Capitalism can only enforce its dictatorship over society if it can continue to manipulate the consciousness of the working class. The working class has the power and the ability to build a new society. But the problem is that they are not conscious of this. And they are not conscious of this because the mass capitalist media and system continually tells them that the capitalist class knows how to run things and nobody else can do it. And along with this the union and labor leaders echo this propaganda. Look at the struggle for consciousness that has taken place these past days.
For years now Bush and his Wall Street criminals have been saying that the economy is strong and the US model is the only way to go. According to them there was no other way. TINA - in Thatcher's famous phrase. The only way was to let capital do what it liked, do not regulate it in any way, keep the government out. And anyway look at how strong the US and world economy was. We have been hearing this for decades. Now suddenly their model has collapsed. And what do we see. They are now down on their knees pleading for the government to bail them out. Suddenly there is another way. This u turn has exposed the lies and false propaganda of capitalism of the previous decades.
They have now come up with their "solution." They want the government, that is the US tax payers, to give them $700 billion to bail them out. Every newspaper and TV and radio station blares out the need for this bail out and tries to panic the working class into supporting it. This has gone down to defeat at the first try. The significance of this has to be recognized. Its defeat was in the main the result of a significant shift in consciousness of the US working class. Members of Congress were deluged with demands they oppose the bail out. The mass reaction of the working class was why should these crooks in Wall Street be bailed out, what about my bail out? This has been a big step forward in working class consciousness. The working class identified the class that was responsible for the crisis and it rejected the idea that it itself, the working class should pay.
But and here is the problem now. The working class has no mass party with an alternative program to capitalism. So what is happening? Capitalism and its two parties, backed up by the cowardly pro capitalist labour leaders are coming back and saying that we have to pass the bail out because unless we do there will be an all out economic collapse. This is blackmail and it is based on the idea that there is no alternative to capitalism. They are saying unless they get the $700 billion all will collapse. Let bygones be bygones, do not allocate blame, just give us the $700 billion and do not ask what we will do with it. So okay we robbed and plundered and squandered and brought the world economy to a state of collapse, so okay we did not know how to run things, but do not mention that, just give us another $700 billion and do not ask questions and trust us this time to run things. Unbelievable.
Not only must the bail out be rejected for all the obvious reasons but also it must be rejected because it will not work. These corporate welfare criminals will be back for more hundreds of billions in the months ahead. $700 billion will come nowhere near to solving the crisis of US and world capitalism. They will be back for more.
So again, to the lack of a mass working class party with an alternative program to capitalism. This is what is needed now. Working class people know they are being blackmailed to try and get them to support the $700 billion. They know this, they do not like it, but they cannot see what to do. The answer is simple. Do not give $700 billion to the capitalist criminals who caused this crisis. Nationalize, that is take into public ownership, all financial institutions in the country, not just the ones which are broke, but all of them. Give no compensation except on the basis of proven need. For example Paulson with the $800 million he swindled out of Wall Street would get no compensation. Not only that he and his like would be pursued for their criminal activities and their plunder would be taken back from them.
By taking into public ownership all the financial institutions it would be possible to centralize the finances of the country and plan what was available and where it was necessary to invest and spend. Capital could be allocated as a priority to giving a decent house, health care and education to everybody. This would be done openly and with no skimming off of billions to corporations and the rich, the working class would be fully involved and would manage and control the process. This is the alternative to the present crisis. This is the democratic socialist alternative.
Unfortunately the leaders of the unions, who have the resources to speak to the mass of the working class are hiding with their heads down behind the capitalist economists and politicians. They are putting forward no alternative. The result is that this great opportunity for working class consciousness to be consolidated at a higher level will not be achieved to the extent it could. It will not go back to the level it was at before but it will not result in the building of a mass workers party and not result in a clear understanding of what is the alternative to the $700 billion bail out to the rich. This is the responsibility of the labor leaders and for this they must be condemned.
There is also the responsibility of the left and activists movement. We have a responsibility too. We have the responsibility to get over our left sectarianism. We have to see that we can build a united front of mass direct action around demands that can build a new movement. For example such a movement can be built on demands such as Not a Single Foreclosure or Eviction, No Bail out, Instead Public Ownership of all Financial Institutions, end the wars and occupations in the Middle East and abroad. The rich have shown they cannot run things. By the catastrophe they have caused they have lost all right to be in charge. We can build a united front of mass direct action which can be accompanied with the right of all participants to put forward their own ideas and demands at the same time.
The left and activist movement if it is convinced that it should get over its left sectarianism which is so damaging to the working class can come together around some clear demands. This in turn can begin to build a new movement. And this in turn can point out the role of the labor leaders and how they should mobilize the resources of the unions to act independently of the the Democrats and the capitalists and their system. And the new movement can build alternatives in the unions for this purpose.
Oppose the bail out of the rich. Build a united front of mass direct action. Build an independent movement of the working class. Discuss the demands of this opposition and for a democratic structure of this opposition which would allow different forces to put forward their ideas as well as support as a united front the main demands.
End Capitalism. For a Democratic Socialist Alternative.
Marx was right.