I’ve been writing a lot about the evils of capitalism and its very close partner imperialism. Capitalism is central to most of the suffering in our world today and no matter how much we struggle for higher pay, an end to the many wars, universal healthcare, affordable housing, jobs for all who can work, etc., nothing changes until we squash capitalism and its ethos . . . profit and the accumulation of wealth by any means necessary.
To accept capitalism is to accept racism, classism and the exploitation of workers. It is an integral part of capitalism that workers are to be used and exploited and eventually discarded when they are no longer of use to the ruling class.
Despite this, among the most ardent supporters of capitalism has been organized labor. It has become apparent by looking at the history that although the leaders of the labor movement were initially left-wing radicals embracing communism, the movement was co-opted by the capitalist ruling class, rendering unionization an impotent gesture. Today’s union movement is barren and feeble and focused on merely looking for a piece of the action in a system that is structured to keep workers divided and weak. Those who wanted real change were killed and imprisoned by the representatives of the ruling class . . . the police, the justice system, and elected members of Congress, and eventually rejected by the labor movement itself and they and their goals dismissed.
After decades of struggle, can we say that workers are better off today? NO! Despite the fact there have been battles won, labor is losing the war. Unemployment remains high, many workers are only working part/time jobs, many have to work 2 jobs in order to support themselves and their families, millions have no healthcare insurance, homelessness is a major problem in most urban areas, the continuous, ongoing capitalist wars have usurped most of this country’s assets, and unions have been castrated and rendered impotent. And still, labor leaders remain silent and direct their members to support the war mongering, Wall Street supporting, Democratic Party.
As long as we accept the parameters of capitalism, we are destined to be losers, people who are left to beg our masters for a better life.
The many struggles of the progressives are important and crucial but until we mobilize to attack the core problem, capitalism, our lives will not change. We will continue to be exploited, the disparity in income and wealth between the capitalist class and the working class will continue to be obnoxiously great, and our sons and daughters will continue to be the ones sent to fight the capitalist-sponsored wars, kill and be killed by people who have done them no harm and are no threat to them, in order for the American ruling class to increase its wealth and power.
For example, the US has been at war almost every year of the past 80 years. This, despite the fact that there has been an active and well-represented anti-war movement in the US. The countries that the US attacks do not present any threat to us . . . it is a narrative used to convince us that we have to go to these countries and destroy them in order to defend our freedoms and our way of life.
Does anyone really believe that Iraq was a threat to the US? Would Saddam Hussein really attack the US? Saddam had used up his usefulness and it was time for him to go. We were told by members of the Bush administration that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. So do “our” friends in Israel and the US has yet to challenge them. (As a result, tens of thousands of Iraqis have died, hundreds of thousands are now homeless and are among the refugees seeking shelter and safety in Europe.)
Is Assad, president of Syria, a threat to the US? Yet, the US is supporting terrorist mercenaries in order to overthrow Assad’s democratically elected government. Assad has a close relationship with Russia and Iran and the US will not tolerate such behavior. (Again, tens of thousands have died, hundreds of thousands are now homeless and are among the refugees seeking shelter and safety in Europe.)
Was Grenada a threat when the US attacked it? They happened to have the gall to establish a socialist leaning government. Grenada is probably no bigger than Rhode Island with a population of less than a hundred thousand people. (Thousands died).
And then, we have those military powerhouses, Vietnam and North Korea. Does anyone really believe that those two countries represented a clear and imminent danger to the national security of the US?
But, as we were told, the US had to “save these countries from the spread of communism.” In the process of saving them, millions died and their countries were poisoned with Agent Orange. This reminds me of Harry Truman’s stated rationale for dropping two nuclear bombs on Japan . . . he wanted to end the war and avoid more people from dying.
These are countries, Vietnam and North Korea, that cannot match up against the military of the US. It was only their commitment not to allow another foreign nation to once again dictate how they were to live their lives that allowed part of their countries to remain independent of US influence. Yet, we are asked to believe that they were a threat to this country. I guess that if we are asked to believe that 19 Arabs armed with nothing but box cutters can create the destruction they supposedly accomplished on 9/11, against a multi-billion dollar US defense system, then there is nothing that some of us aren’t prepared to believe.
War is profitable for our ruling class and there is little we can do to stop it unless we rid ourselves of a ruling class. War allows the rulers to expand their influence and control and it directs all our attention on defeating this “enemy,” whoever that may be at that particular time. Therefore, while engaged in another war, we have little time to focus on how the ruling class is exploiting us. If we were successful in ending all the wars we are currently enmeshed in, within a short period of time our rulers will find other areas of military conflict.
The capitalists must keep providing us with enemies so that we do not recognize that it is they, not the working people of other countries, who are our true enemies.
Capitalism is nothing more than organized crime!!
Don’t sulk, organize!!
Socialism or barbarism!!
Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology. He spent his career working with troubled inner city adolescents.