Fighting for Our Lives in the 2020 Elections
The future of humanity and the survival of the planet depend on what we do. A massive movement to impeach the President has arisen, and not just for a phone call to Ukraine. For sure, collusion, obstruction, corruption, and bald-faced lying are his stock in trade. But above all, he deserves and needs to be impeached for his high crimes and misdemeanors against the American people.
- Trying to steal Medicaid from millions and reproductive rights from women;
- Instigating mass murder in Charlottesville, Gilroy, El Paso, and elsewhere;
- Destroying the earth, and robbing our children of their future;
- Imprisoning thousands in vile concentration camps for the “crime” of asking for asylum;
- Attempting to slash housing funds, make millions homeless, and then threatening to put homeless people in concentration camps too;
- Brutally kidnapping children from their parents, both at the border and in our criminal justice system;
- Putting billionaire cronies in cabinet positions to loot the treasury and destroy social programs;
- Appointing judges to legalize gerrymandering and voter suppression, to rob the American people of their right to vote;
- Conspiring with billionaires to starve public services with massive tax cuts.
Impeaching and defeating Trump is absolutely necessary, but not sufficient. The ruling class is using his presidency to consolidate a fascist social base, and impose its pro-austerity, planet-destroying, racist, anti-democratic agenda. It ultimately seeks the permanent installation of a corporate dictatorship, based on subjecting human beings to unlimited private property rights.
Fascism can and will be defeated. The starting point is to unite and mobilize the millions of discarded workers around their demands for their basic needs. They are the backbone of the resistance. They are being pushed into political participation by the fascist offensive itself, when it attacks the programs they need to survive, and attacks the future of humanity itself. They have the power to rally all of society to the defense of democracy.
But impeachment is not enough. Even Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden support impeachment, and they themselves colluded in many of these Trump crimes. They will attempt to use the impeachment process to prop up corporate Democrats like themselves and divert attention from meeting the needs of the people. We dare not let that happen.
The 2020 election campaigns are already a white-hot focal point for escalating social struggles for the necessities of life and the future of the planet. Throughout the country, a new class of workers is being driven to the margins of the economy by automated technology. These desperate workers are forced into social struggle just to survive. Their awakening drove record voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections. They are demanding that candidates address their burning concerns: health care, housing, water, gun violence, reproductive rights, the rights of women and immigrants, and the environment.
As these workers get involved, they move from resistance to leadership, making programmatic demands about structural problems. Programs of some of the front-runners in the race for the Democratic nomination for President are reflecting these demands. In particular the Green New Deal and Sanders Economic Bill of Rights are advancing practical, visionary solutions that confront corporate domination in both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Economic Bill of Rights
In today’s economy, the Sanders Economic Bill of Rights cannot be enacted without the political revolution his campaign has called for. The Economic Bill of Rights includes:
- The right to a job paying a living wage (including a federal jobs guarantee)
- The right to quality health care (Medicare for All)
- The right to a complete education (substantially lower student debt)
- The right to affordable housing (end gentrification and homelessness)
- The right to a clean environment (pass the Green New Deal)
- The right to a secure retirement (expand Social Security)
The election campaigns are a battleground and a school for revolutionary politics. As American workers gravitate toward the political arena, they are beginning to realize they have to unite on a broader basis than one neighborhood, or one workplace, or one ethnicity or religion. They are edging toward understanding that together they make up an entire class, a socioeconomic category of workers that has to come together to protect themselves against a corporate ruling class.
This process is called politicization. The first step is to join the fight for the unity of this new class, especially the recently dispossessed sector. That sector includes former industrial workers, people with disabilities, displaced professionals, women whose very bodily autonomy is under attack, and masses of unemployed and underemployed youth. By relying on the growing equality of their poverty, these groups, among others, can begin projecting their demands as a class, and begin to overcome the historic racial divisions created by segregation and discrimination. They can resist and defeat the government’s frenzied campaign to racialize, divide, and destroy the social struggle.
This process is widening the polarization within the Democratic Party, between its working class masses and the corporate control they are challenging. Every step forward of the political revolution escalates this polarization, and the polarization in turn speeds up the revolution. Major divisions have developed around the 2020 campaign. One strategy is to defeat Trump by compromising with corporations and supporting status quo candidates like Biden. The other strategy is to defeat Trump by building on the working class mobilization for basic needs expressed by the Sanders campaign in 2016.
Dramatic clashes have already erupted between leading Democratic candidates around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and mass incarceration. As the movement forces candidates to address working class issues, the middle ground is being eliminated. Corporations increasingly embrace fascist ideology, a fascist social movement, and fascist assassins to maintain control. But fascism has no solutions to the automation, unemployment, student debt, lack of health care, and environmental destruction that the workers are facing.
What We Are Fighting For
Government must either serve our needs, or those of the ruling class. The situation demands that we fearlessly confront the institution of private property itself, wherever it interferes with the rights of people to be able to live.
Corporate attacks on Medicare for All and other government programs defining them as “socialist” are ironically tying socialism to the question of government accountability to alleviate suffering and meet people’s basic needs. More and more people are understanding that socialism is not something “alien” or “un-American,” but something that may be necessary for housing, health care, education, and the pursuit of happiness.
We must promote a positive vision of the America that can be. Revolutionaries are both political warriors and thinkers, who introduce new ideas into the unfolding struggle, by participating and educating fighters in the course of the battle. The automated means of production today are advanced enough to provide health care, housing, and education for free. A society organized cooperatively and based on distribution of basic needs, could live in unity and at peace with the world. This is the time for determination, not fear. Fascism can and will be defeated. The starting point is joining the expanding movement of “frontline communities” fighting for their lives.
November.December 2019 Vol29.Ed6 (forthcoming)
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
P.O. Box 477113 Chicago, IL 60647 email@example.com
Free to reproduce unless otherwise marked.
Please include this message with any reproduction.
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