The Spark

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

The high cost of winter in capitalist society

Feb 19, 2007

Interstate highway I-78 in Pennsylvania was a fifty-mile disaster as the snow storms hit on February 14th. The highway was clogged with cars and trucks unable to move for more than 24 hours. It took the state of Pennsylvania an entire day to decide to close off the entrances so that no more cars or trucks could enter the unmoving mess. The National Guard had to be called out to get food and fuel to desperate motorists. “How could you operate a state like this? It’s totally disgusting,” said one man who was trapped for 20 hours.

In several states, thousands of people were left without gas or electricity. The power companies whine for more money as they take our payments every month. The one thing they don’t do is maintain and upgrade the equipment that delivers the power we all need to live. The snow will long have melted before most of us finish paying off the outrageous gas and electric bills we get.

For most of us in the snow belt, the difficulties were caused not by the snow, but by the decisions made in corporate and government headquarters. And those decisions are NOT made to provide for what the public needs.

The only justification for government is to provide the protection society needs, which individuals cannot do by themselves, and to make sure that the actions of private interests are not harmful to the population.

These snowstorms showed exactly the same thing that Hurricane Katrina did. Government doesn’t function in our interest. There is no justification for this government that today works in the interests of a small wealthy minority, at the expense of the rest of society.

Working people have every reason to get rid of it and to establish their own government, which they would control.