From the Editors: The 2016 Elections
The economic revolution and the consequent increasing economic polarization in the U.S. are finding political expression in the 2016 general election cycle. The ruling class two-party system is fragmenting, while simultaneously trying to reform on the basis of a new fascist form of political bipartisanship. The workers are being drawn into the elections seeking redress of their grievances. As the growing new class struggles for the basic necessities, an embryonic class-based awareness is beginning to be expressed.
All of human history and society up until now can be seen as stages of different forms of property. What lies at the basis of the crisis today is a leap from one qualitative stage to another, from one form of private property to the abolition of private property altogether. The introduction of a new technology that requires no human labor is permanently replacing millions of workers in production, which is irreparably destroying wage-labor capitalism. This antagonism at the very base of society unleashes instability, disruption and the heaping up of untold wealth on the side of private property and untold deprivation and want on the side of a new class of workers created by electronics.
This instability, polarization and unrest are being expressed in the electoral process today. Splits, shifting and realignment are inevitable, as the ruling class seeks a way to maintain private property at all costs, leaving the working class to desperately search for the basic needs of survival that can only be secured by the complete transformation of society on a new basis.
First comes the objective foundation for change, then the scattered spontaneous reaction to this new emerging change, followed by the discussion, debate, and consolidation of ideas about that change, and out of that comes an organized effort to adjust to the new reality. The economy develops on an objective, more or less spontaneous basis. Politics is the conscience, subjective expression of economics. It clears the path for the spontaneous development of the economy.
The ruling class is laying the foundations for a new political movement that is based on the interests of corporate power that is completely merged with the state. This modern fascist movement is arising on the foundation of the antagonism between the qualitatively new means of production and the productive relations of capitalism. It is using the presidential election to help lay this foundation. Both political parties and their candidates are part of the same ruling class political apparatus, using various ideological positions to manipulate the apprehension, fear and disorientation of the workers to create the conditions for consolidating a fascist society and government.
The ruling class must unite around a fascist political solution in order to be prepared to overthrow bourgeois democracy, carry out a fascist political revolution and impose a fascist State. Briefly, the various ideological tendencies in within the ruling class must disentangle and separate for a fascist movement to emerge. They must develop some kind of “general line” which can tie the different elements together, or “help new bonds to form” out of the ongoing polarization. They must consolidate a mass base for fascism as a means of gaining support for their program.
For instance, Clinton is attracting some of the break-away forces in the Republican Party, because she represents what they already agree with, or that which they are coming to agree with. She represents what is necessary for furthering the program of the ruling class – advancing the process of globalization, the dominance of speculative capital, the aggressive assertion of US geopolitical interests in the struggle for economic and geopolitical dominance, and the willingness to use armed intervention and war, all in the effort to protect the system of private property.
Time will tell whether these shifts in party affiliation will remain after the election, or if the form further changes, including the possible emergence of third parties. However, polarization is eliminating the center. The demands of the objective situation on the ruling class guarantees that they will have to continue this process of polarization and reforming in order to protect private property and their rule as a ruling class.
The workers are being pulled into process of the elections, seeking redress of their grievances. They need to understand the process they are part of, the solution to their problems and what they must do to resolve them. The demands and program of the new class have to become part of the debate during the elections. The propaganda and morality of the ruling class must be challenged.
We can see a class-based position emerging among the ranks of the new class as the workers struggle for the basic necessities of life, and on myriad fronts against the destruction of their lives. Revolutionaries must grab hold of and develop these arising seeds of awareness of class interests, no matter how contradictory and embryonic they are.
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.
While these struggles still need to coalesce they are not as scattered anymore, as broader swathes of American people are affected and the people begin to demand that the government solve their problems. This is the fight that is taking place against fascism today. It needs a vision, and a strategy. Revolutionaries can and must provide this.
Such common cause allows our class to develop an identity as a class, around its most basic needs and its self-interests as a class. It allows for the breaking of the historical ties to the ruling class, freeing it to put forward an 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