The Worker, November 15, 2017
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625

Handing Over the Country to Big Business

One of the growing features of the privatization movement of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class is the creation of so-called “public-private partnerships” which use various forms of privatization in order to place public resources at the disposal of the private sector.

The “public-private partnership” is but one of many ways by which the government has been taking areas of the economy that make up the national patrimony of the American people and turning over to the private sector. All across the country, state governments are contracting out such things as social welfare programs, the running of prisons, park service, school food service and maintenance, garbage collection, etc., etc. State and local governments have been privatizing highways, mass transit systems, hospitals, parks, etc. In addition, government-run programs such as Medicaid and Medicare are being dismantled and the public revenues earmarked for these services are being turned over, in the form of vouchers, to private HMO’s or other for-profit health care providers. The privatization movement is even taking aim at the schools and step-by-step unfolding a program to turn public education over to “educational entrepreneurs.”

Privatization of government functions, which has become a major part of the programs of both the Democratic and Republican parties, serves two parallel purposes. First, it effectively separates the government from the responsibility of providing needed services to the population. Secondly, the capitalists are not only given the opportunity to reap huge profits by selling vital public services but they are also given the capital needed to provide such services.

Privatization is a program which is throwing our country backwards. Privatization means handing the birthrights of the people over to the monopoly capitalist class. The public infrastructure, including such things as the public schools or the stock of public housing, is part of our country’s social capital – created and paid for over many decades by the workers and taxpayers. Privatization means turning this public infrastructure into private capital; it is the robbery and plunder of the country on a grand scale.

Privatization also means denying that the government and society have any responsibility for the public good. Through privatization, the government is eliminating the entitlement status of various social programs. Instead of providing public services to everyone on the basis of right, privatized social programs will be distributed as commodities on the basis of money. The rich will get the best health care, education, retirement benefits and so forth, while those without money will simply be pushed aside and denied their basic human rights. Privatization is part of the program of leaving every aspect of the life of the people in the hands of the so-called “free market” – that is leaving people completely at the mercy of monopoly capital.

The demand for public services arose in the struggle against medievalism as people fought to make the state – the public authority – bear certain responsibility to guarantee the public welfare and provide for social needs. For example, very early in the history of our country, the people forced the government to recognize the right to education and the state took on responsibility for the system of public education.

Over the years, as the people’s struggles forced at least partial recognition of other rights, the state took responsibility for such things as public hospitals and public health, the Social Security system, public housing, and so forth. In addition, historically the capitalist state worked to build the infrastructure needed for capitalist development, including highways, railroads, etc.

Of course, in operating such public services, the capitalist government invariably ran things in a way to guarantee profits for the capitalist class while minimizing the rights of the people. For example, for decades the government has been letting the stock of public housing, the public school system and public health facilities deteriorate and crumble.

But today, as the permanent crisis of monopoly capitalism deepens, the capitalists are seeking to withdraw any and all guarantees for the rights and well-being of the people and to have the maximum amount of the social capital put directly at their disposal. This is the source of the privatization movement.

From the Anti-Imperialist News Service

U.S.-NATO Occupation More Overwhelmed Than Ever By Afghan National Liberation Struggle

November 14, 2017 – After 16 years of failure, the Trump administration is expressing hope that a stepped-up show of force will reverse U.S.-NATO losses in the face of the guerilla-based liberation struggle by organized citizens of Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, Washington secured an agreement with NATO to send 3,000 additional troops. The announcement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg followed an August announcement from Washington that it would also be increasing troop levels by several thousands. There are already tens of thousands of U.S.-NATO troops in Afghanistan. In a news conference on November 9, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis explained his desire to keep the current size of the occupation a secret because of growing concern about the rising number of attacks from resistance fighters in Afghanistan. He stated, “I don’t want to talk specific numbers. Basically, I don’t give the enemy information they could use to their advantage. And I’m told by some, ‘Well, people used to do that.’ That's not me.”

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as a first-step in its “war against international terrorism.” In every way, the war has been an aggressive, imperialist war. As in Iraq, the U.S. military has systematically targeted civilians, killing tens of thousands. Numerous atrocities, such as the saturated bombing of civilian population centers, massacres at wedding ceremonies, market-center bombings, etc., have been repeatedly carried out by the U.S. military.

The U.S. has also used the war in Afghanistan to extend its network of military bases and alliances.

All this century as in the second half of the last, the militarizing of the globe the U.S. goverment is doing is aimed at establishing a hierarchy vis-a-vis other big power rivals. The U.S. monopoly capitalist class, represented by the Democratic and Republican parties, doesn’t want to have to settle economic matters by competition alone. The result is a war program aimed at maintaining the U.S. as the sole remaining superpower through the development of military superiority. Through the so-called “war on terrorism” the two parties give themselves license to launch aggressive wars and to use a military role as “world policeman” to exercise control over the fate of other countries’ sovereign affairs.

Growing Death Toll Reflects Trump’s Choice to Continue Former Administration “Drone Wars”

September 25, 2017 – On September 15, the U.S. military carried out its fifth airstrike of the year in Pakistan, near the border of Afghanistan. So far, as a result of that airstrike, three civilians have been reported killed. Six civilians were killed after three drone strikes were discharged on September 13 over Somalia. On September 9, three U.S. airstrikes killed at least five civilians in Yemen. On September 22, U.S. airstrikes were delivered in Libya, killing over fifteen civilians.

Despite Trump’s campaign promises to get away from the war program escalated by the Obama administration, “counter-terrorism” airstrikes and other covert operations by the U.S. military have not disappeared from the international landscape.

The shadow of U.S. drone strike use outside of Iraq and Afghanistan was first cast by U.S. imperialism over Yemen. Since the end of George W. Bush’s presidency when this program was initiated, their use made its appearance over several other countries, including Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria.

The U.S. uses drone strikes to undermine the legal systems of other countries and to avoid extradition and trial for its targets.

The character of the U.S. relations with the communities targeted is one of terror and deception. U.S. drone strikes kill huge numbers of children and their mothers and fathers even while the method undermines the right of the victim’s family members to see the foreign pilots and all of their superiors brought to trial for the crime.

According to the database of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, since 2002 in Yemen there were 199 U.S. airstrikes causing the death of over 1,500 people and the injury of hundreds more. Since January, 2007 in Somalia, U.S. air drones opened fire 39 times, killing 428 people. 4,020 mortalities and hundreds more injured resulted from 428 U.S. drone attacks that took place in Pakistan since June, 2004.

These facts show that drone strikes have become a growing menace to the world since George W. Bush first initiated them as part of the so-called “war on international terrorism” in 2002. And behind this practical barbarism lie the equally barbarous attempts to justify U.S. imperialism’s brazen violation of the sovereignty of countries and to demonize the very countries and peoples victimized by U.S. aggression. The capitalist politicians of both parties have chosen to portray countries and peoples as “evil ones” and “terrorists” only to disguise the real exploiting, aggressive aims of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.

In particular, the capitalist politicians work hard to dehumanize and demonize the Arab and Muslim peoples by bombarding the world with the most vile stereotyping about them. And of course, as U.S. imperialism is not only waging a continuous war against Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is also keeping the whole of the Middle East militarized in order to keep its armies in the region and maintain control over this strategic and oil-rich part of the world. In reality, this so-called “international war against terrorism” is nothing but a pretext for the strategic plan of the U.S. monopoly capitalists to create a unipolar world under their flag on the basis that Might Makes Right. It is a blueprint for war not just in the Middle east, but in every corner of the globe.

In the Middle East, U.S. imperialism’s drone wars and other interventions are unleashing chaos and death. While U.S. imperialism terrorizes the peoples of the region and tramples on their sovereignty, the countries and people it targets are considered no more than “collateral” damage in its drive for oil and empire.