Our aim above all is to encourage working people to unite and put up a fight in order to defend and improve our standard of living and to create a far more just, rational, and economically viable economy to replace capitalism, which has thrown billions of people into poverty and is destroying the planet.
This means that we are encouraging our individual unions to fight to improve our standard of living, as opposed to accepting concessions passively. We encourage unions to unite in coalitions in order to fight concessions and win demands by, for example, placing “tax the rich” measures on ballots in order to fully fund public education and social services. We encourage the unions and community groups to join with the Occupy Movement to demand concessions from the 1 percent. We strongly support the Occupy Movement’s coming to the defense of unions engaged in struggles with their employers. And we strongly encourage all working class organizations to join together in a united front in order to mobilize massive numbers of working people in huge demonstrations and other mass actions to win these demands. The larger the movement, the greater our prospects for success.
This also means that when we engage in organizing within the union or Occupy movement or in community struggles, we do not aim at exploiting these events and those who attend them by competing with other groups to promote ourselves alone and thereby turn our backs on trying to unite the working class. Rather, we attempt to unite all working class groups in a united front so as to most effectively promote, encourage and support working class struggles. In this way we can bring the greatest number of working people together in order to help organize the most effective fight for the demands that workers themselves have raised in their struggles and that resonate with them.
We have adopted this general approach for strategic reasons. Working people will not win important gains around jobs for all, full funding for social services and public education, health care for everyone, etc. without putting up a fight. The working class has been rapidly losing ground because the capitalist class has seized ever-larger portions of society’s wealth for itself. By lobbying aggressively and showering politicians with generous campaign contributions, Wall Street and the corporations have promoted their own interests at our expense; they have without any doubt been engaging in class warfare. Working people will not be able to reverse these trends without a concerted struggle, because such gains as public services, higher wages and better benefits can only be won at the expense of profits; the interests of working people are diametrically opposed to corporate interests. We are currently at a stage in history where the working class is not aware of the tremendous power it can wield if it unites. When we are fragmented and isolated, there are little prospects for success. But when we come together in massive numbers, then we are in a position to win big demands. And once we begin to win even a few demands, that victory will open the eyes of the majority of working people who suddenly see clearly that success is possible when we rely on ourselves and act collectively. One significant success will spawn even greater future successes.
This approach embraces the conviction that the liberation of the working class can only be accomplished by the working class itself. The movement can be neither democratic nor powerful unless the majority of workers become either directly or indirectly involved. Every real revolution involves the majority of the population. Both major political parties — the Democrats and Republicans — have thoroughly discredited themselves by their eagerness to accept huge sums of money from Wall Street and the corporations and their willingness to deliver favorable legislation in return. Accelerating inequalities in wealth have largely resulted from these politicians shifting the tax burden from the rich and powerful onto the backs of working people and the poor. In the process of liberating itself, the working class will be compelled to create an independent political party — a revolutionary party of working people that is democratically controlled by them and that is prepared to challenge the two major political parties — bought and paid for by the 1 percent — for political power.
Massive demonstrations and other mass actions, aside from being an effective tactic for winning demands, fundamentally transform the consciousness of those who participate. They give people the direct assurance that their suffering is not unique but is shared by the entire working class. Working people begin to focus on their points in common, not their differences. A new feeling of camaraderie begins to hold us together. And when massive numbers of people engage in a united action, their numbers are so large that they are impossible for the police to dominate and control. The people themselves begin to rule the streets, and this experience gives a brief glimpse into a future where working people — that is, the vast majority of the population — rule society.
In the final analysis, we believe that humanity has no choice but to remove the scourge of capitalism from the planet. By emphasizing individual self-interest and greed, capitalism encourages the exploitation of the vast majority of the world’s population by a small but very powerful minority. It encourages mindless and wasteful consumption. It allows every important social policy to be determined by whoever has the most money. And capitalism is destroying the planet by emitting ever-greater amounts of pollution and greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, by polluting the oceans, lakes and rivers, and by destroying the habitats of all other species.
We are convinced that a better world is possible. We believe that a socialist society governed directly by the majority of the population will represent both a moral and rational advance. Industries must be run democratically, and the entire population must have a voice in determining the general direction of the economy. In this way we can begin to create a society that operates in the interests of the vast majority rather than allowing a small minority to profit at the expense of everyone else.
Capitalist apologists try to impose their cynical view of humanity on the rest of us. They insist people are only motivated by greedy self-interest and scoff at even a modestly more optimistic suggestion. But study after study reveals that working people deeply support government social programs that provide people with a safety net that helps those who need help the most; they support quality public education; they are against war; they want universal single-payer health care; they want jobs for all; they want an unpolluted environment; and they do not want to be ruled by the 1 percent. Humans want what is good for their community as a whole, because they value belonging to a community. Uniting working people in massive actions to fight for these ideals is the first step to creating a better world.
Let us join together!