Socialism: a world without oppression
Published Jan 15, 2011 10:03 AM
Caleb T. Maupin
WW photo: Alan Pollock
Following are excerpts from a talk by Caleb T. Maupin
on Nov. 13 at the national Workers World Party conference in New York City. He
is a member of the WWP Cleveland branch and Fight Imperialism, Stand
Karl Marx was not the first socialist. He was not the first person to envision a
communist future, one without the oppression and degradation people face.
However, Marx was the first to understand that socialism could only come about
as a result of class struggle. The capitalist class, which owns the banks,
factories and vast wealth of society, is constantly in struggle with the
working class, those with nothing to sell but their labor.
Karl Marx also pointed out that “the ruling ideology of every epoch is
the ideology of the ruling class.” Just as the ideas that dominated in
the time of feudalism were the ideas of kings and nobles, the ideas that
dominate the world now, through private ownership of the media, are the ideas
of capitalists and bankers.
Because of this, blatant falsehoods become passed off as reality.
One lie that has been commonly accepted is that socialism is a good idea, but
it has failed everywhere it’s ever been tried. In reality, it’s the
exact opposite. Everywhere socialism has been implemented the results have
meant great victories and advances for the people.
In the Soviet Union, where our class first held power, illiteracy was
abolished. Unemployment was obliterated. Workers were guaranteed several weeks
paid vacation every year. The first spacecrafts to orbit the earth were
launched, making the people of the USSR the first to “conquer the
heavens,” as some would call it.
All this was accomplished, despite the fact that the imperialists never gave
the USSR a moment of peace. Whether it was the forces sent immediately
afterwards to put down the revolution, the Nazi invasion or the threat of
nuclear annihilation from former President Ronald Reagan, the Soviet people
accomplished all they did while under extreme threat from the ruling classes of
Today, Cuba stands tall as an example of a socialist society. Cuba has the
highest life expectancy in Latin America and a lower infant mortality rate than
the United States.
In January Cuba will be celebrating its 50th year without illiteracy, because
after the revolution the Cuban government sent the youth into the countryside
to educate the people. [In April 1961, Cuba launched the National Literacy
Campaign.] The goal was to arm the people with the ability to read and be
educated, so they could rule society, not an exploiting capitalist class or a
Where’s the failure in this?
Another lie they tell us is that imperialism is helping the world. We have just
heard about the crimes that imperialism is committing against women around the
When you compare the various countries where imperialism holds power, you see
brutal oppression. In Nigeria, where Shell Oil owns the government, the result
is massive unemployment, malnutrition and lack of basic necessities.
However, the highest life expectancy in Africa is in Libya, where the
nationalist government has taken control of the oil and used it for the good of
the people. I agree with Vince Copeland, a founder of our party, that it is
time we do the same thing because oil belongs to the people!
Another lie they tell us is that this is the greatest country in the world and
that workers in the U.S. are better off than workers anywhere else. This is
In countries with strong trade unions and strong socialist and communist
parties, many workers have won countless more concessions for themselves.
National healthcare, better wages and free college education are enjoyed by
workers in other imperialist countries, the results being longer life
expectancy, lower infant mortality rates and a better quality of life.
The great revolutionary Frederick Douglas said, “Power concedes nothing
We, as a revolutionary party, have to be involved in every struggle for basic
rights and justice. In addition, we must bring to the people our revolutionary
message that workers can rise up, seize control of society and build the future
that everyone deserves.
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