the on-going solidarity movement of the American people in support of the right of Cuba to rise in struggle against imperialism is that the people organize and mobilize themselves. This is a crucial time to step up the struggle against war and militarism. The U.S. monopoly capitalist class is never going to become interested in abandoning the urge to re-establish its power to plunder Cuba, but history shows that the peoples can stop the hands of the imperialist aggressors. The decisive thing for the American working class and people is to organize themselves as an independent political force in opposition to and struggle against the U.S. capitalist parties and the imperialist system.

Trump Administration Prepares the Election Interference Card in Latin America

December 15, 2019 – Among the destabilizing processes aimed at maintaining U.S. hegemony in Latin America, election interference promises to continue receiving pride of place.

Within Latin America, the Organization of American States (OAS) is among the main instruments for U.S. imperialism's economic, political and military domination of the region. This old pillar of imperialist intervention was most recently relied on in Bolivia in support of Washington's self-proclaimed world-policing role.

A recent report on Bolivian elections by the OAS showed how election monitoring was used to secure access to sensitive cyber information about Bolivia of a caliber that would be shouted down and prosecuted as spying and terrorism if the U.S. government had been on the receiving end of such a campaign.

In order to solve the problem of "proving" a possibility of corruption during Bolivia's national elections, the OAS Secretariat for Political Affairs thoroughly investigated the components of "data flow processing" of voting records and concluded the technology in place was, "directed to two hidden servers and not controlled by personnel of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), which made it possible to manipulate data and falsify minutes."

When the OAS document was issued on December 9th the U.S. State Department also released a press statement to praise the work of the OAS electoral audit mission in Bolivia for mobilizing such a successful panel of "36 experts of 18 nationalities" capable of giving a picture which the State Department could promote as evidence "that 'deliberate' and 'malicious' actions were taken to rig Bolivia's election in favor of former President Evo Morales."

Not only is this election interference policy framework hypocritical, a grave blow to Bolivian national security, and an attack on the privacy of voters, it is also part of the ongoing U.S. monopoly capitalist program of trying to resurrect colonialism and neo-colonialism in Latin America.

Make no mistake, new calls will be made to send more OAS electoral audit missions. The principal task of this course of action is to prepare the dismemberment of anti-imperialist regimes and the repression of all the revolutionary forces that have raised the flag of genuine sovereignty and independence.

In the interests of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class, the two parties in Washington are working hard to resurrect colonialism and neo-colonialism in the region. Under the slogans of "nation-building," "peacekeeping," and preparing countries for "self-rule," the UN Security Council, the OAS, NATO, and other international organizations led by U.S. imperialism are devoting tremendous resources to this task. As the well-known American chauvinist doctrine of so-called "universal values" that are "morally superior" claims, some peoples need Big Power "mentoring" and are not yet ready to be in charge of their own self-determination without it.

This doctrine is used to justify demands for "free market economics" and keeping the political power 100% in the hands of the capitalist and landlord classes. In short, it is used to justify establishment of Western style political and civic institutions backed by political "advisors" and, in the event of crises, police forces sent by the Big Powers. These recolonization drives only open the door to further superpower militarization and increase the war danger.

Only by directing the struggle against the chauvinism, militarism and war preparations of our "own" ruling class can the growing initiatives of the American people against the war program of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class provide any real and valuable solidarity to the anti-imperialist revolutions.

Stop Dispatching U.S. Troops to Iraq!

December 22, 2019 – By January 1, the Department of Defense (DoD) is anticipated to be 1/4 or some $43.5 billion, through its annual spending of military appropriations budgeted for prevention of an “Islamic State in Iraq.” For the fiscal year 2020, which began on October 1, the amount allocated by Congress was $174 billion. According to S.1215 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, the purpose of the spending is, "to authorize appropriations for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2020 to provide additional funds for overseas contingency operations being carried out by the Armed Forces."

The huge sums apportioned to Iraq are bled from the American working class through death and taxes and used to guarantee the U.S. role as superintendent and taskmaster of the “Iraqi Security Forces.”

One important development within the increasing standardization of the Iraq campaign is that much of Iraqi Security Forces Combat Advisor training was relocated to permanent centers in the U.S. in recent years. For example, before occupying a responsible position, many recruits must now plan to matriculate at combat advisor training centers at Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Polk, Louisiana. So too, in the Army division in 2017, the Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) was solidified as a regular detachment for assignments to combat advising rotations in the theater of war. The SFAB, with only slightly over 500 grunts, was created to be smaller and therefore more adaptable than traditional 3,600-strong Brigade Combat Teams.

By relying principally on the state machine and the two big capitalist parties – the Republicans and Democrats – U.S. imperialism's program of fascism and war in Iraq has been carried out in the name of "nation-building and democracy," as well as in the name of "freedom of religion," "weapons of mass destruction," "fighting international terrorism," etc., etc.

In the U.S., the capitalist class and capitalist government are carrying on the all-around militarization of society; against the will of the working people the country has become a base of aggression against other nations and peoples and the American masses are forced to live with a titanic military budget, national debt, and the cloud of war always looming over their heads.