The Worker (Update), September 16, 2014
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625
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Today, large numbers of people have turned off and tuned out the elections. But the fact that people have contempt for the capitalist politicians and the phony elections does not mean that people are “tuned out” to genuine politics. On the contrary. The very acts of boycotting and denouncing the capitalist elections are political statements.
While people are rejecting capitalist politics, they remain more concerned than ever about the problems facing them and about finding solutions to these problems.
Such solutions – solutions to the problems of poverty, economic insecurity and exploitation, to the problems of militarism and war, to racism and national oppression, to the denial of rights and the exclusion of people from the political process – can only be brought about through the development of the independent politics of the working class.
The Workers Party unites and mobilizes people on the basis of the program of economic rights, democratic renewal, a democratic foreign policy and socialism. Our experience is that by popularizing this independent program as widely as possible and by persisting, on a daily basis, in developing this politics amongst the people, we break the stranglehold of capitalist politics and help people come into active political life on the basis of their own aims and agenda.
We say that the way to see the revolutionary aspirations and drive of the people is to go amongst them with genuinely independent politics. Only such a politics can interest and mobilize the people.
Why U.S. Imperialism Wants War
On September 10, President Obama spoke about U.S. “counter-terrorism” strategy. Despite claiming that U.S. missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere have been successful, Obama warned of a growing threat to U.S. interests coming from peoples in the Middle East and North Africa. According to Obama, when U.S. intelligence projects a potential threat from a country then the U.S. will launch preemptive attacks.
For the time being, in Obama's view, “ISIL” is the biggest threat to the world. Accordingly, “terrorists” in Iraq have been christened “ISIL” and given a broad platform by the monopoly controlled media which has already invested millions of dollars in publishing first-hand video footage and interviews with the leaders of the movement. Tomorrow, other countries will invent their own acronyms and justify their own preemptive strikes against countries who threaten their “interests.”
In reality, then, it is the extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism that is the biggest hazard to the world today. It is a menace to all of humanity. The Obama administration – in defiance of all of international law – long ago committed to the “pre-emptive” military doctrine even while demanding that every country actively join with the U.S. or be “treated as terrorist.” U.S. officials have repeatedly admitted that this aggression will not end.
Gaining a perspective on the extent and causes of this war program is one of the decisive practical tasks facing the maturing anti-war movement. Only a clear-cut perspective and scientific theory will empower the people to work out the political strategy and tactics for eliminating the war danger.
In fact, one of the ways in which liberalism and opportunism try to suppress the anti-war struggle is by thwarting genuine political discussion and imposing their subjectivist ideologies on the movement. For example, the war danger is said to arise only from some “hawkish” imperialists who might be opposed by some capitalist “doves.” This “theory” tries to cover over the cause of war in the capitalist-imperialist system. War and militarism are inseparable parts of the imperialist system. It is this system which must be fought against.
The U.S. government's war program – this bipartisan program of Republican and Democratic parties – is a product of the crisis and decay of the capitalist-imperialist system in the U.S. and the world.
Capitalist-imperialism is a human-devouring system. The very social existence of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class is based not only on the exploitation of the American working class but also the superexploitation and enslavement of peoples all over the world.
In relentless, insatiable pursuit of markets, sources of raw materials, economic territory, etc., U.S. capitalism seeks to penetrate every corner of the globe and remove every roadblock or competitor which prevents it from maximizing profit. This social system is a system of exploitation, of colonial domination and subordination of one state to another. As such it can only be built on military force and maintained through war.
What is more, for a number of years, the worldwide system of capitalism has been in a general crisis, a crisis which is the inevitable result of the basic law of monopoly capitalism – the pursuit of maximum profit which requires continually expanding markets.
The need of capitalism to “expand or perish” brings to the bursting point all the basic contradictions of the system. In particular, it sharpens the contradictions 1) within the U.S., between the masses of people on the one hand, and the monopolies on the other; 2) between U.S. imperialism and the colonial peoples; and 3) between the imperialist powers and capitalist states themselves.
For many years, the U.S. monopolies have sought to escape the crisis and “overcome” these contradictions by shifting the burden onto others.
With the collapse of the Soviet empire, U.S. imperialism declared a “new world order” with itself as the “sole superpower.” But to continue and expand this “new world order” it has had to rely on military force.
In other words, U.S. imperialism wants and needs war in order to prevent loss of its profits and empire.
It wants war to redraw the map of the world and grab new markets, sources of raw materials, spheres of economic dominance.
It wants war to reimpose the colonial system and direct U.S. military rule.
It wants war to bring the weaker capitalist states and other imperialist rivals under its thumb.
It wants war to further militarize the U.S. and put the whole of our country's economy at its disposal.
In sum, the “war against terrorism” is U.S. imperialism's blueprint for world domination through force of arms. An objective analysis of the features and causes of this war program confronts the people with 1) the urgent need to continuously mobilize the widest possible sections of the people into struggle and 2) to organize the independent movement of the people in opposition to and struggle against the parties of war and imperialism.
Only the peoples can stop the war program of U.S. imperialism. We Must Do So!
The Need to Create a New Political Culture and Political Unity Amongst the American People
The thoroughly anti-social agenda being imposed on our country by the monopoly capitalist class confronts the working class and people with a serious challenge. At stake are not only such vital, immediate issues as whether social programs and social services will continue to be cut back and privatized, whether the capitalists will succeed in imposing new and more intense forms of exploitation on the working class, and so forth. At stake is the future of our country and the kind of society Americans will experience from this point on. At stake is whether monopoly capital will throw society backwards hundreds of years or whether the working class and people will again put our country on the path of renewal and progress. At stake is what is going to happen to our humanity.
Neither the Workers Party nor anyone else has to invent opposition to the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital. The issue is to give a conscious political expression to the opposition that already exists on a widescale and especially to bring to the fore a positive, pro-social agenda which can put the initiative into the hands of the people and open the path for the renewal and progress of our country.
Such a pro-social agenda cannot have any sectarian aims but must unite the overwhelming majority of the people, giving expression to their common demands and agenda. The very objective conditions facing the people as well as the demands of social development provide the basis for the unity of the American people. But as long as our country remains split into antagonistic social classes, and monopoly capital continues to lord it over the people, the unity of the American people can only develop through political struggle against the capitalists and their state power. It is only through this political struggle that the people can realize their profound aspirations to bring into being that new society which creates the conditions for the blossoming of both the collective and individual human personality.
Thus hard work and a real fight is needed to not only work out such a pro-social agenda but especially to make it the agenda of the country. For decades, monopoly capital has worked to marginalize the working class and exclude any pro-social agenda from the political life of the country. In fact, time and again, the workers and people have seen their unity undermined and their struggles liquidated by various political forces which have subordinated the aims and agenda of the people to the aims of the capitalists and betrayed the popular movement. Changing this situation requires consistent, repeated and principled actions to bring the pro-social agenda to center stage, to develop new space in which workers and people can mobilize and empower themselves and step by step change the balance of forces in favor of the people. Progressive activists must really grasp the tremendous responsibilities and possibilities which exist today to create a new political unity. Repeated efforts must be made to break the marginalization of the working class and progressive politics and bring the agenda for genuine social change to the forefront.
The Need for Discussion
Part and parcel of developing this new political unity, of ending the marginalization of the working class, is creating a new political culture – creating the conditions and forms of organization through which people can discuss the situation, begin from their own aims and agenda and work out the strategy and tactics for advancing their struggle.
A key part of the political marginalization of the people is the political obscurantism of the bourgeoisie. The people and their interests and struggles are completely excluded from the political discussion. A pre-set agenda, based solely on the needs of big capital, is rammed down the peoples throat, a continuous campaign of disinformation is waged not only to create hysteria and impose the capitalist agenda but also to defame and exclude the voice of progressive public opinion.
Every day people in all walks of life criticize and denounce the depraved ideology and political culture of the bourgeoisie. But still, too often, progressive-minded people do not take seriously enough the extent of the terrorism of bourgeois ideology. That is they do not fully see the need to consciously and systematically go against it, in order to strengthen the progressive thinking and activity of the people.
Of course, the people discuss their own aims and agenda everyday. But the deafening propaganda of the bourgeoisie seeks to drown out the people's voice, so that we often do not even hear ourselves. Simply developing discussion which respects people's ideas and enables them to express their aspirations is an important contribution to creating a new political culture which empowers people to think and act. In the course of such discussion, it is also necessary to provide information, look into the root causes of social problems without preconceived notions and put forward solutions which transcend the limits of bourgeois politics. The issue in the discussion is neither to argue for sectarian views nor to be afraid to disagree with various ideas; the issue is to create an atmosphere and forms of organization in which people can sort out the way to strengthen their political unity and bring their political agenda to the forefront of the life of the country.