The Third International after Lenin

Saturday, July 30, 2016

"It can’t be tweaked or reformed. It must be replaced."


Capitalism can’t be reformed

We are living through an irreversible crisis of the capitalist system — a slow-burning depression that is building toward an even greater catastrophe. This drives never-ending imperialist interventions and wars in the Middle East and elsewhere as the old order continues to unravel with no end in sight.

The capitalists have no solution. That’s why the two main bourgeois parties are in crisis, the Democrats even more than the Republicans.

The Obama administration denies there is a problem. The economy is doing great, the president says. This is echoed by Hillary Clinton, who vows to continue the great “progress” of the last eight years. Many workers ask, “What progress?”

Donald Trump wins a hearing because he talks about the crisis: high unemployment, low wages, women without access to childcare. But his answers are anti-working-class demagogy: promising to “make America great again” and “safe again,” and to create jobs by putting “America First” and negotiating better trade deals. Scapegoating immigrants and blaming all Muslims for terrorism — in fact the largest number of victims of Islamist terrorists are Muslims — serve to divide working people. Blaming trade pacts for the economic crisis obfuscates the real enemy: capitalism.

The Bernie Sanders campaign — and the Occupy movement that hopes to gain control of the Democratic Party — is no better. Their mantras — campaign finance reform, more liberal Supreme Court judges, tax the rich — also take workers’ eyes off the real problem. There is no better, more humane capitalism. It can’t be tweaked or reformed. It must be replaced.

Working people, the producers of all wealth, can see our potential power reflected in the fear the rulers have of us, and how hard they try to convince us to accept our lot in life. “The Revenge of Unrealistic Expectations” is the title of a July 24 opinion piece by Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post, attacking all those who pine for a “romanticized world” of higher wages and low unemployment. But workers and farmers will not accept the rulers’ vision of the world.

All the bourgeois candidates, from Trump to Clinton and Sanders, assert that it is your vote Nov. 8 that matters. Their message is have faith in the elections.

Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy is spot on when she says that whoever wins the election, the bosses will keep trying to boost their falling profit rates on our backs, the worldwide capitalist economic crisis will continue, the imperialist order will keep unraveling.

The only road out of this crisis is for working people to act to end the rulers’ class dictatorship, like workers and farmers did in Cuba in 1959.

The party joins every battle that increases the self-confidence of working people, our discipline in struggle, our class consciousness and understanding of our own worth. This includes union fights to improve wages and conditions, protests against police brutality and for a women’s right to abortion, and actions like the Sept. 8 United Mine Workers union march on Washington, D.C., to that demand health care benefits and pensions for retired miners be maintained.

“Workers need a revolutionary party to educate and organize the working class to fight for political power,” Kennedy says. “That’s what the Socialist Workers Party is.”

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