Qualitative Changes

January 17, 2006

Several articles in this edition deal with issues that are becoming all too commonplace.

Two articles are concerned with the intensifying struggle over pensions and income-security for retired workers. Another two articles address issues related to the struggle over private control of our country's public schools.

Precisely because these issues are becoming commonplace they are about more than isolated, individual struggles - about more than the cutting of a few dollars from the pensions of some workers or simply the opening of a few more charter schools. The fact is that the capitalist class and the capitalist government are unfolding a concerted, nationwide struggle aimed at fundamental changes. They are waging a real war against the rights of the people, trying to throw our country hundreds of years backwards.

The capitalists aim to eliminate or slash pensions below the minimum necessary for survival and deny any social responsibility for the income-security of retired workers. The capitalists aim at destroying our country's modern educational system and turning back to the feudal days when education was reserved as a privilege for the lords of wealth.

Similar attacks are being carried out against all the people's economic rights - against health care coverage, against even the most minimal governmental guarantees for food and shelter, against any semblance of job security, etc.

These generalized attacks against the people require a generalized response. The people are already waging many determined battles against the capitalist offensive. More such battles will be needed and each one deserves the support of all the working people. At the same time, we must read the writing on the wall. We must not only stop the assault on our rights. We must push forward with our own proactive, independent movement in order to win ironclad guarantees for income-security in retirement, modern and equal education for all, free, comprehensive health care and all our fundamental economic rights.