From the Editors: An Epoch of Social Revolution
Ours is a time of social upheaval, of a growing groundswell surging up from below, bent on both resisting and resolving the crisis of our time. This movement is precipitated by the introduction into human history of the hitherto unthinkable – a technology that makes human labor superfluous. Both the ruling class and the workers displaced by robotics are engaged in a life-and-death struggle to resolve the crisis in their respective interests.
As they are replaced by labor-less technology, the workers are thrown out, discarded. They are in the process of the formation of a new class of workers. We saw the struggle of this emerging class reflected in the elections. Workers on all sides were, and are, engaged in a common struggle to secure the basic necessities of life – food, water, homes, education, health care. Some saw that as a demand for good-paying jobs, the restoration of the promise of the American dream. Others expressed that promise as a demand that the needs of all be met regardless of ability to pay. Common to all is the conviction that something has to be done; a broken system had to be fixed, or replaced.
The arc of a movement in the interests of the workers bends toward a new society that benefits of all of humanity. The interests of a corporate ruling class stands in stark antagonism to this rising social motion. They are desperately seeking answers as well, but their strategy bends toward a reorganization of society that protects their own private interests and blunts the developing social revolution. As a result, the ruling class can only move in the direction of fascist solutions.
It would be easy to portray Donald Trump as the face of fascism, but he is more appropriately coming to be seen as a tool in the program to move the process along toward fascist solutions. The election of Donald Trump represents the acceleration, a doubling down, on this process that has been underway for some time. The government has merged with the corporations and they are moving together to direct and control the economy and society in the interests of the ruling class. Trump’s task is to take another step to test the waters, to clear the lumber out of the way, to prepare the people to accept an end to democracy.
What is the answer of the ruling class to the vast social ills they are raining down on the American people? To imperil clean air and water by gutting EPA regulations, to reopen the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, and to resume the ravaging of the West Virginia countryside for expanded coal mining. They are moving to destroy public education, to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something that will deny access to health care to millions, and to establish national Right-to-Work laws that will destroy labor unions and living wage jobs. Defunding Planned Parenthood will put the health of women at risk. A wall is to be built that will funnel billions to construction industry corporations, strengthening the repressive apparatus of the State. The Constitution itself is now being tested and challenged, with Executive Orders in the name of making America safe, banning immigrants and refugees on the basis of their religion. And, what is their solution to the growing poverty throughout our country? To establish a police state and bring in federal troops to establish so-called law and order.
More than three million people led by women, marched the day after Trump’s inauguration in an effort to protect the country against Trump’s campaign promises. When the immigration ban was ordered, hundreds of thousands more poured into the nation’s airports to oppose the ban.
Right now, this rising upsurge is in opposition to Trump, but the problem is really an economic system and a ruling class unfit to rule. It is up to revolutionaries to show the deeper meaning of the fight. The protests of these millions are part of a developing broad anti-fascist movement that is arising. It is in response to the deteriorating conditions and is making demands that the government protect the interests of the people over the corporations. The growing demands of the new class for the basic necessities of life are at the center of what this movement is about, and can pull the entire struggle forward.
The scattered battles of this class have been underway for some time. We saw it in the wave of responses to police murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, to Occupy Wall Street, to Flint Michigan and Standing Rock, North Dakota, and many other protests and struggles around the country. We are seeing now that the once scattered struggles are not so scattered anymore. The fighters are beginning to express a sense of common cause and interests. Here and there, the beginning of class awareness is emerging. Revolutionaries have to grab hold of and further develop these changes in thinking, no matter how contradictory and embryonic they are.
The battle is on. History does not set for itself problems that have no solution. For the workers of the new class, the only solution is to reorganize society on a new basis – a cooperative, communist society – designed to distribute the abundance to all – according to need. A rising movement is already underway. It is up to revolutionaries to provide this vision, and a strategy to achieve it.
March/April 2017 Vol27.Ed2
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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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