Workers show power, need to organize to win

September 23, 2019

Working people around the world have demonstrated their capacities to engage in sustained struggle, courageously facing down repressive regimes and even toppling governments in Sudan, Algeria, Puerto Rico and elsewhere in recent months. In the course of organizing massive mobilizations they have won solidarity from far and wide and provided an example of the potential power of working people to others facing intolerable living and working conditions.

The hated regimes of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan and Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algeria have been forced out of office by protests involving millions, but governments that defend the rule of the exploiters remain in place in both nations. 

Fifteen days of massive demonstrations in Puerto Rico forced the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Roselló in July. His replacement is as dedicated to maintaining U.S. colonial rule and imperialist plunder as he was. 

In recent years we have seen other mass working-class mobilizations that toppled despotic regimes, like in Egypt and Ukraine. They share the same lesson. 

What is in front of working people involved in these battles and workers elsewhere is forging a revolutionary leadership. One that explains that workers can throw off the self-image we are taught by the capitalist rulers and recognize we are capable of taking power into our own hands. 

A leadership that explains that the problem workers face isn’t simply a few corrupt politicians, a particularly ruthless boss, foreign interference, but the rule of an exploitative and oppressive social class. The propertied capitalist rulers — who own the factories, the land, the banks, the mines and mills — hold state power and use it to defend their interests. To reverse the long-term decline of their system they have no choice but to launch assaults on workers’ jobs, living and working standards, our political rights, and to unleash wars abroad in search of markets and resources.

We need to build our own party — one that can lead working people to overthrow the capitalist class’s dictatorship. In the course of revolutionary struggle workers gain a sense of our own self-worth, and we begin to generalize our needs as a class with common interests that are irreconcilable with those of the exploiters.

Such a course is not only necessary but is possible, as the conquest of power by workers and farmers in Cuba shows. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement millions fought to oust the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship and established their own workers and farmers government. They used state power to expropriate the land, factories and other bourgeois property of both U.S. and Cuban capitalists; transforming social relations to meet the needs of the vast majority and joining struggles by working people worldwide for a socialist future.

As Socialist Workers Party members organize other workers to join union fights and social protests, they explain that working people can unite and fight, and win. The SWP campaigns for workers to break with the capitalist rulers, their political parties and their government, to organize to take power into our own hands. Join the Socialist Workers Party campaign