Elections 2016: Raise the demands of the people

Rally in Chicago for $15 an hour and a union. Workers are bringing their demands into the elections, saying there is no excuse for poverty wages. PHOTO/BOB SIMPSON

Rally in Chicago for $15 an hour and a union. Workers are bringing their demands into the elections, saying there is no excuse for poverty wages.
PHOTO/BOB SIMPSON

If it wasn’t clear before, the 2016 elections have proven to tens of millions of Americans that the current “two-party” system offers our people nothing. Both parties represent corporate America, and no matter whether Clinton or Trump is elected, the billionaires and the corporations will still be in power. But there is a path forward. Among the workers something new is arising.

We saw it in the 13 million who voted for Bernie Sanders, and who, with many others, continue to fight for a political program in the people’s interests. People are demanding the government be taken away from the billionaires, and that its resources be used to provide jobs, education, housing, health care and protect the environment. They are demanding an end to government-sponsored violence against the people. They are demanding an end to war. Many are rejecting the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils. Some people are moving toward other parties, such as the Green Party. We will likely see new parties arise from this electoral process.

We need to understand the situation facing both the billionaire ruling class and the people to guarantee our victory. This economic system is dying because it’s based on people having jobs, but the jobs are being eliminated by labor-replacing technology. No business is going to employ workers to do something that can be done more quickly and cheaply by a robot or a computer. A growing number of us are permanently unemployed or marginally employed, and our problems can only be solved by the people taking over the corporations and running them in the interest of society.

The billionaires can’t allow this. This is why we are seeing the elimination of democracy, and its replacement with fascism. Fascism is the open dictatorship of the billionaires and corporations. Economically, it means the corporations use the government to guarantee their economic interests. Politically, it means the end of even the pretense of democracy. Fascism is not a choice the ruling class is making—it’s forced on them. In an economy with fewer buyers, they have to funnel public money and public assets to the corporations to guarantee their profits, and they cannot allow the workers to have a vote on how society will be organized. Operating in different ways through both the Clinton and Trump campaigns, they are using this election to advance their goals— to mislead the people and rally them around divisiveness, fascism, and war.

During the elections and beyond, we, the people, must continue making our political independence from the ruling class a reality. Throughout history, dying systems have been replaced with new ones, and we can do the same. In the end, the reforms we seek can only come about through building a whole new society, a cooperative society where the people, not the corporations, own the factories and other property necessary to society, and we guarantee everyone the necessities of life. This is the only way we will have democracy, peace, and prosperity. We are taking a step toward that new society if we continue to reject all attacks on democracy. Whether it be through the Green Party or another party, we must put forward the demand that the government guarantee that the basic needs of the people are met.

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