The Spark

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

Editorial:
Workers Can’t Afford to Wait

Apr 29, 2019

Last week Joe Biden announced that he is running for president. That makes 20 candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, a couple of candidates are challenging Trump for the nomination.

Who will win their party’s nomination? Who will win the election? Between now and November 2020, that is practically all the news media is going to talk about. For the next 19 months – or about 560 days – it will be all working people will hear. We will be bombarded with news about this or that politician, Republican or Democrat, over and over again.

And for what? So that working people wait for months and years to elect a politician who has little real power.

The real power is not in the hands of the elected officials. It is in the hands of the capitalist class. They own the big companies, the banks, military contractors, oil companies, pharmaceuticals, auto companies. They pocket those companies’ profits.

The capitalist class is connected in countless ways to the permanent, unelected officialdom, who run the military, law enforcement, the courts and all of the big government departments and bureaucracies.

So, while the politicians grab the headlines, make speeches and pass laws, the permanent government structure quietly puts forward and implements policies on a daily basis. That structure, made up of millions of soldiers, cops, agents and bureaucrats, has the power, and imposes the interests of the U.S. capitalist class, by waging wars all over the world, for example.

As for the Republican or Democratic Party politicians, their real job is to take workers’ hard-earned tax money and hand it over to the capitalist class, whether through tax breaks, or by handing out big contracts to companies, with enormous profits built in.

It’s all paid for by the working class – that is, by us.

That’s why politicians say there is no money for the things that workers need, starting with the things vital for our survival. It is why the politicians constantly cut funding for schools and health care. It is why they cut funding for infrastructure that we all depend on and is falling apart, including roads, parks and public transportation. It is why the politicians constantly cut public sector jobs, while slashing what they pay the workforce by contracting out more work to low wage companies, while using more temps and part-timers.

Given all these attacks, the politicians try to divide workers against each other, by fomenting racism against black workers and immigrant workers. And they constantly cut women workers’ rights to control their own bodies and get the health care they need.

No, working people cannot afford to play the capitalists’ waiting game. The longer we wait, the greater the toll the capitalists take on us, the more misery and despair spread and the more people die.

All working people deserve a decent standard of living and all the things that come with it. The money and wealth are there. The workers created it. But it’s in the hands of the capitalists and they aren’t giving it back.

The only way we can get it is to organize our power. Workers can build their own party, a working class party. A working class party can run workers’ own candidates in elections in order to expose the politicians’ lies. It can be used to organize workers’ fights and overcome the divisions that the capitalists and their politicians impose to weaken our solidarity.