The Spark

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

Boeing and the U.S. Government:
Partners in Crime

Jul 1, 2024

What follows is the editorial that appeared on the front of all SPARK’s workplace newsletters, during the week of June 23, 2024.

At a U.S. Senate hearing in mid-June, Boeing CEO David Calhoun personally apologized to relatives of the 346 people who died in two crashes of brand-new Boeing Max 737 jetliners five years before.

These planes were supposed to be the safest in the world. But the reality was the exact opposite. The planes were so shoddily built, their own safety systems forced them to slam nose first straight into the ground right after takeoff. And the fact that in January 2024 a door plug flew off of another brand-new Boeing Max jet proved that little had changed.

Of course, at the Senate hearing, the Republican and Democratic senators put on a show of pretending to be angry and shocked at Calhoun and the rest of Boeing management for their complete disregard for human life. Meanwhile, Calhoun went through the motions of repeatedly pretending that Boeing is focused on safety.

In fact, top Boeing management and U.S. politicians, top officials and regulators are partners in crime.

In the decades before the two Boeing plane crashes, Boeing management systematically got rid of experienced workers, inspectors, techs and engineers. Boeing further disorganized production by outsourcing as much work as it could.

In other words, Boeing carried out a class war against the very people who actually do the work and build the planes. And it did it for one simple reason: to increase its profits. Those profits were then recycled back into the pockets of its largest shareholders, that is, the capitalist class.

This class war against the very people who make the plane also undermined and sabotaged quality and safety. Or, as one senator put it: Boeing strip mined its own company for profit.

And anyone who dared to come forward, dared to question what was being done was moved, ostracized, fired. One important whistle blower was recently found dead the day before he was supposed to testify. The police called it a suicide. But who knows?

Over all this time, the government and its various regulators that are supposed to assure the safety of the planes, sat on their hands and did nothing. That is because regulators serve the same master as Boeing: the capitalist class. They are just there to reassure the public and help smooth the way for bigger corporate profits.

Over the last five years, Boeing promised to clean up its act, while the government promised to crack down on Boeing’s unsafe practices. All lies. Boeing and its contractors continue to build the plane as cheaply as possible. Recently, some whistle blowers have exposed how the company uses cheap counterfeit parts and falsifies paperwork. They document how Dawn dish soap is used as a lubricant and hotel key cards are used as measurement tools.

The problem isn’t just one company. It’s an entire system. Everything is sacrificed to serve the interests of a few billionaires and capitalists. The capitalist drive for profit destroys workers’ standard of living. It destroys the environment. And competition between different capitalist cliques leads to ever greater wars, wars that kill millions, wars that threaten humanity’s very existence.

Working people have no reason to accept the disastrous rule by a tiny minority of billionaires over society. Working people have every reason to end this madness. And the working class has the power to do it. After all, the working class does all the work and makes things run. Moreover, it is the working class that staffs the government and military. When workers organize together as a class, they can take the power away from the capitalist class and their government and run society collectively in the interests of all humanity.