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A Marxist Look at Capitalism's Meltdown

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  • Glenn Kirkindall
    Dear Friend: Come add your two cents at a forum that gives the real low-down on the economic crisis. Check out the statement on the bail-out that follows this
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2008
      Dear Friend:
      Come add your two cents at a forum that gives the real low-down on
      the economic crisis. Check out the statement on the bail-out that
      follows this event notice.

      A Marxist Look at Capitalism's Meltdown
      -- The Origins of today's world financial chaos
      -- Why foreclosures, layoffs, bailouts & budget cuts only deepen the
      -- Labor vs. Wall Street: how can workers win?
      -- A planned economy: the sensible, socialist solution

      Thursday, December 11, 7:00pm
      New Valencia Hall: 625 Larkin St., Ste. 202, San Francisco,
      California, USA

      (at Eddy St. near Civic Center BART, on the #19 & #31 Muni bus lines)

      Nancy Reiko Kato, author of "Women of Color: Front Runners for
      Freedom" and delegate to the Alameda County Central Labor Council

      Dr. Robert Price, economics analyst, chemistry professor and member
      of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2121

      Door donation: $3.00
      A Hearty Proletarian Supper is served at 6:15pm for a $7.00 donation
      Vegetarian option available
      Sliding scale & work exchanges available for students and low income

      Sponsored by Radical Women & Freedom Socialist Party
      For info, please call: 415-864-1278
      Email: calradicalwomen@..., bafsp@...


      Please bring donations of food for the homeless, and we'll deliver.

      A socialist answer to corporate bailouts
      Hell, yes, let's spread the wealth – to working people!

      Corporate crime pays. Just ask the automakers or insurance giant AIG.
      They and other criminally mismanaged companies are being bailed out
      with taxpayer dollars delivered by the Bush administration and
      endorsed by Congress. This massive transfer of public funds into
      private hands is supposed to resuscitate the economy.

      But this is no cure for the crisis. As African American journalist
      and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal observed in a recent
      column, "The problems are systemic, built into the rapacious nature
      of the machinery humming all around us." To stimulate the economy, a
      better use of the $700 billion-plus taxpayer giveaway would be to
      pass it out to workers.

      But wait! Why restore a system that feeds off war, the second-class
      status of women, the brutality of racism, and the inhumanity of
      xenophobia and homophobia? Working people, who have firsthand
      experience at running things, are better qualified to manage society
      than crooked, profit-driven CEOs.

      The way things work: one big rip-off

      Capitalism is legal theft. Workers are not paid for the value of the
      products they make and the services they provide, but just enough to
      live on. The owners pocket the profits and use them to create more.
      Working people keep the whole social machinery going by raising
      children, caring for each other, and producing life's necessities. So
      why can't they get a break from the bosses when they're behind on
      their bills?

      To increase profits, employers use every strategy they can find, no
      matter how vicious. They pit workers against each other, paying
      women, people of color and immigrants less — which drives down
      everyone's wages. With less money for necessities, workers rely on
      credit. But as real wages continue to fall, people cannot pay their
      debts and sink further into the quicksand. When they can't pay,
      there's no bailout.

      Big business, financial institutions, and the government also use
      credit to survive. When bad loans reached a breaking point, banks
      refused to extend each other any more credit. This set off the
      current economic storm. The looters-with-license at the Federal
      Reserve and in Congress readied bucket-loads of public cash for their
      corporate buddies. Only the threat of massive rebellion gave them
      pause, but not for long.

      Working class power

      How can working folks defend themselves? Bottom line: they must be
      organized and fight around survival issues.

      Labor unions once again need to step up and lead. Rank-and-filers can
      push their officials to hold regional emergency meetings to discuss
      solutions. Unions should also use their greatest tool — the general
      strike — to end the bailouts. They could join in united fronts with
      workers without unions, retirees, the unemployed, students, and hard-
      pressed small-business owners to win immediate relief for everyday
      people — like a halt to local government budget cuts and reductions
      in services.

      What are some other goals? What would ease the pain on Main Street?

      How about fighting for a moratorium on home foreclosures and
      eliminating all mortgage debt for working-class households? Price
      controls on food, rent, gas, and heating oil? A 30-hour workweek for
      40 hours pay, to provide full employment while lifting the burden of
      speed-up from overstressed jobholders? Real nationalization of the
      banks: turning them permanently into public services under workers'

      What's ultimately needed is a total reorganization of society so that
      its purpose is not to generate gluttonous profits for a few, but to
      meet the human needs of everyone internationally, with the working
      majority democratically making the decisions and running the show.
      Forget the McCain-Palin blather: this is what socialism is. Socialist
      feminist pioneer Clara Fraser wrote, "The global order of competitive
      trade and multi-currencies is absurd. It cries out to be replaced
      with production for use, not for greed, so as to eliminate the
      endless wars and hatreds spawned by dwindling markets and poverty."

      There is no superhero who will come to the rescue of working people —
      not pro-corporate political parties, and certainly not the parasites
      on Wall Street. Workers must solve this problem for themselves. They
      will overcome their prejudices and fears by leaning on each other to
      create a new reality for today and for future generations. The U.S.
      working class is in the eye of the storm. With consciousness and
      organization it has the opportunity to create a new world on the
      ashes of the old.

      Issued by:
      Freedom Socialist Party
      Bay Area office: New Valencia Hall
      625 Larkin Street #202
      San Francisco, CA 94109
      415-864-1278 * bafsp@...
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