Statement by Lea Sherman, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress from New Jersey, June 22.
Working people face high stakes in defending ourselves and our families from rampant price hikes and boss attacks today. The threat of an economic downturn combined with rising prices will worsen the social catastrophe capitalism breeds — from new wars abroad and mounting hardship and joblessness that make it harder to form and sustain a family, to drug addiction, suicide and violent crime.
There are examples of efforts to challenge these attacks, which are inherent to the dog-eat-dog capitalist system. This includes strikes by rail workers in Canada and England, coal miners at Warrior Met in Alabama and others. Getting out the word about these class battles and building solidarity from our unions is crucial to bring home victories and set an example to millions facing similar conditions.
Socialist Workers Party members in our unions are part of these struggles and present a program that defends workers’ common interests.
They explain that Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the death and destruction its forces are raining down points to the only future capitalism has to offer. The U.S. rulers and all the other declining capitalist powers today fight to defend their place in the imperialist pecking order by attacking workers’ wages and conditions at home and in cutthroat battles for markets and profits against rivals worldwide.
Union officials urge workers to be “realistic” and rely on electing Democrats — one of the two parties used by the bosses to protect their system — to solve our problems. But we live under a system founded on irreconcilable conflict between the toiling majority and the propertied rulers, who squeeze enormous wealth from exploiting our labor. Collaborating with the ruling class and its parties will never end the source of the problems we face, but only perpetuate and deepen them. It is through uncompromising class struggle that working people acquire discipline, class consciousness and discover our own capacities and self-worth.
We have everything to gain from relying on our own forces, not Republicans, Democrats and middle-class “socialists,” who join in promising us relief by petty reforms to capitalism’s innate brutality. Just as we need to organize independently from the bosses on the job and strengthen our unions, so workers also need our own political voice. We need to build a labor party, forged in union battles, that can chart a course to unify all the exploited and oppressed.
This is a class-struggle road to take state power out of the hands of the ruling capitalist families and into our own hands, to form a workers and farmers government, and use it to forge a world based on solidarity and cooperation among toiling producers.