Marxist-Leninist Organizer and
Communist Party of Labor of the Dominican Republic
U.S. Regional Committee
The workers in the U.S., as in all capitalist countries, are an exploited class, suffering under wage slavery. On the one hand, scores of millions of people, the majority of the population, produce all the wealth, while they themselves earn barely enough to live and be able to return to work the next day. On the other hand, a small minority of rich capitalists, who own the factories, mines, land, etc., get rich off the labor of the workers. The U.S. monopoly capitalists have also become fabulously wealthy by exploiting not only the labor of workers in the U.S., but also the labor and natural resources of much of the world. The profits produced by the workers are turned by the capitalists back into increasingly productive technology which allows the capitalists to produce more with fewer workers.
For over 25 years, workers have seen a decline in their living standards. The last few years have seen stepped-up attacks on all sectors of the class, particularly as the major imperialist powers (U.S., Europe led by Germany, and Japan) compete in driving down wages to increase profits. Despite "economic improvements" (i.e. increased profits for the capitalists), there has been a continuing decline in wages, high unemployment, restrictions on access to health care, limits on welfare and the institution of slave labor "workfare" programs. As usual, these attacks fall hardest on the workers of the oppressed nationalities - Blacks, Latinos, etc. They also especially affect immigrant workers, who try to escape the super-exploitation of their countries but find renewed super-exploitation in the heartland of the imperialist oppressor, from the sweatshops of New York and Los Angeles to the fields of eastern Long Island and southern California.
At the same time, resistance has grown on an international level, especially in the dependent countries. There are armed revolutionary movements aimed at seizing state power from the imperialists and their agents, from the Philippines to Colombia, from Peru to Nepal. There have been mass general strikes, as in the Dominican Republic and the 100-year old U.S. colony of Puerto Rico. In Russia, tens of thousands of workers have come out under the banner of Lenin and Stalin against open capitalist exploitation by their new rulers, which has plunged them into misery. In the advanced capitalist countries, a huge strike wave shook France for weeks in 1995, there have been large-scale demonstrations of unemployed workers in Germany in February of this year, etc.
In the U.S., the potential strength of mass working class action has been shown, particularly by the UPS strike and the strike of San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit workers last year. However, the resistance to capitalist attacks has so far been sporadic, both due to lack of class consciousness and the treacherous role of the union bureaucrats. Despite their "militancy," the new AFL-CIO bureaucrats not only want to make sure that the workers stay away from the revolutionary science of Marxism-Leninism, but in general they do not even carry out strikes that could cut into the profits of the rich.
All class-conscious workers must begin to organize strikes to make the rich pay, to turn the unions into genuine fighting organizations of their class. To do this, they must work to expose, isolate and throw out the union bureaucrats who preach class peace instead of class struggle. But most important, they must help to form a genuine Marxist-Leninist party that can organize, not only to counter the continuing decline of living standards, but that can build the forces for the long struggle to put an end to this capitalist system. The capitalists can not exist without the labor of the workers. But the workers, by overthrowing and suppressing the capitalists, can expropriate (take over) the means of production that they have built with their own sweat. They can create a socialist society without exploitation, where the labor of each is for the benefit of all.
Long Live International Workers' Day!
Organize to Make the Rich Pay!
Down With the Capitalist System!
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