Our enemy is monopoly capitalism, the capitalist and imperialist system that exploits the working class here in the United States and oppresses whole nations of people, here and around the world. The monopoly capitalist class, the imperialists, are well organized, and control both the legal and political institutions of the government as well as the military and police. It will take the masses of the people in their millions to overthrow them. We can’t do it alone. The working class must be organized, and it must organize together broadly with its allies. This “united front” against monopoly capitalism is the revolutionary strategy that will carry us forward toward being able to overthrow the imperialists.
So far in our series on theory, we’ve looked at the historical emergence of Marxism. But by the time Marx finished writing Capital, capitalism was still developing and changing. The fundamental characteristics of the capitalist mode of production haven’t changed. Commodity production and exploitation of workers’ surplus value by the capitalists remain the driving force of the capitalist system. And it remains a system plagued by regular cycles of crises of overproduction, pushing poor and working-class people further down while the rich get richer and richer. But by the beginning of the 20th century the internal motion of capitalism’s contradictions led to its advancement to a higher stage: monopoly capitalism, also known as imperialism.
Most of the countries in the euro-zone, which includes most of the major economies of Europe (Great Britain and Switzerland being two notable exceptions), are now in a recession. The zone’s largest economy, Germany, is rapidly slowing. This growing crisis of overproduction among the capitalist economies of Europe is having a worldwide impact, with Asian economies and the U.S. being affected by slowing trade and growing fears of another financial crisis.
Across the country, the movement sparked by Occupy Wall Street has caught fire. This movement, identified by the slogan, “We are the 99%” targets the 1% of rich and powerful who are running the country for their interests and profit, at the expense of the rest of us who face high unemployment, lower wages, soaring tuition costs, home foreclosures and lack of affordable health insurance. In addition, servants of Wall Street are pushing to dismantle Social Security and Medicare and to raise taxes on the poor while cutting taxes even more on the rich. They say that they have no money, but are sending bombers and troops to more and more countries, so that military spending is now the single largest expense of the federal government, costing more than $800 billion a year.
Two months after Katrina hit the Gulf coast, the disaster is unending for hundreds of thousands of survivors. People are piecing their lives back together, but it is a slow, often frustrating process. The mainstream media is ‘moving on’ and is back to its usual business of ignoring the suffering of poor and working people.