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Vol. 75/No. 43      November 28, 2011

The dictatorship of capital

This week, city officials and their cops in dozens of cities across the country moved to evict campers at Occupy Wall Street actions.

The Militant, like millions of working people, defends the rights of these protesters, demands freedom of speech and assembly, and condemns police brutality.

The propertied capitalists rulers—owners of the factories, mines, mills, all means of production, as well as masters of finance capital, one and the same—hold the reins of the U.S. imperialist state. The Democratic and Republican parties are their parties, a two-party system of capitalist rule.

The owners of American Crystal Sugar, who have locked out 1,300 workers in the Upper Midwest, know they can count on support from politicians of both parties. In North Dakota they adopted company-backed laws to deny unemployment compensation to workers, a cold-blooded move to starve them into submission and, they hope, foster divisions among those who don’t receive benefits and those who get them in Minnesota. And the bosses are assured of continued backing from the cops and courts, for injunctions and strict enforcement to limit picketing, allowing scabs to work.

The dictatorship of capital and the worldwide unsolvable crisis of that system is what working people confront. This is the source of unfolding social crises, rising unemployment, attacks on unions and wages, lockouts from the Upper Midwest to New Zealand, austerity measures and layoffs from Alabama’s Jefferson County to Greece, cop brutality, intensifying interstate conflicts and spreading war.

The problem is not “greedy” bankers or “fat cats.” It cannot be touched by raising taxes on the wealthy, revenue extracted from the capitalists’ surplus to be used by their government to balance their budgets, pay the bondholders—including themselves—fight their wars, and whatever else they decide.

Pointing blame at greedy banks with demagogic appeals to “tax the rich” serves to obfuscate the real problem and the class enemy. It is advanced today by supporters of the Democratic Party, aimed at bringing into office the very same politicians who are advancing an assault on working people on a scale not seen for many decades.

We are only at the opening stages of the crisis that in coming decades will look much more like the Great Depression of the 1930s when shacks built in parks and other locations became shelter for hundreds of thousands of desperate workers forced onto the streets. These makeshift communities, called Hoovervilles, were brutally attacked by cops and the U.S. military.

The only force that can stay this catastrophe will grow out of working-class resistance. Combatants in these struggles come to see more clearly that what they face is not just one ruthless boss, some “bad apple” cops, a few corrupt politicians, but the rule of a conscious social class, intent on using all its resources to hang on to its profits and power.

Above all, this is what the Socialist Workers Party explains as it participates in these fights. This is what is decisive for workers to be able to size up the relationship of class forces and chart the road forward.
Related articles:
Locked-out workers demand jobless pay
North Dakota gov’t backs sugar bosses
Greek steel strikers take on boss, gov’t austerity
Locked-out workers picket meat plant in New Zealand
Canada: 3rd miner killed in Vale nickel mines
Jefferson County, Alabama, files for bankruptcy
Cops move to evict Oakland, other ‘Occupy’ encampments  
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