The Worker, June 22, 2016
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625

There Is No Franchise for the Vast Majority of the American Population

The American political process is full of contradictions between “theory” and “practice.” 

The prototypical illustration of this is the buildup of the repressive apparatus of the state in the name of “democracy.” 

With the rise of the working class movement in the 19th century, the state apparatus was turned more and more against the working class and popular movements.  Since that time, a myriad of repressive laws and bureaucratic regulations have been used to hamstring the workers’ movement.  Whenever a strike of the workers threatens the interests of the capitalists or a popular movement begins to gain strength, the government turns to its huge apparatus of repression and attempts to turn the matter into an issue of “law and order.”  In addition, the U.S. state is an instrument of war used by U.S. imperialism to spread its empire throughout the world. So too, the nonstop propaganda about the “threat of terrorism” is used to impose a straitjacket on political life and to trample on the democratic rights and civil liberties of the American people. 

And nothing stays in the same place. The executive branch of government has, through the Department of Homeland Security, concentrated in its hands wide-ranging new powers to carry out surveillance and intelligence gatherings. The Obama administration exempts the DHS from various provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, thus allowing it to keep secret files on political organizations and activists. Through the DHS the executive has also been given new police powers to intervene in “national emergencies,” “civil disturbances” and local police matters. So too, the government has passed various laws, such as the USA Patriot Sunsets Extension Act, which criminalize dissent and political opposition, invade privacy and expand the powers of the secret police (C.I.A., etc.), allow the government to imprison people without due process. It has unleashed a reign of racist terror in the immigrant communities and endeavored to single out and persecute various individuals and organizations opposed to the war program. It has carried out mass deportations, police violence, racist profiling, repression of community and charity organizations, police harassment of entire neighborhoods including places of worship, etc. It has also imposed a program of government indoctrination and chauvinism in the public schools. 

The government is also using the bogey of “terrorism” as an excuse to put the entire economy of our country at the disposal of the Pentagon arms merchants and other big capitalists. 

In order to justify this growing fascism, the capitalist politicians have no arguments. They can do nothing but deny reality while rehashing the pabulum taught in high school civic classes – that “American democracy,” is a system in which the “elected” representatives listen to and respond to the will of the people. 

What is the real history of the political power? 

The government established by the Constitutional Convention did not place sovereignty in the hands of the people, but rather, was designed to create “good and efficient”  government immune from the “excesses of pure democracy.” This was accomplished through the creation of a republic or representative democracy, which was structured to create multiple definitions of citizenship in order to prevent the development of a compact majority while “refining” the popular will. In particular, the republic thus constituted aimed at preventing the “tyranny of the majority” or rule by the propertyless masses, which would undermine the rights of private property in the means of production. The founding fathers aimed at using the republican form to provide “legitimacy” for the supreme power, but the role of the people was not to rule. The power to rule, as defined in the very first Article of the Constitution itself, was vested solely in the government. The people were consigned the role of giving their “consent.”

Today, more than 200 years after the framing of the Constitution, the U.S. government has certainly undergone various changes in form. Through the struggles of the working class and broad masses of people, the franchise has been extended to include practically the whole population over age 18. Today, the Senate is now elected by popular vote. But along with these changes, other changes have taken place as well. The power of the executive branch of government has grown to such an enormous extent that it not only makes policy behind the backs of the people, but in open violation of U.S. laws and the Constitution itself. Interest groups and lobbying have developed on a wide scale, both to enlarge the field of operation of big money, but also, to create, in Alexander Hamilton’s terms, more “multiple definitions of citizenship.” The monopoly owned mass media have spread their nets everywhere. The government has given official sanction to the electoral monopoly of the Republican and Democratic Parties, which have almost sole legal authority to nominate candidates, and which as political organizations have no other reason for existence except to gain the spoils of office. In short, the people are, more than ever, completely excluded from governing and even from the discussion over the policies and direction of the government. The people’s participation is reduced to the role of “voting cattle,” while the business of governing is carried out behind closed doors of Congressional committees or the executive bureaucracy. The people are consigned the role of giving their “consent.”

The recognition of powerlessness – of being excluded from the political process and from governing – is so widespread that nearly every current and prospective government official is forced to promote their platform as “reformist” and/or to promote themselves as “the alternative to politics as usual,” as the “anti-establishment candidate,” etc. Amongst other things, these empty claims only highlight the complete separation between word and deed that is a typical feature of capitalist politics. The images of Trump and Sanders as “homespun” leaders is punctured by the reality that their candidacies are entirely creations of the monopoly owned media. These two men, who are each in their turn, advertised as a way to break the “Washington gridlock” refuse on principle to hear the pro-social demands of the people. Instead they participate in a blockade of silence – ignoring our demand for peace and working to repress and marginalize the anti-war movement, ignoring our demand for immediate relief for the unemployed and poverty stricken, ignoring our demand that the government “Stop Paying the Rich,” ignoring our demand for an end to the militarization of the economy and a moratorium on the debt so that the public funds can be used to guarantee the economic rights and well-being of the people, ignoring our demand for the immediate end to the criminalization and deportation of immigrants, ignoring our demand for the end to police repression and state-sponsored racist attacks, etc., etc., etc. 

No, these “revolutionary” candidates are not “outsiders” nor do they represent an alternative to “politics as usual.” They are not in opposition to the Republican and Democratic parties, but part and parcel of the same political apparatus which has a stranglehold over American politics and is bleeding the entire society for the sake of the monopoly corporations and billionaires. 

The reality is that humans, by nature, need to and want to affect their social environment. But the plain fact is that the vast majority of Americans cannot affect anything by voting. We are disenfranchised.

And we do not just mean the tens of millions who are, de jure, denied the right to vote – the millions of immigrants, the millions of black Americans who have been convicted of felonies because of their skin color and are barred from voting, or the 16 and 17 year olds. We do not  even refer only to the denial of the right to self-determination for the Native nations who are barred from their own specific representation in Congress. Although these facts alone are far more than enough to prove that, under the present system, voting is not a human right and that the people are not the sovereign power.

The problem with the present social system is that it suppresses and negates the role of the people as the makers of history and the creators of society. People would eagerly vote if it were a fact that it would cut their taxes, or prevent their sons and daughters from going to war or guarantee their retirement income or health coverage. Sovereignty is not a “gift” or privilege bestowed on us by the government. It belong to us by virtue of our humanity and throughout our history we have claimed our rights only through struggle against the arbitrary, dictatorial power of the exploiting classes. So it is today. We will continue to assert our rights and our humanity by carrying through the struggle to take the future of our country into our own hands.

The demand of the times and the real challenge of the elections is precisely to help organize the independent political movement which gives expression to the aspirations and interests of the hundreds of millions of Americans who are locked out of the current system.

From the Draft Program for the Working Class

Democratic Renewal

The working class strives for the democratic renewal of the political process and political system so that the decision-making power is placed in the hands of the people.

The program of democratic renewal demands the abolition of any and all political privileges and the creation of mechanisms which guarantee the masses of the people the right to participate fully and directly in the political process and in governance.

Political parties must be denied the privilege to nominate and select candidates for public office and this right must be returned to the people. The electorate must also retain the right to recall elected officials at any time.

Further, the chasm between the legislative and executive branches of government must be overcome and the arbitrary power of the executive branch must be broken. The entire operation of government must remain under the direct supervision of the people. Any power not expressly delegated by the people to the government remains with the people themselves.

Constituency committees comprising all citizens must be organized in workplaces, communities and wherever the people are concentrated. Such committees will have the right to nominate and select candidates, to hold elected officials accountable, to set the agenda of government, and to participate directly in governance.

The program of democratic renewal recognizes the right to self-determination, up to and including the right to secession, for the Native peoples, the people of Puerto Rico and other oppressed nations.

The program of democratic renewal demands equality – equal rights and duties – for all regardless of race, national origin, sex, etc. This includes the right for all nationalities to develop their own culture, language, etc. Most importantly, equality means that everyone has the right to participate fully in the political process and governance, to take part as decision-makers in exercising control of their lives.

Statement of Islamic Emirate Concerning Expansion of U.S. Military Role by Obama to Kill Afghans

Reports surfaced yesterday that the US president Barack Obama expanded the military role of the remaining invaders against the Afghans, authorizing further airstrikes, raids and killings.

We condemn this effort of prolonging this war and occupation and remind the Americans that the Afghan nation has bravely faced all your might over the past 15 years. We are waging sacred Jihad against your invasion as a single nation, forget about the idea of ever subduing, defeating and forcing us to lay down our arms. That the nearly five hundred thousand police, army, intelligence personnel and militiamen trained by you are unable to combat the Mujahideen, are taking losses daily, retreating and fleeing and now begging you to fight alongside them against the Afghan people is in itself proof that you are not facing a group rather you are fighting an entire nation. Massacres can be perpetrated against nations, they can be oppressed, their lands occupied and prisons and cemeteries filled however their will can never be broken, their spirit of freedom never beaten and their struggle never subdued. Instead of marching your forces to battlefields and having them killed by us, unwarrantedly increasing your expenditure and prolonging a war which you shall never win in a hundred years, it would be better advised that you understand and accept the realities. If you ever take the time to read history of a land called the ‘Graveyard of Empires’, you will come to understand much about your actions. In 2010 when you decided to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, we told you then that you will gain nothing except increased casualties and expenditure. Perhaps you would have learnt that your decision (increasing troop level and expenditure) was futile? Because you have currently lost everything you tried to gain. Repeating failed experiments is the work of a failed people.

Or if you believe our nation and Mujahideen will be frightened by such decisions and propaganda, then you are sadly mistaken. Whoever has given you this advice are surely either your stooges who seek to protect themselves with you, or supposed experts who have no knowledge about Afghanistan and this region or people whose interests lie in prolonged wars. If you begin to see Afghanistan as an equal country and recognize the Islamic Emirate as military, political and peaceful force demanding its legitimate rights and also take into consideration demands of this valiant nation, you shall be saved from a lot of expenditure and losses and your conscience forced to accept realities instead of testing force. But if you persist on force then the Mujahid Afghan nation under the leadership of Islamic Emirate – just as it has kept its political doors open to the world – shall keep the frontlines hot and impenetrable, Allah willing.

Letter to the Editor

I was working in an area assigned to me for distribution of The Worker recently when I encountered a Trump advocate who expressed a desire to participate in struggle against the status quo. 

In the course of the discussion it came out that the individual had soft ears for the idea of voting for Trump based on hearing that he was “charismatic” and for that reason believing he may be the best person to have at the helm of America’s national and international affairs. Turns out he had almost zero information about Trump’s actual proposals. We ended up discussing immigration at length. What follows are some of the main points of our discussion. 

Trump promotes pessimism in order to divert from the real problems facing the American people. For example, he tries to direct people’s attention to U.S.-Mexico relations as if these were a problem for the workers. For Trump, a central issue on the minds of the American people during the elections ought to be the prospect of getting Mexican people to foot the bill for U.S. border policies. 

Through these efforts, Trump serves the capitalist class not only by helping to turn the elections into a circus, but also by diverting people from the history and  struggle against the fascistization of the state over the last several years. 

During the Obama administration, we have witnessed a campaign of mass deportations and harassment against immigrants of unprecedented proportions. We witnessed the completion of an electronic fence along the border between the U.S. and Mexico involving a series of physical barriers that runs through the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. And involving the deployment of a system of aerial drones,  sensors and cameras to monitor the border. We have also witnessed the DHS successful bid to build the nation’s largest fleet of domestic surveillance Predator drones and deploy them in other zones of American airspace. All along the line, we saw the DHS gain more powers to carry out surveillance and intelligence gathering in violation of the basic democratic rights and civil liberties of the entire people.

In short, despite claiming to be a political outsider, Trump has let us know that he's perfectly content with what Obama has done so far and if he is elected president then he will continue the same basic program.

Trump’s entire candidacy reflects the fact that today, the quickest way to become a candidate for office or a media personality is to curse the people. This is the same for candidates from both parties because, despite the superficial contradictions between them, the real “mandate” which a candidate and eventual office-holder receives is the mandate of the Party which nominated him/her and the big monied interests which stand behind the two parties. 

Today, the state is resorting to the most arbitrary methods of rule – putting the whole country at the disposal of the biggest monopolies while suppressing the needs of social development and the rights of the people because of the deepening political polarization. On the one pole, people are turning, in large numbers, away from the two parties and looking into the need for a real alternative. People are looking for the ways to bring a new agenda – a genuinely pro-social agenda – to center-stage in the life of our country. On the other pole, the capitalists are  imposing their anti-social agenda on society and very much rely on the tactic of singling out and marginalizing various sections of the people in order to carry out their attacks on the rights of all.

Just as the reactionary agenda of the government finds its source in the class interests of the capitalists, so too, the agenda for social progress, enlightenment, and emancipation finds its source in the aspirations and struggles of definite classes – in the struggle of the working class and people. History shows that only the working class has been and remains in the forefront for defending the democratic rights and liberties  of all the people. These rights can only be won against the will and power of the capitalist state, through the independent  political movement of the working-class and people.

My new acquaintance and I closed the discussion with him denouncing the two party monopoly, expressing enthusiasm about finding out more about independent working class politics, and with excitement about letting his friends know that the literature of the Workers Party exists.

Huge Demonstrations Against U.S. Military Bases in Japan

Over 60,000 people rallied on Okinawa and the Japanese mainland on one single day in late June to demand the destruction of American military bases positioned in Japan. 

These demonstrations were the largest in a series of similar protests organized there. 

Besides exposing that they are destroying the local economy and burdening Japanese taxpayers, one of the other exposures of the movement is that the military bases heighten the war danger facing the people. So too, it weighs on the Japanese people whose lives and dignity are trampled underfoot.

Today, nearly 50,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan, anchoring the aggressive U.S. strategy of “forward” deployment, menacing the peoples of the region and serving as a base not only for reconnaissance but as a launching pad for intervention throughout the region. Altogether over 100,000 U.S. troops are permanently based in Asia while U.S. naval forces prowl the seas. U.S. military forces in Japan and Asia include a large nuclear capability.

According to the U.S. “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, sovereignty is not an absolute right and nations forfeit aspects of their sovereignty when they “fail to protect” their populations from “hate crimes” and “human rights violations.” 

When Obama and U.S. imperialism declare that absolute sovereignty is obsolete, this is going against one of the great motive forces of the contemporary era. The recognition of the sovereignty of nations and the equality of the peoples is a verdict written with the blood and struggle of hundreds of millions of people in the colonial countries. We live in an era in which the oppressed peoples everywhere – in the Philippines and Indonesia, in Vietnam and Korea, in Cuba and Nicaragua, in China and India, across the whole of Africa and the Middle East – have stood up and are fighting for their liberation. National sovereignty, the independence and equality of all peoples, the liberation of the oppressed is not something given the people by the British or American colonists, nor is it something any imperialist superpower can take away. It is something the peoples themselves have asserted and fought for. It is a struggle, a demand, which arises from the very humanity of the people and a practical problem taken up for solution. 

The American people have no choice but to be political. The U.S. military aims to preposition its forces so that it has the capacity to rapidly intervene in literally every corner of the globe. In Japan and South Korea, such “forward deployment” of troops has for decades been a key to projecting “superpower” influence. Especially today when the Asian market is undergoing tremendous growth, and U.S. multinationals are desperate to maximize their trade and investment “freedoms” in the region.

The struggle is not about the American military having the so-called “right” to gratitude for its presence in Japan. It is about the rights of the Japanese people. 

The Workers Party supports the demand of the Japanese people for all American bases to be closed there. This demand also coincides with a Democratic Foreign Policy which puts an end to all U.S. interference and aggression against other countries, withdraws all U.S. troops stationed abroad, ends U.S. participation in aggressive military alliances and which recognizes the sovereign equality of all nations. We call on all people of good will to join in supporting the demand for the closure of the bases.

Open Letter by the Families of Vulnerable Prisoners to the UN and Secretary General of NATO Concerning Appalling Treatment of Detainees

Following the American invasion of Afghanistan, the thousands of Afghans imprisoned by foreigners and their internal supporters – on grounds of suspicion or due to accusations of their father, brother, friend or some other relative being a Mujahid – have had none of their rights given to them and their human dignity has repeatedly been violated.

Torture of detainees, inhumane treatment and killings under suspicious circumstances have been taking place since the onset of the invasion, documented reports about which have been published by international organizations at various intervals over the past one and a half decade. The shocking treatment of prisoners by the vicious Kabul regime and the US has only intensified while the silence and indifference displayed by the international humanitarian organizations and responsible entities towards these actions are encouraging the perpetrators of torture and their horrific treatment of prisoners has reached its climax under an organized program.

Since respect for human dignity and upholding rights of the vulnerable is a universally accepted value that must not be sacrificed for political gambit or due to war conditions, therefore we remind the United Nations and General Secretary of NATO to prevent the atrocious illegal actions of the Kabul administration towards prisoners and to not remain apathetic. At this very moment hundreds of individuals are being held behind bars whose terms of sentence have either expired or who are not supposed to be imprisoned in the first place such as the elderly and people with terminal illnesses. Moreover many cruel commanders appointed by the Kabul administration throughout the country operate secret cells where they imprison both students of modern and religious sciences, laborers, skilled workers as well as businessmen. They are later either freed in return for large sums of cash or killed under suspicious circumstances with the bodies of most displaying clear signs of torture. We have documented evidence about kidnapping, murder, torture, operation of black prison sites and even detainees forced out of prisons and killed at the hands of the Kabul administration and US special operating forces, actions which are remarkably similar to those of the Nazi Germans. Some of these episodes have also been documented by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as local and international humanitarian organizations.

The families of detainees – as the inheritors of this nation’s vulnerable prisoners – want humane treatment for their relatives in light of Islamic and humanitarian principles and strongly demand compliance of all their due rights.

Such horrific behavior of the Kabul administration towards defenseless prisoners will never be acceptable for us. We consider it a black mark on the forehead of humanitarian community as all humanity bear witness to such barbaric treatment of a destitute group of people, as their human dignity is toyed with and the international humanitarian organizations feel no sense of responsibility.

The United Nations specifically UNAMA and NATO – who have created this administration, supported it politically and militarily and have backed and administered it – bear full responsibility for this tyranny of the Kabul administration and this issue is their humanitarian responsibility. They must give clarity in this regard and break their silence about the ongoing inhumane and illegal treatment of prisoners. Humanitarian law must not become victim of politics and neither must anyone be afforded an opportunity to step on human rights and humanitarian principles for political and personal gain.

The Kabul administration thinks it can weaken the ongoing resistance and struggle for independence of the Afghan nation through such savagery but if the past one and a half decade have proven anything it is that this nation will not abandon their just claim due to force and terror. If the Afghan nation could have ever yielded to terror then they would have done so in the face of barbarity and oppression of the communists. And this reality must also be realized by the Kabul administration and its foreign backers who still envision victory through the use of force and torture.

From the families of the vulnerable prisoners of Afghanistan

October Socialist Revolution:

Creating the Subjective Conditions for Revolution Is the Task of the Times

In our 2/5/16 issue we discussed the objective conditions which led to the October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917.

The October Revolution broke out when capitalism had reached the stage of monopoly capitalism and imperialism, bringing the contradictions inherent in capitalism to the bursting point. In particular, the rise of monopoly capitalism intensified 1) the contradiction between the socialized character of the productive forces and the system of private capitalist appropriation, which can only be resolved through the proletarian, socialist revolution. 2) the contradiction between imperialist states and the oppressed nations and peoples, which gives rise to national liberation movements against imperialism and 3) the contradictions between rival monopoly groups and capitalist states, which inexorably lead to imperialist wars for the division and redivision of the world.

It is precisely because these three fundamental contradictions not only continue to exist and develop but can only be resolved through the revolution and socialism, that the October Socialist Revolution marked the great watershed in human history, the beginning of the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism on a world scale. The whole history of this century is the history of one attempt after another by the working class and oppressed peoples to storm the citadels of capital and establish the new socialist system. Despite all the various twists and turns in world history, the ebbs and flow of the revolution, the basic contradictions which gave rise to the October Revolution are even sharper today. Humankind faces only two perspectives: either the perpetuation of the moribund, rotting capitalist system which in its inevitable decay and decline is imposing continuous wars, massive economic dislocations, exploitation and misery on a world scale, or the successful construction of socialism which alone can open the path for progress, enlightenment and the emancipation of the peoples. In the U.S. and on a worldscale, the objective conditions are rotten ripe for the revolution and socialism. This remains the practical problem which is taken up for solution – the objective task which the working class, the oppressed people and all who stand for progress must face up to.

But while objective conditions demand fundamental change and the peoples have repeatedly risen in the attempt to win their emancipation, the October Revolution, as well as the experience of all the successes and failures of the revolution, teaches that victory can only be won when the workers and people have created the necessary subjective conditions. Only through its own self-conscious movement and organization, can the working class constitute itself as the leading force in society, win the battle for political power and carry through the necessary social transformations.

The lessons of the October Revolution as well as the demands of the contemporary class struggle show that in order to create the subjective conditions necessary for the victory of the revolution and socialism, the U.S. working class must, amongst other things: 1) build and continually strengthen its own Marxist-Leninist Party, a party linked to the working class with every fiber of its being, a party capable of leading the workers on the path of political independence and winning the struggle for political power. 2) place itself in the forefront of the struggle against the anti-social agenda and mobilize the whole people around a positive, forward-looking program which opens the path for progress; 3) strengthen its unity through an unremitting struggle against liberalism, social-democracy and all forces undermining the class independence and revolutionary mission of the working class.

1. Only the workers own independent political party, a party based on contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory, can inspire and mobilize the whole class to carry through its revolutionary mission to overthrow capitalism and build the new socialist society without the exploitation of human beings. Contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory shows, in the first place, the decisive role of the working class as the grave-digger of capitalism and the builder of the new socialist society. The working class is not only the productive class – the class whose labor produces all the material blessings – but in its very conditions of existence, the working class represents the advanced, socialized productive forces of society and the new relations amongst human beings which will be created under socialism. The working class deprived of all private property in the means of production can only emancipate itself by eliminating all forms of exploitation and oppression of the people. Only socialism can create the conditions for the renewed advance and all-around progress of human society. With tremendous productive forces at the disposal of humankind, we are ready to enter a period in which economic necessities no longer dominate human activities, an era characterized by the all-around development of the humanity of every individual and society as a whole. It is precisely the capitalist system, based on private ownership of the socialized means of production and the political rule of a few, which is blocking this development and it is precisely the working class, which has no stake in the present system, which must lead the way in ushering in the new society. Only by explaining and popularizing, far and wide, the class aims of the workers and by organizing on this basis, can the Party organize the working class as a class for itself.

On the basis of the revolutionary mission of the working class, contemporary Marxist-Leninist theory works out the immediate and long-range program which enables the workers to come into the political arena as a class for itself and contend with the monopoly capitalists over the fundamental direction of society. The Workers Party has worked out the general program of economic rights, democratic renewal, a democratic foreign policy and socialism. This program corresponds with the contemporary stage of social development and the burning concerns of the masses and shows the workers how to fight in the political arena under the present conditions.

Through one political battle after another, the Party not only advances the interests of the working class and people in opposition to the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital but assists the workers in accumulating experience and organizing themselves. The goal of the workers’ independent political movement is to thoroughly defeat and uproot the state power of the capitalist class and create a new political power which empowers the workers and people as the real, sovereign decision-makers. Gaining the political power is the decisive step in empowering the workers to carry through the socialist transformation of society.

In order to place itself at the head of the whole class and lead it in the struggle for political power, the party of the working class must be linked with the workers with every fiber of its being. The workers’ struggle against the bourgeoisie is all-sided and the workers create many kinds of organizations and initiate many movements to advance their immediate and long-term interests, including trade unions, cultural groups, community organizations, etc. In addition to digging in in definite areas and leading the class struggle there on an all-sided basis, the Party works to provide militancy and organization to all the manifold organizations and struggles of the people. This work is necessary to oppose the splitting and liquidationist pressure exerted by the capitalists against the movement. At the same time, the Party also works to develop an ever-more organized and conscious section of the workers which shoulders responsibility for the immediate struggle and also informs these movements with consciousness of the general aims of the workers’ movement.

2. The working class must take the lead in mobilizing the whole people against the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital and in putting forward real solutions to the pressing problems facing our country.

Today the whole people face the necessity to mobilize themselves in opposition to the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital. In these conditions, the working class must offer a concrete alternative.

The struggle for socialism is not merely a propaganda battle through which the workers counterpose their vision of socialism to capitalism. Far from it. The struggle for socialism unfolds through a continuous battle between the working class, led by its political party, and the capitalist class, over the burning problems of the day. The workers must contend with the bourgeoisie over the fundamental direction of society in order to come to the fore as the leading force in society and rally the whole people around a program which opens the path for progress. In fact, it is only through such concrete political battles that the workers give definition and content to the concrete social, economic, political and other problems which must be solved by the proletarian revolution and socialism.

Today the whole people face the necessity to mobilize themselves in opposition to the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital. On every front, capitalism, in all-sided crisis and decay, is pushing our country backwards.

In these conditions, the working class and the Workers Party must not only unite the broadest sections of people in struggle against the anti-social agenda but offer a concrete alternative. The program of economic rights, democratic renewal and a democratic foreign policy aims both at maximizing the opposition to the offensive of big capital and at mobilizing people to fight for a pro-social agenda which can lead our country back onto the high road of civilization and progress.

The program of economic rights at once asserts the claims that all human beings have on society and constitutes a direct challenge to the prerogatives of private property in the means of production. The program of economic rights asserts that every human being, simply by virtue of his/her humanity, has the inalienable right to a job or a livelihood commensurate with society’s degree of development, that everyone has a right to free, comprehensive health care, to the best education and so forth. This program which includes such immediate demands as “Stop Paying the Rich” and “Increase Social Investments” puts the workers in the center of political developments with a real alternative to the capitalist offensive.

The program of democratic renewal gives content and direction to the widespread disillusionment of the people with the political process and political system, showing the workers and people how to truly humanize society by empowering the people themselves as the decision-makers and the real sovereign power over their own affairs. The program of democratic renewal aims at breaking the monopoly of the Democrats and Republicans. It includes such demands as the demand that every member of society enjoy, in practice, equal rights to nominate candidates and run for office, that mechanisms be created which guarantee the people a direct role in government and the ability to hold elected officials accountable and subordinate to the electorate. The program of democratic renewal includes the struggle for minority rights and demands equal social, political and economic rights for all human beings.

The program for a democratic foreign policy goes directly against the militarism and interventionist program of monopoly capital and aims at bringing into being that world of peace and friendship amongst which the peoples have always aspired to and fought for. The program for a democratic foreign policy demands an end to imperialist aggression and intervention, an end to Big Power military blocks. It demands a world system based on the sovereign equality of all nations and peoples and the right of every people to develop their economic, political and social life in accord with their own sovereign decisions.