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
Jun 6, 2022
What follows is the editorial that appeared on the front of all SPARK’s workplace newsletters, during the week of May 30, 2022.
The massacre of 19 young children and 2 teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas was horrifying.
An 18-year-old man used a military style semi-automatic weapon to shoot down 8-year-old and 10-year-old children. This slaughter was only the latest of many school shootings, on top of all the other mass murders, in this country.
After this latest school shooting, students at a number of schools around the country angrily protested and walked out of school, calling for more safety. But those supposedly in charge of the society, the politicians, had nothing new to say. Just as they have done following other mass shootings, the politicians from both parties had their usual debate about how to stop them.
One side says the answer is to have everyone armed to protect themselves. The other side says the answer is to limit access to these military-style assault weapons. They all go on TV to say how concerned they are. But none of the politicians had any real solutions to offer because none of them are addressing the real problems that lead to mass murders.
These problems are deeply ingrained in our society. Something is deeply wrong when we see 18-year-olds murdering 8-year-olds. All the pressures of living in this society are causing people to blow up. In just 18 years of life, this young man in Texas became deformed enough to snap and murder children. Just like the 18-year-old in Buffalo, who had absorbed enough racism to murder 10 black people in a supermarket.
True, most people don’t lose all their humanity to the point of committing mass murder. But the pressures of this society are leading to more and more violence. We see it every day. People are shooting and attacking people, most of the time people they know—in the streets and in their homes. We saw what happened during the Covid pandemic when people were locked in their homes. There was a big increase in spousal abuse and child abuse, much of it unreported.
This society provides no help for those people most at risk of snapping. The mental health system in this society is virtually non-existent. Everyone knows that. But the people running this system, and the politicians who work for them, do nothing about it because the lack of mental health care is just part of a much bigger problem that they themselves are responsible for—the absence of a good public health care system. They are not putting money into public health care. In fact, they are taking money away from public health care in order to pump up the profits of the banks and the corporations.
This capitalist system always puts profits before human need. That drive for profit is what puts the pressure on every working person and their families. That drive for profit means that there are never enough jobs for everyone. Our wages are never enough for everyone to have a decent standard of living. The capitalists increase their profits by raising prices and the pressure increases on us as we fall farther behind every day. The drive for profit means that public money is taken away from our schools and the roads and given to the wealthy, who don’t need it, or used to fight wars around the world. The pressures of this society are pushing down on every working person, every single day.
The pressure, and the problems we face, are not going away until the working class finds the way to fight this pressure, by fighting for what it needs. The working class has the forces and has the power to fight for a decent life for everyone.
Maybe people think that such a big fight is not possible because most of us haven’t seen it. But history has shown us that one group of workers can start a fight that spreads and leads to a much bigger fight. It has happened over and over again. When the working class fights as a whole class, we can make a fight that can even change the whole system and build a new society—a society where people aren’t living under all these pressures, a society where 18-year-olds aren’t killing 8-year-olds.