The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
For Working Class Politics

Oct 31, 2016

For 95 years, almost a century, the working class has not had its own political party. And we have all paid a price.

Of course, if working people had found the way to build a party, this doesn’t mean we would necessarily find ourselves running the country today. Nor does it even mean we could have prevented many of the attacks launched against us. You can’t rewrite history – just to make it go where you want it to go.

Nothing is guaranteed to us. But a party could let us begin to act as a single class – a class that understands it has interests and aims in common, different than what motivates the capitalist class, which runs society today. A working class party could open an arena in which we could talk to each other, come to understand each other, learn to solve problems together, test out our forces, overcome some of our divisions, discover how much more we could do when we are organized together. A party could let us become a force.

Eighty years ago, workers in this country began to do that. When they worked to organize the unions, they had to fight, and they had to do it collectively, depending on each other, bringing their forces together. Or they never could have built a single union.

Those fights only went so far – far enough to get us some unions, far enough so workers could contest the rule of the capitalists inside many of the workplaces.

But the working class never organized politically, never contested with the capitalist class over who would run the whole society.

This is still what the working class has to do: contest over who will run society, which class will set the aims and the goals for how all of us will be able to live.

We know what the capitalist class wants to do: its goal is to make as much profit as possible, and it aims to do that using whatever means will let it put its foul hands on more profit, human beings be damned.

The goal of the working class is different: our goal is the full flowering of every member of every generation. Our aim is to let everyone work, let everyone contribute to society – use the wealth that is produced to let everyone enjoy leisure, feed their curiosity and their own creativity.

So what does all this mean, in this election year, a “political year”?

We don’t have to turn our backs on the elections just because the capitalist class dominates the two big parties. We have to find a way to express through the elections, not only that we are fed up, but that we want to see the working class lead society. That means to look for candidates who declare they want the working class to organize politically.

Forget this poisonous idea fed to us almost from the cradle to the grave that we are throwing our vote away if we don’t vote for a party that can win. We will throw our vote away – once again – if we vote either Democrat or Republican.

Vote working class where we can. In Michigan, vote Working Class Party; in Maryland, vote for working class candidates; in New Jersey and Utah vote either Socialist Workers Party or Workers World Party; in Louisiana, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee or Washington, vote Socialist Workers Party; in Wisconsin, vote Workers World Party.

Few if any of these candidates will win – but a vote for them is NOT throwing your vote away. It’s the only useful vote. It’s a way to say what you know to be true: that the working class has to organize politically. It’s a way to show that a part of the working class is conscious of the power we could have if we organize together politically as one class.

Maybe today, only some thousands will express that idea, but those thousands can be the spark that sets our world afire tomorrow.