The case for socialism: War: capitalism with the gloves off
We live in a world dominated by war, racism, poverty, environmental destruction and oppression. We are told that these disasters are inevitable: they are part of "human nature", and there is nothing we can do about them. But there is no human gene that causes misery. It is a product of the system we live under: capitalism.
Under capitalism, a tiny minority own and control the economy. They run it, not to meet the needs of people or to maintain the environment, but to maximise their profits. The drive for bigger and bigger profits is the cause of the widening gulf between the rich and the poor. A majority of the world's people live in dire poverty, while a tiny minority squander unprecedented wealth.
War is capitalism with its gloves off, the logical result of a system driven by competition for control over resources and markets. It was not the madness of President George W. Bush that fuelled the war on Iraq, but US capitalists' desperate drive to control the world's oil.
Democracy under this system remains a charade. Where is the democracy when our government wages a war against the wishes of the majority of the people? When "regime change" and "liberation" mean bombing thousands of people and shooting peaceful demonstrators? Under capitalism, "democracy" at most means voting every three years or so for one or the other of the parties funded by corporations.
Using racism, nationalism, sexism and homophobia, the capitalist system aims to divide us.
Resistance is about uniting the oppressed in mass action against our common enemy — capitalism. Resistance fights for socialism, a society based on real democracy. Under socialism, the means of producing wealth will be owned and controlled by the majority.
The economy will be run democratically, according to the needs of people as they decide them, not corporations' profit margins.
We're taught that we're powerless, but this is far from the truth. Through collective action, we can change the world. It's the majority whose work keeps the factories, farms, schools, hospitals and public transport working. The majority make society and the economy function. If workers don't work, there are no profits. The overwhelming numbers and economic power of the working class give it the power to overthrow capitalism and replace it with socialism.
Resistance is taking action today, because tomorrow is too late. The threat to the survival of humanity posed by war, poverty and the destruction of the natural environment create an urgency that can't be ignored. The ability of leaders of the "free world" to wage their permanent global war relies on pacifying and demoralising our generation.
The corporations and the capitalist politicians know that young people were the main force in the anti-Vietnam War movement. Every time pro-capitalist governments have been forced to back down from attacks on working people's rights, every time major reforms have been won and every time a repressive regime has been overthrown, young people have been at the forefront of achieving these victories.
Resistance is helping build a socialist movement to unite radical young people, to empower them and convince them to be revolutionary activists. Resistance activists are on high schools, TAFEs and universities, on the streets and in workplaces. We have branches across the country, in every capital city and in some regional centres.
As individuals, we can change some things some of the time, but by joining together and taking action with others, we can change the world!
[This is an excerpt from What Resistance Stands For, available from Resistance Bookshops. See listing on page 2.]
From Green Left Weekly, March 1, 2006.
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