the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
May 23, 2022
What follows is the editorial that appeared on the front of all SPARK workplace newsletters during the week of May 16, 2022.
An 18-year-old man gunned down 13 people in a Buffalo supermarket. Ten people died at the scene.
Porting a military-style assault weapon, protected by military-style equipment, he methodically carried out a plan to take as many lives as he could. Black lives. Eleven of his 13 victims were black.
In his 180-page Internet manifesto, he wrote that he purposefully chose Buffalo because it has the highest percentage of black people near the small rural New York town where he lives.
A local news source called the killer’s manifesto “ugly and unhinged.”
But the problem is not simply one “unhinged” young white man, whose perception of the world is detached from reality.
His manifesto spouted a theory on which other killers based murderous rampages—the idea that “white, Christian people” are being “replaced by dark-skinned, mostly non-Christian hordes.” This “theory” motivated a white man who killed nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina; a white Christian who killed 11 Jewish people at a Pittsburgh synagogue; a white Christian who killed 51 Muslims at two mosques in New Zealand; a white man who killed 23 people, aiming at Mexican-Americans in an El Paso supermarket.
This “unhinged” theory certainly pervades parts of the Internet today. But the responsibility for such insanity does not rest with the Internet, even though it spreads crazy ideas rapidly.
“Unhinged” theories bloom there because big money is behind them. The same money is behind media giants like Fox News and Tucker Carlson, who proclaim this “unhinged” “replacement theory” as though it is truth. The same big money funds politicians who make a name for themselves by standing on the border with Mexico, pretending to stop “hordes” from “invading” the country. The same big money is behind white politicians who don’t want children to hear about what slavery did or the way it still has consequences today.
Big money is behind all these poisonous attitudes, and the violence they have produced.
Racism plays a big role in maintaining the grip of a wealthy capitalist class because it divides the working class—the only class which has the capacity to replace the capitalist class.
Since 2008, capitalism has given us two economic collapses, from which employment has still not recovered. Inflation is out of control because every company takes advantage of “shortages” to raise prices, and thus their profits. The pandemic has run out of control for over two years because public money that should have gone to public health went instead for tax breaks to the very wealthy. Subsidies for the corporations deprived school systems of the money needed to provide a safe and healthy situation in which children could learn. All of this was made worse because public money is directed into wars fought all over the globe—for the enormous profit of a large part of the American capitalist class.
This is the balance sheet of the capitalist system: greater wealth in the hands of the very rich, greater deprivation for the majority—and racist violence.
That majority, the working class, has every reason to rise up today. That is exactly why racism and all these “unhinged ideas” are stoked today: to divide the working class, to weaken it.
But the working class is still the large majority. Centered in the workplaces, it still can control the whole economy. Divided it may be, but all those separate parts have common interests, and they have a common enemy, the capitalist class. The situation will bring workers to fight alongside each other and thus transform the situation.
In fighting together, we will find the way to root out the racisms that deform our class today.