Inside: Our Children and the Future of Humanity
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” – Thomas Paine, 1776
Every society has always recognized that its well-being is ultimately tied to the well-being of its children. Yet, in
the world today children are the least considered, often the most exploited and the most ill-treated of all the world’s peoples.
Millions of people live on less than $2 a day. In April of this year, UNICEF issued its Report Card 11 on the well-being of children in 29 “rich nations”. The U.S., responsible for over 30% of the world’s GDP, ranked 26th, only ahead of Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. 22% of all American children live in poor families. More realistic estimations of what it takes a family of four to live in today’s economy put the percentage of American children in poverty at 45%.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that an average of 21% of U.S. households are what is now termed “food insecure”. This includes those who do not have access to nutritional meals, who cannot afford balanced meals and/or skip dinner so the children can eat. In 2011, Feeding America, a national network of food banks, found that 650,000 children in Los Angeles County alone were considered “food insecure”. The expected massive cuts to the food stamp program will only exacerbate this situation.
Without proper nutrition, children cannot learn or develop. Without decent jobs or a functioning economy, parents cannot buy the food their families need or provide them with housing, medical care or the environment to prepare them for their future as contributing adults.
We can see that at the heart of every struggle today lies the fate of our future generations and our vision of what kind of society can provide them with the wherewithal to live stable, cultured and meaningful lives. The article “Corporate Control Devastates Public Education” shows mass public education is no longer in the interests of the capitalist class. With automation the capitalist class needs only a narrow strata of highly educated workers, leaving the mass of workers to be forced out of work altogether or at best into contingent, part-time jobs or underemployment. Schools are being closed, programs cut and the next generation is being condemned to a life of poverty and no opportunity for learning. We will not be able to secure quality public schools in our communities without nationalizing them in the interests of our class, not in the interests of corporate privatization.
How could a government that lays claim to such a high moral heritage as ours – the “shining city of the hill”, the last refuge of the huddled masses – allow the mass impoverishment and ill-education of our future generations? Simple. The protection of corporate profit. And what makes this possible. A formula of rule that has existed in this country since slavery, and consolidated in the era of Jim Crow.
The article “Political Power in American and the Role of the South” shows how this formula arose and how it is operating today. Exploiting historical racial divisions in our country, both political parties rely on the Southern program in their own ways – slashing social programs, privatizing public services, eliminating regulation of the economy and the environment, cutting taxes for the rich and the corporations and increasing military spending in the drive for war and empire.
“The Rise of Fascism and Social Revolution in America” shows how entrenched this Southern program is, dictating the economic, political and social terrain of the country. Today fascism is consolidating as the merger of the corporations and the government. Its political face – open State terror – is spreading. Its social expression is seen in the growth of a rising fascist social movement that has its roots in the most racist, brutal and exploitive elements of American history. It only remains for some kind of crisis to erupt for the
American people to feel the hard edge of a full-blown fascist offensive.
One way or another, we all know this. But the question is – is there a way out of this mess? First of all, history is with us in a way unknown before. The article in English and Spanish “A New Vision of Work” shows work is changing and that instead of fighting to where things were, we can see that technological transformation offers the possibility of work that is meaningful, fulfilling and of real benefit to society as a whole.
The article “Human Nature and Communism” tackles the question of whether such a society is possible. It shows that we humans are both a product of the interrelation of our essential human qualities – our difference from other animals, our lifelong interest and commitment – our environment – community, cooperation and social organization – and the development of technology and tools at every stage of human history. It shows that these factors have been the driving force of human development through each stage of human history and will provide the organizing principle for human society as we both fight for, and ultimately achieve, communism.
It will only be in that society where we will have the wherewithal to guarantee the deepest wish of every parent, every society – to cherish our children as the future of humanity.
July/August 2013. Vol23.Ed4
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011