Monday, January 30, 2012

Off the ballot and into the streets

Well-said, Workers World Party:
....what has the electioneering season got to do with the problems facing so many tens of millions of workers and oppressed communities in this country? Will anyone in either the Republican or the Democratic party, from Obama, Romney and Gingrich on down to those running for lower offices, put forward a program to do what the people want?

Poll after poll shows a rising tide of anger at the very, very rich and the financial institutions that serve them. People want jobs or an income to live on if they can't get work. They want the rich to pay a lot more taxes so that social services aren't cut while more workers are laid off. They want their money spent on the environment and schools and hospitals and housing, not bailouts to the banks and endless wars.

Obama's State of the Union address, his opening shot in the campaign, tried to tap into this anger when he said he was for an economy where "everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules." This is open to many interpretations. By the same set of rules, does he mean an economy where someone with $1 billion and someone with $10 both have the right to start a bank? One where a rich person and a poor person will both be punished equally for stealing a loaf of bread?

Capitalist politics is aimed at obscuring the class differences that lead to poverty, on the one hand, and obscene wealth, on the other. In this season of open reaction versus liberal demagogy, it is what the movement does in the streets that will count and lay the basis for real change.

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