The elections and a vision of a new society

 

A young man sleeping outside a San Francisco McDonalds that is installing automated order-taker kiosks. The disastrous social effects of automation for the 99 percent—when owned by the 1 percent—is happening before our eyes. Can we envision a new society where automation is used to create a world without want? PHOTO/SARAH MENEFEE

A young man sleeping outside a San Francisco McDonalds that is installing automated order-taker kiosks. The disastrous social effects of automation for the 99 percent—when owned by the 1 percent—is happening before our eyes. Can we envision a new society where automation is used to create a world without want?
PHOTO/SARAH MENEFEE

 

McDonalds has announced they will open 25,000 robot-run restaurants. Amazon is replacing human stock pickers in its massive warehouses with robots. We’re living in revolutionary times. As robotics and computerization transform all existing industries, human labor is being permanently eliminated.

We already see the social consequences. People are banding together, trying to survive in makeshift tent cities, in the streets, even in swamps. The homeless, along with the immigrants who are declared “illegal,” the jobless youth who police shoot down like dogs, and all others deemed a threat to private interests, are the target of a new fascist corporate dictatorship.

A true class war is shaping up. On one side is the ruling class:  the billionaires and their corporations, their twin corporate parties, and corps of highly paid, privileged media pundits, intellectuals, and so-called labor and community leaders.

On the other side is a new class of workers who are becoming destitute, forced out of their jobs by electronic robotic production. This new class is in urgent need of a government that will provide the shelter, healthcare, education, water and other necessities they need—whether they have money to pay for it or not. Yet, as Flint shows, this new class has zero value to the corporate-government. Its labor is no longer needed for profit-making. Even the democratic right to elect its own representatives is stripped away. The ruling class needs a dictatorship to contain their fight for life itself.

Who will speak for the poorest among us? The ruling class cannot and will not. This is because the new class, if united politically, has the potential to lead all who can be united to a new society that overturns the rule of the billionaires.  This new revolutionary social force must speak for itself.

The rulers see the handwriting on the wall.

As the various sectors of the ruling class battle over the presidency, they are utilizing this election to deepen the historic divisions within this new class. They understand that, regardless of color or nationality, this new class will eventually be forced to unite around a common demand for a society where everyone’s needs are met.  Call it socialist, or whatever—such a society will be based on government ownership of the giant corporate entities that are today producing—but not distributing to the people—the world of plenty the new technology is creating.

This is why this election is so important. It is an opportunity to get the vision of this new society out. It is a means to help unite the new revolutionary class around its common interests. The Sanders campaign offers a huge opportunity to do this. The campaign’s demand that government serve the people, not the billionaires, opens the door to educating people about the kind of society we could have if the people controlled it.

Revolutionaries must use this election to help build a powerful movement that forces the government to provide for people’s needs. Having such a government necessitates that the giant corporations be taken out of the hands of private interests and put under government control.  The real question is: which class will rule society?

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