Capitalism, socialism and the New York Times

This June 2017 video is called Socialism In America – Abby Martin.

By Niles Niemuth in the USA:

The New York Times and the specter of socialism

8 August 2018

After decades of systematically ignoring any opposition to capitalism, the media has suddenly recognized the broad-based support for socialist ideas in the United States.

The New York Times published a comment by Democratic Party pundit Michael Tomasky this week offering “friendly advice” to the capitalist elite to address the problem.

Under the headline, “What are capitalists thinking?”, Tomasky writes: “I’ve been fretting lately about the state of mind of America’s capitalists. All these socialists coming out of the woodwork must have them in quite a lather. So I write today with some friendly advice for the capitalist class about said socialists. You want fewer socialists? Easy. Stop creating them.”

Tomasky cites the fact that young people today are burdened with student debt and will be the first modern generation that cannot expect better living standards than their parents; that the rich have only gotten richer, and the response of the government has been to slash their taxes; that while young people saw their parents lose their homes and jobs in the 2008 financial crisis, they saw the bankers who crashed the economy receiving golden parachutes worth tens of millions of dollars; and that since 2008, they have seen corporations pile up record profits and pump billions into stock buybacks instead of raising workers’ wages or guaranteeing decent health and retirement benefits.

The column acknowledges what it is increasingly impossible to ignore: while there is not yet a mass socialist political movement in the US, there is a broad-based and growing sense among workers and youth that the capitalist system is inherently unjust, with polls showing widespread support for socialism. The ruling class is terrified of the consequences.

Tomasky’s proposal to save capitalism from the specter of socialism, however, is a political pipe dream. He urges capitalists to look to the “Trente Glorieuses” from 1945 to 1975 as an example when “everything largely worked in Western economies” and “socialism’s appeal in America waned.” This suggestion ignores certain basic historical and political facts.

First, every advance made by the working class in an earlier period came not from the benevolence of the ruling class based on the suggestions of the Tomaskys of the day, but rather the fierce and bloody struggles by workers in the US and internationally. There were massive social upheavals in the United States, including the great sit-down strikes in Michigan in the 1930s, which were led by socialist-minded workers. The class battles in the US and in other countries were inspired by the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Second, American capitalism has undergone immense transformations since the period of FDR’s “New Deal” and LBJ’s “War on Poverty”. As Trotsky, the co-leader of the Russian Revolution with Lenin, and the great opponent of Stalinism, put it in the 1930s: “America’s wealth permits Roosevelt his experiments.”

The situation today is vastly different. The last half century has seen a protracted decline in the global economic position of American capitalism. There is enormous wealth possessed by the capitalist oligarchy, but it is a wealth based on parasitism, speculation, fraud and, above all, the ruthless lowering of the living standards of the broad mass of the population.

The unimaginable sums of money accumulated by the top .01 percent, and, more broadly, the affluence of the top 5 or 10 percent, are based on the inflation of share values on the stock markets. But these financial markets are a house of cards erected on the foundation of the forcible suppression and lowering of wages, the destruction of social programs, and the immiseration of the vast majority of the population.

Contrary to Tomasky’s hopes, there is no reform faction of the ruling class. After all, Obama—the candidate of “hope” and “change”, who came to office promising a transformation of American politics—succeeded in engineering the greatest transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich in American history. The policies of his administration paved the way for the election of Trump, the naked personification of the corporate oligarchy.

The response of the ruling class to growing class struggle and social unrest is not reform, but repression. The Trump administration is erecting modern-day concentration camps to hold immigrants that will be used against all opposition. Meanwhile, the Democrats, speaking on behalf of the military-intelligence agencies, are demanding ever greater measures to censor the Internet, openly targeting left-wing views.

In noting the growth of socialism in the US, Tomasky cites the rise of figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) member who won a Democratic primary for Congress in New York City last month. …

The disgust that millions of workers and young people are feeling will take new and much more radical forms.

Genuine socialism is revolutionary; the rights of the working class will be won not through an appeal to the morality of the modern-day robber barons, but through a direct assault on the very foundations of the capitalist system.

Socialism means a vast redistribution of wealth and the seizure of the trillions hoarded by the capitalist class to put an end to unemployment, social inequality, poverty, hunger, homelessness, illiteracy and other social ills. It means the transformation of the giant banks and corporations into publicly-controlled utilities, run on the basis of social need, not private profit.

Socialism means an end to the assault on immigrants through the mobilization of workers of all nationalities, races and genders on the basis of their common class interests. And it means an end to war and the gargantuan sums expended by the capitalist ruling elites to subjugate and conquer the world.

I am running for Congress in Michigan’s 12th district as a member of the Socialist Equality Party to help spearhead the fight for an independent movement of workers and young people that takes direct aim at the capitalist system.

A Gallup poll released yesterday found that, for the first time since it began tracking the figure, fewer than half of young people aged 18-29 have a positive view of capitalism, while more than half have a positive view of socialism. The poll also found that, again for the first time, significantly more Democratic-leaning voters have a positive view of socialism than of capitalism: here.

TRUMP-FRIENDLY CONGRESSMAN ARRESTED FOR SECURITIES FRAUD Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), one of Trump earliest and loudest backers, has been charged by the FBI with insider trading. [HuffPost]

Growing interest in socialism in Downriver Detroit area: here.

Trump‘s attack on “socialism” was weird — and wrong.

How capitalism has screwed women over.

40 thoughts on “Capitalism, socialism and the New York Times

  1. Pingback: Capitalism, socialism and the New York Times — Dear Kitty. Some blog | sdbast

  2. Pingback: Stop Internet censorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: German university boss collaborating with AfD neofascists against students | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: United States CEOs getting richer | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: German classical musicians against secret police | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: German secret service-AfD neofascists collusion | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: German police collusion with racists against journalists | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: More Internet censorship in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Press freedom, for billionaires only? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Amazon boss Bezos, world’s richest man, warmonger | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Economist magazine wants militarisation of British politics | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore’s new film, a critical review | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Donald Trump, laughing stock at the United Nations | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Saudi princely, French Macronist oppression of opposition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: Donald Trump’s xenophobic nationalism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: European Union Internet censorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  17. Pingback: Pittsburg synagogue anti-Semitic massacre, its context | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  18. Pingback: Donald Trump attacks socialism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  19. Pingback: Donald Trump scared of socialism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  20. Pingback: Far-right German secret police boss Maassen sacked at last | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  21. Pingback: ‘Populism’, a much abused word | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  22. Pingback: Australian right-wing government attacks anti-climate change students | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  23. Pingback: Yellow Vest protests, pretext for Internet censorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  24. Pingback: Critics of United States government, corporations supposedly ‘Russian tools’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  25. Pingback: Neo-nazi network in German police | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  26. Pingback: Davos 1% forum without Trump, May, Macron | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  27. Pingback: Matamoros, Mexico workers fight on | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  28. Pingback: Striking Matamoros, Mexico maquiladora worker speaks out | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  29. Pingback: Trump’s State of the Union against socialism, women, immigrants | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  30. Pingback: Trump’s State of the Union, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez disagrees | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  31. Pingback: Hitler-whitewashing US Trumpists-British Conservative connection | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  32. Pingback: Donald Trump’s global war on socialism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  33. Pingback: President Trump’s son attacks teachers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  34. Pingback: United States far-right groups and Donald Trump | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  35. Pingback: Donald Trump’s American conservatism, or American fascism? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  36. Pingback: Bernie Sanders and his Chicago supporters speak | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  37. Pingback: Trump, JP Morgan Chase bank attack socialism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.