The Worker (Update), September 2, 2013
Published by the Workers Party, USA
P.O. Box 25716, Chicago, IL 60625
Against American Chauvinism
The Workers Party vigorously denounces the U.S. government for its war threats against Syria. The Workers Party defends the right of the people of Syria to self-determination and sovereignty. This necessarily includes recognition of Syria's right to defend itself against imperialist aggression in all its forms. So too, we oppose U.S. economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria which aim to pressure Syria to accept U.S. dictate.
U.S. imperialism is beating the drum for war against Syria in order to cover over allegations that Syria's enemies – armed and organized by the U.S. – have used chemical weapons. Offering no "argument" but American chauvinism, the Obama administration is trying to stampede public opinion against Syria. The open declaration of Obama and company is that U.S. military power gives U.S. imperialism the "right" to do whatever it wants.
The ideology of American chauvinism, like ideology in general, is a product of very definite social relations.
Just as the theories of racial superiority were concocted and propagated to support the social system of slavery, so too, the ideology of American chauvinism is promoted to support the present-day system of imperialism and colonialism.
American chauvinism is the ideology of the monopoly capitalist class.
When American chauvinism declares that every country must accept globalization and the "free market system," it is reflecting the drive of the U.S. monopolies to force open the door of every country, grab control of their resources and take over their economies.
When American chauvinism insists that every country accept U.S.-style "democracy," it is reflecting the drive of the U.S. monopolies to insure their political control of other countries – to establish colonial and neo-colonial regimes.
American chauvinism – the ideology of the monopoly capitalist class – is not only directed against other nations, it is also directed against the American working class and people. American chauvinism aims to sacrifice the lives of our sons and daughters in order to "defend" the empire and profits of the capitalists. American chauvinism creates a war hysteria in order to rob the public treasury on behalf of the Pentagon arms merchants. It seeks to impose a culture of racism and violence on the American people.
All along the line, American chauvinism is an assault on the conscience, traditions and deepest aspirations of the American people who, as part of their struggle for emancipation, have always fought against the imperialist wars waged by their "own" government.
Today, two different perspectives, two different futures, two different worlds are in contention.
On the one hand, there is the perspective of the U.S. monopoly capitalists and their handful of reactionary allies around the world who are telling us plainly what kind of world the capitalists have in mind – a world which remains at war for decades, a unipolar world in which U.S. imperialism imposes its dictate on all of humanity, returning to the days of colonialism to grab the wealth and exploit the labor of billions of human beings.
In opposition to U.S. imperialism's war program, the peoples are demanding peace and an end to U.S. dictate and domination. In opposition to the world of colonialism and racism, of exploitation and oppression, the people envision and are fighting for a world of peace and friendship based on the sovereign equality of every nation and recognition of the rights of the peoples.
For a New Political Unity
The intensifying struggle between the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital and the pro-social agenda is also intensifying the political polarization and political crisis in our country.
The offensive of monopoly capital increasingly exposes the bankruptcy of social-democracy and liberalism and that the working class as a whole has nothing to gain from the alliance between the Democratic Party and the labor aristocracy. Broad sections of the workers are alienated from the political process and are looking for a new path. So too, many sincere activists from the intermediate stratum are genuinely trying to develop the fight against the anti-social agenda and are also increasingly open to a genuine political alternative.
Again, these conditions bring to the fore the necessity for working class activists to take a broad view of things and fight against the pressure to narrow their outlook. A fundamental political realignment is taking place and what is at stake is nothing less than which direction our country will take.
In developing the pro-social agenda, the Party works with all its energy to develop a new and broad political unity of the American people. This unity is independent of ideology and must be based on the concrete tasks confronting our country.
Mass Workers’ Press
In order to successfully develop the pro-social political program on the broadest possible basis, the Party works on a daily basis to organize the working class as a class-for-itself. The mass workers’ press, which gives expression to the independent aims and program of the working class, plays a decisive role in this work.
By clarifying the aims of the movement and sorting out the programmatic tasks – that is, by popularizing the program of economic rights, democratic renewal, a democratic foreign policy and socialism –The Worker and other Party literature unite the conscious and active workers and help mobilize the people on a broad scale.
Furthermore, through the mass workers’ press, the Party and the workers openly contend with the monopoly capitalists over the burning issues of the day. Whether the issue is opposing the U.S. imperialist foreign policy or government cutbacks in social services, the workers use their own press to rally and mobilize the people and to inform the ongoing struggles with direction and program.
In the current conditions, the mass workers’ press is a vital means for bringing enlightenment into the workers’ movement as well as the broad movements for social change. While the monopoly-controlled media maintains a blockade of silence against the struggles and conditions of the workers, the workers’ press helps give people a concrete picture of their own movement. This enables the workers to learn from their own experience and take the questions of strategy, tactics and organization into their own hands. So too, the workers’ press provides vitally needed information as well as a forum for political clarification for the entire pro-social movement. The political, ideological and organizational conditions created by building the mass workers’ press are vital in assisting people to not only react but to develop a pro-active agenda and movement.
Even while the capitalist class advertises the U.S. political system as the model for "democracy" the world over, the masses of people feel alienated and excluded from the political process and political system. In fact, for tens of millions of Americans "politics" is a dirty word. People see that the current political process is dominated by big money; they see that the concerns and needs of the people do not even get on the agenda. People are rejecting, in mass, the Republican and Democratic parties and inevitably the issue of building up a genuine alternative – the independent political movement of the people – is coming to the fore.
Facing this crisis of legitimacy and unable to mobilize people in support of their anti-social agenda, the monopoly capitalists are more and more trying to de-politicize people and degrade their consciousness.
Whenever the capitalists want to launch a new initiative – whether it be a war against another country or the further dismantling of the public sectors of the economy – the people are bombarded with disinformation designed to mystify the causes of social problems and demonize the enemies of capitalism. For example, in order to prepare public opinion for the privatization of Social Security, the capitalists are continuously repeating the big lie that "Social Security is going bankrupt."
Such political discussion and analysis as appears in the monopoly-controlled media always remains within the limits defined by the monopoly capitalist class. People are offered the "choice" of higher taxes or less social spending. But all the while the monopoly-controlled media starts from the unspoken assumption that the bulk of the government’s budget must go to the military arms merchants or the Wall Street bankers. Similarly, the workers are threatened that if they don’t accept wage cuts, they will lose their jobs. Again, the unspoken assumption is that – first, last, and always – the profits of the capitalists must be protected.
The Democrats and Republicans help impose this pre-set agenda on the people. Of course, the Democrats and Republicans put on a show and play a real con game on the public by pretending to "argue" over the agenda. But both "sides" of the "debate" remain within the limits set by the needs of monopoly capital. Thus, the Republicans demand the all-around privatization of the public schools while the Democrats advertise their program of partial privatization not merely as the "lesser evil" but as a real victory for the people. This pre-set agenda completely excludes the workers and prevents our country from finding solutions to the pressing economic, social and political problems facing the people.
Under the current system of bourgeois democracy, elections are held only to give the appearance of legitimacy, to create the idea that the people have given their consent to the rule of capital. Through the two-party monopoly the capitalists have rigged the system to insure that only representatives of big business control the seats of government. The people have no real vote or choice because the right to nominate candidates and run for office has been reserved as a privilege of the rich. What is more, the elected officials are completely unaccountable to the people, who are deprived of any direct role in setting the agenda or in governance.
In fact, behind the facade of democracy, government power is becoming more and more arbitrary. Take, for example, the government’s vast power to tax and spend. Over the last several years, the Democrats and Republicans have advertised their radical cutbacks in social investments and entitlement programs as a virtual "revolution" (read: counter-revolution). But the people had absolutely no role in the decisions to slash income support programs for the poor and most vulnerable or in the government program of privatizing social services. In the same way, the government continues to launch one war after another – in Yugoslavia, in Iraq, in Columbia, etc., etc. – but the people are given no say so in these decisions. In other words, whenever the time for talk is over and the real interests of capitalism are at stake, the government reveals itself as nothing more nor less than the arbitrary, violent power of monopoly capital.
Civil liberties and democratic rights are under sharp attack. Through nonstop propaganda about the "war on drugs," "crime," etc., the capitalists create an atmosphere of hysteria and fear. The aura of "crisis" and "emergency" is used to justify the arbitrariness and repression of the state. These days, even the smallest protests or demonstrations of the workers and people are immediately surrounded by the police, curtailed by court injunctions, and presented as an issue of "law and order.