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Statement of Workers World Party

Dangerous talk of revolution

These are the best of times and the worst of times. The awful truth about capitalism can no longer be hidden. Even the moneyed oligarchs who have gathered in New York to celebrate their world system are haunted by the specter of Enron and the inner turmoil its collapse reveals within the incestuous web of U.S. industry, finance and government.

An economic crisis is unrolling that started in the financial markets, is spreading to the factories, offices and stores, and can engulf the political structures of capitalist governments everywhere, as it is doing so spectacularly at this very moment Argentina.

This crisis is driving the Bush administration's adventurous military expansion, which has two aspects: an attempt to resuscitate the flagging fortunes of U.S. capital with a strong jolt of war spending and imperial conquest; and a media-coordinated scare-mongering campaign to divert workers' attention from the scandalous and criminal theft of so much wealth by the cabal intertwined with the Washington elite.

As the World Economic Forum meets, outside will be a glimpse of the new movement--global, like the system whose crimes it is protesting--that is a forerunner of things to come. Each protester speaks for a multitude around the world who "stand outcast and starving midst the wonders we have made," in the words of the old union song.

This movement is young and hopeful, despite all the doomsday scenarios confronting it. Yes, it is saying, you are damaging our beloved planet, starving and stunting the world's people, bringing them exploitation and war instead of clean water and

plowshares, but we believe another world is possible.

Those determined to rule this world reply, "Be careful what you say. Such talk is dangerous. Don't force us to lock you up or even shoot you down, as in Genoa."

Yes, the truth is dangerous. And hopeful truth is the most dangerous kind. It can infect the millions whose jobs hang by a thread, who are mired in debt to billionaire banks, who suffer the daily indignities and injustices of a racist, sexist, anti-gay system, and who see no way out.

There is a way out. Every day workers of all nationalities show their skill, ingenuity and reliability in making the global network of modern production function almost seamlessly. They are the social class that can rescue humanity from the grave the capitalists are digging for us all--and they are everywhere, as numerous as the leaves on the trees.

But today the workers are organized by the capitalist class, and their existence is tolerated only as a category necessary to the pursuit of profit. When profit cannot be obtained from their labor, they are cast out. The suffering in the wake of Enron's collapse shows why all workers desperately need to organize independently, to protect their own class interests against the predatory bosses. Who else will represent them? Every branch of the state is compromised by its intimate relation with the banking/corporate Robber Barons.

If all those now fearing pink slips were to assert their right to their jobs, were to band together and refuse to be sent away, were to demand recognition of the sweat equity that makes them the true owners of this economy, then we would be on the path leading to that better world.

Today, we are on a different path--Bush's path--the path of neocolonial war, death, destruction and counter-revolution abroad, while fleecing and repressing the workers at home.

What can be done about it?

Workers World Party has no confidence in any of the political structures of U.S. imperialist society. They function to serve the interests of the capitalist ruling class. Their pretense of following a democratic mandate is a sham. Bought-and-paid-for elections politically disenfranchise the workers. The crude manipulations revealed in 2000 confirmed this country's long racist tradition of trampling on Black voters. The result is a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich, that yields only to mass struggle.

WWP has the greatest confidence in the revolutionary potential of the multinational working class of this country to break out of this trap and create their own organs of struggle and, eventually, of power. The power to lead society out of the abyss--that is what the struggle is all about. A revolutionary Marxist party is always on the lookout for ways that the workers can realize and express this power.

An organization that takes seriously the great responsibility and dangers thrust on the working class must be accountable for its own actions. It cannot be a debating society--there are plenty of those already. It must be a party of action and combat, able to advance or retreat as a unit, inspired by a common program. It must be flexible enough to consider varying viewpoints when deciding on analysis and a course of action. It must be united in carrying out the struggle and in explaining and defending its program to the workers.

The workers must know that they can trust the party to do what it says, and not go in a hundred different directions when action is called for.

This takes a unique blend of democracy and centralism.

This communist form of organization brings forward the revolutionary leadership potential of the most oppressed in this society--especially those held down by racism, sexism and genderism--while it enables the greatest solidarity in practice among all who want to defeat this rotten system. It is the antithesis of the way a capitalist political organization functions--where money dictates policy and public debates are only window dressing.

Dangerous words. And meant to be.

Reprinted from the Feb. 7, 2002, issue of Workers World newspaper

This article is copyright under a Creative Commons License.
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