Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jobs or Income Now!

"The forest of uplifted arms demanding work becomes ever thicker, while the arms themselves become ever thinner."--Karl Marx, "Wage-Labor and Capital"

The United States is bleeding jobs. The latest (Dec. 5, 2008) unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that 533,000 jobs were lost in November. 1.9 million proletarians have lost their jobs this year. Black and Latino working class people are hit the hardest. Capitalism, as Karl Marx pointed out long ago, spreads mass pauperization. The army of the unemployed grows. Economic crisis and poverty, Gus Hall boldly said, is part of the bourgeois pattern "exposed and laid out by Marx, Engels and Lenin."

"The capitalist class," the Communist economist Victor Perlo noted, "has always needed a reserve army of unemployed." V.I. Lenin was right on the mark: "An industrial reserve army of labor is an indispensable attribute of the capitalist economy." Unemployment is a weapon against labor to drive down wages. In times of economic crisis, capitalists lay off workers and impose speed up on workers with jobs. The Soviet Union abolished unemployment. "Not only was there no joblessness in the U.S.S.R.," Hall wrote, "but there was full employment without racism or discriminatory practices."

The working class needs to stand up, speak out and fight back! We require class struggle picketlines, protests and mass people's lobbies that demand Jobs or Income NOW! We must battle for a federal law against layoffs. For a public works program which can provide jobs. Money should be spent to create jobs and rebuild America, not wage imperialist war and occupation. Unemployment insurance and food stamps also need to be extended--with no exclusion of workers on strike.

(V.I. Lenin: 'Only struggle educates the exploited class. Only struggle discloses to it the magnitude of its own power, widens its horizon, enhances its abilities, clarifies its mind, forges its will.')

Gus Hall, the Marxist-Leninist former leader of the Communist Party of the United States, put it squarely: "It's time to demand that People Come Before Profits!"

In order to turn the economy around and prevent layoffs, the working class must fight to nationalize basic industries--let the proletariat call the shots! We also need to raise our voices for the 111th Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, a law which would make it easier for laborers to form and join a union in order to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Tax the Rich.

Only socialism will finally end unemployment forever. The day approaches when American workers will turn to socialism and completely eliminate joblessness. Socialism will be, William Z. Foster of the Communist Party of the USA of yesteryear eloquently declared, the "climax" of "the everyday struggles of the workers." And Foster is right that "the time will come when the victorious toilers will build a monument to Lenin in New York." But in order to win this society without exploitation, Marxist theory must, as V.I. Lenin taught in What Is To Be Done?, be brought to the working class. We need a vanguard Marxist-Leninist Party and a proletarian revolution!