Police Brutality, Racism, and the Politics of Polarization

The grisly images on television and social media are unrelenting: car bombings, nightclub massacres, killer cops, and cop killers. It is what Lenin called capitalist “horror without end”—without end. Not only in “far away” Iraq, Afghanistan, and Mexico, but in some of the most prosperous cities in the richest country on earth. This is the gruesome face of the capitalist crisis, the crisis of a system that threatens to take the entire human species down with it.

 

USA: Revolution on the Horizon

Sanders RallyEditorial for Socialist Appeal Issue 93. The US political pendulum, which had swung so far to the right, is beginning to swing dramatically in the opposite direction. Years of crisis and instability have inexorably had an effect on consciousness. Sanders’ insurgent candidacy—which wasn’t given an ice cube’s chance in hell just a few months ago—is clear evidence of this. Tens of thousands have turned out at mass rallies to hear his message of “political revolution against the billionaire class.” He has put socialism in the headlines in an unprecedented way, reflecting the deep-seated discontent that has been slowly but surely percolating beneath the surface.

Reformism, Revolution, and the Crisis of US Capitalism

BernieSandersReformismFeaturedEditorial for Socialist Appeal 92 - These days, it would seem that nearly everyone is a socialist of some sort or another. That was certainly not the case back when Socialist Appeal was founded fifteen years ago. To be sure, what most people understand as “socialism” at the moment is far from the fully revolutionary conception defended in the program at the back of our paper. But this marks a dramatic change in consciousness nonetheless.

The Crisis and the Minimum Wage

MinimumWageThe “Great Recession” may have “technically” ended in June 2009, but what really matters are full employment and a steadily increasing quality of life. Capitalism’s inability to provide this is not due to individual malice or indifference— though there are plenty of sociopaths on Wall Street—but because under capitalism, creating jobs and paying workers are mere afterthoughts to the real reason for the system’s existence: profits. This is the inner contradiction and absurdity of a socio-economic form that can exist only through the exploitation of workers, and yet is unable exploit all the able, willing, and available workers, millions of whom must humiliate  themselves every day, offering themselves up for jobs (exploitation) that don’t exist.