For a Pro-Social Agenda
April 16, 2012
During the last several years the monopoly capitalist class has been stepping up its anti-social offensive in our country. The Obama administration as well as state and local governments have been attempting to privatize vital public services and infrastructure and to make cuts to our country's social programs. The government is preparing to put the entire country at the disposal of the billionaire capitalists while insisting that it has no responsibility to guarantee the rights of the people.
The working people are feeling the increasing toll of this anti-social offensive:
Hunger and malnutrition have been imposed on millions. Cutbacks in funding for food stamp and other welfare programs mean that millions are denied government assistance.
In 2010 the number of people living below the poverty line reached 46.9 million – the highest level seen in the 50 years the government has been publishing information on poverty rates.
An ever growing army of unemployed workers have been deprived of even the barest essentials. At the end of 2011 only 48 percent of the country's 14 million workers officially unemployed received assistance.
The problems of evictions and homelessness affect millions.
Tens of millions of people are denied health care while "reforms" of Medicaid and Medicare have affected millions more because of the introduction of out of pocket expenses.
And the list goes on and on: retired workers denied pensions, children denied special education classes, insufficient medical aid and pensions for veterans, millions of youths denied a modern education, employment or any prospects for the future...
So too, people everywhere are coming out in opposition to this anti-social offensive. A widespread movement against privatization of the public schools, hospitals and other public services and infrastructure is developing. Senior citizens, unionized workers and people from all walks of life are organizing to defend programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. In fact, people are demanding that the government make more social investments in order to guarantee the rights of the people.
What is needed to push this movement forward?
For one thing we need to unite all the currents of opposition to the anti-social agenda into one mighty torrent. The capitalists try to confine and liquidate the opposition by separating people into competing interest groups. But such questions as the right to income security in retirement, to health care and education, are not "special interests" but issues of concern to all – issues which go to the very heart of what kind of society we live in and whether or not the inalienable rights of the people are recognized. Battles are raging on many fronts but they are all part of the common struggle for the rights of the people.
Secondly, in the course of our struggles, we must work to give independent political expression to the program of the people themselves. Today, the disorganization and weakness of our movement comes from the leaders of various working class and popular organizations who are still trying to keep us bound hand and foot under the political domination of the Democratic Party. The bankruptcy of this politics of liberalism and social-democracy is seen in its continued support for Obama. Obama's so-called "change" based on a "new vision" has proven itself to be nothing less than a way of buying time in the face of the growing movement of the people even while stepping-up attacks on social programs previously won by the working people through decades of struggle.
The only way to defeat the anti-social agenda of big capital is for the working class and people to come onto the political scene with their own aims and program. We must not only resist the attacks on our rights but put forward a vision and program which realizes the great potential latent in our country and opens the way for renewed progress. Such a program begins with recognizing all the inalienable economic and human rights of the people and demanding that society be organized from the aim of guarantying these rights.