US and World Politics

Universal Human Emancipation is an
All-Or-Nothing Endeavor

By Bonnie Weinstein

In four seemingly unrelated events in U.S. news recently, the true nature of U.S. capitalism reveals itself as a violent, terrorist dictatorship—not just abroad—but right here at home.

The U.S. is the leading combatant in the capitalist war against the poor—a war designed to keep the working class in its place of service to them, or face death.

On the homefront

At 12:01 A.M. on June 5, 2024, President Biden carried out his order to shut down the U.S. border with Mexico to nearly all migrants seeking asylum in the United States.1 According to a June 3, 2024, New York Times article by Hamed Aleaziz and Zolan Kanno-Youngs titled, “Biden Expected to Sign Executive Order Restricting Asylum,” Biden’s order essentially criminalized the most vulnerable people—victims of imperialist aggression whose homelands are wrecked by crimes of desperation and poverty who are seeking safety somewhere, anywhere else.:

“…The order would represent the single most restrictive border policy instituted by Mr. Biden, or any modern Democrat, and echoes a 2018 effort by President Donald J. Trump to block migration that was assailed by Democrats and blocked by federal courts. …The order would allow border officials to prevent migrants from claiming asylum and rapidly turn them away once border crossings exceed a certain threshold [to turn away all migrants attempting to cross the border after reaching a limit of 2500 crossings.] …On Sunday [June 2, 2024], border agents made more than 3,500 apprehensions of migrants crossing the border without authorization, according to a person with knowledge of the data.”

Under Biden’s orders, U.S. border agents are using force and violence to keep these desperate people from our border leaving them utterly destitute—without food, water or shelter.

A June 11, 2024, New York Times article by Brian Howey and Nate Rosenfield titled, “Torture Accusations Could Lead to Civil Rights Case in Mississippi,” exposes the brutal crimes of a Police Force “Goon Squad” operating in Mississippi:

“Rankin County came to national attention last year after deputies, some from a unit that called itself the Goon Squad, tortured two Black men in their home and shot one of them in the face, nearly killing him. Six officers pleaded guilty and were sentenced to federal prison in March. An investigation by The New York Times and Mississippi Today last fall revealed that nearly two dozen residents experienced similar brutality when Rankin deputies burst into their homes looking for illegal drugs. … In a statement to The Times and Mississippi Today two weeks ago, the Rankin County sheriff’s department said it had conducted an internal review of its deputies. The review came after the news organizations reported that, for a generation, Rankin County deputies had terrorized local residents accused of drug possession. More than 20 people said deputies had beaten, strangled, waterboarded or burned them during home raids and traffic stops. …The department conducted another review in late May after The Times and Mississippi Today unearthed a private text thread where deputies discussed beating criminal suspects, traded memes about rape and posted pictures of rotting human corpses they had found on the job.”

The Rankin County sheriff’s department—armed to the teeth—are routinely brutalizing innocent residents using drugs as a reason to illegally stop and search them.

In a June 11, 2024, New York Times article by Jonathan Wolfe and Jill Cowan, titled “At U.C.L.A., Police Arrest More Than 20 Pro-Palestinian Protesters,” the authors reported that:

“Pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the University of California, Los Angeles, clashed with law enforcement officers on Monday [June 10, 2024], sometimes physically, as they attempted to occupy outdoor areas and re-establish a protest encampment in the last days of the spring quarter. … The demonstration began earlier Monday in the form of a funeral procession, winding its way through campus as protesters read the names of Palestinians killed during the Israel-Hamas war. …The university has experienced a tumultuous spring. Violent attacks by supporters of Israel began on the night of April 30, followed about a day later by the dismantlement of a pro-Palestinian encampment, involving hundreds of arrests. Administrators had allowed that encampment to stand for days, but on Monday, scores of police officers and private security guards moved in swiftly.”

Even on college campuses, menacing police presence and violence against peaceful student protests are the routine measures college administrators are taking against student-resistance to genocide.

The world

Biden’s solution to the U.S./Israel genocide in Gaza is a sadistic “peace deal” that completely leaves out the voice of the Palestinian people.

In a June 5, 2024, New York Times article by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, titled, “Here’s a Closer Look at What is Standing in the Way of a Cease-Fire Deal” details of Biden’s three-phase program for a new and broader occupation of Palestine are explained:

“The proposal would unfold in three phases. In phase one, among other things, Israel would withdraw from population centers in Gaza during a six-week cease-fire, and dozens of women and elderly hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and its allies would be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. During that time, talks over a permanent cease-fire would continue, and if successful, the deal would enter phase two, with the full withdrawal of Israel’s military from the enclave. All hostages and more Palestinian prisoners would be freed. Under phase three, Hamas would return the bodies of hostages who had died, and a three- to five-year reconstruction period, backed by the United States, European countries and international institutions, would begin.”

So, in Biden’s new plan for peace—really a piece of Palestinian land—Israel will not stand alone any longer in the occupation of Palestinian territory from the river to the sea. The United States, Europe and other “friends” will join Israel’s occupation of the people of Palestine—officially.

Biden’s peace plan is blackmail. It outlines the fundamental laws of capital for the working class, i.e., “if you agree to be ruled by us, to work for us, to be policed by us, and obey us without question, we will not bomb you into oblivion. And, in good faith, we will allow more products on the market for you to buy with the pay you earn for the privilege of working for us.”

Capitalists around the world know that Gaza could be an extremely profitable gateway to trade and travel throughout the region and are chomping at the bit for a chance to get a piece of Gaza to call their own.

This is no peace plan. It’s an ultimatum to the people of Palestine—surrender, or the genocide will continue until you are all dead or gone.

This ultimatum does not only apply to the people of Palestine. It applies to the migrants at the U.S./Mexico border, to the brutalized residents of Rankin County, Mississippi, and to the pro-Palestine student protesters at U.S.L.A., and to workers everywhere who choose democracy, social and economic equality, peace and a healthy environment and an end to war here and now.

The only choice capitalism allows the working class to make is to submit to their authority and work for them under their rules, or die.

What can we do about it?

The world’s working class is learning two huge and vital lessons, perhaps not consciously yet. But it is sinking in. One, that capitalism cannot be reformed enough to save the planet. And two, that real democracy comes from the power of masses of humanity acting on our own behalf and in our own interests—interests that are diametrically opposed to the interests of capital.

This is the essential part of our collective quest for a peaceful world. It is the only way to achieve the ultimate goal of a fully democratic, majority rule by, of and for, the working class, with control over the means of production to provide for the equal distribution of goods and services to all.

We must show through our actions how working together democratically, acting in unity and solidarity with each other, we are stronger than the bosses. We must work together to convince the masses of workers that replacing capitalism with socialism is the only way to bring peace to the world.

The power of unity and solidarity

Currently, the “left” is hopelessly sectarian. Even the best, are offering only their own organizations as the “answer.” This is a fear of democracy, which is the antithesis of revolutionary socialism. This is a clear expression of lack of faith in the working class. And it’s defeatist. Somehow, we have to free ourselves from this mindset.

Working people are beginning to see that what’s happening in Gaza is related to what’s happening at the Mexican/American border, in our inner cities, on our campuses and in countries all over the world—the poorest people are trying to defend their lives against the most powerful and sophisticated military forces in the world.

This is the reality of the world’s working class. Yet we are trapped into functioning in the world as if there is no way out of this hold capitalism has over us.

Our own organizations outside of the socialist left—the unions, community groups and organizations fighting for housing, healthcare, education, childcare, for a living wage, etc. offer only one solution—they urge us to vote for the capitalist politicians that give the best lip-service in support of our causes—knowing full well, that they have no intention whatsoever of carrying them out.

They count on workers’ belief in the myth of “lesser evilism.” This is the full extent of American democracy under capitalism. They give workers only one choice at election time—to vote for capitalist politicians—essentially surrendering our independence to those who have, and will continue to betray us.

We must make war on capital—not people

The power to change society is in the hands of the working class—unity and solidarity to defeat capitalism’s economic and military slaughter of the working class is achievable.

Capitalism is slavery of a different kind. It binds humanity to a system of economic slavery. Under capitalism workers are the producers of the wealth and plenty that only the ruling capitalist class can enjoy.

But we can turn things right side up! We can take the ownership of the means of production and the resources of the world out of the hands of the capitalist minority and put them and into our hands—we, the overwhelming majority of humanity—the working class.

All those who understand that capitalism offers no future to humanity and all life on our planet must put aside our petty differences and show that we can come together—to discuss and resolve our differences democratically—and begin to organize our workplaces and communities to fulfill the needs of all of us.

We, on the left, who understand that capitalism is the cause of all suffering in the world must act now to lead the way to building an independent, democratically functioning, revolutionary socialist political party of the working class to defeat capitalism and build socialism—it’s a necessary endeavor.

1 “Biden Shut the Border to Asylum Seekers. The Question Is Whether the Order Can Be Enforced.”