Road of the Party
Campaign for Economic Rights
November 8, 2013
The Workers Party has initiated the Campaign for Economic Rights (CER) as a program for unifying and strengthening resistance to the capitalist offensive and as part of the work to carry through the struggle for the political economy of the working class under contemporary conditions.
The CER asserts that every human being simply by virtue of her/his humanity is entitled to certain inalienable economic and human rights including:
– the right to food, clothing and shelter
– the right to a job or a livelihood commensurate with our country's level of development. This includes the right to income-security in the event of loss of capacity to work, retirement, etc.
– the right to comprehensive and free medical and health care
– the right to the best possible education, from infant care through the university.
The Campaign for Economic Rights is needed not only to struggle against the anti-social agenda but to give our reply to WHAT KIND OF SOCIETY?, to come forward with a vision and a program for a truly human society which guarantees the inalienable economic rights and well-being of every human being.
The level of development of our country, as well as the entire history of our people, who have, from the beginning, fought to create a society which guarantees equal rights for all, demands that we go forward. The fact that tens of millions of Americans are denied their most basic rights is bad enough, but it is absolutely barbarous when we remember that our country has all the resources necessary to guarantee the well-being of everyone. Human society has reached the point where we are capable of leaving behind the dark ages when the main pre-occupation was with physical survival and economic necessity.
What is blocking the way forward – what is keeping the people from realizing their inalienable economic rights? It is only the power and privilege of the capitalist owners. It is the fact that the health care system is organized with the motive and aim of maximizing profit, rather than insuring the health of the population, which is the problem; it is the fact that the capitalist class monopolizes the tools of our country and sets the economy in motion solely with the aim of maximizing profit, which prevents millions of workers from having a secure economic existence.
The CER insists that human beings have claims on society, have rights, on the basis of their humanity and not on the basis of their wealth and property.
The issue is that we must assert these rights, we must claim them through struggle against the power and privilege of a few. And we must claim them by coming out together. The CER says that each of us can only realize her/his economic rights by asserting these as human rights which belong inherently to everyone. We are saying that these individual rights can only be secured by asserting our collective rights, especially the right of the people to determine their social and economic environment.
Today the capitalists insist that there are no collective rights which belong to the whole people. They actually say that there is no society and that there are only individuals and individual rights. Of course, what they mean is that there must only be "rights" for the individual owners of private property in the means of production and that society must be governed by the law of the jungle, must be an arena in which the rich and powerful prey on everyone else.
In our view, the capitalist class and the anti-social agenda are attacking everything that makes us human, and in particular trying to deny altogether the basic facts of human existence and of the modern world – to deny its social character, to deny our common humanity. And it is this humanity which we cannot let them suppress; it is this humanity which we must stand up and claim.
Claiming this humanity means that the working class must lead the way in coming forward with a pro-social agenda that recognizes and guarantees the rights of all the exploited and oppressed, of all humanity. There is no other way that we can emancipate ourselves and no other society to which we can aspire. Despite the relentless propaganda of the capitalists, the workers are not like the capitalists – we do not live, nor do we want to live, by exploiting others. On the contrary, our entire existence and our deepest aspirations are bound up with our social existence. Who does not want to create and live in that kind of society which guarantees the blossoming and development of every individual, the development of the humanity of all?
The immediate challenge facing the working class is to bring such a pro-social agenda into the political arena and contend with the capitalist class over the direction and future of our country.
Such a pro-social agenda must assert the inalienable economic rights of the people and insist that the guiding line of the economy must be to guarantee the well-being of the people. Such an agenda demands that government make the vitally needed social investments to guarantee the rights of the people.