Road of the Party

Creating a New Political Unity

September 18, 2019

In the U.S. for several generations, an important thing which has been advancing successfully is the recognition of the necessity for a greater portion of the new values created in the country to go to the workers as a class, whose labor creates all the material blessings.

In the face of the anti-social offensive of the bourgeoisie the workers have been coming out in struggle after struggle, on both the economic and political fronts, to demand greater investments in social programs in the name of preventing any reduction in the proletariat’s share of the national income, i.e. the aggregate social product and aggregate wealth produced in the country in a definite period of time.

Such achievements as the establishment of social security, a nation-wide system of public education, prohibitions establishing the 8-hour day, trade union rights, unemployment compensation, medicare and medicaid, and public housing, etc., all represent victories for the political economy of the working class. These victories serve to make continual inroads to lessen the burden experienced by the workers as a result of the anarchy and disintegration of present-day capitalism.

Through these and other victories, the workers forced the social system and government to recognize that everyone was entitled to at least a minimal standard of existence. These victories have nothing in common with the growth of state-monopoly property – property belonging to the capitalist class as represented by the capitalist state which is used to take tax money to convert it into private capital. Rather, the achievements mentioned insisted on the creation and expansion of the public sector of the economy and helped to insure that at least a portion of the total social product was set aside and devoted to guaranteeing the economic needs of the people. They are part of the ongoing assertion by the workers and people that human beings are not mere beasts of burden to be exploited by the capitalists, but are entitled to be the creators and shapers of the human and social environment.

In asserting their rights the workers created barriers against their unbridled exploitation and created a floor which helped raise the general price of labor-power.

These struggles stand in sharp contrast to the political economy of state monopoly capitalism, or imperialism. State monopoly capitalism, which is the form of monopoly capitalism in the U.S., is a coalescence which essentially combines the power of the capitalist state with the power of the monopolies and banks which have emerged on the basis of a high level of concentration of capital and production.

One of the main features of state monopoly capitalism is decay which is manifested in, amongst other things, the incapacity of monopoly capital to use the available productive forces to provide jobs for millions of unemployed and load the productive facilities to full capacity. So too, this imperialist system expresses its class interests by the forcible destruction of the productive forces – through the wiping out of smaller capitalists by bigger capitalists and the “downsizing” of productive capacity.

In the stage of imperialism, the capitalist state regulates economic life in the country primarily for the purpose of boosting the earnings of big monopoly capital and ensuring it the best conditions for attaining monopoly-high profits. Imperialist, or state monopoly regulation is aimed first to bolster the positions of the monopolies on the national market and second, expand their influence in the world capitalist economy. The capitalist state works to ensure a guaranteed market for sales on terms advantageous to the monopolies.

So too, the award to private companies of contracts for the supply of goods and services is one of the most important instruments of state-monopoly regulation. Government expenditure on private contracts has, as a rule, increased steadily from year to year in the United States.

Apart from advantageous government contracts, the monopolies are given easy government credits, notably for the development of new products. Sizeable funds are spent from the state budget to finance basic and even many applied research projects in the high-tech, aerospace, nuclear and other industries. Government assistance rids the monopolies of the financial risks involved in the development of new lines of production, and this enables their owners to pocket the results of the research funded by the taxpayers’ money. State-monopoly regulation also exerts an active influence on the development of the infrastructure. This includes the productive infrastructure such as transport, transport construction, energy, communication, water supply, etc., and the social infrastructure such as veterans affairs infrastructure, academic institutions, medical services, entertainment and recreational facilities, etc. In the United States, the infrastructure is an object of especially active government regulation. For U.S. state-monopoly regulation has a direct effect on national economic development and on the amount of profit garnered by the monopolies on the national market. A part of the production infrastructure is owned by the state, while the other is maintained by constant government subsidies and subventions. The state takes over from the monopolies large and often unproductive expenditures in developing the infrastructure, thereby enabling them to invest their capital in the most profitable sectors of the economy at home and abroad.

Whether the issue is interest rates, militarization of the economy, or the struggle of the workers for job security, we see the government using its power to put our country’s entire economic life at the disposal of big business while suppressing the struggles of the workers and people.

This system of imperialism seeks to insure the domination over every pore and cell of the society by the big monopolies and the financial oligarchy, i.e. the banks, concerns, trusts and corporations which amass the bulk of the country’s wealth and dominate all its vital spheres.

In the U.S., it is well known that there is a “revolving door” through which representatives of big capital continually move back and forth between their corporate suites, the Pentagon, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, etc. Today more than 1/3 of our country’s economy is directly linked to the state; in addition to completely financing the specific alliance between the arms monopolies, military and state bureaucracy, the government strengthens the role of the entire monopoly capitalist class and ensures it the greatest possible profits by providing it with hundreds of billions in investment capital through infrastructure expenditures, “research and development grants,” etc.

The political climate in the U.S. is created by the monopoly capitalist class and its people in the state apparatus. Back in 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson said that the masters of the U.S. administration were the allied U.S. financiers and monopolists and that every page of Congressional documents and the history of White House conferences made it clear that the economic policy plans in the country sprang from one source, not from many. At that time, the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and financial oligarchy had already surfaced and imperialism had already emerged. Nothing has changed about that source other than the fact that it has contracted in size and concentrated an even greater lion’s share of the social wealth in its own hands.

Thus, American society is rent with acute social contradictions because the interests and aspirations of the class with political power and the various classes and social groups that are locked out and excluded from that decision-making power differ sharply from each other and are often antithetical.

The class antagonism between the capitalists and the workers is the main class antagonism of the capitalist society in the United States. Their interests are directly antithetical to each other which is why their relations tend to assume the form of sharp struggle. Thus, the monopoly capitalist class seeks by every means to put down any expression to the workers’ discontent. In addition to maintaining a blockade of silence and disinformation about the struggles of people, the capitalist state is used for calling in the police and the army and resorting to courts and prison cells for that purpose. While deadly violence is often enough resorted to, what is seen more often these days is dispersal of protest demonstrations, mass police violence, heavy fines and prison terms, black-listing and individual terrorism against working-class organizers.

So too, the class antagonisms are given sharp expression in the field of ideas. The think tanks and media outlets of the imperialist bourgeoisie try to conceal the class character of their ideas and to present them as supra-class and non-party. However ideas always reflect social relations between people and actively influence the evolution of social life. No “non-party” ideology exists in an objectively class-divided society.

In fact, the bourgeois ideology promoted today in the U.S. insists that anyone who doesn’t “make it” in this “best of all possible worlds” has only himself or herself to blame. Labels are used to dismiss the struggles of not only the working class as a whole or in one or more branches of the economy, but also various social groups such as the youth who are branded as “trouble-makers” and the poor who are branded as “lazy.”

This all-sided retrogression being imposed by state-monopoly capitalism on the whole of society must be opposed. The demand that every individual must fend for herself or himself is simultaneously the demand that only monopoly capital can make claims on society; it represents the attempt of the capitalist class and its government to deny any concept of social responsibility and to impose the social-Darwinist law of the jungle on society.

Today, in response to the necessities of the times, more and more people are coming forward to learn from the example of their own collective experience. From the very emergence of capitalism, the workers and people have fought against the political economy of capitalist exploitation which looks upon the workers only as a seller of the commodity labor-power and which is based on the morbid dream of eternally perpetuating the contradiction between social production and private capitalist appropriation of the products of labor. Amongst other things, the working class has organized itself into trade unions. An important lesson is that today the unions remain not only as centers of resistance to capitalist exploitation but also have potential as very important levers through which the workers can assert their leading transformational role.

So too, the working class has organized its own political party to lead the fight for the political power of the working class.

The workers must continue to demand greater social investments in the public sector of the economy which guarantees such rights as the right to Social Security, education, etc. So too, we must prepare for the inevitable sharpening of the economic problems as the capitalist offensive of downsizing and restructuring, wage cuts and concessions contracts, the bipartisan program of assaults on labor legislation, privatization and defunding of social programs are bound to continue intensifying.

Make no mistake – the positions of imperialism are being weakened. The objective conditions are rotten ripe for revolution. However, the subjective conditions necessary to consolidate the political independence and organization of the workers are lagging behind. To strengthen the authority of the working class and its vanguard role in the struggle for the working people’s class interests, its own aims and agenda must be elaborated and brought to center stage.