Inside: Partial Measures Will Not Do
During the Democratic presidential debates for the 2020 elections, many of the candidates spoke about the skyrocketing housing costs, resulting in a glaring increase in the number of homeless families. This is most starkly seen in the coastal cities of California. In San Francisco the city’s homeless population has risen 30 percent since 2017; homelessness is up 86 percent in Los Angeles’ Koreatown and up 43 percent from 2017 in Orange County. And in Oakland, the Bay Area’s third-largest city, homelessness has increased by 47 percent since 2017.
The candidates spoke about rent control, fair housing policies and building more affordable housing. Those who are homeless need homes now. Today it is possible to create housing structures using robots and with 3D printing. The capacity to build homes is not the problem. The housing industry will not make all the walls that the technology allows for, because they will only make as many homes as will be profitable.
This begs the question: Do we settle for partial measures being put forward within the confines of capitalist profitability, or do we fight for a future of quality, decent homes for all families? In this issue of Rally, Comrades!, we look at what is at stake for everyday people in the 2020 elections, the struggles around public education, housing and how we meet the challenges of today.
“School Privatization Worsens Housing Crisis,” shows how real estate developers make huge profits when schools are “broke on purpose,” but the social destruction is horrific. Over one million U.S. school children in 2017 were homeless; 100,000 more than in 2016 and the highest it’s ever been. Many U.S. school children are part of America’s growing number of impoverished families, who are barely hanging on. Without decent jobs, the only way this new impoverished class will get its basic needs met, is if these needs are provided to all people in society.
“From the Editors,” discusses the killings in El Paso as a bellwether of the heightening crisis that is engulfing our society today. El Paso illuminates both the cause and the solution to the crisis of our time. Class unity is the condition of the emancipation of our class.
“The Truth About Unnatural Disasters in the U.S.” points out that there have been a number of strong and disastrous events across the U.S. South, including Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, Michael and Maria. All of these are profit-driven, “unnatural” disasters. Capitalist production, driven by the law of maximum profit, has for centuries exploited the earth’s people and resources with a vengeance. The tragic result is global climate change – super-storms, firestorms, extreme drought and flooding. All are manifestations of man-made disasters that are placing the planet and humanity in deep peril.
“The Green New Deal, Framing Socialism and the 2020 Elections” shows that the ruling class cannot permit a debate on how to achieve economic and social justice during the 2020 elections. The plan is to attack the American people’s basic attitude towards social equality by negative associations (framing) and to limit the debate. The latter strategy is reflected by the Democratic Party’s drive to center the election on defeating Trump, not his policies or programs. In contrast, the 2020 election campaign and the struggle around the Green New Deal present revolutionaries with the opportunity to push forward the development of class consciousness, using the basic demands for homes, food, clothing, medical care, and water.
All social motion takes place within the advancing technological revolution. Electronics-initiated polarization creates a new class that is separated from capitalist relations. “Demands for Basic Needs within the Electoral Process,” illustrates that as this new class advances their program, they reveal themselves as a social force demanding that the government intervene on behalf of their goals, not those of the corporations. In a period like this, which we have described as a leap, and a break in continuity, the changes we describe can accelerate. Our class is emerging from a Rip-Van-Winkle-like slumber. That which has been roiling beneath the surface for more than twenty years is about to erupt.
“The Revolutionary Aims of the Spontaneous Movement” looks at the fights for basic needs today from a revolutionary perspective. The task of those fighting for revolutionary change today is to develop the consciousness of those fighting for reform, while at the same time showing them a vision and the necessity of gaining the political power to achieve it. Therefore, revolutionaries fight for the immediate demands of our class, while also introducing those ideas that explain the actual quality of the struggle our class is engaged in. This takes an organization of revolutionaries dedicated to that effort. RC
September/October 2019 Vol29.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