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Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

Why the world’s working class must organize a bold defense of our lives
if we are to survive

By Bonnie Weinstein

Fight Back

Fightback!:
A Collection of Socialist Essays

by Sylvia Weinstein


“Never was it so clear as it is today that the salvation of the Jewish people is bound up inseparably with the overthrow of the capitalist system.” —Leon Trotsky, 1940.1

April 18, 2024—Over 34 thousand Palestinians have been killed by the U.S./Israel genocidal war on Palestine—not counting those still missing and buried under the rubble. And the killing goes on with the unconditional U.S. financial and military support to Israel paid for by the taxes collected from us, the working class.

We have no say in how much money is taken from our paycheck, or at the checkout counter, or how our taxes are spent. We have no say on whether to go to war, or how much money our schools get, or how much we must pay for healthcare, or how much we should be paid for our labor.

The capitalist system allows us no control over these issues that affect us so profoundly.

Our only effective option is to organize ourselves into unions and an independent, unified, democratically-functioning organization devoted to fighting for our right to life, liberty, social and economic equality—and finally, an end to capitalism and its perpetual wars for wealth and power.

The war on Gaza—a microcosm of capitalist aggression around the world

With over 34,000 Palestinians killed so far, the ratio between Palestinian and Israeli deaths is 20:1— approximately 34,000 Palestinians to 1700 Israelis2—and the U.S./Israeli genocide is far from over. Biden has promised his unconditional support to Israel because it is, in essence, a strategic U.S. military base in the region.

There are people who believe that Israel controls the U.S. but that cannot be further from the truth. Without U.S. support—both financially (at least $3.8 billion annually) and militarily. The U.S. has massive amounts of U.S. weapons, equipment, and supplies, under their sole command and control, inside Israel. The U.S. has made sure that Israel is the most powerful military force in the region—a region full of oil and other natural resources crucial to U.S. industry—and it is nuclear-armed.

While Biden has cried crocodile tears over the ten’s-of-thousands of Palestinian deaths—including over 14,000 children—he does not waver on his devotion to the apartheid state of Israel, and neither do the Republicans.

The problem with capitalism and the parties that represent them, is that the war and the brutality war brings is felt both by those who do the fighting and those who are their targets—but not to the capitalist class who commands the wars.

They, and their sons and daughters, do not fight and die in war. They command and profit from war and death, and the destruction of their enemies.

Anyone who challenges their power and rule anywhere in the world will not be met with reason and generosity, but with the finality of not just death, but the destruction of the infrastructures of life-support itself—of schools, hospitals, roads, buildings, farms, industry, transportation, water, power—the total ruin of the means of survival.

This is what’s happening to Gaza right now. If the war stopped right now the people of Palestine would still have nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.

And make no mistake about it, it is a warning to the entire world of what the commanders of capital are willing to do to maintain their control of the wealth they have stolen from the masses of working people everywhere.

The plight of the dispossessed

In a March 28, 2024, New York Times article by Emily Baumgaertner, titled, “Health Concerns Mount for Migrant Children at Outdoor Holding Sites,3” I was stunned by a photograph from the article showing a makeshift tent filled with women and children sheltering on a dirt floor. It could have been a photo from Rafa!

The article centers on “…an open-air holding site in San Diego’s rural Mountain Empire, to provide volunteer medical care to asylum seekers who had breached the United States-Mexico border wall and were waiting to be apprehended by American authorities.”

According to the article:

“With the capacity at immigration processing centers strained, migrants, including unaccompanied children, are waiting for hours—sometimes days—in outdoor holding areas, where a lack of shelter, food, and sanitation infrastructure has triggered an array of public health concerns for the most vulnerable.”

The difference between the people in Gaza and the occupied territories, and the people held in San Diego, is that the people in Gaza have no more homes to go to, while the people in San Diego had to flee their homeland to avoid death and brutality. In the end, neither have anywhere else to go.

Tens-of-millions of people across the globe are suffering conditions of war and poverty causing them to flee their homelands.

And, in the countries where they flee to, they suffer, not only from the high cost of living—the high price of food, housing, healthcare and education—but they are also the targets of police violence and racism. They soon find out they only have access to the lowest paying jobs, the most underfunded schools, and the most run-down housing—if they are fortunate enough to have jobs, schools or housing at all.

These are the conditions of the working class, not only in the poorest countries in the world, but in the richest.

These conditions exist everywhere because it is endemic to capitalism—a system based on the economic exploitation of masses of humanity for the benefit of the capitalist class—the elite few who are the owners of the means of production.

They own the land, the factories, farms, and the natural resources needed to operate them. And they own the labor power of the masses of workers who create that wealth with their skill, intelligence, blood, sweat, and tears.

Capitalism depends on antisemitism and bigotry

When a small child asks why there is so much greed, violence, and injustice in the world, they are told that those qualities are part of human nature—they have always been with us and always will be.

But these traits are not natural to humans, they are the direct product of class society.

By blaming these traits on human nature, they are blaming the masses for the crimes against humanity the ruling class has been committing for centuries.

The following quote from the book, The Radical Jewish Tradition: Revolutionaries, Resistance Fighters and Firebrands, By Donny Gluckstein and Janey Stone, sums this up well:

“These were forces of evil that mankind has feared and has tried to rein in with civilization since the dawn of time. Blaming any oppressed group or human nature for oppression itself exonerates the social system from any responsibility.”4

The capitalist class serves itself by pitting workers against each other—getting us to blame others of our own class who suffer the same or worse economic hardships—instead of blaming capitalism’s tyrannical system of economic exploitation and expropriation of wealth from the working masses who create it.

The power of solidarity

A majority of Americans are opposed to Israel’s military actions in Gaza according to a new Gallup poll released March 27, 2024:

“In a survey conducted from March 1-20, 55 percent of U.S. adults said they disapproved of Israel’s military actions—a jump of ten percentage points from four months earlier, Gallup found. Americans’ approval of Israel’s conduct in the war dropped by an even starker margin, from 50 percent in November, a month after the war began, to 36 percent in March…”5

Massive demonstrations here in the U.S. and all over the world show that the U.S./Israel genocide of the people of Palestine is exposing to masses of people the extent to which capitalism—the most powerful dictatorship of the wealthy over the poor that has ever existed—will go to maintain its dominance over land and resources anywhere their economic interests lie, regardless of the mayhem it brings to masses of people, their land, infrastructure, or their well-being, in general.

It’s a class thing

The Democratic and Republican parties are the parties of the ruling class—they do not represent the working class—the overwhelming majority of the people.

Their very existence depends upon convincing us that our only choice is to choose between them—between two capitalist parties whose only interest is to maintain the status quo—keeping us voting for a “lesser evil,” either from the right or the left of the political spectrum.

Then they tell us to believe that this is how it’s always been in America and that this system, whose leaders rule through the threat of death and destruction of the planet itself, is the greatest democracy in the world.

More importantly, they want us to believe human society can’t exist without a ruling class—that because of “human nature,” workers are incapable of democratically controlling the means of production in a way that benefits everyone because war and greed are in our nature.

The opposite is true. And the masses rising up in opposition the U.S./Israeli genocide against the people of Palestine proves that repulsion to war, greed and mass destruction is the natural human condition.

The collective fight against war, racism, sexism, and bigotry of all kinds is dependent upon the creation of independent workers’ organizations dedicated to ending the tyranny of capitalism everywhere it exists in the world.

If we do not end capitalism, it will end us. A socialist transformation of the world is our only hope for building a future for all of us.



1 On the Jewish Question, Paperback, December 31, 1970, by Leon Trotsky, Pathfinder Press, Out of Print

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0873481577?ref_=cm_sw_r_mwn_dp_D50V3MN54AAC61TKV2CQ&language=en-US

2 As of April 18, 2024, By Mondoweiss Palestine Bureau: Over 34,438 Palestinians (including in the West Bank and all occupied territories)/1,743 Israelis (including those killed on October 7, 2023=19.757887.)

https://mondoweiss.net

3 https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/28/health/children-migrants-border-health.html

4 The Radical Jewish Tradition: Revolutionaries, Resistance Fighters and Firebrands, Paperback—January 25, 2024, Page 17

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Radical-Jewish-Tradition-Revolutionaries-Resistance/dp/1914143973

by Donny Gluckstein (Author), Janey Stone (Author)

5 “A majority of Americans disapprove of Israel’s actions in Gaza, a new poll shows,” By Anushka Patil, March 28, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/03/28/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news