Through our battles, workers can unite, transform ourselves

October 12, 2020

This statement was issued by Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, Sept. 30.

My main opponents — President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden — both claim they speak for the interests of working people. But the truth is they seek to wield power to advance the wealth and despotic power of the class whose interests they defend — the ruling capitalist families. This is a proven fact, after four years of Trump and eight of Obama-Biden before him.

What working people face today is widespread joblessness, and attacks on our wages, hours and working conditions, health “care” and living conditions, as they try to shore up their crisis-ridden system at our expense. Workers and farmers are looking for ways to resist through on-the-job skirmishes and union battles, in fights against farm foreclosures, police brutality and more, and by engaging in other social struggles. Through these actions we are building solidarity and trust in each other.

Whatever concessions we wrest from the bosses, as long as the bosses and bankers hold power their dog-eat-dog capitalist system drives them to push harder and harder to make profits on the backs of our labor.

A working-class movement to lead millions to put an end to the dictatorship of capital can and will be forged in the course of mounting struggles. Key is looking at all  political questions from how they effect the irreconcilable class interests of the two main contending classes — workers and bosses.

The Socialist Workers Party analyzes “all politics from the point of view of the historic goals of our class — the class we are simply the most conscious and organized part of and the most consistent fighter for,” writes Jack Barnes in The Turn to Industry: Forging a Proletarian Party. “The class whose task it is to govern, expropriate the exploiters and oppressors, and lead a great social movement to reorganize society to eliminate oppression and lay the foundations of a socialist society — changing ourselves utterly in the process.” 

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The capitalists and their millions of enablers among the middle-class meritocracy try to convince working people we don’t have the “smarts” to take power and run society for ourselves. Their cops, courts, prisons and death penalty are all there to keep us in check. 

But a deeper capitalist crisis — that today’s struggles foretell — will impel working people more and more to take our destiny into our own hands. We’ll come together to wage disciplined and united struggles to defend ourselves, and to fight in the interests of all those exploited and oppressed by capital.

In the course of these struggles workers will increasingly see ourselves as part of a class, and gain class-struggle experience. We will find ways to overcome divisions between us — employed and jobless, Black and Caucasian, native-born and immigrant, women and men — that bosses try to foster and prolong to break our fighting capacities. We will discover our own worth, as Malcolm X explained, and advance battle-tested and proven leaders from our ranks. 

We will build and strengthen fighting unions and organize our own party, a labor party. And use it to reinforce our battles and to wage the decisive struggle to take political power into our own hands and build a workers and farmers government. 

The SWP 2020 campaign offers workers and youth the chance to advance that liberating perspective today. Join us!