From the Editors: First They Came for Michigan
The state of Michigan provides ample proof that the capitalist class is not fit to rule. Fascist rule is replacing all vestiges of democracy in many cities and towns throughout the state. Over the past ten years of state appointed emergency managers across Michigan, living conditions and democracy in cities and towns across the state are being destroyed. From the contaminated water poisoning of the population of Flint, to the tens of thousands of Detroit residents who have had their water cut off and the entire city public education system decimated and in decay, to Whirlpool Corporation-ruled Benton Harbor that unlawfully imprisoned Reverend Edward Pinkney, the people are being nakedly attacked by the State.
The Emergency Manager Law has sent state-appointed corporate managers to designated cities and school districts across the state. These unelected managers sold off public assets, privatized public property and services and nullified existing contracts. Corporate dictatorship instantly replaced the limited democracy that existed. What is happening in Michigan in particular and in the Rust Belt generally is part of a larger process that is taking place throughout America today. The growing fascist assault we face is the result of the changes in the economy and the inability of the capitalist system to provide for the people.
Not long ago Michigan was the most industrialized and most unionized state in America. Today it is an impoverished, anti-union, “right to work” state. This rapid transformation over several decades is the result of an economic revolution based on electronic production and the consequent permanent replacement of human labor in the production process. Millions of workers who have been thrown out of the production process constitute a new class in need of food, clothing, housing, healthcare and education. The ruling class will not care for those it no longer needs. It is organized to protect private property at all costs. The battle is joined and corporate government is intensifying its fascist attack on the people of Michigan. The people of Flint, Detroit, Benton Harbor and other parts of Michigan are speaking up and organizing against these attacks.
Throughout America the same process is taking shape. Either the private interests of the corporations are going to take over the people, or the public interests of the people are going to take over the corporations. The scattered struggles of the new class for food, clothing, housing, healthcare and education all have a common cause. Combined, they are politically summed up as a program for nationalization in the interests of the people. Public access to clean and safe water means the nationalization of the nation’s water supply, just as public control of quality healthcare and housing, or free, quality public education requires nationalization in the interests of society and not the private interests of the corporate few.
Such common cause allows our class to develop an identity as a class around its most basic needs and therefore its self-interests as a class. The demand for nationalization shapes and broadens common political struggle, allowing our class to begin breaking its historic ties to the ruling class, freeing it to put forward its independent political program that represents its class interests.
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