Inside: A Cooperative Society is the Only Solution to the Demands of Our Class
In this issue of Rally, Comrades! we address the growing movement for basic needs and also how it’s being expressed in the electoral arena. The different struggles that make up this movement are linked by their common fight for the basic necessities of life. Their common cause is the foundation for building the unity and a vision to create a new, cooperative and peaceful world, that can combat fascism and the growing war danger.
“From the Editors: What They Say and What They Mean” shows how both political parties are preparing for more wars. As high-tech globalization destroys the economic basis of industrial capitalism, the global political relations serving that system are also being disrupted. Increasingly aggressive U.S. policies on trade and “national security” have been accompanied by an escalation of diplomatic threats and military mobilizations around the world. This is currently focused on overthrowing the governments of Venezuela and Iran, either through intimidation or outright war.
The cover article, “Voter Suppression and the Battle for Democracy” shows that we are seeing the unfolding of a process in which millions of workers have been displaced, losing their jobs and their means of livelihood. They have been forced to fight for the very survival of themselves and their families. Forced to the margins, they are at the core of a rising social movement to obtain the necessities of life – housing, healthcare, food, clean water. This surging movement has entered into the electoral process as a means to achieve their aims. They are being met by voter suppression.
A summary of the recent city elections in Chicago is provided in the article, “Polarization of Wealth Defines Chicago Elections.” It explains that after years of fighting around the battles for survival, mothers and fathers, teachers and former union workers, children and young adults are confronting their elected officials. Fed up with “town halls” and “community engagement” dog-and-pony shows put on by government, working class fighters are actually running for office. Many candidates have extensive experience in fighting against the refusal of the government to address the problems of the people. They won outright or forced their opponents into runoffs. The efforts in Chicago are a part of the developing practical fight to transform society to meet the basic needs of the people for homes, food, water, education and health care.
“Housing Policies Create More Homeless in California” points out that in the Bay Area, with some of the highest housing and rental costs in the country, more than 1.1 million workers, over one third of the total workforce, earn less than $18 per hour. Most of them earn less than $12 per hour. As a social force, with the thousands on the streets or in “emergency shelters,” these are the people – a broad demographic that includes youth and middle-income families – who are fighting California’s housing struggles against a ruling class that uses housing policy as a weapon against them.
Why a system that increases wealth for ruling class, by plunging millions into destitution is hopelessly broken is explained in the article, “Corporate Landlords Should Be Outlawed and Housing Should Be Free.” The economic system cannot distribute the abundance created by our economy because that would require the presence of money in the hands of people, and more and more people today have little or none of it. The struggle for housing challenges the private property system. When that movement demands housing as a human right, as a human necessity, it demands not treating housing as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder. Since the rise of automation is reducing the cost of building homes to next to nothing, it is time for revolutionaries to project a vision of housing for all at the low or no cost that it actually takes to provide it.
“Thinking Anew About Today’s Revolutionary Situation,” shows that in periods of epochal change, the social movement unites with and is guided by a cause. We have a rich history of this through the Revolutionary War and Civil War in striving for a vision of freedom, peace and humanity. Today it is finally possible to achieve this vision. The struggles today all express the need to reorganize society to meet the needs of the people. We are finally able to move forward as one class, identified by its common interests, rather than fighting among ourselves, or based on our skin color, gender, or ethnicity. There is a new world to be won. The cause today – the distribution of the wealth of society according to need – is the foundation for realizing the vision. This vision is of a world without human want, without race and national hatred, without oppression. It is for a world where an ever-expanding technology delivers full lives for all, both materially and culturally, in a safe and healthy environment. RC
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