Inside: Property – Public for the Many or Private for the Few
Denied the basic necessities of life, millions of American workers are engaged in a life and death struggle to survive. At the same time, the government is cutting social programs to the bone, while the corporations loot the public treasury and privatize everything in the public domain.
Whether it’s the struggle for clean or affordable water, housing, education, healthcare, the environment, or even democracy itself, one fundamental question is at the center of virtually every social struggle in the U.S. today: Will the people take over the private property of the corporations to serve the common interests of society, or will the corporations continue to take over public property to serve the interests of a small ruling class?
The LRNA report “Unity of Our Class: Indispensable Step for the Liberation of Humanity” explains how a new class of workers is growing throughout society. Further, it shows how this new class cannot survive in a society governed by laws that protect corporate private property interests, while noting that this is not a new class of poor or a new class of the new poor. Their poverty is a consequence of their economic position, not the cause of it. We refer to these workers as a new part of the working class; a new class of workers created by the qualitatively new means of production that eliminates the need for human labor. If united and conscious of its historic mission, the new class has the potential to lead society to a new cooperative society organized in its own interests and in the interest of all of humanity.
“From the Editors: First Do No Harm” clearly shows that health care is where two antagonistic and irreconcilable forces face off against one another. It comes down to: in whose interests does the government operate, in the interests of the corporations or in the interests of working people? Here there are no half-measures, no incremental reforms, certainly no going back. Single payer is an important step in the fight to nationalize health care in the interests of working people, but it can only be seen as a part of the solution the times require, and that is to make private property public property. There is no room for private, for-profit corporations in a health care system that serves the best interests of the people.
The article, “Public Education – the Dream or the Nightmare” points out that technology is increasingly making capitalism unworkable. People are already openly challenging the fascist offensive in public education. The demand to abolish student debt challenges the corporate presence in what should be a public institution. The growing opposition to vouchers strengthens the demand that schools are truly a public good. Fighting for a curriculum that strengthens collective humanistic learning and a real history of our peoples is likewise the fight for the public to control its own education and its own future.
None of these steps can be established as long as corporations have a role in public education. This is the historic step that is at hand – the battle we must go through to get to the next stage for humanity. The role of revolutionaries is to make clear that private property has no place in public education.
The cover story, “Denied a Future, Young Workers Have a World To Win” tells a compelling story about the struggle that young workers face. It explains that the new class is made up of workers from every generation, but young people are unique, in that they will never know a world without labor-replacing technology. Older generations have had economic security, jobs, and housing taken away from them. But many of today’s young adults will never have access into the economy the way previous generations did –they are denied a future.
For young people there are no “good ole’ days” to fight back to, only a new world to fight for. Youthful imagination can envision the possibilities for a future that unleashes our world’s abundance to provide for everyone, and to forge a path to achieving that future. We can remake our economy, where the labor-replacing technology is used to meet everyone’s needs. The production of everything we need to live healthy, happy lives can be owned publicly for the common good, rather than by the corporations. We can develop technologies to undo the damage we have done to our planet, restoring our ecosystems for future generations.
Robotics makes it impossible for the new class to coexist with private property. The new class is increasingly outside of the economy and therefore exists in antagonism to the wages system. Robotics has made reform of the capitalist system impossible. The only way for the new class to prevent itself from being crushed is to make the gigantic means of production public property. The program of the new class is therefore objectively communist, in the true sense of the word. Owning no property, without employment or resources, it cannot move in the direction of securing individual property. Its objective demand makes economic sense: each for all and all for each, from each according to ability to each according to need.
September/October 2017 Vol27.Ed5
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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