Letters to the Editors
What is to be done?
Under the whiplash of centuries of capitalist competition, a worldwide means of production has been created which, if operated at full capacity, could meet all the needs of humanity. At the present time it is being operated at a little over 70 percent of capacity. And if we exclude from that all the junk productioni.e., non-essentialsthe capacity actually used would probably come down to around 40 percent.
It is this contradiction between a socialized means of production versus a privatized means of production that is the main cause of all social problems. That is to say, it is the restrictions imposed on the means of distribution by the profit needs of capitalists, who constitute about 10 percent of the population, that stands between the working class majority, who are about 90 percent of the population, and the socialization of the means of production that could provide all of us a truly utopian life!
The capitalist class cannot solve this problem because the solution interferes with their profits. A strong revolutionary workers movement for a socialist world based on a rational organization of production and distribution for the benefit of the people as a whole is the only alternative.
The misleadership of the working class has failed to build such a mass movement to lead society and has failed to lead the working class out of capitalist anarchy with its permanent state of war, violence and state terrorism. An independent working class leadership, capable of mobilizing the working people of the world to lead society out of this morass, must be built.
Until the working class establishes a leadership that can fight for the socialist alternative to the profit system, we will face wars for capitalist global domination. Until this leadership carries on a struggle for powerworkers powerwe will continue to face terrorism and other hopelessly cruel responses to the horrors the capitalist system has created.
A workers government in power today would immediately institute 100 percent usage of the existing productive capacity. It would phase out all junk-production immediately; thereby, freeing up the entire productive capacity for use in providing the essentials of life to everyone! These essentials would include food, clothing, housing, medical care, transit systems, clean air, abortions on demand, education for all through university level, child-care centers in every neighborhood and at all of the major jobsites and much more! All those presently unemployed or underemployed would be provided jobs in carrying out these tasks. That is to say, truly full employment for the first time ever.
In your December issue two documents have been published which are linked with the struggle against exploitation and oppression in Palestine.
It is not clear from your editorial introduction that the first document was issued by the Socialist Worker League that is politically distinct from the Committee for One Secular, Democratic Republic in All Palestine (COSDRAL). In fact the first group is a split-off from the second one.
1. COSDRAL is grounded on a democratic and secular platform consisting of precise demands: separation between religion and the State and the civil status of the citizens, election in full equality of an all-empowered Constituent Assembly of all the inhabitants of Palestinebetween the Jordan River and the Sea; Right to Return of all 1948-1967 Palestinian refugees; the giving back to the fellaheen (poor Arab peasants) of all lands which were spoliated after 1948 and 1967; and the building of non-communitarian, democratic and independent trade unions of the workers in all Palestine. We also explain that these mass trade unions will be a fruitful base for the future party that the Palestinian working class on both sides of the Green Line is in so urgent a need.
In street demonstrations and in its leaflets and publications, COSDRAL puts forward the demand for immediate withdrawal of the Israeli Army from all territories which were occupied by Israel in the 67 war. We dont subordinate the right of the Palestinian people to get rid of the military dictatorship to any diplomatic negotiations. The central paper of COSDRAL is the bi-lingual (Hebrew-Arabic) The Democratic Tribune.
2. The Trotskyist Group is active inside COSDRAL. The TG is represented by its paper, The Letter of the Fourth International. The TG originated in the Workers League (in the seventies) and in the Torch group in the nineties. The TG position is that in the center of the Palestinian struggle are the democratic and national slogans. This all-going, revolutionary-democratic program is the political basis on which the nationally-oppressed Palestinian working and jobless masses will mobilize and organize themselves in full independence from the oppressive and exploitive Israeli ruling class and from the Arab and Palestinian feudal-bourgeoisie.
The TG struggles against any ultimatistic approach that says: without socialist references there is no salvation. Socialism will not come down from an ideal and empty sky, but will go up from the masses struggling for their demands. Socialist ultimatums will not help for one minute the masses who are bending low under atrocious daily Israeli oppression. They could only lay obstaclesif at allon the way out.
TG is fully conscious that in their necessary all-going democratic struggle the Palestinian masses are doomed to find that the Palestinian Authoritya pro-imperialist agency set up by the Oslo/Washington Agreementsis a major obstacle. And the choice they will face in order to realize their democratic and national demands will be either working-class power as the sole instrument which may fulfill these demands or the betraying/crushing of their movement by the socially rotten feudal-bourgeoisie. The democratic program is the living bridge toward the proletarian power.