Help Build the Mass Workers' Press!
March 9, 2016
In our view, the day-to-day work of broadening and deepening the content of the mass workers' press and expanding its circulation is vital to creating the conditions for the rise of the mass independent working class and popular political movement.
Why do we say this?
When we analyze the real political situation in the U.S. today, we come up with one, irresistible, relentless conclusion. And that is that all the objective conditions demand fundamental social change, demand the transition from capitalism to socialism, but the subjective conditions are lagging behind.
What does this mean? It means that the economic, political, and social project of capitalism has long ago exhausted itself and today, rather than being able to provide a perspective, a future for our country, monopoly capitalism is imposing an extremely reactionary, anti-social agenda on the people.
What is the economic program of capitalism today? It is the program of criminalizing the poor and most vulnerable, insisting that their poverty and oppression are the “wages of sin.” It is the program of directly relying on the state to plunder our country of its natural assets. The capitalist economic program is a program of withdrawing social investments on every front, from health care to education to Social Security. It is a program of turning public resources and the social sectors of the economy over to the private capitalist exploiters. It is a program which declares that the people have no rights, and that the only aim of society and government is to insure the power and privilege of private property in the means of production.
For the workers, this means new and more intense forms of exploitation – the slashing of wages and benefits, the elimination of full-time jobs and the widespread use of part-time and/or temporary workers, the gutting of the few labor laws which provide certain minimum protections and standards for the workers, such as workers compensation, unemployment insurance, etc.
And what is politics of monopoly capitalism? Behind the public facade of diversion and spectacle, the real politics of monopoly capital is the politics of arbitrary rule . . .
Today, capitalist politics, because it represents outdated and backward social relations, has nowhere to go except to become more openly against the people. That is why the mass disgust with the Democrats and Republicans is growing and can only continue to grow.
But still we cannot really see the reactionary character of present-day capitalism until we look into what it is suppressing.
The Workers Party has long pointed out that today, all the conditions exist for bringing an end to the historical era in which human existence remains dominated by the struggle for economic survival. We have shown that all the conditions exist for humankind to take a huge leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom. Yet capitalism is preventing this revolution from taking place. In purely economic terms, the capitalist relations of private ownership of the means of production are holding back and suppressing the socialized productive forces, based on the cooperative labor of tens of millions of working people. But more than this, capitalism is suppressing the very social character of human existence.
And it is this which is demanding recognition. At its very foundation, today's society is based on collective efforts and collective life. Go to New York or Los Angeles and the people there do the same work, face the same problems and have the same aspirations for social change as we do. No matter how much propaganda the capitalists do, insisting that society is only a collection of individuals, no matter how much propaganda is done to claim that there is no such thing as human solidarity and collective aims, we can see that irresistibly the GM workers, the railroad workers, the U.S. West workers, etc., come out together in the struggle for their rights. And moreover, we can see that the whole working class and people support them because they face the same problems. Countless examples – from the women's movement, from the struggles of the oppressed nationalities, from the youth, can be given to show that nothing can prevent people from organizing themselves and coming out as collectives. What is more, the
entire experience of the Workers Party is that the deepest thing in the hearts of the people is the aspiration to live in a society which recognizes, in practice, the equality and rights of all human beings, and in which the people themselves are the sovereign creators and builders of society.
The future of our country lies with the political project that arises from the collective life of the people. So when we say that the subjective conditions are lagging behind, we are saying that the one and only task is to assist in developing the consciousness, organization and independent program of these collectives and of the people as a whole. In other words, the demand of social development is that the workers and people take the destiny of our country in their own hands. The need is to create a new political unity amongst the American people, a political unity based on a program of taking our country through the 21st century on the high road of progress, on the road of the emancipation of the people.
In the contemporary world, only a revolutionary politics – a politics which arises from the real interests of the working class and broad masses of people, a politics which unites and empowers people to fight for the profound economic and social transformations demanded by the very development of society – only such a politics can inspire and mobilize the people.
The mass workers' press has come into being and is developing precisely as part of the movement of the workers and people to create these subjective conditions, to organize themselves and come out as an independent force. Its task is to be a collective voice for the people, to unite the workers on the basis of their own class aims and agenda, and to mobilize the broadest sections around a pro-social agenda which opens the path for progress.
It is extremely important to grasp that the starting point of the workers' press is political; our press is not, as some people may think, simply an instrument for illumination or ideological discussion. Our press is a means for the political mobilization of the people, openly contending with the capitalists over the vital issues of the day, and showing people how to take an active role in the struggle for their interests.
Such a politics must be concrete. It is not enough to declare loyalty to socialism and to merely try to convert people to such a doctrine. A concrete politics is a politics which addresses the concerns of the masses and the demands of social development.
The Campaign for Economic Rights (CER) is such a politics, not only because the capitalists have thrown down the gauntlet and are slashing vital social investments, privatizing the social sectors of the economy and insisting that the workers have no rights except to be exploited by the capitalists, but also because social development has reached the point where human beings need no longer be enslaved by economic necessity – by a continuous battle to secure the minimums of existence.
The politics of democratic renewal is such a concrete politics not only because monopoly capital has completely excluded the people from participation in political life and there is mass disgust and alienation from the political process, but also because the whole course of history in the last few hundred years is the people coming into the political arena and asserting their role as decision-makers and creators of the society they live in.
The program for a democratic foreign policy is such a politics not only because U.S. imperialism, on the basis of the fascist logic that “Might Makes Right,” has declared itself the sole superpower and seeks to dictate the affairs of all the nations and people, but also because the profound democratic, anti-imperialist aspirations of the American people lead us to join the peoples everywhere in creating a world of peace and friendship.
Through the mass workers' press, our Party is continuously developing this concrete politics and contending with the capitalists over the fundamental issues facing our country. Whether the issue is militarism and war or monopoly capital's plan to privatize Social Security and further cut Medicare and Medicaid, or the growing strike movement, the workers and their party are not only mobilizing the opposition but politicizing people in the true sense – pointing to the commonality of their interests – and putting forward a program of solutions.
The decisive issue in building the mass workers' press is that its politics is based on fundamentals, on the general class interests of the workers. Again and again, we must bring to the forefront the problems which must be solved, and inspire the workers and people to organize themselves for solutions by coming into the political arena on the basis of their own aims and agenda. Fighting unswervingly and with limitless energy for this independent politics is the key to uniting the people and opening the path for the progress of our country. Diversions and fads come and go but reality – the need for fundamental social change, remains.