Picket Line & Barricades
The right kind of unity
I had planned to write this month’s column on unemployment. The administration in Washington and their presumed opposition, the Democratic Party, are only glancingly concerned with the disastrous condition of the workers receiving layoff notices.
I wanted to make some comments about this, but then planes slammed into the twin towers in New York. Tell you something strange about this-slaughtering innocent people is a tactic of the fascists. The Italian “far-right” groups of the early 20th century were infamous for this.
What did the fascists gain-why did they do it? To make the inhabitants of Italy nervous, uncertain, fearful, and ready to accept the thugs in hob-nailed boots who promised quiet and safety.
True, the fascists didn’t include suicide in their bag of tricks. They used bombs for other people’s deaths-not their own. That’s because the Nazi-types are not usually religious zealots but pro-big business bully boys and hucksters funded by the highest rungs of finance capital.
The current highjackers are not fascists. They are similar to the fascists in some ways but not in others. The key is that both types of groups are ultra-conservative, not socialist. They are in league with the ruling elite of world capitalism.
How come they are showing up now? The foremost reason is the pervasive weakness of revolutionary socialists. This is one of the effects of 60 years of power by Josef Stalin and his clique in the former Soviet Union and abroad. This self-serving bureaucracy always attempted to make deals with capitalist classes around the globe-and always caused shambles and defeats for the workers, the producing class.
The Stalinist bureaucrats finally imploded and surrendered the Soviet Union without a struggle. (Now, of course, the same bureaucrats are taking over nationalized companies and industries for pennies or less, converting their bureaucracy into a plutocracy-that is, new capitalists.)
Why am I telling you all this? Because when conditions became ripe for struggle worldwide, there were few socialist organizations to lead it. It was a political vacuum for those opposing the status quo, and into this vacancy came religious fundamentalists and representatives of classes other than the oppressed. And that is part of how we got to where we are.
And where is Socialist Action in all this? Our job is the reconstruction of a mass workers party, leading to the construction (and reconstruction) of organizations of the working class and other oppressed people.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, D.C., the owners (“leaders”) are utterly delighted by the new American unity. “War!” they yell. “Nobody is against us-the entire populace is against killing 6000 people in a terrorist attack.” Yes, that is so.
But socialists go in for this unity stuff too. We keep saying, “An injury to one is an injury to all.”
And you’ve possibly heard the chant in mass demonstrations, “The people united will never be defeated!” That is, we’re for the unity of the oppressed against the oppressors.
Now we call for unity against the new capitalist war drive. Give the unemployed jobs, not guns! Help the non-industrialized world, don’t shatter it! Free health care for everyone, not just soldiers with war wounds!
Unity for the poor! Unity for the oppressed! Unity for the working class, all the prisoners, all the underprivileged! With the right kind of unity, we’ll wrest our nation from the greedy, corrupt and incompetent hands of the super-rich and their political frontmen!