The Spark

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

Two Conventions, No Solutions

Sep 14, 2020

The following article was the editorial in SPARK workplace newsletters of August 31.

Set the scene. Golden haired princesses and princes and the queen speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House. A lawn party with “beautiful people” bowing before the One, wearing no masks!

Game of Thrones? No. The Trump show, Hollywood version of the Republican Convention.

Earlier nights, they did let some commoners speak, but only to praise Trump, covering up all the failures. Making the shit storm the rest of us are living through look like beautiful times in “our America.” The Vice Presidential jester actually had the audacity to say that Trump had handled the Coronavirus well, in past tense, as if it were over. And Trump didn’t even bother to put forward a platform for the party going into the future.

What kind of bull is this? Millions infected with the Coronavirus. Millions unemployed, millions in the middle of environmental disaster, flood and fire.

There is no religious explanation or solution for the virus. It is not God’s will, as the Trump crew would say. The virus may be a natural event, but the crises are human built, human driven. And it will take human intervention to turn it around.

The Democratic Convention spent most of its time squarely blaming Trump for the crises.

But that is only part of the truth. In the end, what is causing the crises is what the capitalists do to make profit, and what Democrats and Republicans both do to help that happen. The capitalists have gotten what they want, for all the decades that the two parties have been trading off the majority.

Environmental disasters, wars, unemployment, and the failure to implement national healthcare. Trump is not the primary reason the U.S. is higher in numbers of virus related deaths than all other developed nations. Unbridled capitalist greed is.

But both parties are responsible because both have governed over an imploding, and now, an exploding disaster of historical neglect.

Many workers who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, voted for Trump in 2016. They switched because they were fed up with “business as usual” with high unemployment and low wages.

What they’ve gotten since Trump took office is more business as usual, more high unemployment and still low wages. And Trump’s latent racism became overt.

Democrats, who pretend to oppose his racism, have long ignored the consequences of the racist way society is organized, including the laws they wrote that sent many more people to prison.

The divisions of workers into categories, into tiers of pay and higher and lower rates of unemployment has been accepted by political parties and trade unions alike. What they have done over the years encourages a politician like Trump to try to set one section of the working class against another.

How can we get past the divisions that are being continuously recreated?

We can fight for jobs for all, good jobs, good wages and good benefits. The restrictions imposed by the pandemic call for half occupancy, half openings. Companies could get closer to normal functioning by doubling their capacity, double building space, double employment.

Schools, factories, fields, office jobs, stores, hospitals, all need additional hands and lots of them to implement the protective measures needed. Millions of jobs that don’t require intensive training could be available today. Workers could be in training to learn how to do the rest.

What is in the way? Wasting our time waiting for politicians to sweep us up out of all of this. The fight for jobs can start now, here. It is a natural thing for workers to do. It is a survival tactic. Power in numbers exists in every workplace and neighborhood. Fighting hand in hand for equal jobs for all eliminates divisions and the racism we are encountering.

What are we waiting for?