The Spark

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

Editorial:
Why Put Our Hopes in the Elections?

Jun 18, 2012

Obama and Romney claim they represent very different economic policies.

Yet, since Obama took office, both the Democrats and Republicans have worked closely together to funnel trillions of dollars to the banks, big companies and the wealthy through bailouts, fat contracts and enormous subsidies. Together, both parties extended the Bush tax cuts to enrich the wealthy and big business by hundreds of billions every year.

To pay for this, the Republicans and Democrats slashed domestic spending for the working population and the poor. They slashed social programs, such as health care, housing, aid to the unemployed, the poor and disabled. They also cut vital services for the working population, including fire, emergency services, public transportation, roads, bridges, education. These cuts have been felt in every city and town, feeding growing unemployment and poverty.

Sure, Obama and Romney sound different. Romney openly defends big business running rough shod over the workforce, environment and community. Obama is quieter about it. But he still appoints corporate flunkies to run government agencies to do the same thing.

No matter which party wins the election in November, big companies and the wealthy will be the real winners – just like they have been in past elections.

Confronted by two big parties that are completely tied to the capitalist class, workers have no reason to put their hopes in the elections. But workers could weigh on the political situation by beginning to fight to defend jobs, pay, schools and public services.

Not having carried out big fights for decades, workers can feel atomized and powerless. But that can change fast. One group of workers who are determined can start a fight that spreads rapidly. Today’s demoralization can turn into tomorrow’s social explosion.

But these fights will go nowhere if workers don’t build their own party, a revolutionary workers party, representing workers’ interests against those of the capitalist class and its two big political parties. A revolutionary workers’ party would not only expose the lies spouted by the Republicans and Democrats in the elections, it could serve to unify workers throughout the country, transforming their fights into a class-wide struggle.

The working class could take the power away from the capitalists altogether. Working people have the numbers, making up the bulk of the population in the big cities and surrounding suburbs. And we have the potential to organize the economy. Since workers already make the society run, we should also be able to run the society. Workers can transform a society based on profit for a few, with its growing impoverishment, crises and wars, into a society based on the collective interests of the vast majority of the population. The great wealth created by the working class could finally be used to satisfy the needs of the entire population.