“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”Bob Marley
Times like this are, at the risk of sounding cliché, unprecedented. However, the solutions are easily found in the patterns of history. Militant unionism and working-class solidarity may be our only hope. We must break the capitalist machine in order to survive. If militant unionism fails, the working class must be prepared to fall back on armed uprising. The preparation alone may be enough to win real relief. The cycles of history are there to teach us what to do if we only listen to the past.
“Seattle has had a long tradition of dynamic labor organizing. With the opening of the northwestern quadrant of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, it emerged as the economic center of the mining, timber, shipping, and railroad industries.
Industrial conditions were unsettled, with an aggressive employer class that sought to keep wages low and profits high, and who worked to keep out any type of workers’ organization. They drew their workforce from the many migratory workers available and used any method to keep them divided and powerless.
The workers, however, refused to accept their lot. They began to speak with a militancy that demanded major changes in the established order. To achieve success, they found the craft orientation of the American Federation of Labor too restrictive and sought to create industrial unions.
Among the organizations they turned to was the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which advocated “One Big Union”—a union of all workers. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the IWW gained a strong presence throughout the region, particularly among miners, lumber workers, and railroad workers.
After World War I, shipyard workers sought higher wages from the federal government, which oversaw the construction of vessels, and on Jan. 21, 1919, 35,000 unionists went on strike. Their action proved to be a catalyst to other unions in the city, and two weeks later, on Feb. 6, over 25,000 others, including 101 AFL locals, joined them in the first general strike of the new century.”David Cavendish, People’s World
What we’re seeing today is extremely advanced, late-stage capitalism, and as capitalism does, it is in crisis. After all, capitalism crashes every 5-8 years, and kills 100,000,000 (at least) from extreme poverty alone every 5 years. Plus, another 122,000,000 have died solely from capitalism’s wars between 1917-1992.
Fascism is capitalism’s defense system. Social Democracy is fascism’s defense system. The latter is used as an ideal to look up to, as a ‘proof’ that capitalism can work, if there are proper safety rails in place. The reality is much grimmer.
“Firstly, it is not true that fascism is only the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. Fascism is not only a military-technical category. Fascism is the bourgeoisie’s fighting organisation that relies on the active support of Social-Democracy. Social-Democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism. There is no ground for assuming that the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of Social-Democracy. There is just as little ground for thinking that Social-Democracy can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. These organisations do not negate, but supplement each other. They are not antipodes, they are twins. Fascism is an informal political bloc of these two chief organisations; a bloc, which arose in the circumstances of the post-war crisis of imperialism, and which is intended for combating the proletarian revolution. The bourgeoisie cannot retain power without such a bloc. It would therefore be a mistake to think that “pacifism” signifies the liquidation of fascism. In the present situation, “pacifism” is the strengthening of fascism with its moderate, Social-Democratic wing pushed into the forefront.”Marxists Internet Archive
Social Democracies wouldn’t exist if they didn’t have to compete with the U.S.S.R. The model of social democracy relies on both direct and indirect exploitation of the global south, extracting its resources and labor in order to funnel wealth into the clutches of these social democracies’ economies. The secret of the Scandinavian model, like all other forms of capitalism, is blood and exploitation.
Despite all the propaganda claiming the contrary, capitalism doesn’t lift people out of poverty, rather, it causes poverty. Scarcity doesn’t exist, it is a manufactured illusion used as a contrivance to keep prices high and people out of homes and away from other necessities. Here’s some key facts on the housing issue alone:
- There are 59 empty properties for each homeless person in the US, an increase of 43% since 2010
- Since 2010, the number of empty properties per homeless person has increased 24%
- Nationally, 12.3% of housing units in 2018 were vacant
- In 2019, 555,672 US citizens were confirmed homeless
- Since 2010 there has been a 7.2% increase in the vacant housing units
Clearly, scarcity isn’t a real problem. The likes of landlords and classist and racist bankers hoard housing and access to funds designed for attaining housing, respectively. While individual landlords and bankers may not be classist and racist, they uphold a classist and racist system for their own net benefit. This makes them racist and classist in practice. From the legacy of redlining to credit scores, these two groups have plenty of ways to keep hard working Americans out of a home.
Neither dominant political group has a real solution to homelessness in America. Liberals are too busy feeding on moral outrage from whatever crazy things the conservatives are doing, and conservatives are too busy planting the seeds for stripped rights in order to feed liberals and achieve the joint goal of entrenching the status-quo and finalizing the serfdom of the United States working class.