The Worker (Update), October 12, 2013
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625
In order to defend their rights and put our country onto the high road of progress and civilization, the working people must create a new political culture and a new political unity amongst themselves. The marginalization and depoliticalization of people must be overcome by giving expression to the independent class aims of the workers.
To help create such a genuine political culture, the Workers Party works to create an atmosphere in which people can get together and discuss their own aims and agenda for society. We work to create new space in which people can get information, sum up their experience, exchange opinions, and zero in on the root problems.
In the course of stimulating the broadest possible political discussion amongst the people, the Party works to provide a concrete program which offers solutions. The Party’s program always starts from the aims and agenda of the people themselves and rejects the limits of the capitalist agenda. Thus we never accept the blackmail that the workers must accept the "lesser evil," that the only "choice" is whether taxes should be raised or social programs cut, that to oppose the war program of U.S. imperialism is tantamount to supporting some other imperialist power. The Workers Party presents an alternative based on the fundamental interests of the workers, an alternative which goes against the privileges of private property in the means of production and which breaks the monopoly of the capitalist over political affairs. Only such a genuinely revolutionary politics can release the initiative of the workers to come into the political arena under their own banners and with their own independent program.
Our Party works to bring to the fore the experience and aspirations of the people themselves, both their criticism of the status quo as well as their vision and aim for society and life. Popularizing and summing up the struggles of the people which are breaking out everywhere, giving system and theoretical substantiation to the thinking and experience of people brings these aspirations to the fore and creates a new atmosphere in which the workers and people are increasingly conscious of their own movement.
The independent politics of the working class includes the demand for the democratic renewal of the political process and political system.
The program of democratic renewal aims at breaking the monopoly of the capitalist class and its parties over political affairs and empowering the working class and people. In addition to guarantying all the democratic rights of the people, the program of democratic renewal demands that the power to nominate candidates be returned to the people and that everyone be guaranteed the equal right to elect and be elected. The program of democratic renewal demands a direct role for the people in governance through such mechanisms as recall and referendum.
This program aims at giving direction and consciousness to the profound disillusionment and political alienation of the people. It exposes the fundamental flaws in the current political process and political system, showing how monopoly capital has rigged the current system to guard its political power. The program of democratic renewal relies on the independent political initiative of the people and brings to the forefront the question of political power.
Democratic renewal includes carrying through to the end the centuries-old struggle of the American people to create a society which guarantees – in practice – equal social, political, and economic rights for all human beings. For more than 200 years, bourgeois political theory has promised equal rights for all but denied these rights in practice. Despite the paper promises, despite the various laws on the books, the reality is that capitalism continues to impose a system of racial discrimination and national oppression on black Americans and other oppressed minorities, women remain super-exploited, oppressed and marginalized, etc. The reason is that no matter what promises are made, the capitalist state and capitalist democracy are set up in the first place to defend the "rights" of private property in the means of production, set up to maintain the exploitation and oppression of the majority – to deny the people their inalienable rights.
Democratic renewal puts forward a modern definition of rights which includes recognition of the peoples’ fundamental economic rights (i.e. the right to livelihood, to health care, etc.) and demands that society guarantee the means necessary for people to exercise all their rights in real life. The program of democratic renewal recognizes that in the final analysis the modern demand for equality – for equal economic, political and social rights for all human beings is the demand for the abolition of social classes.
U.S. Out of Afghanistan, Now!
Twelve years into the aggressive colonial war against Afghanistan launched by the U.S. with the support of Britain, the Pentagon is continuing to carry out offensive military operations with the aim of subjugating the people of Afghanistan. But it is U.S. imperialism that is losing the war. The U.S.-installed colonial administration has virtually no control outside of Kabul and its soldiers, as well as U.S. and NATO troops, are coming under daily attack.
In the more than four years since Obama’s inauguration the U.S. military has employed the most brutal methods in the war while U.S. imperialism has refused to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. So too, Obama has continued to espouse the openly colonial and racist doctrine of the "white man’s burden," insisting that some nations, some cultures, some religions, some peoples, are too weak, too uncivilized, too backward to be "allowed" the right to self-determination and self-governance and need to be administered and "mentored" by the "morally superior" U.S. imperialists.
Today, U.S. imperialism is digging in for the long-term occupation of Afghanistan. The Obama administration is already admitting that U.S. "interests" will require "boots on the ground" beyond the 2014 "deadline for troop withdrawal." Today, 60,000 U.S. troops and thousands more from Britain and other capitalist states are occupying the country and trying to impose their dictate. This colonization is justified by the racist logic which claims that the people of Afghanistan are "backward" and "uncivilized" and need the West to "mentor" them in "nation-building."
To prepare for launching war on Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the U.S. government ignored international law and refused to respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan, even while openly admitting that its aim was to install a new government there. So too, this precedent has been used ever since. For example, in the nearly five years that Obama has been president, U.S. imperialism has gone around the world repeatedly boasting about its aggression in Afghanistan and telling others they will suffer the same "fate" if they refuse to bend to the dictates of U.S. imperialism.
Almost immediately after launching the war bases were placed in Pakistan and pressure against that country began. Other countries were immediately put on the "hit list" of terrorist states, including of course, Iraq. The Israeli aggressors were immediately given the green light to escalate their war against the Palestinian people. U.S. imperialism began feverishly preparing new wars in the strategic Gulf region and began openly targeting countries with "weak central governments" that were considered "ripe for the picking." Thus, for example, Pentagon officials declared that "war against Somalia is not a question of if but when." Even before Obama took office and stated that the "international war against terrorism" will last for "generations," and began insisting that everyone must side with the U.S. as "leader of the world," George W. Bush had already admitted that the war was meant to last "for decades" and insisted that every country must either side with the U.S. or be "treated like a terrorist."
The extreme aggressiveness of the U.S. war program did not start with the events on October 7, 2001. For nearly a quarter of a century U.S. imperialism has been relying on its military power to try to impose its dictate on the whole world. The extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism arose from the ongoing crisis of the capitalist-imperialist system.
In the early 1990s the collapse of the Soviet empire ushered in a new phase in the struggle of the U.S. and other imperialist powers for the division of the world, a period marked by extreme instability, inter-capitalist rivalries and tensions.
Under these conditions, U.S. imperialism has set itself the agenda of creating a "new world order" under its domination. The U.S. demands that every country embrace the "free market system" and open its economy to the U.S. monopolies.
Facing sharp competition from other imperialist powers and capitalist states, the U.S. has been relying on its military superiority to gain spheres of economic influence, grab new territories and redraw the map of the world in its favor.
For ten years prior to launching aggressive war on Afghanistan, the U.S. had already been waging war against Iraq to keep that country under its thumb, to militarize the Persian Gulf and to keep rival capitalist powers out of the region. So too in Yugoslavia, U.S. imperialism declared war in order to carve out part of the country and set up U.S. protectorates in the Balkans.
At the same time as these inter-imperialist rivalries have intensified, U.S. imperialism has been stepping up its attacks on liberation movements of the people.
It is in this agenda that we find the real meaning of Obama-style imposition of Might Makes Right on the world. Any country or people who resist U.S. dictate are labeled as potential targets of U.S. aggression. Under the Obama administration, U.S. imperialism has set its sights on Cuba because it refuses to surrender its sovereignty to U.S. colonialism. Under the Obama administration U.S. imperialism has set its sights on North Korea and labeled it a "rogue state" because it too remains independent. The Palestinian people are branded as "terrorists" because they "dare" to fight for their freedom from U.S.-backed Israeli colonialism. Colombian peasants and workers are damned as well, because they too are fighting for liberation, etc.
Yet just as U.S. imperialism’s program for world domination brings home the extreme aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism, these events also show that the world does not march to imperialism’s drumbeat.
Today, Obama is coming up against more and more obstacles. The U.S. and NATO powers are being defeated in Afghanistan. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe have come out in opposition to the U.S. war and are linking Afghanistan with other fronts of U.S. aggression – in Iraq, in Latin America and elsewhere. In many countries, the capitalist governments have become extremely isolated because of their support for U.S. militarism and war. In addition to the peoples, various governments have asserted independent stands against imperialist aggression and in defense of peace and the sovereignty of countries. So too, in the U.S., in the teeth of the government’s chauvinist propaganda and fascist war program, millions of Americans have come into the streets to protest the war.
To defeat the capitalist program, the people need to build up the broadest possible front against war and imperialism. We must oppose each and every aggressive step taken by U.S. imperialism. We must wholeheartedly support the just liberation movements of the oppressed peoples and support the just stands of governments which defend the sovereignty of countries and the rights of the people. We must demand a genuinely democratic foreign policy which puts an end to all U.S. military intervention and aggression, withdraws all U.S. troops stationed abroad, and ends the militarization of economic and social life.
While imperialism means war, the whole history of the last 100 years shows that it is peoples and their struggle for liberation which are the decisive force. The American people must not leave the question of war and peace in the hands of the imperialist warmakers. Rather we must take the initiative and unfold a powerful movement to stay the hands of the warmakers and overthrow imperialism once and for all.
Today the Democratic and Republican politicians are screaming about the government’s budget deficit even after taking trillions of dollars out of the public treasury and turning it over to the Wall Street bankers and Pentagon arms merchants, year after year after year.
Yet more, the Republicans and Democrats have already made it crystal clear that they will continue to use the deficit as their excuse for slashing social investments in health care, education, income-support for the unemployed and poverty stricken, public housing, etc.
The problem was and remains the political will – the class interests – of the government. The bi-partisan program of the Democrats and Republicans is to put everything at the disposal of the monopolies. The government uses its power to tax and spend to redistribute our country’s wealth even more in favor of the billionaires and the corporations.