Stop the war on workers at home and abroad!

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Este artículo en español

The people of today are living through a world war — not one big conflict, but a war in pieces all over the globe. Iraqis live in a free-fire zone, Palestinians in a prison camp, Afghanis in chaos, Somalis in fear of the next U.S. attack. Washington and its shrinking number of “coalition partners” justify most of their aggressions by tarring whole populations, from the Middle East to Latin America, with the brush of terrorism.

As the targets of the permanent war resist however they can, the rest of the world’s people have not been silent. They have protested in multiple millions.

And well they might, because they, too, pay an astronomical price for the war. In the United States, the cost includes everything from exploding personal and national debt to the shredding of the Constitution, crippling cuts in social funding, and a culture of growing violence.

As always, the heaviest blows fall on those at the bottom. Immigrants, Muslims and people of color are increasingly profiled and criminalized or, like the victims of Katrina, ignored. Ellen DeGeneres can host the Oscars, but women still earn 77 percent of what men do, and people whose sexuality is other than straight are still bashed and denied basic civil rights. The gap between rich and poor is the largest since the Great Depression.

But the war at home also faces opposition: hotel workers rise, abused veterans organize, South Dakota voters reject an abortion ban.

Resisters should take heart from the fact that capitalism has become so harsh not because it is invincible, but because it is in trouble. Its post-World War II heyday is over. Every few years an Asian economic crisis, a fall of the House of Enron, or a stock market plunge signals the sickness of the profit system.

Politically, the system is plagued by scandal and lack of credibility. Environmentally, it is playing a poisonous endgame. And, as for the war in Iraq — well, Uncle Sam is losing. The question is, what comes next?

The majority of humanity cannot win the changes we desperately need through one protest movement after another, no matter how heroic. We’ve been there, tried that. The Democrats will not save us, because they are just as much the administrators of the reign of profit as the Republicans. Been there and tried that, too.

The only way to bring an end to this era of permanent war is to fight for a social way of operating with no need of war — a humane system of collective ownership and the control of wealth by the people who create it. Socialism or barbarism, those are the choices.

Where will the leadership to demand and make this change come from? It will come from the working class — ordinary workers and oppressed people, who are the ones with the stake in overthrowing the old for the new and the power to do it. The solution lies with you.

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