The Spark

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

The Working Class Can Stop the Crisis

Oct 26, 2020

The news media has everyone focused on the elections. Will the new president be a Democrat or a Republican? With the election just days away, what miracle will happen after November 3rd passes? The answer is...none.

Will the virus go away? Will the economy be put right—back to a place where millions were unemployed and underemployed anyway as a daily fact of life? A life where only a small proportion of workers had the security of long term employment whereas the majority of workers scurry from job to job, holding one, two and three jobs in an effort to make ends meet?

This system, which just registered its highest number of new coronavirus cases in one day, after almost eight months of pandemic, has failed us. This system that has failed to deal with the most basic of human needs, the right to a healthy life, decent medical care, food and shelter—failed. And in spite of the hype, we have no reason to believe that those conditions will magically disappear after the election.

Why? Because no matter who is elected, the same capitalist class, the owners of the banks, military contractors, real estate developers, hedge fund managers, oil companies, insurance companies, hospitals and drug companies and on and on, will still be calling the shots. Both parties have already said that there will be no public health care for all, no Medicare for all. Biden said he supports the private plans. Trump supports health care with free helicopter transport—for himself!

The U.S. economy was hit badly by initial shutdowns due to their mishandling of COVID-19 beginning in spring. And what have they done to prepare for this even greater spread of illness now, eight months later?

Nothing. And while those in political power and their masters on Wall Street were concerned by the immediate financial impacts on their profits, they pretended that the economy would rebound after the initial shocks.

Well, now we know. The so-called temporary unemployment caused by the virus has deepened into permanent unemployment. Before the virus even peaked in October, millions more workers were finding themselves permanently without work. While the official stats keepers spend week after week explaining that unemployment is better, we are living the reality. We have regained not even half of the jobs lost in the beginning of the pandemic! There are twice as many new jobs lost as there are jobs opening up for those who have permanently lost old ones! How is that a recovery?

This devastating eight-month run of sickness, death and lost employment has been a disaster for the working class. The bailout of trillions went almost entirely to the capitalists. Did they use it to bolster the economy and jobs? No. They squirreled it away and funneled it to their stockholders. Do they care that small and medium businesses, neighborhood stores, start-ups are going under and taking workers and their neighborhoods with them? No!

The working class is hanging over the cliff, about to crash when the last of unemployment extensions and CARE legislation dries up. And what are they doing?

Trying to get elected. They are prepared to let the crisis run its course. After all, those that lose will return to their mansions, golf courses and country clubs. Most are millionaires, not just Republicans like Trump.

The virus epidemic, the unemployment—that is ours to worry about. A future? Something better? Neither Democrats nor Republicans are bringing it.

The working class has to get up, fight back, sick or not, and follow the leadership of its own class, behind a program to get rid of capitalism and build something new. The working class needs leaders who are workers, not politicians, not millionaires. People who know what it means to live the American nightmare that they call the American dream.

There are candidates in two states who represent the view that workers need their own party, the Working Class parties of Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland.

Of course, a vote for them won’t mean a change in our conditions. But it can send a message to other workers, that there are many already who are fed up, ready to fight, and no longer willing to put up with their bullshit.

When workers do get up and fight, they will build their own mass organizations, follow their own political programs. It has been done before. And we can do it again.