As the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US president, I want to extend a special invitation to workers, students and young people to attend the upcoming regional conferences being sponsored by the SEP and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.
The “Socialism and the 2012 Elections” conferences—to be held in California on October 27-28, New York on November 3, and Michigan on November 4—will focus on the building of a new leadership in the working class to fight for a socialist alternative to austerity, wage-cutting and war.
With less than four weeks to Election Day, the class issues in the 2012 elections have come into sharp relief. Whatever the campaign rhetoric about “fundamental philosophical differences,” both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney speak on behalf of the financial and corporate elite that rules America.
These elections are taking place amidst the greatest breakdown of the capitalist profit system since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Far from providing any relief to the victims of the crisis, however, the next president is committed to a brutal austerity agenda that will only increase mass unemployment, poverty and hunger. And the next administration is set to launch new wars against Syria, Iran and ultimately Russia and China on behalf of the energy conglomerates and banks. This threatens to drag mankind into a nuclear world war.
The past four years have served to expose all those who advocated support for Obama on the grounds that his election would lead to a transformation in American politics. On the contrary, his administration has once again demonstrated that the vast majority of the population has no representation within the existing political system. This has not, however, prevented the “left” supporters of Obama (such as the Nation magazine) from once again lining up behind the president.
The working class is at a crossroads. The efforts by capitalist governments throughout the world to make workers and youth pay for the global economic crisis is driving the working class into a direct confrontation with the profit system. A wave of strikes and mass protests is spreading across Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and in the US itself. But everywhere, the working class is confronted with a crisis of political leadership.
The old trade union organizations and political parties that claim to speak for the working class are inextricably tied to the capitalist system and dedicated to making “their” corporations and countries “more competitive.” Bitter experience shows this nationalist and pro-capitalist program only condemns workers to a race to the bottom.
Over the course of the last several months, American workers have entered into struggles alongside workers around the world. In the fight of workers at Cooper Tire in Ohio, Caterpillar in Illinois, Con Edison in New York, the Chicago Public Schools, Chrysler in Dundee, Michigan and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, the SEP emerged as the only genuine opposition to the betrayals of the old trade unions.
At scores of meetings on college campuses around the country, the SEP explained to young people—who face a future of crushing debt, low-paying jobs and war—that the only answer to the capitalist crisis was the fight to mobilize the working class behind the program of international socialism.
In our campaign trips to Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Sri Lanka we fought for the international unity of the working class, the only means to oppose the attacks of the global corporations and banks and the descent into world war.
Millions of people like you have begun to draw political conclusions about the nature of the two-party capitalist system and the need for an alternative. The alternative is socialism.
Anger and disgust is not enough. If a political alternative to the two big business parties is to be built, then the working class must build it.
There is a powerful and growing impulse toward socialism building up in the United States and internationally. For it to be realized, people like you must make the decision to become involved. There is no task that is greater or more necessary today than the fight to build a socialist political movement.
It is for this purpose that we have launched our election campaign, and it is to carry out this struggle that I urge you to attend our regional conferences.
In the ranks of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality we are gathering the most class-conscious and self-sacrificing workers, youth and intellectuals to provide the impulse and direction for the building of a mass socialist political party of the working class.
Our upcoming conferences will be a critical part of that struggle. We will review the class issues in the 2012 elections and the experiences of the SEP election campaign, and outline the political perspective and strategy for the immense social struggles that will follow the election.
For more information, and to register for the conferences, click here.