Abayomi Azikiwe and Caleb Maupin in the financial district in downtown Detroit on June 4, 2008. The demonstration called for a moratorium on foreclosures in Michigan. (Photo: Alan Pollock)., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Wall Street’s cutbacks & global class war
By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Jul 17, 2011 7:05 AM
Wall Street is coming for us.
The people who rule this society are taking aim at every gain we and generations before us have won. Their rallying cry is “cutbacks!” and their butcher knives are sharp and ready.
Billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, committed union-busters like Scott Walker, the rich bankers who run the Democratic and Republican parties, extreme racists like the Koch Brothers with their Tea Party schemes, military contractors like GE and Halliburton — all of them are united around attacking the workers of the world.
They seek to sink their fangs into our wages, our pensions, our student loans, our Social Security, our Medicare and Medicaid, and our very right to form unions, so they can suck more profits from us.
When faced with this menacing assault, the toiling people of the world have responded the way we always have. We are taking to the streets in huge numbers. We are sitting down in places like Wisconsin’s Capitol building and Tahrir Square. We are sleeping out on the streets of New York City.
We are screaming loudly, in one voice: “We will not accept your austerity! Our lives will not be sacrificed so your profit margins can grow!”
The crosshairs of this coalition of wealthy plutocrats are trained not just on workers in the United States, but on workers in every part of the world.
Just as they seek to bust our unions and our will to resist them, they seek to remove and overthrow any leader who challenges their “right” to force their will on the whole of humanity.
Bosses turn their guns on Libya
Is it any surprise that Western capitalists now turn their guns on Libya?
Libya’s leader, Moammar Gadhafi, came to power in a popular revolution that began among officers within the Libyan army. The revolt removed the king of Libya, who was a mere puppet of Western capitalists.
Libyan oil is the property not of Wall Street corporations but of the Libyan people. The income derived from oil is used to provide free health care and education for the Libyan people. Libyans live longer, on average, than the people of any other country on the African continent, according to both CIA and United Nations statistics.
For decades the Libyan government gave material solidarity to people all over the world struggling for justice — from the Irish Republican Army fighting against British colonialists to the Black Panther Party as it fought for self-determination and Black Liberation against police brutality and racism.
When British miners went on strike against Margaret Thatcher’s Reagan-style program of cutbacks and layoffs in 1984, the Libyan government welcomed a delegation from the National Union of Miners. Libya and the people of Cuba have a strong alliance, aiding each other as both face endless threats from the Wall Street-owned U.S. government.
Tremendous economic and military pressure from the imperialists caused Libya to pull back in many areas, domestic and international, over the last ten years, but that didn’t satisfy the U.S. and NATO. They want a complete counterrevolution and a takeover of Libya’s oil, as they have done in Iraq. Right now U.S. and NATO bombs are falling on Libyans, and capitalist politicians daily call for Gadhafi to either step down or be “taken out.”
The NATO bombs that kill innocent people in Libya differ only in their lethal power from the clubs, handcuffs, nets and Tasers used by police in the United States as they break up demonstrations and repress those who fight Wall Street terrorists in this country.
The same politicians and officials who order the leader of Libya to step down also order workers in the U.S. to “accept the cuts” or “compromise” their jobs and livelihoods away.
Is it possible that some Libyans disagree with Gadhafi for legitimate reasons? Of course. Politics in Libya, like any country, are always full of disagreement, contradictions and debate.
But it should be obvious that the highly armed but numerically weak rebels are not a “people’s movement from below,” especially now that the Pentagon is backing them up with cruise missiles.
Just as Wall Street can find a few willing pawns to join their “Tea Party,” they can surely find a few people of Libyan descent who will march and cheer as bombs fall on their own people.
A traitor can always be bought as long as enough money is available. And money is one thing the Wall Street exploiters have plenty of.
The people of Libya, who fight against NATO’s efforts to force on them a fully compliant, austerity government, face the same enemy that students, the elderly, public workers, labor unionists, women and all here who struggle for justice are fighting.
Sam Marcy, the founder of Workers World Party, called this the “global class war.” Marcy made clear that workers in the U.S. had no “independent destiny.” He pointed out that our struggle against Wall Street is the same struggle workers all over the planet are engaged in.
The battle is heating up, not just in Libya, but in the United States, Britain, Egypt, Greece and every corner of the globe where working people are resisting Wall Street’s attacks and refusing to be stomped into submission.
Let us stand together with the Libyan people. The workers of all countries fighting together have the inherent power to bring the Wall Street class and their whole imperialist system to its knees. Let us build a whole new world without any billionaires or NATO bombs and with jobs, education and a decent life for all. Let us abolish capitalism and fight for a new socialist world.
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