Leaflet for demonstrations against police repression in Ferguson, MO can be downloaded here.
With these simple words, the great revolutionary martyr Malcolm X summed up a profound truth about the world we live in. Capitalism is a system based on inequality, exploitation, oppression, and discrimination. The working class makes up the vast majority, and it is we who create the wealth of society through our labor. But it is the small handful of capitalists that keep most of that wealth and enjoy all the benefits. How is it possible for a tiny minority to dominate the majority?
To maintain their wealth and power, the capitalists need the state: heavily-armed, anti-worker, and racist police, courts, and laws. In addition, they use tactics that aim to “divide and rule” the working class along racial, religious, gender, and ethnic lines. This way they can keep us fighting with each other over the scraps from their table instead of understanding who the real enemy is: the capitalists and their system.
The murder of Michael Brown is just the latest tragedy in a long history of police brutality and racism. The nationwide protests and outpouring of sympathy and solidarity show that most people want to unite and fight back against injustice and oppression. Only through mass working class action and unity can we fight and win. The labor movement must use its enormous resources, numbers, and power to organize and build this struggle.
We must also understand that neither the Democrats or Republicans represent the interests of ordinary workers. Both of these parties are bought-and-paid-for by big business. This is why we need a mass party of labor based on the unions, fighting for a socialist program to transform society.
Temporary or cosmetic measures will not eliminate the root causes of inequality, poverty, and criminalization. What is needed is a massive program of public works to rebuild our communities and infrastructure, to provide quality housing, health care, education, and well-paid union jobs that can ensure a decent standard of living for everyone. None of this is possible on the scale required on the basis of the profit-driven system of capitalism. This is why we would add the following to what brother Malcolm said: “you can't have racism without capitalism!” To end racism and all the evils that come with it, we must end capitalism!
The International Marxist Tendency is active in many cities throughout the country. Join us to learn more about Marxism, socialism, revolution, internationalism, and the struggle to end capitalism once and for all.
Contact Workers International League for more information!