The Pressure is Building

fastfoodworkersiamEditorial for Issue #76 - In one country after another, crisis, protests, war, revolution, and counterrevolution are raging. Here in the United States, however, it may seem to some that “nothing is happening.” But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Slowly but surely—though not linearly—the economic, political, social, and psychological tensions continue to build.

 

Austerity and Public Education

raisehandsState-funded schooling is seen as a pillar of so-called Western Democracy, educating all children regardless of race or income to create a smarter and stronger society. However, under capitalism, genuine equality in education is impossible, so long as a small minority can accumulate private property while others have to work just to survive. The Founding Fathers envisioned a system of common schooling where all students would learn the same core of reading and writing, as well as how to be good citizens. But the logic of private capital accumulation will never allow this.

"Don't Let Them Eat Cake"—Fat Tax Proposals are Anti-Worker

fast food craze

When Marie Antoinette heard that the poor of France were rebelling because of lack of access to bread, a subversive newspaper at the time alleged she dismissively said, “Let them eat cake.” There is no solid proof she ever actually said that, but this became a symbol of the ruling class’s disdain for and ignorance of the everyday lives of the masses. Today, while workers are experiencing an obesity epidemic in the rich imperialist countries, workers in the so-called developing world are suffering from lack of access to food and medicine, millions are malnourished, and many are actually starving to death. The demagogic liberal left, whose agribusiness and fast food paymasters have helped to create this inequality of misery, chide workers in countries like the USA for our “indiscretion” and “bad choices” and would like us to take an example from our malnourished comrades. MSNBC, New York Mayor Bloomberg, and many others wag their fingers in disappointment at the unhealthy poor and remind us that “We must all tighten our belts!”

Gun Control and Class Struggle

gunsThe recent attacks in Colorado, Connecticut, Boston, and across the country have shocked everyone. As has been previously explained in the pages of Socialist Appeal, these repeated incidents of violence signify the decay of American capitalism. The decline of capitalism offers no future for today’s youth, only distractions, desperation, and escapism. High unemployment, debt, lack of health care facilities, alienation, and a widespread feeling of insecurity is enough to push some over the edge. Only by changing society to one which will give everyone hope of a better future, only by engaging people in a way that they will want to live their lives rather than escape from them, can we put an end to these horrible crimes.

Illinois: The "Greece" of America?

illinoisbudget1“Billions racked up in public debt to plug budget holes, pay overdue bills, and put money into its mismanaged pension funds... this has resulted in decrepit commuter trains and buses, thousands of unsound bridges, 200 hazardous dams and one of the most inequitable public school systems... Retirees may lose their pensions as the funds dwindle, low-income and disabled people may lose their health care as costs escalate...” Is this Greece? No. The 5th-largest state in the U.S. by both population and GDP is nearely insolvent. The capitalist crisis continues to hit state and local governments the hardest, bringing cuts and austerity in its wake.